The morning arrived in overcast. The air was cool and damp with a gentle breeze and the alien planet was quiet. The ship door hissed open as a Wild Grisha emerged onto the dirt and sleepily gazed out across the rocky terrain. Raising a hand to his mouth, tears glinted at the corners of his eyes as he stifled a large yawn.
Dropping his hand limply to his side, he sniffed the air and was soon running off toward the cliffs. He smiled as the breeze combed through his hair. The terrain was a tan blur beneath his rapidly moving feet, and as the cliff face neared, he sprang into the air to stab his fingers like climbing picks into the stone. The giant scaled the mountain side like a squirrel, his colossal strength, throwing himself a few feet up the rock face. When he reached the ledge, Grisha stopped and peeked around it at a strange bird-like creature.
The bird resembled an over-sized hen with black fur instead of feathers. The big hen's meaty rump was seated on a nest-full of eggs, its long, warty beak in the shape of a dragon's maw. Grisha could see the tendrils of smoke rising into the air from its slit nostrils, alerting him enough that the creature could possibly breathe fire. Frowning mischievously, he eyed the eggs, imagining the liquid gold that existed inside them. A rivulet of drool dipped from the corner of his mouth. They would make the perfect breakfast. Narrowing his eyes, he thought that now all he had to do was steal them without the hen noticing.
The hen slept comfortably, neck sunk into the warm fat of its breast. The creature stirred when it suddenly felt its bottom jump, and its red eyes opened, its pupils thinning into reptilian slits. Its bottom jumped a few more times before its head snapped around in its suspicion, seeing no one. Flapping its bat-like wings, it stood tall upon scaly legs and peered down at the eggs, still safe - so it thought. The creature was too simple to see that there were three rocks in the place of three of its eggs.
Back at the ship, Grisha had one of the giant eggs cooking in the broken thruster unit that had become an all-purpose luxury item. Grisha sat by the two other eggs, waiting for the other Saiyans to wake for breakfast.
To say their journey had been rough going would be a kindly understatement. After being chased and cornered by several of the boogeyman "Super Evil" being spoken of by Orion, Blaze and the others had taken to the stars to confront him and keep him and his dark designs away from Earth and their loved ones.
However, things didn't go quite as planned.
Chased by an absurdly powerful unit of bounty-hunters deployed by this super evil being, the group had been chased to a dry, arid world with a harsh and rather uninviting environment. With nary a tree or lake to be seen, the fluids they required were drunk from their prey and what isolated tiny pools they could find after the hurricane force nights blowing in what moisture the atmosphere had to offer. It was not uncommon for them to battle with the local fauna for drinking rights at the pools. And often by midday the pools were bone dry.
With one thruster being jerry-rigged into a makeshift heating unit for food and to keep warm in the frigid nights, their ship had seen better days. The heat radiating from the unrelenting sun above did nothing good for what equipment was still workable, but the communications relay was not among them. All they could do was send out the SOS and hope someone would pick it up and come find them. For the time being, they had to rely on their wits and resourcefulness.
Thankfully Grisha's time in the frigid mountains came in very handy here. Despite the opposing climate, his survival knowledge was second to none. And it was because of his hunting prowess they had a meal every night to look forward to. In the meantime they continued to pass their time with training and stories, trying to keep their minds off the isolation and threat of never getting off this planet again.
This planet reminded Akiko a lot of the desert world she grew up on. All the plants and animal were different, but it still offered the little girl a small amount of comfort. Given everything that had happened, the girl would take what she could get. The smell of food caused the chibi Saiyan to yawn lazily and open her eyes half way. "Lydia there's fo-" Akiko started with excitement only to stop short as she sat up and woke fully. "...food." The little girl finished with a frown. That's right... part of her family hadn't made it. That part must have been a dream.
Akiko got to her feet and glanced around the damaged ship for a moment, but she didn't want to deal with it. Sad thoughts were suppressed and tears that might have formed blinked away for the moment as the child caught the sent of what woke her in the first place and hurried to the door. With a hiss the door was open and Akiko Rushed over to see that her biggest brother was already cooking. "Yay!" Grisha found food!" It was lucky for them that anything lived on this planet, that their was air, and such. All Akiko really cared about was the food and water though.
"Can Akiko help?" She may have been the smallest and weakest of the group, but Akiko wasn't a baby, She help! The chibi saiyan reached for one of the eggs, then paused. She really wanted to eat but the air was still damp, that would change quickly. "Akiko could get water!" She offered, but stopped short of taking to the air, easily distracted as ever. "Where'd Blaze go?" It was possible that he was still inside and Akiko had simply been too distracted to notice her smaller brother as she raced out the door, but it just dawned on her that Blaze wasn't there.
Akiko’s cheerful emergence drew Grisha’s attention. A grin expanded on his face, a white contrast compared to the thick black beard that covered his jaw. His hair had grown to its full length—a length that Grisha hadn’t been aware it could grow. Lena always cut his hair and Tobias had been the one to teach him to shave. Supposedly, Saiyans’ hair was so thick that it took on the style they were born with. Grisha’s hair closely resembled dreadlocks. The dreads rested like serpents upon his shoulders and some of them were fastened with beads made of wood and stone (courtesy of his new hairstylist Akiko). If anyone had thought Grisha was a barbarian before, he certainly looked the part then. The only thing he was missing was a loincloth, but he had managed to keep his clothing in surviving condition. However, his clothing still managed to tear in places over time.
The Saiyan was sitting cross-legged before the thruster with the two eggs next to his hip.
Can Akiko help?
Grisha held up one of the eggs for the chibi Saiyan to take, but a second later, she had changed her mind. His brows shot upward at her. He really shouldn’t have been surprised, but he still hadn’t been used to her short-attention span.
Where’d Blaze go?
Grisha’s hand rose to his chin. His fingers clawed through his thick beard clearing it of any dirt and creatures that were trying to live in it. “Little Brother not inside?” he asked. He left the query open as he rose to his feet and walked over to the engine. He peered inside at the egg swirling around in the hot jets and boiling water, and then reached in to remove it. A normal being’s flesh would have been melted right off, but it was obvious that Grisha wasn’t normal. Steam rose off the egg and Grisha cracked it against his forehead. As fragments of shell fell away from it, a black dragon-bird head suddenly popped out. Grisha’s eyes widened in surprise, and then he groaned, “Ugh…”
He was hoping to have found normal eggs. Grisha was tempted to dunk the baby cockatrice back into the turbine to fry it, but he instead walked over to Akiko and handed her the baby chick. The chick immediately started flapping its webbed wings and chirping happily—unaware of the survivor hell it had been born into. Grisha walked over to the remaining eggs and picked them up.
“Grisha go look for food again,” he grumbled. He was going to return the other two eggs to its mother and go hunt for something else. The planet made living stressful. Grisha didn’t have much time to spend with Akiko and Blaze for he was spending every single day hunting for food for them to survive on, and it was while he hunted that he was able to get some form of training in, battling the nightmarish beasts they co-occupied the planet with. He could only wonder what kind of stress little Akiko was going through. He was haunted every night with dreams of being back in Kousetsu Village only to wake to harsh reality. Maybe Lena was right? They should have never left. His place was protecting the village and not flying through the stars only to land in some shithole.
In the wastelands a good distance away from the fallen ship wandered a family of small furry beasts.
Each one scurried about picking and digging whatever food items they could from the land in the form of insects, grubs, plant roots, and shrubs before whisking it back to their underground lair which lie cleverly concealed amongst a bed of protruding rocks. At a casual glance the entrance would seem little more than an unassuming crack. A product of the weather and elements eating away at the stone. But no. The little beasts ran and squeezed into the hold which opened into a slightly wider array of tunnels all eventually leading to a central chamber for their leading pair; the alpha and omega.
In the chamber beside the leading pair was a storage chamber for their gathered food stuffs. It lie nearly packed to the brim with goodness. But they weren't yet satisfied. they needed it fully packed or their soon-to-come hibernation during a colder stretch of this planet's climate cycle would be rough going. Or, rather, rougher than normal.
Outside a small gang of the beasts foraged while another pair kept watch. Even the slightest unrecognizable movement would set off an alarm which would see them all scamper back to their lair. And a pair of hungry eyes knew this all too well.
A large predatory bird observed them from a perch on the mountain in the near distance. Its binocular vision showing every twitch and sniff of air from its prey. It alternated its weight balance on both feet, getting into the perfect take-off position. It had done this hundreds of times before with success, and today would be no different. The creature confidently leaped into the air and soared high overhead where the tiny beast's noses couldn't reach, and lined itself up at an angle for a dive. With a quick tuck of its wings it was off and falling, reaching terminal velocity in a matter of seconds and became but a blur which arced through the skies before colliding with one of the creatures. In slow motion, the talons extended and latched onto its prey, the impact force alone killing it to say nothing of the sharp claws piercing its flesh and organs. By the time it was off the ground it was already dead.
The others scattered for the den as the bird flew up higher and higher to its perch on the mountain. And as it landed and pecked at its kill it lifted its head as it heard a sound like nothing it had ever heard before. Looking up and back, it saw a strange line through the skies high above, higher than even it could fly. And it was moving fast. Stretching across the brown-yellow atmosphere the line moved with great haste with a small red dot at its head.
Racing through the skies, Blaze flew a hard and determined path back to the ship with a fresh load of water salvaged from one of the nightly pools they'd discovered a good distance away thanks to Grisha's nose and penchant for tracking animal movements. Two large containers full of water which would last them at least a day and a half, maybe two, so long as it was protected and well-stored from the heat of the day. And as the red aura vanished with Blaze's descent, he slowed his speed until he landed softly on the ground not far from Akiko, Grisha having already left for more food.
He set the water containers down and rubbed a few beads of sweat from his temples, turning towards the smaller Saiyan.
If Grisha looked like a barbarian, Akino could have easily past for his cave daughter. The little girl's hair had grown as long as she was tall, though bangs had been cut out unevenly to let her see. Akiko decorated the shorter strands around her face with beads of bone and stone. Also like her biggest brother, the child's cloths were mostly intact, but torn in places along with being generally dirty and warn. Not that the chibi saiyan minded much. It might have been nice to get clean and warm... but then again, it was just as fun to get dirty, if not more so.
“Little Brother not inside?”
The child gave a little shrug. "Akiko didn't see him." There was no real reason to be worried yet. Blaze wasn't exactly a helpless baby. Akiko was just curious.
When Grisha reached in to get the egg out of their makeshift cooker, Akiko looked on, eagure to see how the food came out. Akiko's sapphire eyes went wide when she saw that, instead of shiny, white yoke, a little bird was hidden under the shell. "What is it?!" The chibi saiyan's stomach may have been sad there was no food, but she she was more than happy to take the small creature that Grisha pushed into her arms. With a gleeful little squeal, Akiko gently hugged her new pet. "Akiko will feed it and hug it and love it forever!" She chimed happily as she looked the interesting.... bird over.
“Grisha go look for food again,”
The giant's disappointment wasn't completely lost on Akiko. He worked so hard to keep them all fed and Akiko... well little girl still had a hard time actually killing anything and she wasn't exactly stealthy. "Don't worry big brother! You is the bestest hunter! You'll fine even better foods!" The child offered as Grisha cheerfully as he started off. It was tempting to fallow. Grisha and Blaze where always working to keep them safe and fed but aside from sleeping, training, and eating, it felt like they ardly saw each other. Though she helped where she could, healing any injuries and doing a little foraging, when there was no training and no stories, the little girl felt a bit lost. Would they ever get off of this planet? Akiko wanted to protect everyone and stop the bad guys! Yet... Now Lena hated them and they had lost Orion and big sister...
The squirming critter in her arms drew Akiko's attention back to the present and Akiko kissed it's head. "It's okay baby birdy! Akiko is your mama now!" Akiko assured the cockatrice with a smile. It was hard to be sad when she had a happy little chick in her arms. When Blaze landed, Akiko looked to the water, at least she knew where he had gone now. While she was momentarily disappointed she hadn't gotten to help, it was probably for the best considering how quickly the chibi saiyan had gotten distracted from the task. Akiko smiled up at the red head and held her new friend out. "Akiko is okay! Lookie! Akiko has a baby!" She couldn't wait to see what blaze though. "Biggest brother found it! Well he found the egg and we were gonna eat it but there was a baby inside instead of food." The little girl paused for a moment at that. "Why do some eggs have food and some has babies anyway?" Shouldn't they all have babies? Or all have food?
While the predatory bird was distracted, Grisha had swiftly darted up the mountainside and snagged its neck between his teeth. Instantly, its esophagus was crushed as Grisha’s hands and feet cracked into the rock-face, easily making foot and hand holds. Pinning its body against his own, the Saiyan turned his head, causing the bird’s neck to stretch until it snapped in a spurt of hot blood. Releasing its head to go tumbling down the mountainside, Grisha peered up at the jet-like trail that stretched across the sky. Smirking, he thought that answered Akiko’s question. There were no other creatures on the planet that could fly as fast as a jet. Gathering his kill under an arm, Grisha released his hold on the mountain and hopped his way down. Once he landed at the base, he used a vine to tie the bird up and slung its body over his shoulder. No later did the scent of blood attract a beast whose footsteps shook the ground.
Grisha’s lips rolled back presenting his own teeth much like the feral beast that lumbered toward him. Its lengthy claws cupped the rocky earth and beneath its green, rhino-like skin shook muscle capable of exuding a power far greater than any beast on earth. The beast’s horn protruded in the shape of an ax from between its eyes. Teeth like daggers were grit at Grisha and parted as it bellowed on a hiss and a scream its challenge for the kill he had on his back. It was moments like that when Grisha became uncertain what he was. Was he a Saiyan? Was he a Man? Or was he a beast himself fighting to survive? Every creature on the planet was willing to kill in order to eat and would do so with a honey badger mindset.
Grisha roared back at the beast and hammered his fists against the rocky pectorals of his chest. Lately, he hadn’t bothered to question whether the food he captured or killed was edible or not. He just brought it back to the ship. The giant returned with the bird still slung over his shoulder and holding a new ax in his right hand that resembled the horn of the beast that had challenged him. In his left hand, he dragged the creature by its upper jaw. Its lifeless eyes were glazed over and gazing up at the sky as its body shook and jumped over every rock. The ax was covered in blood and the beast’s throat had a deep gash in it. Grisha’s once well-kept tunic had been reduced to rags that hung in strips off his shoulders, and large holes in his trousers hung agape at his knees. When Grisha returned to the ship, he dropped the bodies and the ax and sat upon the ground. He eased back upon his hands and outstretched his legs as he closed his eyes and attempted to not only rest his body but his mind. How long would they have to continue to do this?
As Blaze struggled to find his words, little Akiko looked up at him expectantly with big, innocent eyes. Her head was tilted curiously to the side as she waited for an answer. Why did he look uncomfortable? Did he not know how eggs worked? When Blaze finally spoke, it was on another subject.
"Sometimes uh... Hey, have you fed your little friend yet?"
"You should really find it something to eat quickly. Any kind of insects or worms that you can dig up. Hurry now!"
The chibi saiyan gasped, her tail standing on end f or a moment. "On no! Akiko didn't feed him yet! Akiko is a bad mama!" The little girl quickly went to work scanning the aria and digging around for bugs and worms. Akiko had to reluctantly set her new pet down to work, and at first she was worried it would run away. However, the cockatrice chick must have imprinted on Akiko because it followed her around like a duckling follows it's mother. The cockatrice chick seemed perfectly happy to wander about and explore the aria immediately around the little girl, but always retreated back to Akiko after a few moments. If nothing else, having a baby bird-creature to look after would give Akiko more to do and less time to worry about everything they'd been through and what might happen next.
It took some digging and hunting around but after a while, Akiko managed to find a few green, strange looking grubs and about a hand full of other creepy crawlies. "Um... do you likes this, Cheepers?" Akiko ask hopefully as she sat on the ground next to the mini cockatrice and offered a blue spider. The chick examined the offering for just a moment before taking it and chirping for more. "Big brother! He likes it!" She chimed happily before offering another bug. While there where a couple of bugs the baby critter seemed to dislike, it ate most of what Akiko offered until it was nice and full, then stopped it's cherping to rest. "Hmm... Think these are good?" The child asked before eating a grub. She seemed to regret the decision at first, scrunching her nose in distaste and freezing after the first crunch, but Akiko managed to get it down before looking back to blaze. "Akiko doesn't like them." she finally said rather deadpan before setting the uneaten bugs free.
The resting cockatrice seemed so content that Akiko couldn't help but smile at it. "Big brother... should we put it in the ship to sleep?" The chibi saiyan didn't want to disturb cheepers nap, but she didn't want to leave it alone in the open or just sit there forever ether.
Grisha's return had Akiko bouncing to her feet to wave, forgetting for a moment that the chick was leaning against her and causing the poor thing to startle awake with a squawk of it's own. "Big brother! That was fa- wha!" The thing he was dragging with him... they could eat that for weeks! She hadn't even seen what he had over her shoulder yet. "You is the best hunter!" The chibi saiyan cheered before finally remembering the cockatrice and looking down at her feet where it was trying to settle against her ankle again. "Aww, sorry Cheepers!" Akiko cooed as she gently picked the chick up.
Blaze chuckled and heaved a sigh of relief when Akiko agreed to look for food for her new pet. She wasn't ready for the talk about why some eggs had babies and others didn't. As she searched for and fed it grubs and bugs, he smiled and watched calmly. When she tried one herself, he made a face with her and nodded when she said she didn't like it.
"I wouldn't like them either, Akiko."
He was about to answer her question in regards with what to do about the cockatrice, but that's when Grisha came back lugging quite the haul with him. And it was no wonder why they asked him to be the hunter. Blaze wouldn't have brought these kinds of beasts in. At least not all at once like this.
"Well done, Grisha."
Despite the fact that Grisha could obviously fulfill his role as their food supplier, and Blaze could do most of the water collection and potentially work on a better shelter than a beaten down and battered ship, Blaze didn't want to stay here. Having been shot down by other Saiyans in their quest to bring down the ultimate evil force, this planet could very well become their final resting place if nothing changed. They'd need to find some way out of this place. And soon.
"I wish it was as easy as just flying." He mumbled to himself.
He looked out towards the mountains, and for just a split second he saw the outline of a face he knew all too well. Flowing blonde hair on the sunny side of the mountain's face. The curve of her cheek and jaw in the forward ridge. Her eyes reflecting in the light of the sun and in a stray flock of birds in just the right spot for a brief moment. But as the birds move on and clouds began shadowing the mountain, the image faded and in his mind was distorted until he broke free from his momentary stupor and sighed softly to himself.
Akiko’s enthusiasm wasn’t entirely wasted on Grisha, but some of it was. As she smiled and glowed with joy as though every day spent on the hellish planet didn’t affect her in the least, Grisha’s mood darkened. That was the last time he wanted to hunt for the group. Instead of camping at the ship, he would rather scour the planet of every man-eating predator in search for a way off the rock. When Blaze suggested they start cooking, a shadow fell over Grisha’s eyes and the corner of his lip arched in disgust. The giant rose and turned his back on his fellow Saiyans.
“Cook selves,” Grisha grumbled. “Grisha go.”
He marched over to the horn he had torn off the face of the creature and picked up both the horn and the bird. He left the behemoth for Akiko and Blaze to share and he took his leave. In Kousetsu Village, it wasn’t unusual for Grisha to leave the village for days at a time. He had to do what he had to do and sitting there, “surviving” wasn’t good enough for him. He was going to find a way off the planet or die trying, and if he found a way, he would return to the others. It seemed selfish of him for he was in the mindset that he was the only one who cared, but he couldn’t keep doing the same old thing. Grisha was feeling less and less like himself the longer he stayed.
"I wouldn't like them either, Akiko." At least Blazed agreed! Maybe she would eat them if there was no other food but she would have to be really starving to go that far! Still, the cockatrice liked the bugs and Akiko supposed that's all that mattered.
When Grisha first returned, Akiko had been excited, naturally. Not only would they get to eat, but they could all finally spend a little time together! At least, that's what she thought until grisha spoke up. “Cook selves,” Grisha grumbled. “Grisha go.”
The little girl's face fell instantly. He was leaving again already? "Biggest brother doesn't want to eat with us before he goes? Akiko can cook!" The little girl offered; pleaded really. Granted, she hadn't ever cooked alone before but how hard could it be? Make the... thing hot, then put the food in to get that hot too, then take it out. It was worth a try if they could stay together just a little longer. The little girl trusted Grisha would come back if he left for a bit, he always had before, but she didn't like being left behind. "Or, Akiko can come? Akiko can help!" She didn't know what she was volunteering to help with yet but that hardly mattered.
Akiko kept trying to push all the bad feelings down and away. She tried to stay happy and hopeful. When the chibi saiyan had her brothers to talk to or something to do it was easier. But when she was alone with nothing to do but think, Akiko couldn't help but think about everything that had gone wrong. and what might be next. If Grisha left, Blaze would have to leave more to hunt and Akiko would be alone even more.
So big, blue eyes stared hopefully at Grisha. But if he refused and left on his own, She would be forced to hide her face against her new pet. Lowering her head so she could hide the fact that she was fighting off tears.
Blaze watched as Grisha, seemingly more down and/or serious than usual, walked away to be on his own for a while. He could hear in Akiko's voice how much she wanted to help. That was her greatest charm. The chibi Saiyan truly wanted to be helpful and involved in everything they did, and it brought a smile to Blaze's lips. And as Grisha left he noticed Akiko lowering her head. He didn't know if anything was wrong or if she was just tired, but he walked around the front of Akiko and picked her up in his arms to hold her against his chest and give her a hug.
"Hey. While he's off doing whatever he does, how about I teach you how to cook?" He asked, stroking her hair.
"And next time I go to get water, you can come along and bring your pet to make sure it doesn't get into trouble. How about that?" He asked, leaning back to see her face.
The day ticked by with the scorching sun overhead. Blaze used the new water, in conjunction with several other items and makeshift cooking utilities to teach Akiko how to handle preparing a meal. He took care of the majority of the nasty bits thought. The skinning, gutting, and dismembering he made sure Akiko didn’t look at. She was too young to witness such butchery. But once the cuts were done they looked like regular old meat ready for eating.
Blaze did most of the work while talking slowly and clearly through the process for her, and allowing her to occasionally take care of a job such as turning the meat, making sure the flames were hot enough, and ensuring they didn’t burn anything. Most of them probably wouldn’t mind a little bit of burned or charred meat. It still tasted fine in the end. But he didn’t quite know their full preference yet. So he felt it best to take the safe route and cook the meat until it was about medium-well or so before removing it from the fires and preparing for a full meal.
Later that night as they went to bed, Blaze rubbed Akiko’s head until she fell asleep and assured her Grisha would be back soon. Their biggest brother would not leave them. He just needed time and some space to think some things through. That was all. And soon enough the chibi Saiyan fell asleep under the stars with Blaze making sure she was close enough to the warmth of the engines to remain safe and sound from the chilled night air.
But Blaze couldn’t sleep. There was too much on his mind.
And as he wandered towards the edge of the clearing where their ship lie, he began to sense a foreboding weight in the air. A pressure like none he’d ever felt before. Was it just nerves? Anxiety? Fear of being trapped here forever? It didn’t feel like it. It felt more like the pressure of someone’s power level. Blaze closed his eyes to sense what was out there, but all he got was a never-ending weight that didn’t seem to have a definitive origin. If this was someone else’s power level…
”I hope you’re friendly.” He muttered.
He went back to the ship and did his best to sleep, but it was a restless one full of nightmares. Even while sleeping the weight and pressure of that power level haunted him. And by the time he had just felt he was sleeping well his eyes opened to the light of day.
”Damn.” He whispered.
Throughout the next several days that feeling grew stronger and stronger. And now, four days later, Blaze could stand it no longer. The pressure was overwhelming. If this was someone’s power level it was literally out of this world. And as it continued growing stronger a dark spot appeared in the skies above. Slowly it grew over the course of several hours until at last it became clear it was some kind of space ship.
Were they saved?
It didn’t feel like it.
Blaze tensed and clenched his fists as he observed it come to a landing several miles away on a cliff. From this far away he couldn’t see what was happening, but he could just barely feel what was going on. Dozens of power levels, much weaker than their own, began pouring out. Scouts, most likely. But the majority of them made a bee line for himself and Akiko while the others made a bee line for Grisha.
Either they could sense power levels too, or they had those weird devices on their faces like the Saiyans from before which showed them where energy came from. Sure enough, it was the latter. They all stopped and hovered above camp with Blaze standing at the ready should they try anything. He could dispatch them easily enough if it came to it. But for now he was content to try and let the tension settle. No sense getting into a fight which hadn’t begun.
One of the humanoid creatures came forward, landing a short distance away from Blaze.
‘You, there! You’re a Saiyan. Yes?”
“My Lord wishes to speak with you and your companions! You will come with us to the ship, now!”
The others seemed to load their arm-cannons or whatever those devices on their forearms were, ready to act if he refused.
”If I were, respectfully, to decline the offer?”
“Then we’d have no choice but to destroy you! Please comply immediately, or you shall be forcibly restrained and taken to my Lord!”
The weapons were partially raised.
”Akiko… Stay with the ship, please.” He asked of his chibi companion.
She could handle herself, but he didn’t want her getting involved against these types. There was never a guarantee they’d fight by any sort of honor code, and even with her power level if she got caught unaware or off guard she could suffer serious harm. Also… Grisha would kill him if anything happened to her.
“Is this your final refusal?!”
”I’m afraid so. I bow to no one, and neither does my family.”
“Then prepare yourself!”
The weapons all came up and unleashed a barrage at Blaze who stood quiet and still as the beams fired struck his body creating small explosions and raising a wall of dust and debris around him, obscuring the view. They all waited for the dust to settle, and as it did Blaze was a little dirty, but none the worse for wear as he brushed himself off and gave them all a harsh glare.
”I guess it’s my turn, now.”
He raised a hand, aiming at the one in charge, and fired a single large red Ki blast in his direction. The creature was just barely able to dodge the blow at the last second, and aimed his weapon to fire at Blaze once more who effortlessly batted the blast away.
All of the men began flying in towards Blaze who took a stance to ready himself for a fight.
Grisha paused, sensing the sadness in Akiko’s voice. It immediately broke his heart, and he didn’t dare to look at her for he feared that he actually would stay. He couldn’t. The Saiyan’s sanity was slipping, and he had to step away to regain his composure. If he remained, then he was afraid Akiko would see a side of him that she should never see, and it would have lashed out at her and Blaze. Bowing his head, Grisha frowned deeply. His fists clenched and he closed his eyes as he pressed on. It was cold. It felt cold; the emotional blow he must have dealt her. Again, he would have to disappoint someone he cared about. It hurt, but Grisha knew that it was for the best. He had to go.
Over the next several days, Grisha was able to travel freely without anchor. He journeyed as far as he wanted to, destroying whatever predators dare to get in his way, and each day he sensed an approaching presence. Something big and threatening was coming, and it may have finally been who they were waiting for. Without a map, the giant was uncertain if he had reached the end of the planet, but regardless, he decided that it was time to return to the ship. A day before he would have returned to Blaze and Akiko, a strange object appeared in the sky and from it, radiated a presence as unbearable as the sun.
Standing on the branch of a tree, Grisha tensely gazed up at the spot in the sky, while his mind plotted on what to do next. If he tried to return to Blaze and Akiko before whatever that was drew closer, then he would deplete his energy. It would have been better if he set up camp, rested, and concentrated on restoring his energy. Spiraling up the tree was a white serpent with red-ruby eyes. The snake parted its maw, flashing its sickle-like fangs as a venomous hiss was raised at Grisha. The Saiyan glared down at the creature. It seemed a decision was made for him.
Five soldiers flew in a wedge formation, like a blazing white arrow across the wild and untamed planet. The pink lens of the lead soldier’s scouter was flickering with various symbols, a code which was recording the power level they were approaching. Out of all the power levels the scouter detected, this one had been still significantly higher than the carnivorous flora and fauna that ruled the planet. They saw a smoke stack in the distance, making locating whoever it was easier than they expected. Smirking, the lead soldier waved his soldiers on as they arched and descended into a clearing among a small forest. As they made their descent, they noticed the coiled and bony skeletal remains of what could have once been a great snake. A few of the soldiers’ eyes widened at the sight. A power level that small was able to take down such a colossal creature? Why, it had even been lower than theirs!
The five soldiers landed before a campfire and spitted over the flames was a massive hunk of crispy meat. For a moment, they couldn’t see the being who sat cross-legged on the other side. Parting around it, the five soldiers gazed at what appeared to be a man. His black beady eyes flicked over to them briefly before they focused back on the meat being licked to brown perfection by the flames. One of the soldiers stared at the meat and then the bones of the snake and his eyes brightened with realization. “Did he eat this entire thing?” the soldier wondered aloud.
Paying him no mind—green horn—the leader pointed a sharp authoritative finger at the man and demanded, “You; are you a native here?”
Grisha reached out and dug his fingers into the side of the meat. Golden bouillon welled and streamed about the punctures he had made and with a loud crunch, a chunk of meat was ripped clean from the bone and brought to the Saiyan’s mouth. The soldiers watched in silent awe as the man sank his teeth into the meat and began ripping and tearing away at it. It dwindled before their eyes and without pause, the man sunk his other hand into the side of the meat and tore off a second piece. Grisha’s cheeks were round as he rapidly chewed. Drool and fat were streaming from the corners of his mouth and dripping off his chin in a show of poor manners that Lena would have scolded him over.
Shaking his head to snap himself out of his stunned trance, the leader irritably asked, “Do you understand what I’m saying? Is my universal translator working?”
The soldiers looked Grisha over. His hair was long and dreaded, resting upon his shoulders with bones, stones, and shells woven into it. His shirt had been reduced to nothing over his journey and his pants to shorts. A bone-like ax was planted in the ground next to him and because Grisha was lacking a tail, they couldn’t tell if he was a human or some other creature. One of the soldiers deduced, “Sir; perhaps he is indeed a native here? This planet lacks infrastructure and so perhaps he is uneducated?”
The leader frowned as he mused over his soldier’s hypothesis. A white-gloved hand rose to rub his chin. “Well…I suppose we shouldn’t waste our time with this one then. His power level isn’t even higher than ours.”
The soldiers fell silent again as they watched Grisha rear back his head with the last strip of medium-rare snake meat clenched between his teeth. As the meat disappeared within his mouth as though it passed through a mechanical grinder, his neck swelled as he gulped it down into the stuffed pits of his stomach. Lowering his chin, Grisha ran the back of his hand across his lips before his cheeks inflated with gas. A heavy belch exploded from his mouth causing a few of the soldiers to grimace.
“What should we do with him?” a soldier asked.
The lead soldier pointed his arm cannon at Grisha and declared, “Kill him. Our lord has no need for a Neanderthal.”
Grisha’s dark brows converged as he gazed at the weapon the leader pointed at him. Slowly, the giant rose to his feet, causing a few eyes to bulge. Sitting down, Grisha hadn’t been as large, but standing! The other four soldiers pointed their arm cannons at the Saiyan nervously. The lead soldier grinned wickedly at Grisha.
“Ooh~, so he’s not entirely stupid. He knows when he’s about to die,” the leader chuckled.
For a moment, Grisha’s attention was drawn to a fluctuation in Blaze’s power signature. He was fighting. Could it have been because of these guys?
“You should never take your eyes off of your enemy!” the leader shouted. “Fire!”
Purple, rapid-fire bolts left the muzzles of the arm cannons and seemed to pass through the giant as though he were a phantom. The soldiers kept the barrage going for ten seconds more before their fire started to die down. The leader’s eyes shrank in astonishment. The other soldiers tensed and paled. Slowly, Grisha’s attention returned to the soldiers, and his eyes narrowed fiercely.
“Is-is this a hologram?” a soldier whimpered.
The leader was speechless. His eyes then lowered to the giant’s feet and saw the tracks on the ground. Staggering backwards in fear, he pointed at them, “I-Im-impossible!”
The soldiers looked on in fear. “The scouters must be broken!”
Grisha’s hand reached over to grasp the arm of his bone ax. As soon as his hand grasped it, there was a sudden gust of wind that passed between the soldiers and blew them over. The wind blast had been so strong that it extinguished the fire and cut through the spit. The ax was no longer in Grisha’s hand, and was embedded against the trunk of a tree. The blade had split one of the soldiers in half, his two halves tumbling with a sickening plop from about the ax to the base of the tree.
“It’s not a hologram!” a soldier screamed.
“Attack! Attack you idiots!” the leader screamed.
Before another soldier could raise his arm cannon, the soldier found the entire upper-half of his small body clutched in Grisha’s grip. The Saiyan had lunged at him, and with his small frame gripped in his hand, Grisha drew the soldier back in his fist and hammered him over and over into the ground.
“Aaah-gck!” were the soldier’s last sounds as Grisha punched the earth, pounding him into a bloody pulp.
A third soldier attempted to flee, leaping into the air as his body erupted in a white aura. Grisha swung his arm, sending the second soldier’s corpse spiraling toward the coward like a fast ball. The body struck the third soldier out of the sky, sending him flipping through the air before Grisha leapt into the air and dropped upon him with two balled fists. There was a loud thoom as Grisha landed. Dirt geysered around the giant as the soldier was crushed.
There were two soldiers left. One of them was the leader who had hesitated to even get involved. He launched like a rocket into the sky with a subordinate following after him. The two swiftly sped away from the clearing.
“What the fuck!? I thought you said he was weak!” the fourth soldier screamed.
The leader kept rapidly pressing the button on his scouter. “It’s what the scouter reads! It can’t be broken! They’re brand new!”
Grisha sprinted over to his ax, ripping it from the tree in passing, and gave chase to the soldiers. The fourth soldier gazed fearfully over his shoulder at the geysers of soil that erupted after him. “Aaah!” he panicked. “He’s coming! He’s coming!”
The leader attempted to change course, but with his subordinate following him, the geysers kept following them. “Stop following me you idiot! You’re leading him to me!”
The fourth soldier bit his lip. Tears formed beads in his eyes as he knew that what he was about to do was suicide, but perhaps his leader could get away. In a desperate last stand, he turned to face the geyser with his arm cannon pointed down at its base. He fired a rapid volley into the dust screen on a scream, “Aaaaaaah!”
Dividing the falling soil and dust was a swirling ax that split the fourth soldier apart. The leader glanced over his shoulder, watching the parts of his subordinate tumble out of the sky. He whimpered in terror. What the hell was that guy? Upon glancing back at the path before him, his face paled when a giant Saiyan suddenly flew toward him. While the leader had been distracted, Grisha had bolted ahead of him and leapt into the air to intercept him. Grisha’s arms locked solidly about the leader. The locks of his dreads danced about the wicked grin that expanded on his face as he stared into the soldier’s eyes.
“Now, little man die,” Grisha told him.
The leader was shocked that Grisha could actually speak and screamed in terror as he and the Saiyan went dropping back toward the earth. Grisha struck the ground like a weight with a loud bang as dirt, rock, and debris exploded into the air. Five power levels had disappeared off the radar in under ten minutes.
Akiko tried not to cry as Grisha left her sight. She fought it with every fiber of her little being. The little girl didn't want to face it, any of it. However, Grisha leaving was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. It may have been hard to tell what was going on before, but once Blaze picked Akiko up, she burst into tears in earnest and hugged Blaze like he would disappear if she let go."Akiko wants to go hoooooome!" She wailed. "Lena hates up an-an li-"Hic"-ttleist big b-brother an-an big sister an-" sniffle "-an B-ggest brother are gone!" When the little girl finally managed to sputter everything out, her tear filled eyes turned to Blaze. "B-big brother will leave too! A-an Cheeper!" The poor chick had no clue what was going on of course, it was still full and sleepy, but seemed puzzled by Akiko's state.
After a good, long time the chibi saiyan cried herself out and Blaze, if he had a mind to, would be able to remove her death grip on him without hurting her again. "Hey. While he's off doing whatever he does, how about I teach you how to cook? And next time I go to get water, you can come along and bring your pet to make sure it doesn't get into trouble. How about that?" Akiko, continued to sniffle and rub at her eyes for a bit. The little girl felt drained but a little better, as one often does after letting everything out in a big cry. Akiko was also glad enough for the offer and nodded in agreement.
"Okay." The little girl answered. Though she was more subdued than before, Akiko managed a small smile foe blaze.
The rest of the day was better. Akiko waited until blaze was done with the gross stuff by busying herself with tending to the cockatrice, who was hungry again anyway going by it's constant noise. Once the animal was reduced to meat slabs that they would cook, the chibi saiyan watched and listened to Blaze carefully as he taught her some cooking basics. Akiko was quick to hop in and help whenever Blaze allowed and it seemed like no time at all before they were enjoying the fruits of their labor by stuffing their faces. Akiko tried to give Cheepers a little bite, but he didn't seem interested.
That night, Akiko fell asleep with both of her arms wrapped loosely around one of her big brother's while the cockatrice chick curled up against her legs. After the events of the day and with her brother petting her head, plus the warmth of body heat and a fire, Akiko had fallen to sleep quickly. Like Blaze, however, her sleep was pledged with nightmares from a strong pressure that she had yet to consciously notice. Lena telling Akiko how much she hated the little girl, Orion and Trish dying, even Grisha's simple but cold walk away replayed themselves in her mind where she could try to escape, save them, or chase after them over and over and always fail. When the child woke up, tears stung her vision again.
For the first couple of days Akiko could feel the growing pressure, but she wasn't quite conscious of it. It continued to effect the little girl's dreams, but she was also more easily agitated, more quick to cry, and more clingy all at once; like a fussy toddler who didn't know what she wanted. It wasn't quit as bad after those first couple days though, as it finally dawned on Akiko that the constant distress she was feeling wasn't coming from inside, at least not all of it. The little girl felt less like she was losing her mind and settled down a little, but dread took the place of general unease. It was huge, what was it?
Akiko was feeding the cockatrice chick again, felt like that little thing ate as much as they did sometimes, when she happened to glance over and notice Blaze standing ridged with clenched fists. "What's the..." She started to ask, but as the little girl's sapphire eyes followed her big brother's gaze to the sky, her question no longer needed an answer. That had to be what they were feeling. Akiko gently scooped up Cheepers and hid him in the battered ship with a few bugs to keep him occupied before coming to stand next to Blaze. She couldn't help but wish Grisha was with them as she watched the strangers approach but if anyone could look after themselves, it was her giant of a brother. When the soldiers approached, Akiko was surprised their power levels were so low. The big one must be on the ship then. For a moment after she spotted the group Akiko was excited. More brothers! No... not all saiyans were brothers. She knew that from the wrecked ship behind them. Still a little hopeful, however, Akiko was quiet while the newcomer and Blaze spoke.
‘You, there! You’re a Saiyan. Yes?”
“My Lord wishes to speak with you and your companions! You will come with us to the ship, now!”
”If I were, respectfully, to decline the offer?”
“Then we’d have no choice but to destroy you! Please comply immediately, or you shall be forcibly restrained and taken to my Lord!”
”Akiko… Stay with the ship, please.”
"Akiko can help..." She mumbled. Even she was stronger than these babies! Blaze was stronger still though, and maybe he had some plan in mind? Knowing he could handle it, the chibi saiyan reluctantly stepped back to the ship, standing between it and the saiyans. Her cheepers was still in there after all. The child also tried to lower and hide her power level as much as possible. She wasn't sure how well she was doing, but if things went wrong, maybe she could surprise them.
“Is this your final refusal?!”
”I’m afraid so. I bow to no one, and neither does my family.”
“Then prepare yourself!”
Akiko balled her little hands into fists and bounced on her toes with her tail anxiously whipping behind her as unleashed a barrage at Blaze. She knew he was fine, despite the dust in the air. Yet, it was still a relief to see him standing there unharmed. "Get'em Big brother! You show them!" Akiko cheered happily. They all seemed focused on him, seeing as he was the bigger threat, so for now all Akiko would have to worry about is dodging the occasional stray shot if it came her way.
”I guess it’s my turn, now.”
Now came the part where the bad brothers peed their pants.
At least that's what Akiko thought at first, but then she noticed a group of four started to trying to slip around behind him... "No cheating!" She snapped. They ignored her. It was just a helpless child after all. When Akiko shot a ball of energy that blasted into the back of one saiyan's head and caused him to drop to the ground, unconscious at best, however, that got their attention. "No cheating!" The little girl demanded once more. The three remaining hesitated for a moment, confused. It wouldn't be unusual for a saiyan to be trained in battle from a young age but to hit that hard and fast at that age was unheard of.
Now Akiko enjoyed challenging herself, she liked friendly competition, training, and sparing. The little girl would also defend herself and her family as best she could. However, she didn't like killing and violence. nor did she want to hurt someone weaker than herself. So, the three had all the time in the world to gawk and decide what they wanted to do before raising their hand cannons, much as the others had done with blaze, and taking aim. "Big brother! Ears!" She warned before taking the deepest breath she could and screeching at the top of her lungs. All three of the saiyan's targeting Akiko, and the closest targeting blaze, covered their ears in agony as their ear drums ruptures and blood poured from their ears. One dropped to his knees from the brain scrambling he took. The chibi saiyan wasted no time in bolting forward head butt one saiyan then spin kicking the other in the face. A lighter kick to the jaw to the saiyan on his knees already had all three neatly splayed out in no time, allowing her to turn her attention back to Blaze's fight.
Unless there were a lot more of them hiding nearby or on the way, enough to overwhelm them, this would be easy! Which made her wonder even more, how many were in that ship and who, or what, was exuding that massive pressure? It would be hard for even Akiko to get too excited, or stay excited, about a victory like this long with that looming over them.
Blaze braced himself for the oncoming charge by lowering his stance a bit and bringing his arms up to about waist level with closed fists. The first enemy made contact with a punch to his left cheek, but Blaze barely flinched. It was like hitting a brick wall. The enemy flinched back holding a now broken hand with fingers hanging limp and trembling violently as he exclaimed in agony. The others began throwing a barrage of punches and kicks all over his body, but Blaze continued to stonewall their efforts by remaining still and letting them land their blows. The most one blow did, to his nose, was make him flinch a little. Over all, however, it was a completely one-sided effort.
Finally, Blaze had enough. He waited for just the right moment before performing a spin kick to slam all three of their heads with his heel. All of them went down before Akiko cried out for him to cover his ears. He did so, and good thing too because within moments a blood-curdling scream slammed into him forcing him slightly off balance before he saw the enemies Akiko faced bleeding from the sides of their heads. He removed his hands and shook his head a bit to clear the subtle ringing from them. Even with hands covering his ears had been blasted.
A few more flew in from distance, racing towards the pair with the intent to kill and firing their arm cannons. Blaze batted the blasts away and flared his aura which created aa shockwave to knock them backwards. As they reeled, Blaze disappeared and reappeared behind them, knocking all three of them out with a single blow to the back of the head each. They fell gracelessly to the ground and Blaze floated down towards Akiko to pat her on the head.
"Well done, little sis." He said with a smile.
However, their excitement was short-lived. A stronger power... No, a trio of them, were now closing in. They were at least as strong as Akiko, and one of them, likely the leader, was almost as strong as Grisha which would make for one hell of a battle if their skill was anywhere near equal as well.
The three beings came into view and landed. One was a small, portly, and blue-skinned with a fairly lengthy tail almost twice as long as it was around. A perfect enemy for Akiko to test her skills on.
The other two were much larger. One was Grisha's size. Large, muscular, red-skinned, and sported wicked claw-like extensions on its knuckles. The other was about a head taller than Blaze and was thin and wiry with a pair of shoulder extensions which seemed to be extendable as Blaze saw the most subtle lengthening of them as it landed.
"Akiko. The little fat one is yours."
The others chuckled wickedly before sizing Blaze up.
"Go!" He shouted.
Blaze, true to his name, skyrocketed forward at full speed slamming into the pair and throwing them backwards as they flew to a distance away from Akiko. He wouldn't risk them teaming up against her. Not with their limbs reach being so much greater than hers.
The pair skidded to a halt and prepared for combat as Blaze flew in at full speed once more.
The red fighter threw out his arms with his fingers tensely splayed. Instantly, his body stopped and his lips drooped into an irritable scowl as his white and black eyes focused on Blaze. As the Saiyan charged once more, the red fighter curled his arm and raised his knee in a sprinter’s pose. Before he could charge Blaze, he hesitated and stared across the land. Suddenly, the red-skinned warrior whirled and clapped his hands together in time to catch a large bone ax between them. The skin of his brows furrowed and his eyes narrowed as he gazed upon the weapon. Silently, the crimson fighter wondered where it had come from as his white, bead-like eyes swept the area around him. Lowering his hands, the warrior turned back toward Blaze, and a pair of bare feet flashed before his eyes before his head was suddenly snapped to the side. Two bare feet slammed against the side of the fighter’s head, causing his neck to twist. They were attached to a Saiyan whose size was near comparable to his own. Grisha’s hands were clenched into fists above his head. Rapidly, his feet moved in a blur, hammering the side of the alien’s face. With one final stomp, Grisha kicked off the fighter and back-flipped as he dropped after his ax to the ground. Catching the ax in mid-air, Grisha twisted, rotating to build momentum before he once again lobbed his ax at the red enemy.
Gathering his senses, though his skull still felt like it was spinning, the red fighter swiftly floated backwards in time to feel the bone ax slice a vertical line up his armor. His neck crunched audibly as he finally managed to turn his head. With his teeth clenched in rage, the crimson fighter glared down at the falling Grisha and dove like a bullet toward him. His body became a red blur as he descended like a rocket. He threw a punch at Grisha, meeting his raised guard. The red fighter continued to rapidly hammer Grisha’s forearms with his fists until the giant Saiyan’s back met the earth. The earth shattered and caved beneath him as the crimson fighter continued to drill Grisha’s guard and pound him deeper and deeper.
Grisha’s brows knitted together before he suddenly lowered his guard to catch the fists of the fighter within his hands. Gripping them tightly, the Saiyan opened his mouth and bellowed a mighty roar. The decibels of his scream passed through the red fighter’s face and shook his eardrums until they started to bleed. Baring his teeth in pain, the red fighter lost focus and became disoriented. Grisha pulled down on the alien’s fists and simultaneously sat upwards as he cracked his skull against his own. The collision with Grisha’s infamously-hard head made the red fighter go cross-eyed. His body back-flipped and slammed into the side of the crater with an explosion of dirt and slate.
Rocking onto the balls of his feet, Grisha lunged from his crouch at his enemy and tackled him through the earth. Underground, the Saiyan pummeled the fighter, feeding him one massive fist after another, driving him through the crust. On the surface, the earth upheaved and cracked, rising in a trail that showed the path of the beating. The trail abruptly stopped with a red flash. The ground exploded as a red dome of energy swelled out of it. Grisha was thrown into the air, baring his teeth in a pained wince as smoke trailed from his body.
The red fighter launched after him, throwing red spheres of destructive ki at his falling body. The ki blasts popped against Grisha’s body and Grisha once again raised his guard and tucked into a ball as he began to plummet. The red fighter appeared at his side and drove his knee into the Saiyan’s back, causing him to unfurl with a grunt. He then dropped the blade of his elbow toward Grisha’s stomach, but then Grisha pinched his knees and elbows against the red fighter’s arm. Grisha’s back bowed as his stomach curved just out of the elbow’s reach. His elbows and knees then parted, freeing the red fighter’s arm momentarily as he reached his left arm over the red fighter’s right. Grasping his trap, Grisha swung his legs up to lock about the red fighter’s neck. As Grisha reared back, his left hand slid back to grip the back of the red fighter’s elbow. His back arched and his thighs tightened about his neck. Gradually, Grisha’s quads began to expand as he continued to tighten the choke. Drool started to stream from the corners of the red fighter’s mouth and tears welled in his eyes not only from being choked, but the smell! His nose slits were practically buried in the Saiyan’s musky crotch. Did this animal bathe?! This fight couldn’t end like this! The red fighter brought his hips close to Grisha’s back and swung his own legs up to lock about Grisha’s head. The Saiyan’s eyes widened in shock. The air rushed passed him as the two began to drop. Grisha realized what was coming and out of desperation, he turned his mouth into the red fighter’s leg and bit him until his purple blood seeped through his clothing. The crimson fighter growled and roared in anger as he dropped Grisha’s head into the ground in an explosive pile driver.
Grisha’s hold about his neck loosened as his body went limp. The Saiyan’s head was buried to his shoulders in the ground and floating up to his feet, the red fighter raised his left leg, tucked it in, and drove his booted foot into Grisha’s back. Grisha’s skull left a trench as he went grinding across the ground. The red fighter appeared before his body and buried his foot into his stomach, causing the Saiyan to fold. Spittle left Grisha’s mouth on a gasp. Desperately, Grisha grasped the red fighter’s ankle before he could fly backwards, and the red fighter dropped his foot to stand over the Saiyan. With him pinned under his foot, he grinned wickedly down at him before he held his palms flat before Grisha’s face and began rapidly firing orbs of ki into it. The energy spheres shattered in small explosions against Grisha’s face, causing his body to convulse.
“Ha ha ha ha ha!” the red fighter sadistically laughed as he punished his opponent.
As he continued to blast Grisha’s face, he noticed an object tumble out of the corner of his eye, and for a brief moment, time seemed to slow. The object was a large bone ax—the one from before!—and it flipped down to be caught in Grisha’s extended hand. The red fighter’s grin slowly left his face as his jaw dropped. The large Saiyan swung the ax, passing the wedge through the red fighter’s leg. In a spray of blood, his severed limb came undone and fell to the side. The red fighter’s hands retracted as he grasped his bleeding nub with a horrified scream. Rolling to his left, Grisha rose to a knee and lunged forward to bring the ax swinging horizontally around. The ax passed through the red fighter’s neck, sending his head popping free in a spiral of purple syrup. The alien’s skull rolled across the ground as his body froze in its last position, clutching his thigh. Grisha straightened and swung the ax to the side to rid it of the excess blood. The red fighter’s body collapsed as Grisha dragged the back of his fist across his bleeding nose and lip. Both of his eyes were dark, having been mildly bruised by the barrage. Dropping his fist, Grisha sternly looked in Blaze’s direction, wondering if he was still fighting his opponent.
"Well done, little sis."Praise from Blaze was accepted with a bright smile. The little girl couldn't help being at least a little proud of herself after the beat down she had handed out. Plus she stopped a sneak attack on her big brother.
"That was easy! But...." There were more coming and these ones were stronger. The big red guy reminded Akiko instantly of Grisha... just uglier. Was her biggest brother okay? Was he being attacked too? He was the strongest but if they ganged up on him enough...
"Akiko. The little fat one is yours."
Akiko snapped out of her thoughts and shot forward in an instant. After all the training they did together, hearing her big brother shout 'go' flipped a switch that had her focusing on the task at hand. With the blue ball momentarily flustered over Blaze's insult, Akiko was able to slam into the creature hard with a headbutt to the stomach. The blue butterball went flying but quickly recovered so the two could square off properly.
"I can't believe I'm stuck fighting a child! And it got a hit on me!" The blueberry complained. Seemed he was still underestimating the chibi saiyan.
"You isn't really gonna hurt Akiko, is you?" The child tucked her hand's behind her back, giving the little blue warrior big, sad, puppy eyes as she did so. When he hesitated for just a moment, Akiko pulled her hands out and blasted the blue fighter in the face with Ki. He went whirling once more, whaling and rubbing his face with his hands. That was it! No more distractions!
Akiko closed in again but this time the blueberry was ready and caught her fist when she went to punch. The two where fairly evenly matched and hovered in mid air, trading blows and countering them in a blur of arms and legs. Akiko was too absorbed in her own fight to pay too much attention to what was happening with the others. At least until the ground exploded under them and a couple of giants came shooting out. "Big brother?!" Unfortunately it was the blueberry that recovered first this time and kneed Akiko in the stomach, causing her to double over, unable to breath for a moment. A quick elbow to the back sent the little girl crashing to the earth where she lay dazed for a few moments as the blueberry closed in.
Akiko lay still as the blue booger got closer and closer, then zipped out of the way at the last possible moment and grabbed hold of the little warrior's tail. With an evil grin she started swinging the blueberry by the tail, round and round as fast as she could manage before launching him into the ground by whipping him forward with an audible snap. The blue berry flew into the ground, leaving a scar in the earth as he slid to a stop. Akiko followed up with a big blast of Ki to finish the goober off.
Akiko was tired and she had taken a bit of a beating, but it seemed she had managed to finish her opponent off. Scraped and bruised, the little girl looked around for her brothers. There was still a huge pressure in the air and, despite her victory, Akiko found herself unable to relax without making sure they were okay.
With Grisha having removed the red one as a threat and Akiko preoccupied with the roly poly, Blaze focused all of his attention on the blue humanoid ahead of him. They seemed about evenly matched for power from what Blaze could sense. But something this creature had which he lacked was naturally occurring armor in his flesh. The rigid appearance of its skin belied the flexibility of it to shift in shape, the shoulders protruding slightly almost like shoulder pads.
But it didn't matter. Blaze had a job to do now, and that was to get rid of this thing.
The fight began almost immediately with the creature, flying forward at top speed to slam its left shoulder into Blaze who brought his right arm up to absorb the blow. The impact caused a minor tremor in the ground and the ground to split beneath his boot as he was pushed back along the ground. Blaze leaned back, pushing up with his blocking arm to move his enemy up, and kicked straight up with both feet into its stomach launching it into the air. Blaze flipped back, planting both feet into the ground causing two streaks in the ground to open up before rocketing up after it leaving a small crater where his feet left the ground.
Blaze's head slammed into its stomach causing it to cough up a greenish-yellow liquid which Blaze could only presume was its blood. Blaze resumed his assault with a flurry of punches to the stomach, but the creature's durability and resourcefulness began to show as it felt like the beast's skin was getting harder and harder. Blaze wasn't wrong, and paused his assault when the creature started laughing and launched a powerful Ki blast at point-blank range. The blast caught Blaze off guard and square in the face sending him flying back towards the ground. By the time he managed to get control of himself and stop in the air, blood trickled down his face from the upper left corner of his forehead at the hairline. The creature floated above him, chuckling, and patted its stomach as if to say Blaze's attack didn't work.
Blaze growled and flew up at him, fists at his sides ready to attack again as he got closer and closer. At the last second, the creature's toes pointed straight down towards him as his legs locked to skewer him. Blaze narrowly avoided the blow, the toes scraping the shirt down the center and splitting the fabric showing his chest and stomach. On his way up to the surprised creature his fist dragged up and slammed into its chin, sending it skyward. Catching it by the ankle before it flew too far, Blaze pulled it back down and gave it a taste of its own medicine by blasting it point-blank in the face. As it flew backwards Blaze charged Ki in both hands and unleashed a massive two-handed Ki attack which swallowed the creature sending it flying into the distance.
Blaze took a moment to wipe his forehead, smearing blood across it, and had just enough time to bring his hands up to catch the knee which appeared in his field of view as he was pushed backward. Flying through the skies together, the creature grabbed his head while his hands were occupied and lifted him up to knee him in the stomach causing Blaze to cough up a small amount of blood like Blaze had done to him earlier. Another knee, another cough of blood. Another knee, but this time Blaze managed to block it and concentrated his Ki in his hands as much as he could to burn the creature's flesh. After the creature let go of his head, Blaze dug his fingers in harder and began to feel them pushing through flesh which was softening and melting around them. Gross. But hey, he wasn't going to question.
Blaze ripped his hands downward and the creature's leg from the knee down was torn off spouting its greenish-yellow blood like a fountain. Blaze took this opportunity to plant both hands on either side of its head, repeating the Ki-grip and, upon feeling the flesh soften, slammed his hands together crushing its now weakened head between his hands like a rotten fruit. A splatter of greenish-yellow blood, and the body went limp and fell gracelessly to the ground below.
Blaze rubbed his stomach and felt his ribs for damage, finding at least three which were cracked, and flew down to meet the others.
Grisha raced over to where Blaze was descending from the sky. They all seemed to gather around their chibi sister who Grisha immediately dropped his ax and scooped into his hands. He gave Akiko a toss before he caught her with a grin and embraced her. “Baby Sister did good!” he complimented. Once upon a time, he and Blaze had to keep an eye on her. Grisha never did recover from seeing her get beaten by a mutant gremlin on national television, but after today, he had more faith in her. As cheery as Grisha was—grinning at Akiko and then over at Blaze—he was aware that the smothering power signature was still present. Because the enemy hadn’t quite emerged, he wanted to enjoy every minute with his Saiyan family before it did.
“Grisha sorry,” he apologized solemnly to Akiko. “Leave Kiko behind. Grisha was angry.”
He then once again grinned brightly at Blaze. “Training good. Grisha feel stronger!”
Blaze touched down and smiled at Grisha as he tossed Akiko and apologized for leaving because he was angry. Blaze gave him a fist bump, and then turned his attention to the ship on the horizon. A lonely object sitting on a cliff with an overbearing weight emanating from it. His eyes locked onto it and wouldn't budge, especially when he felt the tiniest hint of movement. A shift in the weight as if the epicenter had shifted. A shift here. A shift there. Going up. Moving to the right. Moving toward them a little. Moving to the right again. Moving upwards. And, finally, a small dot appeared above the ship. And Blaze didn't need anyone to tell him what he was now looking at.
The dot stayed put for a long, uncomfortable moment. And then, in almost an instant, it appeared about ten meters away before a large gust of wind trailing behind it slammed into the three Saiyans causing Blaze to plant his feet and skid backwards along the ground a few feet. All this just from him moving to their location.
I didn't even see him move. Blaze thought to himself.
The creature was large. Even larger than Grisha. Sporting red skin, two long pointed claws for feet, three spiked claws for fingers, two wicked spiked horns, and a third eye in the middle of its forehead. Natural armor-like extensions covering its body would make damaging it difficult. The tail itself, the thighs, arms, and the head seemed its only vulnerable points. And as it floated there, it raised its arms out to the sides, palms up, as if to glorify itself to them. Basking in its own magnificence.
"Your battle skills are most impressive, Saiyans." It boasted in a deep, masculine voice.
"I'm certain you know of me already. The Divine Emperor of this Universe. I need no name. I need only your allegiance and total submission. Provide me that and you shall continue to live peacefully amongst the ranks of my Empire."
This guy's certainly confident to speak in such a casual manner... His power is definitely a lot higher than ours is. But it seems like it's within our abilities to win here if we coordinate our efforts like we trained to do. Blaze thought.
He glanced over to Grisha and Akiko, hoping to get a little bit of acknowledging eye contact that they were on the same page...
Grisha drew Akiko close to his chest and leaned over protectively. He spread his feet and lowered his stance to keep from being blown by the great gale that announced the arrival of the enemy they each had sensed. Raising his forearm before his eyes, Grisha squinted through the gust that whipped by at the giant alien creature who stood before them like a messiah. His power signature was so suffocating that Grisha felt a chill pass over his skin and the locks of his hair rose slightly like hackles. This was the enemy they had been warned about. The true evil Orion had told them who would have eventually came to earth if they hadn’t intercepted him. Slowly, Grisha straightened as he stared threateningly at the grinning red menace. He walked over to Blaze who he had been watching grasp his ribs every now and then. He held little Akiko out to him and told him sternly, “Grisha first.”
This would have to be a fight where he would have to give it his all or die trying. Akiko was the last person he wanted to see thrashed by such an enemy, and he wouldn’t have been able to bear it. Whatever spared her having to fight—if Grisha could even weaken this guy so that Blaze could finish him, then that was better than nothing. This was who they had been training to confront. This was why they suffered for so long.
Grisha turned from Blaze and marched toward the emperor as he lowered his arms. “And what have we here? A native?” The emperor’s third eye blinked and curiously shifted left and right as it studied the Saiyan.
Grisha stopped a few feet away from the emperor and spread his arms. His fingers splayed as he felt the cool air between them. Closing his eyes and raising his chin, the orange dust at his feet arched into the air and rose in a spiral up his body. The locks of his hair rose like serpents as Grisha’s brows converged tightly on his forehead. It had been a long time since he charged his body to its maximum potential. Bringing his hands up over his head, the spirals of dust rapidly surged into the sky.
The emperor smirked and facetiously muttered, “Oo, aah~”
Suddenly, Grisha’s stance lowered, feet shifted apart, and his arms dropped to his sides. His lips rolled back, baring his teeth as rock broke from the ground in fragments and levitated into the air. Grisha’s eyes disappeared and were engulfed in a white blaze.
“Rrrrraaaah!” Grisha bellowed as his muscles trembled and started to expand. The ground cracked beneath the Saiyan’s feet as his body grew in size. All three of the emperor’s eyes had widened as even he felt the colossal ki skyrocketing—surging before him. In the few seconds Grisha’s body mass had increased, his muscles once again trembled as they started to shrink and concentrate his energy. The black irises of Grisha’s eyes reappeared and he stood from his stance to regard the emperor with a stern scowl. There was a gleam in the Saiyan’s eyes. The rocks that had levitated around him were twirling in the currents of his invisible ki.
The emperor blinked. “Is…is that it?” A smug grin once again cracked on his face. “All of that bravado and this is what I-”
A large fist struck the emperor’s face and was nearly buried in his skull. His head snapped back as the force of the punch sent him flying off his feet. It was something he learned from Blaze, back when Grisha was inexperienced. Talking was at times a weakness and created a temporary open guard. Soaring parallel to the ground, the emperor wore a shocked and stupefied look as he gazed up at the sky. The only thought that passed through his mind was: That bastard didn’t let me finish!
The emperor’s tail stabbed into the ground, acting as an anchor as it slowed his flight. Grisha appeared above him, dropping from the sky to land on his face. His weight caused the emperor’s head to slam into the ground beneath him. The emperor’s tail then curled, tearing from the earth to thrust like a spear at Grisha’s back. The Saiyan turned and outstretched his arm. His hand opened and fingers clamped down over the spaded end of the emperor’s tail. The emperor jerked his tail back, sending Grisha flying with it. Grisha released the tail as he executed a safe roll upon the ground, and the emperor righted himself, rising into the air and then landing gracefully upon his two-taloned feet.
“I don’t like being interrupted,” the emperor admitted coolly. “And just for that I’m going to punish you.”
The emperor’s third eye widened and a blinding flash winked from it, piercing Grisha’s retinas. The Saiyan’s eyes clenched painfully shut before his hands clapped over them. “Agh!” Grisha cried as he felt the sting reach his brain. As the pain ceased, Grisha lowered his hands and opened his eyes. They were blood-red and yellow-ringed just like the emperor’s. The Saiyan blinked his eyes and appeared to obliviously search around. The emperor laughed through a wicked grin as he watched Grisha. Even with the enemy standing before him, Grisha could no longer see him. The giant Saiyan continued to search his environment in confusion until he laid sights on Blaze. Except to Grisha, Blaze was the emperor. Immediately, Grisha’s nose wrinkled and a hiss escaped his teeth in anger. He then lunged at Blaze.
While the emperor watched Grisha, his hand rose to his chin as he stroked it curiously. His tail curled like a scorpion’s over his head as he processed the information that was entering his brain. “So he’s actually a Saiyan…” the emperor mused aloud. Whatever he had done, he seemed to be learning a lot about Grisha.
When the fight began, Blaze set Akiko down behind his leg to observe the fight while remaining on guard. He didn't know anything about this creature, nor did he trust it to put up a fair fight. Grisha managed to catch it off guard at first, but it didn't take long for it to start making a comeback. A quick flash and Grisha seemed to be in pain before turning on Blaze and lunging at him as if he were...
"Grisha!" He shouted.
Blaze barely had time to block an incoming strike as Grisha tried to plant a fist in his face. Catching the monstrous fist with both of his own hands, Blaze was pushed back along the ground until he used his palms to push Grisha's fist up and over his head while leaning back and lifting both legs into the air to plant a double kick into Grisha's stomach. With the giant doubled over, Blaze flipped backwards, kicking Grisha's nose on the way, and landed on his feet before leaping over him to fly to Akiko, scoop her up into his arms, and fly into the air where Grisha would have a harder time reaching them.
If he floated up there long enough, maybe he could get through to him while Grisha tried to jump to their location.