Chapter 1: Introduction
There are a multitude of possibilities in our universe. Newton’s law of motion, for every action there is a reaction is just as true for quantum mechanics as everyday life.
In the “prime” Dragon Ball world, Planet Vegeta was destroyed by Frieza and only a token few saiyans escaped that apocalypse, including an infant named Kakarot who would go on to become Son Goku, Earth’s greatest champion. But what if it didn’t happen that way? What if things went a little differently and Planet Vegeta wasn’t destroyed until almost 15 years later? This is the chronicle of that universe. This is the story of the Cosmic Castaways.
Chapter 2: Six Young Warriors
There was a single controlling power in the galaxy, the Cold Empire. Controlled by King Cold and Queen Frozeena and managed by their sons Frieza and Coola, it stretched across most of the galaxy and spread a shadow of terror and sorrow across the known worlds. However if there was one thing that the beings of the galaxy feared more than Frieza or the other agents of the Cold Empire, it was Frieza’s mercenaries, the saiyans. The saiyans were an ancient race of warriors whom Frieza contracted with to clear planets of their native inhabitants so they could be sold. The saiyans would also do the jobs that Frieza’s goons were too afraid to do. But there were some saiyans who didn’t like the idea of bowing down to Frieza including King Vegeta. Those saiyans eagerly hoped for a rebellion and a return to the old ways. The question was, could anyone even an army of saiyan elite warriors, stand up to Frieza…and live?
Walking down the corridor to the training room, Kakarot and his friends ran into someone they didn’t expect and were hardly happy to see. Radditz, Kakarot’s older brother and a few of his cronies. Radditz regarded the six young saiyan warriors before him with a sneer. Besides Kakarot who was dressed in traditional black and yellow third-class saiyan armor, there was Roman, who wore full black and green armor with shoulder and thigh guards, Paragen who was dressed in the vest version of yellow and black, Antharis, who was wearing green and black vest-type armor, Saleena who wore red and black vest armor with only one strap, and Keno who wore blue and black full armor.
“Well, well if it isn’t Kakarot and his band! What’s going on today brother? Going to try and fight the saibamen? I’d wish you good luck but then why bother when the outcome is already a given?”
“Get lost Radditz, let some real warriors through,” sneered Antharis who always had had a quick tongue. Radditz started forward, murder in his eyes when Kakarot stepped between them.
“We’re just going to train in the training room. Is there a problem with that brother?” said Kakarot. Radditz snarled and aimed a kick at the impudent Antharis who nimbly dodged.
“Have your fun Kakarot, but don’t expect me to go whining to the medics or father when they have to scrape your broken body off of the wall!” snarled Radditz and he stalked off taking his cronies with him. Shaking their heads Kakarot and his friends and comrades, Roman, Paragen, Antharis, Saleena and Keno walked into the training room.
This training room was similar to many training rooms on planet Vegeta. A domed space, 35 feet in diameter, 20 feet high at its highest point and with a round patch of soil and a small column next to it in the exact center of the room. Roman strode forward and put his hand inside the column. When he pulled out his hand he held six knobby green seeds. He blasted six holes in the soil with his finger and put each of the seeds in the hole and covered them up. He then pushed a button that sent a rain of water down onto the soil.
“Assume positions!” shouted Roman. As the saiyans surrounded the circle, assuming various martial stances, the soil began to shift and bulge upwards. Without warning six little green men popped out of the earth, their red eyes gleaming at the young saiyans with deadly hunger. These were saibamen, disposable attack creatures that were used to supplement Freiza's forces. They were also excellent sparring partners for the saiyans as saibamen knew only how to do one thing: kill. The six saibamen that had been grown into existence shot furtive looks at the saiyans as they giggled and cackled to themselves. Then they suddenly leapt into motion, one of them charging at each young warrior. As one, the saiyans joined the charge and the battle was on! Moving almost too fast for the eyes to see, the young saiyans and saibamen fought like furious demons. Roman evaded a spinning kick aimed at his head, twisted around and fired a green ki blast into the attacker. His brother Paragen, who was built much more solidly than Roman or the others simply flipped his opponent over his shoulder, spun around and delivered a kick that could shatter bones into the small of the saibaman’s back. Antharis, the fastest member of the group, used his speed to outmaneuver his opponent, landing kicks and punches at a furious rate. Kakarot dodged a slash aimed at his face and slammed a kick into his opponent. Cupping his hands at his sides, he concentrated his ki into them while chanting, “Ka… me… ha… me…”
The saibaman he’d kicked flipped over onto all fours like some kind of ugly green insect. It saw what Kakarot was doing and screeched terribly. It’s skull split open and a plume of foul green liquid shot towards Kakarot.
“HAAA!!” he bellowed, extending his hands forward. A burst of blinding blue light blossomed out of Kakarot’s hands, intercepting and vaporizing the green liquid and striking the Saibaman who gave out a last piteous screech before it was blown into charred bits.
Saleena gracefully leapt over her Saibaman and landed a sharp kick to its neck. Out of all the young saiyans in the room she was acknowledged as the most acrobatic. She then executed a furious tornado kick that connected with the creature’s neck, snapping its spine like a twig.
The others were just about finished with their opponents as well. Roman and Keno kicked their opponents into each other and began charging up their finishing move, the Beam Cannon. Holding their arms vertical to their bodies, they channeled ki into their fists until they blazed with energy. With a fierce cry they launched the beams at the saibamen. Both creatures vanished as their bodies were consumed in a thunderous explosion. Roman looked over at where Antharis had just succeeded in ripping out his opponent’s throat and where Paragen had quite literally beaten his to death.
“Is it just me or was that a little too easy?” said Kakarot, rotating a kink out of his shoulder.
“I prefer to think we’re just more skilled,” responded Roman jovially, “after all, our power levels now match a Saibaman’s.”
“This is great! Maybe they’ll start giving us better assignments!” exclaimed Antharis. Then he noticed both Kakarot and Roman frowning.
“What? Look how are we supposed to make a name for our team if we keep getting assignments like dragging lost babies back to the homeworld?” Roman sighed.
“We’ve been over this before so I won’t repeat the arguments again. You know how I feel about the ‘assignments’ that the King gives us, especially considering that they also come from Frieza…”
“That’s enough of that,” said Saleena sharply, putting a hand on Roman’s shoulder, “Keep talking like that and someone important’ll hear and then the lot of us will be executed.”
“She’s right brother. Let’s fight the machine another day, I’m starved, let’s go eat some meat,” said Paragen stretching then heading for the door. Roman and the rest followed him out leaving the chamber to be attended to by robots or alien maintenance personnel. What they didn’t know is that we were indeed being watched.
Behind a one-way mirror panel built into the ceiling of the chamber, King Vegeta and his most trusted advisor Zorn had watched the young warriors.
“That fool boy should heed his girl friend’s advice. Shall I have him at least executed my liege?” Zorn asked. Ordinarily Vegeta would have had the boy executed for his impudence but he was merely saying what all saiyans at the moment were feeling.
“No Zorn. He merely repeats what is being said on the street.”
“Sire, what is being said on the streets is a result of a costly rebellion we just put down. I think it unwise to let such talk spread. If it gets back to Frieza’s ears…”
“Are you a coward now Zorn?” said Vegeta forcefully, “The day is soon coming that we will no longer have to worry about the ears of Frieza.”
“Sire… are you saying that…?”
“Yes. I believe that it is high time that we rid ourselves of that grubby, sneaking son of a whore!” the King snarled. Zorn actually took a step back he was so surprised. He might have accused the King of being irrational and Zorn had good reason to be leery. For his part, King Vegeta stared down at the training room, remembering a time when his son had defeated a group of Saibamen BY HIMSELF at the age of five. Five! Prince Vegeta had certainly been a prodigy, but as the King had begun to notice, his son was not the only prodigy among the rising generation of saiyans. That was probably why Frieza had taken him. Vegeta’s hands clenched, crunching the alien leather of the stark white gloves he wore as part of his royal armor. His son… that had been his only true defeat, both as a warrior and as King. He could remember it like it was yesterday.
Oh Vegeta, I hope you don’t mind but I am in need of a powerful warrior to fill a gap in my elite corps. I was thinking that your son the Prince would make an excellent candidate.
My son? No that is impossible. He is my heir and my legacy to my people. I cannot give you him.
But you have already given me everything else Vegeta. It would be… unwise to refuse me on this.
Is that a threat?!
My my, such a temper. You really ought to rein that in. It’s unbecoming a planetary ruler such as yourself. So, when shall I expect the young Prince aboard my ship?
He… he will be there shortly Lord Frieza.
You see Vegeta. Even you can be reasonable…
Reasonable. Pah! Of course it hadn’t been all bad. The King had kept in touch with Prince Vegeta through hyperlight vid-com and the Prince had visited Planet Vegeta every so often. But King Vegeta never forgot that smug look of supreme satisfaction as Frieza took his son away. The King might just have done something about ten years ago but Frieza had blasted a crater 50 miles wide in the southern continent to remind King Vegeta about “the dangers of one’s temper.” The King had grudgingly had to accept that an attempt to rebel would be futile. He didn’t believe the absurd stories that Frieza’s power level was over one million but he did somewhat believe the rumors that it was around five hundred thousand. But all that was swept out of his mind at the moment because he had HAD IT with that smug lizard freak. The last time the King had seen his son on world he could tell that Frieza’s influence was slowly poisoning the Prince, turning him into a mindless killing machine instead of a proud, honorable warrior.
“Sire?” asked Zorn, wondering why the monarch had been so quiet.
“Were you watching those third-class whelps Zorn?” the King said suddenly. Zorn blinked at him then recovered and said, “Frankly I was surprised that third-class children such as they were able to so handily beat a group of Saibamen like that.”
“That is because the rising generations are growing more and more powerful.” The King chuckled, “We may have to redraw the Class Power Scales in a few years. And that is one of the reasons, among others, that I have made up my mind where Lord Frieza is concerned.”
Zorn had a feeling that what the King meant by other reasons was referring to the disappearances that had been occurring over the last year. Several cadres of Elite and First-Class soldiers had “gone missing” including the Queen’s honor guard. Nobody had to think very hard as to who might be to blame.
“Gather my Generals Zorn. When Frieza arrives here in the capital in a few days, he’ll have my son with him. Then…” he clenched his fist, “Then we’ll have our day.”
Some hours later, in the eatery where Roman and his friends usually hung out when they had nothing to do, their scouters beeped at them, indicating a message. Roman, still chuckling over Keno getting power-slapped for a rude joke he’d told involving Saleena, clicked the button on the ear mount of his scouter, which was secured, over his right ear. A display arm reached out from the main unit and curled over his eyebrow and at its end was the holo-projector. With a flash of green light, it began projecting information onto his eye.
“Looks like they need us to do some more slaughtering,” Roman chuckled darkly.
“Well there’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s just go. If we’re lucky, they’ll have some powerful warriors that we can beat and that’ll convince them to scurry away,” commented Saleena as she rose from the table and began to stride out the door. The others got up as well with various grumbles and headed out. After flying over to the shipyard, they climbed into some of the dozens of space pods that saiyan soldiers used. As the pods powered up, Roman read the information on the mission.
“Okay Lady and morons listen up! I’m sure your scouters all got the same information I did but just to make sure every idiot knows what he or she is doing, we are being sent to planet Alterra IV. It looks to be a beautiful world, which I’m sure, is why Frieza wants it. Population: 4 billion, mostly centered in major cities on the three largest continents. According to the scout probes the highest power level on the planet is… dammit it all to hell, highest power is two hundred. They’re expecting it cleared in three days.”
“Well no sense in worrying about it now,” chimed in Kakarot.
Yeah, thought Roman, let’s just be good little saiyans and do Frieza’s dirty work for him. We were honorable warriors once. How did we end up becoming the galaxy’s most efficient thugs?
With a roar, the six pods launched themselves into space.
Light years away, the interplanetary tyrant Frieza sat in his chair aboard his flagship, sipping wine from a fluted crystal goblet. The door to his viewing room opened and in came one of his lieutenants, the enormously fat but powerful Dodoria.
“Everything is in place as you commanded Lord Frieza,” he said in his simpering, slightly wet voice.
“Excellent. Where did Zarbon get off to, I forget.”
“He has gone to Alterra IV my lord. It is a planet that will fetch a fine price on the markets and there is also a saiyan mercenary team on its way there as well.”
“Good. I presume Zarbon knows what to do when they get there?”
Dodoria hesitated a moment. It was always the height of idiocy to question Frieza’s motives.
“My lord are you sure you wish to purge the saiyans? They are our most powerful mercenaries.”
“You forget your place Dodoria,” hissed Frieza, setting down the goblet and turning his chair to face his henchman, “Firstly, the purging has already begun. King Vegeta suspects that I, or someone in my command is responsible for his warriors and Queen mysteriously vanishing and he’s right. I did that on purpose just so I’d have a ready-made excuse for Father and Mother as to why planet Vegeta is a smoking ruin. Secondly, the monkeys have grown arrogant, disrespectful and socially abhorrent. I grow tired of them and wish them to disappear. Do you think I’m being rash perhaps Dodoria?” A trickle of sweat slid down the fat alien’s neck at this pronouncement.
“Of course not my lord. If your mind is made up then that is it, isn’t it?”
“Quite so,” Frieza replied primly, his chair rotating back to face the void of space.
“Inform Zarbon that I wish him done with Alterra IV and back here in LESS than three days,” Frieza added. Dodoria executed a short bow, with his right arm crossed over his chest.
“It will be done Lord Frieza.” He then left the room. Frieza picked the goblet up again, gave it a careless twirl and took another sip. The reasons he had stated to Dodoria were, of course, merely part of his royal façade. The REAL reason he was purging the saiyans, the reason he would admit to none but himself, was that they were growing too powerful and Frieza, being nothing more grand than a bully when all was said and done, simply did not wish to have anyone more powerful than him. It offended every sensibility he possessed. But, it wouldn’t do to spend too much more time being irritated by the monkeys. In a few days, they’d be nothing more than a memory.