The Saiyan girl finally felt at peace with the world for once in her life.
Instead of being chased by angry aliens or wandering the dirty streets in search of someone that could help her, she laid in a rare soft patch of green grass and stared at the stars up in the sky.
It was absolute bliss- she would say- how her bruised fingers slid through the grass and the breeze filled her lungs just enough.
A prime green leaf fluttered onto her outstretched hand. She turned to look at it slowly, smiling, then crushed it, holding it up to her face. The girl sighed, now frowning, and lifted herself off of the ground.
She didn't have time to be laying around if she wanted to escape, find help and make it back to wherever her home planet was. It was the only thing she allowed herself to think about.
A long time ago, a little girl was sent to a planet she didn't know the name of with the sole purpose of destroying it, but once she got there, it was already abandoned and mostly empty. The few life forms she found were either dying or terrified of her. They couldn't speak her language, so she couldn't ask them what was wrong, and she couldn't ask for any help.
She always believed someone must have gotten there before her. It was always eerily quiet, and the few aliens who survived always chased her away, scared for their miserable lives.
When she was sent here, she was so small that she could barely fight. Not so small that she couldn't kick a guy in the crotch, but not big enough to understand why no one ever came back for her after all these years, or what happened to her race or parents back on her home planet.
It seemed the aliens on this planet were so weak that her race could send a little girl with no worries. Thinking that she could destroy the entire thing and walk away with less than a bruise and a sigh.
She looked up at the sky, shaking off the thoughts before standing to cross a dirty river. The muck reached her shoulders, threatening to wash over her head, she just wanted to get out of it as fast as possible. Every day she travelled and scouted the area for her pod so she could possibly get back, but it was nowhere to be found. She almost lost hope.
It was confusing, and she felt betrayed. She remembered little things: the voices of her worried parents before she was sent off, and the crash when her pod first landed when she had bumped her head against the wall so hard that she passed out for a while. It had been years.
She was thankful at first: The planet's weak aliens nursed her back to health, fed her, and gave her a place to stay, shower and train. Soon after, she was subjected to doing their work. They thought they were stronger, yet she was just too timid as a little girl. These actions let her grow as a person. An angrier one, yet that shy, caring girl was still there on the inside. Although the food was nasty, the houses were crumbling, and they never knew when to shut up, she took it.. for a while. And then she got fed up, she was truly a picky, bratty child.
That didn't last long. She couldn't take it anymore. Within a few weeks, most of them were dead, nearby houses were completely destroyed, her clothes were mysteriously gone, and she was just confused, but happy she wouldn't have to carry their lumber any longer or live in those atrocities. The planet looked ten times worse than before. Truly like someone had come and killed each and every being on it.
From then on, she believed someone had come and killed them all for her, so she would be free to find her way back home. She promised to one day find them to thank them for relieving her of the torture, then punch them where the sun doesn't shine for leaving her there all alone.
She gave herself a name since she didn't know hers: Eden. The name itself calmed her, and now she was attached to it. Every day she prayed that help would come. If not, she assumed that she was doomed to stay there and slowly starve to death.
After scrambling out of the river, she walked away from the grass that came after and ran into the cracked streets. It had been a while since she had seen them. With flickering, dull street lights, mutated, tiny alien animals scampering around, cracked roads and eerie buildings, she knew that she wanted to definitely get out of there as fast as possible. She had been slacking off for the past few days, almost giving up and accepting her new life. There was no way she would ever subject herself to that type of life.
She had promised herself that and intended to keep her promise. Staying strong was the greatest challenge she had ever faced. She knew there were greater things out there, just waiting for her to arrive.
She found a tattered and half destroyed house, choosing it to take refuge in. It was so quiet that she could hear the sound of her own bare feet softly tap the cold ground. Each step sent a small shock up her spine, but her face remained unchanged. She sat down on one of the chairs that had remained undestroyed, making it emit a soft creak that seemed to echo around the empty building. A piece of the ceiling fell to the ground, but she didn't bat an eyelash at the sight of destruction or even the dust rising only to settle over the newest wreckage. She'd grown accustomed to it as it was normal for this planet, especially after all these years.
She simply ignored it, laying her head down and attempted to sleep. For a moment, she dreamt of her home planet.
Her parents and her friends. It all seemed so real, yet so blurry. So blurry that she couldn't even pinpoint where she was, but deep down, she knew she was dreaming of her home planet. This is what motivated her, even after all these years, to plow forward.
She was enjoying the dream, her parents picking her up, tossing her around, throwing soft punches as training, crying softly when she punched the screen of the pod, but a click and blinding light woke her up. Sadly, she was a light sleeper.
What seemed to be a little alien girl shouted at her in their alien language that I've gotten used to hearing, pointing at me. She seemed terrified and confused.
"Hey, hey.. I come in peace," Eden tried to calm the little girl down, but to barely any avail. Eden put her hands up and wrapped her tail around her waist to show the little girl. She wasn't angry anymore towards their race for basically enslaving her... Well, maybe that was a stretch, even for Eden, but that is what it felt like for her. Even if she was angry, she would have never decided to mutilate this little girl for shits and giggles.
Her tattered white gown, dirty pink skin and husky, tired voice told me she was not living in the best environment. Eden almost felt sorry for her. The little girl's bony finger began to tremble, "W-what do you want?" she said. She seemed to know English which surprised Eden.
The Saiyan girl was ecstatic. Why? That was the first sign of life she had ever seen on this planet that spoke her language and didn't immediately pull out a pitchfork and began to chase her without even provoked. This was the first possible sign that she would be able to get out of this planet alive. She needed any help she could get.
She may have been stretching it just a bit, but she was just so happy that she smiled so brighty her cheeks began to ache. Eden stayed quiet, staring at the little girl intently, deciding her next move. It seemed to only frighten the little girl even more. The girl's antennas twitched, curling down.
"P-Please don't hurt me! I'll give you anything!" the girl whimpered fearfully, her voice high and terror-filled.
"I won't. I promise," Eden said, trying to gain her trust. The possibility of getting home made her kinder than she would've been otherwise.
The little girl's eyes seemed to soften, so Eden got up from her seat. Her eyes wandered down to Eden's side, stopping at her waist.
"A tail... Y-you're a Saiyan..?"
Eden raised an eyebrow, "A what?" she played dumb. She had no idea what reason this little girl had to be racist. Hell, Eden was barely on her home planet long enough to even learn to speak, much less learn more about her race and their history with other races. She had no time to find out. All she knew about herself is that her home planet is Vegeta, and she is a Saiyan who was sent there for one reason: to kill every living being on this planet and take it over. After the mysterious person did all of that for her, she refrained from killing and focused on finding help.
"You are!" she cried, still frozen in place. "You have a tail.. just like the others.."
"Are you gonna kill me too?" her voice trembled. "I heard stories..."
Eden assumed some Saiyans came and wreaked havoc on this planet a while ago. Maybe those were the ones who killed most of them off years ago and saved her from slavery? Now, they may be indirectly ruining everything for her.
'What a pain,' Eden thought.
She took a step forward, heavily confused. She only wanted to leave this godforsaken planet, she had no idea what this girl was talking about and she had no time to stay and find out.
The girl apparently changed her mind, scared by Eden's advance, quickly turning and running for the door without another word.
Before she could make it, she tripped on her gown, beginning to sob. Eden threw the chair to the side and walked over to her. She was so weak that she couldn't even lift herself off of the ground. Eden now noticed the endless cuts and bruises on her neck and arms. She almost felt pity for the girl, so she put her finger to her lips and outstretched her hand to help the girl up. When the girl instinctively flinched away, Eden spoke with her eyebrows furrowed.
"I'm not gonna hurt you," she told the girl in a steady, soothing tone, "I don't know what a Saiyan is, and I don't know who you're talking about.. but I promise you that I won't hurt you."
"...Promise?" the girl whispered, holding out her pinky finger.
Eden took hers, smiling and lied as easily as she took a breath, "Promise. I'm just a girl who's lost and hungry. I'm not from this planet, and just trying to find my way home. I won't cause any trouble."
"You're lost?" she asked. Her eyes filled with pity. "If that's true, then... you can come eat with us. Then we can maybe help you get back home."
"My Mom," she said. "She's in the next room. She can help you, I think."
The girl took Eden's hand softly, though she snuck cautious peeks at Eden. Eden smiled and, to her surprise, the girl shyly returned it as she dragged Eden over to a door on the other side, easily leading Eden through the wreckage and seeming to dance over the fallen glass and small metal shards. With her other hand, she turned the doorknob and harshly shoved the door open. She went in first while Eden stayed outside, peeking in. A dim light shone, the first in miles.
"Come in, lost girl!" she invited in an oddly chipper tone.
"Lyuhi.. who is this?" asked the wizened voice of an older woman as Eden stepped inside, the rotting wood making concerning sounds under her feet. The various bits of metal pricked at Eden's feet, but she easily ignored the pain. Her tail simply fluffed up in response to the pain.
She made sure to keep her steps slow and steady as to not startle either of the two. The last thing Eden needed was to scare them away. The little girl, Lyuhi, cleared her throat nervously,
"Mama Rhi.. She's lost and hungry.. can we please help her?" The girl asked hopefully, but the woman simply watched Eden curiously. She quickly bowed.
"Please, ma'am. I haven't eaten in so long, and am trying to find my home planet. I swear that I won't be a burden." It was hard being polite after all Eden had suffered through with this damn race, but she was desperate to leave. Not to mention that she was absolutely starving.
The older woman slowly nodded, "Very well. Come sit." Her antennas were much smaller than the little girl, and were permanently curled down. The wrinkles plastered across her slightly darker pink skin shifted as she smiled at me. Eden realized her good fortune immediately. She'd found a nice little girl and a kind old lady.
Eden swiftly complied, pulling out a rotting chair to sit across from the woman. Lyuhi sat on the woman's lap. The woman, Rhi, patted the girl's head, dragging her fingers that looked like gnarled tree branches along her scalp. Usually the few living aliens from this planet were skeptical and had trust issues, but these two seemed different. They were oddly kind, trusting and generous, which warmed Eden's heart just a bit... and filled her with guilt. After all, she was there simply to use them, maybe kill them if they try anything. She dec against the latter, as she was bonding quickly.
"We have some bread, excuse me Lyuhi," Rhi said, reaching over to the counter next to her and grabbing a bag with loaves of bread. The hungry Saiyan girl coughed,
"Er, don't you have something... more... I don't know..." Eden knew this wasn't the time to be picky, but the bread had mold, and she could swear that an ant had scurried away from it when it had been picked up.
"More fancy? Filling? We're running low on food and supplies, but I guess we can share a bit," Rhi smiled.
"Oh, on second thought, you don't have to—" Eden immediately started, guilt and disgust warring with hunger.
"Can I get it?" Lyuhi asked. Her mother nodded and smiled. Their close relationship threatened to further warm her heart. It was rare to see this.
"So what's your problem?" Rhi asked. Her eyes remained focus on Eden's face, probably hovering over the dust and dirt all over her.
"I was sent here in a pod years ago, and I can't find it. I'm stranded," Eden kept the explanation short. She knew the potential costs of saying too much.
"A ship," Eden nodded. "You've probably never seen it before."
"What does it look like, then?" Eden thought for a moment. It had been so long since she had seen it, "It's round, white and has a red tinted window on the front."
"I'm sorry, I don't think I've ever seen it," Rhi looked down and coughed. "I haven't left here that much since.."
Eden nodded, "Do you know anyone that could possibly... have a ship?"
"Yes," said the woman. "I know someone who could actually make one for you. That's their speciality."
'Where has she been all my life?' Eden thought.
Lyuhi came back moments later with a huge bowl. Inside was a mixture of food Eden had never had the pleasure of seeing before. At first, it looked disgusting, but the exquisite smell made Eden change her mind faster than you could say 'great ape'.
They both saw Eden's excitement, "Go ahead. Eat. We already had our fair share," Rhi sweetly pushed the bowl over to Eden's side of the table. Eden raised an eyebrow, Rhi nodded. Lyuhi sat on her guardian's lap again and anxiously waited for the hungry girl to eat. Eden heard someone's stomach rumble, and it wasn't hers. Guilt filled her again. She was about to devour what could be their only remaining food.
Nevertheless, she picked up the spoon on the side of the bowl, scooped up some of the food and closed her eyes. She hadn't eaten in so long, so she didn't care what this could possibly taste like.
Her heartbeat increased as the spoon inched closer to her lips. There was ear popping tension until a loud explosion put all of them out of their thoughts. Eden fingers loosened their already lax grip, dropping the spoon and the precious food that came with it onto the floor. Before she could apologize, the floor shook, almost as though the building was enraged by Eden's cruelty.
"Mama..." Lyuhi whimpered fearfully.
"...Don't move," Rhi urged in a quiet, soft voice, as though the building might shake again if they were too loud.
"I'll check it out," Eden said, though she hesitated. It was probably nothing, and this was the perfect way to gain their trust. She knew this planet's race was extremely intelligent. All she needed to do was get them to love her, then make her some kind of spaceship or help her find her old one, and she would be free. She knew there were probably more steps to it, but she decided that it's best to worry about that later. After all, she'd spent her whole life learning how to be a master at manipulation.
"Are you sure? Don't get hurt," Rhi said, her voice coated with worry.
"Is it them again, Mama?" Eden briefly wondered why Lyuhi cared about her so much, even when she just met her and supposedly was scared of her race. Now the guilt was bubbling around in her head. The girl was probably aching for a friend, for someone to trust. Eden decided that she wasn't going to be that person. She shrugged off the depressing thought and smiled,
"I won't be long. I'll be back in a few minutes or so, then we can all eat. It's probably nothing," she said warmly. Once she finished that sentence, the ground shook again. Lyuhi screeched and held onto Rhi's neck, burying her face in her gray hair.
"It's okay," said Rhi, rubbing Lyuhi's back.
By the time Eden managed to reach the door, the building had shaken three more times. She held onto the door frame and ran out once it had seemed to calm down.
She ran around a few corners to where the sounds had seemed to have come from. She stopped when she saw five round pods, similar to the one she was in as a baby, each spaced a few feet away from one another. The thing that made her heart stop is that each of them seemed to be freshly opened, smoke rolling out of them.
Whatever had been inside seemed to have left. Her eyes widened, she had a million different thoughts and reasons for why there could be five pods randomly landing on this planet. She smiled again, this could be her chance to escape, or, she frowned, this could be the planet's demise.
Maybe they found out she failed at her mission to kill every being on the planet and take it over... Whatever it was, she couldn't shake off the same sinking feeling of dread in her stomach.