This story is a part of the The Grand Timeline Tournament. It takes place in Universe 2, where Cooler decides to rule the everything alone; and to do so, he must rid himself of his brother Frieza, his father King Cold, and that cursed Super Saiyan Goku. The story spans five chapters, and concludes with Cooler's invitation to the tournament by Whis.
- 2014 Official Dragon Ball Fanon Wiki Awards - Best Multi-chapter Stories (nominee).
Chapter 1: Of Family and FortuneEdit
Emperor Cooler stood on the precipice of cold metal joining the two massive starships together. Ahead, behind a large glass window, he could see a group of his father’s lackeys busying themselves. They paid him no notice; and despite their insignificance to himself, he still felt relieved by their actions. He sighed. He knew what he had to do, but he wasn’t ready yet. Coming to visit his father and brother today was his duty, his obligation. And what he felt was not regret – no, it was something much worse. Cooler felt loneliness; a burning cold burdening him down and suffocating the life out of him. But he was not weak. He would not forsake his duty for the sake of his own comfort.
Cooler closed his eyes.
There flew a small animal – like a fat and orange devil’s darning needle – from behind his head into the sunlight ahead. Cooler watched the thing go, closing his eyes and flying after it. He let his hand brush against the tall grass as he flew towards the setting sun. Keeping his eyes shut, Cooler raced ahead until, with a sudden bolt of energy, he catapulted himself forward, his blue aura suddenly shining and reflecting the brilliant yellows and oranges of the planet’s star all around. He dove ahead, cupping his hands together and snatching at something in the air. Landing on his feet, Cooler stood up in the yellow grass which covered everything below his stomach. Opening his eyes, he peered in at the pest he had plucked from the air. But his hands were empty.
“Heheheheh,” a dry, high-pitched voice laughed, “Heheheh, Cooler. What are you doing?”
Cooler looked over at the hovering figure. It was Frieza, his younger brother. “Father won’t be happy to know you were out this late. Go home before I tell him.”
Frieza landed next to Cooler, still chuckling to himself. “My my, brother. You really know how to make yourself look like a fool. What were you chasing?” Frieza asked, looking at his older brother’s empty hands, “You looked like a fish out of water.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Oh? Was it a secret?” Frieza pondered as he stepped right up to his brother. “What kind of a secret would you be hiding? Father will be most-”
“Displeased with you being out late,” Cooler interrupted, his patience thinning like the fleeting rays of the setting sun behind them.
“You’re out here too, brother,” Frieza responded with a wry smile.
“Father won’t care. He told me when I’m old enough this planet will be mine. It’ll be my first. So I can stay out as late as I want.”
Frieza opened his mouth to speak, but couldn’t. His lip quivered and his hands shook. At length, he composed himself enough to squeak out a whisper, “But father hasn’t given me any planets!”
“That’s because I’m older and stronger. Father will give me planets first.”
“No! I am stronger than you!” Frieza yelled, contorting his face into a sneer.
Cooler shoved his seething sibling away. He didn’t care what Frieza thought. His father had endowed him with his first planet today. It was a beautiful, warm, temperate place, with rolling hills and long days. He would make this place his home, in time, leaving both his father and baby brother behind. It was only fair; it was his right as firstborn. With this planet, he would begin the process of forging his empire. Yet as he daydreamed about his plans, Cooler had forgotten he had shoved Frieza. His brother had taken that as a severe slight against his honor and jumped at Cooler. Within a moment, the slightly taller alien was thrown to the ground, pinned down by Frieza.
Frieza began punching Cooler relentlessly. Cooler blocked what he could, but then used his weight to roll over and dominate his brother. However, neither one of them could stop the other, and thus the two rolled down the grassy hill with little control. They traded blows and curses and position all the way, until landing at the dirt path at the bottom of the hill. Cooler was on top, and he grabbed his brother by the neck, asphyxiating him. There was malice in Cooler’s eyes. How dare Frieza think he was owed this planet? How dare he say he was stronger?! Cooler continued choking him until Frieza’s struggling began to lessen and his eyes started to glaze over. Then Cooler let go, snapping out of his rage. He stumbled back, breathing hard, in shock at what he had almost done. Frieza lay gasping, writhing like the wretched worm he was. But Cooler paid him no more heed. He and his brother were young, but they were already as strong as anyone their ages. They would both become mighty emperors in time. And he knew that Frieza would not forget this day. But he could do no more about it. If he killed his brother, he would have to answer to his father. And he would rather endure the incessant pestering of a younger sibling than to ever face that.
Cooler looked up at the hill and saw the last bits of sunlight coming over it. He didn’t have any more time tonight to practice. He sighed and turned back to the road. Stepping over Frieza, he walked back to the outpost he and his father were staying in. Tomorrow, he thought. Tomorrow I can try again. And Cooler continued thinking that same thought as he walked back. He hadn’t told his father (and of course he wouldn’t tell Frieza) what he was doing. It was embarrassing to admit to them the ways in which he was training. But he couldn’t stop. He knew it was possible to sense beings – yes, that was what he was doing out there. He had felt another being once before, despite being nowhere nearby. He had sensed it. He would never tell his father or brother about it. It was the day his mother had died giving birth to Frieza. He had been on another ship at the time, millions of miles away. And yet, Cooler had felt the life-force of his mother slip away. Ever since then, he had tried to recapture that feeling by chasing bugs. But who could he tell?
Cooler reached his father’s outpost and walked up to a building with low-hanging lights. By now it was nearly pitch black and becoming quite cold. As he went to open the doors, he noticed several of the plump orange pests buzzing about the lights. He smirked and thought to himself; tomorrow.
Cooler opened his eyes again, blinking them many times. His second in command, Salza, had slinked up to him since he had been remembering. He had sensed his loyal servant do so. Turning to face the shorter alien, Cooler, with his arms crossed, spoke with as much malice as he could muster up in a time like this.
“Give the commanders the go-ahead. As soon as I enter that ship I want them to assassinate all of Frieza’s governors, generals, and high ranking soldiers. All of them. Do you understand, Salza?”
“Of course, Lord Cooler, it will be done. We will not disappoint you,” Salza said in his French accent.
“Good. I’ll contact you when it’s finished.”
And with that, Cooler turned swiftly away and jumped down the stairs to the lower level. And with the fullest of confidence, he strode into his father’s ship.
Chapter 2: Of Liberty and TyrannyEdit
Between lines of busy maggots, Cooler moved. His innocuous presence did not cause any of them to raise their eyes as he came up to the rejuvenation tank holding his wounded brother, Frieza. Cooler looked upon him with revulsion. His brother’s body had been torn to pieces – one of his eyes, an entire arm, and everything below his waist missing. Moreover, he had acquired those wounds in a battle which he had also lost to a low-class warrior. Cooler loathed his brother for disgracing their family. His arrogance had finally gotten the better of him.
Cooler placed a finger on the glass tank. He looked at his brother’s sleeping face. It was naïve, gentle; like his brother had been in their childhood. Of course, the older the both of them had gotten, the more they had grown to hate one another. He hadn’t seen Frieza’s face so calm in decades. Still, as he watched, Cooler saw the servants preparing mechanical body parts for Frieza. Next to them, Cooler saw a computer screen harboring the blueprints of their corrupt design. Frieza would be refitted with a robotic arm and legs. He stared at the screen with shock. He couldn’t believe what was happening. His brother had lost – and had sullied the name of his race and family in the process – and received no punishment for his failure. On the contrary, he was being rewarded with a second chance.
Cooler turned back to the tank and stared his sleeping brother down. He had finally come to the point of no return. He needed to either do it or go home. Either way, his soldiers were assassinating Frieza’s generals. If he turned around, he and his brother would be thrust into all-out war. And that would be rather messy. Best to end it now, he thought. He brought his finger up to the tank again, flaring ki around his fingernail as he slid it down the length of the glass. A thin crack formed as he brought his fingernail down the length of the tank. Then, Cooler stepped back and waited. It was too late to turn back now. He could never go back.
The tank then shattered; glass and fluid flew in every direction, hitting numerous soldiers. As the lackeys ducked behind tables and monitors, not knowing what was going on, Cooler stepped forward and grabbed his brother by the neck. Ripping Frieza from the cords hooked into his body, Cooler raised Frieza to eye-level. Frieza had been awakened by the events, and now trembled in pain as he came to feel the countless wounds across his ravaged body.
“Brother…!” Cooler exhaled with repugnance.
“Cooler… w-what are you…” Frieza gasped as Cooler’s tightening grip became suffocating.
“You have disgraced this family long enough,” Cooler spoke. “It’s time for you to die.”
Frieza couldn’t respond, as Cooler had choked him severely. He tugged at Cooler’s arm, weakly, but his older brother didn’t let up. Cooler simply smirked, watching the pathetic creature struggling against his might. He knew Frieza wouldn’t die like this – his species could go a significant amount of time without breathing – but he was sure the pressure he was putting on his brother’s neck was quite painful. After watching Frieza writhe for several seconds, Cooler lessened his grip to allow Frieza to speak.
“You let yourself be bested by a low-class warrior. You’re pathetic, Frieza. If father won’t put you out of your misery, then I will.”
“I-I… let me go!” Frieza cried out, hoarsely.
“But before I do, there’s something I need to show you.”
Cooler began laughing as he stood upright. Still holding Frieza, he flared his aura around him and began yelling. Frieza was then filled with dread as his brother began transforming. He could do nothing but watch with bloodshot, beady black eyes while Cooler’s body radically rearranged its architecture. Soon, Cooler’s body had reformed completely. He had grown significantly taller; his purple and white head had become spiked and armored; his body had become more bulky and muscled.
“Look at me, brother! I have achieved what you could not! While you were content with your power, I kept training. While you were basking in your arrogance, I was becoming a legend! And now I have found perfection. My form is flawless; its power is incomprehensible! You are nothing compared to me! I will rule this galaxy and strike fear in the hearts of those who see me! Our family name will never again be tarnished under my rule.”
Frieza did not respond. His face was covered with tears of pain and defeat. His arm had dropped, no longer protesting against Cooler’s hold. And he looked into his brother’s eyes with the face not of an emperor or a tyrant, but of a helpless child who had long since lost his way.
Cooler yelled and a purple mass of electrical energy shot down his arm to Frieza’s body. Hitting Frieza, it exploded and sent shocks through what remained of the once proud alien’s body. Frieza’s body convulsed and pulsated from the attack, though he did not scream out. His eyes remained on Cooler until the older brother saw the light fade from their dark pools.
Cooler let the befouled corpse leave his grasp and fall with a dull thud to the metal floor.
He turned around to face the tall figure of his father. King Cold’s eyes were oft weary from alcohol and ruling an empire, but there was something more in his eyes today. Cooler had only counted on dealing with Frieza. He had thought about the possibility of fighting his father, but he held uncertainty in predicting what Cold would do. Seeing Cold’s eyes now red with grief was enough for Cooler to realize what would have to be done. He crossed his arms to hide his shaking fingers. He was not doing this lightly. He was not happy.
“Cooler! How could you?! He was your brother!” King Cold yelled, slamming his glass of space wine into the ground. The mild-mannered, lackadaisical King Cold was gone; here now was a parent stricken with the gravity of losing his favorite son.
“He disgraced our family after what happened to him on Namek, father,” Cooler explained, speaking slowly and carefully.
“He was your brother! I told you not to do this, Cooler! I told you two to end your quarrel years ago!” King Cold screamed.
“I did, father… until this. He didn’t deserve another chance at life.”
“You disobeyed me, Cooler,” Cold said with a heavy heart and an equally heavy tone. “Your brother and I were going to Earth to exact revenge on the one who did that to him. You have-”
“Then father, you sheltered his shame. You are equally guilty in dishonoring us. It’s time that I take over and make things right.”
King Cold’s usually passive face contorted into one of shock and anger. He suddenly drew up ki around him – so much that it brightened the room to painful levels and disallowed Cooler from seeing his father again. Cooler was not of the opinion that his fight with his father should last long. He was neither fighting to take pleasure in his opponent’s pain, nor to boast his power. He was just doing his duty. What he knew was that all they had was their family name. More so than his loyalty to his father or brother, Cooler had an obligation to his family. They would be chiefly remembered through their family name. His sons and grandsons would hold status because of what Cooler and his brother had done to the galaxy. Those who disgraced his name jeopardized more than just himself, but the entire bloodline. He would not stand for that selfishness.
So, like a bird diving into water, Cooler plunged into the mass of energy of which his father was at the nexus. He punched and kicked and whirled about, slapping his tail at his father’s figure. But none of his attacks hit anything. Sensing his father’s power to have rapidly risen to challenge his own, Cooler became quite anxious. He noticed the room dim back to normal levels and saw his father standing before him. There, King Cold stood in all his glory. He was transformed like Cooler into their fifth and final form. Cooler, however, retained two distinct advantages. For one, he could sense ki (which he knew his father could not), and he had done substantial training in this form. His father hadn’t trained since Cooler had been a little boy. Because he was used to it, the strain of the transformation would work to Cooler’s advantage.
Cooler roared and charged at his father with a growing ki ball in his arm. Reaching his father, he jumped over the tall king and threw the ball into his back, causing a large explosion. Cooler slammed his feet into Cold’s back and then created a massive ki explosion, the force of which literally tore their ship apart. Lackeys and minions cursed at Cooler as they were sucked out into space, though he fretted over them not. Gaining his balance in space, Cooler positioned himself facing his father. Cold was still recoiling from the flurry of attacks his son had unleashed upon him moments prior. By the time he looked up, he saw Cooler charging up an energy beam. Cold did likewise. Choosing to forgo a beam struggle, Cold dodged Cooler’s beam and shot his own into Cooler’s side. His son faltered, being badly burnt by the attack. This allowed King Cold to approach his son and rain blows down upon the purple being’s smaller body. Cooler retaliated by shooting several finger beams, which caused his father to backpedal. Watching his father retreat, Cooler became aware of the fact that the two of them were quite near a gigantic star.
At once, Cooler created as large a supernova as he could. He held it over his head, gathering up the energy to throw it at his father. King Cold stood in defiance to his son’s move, ready to block. Then, Cooler threw the giant red ball of energy at King Cold. The king put his arms over his head to block and absorb the blast. But just as the attack was about to get to Cold, he noticed the thing evaporate – it was just an afterimage. Stunned, King Cold suddenly realized the real supernova was coming at him from the left side. Just as he turned to look at it, the colossal ball of energy hit him.
He struggled against the tremendous blast even as it burned his body. Quickly, King Cold became aware of something coming up behind him. Even as he fought against the energy pushing him back, he looked behind him and saw a brilliant blue star approaching. And he had not the strength to get out of its way.
“No!! Cooler! How could you do this to us?!” King Cold screamed.
But he was in space. No one heard him.
Cooler watched from afar as his supernova collided with the blue star. There was a fantastically large and dazzling explosion that resulted from it. And as soon as the ball hit the star, Cooler could no longer sense any trace of his father’s power level. Satisfied, he waited there in space until his ship came to get him.
Stepping on board, he was greeted by Salza.
“Sir!” Salza said, standing at attention. “It’s good to see you.”
Cooler nodded as he made his way to his chair in the ship’s large control room.
“The empire is yours, sire! We have successfully taken over everything,” Salza said, bowing in a ridiculous pose.
Cooler smiled, and not just at the awkwardness of his second in command. But he couldn’t relish in his victories quite yet. There was one more thing he had to do. Sitting in his chair, he whispered, “I have a new mission, Salza. Take me to Earth.”
Chapter 3: Of Terror and MaliceEdit
Perched precariously over the pleasingly plump planet, Earth, was Cooler’s ship. Its commander stood solemnly surveying the nearest screen. Cooler flexed his wrist as the long-range scanners picked up half a dozen unnaturally high power levels. He was sure one of them was the monkey who had disgraced his family. He glanced once more at the power levels before swiftly striding out of the room. Finding his way to the hanger, he prepared to leave his ship. As he went, Salza came running up from behind.
“Sir, are you taking it out from space?” he queried.
“No, I’m here for revenge,” Cooler said dryly. “I won’t be taking the easy way out. It would make me look like a coward. No, this galaxy will once again know who the greatest warrior is. And it will be through bloodshed, not by playing it safe, that they will come to fear my name.”
“Sir, are you sure?”
“I am sure. I have the tactical advantage. I can hurt this Goku where no one else can. I can kill his family, and he will be unable to stop me. Then, as he grieves, I will kill him as well. He must know the pain he’s put me through – what he’s made me do. I will break him before this is over.”
Cooler unhooked his cape from his shoulders and let it fall. Then, he stepped into the decompression chamber, leaving Salza behind. Within a moment, a door had opened. Cooler jumped out of the ship, and flew with ferocity to the planet below.
He landed in a crater, enveloped by his ki. On the ride down, he had transformed into his fifth form. From reading over some of the power levels earlier, he knew he needed to do that. Looking around, he noticed that he was standing in the middle of a city. Humans had stopped what they were doing to stare at him. They had no idea what was about to happen. Nimbly jumping into the air, he threw his arms out and created a wave of energy which consumed the curious, contemptible curs instantaneously. Suspecting that showing would alert the warriors of the planet, Cooler descended into the large crater he had just created, resting on one knee. Let them come to him.
As he expected, it took them no more than a few minutes to reach him. The Z Fighters landed in a circle around him. Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Tien, Yamcha, Chiaotzu were they, though he knew not their names. The orange-clothed alien in front of Cooler, with the wily hair, moved forward to speak.
“Who are you?!” he spoke.
“I am looking for someone called Goku,” Cooler replied.
“Well, you’re looking at him,” Goku replied angrily. “Why did you kill all of those innocent people?!”
Cooler stood up and surveyed the rest of the field. He guessed they were concealing their power, since the readings were lower than before. Nevertheless, he felt like he could deal with them. “Tell me, Goku, who are these other people? Friends? Family? Do they matter to you?”
“What do you care?!” a short boy to Goku’s left shouted.
Cooler laughed. If they were going to play games, so would he. He looked right and quickly shot a death beam at a small creature with a white face and red cheeks. The beam hit the creature in the neck, decapitating it, and sending the body falling backward. The others yelled out in horror and began charging up to exact revenge.
“You’ll pay for that! I’ll kill you!” a three-eyed man yelled.
Cooler remained focused on Goku, who stood in front of him. “Does it pain you to see them die?”
Before Goku could respond, Cooler disappeared, and reappeared behind the three-eyed Tien. He grabbed the bald man by the back of the neck, pulling his head back violently. Then, Cooler punched Tien once in the throat with his other hand. Tien let out a deflated scream, his eyes bulging out of his head, as Cooler released him. The others could only watch as Tien grasped at his neck, whimpering and with his mouth agape, and then fell to the ground, dead.
“Ahh! How dare you!” Goku screamed. The others shouted similar statements as they began charging Cooler.
He easily blocked Yamcha’s and Krillin’s attacks. The two were filled with righteous anger, attacking him with everything they had, yet it was nothing. The emperor laughed as he blocked their pathetic advances. Lowering himself, Cooler dodged their high-flying punches and shot out two razor-sharp energy attacks. The ultramarine blasts hit the two Z Fighters in the chest, causing both of them to stumble backwards. Looking down, they saw deep gashes in their stomachs, though there was no blood. As they looked back up, each was hit with a wall of ki. They fell backwards, dead before they hit the turf.
Piccolo and Gohan were already attacking Cooler before the attack even hit Krillin and Yamcha. The two fought with great synchronization, which briefly put Cooler off-guard. He was forced backwards as they attacked him. He could sense Goku charging up some kind of blast as this was happening, but before he could react, Cooler was hit with the Kamehameha. He was violently hurled forward. The force of the blast was impressive – much more impressive than he had expected. He was still slightly disoriented and without breath when the remaining Z Fighters attacked him again. Gohan shot a Masenko deep into his chest, and Piccolo pummeled him with a dizzying array of kicks and punches. And once again, he could feel Goku charging up energy – but he wasn’t creating an attack. Cooler craned his head around as he saw Goku’s aura flickering yellow. He wasn’t sure what to make of that. But before he could take out Goku, he needed to get rid of the pests nipping at his heels.
Cooler grabbed Piccolo’s arm and ripped it off. Piccolo howled as he dropped to a knee and held onto his bleeding shoulder. Yet Cooler was not done. Not letting the Namekian regrow his arm, Cooler jumped feet-first into Piccolo’s figure and sent the Namekian crashing to the ground. Knocking Gohan out of the way, he cornered the green alien and pummeled him into the dirt. Cooler placed his purple foot on Piccolo’s chest and began pressing down. Piccolo screamed as his ribs cracked and broke and his entire chest cavity began to cave in. Though he resisted, he was no match for the tyrant lord.
“You… can’t win!” Piccolo spat through gritted teeth.
“Oh, can’t I?” mocked Cooler, pressing down harder. “Save your breath, Namekian. You will be dead soon.”
Then came Gohan like a tempest wind. His fury had propelled his strength to an astronomical level; and Cooler had not expected that the child would be a threat. He slammed into Cooler and hurt the emperor significantly. Cooler fell off of Piccolo and rolled into the dirt. Cursing and spitting up blood, he looked over at Gohan just in time to see with a large energy blast bearing down on him. Using his instant transmission, Cooler barely avoided the attack, and reappeared just above the kid Saiyan. He shot a torrent of energy balls down on the boy, causing Gohan to run for cover. Needless to say, Piccolo was caught in the blast. Even as Gohan ran out of the way, he turned around just in time to see Piccolo’s now lifeless corpse fly into the air and land near him.
“You… you monster!” Gohan said, tears rushing to his eyes. “I-I’ll kill you! I can’t let you continue-”
Cooler had used instant transmission again and appeared behind Gohan. As Gohan spoke his noble speech, so did Cooler ram his fist into the young Saiyan’s back. Then, Cooler elbowed the boy into the dirt. Gohan struggled, but Cooler kicked him until he moved no more. The triumphant emperor picked up his defeated foe by the head. He turned to face Goku.
There stood the Saiyan with yellow hair and death in his eyes.
“Let him go.”
“Does it hurt you to see them dead?” Cooler asked, pointing to remains of the rest of the Z Fighters. For the third time, Goku did not respond. “Really? I would have thought that losing your friends would have angered you? What about this one? Is he important? Is he your son?!”
“Let him go!”
Cooler smirked. “Make me.”
Goku then disappeared and reappeared behind Cooler; but Cooler knew the instant transmission technique too and evaded the Saiyan. Reappearing several meters away, Cooler once again flaunted his prisoner to the Super Saiyan. This time, Goku tried no trick, no plea, no hopeless endeavor. He simply charged at Cooler. And watching the Super Saiyan get closer, Cooler stepped back and snapped Gohan’s neck.
At once, Goku stopped. His shock choked him up and he could not even speak. His aura evaporated and he forgot the battle. He stared at the body of his son lying in the dust. Cooler saw the pain, the sadness, the unbelief in Goku’s eyes. Good, he thought. Now he understands my pain.
Cooler looked into the now red, tear-drenched eyes of his prey. “Now you can die.”
And to that, Cooler prepared a large enough energy blast to wipe out that last remaining blotch which had sullied his family’s name.
Chapter 4: Of Monkeys and LegendsEdit
“Vegeta! Help me!” Goku screamed hoarsely. His pronunciation echoed several times across the desolate waste, though it received no response.
Aside from the sound of his distraught voice, the plains were soundless. The corpses of almost every one of the Z Fighters lay decomposing in the dust. Goku (still Super Saiyan) was all that remained– or, rather, all that was willing to fight Cooler. The proud prince Vegeta stood, with his arms folded, not more than a few feet from the motionless form of Piccolo. And he showed no emotion, no sign of wanting to enter into combat, himself. He turned his face, raising his chin to the sky, upon hearing that contemptible Kakarot calling his name.
Cooler dissipated his attack at once. He looked over at Vegeta, focusing in on the figure he had barely paid notice to before.
“Vegeta?” Cooler whispered, racking his brains to remember where he had heard that name before. “He was… he was my brother’s pet! Yes, that’s how I know you,” he said, looking straight into the Saiyan’s eyes.
“Go on and take him,” Vegeta said, motioning to Goku. “Get it over with.”
“Vegeta?! What are you doing?!” Goku yelled in surprise. The betrayal caught him so off guard that he reverted back to his base form as his mind began to process what was going on.
“Why?” Cooler breathed.
“Hmph. Kakarot is a low-class Saiyan who has disgraced my race. He means nothing to me.”
“Does he? He seems rather shocked by your actions. I would guess you are his ally.”
Vegeta stood unwavering. His face was filled with remarkable calm and boredom. “I know who you are. I’m not a fool. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to not get in the way of Frieza’s family. If you want to kill Kakarot, I won’t stop you.”
Cooler stood erect. “Do you think you can so easily play me, Vegeta?! Do you think I am like my brother; that I am like Frieza?! I am not my brother. I am not so gullible.”
Cooler sneered and shot a piercing blue finger beam at Vegeta. The energy shot right through his chest, cracking his white armor and causing him to drop to one knee. He started coughing and pounding his chest as he felt his lungs fill with blood. He looked back up at Cooler and, smashing his teeth together, mustered up all of his remaining power into a purple ball of energy. He shot everything he had at the emperor. And with arrogance, Cooler knocked away the pathetic attack with his tail. Vegeta collapsed.
“I do not believe you want me to kill this Goku. No, you were planning something. But whatever it was, it won’t happen now,” Cooler said, walking up to Vegeta. He wrapped his tail around Vegeta’s neck and picked up the dying Saiyan. Bringing the witless prince face-to-face with him, Cooler spoke, “These Earthlings matter to you. I can see it in your eyes. You want to save them. Now watch them die!”
Vegeta would have cursed at Cooler, but his mouth was full of blood. He could only watch as Cooler flared his aura around his hands and then began firing off green energy beams, which quickly left Cooler’s hands and flew off in all directions. Cooler saw the remaining color drain from Vegeta’s face; the princeling could certainly sense the life-force of every human disappearing. Though Cooler knew it not, Vegeta could feel Bulma – who was carrying his unborn son – suddenly wither into nothingness. He became enraged, mindless, nothing but a vessel of hate. He threw all of his weight at Cooler, but his power had dropped so much that it was useless. The last thing Vegeta felt was being thrown from Cooler’s grasp, seeing a streak of orange dodge around his peripheral, as he went. He was dead before he could process what he had seen.
Cooler angrily stood up to see Goku, who had charged back up to Super Saiyan, preparing to attack him again. He roared death and jumped at the Saiyan. Goku dodged his initial charge and kicked Cooler into the air. Teleporting into Cooler’s trajectory, Goku chopped at the tumbling purple mass, sending Cooler even farther into the sky. Then, Goku created a Kamehameha and shot it at his foe. But Cooler steadied himself just in time to twist out of the way of the heated blue blast. Retaliating, he sent a hail of energy balls back at the Saiyan. As Goku blocked these, he used his Instant Transmission to appear above the Saiyan, and slam his fist into the monkey’s skull. Goku fell like a sack of potatoes back to the earth.
Wiping blood from his forehead, Goku stood up and started charging up another attack. Landing nearby, Cooler did likewise. If this is how the monkey wants to end it, he thought, so be it. Cooler prepared a beam in his palm, and waited for Goku to finish charging it. The beam struggle would be the Saiyan’s end. But just as he felt it was time for Goku to fire, Goku disappeared. The dark lord was puzzled as he tried to sense Goku, but felt nothing. He saw nothing. He heard nothing. Holding the energy in his palm, he rose into the air to get better vantage over the position. Wherever Goku had gone, he would soon know.
Then, as Cooler continued to scan the horizon for the disgraced monkey, Goku reappeared above him, and fired the blast right into Cooler. The tyrant only sensed Goku at the last second, and he heard the energy coming towards him before he saw it. Cooler’s instincts were to dodge the blast (which his body was already in the process of doing). But he immediately realized that it was too close to dodge – that he could only get away by using Instant Transmission. Cooler placed his finger to his head just as the blast struck his tail; and he was gone.
Cooler came to focus again behind Goku and released the energy he had saved up without remorse. He did not even give pause to look at the bloody gash he had sustained. Goku could not react fast enough and was hit with its force fully. The blast caused a massive explosion in the air, and Cooler, who was close, caught the brunt of the smoke plume that came from it. His eyes watered and his mouth was filled with the awful taste of burnt flesh and fiber. And then from the smoke came Goku. The rage of his loss and desperate situation propelled him into Cooler, and the two traded blows for some time. Cooler was disoriented from the smoke he had inhaled and from the wound he had sustained, and thus he was slow to block. Goku pummeled him for what seemed like days that passed by without thought.
At last, Cooler regained his composure, and dodged the Saiyan’s fists. He teleported above Goku, and then slammed his interlocked hands into the back of his neck. As Goku staggered, Cooler created two medium-sized blade-like discs of energy and threw them at the monkey. They exploded at once, sending bits of flesh every which way. Goku shivered as he felt the seriousness of the deep wounds he had just received, before falling to the ground.
Cooler was on him like a wolf, and pinned him with his foot.
“Frieza was my brother!” Cooler shouted while keeping Goku pinned down. “He was my brother!”
Cooler’s claws dug deep into Goku’s neck. The Saiyan tried to struggle, but it was no use. He was beaten.
“Look at what you have made me do! You killed me as you killed my brother. You have ripped out my heart and thrown it to the ground!” he bawled in despair. “You forced me to do what I did… and if I hadn’t done it, my entire empire would have rebelled. My actions were forced upon me. But you don’t care. These things will never wash away. I will have to live with this forever!” Cooler screamed. Tears streamed down his cold cheeks and his voice faltered. Cooler took a moment to regain his composure, breathing many times to steady his trembling lips. Goku couldn’t see him. He couldn’t see how grief-stricken he was. He didn’t know. He wouldn’t know. “Now you feel my pain. Your family, your friends, your people… they are dead. You couldn’t stop me. You couldn’t save them. You could only watch as they burned away. You were powerless to stop it.” Cooler clenched his claw around Goku’s neck as he cleared his eyes. “You are scum compared to me. I am the ruler of this universe. Everything is mine to command; everything is mine to torment! How dare you besmirch my name by attacking my brother! How dare you mock me!”
Cooler raised his hands over Goku’s head and created a small blue ball of energy. Throughout his speech, Goku had not uttered a word, had not spoken, had not struggled. Here, at the end of all things, he opened his mouth one final time to finally address his opponent:
“Frieza was evil… and so are you. That will n-never change… a-and one day… someone will bring y-you to justice…”
“Not today,” Cooler whispered.
He fired the blast, quickly decapitating Goku.
Leaving the beaten bodies behind, he took to the air, sensing for any remaining life. Flying would be good. His tears would dry and he would have some final moments to himself before returning to Salza. His second-in-command would not see him so bereaved. It would not be suitable. After a while, Cooler noticed an alarmingly large power – one that was so big that he became angry at himself for overlooking it. Coming up to it, he spotted a large mechanical vehicle on the edge of a forest. Cooler landed to inspect it when he was greeted by a young man wearing a blue jacket and a sword across his back.
“Huh? What’s that power I sense? Could that be Goku?” the man said to himself, coming around the machine.
He was greeted by the lord of the universe, whose tall stature and regal repose threw him off-guard. Cooler glared at the boy and uncrossed his arms as he spoke:
“No, but I can show you where he is.”
And in Cooler’s hands, there was already energy forming.
Chapter 5: Of Gods and DemonsEdit
He found himself returning to the place more and more as time wore on. Under the cover of a riotous waterfall, Cooler could sit and be at peace. The sound of water on rock had been so loud that he forgot his memories while he was there. For just a short period of time every few days, he was at peace. He didn’t hear the screaming any more. It wasn’t suitable for him to talk about it, though. He was the emperor of the known universe. He was the strongest being alive. He had achieved all of his goals. Yet Cooler couldn’t help but feel a gnawing sense of hopelessness creep up from the pit of his stomach to his throat every time he left the waterfall.
On a particular day, as the sun was beginning to set behind the mountain, Cooler stood up and turned to leave. He was resolute not to stay out late. But as he went to leave, he heard a rustling in the bushes. Such a sound was surprising to the tyrant, for he had eradicated all sentient life on the planet. Sure, a few lackluster species remained, but none of them were consequential enough for him to sense. And as he stared at rustling red foliage, he felt a significant power.
It was nothing compared to his power, though he felt it was stronger than Goku’s or even his brother’s. And that caused him concern. For he didn’t like the unknown, the secret, the threatening; Cooler wanted to feel safe. He wanted to know that there wasn’t something out there on the edge of his awareness which could jump out and strike at him. So he strode forward and shot a ki blast, which burned away the overgrowth. There, in a tangled mess of roots and dirt skulked a dull green creature with the eyes of Brandon Mayhew. It reached for Cooler with a clawed hand.
“Who are you? Where is everyone?! I was expecting more… people…”
Cooler looked on at the cretinous creature with annoyance as much as revulsion. Superiority played across the taller being’s face as he looked down at the too-large insect. He had chased bugs before. But now he was grown. Now he was the master of his powers.
He reached his hand out to take the giant bug’s; and as he did so, he flared up his aura to bring him the strength he needed to eradicated the vile pest. He tore at the bug’s arm, causing it to be pulled towards him, its pink eyes large and shining in horror and fright. Cooler slammed the being down against a large rock and heard it scream out in pain. Its shell was smashed, juices were flowing, its wings twitched, and its legs were going about. Nevertheless, Cooler was not going to get sentimental. He pressed his foot to the creature’s face until he heard its screams replaced with the squelching and squishing sounds of soft tissue and organs being flattened together.
He didn’t go back to that waterfall.
Despite ruling an empire in which he was truly the strongest, the safest, the most powerful being, Cooler felt isolated. Ever since he had fulfilled his filial duty, there had been pangs of regret – though he denied them to himself every time he felt them. He didn’t like Frieza, and the universe was better without him. That’s what he told himself. Meanwhile, Cooler kept the company of Salza and his other lackeys, and his estrangement from reality grew. They were servants at best, not true friends or family. As often as he had gone to the waterfall to empty his mind, he had stood on the bridge of his flagship and stared out into the bleakness of space. He liked to look because it reminded him of himself. All he could see was the cold, dark, lifeless expanses of desolate vacuum. But he knew that far off, in blinking lights, there were stars and planets which held life. But they were so far away.
So much time had passed since he had killed the bug, and Cooler had not returned to Earth since. He had attended to his empire; that thing he had fought so hard to maintain and build; that thing which he hated for ripping out his soul; that thing which now drove him into the throws of insanity at nearly every turn. He had built up his reputation and thrown down his satisfaction in one fell swoop. Everything he did had a hollow ring to it, a tedious feeling of emotionless and pointless work. Some days, he wished it was him who had gone to Namek and not his brother.
Cooler got a call from his farthest outpost relaying information of a large power level passing by on a trajectory towards Earth. At this Cooler became curious and immediately set out to find why such a person would be going to a dead planet. Not notifying Salza or his other generals, Cooler simply found a circular space craft docked nearby and piloted it himself out of the hanger and into space. The silence was rather regrettable, for Cooler saw his brother in the reflections of the windows every time he looked out them.
He came to Earth at a brisk speed and lit up the sky with his ship. Impatiently, Cooler landed in a flat plains land then took off. He could sense the power already – in fact, there were several large powers. Whatever they were up to, he would be able to find out and then kill them. And thus the cycle would begin anew.
Just as the sun reached the top of the sky, Cooler saw distant figures huddled together around something. Picking up his pace, he soon came upon them like an eagle on a deer, and he found himself overstrained, if not overmatched. There were at least 3 beings of relatively high power, and should they team up on him, he doubted he could take them on. But individually, none of them worried him.
A little green being noticed Cooler and pointed the tyrant’s way. “Dabura, go see who that is. Deal with him if you must.”
A tall red being in a hideous blue and white suit strode over to Cooler as he stroked his goatee. “You wanna step away? This is private business. I don’t want to kill anyone today if it means getting my boots dirty.”
“This is my planet,” Cooler replied, simply.
Dabura was taller than Cooler, and he imposed his presence over the emperor. But Cooler was not one to be thrown around. He stepped past Dabura and walked up to the smaller green being to see what was going on. Dabura shouted at him from behind, but Cooler ignored him. He was the emperor of the universe; and such disrespect would not be acknowledged.
Cooler found the green being to be guarded by a pinheaded alien – this one also held a significant power, though Cooler would dominate him one-on-one – as he was typing away at a keypad. In front of him was the top of a spacecraft which was buried deep in the dirt. Cooler saw still more soldiers milling about the other side.
“Tell me what you are doing here,” Cooler demanded menacingly, “or die. I don’t have time to wait around for you worms. You’re beneath me.”
“Dabura,” the green being spoke, not lifting its head, “how many kilis does this one have?”
“I’d say enough to open the cocoon, Master Babidi,” Dabura grunted.
Babidi nodded his head. “Very well. Pui Pui, assist Dabura in getting this being’s energy will you? Majin Buu must be hatched. And soon!”
“Gladly!” Pui Pui exclaimed before launching himself at Cooler.
Cooler was perplexed by the actions of the group and hadn’t yet charged up his power. Instead of fighting Pui Pui, he dodged around the white-armored being and shot into the sky. Up there, he paused and began charging up his ki. He could feel both Dabura and Pui Pui flying towards him, searching so persistently. But he knew tricks they did not. By the time two were into the clouds, Cooler had transformed and was watching them from above. They couldn’t sense him, he quickly found out.
Cooler used his Instant Transmission to appear behind Pui Pui. The first rule of engagement was to pick off the weakest parties. So Pui Pui it was. Cooler slammed his fist into Pui Pui’s back, causing the pinheaded alien to scowl in terror and pain. He turned around just in time to be slapped by Cooler’s tail. Attempting to retaliate, Pui Pui flew at Cooler with both feet. But Cooler blocked this attack easily, and shot a finger beam at the alien, which tore through his white armor right below the shoulder. Pui Pui’s blood spurted out in several directions as he cursed and clutched at his wound. Cooler, seeing his opponent at a one-hand disadvantage, then dove at him, and started pummeling him downward. Pui Pui attempted to block the attacks, but it was little use; he was dominated. As they reached the ground, Cooler pulled up and flung Pui Pui into the dirt. The alien howled in more pain as his wound continued to bleed. When he went to stand up, Cooler was already on him, attacking him with a flurry of kicks. Pui Pui grabbed both of Cooler’s feet, pulling him upwards. But Cooler balanced himself in the air and spread his legs wide. The unfortunate Pui Pui was still holding on when he did so, and thus both his of arms snapped and broke. He could do nothing but watch as Cooler raised both arms and shot a purple energy burst at him.
It was just as Cooler fired that Dabura got to him. Tugging back on the tyrant’s neck, Dabura prevented Cooler from releasing a clean attack, though it still grazed and tore through Pui Pui’s neck. Throwing Cooler to the dirt, Dabura took a moment to call out to Babidi:
“Master Babidi! Get Yakon and the others! We will need them to subdue this imp.”
Cooler kicked him in the face. Dabura stuttered backwards and drew a sword from his back, slicing it at Cooler. The first swing hit him cleanly in the side of the head, opening a wide gash down his otherwise smooth skin. Cooler faltered, falling to one knee as the pain of the wound overtook him, and the blood seeped into his vision. Dabura slowly hulked up to him and laughed softly. He had his sword in one hand, and a strange little device in the other. He pointed it at Cooler.
The device beeped once as it registered no power level. Dabura, confused, clicked it a few more times, but got the same result each time. Finally, getting angry, Dabura swung his sword at Cooler, but it was only an afterimage. From behind came the tyrant, slamming his elbow down on Dabura and making him drop the energy device. Before Dabura could turn around, Cooler wrapped his tail around his neck and started suffocating the great demon. Dabura swung at him with his sword, but Cooler dodged the attacks. As Dabura’s air supply got low, his jabs became more desperate, more ferocious, more undisciplined. Cooler was able to grab the sword by the hilt, and in a quick and brilliant turn of events, sink the blade’s point into Dabura’s bare chest. Dabura howled out silently before being dropped to the dust.
Cooler used instant transmission to reappear above the space ship Babidi was manning. He could see lines of soldiers forming in front of him as well as a large behemoth beast coming out of the entrance of the ship. He wasn’t about to waste time fighting them. With one hand on his profusely bleeding head, Cooler conjured up a large energy ball and threw it at the space ship. So fast had he done so, that the soldiers were not even aware of it until it hit them. None were able to get off any shots at him, nor were any able to flee. A second later, the explosion overtook them, and a fiery wind blew about. Babidi was thrown back from his controls, and screamed into the rocks as he saw his ship explode. Pieces of bodies and the ship were thrown about for some time until gravity pulled the pieces back to the earth.
Babidi struggled to flee while rubble rained down around him. His hands and feet were burned, and one of his eyes was missing. Still he crawled, muttering to himself of how Cooler had damned himself for attacking the great sorcerer. It only took a single death beam to silence that little green threat.
Returning back to the ground, Cooler still held his head. He would need serious medical attention – just the kind that a crew could provide him – but first he had to get off the planet. His great Supernova had destroyed the ship, yes, but it had also severely damaged the planet itself. He had only a few minutes to get off before everything exploded.
Just as Cooler was about to fly off to find his ship, he once again noticed Dabura. The Demon King had taken the sword out of his belly, and was crawling towards Cooler. He opened his mouth and started breathing hard, as if he was about suffocate. Then, Dabura spat at Cooler. The emperor didn’t know if it was a trick or a simple sign of defeat, yet, he quickly blasted Dabura away to rid himself of any potential problems. Then, he looked back towards where he landed his ship. There now stood a tall figure – taller than Dabura, even. He wore red and black clothes with funny patterns on them. He held a staff and maintained a bored look upon his face. His eyes shone like fresh lavender, and his teeth were sharp as the pain in Cooler’s head.
“Lord Cooler!” the man exclaimed with jubilation.
“Who are you?!” Cooler asked, guarded.
“I’m going to take you somewhere,” the man said, suddenly turning very serious.
The man furrowed his brow. “Oh, a little tournament I’ve been working on creating. You would be an excellent entrant. I’ve never seen a single warrior take on so many beings who are – well, how should I put this? – quite legendary in other realities. What do you say, are you up for a challenge?”
Cooler breathed heavily for a few seconds. Blood continued to drip down his arm to his elbow, and the planet itself had begun shaking in its last death throws. Even so, Cooler couldn’t shake the fact that this person who had just appeared seemed powerful. He seemed unaffected by fear or danger, unburdened and unrestrained. For someone who buried his emotions as deep inside himself as Cooler, this was striking. Cooler wanted to know why; he wanted to know how this being was like that. Maybe if he went with him, he could learn.
“Do you have a way to heal this wound?” Cooler asked.
“Oh? Is that all that ails you?”
At that, the being gestured to Cooler to join him. Cooler grasped the being’s wrist and as he did, a misty, white aura flared around them, obscuring their figures totally. A large boom went off, and the aura dissipated. Where once proud Cooler and his curious companion had stood, now remained nothing but the shaking, gashed ground and several fading strands of ki that sunk and spasmed like wind-led gossamer into the deep, blue sky.
- While most of this story is in a "what if?" universe, Cooler's flashback in the first chapter is not. This would have happened in all of the universes and remains canon to KidVegeta's Universe.
- The planet seen in the flashback of the first chapter is likely The Stomping Grounds, which later becomes Cooler's Capitol planet and nexus of his empire. The planet is mostly seen in the Stomping Grounds Saga of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten.
- When King Cold says he had told Cooler to not pursue any action against Frieza, this is a reference to Scelerat, where at the end of that story, the newly transformed Cooler had tried to approach and kill Frieza, only to be stopped by his father.
- In the fourth chapter, when Cooler remembers meeting Vegeta, this is a reference to His Majesty's Pet, as Cooler does meet Vegeta in that story. In addition, when he calls Vegeta his "brother's pet", this is a direct reference to that story's name.
- Out all of my stories, Bitterly Bothered Brother has the most canon character deaths.