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This is the first volume in the series of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization. It consists of accounts leading up to Frieza's departure to Planet Namek. All chapters are written in the first-person perspective.

This volume's theme song is High Hopes by Pink Floyd.

The next volume in this series, volume II, can be found here.

Planet Trade Organization Leaders: Start[edit | edit source]

This section will detail who is in charge of the Planet Trade Organization as of the start of this volume:

Leader Role Number of Soldiers Relation
King Cold Ruling King of the PTO Several million Father of Cooler, Frieza, and Nitro
Cooler Crown Prince of the PTO Several trillion First son of King Cold
Frieza Prince of the PTO Several trillion Second son of King Cold
Nitro Prince of the PTO Several trillion Third son of King Cold
Arcterial Ruling lord of the PTO Several billion Younger brother of King Cold
Glacial Military General of the PTO Several thousand Son of Arcterial
Frost Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Arcterial
Icer Ruling lord of the PTO Several billion Younger brother of King Cold
Polaria Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Icer
Hail Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Icer
Avalan Military General of the PTO Several thousand Son of Icer
Zarbon Military General of the PTO Several thousand Frieza's second in command
Digranite Military General of the PTO Several thousand Cooler's second in command
Srief Military General of the PTO Several thousand Nitro's second in command

Maps[edit | edit source]

Please note: this section contains spoilers for this book. Light grey regions indicate unclaimed territory. The pink region in the second picture indicates the extent of King Potbelly's Empire.

At the beginning of this volume
At the Nikkarin Empire's maximum strength
At the end of this volume

Chapter I: Hunting Saiyans[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Zarbon
Position: General in Frieza's empire
Date of account: October 24, 737 Age

I stood over Gichamu’s chair, looking at the updates coming in. There were dozens every few minutes. I didn’t know how the shriveled little scientist could read through them all so quickly. But he was a legend, I knew. He had created the scouters were all took for granted. Frieza had rewarded Gichamu for that by giving him a place on his own ship. It was not my place to question his mental abilities.

“There!” Gichamu shouted dryly. “A report for you, Zarbon.”

“What does it say?” I asked, bored.

The older alien licked his lips. “They’ve found a hidden group of Saiyans who survived Lord Frieza’s… extermination. Wonderful!”

“Is it Tarble?” I asked, my heart suddenly beating faster. “Have they finally found Vegeta’s brother?”

“Doesn’t say, Zarbon,” Gichamu replied. “Do you want me to give you the coordinates?”

“Yes, of course,” I said quickly. “I will be leaving at once. Tell Lord Frieza where I have gone if he asks.”

“As you wish, Zarbon.”

I turned around and walked out. Excitement was pumping through my veins. Could it be Tarble? After all these years, was he finally mine? I had been looking for Vegeta’s younger brother ever since Lord Frieza had destroyed the Saiyans. He had let Vegeta and his trainer, Nappa, survive, but killed the rest of the stinking monkeys on their homeworld. Lord Frieza had tasked me with hunting down the few who had either escaped their planet’s destruction or been too far away to have been recalled to it in time. It had been my mission, my goal ever since that day, to find and eliminate every one of them. And I knew Vegeta had a younger brother who had been shipped off shortly before Frieza destroyed their homeworld. It was in our databanks. However, what wasn’t said in those databanks was where Tarble went. Perhaps the King had been smart about one thing after all. He had hidden his youngest boy from me. But I needed to find Tarble at all costs. If I couldn’t kill Vegeta, I would have the next best thing.

These Saiyans Gichamu had found surely were Tarble and his protectors. There was no other explanation for such a large amount of them remaining. I had been meticulous, obsessive about finding and killing the remaining Saiyans. I had dealt with almost all of them. In these past few years, I had found and killed those who remained. Sure, there was a group of Saiyan kids terrorizing our outer territories, but I had already sent my team to deal with them. They were probably already dead. This was the last group left, aside from those reports of a demon Saiyan terrorizing our southern territory. But that was just a story. I had sent my team down there several times, and they never found any Saiyan. So he doesn’t exist.

I donned my armor, found my pod, and made swiftly for the coordinates Gichamu had given me. These were the last Saiyans, I knew, the last ones I would get the pleasure of killing with my bare hands. So I didn’t bring my team with me. I wanted to savor this moment alone.

It was a week or so later when I arrived at the planet. It wasn’t one in Lord Frieza’s territory… yet. After this battle, I would claim it for my venerable lord. I landed softly and exited my pod, scanning the terrain with my scouter for any sign of the Saiyans. The place was mostly abandoned, though I could tell there had been a native species living on it once. Now, their towns and cities were reduced to ash, and their bodies and skeletons were rotting in the broken streets as carrion and food for the worms. It was disgusting, the way these Saiyans killed their foes. They had no elegance, no wit. I would have incinerated the natives. I would have done this cleanly. I pinched my nose as I flew over the ruined cities. I was a soldier of Lord Frieza. I did not have to suffer such barbarism. And I would not.

My scouters soon picked up some power levels, though they were lower than I expected, being only in the mid 2000s. I smirked. This means I won’t need to transform, thankfully. These monkeys will be no problem. Then, I came upon the power levels and lightly descended to the ground behind them. Sneaking up on them, I beheld my quarry at last. There were three of them. They were sitting around a great roaring fire, singing songs and chewing meat off of the bone. Disgusting savages. All were clothed in Planet Trade Organization attire, though their armor was cracked and worn. None of them wore scouters. Their faces were dirt-covered and scarred.

While two of them, a male and female, were singing in coarse, riotous voices, I stepped out of the shadows. The heat of the fire was on my face, and it felt relaxing. The Saiyans all stood up when they saw me. Horror and terror was plain on their faces. One of them, a fat one, holding a drumstick of meat, dropped it, his mouth gaping with strings of flesh stuck between his yellow teeth. The other two were bouncing on their toes, looking fearful but resilient. I could see their tails fluttering about. They really are Saiyans. How interesting.

“Good day, Saiyans,” I spoke politely. “It’s so nice seeing your kind again.”

“N-no…! It’s Zarbon!”

“That is my name,” I admitted.

“Wh-what are you d-d-doing here?!” the female asked in a tremulous voice.

“I am carrying out Lord Frieza’s justice. You know what must happen, you dirty monkeys. You know what I’m going to do.”

The skinnier male sneered. “Just let us go, Zarbon. We aren’t hurtin’ no one.”

“Lord Frieza deemed you monkeys unsuitable for his empire. He has condemned all of you to death. And there’s no use running. I am far stronger than you. You aren’t getting away this time.”

The fat one finally spoke up. “But it was Lord Frieza who betrayed us! We served him loyally! And this is the thanks we get?!”

“Perhaps,” I shrugged. “But what are you going to do about it?”

“Come on, Zarbon!” the skinner male repeated, desperation heavy in his voice. “Please! We just wanna live.”

I nodded at him with mock sympathy. “Okay then, I will let you go on one condition. Tell me where the Prince is.”

“I thought Lord Frieza had him?” the girl spoke.

“Nah, Frieza sent him on a mission. I thought he woulda killed him by now…” the fatter one replied.

My eyes flashed with annoyance. “Not Vegeta, his brother. Where is Tarble?”

“Tarble?” one of the Saiyans asked, his face blank.

“The Prince you are guarding.”

“We don’t know where he is! Hell, I’ve never even heard of him!”

“Is that so?” I said, my voice and patience both growing quite thin.

“Yeah, we don’t know where he is. So let us go!”

I smiled, then burst out in a few chuckles of laughter. Who do these Saiyans think they are? Looking back up at them, I raised my hand, preparing my Elegant Blaster attack. “Oh, I will. But you won’t like where you’re going.”

Before the fools could understand what I was doing, I had readied my attack. They could barely put their arms up in defense as I unleashed my orange furor, the Elegant Blaster, upon them. I saw the skinnier male incinerated at once, though the other two were able to jump out of the way. The fatter male was hit in the leg by my attack, and I saw him go down with a scream.

It was just the female and me at that point. She rushed me, but I moved out of the way easily. She was slow, even for her power level. I was able to dodge her flurry of punches as if they were coming towards me at half speed. She was tiring herself out as I dodged lazily. It was truly fun to watch. I would relish this moment.

One punch came at me with a ferocity I had not expected and I was hit on the cheek. It did not hurt much, but I felt a bruise coming on. Instantly, rage came to me. I felt my raw face, partially in shock. Why had I let it come to this?! She just bruised my beautiful face. Women were truly foul beasts. I was glad I didn’t care for them.

Stepping forward, I tripped the woman and then caught her by her hair as she tumbled to the ground. I relentlessly beat her head into the turf, feeling her nose and facial bones break under my raging tempest. I soon felt her body go limp, but I continued beating her into the dirt until a streak of blood, brains, and bones was all that I could see of the ground in front of me. I set her down, sweat pouring down my face. My body was shaking slightly. I hated the Saiyans. I hated them like no other race. Their prince, Vegeta, had disgraced me several times before. He had gained Lord Frieza’s respect and admiration. I could never forgive the boy for that. Lord Frieza was my Lord, not his. Why did Frieza let him live? I wanted to humiliate him. I wanted to break him. Finding and killing his younger brother would do that. So finding out that these stupid Saiyans were guarding the boy made me even angrier. It was a wasted trip. I could have destroyed this wretched planet from space.

Then I was punched in the back. Struggling forward, I saw a blur of light cross my body and felt very warm. It was like the fire, but all over my body. When the light cleared, I looked down and saw much of my armor was charred. My cape had been destroyed, and there were holes in my elegant clothes. I growled in anger as I saw the fat Saiyan standing before me. He was favoring his good leg, but he looked quite determined all the same. He would pay for ruining my fine clothes.

Before I could speak to him, he charged me like a dumb animal. I reacted fast enough, doing a backflip and hitting him with my feet just as he reached me. The aerial backflip caught him off guard and threw him back. I saw blood and teeth fly with him. Before he landed, I shot a Possibility Cannon at him. I was done playing games. It was time for the Saiyans to die. The purple ball of energy hit him in the chest. Before he could fall over, before he could scream, it tore into his soft flesh and exploded, sending chunks of red meat flying in all directions. I braced myself, covering my face so that I would not be hit by the Saiyan’s remains.

Once I had confirmed the three were dead, I did another scan of the planet. There were no other power levels on it. I found the Planet Trade Organization scouting party not far from the great fire the Saiyans had constructed. Their faces were beaten so badly, I couldn’t identify them at all. It was only because they wore our trademark armor that I knew who they were. Well, I thought, they had been avenged. They got their message off in time.

I sat down at the Saiyan’s fire and enjoyed its warmth. I wasn’t quite ready to go home. I was too wound up, too tired, too angry. I hadn’t found Tarble. I had been hurt by the Saiyans. But most of all, I hadn’t been able to humiliate the brat, Vegeta. And that hurt most of all.

Chapter II: The Historian[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Sapras
Position: Historian to King Cold; Overseer of Territory Expansion
Date of account: July 19, 741 Age

There were two cloaked figures standing on the flawlessly marbled floor. Both spoke to one another in low murmurs for some time before being granted approach. Numerous guards lined the distant walls – and they looked quite far off and nonthreatening to the two travelers standing in the vast openness. That’s no surprise. King Cold’s guards served not to protect his majesty, but to prevent his audience from getting themselves killed. Usually.

The two eager beings knelt before their great horned ruler. Pleading their case rather passionately, their voices echoed throughout the chamber. For some time, Cold listened to them, his lazy, shrugging shoulders barely supporting his weary and alcohol-deprived face. Finally, he raised his hand, and the two creatures stopped talking. He nodded a single time then dropped his hand to his lap.

The two aliens knelt again and thanked their ruler profusely. Then, they were escorted out of the great slate doors behind. I watched them go. All of the king’s servants did. Without much more talk, King Cold stood up and walked over to a table near his throne and sat down at its head. The nearest servant poured Cold wine (though the king was not in a libatious mood), and two more scrambled to bring him plates of food. Those of us fortunate enough to have earned the king’s respect and trust were allowed to sit with him. And so I did.

After the meal, we excused ourselves, and returned to our duties. Mine were cataloguing species, granting new territories to Cold’s sons, and maintaining galactic history. A trite existence, perhaps. Serving as a historian of the most tyrannical and bloodthirsty empire in galactic history was a bit out of place – ironic, even. But I was necessary and my king knew it.

I had never actually spoken to him. I was chosen at birth and was raised to do my job since I could remember. Well, that’s not entirely true. King Cold groomed several potential historians. He just killed the ones who weren’t efficient. I suppose after one has conquered the galaxy, there isn’t much left to satiate boredom. When he’s ready, I am sure he will recount to me his life; and then his legend will be enshrined in the timeless capsule of historical account.

I followed the procession out of the king’s throne room. There, outside, were the two cloaked figures. They were laid in pools of their own blood, their hoods thrown back, and their throats slashed. Fools. What did they think would happen? I had watched earlier as my king had entertained their speech. They had wanted nothing else but to rid their system of the nuisance of another species. But they had come to the wrong place. King Cold rules the galaxy, yes. But only a select few know of his existence. Such low disputes were none of his concern. Undoubtedly, there will be an investigation about who sent those aliens. Perhaps they sent in scouts to test Cold’s security strength. Or perhaps they were just so ignorant that they didn’t know what they were getting in to. But whoever sent them will be punished most severely. I doubt they will escape with their life. But I can’t say with certainty. I’m not a killer, myself.

I returned to my station as a cleaning crew arrived to clean up the corpses. Sitting at my chair, I looked over the pool of new planets that had been recently conquered or destroyed. Bringing up my datapad, I wrote down the number of species those operations had made extinct. Fifty-eight.

Switching to another screen, I placed beacons over several star systems yet unexplored. Within days, they will be conquered, and the cycle will begin again. The Planet Trade Organization must expand. If it means we will lose trillions of lives in the process, then so be it. They won’t be forgotten. I have kept a record of them all.

Chapter III: Filial Obligation[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Glacial
Position: General in Frieza's empire
Date of account: August 6, 741 Age

Lord Frieza was having dinner when I walked in. After months out on the front lines conquering planets for that ungrateful little freak, I came home to that. Just another bit of luck I should have come to expect. But hell, that really was the lowest point.

“You fool!” Frieza growled. “Can’t you see I am eating? Let me enjoy myself and come back later!”

“My apologizes, milord, but I have been gone for four months on assignment and I would like to get some rest,” I replied, trying to hold my tongue as best I could. “I thought you would want to know that I’ve cleared out all of the planets you requested.”

“You would like some rest?”

“Yes, milord.”

“Hmph! In that case, here!” Frieza said, throwing a datapad my way. On it was a list of planets that Frieza needed to be conquered and resold. There were dozens; more than I would have guessed he kept on reserve. Upon seeing them, I was confused. I didn’t know what he wanted me to do.

“Sire, do you want me to get all of these for you?”

Frieza looked up at me from the edge of a goblet with eyes that could have very well been readying an energy attack. Sure, I was back talking my superior, but I was tired. I needed some time off. I was driving myself insane by being constantly on call. And at the same time, Frieza was propositioning me with the idea of going out again for perhaps years to conquer all of those planets.

“You are a general, Glacial, are you not?”

“Yes sir,” I replied with pride.

“And you want to continue being my general, yes?”

“Of course, sire.”

“Then go get me those planets as fast as you can. If I hear another word from you, it’ll be your life. I don’t care if you’re my cousin or not.”

With that, Frieza slammed his goblet onto his table and bade me leave. I did so gladly. Had I stayed much longer, I’m pretty sure I would have attacked him. Regardless, I couldn’t afford to be mad at him. If I tried anything, he’d have me killed. So I gathered up several of my best soldiers and we set off for the nearest planet to conquer. The ride was uneventful; I slept through most of it. And the planet itself didn’t take more than a few hours to clear out. No use boring anybody with the details about that. But I didn’t bring my best soldiers to take out such a weak planet for the sole purpose of resale. I was there to discuss more important matters.

“How did he react?” I asked Cainus, who was my trusted associate.

“Killed them both, but not after hearing them through. I doubt he’ll let another one of those go through.”

“Good enough,” I responded. “We know security’s lax. It shouldn’t be too hard to get inside.”

But Cainus wasn’t satisfied. “General, don’t you think Cold will find it suspicious if you show up?”

“Why would he? I’m family.”

“Yeah, but after that recent event, I think you’re better off waiting,” he said in an attempt to dissuade me from treasonous thoughts.

“I’ve waited long enough. Look at us. We’re out here doing grunt-work. Frieza hasn’t given me any time off. It’s our lives that are wasting away because of his family. If we don’t take them out, we’ll die before we can catch our breaths.”

He didn’t argue with me after that. He couldn’t, really. We were all high-ranking, highly skilled soldiers. We should have been managing our armies on our planets by now. All of us higher-ups thought so. There were plenty of planets that Frieza kept that didn’t have anyone watching over them. Half of them were just depots or massive storage facilities. It was wasted potential. There was a general attitude running through all of us that was both unspoken and understood. We wanted out. Frieza, Cooler, King Cold – we wanted them dead. Now, we also knew we were no match for them on the battlefield, so that left us with few options of securing our freedoms. One such idea I came up with was poisoning (starting with King Cold, because he was the strongest of the three). I tested the king’s security by sending in a couple of decoy soldiers. I heard they got killed doing their operation, but hey, it’s for the greater good, right? But they weren’t searched and the poison they held was never found. Because no one was looking for it. Now I know I can safely get inside there with my own poison and put it into Cold’s wine.

Cold was one of those guys who liked to rule behind the scenes. Very few people knew he even existed; I was one of them because I was his cousin. Additionally, it meant he kept a few small garrison of personal soldiers. They were really just maids and butlers, because there wasn’t anyone in the universe who could match his power. He didn’t need guards. But he still kept some, so I guess that had to do with ego.

After Cainus and I left that planet, we hooked up with some other potential usurpers to work out plan. I was going to go in alone and have a meal with Cold. In there, I would secretly pour the poison into his cup and wait for him to die. Now the problem with our plan was we didn’t have any immediate way to take out Frieza or Cooler. Cainus thought that Frieza and Cooler would probably go to war after finding their father dead, thinking each other killed him. I, for one, didn’t buy that. But I was still up for taking out Cold. Every little is a gain, right?

So we went to the next planet and I cleared out most of the native species before gathering up some rather colorful plants. I then mashed them together and liquefied them. Back on our home-planet, I’d learned that colorful things tended to be poisonous. I guess that’s why my skin’s a dull grey. Anyway, I was bloodkin, so I was trustworthy. Cold would never see it coming. I always thought that. Never once did I expect him to think anything.

After I gathered up the poison and tested it on several native beings, I was satisfied and prepared to leave. I told Cainus and the others to continue conquering the planets for Frieza so I could safely sneak away. I got in my pod and left for King Cold’s secret base. Knowing him, he wouldn’t be able to resist a meal with company, and one with plenty of wine would be a shoe-in. My only fear was that I wouldn’t be able to distract him or get him drunk enough so I could kill him. But I never feared for my own life.

Chapter IV: Space Pirates[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Prabble
Position: Private in Cooler's empire
Date of account: August 7, 741 Age

We landed on the planet around sunrise. I don’t remember the inhabitants of it too well – I remember it was a hot, humid hell-hole, but what the native populations looked like and whatever their tech level was, I couldn’t tell you. I guess I’ve been through so many of these missions that everything has blurred together. And on this mission in particular, it turned out the planet-clearing wasn’t all that important, anyway.

The Sergeant had ordered us to start eliminating all life as soon as our boots were on the ground. It was just a small troupe of us – close to thirty or forty soldiers total. Out of all of us, only the Sergeant had a power level worth mentioning; and less than half of us could use energy attacks without the need of a blaster. I was one of those who was naturally-inclined, even if my own powers were nothing special. We cleared that place in no more than a few hours. With how many of us there were, we were able to shoot off massive amounts of homing attacks (they would seek out any organic life in the vicinity) to eradicate anything that moved. I think it was by around noon that our scouters were confirming a dead planet. No native power signatures, you know? The Sergeant seemed mighty pleased at that. Something about us being ahead of schedule, which was odd, because that was the only planet we were supposed to be clearing that day. But I was just happy we weren’t going to spend much time on that cesspit.

And then the space pirates showed up.

I’d seen their kind before. Those green-skinned aliens who can sense energy. They don’t need scouters, and I think they can talk to each other through telekinesis or something. But anyway, they all arrived in extra-solar spacecrafts. Each one was in a single-pilot vehicle. I don’t know how many there were – most of them never landed, instead just kept circling around over our heads, as if they were trying to intimidate us. A half-dozen of them did land, and they got out of their ships to come over and talk to the Sergeant.

“Who are you? What do you want?” my Sergeant asked them, ever cautiously.

“You serious, boss? You ain’t gotta clue? Why, we’re all the rage out here,” one of them replied.

“Yeah, it looks like he don’t know us. Stupid little critter. Methinks he needs to be educated!” another chimed in.

My Sergeant didn’t bat an eye at their cockiness. He tried to stay professional when he spoke again, “I am on business under the authority of Lord Cooler. He owns this territory and now this planet. We have claimed it in his name.”

“I’m sure you have,” the first green alien said slyly. “But we’re claimin’ it too. What are you gonna do about it? Go runnin’ home to mommy? You won’t make it that far, I promise you that.”

“We are soldiers in the Planet Trade Organization. Should you impede our mission or attack us, you will face the full wrath of our armies!”

The space pirate laughed. “And where are those armies, huh? Where’s your Lord Cooler? Couldn’t make it? Or maybe he’s home sick. Either way, your empire is no help to you out here.”

“So that is how this is going to be then?” my Sergeant asked, gravely. I think he knew the answer before he asked the question.

“Yeah, boss. You got nice ships, nice armor, nice supplies. Hell, ya even got a pretty face. So as penalty for landing on our planet, you’ll have to give all of that up. Those will fetch a good price on the market! “

“Soldiers, form up behind me! Fall into a defensive position! Hurry!” my Sergeant barked fiercely.

Even as the pirates continued discussing everything they were going to take from us, I remember the Sergeant remaining cool and collected. He seemed to know that there wasn’t going to be a way out of this without it turning into a fight. We were all pretty scared. We had scouters; we could read the pirates’ power levels. They were higher than all of ours. Most of them were roughly equal with the Sergeant’s, and the one who had been talking so much had a power level even higher than that. I don’t think any of us expected to get out of there alive. But we followed our orders anyway. The Sergeant was our leader. We had to follow everything he said. That had been ingrained in our minds since we started boot camp. And I think most of the soldiers – me included – believed that as long as we followed his orders, we would get out of this alive.

“So you’re not going to sit back and let us kill you? We could make it painless, effortless. Resisting is just wasting time for both of us,” the pirate spoke, after seeing my Sergeant form up the soldiers. The confidence he exuded was terrifying to us.

“Soldiers! On my mark, concentrate fire on that green fool in the middle! Ready!”

The space pirate rolled his eyes and brought up a wrist-communicator to his mouth. “First squad, do a slant-run on our prey, over.”

Not an instant passed between him completing that sentence and all of us firing our energy and ki cannons at him. The Sergeant shot a barrage of energy, fully covering the space pirate in a wall of energy. But a moment later, the green alien burst from the smoke and fire and started shooting blasts of his own. These tore through our ranks so fast, I couldn’t even breathe before I saw half of the troupe get wiped out. I tried to step up and aim at the space pirate again, but then the circling fighters above decided to join in, and a group of them did a bombing run right over our group. It blasted most of us to pieces. I was flung about 20 feet backwards, landing on a bunch of rocks. My leg was broken, and I think I bruised my lungs, but I was all right for the most part. All I saw around me was dirt and body parts.

I remember looking up, as the dust and screaming filled the air, to see the space pirate dueling with the Sergeant. Around them were the bodies of my fellow soldiers and a few of the space pirate’s underlings. But the fight between the two leaders was anything but equal. It took the pirate two punches to take control of the fight. With a third punch, he cracked the Sergeant’s ribcage, and with a fourth, he had crushed his neck. Seeing that, I got up and ran as fast and far as I could. I did not look back until I couldn’t feel my legs anymore and collapsed onto the ground once again. There was no one around me at that point.

I used my scouter to scan the planet for any signs of life. There were several dozen still, but none that I recognized. All of them were too high to be soldiers, so I figured they were space pirates. I sat in a dry mud hole for the remainder of the day, watching them with my scouter. I was sure they knew I was alive – as they could sense energy in their brains – but I’m not sure why they didn’t come and kill me at that point. Maybe they didn’t care; maybe they thought it was funny if they left me stranded here. Regardless, they were soon gone, and I was stuck on a planet that I had, hours before, destroyed all of the life on. To make matters worse, my scouter had been damaged in the battle. While I could still read power levels, my short-range and long-range communications were completely fried. I couldn’t do anything; I couldn’t call for help or escape.

That night I found a stream and slept on the rocks around it. In the morning, I drank some water and searched for any edible plants to eat. Funnily enough, there weren’t many plants on that desert planet. But after getting a small amount of food from the few weeds and shrubs I could find, I made my way back to our landing zone that next day, and I found the pirates had taken all of our supplies. All of our food and water stores were gone and all of our vehicles had either been taken or damaged so severely that they were useless. I saw a lot of dead bodies too, and I know I saw the poor Sergeant amongst them.

I was on that planet for two weeks before my scouters picked up another lifeform. In that time, I lost 30 pounds, nearly died of dehydration, and was constantly sick and overheated. It was absolute hell. A few times, I wished I had died in the battle instead of fleeing. What point was there in living, when it was only surviving in hopeless desolation? And I was too weak to even kill myself. I was so depressed, so lost. But after two weeks of this, my scouter did pick up several organic beings, and my hope returned to me at once.

I was able to track the power levels, even though they were coming from the atmosphere. Evidently, it was a battle, as I soon saw wreckages of spaceships falling like some kind of awful rain. I didn’t know who was fighting – or who was winning, for that matter – but it soon became clear that the space pirates I had met before were amongst the dead. I flew over to the crashes as soon as I saw them falling, hoping to find a usable ship to escape, but none of them had proved to be intact enough. Every one had a space pirate inside, burning and mangled amongst the twisted metal.

Before long, there was an entire graveyard of the pirates. There had to have been at least fifty of them. I didn’t see anyone else, no soldiers, no other factions. The dead were just a bunch of pirates. Soon after, I saw another ship descend into the planet. This ship had a being inside that was significantly stronger than any of the pirates. In fact, my scouter couldn’t even properly read his power level. But I didn’t care. Because as soon as he landed and his ship opened up to reveal him standing in his Planet Trade Organization armor, I felt instant and immeasurable relief. I can’t describe my joy at seeing General – well, no, he was a Captain at the time, I suppose – Digranite step off the ship and greet me. He had just singlehandedly taken out the resident space pirates and reclaimed the planet for Lord Cooler. But most of all, he had found and saved me from the hell that was that planet. And for that, he has my eternal gratitude. I swear, he should have been promoted then and there for his actions. Hell, he could have been promoted half a dozen times for the stuff he did for all of us. I mean, everyone knows how he later went on to challenge the entire space pirate presence in Lord Cooler’s region as well, but I guess that’s a story for another time.

Chapter V: Ice and Wine[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Glacial
Position: General in Frieza's empire
Date of account: August 14, 741 Age

I was seated just to the left of King Cold when the feast began. Luckily, he hadn’t invited anyone else of importance – no Frieza, no Cooler, not even my father. It was just me, him, and a bunch of attendants. A few guards lined the walls, but they did not concern me. I was faster than them. They would be no threat.

King Cold started the feast with a toast and a long gulp of his favorite variety of ice wine. I raised my cup with the others, but I did not drink with them. I had to keep a clear head. I needed to stay alert. Everyone else being drunk was my only advantage here. And I meant to keep it.

I took the small vial of poison out of my shirt and held it firmly in my palm. Glancing around, I noticed the din of the feasting aliens and the guards was growing louder and louder. They were laughing and conversing with one another, sharing stories and tales with a vivacity that only the alcohol could have brought forth. With them distracted, I knew it was time for me to kill the King of the universe.

I reached for Cold’s cup when the large tyrant grabbed me by the wrist. “Careful, General. That’s my cup you’re going for…”

“Oh, my apologies, sire,” I replied feebly.

“Don’t worry about it, nephew,” he replied, patting me hard on the back of the shoulder. I winced, but covered it up with a quick smile. “So what brings you here, Glacial? To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit, hmmm?”

King Cold looked coolly down upon me. He was a giant, even sitting in his throne. The wine wasn’t seeming to affect him yet. His tolerance was higher than I anticipated. “Oh, it’s just been so long, Uncle,” I said in a soft voice. “I wanted to pay you a visit so you wouldn’t forget about me.”

That made King Cold laugh. He called for more wine, and a servant ran forward to pour him more of the cold purple liquid. I opened and closed my fingers. The vial in my palm was slicked with sweat. It was now or never. I reached forward for a piece of meat on one of the many platters and with the intent to knock over a pitcher of wine and distract everyone. Yet, it was at this time that King Cold did something I did not expect.

“Enough!” the cold king bellowed. At once, silence overtook the feast hall and the wine pourer scurried off. “What do you think, Glacial? How about some real entertainment?”

“Yes, milord,” I replied. I clutched the vial tightly. At this point, I was for anything that could distract him.

“Good, good,” Cold said, patting me once again on the shoulder. “Then we’ll have a fight!”

“A fight?”

“Yes, my nephew. It’s gotten so dreadfully dull here. I want something more interesting. Come, cup-bearer!”

A tall, muscular alien ran forward and knelt. I thought his armor was too ornate and his muscles too large for him to be a cup-bearer. “Sire, what do you require?”

“I want you to fight Glacial to the death.”

The fear was plain across the alien’s flat face. His courage was less than what I would have expected from such a fearsome-looking warrior. “M-milord, what do you mean?”

“I want you to fight Glacial. Win or die, I don’t care,” Cold said carelessly, taking another sip from his well-used cup. “What do you say, Glacial? Can you defeat my cup-bearer? I must admit, he was the captain of my guard until he spilled some wine on me. I demoted him for that, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a quick one. He’s a warrior at heart. But so are you, nephew. So will you end his pathetic existence for me?”

It would be a great dishonor to refuse King Cold anything. Fighting his former captain of the guard was not something I wanted to do. But it was something I had to. I slipped the vial back into my shirt and sighed. “Yes, sire. I’ll kill him for you.”

King Cold gave me the fiercest pat on the back then, and I let out an audible gasp of pain. Everyone cleared the table to watch the cup-bearer and me duel. Begrudgingly, I stood up and cracked my back, stretched my arms and legs, and adjusted my breathing for fighting. I was a General in Frieza’s army. I was no pushover. Sure, I wasn’t as strong as Cold or his sons, but I had to be more skilled than any other soldier in the Planet Trade Organization. I had to be. I had been trained since I was a child by the best tutors in the universe. I had been groomed by my father and my uncle. I would not be beaten by a mere cup-bearer.

As everyone cleared the table, I saw King Cold had left his cup where it stood. It dawned on me then that I could use this fight to my advantage. This fight would be my saving grace, my sure-fire way to kill the uncle I despised. It would be my last fight before I took the mantle of ruler of the universe.

The cup-bearer and I circled one another for several seconds, feeling each other out. Then, like an orange blur, he came rushing at me. I parried his blows effectively. With surgical precision, I caught his punches and kicks and threw him back. Though he was a former captain of the guard, he lacked finesse and intelligence. I launched myself at him, shattering his block and pummeling his soft, orange head. He swung wildly at me, but I jumped back deftly and then flipped forward, hitting him hard with my tail. He shuddered as purple blood trickled down his split lips. I afterimaged behind him, grabbing him by the back of the head and slamming his face into the marbled ground. He writhed like a slippery little devil, breaking free of my grip. Creating an explosive wave, he pushed me back. Then, he tried to hit me with an energy blast, but I rushed at him and knocked him off his feet before he could aim the thing. Wrapping my tail around his neck, I started to suffocate him. He tore into my tail with his teeth and nails, causing me to fall off of him. It hurt so bad when he bit my tail. I was angry then. I wanted to make him suffer.

The cup-bearer tried to sweep me off my feet, but I jumped up and then came down hard on his chest. I felt bones and organs break and push together as the alien coughed up his life’s blood. I had him then. But it wasn’t over. I then created a large energy ball between my hands. The energy was blindingly white and as soon as I threw it at the cup-bearer, I used all my speed to teleport over to King Cold’s cup and pour the poison into it. As the blast exploded, white light shone throughout the pillared hall, blinding everyone. They could not have seen me. And as soon as the light faded back to reality, I had returned to my previous position – which was now over the corpse of King Cold’s former captain of the guard.

They applauded me, howling in raucous approval at my sweet victory. The servants and guards alike were bloodthirsty fools, delighting in death and pain whenever they could. King Cold merely smiled at me weakly. He had always hidden his emotions rather well. I wondered if he would be able to do so as the poison was choking the life out of him. Probably not.

“Bravo, Glacial! Your father Arcterial has trained you well.”

I knelt before my king. “Thank you, sire. I hope I have honored you with my fight.”

He helped me up. “Oh, you have, nephew. That cup-bearer was annoying thorn in my side, I must confess. Seeing him dead brings me joy. Come, let us drink on it!”

My heart was in my ears, pounding. He was going to die now. He was going to take the poison. I needed to prepare myself. I could not act suspicious. I needed to be just as shocked and horrified as everyone else. If they found out I did it, I wasn’t sure that I could cut my way through all of the guards. I was strong, yes, but against so many skilled warriors, I would succumb before long.

King Cold grabbed his cup of poisoned ice wine and raised it over his head. Everyone else, including me, did likewise.

“To Glacial!” he proclaimed.

“To Glacial!” his sycophants echoed fervently.

We all drank. I felt the wine pass my lips and shuddered as the warmness of fresh alcohol overtook my body. It was a sweet, relaxing feeling. I glanced up over my cup and noticed that King Cold was standing there staring at me. He hadn’t taken a drink. My anticipation, my anxiety was like a caged space lion in my chest. I had to get him to drink. I had to.

As calmly as I could, I said, “Sire, won’t you drink with us?”

King Cold looked at me for a moment and then poured the wine out on the table. As it hit the fine space mahogany wood, it started to burn caustically. “No,” the king then said. “I’ve lost my thirst.”

My heart sunk and terror gripped me. He had found me out. I was a dead Arcosian.

Chapter VI: Purge[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Ginyu
Position: Mercenary Captain, Freelancer
Date of account: October 24, 741 Age

I stood before the three of them with my hands on my hips. “All right, which one of you wants to do the dirty work?”

Burter was the first to respond. “Not it.”

“Not me, cap’n!” Jeice squeaked.

“Aww, I don’t wanna,” Recoome pouted.

I laughed. “Heheheh. Did you three think you were getting off that easy?”

Jeice’s eyes flickered with surprise. “Whaddya mean, cap’n?”

I grinned broadly as I twirled into a beautiful spinning pose. When I landed, I thrust my hands to the ceiling. “Rock-paper-scissors! If ya can beat me, ya don’t have to go!”

The three of them seemed very happy with that. They rushed forward, elbowing one another away so that they could be the first to duel with me. As it so happened, Burter flew by the other two and landed in front of me before anyone else could. I wasn’t surprised. We struck our signature somersault poses and then bowed. I watched him for any tells, but the only thing he did was stare back at me, hissing softly. Then with a unified shout, we thrust our hands forward.

“Rock!” I yelled.

Burter’s tone was cooler. “Paper!”

I shrugged. Maybe he had seen my attack coming and changed it on the fly. Maybe he really was that fast. I couldn’t prove it, though. And I wasn’t very angry, either. I still had Jeice and Recoome to beat. “Very good, Burter. Now you, Jeice.”

“Awright!” the cheeky alien shouted, jumping forward. He fist-pumped the air as he did his magnificent pose. “Are ya ready, cap’n?!”

I nodded and we threw our hands forward, screaming with all our mights.

“Paper!” I bellowed.

“Scissors!” Jeice shouted at the same time.

My face flushed purple. Now, it was just getting embarrassing. I was the reigning intergalactic rock-paper-scissors champion. I couldn’t go out like this. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. Growling, I spoke, “Fine, you don’t have to go either.”

Jeice whooped and cartwheeled off as I gestured for Recoome to come forward. The large alien did so with little grace, though he made up for it with his little curtsey bow. He was as elegant as he was smart. “Okay boss Imma win dis!”

I chuckled and nodded. Recoome wasn’t very smart. He always picked rock. It was like clockwork with that brute. I had this in the bag. I just needed to go through the motions. For the third time, I yelled and shot my hand forward.



For a moment, I was too stunned for words. Recoome cut my pretend paper with his pretend scissors and then did a little dance. The other two cheered him on and soon they were digging into celebratory chocolate bars like locusts into fresh crops. I dropped my head. “Come on, someone has to come with me!”

“Nahh, cap’n. Yer rules!” Jeice replied with a mouthful of candy.

“It’s Frieza’s mission! If we don’t do this right, we’ll be unemployed! Then who’ll buy you all that chocolate?” I shot back, a little bit of annoyance in my voice.

They shrugged, unconcerned.

I seethed through my teeth. “Fine! I’ll go find some mercenaries who want to do their job. Some real mercenaries! Maybe Abo and Kado are still around… they’d be better than any of you lazy dogs!”

I walked off, leaving the other three members of the Ginyu Force to relax and rest and enjoy their victories. Meanwhile, I had a mission to do. I really didn’t want Abo and Kado to help me. I was more worried about them taking over our spot as Frieza’s favorite mercenary group. Frieza paid us well – I didn’t want to end a good thing. So I put on my armor and collected my thoughts. I would have to be quick, ruthless, precise. I couldn’t keep Frieza waiting and I couldn’t let any of his targets escape with their lives. I had to be at my best.

It was a three day journey from the Ginyu Force Headquarters to the planet. It was strange, I knew, that my mission was to wipe out an entire Planet Trade Organization army. It didn’t feel right, I suppose. Felt like I was killing family, in a way. But I had to separate myself from those thoughts. The Ginyu Force was my only family. Everyone else could die… for the right price, of course.

These soldiers belonged to a traitor named Glacial. Frieza had cancelled all of their off-planet missions so they would return to their planet. That would make them easier to kill. Frieza didn’t know how many of Glacial’s men were a part of his plot to assassinate the royal family, but he wasn’t going to take any chances. They all had to die. And they would. I would bet all of my chocolate bars on that.

As I landed, several guards rushed forward and opened my pod doors. I stepped out and found myself surrounded by the little aliens fretting over my pod’s condition. I pushed my way through them as they checked and repaired the craft until I came to the door leading me inside the overlooking building. There, a tall alien wearing gold-plated armor and a fine cape was waiting for me. As soon as he saw me, he strode forward. He was obviously the commander of this Planet Trade Organization outpost.

“Captain Ginyu? What are you doing here? We were not expecting you.”

“You weren’t?” I smiled. “Well that’s unfortunate. I guess you didn’t put out the tea yet, either?”

“No, but we can do that now…” the alien replied. He looked over to one of his guards. “Go prepare us refreshments. Now!” Turning back to me, the alien said, “My name is Cainus. I’m the captain of this outpost.”

“Great to meet you!” I shouted back, a little too enthusiastically. He went to shake my hand, but I jumped forward and did a double frontflip, then landed on my hands and spun myself back onto my feet. Breathing hard, I shot my arms and legs out in either direction to hold my pose for this alien. My flare and elegance was undeniable, my grace improbable, my fashion unequaled. I’m sure the guards were awestruck and jealous. “And I’m Captain Ginyu… of the Ginyu Force!” I twirled around, bent over, and looked back at him from between my legs.

“Yes, we know who you are,” Cainus spoke, “but not why you’re here.”

I stood up, stretching my neck and rubbing my shoulders. “Now I can answer that for you!”

I was preparing to blow up the entire room when the guard returned with platters of sweet tea. “Refreshments are ready, sir!” he droned loyally to Cainus.

Before Cainus could speak, I butted in. “Sorry, I’m gonna have to take mine for the road.”

Cainus’ eyes narrowed. “What do you mean–”

I threw my hand back and instantly a purple ball of ki formed in it. Angling my hand forward, I started shooting slivers of purple energy beams out in all directions. The guards and Cainus were caught off-guard and many of them were hit by blasts immediately. I saw the dead fall as explosions and fires took the room like a rising tide. The scientists and technicians who were manning the space pod flight control center started to scream and run about, many of them bloody, and many more of them covered in deep purple flames.

Through the smoke and the ash, I made my way. My aura was surrounding me like a sharpened shield, cutting through the dust and smoke without trouble. I punched and kicked at the guards who had survived my first onslaught, watching brains and bloody bits fly this way and that. Soon the screams died down as the last guards fell and the soft crackle of the roaring fire was all I could hear.

Ahead of me I saw Cainus crouching behind an overturned table. His armor was cracked, and there were holes in three spots where my energy beams had hit him. He was coughing up blood, but he was very much alive. When he saw me, his eyes widened and he started firing ki blasts at me. They were little green things, rapid fire energy bullets that I could effortlessly dodge. I was like a water dancer moving in between his attacks, and not a single one touched me. I ducked, I jumped, I swerved from side to side, I hopped in the air, and soon I was right on top of Cainus. He went to throw a punch, but I caught it with my hand. He threw his other free hand in a second punch, but I caught that as well; this left us locked in a bitter struggle, our hands interlocked and our eyes focused upon one another. I could feel how weak he was and see how scared he was. He could not withstand me. I was far stronger than him. I was slowly pushing him backwards even as he tried to resist me. His arms started to grow tired and then I used my momentum let go of his hands and throw him back.

Cainus managed to stay on his feet, though he stumbled about for a few moments. And when he finally raised his head, he looked quite tired. He was ready to die. By the time saw me again, I had already prepared another energy blast. This one was a single energy beam, far larger and more powerful than the ones I had used previously.

“Lord Frieza sends his regards,” I said with a cold smile.

Then I threw the energy beam at Cainus. He attempted to dodge left, but he wasn’t fast enough. The blast caught him in the neck, tearing a chunk of his flesh from him. He reached for his neck in reflex, his eyes filled with shock and horror and pain all at once. Yet before his hands could even reach his neck, he was dead. His eyes dimmed, the life in them burning out in a flash. He fell backwards, almost in slow motion, and crashed right on a computer monitor which was burning. Soon his entire body was up in flames.

I rubbed my shoulders and loosened them up. I saw, lying right next to me, a platter of tea. Most of the cups had spilled or cracked in the fight, but there was one left untouched. I scooped it up and found the tea inside it to still be warm. Slurping it down, I sighed in relief. It was good tea. It was sweet tea. Surprising, really, that such vile, poisonous traitors could make make something so good.

Once I had finished the drink, I threw the cup away and readied a large purple energy ball between my long fingers. It was time to give this outpost a proper sendoff.

Chapter VII: Forging an Empire[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Kirka
Position: Advisor in Nitro's empire
Date of account: July 11, 744 Age

We touched down in the early morning, and the planet was cleared by midafternoon. It was a lush, jungle planet – something that could fetch a high price on the galactic market, I knew. The squad of soldiers were careful not to damage much of the scenery as they eradicated all sentient life from the humid planet. They were well-trained, silent, ruthless.

Lord Nitro did not usually preside over such pedantic missions, and I was nervous that he had brought me along. As the great lord’s personal advisor, I suppose he wanted me nearby at all times. I did not participate in the planet clearing; fighting was not my specialty, no my inclination. Instead, I stood back, observing along with the other advisors. Still, my body was soaked in sweat, and I felt sleepy. But I knew that was only because of how hot and stuffy this planet was. As we watched the planet being cleared, Nitro would sometimes walk over to us and say:

“They could move faster, I think. Even with me watching, they are taking their time.” We would nod and agree, fervently obedient, never questioning. Other times, he would say, “They are quite strong. I don’t think they will have a problem with the other planets.”

It was no secret that Nitro, the youngest son of King Cold, commanded a smaller empire than his brothers, Cooler and Frieza. His soldiers were usually weaker than Frieza’s or Cooler’s, and this meant planets were cleared at a slower rate, Lord Nitro’s empire expanded at a sluggish pace, and his finances were always in dire straits. Lord Nitro would never betray his impatience or fury in front of us, despite his mind’s goals being vaster than empires, and his soldiers’ execution more slow. Coming along to observe one such mission was as far as he would go. His kill squads would get the message, oh yes. I knew they would.

After the planet was finally freed of sentient life and prepared for a buyer, we returned to Nitro’s space ship. On the way back, as we stumbled and slipped across the dirt, which was covered in exposed roots and dried leaves, we all saw an explosion enter the atmosphere above; it was like a red meteor streaking towards us, hell-bent and unaware. We were all baffled by this, but Nitro simply pursed his lips and sneered:

“Fool! What is he doing here?”

We soon realized what our gracious lord was talking about when the meteor got closer. Then, we could see that it was not actually a flaming ball of rock, but another space ship, forged in the same likeness as Nitro’s. We knew that meant it had someone important inside it. We saw it touch down just out of sight, on the edge of the great jungle forest. Upon that occurring, Nitro conjured up his aura and flew with all his speed. We followed as best we could. I was long out of practice with flying, and I soon fell behind the others, feeling my breathing growing faster and harder, stitches springing up on across my body, suffocating me and sending waves of pain through my small body. I grit my teeth and pushed through, but I was far behind the rest of the company. By the time I arrived on the scene, everybody had already introduced themselves, and Lord Nitro was standing in front of his group like a mother protecting her baby space wolves.

“What is the meaning of this, brother?!” Nitro was saying when I reached them, gasping and puffing, my face a dark shade of purple, my ears pulsing loudly with the beat of my heart. I clutched my gaunt throat with my long fingers to steady my breathing as I looked up and saw which brother Nitro was talking to.

“This place is in my territory, Nitro,” Cooler replied, nonchalantly. He was in their species’ fourth form, his favorite of the lot. Nitro was in the fearsome, feral third form. If it came to blows, Cooler would be at an immediate advantage. The fourth form allowed for much more power to be used than the third.

“Liar!” Nitro hissed. “Father put my border two light years beyond this place! It is you who are intruding on my territory!”

Cooler ignored him and paced about, marveling at the hot, humid jungle around him. “Nice planet. It’ll fetch a good price, don’t you think Salza?”

A purple-skinned soldier from behind Cooler said, “Of course, Lord Cooler. It will be a great addition to your empire!”

“Listen to me, Cooler. I was here first. I cleared the planet. It belongs to me!” Nitro’s aura shot up around him then, a menacing defensive sign that my lord was not going to back down today. He had been tread over by Cooler and Frieza in the past, but not anymore. He was tired of having such a small empire, being the irrelevant son in the Planet Trade Organization. I knew that just because he came on this mission. He wasn’t going to back down.

Cooler coughed or laughed, I could not tell which. Behind him, his personal guards, Cooler’s Armored Squadron, stood motionless, save for their fiery eyes dancing about, looking us over with contempt. “That was an old map. The newest one puts this planet in my territory, brother. Last month, father expanded my empire for good behavior.”

Nitro groaned, creating a ki blast and flinging it at Cooler. The move was more frustration than it was an attack, and the elder brother easily knocked it aside. Nitro didn’t seem to care; instead, he cursed at the sky with the vigor of a defeated boy. Cooler’s Armored Squadron had to jump out of the way as the purple ball of ki came whirling up to them, for even in Nitro’s depowered annoyance, his attacks were strong enough to melt the strongest of warriors. The explosion went off with a bang, causing dirt and tree fragments to fly through the air. A bit of dirt got in my eye, and I dropped to my knee to blink it out. I didn’t get to see the looks on Cooler’s and Nitro’s faces, but I think they would have both been frowning.

“Cooler, we’ll see about this! I’ll contact father, myself–”

“No need,” Cooler interrupted, holding up his hand. “Just take the planet. I don’t care.”


“You’re my brother, Nitro. I could kill you if I wanted, but that would be so… unseemly. We have a reputation to defend. A family divided against itself cannot stand. This planet means much more to you than it does to me. I don’t need the money, after all.”

Nitro’s face went dark and his aura dissipated with the quickness of one turning off a light. I think my lord was blushing in embarrassment, but I was not sure. I had never seen his face turn that color before. It made him seem unnatural, almost alien.

“Very well,” Nitro began, slowly and carefully. “Now get off my planet, Cooler.”

Cooler’s jaw contorted into a malicious purple sliver. He shook his head. “You would be wise to respect me, brother. Those who get on my bad side don’t live long. But enough of this. I must go.” He went to leave, but he turned back to face Nitro. “Oh, and be sure to kill your lackeys,” he said, gesturing to us who stood behind our lord. “You wouldn’t want news of our animosity getting out. That would make your life so much harder. People won’t respect you.”

Then, Cooler turned his back to us and shot off to his space ship. His brother was gone before Nitro turned back around to face us.

“Y-you won’t kill us, will you, milord?! We have served you faithfully!” I squeaked, unrestrained panic in my eyes. My blood was hot with adrenaline and fear, and the heat of the planet was making my head spin. I couldn’t believe how this had turned out. “Lord Nitro, please!”

Nitro stood there for a moment, and then walked past us, back towards his flagship. I flinched, waiting for him to turn around and render us into dust. The others stood more stoic than me, but most of them (even the other advisors) had been trained in combat discipline. I had never learned such thoughtless courage.

Nitro did turn around, though there was no energy in his hands or warming up in his eyes. Instead, he motioned for us to follow him. Most of them bounded ahead like dogs, but I stood frozen in place.

“Mi-milord?!” I asked. I didn’t know what I was asking, but I was confused all the same.

Nitro looked back at me with those deep, foreboding eyes of his. “Cooler does not rule me. I will not do as he commands. One brother cannot lord over the other without blood being spilled. But that day is not yet upon us. Come, Kirka. We have more planets to prepare.”

Relief flooded over my body with streams of sweat and tears. I sighed and followed him back to the ship, so unnerved I was shaking, but so thankful that I wasn’t going to die. The rest of the trip went by in a haze. My emotions had been laid bare, and I could think of little else than what had happened on that jungle planet. I couldn’t even concentrate on my favorite space operas or enjoy the taste of delicious Demon's Eye pudding. All I knew was that there was a war coming. Maybe it would be between Nitro or Cooler, or Nitro and Frieza, or other members of their family, but even then, I knew something bad was on its way. Cooler would not gift Nitro with a planet again. It would be war next time. It was unavoidable now. I thought about what the next confrontation would be like – how much blood it would spill – oh, it haunted me even then! I could hardly fathom how this simple brotherly hate would soon bring the universe to its knees!

Chapter VIII: The Ice Hand[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Kustar
Position: Mercenary soldier
Date of account: November 8, 746 Age

Ice in. Ice out. Quick. Painless. No one would know. I was a ghost on the wind.

I moved up to the building, past the barbed fences, eying the two guards who were walking out of sight in the opposite direction. I needed half a minute for this to work – just enough time to dodge their patrols, I knew. Frieza would not apprehend me. He was too busy holding a feast on the other side of the planet. He was indisposed, as his sycophants liked to say. All the better. I crouched down, took out my device, and flicked it on. It hummed dully as I pointed it towards that moulting yellow building. The screen popped orange and numbers flashed across. I knew what they meant. The ice was about to melt. I could almost taste it.

It was a blur. A blip in the system. I could not react to what I was doing; muscle memory was all that separated me from death. The hacking tool had been attuned to my brain – one misstep, and I was a goner. But it was the only way. Ice would only shatter against the boldest of plans.

My eyes blinked orange and were suddenly filled with zeros and ones, icicles flying at me from all sides. I dodged them, moving left and right and up and down, but never truly moving. My mind saw things that were not so. But one direct hit, and they would find out. My hacking tool would fry, and my brain with it. I would not be hit.

I had thought before about what I would do with the money. The Planet Trade Organization had immense wealth buried in their intergalactic banks. They sold a lot of planets, after all, and enslaved a lot of people. Much of the galaxy was theirs. Some of it would soon be mine. With the money, I’d be able to give up the mercenary’s life of drifting from outpost to outpost, team to team, paying job to paying job, never finding happiness or prestige.

I had always been a mercenary, a soldier living under Frieza’s whims, but it had never made me happy. I had lived a life of fear and paranoia. One failed mission meant death. Frieza was not forgiving. Every day was a struggle of life and death. I could not live that life any longer. I had to get out of there. Taking the money and running would finally make me happy. I did not feel guilty about what I was doing. In fact, it made me glad knowing it was Frieza I was stealing from. His men would try to hunt me down, but they would find nothing. A ghost leaves no tracks. My fiancée Tamaga would be waiting for me once it was over. We were leaving everything behind for a chance to create a new life no longer driven by fear.

My mind saw the virtual defenses of Frieza’s treasures, swirling and surrounded by darkness. They were sharp and they were cold. Snow started to fall (or was that the firewalls falling into defensive positions?). I shivered, for real. This was no joke. Don’t mess with ice if you don’t want to freeze.

I activated my device as I moved through the white cold. My tool was a savior, a beacon of light in that lightless world. It wilted and evaporated any threats that got close. I heard something scream, far away, but its echoes soon choked in the black blizzard surrounding me. I jumped forward, through the breach of a crumbling firewall, and pressed into the inner defenses. The ice here was older, colder, blacker. It arranged itself like in spires and towers, imposing its presence on me. Defiantly, I brought my tool forward and tore through those defenses. Ice that had never felt the heat of the sun was melting. It could do little else. The defenses hanging back behind the darkness sent forth more shards of ice; one almost hit me, but I jumped aside at the last moment and melted it with the others. The programs behind the darkness sent more attacks at me. I led them to the light.

Tamaga had told me we could get married if I gave up my profession. It was too dangerous, she had said, too risky to have kids with me. I was a warrior – I could die at any time, on any mission. I didn’t blame her for thinking that. I wasn’t the best at my job. I had courted death more than once before. Luck was the only reason I was still standing.

It was for her sake that I had gone out of my way to buy that device. It hadn’t been cheap or pretty, in fact, the damn thing had cost me my entire life savings. But I had figured the rewards it would lead me to far outweighed the thing’s cost. I hadn’t been afraid. I had done my research; this was the only way. I had used the Jolea black markets to find the device and then killed the ruffian who’d sold it to me. Couldn’t leave any tracks. It may have been a paranoid move, but it was not a foolish one.

The ice came at me all at once, then. Black and red and white and so white I couldn’t see it. I didn’t look for long. I pressed a button on the hacking tool and it lit up like a sun, warm and unforgiving. Frieza’s defenses were no match. He would be so angry when he found out. But what could he do about it? Kill some of his own men in frustration? That wouldn’t help him. He couldn’t – wouldn’t – find me. I’d be long gone.

Five seconds before the guards’ patrol led them back to me, I broke through. The entire system cracked and let out a long moan as the remaining ice shattered and fell into the darkness. I knew there were other eyes in the impenetrable black, not ice, not going to be burned by my tool. They would step in if I took too long, but otherwise they would let me go. I wasn’t the only one who wanted Frieza’s empire to go up in flames. Some had to play their parts, to see it done from the inside – they were not like me. Their red eyes burned and peered at me from the darkness, listless and focused and not quite alive. I pitied them.

The treasure was not huge piles of golden coins and rare gems. No, Frieza’s wealth was a small-font number hovering the air, plain and defenseless and naked. The ice was gone, melted in fragmented binary puddles at my feet. I ran up to the treasure and thrust my tool forward. It sucked at the number, causing it to groan and lessen. Frieza’s wealth slipped out of his fingers for those five seconds. What a fool, Frieza had been. He had placed all of his money in one place, in one poorly-protected bank. If I hadn’t had a five second window, I would have taken the whole damn thing. And then what would that sniveling tyrant be worth?

I had millions, enough to buy a small planet, by the time the guards came back around the other side of the building. I did not see them, but I heard them coming, the low, irritating sounds of their conversation distracting me from the world of ice. I could not be in two places at once. I unhooked the device and shut off the power. It was over; I was free.

They never saw me roll away into the bushes. The alarms that were soon after raised from my hacking intrusion were too slow. They never found me. In the panic and hysteria that soon erupted, Frieza’s soldiers did not bother to check for a small ship slipping out of atmosphere. Sure, they eventually grounded all flights in and out of the planet, but they were about ten minutes too late. I guess that’s what you get when all your employees are disgruntled slaves.

As I raced out of there, I thought back to my fiancée. Tamaga would have her wish. No more wars, no more fighting. Just an honest life. That’s what I wanted for her, for myself. I’d be a good husband. She’d finally marry me, give me the sons I wanted so badly. I could spend the remainder of my days caring for her on our new planet and living a quiet life. But I wouldn’t forget what gave me my freedom.

Perhaps one day, far in in the future, I’ll tell my children about the time I challenged Frieza and won my millions. Perhaps one day, I’ll tell them how I, a simple, stupid, lowly mercenary soldier, stood up to the tyrant’s mighty ice hand and came away unscathed.

Chapter IX: Stardust[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Boisenberry
Position: Captain in Cooler's empire
Date of account: May 4, 747 Age

Space Pirates. Why did it have to be Space Pirates?

“Stay quiet or I’ll cut your throats!” General Digranite whispered to us, flashing his teeth. We did as he wished.

Huddled behind some crates, we waited. I was scared to even breathe. No one dared move a muscle. I felt the lactic acid building in my legs, and knew everyone else was suffering equally. We held our poses, sweat pouring down our faces, our mouths clenched in pain. Digranite later commended me for having such tremendous discipline to stay still for so long, but I knew it was only fear that kept us in place.

Then, something bumped the opposite end of the ship so hard we almost fell over. A second later, a cutting tool started to burn through the old grey steel. We did not move.

“Wait until they are all inside. Then we strike.” Digranite’s voice was full of hunger. That made me a little hungry too. I thought back to my outpost, Planet Cooler 47. The vending machines there had the best roast space duck this side of the empire. My mouth started to salivate thinking about it. How I wanted me some roast space duck.

The pirates moved inside, walking carefully and soundlessly until they were no more than a few feet away from us. There were seven of them, all wearing armor and contraband and jewelry under their space suits. One had a huge emerald helmet over his head that shone in the low artificial light of our derelict ship. In the shadows, we watched them pick through the crates of food and supplies, sometimes laughing and holding up a good score, other times muttering curses and destroying something worthless. Broken crates and trash soon covered the floor. They were Joleans; I could see their green skin, the black chlorophyll lining their eyes and fingers. Freaks. Light eaters. I had dated one once.

General Digranite hunched down a fraction of an inch. We knew what this meant. It was time to pounce. I gulped. There were only four of us. Digranite had hand-picked us because we could lower our power levels to undetectable levels. It was the only way to combat these Jolea space pirates. They could sense power levels, otherwise. They had scouters in their brains. Four on seven was not good odds. I didn’t want to die, but I knew I couldn’t avoid this.

The one with the emerald helmet was right in front of us, digging through a metal crate. He found something, grunted loudly, and turned to his fellow raiders to show them when, in a breath, Digranite was on him, leaping forward like a beast towards prey. The Jolea didn’t have the chance to scream out before the General had dug his claws into the alien’s green-black flesh and ripped off his head. The other six Joleans dropped what they were holding and stared at Digranite, horrified. Dripping with alien blood, the General stood up and stared them down, unafraid.

“It’s scum like you who’re bleeding Lord Cooler’s empire dry. But not anymore. Your time is at an end!”

We jumped out in orchestrated unison, screaming and charging up ki blasts. There was no time to be afraid. General Digranite had two red beams already warming up in his hands. The light overpowered my eyesight and I shot my energy blindly in the other direction. We were reckless, yes, but it didn’t matter. We were wearing space suits. Another ship was hiding on the other side of the nearest planet. They would pick us up when this was over.

It was all light and smoke for a second. Then, the explosions went off, rending the ship into jagged pieces. The lights went off, the gravity went out, and we were flung out into space. Then the screaming came. I saw one of us hit – an orange alien I did not know the name of. His suit had a hole in it, leaking oxygen fast. Blood was pooling where the piece of steel had impaled in his leg. Digranite looked the soldier up and down for less than a second and then raised his hand, creating a green energy ball in it.

“Wait!” I screamed, raising my arm, but it was too late. The General vaporized him. I bowed my head. Digranite was too quick sometimes, too brutal. I wasn’t used to such a commander.

“Captain Boisenberry,” the General shouted over to me, “my scouter was damaged in the fight. How many of them are left?!” He shouted for the other surviving soldier to scan for survivors as well.

Together, we spun about, scanning all of space for any signs of the pirates while Digranite floated between us, his arms folded, his breathing fierce. I suddenly felt very small as I scanned the deep black. It was all so big, so vast. How many trillions of beings were out there, in every direction? And here I was, but a single being, hovering in the midst of it all.

I got a blip after my second spin and pointed the General towards it. Digranite raced faster than I could keep up with. By the time me and the other soldier caught up to him, Digranite was already interrogating the space pirate.

His space suit was charred black; his visor was cracked; his face was bruised and bleeding; he was alive. “Whom do you serve?!” Digranite roared, holding the Jolea by the neck. “Answer me or suffer pain you could not imagine!”

“I-I… don’t…” the space pirate began.

“Fool!” Digranite shot an electric across the alien’s body with his free hand. The Jolea screamed.

“Whom do you serve?!”

“N-no one! We’re just a small group–”

Another shot of electricity. Another scream. Another question.

“All right, all right! I-I-I’ll take you to him. P-please, just stop!”

Digranite straightened up. “Good,” he breathed softly. He turned to me, still clutching his quarry by the neck. “Call our ship.”

There were two pilots, making our company a total of five, not counting the prisoner. I didn’t like our chances of assaulting a pirate lair. They probably had booby traps guarding their vasts treasures. Turrets were given. Air support was likely. I shuddered and looked over at Digranite. He had extracted more information out of the surviving Jolea. We had a name and a destination. But I didn’t know how we could trust the space pirate. He could be leading us into a trap.

“This Aphotic Prince that leads you, how strong is he?” Digranite barked at the prisoner. ‘Aphotic Prince’ was the name the alien had given to Digranite – the eclectic name of his pirate lord. Me? I thought it was made up, a figment of the Jolea’s mind.

“Strong enough to kill you all!”

“Liar! I should kill you for your insolence!”

“Y-you won’t kill me… you need me!”

Digranite cocked his head, momentarily looking flummoxed. Then, he thrust his claws forward and ripped the pirate’s left eye out out of its socket and ate it. I thought I saw Digranite smile, which frightened me more than anything.

“General, do you think this is wise?” I asked him, over the screams of the Jolea. “He could be lying about this Prince.”

“I know he is, Boisenberry. But he underestimates us anyway.”

“Sir, we need more soldiers to attack this Aphotic Prince! He could have armies of pirates in his lair, not to mention traps…”

“Three is good,” Digranite replied, looking to me, than to the other soldier. “This way he won’t know what’s coming for him. He can’t run or hide.”

I sighed and looked out the window at the deep black of space. There were endless stars it seemed, all with planets and species of their own. I wondered how much of those belonged to Cooler or his brothers. Probably not enough.

We arrived without incident, and the prisoner was able to let us into the pirate den without any trouble. A few lies, a little small talk, and we were through. We were prisoners of his, the Jolea had said. Where were his other shipmates, they asked? Why, off plundering more! The Jolea had only returned because of the wound to his eye, after all. The guards bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

It was a huge asteroid, the biggest I had ever seen. Like I expected, turrets lined the cratered surface, and reinforced metal armor lined the outer bunkers. Patrol ships dotted the sky like twinkling stars. We moved forward into a large maw that was a port. Dozens of ships whizzed about, in and out, and hundreds of aliens walked the ports floors. It was a goddamn city, I swear. Where did all those people come from? As we docked, I could see through the energy shielding that the place had all the marks of a city, too – skyscrapers and buildings towered in the shell of the tumbling rock. I wondered how many gravity packs it had taken to stabilize everything. Digranite asked our prisoner what the place was called, and the alien replied curtly with, “I don’t know what the official name is, but my team called it the Iceberg.”

We exited with our prisoner. He did not run, for he knew that meant death. We walked behind him, still in our armor. Many of the pirates that moved past us, Jolea or otherwise, were in official Planet Trade Organization armor as well. Most of it was plundered, I knew, but a few had surely defected. I didn’t make eye contact with any of them. Didn’t want to look suspicious. I doubt I had the face of pirate, after all.

After a short walk, we reached the city, which was bustling with speeders and pedestrians. I kept looking around in awe at the place, wondering how it had been built and at what cost. This was not a little pirate haven – it was an outlaw empire. I gulped. An image of the Aphotic Prince that creeped in my mind – a tall, dark, fearsome warrior – seemed more and more likely now. I realized, at that moment, that I would likely die in the upcoming struggle. Still I walked, and not because it was my duty.

In the center of the Iceberg was a skyscraper that stood taller than the rest. In fact, I thought it touched the ceiling of the asteroid, but I could not be sure. It was armed to the teeth, making it more like a castle than a tower. Turrets, walls, barbed wire, patrolling guards, heavy armored gates, and a moat of acid protected the place. We moved up to the gate, where the space pirate had to talk to the guard for over five minutes before he would let us in. The Jolea was a mid-tier marauder. He would be able to get us inside, but he would not be able to get us an audience with the Prince. That was okay, Digranite told us. He had another plan. The space pirate was not needed any longer. Hell, the General would have killed the pirate then and there had there had not been so many Joleans around. They could smell death better than any species I knew. Better for us not to attract attention.

We moved forward to the entrance of the tower. Guards stood alert in front of a great red wooden door. Digranite motioned for us to stop just out of earshot of them.

“He’s usually at the top of the tower. He won’t be down here with the others. I told you, it’s no use–”

“Shut up,” Digranite spit. “Are there guards around the entire building? Can we climb without being spotted?”

“I-I dunno..” the Jolea stammered. “They shouldn’t see you if you are careful. But you’d have to go fast, too. ”

Digranite smirked. “Good. You’re coming with us.”

We ignored the guards and went around the tower until we could see no one. On balconies above us, there were more patrolling guards, even some manning turrets, but they could all be avoided with care. Behind us, the wall that guarded this skyscraper was lined with guards. All they had to do was turn around and see us, but none did, and none would, the Jolea assured. Digranite led us up the side of that grey steel building with one hand. The Jolea was not to be trusted, so Digranite held him by the neck in his free hand as he climbed. I followed meekly. My claws were not as large; I was not as strong as Digranite. And with how he was climbing one-handed, I felt like I was standing in his shadow. He was a damn impressive commander, a true warrior.

I took up the rear, behind the other soldier and Digranite (who carried our prisoner). At first, our climbing was slow, but after the Jolea coughed out a reminder that someone from another building could see them and alert the tower, Digranite picked up the pace. I could hardly keep up. As we kept going, Digranite moved left to dodge around an open window with a guard peering out. The other soldier followed him too enthusiastically and lost his footing. In a moment, he was falling. I hugged the building to not go down with him. Before he could flip over and fly back to us, he crashed into a soldier on a lower balcony. Instantly, voices of confusion and anger popped up. The soldier tried to stand up, but the guard flipped him over and punched him in the face until the soldier stopped screaming. We started to climb faster, but the guard looked up and saw us. He shouted in disbelief and then ran from the sight, deep into the fortress tower.

“General, we–” I began.

“I know. Faster! Hurry!”

Digranite picked up the pace. I went as fast as I could, but soon he was too far away from me. I looked down and saw guards pooling at the base of the tower. More and more were opening windows around us, shooting blasters or energy balls at us. I tried to dodge, but it only slowed me down more. Soon, Digranite was a speck above me, and then he was gone. I was a captain, but I was also quite weak compared to the General. It made me feel embarrassed at the time, but considering he was Cooler’s strongest warrior, I really shouldn’t have felt so bad.

I reached the top of the tower about a minute after the General had. Pirates were shooting from below, but they were laughably inaccurate. Maybe they wanted to appear like they were trying to get me, but didn’t want to damage the tower. Whatever the reason was, I was able to get to the top without anyone hitting me. There, a broken-out window was my portal to the inside.

Inside the lightless room stood Digranite, erect and fearsome. His armored spikes were out; his mouth was covered in blood. I looked down and saw the body of the Jolea. His throat had been torn out. He was still moving, slightly, eyes bulging and blood spurting, but his death was already assured. I stepped over the convulsing pirate.

“Come out, coward!” Digranite was screaming. “You have been betrayed! I know who you are, Aphotic Prince!”

“Do you?” a voice suddenly asked from the far side of the room, breathless and cold.

Digranite turned towards it. “Pirate scum. Lord Cooler wants you dead. I will not disappoint him.”

“Lord Cooler is a blind fool. His empire will crumble soon enough. His brothers’, even sooner. Their time is at an end.”

“You will die before that happens!” Digranite started charging up a red energy beam.

I could see the outline of the being opposite him. He was sitting on a chair (a throne, perhaps?), and upon seeing Digranite begin charging up the energy, he stood up and started walking slowly down the steps of his elevated platform to the floor. I could see he had horns. He was a monster, standing taller than even my 8 foot tall General. His cape rippled as he walked. But it was too dark to see his figure in any detail. He was clouded in darkness, unlike Digranite. The light from my General’s red energy was all that separated Digranite from the darkness. I suddenly realized how cold it actually was. I could see my breath. My sweat had frozen to my skin.

“You space pirates cannot stand up against the might of the Planet Trade Organization! You will all burn!” Digranite assured his opponent.

“You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, soldier. Leave now, or I will kill you.”

Digranite fired his energy beam. At once, a purple energy beam flashed into existence like a flame and collided with it. I saw Digranite put all of his energy into the beam, but soon, he was being pushed back. The Aphotic Prince continued walking down the steps until he reached the floor, pushing the General back slowly, but unequivocally.

“Pity,” the alien said. “You are strong… for a soldier. But you don’t know what you have gotten yourself into.”

“You will die! For Lord Cooler!”

“For Lord Cooler!” I felt pride swell up in my throat as I echoed the cry. I ran forward and shot an energy beam at the shadowy figure. He caught my blast and evaporated it. I felt a chill go over me that was not from the cold. I fell to my knees, my mouth agape, my eyes wide with horror. The power needed to do something like that was unfathomable. It was scary. I thought then that we were both at the mercy of that Prince.

“My underlings call me the Aphotic Prince,” the being continued as it pushed Digranite farther back, almost to where I was, close to the open window, “but, as your precious Lord Cooler will soon find out, I’d rather they call me king.”

With that, the Aphotic Prince pushed his energy beam forward, suddenly overtaking Digranite. The General roared in pain as the energy hit him, burning his skin. And then it all exploded. Fire and light and nothingness surrounded us. I thought back to when I had been in space. It felt remarkably similar. Isolated, small, floating through oblivion like stardust. I was nothing. The fear melted away for that instant. And then the light dimmed and we were falling out of the tower, the General and I. We both landed on our feet.

In the courtyard of that tower, we were surrounded by guards. Digranite looked more indignant than ever. His pride was shattered. He was angry. He was ready to shoot his way out. I was frightened, sore, tired. But I was more scared of dying.

“Stay with me, Boisenberry, if you want to live. We have to get out of here!” Digranite looked up at the window far above us. There was no sign of the Aphotic Prince. He could have killed us if he wanted to. He could have still killed us then. Maybe he wanted us to live after all… or maybe he just didn’t care, either way. “The ship is waiting for us.”

I nodded and stood next to my General, preparing energy attacks to match those the guards were aiming at us. We were not going to be killed by a bunch of pirate scum. That much I knew.

Chapter X: Siege of Magnificat[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Feijon
Position: Corporal in Frieza's empire
Date of account: September 16, 749 Age

Not even that blizzard could silence their screams. I crouched behind a rock and peered out. A wall of white froze my face. I ducked back down.

“How much longer, sir?!” I yelled behind me.

Commander Date scowled at me. “The ships are almost here, corporal. So keep your mouth shut unless it’s important.”

I looked over the rock again, but the falling snow was too thick to see the base. Magnificat, they called it. We were sieging it – or, we were supposed to be. The storm had masked our arrival, but it had also prevented us from getting closer. The Magnificat hung from the side of a mountain on a sheer cliff that made any approach other than by flight impossible. And it was too dangerous to fly over there.

We sat on the side of the other mountain, randomly lobbing energy attacks from our fists and blasters. We couldn’t see the hanging metal fortress, but our scouters told us it was there and full of life. We knew our attacks could melt the outer layers of the Magnificat, but they wouldn’t be getting much further inside. The dying screams of their outer guards was all we could take comfort in so far. There was more work to be done.

Commander Date was an old alien, green-skinned and and sporting a rugged orange beard. He made sure we kept firing on the fortress, even in that blizzard. Anyone who got too cold or too tired was dealt with by the Commander in ways I need not explain in detail.

I had lost feeling in my fingers by the time the ships came. They descended from the sky like elegant birds, tearing into the blizzard like fire through ice. Soon, their attacks melted much of the snow and the visibility increased. I saw then the Magnificat, pock-marked and scorched, icicles covering its jagged parapets and walls. It was too far away for me to see the dying guards. Shame.

The ships moved up to the fortress and then unleashed salvos of firepower – hot white energy blasts that melted snow and metal and smoked and sizzled as the blizzard around died and sparked out of life. We watched, waited, shivered. My heart was in my throat. I knew it was time to assault the place. I was scared, I knew we all were. Many would die in the upcoming battle.

The twisted burning metal of the Magnificat’s blaster doors was all that remained of that fortress’s defenses. Our ships hovered like angry bees, waiting to sting any who tried to flee that sinking ship. When none came flying out, Commander Date gave us the order to fall into ranks and follow him into the breach.

It was still snowing when we arrived, but it was not so heavy any more, not so strong. We flew into the burning gap and then touched down inside a hangar bay. It was quiet. The guards must have been incinerated by the ships’ attacks. There were numerous vessels in that bay, but none looked like they could be used in combat. There were old rusted mining vessels, snowspeeders, leisure boats, but no fighter ships. We pressed on.

There was no one around. The metal halls were empty, lifeless. The lights flickered on and off as if the building had long since been abandoned. I knew that wasn’t true. The scouters couldn’t lie. There was life somewhere in this thing. We would find it; we would kill it. That much I was certain of.

Commander Date led us into a great hall and then raised his hand to make us stop. “Their power levels are close. There must be a hidden room somewhere. Search, all of you!”

And we did. Tearing rugs from the floor, upending tables, we wrecked that room. Within a few seconds, it looked like a tornado had gone through the place. All the shattered glass, broken wooden chair fragments lay across the floor like they were corpses we had vanquished. And then, a soldier on the far side of the room motioned for Commander Date to come to him. He had found a false wall which would spin open if one pushed on it with enough force. Commander Date blew it up with a purple eye beam. We ran through, into the darkness.

“Light! Someone give us a light!”

At once, several soldiers lit up ki balls to illuminate the dark passageway. It was narrow, covered in dust and made of older metal than the outside areas. In here, the air itself was rusting away. Space rats squeaked and fled from us as we moved forward.

And then we came to them – the defenders of Magnificat. There were maybe five hundred of them, five times our numbers. But they were all women and children. Huddled in corners, under blankets or behind upturned tables, they quivered and watched us. Commander Date ran up to the nearest ones.

“This planet now belongs to Lord Frieza! You have committed treason by living here and resisting us. Prepare to die, worms!”

An elderly alien woman with a dirty face stood up. She shook, as if she was cold or scared. “This is our home! You came here, attacked us, killed our people. We didn’t ask for this–”

“Silence!” Date roared. An energy beam to the throat made her obey. He looked to us. “Kill them all. Burn the bodies.”

Many nodded and started to move forward when a soldier near the back spoke: “I can’t sir. This is evil, what you want us to do.”

Commander Date growled and pushed his way through his subordinates until he reached the vocal soldier. “What did you just say to me, boy?!”

The soldier frowned. “These women and children didn’t do anything. They don’t need to die.

“My god, have you never cleared a planet before?! Everyone must die. This is how it works in Frieza’s empire!”

“No, I haven’t. And I don’t want to, after seeing this. Fuck Frieza and fuck his empire! I won’t be a part of this.”

Date’s face had turned a purplish color in his fury. “Damn right you won’t.”

He raised his hand, readying an energy ball when someone hit him from behind. Date stumbled forward and whirled back around, his eyes shooting around the room. “Who did that?! Eh?! Who hit me?!”

Another alien, this one scaly and tall, moved forward. “I won’t do thissss for your massster! Frieza ssssold my planet and killed my people. He made me a sssslave in his army. Now he wantsss me to do the sssssame to othersss? I won’t! I won’t be like him or you, Commander!”

“Maggots!” Date spat. He looked around. “Those of you who wish to live, help me kill these rebels and clear this planet or I’ll gut the whole lot of you!”

I don’t remember exactly how the fighting broke out. It was all so fast. A few explosions, a few bodies flying, and we were thrust into chaos. Nobody knew who to attack, only that they were supposed to attack. Those who had stood up to Date weren’t some part of a hidden rebel group. They were individuals who hated being slaves. They looked like us, wore the same armor and scouters as us. I couldn’t blame them, but I couldn’t join them either. I wanted to live, after all.

I saw four aliens on Date, stabbing him with energy attacks. His armor was cracked, purple blood oozing out from under his clothes. He was shouting. Someone was grabbing his beard. Others around me were skirmishing too. A soldier who had, only an hour before, sat beside me and lobbed energy blasts at the hanging fortress with me, now charged and tried to kill me. I ducked out of the way, letting him go running into a broken table to the right. I warmed my fingers with blue energy and then unleashed my attack on him. It was like a blizzard, thousands of angry droplets flying through the air, and in a moment, he ceased to exist.

There was a fire going, a great fire that felt too warm for comfort. I had to get out of there. I glanced around. Women and children of this planet’s native species were running past us, away from the flames of certain doom. The soldiers did not follow. Many were dead now, their bodies covering the floor in such quantities that it was hard to walk without tripping on one.

Date was still alive, standing in the middle of the room. I watched him decapitate the scaly alien and then punch two more to death. Many defended him, but they died as easily as the rebels. Our numbers dwindled.

A bloody-haired man ran up to me. “Which side are you on?!”

“Commander Date’s!”

“Good!” He ran off. I didn’t join him. I didn’t want to die.

The flames began to overtake us. The outer corpses caught on fire, soon bringing the burning red up to us. Burning flesh and hair smelled hideous, like death itself. I choked and gagged. I needed to leave. I turned and began to run. Others tried to escape as well, but many were caught and consumed, balls of flame running about and soon falling over dead. Date tried to retreat, but his was covered in foes, stabbing him with energy, punching him, trying to kill him. But he would not die. Our eyes met for a moment and guilt overtook me. I stopped. He would know that if I did not help him, that I would against him. I didn’t want to be against him. I didn’t want to die. So I ran over and helped the Commander.

I didn’t love Date. He was an arrogant, rude man. But he was my commander. If we killed him and liberated ourselves, soon more Planet Trade Organization soldiers would come and hunt us down. And for what? I didn’t want to be free. I was fine living my life as a soldier. I had had no life before this, and surely I would have none after this. It was my duty to follow Lord Frieza’s orders, no matter how terrible they might be. He was in charge. He got to make the rules. The smart ones just follow his rules without question. You won’t die if you’re loyal.

My first attack glanced a soldier, causing him to fall off of Date. Date then curb stomped his face in. There were two other soldiers on Date, and I was close enough to knock one away, so I did. When he was on the ground, a few kicks to the neck silenced him. I turned around and saw Date heave the last soldier off of his back and into the fires around us, where he screamed away into death. Then, I ran over to my Commander, catching him before he collapsed to the ground.

“It’s j-just us, eh? Well then, ta-take me to a ship… corporal… hurry. I need me-medical care.”

We limped through the tunnel, hotness on our backs. I did not see the women and children again. I did not know where they went. The station was as empty as it had been when we first arrived. I wondered why that was so. Maybe our previous battles with the planet’s natives had wiped out all of their soldiers; maybe this last base was only a refuge for those who escaped. It made sense. We got high power level readings in quantity, not in quality. No one had been very strong. Maybe there hadn’t been guards at all. Maybe the screams had come from the women and children we had so blindly killed.

I got Date to one of the ships hovering outside and we escaped before the Magnificat was totally consumed with fire.

“Call Zarbon… “ Date said to the pilot as we carried him into a rejuvenation tank. “Te-tell him to send me more men. This planet is nearly ready. Just a-a… few more maggots to burn.”

He looked very old then, very tired. I didn’t know if Zarbon would honor his request or tell him to go to hell. Losing almost one hundred soldiers rarely resulted in longevity in the Planet Trade Organization. You win or you die. Date had failed, somewhere, somehow. Even if Zarbon didn’t understand it, he would almost surely call for the Commander’s head.

As we placed Date into his tank, he looked at me and poked me in the chest with one finger. “And-and remind me when I’m healed to give you a promotion, corporal. You s-saved my life.”

I nodded. The pilot and I closed the door on the tank and Date fell into unconsciousness. I took my seat by a window and stared out at the falling snow as we sped away. Far off, I could see another blizzard making its way towards us. We would be long gone before it could reach us. I sighed and sat back in my chair, closing my eyes. I had saved Date’s life, but by doing so, how many had I forsaken? Guilt washed over me like falling snow. I wanted to throw up. I thought back to all the rebels, dead and dying, to the women and children, fleeing like rats trying to escape a sinking ship. They wouldn’t get far, even if Date was executed for his failures. This planet would be conquered in the end, and there was nothing I could do about it. At least I came out alive, That’s all that matters, right? A voice in my mind responded, with an emphatic “yes!”, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

Chapter XI: Dead City[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Hail
Position: King Cold's niece; Military General
Date of account: March 23, 753 Age

A dead city does not bleed. That’s what Daddy always told me. But Daddy had never been out this far, to the furthest stretches of our empire. Uncle Cold – King Cold, if I’m being polite, and I’m not – hasn’t, either. They don’t know how the universe truly works. The empire is too big for Daddy and uncle.

Commander Slagg had been out here for years, protecting our planets – protecting us. No space pirates, no terrorists, no organized armies could lay a finger on the Planet Trade Organization with him, and others like him, doing their duty. He was a good soldier, decorated, in need of a promotion. And he would have got one, if not for this dead bleeding city.

“Commander, what am I looking at?” I asked.

He leaned forward, smiling. “That, my dear, is Planet Frieza 377… Or, it was, heheh. Aye, ya can’t call it that anymore, canya?”

I could not; he was right. The planet was broken like a shattered teacup, its atmosphere fading like the light of the nearest star disappearing behind the debris field. Slagg had flown us close to the surface, close enough that we could see lights coming out from derelict skyscrapers. A city on a planet that was no longer a planet. A city that could no longer be a city, for its citizens were lost to the cold void. The lights shone on in deathly defiance; they would not be turned off.

“This can’t be right.” Polaria stepped forward. My sister could not hide her emotions very well. Impatience or anxiety (what’s the difference?) rippled across her face like water in a pond. “How many are there?”

“Fifteen… twenty thousand. Who the hell knows?” Slagg waved his arms around, indignantly. He was very comfortable around us, not reserving a certain level of respect that a member of King Cold’s family ought to deserve. We ignored his rudeness. He was more useful to us alive. “Bah, fourth one this week. Me ships had no chance, milady. No chance. We were sittin’ ducks, all-a-us. They knew exactly where ta hit us.”

I pursed my lips. “But why would they do this? What does this gain them?”

“Attention. It’ll make them bolder, at the very least,” Polaria said, staring ahead at the dead living city. “They want to make us care that they exist… make us think that they’re relevant.”

I shook my head. “No empire aside from the Planet Trade Organization is relevant. We made sure of that when we conquered the universe.”

“Well… much of the universe, I’ll give ya that. But there’s much more out there still for the takin’.” Slagg’s eyes sparkled with hunger as he talked. “Whaddya say, princesses? Shall we go out and take back what is ours?”

We were princesses, yes, but we were more like that city than anything else. Pretending to be something we were not. We had nothing to inherent. We would never be queens. Not so long as uncle Cold lived. But I wasn’t complaining. This space cowboy life was much better than sitting around a table drinking wine all day and talking with family members that I detested.

Space was not so cold, and it was not so heavy. Polaria and I were by far the strongest warriors, so we led the pack. Slagg and his crew in their space suits cautiously followed us as we danced through shattered rock and zero gravity to our quarry. Fifteen or twenty thousand there were. We had two thousand. There would not be so many on either side once this was done.

The planet was gone, a lost cause. We were fighting for pride. The city came up on us quickly, like jagged broken teeth of some gargantuan monster. Where the other jaw was, we didn’t know, and I was glad we were not flying ourselves into a gaping mouth ready to eat us up. The lights in the skyscrapers blinked and faded and then turned back on. They looked more severe up close. They would not die. They were alive, those in the dead city.

The energy attacks came at us before we could see who was shooting them. They knew we were coming. We shot back. It was like water dancing, gliding effortlessly around the rocks and the energy. Daddy would have been proud. These aliens who had destroyed our planet were but a small host. Others were terrorizing different outposts on the edges of our empire. They would fall too if nothing was done. We knew this battle wouldn’t end that day. It wouldn’t get rid of all of our enemies.

Polaria released a massive energy cannon that could have shattered a planet in half. As it was, it merely pushed back their attacks. I followed up with an attack of my own. Slagg and his men were behind us, firing errant shots that would do no harm. They were fools, useless fools, that would be no good to us until they were face-to-face with our quarry.

“Hail, this way!” my sister shouted, and I followed. We lurched left as another salvo of energy came roaring soundlessly towards us, desperate to touch living flesh. We weren’t feeling so kind as to allow that. The next salvo aimed to the left, so we shot to the right, in perfect unison. Together, we flew through the storm of shots, never getting hit, never stopping. Our speed was blinding. Everything around me was a blur. I felt where I needed to go; I did not see. Sight was for the weak and for the slow.

By the time we landed on the surface of what once had been a planet, our energy attacks had already cleared a hole for us. We rolled forward, past aliens trying to kill us, into a crater of our own design. Polaria took the left. I took the right. The aliens were scrawny little things, like space-badgers but without the ambition. Their faces were gaunt below their alien suits, and their weapons were wild and massive, sometimes larger than the beings holding them. None could use ki on their own; it was all in the weapons. Their armor was like nothing I had ever seen before, like cardboard painted to look threatening.

They trained their rifles on us. Some shot automatic energy clusters, others let off focused bursts. Those were far more dangerous. One burst came flying towards me, and I tried to bat it aside. It didn’t budge. Instead, burning my hand and causing me to fall back was what it did best. Seeing how effective the attack was, the other aliens all stopped what they were doing and aimed their weapons at me. I was weaker now; I was an easy target. Their focus beams were so numerous and so bright, I could see nothing. I felt their heat. But I felt my sister’s arms around me first.

She pushed me aside, and we tumbled behind a building. “Where the hell is Slagg?!” Polaria yelled, punching a concrete wall. “Idiot. What does he think he’s here for?! We need covering fire if we want to get out of here!”

I looked around the corner and saw a wave of energy coming my way. I shot a death beam back at whoever shot it and quickly retreated behind cover that I knew wouldn’t last much longer. “What the hell are they even here for?! This planet’s dead. This city’s dead! It’s all dead! Why do they care?”

“Because, milady, we want the treasure.” Commander Slagg landed on the ground, wearing a broad smile. He didn’t seem to care that he was in a warzone. “This planet has power. Tricky power, I’ll admit, but power enough to fuel an empire. We just had to crack it open,” he said, gesturing about to the other fragments of the planet, slowly tumbling off in the sky like burning comets in reverse, “to get to it. Plutonium! Loads of it! It makes the best kind of fuel! Now I suppose, this is where ya’ll wanta be killin’ me, eh? Well that’s not why yer here. Yer here ta die, princesses.”

He raised his gun. I was too fast. I kicked it away from him. It released from his fingers and began floating upwards and away like a piece of the planet itself. The buildings around us flickered and shone. They would not die. “Why attack the other planets?!” I screamed. “Why betray us like this?!”

Slagg laughed at that. I went to punch him and he opened to speak: “Now, now, milady, don’t be rude. We only attacked the other outposts for fun. Chaos is necessary in such a big empire. Keeps it on its toes. Lets it know if it’s living or dying.” The buildings went dark for a moment, then their power came back in a deep pulse. “The Planet Trade Organization is too big for its own good. It’s time we declare it dead! Carve it up and spread the riches, I say. And I want me a big slice. That starts with you two dyin’.”

I kicked him hard in the chest, sending him flying back into wall. His soldiers were aiming at me, all two thousand of them, and the others who had already been on the planet had surrounded us. They aimed their rifles on me. With the two thousand loyalists on our side, we could have won that fight. But with everyone against us, Polaria and I had already lost.

“Come on, Hail! Don’t do it! Let’s go!” Polaria was pleading with me.

I knew what she meant. I could kill Slagg – I could get revenge for his betrayal. And I would die. The soldiers would stick me so full of energy that my body would burst and vaporize. Or I could run. The stars were above us. They would guide us home.

For a moment – a fraction of a twitch – I considered it. I considered Slagg’s life worth my own. And then I was racing into the black sky, energy nipping at my feet, soldiers screaming for my head. I joined my sister Polaria. Daddy had given us water dancing lessons when we had been little girls – as soon as we had learned how to swim. That had been years ago, so far back that remembering my younger self was like glimpsing into the life of someone I had never met. But we were grown now, trained masters of our craft. We danced then, for our lives and for our pride. Everything blurred together. I saw nothing but streaks of light. I closed my eyes and felt our movements as we shot through space. And as we traveled up and up towards oblivion and life, nothing seemed to matter anymore. The betrayals, the anxiety, the hate all fell away. I felt; I did not see; I did not care. The heartstrings of the universe itself were beating then, strong and low and deliberate. And for that brief moment, I could feel them.

Under the burning eyes of ancient stars, we slipped through the carcass of a planet. Below us, a dead city flickered with light and bled with life that sought our end. We were princesses, the blood of King Cold. We would not be killed by the dead.

Chapter XII: Merchant Warrior[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Puddin
Position: Personal guard to King Cold
Date of account: September 29, 753 Age

King Cold sat upon a marvelous throne wrought of gold and onyx. He was squeezed into the thing tightly, for even though it had great size, Cold was larger. He was a giant. Several steps below the king, on smaller thrones made of steel and silver, sat his two brothers, Icer and Arcterial. I did not know them well; they came to the palace only on those rare occasions when something important was about to happen. Icer was the youngest, a thin, watery-eyed ice demon. His skin was pale blue and bright red, and he always was seen wrapped in a dark cloak. Perhaps he was cold. Arcterial was almost as tall as the king. His skin was light purple and dark maroon and he had a grim look about him. Arcterial wore battle armor and regal purple robes and he never smiled. That is what I knew about them. I did not concern myself with their reputations or their power levels. I had been King Cold’s guard for almost ten years (and I’d been in the Planet Trade Organization for close to half a century). They didn’t frighten me. And even if they did, I wouldn’t let them know it.

When the far doors opened, all three brothers stood up and crossed their arms. They wanted to look imposing, after all. Our guest was rather important. He wore ash grey robes that seemed to glimmer with silver sparks as he walked. I remember his skin was white, like a corpse’s – except where his head fanned out like a rippled crescent moon above his forehead, where oranges and pinks and bright reds colored his flesh. His short pointed beard was black (as was the hair on his head), and his eyes were dark, wide, empty marbles. They seemed to see and unsee at the same time.

His name was Tychib Eshil, though I only knew him as Tychib at the time. He was an emissary of the Galactic Bank. He was a big deal. The Galactic Bank was the only other organization my king respected.

The emissary strode up to the foot of the steps and bowed. Whenever he moved, it seemed breathless and deliberate, like he was an animation, not a living being. I could feel my masters uncomfort while around him and shared in it. But I did not move save for my eyes. Being a guard meant not holding an opinion. We followed orders only. We didn’t feel much else. We tried not to.

“King Cold,” Tychib stated hollowly, bowing again. “It has been many years. You have tightened your security since I last visited you.”

“We had a mishap,” Arcterial replied, dryly. His eyes narrowed, but he betrayed no emotion aside from caution. It was best for him to remain vague, for it was Arcterial’s own son Glacial who had been responsible for the mishap. The foolish boy had tried to murder the king by poisoning his wine. It had been an embarrassing stain on the royal family’s history. We didn’t talk about it. We didn’t think about it. We were guards; we guarded and we obeyed. We did not think.

“Regrettable.” Tychib shook his head. “I do not wish to see any of you to come to harm. It would be most… unfortunate.”

King Cold was holding a glass of wine, and he took a hearty drink of the purple liquid inside it before speaking. “What do you need this time, Tychib?”

“The Galactic Bank has needs, your grace. Not Tychib. Tychib has no needs. He is only an avatar. An emissary of a greater good.”

“Oh, yes, yes, of course,” Cold muttered. “What does the bank need then?”

Tychib flashed a smile that was more intimidation than humor. “Money, your grace. The Planet Trade Organization’s debts are growing fast. We have become concerned.”

Arcterial thrust his chin up indignantly. “Is that all?! Why did you come here to tell us that? We’ll get you the money once–”

“That’ll do, Arcterial,” Cold said, raising his hand to silence his brother. He looked back to Tychib. “I have already told your people what happened. You’ll have your money once the war is over. But until it’s finished, there is nothing I can do.”

“The war?” Tychib asked.

Icer answered, “The Nikkarin Empire. A new threat. They’re attacking planets in the outer empire, destroying them before we can resell them on the galactic market. I sent my daughters to deal with them, but I have yet to hear back about if they were successful.”

“Doubtless they were. Do not fret, master Icer. Still, this Nikkarin Empire concerns the Galactic Bank. We were under the impression that the Planet Trade Organization is the largest and most powerful empire in the universe. That is why you are our number one client. If a new empire has been formed and you cannot deal with it…” Tychib tittered. “Perhaps we were mistaken in believing this organization is invincible.”

“We are!” Arcterial seethed. “They will be dealt with soon enough. We’ll conquer more planets and give you your damn money. Just be patient!”

Tychib smiled again. It looked like a dagger had cut a hole in his face. It was an unwilling gesture that felt alien on his face. It almost made me shiver. “Good. You have three years to repay the debts you have already incurred, including interest. Once that time is up, if you have not paid back your debts, the Galactic Bank will be forced to come collect them.”

“Will you?” King Cold looked unconcerned. He also looked to be drunk, which probably didn’t help matters. “How?”

Tychib’s teeth flashed white. “The Galactic Bank has many friends. We will see to our goals, no matter what. Every debt is paid. Every debt is collected, in the end.”

King Cold stared the smaller alien down for several seconds before breaking out into giggles. His laughter echoed through the huge throne room. There was no other sound for some time. “Hahahahaha… good one, Tychib,” Cold said before breaking his smile in an instant. “Now leave us.”

The Galactic Bank’s avatar bowed politely, turned, and walked out of the throne room. As soon as the huge wooden doors slammed shut behind him, King Cold threw his glass across the room. It shattered into a thousand glassy fragments not five feet from my feet.

“Who does he think he is?!”

Icer sat down on his throne and pondered deeply, as if he was trying to comprehend a funny taste in his mouth. “No one messes with the Galactic Bank. Not even us.”

“We could try,” Cold shrugged.

Icer did not let his small stature stop his bold words. “They control all commerce. Fighting them is suicide. It will destroy us. It will destroy our planet trading business. We must find a way to pay them back, as quickly as possible.”

Arcterial looked over at his brother. “You sent your daughters out there. What more can we do?”

“They have been gone for months without contacting me. It’s not normal. We must send a larger force out there to find them and eradicate the scum that calls themselves the Nikkarin Empire.”

King Cold rubbed his eyes. “I’m tired of all this nonsense. First we have space pirates, then that Aphotic Prince fellow, and now this? When will it end?”

Icer cleared his throat. “Not so long as we exist, brother. As long an empire as big as ours exists, there will be those who try to destroy it or leech off of it. But the Nikkarin Empire is doing much more damage than the others. They are destroying our conquered planets and erasing our profits.”

“Then deal with them, Icer,” Cold said warmly. “Take Frieza and Nitro with you. They should have enough men to take on the Nikkarins. I want our foes wiped out completely.”

Icer nodded. “As you wish.” He raised his fist into the air and roared, “For the Planet Trade Organization!”

King Cold raised his hand in mocking fashion, holding an invisible glass and toasting the air. His eyes rolled and he yawned.

Arcterial shook his head. “It’s still not enough. That man came in here and disrespected us. How can we stand for that? We rule this galaxy! We need to send the Galactic Bank a message. We need to show them who they’re dealing with.”

King Cold laughed. “Very well, brother. You really want this Tychib dead, don’t you? So let’s make it happen.” He sat up and looked around as if for his favorite beach ball. “You there! Guards!” We bristled into attention. “Good. Run as fast as you can and catch Tychib. Once you have found him, kill him. Then bring Arcterial his head. Go!”

We ran. King Cold might have seen it as a throwaway order, a sort of joke, but to us it was gospel. It was all we lived for. We were trained for this. Icer was no doubt arguing with King Cold about how suicidal this was, but we couldn’t think about that. We just ran. We ran down the halls, past other soldiers, some in armor and some not, to the hangar bay. There, we saw Tychib striding just out of sight behind the wing of a ship. We sprinted after him. Turning around the corner, we saw him approach a small triangle-shaped transport and click a button on his belt to cause its hatch door to pop open. He was about to enter it when I yelled out.

“Wait! Stop!”

He turned around without emotion. Looking us over, I saw his eyebrows contort into a frown for a millisecond and then his face was blank again. “Come to walk me to my ship, guards? You are a bit late, I am afraid. This one is mine.”

“No,” I replied, glancing back to the half-dozen elites behind me. “We’ve come to kill you.”


His movements were unseeable, unexplainable. One moment, he was standing before us, the next, Tychib appeared next to a guard and punched him in the spleen. We began warming ki blasts in our palms. We didn’t need guns. We weren’t green.

He moved forward with lag, his figure splitting into fragments of time. When he reached another guard, he held his arm out like he was choking my comrade, and then he snapped his fingers together and the alien’s throat exploded in a mess of purple gore. We fired. We missed.

He moved in front of another guard and created a cyan-colored ki blast in his hands. Then, he threw it forward. Before the guard could move, Tychib teleported behind him and elbowed the alien into his blast. The explosion knocked all of us off our feet. I saw the guard nearest the explosion get covered in a bit of the cyan attack and start melting before my eyes. He was dead before I could stand back up. I saw Tychib dart past me and I swung a wild fist at him. As he ran up to the next soldier and decapitated him with a simple chopping swipe to the neck, I angled an energy ball his way. He deflected it into a nearby ship, causing it to vaporize in white light. I was on my back again. There was fire in the hangar bay, smoke everywhere. I found it quickly getting very, very hot and quite hard to breathe.

Tychib looked at me and strode up to my last comrade who had also been knocked over by the blast. He calmly placed his hand’s on the alien’s neck and then snapped it. We were two then.

“Do it then! Get it over with!” I coughed as smoke billowed around me. My scouter was cracked, but it was not broken. It had never spiked. Tychib’s power level had stayed at 200 the entire time. He was defying reality; he was a ghost. I knew it was hopeless. It was a game he was playing – some kind of trick. I didn’t like tricks. They always ended in death. At that moment Tychib smiled.

“Why did you attack me?”

“Nothing personal. Orders.”

“That is unfortunate. I thought your king was a better man than that. Attacking a peaceful avatar is a grievous crime. A terrible lapse of judgment on his part.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“I could depose him. The Galactic Bank has more avatars than King Cold has family members. We would win. We are stronger.”

“I don’t believe you,” I shouted hoarsely. The smoke was overcoming me. I had to get away from it. I was choking on the air. The fire had spread from the first ship to another and now the entire bay was about to go up in flames. I had to get out of there. Tychib did too. His ship would be destroyed if he didn’t move soon. I don’t think he would want to be stranded with us. Despite this, he didn’t seem to be in a hurry. He cocked his head and silently shrugged to my last statement and then stared me down like death.

“What are you waiting for?!”

“I am waiting to see if you will flee the flames or let yourself be consumed.”

“I ain’t dying here.”

“That makes two of us. Go back to your king and tell him that we will forget this petty hostility if he does. A war between the Galactic Bank and the Planet Trade Organization is not ideal. Your king is our best-paying client. We do not wish to lose him. Tell him, yes? War ruins more than just one’s ego. Our war will bring horror of a magnitude the universe is not yet ready to bear.”

“Yeah, whatever. I’ll let him know,” I growled, standing up. The fire was warming the room, and it was getting closer. I had to leave. Tychib needed to as well. He smiled at me once more. I was struck then with the thought that he had never been able to smile on his own – it was a learned feature, a technique like all of the ones he had used to butcher my comrades. He could not smile naturally. I shivered, even in that heat, and then I ran out of there as fast as I could.

I didn’t know then how King Cold would take the news. He could have very well killed me for failing to assassinate Tychib. I didn’t want to die. It’s why I had run from that hangar in the first place. The flames were hot, the fires were burning everything. And, like Tychib, I did not want to be caught in the inferno. I ran. I didn’t return to my master. I wasn’t a guard anymore. I didn’t feel like one. I had failed my master. I had failed myself. I felt then the tiredness that is freedom. So I ran; I ran out of there as fast as I could, away from the fire and the death. I didn’t turn back.

King Cold thought I died with all the rest. That’s the only reason I didn’t.

Chapter XIII: Blood and Honor[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Lychin
Position: Governor in Frieza's empire
Date of account: November 2, 753 Age

Planet Atjoh was truly breathtaking. Its floating cities hung like ornaments in a baby blue sky. They were lush, garden-islands that floated above the surface of Atjoh, beautiful examples of combining nature with society. Buildings were few and far between, and those which could be seen were often covered in the green and black and purple plants that grew on this world. Others were built around or out of trees. And the very air had a sweet fragrance to it, though skiffs and hovercraft whizzed about the open sky like gnats. I had never seen anything like this before. I only wish we could have been able to visit this place in a more peaceful circumstance. But, no. Lord Avalan had brought me here to watch a fellow officer face his death in a trial by combat. Well, he wasn’t an officer anymore so much as he was our prisoner.

With me, one other governor stood, his arms crossed and his face seemingly stuck in a perpetual state of lividity. I don’t think he was mad, but that is how he looked. In all likelihood, he was probably enjoying the planet as much as I was. It was only by chance that we were here anyway. Our prisoner had been apprehended only two light years away. Atjoh was the nearest world. I remember thinking it lucky that we were so near a beautiful world. We could have easily landed on a cesspool instead. I counted my blessings.

“There won’t be a trial?” the other governor asked gruffly.

Lord Avalan laughed breathlessly and his entire body shook like a tree in a storm. “No, no, no. No trial. Are you crazy?! He’s guilty. He’s confessed.”

“Still,” the other governor pressed, “standard procedure is supposed to be followed. This man comes from a noble bloodline. He cannot just be–”

“A noble? He’s a traitor! A dog! He was working with the Aphotic Prince. He needs to bleed for it. Blood! That’s what I want to see! That’s justice!”

The other governor clicked his teeth and shook his head. “He may have betrayed you for the Aphotic Prince, but he’s not stupid. He only confessed because he thought he would get a trial… not this.”

“He’s guilty,” Avalan stated. “He deserves this for working for that space pirate scum. He was caught red-handed. What more do want from me? I called both of you here. That’s more than you deserve, if I think about it. I’m your superior. You can’t tell me what to do.”

“No, we can’t. We are just here to observe,” I said.

Avalan tittered and grinned devilishly. “Father will be so proud of me once he learns what I’ve done here.” Avalan walked forward and looked to the sky awkwardly, as if he was posing for some unseen camera. Neither of us reacted to it. “Yes, father was always so… preoccupied with Polaria and Hail. My sisters are good girls, of course, but they know how to get on father’s good side. That’s why he likes them more than me. But I’m smarter than them. I must remind father who his favorite child is.”

Avalan was quite fond of his father, Icer. He looked more like his cousin Frieza than he did his father or his sisters Polaria and Hail. And he wasn’t a warrior like them. He was a wispy, frail, malformed creature and I did not like to look at him. It made me feel ill, like I was staring at a living disease. His arms were stunted and looked broken; his head was misshapen and covered in growths; his eyes were two different sizes and colors (one purple, one yellow). He was a freak. But he was the son of Icer, who was the brother of King Cold, the ruler of our Planet Trade Organization. I was forced to respect him.

He turned around and clapped his gnarled hands with a maniacal gesture. “Come on, come on! Bring him out!”

They brought out the prisoner then. His face was covered by a hood and his arms and legs were tightly bound by energy chains. His body was covered in cuts and bruises, and he was limping. Those wounds were courtesy of Avalan’s guards, no doubt. When they had found the officer, they must have given him a bit of their lord’s justice in advance. The guards dragged him through the vibrantly-green grass, past the trees, and dropped him into a twenty-foot-deep pit of sand. It was the size of a small house, but it looked uncomfortable and dead, a small blemish on the otherwise living planet. Once he hit the ground, the guards deactivated his energy bindings, and the prisoner sat up and tore off his hood.

Now you may be wondering why Avalan had brought two governors along to watch a traitor’s trial by combat. I mean, it seems weird, doesn’t it? Traitors are captured every day and executed like this and no one makes a fuss about it. This time was different for a few reasons. For one, our prisoner – Loquano was his name, if I recall – came from a wealthy family and was a decorated officer in the Planet Trade Organization. His defecting to the Aphotic Prince’s space pirate empire was a huge blow to our empire. And the second reason was that he was a Faerin. As was I. As was the other governor present.

“Hello. I am Governor Guva. And you are?” the other governor asked as he walked up to shake my hand. We hadn’t formally met yet, and the trial was about to start. So I shook his hand back.

“Governor Lychin. Nice to meet you.”

I had not known of Guva before that day. In the coming years, he would distinguish himself as a governor and become one of the very best in Cooler’s region. It’s a pity that this was the first of only two times we met face-to-face. We were called from different regions of the Planet Trade Organization simply to watch this trial to make sure it was fair for the sake of our empire and for the sake of Loquano’s parents. Loquano being a traitor risked ruining his family’s reputation and causing their noble status to be revoked. We had to make sure that would not happen without knowing Loquano was guilty. Guva wanted a trial – an actual (and quite boring) trial with prosecutors and defendants and witnesses. But Loquano had confessed when he had been apprehended, and his Leqiri pirate crew had confirmed that they were being employed by the Aphotic Prince. The facts were plain as day. There was little for us to do then, but watch. I don’t think Guva cared enough to press the issue, either.

It was no secret that the Faereth were the most powerful species in the Planet Trade Organization, aside from King Cold’s own, of course. Before we had been conquered, our species had created a bustling intergalactic empire. It was only after Cooler had appeared and had decimated our forces that we had surrendered and had been absorbed into his legions. Still, our species was the wealthiest of all the servant species, and we controlled many of the governorships and high-ranking offices in this empire. Only the Faereth could get Avalan to stay the execution of one of their kind for a few days to allow impartial governors to assess the situation. It was an extraordinary circumstance. Avalan was a prince, yet even he was bound to the customs and concerns of the Faereth.

“He’s guilty, isn’t he?” I asked Guva. It was only a question because I was trying to be polite. We both knew the answer.

Guva nodded and sighed, burying his knuckles in his wrinkled forehead. I knew his pain. He wanted a fair trial for Loquano, as pointless as that would be. It would make the whole situation look better, though it wouldn’t change Loquano’s guilt whatsoever. What was to happen to Loquano would not go over well with the other Faereth, even if Loquano was truly guilty. This would cause strife, political unrest. We didn’t need that right now, not with the Aphotic Prince and the Nikkarin Empire trying to break us apart. An empire can only withstand so many blows before it shatters.

Avalan smiled down at Loquano who stood in the pit below him. “They say the Atjohnian spitting crab is a vegetarian by nature.” He spun around and smiled at us and his guards. “Well aren’t we all?” We didn’t laugh. “Anyway, the crab has to be taught how to… appreciate the taste of flesh. But you can’t just throw a bunch of rats in there and expect it to start eating them. No, you have to wean the crab. A little blood in his food one day, a slice of meat the next… and soon, the crab forgets what it once was…” he grinned and snapped his deformed fingers. A guard ran forward with a round silver plate in his hands. Avalan plucked a raw slab of flesh off of it. I couldn’t tell what animal it came from, though judging by how fresh it was, it must have been native. “Slowly, but surely, the crab starts to eat the meat. I couldn’t blame him… if all of his other food is taken away, he’s bound to get hungry. Get desperate. He starts to eat the meat. He starts to like it. And then, before you know it, it’s all he wants. He ignores the plants he used to eat. He wants meat. He gets more desperate now that he craves it. He has to have it at any cost. He’s always hungry.”

Avalan tossed the bit of meat into the pit. It landed and caked itself in the sand on the far end, just in front of a barred entrance to some unseen area coming out of the wall of the pit. A few seconds later, something whistled from back there in the dark, and then the monster came running forward. It burst through the wooden barricades, out into the open, and tore at the piece of meat.

Loquano looked at it and roared, “If I kill it, I can go free?! Yes?!”

Avalan nodded gravely. “I promise.”

Guva moved forward and then looked down at Loquano with gim eyes. “Loquano! Strength and honor. See this fight to its end.”

Loquano nodded and rushed the spitting crab. It is hard for me to describe the beast, for I had never seen anything like it before. It had eight legs and two massive claws. It was covered in some kind of orange-and-green organic armor, too. Its size reminded me of the gralibara on my homeworld (though, for those unfamiliar with gralibaras, I’ll say the crab was about the size of a single-manned space fighter). It had too many eyes to count, a mouth as broad as Loquano’s shoulders, and when it saw him, it shot green liquid at him from its slit of a mouth. He dodged the attack and ran at the beast. It tried to snap him in half with its claws, but he was too fast, jumping over it and landing in the sand just behind it. As the creature scuttled around to find its prey, Loquano warmed up a pink energy ball in his hand. He ran towards the beast with it and, ducking out of the way of a few jabs, aimed the energy at the crab’s left claw. The attack connected and severed the appendage with a small explosion. The spitting crab howled in pain and spat at Loquano. He dodged again, but a bit of the stuff got on his right arm and began burning through the flesh.

He screamed and fell to his knees. I knew that Loquano would not have been hit had he been in perfect health. Avalan had kept him in chains with little food and water since the capture, not to mention the physical beatings Avalan’s guards had given the pirate when they had found him. I was amazed he could even form ki at this point. I guess having your life at risk made it easier.

Avalan watched this with hunger in his eyes. Guva watched by sipping on a synthetic vegetable shake. He offered me one, but I declined it. I didn’t have an appetite. I wondered how both of them did.

The crab used that moment to rush forward and pin Loquano below it. It poked its remaining claw at the man, tearing open a large bloody gash on one of his shoulders. He squirmed to get free, creating an explosive wave to push the spitting crab back. It howled in pain and anger as its armor charred and blackened from the attack. Staggering up to meet it, though, was Loquano. He ran up to the crab, and as it reached for him with its claw, he conjured up ki around him and punched the claw so hard it exploded into meaty fragments. The crab hissed and fell back, opening and closing its mouth, but its last defense was gone. It could do little more than look at Loquano as the man then rushed under it and shot a purple beam of energy upwards. The crab exploded and died in a fiery flash of light. When that settled, Loquano collapsed to his knees, felt his burnt arm gingerly, and stared up at his captors. We stared back silently.

“Well…?! Is that it?” Loquano’s voice was hoarse.

Avalan didn’t look discouraged at all. In fact, he was pacing around the edge of the pit, flashing his teeth as he laughed heartily. What was so funny, none of us knew. Guva and I exchanged a look. Best we kept it to that.

“Done, done, done! Well done!” Avalan broke into hysterics again. He almost collapsed he was laughing so hard. “It’s amazing how when we fight for our lives, some of us want it more than others. You want to live, don’t you?”

“I’m not ready to die. I want to return home for a real trial.” Perhaps he thought that if he returned home, his parents or some of the other Faereth nobles would be able to shield him from the Planet Trade Organization’s wrath. They could make him disappear and we would never be able to find him again. Loquano was only trying to survive, after all; he had confessed simply so that Avalan’s guards would not have killed him when they had found him. Maybe he had offered to give them information about his pirate lord as well. But I don’t think he expected the trial by combat. Still, he was holding on to some small hope that he could get a real trial. Hope is a foolish thing, really.

“Oh, you silly pirate. You’ve already confessed!” Avalan cackled. “Bind him,” he said to his guards, his humor instantly evaporating. I nearly jumped seeing Avalan change emotions so quickly. Where once was a man having a fit of laughter now stood one who was unmoving and staring down his prisoner with a quiet rage. The grotesque always look imposing when they stare.

Loquano’s bindings turned back on, wrapping themselves around his wrists and ankles and causing him to fall to the ground. He struggled to stand up. He looked up at Avalan, who was standing just over him, on the edge of the pit. Avalan took a flask of something from his hip and unscrewed its cap. Then, he poured its liquid all over Loquano below.

Spitting out the sticky, clear liquid, Loquano looked back up at us. “Huh?! What is this?!”

Avalan bit his lip. He looked quite serious. “What all traitors deserve.”

Then, Avalan dropped the flask and took a match out of his pocket. He lit it on his wrist guard and then dropped the burning flame onto the Faerin below him. In an instant, Loquano went up in flames. He began to scream and roll about in the sand next to the remains of the crab, but nothing he did could put the fire out. How he moved then, how he screamed – I will never forget it. I still wake up sometimes, late in the night, and hear Loquano's scream loud and clear, the terror of it compelling me into lucidity. It was a scream of a man who was not ready to die, who knew he was dying, and who could do nothing about it. He screamed until he was no longer alive. And we watched in silence as he screamed his last breath. Avalan’s eyes danced as they reflected the flames they had started; Guva watched passively whilst sipping his drink. And I could do no more than either of them as I watched Loquano burn. There would be repercussions for this, justice or not, and we would all have to face them. The Aphotic Prince would learn of this and have his revenge. My people, the Faereth, would not let this issue go away quietly, despite Guva and I coming to watch the trial. They would say that Loquano should have had trial, no matter his guilt, no matter the pointlessness of such a venture. Emotion clouds reason, and I knew it would do so for all parties.

Avalan may have thought he had killed a traitor that day, but what he had truly done was woken a sleeping giant he could have never dreamt existed. And Guva and I watched it happen. He did not stop it. Instead, we turned our eyes from the burning corpse to the floating cities around us and marveled at their beauty.

Chapter XIV: Those Who Survive[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Gadon
Position: Slave in Frieza's empire
Date of account: July 14, 754 Age

Passed down to you by Gadon, son of Brakk.

I watched the day turn to night from the roof of our Planet Trade Organization dormitory. Dusk was when the Kalkara came out to feed – they are little lizards with wings to those who do not know. I envied the Kalkara. They were free to buzz in the air and catch bugs at their own whims. It was not so with my people.

We were slaves. The Planet Trade Organization made it so. I do not know when it happened – my people only speak of it in vague whispers – but it was many years ago. My father and his father were both born into this slavery just like me. We do not remember much of the before times, only that there were before times. We were not always slaves.

The Planet Trade Organization kept us in small compounds, fenced in and surrounded by guard towers. We were not free to move about on our own planet. Where we could move about was a small enclosure where we were fed and slept and worked. I glanced over to our workplace – a collection of rocks we were mining for materials. I do not know what they were or what our captors used them for, but they seemed to want their materials very badly. We were worked all day and often times into the night. Scarcely were we allowed to sleep or eat or rest or even talk amongst ourselves. Those who slacked off were shot. Those who rebelled were shot. We were not strong enough to fight back.

My empty belly ached as I watched the Kalkara feed. Our alien masters never fed us enough, never let us sleep enough. We were always weak and tired. Perhaps that was why we could never rebel. I sighed and looked to the night’s sky, the many stars twinkling in the deep black. How many other homes had been taken over by this Planet Trade Organization? How many were free? I prayed to the gods that they would free us again and let us be like those who had never met the scourge of the Planet Trade Organization.

I hopped off the roof and walked to my dorm to sleep when out from the nearby bushes came a figure. “Oy! Gadon!” I was not afraid, for those who knew my name were friends; our masters did not think it acceptable for slaves to have names at all. “Come here! Look what I’ve found!”

It was my friend, Murak. He had a bundle of what looked to be clothes in his hands. Yet when he showed it to me, by the light of a nearby torch, I saw it was something far more valuable. My face flushed with horror and jubilation together.

“How did you find these?!” I whispered in shock.

Murak smiled. “My sister sees a guard every three nights.” I knew what that meant and did not shame my friend by enquiring further. “During their meeting earlier this night, she was able to steal his key to the armory. I do not think he know it is gone yet, but we must move fast if we want to use this to our advantage.”

He was beaming, but I could see the sweat on his brow. This was what we wanted, but it would not be easy. We would lose many of our kind tonight. I nodded gravely and looked at what he held in his hands – a set of Planet Trade Organization armor and an energy blaster attachment. With the weapons, we would be able to fight our alien masters, I knew. But we would need the element of surprise to win the conflict. We were not soldiers like them, but we were motivated in a way they would never be.

“How many sets are in the armory?” I asked.

Murak counted on his fingers. “One hundred… two hundred… maybe more, I don’t know. But we will need to move fast. The aliens do not keep guards there at night. They think the locked door is good enough. But we will not be able to enter the building during the day. Their guards will be more numerous when the sun comes up.”

“It is known,” I replied. “I will wake the others, as many able-bodied men and women as we have.”

“May the gods give you the swiftest speed, my friend,” Murak replied, and then retreated into the bushes again.

I did not wait to see him go. I was already running back to the dormitories. Under the cover of night, the guards would not notice me. They were probably sleeping anyway. Rebellions had not occurred in many years – not since before I was born. The masters were content. Too content.

I woke the others and told them the good news. Many were skeptical that we would be able to defeat our captors, but others still knew that we would never be free if we did not try. Many would die, we knew, but many more would live if we were successful. It was worth the risk. I took most of the adults and adolescents with me, leaving only the sick, old, young, and maimed. We would take back our freedom that night. I was so caught up in the moment, that I barely realized that but a few moments before, I had been hopelessly staring at the sky wondering how my life would turn out. Now, the gods had answered and we could not disappoint them.

Murak was waiting at the armory already wearing a set of armor. When he saw us coming, he stopped what he was doing and helped us into our suits. The armor was not heavy, but it was awkward, and we struggled to move in it. None of us had ever used energy weapons before, but we could not test how they worked, as that would wake the guards. We would only be able to try when we attacked. It was a risk, but a necessity too.

After everyone was suited up, we split into small groups and moved across the compound. Some would take out the guards in the towers, others would split up and go to the many dormitories that housed the aliens themselves. I was part of a group that went into the dormitories. Mine consisted of a dozen or so warriors, including myself and my father.

There was a sleeping guard sitting on a wooden chair under a light. As the Kalkara fed in the skies above, I silently moved forward and snapped his neck. Taking his key, I unlocked the door and we moved inside without a sound. Most of the soldiers were sleeping in bunks, but there was light coming from behind a closed door on the far side of the room. The others took positions over the sleeping aliens and I moved forward to the door. Pressing my ear to the wood, I heard a voice coming from the others side:

“I have already sent all the men I can spare! Any more, and I won’t have enough soldiers to keep this group of slaves in check!” The alien was talking with someone, for he would pause for a few moments and then speak again. I could not hear who he was talking to. “No, no, no! The Nikkarins aren’t in this region. Lord Icer himself sent me a message assuring me that we were safe…! Hold on, what do you mean? Are you sure?! The radar could be malfunctioning…” There was fear suddenly in the alien’s voice, choking him in the throat and making his speech hard and forced. “I’ll send out a distress signal. Lord Icer’s forces are nearby. Surely… surely they’ll be able to protect us. The Nikkarins can’t possibly stand up to Icer, can they?!”

I didn’t know who the Nikkarins were or why this made the alien so mad, but I was growing impatient. I placed my hand on the doorknob and slowly opened it. Yet as I pushed the door forward, it creaked, causing the alien inside to jump. He was sitting at a desk on the far side of the room, but as soon as he heard the sound, he jumped up and spun around to face me.

“What the… who goes there?!” He roared. Then, he saw my face and his eyes grew wide as saucers. “How did you get in here, slave? And where did you get that armor?!”

“I am no one’s slave,” I replied, coolly.

I raised the energy blaster and aimed it at the alien. I pressed the first button on my wrist pad and nothing happened. He charged me and slammed me to the floor, trying to pin me. I struggled against him, but I was too weak. I was no soldier; I was not prepared for close combat. As the man choked me, I stretched my fingers and pressed the second button. Still nothing. I began gasping for air. I could hear screams behind me – the sounds of energy blasts. The rebellion was in full effect. We were killing them. And they were killing us. Not all the screams were alien.

The alien commander continued to press down on my neck. I could see his bloodshot eyes not an inch away from my own face. He was breathing hard, sweating profusely. There was fear and rage mixed in his eyes in a vicious way. I reached out my free hand again and tried to press another button. But he was so strong, so powerful that I could barely move. There was no air in my lungs. I felt my body begin to seize up as I suffocated. It was too much. Everything felt heavy. I reached out my fingers as far as I could. It felt like my arm was being ripped from its socket. And then, I felt the third button and pressed down.

A white light covered the room and I heard a screaming so severe it made my ears ring. The alien’s face melted before me and his death groans soon stopped. As his body went limp and fell backwards, I pushed myself away from the corpse and gasped for breaths of air. The coldness made my raw throat sting, but I did not care. I gulped down breath after breath until I felt lightheaded. Then, I stood up and turned around. Behind me, I saw bodies on the floor, more dark shapes fighting with one another. There was a fire coursing its way through the dormitory. People were shouting and screaming. It was chaos. I saw my father engaged with a soldier who was not using an energy gun, but was shooting energy out of his hands as if it were magic! I could not believe my eyes!

“Father!” I heard my voice shout. He turned to look at me.

“Gadon! Get out of here!”

I would do no such thing. As my father traded energy shots with the alien from behind half-broken beds, I saw the fire raging towards them. There was little time. Making my way through the chaos, ducking under energy attacks flying this way and that, I approached the alien. I saw him shoot at my father and then duck behind cover and knew that was my chance. As he hid, I sprinted towards him. When he popped up again, I shot an energy blast at him. The alien noticed me and rolled out of the way, dodging the attack and closing the distance between us. Before I could blink, he was on me. I tried to aim at him again, but he caught my arm just as the energy was about to fire again and snapped it to the left. The energy left my wrist port on its own accord and flew where I had never dreamt it would – directly at my father.

My father was an older man, well past his prime. His bones were beginning to grow sore and stiff, and he was not as nimble as he once had been. So when the attack came roaring his way unexpectedly, my father could not get out of the way in time. He saw it coming, but could do nothing about it. My attack hit him squarely in the chest. He fell to his knees, gasping in shock, smoke rising from his fresh blackened wound.

“No!!!” I screamed, tears pouring down my face with such force that I could barely see. “Father!!”

“Shut up, slave,” the alien who had me in his grasp said. “You’ll be joining him soon enough.”

I tried to fight, but it was no use. He was stronger than me. I felt my left arm break as the alien snapped it back further. Then, he grasped me around the neck with a hand that was covered in energy. I felt my neck heat up and begin to burn. I would have screamed again if I had a voice.

Then, out of nowhere, the alien stumbled and let go. I saw white energy fly towards him and hit him in the side of the face. His eyes bulged and he coughed, limping forward. He turned to see who had shot him and was met with a second shot to the chest. The alien stood there for a moment, after absorbing the attacks, and just groaned in pain. Then a third attack came and hit him in the neck, and he fell backwards. I saw the light leave his eyes as his body fell past me. I looked over to see who had shot him and beheld my father. He was on his knees, deathly white, barely breathing, but his blaster was raised and smoking and I knew it had been him who had saved me. I got up, ignoring the pain in my broken arm and ran for him.

“Father! Father! I am so sorry! I-I don’t… I don’t…” I didn’t know what say when I reached him. I took him in my arms and stuttered again, but no coherent words were formed. He only looked at me and smiled.

“Gadon…” he said in a weak voice. “go! Help our people find the freedom I never knew.”

“No, father! I must save you.”

He smiled again and closed his eyes. “Don’t be stupid, my son. It’s too late for me.”

My father shuddered and then fell backwards. I tried to catch him, but he was gone. The fires were raging forward. I glanced over at the others already consumed and knew there was no hope for them. There was no hope for my father either. He was gone. I could only help the living. So, brushing the tears from my face, I stood up and ran out of that cursed building.

Outside, chaos was equal. There was more fighting going on here between my people and those who had enslaved us. But we were more numerous than them. I saw as my people began to isolate each alien and then concentrate fire on them. They died like all the rest. The compound was burning. The fires were raging beyond the buildings into the open area. I ran forward and helped several others shoot open a hole in the fence for us to escape. Many were piling through, including those who had not taken part in the battle – the children and the old and weak. We were escaping and the guards could not stop us. I stayed back and watched as more and more of the aliens were killed until there were none left – at least none I could see. Smoke and fire began to overwhelm the compound, but still I stood at the edge of the fence waiting for everyone to get through.

“Murak!” I cried. “Where are you?! Murak!”

There was no answer for a while, save for the steady roar of the flames. And then, Murak came, leading a small group of warriors. They were retreating towards me, engaged in a firefight with several aliens, perhaps the last of our slavers. I watched as they traded shots and ran forward to help. Murak saw me and beamed.

“Gadon! Help us deal with these rats!”

“Gladly, my friend.”

I raised my wrist weapon with the help of my undamaged hand and aimed it at the enemies ahead when, at once, a large boom rattled through the sky. Then, there was a second boom, and a third, and a fourth. They were so loud, they knocked us to our feet. I gasped and felt my teeth rattle as more and more booms exploded across the air. Looking up, I saw, to my horror, ships entering the night sky. They did not look like the Planet Trade Organization ships I had seen carrying our mined materials away from the planet. They were more angular, pointed, dark. Soon, they began to descend towards us and I felt fear in my heart, a sinking feeling that made me sick. Somehow I knew those ships were not here to save us.

Murak’s group and the aliens sat up, not looking up at the sky. Instead, they focused on each other again and traded shots. Several of my people were hit and killed, while a few of the aliens were hit as well. No one noticed the ships coming towards us. I would have said something if I had known what to say. But I was frozen in fear.

The ships came down to just above the complex and I saw red energy begin to form across their hulls. I did not know what that meant until, a mere moment later, they fired their attacks our way. The red energy was so massive that each shot demolished entire buildings. I stood up and flung myself backwards as I saw an energy blast coming our way. Murak and the others looked up just in time to see the attack bearing down upon them. I heard shouts of dismay for only a moment, and then the energy consumed them in a great fiery explosion. I did not look to see it. I simply ran.

The whole world was on fire. More booms were detonating across the sky, and more explosions were ravaging the surface, but still I ran until I came upon those among my people who had escaped into the forest. They were few, and mostly the old and sick and young. I was tired and wounded myself. But I remembered the words of my father – “Help our people find the freedom I never knew”. I would not disappoint my father or the gods who had given us this chance. I knew then I would not let us become slaves again. Whatever this new group was who was attacking the Planet Trade Organization, I did not want to meet them. I did not want to become a slave again. Their fight was not our fight. They could take each other out for all I cared. Instead, I stood before what remained of my people and told them that I would never stand for us to be in shackles again. I would lead us to freedom. And so I did. That night, under the stars and feeding Kalkara, I took what remained of us deep into the jungle, far away from the slaver’s compound and the black ships. The road was long and treacherous and painful, but it was a road of our own choosing. It was what we had always wanted, and what we had fought for. It was the road to freedom, and that is why I am here to tell you this tale today.

So says Gadon, son of Brakk.

Chapter XV: The Brother of My Brother[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Arcterial
Position: King Cold's younger brother; Ruling Lord
Date of account: April 2, 755 Age

Their ears were collected in piles too numerous to count. Many rose together as mountains, towering over all else. There must have been thousands of them. I drew my cape about me and stepped forward. Ahead of me, standing alone and silent between several piles of flesh, was my brother.

“Icer!” My voice was a violent puff of fog in that cold air. “Icer!” He scant heard me, or if he did, he made it seem as if he had not. I yelled again, but he did not answer. Only when I came upon him, reached out my hand, and touched his shoulder, did he move.

“What?! Who’s there?” Icer shouted, glancing about with those ice water eyes of his. When he saw me, his face relaxed and seemed to warm a bit in that cold air. “Oh, it’s you brother. I didn’t realize you would be coming.”

“I heard the Nikkarin General was here. The one they called the Smiling Demon.”

Icer bit his tongue and laughed quietly. “He was. But look at this madness,” my brother whispered, spreading his hands to the mounds of bloody ears around us. “That madman is probably in here somewhere.”

“Who gave the order?” I asked, stiffly.

“Frieza,” Icer sighed. “I imagine he’s as fed up with the Nikkarins as we are. But he’s young. Impatient. Foolish.”

“Is he still here?”

“No. I sent him to another system under attack.”


“Is it?” Icer asked me suddenly, spinning around to face me. His watery eyes sparkled like pools of water reflecting the sun’s light. He looked ill, thin, scared. “He knows we aren’t his father. He knows we can’t tell him what to do.”

I nodded. Frieza had become irate when he had learned he had been placed under our command out here. His own father had willed it – Cold had ordered his two younger brothers to take his sons Nitro and Frieza and use them to eradicate the Nikkarins. Nitro, being the youngest son, was easy enough to boss around. But Frieza was spoiled, his father’s favorite. He was not inclined to listen. Hell, he considered himself our superior. There was no way he liked taking orders from us.

We stood amongst the freezing severed ears for a long while, just the two of us. Our guards were miles away, attending to other matters. The time was perfect to bring up something I had long thought – something I had harbored inside me like a pearl in the shell I called my heart. I knew I had to bring it up with Icer. We were alone; it was perfect. But it was no easier to form the words than to look at the rotting flesh of so many thousands of dead Nikkarins.

“He will jeopardize our organization,” Icer spoke without warning, breaking our long silence. “It’s only a matter of time before he costs us dearly.”

“Frieza is young. He will need to learn to respect his elders. We know much more than he does, regardless of how strong he fancies himself.”

“Not Frieza… our brother. Our king.” Icer’s words were careful and quiet and barely audible on that cold day. No one else would have been able to hear him aside from me. Still, my brother’s face flushed with fear and boldness alike. “Cold will lead us to ruin.”

It was relief that then hit me crisp in the face like a fresh snowball. I had meant to bring up the same thing to Icer. For a moment, I didn’t speak, simply blinking and processing what he had said to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. I didn’t want to pursue treason rashly.

“You think so?” I said after a long while, not yet betraying my hand.

“I know it,” Icer said, his eyes as wide as moons. “He doesn’t know how big of a threat these Nikkarins are. He sits on his comfy throne back home getting drunk and feasting all day. He doesn’t know what is really going on in his empire!”

I decided to play devil’s advocate. “He sent two of his sons out here to deal with them. I think he considers the Nikkarins a grave threat.”

“No! If he did, he’d have all of his forces out here, including himself. The only way we can destroy such a large foe is by overwhelming them. Otherwise, we’ll be at this war all our lives. This battle here,” he motioned again to the bloody ears, “is nothing. Winning or losing this worthless planet didn’t matter. The Nikkarins have millions of soldiers.”

“Then we shall crush them in our brother’s name and restore the power of our empire.”

“It’s too late for that…” Icer spit. “Too late. The universe has seen us take our wound. They know we aren’t invincible. There will be more rebellions.”

“There already have been,” I pointed out. “The Aphotic Prince, for one.”

Icer tuned pale and snarled. “He is nothing! Not a concern!”

I frowned. “You’re wrong, Icer. He’s going to be a major thorn in our side as time goes on. Cooler sent his best warrior Digranite to assassinate him, and he couldn’t lay a finger on the Prince. Digranite’s one of the strongest warriors in our entire army. Does that not concern you?”

Icer bit his lip and I saw the skin around it rage red with worry. “My son… Avalan… he killed the Prince’s most important servant. A Faerin named Loqano. That has the Aphotic Prince’s network in total disarray. He won’t be able to challenge us again for a long while.”

My brother looked to be in pain as he said those words, almost as if he didn’t like the news itself. I didn’t know what to take of that. I knew that Loquano’s death had sparked outrage in the Faerin community and added another tick to our growing list of problems. There were calls from within the Faerin hierarchy for them to break free of our empire and rebel. That couldn’t happen. They were our most important enslaved race, and certainly the wealthiest. Losing the Faereth would be like losing an arm. We would survive it, but not easily.

I eyed Icer, wrapped up in his robes and shivering, his face dark and his body erect, wondering what was making him feel so pained. I dared not press the issue. “Your son has done well, but it is not enough. We’ll need the Aphotic Prince’s head. But not before we take out these Nikkarins.”

“Perhaps if you had a son as well, the Prince would already be dead.”

The blow was a slap to the face, one that made my blood suddenly boil and my face contort in a ferocity I had not known for years. I had been attacked, assaulted, out of nowhere. Though I was careful and deliberate with my words, the anger swelling in my throat came out thick in my voice:“Tell me my ears did not hear what I think they did!”

Icer spit on a nearby pile of Nikkarin ear trophies. “You should be the one who wants to replace Cold. He had your son taken from you!”

My face burned hot with embarrassment and anger and despair altogether. “Glacial betrayed my brother… tried to kill him… what was I supposed to do?”

“Nothing matters, aside from family. Do you know that, brother? Power, fame, wealth, it’s nothing if you have no one to pass it on to. When you die, all you have is your legacy, your family.”

The wind blew hard on that day. The sky swam with grey clouds and smoke and lightning flashed on occasion. The very air was electric with the anticipation of a storm that seemed so hesitant to come. I gazed up and found the planet’s star burning high in the sky. It was muffled, behind the clouds, but it was there, providing what little light it could. I swallowed and clenched my fists.

“You’re serious, aren’t you Icer? These words aren’t jest.”

“We remove Cold from his position, get your son back, and restore the Planet Trade Organization to its former glory. No more sitting about getting drunk and pissing away our money. We need to be strong in order to keep our empire alive. We need to care. Cold doesn’t have the energy or attention span to lead us any longer.”

“And what will happen to his sons?”

Icer’s eyes flickered at that question. “They can take their places as Lords if they want, or if they try to resist, we will kill them. But they won’t lead us. Not as long as I breathe.”

I raised an eyebrow. “They are stronger than us. Cold and his sons are all out of league.”

“Then we’ll take them unaware. We have many soldiers between us. We can overwhelm them.”

“We’ll have to deal with the Galactic Bank too. That man Tychib was serious about collecting his debt,” I said. “You know I want to kill them.”

Icer smiled a thin smile. “You know that’s foolish. I told you after he came to see us. The Galactic Bank is too big, too powerful. They cannot be destroyed, at least not yet. And with our current wars and conflicts, we cannot risk attacking them. Our empire isn’t at full strength.”

I laughed and shivered. “Well, if you can find us the money, then pay them. But I thought we didn’t have the money.”

“I’ll find it.”

There was something queer about Icer that I could not place. He was only partly there with me in the freezing reality – my brother was surely thinking deeply about something else, I knew, but what it was, I could not guess. Was it his plot to overthrow our older brother? That seemed unlikely; he was speaking to me about it. No, there was something else weighing on his mind, and I didn’t want to know what it was. I didn’t want to press the issue. Icer and I had never been close; we lived together in our older brother’s shadow. We were blood, and that made us family. That made him matter to me, I suppose. But we had quarreled in the past, and it had not always ended without bloodshed. Our alliance was strenuous as it was. I didn’t want to break it.

Icer was pacing before me, kicking ears out of his path as he moved silent as a wraith in the night. “The day I found out Hail and Polaria had escaped the trap their traitorous soldiers had put them in, I was relieved. It was a warm, pleasant feeling, like taking a hot bath. It purged my mind of all its worries. You will feel the same once Glacial is back, brother. You do want him back, don’t you? He’s your heir. Your legacy, after all.”

“I do want him back, Icer. More than anything in this universe, I want that. But what he did was wrong. There was nothing I could have done to convince Cold to let him go. Hell, it was all I could do to make Cold spare his life.”

“That doesn’t matter now, does it? Once we’ve taken out our dear brother, everything will be forgiven and forgotten.”

Glacial had been brainless in trying to poison Cold. I didn’t even know what his endgame was. Once Cold was dead, would he have told me? Tried to take over the empire with my help? I don’t know what he was trying to do. But he was a stupid child, lucky to escape with his life. He was out there somewhere, on a far-distant planet working as a slave laborer for our empire. I stared up into the muddy sky again. Nothing but the nearest star could I see. I wondered how close we were. Was he in this solar system? Or was he on the other side of the universe? I hadn’t thought about it before. He had made me so mad with his betrayal that I had blocked out all thoughts of my firstborn. He had been a failure to me. But I could get him back, and that thought made him alive to me again. It made him real, and I realized how much I had missed my son after all. Icer would help make things right.

He was right. I knew it. I thought it before, and would have said so myself had Icer not spoken first. Cold was not a ruler. He was a king, I would give him that. He enjoyed the pleasures of being a king, even while his empire crumbled around him. But he wasn’t forceful enough to be a leader. And we desperately needed a leader now.

As we stood there, brooding over our treason, something moved under a pile of ears to my right. I looked over just in time to see the bloody body parts go tumbling down and a figure reveal itself from under them. He was a black dart in the night, instantly shooting at me with a ferocity that took me by surprise and caused me trip backwards. I blocked his attacks, but they were so quick and harsh, I was unable to push him back. The creature was covered in bloodstained gold-and-grey armor that concealed most of his body, save for his face which was furry and long. His mouth was wide and his teeth sharp. He opened his mouth so wide it could have fit my entire head inside and shot himself forward towards my fingers.

Then, my brother came in a flying kick that hit the fool in the side of the head and knocked him back. “That’s him! That’s the Nikkarin General!” Icer said. “I knew he wasn’t dead!”

I roared a quiet rage through my teeth. “Frieza, that fool! He left the most dangerous Nikkarin alive! Useless little brat!”

“Let’s end this,” Icer proposed, cracking his knuckles and falling into a fighting stance. “He’s not getting out of here, either way.”

“No,” I said. “Let me handle it alone. My fists have need of hitting something soft and alive.”

“Suit yourself.” Icer’s eyes flickered as if he was amused.

I stepped forward to challenge the Smiling Demon. The creature cackled and smiled broadly, its teeth as pale as snow and as sharp as death.

“Come here, you! I want your pathetic life!” The Smiling Demon snarled and spit. He grinned and goaded me forward.

“Very well. You will have it. All I have to give.”

I shouted, conjuring up an aura of blue energy around me. My power level swelled and I felt energy coursing through my body. As I began to run towards the creature, I teleported and reappeared behind him. Before he could react, I punched him in the back of the head, causing him to fall forward. I would not be like my older brother. I would not be like his son. I would be decisive; a warrior; a leader. I would destroy my foes. The Smiling Demon flipped over and attacked me again, and for a brief time we sparred. I blocked his advances and he pushed me back into the mounds of flesh, and then I caught his punches and pushed him back. The blows we traded caused blood to fly from both of us, and soon my opponent’s face was so covered in purple blood that it made him look like a sickly clown. I pushed him back then, punching his block away until he fell to his knee, panting and spitting up blood.

“Stand up, General. Are you so weak that you cannot best a single opponent?”

“I’ll kill you!” the Nikkarin shouted, lunging towards me.

I dodged to the left and then tripped him with my right foot. As he tumbled forward, I flew forward and elbowed him into the ground. He fell into a crater, broken and bloody and near death. But he would not give up. He jumped up again and tried my patience for the last time. This time, I shot forward in a blaze of light. Before he knew what had happened, I impaled him on my tail. I felt his body sigh as my tail went through him. He was done.

“Don’t you know who you’re messing with?!” I punched the dying alien in the face as I held him in the air with my tail. “We are the Planet Trade Organization! The greatest empire in the universe! You cannot hope to best us!” I punched him again. Purple blood was streaming down my fist.

“Y-your time… will come! Ev-ev-everyone’s… t-time comes!” The Smiling Demon giggled hoarsely. He flashed another smile and I knocked out half his teeth for his insolence.

I threw the alien into the crater and began punching him so hard and so fast that I couldn’t see what was going on. Blood splattered everywhere. Yelling curses, I heard my fists crack through his bones and then his brains were all over me. Still I punched the Nikkarin General, still I screamed. His blood was all over me; he was dead; long dead. But that wasn’t the point.

I wasn’t like my brother. I wasn’t a passive fool. I was tired of letting people mess with our family. It was time to end this. We needed to kill the Nikkarins once and for all. I felt a sense of power come to me then, as I punched the corpse of the one who called himself the Smiling Demon. I felt victory at my fingertips. I had killed one of their Generals. I had dealt them a blow they would not recover from. And that was when I knew that I would restore the Planet Trade Organization to its former glory. That was when I knew that I would crush our foes, that I would get my son back. There was hope in that creature’s death.

I stopped my assault on the corpse and sat back, panting and bleeding another’s blood. I looked to the dark skies and saw the sun, burning small high in the sky. But to me, it looked like it was burning a little brighter than before. I glanced back over at Icer, who was admiring one of the thousands of severed ears. He glanced over at me, and our eyes locked. His watery ice eyes were dark with an emotion I could not name. Still, at that moment, I knew we were in this together. We both knew the cost of what we were doing.

And that wasn’t going to stop us.

Chapter XVI: The Ballad of Pot Belly of the Space-badgers, the First of his Name, King of the Vermin and the Hungry and the Furry Critters, Lord of the Universe and Protector of the Fridge[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Kracchus
Position: Captain in Frieza's empire
Date of account: September 15, 757 Age

Lord Frieza wasn’t so big as a hologram. “I left my son Kuriza back home on Planet Frieza 001 before setting out to destroy these cursed Nikkarins. But this war is taking longer than I expected, and I will not be able to return home soon. Go to my planet and fetch my son for me, Captain, then bring him to me. Hurry now, I don’t want this taking long,” he commanded in a tiny voice fit for a tiny king. Then the little emperor’s hologram exploded into nothingness.

You see, Lord Frieza was away from home. He was out on the frontier of space, along with his younger brother and uncles, doing battle with the Nikkarin Empire. It was a bloody war – or so I heard. There weren’t many reports coming back to us in the inner territories. It didn’t much matter to me. I hadn’t been sent out there. In fact, I was one of the few officer’s in Frieza’s army to not be out there with him. I guess that’s why he chose me to play delivery boy.

I set out with four of my best soldiers – not too large a group. We were only fetching Lord Frieza’s boy, after all. We set off for Planet Frieza 001, arriving at Emperor Frieza’s compound at nightfall. The planet was one big snowball. I think most of it was uninhabited. Anyway, we landed at Emperor Frieza’s mansion compound, finding the place eerily deserted. No guards, no other ships, nothing. It was weird. But we detected power levels coming from inside the emperor’s great palace, so we knew there was life somewhere on that miserable planet.

“Storm’s coming in,” one of my soldiers noted as descended from our ship out into the cold.

The ice cracked under my boots as I landed on the ground. I turned to look at where the soldier was pointing and spied a swirling black mass of clouds closing in on our location. “How long would you say?” I asked.

“An hour… two at most. We’ll need to leave before it gets here, elsewise we’ll be stranded here. Who knows, the storm could destroy our ship, even…”

I raised my gloved hand to quiet him. “We’re just picking up Prince Kuriza. It won’t take that long, surely.” The others nodded. “Very well, form up behind me. Let’s move.”

I was not accustomed to the cold, at least not the severity of it found on this planet, so I led my troops to the palace’s entrance doors as quickly as possible. To our surprise, we found the metal doors melted and twisted on the ground, the way into Frieza’s mansion open to anyone and everyone.

“What’s the meaning of this?”

I kneeled to get a better look at the blast marks. Glancing over the burnt metal, I realized I had seen this work before. “Low-grade blaster rifles,” I told the others. “Nothing too serious. Probably just some poor old pirates trying to loot the place.”

“But how did they get in?” another soldier quipped. “Why didn’t the guards stop them?”

“True. That is weird,” I replied, then shivered. “Let’s get inside first. This damned cold is going to kill me.”

So we went, cautiously, yet hastily, and soon we found ourselves inside the emperor’s home. The place had been splendid once – the polished space mahogany floors, the exotic flowers that decorated the rooms, the bejeweled trinkets that lined the walls and filled the tables, and, most notably, the large statue of Frieza himself made of pure gold gave the palace its feel of opulence. Well, it would have, if not for the wretched state the place was in. Trash and waste lined the floors. Tables were upended, scorch marks dotted across the floors and walls. It looked like there had been a fire in the library. As we moved into the house, we realized that it had not been pirates who had come here, but something different.

“They didn’t take anything, just messed everything up.”

It was true. The gold and jeweled trinkets remained, though many of them were scattered about on the floor, damaged or destroyed. The flowers were dead or dying, and weeds were sprouting in their place. The floor had become both a toilet and a garbage container. It reeked.

“I thought there were guards here,” the soldier repeated. “What happened?”

“Lord Frieza left only a few dozen to guard his son. He didn’t plan on leaving Kuriza here for more than a few days. But he greatly underestimated how long the war against the Nikkarins would take. And now it’s on us to fix what he screwed up.” I felt a heat coming to my face and raised my arms in the air in anger. “His kid could be dead for all we know! Damn it! And if he is, Frieza will kill us all.”

“It isn’t our fault if Kuriza was killed…” one soldier spoke up.

I laughed. “Do you really think Frieza’ll care about that? If we don’t find his son, we’re dead. It’s simple. So let’s go find him.”

Our group held little hope as we trudged through the once-splendored palace, wading through ankle-deep trash in some rooms. There were power levels moving about too quickly to properly track, and others that seemed to be the work of ghosts. When we tracked those into a room, they would disappear. Annoyed, I returned to the main hall, and began preparing a new strategy for searching the place. That is when I saw it.

The space-badger had molting black fur, and its snout was caked in orange powder. It was munching on something from a small bag when it walked over to the second-floor balcony, unzipped its pants and began to urinate on the golden statue of Frieza below.

“Oh my god.” If only Frieza could have seen that. “Everyone, they’re upstairs! Space-badgers!”

My group came running out from the other rooms at once, though the space-badger heard my voice as well. It stopped pissing and looked over to me, its eyes two dark pools of wet onyx. I couldn’t tell if it was scared or bemused. Then, it dropped its bag of food and scampered off. We gave chase at once.

“Pot Belly! Pot Belly! Pot Belly! Pot Beeeeeeeelly! Intruders! Intruders in the palace!” the space-badger screamed as it ran.

I came up behind the scraggly beast as it raced down a carpeted hallway, between piles of trash and shit and who knows what else. It looked over its shoulder and saw me, and then ducked behind a tower of rotten food. I didn’t react fast enough and went sliding right past it as I tried to stop myself. Then, the space-badger jumped out and rolled away down the other side of the hallway. When it was sure I was no longer in sight, it stopped running, put its hands to its mouth, and shouted:

“Pot Belly! Poooooooot Beeeelly!!!”

That’s when I teleported behind it and punched my fist through the back of its neck. The space-badger’s blood glowed nicely in the light of that hallway.

The other soldiers formed up on me. We were all breathing hard as we stood in silence around the dead space-badger, watching its blood pool and stain the expensive ruby-tinged carpet. All I could think about was what those filthy animals had done to Kuriza. Where was he? Did they eat him? Did they kill him? Take him prisoner? If they had done anything permanent to the prince, we were as good as dead.

“How did they overwhelm the guards? They’re just space-badgers!” one of my soldiers said, kicking the corpse in front of him.

“Beats me,” I replied. I clicked my scouter and scanned the second level. There were power levels all over the place, flying about from room to room. “They must be in the walls, too. It’s how they’re moving so fast. So, you four will exterminate them. Got it? But wait until I’ve found that one called Pot Belly. I need to ask him a few questions first.”

We split off. I knew the other space-badgers knew we were here, because they were following us. I could see them on the scouter. Individually, most of them were weak, but together, several of them could overwhelm my soldiers. I ignored the weaker power levels and focused in on any larger ones with the hope of finding Kuriza or Pot Belly.

Suddenly, a voice cracked from over an intercom. “The intruders have woken King Pot Belly from his royal slumber! Make them pay! Space-badgers unite! Kill the interlopers! Mwahahahhehehehehahahahhahahaha!”

They all began cackling from in the walls or wherever else they were hidden. There were dozens of them, if not hundreds. And as one, they laughed at us, glee and hunger in their high-pitched voices. Then, the walls exploded and space-badgers came pouring out from all sides, left right, ahead, behind, above, below. In the chaos, dust covered everything, and I could not see more than a few feet in any direction. I heard my men shouting and trading energy shots with the animals. One of my soldiers came stumbling up to me, a space-badger on his neck, biting him. He was struggling to get it off and screaming as it made him bleed. I swatted the thing aside and kicked my soldier back into the fray.

“Hold them back! Kill all who stand in our way!” I ordered my men. I only hoped they were strong enough to heed my order.

From the dust ahead came two space-badgers, claws up. I kicked the first one aside, and grabbed the other one by the neck. Creating an energy ball in my hand, I fried the animal into a black carcass. As the other one recovered and charged me again, I threw the burnt corpse of his comrade at him, hitting the space-badger in the face. He went down with a wet crunch and a stream of blood flowing from his nose and mouth. I ran ahead. There were larger power levels coming from a room to the right, so I blew down the door with a ki blast and stepped inside.

Inside were two space-badgers, smoking Nil and playing cards. As I came into view, the one facing me threw down his cards and tried to shoot me with his low-grade blaster rifle. I vaporized the two of them and moved through the next door, where more power levels were coming from.

“Kill ‘em, kill ‘em! For King Pot Belly!” the space-badger was screaming into the intercom as I came into the room. He looked up, his eyes wide as two balls of yarn. He had a half-eaten space banana in one hand. “Oh, no! He’s in here! Space-badgers come to my rescue!” he squealed into his mic.

“Shut up.” I stepped forward, my palm raised, green energy forming in front of it.

“Oh no! No, no, no, no, no! Please, don’t kill me! I’ll do anything! Anything you want!” He threw the banana at me. It hit me in the face and exploded in a burst of fruity flavor. I didn’t want that.

“You little shit.”

I dissipated the blast and caught the little animal by his tail, pulling him to face me. Then, I punched him in the face, knocking out half his teeth as he gasped for air and spit up blood. I slammed him against the wall by his tail and then threw him at the door ahead of me, breaking it to pieces. Glancing through my scouter, I saw that room held the largest power levels around. I ran inside, stepping over the lifeless spasming body of the intercom space-badger.

This was Frieza’s private quarters – his inner sanctum. I don’t think many had ever seen it before, where Frieza slept. The place had once been a paradise, with excessive golden and jeweled sculptures lining the walls (now cracked and shit on) and a pool taking up the majority of the floor in front of the bed. Now that pool was filled with old food and piss and smelled so bad I nearly gagged when entering the room. Piles of garbage covered most of the floor, and space-badgers were chasing one another through the refuse wasteland. In the central bed, where Frieza had once slept (though never again, I bet), lay a space-badger the size of a small space ship. His stomach rose above his body like a great rolling hill; his body was covered in long white fur with bits of food stuck in it; his face had a wispy little beard, broad eyes, and large, pointy ears; and on his head, the space-badger wore a crown of space duck bones, old decayed meat still clinging to many of them. He looked up when I entered and vomited all over himself.

“You must be Pot Belly.”

He grunted. “I bet you smell of boysenberry jam.”

“You’ll never find out.”

He laughed a hearty, throaty laugh that made the entire bed shake. I was impressed it didn’t collapse under his weight. “Oh, I think I will.” He snapped his fingers and the space-badgers around him stopped playing and came to attention. “I have an entire army here to capture you.”

“I’ll kill you all if you try anything,” I warned them. “But it doesn’t need to come to that. Tell me where Kuriza is or what happened to him, and I’ll let you all live.”

King Pot Belly burped and the four poles on his bed shook like they were in the middle of a hurricane. “Pssh… please. That little shit,” he gestured to his right, “is all you want? He’s useless, ‘cept for a little mid-afternoon fun, har har har!”

I glanced to my left and saw, mounted on the wall, Frieza’s son – the prince, Kuriza. He was tied up with rope, and a few space-badgers were sitting on trash piles in front of him hurling darts at him, trying to score a bull’s eye. One had hit him in the leg, puncturing his skin and making him bleed. I felt a mixture of emotions that were so weird together, it gave me vertigo – relief, rage, humor, disbelief. The fools had taken Frieza’s palace, had killed his guards, had taken his son hostage, and all they had thought to do with him was to use him as a bit of target practice for a useless game.

“Fools,” I whispered. “You’re all bloody fools.”

“Hey, that’s no way to talk to the king!” one of the dart-throwers sneered. He threw a dart at me, hitting me just below the shoulder blade. I had to hand it to him, the target practice had paid off. So I blasted him and his friends away with finger beams. They died in glorious bursts of light and blood. It was just me and Pot Belly then.

“Kneel!” he shrieked. He attempted to sit up, but the weight of his belly was too great, and he fell back over. “Kneel to your king!”

I sighed and walked over to him, trudging through the great piles of filth and garbage. How ironic it was that this was Frieza’s bedroom. Once I came upon him, his breathing quickened and his eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.

“You can’t kill a king! It’s not right! It’s not fair! You’re just a cheater! A faker too! I knew that moment I smelled boysenberry jam on you.”

I massaged my wrist, preparing for what I was about to do. “Pot Belly, is it?”

“That’s my name, and don’t you forget it!” He picked up a half-eaten space duck wing and threw it at me. Grease ran down his fingers and into his mouth and beard. “I’m the king of this planet! I’m the king of everything!”

“No. Maybe you would have been if Frieza and his kind had died off, but they haven’t. They just went on vacation for little while. They’ll be back. What did you expect would happen when they returned?”

“He would kneel!” Pot Belly took a bite out of a handful of moldy bread lying next to him and moaned softly.

“I don’t know who made you king. That’s almost a bigger mystery than how you got up here in the first place.”

Before he could respond, I shouted, conjuring ki around my left fist, and then punched Pot Belly right in his pot belly. The great belly exploded in a cloud of meat and blood, spraying much of the room and myself in the king’s flesh. I don’t know what I chose to do that. In hindsight… not my best idea. A quick beam to the face would have been so much cleaner.

“Damn it!” I shouted, wretching as I wiped Pot Belly’s remains off of me. “For the love of Cooler, why did I do that?!”

“Heeeeey!” a little voice shouted from the other side of the room. It was hoase and feeble. “Help me Cap’n Ginyu… you’re my only hope…”

It was Kuriza. I moved over to the prince, cut him from the wall, and caught him in my arms. He was so light, so malnourished, I could see the outlines of his bones against his pale white flesh. He stared up at me as I carried him out of the room.

“Yo… you’re not Ginyu!”

“No, I’m not. Captain Ginyu is with your lord father on the battlefield. I was sent here to rescue you, my prince.”

Kuriza’s eyes teared up. “But… but Ginyu was supposed to come here. He was… he was going to teach me a new fighting posture! I’m going to join the Ginyu Force! I have to learn new poses right now! It’s more important than anything.” The little lord burst into tears.

I patted him on the head. “That’ll do, that’ll do. I’m sure once the war is over, you can join the Ginyu Force. No need to cry. Let’s get you out of here. You’ll need some food and water and rest, and then you’ll be back to normal, okay? There’s nothing to worry about.”

He nodded meekly.

We stepped out into the hall, and waiting for us was four dozen or so space-badgers. The bodies of my soldiers lay bloody on the ground before them, their skin torn, their scouters broken. I narrowed my eyes.

“Where’s Pot Belly?!” one of them shouted.

“What’d you do to our king, eh?”

With my free arm, I began warming up some ki. “He’s in a better place now.”

“Oh yeah, where’s that? It’s got a lot of food, yes?” one of them asked as it crawled over a pile of garbage and sniffed the air lustily.

“Of course it does.”

“Where is it? Where is it?! Take me there. Take me thereeeee!”

I laughed. “Oh, I will. Just be patient.” I looked down at Prince Kuriza. “Forget Ginyu, kid. Watch what I’m about to show you.”

My soldiers were better than most, but they were still merely regular soldiers, fit to be overwhelmed by a group of space-badgers any day of the week. But I was a captain of Lord Frieza’s empire. I was one of his strongest and highest ranking soldiers. I would not be vanquished by a group of stupid pests.

I stepped forward, glancing to either side of me. Out the window to the left, I could see the storm clouds racing towards us. They were not yet upon us, though they were drawing dangerously close. I smirked and looked back at the space-badgers. They were, all of them, vermin. I knew we’d be out of here before the storm hit.

With a shout, I lunged forward, heat and ki swirling about my body, as I, Captain Kracchus, took on the remainder of Kuriza’s captors single-handedly. Maybe I wasn’t good enough to be out there on the front lines like Captain Ginyu or Frieza’s other officers, but in the end, it was me – not them – who saved Emperor Frieza’s only son from certain death. And in the grand scheme of things, I’d say that made me pretty damn important.

Chapter XVII: Absolute Zero[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Frost
Position: King Cold's niece; Military General
Date of account: May 2, 759 Age

The Absolute Zero was the flagship of my father’s fleet and the largest ship in the Planet Trade Organization’s navy. It had greatly surprised me when father had asked me to take the ship to Cooler, to help my older cousin destroy a rebel group that had been plaguing his region of the empire for years. I thought it strange, since we were at war with the Nikkarins. Our strength was being pushed out to the edges of our territories where our soldiers fought and died and defended the Planet Trade Organization’s sovereignty. My father, uncle Icer and his daughters, and Frieza and Nitro were all out there fighting. It was weird that Cooler wasn’t with them. But then again, it was good he wasn’t. Once father told me what I really had to do when I met with Cooler, I knew it would be better to have him all to myself. No prying eyes, no questions, no shame.

I found Lord Cooler in space over some nameless planet. He had a large army with him, mostly single-pilot fighters, and they were engaging the rebel force in fierce space combat. Apparently Cooler’s Supreme General – an alien named Digranite – had recently found the rebels’ hideout and was leading the taskforce to crush them. That Cooler had come to watch showed how much he despised the rebels, how much he wanted to see them dead.

Absolute Zero brushed up against Cooler’s flagship. I went to the pressure door and prepared to step into my brother’s ship. To my father’s crew, I simply said, “Join Digranite’s forces below. Do as he tells you, unless it’s suicidal. And remember soldiers, if this ship gets so much as a scratch, you’ll pay for it with all of your lives.” I couldn’t help but smile at that.

Stepping into Cooler’s flagship, I found it to be a cold, dark place. The lights were off (or dimmed in some places), and no one was around. I began walking through the lifeless hallways, hearing my footsteps echo through eternity.

“Cooler?!” I shouted into the darkness. “Hey, it’s me, Frost! Your cousin, remember? My father sent word that I was coming, didn’t he? Hello?”

Out from the shadows to my left stepped Lord Cooler, crown prince of the Planet Trade Organization. In his hand was a cup filled with liquid so deeply red that it looked almost purple in that low light. He took a sip and then smiled. “Yes. Arcterial mentioned you were bringing his ship too.”

“We are here to help you,” I said. “Hopefully the Absolute Zero will put a dent in those rebel forces.”

Cooler chuckled humorlessly. “We’ll see.” He took a long drink from his cup. “Follow me to the bridge.”

We moved silently until we came to the ship’s bridge, which, like everywhere else, was as devoid of life as a graveyard. On the far side of the bridge was a great window, and Cooler led me to it. There we stood for a while, admiring the bleak view. Below us was a planet, its atmosphere orange and swirling; I could see little fireballs erupting across the black stretches of space, rebels and loyal soldiers burning out in the cold, deep void. A few larger ships were trading shots, and I thought I could see which one was the Absolute Zero. It was doing well. I saw it focus its fire on the rebels’ largest ship and vaporize it with little effort. That made me want to jump and punch the air with joy. But I was a royal lady of the Planet Trade Organization. I had to be more refined, more reserved.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

Cooler folded his arms and tried to look unimpressed. “It’s just space. A planet, some stars… There are millions of places like this in my empire…”

“No, not that,” I said. “The war.”

He slacked his jaw and looked at me funny. Then Cooler glanced back at the battles raging on below. It was impossible to tell who was winning, if Digranite was even alive. For all we knew, the rebels were going to crush us. They were so small, so noble in their journeys, but I couldn’t appreciate them as much as I could what they were doing. “Have you ever been to war?” he asked me.

That made me laugh. “No, father never let me. And he wouldn’t think to now that I am his only heir.”

“I’m sorry,” Cooler said, turning his back to me. “But your brother made his own choice. If I had been there, he may not have survived. My father was very kind to let him live.”

I walked back over to Cooler and threw my arms around him playfully. “Aw Cooler, don’t worry about that. What Glacial did is in the past. All I care about is the future.”

He shrugged me off and went to get some more wine from his captain’s chair. “And what future is that?” he asked as he poured two glasses of red ice. He handed me one and sat on his lonesome stone throne.

“You’re just like your brother, you know,” I teased.

He cocked his head. “What, Frieza?”

“No. Nitro.” I took a long sip from my glass. The wine was cool, but as soon as it was in my belly, warmness began coursing through my veins like a fire had been lit.

“That is a grave insult, cousin,” he replied coldly. “Were it not for my father, Nitro wouldn’t be alive.”

“And what of your father?” I asked him, putting my hand on his shoulder.

“He would never allow it,” Cooler replied.

“But what if he wasn’t the king?”

“Then I would be the king, and many things would change.”

Cooler was lying back on his captain’s chair, watching the battle through the glass window. I put my arm around him. He didn’t brush it off this time, didn’t seem to mind. His flesh was lukewarm to the touch, so I decided to warm him up.

“Being the king is so hard,” I said, delicately. “So much time ruling, so little time to focus on what you love.”

Cooler’s face twitched with annoyance. “If not me, then who? Surely not Frieza or Nitro. I’ll allow my own life to become miserable before I give them any power over me.”

I smiled, tracing my finger across his lips where there was a spot of wine. Then I pulled back my finger and sucked it clean, tasting the iced alcohol. Cooler knew something was up; I could see it in his eyes. He went to stand up, but I put a hand on his chest and smiled, perhaps a little too tenderly. But he was drunk, and this was my best shot.

“My father is a better ruler,” I stated at last. Just declaring that out loud sent goosebumps across my body. It was heretical, suicidal. But I didn’t care. I was a little drunk too. “All you have to do is help us, and your problems with Nitro and Frieza will disappear. We’re good for each other, Cooler. I know you know that.”

He laughed nervously. “What… what is this? A dream? What’s going on?” His tail trembled.

I pressed a finger to his lips. “Shhh, quiet. It’s not a dream. We’re forming an alliance.”

“I’ve never formed one like this before,” he replied lazily. His eyelids were opening and closing; he was about to fall asleep. I hadn’t accounted for the fact that Cooler was such a lightweight when it came to alcohol. I was expecting to have more time. I slapped him.

“Hey, Cooler, wake up! We’re not done talking.”

The attack didn’t phase him and it almost seemed like he hadn’t registered that I had hit him. He sat up and found his cup of wine. Downing the last bit of it, he sighed and stared off into space. The explosions were like little candles in the dark, going out one by one. So many lives were being lost out there, and we were only barely paying attention. This was our war, our future, and we were drunk. We didn’t care.

“I have a wife, you know,” he said after a long silence. “We are trying to have children.” He poured himself another glass and then downed it in one gulp. “And besides, Frost, we’re cousins. This is unnatural.”

I swallowed my pride, closed my eyes and thought for a second of what my father had told me. Duty above desire. Everything for the family. Then I grasped Cooler by the shoulders and whispered into his ear. “Our blood is strong, cousin. All you have to do is say the word and you can have me. Support my father and I will give you whatever you want.”

“No. No!” he pushed me off of him and stood up.

Stumbling over to the window, Cooler did not look at me as I lay there on the ground.

“Cooler…” I began. “…please. Don’t make them kill you.”


“My father is going to do this one way or another. He has a lot of men on his side, a lot of important officers. I want you to live, Cooler. It’s why I came… why I brought the Absolute Zero to help you. You matter to me, cousin. More than anyone else in the world.”

He tapped his finger on the glass, musing. “I heard a rumor once… that you and your brother… you used to…”

“No, never,” I replied quickly. “I loved him once, but only as a brother. That love died when he betrayed my family.”

“Did it?” Cooler mused. “It seems like you're following in his footsteps.”

“No, I swear… this is the only way…”

Cooler swallowed, and for a moment, he seemed perfectly sober. “You do not do this out of love for me, but for your father’s sake. You wish to restore his honor. You would shame yourself to make him king of the Planet Trade Organization.”

My eyes went wide in shock. “C-cooler… please…!”

“Enough talk, woman.” Cooler poured himself another glass of wine, downed it, and then let his cup shatter on the floor. “It’s time I end this.”

Cooler poked a button on the wall, and suddenly the window melted away into nothing. Air was sucked out of the bridge as the frozen void of space flooded in. I did not move, for I could breathe in space like any other Arcosian. I watched Cooler flick his wrist forward and then a fire-orange ball exploded from a point above his finger into an energy attack the size of a small moon. Hovering just outside the ship, the thing projected its heat on us for a second before Cooler threw it. I jumped up and ran to the edge of the ship. I only caught the tail end of the ki blast slamming into the gas giant below. Then the planet detonated.

It was soundless, like the screams of the dying pilots below us. The planet burst like a balloon, vapor and gas and flames shooting in all directions. I saw many of the ships below get enveloped in the explosion. They were torn to shreds like sticks in a storm. Other ships on the outskirts of the battle immediately began to flee. I hoped my father’s ship was amongst them. Lord Arcterial would kill me if it wasn’t.

After the explosion settled down, Cooler tapped another button on the wall, and the window reformed. He casually strode back to his chair and sat down, staring at me with drunken, sullen eyes.

“You know the only reason I’m here is because of these damn rebels. My brothers, uncles, cousins, they’re all out fighting the Nikkarins. They’re finding glory, becoming war heroes, getting stories told about them. But I have to be here, because some stupid group decided I was the worst of the bunch.”

“Cooler, I…”

“Shut up,” he raised his hand and I stopped talking. “It’s bad enough that father favors Frieza. I’m his firstborn… I’m the crown prince of the entire empire…!” Suddenly, the prince seemed to be on the verge of tears. The wine was definitely getting to him. “I… I… don’t love them. I can’t.”

“But, why?” I felt tears coming to me as well. Was it sympathy or something more? I looked off into the black of space for comfort and found only the gnawing burden of emptiness.

“They don’t love me.” He was drinking straight out of the wine pitcher now. “I’m sure father will make Frieza his heir in his will. He thinks I’m weaker because I don’t suck up to him. He thinks I wouldn’t make as good a ruler because I have rebels attacking me where my brothers do not. Sure, we all have little problems going on in our kingdoms, little things chipping away at us, but mine seem to be larger than anyone else’s.”

“Cooler, let me help,” I spoke softly.

“No. You can’t help me. Only I can help me.” His face was screwed up like he was trying to hold in his emotions. “Only I can help me,” he breathed, as if talking would prevent his eyes from leaking. He took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly, closing his eyes and raising his head. “I’m sorry,” he said, simply.

I didn’t see him teleport. One moment, he was sitting in his chair sipping on wine, the next, he was gone, vanished like a ghost into fog. Then I felt his skin brush against mine, and we were falling to the floor. He flipped me over but would not look me in the eyes. I knew what he was about to do. I focused on my breathing, which was sharp and irregular, to prevent myself from going mad. It was the only way, I knew. Father would be so pleased.

I let my body go limp so that Cooler could do what he wished. I closed my eyes and counted my breaths, trying to align them with my heartbeat. It would be over before I knew it. That is what I kept telling myself. It was just a dream that I would soon forget.

The far door spun open, causing both of us to jump up. In strode the Cyren, Digranite, in his finest battle armor. His skin was covered in dirt and cuts and he walked with a limp. Nevertheless, upon seeing Cooler, he fell to one knee as if he were in no pain at all.

“Sire,” Digranite began, “it’s over. The rebels are dealt with.”

“Good,” Cooler said breathlessly. His face was flushed, but in the dark room, Digranite would not be able to tell. Still, I know he had seen Cooler on top of me. He knew what Cooler had been doing. “Send your remaining soldiers on patrol. Mop up any rebels you find trying to flee. Then double the patrols around my entire region. Make sure there are no more attacks. Make sure this coward’s war is at its end.”

“Yes sir,” Digranite replied, standing. “Is there anything else you require of me, sir?”

Cooler ground his teeth. There was anger in his voice rooted in embarrassment. “Make sure no one else comes in here unless I call for them. That should be easy enough for you to manage. Now you are dismissed, General.”

As soon as the Supreme General left, Cooler’s breathing quickened, and he began to sweat. He pushed me back to the floor and pressed himself against me. His body was warm now, alive.

“Wait,” I said. “Wait, Cooler, stop. We should celebrate. You just crushed the rebels that have been bothering your empire for years!”

“Digranite did it,” Cooler said gruffly. “Besides, what do you think I’m doing?”

“It’s over…” I said. “The war is over. We should take a few hours to–”

“No,” he replied in that cold, commanding tone of his. “No. It’s not over yet. Not until my brothers are dead and we have a new king. Then we can all celebrate. But until then, we have work to do.”

There was no point in arguing. Cooler was stronger than me. I couldn’t stop him if I wanted to. In truth, I didn’t want him to stop. It was better for us both if we were allies. But it still felt wrong. I wanted to run away, yet I knew I couldn’t. I led him to me; I seduced him. This was my doing. And I realized as he came onto me, that I wasn’t ready for it. I hadn’t prepared myself for how this would affect me. It was for father, I reminded myself, for the good of the Planet Trade Organization. I had to let him do this to me, no matter how ashamed I was. So as I felt Lord Cooler enter me, I shut my eyes and counted my breaths and thought of home.

Chapter XVIII: Prison Ship[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Glacial
Position: Slave
Date of account: March 21, 760 Age (first scene)
March 22, 760 Age (second scene)

“What is your name?” Captain Swichie’s voice sounded like a rusty saw cutting through metal.

I replied defiantly, “Glacial.”

He punched me in the gut, causing me to fall to the grimy steel floor. I tasted blood in my mouth and spit at his boots. The captain kicked me in the ribs. “That’s not your name now. Not since I’ve been given command of this ship.”

“It is!” I shouted, using my remaining energy to stand up. “I am Glacial, son of Arcterial! I am the nephew of–”

Swichie tripped me. He looked unimpressed in his cleanly-washed armor. “The king you tried to kill. Because of your treason, you were stripped of all titles of royalty and power. That is why you are here. It is only because King Cold was feeling merciful that he let you live at all. Don’t you forget that, slave. You should very well be dead. Now, what is your name? Don’t play games with me. My patience is at its end.” His hands balled into fists, sparks of lightning ki materializing around the captain’s knuckles and shooting up his biceps.

Raising his fist, Swichie waited for me to tell him the truth. Yet like any good captain in Cold’s legion, truth meant less to him than slave’s life. He was just making a point. Swichie was the new captain of prison freighter, and he had to show us he was in charge – he needed to show us he was the alpha male. The first step was beating us, the second, giving us demeaning nicknames. And the third step, the one that made a chill run through my spine, was forcing us to accept our new names and forget who we once were. I hadn’t learned anything from Swichie – not that I would tell him. But I was sore and tired. I didn’t want him to hit me again. I knew I was Glacial; what did it matter what he thought? My face flushed and I swallowed hard. It wasn’t easy, even as a lie.

“Leech, sir.”

Captain Swichie nodded and grunted, then kicked me out the door. It was so easy. I knew he’d be patting himself on the back for forcing that out of me, but if they hadn’t put that implant in my left arm, I would have been able to power up and wipe that smug grin off his face with one kick to the teeth. I rubbed my left arm, feeling the energy inhibitor fused into my skin. I wondered if there was any way to remove it. If I could have just found a surgeon on that cursed prison ship.

Outside, it was both as dark and light as any place in the universe. The heat was unbearable, like we were being slow-cooked alive. In front of us was a gigantic star, blue and burning, and though we were not that close to it (and clothed head-to-toe in the empire’s best heat-resistant armor), it was still intolerably hot. Within seconds, my skin was covered in sweat and I felt faint.

We were mining the star of its helium reserves, shooting long energy tethers onto its boiling surface to suck up that which we desired – or rather, that which the Planet Trade Organization desired. After all, I was a traitor. I was no longer one of them. I was just a slave with a false name amongst a crowd of similarly-hopeless beings.

“Hey, you’re late!” Sludge said, waving to me as I stumbled up to my tether. He got his nickname from the rolls of fat that rippled across his face like water in a mossy pond. “You almost had me worried there, Arcosian.” He didn’t know my name, though he asked about it every day. “Speaking of which, ya ever gonna tell me where you come from, eh? Never seen an Arcosian with the prisoners before. It’s like you’re one of us!” He was proud to say that, and he beamed ear-to-ear, like he wasn’t a slave too. He leaned in as I grabbed my tether and aimed it at the distant star. “So what is it, eh? Did you steal from the royal family? There’s a rumor going around that Frieza’s bank got hacked! One second, he was sitting on all his riches, and then… poof! A quarter of it’s gone! The next day, they take even more, heheh! I say that’s what you did… you’re one of them, you must know Frieza. Plus, they put you with us, which means your crime wasn’t very serious, heheh!”

No, my crime hadn’t been serious. My poison hadn’t worked. I had been caught. I didn’t doubt that Cainus and the others had paid more dearly for my mistake. They weren’t family, after all, so that made them expendable. I didn’t regret trying to kill my uncle. King Cold was a disastrous ruler, and his sons were even worse than he. The Planet Trade Organization was better off without them. My lord father should have ruled. He had the charisma, the strength of will to make us the dominant force in the universe. But it would never happen. Because I had failed, King Cold would remain on his throne drinking himself to death while his empire crumbled around him. That’s what I told myself while I still felt something about it. But the longer I was on that ship, the longer I toiled away the days in burning heat with low-class company, the less I cared about anything. Some days I wished King Cold hadn’t shown me mercy. Some days I stared off into the emptiness of space and thought that I was an Other even amongst the prisoners. I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. They saw me as a member of Frieza’s race, and that would always drive a wedge between me and them. It was lonely being separated from my family and the world I had grown up in; it was even lonelier on that prison ship, where I was an outcast amongst the outcasts.

Seeing that look on my father’s face when he was told the news haunted my dreams. I felt guilt, but not remorse. I had damaged my father’s honor. That much I could never forgive myself for. I had put him and Frost into a dangerous position. But my intentions were pure. I was innocent. But it was all pointless. There was no use in thinking about them anymore. Father would never speak to me again, even if he knew where I was. And there was no way I could face my sister Frost, either. We had grown up together; I remember being very young, spending long nights in her bed, hugging her, as I tried to forget the nightmares that always seemed to come to me when I closed my eyes. If we hadn’t been blood, we would have been married. And now we would never see each other again. I fired my tether.

“Come on, man, don’t give me the silent treatment!” Sludge complained. He slapped me on the back. “You’ve gotta tell me one of these days.”

“I don’t have to tell you anything.”

“Suit yourself, man. But I’m not going anywhere, and neither’re my questions. Best get used to them.”

The days blurred into one, and slowly I lost the concept of time. In space, there was no such thing as day and night. The dark of space was ever-present, as was the burning light coming from the stars we harvested. Nothing mattered. We took from the stars and we died, and no one knew our names. I saw dozens of fellow prisoners succumb to the heat, to the forced labor. The guards incinerated their bodies, and then they were gone, utterly gone. Once we harvested the helium, we had to refine it ourselves and put it into containers – dreadful work after a full day of tethering. That’s when most of them died, when most of them gave up. It was only my previous training with the best instructors the Planet Trade Organization had to offer that kept me alive through that hell. I don’t know how the other slaves, like Sludge, managed it. They weren’t as strong as me.

I would lay awake at night, in my cramped bunk, Sludge snoring below me, the ship rocking violently as it careened listlessly through desolate imperial territory. Sometimes I would count the cracks in the ceiling and wonder if I had the strength to run away. I could make it in space. I could breath even without a heat suit. But the captain had guards. They would surely run me down and torture me for even thinking about leaving my prison. What kind of insane being was I to want to get out of the pain and misery? They would beat me bloody for thinking that, for remembering who I was. I much preferred the last captain of this ship; he didn’t care what we called ourselves. But he died, and so things changed.

I would rub my implanted hand and think of home sometimes too. That never made me happy, though. Just pangs of memory, like deep gut punches, so vivid they didn’t even hurt anymore. I was an empty shell, worn down by the heat, the labor, the isolation. I was too cowardly to take my own life and too scared to try to run away. I hated myself.

Swichie liked me best because he knew where I came from. No one else did, not even his guards. After finishing a small bowl of watery slop with the other prisoners, I was called into the ship’s bridge, where officers and guards filled the room like kids in a swimming pool. I was brought to the center of the room, where Swichie sat in his captain’s chair. He smiled when he saw me approach, and the guards kicked out my legs to force me to bow to him.

“Leech! It’s good to see you again.” He got up and stood over me. I think that made him happy, as if he was standing over King Cold’s entire family. “How are you feeling?”


“Tired?” His smile flickered, and then out of nowhere, he punched me in the face. I bit my tongue hard as I crashed backwards and felt blood pooling in my mouth. I think he cracked a few of my teeth too, whatever few remained from the previous torturing he had given me. I didn’t scream, though; I didn’t let him see me bleed. “Tired, sir,” the captain spoke sternly, stressing the last word.

I gulped down my blood and pushed my loose teeth back into place with my tongue. “Sorry, sir. I meant I was tired, sir.”

“And have you remembered your name, Leech?”

“I wouldn’t forget it, sir.”

His grin was like a blood-stretched cut of pure glee. “No, of course not. You were highly educated before you came to me. You should learn quickly.”

If this had taken place a few years prior, without me in chains at Swichie’s knees, I might have laughed. “Thank you sir.”

“Don’t thank me. Thank your uncle.”

I paused, looking him in the eyes. They were bloodshot and small, like puffs of flame trying to escape an exploding star. “I have no uncle, sir.”

He feigned surprise. “You don’t? Why is that?”

I frowned. “I am a slave, sir – a nobody. Nothing about my past matters anymore. I am only yours to command… sir.” My face was burning with embarrassment. I didn’t want to say that. I didn’t want to give into the captain’s petty’s mind games, but I was so tired of it all: the conflict, the pain, the torture.

Swichie’s teeth were showing; his grin was so wide. “That’s right. You’re nobody. You’re mine. I can do whatever I want to you.”

Before I knew what Swichie was, I would have retorted, calling him a name that would have resulted in many more bruises for me and probably a few less teeth. But I held my tongue. I knew what words would get me.

Swichie wasn’t done. He began to pace around the bridge, monologuing to himself. “King Cold chose me for this task because he knew I am his most loyal servant. My power is second to none amongst the captains. Not even Frieza’s pet Ginyu would stand up to me! I am the best choice to be your keeper; fair, but harsh; understanding, but not easily swayed. I’m charismatic, bold, heroic! Still, his excellency wishes for proof of my power over you, of my breaking of you.” He walked back to me and took my face in his hand. He chuckled. “You are my loyal Leech now, filled with blood and nothing else. No more hate or traitorous thoughts.”

“No sir.”

“Good. I believe you. But his excellency wants more proof.” Captain Swichie looked up at his guards. “Lay him on his back and hold him tight. This is going to hurt. But it will be good for you, Leech. Pain is the surest way to tame a beast.”

That made my heart beat so fast I could hear it in my ears. “S-sir!” I screamed. “What are you doing?!”

Captain Swichie shook his head and formed energy in his right hand. The two guards pushed me to the cold steel of the floor even as I squirmed desperately against them. “I am giving King Cold the pound of flesh he needs to sooth his mind. And besides, your pretty royal face irritates me. This will be good for everyone.”

It was hot in space. The very air seemed to boil and swirl like a great invisible fire. As always, Sludge was with me as we shot our tethers off into the void. The other slaves lined up around the deck did not speak to us, and I did not know them.

“Grimey thought you was a fugitive. Like, you didn’t pay your taxes or nothing. Maybe you killed one of Frieza’s captains. I don’t think so. They would have killed you for that. But what did you do? I keep going back and forth between robbery and saying something stupid to someone important. Frieza’s family has always taken insults badly.”

Through gritted teeth, I spoke, “Sludge, why do you even care? You don’t even know my name. You don’t know anything about me. Who cares what I was before this? All that matters is that we’re here now. This is the end of the line. It’s over for us. We’re going to die here, and that’s that.”

Sludge shrugged. “Hey, if we’re gonna burn out the rest our days like this, we may as well have something to talk about, right?”

I didn’t respond.

“Fine, but at least tell me your name,” Sludge put forth. “Give me something, Arcosian!”

I shrugged. Sludge wore me down almost as easily as Swichie. It wasn’t hard to make me give in when I was so weak. “Leech.”

He laughed. “Not the name Swichie gave you. Come on, your real name!”

I bowed my head. “That is my name.” Even I was starting to believe that.

Sludge began to reel in his tether and groaned. “Ughhh… you’re hopeless, you know that, Arcosian? You’re no fun.”

I would have argued with him, but the pain on my forehead was killing me. That was where Swichie had cut a large chunk of my skin from my body. I had fallen unconscious from the pain and woken up hours later with nothing but a light bandage and no pain killers. I guess slaves didn’t deserve reprieve from their pain. But it throbbed and burned and made me want to die.

The days were an evil dream until the pain began to subside – then it was just a standard nightmare. Sludge ignored me for about a week after our last exchange. But on the morning we headed to a new star, I could tell there was a buzz going around the mess hall. The slaves had never been more anxious – they were almost giddy. I thought I saw a few of them smiling and laughing. Their faces were not so run-down, not cloaked so deeply in despair.

“Hey Sludge, what’s going on?” I asked as I slurped down my meager breakfast. I noticed my teeth hurting again, the cracked and loose ones vibrating with pain with every gulp. Swichie would be pleased if he knew the suffering he was causing me.

The other slave looked surprise. “Oh, look, the Arcosian wants to talk now, does he?” Sludge laughed and scooted over to me, bringing his bowl of slop with him. He put his hands over his mouth and then whispered into my ear, “Mallet and Grimey’re planning a mutiny. All the slaves are gonna rush at Swichie and catch him off guard. We’re gonna kill him and take the ship!”

“What?” I could hardly contain my surprise and fear. “There’s no way that will work. We all have power inhibitors!”

Sludge waved that notion aside. “No, no. We outnumber them ten to one. It doesn’t matter.”

“You’ll die!”

“And you care now? I thought I was nothing to you.”

I bit my lip. “I-I mean we’ll all die. If there’s a mutiny, Swichie will make everyone pay.”

“So? We’re as good as dead anyway. Better to go out on our terms, yes?”

“I don’t want to die.”

“I don’t either,” Sludge said. “I would rather live. Which is why I will help with the mutiny. Look, Arcosian, we stay here, we live a few more years of agony, and we die. It will be horrible and painful, and I don’t want that. Better a quick death now, if we fail, than so much misery.”

I knew I wasn’t going to convince him otherwise. I wasn’t charismatic enough to show him the suicidal nature of his mission. So instead, I took another sip of my bowl of grey paste. Then a madness came to me that I could feel crawling through my veins. I spoke, and it was not me who was speaking. I was merely an onlooker in my own body, but it was my voice all the same.“Hey Sludge, I’d like to hear your life’s story before you go get yourself killed.”

That made him laugh so hard he nearly spit his breakfast all over me. “Oho! Ohohoho! That’s good! That’s rich! You will take but will not give! I see how it is!”

“I’m serious,” I replied, scratching my head. My skin prickled with embarrassment. “This mutiny’s happening after breakfast, isn’t it? There isn’t much time, is there?”

“You are right, Arcosian. We will take the ship once our bellies are full,” Sludge replied.

“So let’s hear it, before you get yourself killed.”

“I don’t plan on dying today,” Sludge smiled.

“No one does.”

Sludge shook his head and gulped down the last of his breakfast. Then, pressing his spoon into the wooden table, he sighed and closed his eyes. “Very well. I’ll tell you, Arcosian. I was a member of Cooler’s army before this all went down. I had a wife and three children. The pay was good, but it was not great. I needed more money to support my family. Once she got pregnant again, I knew something had to change. I got involved with some Jolean space pirates on the side. Transporting high-value illegal goods. It wasn’t supposed to be dangerous. I wasn’t meant to be caught. But Cooler’s forces were being extra careful at that time, since some rebel group was attacking Cooler’s entire empire. He was paranoid. He wanted to search every ship for any trace of them, for their leaders. He wanted to find them and destroy them all. But he didn’t, at least not as far as I know. They’re a guerrilla force. Still out there, like a mosquito on your skin. They take a little blood and give you an itchy bump on your skin, but that won’t kill you. You know what I mean, Arcosian?” I nodded; Sludge grunted like a bubble bursting in muck. “Eh, so the day I was caught, I was minding my own business, traveling home in my spaceship, and Cooler’s men pulled me over for no reason. They just wanted to see if I had rebels with me. They found the illegal weapons. So I was sent here. I don’t know what became of my family even, but I want to see them again. That is why I will join with my brothers in this mutiny. I must get out of here to see my wife and children again, to see their faces.” Sludge paused for a moment, chewing his lip. “I need to see their faces again, Arcosian. I’ve forgotten what they look like. It is a terrible thing to admit, but it’s true. I swear it. I can’t die like this. I’m not ready.”

There was a long pause after he finished. I bowed my head and spooned down a few more runny piles of grey goop. The silence was so thick my breakfast was growing jealous of it.

“Why did you ask, anyway?” he asked, his eyes narrowing. “What was the point in that?”

“The only way you can live on after you die is by being remembered. Now that I’ve learned your story, I’ll remember you. So when you attack Swichie and die, you won’t really be dead, Sludge.”

“Oh yeah, and who’s remembering you?”

“The people who put me here. They’ll never forget what I tried to do.”

Sludge leaned in closer, his eyes wide and curious, like shining light bulbs. “And what was that?” he questioned me, his voice quivering with anticipation.

“I tried to kill King Cold.”

“Alright, everyone! Let’s go Come on!” a prisoner on the far side of the room shouted. He had a spoon in his hand and hate on his face. “Let’s show Captain Swichie just how strong we are! Let’s show him that we ain’t nobody’s slaves! Let’s show them all!”

“Death to the guards! Death to Captain Swichie! Death to anyone who stands in our way!” another prisoner shouted.

The entire room roared in approval. Dozens of prisoner stood up. We were all shackled on our wrists and ankles, making it difficult to walk or move our hands. Still, the group thought they had a chance. A prisoner on the far side of the room was continuing the speech the first two started, and the entire group crowded around him. Then they were trying to break down the door, to give themselves access to the rest of the ship. It was all going so fast. The guards would be here soon. Their dedication was beautiful in its futility, like a summer breeze on my homeworld.

Sludge stood up and went to join the others. His eyes were near burst out of his sockets. He studied my face for any chance that I might be lying, that I might be embellishing, but I was not, and I knew he knew.

“My gods,” Sludge breathed. “Why did they let you live? That kind of offense is punishable by death!”

My shoulders twitched. “I guess it’s because I’m family.”

The rest of the prisoners who were going to take part in the mutiny had all gone to the other side of the room save for Sludge, who stood there staring at me in disbelief. “What’s your name, Arcosian? Truly?” he asked, after thinking about it for a while.

“Leech,” I replied in a hollow voice. “I’m just a leech. Now go on Sludge, you have a mutiny to join.” Was I finally believing that lie? When did it become real in my mind? When did the lines blur together?

He ran off. That was the last time I saw him. I downed the rest of my slop and dug my spoon into the hard wood table. I thought about what Swichie had taught me – had tried to instill in me. Like everything else, it felt distant and painful in my chest; it was a wound, not a memory. I was Leech, not Glacial. I was a prisoner, not the royal nephew general of King Cold. I didn’t have a father named Arcterial, a sister named Frost. I had nothing, I was nothing. And that’s why I survived.

Chapter XIX: The Prince Who Saved Our Empire[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Torlini
Position: Captain in Frieza's empire
Date of account: February 26, 761 Age

We came upon them in the dark of space, above a war-ravaged world of rocks and craters. After the defeat of the Smiling Demon, Lord Icer pressed the Planet Trade Organization’s forces forward, back towards the worlds the Nikkarins had stolen from us. One by one, we took back what was ours. The planets, the ships, and the prisoners were found and saved. And the Nikkarins were destroyed. There were not too many of them in each battle, if they could be called battles. Where we found Nikkarins on captured worlds, there were never more than a few hundred, a few dozen, and sometimes even fewer. Where had they all gone? Their own expansion ceased as soon as Lord Icer had rallied forces against them, and it appeared they had vanished without a trace.

The Nikkarins were neither as powerful as we had imagined nor as weak as they had appeared during our campaign (up to this battle). I had never fought against them personally, only witnessing the meager fights from space. This gave me little idea of how powerful they actually were. How was it that these fools had stood against us, had taken planets from us, had nearly brought us to financial ruin? Where was their true power?

Well, we found it eventually, many months after the Smiling Demon’s last defeat. After we shattered most of their outlying forces, that was when we came upon this damnable world that housed most of the remaining Nikkarins. I almost think they were waiting for us, waiting to end this war not in a long, drawn-out guerrilla-style conflict, but in one last cataclysmic fight. They had hoped to prevail, of course, but one thing they hadn’t counted on was the power and wit of the Arcosians who led us into battle on that day.

Lord Arcterial was a giant of a man. He stood brooding, his arms folded, his twisted black horns brushing against the ceiling of Frieza’s flagship. We were all behind him, though our eyes were fixed on the same thing his were – a video screen at the far end of the room. On it, was an alien shrouded in gold-and-grey armor, save for his furry face. The alien was grinning or flashing its teeth. I could not tell which.

“We wish to discuss terms. With the defeat of your General, and the loss of most of the planets you have taken from us, it would be most wise of you to accept our offer,” Lord Arcterial began in a deep, booming voice. “The Planet Trade Organization is offering to meet with the Nikkarin Empire’s leaders to discuss this matter in person.” The giant of an Arcosian shrugged. “I will represent my side in this matter. What do you say?”

“There is nothing to for us to discuss, interlopers,” the Nikkarin emissary sneered. “The planets we have taken from you are ours by right of conquest. Soon we will add more, and our glorious empire will grow even larger! The Planet Trade Organization can do nothing to stop us!” His laughs were tittering squeaks. “Our time has come, fools. Accept the fading of your empire, as we, the great Nikkarins, step out from the shadows and embrace our destiny as the undisputed rulers of the universe! Now leave us be, lest we send our full might against you!”

I turned off the video feed for my masters, as commanded. Muttering curses or sighing in frustration, the various leaders of the Planet Trade Organization formed up into a ragged circle to discuss what was to be done. I was only a captain in Lord Frieza’s empire at the time – I was not permitted amongst the likes of strategists and generals. Still, I was allowed to remain present in the room along with a host of other lower-ranking soldiers.

Lord Arcterial stood in the center of the group, even though they were supposedly to be in a circle of equals. He was taller than anyone else, fiercer, more prideful. Rumor was that he had been given unofficial command of the war against the Nikkarins, and that his nephew, the young Lord Frieza, didn’t like that much. He wanted to be in charge, despite his age and lack of experience. He wanted glory.

They stood opposite one another, defiantly staring into one another’s eyes, their mutual disdain palpable. With them were Lord Icer (Lord Arcterial’s younger brother), Lord Icer’s twin daughters, Polaria and Hail, Lord Frieza’s younger brother, Lord Nitro, and several of the highest ranking soldiers in the Planet Trade Organization army. These included Zarbon, Abo and Kado, and Captain Ginyu. There were a few other high-ranking officers present as well – mostly from Lord Frieza’s army – but I did not know their names as well as I did their faces.

“We need to strike at once,” Lord Arcterial argued. He was an impatient man, I could tell. Color had rushed to his face after being insulted by the Nikkarin emissary, and that was like to make him do something stupid. A wounded pride is a dangerous thing, I knew.

Lord Icer, on the other hand, seemed completely unphased. He showed no emotion, no color in his face. He had a black cloak wrapped around him and seemed to be shivering. “What do our scouts report?” he asked softly. Everyone held their breath and stopped moving just to hear him speak. He was a soft-spoken Arcosian, but his words carried great weight. Only a fool would not pause to hear Lord Icer speak.

“Estimates are at several million, milord,” Zarbon said eagerly. “Maybe even several ten million. It appears this is their base after all.”

“Strange, though, isn’t it?” Lord Icer said. He broke from the circle and walked over to a window to stare out at our enemies’ planet. “Why would they all be in one place? I thought they were attacking us in multiple systems?”

“They were, before I put an end to that,” Lord Frieza boasted, a small smile creeping onto his face. “Our victories have pushed them back.”

“We all pushed them back, Frieza. Every one of us has played a part in this war. And even so, we know too little about our enemies. We don’t know how many of them there are, or where they are coming from,” Lord Arcterial growled. “If only we could have taken some of them as prisoners, we would have a better idea of what we were up against.”

The good lord’s anger was clearly evident on his face. It was no great secret that he and Lord Frieza had been at odds with one another on this campaign. Lord Arcterial had wanted to lead the armies against the Nikkarins, but Frieza had gone ahead and attacked them without alerting his uncle. The result was a messy set of conflicts resulting in more deaths on our side than had been necessary. This lack of communication was wholly a thing of pride – each one of them wanted to prove their worth to the Planet Trade Organization. They wanted to show just how great they were.

We regular soldiers all had opinions on this. Many were unkind, and many more treasonous. I think most wanted Lord Frieza to lead. He was more bloodthirsty, more charismatic, despite his younger age. And most of the soldiers taking part in this conflict were his, too. Lord Arcterial was too ill-tempered, too sour. He didn’t have as many soldiers of his own, so him wanting to command all of Lord Frieza’s and Lord Nitro’s forces was a clear overreach.

“This isn’t all of them.” Lord Icer’s voice cut the silence delicately. “Yet, given how many of them are here, a victory will surely deal our enemies a crushing blow. It is likely some of their leaders are present on the planet, if not all of them. Our best course of action is to attack, no matter how we do it.”

“Oh I plan on attacking, uncle,” Lord Frieza said, stepping forward. “I will have all of my soldiers charge at the planet at once and hit the rats before they know what’s happened.”

“That is… most unwise, nephew,” said Lord Arcterial stiffly. “A blind charge would decimate our ranks. We don’t have our full forces with us. The Nikkarins outnumber us three-to-one, maybe even four-to-one if the scouts have it right. And they are entrenched on that planet. It will make assaulting them that much more difficult.”

Lord Frieza raised a finger and scowled. “They may have more soldiers, but our family is here. Not one of those stupid space rats can hurt an Arcosian.”

“Be that as it may–” Lord Icer began.

“Why don’t we just destroy the planet?” Lord Nitro suddenly spoke up, interrupting his uncle. He shook his head in annoyance. “Can’t we get this over with and go back home?”

“Destroying the planet is a coward’s move,” replied Lord Arcterial.

Lord Icer, still not facing the rest of the inner circle, nodded in agreement. “It’s true. We must defeat them in combat. We must destroy them utterly. Only then will the rest of the universe see that we still are the most powerful empire around. They will know that the Nikkarins were no more than gnats biting at our flesh, not serious threats. This is a battle of pride as much as it is a battle to reclaim our lost territory. We must regain what is ours in the most convincing fashion, elsewise others will rebel against us.”

“If that is the case then, milords, I will send notice to the soldiers to prepare the charge,” Zarbon said, bowing. He stepped back, preparing to hail the fleet.

“No!” Lord Arcterial shouted. The room descended into an awkward silence as the purple-faced Arcosian stepped forward. “Such a death charge is suicide. We cannot risk losing so many soldiers. If we lose this battle or take too many losses, our entire empire will be put into peril.”

Lord Frieza frowned and folded his arms. “Do you doubt me, uncle? My power is more than enough to snuff out these rats.”

“I do not doubt you Frieza, but I doubt you realize this strategy plays right into the Nikkarins’ plan. They want us to charge. That’s why they have retreated to that planet. That’s why they goaded us just a few moments ago. We cannot be foolish enough to fall for their trap.”

That impressed me. I had thought Lord Arcterial was just an emotional blowhard, too concerned about his image to see reality. But he had the truth of it, as loathe as I am to admit it. My master, Lord Frieza, was too inexperienced in the field of battle. He was getting sucked into a trap from which only his more-experienced uncles could save him.

“These are my soldiers, uncle!” Lord Frieza’s tone rose dramatically. “I will do with them what I wish! My plan is the best; we will execute it as I say!”

“No, you won’t,” Lord Icer nearly whispered. He turned back around to face the others. His face was still, his lips pursed, his eyes narrowed. “Your father put me in charge of this war. He gave me the duty of eradicating the Nikkarins. So it is my decision. And my decision is that we will not do what you want. A simple charge is a silly idea. It will result in too many deaths.”

“But… uncle…!” Lord Frieza’s face went red.

“Quiet, Frieza,” spoke Lord Icer. “While your strategy was not the best, it was close to the mark. We will still charge them, but in three sections. Arcterial, you will lead the main force down center towards the planet. Frieza and Nitro, you will take your forces on the right and loop around the planet, hitting them from behind. I and my daughters will take our force around the left and flank them as well. I want a force of our heaviest support ships to give us covering fire as we charge in, as well. Once we have surrounded them on three sides, we will push forward and squeeze them backwards. Hopefully many of the Nikkarins will lose the will to fight when they see the full might of the Planet Trade Organization bearing down upon them. As they flee, a reserve force of our fastest fighters will run down any deserters and slaughter them. Does this plan sound acceptable?”

Most of the room nodded. Lord Icer focused in on Lord Frieza, who bowed his head and bit his lip. Then, after a few moments of hesitation, the young lord nodded as well.

“Good,” Lord Icer continued. “Kill or capture anyone who looks like a Nikkarin leader. Do not let them get away at any cost.” The commanders nodded again. Icer walked over to his older brother and stared up at him for a moment before smiling. “I’ve given you command of the van, Arcterial,” he said quietly. “Don’t screw this up, for both of us.”

“I’ll relegate our foes to history, brother. Just give me the word and I’ll lead the charge. I’m dying to kill some Nikkarins.”

Lord Icer split up the remaining generals and commanders, putting them into various sections. I was assigned to Lord Arcterial’s army, which almost unnerved me. Being in the vanguard, in the central group charging headlong at our foes, was a daunting prospect, though it was nowhere near as bad as it would have been had Frieza had his way. I was confident, at least, that Lord Icer knew what he was doing. Since I was an officer, I was allowed to be positioned near the middle of the large army, which would at least shield me from the first couple of energy volleys.

It took no more than an hour to get everyone into position. I’m sure the Nikkarins had their own scouts spying on us and were relaying information back to the Nikkarin stronghold. They would be ready, I knew. But so were we. And we had the Arcosians on our side. That is more than the Nikkarins could say.

I had never fought the Nikkarins before this battle – in fact, most of the soldiers hadn’t. There had only been a few open engagements between our side and theirs leading up to this conflict. Most of the “battles” had consisted of the Nikkarins springing from the shadows and taking over our remote outposts, killing the empire’s soldiers and then either destroying the planet or taking it over as part of their empire. They must have taken several dozen of our planets before we organized armies to defend ourselves. Once we did, though, the Nikkarins didn’t offer much resistance. Many of our planets were taken back with minimal fighting, as the Nikkarins had such few numbers on them. In the two or three actual battles that broke out, Lord Frieza led a furious and bloodthirsty campaign against our foes and shattered them.

So finding this planet, with several million Nikkarins on it, was a complete surprise. It might’ve been their base of operations, or a staging ground. We never found out. It was quite lucky that we found it with such a huge force of our own, though. I don’t know what they were planning on doing. Perhaps they were mobilizing to hit one of our more important planets. Or maybe they were setting up for one of these types of battles. We didn’t even know how many Nikkarins there were, where they came from, or how they had gotten so powerful so quickly. They were a complete mystery, and not one that we solved on that day.

I did not know Lord Arcterial well, but now I was going to fight with him, and possibly die under his command, for the good of the Planet Trade Organization. It was what I had signed up to do – I came from a species not enslaved but annexed by the Arcosian empire, after all. But I would die for them all the same, so long as it meant bringing an end to the Nikkarin threat.

Suited up in our air-tight space armor, we took our positions before the planet. It was a dark world with green-grey storms raging across its surface. Within a few moments, I knew, we would be in the storm ourselves. I watched Lord Arcterial fly down one end of the vanguard and then fly back across, taking stock of his forces. He had by far the largest of the three armies, including support from our best spaceships. The pressure was on him to win this battle. He stopped ahead of me, at the center of his army, and raised his arms to speak.

“Our foes are on hiding on that planet,” Arcterial roared. “They wait for the Planet Trade Organization to come and get them, thinking we are too weak or too cowardly to actually do it. I look at you now and see not cowards, but brave warriors, eager to fight to the last man! This may be your first battle, you may be scared, you may be expecting to die, but all of you are here, ready to do your duty for the good of our empire!” Cheers went up across the ranks, many aliens pumping their fists in the air and whistling. “What we do tonight is for the good of our empire, for the good of the universe! Know this my brave soldiers – you will find glory tonight. Every one of you will become a hero. Every one of you will have your name etched in history for what we do here tonight. Now come!” he screamed, turning around, his arms still raised in the air. “Let’s kill the bastards!”

The thunder of voices was deafening. It took me a few moments to realize the charge had begun – only when I saw the aliens around me muster up their auras and fly forward did I know the battle was underway. I remember it being quiet – so quiet out there in space. The only sounds came from my earphones – people yelling orders, screaming death cries.

As we approached the planet, the stormy world’s defenses began to shoot at us, spitting huge energy bursts which blew apart any aliens they came into contact with. I saw a beam of energy hit an alien in front of me, soundlessly blowing him to pieces, his arms and legs and entrails drifting off in all directions. Another alien took one to the shoulder, and that merely blew his arm off – but the breach in his suit soon left him a corpse all the same. Ahead of me was chaos. Lord Arcterial was commanding the vanguard of ships to take out the planetary defenses as we poured forward. The ships blasted at the floating turrets, reducing them to melted pools of metal and ash. We flew on, not stopping to think about what we were flying into.

Lord Arcterial was shouting something over the radio channel, but I barely heard him. Everything was moving so slowly and blurring together. People around me, in front of me, behind me, were being killed. Sometimes they would scream, other times they didn’t have their mics turned on, leaving them to silently float off into the void. Everyone who did have their mics on did seem to be screaming something, though. Be it orders or curses or yells of pain, everyone had something to say.

I dodged the attacks coming my way as best I could. Being a captain, I had an adequate power level, far above most of the other soldiers. I had the skills to avoid oncoming attacks and take cover behind fragments of metal or flesh. I heard Lord Arcterial shout “Press on, press on!” and gladly I did. With the remnants of his vanguard, I moved towards the planet’s atmosphere. More turrets awaited us there, and the ships took care of them. I watched one spaceship catch fire and explode in front of me, sinking with such speed that I nearly ran into it. Around me, there flew fewer and fewer soldiers as the Nikkarins’ defenses picked off the weakest amongst us.

We descended from the stars, from the sky, to the planet’s surface. It was the dead of night, and rainstorms swept across the alien world’s surface, lightning cracking across the sky as we pushed on. As soon as we entered the atmosphere, we began to fire beam attacks of our own. I let loose a torrent of energy from my palms, while others fired from energy weapons attached to their arms. We spiraled down to the Nikkarins, screaming for blood and vengeance.

Their bunker was an expansive city of stone covered by energy shielding. I do not know if they built it themselves, but I would guess not. It’s more likely they conquered this world and made it their headquarters. Our attacks bounced off the energy shielding harmless as sand, and for a brief moment, it appeared we were trapped with the sky at our backs and an impenetrable foe before us. Then did Lord Arcterial spring forth and create a large energy ball of fire. He hurled the thing at the energy shielding. When the two clashed, the shields screamed pink and shattered like glass. The energy attack pushed through it and sunk into the center of the city before exploding with a violent crack.

At once, a host of Nikkarins in their grey-and-gold armor took to the skies to meet us. The two sides exchanged energy with such frequency that for a moment, the night turned to day, and soldiers from both sides fell by the scores. Thunder boomed and the rainstorms drummed on as we fought. Lord Arcterial remained at the head of our legion, but our numbers were shrinking with every passing second. We were soon to be overwhelmed by the Nikkarins. When our enemy finally broke through the front lines of the vanguard and charged their way through the army, I thought all had been lost. Nikkarins came to me then, and I had to deal with them in hand-to-hand combat. Thankfully, they were regular soldiers, whom I could easily deal with. A few kicks and punches to their faces rendered them dead.

It was then that Lord Icer’s host swung in from the left, behind the charging Nikkarin, taking them unawares. The Nikkarins broke off into two groups, trying to both push forward and defend their flank. Alas, their numbers were too few to wage war on two fronts, and Lords Icer and Arcterial used this to their advantage. Together, they moved their forces forward, squeezing the Nikkarins between them and ordering their soldiers to form a wall of energy as they moved. We had the Nikkarins trapped, or else it seemed so. Despite the army I was a part of taking massive casualties, we were still holding our own. The Nikkarins were being slaughtered by the hundreds.

But not all was well. Where Lord Frieza and Nitro were, no one knew. Lord Arcterial was furiously ranting about their army not being present when a Nikkarin host mobilized from the city below us and took us from the right, where Lord Frieza was supposed to be. It was an unexpected maneuver, and one I was not prepared for. I took an energy blast to the chest and nearly lost my balance had Lord Arcterial not caught me himself. Another burst of energy came flying our way, but he neutralized it with a quick energy barrier. I said my thanks and flew off towards our new foes.

From below us, the ground gave way, the very city itself sinking into a newly formed hole deep and dark. We saw the defensive turrets come shooting out from the hole too late. They were massive guns, last-gasp solutions. Each energy beam they fired could take out half a dozen aliens. I saw the air pop and explode with yellow light as the turrets took us from below, and soon, body parts and screams filled the air as well.

“Where is Frieza?!” Lord Arcterial roared over the airwaves. “Has that fool abandoned us?!”

“Calm down, brother,” Lord Icer shouted back in a rare tone. “We must hold the line!”

“We’re getting slaughtered. We have no choice but to pull back if we want to win this battle!”

“No!” Icer commanded. “You will stay where you are. Kill the Nikkarins! Kill them here!”

And so we did. We bled, they bled, and the bodies piled higher. As Lord Arcterial’s battered army moved forward, we were somewhat sheltered from the turrets below us, as they did not want to fire on their own Nikkarin soldiers. Then came a sound like a trumpet from the city below us, ahead where Lord Arcterial’s attack had slammed into the ground. Into the air rose dozens of Nikkarins riding on great chariots of fire. Their armor was pure gold, shimmering gallantly in the midnight rainy glow. Lightning flashed off their ornate armor, which seemed to be imbibed with light. These new foes targeted both armies, breaking off into two groups. The group that charged us laid waste to any aliens they came into contact with, and when Lord Arcterial went to attack them, they swarmed around him and battered him with energy all at once. Covered in smoke and fire, it was difficult for me to tell what had happened to my Arcosian commander.

“Nikkarin elites! These are their leaders!” Lord Icer told the armies over the airwaves. “Focus your fire on them! Bring them down! Bring them down!! Bring them down!!!”

I shot forward with many other aliens. We had to save Lord Arcterial. He was our leader. Without him, we were lost.

Slamming my boot into one of the Nikkarin elites, I knocked him from his chariot. He attempted to mount it again, but I fired my deadliest energy ball at it, and the vehicle split in two. The Nikkarin sneered at me in disgust. Unholstering an onyx staff from his belt, he activate the thing, revealing three long, thin, sharp blades of green energy. Then, the alien charged at me.

He had a mousy face, a snout, and beady black eyes. But it was the gold on him that most intimidated me. It glimmered so brightly as energy flew around us, that my sight became briefly impaired. This allowed the Nikkarin to close in on me before I realized. He slammed his three-pronged energy sword down at me. It sliced through my armor before lodging itself in my shoulder. I let out a scream of the utmost terror. I knew then I was going to die. That was the most pain I had ever felt. It was inconceivable; even thinking about it now makes my spine tingle. The pain made spots of white and black pop across my vision, and I felt myself weakening and nearly falling out of consciousness.

But then, I felt calm. As the blood left my body, I began to feel light-headed. The pain subsided as I grew more disassociated with reality. I remember grabbing my foe’s energy sword with my bare hands, for some insane reason, and pulling the blades from my flesh. The skin on my hands charred and blackened, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to kill that elegant fool.

I kicked him across the face and released an energy ball at his chest, knocking the sword from his grip. It was all muscle memory, coming from my years of martial arts training at the Planet Trade Organization academy. I executed a complex series of punches and kicks, so blindingly fast that not even I can remember exactly what I did. I only know that at the end of it, my foe was bleeding from every visible spot. He tried to catch one of my punches, but I put all my power into that thrust, and I snapped his hand back. He tried to stay me with energy attacks, but I pushed his attacks back with my own, until they burned and exploded in his hand. The alien tried one last attack – two purple eye beams – but I dodged them and then kicked him in the back of the head. As he stumbled forward, I teleported in front of him and punched him deep in the gut. As I felt my hand break through his golden armor and find its way into his bloody stomach, I created an energy attack which cooked him alive from the inside out. A moment later, the Nikkarin elite, smoke billowing from his mouth and eye sockets, ruptured in a bloody, meaty mess. He was dead, but the battle was far from over.

The other aliens had taken out some of the elites, but more Nikkarins now stood than Planet Trade Organization soldiers. Lord Arcterial resurfaced, covered in soot and bruises, to fight a dozen of the elites at once. Still, the Nikkarins possessed a larger army, a great host of elites, and turrets shooting us from below. We were, it appeared, losing the war.

The Nikkarin generals were armored in the finest suits of armor, and their chariots were larger than the rest. They attacked and destroyed our heavy support ships, blasting anything and everything they came into contact with into pieces. All seemed lost. Though Lord Arcterial tried to rally us, we were too few, too tired, too wounded to mount any comeback. Only the Arcosians, Lords Icer and Arcterial, and Polaria and Hail, stood against our host seemingly without hesitation. And then I saw Hail get caught between two generals. They fired on her simultaneously until her body caught on fire and she could resist no more. She fell from the air, twisting and screaming, smoke billowing from her body. The pain came back to me then, and I almost fell from the sky as well. I probably would have died, had Lord Frieza not arrived just at that moment.

He was not as he had been before, small and pink and armored like us. Now he was covered in thick muscles, his pale white-and-purple skin bulging with fury and confidence. He led his army from above us, coming down on the Nikkarins like a black tide. Lightning snaked across the sky, and thunder trumpeted the young lord’s arrival. The rain grew thicker and colder. Frieza himself rushed at the Nikkarin generals attacking Lord Arcterial and killed them with simple death beams. He annihilated the elites with energy beams, with kicks and punches, with techniques so complicated and fast, I could neither understand nor explain them.

The tide turned then. Lord Icer and Polaria overwhelmed the elites attacking them, and Lord Arcterial decapitated a Nikkarin General pressing the attack against us. The Nikkarins began to fall into retreat. Lord Icer screamed over the radio for the reserve fighters to move in, and I saw spaceships streak overhead. The small, nimble fighters cut down all of the fleeing Nikkarin forces like knives through foam.

Lord Frieza himself flew across the battlefield, helping where he could. I never saw Lord Nitro, but I’m sure he was present as well. Seeing the battle won, as Lords Frieza, Icer, and Arcterial personally executed the last Nikkarin leaders and elites, I made my way to the ground. The storms had died down, and now only the faintest bit of rain was falling from the black sky light as mist. As consciousness began to fade from me, I called for a medic and slumped down in a ruined building between several bodies of comrades and foes. I was tired, so very tired, but I could not sleep. I knew sleep would be the end of me. I had to wait for the medic. I could not give in, not so close to victory. I could not die, not like that.

I heard the Arcosians speak over the airwaves; they probably meant for it to be a private conversation, but in the chaos of war had forgotten to switch channels.

“What took you so long, Frieza?!” Lord Arcterial grunted hoarsely. “We could have died!”

“We were held up in space. We got here as quickly as we could, I promise,” the young lord said politely. “And it looks like we arrived just in time, doesn’t it? We saved everyone.”

“Damn it, Frieza! If not for your slowness, it wouldn’t have come to this! Icer’s plan was perfect. You screwed us over!”

“No,” Frieza contended slowly. “I saved all of you. I defeated our foes, and preserved my father’s empire. Uncle Icer, your plan was admirable, but it was not the right one. It appears only my ingenuity and valor saved us from utter defeat.”

“You snide little fool!” Lord Arcterial shouted. “I should have your head for this! You abandoned us just to swoop in at the last moment and claim all the glory!”

“You would be wise to not try anything, uncle,” Frieza said. “Father will know what happened here, and you’ll end up like your twit of a son if you dare attack me.”

“Enough!” spoke Lord Icer. “This battle is not done. We need to finish off those who remain and tend to our wounded and dead. You two can have your argument later. For now, let’s finish this.”

I remember little else from the battle. The medic arrived soon after and put me under anesthesia while he treated my wounds. When I awoke later, onboard a ship, I learned that our victory had been absolute – not one Nikkarin had escaped the battle. All of them were either dead or taken as prisoners. We soon left that abominable planet, never to return. Lord Arcterial blew it up with a supernova attack just before departing. Too great was the loss on that world for it to have any value on the international market, and Lord Icer considered it too cursed a place to keep in the empire.

The Nikkarins were not defeated that day, as it so happened, but they were broken. Most of their leaders had been killed in that conflict, as had most of their forces. Sparse attacks continued across the outstretches of our empire for years to come. However, we never met the Nikkarins in such open combat again. Small task forces were enough to deal with the minor raids thereafter, and within a few years, even those ceased.

The battle was important not just because it vanquished our enemies, but because it validated our empire’s power. It showed that we were the strongest in the universe, that no one could stand up to us without being sent to oblivion. At first, the Nikkarins’ attacks had shown the Planet Trade Organization to be vulnerable and slow to respond. But once Lord Icer rallied the forces to take back our territory, we crushed the Nikkarins with little effort. The universe was reminded of our prowess, and mass-scale rebellions, which had seemed so likely after the Nikkarins had begun their assaults, never happened. Lord Frieza, perhaps undeservingly, became known as ‘The Prince Who Saved Our Empire’ for his actions in this battle, though Lords Arcterial and Icer (as well as most of the soldiers, in truth), despised him for his cowardly actions during this battle. But since Lord Frieza was the co-ruler of our great organization, along with his two brothers, there was little that could be done to punish him.

It was a total victory, but even victories come with costs. We lost a large portion of the empire’s army that day, reserves that were not replenished for more than a decade. Several high-ranking soldiers lost their lives or were heavily wounded. I was crippled during the battle, the wounds to my hands and shoulder being too great to heal fully. I never fought on the front lines again, though I retained my position as an officer. We lost a good deal of wealth during the Nikkarin conflicts as well, be they in troops, supplies, or planets. That loss of money was not recovered before Lord Frieza’s untimely death soon after this battle. And there is the matter of what happened to Lord Icer’s daughter, Hail. Of course, I never saw her again, but if the rumors of what happened to her in this battle are true, then she surely suffered the most out of anyone who survived it.

Chapter XX: Family[edit | edit source]

Eyewitness details
Name: Polaria
Position: King Cold's niece; Military General
Date of account: October 22, 762 Age

We climbed the white marble steps to King Cold’s castle in silence, my father and I. Yet with every footfall, I heard the masses chanting my dear cousin’s name. ‘Frieza! Frieza! Frieza!’, ‘Hail Lord Frieza!’, ‘The Prince Who Saved Our Empire!’, ‘Savior of the Planet Trade Organization!’, ‘A true hero!’, they cried. It made me sick. That cretin, that weasel of an Arcosian, was being praised across the entire universe for something he did not do, and we had no choice but to join our voices to the madness, else we be considered traitors.

Daddy had orchestrated the destruction of the Nikkarin Empire. Lord Icer deserved the praise, not Frieza. Most of them didn’t even know we had been in that last battle too. All that mattered was Frieza. My sister Hail had fought and nearly died for the sake of our empire, and where were her supporters? No one cared. I wanted to kill them all, all the ignorant soldiers in our empire. They should be praising my family. We saved the empire. And, ironically enough, we came to King Cold’s palace that day to destroy it.

The guards let us into the looming megalith, wrought with gold and onyx and ivory. We did not pay them heed. Though there were a few guards here, there were not nearly as many as there usually were. That was because today was a special day. We were going to celebrate Prince Frieza’s great victory against the Nikkarins with an exorbitant feast. The entire family was invited, but not many others were. It was the perfect time to strike.

It was an hour till feast time when we entered the great hall. The pearl-white table had already been set, but no food was out yet. Only my cousins Nitro and Cooler were sitting in their places near the head of the table with their children. I noticed Cooler wasn’t sitting in the first seat next to the head of the table (where King Cold would sit). Instead, that had been reserved for Frieza, for his great victory. Cooler was scowling a purple scowl when we found him, and we did not linger long to hear his ranting. If all had gone according to plan, he was on our side. His anger would soon turn to glee once he helped us kill his father and brothers.

I left my father as he went to speak to his older brother, who sat lazily on his throne of gold and onyx at the far end of the room. Instead of taking my own place at the table (which was rather far down from the head seat, I am must admit), I left the room altogether. I wasn’t in the mood to make small-talk with Nitro or Cooler. I was ready for this whole ordeal to be over.

In the surrounding rooms, the others were, readying themselves and doing some premature partying. I found uncle Arcterial in the immediate room drinking ice wine and having a heated argument with King Cold’s Captain of the Guards, Zashisaro.

“They’re lying, every one of them!” my uncle declared, his face flushed in a deep shade of purple. “I say execute them now and get it over with. Insubordination cannot be tolerated!”

Zashisaro was a formidable alien of a lizard race I did not know the name of. Considered the strongest of King Cold’s soldiers, he was as ruthless as he was cunning. For this reason, he was also King Cold’s chief torturer. He had a grim, confident demeanor around him, and I was in no mood to talk to him, though I knew I must. My head was killing me. Aches of ‘Frieza, Frieza, Frieza!’ beat incessantly against my temples, and all I wanted to do was lie down and get some rest. But, of course, there was no time for rest.

“Why would they lie about something so fantastical?” Zashisaro contended. “If there really is an ancient and powerful demon hunting them, we should deal with it. We don’t want such a creature coming after the king or his family.”

“Bah, there are no such demons! This is just children’s stories and legends. You are playing the fool by even humoring them. So tell those witless fools that if we don’t get our proper shipments of iron – including the back-orders – by next month, I will send my daughter down there personally to lop off a few heads.”

Zashisaro licked his scaled lips. “Oh yes, Lord Arcterial. You are most wise in your counsel. I only wish you would send me instead,” he insisted pleasantly. But I could detect a hint of malice on his tone. That was no concern. Zashisaro always skirted the line between obedience and mutiny. And his power and leadership abilities allowed him to skirt this boundary without repercussion.

“I am not your commander,” my uncle noted. “You serve my brother.”

“I almost forget, my lord,” Zashisaro replied. “Arcosians all look alike to this poor lizard.”

“Hmph,” my uncle responded. His eyes glanced around the room, and when he saw me walking by, he raised his near-empty glass of ice wine and called, “Polaria, Polaria, here! Come over here! Say hello to your uncle!”

I nodded obediently and walked over. There was no use disrespecting Lord Arcterial. If our plan held firm, he would be king of the Planet Trade Organization by night’s end. “Hello uncle. I trust you are well this day?”

“Indeed I am,” he said, draining the last of his drink. “Here, waiter! Another cup, now!” he shouted at a scared egg-headed alien. When he had wine anew, Arcterial gulped it down and then gave me a somber look. “I’m so sorry about your sister. Dreadful business, really. Those blasted Nikkarins just couldn’t go out quietly, could they?”

“Nope,” I replied. I didn’t want to think about what had happened to my twin. But it appeared that was all I was good for now, the only thing about me that was interesting enough for others to talk about.

“Do you know her current condition?”

“Daddy said she was stable, but I haven’t seen her yet. I’m told she was brought here last night. I was planning on visiting her before dinner.”

“Yes, well, you best do that. Cold should be calling us shortly, if he hasn’t already drank himself to sleep. I’m sure whenever Prince Frieza arrives, we’ll start the celebrations.”

It looked like someone had already started celebrating. But I nodded and said nothing. There were others here – waiters and guards – so I couldn’t share my contempt with my uncle. In the immediate aftermath of the battle, uncle Arcterial had been so mad at Frieza for holding back his troops and only swooping in at the last second to steal the glory that he had nearly killed him then and there. I’m not sure if my uncle was strong enough to match my cousin’s final form, but it would have been a good battle either way. Only my lord father had calmed him down long enough for the two to be separated. Frieza had left then, and they had not spoken since. Dinner would be “fun”, I knew. Dinners were always fun. That was why I avoided them whenever I could.

“You and I have business,” I reminded Zashisaro as he went to leave, perhaps trying to silently flee from my drunk uncle. “Meet me in the torture chamber in five minutes.”

“As my lady commands,” he said, falling to one knee and raising his arm in a fist.

I grabbed the soldier by the wrist and made him stand again. For all his subtle barbs and bloodthirsty inclinations, Zashisaro was a fine soldier, perhaps the finest in all the empire, and I had yet a purpose for him. I hoped, when this thing was over, he would somehow be spared, but I knew that was an unlikely thing. I don’t think he could be trusted to guard Arcterial. He might have to die tonight. But first, he would help me with a little problem I had.

We exited the room from different doors, me going deeper towards the center of the castle, and him going the opposite way. In the next room I found Captain Ginyu, the mercenary soldier of Frieza, striking poses with young Prince Kuriza, the spawn of my least favorite cousin. Kuriza was perched on Ginyu’s shoulder like a space parrot.

“No, no, you gotta have… style!” Ginyu said, slick as Faerin banker. “Like this, watch me!”

Ginyu did a series of twirls and flips before landing on his knees and twisting himself almost completely around. He had grace, I’d give him that. Years of water dancing had taught me well, and I could appreciate true talent. It was a pity the man was such a dolt, though. He was so promising otherwise. During the maneuver, Prince Kuriza fell off Ginyu’s shoulder and hit his head on the carpet. When he began to cry, I almost felt warm inside. I noticed Zarbon, Frieza’s chief soldier, also in the room, watching the proceedings sullenly from a far corner. I stared at the man until he stared back, and then gave him a long knowing smile. That seemed to unnerve him. Knowing smiles are the easiest way to mess with someone, for they will read into them how they wish. Hopefully, that would screw with Zarbon enough to give Frieza a few headaches.

The next room was empty, save for a few tables covered in appetizers and chilled wine. They were mostly untouched, but not completely. Whoever had been here prior had left only just a moment ago, for I spied a half-eaten piece of cake on the edge of the table.

The room beyond was filled with waiters, many of them taking breaks, sitting down, wiping the sweat from their brows and downing drinks that were certainly alcoholic. They were talking about something quite heatedly when I entered, but when they saw me, all of them stopped, holding an awkward, unbreakable silence until I left.

The torture chamber was a small place, dark and cramped. When I entered, I did not at first notice the others already in there.

“Tell him that I am not playing around,” a voice, thin and dry, said. “He will tell us what he means or he will die. And quite painfully if he remains this obstinate.”

I knew that voice. It made my blood run cold. “Cousin,” I said as graciously as possible as I stepped into the room. “I did not expect to find you here.”

Frieza looked at me with slight annoyance. “I am busy.”

“Don’t mind me. I have torturing of my own to do.”

As I waited for Zashisaro to enter, I watched Frieza and his soldier interrogate their quarry. I didn’t ask questions; it wasn’t my business what Frieza was up to. Their prisoner was green-skinned and tall – a Namekian, I am certain. As the Namekian began to shift uncomfortably – he was hanging from the ceiling from energy bindings – I saw Frieza’s soldier move up to him, whisper something in his ear, and then punch him hard in the stomach. The Namekian groaned and spit up blood. That was when I saw that the torturer was none other than Dodoria. That fool was boneheaded enough to be Frieza’s pet. I was just surprised he hadn’t accidentally killed the Namekian already.

“I… I’m not telling you anything!” The Namekian spit in Dodoria’s face.

Dodoria roared and slapped him across the face. “Make him scream,” Frieza said coldly. The room lit up as Dodoria covered the alien in a full-body electrical charge attack. The Namekian screamed.

Zashisaro entered just then. Not even looking at what Frieza was up to, he strode up to me, confident and grinning slightly. “Where is he?”

“In the back,” I replied.

We moved to the far end of the room where a small being was strung up by his shoulders on some meat hooks. He was a furry, small thing, but I had seen him do much with that little body of his. Many days ago I had implanted an energy suppressor in his leg to prevent him from powering up and doing to me what he had done to Hail.

“The last Nikkarin,” Zashisaro breathed. “I will gladly end this species for you, my lady.”

“I don’t wish for you to kill him. I want you to make him suffer. Make him feel unimaginable pain. And when he pleads for death, do not give it to him. You are not his master, after all.”

“That I can do. But do you want to interrogate him first? If not, I will remove his tongue.”

“No. Wake him anyway. I have something to say to him.”

Zashisaro did as he was commanded and mimicked Dodoria in how he awoke my prisoner. The little Nikkarin squeaked in confusion and pain, and when he saw me, he snarled. In truth, he was not the last Nikkarin. There were probably millions of them crawling all over the universe, somewhere in the endless bounds of space. But he was the last of the Nikkarin Empire, the last surviving general of that failed regime.

“Remember me?” I said coolly. The last time he saw me, I cut off his legs and knocked him unconscious. Only because of what he had done to Hail did I keep him alive. He had been kept unconscious since that moment, from a combination of the shock his body had received and sedatives I had had the doctors administer.


I nodded to Zashisaro and he cut the creature’s torso open with a delicate energy blast. “Take care what you say, beast. The Nikkarin Empire is no more, and you hold no power now.”

The creature had not known that, and the emotion was plain on his face. “You lie!”

“I don’t, but what’s it matter to you? You’ll never get out of here. For what you did to my sister…” my voice trembled uncontrollably. I was as angry as I was full of despair. I tried my best not to let him see, but it was impossible.

“Is she dead?” the alien replied, gritting his teeth through the pain. He licked his lips, his black eyes shining as they watched me. “Did she suffer badly?” He smiled.

“You did not kill her, you weak pathetic piece of scum,” I replied. “My sister is alive, and she will outlive you. I promise you that.”

The Nikkarin shook his head, making his entire body shake back and forth on the meat hooks. Fresh wounds opened up in his shoulders, and blood ran down his brown fur, darkening it with life. “You’ll all die!”

I laughed humorlessly. “We’ve already won.”

“No you haven’t!” the beast seethed. “You are so stupid, all of you! You don’t know what’s coming for you!”

“Shall I pull out his tongue now?” Zashisaro asked hopefully.

“Wait,” I said, raising a hand. “What do you mean, Nikkarin? What is coming for us? More of your kind? We’ll just break them like we broke your army.”

“N-no… not us! We were running from them. That is why we came here,” it explained. “We all run from the nameless terror.”

I frowned. “Nameless terror? That’s conveniently ambiguous. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just trying to scare me. Well, it won’t work, scum.”

“Mark my words, Arcosian!” the Nikkarin shouted. “You’ll meet them soon enough! They drove us here, and they still chase us even now! When they find that we’re gone, they’ll hunt you instead.”

“Take his tongue.”

I did not watch it happen. But I heard the ripping of soft flesh, the screaming. It felt good. But it wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped. Hail was still wounded. She would likely never recover fully, if my father’s reports were to be believed. No amount of torturing was worth what happened to her.

“Should he near death, nurse him back to health,” I told Zashisaro. “I expect to find him alive the next time I return.”

“Of course,” Zashisaro said softly. “This will be fun.”

“That’ll be all, then.”

I went to leave when I passed Frieza again. It was funny, really. Everyone in the rest of the palace was awaiting his grand entrance for the feast to begin, and here was Frieza, in a dark recess of his father’s castle torturing an unimportant alien. It was so like him.

“What are the Dragon Balls?” Frieza’s question cut through the air like a blade.

“I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Remove his eyes, Dodoria.”

The green-skinned alien’s screams joined with the Nikkarin’s.

“Tell me,” Frieza commanded him. “I’m not going anywhere until you do.”

“I-I… I’ll die… first…”

“No you won’t,” Frieza corrected the alien. “If you think I’m that stupid, then you are sadly mistaken. I will get this information out of you one way or another.”

“Some soldiers from that region say they’ve heard of the Dragon Balls,” Dodoria grunted. “Told me they were magical. Could grant any wish you desire.”

“Any wish?” There was hunger in Frieza’s voice. “Is this certain?”

Dodoria shrugged. “I dunno. Just what the soldiers told me. Could be made up.”

Frieza had a curious look on his face. “Take out his teeth one at a time. You hear that Namekian? Think you can withstand this punishment? All you have to do is tell me what I want to know, and it’ll all end. The pain will disappear and you’ll be home. But stay stubborn, and I will make you feel pain you could never imagine!”

“I’ll never… betray… my kind!” the Namekian swore.

Frieza smiled menacingly. “Oh, you will. But you’ll regret how much of you we’ll have to remove from your body before you do.”

“See you at the feast, cousin,” I said to Frieza as I went to leave.

“I’ll be there shortly,” the prince said confidently.

It was good to leave that place not only because of Frieza but because of what the Nikkarin had said, what he had made me remember. My head was aching again just thinking about it.

Hail was lying on a bed in the king’s own chambers, and I found her to be sleeping peacefully. A few doctors were on call, watching her ceaselessly in case her condition changed. The only visitor was my father, who was sitting at Hail’s bedside.

“Is she in much pain?” I asked him.

“She wouldn’t stop screaming,” Daddy said sadly. “That’s why they’re keeping her sedated. I don’t know if she’s going to pull out of this…” his voice trailed off.

“Are the wounds permanent?”

“Massive third and fourth degree burns,” a doctor quipped. “We have saved her arms, but she will need skin grafts and several more surgeries. We may have to regrow some of her skin artificially, since so much of her body is burned.”

I was getting annoyed with the details. I didn’t want to hear them. I didn’t want to be so sickened. My head pounded with ghastly thoughts and I nearly felt like throwing up. “Will she return to normal when this is all over?”

The doctor shook his head. “Likely not, my lady. She will have severely limited mobility… in the best-case scenario.”

I swore under my breath. “Father, if Hail is like this… our plans… we need everyone…”

“Quiet Polaria,” Lord Icer said bluntly. It was unlike him to reprimand me so. “Not in front of these ones.”

“But father…”

“Everything will remain how it was planned,” he said quietly. “Now leave me with my daughter.”

I returned towards the great hall, trying my best not to think about Hail. Daddy was just sad; that was why he acted out. But I was so tired of feeling miserable. I just wanted something to go right for once. As I was walking back through the rooms, lining up my steps with the painful pulsations in my forehead, I came to the one that had been empty during my last visit. Now in it stood Frost. She was nibbling on a bit of cake.

“Cousin Frost?”

“Polaria.” Her voice was changed from when last I heard it. She sounded older, more tired.

“Everything is still a go, I think. Even with Hail wounded…”

“Cooler won’t help,” she said in a distant tone.

“What?! Why?”

She bowed her head. “He changed his mind.”

“What made him do that? I thought you…”

“The war against the Nikkarins,” Frost explained. “Ever since Frieza was hailed as a hero.”

“That should have made him want to take part in this plan even more!”

“The common soldiers are with Frieza now. He’s become very popular, Polaria. If we move against him and his father, we will have major rebellions on our hands. Cooler says it’s not worth it. It would result in a war that would tear apart our empire.”

“My father and yours are still going ahead with this. Why didn’t you tell them?”

“Oh,” said Frost, blinking, “I only just learned myself. Cooler told me not ten minutes past.”

“I don’t want to do this,” I admitted to Frost. “Not with my sister wounded. I would like her strength in this fight. Without her, I doubt we can win.”

“And the soldiers, Polaria,” Frost noted. “It will destroy the Planet Trade Organization if you do this, Cooler says. He’ll defend his father if you try anything.”

“Then we are lost.”

“Well, then tell them,” Frost urged. “Hurry!”

She was such a naïve thing, Frost. She put us in such a dangerous position with that late revelation. Why didn’t she go to her father? Why did I have to do everything?

It was at that time we were called to the great feast hall. I hadn’t had time to notify Daddy or uncle Arcterial, and I knew they would do something stupid if I didn’t stop them soon.

It was a spectacle, Frieza’s entrance. He strode in the great onyx doors, a purple cape draped about him. The guards and lesser soldiers bowed for him while other soldiers beat drums and played other assorted space instruments. None of his family bowed, though. We clapped politely, half of us harboring murderous thoughts. And when Frieza took his seat next to his father, the feast finally began.

There was much talk and much to eat, and less time to stop tragedy than I had hoped. To my left was my father, Lord Icer as he was known, Cooler, and his twin infant children, Raimie and Haimaru. To my left was an open seat where Hail would have sat, and my younger brother Avalan. Across from us were Frost, uncle Arcterial, Nitro, his young half-breed daughter, Yuki, Frieza, and his son Kuriza. And at the head of the table sat uncle Cold himself. This was the first time our entire family had been together – save for Hail. She was not here. I would remember her, at least. I’m not sure anyone else did.

They were all gorging themselves and getting drunk and swapping tales. It was so easy to be pleasant, it seemed, when there was good food and wine in front of you. Many of us had problems with one another, but for that moment, we forgot all our strife and celebrated Frieza. Well, they did, anyway. I would never legitimately celebrate my coward of a cousin. But one must maintain appearances.

My father was talking with Cooler for a long while, preventing me from telling him the change of plans. When finally, their talking died down, and Lord Icer turned back to face me (in order to grab his glass), I brushed my hand against his.

“Father, it’s off,” I whispered in his ear. Below the raucous din of the table, where many family members were hooting or talking loudly, I hoped my words would be unheard by anyone else.

He looked at me strangely and then proceeded to ignore me. Daddy thought I was trying to push the same argument I had in Hail’s bedroom.

“Daddy, please…” I whispered a bit louder, risking Nitro hearing us. “Cooler’s out.”

He did not budge at that news. Instead, he continued to eat and drink.

“Uncle doesn’t know.”

Lord Icer seemed to bristle at that. He returned to conversing with Cooler. I could not hear them, but I was sure Daddy had understood what I told him. We just needed to stop uncle Arcterial now.

Avalan was playing with his food like an uncivilized lout, his deformed hands causing him to be careless with his utensils and slop food everywhere. When he saw me staring at him in disbelief, he gave me a funny look.

“You know, sister, I executed a chief supporter of the Aphotic Prince’s empire. Oh yes, it was a great blow to his power. You can thank me later,” Avalan boasted in that awkward, quick-talking way of his. “What have you done with your life that could compare, hmm? I think father is starting to like me better.”

I didn’t even know what Avalan was rambling on about. But he often ranted incoherently, so I knew how to deal with him. “Oh, I don’t know, I was just fighting the Nikkarins, saving our empire from total collapse.”

“Mmhm,” Avalan sniggered. “But it looks like our wonderful cousin Frieza finished that job for you. Pity, sister. I know how much glory means to you.” He flung a bit of food at me.

“Stop it, you immature little brat!” I whispered, so the others would not hear. “Or I swear I’ll wipe that smug grin off your face.”

“Oh yes, Polaria, do try that. If you do, well, I’m sure father will have to get involved, and we wouldn’t want that, now would we? Maybe you’ll end up like poor Hail in that case. That would be most… deserving.”

No we wouldn’t want that, but Avalan didn’t understand. He was so childish and unpredictable, Daddy hadn’t even told him about our plot. His words had lost their edge on me, though, after their long use. He always talked to me like this, and nowadays I barely even noticed it. I was really only annoyed when he threw the food at me. “You should drink some more wine, Avalan,” I reminded him. “How often are you going to get to taste King Cold’s finest liquor?” A drunk Avalan was a sleepy Avalan, and a sleepy Avalan was the best kind of Avalan in the universe.

“Too right you are, sister,” Avalan replied. “I certainly have earned it. By this time next year, the Aphotic Prince’s entire empire will crumble, just wait and see. And it’s all because of me. You may have helped cousin Frieza take out those filthy Nikkarin creatures, but I have singlehandedly destroyed our most fearsome foe. You should feel proud, sister, knowing you’re related to me.”

I would have said something, but then Daddy stood up. For a heartbeat, I thought he was going to enact our doomed plot, going to drag us down the road to ruin. But before I could scream out in anguish, he raised his glass to the air.

“I wish to make a toast,” the Ice Lord said quietly. The conversations around the table died down and everyone trained their eyes on Daddy. “To Frieza, my brother’s son, I salute your courage in the fight against the Nikkarins. For bringing peace back to the Planet Trade Organization, you have my utmost respect and admiration.” Then, Daddy turned his eyes to uncle Arcterial. “I only hope the peace can be maintained. It would be a most terrible thing for war to come to us again so soon. We must all of us be like Frieza. We must save this empire from more bloodshed and pain. Now is not the time for war; now is the time to rest and heal our wounds. So to my nephew Frieza, I honor you tonight with this toast. You have embodied all of the true qualities of an Arcosian. You have brought prosperity back to our empire. You have saved us from oblivion. To Frieza!” he yelled, thrusting his glass into the air. All of us followed suit, save for uncle Arcterial.

Uncle Arctieral sat there, a look of confusion on his face. It quickly turned to cold ire, but the good lord did not move nor act rashly. Everyone else descended into conversation again, many of them continuing to lavish the praise on Frieza in sickening fashion. I watched Lord Arcterial stare down his brother for some time, and then Daddy broke off their gaze.

At that moment, I held my breath, waiting to see what uncle Arcterial would do. He fumed silently for several moments, brooding and grinding his teeth; and when he finally took ahold of his glass and drained it in a single sour gulp, I knew our empire had been spared from a bloody civil war.

Planet Trade Organization Leaders: End[edit | edit source]

This section will detail who is in charge of the Planet Trade Organization as of the end of this volume:

Leader Role Number of Soldiers Relation
King Cold Ruling King of the PTO Several million Father of Cooler, Frieza, and Nitro
Cooler Crown Prince of the PTO Several trillion First son of King Cold
Raimie Princess of the PTO Several dozen servants First daughter of Cooler
Haimaru Prince of the PTO Several dozen servants First son of Cooler
Frieza Prince of the PTO Several trillion Second son of King Cold
Kuriza Prince of the PTO Several dozen servants First son of Frieza
Nitro Prince of the PTO Several trillion Third son of King Cold
Yuki Princess of the PTO Several thousand First daughter of Nitro
Arcterial Ruling lord of the PTO Several billion Younger brother of King Cold
Frost Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Arcterial
Icer Ruling lord of the PTO Several billion Younger brother of King Cold
Polaria Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Icer
Hail Military General of the PTO Several thousand Daughter of Icer
Avalan Military General of the PTO Several thousand Son of Icer
Zarbon Military General of the PTO Several thousand Frieza's second in command
Digranite Military General of the PTO Several thousand Cooler's second in command
Srief Military General of the PTO Several thousand Nitro's second in command

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Planet Trade Organization[edit | edit source]

The Planet Trade Organization is a military empire comprised of trillions of soldiers, slaves, and civilians. They control the a significant portion of the universe, and are the largest empire currently. They also engage in a lucrative planet selling business, which is the source of much of their wealth. The leaders of this organization are members of the Arcosian species, though many members of alien species hold high ranks as well.

KING COLD, leader of the Planet Trade Organization,

  • his children:
    • PRINCE COOLER, heir to the Planet Trade Organization and leader of a large portion of the empire,
      • his children:
        • PRINCE HAIMARU, an infant boy, twin of Raimie,
        • PRINCESS RAIMIE, an infant girl, twin of Haimaru,
      • his empire:
        • SUPREME GENERAL DIGRANITE, a fearsome warrior and the second in command of his empire,
        • SALZA, the leader of Cooler's Armored Squadron,
        • DORE, a member of Cooler's Armored Squadron,
        • NEIZ, a member of Cooler's Armored Squadron,
        • GOVERNOR GUVA, the overseer of Planet Cooler 92,
        • CAPTAIN BOISENBERRY, a soldier in his empire,
        • PRABBLE, a soldier in his empire,
    • PRINCE FRIEZA, his second son, an arrogant young lord and leader of a large portion of the empire,
      • his son:
        • PRINCE KURIZA, a young, meek boy,
      • his empire:
        • GENERAL ZARBON, the second in command of his empire,
        • GENERAL DODORIA, a high-ranking officer in his empire,
        • GOVERNOR LYCHIN, the overseer of an unnamed planet in Frieza's empire,
        • COMMANDER ABO, a high-ranking officer in his empire,
        • COMMANDER KADO, a high-ranking officer in his empire,
        • COMMANDER DATE, a high-ranking officer in his empire, severely wounded during the siege of Magnificat,
        • CAPTAIN TORLINI, a high-ranking officer in his empire,
        • CAPTAIN KRACCHUS, one of the few officers who did not participate in the war against the Nikkarins, saved Prince Kuriza from King Pot Belly,
        • CAPTAIN GINYU, the leader of the Ginyu Force,
        • JEICE, a member of the Ginyu Force,
        • BURTER, a member of the Ginyu Force,
        • RECOOME, a member of the Ginyu Force,
        • GULDO, a member of the Ginyu Force,
        • GICHAMU, a skilled engineer who created the scouters,
        • VEGETA, a soldier in his empire,
        • NAPPA, a soldier in his empire,
        • FEIJON, a soldier in his empire,
        • KUSTAR, a mercenary soldier who stole a large amount of money from Frieza before deserting,
        • {BRAKK}, a slave,
        • GADON, a slave, escaped to freedom after the Nikkarins attacked his homeworld,
        • {MURAK}, a slave,
    • PRINCE NITRO, his third son, a recluse and leader of a large portion of the empire,
      • his daughter:
        • PRINCESS YUKI, a half-breed with Saiyan genes from her mother's side,
      • his empire:
        • SRIEF, his top-ranking military general and the second in command of his empire,
        • KIRKA, his advisor and the third in command of his empire,
  • his brothers:
    • PRINCE ARCTERIAL, his younger brother, a strong, but brash leader,
      • his children:
        • PRINCE GLACIAL, a former general in the Planet Trade Organization, branded a traitor and made a slave in King Cold's empire, now known as Leech,
          • his soldiers:
            • {CAINUS}, a captain in his empire, branded a traitor and killed by Captain Ginyu,
        • PRINCESS FROST, a beautiful and intelligent young woman,
    • PRINCE ICER, his youngest brother, a bold and introspective Arcosian,
      • his children:
        • PRINCESS POLARIA, a deadly warrior and commander on the battlefield, twin of Hail,
        • PRINCESS HAIL, a deadly warrior and commander on the battlefield, gravely wounded in the last battle against the Nikkarins, twin of Polaria,
        • PRINCE AVALAN, a malformed, sickly boy,
      • his soldiers:
        • COMMANDER SLAGG, a former soldier in his army, defected to the Nikkarins' side,
  • his empire:
    • ZASHISARO, the Captain of the Guards and the chief torturer,
    • SAPRAS, an historian and high-ranking officer,
    • PUDDIN, a personal guard who later became a deserter,
    • CAPTAIN SWICHIE, captain of a prison ship housing some of the empire's most dangerous criminals,
    • {SLUDGE}, a slave, formerly a soldier in Cooler's empire,
    • {GRIMEY}, a slave.

The Aphotic Prince's Empire[edit | edit source]

The Aphotic Prince is a mysterious space pirate lord who has been preying on the Planet Trade Organization for some time. He commands a vast host of space pirates. The Aphotic Prince has no true base of operations, though he uses many asteroids and small planets or moons as temporary bases. Though there have been attempts to kill him and destroy his empire, these have proved to be mostly ineffective. Notably, Cooler's Supreme General Digranite, considered one of the strongest soldiers in the entire Planet Trade Organization, failed to hurt the Aphotic Prince whatsoever in a duel, showing just how strong the pirate lord is.

THE APHOTIC PRINCE, a mysterious space pirate lord of great power and audacity,

  • his empire:
    • {LOQUANO}, a former high-ranking officer of the Planet Trade Organization, defected to the Aphotic Prince's side, executed by Prince Avalan.

Nikkarin Empire[edit | edit source]

This empire mysteriously sprang up in the 750 Ages, soon revealing themselves to be the first major threat to the Planet Trade Organization. Staging sneak attacks on outlying Planet Trade Organization planets, they quickly amassed quite a bit of territory. Starting in the 753 Age, Prince Icer took command of a massive army to deal with them, and many battles followed between the Nikkarins and the Planet Trade Organization. In the 761 Age, Prince Frieza defeated a huge host of Nikkarins, effectively shattering their empire and resolve. Though they technically persisted as an organization for years to come, their power and influence was ended in the 761 Age with that crushing military defeat.


  • their empire:
    • {THE SMILING DEMON}, considered the greatest Nikkarin general, defeated in single combat by Prince Arcterial.

Galactic Bank[edit | edit source]

The Galactic Bank is the largest bank in the known universe. It offers loans to a variety of organizations, including the Planet Trade Organization. The Galactic Bank always collects its debts, even if the organizations that owe it money refuse to pay. In those scenarios, the Galactic Bank will finance another empire or army to collect its debts from those delinquent groups. Despite just being a bank, the Galactic Bank is considered one of the most powerful organizations in the known universe, and not even the Planet Trade Organization would dare mess with them.


  • their organization:
    • TYCHIB ESHIL, an emissary of the Galactic Bank.

Space-badger Empire[edit | edit source]

The Space-badger Empire was comprised of a large group of space-badgers who took up residence on Frieza's capital world after the young prince went off to fight the Nikkarin Empire. They killed most of Frieza's guards and took his son Kuriza as hostage. All were slain by Captain Kracchus and his team.

{KING POT BELLY}, an obese space-badger styling himself the king of his kind, slain by Captain Kracchus,

  • his subjects:
    • {NUMEROUS SPACE-BADGERS}, at least one hundred twenty-five, all killed by Captain Kracchus.

Planet Trade Organization Rebels[edit | edit source]

These rebels were a moderately-sized group of former Planet Trade Organization soldiers primarily located in Cooler's empire. Seeking to overthrow the crown prince, they staged multiple attacks around his empire for decades before finally being eradicated by Supreme General Digranite in the 759 Age. No members of this organization were named in this volume.


  • their soldiers:
    • NUMEROUS SOLDIERS, at least thirty thousand.
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