This is the first story in Vöntun, my first one-shot collection of 2018. I originally came up with the ideas for the nine stories in August of 2017, though I did not begin working on the collection until February 2018 (finishing the entire collection in a little over a month). Appetent Justice was the first one I worked on, even though it is the second listed story. Not sure why that was. Perhaps it was impatience to delve into Majin Sesami's history again. By late 2017, I had a general idea of who the main villains of Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon would be. Sesami had, by this point, been chosen to be one of the main villains. Because of that, I needed to write about her, not only to iron out her history, but so I could get a feel for the character before she appears in HOTD. This is the first story she's appeared in since 2014 (not counting a brief cameo in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization), so it makes sense that I would be impatient to return to writing about her.
Ikigai, my final one-shot collection of 2017, had been the first one where I had really started writing about Dragon Ball Super characters (although Beerus had appeared in Things Were Better Then). With Vöntun, I took that to the next level. Every story in this collection is either about OCs or Super characters. In the case of Appetent Justice, it featured both OCs and Super characters. The main reason for that was because I was curious to write about characters I hadn't written about before. Toppo and Dyspo were pretty cool guys, in my opinion, so I wanted to explore their characters a bit. That is the main reason why Sesami goes to Universe 11.
The original outlines for the Vöntun one-shots are as follows:
1. Jiren - young Jiren learns a technique and lesson from a master turned monster. 2. Ancient Majin story - ancient story about Sesami hunting in other universes, using a cool technique to travel; she returns after being woken by ledas in PTO and briefly hunts again; she runs into dyspo and toppo and is shocked by their power when she fights them to stalemate. 3. Caulifla - how Caulifla met Kale for the first time 4. Nishi tale - tale of Nishi defending New Namek from some Space Pirates. 5. Frost - a story from Frost's childhood in which he single-handedly causes his universe's Galactic Bank to collapse, taking it over. His son is killed, and he talks to slaves who don't know who he is to learn wisdom. 6. Beerus - when Beerus discovered his brother was a God of Destruction too. Includes Liquer and Beerus plotline in another universe. 7. somen - he visits other universes and meeting with jimizu, getting into some yardrat conspiracy shit; somen has an encounter with the shota incubus from ATU ch4 opening. 8. Aranya and Kuriza's "Ginyu Force" - Aranya and the gang head out on a mission in which they deal with a very formidable foe, showcasing their abilities. 9. Goku Black - Goku Black vs. Jiren from Future Trunks' timeline.
As can be seen, most of the story concepts remained the same, or very similar, to the final versions. The only exception is the fifth story, but I will talk about that more in my anthology of He Needs Some Space Milk. For Appetent Justice, the story idea remained essentially the same from this concept to what was eventually written. The main change was that the first name, "Kinda Scary Demon", was changed to Appetent Justice.
Also, one should bear in mind that when the stories of Vöntun were conceived, Dragon Ball Super had not yet finished. Episode 103 was the most recent episode to air, meaning that there were 28 left (of course, we didn't know what the final number would be at the time). I delayed starting Vöntun until mid February of 2018 to account for this, as I wanted to see where the show was taking these new characters before writing about them.
I waited until after Dyspo and Toppo were eliminated from the Tournament of Power before beginning this story. Toppo was finally eliminated on February 4, 2018. I made the page for Appetent Justice on February 10th, though I did not begin writing until the 13th. I managed to write three paragraphs that day. The next day, I made some decent progress, finishing the first section, as well as writing the first paragraph of the second scene. On the 15th, I wrote another page or so of content.
On February 16th, I finished the second scene and wrote two paragraphs of the third scene. The next day, I wrote about a page of content. On the 18th, I finished the third scene and wrote a good chunk of the fourth scene (up to the point of Toppo confronting Sesami). On the 19th, I continued at about the same pace, finishing another page or so of prose. My pace picked up on the 20th. That day, I wrote about five pages, finishing the fourth scene and writing out the entirety of the fifth and final scene.
I did not touch this story again until the 25th. On that day, I edited the story from 12:56 am until 3:51 am. The story was posted to the wiki about forty minutes later. The editing phase was fairly substantial. I made a lot of changes (my google doc says there were 775 edits made), particularly in the last two sections. Sesami's internal thoughts were what I changed most, although I also significantly edited her fight with Toppo and Dyspo.
Certainly, this story turned out to be longer than I had anticipated going in to it. I had expected it to be around 5000 words or so. In terms of thematic content, I usually don't like to say too much about that, as I'd prefer the readers to take whatever they can from the story without being influenced too much by me. With that said, Vöntun was split into three thematically-grouped sections: Brennandi (burning), Nú (now), and Nóg (enough). Appetent Justice is part of the first batch. Burning, as it relates to Sesami, is in regards to her hunger, her desire for power, food, and purpose. By this point in her life, she is an old Majin. The candy just doesn't do it anymore. I wanted her to be somewhat based off of Darth Nihilus, so there's a sense that she's a force of nature now, of consumption, more so than a powerful being with agency. Whether or not she can control her appetite, is the most significant part of her character development throughout all of the stories she appears in. I don't want to say whether she is in control or not. That's up for the readers to decide.
Anyways, one more thing I want to state before moving onto the endnotes is that writing this story, and all of the Vöntun one-shots, occurred during a very interesting time in my life. I remember it vividly. I was in a mega Dragon Ball mood due to Super airing every week (although there were a few two week breaks during the writing that were irritating). Everything was new and exciting, and we were reaching the climax of the Tournament of Power. It was a very optimistic and energetic time for the Dragon Ball community as a whole, and that energy was definitely in me, as I was able to bang out all nine one-shots in about a month's time, which is a ridiculously fast pace for me.
As well, this was during my last semester of college. I had already finished all but one of my hard classes, so this last semester was fairly easy. I was able to relax for the first time since August of 2016 and take things easy. There was much smoking of weed as a result, and most of the Vöntun stories were thus written under the influence. As such, I don't remember what happens in most of them, so my opening monologues for these stories will probably not be too detailed. Appetent Justice is an exception, as is The Mortal Flaw. I had to read AP before finishing Insatiable, so I am familiar with this one. I am excited for this. While I think Ikigai is my favorite one-shot collection, Vöntun was written in a very optimistic point in my life, and it will be fun to bask in that nostalgia. Anyways, onto the endnotes!
Struggling to open her eyes, she felt a punch of wind in her ears. Space was dark and cold, bereft of anything which she could cling to, so she kept going. Bleak as the dark was everything she experienced; pressing down upon her shoulders from all directions was a frigid, lifeless wasteland, and yet, she could not breathe. She had been awakened too early.
A foul taste polluted her mouth, reminded her of when that cunning magician had dared to wake her before it was time. Not so easy, she had thought. You’ll not have me as you had the others. He had taken them, both of them, and she had spat upon their honor, worthless as it was, for all the pain it caused her.
In flight, she came across a planet abloom with life. The people who lived here had, for millennia, for millions of years, evolved into capable, technologically-advanced, intelligent beings. They had been, beyond their will, thrust into a bitter evolutionary battle and dominated. She sucked their lives away in one fell swoop, in a single moment, in one act, total and brutal and calming.
Everything became quiet. She stood on the outskirts of a city lacking in life. The hunger tearing at her throat gnawed even more. It wanted more, more–so much more. The primal force compelling her was as deep as any of the basest emotions she felt, more akin to starvation than lust, but no less potent. It kept her alive; her hunger was not merely a manifestation of a personality flaw, a lack of discipline or an addiction: it was what sustained her.
Quite simply, Majin Sesami would cease to exist if she did not continue down this path every time she woke from her millennia-spanning slumbers. Majin Walu, that damnable ancient wretch, had promised her that this was neither temporary nor a fault in her programming. Being a Majin, she was meant to consume, to destroy, to sleep, to regenerate, to repeat. These cycles were not meant to stop.
Few now remained of her kind, if any. That gnarled wizard, green as Yautja blood, had taken Majin Hocus and Majin Buu. She alone had escaped his advances and despised her fellows for their weakness in submitting. They were likely dead by now, likely long gone. As far as she knew, they three were the last of their species.
Walu had lived for more than fifteen million years, in cycles of slumber and destruction, until the young Destroyer, whose name she would not speak, had cut Walu’s last rampage short, engulfing her in an inferno of purplish energy, wiping her from existence without a second thought.
Sesami had been but a girl back then. Her own destruction cycles had never reached the level of Walu’s for fear of that pointy-eared Destroyer coming for her.
And yet she was awake. She had been woken early. This was not right; this was an egregious sin. Her hunger bit at her throat, choking her. She tried to fight it. Sesami wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep, to swallow her pride and rest.
Had she attempted that, she would have died. This was not a matter of good or evil, but of survival or extinction. She was the last of her kind, or so she thought, and that brought with it a loneliness, a feeling of weighted obligation upon her shoulders, a sense that everything she did now mattered more than it did before.
Bibidi’s words were poison; she had barely been able to tolerate the magician’s presence for more than a moment’s time. Hocus and Buu had been younger than her, even then, and so they were naive. They were fools, and they deserved all that came to them. It was not her fault that they were so weak. It was never her fault that they did not understand, could not comprehend the dire circumstances they had been thrust into. She alone had stood in defiance, and for that defiance, she had paid a great cost. Hocus and Buu had betrayed her and attacked her for their new master’s sake.
Where they were now, she cared not. They were better off dead.
Her vocal cords felt stiff as she screamed. It had been hundreds of thousands of years since last she had let loose.
Steam rose in boiling puffs from her shoulders. Her voice rose higher and higher until she was at her limit. She closed her eyes, picturing Hocus and Buu, their betrayal fueling her onwards. Her throat burned, her vocal cords splitting, rupturing, filling her mouth with lukewarm, sticky liquid. Like Bibidi’s soft words this was. Blood dribbled from her lips as her voice cracked and broke and tore through space-time.
A portal hovered before her. It was eleven layers deep–six fewer than the last time she’d done this. Every time Sesami woke from one of her cyclical slumbers, she had ventured into a new realm and back. There were two such realms remaining for her to visit for the first time: the eleventh and twelfth layers. Like white fuzz, each separate universe clung to one another. She pulled them apart and jumped into the eleventh, the wind and the sound coaxing her, and as she spat blood, her mind grew blank, her throat burning ever still.
A grey and oblong rock floated by soundlessly in the void. There weren’t many of them living on it, but enough that she could smell and sense, dispersing space-time around them ever so slightly by their presence. Their heat was distant, but not so distant as to be impossible to reach. She neither hunted by sight nor sound. It was in the holes in her arms and chest, in her nostrils, around the outer edge of her tongue, that she felt life, and by that same measure, thirsted for it to end.
She was possessed by the idea; she was its puppet. It was not her that was functioning–this basest of desires was her master, and she was its slave.
They were pirates of an ill-mannered sort, creating hideous din with their raucous conversations and games. The single establishment on the asteroid was a palace-sized bar, full of the most loathsome of malcontents. She drifted in, raising eyes, quieting tables. She had neither money nor social skills, though Sesami knew some of the mortals’ tendencies. These tendencies seemed to track across the twelve dimensional layers.
This was not the first time she had come to a place like this.
A pirate with a crooked chin paid for her first drink; talking smoothly, his coarse voice scratching at her thoughts, she relented and allowed him to proceed. “Where’re ya from, hun? Haven’t seen ya ‘round these parts before. Me ‘n Jenko were just about ta leave… Wanna join us?”
Her raw, ripped throat throbbed with pain. She shook her head lazily and turned her attention to another pair of pirates who were punching each other in the corner, breaking their glasses, spilling luminescent blue liquid over each other, shouting and bleeding and cussing as one pinned the other against the wall.
“It’d be best for ya to join us,” the pirate’s companion sneered. “Come on, girl. It’ll be fun. Corban’s got a fast ride. Real fast. We’ll make it to Inuwe in no time.”
Her finger twitched, itching. A warm feeling spread from her brain to her shoulders. Just one more move, and…
“You’re Corban?” a thin voice asked.
“What of it?”
“Heard the Pride Troopers were lookin’ for you. What’re you doing here? You’re going to get us all caught!”
“Piss off. You don’t know me!”
His fellow stood up for him, perhaps admirably. “We’re on the edge of space! They won’t find us out here! This rock’s been clean for years!”
“That’s what you say. I don’t trust you.”
“Half this lot here’s wanted, if not more. What’s your point? I bet you’re on their list just as well.”
Corban’s ears were flat and green, his face sallow as icy mud, emotionless and smooth though it was. His opponent was not even two feet tall, carved out of what seemed to be grey crystal, its eyes bleeding purple, its claws curled black, crystallized like daggers.
“What does your blood look like?” the creature asked.
Corban punted the little devil across the room without wasting another breath. The denizens of the bar hardly noticed.
In one corner, several of them were playing cards to loud guffaws, while in another, a group of wild-eyed maniacs, cursing and spitting and coughing up blood, were competing in a game of who could poison their veins faster than the others. They glowed neon blue and pink and orange, their bloodstreams on fire. She had to look away. Everything was making her weary.
“Gunli kharho!” the tiny critter sneered.
Leaping up with vigor, it approached again.
Corban drew himself up in a guarded pose. “Get away from me, you bastard. I don’t have any–”
That was when the tiny being leapt upon him, latching onto Corban’s throat with his dagger teeth.
Blood sprayed everywhere. Ruby red droplets flowed down his sharp chin, like snow melt down a mountain cracked asunder by lightning. She was breathless and tired and hungry all the same and wanted nothing more than to try her luck.
The small critter jumped upon its mount, a bulbous, floating sack of meat, faintly grey and pink and sickly-looking. It bobbed up and down slowly, a foul-smelling substance leaking from a glowing yellow pus sack on its left side that had corrupted almost half of its body. They drifted off, and no one said a word.
Well, except for Corban’s companions. They swore loudly, downed their drinks, threw their glasses, and charged.
A pink bubble surrounded the floating meat sack, pulsing outwards, rushing over the two and ending their cries in a flash. Their bodies remained upright, locked in place, imprints of a reality left behind, until one drunken, shirtless pirate with tentacles for hair stumbled into the dead men, reducing them to puddles of ash.
She was intrigued. A fire was lit in her belly. Majin Sesami wanted to see more. The warrior and his steed were gone; they had disappeared in a slow manner akin to drifting off to sleep. She followed them out, not bothering to waste another thought or breath on those who remained indoors.
The moon came into full bloom. Like a locust, she burrowed through, tearing a hole, leaving behind a red-worn hole, the rocks crumbling, melting, like a scab bursting in movement, the edges around her entrance bleeding crimson.
The planet was mostly forests–foggy, muddy, humid wetlands extending past curling, floating trees with red bark and blue-black leaves, some of them rivaling skyscrapers. Many life forms called this world their home, but she sensed only two of significant power. Her quarry had chosen a remote and primitive place to die.
The two of them were not together, surprisingly. The second was located at the treetops of the rainforest at the northern pole. She went there first, assuming she would find the warrior and his steed. Yet there amongst the trees was only ruin and decay. An outpost of some sort, having been built directly into the red bark, was now overgrown with moss from eons of neglect. She had no clue what kind of facility this was. Catwalks and buildings, some glowing yellow, some glowing blue, were interspersed amongst the highest branches of all the trees whose trunks were more than thirty feet thick. The air was old; bugs buzzed around the derelict outpost wasting their lives in a place without meaning.
The greatest among these beasts, with its multicolored wings, lithe, mud-red form, split jaw, and thousand eyes, was the quarry she had sensed. The other, that pirate, was approaching it too. Where the little one had gone, she knew not. The animal had neither seen her nor noticed anything was off. She sat and waited amongst the branches, the tiny ones alighting and lighting up around her.
Sesami’s eyes grew dry with tiredness. She had been awakened before she was ready. Flashes of memories returned to her: of the soldiers in their shining armor, each wearing a hissing, fracturing red or blue glass device over their eyes. Then that one with the golden hair had appeared, and she had left. She hadn’t wanted to fight them–any of them–she had only desired to sleep a little longer. For another cycle, perhaps, or a bit longer if she were lucky. She craved their energy, the sustenance that it gave her.
The bugs popped and died, their scant energy not feeding her even remotely, and still she was compelled to act. Cycles ago, perhaps four or five million years ago, she had relished in this desire, had given into it completely. Yet doing so had brought with it no truth, no solace, no purpose. She was immortal, wasting away, unable to do anything but function as a slave. Her thoughts corrupted her mind, and all she felt was hate.
The bug was perched upon a branch poking through a grey metal window, the glass long since shattered, cleaning its pincers. This was the king bug, no doubt. It would make an excellent villain, an excellent warrior, a remarkable opponent just because it was older than the others and bigger too. It therefore must have a power unmatched by those who had trained for decades or more just because it had matured. It had likely fought other bugs, perhaps some even strong enough to be galactic tyrants, but that was neither here nor there. Its notable history was no doubt a marvelous tale, but she had already grown bored with this inane sentient.
If not for the other creature approaching, she would have caved its head in already.
The ruins were wrought in ornate metal or a substance Sesami did not recognize, but seemed somewhat familiar nonetheless. Much of the floating station was overgrown, though aside from the tiny bugs and the one conveniently large one, there weren’t any other signs of life.
She enjoyed that. Everything was so remote and quiet and she could hardly keep her eyes open.
The pirate and his mount arrived not long after. Hewn from rock by lightning, he was the tempest unto this world. The pirate, whose name she knew not (a very disadvantageous fact for the continuance of this story), appeared, hopping off his pus-dripping mount to approach the lord of all bugs.
Licking his pincers, the king deigned not to move.
They exchanged words, useless puffs of breath though those were. She had no recourse but to move. Majin Sesami could act or watch or sleep. She would not sleep in a foreign universe; she would not magically become a coward now, after all her years of slumber and genocide.
She knew not why she had tracked this particular being here, nor what the pirate was intending to do. Another wave of weariness overcame Sesami. She would be a fool to hibernate in this universe. She had been born in the universe she had come from. She had never entered another universe and hibernated in it. That would be foolhardy. She would be leaving herself naked to opposition. If she died here, then what?
Would it be so wrong to fade away after all these eons, cycle after monotonous cycle, of rampaging genocide and sleep? She acted on her impulses skillfully, but what was the point?
She was both afraid and defiant.
The small creature approached without fear. The king leapt from his branch, landing softly on the moss-covered metal. The outpost, having been constructed by long-forgotten people, was in the middle of silent, beautiful decay. Tree spores clouded yellow the air, the king’s subjects brightly coloring it with blues and purples. Everything was gorgeous; everything had to be smothered.
The king, having cleaned his claws rather splendidly, stood over the smaller creature without fear. His mandibles clicked. The pirate replied in turn with a squeaking sound created by sliding a single claw down its forearm. Their conversation went on for a while–too long for Sesami to maintain concentration. She was growing bored with this already. She had wanted to see what this pirate could really do. Its abilities were not being showcased on this cursed planet, in this detestable situation. She would end it now and spare herself the anxiety.
Jumping from the shadows, she scattered bugs in flight. They were in the midst of communication, a black bag, dripping sparks, hovering between them. She knew what that meant and burned them all the same. His majesty went up in lights, his shell cracking, his eyes melting, his wings vaporizing. There was silence, save for the crackling of flesh.
His companion, the pirate, attempted to flee, but Sesami hit him with a five-pronged purple energy beam that cut through his torso and neck and sent his body up in a pillar of flames. And when it was over, when they were both dead, she could still sense a single being.
The pirate’s mount remained, dripping pus. When she turned to face it, the creature grunted wildly and attempted to fly off. She shot a single ball of orange energy into its mass of eyes, watching it explode into fleshy chunks. The little one had been nothing more than an automaton. But did that matter? Of course not. Sesami killed, ravaged, imbibed. But the automaton had given her nothing, and so she bitterly scorned it.
That mockery of life was worse than anything. It was a debasement of all she hated, and a useless one at that. The floating bugs exploded blue and purple in bloody fireworks. She felt hollow and more than a little sleepy. Her vocal cords were still numb. She could try it, Sesami knew, but it would hurt a lot.
At that moment, alone amongst the abandoned ruins, she felt another power surge into being, and this one was beyond either the bug or the pirate’s strengths. It took her breath away. Not even that golden-haired warrior had approached this level of power. She swallowed her hunger and blinked rapidly. There before her was a man wearing a red and black outfit, tight-fitting, his arms folded, his wide purple ears twitching as he frowned at her.
For the briefest of moments, she thought he was the Destroyer, come to finish what he had started all those millenia ago.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?!” the long-eared fellow demanded.
Sesami shrugged abjectly.
“You know… I was tracking that man. He was a wanted fugitive! He was going away for a long time.”
“Shut up. Your words mean nothing to me.”
“Huh?! What’s wrong with you?” the man replied, caught off guard. “I am Dyspo, of the Pride Troopers! I am only trying to bring justice–”
She threw herself at him, punching wildly. Caught off guard, the Pride Trooper parried her blows, matching her speed casually. That only infuriated her more. Why should he be so fast? She had spent untold eons training and growing stronger… And yet all that meant nothing now.
Pushing forward, Sesami roared, her vocal cords stinging. He dodged left and she pursued at once, overexerting herself. The purple bunny was no novice to warfare. Easily, he responded in kind, twisting around her, backhanding her, and then taking her legs out from under her. As she fell, her body was riddled by energy bullets. Sesami moaned in pain.
This beast was an annoying thorn in her side, and she would not have it. Not after she came all this way to watch the other one die. Who was this creature? How could he stand against her? She was Majin Sesami, the eldest True Majin in the universe–she was a force of power, of regeneration, of strength, unequalled by anyone.
He caught her arm, twisted it, and spun around her again. Releasing an energy wave, Sesami attempted to quell him, but it was no use. He teleported away, appeared above her, and as she attempted to throw a left hook, he again leapt into nothingness, appearing behind her, slapping her. She caught his next punch, but then he kicked her in the stomach, teleporting behind her, and blasting her into the air with a red justice beam.
His speed was annoying. Resentment bubbled up. But for what? Why was she mad? Why was she scared? Why was she so impudent? If she had no purpose in life, then why did she care if she was killed? What did it matter if she was defeated? Why bother wasting any effort worrying about the pain that was to follow?
She would not give in.
The man attacked, and she parried. Jumping back, she created an afterimage that ran at her foe. Like a fool, he blocked its rush, giving her an opening. She cracked him across the head with her leg in a spinning kick as she teleported behind him. He was fast, but he wasn’t too fast for her to grow accustomed to. It had been a long time since she had dealt with anyone who wielded this kind of power. But every time she had won; every time, she had come out alive. She would live again; she was going to survive.
She had faced harsher foes on more than one occasion. She had faced beasts more cunning and more foul than this.
He struggled to stop her. She pushed on, battering him, her arms flinging forward, her energy exploding around her like supernovae. He cried out, his buckteeth covered in blood. In that image lay her truth. She pressed onwards. He would die tonight. She would take his energy and live even longer. Her throat clawed at her. Her stomach grumbled. That other part of her brain whined in protest. She had to keep going. She had to win, or she would die.
Majin Sesami stood very still. As he approached, her form crumbled into a purple blob of roiling mass. Forward she came, with all her desire, smothering him. Dyspo, of the Pride Troopers, cried out. He was finished. She relished in the victory. Latching onto him, she began sucking his life’s energy away. It was a cruel but necessary moment. She would not be alive if not for this technique.
“Enough! Justice Flash!”
Blood-crimson balls of energy slammed against her flesh, boiling, making her tremble, forcing her away. She gasped for air. Sesami was shocked; her newest foe was even stronger than the last. She shuddered, fleeing back. How had she not sensed him before? Where could he have come from?
“Thanks, Toppo. I didn’t think I could manage on my own. This monster’s crazy! Have you felt her power?!”
Desire throttled her emotions. Nobody would speak of her in such a way and live. Weary as she was, Sesami instantly lunged at this new foe. He stood before his beaten ally, whose form was broken, thrown back, his mustache thick and white, his chest hard and wide, rippling with muscles beneath his skin-tight red-and-black suit. He was brown-skinned, with a more severe look upon his face than Dyspo. She did not fear him. These beings were nothing to her. She was Majin Sesami, the eldest remaining. The mantle was hers. She owned it. She was the strongest. She was ready. She was willing. She would never doubt herself.
A cry for blood escaped her lips. Toppo stepped up to challenge her. It was weak that he attacked her now, not letting his ally finish the fight with Sesami. He was protecting Dyspo, who had been beaten, whose energy was spent, whose courage had wavered. She smelled it in him–he had given up. Sesami would not be denied even still. She feared no being. She was the eldest True Majin. She would not die. She would never die. Walu had died for her arrogance. Sesami was neither arrogant nor cowardly. She felt nothing but truth coursing through her veins.
“Light shall defeat darkness! Justice Flash!”
She cringed. Toppo was so sure of himself. That’s what made it worse. She tried to punch him with a clean hook, he slapped aside her attack, and elbowed her hard in the gut. Tasting blood, Sesami reeled back. She was thrust onto a muddy red branch. Toppo spun and chopped down upon her body, shattering wood. She teleported around him, moving as fast as she could. Too slow came her attempt, and she was punished good.
He blew a hole through her, vaporizing flesh. Her opponent stopped, assuming she was already dead. Gasping, spitting up blood, Sesami recoiled, the chunk torn out from her torso regenerating in that instant. That hurt. That hurt a lot. Her body returned to its natural state. She was indestructible. Even so, the pain lingered. She took a leap back as he decimated the branches with another Justice Flash.
The mossy walls of the derelict outpost crumbled, running peach-colored like sap that was melting away. “Impudent gnat!” Toppo thundered as he pointed his fist at her again, red-orange energy pooling before his gloves.
She had to stifle a yawn. The pain raged through her heart and lungs and spread like a flame before dying out. It was unusual for her to feel lingering pain. She had never faced a foe of this magnitude before–not even Forash had presented such a challenge. Sesami swallowed her pride, leaping back one more time. His ki was chasing her, destroying the treetops, leveling walls, blowing through everything natural and artificial in its path.
She knew she had to go. Enough was enough.
“Who are you?!” Toppo roared. “What are you doing here?! Why did you attack Dyspo?”
He meant nothing to her. But it was her desires that pressed her forward, nothing else. She acted solely on her desires, solely on her most powerful and most sensitive physical responses.
“You weren’t supposed to be here!” she screamed at them. “This ain’t your fight!”
“On the contrary,” Toppo began in a deep voice, landing with a loud thud, shattering the glass floor-ceiling beneath their feet that, beyond its cracked yellow window, revealed a chamber one story down, covered utterly in inky, mouldy moss. “We were tracking that scoundrel all the way here… We knew exactly where he was going, exactly who he was meeting with. But you, whoever the hell you are, decided to jump in and prevent us from enacting justice!”
Toppo spun on his heels and raised his arms as he assumed what Sesami had to believe was a Justice Pose, and an oft-practiced one at that.
“Ooh, Toppo, stylish move!” Dyspo cried out.
“That was my prey!” Sesami spat, landing a little ways away from them. She was wary of the man with the bushy mustache. He had damaged her, and even though her body had regenerated, she felt a little weaker now. Her stamina had not recovered as it usually did. That one was more powerful than he let on. She could taste it on her knuckles… his power wasn’t entirely right. There was something off, something missing, something she could not sense, and yet she knew he was far stronger than the purple one, whose power, as Sesami confirmed again, was resting comfortably well above Toppo’s, even as he appeared to be defeated. “I was faster than you. Stop your sniveling. I did you a favor, anyways.”
Dyspo’s teeth quivered. “That’s no way to talk to Toppo, Second in Command of the Pride Troopers! Toppo!”
“Hmm.” He folded his arms, bowing his head. “I think you’re enough, Dyspo. Remove this heinous creature from the universe in the name of justice!”
They could call it whatever they wanted. Sesami was growing bored. Her foe shot forth with a flying kick. Parrying it, Sesami jumped back, eyeing Toppo still. Something didn’t seem right to her. This whole place smelled a bit off. There was something suffocatingly sterile about this universe that she couldn’t put her finger on. She knew very well that she would not be getting out of here alive if she remained to fight this one out to the end. Dyspo was weaker than her. She already knew that. But if she even tried to kill him, that other guy would jump in again and save him. And then what? Combined, the two of them would have no problem taking her down.
He was too fast to escape from. As she blocked his punches and kicks, leaping to the branches, Dyspo pursued her almost as if he were leading the way. He anticipated all of her moves, knew exactly where she would go, and blocked her punches now. She felt his energy rising, but it wasn’t that high yet. She had to find a way out of this.
“Come on then, monster! Show me what you’ve got!”
“Your pride disgusts me. What are you so proud about anyways?”
His eyes grew large as he tried to think, so she put all her weight behind her and punched him hard in the jaw.
Recovering effortlessly, Dyspo fired a stream of blue energy bullets at Sesami. She used the trees and outpost walls as cover, quickly gaining the high ground. Big Ears swore loudly, and when he pursued, he ran right into her Afterimage.
Damn fool. So quick to jump into the attack. He lets his guard down even when attacking. Clumsy.
The Pride Trooper, however, realized that he was punching at air before she reappeared, and as Sesami came spinning down behind him upside down, a saw-blade of purple energy growing between her hands, Dyspo teleported behind her, kicking her hard in the back. The ki blast exploded, hitting them both. They went flying higher into the air, reaching the furthest tips of the floating trees. Up here, where the winter winds blew, no leaves grew, and all the branches were bare.
“You might be the first opponent I’ve had so much fun with.” She folded her arms while Dyspo caught his breath, hovering just in front of her. “I haven’t fought anyone this strong in five million years. It would be in your best interest to leave now.”
“F-five million?! How old are you, anyway? I would have never been able to tell!”
“Hmph. I have existed since the first cycle, when the Life-Eater walked among us. But that was so, so very long ago. How did you get so strong so fast anyways, Speedboy?”
He gave her a tiny smirk. “Discipline.” Sesami’s back tensed. She was ready; as soon as Dyspo decided to move, she would too. She already knew where she was headed. “It’s hopeless for you. You should give up, alright? We’ll take you in and get you sentenced for that murder… but considering he was bounty hunter… eh, the charge won’t be so severe. But for attacking a Pride Trooper… now that charge will be longer, won’t it, Toppo?”
“Give up? Why would I give up when I’m winning? Are you as dumb as you are ugly?”
That pissed him off. “No more games! As Pride Troopers, it is our solemn duty to protect the universe from evil-doers everywhere! Strength is justice! You have shown yourself to be an evil-doer, just like our target! We will show you no mercy, only justice!”
She exhaled slowly. Time was wasting. More importantly, her stamina was running dry. It was because she had been awakened too soon. She would need to sleep again… perhaps for fifty more years to make up for this, but she wished for it to last for a whole cycle. She could not always prevent herself from falling asleep either. When the True Majins had reigned in the universe, her cycles had been more stable. But ever since that worm of a magician Bibidi had woken her early, she had never been right again. She had thought, like a bloody fist forcing its way through glass, that she could survive it, that she could simply blink her eyes, take a deep breath, charge up her energy, and the weariness would melt off from her half-paralyzed mind. Would that that were true, Dyspo would have a broken leg right about now.
He noticed her yawn. “Do you have any last words, Miss?”
“I wonder what color your blood is. Is it appetizing? Is it milky smooth, or does it coagulate in the throat? Is it warm, or boiling hot? Which would you prefer?”
“You don’t have to do this,” Toppo said from below. “Attacking a Pride Trooper is a grave sin, but the penalty is not death. Give up now and your life will be spared.”
“Psh!” she exhaled, suppressing another yawn, steam spurting rebelliously up out of her chest and shoulder vents. “I am Majin Sesami! I am the last remaining True Majin in the universe! How dare you speak to me in such an offensive way? If it is my desire to end a life–any life–I will. If I wish to spare a life, I will. Whatever I wish, I do. I am the Destroyer!”
Dyspo seemed a bit peeved. “So we’re going to have to kill you, eh?”
“Go ahead and try.”
He didn’t need to be told twice. Blasting towards her, his fists glowing with energy, Dyspo was faster than before. Sesami attempted to dodge, but Dyspo’s form broke away from where she thought it was going, flipped over her, and hit her down. Toppo stepped aside just in time as she sailed like a missile right into the cracked glass surface he had been standing on. Shattering it, Sesami tried to roll aside, but was at once spin-kicked by Dyspo, who grabbed her by the neck and threw her down past the gaping hole into the lower chamber.
She tasted blood; it was like someone was pressing on the back of her eyes, daring her to shut them one more time. I have to go, she thought vaguely. I shouldn’t have stayed this long… I thought this would be fun, but those bastards aren’t going down so easily. If I sleep again… they’ll die of old age before I wake. Pity. I wanted to end them both… as well as whoever is leading their hideously obnoxious gang. Every Pride Trooper deserves to be destroyed for this. How dare they think they can police the universe? That was my kill. I was faster. They’re just a bunch of whining losers.
He kicked his way through the remaining bits of glass, illuminating the hallway with purple light. As Sesami staggered back, the large hole that had been punched in her back, just below the left side of her neck, slowly reformed, regenerating completely. He noticed, scowling.
“You’re tough, eh?”
“Pity you aren’t.”
Her vision was blurring, but she stepped back nonetheless. She had to bite her tongue. Her arrogance was choking her. Nothing mattered more than decapitating this arrogant fool. She would escape afterwards. That was her plan.
He punched her in the face and the Majin forgot her plan. Stumbling back, fatigue slowing her ability to block, Sesami spit blood and blinked eye beams at him just to stay awake. Dyspo was just too fast. It was infuriating. Had he merely been toying with her before? What kind of fighter did that? Was he all that much stronger? She was offended. Letting out a hoarse gasp, Sesami released an energy wave that compounded into several more narrow beams, so that as Dyspo, who was caught off-guard (no surprises there), was flung back from her, her energy, snaking indigo as the dawn, pursued him before he could scream, exploding four more times, tearing his suit and throwing him against a wall.
She chuckled. He grimaced, shaking his fists, and charged straight at her. This time, she conjured thin pink beams of energy on each fingertip. Slicing Dyspo’s ki bullets to pieces with her finger daggers, she too charged at her foe head-on, suddenly calling up her energy reserves. Millennia had taught Sesami how to hide her life-preserving reserves and how to access them instantaneously if needed. Her power was her. She was it. That was a simple idea, and one she was surprised not even Majin Hocus had managed to comprehend before his doom.
Dyspo was oft surprised. She made him pay for that. Dodging her ki blades, the man performed a spinning kick, attempting to take her legs out from under her. That was when she released another ki explosion that detonated before it reached Dyspo. As he came flying in, the shockwave and heat enveloped him, and he let out a scream.
That’s more like it.
Around them, on the walls, in plump tanks full of yellow bubbling liquid, twenty or thirty massive beasts lay dormant, each hooked up to breathing cables that ran over their snouts. They were all of them grotesquely tall–twelve to fifteen feet roughly–with six hands, webbed tails, and round, flattened faces. Their ears were pulled back, and three or four of them had opened their eyes to watch. She sensed no power coming from them–nothing at all. Even the gnats and the bugs had something in them, had some badge of life’s blood that she could smell and feel. These creatures were as sterile as the liquid that encased them.
Groaning softly, his shoulders sizzling, Dyspo got to his feet, his head bowed, clutching his arm. “That hurt,” he winced, not looking up. “You’re more powerful than I thought. But now it’s over! Super Maximum Light Speed Mode!”
Like a candle that had been lit without warning, his purple aura drew up around him, flaming outwards with enough heat to make Sesami uncomfortable. “You can transform. What a surprise. I do hope this is the only one you have. I wouldn’t want to drag things out, if I were you.”
“You cannot touch me in this form! I’m the fastest thing alive!”
She rushed him, her ki blades drawn. His form fractured into a thousand Dyspos, and before she could guess which was the real one, he slammed down on her from all sides with swinging kicks, battering her this way and that. She flew without purpose or rhythm. He caught her arm, twisted it, and released a point-blank-range Justice Crush into her chest and face, blasting her to pieces.
Sesami felt her skin pulling apart, her chest cavity collapsing, half her head melting away. Sniping him with a thin razor beam, she gained enough time to jump back, but he was already on her again. The poor Majin was breathless; how that long-eared fool moved so fast, she could not comprehend. It gave her a migraine trying to track him. It wasn’t helping either that her regeneration was working less efficiently every time. Not just tiredness ravaged her body now.
I should have already gone. If that other one comes down…
“Dyspo! Take her into custody!”
He jumped down through the shattered opening in the ceiling, his arms still folded. Three more creatures opened their eyes, and a few began to swim about slowly, as if waking up.
“She’s too dangerous, Toppo! We must enact justice upon th–”
“Enough!” Sesami was clutching at her throat, feeling her skin regenerate. It burned. The one ear she had left was ringing. She had to sleep… she had to get to somewhere where they could not track her…
Rampage and rest, the Great One in the sky had commanded them. She had been but a girl then, younger than Buu when Bibidi had stolen him from her. Hocus was to blame for that. She would not feel guilt in her veins–of all the emotions and pains, not that one. For all of eternity, you will enact my sacred will, my children. The strongest are forever hungry, forever insatiable. Always. Show me.
To this day, she remembered how he had burst into black flames and disappeared, the sparks from the explosion descending slowly to the cave floor, as if existing in a separate well of gravity than all of them. Then, a haughty Majin youth had stepped forward, beating his chest, cursing the sky, and as the sparks had begun landing on his steam holes, he had barely had time to scream before he had been vaporized.
They had been three hundred strong that day. And where have they all gone now? Only I have survived! Only I have listened! Sesami was always ravenously hungry, always tired. If she did not consume, she would turn to dust. More than three dozen Majins had died that way. She would not be like them, nor would she die like that arrogant prat who had dared to stand up to their maker and mock him.
Arrogance was not so unlike foolishness. A fool was always certain, while the best wasted away, languishing in perpetual paralysis. When she had challenged Majin Forash, Sesami had not intended for it to be more than a sparring match. Yet Forash had just awoken from more than five hundred thousand years of slumber, and she had not been in a forgiving mood.
That was her fault. She should have known. Why had she been so stupid? Forash had been appalled by the state of the universe, by the state of their species–which had been almost entirely wiped out by reckless rampaging, by bloody wars and prideful battle frenzies that had led to nothing but the crippling of their species’ population. Disillusioned and tearful, she had confronted the Majins who had been awake at the time, whom she had deemed responsible.
We are responsible only for ourselves, Sesami had spoken up, after Forash had ranted for more than an hour about their uselessness and weakness and stupidity. The Great One wanted us to show him what we could do. Those who could do nothing worth remembering are gone. We have no king, no queen, no leader but the Great One in the sky. His will is eternal! We must show him our strength and resolve and devotion! We must prove ourselves worthy of being his creations!
You have shown nothing, Forash had roared, her shoulders billowing steam. We are not slaves… we are the perfect warriors. Or so I thought. All of you are weak. That you let your brethren die and not return swift justice to the entire universe, to all the base mortals, is disgusting. I will end you for this!
Her rancor had pervasively grown into a cloud of boiling heat. Sesami had blinked, breathing slowly, gathering her ki in one fell breath. The saw blade of energy had sparked and lit up the dank cavern the elders had been resting in. Forash alone had betrayed them, but the others just stood back and watched. The blade had drawn up towards her in the blink of an eye. She remembered little of her reaction other than the blinding light, the smell of burnt flesh, and Forash’s screams.
There was only one way to kill a Majin, and that was to leave no trace behind. She never felt Forash’s energy again. She had not been punished for that, either. The elders had had a strange sense of justice, not unlike Dyspo and Toppo’s. The very next cycle, old Elhim had brought her into his multiverse-traveling group, and she had learned how to split space-time to open those portals. Eventually, all of them had died, save for her, Walu, and Hocus. Buu had been born shortly after to Elhim's mate, and then Walu was destroyed, and she became the eldest in the universe. She would never forget those bitter memories.
Buu was the last of the Majins, the youngest, a boy born with a terrible level of power, too much for her to control on her own… but with Hocus’ help, they had managed, for a time. Then the magician had appeared, and everything had crumbled again. She had expected more from them, had expected at least some of them to survive. But they were all so weak. She learned that day to trust no one and to overestimate no one.
She was the last of the Immortals. Majin Sesami would not die today–not in some backwater dimension, not to some long-eared, cocky, bucktooth, spandex-wearing superhero wannabe. She screamed and screamed and screamed, her voice rising as high as it possibly could.
His ears twitched; the glass cracked; bubbling golden liquid spurted out like from cut veins. Toppo swore, rushing forward, readying an energy blast. But he wasn’t targeting her. The creatures were moving with great pace, crying and howling with robotic twangs. Dyspo, who was still enveloped in his energy, stood up, rubbing his ear. She had cracked a hole in space-time. Coughing up blood, Sesami staggered into the hole, going to the seventh layer, as she always did.
Running for her, Dyspo’s form blurred into light. Around them, ki exploded in all sizes and colors, detonating vuhroom vuhoom vuhoom. Glass shattered before the Pride Trooper, allowing three of the creatures wrought of some unknown brown-gold metal to spill out and surround him. He stumbled and paused, and she was gone, the hole collapsing as soon as Sesami had thrown herself through it.
It was hard to get a solid breath out there. Her throat was burning.
The nearest asteroid was burning. The starship fleeing from it was burning. The whole universe was burning. Her eyelids grew heavy. Sesami was comforted by the cold. In the void, nothing burned for long, and soon everything was reduced to ash, cooling down, fading away. A corpse drifted by; she recognized the armor it wore–the same style of armor worn by those soldiers who had dug her up in the first place.
That no longer mattered. A planet was before her, its vast oceans churning cobalt and black as storms swept across their surfaces, most coming down from the northern pole towards the equator. Bursts of light–spacecraft being consumed by plasma–sparkled on the horizon. The mortals were still at war, but she was too tired to find somewhere else to go.
Three long, thin vessels approached Sesami at rapid speed. She tasted dried blood on her lip. She didn’t even need to block their attacks. As they converged on her and unloaded their ships’ firepower upon her mercilessly, Sesami shot forward, killing her aura, swallowing what little strength she had left. The poor saps didn’t even realize she’d gone. They probably thought they had vaporized her.
Like a bleeding comet, she entered the atmosphere, gaining speed, refusing to slow down. She could not deal with any more of them today. Sesami was utterly spent. She didn’t care to admit to herself how much energy it had taken for her to tear open that portal. It was raining on the planet’s surface, over the oceans. In the not-so-far-off distance, lightning checkered the impending storms.
The Majin cut through the water’s edge, sinking all the way to the bottom, where, finding a particularly comfy-looking rock situated on the corner of an abandoned field of unharvested Nil, she burrowed herself deep in the muck and mud in a single swift movement, delicate and deliberate enough to leave no trace behind. As the displaced sediment shot up in faux smoke plumes, she let her head fall limply against the rock, thinking only of Majin Forash, her fury, and its cost.
If only she could go back… but no. The past was dead and buried, and only fools basked in the false warmth of nostalgia. Following her nap, Sesami would rise again harder and stronger, and if her luck held, she would meet those Pride Troopers again and show them the full power of a True Majin who was not only well-rested, but feeling esurient as a god.
- The name of this story refers to the fight between Sesami, Dyspo, and Toppo. Her hunger and their justice are at odds as much as the people themselves.
- The placeholder name for this story was "Kinda Scary Demon". I changed that on January 12, 2018. On that day, I also settled on the final names for all but Filthy Monkeys and He Needs Some Space Milk. The original name of this story was probably the worst placeholder name of the nine one-shots in my opinion.
- The writing style I employed here is, upon reflection in 2021, rather repetitive. A lot of the time, I'm writing things in far too many words, I feel like. I have developed a more minimalistic style as of writing this commentary, but I still feel like, even if I hadn't, I would have criticized the repetitive writing style.
- Calling Walu a "damnable wretch" is a relic of older times. I didn't settle on Walu's personality until her appearance in Insatiable, which was written two and a half years after this story.
- The specifics of Walu's death are shown in The Naptime Championships. The original plan was for Walu to be a Majin from the generation before Sesami, a Majin who would have taught Sesami certain things. I didn't want to bring Walu up without having an explanation as to why she was no longer around. I am quite happy that I had Beerus destroy her, as it felt logical and allowed me to bring a DBS character into Sesami's history.
- Sesami was woken early by PTO officers. This is shown in chapter 11 of Volume III of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization.
- Sesami will explain why she did not gather any more of Zalama's artifacts, despite visiting the universes containing them, in HOTD. Suffice to say, watching Beerus kill Walu changed the way she acted from then on.
- Overall, I'd say Sesami focused on Bibidi a bit too much in the first scene. I don't think she'll really care about him in HOTD.
- "She was possessed by the idea; she was its puppet. It was not her that was functioning–this basest of desires was her master, and she was its slave." - I'd say some subtext going on here is the idea of do we really have free will if we are slaves to our base desires? Take sexuality for example. One's sexuality forces one to like certain things, find other things disgusting, and in general, shapes one's aesthetic world view to some degree. These are not choices, and so, is there really free will if you are destined to like and dislike certain things before ever being able to form an opinion on them? Hunger is similar, because for Sesami, it forces her to rampage through planets. She has no choice but to do this, lest she die of starvation. So the way she interacts with the universe is for the most part out of her control. After so many cycles of destruction, she is growing bitterly tired of her lack of agency.
- I had a lot of fun coming up with the pirate bar. Making it sufficiently alien was an interesting challenge.
- For the aliens in the second scene, I tried to go for some unique concepts. Having written so many stories about aliens, I was getting tired of them all looking so similar, so I tried a much different style here.
- The planet Inuwe that is mentioned in the second scene will likely never be visited in any future story of mine.
- Sesami is fighting her desires in the bar, trying to exert some agency. She knows she will have to kill them, but she tries to see how long she can last before her desires overwhelm her.
- "She was intrigued. A fire was lit in her belly." - this is an example of the repetitive style here. I guess it's good that I can recognize it now, but man. What's the point of saying the same thing two times in a row? At the very least, this is instructive to me and I will try not to do this anymore.
- The forest planet is somewhat based on the multiplayer map Guardian in Halo 3. The theme of the automaton, which comes up near the end of the third scene, was strengthened, in my opinion, by taking place in a location that is a mix between metal and organic matter. Also, this is the second Halo 3 map that appears in a Sesami story (although this one appears two and a half years before the one in Insatiable). I think that's a coincidence, but dunno for sure.
- In the third section, I think it's fairly apparent that I was high while writing this, as the prose is extremely descriptive. Purple prose, to an extent, but also fairly redundant writing. I think the descriptions are good, but the prose is not. This scene could've probably lost around 600 words and been no worse for it.
- "The bug was perched upon a branch poking through a grey metal window, the glass long since shattered, cleaning its pincers. This was the king bug, no doubt. It would make an excellent villain, an excellent warrior, a remarkable opponent just because it was older than the others and bigger too. It therefore must have a power unmatched by those who had trained for decades or more just because it had matured. It had likely fought other bugs, perhaps some even strong enough to be galactic tyrants, but that was neither here nor there. Its notable history was no doubt a marvelous tale, but she had already grown bored with this inane sentient." - this paragraph is making fun of Toriyama's style of power creep. Essentially, all the training that Goku and Vegeta do seems meaningless as the new villains appear able to match them, despite there being no indication of them doing much or any training, or fighting and beating fearsome opponents before. I always felt this style cheapened the feats that Goku and the others accomplished, which is why with my own major villains, I try to give significant justification to their power, as well as giving them numerous feats, because it's more interesting to face up against someone who's taken out some impressive foes in their history, rather than, say, Broly, who for no reason was the strongest guy ever despite living alone on a planet, having no martial arts teacher, and having no knowledge of fighting tactics or strategy whatsoever.
- "Hewn from rock by lightning, he was the tempest unto this world." - now this is a truly horrible sentence.
- The bug and pirate were likely exchanging money for drugs.
- I really liked Dyspo (even his design is nice, and his fighting style is like Burter's, who is also a favorite of mine) in Super, so that was the main reason he was in this story. If any of the other Pride Troopers had been interesting characters, they might have appeared. Pretty much only Jiren, Toppo, and Dyspo are interesting, and the first two have their pros and cons. At this point in my life, though, I had not been a big fan of Toppo until his final battle with Vegeta (which had aired only a few days before I wrote this). Even so, as can be seen in the fourth scene, I poke fun at him several times.
- "Why should he be so fast? She had spent untold eons training and growing stronger… And yet all that meant nothing now." - I would think that Dyspo trained a lot, too, but certainly for not as long as Sesami. Not to mention, she has one half of the Wings of the Dragon (plus two additional Zalama artifacts), so her rage was appropriate, in my opinion. To be honest, though, these sentences are more so me complaining about the power creep in Dragon Ball than Sesami's thoughts.
- I wanted to leave it vague as to if Sesami was more powerful than Dyspo and Toppo. It's likely that she's at least stronger than Dyspo (but his speed would be a problem) and unlikely that she was stronger than Toppo at this time, but I don't know that for sure.
- While Sesami uses the excuse, throughout the story, that her weariness is why she is not able to keep up with Toppo, I'm not sure that's a proper excuse. Yes, she's tired, and yes she expended some energy against Dyspo. But she is not much weaker than her maximum power. This line of thinking shows Sesami's true arrogance.
- Majin Forash was not even 1% as strong as Toppo.
- Toppo's logic is flawed in my opinion. What Sesami did was not bad. She killed someone who Toppo was planning on imprisoning for the rest of his life. Who's to say whose sense of justice is more moral? It's easier for me to sympathize with Sesami. At this point, the criminal is dead. The problem is solved. Dyspo goaded Sesami into attacking him. But they aren't called Pride Troopers for no reason. All of them, especially Toppo, are prideful to a fault, and throwing around words like "justice" is deceptive. Their fight isn't about justice, no matter how many times Toppo says it is.
- I don't know why I chose Toppo to be second-in-command of the Pride Troopers at this point. Pretty sure I knew that he was the commander. Since this takes place many years before the Tournament of Power, that could be the reason, but it's not a choice I would've made had I written this story more recently.
- Toppo's arrogance is also seen in his decision to have Dyspo finish off Sesami as opposed to doing so himself.
- Dyspo could be proud of his speed, but is that really a reason to name yourself a Pride Trooper? Gotta have something more substantive than that, methinks, and since he couldn't come up with anything, I doubt he had a better answer.
- Sesami's remark about her age is a boastful lie. She never met Amoon.
- "I wonder what color your blood is." - this is a callback to the second scene. The crystalline pirate says the same thing to Corban before attacking him.
- The beasts in the tanks were inspired by the flood forms in similar tanks on the Guardian map (as well as its predecessor, Lockout from Halo 2) that the outpost is based on. I will not be explaining what these creatures are, nor will they ever appear again in any story of mine, unless I forget that I said this and I write about them again.
- The paragraphs about Amoon and the ancient Majins were re-written before I published Insatiable, as my idea for Majin history, and Sesami's history in particular, changed slightly over time. I much prefer the way I have it now. In the past, there was much less of a societal structure.
- Writing out the history section at the end of the fourth scene was fun. It helped me to understand Sesami better. The reason why, as she's about to be arrested, she has all these memories come flooding back, is because she's close to death. This is not intentional, it's just a bodily reaction. A convenient one, yes, but logical as well, in my opinion.
- The opening lines of the fifth scene are a reference to "The Ocean Floor" by Electric President.
- When Sesami visits Ctaedi, the planet is in open rebellion against the Planet Trade Organization. This story takes place in June of Age 766, during the height of the PTO civil war (in my universe). The planet is not brought under imperial control for another ten months, although it's one of the most valuable planets in the empire. Sesami sleeps here for about 11 years, I think, unless I change the HOTD timeline. The reason why I chose this planet is that there was a logical reason for her discovery if she sleeps in a Nil field. At some point that field will be farmed and replenished and the PTO officers will pick up an unusual power reading on their scouters, and we'll take it from there.
- Sesami will not hunt down the Pride Troopers. I am not sure if she will ever meet them again. Jiren would absolutely destroy her, even if she possessed a few more of Zalama's artifacts, so that's not going to happen. I am curious though, what will occur when she, Audacci, and The Benefactor visit Universe 11 to acquire the artifact there. Maybe she will spend some minor effort looking for them and failing. I am not sure yet whether or not that saga of HOTD will occur before or after the Tournament of Power, so that could also be something to consider when I get there. A well-rested, well-fed Sesami is less bitter and vengeful, so I don't think she will care much about Dyspo and Toppo when Audacci wakes her from her nap. This is also why Forash is mentioned at the end of the story, for Sesami knows what unchecked fury can do to a Majin. She has already seen the folly of pride as it relates to Toppo and Dyspo. She would be a fool not to learn from that.
This story is not as good as I remembered it. The prose is very repetitive and things are constantly overexplained. If I were to edit this today I could confidently say I would remove 2500-3000 words. For a story that is not even 8000 words long, that is a large amount of expendable prose. The descriptions of the planets and aliens and the stuff in the bar was nice, and I could definitely tell that I was high while writing that, as it was very visually stimulating with all the vibrant colors. The fight between Sesami and Dyspo/Toppo was the best part of the story in my opinion. It had fairly strong pacing, even if the prose was repetitive there as well (though not as bad, I think). I also think the memories at the end of the fourth section was a strong moment of characterization for Sesami. She didn't get characterized, otherwise, as much as I would have liked. The themes were a bit understated here, which I like, and won't be specific about except to say that the way the theme of pride and arrogance was dealt with in regards to the three warriors at the end is to my satisfaction. Overall, a decent story, but I doubt this will be the best Vöntun one-shot, and it might not even be in the top five.
<---- Part 105
Part 107 ---->