The Lauto Saga was conceived of almost as soon as I created this story in April 2010. In the early draft of TF, Ledas was going to be in Cooler's region, training on an outpost on a moon orbiting a planet known as Planet Cooler 92. He was going to have 10 Appule soldiers and 10 Cui soldiers. He was going to stay there from shortly after the time of Planet Vegeta's destruction until he reached Super Saiyan 4; then he would set off to Earth. Obviously, I didn't use pretty much any of that terrible plot. But it can be seen how that evolved into Lauto Saga today.
This saga is quite ambitious for several reasons. For one, Ledas and The Benefactor (in a few short scenes) are the only two characters from the previous saga in this one. Cooler is the only canon character in this saga, and he's only seen in one scene in the second chapter. This saga, almost as much as the Prince Vegeta Saga, is the start of a new story. There is a new setting, new characters, new villains, and a vastly different plot than what was seen before.
So you may be asking why I did this. The answer is basically that I wanted Ledas to survive the Genocide of the Saiyans (a necessity for his character to mean anything; and his escape was detailed in the last chapter of the previous saga), and I wanted him to still be involved with the PTO. The Planet Trade Organization has always been one of my favorite parts of Dragon Ball Z (it is a big reason why the Saiyan Saga, Namek Saga, and Frieza Saga are my favorite parts of DBZ). This meant either using Cooler's region or creating another brother of Frieza. I felt more inclined to use Cooler, since I rather like Cooler (he's slightly better than Frieza as a character, in my opinion). This was at first very exciting, because I realized the possibilities - I was basically creating a new story. The Prince Vegeta Saga could serve as an extended backstory (most writers would treat PVS as little more than a footnote - perhaps a chapter or two or maybe even less than that, but I didn't because I thought the characterization and physical development presented in that saga was crucial for Ledas' development as a character (plus, his interactions with kid Vegeta were what drove me to make TF in the first place, so I couldn't skip those)) for what I wanted to do.
The way I came up with most of the fanon aliens in this saga can be seen in the ninth fun fact here. Lauto was a pun on a Japanese or Chinese word for old man, though I've forgotten the word I punned his name on and can't seem to find it anymore. Lenomi was added in very late to this story (in the final edits), and her name is a pun on the fruit "lemon", which is a fruit closely associated to the lime. I did this because Lenomi is of the same race as Lieme. Planet Cooler 92 itself was created as a sort of tropical world simply because I wanted to write about that. It's more fun to write about a tropical world, in my opinion, than any other type of world. The fact that this saga mostly takes place on a remote outpost on a tropical world has great aesthetic value to me personally, so that's why I created the setting as such. However, there are other worlds seen in this saga too - the wind-swept world, the vanadium mining world, Lauto's planet, etc. I was deliberate in creating varied, alien worlds aside from Planet Cooler 92 to serve as settings in this saga.
So I had about half of the original draft of this story done by the time I joined this wiki in September 2010. I had written extensive scenes in my personal computer document about this saga in the months leading up to my joining of this wiki, and most of them were pasted on this wiki without any editing. I created the page for this saga on November 5, 2010, about 35 minutes after I completed the first draft of the Prince Vegeta Saga. Then I went to work. I posted the first draft of the first chapter on November 8th and continued posting chapters nearly every day until November 21st, when I completed the first draft.
This saga is unlike the others in that its first draft was 20 chapters (it had 18 chapters when I first created the page but gained two more during the writing process). I was planning on having all of the other sagas be 12 chapters (and for the most part, even in the first draft, I did this). I remember even after I completed it, I had some thoughts about perhaps splitting this saga into two sagas, but at first I resisted such a temptation.
I began editing this saga on January 15, 2011. I'm not sure if these edits were spurred by reviews of the saga by other users, but they were mostly cleanup edits. I wasn't doing final edits yet. Over the coming months in 2011, I did mostly minor edits, usually with grammar, spelling, fixing dialogue, or more technical stuff (such as adding in </span>s). On November 12, 2011, I finally decided to split this saga into two sagas. At the time, it was going to be split into a saga of 12 and a saga of 10 (though later, both would become 12 chapters). I decided then that this saga should end after Ledas' meeting with Lauto, not when he becomes a Super Saiyan and goes off to Earth. It made sense to do that because this saga is called "Lauto Saga", not "Super Saiyan Saga". The Super Saiyan thing was cool, of course, but it worked better as the ending to saga 3. This also meant that Ledas didn't become a Super Saiyan until chapter 35, which is something I am very proud about to this day. I built up his power, his character, for 35 chapters before giving him Super Saiyan. It wasn't random or forced. Most authors don't do that. In fact, I'll say more than 95% of authors don't do that. But more on that in my anthology of the Stomping Grounds Saga. Anyway, I changed this saga on November 12, 2011. Most of the chapter names of the final 12 were finalized during this period as well. I did some additional edits to many of the chapters in the coming days to pace them better for the 10 chapter saga, too. This saga was originally the 10 chapter saga compared to the Stomping Grounds Saga being the 12 chapter saga out of the split of the originally 20 chapter Lauto Saga (which also somehow gained an additional 2 chapters in that split).
After that, for the remainder of 2011, all of 2012, and much of 2013, I didn't edit this saga much. I did some spelling/grammar fixes, and some minor changes, but nothing major during that time. I was putting off doing final edits for this saga because I knew they would be much more time-consuming than the final edits for the Prince Vegeta Saga had been. I eventually started on them for this saga on June 29, 2013. The editing process was indeed quite long and hard for this saga. I had to write two new chapters - "Dread Lord" and "The Day I Had 60 Pokémon" - and several other chapters had to have major portions re-written or expanded. I completed the final edits for this saga on July 14, 2013. In the coming days and months, I did some minor edits, but the major edits were done by that day.
So what encompassed my final edits, and why were they so radical, compared to the previous saga's final edits? The first reason for this is because I split this saga into two. That left it with not as defined an ending point as I had originally conceived. The Lauto Saga at first had its early chapters filled with training and stuff with the natives. All of this then came to a head with Ledas becoming a Super Saiyan. That plot progression and pacing was disrupted when I split the saga. Additionally, in my final edits (and even in edits before the final edits), I began to downplay the role of the natives in the story. While Destructivedisk and others praised my portrayal of the natives and the colonialism themes tied to them, I wasn't personally satisfied with my portrayal of them. This is one of the biggest examples of me trusting in myself, and not others. I could have kept the natives a prominent factor in this story (in the original draft, there were probably 5-8 chapters that heavily involved them). So one of the big things I did for this saga was to downplay their role and to show them more as a parallel to Ledas than people he needed to save. I didn't want him to save them because he's not a hero; he's a Saiyan. He's a complex, grey character. So having that heroic moment where he saves the natives from the PTO just isn't right for his character. Now, he still sees them as pitiable and despises their position, but this is because he sees himself as one of them - just a slave. So the way I portrayed the natives in the final edits is more nuanced, more complex, and I like it much more than how it used to be. Especially in this saga, they are built up as being just like Ledas, so the brutal way in which Payar and the other PTO soldiers treat them has thematic worth on multiple levels. They can be compared to Ledas, and the slavery/colonialism themes are also present (though in subtler and less cliched ways, in my opinion). The themes of agency, slavery, and brutality related to them remain strong in this story, despite the natives' reduced role; to me, this speaks to my ability to use their scenes effectively in the final edits. The original story was bloated, but the final edits focused the story, thus also focusing the themes.
The second reason why final edits were so difficult and long for this saga was because with the splitting of the original version of this saga into two sagas, the pacing of the plot was messed up. As it remained, this saga didn't have much going on (even in the 20 chapter version, a criticism of this saga was that not enough interesting stuff happened). So I wanted to rectify that. I added in the plot of the PTO rebels just for that. I got some specific ideas related to them (the vanadium mine, the Saibamen battle) that I thought would be really cool when I looked over this saga and took some notes down to prepare for the final edits. I thought adding in those things would be good because otherwise, this saga had no battles. It had sparring, yes, but no true battles. And that was fixed with the addition of the PTO rebels. They added in two major, complex battles that I am very proud of. The Saibamen battle in particular remains one of my favorite battles in this entire story.
Other than that, there isn't much else to say. This saga was very tiring for me to write; it took much more effort than PVS because it wasn't tied to canon events. But at the same time, that is what is so liberating and exciting about this saga. It is me just creating stuff purely from my imagination. There are many little things throughout this saga that have great aesthetic worth to me because of that. The writing process of this story is also something I remember fondly - at least the writing process of the original draft. I remember being on a very old, slow computer writing this story on a works document (back when Microsoft Works was still a thing), the television on to my left, my dad and brother being around at the time, talking to Destructivedisk and others on various chat programs while I wrote. That remains one of my fondest memories of my time on this wiki.
So this saga, much like Prince Vegeta Saga, originally had two theme songs. The first was After the Fall by Two Steps From Hell. This is an amazing song - one of their best. Again, like Dragon Rider, I consider "After the Fall" to be one of the top 5 Two Steps From Hell songs. The second theme was originally The Soul That Must Awaken by Two Steps From Hell. This was supposed to be the saga's theme after Lauto's introduction (hinting at my need to split the saga at that juncture). This song was later re-used in the Stomping Grounds Saga, though not as a theme song, but as the first in-text song (not counting the songs I used in Outbreak: Paved In Blood). These two songs remained as the theme songs for this saga from its creation on November 5, 2010 until February 25, 2011, when I removed "The Soul That Must Awaken" and kept "After the Fall". The theme song was again changed on May 24, 2011 to Sarabande Suite (Aeternae) by Globus. Incidentally, I would later consider that song for the theme song of the unwritten special about the trials Guva and Banas went through for the choosing of Planet Cooler 92's governor. On October 27, 2011, I changed the theme song again, this time to One Truth by Globus, and that remains the theme song to this day. It was a bit of gamble going with a song with lyrics (as opposed to the rocking instrumentals of Two Steps From Hell that I had been using before), but since Globus is basically just like Two Steps From Hell, except with lyrics, it was the most natural compromise. This song works quite effectively, thematically, with Lauto Saga, and I'm completely happy with it. The lyrics, "One journey ends, one life begins/One truth will find you free again", work very well with the themes of slavery and agency in this story. "After the Fall" will be the trailer music for this saga if it ever gets an anime or any of that stuff (unlikely, I know). I have the whole trailer mapped out to that song in my head, and on my old computer, I had created a bit of the video of it set to "After the Fall" on a video editing program.
The above picture is the tagline of this saga. It hints at the themes of slavery and agency in this saga, which is seen with Ledas and the natives. It is also a reference to the Gears of War 3 tagline "We're All Stranded Now". Ledas being a slave and not having any agency is hugely important in this saga, as it builds up to Ledas' Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga. I was very careful with Ledas' Super Saiyan transformation. I built up to it as much as possible and made it as realistic as possible, as I've seen too many fanons wrecked by having bad Super Saiyan transformations or levels. This was a major focus on mine in this story, and it will be commented on in more depth in the next saga's anthology.
One last thing I want to comment on is that this saga originally had two specials. Both were deleted. One was never written to begin with, though, even though I had the story concept for it and I believe I even created the page for it on this wiki at one point in the distant past. My anthologies about them can be seen here and here.
So that's about it for this saga. I have fond memories about it and bad memories too (with how bad some parts of the original draft were). But overall, this is a solid saga. Its page has the most edits of any TF saga page, if my memory is correct, and that again speaks to how much editing overall I had to do on this saga, especially compared to the Prince Vegeta Saga and Planet Earth Saga (the two sagas that originally book-ended this one). It's interesting how drastically different this saga is from the previous one (in many different ways), and that shows how bold I was as a writer when I created this story. I didn't rest on my laurels. I went all-out with this saga, and even if the first draft of it wasn't completely successful, that reckless abandon is one of my best traits as a writer. With a good eye for quality, it allows me to produce truly memorable fiction. Hopefully, that has occurred with the final draft of this story. Anyways, onto the endnotes!
- 1 Story
- 1.1 Lyin’ And Laughin’
- 1.2 To Cooler, With Love
- 1.3 Wind Swept
- 1.4 Dread Lord
- 1.5 Two One Eyed Dogs
- 1.6 Big Mistake
- 1.7 New Tricks
- 1.8 You’re So Lucky
- 1.9 The Day I Had 60 Pokémon
- 1.10 A Mess Of Politics
- 1.11 My Hour Of Darkness (season finale part 1)
- 1.12 Greatest Expectations (season finale part 2)
- 2 Final thoughts
When I was born
I had bright blue eyes.
Over the years, they mysteriously turned
more and more green.
my eyes are going back
to a darker teal.
I wonder if this is normal...
Lyin’ And Laughin’
<PLANET COOLER 92>
<EARLY 739 AGE>
<SPACE TRAFFIC CONTROL>
<A POD IS SHOWN IN SPACE; IT IS APPROACHING A PLANET>
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: <IN A ROOM FILLED WITH COMPUTERS AND SUCH, WORKING AT ONE OF THEM> We have some type of object incoming, matching the standard space pod classification. Can anyone confirm?
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 2: Roger that. It’s definitely a pod.
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 3: Strange, We don’t have any due for return today…
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: <CONTINUES TYPING> Look, there’s now a clear visual. The verification number is definitely not one of ours. <BRIEF PAUSE, WHILE HE CONTINUES TYPING> I’m pinging the pod for a response.
<HE PRESSES A BUTTON AND WAITS; NOTHING HAPPENS>
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 2: No response…
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 3: What should we do?
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: I’ll contact the Captain. <LEANS OVER AND PRESSES A BUTTON> Captain Banas, we have an unknown pod approaching base, no responses received… please advise.
Payar: <THERE IS A BRIEF PAUSE> Say again, soldier? The captain’s out. This is Payar. Go ahead, and I’ll see if I can help.
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: Sir, we have a space pod incoming. It’s not one of ours, so we tried pinging it for response, but got none. We need someone to check it out when it lands.
Payar: Where’s it headed to?
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: It is projected to land in the southern quadrant. A visible smoke trail should lead you to it.
Payar: <CURTLY> Send first platoon to my location. We’ll investigate.
Planet Cooler. 92 Technician 1: <PAUSES> Affirmative sir. They are on their way. And, sir… should I inform the governor?
Payar: No, soldier. I will tell Guva myself.
<CAMERA CHANGES TO THE SOUTHERN QUADRANT; MANY REGULAR SOLDIERS, APRIDO, MELOON, AND PAYAR AMONG THEM, MOVE TO THE LOCATION OF THE POD; THERE IS A VISIBLE SMOKE TRAIL ABOVE THEM, TO THE LEFT, DESCENDING TO RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM>
<EACH SOLDIER WEARS COOLER’S STANDARD ARMOR; THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM FRIEZA’S SOLDIERS’ IN THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE SHOULDER PAD OVER THE LEFT SHOULDER>
<MELOON IS A LARGE ALIEN; HE IS PINK AND SPIKY LIKE DODORIA; APRIDO IS A SMALL CREATURE, OF APPULE’S RACE; PAYAR IS A SHORT-FACED, RED ALIEN; HE IS THE CLEAR LEADER AMONGST THE TROUPE>
Soldier 1: <THE SOLDIERS APPROACH THE POD> It hasn’t opened yet.
Soldier 3: Maybe they’re dead?
Soldier 4: Or maybe it’s a trap. <A FEW TAKE A STEP BACK>
Payar: <MOVING FORWARD THROUGH THE CONGREGATION OF TROOPS AROUND THE POD> Get back! <PRESSES BUTTON ON SCOUTER> There’s a faint reading coming from inside, so whoever it is, they’re not dead.
<PAYAR WALKS UP TO THE POD AND HITS IT, IT OPENS; UNCONSCIOUS, LEDAS FALLS OUT, DRIED BLOOD IS ON HIS FOREHEAD>
Soldier 2: Ah, he is dead!
Soldier 1: No, only unconscious.
Payar: <KNEELS DOWN TO INSPECT THE STRANGER, HE PICKS LEDAS UP BY THE TAIL> Well, this is interesting. It’s a Saiyan. A child.
Meloon: I thought Frieza killed them all.
Payar: Evidently not. But that was a long time ago… over a year, I think. Why did he just get here now?
Meloon: <PEERING IN> May’e he got lost?
Payar: <CAUGHT UP IN HIS OWN GLORY; DROPS LEDAS> Imagine the reward we will get for delivering such a prize to Lord Cooler!
<PAYAR STANDS UP; MELOON SHOOTS AN EAVESDROPPING SOLDIER, WHO FALLS OFF THE HILL THEY ARE ON INTO A CREEK BELOW; PAYAR THEN TURNS TO MELOON>
Payar: <IN A STRICT WHISPER> We go straight to the Captain with this, not Guva. <TURNING BACK TO THE SOLDIERS> Two of you, grab the kid. We’re taking him back to base.
<2 SOLDIERS CARRY LEDAS BACK TO CAMP WITH THE REST OF THE GROUP; LEDAS WAKES UP>
Soldier 1: Uh sir, he’s waking up.
<LEDAS SENDS OUT A POWERFUL ENERGY WAVE THAT KILLS THE TWO SOLDIERS CARRYING HIM, HE DOES A ROLL TO THE RIGHT, INTO THE FOLIAGE; THE GROUP OF SOLDIERS PURSUE HIM>
Payar: <READING HIS SCOUTER> This one has some fight in him. Look at his power level. I’ve never seen a Saiyan with one so high.
Meloon: <STILL CONFIDENT, NOT WORRIED> He is still much weaker than us.
Aprido: <WITH A FEW OTHER SOLDIERS, THEY RUN AT LEDAS> Come back here you runt!
Payar: You are not to kill him.
Meloon: Heh heh, Payar, ya think he could?
<LEDAS BACKS INTO A TREE; HAVING KILLED SEVERAL SOLDIERS, THE REST HAVE BACKED OFF A BIT; PAYAR AND MELOON MOVE TOWARDS HIM>
Payar: <SHOUTING> Give it up, Saiyan! We don’t want to kill you!
Ledas: <CORNERED; PANICKY> I’m super elite! You don’t know who you’re dealing with.
Meloon: That don’t mean shit out here.
Payar: Even the best of you Saiyans are nothing compared to us. We don’t want to kill you…
Payar: <CLOSES EYES> I am losing patience.
Ledas: No! <LEDAS SHOOTS A POWERFUL ENERGY BLAST AT THE TWO; IT DOES NOTHING>
Meloon: Ha ha ha! That all you got?
<IMPATIENT, PAYAR RUNS AND TRIES TO HIT LEDAS, BUT THE SAIYAN DODGES IT; LEDAS THEN MOVES AROUND PAYAR, AND SHOOTS A BURST OF ENERGY AT HIM, BUT IT IS EASILY DEFLECTED; PAYAR JUMPS AGAIN, AND THIS TIME HE IS TOO FAST FOR LEDAS, PUNCHING THE SAIYAN CHILD IN THE FACE, KNOCKING HIM OUT; PAYAR PICKS HIM UP AND STARTS CARRYING HIM>
Meloon: <IN A GOOD MOOD> This better be worth it.
Payar: <CALMING DOWN> It could get us off this rock. That’s worth it to me.
<LEDAS WAKES UP FROM A DAZE, HE IS INSIDE, IN A ROOM WITH PAYAR, WHO IS SITTING ACROSS FROM LEDAS, WITH HIS KNEES UP>
Ledas: <SITTING UP> What happened? Where am I?
Payar: <UNCONCERNED, FIDDLING WITH SOMETHING IN HIS HANDS> I knocked you out.
Ledas: <ANGRY, TRIES TO GET UP> You idiot!
Payar: <RAISES HAND> Save it.
Ledas: <IS TOO WEAK TO GET UP, SO STAYS SITTING> At least tell me where I am.
Payar: Planet Cooler 92, in the main outpost. And it’s a shithole.
<BANAS, LIEME, MELOON ENTER THROUGH A DOOR ON THE RIGHT; BANAS IS A TALL ALIEN WITH A FLAT FACE AND BLACK HAIR; HIS SKIN IS YELLOW; LIEME IS A TALL ALIEN, TOO; HE HAS A SMALL, LONG FACE AND TALL HAIR; HIS SKIN IS GREEN>
Banas: <WALKS UP TO PAYAR AND LEDAS; BANAS SHOOTS OUT ENERGY BEAMS, WHICH BIND AROUND LEDAS’ WRISTS AND ANKLES, CAUSING THE SAIYAN TO RISE INTO THE AIR; THE SAIYAN HOVERS IN FRONT OF THE CAPTAIN WITH HIS ARMS AND LEGS OUTSTRETCHED> So tell me, Saiyan… what are you doing on my planet?
Ledas: <FIGHTING AGAINST THE ENERGY BINDS> I don’t know. This wasn’t where I was going!
Banas: Still, you landed here, and that’s all that matters now. <STARTS TO PACE A BIT> But entertain me… where was it that you were headed?
Ledas: <VERY CHILD-LIKE, STILL FIGHTING AGAINST THE ENERGY> That’s none of your business!!
<BANAS, QUICKLY MOVES AND HITS LEDAS, SEVERAL DIFFERENT TIMES; HE GRABS LEDAS’ NECK AND PREPARES AN ENERGY BLAST>
Banas: Talk, or die. I don’t have time to play games with you all day.
Ledas: <FEARFULLY> I w-was headed to a planet. I don’t remember the name… me and Vegeta were gonna clear it out. P-please… just let me go…
Banas: <EXTINGUISHES HIS BALL OF ENERGY; HE LETS GO OF LEDAS, AND WALKS BACK, IGNORING HIM> Vegeta? <TURNS TO OTHERS> That name sounds familiar. Who is it?
Lieme: <WITHOUT PAUSE> That’s the name of the Saiyan king and his son.
Banas: <TURNS BACK TO LEDAS> You liar. <HITS HIM> Now, tell me where you were really going.
Ledas: <HEAD KNOCKED TO THE SIDE> I did! Me and Vegeta were going to conquer a planet for Lord Frieza.
Banas: You must think I’m stupid. Frieza destroyed your home planet and killed all of the other Saiyans over a year ago. I know there’s none of your kind left.
Ledas: <IN TEARS> What? <CRYING> You’re lying!!
Payar: He he he, betda the kid didn’t know what happened. How long have you been out of touch?
Ledas: <WITH MUCH ANGER AND HATRED> I ALREADY TOLD YOU! <LEDAS BREAKS FREE OF HIS ENERGY BINDING, BUT IS QUICKLY SUBDUED AGAIN BY MELOON AND PAYAR>
Banas: Come on now, why would I lie about something like that? It’s true. But judging by your reaction, I would guess you didn’t know.
Ledas: <HEAD BOWED, STILL CRYING BUT MORE SUBDUED> I didn’t know…
Payar: <FAKE ENTHUSIASM> But don’t worry, you’re safe with us. After all we’re all soldiers under Cooler, Frieza’s brother. And I don’t think he’ll try to kill you like Frieza did.
Meloon: <CHEWING ON SOMETHING> Wewll den, can I?
<NO ONE ANSWERS>
Ledas: <QUIETLY> Come on. Lemme go.
Payar: Yeah, right. Let you get away when we were just getting to know each other? You killed a lot of my men. Someday, somehow, I will make you pay for that.
<LEDAS CAN SEE WHAT HE IS PLAYING WITH; IT LOOKS LIKE A NECKLACE>
Ledas: I promise I won’t tell anyone.
Lieme: <ARMS FOLDED> Never trust a monkey. <MELOON LAUGHS>
Banas: <BANAS HAD WALKED OVER TO A DESK, AND GATHERED SOME PAPERS, HE COME BACK TO THE GROUP> Payar and Meloon tell me that your power level is high for a Saiyan.
<LEDAS DOES NOT ANSWER>
Banas: <HINT OF SARCASM> We’ve already gone through this lesson. You answer me or you die. So, what is your power level?
Ledas: <TRYING TO STOP CRYING> I don’t know… it was like 12,000…
Banas: Good, he’s not dangerous. <TURNS BACK TO HIS TROOPS> Now we need to figure out some kind of plan to keep this out of Guva’s sight.
<THE OTHERS NOD IN AGREEMENT AS THE SCREEN FADES TO BLACK>
- The poem for this saga is a true story about me. I put it in this saga because originally Lauto Saga was where Ledas transformed into a Super Saiyan. So the green eyes thing was a nice parallel between him and me. That is no longer the case, though I gave Ledas his Semi-Super Saiyan form near the end of this saga still. In that form, his eyes turn green and his hair turns white, so the parallel (albeit a different one) remains.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the last episode of Seinfeld where Jackie Chiles says, “Lyin’ and laughin’… laughin’ and lyin’” (seen here). I loved that line, so it’s in here. It also is a good describer of Ledas (in Banas’ mind) lying about his crash and The Plantains laughing about it.
- So I remember coming up with the (roughly) one year travel time because I felt like that was a good enough amount of time for Ledas to move from Frieza's territory to Cooler's. Any more time than that, and Ledas would lose precious time to train. As to why he doesn't eat during that time (remaining in a coma during the whole trip) is because that's just how the space pods work. Vegeta also didn't eat or drink anything on his trip back from Earth at the end of the Saiyan Saga. That's just how it works in the Dragon Ball universe, so I don't question it.
- This chapter was changed very little from first draft to final draft. All I really did was fix some wording issues and dialogue and add in the last line to give this chapter a defined ending. But really, this chapter is pretty much the same as how I envisioned it in 2010.
- The opening to this chapter (and to the Lauto Saga as a whole) strikes me as very much like something you'd find in a Dragon Ball Z episode. The dialogue is on-point; it's technical, but not too technical. It's also funny since these characters are never seen again.
- The opening scene was also a nice way for me to introduce Payar and Banas subtly.
- So why was Banas out? I wanted Payar to find Ledas so that their rivalry could develop from an early point. Also, if Banas was there, the fight Ledas had with the soldiers would have been much shorter. Additionally, having Payar take Ledas to Banas is an ideal move, as it portrays Banas as an important character. We know he exists and what his rank his (thus how important he is), so building up to that encounter builds anticipation.
- The smoke trail the space pod leaves is rather convenient (I was thinking about how to portray this in manga form when I wrote that). It is also accurate to the condition Ledas' space pod is in - remember that in the last saga, it was described as being a junker. It's not in good condition.
- Notice how I casually introduce Guva in the first scene. The technician mentions him. So from the very beginning, we get a sense of hierarchy in the outpost - there's a captain, there's a governor above him, and there's Payar below both of them. To familiarize the culture and hierarchy of this outpost with the readers, I introduced these things very early on and in an organic way. I like that I did it this way instead of getting their first introductions in person, as it allows the readers to build up their own ideas of what these characters are, appearance-wise, personality-wise, and power-wise, before meeting them.
- Notice how Payar calls Guva by his name when the lesser soldiers just call him the governor. This reveals a bit about Payar's personality.
- I like that Cooler has different armor than Frieza for his soldiers. It allows me to visually differentiate the two at once. Ledas is in a foreign land, and that must be made apparent from the start of this saga.
- I try not to have luck be a major part of the plot of this story. The main thing luck is involved with in the plot of TF is how Ledas gets knocked out (by surviving the Genocide of the Saiyans) and by landing on this planet. If he had just drifted in space forever afterwards, though, that would have been pretty boring. So having him accidentally crash-land on this planet, while lucky, was done primarily to create an interesting story.
- Why do Payar and Meloon know what Saiyans are? Because Saiyans were part of the Planet Trade Organization. Even if they weren't a part of Cooler's region, their presence would still be known. This is especially true since Frieza destroyed them; it would be a point of gossip. Now why do Payar and Meloon know that Frieza killed the Saiyans as opposed to thinking a comet hit the planet? It's simple: there's no reason for such news to be a lie to the other Planet Trade Organization species. Frieza only crafted that lie for Prince Vegeta, and even then, Prince Vegeta suspected something was amiss.
- Meloon killing the soldier shows how brutal life is on Planet Cooler 92, even amongst comrades. This is like Vegeta killing Nappa (although it's a very different circumstance). It's important to show this brutality quickly so that it can become a theme and something the readers expect on this outpost. He also killed the eavesdropping soldier because Meloon's plan with Payar is top secret. They don't want Guva finding out about it. They want to give Ledas to Lord Cooler as a gift to get reassigned to a better outpost. They think giving Lord Cooler Ledas will show their loyalty (as, if Frieza destroyed the Saiyans, Cooler would want them gone too, and his soldiers finding and bringing him a Saiyan who escaped Frieza's destruction would show how competent and loyal they are) to him and get them re-assigned to better outposts and promoted.
- Meloon's banter with Payar shows how different they are. Payar is no-nonsense and ruthless, but pragmatic and careful. Meloon sees the world as a joke and is very arrogant and lazy. I think this chapter is the only time the two of them have a conversation together - at least one so long.
- Payar and Meloon being unconcerned with Ledas getting away and killing some of their soldiers hints at their power. Meloon's comments about Aprido also hint that he is not nearly as strong as the two of them.
- Payar notices that Ledas has an abnormal power level, even for a Saiyan. This again highlights how elite Ledas has become by training with Prince Vegeta.
- Meloon telling Ledas that him being super elite doesn't mean shit is a crucial moment. It shows that it doesn't matter what he used to be - the Saiyans are gone. Their culture, their ranks, their pride is all gone. He's just a kid now - a powerful kid, yes, but a kid nonetheless, stranded and alone on a far-distant world. Ranks and whatnot mean nothing. Previously, Ledas was treated very well because he was such a high-ranking Saiyan. Now, he will have to deal with being on the other end of the social spectrum. That was something I was really looking forward to while writing this story, as it would help show the growing characterization of Ledas. He's no longer spoiled and given everything he wants. Now he's basically a slave, and he has to fight for what he needs.
- The thing Payar is fiddling with in his hands is his teeth necklace. This necklace is seen in the last chapter of the Stomping Grounds Saga when Payar is dying. I put it in this very first chapter knowing that we'd eventually get to that point. It's a bit of foreshadowing, but more than anything else, it's me keeping his character consistent.
- I really like Payar's dialogue in this chapter. He just doesn't give a crap about anything or anyone. His banter with Meloon is pretty funny, but his conversation with Ledas near the end of the chapter is really unintentionally funny.
- So this saga has swearing. The last saga really didn't have swearing ("damn" is said all the time in the uncut version of DBZ), but this one has some really foul swearing. I did this to show how different Cooler's region is than Frieza's. Also, it shows the characters of this outpost (particularly Payar and Banas) are rather insubordinate and tired with being bossed around - ironic, since they try to boss Ledas around all the time. The grittiness of this outpost, on the edge of Cooler's empire out in space, was influenced somewhat by the movie Alien 3. It's a far cry from where Ledas was in the last saga, and that was done on purpose. This again is me showing how Ledas is no longer being pampered, living in the upper elite of society. He's also no longer in a place closely tied to the Planet Trade Organization. He used to personally meet Frieza all the time. Aside from one brief video message to Cooler in the next chapter, Ledas doesn't do that here (though he does meet with and fight Cooler in the next saga, but that's because he's on trial for something).
- I think the "coolness" of The Plantains is heightened by the way they casually show their power and in the way they talk (none of them really give a crap about anything - at least that's what they want you to think).
- Notice how Banas calls Planet Cooler 92 his planet. I like to think that when Guva's not around, he fancies himself governor. This line subtly reveals a lot about Banas' character as well as his relationship with Guva. Of course Guva hasn't been introduced yet, so that line foreshadows Guva's relationship with Banas more than anything. It's a nice little line to discover on a re-read, though, as readers acquainted with both characters will see how much that line really means.
- At first, Ledas has no idea that he's been unconscious for more than a year. He still thinks he's on his way to meet up with Prince Vegeta and Nappa. It's rather sad.
- Banas likes to fight with reckless abandon. He likes to be random in his attacks too. I showcased his unique fighting style early when he attacks Ledas for not answering him. Again, this is me trying to show as much personality and as many traits for these fanon aliens as I can as quickly as I can. I don't have the luxury, in this saga, that I did in the last saga - I don't have canon characters with pre-existing appearances and personalities that I don't need to really show. Everyone knows Nappa is a brute. Everyone knows Prince Vegeta is arrogant. So that's not a problem. What is more difficult is to introduce so many new alien characters so quickly out of nowhere. So every line, every little thing, was used to help portray my fanon aliens for the readers so that they could get a sense of who each one is and be able to distinguish them from one another.
- Lieme is the know-it-all. That's why he knows who Vegeta is.
- The argument Banas has with Ledas is funny in a way because Banas is assuming Ledas is up-to-date on what happened to the Saiyans.
- I thought it would aid Ledas' character development if he knew, from a very early point in this saga, that his home planet was gone and that Frieza was responsible for the near-extinction of the Saiyan species. He would know that his father is dead at the very least, and the fact that Frieza did it would cause him to guess that his mother is also dead (she was off-planet at the time and incidentally killed by Zarbon personally a few days after Planet Vegeta's destruction). Knowing that his family is dead, that his species is most likely extinct save for him, puts him into a deep depression. It's a huge shift from the happy boy Ledas was in the previous saga while he was playing around and conquering planets with Prince Vegeta. He thinks Vegeta is dead but doesn't know if that's true. He certainly hopes Vegeta isn't dead. Reuniting with his best friend is the main thing that keeps Ledas going in this saga. Remember also that Ledas is only five when he learns this news. He's very young. I'm not sure anyone else at five years old who learned that everyone they knew was dead would handle it well. He cries a little and tries to break free, but he doesn't go insane or get overwhelmed with grief. A lot of his pain is internalized, which is a parallel to how Vegeta deals with the same grief in canon and in His Majesty's Pet, Strength, and Slaved. Ledas of course externalizes his grief a bit more than Vegeta, but that is mostly because they have different personalities.
- Payar saying he'll make Ledas pay is foreshadowing to the end of this saga when the two have a scuffle on Lauto's planet.
- No one laughing at Meloon's joke was added in to show a bit of the group's dynamic. I'm sure all of them are a little tired with how arrogant and bloodthirsty Meloon is. Still, their silence to me is funny in itself, even if Meloon's joke wasn't.
- A power level of 12,000 was really impressive last saga (this line of dialogue also gives the readers clear confirmation of how strong Ledas is). In this one, Banas doesn't even bat an eye at it. In fact, he takes the news well, saying that such a power level is confirmation that Ledas is no danger to them. This again hints at how much more powerful and dangerous everyone on this outpost is than the people Ledas knew on Planet Vegeta.
- I didn't want to introduce Guva in this chapter, which is why the chapter ends where it does. Not the best ending, but I think it's better to end it there than to have Guva enter. You can only introduce so many new characters in a chapter without overwhelming the readers.
To Cooler, With Love
<THE CAMERA IS LOOKING DOWN FROM THE SKY ONTO ONE OF THE BUILDINGS; VOICES ARE HEARD COMING FROM INSIDE, AND THE CAMERA SLOWLY ZOOMS FORWARD>
Payar: <STILL UNSEEN, THE CAMERA IS MOVING FORWARD TO THE BUILDING> No, I told him not to say anything. I think we still have time.
Lieme: I do not think this will be something that you can hide for much longer, Captain. If you want to move, you need to do it now.
Banas: <CAMERA FINALLY REACHES THE BUILDING, IT GOES INSIDE, BANAS, PAYAR, AND LIEME ARE TALKING; MELOON HAS LEDAS SUBDUED IN A CORNER> Very well. Payar, Meloon, take this Saiyan to my quarters. Guva won’t be able to get in there, even if he does suspect us. We will keep the child there until I fig–
<GUVA, FLANKED BY SEVERAL SOLDIERS, ENTERS>
<UNLIKE THE OTHERS, GUVA DOES NOT WEAR ARMOR; AND EVEN THOUGH IT WAS STATED HE WAS THE GOVERNOR IN THE LAST CHAPTER, I SHOULD MENTION GUVA IS THE GOVERNOR SO NOBODY IS CONFUSED>
<GUVA IS A TALL ALIEN; HE HAS A REGAL STATURE AND PURPLE SKIN; HIS HAIR IS WHITE>
Guva: Captain Banas. <LOWERS HIS HEAD AS HE STEPS THROUGH THE DOOR; LOOKS AROUND> Conspiring, are we?
<GUVA WALKS INTO THE ROOM, LEAVING HIS GUARDS AT THE DOOR>
Banas: <WALKING FORWARD TO BLOCK THE VIEW OF LEDAS> Governor… you’re here early. I didn’t even put out the tea yet–
Guva: <WALKS PAST HIM> Spare me the theatrics, captain. <SPOTS LEDAS, IN THE CORNER; GESTURES TOWARDS HIM> Who is this?
Banas: He’s just one of our grunts.
Guva: <SEES LEDAS’ TAIL; SMILES> We have no Saiyans on this installation, Captain. And, if I may be so bold, I would say he was the one who recently crash-landed in the southern quadrant.
Banas: That is a bold accusation.
Guva: Bold? Perhaps. Incorrect? I think not. <WITH AUTHORITY> Hand him over.
<BANAS STARES DEFIANTLY STARES AT GUVA>
Guva: Believe it or not, I am still much stronger than you, Banas. Just like I always have been.
Banas: I hope you are not implying you wish to kill me? <LAUGHS> That would set such a bad example.
Guva: <WALKS PAST BANAS> Payar, give me the child.
Payar: <SITTING, KNEES UP AGAIN, ON THE EDGE OF THE DESK; SEEMS UNCONCERNED AS HE PAUSES FOR A SECOND> Yeah, take him.
Lieme: <IN A WHISPER TO BANAS> All of us together could take him.
Banas: <WHISPERS OUT OF THE SIDE OF HIS MOUTH; STILL EYEING GUVA> Now is not the time, Lieme. <GUVA GRABS LEDAS AND STARTS WALKING OUT; BANAS WAVES TO HIM> Until next time, governor. It’s always nice having you over. <GUVA WALKS OUT WITHOUT ANOTHER LOOK AT BANAS> Don’t worry boys, we’ll get the last laugh out of this. I’m sure we will.
<ONBOARD COOLER’S SHIP, UNKNOWN LOCATION>
Cooler Soldier 1: My lord, we have an incoming transmission from Planet 92.
Cooler: <IN HIS CHAIR; HE IS LOOKING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, OUT A WINDOW> Very well.
<SOLDIERS TURN ON THE SCREEN, GUVA IS STANDING, LOOKING THROUGH HIS SCREEN>
Cooler: <AS IF BORED> What is it, governor?
Guva: Yes, my lord. <PAUSES> We recently had an intruder land at our base.
<COOLER’S TAIL MOVES, AS IF IRRITATED>
Guva: This intruder was a Saiyan. He killed several of our men, and his power level is quite high.
Cooler: <TURNS AROUND TO LOOK AT GUVA> Now why, governor, would you go out of your way to call me up over such a pedestrian tale?
Guva: It was only a child, milord.
Cooler: Ah. Just a child… that nearly managed to topple your little regime? And it benefits you to tell me this, how?
Guva: No sir, we were able to contain him, very quickly actually. But we thought since Lord Frieza’s destruction of the Saiyan planet so long ago, this could be one of the last… so we kept him alive…
Cooler: Even my dear brother couldn’t get rid of all the rats. It’s just like him to be careless and arrogant. No, even he has several onboard his ship right now.
Guva: Oh… well, since this one looks like he could have a lot of potential… maybe you would like to take him, milord?
Cooler: You <EXPRESSION REMAINS UNREADABLE> wish to give me a gift.
Guva: Yes… sir.
Cooler: You know, governor, I remember 92. And I must say… I am surprised.
Cooler: Planet 92 is a rather easy one to manage. Quite different from the trials it took to promote a governor to there, but an easy rule nonetheless. The local species are weak, but they are also useful workers. I assumed that you would like that. But, perhaps, you would prefer more excitement? More adrenaline? Tell me, governor, was I wrong for putting you in charge of that planet?
Guva: N-no, sir. Of course not.
Cooler: Planet Vegeta was in Frieza’s quadrant. They are his mess. I do not care about his drama, governor. Such things are beneath me, and should be beneath you. <TURNS BACK TO FACE THE WINDOW> Though I must say, if only a child was able to kill so many of your soldiers, he will be an interesting, if not impressive project, should you decide to keep him.
Guva: Yes, my lord.
Cooler: Perhaps, with enough guidance, he could outmatch you one day.
Guva: <GUVA TRIES TO HIDE HIS RAGE, LIP TREMBLING> Yes, of course, Lord Cooler.
Cooler: Oh, one more thing, Guva. I know what you were trying to pull. If I wanted to reassign you to my ship, I would have done so by now. Good day, governor.
<TRANSMISSION ENDS, STAYS ON GUVA IN HIS OFFICE; BANAS, WHO WAS OFF SCREEN, ENTERS>
Guva: <SHOOTS A POWERFUL BEAM OF ENERGY THROUGH HIS WINDOW, MELTING A LARGE CIRCLE THROUGH IT> What am I supposed to do?!?!?!
Banas: Backfired, did it? <LAUGHS>
Guva: <FURIOUSLY> Brilliant deduction, shithead. <TRYING TO COMPOSE HIMSELF> Br-bring in the child.
Guva: <CALMING DOWN> That wordy little bastard gave me an idea. Go on, bring him in!
<BANAS GOES OUTSIDE, RETURNS WITH LEDAS>
Guva: <REGALLY; COMPOSED> Good news, Saiyan. I will spare your life.
Banas: <MOCKINGLY> Now that you’re safe, I think we should–
Guva: You will join the Plantains. That’s the team led by Captain Banas.
Banas <EYES WIDEN> What?
Guva: That’s right. You will train him. It will be your job to make him into a competent soldier.
Banas: <STEPING FORWARD, TRYING TO ELIMINATE LEDAS FROM THE CONVERSATION; HE GETS RIGHT UP TO GUVA’S FACE; HEAD COCKED> We did not discuss this.
Guva: <MENTALLY PUSHING HIM BACK> We don’t have to. I am in charge here. I am the governor.
Banas: Gah!! <TURNS TO LEDAS> Don’t count on this being a cakewalk, kid. <WALKS OUT ANGRILY>
Guva: Now, Saiyan, let’s talk for a moment.
Guva: You know who that was… Banas? My captain?
Ledas: <FEARFULLY, LOOKING AT THE GROUND> Yeah…
Guva: I get the feeling you don’t like him.
Ledas: <OBVIOUSLY SCARED> I don’t know him…
Guva: You don’t need to lie to me. As it so happens, I don’t like him either. So, I ask again; do you like my captain?
Ledas: <A BIT MORE CONFIDENTLY> Wewll, no.
Guva: <SMILES> That’s more like it. Now, let us discuss what I want to do to him.
Ledas: But he’s right outside! He could hear you!
Guva: Then, <KNEELING DOWN> let us whisper now, together, you and I.
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY; WHISPERING> Do you want me to kill him or something?
Guva: <STILL IN A WHISPER> For now, I want you to train under him and grow strong. And I have a feeling that won’t take long. Your power level is already extraordinary for your age.
Ledas: But… what’s in it for me?
Guva: How about I don’t kill you.
<LEDAS STARES AT GUVA, CURIOUS>
Guva: Is that not enough for you? How would some information about your fellow Saiyans do, then?
Ledas: <EAGERLY> There are other Saiyans alive? Who? When can we see them?
<GUVA PUTS ONE FINGER OVER HIS LIPS>
Guva: <GESTURES TO THE DOOR> Until next time.
<CUTS TO BANAS, HE IS ANGRILY WALKING OUT OF GUVA’S OFFICE, AND IS DOWN ONTO THE GROUND LEVEL NOW; IN TANTRUM, HE KICKS UP THE DIRT AS HE WALKS>
<BANAS ENTERS THE BARRACKS, AMONG OTHER SOLDIERS, PAYAR IS THERE>
Banas: <AGITATED> Payar, we’re going.
Payar: <SITS UP> Where to, captain?
Banas: We’re going to a safe place, away from prying eyes.
<BANAS WALKS PAST PAYAR; PAYAR HOPS OFF HIS CHAIR, GRABS HIS SCOUTER AND FOLLOWS>
- This chapter's name was probably one of the easiest chapter titles for me to come up with, as it’s a subtle riff against Guva’s “schoolgirl” like attitude when around Cooler. The phrase itself (sans the name) is commonplace, too.
- This chapter originally had all of the first draft of chapter 3 in it. Once I posted the chapter, I realized it was much too long and split the chapter in two. This created an additional chapter for this saga that I did not originally foresee. What is weird is that both chapters remain; of the 8 chapters I cut from this saga (some of which were moved to the next saga), neither of these were, even though chapter 3 was created on-the-spot and without pre-planning.
- Much like with chapter 1 of this saga, my final edits for this chapter were minimal. All I changed was some spelling/grammar issues and the wording of some dialogue.
- This chapter has very little scene direction compared to how much dialogue there is. I don't think there is another chapter in TF that has so little scene direction.
- Much of the dialogue in this chapter is stuff I've said outloud quite a bit. Guva's "Captain Banas. Conspiring, are we?" is one such line. I recorded many versions of this line for the TF audiobook which was never released (in a serious manner), as I was going to play Guva, amongst other characters, in that.
- Guva's introduction shows how he is contrasted from Banas in numerous ways. He is elegant where Banas is not, and even the captain who so easily had his way with Ledas in the last chapter fears Guva's wrath. This hints that Guva is the strongest being on the planet, which at this moment in time is of course true.
- Banas and Guva have some witty banter that is often quite comedic. I added this in to give the two a unique relationship as well as to lighten the mood up somewhat. Most of the conversations can be so serious in this story, so to have two characters who make things funnier is always a plus. Guva himself tries to be serious, though Banas is more of the joker, and this contrast between the two further highlights the nature of their relationship and each character's personality.
- Guva's entrance in this chapter is one of the few times he ever uses guards. I did that simply to show that he's in charge and that he is not to be messed with. The guards also remind Banas and the others that Guva will use force if necessary. They serve as a veiled threat to The Plantains.
- Banas lies to Guva about Ledas and is not punished for his lie (though he doesn't get to keep Ledas). This shows how insubordinate he is and how comfortable he is around Guva. He never for once thinks that Guva will kill him, though he makes a joke about it. Indeed, Banas casualness around Guva implies that the two have a deep history together. This is further backed up by Guva stating that he's always been more powerful.
- Payar gives Ledas to Guva because he doesn't want a fight to break out. He wants to get off the planet, not die. Lieme is more bloodthirsty in this scene, ironically.
- Lieme saying that all of The Plantains together could take Guva is probably true. It also shows how feeble Guva's hold on the outpost is; this says a lot about all of the characters and their relationships with one another. As to why Banas doesn't start such a fight, he doesn't want to kill Guva. This is subtly hinted at throughout TF. Banas sees Guva as a friend and a rival. He wants to beat Guva in battle, but he doesn't want to kill him. Their friendship is so important to Banas, despite his overtly joking nature, that he would feel like he wasn't whole should he kill Guva. Now, later in the Stomping Grounds Saga and Planet Earth Saga, he is forced to fight Guva with the full knowledge that the winner would probably have to kill the loser, but this does not change Banas' resolve. Should he have won either of those battles, he would have spared Guva.
- Cooler's conversation with Guva is one of my favorite moments in all of TF. I think my rendition of Cooler's dialogue is some of the best canon character dialogue I've ever written. This scene reads like it's straight out of the anime.
- Cooler mentions to Guva casually that Nappa and Prince Vegeta are still alive on Frieza's ship. Guva later gets the specifics of this information and uses it at as a bargaining tool to get Ledas to do what he wants.
- Cooler also mentions the trials Guva and Banas went though in the choosing of Planet Cooler 92's governor. In the final version of this saga, the past history of Banas and Guva is less overtly stated, but it is still there for readers careful enough to look for it. In the original version, there were flashbacks with Guva and Banas, and I removed these as they were too on-the-nose and detracted too much from Ledas' plot. I much prefer the subtle clues I left in the final version of this saga.
- "Tell me, governor, was I wrong" - this is a line I wanted Cooler to say since I started working on TF. I did many iterations of it, and it was one of my most spoken-aloud lines. Even my brother would walk around saying this line, not knowing what it was for. This is the perfect line for a trailer for this saga, too.
- The way Cooler demolishes Guva, insulting him and showing how he is more clever than Guva, is something I'm quite proud of. Guva is supposed to the big bad guy of this saga, the governor and most powerful being Ledas has to go up against. That he's shown to be so puny against Cooler says a lot about him. It was also my intention to portray Cooler as accurate and imposing as possible. His effortless dismantling of Guva does just that, showing him to be one of the truly fearsome villains in this story.
- Even Guva wants to get reassigned from this planet. He took Ledas just so he could enact the same plan Banas and the others were trying. That says a lot about him and about this planet. While Planet Cooler 92 is a paradise, it is also a boring place, and not one filled with the excitement that the PTO aliens had hoped to find when they came to it.
- Cooler's little jab at Guva that one day Ledas may become stronger than him was done simply to anger Guva. Cooler knew what he was doing. He was annoyed that Guva called him up over such a trivial matter and wanted to make him pay, psychologically, for that. Of course, we all know Ledas does end up stronger than Guva.
- Guva of course cannot show his anger openly to Cooler for fear of being executed for insubordination. He lets it all out once the transmission ends. Originally, he swore when he did so, but I removed that in the final edits, as it felt gratuitous. Guva's rage can be clearly seen without him cussing there. It's one of the few times in sagas 2 and 3 that Guva truly loses his cool, and this reveals much about his character that is otherwise not seen when he's calm and collected.
- The Plantains are a PTO force I created for this story based on the Ginyu Force. The name of their group is related to Banas' own name, since he's the leader of it.
- It's a great moment when Banas is gloating at Guva getting bitch-slapped by Cooler and then is bitch-slapped himself by Guva when the governor reveals he's putting Ledas on Banas' team.
- Guva clearly exerts his control over Banas in the last scene of this chapter. His decisiveness is a defining trait of his and it also shows that his relationship with Banas is mostly one-sided. Guva is a strong and intelligent leader, even if Cooler did what he did to him in the previous scene. It was important for me to show that here. He takes out his own anger on Banas - by making Banas train Ledas, he is making Banas miserable, and that in turn makes Guva slightly happier (which is something he sorely needs after what Cooler said to him).
- Guva's line, "Then, let us whisper now, together, you and I" is a reference to the movie Gladiator. There are several references and allusions to that film in the second and third sagas of TF (though there are less now than there once was in the first draft).
- Guva's plan to use Ledas against Banas forms in this chapter. His control over The Plantains is tenuous, so having a soldier on his side is invaluable. He sees Ledas as that soldier. Guva is playing the long game. He uses Ledas' hatred of Banas to his advantage and tries to emotionally bond with the Saiyan boy too. If that works remains to be seen, but it's clear that getting Ledas to train under Banas and grow strong enough to be of use will be something that both characters want. It also provides a good in-universe explanation for why Ledas becomes so strong in this saga (briefly becoming much stronger than Prince Vegeta).
- Banas tells Payar that they are going somewhere safe because he wants to beat up Ledas without facing Guva's wrath. Notice here how everone's anger is taken out on those below them. Cooler's anger is taken out on Guva, who takes his anger out of Banas, who takes his anger out on Ledas. It's a destructive cycle, and since Ledas is on the bottom, he has no one to take his anger out on. He's trapped in more ways than one on this outpost. It's a subtle thing and not something I would expect everyone to pick up on the first read, but do make note that this was a deliberate theme I was portraying. This theme of course shows a lot about each character involved, which is nice.
<SPACE SHOT OF A PLANET, IT IS NOT 92>
<THE CAMERA DISSOLVES INTO FOCUS ON PLANET; IT IS FLAT, WITH SOME HILLS, BUT THERE ARE VERY FEW TREES, THE GROUND IS COVERED IN LIGHT YELLOW/GREEN TALL GRASS; THERE ARE FIVE SPACE PODS LINED UP IN A ROW, EMPTY; DOWN A TRAIL, BANAS AND HIS ‘TAINS, AS WELL AS LEDAS ARE ALL IN A FLAT AREA>
<ALL ARE WALKING, BANAS SEEMS A BIT PREOCCUPIED>
Payar: Yeah, you should’ve seen the look on their faces… ha ha ha!
Meloon: You let ‘em keep their faces? I tell ya, I wouldn’t have done that.
Payar: That’s the difference between you and me, Meloon. I keep them around for the pain; you just kill them before they know what happens. It’s no fun like that.
Banas: Stop. This is it.
Meloon: This is what?
Banas: <TO LEDAS> I want you to show me your full power.
Ledas: <AS IF UNABLE TO, DUE TO VEGETA’S INFLUENCE> I can’t…
Banas: That is no matter. I have other ways to force my will.
<THE WIND PICKS UP A LITTLE>
Meloon: Yeah, boss?
Banas: Make him bleed.
Meloon: <A WIDE SMILE ON HIS FACE> No probl’m.
<MELOON MOVES FORWARD, LEDAS MOVES BACK>
Meloon: Aw, come back. I ain’t gonna hurt ya! <CRACKING HIS KNUCKLES> Heh heh heh!!! <LEDAS STOPS; MELOON DISAPPEARS, AND REAPPEARS BEHIND LEDAS; HE PUNCHES LEDAS INTO THE GROUND; MELOON WALKS PICKS THE CHILD UP BY HIS TAIL> Come on, kid. Ya aren’t even tryin’! <THROWS LEDAS AWAY, HE LANDS ON HIS FEET>
Banas: You know, kid, it must be hard having to deal with the thought that all you cared about, everyone you knew is now dead. It’s only you left… all alone, out here in space.
Ledas: Shut up!!
Banas: Your parents, your friends, all gone.
Ledas: SHUT UP!!
<BANAS NODS TO MELOON, WHO ATTACKS AGAIN; THIS TIME LEDAS DODGES, AND FIGHTS BACK, HE STARTS RAINING ENERGY BLASTS DOWN ON MELOON>
Meloon: Heh, that tickles. <HE RISES INTO THE AIR AND KICKS LEDAS, SENDING HIM FLYING; MELOON FIRES A BEAM OF ENERGY AFTER HIM, WHICH DETONATES ON LEDAS AND CAUSES A HUGE BURST OF SMOKE; THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF IT, LEDAS DROPS TO THE GROUND; MELOON PURSUES HIM; WHEN MELOON REACHES LEDAS, HE STEPS ON THE UNMOVING CHILD, PRESSING DOWN; LEDAS STARTS SCREAMING, AND SPITTING UP BLOOD>
Meloon: Ha ha ha!
<LEDAS SENDS OUT A WAVE OF ENERGY AND PUSHES MELOON OFF OF HIM; HE THEN, GETS UP AND CHARGES AT MELOON, PUNCHING AT HIM>
Lieme: <WATCHING FROM AFAR> 13,000, captain.
Banas: That’s high, for a Saiyan, and a child at that. But still, I wonder why he is putting up so much of a fight with Meloon…
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS, WHO IS VIGOROUSLY ATTACKING MELOON; MELOON, GETTING ANNOYED, BATS HIM AWAY, LEDAS FALLS TO THE GROUND AGAIN>
Meloon: <THERE IS A SMALL BRUISE ON HIS FACE, HE IS AWARE OF IT> You can’t beat me, you’re just a stupid monkey! <WALKS UP TO LEDAS, STARTS STOMPING DOWN ON HIM>
Lieme: <SHOUTING, FROM AFAR> Meloon! You’re going to kill him.
Lieme: Do you remember nothing?! We are to keep him alive! Governor’s orders!
Meloon: <STEPS OFF OF LEDAS> Uh, I knew that.
<BANAS, LIEME, AND PAYAR WALK UP TO MELOON; LEDAS IS ON THE GROUND, COVERED IN BLOOD, GASPING AND COUGHING>
Lieme: <KNEELING DOWN TO LEDAS, INSPECTING THE CHILD> Cap’n, he’s going to die if we don’t do anything soon. He has massive internal bleeding.
<BANAS IS STARING AT A DISTANT TREE WHEN HIS SCOUTER BEEPS, PICKING UP A POWER LEVEL; HIS EYES WIDEN IN SURPRISE UPON SEEING THE READING; THIS CAUSES HIM TO BRIEFLY FORGET ABOUT THE SITUATION AT HAND>
Banas: <COMING BACK TO REALITY; PAUSE BEFORE SPEAKING> Idiot, Meloon! Payar, you have a kit on you?
Payar: Yeah, I’ll save him… <QUIETLY> this time. <PAYAR TAKES OUT A MEDICAL KIT AND STARTS TREATING LEDAS; LEDAS IS WRITHING IN PAIN> Stop squirming!
Banas: <LOOKING OFF INTO THE DISTANCE> Fix him up, and let me know when you’re done. I’m going to check something out.
<BANAS TAKES OFF, AND STARTS FLYING LOW TO GROUND; HIS SCOUTER IS SHOWING STRANGE CHARACTERS; HE GETS FAR AWAY FROM HIS TEAM, OVER A LOT OF HILLS; AFTER A WHILE, BANAS LANDS>
Banas: What are you doing here? As you can see, I already cleared this planet of life. It’s my haul. There’s no real purpose for you to be here… unless you’re following me.
<THREE ALIENS COME OUT FROM BEHIND SOME FOLIAGE; THEY WEAR STANDARD ARMOR>
Alien 1: <SMILING SINISTERLY> Captain Banas! What an honor it is!
Banas: <FACES THEM> Do I know you?
Alien 2: <SEEING HIM> Nah, you don’t. But we know you.
Banas: How’d you find me? What do you want? Make it fast, whatever it is. I’m busy with my team.
Alien 3: <NODDING WAY TOO MUCH> Oh, sure, sure, Captain. We’ll just cut to the chase. We found you in the databases. Your record and strength is impressive. We’re here to ask–
Banas: You hacked into the Planet Trade Organization databases? Bravo! <MOCK CLAPS> I’ve never seen a couple of guys with such a massive death wish. But I’m flattered you found my life so interesting to come and pay me a visit. Thanks for the ego boost, guys! <HE LAUGHS AND TURNS TO LEAVE>
Alien 1: Wait, Captain! We ain’t in the Planet Trade no more. We wanted you to join us.
Banas: Join you in what?
Alien 2: Killing Lord Cooler and freeing ourselves from his tyranny!
Banas: That’s a great plan. But Cooler’s pretty strong. You’ll need hundreds of soldiers.
Alien 2: <EYES WIDE> We already have thousands! Join us, Captain! Your strength will guarantee you better riches! After Cooler is dead, you can rule entire systems with captains to serve under you!
Banas: <SIGHING, LOOKING DOWN AT HIS BOOTS> Now… that’s a compelling offer. You know how to bargain, I’ll give you that. But you three have mistaken me for a rebel; and I’m as loyal as they get. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to kill you now.
<BANAS, WITHOUT ANY MORE WARNING, LOOKS UP AT THE THREE AND SHOOTS OFF SEVERAL ENERGY BLASTS AT EACH OF THE THREE; THIS CAUSES THEM TO ROAR IN ANGER AND CHARGE HIM>
<BEFORE THEY REACH BANAS, HE JUMPS TO THE AIR, NOT FACING THEM; THEY CHARGE, AND HE DOES A BACKFLIP OVER THEM, LANDING RIGHT BEHIND THE SECOND ALIEN, HE BLASTS IT, KILLING IT; THE OTHER TWO TURN AROUND AND ATTACK HIM, SENDING TONS OF BLASTS TOWARD BANAS, WHO EFFORTLESSLY HITS THEM AWAY, HE WORKS HIS WAY THROUGH THE BLASTS ALL THE WAY TO ALIEN 3, AND WITH A SINGLE SWIPE, DECAPITATES THE ALIEN; THE FIRST ALIEN IS HIT WITH A BLAST, AND FALLS TO THE GROUND>
Banas: <DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, NEXT TO SINGED ALIEN> I’m surprised at you. Shouldn’t my profile have told you that I’m just so much better than all of you in every possible way? No? Well, that’s your loss.
<THE ALIEN GETS UP, AND TRIES TO RUN OFF; BANAS WATCHES HIM FOR A MOMENT, THEN SHOOTS A FINAL BLAST, WHICH HITS THE ALIEN, AND SENDS HIS LIFELESS CORPSE SPRAWLING FORWARD INTO THE GRASS>
<THEN, BANAS RETURNS TO HIS SQUAD>
Payar: <LOOKING DOWN, STILL WORKING ON LEDAS> What was that all about?
Banas: Sometimes I get the urge to shake the beehive, to see if the bees will actually come out to sting me.
Lieme: <STANDING, LOOKING AT BANAS> Did they?
Banas: Not yet. <SIGHS> There’s always tomorrow.
<LEDAS IS QUIET; WITH PAYAR DISTRACTED BY THE CAPTAIN, HE VENTURES FOR AN ATTACK ON MELOON AGAIN; THE BIG BEAST DOESN’T SEE THE TEARDROP SHAPED BLAST UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE; IT KNOCKS HIM OVER>
<MELOON GETS UP; HE GROWLS, GETTING READY TO POUND LEDAS INTO THE DUST AGAIN; BANAS THROWS OUT HIS ARM>
Banas: No, leave him alone. He’s persistent, I like that. When he gets older, he’ll be as dangerous as any of you. None of Cooler’s other teams will be able to touch us.
<LEDAS IS WRITHING AGAIN, FLAILING HIS ARMS ABOUT; BUT PAYAR SNAPS HIS ARM DOWN QUICKLY AND BANDAGES HIM UP>
- This chapter's name is simply referring to the planet The Plantains go to in this chapter. It is a wind-swept world.
- The planet in this chapter is a reference to Dantooine from the Star Wars universe.
- Meloon's and Payar's conversation at the beginning of this chapter shows a key personality difference between the two.
- The theme of agency is strong in this chapter. Ledas is of course in a situation similar to the one he was in last saga - he's being ordered around by people stronger than him. Yet it is different because here, Ledas' very life is at risk. He doesn't have any agency. He has to do what The Plantains tell him. Before, when he was with his father or Nappa, Ledas had some leeway to do what he wanted. Here, he is little more than a slave. So Ledas fights against that in this chapter and pays for it dearly.
- Banas tries to anger Ledas in order to get the boy to attack Meloon. He is confident that even at his best, Ledas won't be able to damage Meloon. And he really shouldn't have been able to. Meloon is close to 20x as strong as Ledas. That he does get hurt is a sign of Meloon's carelessness and Ledas' potential.
- Meloon is vicious with how he deals with Ledas. The way he stomps on him and nearly kills him is more graphic than what would be expected in Dragon Ball Z. I did this for two reasons. For one, it shows how brutal The Plantains are and how unsafe a place Ledas is in. He is in a very bad place. The second reason was that I needed Ledas to get a zenkai from this battle so that he could grow in power quickly. Ledas is just too weak to compete with the other Plantains or do much. He can't even spar with them. So in order to raise his power level quickly, zenkais are the best option. Also, having Ledas be so damaged is homage to how beat up Vegeta gets in the Saiyan Saga.
- It's greatly ironic that Payar saves Ledas' life and that he's a medic to begin with. But it is cool too, since it shows how every member of the team has different roles.
- The power level reading Banas gets on the planet foreshadows his meeting with the PTO rebels later in the chapter.
- The main change I made during the final edits of this chapter was to redo Banas' meeting with the other aliens. At first, it was just another team from another Cooler outpost. They were angry at him, and he attacked them and killed them, and this caused some political problems later. I changed the aliens to being rebels trying to recruit Banas. When he kills them, this spurs their rebel group to attack Planet Cooler 92 later in the saga. So this was a retooled plot created by me to make this saga more interesting and to add more battles into it.
- Banas doesn't take the rebels very seriously, which is pretty funny. He's loyal to Cooler's empire, and he knows that becoming a rebel is basically suicide. So that's why he kills them. Banas is no fool, despite the way he acts. He is actually quite intelligent. Many weaker officers (mentally and physically) would have joined the rebels, but not him. The way I built up to him killing the rebels, too, is unexpected. The way he talks, he seems to want to join them. Of course this is all a ruse to assess their strength and prepare himself for his attack.
- Banas' fight with the three rebels gives the readers an indication of how strong he is. He effortlessly kills them, despite them triple teaming him. You have to think that the soldiers are around Ledas' power level if not weaker than him (most regular soldiers in the PTO don't seem to have power levels above 1000-3000), so seeing how easily Banas killed them is cause for concern for Ledas and his quest to become strong enough to kill Banas. I did this specifically to show how far Ledas has to go before he can hope to challenge The Plantains.
- Ledas attacking Meloon at the end of this chapter shows the fight he has in him. He's not a weakling or a coward. He was near death when he did that attack, and it was more frustration than anything else. But he has heart, and that was important to show.
- By the end of this chapter, Banas has become impressed by Ledas' spirit and fighting ability and now sees him as a good addition to his team. He thinks that with years of training, Ledas will grow up to be as strong as anyone else on his team. This is a great turnaround from Banas' thoughts about Ledas in the previous chapter.
<SCREEN IS BLACK>
Voice: Where am I?
<THERE IS NO RESPONSE; THE CAMERA SLOWLY FADES TO LIGHT; THE SURROUNDINGS ARE REVEALED; THE ENTIRE AREA IS A ROCKY CAVE, DIMLY LIT; IN THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN IS AN OBSCURED FIGURE; HE IS LYING ON THE GROUND>
Voice: <LOOKING UP; HIS FACE IS COVERED IN A BLACK HOOD> Who’s there?!
<AFTER HEARING NO RESPONSE, THE BEING BEGINS CRAWLING ACROSS THE GROUND; AS HE GOES, THE FIGURE OF ANOTHER CAN BE SEEN BEHIND HIM, STANDING QUITE STILL AND WATCHING; THE FIGURE’S FEATURES ARE DARK AND INDISCERNIBLE; HOWEVER, A TALL MOHAWK CAN BE SEEN>
<THE CRAWLING FIGURE REACHES A ROCK AND USES IT TO TRY TO STAND UP; AS HE DOES, HE NOTICES A GROUP OF FIGURES HAS MATERIALIZED AROUND HIM; EACH OF THEM IS STARING HIM DOWN WITH SNARLING FACES AND THEIR ARMS CROSSED; HE QUICKLY NOTICES THEM TO BE ZARBON>
Zarbons: <IN UNISON> My, my. What a pity. Lord Frieza will be so disappointed by what you’ve done.
Voice: <WEARY> Fool…!
<THE CLOAKED FIGURE RAISES HIS ARM AND SHOOTS OFF A YELLOW BLAST AT THE ZARBON IN FRONT OF HIM; THE BLAST GOES THROUGH ZARBON AND EXPLODES ON THE FAR WALL; AFTER THE SMOKE CLEARS, THE ZARBONS ARE GONE>
<THE CREATURE STUMBLES UP AND STARTS LIMPING FORWARD, HOLDING ONTO HIS SHOULDER>
Voice 2: <LIKE THE ZARBONS, THIS IS A COLLECTION OF MANY OF THE SAME VOICE SPEAKING AT ONCE; ECHOES THROUGHOUT THE CAVE> Heheheheheheh.
<THE ROBED CREATURE MOVES AROUND AN OUTCROPPING OF ROCK; ON THE OTHER SIDE, HE SEES FRIEZA HOVERING IN THE AIR, ABOUT 2 FEET OFF THE GROUND; AT ONCE, THE ROBED FIGURE STOPS AND FALLS TO HIS KNEES>
Frieza: That will be all, Benefactor!
<FRIEZA LIFTS HIS FINGER UP AND STARTS TO CHARGE UP A DEATH BEAM>
The Benefactor: Not this time…
<HE RAISES BOTH OF HIS ARMS AND READIES HIS OWN BLAST; THE BENEFACTOR FIRES A JAGGED CRIMSON BLAST OF ENERGY TOWARDS THE FLOATING TYRANT; THE BLAST CONNECTS AND SENDS SMOKE FLYING; THE BENEFACTOR STAYS ON HIS KNEES BREATHING HEAVILY AS THE SMOKE CLEARS; AS IT DOES, A DIFFERENT FIGURE IS IN FRIEZA’S PLACE; THEIR FEATURES ARE SHROUDED IN BLACK; THE FIGURE DESCENDS TO THE GROUND>
<WHILE THE FIGURE IS MOSTLY COVERED IN DARKNESS, THE BENEFACTOR CAN SEE THAT IT POSSESSES A TALL MOHAWK; AS SOON AS THE FIGURE TOUCHES THE GROUND, IT THROWS BOTH OF ITS HANDS FORWARD; THIS IMMEDIATELY SENDS THE BENEFACTOR FLYING BACK UNTIL HE HITS THE CAVE WALL; AS HE DOES, HE FINDS HIMSELF STUCK TO THE WALL BY SOME UNSEEN FORCE; THE FIGURE APPROACHES HIM>
Mysterious Figure: Welcome. I suppose we haven’t been acquainted yet. Please, call me Lauto. <REACHES THE BENEFACTOR; THE BENEFACTOR LOOKS DOWN AT LAUTO> I am the one who saved you, if you are curious. Yes, it’s true; you crashed here dying of blood loss, and I brought you back from death’s embrace. And as you’ve been resting, I’ve had… wonderful access to your memories.
The Benefactor: <LOW GROWL; TUGGING AGAINST THE FORCE THAT IS PINNING HIM TO THE WALL> Let me go. You don’t want to mess with me.
Lauto: <RAISES HAND, CAUSING THE BENEFACTOR’S HEAD TO SLAM AGAINST THE WALL AND REMAIN THERE> You’re strong, but you are not that strong. You’re evil, but you are not that evil. <RISES IN THE AIR TO MEET THE BENEFACTOR EYE TO EYE; PLACES A HAND ON THE BENEFACTOR’S HOOD, PULLING IT DOWN, REVEALING THE BENEFACTOR’S SCARRED REPTILIAN FACE> I look through your memories, and all I see is death; a monster feeding off of the fear and blood of his victims; and you grow stronger with each kill. Perhaps it’s the predatory frenzy built into your species’ veins that drives you to act like this. But know this: everything you have done, I have done ten times over. All those you have ravaged are but a speck of sand on the beach of those I’ve killed. <PAUSE> Your self-love of your own savagery will end soon enough.
The Benefactor: <QUICKLY, BREATHING THROUGH HIS TEETH> You speak too much and you don’t know anything. Let me go before I rip your throat from your flesh.
Lauto: <RAISES HAND> Enough empty threats. Let’s talk about where you were going. <THE BENEFACTOR STRUGGLES AGAIN AND GROWLS MIGHTILY; LAUTO IGNORES THIS> I know you were fleeing from a galactic lord who tried to kill you. I know you were chasing down a child to murder. But your memories have been poor as to explaining their connection.
The Benefactor: <IN QUIET RAGE> First him, then the Prince – once he’s away from the safety of that ship – and then Zarbon. Then Frieza’s precious pets will be dead. He’ll have nothing left… After that, I’ll take his worlds, one by one, feeding on their power until I can challenge him myself.
Lauto: You are seeking revenge, I see. And hurting those your enemy loves the most is a clever move. But know this, Benefactor. When you let your emotions rule you, you will inevitably make a critical mistake. And with the weight of your crimes, you will not escape with mercy… should you be caught.
The Benefactor: Frieza will never find me–
Lauto: You mistake me, Iyxan.
The Benefactor: <SHOCK> How do you know the name of my species?!
Lauto: <IGNORING THE BENEFACTOR’S PREVIOUS STATEMENT> But you’ve already made your critical mistake. You landed here. In time, you’ll realize who you’re up against.
<LAUTO LOOKS AT THE BENEFACTOR FOR A FEW MORE SECONDS, THEN DISAPPEARS; AS HE GOES, THE LIGHTS GO OUT TOO>
<BACK ON PLANET COOLER 92, THE PLANTAINS HAVE RETURNED; THE SCREEN PANS FROM THE GARAGE TO THE NEARBY BARRACKS; THERE, PAYAR AND LEDAS ARE WALKING; LEDAS IS LIMPING FROM HIS WOUNDS SUSTAINED FROM HIS FIGHT AGAINST MELOON; HIS FACE AND ARMS ARE BANDAGED; HE STILL WEARS HIS FRIEZA ARMOR>
<THE TWO ENTER INTO THE BARRACKS AND WALK PAST NUMEROUS REGULAR SOLDIERS; MANY OF THEM ARE NOT WEARING ARMOR; SOME ARE WORKING OUT WITH WEIGHTS; SOME ARE LOUNGING; SOME ARE EATING; ALL LOOK UP AS PAYAR ENTERS; HOWEVER, THEY START LAUGHING AND POINTING AT LEDAS AND HIS WRETCHED CONDITION>
<PAYAR STEERS LEDAS THROUGH THE GROUP AND MOVES TO THE BACK OF THE BARRACKS; THEY STOP AT THE LAST ROOM, AND PAYAR GESTURES THE SAIYAN BOY INSIDE>
<THE ROOM IS SMALL, WITH BARELY ANY ROOM OUTSIDE OF THE BUNK BED; IT ALSO HAS A SMALL BATHROOM (WITH ITS OWN DOOR) ON THE LEFT SIDE; ON THE RIGHT, A SMALL CLOSET IS ALL THERE IS; AND MUCH OF THE CLOSET IS ALREADY FILLED; THERE IS A SUIT OF PLANET TRADE ORGANIZATION ARMOR IN IT>
Payar: All right, Saiyan. This is your new home. Unpack your stuff and get cozy.
Ledas: <LIMPING IN> I don’t have any stuff.
Payar: Watch your tone.
Ledas: <LOOKING UP AT PAYAR> But this place is so small… don’t I get a better place with the rest of you?
Payar: <LOOKS INCREDULOUSLY AT LEDAS> Be thankful you get a room at all. You aren’t a Plantain yet, despite what Guva might tell you. This is more than you deserve.
<LEDAS SITS DOWN ON THE BOTTOM BUNK AND WINCES FROM HIS INJURIES>
Ledas: <IMPATIENTLY, WITH A SCOWL> How long until I’m healed?
Payar: Watch it, kid. I saved your life earlier today. You should be grateful. <LEDAS IS STILL SCOWLING AT HIM> But you can go visit the rejuvenation tanks if you need to. They’re just outside. <LEDAS PUTS HIS HANDS BEHIND HIS HEAD THEN LIES DOWN ON THE BED AND SIGHS; HE CLOSES HIS EYES; PAYAR TAKES THIS AS HIS MOMENT TO LEAVE, BUT BEFORE HE DOES, HE REACHES INTO THE CLOSET> Oh, and Saiyan, Captain Banas wanted me to give you these… <HE THROWS SOMETHING AT LEDAS, WHICH LANDS ON THE SAIYAN’S STOMACH, CAUSING THE BOY TO SIT UP IN A JOLT> … so you’ll fit in better.
<LEDAS LOOKS AT WHAT PAYAR THREW HIM; IT IS A SET OF ARMOR JUST LIKE LIEME’S; IT IS BLACK ON GREEN WITH ONLY THE LEFT SHOULDER PAULDRON; THERE ARE NEW GLOVES AND BOOTS, REPAINTED WHITE AND GREEN, AND A BLACK JUMPSUIT FOR UNDERNEATH>
<AS LEDAS STARTS GETTING CHANGED, ANOTHER PERSON ENTERS>
Aprido: Hey, get off my bed!
Ledas: <TEMPER FLARING> Well, no one told me it was yours!
<APRIDO SHAKES HIS HEAD AS LEDAS STANDS UP; HE WALKS FORWARD, TO HIS BED, AND ELBOWS THE SAIYAN IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD AS HE WALKS PAST>
Aprido: You’ve got the top bed, punk. Just stay up there and stay out of my business.
Aprido: Yeah, whatever.
<LEDAS THEN GETS CHANGED INTO HIS NEW ARMOR; AFTER HE IS DONE, HE WALKS OUT TO THE MAIN ROOM OF THE BARRACKS WITH MORE CONFIDENCE; LOW SHOT FROM BETWEEN LEDAS’ LEG AT FLOOR LEVEL POINTING TOWARDS THE GROUP OF SOLDIERS TRAINING AND EATING IN FRONT OF HIM; LEDAS HAS HIS HANDS ON HIS HIPS>
Ledas: <WEARILY> Now, where’s that rejuvenation tank?
<HE WALKS OUT OF THE BARRACKS AS THE CAMERA SLOWLY ZOOMS OUT>
<SCENE CUTS BACK TO LEDAS; THE DAY HAS TURNED TO NIGHT; HE HAS RETURNED FROM THE REJUVENATION TANKS, AND IS SITTING UP ON THE TOP BUNK; HE IS ONLY WEARING TRAINING PANTS; HE CAN HEAR SNORING AROUND HIM FROM APRIDO AND THE OTHERS IN THE OTHER ROOMS; AFTER A FEW SECONDS, HE LIES DOWN AND WRAPS BLANKETS AROUND HIMSELF>
<LEDAS LOOKS OUT THE SMALL WINDOW NEXT TO HIS PILLOW; OUTSIDE, HE CAN SEE THE FORESTS OF PLANET 92; THE NEAREST MOON SHINES QUITE BRIGHTLY OVER THEM; HE LOOKS OUT AT THE STARS ABOVE>
Ledas: <IN A WHISPER TO NO ONE IN PARTICULAR> Please… please let Vegeta be out there somewhere.
<HE CLOSES HIS TEAR-FILLED EYES>
- This chapter's name references both The Benefactor and Lauto. It's a name very much like the chapter names in the Fulfillment Saga.
- The entirety of this chapter was written from scratch for the final draft of TF. This is the first such chapter, though not the last. I added in this chapter (and "The Day I Had 60 Pokémon") to make Lauto Saga twelve chapters. Previously, it was ten chapters, and that was no good. I wanted all of the sagas to have the same number of chapters.
- So the plot for this chapter came from the changes I made at the end of the Prince Vegeta Saga during the final edits. In those final edits, I specified that The Benefactor survived Frieza's attempted assassination of him and then set out to gain revenge on Frieza by killing the two Saiyan boys he had taken interest in (Prince Vegeta and Ledas). He goes after Ledas first, of course, because Ledas is physically closer to him. However, he's greatly wounded at the time. So in this chapter, I specify that he crash-landed on a planet shortly after setting off after Ledas, due to the extent of his wounds. This resolves a major cliffhanger of the previous saga and also spares Ledas from certain death. He is then taken by Lauto as a prisoner. One of the things that took me a long time to come up with for the final edits for this saga was why Lauto would keep him as a prisoner. The body switch thing came very late in the planning for the final plot of this saga. I think it was the last major thing I came up with for the Lauto Saga plot. Another reason I added this plot into this saga is that I wanted to show more of the story arcs of other characters, not just Ledas. I wanted everyone in this story to have a defined arc, and TB and Lauto were two characters who did not have that in the previous version of TF. So giving them a defined history in this saga and the next was very important for me to feel like TF had a cohesiveness to it.
- In earlier drafts of TF, The Benefactor was completely gone until the Reunion Saga. In some versions, he was a captive of The Benefactor on Lauto's planet at one time or another, while at other times, he only came to Lauto's planet when he sensed Guva's and Banas' power levels on it. Adding him into this saga and having him square off against Lauto does quite a bit for the plot and is something I'm very happy with. For one, it allows the main villain of this series to have more time in the earlier sagas, allowing me to build up his character partly so people won't forget who he is and partly because if his history and personality are defined, he will be a dynamic enough character to face Ledas later on. Another reason for doing this was to flesh out Lauto's own character. One of the worst parts of the first draft of TF was Lauto - he was just this random presence (who didn't even have a physical body) who randomly gives Ledas eternal youth. It wasn't a good idea. Making Ledas stop aging an accident came in later drafts and was refined to (in my opinion) perfection in the final edits. Adding in the plot with TB and Lauto also allowed Lauto's character to be fleshed out. In my preparation for the final edits of TF, I created a notepad document where I listed some things I wanted to change about each saga. Lauto being a Supreme Kai who was exiled for his failures was one of the first things I came up with for this saga. Giving Lauto backstory and more time in the saga (which is named after him) was something I sought to do, as in all previous drafts before the final draft, he was in only 2 chapters of this saga. That's far too little for the character who has the whole saga named after him. Additionally, The Benefactor's struggle with Lauto allows both of them to develop as characters. And finally, their struggle allowed me to show The Benefactor triumphing - which is harder to do in the Reunion Saga, as he couldn't kill Ledas or kill any of the Z Fighters. So showing his brutality and his power against Lauto allowed me to do that and build him up before the Reunion Saga.
- Lauto has a tall mohawk to hint that he's a Supreme Kai. This is only hinted at at first because Lauto's features aren't specifically seen until later.
- The Benefactor is not revealed by name until partway into this chapter. But like Lauto, his features are described. The readers should pick up on the fact that he's wearing a hood and connect that to The Benefactor, whose plot from the previous saga has mysteriously not been continued up to this point.
- That the figures TB hallucinates are Zarbons says a lot about TB. It also pretty much confirms that this is TB, as no other character with a hood should be thinking about Frieza's right hand man.
- The dialogue the Zarbons say in this chapter are not words Zarbon has said in TF before.
- The hallucination trial that TB goes through in this chapter is similar to the one Ledas goes through near the end of this saga (in all drafts). This parallel between the two characters was done deliberately.
- Frieza's dialogue, unlike the Zarbons', is a repeat of something he said in the Prince Vegeta Saga.
- So being around Lauto causes one to see waking hallucinations - often distorted memories. This is a passive effect Lauto has on his surroundings (which is a sign of his corruption as a Supreme Kai), but he can also actively cause those around him to hallucinate about specific memories. This wasn't based on anything; it was an original idea I've had for this character since the first draft of this saga. It certainly makes Lauto a unique villain. Also note that Lauto wasn't a villain in the first draft of this story. I changed him into a villain to make his interactions with other characters more interesting.
- Lauto is immensely powerful. This is seen when he slams The Benefactor against the wall with his mind. Remember that TB was very powerful himself in the last saga - his power level was at least several hundred thousand - so this shows that Lauto is one of the strongest characters thus far introduced. Indeed, aside from the Arcosians (Frieza and Cooler), he is the strongest character thus far shown in the story.
- I believe that when Lauto pulls down TB's hood, that is the first time TB's face is seen in the series - at least his adult face. Of course, his face is seen throughout Outbreak: Paved In Blood, but in terms of the actual sagas, I think this is the first time.
- Lauto mentions the frenzy in TB's species and notes how TB has a genetic mutation that allows him to gain power with each kill. This information is also hinted at in Outbreak. Basically, TB's genetic mutation allows his power level to go up with the more beings he kills. This also explains why he likes killing so much. It's mostly in pursuit of power - but not entirely. Notice how Lauto says he's evil, but not completely evil. He's more interested in becoming stronger so he doesn't have to rely on anyone. This is a personality difference from earlier drafts where TB was more of a mindless villain. I'd like to think he's far more complex now; it was my biggest goal in the final edits of TF. Also notice how this parallels with Ledas' own goals in this story and this saga in particular. Ledas also wants to grow in strength to be self-sufficient. The two have an obsession about training and gaining power that is similar to Goku and Vegeta. The two are searching for personal agency.
- Lauto hints at the atrocities he's committed in his past by comparing himself to TB. He says that TB is nothing compared to him in power or evilness. This was helpful for me, because everyone knows how evil TB is already, so Lauto saying he's such much worse (after he's looked over many of TB's memories) means that he's one of the most evil and powerful aliens in the entire universe.
- TB reveals his plan to get back at Frieza to Lauto in case the readers couldn't read between the lines and figure out that he was going after Ledas to get back at Frieza. It's quite a devious plan that might have worked had he not been so grievously wounded by Frieza at the end of the previous saga.
- The fact that Lauto knows the name of The Benefactor's species hints that he is not a normal being - again, I don't outright state he's a Supreme Kai in this chapter, but there are some curious things about him that should make the readers question what exactly Lauto is.
- I didn't want to reveal Lauto's species or his intentions this early in this saga. I wanted to build up to that. So that's why the first scene ends so mysteriously and with a cliffhanger.
- I considered not having the second scene in this chapter, but I ultimately put it in for two reasons - without it, this chapter would be very short, so from a pacing perspective, it's better to have it in here; the second reason is that I deliberately put Ledas in every chapter (sans the prologue). This is not one chapter where that was really a struggle - the pacing issue meant that it was a good idea to have the second scene anyway - but there are other chapters ("They Call Me Yamcha" from the Reunion Saga, for example) where Ledas' inclusion, despite him not being very involved in the main plot, was more forced.
- The second scene in this chapter had multiple purposes. For one, it shows more of the PTO outpost and shows Ledas' room (which was not really shown in detail in previous versions of the story). This adds a lot from a world-building perspective, giving the readers a better picture of what the outpost looks like and how it functions. Plus, having Ledas all bandaged up was a fun thing to do, since there aren't many other opportunities to do that.
- Ledas being in his Frieza armor shows how he is an Other in the outpost. This is further highlighted when the regular soldiers laugh at Ledas for being so beat up. Ledas' alienation from them forces him to grow up fast and have some interesting character development. He's no longer an elite - no longer being pampered. The fact that everyone looks down on him means that Ledas will have something to prove. Though Ledas is different from Vegeta, they both have Saiyan pride, and that is the basis for Ledas rising up in this saga (he cannot rise up if he is not first cast down, and that is what I am doing in this chapter; this belittling of Ledas continues throughout the rest of the saga as well). It was first hinted at in the last chapter when Ledas went up against Meloon and attacked him at the end of that chapter after he had been defeated and was close to death.
- Notice how Ledas doesn't get one of the good rooms like the rest of The Plantains. This is important, as it shows the separation between them and him.
- Payar giving Ledas a new set of armor is symbolic of Ledas' integration into the outpost.
- Ledas gets the top bunk because I sleep on the top bunk of my bed.
- Ledas shares a room with Aprido because he has a rivalry with Aprido in this saga and the next one. I thought it would be interesting if the two have to share a room. Aprido was in danger of being marginalized in the final edits of this saga (since previously, he was mostly involved in the discarded plot with the planet's natives), so I took steps to integrate him more into the plot in different ways that before.
- Ledas using a rejuvenation tank was based on Vegeta using on at the start of the second saga of DBZ following his fight with the Z Fighters in the Saiyan Saga. It also is quite useful, plot-wise, since it allows Ledas to heal quickly and get a zenkai.
- At the end of this chapter, when Ledas returns to his room, everyone else is asleep. He is in his training clothes, implying that he was training. Notice how no one else was training as late as him - they were all already asleep. Ledas has a resolve to get stronger that they do not, and that separates him from them. He has more potential because he has more drive to become stronger. He knows he can't compete with Meloon and the others, so he's trying his hardest to get as strong as possible as fast as possible. For a kid his age, it's quite noble. Most people would be far lazier than him. If there's one thing Ledas is not it's lazy.
- The moon of Planet Cooler 92 is not full in this chapter, though it is nearly so. The moon is a symbol of the Saiyans and of Saiyan culture, so having it be nearly full - but not full - has symbolic meaning.
- The ending of this chapter is significant. Ledas hasn't forgotten Vegeta (despite, perhaps Vegeta forgetting him (hence the name of this story)), and his desire to reunite with his friend is one of the driving factors in his life. It is what is keeping him alive. Yet, he's still only five years old. He's really young to be dealing with such emotions, especially with no one around to support him emotionally. I really wanted to emphasize how hard Ledas' life has become both from a physical and mental standpoint. His life is a living hell and he feels trapped. So hoping his best friend is alive and out there in the stars he stares up at as he falls asleep is the only hope the poor boy can muster, and it is enough to keep him going, even if he is crying in sadness all the same.
Two One Eyed Dogs
<THE NEXT DAY>
<IN GUVA’S PERSONAL BUILDING; IT IS THE LARGEST AND TALLEST BUILDING, AND IS AT THE CENTER OF THE OUTPOST; ON THE THIRD FLOOR; HE AND BANAS ARE LOOKING AT THE WINDOW THAT GUVA SHOT A GIANT HOLE THROUGH EARLIER>
Guva: You took the Saiyan with you last time. How was it?
Banas: <LYING> Nothing you need to be worried about. He’s just an inconvenience.
Banas: <MAD> Why is that good?!
Guva: Captain, you always seem to learn best from inconvenience.
Banas: Thanks for telling me.
Guva: <GETS UP OUT OF CHAIR; LYING> You see Banas, Lord Cooler wants us to train the Saiyan. And I will follow his orders. If you’ve got a problem with that, then you can take it up with him yourself.
Banas: I don’t remember Cooler saying that.
Guva: Call him up and ask for yourself.
Banas: <OBVIOUSLY WILL NOT DO THAT, COOLER IS TOO DANGEROUS TO BRING INTO THE DRAMA> Gah, you’re smarter than you look.
Guva: Just wait ‘til you get to know me.
Banas: But about your new idea… I would like to hear your inspiration.
Guva: <STARING OUT THE WINDOW> These native species are like animals. So unskilled and uncivilized, and I must confess boredom.
Banas: I’ll put them up against the lower class grunts then. They could use some fun.
Guva: Yes, I agree. We need the morale boost. A content army is not likely to rebel. <HE LOOKS AT BANAS> Right, Captain?
Banas: Ha! You should go out and fight them.
Guva: They’re not worth my time.
Banas: <NODS, LAUGHS> Always the same elitist crap with you.
<CUTS TO PAYAR AND LEDAS, WHO ARE WALKING ON A TRAIL THROUGH A FORESTED AREA; BOTH ARE IN FULL ARMOR>
Payar: No funny business kid. Normally Lieme does this, but the captain thought it would be better for you to try.
Ledas: <CHILD TONE> But what am I doing? You haven’t even told me.
Payar: <CONFESSING, BUT EMBARRASSED THAT HE HAS TO> I can’t do the energy binds.
Ledas: <IN AWE> You can’t use energy?
Payar: <THEY COME UP TO CLEARING, BELOW IN A VALLEY, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF NATIVES WORKING, IN A QUARRY TYPE SETTING> Shut up. Look, see those down there? Use your energy to bind their hands and legs together; we’re going to bring them back to the outpost without incident. <PAUSES, LEDAS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE HE WANTS TO DO IT> Do it, or you get beaten again. And I’m stronger than Meloon.
<LEDAS, SCARED BY THAT, JUMPS DOWN INTO THE QUARRY AND CREATES ENERGY BINDS; HE SHOOTS THEM AT THE NATIVES; THEY OFFER NO RESISTANCE>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> Why don’t they fight back? They must be scared of me.
<AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, LEDAS HAS THE WHOLE GROUP LINED UP, BOUND TOGETHER; THEY, WITHOUT A NOISE, MOVE FORWARD, BACK TO THE OUTPOST>
Payar: <THERE IS A HUNGER IN HIS EYES> Good, good. <TO THE NATIVES> Come on, pick it up! <HE HITS ONE OF THE NATIVES; IT SLUMPS OVER DEAD, THE REST START MOVING FASTER, CARRYING THE DEAD ONE ALONG WITH THEM>
<LEDAS IS WATCHING THIS ALL, CURIOUS; AS A FEMALE NATIVE PASSES HIM, IT GIVES HIM A CHILLING LOOK; NOT ONE OF SADNESS OR DESPAIR, BUT OF PITY; AS SHE WALKS BY, LEDAS STAYS STILL, WATCHING HER>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> What’s wrong with them? They look like they’ve given up…
<THEY ALL RETURN TO THE OUTPOST; SOLDIERS, CURIOUS AT THE COMMOTION, LINE THE STREETS, LOOKING IN ON THE PROCESSION; PAYAR IS AT ITS HEAD, AND LEDAS IS FOLLOWING BEHIND, HE NOW IS WALKING AS IF WITH A WEIGHT ON HIS SHOULDERS; HE SEEMS TO BE SHAKEN; THEY REACH GUVA’S OFFICE, THE GOVERNOR IS STANDING OUT IN FRONT>
Guva: Ah, <TO PAYAR AND LEDAS> good job, you two. We are in for an interesting night. Payar, take them to the ring.
<PAYAR GRABS THE FIRST IN THE LINE; HE DRAGS THE NATIVE AWAY, CAUSING THE REST TO BE PULLED ALONG WITH HIM>
<CUTS TO THE EVENING, GUVA IS STANDING ON A BALCONY; BELOW HIM, THERE IS A GLADIATOR RING; DOZENS OF NATIVES ARE IN IT, PACING NERVOUSLY>
Guva: <SITTING, BUT THEN STANDS UP; RAISES HIS ARMS DRAMATICALLY; IN A BELLOW> Let us begin!! <THE DOORS OPEN ON THE FAR SIDE, DOZENS OF LOW CLASS SOLDIERS ENTER AND START SHOOTING BLASTS FROM THEIR WRIST MOUNTED GUNS AT THE NATIVES>
Guva: <BANAS AND HIS ‘TAINS, INCLUDING LEDAS, ARE WITH HIM> See, captain, isn’t this entertaining? <THE SCREAMS OF NATIVES, AND THE LAUGHS OF SOLDIERS RISE TO A DEAFENING LEVEL>
Payar: <WATCHING IT ALL, HIS EYES ARE TWINKLING> It’s amazing.
<THE YELLING STOPS; ALL OF THE NATIVES ARE DEAD>
Guva: <STANDS UP AGAIN; PRESSES A BUTTON, THE DOORS REOPEN AND THE SOLDIERS LEAVE; A NEW GROUP OF SOLDIERS AND NATIVES COME OUT> Round two!!! <ROUND TWO STARTS, AND GOES MUCH LIKE ROUND ONE>
Banas: What does everyone think of putting our new acquisition into the mix?
Guva: <SITTING, DOES NOT LOOK BACK AT BANAS> Yes.
Banas: Meloon, take our little Saiyan down there.
Ledas: But, I don’t wanna g– <MELOON GRABS LEDAS BY THE ARM AND PULLS HIM DOWN, CARRYING HIM ALL THE WAY TO THE RING; HE THROWS THE KID INTO THE GROUP OF SOLDIERS GOING FOR ROUND 3> Hey! Stop it!
Meloon: Shut up and do what the guv’na wants, kid. <WALKING OFF, BACK TO GUVA’S LEDGE; TURNS BACK AROUND> And don’t think about running off! You know what’ll happen to ya if you do.
<THE GROUP FOR ROUND THREE IS SMALLER, WITH ONLY 6 OTHER SOLDIERS BESIDES LEDAS, APRIDO IS AMONG THEM>
Aprido: Ah, it’s you! What are you doing in our group?!
Ledas: Mr. Meloon made me come. But, um, what I am supposed to do?
Aprido: <SINISTER> Haven’t you been watching? We get kill them all. As many as we want!
Ledas: I bet you do this a lot. The others really like it, especially Payar… <QUIETLY> but I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be their stupid pet…
Aprido: <WITH MALICE ON HIS FACE> Ah, Payar! He can’t help himself. He goes down to the quarries every now and then and when he returns, there’s a load of them dead. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. We haven’t had many of these organized events, though.
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> They can’t be very strong if Payar can kill them. He doesn’t even use energy. <HE LOOKS AT APRIDO> I know I’m stronger than those guys, too…
<THE DOORS OPEN AGAIN, UP ABOVE GUVA CAN BE HEARD>
Guva: <IN A SHOUT> Round three!!!
<ALL, INCLUDING LEDAS, ENTER THE RING; THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF NATIVES, CROWDING LITERALLY EVERY AVAILABLE SPACE IN THE RING, AS SOON AS THE DOOR CLOSES, THEY ALL CHARGE; LEDAS DOES NOT ENTER ENTHUSIASTICALLY>
<THE FIVE LESSER SOLDIERS START FIRING BLASTS IMMEDIATELY, SHOOTING DOWN DOZENS OF NATIVES, BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY AND THE SOLDIERS ARE OVERWHELMED AND KILLED; JUST LEDAS AND APRIDO ARE LEFT>
Aprido: Aren’t you gonna attack? Come on, they’re running right at us!
Ledas: I don’t want to be like Payar. <HE DROPS TO HIS KNEE> I’m not killing them. I’m sick of all the tests.
Aprido: <TO HIMSELF> He thinks he better than me? Well just wait, that little ape won’t see what I have in store!
<APRIDO CHARGES UP A BLAST, AND TAKES OUT A LOT OF NATIVES, THE MAJORITY OF THEM FOCUS ON HIM, BUT A FEW, CAUTIOUSLY RUN UP TO LEDAS, AND START CIRCLING HIM, ALMOST SCARED TO ATTACK HIM; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, A BOLD NATIVE JUMPS ON HIM, ALL THE OTHERS QUICKLY FOLLOW; LEDAS OFFERS NO RESISTANCE, AND FALLS TO THE GROUND, AS THEY PUNCH AND KICK HIM>
<THE NATIVES CONTINUE TO PUNCH AND KICK LEDAS, HE STARES OFF INTO THE SKY ABOVE, AS IF UNAFFECTED>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I wonder what would Vegeta do? <A BRIEF FLASHBACK IS SHOWN OF THE TWO BLOWING UP A CITY FILLED WITH THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS; THEY ARE LAUGHING AND HAVING A GREAT TIME; A TEAR COMES TO LEDAS’ EYE> Vegeta wouldn’t be so weak. <OUT LOUD, DETERMINED> He wouldn’t be so weak!! <LEDAS SENDS OUT A WAVE OF ENERGY, DESTROYING THE NATIVES UPON HIM; HE GETS UP AND SENDS OUT ONE MORE BLAST, DETONATING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING, CAUSING A HUGE WHIRLWIND, KICKING UP DIRT AND SMOKE; WHEN ALL THAT CLEARS, ONLY APRIDO AND LEDAS ARE LEFT STANDING> I bet Payar liked that. <LOOKS UP AT GUVA> But they won’t force me to do what they want forever…
Guva: <FROM ABOVE> So captain, you think this Saiyan is going to slow you down, do you?
Banas: <IN HIS MIND> I never did. But you don’t need to know that, Guva. <OUT LOUD> Oh, govvie, you know me. I’m always wrong and you’re always right.
<DOWN BELOW, LEDAS HAS LEFT THE COMPLEX AND IS WALKING BACK TO THE BARRACKS>
Ledas: Wherever Vegeta is, it can’t be as bad as this place. <HE STOPS; HE LOOKS AT THE SKY> I hafta get out of here.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the lovely Modest Mouse Song "Polar Opposites", which in itself describes the relationship of Guva and Banas in this chapter. The line used for the title was less cliched so I picked that. Previously, this chapter had been called "First Glimpse", but that is a plain, boring chapter name, and I changed it to what it is now well before I did the final edits for this saga - indeed, I changed this chapter's title to its final version on November 12, 2011, about a year after the first version of this chapter was written.
- This chapter is very old-school Lauto Saga style. It deals with persecution and slavery themes related to the natives. Much of the natives' plot was eventually removed from this saga in the final edits once I came to the conclusion that their story was taking up too much of the plot - they of course aren't in TF after Ledas goes to Earth, so to focus on them so much is bad plotting and bad pacing. However, the themes related to them are strong, and I felt like I had written them well, so I didn't want to completely abandon that. In the final edits for this saga, and for this chapter in particular, I wanted to show how the natives are like Ledas and how they way they are treated is similar to how he is treated. Since most readers won't care about the natives as much as Ledas, providing this comparison elevates their position and reveals these themes more easily. The natives also act to contrast Prince Vegeta Saga Ledas with Lauto Saga Ledas. In PVS, he and Vegeta killed billions if not trillions of aliens as they conquered planets for Frieza. They had a grand old time being genociders; this irony was dealt with a bit in the previous saga, but it's more overt here. I wanted to give perspective on the other side of these PTO conflicts - that of the oppressed. This was one of the things done well in the filler episodes of DBZ that occurred when Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan went to Namek. On their trip, they came across a ship of orphans from a planet Frieza's soldiers (implied to be Cui, mainly) took over and sold on the galactic market. The orphans offered a really good perspective on those who have felt Frieza's wrath and yet survived. The natives in this story are like that, though they don't have a voice. I was more subtle than the DBZ episodes in that their oppression is shown rather than told. This is more effective storytelling in my opinion, and it also allowed Ledas to empathetically connect with them as he realized that he was no better than them. This has huge implications, because Ledas' ultimate realization of this leads to his Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga. So this chapter in particular is building up to that.
- Obviously, Cooler didn't want Guva and Banas to train Ledas - he implied it might be good, but did not outright command them to do so. Guva is merely using that as an excuse, as he knows Banas wouldn't dare call Cooler up over such a trivial thing (doing so could get him killed). Guva really wants Ledas to train with Banas so he will become strong enough to protect Guva should The Plantains eventually rebel. Guva does also realize that Ledas isn't enough, so throughout this saga, he does some subtle political maneuvering to try to get as many of The Plantains to join him as possible.
- There's a lot going on in Guva's conversation with Banas. Of course, there is significant characterization. Guva also hints at Banas that he doesn't want him to rebel - and Banas completely ignores this. The way they both approach this subject says a lot about them and how close to rebelling Banas is. Additionally, Guva is very much like an archetypal elitist British slave owner of centuries past with how he describes the natives. This was important for me to show, as if we get the so clearly "wrong" perspective, it's easier to see the "right" one in contrast. Of course, this is me using dead space to show that contrast. Banas calling Guva out on this was necessary for such a contrast to be seen; him calling Guva an elitist shows how intelligent Banas actually is, despite him joking and laughing throughout the entire scene.
- I wanted to give Ledas a memorable scene with every Plantain in this saga. Meloon had his memorable scene with Ledas in chapter 3. Payar's first memorable scene with Ledas is in this chapter (Lieme's comes when he accidentally teaches Ledas how to sense energy two chapters from this one). I had Payar in this scene to give him some much-needed characterization and more time with Ledas (whom he despises). Additionally, showcasing Payar's marked brutality (first hinted at in the first chapter with his necklace of natives' teeth) was perfect for this scene, as was showing that he can't use energy. This gives Payar a unique trait. Again, I try to make my aliens unique when I can, and all of them save for Aprido are pretty unique in this saga.
- It's interesting to note that Payar is embarrassed that he can't use energy. For all his elitism and lording over Ledas, the boy still has one thing over that old dog.
- Payar is indeed stronger than Meloon. Him telling Ledas that gives the readers better perspective on the fighting powers of each Plantain. It also reminds the readers that Payar is still treating Ledas as a slave - he is forcing Ledas to do what he wants under threat of beating.
- Notice how Ledas is ordered to bind the hands and feet of the natives. Banas bound Ledas in the same way in chapter 1. Even at this early point, Ledas and the natives have a symbolic connection.
- Ledas is shocked that the natives don't fight back when he binds them up. They are different than he was in previous chapters - Ledas fought Meloon to the end. This difference hints at a difference in fate for Ledas and the natives. Also, the natives have been slaves for much longer than Ledas, so their submission, their weariness, is also perhaps hinting that eventually Ledas will be broken.
- Payar killing the native shows how his brutality has become pedestrian. The hunger in his eyes shows that he has done this many times before and enjoys it more than anything else.
- The female native pitying Ledas is thematically important. This short scene is one of the more emotionally evocative scenes in the story up to this point, at least for me.
- Ledas realizing that the natives have given up (and thinking that something is wrong with them) is crucial for him to later have his Super Saiyan transformation. That his meeting with the natives shakes Ledas and puts a weight on his shoulders says a lot about his growing character. Ledas is quite dynamic, even at this early point in the story. PVS Ledas would not have cared about the natives. He would have killed them too. But now that he's one of them, he can empathize with them, and that level of emotional growth was important for me to show.
- The gladiator matches in this chapter were inspired by the movie Gladiator, which is a movie that is referenced quite a bit in this saga.
- Notice how Guva and the others relish in the savagery of the gladiator matches to them. This is literally entertainment to them. My portrayal of it is minimalistic in tone, but still most readers should think that this butchery is terrible. This is a contrast from the previous saga, where such killing was shown to be little more than children playing games and having fun. Now, however, it has more weight. Ledas is on the other side of things now, which is also why the portrayal is more stark. There is great irony in this.
- Originally, Payar took Ledas to the gladiator matches. But Meloon is a bit underused in this saga, so I changed Payar's role to Meloon's in the final edits.
- Aprido being in the group with Ledas allows for their rivalry to continue to be built up; this rivalry becomes important near the end of the next saga.
- Ledas doesn't want to participate in the gladiator matches because he doesn't want to be ordered around by Guva and the others. He doesn't want to be their pet. He is not opposed to killing the natives. This was important for me to show, since it implies that Ledas isn't a hero. He's not a "good guy". He's a grey character, and grey characters are the most interesting type of characters. TF is unlike most fanons on this site in that its main character has both good and bad things about him; he's not black and white; he's dynamic. I think that is one of the major separating features of TF from most other fanons on this site.
- Aprido reveals quite a bit about Payar's personality to Ledas and the readers in this chapter.
- The gladiator battle at the end of this chapter (as well as the two previous battles that Ledas and the others watched) is interesting because neither side is the "bad guy" per se. Ledas is of course the protagonist, and the natives he's forced to fight are slaves just like him. So there's no winning. There's just death and destruction, and that fact has thematic importance to this story.
- Ledas coming to his realization at the end of this chapter is important for his character growth. Yes, he doesn't want to be Guva's slave, but he also cannot be weak. Vegeta wouldn't be weak - he correctly realizes this. He wants to be just like his best friend. He lives in Vegeta's shadow, and how he thinks Vegeta will act influences many of his own actions, even if they aren't natural for him. So he kills the natives in a moment of triumph. That goes against expectations. The readers shouldn't know what to think, what to feel, who to root for. This was all deliberate on my part to show the absurdity and tragedy of the situation.
- Banas comments at the end of this chapter hint that he is up to something with Ledas just like Guva is.
<SOME TIME LATER>
<IT IS RAINING SLIGHTLY, THE GROUND OUTSIDE IS MUDDY; BANAS, PAYAR, LIEME, MELOON, AND LEDAS ARE OUTSIDE, IN A FLAT, TRAINING AREA; LEDAS HAS AGED SOMEWHAT; HE IS TALLER>
Banas: Lieme, Payar, begin your rounds. I’ll work with the kid and Meloon today.
Lieme: <NODS> Boss. <LIEME AND PAYAR RISE INTO THE AIR, AND START SPARRING>
Banas: <WALKS OVER TO MELOON AND LEDAS, THE RAIN PICKS UP> Now Saiyan, I know you’re stronger than you let on. You’ve proved that on our last few missions. But my team, the Plantains, is a legendary force; and we are feared by all. If you’re weak, you’ll bring down our reputation. And I won’t have that. <TURNS TO MELOON> Meloon, it’s time to test the kid again. Let’s see if he’s ready to become a member!
Meloon: <CRACKING HIS KNUCKLES> Heh, can’t wait.
Banas: Show this kid what’s expected of a member of my team. Don’t try to kill him this time, either.
Ledas: <AS MELOON IS APPROACHING HIM, HE HOLDS HIS GROUND; IN HIS MIND> Vegeta wouldn’t run from this guy… he would laugh at him! And then beat him! <MELOON REACHES LEDAS> Heh he heh.
Meloon: What’s so funny?!
Ledas: Aha ha ha!! Grandpa always said strength isn’t everything! You idiot! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
Meloon: Why, you lit– <IN MID SENTENCE, MELOON IS HIT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD BY LEDAS, WHO HAD MOVED TOO FAST FOR THE ELITE TO SEE; MELOON HITS THE GROUND, AND HIS HEAD IS COVERED IN MUD>
Lieme: <SEES MELOON FALL, STOPS> Hey, Payar. <NODS TO MELOON> Check it out. <BOTH STOP SPARRING; THEY WATCH MELOON AND LEDAS’ FIGHT>
<MELOON GETS UP; HE IS ANGRY; HE CHARGES LEDAS, WHO DODGES OUT OF THE WAY AND SHOOTS A BLAST AT MELOON>
Lieme: It’s amazing. Look, Meloon is obviously the stronger one, yet he’s losing. The child is playing on Meloon’s weaknesses, and he’s winning now, when he shouldn’t be.
Payar: How do you know?
Lieme: That’s what I would do.
<CUTS BACK TO MELOON AND LEDAS, LEDAS AND HIM ARE SPARRING, LEDAS DODGING EVERY PUNCH AND KICK MELOON IS THROWING AT HIM; LEDAS IS LAUGHING YET AGAIN, AND THIS CAUSES MELOON TO BE RECKLESS; LEDAS DODGES HIM EASILY; MELOON IS HIT TO THE GROUND AGAIN, LEDAS SHOOTS A HUGE BEAM OF ENERGY AT MELOON ON THE GROUND, MELOON IS BLOWN INTO A HUGE CRATER>
Banas: Thank you, Meloon, for single handedly destroying my reputation for me. His power level didn’t even go above 40,000. You’re significantly stronger than that. So why is it you who’s on the ground?
Meloon: <GETS UP> Little brat confused me…
Banas: Lieme! Get over here!
<LIEME DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, SENDING MUD FLYING>
Banas: You and the kid. Go.
<HE MOVES FORWARD AND ATTACKS LEDAS; THIS TIME LIEME IS EASILY THE BETTER, AND UNLIKE MELOON OR PAYAR, HE DOES NOT TOY WITH LEDAS; HE HITS THE CHILD INTO THE GROUND, AND EFFORTLESSLY MOVES AROUND HIM, CONTINUING TO CONFUSE HIM; LEDAS, FRUSTRATED, SENDS OUT SEVERAL KI BLASTS; LIEME CATCHES ONE AND THROWS IT BACK AT HIM; LEDAS, BREATHING HARD, GETS UP AGAIN>
Banas: Thank you, Lieme. As you can see, kid, we–
Ledas: <STANDING DEFIANTLY> Why didya stop? I wasn’t done.
<WITHOUT A WORD, LIEME HITS LEDAS AGAIN, WHO BLOCKS IT, BUT CAN’T HOLD IT, HE IS THROWN INTO THE AIR; LIEME SHOOTS A KI BARRAGE AT HIM AND THEN DISAPPEARS TO A SPOT BEHIND HIM; HE HITS THE CHILD INTO THE BARRAGE; LEDAS FALLS TO THE GROUND, YET AGAIN; HE IS UNCONSCIOUS>
<LAYEECK AND LEDAS ARE TRAINING IN A SLIGHTLY FORESTED AREA>
Layeeck: What do you do when the opponent is stronger than you?
Ledas: <WANDERING OFF, NOT PAYING ATTENTION> I dunno…
Layeeck: <WITH CONTEMPT> If you were a coward you would run, but we are Saiyans. We never retreat from battle.
<LEDAS STILL ISN’T LOOKING AT HIS FATHER>
Layeeck: Think! What is your opponent dependent on?
Ledas: <FLOATING> A scouter?
Layeeck: Very good. That is the first thing that you should always go for, assuming they have one. <PAUSES> But what if they don’t need a scouter?
Ledas: <FLYING UPSIDE DOWN, STILL NOT PAYING ATTENTION> Then I have to use the power ball.
Layeeck: It will drain your energy to even use it. It’s a gamble. But if you have to…
<LEDAS COMES BACK INTO CONSCIOUSNESS; HE LOOKS UP AT LIEME WHO IS FAST APPROACHING HIM; HE SEES LIEME DOES NOT WEAR A SCOUTER; LEDAS ROLLS OVER AND GATHERS HIS ENERGY AND SHOOTS A POWER BALL INTO THE AIR; LIEME STOPS, ABOUT TEN YARDS AWAY FROM LEDAS>
Lieme: <EYES WIDEN> Oh, well this is going to be interesting.
<CLOSE UP OF THE POWER BALL, IT IS SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET IN THE AIR AND IS SHINING BRIGHTLY; THE RAIN HAS STOPPED>
Ledas: <ROLLS OVER ONTO HIS BACK, IS LAUGHING> Ha ha ha. You guys don’t know what I’m about to do, huh? <STANDS UP, ARMS OUTSTRETCHED> Well watch this!
Lieme: Boss, we have a situation here.
Banas: Yeah, what is that thing?
<LEDAS STARTS TRANSFORMING INTO HIS GREAT APE FORM, HE GROWS VERY TALL, AND GAINS HAIR ALL OVER HIS BODY; IN JUST A FEW SECONDS, LEDAS IS FULLY TRANSFORMED>
Lieme: …an artificial moon.
Banas: Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me…
<LEDAS JUMPS FORWARD, AND BATS LIEME AWAY, INTO A NEARBY MOUNTAIN, PAYAR MOVES FORWARD, BUT LEDAS GRABS HIM IN HIS HAND; LEDAS LAUGHS AGAIN; HE THEN THROWS PAYAR TO THE GROUND, COVERING HIM IN RUBBLE; BANAS RISES INTO THE AIR TO FACE THE APE AS HE TURNS TO AROUND TO APPROACH THE CAPTAIN>
Banas: There’s not many people alive who could single-handedly take out my entire team… with such ease. I applaud you, Saiyan.
<HE CLAPS TWICE, AND ON THE SECOND CLAP DISAPPEARS; LEDAS LOOKS AROUND, BUT DOES NOT SEE HIM; BANAS REAPPEARS ABOVE THE APE’S HEAD, AND HANDS INTERLOCKED, BRINGS DOWN A POWERFUL PUNCH ONTO HIS CRANIUM; LEDAS, IN A ROAR OF RAGE, JUMPS INTO THE AIR, MUCH HIGHER THAN BANAS EXPECTS, AND HITS HIM AWAY; BANAS IS ABLE TO RECOVER, MIDAIR, AND IMMEDIATELY SHOOTS A POWERFUL BEAM OF ENERGY AT LEDAS; LEDAS, AS WELL, WITHOUT HESITATION SHOOTS A BEAM OF ENERGY OUT OF HIS MOUTH, CAUSING A BEAM STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE TWO; BANAS, BEING STRONGER THAN LEDAS IN HIS GREAT APE FORM, EASILY OVERPOWERS IN THE STRUGGLE; A HUGE EXPLOSION SENDS LEDAS FLYING WAY BACK INTO THE FOREST; HE IS LYING DOWN, NOT MOVING>
Banas: <MOVING OVER TO PAYAR> Hey, <BREATHING HEAVILY> Payar, you there?
Payar: <ROLLS OVER; DAZED AND IN PAIN> Hey, cap’n. Did ya get him?
Banas: <GLANCES OVER AT LEDAS, WHO STILL IS NOT MOVING> Not yet. You know how to get him back to normal?
Payar: Naw, cap’n. <COUGHS> Try Lieme, he’ll prolly know… He knows everything…
Banas: <RISES INTO THE AIR, AND FLIES OVER TO LIEME> Lieme! You awake?!
Lieme: <COMES FROM AROUND A CORNER OF THE RUBBLE; HE IS DISHEVELED AND LIMPING> Yeah, boss, I’m here.
Banas: I need to know how to get him <NODS TO LEDAS> to go back to normal.
Lieme: <PAUSE> You have to cut off his tail. <COUGHS> It won’t be easy, though.
Banas: Are you okay to fight? Can you help?
Lieme: Sorry, boss. <SLIDES DOWN TO A SITTING POSITION UP AGAINST THE ROCK> I can’t.
Banas: Alright. Meloon won’t be of any use either. I’ll try to get to his tail before he wakes up. Stay here, I’ll be back.
Lieme: Heh, <COUGHS AGAIN> where else would I go, boss?
<BANAS RISES INTO THE AIR, AND FLIES OFF TO LEDAS; UNFORTUNATELY, LEDAS IS LYING ON HIS BACK, AND BANAS CAN’T GET TO HIS TAIL; HE TRIES TO ROLL THE SAIYAN OVER>
Banas: <IN AGONY> C-c-c-ome on!!!! Roll over, you stupid ape!
<BANAS GETS LEDAS ROLLED OVER HALFWAY, WITH HIS LEFT HAND, HE KEEPS LEDAS PINNED UP, WITH HIS OTHER, HE READIES A RAZOR BLAST TO SEVER THE SAIYAN’S TAIL>
<LEDAS’ EYES OPEN, WITH A GROWL, HE TAKES HIS HAND REACHES BEHIND TO HIS BACK TO HIT BANAS; BANAS DODGES IT; LEDAS GETS UP AGAIN AND GRABS A TREE, HE THROWS IT AT BANAS, WHO DUCKS>
Banas: You even in there, Saiyan? Or am I just staring at a beast?
Ledas: <LAUGHS> Captain Banas.
<BANAS IS TAKEN ABACK BY THIS AND LETS HIS GUARD DOWN, LEDAS CHARGES AND GRABS HIM, THEN RAISES HIM TO THE AIR, AND SLAMS HIM INTO THE GROUND>
<LEDAS TRIES TO STEP ON HIM, BUT BANAS MOVES OUT OF THE WAY, ROLLING THROUGH LEDAS’ LEGS; HE SEES AN OPENING AND SHOOTS A RAZOR BLAST UP AT LEDAS’ TAIL, IT SEVERS IT AND THE SAIYAN QUICKLY REGRESSES, FALLING TO THE GROUND, HARD, INTO A POOL OF HIS OWN BLOOD>
Banas: <STANDS UP, FIXES HIS HAIR, AND LOOKS AT THE SAIYAN> All this destruction from such a little kid. <WALKS OVER TO LEDAS, HE IS SLEEPING; BANAS IS NOT MAD> You see that, Lieme?! Amazing!
<CUTS TO THE MEDICAL BUILDING>
<BANAS IS WALKING DOWN THE HALLS, WHERE LESSER ALIENS ARE WORKING ON SEVERAL REJUVENATION PODS; IN THE PODS, LIEME, PAYAR, AND MELOON ARE HEALING; STRANGELY, THOUGH HE IS INJURED HIMSELF, BANAS IS NOT GETTING HEALED>
Guva: <SERIOUS> This Saiyan gave your team quite a shellacking, I hear. I’m lucky to have you as my captain, Banas. Were you not as strong and smart as you were, he would have probably destroyed half the outpost before I could respond.
Banas: <SERIOUS AS WELL, BUT STILL LOOKING AT HIS TEAM> Maybe, but the real question is, what do we do with him now? Do we kill him? <BOTH START WALKING>
Guva: No, I think he’s tamed now. He wouldn’t try the same trick twice. That form’s main power, after all, is its unexpectedness. And now that that’s no longer a problem, the form itself is no longer a problem. <BOTH ARRIVE AT LEDAS’ TANK, THEY LOOK AT HIM; LEDAS IS BRUISED, AND WITHOUT A TAIL>
Banas: Look at him sleeping. So peaceful. <PUTS HIS HAND ON THE TANK> Well, enjoy your rest while you can, kid. You’re gonna need it.
<CAMERA ZOOMS INTO BANAS’ EYES; THERE IS A BRIEF MONTAGE OF LEDAS BEING PUNISHED AND TORTURED ALL AROUND; HE IS THROWN ABOUT, BLOODIED, AND PHYSICALLY WORN OUT; THE CAMERA ZOOMS BACK OUT TO BANAS’ FACE; HE CHUCKLES>
- This chapter's name is a pun on Ledas turning into a Great Ape. Could also be interpreted as a mistake on Banas’ part not to kill Ledas here.
- This chapter was originally two chapters. The first part, up to the point where Ledas throws the power ball, was the entirety of a chapter called "Among the Giants". That chapter was one of the shortest chapters in TF's history, so it didn't feel right to have it as its own chapter. In November 2011, about a year after I wrote the first version of this chapter, I combined it with "Among the Giants". This was done as part of my edits to reduce Lauto Saga from 20 chapters to 10.
- My final edits for this chapter were very minimal; basically what you see here is what I originally wrote in November 2010. My final edits consisted of rewording some scene direction and dialogue and having Banas imply that Ledas had gone with The Plantains on a few missions since the end of the last chapter.
- This chapter takes place roughly 10 months after Ledas' fight with Meloon in chapter 3. The time jump isn't massive. Of note is that this chapter is the only time in TF wherein Ledas is shown while he's six year old.
- This chapter shows how Ledas has grown as a character since his fight against Meloon in chapter 3. This character growth parallels his power level growth. There are little things he's picked up on in the previous chapters that can be seen in how he handles Meloon.
- Banas is treating Ledas as if he's not a member of The Plantains; clearly the boy is, as Guva ordered Banas to add him to the team. Banas' wording is a jab at Guva and him trying to show his dominance over Ledas. It's similar to how he called PC92 his planet in chapter 1. He's being a tough guy and an alpha male.
- Ledas has a fighting intellect similar to Vegeta. This was taught to him by Nappa, his father, his grandfather, and The Plantains. He's intuitive, so he picks up on a lot of things that people didn't plan on teaching him, too. So after being around Meloon for 10 months, he's realized how stupid and prideful Meloon is. He correctly guesses that he can enrage Meloon and then pick him apart as the bigger, stronger alien falls into a rage that won't allow him to think quickly. Lieme and Payar comment on this to make it obvious to the readers. It was important for me to show that Ledas isn't stronger, yet he's still winning. Notice how Ledas brought up his grandfather before the fight began, and if you remember, Ledas' sparring match with Lascon ended with Ledas losing despite being stronger because his grandfather outwitted him. Ledas being able to do the same thing to Meloon shows a keen awareness and battle intellect that is astonishing for his age.
- The scenery and dialogue in this chapter makes it very much suited for manga form, more so than the other chapters I've anthologized so far.
- Ledas' tenacity is seen when he attacks Lieme again after losing to him.
- The flashback in this chapter was originally part of a list of flashbacks at the end of the last saga. I removed those from that saga, as it didn't make sense to have a section for flashbacks, and then put them into the next few sagas where it made sense to. This flashback was part of this chapter from the first version of this chapter, though I had written it a few days earlier when I had been still working on the Prince Vegeta Saga.
- I wanted Ledas to have the power ball so he could change into a Great Ape at will for chapters like this. It made sense that he would have it, since he is a super elite, and Vegeta used the same attack in the Saiyan Saga of DBZ. The flashback with Layeeck was nice because it shows Ledas' father teaching him and the payoff of that teaching (in more ways than one).
- Having the rain stop when the power ball is thrown adds to the tension of the scene.
- Lieme knowing so much about the Saiyans and their ability to transform separates him from the other Plantains.
- Ledas is stronger than The Plantains, except for Banas, in his Great Ape form. Banas, however, is much stronger than Great Ape Ledas. This shows how monumental Ledas' task is - it's akin to Goku's task to defeat Frieza. He must eventually kill Banas, but even getting a 10x power boost doesn't put him anywhere close to Banas. It hints at how difficult it will be for the boy to truly challenge Banas.
- The way Lieme constantly says "boss" is a reference to the character Jun from the video game, Halo: Reach.
- Banas' fight with Great Ape Ledas was inspired by Vegeta's battle against Great Ape Gohan in the Saiyan Saga of DBZ.
- The Great Ape battle shows a lot of Ledas' maturity as a character and as a fighter. It reveals a lot about his personality as well as Banas'. But also, I added it in because I wanted a fight. Sometimes it's fun to just show a bunch of action. The Plantains never have such a fight again in TF, so it was cool to show them all getting beaten up like that (a similar thing would have happened to them had the Just Another Day... special ever been written).
- Banas doesn't get healed because he's actually not injured too bad, even though his armor is all cracked to pieces.
- The montage in Banas' eyes perhaps is a hint at what happens to Ledas after he gets out of the rejuvenation tank, or perhaps not.
- Notice how Ledas is in a rejuvenation tank again in this chapter. He gets another zenkai here.
- Banas' last words imply that he wants to kill Ledas, but of course Guva would never allow that. Ledas is lucky that the governor needs him, otherwise he would have not survived this chapter, let alone this saga.
<A MONTAGE PASSES, MUCH LIKE AT THE ENDING OF THE LAST CHAPTER, WHERE LEDAS IS GETTING BEAT UP; AGAINST LIEME, PAYAR, BANAS, HE CANNOT WIN; HE DOES NOT FIGHT MELOON AGAIN, BECAUSE TWICE IS ENOUGH; ON MISSIONS, LEDAS IS FORCED TO DO A MAJORITY OF THE WORK, BUT THE CAPTAIN AND THE OTHERS NEVER SHOW GRATITUDE TOWARD HIM; THIS MONTAGE SPANS A GOOD DEAL OF TIME, MAYBE A YEAR>
<THE MONTAGE STOPS BACK ON THE PLANET>
Layeeck: What else is the power ball good for?
Ledas: It can re-grow my tail, but–
Layeeck: But what?
Ledas: <CHILD-LIKE> Power balls are hard to make.
Layeeck: You have to practice the technique. Whenever you have a free moment… try and make one.
Ledas: But what happens if I transform… I’d have to cut off my tail again.
Layeeck: If you feel you are about to transform, just destroy the power ball. You won’t transform that way. Don’t let yourself go without a tail. A good amount of our power is in our tails, son and so is our identity. Our tails make us Saiyans, they make us who we are. Without one, you are not a true Saiyan.
Ledas: But you cut off my tail…
Layeeck: <LOOKS ANGRY> Circumstances dictate responses.
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY, PLAYFULLY> I don’t know what you’re talking about…
<SCREEN FADES TO LEDAS, WHO IS WALKING OUTSIDE, HE IS HAVING A HARD TIME, AND FALLS OVER, BUT THEN GETS BACK UP; HE RETURNS TO HIS ROOM; AS HE WALKS PAST THE TROOPS, HE STILL STRUGGLES WITH BEING ABLE TO BALANCE; THEY LAUGH AT HIM; HE GOES INTO HIS ROOM AND FINDS THAT APRIDO IS NOT IN THERE; HE CLIMBS ON THE TOP BUNK, AND SITS ON THE EDGE, WITH HIS FEET HANGING OVER THE CORNER>
Ledas: <LOOKING DOWN AT HIS HAND, HE CREATES A POWER BALL> Can’t let the others see…
<THE POWER BALL STARTS TO FORM, AND GETS BIGGER; LEDAS’ WHOLE ROOM IS COVERED IN A BRIGHT LIGHT; HE IS HOLDING IT IN HIS PALM, BENT OVER IT, STARING>
<HIS TAIL GROWS BACK, INSTANTLY; FEELING IT, LEDAS QUICKLY DISSIPATES THE POWER BALL; HE STANDS BACK UP AND WALKS OUTSIDE; HE GOES DOWN THE DIRT PATH UNTIL HE NOTICES SOMETHING>
<LIEME IS TRAINING ALONE, IN A LARGE, CIRCULAR ROOM; IT IS LIKE A STADIUM; THE ROOF IS MADE OF ROCK, AND HAS MANY NATURAL HOLES, AND SUCH IN IT, THUS, THE GROUND IS LITTERED WITH POCKETS OF LIGHT; THE GROUND IS SAND; IT IS HOT OUT>
<LEDAS IS STANDING BACK, WATCHING LIEME TRAIN>
Ledas: Mr. Lieme… why don’t you use a scouter?
Lieme: <LANDING, BREATHING HARD> Because I don’t need one.
Ledas: <CURIOUS KID TONE> You mean you have a scouter in your brain?
Lieme: If that helps you understand it, then yes. I can see things you couldn’t even begin to comprehend.
Ledas: <RUNS UP TO LIEME; AT THE BARRIER> Teach me how to do that!
Lieme: <CURTLY> It’s not something you can learn, I was born with it.
Ledas: Then you can show me!
Lieme: <LOOKING AT LEDAS; IN HIS MIND> The kid has potential. Maybe training with him could help me figure out how he’s gotten so powerful… and use that secret, myself… <OUT LOUD> As long as you don’t get in my way–
Ledas: Great!! <LEDAS JUMPS OVER THE BARRIER, INTO THE TRAINING ZONE>
Lieme: <QUICKLY, AND TO THE ASTONISHMENT OF LEDAS, RIPS OFF THE CHILD’S SCOUTER, AND THROWS IT INTO THE STANDS ABOVE> If you want to learn, there will be no more scouters. You must learn to get rid your reliance on such archaic machines. Because, anything that is made artificially will fail you eventually.
Ledas: Mr. Lieme… do you think I can learn to sense people just like you?
<LIEME DISAPPEARS, THEN REAPPEARS BEHIND LEDAS, HITS HIM TO THE GROUND>
Ledas: <GETS UP> No fair… you gotta teach me.
Lieme: I don’t have to do anything. If you can’t adapt, then there’s no point to continuing this! <LIEME DISAPPEARS AGAIN AND HITS LEDAS>
<LEDAS DODGES, BUT DOES SO, RIGHT INTO LIEME, CAUSING BOTH OF THEM TO FALL OVER; LIEME IS GETTING A LITTLE AGITATED; LIEME STARTS DISAPPEARING AND REAPPEARING ALL AROUND LEDAS; THERE ARE ABOUT HALF A DOZEN AFTERIMAGES SURROUNDING AND CONFUSING THE CHILD; LEDAS PUNCHES AT EACH OF THEM, BUT NONE ARE THE REAL LIEME, COMING FROM RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, LIEME JUMPS FORWARD AND KICKS LEDAS IN THE FACE>
<LEDAS FALLS TO THE GROUND, BUT BEFORE HE HITS IT, HE DISAPPEARS, AND REAPPEARS BEHIND LIEME; LIEME SENSES HIM AND BACKFLIPS OVER THE CHILD AND BRINGS A CRUSHING BLOW DOWN UPON LEDAS’ HEAD>
Ledas: <DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, HOLDING HIS HEAD; WITH LETHARGY> Owwwwie… you don’t need to hit me so hard…
Lieme: Stop your whining.
Ledas: <STILL IN PAIN> I’m just a kid. You’re going too hard on me.
<LIEME IS STILL A BIT AGITATED, HE ATTACKS AGAIN>
Lieme: <IN HIS MIND> He’s a Saiyan, so he’ll get stronger after every fight… even this one. I have to watch myself.
<LEDAS PUNCHES AT HIM, AND HE DODGES UP INTO THE AIR>
<UP IN HIS OFFICE, GUVA IS SEEN WATCHING LEDAS AND LIEME TRAIN; HE IS CONTENT>
<CUTS BACK TO LIEME AND LEDAS, IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL DAYS, AND THEY ARE TRAINING AGAIN>
Lieme: You’re getting quick. <DODGES OUT OF THE WAY, ACTUALLY HAS TO PUT EFFORT INTO TRYING NOT TO GET HIT> But you still are not focused enough.
Ledas: <STOPS ATTACKING> Whoa….
Lieme: <STOPS AS WELL> What is it, now?
Ledas: <SUDDENLY GRINS> I can feel you.
Lieme: <UNCONVINCED> Really? You think you can back that up? <HE RUSHES AROUND LEDAS, CREATING A CONFUSING MESS OF AFTERIMAGES AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME, LEDAS IS EASILY ABLE TO PICK UP UPON THE REAL LIEME, AND HITS HIM; LIEME STOPS THE CONFUSION, AND SLOWLY DESCENDS BACK TO THE GROUND> So, you weren’t lying…
Ledas: <GIDDY WITH EXCITEMENT> Ha ha! I did it… I did it!
Lieme: Don’t get too cocky. You’re just beginning… and I’m still much better than you. <IN HIS MIND> How the hell is he learning all this so fast? I’m watching him with my own eyes, and I can’t even believe it! What is his secret?
Ledas: I’m gonna attack again, Mr. Lieme… <LEDAS ATTACKS AGAIN, AND LIEME DEFENDS, BUT THEN LEDAS DISAPPEARS; LIEME CANNOT SENSE HIM>
Lieme: What the… where’d he go? <AFTER A FEW MOMENTS OF LOOKING AROUND, LEDAS COMES DOWN ON LIEME’S NECK, FROM BEHIND, SHOCKING THE ELITE; HE GETS BACK UP> And where did you go?
Ledas: I learned a new trick…
Lieme: <SPUTTERING> Yeah? And what was that?
Ledas: <PLAYFUL ARROGANCE> Hmph… I’m not gonna tell you!
Lieme: <IN HIS MIND> He must be raising and dropping his power level at will. Clever.
<LIEME AND LEDAS SPAR AGAIN; THEY GO ON FOR THE DAY, UNTIL THE SUN SETS>
<CUTS TO BANAS AND GUVA, WHO ARE WATCHING AGAIN>
Banas: He’s over 100,000. Can you believe it?
Guva: At such a young age? Were you that powerful when you were young?
Guva: Don’t you think it strange this Saiyan is so powerful? All the other ones I’ve met have been worthless. This one’s different… <LAUGHS> but I’m not worried.
Banas: <SARCASTICALLY> No, of course not… until he gets stronger than you.
Guva: I have a plan in place if something like that was to happen. Seriously, Banas, you need to stop worrying so much. Stress is so bad for your health.
Banas: And what happens when he grows up? Hmm? He’ll certainly be even stronger!
Guva: I am fully aware of what we have on our hands. I would rather use it for our advantage than squander it. He’s nowhere near our capabilities, Banas, and he never will be.
<BACK AT THE TRAINING AREA, LIEME HAS LEFT AND LEDAS IS SITTING ON A HILL OVERLOOKING THE NATIVES’ MINING POST; THE SUN IS SETTING BEHIND HIM; HE WATCHES AS PAYAR PATROLS THE NATIVES’ WORK AND KILLS A FEW>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> They’re just slaves here… just like me.
<HE SHAKES HIS HEAD AND STANDS UP TO LEAVE WHEN HE NOTICES SOMETHING UP IN THE STANDS OF THE STADIUM BEHIND HIM; HE FLIES OVER TO IT, AND SEES THAT IT WAS HIS SCOUTER, WHICH LIEME THREW SO MANY WEEKS AGO; HE PICKS IT UP, REMEMBERING THE DAY THAT HIS FATHER GAVE IT TO HIM, THE FIRST MISSION THAT THEY WENT ON TOGETHER; HE STARES AT IT, WITH SADNESS; WITHOUT ANOTHER THOUGHT, HE WALKS OUT, WITH THE SCOUTER STILL IN HIS HAND>
<THE CAMERA PANS BACK OUT, OVER THE OUTPOST COMPLEX, IN THE DISTANCE, APRIDO CAN BE SEEN, IN THE FAR LEFT CORNER, WATCHING LEDAS; THERE IS MUCH JEALOUSY ON HIS FACE>
<BACK INSIDE THE CAVE WITH THE BENEFACTOR; HE IS STILL BOUND TO A CAVE WALL; HE LOOKS TO BE IN POOR HEALTH>
The Benefactor: <TIREDNESS IN HIS VOICE> What do you want with me?
Lauto: <FLOATING NEARBY, BUT NOT LOOKING AT THE BENEFACTOR> You’re awake? I suppose we can get started now. Your body has proven to be remarkably durable.
<HE TURNS AROUND TO FACE THE BENEFACTOR AND YELLS, CREATING A KI AURA AROUND HIM; AS HE DOES, HE PLACES BOTH OF HIS HANDS ON THE BENEFACTOR’S BODY; WHEN HE DOES, HIS KI ENVELOPS THE BENEFACTOR; THE BENEFACTOR STRUGGLES AGAINST IT, IN PAIN, BUT IS UNABLE TO MOVE; WITHIN SECONDS, LAUTO HAS STOPPED AND MOVES BACK; THE BENEFACTOR’S HEAD HAS DROOPED AND HE IS BREATHING HEAVILY; HOWEVER, IN BETWEEN LAUTO AND THE BENEFACTOR IS NOW A BLACK MIST>
The Benefactor: <STRUGGLING TO LOOK UP> What… what have you done to me?!
Lauto: <GESTURES IN FRONT OF HIMSELF> This is your energy; your ki; your life-force. It’s relatively high for a regular being such as yourself. I will enjoy the boost it gives me.
The Benefactor: What?
Lauto: I should explain. I was once a god – the Grand Supreme Kai of this universe. But my fellow Kais thought I was a poor ruler and had me replaced. They were my friends once. <HE STEPS INTO THE LIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME; THE BENEFACTOR SEES HIS FACE; IT IS LIGHT PURPLE WITH A WHITE MOHAWK; HIS FACE IS WRINKLED AND LOOKS OLD; ACROSS HALF OF HIS FACE, HE HAS AN INJURY THAT LOOKS LIKE HIS SKIN WAS BURNED> But not anymore. I was born to watch over all life in this universe! Without that, I am nothing. And should I die, I’ll have to go back to my people… but that won’t be happening. <HE FLIES RIGHT UP TO WITHIN A FEW INCHES OF THE BENEFACTOR’S FACE> I will taking your body. I was planning on finding an ideal candidate – someone like Frieza or his brother Cooler – but you happening on my door has been most fortunate. You’ll do for now.
The Benefactor: <DETERMINED> I’ll slit your throat.
Lauto: Then you’ll be slitting your own. <HE MOVES BACK> Now stay quiet. I must attune my life-force to yours. <HE MOVES INTO THE CLOUD OF THE BENEFACTOR’S ENERGY AND RAISES HIS ARMS OVER HIS HEAD>
<THE BENEFACTOR STRUGGLES AGAIN, BUT IT’S NO USE; HE SLUMPS FORWARD AND BOWS HIS HEAD IN SHEER EXHAUSTION>
- This chapter's name references how Lieme teaches Ledas how to sense Ki. Or at least that’s what happens. Dunno if Lieme really meant to do that. But his mistake ultimately would be a great benefit for Ledas in the future.
- This chapter has mostly stayed the same since I originally wrote it in mid November 2010. Over the years since then, I've done minor edits (related to typos, rewording, etc). For the final edits for this saga, I did do a few significant changes, though. For one, the scene with Ledas watching the natives was added in. This was because I put the natives in a new and different role in the final version of this saga, and their thematic parallel to Ledas was very important for me to show. A second scene I added in was The Benefactor's exchange with Lauto. Obviously, their plot didn't exist until the final version of the story, so that scene had to be added in in the final edits. I put that scene in this chapter mainly because the next few chapters would have significant time jumps, and I didn't want to wait so long for another TB scene. Also, I figured by this point that two scenes before Lauto's appearance in the finale episodes was a good pace, and this episode was the best way to space out his appearances evenly across the saga.
- The opening scene in this chapter was another flashback originally written during the time of the Prince Vegeta Saga. I added it in here because I didn't want Ledas to go very long without a tail. The tail is a defining characteristic of a Saiyan, and it's really cool. I like characters with tails. I like Saiyans with tails. One of the most irritating things about DBZ was how all the Saiyans lost their tails and never got them back. One of the few things GT got right was returning the Saiyan tails to prominence, especially with Kid Goku and the SS4 transformations. For me, it was important for Ledas to have a tail, because that makes him a whole Saiyan, and Saiyans with tails are generally more powerful and can maintain their Super Saiyan transformations better. How Ledas gets his tail back is not random or a plot stretch - the power ball can literally do that, as seen in the Saiyan Saga, when it regrows Gohan's tail. I am rather proud of using it to regrow Ledas' tail, as it was a clever and consistent move.
- The montage in this chapter serves a similar purpose as the one in the Prince Vegeta Saga. Showing too much training is boring writing and reading, so montaging it when possible is a good move. The montage spans roughly 3 years in the timeline (though the guess is only one year by the narrator), allowing Ledas to become more integrated in The Plantains and grow in power significantly. Him getting constantly beat up and looked down on by the other Plantains allows him to get some more zenkais and power boosts and also adds to his inferiority complex that develops in this saga.
- Layeeck's statement about a true Saiyan needing a tail is my opinion too.
- Ledas being unable to walk and having the soldiers laugh at him while he struggles with balance without his tail hints at the symbolic importance of his tail as well as its physical importance to him.
- The place Lieme is training in is described in vivid detail because I saw it vividly in my head when I wrote this scene originally. I got a cool idea for a unique place to train. Of course if I was drawing the manga, this would be one of the easiest scenes for me to do, since it's so vivid in my mind even to this day. I imagine the training grounds to be similar to a large rocky structure on a beach. The heat and pockets of light in the place give the place a tropical, lazy, but slightly dangerous atmosphere. This is one of my favorite locations in all of TF.
- Ledas noticed Lieme doesn't use a scouter in the previous episodes (particularly in "Big Mistake"), so him asking Lieme about that here is him following up on his observations. This is a bit subtle. Some may not have picked up on Lieme not using a scouter, but it has been mentioned in earlier chapters.
- All of the Z Fighters can sense ki, and one of the earliest things I wanted for Ledas, when I was first creating his character in April 2010, was to have him be able to sense ki too. As my story became more defined and I began writing it, I decided it would be better writing if I showed how he got that power. It remove an otherwise Stuish quality from him. And, as far as I know, no other story on this wiki has really explained how their Saiyan protagonist has learned how to sense ki well (if they learn it at all). Cuber is an exception, as he gets an implant to sense for him, but that's not really learning and thus not really comparable to Ledas. I think this chapter is a good point at which to compare my fanon and character to other similar stories. Very few authors would do what I did here, and I think that's a major reason why TF is separated from the others. I want Ledas to have cool moves and powers, but I don't want to be lazy about it or give him stuff in a way that's bad writing. It's not worth it. So to show him earning those powers is very rewarding for me, and should be satisfying for the readers. It also allows Ledas to have character development and growth in tandem with his acquiring of new powers.
- It was important for me to show that Lieme trains with Ledas not to help Ledas but to try to learn how Ledas has gotten so powerful so fast. For all Lieme's intellect, he doesn't fully understand zenkais or the fact that Saiyans naturally get more powerful in battles to an extent that other races do not.
- Lieme teaches Ledas like Korin or Master Roshi taught Goku. His line about not relying on archaic devices seems like something either one of them could have said. Also, by Lieme removing Ledas' scouter, this allowed me to craft a scene later on that had Ledas reuniting with his past (with his scouter his dad gave him). By removing his scouter, Ledas is literally shedding his past and being metaphorically reborn. He's carried this scouter since chapter 2 of the story. It's a small, but significant moment in his growth. We have only seen Ledas without his scouter for one small scene in chapter 2. Since then, he's had it with him. So this moment where he takes it off is the start of something new.
- Lieme has good conversations with Ledas in this chapter. It's distinct from how Ledas talks with Meloon, Payar, Guva, or Banas. It's also pretty funny, and it reminds me of Gohan's training with Piccolo in the Saiyan Saga before Vegeta and Nappa arrived on Earth (particularly Ledas' line, "I’m just a kid. You’re going too hard on me", and Lieme's line, "Stop your whining").
- Lieme completely dominates Ledas in the first training session. I didn't want to be cliched and have Ledas miraculously get a hit on Lieme (since Lieme's power level is more than twice his). Also, the time skip from the first training to the last was done because showing too much training is boring. This training exercise was important because it resulted in Ledas gaining an important trick, but showing the beginning and the end of that training (thus, the contrast), is what was truly important. The tedious middle section was not needed from a pacing perspective.
- I thought it would be funny if Ledas just learned how to sense in a random moment. I'm not sure how else he should have gained it. But at one moment, it just "clicked". He reached the "enlightenment" unexpectedly. This says a lot about him and their training.
- Lieme notices Ledas is a prodigy, but has no answer to why his power level is going up so fast, and why he is gaining complex powers so quickly. This is similar how many characters are in awe of Goku and Vegeta as they grow more powerful in DBZ.
- Ledas learning how to rapidly raise and lower his power level is a very useful skill that he picks up on in this chapter. It's used in the next sagas quite extensively, and was quite important in DBZ as well (particularly in the Namek sagas). One thing Ledas is rather good at is mimicking techniques or picking up on things fast. It's something he does better than Goku or Vegeta, and what separates him from them. They are better at other things, of course, but that is the unique thing he has over them (although Vegeta did learn how to sense ki in a similar way as Ledas).
- Lieme can raise and lower his power level too, but he can't do it as fast or as precisely as Ledas can. So already, Ledas has shown his skills and powers by surpassing Lieme in a certain way.
- Guva and Banas have a good conversation in this chapter. It's quite funny, too. This scene expands their relationship quite a bit and hints at several personality traits for each of them.
- Banas saying Ledas is over 100,000 (with his power level) is a good way for me to alert the readers to just how strong Ledas is. Yes, we can see that he's more powerful from his most recent fights, but putting a number to it really quantifies that increase. It's quite a shocking increase too, since Vegeta never gets above 18,000 before arriving on Earth. So why does Ledas get so much more powerful? It's simple. Ledas is around stronger beings that Vegeta. He has to adapt quicker as a result, and has more zenkais too. Also, Vegeta's power increases (particularly in the Namek Sagas and beyond) are rather ridiculous and poor writing on Toriyama's part. The worst parts of the Namek arc were the insane power increases for the various characters (especially Goku). I didn't want such stupid random power jumps in my story, for my character, so I gave Ledas a more gradual power increase. As a result, he becomes stronger than Vegeta for a while (quite a bit stronger, in fact), but Vegeta's power increases in the Namek arc mean that by the time Frieza is defeated, Vegeta is way stronger than Ledas again. So it all balances out, but I do believe my way is significantly superior to the way Toriyama did it. It's better, more consistent writing.
- Even Banas and Guva underestimate Ledas. Everyone does. He's an underdog at this point. This is all building up to the finale of the Stomping Grounds Saga. I'm playing the long game, building up quite a bit for quite a long time for the huge Super Saiyan payoff. He's going to make everyone pay for underestimating him and thinking they can make him their slave.
- The scene with Ledas watching the natives again highlights how Ledas is just like them, how their slavery is a parallel to his. This parallel also allows for me to show the distinctions between Ledas and the natives in the future.
- Ledas picking up the scouter and remembering his father giving it to him is a sad, bleak moment. It's been such a long time since Ledas was given that scouter in chapter 2. He's come such a long way already. It's also significant, because Ledas has internalized his sadness at his parents' and species' annihilation at the hands of Frieza. This is the first time he's really confronted his sadness. Also, the scouter is the only physical thing related to Ledas' father that he still has, so it is incredibly important to him emotionally. Even if he can now sense ki and doesn't need the thing for that, it continues to have much worth to him.
- Aprido's jealousy of Ledas becomes important in the next saga. I was foreshadowing chapter 10 of the Stomping Grounds Saga with Aprido's appearance here.
- Lauto's and The Benefactor's plot has been only teased up to this point. Lauto's long monologue about who he is reveals quite a bit about the plot of their story going forward, and in particular why Lauto is keeping The Benefactor alive. This is chapter 7 - it's past the halfway point of the saga. It felt right to reveal Lauto's plan here.
- Lauto must attune his power with The Benefactor's to allow the "transplant" to not be rejected. This was a move I did to force Lauto to take quite a while to switch bodies with The Benefactor, allowing for Ledas to arrive on the planet (later in the saga) before that can occur.
- Lauto's backstory is something I had had for a while before doing the final edits for this saga. I thought having a Supreme Kai would elevate this story (and this saga in particular) by giving it a very powerful villain who has universal importance. His history is further revealed in KidVegeta's Theogony: From Silence to the Greater Kais, where it's stated that he was banished just before Kid Buu arrived in Other World. In effect, he was barely saved from being killed there. Had he been, the course of universal history would have been greatly different, and it's cool to see how little things like that affect so much. I think I did well with that history. Having a Kai go bad (who is not a Makai) is a pretty cool concept. It's been used a few times on this wiki (notably SSWerty's "Dark Kai", which did not really influence Lauto). Lauto doesn't see himself as evil, though he acknowledges that he's done evil things, and that makes him quite unique. His philosophy is much like eugenics, although on a much grander scale. He was a genocider, but he was doing it to protect the universe (in his opinion). His frightfulness over his own mortality is also ironic, as it results (accidentally) in Ledas' age freeze later in the saga. Overall, I think the Lauto who exists now is much superior to the Lauto who existed in previous versions of TF, and all it took was a little care and creativity to craft him.
You’re So Lucky
<SOME TIME LATER>
<LEDAS IS LYING ON HIS BED, DAYDREAMING; HE IS NOT WEARING ARMOR, BUT IS DIRTY, AS IF HE HAS JUST GOTTEN DONE WITH SOME TRAINING; ON THE SIDE OF HIM IS HIS SCOUTER>
<HE HAS HIS HANDS IN THE AIR WHEN PAYAR ENTERS; PAYAR DOESN’T EVEN KNOCK; AS THE SCREEN PANS BACK, APRIDO CAN BE SEEN NAPPING ON HIS BED>
Payar: Saiyan. Cap’n has a new shipment in. We’re picking it up.
Ledas: <PICKS UP HIS SCOUTER AND LOOKS THROUGH THE LENS, HOLDING IT AWAY FROM HIS FACE> Can’t you get Lieme to help you? I’m tired.
Payar: Nope, you’re helping me today.
<LEDAS FOLLOWS, BUT DRAGS HIS FEET; HE BRINGS HIS SCOUTER WITH HIM>
<THE TWO LEAVE AND TAKE THE SECONDARY ROAD DOWN FROM THE OUTPOST TO THE CLOSEST NATIVE ENCAMPMENT; AS THEY GO, THEY NOTICE MELOON SITTING OUTSIDE BEHIND A TABLE EATING A LARGE AMOUNT OF FOOD; HE IS SURROUNDED BY A FEW LESSER SOLDIERS, WHO ARE CHEERING HIM ON; LEDAS SMIRKS WHEN HE SEES IT>
Ledas: <LOOKING AT THE TREES AS THEY GO INTO THE WILD COUNTRY> Payar, why do you kill the natives so much?
Payar: Because I want to. <WALKS FOR A WHILE BEFORE CONTINUING> You’re one to complain. You kill just as many.
Ledas: Because you and Guva make me do it.
Payar: Well? You don’t like it? You can’t be serious. It’s the most entertaining thing we can do on this rock!
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> Yeah, but you force me to do it! <OUT LOUD> You don’t have to kill so many of them. When you do, I have to go clean up the bodies. Besides, the way you do it is really gross.
Payar: Have you ever, for once, entertained the thought that I just don’t care? Because I don’t. So save your petty complaints.
Ledas: I wasn’t being–
<PAYAR HOLDS UP HIS HAND; THEY BOTH STOP>
<AHEAD OF THEM, THE NATIVES ARE ALL DEAD; THEIR HOUSES ARE SMOLDERING AND BURNT; THE LANDING AREA, WHICH CONSISTS OF A LANDING PAD AND A TOWER, IS ALSO DESTROYED; THE SOLDIERS WHO WORK THE TOWER ARE STREWN ABOUT, DEAD; THE CAPTAIN’S SHIPMENTS ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN>
Ledas: Whoa, who did this?!
Payar: What the hell…?
<PAYAR SUDDENLY KICKS LEDAS TO THE RIGHT, SENDING THE BOY FLYING INTO THE BUSHES; HE LEAPS LEFT, BEHIND A TREE; BEFORE LEDAS REALIZES WHAT IS GOING ON, OR HAS A CHANCE TO YELL OUT, PAYAR BUZZES HIM>
Payar: <OVER HIS SCOUTER> Don’t say a word, Saiyan. There’s someone up there.
<LEDAS GETS DOWN ON HIS STOMACH; HE PEERS THROUGH THE BUSHES; HE CAN SEE A FEW BEINGS AHEAD; BUT HE CANNOT MAKE THEM OUT>
Payar: <OVER HIS SCOUTER> Go around right. I’ll go around left. Give some suppressing fire to lead them my way. Then, I’ll deal with them.
Ledas: <BREAKING THE SILENCE; OVER HIS SCOUTER> Um, what if it’s Lieme or someone?
Payar: <OVER HIS SCOUTER> It’s not them. They wouldn’t destroy this place. Wait for my signal. <HE PEERS OUT AGAIN; WE GET TWO PANELS OF HIM LOOKING; THEN HE SPEAKS> Hurry up, go!
<LEDAS BOLTS OUT AND RUNS RIGHT; HE JUMPS OVER THE BUSHES AND FOLIAGE, AND COMES CRASHING DOWN INTO THE MUD IN FRONT OF THE CREATURES; THERE ARE TWO OF THEM; CLEARLY, NEITHER IS A MEMBER OF THIS PLANET; HOWEVER, THEY WEAR COOLER’S ARMOR; THIS MAKES LEDAS HESITATE>
<THE FIRST ALIEN LUNGE-PUNCHES LEDAS BACK; LEDAS ROLLS FORWARD; HE CREATES A PLAYFUL GALICK; WHEN HE STEPS UP FROM HIS ROLL, LEDAS FIRES IT OFF; THE TWO CREATURES BLOCK IT, BUT ARE PUSHED BACK; SEEING HIS OPPORTUNITY, LEDAS FIRES OFF AN UNRELENTING ENERGY BURST; THE DOZENS OF SMALL KI BLASTS ENGULF THE TWO CREATURES; THEY ARE PUSHED BACK>
<PAYAR COMES OUT FROM BEHIND HIS TREE; LEDAS STOPS FIRING THE BLASTS, SO HE DOESN’T HIT HIS ALLY; PAYAR LEAPS FORWARD, ATTEMPTING TO GRAB THE TWO ALIENS; HE MISSES, FALLING TO THE GROUND; THE TWO CREATURES RISE INTO THE AIR; THEY WORK TOGETHER TO ATTACK PAYAR>
Ledas: <PRESSES HIS SCOUTER> Captain Banas! We need your help! <LEDAS RUNS FORWARD TO HELP PAYAR; PAYAR CANNOT USE ENERGY, SO HE IS ABSOLUTELY OUTMATCHED NOW THAT THE ALIENS ARE OUT OF HIS PUNCHING RANGE> Someone’s attacking us down on the landing pad!
<LEDAS REACHES THEM; HE SHOOTS AWAY THEIR ENERGY BLASTS BEFORE THEY REACH PAYAR; THE TWO FACE HIM AGAIN; THEY COMBINE BLASTS; LEDAS ROLLS AWAY, DUCKING AND WEAVING AROUND; HE SHOOTS OFF SEVERAL SMALL KI BLASTS, BUT CANNOT GET A GOOD POSITION TO AIM; HIS KI MISSES THE MARK>
<JUST AT THIS TIME, A HAIL OF YELLOW ENERGY COMES FLYING FROM BEHIND THE TWO CREATURES; THE BLASTS HIT THEM, BUT DO NOT EXPLODE; INSTEAD, THEY CUT INTO THE CREATURES, THROUGH THEIR ARMOR AND INTO THEIR SKIN; THEY YELL OUT>
<BEHIND THEM IS BANAS; HE IS ALONE, BUT IN FULL ARMOR; THEY FACE HIM>
Banas: <IN ALL HIS FURY> Who are you?!
Alien 1: <THROUGH PAIN> Captain Banas! We were wondering when you’d show up! <BANAS CHARGES UP A LARGER BLAST AND FLINGS IT AT THE CLOSER ALIEN; IT IMPALES THE ALIEN THROUGH THE NECK AND HE FALLS TO THE GROUND DEAD> Okay, okay! Let’s just calm down a bit! Come here, let’s talk.
<THE ALIEN DESCENDS TO THE GROUND AND BECKONS LEDAS AND BANAS TO DO LIKEWISE>
Banas: <AS HE REACHES THE GROUND> What are you doing on my planet?!
Alien 1: Just returning the favor for killing our friends. <HE SMILES AND PRESSES A BUTTON ON HIS ARMPAD>
Banas: The hell? You can’t be talking about those rebels that came to me years ago…?!
Alien 1: <SMILING> Ah, you remember us! Well, we’re stronger now! And we can afford to dish out some payback! <HE LAUGHS WHILE RAISING HIS HEAD AND ARMS INTO THE AIR; WITHIN A MOMENT, HE IS COATED IN A WHITE LIGHT> This is for those you’ve killed, Captain!
<THE BLAST ENGULFS THE THREE PLANTAINS; BANAS RECOVERS BEFORE THE OTHERS AND DASHES UP TO THE ALIEN; WITHOUT ANOTHER THOUGHT, HE MERCILESSLY PUNCHES THE ALIEN THROUGH THE STOMACH; AS HIS FIST COMES OUT THE OTHER SIDE, THE CAPTAIN FLINGS THE ALIEN OFF OF HIS ARM AND DOWN TO THE GROUND>
Banas: <WITH UTTER DISGUST> Get off my planet.
<JUST AS BANAS KILLS THE ALIEN, LIEME AND MELOON ARRIVE>
Lieme: Boss, what is this?
Meloon: We’re under attack?!
Banas: I don’t know… keep your eyes sharp.
Lieme: Boss… that guy <NODS TO THE DEAD ALIEN AT BANAS’ FEET> wasn’t the only power level I felt coming over here.
<JUST AS BANAS GOES TO ANSWER, A LOUD NOISE CAN BE HEARD; ALL FIVE OF THE SOLDIERS LOOK UP AND SEE TWO MASSIVE GUNBOATS DESCENDING FROM THE CLOUDS; A SLEW OF CREW MEMBERS COAT THE NEAREST SIDE OF EACH SHIP, AND THEY ARE ALL READYING UP ENERGY BLAST>
Banas: Ah, hell. Get to cover!
<THE PLANTAINS DODGE AS THE BLASTS START RAINING DOWN, BOMBARDING THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE; LEDAS DROPS TO A KNEE AND SHOOTS OFF A GALICK GUN, BRIEFLY ENGAGING IN A BEAM STRUGGLE WITH ONE OF THE CREW MEMBERS ABOVE BEFORE DESTROYING THE ALIEN; THE OTHER PLANTAINS TRY SIMILAR MANEUVERS; MELOON, HOWEVER, JUST SHOOTS A BUNCH OF RANDOM BLASTS UPWARD, HOPING TO DAMAGE THE SHIP; CLEARLY, HOWEVER, THE PLANTAINS ARE BARELY HOLDING THEIR GROUND, AS THE COMBINED FIREPOWER OF DOZENS OF ENEMIES STARTS TO PUSH THEM BACK>
<PAYAR, WHO IS FLINGING TREES AT THE BOATS LIKE GULDO ON STEROIDS, IS HIT WITH SEVERAL BLASTS AND FALLS TO HIS KNEES; WITHIN MOMENTS, THE COMBINED ENERGY IS FOCUSED ON MELOON, AND HE HAS TO TAKE COVER; THE BLASTS THEN TURN TO LEDAS>
Ledas: <HE ROLLS BACK AND ATTEMPTS TO FIND COVER WHEN A CONCENTRATED ENERGY BLAST HITS HIM IN THE FACE, DESTROYING HIS SCOUTER; HE FALLS DOWN, FACE FIRST, INTO THE MUD> No! Dad gave me that scouter!
<THEN, AS THE REMAINING PLANTAINS START GETTING MORE AND MORE OVERWHELMED, THEY NOTICE A NEW AURA LIGHT UP THE SKY, COMING FROM DUE NORTH, TO THEIR RIGHT; IT IS PURPLE>
Meloon: Captain! Looks like the governor’s come to play! Ha ha! <HE IMMEDIATELY GETS HIT WITH A BLAST AND IS FLUNG AWAY LIKE A RAGDOLL>
Banas: <TO HIMSELF> Shit.
<THE CAMERA FOCUSES ON GUVA, WHO IS FLYING AT HIS FASTEST SPEEDS; HE IS WEARING EXTREMELY ORNATE PURPLE AND GOLD ARMOR, AS WELL AS A CAPE; WHEN HE REACHES THE NEAREST GUNBOAT, HE CREATES TWO ENERGY SWORDS IN HIS HANDS; HE FLIES THROUGH THE GROUPS OF REBELS AND CUTS THEM TO PIECES, MOSTLY DECAPITATING AND CUTTING THEM IN HALF; THEIR LIMBS AND CORPSES FALL FROM THE BOAT TO THE GROUND; AFTER GUVA KILLS THEM ALL, HE LANDS ON TOP OF THE GUNBOAT AND POINTS HIS HANDS DOWN TO THE FLOOR; HE THEN CREATES AN ELEGANT FINISHER AND SHOOTS IT; WITHIN SECONDS, THE FIRST GUNBOAT IS DESTROYED>
<AS GUVA MOVES TO THE SECOND GUNBOAT, THE REBEL CREW NOTICES HIM AND TURN THEIR FIRE ON HIM; HE GOES ON THE DEFENSIVE, WEAVING AND DODGING UP INTO THE SKY; AS HE DOES, HE NOTICES THE AURA OF BANAS COME UP AND LAND ON THE DECK BEHIND THE CREW; WITHIN A SINGLE BLAST, HE ENGULFS THEM AND INCINERATES THEM; THEN, HE SHOOTS AN ENERGY BARRAGE ONTO THE SHIP ITSELF; THIS IS JOINED BY THE BLASTS OF LIEME, MELOON, AND LEDAS FROM BELOW; AS WELL, GUVA, FROM ABOVE, SHOOTS ANOTHER ENERGY BLAST DOWN AT THE GUNBOAT; WHEN ALL OF THEIR ATTACKS HIT, THE SHIP BLOWS UP>
<THEN, AS THE SMOLDERING RUINS FALL TO THE GROUND, BANAS AND GUVA RETURN TO THE REST OF THE GROUP>
Guva: <ALL BUSINESS; BEFORE HE HAS EVEN LANDED> Who were they?
Banas: Just some rebels.
Guva: And why were they attacking us, Captain?
Banas: <STEADFAST; STARTS WALKING AWAY AS HE LANDS> I don’t know, guvvy.
Guva: <TELEPORTS IN FRONT OF BANAS> I am not in the mood for games, Banas. I can interrogate your team if I have to.
Banas: <SIGHS> Nah, you don’t have to. Those guys were here because I didn’t join them a few years back. Actually killed two or three of them, I think. They were coming back for revenge.
Guva: <ANGER SURGING> What?! You were approached by a rebel group and didn’t report it to me?!
Banas: I didn’t think it was important at–
Guva: <RAISES HIS HAND; HIS FACE IS STILL LIVID> Shut up. I don’t want to hear it. As of now, you are removed as Captain of my installation.
Banas: <SHOCK> What?! Guva, you can’t–
Guva: I’m your governor; I can do what I please. Now follow me to my office; I’m going to need to report this to Lord Cooler. No more backtalk, either. Come on, let’s go.
<GUVA AND BANAS THEN LEAVE, THE LATTER STILL IN SHOCK; HIS PLANTAINS JUST STAND THERE, RECOVERING FROM THEIR WOUNDS, WATCHING THE TWO GO; NO ONE SPEAKS; AFTER SOME TIME, MELOON AND LIEME LEAVE; BOTH ARE IN ALMOST AS MUCH SHOCK AS BANAS WAS; PAYAR, HOWEVER REMAINS BEHIND>
<LEDAS WATCHES AS PAYAR KICKS THE GROUND; CLEARLY, THE ALIEN IS ANGRY; HE THEN WATCHES PAYAR TAKE THE FAMILIAR PATH DOWN TO ANOTHER CAMP OF NATIVES>
<LEDAS SINKS TO THE GROUND AND LOOKS AT THE BROKEN PIECES OF HIS TEAL SCOUTER; HE CROUCHES ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES>
Ledas: Dad gave that to me on the first mission he ever took me on… <HE SIGHS AND SITS UP AGAINST A NEARBY TREE; AROUND HIM ARE THE BURNING PIECES OF THE GUNBOATS> Guess a lot has changed since then.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the absolutely amazing song by Rivers Cuomo called Wanda, You're My Only Love. It's a sarcastic look, from Payar's point of view, about Ledas being able to use ki, even if he is weaker, as Payar ended up looking foolish in this episode because of his ki deficiency. It could also be referencing other things, like Ledas' implied thoughts that Vegeta is better off than him, that Ledas is even lucky to be alive, that The Plantains are all lucky that Guva shows up to save them. There are a lot of things this chapter title could refer to, and it probably refers to most of them simultaneously, working on several different levels.
- None of this chapter existed in the original draft of the story. It was created after I split the original Lauto Saga into the new Lauto Saga and the Stomping Grounds Saga. It was written on November 13, 2011 - roughly a year after the first draft of the Lauto Saga was completed. The main difference was that only two aliens attacked Payar and Ledas, instead of the grand rebel attack that exists now. One of the changes I made during the final edits was to make LS more entertaining, and increasing the size of the fight scene in this chapter was one such way to do that. Almost all of this chapter was re-written for the final draft, though the early section (with Payar and Ledas) remains basically the same - that part was merely reworded somewhat, not rewritten.
- The arc that begins in this chapter is a 3 chapter arc. It's first hinted at in chapter 3 (which is truly the beginning of the plot that develops in this chapter). Since Lauto Saga is so focused on training Ledas and showing all of the PTO soldiers' personalities, the best thing to do was to add in arcs to the story in the final draft. That's why the rebel arc and the Lauto arc were added in, and they take up a significant amount of the plot now.
- The little moment of Ledas on his bed at the beginning of this chapter is like the end of chapter 4. Again, it hints that Ledas has been training (showing that training would be, for the most part, boring, which is why I don't show too much of that) and also shows a bit of the culture and atmosphere of the PTO outpost.
- I mention Ledas' scouter being with him at the start of the chapter because it is important near the end of the chapter. This is called foreshadowing.
- Meloon kind of disappears near the end of this saga, so in the final edits, I added in his food eating competition. There's no real reason for it other than to show a bit of his personality and have a comedic moment. Of course, Meloon's gluttonous nature is a parallel to Payar's cravings to kill natives. So there's that too.
- Again, in this chapter, Ledas' aversion to the killing of the natives is more selfish and more about personal agency than him legitimately caring about their well-being. I didn't want him to care about them because he's a Saiyan; by nature, he shouldn't care about them. He was killing aliens like them all throughout the first saga. Additionally, having Ledas as a grey character who is not overtly good (in a cliched way) is more interesting to me than writing about someone like Goku. Goku, despite being the hero of DBZ is one of the most boring characters in that series from a personality standpoint. Yes his fights are interesting, but his personality just isn't there, and I didn't want Ledas to end up like that. So giving him a complex personality that you don't know if you should be okay with was interesting to try.
- Having the PTO soldiers as well as the natives dead implies that the natives did not take part in the destruction, as they don't have the capabilities to take out so many soldiers as well as the landing pad and tower.
- Ledas and Payar vs the two aliens is really well-done in my opinion. It's some of my best action choreography in the series. I really want to see this part in anime form. Lots of gritty, chaotic energy in that scene, I think.
- Banas seems quite governorly when he enters the scene. He has a splendid, badass introduction. This is funny because later in the chapter, Guva outdoes him with his own introduction.
- Notice again how Banas calls this planet his planet. He tends to do that when Guva isn't around. I like to think that he considers himself the governor when Guva isn't around. It's definitely a coping mechanism for him, as it implies how devastated he was to not be made the governor of the planet.
- Banas' badass "Get off my planet" is also said by King Vegeta in Dragon Ball: The Great War. Both are a reference to this.
- In the original draft, Payar destroyed Ledas' scouter. I thought it would be more thematically interesting if it wasn't someone Ledas knew or expected to do so. This ties into how Layeeck dies (which Ledas only learns in the sixth saga) and is relevant here because Layeeck gave Ledas that scouter.
- There's a lot of comedy in this chapter, such as with Meloon's eating contest and the comparison of Payar and Guldo. But my favorite moment is easily "Meloon: Captain! Looks like the governor’s come to play! Ha ha! <HE IMMEDIATELY GETS HIT WITH A BLAST AND IS FLUNG AWAY LIKE A RAGDOLL>". I can picture that in my head, and every time it makes me laugh. I don't know why it's so funny to me, but it is.
- Guva has never fought up to this point. He's been a complete mystery. Everyone knows he's stronger than Banas, though, and considering how strong Banas is compared to Ledas (Banas rather easily defeated Great Ape Ledas, remember), that is a scary proposition. Guva is like Frieza in that his power has been looming for a while now (Frieza's power loomed throughout the Namek Arc until he fought the Z Fighters). This is a cool move to do, because it allows the readers to use their imaginations to think about how strong Guva is without me saying anything. And when Guva does appear, he is far more badass than even Banas was, even though Banas was quite badass himself. The way he destroys the rebels is a highlight of this saga and a big moment of payoff for those who have been waiting to see him in action.
- The rebels were never meant to do much damage - they are easily defeated by the combined forces of The Plantains and Guva - but their attack has multiple purposes. Obviously, from a pure entertainment standpoint, what exists now for this chapter is much better than what existed in previous drafts. Additionally, this chapter is a prelude to a greater fight against the rebels that the readers will guess has to happen later in the saga. They've appeared twice now and been decimated both times. How are they going to respond? Will they? They must, since this is an arc. This chapter can't be the end of it. I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of having them appear twice already if they weren't going to be more important. Also, this chapter provides the excuse for Guva to demote Banas, which he's been trying to find a good reason to do for a while now. It's not logical that he does it after all, though it is understandable. Banas should have reported his encounter in chapter 3. But his laziness is to be expected, and it's likely what most people would have done in his place. Who would have known that the rebels would return years later with a huge force? Banas wouldn't have expected that in a million years. But removing Banas also gives Guva a bit more power over The Plantains and makes the chances of a rebellion (in his eyes) less likely. So there's a lot going on in the aftermath of the battle that has big implications for the plot and for the characters.
- The distinction between Ledas and The Plantains is seen at the end of this chapter when Ledas only starts to emote once they are gone. The scouter means a lot to him because it's the last thing related to his father that he still has. It's a great moment of characterization for him, and shows some grief from Ledas that we've haven't seen too much of to this point. He internalizes his emotions and his sadness, and only emotes them when no one else is around. That hints at how lonely and isolated he feels and how much of an Other he feels like in the outpost.
- Ledas and The Plantains are also alike in that they internalize their struggles. All of them are shocked about Banas' demotion, but none of them say anything. It's striking how quiet it is after Guva and Banas leave. Then they all leave to deal with their emotions by themselves. It's easy to see why Ledas acts like this, when his mentors act the same. He's been taught to suppress his emotions.
- Ledas sitting up against the tree with his broken scouter and with all the burning pieces of the gunboats around him is quite a cool image that would look great in an anime or manga. From an aesthetic point-of-view, it's about as good as it gets. So many themes can be hinted at and implied with that closing picture.
The Day I Had 60 Pokémon
<GUVA AND LEDAS ARE STANDING, FACING ONE ANOTHER, OUTSIDE OF GUVA’S OFFICE ON THE THIRD FLOOR; BEHIND THEM IS A WALL-WINDOW; THE SUN IS SETTING BEHIND THEM, PARTIALLY SILHOUETTING THEIR FIGURES>
Guva: What’s your power level?
Ledas: <SHRUGGING> About half of their’s, I guess…
Guva: That won’t do. With Banas on suspension, I can see him making a move on me soon. I need you to be stronger, Ledas. I’m hoping Payar will side with us should Banas try something, but I can’t guarantee his loyalty.
Ledas: I’m training as hard as I can, sir.
Guva: <KNEELS DOWN, PLACES HANDS ON LEDAS’ SHOULDERS> I’ll find any remaining Saiyans if you help me with this. You know that. <STANDS BACK UP> So don’t take too long. I’m not sure either of us can afford it. Now give this to Lieme. It’s the flight plan from the gunboats. He’ll be able to find where they came from with this. <HE HANDS LEDAS A SMALL INFORMATION CHIP>
<GUVA EXITS RIGHT, LEDAS EXITS LEFT>
<LEDAS LEAVES THE BUILDING AND WALKS TO THE SECONDARY POD LAUNCH STATION; THERE, THE PLANTAINS ARE WAITING FOR HIM; LIEME IS LEANING UP AGAINST A WALL WITH HIS ARMS CROSSED AND HEAD BOWED; MELOON IS SITTING AT A TABLE NAPPING, AND PAYAR IS SITTING ON A LEDGE NEAREST THE ENTRANCE; WITHOUT SPEAKING, LEDAS ENTERS AND THROWS THE CHIP AT LIEME, WHO LOOKS UP AND CATCHES IT AT THE LAST SECOND; HE NODS TO LEDAS AND STANDS UP, MOVING TO HIS POD; HE MOTIONS FOR MELOON TO JOIN HIM>
<LEDAS FINDS HIS ARMOR NEARBY AND STARTS PUTTING IT ON; PAYAR WATCHES HIM>
Payar: Saw you talking to the governor. Why’d he talk to you and not Lieme?
Ledas: <BARELY PAYING ATTENTION; SLIPS CHEST HARNESS OVER HIS HEAD> I dunno.
Payar: It’s fucking bullshit, you know.
Ledas: <STOPS AND LOOKS UP> What?
Payar: <SUDDENLY FUMING> Guva. Making Lieme the temporary captain. I should be captain. I’m a better leader.
Ledas: <GOES TO PUT ON HIS GLOVES AND BOOTS> Yeah, but Lieme’s stronger than you. Plus, he can use ki.
Payar: Watch it, kid. I ain’t in the fucking mood.
Ledas: Does it really matter? I bet being captain is boring.
Payar: <JUMPS OFF THE LEDGE> Yeah. Well, it’s Guva’s mistake. If he thinks letting me kill the natives is enough, then he’s in for a shock.
Ledas: Enough for what?
Payar: Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on, kid. I know why you’re still here. Guva wants you as protection in case Banas tries to take over the outpost. He probably thought up that plan the day we found you. And he’s been bribing me with the gladiator matches so I’d help him too. But he messed up. I should be captain. That’s all there is to it.
<PAYAR WALKS PAST HIM, TO THE PODS; ONCE LEDAS’ GEAR IS ON, HE JOGS OVER TO THE REST OF THE GROUP; AS HE GETS THERE, HE NOTICES LIEME IS HOLDING A BOX>
Lieme: Governor gave me enough for all of us. 60 apiece. <HE TAKES OUT SMALL POUCHES FROM THE BOX AND TOSSES THEM TO ALL THREE OF HIS SUBORDINATES> Don’t let them out until we’re on board. These are the latest models. They don’t need to be planted. Just warm them up a bit with your ki, okay?
<PAYAR AND MELOON NOD>
Ledas: But what are these, Mr. Lieme sir?
Ledas: Saibamen? I used to train with those. They’re so weak!
Lieme: Not in large numbers. Besides, governor thinks it’s better than using regular soldiers. Something to do with morale. Now, keep them close, and don’t let them out until I give you the word. All right, let’s move.
<THE FOUR PLANTAINS GET INTO THEIR PODS AND FLY OFF>
<CUTS TO IN SPACE, AS THE PLANTAINS REACH THEIR TARGET; IT IS A LARGE, ICE-COVERED PLANET; HOVERING ABOVE THE PLANET IS A LARGE ARMORED RIG; IT IS COVERED IN WEAPONRY; THEY LAND ON THE PLANET AND ALL EXIT; SINCE LEDAS CAN SENSE KI, AND HIS SCOUTER WAS DESTROYED IN THE LAST CHAPTER, HE NOW USES A WRIST-PAD TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE OTHERS; THIS IS THE SAME WAY THAT LIEME COMMUNICATES WITH EVERYONE; THE FOUR PODS ALL LAND ON DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE PLANET; LEDAS LANDS NEAR THE NORTHERN POLE>
<AS HE EXITS HIS POD, HE STARTS SHIVERING FROM THE COLD; HOWEVER, THERE ARE NO WINDS; HE CAN SEE MANY TALL TOWERS AROUND HIM>
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> All right. Their base is too heavily fortified to go in normally. Everyone get to the nearest tower as quietly as you can. Once you’re inside, use the teleportation grid; that will put you on board their base. <LEDAS LOOKS UP AND NOTICES THE LARGE FLOATING INSTALLATION FAR ABOVE THE TOWERS; IT IS LINED WITH GUNS> And go slowly. We don’t know how many there are. They could overwhelm us if we aren’t careful.
<LEDAS CREEPS FORWARD TO THE NEAREST TOWER; IT IS INCREDIBLY TALL; AT THE TOP OF THE TOWER IS A CIRCULAR OBSERVATORY WITH DUAL FINS ROTATING AROUND IT; FROM THE OBSERVATORY DOWNWARD IS A THIN CABLE WHICH DESCENDS ALL THE WAY TO WITHIN A FEW METERS OF THE ICY SURFACE; AS LEDAS LOOKS AT IT, THE END OF THE OF CABLE LIGHTS UP, AND SUDDENLY A BOLT OF ENERGY FLIES FROM IT, SLAMMING INTO THE GROUND; THE ICY ROCK BREAKS APART AS THE AREA IS COATED IN A PINK-YELLOW HAZE WHICH DEMATERIALIZES MUCH OF THE LOOSE ROCK>
<AS LEDAS WATCHES, A GUNBOAT, LIKE THE ONE THAT ATTACKED PLANET 92, COMES BY THE SPIRE AND UNLOADS A FEW TROOPS; THEY ARE WEARING VACUUM-SEALED PLANET TRADE ORGANIZATION ARMOR; AS THEY GET OUT, THE TWO SOLDIERS MAKE THEIR WAY TO A METAL POST NEARBY THE TOWER AND PRESS A BUTTON; WITHIN MOMENTS, THEY ARE DEMATERIALIZED LIKE THE ROCKS; LEDAS WAITS FOR THE GUNBOAT TO LEAVE BEFORE RUSHING UP TO THE POST AND DOES LIKEWISE>
<LEDAS RE-MATERIALIZES INSIDE THE OBSERVATORY OF THE TOWER; HE MOVES FORWARD; HE NOTICES THE TWO SOLDIERS HAVE MOVED FORWARD TO THE CENTER OF THE LARGE ROOM, WHERE A COMPUTER CENTER IS; THOUGH LEDAS IS SNEAKING, HE TRIPS ON SOMETHING ON THE GROUND WHICH ALERTS THEM TO HIS PRESENCE; THE TWO TURN AROUND AND SEE HIM>
Rebel 1: Hey! What are you up to?
Ledas: <TAKEN ABACK BY THEIR NON-AGGRESSION> I, uh, was just going to the main place. You know… <HE POINTS TO THE CEILING>
Rebel 1: <NARROWS HIS EYES> Command isn’t allowing anyone on the rig right now…
Rebel 2: Hey, why aren’t you wearing sealed armor?
<LEDAS FROWNS AND LEANS FORWARD; HE THEN CHARGES STRAIGHT INTO THE SOLDIERS BEFORE THEY CAN SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING; HE HEADBUTTS THE NEAREST ONE SO HARD THAT IT SHATTERS THE ALIEN’S HELMET; HE FALLS BACK, DEAD; THE SECOND SOLDIER CHARGES LEDAS, BUT THE SAIYAN DODGES AROUND HIM, AND ELBOWS HIM IN THE BACK; THEN, HE KICKS OUT THE ALIEN’S FEET AND TELEPORTS ABOVE THE FALLING CREATURE; HE SLAMS DOWN ON IT WITH BOTH OF HIS FEET, CAUSING IT TO COUGH UP BLOOD AND SPLATTER IT ON THE INSIDE OF ITS HELMET BEFORE DYING; THE COMMOTION, HOWEVER, ALERTS THE REST OF THE GARRISON>
<ABOUT FIVE OTHER SOLDIERS COME AROUND THE CORNER BEHIND LEDAS; THEY READY THEIR WRIST-BLASTERS AND SHOOT AT HIM; AS THE CLOUD ENGULFS HIM, THE ALIENS THINK THEY HAVE WON AND START CHEERING; THEN, LEDAS APPEARS BEHIND THEM>
Ledas: <GETTING THEIR ATTENTION> Hey! <THE GROUP TURNS AROUND> Here you go!
<LEDAS SHOOTS HIS SIGNATURE CYAN BLAST AT THE ALIENS AND DESTROYS THEM COMPLETELY; HE NOTICES, OUT THE OBSERVATORY, THE OTHER FLOATING TOWERS AND THE MASSIVE BLUE STAR IN THE SKY; THEN, HE TURNS BACK AND GOES OVER TO THE COMPUTERS>
<LEDAS STARTS PRESSING ALL SORTS OF BUTTONS WHICH DON’T DO ANYTHING; AFTER A FEW MORE BUTTONS, THE TOWER STARTS SHAKING; HE BARES HIS TEETH IN SURPRISE; FINALLY FINDING BUTTON THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE THE ONE HE PRESSED ON TO MATERIALIZE UP TO THE TOWER, HE PRESSES THAT AND DISAPPEARS>
<LEDAS REAPPEARS INSIDE A DIMLY LIT ROOM; THE CAMERA PANS BACK, SHOWING IT TO BE A LARGE HANGER THAT LOOKS QUITE AGED AND RUSTED; PLANET TRADE ORGANIZATION SHIPS, INCLUDING GUNBOATS AND PODS, SPARSELY POPULATE THE HANGERS; THERE ARE A FEW REBELS PATROLLING ABOUT AS WELL; AS SOON AS LEDAS FINDS HIS FEET, HE RUNS BEHIND A BUNCH OF CRATES AND PULLS OUT THE POUCH THAT LIEME HAD GIVEN TO HIM; HE RAISES HIS LEFT ARM AND TURNS ON THE COMMUNICATOR WITH HIS RIGHT HAND>
Ledas: <CROUCHING, LOOKING OFF-SCREEN; WHISPERING> Mr. Lieme, I’m on the ship.
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> Find a hole and stay put. We are still waiting on Meloon and Payar.
Ledas: Okay, but sir, what am I supposed to do with the Saibamen?
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> Let them do as much damage as possible. Try to find a power source if you can. We’ll try to get the rig’s defensive system offline. Then we won’t have to sneak around.
Ledas: <STANDS UP UPON SEEING SOME SOLDIERS APPROACHING HIS AREA> Okay sir.
<THE SOLDIERS GET CLOSER, PROMPTING LEDAS TO DISAPPEAR>
Rebel 3: Did you hear that? <HE NUDGES HIS PARTNER>
Rebel 4: Probably some space rats, man. They’re all over these old rigs.
Rebel 3: <PICKS UP A CRATE WITH THE OTHER REBEL; THEY START CARRYING IT AWAY> That’s gross. You’d think they would have cleared the place out before bringing us on board…
<BACK BEHIND CRATES FURTHER BACK, LEDAS IS WATCHING THE TWO LEAVE; HE SIGHS AS THEY GET OUT OF RANGE>
Rebel 5: Hey kid, what are you doing back here?
<LEDAS LOOKS BEHIND HIM, SEEING ANOTHER REBEL HAS SPOTTED HIM; AS THE TALL ALIEN REACHES FOR HIM, LEDAS WILD SENSES BEHIND HIM AND KICKS THE ALIEN IN THE NECK; THIS CAUSES THE ALIEN TO FALL FORWARD, DEAD; LEDAS NOTICES THE ALIEN IS THE SAME RACE AS LIEME>
<HOWEVER, THE ALIEN’S DEATH SCREAM ALERTS SOME OTHER SOLDIERS, AND THEY IMMEDIATELY RUN OVER; THEY SPOT LEDAS AND START SHOOTING AT HIM; HE DODGES, ROLLING BEHIND A PARKED GUNBOAT; HE CALLS UP LIEME AGAIN>
Ledas: <YELLING OVER THE SOUND OF ENERGY BLASTERS SHOOTING AT HIM> Sir, they found me! What am I supposed to do?
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> Damnit, Saiyan! Didn’t I tell you to hide–
Ledas: <RETREATS FURTHER BACK> I tried to hide, but they were everywhere!
Lieme: <OVER THE COM; CLEARLY ANGRY> Stupid monkey! I can’t help you. You’re on your own.
Ledas: Come on! <LIEME CUTS THE CONNECTION>
<LEDAS RISES INTO THE AIR AND SHOOTS HOMING FINGER BEAMS AT THE SOLDIERS, IMMEDIATELY INCAPACITATING THEM; THEN, HE LANDS AND BRINGS THE POUCH BACK IN HIS HAND; HE YELLS, CAUSING HIS AURA TO FLARE AROUND HIM; THEN, HE THROWS THE POUCH TO THE METAL FLOOR, WHILE IT IS STILL ENCASED IN HIS AURA, AND STEPS BACK>
<A SUDDEN ENERGY ATTACK HITS HIM ACROSS THE FACE, CAUSING HIM TO TURN AROUND; THERE, A GUNBOAT IS FLYING STRAIGHT AT HIM; LEDAS TAKES TO THE AIR AND FLIES RIGHT AT IT, FLARING UP HIS AURA; HE FLIES RIGHT INTO THE GUNBOAT, DESTROYING IT; AS HE EMERGES THE RUINS, HE TURNS AROUND, AND NOTICES A SEA OF GREEN BEHIND HIM; WHERE THE POUCH ONCE WAS IS NOW A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF SAIBAMEN; THEY ARE CRAWLING OVER EVERY SURFACE, SHOOTING KI BLASTS RANDOMLY AND SCRATCHING AT THE METAL WALLS>
Ledas: Hey! All of you! <LEDAS POINTS TO THE FAR DOOR> Go that way!
<THE SAIBAMEN BREAK OUT INTO CACKLES OF LAUGHTER AND RUSH TOWARDS THE FAR DOOR; LEDAS FLIES ABOVE THEM; AS THEY ALL REACH THE DOORS, THE DOORS PREMATURELY OPEN AND SEVERAL SOLDIERS COME OUT; THE SAIBAMEN JUMP ON THEM AND RIP THEM TO PIECES; AS THEY STEP THROUGH THE DOORS, LEDAS SEES THAT THIS PART OF THE RIG IS IN BETTER CONDITION THAN THE HANGER; THE WALLS AND FLOOR ARE ALL WHITE; THERE ARE DOORS LINING THE HALLWAY, AND THE HALLWAY ITSELF SPLITS OFF INTO A THREE-WAY FORK JUST A LITTLE BIT AHEAD OF THEM>
<LEDAS LANDS IN FRONT OF HIS POSSE; HE NOTICES TWO RED SAIBAMEN AMONGST THE OTHERS>
Ledas: <SENSING THEIR POWER> Whoa, I’ve never seen a red one before. You guys are stronger, too. I can feel it. <POINTING AT THE NEAREST RED SAIBAMAN> You!
Red Saibaman 1: Gruhh?
Ledas: Take a few Saibamen up ahead and see how many rebels there are! <THE RED SAIBAMEN NODS AND RUSHES FORWARD WITH ABOUT 8 OTHERS; LEDAS LOOKS AT THE OTHER RED ONE> And you! <HE POINTS AT IT> You’ll lead the main force! Keep everyone under control, okay?
<RED SAIBAMAN 2 GRUNTS AND NODS>
<WITHIN A FEW MORE SECONDS, RED SAIBAMAN 1 COMES RUNNING BACK AT GREAT SPEED; HE ONLY HAS A FEW SAIBAMEN WITH HIM; AS THEY TURN THE CORNER TO THE MAIN HALLWAY, LEDAS SEES A BUNCH OF ENERGY ATTACKS FOLLOW THEM; EVIDENTLY A LARGE FORCE IS PURSUING THEM>
Ledas: Ready! <HE POINTS FORWARD AND WAITS FOR THE SAIBAMEN SCOUTS TO DIVE BACK INTO THE RANKS> Fire!
<AS THE ALIEN FORCES COME AROUND THE CORNER, THEY ARE BLASTED WITH A WALL OF KI; ALL ARE INCINERATED IMMEDIATELY; UPON SENSING THE LAST SOLDIER’S DEATH, LEDAS ORDERS HIS ARMY FORWARD; HE LEADS THEM, RUNNING AHEAD; THE SAIBAMEN FOLLOW HIM LOYALLY>
<THE SAIBAMEN CLOG THE HALL AND RIP OPEN ANY DOOR THEY COME ACROSS; SPILLING INSIDE, THEY TEAR APART THE ROOMS, AND KILL ANY SOLDIERS THEY FIND; HOWEVER, SOME SOLDIERS ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE ON THE SAIBAMEN AND FIGHT BACK; LEDAS KILLS THE STRONGER REBELS, HOWEVER; MANY OF HIS SAIBAMEN START SELF-DESTRUCTING AS WELL>
<A HOST OF SOLDIERS COMES FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE; LEDAS WATCHES AS THEY ENGAGE HIS ARMY; RED SAIBAMAN 2 LEADS THE MAIN FORCE AND ORDERS HIS UNDERLINGS TO ATTACK; MANY JUMP ON THE SOLDIERS AND RIP THEIR LIMBS OFF; FOR THE STRONGER REBELS, WHO SIMPLY KILL ANY SAIBAMAN WHO IS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO ATTACK, THE SAIBAMEN FOCUS ENERGY ATTACKS ON THEM UNTIL THEY HAVE FALLEN; THE GROUP MOVES FORWARD AS THEY CONTINUE TO TEAR THE AREA APART>
<AS THEY RUN, LEDAS SEES EXPLOSIONS GOING OFF ALL AROUND; THIS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE OTHER PLANTAINS; FINALLY, THE HALLWAY COMES TO A LARGE DOOR; IN FRONT OF THE DOOR IS A HOST OF SOLDIERS; WHEN THEY SEE LEDAS, THEY ACTIVATE THEIR DEFENSES; TURRETS DROP FROM THE CEILING AND THE ALIENS TAKE POSITION BEHIND COVER>
<AS LEDAS’ GROUP RUNS FORWARD, MANY ARE ANNIHILATED; LEDAS FIRES SEVERAL PLAYFUL GALICKS AS HE TRIES TO DESTROY THE DEFENSES; HOWEVER, MORE SOLDIERS START POURING IN AROUND THEM UNTIL LEDAS AND HIS GROUP ARE SURROUNDED; LEDAS ATTACKS AS BEST HE CAN, BUT MORE AND MORE OF HIS GREEN BUDDIES ARE DYING; THE SOLDIERS COME AROUND AND THE SAIBAMEN ATTACK; DUE TO THE CLOSE QUARTERS, THIS IS VERY BLOODY; THE SAIBAMEN OFTEN RESORT TO USING THEIR CLAWS AND TEETH TO ATTACK; MANY OF THEM LATCH ONTO THE ALIENS AND SELF-DESTRUCT, INCINERATING ENTIRE GROUPS OF THE REBELS>
<HE NOTICES AS THE TWO RED SAIBAMEN START CREATING MASSIVE KI BLASTS; THEY ARE JOINED IN BY THE REST OF THE SAIBAMEN AND DESTROY AN ENTIRE SECTION OF THE TROOPS; THEN, THE SAIBAMEN LINE UP AND CREATE A ROW OF KI; SOME OF THE SAIBAMEN ARE HIT WITH ATTACKS AND DROP TO THE GROUND, DEAD, BUT MOST REMAIN INTACT AND START PUSHING THE SOLDIERS BACK; LEDAS CLEARS THE REST OF THE SOLDIERS COVERING THE DOOR, AND DESTROYS ALL TURRETS; WITHIN A FEW MOMENTS, THE SAIBAMEN HAVE CLEARED OUT THE HALLWAY BEHIND>
Ledas: <BREATHLESS> Good job. <HE LOOKS AT THE SMALL GROUP THAT REMAINS> How many of you are left? <HE STARTS COUNTING, POINTING AT THEM AS HE DOES> One, two, three, four, five…
<WHILE HE IS SPEAKING, THE LIGHTS GO OUT; THEN, THEY COME BACK ON WITH BACKUP POWER; THE BACKUP POWER IS MUCH DIMMER, AND CAUSES SIRENS TO START UP>
Lieme: <OVER THE COM, OPEN CHANNEL> We’ve deactivated the security. Now find me this rig’s commander.
Meloon: <OVER THE COM> Nothing over here, Lieme. Everyone’s dead, heheh.
Ledas: <LOOKING AT THE DOOR> Oh, wait! There’s a pretty strong power level near me. I just sensed it.
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> Is it stronger than you?
Ledas: No, but it’s close…
Lieme: <OVER THE COM> Then go and kill it! Must I walk you through everything?!
Ledas: Okay, okay. You don’t need to yell.
<LIEME CUTS THE COM AND LEDAS STEPS FORWARD TO THE DOOR>
Ledas: <OPENS THE DOOR, BUT BEFORE HE STEPS INSIDE, LOOKS BACK AT THE REMAINING SAIBAMEN> Uh, just guard this door, okay? Kill anyone you see, ‘cept me, of course! <HE LAUGHS AT THIS; THE SAIBAMEN ALL GRUNT IN APPROVAL> All right. <HE STEPS INTO THE ROOM INSIDE> Now to find who’s behind this.
- This chapter's name references the Saibamen that Ledas commands on the vanadium mining facility. The Saibamen reminded me of Pokemon (with Ledas as their master), so that is the connection in the title.
- This is the longest chapter in TF until the last chapter of the Reunion Saga. It is the fourth overall longest chapter (chapters 9 and 12 of the Fulfillment Saga are also longer than it). I don't have a good explanation for why this chapter is so long. I guess it just turned out that way. But it's really quite a bit longer than any other chapter in the first three sagas. It's more than 500 words longer than any other chapter in the first two sagas and more than 200 words longer than all but the three other chapters mentioned above. Pretty crazy stuff.
- This entire chapter was written for the final version of this saga, much like chapter 4 ("Dread Lord") was as well. When I was preparing for the final edits for all of TF, I created a notepad file that had some thoughts for all of the sagas that I wanted to explore. The Saibamen idea was one of the early thoughts I had for this saga, and I don't remember exactly what prompted it. But the idea of Ledas commanding a bunch of Saibamen and having Saibamen with different colors interested me, so I put it in. This chapter brings in a lot of the action that was missing from previous drafts of the Lauto Saga, which is made possible because of the Saibamen. Because there are so many of them, the scale of combat can increase quite a bit.
- I originally intended for the PTO rebel arc to be completed in this chapter. But that just wasn't possible, considering how long the chapter ended up as it is. In fact, I probably could have split it into four chapters had I wanted to, but of course, that would have disrupted the "12 chapter limit" for each of the sagas.
- The opening scene relays information to the readers about how strong Ledas is and about a potential coup d'état plot with Banas. Interestingly, Guva thinks he can get Payar on his side. This was hinted at earlier in the saga when Guva basically let Payar have free reign with the natives, even if that impacted how efficient they could be (if he kills them, there are less of them to mine resources for Cooler's empire). Him promoting Lieme to temporary captain is another move, too. Guva wants to get on both of their sides so that he will have two Plantains with him and Ledas. Since Ledas' power level isn't going up fast enough (really, Guva wants it to go up at an unrealistic rate), he must rely on Payar and Lieme to help him out. He hasn't gone for Meloon yet because either Guva doesn't see Meloon as a threat or doesn't care if he's with Banas, as having two soldiers of his own would make the ccoup d'état no threat. This scene also reminds the readers that the only reason Guva is keeping Ledas alive is to help him take out Banas, and that he's been enticing Ledas with information about other living Saiyans to get Ledas to train as hard as possible. Now, Ledas is indeed training as hard as he can for a kid his age and size, and his power increase is quite extraordinary in its own right. Still, it's not enough. Also, the information about the Saiyans becomes important in the next chapter, so reintroducing it here (as it hasn't been mentioned since chapter 2, I believe) was a bit of foreshadowing on my part.
- So the gunboats had flight plans on them, which allowed Guva and the others to find where the rebels came from. It's a little thing, but even that took me a while to come up with, as I didn't want Lieme and the others to find the rebel hideout in a ridiculous way. It had to be organic and realistic, and I think finding and using the flight plan was both of those things.
- The way Lieme is up against the wall, his eyes closed and his arms crossed, and the way he catches the flight plan chip from Ledas is a subtle reference to Piccolo, who acts with similar mannerisms throughout Dragon Ball Z. Lieme has a subtle parallel to Piccolo throughout sagas 2 and 3, as does Ledas to kid Gohan (in relation to his training with Lieme and such).
- In the original draft (and maybe some of the subsequent drafts), Payar was indeed made the temporary captain of The Plantains. I changed it to Lieme to allow more interesting political maneuvering to develop. This was done so that Guva could make a play to earn Lieme's loyalty (which he really should have by default, but that's another matter entirely). The unintended consequence is that it greatly angers Payar, whom Guva thought he had on his side. Now Payar is definitely not on his side, which is a great blow to Guva should Banas try a revolt.
- Lieme is indeed stronger than Payar, and that was a distinction that would not be known the readers before this point. Now it should be clear that the order of power is: Guva, Banas, Lieme, Payar, Meloon, and then all of the lower-ranking soldiers including Aprido.
- Payar telling Ledas that he knows Guva's plan is crucial to helping the readers understand what is going on at the beginning of this chapter (also, so they can retroactively understand some of the earlier political maneuvering which was not overtly explained).
- Planting Saibamen is the most difficult part about using them. It makes them rather tedious to use, to be honest, and since I was planning on having The Plantains go to a place where they could not plant Saibamen (the floating mine), I would need another way to get the Saibamen to grow. So I simply stated that these were new models of Saibamen. So why didn't Vegeta and Nappa have these models when they went to Earth? Simple: they were developed in Cooler's region, not Frieza's. That's all there is to it. It does of course mean that the Saibamen that Ledas has are physiologically distinct from the Saibamen that Vegeta and Nappa introduce in canon.
- Ledas often says "Mr. ___ sir". He says it to Nappa too, and I fondly remember that line, for it's one of the ones that Destructivedisk read for the TF audiobook.
- Lieme's point about morale is crucial. Using common soldiers against rebels will do more harm than good. It could make many of Guva's soldiers turn to the rebels' cause. Using Saibamen is actually quite an ingenious idea from an in-universe perspective.
- So the vanadium space mine was influenced by many things. I used a vanadium mine as opposed to a mine for other elements because vanadium could be theoretically used in the alloys that coated the PTO space ships among other things. Now, as to the actual planet, having it be an ice world was done to contrast it from Planet Cooler 92. Basically, I wanted to show diverse worlds in this story. The ice world itself was based on the map Solitary from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The map was set on an ice world, which looked like this. There were also floating detention cells that looked like this. The outside of the map looked quite beautiful to me in all its bleakness, and it inspired the ice world in this chapter as a result. The floating forerunner detention cells were changed to floating mining platforms, though the physical similarities remained in this story. The tall towers Ledas sees when he exits his space pod are basically those things.
- The stealth aspects of this chapter were also influenced by Halo, specifically the way stealth could be used in some of the levels (like Assault on the Control Room, for example) and how it always, invariably, goes wrong and leads to much chaos.
- Showing the gunboat and the other soldiers using the teleporter confirms that this is the rebel base and also shows the readers - as well as Ledas - how the teleporter works.
- Ledas' fight versus the tower guards is really reminiscent of DBZ fights, especially the part where he is covered by all the energy, his foes cheer (for they think they've killed him), and then he reappears untouched and obliterates them. That sequence of events happens dozens of times in DBZ with various characters.
- Notice that Ledas gets on board the rig before Payar and Meloon, though after Lieme. This speaks to his growing power as well as his high battle intellect.
- The alien found Ledas because he could sense power levels (he was the same race as Lieme, after all), so Ledas really didn't do anything wrong. Still, Lieme rants at him for getting caught which isn't fair. But rarely is anything ever fair for Ledas in this saga, and that was important to show. He's the underdog, the downtrodden, boy without a voice. Knowing this allows one to understand his growing characterization in the story.
- The idea of having different colored Saibamen (the color determining the power level) came from a variety of sources. A big inspiration for it was with Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, a video game where the Saibaman is playable. The second skin for him is the red Saibamen. Also, other video games have done similar things (with quite a few different colors), as have several fanons, including Saiyan-Made Warrior Red - The Twisted Universe, which did influence this chapter.
- Ledas has, up to this point, been a follower or a slave. He's been commanded to do things, and hasn't really been a commander himself. Yes, he's ordered some random aliens around in the first saga, but that wasn't much of anything; it wasn't a battle scenario. Here, Ledas has to grow up and be a leader. He has to lead his Saibamen well or else he could be overwhelmed and killed by the rebels. It's no joke; he either does a good job commanding the Saibamen or dies (though I doubt Ledas knew that at the time). Despite this chapter overtly being a huge action sequence, there is a lot going on with Ledas' character development in it. He grows quite a bit by the end of this PTO rebel arc, and much of it is related to how he commands his Saibamen in this chapter specifically.
- The Saibamen act quite a bit like the gremlins from the movies, Gremlins and Gremlins 2. They are incredibly brutal with how they kill the soldiers, to the point where what they do could not be shown in anime form, at least not on Nickelodeon or someplace similar. But DBZ has always been very brutal. Remember Guldo's death or Burter's death or the way Recoome broke Gohan's neck. There are quite graphic moments in the series that are censored because networks want to make DBZ "kid-friendly", when it is not always so. I am not one to shy away from the brutal aspects of battle. That has always interested me from an aesthetic viewpoint, and even in my very first version of TF (when I first joined this site), I had a disclaimer about how TF had graphic and gruesome deaths. Realism trumps censorship in my mind, and this story wouldn't be as good if everything was watered down and if we pretended that people don't sometimes get torn to pieces or die in horrifically gruesome and painful ways.
- Lieme's dialogue with Ledas in this chapter is quite funny. The way he nags Ledas is like how a parent would (which was also seen in chapter 7). There is a light parent-child bond between them that is similar to the Piccolo-kid Gohan bond (and the parallels between Lieme and Ledas and those canon characters have been mentioned above).
- When I realized this chapter was running long, I had to make a decision where to end it. The best place, in my opinion, came before Ledas confronted the leader of the rig, as that was a sufficient cliffhanger for chapter 9 in the saga. Ledas did note that the leader appeared weaker than him, and usually, such a statement leads to Ledas underestimating his opponent or getting tricked, so that is an implied cliffhanger in itself, and it allows the readers to let their imaginations run wild in guessing what will happen.
A Mess Of Politics
<SCREEN FADES FROM BLACK>
<LEDAS ENTERS THE ROOM BEHIND THE DOOR; HE NOTICES THIS NEW ROOM TO BE UNLIKE ANYTHING HE’S EVER SEEN; MASSIVE COILS AND WIRES HANG EVERYWHERE; THE WALLS ARE COVERED IN COMPUTERS AND BLUE LIGHTS; THE FLOOR ITSELF SEEMS TO BE MADE OF CLEAR GLASS, WITH A LIQUID SEA OF BLUE COOLANT UNDERNEATH>
<HE MAKES HIS WAY TOWARD THE POWER LEVEL HE CAN FEEL; TURNING A CORNER, HE COMES UPON ONE BEING; IT IS DRESSED IN ARMOR; IT IS HUDDLED OVER A COMPUTER PANEL; AS LEDAS REACHES IT, THE BEING TURNS AROUND>
<THE BEING IS A FEMALE; SHE IS OF THE SAME RACE AS LIEME; HER SKIN IS GREEN, BUT IT IS DARKER GREEN THAN LIEME’S SKIN; HER HAIR IS SHORT; FOR THE SAKE OF NOT TRYING TO FORCE HER NAME IN DIALOGUE, THIS ALIEN’S NAME WILL BE REVEALED HERE AS LENOMI>
Lenomi: So you’ve found me. I was wondering when the little menace I felt outside my door would come in.
Ledas: <STEPPING FORWARD, CAREFULLY> You can sense too, huh?
Lenomi: All of my people can.
Ledas: You know I’m here to kill you, right?
Lenomi: <UNCONCERNED> Yes, I know. Cooler sent you. You’re here to eradicate the filthy rebel scum.
Ledas: <SNARL> No, Cooler didn’t send us. We’re here because you sent your people to attack us.
Lenomi: Oh, you’re here on behalf of Banas. That’s odd. I would have expected the captain to come, himself, if he felt wronged.
Ledas: Well, he can’t. I guess I’m going to have to kill you.
Lenomi: <GETTING INTO A FIGHTING STANCE> Walk away. You have no hope of winning this.
Ledas: <RAISING HIS OWN FISTS> My grandfather always told me to never underestimate my opponents and you shouldn’t underestimate me.
<LEDAS GOES TO ATTACK, BUT LENOMI SPEAKS, CAUSING HIM TO PAUSE IN MID-LUNGE>
Lenomi: But why do you fight for this captain? Why are you so content with being his slave?
Ledas: I’m not–
Lenomi: Did he force you to come here? Did he force you to swear loyalty to him? Did he force you to become what you are? <LEDAS DOESN’T SPEAK> Then you’re his slave.
Ledas: <LOWERING HIS FISTS; MORE TO HIMSELF THAN TO HER> I’m not anybody’s slave…
Lenomi: <PIERCING GAZE> Yes, you are. Just like every other one serving Cooler. It’s obedience or death.
Ledas: <UNNERVED> Who are you?! What are you talking about?
Lenomi: I am one of many who thinks it is our duty to finally step up and stop that rogue tyrant. And if you try to kill me, I will be defending not only my life, but the lives of all those we hope to save.
Ledas: <SKEPTICAL> How would you do that?
Lenomi: <GESTURES TO COMPUTER SCREEN> By using that. We’ve hacked into the Organization’s network and have been using its records to recruit the strongest and brightest fighters.
Ledas: Everyone is on there?
Lenomi: Everyone who’s ever served.
<LEDAS RUNS OVER TO THE SCREEN, FORGETTING TO FIGHT LENOMI; HE SCROLLS THROUGH THE COMPUTER>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF; FORGETTING LENOMI IS THERE> I can see if my parents and Vegeta are still alive…
<HE SCROLLS THROUGH THE SAIYAN TAB; A PANEL SHOWS THE FOLLOWING:
Dogom – Deceased
Aubere – Deceased
Cuber – DeceasedKailon – Deceased
LEDAS CONTINUES TO SCROLL THROUGH THE PAGE UNTIL LANDING ON HIS PARENTS’ NAMES:
Layeeck – Deceased
Cyleria – DeceasedLedas – Deceased
UPON SEEING THIS, LEDAS BOWS FORWARD OVER THE SCREEN; HE IS CLEARLY CRYING; HE IS HOLDING ON VERY TIGHTLY TO THE PANEL; HE THEN SCROLLS DOWN FURTHER WHILE STILL CRYING, AND FINDS VEGETA’S NAME:
SEEING THIS, LEDAS TOUCHES HIS FINGER TO THE SCREEN, RIGHT ON VEGETA’S NAME>
Ledas: Ve-vegeta?! N-no way! H-he’s alive! <HE TURNS TO LENOMI; HE IS STILL CRYING>
Lenomi: <SHE MOVES FORWARD> If you join us, we can reunite you with your family. You will be free to–
Ledas: <THROUGH GRITTED TEETH> My family’s dead. <HE POINTS TO THE COMPUTER AND STARTS YELLING> Tell me where Vegeta is and I’ll help you!
Lenomi: <SNEER> Who’s that?
Ledas: He’s my friend. We used to work for Frieza.
Lenomi: Sorry, kid. Frieza’s empire is too far away. We’re focusing our energy on freeing our own planets first.
Ledas: <SNIFFLING> You won’t help?
Lenomi: Look, if you join us, I’m sure we can work something out. We can send you over there in a few years after Cooler’s–
<HE SCREAMS, COVERING HIMSELF IN HIS AURA; HOWEVER, HE KEEPS SCREAMING PAST CHARGING UP TO HIS MAXIMUM; THIS SHATTERS HIS AURA; HE IS SEETHING; LEDAS LUNGES AT LENOMI AND STARTS ATTACKING; DUE TO HIS RAGE, LEDAS HAS LOST CONTROL OF HIS EMOTIONS AND GONE COMPLETELY FERAL; BECAUSE OF THIS, SMALL AMOUNTS OF KI ARE SPARKING OFF OF HIS BODY, AND FLOWING FROM HIS FISTS AS HE ATTACKS; WHILE IT DOESN’T DO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO LENOMI, IT DOES SOME>
<LENOMI DODGES LEDAS’ ATTACK AND JUMPS OVER HIM; AS SHE DOES, SHE SHOOTS A YELLOW DISK DOWN ON LEDAS; IT HITS HIM, AND SENDS HIM TO THE FLOOR; BEFORE HE CAN RECOVER, SHE PICKS HIM UP BY THE TAIL AND PUNTS HIM UP INTO THE AIR; THEN, SHE TELEPORTS TO WHERE HE IS FLYING TO; JUST BEFORE SHE HITS HIM, LEDAS RECOVERS, AND TELEPORTS BEHIND HER; HE CLUBS HER DOWNWARD WITH INTERLOCKED HANDS AND THEN SHOOTS AN ENERGY BARRAGE AT HER; HE FOLLOWS THIS UP WITH A STREAM OF RAZOR BLASTS; THIS DESTROYS MUCH OF HER ARMOR>
<LENOMI SITS UP AND FIRES A ONE-HANDED GREEN BLAST AT LEDAS; THE SAIYAN BOY SWATS IT ASIDE; YET, AFTER HE DOES, HE SEES LENOMI IS GONE; SENSING HER SUDDENLY, HE TURNS AROUND AND SEES HER CHARGING A MUCH LARGER GREEN BLAST; SHE HITS HIM RIGHT IN THE CHEST WITH IT, CAUSING HIM TO FALL; THEN, SHE PURSUES HIM AND KICKS HIM DOWN TO THE GROUND; LENOMI LANDS NEXT TO LEDAS AS HE SITS UP; SHE IMMEDIATELY SHOOTS A FINGER BEAM AT HIS FACE, CUTTING HIM UNDER HIS LEFT EYE; HE FALLS BACK, AND SHE MOVES FORWARD>
<BUT AS SHE DOES, LEDAS RELEASES AN EXPLOSIVE WAVE; THIS STUNS HER; HE THEN TELEPORTS TO HER SIDE, AND KICKS HER IN THE RIBS; SHE KEELS OVER; LEDAS CHARGES AND STARTS ATTACKING AGAIN, KI SPARKS FLYING; IN HIS RAGE, HE PUMMELS HER TO THE FLOOR AND CONTINUES TO ATTACK; SHE TRIES TO HIT HIM WITH ANOTHER KI ATTACK, BUT LEDAS FLIPS OVER IT, AND LANDS, WITH BOTH OF HIS BOOTS, ON HER NECK; THIS WEAKENS HER SIGNIFICANTLY AND KNOCKS THE WIND OUT OF HER, BUT SHE CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE>
<LEDAS SHOOTS ANOTHER BLAST AT HER, BUT SHE ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY, AND THE BLAST JUST TEARS A HOLE THROUGH THE GLASS AND EXPOSES THE BLUE COOLANT; LENOMI ATTEMPTS TO STAND UP, BUT LEDAS RUSHES HER; AS SHE FIGHTS HIM, HE PUNCHES HER INTO SUBMISSION AND HOLDS HER OVER THE NOW EXPOSED COOLANT; THOUGH SHE FIGHTS HIM, HE SLOWLY PUSHES HER DOWN, UNTIL HER HEAD TOUCHES IT, BURNING IT AWAY; BY THE TIME HALF OF HER HEAD IS INCINERATED, LENOMI IS LIFELESS AND LEDAS LETS HER BODY FALL IN>
<LEDAS STANDS THERE FOR A SECOND, BREATHING HEAVILY; HE FEELS THE CUT ON HIS FACE AND THEN WALKS OUT; OUTSIDE THE DOOR, HIS SAIBAMEN ARE LOYALLY DEFENDING HIM; SOME MORE OF HIS PETS HAVE DIED, HOWEVER BECAUSE MORE SOLDIERS HAVE COME TO ATTACK; THE SAIBAMEN ARE HOLDING THEM OFF, HIDING BEHIND THE COVER THAT THE PREVIOUS REBEL GUARDS HAD BEEN USING; AS LEDAS EXITS THE DOOR, HE TAKES OUT ALL OF THE SOLDIERS WITH A SINGLE, ONE-HANDED KYORRA FLASH; HE IS FROWNING AS HE LOOKS AT HOW MANY SAIBAMEN HAVE SURVIVED; AT THIS TIME, LIEME COMES AROUND THE CORNER>
Lieme: <HE IS BATTLE-DAMAGED, WITH SOME PIECES OF HIS ARMOR CHIPPED AWAY> Did you kill him, Saiyan?
Ledas: <NUMB> I killed her.
Ledas: And she looked like you. <HE WALKS PAST LIEME>
<SCENE CUTS BACK TO PLANET COOLER 92; IT IS A FEW DAYS LATER, THOUGH THE PLANTAINS HAVE JUST RETURNED>
<LEDAS, PAYAR, MELOON, AND LIEME ARE ALL OUTSIDE; GUVA WALKS UP TO THEM; BANAS IS THERE AS WELL, BUT HE IS IN THE BACKGROUND; HE IS NOT WEARING ARMOR>
Ledas: <SITTING ON THE FLOOR; MELOON AND PAYAR ARE WATCHING HIM; HE HAS ALL OF HIS SURVIVING SAIBAMEN OUT; THERE ARE SEVEN, INCLUDING BOTH RED ONES> And that’s Ses, and that’s Ame, and that’s Poy, and that’s Oppa, and that’s Carawa, and that’s Sonfla. Oh, and that one’s Wilde. He’s my favorite.
Meloon: Heheh, they’re just Saibamen. No need to name them.
Ledas: Did you have any survive?
Meloon: Nah. I ain’t needin’ any, either.
Payar: Put them away, Saiyan.
Ledas: But why?
Payar: I’ll have some fun with them if you don’t.
<THIS CAUSES LEDAS TO QUICKLY PUT THEM AWAY; GUVA REACHES THE GROUP>
Lieme: <NOT EVEN SAYING HELLO> I am telling you, governor, none of them were that powerful. That couldn’t have been all of them. They must have a larger base somewhere else.
Guva: <STANDING TALL> Lord Cooler won’t be pleased. This means there are more rebels than we had thought. Did you destroy their base?
Meloon: Yeah we did! Whole place lit up like fireworks!
Lieme: Aye, governor. We were forced to destroy the entire facility.
Guva: What type was it?
Lieme: Vanadium mining. You know, forging alloy for the ships.
Guva: <SIGHS> Cooler won’t be pleased that that mine was destroyed.
Banas: <WAVES HIM OFF> Bah, don’t worry about that. If he even does suspect us, we can just say the insurrectionists blew it up themselves. That or a rabid bunch of space ducks swarmed the place. You know how dangerous those are.
Meloon: But the space duck is a majestic creature…
Payar: That’s it, I’m outta here. <HE GETS UP AND STARTS WALKING OFF>
Guva: Where are you going?! We aren’t done here.
Payar: Whatever, guvvy. All this talk bores me. All I care about is seeing some blood. <HE HAS SOMETHING IN HIS HANDS THAT HE’S MESSING WITH> You know where I’m going.
Banas: <CHIPPER> I’ll come with you, Payar. It’s been a while since I’ve helped wrangle up some natives!
<THE TWO EXIT>
Meloon: Boss, does this mean we’re gonna go blow up some more places?
Guva: <PINCHING THE BRIDGE OF HIS NOSE; SHAKING HIS HEAD> No. I have enough bad news to tell him as it is. We’ll just say that was all of them. If some more rebels pop up in the future, it won’t be our problem. <HE LOOKS UP> You two can be excused now. I’ll gather the team up later to fully debrief you.
<LIEME NODS AND LEAVES WITH MELOON; GUVA GOES TO LEAVE, BUT LEDAS STANDS STILL, JUST LOOKING AT HIM; HE IS STILL QUITE INJURED>
Guva: <TURNS BACK AROUND TO SEE HIM> What do you want?
Ledas: Sir, I… well, I found something on the last mission.
Guva: Out with it.
Ledas: <MUSTERS HIMSELF UP> Well… my friend Vegeta is still alive.
Ledas: I want to go see him.
Guva: And where is he?
Ledas: I think he still works for Frieza.
Guva: <AT ONCE> No. Out of the question.
Ledas: <SHOCK> What?
Guva: I’m not getting involved with Frieza. Do you have any idea the political fallout that would come if I were to–
Ledas: <PLEADING> He’s my friend! Please!
Guva: <STEPS FORWARD, GRABS LEDAS AROUND THE NECK AND PICKS HIM UP; STARING INTO LEDAS’ EYES> Do you think this is a game? You are here for one purpose and one purpose only; to be my aid. I don’t give a fuck if you’ve found your long lost friend. As far as I’m concerned, as long as Banas lives, you stay. And you can’t run away; I have the entire Planet Trade Organization behind me to hunt you down if you do. Now get to a rejuvenation tank. You need it.
<HE THROWS LEDAS TO THE GROUND, TURNS AROUND, AND FLIES OFF>
Ledas: <GRASPING HIS NECK; BREATHING HARD> Then I’ll kill you too. <HE STANDS UP AND LOOKS AROUND AT THE PLANET; TO HIS RIGHT IS THE FOREST, WHERE PAYAR AND BANAS WENT TO GET SOME NATIVES; TO HIS LEFT IS THE OUTPOST> I’ll kill all of them if I have to. <HE LOOKS UP TO THE SKY> I’ll find Vegeta. I promise I will. <HE SIGHS AND STARTS WALKING BACK TO THE OUTPOST> Maybe that girl Lieme was right.
- This chapter's name is a reference to something I heard a news anchor say one time on TV. I thought it was very funny. Since the vanadium mine is destroyed in this chapter, and the PTO rebels have become a major threat now, it is a most accurate title for the political mess that results from The Plantains fight against the rebels.
- This chapter was originally the seventh chapter of this saga. I moved it to the tenth chapter during the final edits, after I came up with the Lauto and PTO rebels arcs.
- The original version of this chapter (and all subsequent versions up to the final draft) were markedly different from what is there now. The opening was basically the opening to the previous chapter (with Guva asking Ledas about his power level), although much shorter and less developed. The middle section was The Plantains going to Planet Cooler 96 to fight the team on that planet (since in the earlier drafts, it was members from that planet who attacked Banas in chapter 3 and The Plantains on Planet Cooler 92 instead of the PTO rebels). The fight was very similar to the Ginyu Force versus Gohan, Krillin, and Vegeta. Then, Banas destroyed the planet, and when he returned to Planet Cooler 92, Guva suspended him for doing that. As you can see, much of the plot of this chapter was moved to the previous couple of chapters, and the meaty middle section of it was completely erased to replace it with the (in my opinion far superior) PTO rebels arc. As a consequence, this chapter was almost completely re-written for the final edits. It is different from chapters 4 and 9 in that its chapter name has existed since the original Lauto Saga draft and some of its original content has survived - just not in its own chapter.
- I don't think the room Ledas enters at the beginning of this chapter was based off of anything in particular, though its description is specific enough that it might've been - I just don't remember if it was.
- Having Lenomi be of Lieme's race was done to show how The Plantains aren't unique. They are members of the slave species in Cooler's empire. I didn't want to create a new race just for Lenomi, as her parallels to Lieme would be fun, and her ability to sense ki was somewhat important to the plot of this chapter.
- Ledas has been in the background for much of the first two sagas. He hasn't really attacked the main villain yet, and hasn't been involved in the resolutions of the major arcs in a significant way - this was mostly due to his lack of power and his young age. But now, in this chapter, it is significant that Ledas challenges Lenomi, not the other members of The Plantains.
- "My grandfather always told me to never underestimate my opponents and you shouldn’t underestimate me. " - this is one of my favorite Ledas quotes in the series. This shows how Ledas' training with Lascon in the previous saga has influenced his character and fighting style. Ledas didn't just train with Lascon for filler or to show fighting. He did so to grow as a character and as a fighter, and that growth is seen specifically in this chapter.
- Lenomi was only added into the final version of this saga. I made her a female because TF as a whole has too few female characters. It was one of my goals during the final edits to add in females where I could.
- Lenomi brings up crucially important stuff about the slavery theme in this saga. Ledas refusing to say he's a slave whilst also refusing to acknowledge reality is very telling of his mental state and beliefs. Lenomi's words about everyone in Cooler's empire being slaves is very influential on Ledas, even though he doesn't quite realize that in the opening scene of this chapter.
- The Dogom, Aubere, Cuber, Kailon mentions are little more than an easter egg. Those characters belong to Hyper Zergling, and his universe is tied to mine. Cuber, HZ's main character, is one of the co-protagonists of Dragon Ball: Cold Vengeance, with Ledas being the other. They aren't all dead obviously, but they are listed as such because they are thought to be dead. Kalion eventually dies though, long before Ledas meets Cuber.
- When Ledas finds his parents' names in this chapter, it is the only time Cyleria's name is mentioned in TF (aside from in deleted scenes).
- It's such a sad moment when Ledas sees his parents dead. Of course, he's also listed dead, so he knows the list isn't completely accurate (and some readers would know that Cuber isn't dead either, further disproving the accuracy of the list), but he has no reason to think that they survived, considering his own survival was an accident and he knows it.
- Ledas seeing himself listed as dead is a very interesting moment and has great thematic worth. Ledas has felt dead in this saga, felt disassociated with reality and himself. The idea that his old self has died (when he was with Prince Vegeta) is present here, and it seems that Ledas is quite sad that things are no longer as good as they once were. Additionally, Ledas being "dead" hints at his lack of agency and his isolation. Death can be figurative, and here it most certainly is, even though Zarbon certainly listed Ledas as dead (for he would have thought the boy to be dead).
- In previous versions of this saga, Ledas did not know for a certainty that Prince Vegeta was alive. He was told by Guva, who could have been lying. Him learning that Prince Vegeta is actually alive was important for me to show. It was one of the changes I was intent on making during the final edits. I wanted to portray that moment where he uncovers that information. His despair at his parents' deaths is supplanted by his joy that Prince Vegeta is alive. It's a touching moment.
- Ledas was so close to joining Lenomi. She made a grave misstep by not promising to take him to Vegeta. The entire story would have been different had she agreed to take him to Frieza's territory. It's such a small moment - Lenomi's refusal changes the course of Ledas' life and the plot of TF in a huge way.
- Ledas' feral form is not a transformation. It's a technique. I thought this up during the final edits for this saga. Basically, I was wondering how I could add in new unique attacks, and this was the one that came to me first. The idea of using ki offensively with physical attacks (not in energy attacks) interested me greatly. Also, just from how Ledas looks while he's covered in burning ki is really fucking awesome, so that confirmed to me that this was a good idea. It makes Ledas' fight with Lenomi one of the most striking in the entire series. Ledas' feral technique was brought about by his rage that he cannot be reunited with Prince Vegeta, and this is perhaps foreshadowing his Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga. Ledas has a capacity for rage at injustice, and that is definitely foreshadowing his Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga.
- Okay, now I remember why I described the room so vividly in the beginning. It was foreshadowing to how Lenomi dies. Yeah, truly ghastly stuff. Her death is both gruesome and unique. I like it. So many writers would have just had Lenomi get incinerated by an energy blast here. The way Ledas kills her is more interesting than that and hints at the rage he is feeling. He tortures her. He could have killed her faster. But he slowly burns her to death because he's so mad that she's refused to take him to Prince Vegeta. This is a great scene to contrast Ledas from people like Goku. He's a Saiyan and he will be brutal and vengeful when he wants. This is very much like how Vegeta acts when he is first introduced in the Saiyan Saiyan of DBZ. Now you may be asking why Ledas couldn't just run off from The Plantains to go see Prince Vegeta. That is a foolish proposition. Lieme and the others would sense him leaving and would pursue him. Since he's not stronger than them, he cannot outrun or escape them, so running away is pointless.
- Ledas telling Lieme that Lenomi looked just like Lieme and that he killed her is a surprisingly cool quote from Ledas, who hasn't had too many of those up to this point in the story.
- Ledas names his Saibamen because they are the only friends he has. He was careful to keep as many alive as he could so that he could have as many pets/buddies as possible once he returned to Planet Cooler 92. That he does name them and share those names to the others shows that they are giving him some nice companionship and he's not so lonely anymore. There is irony here, since Ledas killed so many in the previous saga with Prince Vegeta. Now, Saibamen are all he has left to be his friends. It speaks to Ledas' terrible position in life in this saga.
- Meloon's Saibamen all died because he's a careless brute. Payar's probably died too; he was likely just as careless as Meloon, and if any survived, he would have killed them himself. Lieme wasn't seen with any at the end of the first scene, so Ledas was probably the only one who had his Saibamen survive. This hints at his superior battle intellect over the rest of The Plantains and his good leadership qualities that he displayed during the fight against the rebels.
- Lieme reveals quite a bit about the mine to Guva (and thus to the readers). This kind of backstory is very important because it makes the world feel richer from a lore standpoint.
- Lieme also mentions that there was no one on the mine with a power level that was very high. This means that the rebel base The Plantains attacked wasn't the main rebel base. There are other PTO rebels out there. Lenomi wasn't the leader of them, though she was probably one of the highest ranking members.
- The space duck joke is a reference to Dragon Ball Abridged.
- Guva shows a laziness similar to what Banas showed in previous chapters (ultimately resulting in his suspension) when he refuses to tell Cooler about the full scope of the rebels, simply because he doesn't want to get on Cooler's bad side or give him bad news. There are certainly more rebels out there, but Guva doesn't want to be involved in that drama, so he lies to Cooler to make his own job easier. That says a lot about Guva as a person.
- Guva does a good job asserting his authority over Ledas when Ledas pleads to be sent to reunite with Prince Vegeta. It's a brutal moment, but it shows just how terrifying and villainous Guva can be when he chooses to. So far Guva hasn't been portrayed as a villain too much (from Ledas' point-of-view). That all changes at the end of this chapter. All that matters to Ledas is reuniting with Prince Vegeta. If anyone stands in his way, he will try to kill them.
- Ledas' declaration at the end of this chapter that he will kill Guva and The Plantains is a big turning point for him as well. Previously, he just tried to survive, to find his chance to escape. Now, he realizes he has to become strong enough to kill all of them - not just Banas - if he wants to get free.
- Ledas' last line in this chapter is very important for his character development. He begins to accept what Lenomi said to him earlier about being a complacent slave. He doesn't want to be a slave, of course, so now he's going to be working extra hard to get his freedom. He hates being subverted and unable to exert his agency. He tries to exert a bit of agency when he says he will kill Guva and The Plantains. That treasonous statement shows that he considers himself his own person and not a servant to anyone else. This is very important characterization for Ledas, considering that all of this leads up to his Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga.
My Hour Of Darkness (season finale part 1)
<SOME TIME HAS PASSED; LEDAS IS NOW 12 YEARS OLD; BANAS IS STILL ON SUSPENSION>
<LIEME AND PAYAR ARE ON A PLANET, IT IS DARK OUT AND ROCKY; THE ENTIRE AREA IS FILLED WITH NOTHING BUT ROCKS AND CAVES>
Lieme: Keep your eyes peeled.
Payar: No readings on my scouter. This place is empty.
Lieme: Soldiers, form up.
<SIX SOLDIERS, INCLUDING LEDAS, ALL FLY INTO THE AREA WHERE LIEME AND PAYAR ARE>
Payar: Did the governor tell you why we’re here?
Lieme: There were massive power readings coming from here a few weeks ago. Four other teams were assigned to this rock before us. None of them have been heard from since. Who knows? It could be another rebel hideout or it could be a trap. But I want us to be extra careful either way.
<THE PLANET SHIFTS SLIGHTLY, THE SOLDIERS TAKE SOME EFFORT TO KEEP THEIR BALANCE>
Lieme: And did I mention the planet’s unstable?
<THEY WALK FOR A WHILE, AND COME UPON SOME DEAD SOLDIERS; THEY ARE NOTHING BUT SKELETONS IN ARMOR>
Payar: <KNEELING DOWN TO INSPECT> No energy burn… and no blunt trauma <TRAILS OFF> evident…
Soldier 2: What killed them?
Payar: No idea… <ROLLS OVER ONE OF THE SKELETONS; IT HAS AN INSIGNIA ON IT> Planet 71, by the looks of it.
Lieme: That was the last planet to send a squad here. But that was only a week ago. I wonder why they they have fully decomposed already…
Payar: <STANDS BACK UP, DROPPING THE SKELETON> Alright, let’s just do this and get out of here…
Lieme: <THEY CONTINUE WALKING FOR A FEW MOMENTS> Now, I need two of you to g– <PAYAR GETS A READING ON HIS SCOUTER>
Payar: <STANDS UP STRAIGHT, LOOKING AROUND> Got a power spike. It’s faint, but it’s definitely there. I can’t tell how large… there’s massive interference.
Lieme: You got a direction of origin? <PAYAR NODS, AND POINTS SOUTH> Then let’s go.
<ALL EIGHT OF THEM FLY SOUTH FOR THE WINTER UNTIL THEY FIND A CAVE; THEY STOP; LIEME ASSUMES THAT IS WHERE THE POWER LEVEL SPIKE WAS SEEN>
Lieme: Payar, take 3 soldiers and go into the cave. Contact me once you cleared out the inhabitants.
Payar: You two, come on. And you too, Saiyan.
<PAYAR GATHERS HIS THREE SOLDIERS, AND THEY ALL GO INSIDE THE CAVE, AS THEY DO, PAYAR LOOKS BACK ONE MORE TIME, AND LIEME LOOKS RIGHT BACK AT HIM, TAPPING HIS WRIST-COM>
Lieme: Any trouble at all, and I’m here. <PAYAR NODS, AND GOES INSIDE>
<THE FIRST SOLDIER LIGHTS AN ENERGY BALL TO GUIDE THEIR WAY, AS THEY WALK THROUGH THE TUNNEL>
Ledas: Sir, what are we looking for?
<THEY WALK INTO AN AREA OF THE TUNNEL THAT WIDENS OUT CONSIDERABLY, IT IS NATURALLY LIT; AS THEY ENTER, SUDDENLY THERE IS AN EARTHQUAKE; THE ENTRANCE THAT THEY JUST CAME THROUGH IS BLOCKED OFF. SEVERAL LARGE ROCKS FALL ON SOLDIER 2, WHEN IT ALL SETTLES, THERE IS NO MOVEMENT UNDERNEATH THEM>
Ledas: Aw, crap! Watch out! <THE EARTHQUAKE SUDDENLY STOPS>
Soldier 1: Is he dead?
Payar: What do you think? Shut up and stay close. Saiyan, take point.
Ledas: Okay, sir.
<HE LEADS PAYAR AND THE SOLDIER OVER THE DEBRIS AND FURTHER INTO THE CAVE; AS THEY MOVE, THE CAVE STARTS TO TREMBLE AGAIN>
<CUTS TO THE BENEFACTOR>
<THE BLACK MIST THAT IS HIS LIFE-FORCE IS OUTSIDE OF HIS BODY; LAUTO, THE KAI, IS MEDITATING JUST OUTSIDE IT; FROM HIS BODY PURPLE ENERGY IS FLOWING INTO THE CLOUD; AS HE IS DOING THIS, THE ENTIRE AREA IS RUMBLING; THE BENEFACTOR’S HEAD IS BOWED, AND HE IS BREATHING HEAVILY; BEFORE HIM HAS MATERIALIZED ANOTHER HALLUCINATION; THIS ONE IS OF HIS MOTHER; HER FACE IS BARE AND SHE WEARS PLAIN CLOTHES; SHE IS MATERIALIZED BUT A FEW FEET FROM THE BENEFACTOR’S BODY>
Mother: Look at mommy, dear.
The Benefactor: <LOOKS UP> Not her… Make her go away…
Lauto: <STILL IN MEDITATION POSE> It’s strange that in all of your memories, I can’t find what happened to her. It’s a pity you didn’t find out.
Mother: Come on, dear. I won’t hurt you. I’ve been looking for you all day!
The Benefactor: <BREATHING HEAVILY> You aren’t real… You died… a long time ago…
Mother: Died? Oh, my dear, you must be tired. I’m right here.
The Benefactor: <BOWS HIS HEAD AGAIN; TO LAUTO> I… I won’t let you play me any longer… When I’m free… you will be sorry… to have brought her back.
<MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF ENERGY ARE RADIATING FROM LAUTO’S HOVERING BODY; LAUTO SUDDENLY OPENS HIS EYES AND FLIES AWAY FROM THE CLOUD; THE BENEFACTOR’S MOTHER DISAPPEARS>
Lauto: <LANDING IN HER PLACE; IGNORING THE BENEFACTOR’S PREVIOUS COMMENT> Perhaps this is ill-suited. Our energies are taking far too long to align.
The Benefactor: <RAISES HIS HEAD TO FACE LAUTO> I’ll… kill…
Lauto: Not with your energy at my fingertips.
The Benefactor: I can… feel… you… becoming weak…
Lauto: That’s because my energy is in there too. But it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait much longer.
The Benefactor: Then… you’ll die.
Lauto: No. I may be hurt greatly by our clashing life-forces. But the pain should not kill me. I had hoped to avoid torturing myself, but if it’s the alternative to death, then so be it. You, however, will die. For all your insolence and threatening, I won’t make it painless. <THE BENEFACTOR SNARLS> Don’t worry, it will soon be over.
<LAUTO DESCENDS TO THE GROUND AND LOOKS UP AT THE CLOUD OF ENERGY; WITHIN IT, THE BLACK ENERGY OF THE BENEFACTOR AND THE PURPLE ENERGY OF LAUTO ARE STARTING TO FUSE TOGETHER; ALTHOUGH, MANY EXPLOSIONS AND BRIGHT FLASHES ARE OCCURRING>
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS>
<THE PLACE IS STILL RUMBLING, AND PARTS OF THE CAVE ARE COLLAPSING; BOTH PAYAR’S AND THE SOLDIER’S SCOUTERS SUDDENLY EXPLODE>
Soldier 2: What the hell is going on?
Ledas: <TURNS TO FACE THE SOLDIER> I don’t know. Maybe it’s a trap?
<LEDAS LOOKS UP AND SEES A FIGURE>
The Benefactor: Ya know kid, I never thought you’d make it all the way here.
Ledas: <IN HORROR, FALLS BACK ONTO THE GROUND, HE BLINKS, THE BENEFACTOR IS NO LONGER THERE; IT MUST HAVE JUST BEEN A HALLUCINATION> D-did you see that?
Payar: See what?
Ledas: <ERRATIC> That guy! With the hood! He was standing right there. <POINTS NEXT TO THE SOLDIER; NO ONE IS THERE>
Payar: <STEPS BACK> You must be seeing things, kid. There was no–
<A LARGE EARTHQUAKE OCCURS; LEDAS STANDS BACK UP AND HE SEES ANOTHER FIGURE IN FRONT OF HIM; THIS TIME, IT’S FRIEZA>
Frieza: You Saiyans are all the same. Bold and stupid.
<AT THIS, LEDAS BOLTS OFF; PAYAR CHASES HIM>
Payar: Get back here, Saiyan!
<HE CHASES AFTER LEDAS; AS HE DOES, THE EARTHQUAKE CAUSES MASSIVE ROCK SLIDES BEHIND HIM; THIS BURIES THE UNFORTUNATE SOLDIER; PAYAR, HOWEVER, ESCAPES, AND CHASES LEDAS THROUGH THE CAVE>
<AS LEDAS IS RUNNING, FRIEZA CONTINUOUSLY APPEARS AROUND HIM>
Frieza: My, my. You really are something.
<LEDAS COMES TO A WIDE ROOM, SKIDDING AROUND THE CORNER; AS HE DOES, HE STOPS AND LOOKS UP; IN FRONT OF HIM IS A SWIRLING CLOUD OF BLACK AND PURPLE>
Ledas: What the…?
<AT ONCE, PAYAR COMES AROUND THE CORNER AND TACKLES LEDAS FORWARD; THE TWO TUMBLE INTO THE CLOUD; PAYAR PINS LEDAS AND PUNCHES HIM; LEDAS BLOCKS HIS ATTACKS, BUT IS STILL PUMMELED>
Payar: You fucking deserter! You think you can just run away?! After all we’ve done for you?! <HE PUNCHES LEDAS RUTHLESSLY> Ain’t happenin’, kid. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Now you’re mine.
<PAYAR PUMMELS HIM; LEDAS SHOVES PAYAR BACK WITH HIS CROSSED ARMS AND THEN KICKS THE ALIEN AWAY; HE STANDS UP TO FACE PAYAR; AS PAYAR TURNS BACK TO ATTACK AGAIN, LEDAS DROPS TO HIS HANDS AND KNEES AND STARTS SCREAMING; HE POUNDS THE GROUND IN AGONY; AS HE SCREAMS, HIS AURA MATERIALIZES AROUND HIM AND BLOOD STARTS DRIPPING FROM HIS NOSE; HE COUGHS AND SPITS UP BLOOD ONTO THE GROUND>
<PAYAR IS STANDING IN THE CLOUD TOO; HE IS TAKEN ABACK BY LEDAS’ SUDDEN ACTIONS; HE CAUTIOUSLY STARTS TO APPROACH THE SAIYAN; AS HE DOES, LEDAS SITS UP ON HIS KNEES AND THROWS HIS HEAD BACK, SCREAMING EVEN LOUDER; PAYAR CAN SEE THE SAIYAN’S HAIR HAS TURNED WHITE>
<AS PAYAR STEPS UP TO THE SAIYAN, LEDAS CREATES AN ENERGY WAVE; PAYAR IS FLUNG BACK AND THE CAMERA IS OVERTAKEN BY WHITE LIGHT; AS THE LIGHT AND SMOKE CLEARS, THE ENTIRE AREA IS SEEN TO BE IN RUIN; PAYAR IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN>
<LEDAS IS NO LONGER SCREAMING; HE IS STILL SITTING, BUT NOW HE’S IN A CRATER FROM HIS RECENT ATTACK; HE LOOKS AROUND AT WHAT HE HAS DONE; HIS EYES HAVE TURNED GREEN; THERE ARE BLOODSTREAMS RUNNING FROM HIS EYES AND EARS AS WELL AS HIS AFOREMENTIONED NOSE AND MOUTH>
<LEDAS RAISES HIS HAND AND NOTICES THAT HE HAS KI FORMING AROUND HIS ENTIRE BODY; IT IS IN HIS AURA’S COLOR; FROM THE RIGHT TO LEDAS COMES LAUTO, HOLDING ONE OF HIS ELBOWS WITH HIS HAND>
Lauto: <BREATHING HARD> What have you done? <THE SAIYAN IS SPOOKED BY THE SUDDEN FIGURE AND SHOOTS A KI BLAST AT HIM; LAUTO IS HIT WITH THE BLAST AND DROPS TO HIS KNEES, STILL HOLDING HIS INJURED ELBOW; DEFEATED TONE> You’ve stolen all of my energy…
Ledas: <SPITTING AWAY BLOOD> Who are you?! What did you do to me?!
<LAUTO CLOSES HIS EYES AND RAISES A HAND TO LEDAS’ DIRECTION; HE BEGINS READING LEDAS’ MEMORY TO FIGURE OUT WHO HE IS>
Lauto: <AFTER A FEW MOMENTS; IN A WHISPER, WHICH SEEMS TO COME FROM RIGHT BEHIND LEDAS’ EAR> You have suffered much loss, Ledas. That much can be seen.
Ledas: <ON EDGE AND IN PAIN> Who are you? How do you know my name?
Lauto: <WEARILY> Who am I?
<LAUTO DISAPPEARS AND THE LIGHTS GO OUT, EXCEPT FOR A SMALL CIRCULAR AREA AROUND LEDAS>
Ledas: <STILL ON EDGE, SCARED> Y-yeah… what the heck are you?! I can’t see you anymore.
<IN FRONT OF LEDAS NOW APPEARS HIS GRANDFATHER, LASCON>
Lascon: Open your eyes. Show them to me, Ledas.
Ledas: G-grandpa?! Where’d you come from?
Frieza: <THE LIGHT BRIGHTENS EVEN MORE> Look, a Saiyan.
Ledas: I know what I am, you murderer!
<PRINCE VEGETA MATERIALIZES>
Prince Vegeta: Yeah. Just a stupid weakling.
Ledas: <THIS AFFECTS HIM GREATLY; TEARS COME TO HIS EYES> I’m not weak… you told me I wasn’t, Vegeta…
<THE BENEFACTOR MATERIALIZES>
The Benefactor: Your death is near. <RIFE WITH HUNGER> Can’t you feel it? It will be so… satisfying.
Ledas: I-I’m not going to die! My father always said there will be no glory in death, in my death… <HE LOOKS UP>
Layeeck: No, only in conquest everlasting.
Ledas: <HIS EYES WIDEN, AND HE REACHES OUT TO TOUCH LAYEECK, BUT LAYEECK IS ONLY A HALLUCINATION; STRICKEN; CHILD-LIKE FRIGHT> What are you doing to me?!!
Frieza: Nothing, my dear Saiyan, that you haven’t already thought of doing yourself.
Ledas: Shut up! You killed everyone! I hate you! <SHOOTS AN ENERGY BLAST AT FRIEZA>
<A NOISE COMES FROM BEHIND>
Soldier 1: <CRAWLING OUT FROM AROUND THE ROCK PILE FROM AROUND THE CORNER; IN PAIN AND BORDERLINE SHOCK> K-kid… get outta the way.
<LEDAS DOESN’T REGISTER THE COMMAND FAST ENOUGH; THE SOLDIER SHOOTS HIS BLASTER AT THE SEMI-CIRCLE OF HALLUCINATIONS AROUND LEDAS; IT DOES NOTHING BUT GO THROUGH THEM AND HIT HIM; SUDDENLY, THE SOLDIER STARTS TO DISSOLVE, SLOWLY AND IN AGONY; HE SCREAMS UNTIL HE DIES; LEDAS’ ANGER AT FRIEZA EVAPORATES; HIS MOUTH IS OPENED IN SHOCK>
Ledas: <SURPRISING SHIFT TO CALMNESS> Are you gonna kill me too?
Lauto: <SOUNDS SLIGHTLY TIRED, BUT IT IS ALMOST UNNOTICEABLE> Every person assumes much. Children, especially.
Ledas: Just, please, tell me… what do you want with me?
<KING VEGETA MATERIALIZES>
King Vegeta: It’s a pity they weren’t the ones to fulfill the legend.
Prince Vegeta: The last Super Saiyan died because he couldn’t control his power.
Ledas: <WATCHES THE KING, UNTIL HE DISAPPEARS, GRADUALLY, LEDAS HAS A HUGE ANGER SURGE> N-n-no!! It’s not t-true! I will become a Super Saiyan!!
Lauto: <HIS SPEECH IS STILL COMING FROM RIGHT BEHIND LEDAS> What guarantees are there after everything that’s happened to you? What can you say is certain?
Ledas: My father is dead. <LOWERS HIS FISTS TO THE GROUND, RELAXING HIS POSTURE> Most everyone I know is dead. Vegeta’s out there somewhere, but there’s no way I can get to him… <REGRESSING TO CHILD-LIKE TENDENCIES, TEARFUL> I don’t know what to do…
Lauto: Your masters have kept you as a slave.
Ledas: <SNIFFLING> H-huh? How’d you know?
Lauto: Your memories say much. But now, I’m afraid, it’s time for this to end.
Ledas: I-I don’t understand.
Prince Vegeta: <HALLUCINATION, WALKS RIGHT UP TO LEDAS> You could’ve helped me kill Frieza, Ledas… if you weren’t gone. Oh well, I’ll find somebody else.
Ledas: <REACHES OUT TO THE HALLUCINATION; BUT IT DISAPPEARS; TEARFULLY ANGRY> No, stop it!!! Stop twisting my memories!!!
<HE GRABS ONTO THE SIDES OF HIS HEAD WITH BOTH HANDS; HIS AURA FLARES UP EVEN MORE AROUND HIM, BURNING AWAY ALL OF HIS HALLUCINATIONS>
<THE CAMERA PANS BACK SLIGHTLY, AND IT SHOWS THAT, IN THE DARKNESS, LAUTO HAS STUMBLED UP AND STARTED WALKING TOWARDS THE UNSUSPECTING LEDAS; HE COMES UP RIGHT BEHIND THE KID AND THRUSTS HIS ARMS OUT>
Lauto: <IN HIS MIND> Just a minor setback. No… it’s fortunate. I can use this Saiyan’s body instead.
- This chapter's name is a reference to Let It Be by The Beatles. This title references Lauto, The Benefactor, and Ledas (and, to a much lesser extent, Payar), all of whom have mentally and physically agonizing arcs in this chapter. I chose a "Let It Be" reference here, because at the time I was doing final edits for this saga, I was listening to a lot of Beatles songs.
- This chapter was originally called "Mysterious Presence" (referencing Lauto). That was changed to what it is now in the final edits, as that name isn't very good or interesting.
- One of the major changes I made for the final version of the Lauto Saga was to clean up Ledas' encounter with Lauto. I needed to make Ledas achieve his eternal youth in a more natural, believable way. Despite that, this chapter is mostly the same as it was in the original draft, except for the stuff with Lauto and The Benefactor. Lauto's character change is the big difference in this chapter, as previously, he was just a "floating cloud" or such - a voice without a body who looked through Ledas' memories and then gave him eternal youth for no reason. That was a fucking awful idea on my part. In this version, Ledas gets his eternal youth by accident, which is a good deal better and is more tied to the themes of this saga.
- This is the first chapter where Ledas is shown to be twelve years old. He remains this old (physically) for the rest of TF (and for the rest of his life). Now why did I choose that age? Well, it's young enough for him to still act kid-like, which is the main reason I gave him eternal youth to begin with. I don't like writing for adult Saiyans (or adults in general) as much as children. Children are just more fun to write for, for the most part. For Ledas, I really liked writing for him as a child in the 22 chapters up to this one and I didn't want to change that. This was also slightly based on Peter Pan, who also has eternal youth; Ledas' arc mirrors his in a way, though in perhaps a more tragic way. Peter Pan is tragic already because he can't grow old - or doesn't want to - and I thought that would be a good thematic parallel for this story. Another reason to keep Ledas 12 years old (as opposed to 11 or 10 or 9) was that I wanted him to grow to a sufficient size - I didn't want him to be too young and feeble, which would make his Super Saiyan transformation much harder to maintain. Also, keeping him at 12 means that he's started puberty, which means much later on, he can have children if he wants to. He does end up having two children after he gets to Earth, which was something I always wanted for him, and that wasn't possible if he got his eternal youth at a younger age.
- Obviously, it was Lauto who killed the soldiers. He killed them because he already has TB and doesn't need their bodies. It would take him much longer to do a body switch with them, and since all of those soldiers are much weaker than The Benefactor, there would be no point.
- The earthquakes are hinting at Lauto performing the body switch with The Benefactor. In the original draft, the earthquakes were just there - they had no explanation or purpose. Now in the final draft, they serve as foreshadowing and as a realistic power output from the body switch.
- In the original draft, the rocks that fall on Payar and the others were purposeful attacks by Lauto. In the final version version, they are not. The rocks just fall because an earthquake is going on; while Lauto is causing this earthquake, he is not aware that Payar's team is even in the cave.
- At one point, Ledas swore when the rocks started to fall. I didn't feel like that was true to his character (for the final draft), so I removed it. Ledas does call TB a "bastard" later, but that's a swear more in line with the Dragon Ball universe. He doesn't say anything more extreme than that outside of the deleted scenes, and in those scenes, he's not saying those words as swearing.
- The Benefactor's inner demons are related to his mother. It was cool to be able to show that with the hallucinations Lauto is forcing upon him. It's also cool to see TB as a victim, as he's such a fearsome villain in all the other sagas he's in. This was my attempt to give him some much-needed characterization. He needed to feel real. He's not just a villain, he's a living being. He has a backstory, emotions, weaknesses. And I needed to show that. TB was one of the worst aspects of the earlier TF drafts, and to fix that, I put in scenes like the one with Lauto and his hallucination-mother.
- Lauto's explanation for why the energy fusing has been taking so long is a good one. If he fuses with TB's body too soon, TB's body may reject his energy (since it's not aligned with TB), and cause Lauto considerable pain. If he didn't do any alignment, the pain might've been enough to kill him. That is why Lauto was so cautious. But now that their life-forces have been aligning for some time, the risk of rejection is much smaller, though some pain will probably still come of it, since their life-forces haven't been completely aligned.
- Ledas sees the hallucination because he's close to Lauto. The hallucination is unintentional; Lauto didn't force it upon Ledas. It's just what happens to lesser beings when they are around the corrupted Supreme Kai.
- Ledas hasn't seen TB in a very long time, so to suddenly see him again is startling. Of course, he doesn't realize it's a hallucination. He hasn't openly thought about TB in the Lauto Saga up to this point, but I think it's safe to say that he's occasionally thought about him while off-camera or dreamed about him or something. Ledas knew exactly who he was, and that brought the boy great fear, when he saw TB in that cave, so he certainly didn't forget the alien.
- Ledas knows Frieza killed the Saiyans, which is why seeing Frieza again scared him so much.
- It's interesting to note that the other soldiers and Payar don't see any hallucinations. Of course, the soldiers probably die too quickly to see any, but Payar should be seeing something. That he doesn't implies that he has very low awareness, which sounds about right if you pay attention to how he acts in this chapter. That says a lot about Payar's character.
- Payar says he's waited a long time to attack Ledas. This is him making good on his promise of revenge in chapter 1 of this saga (Ledas killed many of Payar's soldiers in that chapter, remember). He also just doesn't like Ledas much at all. He is using any excuse - thin as it may be, for Ledas is not actually deserting - to attack and kill the boy. He truly was planning on killing Ledas here.
- In the original version of this chapter, Payar was almost killed by Lauto, being crushed by rocks like the soldiers. In the final version, Ledas accidentally wounds Payar (though had he been conscious of his power, he would have done the same thing, so the distinction is not really important).
- Payar doesn't absorb the life-forces of TB and Lauto because he can't use energy. Their life-forces are in the form of energy in that purple-black cloud, so he physically cannot absorb it. I think this was one of my more clever plot points in the final version of this saga, since Payar was unable to use ki since his creation in 2010. It gave me a good way to explain why Ledas stops aging and how he gets his power increase. This scene was built up to with the previous Lauto/The Benefactor scenes as well.
- Ledas bleeds from his ears, eyes, etc., because his life-force is not aligned with Lauto's and TB's. His hair turning white is him going Semi Super Saiyan because of his sudden power increase. Ledas' green eyes are very telling and should alert the readers that something very weird has happened. This idea was with me from the first draft. Ledas' eyes always went green in Lauto's cave (his hair going white was added later). I wanted that to happen to foreshadow Ledas' Super Saiyan transformation in the next saga. He has the potential for Super Saiyan, but has not yet matured enough or reached the mental state required for it. That is what I was trying to convey.
- Lauto isn't strong enough to subdue Ledas because Ledas accidentally absorbed most of his energy. Otherwise, he would have been far stronger than Ledas.
- Lauto is already wounded when he first meets Ledas from Ledas' previous explosive wave that he used on Payar accidentally. That blast hit Lauto too, and since he's so weak from having all of his energy outside his body (and aligning with TB's energy), he could not withstand the attack.
- So Lauto starts sending hallucinations to Ledas for one purpose - he wants to switch bodies with Ledas. The hallucinations are there to distract the boy.
- What the hallucinations say to Ledas (and how he reacts) are very important to understanding his character development in this saga. He gets a lot of characterization, as well, just from how he interacts with them in this chapter.
- The hallucination scenes in this chapter were influenced by the hallucinations seen in the hidden cave on Korriban in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2.
- Having Soldier 1 appear does two things: it helps Ledas understand that the people around him are hallucinations; it also gives Ledas an indication of Lauto's power level (even when he's quite weakened).
- Many of the hallucinations, such as the final Prince Vegeta one, are not twisted memories as Ledas says, but his deepest, darkest fears. The Super Saiyan one by King Vegeta is also one of those. Ledas is tremendously scared that Prince Vegeta has forgotten and replaced him (hence the title of the story), and he's also ashamed and scared that he's not very powerful and that he's let his best friend, his family, and his species down because of that. These feelings only become apparent because of the hallucinations, though many of them were hinted at before in scenes throughout this saga.
- Notice the emotional struggles that Ledas goes through as a result of the hallucinations. TB also goes through emotional struggles earlier in the chapter when he sees the hallucination of his mother. The parallels between these two characters cannot be overstated. Their struggles are so similar, and yet they end up so different as characters.
- Lauto's plan to switch bodies with Ledas is revealed at the end, explaining why he's been toying with Ledas for much of the latter half of the chapter. This is a good cliffhanger, yes, but it also shows how desperate Lauto has become. He's been so careful with TB's power, but now, he's out of time. He's close to death. TB is also out of power, so he can't do the body switch with him. That won't do him any good. He must switch bodies with Ledas, who is brimming with energy and life, and he knows that will be exceptionally painful. But he has no other choice.
Greatest Expectations (season finale part 2)
<SHOT OF THE DARK, ROCKY PLANET; CAMERA SHOOTS ACROSS TO THE CAVE; LIEME AND HIS SOLDIERS ARE STILL WAITING OUTSIDE, PACING; THE WIND IS BLOWING, AND LIEME’S HAIR FLYING AROUND BECAUSE OF IT>
<ZOOMS INTO THE CAVE AGAIN, THE LIGHT IS STILL DIMMED; LEDAS’ EYES ARE STILL GREEN AND HIS HAIR IS STILL WHITE; HE IS LOOKING AT HIS HAND, WHICH IS RADIATING WITH KI>
Ledas: <IN AWE> W-what’s happening? It hurts. This can’t be Super Saiyan… can it? <HE GRIMACES> My entire body hurts. <HE STANDS UP> H-hey, Mister? Where’d you go?!
<AHEAD, THE HALLUCINATION OF FRIEZA MATERIALIZES AND WALKS UP TO LEDAS>
Frieza: <SMILES> A worthless Legend, from a desperate race. Saiyans turn into monkeys, nothing else. Just a bunch of stupid monkeys.
Ledas: <TREMBLING WITH ANGER> Me and Vegeta will become Super Saiyans and beat you! You should be afraid of us!
Frieza: Why should I be afraid of a stupid brat?
<LEDAS SHOUTS AND SHOOTS A ONE-HANDED KYORRA FLASH AT FRIEZA; SINCE FRIEZA IS A HALLUCINATION, THE ENERGY GOES RIGHT THROUGH HIM AND EXPLODES ON THE FAR WALL; AS THE CAMERA LOOKS BACK TO LEDAS AFTER HE SHOOTS THE BLAST, IT IS SEEN THAT HIS EYES AND HAIR HAVE RETURNED TO NORMAL, THOUGH HE IS STILL COVERED IN MUCH DRIED BLOOD>
<THE LIGHT FROM THE ATTACK ILLUMINATES THE DARK CAVE FOR A FEW MOMENTS; LEDAS NOTICES LAUTO IS STANDING TO HIS RIGHT; THE KAI’S ARMS ARE THROWN FORWARD, ONE INTERLOCKED BEHIND THE OTHER, AND A BALL OF PURPLE KI IS FORMING IN FRONT OF THEM; AS LEDAS LOOKS AT THE KAI, HE NOTICES ENERGY BEING PULLED FROM HIS BODY TO THE BALL>
Ledas: <SLOWLY; HE LOWERS HIS ARMS AND TURNS TO FACE LAUTO> What are you–
<A BLACK FIGURE SUDDENLY JUMPS UP AND LATCHES ON TO LAUTO; THE TWO WRESTLE TO THE FLOOR AND LAUTO DROPS THE ENERGY; ONCE HITTING THE FLOOR, IT DETONATES, CAUSING A MASSIVE EXPLOSION TO GO OFF; ONE PANEL IS SHOWN OF LEDAS’ SMALL FORM SILHOUETTED BEHIND THE MASSIVE BLAST; LEDAS SHIELDS HIS FACE FROM THE LIGHT AND DEBRIS>
<THE LIGHT DIMS BACK DOWN, BUT THE SMOKE DOES NOT; AS LEDAS LOOKS AT WHERE LAUTO ONCE STOOD AND WHERE SMOKE NOW BILLOWS, THE EARTHQUAKES START UP AGAIN; THE ROOF STARTS COLLAPSING, CAUSING LEDAS TO DODGE OUT OF THE WAY; HE RUNS OUT OF THE PLACE, DECIDING NOT TO STAY AND FIND OUT WHAT JUST HAPPENED>
<SUDDENLY, A FIST PUNCHES THROUGH THE RUBBLE AHEAD; IT IS PAYAR, WHO IS BADLY INJURED; HIS ARMOR IS HEAVILY CRACKED>
Payar: <WEAKLY, GASPING> Saiyan… help me.
<DODGING THE FALLING ROCKS, LEDAS RUNS OVER AND STANDS OVER PAYAR>
Ledas: Why should I?! You attacked me!
Payar: Please… just help me up. We’ll forget what happened here.
Ledas: Fine, but only because Lieme can prolly sense you’re still alive.
<LEDAS HELPS HIM UP, AND THE TWO RUN OUT; LEDAS HAS ONE ARM AROUND PAYAR’S NECK, AS THE TWO LIMP OUTSIDE>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I bet he wouldn’t save me if I was the one down there.
<LIEME AND THE THREE OTHER SOLDIERS ARE STANDING RIGHT OUTSIDE, COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING INSIDE; AT THE SIGHT OF PAYAR AND THE BLOODY LEDAS, THEY ALL RUSH OVER>
Lieme: What going on?! What happened to you two?
Ledas: <THE EARTHQUAKES START TO RISE OUT OF THE CAVE, THE ENTIRE PLANET IS SHAKING> We have to go, now!
Lieme: <ALL ARE RUNNING TO THE PODS> I’m going to torch this place, leave nothing behind.
Ledas: No!!! Don’t do that! Didn’t you see the power levels from in that cave? How high were they?
Lieme: Yes. It was large, but I couldn’t get an exact number. There was massive interference. I assumed it was you two.
Ledas: Wewll, we just gotta leave this place alone!! We’re no match for what’s in there! We have go!
<LIEME HAS A CURIOUS LOOK ON HIS FACE, WATCHING LEDAS, AS THEY ALL RUN>
<ALL SIX REMAINING SOLDIERS SCRAMBLE TO THEIR PODS, THEY BARELY MAKE IT; THE REST OF THE JOURNEY GOES WITHOUT INCIDENT>
<THEY RETURN TO PLANET COOLER 92; THEY LAND>
Lieme: <GETTING OUT OF HIS POD, RUNNING OVER TO PAYAR’S; SHOUTING TO THE MANY SOLDIERS GATHERING AROUND THEM> Is the medical tank ready?
Technician 1: Yes sir, we’ve prepped it according to your directions.
<THE DOOR OPENS, PAYAR FALLS OUT, SEVERAL SOLDIERS GRAB AND TAKE PAYAR TO THE MEDICAL TANK; SOME RUSH TO LEDAS, WHO IS BLOODY, BUT HE WAVES THEM AWAY>
<THE COMMOTION LESSENS FOR A BIT; GUVA AND BANAS ENTER>
Guva: What happened this time?
Banas: <HE IS RATHER MUTED, DEPRESSED, AND NOT IN ARMOR; HE WALKS UP TO PAYAR’S TANK> Is he going to live?
Technician 1: At this point, sir, his status is critical… we’re doing all we can, but I can’t guarantee anything.
<BANAS BOWS HIS HEAD BUT DOES NOT MOVE>
Guva: I’ll ask again… what happened here? Why are two of my men dead, and another, right there, in critical condition?
Lieme: Not out here. <LOOKING AT THE MULTITUDE OF REGULARS STANDING AROUND> I think we should discuss this in private.
<ALL BEGIN WALKING TO GUVA’S OFFICE, LIEME PUTS HIS HAND OUT TO STOP LEDAS>
Lieme: Not you, kid.
Ledas: But… <EVEN GUVA AND BANAS LOOK CONFUSED>
Lieme: <TO THE OTHERS> I’ll explain, <DIRECT> in private.
<THE REST LEAVE FOR GUVA’S OFFICE, LEDAS WALKS OFF, IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, TO THE FOREST>
<THE SUN IS SETTING, LEDAS IS STANDING ON THE EDGE OF THE FOREST-CLIFF, LOOKING DOWN AT THE NATIVES WORKING; HE REMEMBERS THE FACE OF THE ONE THAT HE BOUND UP SO LONG AGO; HE PULLS A SMALL POUCH FROM HIS POCKET AND PLUCKS TWO LITTLE SEEDS FROM INSIDE IT; HE THROWS THEM TO THE GROUND; WITHIN A FEW SECONDS, HIS TWO RED SAIBAMEN, WILDE AND CARAWA, HAVE SPAWNED AND START FIGHTING; LEDAS SMILES AS HE WATCHES THEM; HE STRETCHES HIS ARM OUT, FEELING THE AIR>
Layeeck: <SIGHS> It’s actually simple. Frieza’s the strongest. He’s our leader.
Ledas: But if he’s so strong, then why does he need us to do all the work?
Layeeck: Doesn’t want to get his precious hands dirty. But listen to me, Ledas. If you ever meet Frieza, you must treat him with the utmost respect. While he’s around, think of him as our king. Because, he could kill you, if you even look at him the wrong way…
Ledas: Guva, Banas, the others… I’m just their slave <HE LOOKS BACK AT THE WORKERS; OBVIOUSLY TIRED> Just like them. <HE LOOKS TO HIS TWO SAIBAMEN AND SMILES AGAIN> At least I’ve got you guys.
<CUTS TO INSIDE GUVA’S OFFICE; GUVA, BANAS, AND LIEME ARE IN THERE, TALKING>
Lieme: The spike was massive, governor. Who else could it be, besides the kid?
Guva: But you say you already had a reading coming from that cave, before any of you even got there.
Lieme: Payar said it was faint. Nowhere near the power I felt later.
Banas: But the kid was injured, too. Didn’t you see him?
Lieme: I don’t know how the kid could’ve survived going in there if it wasn’t him. Anyone with a power level that high could kill us in an instant, without any trouble… and Payar was heavily injured…
Banas: <STILL WITHOUT THE AUTHORITY THAT HE HAD WHEN HE WAS CAPTAIN> So then, why didn’t he kill Payar and the rest of you? It would have been easy for him to kill all of you and run off if he was that strong.
Guva: He’s right, Lieme. If it was the kid, you wouldn’t be here telling us about it.
Lieme: Then I want to send another team to investigate.
Guva: No. After all of the other teams who died there, you were lucky enough to get out alive. <HE SIGHS> But I’ll contact Lord Cooler. Maybe he’ll send someone stronger than us to see what’s going on there. Now you can be excused, Lieme.
Lieme: Governor <NODS>… boss. <HE LEAVES>
Guva: They still see you as their captain.
Banas: <WATCHING LIEME FLY OFF IN THE DISTANCE> Old habits are hard to break…
Guva: <WALKS UP TO HIS WALL-WINDOW> I know you want to kill me for suspending you.
Banas: Nah, guvvy. I’ve never wanted to kill you. Hey, how about this? I’ll fight you, and if I win, I get to be captain again.
<BANAS LUNGES AT GUVA AND STARTS PUNCHING HIM; BANAS IS LAUGHING AND NOT TAKING IT VERY SERIOUSLY; GUVA BLOCKS HIM AND KICKS OUT HIS FEET; BEFORE BANAS LANDS, HE FLIPS OVER AND SHOOTS A SMALL BLAST INTO GUVA’S BACK, CAUSING THE GOVERNOR TO STUMBLE FORWARD; BANAS RUSHES FORWARD, BUT GUVA TURNS AROUND AND CATCHES THE CAPTAIN BY THE THROAT, SLAMMING HIM INTO THE WALL; HE CREATES A KI SWORD AND PUTS IT TO BANAS’ THROAT; AFTER A MOMENT, HE DISSIPATES THE SWORD AND LETS IT GO>
Banas: Ah, c’mon, guvvy!
Guva: <BREATHING HARD, GOING BACK TO THE WINDOW> You’re faster than I remember, at least.
Banas: <WALKING UP BEHIND HIM> That’s funny; I was thinking the opposite of you.
Guva: Watch yourself. I could have you executed for attacking me just now.
Banas: <STILL CHIPPER> You know it was all in good fun–
Guva: It doesn’t matter. I can’t make you captain again even if I wanted to. Lord Cooler’s High Council has asked me to send you to them. They want to question you about your involvement with the rebels.
Banas: <ALL HAPPINESS IS GONE; HE GOES PALE> W-what?!
Guva: I couldn’t stop them. Digranite himself asked for you. He’s Cooler’s Supreme General. I couldn’t say no, Banas. I’m sorry.
Banas: <EXTREME ANXIETY> They’ll kill me, Guva. They’ll kill me!
Guva: Not if you don’t have anything to hide.
Banas: You don’t get it. They haven’t found the rebel leaders. They’ll want to have a public execution of someone important to boost morale. I’m that someone, guvvy!
Guva: You can’t be sure. Besides, there’s nothing I can do, even if it is.
Banas: <COMES TO RESOLUTION> Give me the kid.
Banas: I’ll tell them it was him – that the rebels came for him. I’ll bring him with me and they’ll make an example of him, instead.
Guva: Banas, he’s just a kid.
Banas: So what? He’s a soldier they could have targeted. Besides, don’t I matter more to you? I thought we were friends.
Guva: <STUMBLING THROUGH SPEECH> I…
Banas: Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you want to replace me with him.
<THE TWO ARE SILENT FOR A SECOND AND THEN BOTH BURST INTO LAUGHTER>
Guva: All right take him. You’re right; he’s just another soldier. If giving him to them keeps you alive, then it’s worth it.
<BANAS NODS AND EXITS>
<GUVA SITS DOWN AND SINKS INTO HIS CHAIR; HIS FAKE SMILE IS GONE; HE PUTS HIS HEAD INTO HIS HEAD>
Guva: What am I supposed to fucking do? Without the kid, Banas and his team can kill me with no problem. <GUVA LOOKS UP AND WATCHES AS BANAS WALKS OUT OF THE BUILDING, DOWN THE ROAD, AND OUT OF THE OUTPOST> I’ve run out of luck.
<SCENE FADES OUT>
<THE NEXT SCENE FADES IN; IT IS EARLY IN THE MORNING; LEDAS IS SITTING OUTSIDE OF THE BARRACKS; HE WATCHES AS MELOON INJECTS HIMSELF WITH A SYRINGE AND OTHER SOLDIERS SPAR; HE’S EATING A PIECE OF BREAD; BANAS, UNARMORED, WALKS UP TO HIM FROM DOWN THE LANE>
Banas: Hey kid.
Ledas: Did Mr. Guva make you captain again, sir?
Banas: Nope. That’s not why I’m here. Wanna go for a ride? <HE JINGLES HIS KEYS IN FRONT OF LEDAS’ FACE>
Ledas: <NARROWS HIS EYES> Where?
Banas: Oh, just to go see Cooler at the Capitol. Nothing important.
Ledas: But why?
Banas: The weather there is lovely this time of year.
Ledas: Seriously, sir, why?
Banas: <SIGHS> Because somebody needs to die. And it sure as hell won’t be me.
<BEFORE LEDAS CAN REACT, BANAS KICKS HIM IN THE FACE; LEDAS SLUMPS FORWARD, UNCONSCIOUS; NONE OF THE SOLDIERS AROUND CARE AT ALL AND CONTINUE WITH THEIR LIVES; BANAS PICKS LEDAS UP, SLINGING HIM OVER HIS SHOULDER, AND WALKS DOWN TO WHERE THE PODS ARE>
<SCREEN PANS BACK FROM BANAS WALKING UNTIL HE IS BUT A SMALL DOT; THE CAMERA THEN LOOKS UP TO THE RISING SUN>
- <END LAUTO SAGA>
Cue Great Spirits. Credits roll during this time.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the book "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickons, as the both that story's protagonist and Ledas come into great expectations while not expecting it.
- This chapter was originally called "Chosen", but it's just not a very good name. "Greatest Expectations" is better, which is the only reason I changed it. Had I not come up with that name, I would have come up with something else. "Chosen" is just not good enough to remain in the final draft.
- The main change for this chapter during the final edits was to align the opening of it (Ledas leaving Lauto) with the last chapter. That was simple enough; it didn't change too much overall from the first draft of this chapter. The next big change was the stuff with Guva and Banas at the end, with the PTO rebels plot. That was all added in the final edits, of course. Also, I changed the ending of this saga from Cooler arriving to deal with Ledas to Banas going to the Stomping Grounds with Ledas, as I thought that was a better plot (but more on that later in this chapter's endnotes and in the SGS anthology).
- A crucial thing to note is that Ledas' body hurts quite a bit when he goes Semi Super Saiyan, since he isn't attuned with all of the energy inside him anymore. This provides a drawback to the form.
- Ledas loses his Semi Super Saiyan form early in this chapter because he uses up a good deal of energy on the Frieza hallucination and doesn't know how to maintain the form. It uses up too much energy, and he exhausts himself without understanding that.
- The Benefactor attacked Lauto and saved Ledas (unintentionally). He knew who Ledas was and also did not attack the boy because he knew he was in no state to. Lauto, however, was of a similar power level as him, since they both had lost their energy to Ledas, allowing TB to get revenge on at least one person here.
- Ledas wouldn't have saved Payar if Lieme wasn't on the planet. If Meloon had gone with Payar instead, Ledas would have let Payar die. This shows a good awareness by Ledas about things, as well as an intelligence that Payar doesn't have. Payar would not have saved Ledas had their positions been reversed, but it also wouldn't have cost him as much had he let Ledas die (though Guva would have probably exiled him at the very least).
- Ledas is wrong about Lauto and TB. Their power levels were once very high - but Ledas absorbed them. Now, the two aren't strong enough to stand up to Lieme. But Ledas' mindset was in the right place. If TB and Lauto did still have their powers, Lieme would have gotten everyone killed by trying to destroy the planet.
- Payar's status is left as a cliffhanger in this chapter on purpose. I didn't want Ledas to learn what happened to him until he returned to the planet after killing Digranite in the next saga. Also, Payar being in a medical tank and unable to communicate means that he can't tell Guva about how strong Ledas became in the cave until after Ledas is assumed dead in the next saga.
- Lieme doesn't want Ledas to go with the others because he knows that Ledas is lying about some things. Since he can sense energy, he knew how high the power levels in the cave were. He didn't say anything to Ledas on Lauto's planet because he was concerned perhaps the boy was the strong one and would kill him if he made the wrong move. Lieme is sly though - he knows things are going on that don't make sense.
- The paragraph where Ledas watches the natives working again highlights the themes on slavery, which Lauto brought up earlier in the cave. Even he noted that Ledas was a slave and was being subverted. Ledas hates that. Watching his two Saibamen fight helps him cope a little bit and reminds him that the only friends he have aren't wholly sentient.
- The flashback in this chapter continues the theme of having flashbacks to the time of the Prince Vegeta Saga. Like the others, this flashback was written a few days before I started working on the Lauto Saga. This flashback in particular hints at the slavery themes as well as the elitism theme of the PC92 elites related to Ledas. They lord over him like Frieza used to, only they aren't a strong as Frieza. Ledas realizes he has a chance to do something about that, whereas he had no chance to do anything to Frieza. This is an important realization, because it influences how Ledas acts for the remainder of his time on PC92 in this saga and the next.
- Notice how Guva's kept Banas around even during his suspension. That says a lot about their relationship.
- Banas saying he never wanted to kill Guva is true. It's such a random, focused moment of honesty in fact that Guva doesn't believe it. He is paranoid that Banas wants to overthrow him and take over the planet. But in truth, Banas just wants Guva to be his friend and have fun. That is something Guva doesn't understand; his blind paranoia, however, was the reason Ledas was kept alive, so it's not totally without worth.
- Guva was close to killing Banas after Banas attacked him. Banas' playfulness and Guva's seriousness are a great contrast in that fight scene. Guva didn't know if Banas was being serious - if he was trying to kill him. He realized, after a few second of pondering it as he held Banas by the throat that the captain was not taking things seriously. Still, this is the first time we've seen them fight, and the ease with which Guva defeats Banas is most interesting. It gives the audience a clue as to how much stronger Guva is than Banas.
- The High Council plot point brought up near the end of this chapter has several major ramifications. For one, it shows how consequential the PTO rebels plot has been. It's the first time we see Banas experience true fear as well. It is the first mention of Digranite, lightly foreshadowing his great importance in the next saga. It's eerie to see Guva talking about Digranite at all, since he helps Ledas kill the Supreme General in the next saga. But more than anything, this plot point gives Banas good reason to take Ledas to the Stomping Grounds, as is seen at the end of this chapter.
- Banas thinks that Cooler wants to execute him as an example, since they haven't found any PTO rebel leaders. Even if Banas isn't a rebel, publicly killing an assumed rebel leader would boost the morale of Cooler's empire a great deal. This is a strategy by Cooler to help him deal with the rebels. While the rebels haven't been on the forefront of this saga for two chapters, they are still around in the plot of the universe, and I wanted to show that. They were not dealt with by The Plantains, so of course they still exist, and if they still exist, they are still causing the PTO problems.
- Banas' idea to have Ledas be the scapegoat is a good one. It's also ironic, since neither Banas nor Ledas did anything to warrant execution in the first place.
- Guva did want to replace Banas with Ledas (or maybe Payar or Lieme if they remained loyal enough). That is why Guva was at first hesitant to hand over Ledas. Once they both burst out into laughter, that is a moment of high irony. Guva is forced to act a certain way, lest he reveal his plans to take out Banas to Banas' face. Guva realizes he's in a no-win scenario. He has to sacrifice Ledas to save Banas, which is ironic, since throughout the saga, he's been trying to use Ledas to kill Banas. But the complicated political plot at the end of this chapter prevented him from doing anything hasty. He couldn't attack or kill Banas, as that would cause The Plantains to attack him and Cooler to probably take the governorship from him (even if he lied about how Banas died; losing such a strong warrior would be seen as Guva's fault and he would be punished severely for it).
- It's amazing how Banas' becomes so much more powerful than Guva in this chapter - not physically, but politically. He, without knowing it, destroyed Guva's plans and made it so that if he wanted to overthrow the governor, he could do so easily. Of course, he doesn't want to overthrow Guva, so Guva's paranoia and fear are misplaced.
- Meloon injects himself with a syringe, because that's how his species breathes off of their homeworld. The air on Meloon's homeworld is unique, so he has to carry a syringe with a mixture inside it that resembles that air. Injecting it into his bloodstream allows him to continue to breath normally. I added this in on Meloon's species' page long after writing the first draft of this chapter, and put it in during the final edits just to show the breadth of my universe. It's the little things like that that show this is a functional, unique universe that I've created. Meloon is an alien after all, and having him do alien things highlights that well. Sometimes it is easy to forget that none of the characters in this saga are human, and that was a good subtle reminder of Meloon's alien-ness in terms of his biology and his mentality.
- Banas asking Ledas if he wants to go for a ride was a humorous moment where Banas was basically treating Ledas like his dog. The Stomping Grounds planet is essentially "the vet" in this humorous comparison.
- This chapter and saga as a whole end on a huge cliffhanger. Ledas' very life is in peril. He's going to see Cooler and stand trial for being a rebel. This is a huge deal, and it doesn't seem obvious how he can escape from it. Those are the best cliffhangers, in my opinion, and I think I did well here. This cliffhanger is more dramatic than the one that ended the last saga, I think, although that one was almost as good.
- Originally, this saga ended with Cooler coming to Planet Cooler 92 and then Ledas flying off and accidentally stumbling across the Stomping Grounds. That felt too forced to me. Luck is a good thing in a story - it adds interesting and cool developments, and I use it a few times in TF. But that was one time luck was just forced. It felt like better writing, to me, to have Ledas go to the Stomping Grounds first and then try to escape from Cooler. So that was a change I made for the final edits, and I think that was the right call. The saga ends in a much better place than it did in the previous draft, and in the end, that's all that really matters.
For my own reference, the chapter word counts are as follows:
- 1: 1642
- 2: 1436
- 3: 1376
- 4: 1628
- 5: 1518
- 6: 1736
- 7: 1869
- 8: 1924
- 9: 2792
- 10: 2078
- 11: 2251
- 12: 2067
This saga was once the longest, most bloated saga in all of TF. It required several significant drafts - there's not just a first and final version for this saga, there were several different ones in between with varying plot arcs and whatnot. However, I do think the final version of this saga is the strongest, by far. The plot was made more compact; the themes were expanded; the use of the natives was significantly streamlined and made much better as a result. Ledas' growth as a character is very obvious and very radical. TB's arc with Lauto is way better than what I had written for those two in previous drafts of this saga (and the story as a whole). The PTO rebel arc brought in some nice action with significant plot ramifications by the end of the last chapter. I think I was successful with showing how Ledas grew stronger in this saga and how he learned new techniques, gained more battle intelligence, and became a more dynamic character. I am proud of Ledas' character and how non-Stuish he is. The eternal youth moment with Lauto is much better in this saga than it was before. Ledas absorbing TB's and Lauto's powers and then going Semi Super Saiyan was one of the most memorable moments of this saga (and perhaps of the entire story). I'd love to see that in anime or manga form. Ledas' discussions with his hallucinations are also much better than I remembered them; those scenes offer deep insight into Ledas' character. The cliffhanger is also very good. There are of course some aspects of the writing that aren't as good as in other sagas, mostly with the wording of some of the scene direction. I became much better at this in the later sagas. Other than that, though, I don't have any problems with this saga. It's how I envisioned it, how I wanted it. This saga to me is slightly below the Prince Vegeta Saga in terms of quality, though, that's almost entirely because there's no Prince Vegeta/Ledas relationship here. Even though I think there are more interesting battles in this saga as well as more dynamic characterization and thematic exploration, that little aspect makes me not enjoy this saga as much as PVS. Still, I think both sagas are clearly 5/5 stars, so these gripes are minor. It's just the nature of the plot that Ledas and Vegeta had to be separated, and it makes their reunion in the fifth saga all that much better because of it. As to the position of this saga, I have no idea. I can't guess how it stacks up to the next four sagas until I anthologize them, so for now, I'll just put PVS at #1 and LS at #2.
<---- Part 29.2
Part 29.4 ---->