I conceived of this special around the time I came up with the character of The Benefactor. That was when I was about halfway through the Prince Vegeta Saga in late October 2010. I created the page for this story on October 29, 2010 and began writing it at once. In fact, my writing was so rapid at first that I completed the first draft of this story all in one day and posted the whole thing to the wiki as I wrote it in chunks. I posted this story before getting to The Benefactor's first appearance in the Prince Vegeta Saga as a means to introduce him to the readers of The Forgotten. In truth, I remember little about writing the first draft of this story. I remember it being back on a very old computer that barely ran and that had almost no internet capabilities, forcing me to post in smaller chunks so as to not freeze it up by copying and pasting large quantities of words.
The first draft of this story did not have chapters or sections. It was about 3000 words long, about twice the length of a good PVS chapter (at the time). The plot centered around a young boy coming into a village, realizing that the village council is not giving the people enough food, and becoming a councilor himself to rectify that problem. He eventually passes some tests and then becomes a councilor before things go horribly wrong and he kills the council and most of the other people of his species. Then Zarbon and Dodoria land, and they are impressed by his power, leading them to take The Benefactor to lord Frieza, who offers him a position on his ship. It was not a particularly good story, and not a word of it survives into the current version (but some of the plot is kept, though re-written). It was inspired by Death Note, and was also insanely gory and focused more on aspects of horror than traditional DB stories do. Additionally, this story was my attempt at being more symbolic and subtle with themes and whatnot than in the regular TF sagas (at least in in their first drafts). I'm not sure I succeeded in the original draft, though. This would continue over into the final draft, though in the final draft, I think I did a much better job at presenting those things.
In the following days after posting that first draft, I edited the story, adding in a few scenes that also don't survive into the final version and adding in the section headings. From this early point, this special had 3 chapters, and it remained like this to the end. I essentially finished the first version of this story on October 31, 2010, though I continued to edit typos and other minor things in the coming days and months. The story originally had several theme songs, ranging from a couple songs from Two Steps From Hell to a piece by Ludovico Einaudi. Ultimately in 2011, I decided that the specials shouldn't have theme songs, so I deleted Outbreak's one from this story.
This story won the DD award for the runner up to the best special in 2010 from its original version. I am surprised it got any recognition at all, as, in re-reading those old versions for this commentary, I could see how bad Outbreak once was. Destructivedisk was a major influence for me deciding to re-write this story, as his review of it was very harsh. As time wore on into 2011, I began to read this story over more and more and realized that not even I liked it. I'm sure numerous readers liked it - it did win an award after all - but for me, I wanted all of my stories to be as good as they could be, regardless of popular opinion. As I grew as a writer during my stay on this wiki, my eye for quality also grew, and I realized that the original Outbreak was one of the worst things I had ever written. It needed to go. Now, I didn't delete the special because I still wanted to tell TB's origin story - that is important to the overall plot of TF. But I just didn't want to keep what I had written back in 2010. I had these thoughts by early 2011, heavily influenced by discussions with DD as well as his initial review of Outbreak. When I began the first final edits for TF in July 2011 (starting with the Prince Vegeta Saga), Outbreak was on my mind. I thought over the problems that I perceived in this story at that time - the plot was kind of pointless, uninteresting, and random. The Benefactor's dialogue was mostly awkward and bad, and the other characters were not very interesting. Him wanting to become a councilor seemed out-of-character, as did his desire to open the food stores for all the people. So after I did a few final edits on the Prince Vegeta Saga, I decided I had to put a hold on that saga for a while as I focused on executing a nuclear option - completely starting over with Outbreak.
This is the earliest thing I completed for TF's final edits. In truth, I remember very little of the writing process. The edit history shows that in July 2011, I deleted everything from the page, but then reverted my edit, as I wasn't yet ready to work on the re-write (which I eventually began in September 2011). I remember doing this. I was very unhappy with this story after reading though it in July 2011, and decided I needed to rewrite it. However, I also knew at the time that I didn't have a new plot thought up nor the willingness nor time to work on it at that moment. So instead, I reverted the edit and mulled over what to do with Outbreak until September, when I finally came up with some ideas for a new plot.
I'll speak more to the specifics of the plot in the sections below, but one that is noteworthy is the fact that I wrote final version of this story with the intent on making The Benefactor's character better. TB's character was one of the biggest problems in the original TF draft, aptly noted by DD in his reviews. I thought that it would be impossible to rectify that issue (which was also the main issue of the PVS saga) before fixing the foundation of his character, which was this special. So I changed his history, and he acts completely different in the below version than in the original draft. This was all to make him less awkward, less vaguely lame, and more of an actual realistic terrifying force. Another thing I changed was having Frieza find TB when TB was still a kid, which allows for the parallels between him and Ledas and Prince Vegeta in the Prince Vegeta Saga to have more weight and more symbolic meaning. Another thing I did in the final version is to expand descriptions of scenes to not have random, poorly-explained scene jumps giving the reader little idea of what is going on.
The three chapters took me about a month to write mainly because I would take about a two week break between chapters. I don't remember exactly why I did this; probably school and life were busy things for me at the time. But anyway, I began the final edits on September 24, 2011, and finished this special on October 15, 2011. It was a grueling process writing this special from scratch again after, especially since I had to abandon everything that was already there. I didn't have to do that with any of the other final edits (though the edits for Fulfillment Saga came pretty close). So yeah, I think this story is much cooler than it once was, but this is also one of my earlier writings, having taken place in 2011. Even my final edits took place in a period of time where I was developing into a much better writer, so the below story will be an interesting quality-comparison to the later final edits I did.
The above picture is the tagline for this special. This was one of the first taglines I came up with for the 8 TF sagas and specials (it may have been the very first), and I like it quite a bit. There is a violent nihilism theme in this special, and I think that tagline captures that theme very well. This tagline also translated very well to a cooltext font/coloring, in my opinion.
I added the poem at the top of the story section on July 4, 2013, long after finishing all three sections. There had been a different poem about Sonic the Hedgehog (the tv series) for the original version, but I had deleted that back in February of 2011, well before I began my final edits. As with all the poems, these things are just little recounts about my life or my story; in this case, it was raining at the time, and I was listening to Chopin piano music. I found sheet music for the pieces I liked and began to learn them as the rain poured down on the house around me. It was a little moment that struck me as cool, a tiny little quiet slice of life that contrasts nicely with TB's story in Outbreak. As with all of the poems, the number of lines is no accident; the line numbers vary in a patterned order that can be seen when comparing all of them in chronological order, with this special taking place after PVS and Forever Alone taking place before FS.
When I sat down to write today
it was raining really bad.
That got me in the mood to listen to some piano music.
I suppose by night
I'll be trying to learn them all.
<UNDOCUMENTED PLANET IN THE UNKNOWN REGION>
<START CUE; INSERTION TITLE VER. 3>
<THE FIGURES OF FOUR SMALL CREATURES, RUNNING ON ALL FOURS, APPROACH THE RIVERBANK; ON IT IS THE DOWNED FIGURE OF A LARGER BEAST, AND ON THAT ARE MANY OF THE SMALLER ONES, OF THE SAME LIKENESS AS THOSE APPROACHING; THE SMALLER ONES ARE REPTILIAN>
<THEIR SPECIES IS NOT HUMAN; THEY ARE REPTILIAN; THEIR SKIN IS A DARK GREEN (A LIGHTER GREEN FOR CHILDREN OF THE SPECIES), SCALED AND FLAT; THEY HAVE FIVE FINGERS AND THREE TOES, WITH SHARP CLAWS ON EACH DIGIT; THEY ALSO HAVE TAILS; THEIR FACES ARE LONG AND SHARP, THOUGH THEY HAVE NO SNOUT; FROM THE TOP OF THEIR HEADS, THERE ARE SEVERAL THIN NEEDLE-LIKE APPENDAGES JUTTING OUT FROM THE SKULL; THEIR EYES ARE PUSHED FORWARD AND THEY ARE HAIRLESS; THEY WEAR SIMPLE CLOTHES>
<THE CREATURE THEY ARE STANDING OVER IS STILL ALIVE, BUT BADLY WOUNDED; IT CAN BE INFERRED THAT THIS WAS A HUNT; AS THE OTHERS GATHER AROUND HIM, THE SINGULAR ADULT AMONG THE MANY SMALL ONES MOTIONS FOR THEM TO GET CLOSER TO WATCH THE GASPING CREATURE, IN ITS DEATH THROWS>
<THE LIZARD-LIKE CREATURES ALL STAND UP ON TWO LEGS NOW, AS THEY WATCH; WITHOUT A WORD, THE LEADER OF THE REPTILES REACHES DOWN WITH HIS CLAW, EXTENDING ONLY HIS FOREFINGERS, AND RIPS AT THE CREATURE’S THROAT; BLOOD SPLATTERS EVERYWHERE; THE GROUP STANDS BACK IN AWE>
<THE DOWNED CREATURE BEGINS CONVULSING; THE LEADER MOTIONS FOR EVERYONE TO JOIN IN; AND GLADLY, MOST DO; THEY JUMP ONTO THE THING, FRENZIED AND HUNGRY, RIPPING IT TO PIECES; ALL SAVE FOR ONE>
<THIS ONE IS THE SMALLEST OF THE BUNCH; HIS SKIN IS ALSO THE LIGHTEST SHADE OF GREEN (A SIGN THAT HE IS THE YOUNGEST); HE REACHES OUT HIS HAND TO TOUCH AT THE FLOWING BLOOD, BUT HE DOES NOT TAKE PART IN THE FRENZY; HE STARES IN AWE AT THE KILLING, UNABLE TO EVEN MOVE BECAUSE IT ENTRANCES HIM SO MUCH>
<NO ONE NOTICES; AS THE SUN SETS, THE GROUP HAS FINISHED THEIR KILL, AND LEAVES; THEY ALL DROP ONTO ALL FOURS AGAIN AND THEN RUN OFF TOGETHER, BACK TO A CLUSTER OF A SIMPLE, DIRT FLOORED HOMES; BEFORE HE DROPS ONTO ALL FOURS, THE SMALLEST LOOKS ONE LAST TIME AT HIS OWN CLAW, WITH THE DROP OF BLOOD ON IT>
<THESE CREATURES ALL DROP OFF INTO THEIR OWN HOMES; THE SMALLEST GOES INTO HIS; HE ENTERS IT IN DARKNESS; ASIDE FROM A FEW CANDLES BURNING, THERE IS NO LIGHT>
<HE WALKS DOWN THE HALL, AND NOTICES A DOOR SLIGHTLY AJAR; HE CRAWLS UP TO IT CAREFULLY AND QUIETLY; HE BARELY PEEKS HIS HEAD AROUND, BUT EVEN AS HE DOES, AN IMMEDIATE HISS COMES FROM INSIDE – A STARTLED, FRIGHTENED ONE; THE SMALL BOY BACKS UP AS THE DOOR SWINGS OUT; STARTLED, A LARGER ALIEN – HIS MOTHER – EXITS; SHE HAS HER CLOTHES DRAPED AROUND HER ARMS, AS IF SHE WAS COLD>
Mother: <STILL IN A LOW HISS> Back early? Why so early?
Boy: <INDIFFERENT> They finished.
Mother: What did you learn from Master Loriphim today?
Boy: <SIMPLY> Master Loriphim took us to hunt.
Mother: <OBVIOUSLY NOT WANTING TO ASK AGAIN> And you helped him?
Boy: Yes, Mother.
Mother: <SAID IN A QUESTIONING MANNER, BUT WITH MORE OF AN OBSERVATIONAL INTENT> You are well fed and tired.
Boy: <NO HESITATION NOR CHANGE IN DEMEANOR> Yes, Mother.
<FOR FOOD WAS A WASTE AND NOT SOMETHING THAT HE EVER GAVE THOUGHT TO; OFTEN NIGHTS HE WOULD GO WITHOUT ANY FOOD, AND IT BOTHERED HIM NOT, THOUGH HIS MOTHER NEVER KNEW A WORD ABOUT IT>
Mother: Off to bed, then.
<THE BOY TURNS AND WALKS AWAY; ON HIS FACE IS A SLY SMILE; FOR, HE NOTICED EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS THAT HIS MOTHER WAS DOING ALL ALONE WHEN SHE THOUGHT NOBODY ELSE WAS HOME; HE SAW HER SMALL KNIFE; THE BLOOD ON IT (MUCH LIKE THE BLOOD HE HAD HELD ON HIS HAND EARLIER); AND HE KNEW IT TO BE HER OWN BLOOD>
<THERE WERE NO BEDS NOR PILLOWS NOR BLANKETS THAT THIS SPECIES USED AT NIGHT; INSTEAD, ALL SLEPT ON THE FLOOR, THE DIRT FLOOR AND THEY THOUGHT NOTHING OF IT; THERE WAS NO WARMTH BETWEEN FAMILIES (THIS ONE IN PARTICULAR), AS THE MOTHER AND THE BOY DID NOT SLEEP ANYWHERE NEAR ONE ANOTHER; THIS WAS PERFECT FOR HIS PLAN>
<IN THE EARLY MORNING, BEFORE HIS MOTHER WOKE, THE SMALL BOY GETS UP, DRAGGING HIS TAIL IN THE THICK EARTH AT HIS FEET; WITHOUT MAKING A NOISE, HE WALKS THROUGH SEVERAL ROOMS, INCLUDING THE ONE HIS MOTHER IS IN; HE DOES NOT WAKE HER; HE SLIPS INTO THE ROOM SHOWN BEFORE, WHERE HIS MOTHER WAS CURIOUSLY HIDING OUT; STILL IN THERE IS THE KNIFE; STILL ON IT IS THE DRIED PURPLE BLOOD OF HIS MOTHER>
<THE BOY PICKS UP THE KNIFE AND WIPES THE BLOOD OFF; HE THEN PROCEEDS TO HOLD THE BLADE AND INSPECT IT; THE BLADE IS LONGER THAN IT SHOULD BE; IT IS ALMOST A FOOT LONG (WHICH IS MUCH TOO LONG FOR A COOKING KNIFE); AS THE BOY TURNS OVER THE CAREFULLY WOVEN HANDLE, HE CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT THIS IS NO COOKING KNIFE; WHERE HIS MOTHER ACQUIRED SUCH A MYSTERIOUS DEVICE, HE COULD NOT GUESS; PERHAPS IT WAS HIS FATHER’S>
<AS THE BOY SPINS THE BLADE AROUND, A MOMENT’S CARELESSNESS CAUSES HIM TO PRICK HIS FINGER; HE LETS OUT A SMALL GASP AS THE BLOOD STARTS POURING OUT IN SMALL DROPLETS; YET AGAIN, IT FASCINATES HIM; HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES, AND HOLDS HIS HAND UP, CRADLING HIS PALM, WHEREIN A POOLING OF HIS BLOOD IS NOW RUNNING TO>
<THE MORNING GOES BY; THE BOY DOES NOT ATTEND HIS HUNTING CLASS; AROUND MIDDAY HIS OTHER CLASSMATES LEAVE MASTER LORIPHIM’S HUT>
<ONE STUDENT HEADS WEST; HE RUNS ON ALL FOURS UNTIL HE SEES THE SMALL BOY; THE BOY IS WANDERING THE HILLSIDE ALONE; THIS OTHER STUDENT, RECOGNIZING THAT THIS BOY IS THE ONE THAT SKIPPED CLASS TODAY, STOPS AND CONFRONTS HIM>
Student: ‘ey! You! I seen you in class before. Huntin’, right? I’m Nico, remember me? I ’idn’t see ya today? Where were ya?
<THE BOY TURNS TO FACE THIS STUDENT; HE WALKS TOWARD HIM, STILL APPEARING ALOOF AND AIMLESS>
Nico: <SHOOTS HIS TAIL UP, LOWERS HIS SHOULDERS> Oh… what happened to your arms? Wha… <THE BOY STILL WALKS FORWARD> uh, your arms?!
<ON THE BOYS ARMS ARE MANY DEEP CUTS AND LACERATIONS; SOME OF THEM ARE STILL FRESH>
<THE BOY REACHES NICO; HE TAKES HIS HAND AND STICKS OUT HIS CLAWS; HE REACHES FORWARD AND CUTS INTO THE SKIN OF NICO WITH HIS CLAWS>
<THE STUDENT JUMPS BACK, IN A DEFENSIVE WAY>
Nico: ‘ey you! Ow! Stop it!
<THE YOUNG BOY, HOWEVER, IS STILL MOVING FORWARD; NICO LETS OUT A WARNING HISS, BUT IT DOES NOT STAVE OFF THE BOY; AS HE CONTINUES TO WALK FORWARD, THE STUDENT HAS NO OTHER CHOICE; HE LEAPS AT THE BOY, ATTACKING HIM>
<AT FIRST, THE BOY DOES NOT DEFEND, AND LETS NICO GET SEVERAL PUNCHES AND SHOVES IN; HOWEVER, WHEN NICO LETS UP FOR A MOMENT, THE BOY TAKES HIS CHANCE>
<HE ROLLS OVER ONTO THE STUDENT, BRINGING FORTH BOTH OF HIS HANDS (WITH CLAWS EXTENDED) ONTO NICO’S FOREARMS; BLOOD FLIES EVERYWHERE; NICO TRIES PUNCHING AGAIN, BUT IS NOT VERY SUCCESSFUL; THE BOY IS NOW IN HIS FRENZY – JUST LIKE THEY ALL WERE YESTERDAY AT THE HUNT – BUT HE IS FRENZIED AT NICO; NICO CAN DO NOTHING>
<THE BOY RIPS THE STUDENT’S ARMS AWAY, THE BLOODY MESSES THAT THEY ARE, AND BEGINS WORKING ON THE NECK; AS HE HAD LEARNED YESTERDAY IN THE HUNT, THE NECK WAS THE PLACE TO LAND THE KILLING BLOW; HE DIGS HIS CLAWS INTO THE STUDENT’S NECK>
<BEING THAT THIS IS ONLY PARTLY EFFECTIVE, HE RESORTS TO USING HIS TEETH – AND WHAT SHARP TEETH HE DOES HAVE; IN MOMENTS, NICO IS DEAD, HIS ENTIRE THROAT RIPPED OUT; BLOOD IS EVERYWHERE, ALONG WITH THE FLESH AND GORE FROM THE WOUND>
<NOW THAT THE SCREAMS HAVE STOPPED, THE BOY FALLS OFF OF HIS KILL; HE LIES THERE, BREATHING FOR A WHILE>
<AS IT IS NEARLY TIME FOR HIM TO RETURN HOME – AND TO NOT WORRY HIS MOTHER – THE BOY GETS UP, TAKING A QUICK STOP AT THE LAKE TO GET WASHED OFF BEFORE HE GOES HOME>
<AGAIN, HE SLEEPS SOUNDLY, WAKING ONLY IN THE EARLY MORNING TO PLAY WITH THE KNIFE AND CUT HIMSELF SOME MORE; HE IS NOT CUTTING HIMSELF BECAUSE HE IS SOME EMO OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT; INSTEAD HE DOES SO BECAUSE THE BLOOD RELEASED FROM SUCH WOUNDS FASCINATES HIM GREATLY>
<THE NEXT MORNING HE GOES TO CLASS; NOBODY MENTIONS THE MISSING STUDENT, NOR THE BOY’S OWN ABSENCE THE DAY BEFORE>
<MASTER LORIPHIM RAMBLES ON ABOUT THE PREFERRED KILLING METHODS; CITING KNIFE AND STONE AND WIT TO BE INTEGRAL; THINGS SUCH AS STEALTH, AND USING ROPE ARE ALL THINGS NEW TO THE BOY; HE LISTENS WITH HIS FULL ATTENTION>
<HE GOES INTO A DEMONSTRATION WITH A KNIFE BY THE RIVER, TO CATCH SOMETHING; THE BOY DOES NOT WATCH THIS; HE STAYS PUT, THINKING TO HIMSELF>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> I never thought of using it as a weapon…
<AFTER CLASS, THE BOY LEAVES WITH THE REST>
<BUT THIS NIGHT, HE SNEAKS OUTSIDE, AND INTO THE HOUSES OF ONE OF HIS FELLOW STUDENTS; IGEAR>
<THE BOY HAS A STONE IN HIS HAND (BEING NOT READY TO TRY OUT THE KNIFE YET) AND HITS HIS FELLOW ON THE HEAD WITH IT, SO THERE WOULD BE NO NOISE; TAKING THE MASTER’S ADVICE, THE BOY HAS SOME ROPE, WHICH HE TIES THE STUDENT UP WITH TO A TREE>
<STILL WITH THE STONE IN HIS HAND, THE BOY WAKES THE STUDENT>
<HE IS STILL WAKING UP>
Boy: <IN AN INNOCENT WAY> That hurts.
Igear: <LOOKING AROUND IN BEWILDERMENT> What is this?! Who are you?!
Boy: <NOW ASKING> Does it hurt?
Igear: <SOMEWHAT INCOHERENT> I told you already!!! He put me up here, take me down!
Boy: <MATTER OF FACT> That was me.
Igear: What? Why–
<AS SOON AS THE LAST WORD ESCAPES IGEAR’S MOUTH, THE BOY TAKES HIS STONE AND HITS IGEAR ACROSS THE FACE WITH IT; IGEAR SCREAMS OUT IN A SHRILL WAY (PROBABLY WAKING UP MANY OF THE NEIGHBORS); THE BOY GOES ON TO HIT HIM SEVERAL MORE TIMES>
Boy: Master Loriphim is a good teacher, dontcha think?
Igear: Mohhh… mohhh…
<AFTER THE FIFTH TIME, IGEAR STOPS SCREAMING; HIS BREATHS LESSEN TO NOTHING MORE THAN SHALLOW GASPS; HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT MAKE THE BOY STOP; HE PUMMELS THE STUDENT AGAIN WITH THE ROCK; BLOOD IS RUNNING DOWN IGEAR’S FOREHEAD; BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH>
<THE BOY RAMS THE ROCK INTO IGEAR’S FACE AGAIN; THIS TIME IT SHATTERS THE TEMPORAL LINE OF IGEAR’S SKULL; HIS RIGHT EYE FALLS OUT, IN A BLOODY PULP, THE FORCE OF THE HIT CAUSING IT TO SEVER ITSELF FROM ITS HOLE>
<THE BOY POUNDS AGAIN WANTING MORE AND MORE BLOOD; THIS TIME, THE SIDE OF THE SKULL CRACKS, AND IGEAR’S BRAIN BEGINS TO OOZE OUT; AT THIS POINT, HIS BREATHING AND CONVULSING STOPPING, IGEAR MUST BE DEAD>
<SEEING THIS, THE BOY DROPS HIS STONE AND RUNS OFF>
Master Loriphim: Come here, boy!
<THE BOY, THE ONE WHO MURDERED HIS FELLOW STUDENTS BEFORE, COMES FORWARD; IT IS AFTER ANOTHER GROUP HUNT; THE SPOILS OF THEIR VICTORY ARE COOKING IN THE BACKGROUND, WHERE EVERY OTHER STUDENT IS SITTING>
Master Loriphim: Boy?!
Boy: <CAREFUL> Master?
Master Loriphim: Ah, there you are. <HE REACHES WITH A LARGE, DARK HAND AND CLASPS IT ON THE BOY’S SHOULDER; HE SINKS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF IT> There is some thing we have to talk about.
<HE PULLS THE BOY AROUND THE CORNER; THE BOY GETS NERVOUS, THINKING ABOUT WHAT HE COULD BE IN TROUBLE FOR>
Master Loriphim: <NOW IN THE OTHER ROOM, HE SITS> Now, sit. <THE BOY SITS, OBEDIENTLY> I’m not going to ask what happened to your arms there <HE MOTIONS TO THEM>, heh heh. I’ve had my share of scars on the hunt! It’s nothing to be ashamed of!
Boy: Why are we here, master?
Master Loriphim: <PAUSE BEFORE STARTING> Your mother has been shipped off to the City.
Boy: <IMMEDIATELY> Will my mother be there for long?
Master Loriphim: Yes, she will be. Until the great war is finished.
Boy: When will that be over?
Master Loriphim: The machinations of war are not something to be trifled with, boy. Keep your head out of their business if you wish to keep it on your neck. Heh. <STRAIGHTENING UP> But, do not worry. You will stay with me until her time is served. You will live under my roof, my rules, and you will be grateful, boy, will you not?!
Boy: <OBEDIENTLY> Yes, master.
Master Loriphim: <SMILES> Good, good. Come with me now. <HE GETS UP TO WALK OUT>
<FADE OUT/SCENE CHANGE>
<IT IS EARLY IN THE MORNING AGAIN>
<THE BOY IS CROUCHING BEHIND A DOOR, WITH HIS EAR UP AGAINST IT; LIKE THE LIZARD HE IS, HE IS ON ALL FOURS, WITH HIS TAIL IN THE AIR>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> That drunk never sleeps. I can’t even go back home to get my things.
<HE MOVES UP, GRASPING ONTO THE DOORKNOB AND OPENING IT SLIGHTLY; BUT EVEN THIS NOISE IS ENOUGH TO ROUSE THE MASTER>
Master Loriphim: <IN A ROAR> What’s that?!
Boy: <ENTERS CAREFULLY, PLACING HIS FEET DOWN ONLY WHEN NEEDED> Uh, master, I need to go.
Master Loriphim: You need not go anywhere in these waking hours of the morn’!
Boy: I need to go home and get my things…
Master Loriphim: The land is reclaimed. You cannot go back.
Master Loriphim: You go there, and they will take you like they took your mother. You’ll be put in the war to be used as a meat shield against the wills of those greater than you. <HE ROLLS OVER> That is enough! Get back in your room and sleep! Leave me to my peace!
<HE THROWS A PILLOW, OF WHICH HE HAS AS A CASTLE AROUND HIM, AT THE BOY, AS THE BOY CLOSES BACK THE DOOR>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> He never acts like this at school with all the others around.
<BUT THE BOY DOES NOT SLEEP – INDEED, HE RARELY DOES; INSTEAD, IN HIS ROOM, HE PACES BACK AND FORTH, UNTIL HE NOTICES A SMALL HOLE IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM, UNDER HIS BED; HE CRAWLS UNDER THERE AND APPROACHES IT>
<THE HOLE IS ONE THAT THE MASTER WOULD NOT NOTICE; IF HE WERE TO OPEN IT BIGGER, HE COULD EVEN FIT THROUGH; THE BOY TAKES HIS CLAWS, UNRETRACTED, AND CUTS THROUGH THE ROTTING WOOD, CREATING A HOLE BIG ENOUGH FOR HIM TO STRUGGLE OUT OF>
<IT IS 5AM, AND STILL DARK OUT; NO BEING IS AROUND, SAVE FOR THE SCURRYING INSECTS THAT FLOOD THE NIGHT>
<THE BOY SPRINTS BACK HOME>
<THE HOUSE OF HIS CHILDHOOD IS FENCED OFF, ALONG WITH MOST OF THE ENCOMPASSED REGION; A FEW SIGNS (MOSTLY “GET OUT”S) ARE RANK ALONG THE FENCE>
<HE CLIMBS OVER IT EASILY, AND RUNS TO THE HOUSE; IT IS DARK INSIDE, AS USUAL, BUT HE CANNOT SENSE HIS MOTHER ANYWHERE NEARBY>
<THAT IS NOT HIS CONCERN; IMMEDIATELY UPON ENTERING HE RUNS TO THE BATHROOM, AND FEELS AROUND FOR THE KNIFE HE KNOWS STILL SITS THERE>
<HE REACHES AROUND THROUGH ALL THE REFUSE UNTIL FINDING THE HANDLE; HE GRIPS IT, PULLS IT OUT; THEN, HE LEAVES THE HOUSE>
<ON HIS WAY OUT, THE EXPECTED OCCURS; HE IS CONFRONTED BY GUARDS; HEARING HIS RUMMAGING INDOORS, THEY HAD COME AROUND BACK TO INVESTIGATE; THERE ARE TWO OF THEM>
<THEY ARE OF THE SAME SPECIES AS HIM, BUT MATURED; THEIR SKIN IS DARK, AND THEY HAVE COATS OF ARMOR ON; IN THEIR HANDS ARE SHORT BLADES, BLUNTED AND FLAT>
Guard 1: Whassat? A kid? What is a little one doing here?
Boy: This is my house. I’ll come here if I want.
Guard 1: <TALKING IN A LOW, DRAWN OUT WAY> It’s not yours any more. We’ve got it now. See the fence? Keep out.
Guard 2: <HISS> Breaking the rules… that’s grounds for incarceration!
Guard 1: Why go through all the trouble? It’s just a boy. If we had a little fun with him, no one would notice. <SPITS> Or care!
<THE BOY IGNORES THEM, AND ATTEMPTS TO SCALE THE FENCE AGAIN; GUARD 1 RUSHES HIM, GRABBING HIS TAIL; HE RIPS THE BOY DOWNWARD, ONTO THE GROUND>
Guard 1: <WITH GLEE> You’re not going anywhere!
<THE GUARD TAKES HIS SWORD AND SWINGS IT AT THE BOY; THE BOY DUCKS BENEATH IT, AND SHOVES THE GUARD IN THE GUT, CAUSING HIM TO DROP HIS SWORD>
<THE GUARD STUMBLES BACK, AND BRINGS UP HIS CLAW; THE BOY ISN’T PREPARED FOR THIS AND GETS SWIPED ACROSS THE FACE; PURPLE BLOOD SHOOTS OUT, AND HE GROANS>
<THE BOY FALLS BACKWARD; THE GUARD JUMPS ON HIM AS HE GOES DOWN; HE PLACES BOTH CLAWS ON THE BOY’S CHEST, SCRATCHING HIM; THE BOY STRUGGLES FOR A MOMENT; HE MAKES NO SOUND>
<THEN, WITHOUT WARNING, THE BOY SWINGS HIS ARM UP TO THE GUARD’S HEAD, SIDEWAYS; IN HIS HAND IS THE KNIFE; THE KNIFE GOES RIGHT THROUGH THE GUARD’S SKULL, INTO HIS EAR; BLOOD SPLATTERS AS THE GUARD LETS OUT A SCREAM; HE FALLS OFF OF THE BOY, WHO STEPS UP IMMEDIATELY>
<BUT THERE IS A SECOND GUARD; HE THROWS HIS OWN SWORD AT THE BOY; THE BOY STUMBLES TO SIDESTEP IT>
<THIS SECOND GUARD HAS NO MORE WORDS FOR THE BOY; HE PLACES HIS HANDS BEFORE HIM AND MERELY HISSES; THE BOY HAS NO IDEA WHAT THIS MEANS, AND HE SIMPLY STARES BACK>
<AT ONCE, AN ENERGY ATTACK FORMS IN THE GUARDS HANDS; IT IS A DARK GREEN BLAST, TEARDROP SHAPED; IT SHOOTS INTO THE BOY’S PATH, HITTING HIM SQUARE IN THE CHEST; HE FALLS>
<GUARD 2 FORMS ANOTHER ENERGY BLAST; AS HE IS CHARGING IT, THE BOY, COUGHING, CRAWLS FORWARD TO THE FIRST GUARD; HE REACHES HIM JUST IN TIME TO PULL THE KNIFE OUT FROM THE EAR (AND CAUSE A HUGE SPIRE OF BLOOD TO ERUPT OUT)>
<THE FIRST GUARD IS SCREAMING AND DELIRIOUS FROM THE GRISLY WOUND; HE DOES NOT DEFEND AGAINST THE BOY PUSHING HIM UPWARD TO USE AS A BLOCKING SHIELD AGAINST THE OTHER GUARD>
<AS SOON AS THE BOY ANGLES HIMSELF CLOSE THE FENCE, HE PUSHES GUARD 1 INTO GUARD 2’S DIRECTION AND THEN SCALES THE WALL; THE FIRST GUARD SLAMS INTO THE SECOND, CAUSING THE ENERGY BLAST TO GO OFF, INCINERATING BOTH OF THEM>
<IN THE MORNING, AT THE HUNT, THE BOY IS EXTREMELY TIRED; ONCE AGAIN, NO ONE COMMENTS ON HIS NEW SET OF SCARS>
<THE MASTER LEADS AN AMBUSH, LINING UP HIS YOUNG HUNTERS ON EACH SIDE OF AN OVERPASS; HE HAS ROPE IN HIS HANDS BUT IS NOT USING IT>
<HE INSTRUCTS EACH CHILD TO PUSH A BOULDER DOWN INTO THE OVERPASS, WHEN A GROUP OF ANIMALS COME THROUGH>
Master Loriphim: Steady. Quiet now. <HE HOLDS UP HIS HAND, AND COUNTS DOWN FROM 3 TO 0 WITH IT>
<WHEN HE REACHES ZERO, EVERY CHILD JUMPS FORWARD AND PUSHES THEIR ROCK DOWNWARD>
<EVERY CHILD DOES THIS EXCEPT FOR THE BOY; HE HAS FALLEN ASLEEP, EXHAUSTED FROM HIS WOUNDS>
<ONCE AGAIN, NOBODY NOTICES HIM, AND THEY ALL DESCEND INTO THE FRENZY BELOW, EATING AND KILLING THE REMAINING ANIMALS CAUGHT IN THIS PLOY>
<BACK AT LORIPHIM’S HOUSE, HE IS BEATING UP THE BOY; HE SLAPS HIM AND KICKS HIM AND THROWS MANY A PILLOW AT HIM; ALL OF THIS RAGE IS DIRECTED AT THE BOY’S INEFFECTIVENESS DURING THE HUNT, AND HIS GENERAL LACK OF RESPECT TO THE MASTER>
<WHEN HE IS DONE, THE MASTER SIMPLY LEAVES THE BOY IN HIS PLACE, WALKING INTO ANOTHER ROOM; THE BOY FALLS ONTO HIS BED; NOW TREMBLING, THE BOY LIES DOWN>
<HE CAN HEAR NOISES COMING FROM THE OTHER ROOM; THE MASTER IS DRINKING (STILL ACTING SO MUCH DIFFERENTLY THAN HE DOES AROUND THE OTHERS) AND HE CAN HEAR THE MASTER’S DAUGHTER IN HER ROOM, MAKING NOISES DOING WHO KNOWS WHAT>
<THE BOY CHANGES OVER TO HIS STOMACH AND SLIDES UNDERNEATH THE BED TO THE HOLE HE MADE; HE REACHES OUT HIS HANDS, ATTEMPTING TO DO WHAT THAT GUARD DID THE NIGHT BEFORE; THE ENERGY ATTACK; DESPITE BEING SO WEARY, IF HE COULD ONLY REPLICATE THAT ATTACK, HE WOULD BE BETTER THAN ANY OF HIS PEERS, AND BETTER THAN THE MASTER>
<THE BOY AGONIZES OVER TRYING TO GET SOMETHING TO FORM IN HIS MIND WITH HIS FINGERS OUTSTRETCHED; NOTHING HAPPENS; MOMENTS LATER, HE COLLAPSES ON THE FLOOR, ASLEEP AGAIN>
- This chapter's name comes from Act IV of Gears of War, which has a chapter of the same name. In terms of how the name relates to this story, the imaginary/dream quality of this chapter is amplified by the title. The contrast between what is real and what isn't is a major part of this story.
- This chapter is longer than the entire original draft of Outbreak.
- The vague lines like "START CUE; INSERTION TITLE VER. 3" at the start of the chapters in this story are reminders to me for how I want to open these stories in manga form without revealing those details to the readers. Yes they mean something to me, and yes I don't want them to mean anything to the readers.
- Something I didn't do well in the original draft of this story was to explain what the aliens in Outbreak look like. That's why I put in a hyper-detailed paragraph about exactly how they looked near the start of the first chapter.
- Making The Benefactor the youngest child was done to imply that he was the group's runt, and also to amplify his separation from them and his later actions in the story.
- The Benefactor doesn't take part in the feasting because he has a rare genetic mutation that makes his frenzy work differently than it does in other members of his species. It is hinted at throughout this story and is specifically addressed during The Benefactor's meeting with Lauto. What it means is that he doesn't fall into a frenzy in the same way that the others do. He builds up adrenaline upon getting excited, and this is stored as a permanent power increase, allowing him to get stronger with the more blood he sees or the more hunts he goes in. He doesn't release the adrenaline during hunts like other members of his species.
- The Benefactor walked in on his mother cutting herself, which is why she is so hostile to him at first.
- The Benefactor is very submissive to his mother. I knew I didn't have time to show their relationship very often, so their one conversation had to be crucial in explaining their relationship. It's clear that his mother rules him and he is quite behaved, which is striking. Their dialogue is purposefully wooden and without emotion, but it indirectly conveys how deeply The Benefactor cares about his mother and how much he respects her and listens to her.
- The Benefactor's mother exudes a strange confidence, especially considering she was cutting herself before her conversation with her son. That is important for the "imaginary" feel of this chapter, and it also serves as an explanation for the weird aura The Benefactor has around him in TF. There's something very alien about him that he gets from his mother.
- The first chapter reveals that The Benefactor's famous knife came from his mother. This says a lot about his personality; he doesn't want to forget her, but he also doesn't want to speak of her or mention her often, as seen with TB's interactions with Lauto. The text also hints that it might've been his father's knife originally, since it's not a cooking knife; this could explain why his mother uses it to cut herself (she may be sad about her husband being dead, if he is dead) and also provides a richer backstory to the knife in general. The history of the knife is one of the few Iyxan things to survive the destruction of TB's planet, so in a way, the story of its previous owners lives on in it as TB carries it throughout the universe in TF and beyond.
- I liken TB's fascination with blood with children with asperger's fascination with water.
- The Benefactor cuts up his arms due to his fascination with blood; he is also influenced by his mother doing the same thing the night before. However, he is not cutting himself because he feels sad. Copying his mother and wanting to see more blood are his main two goals. These scars are seen quite often in TF, and it was important for me to show their origin here. That they don't have some scary horrid backstory was rather fun for me to reveal.
- Nico was named after a guy on my High School soccer team.
- The Benefactor finally falls into his frenzy against Nico, showing the earliest signs of his sociopathic murdering. The way he kills Nico is extremely brutal, as if he is slaughtering something to eat, but he does not eat his peer. He is stronger than Nico primarily because the adrenaline buildups in his veins that gave him power boosts. This fight also confirms that he can go into a frenzy, but it may take him more time or proper motivation to fall into it.
- I don't have Loriphim speak; instead, the text describes what he is saying when he talks about the preferred hunting tactics. In the manga form, this will be shown purely visually, with him holding a knife or a stone, for example.
- Igear is named after a merchant from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- It is important to note that after being taught all those hunting techniques, TB tries them out on his peers instead of on animals. This hints at his inclination towards murder and his boredom with lesser creatures.
- Igear is incoherent because he was hit on the head, damaging his brain. That is why some of what he says to TB makes no sense. TB's own dialogue reflects his fascination with murder and death.
- Igear's death may be the most brutal death in all of TF, and it is probably one of the most horrific deaths I've ever written. Stone on bone always gets me, and this particular scene reminds me of trying to crack open an egg by hitting it with a rock. The gore is really extreme here, and the fact that TB can so emotionlessly kill someone like that shows just how messed up he is.
- It's an obvious bait and switch with Loriphim stating he needs to talk to TB about something. We all assume it's going to be about Igear and Nico's deaths.
- The great war is an aspect of the original plot that was retained in the final version. Basically, TB's planet is undergoing a massive war that is devastating everything and killing untold millions of people. TB is relatively unharmed by it because he lives in a rural vilalge. However, people came in the night and took his mother to be a slave in a nearby city to produce war machines and whatnot. I did this for two reasons - if the planet was already at war, it would be easier for TB to conquer it in chapters 2 and 3. Additionally, having one faction take his mother as a slave would give TB reason to conquer the world (as he would search for her). It also allows for his mother's fate to be left ambiguous, something that was very important to me. Since TB doesn't know what happens to his mother, it's unfair for the readers to know, as it could change their perspective too greatly from TB's own.
- Loriphim is based on an old math teacher I had years before writing this story. I did not particularly like that teacher, but he had a sort of charisma about him that was undeniable. Here, his forceful personality tries to overshine TB's submissive one. It's that contrast that provides for their later scene where TB forces him to kill his daughter and himself. TB is outwardly submissive, but inside, his violently rebellious and individualistic. Loriphim is outwardly a leader and bossy, but inside, he's a coward and a drunk and a weak man.
- Loriphim's castle of pillows is based on my own bed, which has so many pillows it's almost impossible to move in.
- TB noticing that Loriphim acts differently around others is crucial to understanding his own character, as he is very different when he submits to authority very passively and doesn't assert himself in public situations compared to how he acts when he goes out hunting his peers on his own time or when he cuts himself to see blood.
- TB doesn't eat much or sleep much in this story. At the time of writing it, I was in a similar camp, seeing the minimalism of those actions as something to strive towards.
- I find it quite noble how TB is so defiant in the face of danger. He knows the guards will attack him, but asserts that he can visit his own home whenever he wants. There is naivety in this as well as courage, but I like his defiance because it is so deliberate. He knows what he wants, knows what he thinks is right, and isn't afraid to say so.
- The Iyxans have a primitive energy sensing ability which TB uses when he looks for his mother in this chapter. Obviously, the stronger The Benefactor gets, the better his energy sensing gets, so that by the time of TF, he can sense power levels as easily as any of the Z Fighters can.
- I added in the scene with the guards to have an actual fight scene in the first chapter and also to showcase how strong TB is. He's quite precocious for his age, after all, and that needed to be shown explicitly, otherwise there would be no reason for Frieza to take him in as a soldier in chapter 3.
- TB's second set of scars are actually from a fight.
- The fight scene with the two guards alerts TB to the fact that energy attacks exist, prompting him to try to learn how to make them.
- Loriphim having a rope in his hands during the final hunting scene of this chapter was written purely for the manga version of this story, as I could clearly visualize him holding a rope in my mind. I don't know why I visualized that, but it seemed necessary to me.
- The Iyxans not noticing TB shows how little they care about him and thematically hints at how TB will later render his species nearly extinct because everyone was caught up in their own drama and refused to see the true threat to themselves.
- Loriphim beating up TB shows that TB is in a weakened state where he cannot stand up to the man physically. It was also written to give TB some sympathy, as up to this point, he hasn't been too (consistently) sympathetic a character.
- I'm not sure what the master's daughter is doing when she is making noise at the end of this chapter. Perhaps she is crying or masturbating or having sex with her father. It's extremely ambiguous.
- It was important for me to end this chapter with TB failing, as there aren't too many opportunities for him to do so in the coming chapters of this special. He tries but fails to form energy, thus subverting expectations. We all think the hero will rise up and instantly be able to rectify his situation, but that just isn't realistic, nor is it very interesting.
If It Bleeds…
<CIRCA BACKDROP HAIL; PAN/STYLE 1 AND 2>
<IT IS COLD AND RAINING OUTSIDE; IT IS DAY>
<IN THE MASTER’S HOUSE, THERE ARE THREE PEOPLE; THE MASTER HIMSELF IS SITTING ON HIS MOUNTAIN OF CUSHIONS AND PILLOWS BY THE FIRE; HIS DAUGHTER, A TALL SLENDER LIZARD, IS SITTING NEAR HIM, ALSO BY THE FIRE; THE BOY IS NOT BY EITHER OF THEM; HE IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ROOM, LYING ON HIS STOMACH, WITH HIS CHIN RESTING ON HIS HANDS AND HIS TAIL IN THE AIR>
Master Loriphim: <TO THE BOY> There’s no reason to glare.
<THE BOY ADJUSTS HIS STATE>
Ayale: <TO THE BOY> Why don’t you come over by the fire? Aren’t you cold?
Boy: I’m not cold.
Ayale: <TRYING AGAIN, EVER SO POLITE; SHOWS A PLATE> I have some lemons I picked today. Would you like some? There’s half a dozen. <THE BOY SQUINTS AT HER IN AN UNPLEASANT WAY> I… <SHE SEES HIS STARE> couldn’t let them rot away.
Boy: <INDIGNANTLY> Ew.
Master Loriphim: Watch yourself, boy.
<THE BOY SAYS NOTHING; HE STARES OFF AWAY FROM THE TWO>
Master Loriphim: <AS IF THE BOY WAS NOT THERE; ARMS OUTSTRETCHED> What cheek he has! To even think, I allow him to stay here!
Ayale: <SLIGHT FROWN AT THE DISOBEDIENCE> He should respect you, father.
Master Loriphim: Exactly! The boy simply gives no respect. Just how he is on the hunt, too!
<THE BOY LOOKS BACK AT LORIPHIM, WHO’S ANIMATED MANNER IS QUITE THE SPECTACLE>
Master Loriphim: <STILL FLAILING HIS ARMS> Not a single kill! Not a one! Contemptible!
Ayale: <SLOWLY> Perhaps he cannot hunt.
Master Loriphim: He cannot! Nothing I do can get through his stubborn head! What does he hope, that I will always be here to care for him?
Ayale: He does not realize how fortunate you are to take him in, father. No one else would do so. Especially to one who cannot hunt.
Master Loriphim: He was lucky I was here for him after his mother was shipped off, but he won’t be so lucky–
<THE TWO CONTINUE ON AS THE BOY TURNS AND LOOKS AWAY FROM THEM>
<THE BOY LOOKS OVER THROUGH THE WINDOW, TRYING TO FIND ANYTHING THAT COULD BE MORE INTERESTING THAN THE BLABBER GOING ON BEHIND HIM>
<HE NOTICES THE WALL WINDOWS (THESE ARE WINDOWS THAT TAKE UP THE ENTIRE WALL, FLOOR TO CEILING) TO THE LEFT, NEAR THE DOOR; LOOKING OUT, INTO THE MUD AND POURING RAIN, HE SEES A SINGLE BIRD>
<IT IS STANDING OUT IN THE MUD, UNAWARE OF THE RAIN FALLING ABOUT IT; IT IS A BLUEISH BIRD>
<THOUGH HE HAS DONE NOTHING OUTWARDLY AGAINST THE MASTER OR HIS DAUGHTER, THE BOY HEARD EVERY WORD OF THEIR CRITICISM OF HIM; AND, ON THE INSIDE, HE IS FUMING ANGRILY>
<HE PLACES HIS LEFT HAND OUTWARD TO THE BIRD, TO TRY AND GET ITS ATTENTION; IT SURE LOOKS TASTY (MUCH MORE THAN THOSE HIDEOUS LEMONS BEHIND HIM); HIS ARM IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN HEALED FROM HIS WOUNDS PRIOR, BUT THEY ARE STILL SCARRED>
<THE BOY GETS OFF HIS STOMACH AND ONTO ALL FOURS, HE CROUCH-WALKS SULLENLY TOWARD THE WINDOW, HUNTING NOW; BUT BEFORE HE CAN GET CLOSE TO THE BIRD, IT MOVES BACKWARD, PROBABLY DUE TO THE MASTER’S NOISE>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> Stupid old windbag won’t quiet down.
<HEARING THE TWO CALLING HIS NAME IN THE COMPANY OF OTHER FOUL WORDS MAKES THE BOY EVEN MORE ANGRY, BUT ALSO, IT MAKES HIM MORE DETERMINED IN HIS TASK; HE GRINDS DOWN HIS HEELS, AND LOWERS HIS HEAD>
<ENERGY BEGINS FORMING ON HIS BODY AS HIS ANGER SWELLS; IT IS COLORLESS AND NOT VISIBLE, BUT HE CAN FEEL IT, LIKE A GREAT HEATED BLANKET OVER HIS SHOULDERS; AS HE CRAWLS FORWARD, THE ENERGY FLOWS OUTWARD, OFF OF HIM AND ONTO THE GROUND; IT CONTINUES OUTWARD, UNDER THE WINDOW, INTO THE MUD, AND ONTO THE BIRD>
<THE BOY STOPS, BRINGING HIS HEAD BACK UP AGAIN, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO; AFTER QUICKLY LOOKING AROUND, HE NOTICES THE BIRD STANDING OUT IN THE RAIN IS UNMOVED BY THIS ENERGY; HE TAKES HIS RIGHT HAND AND PLACES IT BACK ON THE GROUND, TO WALK FORWARD>
<HOWEVER, WHEN HE DOES SO, THE BIRD IS INSTANTLY SHOVED TO THE GROUND; HE STOPS, CONFUSED BY THIS; HE RAISES HIS ARM AGAIN AND THE BIRD FLIES UPWARD, HE LOWERS IT AND THE BIRD FALLS DOWNWARD; REALIZING THAT THIS ENERGY MANIFESTING AROUND HIM ALLOWS HIM TO PHYSICALLY CONTROL BEINGS, HE STOPS>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> It’s doing what I make it do… <HE STARES DOWN AT HIS HAND> I wonder how that happened… <LOOKS BACK UP; STILL IN HIS MIND> I wonder if it can hear me. <AS A COMMAND> Go jump in the puddle ahead.
<THE BIRD DOES NOTHING; OF COURSE IT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HIS LANGUAGE>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND; COMMAND> Put your head under the water.
<NOTHING HAPPENS; THE BOY, FRUSTRATED, FORCES IT DOWN INTO THE PUDDLE, SIMPLY BY USING HIS MIND’S GUIDANCE>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> The master could understand me more than that bird.
<THE TWO BEHIND HIM ARE STILL GOING ON; THEY NEITHER HEAR NOR SEE ANY PART OF THIS>
<SATISFIED WITH HIS SUCCESSFUL HUNT, THE BOY GETS UP AND WALKS BACK TO HIS ROOM; HE GOES IN AND SITS DOWN ON THE BED; HE LOWERS HIS HEAD AND BRINGS HIS HANDS UP; AT THIS TIME, HE PRACTICES TRYING TO BRING BACK THAT ENERGY AGAIN>
<IT IS DINNER, ABOUT FOUR HOURS LATER; SINCE IT IS STILL RAINING OUT, AYALE HAS PREPARED A MEAL INSTEAD OF THE CUSTOMARY HUNT THE MASTER WOULD GO ON>
<AS WAS EXPECTED, THE LEMONS, UNEATEN, ARE PLACED ON THE TABLE FOR THE MAIN COURSE>
<THE BOY SITS DOWN ACROSS FROM THE OTHER TWO; HE PICKS UP A LEMON; HE SNIFFS IT, THEN HISSES AND THROWS IT ASIDE>
<LORIPHIM SLAMS HIS HANDS DOWN ON THE TABLE>
Master Loriphim: Pick it up!! How dare you cast aside my daughter’s food!
Boy: <UNMOVED> It’s poison.
Master Loriphim: Poison, you say? <DEFIANTLY, HE PICKS UP ONE AND BITES IT> See, I am alive! Now pick it up!
Boy: <LOW, FORCEFUL WHISPER> It’s poison!
<LITTLE DOES LORIPHIM REALIZE THAT FRUIT, ON A WHOLE, IS INDEED POISONOUS TO HIS SPECIES – AT LEAST TO THOSE NOT FULLY MATURED; AND SINCE THE BOY IS STILL, WELL, A BOY, HE COULD NOT DARE EAT ONE>
Master Loriphim: This temper of yours has grown unchecked in recent days. I say it again, pick it up! <GRATED WHISPER> Or I will throw you out of this house.
<AYALE MOVES HERSELF AND PICKS IT UP, SLAMMING IT DOWN IN FRONT OF THE BOY>
Ayale: <SCOFFING> You ungrateful brat. I’d like to see you make something better.
<THE BOY CONCEALS A HISS AT HER>
<HE TURNS TO THE MASTER; THE MASTER IS EATING HIS FOOD, BUT IS KEENLY WATCHING THE BOY, NONETHELESS>
Boy: <AS IF NONE OF THIS JUST HAPPENED> Master, may I ask a question?
Master Loriphim: <TRYING TO “DE-FUME”> Go on with it.
Boy: Well, I should like to know what you would do with… <HE BOWS HIS HEAD, REACHING DOWN FOR SOMETHING> this?
<HE COMES UP WITH HIS OWN KNIFE; THE ONE THAT HE WENT HOME TO GET; THE ONE THAT HE CAUGHT HIS MOTHER CUTTING UP HER ARMS WITH>
Master Loriphim: Where did you get that? Stolen from the school?
Boy: <CONFIDENTLY> It’s mine.
Master Loriphim: <TRANSFIXED, FORGETTING THE PREVIOUS ARGUMENT> Give it here.
Boy: <WITH HIS FIRST, SMALL SMIRK OF THE STORY> Yes, Master.
<THE BOY, HANDLE FIRST, HANDS THE MASTER HIS KNIFE; THE MASTER TAKES IT IN HIS HAND, AND LOOKS IT OVER>
<THE MASTER’S EYES GLAZE OVER AS HE CAREFULLY INSPECTS THE KNIFE>
<THE MASTER SUDDENLY STANDS UP, KNIFE STILL IN HAND, AND WALKS OVER TO HIS DAUGHTER; LORIPHIM PULLS UP HIS REGAL HOOD, OVER HIS HEAD>
Ayale: Father, what are you doing?
<MASTER LORIPHIM STEPS UP TO HER AND PLUNGES THE KNIFE INTO HER ABDOMEN; SHE LETS OUT A MIXTURE OF A HISS AND A SHRIEK; PURPLE BLOOD SPRAYS OUT>
<IN THE BACKGROUND, STILL SEATED, THE BOY IS STARING DOWN AT HIS LEMON; HE PICKS IT UP AND LOOKS OVER IT CAREFULLY, VERY CLOSELY SO THAT HE WILL NOT SEE WHAT LORIPHIM IS DOING>
<THE MASTER GIVES HIS DAUGHTER A FEW GOOD SLASHES AROUND THE CHEST, FOLLOWED UP BY SEVERAL STABS>
<THE BOY TAKES HIS CLAW AND STABS THE FRUIT A FEW TIMES IN UNISON, SLASHING IT TOO; HE IS NOT DOING THIS IN AN ANGRY MANNER; HE HAS HIS HEAD BOWED JUST BEING BORED>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> … and take her and throw her on the table and rip out all her insides. Make sure she dies.
<THE BOY PUTS HIS LEMON DOWN ON THE TABLE AGAIN, AND LOOKS UP>
<LORIPHIM TAKES HIS LEFT HAND AND PLACES IT OVER HIS DAUGHTER’S MOUTH, COVERING HER SCREAMING; HE TAKES HIS TAIL AND GRIPS HER LEG, PICKING HER UP WITH IT AND SWINGING HER UP OVER HIS HEAD, LANDING HER CLEAN ON THE TABLE>
<THE BACK OF HER HEAD LANDS RIGHT ON THE BOY’S LEMON; HE LOOKS UP INTO HER EYES; HE IS EMOTIONLESS, WHILE SHE IS FRANTIC, SCARED, IN PAIN>
<HE STARES FOR A MOMENT MORE, AND THEN STANDS UP FROM HIS CHAIR AND WALKS BACK INTO THE OTHER ROOM>
<LORIPHIM NOW MOVES, HIS HOOD STILL DOWN, COVERING HIS FACE; HE STABS HIS DAUGHTER MANY, MANY TIMES; HE BREAKS A LARGE HOLE THROUGH THE SKIN AND PULLS OUT HER GUTS, WHILE SHE TRIES TO FIGHT HIM AND SCREAM OUT; AS SOON AS HE BEGINS SLASHING THEM AND RIPPING THEM OUT, SHE GOES INTO A SPASM, ELONGATING HER NECK, AND LETTING HER ARMS FALL LIMP; A MOMENT LATER, AND SHE IS UNMOVING; LORIPHIM CONTINUES SLASHING AND RIPPING HER UP UNTIL HER FIGURE IS BARELY DISCERNIBLE IN THE HEAP OF GORE; THE ONLY FEATURE STILL CLEARLY SEEN IS HER TAIL; AT ONCE, HE STOPS>
<HE STARES AT THE BODY; SUDDENLY, HE BEGINS CRYING AND ROARING IN ANGER AT THE SAME TIME; HE POUNDS THE TABLE UNTIL IT COLLAPSES IN ON ITSELF; HE TURNS AROUND, PEERING AT SOMETHING BEHIND THE CAMERA>
<HE WALKS FORWARD STILL CRYING AND RAGING, UP TO A DOOR; IT IS SLIGHTLY CRACKED>
Master Loriphim: <IN A ROAR> Come out! <MUCH, MUCH LOUDER> Come out ya little bastard!!! What did ya make me do?!?!? WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO?!!
<THE DOOR OPENS FULLY, UNWILLINGLY; IT REVEALS THE BOY STANDING IN THE DOORWAY>
<AT THIS, LORIPHIM LETS OUT ANOTHER WHIMPER, FOLLOWED BY A BELLOW; HE RUSHES FORWARD, ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS, WITH HIS KNIFE RAISED>
<BUT A FEW STEPS INTO IT LORIPHIM STOPS, THEN SUDDENLY PLUNGES THE KNIFE INTO HIS OWN CHEST, NEAR HIS HEART; HE GURGLES AND SPUTTERS FOR A MOMENT, THEN FALLS SIDEWAYS ONTO THE DIRT, DEAD>
<HIS BODY CONVULSES FOR A FEW SECONDS BEFORE HE FINALLY GOES RIDGED; THE BOY LOWERS HIS SHOULDERS IN VICTORY AND WALKS UP TO THE BODY; HE KNEELS DOWN NEXT TO IT>
<HE IS EMOTIONLESS AND HIS EYES ARE DARK; HE SPOTS THE KNIFE, AND AFTER A HESITANT SECOND, HE RIPS IT OUT, SENDING A SPIRE OF PURPLE BLOOD POURING OUT WITH IT>
<HE WIPES THE KNIFE OFF ON LORIPHIM’S SHIRT; HE BRINGS THE KNIFE UP TO HIS FACE AND LOOKS AT HIS REFLECTION WITH WIDE EYES OFF ITS SHINING BLADE>
<THE BOY GETS UP; HE OPENS THE FRONT DOOR, EVEN AS IT IS STILL RAINING, AND WALKS OUTSIDE; HE RUNS FORWARD, PAST ALL THE OTHER HOUSES, AND PAST THE SCHOOL, UNTIL HE COMES TO A HIGH HILL; FROM ITS VANTAGE POINT, HE CAN SEE FAR OFF VAST PLUMES OF SMOKE RISING FROM TALL TOWERS; THE GREAT CITIES OF HIS PEOPLE>
<THIS MAY BE WHERE HIS MOTHER WAS SLAVING AWAY TO DRIVE THE ARMY'S WAR MACHINE FORWARD>
Boy: She could be in any one of them.
<WITH HIS KNIFE AND HIS NEW UNDERSTANDING OF ENERGY, THE BOY RUNS FORWARD, DOWN FROM THE HILL AND TOWARD THE CITY>
<ON THE GATED FENCE A SIGN SITS; SCRAWLED IN DEEP RED BLOCK TEXT IS A NOTICE STATING THE AREA IS A WAR ZONE (AND THAT ANYBODY SHOULD SIMPLY TURN BACK AND FLEE); SCRAPED OVER THAT IS A CRUDE REMARK, OBVIOUSLY FROM A REBEL TAUNTING THE CITY’S DECREE>
<THE BOY CREATES AN ENERGY BALL AND BLASTS THE SIGN AND FENCE AWAY; HE WALKS INTO THE CITY>
<THE SKYSCRAPERS ON THIS PLANET ARE DIFFERENT THAN THOSE ON EARTH; INSTEAD OF BEING BLOCK SHAPED, MOST ARE IRREGULAR AND AMBIGUOUS (MOST, IF NOT ALL HAVE VAST HIVE NETWORKS BELOW GROUND); ALL COME TO A POINT SLOPING INWARD; OTHERS DO NOT GO UPWARD, BUT INSTEAD OUTWARD, AND HANG LIKE VAST TREES WITH MANY BRANCHES>
<THE STREETS ARE LARGE AND PAVED AND ALSO EMPTY; IN THE CLOSE VICINITY, SEVERAL BUILDINGS HAVE CRUMBLED, THEIR REFUSE BLOCKING THE STREETS>
<SMOKE IS RISING FROM FAR OFF, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY; THE BOY SEES IT, TAKING OFF AFTER IT; FOR (MAYBE) 10 PANELS, HE LEAPS AROUND PAST THE ABANDONED SPIRES>
<HE SKIDS AROUND THE CORNER INTO A PACK OF ADULTS; THEY ARE DRESSED SIMILARLY TO THE GUARDS HE FACED AT HIS HOUSE, AND HE IMMEDIATELY SEES THEM TO BE OF THE SAME DEMEANOR>
<THINKING HIM TO BE A SOLDIER ON THE OPPOSING SIDE, THEY FIRE THEIR WEAPONS AT THE BOY; HE LEAPS ASIDE, BARELY DODGING THEIR WILD SHOTS; SEVERAL SHOTS GO INTO THE SIDE OF A WALL, DESTROYING IT, AND BRINGING UP A DUST CLOUD>
<THE BOY ROLLS OVER, AND LANDS ON HIS BOTTOM TWO FEET; BALANCING ON THEM, WITH HIS TAIL UPRIGHT, HE RAISES BOTH HIS HANDS, AND COMBINES THEM IN A TRIANGLE SHAPE; A MOMENT LATER, A KI BLAST, RED, FORMS IN HIS HAND; HE RELEASES IT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SOLDIERS>
<THE BLAST IS MASSIVE, FAR BIGGER THAN WAS INTENDED; IT NOT ONLY BLOWS AWAY THE SOLDIERS, BUT TAKES OUT THE STREET, THE SPIRES AHEAD, AND HALF THE TOWN ALONG WITH IT>
<IN THE TRAIL OF THE DEEP GASH, NOTHING MOVES>
<THE BOY STANDS UP, BREATHING WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN>
<BACKSHOT, PAN OF THE DESTRUCTION; RED HUE FROM BLAST RESIDUE>
Boy: <TO HIMSELF, HEAD SLIGHT-COCK> I didn’t mean to do that…
<HE RUNS OUT OF THERE; THE SCENES CHANGE SPORADICALLY AS HE IS MOVING AROUND THE VARIOUS TOWNS, ALWAYS DESTROYING THEM WITHOUT FINDING ANYTHING; SO FAR AS CAN BE SEEN, HE HAS NOT FOUND ANY SIGN OF HIS MOTHER>
<WITH REMARKABLE EFFICIENCY, HE MOVES THROUGH MOST TOWNS, ANNIHILATING THEM WITH LITTLE EFFORT; ONE TOWN IS COMPLETELY DESTROYED (THE BLAST SEEN FROM SPACE), VAPORIZING EVERY BEING IN IT IN AN INSTANT>
<THE UPPER SPHERE OF THE PLANET WAS WAR-RAVAGED ALREADY; THERE ARE NO CITIES OR TOWNS IN IT; THE WHOLE PLACE IS ABANDONED; SO, IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, WHERE THE WAR IS STILL RAGING, AND WHERE THE BOY HAS BEGUN HIS OWN RAMPAGE, THERE ARE VERY FEW TOWNS>
<THE BOY HAS BEEN TO MOST OF THEM WITH NO SIGN OF HIS MOTHER; WITHOUT FINDING HER, HE DEMOLISHES THEM; THIS SPANS SEVERAL DAYS; THE BOY DOES NOT SLEEP DURING THIS TIME AT ALL>
<AS THIS HAPPENS, THE BOY’S DESTRUCTION FINALLY CATCHES UP WITH THAT OF THE TWO ARMIES’; AS HE REACHES THE EMBANKMENT OF THE LOWER HILL, OTHER TOWNS ARE SEEN SMOLDERING AND BURNING MERE MILES AWAY>
<THE WARS GOING ON ARE SHOWN; THE TWO SIDES ARE FIGHTING (IN ONE OF THE BATTLES), IN HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT; THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THEM, AND IT IS QUITE BLOODY>
<THE BOY STEPS FROM THE EMBANKMENT UP ONTO THE TOP OF A ROCK, STANDING OVER THE TWO WARRING ARMIES; REMORSELESSLY, HE PUTS HIS ARMS OUT, IN THE SAME MANNER HE DID BEFORE, TO DESTROY THEM WITH AN ENERGY BLAST>
<FRIEZA IS WITH TWO ALIENS; HE IS ON A THRONE, CROUCHING OVER ONE OF THE ARM RESTS, NOT SITTING; THE WALLS ARE PURPLE AND HIGHLY ORNATE; ASIDE FROM THE THREE, THERE ARE DOORS IN A SEMI-CIRCLE IN FRONT OF FRIEZA’S THRONE>
Soldier: Six, all with standard atmospheres. None will pose a threat, sire.
Frieza: <COLDLY> And you, Zarbon? What have you brought me?
Zarbon: <IN A BOW, NOT LOOKING> One planet, milord, in the unknown region.
Soldier: <CACKLE> One planet?! You can’t be–
Frieza: <TO THE SOLDIER> Silence. <TO ZARBON> Continue, Zarbon.
Zarbon: Milord there are… anomalies coming from it.
Frieza: Oh? What kind of anomalies?
Zarbon: <STILL NOT LOOKING UP> Power levels.
Frieza: <SUDDEN FROWN> You are testing my patience, captain. Out with it!
Zarbon: <TAKEN ABACK BY THIS QUESTION> L-lord Frieza, there were multiple power level spikes of over one hundred thousand that we recorded. We’ve known about it for a week–
Frieza: <INCREDULOUSLY> Zarbon, do you think it wise to withhold this information from me? Do you deem it too much a threat for me?!
Zarbon: No… Lord Frieza. It’s not–
Frieza: <HAND RAISED> There is no power in this universe that can match my own.
Soldier: <JEALOUS OF THE ATTENTION> Sire!
<FRIEZA SENDS A DEATH BEAM THROUGH THE SOLDIER’S HEART, KILLING IT; IT FALLS DEAD AT ZARBON’S FEET; ZARBON DOES NOT DARE LOOK AT IT, AND FRIEZA DOES NOT SEEM CONCERNED ABOUT KILLING THE ALIEN>
Frieza: <GETS UP> Ready my ship, Captain. We'll go there today. <COLDLY STARING> I don’t want to be kept waiting.
Zarbon: <GETTING UP TO FOLLOW FRIEZA> Of course, milord.
Frieza: <WALKS ALL THE WAY TO THE DOOR; STOPS> Oh and Zarbon, gather the second legion. They’ll be needed.
<FRIEZA EXITS THROUGH A DOOR, FLEXING HIS TAIL BEFORE IT CLOSES>
Zarbon: <IN PLACE; NOW TO NO ONE BUT THE CORPSE> The second legion?! That’s 12,000 men.
<THE SCENE CHANGES BACK TO THE BOY’S PLANET>
<HE IS RUNNING ON ALL FOURS; HE SHOOTS OFF A SINGLE KI BLAST, DESTROYING MUCH OF THE LANDSCAPE AROUND; THE WHOLE PLANET SEEMS TO BE SMOKE AN ASH NOW>
<THERE IS A SOLDIER RUNNING FROM THE BOY, ONE WHO LOOKS THE SAME AS THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ARMY SHOWN IN THE PREVIOUS SCENE; A BLAST CONNECTS WITH HIM, SENDING HIM TO THE GROUND; THE BOY STOPS THE ENERGY FLURRY>
<HE BENDS DOWN NEXT TO THE CRAWLING SOLDIER; GRIPPING ITS BACK, FORCING IT TO STOP, HE JUMPS ON TOP OF IT; THE BOY DIGS HIS CLAWS INTO IT, CAUSING IT TO HISS IN PAIN AS PURPLE BLOOD BEGINS POOLING ON HIS BACK>
<WITH A SNARL, THE BOY TAKES HIS TAIL, AND SENDS IT RIGIDLY INTO THE LOWER SPINE OF THE SOLDIER; THE SOLDIER SCREAMS AS IT PUNCTURES HIM; WHEN IT IS IN, THE BOY FLIPS BACK, SENDING THE SOLDIER FLYING UP IN THE AIR>
<THE SOLDIER IS STILL IMPALED, SO HE DOES NOT GO VERY HIGH UP; THE BOY BRINGS HIM BACK DOWN, SLAMMING THE SOLDIER INTO THE SOIL; AT ONCE, THE BOY WALKS UP TO HIM AND LIFTS HIS FOOT; WITH HIS HEEL’S CLAW, HE QUICKLY KICKS IT INTO THE CHEEK OF THE SOLDIER, KILLING HIM>
<NOW, WITH ALL SOLDIERS DEFEATED, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT FOR THE BOY TO DO>
<THE BOY LOOKS UP; AHEAD IS THE LAST CITY ON THE PLANET, RESTING ON A HIGH PLATEAU, STILL UNTOUCHED; HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES, PRESSING HIS CLAWS INTO THE DIRT; HIS LONG-SPAWNED FRENZY, WHICH WAS TRIGGERED BY LORIPHIM AND HIS DAUGHTER, IS NOW OVER; THE BOY IS WEARY, UNABLE, AND UNWILLING TO CONQUER THAT LAST CITY JUST YET>
Boy: <HEAD HITS THE TURF; OUT LOUD> Mom must be there…
<THE BOY CLOSES HIS EYES AND FALLS ASLEEP>
<THE CAMERA GOES DOWN HIS BODY, FROM HIS FACE TO THE TIPS OF HIS FINGERS, SHOWING EVERY INCH OF HIS SCARRED (MOST OF IT SELF-INFLICTED) FLESH>
<THE SMOKE OF THE DYING PLANET CONTINUES TO RISE, UNTIL IT OBSCURES THE SCREEN>
- This chapter's name comes from a quote from the movie Predator. It references the fact that The Benefactor is not invincible, despite his power, as he is wounded somewhat in this chapter. Additionally, it references Master Loriphim's own vulnerability.
- Ayale's line about the lemons rotting away is a reference to Rivers Cuomo's song, "Lemonade".
- It's a mark of my inexperience (when I wrote this in 2011) that I had Ayale use lemons at all. She should have used some unnamed alien fruit.
- The Benefactor hisses at the lemons because he is a carnivore and primarily eats meat. It's weird that Ayale and her father are even eating the fruit, as that would not be common in Iyxan culture.
- Loriphim's antics are meant to be somewhat comical. His mannerisms are also based on Uncle Pumblechook from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
- The first scene is laced with intentional irony. Loriphim has no idea how strong or capable TB actually is. His daughter's passive agreement amplifies this sense.
- TB's wounds being mostly healed indicate some time has passed from the end of the last chapter to this chapter. This is further confirmed by TB's ability to use primitive ki attacks.
- The bird serves as foreshadowing for how The Benefactor ultimately kills Loriphim and Ayale. I thought it would be a bad idea to have him figure out how to use ki on them first. After he practices on the bird, he then goes to his room to practice alone for around four hours, allowing sufficient progression in skill for his attack on Loriphim later to take place.
- An interesting thing I tried to do in this second chapter was to portray TB as a hero for what he does to Ayale and Loriphim, since the two of them are quite villainous. Particularly during the dinner scene, the two of them act as pure antagonists for the poor boy. The two-on-one dynamic shifts sympathy towards TB even more.
- The way I had Loriphim die was pre-planned before I worked on this chapter at all. It was going to be a very brutal moment, and I wasn't sure at the time how the audience would react to him viciously killing his daughter and then being forced to commit suicide. However, the idea seemed rather original to me, and was quite bloody, which made it fit in well with the tone of this story.
- The Chopin song was chosen because, at the time of writing this chapter, I was talking with a friend of mine about our favorite Chopin pieces. I was looking through youtube and stumbled upon the nocturne; it was a familiar tune of course, but I had never known its name before that. I thought that it had a strange, dream-like quality to it that would work well in an ironic sense for Outbreak. Soon after adding it into this story, I learned how to play it. It's only sometime after I wrote this chapter that I realized how popular that song is, and truthfully, I might've looked for a less "mainstream" Chopin piece if I had realized that. Still, I think the nocturne works well because it is subtle a song, with implied irony when comparing its nice-sounding first half with Loriphim's killing of his daughter. The magnificent crescendo at the end works well with Loriphim's suicide.
- The dinner scene reminds me of the modern Hannibal television show in its mixing of elegance and butchery, savagery and beauty. Of course, I wrote my scene several years before the Hannibal tv show existed.
- It's curious why TB doesn't look at Loriphim why the man murders his daughter. Is that a bit of his empathy revealing itself? Is he ashamed? Is he scared by his own power? These are a few options, but the ambiguous nature of that action allows the readers to form their own opinions.
- TB's lack of emotion works quite well with the Chopin nocturne, as the main reason I chose to use that song was that its overt sound is one of calm elegance, greatly contrasting with the brutality of this scene. TB himself reflects this idea of confliction by the way he acts in comparison to Loriphim and Ayale.
- Ayale's death almost rivals Igear's from the last chapter, but I still think Igear's is the most brutal. Ayale's is way more brutal than most of the other non-Outbreak TF deaths though.
- TB's lack of emotion was done to amplify his creepy demeanor in this chapter, but to also show that he's more of a calm villain. He's more akin to Frieza than Kid Buu, for example, though he can be roused if the circumstances are right.
- TB doesn't want to get his hands dirty against Loriphim and Ayale. There's arrogance in that and disgust too - he hates them and doesn't want them to affect him in any way. By making them kill each other, TB asserts his own agency and shows that he doesn't need to be hands-on to hunt or to kill. He humiliates both of them with how he kills them.
- I have TB say the line about his mother potentially being in any of the cities to alert the readers to where the plot is going; this will be more apparent in the manga version of this story, as without that line, it would be way more difficult to convey where TB is going after killing Loriphim and Ayale. Across all of TF, a surprisingly large amount of lines and other plot decisions were made with the manga adaptation in mind.
- I made a point of describing how different Iyxan skyscrapers are to differentiate the planet from Earth. I didn't have the foresight in 2011 to remove the lemons and perhaps even the bird (making them alien things instead), but I did have the foresight to make sure the buildings look alien so that the world will feel fresh and alive and also be more interesting to draw than Earth buildings.
- When TB fights the soldiers, he acts similar to how Ledas does. Like Ledas, he has to balance on two feet with the aid of his tail, and he also struggles with controlling his power at this early stage of his life.
- TB conquering the planet was done in quasi-montage form so as to move the plot quickly. Otherwise, this special would be as long as a TF saga if I wrote about every city he went to in great detail.
- I had TB confront the armies off-screen to allow the readers to visualize it how they wished in their minds.
- The planet Frieza, Zarbon, and the others are on is Planet Frieza 001, the very first planet he was given by his father to start his interstellar empire.
- The architecture and colors of Frieza's palace were inspired by High Charity from the Halo series.
- Zarbon was a much lower-ranking soldier during this special than he was during the events of the Genocide of the Saiyans.
- TB's power level spikes of 100,000+ means that he is surely one of Frieza's strongest soldiers (when Frieza later takes him in). Considering he was just a boy at this time and likely not using his full power, The Benefactor is probably significantly stronger, perhaps even strong enough to take on Frieza's first form.
- The way Frieza kills his soldier was mostly based on King Vegeta doing the same while he was sitting on his throne in a scene from the anime. Since Frieza also kills his soldiers on whims, it seemed in-character.
- Frieza requesting the second legion implies that he will use those soldiers to kill The Benefactor. Certainly from this point in the story, it's unclear how The Benefactor could stand up to that many soldiers at once. He seems destined for defeat.
- In the original draft, Zarbon and Dodoria went to TB's planet and then brought him back to Frieza. I decided that Frieza should go to the boy's planet himself, since power level spikes of 100,000+ are very rare and would surely intrigue him. Having Zarbon bring TB back to Frieza's planet is just unnecessary, really.
- The end of this chapter reveals that TB has remained in his frenzy that started at Loriphim's house for several days. During that time, he did not have to eat or drink very much and didn't sleep at all. That's quite extraordinary, but remember, The Benefactor is an alien, so it's possible that he can go more days without sleeping than a human could without feeling any negative effects. Also, the frenzy was definitely suppressing his need to sleep, for as soon as the frenzy stops, he collapses in pure exhaustion.
- One thing that is interesting is that The Benefactor has hope - really, that is all that is driving him on his mission to find his mother. That's a rather extraordinary personality trait for someone as sociopathic and genocidal as him.
- This chapter ends with the planet smoking, which is symbolic for the planet bleeding. The Iyxan homeworld is utterly ravaged, with its native sentient species warring itself into extinction. The true cost of those conflicts, including TB's rampage, are taking a huge toll on the environment.
<FIVE DARK SHAPES SCURRY PAST THE CAMERA AND FORM INTO A BROKEN LINE FORMATION; THEY SPEAK, YET NONE OF IT IS INTELLIGIBLE>
<THE BOY, LYING ON THE GROUND, SLEEPING, WAKES AND STANDS UP AT THE SIGHT OF THEM>
<THEY ARE ARMORED, CARRYING WEAPONS IN THEIR HANDS AND ARE NOT OF HIS SPECIES; THE BOY DOES NOT ATTACK OR GO DEFENSIVE; HE LOOKS AT THEM, EYES AS SLITS, AND SURVEYS HIS IMMEDIATE GROUND>
<FROM HIS PRIOR DESTRUCTION, THERE ARE MANY CRATERS, AND A FEW BODIES NEARBY OF THE ARMIES HE DESTROYED; THE GROUND IS ALL ASH, THE SKY IS GREY, COVERED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE BATTLE; THE AIR IS FOGGY>
<THE MIDDLE SOLDIER SEEMS TO BE TALKING THROUGH SOMETHING ON HIS WRIST; SINCE THE GROUP IS NOT ATTEMPTING TO DO ANYTHING TO THE BOY, HE WANDERS HIS EYES OFF AGAIN>
<THE CITY, THE LAST CITY OF THE PLANET, IS SITUATED AHEAD OF HIM; ONLY, UNLIKE YESTERDAY, IT IS NO LONGER UNTOUCHED; ALL OF THE SPIRES ARE DEMOLISHED, LEVELED; THERE ARE ALSO FIRES STILL RAGING INSIDE; IT APPEARS TO BE THOROUGHLY DESTROYED; A SPIRE TOPPLES OVER AS HE WATCHES, CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT THIS DESTRUCTION WAS RECENT>
<THE BOY WAS CAREFUL TO SEARCH EVERY CITY’S INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX – IF THE CITY HAD ONE – FOR SIGNS OF HIS MOTHER BEFORE DESTROYING THEM; LORIPHIM HAD TOLD HIM THAT WAS WHERE SHE WOULD BE, AND HE HAD NO REASON TO DOUBT THE LATE MASTER>
<HE HAD NOT FOUND HER IN ANY OF THEM; THIS CITY WAS HIS LAST HOPE, AND NOW IT IS DESTROYED>
<HE LOOKS BACK TO THE GROUP OF SOLDIERS; ALL OF THEM ARE HEAVILY ARMED AND ARMORED; HIS RACE IS QUITE STRONG IN ITS OWN RIGHT, BUT HE IS ONLY A BOY; HE HAS LITTLE PHYSICAL STRENGTH OF HIS OWN; ALL OF HIS PROWESS HAS COME FROM HIS SUDDENLY TAPPED-INTO ENERGY POWERS; HE IS NO LONGER IN THE FRENZY (THE STATE WHICH FUELED HIS DESTRUCTION EARLIER), SO IT WOULD TAKE HIM TOO LONG TO CHARGE UP AN ATTACK AGAINST THEM; THE BOY DOES NOT GO TO ATTACK; THEY ARE NOT EVEN LOOKING AT HIM, SO HE TURNS TO MOVE OFF TO THE CITY, TO MAKE SURE HIS MOTHER IS NOT THERE>
<NOTE: MONDAY 2:31 STARTS NOW>
<THE BOY GETS ON ALL FOURS AND LEAPS AWAY FROM THE SOLDIERS; THE LEADER NOTICES, ROARS OUT A CRY, AND BEGINS SHOOTING A WRIST MOUNTED GUN AT THE BOY; HIS UNDERLINGS FOLLOW SUIT>
<THE BOY IS TOO FAR AWAY FOR THE SHOTS TO BE ACCURATE; HE EASILY DODGES THEM; NEVERTHELESS, THE TROOPS CONTINUE SHOOTING AS WELL AS RUNNING AFTER HIM; OFF TO HIS RIGHT AND LEFT SIDES ARE DOZENS, PERHAPS HUNDREDS OF SHIPS, ALL LINED UP; EVEN MORE SOLDIERS MILL ABOUT THEM; MANY ARE LOOTING THE OUTLYING BUILDINGS; DESPITE SEEING THIS, THE BOY RUNS PAST THEM, NOT STOPPING>
<THE CITY IS ABOUT 2 MILES FROM THE BOY’S STARTING POINT; IT TAKES HIM NO MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES TO GET TO THE GATE>
<THE METAL AND STONE OF THE ENTRANCE IS TWISTED AND BURNED; EVEN THE STREETS ARE GASHED AND BLOWN TO PIECES>
<THE BOY STOPS RIGHT AT THE GATE; HE HAS OUTRUN THE TROOPS BEHIND HIM QUITE A BIT; HE LOOKS OVER HIS SHOULDER TO SEE THEY ARE BUT SPECKS BEHIND HIM>
<HE LOOKS BACK AT THE GATE; THE SENTRY-POST NEXT TO THE GATE FALLS OVER, SENDING BRICKS AND GARBAGE FLYING THIS WAY AND THAT; DUST POURS OUT, COATING HIS VISION FULLY; HE TRIES TO FIX HIS VISION>
<THE SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS COMES FROM AHEAD; WITHIN SECONDS, A FIGURE, MORPHED AND AMBIGUOUS, APPEARS SILHOUETTED IN THE DUST CLOUD>
<OUT FROM THE DUST COMES A SMALL BEING, UNLIKE THE GROUP; IT HAS TWO HORNS AND IS RELATIVELY PALE, IF PURPLE; IT WEARS THE SAME ARMOR AS THEY DO; BUT UNLIKE THEM, IT HAS NO WEAPON, AND IT APPEARS QUITE CALM AND CONFIDENT IN ITSELF; IT WALKS FORWARD TO THE BOY>
<ACCOMPANYING THIS SHORT FIGURE IS ANOTHER, TALLER ONE; IT IS GREEN LIKE THE BOY, BUT DARKER; IT WALKS BEHIND THE SMALLER ONE ON THE RIGHT SIDE>
<AS THEY REACH THE BOY, THE TWO STOP; THE SHORTER ONE MOTIONS TO THE TALLER ONE, WHO SAYS SOMETHING INTO A COMPUTER-LIKE DEVICE ON HIS WRIST>
<THE BOY LOOKS BEHIND HIM; THE VARIOUS BATTALIONS BEGIN MOVING INTO LINES AND FORMATION; THEY CLUSTER UP IN NEAT ROWS ON EACH SIDE; THEY PACE FORWARD AND COME TOGETHER, THE TWO SIDES JOINING, TURNING TO FACE THE BOY; THEY BEGIN MARCHING FORWARD UNTIL THEY ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO FULLY BOX HIM IN>
<IT IS AT THIS TIME THE PATROL FROM BEFORE REACHES THE BOY; THEY CHARGE UP THEIR WEAPONS AND SHOOT; THE BOY SIDESTEPS THE SHOTS; HISSING, HE LOWERS TO ALL FOURS AND LUNGES AT THEM, BUT THE LEADER, THE CAPTAIN, KICKS THE BOY AWAY; TWO MORE OF THE SOLDIERS RUN AT THE BOY, THEIR WEAPONS LOWERED IN A RAMMING MOVE>
<THE FIRST ONE HITS THE BOY HARD IN THE CHEST; BLOOD DRIPS OUT FROM UNDER HIS SHIRT; THE FORCE OF THE ATTACK PUSHES THE BOY BACK; AS HE FALLS, HE THROWS HIS HANDS FORWARD AND TRIES TO SHOOT AN ENERGY BLAST; WHAT COMES OUT INSTEAD IS MORE OF A MIST THAN A BLAST; NEVERTHELESS, THE TWO SOLDIERS GET CAUGHT IN IT; THEY DROP THEIR WEAPONS AND COVER THEIR FACES; AS WELL, THEY BEGIN SCREAMING>
<NOBODY ELSE MAKES A MOVE; THEY SIMPLY WATCH WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TWO SOLDIERS; THE TWO SOLDIERS START DISINTEGRATING BEFORE EVERYONE’S EYES; THIS HAPPENS SLOWLY; AS THE SOLDIERS SKIN COMES OFF, THEY FALL TO THE GROUND, WRITHING AND WRIGGLING; THE CAPTAIN MOTIONS TO HIS LAST TWO SOLDIERS AND THEY SHOOT AT THE BOY>
<THE BOY IS STILL ON THE GROUND, BUT THE CAPTAIN’S POOR AIM PREVENTS HIM FROM MAKING CONTACT; (THE TWO SOLDIERS ARE STILL DISINTEGRATING; NOW THEY ARE SKINLESS AND LOSING MUSCLES AND ORGANS; THEY CONTINUE SHRIEKING)>
<THE BOY JUMPS AWAY FROM THE FIRING, WAY OFF TO THE LEFT>
<WITH A GAP IN FRONT OF THEM THEY HADN’T SEEN BEFORE, THE TROOPS NOTICES THE SMALLER BEING; THEY STOP ATTACKING IN SIGHT OF IT, BOWING INSTEAD; THE SMALL CREATURE HAD NOT MOVED OR MADE ANY SOUND DURING THIS ATTACK>
Captain: <OUT OF BREATH; TO THE SMALLER CREATURE> L-lord Frieza, we found him! <PAUSE, LOOKING AROUND; POINTS HIS GUN AT THE BOY> Led him right to you, sir. A-all part of the plan, right?
Frieza: <COLDLY> Thank you… Captain.
<FRIEZA CLOSES HIS FIST AND AS HE DOES SO, THE CAPTAIN AND HIS TROOP DISINTEGRATE JUST LIKE THE OTHER TWO SOLDIERS BEFORE (WHO ARE NOW PILES OF BONES) EXCEPT FASTER; HE FOCUSES HIS ATTENTION ON THE BOY; THE BOY LOWERS HIS GUARD AGAIN NOW THAT THE SOLDIERS ARE DEAD>
<FRIEZA STEPS FORWARD, CAUSING THE BOY TO WALK BACK, UNTIL ALL THREE OF THEM ARE OFF OF THE SLOPE OF THE CITY’S ENTRANCE AND BACK ONTO THE FLAT GROUND; THE LEGION BEHIND IS QUITE STILL>
<THE BOY CLENCHES HIS LEFT FIST, BEGINNING TO FORM AN ENERGY BALL; AS HE IS NOT IN THE FRENZY, THIS WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN NORMAL; THIS ATTACK IS FOR FRIEZA; FRIEZA DOES NOT NOTICE ANYTHING>
<THEY ALL STOP>
Frieza: My name is Lord Frieza, ruler of this Galaxy and your planet. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. <HE BOWS, CORDIALLY>
<THE BOY SAYS NOTHING>
Frieza: <CONTINUING; HE WALKS A CIRCLE AROUND THE TWO> Normally, I’d have Zarbon <MOTIONS TO THE CREATURE BEHIND HIM> or one of my other Captains eradicate the natives on a planet such as this. But you did a well enough job on your own. Isn’t that right?
<THE BOY SAYS NOTHING>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> How does he know?! Was he watching us? <HE LOWERS HIS EYES TO HIS LEFT HAND TO SEE IF HIS ENERGY BLAST IS READY; IT IS NOT> It’s not ready yet. <HE HOLDS HIMSELF FROM PANICKING>
Frieza: <STILL GOING> Your race is powerful… <SMILE> yet you destroyed them in an instant. Just a child and you’ve done what many of my best soldiers could never do. You’ve been a third-party benefactor to Zarbon and I. And for that I can only say <SUBTLE> ‘thank you’. <HE BOWS AGAIN> What is your name, dear boy?
<THE BOY DOES NOT ANSWER>
Frieza: <USES HIS TELEKINESIS TO THROW THE BOY BACKWARD, HAVING HIM FALL OVER> Do not be so impolite. Answer Lord Frieza.
<THE BOY STANDS UP, SQUINTING>
Boy: <LIE; BELLY UP> I don’t have one.
Frieza: Oho! So he can speak! But he has no name; what a shame. <TURNS> Zarbon, what do you think we should call our new friend here?
<THE BOY QUICKLY PEEKS DOWN AT HIS BLAST; IT IS NOT READY>
Zarbon: Lord Frieza, you did say he was a benefactor to us. Perhaps, we should call him–
Frieza: <SLOW SYLLABLES> Benefactor. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? <TO THE BOY> How about it, dear boy? Would you like to be my Benefactor?
<THE BOY BEGINS TO FORM AN ANSWER BUT IS CUT OF>
Frieza: <DEVIOUSLY; FINGER UP> And remember, if you say no, <BACK TO BEING SERIOUS> I will kill you.
Boy: <QUIETLY> All right.
Frieza: Good. As your first act as a soldier under my command, <HE POINTS TO HIS RIGHT> I order you to eliminate the second legion.
Zarbon <QUIETLY> Lord Frieza, that’s 12,000 of our finest men!
Frieza: I am well aware of strength of my armies, Zarbon. It is no matter.
<ZARBON DECIDES NOT TO ARGUE AND SETTLES BACK; FRIEZA PRESSES A BUTTON ON HIS OWN WRIST DEVICE, WHICH ALERTS THE SECOND LEGION TO ATTACK THE BOY>
<THE SECOND LEGION MOVES FORWARD, CHARGING UP THEIR WEAPONS; THEY GET RIGHT UP BEHIND HIM, AND AIM>
<THE BOY SQUINTS BACK INTO FRIEZA’S FACE; THERE IS NOT FEAR IN HIS EYES; HE IS LOOKING YET AGAIN FOR ANY SIGN OF WHAT THIS COULD MEAN; NOT GETTING ANYTHING FROM THE TYRANT, THE BOY STRAIGHTENS HIS SPINE; HIS BLAST IS READY; HOWEVER, JUDGING BY THE SIZE OF THE ARMY BEHIND HIM, THEY ARE A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN THIS FRIEZA IN FRONT OF HIM>
<THE BOY SLOWLY FLICKS HIS ARM UP TO THE AIR; HIS BACK IS FACING THE LEGION; THEY SETTLE THEIR AIM ON HIM>
<THE BOY SNAPS HIS ARM DOWN QUICKLY, POINTING IT BEHIND HIM; HE SHOOTS, STILL LOOKING AT FRIEZA, INTO THE LEGION, VAPORIZING ALL 12,000 SOLDIERS IN AN INSTANT; THE ATTACK IS MASSIVE; IT GOES WELL BEYOND THEIR RANKS, DESTROYING ALL THEIR SHIPS; AS WELL, THE GROUND IS ONCE AGAIN SENT UP INTO THE AIR, CREATING A CLOUD OF DUST AROUND THE THREE REMAINING BEINGS ON THE PLANET>
<THE BOY LOWERS HIS HAND>
Zarbon: Im-impossible! Those were our best troops! There’s no way anyone could destroy them all so quickly!
Frieza: Don’t believe your eyes, Zarbon? <HE FLICKS HIS TAIL AND LEVITATES OFF THE GROUND FORWARD; HE SPREADS HIS HANDS, PARTING THE DUST IN HIS WAY; HE LOOKS DOWN TO THE BOY; THEY BOTH START MOVING FORWARD> You have proven yourself to be stronger than I could have imagined, my little benefactor. It’s amazing, really.
<FRIEZA LANDS IN FRONT OF THE BOY, WHO IS NOW AGAIN LOOKING OFF TO THE CITY WITH A FORLORN LOOK; IN THE BACKGROUND, ZARBON IS CALLING DOWN FRIEZA’S FLAGSHIP>
Frieza: Don’t look so glum. We’re leaving the planet.
The Benefactor: <STILL STARING BACK; HAND ON HIS WOUNDED CHEST> Are we never coming back?
Frieza: <COLDLY> You and I have more important places to be, young Benefactor.
<THE BOY DOES NOT RESPOND, STILL STARING; HE HAS A FROWN UPON HIS FACE>
Frieza: Ho ho ho, little benefactor. There’s no reason to sulk. Be a good soldier and behave.
<FRIEZA WALKS PAST HIM; THE SHIP IS LANDING NOW>
The Benefactor: <CAMERA LOOKING UP> I try to behave…
Frieza: <NOT LOOKING BACK> Then come with us.
<THE DOOR OF THE SHIP LOWERS, ZARBON ESCORTS FRIEZA IN, AND THE BOY LOOKS UP AT THEM; THEY BOTH ENTER; AS THEIR FIGURES LEAVE HIS VIEW, HE DROPS TO HIS KNEES>
<HE LOWERS HIS CLAWS AND SCOOPS UP SOME DIRT, FEELING IT THROUGH EACH OF HIS FINGERS BEFORE LETTING IT GO; HE REMAINS KNEELED FOR A FEW MINUTES; THEN, HE GETS UP AND HURRIES TO THE SHIP>
<AS HE BOARDS THE RAMP, THE BOY FORMS A SMALL BLACK DISC OF ENERGY BETWEEN HIS FIRST TWO FINGERS; HE LETS IT FALL ONTO THE GROUND AND THEN ENTERS THE SHIP>
Boy: <IN HIS MIND> But it eats me alive.
<HE DOES NOT LOOK BACK; THE RAMP CLOSES AND NOT LONG AFTER, FRIEZA’S SPACE SHIP TAKES FLIGHT>
<AS THE SHIP FLIES OFF, JUST BEFORE THE PLANET IS OUT OF SIGHT, THE PLANET IMPLODES ON ITSELF, FORCEFULLY, QUICKLY, QUIETLY; IT TAKES NO MORE THAN A MOMENT FOR IT ALL TO BE DESTROYED>
<THE SHIP EXITS OFF SCREEN>
- <END SPECIAL>
- This chapter's name is in reference to the manner in which The Benefactor gets his name at the end of the chapter. It also references the mystery of TB's mother.
- Monday was used because it has a somber sound that works well for slow-motion running through carnage and death, which happens at the start of this chapter. The exclusive use of piano music for the cued songs for Outbreak also gives it a more cohesive overall tone. The melancholy in Monday is incredible, and it's easily one of my favorite Einaudi pieces; the melancholy TB is feeling as he searches for his mother, coupled with the melancholy the other members of his species are feeling for having to endure such horrific wars is a good parallel.
- Frieza's soldiers destroyed the last city on the planet when they arrived, hoping to find or rouse whoever had been giving off those 100,000+ power level spikes picked up by Frieza's long range scouters. Consequently, this means that if TB's mother had been in that city, she was killed mere moments before being reunited with her son. It is equally likely that she was killed far before TB started his rampage or even during his rampage.
- Monday is the first song in TF that has marker cues, meaning that once the song reaches a certain point (2:31, in this case), it triggers another scene to begin. With the previous Chopin song, no such cues exist, allowing the reader to read more at their own pace and to line up the music to the words how they see fit. When I do cues like this, it's because the point where the music changes is crucially important to the story. The cue has to be there, otherwise, the scene is worse.
- I like giving Frieza cool entrances because he's a badass dude. I did the same thing in the Prince Vegeta Saga, but artistically, his entrance in Outbreak is more interesting.
- It becomes clear at once that Frieza brought his second legion with him to test TB's power.
- The small detachment of soldiers who found TB attack him after he is boxed in by the legion because they are very angry that he ran away from him, and are unsure if Frieza will execute them for letting him get away. To restore their honor, they attack him. I don't think Frieza liked that at all, though. It wasn't according to plan and made things unnecessarily messy, from the tyrant's perspective.
- Frieza's soldiers can only harm TB because he's not in his frenzy; he is not powered up at all. He is also weak, tired, hungry, so his reflexes are slower than usual. From a plot perspective, I did this because I didn't want TB to have an easy time dealing with Frieza's soldiers and getting accepted into the Planet Trade Organization's ranks. In the original draft, he is discovered by them and joins them in the span of a few hundred words; that was far too quick, and it needed more buildup, which I tried to do in the final version of this chapter.
- The way TB kills the first two soldiers is very graphic and gory, in-line with the rest of the deaths in this story. It's also a unique way to kill someone with ki, something I explored in Outbreak, since TB's ki abilities are rather rough and feral.
- Frieza kills the other three soldiers in the manner TB had killed the first two, only faster, to show the boy his power and to intimidate TB.
- The second legion couldn't see TB charging up his attack because he has it hidden in his fist.
- Frieza introduces himself and Zarbon by name so that I can refer to them specifically as the chapter continues.
- Frieza is being nice to TB, which looks unnatural and may make the audience wonder what his underlying goal is. As we all know, Frieza isn't nice by nature. He shows how brutal he can be when he kills his three soldiers, and he restates his authority when he knocks TB over for refusing to answer him.
- Frieza calls TB a benefactor for helping him clear the planet, which of course leads to his name. In the original draft, TB named himself, which was an awful choice. It's much better here. It's logical. TB is an actual benefactor by clearing his planet, as the Iyxans were a powerful species. So his name doesn't come out of nowhere. It was built up from the start of the story, and reaches its payoff with Frieza's comment.
- TB did have a name, of course. Like Loriphim, Nico, Ayale, and Igear, he was named at birth. But we never learn that name, at least not in TF, because it is not important. He doesn't want to tell Frieza that name because it will reveal a bit about him to a stranger, something which will make TB emotionally vulnerable, which he does not want to happen. So he lies, seeing that as the best course of action. Of course, him lying shows his naivety and his lack of experience around Frieza. If Frieza knew he was lying, he might've killed him. Perhaps Frieza did actually know and just didn't care, though.
- As is revealed in the final version of this chapter, Zarbon actually suggests TB's name first, which is quite funny, considering his relationship with TB in the Prince Vegeta Saga. Frieza of course interrupts Zarbon and completes his thought, thinking that he came up with it himself. This is a subtle jab at Frieza's arrogance.
- TB only joins Frieza because Frieza said he would kill the boy otherwise. This shows Frieza's ruthlessness and also reveals that TB never wanted to be a part of the Planet Trade Organization in the first place.
- Losing the second legion is obviously quite bad for Frieza's empire, but Frieza's willingness to sacrifice such good soldiers shows how much he is interested in acquiring TB. If TB would have been unable to defeat the legion, he would have been killed either by the soldiers or by Frieza. Frieza merely wanted to test the boy to see if he was worth getting a position on the tyrant's ship.
- I built up how TB would deal with the legion from the moment he met Frieza and onward. At this stage, he wouldn't be able to instantly charge up a powerful attack to deal with them, as seen when he barely took on the five soldiers, so he needed time. That was the main point of his conversation with Frieza.
- Frieza uses the word "glum" because he uses that in the Bardock special when he addresses King Vegeta's elite guard after killing King Vegeta. Of course, that line was also in the Prince Vegeta Saga.
- Frieza uses the word "sulk" to reference Radiohead's song "Sulk". TB's lines "I try to behave... but it eats me alive" are both lines from that song.
- TB scooping up some dirt has two meanings. First, it's him feeling his planet one last time, remembering how its ground feels and smells. It is also a reference to the movie Gladiator, where the protagonist does the same thing before every fight. Of course, Gladiator is also referenced quite a bit in the subsequent TF sagas.
- In the original draft, TB's Planet Buster was not described. The planet just randomly blew up and Frieza explained what happened. That wasn't good. So I had him use an attack here that he also uses in the Fulfillment Saga. Readers of this special will realize in that saga that TB used a Planet Buster which would have destroyed Earth if not for Verlate's mind prison sucking the attack inside it and dissipating it.
- I had TB reference the two lines from "Sulk" as foreshadowing for his rebellion against Frieza in the last chapter of the PVS. He struggles greatly to listen to anyone, to be subservient to anyone. He only does so here because the other option is simply to die, and of course he doesn't want to do that.
- TB destroys his planet because he wants to forget his past. He also knows that all the other Iyxans are dead. Whether his mother died in the last city or before, he does not know, but he knows she is dead, so he destroys the planet to rid himself of painful memories.
- In the original draft, and even in the second draft, Dodoria was in this special. He was removed during the final edits, meaning that Dodoria is not ever seen during the events of TF.
For my own reference, the chapter word counts are as follows:
- 1: 3439
- 2: 3300
- 3: 2133
I like the final version of this story significantly more than the earlier version. I think that the way I was able to portray The Benefactor in this story showed his character arc and provided a good explanation for why he acts like he does. The blood and gore is uniquely heightened in this special, something that differentiates it from the rest of TF and truly grounds it as a origin story for TB. I had a lot of fun doing the fight scenes and the death scenes, and reading them over for this commentary, I think they hold up well. If I was to change anything, it would probably be to expand TB's story in the second chapter, perhaps showing more about Iyxan culture by having TB interact with more members of his species. I think the dialogue is pretty good here, though not as good as it is in later segments of TF. As with the Prince Vegeta Saga, Outbreak's scene direction is a bit rougher than what is seen in later sagas. There are some awkward descriptions and phrasings, some of which I fixed while doing this commentary. Still, I think this is a good look into The Benefactor. To me personally, it's not the most interesting part of TF since it doesn't involve many of the main characters, but it's still a nifty little origin story that I'm proud to have written. In terms of how this compares to the other parts of TF, there's no way it's better than any of the six sagas, as those are much longer, more complex, have more characters and plot, and are more ambitious. I think the other special, Forever Alone is slightly better than Outbreak. While this means that Outbreak will likely be the lowest ranked of the eight sagas or specials in TF, I still consider it a great story, one that I had fun writing, and one that I had fun reading, especially for this commentary.
<---- Part 29.1
Part 29.3 ---->