In the earliest stages of The Forgotten's existence, long before anything was written for the story, this saga was the first saga. The story was going to begin when Ledas, a Saiyan who survived by being in Cooler's region (training on a moon outpost with 10 Appule and 10 Cui soldiers) during the genocide of the Saiyans, travels to Earth. He has SS1 through SS4 by that point. And he comes to Earth to see who the strongest Saiyan is and is the villain. He wants to use the Dragon Balls to become immortal. It was an atrocious idea, an atrocious story, and I'm glad that long before I joined this wiki, I fleshed out TF enough to see that. Ledas' backstory was originally going to be either said through dialogue or by the narrator or just on his character page. I eventually expanded that into the first three sagas by the final draft of TF, splitting the story into two overall arcs - the PTO arc and the Earth arc. This arc was going to be the whole story originally. But it's important to note now that it isn't. The previous sagas build up to this one, but they are not solely build up. They do give a good explanation for Ledas' power and transformations and personality, which would all be lost if this was the first saga.
So around the time I started writing scenes for TF on my my original works document, there were a few scenes from this saga and beyond, though there were far fewer of these Earth scenes than there were scenes for the earlier PTO-related sagas. I found it much harder to write for Ledas on Earth and it required me to be in a different state of mind as well, since Ledas doesn't do as much fighting in this saga (although I think that perhaps his best fight happens in this saga, funnily enough). Drama was introduced with the others humans, both with the children like Ryori and the adults like Mr. Kyokatoshi (who was, in the first version of this story referred to as "Mr. Kyokatshi"). Once I realized how hard this Earth stuff was to write, I began to focus more on the earlier sagas.
I had some ideas for this saga even as I began to focus on the earlier PTO sagas. I wrote mostly what happens in the first five or so chapters in my works document, along with some additional scenes that ended up being deleted. There were scenes with Ryori's deleted sister Aka; there were additional scenes with Mr. Kyokatoshi; there were additional scenes with Mrs. Fanshi. When I came up with Cardinal and his lackeys, though, that really gave this saga a sense of a plot to me. I finally had a villain, a conflict, and direction. Direction was important for me. The past few sagas all had direction. There were established characters and whatnot that made coming up with the plots for them rather easy. Even the Prince Vegeta Saga, which has a very atypical plot, still had the confines of the canon world and Frieza and King Vegeta's plot. This saga felt directionless to me until I came up with Cardinal.
So Cardinal and Kindler and Dewberry were originally part of an investigation team sent to check out the space pod that landed near the town (this pod being, of course, Ledas' ship). They were, in the earliest, earliest drafts, working with this dude named Detective Ishida. This saga was basically going to have them trying to find Ledas while Ledas struggles with becoming "civilized" as a normal human while also dealing with his Saiyan instincts. This created a plot similar to the one I thought up at the beginning of TF, with Ledas being the villain by this point. He was going to struggle with not killing people and wanting to use his powers. That was drastically reduced in the final version, and he's no longer a villain in this saga, but there are still elements of that. Like with the natives plot in the previous two sagas, Ledas' villain plot in this saga was too ambitious and too on-the-nose to be good literary writing. I pulled it back, made it more subtle and character-driven in this final version to rectify that.
So the thing about Ishida and Cardinal developed as I was working on this saga. Indeed, there was going to be a saga after this one called the "Kyokatshi Saga" featuring them searching for Ledas. That was based on Death Note, which was influencing me at the time I was writing TF's first draft, since it was my favorite anime at the time. However, I soon realized that DBZ is in fact very different from Death Note. The psychological mystery of Death Note doesn't work too well in this universe. Or, rather, I didn't feel like writing that. I wanted to get back to the heart of DBZ with fights and whatnot. Themes and subtle plots are good, too, but it didn't feel right for this story.
So once that was decided, I began to formulate the plot more specifically. This saga's plot was very nebulous to me even in late November 2010 (after the first draft of the Lauto Saga had been completed). I took an extended break before starting this saga. During that time, I continued to reformat the chapters (which can be seen on the Planet Earth Saga's page history), reducing the story from 18 or so chapters to 12. This removal of chapters had a lot to do with me removing the Kyokatshi Saga and Ishida's investigation. I still kept elements of mystery and some thriller aspects to the plot, but they were reduced to make everything work better in the Dragon Ball universe.
Much of the plot that exists now is what I came up with in the coming months after the completion of the first draft of the Lauto Saga. I began publishing this saga on this site on February 15, 2011; this means that there was about a three month gap between the second and third sagas. Such a gap was quite unexpected, and I remember at the time that I was disappointed that I had to take such a break. But it all turned out for the better. The Planet Earth Saga turned out better than most of the other sagas as a result. I spent a lot of time and effort coming up with a unique, cool, and realistic plot. Like with the Prince Vegeta Saga, there were few overall changes during the final edits, with me mostly adding in scenes, not changing or removing scenes, which happened quite a bit with the other four sagas. I attribute this to the fact that each saga is the beginning of an arc, and smaller changes are required for them than what was required for the final edits of the later sagas (the butterfly effect, in effect).
I finished the first version of this saga on March 10, 2011. I was quite proud of it, for it was a new direction in the story. I wasn't resting on my laurels. This was also seen with the transition from the Prince Vegeta Saga to the Lauto Saga. I remember that Destructivedisk loved this saga the most of any of the TF sagas, and even with later versions, he found this saga to be his favorite. It certainly has a different tone to it than the previous ones. It's almost similar to the Prince Vegeta Saga in tone, but not quite. I was always fond of this saga because of how little it's changed over the years. I've added things in with the final edits, particularly in regards to Ledas' Saibamen and the expanding of Cardinal's group, but otherwise, it's still much like it once was. There's a lot of comedy in this saga; a lot of oddball actions and characters are also present. Korin and Yajirobe are major players because I loved them in DBZ and DB. They were some of Destructivedisk's favorite characters as well, which influenced me to put them in here, as I wanted to write something he would like. He was one of my greatest friends at the time, so I wanted to make sure TF appealed to him. But make no mistake, I wouldn't have put them in had I not considered them some of my favorite characters as well. Yajirobe is my third overall favorite character in the Dragon Ball universe. I just had to have Ledas meet him.
I did the final edits for this saga very quickly. I started on August 13, 2013, and finished on August 15th. Of course, minor edits persisted for much longer, but all of the major changes were done in those two days. That is because I didn't make many changes; and most of what I did change were additions, not subtractions of text or changing of text. Just adding things in is much easier than doing the other two. As a result, the final edits for this saga went by in a blur and I don't remember doing them at all.
I should also mention that in the original idea for this saga, I had Ledas arrive on Earth before Cell. I thought it would be cool if he was in class with Ryori unable to concentrate on a test because he felt the powers of the Z Fighters fighting Cell. While that is a really cool scene idea, it didn't work because it meant that Ledas would then have to stay on Earth with Ryori for like 7 years. That was never going to happen; it couldn't if I wanted to keep a logical plot. Ledas' confrontation with The Benefactor couldn't take place until after Buu because I needed everyone to be at their strongest and together. If I did it after Cell, Goku wouldn't be there, and the fight against The Benefactor would feel cheapened as a result. And Goku having Super Saiyan 3 was also desired, since at this early stage, I planned on giving Ledas Super Saiyan 3 during the fight against The Benefactor, and there's no way Ledas should unlock that transformation years before Goku (I ended up changing this to giving Vegeta SS3 in the final version, while Ledas only has SS2 by the end of TF). So yeah, Ledas needed to arrive slightly before Buu and then "reappear" after Buu's defeat. This created a bit of a complication as I didn't want Ledas to die with the Earth when Kid Buu blows it up. That spawned the plot of the last chapter, which spilled over into the first three chapters of the next saga as well. Anyways, once I got all of that figured out, that left Ledas searching for Earth for many years from his departure from Planet Cooler 92. When I came to my final departure date during the final edits of the 766 Age, this meant that Ledas spends roughly 8 years in space looking for Vegeta and Earth. This was very desirable, to be honest. It allows Ledas much time to train in his new Super Saiyan form, allowing him to grow quickly in power. Since he is significantly weaker than Vegeta (even in SS) at the end of the Stomping Grounds Saga, I needed him to gain power quickly so that he can get close to his old friend's power by the time he gets to Earth. Now, I didn't want him to be stronger, but he needed to be relatively close. SGS Ledas is like less than 1% of Vegeta's power at that time. That's unacceptable; it means they can't spar or fight or go up against the same opponent. Ledas had to be stronger; he had to get close to Vegeta's power for this saga's plot (and the next few sagas') to work. And so 8 years on his own, training as much as he can, allows me to make that work.
Thematically, this saga is an evolution of the last saga. It deals with some of the same themes, expands on others, and introduces even others. I won't go into too much detail on that stuff, as it's not my place to reveal both my conscious and subconscious thematic constructions. One thing I will say is that Ledas' inferiority complex re-emerges when he arrives on Earth and realizes how much stronger Vegeta has become compared to him. Even with his 8 years of training, Vegeta is still quite a bit above him in power. That produces an interesting dynamic, where Ledas feels guilt for his weakness. This hearkens back to the Prince Vegeta Saga, where Ledas and Vegeta only became friends because Ledas was close in power to the prince. Ledas fears that now, since he's no longer as close as he once was to Vegeta's power, they can no longer be friends. His Saiyan instincts lead him to believe that (whether that is actually true or not is not stated in TF). This is all related to quite a sad theme. It's sad to think that Ledas has spent all of his life searching for Vegeta and now that he's found him, he's too embarrassed to reunite with him because Ledas feels he's too weak. There's a lot going on with that thematically, and I will discuss some of it in the below endnotes. It is one of my favorite developments in TF.
I think it's interesting how short this saga is. I guess it makes sense, though, that this and PVS are the shortest (each serving as the first saga in each TF arc) while the two middle sagas are the next longest, and the two arc finales are the longest. It really gives this saga a feeling of being a "reset" to a certain degree, although the Lauto Saga also had that to a lesser degree. Only Ledas, The Benefactor, Vegeta, Guva, and Banas have survived from the first three sagas. And one of the more interesting things about this saga is how I handled the Guva and Banas plot. Their plot doesn't take place at the same time as Ledas' plot. It takes place immediately after the Stomping Grounds Saga finale, whereas Ledas' story timeskips 8 years into the future. Banas and Guva feel like a remnant of the previous saga in a way, and that was deliberate. Guva ends up becoming very important, so his story still had to be told. Yet it resonated with me in a weird way to see how their roles have been reduced, how their conflict is like this desperate fight in a far-distant cave unconnected from the rest of the universe. How far they have fallen. Just from the overview, their plot illustrates the ruination of the Planet Trade Organization I think.
There was originally going to be a special tied to this saga, which at previous times was tied to the Lauto Saga and at later times tied to the Reunion Saga. This special, "Our Brotherhood", was never written. It was going to be about the trials Guva and Banas had to go through for one of them (the winner) to become the governor of Planet Cooler 92. By this point in the story, the PTO plotline is fading. As I mentioned above, just looking at their scenes gives this feeling of ruination, of an old world slowly dying out and fading away. A special about them felt unnecessary, tone-deaf, and I could never muster the will to write it. So it was eventually deleted. You can read more about that here.
So the theme song for this saga is much different from the previous theme songs. They are all rocking action songs (trailer songs, really), highly dramatic and bombastic, reflecting the high energy and all of the battles that take place in those sagas. This saga's theme song is really funny to me because of how ironic it is. It's a tonal shift from the previous theme songs and it is also ironic because Ledas struggles so much with his emotions in this saga. This idea that all he needs to do is calm down and be happy is perhaps what he should have done, but it's not what he actually does. He's too damaged, pessimistic, and lonely for that message to reach him. But the message in the theme song is still important and it draws a contrast between the ideal and Ledas that highlights several themes in this saga.
This saga's tagline (pictured above) was one of the harder ones for me to come up with. But I like how it turned out. It reflects the same kind of irony in the theme song. This idea that reality and idealism are not the same is a big theme in this saga. Things are not just like old times. Things have deteriorated. Vegeta has become far stronger than Ledas. Ledas is depressed, alone, and plagued by hallucinations perhaps caused by his horrible life in the PTO. Things could not be worse. Yet, Ledas is finally back with Vegeta. He's not officially reunited with Vegeta in this saga, though he does have one explicit scene where they are face-to-face (where Vegeta doesn't recognize Ledas), so there is still a sense of things returning to normal. But it's more of a kind of thing like "the puzzle pieces don't fit the way they used to". The puzzle pieces haven't been lost; they've changed their shapes. The old picture can no longer be created. The old friendship the two had, the old reality they had together, their old happiness and friendship, can never return. Things were better then; yet those times can never come back. And that tagline highlights the dislocation of idealism from reality, showcasing the desperation Ledas has to return to those happier times despite that simply not being possible any longer. Ledas wants it to be just like old times; but he cannot will it to be so. I find that to be heartbreaking.
So yeah that's about it for this saga. I think this saga was the second easiest to do the final edits for - the Prince Vegeta Saga was slightly easier, I believe. Still, this saga's final edits were overall quite easy because I think this saga, even in its first draft, was quite good. Aside from the Prince Vegeta Saga, it's the only saga I would say could have still stood as a great piece of literature even without the final edits. Anyways, onto the endnotes!
I promise the events
that take place
in the Hazing chapter
are not based off
A Chemical Reaction
<LATE 772 AGE>
<IT IS DARK AND WINDY; THE LANDSCAPE IS NOTHING BUT ROCKS; UP AHEAD IS A SMALL SPHERICAL ODDITY, STRANGELY OUT OF PLACE>
<THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN CLOSER; THE ROUND OBJECT IS MAGNIFIED TO ITS REGULAR SIZE; IT IS A SPACE POD>
<THE FRONT LATCH IS OPEN, AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF A SENTIENT OCCUPANT>
<SUDDENLY, FROM UP AHEAD, AN EXPLOSION GOES OFF, SMOKE BILLOWS; THE CAMERA TURNS TO FACE THIS; THERE ARE SIX SAIBAMEN FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER; MOST OF THEM ARE RED; THE CAMERA STAYS ON THEM FOR A FEW MOMENTS AS THEY CONTINUE TO SPAR; THEN, THE CAMERA TURNS AROUND TO REVEAL, SITTING ALONE IN A VALLEY OF JAGGED ROCKS, A SMALL CHILD>
<THE CHILD IS SITTING ON A LARGE ROCK, HANDS ON KNEES; HIS HEAD IS BOWED; HE IS NOT WEARING HIS CHEST ARMOR, THOUGH HE IS WEARING HIS BOOTS, FINGERLESS GLOVES, AND GUVA’S LEFT WRIST GUARD>
<ALMOST CASUALLY, THE CHILD PICKS UP A PEBBLE NEXT TO HIM, AND FLINGS IT AS IF TO SKIP A STONE ON WATER; THE ROCK ACCELERATES AND SMASHES INTO A CLIFF WALL; THE FORCE OF IMPACT CAUSES A SERIES OF CRACKS TO SUDDENLY JUMP OUT; BUT THE WALL REMAINS STANDING>
<ANGRY, THE CHILD STANDS UP, HIS TAIL HANGING FREE IN IRRITATION>
<HE OUTSTRETCHES HIS ARMS AND GIVES OFF A YELL; THE AIR AROUND EXPLODES INTO A BRIGHT LIGHT; THE CHILD’S HAIR HAS SUDDENLY TURNED GOLDEN>
<HE LETS OFF ANOTHER YELL AND AT THE SAME TIME PUSHES HIS HANDS OUT, CREATING A BEAM OF ENERGY; THE LIGHT BLUE BEAM HITS INTO THE WALL BEFORE, THIS TIME OBLITERATING THE LONG UNYIELDED BASTION>
<THE CHILD STARES AT THE BLAST, SMOKE AND FIRE BILLOWING; WITH HIS FACE BLANK, HE SITS BACK DOWN>
Unknown Voice: Now, is that any way to treat me… <LONG PAUSE> Ledas? My son?
<A FIGURE APPEARS, WALKING THROUGH THE SMOKE AHEAD; AS IT COMES INTO FOCUS, IT IS CLEARLY LAYEECK; HE LOOKS THE SAME AS HE DID THE LAST TIME THE TWO WERE TOGETHER AND IS IN HIS ARMOR>
<UPON SEEING HIM, LEDAS GETS UP; HE STAYS IN PLACE THOUGH, ON GUARD>
Ledas: <IN A SHOUT> What the heck?! How’d you get here?!
Layeeck: <WALKS OUT, TO THE OPEN; HE PAUSES> Has it been so long that you do not remember your own father’s face?
Ledas: <WITH QUIET WIT> My father is dead.
<SUDDENLY, LEDAS RUNS FORWARD, THRUSTING HIS ARM OUT, WITH ANOTHER BEAM OF ENERGY; IT HITS LAYEECK, WHO OFFERS NO RESISTANCE, SQUARE IN THE CHEST>
<WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS, LAYEECK IS STILL IN PLACE, UNDAMAGED>
Ledas: <INCREDULOUSLY> You’re another vision!
Layeeck: <CROUCHES, INSPECTING THE DAMAGE DONE; HE LOOKS UP AT LEDAS, WHO IS STILL IN SUPER SAIYAN> My own son did this. What incredible power…
Ledas: You’re a vision…
Layeeck: <CHUCKLES, TO HIMSELF> I’m whatever you want me to be.
Ledas: A vision… well at least you’re better than the other one. <LOOKS BEHIND, THERE IS NOTHING THERE> But I haven’t seen him in a while… <TURNS BACK TO HIS FATHER> But why can I see you now?
Layeeck: <STILL DISTRACTED> You are looking for Vegeta… and you’ve given up.
Ledas: <EYES GLAZE OVER, REMEMBERING THE PAST> No. I promised him… we would meet again. I promised. I’m not gonna stop until I find Vegeta! <LAYEECK DOES NOT ANSWER, BUT SIMPLY STARES AT HIS SON> I’ve traveled to every planet around… and there’s not even a trace of him. I can’t sense anything… <HE YELLS AGAIN AND SHOOTS ANOTHER KI BLAST> Stupid Guva! His directions were terrible! He didn’t know where Earth was!
<LAYEECK’S FORM CHANGES TO ANOTHER BEING; THAT OF THE BENEFACTOR>
The Benefactor: You should have killed him.
<LEDAS GASPS AND BLINKS; HE NOTICES HIS FATHER HAS RETURNED>
Layeeck: <STRANGELY FATHER-LIKE> Stop. When you focus, you can feel. And when you feel, you will be able to find him.
Ledas: <CHILD’S TONE> But I don’t know how to–
Layeeck: Put your arms out! Focus your energy; feel the pulse of the galaxy.
<LEDAS LOOKS TO HIS RIGHT IN CHILD-LIKE WONDER; HE REACHES HIS HAND OUT, AS IF TO FEEL THE ENERGY COMING FROM THAT DIRECTION>
<SEVERAL MOMENTS PASS, WITH NOTHING HAPPENING; LEDAS’ EYES ARE NOW CLOSED, IN CONCENTRATION>
Ledas: <MOMENTS PASS BEFORE HE MOVES; WHEN HE DOES, HE LETS IN A SHARP GASP, AND IN HIS SHOCK, RETURNS TO HIS NORMAL STATE; HIS HAIR REGRESSING TO ITS COMMON BLACK COLOR> I-I… felt something. <HE REACHES HIS HAND BACK OUT, TO TRY AGAIN> Vegeta?
<LAYEECK HAS DISAPPEARED, THOUGH LEDAS DOESN’T SEEM TO NOTICE>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> I have to go check that out… it felt like him. I know it did.
<HE TURNS BACK TO HIS PRACTICING SAIBAMEN; HE WALKS UP TO THEM, WATCHING THEM AS THEY TRAIN TOGETHER; AS HE REACHES THEM, THE NEAREST GREEN ONE IS SUDDENLY ENCAPSULATED IN BRIGHT LIGHT; IT YELLS OUT; THEN, THE LIGHT FADES AND A SMALL ENERGY WAVE IS RELEASED; LEDAS SEES THE SAIBAMAN HAS TURNED RED; IT JUMPS FOR JOY AND PUFFS OUT ITS CHEST AS THE OTHERS HOWL IN APPROVAL>
Ledas: <PATS SES ON THE HEAD> Nice job, Ses. But we have to go now. I think I found Vegeta. <HE LOOKS AT HIS OTHER SAIBAMEN> Come on, everyone. Back in the bag.
<LEDAS TAKES OUT HIS BROWN POUCH THAT HE STORES THE SAIBAMEN IN; THE SCREEN PANS BACK AS HE DOES THIS>
<LEDAS TURNS AND RUNS BACK TO HIS POD; HE JUMPS INSIDE AND QUICKLY TAKES OFF; WITHIN SECONDS, THE POD SHOOTS OFF AND OUT OF SIGHT>
<THE CAMERA SHIFTS TO ANOTHER PLACE, FAMILIAR IN SCENERY; IT IS SUNSET ON PLANET COOLER 92>
(note: this scene picks up mere seconds from the conclusion of the Stomping Grounds Saga, and it should be noted that the Guva/Banas storyline of this saga does not take place at the same time as the main story with Ledas does; however, by the end of the saga, the two timelines will have caught up with each other)
Guva: <IS SPRAWLED ON THE FLOOR, COVERED IN GLASS AND WINE AND HATE> Banas? <IN SHOCK> What… the hell?
<GUVA GETS UP, SURVEYING HIS SURROUNDINGS; HE IS IN HIS OFFICE, ON THE THIRD FLOOR; HIS WALL-WINDOW IS SHATTERED, LETTING IN THE COLD OF THE WILD>
Guva: <LOOKS AROUND, CONFUSED> Banas?! Come out! I know you’re in here!
<THERE IS NO ANSWER; FOR SEVERAL MOMENTS, GUVA CONTINUES TO WALK AROUND, LOOKING FOR HIS FORMER CAPTAIN; BUT IT IS TO NO AVAIL>
<A DEVICE ON GUVA’S DESK BEHIND LIGHTS UP WITH NOISE; GUVA TURNS SUDDENLY, EXPECTING BANAS; BUT IT IS ONLY A WORKER CALLING HIM>
Guva: <WALKS OVER TO THE DEVICE AND PRESSES DOWN ON IT; WITH IMPATIENCE> What?
Soldier 1: <CRACKLING IN OVER THE SPEAKERS> Sir, the natives are acting up again. Would you like to come down?
Guva: No. Deal with it yourself. Send only first and second platoon.
Soldier 1: <PAUSE> Uh… yes sir. We won’t let you down. Over and out.
<GUVA TURNS BACK AROUND TO THE BROKEN WINDOW>
<IN PLAYFUL REPOSE, THERE SITS A NEW ITEM; A SPIKED AND ALCOHOLIC FRUIT>
Guva: <HE WALKS UP TO IT, AND CRUSHES IT WITH HIS BOOT> Banas! You think this to be all a game? I do not want your gifts! Our old memories! Come out, so I may kill you!
Banas: <DROPPING DOWN FROM THE CEILING ABOVE> But governor, that would set such a… bad example. <HE KICKS GUVA, IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD, SENDING THE GOVERNOR FLYING INTO A WALL>
Guva: <WITH GRIT; SPUTTERING> Banas?!
Banas: <WALKS FORWARD, ARMS SPREAD> Yes, my dear?
<GUVA SNARLS AND ROLLS OVER, FIRING OFF A ENERGY BLAST AT BANAS’ FACE; IT HITS HIM>
<GUVA JUMPS UP AND GRABS BANAS’ SHOULDERS, THROWING HIM DOWN ONTO THE DESK; WOOD SHARDS AND PAPERS FLY EVERYWHERE; BANAS’ FACE IS BLEEDING>
Banas: <GETS UP, STILL BLEEDING; HE IS LAUGHING> Just like old times, guvvy. Aren’t ya feeling nostalgic?
Guva: <BREATHLESS> The past? I won; you lost. That’s how it was last time; that’s how it’ll be this time.
Banas: You know, <PULLS A SHARD OF WOOD OUT OF HIS NECK, GINGERLY> when Cooler made you governor, that elitist shit really started coming out, didn’t it Guva? I remember when you were just another lovable captain. Like me. <SMILES, TOOTHILY AND SINCERELY>
Guva: <MOVES FORWARD, BRUSHING DEBRIS OUT OF THE WAY> I’m not a captain any more. I’m a governor. Your governor, Banas.
Banas: Empty words from an empty man. <CHUCKLES> Cooler only gave you that position because you were a fucking teacher’s pet. Someone he could control. And you played right into that… thinking he gave it to you because you were so talented.
Guva: <UNMOVED> After all these years, I thought you had moved on. But I see you’re still jealous as ever. Is that why you returned?
Banas: <A WRY SMILE COMES TO HIS FACE; HE STEPS TOWARD GUVA, COMING WITHIN INCHES> You’ve got me all wrong, brotha. I don’t want this planet anymore. No, I came back for you, for old time’s sake. So we could finally end it. No kid. No team. Just you and me.
<GUVA’S EYES WIDEN, BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE PUSHES BANAS AWAY; HE FIRES AN ENERGY VOLLEY AT HIM, AND THE WHOLE ROOM GOES UP IN SMOKE; WHEN IT CLEARS, GUVA’S BUILDING IS DEMOLISHED; GUVA AND BANAS ARE THE ONLY TWO THINGS LEFT STANDING (HOVERING, ACTUALLY)>
<BELOW THEM, GUVA’S REMAINING GRUNTS ARE FIGHTING OFF A HORDE OF THE NATIVES; THE GROUND IS SOAKED HEAVILY IN BLOOD>
- So this saga's opening poem may or may not be based on an actual event in my life. I'm not going to go into that. It did set up the panty raid in chapter 3, though. This may be an influence for me talking about the panty raid to begin with.
- This chapter was originally called "Exodus", referencing the fact that Ledas has left Planet Cooler 92 and is now going to Earth. That title was based on a Halo: Reach level of the same name. I thought the name was a little boring when I went back to do the final edits for this saga, so I changed it. The new name is a reference to Let Down by Radiohead, which is, incidentally, the theme song for the Fulfillment Saga. The chapter title itself refers to the varying motivations of both Ledas and Banas within the chapter.
- The opening scene is the only Ledas scene to take place between the gap that occurs after the end of the Stomping Grounds Saga and Ledas' arrival on Earth. For a long time, I was considering writing a story for this part of Ledas' timeline - not in TF, though - and only recently decided against doing that. However, the story I was thinking about telling in that time is still likely to happen, timeline-wise, after the end of Cold Vengeance. I don't have a name for it yet, but it deals with Cooler's children. I didn't want to put it in here because it felt like Ledas wouldn't be strong enough to fight them at this point. Even in this scene, he's not very strong in comparison to Vegeta or Goku. But after Cold Vengeance, I think he' strong enough to take them on. As to when I'll write that... dunno. It may never happen. Or it may happen in 2016 (I'm writing this commentary in 2015). It's impossible, at this point, to guess when that will happen.
- The Saibamen fighting at the start of this chapter was added in during the final edits. I wanted most of them to be red Saibamen by this point in the story (with Wilde pushing to the level beyond that) so that they could at least be somewhat useful lackeys for Ledas. Notice how, by this point, the Saibamen have taken over the 10 Appule-race and 10 Cui-race soldiers that Ledas came to Earth with in the original concept for TF (before any writing took place). He does not have any lackeys in any written versions of this saga, aside from the final draft, though.
- Why does Ledas like wearing Guva's wrist guard? I'm sure there's some psychology behind it, but for the most part, it just looks cool as fuck, especially when he's not wearing his regular PTO chest armor. He tends to wear this wrist guard and his fingerless gloves even without the rest of his armor from here on out because I think it looks cool.
- This entire opening scene was influenced a lot by the first Broly movie, specifically with the early locations Broly was seen at and the way he acted at those locations.
- Ledas goes Super Saiyan to deal with the wall to show how comfortable he's become in the form since his last appearance. This hints that his power has significantly increased since the conclusion of the previous saga.
- Ledas seeing Layeeck does two things. Firstly, it showcases his damaged psyche from years of combat and slavery. Secondly, it allows me to let Ledas have conversations with himself. He can't really do this with the Saibamen, as Layeeck can lead the direction of conversation better. This becomes useful as the saga progresses, as Ledas doesn't really have anyone to talk to in this saga aside from himself. And the Layeeck hallucination allows him to do so in a more interesting way than just talking to himself.
- Ledas mentions that he's also seen visions of The Benefactor, though not recently. These visions are more related to him absorbing TB's power, though they could also be related to his apparent PTSD. Interestingly, Ledas has not seen visions of Lauto, despite absorbing Lauto's power too. This is due to him not really ever getting a good look at Lauto and also because Lauto isn't as "evil" (or, more accurately, "influential") as The Benefactor. Ledas sees who his subconscious wants him to see, for the most part, and he doesn't know anything about Lauto, so he wouldn't care to see the bloke.
- Guva probably didn't even know where Earth was. It would be weird if he had. However, he knew about Vegeta and Goku on Earth from the governors' meeting on the moon of the stomping grounds. And he didn't want to die. So sending Ledas off with the promise of "Earth", knowing the boy would likely never return, was the safest bet for him. I like to think that he just sent Ledas to some random planet incidentally on the other side of the universe from Earth, but the details of where he led Ledas are never made clear because that's useless information.
- The way Layeeck changes into The Benefactor for a moment highlights Ledas' damaged psyche as well as his penchant for emotional outbursts, which becomes a recurring thing in this saga.
- Layeeck doesn't tell Ledas anything he doesn't know already; he can't, as he's just a hallucination. So this is more of Ledas arguing with himself, wrestling with his own emotions in an open way.
- Ledas has never sensed Vegeta before. It's interesting that the faint power level he feels is what he believes to be Vegeta. Importantly, that is never confirmed in this saga. He could have been sensing something else. But he does eventually land on Earth by the next chapter, so it's more likely that he did sense Vegeta or Piccolo or another Z Fighter. This is possible, even in this year (as this is a timeskipped year in the DBZ anime), for Vegeta and the others would be training on Earth and their power level outputs would be sense-able by others in the universe. I like to think that Ledas sensed Vegeta as the Saiyan prince became a Super Saiyan 2 for the first time, but that's just wishful thinking and not a definite canon thought, to be sure.
- Notice how only six Saibamen were fighting one another; one is missing. That is Sonfla, who does not become a red Saibaman because he does not train. This becomes an important plot point later on with the New Red Ribbon Army, but it is only hinted at here.
- I showed Ses transforming just because I wanted to. It didn't have particular thematic meaning, but it was nice to that the Saibamen could transform from training, which is a new concept I introduce in TF about that canon species.
- This Guva and Banas plot is like the side TB and Lauto plot of the previous two sagas (though this one was written first). Indeed, if I could have, I would have had it take place at the same time as Ledas' story. It just wasn't possible. I tried everything, but there was no possible logic to make it work, as the previous saga ended with Banas returning to Guva before the timeskip happened. This side plot is also like TB's and Lauto's in that it takes all saga to build up to something crucially important, allowing for quite a bit of world building and characterization to happen in the meantime, as the plot itself is much slower than Ledas'. Of course, if we go into Ledas' timeframe, Guva is already enslaved to The Benefactor as Ledas trains on the planet in this chapter, so Guva's and Banas' sections serve more as flashbacks than anything else, though I didn't call them that, because there was never meant to be a flashforward section involving them in this saga.
- Like Guva predicted in the last saga, the natives are acting up now that Payar and the other Plantains are dead. This leaves Guva with only his regular soldiers to protect him, and for the most part, they are a more even match with the natives. He would have sent for new elites by now had Cooler not gone to Earth and gotten himself killed (though Guva doesn't yet know his overlord is dead).
- Banas' line about Guva setting a bad example if he kills Banas is a callback to chapter 2 of the Lauto Saga, where the two have a similar exchange.
- The alcoholic fruit is the same fruit Guva was sipping on last saga and which Ledas got drunk from last saga. That fruit is definitely a symbol for something.
- There's a lot of exposition about Guva's and Banas' backstories in their exchange in this chapter. Some of that used to be in the old TF versions in the form of flashbacks. I removed all of them, though, since they needlessly cluttered up the chapters and slowed down pacing. It's more effective if revealed in tantalizing bits, I think.
- I think Banas is really funny in this chapter, especially when he calls Guva "my dear". This is all a cover for how hurt he feels after Guva betrayed him and how angry that also made him.
- Banas' use of "brotha" is a reference to Desmond from Lost.
- Banas reveals why he returned at the end of this chapter. He knows they have to end their rivalry now, as things have happened that cannot be forgiven. Now that Ledas and the Plantains are gone or dead, Guva and Banas can focus on defeating one another. Banas still sees Guva as his friend and hopes to spare Guva should he win their duel - but the duel still must happen after what Guva tried to do. To think that that duel ultimately leads Guva to Earth and directly causes the events of the last two sagas is not immediately recognizable from this point in the story, but it is cool to see how such a small thing - just a little rivalry between two moderately-powerful aliens - caused so much later on.
- The image of Guva and Banas hovering over the soldiers and natives fighting on a blood-soaked ground has great aesthetic worth to me. Blood is an important symbol in this story as well, so don't forget that.
<LEDAS’ SPACE POD IS SHOWN; THE CAMERA MOVES UP AND OVER TO BEHIND IT AS IT PASSES BY, REVEALING ITS TARGET; A PLANET CALLED EARTH>
<THE SPACE POD LANDS HARD; IT CREATES A HUGE CRATER; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, THE DOOR OPENS AND LEDAS EXITS>
<HE IS NOT WEARING HIS CHEST ARMOR, ONLY HIS UNDERCLOTHES, FINGERLESS GLOVES, BOOTS, AND GUVA’S WRIST GUARD; OTHERWISE, HIS CLOTHES ARE SIMPLE AND WORN>
<HE STEPS OUT OF THE POD AND SCANS THE AREA, HEAD HELD HIGH; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, LEDAS MOVES FORWARD UP AND OUT OF THE CRATER; HE LEAVES HIS POD BEHIND; SOON HE COMES UP ON A CLIFF OVERLOOK; BELOW IS A CITY, HUGE AND BUSY>
<LEDAS PEERS DOWN INTO THE CITY, WITH WONDER; HE LAYS DOWN ON HIS STOMACH TO SURVEY; HE IS A BIT HESITANT TO GO INTO THE TOWN>
Layeeck: <SITTING ON A ROCK NEARBY> And you’re sure Vegeta’s here?
Ledas: <STILL PEERING DOWN AT THE TOWN AND THE PEOPLE WALKING AROUND> Yeah.
Layeeck: What will you do when you finally meet him?
Ledas: Iono… <IN REGARDS TO THE HUMANS BELOW> Hey these guys look just like us. Are they Saiyans too?
Layeeck: <UNMOVING> If they were Saiyans, don’t you think you could sense it? And they are also missing a… necessary appendage.
Ledas: <CHILD’S AWE> Whoa… they don’t have tails…
Layeeck: <STERNLY> So what would happen if you just flaunted yourself into town as you are?
Ledas: <FINALLY LOOKS OVER AT HIS FATHER> What do you mean?
Layeeck: Do you really think you need to be drawing unwanted attention, my son? You don’t know a thing about these creatures, other than Vegeta is living with them. Any unnecessary entanglements could lead to–
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY> If Vegeta’s gotten along with them, then they can’t be that bad.
<LEDAS GETS UP, IGNORING HIS FATHER, AND SLIDES DOWN THE ROUNDED CLIFF INTO THE CITY; NOTICEABLY, THOUGH, HE WRAPS HIS TAIL AROUND HIS WAIST TO HIDE IT; THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN THE SERIES THAT LEDAS HAS WILLINGLY DONE THIS>
<HE STARTS WANDERING DOWN A STREET GAINING SOME STARES FROM VARIOUS PEDESTRIANS; HE ROUNDS A CORNER AND BUMPS INTO TWO YOUNG MEN>
Man 1: Hey kid! Watch where yer goin’!
Ledas: Get outta my way. <WALKS BY THE TWO>
<MAN 2 GRABS LEDAS’ SHOULDER AND SPINS HIM AROUND>
Man 2: Hey! We were talkin’ to you, kid!
Ledas: <QUIETLY> Don’t touch me.
Man 1: What was dat, ya little punk?!
Ledas: Get off of me!
<LEDAS BARES HIS TEETH IN ANGER; HE BRUSHES THE TWO MEN INTO A SIDE ALLEY; THEY ARE CRUMPLED AND BLOODIED, BUT ALSO DEAD; WHILE HE DID NOT INTEND TO KILL THEM, HIS POWER IS SO GREAT THAT HE DID SO WITHOUT EVEN TRYING OR KNOWING HE DID>
<LEDAS CONTINUES ON WITHOUT MUCH CARE>
<UP AHEAD, AN OLDER WOMAN COMES QUIETLY OUT OF A SIDE SHOP; IN HER HANDS ARE MANY PARCELS; LEDAS DOES NOT SEE HER AND BUMPS INTO HER, SPILLING ALL SORTS OF PRESENTS AND GROCERIES ABOUT>
<LEDAS WALKS BY HER, NOT BOTHERING TO HELP HER PICK ANYTHING UP>
Mrs. Fanshi: You! Boy! What do you think you’re doing?!
Ledas: <HE CONTINUES WALKING FOR A FEW FEET THEN TURNS HIS HEAD; HE SEEMS SURPRISED THAT SHE IS TALKING TO HIM> What do you care?
Mrs. Fanshi: <STERNLY> Boy! Don’t you have any manners?!
Ledas: I dunno what you’re talking about.
Mrs. Fanshi: Here, come help me pick them up.
<LEDAS SIGHS THEN WALKS BACK OVER AND KNEELS DOWN; MRS. FANSHI DOES AS WELL; HE QUIETLY HELPS HER PICK EVERYTHING BACK UP>
<UPON FINISHING, LEDAS BEGINS TO WALK OFF AGAIN, STILL PREOCCUPIED WITH VEGETA>
Mrs. Fanshi: <WATCHES HIM FOR A FEW MOMENTS, THEN RAISES HER RIGHT HAND> Hang on there, dear. Come back!
Ledas: <ANNOYED> What do you want now?
Mrs. Fanshi: <NOTICES LEDAS IS ALL DIRTY AND WHATNOT> Why are you all alone, dear? Do you not have parents?
Ledas: <NO TONE> They’re dead.
Mrs. Fanshi: <DROPS WHAT SHE IS CARRYING AGAIN> Oh good heavens! That’s terrible!
Ledas: I got over it a long time ago.
Mrs. Fanshi: <KNEELS DOWN TO PICK UP HER THINGS> Be a good boy and help me pick these up again.
<LEDAS SIGHS AND HELPS AGAIN>
Mrs. Fanshi: So, are you an orphan?
Mrs. Fanshi: And you live around here?
Ledas: <OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT WANT TO TALK TO HER> No.
Mrs. Fanshi: <TALKING TO HERSELF> What a pity, he’s homeless. <TURNS TO LEDAS> Do you have a place to stay?
Ledas: No, but I don’t ne–
Mrs. Fanshi: <STANDS UP ONCE AGAIN, WITH HER PARCELS> Well then, you can stay with me until we get things sorted out.
Mrs. Fanshi: No “buts”. Come on, honey, let’s go. <STARTS WALKING> Have you ever been to school, dear?
Ledas: <STILL SLIGHTLY PEEVED AT HER FOR DRAGGING HIM AWAY> What’s school?
Mrs. Fanshi: <EYES WIDEN> My, my. <TAKES A DEEP BREATH> School, my dear, is where a child goes to learn all the things necessary to survive and be successful in life. I hadn’t thought of taking in a boy, myself, but seeing how ignorant you are, I can’t let you go!
Ledas: It’s training?
Mrs. Fanshi: Yes, my dear. It will prepare you for the real world.
Ledas: <TURNS TO LAYEECK WHO HAD, DURING THE CONVERSATION, MATERIALIZED OVER LEDAS’ RIGHT SHOULDER> A little training couldn’t hurt… <TO FANSHI> Okay, I’m ready for that.
Layeeck: <FOLD HIS ARMS> Hmph… you don’t want to get caught up with these creatures, Ledas. It’ll only prolong your search.
Mrs. Fanshi: Splendid. Let’s get going then. Tomorrow morning I’ll take you down to the school to get registered… and get you some new clothes.
Ledas: <DRAGGING HIS FEET AFTER HER> Hey! What’s wrong with my clothes?!
Mrs. Fanshi: <NOT HEARING HIM; THINKING OUT LOUD> Then, I can apply you for the orphanage… but you can stay with me until that is worked out. Come on, honey, my house isn’t far away.
<IN THE BACKGROUND, SOME POLICE ARE INSPECTING THE CORPSES OF THE TWO THUGS LEDAS KILLED; LEDAS DOES NOT NOTICE THIS>
<CUTS TO PLANET COOLER 92; GUVA AND BANAS ARE HOVERING OVER A SMOLDERING BUILDING; BANAS’ ARMOR IS STILL CRACKED AND BROKEN; GUVA IS MOSTLY UNTOUCHED>
Banas: <LOOKS DOWN AT THE SOLDIERS AND NATIVES FIGHTING; HE LAUGHS AND SHOOTS A BLAST AT IT ALL, KILLING A VAST MAJORITY OF BOTH> Looks like it’s all falling apart without me!
Guva: <SHOUTING OVER THE COMMOTION> Don’t touch my soldiers! This is between you and me, Captain! No one else!
Banas: <FLIES UP TO GUVA, ON HIS BACK, ARMS FOLDED> Heh heh heh. You want to take this to another planet, guvvy? Cuz I’ve got the perfect one. <RIGHTS HIMSELF UP, HIS TONE BECOMES MUCH MORE SERIOUS; REPEATS> I’ve got the perfect one. The one you never let me go to, guvvy.
<BANAS LAUGHS AGAIN; GUVA’S FACE IS HESITANT>
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS AND FANSHI>
Mrs. Fanshi: Dinner’s ready!
Ledas: Awright, I’m starving.
<LEDAS SITS DOWN AND HURRIEDLY SCARFS UP THE FOOD WITH HIS HANDS; MRS. FANSHI IS APPALLED>
Mrs. Fanshi: My dear, don’t you have any manners?
Ledas: <LOOKS UP FOR A SECOND> No. <THEN GOES BACK TO EATING>
Mrs. Fanshi: <LOOKS REPULSED BUT DOES NOT STOP HIM> Well, then, I do believe that we have not properly introduced ourselves. My name is Mrs. Fanshi… what’s yours, child?
Ledas: <EATING> Oh, I’m Ledas.
Mrs. Fanshi: <SUPER SURPRISED> Ledas? Now that’s an exotic name…
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY> Well your name is weirder…
<THEY FINISH DINNER IN SILENCE; AFTER A BRIEF AWKWARDNESS, LEDAS SPEAKS UP>
Ledas: Uh, Mrs. Fanshi… when do I get to start the training?
Mrs. Fanshi: You mean school?
Ledas: <SLOWLY, TIRED> Yeeah.
Mrs. Fanshi: Tomorrow, I will take you to town, and see if I can get you enrolled. But, we will also need to get you new clothes. I don’t know where you got that dreadful outfit, but it certainly won’t do for a new student.
Ledas: But I always train in this…
Mrs. Fanshi: No, it won’t do. We don’t want people to be thinking you’re different.
<LEDAS DOES HIS PUPPY EYES; BUT FANSHI CAN SEE THAT HE IS EXTREMELY TIRED>
Mrs. Fanshi: Now, Ledas, it’s time for bed. Your room is down the hall, first one on the left. There should be plenty of blankets in there for you. <SHE WATCHES HIM LEAVE, STILL TWIRLING A BIT OF WINE IN HER GLASS AS SHE DOES; TO HERSELF> He’s too tired today, poor thing. I’ll have to teach him real manners tomorrow. <SHE LOOKS AT HIS PLATE> I’ve got a little savage on my hands.
<LEDAS WANDERS DOWN INTO HIS ROOM; HE TURNS ON THE LIGHT AND NOTICES THE BED>
Ledas: <HE WALKS UP TO IT AND POKES AT IT> Wow, this is soft! I can see why Vegeta’s staying here. <HE JUMPS ON IT AND IMMEDIATELY FALLS INTO A DEEP SLEEP>
<THE CAMERA PULLS BACK, AND LAYEECK’S VISION IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN; WATCHING OVER LEDAS AS HE SLEEPS IS THE HALLUCINATION OF THE BENEFACTOR>
<JUMP CUT TO BLACK>
- This chapter's name is about Ledas - he truly is an orphan, but it is specifically about Mrs. Fanshi's perspective of him.
- If I ever made a trailer for this saga, Love and Loss would play as Ledas reaches Earth and gets out to behold the city.
- Ledas isn't wearing his PTO armor anymore because I want him to wear some new stuff from now on. For the past three sagas, it's been all PTO. Now it's time for a change. This is in-line with how DBZ phased out such armor, for the most part, after Namek. And since the PTO arc of TF is done, it felt right for me to do the same.
- Humans look like Saiyans; Saiyans look like humans. This fact would not be lost on Ledas, realistically, so it had to be brought up. The "no tails" thing was a good, quick way to get that over with, though.
- Layeeck's hallucination is perhaps Ledas' more rational side (though that is debatable). He brings up a good point about how Ledas should not draw attention to himself until he figures out more about the humans and why Vegeta is staying with them. This idea later leads Ledas to hide from Vegeta for the entirety of the saga (barring one scene where he steals a Capsule Corp. gravity unit). So even though Ledas ignores that advice at this moment, he soon adopts it as his predominant strategy on the planet.
- The old Ledas would not have wrapped his tail around his waist to conceal his idea. He's matured.
- The people are staring at Ledas because of his hair and the strange clothing he's wearing.
- The two men who Ledas encounters in the city are not confirmed to be bad guys. He runs into them. And then when he tries to walk off, they want to ask him what's going on (as perhaps most people would), when he kills them in impatience. Again, Ledas is not a "hero". He's not a "good guy". He's a Saiyan, a grey character, and his actions do not exist just to fill a literary ideal. He behaves based on what's realistic for his developed personality. Themes and whatnot can then be based around that - it's not the other way around.
- If Ledas was more like Vegeta, he wouldn't have helped Mrs. Fanshi pick up her groceries.
- Ledas did not in fact get over his parents' deaths, despite what he says. He just wants to appear tough, for his species' sake.
- Ledas' ignorance about Earth culture is what gets him roped in with Mrs. Fanshi. Had he known what she was talking about or what she wanted to do with him, he would have likely just run away from her, which would have produced a much different story.
- Ledas only goes with Mrs. Fanshi because he believes that "school" and all the other things she wants to "help" him with are training. And of course Ledas thinks he needs some training after he's felt Vegeta's power level and realized that he's can't compare to it.
- There's some irony and unintentional comedy in Mrs. Fanshi's conversation with Ledas. For the most part, neither of them is aware of that, which is quite odd.
- Ledas' clothes are his identity. That Mrs. Fanshi wants to replace them shows that she wants to give him a new identity - one she feels will suit him better - and also acculturate him into humankind (though she doesn't realize he's an alien). This, importantly, does a lot to change Ledas' personality as the rest of the story proceeds, for he does become "humanized" to an extent, much like Vegeta was years before.
- Mrs. Fanshi was never planning on keeping Ledas; she didn't live long enough in this story before getting killed (although she is revived off-screen at the start of the Reunion Saga), though, so he's never sent to an orphanage.
- The police inspecting the bodies of the two guys Ledas killed is the first hint that his presence on Earth isn't going unnoticed. It is this report and the subsequent off-screen finding of his space pod that later brings Cardinal the city, changing the story of TF radically from then on.
- Banas is really reckless, even for him, when he kills the soldiers. He must be in a tremendous amount of anguish to have such a treasonous outburst. That attack is basically an admission by Banas that he won't be returning to the PTO or taking over as governor of the planet should he kill Guva. Like Ledas, he seems like he's done with the whole organization. But unlike Ledas, due to Banas' lower power level, he doesn't seem to be able to leave it so easily.
- Banas is talking about Lauto's planet in this chapter, though it's not very overt. One of the few planets he wasn't allowed to go to in the previous sagas was Lauto's planet, although he also wasn't allowed to go to the vanadium mining facility either. There's a bit of ambiguity here that allows the readers to draw their own conclusions. In my opinion, this is the best kind of cliffhanger, for it makes the readers think about the story, question it, and speculate further, giving TF more life outside of its actual prose content.
- Ledas' manners joke is completely unintentional on his part. He really doesn't have manners - human manners, that is. The theme of "civilizin'" and what is considered civilized is a big part of this saga, and that exchange where Ledas willingly admits he doesn't have manners (because he's a Saiyan and a warrior and doesn't care about that stuff) is telling.
- What is exotic is in the eye of the beholder. But I thought it would be cool if at least one human commented on the fact that Ledas does have an "alien" name. His name is him; he is alien, foreign, an Other. He is isolated and alone, and this is also reflected in the hallucinations he is seeing.
- "We don’t want people to be thinking you’re different." - well meaning, perhaps. Mrs. Fanshi just wants the best for Ledas; she doesn't want him to be bullied or isolated at school and further rejected (as she perceives he has already been rejected by society because he's an orphan). As well, this Fanshi quote speaks to the greater themes of this saga.
- It's interesting that Fanshi considers Ledas a savage when he was compared with the "savage" natives of Planet Cooler 92 in the last two sagas. Supposedly he broke free of that comparison and refined himself in his triumph when he achieved Super Saiyan. Supposedly.
- Ledas probably has never slept on a bed as soft as Mrs. Fanshi's. The harshness of the PTO is immediately contrasted by the cautious, elitist, but accommodating culture of Earth here.
- In the original draft of this chapter, Layeeck's figure looked over his son as he fell to sleep at the end of it. I changed that to The Benefactor (who morphs from Layeeck) in the final edits; indeed, that was about all I changed for this chapter in the final edits aside from minor dialogue and scene direction rewordings. As to why I changed it, I think The Benefactor's looming presence is good foreshadowing for the Reunion Saga and him being there also hints at the darker turn Ledas is about to take, despite him being welcomed into Mrs. Fanshi's home.
<IN THE MORNING, FANSHI AND LEDAS GO TO A CLOTHES STORE AND PICK SOME GOODIES OUT; LEDAS SPECIFICALLY PICKS OUT A HOODIE ONE SIZE LARGER THAN THE REST OF HIS CLOTHES TO HIDE HIS TAIL; HIS CLOTHES CONSIST OF A RED HOODIE, A WHITE SHIRT, AND JEANS>
<AFTER THIS, THE TWO WALK STRAIGHT TO A LARGE AREA; THERE ARE MANY MULTI-FLOORED BUILDINGS AND COURTYARDS CONNECTING THEM; VARIOUS HUMANS ARE WALKING ABOUT ON THEIR OWN BUSINESS; SOME ARE NO OLDER THAN LEDAS>
Ledas: <WATCHING THE PEOPLE WALKING AROUND> Um… Mrs. Fanshi, is this the training place?
Mrs. Fanshi: <DISTRACTED> Yes dear, this is school…
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF (OR LAYEECK, WHO IS THERE IN VISION FORM)> Then why can’t I feel any of their powers?
<THE TWO REACH A BUILDING AND GO INSIDE; IT IS THE FRONT OFFICE OF THE SCHOOL>
Mrs. Fanshi: <APPROACHES THE FRONT DESK> Hello, I called earlier about enrolling a…
<LEDAS STEPS BACK AND SITS DOWN ON A BENCH BEHIND HER; LAYEECK’S VISION DOES THE SAME>
Layeeck : <WRYLY> So what is this? Your best idea of how to find Vegeta?
Ledas: <BOWS HEAD IN BOREDOM; WHISPERING> I thought it was training…
Layeeck: Use your mind! Are any of these creatures around you even the smallest of a threat?
Ledas: I don’t feel anything from them…
Layeeck: <CONTINUES> So then why are you training with those that are beneath you?
Ledas: <SHUFFLES HIS FEET ON THE GROUND> Wewll… there were some other big powers I felt earlier… and they were way stronger than me. I think one of them was Vegeta… <PAUSES, CHILDISHLY> I-I can’t go visit him if I’m so much weaker–
Mrs. Fanshi: Ledas, dear? Let’s go on to your class now.
<FANSHI SHOWS HIM HIS ROOM, #4 ON THE LEFT; SHE THEN LEAVES>
<LEDAS MAKES IT TO ROOM 104; CLASS HASN’T STARTED YET SO MANY STUDENTS ARE SCATTERED ABOUT THE ROOM; THE TEACHER IS AT HIS DESK IN THE FRONT>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <IS WORKING ON PAPERWORK, ETC; LOOKS UP AS LEDAS APPROACHES> Ah, you must be the new addition to my class. What is your name?
Ledas: Uh… <LOOKS AROUND> I’m Ledas.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <HIGH ARROGANCE> Perhaps they did it differently at your old school, Ledas. But here, in my room, you will address me as Mr. Kyokatoshi. At all times. Do you understand?
Ledas: Uh, sure… Mr. Kyokatoshi.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <STARES BACK AT LEDAS> Good, now take a seat in the back. <POINTS TO AN EMPTY DESK; TURNS TO GRAB SOMETHING OFF HIS DESK> Oh, and here. Take your books.
<HE UNLOADS A HUGE STACK OF BOOKS INTO LEDAS’ ARMS; THE WEIGHT HAS NO EFFECT ON HIM>
<LEDAS GOES AND SITS DOWN AT HIS DESK; HE NOTICES A BOY TO HIS LEFT STARING AT HIM>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: Now then, students, as you no doubt remember, yesterday we started exploring the vast history of our early ancestors… <CONTINUES TALKING IN THE BACKGROUND>
<THE BOY TO LEDAS’ LEFT IS STILL STARING AT LEDAS; HE IS ABOUT THE SAME HEIGHT; MUCH SKINNIER THOUGH; HIS HAIR IS BROWN AND SHORT>
Ryori: So, you the new kid?
Ledas: I guess.
Ryori: What’s your name?
Ledas: Ledas. <THERE IS A LONG AWKWARD PAUSE WHERE RYORI SIMPLY STARES, WAITING FOR LEDAS TO ASK HIM WHAT HIS NAME IS> Who are you?
Ryori: <PROUDLY> I’m Ryori. <CHUCKLES> I’m the best one here.
Ledas: <PIQUE OF INTEREST> You’re the strongest one?
Ryori: Everyone listens to me, so I’m the one in charge. Hey! You haven’t had your initiation yet!
Ledas: My what?
Ryori: <A VAST GRIN COMES TO HIS FACE> Your first test. You gotta do it to join us.
Ledas: <CURIOUSLY> Oh… when do I get to start?!
<MR. KYOKATOSHI LOOKS OVER AT THEM>
Ryori: Shh… later.
<AFTER CLASS, THE STUDENTS EXIT; RYORI MEETS UP WITH LEDAS OUTSIDE; IT IS SUNNY AND BRIGHT OUTSIDE>
Ryori: <FLANKED BY A FEW FRIENDS; BEMUSED> You made it!
Ledas: What do I have to do?
Ryori: <LAUGHS, LONG AND HARD; PAUSES> Hmm… alright I got one for you.
<THE OTHER BOYS LAUGH RIOTOUSLY>
Ryori: <TURNS TO A BUILDING BEHIND THEM> Ok, you need to climb up into that window up there. <POINTS UP TO THE SECOND STORY> That’s the girls’ locker room. <LAUGHS AGAIN> Climb into there and get us a pair of their underwear. <HE TAKES A PAIR OUT OF HIS BACK POCKET AND SHOWS LEDAS> Just like these. Do that and you’re in.
Ledas: <EMPTY-HEADED> Oh… that’s it?
<BY THIS TIME, MOST OF THE OTHER STUDENTS HAVE DISPERSED; LEDAS CLIMBS CAREFULLY UP THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING, AND JUMPS INTO THE OPEN SECOND STORY WINDOW THAT RYORI POINTED TO EARLIER; AS SOON AS HE DISAPPEARS, THE CROWD BELOW ERUPTS INTO LAUGHTER>
<LEDAS MOVES INTO THE GIRLS LOCKER ROOM; HE DOESN’T SEE ANYONE, NOR ANY OF WHAT HE IS LOOKING FOR>
<LEDAS ROUNDS A CORNER; LAUGHTER AND WHATNOT IS POURING OUT FROM UP AHEAD; SUDDENLY A SMALL GROUP OF GIRLS ROUND THE CORNER; NONE ARE IN MUCH MORE THAN UNDERWEAR>
Girl 1: <JUMPS BACK, SCREAMS; THE OTHERS FOLLOW SUIT> Hey you?! What are you doing in here, you pervert?!
Ledas: <STEPS BACK, BUT IS GRINNING; TO HIMSELF> I get it. I gotta get it off of them… that’s the challenge. <HE SMILES, AND HIS AURA ERUPTS AROUND HIM>
<CUTS TO PICCOLO, WHO IS MEDITATING; SUDDENLY, HE OPENS HIS EYES; HE SENSES LEDAS’ BRIEF POWER UP>
<CUTS TO VEGETA, WHO IS TRAINING WITH A VERY YOUNG TRUNKS>
Vegeta: <LOOKS UP TO THE SKY; STOPS FIGHTING; TRUNKS STILL ATTACKS HIS FATHER AT THIS TIME, BUT VEGETA DOESN’T EVEN NOTICE> What was that?!
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS; HE RUNS OUT OF THE LOCKER ROOM AND JUMPS THROUGH THE SECOND STORY WINDOW, ARMS FULL OF VARIOUS CLOTHES; THE SCREAMING VOICES OF GIRLS CAN BE HEARD BEHIND HIM, AND THEY ARE THROWING DEBRIS AFTER HIM>
<HE LANDS RIGHT IN FRONT OF RYORI, WITH ARMS STILL FULL OF THEIR UNDERWEAR>
Ledas: <DROPS THE CLOTHES IN FRONT OF RYORI; UPBEAT> Is this enough?
Ryori: <LAUGHING UNCONTROLLABLY> W-where… where did y-y-you get all those?!?!
<HE CONTINUES LAUGHING>
Ledas: <NOT LAUGHING; STEADFAST> There were a lot of girls.
Ryori: You took them off the girls?!
Ledas: Wasn’t I supposed to–
Ryori: <LAUGHING AGAIN> Oh… dude you are so in.
<LEDAS JOINS IN THEIR LAUGHTER; IT IS NOTICEABLE THAT LAYEECK’S VISION HAS BEEN ABSENT THIS WHOLE TIME>
<LATER THAT NIGHT, LEDAS FLIES BACK TO MRS. FANSHI’S HOUSE, BOOKS IN HAND; NO ONE SEES HIM>
<CUTS DINNER TIME AT MRS. FANSHI’S HOUSE>
Mrs. Fanshi: So, how was your first day of school?
<LEDAS SMILES TO HIMSELF, FINALLY A BIT OF TRUE HAPPINESS ESCAPING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME>
Ledas: Yeah… I had a really good day.
<LATER ON, LEDAS GOES TO BED; HE IS LYING IN HIS BED>
Ledas: He’s a lot stronger than me. I can feel it.
Layeeck: <VISION FORM> You can’t know that.
Ledas: Yes I can.
Layeeck: You have never felt Vegeta before. How can you be sure of it, my son?
Ledas: Because I know Vegeta. I know what his power would feel like. <AGITATED> And I can feel him right now. He’s right over there. <HE POINTS OUT HIS WINDOW> Not that far away. He’s training at a higher level than my maximum power is!
Layeeck: We will have to find a way to make you stronger.
Ledas: <STARTS YELLING> Like I don’t know that!
Layeeck: That starts out with you abandoning this school. There’s no point in going if there is no possibility of getting stronger.
Ledas: I like them. Ryori is nice and so are the others.
Layeeck: You do not need to be making friends, my son.
Ledas: Shut up! <HE LOOKS PAINED> Since Vegeta I haven’t had any friends. Everyone I know was either using me or trying to kill me. I need that to change… I’m still going whether you like it or not. <LAYEECK DOES NOT RESPOND; LEDAS FORMS ENERGY AND POINTS IT AT THE HALLUCINATION; FOR SEVERAL SECONDS, HE JUST SITS THERE, BREATHING HARD; THEN, HE DISSIPATES THE BLAST; LEDAS TURNS OVER AND PUTS HIS HEAD ON HIS PILLOW; TO HIMSELF> No, can’t do that. Gotta stay in control… <HE CLOSES HIS EYES AND SETTLES IN TO SLEEP> I can’t visit Vegeta yet. I can’t let him know I’m so weak.
- This chapter's name is another simple one: it refers to Ryori "hazing" Ledas by making him steal girls' panties before he can be "in the group" of the seventh graders.
- Ledas' Earth clothes aren't based on anything in particular, and are not based on my own clothes or clothes I would want to wear (or clothes I would not want to wear). Funnily enough I saw a picture of Destructivedisk wearing a red hoodie and jeans not long after writing this chapter.
- Ledas is allowed to pick out his own clothes, hinting at his own role in his changing identity.
- I imagine the school Ledas goes to in this chapter to look like the school seen in the first episode of Death Note. That is what I based it on, anyways.
- Ledas' hallucination of Layeeck implies that he's seeking a father or mother figure in his life, as he's lost all the structure he used to have since leaving Planet Cooler 92. This vision gives him some of the emotional comfort he needs - but since this is just a manifestation of his subconscious, it is a simulacrum of a father or mother figure, not a real one, and that has dangerous consequences for Ledas, for the mental comfort he receives from this Layeeck vision is not real.
- Ledas reveals in this chapter that he doesn't want to reunite with Vegeta if he's a lot weaker than Vegeta. This is a pride thing related to Saiyan instincts and culture. Ledas became friends with Vegeta originally because he was strong enough to be worth the prince's time. Now he fears that he won't be anymore, and he doesn't want to get rejected by Vegeta. He's spent the past two sagas trying to find Vegeta; so messing up that reunion is something he cannot afford to do.
- We get the first hint of tension between Ledas and Mr. Kyokatoshi in their first exchange. This is build up for Kyokatoshi's later death.
- All of the humans have Japanese-like names because Toriyama envisioned the Dragon World to be very much Asian-based (though not entirely). Their names are punned off of many different things, though, but the one thing that was a constant was that all of their names still looked Japanese. Mr. Kyokatoshi's name is the most Japanese-looking name in TF, I think.
- Ryori's early exchange with Ledas is based off of something similar I went through in school many years ago.
- Mr. Kyokatoshi's history lesson about humankind's ancient ancestors (particularly those of Asian heritage) is directly tied to some thematic content in this chapter.
- It's funny how oblivious Ledas is to what school really is - although, the Layeeck vision did warn him against staying at school, since no one there has a high power level, so he does seem to have at least a partial rational understanding of what is going on, even if he dismisses it. The way Ryori responds to Ledas and sets him up for his initiation was all done to confuse Ledas further so that he wouldn't realize that school is not the physical training center he thought it was.
- Ryori is more of an alpha male here than in the future. That is mostly because this is one of the few chapters where he's seen in a school setting. His alpha personality goes away after Shoekki dies as well, so this is a very odd exchange between him and Ledas in this chapter. It's unlike how they end up talking in the future, due to different settings and character development.
- Ledas wouldn't know what girls' underwear looks like. That is why I had Ryori show him a pair.
- The hazing the boys want to put Ledas through would be near-impossible for a normal human, but it's rather easy for someone like Ledas. Because of how easy it is, Ledas is even further confused about school - he doesn't know if it's training or something else entirely. He's getting mixed signals.
- Ryori wants to befriend Ledas. He wants to let Ledas "in" to his group. Ledas doesn't realize this; he thinks Ryori's test is actual training.
- Piccolo and Vegeta feeling Ledas' power up is something that happens all the time in DBZ. If someone comes to Earth and suddenly powers up, there are always cuts to Z Fighters who feel the power. Additionally, because I cut specifically to Piccolo and Vegeta, this small scene serves as foreshadowing for both of their meetings with Ledas in future chapters.
- Ledas is not thinking sexually about the girls when he sees them half-naked. I wasn't sure if I was going to make them topless, but considering they are only around 16 years old, I thought not (or, more accurately, I didn't describe in detail exactly what they are wearing). Not sure what I'll do for this scene if it ever gets drawn. The nudity would be more realistic, but it's also a problem for obvious reasons.
- Notice how I use the cuts to Piccolo and Vegeta to not show Ledas removing the underwear from the girls.
- Ledas doesn't understand why the boys want the panties, which implies some interesting things about his character.
- Layeeck's vision not being around Ledas since the boy's been with Ryori is very important. This chapter is mostly about the characterizations of Ledas and Ryori - the plot itself is not so much tied to Ledas finding Vegeta, but instead him getting integrated into human society. Perhaps this is happening without him realizing it. But Ledas craves companionship, friendship, emotional bonding after all those years of being a mistreated slave without having any friends or anyone to play with or talk to. So he's taking to Ryori and the others almost by instinct because his subconscious realizes that he's going to continue degrading mentally if he doesn't get some happiness in his life. This is at odds with Ledas finding Vegeta. The more "humanized" he gets, the less likely he is to go after Vegeta or continue training, etc. That is one of the big personal conflicts for Ledas in this saga, and it is introduced here subtly. I don't outright state that Ledas is wrestling with these two conflicting ideas - but it is shown through the text that this is occurring.
- Ryori doesn't understand how Ledas got all of the panties, seeing it as a mini-miracle because he doesn't know how fast Ledas is. It's interesting to note that Ledas becomes friends with Ryori and the others because of his Saiyan capabilities, but this friendship in turn starts to "humanize" him and shift him away from his Saiyan-ness.
- Ledas' happiness while eating with Mrs. Fanshi illustrates how he is finally starting to mentally heal from his time on Planet Cooler 92.
- The scene where Ledas goes back to his room was added in during later edits of this saga; it was not originally a part of this chapter.
- Ledas' rant with the Layeeck vision at the end of this chapter brings up several things: for one, it shows how embarrassed Ledas is to confront Vegeta considering he's much weaker than the prince now; secondly, Ledas asserts, firmly, that he does not want to stop going to school, even if he's starting to realize that it's not a place that can help him become physically stronger. He wants to go to school to make friends, to be around people he cares about, to get emotional healing. Notice how adamant he is about this. Layeeck (Ledas' more rational side) cannot overrule Ledas on this issue.
- Ledas almost blows up Fanshi's house because he gets so angry at the Layeeck vision. This hints that Ledas is losing control of his emotions and is becoming more feral. He says to himself after dissipating the blast, "No, can’t do that. Gotta stay in control…" - this idea of "staying in control" of his own emotions is another psychological issue that Ledas goes through in this saga, and it's only resolved near the end of PES.
<CUTS TO A PLANET THAT IS ROCKY AND DARK; IT IS NEAR PITCH BLACK, SAVE FOR THE LIGHT OF TWO PODS; ONE OPEN AND ABANDONED, THE OTHER JUST OPENING>
Guva: <GETS OUT OF HIS POD> What the hell is this place? <HE JUMPS OUT AND FLIES OFF, WITH CONTEMPT>
<HE FLIES FOR SEVERAL MOMENTS, SCANNING ABOUT WITH HIS SCOUTER UNTIL PICKING UP A HUGE READING AHEAD>
<GUVA FOLLOWS HIS READING UNTIL COMING UPON A HUGE CAVE; IT IS DARK AND THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF LIFE>
<GUVA DESCENDS AND WALKS INSIDE, WARILY; THE CAMERA STAYS IN PLACE UNTIL HIS FIGURE DISAPPEARS INTO THE DARKNESS>
<CUTS TO FANSHI’S HOUSE; IT IS EARLY IN THE MORNING, PROBABLY ABOUT 5 AM OR SO; LEDAS IS ASLEEP, SPLAYED ABOUT ON HIS BED WITH BLANKETS AND PILLOWS ALL IN A MESS; THE CAMERA MOVES DOWN THE HALL, SLOWLY; MRS. FANSHI’S VOICE IS COMING OUT OF HER DESK-SPACE NOOK>
Mrs. Fanshi: <ON THE PHONE> Are you sure? All of them? Well… that is absolutely unacceptable. I’ll send him down, immediately. <MRS. FANSHI GETS UP AND WALKS TO LEDAS’ ROOM; SNAPPY> Ledas! Wake up! Ledas!
<LEDAS ROLLS OVER AND GROANS, BUT DOES NOT WAKE>
<MRS. FANSHI, WITHOUT PATIENCE, RIPS HIS BLANKETS OFF; THIS CAUSES LEDAS TO OPEN HIS EYES>
Ledas: <GROGGILY> What you do want now?!
Mrs. Fanshi: <STILL SNAPPY> Get up! You have to get to school.
Ledas: It’s too early…
Mrs. Fanshi: You have detention. You have to go in early today.
Ledas: <STILL HALF ASLEEP; YAWNING> Detention? What’s that?
Mrs. Fanshi: It’s your punishment for stealing all those girls’ clothes yesterday. I can’t believe you would do something so stupid, Ledas. And on your first day!
Ledas: <BECOMES ALERT> What?! Why was that bad?!
Mrs. Fanshi: <IGNORING HIM> Put on your clothes and get going. Hurry up, dear.
<LEDAS GETS DRESSED AND EXITS FANSHI’S HOUSE, STILL GRUMBLING; AT THIS TIME LAYEECK’S VISION REAPPEARS AND FOLLOWS HIM AS HE WALKS THE DIRT PATH INTO TOWN>
Layeeck: <WITH WORRY IN HIS VOICE> Ledas?! What are you doing? None of this playing around will get you stronger, and it certainly won’t help you find Vegeta.
Ledas: <AGITATED> I know this isn’t helping! You don’t have to tell me that! But I can’t just go see Vegeta when he’s stronger than me! I just can’t!
Layeeck: And now you’re all caught up in this school… where you don’t do anything. Listen to me son, you need to find a place to train.
Ledas: <CONTINUES WALKING BUT TURNS TO HIS HALLUCINATION> Yeah, and if I do that, Vegeta will be able to find me!
Layeeck: You don’t even know if he can sense you.
Ledas: <PICKS UP HIS PACE IN HIS ANGER> He’s stronger than me! Of course he’ll know how to do that! Besides he probably sensed me yesterday when I did that challe–
Layeeck: <WRYLY> You mean when you got yourself a punishment.
<UPON HEARING THIS, LEDAS’ FACE CONTORTS IN ANGER AND HE TURNS TO FACE HIS FATHER; BY THIS TIME, THEY HAVE WALKED INTO THE TOWN AND THERE ARE HOUSES ON EACH SIDE OF THEM; LEDAS, IN HIS ANGER, TAKES HIS RIGHT HAND AND EXTENDS IT, PALM OUTWARD, AT HIS FATHER; HE SHOOTS OFF A SINGLE-HAND KYORRA FLASH; IT GOES RIGHT THROUGH LAYEECK AND HITS SEVERAL HOUSES BEHIND, CAUSING THEM TO EXPLODE IN A HUGE BURST OF FLAMES>
<LEDAS’ EYES WIDEN AT THE SIGHT OF THIS, AND HE TAKES OFF, RUNNING SUPER FAST>
<LEDAS ARRIVES AT SCHOOL AND TAKES PART IN HIS DETENTION UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS; HE IS SITTING IN HIS DESK WHEN ALL THE OTHER STUDENTS COME IN, INCLUDING RYORI>
<RYORI DOES NOT SEEM SURPRISED TO SEE LEDAS THERE>
<LEDAS AND RYORI DO NOT TALK AGAIN FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS>
<AFTER CLASS THOUGH A LARGE GROUP CONGREGATES AROUND RYORI; LEDAS IS DRAWN IN WITH CURIOSITY>
Ryori: <PROUDLY> Yep, it’s my brother’s. He lets me use his stuff all the time.
Ledas: <SEES RYORI IS HOLDING A SMALL DEVICE, BUT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IT IS> Hey Ryori… what is that thing?
Ryori: <TURNS TO FACE LEDAS> <LAUGHS> Hey Ledas! You’ve never seen a capsule before?
Ledas: What’s a capsule?
Ryori: Here, I’ll show ya. <RYORI GESTURES HIS HAND AND THROWS THE SMALL CAPSULE INTO THE GROUND; THE CROWD JUMPS BACK A BIT; SMOKE AND DUST JUMP UP AND WHEN THEY SETTLE, A SHINING RED MOTORCYCLE IS STANDING THERE>
<THE STUDENTS AROUND ALL LET OUT A COLLECTIVE “OOOOH”>
<AFTER A FEW MORE MINUTES OF FAWNING, THE CROWD DISPERSES AND ONLY LEDAS AND RYORI ARE LEFT>
Ledas: Those capsules can hold anything?
Ryori: <SHORTLY> Yep. Cars, houses, anything.
Ledas: <REALIZES SOMETHING; BECOMES VERY EXCITED> Anything?!
Ryori: Like what?
Ledas: <STOPS, NOT WANTING TO REVEAL HIS PLAN> Well… nothing. I guess.
Ryori: Why? Do you want one?
<LEDAS NOTICES THE FIGURE OF THE BENEFACTOR BEHIND HIM; HE TRIES TO KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE IN FRONT OF RYORI>
The Benefactor: Kill him.
Ledas: <EAGER; IGNORING THE BENEFACTOR> Yeah! Where can I get them?
Ryori: There’re shops in every town… But if you want the best stuff, go to West City. That’s where the main store is. <HE CARESSES THE MOTORCYCLE, PROUDLY> That’s where we got this one.
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY> But where is that?
<THE BENEFACTOR TAKES OUT A KNIFE AND STARTS POINTING IT AT RYORI>
The Benefactor: No one will see. It will be quick, quiet. And the blood… will be everywhere.
Ryori: <LAUGHS, KIND OF IN DISBELIEF> West City is… <POINTS LEFT> that way.
<SUDDENLY, SOMEONE YELLS, BREAKING LEDAS’ FOCUS ON THE BENEFACTOR (WHO ALSO DISAPPEARS); A TALL, SLENDER TEENAGER APPEARS WALKING TOWARD LEDAS AND RYORI>
Ryori: <TURNS TO FACE THE FIGURE; HE STEPS BACK, ALMOST IN FEAR> Oh shit…
Shoekki: <WALKS UP TO HIM; HE IS DRUNK, AND SPUTTERING ABOUT> Yeah, that’s right, little bro. It’s me. Why the hell did you steal my bike? <SHOVES RYORI ASIDE, MAKING HIM FALL> Don’t touch my stuff.
<SHOEKKI PRESSES A BUTTON ON THE BIKE AND IT TURNS BACK INTO A CAPSULE; WITHOUT ANOTHER LOOK AT THE TWO, HE WALKS OFF, STILL WALKING AROUND LIKE THE DRUNKARD HE IS>
Ryori: <EMBARRASSED> I-I… I gotta go. <HE GETS UP; HIS EMOTIONALITY HAS CHANGED TO BEING MUCH MORE DEJECTED IN THIS SHORT TIME> Shoekki! Wait up!
<RYORI RUNS OFF AFTER SHOEKKI, LEAVING LEDAS ALONE>
<AFTER A FEW SECONDS, LEDAS TURNS BACK TO FACE WHERE THE BENEFACTOR WAS>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> Why am I seeing that thing?! I don’t want to listen to it…
<SHAKING HIS HEAD, LEDAS IS SURE HE IS NO LONGER SEEING ANYTHING; HE RUNS OFF; WHEN OUT OF SIGHT, HE TAKES TO THE AIR AND TO WEST CITY>
<HE FLIES EXTREMELY HIGH, SO NO ONE CAN SEE HIM>
<EVENTUALLY, LEDAS SPOTS SOMETHING; IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, HE DESCENDS, LANDING HARD INTO THE GRASS>
<HE GATHERS HIMSELF UP AND LOOKS UP AT THE GATE ABOVE HIM; IN FANCIED AND COLORED LETTERING, THERE IS A SIGN UPON THE GATE; IT READS “CAPSULE CORPORATION”; LEDAS CANNOT READ THAT, BUT HE SEES THE PICTURE OF A CAPSULE UNDER IT>
<HE OPENS – REALLY, BREAKS DOWN – THE GATE AND WALKS IN; UP AHEAD, HE SEES AN OLD MAN WITH A CAT ON HIS SHOULDER WORKING AT AN OPEN WORKBENCH; HE IS TALKING TO A MAN WITH ORANGE HAIR, AND CLAD IN DARK MILITARY FATIGUES; LEDAS NOTICES A RED ARM BAND ON THE SOLDIER, BUT HE CAN’T MAKE OUT WHAT IT MEANS; HE WAITS UNTIL THE ORANGE-HAIRED MAN LEAVES; SEEING THE OLDER MAN NOW ALONE, LEDAS WALKS TO HIM>
- This chapter's name is another simple one, setting the stage for the major place Ledas goes to near the end of it. I guess I picked such a name because it sounds cool and because it should alert some readers to the fact that this story is now becoming more intertwined with canon DBZ stuff, and that in itself is a bit of a shock.
- This chapter wasn't changed much in the final edits; I added in a few short scenes with The Benefactor's vision trying to affect Ledas' personality, and that was about it. These were added in to the final edits because I wanted Ledas' Earth-like and Saiyan-like desires to be in conflict and a major personality problem for him throughout this saga. Adding in those scenes also gives some nice thematic meaning to Ledas seeing The Benefactor when he thinks back to being more like a Saiyan.
- I did not feature Banas and Guva in the previous chapter because I believed it would take them at least a chapter to get to Lauto's planet - now their storyline takes place in a different timeframe than Ledas', so this isn't a technical consideration; it is one of feeling. It feels right to have them skip a chapter as they are supposedly traveling. Also, I didn't specifically say that they were going to travel or where they were going, though it was hinted at. This is an example of me trying not to overexplain things, which would provide for a boring story and ruin the pacing of it.
- Banas doesn't wait for Guva once they reach Lauto's planet because Banas wants to control the situation, and I wanted it to feel a bit eerie for the readers.
- Guva's and Banas' plotline is quite stretched and proceeds at a slower pace. This was due to a variety of factors, but most importantly, I didn't want their story to overwhelm Ledas'. I didn't want it to reach a conclusion too early either, as the end of it hints at some stuff that's going to happen in the Reunion Saga. Every section they are in seems to end with an even bigger cliffhanger than before.
- Ledas' first appearance in this chapter is very anime-esque.
- Why does Ledas put up with Mrs. Fanshi? She gives him lots of food (any Saiyan's dream, yo).
- Mrs. Fanshi's lecture at the start of this chapter was based on a lecture my grandmother gave me. I was staying at my grandmother's house for an extended period of time when I wrote this chapter. Also, it's a great scene to show the cultural disconnect between Ledas and Mrs. Fanshi. Ledas is an alien; he can't just fit in with humankind seamlessly. There are rifts, differences of perspectives, etc.
- Ledas needing a place to train has been brought up before, but it becomes a focus in this chapter. He needs a place to train, some kind of gravity device or the like, if he has any hopes of becoming as strong as Vegeta. This is one of his primary motivations in this saga. It puts him in a high-stress mode of thinking, which then leads to his hallucinations becoming more burdensome and also his emotional outbursts (one, in this chapter, causes the deaths of dozens of humans).
- Ledas is walking down a trail between fenced-in houses on either side of him when he shoots his energy beam. That path was based on a similar real path behind my friend's house that I am quite fond of.
- Ledas using energy attacks on the visions was hinted at in the previous chapter, but he was able to control himself then. Now, he's too tired and too angry to do so. This is an interesting moment of character development, especially considering that Ledas is just talking with himself. That he also realizes what he did is bad and feels scared by it is noteworthy.
- It is worthy of note that Ledas was in detention alone - Ryori and the others were not with him. This is because only Ledas was seen taking the panties from the girls (who were the witnesses). What happened to those panties is unknown except for the pair that Ledas kept himself. He kept one pair which he eventually gave back to Miki in the first deleted scene of this story. I'm sure the school administration asked him what he did with the panties and he may have promised to give them all back (which is why he personally gave Miki back hers after the next chapter). As to how (or, perhaps, if) he convinced Ryori and the others to do so, I don't know. It's not relevant to this story, though.
- So the capsule thing came about from two things. For one, I wanted to show Ryori's alpha male personality so that it could be contrasted by how he ends up by the end of this saga (and beyond). Him showing off his brother's motorcycle is a good way to do that; it reminds me of something that would happen in DBZ - making a big show of just a motorcycle or such. The other reason is the more obvious plot reason - I need a reason for Ledas to go to Capsule Corp., and showing him a capsule would be the way to do that, since he's not immersed in human culture yet. Now, the jump of "anything can go in a capsule" to "there must be gravity training units in capsules!" is a bit of a stretch - a huge stretch, actually. Had Ledas not been an alien it would be unrealistic. But since he's an alien, he has different expectations of technology and he also has trained in gravity-controlled places before, so he'd keep his hopes up. I'm sure he thought that if Vegeta was training on the planet he would have some kind of training device, as those things were common on PTO planets (though, as I've said before, I don't think Vegeta trained in gravity training much after his planet's destruction, but that is based more on his station and mentality more than the availability of such things). Also, I suppose that Ledas figured that if there weren't any gravity training units, he could have the leaders of Capsule Corp. make one for him (as, again, he doesn't have a concept of this planet's technological limits).
- The Benefactor appears when Ryori is incessantly pestering Ledas about why he wants to know what capsules are for. This is no accident. Ledas is able to control his emotions, though, and doesn't kill Ryori, showing that he's not really "too far gone" and that perhaps his earlier outburst is a one-time thing and not becoming the norm. That of course isn't true, but the narrative is pointing that way at this point.
- Ryori has to give Ledas pretty specific instructions to where Capsule Corp. is so that the alien boy won't get lost. It would be unrealistic for him to find Capsule Corp. otherwise.
- Ryori swearing is somewhat controversial. He's just a kid after all. That he does swear, though, says a lot about his personality and the way he was raised, and that was why it was worth keeping it in, in my opinion. TF is not DBZ. I am the writer, not Toriyama. And I have some differences in tone and whatnot that I prefer to do compared to Toriyama, and this is an example of one. Swearing cannot exist in DBZ because of where and how it was published both as a manga and an anime, but realistically, people would be swearing. Realism is important to me.
- Shoekki brings some brutal realism into the story, particularly with Ryori. It's quite a twist, actually. Ryori was this alpha dog, this leader of sorts, and that is destroyed in but an instant (perception-wise). This goes to show how the real world is much different from the school world. Realities differ in different communities. People adopt different roles and personas based on the different communities they are in. That was illustrated with Ryori in this chapter. Additionally, Shoekki is based on my older brother, so the way he acts towards Ryori is quite realistic.
- Ledas doesn't understand any of what is going on with Shoekki and Ryori which is why he doesn't address it after they leave. It's more than a cultural difference, though, as he never had an older brother himself (even though he considered Vegeta to be his older brother in a sense).
- Galactic basic is just a matter of convenience in DBZ and in TF, but I don't believe it extends to writing. Writing and talking are much different, after all. So it was fun to show that Ledas can't actually read the "Capsule Corporation" sign. In truth, he's walking into a great unknown. He doesn't know if it's the right place or not. But he is trying, he is using his initiative. Vegeta means that much to him.
- The very last major edit I made to this chapter was in regards to its last paragraph of scene direction. I thought it would be interesting foreshadowing to the New Red Ribbon Army if I had Silver there with Dr. Brief. That is who is there with the good doctor after all. He does later state that he went to see Dr. Brief about his space ships, so this is consistent with Silver's history otherwise. It only occurred to me to add this little scene in a few days after I had completed the rest of the final edits for this chapter. So there is some nice foreshadowing for the New Red Ribbon Army's later emergence and for them taking Ledas' space ship, which he, unsurprisingly, gets from Dr. Brief. Also, Silver and the rest of the New Red Ribbon Army are indeed in town investigating Ledas' space ship, so there's that too. The fact that Ledas blew up two houses earlier in the chapter only makes it more likely that they will stick around in the city.
- I had Ledas wait until the old man was alone because I didn't want a New Red Ribbon Army confrontation yet, and I didn't want Silver to know Ledas' face this early. Simple stuff, really. Ledas figured out that Dr. Brief owned the place from his lab coat, no doubt. They had those even in the PTO.
My Friend Vegeta
<CAMERA COMES INTO FOCUS; LEDAS AND DR. BRIEF ARE WALKING TOGETHER, OUTSIDE ON THE GRASS; IT IS STILL PRETTY BRIGHT OUT>
<LEDAS HAS HIS HOOD UP OVER HIS FACE TO KEEP HIS IDENTITY SUPER SECRET>
Dr. Brief: A gravity chamber? Now why would you need that, my boy?
Ledas: <MUMBLING> I just do. You have one, right? You have to know what they are.
Dr. Brief: Why yes, I have several different models. All more exciting than the last. However, I can’t see why a young boy like you would need one.
Ledas: <STILL MUMBLING> What’s the best one?
Dr. Brief: The model 14, but I’m not selling–
Ledas: <EMOTIONLESS> I’ll take it.
Dr. Brief: <STOPS WALKING> That would be rather expensive…
Ledas: Hmphh… <EXTENDS HIS LEFT ARM BEHIND HIM AND SHOOTS AN INVISIBLE BLAST THAT DETONATES IN A CLEAN LINE ACROSS THE GRASS> I never said I was paying.
Dr. Brief: <CLEARLY FRIGHTENED> Oh… I see. Look, there’s really no need–
Ledas: Shut up and get one already.
<DR. BRIEF NODS; HE TAKES THE LEAD AS LEDAS FOLLOWS HIM INTO AN OPEN HANGER; IT HAS VARIOUS VEHICLES AND DEVICES SCATTERED ABOUT; IN THE BACK, BEHIND A GLASS WALL ARE THREE SPHERICAL DEVICES, LOOKING QUITE SIMILAR TO GOKU’S/VEGETA’S GRAVITY ROOMS OF BEFORE>
<WRITTEN IN DARK LETTERING, ACROSS THE FRONT OF EACH OF THEM IS THE SIGN “MODEL 14.”; LEDAS CANNOT READ IT, BUT HE REALIZES THEY ARE THE GOOD ONES SINCE THEY ARE BEHIND THE GLASS>
Ledas: <POINTS TO THEM; HIS TAIL IS NOW OUT, FREE-FORM, SWINGING AROUND IN IRRITATION> Get me one of those… now!
<DR. BRIEF WALKS DOWN THE HANGER; AS HE DOES, BULMA ENTERS>
Bulma: Hi daddy!
Dr. Brief: <NERVOUS; BULMA DOES NOT PICK UP ON IT> Yes, hello dear. <HE JUMPS AS HE REMEMBERS WHAT HE IS DOING> Ah, where are my manners? <HE GESTURES TO LEDAS> This boy here is purchasing one of our Model 14s. An excellent choice, wouldn’t you say?
Bulma: <TURNS TO LEDAS AS THEY CONTINUE WALKING; SMUGLY> He must’ve brought a lot of… of… of…
<LEDAS IS LEANING UP AGAINST A WALL, NOT LOOKING AT THEM; BULMA CAN THEREFORE SEE HIS TAIL; SHE STOPS WALKING AND GOES ALL WHITE>
Bulma: <SLOWLY> Da-daddy… who is that boy?
Dr. Brief: Come dear, he promised not to destroy my laboratory if we give him a 14.
Bulma: <ANXIOUS; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, SHE SPLITS OFF FROM DR. BRIEF; SUDDEN TURN TO MATTER OF FACT> I’ll go get Vegeta.
Dr. Brief: <EXACERBATED> No, no sweetie! It’s quite alright… <BULMA LEAVES WITHOUT HEARING HIM; QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF> It’s quite alright.
<SOME TIME PASSES, AND DR. BRIEF RETURNS WITH A CAPSULE IN HIS HAND; HE GIVES IT TO LEDAS>
Dr. Brief: There you go, my boy. One gravity suppression unit, as requested.
Ledas: <TAKES IT IN HIS HAND, BRINGS IT UP CLOSE TO HIS FACE, INSPECTING IT> Gravity… suppression? What does that mean?
Dr. Brief: <SUDDENLY EXCITED TO EXPLAIN AWAY> Well as you see, the MCP of previous models would constantly overheat, or run out of power. Invariably, I decided add several groups of suppression modules so as to allow a… person such as yourself to power the device indefinitely. As a consequence, it seems that very little energy is able to escape from the device.
Ledas: <EYES WIDEN> You mean… no one can sense me while I’m in there?!
Dr. Brief: Well, I…
Ledas: Thanks! <TURNS AROUND, RUNS OFF AND TAKES TO THE SKY>
<DR. BRIEF WATCHES HIM GO AS THE SUN STARTS TO SET>
<JUST THEN, BULMA ENTERS WITH A SMILE ON HER FACE>
Bulma: <ENTHUSIASTICALLY> Well daddy, it’s all been settled. Vegeta seemed real interested in this kid with the tail. He’s going to get your capsule back for you! <WATCHING THE SKY> Come on, Vegeta! What are you waiting for?
Dr. Brief: <SIGHS> Oh, Bulma you didn’t have get Vegeta involved. I didn’t want half the city destroyed over this…
<BULMA DOESN’T LISTEN TO HIM; SUDDENLY, OUT OF A CORNER OF THEIR COMPLEX, AN LIGHT BLUE AURA SHOOTS OFF; BULMA NOTICES>
Bulma: Huh, that’s Vegeta for you; waiting until the last second just to put on a show.
<LEDAS FLIES SUPER HIGH AGAIN; HE DOES NOT NOTICE VEGETA TAILING HIM>
<SUDDENLY, VEGETA CATCHES UP WITH LEDAS IN MIDAIR; HE IS ABOVE LEDAS AND HITS DOWNWARD ON THE BACK OF THE LATTER>
<LEDAS IS SENT FLYING DOWNWARD, IN PAIN AND PERPLEXED>
Ledas: What the?! Who are you?! <HE TURNS UPWARD, TO FACE HIS PURSUER; HE RECOGNIZES IT AS VEGETA, IMMEDIATELY; INSTINCTIVELY, HE MOVES BACKWARDS> No!
Vegeta: So, thief, wondering who I am?! Well, your luck’s run out. I bet you didn’t count on having to face me, the strongest warrior in the universe!
Ledas: <LAUGHS TO HIMSELF, EVEN AS HE IS INTERNALLY IN PANIC> Some things never change.
Vegeta: Find something funny, punk?
Ledas: Just the fact that you haven’t changed. <WITH THAT, LEDAS, STILL WITH HIS FACE COVERED BY HIS HOOD, LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT VEGETA AND BEGINS TO ATTACK.>
<THEY FIGHT FOR SEVERAL MOMENTS IN A BLOW EXCHANGE; NEITHER HOLDS AN EDGE OVER THE OTHER, HOWEVER>
<VEGETA FIRES OFF A GALICK GUN, AND LEDAS COUNTERS IT WITH HIS OWN VARIATION OF THE BLAST, A PLAYFUL GALICK>
<VEGETA IS SURPRISED BY THIS AND OVERPOWERED; HOWEVER WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS, HE LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT LEDAS AND BATS HIM AWAY; LEDAS DROPS THE CAPSULE AND VEGETA CATCHES IT>
Vegeta: So thief! Who are you? Kakarot’s son? I never thought you would try to steal from me. You don’t even deserve to be a Saiyan!
Ledas: <VOICE RISES IN ANGER AS WELL AS DISBELIEF> I don’t know what you’re talking about!
Vegeta: Yeah, that’s right. <LAUGHS> Your good for nothing father died before you even met him.
<LEDAS, MISINTERPRETING THIS, RUSHES AND ELBOWS VEGETA IN THE RIBS; VEGETA DOUBLES OVER AND LEDAS TAKES THE CAPSULE BACK>
Vegeta: <GETTING IMPATIENT> Enough! <ATTACKS MORE FORCEFULLY, NOW LEDAS CANNOT KEEP UP; VEGETA PUNCHES HIM AWAY>
Ledas: <LOOKING DOWN> I didn’t want to have to do this. It’s too early… but you leave me no choice, Vegeta.
Vegeta: What? How do you know who I– <LEDAS GOES SUPER SAIYAN; HIS HOOD IS PUSHED BACK; HE PUNCHES VEGETA, MID-SENTENCE> No! Impossible! How can he be a Super Saiyan?!
<LEDAS TURNS TO FACE VEGETA, HIS EYES AGLOW; VEGETA IS SHOCKED BY THIS BUT DOES LIKEWISE, GOING SUPER SAIYAN AS WELL>
Ledas: Watch me.
Vegeta: <CALMS DOWN UPON TRANSFORMING> Even if you are a Super Saiyan, you don’t have nearly as much power or experience as I do! <LAUGHS> But don’t think that means I’ll go easy on you… little man.
<BOTH JUMP AT EACH OTHER AND ATTACK WITH A GREAT FLURRY OF BLOWS; THROUGHOUT THIS, THE TOWNSPEOPLE BELOW REMAIN COMPLETELY UNAWARE AND UNKNOWING OF THE STRUGGLE GOING ON ABOVE THEM>
- There’re tons of My Friend ___s out there, but this chapter's name is mostly based on an awesome TSFH song, My Little Friend Max, which I listened to a lot while writing/working on the plot for this chapter. This is one of my favorite chapter names because of the sarcasm mixed with innocent hope implied in it.
- The invisible blast that Ledas uses to intimidate Dr. Brief is a small-scale Lightning Strike.
- Ledas acts like quite a villain at the beginning of this chapter. It's mostly because he's desperate. When he finds out that Dr. Brief in fact does have gravity units, he is jumping for joy on the inside, but he can't show that. He knows he can't pay for the thing, so he has to take it. The boy doesn't have any other options. Still, I don't think he is ashamed of his actions.
- Dr. Brief and Ledas have a very odd pairing together. Of all the canon characters, he was one of the ones I was least expecting to have such a long scene with the boy, but once the plot demanded it, I had quite a lot of fun writing it. I remember re-watching several Dr. Brief scenes before writing this chapter back in 2011 to get his dialogue right, as he's quite a tricky dude to write for.
- The gravity training units that Dr. Brief created were meant mostly for Goku and the others if they ever wanted to leave the planet again. They were updated models, far superior to the one that Vegeta used after Namek. I came up with an elaborate backstory for them after writing this chapter that can be seen here. I don't know what inspired that as I'm not particularly interested in gravity training units.
- I think Dr. Brief thought that Ledas was Goten or another son of Chi-Chi's. He would have given any of them a gravity training unit without question. I suppose Brief figured the boy was too shy to ask so he just tried to take it and thus the good doctor tried to play along to not hurt his feelings. Little did he know that what he was playing along with was not happening at all.
- Bulma's and Dr. Brief's exchange is one of the ones I'm the most proud of in all of TF. I think I did pretty good with their dialogue.
- Ledas' tail being his identity is worthy of mention. Bulma realizes he's a Saiyan (she probably sees flashbacks to Kid Goku, which is awesome), and yet doesn't know who he is. I think she would know Goten by this point (as he is Trunks' best friend), so that leaves no other Saiyan boys possible. That is what truly freaks out Bulma. She doesn't know if he came from outer space, is Goku's long-lost son, or what. Her resolution to get Vegeta is said in just a passing remark, but it's a big moment in the story - a definite "oh snap" moment for the readers who realize just what that means. And yet, speculation must occur - why would they meet so early in the saga? Why would Vegeta and Ledas reunite so soon? Something must go amiss. That seems pretty clear even from this point.
- I like to think that Vegeta was lounging in his pink shirt wondering if he should grow a mustache when Bulma went to get him.
- Gravity suppression was a clever move on my part because I needed a way for Ledas to train without Vegeta knowing. The only way for that to happen would be for the gravity training unit to not emit any power levels. So I came up with the idea that the power output of the fighter inside the gravity unit would be absorbed by it, which then keeps it powered up. I am quite fond of this plot point because not only does it deal with a big plot problem, but it does so in a pretty cool way.
- Vegeta thinks it's Goten, of course, but the tail part threw him off. He probably thought Bulma just made that up, since he would know that Goten doesn't have a tail (as it was cut off at birth). Still, the fact that Vegeta is very interested in such a boy is quite funny, since that boy is in fact his long lost friend.
- Ledas should have noticed Vegeta tailing him. Indeed, the battle would have gone much differently if he had. However, he was so preoccupied with the gravity unit that he stole that his awareness suffered terribly.
- Ledas knows he isn't aging by this point. I think a boy who goes 7 years without getting older would realize that. He knows how people grow up because he saw his parents and others on Planet Vegeta. So when he sees adult Vegeta, part of the reason he says "No!" is because he's realized Vegeta's grown up without him. The mental image he's had of Vegeta is now shattered, and the past has been firmly placed in the past, dead and forgotten. He recognizes Vegeta by the latter's hair, of course, and also by his power and is dismayed that they have come face-to-face because he fears rejection - Ledas fears that Vegeta will disown him as a friend because of how weak he compared to the prince.
- I remember spending a long time on Vegeta's speech to Ledas (calling him a thief).
- To this day, it still brings a smile to my face when I read over Ledas laughing at Vegeta's cockiness and his "Some things never change" line of dialogue. So much nostalgia in that little line, and it's quite bittersweet, because although some things never change, many things do. And many things have.
- Ledas' hood covering his face is interesting, thematically. Earth clothes cover the true Ledas. Yet, when he becomes Super Saiyan, the hood is removed. The real Saiyan comes out and pushes back against the Earth contrivances that have been keeping him down. All of this is deliberate. One of Ledas' main themes in all of TF is his identity, and that was surely not resolved at the conclusion of the previous saga.
- It's interesting that Ledas starts the fight between the two. I think he believes there is no other option; he can't outrun a faster opponent. So he is hoping to take out Vegeta quickly before the prince can power up. It's desperate, yes, but rather clever, too.
- Neither Ledas nor Vegeta is powered up during their fight which is why they are mostly even in terms of power.
- Vegeta is surprised by Ledas' attack because it's a Playful Galick - Vegeta knows that only he and Ledas know that attack. So why does this hooded boy know it? That startles him, makes him begin to question who Ledas is, and as a result, it causes him to lower his guard. He doesn't come to a satisfactory conclusion until he is properly reunited with Ledas because there is no proper conclusion aside from madness (he was told Ledas was dead, after all). Thus, he must've just thought that the boy's attack was similar to a Playful Galick coincidentally but was not actually one. While that is the more logical conclusion it was not right.
- Vegeta telling Ledas he doesn't deserve to be a Saiyan really hurts Ledas. He doesn't realize that Vegeta assumes that Ledas is actually Goten (and Vegeta has disdain for all of Goku's family), thinking that Vegeta may know it's him and still say that. He's fearing rejection, so he's seeing it where it doesn't actually exist. This fuels his Super Saiyan attack though, so it does have a positive effect on the battle even if it negatively effects Ledas' mentality. That happens a lot in Ledas' battles, and with all the mental weight he's been carrying with him since the first saga, it's no wonder he's seeing hallucinations of his dead dad and a horrible monster now.
- Vegeta is incredulous anytime anyone becomes a Super Saiyan. It's been like this since Vegeta's been around in canon. I wanted to do the same with Ledas showing his old friend too, for it felt very much in the flavor of DBZ. It's a greatly ironic moment with great psychological undertones.
- Vegeta's "little man" insult is ironic since he's short as fuck. But he does say it in canon, so what can I say? I wanted to write his character accurately.
- I like the idea that the townspeople below Ledas and Vegeta don't know what's going on. The obliviousness of the population of Earth is a reoccurring gag in DBZ, but here, it serves both as that and as a hint of Vegeta's own obliviousness - he doesn't realize who Ledas is despite a few very overt hints that the boy let slip. Vegeta doesn't want to believe. He doesn't want to think that Ledas is alive because that will bring up too much pain and too much hope, and if there was one thing that Frieza beat out of him all those years ago, it was hope. This later becomes a big reason why Vegeta refuses to accept Ledas' existence in the Reunion Saga... but more on that when we get to that anthology.
<BLACK SCREEN; A WILD DIN OF VOICES CAN BE HEARD>
Reporter 1: Police Chief Nagamo! Police Chief Nagamo! Is there any word yet on how many casualties?
Reporter 2: What about how it was done? Was it a gas leak? Or arson? Or–
Reporter 3: Chief! What can you say about the reports coming in from the countryside? Could this be an attack?!
<THE SCREEN FADES TO COLOR; A MAN, OBVIOUSLY POLICE CHIEF NAGAMO, IS STANDING BEHIND A PODIUM, ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS OF A LARGE GROUP OF FRENZIED REPORTERS; HIS FACE IS GRAVE>
Police Chief Nagamo: We have no word yet on the number of casualties that occurred in several homes earlier today. We do know that it was a fire that started this – yes, it was a mere accident. There is no evidence, nor should there be any concern, that what occurred today was deliberate or part of some kind of crime. <HE SIGHS AND TURNS AWAY FROM THEM FOR A MOMENT BEFORE LOOKING BACK> That is all I can say for today. <WITH THE NOD OF HIS HEAD, NAGAMO LEAVES, WITH THE RAUCOUS VOICES BEHIND HIM GROWING IN VOLUME WITH EACH STEP HE TAKES>
<NAGAMO WALKS DOWN A HALLWAY; THE WALLS ARE WOODED AND THE LIGHTS ARE DIM; UP AHEAD HE COMES UPON A DOOR, WHICH IS THE ENTRANCE TO HIS OFFICE; HE ENTERS>
<INSIDE, A WELL DRESSED ELDERLY MAN HAS HIS BACK TO NAGAMO; HE IS FIDDLING WITH SOMETHING IN HIS HANDS>
Police Chief Nagamo: <SURPRISED AND SOMEWHAT IRRITATED> Can I help you?
Unknown Man: <STILL WITH HIS BACK TURNED, PLEASANTLY> Ah, Mr. Nagamo, how have you been? <HE TURNS AROUND WITH TWO GLASSES OF SOME KIND OF ALCOHOL IN HIS HANDS; HE OFFERS ONE TO NAGAMO>
Police Chief Nagamo: <TAKES THE GLASS; STILL SUSPICIOUS> I’m sorry… do I know you?
Unknown Man: <TAKES A DRINK> Perhaps not, but I do know you. You’re quite the <PAUSES FOR A MOMENT> charismatic leader, Nagamo. But moreover, you are just the man I need for my operation.
Police Chief Nagamo: <DOESN’T DRINK, SETS DOWN HIS GLASS> What operation? What are you talking about?
<THE DOOR BEHIND NAGAMO SUDDENLY SHUTS; TWO GUARDS, WHO ARE CLOTHED IN DARK MILITARY DRAB ARE STANDING BEHIND HIM; THEY HAVE THE INSIGNIA OF THE RED RIBBON ARMY ON THEIR ARMS; ONE WEARS A HELMET; THE OTHER DOES NOT, AND HAS ORANGE HAIR; NAGAMO BECOMES AGITATED WHEN HE SEES THEM; BUT HE TURNS BACK TO THE OLD MAN, SEEKING EXPLANATION>
Unknown Man: <TAKES SOMETHING OUT OF HIS SUIT POCKET; IT IS A SMALL PHOTOGRAPH; HE HANDS IT TO NAGAMO> My name is Cardinal. I am here because of that.
Police Chief Nagamo: <STARING AT THE PICTURE; HIS KNUCKLES GO WHITE> A-and you were authorized?
Cardinal: By the UN, yes. They’ve given me full control of all assets in the area. I am sure you know who I am. <NAGAMO NODS> Good. This can go smoothly if you choose to help the Red Ribbon Army with its task. This is a matter which I cannot leave to chance. If we do not act with perfect harmony, I fear many lives may be lost.
Police Chief Nagamo: <SLOWLY> There are reports… coming in from the countryside. I did not think them to be so close to the mark. If this is true–
Cardinal: <HOLDS UP HIS HAND> We can discuss specifics later, Chief. For now, I’d like you to meet my team… they have many theories for how to tackle this issue.
<CARDINAL AND NAGAMO EXIT, WITH THE TWO GUARDS FLANKING THEM; NAGAMO DROPS THE PICTURE AS HE GOES; AFTER THE DOOR CLOSES, THE CAMERA FOCUSES IN ON THE PICTURE; IT IS A PICTURE OF LEDAS’ SPACE POD, WHICH HE HAD FORGOTTEN>
<CAMERA CUTS TO LEDAS AND VEGETA’S FIGHT; LEDAS ATTACKS BUT IS COUNTERED; THE FIGHT IS NOT EVEN; VEGETA IS BEATING UP ON HIM, WITH RELATIVE EASE; LEDAS IS BLEEDING FROM HIS LOWER LIP>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> No, I can’t let him know it’s me yet… I need to get away, and fast.
<THE FIGHT CONTINUES AND VEGETA HAS NEARLY BEATEN LEDAS>
Vegeta: So, fool, given up yet? <HE PUSHES LEDAS BACK, WHO IS HUNCHED OVER IN MIDAIR, BREATHING HARD> Did you really think you could beat the Prince of all Saiyans?
Ledas: <BREATHLESS> No… Vegeta. I didn’t mean to fight you…
<VEGETA LAUGHS; LEDAS DISAPPEARS, THE QUICKLY REAPPEARS ABOVE VEGETA, HE FIRES A HUGE ENERGY BLAST POINT BLANK INTO THE PRINCE; VEGETA FALLS TO THE GROUND, UNCONSCIOUS>
Ledas: <BREATHING HARD STILL; WIPES BLOOD OFF OF HIS FACE> But you shouldn’t let your guard down, Vegeta. <COUGHS>
<LEDAS SLOWLY TURNS AROUND TO LEAVE, BUT QUICKLY GLANCES ONCE MORE AT THE UNCONSCIOUS VEGETA; A DISTRESSED EXPRESSION CROSSES HIS FACE, BUT AFTER A MOMENT, IT IS GONE>
<LEDAS FLIES HOME AND GOES TO HIS ROOM; HE PLACES THE CAPSULE IN A DRAWER ON HIS NIGHTSTAND NEXT TO HIS POUCH OF SAIBAMEN; INSIDE THAT NIGHTSTAND IS A PAIR OF PANTIES THAT HE SAVED; HE LOOKS THEM OVER FOR A MOMENT>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> Well, I don’t have any reason to keep them anymore. I guess I should return them.
<HE SETS HIS BACKPACK DOWN ON HIS BED AND EMPTIES IT; A MESS OF BOOKS AND PAPERS FALL OUT ONTO HIS BED>
<HE PICKS UP A PENCIL AND TRIES WRITING, TRYING TO MIMIC THE LETTERS HE SEES, BUT HE IS TERRIBLE AT IT; HE CAN NEITHER READ NOR WRITE, OBVIOUSLY>
Ledas: I dunno what I’m supposed to do with this stuff…
Mrs. Fanshi: <FROM THE OTHER ROOM> Ledas, dinner is ready!
Ledas: <HALF RESPONSE> Okay.
<HE LOOKS ONE MORE TIME AT THE CAPSULE, SAIBAMAN POUCH, AND PANTIES THAT HE STOLE IN THE DRAWER BEFORE CLOSING IT AND WALKING OUT; HE IS IN HIS BLACK SHORTS, WHITE SHIRT, AND SOCKS ONLY>
<LEDAS ARRIVES AT THE DINNER TABLE TO FIND THE FOOD LAID OUT FOR THEM WITH FANSHI ALREADY HAVING SET THE TABLE; SHE IS SITTING DOWN; LEDAS SITS DOWN>
<NOT WAITING, HE PLOWS INTO HIS FOOD USING HIS HANDS>
Mrs. Fanshi: Dear, slow down. That is no way to act while eating! Here, I will show you proper manners at the dinner table.
Mrs. Fanshi: The first thing you must learn is to never talk with your mouth full.
Ledas: But why?
Mrs. Fanshi: It is rude.
Mrs. Fanshi: Don’t backtalk me, Ledas. Now, do you know how use chopsticks?
Ledas: W-what’s chopsticks?
Mrs. Fanshi: Those there. <SHE POINTS TO WHAT IS NEXT TO HIM; THE CAMERA SHOWS IT UP CLOSE>
<LEDAS PICKS THE TWO STICKS UP, DUMBFOUNDED AT HOW TO USE THEM; FANSHI GETS UP AND HELPS HIM USE IT, GUIDING HIS HAND; HE SUBMITS; AS CAN BE SEEN, HE IS TERRIBLE WITH THEM, AND HE SPILLS HIS FOOD EVERYWHERE; AT ONE PANEL, HE GETS AGITATED, AND PUNCTURES HIS MEAT WITH ONE OF THEM, BUT FANSHI UNDOES THAT>
<THE PANELS MOVE BY QUICKLY; LEDAS DOES NOT GET HOW TO USE THE CHOPSTICKS FOR A FEW PANELS, BUT HE GRADUALLY BECOMES SEMI-COMPETENT; FANSHI CAREFULLY AND COMPASSIONATELY SHOWS HIM HOW TO EAT SLOWER, AND EAT SMALLER PORTIONS>
<THEY GO INTO THE NIGHT LIKE THIS, WITH FANSHI REALLY ACTING LIKE A MOTHER FIGURE TO LEDAS; LEDAS ACTUALLY TRIES TO LEARN FROM IT>
Mrs. Fanshi: <AS THEY CONTINUE> Your mother never taught you how to use these?
Mrs. Fanshi: Poor thing, you must have had a hard life. How long have you been living on your own?
Ledas: I don’t know. But it has been a long time.
<SHE SHAKES HER HEAD AND HELPS HIM, AGAIN, WITH HIS CHOPSTICKS>
Mrs. Fanshi: Well, you’re safe with me now, dear.
<HE NODS BUT DOES NOT SMILE, AS HE IS FOCUSED ON HIS FOOD ONCE AGAIN>
Ledas: Yeah, safe.
<THE NEXT DAY GOES BY, WITHOUT MUCH HAPPENING; AFTER SCHOOL, LEDAS STAYS WITH RYORI AS THE LATTER WAITS FOR HIS BROTHER TO COME AND PICK HIM UP>
<THE BOTH OF THEM ARE THE ONLY TWO LEFT AT SCHOOL AND ARE SITTING ON THE CURB OF A STREET>
Ryori: He’s my older brother. He’s really nice and all… just a little messed up.
<LEDAS JUST SITS THERE LISTENING, HE IS SOMEWHAT DISTRACTED; THE WOUND ON HIS LIP HAS HEALED SLIGHTLY BUT NO ONE HAS NOTICED IT YET>
Ryori: It’s not really his fault. He drinks a lot and does a lot of drugs…
Ledas: Drinking? What does that mean?
Ryori: You don’t know? Well… I guess it’s better if you don’t. But I can tell when he gets like that. I can see it in his eyes. When he gets like that… <RUBS HIS ARMS WHICH ARE SLIGHTLY BRUISED; LEDAS NOTICES> I’m just another fucked up kid to him.
Shoekki: <PULLS UP TO THE SIDE OF THE CURB, ON HIS MOTORCYCLE; IT IS RED; IN MOCKING SPIRIT, LAUGHING> He was close… because all I saw was a kid fucking everyone he could get his little hands on.
Ryori: <GETS UP> Nuh-uh! I don’t do that!
Shoekki: Like hell you don’t. What? You think I don’t know what my little bro’s up to? I know a lot more than you think.
Ryori: <GOES SCARLET> I’m not doing anything!
<BOTH SILENTLY FUME AT ONE ANOTHER FOR A FEW SECONDS>
Ryori: <BREAKING THE SILENCE> Why are you so happy, Shoekki?
Shoekki: <GRINS> I got a new girl today. Picked her up right before I came over here. And the best part of it all… she’s just like me! <HIS BALANCES STARTS TO WANE> Likes all the stuff I do.
Ryori: <BOWS HEAD, QUIETLY> Oh great.
Shoekki: <GRABS RYORI AND HELPS HIM UP ONTO THE BIKE> Come on, Ryori! It’ll be great… I promise.
<THE TWO GET ON THE MOTORCYCLE AND SPEED OFF; RYORI LOOKS EXTREMELY WORRIED AND DEJECTED; STRIKING WHEN COMPARED TO HIS ALPHA MALE PERSONALITY THAT NORMALLY WAS PRESENT AT SCHOOL>
<THE CAMERA SHIFTS TO ANOTHER PLACE, A ROOM HIGHLY ORNATE AND WOODED; IN IT ARE SEVERAL PEOPLE CONVERSING; AMONG THEM ARE CARDINAL AND NAGAMO; THE WALLS ARE LINED WITH RED RIBBON ARMY GUARDS; THE GUARD WITH THE ORANGE HAIR IS WITH CARDINAL AND NAGAMO>
Cardinal: So, <GESTURES AROUND TO THE FOUR OTHERS STANDING NEXT TO HIM> these are my operatives – Kindler, Dewberry, File, and my son, General Silver. We have, together, worked up several methods which can be employed to capture this being. Our only problem as of now is we do not have an identity for the creature.
Police Chief Nagamo: What do you mean?
Cardinal: As you may recall, Nagamo, two of these very same creatures, in the very same space ships came to this planet years back. Should I bring up the recordings?
Police Chief Nagamo: No, I remember it.
Cardinal: Good, good. <CONTINUES> A great deal of time and effort was spent tracking down several tapes of these creatures in action. From such tapes, we have gained three critical pieces of evidence. <PAUSES, TURNS TO ONE OF HIS ASSOCIATES, THE MOST WELL DRESSED> Kindler, would you mind showing our gracious host what we have uncovered.
Kindler: Of course, sir. <MOVES FORWARD, AND POINTS TO A SCREEN THAT WAS OFF-SCREEN UNTIL NOW; IT HAS SEVERAL STILL PICTURES OF VEGETA AND NAPPA AS THEY WERE WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED ON EARTH> From what we have deduced, these creatures look much like you and me… even if there are several minor differences.
Police Chief Nagamo: So you’re saying there could be any number of these things on earth?
Kindler: <LOOKS UP AT NAGAMO, WITH CONTEMPT> No, that’s utterly preposterous. These creatures are highly destructive and I doubt any could possibly live here in peace. For one, they are far more powerful than any normal human. And also, every one of them has a tail. <WRYLY> There have been no reports about any men with tails, recently.
Police Chief Nagamo: Oh, right. I guess that makes sense. <CURIOSITY OVERWHELMING> So what is the third piece of evidence?
Kindler: <CHANGES THE SCREEN TO PICTURES OF VEGETA TRANSFORMED INTO A GREAT APE> They turn into big monkeys when exposed to the moon. <PAUSES AS NAGAMO TAKES THIS IN> Yeah, I’m not even making that up.
Police Chief Nagamo: Yes, that’s interesting as well… but how will this help us catch the beast?
File: <FEMALE ASSOCIATE; REACHES FOR SOMETHING BELOW THE TABLE AND BRINGS IT UP; IT IS A WEIRD MECHANICAL DEVICE> With this. <GESTURES TO THE DEVICE> This is a blutz wave generator. It’s one of the few models produced by a… <SEARCHES FOR THE WORD> trusted manufacturer. The device will simulate our moon.
<NAGAMO TRIES TO RESPOND, CLEARLY NOT WANTING THEM TO TRANSFORM THE ALREADY DANGEROUS SUPPOSED ALIEN; BUT CARDINAL MOVES FORWARD>
Cardinal: <MOVES FORWARD> The reason we have told you this, Nagamo is that I will shortly be placing this device into the entire town. I would appreciate some kind of help in determining the most populated areas for exposure.
<NAGAMO SHIFTS HIS FEET, MOUTH AGAPE IN HORROR OF WHAT HE IS WITNESSING; HE LOOKS ONE MORE TIME AT THE PICTURE OF VEGETA TRANSFORMED AND THEN BACK OUT THE WINDOW TO HIS QUIET, AND PEACEFUL TOWN>
- This chapter's name is in reference to how the whole atmosphere was misty the day Nagamo and Cardinal met and how Cardinal’s motives seemed to be quite shrouded.
- So unlike most of the other chapters in this saga, I did a major update to "Mist" in 2012, adding in two scenes (Ledas alone in his room trying to learn how to write, and Ledas learning manners from Mrs. Fanshi) along with minor edits to the rest of the chapter. I added those in because Ledas didn't seem like he was getting accustomed to Earth culture as much as I wanted him to. Then for the final edits, I did many small rewordings of dialogue and scene direction and updated Cardinal's scene with Nagamo to make it in-line with the New Red Ribbon Army plot. That plot was added in only during the final edits, so I had to tweak certain things in that scene to make it consistent with that idea. For the most part, though, this chapter is as it originally was. It's strikingly long - about as long as the two previous chapters put together. I'm not sure why it is so much longer than the previous chapters. Perhaps it is better to question why the previous couple chapters were so short, though, since they are amongst the shortest in the entire story.
- Nagamo's introduction is a very tense moment, and he lies to the press about the houses that burned down (remember, Ledas did this in the previous chapter when he got mad at the Layeeck vision). However, he looks tired as he does this, and there's an implied heaviness in his heart. This little moment illustrates a lot about this new character, and I thought it was fun to have him introduced doing something that is not part of who he is or who he wants himself to be. As to why Nagamo lies to the reporters, it's simply so that widespread panic doesn't break out. He doesn't even know what they are dealing with yet, so he doesn't want to start unnecessary panic.
- Cardinal's first appearance is based on John Hammond's first appearance in Jurassic Park.
- The man with orange hair is Colonel Silver - a canon character - who was also seen in the previous chapter near the end. He was never killed in canon, though it was implied that he was going to be. I changed that by coming up with the idea that Silver's father, Cardinal, was a wealthy politician who saved his son. Then, after the Red Ribbon Army fell, he and Cardinal made the New Red Ribbon Army to continue Cardinal's political stuff, but now giving Cardinal a military task force to help him enforce his power around the world. And Silver leads that group. This faction was around when Gero was still alive (who ran the Red Ribbon Army Remnant after Commander Red's death), too, though neither faction knew of the other's existence.
- There are a lot of bombshells dropped in the first scene - the Red Ribbon Army still being around, for example (though technically it is the New Red Ribbon Army) and the fact that Cardinal and the others now know of Ledas' presence on Earth due to his space pod. There is much irony in the fact that Ledas forgot his space pod in the countryside and now that's brought a group of humans to the city to try to find him. The tone of this opening scene is also worthy of mention. There's suspense, mystery, and big reveals. It's a change from the simpler plot that has defined this saga up to this point.
- So Vegeta is definitely stronger than Ledas, but Ledas had to win so that Vegeta wouldn't figure out who he is. That is why Ledas lulled Vegeta into a state of calm, allowing the prince to lower his guard so that Ledas could quickly hit him with a very powerful attack. Ledas probably used all of his energy there, or at least most of it, to subdue Vegeta. Notably, this is the only time Ledas defeats Vegeta in the series.
- The panties scene hints at the first deleted scene of TF, which takes place at the end of this chapter. For those who don't want to read that scene, Ledas noticing Miki's panties in his drawer will have no meaning.
- Also, me mentioning that Ledas has his pouch of Saibamen with him is foreshadowing their importance later in the saga.
- Ledas cannot write in "human" (which could be either English or Japanese, but is never specified), and this means, really, that he can't learn much of anything in school. He does try though, because he wants to remain Ryori's and the others' friend, and he likes how school is healing him mentally. He does put forth effort where it is needed, and that is one of the more nobler traits about Ledas in my opinion. Not many characters would go out of their way to "practice" writing when they know they can't do it at all. Remember that the teacher doesn't know that he can't read or write; it is expected that Ledas, who is of an age for seventh grade, already has these tools. So he's given very little direction on how to learn how to do that, and I don't think he wants to ask Ryori either because it's embarrassing.
- Ledas learning manners is an interesting moment. It reflects some of my own thoughts on "manners" - I think they are ridiculous human contrivances with no intrinsic worth. Yet, I still try to have manners when I'm eating with people I don't know or want to impress. I understand why being "respectable" at the table can be socially useful. However, that's not to say that it has any inherent worth. What is manners changes culturally and as cultural morality shifts with generations, so it's not a set thing. Learning manners and how to use chopsticks also allows Ledas to absorb more human culture and become more "humanized" like Vegeta was years back. That has critical ties to some themes in this saga.
- I don't think Ledas learning manners is all sweet, though it is a nice bonding moment with him and Fanshi. She give him the nurturing he's been missing for many years, and it results in some interesting character development. However, my thoughts on the shallowness of "manners" still portrays this in a conflicted way. Yeah Fanshi was nice to him, and yeah he learned how to use chopsticks, but that doesn't really help him become stronger. She doesn't understand that he's an alien, so it's not Fanshi's fault, but there is still a species disconnect here, especially with Fanshi wanting Ledas to eat smaller portions. He's a Saiyan; he trains a lot; he needs lots of food. But of course, she would not understand that. The conflict of Earth culture vs. Saiyan culture (with Fanshi even subtly going at Cyleria as if she's trying to replace Ledas' mother) is the main event in this scene.
- Ryori's conversation with Ledas is one of surprising honesty and it details some complicated facts about his home life with Shoekki. It's so much different from how Ryori is at school that perhaps that is why Ryori tries to be so assertive at school: if he can't find agency at home, he must find it at the second-most important place in his life. Ryori hasn't bonded this closely with any other student, so there is something there with Ledas. I think that Ledas has just gone so long without any friends that he's being much more "friendlike" to Ryori than the others are. And thus, Ryori gravitates towards being around him, even if he's new.
- Shoekki's comments to Ryori suggest that Ryori is having lots of sex. I'm not sure if that's the case, and indeed, I would bet it's not. Shoekki knows about how Ryori has all these panties, so that may be where he's getting the idea, but outside of that, there is no indication that Ryori is actually doing what Shoekki is saying - at least to the extent Shoekki believes. Ryori still goes red when Shoekki mentions it, so perhaps he has fooled around with a few girls or something. I don't know; it's not an idea that I developed any further in this story. That conversation was more about showing Shoekki's relationship with his younger brother than getting into if his statements were factual or not.
- Shoekki's girl is File - the transgender associate of Cardinal. That isn't known yet, nor can it be hinted at quite yet, but later on, when Shoekki introduces his girlfriend to Ryori, the audience becomes aware of this fact. I am just setting up that big reveal here so that it doesn't seem like it comes out of nowhere later.
- I had a lot of fun referencing Vegeta's and Nappa's trip to Earth as being crucial to Cardinal's investigation. It's ironic too, since this information is being used to hunt Ledas, a boy who once trained with and under both of those Saiyans. The most fun part was referencing how absurd it was that the Saiyans turn into giant apes when exposed to moonlight. This whole ending scene is very meta and very comedic basically because I finally found a place to poke some fun at some of the more ridiculous aspects of DBZ.
- The blutz wave generator was actually based on Dragon Ball: GT, despite my hatred of that series for the most part. But the thing about blutz waves was just an evolution of what we saw in DBZ and it worked well for this story. I am rather proud of this plot, because by shooting blutz waves, Cardinal and the others can easily find the Saiyan hiding in the city (if they are still in the city - remember Cardinal and the others don't know that for a fact). If I didn't have the blutz waves thing, I'm not sure how else I could have had Cardinal and the others find Ledas by the end of this saga. So it was a very useful plot creation inspired by the worst DB series in the Dragon Ball universe. As I've stated before, I like to take the best things out of series and media I reference, and this is one of those cases. The blutz wave generator idea in GT was fine; most of the rest of GT was not. So I only reference what I thought was good.
- File implies that they got their blutz wave generator from Capsule Corp. That would be pretty cool if they did, because of thematic implications it would raise.
- Nagamo's horror at what Cardinal is about to unleash on his town is a "calm before the storm" moment, written to elicit visceral emotional responses. Of course, Cardinal's philosophy of "the ends justify the means" seems to be at odds with Nagamo's own morality. Additionally, the idea that to catch the supposed dangerous Saiyan, they should transform him into his most powerful form (to their knowledge; Super Saiyan is of course by far Ledas' most powerful transformation at this time) is reckless and could result in thousands of deaths. So the end of this chapter leaves Nagamo with an important philosophical choice: should he risk the lives of his town for the capture of the alien, even if they don't know if they can capture the alien once he's transformed? And also, they don't exactly know if the alien is going to be dangerous (the houses burning down being his work is a matter of speculation, remember) if they leave him alone. So since there are big risks to either option Nagamo takes, he is left flummoxed and unable to come to a swift conclusion. He doesn't realize, perhaps, that Cardinal is going to proceed with or without him, so his internal morality battle isn't tied to reality.
- My thoughts on the first deleted scene can be seen here.
The Monster Inside Me…
<A FEW DAYS PASS, WEEKS EVEN; BY THIS TIME LEDAS HAS GROWN A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLE AROUND RYORI AND THE OTHER HUMANS; SEVERAL SCENES PASS OF HIM TRAINING IN HIS GRAVITY SUPPRESSION UNIT, IN SUPER SAIYAN, AT OVER 250G; HIS SAIBAMEN ARE SHOWN TO BE TRAINING ALONG WITH HIM IN THERE>
<A SCENE COMES UP WHERE LEDAS, RYORI, AND SEVERAL OTHER BOYS ARE ALL ENJOYING THEMSELVES AT AN ARCADE, COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO ANYTHING BAD GOING ON AROUND THEM; THE GROUP OF THEM ARE LAUGHING AND PLAYING AROUND; THE SCENE CHANGES TO THEM IN CLASS, SHOWING HOW RYORI LEADS THEM ALL, WHILE KYOKATOSHI ATTEMPTS TO HOLD THE ORDER; NOBODY RESPECTS HIM>
<RYORI IS SUCH AN ALPHA MALE; HE AND LEDAS DO NOT EVER PAY ATTENTION TO CLASS AND LEARN NOTHING; AT THE END, RYORI LEADS THE KIDS HE LIKES OUT OF THE CLASS WHEN IT IS OVER; THEY GO OUT TO A PLAYGROUND AND SIT AROUND, TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER INTO THE EVENING; LEDAS IS WITH THEM>
<AS THEY ARE WALKING BACK, LEDAS RUNS INTO A GIRL; IT IS MIKI, THE GIRL HE GAVE BACK THE PANTIES TO; THEY TALK, BUT IT IS UNSEEN WHAT THEY SAY; SHE SHOWS HIM SOMETHING BEFORE PARTING WAYS; THEN, THE TWO SAY GOODBYE AND PART WAYS>
<THE DAY TURNS TO NIGHT, AND LEDAS AND MRS. FANSHI SAY GOOD NIGHT TO EACH OTHER; BEFORE GOING TO HIS ROOM, HE GRABS AN APPLE AND WANDERS BACK TO HIS ROOM; HE CLOSES THE DOOR AND JUMPS INTO BED>
Ledas: <TAKES A BITE FROM HIS APPLE> I wonder where dad is? <LOOKS AROUND> Haven’t seen him for a while. <SUDDENLY LEDAS SHIVERS AND NOTICES HIS WINDOW IS OPEN> So cold…! <HE STARTS TO MOVE TO GET UP TO CLOSE IT, BUT THEN NOTICES A DARK FIGURE LYING ACROSS THE OUTSIDE OF HIS WINDOWSILL>
Ledas: Who’s there?!
<THE BEING LOOKS UP AT HIM, HIS FACE IS HOODED AND UNRECOGNIZABLE; INDEED HIS ENTIRE BODY IS COVERED IN DARK ROBES; SAVE FOR HIS CLAWED AND SCALED HANDS; THE BEING DOES NOT ANSWER LEDAS>
Ledas: <SHIVERS AGAIN> O-oh it’s you. I know you’re not real… stop bothering me! <WITH ANNOYANCE, LEDAS THROWS HIS HALF EATEN APPLE AT THE CREATURE, HITTING IT SQUARELY IN THE HEAD>
Creature: <SURPRISED SARCASM> Ow…
<LEDAS LETS IN A SHARP GASP, THINKING THE CREATURE MUST BE REAL; HE FALLS OFF THE EDGE OF HIS BED, ON THE FAR SIDE FROM THE WINDOW; WHEN HE GETS BACK UP, THE CREATURE IS GONE; LEDAS RETURNS TO BED, BUT DOES NOT SLEEP, HE IS VERY SHAKEN>
<CUTS TO CARDINAL’S HEADQUARTERS, WHICH IS IN THE POLICE STATION; SOME TIME HAS PASSED SINCE THE LAST MEETING; THE WALLS ARE COVERED IN PICTURES OF VEGETA AND NAPPA; AS WELL, THERE ARE PAPERS COVERED IN WRITING AND TYPING LITTERING THE TABLES AND DESKS; THE BLUTZ WAVE GENERATOR IS SITTING UNTOUCHED IN A CORNER; THERE ARE STILL RED RIBBON GUARDS LINING THE WALLS>
<CARDINAL, KINDLER, DEWBERRY, AND GENERAL SILVER ARE PRESENT (FILE IS NOT); POLICE CHIEF NAGAMO IS THERE AS WELL; BOTH CARDINAL AND KINDLER HAVE THEIR SUIT TOPS OFF, IN CLEAR FRUSTRATION AND IMPATIENCE; SILVER IS PACING AROUND, PLAYING WITH A KNIFE; DEWBERRY IS SITTING DOWN BECAUSE STANDING IS HARD FOR A FAT PERSON SUCH AS HIMSELF>
Police Chief Nagamo: No, I will not allow it! Absolutely not! If this thing actually is here, transforming it will only make it harder to capture!
Cardinal: We have no leads and no idea who it could be. The idea of shooting out the blutz wave over the city is to make sure that it is even here, not to actually capture it. No, that plan will come in due time.
Police Chief Nagamo: <WITH ANGER> And what happens when it transforms? Who’s to say it won’t go on a rampage and kill us all?
Kindler: <LAUGHS QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF; ARMS FOLDED> Seriously? Have you not been paying attention to what Mr. Cardinal and I have been telling you? When he transforms, we can easily regress him by removing the tail. And if he’s still feisty, we’ve got this. <HOLDS UP A STRANGE HELMET DEVICE>
Silver: <NOT LOOKING AT THEM; BORED> We’ve got plenty of soldiers for this. I can guarantee they can handle the alien. They know to go for his tail.
Police Chief Nagamo: But–
Cardinal: <FATHER’S TONE, ELEGANT> No “buts”, Nagamo. We are doing this, with your help or not. You can make this easier on us both by finding the most populated areas for us to release the waves upon. But if you refuse, we’ll just do the whole town anyways. It’s your choice. <HE SMILES> The UN placed me in charge for a reason. We have a situation that must be dealt with. And simply stalling us is helping no one. It is making no one safer. <GENTLER> Nagamo, these are your people, this is your town. If you co-operate and help us, we can bring the peace back. It won’t happen idly.
Police Chief Nagamo: <SIGHS> I can’t stop you then. Give me a few days, and I’ll see what I can pull together. I want you to know that I don’t approve of what you are doing, Cardinal. But we have no choice. I will let you use the device.
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS, IN THE MORNING; HE WALKS TO SCHOOL, STUMBLING AND WHATNOT DUE TO HIM NOT GETTING ANY SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE; ON HIS WAY, HE PASSES BY THE HOUSES HE BLEW UP WEEKS BEFORE; THEY ARE JUST PILES OF ASH NOW; A STRANGE HOODED CHARACTER IS FOLLOWING HIM BUT HE HAS YET TO NOTICE IT>
<UPON GETTING TO SCHOOL, HE SLUMPS INTO HIS DESK, NOT EVEN SAYING HELLO TO RYORI; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, HE IS FAST ASLEEP>
<MR. KYOKATOSHI CONTINUES TALKING AHEAD, AND DOES NOT NOTICE LEDAS; RYORI REACHES OVER TO LEDAS>
Ryori: <POKES LEDAS; WHISPERING> Psst! Ledas! Wake up, dude!
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <IN THE BACKGROUND WHILE THIS IS GOING ON> So can I get a volunteer to do the problem?
Ledas: <SUDDENLY WAKES UP, SHOOTS BACK IN HIS CHAIR; HE NOTICES THE BENEFACTOR HALLUCINATION WHICH IS SITTING ON THE TEACHER’S DESK, OR RATHER LYING ACROSS IT LIKE LAST NIGHT; HE SCREAMS> What?!?! Who is it?! I don’t have any!
<RYORI SHOOTS BACK TO HIS DESK AT THIS AND KYOKATOSHI LOOKS OVER AT HIM>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <STRANGELY; WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM> Ah, Ledas. Come on up.
<LEDAS SHUFFLES UP TO THE FRONT OF THE CLASS, MR. KYOKATOSHI HANDS HIM A PIECE OF CHALK>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: Now, write out the answer for number 6.
Ledas: <VERY EMBARRASSED, TALKING QUIETLY> Oh, uh sir… I… dunno how to…
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <YELLS> Speak up, boy!
Ledas: <DOES, A LITTLE> I-I can’t… write or read.
Mr. Kyokatoshi <INCREDULOUSLY> You can’t read or write? <THE CLASS COLLECTIVELY LAUGHS, SAVE FOR RYORI> What, do you take me as some kind of fool? <HE BACKHANDS LEDAS ACROSS THE FACE>
Ledas: <DOES NOT MOVE AFTER BEING HIT, HE STARES BACK UP AT KYOKATOSHI> I can’t, sir.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: If you don’t know the answer, simply say so. <HIS VOICE AND TEMPER ARE RISING> But do not stand here and lie to my face that you have been doing nothing, nor gaining anything from my teachings these past months!
The Benefactor: <LOOKING AT HIS FINGERS, INSPECTING; NONCHALANTLY> Kill him, kid.
<LEDAS IS ABOUT TO RESPOND, BUT INSTEAD TURNS TO THE BENEFACTOR AS HE HEARS THIS>
Ledas: I’m not lying.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: You can’t read or write? Do you really think that’s believable?
Ledas: <STARING MR. KYOKATOSHI DOWN; NOT AFRAID> It doesn’t matter if you believe it.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: Don’t you speak to me like that! <HE SLAPS LEDAS AGAIN> You can’t read or write? Are you that stupid? Really?!
The Benefactor: Let them watch. Kill him and let them watch. Show them what you are.
<LEDAS LOOKS AT THE BENEFACTOR AND THEN LOOKS AT RYORI AND THE OTHERS>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I’d kill this human in a second if they weren’t watching. But I can’t do it here.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: Return to your desk, Ledas. After class you have detention. Do not backtalk about it. Now go.
<WITH HIS CONTEMPT, HE TURNS BACK AWAY FROM LEDAS AND CONTINUES THE LECTURE; LEDAS STAYS WITH HIS HEAD DOWN FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS, TO HIDE HIS TEARS>
<AFTER SCHOOL IS OVER, LEDAS GETS UP AND WALKS OUT, IGNORING KYOKATOSHI YELLING AT HIM TO STAY FOR DETENTION>
<RYORI CHASES HIM OUT>
Ryori: Ledas! Come back… you can come over my place if you want to! Ledas!
<LEDAS RUNS OUT, TOO FAST AND IS SOON TOO FAR AWAY; RYORI STANDS ALONE IN THE EMPTY HALL>
<RYORI TURNS BACK AROUND, DISAPPOINTED, TO A RED MOTORCYCLE WAITING FOR HIM; ON IT IS HIS BROTHER SHOEKKI, AS WELL AS HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND; SHE IS THE VERY SAME WOMAN WHO WAS ON CARDINAL’S TEAM – FILE; RYORI GETS ON, THOUGH HE IS NOT VERY HAPPY>
<UP AHEAD, LEDAS TAKES OFF, AWAY FROM FANSHI’S HOME, AND FLIES FOR SOME TIME; HE IS CLEARLY ANGRY>
<AFTER SOME TIME, HE STOPS OVER A TOWN AND TURNS TO THE BENEFACTOR HALLUCINATION FOLLOWING HIM>
Ledas: <IN A SHOUT> Why are you following me?!
The Benefactor: <CLEANING HIS FINGERNAILS, NOT LOOKING AT LEDAS> I’m just along for the ride.
Ledas: <SHOOTS A SMALL KI BLAST AT HIM> Leave me alone!
The Benefactor: <LOOKS UP AND SMILES, THEN GOES BACK TO HIS WORK> You should have killed your teacher. I know you hate him.
Ledas: He doesn’t even do proper training! It was all just a big scam! That stupid human! He doesn’t know who I am!
The Benefactor: You still did not kill him. A coward’s move, I think. Teuaheahueah. <AFTER HE LAUGHS, THE BENEFACTOR BREAKS INTO NOTHINGNESS, LIKE THE SHATTERING OF GLASS>
<AT THIS, LEDAS GETS MAD AND TURNS AROUND AND SHOOTS A FLURRY OF HIS ENERGY BLASTS INTO THE TOWN BELOW HIM, DESTROYING THE ENTIRE THING; HE SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS WHILE DOING THIS>
<AFTER SEVERAL SECONDS, LEDAS STOPS, HE IS PANTING HARD AND PERHAPS TEARY EYED; HE TAKES OUT HIS POUCH OF SAIBAMEN, WHICH HE HAD BEEN CARRYING WITH HIM; HE BRIEFLY TOYS WITH THE IDEA OF SETTING THEM LOOSE>
<HE NOTICES THERE IS STILL SOME MOVEMENT BELOW, HE TURNS AND READIES AN ENERGY BLAST TO DECIMATE THE REMAINS; BEFORE HE CAN THROW IT, A BLUR, QUICK AS LIGHTNING, COMES BY AND HITS HIM ACROSS THE FACE; LEDAS STOPS, AND CLUTCHES AT HIS FACE, WHERE A HUGE CUT HAS MATERIALIZED; HE DROPS HIS POUCH OF SAIBAMEN; HE WIPES THE BLOOD AWAY AND TURNS TO HIS NEW FOE>
Piccolo: So you’re the one I sensed fighting with Vegeta. <HIS ARMS ARE FOLDED SO HE NODS TO LEDAS’ FREE HANGING TAIL> You’re not any of Goku’s children, and you’re certainly not Trunks. So who are you? <LEDAS DOESN’T ANSWER; ANGER RISING> Fine, be that way. But by destroying that city down there, by ending all those innocent lives, I have no choice but to kill you. Are you ready? Let’s go!
<PICCOLO TAKES OFF HIS WEIGHTED CLOTHES AND THROWS THEM AWAY; HE BEGINS POWERING UP>
<LEDAS PULLS BACK HIS HOOD AND IN A DEAFENING SCREAM TURNS TO SUPER SAIYAN; HE LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT PICCOLO>
- This chapter's name is a reference to the anime/manga Monster, and especially to the character Johan within that story. That reference was made because by this chapter Ledas is starting to slip into his own darkness and it is eerily reminiscent of the former’s personality.
- In 2012, I added some stuff to this chapter - mostly, it was to do with the montage sequence at the beginning, but I also did some rewordings and such too. The opening montage was added in to reflect Ledas' growing relationship with the humans and his integration into their society. I did a similar thing in the first saga with Ledas' growing relationship with Prince Vegeta as well. For the final edits, I did more rewordings and added in some small mentions of the Saibamen and whatnot - I didn't really change too much otherwise. One interesting thing about the final edits was that I made Ledas more alien and more wild. He stopped referring to Mr. Kyokatoshi as "him" and started calling him "that human". Remember, humans are aliens to Ledas just like any other species he's met, despite the physical similarities they share with his own species. One of the big changes to this saga I set out to do, when I wrote down my plans for its final edits on a notepad document, was to make Ledas appear more alien. Little dialogue rewordings like what I mentioned above are mostly how I did that.
- Miki is in this chapter briefly, and she means nothing to people who haven't read the deleted scene. Well tough shit. The scene is canon; I consider it a part of of TF as well as a part of the Dragon Ball universe. It has minor plot relevance here as a result. As to what Miki showed Ledas, use your imagination! Given what they did in the deleted scene it shouldn't be too hard to guess...
- So it's interesting how Ledas calls his Layeeck vision "dad". That gives some perspective on how he sees his hallucinations. Interestingly, he later notes that The Benefactor's vision isn't real, so he must know his dad's isn't either. Perhaps the Layeeck vision is how Ledas' subconscious is helping him deal with the loss of his dad.
- So the apple is a symbol for something; I won't get into that too much. Do note, however, that the apple is a major symbol in the anime Death Note, one of my favorite animes of all time and one of the major inspirations for this saga. Also note that the next chapter name references an apple, so it's not a minor symbol.
- The apple does not hit The Benefactor; that is not the real Benefactor. It's a vision. What happened is that Ledas threw the apple and it hit a tree outside or maybe the window or something like that. And because Ledas sees The Benefactor standing in the way of those things, he doesn't realize what the apple actually hits. This was done to show how Ledas is becoming detached from reality, not to hint that TB is actually in this chapter (he doesn't appear at any point in this saga).
- As can be seen in the scene direction in this chapter, I had a lot of fun mocking Dewberry. He was based on ss11 to an extent (though I don't know if ss11 was/is fat), so that was the main reason I was doing that.
- File not being with the rest of the group is very lightly hinting that she's Shoekki's girlfriend.
- The helmet device is a power level suppressor. It is the only way the New Red Ribbon Army could hope to contain Ledas. Indeed, Cardinal puts it on Ledas' head in the finale of this saga.
- Nagamo is perhaps the voice of reason here, but he is in the clear minority. Funny how that always seems to be the case with things.
- There's a very humanist argument between Cardinal and Nagamo in this chapter that would enrage Jean-Paul Sartre. Nagamo is falling back on the "I don't have a choice". But, like Sartre, I gravitate towards the humanist idea that everyone always has a choice, no matter how small. Every situation you are in, you have a choice. Nagamo is trying to philosophically wash his hands of Cardinal's operation by saying he doesn't have a choice. But inaction itself is a choice, and it is very telling about his character.
- Ledas not getting any sleep due to getting freaked out by his own hallucination is a major reason why the events of the second half of this chapter take place. Had he not been so tired, he probably would have been able to control his emotions more easily.
- Ledas screaming when he wakes up in his desk was meant to be comedic, and it's worth mentioning how it is put in between several very serious scenes. As I've mentioned before, though, that is often DBZ's style.
- Kyokatoshi backhanding Ledas might've been overkill, but I've seen some pretty fucked up teachers in my time, I'll tell ya! And he was influenced by several of them.
- The monster inside Ledas is manifested in the Benefactor hallucination. He wants to kill Kyokatoshi. He wants to give into his Saiyan desires. But he doesn't at that point because he knows it will destroy his human relationships and he treasures those greatly by this chapter.
- Ledas admitting he doesn't know how to read or write is him basically admitting that he's dumb (by human standards) or that he's inferior to the others. He has Saiyan pride. He knows he's much stronger than any of them and has gone through way more than them. So he doesn't feel like he's beneath him, but that admission in front of the class still subverts his image and makes him appear like he's just a dumb country bumpkin. Ledas also fears that Ryori learning this fact will make him stop being Ledas' friend. Notice, though, that Ryori does not laugh with the others when Ledas says he can't read or write.
- Ledas' anger surges at Kyokatoshi near the end of their conversation. He's about had it with that human bossing him around, especially since the man is much weaker than Ledas. Ledas doesn't like submitting to weaker people, especially if they are mean to him. But his desire to keep his human relationships alive (for if he killed Kyokatoshi in front of the class, everyone would be horrified and never want to see him again) prevents that.
- The Benefactor's line, "Show them what you are" is important thematically. Notice it's not "who" - it's "what". Some part of Ledas wants to show the world what a monster Frieza and Guva and the others have made him into. Some part of him wants to abandon reason for madness.
- Ledas was never going to stay for detention. After he learned what it was in a previous chapter, he could not submit himself to that again. Detention is brief, willing enslavement. And he had enough of that on Planet Cooler 92. So by not going to detention, the evolution of Ledas' character can be seen.
- Ryori is lonely just like Ledas. He feels isolated in the house with his brother, and he sees Ledas as someone who genuinely cares about him as a friend, not like the other kids who just like looking at the capsules he brings to school and whatnot. It's a sad moment when Ryori is left hanging by Ledas because Ryori is hurting too. He needs some comfort too. And playing with a friend at his house would be one way of getting that comfort. But Ledas doesn't allow that to happen because he's too distraught himself.
- The reveal that Shoekki is dating File is a big one because it implies to the readers the way in which Ledas' identity will be revealed to Cardinal and his team.
- So Ledas takes his anger out on the town because he's a Saiyan who has been raised to do planet clearings. He's killed billions of people. He's trying to release pressure and anger and feel nostalgia (for he used to demolish towns like this all the time with Vegeta). And yet, he's killing people. He's not a "good" person because of that. Ledas is a conflicted, grey character. He's the protagonist, but he's not a model hero. These struggles with his character and sense of morality and whatnot help me flesh out his character, help me make him unique, and help me prevent him from becoming a Gary Stu and/or boring.
- I came up with the Saibamen plot for the next chapter before writing this one, so I had Ledas take out his pouch of Saibamen at the end of it to foreshadow their importance. It also allows Piccolo to hit the Saibamen pouch of of Ledas' hand when their fight begins, prompting the entire Saibamen plot to unfold in a cool way.
- Piccolo clearly felt Vegeta fighting someone, and he felt Ledas power up to steal the panties in chapter 3. So he's been lurking around the plot for a while now. His entrance is badass, in my opinion. His speech at the end of this chapter is one of my favorite bits of dialogue in all of TF.
- Everything happens so fast at the end of this chapter, and that was done on purpose. It's a total "holy shit" moment when Piccolo appears and then immediately states that they are going to fight to the death. When Piccolo throws off his weighted clothes and Ledas immediately powers up to Super Saiyan, there is a ton of building drama. This sets up the cliffhanger rather nicely as a result. Now as to why I did this, Piccolo can be cool (and he was cool particularly in the early DBZ sagas), so I thought it would be cool for him to fight Ledas. I wanted their fight to be badass and with nothing held back. It's the culmination of everything that has happened so far in the Planet Earth Saga. Ledas has been hiding his identity and power to all, and even against Vegeta, he wasn't able to be authentic - he wasn't able to be himself. Now, emotionally raw and tired, Ledas finally lets loose and shows his true self to Piccolo. As much as this is a cool fight, it's an important moment of characterization for Ledas too.
Like An Apple
<THIS CHAPTER PICKS UP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST; LEDAS, IN SUPER SAIYAN, LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT PICCOLO WITH ALL HIS FURY; PICCOLO IS UNREADY, STILL TRYING TO POWER UP AND THUS GETS SMACKED IN THE HEAD, HARD; HE FLIES BACK SEVERAL FEET, BUT NOT BEFORE SENDING OFF AN ENERGY BLAST IN RETALIATION; LEDAS BRUSHES IT ASIDE>
<PICCOLO JUMPS BACK AND SHOOTS DOWN INTO THE GROUND AND THE RUBBLE; LEDAS FOLLOWS HIM; BUT IT IS A TRAP AND PICCOLO EMERGES FROM BEHIND LEDAS, SWIPING HIM, FROM THE LEFT SIDE>
<LEDAS IS THROWN TO THE SIDE, BUT TWISTS AS HE FALLS, SENDING A FLURRY OF RAZOR BLASTS INTO PICCOLO’S FACE; PICCOLO RETREATS AGAIN INTO THE RUBBLE>
<LEDAS STANDS UP AND LOOKS AROUND; HE SENDS OFF SEVERAL SMALL INVISIBLE BLASTS WITH HIS RIGHT HAND EXTENDED IN A SEMI-CIRCLE AROUND HIM; AFTER A FEW SECONDS, THE HALF BROKEN HOMES AND WHATNOT AROUND ALL EXPLODE; A BRIEF SHOT IS SHOWN OF A KI BLAST HITTING RIGHT NEAR THE POUCH OF SAIBAMEN, CAUSING ALL OF THEIR SEEDS TO FALL OUT>
<LEDAS TURNS AROUND, JUST IN TIME TO SEE PICCOLO STANDING BEHIND HIM, READYING A SPECIAL BEAM CANON>
<PICCOLO SHOOTS OFF THE BEAM; LEDAS BARELY MOVES OUT OF THE WAY; THE BEAM HITS HIM SQUARE IN THE LEFT SHOULDER>
<IN PAIN, LEDAS DROPS TO HIS KNEES SCREAMING, AND GRASPS AT HIS SHOULDER WITH HIS OTHER ARM; AT THE SAME TIME HOWEVER, PICCOLO STARTS WEAVING AROUND, CIRCLING HIM; LEDAS SHOOTS A BUNCH OF SMALL BLASTS AT HIM WITH HIS LEFT ARM>
<PICCOLO AFTERIMAGES AROUND, CONFUSING LEDAS; HE RUNS FORWARD AND KICKS LEDAS IN THE CHIN, SENDING HIM FLYING INTO A BUILDING>
<PICCOLO RELAXES FOR A MOMENT, CATCHING HIS BREATH; BUT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, LEDAS COMES FLYING BACK OUT, PUNCHING PICCOLO IN FACE>
<THEY BOTH TUMBLE INTO ANOTHER BUILDING, HALF DESTROYED; LEDAS LANDS ON TOP OF PICCOLO BUT IS PUSHED OFF ALMOST IMMEDIATELY>
<BOTH ROLL AROUND, CHANGING DOMINANCE SEVERAL TIMES; EVENTUALLY PICCOLO PINS LEDAS DOWN AND GRABS HIS THROAT WITH HIS ARMS; PICCOLO BEGINS TO SUFFOCATE HIM>
Piccolo: <IN THE STRUGGLE, HIS NAILS ARE DIGGING DEEP INTO LEDAS NECK, CAUSING MUCH BLOOD TO SPILL ABOUT; LEDAS STARTS CONVULSING, NEARLY UNCONSCIOUS; FOR SEVERAL SECONDS THIS CONTINUES, IN AN ALMOST EERIE QUIET, SAVE FOR THE FUMBLING AROUND OF LEDAS’ BODY ON THE FLOOR; AT THIS TIME, PICCOLO LETS UP A BIT AND BRINGS HIS FACE WITHIN AN INCH OF THE SAIYAN’S> Who are you?!
<LEDAS DOES NOT ANSWER, BUT STARES BACK WITH ANGER AND PAIN; AFTER A SECOND OR SO, HE HEADBUTTS PICCOLO, CAUSING THE NAMEKIAN TO REEL BACK; HE UNPINS HIS RIGHT HAND AND USES IT TO PUNCH, WITH ALL HIS FORCE, PICCOLO’S LEFT ARM, BREAKING IT>
<PICCOLO, HOWLING IN PAIN, FALLS OFF OF LEDAS>
<LEDAS GASPS, CLUTCHING AT HIS NECK FOR SEVERAL SECONDS; AS PICCOLO RECOVERS, HE GETS UP TOO>
<BOTH READY BLASTS AND SHOOT THEM AT ONE ANOTHER; A BEAM STRUGGLE BEGINS, BUT THEY ARE ONLY MERE FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER; PICCOLO AND LEDAS START CIRCLING IN THE ROOM, EACH WITH ONE ARM EXTENDED, FOR THEIR PART OF THE BEAM STRUGGLE>
<THEY GET CLOSER, NOW ONLY ABOUT SIX FEET APART; EACH ONE IS PUTTING ALL OF THEIR ENERGY INTO THE STRUGGLE; A GREAT WIND IS BEING LET OFF FROM THE STRUGGLE AND THE WINDOWS OF THE BUILDING ALL SHATTER; THE WALLS GET BLOWN AWAY AS WELL>
<SUDDENLY, LEDAS LETS UP; HE DISSIPATES HIS BEAM AND TELEPORTS TO BEHIND PICCOLO AT THE SAME TIME; PICCOLO CANNOT REACT FAST ENOUGH, AS THE FORCE OF HIS OWN BEAM CAUSES HIM TO TRIP FORWARD>
<LEDAS JUMPS UP INTO THE AIR AND FALLS DOWN ON THE BACK OF PICCOLO, ELBOWING HIM HIGH IN THE NECK>
<HE FLIPS OVER PICCOLO AND PINS HIM HARD TO THE FLOOR>
Ledas: <TAKES HIS RIGHT AND PUTS IT OVER PICCOLO’S FACE; BREATHING HARD> You know… Vegeta was a lot stronger than you. <WITH THAT, HE SENDS OFF A KYORRA FLASH, DETONATING IT IN PICCOLO’S FACE; DUST AND DEBRIS FILL THE AIR, AND WHEN THEY SETTLE, PICCOLO IS GONE>
<LEDAS SIGHS AND LOOKS AROUND AT ALL THE CARNAGE; WITH A SMIRK AND ONE MORE FEELING OF HIS BLOODY SHOULDER, LEDAS JUMPS INTO THE AIR AND DASHES OFF, BACK HOME>
<BEYOND, MAYBE 50 METERS AHEAD, PICCOLO EMERGES FROM THE RUBBLE, AND COLLAPSES ON THE GROUND; WITHOUT ANOTHER THOUGHT, HE SLIPS INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS>
<NEARBY, THE SAIBAMEN HAVE TRANSFORMED DUE TO THE ENERGY OUTPUT FROM PICCOLO’S AND LEDAS’ FIGHT; THEY ARE CRAWLING AROUND THE MOSTLY DESTROYED CITY, CACKLING AWAY; ALL BUT ONE OF THEM ARE RED>
<THEY SHOOT KI BLASTS, DESTROYING MORE AND MORE OF THE CITY; SOME SURVIVORS ATTEMPT TO FLEE AND ARE QUICKLY SHOT WITH KI; THE SAIBAMEN ALL REACH A PLAYGROUND WHICH ISN’T DAMAGED TOO MUCH; THEY QUICKLY START PLAYING ON IT; WELL, MOST OF THEM, ANYWAY; WILDE, THEIR LEADER, IS NONE TO PLEASED WITH THEIR ACTIONS>
Wilde: <SAIBA-SPEAK> Get back in the pouch. Master won’t like this!
Oppa: <SAIBA-SPEAK; JUMPS PAST WILDE, SHOOTING MORE FLEEING HUMANS> No! I won’t! Master hasn’t let us kill meatbags in too long!
Poy: <SAIBA-SPEAK> Kill them!
Ame: <SAIBA-SPEAK> I call dibs on these ones! <HE SHOOTS A BIG KI BALL AT A GROUP OF HUMANS, KILLING THEM ALL>
<WILDE ATTEMPTS TO STOP THE OTHER SIX, BUT IS UNSUCCESSFUL; AS HE IS TRYING TO GET THEM TO STOP, A FORCE OF HUMANS APPEARS BEFORE THEM>
Silver: <INTO HIS RADIO> This looks like the work of the alien. There’s still explosions going off, father. He must be here.
Cardinal: <OVER SILVER’S RADIO> Activate the Blutz Wave Generator.
Silver: <RUNS FORWARD WITH HIS GARRISON OF SOLDIERS; THEY SEE THE SEVEN SAIBAMEN AHEAD AT THE PLAYGROUND> Wait… there’s seven of them. And they don’t look human.
Cardinal: <OVER SILVER’S RADIO> Very well, Silver. Kill them or come back. Your call. Either way, I want that generator kept safe.
<CARDINAL CUTS THE COMMUNICATION>
Silver: I’m no coward. <TO HIS MEN> Focus your fire on one creature at a time! Come on, let’s kill some alien scum!
<HE LEADS THE CHARGE AGAINST THE SAIBAMEN>
<CUTS TO LEDAS, WHO HAS LANDED AT A CLEARING IN THE WOODS NEAR FANSHI’S HOUSE; THIS IS WHERE HE KEEPS HIS GRAVITY SUPPRESSION UNIT; HE OPENS ITS DOOR AND WALKS UP THE RAMP INSIDE; AS HE REACHES INSIDE, HE PUTS A HAND IN HIS POCKET TO GET HIS SAIBAMEN>
Ledas: Where’d my Saibamen go? <SUDDENLY, HE REMEMBERS DROPPING THEM WHEN PICCOLO ATTACKED; HE TURNS AROUND, SENSING THEM WREAKING HAVOC IN THE DISTANCE> Oh no…
<CUTS BACK TO THE SAIBAMEN; THE RED RIBBON ARMY IS ATTACKING THEM, BUT THEY ARE COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE; ANY SOLDIERS WHO ATTACK ARE MOWED DOWN BY KI BLASTS; WILDE IS STILL ATTEMPTING TO GET THEM UNDER CONTROL>
Wilde: <SAIBA-SPEAK> Master will kill us for this! Carawa listen to me!
Carawa: <SAIBA-SPEAK; SHOOTS A RED RIBBON ARMY SOLDIER, THEN TURNS AROUND> Fine, I’ll go.
<OPPA IS STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A GROUP OF SOLDIERS; HE RIPS THEM TO PIECES AND LAUGHS AS HE DOES IT; HE APPEARS TO FRENZIED TO WORK WITH>
Wilde: <SAIBA-SPEAK> Oppa, come on!
<WILDE GROWLS THEN SHOOTS OPPA THROUGH THE NECK, KILLING HIM; SES, AME, SONFLA, AND POY ALL TURN AROUND IN SHOCK; POY GETS EXTREMELY MAD AND CHARGES UP AN ATTACK TO SHOOT AT WILDE>
Poy: <SAIBA-SPEAK> He was my brother!
<POY JUMPS AT WILDE, BUT IS BLOWN IN HALF BEFORE HE REACHES THE COMMANDER; FROM THE SIDE, CARAWA HAS FIRED A BLAST AND KILLED POY; SES AND AME ARE SHOCKED>
Sonfla: <SAIBA-SPEAK; HE IS THE ONLY GREEN SAIBAMAN> Why would you kill our brothers?!
Wilde: Shut up, runt. No one disobeys master! We must go before he gets angry at us.
Sonfla: You aren’t master! You don’t tell me what to do!
Wilde: Then you die too! <WILDE SHOOTS A BLAST AT SONFLA, SENDING THE GREEN SAIBAMAN FLYING BACK> Now we go!
<HE AND CARAWA IMMEDIATELY RUN; SES AND AME DON’T RESIST AND FOLLOW AS WELL; BEFORE TOO LONG, THEY ARE OUT OF SIGHT OF THE RED RIBBON ARMY; AS THEY CONTINUE RUNNING, THEY HEAR A SOUND BEHIND THEM; LEDAS LANDS ON THE GROUND; HE LOOKS ANGRY AS HE APPROACHES THEM>
Ledas: <YELLING> What happened?!
Ledas: <COUNTING ONLY FOUR SAIBAMEN> Where are the other three? I don’t sense them anywhere.
<AME SHAKES HIS HEAD AND DRAWS HIS FINGER ACROSS HIS THROAT; LEDAS REALIZES WHAT THIS MEANS; HE IS SUDDENLY OVERCOME WITH EMOTION AND FALLS TO THE GROUND; HE CRIES, REALIZING THAT THREE OF HIS CHERISHED PETS HAVE DIED>
<CUTS TO LATER IN THE DAY; BACK AT CARDINAL’S HEADQUARTERS; DEWBERRY AND FILE ARE WITH CARDINAL; THEY WALK DOWN A HALL INTO ANOTHER ROOM; THIS ONE IS PACKED FULL OF SOLDIERS; AT THEIR HELM IS SILVER>
Silver: It took a lot of my men, but we’ve got one, father.
Cardinal: Show me.
<SILVER SMIRKS AND PRESSES A BUTTON; A BLAST SHIELD IN FRONT OF THEM RETRACTS BACK, REVEALING A CREATURE BEHIND A SEE-THROUGH WINDOW; IT IS SONFLA, LEDAS’ GREEN SAIBAMAN, AND HE LOOKS BADLY WOUNDED; HE IS SUSPENDED IN THE AIR, HELD UP BY CABLES>
Cardinal: You’ve done well, my son. Making you the Supreme General of the new Red Ribbon Army is certainly paying off. Now, <HE GESTURES TO SOME SCIENTISTS NEAR HIM> interrogate this creature. I want to know everything it knows about the alien with the tail.
<SEVERAL DAYS HAVE PASSED, MAYBE EVEN A WEEK>
<LEDAS IS IN RYORI’S HOUSE; IT IS SOMEWHAT MESSY AND FILTHY>
<MOST OF HIS WOUNDS HAVE HEALED, BUT HE IS STILL RECOVERING FROM THE SLICE ON HIS LEFT CHEEKBONE; HE HAS A SWOLLEN LIP>
<RYORI AND HIM ARE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES, HAVING A GRAND TIME WITH IT ALL; IN A ROOM TO THEIR RIGHT, BEHIND A COUCH; THEY CAN HEAR SHOEKKI AND HIS GIRLFRIEND MAKING A TON OF NOISE; RYORI KNOWS WHAT IT IS AND IGNORES IT; LEDAS DOES NOT>
Ledas: What are they doing back there? It sounds like they’re in pain.
Ryori: <LOW VOICE> It’s not pain. They just can’t control themselves. Well at least they’re not doing drugs… or at least I hope not.
<THE TWO PLAY FOR SEVERAL MORE SECONDS>
Ryori: <STARING AT THE SCREEN, PLAYING> What did Mr. Kyokatoshi give you for skipping out on detention last week?
Ledas: Well… I have personal detention with him for the rest of the month.
Ryori: Man, that sucks.
Ledas: Yeah, I guess…
Ryori: I hate detention with him. There’s never any other teachers around so he always hits us. Has he done that with you yet? <GETTING REALLY DRAWN IN BY THE VIDEO GAME>
Ledas: <NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THAT> A few times. He mostly does that in class, though.
Ryori: Yeah, I remember… <BRINGS HIS CONTROLLER UP TO HIS FACE, PLAYIN’ HARD> I wish he would just drop dead.
<LEDAS LOOKS AT RYORI WHEN HE SAYS THIS BUT AT THIS EXACT MOMENT, SHOEKKI AND HIS GIRLFRIEND COME OUT; SHOEKKI IS IN NOTHING BUT BOXERS; HIS GIRLFRIEND HAS A LITTLE MORE ON>
Shoekki: <STUMBLES OUT, LAUGHING> Oh, hi! How are ya guys? You met my new girlfriend yet? Her name is–
Ryori: <WAVES ONE HAND, THE OTHER STILL CLUTCHING HIS CONTROLLER> Yeah, yeah that’s nice.
Shoekki: <JUMPS FORWARD; THERE IS ALCOHOL AND OTHER UNMENTIONABLE THINGS ON HIS BREATH> Jeez… ya both still playing? You’ve been doing that all day… <SLURRED SLIGHTLY> whadontcha go ousside…? Get some exercise…
Ryori: <PUSHES AT HIS BROTHER> Come on, Shoekki, leave us alone.
Shoekki: <WOBBLES OVER TO THEM; SUPER CALM, SUDDENLY> You know Ryori, you’re my little bro… and I’ve gotta take care of ya.
Ryori: Why don’t you take care of yourself first?
<SHOEKKI LAUGHS AT THIS, WAVING HIS HAND AT BOTH OF THE KIDS; BUT AFTER A FEW SECONDS HE GOES BACK INTO HIS ROOM WITH FILE; THE TWO CONTINUE THEIR PREVIOUS ENDEAVOR>
<LATER THAT NIGHT, LEDAS GOES, ALONE, TO THE SCHOOL; IT IS ABANDONED AND QUIET; HE MAKES HIS WAY TO MR. KYOKATOSHI’S OFFICE; HE ENTERS>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <LOOKS UP FROM HIS DESK, BEHIND A STACK OF PAPERS> Ledas. Good, I was beginning to think you wouldn’t come.
Ledas: <SOMEWHAT ANGRY> How much longer do I have to do this?
Mr. Kyokatoshi: What, you don’t like your punishment?
Ledas: <SLIPS INTO A DESK, STILL MASSAGING HIS HURTING SHOULDER> It’s a waste of time. I have better things to do.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: I am your teacher. Your duty is to me and your studies. Everything, <MORE FORCEFULLY> everything I have you do is important.
Ledas: <GETTING ANGRY> Yeah, ‘cept this.
The Benefactor: <MATERIALIZES, LYING ACROSS A DESK NEXT TO LEDAS; MESSING WITH HIS FINGERNAILS> Some people don’t deserve to live.
Mr. Kyokatoshi: Fine then! I will take more drastic measures. You will submit to my authority! <HE REACHES FOR SOMETHING>
Ledas: <DIRECTED AT THE BENEFACTOR; KYOKATOSHI INTERPRETS IT TO BE AT HIM> I don’t think that’s a good idea…
Mr. Kyokatoshi: What you think doesn’t matter, I am your superior.
The Benefactor: <FORCEFULLY> Kill him.
Ledas: <BOWS HIS HEAD, TRYING TO IGNORE THE BENEFACTOR> Don’t say that!
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <WALKS RIGHT UP TO LEDAS, GETS CLOSE TO HIS FACE; HE HAS A RULER IN HIS HAND> I AM YOUR SUPERIOR!
The Benefactor: Would you submit to such a weak animal? Have you days in slavery taught you nothing? <LAUGHS> End this little game, now.
Ledas: Shut uuuup!! <YELLS, OUT OF SHEER FRUSTRATION AND ANGER; HIS EYES TURN GREEN, HIS HAIR YELLOW; BUT THIS TIME IT’S NOT LIKE BEFORE; HE HAS TURNED FULL POWERED SUPER SAIYAN, A STATE WHICH HE RECENTLY ACQUIRED THROUGH TRAINING; LEDAS’ AURA PUSHES MR. KYOKATOSHI AWAY; HE HITS THE WALL; HIS NOSE STARTS BLEEDING; HE DROPS HIS RULER>
Mr. Kyokatoshi: You insolent bastard! You dare strike at your teacher? <GETS UP, AND WALKS TOWARD LEDAS WITH PURPOSE>
<WHEN GETTING THERE HE TRIES TO SMACK LEDAS ACROSS THE FACE, BUT LEDAS DODGES IT>
Ledas: I told you to leave me alone!
Mr. Kyokatoshi: <SHAKING; HE SEES LEDAS’ CHANGED APPEARANCE, CAUSING HIM TO RUN BACK TO HIS DESK> Y-y-you monster. <KNEELS, BLEEDING; SUDDENLY REACHES TO HIS DESK, TAKING A HAND GUN FROM ONE OF THE DRAWERS> Ah! H-how… dare… you!
<HE SHOOTS THE GUN AT LEDAS, BUT LEDAS EASILY MOVES OUT OF THE WAY; MR. KYOKATOSHI’S EYES WIDEN; LEDAS SHOOTS HIM WITH AN ENERGY BLAST, POINT BLANK, DECAPITATING HIM>
<LEDAS RUNS OUT OF THE ROOM, LEAVING NOTHING BUT A CORPSE AND A BENEFACTOR BEHIND>
- This chapter's name is a reference to Death Note and to the importance of the apple symbol in the previous chapter.
- This chapter remains much as it was during the first draft except for the big scene in the middle with Ledas' Saibamen and Silver's army. That scene was basically just added in during the final edits. There were very few other edits to this chapter. As a result of me adding such a big scene, this chapter is the longest in the saga; the only other saga where the longest chapter is not the part 2 of the season finale is the Lauto Saga. Coincidentally, that saga's longest chapter also has to do with Ledas' Saibamen.
- I consider this chapter to be one of the best in all of TF. I'm considering just putting the whole chapter as one of the top 10 scenes when I get to that point in the TF misc anthology. Overall, it has to be a top 5 chapter.
- I hate how long it takes everyone to power up in DBZ. It's something that rarely if ever happens in TF. This chapter's start is a good example of how I think I improve on Toriyama's story. Ledas immediately powers up; Piccolo powers up most of the way in a few seconds as well. However, Ledas prevents Piccolo from powering up completely because I believed that Piccolo was stronger than Ledas, and if Ledas was going to win, then he would need to fight an underpowered Piccolo.
- As was stated in the Lauto Saga, the Saibamen in Cooler's outpost have been manufactured to be able to "sprout" when they are saturated with enough energy. They don't need to be planted. That fact explains how Ledas' Saibamen get loose in this chapter, as the energy output from Ledas and Piccolo inadvertently causes the Saiyan boy's Saibamen to wake.
- Ledas vs. Piccolo is one of my best fight scenes, I think. I spent a long time choreographing it - far more time than I spent on most other fight scenes - because I wanted it to come out perfect. This saga doesn't have many fight scenes, so those which it does have need to be awesome and memorable. That is what I tried to do with this one. The rage and unrestrained brutality was something that hadn't been seen in TF at this level before. The way the fight plays out is directly in relation to how the themes of the saga have been built up so far and also serves as characterization for Ledas, who has been hiding his real self from all on Earth. Now he finally lets himself be seen, and it is a savage image he allows Piccolo to behold. The whole scene was based on this scene from Saving Private Ryan.
- The beam struggle part is so cool.
- The Saibamen speaking to one another is based on this episode of Pokemon. I had them speaking here because Ledas isn't around and otherwise, there is no way to show what they are doing or how Wilde is trying to contain them. Showing their "Saibaspeak" also gives them some light characterization, which was fun. These characters aren't really meant to be characterized much, so what I show of them in this chapter is about the extent of their characterization.
- The use of the term "meatbag" is a nod to HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- This chapter shows that if Ledas had stayed in the destroyed town for much longer, Silver and his army would have confronted the boy. They are obviously on high-alert for any explosions and whatnot going off in the area, though considering this town is somewhat far away from the town that most of this saga takes place in, it is impressive that Silver even knew what was going on. The distance between the towns, however, is the main reason why it took Silver so long to get there.
- Poy and Oppa are killed because I wanted something of consequence to happen to Ledas' Saibamen for getting out. They didn't listen to Wilde (who was acting on behalf of Ledas), so they were punished for their treason. Sonfla also was rather treasonous, though he redeemed himself before his death. Basically, I thought 7 Saibamen was too much. I wanted to lower that number by the end of the story, so at this point, I decided to get rid of three. When I did the final edits for this chapter, I did not know if I was going to kill more Saibamen in this story, but as it turns out, I didn't. The remaining four survive through the remainder of the story, though some of them may die in Ledas' next story - the one where he faces off against Cooler's children, Raimie and Haimaru.
- Notice how as soon as Ledas appears, his Saibamen lose their ability to speak.
- Ledas crying for his dead Saibamen says a lot about his character. He just killed all those humans so he may be seen as a cold-hearted evil kid, but deep down, he cares about those who mean a lot to him. He's not evil, of course (that is a ridiculous analysis of his character), and the conflicted emotions I have portrayed him with in the previous couple of chapters highlight his complicated personality.
- A huge amount of the New Red Ribbon Army's soldiers were killed by the Saibamen. Silver's reckless charge was based on him trying to prove his worth to his father (he still feels embarrassed about nearly getting executed by Commander Red), but it nearly destroyed their faction. Had Wilde not mortally wounded Sonfla, Silver's entire operation would have been without worth. He was lucky that Wilde didn't put enough energy into his attack to kill Sonfla.
- Ryori implies that Shoekki and File are having sex. He knows a lot about this activity, while Ledas is completely oblivious to it. Ryori is used as Ledas' foil here to reveal stuff about both of their personalities.
- Ryori's conversation with Ledas is based on some conversations I had with a friend of mine while we played video games together (which is what Ledas and Ryori are doing). It is interesting that Ledas is playing video games, as he chided the other Saiyan boys for taking part in such simulations in the Prince Vegeta Saga. But that was so long ago. People change; people grow older and wiser.
- Ryori wishing Kyokatoshi would drop dead is what makes Ledas kill Kyokatoshi. Ledas basically thinks that his friend has given him the green light to do what he's wanted to do since chapter 3 of this saga.
- Shoekki's exchange in this chapter with Ryori is based on a similar exchange I had with my older brother. The exchange was slightly modified, though, to be consistent with their characters and to tackle some thematic content.
- Now, it may be unclear why Shoekki doesn't realize File is transgender yet. That is easy to explain though - they aren't actually having sex. File may be giving Shoekki handjobs and blowjobs, but she's not showing him any of her goods... at least not yet. When she does, in a later chapter, Shoekki tries to kill her. So obviously Shoekki doesn't know that she's transgender yet.
- The idea of personal agency, who deserves to live, what is "important" in life, and other philosophical questions are all tackled in Ledas' final scene with Kyokatoshi in this chapter. I put forth a lot of questions and answer only some of them. Ledas' own views on these things are conflicted, and he doesn't exactly know which is right. That is why The Benefactor appears (his more violent, suppressed side, remember) and commands him to kill the teacher. Previously, Ledas skipped detention because he didn't want to be enslaved again. He's started going again because he's realized that he can't continue going to school if he doesn't go to detention - Kyokatoshi will kick him out of the class if he continues to disobey the man. So Ledas sacrifices his own well-being so that he can continue going to school to be around Ryori and his other friends. But by now, he's had enough, and he's not sure it's worth it anymore. He wants to kill Kyokatoshi and continue going to school - he wants to have the best of both worlds. That idea goes beyond this little scene and serves as Ledas' motivation for many of his actions in the latter part of this saga.
- Ledas has a conversation with himself that Kyokatoshi thinks is directed at him. That is what leads to the escalation and his death.
- Ledas is trying to fight back against his urge to kill Kyokatoshi, but by this point, nearly all of him wants that human dead. Even Ryori wants Kyokatoshi dead. Ledas cannot hold back his desires any longer. He's fought back against them for the most part this saga, slipping only a few times, but this slip is the biggest, and it requires the most force put on him - he doesn't lightly kill Kyokatoshi. It's from all the shit that the man has and is doing to him that forces Ledas to destroy him. And when he does, that is the moment that Ledas embraces his Saiyan-ness and his own image and refutes the human's desire to enslave him. It's a rather complicated exercise in finding personal agency.
- Originally Ledas went SS2 against Mr. Kyokatoshi. I removed that, though, since it wasn't a good reason for him to go SS2. Kyokatoshi didn't do enough to the boy to make him achieve a new Super Saiyan form. As a consequence, this affected the boy's power level in the next two sagas significantly, forcing me to redo most of the power levels. But I am glad that I just gave him FPSS here instead (he didn't actually achieve the form here (he achieved that in his training in the gravity unit since the battle with Piccolo), but this was the first time he's shown using it in TF), as it's a more realistic, logical progression. Ledas should not get SS2 from getting mad at a human. And also, he's getting mad at Kyokatoshi for the same reason that he got mad at Payar and went SS1, so I didn't want to have a repeat reason for Ledas achieving a new SS form.
- Ledas killing Kyokatoshi is justified in my opinion, and it's logical to the plot. From a thematic perspective, it's interesting how to find himself, Ledas was forced to kill a teacher (a purveyor of knowledge). Basically, Ledas had to destroy knowledge to find himself. That is a most peculiar idea.
- Notice how when Ledas runs out of Kyokatoshi's office, he leaves The Benefactor behind. This is in-line with his character development in this chapter.
- This chapter feels like a season finale with all the huge stuff going on. However, one thing that separates it from the season finales is that there isn't really any resolution here. Big things happen, yes, but there is a feeling that future chapters in this saga are needed to resolve them, which is not the case with the actual season finales.
<IT IS SUNSET; THE CAMERA PANS ACROSS A VAST TERRAIN, COMING UP UPON KORIN’S MYTHICAL TOWER>
<UP ON THE TOWER, VOICES ARE COMING OUT, SOMEWHAT LOUDLY AND WITH ANNOYANCE>
Korin: <PERCHED ATOP A RAILING; BACK TURNED TO THE TOWER> What is it now?
Yajirobe: <RUMMAGING THROUGH SOMETHING BEHIND> Argh, there’s no food here. I’m starving!
Korin: <WRYLY, BACK TURNED TO YAJIROBE> You look like it too.
Yajirobe: You stupid old cat, maybe you don’t have to eat, but I do. My stomach’s on empty, man.
Korin: <STILL STARING OUT AT THE SUNSET, THROWS SOME SENZU BEANS BACK AT YAJIROBE> Here, have some of these.
Yajirobe: <SWATS THEM ASIDE> Enough with those stupid beans. I want some real food.
Korin: Heh heh heh. Why don’t you go into town and get some? And pick up a girl and get married…
Yajirobe: Whatever man. <GRUMBLING> But I’m not getting you any catnip.
<YAJIROBE TAKES OUT, WITH INDIGNATION, A CAPSULE AND TURNS IT INTO A HOVER CAR; HE HOPS IN IT AND FLIES OFF>
Korin: Heh heh heh. <WATCHING HIM GO> Maybe he won’t come back.
<CUTS TO CARDINAL AND NAGAMO; THEY ARE ALONE, OUTSIDE; IT IS DARK NOW AND THEY ARE SITTING IN FRONT OF A VAST EXPANSE OF GRASS AND WHATNOT>
Cardinal: <SOFTLY, SIPPING ON SOME ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE> We’ve identified all members of his detention schedule. They’ll all be present at the ballet tonight. <TAKES ANOTHER DRINK> I’ve already sent Dewberry and Kindler there to set up the equipment.
Police Chief Nagamo: <STARING OUT, STONY FACED> And you need my resources? I can send all the cars if you need them.
Cardinal: It’s not just that. We will you to work some damage control… obviously whoever killed that teacher is the alien. And obviously the alien will be in that theater. When he or she transforms, I doubt anyone will know what is going on. You need to be there to assure the public that it was nothing. That they are safe. And they will be. I have plenty of soldiers lying in wait. They will cut the alien’s tail when the transformation takes place.
Police Chief Nagamo: I can exaggerate, yes. That’s part of my job. But how can I possibly tell the people that what they will witness with their own eyes didn’t happen?
Cardinal: <REACHES OVER AND PATS NAGAMO ON THE SHOULDER> Well I’m sure you’ll think of something, Nagamo.
<SCREEN FADES, THEN REFOCUSES ON A BUILDING; THERE ARE PEOPLE AROUND IT, MOSTLY STUDENTS; THEY ARE ALL TALKING AND LOLLYGAGGING ABOUT; THE NOISE CAN BE HEARD ALL THROUGH TOWN; INSIDE ARE MORE STUDENTS>
<LEDAS AND RYORI, AFTER WADING THROUGH A GREAT AMOUNT OF PEOPLE REACH THEIR SEATS, WITHIN A HIGH THEATER; THEY SIT DOWN AND BEGIN TO TALK AS OTHERS POUR IN, AND THE STAGE GETS PREPARED>
Ryori: <LEANS OVER TO LEDAS, WHO IS ON HIS RIGHT; HE IS WHISPERING> Hey Ledas, did you hear about Mr. Kyokatoshi?
Ledas: <UNCOMFORTABLY> Uh… no.
Ryori: Well I heard he went insane and ran off into the countryside. Nobody’s seen him all weekend.
<SOME OTHER STUDENTS COME IN AND SIT NEXT TO THEM, THEY ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT MR. KYOKATOSHI>
Student 1: Yeah, I’m not kidding. I saw them myself!
Student 2: But who could have done that to Mr. Kyokatoshi?
<RYORI’S ATTENTION SUDDENLY BECOMES FOCUSED ON THEIR CONVERSATION>
Ryori: Wait, what happened to Kyokatoshi?
Student 1: Oh, Ryori… you didn’t hear? He’s dead. There were police all over the school! Ya should have seen it.
Ryori: <EYES WIDEN, BUT NOT IN SADNESS> What? He’s dead? Who did it?!
Student 1: No one knows… it just happened.
Ryori: <SITS BACK IN HIS CHAIR, LOOKS LIKE HIS IS DEEP IN THOUGHT; QUIETLY> Isn’t that weird, Ledas? A few days ago, I said I wanted him to drop dead.
Ledas: <SLIPS LOWER INTO HIS SEAT> Yeah, that’s weird.
Ryori: <SUPER CHILDISH> Bu-but… I didn’t mean it. You know that, right?!
<BEFORE LEDAS CAN ANSWER, THE LIGHTS DIM, AND THE SCHOOL PLAY BELOW BEGINS; THERE IS NO MORE MENTION OF KYOKATOSHI BETWEEN THEM>
<AS THE PLAY BEGINS, BEHIND THE SCENES, UP ON SOME RAFTERS ARE KINDLER AND HIS ASSISTANT DEWBERRY; DEWBERRY IS QUITE FAT AND MESSY COMPARED TO KINDLER WHO IS ELEGANTLY DRESSED>
Kindler: <ON HIS PHONE> It’s begun. I can start the machine up now… if you want… okay, right. I’ll do that. Bye. <TURNS TO DEWBERRY> Goddamnit, I can’t believe File is on a date tonight. We really could have used her for this. <TO DEWBERRY> As soon as I leave, press <POINTS> this button. Only this button, Dewberry. After that… just go sit in a corner or something. But don’t touch anything else? Got it? Is that easy enough for you?
Dewberry: Yeah, I got it Kindler. Don’t worry, I won’t mess it up.
Kindler: <AS HE EXITS; TO HIMSELF IN A WHISPER> Like hell you won’t.
<CUTS TO THE POLICE STATION; SUPREME GENERAL SILVER AND A STAFF OF SCIENTISTS ARE WATCHING THEIR CAPTIVE SAIBAMAN, SONFLA; HE IS SLEEPING>
Silver: We have given that thing plenty of time. Wake it up and question it again.
Scientist 1: Sir, I’m not even sure we can communicate with it. We don’t know what it is.
Scientist 2: He’s right, General. All attempts to contact it have been met with indifference.
<A SOLDIER COMES UP FROM BEHIND; HE IS NOT WEARING A HELMET EITHER, THOUGH HIS HAIR IS BLACK>
Captain Green: Just do what General Silver wants. I bet if you show that thing the space ship we captured, he’ll know what we want.
Silver: <NODS> Good idea, captain. Show it the space ship.
<THE SCIENTISTS WAKE SONFLA, WHO CRIES OUT IN PAIN, AS HE WATCHES LEDAS’ POD BECOME VISIBLE IN THE HOLDING CELL TO HIS RIGHT; HE REALIZES THAT IT’S LEDAS’ POD AND SCREAMS OUT; THE SCIENTISTS OPEN A MIC TO HIM>
Scientist 1: <INTO THE MIC> Greetings, uh, little guy. How are you?
Silver: <QUICK INTERJECTION> Enough! Ask him about the ship.
Scientist 1: <TO SILVER> Of course, sir. <INTO THE MIC> We are looking for the owner of that space ship. Do you know who it is?
Scientist 1: Sorry, I didn’t catch that.
Sonfla: <ANGRILY> Ienack!
<SONFLA STARTS THRASHING ABOUT, TRYING TO BREAK FREE>
Captain Green: Sedate him!
<THE SCIENTIST PRESS A BUTTON, WHICH LOWERS A NEEDLE INTO SONFLA’S CAGE; UPON SEEING THE NEEDLE, HE BECOMES ENRAGED; HE HOWLS; AS THE NEEDLE GETS CLOSER, SONFLA LOOKS RIGHT AT SILVER (WHO STARES BACK); THEN, HE STOPS YELLING, CLOSES HIS EYES, AND CONCENTRATES; BEFORE ANYONE CAN SEE WHAT HE’S DOING, THE ROOM IS LIT UP WITH A GREAT LIGHT; THEN, THE ENTIRE ROOM EXPLODES>
<MANY SOLDIERS AND SCIENTISTS ARE INCINERATED ON IMPACT; CAPTAIN GREEN DIVES AT SILVER AND PROTECTS HIS GENERAL AS THE EXPLOSION REACHES THEM; WITHIN A FEW SECONDS, IT’S OVER; THE SURVIVING SOLDIERS AND SCIENTISTS ARE LYING ABOUT, COUGHING AND CRYING OUT IN PAIN; SILVER, HOWEVER, IS UNTOUCHED, THANKS TO CAPTAIN GREEN; HE AND THE CAPTAIN STAND UP AND LOOK AROUND AT THE DAMAGE; BODIES ARE EVERYWHERE; THEY LOOK AHEAD AT WHERE SONFLA USED TO BE; HANGING BY A CABLE IS AN ARM; THAT IS ALL THAT IS LEFT OF SONFLA; SILVER COUGHS AND THEN SHAKES HIS HEAD; NOTICEABLY, LEDAS’ POD ISN’T DESTROYED>
<CUTS BACK TO THE THEATER>
<A FEW MOMENTS PASS, THEN DEWBERRY PRESSES THE BUTTON HE WAS INSTRUCTED TO; THE BLUTZ WAVES CARRY OFF INTO THE HUGE THEATER, HITTING EVERY PERSON>
<ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, LEDAS JOLTS, NOT REALIZING WHY; A FEW MORE SECONDS GO BY AND HE FEELS A TINGLY FEELING ALL DOWN HIS BODY>
<LEDAS INHALES SHARPLY, SUDDENLY REALIZING THAT THIS IS FEELING THAT COMES OVER HIM WHEN HE TRANSFORMS; HE IS WEARING A LONG SLEEVED SHIRT, BUT CAN FEEL HAIR SPRINGING UP UNDER IT>
<LEDAS SUDDENLY STANDS UP, AWKWARDLY, AND QUICKLY WALKS OUT; RYORI NOTICES IT BUT BEFORE HE CAN SAY ANYTHING, LEDAS IS GONE>
<AS SOON AS LEDAS GETS OUTSIDE OF THE THEATER ROOM, WHERE THERE IS NOBODY ELSE, HE TAKES OFF INTO A FULL ON SPRINT>
<AS HE IS RUNNING, HE BEGINS TO TRANSFORM; AS GETS OUTSIDE, HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES AND FULLY TRANSFORMS; GROWING TO AN UNGODLY SIZE>
<AT THIS, LEDAS PANICS AND JUMPS INTO THE AIR, AWAY FROM THE CITY; HE LANDS INTO THE FOREST AREA ON THE EDGE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE; HE TUMBLES, TRIPPING OVER HIMSELF FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET>
<JUST AT THIS MOMENT, STILL GRUMBLING, YAJIROBE COMES RIDING BY IN HIS HOVERCAR, THROUGH A DIRT ROAD>
<OUT OF PRACTICALLY NOWHERE, LEDAS COMES FLYING AND TUMBLING OUT FROM THE TREES INTO THE ROAD, LANDING SQUARELY IN THE MIDDLE OF IT; YAJIROBE, ONLY SEEING HIM AT THE LAST SECOND HITS HIM FULL ON, SMASHING THE FRONT OF HIS CAR INTO LEDAS’ UNCONSCIOUS BODY>
Yajirobe: <DAZED FROM THE CRASH, HE GETS OUT, SLIGHTLY STUMBLING> Hey… Vegeta you idiot. You wrecked my car! <SEES THAT LEDAS IS ASLEEP> Huh? Asleep? <GETS A LITTLE ANGRY AT THIS> You stupid Saiyan! <HE TAKES OUT HIS SWORD AND CUTS OFF LEDAS’ TAIL IN ONE FELL SWOOP> That’ll teach ya for messing with the great Yajirobe again. <CONFIDENTLY, BECAUSE LEDAS IS STILL SLEEPING> Didn’t I tell ya last time that you were no match for my awesome–
<LEDAS HAS REGRESSED TO HIS BASE, NAKED FORM; HE STIRS AWAKE; YAJIROBE SEES THIS AND RUNS OFF, SCARED, TO BEHIND HIS CAR>
Yajirobe: <TALKING FAST IN A PANICKED FEAR> Oh, please Mr. Vegeta it wasn’t me! I swear… I was just driving along and… and…
Ledas: <HAS WALKED UP TO YAJIROBE, HE IS NAKED> Hi… <RUBS HIS LEFT SHOULDER> uh… you wouldn’t happen to have any clothes, would you, sir?
<YAJIROBE IMMEDIATELY DROPS HIS FEAR AND REPLACES IT WITH HIS AIR OF IMPORTANCE>
Yajirobe: <RUMMAGING AROUND IN THE TRUNK OF HIS CAR, SUPER BOSS FACE> What happened to your clothes, kid?
Ledas: Oh, I dunno… I guessed they uh… <HE TURNS AROUND AND NOTICES HIS TAIL IS MISSING> Hey?! What happened to my tail?! I know I transformed, but I don’t remember cutting it off.
Yajirobe: <LOOKS BACK AT LEDAS, WITH HIS ‘I DON’T CARE’ ATTITUDE> Maybe it ran away. <HE THROWS SOMETHING INTO LEDAS’ ARMS> Those are my only spares; you can give them back when you take me home.
Ledas: <TAKE THE CLOTHES, THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ONES YAJIROBE IS WEARING; AND ARE SEVERAL SIZES TOO BIG FOR HIM; NEVERTHELESS HE PUTS THEM ON> Take you home? Why’m I doing that?
Yajirobe: <LOUDER; BUT STILL IN HIS SAME ATTITUDE> Because you idiot, you smashed my car!
Ledas: <NOT LISTENING> Hey… I’m starving. Want to get something to eat first?
Yajirobe: <SQUINTS AT LEDAS WITH SUSPICION BUT THEN DROPS IT> Maybe you’re not that bad after all. As long as you’re payin’.
<LEDAS GOES TO TAKE OFF; HE NOTICES THAT YAJIROBE ISN’T FLYING WITH HIM>
Ledas: Hey come on.
Yajirobe: I can’t fly. You have to carry me.
Ledas: <SQUEAK> What?!
<YAJIROBE GRUMBLES BUT DOES NOT RESPOND; LEDAS SHRUGS AND LOWERS HIS BACK, ALLOWING YAJIROBE ON; HE GETS ON LEDAS, WHO ASCENDS INTO THE AIR>
<THE TWO FLY OFF, YAJIROBE RIDING ON LEDAS, BACK TO TOWN; AS THEY DO, THE CAMERA TURNS TO FOCUS ON THE AREA BEHIND THEM>
Kindler: <ON A MOTORCYCLE, PEERING THROUGH THE TREES DOWN ON IT ALL; ON HIS PHONE> Yes, that’s right, Cardinal. I got a visual on the alien; he’s regressed. I’ve got a positive ID on him. I’ll transfer his data to you as soon as I get back.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the blutz wave generator that Cardinal has been talking about for the past couple of chapters. Since that contraption is so important in this chapter (it turns Ledas into a Great Ape, after all), I thought it was wise to reference it.
- At one point in the TF drafts, the first deleted scene took place at the start of this chapter. I moved it back two chapters once I got the final timeline worked out, though.
- So this chapter had one major edit during the final edits, and that was to add in the scene with Silver, Green, and Sonfla. Everything else was in the original draft of this chapter (though I did re-word some stuff and add in some small bits of dialogue as well).
- I love Yajirobe and Korin. Their dynamic together is hilarious. So I just had to try to write one of their funny scenes myself. At this point, though, it should be unclear to the readers why they are even in the story. Though, of course, by the end of the chapter, that becomes clear. Indeed, this is the first appearance by the two in TF, yet they will become some of the most important characters in the entire story by the end of the Fulfillment Saga.
- As a consequence of killing Kyokatoshi, Ledas has been almost identified by Cardinal and the others. They have realized that only those serving detention could have killed the man and thus, that narrows down who the Saiyan is by a considerable margin. That is why they are able to track him down so easily. Of course, Ledas doesn't realize that he's being tracked, so he hasn't exactly gone to great lengths to hide his identity.
- Nagamo and Cardinal always seem to be locked in a philosophical battle/discussion. The idea that Nagamo must convince his people that what they are going to see isn't real is philosophically bemusing.
- The conflicting reports about Kyokatoshi highlight how information is power and so easily manipulated and falsified.
- Ryori feels somewhat responsible for Kyokatoshi's death, though he really shouldn't. That is his young age showing.
- I figure that the ballet performance everyone has gone to see is a school trip, which is why there are mostly only students there. Perhaps Miki, amongst others, is there performing. I'm sure Ledas would like that.
- Kindler is so mean to Dewberry in this chapter. That is because Dewberry is based on ss11 and Kindler is based on Destructivedisk. And DD hates ss11 - it's a fact. That is one of the most meta parts of TF's plot, in truth.
- I'm getting a Godzilla vibe with Silver's plot related to the Saibamen (particularly in this chapter), though I'm not sure which Godzilla movie I'm thinking of.
- Sonfla cannot physically communicate with the humans even if he wanted to.
- Sonfla destroys himself for two reasons - for one, he's enraged that the humans have him captive and have Ledas' ship. He thinks the worst has happened to Ledas. Also, he wants to get revenge on the humans who captured him because he's always been the weakest Saibaman and he feels like he's let Ledas down. If he can take out some humans, he hopes that will help his master in some way. So he goes out in a redeeming way, much like Layeeck did. The effort was there, even if things didn't result like he had hoped. It chokes me up a little bit when Sonfla realizes that he needs to kill himself and stops thrashing about. That moment when he looks at Silver is when he knows. It is such a powerful moment, despite how short it is. This is something that works much better in manga or anime form than in text, though.
- Ledas running from the theater while transforming is a cool scene. It was inspired by a myriad of werewolf movies that I have seen.
- Ledas is confused as to why he transformed, since there was no moon around in the theater or outside it. That is why he just runs. He cannot let Ryori see him like that. Also, he doesn't want to cut off his tail, because that hurts like hell. However, he would do that if he didn't have any other choice; at this point, the situation hasn't become so hopeless, so he elects to not cut off his tail quite yet.
- The coincidence of Yajirobe running into Ledas is great. Yajirobe's speech to Ledas, mistaking him for Vegeta, is so funny to me. The parallel of Vegeta and Ledas here should also not be missed. Yajirobe mistakes Ledas for Vegeta and also cuts off his tail just like he cut off Vegeta's. His speech about how great he is now that he cut off the tail is just like what he does in the Saiyan Saga of DBZ.
- Ledas transforming into a Great Ape in this chapter keeps the streak alive of him transforming into a Great Ape at least once in every saga so far. Yajirobe cutting off Ledas' tail keeps the streak alive of him losing his tail at least once in every saga so far. However, it should be noted that this is the saga where both of those streaks end. Ledas never loses his tail again or transforms into a Great Ape again for the remainder of TF.
- Ledas being naked in his scene with Yajirobe is a bit of a problem for the anime and manga. Though Goku was shown naked when he was 12, I think, Toriyama drew him like he was 5 years old, so it was more acceptable. Ledas has gone through puberty (because I plan on drawing Ledas more accurately than Toriyama drew his own created 12 year olds), so it's not as easy to show him naked. I deal with this by having the camera only focus on above Ledas' waist. The camera shot is basically showing him from the top half of his stomach and up.
- I think I did a good job with Yajirobe's dialogue in this chapter. The way he turns from arrogance to fear to arrogance again is just like him.
- It's so typical of a Saiyan that Ledas is starving after he de-transforms.
- It's also awesome that Ledas and Yajirobe bond over food. Food is obviously Yajirobe's biggest passion, and it's one of Ledas' as well, so that was the best way for them to bond. They are an odd couple, those two, but their friendliness around one another becomes important in later sagas, so I had to start building that up here. Obviously, Yajirobe is antisocial and he doesn't make friends easily. I don't even know if he considers Ledas to be his friend. But since Ledas and him go get food together, they do become less hostile around one another. And since Ledas agrees to fly Yajirobe back to Korin Tower, Yajirobe must be rather pleased with the boy.
- Yajirobe not being able to fly is certainly true in canon. I had fun having Ledas make fun of Yajirobe for not being able to master such a simple technique, despite his power.
- The whole Yajirobe/Ledas scene is comedic, but the end of it brings us back to reality. The comedy was a distraction used to lull the audience into a false sense of security. That security is broken with Kindler's reveal at the end of the chapter. It's a big reveal, one which has massive plot implications for the remainder of the saga. It is so effective because of the misdirection lead up to it.
<THE NEXT MORNING IS SUNNY AND BRIGHT, IF WET; THE CAMERA CLOSES IN ON A TRIO OF PEOPLE WALKING UP TO A HOUSE, WHICH IS ILL-KEPT; ITS GRASS IS BROWN, THE ROOF HAS HOLES, AND MUCH OF THE PAINT IS PEELING OFF; STRIKING, COMPARED TO THE THREE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE QUITE WELL DRESSED>
<THEY ALL CONVENE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE BEFORE APPROACHING THE DOOR>
File: How do you want me to handle this, Mr. Cardinal?
Cardinal: Act like his brother’s missing, that’s all.
Silver: <RUBBING A NEWLY FORMED SCAR ON HIS CHEEK> Lucky that Kindler ID’d the alien last night. We lost almost everything in that explosion. And we don’t have many men left, father. I realize that you want the Red Ribbon Army to be more focused on politics than military operations, but if we want to catch the alien, we’ll need new recruits.
Cardinal: <NOT WORRIED> No, we’re fine as is. We have one distinct advantage over the alien; we know that he was integrated into our society. As such, he has friends and people he cares about. We’ve taken one captive.
File: I have, Mr. Cardinal.
Cardinal: <SMILES> That you have. Now let’s go tell his brother that he’s missing. No mention of where he really is.
Silver: And how will this help us?
Cardinal: The quickest way to defeat a strong opponent is by attacking those he loves. Once we find out where the alien is living, we will capture his caretakers as well. Now let’s go inside.
<CARDINAL KNOCKS ON THE DOOR; QUICKLY, IT OPENS, REVEALING A COMPLETELY WASTED SHOEKKI>
Cardinal: <OUTSTRETCHES HIS ARMS, SMILES BROADLY> Ah, Mr. Shoekki. Just the man I wanted to speak to.
Shoekki: <WASTED> Whadyawan…?
File: Hello, Shoekki.
Shoekki: Hey, babe.
Cardinal: <TURNS HIS FACE, HAS A SPARKLE IN HIS EYE> I think <GESTURES TO THE OTHER, WHO NOW COMES INTO VIEW AS FILE, CLEARLY; SHOEKKI DOES NOT SEE SILVER> we have things to discuss. Are you up for a project, Mr. Shoekki? <SMILES AGAIN>
<CUTS TO THE SAME MORNING, MANY MILES AWAY; LEDAS AND YAJIROBE ARE FLYING, YAJIROBE SITTING SQUARELY, LEGS CROSSED ON LEDAS’ BACK; IN HIS HAND IS A HUGE (AND I DO MEAN HUGE) BAG OF FOOD AND OTHER GOODIES; LEDAS HAS CHANGED HIS CLOTHES BACK TO HIS OWN BY NOW>
Ledas: <AS THEY ARE FLYING> Hey Yajirobe, why haven’t you learned how to fly?
Yajirobe: <INDIGNATION> I have no need to fly.
Ledas: My dad taught me how to fly when I was two years old. Besides, if you could fly then you wouldn’t have had to use that car.
Yajirobe: <THROUGH A MOUTHFUL OF FOOD> So are you, uh… a Saiyan?
Ledas: <PROUDLY> Yeah.
Yajirobe: Huh, that Vegeta guy sure has a lot of kids.
Ledas: Vegeta’s not my dad <LAUGHS>… but you know him?
Yajirobe: <SCARED BUT PLAYING IT OFF COOL> Oh yeah. Vegeta and I are… great friends. Yeah.
Ledas: Hahaha… have you ever sparred with him? I could sense you were strong… for a human.
<THEY STOP IN FRONT OF KORIN’S TOWER, BUT LOWER THAN THE ACTUAL TOWER, SO LEDAS DOESN’T NOTICE THE LONG POLE GOING UP>
Ledas: <LOOKS UP> Whoa… you live all the way up there?
Yajirobe: With that old cat.
Ledas: <IN KID FORM> Haven’t you ever fallen off?
Yajirobe: <KINDA MAD> Why would I fall off?!
Ledas: Well you can’t fly…
<LEDAS FLIES YAJIROBE UP INTO THE TOWER; HE GOES UP TO THE RAILING AND PEERS OUT; KORIN POPS UP BEHIND THEM BOTH, VERY WISELY>
Korin: I thought you would bring back a girl…
Ledas: <TURNS AROUND, IN HIGH SPIRITS> Oh you must be the old kitty!
Korin: So that’s what he told ya, huh? <JUMPS FORWARD TO LEDAS AND YAJIROBE; YAJIROBE IS DIGGING INTO HIS FOOD RIGHT NOW> Well Yajirobe can be pretty disrespectful. Eh, he always is. Unless he’s begging for food.
Yajirobe: <EATING> Hey I heard that.
Korin: <TO LEDAS> Who are you, anyways?
Ledas: Oh, I’m Ledas, mister.
Korin: <WRYLY> That’s great. <HE MOVES OVER TO YAJIROBE>
<LEDAS FINDS A LITTLE TRINKET ON A NEARBY TABLE; IT IS A MEDIUM SIZED, TRIANGULAR SHAPED BOX, WITH STRANGE LETTERING AND PATTERNS ALL OVER IT; HE PICKS IT UP, INSPECTING IT>
Korin: <JUMPS FORWARD, SWATS THE THING OUT OF LEDAS’ HAND WITH HIS CANE> Hey don’t touch that!
Ledas: <SUPER CURIOUS> What is it?
Korin: I don’t know, but it’s probably important.
Ledas: <BACKS UP, SLIGHTLY LAUGHING> You’re weird…
<CUTS BACK TO SHOEKKI’S HOUSE; HIM, CARDINAL AND FILE ARE ALL SITTING AROUND A TABLE; SILVER IS OUTSIDE>
Cardinal: Basically, I need your help in a little problem. An annoying thorn in my side, as it were.
Shoekki: <HE IS NOTHING BUT BOXERS, UNSHAVED AND HAS A CIGARETTE IN HIS MOUTH> Why do you need my help?
Cardinal: <GESTURES TO FILE> Your… girlfriend said that you are quite astute and would be perfect for this. And I put a lot of faith in my associates, Mr. Shoekki.
Shoekki: <CONFIDENCE BUILDING> Yeah I am pretty smart.
Cardinal: Excellent. So let’s get right down to it. You are of course aware of the death of your son’s teacher?
Shoekki: <SMOKING> Yeah… but the police aren’t saying anything about it. Why? You want me to look into it?
Cardinal: No, not at all Mr. Shoekki. <HE GESTURES TO FILE>
File: Shoekki, where is your little brother? Shouldn’t he be at school?
Shoekki: <DEFENSIVE> Yeah… I take care of him… he should be at school…
File: You didn’t notice he never returned last night?
Shoekki: What?! No… I think… I…
Cardinal: Mr. Shoekki, I am asking you to do this job, specifically because of the personal investment that you have staked in it.
Shoekki: <RISING WORRY> What – what are you talking about?
Cardinal: Your brother had a friend, do you remember him?
Shoekki: Yeah… weird looking kid with the big hair. Bu–
Cardinal: Exactly. He is missing as well. We think he and your brother have run off somewhere. We need you to help us find them both, though we are specifically interested in his friend.
Shoekki: <WORRY> What?! Ryori’s missing? How did this happen?!
File: Don’t worry, Mr. Cardinal has a plan.
Cardinal: Do they have any places they go? Secret… boy stuff they go and do?
Shoekki: <HEAD IN HIS HANDS> No, they’re always here. I-I… I dunno <HE GETS UP> I’ve got to go find my brother… I didn’t even… even…
Cardinal: Naturally. But first, Mr. Shoekki I must give you some things. <THROWS A CELL PHONE AT SHOEKKI> Use this to contact me when you’ve found them. And… <REACHES BEHIND AND PULLS SOMETHING OUT OF HIS THE BACK OF HIS PANTS; IT IS A GUN> And take this…
Shoekki: <STEPS BACK BUT TAKES THE GUN NONETHELESS> A gun? What am I supposed to do with this?!
Cardinal: It’s not a gun; it’s a specially augmented tranquilizer. Use this on your brother’s friend when you find them.
Shoekki: <IN A BREATH> Why?
Cardinal: We fear that he is unstable… he may even be holding your brother captive.
File: That tranquilizer is the best way to get rid of his friend and save your brother, Shoekki. If you find them, be sure to use it. Otherwise, your brother may be killed.
Shoekki: <ANGER RISING> Are you sure?
Cardinal: Yes, but don’t use that pistol on anyone besides your brother’s friend. It will kill any normal human. We must be going now, Mr. Shoekki. I hope you’ll get right on it. <HE NODS AND SHAKES SHOEKKI’S HAND>
<CARDINAL AND FILE EXIT, FILE KISSING SHOEKKI BEFORE THEY GO>
File: Mr. Cardinal, what do you want me to do with the kid? How do we bring him back?
Cardinal: Don’t worry about it, my dear. When Shoekki gets us the alien, we’ll give him his brother back. Until then, keep him blindfolded and isolated at all times. We’ll see how much your boyfriend is motivated by that.
<FILE SMILES, GIDDY AS A SCHOOLGIRL, FOLLOWING BEHIND CARDINAL; SILVER FOLLOWS THEM, SHAKING HIS HEAD, AS HE OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T LIKE THEIR PLAN>
<CUTS TO GUVA; HE IS INSIDE A ROCKY CAVE, WHICH IS DARK AND DANK>
<HE WALKS DOWN THE CAVERN TUNNEL, HIS STEPS ECHOING LOUDLY; A FAINT WHISPERING CAN BE HEARD, BUT IT STOPS EVERY TIME HE STOPS TO LISTEN TO IT>
<GUVA COMES TO AN AREA WHICH WIDENS OUT INTO A GREAT OVAL SHAPE; IT IS NATURALLY LIT, IN A GREEN LIGHT; UP AHEAD HE SEES BANAS STANDING WITH HIS HEAD DOWN, FACING HIM>
Guva: Banas? What are you doing? What is this place? <BANAS DOES NOT ANSWER; GUVA KEEPS WALKING TOWARD HIM> Banas?! Answer me, damnit!
<GUVA LUNGES FORWARD AND PUNCHES AT BANAS; BUT IT IS JUST AN APPARITION; HE FALLS THROUGH AND LANDS IN A PUDDLE OF WATER>
<SUDDENLY A LAUGHING STARTS ECHOING THROUGHOUT THE CAVE>
<GUVA TURNS OVER TO SEE BANAS PERCHED ATOP A ROCK OUTCROP; THE CAPTAIN JUMPS DOWN ONTO THE GROUND NEXT TO GUVA>
Banas: So, guvvy? How’dya like the place? Personally, I think it needs more furniture.
- So this chapter is a reference to a Dragon Ball episode of the same name. I named it that because a big chunk of this chapter takes place on Korin Tower. So yeah, pretty simple.
- Much of this chapter existed in the original draft. I mainly added in the part with File, Cardinal, and Silver (during the final edits) in the beginning to make it more clear to the readers that they had taken Ryori captive in order to make Ledas show himself to them.
- Cardinal and his gang haven't exactly been villains up to this point. Yeah, they fought Ledas' Saibamen and they have been looking for him, but those aren't exactly evil things. Ledas' Saibamen were killing people, after all. Now, they have taken Ryori captive off-screen, and that is the first indication that they are true villains like the old Red Ribbon Army.
- I debated whether or not to show Ryori's capture, but figured it would be a more shocking development if Cardinal and File were just talking about it casually. Also, there's more ambiguity by not showing him captured - we don't know exactly where he is or what condition he's in. This ambiguity makes the the extent of the New Red Ribbon Army's evil less well-known. By not knowing their full capabilities, the readers have to use their own imaginations to define the New Red Ribbon Army's evilness in their minds, and this is always a more effective tactic than outright stating it.
- Most of the New Red Ribbon Army's soldiers were destroyed by Sonfla in the previous chapter, as revealed here. I did this for two reasons: for one, it allows me to fit all of the surviving NRRA soldiers in Ledas' gravity training unit in the finale; the second reason is that this severely weakens the organization, militarily. I wanted that to happen to show that the events of this saga have consequences. Ledas lost three Saibamen, but the New Red Ribbon Army lost most of their soldiers. War is costly and no one can get out of it unscathed.
- I'd like to think that Cardinal had Dewberry interview the other students in Ledas' class to find out who his best friends were, hence how Cardinal captured Ryori. But that isn't outright stated, so how he settled on taking Ryori is up for speculation.
- It is implied that Ledas and Yajirobe stopped by Mrs. Fanshi's house to get Ledas a new set of clothes before Yajirobe was returned to Korin Tower.
- Notice how in Ledas' conversation with Yajirobe about flying, he reveals a bit about his own past that not even us, the readers, knew before he said it.
- Yajirobe mistaking Ledas for Vegeta's son is an interesting, if mistaken bit of perception. It's a weird thought, considering where the two were at the start of this story, but it also shows how the two have diverged since the first saga and how Ledas has been relegated to Vegeta's shadow. The fact that he hasn't been physically aging also implies that he's stuck in the past compared to Vegeta so much so that he could be mistaken for Vegeta's son. This theme becomes a more prominent consideration in the next saga.
- Korin may be the most sarcastic character in all of TF. I think he outdoes Banas, particularly with his showing in this chapter. His wry observation of Yajirobe bringing back Ledas instead of a girl (which Korin had told him to do at the start of the previous chapter) is quite funny.
- Ledas is pretty funny in this chapter too, although it's mostly unintentional. He calls Korin the "old kitty" because that's what Yajirobe called him. The way it reads, though, is that Ledas is saying that earnestly, which just heightens the comedy to me.
- So the trinket that Ledas notices in this chapter is Verlate's mind prison. During later edits to this saga, I added that reference in to foreshadow the thing's later importance in the Fulfillment Saga. I tried my very best to not make the mind prison be deus ex machina, because it could appear that way if I wasn't careful, so there are a myriad of references to it before it gets used in about 17 chapters from now. This is the first such mention, and it is way, way early. So much happens in between the moment Ledas touches it here to the moment when he gets sucked inside of it in the Fulfillment Saga.
- Korin of course does know what's in the pyramid; he's just being difficult because that's how Korin is. Korin has no reason to reveal information about the mind prison to Ledas, for he knows so little about the boy and his intentions, so he doesn't say anything. Korin is wise, and it shows here.
- The way File asks Shoekki where his brother is, out of nowhere and unprompted, should have raised Shoekki's suspicions. However, he loves the girl, so he doesn't think about the meaning behind her statement. He becomes immediately distraught when he remembers that Ryori didn't return home the previous night. Still, File and Cardinal were being rather brazen with the way they talked to Shoekki, showing how the two did not respect his intelligence or awareness much at all. This implies that File does not love Shoekki and only began dating him for sex.
- Despite his previous portrayals, Shoekki indeed loves his brother. He's a conflicted dude, and drugs and alcohol may make him do bad things, but deep down inside, he loves Ryori.
- Cardinal plays on Shoekki's emotions to turn him against Ledas. He uses File to help because she and Shoekki are close. Notice how easily and amiably Cardinal does this. It hints at how skilled a politician he is. He plays Shoekki like a fiddle without even breaking a sweat.
- So in the original draft of the Fulfillment Saga, Silver was introduced for the first time in the first chapter of that saga. He was addicted to painkillers - basically a horse tranquilizer that he took in small doses. This was influenced by the show Dexter, for the drug that Dexter used to sedate his victims on that show was the same one Silver liked to take recreationally. Anyways, by the final draft of the story, that plot had almost completely disappeared. I think Cardinal and/or Silver do take some sedatives for pleasure in this story, but it's not as overt as in previous drafts. What remains is the tranquilizer gun that Cardinal gives Shoekki. This gun's drug is the same drug Dexter uses and the same drug that Silver and Cardinal like to take to feel good. That they even have that drug to give to Shoekki implies that they are taking it off-screen, as well.
- It's been a while since Guva and Banas have appeared. Their plot was almost forgotten since so much stuff has happened with Ledas since the last Guva/Banas scene. However, by this point in the story, there was no time left - I knew that one of the season finales would be about Guva and Banas, so I had to set that up here. Previous chapters were too long as it was, even without Guva and Banas scenes, which is why I didn't put their scene here in a previous chapter.
- The whispering Guva hears is from The Benefactor. This is early foreshadowing to The Benefactor capturing Guva and sending him to Earth, which is revealed in a flashback in the next saga. The whispering itself was influenced by the whispers in Lost.
- Banas is a goofball. He gets one last trick on Guva by making the governor fall for his afterimage. I'm sure it tickled him well and good to see Guva fall into a puddle of water after making such a mistake. The way Banas laughs, though, is eerie, reinforcing the creepy atmosphere of the cave, which becomes more important in the next chapter.
Chasing Ghosts (season finale part 1)
<THIS CHAPTER PICKS UP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST>
<GUVA STANDS UP, DUSTING OFF HIS ARMOR; HE LOOKS BACK AT BANAS>
Guva: Why here?
Banas: Aw, Guva don’t ya remember? <HE STANDS UP> Back when the kid was around? And I still had a team?
Guva: <STERNLY> No.
Banas: This <GESTURES ABOUT> is the place I was never allowed to visit. It’s in that ‘eyes only’ file of yours. But being you, you never pursued it. Haven’t you ever wondered why he stopped aging? Well I have. And I think it’s because of this place.
Guva: What are you talking about?
Banas: Can’t you feel it, brotha? <WIGGLES HIS FINGERS AROUND WITH SARCASM; GRINS> There’s magic in the air.
Guva: <STEPS BACK> I don’t have time for your endless talk. Let’s just do this.
Banas: <STILL LAUGHING; JUMPS BACK TOO; HE READIES AN ENERGY BLAST> As you wish, guvvy. But if I beat you, you’re going to tell me what happened here.
Guva: <READIES HIS OWN BLAST, JUST AS HE’S ABOUT TO FIRE IT, HE HEARS WHISPERING, COMING FROM ALL AROUND HIM; HE LOSES FOCUS ON BANAS AND TURNS HIS HEAD> What the…
<JUST THEN, BANAS’ BLAST HITS HIM, SENDING HIM FLYING BACK SEVERAL FEET AND LANDING, ONCE AGAIN, IN A PUDDLE OF WATER>
<BANAS SHOOTS OFF A SCATTERSHOT BEAM, BUT GUVA DODGES IT; HE TELEPORTS BEHIND BANAS AND PUNCHES HIM DEEP IN THE GUT; BUT BEFORE HE CAN DO ANY MORE, BANAS TRIPS HIM WITH THE BACK OF HIS HEEL; BEFORE GUVA HITS THE WALL, BANAS PUNCHES HIM INTO THE AIR>
<HIS DIZZYING STYLE IS CLEARLY SEEN AND HE DARTS ALL AROUND GUVA’S UNMOVING BODY, HITTING HIM THIS WAY AND THAT>
<GUVA REGAINS CONTROL OF HIS MOMENTUM AND STOPS BANAS IN HIS TRACKS, KICKING HIM JUST UNDER THE CHIN, AND AWAY FROM GOVERNOR>
<BANAS, TO BUY HIMSELF TIME, SHOOTS A FLURRY OF ENERGY SCATTERSHOT AROUND, CAUSING THE CAVE TO COLLAPSE IN ON ITSELF AND DUST TO SHOOT UP EVERYWHERE>
<WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS, BANAS HAS PREPARED A CLUSTER OF RAZOR BLASTS, READY TO SHOOT; BUT GUVA HAS ALSO DONE THIS>
<EACH SENDS OFF RAZOR BLASTS, HUNDREDS BY THE LOOKS OF IT, AT ONE ANOTHER; NEITHER CAN DODGE THE OTHER’S BLASTS AND THEY ARE HIT, CRACKING THEIR ARMOR>
<GUVA DESCENDS AND JUMPS AT BANAS; THEY PUNCH AND KICK EACH OTHER, ROLLING ABOUT INTO THE NEXT GREAT CHAMBER OF THE CAVE>
<GUVA TAKES THE SHARP EDGE OF HIS RIGHT WRIST GUARD (AS HE ISN’T WEARING HIS LEFT ONE) AND STICKS IT IN THE CHEST OF BANAS’ ARMOR, CRACKING THROUGH IT AND INTO HIS SKIN; BANAS SCREAMS AND ELBOWS HIM AWAY>
<BANAS TRIES TO JUMP BACK AT GUVA, BUT GUVA PUTS UP A BARRIER OF ENERGY, BLOCKING OFF THE TWO FROM EACH OTHER; GUVA USES THIS TIME TO RECOVER HIS ENERGY; BANAS USES THIS TO POWER UP TO HIS MAXIMUM>
<WHEN THE BARRIER DISSIPATES, IT RELEASES AN ENERGY WAVE, WHICH BANAS DODGES WITH EASE; THE TWO ATTACK EACH OTHER; BANAS QUICKLY GAINS THE UPPER HAND; HE KICKS GUVA, BREAKING HIS SHIN; GUVA DROPS TO ONE KNEE, LETTING BANAS GRAB HIM AND THROW HIM IN THE AIR, BEFORE REAPPEARING ABOVE AND PUNCHING HIM DOWN INTO A DEEP CRATER IN THE GROUND; AFTER DOING THIS SWIFT IMPACT, BANAS CHARGES AT HIS OPPONENT AGAIN>
<BANAS PICKS GUVA UP ONCE AGAIN AND SLAMS HIM INTO THE CAVE WALL, STICKING HIM THERE; HE SENDS A STREAMING RAIN OF RAZOR BLASTS AT GUVA, CUTTING UP EVERY PART OF THE GOVERNOR’S BODY; HE THEN READIES A BLAST>
<AS HE FIRES IT, GUVA TELEPORTS AWAY TO BEHIND BANAS AGAIN; BANAS EXPECTS THAT AND PUNCHES AT HIM, BUT IT IS JUST AN AFTERIMAGE; HE PUNCHES SEVERAL MORE TIMES AT GUVA BUT THOSE ARE ALL AFTERIMAGES TOO>
<THE REAL GUVA COMES DOWN FROM ABOVE, HITTING BANAS HARD ON THE HEAD>
<THE CAPTAIN SHOOTS OFF A FLURRY OF BLASTS, BLINDLY, BUT NONE HIT HIM; THE HIT ON BANAS SEEMS TO HAVE MADE HIM LOSE MUCH OF HIS CONSCIOUSNESS, HE BEGINS TO SHOOT AROUND IN RANDOM DIRECTIONS AND AT RANDOM TIMES>
<GUVA EXPERTLY DODGES THESE UNTIL BANAS RUNS OUT OF ENERGY; BANAS, RECOVERING A BIT ON AWARENESS, STOPS FIRING>
<GUVA CREATES AN IMAGE SLASH AND CHARGES AT BANAS; BANAS SHOOTS A BUNCH OF KI BLASTS AT THE GOVERNOR, BUT THEY JUST BOUNCE OF THE KI SWORD; GUVA SWINGS THE SWORD AT BANAS, THOUGH BANAS DODGES, AND SHOOTS MUCH KI AT GUVA AS HE DOES; GUVA TRIES TO IMPALE BANAS, THOUGH THE CAPTAIN DODGES AND THE IMAGE SLASH JUST GOES INTO THE WALL; BANAS USES THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HIT GUVA VERY HARD IN THE BACK, CAUSING GUVA TO LET GO AND DISSIPATE HIS SWORD; BANAS KICKS HIM INTO THE DIRT AND COVERS HIM IN SCATTERSHOTS UNTIL HE CAN NO LONGER SEE THE GOVERNOR; THEN, HE STEPS BACK AND WAITS FOR GUVA TO EMERGE>
<AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, HE SEES GUVA COME OUT FROM THE CRATER AND THE TWO ONCE AGAIN ENGAGE IN A HEATED BLOW EXCHANGE; THE TWO FIGHT FIERCELY, AND EACH LANDS MANY PUNCHES; BOTH OF THEIR NOSES ARE BROKEN, AND BRUISES BEGIN MATERIALIZING ON EACH OF THEIR BODIES; THEY GO ON FOR SOME TIME, BUT THIS TIME IT IS GUVA WHO WINS; HE PUNCHES BANAS BACK, WHO IS BLOODIED AND BATTERED; MOST OF HIS ARMOR IS EITHER GONE OR REMAINS IN SHAMBLES>
<GUVA IS ALSO BLOODIED AND HIS ARMOR IS DAMAGED; HIS SHIN IS STILL BROKEN TOO, BUT HE IS ABLE TO CONTROL HIMSELF MUCH MORE THAN BANAS>
Banas: <STUMBLES BACK> That was… unexpected.
<BANAS STUMBLES, STARING DOWNWARD, HE DOESN’T SEE GUVA’S ELEGANT FINISHER SHOOTING RIGHT AT HIM; IT HITS HIM FULL ON, BLOWING OFF WHAT REMAINS OF HIS ARMOR; HE FALLS>
<GUVA JUMPS FORWARD AND LANDS ON BANAS, PUSHING HIS BOOTS DEEP INTO THE CAPTAIN’S CHEST, SHATTERING MOST OF HIS RIBS; BANAS COUGHS UP BLOOD>
Guva: That’s it, Captain. You’re done.
Banas: <COUGHING> Jus… jus like old times, huh? Heh heh.
Guva: Last time, I saved your life and made you my captain because you still had use. But look at you now…
Banas: <ACTUALLY SERIOUS> I thought we were friends, Guva.
Guva: You thought many things, Captain. But now it’s time for you to go. <READIES A BLAST>
Banas: Aha, even in death I’m still under your command, it seems. <LAUGHS, COUGHS> Even if I wasn’t yours, Guva, you have been and always shall be my friend. <TILTS HIS HEAD BACK, IN ACCEPTANCE> I’ll see ya in another life, brotha…
Guva: <WAITS A MOMENT WITH HIS BACK TURNED, THEN HE TURNS BACK TOWARD BANAS SUDDENLY; COLDLY> Don’t wait up.
<GUVA SHOOTS A FINAL BLAST AT BANAS, THIS TIME KILLING THE CAPTAIN AND INCINERATING HIS BODY; ALL THAT IS LEFT OF HIM IS A SMALL BLACK BURN MARK ON THE ROCKS>
<GUVA SIGHS DEEPLY AND SLIDES DOWN TO SIT UP AGAINST A ROCK>
<AS HE BOWS HIS HEAD AND CLOSES HIS EYES FOR A LITTLE BIT OF REST, HIS PERIPHERAL VISION PICKS UP A SPREADING DARKNESS, DESCENDING UPON HIM AND FINALLY ENVELOPING HIM; THE WHISPERING FILLS THE CHAMBER ONCE AGAIN AND HE IS ENTRANCED BY IT>
<CUTS BACK TO EARTH, ON KORIN TOWER; KORIN AND LEDAS ARE STARING OFF ON THE NEW DAY>
<IT IS PAST NOON; APPARENTLY LEDAS SPENT THE NIGHT THERE WITH YAJIROBE AND KORIN>
Ledas: Mr. Korin sir… who are all those big powers out there?
Korin: Mainly Goku and his friends.
Ledas: But there’s one that I just started feeling and it’s way more powerful than the others.
Korin: Oho, so you felt it. The evil power.
Ledas: How can you tell that it’s evil?
Korin: I’ve been doing this for a long time, kid. I can tell who the good guys are.
Ledas: <CLENCHES HIS FISTS> Well if it’s evil I gotta help Vegeta…
Korin: Don’t be stupid. You’d only get yourself killed, kid.
Ledas: <BOWS HIS HEAD> Yeah you’re right. There’s no way I could help. I guess I’ll just go home. It was nice meeting you, Mr. Korin sir. <HE ASCENDS INTO THE AIR AND BEGINS TO LEAVE; IN HIS MIND> My power is so much lower than that one. But… I have to try. If Vegeta is out there, I have to.
Korin: Hey kid, take these! <KORIN THROWS A SMALL POUCH OF SOMETHING AT LEDAS>
Ledas: <OPENS IT UP AND LOOKS INSIDE> What are these?
Korin: Senzu beans. Just in case you decide to fight anyways. If ya get injured out there, kid, just eat one. It will heal ya.
Ledas: How’d you know I was going to help them anyway?
Korin: You’re just like someone I used to know.
<LEDAS SMILES AND SAYS GOODBYE; THEN HE SHOOTS OFF HOME, TO VISIT RYORI AND FANSHI ONE LAST TIME BEFORE CHALLENGING THE FAR OFF EVIL POWER>
- This chapter's name refers to both Guva and Banas (though in different capacities). I don't want to explain this one in too much depth, because it gets into thematic content, and it's not my place to talk in depth about that kind of stuff. Anyways, considering that they are in Lauto's cave, a place that two sagas ago was the site of quite a showdown, and considering that The Benefactor is there watching them, and considering that Guva and Banas are two surviving PTO officers from a deteriorating outpost and empire... the name of this chapter should become somewhat clear.
- So I never changed much in this chapter from the first version to the final version. I updated some dialogue during the final edits and added in some more stuff to Guva's and Banas' battle, but for the most part, this chapter has remained the same through the various edits to it.
- Banas doesn't understand why Ledas stopped aging. He seems to be the only one in all of TF who wants answers about. Guva doesn't because he doesn't expect to see Ledas again, at least not in the foreseeable future. Additionally, I don't think Guva cared about why Ledas stopped aging. Banas' fascination with this issue contrasted with Guva's indifference of it highlights a key personality difference between the two aliens.
- Banas' line, "There's magic in the air", is a reference to Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King.
- Banas either doesn't hear The Benefactor's whispering or it doesn't bother him. This is hinting at The Benefactor perhaps targeting Guva - he would prefer the stronger fighter to aid him, after all. However, The Benefactor doesn't step in on the fight, since he only needs one of them and doesn't want to do the dirty work himself.
- Guva landing in a puddle of water again is a humiliation that Banas gives him. Guva's humiliation (in spite of him eventually defeating Banas) becomes a theme in this chapter.
- Both Guva and Banas know this is the end. Guva just wants to get it over with. He's never liked Banas much, and he's tired of their so called friendship. Banas, however, still sees Guva as his friend. He doesn't want to kill Guva - notice how he says he wants Guva to tell him what happened to Ledas if Banas wins. Guva can't tell him that if he's dead. So Banas is planning on sparing Guva should he win; Guva is not planning on sparing Banas, however, should he win. This is because only Banas considers them friends.
- Guva slamming his wrist guard into Banas' chest is the sign of a desperate man. Desperation is driving Guva in the fight.
- Notice how they both use Razor Blasts against one another, despite this being Banas' technique. Guva is mocking Banas by using his signature attack against him. The consequence of this Razor Blast exchange, however, is that both characters get really torn up physically. The physical ruination of both of their bodies in this fight is paralleled by their mental degradation and the breaking up of their friendship. Notably, Guva's appearance is worse than Banas' by the end of the battle, and that fact is key to understanding this ruination parallel.
- The energy barrier releasing an energy wave upon breaking is a sneaky attack. Ledas also used this attack in the Stomping Grounds Saga against Anango, and he probably learned that technique from Guva at some point. Banas easily dodges this attack because he knows Guva well and would not be easily fooled by that old technique.
- Banas breaking Guva's shin highlights how serious this battle is. Previously, the two have sparred and fought, but it has never gotten this serious. One of them could actually die - and indeed, after Banas breaks Guva's shin, it appears Guva will die. That is a massive, devastating injury in a fight like this.
- What happens to Banas, with his armor being disintegrated after he's hit by Guva's Elegant Finisher, was based on Bardock's death in Bardock: The Father of Goku.
- A bit more is hinted at about Guva's and Banas' past in this chapter (Guva stating that he saved Banas' life during the trials to choose the governor of Planet Cooler 92). That paints a very different picture of Guva even without the specifics being explained. It shows how at least in the past, Guva and Banas were friends and Guva was much nicer. But the burden of his station and the paranoia that has been eating at his mind destroyed his friendship with Banas and prevented him from seeing reality as it relates to Banas. It's a shame that after Guva became governor, his friendship with Banas deteriorated. Had Banas become the governor instead, I don't think that would have happened.
- Guva is deliberately cold and detached as he talks to Banas after Banas' defeat. He is doing this as a coping mechanism so he won't be pained mentally to have to kill his old friend. He knows what he has to do; he doesn't want to be swayed from his goal by emotions.
- "Even if I wasn’t yours, Guva, you have been and always shall be my friend." - this line is a nod to this line from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- It's so tragic to see that even in death, Banas still sees Guva has his friend. He won't ever see it any other way, despite what Guva tells him. He dies an optimist even as Guva continues to live as a pessimist. It's particularly sad to see how Guva fully rejects Banas. That must've cut Banas sharp. His last line to Banas, "Don't wait up", is about as cold as a person can get. It contrasts Guva and Banas quite a bit. Banas is portrayed as the hero, the good guy. Guva is this rotten old dude who no one should be rooting for. Seriously, he's so mean.
- Banas dies nobly because he stays an optimist and accepts his death without whining or crying or begging. This will later be contrasted when Guva dies pathetically in the next saga. Even though Banas loses the battle, he comes out on top in one sense, because he dies nobly whereas Guva dies like a wretch.
- I never considered Banas winning the fight; he's physically weaker than Guva, so he shouldn't win. Despite that, I did make it a closer battle than Guva would have liked for storytelling purposes, but still, Guva was always going to win. Though, I must admit, I do sometimes wonder what a Benefactor-controlled Banas would be like, and if the Reunion Saga would have played out the same had TB used Banas as his slave instead of Guva.
- The whispering implies The Benefactor because Layeeck heard the same whispering when he boarded Frieza's ship and was walking down the hall (just before being attacked by The Benefactor). So astute readers should understand the magnitude of Guva's cliffhanger. He's had some kind of encounter with The Benefactor. If that results in his death or something else is not stated in this saga, but since the meeting occurs off-screen after the end of a season finale (part 1), that should make it appear to be something very important (thus, not a death, for that would never happen off-screen, and if Guva was just going to die, he would have died in this chapter).
- The enveloping darkness is likely Locke's Ruse, an energy absorption technique The Benefactor picked up from Lauto. He uses this technique in the next saga to great effect, so there is a bit of foreshadowing to that moment here. The Benefactor uses it here because it's eerie, ominous, intimidating, and it will suck out most of Guva's remaining power so that he can't resist The Benefactor. This again hints at what The Benefactor wants to do with Guva.
- So the Ledas scene in this chapter was at one point an afterthought. I wasn't considering even having it as a part of this chapter for a while until I saw how short the chapter was without it. So I added it in. Later on, I made specific efforts to make sure Ledas is in (almost) every chapter (as seen in chapter 4 of the Reunion Saga), but that wasn't a specific consideration during my creation of this chapter.
- All of the big powers Ledas feels are Goku and the others and Majin Buu. The last scene in this chapter is taking place during the beginning of the Majin Buu arc. Of course, this presented me with a problem - if Majin Buu is out there fighting Goku and Vegeta, Ledas would want to join in. And so he does. So that is where Cardinal and the others come in. Without them, Ledas would have gone to challenge Buu and likely gotten himself killed.
- Korin's conversation with Ledas about good and evil is was done to illustrate how ridiculous that binary is. Korin saying he knows what good and evil is when talking to Ledas - perhaps the most grey character in TF - is highly ironic.
- I don't like bullshit. I don't like people taking 5 episodes to power up, useless filler scenes that add nothing to the story, and pointlessly-long arguments. I try not to have them because they just aren't fun to write or read (or watch in the DBZ anime). So Ledas quickly agrees with Korin's assessment of his own power level not being high enough to help Vegeta. Now, he doesn't actually think this. He's a Saiyan, and he has his Saiyan pride after all. And he is loyal to his childhood friend. He won't abandon Vegeta without at least trying to help. But Ledas doesn't tell Korin this because it would provoke a useless argument. So he lies. It's quite devious. And it moves the plot along without needlessly clogging it up with a pointless argument that wouldn't change anything anyways.
- Korin sees through Ledas' lie, prompting him to give the boy a pouch of senzu beans. This would have been quite useful against Majin Buu. Alas, Ledas never got there to confront the demon (in this story at least). There's lots of well-meaning duplicity going on in this scene, but I think overall, Korin gets the better of Ledas. Even though his early statement on knowing who is good and who is evil was a little simplistic, he shows his wisdom by anticipating Ledas' actions, despite barely knowing the boy.
- And why can Korin anticipate Ledas' actions? Because Ledas reminds Korin of Goku. That is a very striking parallel that has lots of big implications about Ledas' character and the themes of this story, so I shan't spoil them myself.
- All right, so when I gave Ledas the senzu beans here, I had a vague idea of what would happen to him in the next saga. I thought he might get shot in the head or have something horrible happen to him that would prompt him to use those beans. Once he got the beans, though, that injury began to take specific shape. I roughly-crafted the plot for what happens to Ledas at the start of the next saga almost as soon as I finished this chapter. Also note that Ledas doesn't get the beans in a cheap way, as would happen in so many fanons. He spends entire chapters bonding with and helping Yajirobe so that he can earn those beans after Korin meets him. Korin then gets a feel for his character and deems him "good" enough to be able to have a few beans. Of course, Korin wasn't expecting Ledas to keep all the beans for himself, but instead share them with any Z Fighters who might need them. So that's the main reason Korin gives Ledas the senzu beans. Instead, though, Ledas uses them to save his own life (and later, Vegeta's). So Korin inadvertently saves Ledas' life in this chapter by giving him the senzu beans. Without them, Kindler would have killed Ledas in the Reunion Saga.
Thine Actions Vindicated (season finale part 2)
<SHOEKKI AND FILE ARE TOGETHER IN BED DOING STUFF>
File: You never called to tell Mr. Cardinal about your situation yesterday. <WITH AFFECTION> I was getting worried.
Shoekki: <STILL SULLEN AND PREOCCUPIED WITH HIS BROTHER> Mr. Cardinal can wait… but you seem to like him a lot. Why is that?
File: <A SPARKLE IN HER EYE> Mr. Cardinal is my boss. I’d do anything for him.
Shoekki: <TAKES A DRINK OF SOMETHING> Anything?
File: <SUDDENLY SERIOUS BUT SHOEKKI DOESN’T NOTICE> I’d put a bullet in your head right now if Mr. Cardinal wanted it. <SHOEKKI LAUGHS; FILE ROLLS OVER TO FACE HIM> So… you think we can… you know? We haven’t done it yet.
Shoekki: I… I don’t feel like it. My brother’s still missing.
File: <ANGER OUTBURST> We spent all day yesterday looking for him! Come on Shoekki, I need a little break. <SHE PLACES HER FINGER ON HIS CHEST> Just an hour or so…
Shoekki: <NOT ALTOGETHER HAPPY> All right… just this once.
<SHOEKKI WATCHES HER WITH SULLEN, DRUNKEN EYES; AS SHE CONTINUES TALKING HE NOTICES HER CLOTHES AND PISTOL LYING ON THEM; CURIOUSLY HE WATCHES UNTIL FILE PULLS SHOEKKI UNDER THE BLANKETS, LAUGHING; HE JOINS IN WITH HER, AT LEAST AT FIRST>
<OUTSIDE, LEDAS LANDS WITH A HEAVY THUD; HE APPROACHES SHOEKKI’S HOUSE AND KNOCKS ON THE DOOR>
<HE CAN HEAR A WILD DIN OF NOISE COMING FROM INSIDE BUT CAN’T MAKE OUT SPECIFIC VOICES>
<THE CAMERA CUTS BACK TO SHOEKKI; HE STANDING IN NOTHING BUT BOXERS, A NEEDLE IN HIS ARM AND FILE’S PISTOL IN HIS HAND>
Shoekki: <ANGRY, PARANOID> What the hell is this?! You fucking tricked me… <HE SPITS> what do you think I am?! <HE WAVES THE GUN AROUND> A freak, like you?
File: <IN A CORNER VERY FRIGHTENED; SHE IS TOPLESS> Shoekki?! What’s the matter? What are you doing with that gun? <PLEADING>
Shoekki: <WOBBLES, STILL WAVING THE GUN AROUND> You know what <RISES TO A SCREAM> I’m fucking talking about!! You think I wanna be with you now… after that?! <HE SLOWLY RAISES THE GUN AND POINTS IT AT HER> No chance, <SARCASTIC> babe.
File: <STILL PLEADING> Shoekki, please! I didn’t know! I-I can help you! Don’t do this.
Shoekki: <DRUG SIDE EFFECTS SHOWING> I can find my brother by myself. I don’t need a… freak to help me with that. What were you thinking?! <HE YELLS AND PUNCHES THE LAMP NEXT TO HIM, THEN HE TAKES A PILLOW AND THROWS IT ACROSS THE ROOM> You’re a fucking man! Why did you think I was into that, you stupid bitch?! <BREATHES HARD> Huh? Answer me, bitch.
File: <CRAWLS BACK AS FAR AS POSSIBLE TO THE WALL; IN DESPERATION> Shoekki… stop! I know where your brother is. Please just let me–
File: Mr. Cardinal has him… if you just come with–
<SHOEKKI SUDDENLY SNAPS THE PISTOL UP AND SHOOTS, HITTING FILE SQUARE ON THE FOREHEAD; SHE FALLS OVER DEAD; BLOOD STARTS POOLING RAPIDLY>
<SHOEKKI HEARS LEDAS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR; HE DROPS THE PISTOL AND QUICKLY GETS DRESSED; A FEW MOMENTS LATER HE OPENS THE DOOR>
Shoekki: <INCREDULOUSLY> You?!
Ledas: <SUBTLE HAPPINESS> Hey Shoekki! Is Ryori home?
<CUTS TO KINDLER AND DEWBERRY WHO ARE RIDING ON MOTORCYCLES; WELL DEWBERRY IS IN A SIDECAR>
Kindler: <ON HIS PHONE> Yeah that’s what he said. He didn’t have any left. But he did say he had given his last to a kid… a kid with big hair and who could fly. Yes, that’s what I thought too. Dewberry and I have found his house. We’re on our way right now to confiscate the capsule. <PAUSES; THEN SMILES> I’ll have the ship for you within the hour, sir.
<THE TWO RIDE FOR A WHILE THEN COME UP UPON MRS. FANSHI’S HOUSE; BOTH GET OUT OF THE BIKE AND GO ON APPROACH>
Dewberry: <TAKES OUT A SMALL KIT; IT IS FILLED WITH A COUPLE OF PISTOLS; HE THROWS ONE TO KINDLER> Hey Kindy, take one of these.
Kindler: <CATCHES THE PISTOL> What is this, Dewberry? We don’t need guns.
Dewberry: <MATTER OF FACT> It’s for our protection…
Kindler: <HOLSTERS HIS GUN; WITHOUT ANOTHER LOOK AT DEWBERRY> Guns don’t protect; they only kill. I wouldn’t stoop so low as to ever use one.
Dewberry: <DOESN’T CARE> Suit yourself.
<BOTH BREAK INTO THE HOUSE, IT APPEARS DESERTED; THEY SEARCH AROUND>
Dewberry: <TOO LOUDLY> Hey Kindy, why are we getting the boss a space ship?
Kindler: <SPEAKING AS HE’S SEARCHING THROUGH EVERYTHING> Haven’t you been following the news, you dunce? That big monster thing? The one destroying all the towns and killing all the people? You haven’t heard about it? <IT SHOWS A DUEL PANEL FOR EVERY PANEL OF HIS DISCUSSION; IT IS MAJIN BUU RAVAGING THE COUNTRYSIDE>
Dewberry: <THOUGHTLESSLY> No…
Kindler: Well Mr. Cardinal doesn’t think it’s safe to stay on planet right now, until things get sorted out. <RUMMAGING THROUGH THINGS, PAUSES IN TALKING FOR A FEW MOMENTS> But I didn’t think it would be this tedious to get him a space ship…
<THEY MOVE INTO LEDAS’ ROOM, SEARCHING THROUGH IT; AFTER SOME TIME, DEWBERRY OPENS A DRAWER AND PICKS UP A CAPSULE; HE TOSSES IT TO KINDLER; NOTICEABLY, THE PANTIES ARE NO LONGER IN THE DRAWER>
Dewberry: <THICKLY> Hey Kindy, I found sommat… see if that’s it.
<KINDLER TAKES ONE LOOK THEN POCKETS IT, KNOWING IT TO BE THE SPACE CAPSULE; HE TURNS TO LEAVE; SUDDENLY, THE ROOM’S DOOR OPENS, FROM THE OUTSIDE; IT IS MRS. FANSHI>
Mrs. Fanshi: Oh, Ledas I didn’t hear you come in. You had me so worried… where have you been for the past…?
<AND ANOTHER GUNSHOT GOES OFF; THIS TIME IT IS DEWBERRY WHO HAS SHOT AND KILLED MRS. FANSHI; IT WAS REFLEXIVE, ALMOST DONE BECAUSE HE WAS SCARED AT HER SUDDEN APPEARANCE; NEVERTHELESS KINDLER PUSHES HIM OUT OF THE WAY TO CHECK FANSHI>
Kindler: <CHECKS FOR A PULSE, THERE IS BLOOD EVERYWHERE; TEN SECONDS PASS AND HE DOESN’T FIND ONE> She’s dead. <HE LOOKS UP AT DEWBERRY; HE IS VERY MAD> That’s why we don’t use guns, you idiot. If the world wasn’t being destroyed right now, we’d be in big trouble.
<CUTS BACK TO SHOEKKI; HE IS PUTTING AWAY THE CELL PHONE CARDINAL HAD GIVEN; EVIDENTLY HE WAS JUST TALKING WITH HIM>
Shoekki: <TURNS TO LEDAS WHO IS SITTING QUIETLY AT A TABLE> That was Ryori… I’m gonna go pick him up, you wanna come along?
Ledas: <HIS EYES WIDEN AND HE GRINS> Sure!
<THEY TRAVEL FOR A WHILE, AS CARDINAL HAD APPARENTLY COMMANDED SHOEKKI TO A REMOTE PLACE; IT IS A GRASSY AREA ABOVE THE OCEAN, ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF>
<SHOEKKI WALKS FORWARD; HE SEEMS NERVOUS>
Shoekki: <TURNS BACK TO LEDAS; HE IS REALLY TRYING TO HOLD IN HIS FEAR AND ANXIETY> This is the place.
Ledas: <PEERING, EYES WIDE> Whoa… <HE LOOKS OVER THE CLIFF> I’ve never been here before.
Shoekki: <SHRUGS> Ryori and I use to come here all the time when we were younger. <CHUCKLES A BIT AS HE REMEMBERS> But I guess times have changed.
Ledas: <LOOKS AROUND; HIS CURIOSITY CHANGES SLIGHTLY TO SUSPICION> Where’s Ryori?
Shoekki: Wait here. <HE TAKES OUT THE TRANQUILIZER GUN AND THROWS IT INTO THE GRASS BEHIND HIM; SHOUTING> I’ve done it, I’ve got you the kid!
<LEDAS STARES AT HIM, BUT SHOEKKI TURNS AROUND TO FACE THE WAVES; HE PULLS OUT A PISTOL, CONCEALED IN HIS ARMS; LEDAS DOES NOT NOTICE IT>
Shoekki: <TURNS BACK AROUND; AS IT IS WINDY, HE IS SCREAMING> Cardinal, you sick fuck! I did it! I brought him here for you! Now let Ryori go! <WHIMPERING> Please… just let him go.
<THERE IS SILENCE, SAVE FOR THE NOISES OF THE WAVES>
Ledas: <ON ALERT NOW> Wha… ? Who’s Cardinal? <TAKES A STEP BACK; HIS HAIR IS BLOWING AROUND VIOLENTLY FROM THE WIND> Why are we here, Shoekki?! What’s wrong with you?!
Shoekki: <SCOWLS, BUT IGNORES LEDAS; HE IS STILL SCREAMING WHEN HE TALKS> A deal’s a deal, man!
Ledas: <STEPS BACK AGAIN> You’re… you’re acting weird, Shoekki. I think I’m leaving.
Shoekki: <DESPERATE SCREAM> Nooo!! <BRINGS HIS PISTOL UP FULL SWING AND POINTS IT AT LEDAS> You stay.
<LEDAS TENSES UP; BUT NOT FOR THE NORMAL REASON; HE REACHES BACK AND FEELS THE BACK OF HIS NECK; THERE IS A SMALL BUMP IN IT; HE FEELS THE BULLET HOLE; BLOOD STARTS TO RUN DOWN THE BACK OF HIS NECK; SUDDENLY, HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES, SLIPPING INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS>
Cardinal: <FROM BEHIND LEDAS, UNSEEN> I am a man of my word, Mr. Shoekki. Your brother will not be touched…
<LEDAS DOUBLES OVER, ONTO HANDS AND KNEES; HE LOOKS UP AND SEES SHOEKKI STEP BACK, OBVIOUS FRIGHT ON HIS FACE>
Shoekki: No, you bastard! <IRRATIONAL; TALKING FAST> Let me see him. Let me know he’s safe!
Cardinal: <WITH ALL HIS AUTHORITY> You are in a position to demand nothing, Mr. Shoekki. I, on the other hand, am in a position to grant nothing.
Shoekki: <POINTS THE PISTOL AT CARDINAL> You bastard.
Cardinal: <CALMLY> Shoot me and more than just your fate will be sealed.
<SHOEKKI TAKES A STEP BACK AND LOWERS HIS GUN; HE REALIZES WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN>
Cardinal: You shot File. Yes, I saw her transponder go dark – something that could only happen if her neural processes stopped; if she died. And she has. For killing my associate, my beloved, you have given up your life. But it’s not too late to save your brother. <WITH FORCE> End it now, while you still can. End your torment and my own, <OUTSTRETCHES HIS HAND> would you kindly?
Shoekki: <TO CARDINAL, THROUGH HIS TEETH> Fuck. You. <HE PULLS THE PISTOL UP TO HIS CHIN; TO LEDAS> Ledas… wherever he’s taking you, he’s got Ryori too. Please, just save him… for me. <TEARS START TO ROLL DOWN HIS FACE> Please… tell my brother I love him. Please…
<SHOEKKI TURNS HIS FACE BACK TO THE UNKNOWN FIGURE STANDING BEHIND LEDAS; HE SPEAKS AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME LEDAS CANNOT HEAR; HE IS LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS TOO FAST>
<CUE Falling Awake>
<IT ALLS GOES DARK FOR LEDAS; THE LAST THING HE HEARS IS A LOUD BURST, LIKE A GUNSHOT; THEN ALL GOES QUIET, AS ALL IS DARK; SHOEKKI FALLS, AND ONLY HIS ARM ON THE GROUND IS SHOWN>
<LEDAS FALLS BACK AS CARDINAL SHOOTS HIM WITH THE TRANQUILIZER AT POINT BLANK RANGE IN THE BACK OF THE NECK; LEDAS, WHO IS STILL ON HIS KNEES, FALLS INTO CARDINAL’S ARM, WHICH IS HOLDING A STRANGE DEVICE>
<HE PLACES THE THING, SORT OF LIKE A HEAD BAND ON LEDAS’ HEAD>
<CARDINAL TURNS AROUND AND STANDING BEHIND HIM ARE TWO MEN; KINDLER AND DEWBERRY; THE WIND HAS PICKED UP AND THEIR HAIR IS FLYING ABOUT; KINDLER OUTSTRETCHES HIS HAND, SHOWING OFF THE CAPSULE HE HAD TAKEN FROM LEDAS’ ROOM; DEWBERRY IS HOLDING AN UNCONSCIOUS AND BLINDFOLDED RYORI>
Kindler: <YELLING OVER THE WIND> I’ve got it, sir!
Cardinal: Excellent work, <WALKING UP TO HIM; HE TAKES THE CAPSULE AND THROWS IT, ACTIVATING IT> Kindler. Take the boys aboard, I will be along shortly.
Kindler: <PICKS UP LEDAS> Where’s File? Wasn’t she with you?
Cardinal: <WITH A HEAVY SIGH> File… didn’t make it. <HE WALKS OVER TO SHOEKKI’S BODY; KNEELING DOWN, HE TAKES SOMETHING FROM THE BODY>
<THE CAMERA PANS BACK AND SHOWS SILVER RUNNING UP TO THE GROUP WITH SOLDIERS AND SCIENTISTS; THEY HAVE WEAPONS AND SMALL BAGS IN THEIR HANDS>
Silver: Don’t take long, father. Majin Buu will be here soon. We have to leave. <HE RUNS UP AND GRABS THE UNCONSCIOUS LEDAS>
<Falling Awake REACHES 1:52 NOW>
<AS KINDLER OPENS UP LEDAS’ GRAVITY SUPPRESSION UNIT, HE IS THE FIRST ONE TO STEP INSIDE; CAPTAIN GREEN, GENERAL SILVER AND DEWBERRY FOLLOW; THEIR REMAINING FORCE OF SOLDIERS AND SCIENTISTS FOLLOW AS WELL; THERE ARE STILL QUITE A FEW OF THEM, AND INSIDE OF THE GRAVITY SUPPRESSION UNIT, IT BECOMES QUITE CRAMPED>
<CARDINAL RETURNS TO LEDAS’ GRAVITY SUPPRESSION UNIT; HE STEPS INSIDE, REVEALING DEWBERRY SITTING AT THE CONTROLS AND KINDLER WATCHING OVER THE TWO UNCONSCIOUS BOYS IN THE CORNER; KINDLER IS STARING AT HIS PISTOL, AS IF TROUBLED BY IT; SILVER AND CAPTAIN GREEN ARE TALKING AMONGST EACH OTHER, AND MANY OF THE OTHER SOLDIERS ARE JUST SITTING QUIETLY>
Cardinal: <SITS IN A CHAIR, WATCHING OVER IT ALL WITH A SORT OF TIRED SATISFACTION> Dewberry, take us out.
<THE SPACE POD TAKES TO THE AIR AND FLIES OFF; THEY LEAVE THE ATMOSPHERE AND ENTER INTO SPACE; CARDINAL WATCHES OUT THE WINDOW AS THEY GO UP, AND HE SEES THE MANY EXPLOSIONS COATING THE PLANET AS BUU RAVAGES EARTH; MANY PANELS SHOW THE DESTRUCTION BEING SEEN FROM HIS POSITION>
<Falling Awake REACHES 4:18 NOW>
<THE CAMERA TURNS BACK TO THE SPACE SHIP; CARDINAL SEES AN EXPLOSION; HE RECOILS SLIGHTLY; CARDINAL TURNS AWAY FROM THE WINDOW AND GOES BACK TO THE TWO SLEEPING BOYS; HE KNEELS DOWN BY THEM AND LOOKS INTO THEIR SLEEPING FACES; HE PATS THEM ON THE SHOULDERS BEFORE LOOKING AT KINDLER ONE LAST TIME>
- <END PLANET EARTH SAGA>
Cue Great Spirits. Credits roll during this time.
- This chapter's name refers to both Cardinal and Shoekki, though to different capacities. I would say it leans more towards what Shoekki does at the end of it, though.
- This chapter is mostly how it was since the first version posted. I've added in a little bit explaining the File/Shoekki relationship in more detail and some more stuff about Majin Buu compelling Cardinal to steal Ledas' gravity training unit, but that's about it. I didn't even do much rewordings of dialogue/scene direction during the final edits.
- The plot of this chapter is rather convoluted and complex - the strategy is forced on Cardinal because of Majin Buu's emergence, which was hinted at in the previous chapter. The New Red Ribbon Army soldiers and leaders realize that he's killing everyone and they want to get off the planet so that they can live. It's desperation that guides them. So, some of this plot is also implied. As Silver was seen in chapter 4 trying to buy stuff from Dr. Brief, it appears that he wanted to buy a gravity training unit so that Cardinal could have a space ship to use at his leisure. Dr. Brief didn't sell anything to Silver (aside from the blutz wave generator) because he wasn't selling those gravity units at the time (remember, he didn't give one to Ledas either until the boy physically intimidated him). During their off-screen investigation of Ledas (which I didn't show in this story in too much detail, since I didn't want the saga to become too "Death Note-y"), the NRRA leaders found out where he lived and learned from Dr. Brief that the boy took a gravity training unit from him (they interviewed everyone who had seen someone matching Ledas' description within several miles of the city, and West City fell into that radius). So after they learned all that, they realized that the kid had a gravity training unit and that it would be faster for them to take his. I would guess during his second interview of Dr. Brief, Silver probably tried to intimidate the man like Ledas had, but Brief wouldn't have been so easily swayed by someone as bad as Silver. Plus, with Vegeta serving as his bouncer, Dr. Brief was pretty safe. So after taking all of that into account - and all of this is outright stated or implied in the text - it becomes clear why Cardinal sends Kindler and Dewberry to Mrs. Fanshi's house. Indeed, finding Mrs. Fanshi's house would have been one of the simpler things, as after Kindler ID's Ledas in chapter 9, it was simple for him to look up Ledas' address in the school directory.
- So Shoekki and File have been out searching for Ledas and Ryori for the better part of a day. They are now in bed together (it is morning) resting and preparing to search again. They aren't just taking a break from looking for Ryori because they are lazy or because Shoekki doesn't love him (because he does). They can't just search for him nonstop for 24 hours. Everyone's got to sleep sometime.
- File's "bullet in the head" statement is quite ironic since she ends up with one herself in this chapter.
- Shoekki loves his brother, but he's a man (I'm a man). He can't resist File seducing him. I don't outright say that they are going to have sex for the first time, but it should be pretty obvious from the context of their conversation.
- Shoekki looking at File's gun before they prepare to have sex is a moment of foreshadowing. Obviously, he knows what she does - she would have told him all about her work with Cardinal before this scene. Still, the gun is a powerful, lethal symbol. Considering the rich symbolism around it in the next scene with Kindler and Dewberry, the gun is very important in this story. The symbolism of it in this scene is less overt than it is in the Kindler/Dewberry scene, though. And overall, I think I like the symbolism of it here with the drug-addled Shoekki and the duplicitous File more than the coming scene with Cardinals other two political lackeys.
- Ledas didn't just return home to say goodbye to Ryori and Mrs. Fanshi. He came back to get his fighting clothes (his boots, fingerless gloves, Guva's left wrist guard, etc.). He realized that, because of how powerful Majin Buu is, that he might not make it through the battle, so that's where his sentimentally came in. It actually says a lot about his character development in this saga. Ledas in chapter 2 would not even consider doing such a thing for mere humans.
- I couldn't show Shoekki finding out that File has a penis. This story is explicit and adult in various scenes, but never to that graphic level (outside of the deleted scenes), and it didn't seem tasteful to show it. The implications and context of the Shoekki/File scenes in this chapter though should give the readers a good idea of why Shoekki kills her though. His dialogue does mention that she's a "man", so it's pretty straightforward now. I added in that line during the final edits to make this plot twist a little easier to discern, since it affects the rest of Shoekki's plotline in all of TF and the rest of Ledas' and Ryori's in this saga.
- The needle in Shoekki's arm shows that he's on some kind of drug, which may have heightened his aggression in this scene, allowing him to kill File. The drugs certainly play a part (as does the alcohol), but I think Shoekki's disgust of transgendered people in general is what made him want to kill her the most. There is social commentary on trans people in society (and trans hate) in the scene where Shoekki kills File, but I won't specifically explain it here.
- Shoekki's anger (throwing a pillow, punching a lamp) is based on an outburst my older brother once had in my presence. However, what caused my brother's anger wasn't transphobia or anything like that.
- Notice that it is not Shoekki's disgust at File's gender identity, but the understanding that Cardinal is holding Ryori captive (as File says herself) that causes him to kill her. That shows how much he loves his brother. He realizes that Cardinal and File have played more than one game on him, and he doesn't like being played. He wants to exert his own agency, his own individualism, and that is what ends up costing him later. Shoekki really has a unique character trajectory in this saga.
- As soon as Shoekki learns that Cardinal has Ryori captive, his entire perspective changes. He realizes that Cardinal is evil - and he didn't know this before. Now that he sees through the veil of the New Red Ribbon Army, he has become quite a different character.
- Dewberry in the sidecar of Kindler's motorcycle still makes me laugh to this day.
- Kindler's phone conversation with Cardinal reveals a lot about their plot to get off the planet. Again, Dr. Brief's name is not said, but it's implied they are talking about him and the gravity training unit he gave to Ledas, tying Ledas' early plot to the NRRA's plans. This is a realistic way to reveal exposition to the readers in this format. Had this been in prose, I might not have had this phone call.
- Kindler's aversion to guns was based on DD's aversion to guns (he has since told me he doesn't hate them like he used to). It also brings up some contrasting opinions about guns, which is nice for the symbolic consideration of a gun in this story. The power of humankind can wreak havoc amongst its own, but against Saiyans, it should do very little. The idea of the futility of human endeavors is a big theme in the next saga, and it is hinted at here. The gun symbolism and thematic stuff goes beyond that as well.
- Dewberry plays the role of the readers when he asks why Cardinal wants Ledas' space ship. Kindler's response is my response to the readers, essentially.
- Mrs' Fanshi's death is quite a shocking moment. It comes out of nowhere, with no foreshadowing, to completely surprise the readers. Now, she never appears again in the actual story, but she is indeed revived when everyone is wished back after Kid Buu blows up the Earth. So her death is not permanent.
- Kindler is right about Dewberry being stupid to shoot Fanshi, though. Had Buu not been wreaking havoc, Fanshi' death would have brought unwanted police attention to the scene and perhaps jeopardized the NRRA's investigation of Ledas.
- Notice how I don't really show the moment Mrs. Fanshi is shot. A gunshot goes off and then she's dead on the ground. There is no scene nor sound aside from the gunshot until it's already over. This was deliberately-done for tonal and thematic reasons.
- This chapter utilizes dead space more than most other TF chapters. Shoekki pocketing his cell phone implies that he was talking to Cardinal, but that scene itself isn't shown. Despite that, it should be easy to guess what they were talking about (Shoekki wouldn't dare put his brother in danger by telling Cardinal that he knows the man has his brother), so it wasn't necessary for me to show that. This moves the pacing along and allows the plot to be semi-shrouded much like the characters' motivations in this chapter and saga as a whole.
- The place Shoekki takes Ledas, on the grassy cliff overlooking the sea, brings back pangs of nostalgia for Shoekki. While such a place doesn't exist in the history of my past, it was still based on a different location that evoked a similar emotion in me. Shoekki's idea that "things were better then" is evoked in this scene when he remembers how happy Ryori and him used to be, how they used to come to that location and have fun. But time have changed; they got older, Shoekki started drinking heavily, and Ryori got involved in school (perhaps sexually, as Shoekki hinted in a much earlier chapter). So in a way the two have become divided, and now that Ryori is in danger and gone, Shoekki is remembering how good things used to be because of Ryori's absence. Again, this idea of "emptiness" itself implying things should be noted. Something cannot be empty if there is no something. The absence of Ryori allows Shoekki to realize how much he loves his brother and is sorry for how he's treated him; that is the culmination of Shoekki's character in this saga.
- Shoekki calling Cardinal a sick fuck is a reference to Fitzsimmons, a random piano player in the video game Bioshock, who says that very same phrase to his overlord before being blown to smithereens.
- Ledas isn't hit by a normal bullet - he's hit by the tranquilizer that Shoekki threw into the grass (he didn't have the heart to shoot Ledas with it). The tranquilizer is strong enough to knock out several horses instantly. That Ledas manages to stay conscious for a few moments is a testament to his strength.
- One may question why Cardinal is keeping Ledas alive. Well, he's not that evil! In truth, he's keeping the boy alive because he doesn't expect the Earth to blow up. Once Majin Buu is dealt with, Cardinal expects to present Ledas to the UN and get congratulated for saving the world. He can't do that if Ledas is dead, since he needs to be able to prove to the other political leaders that Ledas is an alien (he would probably make Ledas form a ki blast or something and show them his tail). That is much harder to do if Ledas is dead (decomposition is a tricky thing). Besides, since Cardinal as Ledas locked up in the ki suppressor, the boy isn't a danger anymore, so there's no need to complicate things further and kill him... yet, at least. Once the Earth is destroyed, that plan goes out the window, and Cardinal does consider killing the boy (but more on that in the next saga).
- Ledas' role in Cardinal's and Shoekki's confrontation is something I particularly like. I'm not sure exactly why; it wasn't based on anything, but just the idea of the boy slipping into unconsciousness as a serious confrontation is happening around him shows how small Ledas has become in Cardinal's plot. I quite like how it plays out, tonally.
- There is a sexual relationship implied with File and Cardinal - however Cardinal is completely heterosexual, so that is not true at all. I have a list of all of my characters' sexualities, and interestingly enough, both of them are heterosexual (though that is because File considers herself a girl, even if her biology says otherwise, but that is an issue I don't wish to tackle here).
- Cardinal's line, "End your torment and my own", is a reference to the Gravemind from Halo 3.
- When Cardinal says, "would you kindly?", that is a reference to Bioshock.
- It's unclear if Ledas can hear Shoekki's final words to him. That Shoekki even says them, though, is important too, though, for characterization reasons.
- Cardinal commanding Shoekki to kill himself to save Ryori is quite heinous. It might be the most concentrated evil thing in the story so far if you believe in good and evil. It says a lot about Cardinal that he would make such a request (perhaps he did so in anger of losing File) and even more about Shoekki that he would so quickly sacrifice himself for his brother. Again, a gun is used to do this - it is File's gun, too: the gun Shoekki used to kill her in an earlier scene. There's some nice symmetry here. But it goes beyond File and Shoekki. Going back to Dewberry and Kindler and Mrs. Fanshi, guns have been quite devastating in this chapter. Do not forget that, for the gun theme carries over in a major way into the next saga.
- I do not know what Shoekki's last words to Cardinal are, nor do I ever expect to write them. The fact that they are left unsaid is better, I think, since it allows the readers to come up with their own ideas of what his last words are.
- Falling Awake is Ledas' theme song. That fact gives some additional tonal and thematic weight to the closing montage.
- Like Fanshi's death, Shoekki's death is not shown in great detail. It is well-implied, though. I chose to do this for tonal reasons mostly. This saga has a certain overall tone to it, and not showing the gory details of death aids that tone.
- This is the first song in TF (not counting Outbreak) that isn't an action song. There were several action songs in the Stomping Grounds Saga, remember. But this is the first song since that saga (and there were no songs in the sagas before SGS), and it is much different than the songs in that saga. But that is emblematic of how SGS is different from PES, tonally. Their different approaches to thematic content is also seen in the different songs I use in them.
- Cardinal has to shoot Ledas a second time with the tranquilizer because the boy simply will not fall unconscious. I'm sure Cardinal is shocked by this, though he would never show that emotion openly as he is now (he is in control of things), since the amount he already gave Ledas could kill several humans. A second dose is ridiculous. But Ledas is an alien, so Cardinal is not taking chances and not using humans as a comparison so much. That Cardinal is not underestimating Ledas and not too readily comparing him with humans is in contrast to what most of the other characters think about Ledas in this saga.
- There's a sense of loss and melancholy in the montage scene that ends this saga. It's not just Ledas' side who have lost people and whatnot, but Cardinal's too. People in general have died. More are dying. Majin Buu is terrorizing the world. There is an implied fear, an implied existential crisis these characters are going through. Even though they have brought this death and destruction upon one another for the most part, it is still a matter of life and death - and those things are not a game. Serious things have happened in this chapter, and I didn't want that to be forgotten. The saga ends in a very somber, uncertain place as a result. That is the culmination of this saga's literary content.
- That all of the NRRA's soldiers and scientists can fit into Ledas' gravity training unit shows how small their force has become. They have been weakened greatly by their pursuit of Ledas, but they aren't dead yet. And the same can be said about Ledas. He isn't dead, either.
- Kindler being troubled by his pistol is not fluff. It has a specific literary purpose. His characterization is a big part of that. Another reason for him being troubled by his pistol is that this foreshadows his conflicted decision in the next saga to shoot Ledas in the head.
- There's a heavy weight in Cardinal's figure, but a commanding nobility too, as he orders Dewberry to fly them to space. He doesn't seem so much like a villain in the ending montage. He appears more like a weary hero or adventurer. But this is me again playing with black and white archetypes. Characters are grey and complex. Real people aren't good or evil. Real people have complex personalities that lead them to do good and evil things and rarely, if ever, just one or the other. I tried to portray Cardinal and the others in such a way, and it results in a very weird ending for the saga, as it goes against expectations.
- Vegeta dying is a canon thing. But I thought it would be interesting to show it here, because it hints at how Vegeta's life has diverged from Ledas. They have never been farther apart than they are now. Ledas is there in the space ship, a defeated captive, completely oblivious to the death of his greatest and oldest friend, whom he came to Earth to find. The melancholy of the Gary Jules song aids this contrast well, I think.
- Cardinal recoiling from seeing Vegeta's explosive wave is a natural reaction to a sudden flare of light, but it has thematic implications as well.
- The way Cardinal pats the unconscious Ledas and Ryori makes him appear to be compassionate at the end of the saga, perhaps hinting at a change in the next saga now that the two are his. However, that is merely misdirection. Cardinal did that because he was feeling sad that File was dead and as such was emoting more than he would normally. He still doesn't like either one of them and will sacrifice them at a moment's notice.
- So this saga ends with a huge cliffhanger, like all of the ones before it. I think with this one though there was a greater tonal effort to show the hopelessness and melancholy of life and how conflict knocks everyone down. No one came out of the final chapter feeling good. Everyone was affected in one way or another, even Vegeta. This sense of hopelessness, though, allows me to build up to a slightly complex "reunion" style hope in the next saga, though.
For my own reference, the chapter word counts are as follows:
- 1: 1590
- 2: 1519
- 3: 1391
- 4: 1256
- 5: 1137
- 6: 2200
- 7: 1875
- 8: 2398
- 9: 1921
- 10: 1511
- 11: 1463
- 12: 2227
This saga is a big reset from the previous sagas in terms of location, thematic content, tone, and characters. This has happened to a lesser extent in the last two sagas (they introduced new characters and locations, but the tone and thematic content of those two sagas were largely built up from the first saga), but I took it up a notch here. To me, one of the most memorable things was the characterization of Ledas in this saga, seeing how he evolved as a character from his liberation of body and mind at the conclusion of the last saga. It was cool to see him integrated into human society too, and his meeting with Vegeta was fun. There's a lot of comedy in this saga as well that I enjoy, particularly Korin's and Yajirobe's dialogue and conversations with each other and Ledas, and the panty raid. The New Red Ribbon Army was a good addition over what was here previous, with just Cardinal and his political lackeys. This saga was also interesting in how it only had a select few battles. Truly, there were only three: Ledas vs. Vegeta; Ledas vs. Piccolo; Guva vs. Banas. There were a few other conflicts, like the natives fighting the PC92 soldiers and Guva's and Banas' first confrontation and Ledas killing the two thugs, but those aren't really battles. As a result, the three battles stand out more because I knew I wasn't going to have many. Those that were in this saga had to be as good as possible because of that. I think that is particularly true with Guva vs. Banas and Ledas vs. Piccolo. Ledas vs. Piccolo is my favorite part of this saga, and really, the entire chapter that scene takes place in is fantastic. The Saibamen fighting Silver's soldiers and talking with one another is another highly memorable scene for me. Now, this scene doesn't have as many high points as the previous saga because the previous saga was the end of an arc - it had things that were built up to it across the first three sagas get paid off in it. This saga being a reset means such things are not possible for the most part. I had to lay the groundwork thematically, character-wise (18 new named characters were introduced in this saga!), and in terms of the location and plot all over again. While I think I was successful with this, it resulted in less "big" moments as a result. However, due to what happened in this saga, all of the big moments in the next two sagas were built up to. I won't forget that. I really love the high points of this saga, but unlike Destructivedisk, I'm not sure this is the best saga. In fact, I will place this one last out of the four I have anthologized so far. That isn't to say I hate it. It just does the job of the opening saga without getting a chance to get to too many big, cool moments yet. I don't think there's a wide gap between the best and worst TF saga. These differences are so small, they are barely even worth distinguishing or stating here. But I do know at least one user wants to see these rankings, so I will do that. Now, I don't know if Reunion Saga will rank below this one; Fulfillment Saga will almost certainly not. So this could end up being the lowest ranked TF saga by me. And even then, I love it. It has a lot that is compelling about it to me, so that just shows, in my opinion, how good this story is overall.
<---- Part 29.4
Part 29.6 ---->