So begins my commentary on Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten. My opening monologue for this saga will recount the basic history of TF from start to the first publishing of the Prince Vegeta Saga on this wiki, so bear with me, it's going to be very long. I put off anthologizing this story for a number of reasons - not least of which being its length. This is a very long story. It took me four years to write, re-write, polish, and make it into what it is today. But there's another reason I've put off anthologizing this story until it felt just right - the pressure. This is the story I'm most known for on this wiki; it was my first published fan fiction on the internet; it was the reason I joined this site. It's been read and reviewed probably more than any other story on this site. For that I am thankful. I've written 51 stories (as of doing this commentary; that number will certainly be higher by the time you read this), but this is the single story that sticks out to me. If I could only have one story, TF would be it. So I want this commentary to reflect that and be as good as it can be.
Now a little backstory on how and why this story was conceptualized and made. It was the early months of 2010. I was living with my grandmother in (near) San Francisco, California. This was because my mother was very ill at the time - we later learned it was terminal cancer - and I was doing school online. I was very isolated during these months. I played tennis with my dad and brother sometimes, walked my dog through the busy streets of town, but otherwise I had little contact with people. I didn't have any friends, aside from a very select few I spoke to online. I would stay in my room most of the days playing video games. It was during this time that I began watching Dragon Ball Z from start to finish (no, I didn't watch Dragon Ball all the way through until after I joined this wiki several months later, and as of writing this commentary, I still haven't seen GT in its entirety). I had watched parts of Dragon Ball Z when I had been much younger on Cartoon Network (I think). I saw a lot of the Saiyan arc, much of the Frieza Sagas, and quite a bit of the early Buu Sagas. I don't have memory of watching Kid Buu or the Androids/Cell arcs when I was little. My older brother had been into DBZ when I was younger, and I remember having a poster of Future Trunks charging at Mecha Frieza (whose scared reflection could be seen gleaming off the sword itself). I would mainly watch DBZ on an old hanging TV in my family's workout room as I exercised, usually watching the episodes in the very early days of On Demand. This was all when I was 11 or 12, but I don't remember exactly. Anyway, when I was staying at my grandmother's house (several years later), I got pangs of nostalgia and wished to re-visit DBZ. So I watched through the entire series whilst playing video games. I was mostly boosting Gears of War's notorious Seriously 2.0 during the time. What I did, if I remember correctly, is watch through all of the arcs one after another, and then watch all of the Dragon Ball movies. As I watched through the arcs, I realized how much I liked the series. It was one of my favorite shows, not just because of the actual story or characters, but because of the universe itself. The Dragon Ball universe, I believe, is one of the most open universes possible. You can create a character pretty much however you want. There are less restrictions in the DB universe than pretty much anywhere else, and you can make a character as strong or weak as your imagination allows. Keeping this in mind, I didn't actually get any fan fiction notions as I watched the series. I wasn't a fan fiction author by nature at this point (I had written a few paragraphs of a LOTR fanon when I had been around 10, and a few other short, unmemorable beginnings of stories that I barely remember as well), so I wasn't watching the series thinking "how can I write a story in this universe?". It was merely the openness of the universe, the possibilities presented that put this question inside of me when I got to the Bardock special.
I don't exactly remember when I watched this special. I think I watched it before I had finished the series and gone onto the movies because I remember having fanon thoughts in relation to this story as I watched the Buu Arcs. Anyway, after I watched the Bardock Special, the thing that stuck out to me was how cool early Saiyan history was. Kid Vegeta was ridiculously cool. Even though he was only in the story for a short while, I thought he was the greatest character the series had ever produced. Him going on missions for Frieza, being a child prodigy, the Saiyan-PTO relationship and dynamic... it was all so cool. Even Bardock and the others were great characters. It was a darker story, one that focused more heavily on themes, symbolism, and plot than DBZ itself. That was the moment I realized I wanted to tell a story about it. There was such sparse information on that time period - as I looked it all up online and found very little - that I felt confident that I could create a story about it without disrupting what already existed. From a very early point, I wanted to follow canon. This is just a part of my personality, I guess. I'm more interested in things that could actually have happened then those that couldn't. I want to watch DBZ and think, in my mind, that my story could be going on out there in space as Cell and Gohan are fighting, that my characters could be in the universe, living, talking, fighting. If I broke canon, there was no such possibility, and thus, there was no point. I make fanons because I love the Dragon Ball universe. That is why I follow canon; I want to write about the Dragon Ball universe. Now, at the earliest stages I didn't have a canon list or really an idea of what could or could not be canon. I just knew I wanted to follow what happened in the Bardock Special.
In very early 2010 (I'm guessing February or March, but there's no way for me to confirm that date), I began crafting my character. At first, it was just a character I wrote up on an email to myself on my grandmother's computer. I knew he would be a Saiyan because Saiyans are cool, of course. If you don't make a Saiyan at some point, I don't know why you care about this universe. He didn't have a name at the time. He was going to survive the Genocide of the Saiyans by being off-planet at the time. I knew from the earliest moment that he would somehow be knocked unconscious in space and drift into Cooler's territory. When I saw the Cooler movie (Movie 5 I believe), I thought he was even cooler than Frieza and thus it would be more interesting to have my character in his territory. My Saiyan was an adult at the time. He drifted to a place called Planet Cooler 92 which was an inhospitable planet in its earliest stages. The PTO outpost was on a moon orbiting the planet and was basically just a training facility. There, my Saiyan trained until he reached SS4, then he learned news of the Saiyans on Earth and set out to them with 10 Appule soldiers and 10 Cui soldiers because those were my favorite PTO alien races. Once he got to Earth, my Saiyan then fought the Z Fighters as an antagonist. I never thought up the outcome of the fight at the time, but I knew afterwards, my Saiyan would use the Dragon Balls for a wish (which also wasn't decided upon). That was the extent of my story in about February. It was basically a character template like what is used on the Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten (on one page) character section. I also had created characters for other universes like Gears of War in the same email to myself, but there was only the one DB character.
I don't remember exactly when I came up with the name for my story or created the works document for it. It was sometime in April that the document itself was created, but I must have thought up the name slightly before then. By this point, I had finished watching through DBZ and many of its movies and was prepared to write a story about the universe. I wanted my Saiyan to be a forgotten member of the race, easily allowing him to exist and yet not be mentioned in the series (continuity matters greatly to me). So that was why I named it "The Forgotten" I think. Anyway, I created the page called "SKELETON DESIGN FOR DBZ TF". I vividly remember starting the page (which currently is 205,952 words long and 479 pages and growing - as it includes stuff like CV and TLS on it now) by making a list for the character names. I knew about the Saiyan pun for vegetables so I scoured the lists of vegetables for names I could use. The first thing I wrote down was a list of vegetable puns for my Saiyan. I eventually settled on using lettuce because my middle name is Lee and this meant I could create Ledas (pronounced lee-dahs). I immediately created his father's name to also be a vegetable based off of a vegetable starting with L. Then I listed some canon characters who would appear like King and Prince Vegeta and Nappa. That was it, at first. There were only originally two fanon characters in the first saga.
I was expanding the story at this point so that, in the first saga, I could show how Ledas grows up and gets estranged from his planet and gets into Cooler's territory. I wanted him to be a training partner with Prince Vegeta because I'm a fanboy. Prince Vegeta as a kid is my favorite character, so by having my own character train with him, it allows me to interact with my favorite character. While I am a lot like Ledas in some regards, he is no the character I am most like out of everyone in TF (but more on that whenever I get around to it in upcoming commentary). Anyway, I also knew the second saga would be Ledas in Cooler's territory which meant I needed to come up with some alien names. I based them all on fruits and created them without backstory or any idea of what they would portray. This was Guva, Banas, Aprido, Meloon, Lieme, and Payar. I don't think there were any names I didn't use. At this time I was still going to have Ledas age normally and be an adult when he reached Earth. This only changed after I wrote the first few opening scenes with Ledas in the Prince Vegeta Saga. I realized that writing for a kid Saiyan is immensely more enjoyable than writing for adult Saiyans. So I devised Lauto, who originally was a mysterious wizard and presence who bestowed Ledas with eternal youth.
At this point I was then able to develop the Planet Earth Saga. I created a few children, Ryori, his sister, and a few others who would be Ledas' Earth friends. On Earth, Ledas would struggle with being a Saiyan living in a non-warrior society, which is already a radical departure from my early idea of Ledas coming to Earth as a villain merely to fight the Z Fighters. I then came up with the fourth saga which is known as the "Kyokatshi Saga". This notorious saga was the bane of my existence for a while, but more on that in a bit.
So at this time, I was beginning to write the story itself in drama format - basically how it looks now. As mentioned before, I was not a writer at this time and had little experience with fan fiction or story-making. The document was called "SKELETON DESIGN" for a reason. I was going to use the drama format as a skeleton design for a manga version of the story I would then draw. I drew pictures of Ledas, which started off awful and became okay, giving me a clear idea of what he looks like. But I'm very lazy when it comes to drawing. It takes a lot of motivation for me to draw, a long time to draw even one picture, and I'm not very good, so it's rather discouraging. I still haven't abandoned the manga as of writing this, but I haven't drawn very much since the early days of TF. I produced dozens of pictures, some of which I may eventually upload, even as terrible as they are. It was mostly just pictures of Ledas and the other characters I could visualize. I couldn't do fight scenes or anything really interesting though.
So I went on with the drama format, writing out scenes. I did this in an unorthodox way at first. I would write a scene from the Prince Vegeta Saga, then skip to a scene from the Lauto Saga, then maybe skip to a scene in the Planet Earth Saga, and then go back to the Lauto Saga, and so on. I didn't write a saga start to finish. I was too excited. I mostly wrote random impulses at first, forming the plot around little scenes that I came up with on the spot and thought were cool. These were written in different colors to differentiate the sagas they would be in, which is something that persisted to this site. That is why the Prince Vegeta Saga's text is green and all the others have colors as well. I don't know what made me write like this, but I'm glad it turned out like that because it gave TF one of its most defining features. Also, at first, the chapters didn't have names. They were no chapters, even. It was all just scene after scene. Now many of these scenes were deleted, such as one where Ledas brought his Earth friends to Planet Cooler 92 to show them what his life had been like (Guva and the others were still there, alive). Another was Detective Ishida interrogating Aka about Ledas and his potential alien origins - now you may be asking who the hell are Detective Ishida and Aka? You would be right to question that because they are two deleted characters. They were originally part of the fourth saga, the "Kyokatshi Saga", which began after Ledas killed Mr. Kyokatoshi (who was then known as Mr. Kyokatshi). At the time of creating it, I had begun watching Death Note, and this saga was going to be a thriller detective saga inspired by that. I only wrote maybe two or three scenes about it in my document before abandoning the saga shortly after joining this wiki in September 2010. I spent too much time trying to get that saga to work, but no matter how hard I tried, it just didn't fit in with the rest of TF, so I eventually abandoned it altogether and deleted most of the characters who were related to it. You can see more about those characters here, as I don't expect to talk about them too much more in any of these saga openings. Cardinal and his crew were originally supposed to be major players in the Kyokatshi Saga (and their plot in the Planet Earth Saga shows remnants of where I was going to take them in the KS), but I repurposed them after deleting the KS into what they are today.
Anyway, I would write little scenes, and I had my characters, and I created the fifth saga then. That was the Reunion Saga, which would be the last one. I decided then that it would be when Ledas confronted and fought the Z Fighters, though I didn't have any idea really of how to make that happen at the time. I didn't write any scenes from this saga before joining the wiki.
Okay, so I join the wiki in September 2010, finding a link to it on the Dragon Ball Wiki itself. This is basically 5 months after I seriously started this story, and I had quite a few scenes already written, though they were jumbled together. I joined the wiki, and pretty much the first thing I did was come up with a canon list. I read a lot about DBZ in the weeks leading up to me joining the wiki in September 2010, and became more aware of the specifics of canon at that time. I calculated a list of the movies that could have taken place and those which could not have, and this list is pretty much unchanged to this day - though with new movies and media added to it, of course. The only real major non-canon thing about it was GT, as nothing else particularly affected TF. Remember, in the original TF, Ledas acquired SS4, which does not happen in TF anymore.
Another thing that developed during this time was my desire to show Ledas' growth of power and character with more skill than I had previously intended. I was originally going to give Ledas SS4 immediately through training (sounds like most of the fan fictions on this site, right?) but thought better of that as I began writing scenes and reading negative reviews of DBZ online. I wanted to fix what DBZ had failed at - plot, character growth, power consistency. That meant making each of Ledas' ss transformations a special moment in the story. By this point, he was still getting at least SS3 by the Reunion Saga.
So I joined the wiki, made my blog, made my page, became an overnight hit. I was very surprised and overjoyed by the reaction TF got at first, as I began posting chapters. I didn't expect it to be so much better than the majority of stories on the site. Bear in mind, this was the earliest posting of TF, which doesn't exist anymore. I have edited the story several times, sometimes in very major ways, to make it as good as possible. I think the old TF wasn't nearly as good as it is now, but even then it gained a huge following and was a leading reason I even became admin here. People were awe-inspired by my story, which I didn't really get. This was mainly because I had little exposure to other fan fictions and their quality. I came into the wiki thinking that every story was book-quality, that each writer had spent weeks or months researching the universe like I had. Most hadn't, so I think the effort I put in certainly separated me from the pack. The plot isn't half bad either, imo :P.
A major consequence of me joining the wiki was to get a more structured idea of TF. I came up with chapter names for the first time, was able to see the breaks in sagas, and so I was able to then map out the arcs of each saga and come up with their plots. I never wrote the plots down. I had them in my head and wrote. The plots didn't just come to me though. They took days, sometimes weeks of brainstorming to become fully realized. Even then, the first draft of TF was revised heavily over the four years after it was posted on this wiki.
Now onto the Prince Vegeta Saga specifically. This was the first saga so I worked on it first. It's pretty straightforward. Ledas becomes the training partner of Prince Vegeta, and they become friends and get stronger until their planet explodes and they are separated. That was the original idea, inspired by the Bardock Special. It is rather faithfully adhered to in the actual written saga. What I added, though, was some politics with King Vegeta, Layeeck, and Frieza. I thought since my character was so young, he couldn't drive the plot, and the adults still needed to do that. Ledas is pretty much a pawn in this saga, but most of the people controlling him are well-intentioned, so he doesn't mind. Aside from that, I wanted to show some cool alien worlds, Saiyan culture, and younger canon characters. It was all so straightforward and grand at first. I began posting the saga a little more than a week after joining the wiki on October 8, 2010. I didn't even originally post chapter names with my first posting of the prologue until a few hours later. At first, I also apologized for the format I was using, as I didn't think people would like reading anything other than prose; as it turned out, many preferred the way I did it. I continued to post chapters over the coming days, writing at a rather rapid pace. After the first chapter, they were all posted with chapter names, which helped me focus the plot.
Soon after I joined the wiki, I was playing a Halo game; I don't remember which. I had written three or four PVS chapters. And suddenly, as if I had been struck by lightning, a thought popped into my head - what if I created an alien fanon villain? Within moments, The Benefactor was born. I knew he'd be hooded, mysterious, threatening, a member of Frieza's force. As soon as I created him, I was very excited, for it made me feel like TF had found more of a direction to it; The Benefactor could be the villain in the final saga, after all! In retrospect, his character was probably the worst aspect of the original draft of this saga, but the way I handled him is also an interesting example of me using subtlety and foreshadowing in my early writing. I'll discuss this more in the chapter endnotes below, but basically the early TB was cool in that he wasn't the spotlight of the saga, but his dialogue was awful.
I don't have much memory of actually writing this saga, though I do have memories of writing most of the others, which is weird. I would have written these chapters on my works document on an old computer that barely was able to even go online. Those were the good old days. I remember writing while talking to Destructivedisk on chat with the Lauto Saga, and I think I may have done that with this saga too.
So I finished this saga on November 5, 2010 (for the first time), a little less than a month after starting it. One thing about the saga was that it contained quite a few typos at first - probably not that many considering how many words it was, but enough to make me irritated. Granted, most writers have editors that pick up these kinds of things, but I wasn't even aware of the typos until another user pointed them out to me at a later date. Then I specifically set out to remove all of the typos I could find. But with how long this story is, there's no way even now I can for sure get rid of all of those. But that's fine, I guess. Once the saga was done, I added a section called "Flashbacks" at the bottom featuring flashbacks to this saga which would be used in future sagas. I eventually deleted that and just placed the flashbacks (of which, I think only one survives to this day in the Lauto Saga) in the sagas they appear in. I also had quotes from one character at the top of each chapter, which is interesting. I don't remember why I did that - maybe I was emulating what I saw on Dragon Ball Wiki - but regardless that didn't persist into the final version of this saga.
Over the years since I originally finished this saga, I've returned to it, cleaned it up, added in scenes, deleted or changed other scenes. I think this saga had very few changes to it though, compared to the other sagas. Basically all I've changed since the first posting of this story is I added in scenes with Ledas' grandfather, Lascon, modified a few Benefactor scenes, and changed the ending (from The Benefactor being executed by Zarbon to being executed by Frieza and then escaping). I also added in a scene with Prince Vegeta and Ledas fighting some other Saiyan children. There may be a few other minor additions or subtractions to the saga, such as dialogue retooling and whatnot, but nothing too major was changed in this saga aside from how the ending was worked out in the final draft. I did the final draft for this saga much earlier than I did for the other sagas, as I knew that I didn't want to change much and that I needed to change a lot for Lauto Saga (thus the work involved in that made me procrastinate from doing it). I did most of the final edits for this saga a year or more before starting final edits on the Lauto Saga. So for me, this saga's final edits are far removed from those of the other sagas; it's harder for me to remember exactly what I did to this saga in final edits because I did them so much earlier than in the other sagas.
I added the theme song(s) for this saga only after completing the first five chapters (and doing a little work on chapter six). Originally, there were two themes - Dragon Rider and Freefall. I think both capture the frenetic, youthful energy of the Prince Vegeta Saga. I eventually removed Freefall as being a theme, as I wanted each saga to have a single theme song. I found these songs long before I had chosen them for the themes of this saga (as I didn't realize that each saga should have a theme until I got to the sixth chapter). Indeed, it was the songs of Two Steps From Hell that I listened to while writing early scenes of this story before I joined the Dragon Ball Fanon Wiki. Freefall was removed because I don't think it's as good as Dragon Rider; it's also not as optimistic-sounding. For what it's worth, Freefall is the song I think of when reading the the "Snow Day" flashback chapter in the Reunion Saga, but I will discuss that more in my commentary of that chapter. Dragon Rider is one of the all-time greatest Two Steps From Hell songs. It's in the top five, if not the top three. It's an amazing song, and I think it very much captures the tone of this saga. It has a wildly optimistic sound to it, one that just bursts out like the power of Prince Vegeta and Ledas as they come into their own. This optimism is of course slightly ironic in a few ways, since their optimism is cut short by Frieza at the end of the saga, and the basis for all of their optimism - going on missions for the tyrant - results in them killing trillions of poor aliens. I think Dragon Rider is the most "accurate" theme song for any saga; it is the one which goes the best with saga it is thematically representing. I imagine it playing in chapter six when Prince Vegeta and Ledas are fighting on the alien world. It also works with any of the alien planets they fight on and any of the training they would do. If TF ever gets an anime (unlikely as hell, I know), this would be the trailer song for saga 1. I already have the trailer mapped out in my head with how it would go in relation to this song.
The above picture is the tagline for this saga. I created most of TF's taglines in early 2014, and finished them by January 26, 2015. I made them on cooltext and posted them on this wiki on September 15, 2015 (the last thing, as of writing this anthology, that I ever did for TF). The tagline for PVS is simply about Ledas and Prince Vegeta and "looking back" at the good times they had together before tragedy and time-and-space rip them apart for the better part of four sagas. The was one of the hardest taglines for me to come up with (it took me about six months to create, with only the Reunion Saga's tagline taking as long as that), simply because PVS is a more diverse saga than most of the others, and Ledas isn't as major a character in it as he is in later sagas. So it was difficult to come up with an overall tagline for him. But I'm satisfied with how the tagline turned out.
Overall, this saga most apparently captures the enthusiasm I had for the Dragon Ball universe after watching through it in its entirety in early 2010. I hope it comes through in the writing. For me, this saga holds a special place in my heart, as it it's really the first fanon I've done in a published capacity - something others could view. I really enjoyed writing for Kid Vegeta and Ledas together and it sucked that it could only be for one saga (though I did do some flashbacks in subsequent sagas to remedy this!). What I find interesting though is that this, as my first saga, had relatively few changes to it throughout the years, while future sagas, which I worked on when I was supposed to be a better writer with more experience, needed much more extensive editing and rewrites done to them to make them as good as possible. That Prince Vegeta Saga didn't need nearly as much editing just adds more charm to it; it's my first story and it's largely remained the same through the years.
When I was four years old,
my brother took me to the store.
Needless to say, it didn't take long
for me to fall down and cut my head
on one of the metal racks.
<SCREEN IS BLACK, WITH VOICES TALKING>
King Vegeta: <IN A WHISPER> Yes… you can have it. The whole planet. I will not stop you.
Frieza: A wise choice.
<TWO HEADS COME OUT OF THE DARK; OBVIOUSLY, THEY ARE FRIEZA AND KING VEGETA’S, LOOKING AT ONE ANOTHER>
Frieza: I will spare your race, Vegeta. The Saiyans will be a necessary asset to my empire.
King Vegeta: T-t-thank… you.
Frieza: You must work for me. Use your strength to conquer other planets, in my name, so that I, the Great Frieza, can rule over this galaxy.
King Vegeta: Whatever you wish…<LONG PAUSE> my lord.
Frieza: Good. That attitude will keep you alive for a long time, Vegeta. But it can be so easily reversed. Don’t forget that, my good Saiyan.
King Vegeta: No, I-I-I would never go against you, Lord Frieza. I swear!
<FRIEZA SMILES; FADE AWAY>
<KING VEGETA’S PALACE>
<KING VEGETA IS SHOWN, WALKING DOWN A HALLWAY; IT IS DARK AND DESERTED; KING VEGETA TURNS A CORNER; HE APPROACHES ANOTHER SAIYAN, WHO IS STANDING, WAITING>
King Vegeta: Layeeck, my friend, how are you?
Layeeck: My King. <KNEELS> You wouldn’t believe the week I had.
King Vegeta: I can imagine. A new child is always hard to get used to.
Layeeck: Ledas is growing so fast. I don’t mean in just the normal way… but his powers too. I hate to admit it, but he’s wearing me out. I don’t know how much longer I can keep up with him like this!
King Vegeta: Heh. I know what you mean. Little Vegeta is quite a handful.
Layeeck: You have started training him, milord?
King Vegeta: Yes, I have. And from what I’ve seen, there is no doubt he will honor my bloodline when he comes of age. <BOTH START WALKING> Have you started your training yet?
Layeeck: <LAUGHS> My son is only three years old.
King Vegeta: Vegeta’s only four. But his power level is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Layeeck: What is his power level?
King Vegeta: Our last reading was at slightly over 1400. I am proud to say he’s growing into his royalty quite well.
Layeeck: <IN HIS MIND> 1400?! Unbelievable!
King Vegeta: I wonder… have you read your son’s power level recently?
Layeeck: You probably won’t believe me… he’s at 1200.
King Vegeta: <STOPS WALKING, NEXT TO A FULL-WALLED WINDOW> Are you joking?
Layeeck: Nope. <SHAKES HIS HEAD> I guess both our sons were born with this raw ability.
King Vegeta: <STARING OUT OF THE WINDOW> You know, I’ve been looking for a training partner for Vegeta. If what you say is true, Ledas would be perfect for that.
Layeeck: What? Do you really mean that?
King Vegeta: You are one of my most trusted soldiers and one of my greatest friends, Layeeck. It makes sense, given the similarities that our sons would train together.
Layeeck: Yes, milord. <BOWS AND NODS> But if you would allow it, my king, I would like some time to at least teach my son the basics. I don’t want him to start without any foundation.
King Vegeta: <NODS> Yes, I was thinking it would be better in a few months anyways. By that time, Vegeta will be five… and I presume Ledas will be four?
Layeeck: Yes. That should be enough time. I will get right on it. <BOWS, TAKING LEAVE; WALKS AWAY FROM KING VEGETA, BACK TURNED> Forgive me sire… but I must ask you something… from one friend to another.
King Vegeta: <NOT MOVING, STILL STARING OUT THE WINDOW> I’m listening.
Layeeck: <TURNING BACK AROUND> I have heard whispers. Plans involving you… and Lord Frieza, in some hatched scheme I can barely comprehend. Please tell me they aren’t true.
King Vegeta: <STILL NOT MOVING> Layeeck! Do not speak of such things in my presence!
Layeeck: <CONFUSED> I–
<KING VEGETA RAISES HIS HAND, STOPPING LAYEECK’S SPEECH>
King Vegeta: Lord Frieza and I are on the best of terms. We serve him loyally. I will lead no rebellion.
Layeeck: <HOARSELY> Then… your son… he… do you think he will fulfill the prophecy? Become a Super Saiyan? Take on Lord Fri–
King Vegeta: <CHUCKLES> Would you believe a few rumors over what I have said? I have no idea where you got that from. I want my son to have a decent training partner. Unless you would rather I find him another?
Layeeck: <BOWS HEAD> No, I wouldn’t…
King Vegeta: <TURNING, WALKING UP TO LAYEECK, GRASPS HIS SHOULDERS> Come now my friend, we have talked long. Let us not think too heavily into what could happen. Let us instead focus on what we will make happen. Besides, if we continue much longer, you will be late for your duties. The captain of my guard should set an example.
Layeeck: <STILL TROUBLED; NERVOUSLY LAUGHS> Yeah, you’re right. I’ll get going.
<BOTH PART WAYS, LAYEECK WALKING BACK ONE WAY AND KING VEGETA THE OTHER>
- The opening poem about me falling and cutting my head was inspired by the Death Note manga volumes where both the author and artist would put little notes like mine at the start of each volume. Sometimes they were related to Death Note, but more often than not, they were fragments of memory or something the authors noticed about the world. I thought that was cool so I did the same with TF. This inspired many imitators across the wiki, though in the case of Destructivedisk he was mostly satirizing what I was doing. The poem was originally much longer than it ended up, but I eventually shortened it to six lines and it has been that way ever since March 12, 2011. As for the actual memory, it is a true one, and I have a permanent scar across my forehead to this day from that incident. Why did I choose it? I thought it was just a cool little memory; it was the first thing that came to mind. It was fun to talk about a bloody and perhaps traumatic event so matter-of-factly.
- This chapter has a very generic name. I came up with it when I first joined the wiki and didn't put much effort into it. When I went back to change a few chapter names a few years after writing this saga's original draft, I considered changing this chapter's name to something more interesting but refrained from doing so, as I thought it had the charm of early KidVegeta in it. It was simple, straightforward, just like much of this saga.
- This was not the first thing I wrote for this saga, but it was the first chapter I posted.
- I have storyboarded all of the Frieza/King Vegeta scene into manga form and have also done much of the King Vegeta/Layeeck scene as well.
- This is the shortest chapter in The Forgotten.
- This is the only chapter of TF that Ledas is not in.
- The opening scene is an excellent example of me using foreshadowing to start the story. King Vegeta bows down to Frieza, but there is a ton of tension. He doesn't want to. He ends the scene by saying he will never rebel, but as we all know, he does rebel. The consequences of that rebellion are far reaching - the near-destruction of the Saiyan race, Ledas and Vegeta getting separated, the ending of the saga, and the impetus for the rest of this story. So from the very beginning of the saga, I thought it was important to highlight that.
- This is the only saga that doesn't open with the standard three lines of "planet the scene opens on, date, more detailed location". These three lines start out the second scene of the first chapter, and they open every other saga.
- King Vegeta's first lines to Layeeck are the closing words of Dragon Ball: The Great War.
- In my storyboard of the Layeeck and King Vegeta scene, I had King Vegeta think back to his son being a handful, which places Prince Vegeta in this chapter. Layeeck could potentially do the same thing to bring Ledas into this chapter, but I didn't draw it that way.
- I remember spending a lot of time trying to come up with how strong the young Vegeta and Ledas should be. Vegeta would obviously be stronger than Ledas because he's a year older and I respect canon characters. It's also clear from this early chapter that I don't want to overpower my characters, as I have Ledas and Vegeta be weaker than Raditz, and that's still a big deal to their parents.
- As revealed in this chapter, Prince Vegeta and Ledas are "set" to become training partners because Ledas is the only boy born with a power level high enough to train with Vegeta. This is a bit forced for my character - some may call it Stuish even - but every character has to have at least one distinctive quality about them. Ledas wouldn't have this story if he wasn't as strong as he was. Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw like that. And plus, there would be no other way to have Prince Vegeta be his training partner otherwise. Vegeta wouldn't take a weak Saiyan as his partner. Ledas is highborn, so it makes more sense anyway that someone like him would be born with a pretty high power level. But it does beg the question as to who King Vegeta confided in and who then leaked that information into the royal palace. My guess would be Nappa, as King Vegeta doesn't trust him with information in the remaining chapters, which is weird, considering Nappa is the general of the entire Saiyan army.
- King Vegeta's and Layeeck's friendship is only hinted at in this story, but I decided to show its origins in The Great War.
- Layeeck hearing whispers about King Vegeta wanting to lead a rebellion shows that the king doesn't trust Frieza even this early in the story.
- Layeeck also brings up Prince Vegeta becoming a Super Saiyan to kill Frieza. This is a huge motivation for King Vegeta to pair his son with Ledas, as he wants his son to get the best training possible to raise his power level as high as possible, thus unlocking his Super Saiyan form. It also introduces the Super Saiyan concept as early as the first chapter, which becomes a large plot point in different ways throughout TF. In this saga, Prince Vegeta tells Ledas about the legend and swears that both of them will become Super Saiyans, which influences how Ledas sees himself.
- I don't believe I mentioned Layeeck was King Vegeta's captain of the guard until the final version of this saga.
Lest I Forget…
<POD TAKEOFF AREA>
<FLATLINE SHOT OF THE LANDING PAD AREA FOR SPACE PODS; IT IS EVENING, AND THE SUN IS SETTING; THE SKY IS A DARK ORANGE>
<LAYEECK AND HIS SQUAD APPROACH THEIR PODS; A FEW LESSER RACES (SUCH AS APPULES) SCURRY ABOUT READYING THEIR PODS; A SMALL FIGURE COMES RACING AFTER THEM>
Ledas: <COMES RUNNING TO THE LAUNCH AREA> Dad! Dad!
<LEDAS IS A SHORT BOY, BEING ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD; HE HAS WILD, SEMI-SPIKY, TALL HAIR AND LARGE EYES; HIS TAIL IS NOT WRAPPED AROUND HIS WAIST; HE IS NOT WEARING ANY ARMOR, JUST A NICE SET OF CRIMSON, UPPER-CLASS CLOTHES>
Saiyan 1: Hey Layeeck, isn’t that your kid?
Layeeck: <SOMEWHAT DISTRACTED, TURNING AROUND> Huh… what was that?
Ledas: <RUNS UP TO LAYEECK> Dad! Can I come with you, dad?
Saiyan 2: Yeah, dad. Whaddya think? <LAUGHS>
Layeeck: Ledas?! What are you doing here?
Ledas: I wanna go with you!
Layeeck: Son… <KNEELS, NEXT TO LEDAS, PUTS HIS ARM ON LEDAS’ SHOULDER> Do you even know where I’m going?
Ledas: <LOOKING DOWN> Well… no.
<LAYEECK GLANCES AT THE OTHER SAIYANS IN HIS SQUAD, THEY ARE ALL LAUGHING>
Layeeck: <IN HEAD> Well, I am supposed to train him soon… <OUT LOUD> Sure, Ledas. You can come. <THE OTHER SAIYANS STOP LAUGHING> Come on, let’s go. <TURNS HIS HEAD> You! <GRABS THE SHIRT OF A NEARBY WORKER AND SHOVES HIM FORWARD> Get my son a new pod ready, and some armor too. Now.
Pod Worker: Yes sir! <RUNS OFF>
Layeeck: Now, son, if you come with us, you must promise to do whatever I tell you… even if it seems weird, or stupid.
Ledas: <LEDAS’ POD IS READY, HE JUMPS IN IT> <SMILES> Okay dad.
Layeeck: Good… <TO OTHER SAIYANS> Look… I don’t want another scene like last time. Especially in front of my kid.
Saiyan 1: Come on, Layeeck. It was just a little fun!
Layeeck: Then, next time, it will be you explaining why a perfectly good planet was wasted. All because you couldn’t control yourself. And I doubt King Vegeta’ll show mercy this time. Let’s go.
<LAYEECK GETS INTO HIS OWN POD; LAYEECK AND HIS ENTIRE TEAM LEAVE FOR THEIR DESTINATION>
<ALL PODS LAND ON A PLANET, IT IS MOUNTAINOUS AND SNOWY, YET SUNNY AND BRIGHT OUT; THE GROUP GET OUT OF THEIR PODS AND FORM UP>
Layeeck: Ledas! What did I tell you on our way over?
Ledas: Right… keep my fists up… don’t underestimate my opponent… and…
Layeeck: <REACHES FOR SOMETHING> And, don’t forget your scouter. <LAYEECK THROWS LEDAS A NEW SCOUTER> This device will show you where your enemy is at all times. Lose it, and you become blind to their movements.
Ledas: <LOOKING IT OVER> Wow… thanks dad!
Layeeck: Now, use your scouter to find the inhabitants.
<LEDAS PUTS THE SCOUTER ON, LOOKS AROUND, BUT NOTHING HAPPENS>
Layeeck: Heh… you need to turn it on first. Here, it’s the button on the top.
<A SAIYAN ELITE BEHIND THEM RAISES HIS HEAD AND GROANS; LAYEECK GIVES HIM A QUICK GLANCE, TELLING HIM TO BE QUIET>
<LEDAS PRESSES THE BUTTON ON HIS SCOUTER; STRANGE CHARACTERS FLASH ACROSS THE SCREEN>
Ledas: <LOOKING> There! Whoa, there’s a lot of them.
Layeeck: Yes, <TO HIS TEAM; LOW VOICE> it’ll only be a few more minutes. <TO LEDAS> Follow me, son. And remember your promise.
<ALL FLY TO ONE OF THE CITIES, THEY ARE STANDING ON A CLIFF LOOKING DOWN ONTO IT>
Saiyan 1: <CROUCHING, LOOKING UP TO THE SKY> Full moon won’t be here for two days, Layeeck.
Layeeck: <IGNORES HIM; TO LEDAS> Now get ready, we’re going to take out that city.
Saiyan 2: We…?
Layeeck: You stay back. I’m teaching today. <RISING INTO THE AIR> Just my son and me for this one.
<THE SAIYANS ALL SIT DOWN AND WATCH; LAYEECK AND LEDAS FLY OVER TO THE CITY>
Layeeck: <NODS TO LEDAS> Remember, son, even though they are weak, any one of these creatures could kill you if you lose concentration. Do not underestimate them. <CREATES A BALL OF ENERGY> You remember how we worked on concentration? How, if you concentrate your energy into a single, focused point, you can release it as a beam? Like this… <LAYEECK SHOOTS THE BALL OF ENERGY, DETONATING A NEARBY BUILDING; THE NATIVE ALIENS SCREAM AND RUN ABOUT, SOME ARE ON FIRE>
Ledas: Yeah… a little.
Layeeck: <CROSSES HIS ARMS> Show me.
Ledas: <GATHERING UP ENERGY> AHHHHHHH!!!!! <HE SHOOTS OF A BEAM OF ENERGY, CREATING A HUGE EXPLOSION; BODIES FLY EVERYWHERE, THERE IS A GENERAL PANIC; THERE IS NO RESISTANCE>
Layeeck: <EYES WIDE> Was that… all of your energy, Ledas?
Ledas: <UNCONCERNED; SMILING> No, I can do that again. Was that not very good, dad?
Layeeck: <SLOWLY, A BIT SHAKEN> No, it was fine, son. Just use all of your energy this time. Destroy the entire city.
Ledas: <CHEERFULLY> Okay! <LEDAS SHOOTS SEVERAL POWERFUL BLASTS, LIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE; BUILDINGS CRUMBLE AND PEOPLE ARE THROWN ABOUT; WITHIN A FEW SHORT MINUTES, THE AREA IS REDUCED TO A BLOOD-SOAKED CRATER>
<BEHIND, THE OTHER SAIYANS ARE STILL WATCHING>
Saiyan 1: Look at his power level!
Saiyan 2: 1200… 1300… 1400… I’ve never seen a kid with one that high.
Saiyan 3: Look at that little guy go.
Ledas: <FLIES BACK, UPSIDE DOWN> How was that, dad?
Layeeck: <SMILES, TRIES TO HIDE HIS SHOCK> That was good. It looks like you are going to grow up to be as strong as me. <HE NOTICES LEDAS IS UPSIDE DOWN> As long as you stop flying upside down.
Ledas: <HONESTLY> Oh, sorry. <HE RIGHTS HIMSELF>
<BOTH RETURN, LAYEECK IS STILL SHAKEN>
Saiyan 2: You nearly done teaching? I want to kill me some aliens.
Layeeck: Yeah, we’re done. Let’s finish up and get out of here. <PUSHES A BUTTON ON HIS SCOUTER> There’s a large concentration of them over there. <POINTS EAST> Probably another city.
Ledas: But… is that all I get to do?
Layeeck: <HAND ON LEDAS’ HAIR> There’ll be more next time, Ledas.
Ledas: But dad–
Layeeck: No more back-talk. Stay back and watch how we do it. Focus and memorize our methods. We’re going to transform.
Saiyan 2: How? The full moon doesn’t get here for two more days!
Layeeck: The king showed me a new technique. I no longer need to wait for the moon.
Saiyan 1: What?
Layeeck: I can make one myself.
Saiyan 2: An artificial moon?
Saiyan 3: That’s not possible, Layeeck.
Layeeck: <TOOTHY SMILE> Isn’t it? Just stand back and watch this. Oh, and Ledas…
Layeeck: I’m sorry, but there is no other way.
<LAYEECK SHOOTS A BEAM THAT SEVERS LEDAS’ TAIL; LEDAS FALLS TO THE GROUND, IN SHOCK; LAYEECK TURNS HIS BACK TO LEDAS, GATHERS HIS ENERGY AND THROWS THE BALL OF ENERGY INTO THE SKY; THE SAIYANS TRANSFORM, AND GO ONTO RAVAGE THE PLANET; AS THE SUN SETS, AND SMOKE RISES IN THE DISTANCE, LEDAS WATCHES, IN MIDAIR, CRYING AND BLEEDING FROM WHERE HIS TAIL SHOULD BE, WITH BLOOD RUNNING DOWN HIS LEGS>
- This chapter's name is a reference to Layeeck promising to training Ledas in the previous chapter, but forgetting to do so for over a year until this chapter.
- This chapter took me four days to write.
- When I originally wrote this chapter, I forgot to describe what Ledas looked like. I only added in a description of Ledas' appearance about a year after publishing the first draft of this chapter.
- Ledas doesn't fold his tail around his waist like other high-class Saiyans. This shows his wild, individualistic nature, and also emphasizes how young he is. He hasn't learned proper manners yet.
- Layeeck's team doesn't have much of a role outside of this chapter. If I wrote this saga today, they likely would have been at least mentioned a few more times. But they aren't too relevant to the plot, merely acting as a hint towards Layeeck's life outside of taking care of Ledas. They were based on Bardock's team.
- Cyleria was once a member of Layeeck's team, but she left the group sometime before the start of this chapter.
- Layeeck teaching Ledas how to fight is cute, but it was very difficult for me to write. I wasn't sure how much I had to mention in this chapter and how much could be left unsaid. I think, looking back at it now, I struck a good balance between the two extremes.
- The scouter Layeeck gives Ledas in this chapter remains in Ledas' possession until Payar destroys it in the next saga. It seems like such a little thing, but the scouter is an object of bonding between Ledas and his father, only subtly hinted at in this saga and brought to a head in the next.
- A theme in Ledas' training, both from his father and grandfather, is not to underestimate his opponents. I didn't want to make Ledas too arrogant (he is arrogant sometimes, but not very often), so it was necessary for him to think from an early age that even the weakest opponent could humble him in certain conditions. He was trained to not underestimate anyone. Now, Ledas is a flawed character. He doesn't always succeed in following that idea, but he follows it more often than not.
- Ledas and Layeeck's bonding in this chapter is really sweet, but it is juxtaposed against the horrors of the conquering Saiyans destroying the aliens and wrecking their lives. That was a theme I felt compelled to show throughout this saga. We get the conquerer's side of the story quite often in the Dragon Ball universe, but there is little room for sympathy for those they conquer. The aliens Ledas kills in this chapter weren't hurting anyone. They were just living their lives and then they are randomly attacked. I don't draw too much attention to it because I think the contrast between the horrors the aliens are experiencing is stark enough when compared to the moment between Ledas and his dad.
- Layeeck is in awe of his son's power in this chapter. This is the moment where he starts to become jealous of his son's powers.
- Ledas flying upside down shows his carefree personality. It also shows his immaturity.
- Layeeck's team reveals that Ledas is at least as strong as Vegeta was a year ago - though Ledas isn't showing his full power yet.
- Layeeck cuts his training of Ledas short when he realizes how strong his son is. He becomes a bit worried that he won't be able to control Ledas.
- I had fun giving Layeeck the power ball technique. It was a great move, plot-wise. This technique is very useful to Ledas later on, so showing it early here foreshadows its great importance in later chapters and sagas.
- Layeeck is forced to cut off Ledas tail because he knows he wouldn't be able to control his son's Great Ape form. He doesn't want to do it, but knows he has to. This shows how Layeeck often puts duty ahead of his own emotions. It's a sudden, brutal moment that also highlights how Saiyan culture is different from human culture.
- Ledas gets his tail cut off quite a bit, and him losing it in his first chapter starts the trend early.
- The ending line of this chapter is really sad. Ledas crying and bleeding with the sun setting is such a poignant image to me. It contrasts with the mostly easygoing and fun tone of the chapter up to this point. It highlights how quickly things change.
<LEDAS, LAYEECK, AND THE SAIYANS RETURN TO PLANET VEGETA, THE POD LANDING AREA IS BUSY, BUT THIS IS NOT ABNORMAL>
Layeeck: <GETTING OUT OF HIS POD, NOT LOOKING AT HIS SON, PODS ARE TAKING OFF ALL AROUND, MAKING LOTS OF NOISE> Ledas, go home! I’ll be back shortly. <HE WALKS OFF, SWIFTLY UP TO KING VEGETA’S PALACE IN THE DISTANCE>
Ledas: <STANDS, ARMS CROSSED, OBVIOUSLY PISSED OFF> Fine.
<LAYEECK GLANCES BACK BEFORE CONTINUING ON; LAYEECK’S TEAM CONTINUES UNLOADING THEIR PODS, AND TAKE OFF THEIR ARMOR; ONE OF THEM, A TALL FIERY SAIYAN WITH LONG HAIR SEES LEDAS>
Saiyan 1: How’d you like your first mission?
Ledas: <FROWN> It was all right.
Saiyan 1: <LOOKING OFF, PICKING UP HIS ARMOR IN HIS HAND> Your dad’s a helluva warrior, kid. You should be glad he’s teaching you.
<LEDAS DOES NOT RESPOND; HE IS FROWNING; THE OTHER SAIYANS WALK OFF; HE WALKS OFF IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION; LEDAS HAS A HARD TIME BALANCING WITHOUT HIS TAIL>
<AHEAD, LAYEECK ENTERS KING VEGETA’S CHAMBERS>
Layeeck: King Vegeta! <KNEELS>
King Vegeta: <ON HIS THRONE> Stand up Layeeck. You know you don’t need to do that. <PAUSE> What do you need?
Layeeck: <BREATHLESS> My son is ready.
King Vegeta: <STANDS UP> Where is he?
Layeeck: At home, resting.
King Vegeta: Did you train him in transformation?
Layeeck: I didn’t. He was so strong in his base form, I don’t know if he could have been controlled like that.
King Vegeta: But you used the power ball? I’m sure your squad was impressed. And your son? Did he not transform with you?
Layeeck: Yeah, I used it. But I needed Ledas to watch us, <SLOWS DOWN, AS IF NOT WANTING TO TELL THIS PART OF THE TALE> so… I had to… I had to cut off his tail.
King Vegeta: <SHAKES HIS HEAD> That won’t do. I want your son to show his powers as a whole Saiyan when he begins. Fix that before you return.
Layeeck: <SIGHS> Okay. <STARTS WALKING OUT, STOPS, TURNS BACK AROUND> Hang on… what do you mean, “he begins”? I thought they were to start training together? Isn’t my word enough for you, sire?
King Vegeta: Consider this a formality. For what it’s worth, I did believe you. <LAUGHS> It was my son who didn’t.
<CUTS TO LAYEECK’S HOUSE>
<LAYEECK WALKS THROUGH THE DOORS; THE HOUSE IS IN A TALL SKYSCRAPER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY, WITH THE HOME ITSELF BEING IN A ROOM RATHER HIGH UP, TAKING UP AN ENTIRE FLOOR OF THE BUILDING; THE HOUSE'S WALLS ARE STONE, MADE OF THE SAME MATERIAL AS THE PALACE; THERE ARE LANDING PADS OUTSIDE THAT LAYEECK AND HIS SON CAN TRAIN ON; IT IS FOGGY, AND THERE IS AN ISOLATED FEELING TO THE PLACE, SINCE IT IS SO HIGH UP AND NONE OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE OTHER HOUSES IN THE SKYSCRAPER CAN EASILY INTERACT WITH LAYEECK'S FAMILY>
Layeeck: Ledas? Where are you? We have to get–
<A SMALL CYAN BLAST HITS LAYEECK IN THE BACK, CAUSING HIM TO FALL FORWARD; LEDAS COMES THROUGH THE DUST, KICKING HIS FATHER WITH A BOOT TO THE SIDE; HE GOES FOR ANOTHER KICK; LAYEECK ROLLS OVER, GRABS HIS SON’S FOOT AND STOPS HIS ATTACK>
Layeeck: Ledas! Hey! Stop! What are you doing?!
Ledas: <FURIOUSLY TRYING TO BREAK FREE> You cut off my tail!!
Layeeck: Ledas, stop! Stop!! <LEDAS DOES NOT> Enough! <LAYEECK POWERS UP ENOUGH TO OVERPOWER LEDAS; HE THROWS HIS SON INTO THE WALL; LEDAS STOPS>
<LEDAS IS STILL WEARING HIS ARMOR, THE CHEST AND SIDE PARTS; LAYEECK PICKS UP HIS SON BY THE SHOULDER PAULDRONS AND SITS HIM DOWN ON THE BED>
Layeeck: Listen, son. I… I had to remove your tail because I couldn’t let you transform with us.
Ledas: <LOOKING AWAY> Why?
Layeeck: You’re strong. You’re very strong, Ledas. <LEDAS TURNS HIS HEAD FINALLY, LOOKING AT HIS DAD WITH WIDE EYES> I couldn’t let you transform so quickly without any training. You could have killed all of us.
Layeeck: Don’t worry, son. King Vegeta has heard of your power and he wants to train you himself – he wants you to be the training partner of the Prince. And <HE SMILES, RAISING HIS HAND; HE CREATES A POWER BALL IN IT; LEDAS’ TAIL REGROWS IN MOMENTS FROM THE BLUTZ WAVES; ONCE IT DOES, LAYEECK EXTINGUISHES THE BLAST> once you’ve been trained enough with them, I can take you back out and you can show me how strong you’ve gotten.
Ledas: <SMILING, SLIGHTLY, INNOCENTLY> Just the two of us?
Layeeck: Yes, the two of us.
<CUTS TO THE NEXT SCENE>
<LAYEECK, KING VEGETA, AND PRINCE VEGETA ARE ALL STANDING IN A SMALL ROOM, WATCHING THROUGH A WINDOW; INSIDE IS LEDAS, STANDING ALONE, IN FULL ARMOR>
Prince Vegeta: Come on, hurry up. I’m getting bored.
King Vegeta: <NODS; TO THE NEARBY TECHNICIAN> Open the doors.
<THE FAR DOOR OPENS, 3 SAIBAMEN COME IN>
Ledas: So these are Saibamen? <HE WALKS FORWARD A LITTLE, AS IF CURIOUS; HE IS NOT IN AN ATTACK STANCE>
Layeeck: Saibamen… <IN A WHISPER> What are you doing? Attack!
<THE FIRST SAIBAMAN SHOOTS A KI BLAST AT LEDAS, WHO IS CAUGHT OFF GUARD; IT HITS HIM, BUT DOES RELATIVELY LITTLE DAMAGE>
Ledas: Ow!! <ANGER SURGES>
<LEDAS SHOOTS A BLAST AT THE SAIBAMEN, IT IS INJURED, BUT NOT KILLED; THE OTHER TWO JUMP FORWARD AND ATTACK WITH PUNCHES AND KICKS; LEDAS DEFENDS AGAINST BOTH AT THE SAME TIME>
King Vegeta: Impressive.
<AFTER A SOMEWHAT BRIEF FIGHT, LEDAS HITS ONE INTO A WALL, IT IS KILLED, BLOOD RUSHING DOWN THE LEFT SIDE OF ITS HEAD; THE OTHER ATTACKS MORE VIGOROUSLY; LEDAS DISPOSES OF IT AS WELL WITH A PUNCH TO THE GUT; THE THIRD, FORGOTTEN BY LEDAS HAS BEEN CHARGING UP A KI BLAST; JUST AS LEDAS TURNS AROUND TO FACE THE MONSTER, HE IS HIT WITH IT>
Layeeck: Damn it.
<PRINCE VEGETA LOOKS UP TO KING VEGETA WITH A CURIOUS GLANCE>
<THE DUST CLEARS; THE SAIBAMAN IS THE ONLY BEING SEEN; SUDDENLY LEDAS DROPS FROM ABOVE, COMING DOWN, KICKING IT IN ITS HEAD, CRUSHING THE SKULL AND SPILLING BLOOD AND BRAIN MATTER OVER THE WALL; LEDAS’ ARMOR IS DESTROYED ON HIS RIGHT SIDE, BUT HE IS STILL STANDING>
Layeeck: <UNCONTAINABLE SMILE> Well?
King Vegeta: What do you think, my son? <PUTS HIS HAND ON PRINCE VEGETA’S SHOULDER> Was he good enough for you?
Prince Vegeta: <LOOKS AWAY> Whatever.
King Vegeta: <TO SAIYAN TECHNICIAN> Bring him in.
<PRINCE VEGETA, ALMOST UNNOTICEABLY, WALKS BACKWARD A PACE>
<LEDAS ENTERS, WALKING CAREFULLY>
King Vegeta: <WALKS UP TO LEDAS> Bravo, young warrior.
Ledas: Sire! <BOWS HIS HEAD AND KNEELS>
King Vegeta: Has your father told you why you are here?
Ledas: <LOOKING DOWN> Yes, sire.
King Vegeta: And he has made it clear how difficult this will be?
Ledas: Um, I don’t know.
King Vegeta: <MOTIONS TO THE SLINKING AWAY PRINCE> Vegeta, do you have anything to say?
Prince Vegeta: Hmph… I don’t want to work with someone so weak.
Ledas: <LOOKS AT VEGETA FOR A MOMENT, STARING AND VERY STILL> Fight me.
Prince Vegeta: <WITH MUCH ARROGANCE> Ha! You’re not worth my time.
King Vegeta: <LAUGHS; AMUSED> A true Saiyan defends his honor! Go, Vegeta! Show him your strength.
Prince Vegeta: <ANNOYED, RAISES HAND, WALKS OUT> Fine.
<LEDAS RUNS OUT AFTER HIM; THEY GO BACK INTO THE ROOM; THE SAIBAMEN BODIES ARE STILL THERE>
Prince Vegeta: <EXTENDS ARMS> Prepare to be amazed.
Ledas: <GRINS> I’m gonna hit you so hard…
Prince Vegeta: Ah!!! <PRINCE VEGETA CHARGES, ATTACKS WITH A KICK, IT CONNECTS; AGAIN HE HITS LEDAS; STARTS RAPIDLY MOVING AROUND LEDAS, KICKING HIM; IT IS APPARENT THAT LEDAS WAS DRAINED OF POWER FROM HIS FIGHT WITH THE SAIBAMEN; BOTH CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR A WHILE; VEGETA GETS TOO COCKY, AND LEDAS FINDS A WEAK POINT TO HIT HIM; VEGETA FALLS TO THE GROUND>
Prince Vegeta: <STILL ON THE GROUND, FEELS HIS FACE> No way… <LEDAS APPROACHES VEGETA, OFFERS A HAND TO HELP HIM UP; INSTEAD, VEGETA PUNCHES LEDAS> Ha ha ha! You idiot.
King Vegeta: <THROUGH THE SPEAKER> Enough.
<PRINCE VEGETA IMMEDIATELY FREEZES>
King Vegeta: You two are closer in power than either of you think. You need to see this, son. <SLAMS DOOR SHUT, LOCKING TO TWO CHILDREN INSIDE; MORE SAIBAMEN COME OUT, 7 IN ALL>
Prince Vegeta: What is this, are you joking?! Seven of them?!
Ledas: It looks like more of those green guys…
Prince Vegeta: <ANGRILY> I know what they are!!! <PRINCE VEGETA RUSHES UP AND ATTACKS, AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, LEDAS DOES AS WELL, THEY ARE FIGHTING THE SAIBAMEN INDIVIDUALLY, NOT TOGETHER; NEITHER CAN BEST THE SAIBAMEN; PRINCE VEGETA IS THROWN INTO A WALL, AND LEDAS IS HIT WITH A BEAM OF ENERGY; VEGETA GETS BACK UP, BUT IS BEATEN BACK AGAIN>
Prince Vegeta: You! <COUGHING> Whatever your name is! Get over here!
Ledas: <UNNATURALLY LOUD> My name is Ledas!
Prince Vegeta: Get over here, FOOL! <IS HIT AGAIN>
Ledas: Say my name!
Prince Vegeta: Never mind then. <ATTACKS AGAIN, BUT IS GANGED UP ON, AND IS POUNDED TO THE GROUND, SCOUTER BREAKS> Alright! Alright! <SENDS OUT A WAVE OF ENERGY, PUSHING THE SAIBAMEN BACK, BUT NOT HURTING THEM MUCH> I need your heh… I need your hehlehlehlehl…
Prince Vegeta: That, yes. Now get over here, Ledas.
Ledas: <RUNS AND JUMPS OVER TO VEGETA, KICKS AWAY A SAIBAMAN, VEGETA GETS UP AND THE TWO PUSH ALL OF THE REMAINING SAIBAMEN BACK, BUT THEY ARE NOT DEFEATED> See? That’s all ya had to say.
Prince Vegeta: Hmph… <THE SAIBAMEN START PACING, VEGETA NOTICES THIS, AND SEES AN OPPORTUNITY, HIS EYES WIDEN> Quickly <GESTURES WITH HIS HAND> come here. <LEDAS APPROACHES>
Prince Vegeta: <WHISPERING> Here’s what we’re gonna do. <WHISPERS FOR A SHORT WHILE, THE SAIBAMEN CONTINUE PACING>
Ledas: <EXCITED> I can do that. <JUMPS INTO THE AIR, GOES LEFT>
<PRINCE VEGETA JUMPS INTO THE AIR AND GOES RIGHT; BOTH DISAPPEAR; THE SAIBAMEN ARE CONFUSED; PRINCE VEGETA REAPPEARS BEHIND, SHOOTING A LARGE ENERGY BLAST UPWARD; LEDAS APPEARS ABOVE THE SAIBAMEN, SHOOTING A LARGE ENERGY BLAST DOWNWARD; THE ENERGY FROM EACH SIDES CAUSES THE SAIBAMEN TO BE PUSHED INWARD; WHEN THE TWO BLASTS MEET, THEY DETONATE, DESTROYING MUCH OF THE TRAINING AREA, BUT ALSO ALL THE SAIBAMEN; BITS AND PIECES OF THE SAIBAMEN LITTER THE AREA, THE TWO SAIYANS ARE COVERED IN THE STUFF; PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS DESCEND TO THE GROUND>
Ledas: Hey, we did it!
Prince Vegeta: <FACIAL EXPRESSION IS ANNOYED; PICKING A PIECE OF SAIBAMAN OFF OF HIMSELF> They weren’t as strong as I thought.
King Vegeta: <INSIDE THE OBSERVING ROOM TO LAYEECK> When the time comes, we can tell them more, but for now, they are just training. They don’t need to know anything else.
- This chapter's name is a reference to Prince Vegeta's personality of underestimating the Saibamen, when perhaps he should not have.
- Ledas and Layeeck's relationship is in shambles in this chapter, merely one chapter after their relationship is introduced. Ledas being mad at his father, not understanding why Layeeck had to cut off his tail, also shows a lot about his character.
- I added in Ledas' conversation with Saiyan 1 (a member of Layeeck's team) in the final edits to give a bit more perspective on Saiyan culture and how Ledas is feeling in this chapter. He internalizes a lot of his emotions, even from an early age.
- Saiyans with tails are inherently cooler than Saiyans without tails. So while Ledas gets his tail cut off often, he always has it grow back because I prefer him with his tail. King Vegeta's idea that a true Saiyan needs their tail is something I personally believe and also something Ledas believes.
- Prince Vegeta dominates the scene between Layeeck and King Vegeta despite not even being there. It's funny how his arrogance shines through. He doesn't believe Ledas will be good enough for him so he needs to see the boy's power in action. As to why I did this, I thought it was more compelling if Ledas earned the trust of Prince Vegeta over time instead of getting it rather quickly. In the first draft, the two do become friends rather quickly - something a few reviewers criticized - so in the final draft, I made sure to have their friendship develop more realistically by taking more time.
- I added in the scene with Ledas attacking his father in the final draft since I wanted to show more clearly how angry Ledas is at his father. This scene is referenced in The Great War where Cyleria (Ledas' mother) does the same thing to Layeeck.
- Layeeck promises to go on a mission just with his son sometime in the future, but that mission never occurs.
- Ledas fighting the Saibamen was inspired by Vegeta training against them in the Bardock Special.
- Vegeta looking away and saying "Whatever" is classic kid Vegeta. It was so fun writing for my favorite character finally in this chapter.
- Ledas wants to fight Prince Vegeta to prove his worth. I think this clearly illustrates Ledas' personality - he doesn't want to be underestimated either. He wants his actions to define him, not someone else's words.
- Prince Vegeta takes a step back when Ledas enters the room with him and is very standoffish. I think he's afraid to gain a friend in Ledas and doesn't want to open himself emotionally to another person his age, so he acts very belligerent. This aspect of Vegeta's personality carries over to adulthood.
- Ledas going to help Prince Vegeta up after hitting him to the ground shows that Ledas is trying to be friends with the prince, but Prince Vegeta won't have any of that, at least not yet. It also shows how innocent and naive Ledas is.
- Seven Saibamen wouldn't be a problem for Vegeta during the Bardock Special, but he's not as strong in this chapter, as this takes place several months before that movie. So facing seven Saibamen is a very difficult task, one that many adult Saiyans wouldn't be able to do.
- The main point of the second Saibamen battle was to show how Prince Vegeta and Ledas needed to work together. King Vegeta obviously knew how many Saibamen he needed to release to force the two of them to work together. Once they work together, they will become training partners, and King Vegeta's goal of making his son a Super Saiyan will be on its way to becoming a reality.
- Prince Vegeta struggling to say he needs Ledas' help is a reference to Dragon Ball Abridged.
- Prince Vegeta is a strategic genius. I highlighted this early on with his plan to take out the Saibamen. The way the chapter ends, with the young Vegeta coming up with the plan to defeat the Saibamen and successfully enacting it with the help of Ledas, is very much how a television episode would end. It ends in triumph, in the two bonding, despite Prince Vegeta still being rather standoffish. I really like how this chapter ends.
- Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the three fight scenes in this chapter. This was the first chapter to have choreographed fighting in The Forgotten, and while each fight is relatively short, it gives an idea of how I tackle fight scenes and shows that even early in this story I could make some entertaining battles.
- King Vegeta's last comment implies that he's told Layeeck about his Super Saiyan plot.
Explosions, Vegeta… Lots Of ‘Em!
<A FEW DAYS LATER>
<VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE IN A TRAINING AREA, ALONE, BUT NEITHER OF THEM ARE DOING MUCH OF ANYTHING>
Prince Vegeta: <OBVIOUSLY IMPATIENT> What?!
Ledas: <FLYING UPSIDE DOWN> Whatcha doin’?
Prince Vegeta: <SHOULDERS UP, HEAD DOWN, ANNOYED> Shut up.
Ledas: <NOT LISTENING, WANDERING OFF A BIT, POKES AT SOMETHING ON THE WALL, IT FALLS OFF> When are we gonna start doing something?
Prince Vegeta: Nappa should be here any minute… <LIES DOWN, KNEES UP> Stop talking until he gets here.
Ledas: <WANDERS BACK OVER TO VEGETA; PEERS DOWNWARD AT HIM> Do you hate me, Vegeta?
Prince Vegeta: <UNMOVING> Hate you? I think you’re weak.
Ledas: But you needed my help a few days ago.
Prince Vegeta: So what?
Ledas: Andya picked me to train with. Why’d you pick me if I’m so weak, huh?
Prince Vegeta: Hmph, cuz everyone else is weaker.
Prince Vegeta: Where is Nappa?! <EXACERBATED>
<NAPPA ENTERS (FOR THE FIRST TIME); HE IS IN HIS FULL, YELLOW ARMOR>
Nappa: <POKING HEAD AROUND THE CORNER> Prince Vegeta and, uh… other kid… let’s go. It’s time to turn you babies into real Saiyans. Heh heh heh.
Prince Vegeta: Finally! <GETS UP, FOLLOWS NAPPA>
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY> Sounds like that’ll hurt.
Nappa: <EVILLY> Heh heh heh. That’s the plan, kiddo.
<THEY GO DOWN THE HALL, ON ONE OF THOSE COOL MOVING SIDEWALKS>
Prince Vegeta: <AFTER SOME WAYS> What are we doing today, Nappa?
Nappa: Ha ha ha ha!
Prince Vegeta: What’s so funny?
Nappa: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Prince Vegeta: Well? Tell me.
Nappa: We… ha ha ha… we are….
Prince Vegeta: Out with it!
Nappa: <UNCONTAINABLE GRIN> Explosions, Vegeta!
Prince Vegeta & Ledas: <TOGETHER> What?
Nappa: Lots of explosions! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Prince Vegeta: <SIGHS> What a waste of time, I’d rather go on a combat assignment.
<THEY ROUND A CORNER, NAPPA IS POSITIVELY GIDDY WITH EXCITEMENT; THEY STOP AT A HEAVY STEEL DOOR, WHICH IS UNGUARDED; THEY STEP OFF THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF IT>
Nappa: Here we are!
Prince Vegeta: <UNCONVINCED> The gravity room? What gives?
Ledas: But we were here yesterday.
Nappa: I already told ya. <FIDDLING WITH THE CONTROLS> Now how high do you kids train at?
Prince Vegeta: (note: while Planet Vegeta’s gravity is 10 times that of earth, earth gravity will be used whenever gravity training is mentioned to prevent confusion) Twenty…
Nappa: <IN COMMAND> Then I’ll put it at thirty.
Prince Vegeta: Wait… wha–
Nappa: Now get in there, ya little brats. <NAPPA KICKS PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS INTO THE GRAVITY ROOM AND CLOSES THE DOOR; THIS ROOM IS LARGER THAN THE ONE WITH THE SAIBAMEN; IT IS BRIGHT AND VAST>
Ledas: <SPRAWLED ON THE GROUND> Owwwie! That guy is mean.
Prince Vegeta: <SCANNING THE AREA> Get up. Nappa said explosions… where is he…?
<GRAVITY GETS TURNED TO 30G, BOTH LEDAS AND VEGETA FALL TO THE FLOOR>
Prince Vegeta: <FOCUSED> Aah! I… can… barely… move. <A LITTLE PANICKY> N-nappa! What’s going on?
Nappa: <OVER THE INTERCOM> Explosions, Vegeta! Lots of explosions! Ya gotta to the other side without getting hit. Ha ha ha.
<BLOCKS AND VARIOUS ITEMS LITTER THE GRAVITY ROOM, IT IS LIKE A MAZE, OF SORTS; SUDDENLY ENERGY BLASTS START FALLING ALL OVER THE PLACE, PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE HIT IMMEDIATELY; BECAUSE OF THE GRAVITY, THEY ARE UNABLE TO DODGE>
Nappa: <OVER THE INTERCOM, MOCKINGLY> What’s going on, Prince? My grandma could do this faster than you!
<WITH MUCH RAGE, PRINCE VEGETA IS ABLE TO GET UP THROUGH THE GRAVITY; HE STARTS TO WEAVE THROUGH THE ENERGY BLASTS AND MAZE WALLS; HIS AGILITY IS SURPRISING, AS HE SCALES WALLS AND JUMPS OVER OBSTACLES>
<LEDAS SEES HIM AND IS AWESTRUCK; HE JUMPS UP AS WELL AND STARTS MOVING, BUT IS HIT AGAIN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY; HE GETS UP AGAIN, AND HIDES BEHIND A WALL; BOTH START RUNNING OUT OF ENERGY FAST; VEGETA DROPS TO THE GROUND, EXHAUSTED; HE IS STILL BEING PUMMELED BY THE ENERGY BLASTS; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, THE EXPLOSIONS STOP; NAPPA COMES ON THE INTERCOM AGAIN>
Nappa: Ha ha! How’d you do, Prince?
Prince Vegeta: <CLOTHES DESTROYED, BLOODIED; LONG PAUSE, VEGETA IS JUST LYING THERE; ALMOST WHISPERING> Start it again.
Nappa: Whaaa?!?!? Are you crazy? You can’t even move.
Prince Vegeta: <GETS UP, WITH MUCH PAIN> I’m not useless… I’m not… START IT UP AGAIN!!!!
Nappa: Heh… If you wanna die, I’m not gonna stop you.
<NAPPA TURNS THE GRAVITY BACK ON; HE STARTS SHOOTING OFF ENERGY BLASTS AGAIN>
Prince Vegeta: <WALKING FORWARD, WITH MUCH TROUBLE; TO LEDAS> G-g-get up… you weakling!!
Ledas: <BREATHING HEAVILY, ON KNEES IN PAIN> Vegeta…! Wait up…
Prince Vegeta: <IGNORING HIM, TRIES TO GET THROUGH THE OBSTACLES; STUMBLING> I’ll do this. I have to…
<THE GRAVITY WEARS THEM DOWN AGAIN, BUT THE TWO COME UP WITH A STRATEGY OF RUNNING UNDER THE OBSTACLES TO SHIELD THEM FROM THE ENERGY>
<VEGETA RUNS FORWARD, DUCK-ROLLS UNDER A BEAM, AND DOWN INTO A HOLE; AS THE BLASTS MOVE AWAY, HE RUNS AGAIN; LEDAS FOLLOWS HIM AS MUCH AS HE CAN, BUT HE IS WEAKER AND SLOWER>
<VEGETA GOES AGAIN, BUT A SUDDEN ENERGY BLAST THROWS HIM BACKWARD INTO LEDAS; THEY BOTH GET UP; VEGETA BACKHANDS LEDAS IN THE FACE TO MAKE THE OTHER BOY FALL AWAY FROM HIM; NOT LOOKING AT LEDAS, HE RUNS FORWARD AGAIN; LEDAS DOES NOT PUT UP RESISTANCE, BUT HE FOLLOWS VEGETA ANYWAY>
<BOTH ARE HIT AGAIN WITH MANY ENERGY BLASTS, VEGETA IS INJURED, BUT STILL STANDING; LEDAS IS THROWN, BY THE BLAST, INTO A NEARBY WALL>
<SUDDENLY A LARGE ENERGY BLAST IS SHOT RIGHT AT VEGETA, AND HE IS UNABLE TO DEFEND IT; HE HOLDS ONTO HIS COLLARBONE, AND IS ON ONE KNEE; RIGHT BEFORE IT HITS HIM, LEDAS SHOOTS, WITH ALL HIS ENERGY ANOTHER BLAST RIGHT AT IT AND KNOCKS IT OFF COURSE; LEDAS FALLS, UNCONSCIOUS>
Prince Vegeta: <SOMEWHAT AMAZED AND TIRED AT THE SAME TIME> …Just a weakling…
<HE FALLS TO THE GROUND AS WELL, ASLEEP; MOMENTS LATER, THE ENERGY BLASTS STOP>
<CUTS TO NAPPA, IN THE CONTROL ROOM, KING VEGETA IS THERE ALSO>
King Vegeta: That’s enough, General. We’re done for today.
<KING VEGETA, TAKING ONE LAST LOOK AT HIS SLEEPING SON TURNS AND SWIFTLY WALKS OUT, HIS CAPE BILLOWING BEHIND HIM>
- This chapter is named after the training Nappa puts Prince Vegeta and Ledas through in this chapter. However, Nappa never specifically says the chapter name in this chapter, though he says a few phrases that are similar. This is one of the very earliest chapter names I came up with and it's a good example of how early KV wrote. It's a chapter name I couldn't come up with today - it's just not who I am anymore. It's more like how DBZ chapters are named than how I generally try to do "cooler" chapter names nowadays.
- Early PVS Ledas was influenced by kid Goten, who was one of my favorite characters when I watched through the Majin Buu Saga to prepare for this story. Do remember that he's only four years old in this first saga. He is very immature and innocent, and it was important for me to show this, in his growing friendship with Prince Vegeta, as the Prince is much different than Ledas. In some ways, the two act as foils to one another, helping show each other's personalities and also acting to help each other achieve greater character growth.
- Ledas and Prince Vegeta's friendship is nonexistent at the start of this chapter. Prince Vegeta is very guarded and Ledas takes this as the prince hating him, but Prince Vegeta is mostly just annoyed that he has to train with and put up with Ledas. I didn't think it would be in-character for him to immediately hate Ledas, as Ledas is a rather powerful Saiyan, but it also wasn't in-character for Prince Vegeta to immediately bond with the other Saiyan. Secretly, Prince Vegeta does have some respect for Ledas - as the other boy helped him defeat the Saibamen - but his pride won't let him show that openly yet, as the two are still strangers to one another.
- Prince Vegeta's line about picking Ledas only because everyone else was weaker is so typical of the prince. It's rather mean too, though it hints at the prince seeing something of worth in Ledas.
- Ledas is somewhat sad at how standoffish Prince Vegeta is, but he doesn't get mad like he did in the last chapter. He only got mad then because it was in a combat situation. While not in a combat situation, Ledas is quite mellow and would rather prove his strength to Prince Vegeta instead of shouting about it. It's just how he is.
- If I would have written this chapter today, I likely would have made it longer and/or combined it with the next chapter.
- I specifically had Nappa not know Ledas' name since he's my original character and not as important to Nappa. This shows Nappa's personality - he only really cares about the royal family - and it also functions as a self-deprecating joke.
- I tried to get Nappa and Ledas to talk with one another as much as possible. They are such different characters that their conversations often become quite comedic. I really like Nappa so having scenes with him and my own character was something I sought to do.
- Nappa laughing about the explosions (really, all of his dialogue as they walk to the training room) is heavily influenced by how the Dragon Ball Abridged Nappa talks. That is why Nappa annoys Prince Vegeta so much in this chapter.
- Prince Vegeta saying "combat assignment" is a specific reference to the Bardock Special (as well as an attempt for me to keep Prince Vegeta in character), as Prince Vegeta calls all of his missions in that special "combat assignments".
- I originally had Ledas and Prince Vegeta train at 40x Earth's gravity (4x Planet Vegeta's gravity), but Hyper Zergling thought that was too high considering their age and power levels, so I reduced that to 20x in the final version of the chapter. I didn't lower it any further because I didn't think it was reasonable for Planet Vegeta to have less than whole numbers for the gravity settings - so no 1.5x gravity or anything like that.
- I spent a lot of time showing how brutal Nappa is not only to stay true to his character but to show how warlike and tough Saiyan culture is. Prince Vegeta's and Ledas' training isn't easy, physically or mentally. I'd liken it to boot camp, but remember the two Saiyan boys are extremely young. They are being put through a lot by Nappa.
- Prince Vegeta acts like an older brother when he tells Ledas to stand up after Nappa puts them in the training room. He doesn't have patience for Ledas' immaturity, especially during a training exercise that could hurt them if they aren't careful. Though subtle, this is a bit of a turning point in the two boys' friendship. It's one of the first signs that there is something legitimately there between the two of them.
- I designed this training exercise to be different than the Saibaman one for variety's sake. I knew going forward, there wouldn't be as many training exercises shown - and those which would be shown would mostly likely be fights against other Saiyans or Saibamen. Everything else would be off-planet. So this was my opportunity to delve into other possibilities for how to train the young Saiyans.
- Prince Vegeta's actions in the training room are rather courageous and stubborn. It's reminiscent of how the prince acts in DBZ when he trains in the Capsule Corp. gravity chamber. I particularly had fun showing how damaged he gets - how so many energy attacks hit Prince Vegeta, but his pride and will keep him going in spite of that. It's a great look into his internal and external strength. Ledas can't match Prince Vegeta in either instance, showing that I have no desire to godmod Ledas or make him better than the canon characters. I'm not sure many other writers would do the same, so I am proud of that.
- Pretty much all of Nappa's good one-liners in TF occur in this chapter.
- Prince Vegeta tells Ledas to get up a second time when the energy blasts start up again. This shows him acting as a big brother again, not wanting the other Saiyan to fail, even though he supposedly thinks Ledas is weak (and therefore shouldn't care). He does care though, which implies he doesn't dislike Ledas as much as he's letting on.
- This chapter builds up to Prince Vegeta having a big moment. Especially when he asks Nappa to start the energy blasts again, it seems to be leading towards Prince Vegeta overcoming the obstacle course right at the end. But it doesn't happen like that. I break the cliche almost immediately and give Ledas his own moment to shine. Granted, he's not as strong-willed or powerful as Vegeta, but he shows his worth when he knocks the blast out of Prince Vegeta's way. Saving the prince is a big moment for Ledas and leads to Prince Vegeta opening up to him as a friend. Prince Vegeta knows that Ledas isn't his equal, but he can see that Ledas cares about him as a friend and would do anything to save him from impending doom. That makes Prince Vegeta respect Ledas.
- The moment the final blast shoots at Vegeta (which Ledas knocks away) is a moment I could clearly visualize in my mind. When I do the manga, I expect that scene to either be a half-page or potentially even a full page shot of Vegeta crouching there, all damaged, his hands clutching the collarbone guard of his armor, while the energy blast barrels down on him. It'll look great in picture form.
- Prince Vegeta's last line in this chapter reiterates what he wants to think but what he does not actually think. Granted, he doesn't see Ledas as his friend yet, but he's starting to respect the other Saiyan's fighting ability, and since power is so important to the prince, that is the first step in them forming a friendship. By this point, Ledas has helped Prince Vegeta in two big ways, and it's hard for the prince to ignore that, despite what he wants to tell himself.
- The last scene with King Vegeta and Nappa was added in to illustrate how desperate King Vegeta is to see if his son is the Legendary Super Saiyan. He's pushing the prince to his physical limits and nearly kills him, and King Vegeta is disappointed only because the boy didn't turn into a Super Saiyan. This undercurrent plot runs parallel to Vegeta's own desire to become a Super Saiyan in DBZ, funnily enough. Like father like son I guess.
- Layeeck doesn't appear in this chapter, meaning no character appears in every chapter of The Forgotten. He was the only character to appear in all of the first three chapters (not counting the Prince Vegeta flashback in the Prologue if I decide to put that in the manga of chapter 1).
A Little Paranoia Never Hurt Anyone
King Vegeta: I was right. <VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE TRAINING, DOING HANDSTAND PUSH-UPS, THE CAMERA MOVES BACK, IT SHOWS THE GRAVITY AT 50G> They were indeed the ones. The legend foretold of it.
King Vegeta: Their ability to adapt so quickly… <SHOWS THEM DOING THE VERY SAME EXPLOSION EXERCISE THAT THEY FAILED EARLIER AND DOING IT WELL> is unlike anything I have ever seen before.
King Vegeta: They are extraordinary… <SCENE OF VEGETA AND LEDAS BEING “TAIL TRAINED”, WHERE THEY ARE HAVING THEIR TAILS DESENSITIZED> for just two children. But they are just that – children.
King Vegeta: I cannot shake the fact that if they don’t fulfill the Legend <SHOWS LEDAS ACTING CHILDISH, ANNOYING VEGETA; VEGETA IS STILL BEING COLD TOWARD HIM>… then I’ve forfeited our entire race. Layeeck guessed it a year ago, and I can’t lie to him much longer.
<CUTS TO THE NEXT SCENE>
<PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS EXIT A DOOR, TO OUTSIDE; AROUND THEM ARE BUILDINGS AND STREETS; THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY; BOTH ARE WEARING THEIR FULL ARMOR; VEGETA’S IS WHITE AND YELLOW, AND LEDAS’ IS THAT OF THE SUPER ELITE, BLACK AND RED; LEDAS’ HAS HIS FAMILY CREST ON IT, ABOVE THE LEFT BREAST PLATE>
<BOTH ARE HOLDING THEIR TAILS, AFTER A PAINFUL SESSION OF DESENSITIZING>
<VEGETA LEADS LEDAS (WHO HE IS ONLY ON SLIGHTLY BETTER TERMS FOR SAVING HIM IN THE LAST CHAPTER) DOWN THE STREET, WITHOUT A WORD; THEY WALK PAST MANY SAIYAN ADULTS WHO ARE ALSO IN FULL ARMOR; WHEN THEY SEE THE PRINCE, THEY ALL STOP AND SALUTE, BUT HE PAYS THEM NO NOTICE>
<THEY WALK DOWN THE STREET, AND SNAG A RIGHT TURN AT THE END OF IT; PRINCE VEGETA STOPS, IN FRONT OF THE GATES OF THE LARGE TRAINING COMPLEX; AHEAD, THERE IS AN OCTAGONAL FORMATION OF BUILDINGS; ALL OF THESE ARE RESERVED SOLELY FOR SUPER ELITES TO TRAIN IN, AS IS SEEN BY THE SIGN OVER THE GATE; AND HALF OF THE GROUNDS ARE RESERVED FOR LEDAS AND PRINCE VEGETA ALONE>
<BEFORE THEY ENTER, THE TWO HEAR A BUNCH OF NOISE COMING FROM THEIR RIGHT; A GROUP OF CHILDREN ARE PLAYING ON A FIGHT SIMULATOR, WHICH SIMULATES A MISSION (LIKE A VIDEO GAME), BUT DOES NOTHING TO INCREASE POWER LEVEL; BASICALLY, IT’S A WASTE OF TIME; VEGETA STOPS, STARING AT THEM>
Ledas: Vegeta, what is that?
Prince Vegeta: <SQUINTS AND FROWNS> Man, that’s lame. They can’t even train for real? What a bunch of losers.
<VEGETA PUTS HIS PALM OUT, CREATES AN ENERGY BLAST AND FIRES IT AT THE GROUP OF SAIYAN CHILDREN; THE BLAST BLOWS UP THE SIMULATOR, SENDING THE CHILDREN FALLING OFF; THEY QUICKLY GET UP AND RUN OVER TO VEGETA, YELLING AND ANGRY>
Prince Vegeta: Well, well. Look what we have here. A bunch of slackers.
Ledas: <SLYLY, QUIETLY> Who’re they?!
Prince Vegeta: <NOT LOOKING AT HIM, EYES LOCKED> The ones my father didn’t pick to train with me.
Saiyan Child 1: Yeah?! Who are you?
Saiyan Child 2: Why’d you destroy the game?!
Saiyan Child 3: Oh, I know who he is. Fancy Prince Vegeta playing dress up with his daddy’s armor.
Saiyan Child 1: <AWKWARDLY, AFTER A PAUSE> You aren’t any better than us!
Prince Vegeta: <CONFIDENTLY> I’m not, am I? What’s your power level? <HE CLICKS HIS SCOUTER> 300? Bah, I’ve faced stronger worms.
<LEDAS CLICKS HIS OWN SCOUTER AND CONFIRMS THIS; NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THE CHILDREN HAS A POWER LEVEL ABOVE 300>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> That coulda been me?! They’re so weak…
Saiyan Child 4: Yeah right, Vegeta. You don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.
Ledas: <SUDDENLY> He’s your Prince, and he’s much stronger than you so you better watch what you say!
<VEGETA IS TAKEN ABACK BY THIS, HE LOOKS AT LEDAS>
Saiyan Child 3: I don’t care if he’s our Prince or somethin’, that mouth of his is too big for his little head!
<THE OTHERS MURMER IN AGREEMENT>
Saiyan Child 2: So what if he’s the Prince? Get him!
<THE OTHER SAIYANS ECHO “GET HIM!”; THEY CHARGE FORWARD, SOME CREATING SMALL BALLS OF ENERGY IN THEIR HANDS>
<BEFORE PRINCE VEGETA CAN REACT, LEDAS JUMPS FORWARD AND BLOCKS THE VIEW; HE LEAPS, WITH AGILITY, TO THE FIRST SAIYAN; LEDAS HITS HIM WITH AN OPEN-PALMED ATTACK ON THE CHIN, SENDING THE BOY FLYING STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR; HE RUNS TO THE SECOND BOY, SIDE SWEEPING HIS LEG AND THEN LEDAS ELBOWS HIM IN THE GUT; HE LAUNCHES HIMSELF WITH FLIGHT TO THE THIRD SAIYAN, CONNECTING HIS FIST WITH THE BOY’S NOSE>
<WITH HIS RIGHT HAND STILL PUNCHING THE BOY, LEDAS USES HIS LEFT HAND TO CREATE A SMALL BALL OF KI, WHICH TAKES OUT THE NEXT TWO BOYS IN AN INSTANT>
<THIS HAS HAPPENED SO QUICKLY THAT THE LAST BOY HAS BARELY REGISTERED ALL HIS FRIEND’S BEING KNOCKED OUT BEFORE LEDAS IS IN FRONT OF HIM; HE STOPS, PLACING BOTH HIS HANDS OUTWARD, THEN SHOOTS OFF A CONTINUOUS ENERGY BARRAGE; LEDAS RUNS FORWARD, DEFLECTING THE BLASTS WITH HIS HANDS; WHEN HE REACHES THE BOY, HE UNDERHAND PUNCHES THE BOY IN THE RIBS, CAUSING HIM TO FALL OVER>
<AS HE FALLS OVER, THE FIRST BOY, SENT HIGH UP IN THE AIR LANDS; THIS HAS TAKEN NO MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS>
<LEDAS LANDS NEXT TO VEGETA>
Prince Vegeta: Why did you do that?
Ledas: They were weak, and they shouldn’t have said anything to you.
<PRINCE VEGETA STANDS THERE, LOOKING AT LEDAS; AT LAST COMING TO HIS SENSES, HE SPEAKS; NOTICING THE SMOKE AND COMMOTION OF THE FIGHT IS DRAWING THE ATTENTION OF ADULTS, HE MAKES HIS WAY TO THE GATE; A DATAPAD LOWERS, SCANS HIS FACE, AND UNLOCKS THE GATE>
Prince Vegeta: <COOLLY> Nappa’s waiting for us.
<HE WALKS FORWARD, BRISKLY; LEDAS FOLLOWS; THEY GET TO THE TRAINING AREA; ONCE INSIDE, VEGETA CRACKS HIS NECK, AND THEN WALKS FORWARD, RELAXED; THERE ARE A DOZEN SAIBAMEN WAITING FOR HIM AND LEDAS>
<LATER, AT THE CONCLUSION OF A TRAINING EXERCISE>
Prince Vegeta: <EXITING THE TRAINING AREA, IT IS IN RUINS BEHIND HIM> Guard!
Saiyan Soldier 1: Sir?
Prince Vegeta: Tell Nappa we want stronger ones.
Ledas: <RUNS OUT AFTER VEGETA> And more of them!
Technician 1: Uh, yes sirs. I will see to it at once. <HE SALUTES AND HIGH-TAILS IT OUTTA THERE>
<THE TWO START TO LEAVE, WHEN LAYEECK ENTERS; HE IS WEARING HIS BEST ARMOR, CAPE, AND HELMET, MEANING HE MUST HAVE JUST BEEN ON GUARD DUTY; HE DOES NOT SO MUCH AS STATE HIS ARRIVAL, WHICH SURPRISES HIS SON; THE GUARDS AT THE DOOR, HOWEVER, SALUTE THEIR CAPTAIN UPON HIS ENTRANCE>
Layeeck: Ledas, I need to have a word with you.
Ledas: What i–
<LAYEECK GRABS LEDAS BY THE ARM AND YANKS HIM AROUND THE CORNER; HE TAKES HIS SON DOWN THE HALL, AND INTO A SMALL ROOM; LEDAS IS PERPLEXED>
Layeeck: <KNEELS, IN A WHISPER, VERY JITTERY> Ledas, you’re getting too strong. Much too strong. And I fear what the royal family will do, what they are capable of.
Ledas: I’m too strong? <SMIRKS> So what? This can’t be a bad thing.
Layeeck: <BECOMING INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL> Are you not listening to me? If you become stronger than Prince Vegeta, they will kill you!
Ledas: <GENUINELY CONFUSED> Why would they kill me?
Layeeck: It doesn’t matter. Listen, my son, you must be careful.
Ledas: But I can’t help it…
Layeeck: Do as I say! If you get stronger than him, you must hold back your power. Keep it even, or maybe a little less than his. That way you won’t draw suspicion.
Ledas: <A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED> Oh-kay…
Layeeck: Now, remember our maxim?
Ledas: <LOOKS DOWN, UNCOMFORTABLY> Wewll, yeah…
Layeeck: There is no glory in death…
Ledas: <SIGHS>… only in conquest everlasting.
Layeeck: Good, remember that as you continue your training. I do want you to live, Ledas… I really do. That’s the only reason I bring this up. <HE LOOKS AWAY, THEN STANDS UP> Now get back to your training.
Ledas: Yeah, yeah. Okay… <RUNS OFF>
<LEDAS RETURNS TO THE TRAINING AREA>
<PRINCE VEGETA IS IN THE CORNER, WORKING WITH A PUNCHING BAG; HE HARDLY NOTICES LEDAS ENTER>
Ledas: <PAUSES FOR SEVERAL SECONDS> Um, Vegeta, your dad won’t kill me, will he?
Prince Vegeta: <HE GRIMACES IN ANNOYANCE> Oh, what do you want?
Ledas: If I get too powerful, will your dad kill me?
Prince Vegeta:<CONTEMPT> No, of course not. My father wouldn’t do something so foolish. You’re the strongest training partner I can use.
Ledas: <BRIGHTENING UP> Aw, do you really mean that Vegeta?
Prince Vegeta: <CLOSES HIS EYES, BOWS HIS HEAD IN EMBARRASSMENT> Don’t push it.
Ledas: <JUMPING AROUND> He he he! Vegeta said I’m strong! Vegeta said I’m str–
Prince Vegeta: <TURNS AROUND> Wait, who told you that!
Ledas: <STOPS JUMPING> Huh?
Prince Vegeta: Who told you my father would kill you? Answer me!
Ledas: <CHILDISHLY> Well… I guess it was my dad… He said I should hold back my power so I don’t get as strong as you.
Prince Vegeta: That’s stupid. We need to stay close in power to train. <SMILE CREEPS ONTO HIS FACE> I’ll always be the strongest, anyways. <FOLDS ARMS> But… maybe we should both hold back our power a little bit. I don’t want to embarrass my father too soon. I’ll be stronger than him, soon.
Ledas: <EAGERLY> How strong do think we can get, Vegeta?
Prince Vegeta: I’m going to be a Super Saiyan. I have to be… nobody else is even close. And when I do, I can finally get rid of Frieza for good. <HE CLOSES HIS EYES, SAVORING THE MOMENT> I’ll kill him.
Ledas: <CURIOUSLY> Who’s Frieza?
<PRINCE VEGETA LOOKS AT LEDAS WITH ONE EYE SQUINTED, MOUTH OPEN, SHAKING HIS HEAD AS IT FADES TO BLACK>
<THE NEXT MORNING>
<NAPPA’S CONTROL ROOM; GRAVITY CHAMBER 3>
Saiyan Soldier 1: Are… are you seeing this?!?!
Saiyan Soldier 2: This is insane.
Nappa: <WALKING OVER, SLIGHTLY BEMUSED> Yeaaah, what is it?
Saiyan Soldier 1: Uh general… It’s their power levels.
Nappa: <UNCONCERNED> Yeah, I know. They’re both strong.
Saiyan Soldier 2: Look there it goes again! Even higher than before!
Saiyan Soldier 1: General Nappa, you have to see this. Prince Vegeta’s power level has just passed 5000.
Nappa:<IN GASP> What?!
Saiyan Soldier 1: And the other, Ledas, his power level is just slightly lower.
Nappa: <STARES IN DISBELIEF> They haven’t been training any differently than before? How did they suddenly get so powerful?
<HE STARES, STRICKEN, UNTIL THE TWO FINISH THEIR EXERCISE>
<CUTS TO PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS ENDING THEIR TRAINING SESSION>
Ledas: I bet they were watching us again.
Prince Vegeta: Of course they were. That’s why we powered up.
Ledas: <INNOCENTLY> But… not all the way.
Prince Vegeta: It was enough for Nappa. And those low-class workers enjoy a show every now and then. <SITS DOWN> Besides, your dad was right. We don’t need to show them our full power. That way Frieza won’t know what to expect.
Nappa: You’re getting strong, Prince.
Prince Vegeta: Shut up Nappa. I’ve already surpassed you.
Nappa: Well… uh, I don’t know about that, Vegeta.
Ledas: Me too!
Prince Vegeta: Yeah, we’re both stronger than you.
Nappa: <GETTING ANGRY> Grrr… Enough… Your dad wants to see you. He’s agreed to give you a mission. Let’s go.
Prince Vegeta: <RUNS OUT, REMARKABLY QUICKLY> Ah, finally!
<LEDAS STAYS IN PLACE, WITH NAPPA; THE GIANT BRUTE LOOKS DOWN AT HIM>
Ledas: Mr. Nappa sir… where are we going?
Nappa: King Vegeta’s prepared somethin’ special for ya. Don’t worry, kid; it’ll only hurt a little. <LAUGHS>
- This chapter's name is a personal play on the phrase “A little _ never hurt anyone.” Due to Layeeck’s increasing paranoia at his son’s growing power, I felt that was a fine word to use here; and it also gives off a sort of subtle irony that I really like.
- I added in the montage at the beginning of this chapter to speed up Ledas' and Prince Vegeta's training a bit. In my first couple of drafts in this story, Ledas and Prince Vegeta were best friends by the end of the montage. While their training is shown in shorter scenes at the start (to show the quickness of their growing powers without being repetitive), I decided to have their friendship develop slower in the final draft. So while there are elements of a developing friendship between the two in the montage, it is toned down from how it once was.
- Showing the explosion exercise in the montage specifically shows how Prince Vegeta and Ledas are improving. When I show other training exercises, it's less clear exactly how much stronger the two are getting, but seeing them easily conquer an exercise they had no hope of completing in the previous chapter is a great illustration of their growth.
- Having the tail desensitization scene was very important to me. This was something I remembered from the Saiyan Saga - Vegeta mentioned getting his tail desensitized in the anime, so it was something I could logically explore in this saga. It seemed far more likely that he would have gotten that training before Planet Vegeta's destruction (why would aliens care about his tail getting desensitized?). Since Ledas is also an elite (and I didn't want him to have a tail sensitivity like Raditz), it made sense to have such a scene in this story.
- King Vegeta's comments at the end of the montage show that he didn't actually tell Layeeck about his plan to overthrow Frieza with Prince Vegeta and Layeeck as Super Saiyans. This changes the perspective of King Vegeta's last line in the third chapter. It implies that he was only talking about not telling them about how Frieza will soon want to use them on off-planet combat assignments. This was a specific misdirection by me in the text. Any careful reader would think King Vegeta told Layeeck everything in chapter 3. That he didn't also gives some insight into their relationship.
- King Vegeta mentions in the montage that if Prince Vegeta isn't a Super Saiyan, he's forfeited his entire race. I added this line into the montage to show the stakes of this saga. So far, the plot has been rather subtle, with King Vegeta's plot being vaguely mentioned (and not really going anywhere yet), and a lot of training of Prince Vegeta and Ledas. But that single line articulates the entire plot of this saga. King Vegeta is playing the long game - he thinks he can free his race through his son. He expects it to take a long time for his son's power level to rise high enough to become a Super Saiyan though. Another thing this shows is King Vegeta's desperate character. He acts kingly as much as he can. He tries to hide his emotions. But his plot in this saga reveals his true emotions. He hates being Frieza's slave (which I hinted at in the very first scene of this story). He is willing to risk everything - his life, his son's life, his entire species' lives - to try to free the Saiyans from slavery. While King Vegeta is seen as a groveler of sorts throughout the saga - he is not portrayed very nobly - he is noble in this regard. He truly is kingly, and I had fun hinting at that while overtly showing the opposite - his fake public persona.
- Originally the second scene was one with King Vegeta and Nappa discussing Prince Vegeta's power and Nappa's obliviousness. I removed it from this chapter because it felt unnecessary. I don't remember if I placed it in later chapters, but I'll talk about the scene more if it does appear in any of those. The scene is notable as being one of the few scenes I actually deleted while doing the final edits of this saga.
- The concept for the real second scene, the one with Prince Vegeta and Ledas vs the other Saiyan children, came to me very late. It was one of the final scenes I came up with before embarking on the final edits of this saga. I was very happy to have come up with it though, as it expands on the Saiyan culture in this saga. One thing I noticed about the original saga - not noted in any of the reviews, though - was how insular this saga actually was. We don't get a lot beyond the named characters. There's not so much of a sense that they are on a planet with other Saiyans. Some of this is by design - as Super Elites, Ledas and Prince Vegeta are intentionally kept away from the other Saiyans for much of their training. But they aren't prisoners held against their will. Some of the planet is seen like when Layeeck and Ledas train and when Ledas is introduced in chapter 2. I wanted more of that, so I added in this scene. It also serves to humble Ledas, as the children he meets are all those who were rejected from being Prince Vegeta's training partner. It's cool when Ledas realizes he would have been one of them if he hadn't met Vegeta. He would have likely had more friends (friends who were actually friends!), but he would have been far weaker. It shocks Ledas when he sees how weak they are, but this is not unexpected. The Saiyans aren't training with Vegeta, so they aren't being pushed like Ledas is. Their training wouldn't be as intense. So the characters act as a "what if" window into Ledas' future had he not been chosen to be Prince Vegeta's training partner - a thing mostly decided by the chance of his birth power level which drastically altered his future from what it would have been had Ledas been born with a more normal power level.
- It was fun to show Saiyan culture when Prince Vegeta and Ledas walk through the busy streets, with all the adults stopping and saluting their prince. The revelation that the two also have half of the Super Elite training grounds to themselves is cool and shows how important their training is to King Vegeta.
- The mission simulator is a parody of sports games. People like to play soccer or football games on their gaming consoles, but they aren't actually doing anything. They aren't actually moving; it's a simulacrum life. It's very weird to me. So I added it in here. In this story, it's obviously more significant, since being strong is necessary for Saiyans. By wasting their time not training, the Saiyan children are essentially wasting their lives and potential.
- I'm very proud of Prince Vegeta's dialogue in the scene with the other children. Bear in mind, I wrote that scene years after writing the chapters proceeding it. I think it's very much in character and fits seamlessly in with the rest of the Prince Vegeta dialogue in this saga. I must say that I try harder to get kid Vegeta's dialogue right than any other canon character. He's my favorite character in the Dragon Ball universe. I must've seen his scenes in the Bardock Special a dozen times. Additionally, I added in precursor dialogue to how he talks in DBZ, such as the comment about the worms. I was meticulous with every kid Vegeta line to make sure it was something I could imagine him saying.
- Ledas standing up for Prince Vegeta is huge. He's helped the prince twice before with his actions, but ironically, it's his words here that really get to Prince Vegeta. The prince is truly shocked that Ledas would defend him because of how he's been acting to Ledas. I don't think Prince Vegeta really understands why Ledas wants to be his friend.
- The way the first Saiyan child lands on the ground just as Ledas defeats the last one is something I've seen done in animes before. It's a great way to indicate just how fast Ledas is moving in the fight. It takes several paragraphs to describe the intricate attacks he's unleashing, but it's happening in no more than a few seconds, and that was important for me to clearly show the readers.
- The best scenes in this story are those which serve multiple purposes. The second scene has at least three purposes - it shows Saiyan culture, it shows what Ledas' life would have been if he had not been chosen to be Prince Vegeta's training partner, and it further shows Prince Vegeta warming up to Ledas as we get a more of Ledas' personality shown.
- The second scene certainly is the last scene needed to start Prince Vegeta's and Ledas' friendship. Particularly Ledas' confident attitude about weaklings not being allowed to criticize the prince resonated with kid Vegeta. He's been gaining respect for Ledas in the chapters leading up to this moment, but it's at the end of this scene where Prince Vegeta realizes that Ledas is starting to think like him - and he likes that, though he doesn't outwardly show it.
- The third scene in this chapter (after Prince Vegeta and Ledas train with some Saibamen) is one of the first scenes I ever wrote for this story. It is certainly the earliest scene I specifically remember writing, though it was probably the third or fourth scene written for TF overall.
- I like PTO armor and like showing cool models of it when I can. That's why Layeeck is wearing his full Captain of the Guard armor in this chapter.
- Layeeck's paranoia is inspired by the beginning of the first Broly movie, where Paragus and Broly are executed for Broly being too strong (making him a threat to the royal family). Likely, Layeeck saw a similar execution (though not Paragus' and Broly's, since that doesn't occur until week/months after this chapter) since he's the Captain of the Guard. He would be present in the royal chambers as King Vegeta killed strong Saiyans who could be a threat to him. This also implies that there are other Saiyans out there being born with higher power levels than Ledas - again, this an attempt by me to not godmod Ledas or make him Stuish by making him unnecessarily special. I am not opposed to making a character unique or powerful - Ledas is both (and he's more than a little lucky) - but I try to do it in a way that is natural, explainable, and not godmodding or deus ex machina.
- In truth, Layeeck is overestimating his son, which is a little sad. Ledas is only stronger than Prince Vegeta for a brief amount of time in the next chapter (as he gets a Zenkai that Prince Vegeta doesn't get until some time after Ledas). Once Prince Vegeta gets his own Zenkai soon after Ledas gets his, Ledas never surpasses him again in this saga. In truth, while they train, Ledas and Prince Vegeta have a standard power gap of around 200 (Prince Vegeta being stronger by about 200 pl at almost all times), and this is not something Ledas could physically overcome without Zenkais. So Ledas is pretty much incapable of surpassing Prince Vegeta in this saga despite his father's worries.
- I don't remember what inspired the maxim. I must have seen something about powerful families in certain societies having "words". This is seen in A Song of Ice and Fire, where the most famous words would be House Stark's "Winter is coming". At the time of writing Layeeck's family's one, I hadn't even heard of ASOIAF yet, so it was not an inspiration. Looking back on it now though, it is interesting that I went in a similar direction as ASOIAF. The maxim itself is an argument against being stupid and sacrificing yourself. It's ironic because Layeeck dies by doing just that (and King Vegeta's entire plan in this saga is opposed to this maxim). The words are very important to Ledas though; they keep him going, remind him that there is nothing after death (also implying their family isn't religious), and that one can only make a name for oneself in the world of the living. These words motivate Ledas to become stronger and always push himself to his physical limits, as he sees physical power as the ultimate goal, something that will make him remembered. In this early chapter, we get the first hints of the theme of not wanting to be forgotten, though it is admittedly extremely subtle.
- The Layeeck and Ledas scene also shows how their father-son relationship is starting to deteriorate. It's never fully recovered since Layeeck cut off Ledas' tail. This was important to show, as I want all actions in any chapter to have consequences, not just things that happen in season openers or finales. Everything has to matter; everything has to be realistic.
- In the original draft, when Ledas returns to talk with Prince Vegeta about what his father had said, Prince Vegeta called Ledas his friend. That's too overt and ooc for kid Vegeta. So I changed it to be something less nice, but still significant enough for Ledas to be moved. Prince Vegeta isn't kind to him so even saying something like "You’re the strongest training partner I can use" means a helluva lot to Ledas. It shows how psychopathic kid Vegeta can be - he's implying Ledas is not a person, but only a tool for his own growth, but it's still better than what he was saying to Ledas before. This line change was done in response to criticism in reviews that Ledas and Prince Vegeta became friends too quickly. I like their relationship better the way it is in the final version of this saga; it's more realistic, has more build up to it. So I'm not complaining.
- Prince Vegeta decides to hold his power back to not embarrass his father. This was added into the plot so that King Vegeta would be guessing what his son's power level was instead of knowing it completely. This would fuel King Vegeta's desperation and paranoia which almost becomes as extreme as Layeeck's.
- Ledas trusts Prince Vegeta very much. That is why he tells the prince about what his father had said. Clearly, Ledas sees Prince Vegeta as a close friend he can confide in and turn to for emotional support, despite that probably not being the case (and being irrational for Ledas to assume).
- Prince Vegeta mentions the Super Saiyan legend to Ledas for the first time in this saga. This foreshadows their later conversation about the Super Saiyan Legend as well as Ledas' later Super Saiyan transformations.
- This is also the chapter where Ledas learns about Frieza for the first time. Him not knowing about Frieza amplifies his perceived isolation from the real world, or the political goings on in the kingdom. Prince Vegeta knowing who Frieza is serves to contrast the two characters, showing their demeanor as well - Prince Vegeta is more cynical, though determined, because he knows more, while Ledas is more carefree and naive because he doesn't really know what's going on in the larger picture. This is highly unorthodox because it implies that Ledas is merely a spectator in this saga - he's not the active mover of his own plot, even though this is his story.
- Nappa is so shocked at the boys' power levels because they have become much stronger than he.
- Prince Vegeta and Ledas hiding their power levels has a rational basis behind it - they don't want to let Frieza know what he's going to face. They want to surprise him. This should be funny to any reader, as they would know that Frieza is so much more powerful than Ledas and Prince Vegeta that they have no chance of doing any damage to him. So their scheming is rather pointless, showing their naivety. Prince Vegeta is naive too, which shows him perhaps developing his personality in relation to Ledas (as Ledas did with him in the previous scene with the Saiyan children when he acted almost as arrogantly as Prince Vegeta).
- Ledas saying "Mr. Nappa sir" remains one of my favorite lines of his. I was very happy when Destructivedisk read that line when he did his audio audition for Ledas several years ago.
- At the end of this chapter I knew it was time to get off Planet Vegeta. I couldn't do endless chapters of training. I had to vary the scenery. It was very exciting to me to get to the combat assignment. This saga is heavily based on the Bardock Special, which has several combat assignments. They were going to heavily influence the mission, and I knew as I decided to end this chapter that I needed to go in that direction with the story.
Always Remember Your First
<CUTS, RATHER SHARPLY TO LEDAS AND LAYEECK TRAINING, ON A NORMAL DESERT AREA ON PLANET VEGETA; IT IS BRIGHT AND HOT OUT>
<LAYEECK PUNCHES LEDAS, HARD; BLOOD IS RUNNING FROM HIS NOSE>
<THEY CONTINUE TO SPAR FOR A WHILE; LAYEECK STOPS, PUNCHING HIS SON TO THE GROUND>
Layeeck: Once more.
Ledas: I-I-I can’t…
Layeeck: You will. <PUNCHES LEDAS AGAIN>
<LAYEECK ATTACKS, LEDAS DOESN’T BLOCK; HE FALLS TO THE GROUND>
Layeeck: Get up! I know you can take more than that!
Ledas: <ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES, BREATHING HEAVILY; LOOKS UP> Dad, we’re going on a mission today! I can’t do this!
Layeeck: <VERY ANGRILY, KICKS LEDAS> Show me your full power!!
Ledas: <AGHAST> Bu-but… dad, you said the other day I should conceal it.
Layeeck: <FORCEFUL, NOT ANGRY> To the others. Not to me. I am your father; I need to know. <LAYEECK PICKS UP LEDAS, HOLDING HIM BY HIS SHIRT; LEDAS DOES NOT STRUGGLE> I’ve seen you train, I know what you can do… hell, you’ve been taking on more Saibamen than a group of ten Saiyans could at once! <SLOWS DOWN A BIT> Now, POWER UP! <THROWS LEDAS TO THE AWAY FROM HIM>
<LAYEECK CHARGES AT LEDAS AGAIN, WHO THIS TIME MOVES OUT OF THE WAY, LAYEECK TRIES THIS A FEW MORE TIMES, BUT CANNOT LAND A HIT>
Ledas: <UNWILLINGLY> I don’t want to humiliate you, father. Please…
<LAYEECK, FRUSTRATED ATTACKS LEDAS; LEDAS DODGES AND HITS HIS FATHER IN THE BACK, SENDING HIM FLYING INTO THE GROUND>
Layeeck: Enough. <POUNDS HIS FISTS ON THE GROUND; LEDAS FREEZES> No one else is around here. Show me your power level!
Ledas: <VERY MUCH AS THE CHILD HE IS> Fine! I’m stronger than you! But, I don’t need to power up to show you that. <TO HIMSELF> We agreed not to… <DESCENDS AGAIN TO THE GROUND AND WALKS AWAY, DEFIANTLY, THOUGH LIMPING>
Layeeck: <WATCHES LEDAS WALK AWAY, LAYEECK IS SOMEWHAT TIRED AS HE TAKES OFF HIS ARMOR> So stubborn… <A SMALL SMILE CREEPS ONTO HIS FACE, IF BUT FOR AN INSTANCE> I wonder who he gets that from…
<LAYEECK’S SMILE QUICKLY FADES; REMEMBERING WHAT LEDAS SAID, HE POWERS UP TO HIS MAXIMUM, AND MEASURES HIS POWER LEVEL>
Layeeck: <IN HIS MIND> 3600… <HE BOWS HIS HEAD> Ledas is right. He is stronger than me.
<LATER THAT DAY>
<LEDAS IS IN A REJUVENATION TANK; PRINCE VEGETA COMES IN WITH NAPPA; BOTH ARE IN FULL ARMOR>
Prince Vegeta: What’s he doing in there? Really, we’re going to be late!
<A TECHNICIAN OF MALAKA’S RACE WALKS BY>
Technician: Oh yes, he checked in earlier today. He was pretty beat up, if I remember. <STOPS AND LOOKS IN ON THE TANK> He’s looking better now.
Prince Vegeta: So? Is he ready to go? This is my first mission, I won’t wait for him!
Technician: I… <SIGHS> he’s close enough. <THE TECHNICIAN PRESSES A BUTTON, LETTING LEDAS OUT>
<LEDAS IMMEDIATELY WAKES UP; HE IS WEARING NOTHING BUT HIS UNDERCLOTHES; HIS ARMOR IS ON A HANGER NEARBY>
<WITHOUT TALKING, NAPPA MOVES FORWARD, GRABS LEDAS BY THE HAIR AND DRAGS HIM OUT, HIS ARMOR IN HIS HANDS; PRINCE VEGETA FOLLOWS THEM OUT>
<ALL THREE OF THEM ENTER SPECIALIZED PODS IN A RESERVED HANGER, AND TAKE OFF; IT DOES NOT TAKE THEM LONG TO GET TO THE PLANET>
<NAPPA, PRINCE VEGETA, AND LEDAS HAVE LANDED ON A PLANET, NAPPA IS SCANNING THE HORIZON, THE OTHER TWO ARE PREPARING FOR THE ONSLAUGHT; AS LEDAS GETS OUT OF HIS POD, HE SLIDES HIS CHEST-PIECE ARMOR OVER HIS HEAD, AND PUTS ON HIS SIDE PIECES TOO>
Nappa: Yeah, this shouldn’t be too much trouble or fun either… no one here has a power level above 150. You won’t needta transform this time.
Prince Vegeta: <LOOSENING UP HIS SHOULDERS> Let’s do this. Remember Nappa, we don’t need your help. <HE LOOKS TO LEDAS> And you, just do what I tell you. If you don’t, Nappa and I’ll leave you here. Understand?
Nappa: Right, prince.
Ledas: <STRETCHING OUT HIS LEGS> Yeah, okay Vegeta!
Nappa: Hey Vegeta, you’re forgetting something. Ahhhhhh… catch! <THROWS AN ENERGY BEAM AT VEGETA AND LEDAS, IT BINDS THEIR TAILS TOGETHER> Don’t wander off now, heh heh.
<PRINCE VEGETA LOOKS PERPLEXED>
Prince Vegeta: What’s this for, Nappa?! <HE PULLS ON THE ENERGY> Take it off!
Nappa: <GRINNING> Heh, your father wants to see how well ya two work together, that’s all! And, you-know-who is watching. So don’t try any funny business. <NAPPA WAVES THEM AWAY> See ya!
Ledas: Who’s you-know-who?
Prince Vegeta: <LIP TREMBLING> Quiet. I’ll tell you later… <HE LOOKS OVER TO NAPPA, WHILE TUGGING ON THE ENERGY> Fine, but just because he’s watching. <VEGETA IS MORE THAN ANGRY AS HE TURNS AWAY; LEDAS DOES NOT QUESTION WHAT THIS COULD MEAN>
<THE TWO TAKE OFF, USING THEIR SCOUTERS TO FIND POPULATION CENTERS>
<FOR SOME REASON, THE PLANET’S ARMIES ARE EXPECTING THEM; TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ALIENS ARE LINED UP, GUARDING THE ENTRANCE TO THE CITIES BEYOND; THEY HAVE WEAPONS IN THEIR HANDS, WHICH THEY START SHOOTING>
Prince Vegeta: <ABOUT A HUNDRED FEET OFF THE GROUND, STILL> What’s the deal? How’d they know we’d be here?
Ledas: Maybe they were expecting somebody else…? <SHOTS START RAINING DOWN AROUND THE TWO SAIYANS>
Prince Vegeta: We better get out of here. Follow me. Come on! <VEGETA STARTS WEAVING THROUGH THE BLASTS, SHOOTING OUT HIS OWN IN THE PROCESS, LEDAS FOLLOWS SUIT>
<THEY ARRIVE INTO THE CITY>
Ledas: Ah!!! <SHOOTS A LARGE ENERGY BLAST, DESTROYS A HUGE BUILDING> Hey Vegeta, I bet I can blow up more buildings than you.
Prince Vegeta: <TRIES TO HIDE A SMIRK BUT HAS A HARD TIME> You’re on!
<THEY BOTH START ATTACKING THE BUILDINGS, AS A KIND OF GAME>
<NAPPA IS STANDING ON A CLIFF-FACE WATCHING THE CARNAGE>
Nappa: Heh, they ain’t half bad… <SUDDENLY, HIS SCOUTER GOES OFF; HE SWINGS HIS HEAD AROUND JUST IN TIME TO GET A KICK IN THE FACE; HE FLIES BACKWARD, OFF THE CLIFF, AND TUMBLES DOWN THE SLOPE>
<BACK IN THE CITY; PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY NOW, BUT THE ARMIES ARE STILL PURSUING THEM; DEBRIS IS EVERYWHERE>
Ledas: <ROLLS OUT THE WAY OF AN INCOMING BLAST, RETURNS TO ONE KNEE, THEN SHOOTS AN UNREFINED WAVE INTO THE FACE OF A NEARBY SOLDIER> Hey Vegeta… how many do you think there are?
Prince Vegeta: <DETONATES A BUILDING, IT FALLS OVER ONTO SOME CIVILIANS/SOLDIERS; LAUGHS; VEGETA IS STILL BRIMMING WITH EXCITEMENT, SOMETHING THAT HE HAS A HARD TIME CONCEALING> Not enough for the both of us. Now be quiet and help me!
<MORE SOLDIERS POUR IN, VEGETA AND LEDAS TAKE THEIR TIME BLASTING THEM AWAY; THE CITY IS IN RUINS, THEY MOVE ONTO ANOTHER, WITH THE SAME RESULT>
<AS THEY REACH A FLAT, PRINCE VEGETA FIRES OFF AN ENERGY BEAM, DESTROYING A HUGE AREA; PREPARING ANOTHER ONE, HE IS SUDDENLY HIT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD, DESTROYING HIS SCOUTER; HE FALLS, AND IS UNCONSCIOUS>
Ledas: Vegeta! <DUE TO THEM BEING TIED TOGETHER, VEGETA IS UPSIDE DOWN, DANGLING IN MID AIR, LEDAS HAS TO READJUST HIMSELF TO CARRY VEGETA’S WEIGHT ON HIS SORE TAIL> Vegeta! Wake up! <THE MYSTERIOUS ATTACKERS GROUP IN ONTO LEDAS, THERE ARE FIVE OF THEM> Who are y– <ONE OF THEM UPPERCUT PUNCHES LEDAS, SENDING THE TWO SAIYANS FLYING INTO A NEARBY BUILDING> <WITH LETHARGY> Vegeta… wake up… Crap!
<TWO OF THE ATTACKERS JUMP AT LEDAS, HE DODGES OUT OF THE WAY, AND HITS ONE IN THE GUT, IT DOUBLES OVER, BUT BEFORE HE CAN KILL IT, THE OTHER ONE HITS HIM WITH A BEAM>
<LEDAS IS CAREFUL NOT TO MOVE AROUND AS FAST, AS DOING SO WOULD WHIPLASH VEGETA, DUE TO VEGETA BEING “DEAD WEIGHT” ON HIM, NOT TO MENTION THROWING OFF LEDAS’ BALANCE; HE LANDS A HIT ON ONE OF THEM, BUT IS ROUGHLY SLAMMED INTO THE GROUND FOR IT>
<NOW LEDAS GETS A CLEAR PICTURE AT THE ALIENS; THEY ARE ALL OF VARIOUS SPECIES, SOME OF WHICH HE IS VAGUELY FAMILIAR WITH; BUT ALL OF THEM ARE WEARING THE SAME STANDARD ARMOR AS HIM; HE LOOKS BACK DOWN AT VEGETA, WHO IS STILL ASLEEP>
Ledas: <PANTING> Vegeta… <STANDS UP, LOOKING AT HIS ATTACKERS> Well?! Come and get me, ya big jerks! <HE STANDS DEFIANTLY AGAINST THEM>
<TWO OF THE ALIENS START A DIVEBOMB TOWARD LEDAS, AT THE LAST SECOND, BEFORE THE FIRST ONE HITS HIM, LEDAS SHOOTS A BLAST INTO HIS FACE, KILLING THE ALIEN (note: Ledas did not charge his attack up); THE OTHER HITS LEDAS, WHO IS UNABLE TO REACT FAST ENOUGH; IT PUSHES LEDAS TO THE GROUND>
<THE ALIEN STANDS OVER LEDAS, WITH HIS BOOT ON THE BOY’S FACE; HE KICKS LEDAS, HARD>
<LEDAS ATTEMPTS TO SHOOT AN ENERGY BLAST, BUT THE ALIEN SIDESTEPS IT>
Alien 3: So, ya thought you could play dirty, huh? <RAISES HIS HAND TO THE AIR, AN ENERGY BLAST STARTS TO FORM> Well, kid, let me give you your first lesson. <LAUGHS, IN A PROLONGED WAY> The first rule of war… <ALL OF THE SUDDEN, A SMALL BEAM OF ENERGY SHOOTS THROUGH THE BACK OF HIS HEAD, AND OUT OF HIS FOREHEAD, HE FALLS>
Prince Vegeta: <STANDING, BEHIND THE FALLEN ALIEN, HAND STILL OUTREACHED, ARROGANTLY SMILING>… is that there are no rules.
Ledas: <SMILING, LAUGHING HAPPILY> You’re awake!
Prince Vegeta: <WALKS UP TO LEDAS, HELPS HIM UP; STRETCHING NECK> I wouldn’t miss this. <BOTH ARE GRINNING, VERY EAGER FOR THE FIGHT>
<THE OTHER THREE ALIENS CHARGE, AND ATTACK THE CHILDREN, THEY ALL ENGAGE IN HAND TO HAND COMBAT; VEGETA TAKES ON ONE, BUT LEDAS IS ABLE TO HOLD HIS OWN WITH TWO AT ONCE>
<EVENTUALLY, VEGETA AND LEDAS CROSS EACH OTHER, FIRE OFF SIMULTANEOUS GALICKS, AND TAKE THEIR ENERGY BINDING UP THE MIDDLE, (BURNING) KNOCKING THE THREE ALIENS OVER; TURNING AROUND IN MIDAIR, THE TWO SEND OFF A FLURRY OF BLASTS, WHICH COMPLETELY DECIMATES THE GROUND AND KILLS THE THREE ELITES>
<VEGETA AND LEDAS RETURN TO THEIR PODS; BOTH ARE EXHAUSTED, AND HAVE CHIPPED ARMOR; VEGETA HAS A BLOODY BRUISE ON HIS FOREHEAD>
<NAPPA IS SITTING ON A ROCK, ARMOR OFF, DIRTY AND BRUISED>
Prince Vegeta: <LANDS, BACK FACING NAPPA> What happened to you?
Nappa: <PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP> …Oh, uh… what’s that Vegeta? I was just taking a nap.
Prince Vegeta: Hmph… <CLIMBING INTO HIS POD> Well, while you were getting your beauty sleep, we went and cleared this whole planet.
Ledas: See! We didn’t even need your help.
Nappa: <MIXTURE OF DISTRACTION, EMBARRASSMENT, AND ANGER> Yeah, yeah. Let’s just go home.
<LEDAS, PRINCE VEGETA, AND NAPPA ENTER THEIR PODS, TAKE OFF, AND RETURN TO PLANET VEGETA; THEY LAND>
<SCENE CUTS TO THE THREE AT KING VEGETA’S CHAMBERS>
<THEY WALK INTO THE ROOM WHERE KING VEGETA IS SITTING ON HIS THRONE; LAYEECK AND TWO OTHER SAIYANS ARE AGAINST THE WALLS, ON GUARD DUTY; THERE IS A MALAKA ALIEN IN FRONT OF THE THRONE, WHO THE KING IS SPEAKING WITH>
King Vegeta: <TO THE ALIEN> Excuse me. <WALKS OVER TO THE THREE THAT JUST ENTERED; WEARILY> Nappa, tell me the news. I expect it’s good.
Nappa: <GLANCES AT PRINCE VEGETA> All went according to plan, King Vegeta.
King Vegeta: <SIGH OF RELIEF> As I hoped.
<KING VEGETA TURNS TO LEDAS AND PRINCE VEGETA, KNEELS DOWN, PRESSES HIS HANDS TOGETHER; BEFORE HE MAY SPEAK, HOWEVER, A DOOR OPENS ON THE FAR SIDE; OUT FROM IT COMES THAT DREADFUL CREATURE; FRIEZA ENTERS, ALONE>
<ALL, SLOWLY, TURN TO LOOK AT HIM>
Frieza: <IN SEMI-SLOWMO, WALKS RIGHT UP TO THE SAIYANS; COOLLY> King… Ve-ge-ta.
- This chapter's name is another phrase reference. This one is kind of more adult in origins as it has to do with either the first time a person has sex or a first love or somethinglike that. But in Saiyan culture, the most important thing is fighting; and I think a boy’s first fight (with his father) is as, if not more, memorable than the “human” ones mentioned above.
- The first scene in this chapter was originally in a much later chapter. I moved it up to chapter 6 so that Ledas' and Layeeck's relationship wouldn't disappear for a few chapters, as it previously had.
- Layeeck is stunned at Ledas' power as early as chapter 2. From that point on, he becomes slightly jealous of how strong his son is. He doesn't want Ledas to surpass him, but he realizes, by this point, that it almost certainly has happened. That is why he wants Ledas to power up - he wants confirmation that he is weaker than his son. He's paranoid and in a bad place. His anger is more at himself than at Ledas. Layeeck is disappointed that he's so weak. But he takes it out on Ledas, showing his personality.
- Prince Vegeta and Ledas agreed to conceal their power levels in the previous chapter for a variety of reasons. Relevant to the fight scene that opens this chapter, neither one of them wants to humiliate their father. That's a noble quality that Ledas and Prince Vegeta possess. Ledas is a rather patient individual, and that comes through in this scene where he allows his father to beat him up instead of humiliating Layeeck. Ledas definitely has a caring heart. But he's also defiant and stubborn, so Ledas showcases a wide range of emotions in this scene.
- The consequence of the first scene is that Ledas is injured enough to need a rejuvenation tank. This means he gets a zenkai in this chapter, briefly making him stronger than Prince Vegeta. I didn't have that occur in the first draft, but after thinking it over, I decided that a zenkai was necessary for Ledas to fight the group of aliens in this chapter by himself (at least for a short while). That means that this chapter is the only time in this saga that Ledas surpasses Prince Vegeta.
- Layeeck likens Ledas' stubbornness to his mate Cyleria's own stubbornness. She isn't specifically named in this saga, but that is who Layeeck is talking about. Cyleria's extreme stubbornness can be seen in The Great War.
- The member of Malaka's race wakes Ledas up before he fully heals, meaning he won't be at full power during the combat assignment.
- I like the way Nappa grabs Ledas by the hair and drags him out of the rejuvenation tank. That has great symbolic meaning for Ledas' personal agency throughout this saga.
- Prince Vegeta is still being rather mean to Ledas at certain points, such as when he suggests he'll leave Ledas behind if the boy doesn't wake up from the rejuvenation tank. He also declares that he will leave Ledas on the planet they travel to if he doesn't listen to the Prince's every command. I don't think he's legitimately being as mean as he was in earlier chapters; instead, Prince Vegeta is just putting on a persona to appear arrogant and in command, when he really is seeing Ledas more like a friend by this point. I particularly liked having Ledas say "Yeah, okay Vegeta!" as if even he wasn't buying the act either. In truth, Ledas probably doesn't have the intellect at this point to understand the complex public persona Prince Vegeta is portraying.
- The energy binding ties the Saiyans' tails together. I had this idea from very early on in my making of this saga. It's similar to how King Vegeta had the two work together to fight off the Saibamen in chapter 3, though in a more unique way.
- You-know-who is Frieza, of course. Mentioning him again foreshadows his appearance at the end of this chapter. He was mentioned last chapter too as a means of foreshadowing when he would confront the two Saiyan boys.
- Prince Vegeta's physical reaction to Nappa's declaration that Frieza was watching how the two boys' mission shows that, even though he acts all tough, he truly is nervous of the tyrant. I wouldn't say he's scared, but he's definitely nervous that he'll make a bad impression on his first mission.
- Though not overtly stated in the chapter, there is a reason why the planet's armies are on high alert - they had seen the group of aliens sent to the planet to test the two boys. While it's impossible to guess the specific reason the planet's armies are on alert, it does signal to the reader that something is not right, and there must be some sort of trap or weird thing going on.
- As I mentioned in the opening monologue, this chapter is where the theme song "Dragon Rider" most readily applies. Prince Vegeta and Ledas attacking the alien armies, smashing buildings, and having a grand old time on the desert world in this chapter fits well with that song.
- Prince Vegeta is actually having fun in this chapter; he's laughing, which may seem out of character. In truth, the prince has desired to go on a mission since chapter 4. This is what he loves doing. He doesn't mind training, but it's not as fun as clearing a planet of life.
- I had Prince Vegeta get knocked out for two reasons - one, I wanted to focus on Ledas fighting the aliens, as he is the main character of the story after all. I wanted to give him a little personal glory. Also, it would allow me to have the prince wake up at the end of the battle and have a badass moment - a moment I had planned since before writing a word of this chapter.
- I like the idea of Prince Vegeta being dead weight to Ledas in this chapter. That's definitely playful irony on my part.
- Ledas is very courageous when he tells the aliens to come and get them and stands up to them defiantly. That's one of my favorite qualities about him. I don't have scenes like this too often, but by not doing it too often, it amplifies how courageous he can be.
- Prince Vegeta saying there are no rules in war is something I believe he also says sometime while on Namek. If not, I'm sure he says it at least once, somewhere, in DBZ.
- Prince Vegeta's posture after killing Alien 3 is a nod to how he looks after killing a Saibaman with a finger beam in the Bardock Special.
- Of note is the fact that Ledas uses a Galick attack during the battle against the three elites. That would be his Playful Galick, which he mostly uses while around Prince Vegeta.
- Ledas is able to take on two elites while Vegeta only takes on one because Ledas is stronger than Prince Vegeta during this chapter because of his zenkai at the start of it.
- Vegeta getting knocked out and injured means that, after this chapter ends, he will get a zenkai, which will put him back above Ledas in terms of power.
- The Nappa scene after the fight with the elites is really funny. Nappa's pride shines through as he tries to lie about sleeping - when he really got knocked out by the alien elites (as they didn't want him to help Ledas and Prince Vegeta fight them).
- The question at the end of the combat assignment scene is if those aliens would have killed Ledas and Prince Vegeta if they had won. I think not - Frieza wouldn't have allowed it. But Ledas and Prince Vegeta were not expected to kill any of them, either. Once Ledas killed the first one, I think the group would have wanted payback, so they would have wanted to kill him at least. I don't think they ever wanted to kill Prince Vegeta, knowing that Frieza would kill them if they disobeyed him in such an egregious manner.
- This chapter is the first time Layeeck is actually seen on guard duty, I believe. It's funny seeing him as a guard, as an onlooker, when he really should be an important member of the conversation in the last scene.
- King Vegeta is weary because of the burdens on his mind (his plan to kill Frieza and liberate his species). His relief at Prince Vegeta and Ledas doing well on their mission implies that he knew about the aliens who were going to attack them and also wasn't sure that the boys would be able to beat them.
- The way Frieza says King Vegeta's name is based on how the original FUNimation actor for Frieza would say that name.
- I like badass entrances for villains and heroes alike. I'll mention the others as we get to them in the commentary, but Frieza's is definitely the first. His entrance in this chapter's closing scene remains, to me, one of the more memorable and shocking moments in this saga. Sure, it's foreshadowed, but he comes out of nowhere, before anyone is ready. That's what makes it so cool.
King Vegeta: Lord Frieza! What are you doing here? <PANICKING; KNEELS>
Frieza: Oh? Can’t I ever visit? I was under the impression this is Planet Vegeta? The very same Planet Vegeta I preside over.
King Vegeta: <ALMOST PAINFULLY> Yes, Lord Frieza, of course.
Frieza: Now… <WALKS PAST KING VEGETA AND NAPPA> Prince Vegeta… and…
Ledas: …Ledas, sire! <HE AND PRINCE KNEEL>
Frieza: <NODS> Yes. <PAUSES> Your father speaks highly of the both of you. <SQUINTING, LOOKING AT THE KING> Our king isn’t one to lie, after all.
Prince Vegeta: <PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS STAY KNEELED> Thank you, Lord Frieza.
Frieza: <TO KING VEGETA, LAYEECK, NAPPA, AND OTHER SAIYANS; COLDLY AND ABRUPTLY> Leave us.
King Vegeta: O-of course, Lord Frieza. <KING VEGETA LAYEECK, NAPPA, AND THE OTHER SAIYANS LEAVE IN AN ANXIOUS MANNER>
Frieza: <WATCHING, WAITING FOR THE DOOR TO CLOSE; FINALLY IT DOES, FRIEZA WALKS A BIT FORWARD> That was impressive, today, taking out that squad like that. Tell me, Vegeta, do you think you could take on anything? Any planet at all?
Prince Vegeta: <WITHOUT PAUSE> Yes, sire. We can beat anybody.
Frieza: <SARCASTICALLY, BUT STILL SOMEWHAT CURIOUS> My my, Vegeta. You are confident.
Ledas: Uh… Lord Frieza… we are really strong.
Frieza: Ho ho ho! Is that so? <STARTS PACING> You are bold, the two of you. I like that. But at the same time, overconfident. And we wouldn’t want that to be your downfall, now would we?
Prince Vegeta: Sire?
Frieza: <TILTS HIS HEAD, PRESSES A BUTTON ON HIS SCOUTER> Vegeta, I’ve ordered a soldier, my… benefactor to have a planet assigned to you. You will clear all life from it immediately, then report back to my ship. Don’t count on this being as easy as before.
Prince Vegeta & Ledas: <TOGETHER> Yes, Lord Frieza.
Frieza: Oh, and one more thing, my dear Saiyans.
Prince Vegeta & Ledas: Yes, sire?
Frieza: <SMILES> Be back by three days’ time, or don’t come back at all. <FRIEZA STEPS BACK, GESTURES TO THE DOOR HE CAME THROUGH PREVIOUSLY; VEGETA AND LEDAS WALK OUT; THE DOOR CLOSES>
<BOTH CALMLY WALK OUT OF THE ROOM; WHEN OUT OF SIGHT OF FRIEZA, BOTH START RUNNING>
Ledas: This is awesome!
Prince Vegeta: Three days, huh?
Ledas: Do think we can do it that fast, Vegeta?
Prince Vegeta: We can do it in two. We have to.
<BOTH RUN TO THE AREA WHERE FRIEZA SAID; THIS IS MARKEDLY DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THE PALACE; IT IS FRIEZA’S PERSONAL LANDING PAD; HIS OWN SOLDIERS STAND GUARD AROUND; NEXT TO HIS HUGE SAUCER SHIP, TWO PODS ARE WAITING IN A DOCKING ZONE; STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM, OVER MONITOR ON A PILLAR IS ONE OF FRIEZA’S SOLDIERS; THE BENEFACTOR HE MENTIONED BEFORE>
<THIS CREATURE IS NOT DRESSED AS THE OTHER SOLDIERS; IT DOES NOT WEAR ANY ARMOR OR A SCOUTER; INSTEAD, IT HAS A LONG BLACK HOOD COVERING MOST OF ITS BODY>
The Benefactor: <STILL> They’re dead; get over it, Zarbon. <VEGETA AND LEDAS RUN UP TO HIM; HE PRESSES A BUTTON AND CUTS THE CONNECTION>
Ledas: <STARING AT THE BENEFACTOR> Who are you?
The Benefactor: <UNMOVING, CONTINUES TO TYPE AWAY ON HIS TERMINAL> You ever hear of someone who’s too dangerous to let live? Consider me that someone.
Prince Vegeta: Just get our pods ready. <LEDAS CONTINUES TO STARE AT THE BENEFACTOR>
The Benefactor: <PRESSES A BUTTON, THE POD DOORS OPEN; TURNS TO LEDAS, GETS REALLY CLOSE TO HIM> Careful, kiddo. You stare at death for too long, and one day it just might stare back.
Ledas: <WITH FEAR> R-right…
<LEDAS STEPS BACK, TRIPPING OVER HIMSELF; THE BENEFACTOR GOES BACK TO HIS DUTIES>
<LEDAS AND VEGETA GET INTO THEIR PODS, LEDAS STILL SEEMS TROUBLED ABOUT THE BENEFACTOR, BUT HE IS TRYING NOT TO STARE>
The Benefactor: <BORED> Has Lord Frieza made it clear you have three days?
Prince Vegeta: Yeah.
<LEDAS REMAINS QUIET, JUST LOOKING AT THE BENEFACTOR>
The Benefactor: <ALMOST A WHISPER> Then, <PRESSES A BUTTON> get going. <BOTH PODS SHOOT OFF INTO SPACE>
<FROM A WINDOW IN THE NEXT ROOM, KING VEGETA, LAYEECK, AND NAPPA WATCH AS THE CHILDREN TAKE OFF DOWN THE HALL TOWARD THEIR MISSION>
King Vegeta: Frieza must have given them a mission.
Layeeck: <SHAKES HIS HEAD> They aren’t ready.
Nappa: Why? This way we get to see if the two little… <KING VEGETA GIVES HIM A LOOK> …kids… really can play with the big boys.
King Vegeta: Layeeck’s right. If they fail, I can’t even begin to think what Frieza would do.
Nappa: Whaddya mean?
King Vegeta: I don’t have any other options. Nappa, follow them. Try to–
<FRIEZA ENTERS; KING VEGETA STOPS TALKING>
Frieza: It’s been a while, Vegeta. I was almost thinking you had forgotten me.
King Vegeta: Sire, we’ve continued conquering as many planets as we can. We are doing all we can to serve your empire.
Frieza: I am well aware, Vegeta. Now, let’s not talk business. Show me the Royal Palace. I want to see it all.
King Vegeta: Very well.
<FRIEZA WALKS FORWARD, AND VEGETA TAKES STRIDE WITH HIM; KING VEGETA TURNS HIS HEAD AROUND, MOTIONS TO NAPPA WITH HIS HANDS, AND NAPPA EXITS; KING VEGETA AND FRIEZA WALK OFF, WITH THE KING MOTIONING THIS WAY AND THAT, SHOWING FRIEZA HIS HOME>
<CUTS TO THE NEXT SCENE>
<PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS’ PODS LAND ON A PLANET>
<PRINCE VEGETA EXITS HIS POD, LEDAS FOLLOWS>
Prince Vegeta: So this is it, huh? <CLICKS HIS SCOUTER> Ha, look at this! There’s barely anybody here. We can do this!
Ledas: Yeah, but they’re strong…
<VEGETA LAUGHS AT THIS, THEN TAKES OFF; LEDAS FOLLOWS>
<BOTH ARE FLYING, SEE ANOTHER POD SHOOT INTO THE ATMOSPHERE AND HIT THE GROUND>
Prince Vegeta: What? Who could that be?
Ledas: Maybe they’re here to help us.
<PRINCE VEGETA PAUSES, THEN TURNS TO WHERE THE POD LANDED, HE STARTS FLYING TOWARD IT>
Prince Vegeta: Hmph, we don’t need it.
<BOTH ARRIVE AT THE POD; THEY WALK UP TO THE DOOR, IT IS OPEN; THEY PEER IN>
Prince Vegeta: I wonder who it was…
Ledas: Whoever it was… they stink! Ewwww….
Nappa: <STANDING ON A ROCK BEHIND THEM, SMILING> Ya little brats shouldn’t be talkin’ about me like that.
Ledas: What are you doing here?
Nappa: Ol’ kingy sent me to help. Come on, I’ll show ya–
Prince Vegeta: Hmph. We don’t need your help! I know how to get a planet ready for Frieza, I’ve done it before. Besides, how can someone weaker than me teach me anything?
Nappa: Thanks for sharing, Vegeta. Now… <IGNORING THEM, HE LOOKS OFF> There we go. A nice big city for you two to blow up. <WAVES HIS HAND> Heh heh, go on!
<THERE IS A FOREST IMMEDIATELY AHEAD; LEDAS AND VEGETA RUN INTO IT, SCANNING FOR THE LARGE POWER LEVELS; LEDAS RUNS WITH HIS ARMS BEHIND HIM>
<AS THEY RUN, A BUNCH OF DIRT SPEWS UP IN FRONT OF THEM; A LINE IN THE SAND, COMPRISED OF A WALL OF TURRETS, APPEARS; THEY SHOOT OFF ENERGY AT THE BOYS>
<LEDAS DUCKS BEHIND A TREE, BUT IT SOON EXPLODES; HE DIVES AWAY AGAIN; VEGETA TRIES A CONTINUOUS ENERGY BULLET ATTACK ON THEM, BUT THE ENERGY JUST BOUNCES OFF THE ARMOR OF THE TURRETS>
<VEGETA DODGES BACK, AND LANDS IN A GULLY WITH LEDAS; THE ATTACKS KEEP HAMMERING AWAY AT THEM, BUT THEIR POSITION IS SUFFICIENT TO ALLOW THEM A FEW MOMENTS OF STRATEGIZING>
Prince Vegeta: What do we do?
Ledas: We could try our strongest attacks at the same time.
Prince Vegeta: No, you fool, they shoot too fast. We wouldn’t be able to charge anything up.
Ledas: Um, how about we distract them with an afterimage?
Prince: <LOOKS AT LEDAS, THINKING> Fine, you create it. <HE CRANES HIS NECK UP, THE TURRETS ARE STILL FIRING OFF ON THEIR POSITION> Come on, do it!
<LEDAS NODS; HE OPENS HIS FISTS, THROWING HIS ARMS BEHIND HIM AND SHOOTS STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR; THE TURRETS IMMEDIATELY TRACK HIM; AS THEY FIRE ON HIM, VEGETA SHOOTS OUT OF THE HOLE, PAST THE TURRETS>
<LEDAS SEPARATES HIMSELF FROM THE AFTERIMAGE, LETTING IT SHOOT UP STILL; HE FALLS DOWNWARD, GOING AS FAST AS HE CAN; THE TURRETS CANNOT TRACK HIS SPEED, AND BY THE TIME HIS AFTERIMAGE BURNS OUT, HE SPIRALS DOWN, LANDING ON HIS FEET BEHIND THE LINE OF TURRETS>
<NOW BEYOND THEM IS A CITY; IT IS FILLED WITH THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF ALIENS; HAVING GOTTEN PAST THE DEFENSES, AND HAVING NOT ALERTED ANY OF THE PLANET’S MILITARY FORCES, LEDAS AND VEGETA STROLL INTO THE CITY>
<VEGETA DROPS TO ONE KNEE; HE SHOOTS OFF HUGE PURPLE BEAMS FROM EACH HAND, DECIMATING ALL BUILDINGS IN FRONT OF HIM; LEDAS IS IN THE AIR, RAINING DOWN LARGE ENERGY BALLS>
<THE CITY IS TAKEN COMPLETELY OFF GUARD; BEFORE THEY CAN MOBILIZE ANY SORT OF RESISTANCE, THEY ARE WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE PLANET; LEDAS LANDS NEXT TO VEGETA; THEY USE THEIR SCOUTERS, AND SEE THERE ARE A FEW MORE CITIES BEYOND>
<THEY TAKE OFF AFTER THE NEAREST ONE, FASTER THAN THE WINDS>
- This chapter's name is just stating how important Frieza becomes in the latter half of this saga. While technically Frieza was introduced at the very end of the last chapter (in terms of the current plot, not the prologue), this is his true introduction. Being the overlord of basically the entire galaxy, his entrance didn’t need much more than a “Lord Frieza”. Also note how the first word is italicized - something I did a lot with early chapter names (which now only exists in three total chapters, but I'll mention those when I get to them).
- This is the first chapter to start immediately after the previous one.
- In the first draft, I had a recap at the start of this chapter that was basically just a copy-paste from the previous chapter. I deleted that once I realized how pointless it was. I believe I did that because of all the recaps in DBZ episodes.
- This is the only chapter where Ledas speaks with Frieza. He might've spoken with Frieza off-screen in other places, but this chapter's first scene is the only confirmed time it happens in TF.
- Frieza's dialogue in the first scene is highly inspired by his dialogue in the Bardock Special. The first signs of him being fatherly towards Ledas and Prince Vegeta can be glimpsed at as well. He finds their hubris funny, but also tries to subtly humble them.
- Frieza giving them a three day time limit shows that he already considers the two Saiyan boys to be amongst his most elite soldiers. It's also a test - I don't think he'd kill them if they failed. He's trying to get a sense of just how powerful they are.
- The Benefactor's first bit of dialogue is a subtle explanation as to who the group of soldiers in the previous chapter were. As explained throughout this saga, they were Zarbon's team (Dodoria's team was seen in the Bardock Special, providing me the inspiration to give Zarbon a team as well). Zarbon is extremely angry that they were killed by Ledas and Prince Vegeta. He thought they were only going to test the duo. This is the start of a side plot throughout the saga of Zarbon and The Benefactor having a bit of a feud - as The Benefactor doesn't care that they died and Zarbon is angry at him because of that. The Benefactor also recruits Zarbon's new team in this saga, which is actually the same team seen in Hyper Zergling's series.
- As I mentioned in the opening monologue, The Benefactor wasn't in the original plan for this saga. I only came up with his character a short while before writing this chapter. One of the biggest parts of my final edits for this saga involved cleaning up TB's dialogue and changing how his plot ends in this saga. Early TB's dialogue was rather lame, and I sought to improve that in the final edits throughout all sagas.
- Notably, Ledas notices The Benefactor while Prince Vegeta doesn't care who he is and just wants to get in his pod. This shows the different priorities of the two boys and also reveals how Ledas has a different type of awareness than the prince. Ledas noticing The Benefactor while Prince Vegeta does not is part of the reason why TB affects Ledas so much and seems to have no affect on the prince in this saga.
- "You ever hear of someone who’s too dangerous to let live? Consider me that someone. " was a line of dialogue I came up with for TB before writing any of this chapter. It remains one of my favorite lines in the series.
- The Benefactor greatly affects Ledas in their first scene together. Ledas is drawn to him for some reason - he is horrified and fascinated by the creature. That Ledas even cares about TB shows a bit of his personality. The Benefactor is quite the foil for Ledas in this chapter.
- One of the things I really like about this saga is how The Benefactor isn't the main guy. He's just another one of Frieza's soldiers, albeit a high-ranking one. He's not the focus of the story. His plot throughout this saga provides great buildup for his character arc throughout the rest of TF in a subtle, but deliberate manner.
- Nappa would have called Ledas and Prince Vegeta brats if King Vegeta hadn't given him that look.
- King Vegeta is very protective of his son. He doesn't want the prince to fail and is, somewhat irrationally, fearful that he will fail on his mission. That's why he sends Nappa after the two. But the important thing to glean from that scene is what lengths King Vegeta will go to in order to protect his son. Obviously, Nappa is not supposed to help the two boys. If Frieza found out, he would be quite angry and probably kill Nappa and punish King Vegeta. So King Vegeta isn't just sending Nappa for the hell of it. What he's doing is an act of rebellion for his son's sake, and it foreshadows the king's actions at the end of the story. King Vegeta has tried to not openly rebel yet, as he wants to wait until his son is strong enough to take on Frieza, but the circumstances in this chapter forced him to do something he wasn't otherwise planning on doing.
- When Ledas and Prince Vegeta arrived on the planet in the original draft of this chapter, Ledas had a vision about The Benefactor. I removed that as I thought it wasn't necessary - Ledas has a dream later in this saga about The Benefactor, and I felt that was enough. More scenes meant I was foreshadowing The Benefactor's later importance too overtly, and I didn't want to do that.
- Nappa is one of the most fun characters to write for. It's a pity I could only fit him in one saga. I had a lot of fun writing his scene with Prince Vegeta and Ledas in this chapter. It's one of the uncommon moments in TF (particularly in this saga) where I mainly just go for comedy. The scene itself doesn't really drive the plot.
- Prince Vegeta rejects Nappa's help because of his pride.
- Prince Vegeta's arrogance can be seen when he says "Besides, how can someone weaker than me teach me anything?" That kind of thinking gets the prince in quite a bit of trouble in DBZ.
- I imagined this chapter's planet to be a lot like Endor from the Star Wars universe. However, the scene with Nappa, kid Vegeta, and Ledas takes place in a rocky, desert area. The fight scene would be in the forest area.
- The way Ledas runs is a reference to the way Sonic the Hedgehog runs.
- Ledas comes up with the strategy in this chapter's fight, not Prince Vegeta, who had come up with most of the strategizing before this point. This shows Ledas' growing battle intellect as a result of his training with Prince Vegeta.
- The battle scene originally did not take place in this chapter, but I thought the chapter would be too boring without a battle so I moved it back into this chapter.
Wittles And A File
<TWO DAYS LATER>
<DOOR OPENS, VEGETA ENTERS, HEAD HELD HIGH>
Frieza: Vegeta. What are you doing back so soon?
Prince Vegeta: <HE HAS BATTLE SCARS, HIS ARMOR IS CRACKED AND BROKEN; KNEELS> We’re done, sire. The planet is yours.
Frieza: Oh? <SOMEWHAT CONCERNED> You’re even a day early.
Prince Vegeta: Me and Ledas cleared the whole planet… <ARROGANTLY> it was easy.
Frieza: My, my Vegeta. You are getting powerful. Your father should be proud, <PAUSES; LOOKS DIRECTLY AT VEGETA> or worried.
Prince Vegeta: <SMIRKS> My father wouldn’t of been able to defeat that planet so fast. I’ve grown much stronger than him.
Frieza: <LAUGHS> You should keep that to yourself, my young Saiyan. <GETS UP; TALKS INTO HIS SCOUTER TO ZARBON> Zarbon, young Vegeta here has finished his mission. Assign him another.
Zarbon: <OVER THE INTERCOM> Yes, Lord Frieza.
Prince Vegeta: Thank you sir.
Frieza: <SMILING> Be careful out there, Prince. I wouldn’t know what I would do without my little Vegeta, if something were to happen.
<LATER THAT DAY>
<VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE SITTING OUTSIDE, ON PLANET VEGETA; THEY ARE TAKING A BREAK FROM THEIR MISSIONS; NEITHER IS WEARING ARMOR, AND VEGETA HAS HIS TAIL HANGING LOOSELY (LEDAS HAS HIS LIKE THIS AT ALL TIMES); THEY ARE IN A SLIGHTLY FORESTED AREA, HILLY AS WELL>
Prince Vegeta: <MANIPULATING THE WATER IN A NEARBY POND> Ledas, how strong are you?
Ledas: <CHEERFULLY, NOT REALLY PAYING ATTENTION; HELD LONG> I <SAID QUICKLY, SHORTLY> dunno.
Prince Vegeta: Power up. I want to see how close we are.
<LEDAS STANDS UP, LOCKS HIS KNEES DOWN; HE PUTS HIS ARMS OUTWARD, LETS OUT A NECESSARY GRUNT, BRINGS HIS AURA UP AROUND HIM, AND POWERS UP TO HIS MAXIMUM; PRINCE VEGETA IS AMAZED AT HOW HIGH IT IS>
Prince Vegeta: Nice, 7000!
Ledas: <FLIES UP TO PRINCE VEGETA, UPSIDE DOWN> Your turn Vegeta.
Prince Vegeta: <SMIRKS> Stand back, I wouldn’t wanna singe your hair. <HE POWERS UP TO HIS MAXIMUM, MUCH IN THE SAME WAY LEDAS DID>
Ledas: Whoooaa! Your power level is 7200. I wish I could be that strong.
Prince Vegeta: <NOT ANGRILY> You’re not much weaker. We’re pretty close, actually.
Ledas: Vegeta… are we the strongest Saiyans yet?
Prince Vegeta: Not yet. <HOLDS ONTO WRIST, LOOKS BACK AT LEDAS> Long ago there was one, the fabled Super Saiyan. He was the strongest in the whole universe, before he died.
Ledas: Super Saiyan? What’s that?
Prince Vegeta: It’s what we’re going to become, if our power levels keep going up like this. But I won’t make the same mistake that he did.
Ledas: <MESSING AROUND WITH SOME GRASS> Huh? What’s that?
Prince Vegeta: The last Super Saiyan was killed because he couldn’t control his own power.
Ledas: <IN A CHILD-LIKE TONE, NOT DONE ON PURPOSE> He was so strong he couldn’t control it?! Wow, he must have really been the strongest ever!
Prince Vegeta: Records are meant to be broken. This one will be soon.
Ledas: But… how do we know when we become Super Saiyans?
Prince Vegeta: We just will. More importantly, Frieza will know. And he’ll pay. I’ll kill him myself if I have to.
Ledas: What?! Why do we want to kill him?
Prince Vegeta: You don’t know very much about Frieza, Ledas. He keeps us as a bunch of slaves to do his dirty work. We should be conquering planets for ourselves, not him! <STOPS AND FACES LEDAS> He may be the strongest now, but when I become a Super Saiyan, I’ll beat him, so we’ll all be free.
Ledas: Do I get to help?
Prince Vegeta: <BIG BROTHER TONE> Yeah Ledas. When we become Super Saiyans, you can help me kill Frieza.
Ledas: Aw, thanks.
<PRINCE VEGETA’S SCOUTER RINGS; HE CLICKS TO TURN IT OFF>
Prince Vegeta: Man, that boring presentation’s today.
Ledas: What presentation?
Prince Vegeta: Father’s holding a big feast to honor me being a warrior. Bah, it’s a waste of time. I’d rather be on our mission for Frieza.
<PRINCE VEGETA’S SCOUTER RINGS AGAIN; HE GRUMBLES, BUT THEN SAYS GOODBYE TO LEDAS AND FLIES OFF TO THE PALACE>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> Dad’s still on duty… I wonder if grandpa is home…
<HE TAKES TO THE SKIES, AND FLIES A VERY SHORT DISTANCE TO A NEARBY HILL; ON IT IS A LONE HOUSE, WITH A LONE TREE; HE LANDS AND KNOCKS ON THE ENTRANCE; AN ELDERLY MAN, WITH SIMILAR HAIR TO LEDAS, BUT GREYER, ANSWER IT; HE STEPS OUTSIDE>
Lascon: Ah, Ledas! It’s been a while.
Ledas: Hiya grandpa!
Lascon: What have you been up to these days? Following your father into the Elite, eh?
Ledas: Wewll, me an’ Prince Vegeta have been going on missions for Frieza.
Lascon: Frieza? You must be pretty strong to have gotten his attention!
Ledas: <BOLDLY> Yep! We are the strongest Saiyans ever… cept for that Super Saiyan a long time ago…
Lascon: Ah, you’ve gotten arrogant too, my boy. How about you and I spar? We’ve never had the proper chance.
Ledas: That’s cuz you’re old, grandpa.
Lascon: You have a point, Ledas. But, don’t be so quick to judge. I was the one of the King’s finest warriors in the Tuffle war. I’m not fully done yet.
<LASCON SUDDENLY JUMPS FORWARD AND GRABS LEDAS AROUND THE NECK; PUTTING LEDAS INTO A FULL-ON HOLD, LASCON RISES INTO THE AIR; HE RELEASES LEDAS, LETTING HIM FALL; THEN HE TELEPORTS TO LEDAS’ SIDE, AS HE FALLS, AND ELBOWS HIM DOWNWARD>
<LEDAS IS SHOCKED BY HIS GRANDFATHER’S ATTACK>
Lascon: <LAUGHS> I thought you were strong, Ledas!
Ledas: <EXACERBATED> I am! My power level is 7000!
Lascon: <IN HIS MIND> 7000? And I’m only 2700… I better be careful. <OUT LOUD> Good, attack me!
<LEDAS SENDS A ONE HANDED KYORRA FLASH UP TO HIS GRANDFATHER; LASCON DEFLECTS IT DOWN; AS SOON AS IT HITS THE GROUND, CREATING A LOAD OF HELL, HE TELEPORTS BEHIND LEDAS, BUT LEDAS SEES HIM; LEDAS DODGES, FLIPPING OVER HIS GRANDFATHER AND PUNCHING DOWN AT THE FIGURE; HOWEVER, THIS WAS SIMPLY AN AFTERIMAGE; LASCON REAPPEARS FROM ABOVE AND KICKS HIM SQUARE IN THE BACK; LEDAS DROPS TO HIS KNEES AND FALLS FORWARD; LASCON LUNGES AT HIM, BUT HE TELEPORTS AWAY; LEDAS IS CAREFUL TO TRACK HIM WITH HIS SCOUTER AS BEST AS HE CAN>
<LEDAS TRIES A MIMICK OF VEGETA’S SIGNATURE ATTACK, A GALICK GUN; HIS VARIANT IS A LIGHTER BLUE, AND MUCH SHORTER; THIS ATTACK CATCHES LASCON OFF GUARD; THE EXPLOSION PUSHES HIM AWAY, RIGHT INTO THE TREE; WHEN LASCON RECOVERS, LEDAS IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN>
<HE LOOKS AROUND, BUT TO NO AVAIL; HE WALKS FORWARD FROM THE TREE, THEN NOTICES SOMETHING COMING STRAIGHT AT HIM; IT APPEARS TO BE LEDAS; LASCON SHOOTS A BEAM AT HIM, BUT IT GOES RIGHT THROUGH; REALIZING IT IS AN AFTERIMAGE, LASCON SWIRLS AROUND, AND PUNCHES WILDLY; HIS FIST CONNECTS WITH LEDAS, WHO WAS MAKING A SURPRISE ATTACK FROM BEHIND; THE BOY FALLS BACKWARD ONTO THE GROUND; HIS LIP IS BLEEDING, HOWEVER HE IS NOT DAMAGED VERY MUCH>
Ledas: Ow, how’d ya see me?!
Lascon: You’re going to have to try something more elaborate than that to catch me off guard, Ledas.
<LEDAS CHARGES UP HIS AURA QUICKLY, THEN SHOOTS ACROSS THE GROUND, AS HE REMAINS LYING DOWN; HE SENDS HIMSELF, LIKE A BULLET, CRASHING INTO LASCON’S LEGS; LASCON FALLS OVER; LEDAS JUMPS UP, TAKING THE DOMINANT POSITION OVER HIS GRANDFATHER; HE PUNCHES HIS GRANDFATHER REPEATEDLY, IN A VERY QUICK FLURRY>
<LASCON MAKES AN EFFORT TO ONLY BLOCK EVERY FIFTH PUNCH (NOT THAT HE COULD DO MUCH BETTER IF HE TRIED); HE GRABS LEDAS’ HANDS, LOCKING THEM DOWN ON THE BOY’S; LASCON EASILY OVERPOWERS LEDAS IN THIS POSITION, DUE TO THE BOY’S CONFUSION ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING; A MOMENT LATER, LASCON HAS GOTTEN UP FROM THE GROUND, AND THROWN LEDAS A FEW FEET AWAY>
<LEDAS ATTEMPTS TO REBOUND IMMEDIATELY; HE BOUNCES OFF THE GROUND, BACKFLIPS BACKWARD, AND THEN EXTENDS BOTH OF HIS HANDS; HE CHARGES UP ANOTHER KYORRA FLASH; AS HE IS CHARGING IT, LASCON GETS AN EASY READ ON HIS BEARING; LEDAS CHARGES UP THE ATTACK TO ITS FULLEST, THEN AIMS HIS HANDS AT LASCON; LASCON DOES NOT MOVE>
<LEDAS FIRES THE BLAST; IT MAKES A HUGE GASH IN THE GROUND, AND BRIGHTENS THE AREA SO MUCH, NOT EVEN LEDAS CAN SEE; LASCON USES THIS TO HIS ADVANTAGE; AS SOON AS LEDAS FIRED THE BLAST, HE SIDESTEPPED, AND USED HIS SPEED TO RUN AROUND BEHIND LEDAS; HE CHOPS LEDAS IN THE BACK OF THE NECK; LEDAS TRIES TO TWIRL AROUND, BUT LASCON WILL HAVE NONE OF THAT; HE PUNCHES LEDAS TO THE GROUND>
<TAKING NO TIME TO SPARE, LASCON JUMPS FORWARD, AND KNEES LEDAS IN THE FACE; THE BOY FALLS TO THE GROUND; HE PICKS UP LEDAS BY THE BACK OF THE SHIRT, AND AS HE SWINGS HIM BACK, LASCON ELBOWS HIM IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD; LEDAS LETS OUT A SHARP CRY OF PAIN; HIS GRANDFATHER DROPS HIM>
Ledas: <SQUINTING UP AT LASCON, IN PAIN; HE IS HOLDING ONTO HIS HEAD> You gave me a headache, grandpa!
Lascon: Get up, you’re not hurt.
<LEDAS STANDS UP UNDER ORDERS, BUT STILL LOOKS TO BE IN PAIN>
Ledas: <PITIABLY> I’m sorry I didn’t do very good…
Lascon: Ledas, you are young. You have time to improve. You are powerful… much more so than your father or I. But you lack proper technique. Everything you do is predictable. I could see within your first set, you make every fifth punch the hard hitter – so I only had to block those. I could see you charging up your father’s signature move; and you gave me plenty of time to dodge it. My power is not half of your own, but I beat you. Raw strength means nothing if you are not tactically smart about your moves. Remember that.
Ledas: <STILL HOLDING HIS HEAD> Okay…
Lascon: You don’t understand a thing I just said, do you?
<LEDAS SHAKES HIS HEAD; LASCON LAUGHS AT THIS AND GRABS HIS GRANDSON AROUND THE NECK, BUT NOT IN AN ATTACK MOVE>
Lascon: Maybe we can fix that! You’re training with the Prince these days?
Ledas: <POLITELY> Yes sir.
Lascon: Have you gotten much experience in your transformed state?
Ledas: Well, no.
Lascon: I should be able to help with that! How about I teach you a little about that next week?
Ledas: Okay, me and Vegeta can – <LEDAS REALIZES> wait, I’ve gotta go! I forgot Vegeta’s presentation today!
<LASCON NODS AT HIS GRANDSON, AND LEDAS HURRIEDLY JUMPS INTO THE AIR AND FLIES OFF; LASCON WATCHES HIM, AS HE LAUGHS TO HIMSELF, AND THEN RETURNS INSIDE, MUMBLING TO HIMSELF ABOUT HOW HE’S STILL GOT IT>
<LEDAS REACHES THE PALACE; HE LANDS, SKIDS ON THE GROUND, BUT RUNS FORWARD ANYWAY; PRINCE VEGETA IS STILL FAR UP AHEAD IN THE GREAT HALL, LEDAS RUNS INTO THE CROWD OF SAIYANS WATCHING; HE CANNOT POSSIBLY GET THROUGH ALL OF THEM; HE DECIDES TO LEVITATE AND WATCH>
<VEGETA IS IN HIS BEST ARMOR, WHITE ON GOLD, AND HIGHLY ORNATE; IT IS SHINING BRIGHT AGAINST HIS MAGENTA CAPE; ON ONE SIDE OF HIM IS THE KING; ON THE OTHER IS FRIEZA, WATCHING HIM WITH AN INTENT FACE>
<PRINCE VEGETA DESCENDS THE STEPS AND BEGINS HIS SHOWCASE FIGHTING AGAINST SEVERAL ADULT SAIYANS, ALL AT ONCE; HE EASILY DOMINATES THEM; LEDAS TURNS HIS ATTENTION BACK TO FRIEZA, AND THE TWO FIGURES BEHIND HIM; ONE IS IN FULL ARMOR, LOOKING BORED WITH GREEN SKIN; THE OTHER IS THE CREATURE LEDAS HAD MET BEFORE ON HIS FIRST MISSION FOR FRIEZA; THAT BENEFACTOR; AS LEDAS STARES AT IT, HE GETS THE SAME FREEZING, COLD, HOPELESS FEELING AS BEFORE>
<THE CREATURE IS HOLDING ITSELF HIGH, STANDING AGAINST THE WALL; IT DOES NOT MOVE, BUT LEDAS PERCEIVES IT LOOKING BACK AT HIM>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I think he’s looking at me.
<LEDAS SHIVERS AT THE THOUGHT>
- This chapter name is a reference to Charles Dickens' book "Great Expectations". Wittles and a file were what Pip had to originally get for that story's dreaded convict. It was chosen because of the Ledas/Lascon and Ledas/Benefactor interactions in this chapter. I chose this chapter title because I was reading "Great Expectations" at the time of doing my final edits for this saga.
- Originally, this chapter was called "Do Come Back Alive", which is something Frieza said to kid Vegeta in the Bardock Special. As I already have a chapter called "The Boy Doesn't Mean Any Harm", I felt it was repetitive to have two Frieza quotes from that special as chapter titles, so I removed this one.
- This chapter has the first technical appearance of Zarbon. While he was conversing with The Benefactor in the previous chapter, he didn't have any dialogue, so he didn't really appear.
- The first scene in this chapter is the first scene featuring Prince Vegeta in which Ledas isn't present or in the other room. Ledas isn't even on Frieza's ship in this chapter's first scene. It is not made clear as to why I did that, but the best guess is that Frieza cares more about Prince Vegeta, and the prince would rather only he speaks to Frieza so that Ledas doesn't screw anything up.
- Prince Vegeta saying that he's much stronger than his father is a boast inspired by Vegeta saying that on Namek in DBZ. Of course, at this point, he's likely weaker than his father - it was the fact that he had someone as strong as Ledas assisting him that he cleared the planet so fast. Their power levels together greatly eclipsed any other Saiyan team at the time.
- Originally, Frieza said "Do come back alive" to end the first scene. I modified his speech to say essentially the same thing but not rip off the Bardock Special dialogue in my final edits of this chapter. Otherwise, the first scene remains basically the same from the first draft to the final draft.
- I have no idea where Prince Vegeta manipulating water came from in the first draft. I suppose it was just me having him do something moderately interesting and cool to open the scene, but I don't do stuff like that in the rest of TF, to my knowledge. No one manipulates water or other things with their ki in that manner.
- In the first draft, Ledas and Prince Vegeta were much stronger when they powered up in the second scene - I think almost 4k power level stronger. I toned it back to make their power growth more realistic in the final draft. Their power levels do confirm that neither is as strong as King Vegeta, however. They aren't even that close, in truth.
- In addition to giving the reader an update on how strong Prince Vegeta and Ledas are, the second scene also shows Prince Vegeta telling Ledas the Super Saiyan legend. This is an important bonding moment between the two and also gives Ledas some information on the Super Saiyan legend that the readers should know but he would not. Again, this foreshadows his later Super Saiyan transformations and also gives a clearer idea of where the plot is headed in this saga.
- It's interesting to note that Ledas wasn't predisposed to hate Frieza. This is mostly because he's young and likes going on missions. He's also a Super Elite, meaning he wasn't sent off to a far-distant planet as a baby. So he isn't experiencing much of Frieza's influence over the Saiyans.
- Prince Vegeta keeps saying that he will be able to defeat Frieza as a Super Saiyan - something the readers know won't happen and can't happen. Frieza has three more transformations that make him immensely more powerful, but the Saiyans don't know this. They are assuming that his maximum power is 530,000 - coincidentally, this would mean someone with a power level of roughly 11,000 would be able to defeat him in Super Saiyan form (the 50x boost is quite important). This actually means that King Vegeta's plan in this saga is sound - if only his son would have transformed, he would have been strong enough to kill Frieza, provided Frieza didn't have time to transform.
- Prince Vegeta's story about the original Super Saiyan in this chapter is influenced by his recounting of the original Super Saiyan legend on Namek in DBZ. If you're noticing a pattern, it's that Namek-era Vegeta is extremely influential in this story, almost as much as the Bardock Special.
- One of the signs that Ledas and Prince Vegeta's friendship is developing is that Prince Vegeta even tells Ledas that he's going to kill Frieza - an otherwise closely guarded secret - and that he wants Ledas to help him. The use of the descriptor "BIG BROTHER TONE" highlights this.
- In the final edits for this saga, I changed the ending of the second scene. There was originally no presentation honoring the prince becoming a warrior. I added it in to show off a bit more Saiyan culture. I thought after Prince Vegeta went on his first mission for Frieza, it was logical for the king and the planet to honor him. Also, I wanted to show off Prince Vegeta in his ceremonial armor, as before I began my final edits for this chapter, I saw a picture of kid Vegeta on deviantart that had him in this wicked cool golden ceremonial armor. I wanted to show something similar to that in my own story, and this was the most convenient way to do so.
- Ledas' end to the second scene is to go see his grandfather. Lascon was originally introduced in the first draft of the Reunion Saga during the first flashback chapter, where he taught Ledas and Prince Vegeta how to control their Great Ape forms. I enjoyed his character, so one of my priorities with the final edits for this saga was to put him in it for continuity's sake and because he's fun to write for. I had him spar with Ledas because fights are cool and most chapters should have at least one (there was no way to have any others in this chapter). The fight would also allow Lascon to teach Ledas about battle strategy, something I wanted so that Ledas could grow as a fighter moving forward.
- The house on the hill with the single tree is noted in the Reunion Saga. The Benefactor sits in that tree before killing Lascon in "Snow Day".
- Lascon mentioned the Saiyan-Tuffle War as a homage to Dragon Ball: The Great War.
- Ledas and Lascon's conversation is sweet, slightly funny, and a bit weird. I don't know that there's another conversation like it in TF.
- Ledas' fighting technique often mimics and then alters what he sees. That is why he so quickly uses Lascon's afterimage technique after being fooled by it. But Lascon recognizes that the boy is using his own strategy, so he easily sees through it.
- Ledas is not fully powered up in his fight against Lascon. Still, he is much stronger than his grandfather. I had an interesting and difficult time figuring out how Lascon could beat him because of that. I settled down on Lascon being significantly smarter than Ledas, which allowed him to use advanced strategies to win a fight he shouldn't have won. Ledas is still quite young, so he's not a super intelligent fighter yet. He can be easily baited and tricked, and Lascon does just that to defeat him. This shows Ledas' vulnerabilities as a fighter - again, something I'm not sure too many other writers would ever do - but provides a specific example of how he learns to become better. This is important for his personal growth and something I wanted to do differently from most fanons. In most fanons, the writer's OC Saiyan just shows up, a perfect fighter. That's boring. I want to see their struggles, their growth. A few authors do show their OC Saiyans starting from early childhood, but almost none of them show them struggle too much. I can't stand that kind of Stuish writing, so I did the complete opposite with the Ledas/Lascon scene. By all rights, Ledas should win the fight. His loss is shocking, surprising, character-building. It has meaning to both the plot and his character.
- At the end of the Ledas and Lascon scene, Lascon hints that he wants to train Prince Vegeta and Ledas to control their Great Ape forms. This is a reference to "Snow Day", where he does just that.
- The presentation is interesting, thematically. It shows how Prince Vegeta is up there on the stage with all the canon characters - Frieza, Zarbon, King Vegeta - while Ledas is forced to watch alongside the nameless masses below. This shows the divide between the two characters, despite their friendship. Additionally, the scene hints at Ledas being forgotten by Prince Vegeta at some point. Lost amongst the crowd, he truly is forgotten as this chapter closes. It also shows how Ledas will never been as popular or noteworthy as Vegeta, how, though he may have his own story to tell, he will never be famous to the level Prince Vegeta is. That scene basically describes the entirety of TF, and it's slightly sad. Ledas' has a bit of an inferiority complex throughout this story in relation to Prince Vegeta and others, something which he never truly overcomes because, in the end, he's an original character, not a canon character.
- Ledas hones in on The Benefactor again at the end of this chapter because he is intensely curious about The Benefactor. The alien gives off a weird vibe that affects Ledas somehow. As to if The Benefactor was actually looking at Ledas, I cannot say, but it is less likely than you would think.
The Boy Doesn’t Mean Any Harm
<LEDAS IS ON ANOTHER PLANET; WITH HIM ARE HIS FATHER AND GRANDFATHER; LAYEECK AND LASCON>
<NO ONE SAYS A WORD; INSTEAD, LAYEECK AND LEDAS BEGIN SPARRING, EXCHANGING PUNCHES WITH ONE ANOTHER; LEDAS IS IN THE AIR TO BE ABLE TO ATTACK PROPERLY; HE BREAKS OFF FROM HIS DAD, BUT LAYEECK SHOOTS A QUICK BEAM AT HIM; LEDAS DUCKS>
<WHEN HE BRINGS HIS HEAD BACK UP, LEDAS PUTS HIS ARMS OUT, TO CREATE A BLAST; HOWEVER, LASCON IMMEDIATELY COMES UP BEHIND HIM, TAKES HIM AROUND THE NECK AND RISES HIGH INTO THE AIR; LEDAS FIGHTS HIM, BUT CANNOT BREAK OFF>
<AS LIKE IN THEIR SPARRING BEFORE, LASCON DROPS LEDAS, LETTING HIM FALL; HE THEN TELEPORTS AROUND THE BOY, AND PREPARES AN ELBOW FOR LEDAS’ FACE; LEDAS PUTS HIS HANDS UP IN DEFENSE; AS HE DOES SO, LASCON CHANGES INTO A DARK FIGURE; IT PASSES RIGHT THROUGH LEDAS TOO QUICKLY FOR HIM TO SEE IT PROPERLY>
<LEDAS LANDS ON THE GROUND AND LOOKS AROUND; EVERYTHING IS IN RUINS; HE IS SURPRISED AND DID NOT CAUSE IT; HE WALKS UP TO ONE OF THE BUILDINGS; BODIES ARE EVERYWHERE>
Ledas: Whoa… who did this? It’s kinda creepy… <THERE IS A GRAVE SILENCE> V-vegeta?! <TURNS AROUND, VEGETA IS NOT THERE> Vegeta? It wasn’t me! I swear! I didn’t do it!
<A NOISE IS HEARD, LEDAS TURNS BACK AROUND; IT IS THE BENEFACTOR; HE JUMPS DOWN FROM A LEDGE>
<THAT BENEFACTOR CREATURE DOES NOT MOVE; LEDAS BACKS AWAY FROM IT>
Ledas: Y-you! <WITH FEAR, STEPS BACK>
<THE CAMERA PANS AROUND THEM, THEY ARE ALONE, AND IT IS QUIET>
<THE CREATURE LEVITATES SLIGHTLY AND FOLLOWS LEDAS AS THE BOY BACKPEDALS; HE REACHES OUT AND GRABS LEDAS BY THE NECK; WITH HIS ARM EXTENDED, THE CREATURE TURNS LEDAS ONTO HIS SIDE; HE BRINGS THE BOY UP TO HIS FACE>
<THOUGH LEDAS IS FIGHTING, AND THOUGH LEDAS CANNOT SEE THE CREATURE’S EYES, LEDAS CANNOT MOVE, AND TWO SMALL ENERGY BEAMS, DARK RED, BEGIN FORMING WHERE THE CREATURE’S EYES SHOULD BE; LEDAS STRUGGLES, BUT IT IS NO USE; THE BEAMS SHOOT OUT, AND OVERCOME HIS VISION>
<LEDAS WAKES UP, IT WAS ALL A DREAM, HE SITS UP IN HIS BED, BREATHING HEAVILY>
<HE IS STILL BRUISED FROM HIS TRAINING WITH HIS GRANDFATHER THE DAY BEFORE; BUT, NEVERTHELESS, HE GETS UP OUT OF BED AND WALKS OUTSIDE, IT IS THE EARLY MORNING, BUT HIS FATHER IS OUTSIDE TRAINING ALONE; IT IS FOGGY IN THE CITY; HE AND HIS FATHER LIVE JUST OUTSIDE THE PALACE IN A RATHER LARGE, TALL HOUSE; LAYEECK’S TRAINING SESSION IS LITERALLY ON A LANDING PAD HUNDREDS OF FEET ABOVE THE STREETS>
<LEDAS WATCHES, AFTER A SHORT WHILE, LAYEECK STOPS; HE LANDS ONTO THE GROUND WITH HIS BACK FACING LEDAS; THE ENTIRE ATMOSPHERE IS RATHER MUTED>
Layeeck: You’re up early, son.
<LEDAS DOES NOT ANSWER, BUT WALKS OUTSIDE; HE LOOKS BACK FOR A BRIEF SECOND, BUT THEN TAKES OFF>
Layeeck: Good morning to you too. <SIGHS, SHAKING HIS HEAD>
<CUTS TO MID DAY, KING VEGETA AND LAYEECK ARE TALKING, THEY ARE OUTSIDE, STANDING NEXT TO A BUILDING IN THE CITY>
King Vegeta: … So the real question is have you gotten any closer to an answer?
Layeeck: <DIRECT> If by that, you mean getting my pride destroyed, then yes. He is much stronger than me.
King Vegeta: <A RARE SENSE OF EXCITEMENT IN HIS VOICE> But a reading? Did you get an actual reading?
Layeeck: He wouldn’t power up for me. I could tell though, that while he wasn’t even trying, he could outdo me with ease. Maybe six thousand… I’m not sure though. It could be higher or lower.
King Vegeta: <SIGHS, SITS DOWN> Vegeta refuses to power up as well. I don’t know why…
Layeeck:<LOOKS AWAY> That may have been my fault, sire.
King Vegeta: What?! What do you mean?
Layeeck: A… a few months ago, I told Ledas to conceal his power from you. I thought you would have killed him if he surpassed your son.
King Vegeta: Layeeck! You know me! I would have never done such a thing.
Layeeck: <APOLOGETICALLY> I was being too paranoid… I listened to the rumors. I know it’s not true, now… but the damage has probably been done.
King Vegeta: It doesn’t make a difference. They need to obey my orders. <FINGERS ON TEMPLE> I have not even told you why we are training them so hard.
Layeeck: I can make a guess. <KING VEGETA NODS; LAYEECK LOWERS HIS VOICE TO A WHISPER> They’re training… to free us. But you said it was wrong.
<KING VEGETA TAKES HIS TIME TO PACE FROM THE WALL AND BACK; WHEN HE ANSWERS, HE DOES SO IN A VERY STEADFAST WAY>
King Vegeta: That is exactly what they will do. It is humiliating to be the king of an enslaved people. I can’t pretend anymore I don’t want Frieza dead.
<CUTS TO PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS; THEY ARE INSIDE, MAYBE AROUND THE PRINCE’S QUARTERS; THEY ARE SITTING; VEGETA IS IN HIS ARMOR FROM THE DAY BEFORE>
Ledas: Come on Vegeta! Why can’t we power up?
Prince Vegeta: I already told you. I don’t want anyone to know how strong we are. If my father finds out, he’ll tell Frieza. Frieza doesn’t need to know.
Ledas: <CURIOUS, CHILD-LIKE> Why?
Prince Vegeta: Frieza knows about the Super Saiyan. My father told him about it.
Ledas: But then how do we become Super Saiyans if we don’t get stronger?
Prince Vegeta: We’ll get stronger. But Frieza won’t see us coming. <HE ROLLS OFF HIS STOMACH> Man, this is so boring. Frieza better have a mission ready for us. Let’s go do one. <HE STANDS UP, AND WALKS OUT>
<CUTS TO FRIEZA’S SHIP, IT IS IN SPACE, UNKNOWN LOCATION>
Zarbon: Lord Frieza… have you considered my request?
Frieza: What, Zarbon? You mean the one where I kill the Benefactor?
Zarbon: My lord, he cannot work with anyone… he’s scaring the other soldiers. It’s just a bad fit for us.
Frieza: Is it my problem that the grunts are good for naught but manual labor? It has always been so, Zarbon.
Zarbon: <IN AN ELEGANT WHINE> But Lord Frieza, you know as well as I do that he’s dangerous. His power level was over 50,000 when we met him… and that was such a long time ago. He might be as strong as your first form by now!
Frieza: That is no cause for concern.
Frieza: Zarbon, the Benefactor is not as foolish as you may think. He knows my power, and he wouldn’t dare forfeit his life over such a vain pursuit. <THERE IS A LONG PAUSE> I know you only brought this up because he used your squad to attack little Vegeta. And they died so tragically.
Zarbon: They were good soldiers, Lord Frieza! They should be alive.
Frieza: Then go find new recruits. If two Saiyan boys can kill the best of your men, Zarbon, those soldiers aren’t worth much. <ZARBON GOES TO OPEN HIS MOUTH, BUT FRIEZA RAISES HIS HAND> That will be all, Zarbon.
Zarbon: As you wish, Lord Frieza. <ZARBON EXITS>
<ZARBON WALKS DOWN A HALL TO THE CONTROL ROOM, HE BUMPS INTO THE BENEFACTOR>
Zarbon: Oh, it’s you. What do you want?
The Benefactor: Has Frieza given you a new squad yet, Zarbon? You remember the ones you sent against the boys. The ones they murdered.
Zarbon: I tried going over this before. Lord Frieza is preparing something. I need a new team for it by tomorrow. He told me you would have some men for me.
The Benefactor: I remember. Just what you like.
Zarbon: <ANNOYED> Just get me a new squad by tomorrow. I don’t want to wait. <ZARBON BRINGS HIS CAPE AROUND HIM AND WALKS OFF>
The Benefactor: Neither do I.
<CUTS BACK TO PRINCE VEGETA AND LEDAS>
<THEY SEND A MESSAGE TO FRIEZA, WHO GIVES THEM ANOTHER MISSION; THEY LEAVE THE PLANET, AND HAVE A NICE TIME PLAYING AROUND WITH KILLING ANOTHER PLANET; THIS IS FOLLOWED UP BY SEVERAL OTHER MISSIONS, RIGHT IN A ROW>
<NONE OF THESE ARE SHOWN IN MUCH DETAIL; ONLY A FEW PANELS ARE DEVOTED TO EACH ONE; THIS TAKES PLACE OVER A WEEK OR SO>
<IN THIS SAME TIME FRAME, ZARBON IS GIVEN A NEW TEAM OF ELITES; ON FRIEZA’S SHIP, IN THE HANGER BAY, ZARBON GOES UP AND DOWN THE LINE OF HIS FOUR TROOPS; HE MEASURES THEIR POWER LEVELS, WHICH ARE SHOWN TO BE ABOUT 3000-4500 APIECE; SATISFIED, HE LEAVES; THE BENEFACTOR IS SHOWN TO HAVE WATCHED THIS ALL BY HIS COMPUTER MONITOR>
<OVER THE LAST WEEK OF CONSTANT FIGHTING, LEDAS’ AND PRINCE VEGETA RETURN HOME; THEY ARE MET BY THEIR FATHERS>
<NAPPA, KING VEGETA, AND LAYEECK ARE WAITING BY THE DOORS OF A GRAVITY CHAMBER FOR THE TWO BOYS TO REACH THEM>
King Vegeta: I have no other plans… it does have to be them.
Layeeck: What can we do if they don’t get there in time?
King Vegeta: I’d rather die than let Frieza continue to rule over us. I think you and many others agree with me.
Layeeck: <CONFIDENTLY> I do, my king.
<NAPPA DOESN’T ANSWER>
King Vegeta: <STILL WITH MUCH AUTHORITY ABOUT HIM> It still hasn’t come to that. I have come up with a test to make them show us their true powers.
Layeeck: If that fails?
King Vegeta: Then we’ve run out of time. We will have to take matters into our own hands. Either way, Frieza will have to deal with the Saiyan race soon.
- This chapter's name is a Frieza quote said to Prince Vegeta in the Bardock special, but this time it was not meant as a simple same-character reference. At about this time, Zarbon was growing wary of The Benefactor, while Frieza remained staunchly supportive of him. This is a reference to their talks about him.
- In the first draft of this chapter, Ledas' dream did not include him sparring with his dad and grandfather. I added that in to flesh out Ledas' personality - he dreams about what he is subconsciously thinking about, so this is a good insight into his character. That he is fixating on those two sparring matches says a lot about Ledas.
- In the original draft, The Benefactor had several lines of dialogue in the dream sequence. I removed all of them during the final edits of this saga because they sucked and I couldn't think of anything better for The Benefactor to say. I then wrote out the scene without any TB dialogue and read it back over. I was happy with how it came out - The Benefactor being quiet actually amplifies his mystique and horror-like qualities, so I didn't go back to add in any dialogue after that point.
- Ledas dreaming about The Benefactor is another way for me to show how much that alien is affecting Ledas and how it's not normal. There is something about The Benefactor that is horrible that Ledas doesn't quite understand but fascinates him. Ledas is mostly an innocent little boy, so having him become interested in such a creature (whereas he was not interested in Frieza's personality beforehand) is a turning point.
- Originally, Ledas and Layeeck lived in a house out in the countryside like Lascon. I changed this as it didn't make much sense for King Vegeta's captain of the guard to live so far away from the city that housed his palace. Additionally, I really like the setting of a tall skyscraper with landing pads amongst the fog. It's a cool place for them to live, to show in manga form (if I ever get the chance to).
- Ledas and Layeeck aren't on speaking terms because of their last sparring match. That took place several chapters ago, but what happened during that sparring match was a big enough deal to carry over to this point. I wanted their family drama to be somewhat understated, not on the nose. So that's why it's just a little scene in this chapter - to remind the readers that Ledas' relationship with his father isn't in a good place, but to not make it too big a thing. Too much drama is always a bad thing.
- King Vegeta is really excited in the third scene, as he is becoming more of a desperate character by this point. The thing I liked doing in this saga was having all the side plots kind of fade into the background as Ledas became the main guy in chapter 3. At that point, everything else continued, but it is not the focus. Astute readers would know that King Vegeta is still trying to free his people, and these few subtle scenes with him hint at that in a very deliberate but concealed way.
- The Layeeck/King Vegeta scene is actually rather important for both of the character, but not as important for the readers. It doesn't reveal new information to the readers but gives the characters the information. The thing Layeeck tells King Vegeta about asking Ledas to conceal his power level months ago is cool - it hearkens back to an older chapter, providing continuity, and shows how Layeeck is partially responsible for the children refusing to show their powers to their fathers. King Vegeta finally reveals to Layeeck that he is training the two so that they (at least Prince Vegeta) can become strong enough to kill Frieza. King Vegeta even reveals how hard it is for him to live under Frieza's oppressive rule which is the most open he has been in the entire saga so far.
- I like King Vegeta's line about not pretending anymore. It was fear that made him conceal his true goals up to this point, but now that he reveals his plans to Layeeck, it's only natural that that comes with a bit of relief. The third scene is a defining moment for King Vegeta, whom I like to think of as the unofficial protagonist of the Prince Vegeta Saga.
- Kid Vegeta reveals a useful little nugget in the fourth scene - it was King Vegeta himself who told Frieza about the Super Saiyan Legend. He likely told Frieza before he knew they would become enemies and obviously regrets doing so. Prince Vegeta misunderstands his father, too. He doesn't realize that the king wants to get rid of Frieza as much as he does.
- Note how comfortable Ledas and Prince Vegeta are around one another in the fourth scene. They've finally become friends by this point, even Prince Vegeta couldn't deny that. It's the last relaxed scene we'll see them in together as children.
- Zarbon is mad at The Benefactor for two reasons. For one, he's jealous that The Benefactor is getting Frieza's affection. The second reason is that Zarbon blames The Benefactor for getting his team killed on Ledas' and Prince Vegeta's first mission together.
- I don't particularly like Zarbon. He's a cowardly, vain pretty boy with as shallow a personality as there is in the Dragon Ball universe. He's not even loyal to Frieza when it counts. So I had fun making him whine so much in this chapter, portraying him in a negative, but canon-respecting light.
- I really like Frieza's line about the grunts being good for nothing but manual labor. This is something I noticed while watching Dragon Ball Z - all of Frieza's unnamed soldiers are laughably useless. It was something I had to mention in this story.
- Zarbon hints at Outbreak: Paved in Blood when he talks about how he and Lord Frieza found The Benefactor with a 50,000 power level. By the time I wrote this chapter on November 5, 2010, the original draft of Outbreak had been released for five days.
- Zarbon also mentions Frieza being in his first form - something that is revealed Zarbon knows about on Namek in Dragon Ball Z. I added that in to hint at The Benefactor's power (he is easily stronger than Frieza's first form in this chapter, and by the end of the story, he has far eclipsed his old lord's power level) and to remind the readers that Frieza is in an ultra-weakened state, which is deliberately confusing King Vegeta about how strong Frieza actually is.
- Frieza at last reveals the mystery of the alien attackers of chapter 5 in this chapter. Although, I did hint at it several times, so astute readers should have already picked up on that.
- Frieza's dialogue is very on-point this chapter. His line about Zarbon's men not being worth much because two Saiyan boys killed them is true and funny. It hints that Zarbon valued them for other reasons than their power, too, as clearly Zarbon should have recognized their lack of worth after being killed.
- The thing Lord Frieza is preparing is the Genocide of the Saiyans. Zarbon very subtly alludes to this by requesting a new team (and saying Frieza is planning something). As seen in the Bardock Special, Dodoria used his team to track down and kill some Saiyans who were not on their homeworld at the time. Zarbon, I felt, would do the same. So again, my story's plot is being heavily influenced by the Bardock Special. I'm trying to structure my story to work similar to how that special did.
- The Benefactor saying "Just what you like" is referencing Zarbon's homosexuality. This is not a canon fact, but the way Zarbon acts implies he's gay, so I've made it canon to my universe. Hyper Zergling has done the same, and we consider each other's universes canon to one another.
- The Benefactor saying "Neither do I" is so vague it could mean almost anything. Still, it is a far cry from the awful dialogue I had for him in this scene's original draft. I much prefer him how he is now. He doesn't speak as much, isn't awkward. He's straight to the point, menacing, threatening, but subtle and vague too. It's a good evolution from his original dialogue.
- Ledas and Prince Vegeta go on a bunch of missions in this chapter to raise their power levels to almost the maximum they are going to reach in this saga - around 12,000 - as they won't be able to go on any other missions after this chapter (or have any other opportunities to raise their power levels higher). So by the end of this chapter, the two boys are basically as strong as they are going to get before they are separated.
- The elites The Benefactor gives Zarbon in this chapter for his new team are the same aliens on Zarbon's team seen in Hyper Zergling's Dragon Ball: The Mrovian Series: Essentia saga. I consulted with Hyper Zergling before doing my final edits for that scene. I wanted to know how many soldiers he had planned for Zarbon's team and what their power levels were. I don't describe what they look like in this chapter, but they will look like HZ's characters in the manga of this saga.
- Layeeck lies when he agrees with King Vegeta that he would rather die than live under Frieza's tyranny.
- King Vegeta is feeling pressure from his people, his son, and his own pride to force the issue against Frieza. As we know, Frieza has already set into motion the Genocide against the Saiyans by having The Benefactor prepare a new team for Zarbon to take some of the off-planet Saiyans out. King Vegeta actually has less time than he thinks, even though it looks like he's pressing the issue needlessly in this chapter. If Frieza wasn't also planning something, then there would be a case for that. But King Vegeta's character has evolved over the saga to be more paranoid, less patient, and more prideful. He can't stand living under Frieza, and in his arrogance, he thinks that his son will be able to take the tyrant out. He really has no idea how strong Frieza is, so everything he's doing is a guess. It's a terrible thing, really, because he's wagering his entire species' fate on a wild guess. But this also shows how desperate King Vegeta really is to become the king his people want him to be and remove the dictator lording over them. It's noble in a sense, but overall, it's rather foolish.
Because It’s My Birthday
<BACK ON PLANET VEGETA, LEDAS AND PRINCE VEGETA ARE IN THE GRAVITY ROOM; LAYEECK, NAPPA, AND KING VEGETA, AS WELL AS SOME OTHER SCIENTISTS ARE IN THE CONTROL ROOM>
Saiyan Scientist 1: No one other than King Vegeta has been able to withstand (Earth equivalent) 70 times gravity.
King Vegeta: <TO THE OTHERS> It’s true.
Nappa: But aren’t ya the strongest, king Vegeta? How are the kids supposed to train in it?
King Vegeta: That’s the test, Nappa. We don’t know their true power levels, we don’t know what their capable of. <TO THE SCIENTISTS> Very well, I think we’re ready. Turn it on.
<THE GRAVITY IS TURNED ON, LEDAS AND VEGETA HIT THE FLOOR, UNABLE TO MOVE>
Ledas: <WHISPERING> Vegeta… I think if I power up I can get out of this.
Prince Vegeta: <SURPRISINGLY CALM> Stay where you are, Ledas. That’s what they want us to do.
Ledas: But Vegeta! We should show them that we can!
Prince Vegeta: For all we know, Frieza could be right there with them watching everything.
<BACK IN THE CONTROL ROOM>
Saiyan Scientist 1: Sir, they’re not moving. I don’t think they can get up.
Saiyan Scientist 2: Output power for both is under eight thousand. That is far below what is needed for the gravity. Sire, I think it wou–
King Vegeta: <ARMS CROSSED> They know what they’re doing. It’s on purpose that they’re not powering up. Now as to why, I have no clue.
<A FEW MINUTES PASS, STILL NOTHING>
King Vegeta: <LOSING PATIENCE> Lower the gravity to 50, and send in the Elites.
<THE FAR DOOR OPENS, INSIDE THE ROOM, AND A DOZEN SOLDIERS COME IN; NONE OF THEM ARE ARMORED; SEEING THIS, THE BOYS JUMP UP>
Ledas: Can we power up now?
Prince Vegeta: Dang, all right. Go as fast as you can.
<LEDAS NODS, AND JUMPS LEFT; VEGETA STEPS BACKWARD; HE CREATES A GALICK GUN, THEN SHOOTS IT AT THE GROUP; STUTTERING BACK, THEY CANNOT DEFEND AGAINST LEDAS, WHO COMES OUT OF NOWHERE, AND GIVES THEM ALL A NICE GUT CHECK; THEY COLLAPSE ONTO THE FLOOR>
<THEIR SPEED IN TAKING OUT THE ELITES IMPRESSES KING VEGETA, BUT HIS ENTHUSIASM GOES AWAY WHEN HE SEES THEIR POWER LEVELS>
<THE SCIENTISTS GET READINGS OFF OF THE BOYS FROM THIS ATTACK; 12,000 APIECE>
Layeeck: 12,000… that is incredible.
King Vegeta: That’s only at my level. Not good enough. <TO THE SCIENTISTS> Raise the gravity to 100G.
Saiyan Scientist 1: Sire, they couldn’t even move at 70.
King Vegeta: <ANGRY> Just do it!
<THE SCIENTISTS DO>
<A SAIYAN SOLDIER ENTERS>
Saiyan Soldier 1: King Vegeta?
King Vegeta: <DOES NOT TURN TO FACE THE SOLDIER> What is it?
Saiyan Soldier 1: A visitor is here to see you. He says it’s urgent.
King Vegeta: I’m busy, tell him to wait–
Saiyan Soldier 1: Sire, it’s Lord Frieza.
King Vegeta: Frieza? What could he want?
Saiyan Soldier 1: Sire, he wants to meet with you in private. He said it was urgent.
King Vegeta: <TO SCIENTISTS> Keep the gravity as it is. Do not lower it until they show you their power.
<KING VEGETA EXITS, AND WALKS TO FRIEZA, WHO IS WAITING FOR HIM IN A PRIVATE ROOM; FRIEZA IS STANDING, WITH ONE FOOT ON A SEAT>
Frieza: Ah, King Vegeta. Just the Saiyan I was looking for.
King Vegeta: <KNEELS> Lord Frieza… what brings you back here so soon?
Frieza: Your son, Vegeta. He and his little friend are conquering some of my hardest planets. They are making all of my other teams look bad.
King Vegeta: That is good to hear.
Frieza: Yes, yes it is. He will make a fine warrior when he grows up. That is, if he has the proper training.
King Vegeta: Lord Frieza, I assure you that will happen. I have all our best warriors training my son.
Frieza: I have no doubt. <LONG PAUSE> But, I will take Vegeta to train, myself. He needs proper company if we want him to succeed.
King Vegeta: What? Take my son from me? I will not agree to that! <ANGER IS CLEARLY EVIDENT>
Frieza: Don’t lose your temper, Vegeta. We wouldn’t want to have an incident here today.
King Vegeta: No, Frieza, this is unacceptable!
Frieza: This training is not for me. I do this to help your son. I thought that would be something you’d like. Of course, I could take him by force, if need be…
King Vegeta: <FUMING> No!! Just take him! I can’t stop you!
Frieza: <GETS UP, WALKS OUT> Not now, Vegeta. <LAUGHS> I’m much too busy. I’ll be back for him soon. Do be ready.
<FRIEZA LEAVES, LAUGHING TO HIMSELF>
<CUTS TO GRAVITY ROOM>
Saiyan Scientist 1: Nothing will change. They’re not strong enough to do this.
Ledas: Come on, Vegeta… I’m getting hungry! Can’t we just stop?
Prince Vegeta: Fine, this is getting boring. Wait until I distract them.
<VEGETA ROLLS OVER AND SHOOTS A BLINDING FLASH OF LIGHT INTO THE AIR; WHEN THE LIGHT AND SMOKE CLEAR, VEGETA AND LEDAS ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN>
Nappa: Hey, what happened?
Saiyan Scientist 2: <TYPING> It seems there was a spike… but I don’t know where the two went. It could have been a malfunction.
Layeeck: How do you not know? It should be a simple test.
Saiyan Scientist 1: <TYPING AND WORKING ON THE GRAVITY ROOM’S CONTROL PANELS, THEY SEEMED TO HAVE SHORT-CIRCUITED> It’s not as simple as you may think. The two kids did get up and leave. However, before they left, it seems there was a spike in energy, this could have caused the gravity machine to malfunction. We are unsure.
Layeeck: Well, find out! That was the whole point of the test!
<KING VEGETA RETURNS, NOW, TO THE GRAVITY CONTROL ROOM; KING VEGETA LOOKS STRICKEN>
Layeeck: Sire? What happened? What did Frieza say?
King Vegeta: <SLOWLY, IN SHOCK, WHICH RISES TO IMMENSE ANGER> Frieza… he’s going to take my son!!
Nappa: No way!
Saiyan Scientist 1: S-sire, the spikes were at 12,000. It appears that is their maximum power.
<KING VEGETA PUTS HIS CHIN UP, SEEING THAT LEDAS AND PRINCE VEGETA HAVE ESCAPED; HE FIRES A ROYAL GALICK AT THE SCIENTISTS, BLOWING THEM AND THE ENTIRE ROOM UP>
King Vegeta: Nappa, call on the army. I want them in front of my palace in three hours’ time. <NAPPA NODS AND WALKS OFF> Layeeck, we were wrong. <HE KICKS DEBRIS OFF OF HIMSELF IN COMPLETE ANGER> They aren’t Super Saiyans after all.
<CUTS TO SPACE, OVER THE PLANET; FRIEZA’S SHIP IS STATIONED OVER PLANET VEGETA>
<CUTS TO THE INSIDE OF THE SHIP>
<THE BENEFACTOR IS STANDING NEXT TO FRIEZA, THEY ARE TALKING>
Frieza: Those two <JUMPS OFF THE EDGE OF HIS CHAIR> … those two are quite something.
The Benefactor: I have watched them as you commanded.
Frieza: <WALKS UP TO THEM> And how did they do?
The Benefactor: Every planet took no more than a day. Neither transformed, ever.
Frieza: What are their power levels?
The Benefactor: 12,500 for the Prince; 12,390 for… the other.
Frieza: They are as powerful as their King, but no threat to me. Ho ho ho. In that case, Benefactor, prepare them a room.
The Benefactor: They will be stationed here?
Frieza: They will be stationed on my ship. That will be all for today. <HE WAVES THE BENEFACTOR OFF, AND POURS HIMSELF SOME WINE>
The Benefactor: As you wish, Lord Frieza.
<THE BENEFACTOR EXITS; HE RETURNS TO HIS OWN QUARTERS, AND OPENS UP THE TWO BEDS, OUT OF THE WALL, ABOVE HIS OWN (FOR, UNLIKE EVERYONE ELSE, HE HAD A ROOM TO HIMSELF); THE BENEFACTOR THINKS THIS TO BE ADEQUATE FOR THEIR ACCOMMODATION, BLESS HIS HEART>
- This chapter is an obvious reference to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in that it’s a Gollum quote. This one however is kind of more subtle than the others in that it being posted itself is a reference to the other part of the Gollum quote (“And I wants it”). The "and I wants it" part is a reference to Frieza taking a personal interest in Prince Vegeta, and thus causing the Saiyan uprising. And no, I never wrote this with the intent that that day was actually Frieza’s birthday.
- Originally this chapter was named "Just a Power Level". I didn't like that name (and still don't), so I changed it just before writing this chapter's original draft.
- This chapter originally opened with another scene with Frieza and Ledas and Prince Vegeta on Frieza's ship. I removed the scene, as it didn't really add anything to the story.
- Originally, the scientist wanted Ledas and Prince Vegeta to train in 200x Earth Gravity. As Hyper Zergling correctly pointed out, that was an insanely high number considering the boys' power levels. I reduced it to 70x in the final draft.
- I specifically had Prince Vegeta call Ledas by his name to show that they are close friends by this point.
- Having the boys fight elites was done only in the final edits, as I wanted to make the gravity chamber scene more interesting and provide for a realistic reason for the two to power up.
- King Vegeta thinks that Ledas and Prince Vegeta are hiding their power levels when they charge up to around 12,000 apiece. They aren't. This is tragic, as it shows they are only as strong as the king (perhaps slightly stronger). King Vegeta not believing that's their full power is him being stubborn and not wanting to face reality. He needs them to be strong enough to kill Frieza. The fact that he knows his power level isn't good enough to kill Frieza also implies that he once tried to kill the tyrant or at least has a vague notion of Frieza's first form power level.
- Frieza's focus is purely on Prince Vegeta during his conversation with King Vegeta. He barely mentions Ledas. This is intentional. I didn't want Frieza to care about my fanon character as much as the canon character whom (in canon) he was definitely attached to.
- The issue of where Prince Vegeta is during the Genocide of the Saiyans is a big one. In the Bardock Special, he's on a mission. In a flashback during the Namek Arc, he's perhaps in Frieza's ship. During the garbage that is Dragon Ball Minus, he's on a planet with Raditz. Basically, I wanted to combine 1 and 2 (and never even think about 3 again). To do this, I planted the idea in this chapter that Frieza wanted to keep Prince Vegeta alive, as he saw potential in the boy, even as he was planning to destroy the rest of the Saiyans. The main difference would be that Prince Vegeta is on a mission during the Genocide of the Saiyans (as he is during the Bardock Special) instead of in Frieza's ship, which he may have been just moments prior to the planet's destruction. Either way, Prince Vegeta is going to be taken under Frieza's wing as a member of his elite team soon.
- King Vegeta shows legitimate anger towards Frieza, who is utterly unconcerned. That was a great scene to write, showing the differing emotions of the characters.
- King Vegeta will not give up his son willingly. That is one of his most prominent character features seen in his anime appearances. He only agreed to give Prince Vegeta to Frieza in this chapter's second scene because he didn't have anyone with him to help attack Frieza. If Frieza took the prince then, King Vegeta would have immediately gathered all of his best warriors and pursued the tyrant into space. Incidentally, this would have resulted in the death of Nappa, showing that, because Frieza decided not to take Prince Vegeta into his care in this chapter (for whatever reason he really had), Nappa was spared.
- Frieza doesn't take Prince Vegeta in this chapter because I simply wasn't ready for that. In truth, I could have had Frieza contact King Vegeta on a video feed or something, but I like the idea that Frieza came to the planet just to tell King Vegeta. It's Frieza's subtle attempt at reminding the king who is really in charge. I also think he wanted to visit the planet one more time before destroying it.
- Originally, this chapter ended with King Vegeta's declaration about what Frieza was going to do. I added more dialogue to the scene in the final edits, as the scene needed to be fleshed out. This is also a rather short chapter (compared to the last few), so it needed to be slightly longer anyway.
- I much prefer the last scene with King Vegeta in this chapter ending with him saying that the prince and Ledas weren't Super Saiyans after all. That is a hugely impactful thing to say, and is very sad. It shows why King Vegeta attacks Frieza instead of sending his son in his stead. It also shows that no matter how hard Prince Vegeta trains, he has an incredibly hard time becoming a Super Saiyan. Of course, it's also ironic, as both will eventually become Super Saiyans, so they are technically Saiyans with Super Saiyan potential at this stage of the story.
- The last scene in this chapter was actually the first scene in the original draft. I removed Prince Vegeta and Ledas from the scene, added in The Benefactor, and adjusted some of Frieza's dialogue to reflect that.
- The last scene reveals that Frieza has been using The Benefactor to watch the two Saiyan boys on their missions to get an idea of their strength. Frieza has taken an interest in them - to the point of allowing them to live while he kills all the other Saiyans - so it only makes sense that he would have someone watch them to get an idea of their true strength.
- Perhaps the reason Frieza came to Planet Vegeta in this chapter was to allow The Benefactor to watch the boys power up to their maximum power levels or, if The Benefactor was already on the planet, to pick up his soldier and question him about the Saiyans' powers.
- The Benefactor reveals the two boys' maximum power levels in this saga - 12,500 for Prince Vegeta and 12,390 for Ledas. This was done for the audience's sake (and for Frieza's, from a plot perspective). This is actually the closest in power the two ever are while together (Ledas briefly surpasses Prince Vegeta in the next few sagas before the prince overtakes him again by the time of Majin Buu).
- I think it's sad how Frieza was preparing to give the two boys a room on his ship. Any good reader would know that Ledas has no chance of getting there, so it's all for naught. It's basically me exploring how things could have been if Ledas didn't have the faulty space pod in the next two chapters. It would have been cool if he and Prince Vegeta and The Benefactor all had a room together, but alas, that never happens, as two of them are presumed dead by this saga's conclusion.
- The Benefactor has his own room because, as Zarbon said in the previous chapter, no one can work with him and everyone is scared of him. That is why Prince Vegeta and Ledas would have stayed with him. It would have been interesting to see how that turned out.
No More Monkeys! (season finale part 1)
<CAMERA MOVES TO DOWNTOWN IN THE ROYAL CITY; LEDAS AND PRINCE VEGETA ARE THERE>
Ledas: Come on Vegeta! Tell me what happened! Did he give us another mission?!
Prince Vegeta: Yeah. Zarbon wasn’t too happy, though. I guess he’s just jealous.
Ledas: <EXCITED> Well, come on tell me… is it a hard one?!
Prince Vegeta: Frieza gave me his hardest mission.
Ledas: Wow! I get to go too, right?
Prince Vegeta: Fine, but we can’t screw this up. He didn’t give me very long to complete it.
<PRINCE VEGETA, WHO IS IN HIS ROYAL ARMOR, IS DRAWING STARES AGAIN; HOWEVER, THE CITY IS MUCH EMPTIER THAN IT WAS PREVIOUSLY; MOST OF THE ADULT SAIYANS ARE IN REGIMENTED LINES, MOVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION>
<THE TWO REACH THE KING’S PALACE, DOCKING BAY 3>
<KING VEGETA AND NAPPA ARE THERE>
King Vegeta: <WATCHING THE TWO BOYS APPROACH> I need you to watch over my son on this mission, Nappa. Of all your duties, consider this the most important.
Nappa: What’s goin’ on, King?
King Vegeta: I will be leaving for a while. While I’m gone, you must watch over him and train him. Push him beyond his limits. You must do this. Can you promise that?
Nappa: <STILL CONFUSED> Yeah, I guess… but won’t ya need me to command the army?
King Vegeta: <SIGHS> No, my son’s security is more important.
<THE BOYS GET TO THE POD AREA>
King Vegeta: <CURTLY> Has Frieza given you a mission?
Prince Vegeta: Yeah, Ledas is coming too.
King Vegeta: <NODS> Yes, Nappa will go as well.
Ledas: Aw, we don’t need him.
Prince Vegeta: Yeah, he doesn’t even do anything.
King Vegeta: He’s not supposed to. I simply want him to watch over you on the battlefield. <KNEELS DOWN> Now, children, you know the importance of this mission?
Prince Vegeta: Yeah. It’s Frieza’s hardest planet…
King Vegeta: Ah, that planet. I didn’t expect him to give it to you. <PAUSES, LOOKING DOWN> None of our other teams could handle it. None of Frieza’s could, either. It’s a deathpool.
Ledas: <LOOKS AT THE KING> But, we are much stronger than any other team.
King Vegeta: <SIGHS> Yes, you are. However, this mission is more important than being a test of strength.
Prince Vegeta: I know, I know… Frieza’ll see that our race is the best.
King Vegeta: <STANDS UP> Exactly! Good luck, you two.
Prince Vegeta: <WITH ARROGANCE> It’ll be easy. We’ll be done with it before tomorrow.
King Vegeta: <HE LOOKS TO NAPPA> Nappa! <NODS>
<NAPPA LEADS THE BOYS OUT; BEHIND THEM, LAYEECK ARRIVES, WITH THE ELITE GUARD; BEHIND THEM IS THE REGULAR ARMY, WHICH SHOULD BE UNDER NAPPA’S COMMAND; THERE IS A DIFFERENT COMMANDER OVER THAT RIGHT NOW, AS NAPPA IS WITH LEDAS AND VEGETA>
<WHEN LAYEECK ARRIVES, HE NOTICES HIS SON WALKING OFF; HE CALLS OUT TO LEDAS BEFORE THE BOY IS OUT OF RANGE; LEDAS, ALONE, RETURNS TO HIS FATHER, IN FRONT OF THE GUARD AND THE KING>
Ledas: What is it, dad?
Layeeck: <TO LEDAS> I want to tell you good luck on your mission, my son.
Ledas: <IMPATIENT> Okay.
Layeeck: Listen, I know you’re mad at me right now… I haven’t been around much, and we haven’t been able to go on another mission together.
Layeeck: Well, how about we go on one when you get back?
Ledas: You promised before, but we never went anywhere…
Layeeck: You know I would like to, I’ve just been too busy. I promise, this time. Please, Ledas, I am trying to do this for you… I just need a little–
Ledas: Okay. But I wanna go as soon as we get back.
<LAYEECK LAUGHS AT THIS, BUT ACCEPTS IT; HE WAVES GOODBYE, AND LEDAS DOES TOO>
King Vegeta: <WATCHING THEM WALK OFF> Layeeck, my friend, you have raised a fine boy. I am sure he will bring honor to you.
Layeeck: They will both bring honor to us all.
King Vegeta: It’s a shame they didn’t fulfill the Legend. I would have liked Frieza’s death to be a certainty.
Layeeck: <GRAVELY> So, it is us who have to kill Frieza?
King Vegeta: We will try. We must try. With the entire army behind us, Frieza will be no match.
Layeeck: Is it worth our lives? I’d rather live if even if it was under a tyranny.
King Vegeta: Layeeck, what is this?! Not too long ago, you swore to help me fight Frieza, if it came to that. What happened?
Layeeck: I can’t be of any help… I’m nothing compared to my son. You want to kill Frieza, and you’re sending away our best warriors to help make that happen.
King Vegeta: Do not think that! It will take all us to kill Frieza. These are our sons we are fighting for! I can’t risk them being killed. If we do not act today, he will take them from us. Tell me you will at least fight for that?!
<LAYEECK, MUTED, NODS; HE SHIFTS, ALONG WITH THE KING, TO FACE THEIR SOLDIERS; SCREEN FADES>
<CUTS TO PRINCE VEGETA, LEDAS, AND NAPPA, WHO HAVE ARRIVED AT THE SPACE POD LAUNCH ZONE>
Saiyan Pod Commander: Here are your pods. As soon as you’re ready, we can begin the launch. <THE PODS, ESPECIALLY LEDAS’, LOOK DAMAGED>
Prince Vegeta: <INSPECTING HIS> These don’t look safe.
Saiyan Pod Commander: We weren’t expecting you today, Prince Vegeta. If I had more time to prepare…
<PRINCE VEGETA, LEDAS, NAPPA CLIMB INTO THEIR PODS, AND PREPARE TO TAKE OFF>
Saiyan Pod Commander: I’ve input the coordinates, you should arrive at the planet in roughly 6 hours.
Prince Vegeta: <CONFIDENTLY SMILES> Remember Nappa, this one is for us, not you. Because we don’t need you.
Nappa: <STRANGELY UNCONCERNED> Yeah, yeah, I know.
Saiyan Pod Commander: Ready to launch in 3… 2… 1…
<THE PODS START UP, PRINCE VEGETA’S AND NAPPA’S TAKE OFF, LEDAS’ DOES NOT; IT JERKS FORWARD A FEW FEET, BANGING LEDAS’ HEAD ON THE FRONT PANEL, BUT THEN COMES BACK DOWN>
Ledas: <ON HIS SCOUTER> Ahh… I have a problem.
Prince Vegeta: What is it?
Ledas: My pod won’t start. It never took off.
Saiyan Pod Commander: Uh, roger. We see the problem, sir. I am getting my technicians on it right now.
Ledas: How long?
Saiyan Pod Commander: I would guess no more than an hour, but…
Prince Vegeta: Stupid junker.
Nappa: Hey, one hour won’t make a difference, Vegeta. We’ll wait once we get there.
Prince Vegeta: Fine. I’ll see you there, Ledas.
Ledas: See you there.
<LEDAS GETS OUT OF HIS POD, TECHNICIANS MOVE IN AND START WORKING ON IT; THE OTHER TWO PODS LEAVE OUT OF SIGHT>
Saiyan Pod Commander: I’m sorry sir. This should only take an hour.
Ledas: <VERY ANGRY> One second more, and it’s your life.
Saiyan Pod Commander: <UNCONVINCINGLY> I’m sure we can fix it by then.
<CUTS TO KING VEGETA, WHO HAS GATHERED ALL THE SUPER ELITES AVAILABLE, LAYEECK IS THERE; THEY HAVE ALL ARRIVED ONTO FRIEZA’S SHIP WITHOUT ANY RESISTANCE; ALMOST AS IF FRIEZA WANTED THEM TO COME ABOARD>
King Vegeta: Today we take back what Frieza has stolen from us. Too long have we sat and let him do what he wants. But no more! If Frieza wants the prince, he will have to get through us first! <CAMERA SHOWS THE MANY SAIYANS GATHERED AROUND HIM> You are the greatest fighters on our planet. You are the elite! Together you will fight, and together you will conquer. <NODS IN RESPECT; THE SOLDIERS RETURN THE GESTURE>
<KING VEGETA AND THE OTHER SOLDIERS RUN OFF, DOWN THE HALLS BLASTING AWAY ALL THE SOLDIERS WHO GET IN THEIR WAY; LAYEECK FOLLOWS, SIMPLY WALKING, NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE CARNAGE>
<LAYEECK WALKS DOWN THE HALLS, HEARING CURIOUS WHISPERS AS HE GOES; BODIES OF FRIEZA’S SOLDIERS LITTER THE GROUND, KING VEGETA HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THEM; LAYEECK SEES UP AHEAD, THE GROUP HAS GATHERED AROUND A DOOR; LAYEECK COMES UP ON IT; FRIEZA AND KING VEGETA ARE INSIDE>
King Vegeta: It’s over Frieza! We’ve come to put an end to your reign of terror!
Frieza: <SARCASTICALLY> We? You and who else, Vegeta? Your army is so petrified that they are actually turning blue in the face! <SHOWS THE SUPER ELITES, WHO ARE ALL TOO SCARED TO MOVE FORWARD>
King Vegeta: Fools! <KING VEGETA RUSHES TO ATTACK FRIEZA, FRIEZA DODGES THE PUNCHES, AND THEN EFFORTLESSLY KILLS KING VEGETA WITH A SINGLE PUNCH TO THE JAW; THE KING FALLS, HIS FAMILY CREST FALLS OFF AND ROLLS UP TO FRIEZA>
Super Elite 1: The King! No! <ALL RUSH OVER TO THE KING’S BODY>
Frieza: My, my, what a pity. <FRIEZA STEPS ON IT AND CRUSHES IT> Don’t be so glum, guys, you haven’t lost your king for good… wherever he is, you’re about to join him! <TAKES OFF HIS SCOUTER AND SHOOTS AN EYE BEAM AT THE REMAINING SUPER ELITES, THEY ARE ALL VAPORIZED>
Layeeck: No… he can’t have killed them all so fast!
<LAYEECK, BEING SO FAR BACK IS NOT KILLED BY THE BLAST, INSTEAD HE IS THROWN INTO A WALL BEHIND; ANOTHER PLATOON OF SOLDIERS COMES OUT; THEY SWARM AROUND LAYEECK; IN FULL CONCENTRATION, HE MAKES AN ENERGY WAVE, WHICH KILLS MOST OF THEM; THE OTHERS REGROUP AND FLING THEMSELVES AT HIM ONCE AGAIN>
<HE SIDE-CHOPS EVERY ONE OF THEM, KILLING THEM>
Layeeck: <IN HIS MIND> No… is this what we are compared to Frieza? <HE RUNS UP TO THE HALL> He took out the king and all the others like they were nothing…
<TWO MORE SOLDIERS COME OUT; LAYEECK READS THEIR POWER LEVELS TO BE 3000 EACH; LAYEECK IS STILL SO FAR BACK THAT FRIEZA WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO HEAR HIM; NEVERTHELESS, THE TWO SOLDIERS FIRE ENERGY BLASTS AT HIM, HE DODGES THEM, AND READIES A KYORRA FLASH; AS IT CHARGES UP, HE DODGES BACK AND FORTH OFF THE WALLS; THE TWO ALIENS CONTINUE A BARRAGE OF ENERGY>
<LAYEECK CANNOT DODGE EVERY BLAST; SEVERAL HIT HIM, CHIP AWAY HIS ARMOR, AND ONE ULTIMATELY LANDS RIGHT ON HIS FACE; HIS SCOUTER SHATTERS, AND HE FALLS TO ONE KNEE; THE TWO STOP THEIR ATTACK AND RUN FORWARD; SEEING THIS TO BE HIS CHANCE, LAYEECK SHOOTS HIS HANDS UPWARD, INTERLOCKED IN A TRIANGLE SHAPE, AND SENDS OFF HIS KYORRA FLASH>
<THE TWO ALIENS ARE INCINERATED; LAYEECK FALLS ONTO THE FLOOR, HURT AND DIZZY; AS HE ROLLS INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS, THE WHISPERING BECOMES DEAFENING>
<IN THE DISTANCE, FRIEZA CAN BE SEEN RISING INTO SPACE, PREPARING HIS DESTRUCTION OF PLANET VEGETA>
- This chapter's name is what I thought would be a good final Frieza quote for TF, as he is never actually killed or really given a proper goodbye within the story. The other part of this is that this is the chapter in which Frieza exterminates the Saiyans (monkeys) and it’s always good to be able to describe the actual story like that.
- I knew from a very early stage, after I had joined the wiki and come up with the chapter names for this saga, that the finales would be two-parters. There is too much going on in the finales of each saga to take place in one chapter, so I started the trend of having the part 1 and part 2 sections for each finale with this saga.
- The first scene, with Ledas and Prince Vegeta, was not in the original draft. I added it in mostly for characterization purposes, and it also does flesh out the plot a bit better than the original draft did.
- King Vegeta wants Nappa to watch over Prince Vegeta, as he knows that there is a good chance he will die in his fight against Frieza. This also explains why Nappa survived the Genocide of the Saiyans. King Vegeta's line about his son's security being more important than having Nappa there to lead his armies against Frieza says a lot about the king's personality.
- The landing pad scene is very ominous and builds up tension towards the Saiyan rebellion. This is basically the calm before the storm, amplified by the fact that most or all of the readers should know what is going to happen to the Saiyans anyway.
- I knew Layeeck and Ledas would never meet again after this chapter's opening scene. Their last dialogue together, alone, was written to bring attention to this in retrospect (after the readers had read Layeeck's fate). I didn't want to resolve their relationship in this scene, as not doing so would allow Ledas to have some psychological issues in the next sagas. It would have been too hokey if anything between them was neatly resolved, to be honest.
- Layeeck brings up taking his son on a mission again. He's promised to do this since chapter 3, but has never had the time to actually do so, or so he said. Really, I think Layeeck was intensely embarrassed by his son surpassing him and didn't want Ledas to realize that or have it be so obvious if they went on a mission together. Layeeck tries to salvage his own pride, and by doing so, he fractures his relationship with his son. Ledas isn't perfect either; he doesn't go out of his way trying to resolve his issues with his father or look past them. Remember, he's a young child, so he's prone to get angry or try to avoid problems.
- Layeeck saying "They will both bring honor to us all." is a reference to Mulan.
- I don't think King Vegeta had much hope that his army would be able to defeat Frieza, but his kingly persona makes it seem like he actually thinks that.
- Layeeck is a coward at heart, though I don't think he's a bad person. He is the only one willing to stand up to King Vegeta, to say what everyone is thinking - that they are sending away three of their best warriors (Ledas, Prince Vegeta, Nappa) instead of using them to fight against Frieza. It is Layeeck's friendship with King Vegeta that allows him to bring forth such questions (that maybe the readers have, themselves). King Vegeta doesn't use those three though because he wants to protect his son, and he figures that Nappa's and Ledas' company are required for that.
- When Layeeck nods, he is feeling trapped. He doesn't want to sacrifice his life but knows he has no choice. If he refused, he would have been killed by King Vegeta, as Saiyan honor codes dictated. So Layeeck is quite depressed by the fact that he is being forced to die one way or another with no way to stop that death from coming.
- I don't think Layeeck was being mean to Ledas when he promised that they could go on a mission together after Ledas returned from the mission he was going to in this chapter. I think though Layeeck knew he was almost certainly going to die, he wanted to give his son a little bit of happiness, whatever he could, before the inevitable fallout reached Ledas. So in his last scene with his son, Layeeck does try to redeem his relationship with his son, even if he knows Ledas probably will never realize that and hate him for lying to him.
- One of the major struggles for me with this chapter was coming up with a way for Ledas to survive the Genocide, but be considered dead. Part of the reason he needs to be considered dead is that Zarbon and Dodoria and others would take out any off-planet Saiyans as quickly as possible. I didn't want Ledas to survive the Genocide, be on Frieza's ship for a few years, and then disappear. I thought he needed to be gone along with everyone else during the Genocide of the Saiyans' timeline, so that Prince Vegeta would have no doubt that Ledas was dead. I don't remember when I came up with the space pod malfunctioning, but it was likely early in the storyboarding of this saga. I wanted Ledas to somehow end up in Cooler's region by the next saga, so having him fly there in a space pod would be the most convenient way. I think it works out rather well - the Pod Commander explaining that he wasn't expecting the two boys is a great reason for why the only pods he has are unreliable junkers. It also means that it was just luck for why Ledas was left behind instead of Nappa.
- I specifically crafted Prince Vegeta's last line to Ledas to be one where he's kind of nice to Ledas and says the boy's name.
- I had fun showing Ledas' anger in this chapter. Ledas is not one to get extremely angry easily - he takes a lot of working up to become very angry, similar to Teen Gohan. But here, he gets angry because he feels like he's being left behind by Prince Vegeta, that if the planet isn't conquered in time, it will be his fault, and Prince Vegeta won't be friends with him anymore if he doesn't help his prince clear Frieza's hardest planet. Ledas' anger is directed outwardly at the Pod Commander, but inwardly, it's based on the intense fear that his friendship with Prince Vegeta is in peril. Of course, this is ironic, as the space pod is indirectly responsible for the two boys' friendship ending (or, perhaps, merely going on hiatus for many years).
- King Vegeta's speech on Frieza's ship is taken directly from the FUNimation dub of the Bardock Special. This was a special moment for me, as it was when my story truly tied into the canon DBZ universe. When I wrote the scene, it was the first time I felt like The Forgotten was in the Dragon Ball universe.
- I think it's a testament to the writing in this saga that King Vegeta's canon speech blends so seamlessly into my fanon story. I spent 11 chapters building up to that moment, both in plot and characterization, so it was awesome to see it come together so well.
- I focused on Layeeck during the Saiyan revolt, as that provides a different angle on the battle going on than in the Bardock Special.
- King Vegeta's dialogue and fight with Frieza is also directly taken from the Bardock Special.
- To me, a great moment in this saga is showing how effortlessly Frieza kills King Vegeta. After a saga's worth of scheming, of showing King Vegeta in all his glory, it is very against the cliches of writing to have the king die so pathetically and easily. Of course, that is canon, but I built it into a less cliched thing with my characterization of King Vegeta in this saga.
- Notice that the main plot of this saga, King Vegeta's struggle to free his race from Frieza, actually has relatively little to do with Ledas, the protagonist. Prince Vegeta Saga is unique in that its plot is necessarily separated from its main character, since he's so young and lacks the agency to drive the story at this point.
- The main change in this chapter from the original draft to the final draft is an expansion of Layeeck's scene at the end. I added in more detail, had him fight some soldiers, and gave him some different dialogue to give his character a proper sendoff.
- I had Layeeck survive the elites' deaths because it would be a waste to kill him so soon. Allowing Layeeck to meet The Benefactor and Frieza was something I wanted to do since writing chapter 6 of this saga.
- Layeeck was also fun as a character study of a Saiyan who realizes how strong Frieza actually is. I don't think there's much of an opportunity for such a realization to come from other Saiyans otherwise.
- The whispering implies The Benefactor. This was taken from the television series, Lost, where whispering could be heard when dead people/The Others were near.
- Layeeck's moment of triumph comes when he barely defeats two weak soldiers with power levels of 3000 apiece. He nearly dies in the fight. This just shows how weak Layeeck actually is. Ledas would have had little trouble against those two. But it also shows that Layeeck has a warrior's spirit. Sure, he's not as powerful as he would like to be, but he's still tough, and he is still a Saiyan, and he still will never give up in the face of defeat. Considering he just watched his species' elites get vaporized with a single blast, and his king killed with a single punch, Layeeck's actions are extremely noble. He goes against expectations by not becoming more depressed when the shit hits the fan. Instead, he shakes off his emotions and begins to act according to honor.
- I ended this chapter with Frieza rising off in the distance. Frieza is not the focus at the end - Layeeck is. This contrasts the personal nature of Layeeck's story with the impersonal history of the Saiyans. Sure, one may feel a sense of loss for the Saiyans who die on the planet, but they are a nameless, faceless bunch. We don't know them. We do know Layeeck though. This chapter's closing highlight's the fact that every character has a story to tell. Everyone is the protagonist of their own tale. But not everyone gets the spotlight. This is ironic, of course, since Layeeck is cast aside, compared to his son, his king, and even Nappa (whom the king entrusted to watch their sons instead of Layeeck). So Layeeck being put in the spotlight at the end of this chapter is bringing his character back from the brink of death and elevating him in a consciously ironic way.
Serenity In Atonement (season finale part 2)
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS ON THE POD AREA; IT HAS BEEN ABOUT 30 MINUTES, IT SEEMS THE TECHNICIANS ARE TAKING A BREAK>
Ledas: <GETS UP, RUNS OVER TO THEM> Done?
Alien Technician 1: Naw, we’re taking a break, kid.
Ledas: <ANXIOUS> I am supposed to be on an important mission for Frieza right now. Get back to work!
Alien Technician 1: Cool it kid, a few minutes won’t hurt.
(AT THIS TIME, KING VEGETA IS GETTING READY TO ASSAULT FRIEZA’S SHIP)
Ledas: <JUMPS AND KICKS THE TECHNICIAN IN THE FACE, KNOCKING HIM OUT> Get back to work!
Alien Technician 3: Ok, ok we’re on it. <TO OTHER TECHNICIANS> I’ll tell ya, these Saiyans are nuts.
<THE TECHNICIANS GET BACK TO WORK; LEDAS WATCHES THEM WITH HIS ARMS CROSSED, IN HIS BEST VEGETA IMPERSONATION>
<A FEW MOMENTS LATER>
Saiyan Pod Commander: Uh, sir, it seems I was a bit optimistic with my analysis. I think we will need a few more hours to repair the pod.
Ledas: No! I don’t have that much time. Get another one over here if you can’t fix this one!
Saiyan Pod Commander: I can see if there are any available…
Saiyan Pod Commander: Sir, be reasonable. I can only do what I can do.
(AT THIS TIME, FRIEZA HAS JUST KILLED KING VEGETA, AND IS PREPARING HIS DESTRUCTION OF PLANET VEGETA)
Ledas: <MEGA FROWN> That’s enough. Get out of my way, I’m going.
Saiyan Pod Commander: We’re not ready. There’s no way you’ll survive the trip.
Ledas: It doesn’t matter. I’m leaving.
<LEDAS WALKS UP TO THE COMMANDER AND, CASUALLY, SHOOTS AN ENERGY BEAM IN HIS FACE, KILLING HIM; THE COMMANDER FALLS TO THE GROUND, AND BLOOD STARTS POOLING; LEDAS DOES NOT STOP WALKING TO HIS POD; THE TECHNICIANS GET OUT OF HIS WAY AS HE CLIMBS IN>
Ledas: It is a stupid junker.
<LEDAS CLOSES THE RUSTY HATCH AND SITS DOWN; HE TAKES OFF, JUST AS FRIEZA IS GETTING READY TO DESTROY THE PLANET>
(NOTE: COOLER’S SHIP DOES NOT SEE LEDAS, BECAUSE LEDAS TAKES OFF ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET)
<FRIEZA THROWS HIS HUGE BALL OF ENERGY AT PLANET VEGETA AND DESTROYS IT; THE SHOCK WAVE HITS LEDAS’ SHIP, JUST AS HE’S ABOUT TO LEAVE THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND KNOCKS HIM OUT, PUSHING HIM OFF COURSE; HIS HEAD HITS THE CONTROL PAD AGAIN, AND HE ROLLS INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS; HIS FOREHEAD GASHES AND BLEEDS FROM THE UNEXPECTED BLOW>
<CUTS TO THE INSIDE OF FRIEZA’S SHIP, HE HAS COME BACK DOWN FROM SPACE AFTER DESTROYING PLANET VEGETA, HE IS DRINKING AND TALKING TO ZARBON, AROUND THE CORNER IN ANOTHER ROOM; MAYBE DODORIA IS THERE, BUT HE CANNOT BE SEEN>
Zarbon: Shall I send a team to take out Prince Vegeta, like you did with the Saiyan Bardock?
Frieza: I’ll keep Vegeta alive. With his father gone, he’s no longer any trouble to me. And he will make a fine soldier, with the proper training, of course.
Zarbon: What of his companion? Shall we let him live as well?
<LAYEECK’S EYES OPEN; AFTER SOME TROUBLE, HE STANDS UP, HIS WHOLE FACE IS BLOODIED, AND HE IS WALKING WITH A LIMP; HIS RIGHT HAND IS HOLDING HIS STOMACH, WHICH IS WOUNDED; IN HIS LEFT HAND HE READIES AN ENERGY BLAST>
Frieza: Why not? The two get along so well. I wouldn’t want to interfere in that. <FRIEZA TAKES A DRINK>
<LAYEECK ARRIVES AT FRIEZA’S ROOM>
Layeeck: <PANTING> My king… Vegeta… <HE ENTERS, SEEING VEGETA’S BODY, ON ITS BACK, IN FRONT OF HIM; HE LOOKS UP AT WHO IS BEFORE HIM> No! Y-you couldn’t have…! Frieza?!? <LAYEECK THROWS HIS BLAST AT FRIEZA; FRIEZA MAKES NO ATTEMPT TO DODGE IT, AND IT HITS HIM, MAKING HIM SPILL HIS DRINK>
Frieza: <THE SMOKE CLEARS, FRIEZA IS IN THE SAME POSITION, UNDAMAGED; QUIETLY> You’ve gone and made me spill my drink… <TURNING, READYING A FINGER BEAM> you dirty little monkey.
Layeeck: I’ll kill you! I have to–
<SUDDENLY, AS LAYEECK IS READYING ANOTHER BLAST, A TAIL COMES OUT OF NOWHERE AND IMPALES HIM THROUGH HIS BACK, ALL THE WAY TO HIS CHEST; THE TAIL RISES OFF THE GROUND A BIT, BRINGING LAYEECK INTO THE AIR; FRIEZA AND ZARBON FLINCH, AS THEY ARE NOT EXPECTING THAT>
The Benefactor: <COMING UP TO LAYEECK’S EAR, IN A WHISPER> Can’t let you do that, boss.
Layeeck: <BLOODIED, IN TEARS> N-n-noooooo!!!!! Get offa me!!
<LAYEECK RAISES HIS RIGHT ARM WITH AN ENERGY BLAST, AIMED AT THE BENEFACTOR; WITH LIGHTNING PRECISION, THE BENEFACTOR TAKES OUT A KNIFE AND SEVERS LAYEECK’S ARM IN ONE MOTION; LAYEECK SCREAMS AGAIN, BLOOD IS NOW EVERYWHERE>
Frieza: <COMPOSED> Put him down, Benefactor.
<THE BENEFACTOR RISES INTO THE AIR A FEW FEET, THEN DOES A FRONT FLIP, PROPELLING LAYEECK OFF HIS TAIL, AND INTO A NEARBY WALL; THE BENEFACTOR DESCENDS TO THE GROUND AGAIN, HE GOES ON ALL FOURS, AND CRAWLS UP TO LAYEECK; HE HAS HIS KNIFE IN HAND>
Layeeck: Gahhh… <IN INCREDIBLE PAIN> FRIEZAAAAAAAAA!!!!! <THROWS ANOTHER ENERGY BLAST AT FRIEZA, FRIEZA DISSIPATES IT BEFORE IT REACHES HIM>
<THE BENEFACTOR REACHES LAYEECK; HE PICKS HIM UP BY HIS RIB CAGE, PUNCTURING HIS CLAWS THROUGH LAYEECK’S ARMOR; THE BENEFACTOR TAKES HIS KNIFE AND CUTS LAYEECK’S NECK; WITH HIS FREE HAND, HE CLAWS AT LAYEECK’S NECK>
Frieza: <WITH AUTHORITY> Benefactor, you will stop! You are dirtying my ship!
<HE DOES NOT LISTEN TO FRIEZA; INSTEAD, HE CONTINUES TORTURING LAYEECK; LAYEECK FIGHTS BACK, SENDING A BEAM OF ENERGY INTO THE CREATURE’S FACE; IT DOES NO DAMAGE; THE BENEFACTOR PUTS HIS CLAW UP INTO LAYEECK’S OPEN NECK, AND SHOVES IT UPWARD, INSTANTLY KILLING THE SAIYAN>
<LAYEECK GOES LIMP; THE BENEFACTOR, WITHOUT REMORSE, THROWS HIM TO THE SIDE INTO A WALL>
Frieza: <ANGRY NOW> That will be all, Benefactor!
The Benefactor: <STANDS UP, PUTS HIS KNIFE AWAY> Lord Frieza, the traitor must be dealt with.
<THE ROBED ALIEN MOVES OVER TO LAYEECK’S CARCASS, AND BEGINS DIGGING HIS CLAWS INTO IT, RIPPING IT APART; HE GOES TO EAT SOME OF THE GUTS WHEN FRIEZA STANDS UP; HE HAS HAD QUITE ENOUGH OF THE DISOBEDIENCE AND RAISES A FINGER; A PURPLE, SLENDER DEATH BEAM SHOOTS OUT, AND HITS THE BENEFACTOR IN THE BACK OF THE NECK; THE CREATURE GOES LIMP AS WELL, FALLING ONTO LAYEECK’S DESECRATED BODY>
<FRIEZA SCANS THE CREATURE FOR A POWER LEVEL, AND FINDS NONE>
Frieza: <LOOKING AT WHAT JUST HAPPENED> Zarbon, what was that?
Zarbon: Lord Frieza, this is what I was talking about earlier. He was dangerous to us all. He couldn’t control his bloodlust.
Frieza: Get someone to clean this room, Zarbon. And dump the bodies. I don’t want to look at these worms any longer.
Zarbon: Yes, Lord Frieza.
Frieza: <STANDING RIGHT OVER THE BENEFACTOR’S BODY> And tell Dodoria that he’s getting a promotion.
<SEVERAL HOURS LATER, ON A DISTANT PLANET>
Prince Vegeta: What is taking him so long? I’ve been waiting for 3 hours. <PACES IMPATIENTLY FOR A FEW MORE MOMENTS> Man, what’s going on? We’re gonna run out of time if I don’t start now.
Nappa: Yeah okay, go ahead. <WAVES HIS HAND, OBVIOUSLY BORED>
<VEGETA GOES ON TO DESTOY ALL INHABITANTS ON THE PLANET, AFTER SEVERAL HOURS AS HE IS SITTING ON CORPSES OF HIS CONQUERED AND EATING A SNACK, A SOLDIER CALLS HIM UP ON HIS SCOUTER>
Soldier: Prince Vegeta, do you copy, sir?
Prince Vegeta: I’m here.
Soldier: Sir, unfortunate news from Lord Frieza. Planet Vegeta was struck by a large asteroid today, a-and destroyed.
Prince Vegeta: And… you’re sure?
Soldier: Affirmative sir. Lord Frieza sends his sympathies and regrets. As of now, you’re the only known survivor.
Prince Vegeta: <DETACHED> Oh… really?
Soldier: Would you like to send a reply, sir?
Prince Vegeta: No, no reply.
Soldier: Very well sir. Over and out.
<SCENE PANS OUT SHOWING PRINCE VEGETA SITTING ON A HUGE PILE OF CORPSES MUCH BIGGER THAN PREVIOUSLY HINTED AT, HE FINISHES HIS SNACK>
Prince Vegeta: Did you hear that, Nappa? <NO RESPONSE; PRINCE VEGETA STANDS UP> Nappa!
Nappa: <SEEMS TO BE WAKING UP> Oh…what is it, Vegeta?
Prince Vegeta: I just got a transmission from Frieza. They said our planet was destroyed by an asteroid right after we left. <HE LOOKS OVER AT THE TWO PODS; THERE IS A NOTICEABLE SPACE MISSING WHERE LEDAS’ POD SHOULD BE> There were no survivors.
Nappa: <SUDDENLY PANICKY; HE JUMPS RIGHT UP> What? Are you sure?! There’s no way!
Prince Vegeta: <DIRECTLY, LOW> Pull yourself together, Nappa! You’re a Saiyan, so start acting like it.
Nappa: Uh, right.
Prince Vegeta: <HE WALKS OVER TO HIS POD AND OPENS IT; HE CLIMBS INSIDE> We’re the strongest race in the universe. Frieza doesn’t know it yet. I don’t care. When I’m a Super Saiyan, he’ll be sorry. <NAPPA GETS IN HIS POD AT THIS TIME, AND CLOSES IT; PRINCE VEGETA LOOKS OUT OF HIS DOOR> He’ll take us seriously then. <HE CLOSES THE DOOR; TO HIMSELF> I’ll kill him. I promise I’ll kill him.
<CUTS TO FRIEZA’S SHIP, IN THE LOWER HANGERS>
<ZARBON IS WATCHING SEVERAL GRUNTS CARRY OUT THE BODIES OF KING VEGETA, THE BENEFACTOR, LAYEECK, AND THE OTHERS WHO WERE NOT INCINERATED; HE PRESSES A BUTTON, OPENING A DOOR; THEN, WALKING ALONGSIDE THE REST OF THE GRUNTS, HE LEADS THEM TO A SMALLER SHIP PARKED INSIDE>
<THIS SHIP IS NOTHING MORE THAN A GARBAGE CARRIER, AND SUCH THINGS ARE USED TO GET RID OF THE ACCUMULATED GARBAGE OF A TYRANT’S FLAGSHIP EVERY FEW WEEKS; AS IT WAS, TODAY WAS PERFECT TIME FOR IT TO GET RID OF SOME OF THAT GARBAGE; ZARBON WATCHES CLOSELY AS EACH BODY IS THROWN WITH THE REST OF THE SHIP’S GARBAGE INTO AN OPEN HATCH>
Frieza Solder 1: So the Saiyans actually rebelled? The monkeys sure were stupid.
Frieza: Soldier 2: <CARRYING A BODY> I think this is their king. He tried to kill Lord Frieza himself! Can you believe it?
Zarbon: <MOTHERLY TONE> Quiet.
Frieza Soldier 2: Captain Zarbon, weren’t you there? Did Frieza really destroy all the Saiyans?
Zarbon: That was the price of rebellion. The galaxy is better off without that group of apes anyway.
<AS ZARBON WATCHES OVER THEM THROWING IN THE BODY OF THE BENEFACTOR, HE SWEARS HE HEARS SOMETHING; ZARBON STOPS HIS TROOPS AND LOOKS IN AT THE CRUMPLED CORPSE OF HIS EQUAL; NOT SURE IF THE BENEFACTOR COULD STILL BE ALIVE, ZARBON CHECKS WITH HIS SCOUTER>
Zarbon: <SCANNING FOR ANY SIGNS OF LIFE> Nothing. Strange, I must be hearing things.
<STILL, ZARBON CREATES A SMALL, GREEN BALL OF ENERGY, AND SHOOTS IT INTO THE BENEFACTOR’S BODY, CAUSING THE BODY TO FLY BACK, DEEPER INTO THE GARBAGE SHIP; HE IS SATISFIED WITH HOW LIFELESSLY IT WAS THROWN; ONCE THE REST OF THE BODIES ARE PUT INSIDE, HE AND HIS SOLDIERS STEP BACK>
<THE PILOT BEGINS TAKING OFF>
Zarbon: <WATCHING THE SHIP EXIT FRIEZA’S FLAGSHIP, TO HIMSELF> What a pity.
<THE SHIP FLIES FOR SOME TIME THROUGH SPACE UNTIL IT IS NO LONGER IN RANGE OF FRIEZA’S SHIP; THE DRIVER IS LISTENING TO VARIOUS SPACE JAMS, AND IS HUMMING ALONG TO THEM>
<AND WHILE HE IS DOING THIS, SUDDENLY, TWO CLAWED, GREEN HANDS COME FROM THE DARKNESS BEHIND AND LATCH ONTO HIS HEAD; BEFORE HE CAN SCREAM, BEFORE HE CAN EVEN PANIC, THE HANDS RIP HIS HEAD APART, KILLING HIM>
<THROWING THE BODY OUT OF THE WAY, COMES THE BENEFACTOR, THE HOODED CAPTAIN OF FRIEZA, UP INTO THE DRIVERS SEAT; HE PLACES HIS HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL, AND TAKES CONTROL OF THE SHIP; THOUGH HE IS BLOODIED AND WOUNDED, HE APPEARS CALM; AS HE IS FLYING, A SIGNAL BEEPS IN HIS POCKET; WITH A CLAWED HAND, HE TAKES OUT THE TRACKING DEVICE FRIEZA HAD GIVEN HIM; THE VERY SAME DEVICE THAT TRACKED VEGETA AND LEDAS; HE LOOKS AT IT>
The Benefactor: They’re both still alive… But apart… The prince, flying back to good Lord Frieza… <HE RUNS HIS FINGER OVER VEGETA’S DOT> The other <HE POINTS TO THE TAG SAYING “LEDAS”> flying away… as far as he can. <HE SWERVES THE GARBAGE TRUCK AROUND, TO ALIGN WITH LEDAS’ VECTOR> Not that he’ll get far.
<THE SHIP FLIES INTO THE CAMERA, WITH THE CAMERA GOING BLACK JUST BEFORE THE SHIP HITS>
- <END PRINCE VEGETA SAGA>
Cue Great Spirits. Credits roll during this time.
- This chapter's name is somewhat complex. At one time I was going to write several Halo fanons, which I may or may not ever do (at this moment in time). This chapter is a reference to that. In one of my stories I had a covenant ship named “Serenity and Atonement”. I really liked that name, so changed it a bit to fit into this story. It is a reference to Layeeck’s final act, where he was able to finally redeem himself a little bit.
- This chapter is the only one in all of TF that has stage direction in comparison to the previous chapter. Of course, it had to happen like this, as Ledas' story in this saga resolves at the same time King Vegeta's and Layeeck's do.
- I loved having Ledas act like Prince Vegeta when he crosses his arms. The way he bosses around the technicians shows how Prince Vegeta has influenced Ledas' personality growth; there are ironic undertones in this, as we all know Ledas and Prince Vegeta will soon be separated for a long time. Ledas' opening scene in this chapter hints at where Ledas would have developed as a character had he not been separated from the prince at the end of this saga.
- The Saiyan Pod Commander is the only Saiyan Ledas ever kills.
- Ledas killing the Saiyan Pod Commander is shocking, though perhaps the audience wouldn't catch that right away, since the Pod Commander isn't a major character. But Ledas killing him is very unlike Ledas, almost out-of-character if not for the fact that Ledas is feeling extreme pressure for every second he spends not flying to Frieza's most difficult planet to conquer. He is desperate when he risks his life to get in that pod and go to the planet. Of course, he's very young so he doesn't fully understand the risks of that or the consequences of killing the Pod Commander (had the Saiyan rebellion not taken place that very day). This is Ledas' climax in the saga. His arc is rather subtle in comparison to other characters' (and even Ledas' arcs in future sagas), but make no mistake, I intentionally had him killing the Pod Commander be the defining moment of his Vegeta-like personality, which of course soon regresses when Ledas arrives on Planet Cooler 92.
- Note that it is only Ledas' adopting of some of Prince Vegeta's personality traits that allows him to survive the Genocide of the Saiyans. That was intentional.
- I decided very early on, as soon as I had come up with the space pod getaway as Frieza is destroying the planet, that the shock wave of Planet Vegeta's destruction would cause Ledas to bang his head rather violently and send him into a quasi-coma. He would also be knocked off by the shock wave, which provides a good reason for how he ended up in Cooler's territory over a year later. Something interesting to note is that Ledas is only sent to Cooler's region because of Frieza. This may have saved Ledas' life, as if he had stayed with Vegeta, he probably would have been killed on Earth or Namek, if he ever even reached that far in the timeline, of course.
- Something interesting to note about this chapter is that Ledas' arc is resolved very early in it (within the first 25% of it). The rest of the chapter ties up loose ends with the other characters, some of them minor, but most of them major. The fact that I resolved Ledas' plotline first was due to two reasons: for one, it would be hard to resolve his plot later, as he is knocked unconscious before Layeeck fights The Benefactor, Prince Vegeta gets the news about his homeworld, and The Benefactor is "executed"; but it also has a more symbolic meaning that is related to Ledas lacking personal agency in this saga - he doesn't run the plot, so the plot goes on without him. I wanted that to be very apparent, as Ledas is a mere fanon character. The plot goes on without him. Prince Vegeta joins with Frieza, and years later he goes to Earth. Life goes on whether Ledas is dead or whether he is a prisoner on a far-distant world. I did this so that I could make it clear that I'm not trying to make my character more important than the canon characters, but I still consider him to be a special character, as he does survive the Genocide of the Saiyans due to a bit of luck.
- Dodoria is in the room with Frieza after Frieza blows up Planet Vegeta, but he isn't shown by the camera's point-of-view, so technically he isn't in this saga.
- Zarbon's line about sending people to kill Prince Vegeta and Frieza's response are both taken from the Bardock Special. I added in the line about Ledas though, which provides a tragic little tidbit - Frieza would have let Ledas live and train under him just like Prince Vegeta. Pity that Ledas had a stupid junker for a space pod.
- It's a cool moment when Layeeck opens his eyes just as Zarbon mentions Ledas. I'm quite proud of that transition.
- Frieza's line about Layeeck spilling his drink is my favorite Frieza line in this story.
- Some early reviewers said that Layeeck was reminiscent of Bardock in his scene in this chapter. I can sort of see that - he kind of talks like Bardock, and since the Bardock Special is such a huge influence for this saga, it's likely more than a subconscious move by me. But Layeeck's motivations are different than Bardock's, and they have quite different personalities, so I don't see Layeeck as copying Goku's father in this scene. So what if he curses Frieza? Is that something only Bardock can do? Fuck no.
- The Benefactor is notorious for badass lines and entrances. This is his first badass entrance, the first sign of his power. I really like his line "Can't let you do that, boss", too. The whole scene came out well in my opinion.
- I don't know where the inspiration for Layeeck's death scene came from. In general, I like having the occasional extremely bloody moment if it's unexpected and realistic and makes sense for the characters involved. It certainly does here, since The Benefactor is in one of his species' famed bloodlusts. I suppose Tien losing his arm against Nappa and Yamcha being impaled by Dr. Gero were influences for the death scene, though mine is obviously far more gruesome than the canon scenes.
- The Benefactor's fight with Layeeck was changed slightly in the final draft. I made it more bloody and gory in the final draft, with an emphasis on The Benefactor eating Layeeck in this scene. He's not just fighting and defeating the Saiyan. He's hunting.
- In my universe, Layeeck is one of the last Saiyans to die. He dies after King Vegeta and his elites challenge Frieza and after Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta. Only a few more named canon Saiyans die later, as do a few unnamed ones on off-planet sites that Zarbon and Dodoria send teams to deal with. As to if Cyleria is killed before Layeeck, I would actually say that she is killed later than him, but only by a few days.
- In the first draft, Frieza has The Benefactor executed for disturbing him with how he killed Layeeck. I changed that in the final edits, thinking that Frieza wouldn't be horrified by it, but annoyed. The Benefactor doesn't listen to Frieza and makes a bloody mess of his ship, so Frieza loses patience and tries to kill him. Obviously, Frieza in his first form would not have been able to kill The Benefactor at this stage, though it was a surprise attack, and The Benefactor would not have been powered up high enough to easily take the blow. That is why he is genuinely wounded by the attack. The betrayal also is his impetus to flee. He realizes that Frieza doesn't want him anymore, and he doesn't know how strong the tyrant actually is, so he can't take his chances.
- The Prince Vegeta scene with him and the soldier is written word-for-word from FUNimation's dub of the Bardock Special. I had to put that scene in TF, as it is one of my favorite scenes in the entire DB universe.
- Prince Vegeta keeps his emotions guarded, something I noticed in the Bardock Special when he said he would give no reply after learning his homeworld had been destroyed. That is why, in his conversation with Nappa, he has to be the adult. He tells Nappa to pull it together, but he also swears to kill Frieza. His feelings of loss towards Ledas (he realizes his homeworld being destroyed is why Ledas isn't on the planet with him) are very subtle in this scene, understated, and not something Nappa would pick up on. Knowing this was one of my last opportunities to write for Prince Vegeta (in this story), I spared no expense on his dialogue; I think his conversation with Nappa after learning about his species' near extinction is one of the best bits of dialogue I've ever written for kid Vegeta.
- Obviously, all of you are asking how the end of the Prince Vegeta/Nappa scene works with Strength. Clearly those two stories contradict one another, don't they? No they don't, homeskittle. Basically what happened is Prince Vegeta ordered Nappa to return to Frieza's ship, sat in his pod for a while, got out, and needed some alone time as the emotions hit him and he struggled to deal with suppressing them. At that point, Appule and Cherion appeared. So the two stories do not contradict one another.
- The biggest change in this entire saga was The Benefactor's fate. In the original draft, Frieza weakened him and then Zarbon executed him on an ice planet, leaving two guards to make sure he was dead. The Benefactor then awoke, killed the two guards, and escaped in one of their space pods. In the updated version, Frieza tried to kill The Benefactor after the alien refused to listen to the tyrant's command. His body was then thrown out with the rest of the bodies of the Saiyans who rebelled. The original version was something that bugged me very soon after I wrote it. It simply wasn't a very good idea. I didn't like it. So it was the priority when I did the final edits on this saga. I spent more time trying to rectify that weakness in this saga compared to all the other weaknesses I perceived (and tried to fix in the final edits). The new version is significantly better, in my opinion, and also makes way more sense from a plot perspective.
- The conversation between Zarbon and the soldiers about the Saiyan's rebellion is a cool little moment, influenced by similar refrains with minor characters in the Dragon Ball Z anime; despite that, I added in the scene only during the final edits for the chapter, years after I had last watched the Dragon Ball Z anime through. It's a very understated, bleak scene, with veins of irony too. King Vegeta, once an important figure in this saga, is just a body being thrown in the trash by a low-level soldier. The soldiers will titter and converse about his rebellion for a short while and then probably never think about it again. But it was something that consumed King Vegeta for the entire saga and had huge consequences, so that contrast is cool. I got the visual image of King Vegeta's body being thrown in a garbage ship alongside The Benefactor's right before I did my final edits for this saga. I thought it would be cool if I could explain what happened to his body as a side bit of history.
- Zarbon hears the same whispering Layeeck did in the previous chapter as he watches The Benefactor's body get thown into the garbage ship. That is just The Benefactor mocking him.
- Layeeck's and King Vegeta's bodies are in the garbage ship The Benefactor hijacks, meaning their final resting place is Lauto's Planet. It's cool to note that Ledas was so close to his father again in the next saga, even if it was just his father's corpse, without knowing it. I also had fun coming up with King Vegeta's final resting spot; it is just a little thing, but it's one bit of trivia that strikes me as being wicked cool.
- The Benefactor pursues Ledas, not Prince Vegeta, because Ledas isn't going towards Frieza's ship. Going after Prince Vegeta would be too risky, especially in The Benefactor's wounded state. He wants to kill both Ledas and Prince Vegeta to get back at Frieza. Revenge is a dish best served cold, a Klingon once said. But I like to think of it more as how Hattori Hanzō from Kill Bill called revenge a forest, not a straight line. It's never simple and it's easy to get lost in. That is what is happening to The Benefactor here. He wants to make Frieza suffer. He knows there are no more Saiyans. Frieza can't get a new set of boys to train. Since Frieza took such an interest in them, perhaps The Benefactor is feeling jealous, comparing them to himself when Frieza found him on his homeworld. Either way, The Benefactor wants Frieza to hurt for making him hurt, and the easiest way to do so is to kill Ledas and Prince Vegeta. Afterwards, he would have expanded his killings to others like Zarbon and Dodoria before tackling Frieza himself if The Benefactor thought he was up to it. If The Benefactor hadn't been wounded so much (and underestimated how wounded he actually was), he would have found and killed Ledas and then found and killed Prince Vegeta without anyone being able to stop him. For my fanon universe, as well as the canon one, that would have had profound effects. It's good he wasn't able to find either of them. Lauto imprisoning The Benefactor in the next chapter also was a major reason for why the alien's plan was never acted upon.
- Great Spirits, the closing theme to every TF saga, was a song I had first heard around the summer of 2010. It affected me greatly after hearing it the first time. I don't know why the song resonates so strongly with me - I consider it one of the greatest TSFH songs ever, as well as an all-time classic in its own right. In terms of sound, it has that solemn "credits music" vibe to it. There's a sense of emptiness, of loss, of battles won and lost and pain all around. There's also a little moment past the middle of the song with some wood flutes that will make me tear up if I'm not ready for it. The flute part has a spark of boyish energy that reminds me of Ledas and Prince Vegeta together doing some shenanigans. The sense of loss and sadness in this song coupled with that flute moment made Great Spirits the perfect closing song for each saga. I briefly considered using a different song for each saga's close, but Great Spirits is so perfect, so emotionally varied and impactful, that it works perfectly with all six saga finales. However, it has the most resonance, to me, as the closer of the first saga.
For my own reference, the chapter word counts are as follows:
- 1: 826
- 2: 1174
- 3: 1789
- 4: 1043
- 5: 1934
- 6: 1918
- 7: 1511
- 8: 1980
- 9: 1585
- 10: 1286
- 11: 1757
- 12: 2031
I may try to come up with a definitive list of the order of the TF sagas in terms of quality in the Fulfillment Saga's final endnotes, but I can't come up with a definitive list here and now. Regardless, this saga has always had a special place in my heart. It's the birthplace of my DB fanons, of my fanon writing in general, and there is an enthusiastic, naive energy coursing through the above green words that is not replicated in any other works of mine. Certainly, it is one of the more simple sagas in TF, with by far the smallest character cast and fewest fanon characters. It has the roughest scene direction, with some weird phrasing and less descriptive scenes than the other sagas. It ties in extremely well to canon events, particularly with the use of word-for-word canon scenes in the two finale chapters. I think this saga is the one most aligned with the canon universe in that it is structured around what actually happened in such a tight way that it feels like it actually happened, to me. Lauto Saga, for example, takes place so far away from anything canon going on, that it's pretty easy for it to fit in the universe, as it doesn't contradict anything. Prince Vegeta Saga is more bold because it is tied to important canon events and characters in a deep (and, in opinion, successful) way. Kid Vegeta is my favorite character; that's why my username is what it is. I created my story in response to seeing his character in the Bardock Special, wanting to have my own character interact with him and become someone (almost) as cool as the young prince. So it was really fun for me to write scenes for him, as well as scenes for Nappa, King Vegeta, Frieza, and the others. This saga was an exploration; it was a test for me to see if I could write fanon. I was happy enough with what I did in 2010 to still be here in 2015 writing new stories every month. So Prince Vegeta Saga has had a major impact on me and changed me as a writer. For that, the days of me writing this story are a fond memory, and this saga as a whole is a fond memory. I am glad I did the final edits, though, to clean up The Benefactor's plotline in this saga as well as update and refine some other areas of the plot. If I was hard-pressed, I would say that, because I fused my story with some of my favorite moments in DB canon, got to write for my favorite character, and developed a unique, non-stu Saiyan protagonist amidst a Saiyan culture I had fun exploring, Prince Vegeta Saga would be my third favorite TF saga. As to which ones it is better than and worse than, well you'll have to keep reading to find out. Also, PVS will probably have a different ranking by the time I read through the next saga, so that above ranking might not mean much. :P
<---- Part 29
Part 29.2 ---->