The Stomping Grounds Saga was not originally a part of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten. It was created during one of the several drafts of TF, a little less than a year after the first version of the story was completed and posted on this site. I made this saga because the Lauto Saga was originally 20 chapters long. That was too long, I felt. To fix that, I split the Lauto Saga into two sagas of ten chapters; this saga is the second half of that split. I was also very unhappy with the PC92 natives' plot in the Lauto Saga (as I detailed on that saga's anthology page), so I removed almost all of the chapters that focused on them. This left me in a bit of a bind - I was left with not very many chapters at all for this saga. That left me needing to come up with a new plot to fill up most of the saga.
The above picture was one I found on gelbooru (weird, I know). And it inspired pretty much the entire saga. This is very similar to how a single picture inspired the entirety of Dragon Ball Z: In Requiem (and that picture was also found on gelbooru, funnily enough). That picture where Vegeta attacks Recoome is such a powerful image. It remains my very favorite Dragon Ball picture on the internet. The hopelessness of the situation coupled by Vegeta's courage was something that struck an emotional chord with me. I realized that TF did not have such a scene as that, and that felt like a failing of my story. The Namek arc of DBZ is probably my favorite in that entire series, and it's mainly because of the way Vegeta attacks all of the PTO soldiers, taking them out one by one while also gaining power. He didn't always win, either, such as in his fight against Zarbon or when he went up against Recoome. So, my early concept for this saga, at least the first half of it, was to mimick the Namek Arc with Ledas.
I came up with eight PTO soldier names (based on fruit puns) and then assigned them personalities and stations afterwards. I came up with the name of this saga based on a Magic the Gathering card. The name of that card is just so cool, but the meaning of "stomping grounds" worked perfectly with what I wanted Ledas to go through in this saga, so I kept it. It is the first TF saga not named after a person as a result. Now, the early plot for this saga was somewhat different - mainly with how Ledas gets to the Stomping Grounds (he is chased there by Cooler in the first version; in the final version, he is brought there by Banas to stand trial). And of course, this saga was originally two chapters shorter, so the chapters with Ledas fighting Cooler and the stuff with The Benefactor and Lauto were all added in during the final edits. Pretty much everything else is the same as the first version of this saga. There are minor differences, of course - rewordings, dialogue cleanup, etc. - but the majority of this saga is as it was when I first completed it. I wrote the entire story (including doing some minor edits on the last three chapters, which are basically just imported from the Lauto Saga) from November 13, 2011 to December 13, 2011. In the coming months and years, I of course continued to do minor edits until July 25, 2013, when I began the final edits. I finished those final edits on August 9, 2013, and aside from minor grammar, spelling, and style edits, the story has remained the same since then.
I have clear memories of writing this saga, perhaps more so than any other saga, as I wrote most chapters in the early morning, before anyone else had gotten up. I remember vividly writing the second chapter out in my house's family room with the fog all around the windows, the television on, with a show about people exploring the polar region in large boats on. I will get more into this in the below chapter endnotes, but the memories I have of writing this saga do make me remember it more fondly than the writing of other sagas.
Now, this saga brought a considerable uptick in action and fighting. While I was happy with the previous two sagas' battle scenes, I felt like there wasn't anything close to what happens in the Namek arc in them. Thus, I strove to create tons of legendary battle scenes in this saga. The plot was simplified during the beginning as a result - Ledas is just trying to survive and escape the planet. There are of course other things going on, particularly when Digranite gets involved and after Ledas and Guva return to Planet Cooler 92. But the plot is certainly much more straightforward than it was in previous sagas. Also, I have only mentioned this in passing before, but it is something that is very important to note: I consider TF to be split into two overall arcs - the PTO arc and the Planet Earth arc. Each arc is comprised of three sagas. With this being the third and final saga in the PTO arc, it means that a lot of the plot threads are being closed, and a lot of payoff happens in this saga. There is certainly way more action in this saga than in the previous two. Many more named characters are killed, Ledas has a pretty awesome fight against Cooler, and Ledas achieves his Super Saiyan form. And of course, at the end, he finally earns his freedom and sets off to find Vegeta. So a lot of payoff happens in this saga, built up by the plot and characterization in the previous sagas. While they may seem boring in comparison to this one, such payoffs could not happen without the build up in the first place.
There isn't a whole lot more to say for this saga. It should be clear from my above commentary, though, that this is one of my favorite sagas; I expect it to be in the top three at the very least. This is due to all the payoff, Ledas' Super Saiyan transformation (which is built up for thirty-five chapters before being achieved), his legendary fights against all the different characters (and in particular, Digranite, Nepar, Konatsu, and Cooler), and the thematic stuff I get into, especially in the last few chapters. This saga was fun for me to write, more so than the previous two, because it's me doing the Namek arc in fanon form. It's me having fun with varied, complex, unique battles. It's me finally giving my Saiyan his Super Saiyan transformation. So there's a lot going on in this saga that I found personally rewarding, and it is all heavily rewarding to the plot too. I hope the readers have found it to be that, too.
So the theme song for this saga was chosen from the start, and I think it's one of the best themes for any saga. It may be my favorite overall song from the saga themes. Final Hour is the only song used in the actual saga it is the theme of. This is because, when I heard the song, I instantly visualized Ledas vs Digranite. The entire first part of the saga was molded around reaching that fight. I think this song is fantastic battle music; it sets the right tone of "overcoming all odds" in a badass way and just sounds like something that you would hear in one of DBZ's best fight scenes. So I'm quite happy that I found "Final Hour" before writing this saga, as its tonal impact cannot be overstated. As I did with the Blue Album for Things Were Better Then, I analyzed "Final Hour" closely. I learned how to play it on piano while writing this saga. I learned all of the little things about the song not easily understood just from listening to it. And all of that helped me with the writing of this saga.
The above picture is the tagline for this saga. As I have mentioned before, all of TF's saga and special taglines were created in 2014/2015. This was one of the first taglines I created in 2014, and it's remained the same since then. I think this tagline appropriately conveys Ledas' mood in this saga, his will to survive, his will to fight, to never give up, and to no longer take all the shit that's happened to him. This is a saga about Ledas fighting a bunch of dudes in spectacular fashion, but it's also a saga about Ledas finding his personal agency, his voice, and his individuality. It's about Ledas standing up to those whom he was too weak to stand up to before. It's about Ledas making his foes pay. And he is greatly determined to do so, as seen in the defiant boldness of the above tagline.
So that's about all I have to say for this saga in the opening monologue. While this saga did have a lot of rewriting to do for its original draft (I had to basically write nine chapters from scratch), its final edits were minimal in comparison. So I would still place Reunion Saga, Lauto Saga, and Fulfillment Saga over it in terms of the work I had to do to complete it, though I think this one was a little bit harder overall than Prince Vegeta Saga to write. Anyways, onto the endnotes!
- 1 Story
- 1.1 The Stomping Grounds
- 1.2 Haunting Memory
- 1.3 To Kill A God
- 1.4 A Blue Moon In His Eyes
- 1.5 I’m So Devious
- 1.6 Agoraphobia
- 1.7 Echo Tango
- 1.8 Final Run
- 1.9 That Makes Him The Guv’nor
- 1.10 Finding Aprido
- 1.11 Ascendancy (season finale part 1)
- 1.12 To Each, According To His Sins (season finale part 2)
- 2 Final thoughts
Much like In Requiem,
this saga was inspired
by a single picture.
I find it weird that
I found both inspirational pictures
Considering what that site specializes in,
I was crazy lucky to come across them.
The Stomping Grounds
<THE STOMPING GROUNDS>
<SCREEN FADES IN; BANAS IS WALKING THROUGH A CORRIDOR THAT IS DIMLY LIT; HE IS WHISTLING; AS THE CAMERA PANS BACK, IT SHOWS LEDAS WALKING BEHIND BANAS; HIS HANDS ARE BOUND WITH YELLOW ENERGY; AS HE IS LAGGING, BANAS TURNS AROUND AND LOOKS AT HIM>
Banas: Hey kid, why don’t we pick up the pace? We’ve got places to be. <LEDAS MUMBLES TO HIMSELF> I’ll take that as a ‘Yes, Captain Banas! Anything you want!’.
<HE LAUGHS TO HIMSELF; HOWEVER, HEARING NOTHING FROM LEDAS, HE THEN TURNS AROUND AGAIN AND SEES THE SAIYAN IS RUNNING OFF; BANAS GRUMBLES TO HIMSELF AND PURSUES HIM, TACKLING THE BOY TO THE GROUND WITHIN SECONDS>
Ledas: <FACE UP AGAINST THE FLOOR> Get off me!
Banas: No chance. <HE PICKS LEDAS UP BY THE HAIR AND PUSHES HIM FORWARD; LEDAS STUMBLES, THOUGH HE STARTS WALKING FORWARD> We’ve have somewhere to be, kid. No use fighting me. I’m not letting you get away.
Ledas: <AS HE IS WALKING; HE HAS HIS HEAD TURNED TO SPEAK TO THE ALIEN BEHIND HIM> Why’d you tie me up, anyway?! I didn’t do anything!
Banas: You and me both. Come on.
<THEY REACH A HUGE DOOR; IN FRONT OF IT ARE SEVERAL GUARDS IN FULL ARMOR; WHEN THEY SEE BANAS AND LEDAS, THEY OPEN THE DOOR AND LET THE TWO IN; THE ROOM INSIDE IS FAR BRIGHTER THAN OUTSIDE>
<AS THE TWO COME IN, LEDAS IS DIRECTED TO A PLATFORM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM; BANAS MOVES OFF TO A CORNER, WHERE MORE GUARDS ARE; LEDAS LOOKS AROUND; IN A SEMI-CIRCLE IN FRONT OF HIM ARE ELEVATED, TIERED ROWS OF SEATS; ON THEM SIT NUMEROUS INDIVIDUALS; THE GRAND THRONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEATS IS EMPTY; MANY OF THE ONLOOKERS ARE OF GUVA’S RACE; VERY FEW OF THEM ARE WEARING ARMOR, HOWEVER; ONE WHO IS IS TO LEDAS’ RIGHT; HE IS A REPTILIAN-AVIAN TYPE ALIEN WITH FULL ARMOR; ALL ACROSS HIS ARMOR ARE DARK SPIKES; UPON SEEING LEDAS, HE FLEXES HIS ARMS, AND THIS CAUSES THE SPIKES TO MOVE>
<A LIGHT TURNS ON AND IS FOCUSED ON LEDAS’ POSITION>
Councilor 1: <TO LEDAS> We will start now. <HE GLANCES TO THE EMPTY THRONE> Lord Cooler will be joining us shortly.
Ledas: <LOOKS TERRIFIED> Lo-lord Cooler?!
Councilor 1: <IGNORING LEDAS’ OUTBURST> Now, we have gotten word from the governor of installation 92 that you had found a suspected spy for the pathetic rebellion that’s going on right now.
Banas: <FROM THE CORNER; POINTING TO LEDAS> Yeah, he’s right here.
Councilor 2: Captain Banas, is it? This report states that you were the one who knew about the rebels years ago.
Banas: <SHRUGGING THEIR WORDS OFF> Ah, that’s Guva for ya! He’s remarkably unspecific when he wants to be. <STEPS FORWARD> It’s true the rebels approached someone on my team – and I’m the captain of that team – but I never talked to them. They were after this kid.
Ledas: <TUGGING ON HIS BINDS> That’s not true! You’re lying!
Councilor 3: <RAISING VOICE OVER LEDAS’ YELLS> And why would they want a child for their ranks? Shouldn’t they have tried to recruit stronger, older members?
Banas: <UNFAZED; REHEARSED SPEECH> Well, you see, this kid’s a Saiyan. They were one of the strongest warrior races out there. And there’s not many of them left. I mean, we all know what Frieza did to their planet. He’s probably the only one in all of Cooler’s territory. Properly trained, he could be the strongest out of any of us.
<THE ARMORED AVIAN ALIEN SCOFFS>
Councilor 1: Be that as it may, how were you made aware of his traitorous ways?
Banas: He sent a platoon of rebels to come kill us.
Ledas: What?! I didn’t do that!
Councilor 2: Quiet. <HE CREATES A BIT OF PINK ENERGY AND PLACES IT OVER LEDAS’ MOUTH TO PREVENT HIM FROM SCREAMING OUT> Captain, continue.
Banas: That’s pretty much it. We realized at that point the kid had been feeding them information. Guva sent the letter right after the battle.
Councilor 3: But it says here that you were suspended, captain.
Banas: Yeah, that was a simple misunderstanding. It’s worked out now. I’m just wondering why you guys are worried about this now… I mean, this happened two years ago.
Councilor 1: <GRAVELY> As you may or may not know, our war against these rebels is going poorly. We haven’t found much, and no leaders have been captured. Yet still, they wreak havoc, even as we speak! Lord Cooler thinks it’s prudent to interrogate every potential lead.
Councilor 3: <REMOVES THE PINK ENERGY OVER LEDAS’ MOUTH> We will make this quick. You will give us all the information you have or face execution.
Ledas: Wh-what?! I don’t know what you’re talking about…!
Councilor 1: <NODS TO THE AVIAN ALIEN> General Digranite here will tell what happens to those who disobey us.
Digranite: <LEANS FORWARD IN HIS SEAT, GRIPPING THE RAILING IN FRONT OF HIM> Let’s just say these teeth <HE POINTS TO HIS MOUTH> aren’t for eating plants.
Ledas: <POSITIVELY SHAKING> I-I d-don’t know a-a-anything! I swear it! <HE DROPS TO HIS KNEES>
<A SOLDIER NEAR THE COUNCILORS SPEAKS>
Soldier 1: Sir, Lord Cooler has landed. He’ll be here soon.
Ledas: <NOTICES DROPS OF BLOOD HIT HIS HAND; THEY ARE COMING FROM HIS NOSE; TO HIMSELF> No…! It’s just like in that cave!
Councilor 2: Do you hear that, Saiyan? Lord Cooler will be far less forgiving than our General. All you have to do is tell us what you know–
<LEDAS LOOKS UP; HIS EYES ARE GREEN; SUDDENLY, LEDAS CREATES TWO GALICK GUNS; HE FIRES THEM TO EACH SIDE; EACH BLAST TEARS A HOLE THROUGH THE BUILDING AND BLOWS APART THE SOLDIERS STANDING IN THE WAY; BEFORE ANYONE CAN REACT, HE SHOOTS A SECOND ENERGY BEAM TOWARDS THE COUNCILORS; THE ENTIRE AREA IS COVERED IN SMOKE; LEDAS TAKES THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RUN TO THE NEAREST HOLE AND JUMPS THROUGH IT; DIGRANITE AND BANAS BOTH RUN UP TO THE HOLE AND LOOK OUT; THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS ARE IN A HIGH BUILDING, OVERLOOKING THE REST OF THE PLANET; IN THE DISTANCE, THERE ARE MORE BUILDINGS AND TOWERS, BUT THERE ARE ALSO A GOOD DEAL OF PLAINS AND HILLS; IT IS EVENING OUT, WITH THE SUN BEGINNING TO SET>
<AT THIS TIME, COOLER ENTERS THE CHAMBERS>
Councilor 3: <COUGHING> He escaped, sir!
<COOLER SNARLS AND SHOOTS A FINGER BEAM AT THE COUNCILOR; HE WALKS PAST THE SMOLDERING SEATS, TO DIGRANITE AND BANAS>
Digranite: Lord Cooler, he’s not far. I can track him if you want. Bring him back to you, if you desire.
Cooler: No. I’ll get him myself. He won’t be able to hide. He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Unlike my brother, I won’t put up with such defiance! <HE LOOKS AT DIGRANITE> While I’m gone, interrogate the rest of our prisoners. That will be all.
Digranite: Of course.
Cooler: <LOOKING OUT OF THE HOLE, PERCHED RIGHT ON THE EDGE> I will find this Saiyan spy and bring him back. He’s more valuable to me alive than dead.
Banas: Lord Cooler, it’s an honor to–
<WITH THAT, COOLER STEPS FORWARD AND JUMPS OUT OF THE HOLE; HE DIVES OUT OF THERE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL DIVER OR SOMETHING; HE SHOOTS OFF LIKE MEWTWO DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE CREDITS IN POKÉMON SEASON 1>
Banas: <WATCHING HIM GO> Well, there’s nothing to worry about, then! I can go, right? <HE PATS DIGRANITE’S BACK IN A FRIENDLY MANNER; HOWEVER, HE HITS ONE OF THE SPIKES AND CUTS HIS HAND> Ouch! Man, what the hell?!
<DIGRANITE LOOKS AT BANAS FOR A MOMENT, THEN TURNS AROUND AND WALKS OUT; HIS CAPE BILLOWS BEHIND HIM>
Banas: <CALLING AFTER HIM> Hey! Can I go now?! Hey?! <THE OTHERS IGNORE HIM> Fine, I’ll take that as a yes.
<THE SCREEN PANS BACK A BIT; COUNCILOR 3 IS DEAD, HANGING OVER THE RAILING; THE OTHER TWO MAIN COUNCILORS ARE LEAVING; SOME SOLDIERS ARE DEAD, THOUGH NOT ALL OF THEM; EVERYONE LEAVES THE ROOM, SAVE FOR BANAS; HE LOOKS OUT OF THE HOLE ONE LAST TIME AND SIGHS>
Banas: Well, kid. It was a helluva journey. But everything has to end.
<SCREEN FADES TO BLACK AS BANAS WALKS OUT>
- The original (and now deleted) poem for this saga mentioned how I had a pattern going with all of the poems in the sagas. There is a pattern in the number of lines in the sagas that was messed up by me creating this saga (for this saga was created after I had already finished all of the other sagas' first drafts). I later fixed this pattern when I did final edits for the latter three sagas.
- This saga's poem highlights how the picture at the top of this anthology page inspired pretty much the entire saga (sans what was imported from the old Lauto Saga). That's really all there is to it. Although, the mention of gelbooru is pretty funny, since gelbooru is primarily a porn site, so to find two legendary DB pictures on it that weren't porn and inspired two big stories of mine is really cool.
- This chapter's name is one of the most straightforward ones in all of TF. It's just describing where Ledas has been taken to. It was important to get this fact out there early, as the world that serves as the setting for this chapter (and much of the saga) was not mentioned in the last saga.
- The text color for this saga was originally a light blue - the same color that the Fulfillment Saga's text is now. I changed the saga color to red about a month after writing this chapter mainly because I thought the "power" and "blood-like" quality of that color suited this saga more.
- The original draft of this chapter was completely different. Cooler came to PC92; Ledas fought Banas and Meloon to escape from Cooler (who thought that Ledas was a traitor/rebel and wanted to kill). Then, Ledas flew away for a while until he stumbled upon Cooler's stomping grounds. As he was passing by the planet, the planet's defensive turrets destroyed his pod, and he was forced to land on the planet (his pod exploded in the upper atmosphere, forcing Ledas to land by himself and try to find another pod). Then, Cooler tracked him to the planet, setting up the remainder of the saga. The plot wasn't terrible, but I didn't like the luck of it, nor Ledas' fight with Banas and Meloon. It was also made impossible by my changes in the Lauto Saga. I set up the new plot for this saga in the last chapter of the previous saga, so that required extensive re-writes here during the final edits. I do vastly prefer the way this chapter is now, as opposed to how it was in its first draft. There's more characterization, world building, foreshadowing, and interesting dialogue, in my opinion.
- Ledas is never the first character introduced in any saga of TF. This one was a bit dicey - he could have legitimately been the first one introduced, but I didn't want him to be. I wanted to keep the streak alive. So I specifically wrote for Banas first just because of that. Had I not been trying to have Ledas not be introduced first in any saga, he would have been introduced first in the opening shot.
- Banas' comedy in this chapter (particularly his opening line of dialogue) is a big reason why he's one of my favorite characters in TF.
- Notice how Ledas doesn't know where he is at the start of this chapter. Banas didn't tell him he was going to his death because he didn't want the boy to freak out. As it happens, Ledas freaks out multiple times anyways. He can be quite skittish, and this is a good chapter to illustrate that temperament of his.
- In the original draft of this saga, Digranite wasn't introduced until much later in the saga. Introducing him in this chapter allows me to foreshadow his later titanic showdown with the Saiyan boy. I much prefer it like this.
- There's a lot of world building going on in this chapter. The stuff with the members of Guva's race is more important in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization, though.
- The empty throne is obviously Cooler's. I didn't want him to be present at first so that Ledas would be able to escape. If Cooler was sitting on that throne when the boy entered, I doubt Ledas could have been able to fly off like he ends up doing.
- Notice how Digranite physically reacts upon seeing Ledas, and how he later scoffs when Banas asserts that Ledas could grow up to be one of the strongest warriors in the universe.
- Banas is really duplicitous in this chapter. He's well-rehearsed, too. He answers all of the councilors' questions with ease, showing his quick wit and awareness of the situation he's in.
- Ledas isn't given a proper chance to defend himself. This hints at the bias in his trial and how Banas is deemed more trustworthy than him by default, even though the opposite is true.
- The exposition about the war with the rebels is very interesting. The way I handled this plot, it's on the periphery of the story; after Ledas' encounter with Lenomi, no more rebels are shown. Yet, they continue to plague the PTO and influence the plot of TF as a result. I am proud of this plot point - it's a lot like how some plot points developed in The Sopranos. And, it is worth noting that I was watching a lot of Sopranos when I wrote the final draft of this saga. It's certainly an unorthodox plot, but it's quite unique. I didn't want the whole story to be the same. Sometimes, having unresolved plot points that impact the plot in unexpected ways can be quite refreshing; here, I think that is the case. One thing about The Sopranos that influenced me greatly was the idea that life isn't like a story - not every plot point is resolved in someone's life. To do so in a story is unrealistic. I want this story to be realistic, despite being set in a fantasy universe. Having unresolved plot points like the stuff with the rebels enhances TF's "realness", I think.
- Ledas is able to break out of his energy bonds because he goes Semi Super Saiyan.
- Ledas' Semi Super Saiyan form becomes a big plot point in this saga. It's a more powerful form, but it physically hurts him when he's in it (evidenced by the blood the falls from his nose and eyes and whatnot whenever he transforms). This brings a disadvantage to the form that balances it more than Super Saiyan is balanced. Additionally, Ledas can't control when he transforms, at least at first, so when he becomes Semi Super Saiyan, he is not prepared for it and cannot control the increase in power it gives him because he's so unfamiliar with the form. A big reason why he is hurt so much every time he transforms into his Semi Super Saiyan form is because Ledas absorbed a large amount of Lauto's and The Benefactor's power in the previous saga, and that power is not aligned to his own life-force.
- Cooler flying like Mewtwo is a very apt description, if I do say so myself. The way he acts around Digranite and Banas is really badass. Those two have already proven themselves to be no pushovers, and the way he exerts his will over them is impressive to say the least.
- Banas has a lot of comedy to end this chapter as well. If there's one thing I'm proud about with my writing of his character, it's my consistency in making him a jokester.
- Digranite and Banas didn't pursue Ledas because they are lazy, of course. Nah, in reality, Digranite knew that Cooler was coming and would want to deal with Ledas himself, so he didn't go beyond his station in pursuing the Saiyan boy. Banas was never going to chase down Ledas, seeing the boy as Digranite's problem now that he's brought him to the stomping grounds.
- The last line that Banas says in this chapter is reminescent of the line "Everything goes away" from Always Gold by Radical Face. I wrote that line several years before I first heard that song, though. Additionally, it also is thematically similar to the main theme of "things were better then" in Things Were Better Then. Pretty nifty stuff. It's cool to see how I've used similar themes in my stories across the years. Certain themes and situations appeal to me, and remembering the past fondly is one of the most powerful themes I can think of, hence why I use it in so many of my stories.
- The end of this chapter is the last time Banas is shown in this story while he's still stronger than Ledas. When Ledas returns to Planet Cooler 92 in chapter 10, he's outclassed Banas by that point (and his later Super Saiyan transformation makes the disparity in their power even great). This gives greater irony to Banas' comments. There's no going back to this time; there's no going back to when Banas could do with Ledas as he wanted. But Banas doesn't know that in this chapter.
<HIGH SHOT FROM ABOVE AN ENCAMPMENT; IT IS FILLED WITH COOLER’S SOLDIERS; THE SCREEN PANS OUT OVER THE PLAINS BEHIND>
<A LARGE CREATURE, SUSPENDED IN AIR, IS FLYING SLOWLY; ITS LONG ARMS AND WINGS DANGLING BELOW IT; WE GET TO SEE THE EDGE OF HAIR, NEAR POINT-OF-VIEW FROM THE PANEL>
<THE CREATURE JUST SEEMS LIKE IT’S A NATIVE ANIMAL; THE CAMERA TURNS AWAY FROM IT, BACK TO THE ENCAMPMENT>
<THE CAMERA SNEAKS AROUND THE GUARD TOWER, UP ONTO AN OVERLOOK>
<ON THAT OVERLOOK IS STANDING A BOY; WELL, HE’S LEDAS; HIS EYES ARE NO LONGER GREEN; ANYWAY, HE LOOKS DOWN INTO THE GROUP OF SOLDIERS BELOW; MOST OF THEM ARE PATROLLING, AND ASIDE FROM THE GUARD TOWER, NONE OF THEM ARE FACING HIS WAY>
Ledas: I’ve gotta get outta here. Maybe they have a ship.
<HE JUMPS OVER THE CLIFF, SKIDDING DOWN ITS SIDE; SPEEDING QUICKLY BY, HE MANAGES TO GET PAST THE SLEEPING GATE GUARD – WHO IS LOUNGING ON AN ELEVATED ANTI-GRAVITY TOWER – WITHOUT ALERTING ANYONE; LEDAS RUNS FORWARD, SEARCHING FOR ANY SORT OF SPACE POD TO GET HIM OFF THE PLANET>
<INSIDE A BUILDING HE FINDS SOLDIERS, NOT A POD; REALIZING HIS MISTAKE, LEDAS JUMPS; IN REFLEX, HE BLOWS THEM AWAY WITH ENERGY; HE GOES BACK OUTSIDE; HOWEVER, THE NOISE HAS CAUSED MORE SOLDIERS TO COME OUT>
<LEDAS SPOTS THEM FIRST; THERE ARE A FEW DOZEN; THE BATTLE IS SHORT LIVED; EACH SOLDIER IS BLOWN AWAY BY A SINGLE FINGER BEAM EACH; ONCE THEY FALL DEAD, THE OTHER SOLDIERS IN THE COMPLEX ARE ALERTED>
<A SIREN GOES OFF, AND THEY RUN OUT; ALL THAT HE CAN SEE ARE MERE GRUNTS>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> 1000. 2000. Nobody’s a threat. <HE LOOKS OVER HIS SHOULDER> But I can feel someone much stronger coming. I gotta go fast!
<THE GROUPS LINE UP AROUND HIM, READYING THEIR BLASTERS ON HIS POSITION; LEDAS DOES NOT MOVE; ONCE THEY ARE ALL IN POSITION, A FAT ONE FLOATS OUT IN FRONT; HE IS PURPLE, COVERED IN TENTACLES, SHORT, AND STOUT; HE DOES NOT LOOK VERY MENACING, BUT HE WEARS THE ARMOR TOO>
Mullpy: Soldiers, wait! Who do we have here, hmm?
Ledas: <TALKING QUICKLY> I just want a space pod. I’ll let you live if you give me one.
Mullpy: Oho! Let us live, will you?! Well, it looks like you’re in for a shock, brat! <HE WAGS A TENTACLE> You’re in no position to demand things from me! I’m a Captain! <TO HIS MEN; POSITIVELY SCREECHING> Now shoot him! Shoot the brat!
<LEDAS POSITIONS HIS RIGHT HAND OUTWARD, IN A HALF FIST, CAUSING THE TROOPS TO WAIT; HOWEVER, AS NO BLAST COMES, THEY FIRE; LEDAS IS ENVELOPED IN THEIR ATTACK; THE DUST CLEARS QUICKLY; HE IS UNMOVED, HIS ARMOR AND BODY UNDAMAGED>
<MULLPY WADDLES UP TO HIM, GRINNING; WHEN HE SEES THAT LEDAS IS ALIVE, HIS GRIN SUBSIDES SLIGHTLY>
Ledas: You shouldn’t really be smiling.
<THE ENTIRE CITY EXPLODES; LEDAS HAD PREVIOUSLY USED A LIGHTNING STRIKE ATTACK, WHICH IS A HUGE INVISIBLE BLAST; NOW IT GOES OFF AND IT INCINERATES ALL AROUND HIM; THE BUILDINGS AND TROOPS ARE DESTROYED; FARTHER OFF, WHERE THE OUTPOST IS, THE SLEEPING SOLDIER IS KNOCKED AWAY TO THE GROUND; HE WAKES UP, SCOWLING>
<WHEN THE DUST CLEARS, THE CRATER AROUND LEDAS IS QUITE DEVOID OF LIFE; HE LOOKS AROUND, SCANNING FOR ANY SIGN OF A SPACE SHIP; NOT SEEING ANY, HE RISES INTO THE AIR>
<FROM BEHIND LEDAS, A SHOT IS FIRED; HE DODGES IT EASILY BUT SEVERAL MORE COME; HE DODGES THEM TOO, FALLING TO THE GROUND IN A ROLL; HE RAISES HIS HEAD LOOKING FOR THE SOURCE OF THE ATTACK, WHEN HE SEES MULLPY COME OUT OF THE RUBBLE TO HIS LEFT>
<MULLPY FIRES ANOTHER SHOT, WHICH LEDAS ROLLS RIGHT TO DODGE>
Mullpy: Ooh, ooh! He’s a fast one, isn’t he?! I can see how he killed all those soldiers!
Ledas: Stop shooting me! I’ll let you live if you give me a pod.
Mullpy: Oh, a space pod? You want to run away? Aw, that’s too bad!
Mullpy: <GRINNING> Can’t you see?! You blew up everything! <HE WAVES HIS TENTACLES AROUND MADLY> All the pods are gone now! You destroyed them, you little fool!
Ledas: <BACKSTEP> N-no…
Mullpy: Don’t worry! I’ll arrest you! Hahh!
<MULLPY JUMPS AT LEDAS, SWINGING HIS TENTACLES WILDLY AND LAUGHING, AS IF HE IS PLAYING A GAME; MULLPY IS VERY UNAWARE OF HIS POWER LEVEL COMPARED TO LEDAS’; SINCE HIS IS LOWER, LEDAS HAS LITTLE TROUBLE COUNTERING HIS ATTACK>
<MULLPY FLIES AROUND BEHIND LEDAS, STILL LAUGHING AND LATCHES ONTO THE BOY’S BACK WITH HIS TENTACLES; HE BEGINS SUCKING LEDAS’ ENERGY OUT; LEDAS GRIMACES, AS THIS IS BASICALLY BURNING HIM, AND WEAKENING HIM; HE TRIES TO ROLL OFF, BUT MULLPY IS ABLE TO STAY LATCHED ON, AND HE IS STILL TAKING LEDAS’ ENERGY>
<LEDAS SPINS, ELBOWING THE ALIEN IN THE FACE; MULLPY’S TENTACLES ARE SNAPPED OFF; HE FIRES A SMALL COLLECTION OF BLASTS, WHICH HIT LEDAS; THIS GIVES MULLPY THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTACK AGAIN>
<MULLPY SLAPS LEDAS WITH HIS TENTACLE, BUT LEDAS GRABS AHOLD; RIPPING IT UPWARD WITH ONE HAND, LEDAS TAKES MULLPY FULLY INTO THE AIR; WITH HIS OTHER HAND, LEDAS CREATES A SMALL CUTTING BEAM TO SEVER THE TENTACLE>
<MULLPY RAGES HARD, KICKING AT LEDAS WITH ALL HIS MIGHT; HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOTHING; LEDAS SLAMS HIM TO THE GROUND, FOLLOWED UP BY A RAZOR BLAST, WHICH KILLS MULLPY>
Grif: <INDIFFERENCE> Yeah, yeah, you killed the army. I bet you think you’re a big shot now.
<LEDAS WHEELS AROUND, FACING THIS NEW FOE; IT IS THE SLEEPING GUARD, THE ONE THAT LEDAS SNUCK PAST ABOUT THREE MINUTES PRIOR; HE IS STANDING IN A SLOUCH>
Ledas: Aren’t you part of that army?
Grif: No, not me. I’m just a traveling paper salesman, who just so happened to, uh, be selling paper to lieutenant Mullpy and his guys.
Ledas: You’re wearing the same armor as them.
Grif: Yeah, well, so are you. And I could tell when you destroyed the whole base that you weren’t with them. I’m not either. That’s why you shouldn’t judge a paper salesman by his armor.
Ledas: You’re just lying. You don’t have any paper.
Grif: <MELODRAMA> Not any more, thanks to someone. <LEDAS FROWNS AGAIN> Look around us, you’ve blown it all up! <FAKE SADNESS> It’s all gone! All, all gone…
Ledas: Um, look, do you know where I can find a space pod?
Grif: Yeeah, well the lieutenant used to keep them in that building right there… but you blew it up up. Great job, buddy.
Ledas: I thought he wasn’t your lieutenant.
Grif: <FLUSTERED> You tricked me!
<HE RAISES HIS WRIST MOUNTED BLASTER AT LEDAS; LEDAS PRODUCES A SMALL BALL OF KI IN HIS HAND AS HIS COUNTER, BUT GRIF DECIDES THAT IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO ACTUALLY ATTACK; GRIF RUNS AWAY>
<LEDAS, INTENT ON GETTING MORE INFORMATION OUT OF HIM, PURSUES; GRIF HECKLES HIM AS HE GOES>
Grif: <AS LEDAS REACHES HIM> Hey! You suck!
Ledas: That wasn’t a very good one.
Grif: Your mom wasn’t a very good one. Oh yeah! <GRIF LOOKS MIGHTY PLEASED>
Ledas: Look, take me to another base that has some pods, or I’m just going to kill you. <HE SHOWS THE BLAST TO GRIF>
Grif: That is a… pretty convincing argument.
Ledas: All right, so let’s go. Show me the place.
Grif: <POINTS TO A TOWER IN THE DISTANCE> They’ve got some over there.
<AS LEDAS IS DISTRACTED WITH LOOKING AT THE TOWER, GRIF COMES UP TO LEDAS; HE STARTS MOANING; HE IS TRYING TO BE QUIET, BUT LEDAS HEARS HIM; HOWEVER, AS LEDAS TURNS, HE SEES THAT GRIF IS ACTUALLY MAKING ENERGY FORM; HE HAS AN AURA, AND HIS HANDS ARE OUT ON HIS SIDES; REALIZING THIS WAS CAREFULLY PLANNED TREACHERY, LEDAS GOES TO KILL GRIF; HOWEVER, AT THIS TIME SOMETHING HAPPENS>
<LEDAS’ EYES ARE GREEN AGAIN; HE DROPS TO HIS KNEES; SUDDENLY, FLASHES OF MEMORY COME BACK TO HIM; OF LAUTO’S CAVE; OF THE BENEFACTOR, HIS HALLUCINATION IN THERE AND OTHERWISE; OF VEGETA, HIS FRIEND; THIS CAUSES A GREAT PAIN TO COME TO HIS HEAD, AND HE SCREAMS OUT, POUNDING AT THE DIRT AS IT HURTS HIM A LOT>
Grif: Wait, did I do that?!
<LEDAS’ HAIR HAS TURNED WHITE; HE SHAKES IN PAIN>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> Nooo!! I can sense Cooler getting closer. I-I can’t… move…
Grif: Hey, uh, kid, are you okay? You look terrible. Just terrible. <LEDAS LOOKS UP AT HIM, WHITE HAIR AND GREEN EYES> Eeaah!!
<LEDAS DOESN’T HEAR GRIF; HE IS HUDDLED OVER THE GROUND, COUGHING UP BLOOD>
Grif: Hey, bitch! Stop ignoring me! I’m not done owning you!
<GRIF WALKS RIGHT UP TO LEDAS, QUITE CONFIDENTLY; LEDAS, WHO ISN’T LOOKING AT THE FURRY ALIEN, SWINGS HIS FIST AND HITS GRIF IN THE CHEST; GRIF GOES FLYING INTO A NEARBY MOUNTAIN; LEDAS ATTEMPTS TO STAND UP, BUT HE STUMBLES; HE’S IN CLEAR PAIN>
<JUST AS HE’S TRYING TO STAND UP, HE HEARS A THUD BEHIND HIM; THE CAMERA PANS BACK AND SHOWS COOLER BEHIND THE SAIYAN BOY; LEDAS TURNS TO FACE HIM>
Cooler: <CALMLY, ELEGANTLY> So, Saiyan, we finally meet. <LEDAS ATTEMPTS TO RUN AWAY, BUT TRIPS OVER HIS FEET AND FALLS TO THE GROUND; COOLER WALKS RIGHT UP TO LEDAS> Did you really think you could get away from the strongest being in the universe?
<COOLER PICKS LEDAS UP BY THE NECK; CAMERA ZOOMS OUT>
<IN LAUTO’S CAVE, MUCH OF THE PLACE HAS BEEN DESTROYED; THE CAMERA MOVES ACROSS THE PATH, SHOWING MANY CRATERS, BURN STREAKS, AND QUITE A BIT OF BLOOD; FINALLY, THE CAMERA REACHES TWO BODIES; THEY ARE BOTH ON THE GROUND, THOUGH THEY ARE SEVERAL FEET APART; THE ONE FURTHER BACK FROM THE CAMERA IS ACTIVELY BLEEDING>
Lauto: <SITS UP, REVEALING HIMSELF TO BE THE FIGURE FURTHER BACK> Enough of this! <HE CRAWLS UP AGAINST THE ROCK WALL> We can both get out of here. <THE BENEFACTOR DOES NOT RESPOND> Listen to me… you will need me to get your energy back. Only I know the technique…
The Benefactor: <SUDDENLY SITS UP; FULL OF MALICE> I told you… what would happen… to you.
<HE LUNGES AT LAUTO, DIGGING HE CLAWS INTO THE KAI’S CHEST; LAUTO KICKS THE BENEFACTOR OFF OF HIM AND ROLLS FORWARD; HE STANDS UP AND DOES A FRONT FLIP KICK, LANDING DIRECTLY HIS FOE’S BACK; THE BENEFACTOR SHRUGS HIM OFF AND STANDS UP; HE RUSHES AT LAUTO AGAIN, BUT LAUTO PARRIES HIM AWAY; THE TWO TRADE BLOWS UNTIL THEY BOTH FALL TO THE GROUND AGAIN, EXHAUSTED>
The Benefactor: You’ll die tonight. <HE TRIES TO STAND, BUT STUMBLES AND FALLS AGAIN>
Lauto: This is no use… with our energies gone. We’ll die of exhaustion before we can kill one another. Look… we can get out of here. I’ll show you!
<LAUTO STARTS CRAWLING AWAY; THE BENEFACTOR FOLLOWS HIM; AS THEY ROUND THE CORNER, THE BENEFACTOR’S SHIP IS SEEN PARKED IN THE CAVE; WHILE IT IS SLIGHTLY DAMAGED FROM THE CRASH LANDING, IT IS STILL OPERATIONAL>
Lauto: We can take that and find the kid who stole our energy. You will need my help…
The Benefactor: <HE GETS CLOSER, AND SITS UP AGAINST A ROCK> Why would I?
Lauto: Because I’m a Kai. I know this universe… inside and out. I can find him, and get back our energy. Then I’ll find someone else to switch bodies with… not you. I give you my word! <THE BENEFACTOR SHAKES HIS HEAD> You can’t leave me to die! No being would dare kill a god!
The Benefactor: <NOTICES HIS CLAWS ARE COVERED IN PURPLE BLOOD; IT IS LAUTO’S BLOOD> There’s a first time for everything. <THE BENEFACTOR STARES AT THE BLOOD ON HIS HAND AND STARTS BREATHING RAPIDLY; HE LOOKS UP AT LAUTO; RESOLUTE, NO MORE PANTING> Your time is almost up. Your body decays as we speak. But I won’t let you live long enough to double-cross me again.
<WITH HIS OTHER HAND, THE BENEFACTOR TAKES OUT A KNIFE; HE STARES INTO THE BLADE AS THE CAMERA FADES TO BLACK>
- This chapter's name references the part where Ledas starts to hallucinate near the end. This is an old chapter name; it existed in the first draft of the Lauto Saga as well. The importance of this name has become less literal and more symbolic by the final draft, thought.
- The major changes from the first version of this chapter to what it is now are: the added Lauto/The Benefactor scene, and changing the end of Ledas' encounter with Grif. In the original draft, Grif paralyzes Ledas at the end, and Cooler thinks Ledas is dead. One of my major revisions for the final version of this saga was to add in a fight between Ledas and Cooler, because that's just much cooler than not having them fight.
- This chapter originally was about Ledas and Payar and some natives and some TB hallucinations in the Lauto Saga. When that saga was edited down to twelve chapters and the on-the-nose natives plotline was streamlined, pretty much the entire original version of this chapter was lost; indeed, I don't think a word of it survives in the final version of either the Lauto Saga or this one. I kept the chapter name, though, because I think it's a good one.
- The large creature seen at the beginning of this chapter is Nepar, foreshadowing his future importance. I also thought it was just a cool image to put him in, as it shows how alien and terrifying this world is.
- The sleeping gate guard is Grif.
- Ledas getting spooked by the aliens and then accidentally blowing them away is one of my favorite comedic moments in all of TF.
- Ledas saying "I gotta go fast!" is a reference to the Sonic X theme song.
- I sought to create some unique aliens with the Stomping Ground named dudes. This is why Nepar exists, why Konatsu has four arms, and why Mullpy is basically a floating octopus.
- The way everyone surrounds Ledas is reminiscent of the way Frieza's regular soldiers attacked the Namekians and Gohan and Krillin on Planet Namek.
- Mullpy is only in one very short scene, so I had to make him memorable. He's quite spoiled and complacent but also very fearful and impatient. All of this I had to portray in a very short amount of time, so his dialogue was plot progression as much as it was characterization. There's a lot that is revealed about who he is in his few lines of dialogue.
- Ledas' Lightning Strike attack was one I developed for Ledas to use in the Planet Earth Saga, originally. When I went back and made this saga, I put it into this one. It's one of the more memorable attacks he uses, and he uses it at least twice in this saga, if I'm remembering correctly. He chooses to use it here because it's basically a large ki explosion, allowing him to take out everyone quickly. It also is an invisible blast, which is useful, because it doesn't allow the soldiers to realize that they are about to die (and thus run away or try to block the attack). On top of all of that, the attack itself is quite dramatic and showy, so that fit in well with this saga.
- Despite Ledas' Lightning Strike being the optimal attack against a group of enemies, the drawback of it is revealed when he accidentally blows up the whole PTO outpost (and destroys all of its space pods). Having a drawback like this is a little thing I do all the time to try to not make Ledas a Gary Stu. It is important to remember that Ledas doesn't always win, get everything he wants, or have things go his way.
- I knew Mullpy would be no match for Ledas (despite him being strong enough to survive the Lightning Strike), so his energy sucking ability was the only way I saw to make the fight interesting and not so one-sided. Even so, Ledas still kills Mullpy quickly.
- Grif is somewhat based on Grif from the Red vs. Blue series. His main plot purpose is to put Ledas into a stasis coma for several years, but that doesn't come until a few chapters from now. For now, he's mostly a comedic character, and I think his jokes work so well because Ledas is playing a straight man and doesn't really understand all of the sarcasm Grif is using. For me, Grif's conversations with Ledas in this chapter and later are some of the most enjoyable non-fighting sequences in this saga.
- So Ledas has another uncontrollable transformation in this chapter, just like he did in the previous chapter. This is all a consequence of Ledas absorbing that mass of power in the previous saga. He seems to transform at the most inopportune times, as well, for if he hadn't transformed even for another ten seconds, he would have killed Grif and never been put into the coma state in chapter 4. One of Ledas' side plots in this saga is him getting used to his new power and trying to control it. He isn't able to until his final fight with Digranite, which is the culmination of that side plot.
- Grif doesn't know where to quit. His personality switches from arrogance to fear is something seen quite frequently with a lot of characters in the DB universe. This is often seen in the Namek Saga with guys like Dodoria and Zarbon and the Ginyu Force (not to mention Frieza, who does it about 1000 times).
- Ledas accidentally hits Grif away to delay Grif's stasis attack until chapter 4. This simple change allowed Ledas to fight Cooler without any other changes to the plot.
- Cooler's entrance in this saga is one of the coolest moments in TF, in my opinion. It certainly upstages Frieza's introduction in the Prince Vegeta Saga by a good deal.
- It's not in the scene direction, but I imagine it to be completely quiet when Cooler arrives and then grabs Ledas by the neck (perhaps, there would be a little bit of wind blowing too). It's such a badass moment on his part, and it ends Ledas' story in this chapter on a massive cliffhanger. It looks like there's no way for Ledas to get out of his current predicament alive. There are few cliffhangers in TF that leave Ledas in such peril (Kindler shooting him in the head is the only one that comes to mind as rivaling this chapter's cliffhanger in that regard).
- I tried to complete Lauto's and The Benefactor's plot together in the Lauto Saga, but early on, I realized that there was too much left to write about to fit it all into the last two chapters. So that forced their story to bleed over into this saga. It was important, though, to have it be completed before the time-skip that happens in chapter 5. In a way, the first four chapters of this saga are tied to the last two of the last saga more than those last two chapters of the previous saga are tied to the rest of the Lauto Saga, and that is reflected in the TB/Lauto plot that exists only in the first four chapters of this saga.
- Much like the Ledas/Grif dynamic, I find the the TB/Lauto dynamic to be pretty cool. They are both villains, obviously, so their dialogue is pretty unique, compared to most other interactions. It's rare to have two opposed villains going after each like this, and it shows in the way they talk to each other.
- The Benefactor goes into an adrenaline-fueled frenzy when he sees blood and that causes him to gain energy. It's part of his biological defect that Lauto has mentioned before (and that was also seen in Outbreak). That's what happens at the end of this chapter, and TB realizes it, which is why he says what he says.
- Lauto would have been able to find Ledas almost instantly if he had been able to get away in TB's ship. However, once Ledas is put into a coma stasis, his power level becomes almost nothing, and Lauto would not have been able to find him until he broke free again. So there was a small window of a few days or hours where he could have found Ledas, but Grif and TB both put a stop to that plan.
To Kill A God
<SCENE OPENS IN LAUTO’S CAVE; LAUTO AND THE BENEFACTOR ARE NEAR THE BENEFACTOR’S SHIP (WHICH IS A GARBAGE SHIP); LAUTO IS SITTING UP AGAINST THE WALL TO THE RIGHT OF THE SHIP; THE BENEFACTOR IS JUST IN FRONT OF HIM, SITTING ON HIS KNEES WITH HIS FACE BOWED>
Lauto: I was the ruler of this universe. Everything I did was for the betterment of the species living here. And now this is what I get? A rogue member of an otherwise extinct species trying to kill me? I won’t have it. If you wish to kill me, you will be subjected to everything I have been!
<LAUTO SUDDENLY YELLS AND CREATES A PURPLE BEAM OF ENERGY WITH HIS LEFT HAND; HE FIRES IT AT THE SPACE SHIP; AT THIS, THE BENEFACTOR LOOKS UP; HE QUICKLY FIRES A GREEN ENERGY BLAST WITH HIS RIGHT HAND, INTERCEPTING LAUTO’S ATTACK, AND SENDING THEM BOTH INTO THE FAR WALL TO EXPLODE>
The Benefactor: Not happening, boss.
Lauto: <SCREAMING NOW; SPITTING VENOM> I was there when your species began! I allowed them to live! But had I known the genetic <DISGUST> mutation you possess existed, I surely would have killed you all!
The Benefactor: <STANDING UP, FLUIDLY> What are you talking about?
Lauto: You aren’t like your species. The rest would expend energy to catch their prey. But you – you bottle that energy up inside you, like adrenaline. Only, it’s power that doesn’t go away. That’s why you get stronger with each kill, with each dead body you see. And I should have seen it! I should have killed your species long ago!
<THE BENEFACTOR DOESN’T RESPOND; HE LOOKS DOWN AT HIS HANDS; ONE IS COVERED IN LAUTO’S BLOOD; THE OTHER IS HOLDING A KNIFE; THEN HE LOOKS UP AT LAUTO; LAUTO SEES THAT THE BENEFACTOR’S HAND IS COVERED IN BLOOD>
Lauto: <REALIZING THE BENEFACTOR IS BUILDING UP ENERGY AGAIN> No!
<HE ATTEMPTS TO SLIDE FURTHER AGAINST THE WALL, BUT THE BENEFACTOR RUNS AT HIM; AS THE CREATURE REACHES THE KAI, LAUTO KICKS HIM BACK WITH BOTH FEET; THE BENEFACTOR STUMBLES; THIS GIVES LAUTO TIME TO STAND UP AND LAUNCH HIMSELF AT THE BENEFACTOR; THE BENEFACTOR GOES ON THE DEFENSIVE, PARRYING AND DODGING THE BLOCKS; AS THE TWO MOVE, THEY ARE HITTING ROCKS IN THE WALLS AND FLOOR CAUSING A GREAT AMOUNT OF DEBRIS TO FLY UP AROUND THEM>
<THE BENEFACTOR DODGES AROUND A CORNER, LETTING LAUTO PUNCH INTO A WALL; AS LAUTO GOES AROUND THE CORNER TO SEE WHERE HE WENT, THE BENEFACTOR APPEARS BEHIND HIM, AND PUNCHES HIM FORWARD; LAUTO TRIPS TO THE FLOOR AND ROLLS OVER JUST IN TIME TO SEE THE BENEFACTOR JUMP ON TOP OF HIM; THE BENEFACTOR BEATS HIM, PUNCHING THE KAI’S HEAD DIRECTLY INTO THE ROCK BENEATH; AS THE CRATER GETS LARGER AND LAUTO MORE DELIRIOUS, THE BENEFACTOR SHOWS HIS KNIFE AND ATTEMPTS TO STAB LAUTO WITH IT>
<THE TWO STRUGGLE; LAUTO TRIES HIS HARDEST TO HOLD THE BLADE FROM HIS THROAT; HIS HAND IS CUT DURING THE STRUGGLE; AS THE BLADE GETS CLOSER AND CLOSER, LAUTO STARTS SCREAMING; THE TIP OF THE BLADE TOUCHES HIS NECK WHEN LAUTO FINALLY CREATES AN EXPLOSIVE WAVE, KNOCKING THE BENEFACTOR OFF OF HIM, AND SENDING THE KNIFE FLYING OFF INTO THE DARKNESS>
<LAUTO IS ALMOST COMPLETELY OUT OF ENERGY AT THIS POINT; WHAT LITTLE HE HAD LEFT WENT WITH THAT EXPLOSIVE WAVE; AT THIS POINT, HE JUST STAYS WHERE HE IS ON THE GROUND, BREATHING HEAVILY>
Lauto: It was my job… I protected the universe from species… which could harm it. I saved all of them… and this is my thanks…
<AROUND LAUTO ARE THE HALLUCINATIONS FROM HIS OWN MEMORY; HE APPEARS SO DELIRIOUS THAT HE CANNOT EVEN CONTROL HIS POWER TO VIEW OTHERS’ MEMORIES; THE BENEFACTOR WATCHES AS THE HALLUCINATION GROUP OF KAIS HUDDLE AROUND LAUTO AND COVER HIM IN YELLOW ENERGY>
<LAUTO SCREAMS OUT AGAIN, POUNDING THE GROUND>
Lauto: Fools! I was their leader! They betrayed me! I was only eliminating the dangerous species! <LAUTO ATTEMPTS TO STAND UP; HE DOESN’T SEE THE BENEFACTOR; HE BALANCES HIMSELF AGAINST A ROCK, THOUGH HIS BALANCE IS SHAKY REGARDLESS; SPEAKING TO THE BENEFACTOR, WHO IS NOT SHOWN ON SCREEN; POINTING THE INDEX FINGER OF HIS RIGHT HAND ABOUT> And you! You are nothing! What have you done that compares to what–
<SUDDENLY, THE BENEFACTOR MATERIALIZES IN FRONT OF LAUTO; HE STABS LAUTO JUST BELOW THE COLLARBONE WITH HIS KNIFE; THIS CAUSES THE KAI TO LET HIS HAND FALL TO HIS SIDE AND HIS SPEECH STOP; HE HAS A LOOK OF HORROR UPON HIS FACE; THE BENEFACTOR RIPS THE BLADE OUT OF LAUTO’S BODY, CAUSING THE KAI TO LURCH FORWARD; BLOOD SPURTS OUT FROM HIS WOUND; THEN, THE BENEFACTOR SLICES THE BLADE ACROSS LAUTO’S THROAT; LAUTO FALLS TO THE GROUND; HE GRABS HIS BLEEDING NECK>
The Benefactor: <STANDING OVER THE KAI, WHO IS WRITHING IN QUIET PAIN> You had to bring her back. I told you I didn’t want to remember her. <HE KICKS LAUTO; KNEELS DOWN TO LAUTO> How does that feel? <HE SLAPS LAUTO ACROSS THE FACE, CAUSING LAUTO TO COUGH UP BLOOD; HE WATCHES LAUTO STRUGGLE FOR A WHILE> You know, if you really were a god, you would save yourself.
<WITH THAT, THE BENEFACTOR GRABS LAUTO BY THE NECK, HOLDING HIM DOWN TO THE GROUND; WITH HIS FREE HAND, HE CREATES A GREEN ENERGY BLAST AND SHOOTS IT AT LAUTO’S FACE; HIS BLAST FILLS THE ENTIRE SCREEN; IN THE NEXT PANEL, THE BENEFACTOR LETS GO OF LAUTO’S LIMP BODY AND STANDS UP; LAUTO’S FACE CAN BE SEEN; FROM HIS CHIN UP TO JUST UNDER HIS EYES, HIS SKIN HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DISINTEGRATED, LEAVING ONLY BONES; HIS EYES REMAIN OPEN, STARING UPWARDS>
<WITHOUT SO MUCH AS LOOKING AT LAUTO AGAIN, THE BENEFACTOR POCKETS HIS KNIFE, AND WALKS AWAY>
<CUTS TO THE STOMPING GROUNDS>
<COOLER IS HOLDING LEDAS BY THE NECK; LEDAS IS FIGHTING HIM, TO NO AVAIL>
Cooler: What’s that? Can’t breathe? <HE LAUGHS>
<LEDAS, WHOSE EYES ARE GREEN AND HAIR IS WHITE, OPENS HIS MOUTH AND SENDS A MOUTH BEAM DIRECTLY TO COOLER’S FACE; THIS CAUSES COOLER TO DROP THE BOY; LEDAS LANDS ON HIS FEET AND BACKPEDALS A FEW METERS>
Ledas: <HOLDING HIS THROAT> Please sir… I’m not a rebel!
Cooler: <FEELING HIS FACE> Impressive energy. I actually felt that.
Ledas: Mr. Cooler, sir, you have to let me go! I haven’t done anything!
Ledas: Because I’m the one who killed the leader of the rebels on that rig.
Cooler: <DROPPING HIS HANDS> Ah, I remember that. The vanadium mining facility. I’m surprised you say that was you.
Ledas: <AGITATED> I killed the person in charge! How can I be a rebel?
Cooler: <SHAKING HIS HEAD> Would you play me as a fool, monkey? I know the team that performed that mission didn’t have a Saiyan with them.
Cooler: It was three members. The Plantains, I think. There was no Saiyan.
Ledas: <ANGER RISING> I’m on that team!
Cooler: I don’t care for your lies, you filthy ape. Now, we’re going back to have you interrogated. You can come nicely, or I can make you. But you aren’t getting away. Nothing escapes my grasp!
Ledas: You aren’t taking me anywhere!
<LEDAS’ AURA FLARES UP AROUND HIM, AND HE CHARGES AT COOLER; COOLER BLOCKS LEDAS’ ATTACK RATHER EASILY; LEDAS IS RELENTLESS, HOWEVER, ENDLESSLY PUNCHING, KICKING, AND TELEPORTING AROUND THE TYRANT; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, LEDAS BREAKS AWAY AND CREATES A SLEW OF AFTERIMAGES; THEY ALL CHARGE COOLER>
<AS THE AFTERIMAGES GET TO COOLER, HE DOUBLE KICKS THE ONE TO HIS LEFT; THIS IS THE REAL LEDAS; LEDAS IS SENT CRASHING BACK TO THE TURF IN A MODERATE CRATER>
Ledas: <STANDING UP> What?! How did you see me?
Cooler: <CONFIDENTLY, BECKONING LEDAS TO ATTACK AGAIN> I can sense energy. It’s a little trick I’ve picked up over the years.
Ledas: <OUTRAGED> No!!
<LEDAS STANDS UP AND SHOOTS A BARRAGE OF ENERGY AT COOLER; THEN, HE SHOOTS MULTIPLE GALICK GUNS AND FINGER BEAMS; FINALLY, HE FOLLOWS THIS UP WITH A FULL-POWERED KYORRA FLASH IN EACH HAND; THROUGHOUT HIS KI ASSAULT, COOLER HASN’T MOVED FROM PLACE; ONCE THE FINAL BLAST HITS COOLER, HE STEPS FORWARD FROM THE SMOKE>
Cooler: Your power is impressive for someone of your age. But you can’t damage me. I’m not even at 1% power.
Ledas: <FATIGUED> No way! You hafta be lying!
Cooler: Am I? <HE LEANS FORWARD> Then let me show you.
<HIS AURA SHOOTS UP AROUND HIM, AND COOLER RUSHES AT LEDAS>
<SCENE CHANGES BACK TO LAUTO’S CAVE>
<WITHIN IT, THE BENEFACTOR HAS LINED UP THE DEAD SKELETAL BODIES OF FOUR SOLDIERS; THEY ARE ALL WEARING COOLER STYLE ARMOR; HE LOOKS OVER THEIR BODIES>
The Benefactor: Planets 54… 71… 76… 92… <HE STANDS BACK UP> Whoever stole my energy is from one of these. It won’t take me long to find him, and when I do… he will pay for his crimes against me.
<THE BENEFACTOR WALKS OFF TO HIS SHIP AS THE SCREEN FADES TO BLACK>
- This chapter's title is referencing how The Benefactor actually kills a god, which is quite a feat. Admittedly, he does kill a severely weakened and old Supreme Kai, so it's a bit of an overstatement or boast on his part.
- This chapter was not part of the first draft of this saga. It was added in (along with chapter 4) to bring the chapter count up to 12 (it was previously 10 chapters long after I split it from the Lauto Saga). As can be seen, the plot focuses solely on TB and Lauto's plot and Ledas vs. Cooler; both of the scenes did not exist in the original draft of this saga.
- It's weird to think that King Vegeta's corpse, Layeeck's corpse, and the corpses and various Frieza soldiers are all in that garbage truck on Lauto's planet. Of course, they would all surely be skeletons by this point. But it is strange and unnerving to think that Ledas was so close to the body of his father (and king) in the previous saga without even realizing it.
- I like how Lauto begins to rant at how it's unfair that any lesser being should be able to touch him or damage him. It's very elitist, but it is also me showing how the Kais aren't really a god-like race. They aren't so much like Beerus or Whis in that they seem to die at pretty high rates, and mere demons like Majin Buu can wipe the floor with them. Of course, Lauto doesn't know that Buu killed or absorbed most of his fellow Supreme Kais, bringing a bit of oblivious irony to his comments.
- TB doesn't really understand his genetic defect, so Lauto explains it to him in this chapter. It's been hinted at in previous chapters, as well as pretty much explicitly stated in Outbreak, but I felt it would be good for users who hadn't read Outbreak to explicitly know what Lauto is talking about.
- Lauto and The Benefactor's fight scene in this chapter was based off of this scene from Saving Private Ryan. TB's recklessness and willingness to make Lauto suffer is all a result of how Lauto treated him in the previous saga.
- Lauto giving off hallucinations of himself as he dies is a really cool moment. I used it to reveal his backstory in more detail as well as for thematic purposes tied to TB's character and the themes on being "forgotten" or "cast out".
- I love it when The Benefactor stabs Lauto. From a pure aesthetic viewpoint, having Lauto ranting about how he was a god and how he was trying to protect the universe, in some deep cave on a distant world with his own hallucinations of his past failures all around him, is a striking image.
- The Benefactor's blade has not really been shown in TF up to this point (aside from in Outbreak). I thought the best place to reintroduce it would be in a death scene, as there isn't really anyone else of note that The Benefactor can kill with it until Guva. And this scene also sets up Guva's death in a small way, for Guva is killed by The Benefactor's knife as well.
- The way The Benefactor kills Lauto is probably a bit more gory than what is normally seen in DBZ, even at its most brutal.
- Ledas' Semi Super Saiyan form can raise his power level quite a bit, and it is the only way that he has any hope against Cooler. Still, I had to have Cooler be at less than 1% power for this fight to be even remotely close.
- The Plantains didn't list Ledas as one of their members because Banas never expected the kid to stay alive for very long. As Ledas grew older and became integrated with the group, Banas began to consider him a Plantain, but never made it official that Ledas was part of the team. It wasn't put in the databases. Cooler probably forgot that there even was a Saiyan on Planet Cooler 92, as it has been many years since chapter 2 of the Lauto Saga.
- It is greatly ironic that Cooler thinks Ledas is a rebel, since he's the only PTO soldier in Cooler's region who's defeated a rebel leader of any sort. Ledas is a good deal more loyal to Cooler than Banas or Guva or probably most other high-ranking officers in Cooler's empire. The difference between perception and reality here is striking.
- The way Ledas flares up his aura and then charges Cooler in the air was meant to reference the picture at the top of this page (that influenced this entire saga). Of course, the power difference between Ledas and Cooler is much greater than the difference between Vegeta and Recoome (in that picture). Ledas' battle courage is much like Vegeta's, as the two trained together and grew very close, so it only made sense that they would have a similar examples of such.
- Cooler revealing that he can sense energy is a crucial bit of information. It influences how Ledas escapes from Cooler later on. If Ledas didn't know that Cooler could sense energy, he would never have escaped from him in chapter 4.
- Cooler couldn't even be at 1% power, for that would be enough to overwhelm and easily kill Semi Super Saiyan Ledas. One of the problems is that I wanted Ledas and Cooler to fight, but at this point in the timeline, Ledas isn't really strong enough to be doing that. So he needed to fight a severely underpowered Cooler. The reason for Cooler not being powered up is hinted at in the text, though. He doesn't fear Ledas and feels like he has everything in control and doesn't need to exert himself or power up whatsoever to beat the boy. That allowed me to have the two of them fight one another for a short amount of time.
- So The Benefactor gathers up the dead bodies from the Cooler soldiers on Lauto's planet (remember, several teams were sent there to clear the planet for sale and were destroyed by Lauto; the last team, the one from PC92, lost two regular soldiers, though Payar, Lieme, Ledas, and two other regular soldiers escaped). He seemed to recognize Ledas in the last saga, but perhaps he thought that was a hallucination. If that is the case, then he doesn't really know who stole his power. Having four planets to look over means that it will take The Benefactor a long time to find the one who stole his energy. However, since Ledas is on the Stomping Grounds, The Benefactor will not find him, and the readers know that. So where The Benefactor ends up is a great curiosity.
- The end of this chapter sets up the plot for much of the Earth arc (the fourth, fifth, and sixth sagas). The Benefactor goes after Ledas in the fifth and sixth sagas because he figures out that the boy was the one who stole his energy. Here, in the 27th chapter, that plot begins - though it had been hinted at in previous chapters, when TB and Lauto both stated that they were going to find whoever stole their energy.
A Blue Moon In His Eyes
<THE SCREEN ABRUPTLY OPENS WITH A SHOT OF LEDAS SLAMMING INTO THE GROUND; HE GROANS BEFORE STANDING UP; SHAKING HIS HEAD, HE LOOKS UP, FLARES HIS AURA AROUND HIM AND FLIES FORWARD; AHEAD OF HIM IS STANDING COOLER, WHO IS SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER THAN LEDAS; HIS AURA IS MASSIVE>
<LEDAS ATTACKS WITH A SINGLE FIST, YELLING AS HE PUNCHES AT COOLER; COOLER BLOCKS THIS EASILY AND KICKS LEDAS ACROSS THE FACE; THEN, COOLER TELEPORTS ABOVE LEDAS AND KICKS DOWN ONTO LEDAS’ BACK WITH ONE FOOT; THIS SENDS THE SAIYAN BOY CRASHING INTO THE GROUND YET AGAIN>
<AS LEDAS STRUGGLES TO STAND UP, COOLER GRABS HIS TAIL AND PICKS HIM UP BY THAT; THEN, HE BEGINS PUNCHING LEDAS IN THE GUT; LEDAS RETALIATES BY SHOOTING A FLURRY OF KI BLASTS INTO COOLER’S STOMACH, THOUGH THIS DOESN’T DAMAGE HIM MUCH; COOLER SWINGS LEDAS UP OVER HIS HEAD, THEN SLAMS HIM DOWN INTO THE GROUND; THIS TIME, LEDAS IS LEFT IN THE CRATER>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I… have to fight…
<HE SITS UP AND LOOKS AT COOLER; WITH ANOTHER YELL, HE CONJURES UP A RAZOR BLAST AND SHOOTS IT AT COOLER; COOLER SIMPLY BATS IT TO THE SIDE; SEEING THIS, LEDAS FALLS TO HIS HANDS AND KNEES AND BOWS HIS HEAD, BREATHING HARD>
Cooler: Are you ready to talk now, Saiyan?
Ledas: <STILL LOOKING DOWN> I already told you. I don’t know anything.
<LEDAS LOOKS UP TO SEE COOLER RUSHING AT HIM AGAIN; BEFORE HE CAN REACT, COOLER KICKS HIM UNDER THE CHIN; THIS FLIPS LEDAS UP INTO THE AIR; AS HE ATTEMPTS TO REGAIN HIS BALANCE, HE NOTICES THAT COOLER IS GONE; RIGHTING HIMSELF IN MIDAIR, HE LOOKS AROUND, ONLY TO BE HIT, FROM BEHIND, BY A LARGE PURPLE BLAST; ONCE AGAIN, HE FALLS TO THE GROUND; MUCH OF HIS ARMOR IS DESTROYED FROM THIS AND HIS JUMPSUIT IS TORN; COOLER DESCENDS TO THE GROUND NEAR HIM>
Cooler: Tell me what you know… <HE PRESSES HIS FOOT OVER LEDAS’ NECK, CAUSING THE SAIYAN TO GROAN IN PAIN> and the pain will stop. It’s useless to continue resisting me.
<LEDAS ALLOWS COOLER TO PRESS DOWN ON HIS NECK FOR A MOMENT; AS COOLER PRESSES DOWN, THIS CAUSES THE GROUND BENEATH TO CRACK AND SPLIT; AS IT BREAKS APART, HE SLIPS OUT FROM COOLER’S GRASP, AND ROLLS TO THE SIDE; HE QUICKLY SHOOTS MORE KI INTO COOLER’S SIDE, THEN TELEPORTS BEHIND THE TYRANT AND CLUBS HIM OVER THE HEAD; COOLER STAGGERS FORWARD A BIT; LEDAS LANDS>
<LEDAS THEN FLARES UP HIS AURA TO ITS MAXIMUM; HE STARTS SCREAMING, AS HE CREATES A KI EXPLOSION; BEFORE THE BLAST CAN GO OFF, HOWEVER, COOLER REAPPEARS AND KNEES HIM EXTREMELY HARD IN THE RIBS; THIS CRACKS LEDAS’ CHEST PIECE; THE BOY LOSES CONCENTRATION OF HIS ATTACK AND IN AN INSTANT, HIS AURA AND KI VANISH; HE STAGGERS BACK, HOLDING HIS CHEST; HE IS SLIGHTLY BENT OVER AND SPITTING UP BLOOD>
Cooler: <LOSING COMPOSURE> Tell me now!
Ledas: <BETWEEN SPITTING BLOOD> I don’t have anything to say.
Cooler: Then you are no more use to me.
Ledas: <COUGHING IN PAIN> I don’t care!
Cooler: I rule this universe! Everything is mine. Everyone is my slave. Your life belongs to me. And so does your obedience! <HE WALKS RIGHT UP TO LEDAS> I can destroy entire planets without any effort. <HE SUDDENLY CREATES A LARGE SUPERNOVA AT THE TIP OF HIS FINGER> Behold my power!
Ledas: <SEETHING BOTH IN PAIN AND FRUSTRATION> I told you I’m not a rebel!
Cooler: You lie!
Ledas: <FALLS TO HIS KNEES, THROWS HIS HEAD BACK AND CLOSES HIS EYES; HE SIGHS> Then kill me.
Cooler: <SURPRISED YET ANGRY> You dare defy me?! The strongest being in the universe? <HE BREATHES HARD AS ANGER COURSES THROUGH HIS VEINS; FINALLY, HE LOOKS AT HIS ATTACK, AND MAKES IT SIGNIFICANTLY SMALLER> Very well. At this size, the planet won’t be in danger. But it’s a pity. I have only a few soldiers stronger than you in my ranks. And now you have to die… such wasted potential.
<WITH THAT, COOLER THROWS THE BALL OF ENERGY AT LEDAS; AS THE RED AND YELLOW BALL OF ENERGY NEARS THE SAIYAN, HE SUDDENLY OPENS HIS EYES AND JUMPS BACK, ATTEMPTING TO DODGE IT; THE BALL SLAMS INTO THE GROUND, CREATING A MASSIVE EXPLOSION; LEDAS IS CAUGHT BY THE IMPACT EXPLOSION, MISCALCULATING HOW LARGE IT WOULD BE; THE BLAST FLINGS HIM BACK; MORE OF HIS ARMOR IS BURNED AWAY AS HE SLAMS INTO THE BOULDERS AT THE BASE OF THE MOUNTAIN THAT HE HIT GRIF INTO EARLIER>
<LEDAS LANDS ON TOP OF A BUNCH OF ROCKS, THOUGH HE ROLLS OFF OF THEM ALMOST IMMEDIATELY; HE FALLS TO THE GROUND ON HIS BACK; THERE ARE QUITE A FEW ROCKS BETWEEN HIM AND COOLER, SO THE TYRANT CANNOT ACTUALLY SEE HIM ANY MORE>
Ledas: <EYES CLOSED AGAIN, GRITTING HIS TEETH; HIS HANDS ARE IN FISTS AT HIS SIDES> Just gotta… lower my power level…
<LEDAS LETS OUT SHARP BREATHS AS HE DOES SO, AND UPON SATISFYING HIMSELF WITH HIS LOWERED POWER LEVEL, HE FLIPS TO HIS SIDE AND CRAWLS FORWARD; HE REACHES THE EDGE OF THE ROCKS AND PEERS AROUND THEM TO GET A LOOK AT COOLER; COOLER IS STANDING, LOOKING AT THE CARNAGE; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, COOLER TURNS AND FLIES AWAY>
Ledas: <STILL IN PAIN> He’s just like Lieme… doesn’t know about lowering power levels… he can’t sense me…
<LEDAS ROLLS BACK ONTO HIS BACK AND LAUGHS QUIETLY; HOWEVER, HE QUICKLY NOTICES HE’S NOT ALONE>
Grif: What are you laughing at, you little bitch?
Ledas: <INCREDULOUS, IF TIRED> How are you still alive?!
<SCENE CUTS TO A DISTANT WORLD>
<THE BENEFACTOR IS SITTING IN A TREE OVERLOOKING A PLANET TRADE ORGANIZATION OUTPOST; HE WATCHES SOLDIERS MOVE ABOUT; THEY ARE COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF HIS PRESENCE; A NEARBY BUILDING CAN BE SEEN WITH THE NUMBER 54 ON IT, IMPLYING THIS IS THE FIRST PLANET HE HAS SEARCHED>
The Benefactor: <IN HIS MIND> None of these are right. <HE LOOKS AWAY> I don’t feel it anywhere. <HE RAISES HIS HAND, CREATING A BLAST, BUT THEN DISSIPATES THE BLAST> No, it will draw too much attention.
<THE BENEFACTOR ANGRILY PUNCHES THE TREE HE’S SITTING ON, BREAKING OFF THE TOP HALF OF IT; HE JUMPS OFF OF IT AND MOVES THROUGH THE JUNGLE; HE FINDS A NATIVE, FOUR-LEGGED BEAST AND POUNCES ON IT, TEARING IT TO SHREDS WITH HIS CLAWS; HE BEGINS EATING IT AS THE SCREEN SLOWLY PANS BACK AND DISSOLVES INTO THE NEXT SCENE>
<BACK WITH LEDAS AND GRIF, GRIF HAS MOVED CLOSER TO LEDAS; HE IS STANDING OVER THE SAIYAN; LEDAS IS ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED; HE HAS REVERTED BACK TO HIS BASE FORM; HIS ARMOR IS WRECKED, AND HE IS COVERED IN BRUISES AND CUTS; GRIF’S ARMOR IS DAMAGED AS WELL, BUT IT IS NOT AS BAD AS LEDAS’; THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT NEXT TO A LARGE MOUNTAIN, OF WHICH A SIGNIFICANT PORTION HAS COLLAPSED SINCE BOTH LEDAS AND GRIF WERE HURLED INTO IT>
Grif: You hit me into this mountain, jerk!
Ledas: <SHAKING HIS HEAD> You were charging up a sneak attack.
Grif: Well, uh, I was just getting revenge for my paper! That was a travesty. <HE LOOKS PROUD AT HIS DECLARATION>
Ledas: Really? That again?
Grif: <SO CLEARLY SARCASTIC> It was my life!
Ledas: Look, just tell me where the pods are. I don’t want to have to listen to you talk anymore.
Grif: Oh yeah? Well, you’re not the boss of me now! I’m a great warrior too! It’s time Private Grif shows his worth. Aha! <HE THRUSTS HIS HANDS INTO LEDAS’ FACE, CREATING PURPLE ENERGY> Take this, ape!
<LEDAS ATTEMPT TO CHARGE UP HIS KI AGAIN, BUT GRIF’S ATTACK COMES RATHER SUDDENLY; AS LEDAS IS IN MID-CHARGE, GRIF RELEASES HIS BLAST, AND IT COVERS LEDAS; IT COVERS HIS BODY ENTIRELY; THE ENERGY DOES NOT DISSIPATE OR EXPLODES UPON CONTACT; IT SIMPLY COVERS HIM IN PURPLE; IT IS A STASIS ATTACK, WHICH HAS NOT ONLY IMMOBILIZED LEDAS, BUT PUT HIM INTO AN INSTANT COMA>
<GRIF WALKS UP TO LEDAS’ FROZEN FORM>
Grif: Oh yeah, you care to say that to my face…? Yeah didn’t think so. Punk.
<GRIF PLACES HIS BLASTER TO LEDAS’ FACE, SHOOTING IT SEVERAL TIMES; LEDAS IS LEFT DEFENSELESS AGAINST GRIF’S ATTACK; GRIF APPEARS QUITE GLEEFUL AT HIS VICTORY AND PRANCES ABOUT AS HE SHOOTS THE STASIS’D SAIYAN>
<GRIF STANDS RIGHT OVER LEDAS’ BODY AND CHARGES UP ONE LARGE BLAST; HITTING LEDAS WITH THIS SENDS THE BOY’S BODY FLYING LIKE A RAGDOLL FURTHER INTO THE ROCKY DEBRIS; GRIF SHOUTS AND PUNCHES THE AIR; HIS TAIL GOES MENTAL>
<GRIF BACKS UP, OUT OF THE CRACK IN THE MOUNTAIN, AND SENDS ANOTHER HAIL OF BLASTS DOWN AT LEDAS; THE AREA EXPLODES>
<HE IS SUPREMELY SATISFIED WITH HIS DEEDS; GRIF TROTS AWAY HUMMING THE BLOOD GULCH THEME TO HIMSELF>
- This chapter's name is a reference to Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3. I first heard that song during the opening sequences for The Sopranos. I was watching a lot of The Sopranos I was wrote the final edits for this saga, so that was a major influence. The phrase itself just means something really rare, and Ledas escaping from Cooler and losing to Grif is quite a rare sequence of events. The moon allusion also works well with Ledas, since he's a Saiyan.
- The opening to this chapter was inspired by an opening to an episode of the DBZ anime. I don't remember which episode it was though. I have a similar opening later on in the Fulfillment Saga during one of the chapters where Ledas is in Verlate's mind prison.
- Many of Cooler's attacks in this chapter are based on his moveset in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2.
- The way Cooler punches Ledas in the gut as he holds the boy with his tail is like how Final Form Frieza did something similar to Vegeta in the Frieza Saga of DBZ.
- Ledas uses everything he has against Cooler, but it's not close to being enough. So, after he gives his all, he tries again to convince Cooler that he's not a rebel. When that fails, he tells Cooler to kill him. On the surface, that looks like he's giving up. He's really not, though. Ledas has some keen battle awareness, and I don't think he was ever planning on giving up. If his maneuver to escape Cooler didn't work, he would have fought to the end. That says quite a bit about Ledas' character on several different fronts. He's not being arrogant here, and it's his realization that he is the weaker fighter that keeps him alive. Vegeta would not so quickly do that, because of his pride. This shows a key difference between the two.
- I utilize much faster pacing in TF than what is seen in DBZ. Frieza fought Goku and the others for like 30 episodes. That was ridiculously bad pacing. The story dragged on and on and on. And honestly, I think the Cooler fight is one of the longer-paced things in TF. Still, it is barely two chapters. This writing highlights a key difference between Toriyama and me. I hate how Toriyama paced DBZ. The episodes could have been significantly streamlined down without losing anything. And this isn't just about the anime. The manga was way too long. The entire Cell arc is 10x as long as it should be. The pacing problems with DBZ significantly affect its quality, so I didn't want a similar thing with TF, and I hope I succeeded in that regard.
- Cooler lets his anger get the best of him in this chapter. Ledas refuses to admit he's a rebel, so instead of torturing him and such, Cooler decides the boy isn't worth his time. That was a stupid move on Cooler's part, showing his arrogance. This type of arrogance was also seen in his movie.
- Ledas landed in a the ruined mountain simply so that Cooler wouldn't be able to see him. If there hadn't been a mountain there, Ledas would have nowhere to hide, as the majority of the stomping grounds is covered in rolling plains.
- Cooler can sense power levels. So after he uses his final attack on Ledas, resulting in a huge explosion and Ledas' power level disappearing, it's easy (and logical) to assume that the boy died in the attack. However, all that really happened was that Ledas outwitted a stronger opponent. He did pay for it though; Cooler's attack still hit him, and Ledas took a lot of damage from it.
- Grif survived just like Ledas survived. The "blue moon in his eyes" aspect of this chapter would apply to both of them. It's pretty funny though that now that Ledas has survived the most dangerous alien on the planet, he's face-to-face with one of the weakest, and Grif is perhaps more dangerous than Cooler was because of his unpredictability and Ledas' very low power level at the moment.
- The scene with The Benefactor is important because it explains why he didn't destroy each outpost. He realized, correctly, that doing so would bring him unwanted attention. In his current state, he doesn't have much power, and unwanted attention could prove to be fatal. So he can't go crazy and kill everyone.
- The Benefactor killing the animal has several different purposes. For one, it puts him back into a frenzy, allowing his power level to rise again (showing that he's trying to regain some of his power). It also works to show a bit about how impatient TB can be. As well, there are thematic considerations to note, but I shan't be explicit about those.
- It should be noted that this is the last chapter the real Benefactor appears in until chapter 6 of the Reunion Saga. He goes missing for 23 chapters - nearly two sagas - before reappearing. He's the main villain of the overall story, but he spends nearly two sagas missing. It's quite something. Of course, some of this missing time is recouped in the Reunion Saga during the chapter 8 flashback section, but still, it's quite a while until we'll see The Benefactor again. By that point, both he and Ledas will be many times more powerful, and, in many ways, different people than they are at this point in time.
- "Well, you’re not the boss of me now!" - that is a reference to Boss of Me by They Might Be Giants.
- Grif's stasis attack was influenced by the stasis force power in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- "Oh yeah, you care to say that to my face…? Yeah didn’t think so. Punk. " - I believe this line is word-for-word what Grif from Red vs. Blue once said.
- Grif's stasis power is quite an overpowered move, similar to Guldo's time freeze move. Yet, in the hands of an insanely weak character, it sort of balances out. Ledas had no time to dodge the attack, for as soon as it hit him, it put him into a coma. It's cheap, just like Guldo's attack. Guldo's attack is the most ridiculous attack in the history of DBZ, and if a legitimately strong person had been able to use it, no one would have been able to beat them. So I continued in that tradition with Grif's attack, though I think Grif's attack not actually doing any damage sort of balances it.
- The stasis attack was primarily added in because I wanted there to be a time jump; I wanted Goku to achieve Super Saiyan before Ledas. I think that would be insanely Stuish to give Ledas Super Saiyan 1 first, so I created Grif and his entire plotline to stop that from happening. I also made the time-skip long enough so that Vegeta also gets Super Saiyan before Ledas. So when Ledas goes into stasis in this chapter, he is far stronger than Vegeta. When he gets out of it, 21 years later, Vegeta has significantly surpassed him. Ledas will ultimately never catch up to Vegeta again, though he will get rather close in power to his old friend by the end of the Fulfillment Saga. That 21 year time-skip is also problematic in that it's 21 years that Ledas can't train. Still, I do deal with this with zenkais and gravity training in the coming sagas, so it all evens out. Vegeta wastes his early years not gaining much power until he gets to Namek and beyond. Ledas wastes a few years as well. It all balances out.
- Grif is very arrogant and not very intelligent. He truly believed that he killed Ledas with his attacks. But Grif is very weak. Even in his powered-down state, Ledas should be able to easily withstand Grif's attacks. It's only his stasis power that was able to affect Ledas at all.
- The Blood Gulch theme is the theme of Red vs. Blue.
I’m So Devious
<THE PLAINS, MOSTLY DESOLATE, BUT GREEN WITH GRASS, ARE SHOWN; THE MOUNTAIN WHERE COOLER AND LEDAS FOUGHT IS SHOWN; THE CRATERS, ESPECIALLY THE ONE FROM HIS SUPERNOVA ARE STILL EVIDENT, THOUGH THERE IS MUCH GRASS GROWING IN THEM; THE MOUNTAIN ITSELF IS PARTIALLY CAVED IN; NEARBY, THE FLOATING CREATURE SEEN IN THE BEGINNING OF CHAPTER 2 IS SEEN LAZILY MOVING ACROSS THE SCREEN>
<A BASE WITH THE TWO HIGH TOWERS IS BROUGHT INTO VIEW; IT IS SURROUNDED BY A LARGE AMOUNT OF SMALLER BUILDINGS, AND SMALL FIGURES OF SOLDIERS CAN BE SEEN MOVING ABOUT; AT THE TOPMOST TOWER, IN THE UPPERMOST ROOM, ARE TWO BEINGS; COOLER, AND ANOTHER; HE IS ARMORED; HIS SKIN BLACK, HIS FEATHERS RED; HE IS BIRDLIKE, WITH A VERY VICIOUS FACE; HIS ARMOR IS THAT OF THE OFFICERS, ONLY MORE ORNATE; HE DOES NOT HAVE EITHER SHOULDER PAD; THIS IS DIGRANITE>
<COOLER IS STANDING OVER A MONITOR; IDLY ROLLING HIS FINGERS>
<END OF The Soul That Must Awaken AT 50 SECONDS>
Cooler: These stomping grounds have been quiet. My men sit around doing nothing all day. They are wasting away.
Digranite: There aren’t any new planets. We have no reason for a new governor.
Cooler: These grounds are not only for appointing governors, General. I want them re-opened. Put the regular troops back on practice. If they can’t handle the training, so be it. Let them die.
Digranite: <GRINNING> Very well.
Cooler: Two weeks. I want everyone at 12,000 by then. These soldiers are supposed to be the best in my army. Make them so, General.
<COOLER HITS A BUTTON HALFWAY UP THE WALL, TURNING ON THE WALL COMPUTER; IT SHOWS THE MOONS OF THE STOMPING GROUNDS; ONE IS MAGNIFIED>
Digranite: They’ll be ready. I will make sure of it.
Cooler: I will be convening with my governors on the moon if you need me.
<DIGRANITE NODS; COOLER IS VERY BORED; HE FLEXES HIS ARMS BEFORE WALKING OUT>
<CUTS TO NEXT SCENE; DIGRANITE OVERSEES, WITH HIS OTHER COMMANDERS, THE FOOT SOLDIERS’ TRAINING>
<THERE ARE SEVERAL THOUSAND OF THEM ON THE PLANET; DIGRANITE HAS THEM RUNNING OBSTACLE COURSES, TRAINING IN GRAVITY UNITS, AND EVERYTHING; HE LOOKS MIGHTY PLEASED>
<DOWN ON A TRAINING MAT, IN THE FIRST ENCLOSURE OF TRAINING, GRIF AND ONE OTHER SOLDIER ARE SPARRING; THEY HAVE AN INSTRUCTOR OVERSEEING THEM; GRIF LOOKS OLDER; HE HAS A LONG WHITE BEARD COMING OUT OF HIS HELMET, AS IF HE HAS AGED QUITE A BIT SINCE THE LAST CHAPTER>
Instructor: <TO GRIF> You check in at 400. <TO THE OTHER> You are 1600. Grif, you are severely under the average level. Explain to me why.
Grif: <NOT CARING> Can’t tell ya, man. I train just as hard as everybody!
Soldier: It’s not true! He just lies around eating all day.
Grif: Hey, shut up. Nobody asked you.
Soldier: I swear I see him just lying around all day. He sleeps on duty, for crying out loud!
Grif: Oh yeah? How about I blow a hole through that ugly face of yours. Shut up.
Soldier: I’d like to see you try.
<BEFORE THE INSTRUCTOR CAN SAY ANYTHING, GRIF RAISES HIS BLASTER, FIRES IT, THEN LUNGES AT THE SOLDIER>
<THE SOLDIER SIDESTEPS GRIF; AS GRIF COMES FLYING BY, THE SOLDIER SHOOTS HIS BLASTER INTO GRIF’S BACK; GRIF TURNS AROUND, SWINGING A WILD PUNCH; THE SOLDIER JUMPS BACK, THEN HOPS FORWARD, SLAMMING HIS BLASTER INTO GRIF’S FACE>
<GRIF FALLS TO THE GROUND, BLOOD POOLING AROUND HIS HEAD; HE IS DEAD>
Soldier: <LOOKING DOWN> I… didn’t think that would kill him… Damn. <HE LOOKS UP TO THE INSTRUCTOR>
Instructor: <HE VAPORIZES GRIF’S BODY> Don’t say anything about this. He was weak and lazy; a disgrace to everyone else here. He won’t be missed. Just get back to your training. Find a new partner.
<THE SOLDIER SCURRIES OFF; THE SCREEN FADES>
<THE SCENE CHANGES; THERE IS A DARK, UNDERGROUND HOLE; IT IS BEING LIT ONLY BY A FAINT PURPLE LIGHT; SUDDENLY, THE LIGHT GOES OUT AND ALL IS DARK; THEN A SECOND LIGHT COMES; THIS ONE IS CYAN IN COLOR; IT IS AN OBVIOUS ENERGY BEAM; IT TEARS UP THE DARK GROUND BEING SEEN, ALLOWING THE DAYLIGHT ABOVE TO COME IN>
<A SMALL CHILD, LEDAS, CAN BE SEEN CRAWLING OUT; HE IS BREATHING HARD, TREMBLING, AND HAVING A HARD TIME MOVING AT ALL; HE MANAGES TO GET OUT OF THE HOLE; HE LIES DOWN AS SOON AS HE GETS OUT; HE IS NEARBY A BUNCH OF LOOSE ROCKS>
<IT IS THE 765 AGE>
<THE SAIYAN BOY LIES THERE ALL DAY, UNTIL IT TURNS TO EVENING; WITH THE SUN SETTING, AND COLDNESS COMING DOWN ALL AROUND HIM; LEDAS STANDS UP, AND STAGGERS OUT; HE DOES NOT FLY, AS HE DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH POWER TO; BEING IN STASIS FOR 21 YEARS HAS MADE IT INCREDIBLY PAINFUL FOR HIM TO POWER UP AT ALL; WHILE THE STASIS DID PREVENT ATROPHY, IT ALSO MADE IT VERY HARD FOR LEDAS TO RAISE HIS POWER LEVEL AGAIN>
<HE REACHES A NEARBY CITY IN NO TIME; IT IS NOT THE ONE WITH THE TWO TOWERS; THIS ONE HAS ONLY A SINGLE TOWER, AND SMALLER BUILDINGS>
<LEDAS RUNS INTO THE STREET, LOOKING AROUND FOR A PLACE TO STAY; HE FINDS A BARRACKS THAT IS EMPTY; HE GOES INSIDE>
<LEDAS SITS DOWN AGAINST A WALL; HE PUTS HIS ARMS OUT, TRYING TO POWER UP; THIS CAUSES HIM CONSIDERABLE PAIN; HE BITES HIS LIP TO PREVENT HIMSELF FROM SCREAMING OUT, CLOSING HIS EYES AND RAISING HIS HEAD BECAUSE IT HURTS SO MUCH; AS WE CAN SEE, HIS HAIR IS NOT WHITE, AND HIS EYES ARE NOT GREEN, SO HE IS NOT IN A SEMI SUPER SAIYAN STATE; HIS ARMOR AND CLOTHES ARE STILL QUITE DAMAGED>
<HE FALLS ASLEEP AGAINST THE WALL>
<IN THE EARLY MORNING, IT IS FOGGY OUT; HE WAKES UP TO FIND HIMSELF ALONE; CAREFUL TO NOT GET CAUGHT, HE LEAVES>
<AS HE WALKS OUTSIDE, HE NOTICES A PATROLLING GUARD; LEDAS DUCKS BEHIND AN ALLEY SO AS TO NOT BE SEEN>
<ONCE AGAIN, HE TESTS HIS POWER; IT PAINS HIM GREATLY, CAUSING HIM TO DROP TO ONE KNEE; HOWEVER, HE IS ABLE TO RAISE IT A BIT EVEN IN THIS PAIN>
<IT IS ENOUGH, HE THINKS, TO TAKE OUT THE GUARD>
<MAKING SURE THE GUARD STILL HAS HIS BACK TO LEDAS (BY STICKING HIS HEAD OUT), LEDAS RUNS OUT BEHIND HIM; WHEN HE GETS BEHIND THE GUARD, HE SHOOTS A FINGER BEAM THROUGH THE BACK OF HIS HEAD; THE GUARD FALLS, DEAD; LEDAS WINCES IN PAIN AT USING THIS ENERGY SO SUDDENLY>
<UP AHEAD, HE SEES ANOTHER GUARD WHO IS PACING BACK AND FORTH; ZIG ZAGGING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN BUILDINGS, LEDAS MAKES HIS WAY TO THE GUARD; WHEN HE TURNS, LEDAS SHOOTS A FINGER BEAM FROM TWO BUILDINGS BACK AND TAKES HIM OUT; THEN, HE RUNS INTO THE BUILDING THE GUARD WAS, WELL, GUARDING>
<INSIDE, LEDAS WAS HOPING TO FIND A SPACE POD TO GET AWAY IN; HOWEVER, HE JUST FINDS A BUNCH OF SLEEPING SOLDIERS; CAREFULLY, HE GOES UP TO EACH AND KILLS THEM WITH A SILENT FINGER BEAM TO THE FACE; SURE THAT THEY ARE ALL DEAD, WITH NOBODY LEFT TO WARN COOLER HE WAS HERE, LEDAS MOVES OUT TO ANOTHER BUILDING>
<HE GOES THROUGH QUITE A FEW BUILDINGS, NOT FINDING PODS, BUT SOLDIERS; HE KILLS THEM ALL IN THEIR SLEEP; AFTER TAKING OUT ANOTHER PACING GUARD, LEDAS COMES TO A BUILDING AT THE CENTER; HE ENTERS, ONLY TO FIND ABOUT SIX OR SEVEN PEOPLE AWAKE AND VERY MUCH ALIVE>
<MOST OF THEM LOOK TO BE GRUNTS, BUT ONE WEARS THE SAME COLOR ARMOR AS BANAS; LEDAS KNOWS THIS TO MEAN IT IS AN OFFICER; HE CAN SENSE THE ALIEN HAS A PRETTY HIGH POWER LEVEL, TOO>
<NO ONE SEES HIM ENTER, SO HE GOES AROUND LEFT, HUGGING THE WALL; THE FIRST TWO GUARDS ARE AWAY FROM THE OTHERS, AND LEDAS TAKES THEM OUT EASILY; BY NOW, HIS POWERS ARE COMING BACK TO HIM LESS PAINFULLY>
<HE DODGES AROUND A PILLAR TO THE RIGHT, AND FINDS ANOTHER GUARD; HE GOES TO KILL IT, WHEN IT TURNS AROUND AND SEES HIM; IT LETS OUT A HOLLER; LEDAS IMMEDIATELY DIVES AT HIM, PUNCHING HIM>
<THE OTHER SOLDIERS NOTICE HIM AND RUN OVER; SURROUNDED, LEDAS CREATES A QUICK EXPLOSIVE WAVE, WHICH KILLS THEM>
<THE CAPTAIN, A TALL CREATURE WITH WHITE HAIR, A BLUE FACE, AND FOUR ARMS, DID NOT RUN WITH THE REST OF THE TROOPS; NOW HE COMES TO LEDAS, WHO IS ON THE FLOOR TRYING TO REGAIN ENOUGH STAMINA TO GET UP>
<THE CAPTAIN COMES UP TO LEDAS, BUT STOPS, FINDING A SOLDIER STILL ALIVE; HE BENDS DOWN, AS IT REACHES TOWARD HIM FOR SUPPORT; HE PRESSES HIS CLAW TO ITS NECK, DRAWING BLOOD AND KILLING IT; HE LOOKS UP TO LEDAS, SLOWLY>
Konatsu: You’re a young one. What did you do? Run away from mommy to join the army?
Ledas: I didn’t join anything. I’m not with you.
Konatsu: Oh, a rebel with stolen armor. In that case, I will kill you myself.
<KONATSU ROLLS TO LEDAS, AND HEADBUTTS HIM, SMACKING THE BOY WITH HIS HORN>
<LEDAS PUSHES HIM AWAY, GETS UP AND RUNS OUTSIDE; KONATSU PURSUES HIM; ONCE OUTSIDE, LEDAS TURNS; KONATSU CALLS HIS SOLDIERS, BUT GETS NO RESPONSE; LEDAS USES THIS TIME TO POWER UP, AS MUCH AS IT PAINS HIM>
Ledas: It won’t work! I killed them all already!
Konatsu: That’s devious. You killed them all before coming for me. Planning it all out. But you won’t have me!
<KONATSU BLASTS LEDAS; LEDAS SHOOTS A PLAYFUL GALICK BACK; THEY TRADE BLASTS FOR A FEW MOMENTS; THEN, LEDAS GETS WEARY AGAIN FROM USING SO MUCH ENERGY; KONATSU USES THIS TIME TO ATTACK LEDAS HEAD ON; HE KICKS LEDAS’ HEAD, THROWING HIM TO THE GROUND; KONATSU ROLLS LEDAS ONTO HIS STOMACH, THEN GRABS HIS ARMS, BRINGING THEM BEHIND HIS BACK; HE RAISES LEDAS’ ARMS UP, WHILE PULLING DOWN WITH HIS LEG; BEFORE HE CAN RIP OFF THE SAIYAN’S ARM, LEDAS KICKS KONATSU IN THE STOMACH, THEN PUSHES OFF THE GROUND, DOING A FRONT FLIP AND KICKING KONATSU AGAIN>
<KONATSU IS WAITING, HOWEVER; HE PUNCHES LEDAS DEEP IN THE GUT, THEN GRABS HIM; HE THROWS THE BOY UP INTO THE AIR; KONATSU FOLLOWS THIS UP WITH AN AERIAL KICK, SENDING LEDAS FURTHER UPWARD; HE FIRES A BEAM TO FINISH OFF THE BOY; LEDAS LEVELS HIMSELF OFF BEFORE THE BLAST REACHES HIM; HE SLICES THE BLAST IN HALF, DOWN THE MIDDLE; THEN, HE AIR DASHES DOWN THAT SPACE THROUGH THE MIDDLE; KONATSU DOES NOT SEE HIM COMING, AND LEDAS SLAMS HIS FIST INTO THE ALIEN’S FACE; KONATSU FALLS BACK>
<LEDAS JUMPS ON HIS CHEST, AND QUICKLY JABS HIM SEVERAL TIMES, KNOCKING THE WIND OUT OF KONATSU; LEDAS THEN KICKS KONATSU ACROSS THE FACE WITH HIS BOOT; HOWEVER, LEDAS JUMPS OFF OF HIM AND TAKES A BREAK, RESTING TO REGAIN HIS ENERGY; AT THIS MOMENT, KONATSU CALLS FOR REINFORCEMENTS FROM THE NEAREST OUTPOST>
Konatsu: <PRESSES A BUTTON ON HIS WRIST-PAD> Heh… you’re not bad. Guess I’ll have to get some help. <TO THE RADIO> Anango! Get over here now. I need your assistance. This is very important.
Ledas: <STAGGERING IN PLACE> Wha… what?
Konatsu: Well kid, you may as well run away. You’re dead here. Anango and I are unstoppable together.
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF, LOOKING AROUND> Dang it!
<SUDDENLY, A FLASH OF LIGHT COMES ACROSS THE SCREEN; IT GOES STRAIGHT THROUGH LEDAS; HOWEVER, LEDAS HAD EXPECTED THIS; THE FIGURE, STILL OBSCURED, ATTACKS NOTHING BUT AN IMAGE PROJECTION>
<LEDAS COMES FROM BEHIND, SIDE SWEEPS THE FIGURE AND KICKS HIM AWAY INTO A BUILDING; HOWEVER, THE CREATURE GETS UP REALLY QUICKLY; IT DOES NOT ATTACK AGAIN; IT GOES TO HELP KONATSU UP>
<ANANGO IS A YELLOW CREATURE, WITH TUSKS AND BACKWARDS KNEES, WHICH CAUSE HIM TO BOUNCE WHILE WALKING; LEDAS SENSES THAT HIS POWER LEVEL IS ONLY SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN KONATSU’S; NOW WITH KONATSU UP, BOTH OF THEM CLEARLY ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN HIM>
<LEDAS DECIDES TO NOT ATTACK ANY MORE>
Ledas: <TO KONATSU, IN ANSWER> I guess I’ll start running now…
- This chapter's name references all the havoc that Ledas plays on the Stomping Grounds soldiers in this chapter. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, reflecting Ledas' own personality as well as being ironic, since it's Ledas who is put on the run by the end of this chapter.
- This chapter wasn't changed much in the final edits of this saga. I basically updated the beginning to be consistent with the end of the last chapter, refined some dialogue, and made a few minor changes (like which year Ledas wakes up - that was changed two or three times before finally settling on the 765 Age).
- This chapter features the first music cue in the TF sagas (not counting Outbreak). Music cues become far more frequent from this point on, particularly in this saga and in saga 6.
- I don't outright state that there's a timeskip at the beginning of this chapter, though the way I describe the scenery, particularly the crater where Cooler's Supernova hit the ground, hints that a lot of time has passed. Indeed, 21 years has passed since the previous chapter; this is the largest timeskip in all of The Forgotten.
- Nepar is once again seen at the beginning of this chapter, foreshadowing his future importance.
- Cooler's conversation with Digranite reveals many things. It reveals that this was the place Banas and Guva fought for the governorship of Planet Cooler 92. It also reveals that this place houses Cooler's best soldiers (well, many of them, not all), which implies that Ledas is in for a big fight. As well, Cooler telling Digranite to begin training the soldiers provides a reason for Grif's later death and Ledas breaking out of the stasis attack.
- Cooler is convening with his governors on a nearby moon because of Frieza's recent death. This is a major plotline in the second volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization, serving as that volume's final chapter (as of writing this commentary, I haven't gotten around to writing any chapters of that volume yet). It is a big moment in PTO politics when Cooler has to reveal to all of his governors that Frieza and King Cold are dead and that he's going to Earth to get revenge. As well, it's one of the few times his governors are convened together. This means Guva is on that moon. That becomes important a few chapters from now. In the original version of this saga, Guva being on the moon wasn't hinted at well enough, and that was one of the changes I made during the final edits of this chapter, to foreshadow Guva's re-involvement in the plot from this early point.
- Digranite's position as one of Cooler's highest-ranking soldiers is seen in the opening scene of this chapter, as he is alone with Cooler. That is a rare treat. Indeed, only Salza ranks above Digranite in Cooler's empire, so this makes sense. This fact would be lost on the readers had I not shown the two together in an actual scene, with Digranite clearly being portrayed as a very high-ranking soldier.
- Grif is physically much older than he was in the last chapter. This again hints at an unmentioned timeskip.
- Grif's dialogue is very similar to the dialogue Grif from Red vs. Blue uses in that show. His use of "jerk-off" is especially in the flavor of that show, and seems otherwise out-of-place in TF. Indeed, I don't think I use any other words like "jerk-off" (or that word again) in TF. Grif is quite a unique character as a result.
- Grif is very lazy by nature. This was seen in the previous chapters he was in as well as in the comments the other soldier makes to Grif's instructor. Grif being so weak is funny and part of his characterization, but it also has the plot implication of him being too weak to fight his opponent. Because of this, his opponent accidentally kills him and this sets Ledas free.
- It's funny how such a small thing - Grif the lazy space-badger dying in a training exercise - sets off such a huge sequence of events, culminating in everyone on the Stomping Grounds dying and the planet itself being destroyed.
- The reveal that it is the 765 Age roughly a third of the way into the chapter was done for dramatic purposes.
- Ledas is so weak and is feeling so much pain because he's been in stasis for 21 years. His muscles have not atrophied, but he's still not used to being able to move around or use his energy attacks. This is similar to how it can be hard for one to walk if one has been in a hospital bed for a long time.
- Ledas obviously knows that the barracks houses enemies, but he's too weak and cold to stay outside. He has to go inside to survive, but he's too weak to find a good place to hide.
- Ledas' stealth fighting in this chapter was influenced by Halo 1, particularly the level "Assault on the Control Room". In that level, it is easy to assassinate many enemies and go through much of the mission stealthily. I loved doing that and I tried to recreate the essence of those fun times in this chapter. The fog aids Ledas' stealth attacks as well.
- Invariably, all stealth missions end in chaotic failure in Halo 1, and so too did it have to end here, to keep Ledas' plotline in good flavor.
- Ledas not being able to use his power is a drawback that makes much of his fighting in this chapter more interesting. Obviously, he's far stronger than any regular soldier, so to make that more dramatic, I add in the stealth aspect and the fact that he can barely use his own energy. These put together make the whole scene, up to when Ledas fights Konatsu, much more dramatic and interesting.
- It should be noted though that Ledas does not give up, even when he can barely use energy. He's a fighter to the end. He knows that he has to put himself through immense pain to use his energy and does so anyway. That is quite courageous of him and shows his fighting spirit and his will to survive at any cost. He's usually quite hedonistic, but when it matters and when he needs to, he can become as determined as Vegeta.
- Konatsu was crafted unlike any other alien. I was bored of just making a bunch of bipedal aliens, so I gave him four arms to make him more unique and fearsome.
- Konatsu kills the subordinate soldier to show how cruel and evil he is. This is a trick often used in DBZ, often by Frieza himself. Since I don't have much time to portray Konatsu's personality, this was a quick way of showing his no-nonsense, savage character.
- Konatsu calling Ledas devious for killing all of his soldiers references this chapter's name. Additionally, it shows the chapter's name in a sarcastic light, since Ledas did not in fact kill all of Konatsu's soldiers just so that he could then attack Konatsu. He was just killing all of the soldiers he came across in his search for a space pod to get off the planet.
- Ledas' fight against Konatsu in this chapter is short, but it has a lot of complicated choreogrpahy. I am quite proud of this fight, as there haven't been too many like it up to this point in TF.
- Ledas is far stronger than Konatsu. Being weak from not using his powers in a long time is the only way this fight could be made even. Anango and Konatsu together, though, are too much for Ledas in his current state. That is why he runs. He doesn't want to die at any cost.
- Even in his weakened state, Ledas is still far faster than Konatsu or Anango. That is why he believes he can escape from them.
- Overall, I think this chapter captures the essence of what made Vegeta so cool in the Namek Saga. Like Vegeta, Ledas goes and systematically assassinates many weak soldiers, but is not strong enough to fight the strongest soldiers yet, so he has to use deception and intelligence to beat them as much as strength.
<LEDAS HAS FLOWN OFF>
<KONATSU AND ANANGO REACH AN OUTPOST; THIS IS THE LAST PLACE THEY HAD READ LEDAS’ POWER LEVEL>
<EVERY SOLDIER IS OUT, BECAUSE THEY ARE TRAINING FOR DIGRANITE>
<KONATSU’S ARMOR IS CRACKED FROM THE PREVIOUS FIGHT>
<THE TWO SPLIT UP, EACH GOING DOWN A SEPARATE PATH; KONATSU TAKES THE LEFT, ANANGO TAKES THE RIGHT; THEY BOTH WEAR SCOUTERS AND FROM HERE ON OUT, THAT IS HOW THEY WILL COMMUNICATE WHEN THEY ARE NOT TOGETHER>
<KONATSU HAS A PICTURE OF LEDAS ON HIS SCOUTER, WHICH HE TOOK BEFORE WHEN THEY WERE FIGHTING; HE FORWARDS THE PICTURE TO DIGRANITE>
<DIGRANITE, IN HIS TOWER, RECEIVES THE MESSAGE>
Digranite: Impossible… that’s the Saiyan boy Cooler killed years ago. I can’t let Cooler know he’s alive. <ON HIS SCOUTER TO KONATSU; HE PRESSES SOME BUTTONS ON A WALL MOUNTED COMPUTER> All soldiers have been alerted. You have the entire army at your command, Commander. I need him dead as soon as possible.
<CUTS TO LEDAS; HE IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY>
<HE HAS LOWERED HIS POWER LEVEL TO STALL THE TWO COMMANDERS FROM FINDING HIM; HE MAKES HIS WAY THROUGH THE CITY UNTIL HE COMES TO THE EDGE, WHICH HAS THE ARMIES TRAINING FOR COOLER>
<THE ENTIRE ARMY ON THIS PLANET CONSISTS OF TWELVE THOUSAND GRUNTS AND INSTRUCTORS, WITH ABOUT TEN OFFICERS OF POWER LEVELS ABOVE 2000; STANDING BEFORE LEDAS IS HALF OF THE ARMY; HE DOES NOT PAY THEM MUCH ATTENTION AS HE DOES NOT THINK THEY WILL ATTACK; THEY ARE TRAINING TOGETHER>
<A KEEN EYED SOLDIER SPOTS LEDAS; IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG FOR THE OTHERS TO COME OUT AND SEE HIM; THE COMMANDING OFFICER HALTS THEIR TRAINING AND ORDERS HIS SOLDIERS TO POUR OUT AND ATTACK; LEDAS OBVIOUSLY MATCHES ALL OF THEIR SCOUTERS; DIGRANITE HAD SENT A PICTURE OF LEDAS TO EVERY SOLDIER’S SCOUTER, TELLING THEM TO KILL HIM ON SIGHT; NOW THEY’VE SEEN HIM AND THEY FORM UP TO KILL HIM>
<KONATSU, IN ONE FRAME, BECOMES AWARE OF SOMETHING HAPPENING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY; HE RACES TO IT>
<LEDAS LOOKS OVER AND SEES THE ARMY RACING TOWARD HIM; ASTONISHED BY THIS, HE QUICKLY POWERS UP TO HIS MAXIMUM; THE THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS RUN AT HIM, FIRING THEIR BLASTERS OR NATURAL ENERGY ATTACKS; LEDAS SHRUGS IT OFF; HE ATTACKS THEM WITH AN UNRELENTING ENERGY BURST; IT MOWS DOWN HUNDREDS OF SOLDIERS; STILL, MANY MORE APPROACH HIM; HE FLIES THROUGH THEM, ATTACKING THEM WITH PUNCHES, KICKS, AND SMALL ENERGY BLASTS; UPON BLOWING THROUGH THE GROUP, HE LOOKS BACK AT THE SURVIVORS; THEY ARE IN UTTER CHAOS, AS MANY ARE DEAD, AND MANY MORE ARE WOUNDED; THE COMMANDERS ATTEMPT TO RESTORE ORDER AND GET EVERYONE LINED UP TO ATTACK LEDAS AGAIN; THIS GIVES THE SAIYAN A BRIEF MOMENT TO PAUSE; HE CHARGES UP A KYORRA FLASH IN THIS TIME>
<THE SOLDIERS REGROUP AND SHOOT AGAIN; LEDAS DUCKS, DROPPING TO HIS KNEES AS HE CHARGES THE ATTACK; BEFORE THEY REACH HIM, RAISES HIS ARMS, INTERLOCKED IN A TRIANGLE, AND RELEASES THE BEAM; IT CREATES A HUGE EXPLOSION, TAKING UP THE ENTIRE SCREEN; IT KILLS EVERY LAST ONE OF THE SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS PRESENT>
<LEDAS SPINS AROUND>
Ledas: That commander is coming. I can feel him… Better get out of here.
<LEDAS LOWERS HIS POWER LEVEL, THEN RUNS OFF>
<LEDAS TAKES TO THE AIR; AS HE IS FLYING, HE IS INTERCEPTED WITHIN THREE PANELS>
<A KICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD SENDS THE BOY FALLING DOWN; HE LANDS ON HIS BACK, BOUNCING PAINFULLY; WHEN HE LOOKS UP, HE FINDS ANANGO>
Anango: <TURNS ON HIS SCOUTER> Hey, Konatsu, I fou–
<LEDAS SHOOTS A FINGER BEAM, DESTROYING ANANGO’S SCOUTER; SEEING LEDAS HAS SOME FIGHT IN HIM, ANANGO QUICKLY ATTACKS, SCOOPING LEDAS UNDER HIS HOOF AND KICKING HIM INTO THE AIR; HE AIR DASHES UP TO LEDAS, PUNCHING HIM IN THE GUT; LEDAS KICKS HIM AWAY>
Anango: Command says you’re a high priority target. And now, I get to bring your body in. Lord Cooler will be most pleased. There’s a promotion in my future; I’m sure!
Ledas: You might’ve won with that other guy here, but I can beat you alone. I am much stronger than you.
Anango: I read your power level; you’re only at 100,000 max. <STRAIGHTENS FINGERS> Mine is over 120,000.
<ANANGO DISAPPEARS, REAPPEARING BEHIND LEDAS; HE SMACKS THE BOY TO THE GROUND; HE FLIES DOWN AFTER LEDAS, SHOOTING AN ENERGY BARRAGE; ANANGO LANDS; HE WATCHES AND WAITS FOR THE SMOKE TO CLEAR; WHEN IT DOES, HE IS SURPRISED; LEDAS IS STANDING INSIDE A ROUND, PURPLE BARRIER; HE IS UNTOUCHED, STILL AT MAXIMUM POWER>
<ANANGO CREATES A BEAM IN HIS HAND; HE DRAGS IT, SO THAT IT CUTS THROUGH THE GROUND AS HE WALKS; WHEN HE REACHES LEDAS, HE RAISES IT, FOCUSING THE ENERGY ON THE BARRIER; THE BARRIER GETS LIGHTER AS MORE ENERGY IS PUT ON IT>
Anango: Nice attack. Too bad it only prolongs your death.
<LEDAS SAYS NOTHING; THE ENERGY OVERLOADS HIS BARRIER, WHICH EXPLODES; HOWEVER, UNLIKE MOST BARRIERS, THIS ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY GO OUT; WHEN IT BLOWS UP, IT CREATES AN ENERGY WAVE; ANANGO IS CAUGHT IN IT; IT DAMAGES HIM, SENDING HIM BACK>
<LEDAS JUMPS UP IN AN ARC; HE COMES DOWN ON ANANGO’S HEAD WITH HIS FOOT, PARTIALLY CRACKING THE ALIEN’S SKULL>
<ANANGO REACHES UP WITH BOTH ARMS TO GRAB LEDAS; LEDAS SHOOTS A SINGLE GALICK OUT OF EACH HAND, WHICH BLASTS ANANGO’S ARM DOWN; THE ALIEN COLLAPSES; LEDAS PUSHES OFF HIS HEAD AND LANDS>
Ledas: If you still had your scouter, you’d know you’re no match for me.
<ANANGO STANDS UP; HE IS NOT MAD; HE GETS BACK INTO A FIGHTING STANCE>
Anango: I don’t believe it. The numbers don’t lie. You weren’t above 100,000 against Konatsu.
<LEDAS ATTACKS AGAIN; HE PUNCHES ANANGO IN A FLURRY; ANANGO CANNOT DEFEND; HE IS PUMMELED INTO A BLOODY PULP; HE ATTEMPTS TO SHOOT A BLAST AT LEDAS, BUT THE SAIYAN SWIPES IT AWAY; HE PUNCHES ANANGO IN THE FACE, CAUSING THE ALIEN TO DROP TO ONE KNEE; LEDAS RISES INTO THE AIR AND SLAMS HIS LEG INTO ANANGO’S NECK FROM THE SIDE; ANANGO COUGHS UP BLOOD>
<ANANGO REACHES OUT, BUT LEDAS EASILY DODGES IT; HE KICKS ANANGO SQUARE IN THE CHEST; ANANGO STANDS UP FROM THE BLOW, BUT HE IS TOO SLOW FOR LEDAS>
Anango: You can’t be… this powerful…
<ANANGO SENDS UP A SHARP BLAST TO THE SKY, TO TRY TO ALERT KONATSU TO HIS POSITION; HE COVERS THE AREA AROUND HIM IN A BURNING ATTACK SO THAT LEDAS CANNOT GET TO HIM AS HE WAITS; NEVERTHELESS, LEDAS JUMPS THROUGH THE RING OF FIRE AND RUSHES FORWARD; ANANGO IS ABLE TO SIDESTEP AND GRAB ONTO LEDAS’ TAIL, KNOWING THAT THIS IS HOW TO DEFEAT A SAIYAN; HE PULLS LEDAS UP BY IT>
Anango: Your tails are your weakness. Now I have the advantage.
Ledas: <HANGING UPSIDE DOWN; GRINNING DEVIOUSLY> You idiot, I’m super elite. My tail isn’t sensitive at all.
<LEDAS SHOOTS A SMALL KI BLAST INTO ANANGO’S FACE, MAKING HIM DROP LEDAS>
<LEDAS RUNS AROUND BEHIND ANANGO; HE SWEEPS ANANGO’S LEGS, CAUSING ANANGO TO FALL; LEDAS DISAPPEARS AND REAPPEARS IN FRONT OF HIM, PUTTING HIS LEG ON ANANGO’S CHEST, PINNING HIM TO THE GROUND; HE TAKES HIS HAND PLACES IT UNDER THE ALIEN’S CHIN, PALM OPEN; THIS IS FOLLOWED UP BY A QUICK ONE HANDED KYORRA BLAST; THIS DECAPITATES ANANGO IMMEDIATELY; HIS WOUND IS CAUTERIZED, SO NO BLOOD COMES OUT>
<LEDAS STANDS UP PROUDLY, HAVING DEFEATED YET ANOTHER DIFFICULT OPPONENT>
<CUTS TO KONATSU>
<KONATSU IS AT THE TRAINING AREA WITH ALL THE DEAD SOLDIERS; DIGRANITE CALLS HIM>
Digranite: <OVER THE SCOUTER> Status update. Now.
Konatsu: <SNEER> I’ve lost him, General. He took out the first garrison. Anango’s disappeared, too. I can’t find him on the scouter.
Digranite: Gather the second garrison and head to the Capitol. That’ll bait him.
Konatsu: <IN A HISS> I’m going.
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS; HE IS HOVERING IN THE AIR; HE LOOKS AROUND TRYING TO FIND ANOTHER CITY; HE SUDDENLY FEELS THE CONCENTRATED POWER LEVELS TO THE NORTH; HE TURNS TO IT; HE SEES THE CAPITOL, THE CITY WITH THE TWO INCREDIBLY HIGH TOWERS; HE MAKES HIS WAY TO THAT>
Ledas: I bet they’ll have some ships.
<HE FLIES OVER TO OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY; HE DROPS TO THE GROUND AND RUNS DOWN THE STREETS, CAREFULLY AVOIDING THE MAIN ROADS SO NO ONE SEES HIM>
<LEDAS DOES NOT FIND ANYTHING OR SEE ANYONE; HE COMES TO THE BASE OF THE TWO TOWERS; HE LOOKS UP BUT HE CANNOT EVEN SEE THE TOP>
Konatsu: There you are.
<KONATSU IS BEHIND LEDAS, ALONE; LEDAS TURNS AROUND TO FACE HIM; KONATSU SHOOTS A ONE HANDED BLAST AT LEDAS; HE DUCKS FROM IT AND TAKES OFF; KONATSU JUMPS AFTER HIM, CLIMBING OVER THE BUILDINGS TO FOLLOW HIM; SIX THOUSAND SOLDIERS, WHO WERE LYING IN WAIT, NOW COME OUT; THEY ARE IN THE BUILDINGS AND THE STREETS, SPREAD OUT THROUGH THE CITY; THEY TAKE SHOTS AT LEDAS>
<KONATSU JUMPS AND OVERTAKES LEDAS; HE LANDS ON THE BOY, CAUSING THEM TO FALL INTO A BUILDING; KONATSU LANDS ON TOP (OBVIOUSLY) AND GETS SEVERAL GOOD HARD PUNCHES ONTO LEDAS; LEDAS STARTS BLEEDING PROFUSELY; HIS NOSE IS BROKEN; KONATSU RAISES HIS LEG AND JABS IT AT LEDAS’ CHEST, CUTTING THE ARMOR AND GETTING TO HIS STOMACH; THIS CUTS LEDAS REAL BAD; HE BLEEDS EVEN MORE>
Konatsu: <IN JEER; HIS FACE IS INCHES FROM LEDAS’> Look at all that blood. You aren’t surviving much longer bleeding like that.
<LEDAS HEADBUTTS HIM, AND MANAGES TO GET FREE; HE RUNS AROUND A CORNER; KONATSU SHOOTS AFTER HIM, DESTROYING THE BUILDINGS AROUND, ELIMINATING HIS COVER; KONATSU HAS NO CARE FOR THE SOLDIERS IN THESE BUILDINGS>
<AS KONATSU KEEPS DESTROYING BUILDINGS; HIS SOLDIERS FLEE OUT AND FORM RANKS BEHIND HIM; HE CONTINUES TO ELIMINATE THE COVER>
<CUE You and Whose Army?>
<LEDAS IS BEHIND SOME RUBBLE SPITTING UP BLOOD; HIS INJURIES ARE MODERATE, MAKING HIS POWER LEVEL DROP TO RIGHT AROUND KONATSU’S; HE ALSO DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO RECOVER>
<KONATSU DESTROYS HIS COVER; LEDAS STANDS BEFORE THE ARMY AND ITS COMMANDER WITH HIS HEAD BENT AND SHOULDERS THROWN FORWARD; THE ALIENS LAUGH; KONATSU SMILES>
Konatsu: Perfect. He’s given up.
Ledas: No… <TURNS HIS HEAD> Don’t underestimate me.
<KONATSU AND THE OTHERS CREATE ENERGY TO KILL LEDAS, WHEN THE BOY SUDDENLY LOOKS UP; HE LETS OUT A DEAFENING SCREAM, MORE LIKE A HOWL; IT SHATTERS THE GLASS AND SCOUTERS ALL AROUND; KONATSU AND HIS TROOPS COVER THEIR EARS IN PAIN, WHICH STOPS THEM FROM ATTACKING>
<MOMENTARILY BOOSTED BY THIS HOWL, LEDAS HAS ENOUGH ENERGY TO QUICKLY RISE INTO THE AIR; HE GOES ABOUT HALF A MILE UP; NO ONE WAS ABLE TO SEE HIM DO THIS, AS THEY WERE IN TOO MUCH PAIN; BY THE TIME KONATSU RECOVERS, HE IS SCANNING THE HORIZON FOR LEDAS, NOT THE SPACE ABOVE HIM>
<LEDAS IS STILL BLEEDING; HE LOOKS DOWN AT KONATSU FOR SEVERAL SECONDS BEFORE CONTINUING>
<HE FREE FALLS DOWN OVER THE ARMY; AS HE DOES SO, HE THROWS HIS RIGHT HAND FORWARD AS IF CREATING A BLAST, BUT NOTHING APPEARS TO COME OUT; HE KEEPS HIS HAND OUT, KEEPING IT IN A HALF FIST; BEFORE HE TOUCHES DOWN, HE SLOWS HIMSELF SO THAT HE LANDS ON HIS FEET RIGHT BEHIND KONATSU>
<You and Whose Army? REACHES 1:48 NOW>
<A DROP OF BLOOD LANDS ON KONATSU’S SHOULDER; HE NOTICES IT AND TURNS, ONLY TO SEE LEDAS JUMPING AT HIM, AN ENERGY SLASH IN HIS HAND; BEFORE KONATSU CAN SO MUCH AS BLINK, LEDAS HAS JAMMED THE ENERGY THROUGH KONATSU’S SKULL, INSTANTLY KILLING HIM; KONATSU SLUMPS, FALLING OFF THE ENERGY SWORD; LEDAS DISSIPATES THE SWORD; THE OTHER SOLDIERS BEGIN TO REACT, RAISING THEIR WEAPONS; LEDAS DOES NOT MOVE>
<CLOSE SHOT OF LEDAS’ FACE; HE LOOKS LEFT, TURNING HIS HEAD SLIGHTLY; A HUGE BLAST GOES OFF, KILLING ALL OF THE SOLDIERS; IT IS ANOTHER LIGHTNING STRIKE ATTACK; THE ENTIRE AREA IS FILLED WITH FIRE AND SMOKE; AFTER IT CLEARS, NOTHING REMAINS STANDING ASIDE FROM THE TWO LARGE TOWERS DIRECTLY BEHIND LEDAS; ALL SOLDIERS ARE DEAD>
<THE CAMERA IS STILL CLOSE TO LEDAS’ FACE; HE HAS A SMALL SMILE ON HIS FACE>
- This chapter's name is tongue-in-cheek just like the previous one. Ledas doesn't actually have a fear of being in crowds or open places. But it may appear like that since he basically killed every being on the planet, aside from Nepar, Sarpack, and Sika, in this chapter. It's like he's antisocial or something.
- Digranite would not have believed that Ledas was still alive if not for the picture Konatsu sends him. This picture aided the plot in that way, as I didn't see another way for Digranite to quickly understand that Ledas is still alive. Of course he remembers Ledas from 21 years ago, but since the boy hasn't been seen in 21 years and hasn't seemed to age, only a picture would make Digranite believe.
- Konatsu and Anango splitting up is a bad idea. They are only stronger than Ledas together; obviously, they are hoping that once one of them finds Ledas, the other will be there quickly to help, but that is a risky strategy for them to bet their lives on.
- Digranite doesn't want to rouse Cooler from his important meeting on the moon or let him know that he failed to kill Ledas (which should make Cooler very angry). That's why he tries to eliminate Ledas quickly and quietly.
- Ledas destroys the first half of the army in a matter of seconds.
- Konatsu doesn't regroup with Anango because Ledas destroys Anango's scouter before Konatsu can be told where they are located.
- Anango's fight with Ledas is much like Dodoria's (or Cui's) fight with Vegeta. Both Ledas and Vegeta are able to raise and lower their power levels at will, fooling their PTO opponents into underestimating them. Both Saiyans also make quick work of their foes because they are significantly stronger than them.
- Of course, Ledas is a Super Elite. This was established in the first saga. Anango's battle knowledge is useless as a result. He can't pull on Ledas' tail; this is much like how Piccolo failed to damage Nappa after grabbing Nappa's tail, since Nappa was also a Super Elite and had had his tail desensitized.
- Anango is defeated in probably less than two minutes, give or take. Konatsu didn't have enough time to find Anango and Ledas on his scouter before being ordered by Digranite to fall back to the Capitol with the remaining soldiers.
- I had Konatsu and his forces attack Ledas in a city because I wanted a setting change from the rolling hills of the stomping grounds featured so often in the previous scenes.
- Konatsu really rips Ledas apart. He breaks the kid's nose and then cuts his chest up really bad. I did all of this knowing that I needed to give Ledas a zenkai soon for his fight against Nepar, and getting him horrifically injured was the way to get him set up for a zenkai.
- I think Konatsu has some of the best dialogue in this saga. His line to Ledas after he cuts him up ("Look at all that blood. You aren’t surviving much longer bleeding like that.") is quite excellent, if I do say so myself.
- Blood is a reoccurring motif. It may also be a symbol of several things throughout TF, but I won't get into that. That's for the readers to figure out. Regardless, Ledas getting all bloodied up by Konatsu before he uses his own will and power to defeat the alien and the PTO army was very carefully constructed and has meaning besides just looking cool.
- I got the idea to use "You and Whose Army?" for Konatsu's end long before I wrote this chapter. It's one of the best Radiohead songs, and it goes well with the action in this chapter. I choreographed the entire scene with Ledas and Konatsu (after Konatsu runs down Ledas in the Capitol) to go with the song; had I not thought of using "You and Whose Army?" here, I probably would have choreographed it in a much different way. Still, how I ultimately ended up doing it is something I'm proud of. It's one of the best scenes in this saga and in all of TF, and it highlights the theme of Ledas doing anything to survive, seen in the picture at the top of this page. Of course, it is also very dramatic, which was aided by the song; this is not something I've done before this point in TF. The previous song was just setting the stage. "You and Whose Army?" is a pure fight song, and it's good that I decided to use it, because I think it makes the scene way better. Tonally and lyrically, this song also aids some of the themes in this saga, particularly those about Ledas rising up against his oppressors and those who have doubted him.
- Ledas' dire howl attack was necessary to stun his opponents and to destroy their scouters so they wouldn't be able to see where he goes. I like this attack because it's basically a Great Ape attack, and that foreshadows Ledas going Great Ape in the next chapter. It's also something he learned from his mother, Cyleria, who is not often brought up in TF, so that's pretty cool.
- Ledas Lightning Strike attack here was foreshadowed in chapter 2, when Ledas used it in a much less dramatic way against lesser opponents.
- Ledas lands behind Konatsu to be all badass. There's no tactical reason to it other than he wants to show off. This is because Konatsu has underestimated him, and he wants to make the alien pay for doing so. It hurts his pride that anyone would underestimate him, and so he redirects that hurt to his main foe.
- The drop of blood landing on Konatsu's shoulder was such a cool moment. It forced Konatsu to turn around and see Ledas before he was destroyed, too, which I'm sure is just what Ledas wanted.
- Ledas of course has to kill Konatsu before the Lightning Strike goes off. He uses an energy sword because energy sword combat is always awesome if done right. The way he jams it into Konatsu's skull is a physical feat showing Ledas' domination over Konatsu. Ledas wants the other soldiers to see that Ledas was far more powerful than Konatsu before they die. This says a lot about Ledas' personality. He doesn't want to be seen as a weakling or underestimated. He learned from his grandfather not to underestimate his opponents (which he hasn't been doing for the most part, but since he's a kid, he's prone to misstep occasionally), so he doesn't want them to underestimate him back. It hurts him emotionally when he's seen as nothing special or as a slave or as a kid who's not worth powering up against. He feels like when they do so, his agency is being lost. So the best way for him to re-establish his personal agency is through a dramatic display of force, which he does at the end of this chapter.
- Ledas' smile at the end comes from him realizing that he's become stronger than pretty much anyone in the PTO and that he's been able to exert his own agency to prove so.
<LEDAS IS STANDING IN FRONT OF TWO LARGE TOWERS; AROUND HIM AND THE TOWERS IS NOTHING BUT A CRATER; HIS FACE IS BLANK>
<HE WALKS UP TO THE DOOR TO THE RIGHT TOWER; IT IS LOCKED; HE TRIES TO GET THROUGH IT, BUT TO NO AVAIL; HE STEPS BACK, PREPARING TO BLOW DOWN THE DOOR WHEN HE CATCHES SOMETHING OUT OF THE CORNER OF HIS EYE>
<THE LARGE BONY CREATURE, THE ONE THAT WAS VERY DULL COLORED AND SMOKEY LOOKING THAT LEDAS HAD SEEN BEFORE SIMPLY TRAVERSING THE PLAINS IS COMING HIS WAY>
<BEFORE, LEDAS HAD THOUGHT THIS CREATURE WAS A LOCAL SPECIES; HOWEVER, NOW WITH IT BEARING DOWN ON HIM, HE CAN READ ITS ENERGY>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> 400,000?! How can that thing be so powerful?
<SINCE ITS POWER LEVEL IS HIGHER THAN HIS CURRENT MAXIMUM, HE IS QUITE TERRIFIED; LEDAS DOES NOT HAVE THE STRENGTH TO POWER UP AT ALL; HE HOLDS HIS CHEST, WHERE HE STILL HAS AN OPEN WOUND>
<THE CREATURE IS TALL; OVER FORTY FEET; IT HAS LONG LEGS AND ARMS, BUT IT CANNOT BE DISCERNED HOW MANY IT HAS OF EACH; ITS BODY LOOKS SMOKEY, ALMOST AS IF IT IS A MIRAGE; IT HAS TWO BONY WINGS ON ITS BACK; ITS LONG HEAD IS DEVOID OF ANY LIFE, HAVING ONLY TWO BLACK DOTS FOR EYES AND A RATHER SHARP LINE FOR A MOUTH; IT IS SOMEWHAT HUMANOID IN APPEARANCE>
<THE CREATURE MOVES TO WITHIN 100 METERS OF LEDAS>
Ledas: <THROWS HIS HANDS UP IN THE AIR; SHOOTS A FEW CAUTIONARY ENERGY BLASTS AT IT> Get away from me! Go! Go away! <THE CREATURE CONTINUES FORWARD> Eeaah! I said get out of here!
<THE CREATURE DOES NOT ANSWER; IT DOES NOT EVEN MAKE A SOUND; IT FLIES FORWARD TO LEDAS; TWO ARMS EXTEND OUT, REACHING FOR HIM; SEVERAL OTHERS EXTEND OUT ABOVE AND TO THE CREATURE’S SIDES>
<BY NOW, LEDAS IS TOO DAMAGED FROM KONATSU’S PREVIOUS ATTACK TO MUSTER A POWER OF MORE THAN 200,000; STILL, HE LOCKS DOWN INTO A FIGHTING POSE TO ATTACK THE CREATURE; LET’S CALL THE CREATURE NEPAR>
<LEDAS JUMPS HIGH INTO THE AIR TO REACH NEPAR’S FACE; HE KICKS AT NEPAR’S FACE, BUT THE CREATURE GRABS HIM WITH HIS LONG FINGERS; THE LETHARGIC BEAST SUDDENLY COMES ALIVE AS HE THROWS LEDAS FORWARD AND VORACIOUSLY SWIPES AT HIM; NEPAR CATCHES LEDAS’ LIMP BODY, AND PASSES IT DOWN THROUGH HIS OTHER HANDS, AS IF SENDING HIM THROUGH A SLICER; WHEN THE SAIYAN GETS TO THE BOTTOM, NEPAR TAKES ONE OF HIS LEGS, AND IMPALES LEDAS THROUGH HIS LOWER TORSO; LEDAS SCREAMS OUT IN PAIN>
<NEPAR RAISES LEDAS TO HIS FACE; HE OPENS HIS MOUTH, REVEALING NOTHING BUT BLACK, AND CREATES A LARGE BLACK MOUTH BEAM; LEDAS TRIES TO ATTACK BACK, BUT HIS ENERGY DOES VERY LITTLE; NEPAR FIRES HIS MOUTH BLAST AT LEDAS, CAUSING LEDAS TO BE BLOWN BACKWARD, UN-IMPALING HIM AND SLAMMING HIM INTO THE LEFT TOWER; HE FALLS IN A BLOODY MESS AND DOES NOT GET BACK UP>
<NEPAR TURNS AWAY FROM LEDAS, PUTTING HIS ARMS BACK INTO POSITION; HE FLIES BACK AND FORTH, SLOWLY, IN A PATROLLING LINE IN FRONT OF THE TOWERS, AS IF GUARDING THEM; LEDAS SEES THAT HE IS NOT GOING TO BE ATTACKED AGAIN, SO HE TRIES TO GET UP; ONLY HE CAN’T; THE IMPALEMENT HAS NOT ONLY CAUSED HIM TO BLEED AGAIN (OPENING HIS OLD WOUNDS TOO) BUT HAS ALSO MADE HIM UNABLE TO WALK; COMPLETELY DESPERATE, HE CRAWLS TO THE DOOR OF THE LEFT TOWER>
<IT OPENS, THANK KAMI; HE CRAWLS IN BEFORE NEPAR CAN SPOT HIM AGAIN; INSIDE, THERE IS NO ONE; IT IS A COMPUTER ROOM; HE CAN SEE REJUVENATION TANKS LINING THE WALLS>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> They had these back home… if I can just get to the computer…
<HE CRAWLS FORWARD, FINDING A WALL-MOUNTED COMPUTER; HOWEVER, IT’S TOO HIGH AND HE CANNOT STAND; HAVING NO OTHER OPTIONS, HE CREATES A SMALL BEAM TO PROPEL HIM UP TO IT; HE PUNCHES A BUTTON (NOT TOO HARD) BEFORE FALLING BACK TO THE GROUND; THE BUTTON HAD A SMALL CHARACTER ABOVE IT WHICH SAID "VOICE ACTIVATOR">
Ledas: <QUIVERING ON THE GROUND, HIS HEAD ON THE FLOOR> I-I… need me-medical help… r-r-right away… please…
<WITH THAT, LEDAS FALLS UNCONSCIOUS>
<TWO DAYS LATER>
<LEDAS WAKES UP; HE IS INSIDE A REJUVENATION TANK; MOST OF HIS WOUNDS ARE HEALED; HE LOOKS AROUND AT THE ROOM AND HIS BODY>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> The computer must’ve sent someone to put me here. But I don’t see anyone around. Weird. <HE NOTICES THE MONITOR NEXT TO HIM SAYING HIS VITALS ARE AT 100%> No use staying in here.
<LEDAS BLASTS OUT OF THE TANK, HAVING NO OTHER WAY TO GET OUT; WHEN HE GETS OUT, HE FALLS OVER, NOT FROM SLIPPING ON THE LIQUID, BUT BECAUSE HE HAS NO TAIL; HE DOESN’T NOTICE THE ROBOTIC ARMS MOVING ABOUT – CLEARLY THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE BUILDING USED THOSE TO PUT LEDAS INTO THE TANK>
Ledas: That thing must’ve cut off my tail. I didn’t even feel it come off…
<HE LOOKS AWAY, PEERING OUTWARD; AS HE DOES SO, HE CREATES A POWER BALL IN HIS RIGHT HAND; IT IS A SMALL ONE AND HE KEEPS IN HIS HAND AS HE WALKS; HIS TAIL REGROWS AT ONCE>
<LEDAS WANDERS DOWN A CORRIDOR; HE FINDS NO ONE; AS HE MAKES HIS WAY THROUGH A DARK PASSAGE, HE IS HIT WITH A SUDDEN PAIN IN HIS HEAD; NO MEMORIES COME WITH IT, HOWEVER>
<LEDAS’ HEAD HURTS REALLY BAD, CAUSING HIM TO FALL OVER BACKWARDS; HE DROPS THE POWER BALL, WHICH ROLLS AWAY; THE PAIN IS BLINDING, LITERALLY, AND HE HAS TO JUST SIT THERE AND WAIT IT OUT INSTEAD OF TRYING TO MOVE; HIS HAIR IS WHITE NOW AND HIS EYES ARE GREEN; HE IS LYING ON HIS BACK, ARMS AND LEGS SPREAD OUT>
<LEDAS SCREAMS; HIS AURA GROWS AROUND HIM; THE PAIN BECOMES SO UNBEARABLE THAT HE BEGINS POUNDING THE GROUND IN AGONY; NOT A MOMENT LATER, HE ACCIDENTALLY RELEASES A VERY POWERFUL EXPLOSIVE WAVE; SEEING HOW HE IS STILL BLIND, LEDAS DOES NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON>
<AFTER RELEASING THE ENERGY WAVE, THE PAIN SUBSIDES; LEDAS’ VISION COMES BACK, AND HE SITS UP ON HIS KNEES; HIS HAIR AND EYES HAVE RETURNED TO NORMAL; HE SUDDENLY HEARS A RASPY BREATHING NOISE COMING FROM DIRECTLY BEHIND HIM; HE SITS UP STRAIGHT, REALIZING, THROUGH SENSING THE ENERGY AROUND HIM, THAT IT IS NEPAR>
<NEPAR GRABS LEDAS, PULLING HIM OUT OF THE BUILDING; THE BUILDING IS SHOWN TO HAVE A LARGE HOLE FROM LEDAS’ EXPLOSIVE WAVE; NEPAR WAS ALERTED TO THIS AND FOUND THE BOY STILL ALIVE>
<LEDAS BREAKS FREE OF HIS GRIP; HE FLIES OVER NEPAR’S HEAD, SHOOTING AN UNRELENTING ENERGY BURST; THE BLASTS CONNECT; BUT NEPAR USES HIS WING TO SWAT LEDAS DOWN, AS LEDAS FLIES DOWN THE CREATURE’S SPINE; LEDAS FALLS DOWN FROM NEPAR’S BACK AND GETS TANGLED IN HIS LEGS; HE CANNOT MAKE OUT ANYTHING; NEPAR SPINS HIM OVER, DISORIENTING THE SAIYAN IN THE MESS OF HANGING LEGS>
<LEDAS IS CUT BY THIS, BUT NOT BADLY; HE TRIES SEVERAL SEVERING BEAMS, AND THIS HELPS HIM CLEAR OUT SOME OF THE LEGS; STILL, HE CANNOT MOVE; AT ONCE, NEPAR SENDS OUT A SHOCK WAVE, RUNNING DOWN HIS ENTIRE BODY; IT GETS LEDAS PRETTY GOOD; THE CREATURE DROPS LEDAS, RISING IN THE AIR TO GAIN A VANTAGE POINT>
<LEDAS STANDS UP SLOWLY, CRANING HIS NECK TO FIND NEPAR AGAINST THE BRIGHT SUN IN THE SKY>
<SUDDENLY, NEPAR COMES ROARING DOWN, HIS SHARP LEGS EXTENDED TO SLICE LEDAS; LEDAS DUCKS, BARELY MISSING THE ATTACK; AS NEPAR FLIES PAST HIM, HE TAKES A FEW POT SHOTS AT THE CREATURE, THOUGH THEY HAVE LITTLE EFFECT>
<NEPAR COMES FOR ANOTHER ROUND; LEDAS ANTICIPATES IT, DUCKING, THEN ROLLING TO THE LEFT; HE GRABS ONTO NEPAR’S TORSO AS THE CREATURE COMES BY; AS HE GETS ON NEPAR, HE SHOOTS A COLLECTION OF FOCUSED FINGER BEAMS INTO NEPAR’S BACK, CAUSING A HOLE TO TEAR OPEN; HE STICKS HIS HAND INSIDE, CREATING A KYORRA FLASH; HOWEVER, NEPAR DOES A ROLL, FLINGING LEDAS OFF OF HIM; THE KYORRA FLASH SHOOTS WILDLY INTO THE AIR; LEDAS LANDS ON THE GROUND, ON HIS FEET; HE FINDS HIMSELF COVERED IN MANY CUTS AGAIN>
<FROM THE RECENT SHOCK WAVE AND OTHER ATTACKS, LEDAS IS DAMAGED AGAIN; HIS POWER LEVEL HAS LOWERED QUITE DRASTICALLY; HE DROPS TO ONE KNEE, BREATHING HARD; HE WATCHES AS NEPAR CIRCLES IN THE AIR; AT ONCE, HE NOTICES THE POWER BALL HE LEFT; IT HAS RISEN OUT OF THE DESTROYED BUILDING AND IS NOW HOVERING IN THE AIR>
Ledas: <SEEING THE POWER BALL> Perfect.
<WITHIN A FEW SECONDS, LEDAS BEGINS TRANSFORMING INTO A GREAT APE; NEPAR SEES THIS AND RAMS HIM, CAUSING LEDAS TO HOWL OUT IN PAIN; THE SAIYAN STILL TRANSFORMS, HOWEVER; ONCE HE’S FINISHED TRANSFORMING, HE TURNS TO FACE NEPAR AND RUSHES THE CREATURE HEAD ON>
<NEPAR CREATES ENERGY WITH HIS HANDS FOR THE FIRST TIME; HE SENDS A HAIL OF SMALL BLASTS AT LEDAS; LEDAS JUMPS OVER THEM; AS HE IS VULNERABLE DURING HIS JUMP, NEPAR CREATES A MOUTH BEAM AND SHOOTS IT AT LEDAS>
<LEDAS CREATES A BARRIER AT THE LAST SECOND, BUT IT IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH; THE MOUTH BEAM EXPLODES THROUGH IT AND HITS LEDAS; THIS CAUSES THE GREAT APE TO FALL TO THE GROUND>
<NEPAR CONTINUES HIS ASSAULT; LEDAS DEFENDS AGAINST THE BLASTS AS HE TRIES TO STAND BACK UP, BUT THEY DO HURT HIM; MANY OF THEM KNICK HIS ARMS AND LEGS AND FACE; LEDAS RETALIATES BY SHOOTING SEVERAL DOZEN RAZOR BLASTS AND TWO GALICKS; BOTH HIT NEPAR AND DO HIM ENOUGH DAMAGE TO MAKE HIM STOP HIS ATTACK>
<LEDAS RUNS UP TO NEPAR, THIS TIME GOING FOR HIS FACE; NEPAR PUTS HIS ARMS UP TO BLOCK, BUT LEDAS IS TOO FAST, HE SLAMS THROUGH, ELBOWING NEPAR IN THE NOSE AREA; NEPAR DOES NOT REACT; LEDAS ROARS AND SLAMS DOWN ON THE CREATURE WITH BOTH FISTS>
Ledas: <IN HIS BEAST VOICE> Is that thing even alive?! Come on! How come he didn’t feel that?!
<NEPAR DOES NOT ANSWER; HE GRABS LEDAS WITH HIS TWO DOMINANT HANDS, SQUEEZING VERY HARD; NEPAR SENDS THE SHOCK WAVE AGAIN, ZAPPING LEDAS; LEDAS TRIES AN EXPLOSIVE WAVE; IT IS POWERFUL ENOUGH FOR HIM TO GET FREE OF NEPAR’S GRIP AND DESTROY MORE OF NEPAR’S ARMS; THIS CAUSES NEPAR TO FALTER, AND STAGGER IN MIDAIR>
<LEDAS RISES ABOVE THE ALIEN’S HEAD, CREATING A BALL OF ENERGY; HE THROWS IT INTO NEPAR’S FACE; AS IT EXPLODES, HE FOLLOWS UP WITH A SPAM OF FINGER BEAMS; THIS HURTS NEPAR, WHO FALTERS AGAIN, THOUGH HE MAKES NO NOISE>
<NEPAR USES A GREAT BIT OF ENERGY TO SHOOT ENERGY BEAMS OUT OF EVERY ARM AND LEG, AS WELL AS HIS MOUTH; LEDAS DODGES AND DEFLECTS THEM EASILY AND THEN JUMPS ONTO NEPAR; NEPAR, SHRUGS UNDER THE GREAT APE’S WEIGHT AND RISES IN THE AIR; HE PREPARES A MANEUVER TO MAKE LEDAS FALL OFF; HAVING NOT MUCH TIME, LEDAS GOES TO MAKE ANOTHER HOLE IN NEPAR WHEN HE NOTICES THE CREATURE’S WINGS; INSTEAD OF CONTINUING WITH HIS ORIGINAL PLAN, HE ATTACKS THE WINGS>
<LEDAS LOBS SEVERAL KI BALLS AT EACH WING AND CLAWS AT THEM; THEY ARE NOT LIKE THE REST OF THE BODY; THEY ARE MUCH SOFTER; AS THEY ARE HIT BY THE BLASTS, THEY BEGIN CRACKING; LEDAS LETS GO OF NEPAR; AS HE FALLS OFF, HE LETS OFF ONE BEAM IN EACH HAND; THEY CONNECT WITH THE WINGS, DESTROYING THEM; BLACK LIQUID SHOOTS OUT FROM THE HOLES CREATED>
<AS LEDAS LETS GO, NEPAR STOPS GOING UP; WHEN LEDAS RIGHTS HIMSELF, HE SEES NEPAR COME PLUMMETING DOWN; HE IS CAREFUL TO GET OUT OF THE WAY>
<NEPAR HITS THE GROUND AND DOES NOT GET UP; LEDAS SEES HIS ADVANTAGE; HE COVERS NEPAR’S BODY IN WAVE AFTER WAVE OF ENERGY BLASTS UNTIL HE IS SURE NEPAR IS DEAD; THEN HE DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, AT THE CREATURE’S HEAD>
<NEPAR IS NOT DEAD NOR DOES HE LOOK CRITICALLY WOUNDED (ONLY MODERATELY WOUNDED); HOWEVER, HE IS CONVULSING; NEPAR’S HEAD AND ARMS ARE BOBBING UP AND DOWN AS HE TRIES TO GET UP; HE SEES LEDAS AND SHOOTS A BEAM OF ENERGY OUT OF HIS MOUTH, BUT LEDAS HITS THAT AWAY>
<THE CREATURE USES HIS ARMS TO TRY TO STAND UP, BUT HE IS TOO WEAK; HE FALLS BACK ON HIS SIDE; HE CREATES ENERGY AND SHOOTS SEVERAL BLASTS FROM HIS MOUTH AND ARMS; THEN HE GOES QUIET, AND STOPS MOVING>
<AFTER TWO MORE PANELS, NEPAR GIVES ONE LAST FINAL CONVULSING MOVEMENT, HIS RASPY BREATHING HEIGHTENED TO ITS FULLEST; THEN, THE CREATURE FALLS OVER, GOES LIMP AND IS DEAD; LIKE A SHARK UNABLE TO SWIM, NEPAR WAS KILLED BY NOT FLYING – SUFFOCATING FROM NOT LETTING ITS BODY FLY>
<LEDAS TURNS FROM THE DEAD CREATURE TOWARD THE TOWERS; HE LOOKS AT THE POWER BALL AND SHOOTS AN ENERGY BLAST AT IT; THE POWER BALL QUICKLY BLOWS UP AND LEDAS REVERTS TO HIS BASE FORM; HE IS BREATHING HARD, AND SITS DOWN, LEANING UP AGAINST NEPAR’S BODY>
Ledas: The only energy I feel on the entire planet is coming from that tower. <HE LOOKS AT THE RIGHT ONE> They’re the only ones left… and they are pretty strong. <LEDAS LOOKS ONCE AT NEPAR’S CORPSE> Not as bad as him. <LEDAS TURNS BACK TO THE TOWER> I bet Vegeta doesn’t have it this hard if he’s alive.
<LEDAS STANDS UP>
Ledas: There’s no point in staying here. Those people up there <HE LOOKS TOWARDS THE TOP OF THE RIGHT TOWER> will have a way to get out of here. I just have to take what they have so I can find Vegeta myself. No more Frieza, no more Cooler, no more Guva. Just me and him. We’ll become Super Saiyans and no one will touch us.
<LEDAS WALKS FORWARD; HE CREATES A SMALL ENERGY BLAST AND BLASTS DOWN THE DOOR TO THE RIGHT TOWER WITHOUT STOPPING>
<LEDAS ENTERS THE TOWER>
- This chapter's name is in the NATO phonetic alphabet. Echo means "E". Tango means "T". Simple, right? Put them together, and you get ET: an extraterrestrial, also known as Nepar. Simple and easy. I believe I heard Emile from Halo: Reach use this phrase when talking about the covenant, which is what made me use it here.
- This chapter contains he least amount of characters in any chapter of TF, with only 2.
- Ledas is the only character with dialogue in this chapter.
- Nepar was based off of this Magic the Gathering card. I liked the idea of a being who blended in with the sky in a smoky, cloud-like way. I made Nepar much more grotesque than that noble dragon, though. That was just me putting my own creativity in. As I've stated before, I tried to make unique aliens in this saga, and Nepar was the most radical of the bunch. He is unlike any other alien out there. I really went wild with him.
- This chapter was originally called "Last Saiyan". I changed it to "Echo Tango" after I got more of the plot figured out. "Last Saiyan" (The Last Saiyan) ended up being the name of the story of Ledas' son, Nir.
- The mention of Nepar's power level gives the readers a sense of how strong Ledas is in comparison. Earlier, Anango said he was at 120,000 and that Ledas had never gone above 100,000 in his first fight against Konatsu. Ledas was obviously much stronger than 120,000, as he wiped the floor with Anango. The text definitively states that Ledas is not at 400,000 himself, which is why he is so scared at the beginning of the chapter. But how much stronger is Nepar than him? Does he have a fighting chance or is this going to end in his death rather easily? That ambiguity fuels Ledas' confrontation with Nepar. We don't know if he can win.
- Nepar really hurts Ledas - indeed, I'm not sure anyone else in the series brings him so close to death. The impalement especially is serious and seems to point towards Ledas not getting out of this one alive. Coupling that with the fact that Ledas is already quite damaged from his fight against Konatsu, it looks like the boy is about to bleed out and die. This was all done to for the sake of suspense; as well, I wanted to push Ledas as close to death as possible at least one time in this story, and this seemed as good a time as any.
- Nepar cuts off Ledas' tail, continuing the streak of Ledas losing his tail at least once in every saga so far.
- Ledas doesn't just lose his tail to keep the streak alive though. He loses it to allow him to transform into a Great Ape in the next battle. Now, Ledas was not originally a Great Ape in this chapter. For the final edits, I changed him into a Great Ape during the final battle to make the sequence of battles in this saga a bit more varied. As well, it just seemed like a good idea, since Nepar is so big. It's the first and only time for Great Ape Ledas to truly fight someone his own size.
- Ledas shares my own opinion that Saiyans are more "whole" and a good dealer cooler when they have their tails. I could easily have had him never regrow his tail after it was cut off in the last saga or in this one. But I like Saiyans with tails. I like how they look and I like that it gives them the ability to transform into Great Apes. So Ledas regrew his tail after coming out of the rejuvenation tank (almost as soon as he got out) because it's just ingrained in his mind that he needs a tail.
- I combined the Semi Super Saiyan plotline with Ledas' power ball stuff. I think this was rather clever. The plots are building off of one another by this point. Ledas loses the power ball because he is thrust into his painful Semi Super Saiyan state, eventually causing him to transform and defeat Nepar later on.
- Notice how the pain in Ledas' body subsides when he releases an explosive wave. His control over his Semi Super Saiyan form is growing, slightly. He's getting to the point where he can stand to be in the form, where the energy he absorbed from Lauto and The Benefactor is not hurting him so bad anymore.
- Nepar probably would have defeated Ledas again had the Saiyan boy not transformed into a Great Ape.
- I don't have a lot to say about Nepar's fight with Great Ape Ledas aside from the fact that's interesting how making everything "bigger" changes the choreography so much. I had fun with this scene, perhaps more so than with any scene, sans Konatsu's death, up to this point in the saga.
- Nepar's death is pretty unique. He died from suffocation, not from Ledas overpowering him with energy. I think Ledas would have eventually beaten him regardless of if he lost his wings, but the way I did it just quickened the battle. Compare this to how such a battle would take place in DBZ - it would be at least 5 episodes, if not an entire arc. Cut down to a single episode, the plot flows better and is paced well. Ledas losing then beating Nepar is a moment of personal triumph for him that I think works better in 1 episode than in 5, since this is still only Cooler's guard dog we are talking about.
- Kid Ledas sitting up against the massive corpse of Nepar is a very powerful image to me.
- Ledas notes that Sika and Sarpack (two aliens not yet introduced in the series) are weaker than Nepar. Keep that in mind while reading the next chapter, for though they are weaker, they are facing a weaker version of Ledas than when he fought Nepar as well. And there are two of them. That aspect is not to be underestimated.
- Ledas thinks that Vegeta doesn't have it as hard as him. That's debatable. In fact, I would say that Vegeta's life, overall, since they were separated, was worse. Although, by this point, Vegeta has moved to Earth, become a Super Saiyan, and cummed inside Bulma's pussy, so it's hard to say.
- Ledas' endgame is to just be a Super Saiyan with Vegeta. It's quite funny in how kid-like that hope is, and a little sad too, since it will never come to fruition how he wants it to.
- Ledas doesn't state how many people are in the tower, but he mentions that there's more than one. Of course, the expectation is that at least one of them is Digranite, and perhaps that the others would be his soldiers. That speculation is wrong, though. And it's not like there was any warning that Sika and Sarpack exist. I just wanted to reveal a few surprises in this story when each cliffhanger is resolved. The introduction of Sika and Sarpack in the next chapter is one of those unexpected developments.
<TWO DAYS PRIOR>
<FROM THE RIGHT TOWER’S POINT OF VIEW, THREE BEINGS ARE WATCHING A CAMERA FEED; AS IT IS, IT SHOWS THE SCENE OF LEDAS FIGHTING KONATSU’S FORCES>
<THE THREE BEINGS WATCH AS LEDAS DECIMATES THE FORCES; THE LIGHTNING STRIKE GOES OFF, DESTROYING EVERYTHING ASIDE FROM THEIR TOWERS; THEY BRACE AGAINST ITS IMPACT>
<THE MAN AT THEIR HELM IS DIGRANITE; THE CREATURE SHOWN BEFORE; HE IS WEARING HIS ORNATE SILVER/BLACK ARMOR; THE OTHER TWO ARE SKINNIER, BUT ABOUT AS TALL AS HIM; THEY ARE BLUE-SKINNED AND HAVE LARGE CRESCENT MASSES BEHIND THEIR SKULLS; THEY DO NOT WEAR THE CHEST ARMOR THAT ALL OTHER SHOULDERS WEAR, BUT THEY DO WEAR THE CROTCH AND SIDE GUARDS, AS WELL AS ANKLE AND WRIST GUARDS; THEY CAN BE SEEN TO BE FEMALE, AS THEY HAVE BARE BREASTS>
<THE THREE ARE STANDING ALONE IN A DIMLY LIT ROOM, LOOKING DOWN IN ON THE TABLE, WHICH HAS THE FEED ON IT; SEEING LEDAS’ ATTACK TO BE OVER, DIGRANITE SWIFTLY TURNS AND STARTS WALKING OUT>
Digranite: Don’t let him in. Call Nepar to guard the door if you two cannot handle it.
Sika: <FIRST BODYGUARD; RUNS UP TO HIM AND PULLS ON HIS SHOULDER SEDUCTIVELY> Where are you going, general?
Sarpack: <SECOND BODYGUARD; ATTEMPTING THE SAME SEDUCTION> Come on, stay a while. You’re so busy… let’s help you unwind.
Digranite: <BRUSHING THEM OFF> Lord Cooler is requesting my presence on the nearest moon, where he has convened the governors. Apparently something has happened to his brother that he wants to tell us. <GESTURES TO LEDAS> I expect this threat to be dealt with before I get back. <MORE SHARPLY> Now do what I said, and don’t call me unless it’s important.
<DIGRANITE EXITS FORCEFULLY>
Sika: <TO HER SISTER> I don’t want to fight that kid.
Sarpack: Nepar will kill him. Or maybe he’ll just wound him so badly that we can have our fun with him.
Sika: Ah, he’s just a little baby. Nepar will tear him to pieces. We don’t need to go down there.
Sarpack: Fine, we can just watch.
<IT IS BACK TO TWO DAYS LATER>
<THEY WATCH THE ENTIRE BATTLE OF GREAT APE LEDAS VERSUS NEPAR; THIS IS SHOWN IN QUICK TIME; AT FIRST THEY ARE CONTENT WITH NEPAR’S WINNING, BUT SOON THEY BECOME WORRIED AND THEN OUTRIGHT HORRIFIED AS NEPAR IS KILLED; WHEN THEY SEE HIS BODY GO LIMP, THEY LOCK DOWN EVERYTHING>
<SARPACK RUNS OVER TO THEIR COMMUNICATOR AND HASTILY PRESSES THE BUTTONS; SIKA IS SCREAMING AND PACING>
Sarpack: <INTO THE COMMUNICATOR> General, he’s killed Nepar! You need to come back! He could kill us!
Digranite: <CUTS TO HIM SITTING IN A ROOM WITH A BUNCH OF OTHER ALIENS; COOLER IS DOWN IN THE CENTER, SPEAKING; HE IS LEANING BACK, WITH HIS ARMS CROSSED; HE SIGHS; HE IS SPEAKING THROUGH THE COMMUNICATOR ON HIS WRIST> I’ll be there within the hour. <LESS CIVIL> I better not catch you two hiding when I get back. If he’s just killed Nepar, he will be tired. Now is your best chance to strike. The both of you should be able to stall him, at the very least. Prevent more damage to the planet. If you can, though, capture him alive. It’ll be easier to explain to Lord Cooler that way.
Sika: <CUTS BACK TO HER; SHE SPEAKS THROUGH THE COMMUNICATOR> We’ll try, sir. Please, come back soon…
<THE CALL ENDS>
Sarpack: The general’s right. The little brat must be tired. We shouldn’t be in danger.
Sika: <SHE SHAKES HER HEAD AND WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR> He gave us our orders. Even if the kid’s stronger, we have to go.
<CUTS TO LEDAS>
<HE IS CLIMBING THE TOWER BY MANY FLIGHTS OF STAIRS; HE FINDS NO ONE; THE PLACE IS DIMLY LIT AT BEST; HE GETS A SUDDEN POWER READING THAT SOMEONE IS NEAR HIM; HE STOPS RUNNING>
<LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER, LEDAS SPOTS A SHADOW; HE SPRING PUNCHES AT IT, BUT THERE IS NOTHING THERE; HE HEARS A LAUGH; LEDAS LOOKS UP, AND SEES A CREATURE HANGING FROM THE WALL; IT IS FEMALE, ONE OF DIGRANITE’S BODYGUARDS>
<LEDAS GREETS IT WITH A FACE FULL OF ENERGY BLASTS; IT DROPS DOWN, DIVING UNDER HIS BLASTS, AND LANDS A FEW STEPS ABOVE HIM; LEDAS RUNS UP TO HER AND PUNCHES, BUT IT GOES THROUGH; SHE WAS ONLY AN AFTERIMAGE; THE REAL BODYGUARD DROPS DOWN FROM THE CEILING, UNHURT FROM THE ENERGY, AND BICYCLE KICKS LEDAS; HE IS PUSHED UP INTO THE AIR; BUT HE FLIPS OVER; HE KICKS OFF FROM THE WALL, CHARGING INTO THE BODYGUARD; SHE CATCHES HIM, BUT HE SWIPES HER ARMS AWAY; AS HE GOES TO PUNCH HER, HE IS KICKED IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD; AS HE FALLS, THE SECOND BODYGUARD SHOWS HERSELF; SHE PURSUES HIS BODY AND CLOBBERS HIM EVEN FURTHER>
<LEDAS SPINS AWAY FROM THE TWO, SENDING ENERGY AFTER THEM; HE STOPS HIMSELF JUST IN TIME FOR THE TWO OF THEM TO CATCH UP TO HIM; THIS WAS A MISTAKE ON LEDAS’ PART, AS HE IS UNABLE TO MATCH THEM WHEN THEY FIGHT TOGETHER; THEY POUND HIM IN THE FACE; SARPACK GRABS ONTO HIS LEGS AND PULLS HIM DOWN; SIKA CREATES A BURNING ATTACK, WHICH DOES A GOOD BIT OF DAMAGE TO LEDAS; HIS ARMOR IS NOW ALMOST COMPLETELY SHATTERED>
<THE TWO FEMALE BODYGUARDS COME TOGETHER ONE LAST TIME AND SIMULTANEOUSLY FLY INTO LEDAS, PUNCHING HIM AS THEY DO; THIS CAUSES LEDAS TO FALL>
<WHEN HE HITS THE GROUND, SIKA LANDS AND PLACES HER FOOT ON HIS HEAD; SHE CREATES ENERGY BINDS AROUND HIM; HER SISTER LANDS NEXT TO HER>
Sarpack: Looks like the general was right. <TO LEDAS> You must be so, so tired after that fight with Nepar. Is the poor the baby mad that he’s lost the fight?
<LEDAS LOOKS UP AT THEM WITH A SNARL>
Sika: <TO LEDAS> You’re lucky you’re even alive. You’re a lot more useful to us dead. But we have our orders.
Sarpack: Aw, I think he wants to be punched in the face.
<SARPACK DOES SO, THEN PLACES HER HAND OVER LEDAS’ FACE, CREATING AN ENERGY BLAST; IT BURNS HIM GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM FALL UNCONSCIOUS, SLUMPING OVER AGAINST THE WALL>
Sika: <SMIRK> If you kill him, you’re explaining it to Cooler, not me.
Sarpack: Oh, if he could kill Nepar, he can survive that. I have a lot more when he wakes up. He’s too dangerous this healthy. But let’s take him outside.
<THE TWO TAKE HIM DOWNSTAIRS AND GO OUTSIDE; THEY WAIT FOR A FEW HOURS UNTIL THEY NOTICE DIGRANITE’S SHIP DESCENDING FROM THE SKY>
<A SHIP, SMALLER THAN COOLER’S AND POINTED – NOT ROUND – IN APPEARANCE, LANDS; DIGRANITE EXITS; HE IS WEARING AN ORANGE SCOUTER; HE USES IT TO TRACK AROUND; THE ONLY READINGS ARE OF HIS TWO BODYGUARDS AND LEDAS, ALL AT THE BASE OF THE TOWER; HE IS NEITHER SURPRISED NOR MAD AT NEPAR’S DEATH AND LEDAS BREAKING INTO HIS BASE>
<DIGRANITE APPROACHES THE THREE; HE LOOKS ONLY AT THE UNCONSCIOUS BOY, NOT AT HIS GUARDS; HE IS CURT>
Digranite: Wake him.
<SIKA KICKS HIM IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD; LEDAS STIRS AWAKE>
Sika: Wake up. General Digranite wants to speak to you.
<LEDAS LOOKS UP AT HIM>
Digranite: Saiyan. <DIGRANITE PICKS LEDAS UP BY THE NECK> Now you’re mine.
Ledas: Who’re you?
Digranite: Me? I rule over this planet. <HE UNLEASHES SPIKES OUT OF HIS GAUNTLETS WHICH PIERCE LEDAS’ SKIN> Which you disrespected. That creature you just killed <HE LOOKS AT NEPAR> was Cooler’s loyal pet. The Emperor will be most displeased with you.
<LEDAS IS NOT LOOKING AT DIGRANITE; INSTEAD, HE NOTICES DIGRANITE’S SHIP; EVEN IN PAIN, THIS IS HIS FOCAL POINT>
Digranite: So… I’ve got you now. You will be dead soon, Saiyan.
Ledas: You didn’t capture me. You haven’t done anything.
Digranite: <HISSES> Is that right?
Ledas: <GLANCES TO DIGRANITE’S BODYGUARDS> I bet they’re stronger than you…
<DIGRANITE THROWS LEDAS ONTO THE GROUND; HE UNDOES LEDAS’ BINDS>
Digranite: You have made an incredible mistake goading me. <HE PUTS HIS HANDS OUT, CHARGING UP HIS KI>
Ledas: Not this time.
<LEDAS ROLLS FORWARD; HE SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, CREATING ANOTHER DIRE HOWL; DIGRANITE AND HIS GUARDS ARE DROPPED TO THEIR KNEES, THE PAIN BEING SO UNBEARABLE; LEDAS CREATES A BUNCH OF AFTERIMAGES TO DISTRACT THEM; HE RUNS TO THE SHIP>
<DIGRANITE IS THE FIRST TO GET UP; HE WALKS THROUGH THE AFTERIMAGES, NOT IMPRESSED BY THEM; WITH ONE HAND, HE SENDS A TRACKING BLAST TO LEDAS, THE REAL LEDAS; THE BOY TRIPS UP, BUT MANAGES TO STUMBLE INTO THE SHIP; LEDAS RUNS TO THE FRONT AND PUNCHES ITS TAKEOFF BUTTON; THE DOORS CLOSE AND IT TAKES OFF>
<LEDAS LOOKS OUT THE WINDOW WHEN HE IS KICKED RIGHT INTO THE CONTROL SETUP; DIGRANITE IS BEHIND HIM>
Digranite: There’s nowhere to go. I’ve told Cooler what you have done. He’s watching us from up in space. He’ll have your head if I don’t first!
<HE AND LEDAS INTERLOCK HANDS AS THEY FIGHT FOR CONTROL; DIGRANITE SNAPS LEDAS BACK; HE BACKHANDS LEDAS WITH HIS SPIKES; THAT CUTS THE BOY; LEDAS FALLS TO HIS KNEES AND JUMPS BETWEEN DIGRANITE’S LEGS; NOW BEHIND HIM, LEDAS CREATES A POINT-BLANK ENERGY BEAM; BUT IT DOES NOTHING; DIGRANITE MOVES BACKWARD, PINNING LEDAS BETWEEN HIM AND THE WALL>
<LEDAS SPRINGS HIS LEGS UP AND BOUNCES OFF OF DIGRANITE’S BACK; DIGRANITE DOES NOT ATTACK; HE SEES THAT THEY ARE GAINING ALTITUDE FAST, AND SOON THEY WILL BE IN SPACE>
<DIGRANITE CREATES TWO BLASTS AROUND HIM THAT DESTROYS THE VEHICLE; LEDAS LUNGES AT HIM AND KICKS, BUT IT DOES NOTHING; DIGRANITE, IN ONE MOVEMENT, GRABS THE BACK OF LEDAS’ HEAD WITH HIS LEFT HAND SWINGS IT FORWARD INTO HIS RIGHT FIST; HE LOWERS HIS FIST AND PUNCHES LEDAS IN THE GUT; THE SHIP IS TEARING APART NOW; DIGRANITE KICKS LEDAS OUT OF IT AND JUMPS AFTER HIM>
<IN FREEFALL, THE TWO TRADE BLOWS AND BLASTS; DIGRANITE SPINS OVER ON TOP OF LEDAS; HE PUNCHES HIM RELENTLESSLY UNTIL THEY BREAK OFF; LEDAS SPINS AROUND, WRAPPING HIS LEGS AROUND DIGRANITE’S HEAD, TRYING TO CHOKE HIM; DIGRANITE ELBOWS HIM OFF; THE TWO FIRE BEAMS AT EACH OTHER; THEY EXPLODE, THE SHOCK WAVE SENDING THE TWO FAR APART; THEY LAND, BOTH ON THEIR FEET>
<THEY BEGIN FIGHTING IMMEDIATELY; DIGRANITE, WHO IS MUCH STRONGER, IS OUTCLASSING LEDAS IN EVERY AREA; HIS SPEED IS INCREDIBLE; LEDAS CANNOT BLOCK ANYTHING; AS WELL, LEDAS CANNOT GET TOO CLOSE OR HE WILL BE CUT BY DIGRANITE’S BLADES>
<DIGRANITE SPREADS HIS KNEES; FROM HIS GAUNTLETS, KNEES, AND BACK, SPIKES COME OUT>
Digranite: Don’t run now.
<HE ROLLS AT LEDAS, HIS SPIKES ELONGATED OUTWARD; LEDAS SIDESTEPS, BUT HIS ENERGY BLASTS ARE DOING NOTHING; DIGRANITE’S ARMOR IS TOO STRONG; DIGRANITE JUMPS UP AND IS ABLE TO KNEE LEDAS IN THE GUT; LEDAS THROWS HIM OFF>
<LEDAS BACKS OFF, THINKING UP WHAT TO DO WHEN IT HITS HIM; ANOTHER HEADACHE, ONLY THIS TIME IT IS MUCH WORSE; HE FALLS, SCREAMING OUT IN PAIN>
Ledas: No!! Not now!!
<HIS HAIR IS WHITE, HIS EYES GREEN; DIGRANITE STOPS, PUZZLED>
Digranite: Transformation? <HE CLICKS HIS SCOUTER> No power increase? What’s happening?
<LEDAS LOOKS UP AT HIM, HIS EYES ARE BLEEDING; HE THROWS A BALL OF ENERGY, BUT DIGRANITE SWATS IT AWAY; HE BRINGS OUT HIS SPIKES AGAIN AND WALKS UP TO LEDAS; HE PICKS UP THE BOY, SLOWLY AND SILHOUETTED, AND BRINGS HIM DOWN ONTO THEIR SHARP HEADS>
<BACK DOWN ON THE GROUND, SIKA AND SARPACK ARE STANDING WATCHING>
Sarpack: Aw, General’s having all the fun! I wanted to make him bleed!
Sika: Just be glad we got the kid when he wasn’t at full power. You wouldn’t even be here if he had been.
Sarpack: <LOOKS AT HER SISTER, ANGRILY> You don’t have to be such a bitch all the time. Can’t we just enjoy this?
<THE TWO GROWL AT ONE ANOTHER AND CREATE ENERGY, POINTING IT AT ONE ANOTHER; HOWEVER, THEY STOP WHEN THEY HEAR A SUDDEN VOICE SPEAK FROM BEHIND THEM>
Voice: He’s alive?
Sika: Yeah, we just– <SHE TURNS HER HEAD AND SEES WHO IT IS>
Sarpack: What are you doing here?!
<THE TWO POINT THEIR ENERGY AT THE BEING OFF-SCREEN, BUT IT IS TOO LATE>
<A FLASH OF PURPLE LIGHT TAKES OVER THE SCREEN; THE TWO BODYGUARDS HAVE BEEN INCINERATED BY A QUICK ENERGY BEAM>
- This chapter's name is a reference to a Halo 1 chapter name in the level "Two Betrayals". There is a subtle epicness to that chapter, with the music and all the enemies and this idea that "one more push is all that's needed". Here, it is the same. Ledas just has to get through Digranite and his two guards and he's free from the stomping grounds.
- I remember writing this scene in the very early morning when fog was all around the house. I wrote it in my house's family room, where there are windows on nearly all sides of me in the big, open room. I remember having the television on with a show about the arctic (or perhaps the antarctic) playing.
- This chapter was not changed much during the final edits. What I changed was Digranite's reason for leaving for Cooler's moon (which used to be to summon Cooler, since all communication devices had been destroyed - but this didn't make sense since Digranite and his bodyguards still had their scouters). I also added in a focus on Ledas trying to escape in Digranite's ship. Aside from that, a few small changes were added to expand the universe and give some cool info (like Nepar being Cooler's guard dog). For the most part, this chapter has stayed the same since its first draft.
- I wanted Ledas and Nepar to be the only characters in chapter 7. It gave that chapter an isolated, alien tone to it that complimented the two characters. As a result, I had to do a short flashback section at the start of this chapter to explain some things that happened in the previous chapter. This technique is oft used in DBZ, though I believe this is the first time it is used in TF.
- Sika and Sarpack would be impossible to portray in anime form as they are half-naked. I would have to give them chest pieces. Here, in the story (and if I ever did the manga version of TF, they would also have their breasts bare there), they show their breasts to all. This was done because not only are they Digranite's bodyguards, but they are his courtesans. Sika and Sarpack are somewhat similar to the female Saiyans in Dragon Ball: The Great War, who also do not wear shirts (like the men) and leave their breasts bare during the Saiyan-Tuffle War.
- Digranite leaves to go to Cooler's moon for dramatic reasons. Of course, it also makes sense from a plot perspective - Cooler would call his third in command to tell him that Frieza is dead. The side plot with Frieza's death affecting the politics of the PTO is rather subtle in this story, though overtly it does send Cooler off to Earth and to his death before he can face Ledas again. It's a big reason why Cooler doesn't go down to the stomping grounds himself, as he simply wants to get to Earth as quicky as possible. This is the main reason I had the timeskip end in the 765 Age.
- Digranite sitting in the great hall with the other governors in Cooler's empire is one of the scenes I most desire to see in manga form.
- Digranite gives a good reason for Sika and Sarpack to capture Ledas alive. They need someone to blame the destruction of most of the people of the stomping grounds on. If they kill Ledas, they themselves will be blamed for not capturing him alive to bring him before Cooler for trial. Such a failure would likely result in their deaths. So they have to capture him alive, or die trying.
- Ledas' battle armor is damaged/mostly destroyed for much of this saga because I thought Vegeta looked cooler when his armor was damaged in the Saiyan and Namek arcs.
- It was important to note that Ledas was stronger than either Sika or Sarpack even in his weakened state. But in his tired, weakened state (as a result of fighting Nepar), he cannot match their combined power levels.
- It is worthy of mention that Ledas' own battle intellect cost him in his fight against Sika and Sarpack. He didn't account for their combined powers being stronger than his own, and this caused him to lose the battle. This is an important example of why Ledas is not a Gary Stu.
- Digranite said he'd be back within the hour. Yet, it took him several hours to return. This is likely because he waited to hear what Cooler had to say about Frieza before leaving, trusting in Sika and Sarpack to capture Ledas. This time also gave Ledas enough time to recover much of his power in order to fight Digranite.
- Sika and Sarpack are some of the few female aliens in TF. I made them female specifically because it felt like there were too few females. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have more females. Lieme should have been female; Anango should have been female. There could have been others, too. But it was good, I think, that there were at least two prominent female aliens in this saga. They are more important than Anango or Mullpy and perhaps even Nepar, so they are pretty important overall. They are also some of the strongest aliens on the planet, with only Nepar and Digranite (not counting Cooler, who doesn't stay on the planet at all times) being stronger than them. So I did try to make them both important and strong to give females a somewhat large role in this saga. It still pales in comparison to the roles of males, but DBZ has always been male dominated, and being a male myself, I find it easier to write for males.
- Digranite's ship is not a pod because I wanted Ledas to be able to fight Digranite in it. Guva also doesn't have a pod later in the story, so this also shows how high-ranking soldiers can have bigger, roomier ships.
- Digranite's scouter is a unique color. There are no scouters of this color in canon. I made his scouter orange simply because I wanted to. It's another aspect of him that shows how unique a warrior he is.
- Ledas just wants to get away. When he sees Digranite's ship, it becomes his priority to reach it.
- Ledas goads Digranite so that the Supreme General will release him and challenge him to a fight. Digranite does just that, showing how the boy played on his emotions. Ledas just wants to get free so he can run over to the ship and run away. His battle awareness at this point is rather impressive. He plays Digranite like a fiddle. Now, he's weaker than Digranite at this point, and the Supreme General knows that from his scouter, so perhaps Digranite doesn't care that he's being played (he could even realize what Ledas is trying to do and go along with it).
- Digranite revealing that Cooler knows Ledas is on the planet is a huge blow. It means the boy cannot escape, because even if he outruns Digranite, Cooler will be waiting for him in space. In effect, he's run out of options. He's trapped; he has nowhere to go. It all seems hopeless.
- Digranite is quite laid back, despite being so lethal with his words and actions. He didn't pursue Ledas hastily to the ship, despite getting there in time to stop the boy from escaping. He walked slowly and then suddenly appeared behind Ledas. This is an example of his cool, calm, collected personality that is rather unique and a big part of why I like him so much.
- Digranite destroying his own ship maroons him on the planet. Of course, at this point, he has no idea that Cooler is planning on destroying the entire planet.
- Digranite vs. Ledas round 1 is quite unique in terms of the battle setting. First they are on the ground, then in a ship, then in free fall. There is no other fight like it. Even by this chapter, I am still exploring new types of fighting with new, varied, unique settings as backdrops to make the fights more interesting.
- The roll Digranite does is based on the roll the Armored Kantus can perform in Gears of War 3. Digranite's armor was wholly based off of the Armored Kantus' armor as well. Him having spiked armor says a lot about the savagery and uniqueness of him. It also forces opponents to stay away from him. This subtly implies that he has an isolated personality and is not close with anyone. Those who get close are physically cut; this implies that those who try to get emotionally close to him will be "wounded" mentally. This is actually seen at the beginning of this chapter with the way Digranite talks to Sika and Sarpack when they try to seduce him.
- Ledas has been having inopportune Semi Super Saiyan transformations throughout this saga. This is the last one he has in all of TF. The one he has at the end of this chapter signals the culmination of the Semi Super Saiyan form plot first brought up in chapter 11 of the Lauto Saga when Ledas absorbed TB's and Lauto's powers. By this point, he has had their powers for a long time in his body. Even though it still hurts him to tap into their powers, he is getting more used to it as time goes on. Him being able to overcome the pain and utilize the power he knows he has inside him (and needs) to defeat Digranite is a great character maturation and not only a nice power development, but an important development of his personality.
- Digranite notes that there was no power increase with Ledas' Semi Super Saiyan transformation - at least at first. Until the boy can tap into the powers and align them with his own, he's not getting a power increase. Learning how to do that is the turning point in the next chapter's battle.
- It's a brutal aesthetic moment when Ledas, his eyes bleeding and his face forlorn with hopelessness, is brought down on Digranite's spikes, silhouetted against the planet's sun.
- This chapter ends on a huge cliffhanger. Who killed Sika and Sarpack? The purple energy blast is a hint. "He's alive?!" is another hint. Who would know Ledas who is still alive and can shoot purple energy? It all points to Guva. But Guva shouldn't be killing Sika and Sarpack. And he also has no reason to be on the planet - that we know of. All of this is resolved early in the next chapter; I think it is one of the best in-saga cliffhangers in all of TF.
That Makes Him The Guv’nor
<ABOVE THE STOMPING GROUNDS IS COOLER; HE IS IN SPACE; HIS SPACE SHIP IS IN THE BACKGROUND; COOLER HAS HIS ARMS FOLDED AND HIS SCOUTER ON (FOR COMMUNICATION); HIS IS PURPLE>
Cooler: I have had enough of this. <HE CREATES A SUDDEN SUPERNOVA; HE CLICKS HIS SCOUTER> Digranite. Get off the planet. I’ve sent someone to pick you up, if you have no way of getting off. <TO HIMSELF> This Saiyan’s power is impressive. I will have to use thirty percent of my power. If he’s the one I fought so many years ago, then he’s too dangerous to let live. I’ll make sure he doesn’t get away again.
<HIS POWER BALL GROWS TREMENDOUSLY; HE HOLDS IT WITH TWO FINGERS>
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS AND DIGRANITE; DIGRANITE IS CUTTING HIM WITH HIS RAZOR SPINES; HIS SCOUTER, HOWEVER, IS ON THE GROUND, SEVERAL FEET AWAY; IT WAS KNOCKED OFF OF HIM IN THEIR SCUFFLE; HE DOES NOT HEAR COOLER’S WARNING>
<AS DIGRANITE LOWERS LEDAS FARTHER DOWN ONTO HIS SPIKES, LEDAS SCREAMS OUT MORE; HE CREATES AN ENERGY WAVE, BUT DIGRANITE IS UNHARMED; LEDAS IS STILL TRANSFORMING INTO HIS SEMI SUPER SAIYAN FORM; HOWEVER, SINCE HE IS STILL TRANSFORMING, HE HAS NOT HAD A STRENGTH INCREASE QUITE YET>
<JUST AT THIS TIME, A PURPLE BALL OF KI SLAMS INTO DIGRANITE, CAUSING HIM TO ALMOST FALL OVER, DROPPING LEDAS; HE TURNS AROUND FURIOUSLY, READYING A BLAST, WHEN HE SEES WHO IT IS; HE STAYS HIS BLAST>
Digranite: <HISS-STATEMENT> Military Governor Guva.
<SCREEN PANS AROUND, SHOWING GUVA IN HIS BEST ARMOR; IT IS PURPLE AND SHOULDER-LESS; GUVA DOES NOT LOOK MUCH OLDER, BUT HIS WHITE HAIR IS MORE PRONOUNCED THAN IT WAS 21 YEARS AGO>
Guva: Supreme General Digranite.
Digranite: I haven’t seen you since you won your planet.
Guva: <EYES LOCKED> No doubt.
Digranite: Why are you here?
Guva: Cooler’s sent me to retrieve you.
Digranite: Why? Where is he? I want to speak to him!
Guva: <NONCHALANT> In space. As far as I know, he’s preparing to blow up the planet as we speak.
Digranite: What?! This is my planet! He cannot–
Guva: He was quite mad at your failings. Really, losing an entire garrison of the most elite troops… But that’s between you and him.
Digranite: <ANGER EVIDENT> I ask again, Governor. Let me speak to him!
Guva: I don’t think so. I’m not here for you.
Digranite: <ANGER SWELLING> Then why are you here?
Guva: The boy, he’s mine. I’m leaving with him. I volunteered to come rescue you, but really, I was only here for Ledas.
Digranite: But… Cooler…
Guva: He will not know.
Digranite: No. <QUIETLY> You will not take him. I assure you. You know, Military Governor, that I am your superior.
<HE FLEXES HIS SPIKED GAUNTLETS>
Guva: I am aware of your strength. Do you think I would be so foolish to challenge you alone? <TO LEDAS> Ledas, get up. You want out? You want to live? Help me kill Digranite. Come now, I know our strengths together eclipse his by a good deal.
Digranite: <WHISPER> Treason! Lord Cooler will–
Guva: <STEPS ON DIGRANITE’S SCOUTER, WHICH WAS ON THE GROUND; THEN, HE TAKES OFF HIS OWN SCOUTER AND CRUSHES IT> Never know.
<DIGRANITE YELLS OUT AND ATTACKS GUVA; AS THEY ARE BOTH POWERED UP TO THEIR FULLEST, DIGRANITE IS SUPERIOR; GUVA IS ABLE TO BLOCK BETTER THAN LEDAS WAS, BUT HE IS STILL LOSING>
<DIGRANITE KICKS GUVA TO ONE KNEE THEN CREATES A BEAM OF ENERGY; IT IS NEARLY POINT-BLANK; GUVA CREATES AN ELEGANT FINISHER TO STALL IT; THE BEAM STRUGGLE DOES NOT LAST, HOWEVER; THE TWO ARE TOO CLOSE AND THE ENERGY EXPLODE INSTANTLY, SENDING BOTH ALIENS FLYING>
<LEDAS SITS UP; HE IS IN COMPLETE DISBELIEF AT GUVA BEING HERE; HIS HEADACHE HAS MOSTLY GONE AWAY, AND HE IS ABLE TO STAND; HE CHARGES UP HIS KI AS MUCH AS HE CAN WITHOUT SPLITTING HIS HEAD AND RUNS TO DIGRANITE>
<DIGRANITE FLIPS UP FROM THE GROUND, KICKING LEDAS; BUT LEDAS IS ABLE TO CATCH HIS FEET; HE SLAMS DIGRANITE BACK DOWN ON THE GROUND; DIGRANITE PUNCHES HIM HARD IN THE SIDE OF THE LEG; HOWEVER, BEFORE HE CAN FINISH LEDAS, GUVA COMES BACK; HE LANDS WITH HIS TOE ON DIGRANITE’S FACE, PUSHING HIS RED FEATHERS INTO THE GROUND>
<DIGRANITE MAKES AN EXPLOSIVE WAVE; IN THE DUST, HE COMES ROLLING OUT, HIS SPIKES FLYING; GUVA PUTS UP HIS HANDS IN AN "X" POSITION TO BLOCK, BUT HE IS CUT BY THEM; LEDAS JUMPS OUT OF THE WAY; DIGRANITE HEADBUTTS GUVA; GUVA FLIES BACK AND SENDS A LARGE ARCING BLAST AT DIGRANITE, BUT DIGRANITE TELEPORTS THROUGH IT; GUVA STOPS HIMSELF FROM FALLING; HE CREATES AN IMAGE SLASH AND RUSHES FORWARD, SLAMMING HIS ENERGY SWORD RIGHT INTO DIGRANITE’S CHEST; DIGRANITE’S ARMOR IS TOO POWERFUL AND IT SHATTERS THE BLAST>
<AT THIS TIME, COOLER SENDS DOWN HIS BLAST, HAVING NOT HEARD FROM DIGRANITE; DIGRANITE HAD HIS HANDS ON GUVA’S HEAD, AS GUVA HAD LAIN, AND WAS SQUEEZING HIS HEAD PAINFULLY; HOWEVER, WHEN COOLER’S BALL HITS THE PLANET, EVERYTHING SHAKES SO SEVERELY THAT DIGRANITE IS THROWN OFF>
<GUVA STANDS UP AND ENGAGES HIM IN HAND TO HAND COMBAT; THE TWO ARE RELATIVELY EVEN NOW, AS DIGRANITE HAS BEEN WORN DOWN; GUVA SIDE-CHOPS DIGRANITE ACROSS THE FACE; DIGRANITE HISSES AND TRIES AN EYE BEAM; GUVA PUTS HIS HANDS UP TO STOP IT, AND DIGRANITE PUNCHES HIM REALLY HARD IN THE GUT; GUVA FALLS OVER, AND DIGRANITE KICKS HIM AWAY>
<HE TURNS AROUND TO SEE LEDAS STANDING THERE, WHITE HAIR AND ALL; LEDAS IS LOOKING AT GUVA, NOT DIGRANITE>
Ledas: We have to go now.
Guva: Kill him first! <DIGRANITE LOOKS BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THEM> Help me!
Ledas: He destroyed his own ship. We just have to stall him long enough to get away.
Digranite: <INTERRUPTING> Great story. Too bad it won’t work!
<HE LUNGES AT LEDAS AND PUNCHES HIM ACROSS THE FACE; LEDAS STUMBLES BACK, BUT GRABS ONTO DIGRANITE’S ARM; HE BENDS IT BACK, SO THAT THE SPIKES PUNCTURE IN ON DIGRANITE’S SKIN>
Ledas: I know why it hurt so much before.
<DIGRANITE UNSNAPS HIS ARM AND JUMPS BACK>
Ledas: That thing in the cave gave me all this power and my body couldn’t handle it… that’s why I kept getting headaches when this happened. <HE LOOKS STRAIGHT INTO DIGRANITE’S EYES> But now… I guess I’ve been in it long enough or my power’s gone up enough that it doesn’t hurt any more. And I can sense your power compared to mine. You can’t win.
Digranite: I don’t have to win. Even if you are stronger than me now, I can hold you until the planet goes. Lord Cooler was right. I failed him. But I can regain my honor.
<HE SENDS A SWEEPING GROUP OF ENERGY BLASTS AROUND LEDAS; LEDAS RUNS RIGHT THROUGH THEM INTO DIGRANITE; WITH THIS BOOSTED POWER, HE IS STRONGER THAN DIGRANITE, BUT NOT MORE EXPERIENCED; DIGRANITE IS ABLE TO SIDESTEP HIM AND TAKE TO THE SKY; HE SENDS A BUNCH OF ENERGY DOWN; LEDAS PURSUES HIM, BUT DIGRANITE TELEPORTS BEHIND HIM, HE GETS LEDAS INTO AN ARM LOCK AND BRINGS HIM TO THE GROUND; HE PREPARES AN ENERGY BLAST, WHEN GUVA COMES AGAIN>
<GUVA INTERLOCKS HIS HANDS AND SWINGS THEM INTO DIGRANITE’S SIDE; DIGRANITE LETS GO OF LEDAS AND FALLS OVER>
<LEDAS TURNS AROUND, PUTS HIS BOOT ON DIGRANITE’S NECK AND THEN FIRES A KYORRA FLASH; DIGRANITE MAKES NO SOUND TO EITHER OF THESE BUT HE DOES NOT MOVE AFTER THAT BLAST; SEEING HIS OPPORTUNITY, LEDAS LOOKS AT GUVA>
Ledas: Get the ship.
Guva: <STANDING OVER DIGRANITE WITH HIS SHOULDERS RAISED; GRUFFLY> Very well. Follow me, Ledas.
<CUE Final Hour>
<GUVA TAKES TO THE AIR; LEDAS FOLLOWS HIM; IT DOES NOT TAKE LONG FOR THEM TO REACH GUVA’S SHIP; IT IS LIKE DIGRANITE’S IN THAT IT IS NOT A POD AND CAN HOLD MORE THAN ONE PERSON; THEY ENTER IT; THE PLANET IS ABOUT TO BLOW UP NOW; IT HAS BEEN THREE MINUTES (IN REAL TIME) SINCE COOLER SENT OFF HIS BLAST>
<AS LEDAS IS RUNNING UP THE RAMP, HE GETS A SUDDEN PING IN ENERGY; OF COURSE IT IS DIGRANITE COMING AFTER HIM; HE SEES THE FEATHERY, SPIKED, ARMORED CREATURE COMING TO HIM; LEDAS GATHERS UP HIS ENERGY AS FAST AS HE CAN>
Ledas: <CRANES HIS NECK BACK TO GUVA> Just get it started, I’ll hold him off.
<DIGRANITE IS ALSO CHARGING UP ENERGY AS HE FLIES; LEDAS BUYS AS MUCH TIME AS HE CAN, BUT WHEN DIGRANITE GETS TOO CLOSE, HE RELEASES HIS BLAST; IT IS A SPHERE, AN ICE CANNON; DIGRANITE SENDS OUT HIS BLAST AS WELL; IT IS A LONG CRIMSON ENERGY BEAM; THE TWO CONNECT; NATURALLY, THIS IS WHEN A BEAM STRUGGLE OCCURS>
<GUVA TAKES OFF, LEAVING THE BACK RAMP OPEN; LEDAS STANDS ON IT AND DIGRANITE FLIES UP WITH THEM; THE TWO ARE LOCKED IN A BEAM STRUGGLE OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE>
<THE BEAM IS CLOSER TO DIGRANITE, OF COURSE; HE SCREAMS OUT TO LEDAS>
Digranite: Your annihilation is inevitable; my victory guaranteed! You will not get away this time!
<LEDAS SAVES HIS BREATH AND PUTS ALL OF HIS ENERGY INTO THE BLAST>
Ledas: <IN HIS MIND> I can feel my power dropping fast… this form uses up so much energy. I can’t hold it much longer.
Digranite: Come on. Come on! A Saiyan is not stronger than me! I am Cooler’s right hand man! No one is above me! No one!
<THE SHIP REACHES THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE; THE COLD WIND COMES INTO PLAY IMMEDIATELY; IT HITS DIGRANITE AND HIS ARMOR, ALL OF WHICH IS MADE OF HEAVY METAL; NOT ONLY DOES THE METAL FREEZE UP, BUT IT BECOMES UNBEARABLY UNMOVABLE; DIGRANITE’S ARM FREEZES; HE TUGS AGAINST IT, AS SURELY HIS OWN POWER COULD FORCE THE METAL TO HIS WILL; HOWEVER, AS HE DOES, HE EXPENDS TOO MUCH ENERGY; HE LOSES CONTROL OF HIS BEAM AND LEDAS’ ICE CANNON OVERTAKES HIM; HE PUTS UP HIS ARMS IN DEFENSE, BUT IT IS TOO LATE; THE ICE CANNON OVERTAKES HIM>
<DIGRANITE FALLS BACKWARD, BACK TO THE PLANET; THE BLAST ITSELF PREVENTS HIM FROM TAKING ANY MORE SHOTS AT THEIR SHIP>
Digranite: You are no better than me!
<END OF Final Hour>
<LEDAS WATCHES AS DIGRANITE FALLS OUT OF SIGHT, THEN IS JARRED OUT OF THOUGHT WHEN GUVA SPEAKS>
Guva: <FROM THE COMMAND> Shut that back door! Unlike you, I cannot breathe in space. And lower your power level. Cooler can’t know you’re here.
<LEDAS PUNCHES THE CLOSE BUTTON AND THE TWO ENTER INTO SPACE; IT IS NOT MORE THAN THREE SECONDS LATER THAT THE PLANET EXPLODES; THE TWO FEEL THE SHOCK WAVE AND IT BUMPS THEM AROUND FOR A GOOD DEAL; IT STOPS, AFTER SOME TIME; LEDAS GOES TO SPEAK, BUT GUVA SILENCES HIM>
Guva: We’ve been hailed by Cooler. I must go speak to him. Hide back here. Keep your power level as low as possible. I know you can do it; Lieme told me.
Ledas: <LOOKING AT GUVA AS AN EQUAL, EVEN AS HE BREATHES HARD> Okay.
<GUVA STANDS UP AND OPENS A SMALL CONTAINER; OF COURSE LEDAS CAN FIT IN IT; HE CLOSES IT AND LEDAS LOOKS OUT FROM THE GRATE WALL>
<GUVA AND COOLER’S SHIPS COME TOGETHER AFTER A FEW MINUTES; COOLER, ALONE, BOARDS GUVA’S SHIP>
Cooler: You did not find him.
Guva: N-no, milord. I looked all over, but he was gone.
Cooler: You look like you’ve been in a battle, governor. Were you?
Guva: No, no, milord. I was careless after you shot your supernova. But these are just scratches; they’ll be gone soon.
Cooler: Very well. I assume Digranite stayed behind to keep the boy. But I cannot imagine the boy being near his level.
Guva: Maybe he was already dead, milord.
Cooler: It does not matter. I’ve done a power sweep of the system. No power levels other than yours came out of that planet.
Guva: <FAKE SURPRISE> Of course, milord.
Cooler: <MOVING ON, PACING AROUND A BIT; HE LOOKS OVER AT LEDAS’ CONTAINER FOR A SECOND AS HE SCANS THE ROOM> I’ve allowed the rest of the governors to return to their planets. You are free to do so as well. But you will have no reason to tell anyone about what happened here today. Do I make myself clear?
Guva: Thank you, sir. <HE KNEELS> I won’t say anything about this.
Cooler: <TURNS AWAY FROM GUVA> I will set course for Earth now. This Goku… this rat who killed my brother and disgraced my family’s name… he must be dealt with. I won’t have another rebellion on my hands. <GUVA NODS, AND COOLER BEGINS TO LEAVE> Continue to run your planet until I get back. I don’t expect any complications while I’m gone.
Guva: I’ll keep everything in order. You have nothing to worry about, milord.
Cooler: Then we have nothing more to discuss.
Guva: Very well, Lord Cooler.
<FADES TO BLACK>
<RE-FADES TO WHITE>
<LEDAS AND GUVA LAND ON PLANET COOLER 92. THEY EXIT>
Guva: Is it like you remember it?
Ledas: It looks the same. Wewll, is everyone still here?
Guva: Everyone. <HE STOPS LEDAS, AND LOWERS HIS VOICE> Now, Ledas. I know for a fact that if you can take on Digranite, a General even stronger than me, you can kill Banas.
Ledas: I can also kill you.
Guva: Have I not saved you? Have I not promised you answers about your race, if but for the simple request of killing one captain? The injustice of my position is positively aggravating.
Ledas: But I heard Cooler say that Frieza was dead? Is that true?
Guva: Yes. He was killed by someone named Goku. That’s all I know about that.
Ledas: Well, where’s Vegeta, then? He was working with Frieza!
Guva: Don’t worry, Ledas. <PATS LEDAS’ SHOULDER> I have a good idea of where he is. All you have to do is kill Banas and any troops who try to avenge his honor. Then I’ll tell you.
Ledas: <SLUMPS HIS SHOULDERS AND SIGHS> Fine, I’ll do it. <INNOCENT> But, um, can I do it tomorrow? I’m pretty tired right now.
<GUVA NODS AND LEDAS WALKS BACK TO THE BARRACKS; NONE OF THE PLANTAINS ARE THERE, BUT APRIDO IS; APRIDO WAS SITTING ON HIS BED WHEN HE SEES LEDAS; STRICKEN AND HORRIFIED THAT LEDAS IS ALIVE AND IN HIS VICINITY, HE DOES NOT MOVE; LEDAS DOES NOT NOTICE HIM AND GOES TO LIE ON THE TOP BUNK>
<HE FINDS IT OCCUPIED BY AN ALIEN, AND AFTER A HASTY APOLOGY, LEDAS LEAVES AND GOES OUT TO THE AREA NEAR THE FOREST; HE FINDS A NICE HILL AND LIES DOWN ON IT; SOON HE IS FAST ASLEEP>
<APRIDO IS SEETHING, LOOKING INCREDIBLY MAD; HE FINDS HIS LEGS AND GETS UP, RUNNING AFTER LEDAS>
- This chapter's name is a reference to this audio recording in Bioshock. The quote itself refers to Guva going out of his way to save Ledas and stand up to Digranite and Cooler. It shows why he's the governor and not Banas. This highlights a clear divide between the two, as it relates to Ledas. As well, Guva's general badassery in this chapter is referenced in the chapter name. In the original version of this chapter, the chapter name was in reference to Guva forcing Banas and Ledas to fight in his gladiator stadium on Planet Cooler 92.
- This chapter was originally quite different, as it was tied to the old plot of Ledas and the natives. Ledas ended up killing Aprido (because he killed some natives) and getting Banas so angry that the captain wanted to kill him. Then, Guva had the two fight in the gladiator stadium. The old version of the chapter can be seen here. This chapter was completely re-written for the Stomping Grounds Saga. I liked the chapter name enough to keep it. This is the same as what I did for "Haunting Memory" earlier. Now as to the final edits, those were actually pretty minimal, in truth. I really only did some slight rewordings on scene direction and dialogue and added in some expanded dialogue with Cooler and Guva and Guva and Ledas at the end. This chapter mostly remains at it was during its first draft for the Stomping Grounds Saga.
- Purple scouters don't appear in the anime or manga, but they are in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, so I consider them a canon color. Cooler is purple in color and a lot of his attacks are purple, so having a purple scouter made sense. Also, since he sends Guva to rescue Digranite, there is some subtle thematic stuff going on with that color as well.
- Digranite cannot hear Cooler because his scouter was knocked off during the fight against Ledas. It was not destroyed yet, though.
- Cooler is so impatient because he wants to go to Earth to get revenge for Frieza's and King Cold's deaths. He doesn't have time for another fight. He thinks that if Digranite is having any trouble with Ledas, it would be best for him to end it himself. That's why he destroys the planet. He doesn't expect Digranite to die in the planet's explosion, since he sent a governor to rescue the Supreme General.
- So why did Guva go to "rescue" Digranite instead of another governor? It's simple. After he heard of a Saiyan on the planet (remembering that Ledas was there 21 years ago and hoping beyond hope that it's Ledas who is now making a bunch of trouble now), Guva volunteered to go. The governors wouldn't have wanted to go, for the most part, so the first to volunteer (in this case, Guva), would have gotten the job.
- Digranite's exchange with Guva at the start of this chapter is my favorite sequence of dialogue in the entirety of TF. It is one of my favorite overall scenes in this saga as well. Their veiled rage at one another as well as two trying to exert their alpha personalities against one another is a great dramatic moment. Neither one wants to back down. There is no other scene like this in TF. Even with The Benefactor and Lauto, the two aren't this cool and confident towards one another at any point.
- Guva doesn't seem to think it's odd that Ledas hasn't grown up at all since their last meeting. Perhaps, in the heat of the moment, he doesn't realize that Ledas should have grown up, or perhaps he does and just doesn't have time to ask such a question.
- Guva has to tell Digranite that Cooler is planning to blow up the planet, otherwise Digranite would have never known how little time they had.
- Guva reveals his plan to Digranite in a moment of boldness that works well with this chapter's name. He doesn't care that Digranite knows that he's basically in open rebellion to Cooler, since he knows Cooler is not going to hear him, he expects Digranite to die in the upcoming battle, and knows that there is no one capable of stopping him or punishing him for what he said. It may be seen as a gamble on his part, but Guva has read Ledas' power and realizes that the boy has gotten much stronger and that together, the two of them far surpass Digranite's power level. In fact, once Ledas is able to properly utilize his Semi Super Saiyan form, he is stronger than Digranite all by himself. So it's not really a gamble on Guva's part, even if Ledas was never able to power up in his Semi Super Saiyan form.
- Guva saying that Cooler will "never know" about his treachery before proceeding to destroy all of the scouters (communication devices) in the vicinity is one of the great moments in this saga. Guva's presence on the moon has been built up since chapter 5, when Cooler called all of his governors to the nearest moon of the planet, and now all of that is paying off.
- I've always wondered what would happen in a very close beam struggle, so I had Guva and Digranite try it out almost at soon as their battle begins.
- When Ledas says to Guva "We have to go now", he has gotten to the point where he can control his Semi Super Saiyan form now. He now realizes he's stronger than Digranite. Digranite's power has waned slightly since his earlier battle with Ledas and his more recent battle with Guva. These battles have brought him closer to Guva's own power level. Ledas realizes, thus, that he's comfortably stronger than Digranite. Because of this, the priority shifts away from Digranite and towards getting off the planet before it explodes. There are echoes of Namek blowing up with Super Saiyan Goku fighting a much weaker Frieza here.
- Ledas' speech about being able to use the Semi Super Saiyan form now is a big moment of character development for him more so than it is a moment of him becoming physically stronger. He becomes more confident in his abilities, becoming mentally stronger, and him gaining awareness about Semi Super Saiyan makes his battle intellect grow quite a bit.
- The Semi Super Saiyan form, being an immature form of Super Saiyan 1, doesn't ultimately give much of a power boost to Ledas. It's a 3.5x boost, making it the weakest Super Saiyan form. But it's enough for him to beat Digranite. Even with my fanon Super Saiyan forms (this being the only one currently), I go to great lengths to balance them so that I won't fall into the same trappings that most other DBF writers do. This form is not beyond SS3. It is not stronger, overpowered, or cliched. It is weaker because it's an immature form of SS1. It's not really a form in itself. It's basically a tool of SS foreshadowing. So my use of such a form is unique for all writers on DBF.
- Digranite is unique in that he doesn't even argue with Ledas when Ledas says he's stronger. Digranite just wants to kill the boy. Whether Ledas is stronger or not doesn't matter. All that matters to him is that the Saiyan boy is still on the stomping grounds when it blows up.
- Ledas gets revenge on Digranite with the doubleteam, since he was only captured because Sika and Sarpack doubleteamed him.
- Guva is such a hypocrite. He aids Ledas to take out Digranite, a foe stronger than himself. Guva later complains about this in the Reunion Saga when Yamcha and Chiaotzu attack him simultaneously. Despite the two of them being weaker than him, he loses to them because of their combined powers. So him using a doubleteam here is quite hypocritical and says loads about his personality and character. Perhaps he's not so noble as this chapter's name implies.
- As I've mentioned before, "Final Hour" inspired the battle between Digranite and Ledas. Their final battle was choreographed around the song utterly. As well, the entire scene was made far more dramatic and cool than it otherwise would have been because of the song.
- The planet basically blows up 5 minutes after the Supernova hits it. This is a reference to the Namek arc, where Frieza does the same thing. One of the most infamous things about that saga is that, despite Frieza saying the planet would blow up five minutes after his attack hit, Namek persisted for like 20 more episodes. The stomping grounds is destroyed by Cooler in 5 minutes. It's one episode. But this goes back to how I believe that TF is better paced than DBZ by a good margin.
- Ledas and Guva know they haven't killed Digranite, just knocked him unconscious. They know they don't have time to stay around and kill him though; him falling unconscious gives them time to flee to dying planet.
- Ledas saying he'll hold off Digranite as Guva gets the ship warmed up is a goosebumb-inducing moment of courage. It is muck like Vegeta's Saiyan courage when he attacked Recoome in the Namek arc.
- Ledas uses a new attack on Digranite during his final beam struggle with the Supreme General in this chapter. That's rather gutsy. I used a new attack instead of the Kyorra Flash because I wanted it to look new. Ledas has used the Kyorra Flash in many beam struggles already. I just wanted a new look.
- Super Saiyan Goku vs. Frieza was never much of a contest. It was somewhat anticlimactic that once Goku transformed, the fight was over without any more struggle. It wouldn't have been bad had Goku destroyed Frieza immediately after transforming. That he went on for like 10+ episodes in that form really was bad plotting and pacing and not something I'm interesting in emulating. I like to emulate good things. I like to take the quality essence of something as reference, not the bad parts. So it is with Goku's Super Saiyan form. I take the best part of it and then add in a drawback - it uses up a tremendous amount of energy and Ledas, since he's not used to the form, is unable to maintain it for long. This drawback creates additional tension that was lacking in SS Goku vs. 100% power Frieza.
- Digranite says that no one is above him. That boast is not wholly accurate, as Salza ranks just above the good Supreme General.
- The image of Ledas' blue beam clashing against Digranite's red one as they fly up into the atmosphere, the wind blowing around them, the planet blowing up around them, the dirt and blood covering their bodies, is such a cool image. I basically wrote the whole saga to get to that moment. I cannot overstate how much I like how that beam struggle looks. Thematic implications of their struggle, with all of the colors and wind and blood, exist as well, though I shan't dare explicitly say what they mean.
- Digranite's armor freezing up forces him to use up too much power, thus causing him to lose control of the beam struggle. Additionally, he was flying after Ledas, using up much power to chase after them. Ledas is just standing there on the ramp of Guva's ship. He has the inherent advantage. Ledas might've won even if Digranite's armor didn't freeze up. His power was dropping quickly, though, so there's a possibility that he might've lost instead. We'll never know. In the end, Ledas vanquishes one of the strongest beings in the universe at the time in wicked cool fashion, and he gains much battle knowledge, power, and character development as a result.
- Saiyans being able to breathe in space is contradicted throughout DBZ. Who knows if they can or cannot. Guva thinking they can does not make it a fact. And Ledas is never in open space to test out the theory one way or another. But it was a fun reference to make nonetheless.
- Ledas once again escapes from Cooler by lowering his power level. Surely, Cooler saw that there were two massive power levels on the planet that converged just before the planet exploded. Ledas lowered his power level by the time they left the planet, leaving only Guva's power level readable by Cooler's scouter (and by his innate ability to sense power levels). Thus, Cooler has no reason to believe that anyone but Guva survived the planet's destruction.
- Notice how, now that Ledas has become stronger than Guva, he doesn't see himself as subservient to Guva. This is important, because it's one of the reasons Ledas does not plan on staying on Planet Cooler 92 in the remaining story of this saga. He's now strong enough to do what he wants; Guva and the Planet Cooler 92 soldiers can no longer keep him as a prisoner or slave. Now that he realizes that, his entire personality shifts. His inferiority complex is, for the most part, gone, and he has renewed confidence in his abilities. He sees himself as the master of his own self and now realizes that he has much more personal agency.
- Guva's lie about looking like he was in a battle is not a particularly good one, but Cooler's power level sweeps seem to confirm Guva's story as true. This shows how assumptions are not always in line with reality. Guva was indeed in a battle, and he was not the only one to escape, despite Cooler's technology and abilities causing him to believe otherwise.
- Cooler reveals quite a bit about his intentions and the resolution of his own plot to Guva at the end of this chapter. He's going to Earth to restore his family's name and to prevent a second rebellion (remember, the previous PTO rebellion, which was a major plot point in the previous saga and at the beginning of this saga). The previous PTO rebellion was never resolved in this story, though it was resolved in the first volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization, when Digranite destroyed them utterly as Cooler and his niece Frost had sex in a ship overlooking the battle. The reason why I did not resolve the PTO plot in this saga was detailed in the previous saga's anthology page - basically, life is not full of resolved plot points. It's unrealistic for everything to be resolved. It's how The Sopranos works, and I adopt a similar philosophy in this story. However, Cooler's remark that he doesn't want "another rebellion" on his hands perhaps implies that the first rebellion was dealt with already.
- Guva saying he'll keep everything in order is a lie. He plans on killing Banas while Cooler is away (using Ledas), since Cooler will be distracted. And he's already committed treason by helping kill Digranite and by saving Ledas. So Guva is up to quite a bit. It's worth wondering about what he would have done had Banas not accidentally led him to The Benefactor in the next saga. He might've tried to take over the PTO himself, and being as strong as he is, he might've succeeded where most others failed.
- If Ledas was more like Vegeta, he might've forced Guva to tell him all he knows about Vegeta once they returned to Planet Cooler 92. Once Ledas learns that Frieza is dead, he becomes very scared, as he knew Vegeta worked for Frieza. Wouldn't that mean Vegeta is dead? Ledas thinks it's a possibility. He needs to know where Vegeta is now, but Guva won't budge. Ledas doesn't think to torture him because he's not that kind of person. Perhaps if he thought it through and had more awareness, he would have tortured Guva.
- Ledas would have killed Banas the day he got back to Planet Cooler 92, but he was too tired. A day of rest and some time in a rejuvenation tank would heal him up. This idea to take a day off, however, leads to the plot of the three remaining chapters, and is what allows Ledas to transform into a Super Saiyan.
- Aprido is horrified that Ledas is alive for three reasons: for one, he's always had a rivalry with Ledas and thus hates to learn that his rival is not, in fact, dead; he wanted to replace Ledas' position on the Plantains himself and with Ledas back, that plan is in jeopardy; and, finally, Ledas hasn't aged, which freaks Aprido the fuck out, since he last saw the boy 21 years ago - it's like he's seeing a ghost. This fear and hatred of Ledas on Aprido's part leads to the entire plot of the remaining chapters of this saga.
- Ledas is too tired to find an unoccupied bunk (he would have to go to Guva or Banas to get a new room assigned to him, and he doesn't feel like doing that). So instead, he goes out to the forest to get some rest. This is most fortuitous for the remaining plot. Had Ledas fallen asleep in a bunk, the remaining plot of the saga might not have taken place.
- Ledas is often unaware of things around him, and Aprido's hatred of him is one of these things. This has thematic resonance with Ledas' relationship with others as well.
- This chapter acts much like a season finale and indeed, it seems like the last chapter of the Stomping Grounds Saga. The last scene, on Planet Cooler 92 is the only part that wouldn't work for that. It would work for the opening of saga 4 though. I briefly considered making a fourth saga where Ledas returned to Planet Cooler 92, but I didn't have 12 chapters worth of content for that. I could've scraped out five chapters from the three after this one, but beyond that, I would have had to delve into the natives' plot again, and I just didn't want to. Ledas is anxious to go searching for Vegeta, and I don't think he could have been contained for 12 more chapters. He's too powerful for Guva and the others to keep him on the planet. I also didn't want to do another saga just to build up to his Super Saiyan transformation. The thematic progression of his Semi Super Saiyan form in this saga has perfectly built up to and foreshadowed his Super Saiyan 1 transformation. It's time for him to get SS1, in this saga. So as a result, we get two massive "season-enders" in this saga, and that's one of the reasons why this saga is one of my favorites in TF. This is one of the best overall chapters in TF, in my opinion, as well.
<CUTS TO THE OUTPOST; IT IS LATE AT NIGHT ON THE SAME DAY THAT LEDAS RETURNED TO PLANET COOLER 92>
Aprido: <WALKING DOWN THE CENTRAL ROAD AREA OF THE OUTPOST; IT IS QUIET, WITH NO ONE ELSE AROUND> Now where did that monkey go? <APRIDO SEES A BUILDING UP AHEAD WITH LIGHTS ON>
<APRIDO MOVES TO THE FACILITY, WHICH IS A GRAVITY ROOM; HE NOTICES LEDAS INSIDE THE ROOM; HE IS IN FULL ARMOR>
Aprido: What is he doing?
<LEDAS IS SITTING INSIDE WITH HIS HEAD ON HIS KNEES; HE IS TAKING A BREAK FROM HIS TRAINING>
<APRIDO NOTICES THAT THE GRAVITY IS UP TO (earth equivalent) 180G; APRIDO CAN’T MOVE IN THAT, SO HE CAREFULLY SNEAKS AROUND THE BACK OF THE BUILDING, TO THE CONTROL ROOM (WHERE THERE IS NO EXTRA GRAVITY) AND ENTERS IT; SUDDENLY LEDAS JUMPS UP AND STARTS TO VIGOROUSLY TRAIN>
Aprido: <IN SHOCK> How can he even move in that?! <QUICKLY BECOMES VENGEFUL> He’s trying to show off! Well, that little brat isn’t better than me! He’s been gone for years! It’s my turn to be a Plantain!
<LEDAS CONTINUES TO TRAIN, FORCEFULLY JUMPING AROUND THE ENTIRE FACILITY>
Aprido: I’ll show him who he’s dealing with!
<APRIDO REACHES FOR THE GRAVITY CONTROL PANEL; HE INCREASES THE GRAVITY TO 300G; LEDAS, WHO IS IN MIDAIR, FALLS TO THE GROUND, HARD, BOUNCING SLIGHTLY, HE CANNOT GET UP; APRIDO, GLEEFULLY MOVES BACK OUT OF SIGHT, PEEKING AROUND THROUGH THE WINDOW; THE GRAVITY HAS OTHER EFFECTS ON THE ROOM AS WELL, SOME WEIGHTS FALL OFF THEIR STANDS, AND START ROLLING TOWARD LEDAS>
<LEDAS ROLLS OVER AND SEES THE WEIGHTS ROLLING RIGHT AT HIM, HIS EYES WIDEN, AND WHEN THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN ON THEM, THEY ARE GREEN; HIS HAIR PULSATES, TURNING STARK WHITE, THEN BACK TO BLACK; LEDAS NOW IN A SEMI SUPER SAIYAN STATE, IS EASILY ABLE TO DODGE OUT OF THE WAY OF THE INCOMING WEIGHTS; APRIDO SEES HIS POWER LEVEL IS GOING UP EXPONENTIALLY>
Aprido: 50,000… 100,000… 300,000… 500,000…! <HIS SCOUTER BREAKS AND HIS EYES WIDEN IN HORROR> This is ridiculous, I’m getting outta here! <APRIDO TURNS OFF THE GRAVITY AND RUNS OUT; LEDAS DROPS TO THE FLOOR STILL AS A SEMI SUPER SAIYAN; IN A BIT OF A DAZE, HE STUMBLES OUT OF THE FACILITY TO THE OUTSIDE, THIS FORM IS STARTING TO WEAR ON HIM PHYSICALLY>
<AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, HE USES UP ALL HIS ENERGY, REVERTS TO HIS NORMAL STATE, AND COLLAPSES ON THE GROUND, ASLEEP>
<APRIDO WAS RUNNING OUT, BUT HE SEES LEDAS FALL DOWN; HE TURNS BACK AND CREEPS UP TO THE SLEEPING SAIYAN>
Aprido: Huh? What’s he doing? <HE THROWS A ROCK AT LEDAS, THOUGH THE BOY DOESN’T MOVE> Did he fall asleep? <HE RUNS UP TO THE BOY AND KICKS HIM IN THE HEAD, SOFTLY; LEDAS DOES NOT WAKE> Aeheh? Just sleeping! I’ll have a little fun with him now!
<CUTS TO THE NEXT DAY>
<IT IS MORNING, AND MISTY; LEDAS IS LYING FACE DOWN AT THE FOREST’S EDGE, ON THE BEACH OF A LARGE OCEAN; HE IS QUITE NEAR A NATIVE CAMP; SOME OF THEM ARE ABOUT BUT NONE OF THEM GET NEAR HIM>
Ledas: <STANDS UP; SLOWLY> Where am I? <HE STEPS FORWARD, AND THE NATIVES STEP BACK; OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE AFRAID OF HIM; HE COCKS HIS HEAD TO ONE SIDE> O-oh… how’d I get here? <HE STARTS TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT THE NATIVES BACK AWAY> Slaves, just like me. I feel sorry for them. <WHEN THEY DON’T RESPOND, LEDAS BEGINS TO GET IMPATIENT; HE WAITS A FEW MINUTES, BUT WHEN NOTHING CHANGES, HE SIGHS AND WALKS OFF> Whatever.
Aprido: <FROM OFF-SCREEN> Aaack!
Ledas: <UPON HEARING APRIDO, HE TURNS AROUND> What was that?
Aprido: <HE COMES INTO VIEW; HE IS LYING ON THE BEACH RIGHT NEXT TO LEDAS; HE IS DIRTY AND BRUISED; HIS ARMOR IS DAMAGED> You stupid monkey! Look what you did to me!
Ledas: <NOT UNDERSTANDING> Why are you out here too?
Aprido: <SEETHING> You attacked me in your sleep! Look at my armor!
Ledas: I still don’t get why we’re out here.
Aprido: I… you idiot! Stop changing the subject! You’ll pay for doing this to me! I’m telling the governor! <APRIDO GETS UP AND STARTS WALKING OFF>
Ledas: <EYES NARROW; HE LOOKS AT THE OCEAN TO HIS LEFT; HE NOTICES ONLY ONE SET OF FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND; THEY ARE CLEARLY NOT HIS> Hey! You carried me out here!
Aprido: <PUSHING HIS WAY THROUGH THE NATIVES> Yeah, and you punched me in your sleep!
Ledas: <NOW QUITE ANGRY, REALIZING WHAT APRIDO DID TO HIM> If I was awake, you wouldn’t have lived. <APRIDO STOPS IN HIS TRACKS AND STARES AT LEDAS> You were trying to drown me, weren’t you? <APRIDO IS SILENT, BUT HIS FACE IS STILL BURNING WITH HATRED> What did I ever do to you?!
Aprido: <SHOUTS, PUSHING NATIVES AWAY> You were supposed to be dead! It’s my time now! I’m going to be the new Plantain!
Ledas: That’s what you’re on about? <PERPLEXED> Listen, I’m not even staying here for very long… I don’t care if you join–
Aprido: Go! Get away from me you disgusting animals! <SPITS AT THE NATIVES, BUT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND; SCREAMING> Help! Captain! Somebody help me!
<APRIDO YELLS AND STARTS SHOOTING ALL OF THE NATIVES AROUND HIM WITH HIS BLASTER; NONE WERE TOUCHING HIM, BUT HE SEEMS VERY TRIGGER-HAPPY; HE ANNIHILATES SCORES OF THEM>
Ledas: Hey, stop it. <HE STEPS FORWARD TO APRIDO> You don’t have to kill them. They’re just like me and you. We’re all slaves here.
Aprido: So?! There’s nothing they can do about it!
Ledas: I’m tired of people saying that.
<APRIDO SHOOTS MORE OF THEM; LEDAS SEEMS ANGRY NOW; APRIDO SEES THIS, GETS TERRIFIED AND BOLTS; BEFORE LEDAS CAN SAY ANYTHING ELSE, APRIDO HAS RUN OFF INTO THE FOREST>
<A QUICK SCENE IS SHOWN OF GUVA, MELOON, PAYAR, AND LIEME ALL ENJOYING THEMSELVES AROUND CAMP; BANAS, HOWEVER IS NOT WITH THEM; THE SCENE CUTS TO THE EDGE OF THE FOREST, WHERE BANAS IS STANDING, ARMS CROSSED, LOOKING OFF INTO IT; THE LOOK ON HIS FACE IS OF SLIGHT ANXIETY; BANAS LOOKS OLDER THAN HE HAD BEFORE; HE IS OBVIOUS WRINKLES NOW, AND SEEMS TO HAVE HEAVY GRAVITY AROUND HIM; HE HAS HIS ARMOR BACK, IMPLYING HE IS NOW OFF OF SUSPENSION>
<GUVA AND PAYAR WALK OVER THE DEAD BODIES OF ALL THE ALIENS AND SOLDIERS KILLED DURING THE GLADIATOR MATCHES OF THE NIGHT BEFORE; WHILE THIS MATCH WAS NOT SHOWN, IT IS IMPLIED THAT THESE HAD BEEN GOING ON REGULARLY IN LEDAS’ ABSENCE>
Guva: <STEPPING OVER SOME BODIES> So many of them. You had a good haul yesterday, Payar. They put up quite a fight.
Payar: <PICKING UP A SCOUTER FROM A DEAD SOLDIER> Yeah, in big numbers, they can be quite… destructive. Moreso than I thought was possible. Sir, what are we going to do with them? Kill them all?
Guva: No, not all of them. Not unless you want to mine this planet’s resources yourself.
<A FEW NATIVES ARE STILL ALIVE AND THEY COME RUSHING OUT FROM UNDER SOME BODIES; THEY RUN AT PAYAR, WHO EASILY KILLS THEM>
Payar: And what do you plan on doing with them? The fun’s running out… we need something new to do with them.
Guva: Long have I thought of this. What to do with the natives? But then, it came to me. I realized I alone have the fortitude, the unyielding will to bring our high culture to these worthless beings. To show them how to act, how not to rebel. And when they comprehend it, they will love me for it.
Payar: <GRINS> That won’t stop me.
Guva: I don’t plan on stopping you. Fear is a powerful motivator. It has, thus far, kept them in check. There has not been a single, major insurrection under my rule.
Payar: I’ll keep it that way, guv’nor.
Guva: Good. I think your captain could stand to use the same mindset, Payar.
<CUTS TO BANAS, WHO IS SITTING ON A ROCK; AS THE CAMERA PANS BACK, IT IS SHOWN TO BE NEAR THE NATIVES’ WORKING AREA, THE SUN IS SHINING BRIGHT, OFF HIS ARMOR>
<IN THE DISTANCE, A BIRD TAKES OFF, BANAS SHOOTS IT WITH A KI BLAST>
Ledas: <LEDAS IS WALKING UP TO APRIDO, WHO HAS RETREATED FARTHER INTO THE FOREST; AS HE’S WALKING, A SMOKING BIRD FALLS RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM; IT SPOOKS LEDAS> Whoa… what was that? <HE BEGINS TO INVESTIGATE IT, BUT THEN HEARS A SCREAM UP AHEAD> What’s wrong with him? <HE STARTS RUNNING THROUGH THE TREES TO APRIDO’S VOICE>
Aprido: <APRIDO IS STANDING, AGITATED; THE FEW NATIVES MILLING AROUND HAVE LOST INTEREST, ONLY ONE OR TWO OF THEM REMAIN IN TOWN> Help! Captain! The Saiyan’s trying to kill me! Help!
<LEDAS COMES SKIDDING INTO VIEW, RIGHT INTO THE LINE OF SIGHT OF APRIDO, THE TWO LOCK EYES>
Ledas: Stop running from me! What’s wrong with you?
Aprido: <TURNING BACK TO LEDAS, SATISFIED> You can’t tell me what to do! <HE SHOOTS THE REMAINING NATIVES>
Ledas: <ANGRY YELL> Idiot! <LEDAS SHOOTS A BLAST AT APRIDO, WHO SCREAMS AND IS THROWN; THE EXPLOSION CAUSES A HUGE AMOUNT OF SMOKE; BANAS SEES THIS AND GETS UP QUICK, THEN TAKES OFF TO THE SMOKE> You tried to kill me – just like you think you can kill all of the natives. You think you can get away with this?
Aprido: No, I’m going to blame all of this on you! You killed them! You attacked me!
Ledas: <STEPS FORWARD> That’s it. You’re dead.
Banas: <LANDS BEHIND LEDAS> Saiyan! Stop that, <WITH AUTHORITY> now!
Ledas: <EXTINGUISHES HIS BLAST, AND TURNS HIS HEAD TO FACE BANAS; DURING THIS, APRIDO, FEARFUL, SLIDES DOWN THE HILL HE IS STANDING ON AND RUNS OFF> Why?
Banas: That’s one of my soldiers you’re going to kill. You know I don’t take kindly to someone who kills my soldiers. Especially when they are one of my own elites. Guva may have brought you back here on a shining pedestal, but I’m still your captain. You owe me your loyalty. It seems you’ve forgotten to respect me!
Ledas: Maybe you forgot about lying to the council about me being a rebel!
Banas: <IGNORING LEDAS> Let’s go.
<LEDAS SHAKES HIS HEAD, THEN TAKES OFF TO PURSUE APRIDO>
Banas: <IN HYSTERIA, SPITTING> Fool! <HE TAKES OFF AFTER LEDAS>
<CUTS TO LIEME AND MELOON, WHO ARE TRAINING>
Lieme: <DODGING A PUNCH BY MELOON, EASILY> No, you must anticipate where I go. You won’t be able to see me, anyway.
Meloon: Well come at me again, eh? I’ll get ya this time!
Lieme: <CHARGES AT MELOON, THE TWO CONTINUE TO SPAR, LIEME IS SLIGHTLY BETTER, BUT HE IS NOT PUTTING FORTH AS MUCH EFFORT AS MELOON; THEY BOTH GET HIT A FEW TIMES, BUT THEN LIEME STOPS, CAUSING MELOON TO HIT HIM, ALMOST TO THE SURPRISE OF BOTH; GETTING UP> Did you feel that?
Meloon: Feel what? My fist on your face? Har har. O’ course I did!!
Lieme: No, you fool. But of course, you wouldn’t sense that. You can hardly keep track of me.
Meloon: Well, what was it?
Lieme: It’s the Captain. He’s raised his power level to battle ready. He must be fighting someone. <RAISES INTO THE AIR, AND SHOOTS OFF> Come on!
<CUTS TO BANAS, WHO IS PURSUING LEDAS IN MIDAIR>
Banas: Don’t you dare kill him, Saiyan!
Ledas: <REMAINS SILENT, THEN SHOOTS A BLAST AT APRIDO> Ahhhh!
Banas: Stop! <SHOOTS A CLUSTER OF RAZOR BLASTS AT LEDAS, SOME HIT HIM AND CUT HIM>
<LEDAS, IN PAIN AND ANGER, SHOOTS ANOTHER BLAST BEHIND HIM AT BANAS, BUT THE CAPTAIN DODGES IT>
<APRIDO COMES TO A CLEARING, LEDAS GETS A CLEAN SHOT ON HIM, CAUSING THE APPULE TO FALL TO THE GROUND; LEDAS ABRUPTLY STOPS TO STAY WITH APRIDO; BANAS, UNABLE TO STOP IN TIME, OVERSHOOTS THEM BOTH; LEDAS DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, AND APPROACHES APRIDO; APRIDO CRAWLS AWAY IN PANIC>
Ledas: Get back here, coward.
Aprido: Okay man!! Okay! Just don’t kill me! <RAISES HIS HANDS TO SHIELD HIS FACE; BUT LEDAS BATS THEM AWAY, HE GRABS APRIDO’S NECK, WITH HIS LEFT HAND, AND READIES AN ENERGY BLAST WITH HIS RIGHT; BEFORE HE CAN KILL APRIDO, BANAS LANDS>
Banas: Put him down!
Ledas: Hmph… this place is better off without any of you.
<LEDAS FIRES HIS ENERGY BLAST, COMPLETELY INCINERATING THE APPULE>
Banas: <QUIET RAGE> Oh, you little fucker.
<CUTS BACK TO GUVA AND PAYAR WALKING; THEY HAVE REACHED THE FOREST’S EDGE>
Guva: <WALKING WITH PAYAR, LOOKING UP AT THE SKY> My my, it’s such a lovely day. So calm, so… <OUT OF THE JUNGLE COMES BANAS, CHASING LEDAS; BOTH STOP IN SIGHT OF GUVA> peaceful… thank you, gentlemen.
Banas: <SHOOTS AN ENERGY BLAST AT LEDAS; IT CAUSES AN UPROAR OF SAND AND DIRT AT GUVA’S FEET> Get back here!
<LIEME AND MELOON ARRIVE>
Lieme: Governor, boss… <PAYAR NODS TO LIEME AND MELOON; WHO RETURN THE GESTURE>
Banas: <IGNORING ALL> Get back here, Saiyan! <SHOOTS ANOTHER BLAST>
Ledas: Shut up! <SHOOTS A BLAST BACK AT BANAS>
Guva: Both of you, calm down! Now, what happened?
Banas: <DRAWING HIMSELF UP> The kid disobeyed me.
Guva: <TO LEDAS> Is that true?
Ledas: <LOOKS UP TO GUVA; BREATHING HARD> I’m tired, sir. I need more time.
Banas: What was that, kid?
<LEDAS RUNS BACK INTO THE FOREST; BANAS GOES TO PURSUE, BUT GUVA STOPS HIM>
Guva: <UNDERSTANDING WHAT LEDAS MEANT; HE THROWS OUT HIS ARM> Wait.
Banas: He killed one of my men. One of my better soldiers.
Guva: And now what do you want, Captain?
Banas: I want to kill him. <MELOON’S EYES WIDEN IN EXCITEMENT; LIEME LOOKS CURIOUS>
Guva: <WIDE, ALMOST UNCHARACTERISTICALLY WIDE, SMILE> Oh? Well I see no problem in that, Banas. I’m sure Ledas will be an easy kill. He’s just a kid, after all.
Banas: <TAKEN ABACK> Really?
Guva: Lieme, wait a few hours, then go get the boy. I want the rest of you on standby. Meloon, prepare the coliseum for the captain’s fight.
<LIEME AND MELOON NOD AND WALK OFF; PAYAR AND BANAS REMAIN>
Banas: <A BIT OF IMPATIENT ANGER> Why are we waiting so long? I want to kill him now!
Guva: Captain, I’m giving you this opportunity. This singular opportunity. Take it or leave it. But do not whine to me about your impatience.
Banas: Yeah, whatever. I just don’t see why you’d give him a few hours.
Guva: It’s for your own benefit, Banas. You’re too angry. It’ll affect your ability to fight properly. <BANAS ROLLS HIS EYES> I’m watching out for you, Captain.
<THE TWO PREPARE TO RETURN TO CAMP; GUVA BOWS, SHOWING THAT HE IS BREAKING OFF; PAYAR REMAINS ON THE EDGE OF THE FOREST, WATCHING THEM>
Banas: <NOT FRIENDLY> Guvvy.
Guva: <WALKS BY, CHUCKLES> Give us a good fight when he comes back. <PAUSES AND STOPS> Strength and honor, Captain. <WALKS OFF>
Banas: <ANGRY> Yeah… to hell with you too.
<PAYAR WATCHES BANAS LEAVE; HE IS MESSING WITH SOMETHING IN HIS HANDS THAT CANNOT BE SEEN; AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, HE ENTERS THE FOREST>
- This chapter's name references Finding Nemo. The name originally was used because Aprido went missing after the natives captured him. Ledas and Banas eventually found him and Ledas killed him (because Aprido killed some natives) before Banas could stop him. The name now refers to Ledas finding out that Aprido tried to kill him (thus causing Ledas to kill the Appule for even daring to hope he could hurt the Saiyan).
- This chapter was mostly re-written for this saga, though some of the original chapter remains. It was originally a chapter in the Lauto Saga, actually taking place before "That Makes Him The Guv’nor, where Ledas found Aprido captured by the natives. The Appule then killed some natives and this enraged Ledas who tracked Aprido down and killed him, despite Banas telling him not to. When Ledas ends the chapter by killing Aprido, a fight almost breaks out between him and Banas. For this chapter, I kept in some of that, but some of it was re-written for the final edits, and some of it was pulled from other old LS chapters. This chapter was also updated to be more in-line with the thematic stuff first seen in the Lauto Saga relating to slavery and being a prisoner. Ledas' empathy towards the natives is more conflicted, subtle, and realistic, and he also sees himself as very much like them because of his own situation.
- Ledas' gravity training scene at the start of this chapter existed in a different form in an old version of the Lauto Saga. It was updated here, but it mostly remains the same as that old version. Ledas is training to prepare himself for Banas, but Aprido is trying to sabotage the gravity room to capture and kill Ledas. Aprido's motives are the same as in the previous version of the story, but Ledas' are not. Also, showing a gravity room implies that Ledas was able to train in the best possible training facilities while he was on Planet Cooler 92, giving a good example for why he grew in power more so than Vegeta, who did not seem to train in gravity rooms much (if at all) during his time serving Frieza.
- Aprido's plan to drown Ledas is based on the fact that he has no other way to kill a much stronger person than himself. It's a spur-of-the-moment plan, as well, because he wasn't expecting Ledas to fall asleep right in front of him.
- Ledas' use of Semi Super Saiyan in this chapter to save himself was pure reflex. It shows him at his greatest power so far, and it is him comfortable in the form, which is a far cry from the beginning of this saga. It is also the last time Ledas ever uses the form.
- Notice when Ledas wakes up, he empathizes with the natives, seeing them as just like himself, but he doesn't get too involved like he used to. He quickly grows impatient with them and begins to walk off. This is a marked difference from how Ledas acted around them in previous versions of the Lauto Saga. I think this version is more realistic for a Saiyan his age. He has no reason to want to free them. He has killed trillions of people all by himself. He can empathize with them without wanting to liberate them (the concept of liberation being rather foreign to him), and that is what my goal was during the final edits with Ledas' characterization in sagas 2 and 3.
- Ledas learning what Aprido tried to do to him the previous night was done partly so that the readers could understand that too, as it's not made clear (though hinted at) except through Ledas' observations and dialogue. Him realizing what happened is what makes him kill Aprido; he wouldn't have killed the Appule otherwise. And killing Aprido is what sets off the chain of events that resolves this saga, so that was important that Ledas killed him in a realistic way. Previously, Ledas killed him for killing some natives. I thought it would be more interesting if it was a more personal reaction that got Ledas to kill him, so I made that change.
- Aprido doesn't hear Ledas tell him that he doesn't care if Aprido joins the Plantains (since Ledas plans on leaving Planet Cooler 92 later that day (after killing Banas, of course)). That is crucial; if Aprido had heard him, he might not have died.
- Ledas' "I’m tired of people saying that" is an illustration of Ledas having a big problem with people trying to take away his personal agency. He tells Aprido that they are both like the natives Aprido hates so much (there's some subtle psychology there, also), yet Aprido doesn't care. He wants to inflict pain on those beneath him because of the misery of his own station. He was made into a slave through hatred and forced obedience. He now is redirecting what was instilled upon him through his harsh training to become a soldier and slave on those beneath him, and the results are disastrous. When Ledas sees this, he sees what he could have become, and it disgusts and alarms him.
- Guva notes, correctly, that they can't kill all of the natives, unless they want to mine the planet's resources themselves. Guva gives the natives a defined worth, therefore, despite Payar and the others just seeing them as playthings.
- A lot of the scenes in this chapter are taken from the various deleted chapters of the latter part of the Lauto Saga, which mostly featured the natives' plot. The good scenes, the ones I didn't want to get rid of even when I got rid of that plot, remain in this chapter. This chapter is really the last chance for a lot of scenes. The last two chapters are defined, and there is no more room for any other old LS scenes aside from in this chapter. That is why there are so many short scenes here; I didn't want to get rid of them. I retained the best parts of the latter 11 or so chapters (discounting the two season finale chapters) of the Lauto Saga in this chapter.
- Guva's approach to dealing with the natives is different than Payar's. His is the subversion of old culture and the "civilizing of the savages", while Payar just wants to keep them in line with fear and brutality. Neither option is good for the natives, for they lose agency either way. The two different evils, of robbing the natives of their freedom of mind and body, are shown in Payar's and Guva's differing mindsets. There is obviously a lot going on thematically with that.
- Payar is getting bored of killing the natives. I always thought that if Banas didn't instigate a rebellion, Payar eventually would. Or maybe he would run off. Either way, he's getting bored of Planet Cooler 92, and he needs some new fun. This parallels Ledas' own state-of-mind, to an extent.
- Banas hasn't rebelled in the 21 years since Ledas disappeared on the stomping grounds. He could have rebelled during that time and killed Guva. He didn't. Guva didn't think up a new strategy to deal with Banas because he didn't want to reveal that he wanted the captain to die. Guva's paranoia has started a sort of cold war between them, though Banas is not fighting back. Guva doesn't understand that Banas doesn't want to kill him. He wants to be friends with Guva. Guva mistakes Banas' smugness and cockiness with a desire to supplant him, which is just not true. This was of course seen in the season finale part 2 of the last saga, when Banas wasn't even trying to hurt Guva when they fought (and in his later conversation with Guva), yet Guva thought Banas was starting a rebellion. For all his wit, Guva is not aware of Banas' true intentions.
- Banas shooting the bird and the bird falling right where Ledas is at has been a scene since the first draft of the Lauto Saga, and I obviously liked it enough to keep it around in the final version of the story. It has rich symbolic and thematic meaning for the two characters and the planet as a whole, but I cannot say what those meanings are, for that is for the readers to discover.
- Ledas disobeying Banas is a great moment of him exerting personal agency. He's done being a slave. He's done putting up with the bullshit on Planet Cooler 92. He's going to kill Aprido for what the Appule did no matter what. The captain cannot stop him, in his mind, because no one has a right to stop him from doing what he sees as right. Aprido must pay for trying to kill him and for needlessly killing natives and trying to blame it on Ledas. That much Ledas is certain of.
- One of the things that occurred with the compacting of the remaining PC92 plot here in the last three chapters is that the arcs of the Plantains were simplified to a degree, and given shorter scenes. Since the Plantains are all about to die, they didn't need grandiose arcs to end the saga, especially since they weren't seen until this chapter in the Stomping Grounds Saga. Banas and Guva persist, so their arcs are not affected as much. Still, all three Plantain soldiers are given characterization, just in smaller/shorter scenes than before.
- Ledas' and Banas' struggle over Aprido is more about Ledas' need for freedom and his own sense of justice than anything else. Banas wants to control him, but the boy has returned from the stomping grounds wilder, stronger, more defiant. Banas should have never taken him there in the first place. It's great to see where the two characters are in this chapter as opposed to their positions at the start of this saga. A lot has changed since then.
- Ledas has a different sort of morality than someone like Goku, or a more typical hero. He's not a hero, in fact. He's a person. He's a Saiyan. He doesn't fit an archetype because he's real, flawed, and has a different sense of morality than most readers of this story would associate with a standard hero. He kills Aprido because he doesn't think the Appule deserves to live. Goku would never do that. Vegeta would. It's important to note that Ledas is a grey character. He's the protagonist, but by no means do I consider him to be a hero. And that's good. Heroes are overrated.
- Banas' "Oh you little fucker" used to be the end of this chapter. With the compacting of the remaining LS plot into the final three chapters of this saga, however, I could not afford to have such short chapters, and thus the plot continued. The scenes that followed are basically the ones that came in the next chapter of the original Lauto Saga. Of course, they were heavily edited to what they are now, to make them better and more in-line with the rest of the chapter.
- Banas heard Ledas tell Guva his treachery, yet didn't seem to comprehend what it meant. Guva was able to control the situation with his smooth words and promises. This was a great moment for Guva, who averted disaster. Had Banas realized what Ledas meant, he and his team might've killed Guva then and there.
- Guva was going to have Ledas kill Banas on different terms than this, but since Banas was so determined to kill the boy, Guva couldn't stop him. I don't think it would have made much of a difference either way. Banas and Ledas would have had to fight one another either way.
- Guva gives Ledas a few hours because Ledas said he was tired. Banas doesn't comprehend this. Guva noting that Banas needs time to calm down to be able to fight properly, however, is also true. So the few hours rest will benefit both of them.
- Guva plans on making a big spectacle of Banas' death. That is why he has Meloon prepare the coliseum for the battle. He has been waiting for so long to kill Banas, and now his greatest dream is about to come true. Guva is very extravagant by nature, so this should come as no surprise.
- "Strength and honor" is a reference to the movie Gladiator.
- At the end of this chapter, Payar messes with the necklace of natives' teeth in his hands and then goes into the forest. He plans on killing some natives to pass the time. Little does he know that doing so will cause Ledas to transform into a Super Saiyan. It's such a little thing, one of the smallest paragraphs of scene direction in the chapter, but it's one of the most important plot points in Ledas' entire life. It's amazing how it's all induced by Payar's bloodthirsty whim.
Ascendancy (season finale part 1)
<LEDAS RUNS BACK TO WHERE HE FOUND APRIDO WITH THE NATIVES; HE REALLY HAS NOWHERE ELSE TO GO; THE PLACE IS MOSTLY DESTROYED; THERE ARE SMALL FIRES AROUND AND DEAD NATIVES EVERYWHERE; LEDAS LOOKS AT THE LARGE OCEAN AHEAD>
Ledas: <STOMACH RUMBLES> Dang, I’m hungry… <HE LOOKS AROUND AND SPOTS A NEARBY TREE COVERED IN FRUIT> I’ve got to eat something and rest a little. What does Guva expect… that I’m going to kill all four of them?! <HE REACHES THE TREE AND SHOOTS DOWN A FRUIT WITH A KI BLAST; THE FRUIT LOOKS LIKE A SPIKED BALL> I’ve seen the captain eat these before… hopefully it tastes all right.
<LEDAS LOOKS AT THE SPIKED BALL THEN RIPS IT OPEN AND EATS THE PINK FRUIT INSIDE THEN DRINKS THE JUICE FROM IT; AT THIS TIME, A FEW CAUTIOUS NATIVES PEER OUT AROUND BURNING HUTS AND TREES; THEY WATCH LEDAS INTENTLY, THOUGH HE DOES NOT NOTICE THEM>
Ledas: Whoa… <A GRIN COMES TO HIS FACE; HE LOSES HIS BALANCE, AND FALLS INTO SOME BUSHES; HE BURSTS OUT INTO LAUGHTER; A FEW OF THE NATIVES LAUGH, HESITANTLY; LEDAS REEMERGES QUICKLY AND UNEXPECTEDLY; HE LOOKS AT HIS FINGERTIPS AND TRIES HARD TO STAY STANDING> Issawl tingly!
<MORE NATIVES COME OUT AND WATCH HIM; THEY ARE NOT AS FRIGHTENED OF HIM AS THEY WERE OF APRIDO>
Ledas: <SLURRED SPEECH> Wwhhasss indis stuff nenywaaay… <WALKING FORWARD, NEARLY LOSING HIS BALANCE; THE NATIVES TAKE A COLLECTIVE STEP BACKWARD, BUT IT IS NOT AS BIG AS BEFORE, THEY SEEM TO HAVE LESSENED THEIR FEAR; LEDAS ENTERS INTO THE CAMP AND WALKS ALL THE WAY TO THE TOWN CENTER> Heeeey guys… y’know… youuuguysarr great… <SINCE HE’S GOTTEN SO CLOSE, MOST OF THEM REMAIN HIDING BEHIND TREES OR BUILDINGS> Issok… I’m good. <HE LAUGHS ONE MORE TIME, AND THEN FALLS, FACE FIRST ONTO THE GROUND, ASLEEP AS THE CAMERA FADES TO BLACK>
<THE SCREEN RE-FADES FROM BLACK; IT IS SEVERAL HOURS LATER; FROM A NEARBY TREE, LIEME CAN BE SEEN CROUCHING AND WATCHING>
Lieme: Boss… <LONG PAUSE, WHERE THE CAMERA MOVES AROUND HIM, SHOWING HIS LOCATION IN GREATER DETAIL> I’m in place.
Banas: <OVER THE SCOUTER> Bring him to me. I want to end this right now.
Lieme: I’ll be there soon, captain. Over and out.
<LIEME JUMPS OFF THE TREE AND FLIES OVER TO THE UNCONSCIOUS LEDAS>
<CUTS TO PAYAR; HE IS GATHERING UP NATIVES IN ANOTHER AREA; HE LINES THEM UP MUCH LIKE LEDAS HAD DONE WITH HIM SO LONG AGO (SANS THE ENERGY BINDING) AND MARCHES THEM AWAY>
<JUMP CUT TO LEDAS BEING HELD UPSIDE DOWN BY HIS TAIL; HE IS PUNCHED IN THE GUT BY LIEME; THIS WAKES THE BOY>
Ledas: Uaaaahhh…! <HE THRASHES ABOUT, CAUSING LIEME TO DROP HIM; HE YAWNS AND SITS UP; HE LAUGHS AGAIN> Whas inat stuff…? Issat sominkinpoisssin?! <HE PICKS UP THE MOSTLY EATEN FRUIT AND WAVES IT AROUND; WHILE DOING THIS, HE ACCIDENTALLY SENDS A HUGE KI BLAST TO THE SKY> Ha ha… oops! <LEDAS LOOKS UP INTO THE SKY, AND SEES LIEME> Oh… crap! <HIS EYES WIDEN IN HORROR>
<LIEME DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, A FEW DOZEN FEET AWAY; HIS ARMS ARE CROSSED AND HE IS LAUGHING; AT THE SIGHT OF LIEME, THE NATIVES THAT WERE CURIOUSLY PEERING OUT AT LEDAS RUN BACK INTO THEIR HOUSES; LEDAS GETS UP TO FACE THE ELITE>
Ledas: Whaddyou want?
Lieme: Before I take you to the captain, I would like you to answer me something I’ve been pondering: why haven’t you aged these past twenty-one years? It doesn’t make much sense to me.
Ledas: Twenty-one years? What are you talking about?
Lieme: You left with the captain twenty-one years ago. And now Guva’s brought you back – and you’re exactly the same.
Ledas: What?! What are you talking about? <HE LOOKS AROUND IN DISBELIEF> No, you’re lying!
Lieme: Whatever. Then I’m taking you to the captain now. He’s going to kill you, I think.
Ledas: <SAID CLEARLY AND WITH PURPOSE> I’ll kill you first.
Lieme: Do you know who I am, kid? Do you know what I can do?
Ledas: <WOBBLES> I-I-I-I’ve surpasssssed you-ou-ou…
Lieme: You’re tired, drunk off your ass, and extremely cocky. I say I like my chances…
<LIEME MOVES FORWARD, GIVING OFF A DIZZYING DISPLAY OF AFTERIMAGES; LEDAS, WHO IS STILL INTOXICATED, CANNOT COMPREHEND LIEME’S ATTACK; HE IS HIT STRAIGHT INTO THE GROUND>
<LIEME HITS LEDAS THROUGH SEVERAL TREES, AND GOES FOR ANOTHER PUNCH, BUT ONLY HITS AN AFTERIMAGE; SEEING HIS OPPORTUNITY, LEDAS KICKS LIEME AWAY AND QUICKLY POWERS UP; THEY BOTH KNOW WHO IS STRONGER NOW>
<LIEME, IN VAIN, SHOOTS OFF A VOLLEY OF ENERGY, LEDAS SHOOTS A VOLLEY BACK; IN THE EXPLOSION AND SMOKE, LIEME IS BRIEFLY CONFUSED; LEDAS COMES OUT OF NOWHERE AND HITS HIM TO THE GROUND>
Lieme: <GETTING UP, IN PAIN> W-what are you doing? Why can’t I sense you?!
Ledas: <COMES DOWN ON LIEME AND KNEES HIM IN THE GUT; HE IS STILL HAVING A HARD TIME WITH HIS BALANCE> I have better control over my power than you do! <HE HICCUPS>
Lieme: <COUGHING AND BLOCKING, HE STUMBLES BACK A FEW STEPS> You can lower your power level to nothing? <SUDDENLY LAUGHS> Don’t fool yourself, kid, I can do that.
Ledas: <LAUGHING AS WELL> I can do it so fast you can’t sense me.
Lieme: <EYES WIDEN> No… <LEDAS RUNS FORWARD AND HITS HIM; LIEME, SEEING HE HAS LOST, RETREATS; LEDAS, TOO INCAPACITATED HIMSELF, DOES NOT PURSUE; HE COLLAPSES AND QUICKLY FALLS ASLEEP>
<SCREEN RE-FADES INTO GUVA’S OFFICE; HE AND BANAS ARE TALKING; BANAS LOOKS LIKE HE IS FORCED TO BE THERE AND THAT HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE THERE>
Guva: Why yes, I did. Four times, actually. Try to beat that. <HE TAKES ANOTHER DRINK FROM THE SAME SPIKED FRUIT THAT LEDAS TRIED EARLIER; HE IS DRINKING FROM ITS CONTENTS WITH A STRAW>
Banas: <GETS A CALL ON HIS SCOUTER, PUTS ONE FINGER TO HIS OTHER EAR> This is Banas… Oh… Oh really? Yeah. Yeah, I’ll do that. Hold on, I’ll be there in a few. <CUTS OFF THE CONVERSATION> Sorry I can’t stay, governor. I’ve got business to attend to. <HE GETS UP AND WALKS ALL THE WAY TO THE DOOR, HE OPENS THE DOOR>
Guva: It didn’t work, did it?
Banas: You say something, governor?
Guva: Lieme didn’t get the boy.
Banas: <STOPS, OPENS HIS MOUTH TO SAY SOMETHING, BUT NO WORDS COME OUT> Well…
Guva: That’s okay, Banas. You’ll get him next time.
Banas: <SIGHS AND LOOKS AT HIS CLOTHES; HE IS NOT IN ARMOR> I’ll go get him myself… after I armor up. Sometimes you just gotta do things yourself. You know?
<GUVA NODS AND BANAS EXITS>
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS>
<IN THE DISTANCE, A LONG, HIGH PITCHED SCREAM IS HEARD; CHILLINGLY, IT GOES UNINTERRUPTED FOR SEVERAL SECONDS, AND THEN IT CUTS OFF, SHARPLY>
<LEDAS WAKES UP; HE LOOKS AROUND; THE NATIVES ARE RUNNING ABOUT IN A PANIC; THERE IS PANDEMONIUM EVERYWHERE; IN THE DISTANCE, SOME SMOKE RISES; IT IS SURELY AN ATTACK>
Ledas: <TO HIMSELF> They’re being attacked again… <TO THE NATIVES, THOUGH THEY COMPREHEND HIM NOT> I’ve had it! I’m no different from the natives. Guva and Payar and the others just use and hurt us and do terrible things… Well, not any more! I’m not putting up with this again!
<LEDAS RISES INTO THE AIR, ENVELOPING HIS KI AROUND HIM, AND FLIES TO THE SMOKE; IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG FOR LEDAS TO FIND IT; BODIES STREWN EVERYWHERE, BLOOD EVERYWHERE; AND UP AHEAD, PAYAR, WITH THE FEW REMAINING NATIVES LINED IN A ROW; PAYAR HAS A FEW REGULAR SOLDIERS WITH HIM>
Payar: <TURNS, WITH A NATIVE IN HIS HAND; WHEN HE SEES LEDAS, HE GRINS AND SNAPS ITS NECK; LEDAS’ ANGER IS NOTICEABLE> So kid… what took ya so long?
Ledas: Don’t you touch another one! <HE READIES AN ENERGY BLAST AT PAYAR>
Payar: Go ahead, do it. But you’ll be killing them too. <SMILES AGAIN, AND TAKES ANOTHER NATIVE; HE SNAPS ITS NECK, BRUTALLY> Oh? Did I do that?
Ledas: I told you! Stop it!
<PAYAR KILLS ANOTHER ONE>
Ledas: Enough! <WITH BLINDING RAGE, HE CHARGES PAYAR; PAYAR EASILY KICKS HIM OUT OF THE WAY WITHOUT EVEN MOVING; HE KILLS ANOTHER NATIVE, AS IF PUSHING LEDAS’ ANGER>
Payar: Doesn’t matter how strong you are kid. If you act stupid, I’ll still kick ya.
Ledas: <ROLLS OVER IN ANGER> I’ll kill you!
<PAYAR TAKES SOMETHING OUT OF HIS CARRY POUCH, IT IS A FLARE; HE SHOOTS IT UP, INTO THE SKY>
Payar: Maybe. How’d you like to take us all on?
<PAYAR LAUGHS AND KICKS LEDAS IN THE FACE>
<CUTS TO GUVA’S OFFICE; HE SEES THE FLARE>
Guva: Captain, it’s begun.
Banas: <CRACKLING OVER THE SPEAKERS> I’m not blind Guva. I saw the flare. I’m about to–
Guva: No, stay put. Gather the Plantains, but do nothing else. Wait until I call you again.
Banas: Yeah, yeah. I know. <CHANGE IN TONE TO THAT OF NOSTALGIA> Say, governor… when was the last time you and I fought together? Side by side?
Guva: I’m sure you remember it as well as I do, Captain. It was the day I became governor.
Banas: I try not to remember stuff like that…
Guva: That’s a good choice. We wouldn’t want you so upset on the eve of your glory.
Banas: Ha ha. Of course not. I’m ready to get this kid out of our lives once and for all.
Guva: Then stay put. With my next signal to you, it will be time.
<CUTS BACK TO LEDAS AND PAYAR>
Payar: Oh, bummer. Only one left. Too bad, I hate it when a good thing is over.
Ledas: <STILL ON THE GROUND> No… don’t.
Payar: What are you gonna do about it? <SNAPS THE NATIVE’S NECK> Huh?
<LEDAS DROPS HIS HEAD TO THE GROUND, EXTREMELY UPSET>
Payar: What are you so sad about? Huh?! Where did this love of the natives come from?
Ledas: <LOOKS UP> Please… stop. They’re alive. They aren’t something for you to play with!
Payar: And how many billions of people have you killed? I bet it’s a lot. Why don’t you give a fuck about what you have done? I’m not the one you should be angry at.
Ledas: I was forced to do it… but look at them, Payar. What if you were one of them?
Payar: Oh, I get it. You think you’re just like them. <HE LAUGHS> That’s great. But this is survival of the fittest. We’ll always be a slave to Planet Trade; it’s just how it works. There’s always someone stronger out there and if you want to stay alive, you better stop caring about others.
Ledas: <GETTING EMOTIONAL> I just want to be free. We all do. <HE POINTS TO THE DEAD NATIVES> None of us wanted this! Especially not them!
Payar: I don’t want to be free. I want to be entertained. <HE LOOKS AT HIS OTHER SOLDIERS AND NODS FOR THEM TO LEAVE; HE STARTS TO LEAVE AS WELL> And I know what you’re going to do. Guva brought you back to kill Banas. I don’t want any part of that. Just go do your thing, and I’ll do mine.
<PAYAR IS MESSING AROUND WITH SOMETHING IN HIS HANDS AGAIN AS HE LEAVES>
<LEDAS LOOKS UP, RIGHT INTO THE LIFELESS EYES OF THE NATIVE IN FRONT OF HIM>
<A FLURRY OF MEMORIES ARE BROUGHT BACK TO LEDAS; SCENES OF HIM AND VEGETA, HIM AND HIS DAD; TEARS COME TO HIS EYES, AND HE POUNDS THE GROUND WITH HIS FISTS>
Ledas: <STANDS UP, QUIVERING WITH FEAR> None… none of you deserved this! I’ll make him pay.
The Benefactor: <VISION, WALKS UP TO LEDAS> There are… so many who deserve to die.
Ledas: <IN TEARFUL ANGER> How come I keep seeing you? I don’t want to! Just leave me alone!
The Benefactor: How can you sit idly and let them continue their path? It’s easy to pretend nothing is happening. But you are only fooling yourself.
Ledas: They didn’t deserve this! I didn’t deserve this! <SCREAMING, CRYING> Everyone I know is dead because of Frieza. And everyone here has wanted to kill me since the beginning! I’ve just been their slave the whole time! I’m sick of it! My life isn’t something for them to mess around with! I need to get out of here!
The Benefactor: Were it so easy.
<THE VISION OF THE BENEFACTOR SHATTERS IN A BRILLIANT FLASH OF LIGHT; LEDAS IS ENGULFED; HE LETS OUT ANOTHER SCREAM, SENDING BIRDS FLYING OUT OF THE TREES; THE CAMERA FOLLOWS THE BIRDS TO THE SKY, AND THEN DROPS BACK DOWN, THROUGH THE TREES INTO THE CLEARING, LEDAS’ HAIR IS NOW GOLDEN; HIS ENTIRE AURA IS BLINDING; HE STEPS FORWARD WITH A SCOWL ON HIS FACE>
<CUTS BACK TO REAL TIME; GUVA IS STANDING WITH TWO HELPERS; THE ROOM IS ALL MARBLE, BUT OPEN; THERE IS NO FURNITURE; THERE IS SLIGHT DUST IN THE AIR; THE TONE IS VERY GRAVE; THIS ENTIRE SEGMENT IS DONE IN PARTIAL SLOW MOTION>
Guva: <SLOWLY> Banas, his entire team? Is there word yet?
Soldier 1: Uhh… no sir. <SWIFTLY CLAMPS ON GUVA’S LEFT WRIST GUARD>
Guva: <TO HIMSELF, DISTANT> No word… <THE SOLDIER PUTS ON GUVA’S OTHER WRIST GUARD>
Guva: I will go. I must see it… Banas and the child. <HE EXTENDS HIS ARMS, TO MAKE A “T” POSITION OF HIS BODY, HE PUTS HIS HEAD BACK; THE TWO SOLDIERS SLIP HIS CHEST ARMOR OVER HIS HEAD, FITTING AND ADJUSTING IT ONTO HIS BODY>
<THE SOLDIERS MOVE AROUND AND CLAMP KNEE ARMOR TO GUVA’S BOOTS>
<THEY GET UP, AND BRING OUT GUVA’S CAPE, IT IS A DEEP RED; THEY UNFOLD IT AND PLACE IT ONTO HIS CEREMONIAL ARMOR, PATTING IT INTO PLACE; ONE SOLDIER COMES AROUND FRONT TO FACE GUVA, STILL PATTING DOWN THE ARMOR; HE NODS TO GUVA, AND THE DOOR IN FRONT OPENS; LIGHT EXPLODES ONTO GUVA’S FACE, COMING FROM THE DOORS AHEAD; GUVA’S HEAD RECOILS SLIGHTLY, AND HE SQUINTS, UNTIL HIS EYES ADJUST; HE WALKS OUTSIDE, AND LOOKS TO THE SKY>
Guva: It will happen today. I’ll be set free.
<END SLOW MOTION>
<GUVA MAKES HIS WAY TO THE EDGE OF THE OUTPOST; HE IS WALKING TO THE COLISEUM; PAYAR WALKS OUT OF THE FOREST, ARMS EXTENDED IN RELAXED CONFIDENCE; HIS THREE SOLDIERS ARE RIGHT BEHIND HIM>
Payar: Hey, guv’nor… How’s it going–
<OUT OF NOWHERE, LEDAS COMES FLYING OUT OF THE FOREST IN A HIGH JUMP; PAYAR DOESN’T EVEN SEE HIM, BUT GUVA DOES; GUVA, IN SHOCK, EYES WIDE AND MOUTH OPEN, TAKES A STEP BACK; LEDAS, AS HE COMES DOWN TO THE GROUND, HITS PAYAR IN THE HEAD, SENDING THE ELITE FLYING SEVERAL FEET AHEAD, INTO THE MUD; LEDAS LANDS ON ONE KNEE; BLOOD IS POOLING AROUND PAYAR’S HEAD, BY THE TIME LEDAS GETS UP TO FACE GUVA; THE SAIYAN BOY QUICKLY INCINERATES THE THREE SOLDIERS WITH QUICK KI BLASTS>
Ledas: <SUPER SAIYAN> Where is he? Where’s Banas?
<GUVA FALTERS, UNABLE TO SPEAK; HIS MOUTH IS AGAPE>
- This chapter's name simply references the fact that Ledas unlocks SS here. I do think it's a cool choice for a word to reference that, though.
- This chapter existed in the first version of the Lauto Saga. I imported it, along with the season finale part 2, to this saga once I split the Lauto Saga into two sagas. It was updated and made better during my final edits, and while it's now word-for-word quite different than it was when I first wrote it in late November 2010, it is spiritually and thematically basically the same as it was in the first draft. Now, I updated this chapter (in a major way) twice after that first draft: first when I posted it on the first draft of the Stomping Grounds Saga; and when I did the final edits for this saga. During those edits, I did some massive changes. The opening scene with Ledas, the natives, and Lieme was reworded in a major way, though it is essentially the same (the scene gets to the same endpoint) as it was in all previous drafts of the story. The natives' role was minimized in the final draft, however. I also added in an expanded scene with Payar in the final edits that illustrated the new natives plot well and was more thematically interesting than what existed in all previous versions. This resulted in a different reason for Ledas turning into a Super Saiyan. When I was preparing for the final edits for TF, I created a notepad document and listed all of the major changes I wanted to make for each saga. These changes became more drastic in the latter sagas (as small changes in earlier sagas produce a butterfly effect). This is why there weren't many changes in the Prince Vegeta Saga or Planet Earth Saga compared to the other four. What became a major change in this saga as a result of earlier changes in the Prince Vegeta Saga and Lauto Saga was that I needed Ledas to become a Super Saiyan in a different way. Though his original transformation was praised by most reviews of TF on this site, I was unhappy with it for one reason - it was his sadness at the deaths of the natives that caused him to transform, and yet those natives are no longer a part of his life after he transforms. Such an important transformation should be tied to something very important to him, very central to his character, as happened with Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks. The idea that he's going to be a slave until he stands up for himself has been built up throughout the story so far, and Ledas' desire to finally be free is a major reason for his Super Saiyan transformation. The natives are still around; they serve as a catalyst and beings he can empathize with. But he's a Saiyan, and it's OOC for both him and a member of his race (who was not raised like Goku) to go SS after seeing a bunch of them die. It's the fact that Ledas realizes he's a slave like them that leads to his transformation, the realization that he's going through life as a slave without any hope or freedom and that those around him want to subvert his identity and agency. He wants to find Vegeta. He wants to go off and live a life of his own choosing. He realizes that Guva's and Banas' bullshit and the Plantains' bloodlust has all been keeping him from this. And that angers him enough to make him transform. So that change was worked into the final edits of all the sagas up to this point. I built up to such a SS transformation in the final version of this story because I thought it was both more compelling and truer to Ledas' character. It's one of the biggest overall changes in TF as a result, as it affects much more than just this chapter.
- I wanted to see Ledas drunk for comedic reasons, mostly. It was also a way to show Ledas in a way that he has not often been seen before. And of course, DBZ is famous for having lots of comedy intermixed with the high drama, so I thought it would be in the flavor of the universe to start this chapter with some comedy, considering how serious it gets later. He's not really drunk in the normal way, as it's not true alcohol he's ingesting. The fruit just makes him act similar to how a drunken person would act with its alien components.
- Banas isn't usually devious, but his anger at Ledas puts him in a rare humor. He sends Lieme to get Ledas so that he can kill the boy quickly and quietly and not make a big show of it like Guva wants, for that will take too long and make it too extravagant for his tastes.
- Ledas almost connects with the natives after he gets drunk, but his immature Saiyan personality doesn't make that possible. In previous versions, he did become friends with them, but as mentioned above, I deemed that OOC for a Saiyan raised in the manner Ledas was, so it was changed to how it is now. It makes Ledas a greyer, more interesting character that he doesn't bond with the natives anymore, I think.
- Something that occurred in the previous versions of TF was that almost no mention was made of Ledas not aging. I realized how odd this was when I re-read TF to prepare for the final edits. Surely, Lieme and the others would notice that Ledas hasn't aged in 21 years. It would seem odd, of course, since they saw him age from the age of 5 to 12, so they know his species does in fact age. That he randomly stopped aging 21 years ago is certainly curious. Lieme's exchange with Ledas about this was my attempt to add some more realism to the story. It also reveals, interestingly, that Ledas doesn't notice that he hasn't been aging either. He didn't know about the 21 years he was in stasis until Lieme mentions it, though he doesn't appear to believe Lieme. Now, some of that can be attributed to him being in stasis for 21 years, but in truth, Ledas stopped aging when he absorbed The Benefactor's and Lauto's powers. He will realize that later, before he reaches Earth.
- A consequence of Ledas being "drunk" is that he cannot deal with Lieme as easily as he otherwise should have been able to. He's much more powerful than Lieme now, so I needed a way to make the fight go in Lieme's favor. The drunkenness made this possible.
- It is a deliberate character parallel that I show Guva drinking from the same type of fruit as Ledas in this chapter.
- Ledas certainly doesn't like that the natives are being killed because he sees it as the reckless excess of the corrupt PTO soldiers he despises. He doesn't care about the natives just because of who they are, though. Their slavery under the PTO is similar to his, so he can empathize with them.
- Since Payar can't make smoke by himself (he can't produce the ki attacks that would create smoke), I gave him a few regular soldiers during the final edits. They were the ones who used their energy attacks to cause some fires in the forest. The rising smoke then alerted Ledas to exactly where they were.
- Ledas lets his anger cloud his judgment during his fight against Payar. This is a subtle callback to chapter 3 of the Lauto Saga, where Ledas used Meloon's anger against him to defeat a much stronger foe. Here, Payar is doing the same thing to Ledas.
- Ledas doesn't think he can take on all of the Plantains at once. In his Semi Super Saiyan form, he might not be able to. It's a good thing he unlocks the much stronger SS1 form before he has to, though.
- There used to be a lot of flashbacks back to Guva's and Banas' past. I much prefer how it ended up in the final version of TF, with more of their past hinted at than outright stated. Banas' conversation with Guva just after they see Payar's flare is a good example of that. I don't give away all of the information, presenting just a few tantalizing hints that allow the readers to use their own imaginations to create the two aliens' backstories. Using dead space like that can often be more effective than outright stating something. It is a key tenant of literary minimalism, and while I'm not a minimalist myself (in terms of literature), I do like to use stuff like this every now and then for greater impact.
- Notice how Banas is expecting Guva to help him take out Ledas. The coliseum show is no longer on the table. That is likely because of Lieme going after Ledas and Guva realizing that the other Plantains will be involved. He doesn't want the regular soldiers to watch him kill all of the Plantains with Ledas' help. That will reduce the morale of Guva's soldiers severely. So now he realizes that he just needs to get the battle over with, ignoring his own emotions and desire for glory. He realizes that he will need to help Ledas as well, to finally reveal his true colors to Banas, and because of that, he no longer wants to make an extravagant show of the battle.
- So Payar's and Ledas' conversation after Payar kills the last native is very important to the themes of the past two sagas, as well as this one. There is a clear personality divide between Payar and Ledas; Payar saying that he doesn't care if he's a slave as long as he's entertained is quite different from Ledas' perspective. In this way, Payar serves as a foil to Ledas. He even calls Ledas out on his apparent moral hypocrisy about caring about the natives. Ledas notes that he was forced to kill billions in the past. He also notes that the way that Payar plays with the lives of living beings is disgusting - this is mostly because Ledas feels like his life is being played with too (not to the extremes the natives' are, though), and he's sick of the arrogance of the PTO. There are also a lot of philosophical notions brought forth in that section, as well as thematic considerations, that I won't delve into since I want the readers to come to their own conclusions about that stuff.
- Payar is smarter than he often lets on. This is seen when he reveals he knows Guva's plan to kill Banas with Ledas. He notes that he doesn't want any part of it, which is interesting, as it means he's the least loyal of any Plantain to Banas. When we last saw Payar, he was not happy with Guva, so Guva must've mended their relationship during the 21 year timeskip. This was of course hinted at in the last chapter, when it was noted that a lot of gladiator matches and butchery of the natives had happened since Ledas was lost on the stomping grounds. Perhaps Guva was trying to use Payar in Ledas' place to take out Banas before he learned that Ledas never died at all. But here, Payar says he doesn't want any part of it. He doesn't want to be on either side. That is because he just wants to be entertained. He doesn't care if he's enslaved or who's in charge. He wants to be able to kill natives to his own heart's content. One of the themes that is presented in this saga in particular is how disloyal everyone is beneath the surface. Guva, Payar, Banas, Lieme, and even Sika, Sarpack, and Digranite all show these tendencies when they are not around their superiors. It shows how fragile Cooler's empire actually is and how much everyone, not just Ledas, is searching for personal agency.
- Ledas staring into the dead native's eyes produces memories of his past. This is because death is such a big thing in his life. It is symbolic of much, thematically tied to almost every aspect of his character. Everyone he knew is dead except for maybe Vegeta. He feels like he's being swallowed whole, forgotten and left to slowly fade away. And he doesn't want that. He wants to be free to do what he wants, to become a Super Saiyan, and to find Vegeta.
- Ledas seeing hallucinations of The Benefactor in this chapter is interesting. Obviously, he is seeing TB because of the power he absorbed from that creature. That he is tapping into the "dark" power inside him in this time of pain and sadness says a lot about Ledas. TB and Ledas are parallel characters, so having TB act as a sort of subconscious mentor just before Ledas becomes a SS has many implications about his character as well as their parallel characterizations.
- The Benefactor saying "Were it so easy" is something that The Arbiter says a lot in Halo 3. It is also the name of a story I wrote about The Benefactor a long time ago.
- That The Benefactor's hallucination shatters in a brilliant flash of light when Ledas reaches SS and finally gains control of all of the power inside of him is rather telling.
- The birds that fly away when Ledas becomes a SS are symbols of something. Remember that there was previously a bird in the last chapter which Banas shot down and landed right in front of Ledas.
- I must note that it took me 35 chapters to give Ledas Super Saiyan. Writers giving their Saiyans Super Saiyan (and beyond) is as common as anything on this wiki. And it always annoyed me how rarely if ever did those transformations feel earned. It was just "well Goku has it, so my guy needs to get it" or "Super Saiyan looks cool so my guy needs it". Both are poor reasons for giving a Saiyan Super Saiyan. To be honest, I haven't read any really good Super Saiyan transformations for fanon Saiyans on this wiki. It's so hard to do. No other writer would build up to it for 35 chapters to make a legitimately good transformation. They don't have the patience or skill. This is one of the reasons I think TF far surpasses most other fanon Saiyan origin stories. I am careful with my story. I use realism and build up and don't just give my Saiyan transformations like SS for no reason. Everything is a natural evolution of Ledas' character. Yes, I wanted to give him Super Saiyan, and had I been a bad writer, he would have gotten it much earlier. I think I did a good job (or at least I tried to do a good job) of building up to Ledas' transformation and having what makes him reach that emotional breaking point realistic to his character and to the universe he is a part of.
- Guva's scene near the end of this chapter where he gets suited up for battle was inspired by this scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. That is such a powerful scene, and I hope I captured some of its brilliance in this chapter.
- Guva wanting to be "done up" as regally as possible for the butchery that is about to take place is a moment of deliberate characterization.
- Guva recoils when he sees the light outside. The light causes him to lose his splendor for a moment, until he re-adjusts his eyes to it. This foreshadows his meeting with Super Saiyan Ledas, and how the noble and regal Guva will pale in comparison to the Saiyan warrior. Guva re-adjusting his eyes to the light rather quickly hints that he alone will be able to withstand Ledas' Super Saiyan antics in the remaining plot of this saga.
- Ledas takes out Payar because of what Payar did to the natives. In Super Saiyan, he realizes he's much more powerful than before and should have no problem with the Plantains, so he doesn't mind instigating the fight anymore.
- Guva's look of terror is perhaps the first time he's ever appeared not in control of things. He had no reason to suspect Ledas could turn his hair yellow, so that is surely a shock. The ease with which Ledas takes out Payar, too, must shock Guva, since Payar is so strong. Guva realizes, as this chapter ends, that Ledas has surpassed everyone else on the outpost and that his own life is at risk because of that.
To Each, According To His Sins (season finale part 2)
<THE CAMERA MOVES AROUND THE OUTPOST; IT IS EMPTY, BARREN; A SLIGHT WIND BLOWS THROUGH; RATTLING THE SILENCE, GUVA SPEAKS; THE CAMERA TAKES ITS TIME TO COME AROUND AND FOCUS ONTO HIM>
Guva: <TO LEDAS> Follow me.
<THEY LEAVE PAYAR AND WALK TO THE COLISEUM; ONCE INSIDE, GUVA PRESSES A BUTTON ON HIS WRIST TO CALL BANAS; QUICKLY BANAS AND HIS TEAM ARRIVE>
Guva: <TO LEDAS> I’ve already called Banas here.
<LEDAS LOOKS AROUND, HIS AURA OVERFLOWING IN ITS BRIGHTNESS; IT TAKES NO MORE THAN A MOMENT FOR THE THREE PLANTAINS TO REACH GUVA AND THE BOY>
Banas: Ah, look who it is. <CONFIDENTLY WALKS UP TO GUVA> Can’t deal with him yourself?
Guva: Captain, I think you misunderstand. This is your fight. I’m just here to watch.
Banas: Oh, of course. <HE PATS GUVA ON THE SHOULDER AND WALKS FORWARD>
Guva: The kid wants to kill you. A most ridiculous request, yes. But, nevertheless, I think you should give him a fair fight. No help from your lackeys.
Banas: Where’s Payar?
Guva: <WITHOUT HESITATION> Incapacitated. I can give you more details once you’ve killed the boy.
Banas: <TO GUVA> So, you really don’t want to fight him? What happened, did you read his power? <LAUGHS>
Guva: Not at all. I’m fine watching.
Banas: Well, unlike you, I plan on fighting today. And I will.
Ledas: Enough talking!
Banas: <TO LEDAS> Nice hair, kid. You look better in yellow. <TO HIS TEAM> Now let’s go!
<LEDAS JUMPS AT BANAS BUT THE TWO PLANTAINS GET IN HIS WAY; THEY PREVENT HIM FROM GETTING AT BANAS>
Meloon: You’re not beatin’ us.
Ledas: Guva! You didn’t say I had to kill them too!
Guva: Meloon, Lieme, stand down!
Lieme: Not a chance, governor.
<LEDAS RUNS AT ALL THREE OF THEM; HE EASILY TAKES THEM ALL ON; GUVA WATCHES>
<ALL THREE PLANTAINS ARE ABOUT EVEN WITH LEDAS; BUT LEDAS ISN’T TRYING; HE IS WEARING THEM DOWN, FROM LANDING CRITICAL HITS, TIME AND TIME AGAIN, NONE OF THEM CAN DAMAGE HIM; HE ISN’T ABLE TO ATTACK BANAS MUCH, HOWEVER, AS THE CAPTAIN IS STAYING BACK>
Ledas: I’m going to have to kill them, Guva! They won’t get out of my way!
Banas: <STOPS FIGHTING> What?! <HE LOOKS AT GUVA WITH WIDE EYES> You and the boy are working together? That must be why you’ve kept him alive! Why you went out to go rescue him… you wanted him to kill me!
Guva: <PUNCHES BANAS IN THE FACE, SENDS HIM FLYING, GUVA CASUALLY WALKS UP TO BANAS, WHERE HE LIES> I’ve grown bored of it all. The planet, the outpost, the constant, insanity inducing monotony. But, most of all Captain, <GUVA CREATES AN ENERGY BALL, PALM UP; QUIETS TO A WHISPER> I’ve grown bored of you. There’s no point in hiding from that any longer.
<AT THIS TIME, PAYAR STAGGERS INTO THE COLISEUM>
Payar: Uuuhhh… cap’n. I’m here. <HE GETS UP, ONTO HIS OWN FEET, PANTING, BUT STILL A THREAT>
<HIS FACE IS COVERED IN BLOOD FROM LEDAS’ EARLIER ATTACK; STILL, HE RUSHES AT THE BOY AND STARTS FIGHTING HIM>
<GUVA THROWS HIS BLAST; IN THE LIGHT OF THE EXPLOSION, LEDAS CONTINUES FIGHTING ALL THREE PLANTAINS BEHIND>
Banas: <RISES; SARCASTICALLY> My dear governor, I didn’t think you still had it in you. You almost chipped my armor.
Guva: Imagine that.
<BOTH GUVA AND BANAS POWER UP; THEY ARE THE SAME STRENGTH>
Guva: <SMILING> You see, captain, I’ve indeed still got it.
Banas: <ENRAGED; TO HIS TEAM> Kill that monkey, then help me with Guva.
Guva: I am just here to hold you off. The kid’s going to kill you. <SLOWLY WALKS TOWARDS BANAS, THEN DISAPPEARS, AND REAPPEARS BEHIND BANAS AND KICKS HIM> Surely you can do better? <BANAS JUMPS UP AND PUNCHES GUVA IN THE GUT, THEN SHOOTS AN ENERGY BLAST INTO HIS FACE>
Banas: You maggot!
<GUVA PUNCHES BANAS IN THE FACE; BOTH ARE AT FULL POWER, AND THE ENTIRE OUTPOST IS SHAKING FROM THEIR BATTLE>
<GUVA’S STYLE OF REFINED AND DETERMINED PUNCHES VERSUS BANAS’ STYLE OF RANDOM, UNDETERMINED ATTACKS ARE IN SHARP CONTRAST HERE; NEITHER CAN GAIN AN EDGE>
<GUVA AND BANAS’ FIGHT IS HEATING UP, GETTING INCREDIBLY FAST, BEYOND WHAT ANYONE, EVEN LIEME CAN SEE; REGULAR SOLDIERS COME OUT OF THE BARRACKS TO WATCH; BUT THEY DARE NOT GET INVOLVED>
<BANAS HITS GUVA THROUGH A TREE; THEN THE GOVERNOR SWIFTLY ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY OF A SHATTERING KICK; HE GETS UP AND THROWS A BLAST AT BANAS’ FACE TO STALL HIM; IT WORKS, AND GUVA RISES INTO THE AIR AGAIN, WITH THE HIGH GROUND; HE SPREADS HIS ARMS IN VICTORY>
<LEDAS HITS LIEME OUT OF THE WAY, AND RIGHT WHEN THE ELITE IS ABOUT TO GET UP, PAYAR IS SENT FLYING RIGHT INTO HIM; THAT LEAVES LEDAS AND MELOON ALONE; IT IS NO CONTEST, MELOON IS BEATEN THE GROUND, CRITICALLY WOUNDED, QUICKLY>
Ledas: <DESCENDS TO THE GROUND, OVER MELOON’S BODY> I never got to finish what I started when we first met. This time I won’t let anyone save you.
Meloon: Oh yeah? I’ll kill you first!
<LEDAS PUNCHES HIM SQUARE IN THE FACE, WITHOUT TRYING OR MOVING>
Meloon: <GRABS HIS FACE, TAKES A FEW STEPS BACK> Ow!
Ledas: That’s for my father.
Meloon: So, <WITH MUCH RAGE> you wanna play?! <MELOON PUNCHES AT LEDAS, BUT HE MISSES>
Ledas: <PUNCHES MELOON IN THE GUT, VOICE RISING TO A SCREAM> That’s for my planet!
<MELOON DOUBLES OVER AND SPITS OUT SOME BLOOD; HE LOOKS UP AND RUSHES AT LEDAS, WHO SIDESTEPS AND GRABS HIS ARM, HE PULLS IT AROUND, BEHIND THE FAT SOLDIER, AND BREAKS IT; LEDAS READIES A GREAT ENERGY BEAM>
Ledas: And this… this is for Vegeta! <HE SHOOTS THE GALICK BEAM AT MELOON, KILLING THE ELITE>
Lieme: You’ll pay for that!
<LIEME GETS UP AND RUSHES, SENDING OUT ALL HIS TRICKS, OF AFTERIMAGES AND WHATNOT; LEDAS CAN SENSE THROUGH, THOUGH AND FIND THE REAL LIEME; HE, IN A BRIEF, BUT VICIOUS FIGHT, DISARMS LIEME, AND SENDS HIM FLYING AGAIN; JUST AS LIEME IS GETTING UP, WITH BLOOD DRIPPING FROM HIS FOREHEAD AND ON HIS KNEES, LEDAS SENDS OUT A QUICK FINGER BEAM, HITTING LIEME IN THE JUGULAR; LIEME FALLS, GASPING AND BLEEDING OUT – A SLOW AND IRONIC DEATH FOR SOMEONE WHO FOCUSED ON THE QUICK KILL FOR SO MUCH IN HIS LIFE>
<PAYAR, GROGGILY, GETS UP AND STUMBLES OVER TO LEDAS>
Payar: So kid… <PANTING, BECOMING DELIRIOUS> ya beat us. Bravo…
<LIEME IS STILL FLOPPING AROUND IN THE CORNER OF THE SCREEN; HE GOES LIMP AS PAYAR CONTINUES TO TALK>
Payar: But the guv’nor… the cap’n… <STILL PANTING> they’ll get you. And it’ll probably be in a way you never thought… <PAYAR COLLAPSES IN AGONY; LEDAS APPROACHES HIM, HITTING THE ALIEN WITH SEVERAL CRITICAL PUNCHES; PAYAR IS NOW CRITICALLY WOUNDED, AND HE KNOWS IT> H-h-hey… kid… <COUGHS UP BLOOD> just give me a good death… a warrior’s death.
Ledas: <NOT SMILING> Goodbye, Payar.
Payar: <NOT UNDERSTANDING, HE HAS ONE EYE CLOSED IN PAIN> Wai… wha…?
<LEDAS PICKS UP PAYAR, WITH ONE HAND, AND THROWS HIM PRECISELY INTO THE FOREST; PAYAR FLIES AND LANDS IN THE CENTER OF A NATIVE TOWN>
Payar: <IN SLOW PAIN> Aaaauuuhhhh… whadda hell? Where the hell am I?
<SEVERAL NATIVES CROWD AROUND HIM, BUT HE TRIES TO PUSH THEM AWAY>
Payar: <IN PAIN, SAID SLOWLY> Go on. Get away! <HE COUGHS UP BLOOD>
<PAYAR LOOKS UP, OVER HIM ARE STANDING SEVERAL MORE NATIVES, NOW SOME ARE ARMED WITH BLUNT KNIVES AND ROCKS>
Payar: <PAYAR TAKES WHAT HE HAD FIDDLING AROUND WITH HIS HANDS FOR THE PAST TWO SAGAS AND SHOWS IT TO THE NATIVES; IT IS A SMALL NECKLACE OF SORTS, WITH A LONG LINE OF TEETH ON IT> Ya see that? <COUGHS> Ah… I’ll add all your… all of you to my trophy–
<A NATIVE STEPS ON PAYAR’S ARM, SHATTERING IT, BUT ALSO DESTROYING THE GRISLY NECKLACE; PAYAR TRIES TO RAISE HIS HAND, BUT CAN’T; HE SEES WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN>
Payar: <THE NATIVES RAISE THEIR WEAPONS; PAYAR LETS HIS HEAD FALL BACK AGAINST THE EARTH; HE SIGHS> Aw, fuck.
<THE CAMERA PANS BACKWARD, BACK THROUGH THE TREES AS PAYAR’S SCREAMS FADE INTO BANAS AND GUVA’S FIGHT>
<THEY CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT FOR A SHORT WHILE; THEN BANAS AND GUVA STOP, BOTH JUST FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER>
Banas: Give it up, Guva! You can’t beat me!
Guva: Just like old times, huh?
<HE WALKS RIGHT UP TO BANAS, AND WITHOUT BEING CHALLENGED, RAISES HIS HAND TO RIGHT IN FRONT OF BANAS’ FACE; HE PREPARES ENERGY; BANAS, QUICKLY REACTING TO THIS, PUTS HIS OWN HAND UP, MERE INCHES FROM GUVA’S; WHAT BEGINS IS PERHAPS THE SMALLEST BEAM STRUGGLE EVER, WITH THE TWO STANDING, LOOKING IN EACH OTHER’S EYES; BUT AS THE POWER PUT INTO THE STRUGGLE GETS LARGER, SO DO THEIR BEAMS, AND THE MOVE APART; BY THE TIME LEDAS HAS KILLED THE PLANTAINS, THEY ARE WORKING UP A STORM BEHIND HIM>
<LEDAS IS SIMPLY SITTING ON HIS KNEES LOOKING ABOUT>
Ledas: They died so easily… I-I can’t believe it… <HE LOOKS AT HIS HAND AND NOTICES THE AURA> This is unreal. I must be a Super Saiyan…! <HE LOOKS UP WITH A GLINT IN HIS EYES> I’m invincible! <HE STANDS UP AND HOWLS WITH DELIGHT>
<LEDAS MOVES TOWARD THE TWO; HE WALKS SLOWLY, ALL THE WAY UP TO THE MIDDLE OF THE STRUGGLE>
Guva: Kill him, Ledas! Kill him now!
Banas: <SHOUTING BACK> Governor, you shouldn’t have. I’m blushing now.
<GUVA PUTS ALL HIS ENERGY INTO THE STRUGGLE; BANAS DOES THE SAME; UNDERSTANDABLY, NEITHER OF THEM CAN WIN LIKE THIS>
Ledas: <CALMLY, WITH CONFIDENCE HE HAS NEVER HAD BEFORE> Neither of you will win.
Guva: What?! Ledas?!
<HE CREATES A SMALL BALL OF ENERGY, VERY SMALL; AND AFTER A FEW LOOKS TO EACH OF HIS VICTIMS, HE THROWS IT INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE BEAM STRUGGLE, CAUSING THE WHOLE THING TO DETONATE>
<BOTH BANAS AND GUVA ARE THROWN FAR AWAY FROM EACH OTHER; BOTH ARE SEVERELY WOUNDED, BUT BOTH ARE STILL ALIVE>
<LEDAS WALKS OVER TO BANAS, IN ORDER TO DISPOSE OF HIM>
Guva: <IN PAIN> Now! Do it!
<LEDAS CONTINUES WALKING, IGNORING HIM>
Banas: Go ahead, do it. But you will have a hard time explaining this to Cooler.
Ledas: I don’t care about Cooler. He means nothing to me.
Banas: <LETS HIS HEAD FALL ONTO THE GROUND; LAUGHS> Foolish words from someone who has no idea what he’s talking about. <IN PAIN, BUT STILL TALKATIVE, HIS PAIN IS NOT EFFECTING HIS SPEECH> You may be strong, kid, but you’re nothing to him.
<LEDAS DOES NOT RESPOND>
Banas: <TURNS TO GUVA, WHO HAS REACHED THEM BY MEANS OF CRAWLING> Kind of you to join us, governor. As for you, you better hope you die tonight. Facing Cooler will be much worse than this. He’ll find out what happened here, and know that you can’t govern for shit. You’ll be gone before they can get a me a body bag. <LAUGHS, COUGHING UP BLOOD>
<LEDAS STANDS BANAS UP; BANAS IS HOLDING ONTO HIS SHOULDERS AND IS SITTING ON ONE KNEE; LEDAS PUTS OUT HIS HAND, THEN CREATES A KYORRA FLASH; BANAS DOES NOT DEFEND; LEDAS SHOOTS THE BLAST>
<WHEN THE BLAST CLEARS, BANAS IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN; GUVA LOOKS SATISFIED; HE FALLS TO THE GROUND, SIGHING HEAVILY>
<LEDAS JUMPS ON TOP OF GUVA>
Ledas: Now tell me.
Guva: <BREATHING HARD; EYES CLOSED> As you wish.
Guva: It surprised me later just how lucky the kid was. <THE SCENE HAS NOT CHANGED, IT IS STILL WITH GUVA AND LEDAS; SHOWS LEDAS CONTINUING TO PUSH GUVA FOR INFORMATION>
Guva: Especially when he heard where his one friend in the universe was. Of course, I didn’t tell the kid that Vegeta was living on the same planet Cooler was headed to at this very moment. <GUVA, A BLOODY MESS, CRACKS A SMILE AS HE TELLS LEDAS OF VEGETA’S LOCATION>
<GUVA STANDS UP WITH LEDAS, HE HANDS LEDAS HIS LEFT WRIST GUARD AS SOMETHING TO REMEMBER HIM BY, AND THEN WALKS OFF; LEDAS IS SHOWN PUTTING HIS THINGS INTO HIS POD; HE PACKS UP MUCH OF HIS OLD ARMOR; STANDING OVER THE POD FOR A SECOND, HE TAKES OUT A SMALL BROWN POUCH; HE LOOKS IT OVER BEFORE JUMPING IN HIS POD AND LEAVING PLANET COOLER 92 FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A FREE SAIYAN; THOUGH HE HAS NOTICEABLY LEFT THE NATIVES IN GUVA’S HANDS AS SLAVES>
Guva: <CUTS BACK TO GUVA’S ROOM, HE IS STARING OUT THE WINDOW; THE SKY IS A LIGHT YELLOW> It’s amazing how certain events change a person. How someone else’s death can make you whole… and at the same time empty.
Guva: <TAKES OUT A DRINK, AND POURS IT> It’s the 765 age. Frieza died not too long ago and the entire galaxy is spinning out control. Cooler will naturally try some damage control… but even if he kills the person – that other Saiyan who bested Frieza – I fear the damage is already done. Just as here, on 92, it’s hard to hide a successful revolt. The soldiers know their captain is gone. They know three of their betters are killed. Will these revelations bring about a greater boldness in them? Will it amplify their fears? And what of my pet project? The natives of 92.
<SCREEN CUTS TO THE NATIVES, WHO ARE STILL WORKING FOR GUVA BUT ARE MUCH HAPPIER>
Guva: The murder of Payar will give them confidence. It will also give them rebellious thoughts, the likes of which I fear we have not yet witnessed. And without my captain, without my team… who will stop them? And should I kill them, who will I have left to rule over?
Guva: <STANDS, DRINKING FROM A SPIKED FRUIT IN FRONT OF A WINDOW THAT COVERS AN ENTIRE WALL; IT IS EVENING> And the kid. He’s gone. Chasing ghosts, just like Cooler. Both off to that pathetic planet, Earth. Why it’s so special, I’ll never know. And who knows, maybe they’ll meet up and kill each other. Wishful thinking… but at least I don’t have to deal with either of them right now.
Guva:<SCREEN SHOWS THE NATIVES AGAIN> But as for me, I’m happy enough. Banas is gone and I can live comfortably. By my firm hand will this planet’s natives remain loyal. I will make them civilized; I will make them respectable. And they will thank me for it. After all <CAMERA PANS AROUND, TO FACE GUVA> a true leader, a successful leader will keep the order. He will be the one truly in charge. And I am the true leader here. The storms, they will all pass in time. They will become but a distant memory for those who remain. But <CUTS TO SPACE, IT IS LEDAS’ SPACE POD; INSIDE HE IS SLEEPING, DREAMING HAPPILY, HEADED OFF TO EARTH> it is foolish to let any one of your enemies live… because, who knows? Maybe I’ll just decide to dro–
<GUVA’S GLASS SHATTERS AND HE FALLS BACK, SPILLING HIS DRINK; AS HE SITS UP AND LOOKS AROUND, A FIGURE, SILHOUETTED BY THE SETTING SUN BEHIND, IS STANDING OVER HIM>
Banas: <PUTS OUT HIS HAND, FOR GUVA TO GRASP> Governor, <NODS> how’ve you been?
- <END STOMPING GROUNDS SAGA>
Cue Great Spirits. Credits roll during this time.
- This chapter's name is a reference to the famous Karl Marx quote from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. "Need" is changed to "sins" here because Ledas is making the Plantains pay for how they've treated him for so long. He's finally getting back at them. He kills Payar, Lieme, and Meloon in ways specifically related to how they treated him.
- This chapter's name continues the streak of each of the first three sagas having at least one chapter name that has a word in italics.
- This chapter changed very little during the final edits. I did some minor dialogue cleanup, made sure this chapter was consistent with the rest of the story so far (thus, I added in a thing about the Saibamen during closing monologue by Guva), and expanded Ledas' fight against the Plantains a bit. Other than that, though, the final version of this chapter is much like the original version.
- Guva takes Ledas to the coliseum to fight. I imagine he originally wanted Banas and Ledas to fight in front of a crowd of PTO soldiers. But now, he just wants to get the whole thing over with quietly. He's tried to get at least Payar and Lieme over to his side, but that hasn't worked. What he realizes now is that the Plantains must all die, and that will be a heavy blow to his outpost. He doesn't want any of his regular soldiers to see that. As well, he expected that he would have to fight too, but now that he's seen Super Saiyan Ledas effortless take out Payar, he doesn't know that he will have to. That is why he tells Banas he is only going to watch. That annoys Banas, who expected Guva to want to take part in the killing of the "traitor" Saiyan.
- Guva tells Banas that Payar is incapacitated and Banas doesn't ask for details. Banas isn't thinking right. He just wants to kill Ledas. He's too obsessed, too angry to realize the treachery that is going on around him. And that is going to lead to his defeat.
- Guva doesn't want Banas to use the Plantains in his battle against Ledas, since he wants to preserve those warriors. But they want to help Banas take out Ledas no matter what. They are loyal to their captain, and Guva lacks the ability to make them stand down. He obviously feels very bad about this, because it means he's going to lose some very good soldiers and if Cooler ever returns from Earth, Guva will have a lot of explaining to do (and will probably lose his governorship if he doesn't come up with a good explanation for why so many good soldiers died).
- Banas telling Ledas he looks better in yellow was a fun comedic line I added in during the final edits. I did so because I realized as I was making the final edits that no one made any mention of Ledas' changed appearance after he transformed into a Super Saiyan. Thus, I had to fix that. This is similar to the previous chapter, where I had Lieme comment on Ledas' lack of aging.
- It's so shocking to Banas when he realizes that Ledas and Guva are working together to try to kill him (after a careless comment by Ledas, who doesn't really care about the politics of this battle at all) that he stops fighting and puts his guard down, despite being engaged in combat with a Super Saiyan. It must have completely crushed his world to realize that. After he understands what's going on, Banas' entire tone shifts and he acts completely unlike he used to. Of course, this is to be expected. From Banas' point-of-view, his entire world has been shattered. He considered Guva to be his best friend - his only true friend. To learn that Guva was trying to kill him all these years with Ledas's help was quite an emotional blow.
- I think it's cool how as soon as Banas realizes that Guva is trying to kill him, Guva shoots forward and attacks him. He's been wanting to take out Banas for a long time, so when he attacks Banas, he's getting all of that pent-up hatred of the captain released.
- Guva's and Banas' relationship has always been a fun one for me to write, since the two are so different. Their dialogue to one another during their fight here is some of my favorite stuff they do together. It's all rather funny to me, which is interesting when compared to the more serious tone of Ledas and the others.
- It's nice, though, to see everyone being honest finally. There have been all these treacheries and plots and cold wars going on between the various PTO officers that now it's refreshing that it's out in the open. For me at least it was very satisfying to get to the point where Guva can admit to Banas that he wants him dead. He was scared to do so before, so it's a big moment of character development for him when he finally openly embraces his desire to kill Banas.
- Of course, the thing Guva did not want to happen under any circumstances (the regular soldiers watching him fight the Plantains) occurs once Guva begins to fight Banas. That's nice and ironic.
- Notice how Guva's and Banas' personalities are reflected in the way they fight. Yet, neither can gain the edge over the other.
- Ledas killing Meloon is one of the most satisfying moments for me in TF and in this saga in particular. His lines of dialogue ("That's for my father", etc.) show a great maturation of character in Ledas; he now is exerting his own will while not forgetting his past and what matters to him. He's a Saiyan at heart, and he knows this. He won't let Meloon forget that it's just a "stupid monkey" who ends up killing him. Meloon and Ledas have had some interactions before. Meloon is quite stupid, but strong. Their interactions have been almost exclusively fights of great brutality and pain. Ledas swiftly takes out Meloon with several damaging attacks to prove to Meloon that he has far surpassed the alien. It's a fantastic moment, in my opinion.
- The way Ledas pulls Meloon's arm behind him and breaks it before killing Meloon is a reference to the Namek arc of DBZ, where Vegeta does a similar maneuver to Dodoria.
- As the text mentions, Lieme's death is quite ironic. Each Plantain death means a lot to Ledas. He has planned out each death specifically because all three of them have tormented him for years. For Lieme especially, Ledas wanted the Plantain to suffer as he died. And so he does. Lieme has the longest death, though his is not more painful than Payar's.
- Payar foretells that either Guva or Banas will get Ledas later on and in a way that he doesn't expect. Perhaps that will come true; we'll have to wait and see.
- Payar wants a warrior's death like Meloon, but Ledas refuses to give it to him because he hates Payar the most out of all of the Plantains. He wants Payar to feel pain and to die how he lived. He wants those who Payar tormented to get revenge on him just like Ledas got revenge on the other two Plantain members. As such, Ledas doesn't actually kill Payar, though I'm sure he was okay with that.
- Payar's tooth necklace is finally revealed in this chapter; it was hinted at many times since chapter 13 of TF (which was chapter 1 of the Lauto Saga) and on. Now we can see just how savage Payar is and how he obsesses over those he kills and wants to kill.
- Payar's death is very satisfying to me as well. The way the natives completely overcome him and make him scream his last living breaths is great payback for what he did to them. Now of course, they can't get back those he took from them, but beggars can't be choosers.
- Ledas howls with delight after realizing he's a Super Saiyan because that seemed like a semi-feral thing to do, and Saiyans tend to be like that.
- Banas' and Guva's beam struggle is a classic DBZ trope. It's something I can picture in my mind even now. It would be a massive struggle, like SS2 Gohan vs Super Perfect Cell.
- I wanted to end a beam struggle in a non-standard way which is why Ledas threw his own energy ball into it to blow it up. This also allowed for both Guva and Banas to be severely injured by Ledas. Since he doesn't like either one of them, he would have wanted to make them both hurt for what they have done to him since he first arrived on Planet Cooler 92.
- Ledas is so defiant that he says he doesn't care about Cooler. He's done with the PTO, with the slavery and the butchery and the arrogance. He just wants to find Vegeta and live happily ever after. When Ledas says that Cooler means nothing to him, though, this shows how Ledas doesn't always hold a grudge and isn't as revenge-oriented as his actions may make him seem. This is because he's a complex character. Just because he may want revenge on Meloon and the others doesn't necessarily mean he wants revenge on anyone who ever wrongs him. Sometimes he's too exhausted, too lazy, or doesn't care enough about that person to pursue them. Such is the case with Cooler.
- Banas' words are true, though. Even in his Super Saiyan form, Ledas is nothing compared to Final Form Cooler. The boy doesn't realize this, or perhaps doesn't believe Banas. It's also interesting how Banas would even know how strong Cooler is. This hints that maybe he saw Cooler's full power in the past (the readers can come up with an answer to that and fill in the blanks as they wish). Or maybe he didn't and he's just recklessly boasting. It could be either; I don't specifically say which is correct, nor will I ever.
- Banas' "death" seems rather straightforward, anticlimactic, and not very dramatic. There is a reason for that. If a major character seems to die randomly like that, perhaps they aren't actually dead.
- I didn't feel like showing Guva telling Ledas about Vegeta. It felt like it would ruin the pacing of the story. We all know where Vegeta is, anyways. Having Guva monologue and recount what he said has more drama and entertainment value and is also more practical for showing all of the resolutions to the plot in a quick way. This chapter is already rather long, and it would have been absurdly long without the compression in the last section. As it stands, this chapter is the sixth longest chapter in all of TF even with that compression.
- It's funny that Guva smiles when he recounts that Cooler was going to Earth, because, in fact, Cooler dies on Earth (in my canon - I don't consider the second Cooler movie to be canon).
- I gave Ledas Guva's left wrist guard because I thought it would visually look cool if he had it. Since Guva has such cool, ornate armor, I wanted Ledas to have a piece of that (literally) too. Guva gives it to him for helping him take out Banas, of course.
- It is important to note that much of Ledas' old supplies that he brought with him in his original space pod stayed on the planet during the 21 year gap. He was able to get all of his old armor and stuff (which had been thrown in a storage room or warehouse or something after he disappeared) as well as the pouch of surviving Saibamen. He shows this pouch just before he gets into his pod. That Ledas keeps his Saibamen is good for him, because they are his only friends, and they give him good companionship during his multi-year search for Earth that follows this saga's conclusion.
- Ledas leaves the natives for Guva to continue to manage. This is again because he's a grey character. He's not a "hero". He may have helped them and given them Payar, but he's not a savior. He's a Saiyan raised in a brutal environment. It would be OOC for him to try to save them. He's not a classical good guy as a result of his heritage and upbringing, like Vegeta.
- Guva's philosophical thoughts at the end of this chapter are quite interesting. They reveal a lot about his character and about the themes of this story. There's still a lot of fucked up shit happening on Planet Cooler 92, even if Ledas leaves it in triumph. Don't mistake this ending for a "good" ending. It's conflicted at best, and Guva understands that. He feels both whole and empty now that Banas is gone. These paradoxical binaries highlight Guva's perspective and his characterization.
- Notice how when Banas appears again at the end, Guva is once again drinking from the "alcohol" fruit.
- Guva's words about Earth are funny and ironic considering he ends up going there himself two sagas from now.
- There's a lot going on in Guva's last paragraph of dialogue. He notes that he's a successful leader - but he's really not. The Plantains are dead and he tried to kill his captain because he perceived falsely that Banas wanted to overthrow him. He also mentions that he wants to eventually kill Ledas (and he also hopes that perhaps Cooler and Ledas will destroy one another) because it's bad to leave one's enemies alive. This is funny because Ledas leaves Guva alive. Guva eventually comes to Earth to try to find and capture Ledas for The Benefactor. Maybe Ledas should have killed Guva. Then The Benefactor might have never found him. Also, Banas isn't actually dead. Guva doesn't want to keep his enemies alive - that is his own advice - yet, he's done just that. It's crazy. Banas is still alive. And that is the ending of this saga because it's a big moment with many future plot implications. Banas coming back actually is what will bring The Benefactor to Earth and cause his terrible conflict with Z Fighters and Ledas. All of that comes about because Banas didn't die from Ledas' attack. It's crazy to think of all the shit that happens because Ledas didn't put just a little more energy into his Kyorra Flash.
- Notice how Banas helps Guva get back up. He's still trying to see Guva as his friend, despite all that's been done to him. He can't hate Guva - not yet at least. He needs to try to talk things over.
- This saga ends on a huge cliffhanger. Guva and Banas are still alive. Obviously, since I ended the saga with them, they will continue to be important in the future. But Ledas has headed off to Earth. How can they be important in the future? I'll tell you how: with The Benefactor! A crazy plot development occurs with those two and The Benefactor in the next saga, but the resolution of their plot in that saga cannot even be fathomed in this one, which is cool.
- So why didn't I have Banas die? I wanted Guva to kill him or him to kill Guva. At this point in the story (during the first draft), I wasn't entirely sure who I wanted to come out on top, but it didn't feel right for Ledas to kill Banas. Guva and Banas have too great of a rivalry for either to be killed by someone else like Ledas. Guva's and Banas' stories didn't feel like they were over yet. The two needed to settle things alone in a personal confrontation, and that wasn't possible with how this saga was structured. So that meant their resolution had to come in the next saga. And that was fine, as I wasn't ready for TB to come back in the next saga either. Realizing that, I came to the conclusion that TB would use the winner of Banas vs. Guva to take him to Earth and Ledas. And thus, the entirety of Guva's and Banas' plot for the remainder of the story was created. But more on that in the next few sagas' anthology pages.
For my own reference, the chapter word counts are as follows:
- 1: 1381
- 2: 2012
- 3: 1506
- 4: 1470
- 5: 2018
- 6: 2031
- 7: 2325
- 8: 2058
- 9: 2461
- 10: 2520
- 11: 2505
- 12: 2542
More so than the previous two sagas, this one is split into rather defined arcs. The first arc takes up the first four episodes, then we have the second arc taking up episodes 4-9, and then the last arc taking up the final three episodes. It's a different approach than the previous sagas, with more insular, contained plots, but I think it works fine. This saga is the culmination of a lot of build up in the previous sagas, particularly with Ledas achieving Super Saiyan 1 and becoming free and getting strong enough to fight some real heavyweight opponents. That was really cool to write and read over for this commentary. As I've stated before, my favorite part of DBZ is the Namek Arc, and this saga was based on that arc because of that. As a result, I enjoy this saga a lot because it reminds me of my favorite things about DBZ. Despite the plot being mostly simplified, compared to the last sagas' plots, I still like the direction the story went. The action was off the charts, with 12 named character deaths. That's just insane. Only four named characters survived this saga in comparison. That is even more insane. Lots of good battle choreography here, especially with Ledas vs. Nepar and Ledas. vs. Digranite. I had a lot of fun with Ledas' characterization of this saga, and the characterizations of the secondary characters was also a point of emphasis that I think turned out well (mostly with Guva and Banas). The thematic stuff was a little subtler than in previous sagas for the most part until the final three chapters where it became far more overt. Really fun stuff going on there, especially with Ledas' unorthodox characterization around the natives. That provided for some nice thematic and symbolic content. My favorite part of this saga is probably Ledas' time on the stomping grounds mowing through everyone. The scene with him fighting Konatsu with "You and Whose Army?" playing is perhaps the most memorable moment in my opinion. The Super Saiyan transformation is also great and is a close second, I think. It was very satisfying to see Ledas finally get his revenge on everyone. So this saga functions as the "arc finale" to the PTO arc, and that shows in the way the plot goes wild with all the action and fighting and dying. There are legitimately two season finales in this saga - chapters 9 and 12 - and that is something not seen in the previous two sagas. Overall, I'm happy with how this one turned out. It's just how I want it. I haven't seen anything I want to change now that I've read it back over and done commentary. I think this is me writing at my best. I would place this saga above the previous two, and I think it is a good deal better than either of them, mostly because of all the long-built-up payoff that happens in it. So for now, it's SGS at #1, PVS at #2, and LS at #3. That looks good to me. And now we're onto Earth arc! That is where stuff is going to get really interesting, because I have no idea how those sagas will compare to the three I've anthologized so far. Before I started any commentary for TF, I pretty much knew the first three sagas would be rated how they are. Not so with the next three. I legitimately don't know where I would put any of them in comparison to these. I'll have to read them over very carefully before deciding.
<---- Part 29.3
Part 29.5 ---->