The first episode of Legacies was about King Cold's rise to power. He was always a favorite character of mine, and severely misused by Toriyama in the Future Trunks' battle. I felt like his origins would be highly interesting, and perhaps ironic if his life was once similar to King Vegeta's. The ultimate message of this story was that to save oneself, one must destroy oneself. Cold essentially trades places with Specter, whom he found to be so unfair and oppressive. Yet, given the old dictator's armies, he does the exact same thing. Regardless, there are some redeeming characteristics in Cold. He loved his family, and did not abandon them even after getting power, which is consistent with his personality shown in the manga. He just didn't care for the rest of his race.
When writing this story, it followed the same pattern as my other two legacies episodes. I simply wrote it while watching nick at nite with my brother. At first, it was a single episode. But as I wrote it, it became too long for a single episode, and I found a good spot to split it, so I quickly created two parts before posting it. I believe this was the only multipart episode to be posted on the same page.
The writing process was extremely fast, more so than with Were It So Easy. This could be seen by the numerous spelling and grammatical errors I had with the story. This story was a big motivator for me to slow down, because I knew I could craft things better when taking more time (such as with In Requiem). It's also good to look back on to see how much I have improved since then. If I were to do this one again, I would have likely made it longer, as two parts and 4000 words was simply not enough space to tell this story.
Part 1 (episode 1)
The crowds roared. They were a vast multitude of voices, hungry for blood. Were Cold one of them, he would have joined in. As a child, he remembered watching fights like these all the time. He remembered running away from home, because his parents forbade him from watching such “commonplace drivel”. Returning to the sand-caked walls and towers of his childhood brought back such fond memories.
Cold was a nobleman of his race. One of the pure line. Long ago, they served a king but that was no longer the case. For the past few decades, they had been ruled by an alien master. His name was Specter, and he was as powerful as he was menacing. Cold’s race was one of his many planets controlled. His technology and armies were near limitless, perhaps the reason why neither Cold, nor any of his fellow Nobles had rebelled, at least thus far.
It was pride that still held Cold’s race together after their annexation. And perhaps some bitter hope that one day a savior would come for them. Specter’s reign had left the vast majority of the species in horrible poverty. Outings like this one were one of the few that the planet was still able to manage.
Gladiator fights were always to the death, one of the reasons Cold had never been allowed to watch as a child and it was also the reason why he was refused entrance in the fights himself. But here he was, finally, overseeing a match. His parents were now long gone, which had propelled him into the nobility. Now, over years of careful positioning and ass-kissing, he had finally done it. Nobleman Cold was the most powerful being on his planet.
The crowds continued their din, rising and falling like the waves of the oceans. Cold came upon them, walking down a sullen and guarded hall, in near total darkness. As the nobleman came into the open, a brisk wind blowing, the crowd became filled with even more raucous.
Cold raised his arms, outstretched in his unending benevolence. His voice boomed over the rows of seats below. “Today we celebrate the coming of our new year. Many things will change for us, and it will be for the better. No longer will I allow innocent families to live in squalor and die in filth. We will all rise up over this vast tyranny about us and throw it down like the dog it is! Come my friends; let’s take our destiny into our own hands! Will you join me?”
The crowd screamed again, this time clearly understanding him. They wanted Specter’s head, something he would gladly give them. All in due time.
Cold looked around, now smiling, “Then let us reclaim our lost glory, together! Now, what better way to start this all of… than with a good old fashioned beat ‘em up!?”
The crowd boomed again, and Cold took his seat on the great throne, overlooking. Unlike his predecessors and even his current undernobles, Cold was the only one who was bold enough to openly speak of overthrowing Specter. The crowds were behind him. The People were behind him. All was good.
“He is an instigator, yes. Look at how he plays to their emotions, drawing otherwise moderate beings up into a frenzy. It truly is something to watch.” The voice spoke, echoing the dark and metaled walls about.
An underling, clad in familiar armor, walked forward to face the speaker. He was trembling, “S-sir, what should w-we do about him? He could start a rebellion!”
“Yes. We fight fire with fire. Take his son from him, see what that does. A broken man is a curious creature to watch. He may give himself up.”
The voice turned back to his fleet of ships behind. Thousands upon thousands of them lay, like obedient pets awaiting a signal. Rank and file they would remain, until this “Cold” came to here. And then, Specter would lure the nobleman in and break him. No being had thus far been able to stand against him. This would be no different.
The voice continued, “When we take his son, he will abandon all of his reason, all of what he’s been planning and come to us. That will solve my problems, rather nicely. After all, if he wants my head, I’ll be more than willing to let him try and take it.”
The fight was good. Bloody, maybe, but the people liked that. Cold wanted, more than anything else, to be free of Lord Specter. The past few weeks had hinged upon him being “promoted” today. Now that he was, his calculated plans could begin their workings.
It would not take all that much to overthrow Specter. All that really needed to happen was for the lord to be assassinated. After that, his fleets would easily give in and perhaps… No, it was too early to speculate too far. First, Cold had to find a way to confront Specter and then kill him.
Cold had no idea how strong Specter was, compared to himself. His entire plan was forced to make some assumptions. One of these was Specter’s strength.
Cold had never fought another being. But he had always trained hard. Though he was an aristocrat, Cold had always wanted to be a gladiator. Even though his bloodline prevented him from engaging in fights, he still trained daily. Recently in his trainings, there had been signs of something hidden. Some kind of power that he could tap into… if only he knew how.
But with the glimpses of this, Cold was sure that whatever Specter’s might, personal or vast, Cold could beat him.
The nobleman was escorted from the coliseum by several guards. It was customary, but he had always felt it portrayed him as weak. Cold needed no one to protect him. Cold continued walking all the way back home. His family was something very dear to his heart, and often times he would leave his meetings and appearances early just to get back to them. In the past week alone, he’d doubled the amount of guards for them, three times.
He rounded a sandy and sparsely vegetated trail to his house. On it’s high stone walls and metal towers, Cold had spared no expense. He was lavish by nature, wanting only the best for his possessions. But something was not right, here. For one, the front gate was open. For another, the entire building was ablaze, and bodies were everywhere.
Cold broke rank, and rushed into his mansion. There were no signs of immediate life. Guards lay dead, impaled and bloodied around his rooms. But his family, his wife and two sons were nowhere to be seen. Cold knew it was dangerous for him to be in here, but his family was more important than that. An ambush for his life would not be so… close to home. No, this was a threat already done.
He rushed up the main stairs to his sons rooms. Frieza’s was ransacked, the door ripped off its hinges. Cold ran inside, now frantic. It was not Frieza who stood inside, but his other son. Cooler. Cold’s eldest son was still very young himself, only eight years old. How he had survived whatever took place was a miracle in and of itself. But he was wounded, standing and holding his arm. There was a long, deep cut down his right forearm, but he seemed unaware. Cooler was simply staring and standing at Frieza’s empty bed, eyes wide.
Cold rushed up to his son. “Cooler! What happened? Where is Frieza?”
Cooler did not move for several moments. As he spoke, his voice was high in childhood, “Th-they t-took him… I’m sorry dad… I couldn’t stop them!” Cooler began crying, tears streaming down his young face.
Cold’s mouth dried, his heart stopped. What he had feared most had finally happened. “Who… took him, son?” he asked, in a hollow whisper.
Cooler sniffled and looked up at his father, “It was lord Specter… I-I saw his ship!”
Guards rushed in, to see where their nobleman had gone. The captain among them stepped forward.
“Sir, we found your wife… I’m sorry but she didn’t make it. Sir?”
Cold stood up. His hands were shaking, and his eyes were lit with a fire. A fire not of his burning house, but of something deeper. He wanted vengeance.
“Take my son to the infirmary. Bring my ship to the front. Have it warmed and manned by the time I get there.”
“Sir?! Where are you going?”
Cold stopped, his back turned from his guards as he moved to exit. His head was bowed as he spoke, “The one who did this to me will soon pay. If we go now, there is a good chance my ship can overtake his. Ready my ship, commander.”
With that, Cold left. If Specter wanted him, and only him, then that’s what would happen. No one would break his family, steal his son and mock his race. No, Cold would see to it that Specter was the one whose life ended today.
Only… Specter’s death no longer held the tantalizing, insomnia inducing spell it held over Cold before. Now he just wanted to kill because he had to. Because he needed to.
Part 2 (episode 2)
The hum of metal continued even out of the atmosphere. Cold’s ship wasn’t exactly the safest way to travel. But it was his only means of transportation. The center of the ship held the command room, wherein his crew operated the craft. Cold’s chair remained empty; he chose to pace instead.
His wife was dead, and his youngest son, Frieza was missing. Why Specter would do such a thing, bold and stupid, was beyond Cold’s mind. Perhaps the overlord wanted to face him? But how, and why?
These did not matter now. What did matter was that there was a good chance his son remained alive. There was an even better chance that he was on Specter’s flagship. Cold had been there once before, during the annexation. It was a fitting place for a duel.
“Can you see it yet?” he spoke up, impatiently.
“Yes sir, it’s dead ahead. It’s the big one,” said a worker, pointing the viewing screen.
Big was an understatement. The vehicle was huge, eclipsing more than half of the thousands of ships flanking it. Leave it to Specter to protect himself…
“Sir, they’re flagging us in. It’s a peaceful request.”
“Honor it,” said Cold.
Cold was no fool. Were he to try and shoot his way in, his raggedy ship would be smashed to pieces. Of course that wasn’t so damaging as he could breathe in space, but still it was too risky.
Specter wanted a peaceful audience with him. This was no doubt it was a dueling request. He glanced back out of the viewscreen. Specter’s flagship was now taking up the whole viewing, it was that huge.
The two ships docked, bumping together hard. Cold readied himself, hoping that he could use his newfound technique. He had only discovered it a few weeks back and its new and alien form drew him in. Like many races, Cold’s could transform on occasion. There were three known forms, a regular and retrograde and transformative. The normal everyday form of his race was large and bulky. Two dark horns protruded from the males’ heads, while the females remained bald. Another more powerful form was possible for only the greatest of warriors. Indeed, Cold had only seen that form once, and that was at a gladiator match. And it was hideous.
But no, that wasn’t this form. This one was sleek, smaller, more powerful. But what it was… if it was his true form, Cold did not know. For no record of it existed anywhere.
Cold didn’t even know if it was safe to use in combat. But he did feel a whole lot more powerful with it and confident too. No matter now, he had no choice but to cling onto this curious hope.
The docking doors opened, and Cold stood on his end alone. He did not want any to help him here; this was his fight. On the other side was an entourage of soldiers. All of them wore strange armor, covering their torsos and shoulders. On their heads were little computer devices too. All this technology did not make Cold feel any better. Surely Specter would have this stuff too, and his would be top of the line.
The group surrounded him and escorted him through the ship. It was vast and strange. Were he alone, Cold was sure all the various shafts and tunnels would have lead him astray. He could’ve spent his whole life lost in this place.
But swiftly they did come upon the control room. It was barely lit, but the hum of computers kept it lively. A great host of creatures were working within it to keep it functioning. But there was Specter. He was in the center of the circular room, perched on a stone throne. He was alone, no one dare step near him.
Specter’s features were quite striking. He look avian, with a sharp beak and sharp feathers covering his face. He sat facing Cold like an eagle eying a snake. Cold himself had great horns upon his head, and a spiked tail at his feet. But no armor, unlike his quarry. That would be a problem.
The guards broke off from Cold, and lined the walls. Specter spread his arms, clawed and feathered in a show of his strength. He reached into the folds of his cape, and drew something out. Specter jumped forward off of his throne and hurled the small thing toward Cold. It was his son, Frieza.
“My good nobleman. Your child. I’ve no more use for him.” Spat Specter, in contempt.
Cold jumped forward himself, reaching his child before the latter hit the ground. Frieza was covered in blood, but conscious.
“Frieza! Are you okay?!”
Frieza looked up at his father, wide curious eyes glinting, “Father?”
“The blood… are you hurt?”
Frieza’s eyes rippled, as if remembering, “Cooler! He was protecting me from them…”, Frieza’s eyes welled up too, “Is he dead, father?”
“No, Cooler’s fine. And you are too. We need to get you o-“
In midsentence, Cold was thrown back. Specter stood over him, cape furled about. He placed his clawed foot onto Cold’s chest.
“Enough talk, nobleman. You and I have business.”
Specter pushed Cold back, tearing up the latter’s chest. Purple blood splattered about on the cold metal floors, but no sound was made. These fighters were too professional for that.
“That we do. You are a fool if you think I will leave here defeated,” said Cold, clutching at his ravaged chest.
“Leave here? That’ll be a sight to see.”
With that, Specter rushed Cold. Punches and kicks flew immediately as the two tore into one another. Cold realized from the get-go that he was inferior in power. Specter was amazingly powerful, much more than he would have guessed.
Specter broke Cold’s guard and slammed him into the ground. More blood spattered out of him. This was a hopeless battle, and they both knew it. Specter would prolong it, however, for extra pain.
“What’s that nobleman? Never fought anyone before? Did you really think I’d lose to you? You’re a fucking choir boy compared to me,” said Specter, once again holding Cold.
He grabbed onto the nobleman’s neck, strangling the life out of him. His deep nails cut into Cold’s tough hide. But he had forgotten one crucial element. Cold had a tail.
With a quick smack to the back of Specter’s head, Cold was released. The strange computer device on Specter’s face shattered. It must have been an expensive accessory, as Specter grew into a rage at finding its wreckage on the floor.
Seeing his opening, Cold charged right into Specter, head butting and cracking the bird’s armor. Specter fell, gasping and wheezing onto the ground. Cold, seeing he had time, prepared an energy blast. He ran up to Specter and grabbed his beak. With his other hand, he took the energy blast and pushed right into the eyes of the great lord.
An explosion of light erupted about. Computers shattered and devices fried. When the smoke cleared, Specter was nowhere to be seen. Cold looked about, astonished. It couldn’t be this easy. Evidently, the guards thought so as well.
Suddenly, Specter dropped from above and landed on Cold’s head. He gripped Cold’s horns and ripped one out. With a cackle of delight, Specter took the horn and jabbed it into Cold’s neck. The two fell together, in terrible ruckus.
Specter emerged, clutching his left eye, which was blinded from his previous encounter.
“You fool. Thinking you could take on the lord of the galaxy? I RULE this place! Everything is submissive to me! A pathetic noble of a pathetic race is no different.” Specter reached down, and ripped the horn out of Cold’s neck. Blood continued to poor everywhere. “And when I’m done with you… it’ll be your whole planet. A most uninteresting race erased forever. I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
He turned back to face Cold, who was now laughing despite his wounds. “Y-you idiot. Hah ha ha. You think our race is so black and white? Well then you’ve got a lot to learn, my lord.”
Cold stood up and spread out his arms. He began screaming, his aura shooting up around from his feet.
“What is this? What are you doing?!” screamed Specter, now a little worried.
A great light returned to the room, causing momentary blindness for almost all. Specter doubled over in pain, his single working eye blacked out.
“You see, my lord, my race has a secret that even you don’t know about,” laughed Cold. Specter, regaining his sight, looked up to see a figure standing before him. “We can transform.”
The creature before Specter was not the same that he had fought earlier. This one had no horns; its head was smooth and bald. It’s body had shrunk to become more streamlined. The white and teal skin was now undamaged. His neck wound was gone as well.
Specter staggered back, “What madness is this? Y-you transformed!? B-but that’s not possible!”
Cold laughed again. “At first I didn’t think it was possible either. After all, very few of my race can transform. Only our strongest have this ability. But now I am far stronger than you.”
“No! No one is stronger than me!” Specter screamed.
The two charged at one another again. This time, however, luck was on Cold’s side. His new form was flawless. Raw power came from every inch of his body; Specter could not touch him. Cold brought his tail up, and impaled Specter through the upper chest. He stood, staring at the bloodied bird, who was hanging in midair, limp.
“That’s for my wife, you piece of shit.”
“Heh heh heh. Aheh he heh he. You think you’re so great, eh? You think you’ve won? You fool. I have fleets of thousands! You won’t escape alive!”
Cold stared at him, transfixed, “Your soldiers don’t look too eager to follow you now that you’ve lost.”
Specter looked around, “Fools! Help me! I am your master! Kill this maggot!”
But he could speak no more. For at that moment, Cold took his hands, and placed them to Specter’s face. A mere moment later, the overlord of the entire galaxy was, pathetically, ended. His body slumped over, and he died.
Cold threw the corpse aside. He turned to face the grunts. None dared move, so scared were they. Suddenly, something brushed up upon Cold’s leg. Frieza was awake again, full of energy.
“Father, can I kill them now?”
Cold nodded. Frieza was younger than Cooler, only six years old, but he was already showing signs of being the stronger of the two. His ruthlessness was also something…
Frieza jumped after the guards, and tore them apart. Cold watched, smiling. This was his favorite child for so many reasons.
Cold spun back around. It was his own guard commander, ventured onto the ship.
“Sir! Did you do it? Did you kill Specter?”
Cold turned to his soldier. He had done it. Specter was no more. This ship was his. Hell, the entire fleets behind were his too. No one knew what Specter looked like, besides the guys in this room. And Frieza had just killed them all.
During Cold’s complex planning stage weeks before, he had long thought of what he would do here, if he won. He could so easily fill that vacancy of lord of the galaxy.
“It’s king. I’m King now,” said Cold, to his soldier.
“Oh, my apologies, my lord.”
“Specter took away our monarchy. Now that he’s gone, there’s no need to keep it removed. I will take over.”
“Bu… sir… wouldn’t the other nobles have to vote on that?”
“Shhh… it’ll be our little secret,” said Cold.
Seeing that his guard did not approve, Cold came up with his own idea. It was him after all that defeated Specter. It was him who was the most powerful. It was him who had reached this new form. Now it should be him who was king. No nobility could take that away from him.
Without a word, King Cold moved to his soldier and shot a burst of energy at his head, decapitating the creature. He turned back to his son, Frieza, who was busy ripping apart the guards.
“Frieza! Leave one of them alive!”
Frieza nodded, obediently, and killed the remaining guards, save one. He returned with it as his prisoner. Cold turned to the soldier.
“I will let you live based on two requirements. First you must send out a message to all of Specter’s ships and planets saying that King Cold is now the leader of them.”
The creature did not move, it’s long hair stayed still, “And your second, my king?”
King Cold smiled, “As for my second, you are to be my son’s new caretaker. You will do whatever he asks you.”
Frieza’s eyes lit up, he was like a kid in a candy store, “Now you must anything I tell you? Hehehe. How perfect.”
“Hey, what’s your name, slave? I must call you something!” Frieza said, again.
The soldier turned, grave of face to the small changeling, “My name’s Zarbon, my lord. Your wish is my command.”
King Cold turned away from his son and new servant. With these fleets he could rule anything, there was no point going back to his destitute world to rule among squabbling and riotous peasants. No, here among the stars it was so much more quiet and serene. Up here he could do whatever he wanted.
“Zarbon, call in new soldiers. I need to get this ship back up to operational status. After that, I want you to go down to the planet and get my son, Cooler. After that we may leave,” barked Cold.
He had things to do. First he would call for his other son, and then they would go… onto the vast beyond. He would abandon his race; the lure of power was too much.
With only his sons, he could spend time showing them how transform, teach them how to be as strong as him. Frieza, at least, showed potential. He and his sons would rule, in the perfect triumvirate.
And with such a fleet, and such a structure already in place, who could blame him?
King Cold turned back to the corpse of Specter, still laying just a few feet away. He knew he would not live forever himself and that one day one would come to challenge him.
Cold only wished that upon his own end, he would not die so pathetically as Specter. Well, one can hope.
- The main villain, Specter, is based on the main villain of the legendary game series, Ape Escape. While they have the same name, their physiology is completely different.
- King Cold's musings about his race's ability to transform is interesting in that it reveals that the second form - which was Frieza's first transformation, and the one that King Cold is likely seen in in the manga - is the natural form. The smaller form that Frieza favored was actually a retrograde form to conserve power. For a while, only the best warriors could access the third form (which looks like an Alien). King Cold's transformation against Specter is to the fourth form, in the one that Cooler mainly used, and Frieza's final form. It is likely, therefore, that since no great fighter had reached the fourth form before Cold did, he was the first to ever unlock it. There is of course no mention of the fifth form by Cold in this story, but there is in my other short story, Scelerat.
- Specter's remark about Cold being a choir boy compared to him is a reference to the same line said by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie, "End of Days".
- My original idea was to have Cooler kidnapped instead of Frieza. Being that the two would look so alike at their age, it wouldn't much matter who he took. It's somewhat of a joke that Specter couldn't tell them apart, and didn't actually realize he had two sons (because Cooler is a movie-character only).
- This story explains that Zarbon's recruitment under Frieza was purely chance.
- Zarbon was made the first ever soldier directly under Frieza's command, essentially making him the oldest piece of Frieza's empire.
- The lack of Cold's wife ever being seen in the manga/anime is explained here, with Specter's soldiers killing her.
- I enjoy making bird-like villains, and Specter may be in someways an unconscious link with The Forgotten's bird-like villain, Digranite.
I feel like Ground Up is my roughest story. It had numerous grammatical and spelling errors before I corrected them just before doing this commentary, and felt very rushed when I read it. Frieza's dialogue was mainly just like Ledas', so I had to change that. Cooler and Cold also slipped out of character at times. I felt like, when reading, some of the plot aspects didn't make sense, like how Specter knew of Cold's rebellion, or why Specter would challenge him. I understand taking Frieza would force Cold to go after him - that much I remember - but it is somewhat forced in the short time that it takes to get to that point. Looking back, I can clearly see that none of my stories since this have been anywhere near this level of mediocrity. And at least that makes me happy. I would give Ground Up a C-.
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Part 3 ---->