How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary was originally going to be one of the stories in A Trifling Matter, a one-shot collection that I began working on a few weeks after completing Vöntun in the spring of 2018. The very first thing I wrote for that collection was the first scene of Doctor Piggyboy, which was eventually removed from that story, although it was retained in Vegeta: The Tale of Chiaotzu. That scene was written from July 2-3, 2018. I didn't work again on Doctor Piggyboy until August of 2018. The second story in A Trifling Matter that I worked on was How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary.
I began working on this story on July 9, 2018, and continued working on it up until July 14th. In all that time, I only managed to write the following:
They got the bad news on their way back from the kushlands of Dalon IV. Recoome, being an ugly motherfucker, was most displeased. “
Neither of those lines remain in the story to this day. I also had rewritten those lines several times. I believe that was the third or fourth draft. Anyways, as can be seen, I was very unsure where to go with this story. After getting that far into it, I switched over to writing Mushin. I wrote the second scene of that story before then switching over to The Royal Exception on July 22nd. And on July 24th, after getting eight paragraphs into The Royal Exception, I decided to formally remove How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary from A Trifling Matter and replace it with TRE.
However, I did not give up on the story. I still wanted to write it, but I didn't have a good enough idea for its plot at the time. I moved it back to the next available one-shot collection. A Trifling Matter finished up 2018 for me, and Ka Mua was the one-shot collection for 2019 (which only dealt with stories taking place in Universe 12). As such, the first chance I had to revisit this story was in I Wouldn't Want to Be a Fish Right Now.
I deliberately did not work on this story until most of the other IWWTBAFRN one-shots' first drafts were written. All of them were written before HTALAPM except for Insatiable (although I had written a little more than two pages for that before I began working on this story) and Killing General Copper. Since those two were going to be extremely long (I estimated each to be more than 10,000 words at the time, and that does appear to have been correct thinking, although as of writing this commentary, I have not finalized Insatiable), I decided to do How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary first.
The story for this one was a melding of two ideas that I had had for I Wouldn't Want to Be a Fish Right Now. The first was to have Kuriza prank the Ginyu Force (although his reasoning was not determined in my story idea) while having Ledas and Vegeta make cameo appearances. The second idea was to show the backstory of Appule and how he came to work on Frieza's ship. I decided to put both of those ideas into one story, although it meant that I wouldn't really show much of Appule's backstory - just why he ended up on the ship. I think my reasoning for that was sound, as he works the rejuvenation tanks in the Namek Arc of DBZ and one of the tanks is stated to be older than the other in that arc. So, it was cool to be able to tie his backstory into canon like that. Also, the more I thought about an Appule origin story, the more I realized I was not interested in it enough to write it, yet showing Appule gain employment on Frieza's ship interested me.
This story was meant to take on a sillier tone than the stories that proceeded it. When considering the overarching themes of the one-shot collection it was part of, I decided to have this one be the most evolved story in that regard, as it is the last one in the collection. There must be some growth in the tone and thematic considerations for the collection to have had some impact on me. This was first seen in Softpetal, which incidentally was the story I finished just before this one (six days prior). In that one, the focus was not so much on the dark comedy of people dying, but shifted more towards the silliness of pranking somebody for a small effect even when high stakes, such as death or imprisonment, loomed over the characters. This story shifts more into that mode of thinking and utilizes the aesthetic of shibumi to dictate much of the tonality and visual style. Also, more so than any other one-shot in the collection, this story's pacing and style somewhat reflects that of a Japanese parable, especially with the twist at the end.
I wrote a few notes for this one before writing it out. They are as follows:
-guldo is not even on frieza's ship yet, nor is he on the GF -recoome: replaces candy bars with healthy non-chocolate snacks -jeice: replaces hair product with something that changes color/damages his hair -burter: puts weights on his armor to slow him down -ginyu: sends him a letter bad-mouthing his poses from supposedly Lord Frieza, causing ginyu to panick and doubt himself -why kuriza is pissed: the ginyu force allegedly stole his limited edition space crab ice cream and ate it all -second prank on everyone: after they apologize, kuriza gives them flavored milk and cookies (sobren milk, which causes them to all throw up violently) scene 1: kuriza goes with zarbon to planet frieza 062, where they pick up appule to be added to the ship scene 2: kuriza returns to the ship to find the ginyu force have eaten his ice cream and is enraged (this is the scene with ledas and vegeta in it for a moment) scene 3: kuriza pranks the ginyu force, causing them much misery
Some of that stuff was followed, while some of it was not. Burter's prank, for example, was completely re-written in a subsequent draft of the story. Also, there ended up being four scenes, not three. That's how it happens with me a lot of the time. The outline can sometimes be useful to give me some structure, but that doesn't mean I will follow it super closely.
I began writing this story (after deleting the A Trifling Matter sentences) on February 3, 2020. I only wrote about three paragraphs that day, though. The next day, I finished the first scene and wrote about a paragraph of the second scene. I also came up with the line "Sweet baby Kuriza was royally fucked by the Ginyu Force that day.", but did not use that yet, for I hadn't gotten to the part in the story where that would be relevant. However, I knew that I had to put that in the story at one point, so I wrote it down in my document so I wouldn't lose its preciously perfect phrasing. On the morning of February 5, 2020, I finished the first draft, blazing through the second, third, and fourth scenes in one sitting.
I began editing this story on May 8, 2020, five days after finishing the first draft of Insatiable. On May 10th, I completed the second draft. This is a rare story in that in my second draft, I removed much more than I added. The first draft was 3159 words long, but the second draft was only 2866 words. I have no explanation as to why that occurred with this story. Maybe I was a little careless, reckless, and neurotic with my tone and style in the first draft.
I took a break before editing this story again. I'm pretty sure I switched to working on Softpetal for a while. I began working on this one again on July 13, 2020, three days after finishing the fourth draft of Softpetal (and at that point, I felt like I was done with Softpetal). On July 17th, I added in the the conversation between the soldiers about the station commander who was addicted to Sobren milk. That needed to be added in to allow the readers to understand why the milk made the Ginyu Force throw up.
I continued editing sporadically over the following weeks. On August 7th, I changed up the prank for Burter and completed the third draft. Creeperman129 helped me brainstorm some ideas for how to polish the pranks, especially for the final scene. He helped me a lot with this story and I am very grateful for that. Hyper Zergling helped me as well. He was the one who came up with the calculations for Burter's mile. I consider that joke to be the best joke in the whole story, so he was instrumental in making this a grand old tale. Anyways, I finished my fourth draft on August 8th and considered the story to be completed at that time. On October 4th, I did one final edit to polish up the prose as best as I could. Over the course of these edits, and the edits for the third and fourth draft, the word count rose from its low of 2866 back up to about 3000. It was posted with the rest the second-half of I Wouldn't Want to Be a Fish Right Now, sans Insatiable, on October 7, 2020.
I remember thinking this was my favorite story in I Wouldn't Want to Be a Fish Right Now (apologies to Insatiable, but even in its unfinished first draft, I know it won't surpass this one) when I posted it to the wiki. We shall see as I analyze it below if that continues to be the case.
They had gone to Planet Frieza 62 to pick up a second rejuvenation tank for his father’s ship, as the one they already had was of inferior quality. Most of his father’s elites were out on assignment, conquering some planet or another, leaving only Zarbon, Gichamu, and several dozen low-level soldiers, none of whom possessed a power level above three thousand, to man the saucer. Though he thought little of Zarbon, there was no one more capable in this group, and that included the man who had invented scouters.
Once this was finished, there would be an unopened carton of space crab ice cream, imported from his homeworld of Arcose, waiting for him in the space fridge. A gift from his papa, to be sure, for enduring Zarbon’s foulness.
An egghead with purple and blue spots by the name of Appule was to install the tank. With the operator were four space-badgers, black-furred and dark-eyed and looking half-feral, who had been tasked with carrying the bulky contraption into the ship in three trips.
His father’s most pompous bootlicker had everything under control. The princeling grew bored with the tedious operation, so while Zarbon was busy bitching at Appule about the proper place to put the tank, he snuck off the ship to give Planet Frieza 62 a visit. That would annoy Zarbon, but what could he do about it? His father would ground him for a week or two if he vaporized the bastard. Sometimes Kuriza was tempted. Two weeks wasn’t all that long in the grand scheme of things.
62 was a world covered in vast, deep oceans with a few shreds of sandy, sparsely-vegetated land. The single outpost was a meager, bobbing thing, holding a garrison of no more than four hundred, featuring a series of towers that rose several hundred meters from the sea. This being a hospital outpost, rejuvenation tanks and operating rooms took up much of the real estate.
He ventured inside, slapping the door guards bloody when they asked him for identification, and soon found a cafeteria that served on-call doctors. The cooks, sweating through their clothes, gave him a dinner platter without asking for payment (not that he was going to demand a free meal). It consisted mostly of space seaweed, with chunks of some kind of deep fish that looked appetizing at least on the advertisement, yet in person and up close, who the hell would actually eat that?
He found a seat and, refusing to say ‘itadakimasu’, he scarfed it down, trying not to gag too much, for he was in public. He couldn’t imagine having to eat this everyday. Luckily, the table next to him was having a heated conversation, so he didn’t need to be so quiet.
“Governor’s out again.”
“He called in sick ten days ago. What’s the matter with him?”
“Same as last time. Fucker’s addicted to titty juice.”
“Blimey. But what’s that got to do with it?”
“The rumor going around is that last week, he went to his usual spot beyond imperial space. Found himself a Sobren whore. You know how it goes.”
“Those ape-looking ones? Never found ‘em too attractive, meself.”
“Yeah. I heard he drank some of her milk. Should’ve known better. Hell, he’s the expert here, not us. Sobren milk will make anyone who’s not Sobren seriously sick.”
“Blimey, what a pig.”
“Not too many whores still practicing while they should be home with babies on their teats. It’s an expensive fetish. I’d wager no one else was lactating when he made his visit. Desperate fool.”
“How the hell is he running things around here? That’s what I want to know.”
“No idea, mate. It’s fucked.”
He would have liked to stay and listen some more about 62’s unusual governor, but his scouter went off, alerting him of the Ginyu Force’s arrival. He had not expected them to return until papa’s ship had reached Planet Frieza 79 in about three days from now.
Kuriza had always fancied himself an honorary member of the Ginyu Force. Their style had always rubbed him the right way (he could usually only last a minute), and he enjoyed coming up with secret dances and poses with Ginyu in the closet on his father’s ship. He would see them soon.
Before he did, he noticed an abandoned, untouched tray on a nearby table. Maybe a doctor had gotten a call during his dinner break and had needed to rush off to save a patient. He would certainly be hungry, and certainly be stressed out, and certainly be returning for that bowl of space lobster bisque as soon as he could. The Arcosian, nonetheless, was still hungry. The deep fish, as wretched as it had been, had just not done it for him. Bless the cafeteria cooks’ hearts, but they were absolute shit. He should have executed them then and there for their lack of quality. Regardless, he did not want his father to yell at him. He wanted to play with the Ginyu Force.
So he did what any self-respecting prince of the Planet Trade Organization would do in that situation. If this planet did not exist, if everything here was reduced to space dust this very second, it would be only a minor inconvenience for him, his father, and their empire. He would own this place someday.
The boy took the bowl in both hands and slurped it up, letting it spill down his chin in excess. He could feel their eyes on him. That was good. They would think he was just awful. When he finished, he threw the empty bowl at a wall and marched out without a word. That would give them something to talk about.
The second he was out of sight, he raced to the ship with all the speed he could muster. Though he secretly considered himself a spice boy, he had not been ready for that bisque. Tears streamed down his face. His mouth was on fire; he could hardly breathe.
Slowing to a reasonable pace upon reaching the saucer, Kuriza was met by the panicked scattering of three space-badgers, who were fleeing the ship on all fours, terror trembling down their snouts. Seconds later, three blue balls of energy shot out of the open door, vaporizing the vermin before they were able to re-infest 62.
“Lord Kuriza, is that you?” Zarbon called from the opening, where he was most comfortable.
“What can I do for you?”
There were no tears, no panting, no sweating, no sign of the inferno in his mouth. He would never let this sniveling sod see him suffer.
“Where have you been?!”
“Do not raise your voice at me,” he replied in a sharp tone, before adding in a venomous gaze. “You are but my father’s servant. Do not think you can be disobedient within my presence.”
Zarbon scrunched up his face, his lower lip going blue, and looking as if it were about to explode. His earrings swung about; his face turned a deeper shade of green. He let out a breath, inhaled deeply, exhaled again, and calmed himself. That was semi-professional of him. “The rejuvenation tank has been properly installed. Appule will be staying aboard with us from now on, as he is the technician for the device. Do you wish to see it?”
He wanted to vomit, his mouth was burning so bad. He needed that ice cream. At the same time, he needed to inspect the tank. If he didn’t, Zarbon would tell his father, and his father would whine to him about it, and there would be an issue. Such drama drained him. As long as this was quick, he would be alright. He would never allow the spice to win.
“Take me there, Zarbon.”
The man did not appreciate being ordered about by a child. That’s why Kuriza made him oblige so often. It must have been tough for him. Arcosians aged slowly, so he was bound to be ordered around by the prince for at least the next fifty years. If only he had been apathetic about it, as he was with the boy’s father, it would not have come to this. Zarbon was not professional around him (he thought he could get away with more than he really could, and he thought he was smarter than he really was), and thus he deserved to be regularly trolled.
It had been placed in the medical bay. That was neat; he hadn’t expected that. The prince almost wanted to applaud Zarbon’s face. Appule stood at a monitor, finishing up the installation. Everything appeared fine. He wanted to get out of there. Nodding, he waved the green man away.
“Inform my father of your great success, Zarbon. I am confident he will be adequately satisfied with your management.”
“Very good, my lord.”
The bastard did not even bow. As he left the room, Kuriza’s focus drifted to the corner of the rejuvenation tank, where the smooshed remains of a space-badger were clearly visible. Zarbon had said nothing of it; Appule was not going to, either. How the man’s sanitary standards had fallen, he would not forget. His father would know of Zarbon’s treachery soon.
He flicked his wrist and vaporized the gory remains before walking out.
The kitchen had been left a filthy mess, as if a horde of Saibamen had come through, spoiling for tasty treats. The carton of space crab ice cream lay empty and on its side, at his feet, and boy was he mad. His mouth still burned to high hell.
Prince Vegeta and one of his Saiyan teammates were rummaging through the refrigerator. That peeved him. With a shout of ‘sorah!’, Kuriza threw himself at the two. Vegeta, his reflexes sharp, ducked out of the way, allowing the poor Arcosian to careen into the empty cooling box, shattering its shelves.
Tumbling out of the refrigerator with all the broken glass, he landed on his feet and scowled at the apes with immeasurable ire. “You barbarous beasts ate my ice cream!”
“No we didn’t. That’s the Ginyu Force’s fault. They got here before us. They’re meeting with Lord Frieza right now.”
“Yeah, those guys ate everything in here,” said his friend. “I’m starving! Where’s all the food?”
Thus his temper cooled momentarily. Yet, in the next breath, sweet baby Kuriza realized he had been royally fucked by the Ginyu Force, and his blood boiled again. They had even drained the carton of space milk, though in their piggish ways, had left enough inside to spill onto the carpet. The janitor would have to clean that up, and by Frieza’s tit would that be annoying.
“Very well,” he said, masking his embarrassment. He was quite angered to have forgotten his cape. Seeing the monkey wearing one, and Zarbon too, chipped at his pride. “I shall be retiring to my chambers. It would be best for you to leave soon. There are always more planets to be conquered, Saiyans.”
Vegeta gave him a long look. He was probably thinking something apish about Kuriza. He looked as if he needed to relieve himself. The spoiled brat was probably used to doing that anywhere he wanted. He broke his gaze and the two walked off.
His tongue burned; his mind raced with thoughts of revenge against every Ginyu Force member. They were his friends, so he would have to get them good–where it hurt them most. Firstly, they would have to get him another tub of space crab ice cream, which could only be purchased halfway across the empire on the boy’s homeworld. No doubt, they would be given some mission by his father. They would have to juggle that with his request.
His tail slapped against the empty container. They were supposed to be his father’s soldiers. They were supposed to act with grace and dignity and respect towards the little lord’s things. He would teach them how to be proper mercenaries, but not before he got them good.
The Ginyu Force had promised to meet Kuriza at Planet Frieza 79 on the way back from their latest mission. He had told them to go as quickly as they could, lest he murder them. That seemed to work, as a mere eleven days after departing, they were already on their way back.
By then, he hadn’t really had a craving for ice cream in a while, so he left it in the fridge. As luck would have it, his father had yet to assign them on another mission, so for the moment, the Ginyu Force were stuck on the outpost while the saucer refueled.
This was the first opportunity the princeling had to make things right. He was not about to squander the opportunity.
It happened one moment without warning–Recoome’s favorite candy bar (Chef Zarbon’s double chocolate fudge packer two-pack with the tip’s skin pulled back) was replaced with Doctor Malaka’s quicktime energy bar for the uncontrollably morbidly obese. Comprising almost exclusively of space nuts, it contained neither sugar nor chocolate.
Down the hall, the Arcosian listened in on old denture-mouth begging Burter for some chocolate or some money (he had spent all of his on a new ballerina outfit the night before), but the Blue Hurricane flatly refused to give him anything. Sulking out of the room (Kuriza was hiding behind a vending machine), Recoome muttered to himself, “Meh, they could taste worse…” before devouring eight or nine Malaka bars in the span of a minute. The boy could hardly contain his laughter.
Then, the prince sent Burter an anonymous message over the scouter, telling him that some loser named Appule had beaten his record time of flying one mile in 5.3681804096619401946395862971024575105822041727280544195935712155220940768296445936626420997121767655154007243238822023573766371152423662617175144859733922459934585338611274382898653295687213174500164 microseconds, posting the astonishingly quick time of 5.3681804096619401946395862967755560716510753582733558960983354657913832854377544080845454152206829662192834092160517523029068678272438516443476703586614003806331815448476921540448045977114731721624999 microseconds. He spent the rest of the afternoon down at the track trying to beat that time. Kuriza followed him there, clutching a bag of space popcorn. He had also messed with the timers, which made Burter appear to be going even slower than usual. The best he could manage was 5.4539028609366392753629110029758492118349247070482019538203696230934072369023087013017602187609127359812735982679679386490178630217263081276001995032062638979175813679101239865210001907222308760109443 seconds (in reality, his best time was 5.3681804096619401946395862989609809283470901632975612093756182736512018736508123857612083576123085120012875086278238728837285701620817653817620538712630587556876876208768078603899938277138917162987521 seconds). He grew distraught at his slumping form and by nightfall, gassed and sweating, ran back to his room crying.
That night, Jeice showered, as he often did. He used his usual shampoo for his lusciously long hair. Nothing wrong with that. It was only the next day when he noticed that it had turned his hair blond like Salza’s. Kuriza listened from the hallway. Jeice swore at the top of his lungs, for when he tried to wash it out, he realized in horror that the dye was permanent. Within the half-week, Salza would know that he was copying him. And should Jeice try to fix the error by using white hair dye, the chemicals in this dye would react with those, causing his hair to fall out. Kuriza prayed to all the Arcosian gods that the Red Magma would be vain enough to try.
And then there was Captain Ginyu. Kuriza did not get him until the next morning, when a message was sent from Lord Frieza’s secure channel (the prince had learned of its passcode long ago on a night when his father had had too many glasses of chillrose) directly to Ginyu’s scouter with the following message: ‘Ginyu, I have reviewed your team’s most recent poses and have deemed them to be utterly shambolic. These poses disgrace the Planet Trade Organization and lack style. You have until midnight to come up with better ones, or the Ginyu Force will be summarily executed.’
That right there spooked him good. That got him real hot under the collar.
He was not finished, however. His next prank would be the worst of all. It would be foul and necessary. They had to learn respect. They were like animals. Punishment was required to correct their savage ways.
That evening, he found the Ginyu Force congregated in the kitchen nearest their dorms. They looked glum. He could hardly hide his satisfaction.
“Good evening, Ginyus.”
“Heya, Prince Kuriza,” Recoome said. “What’s up with you?”
“I baked space chocolate chip cookies. Would any of you care for some?”
With a sheepish grin, he showed them the basket he had been carrying behind his back. They could smell it now; their faces softened; he knew he had them.
“Hang on, mate. When did you learn to bake?” Jeice asked.
“Oh, about four hours ago.”
Recoome was salivating. “Makes sense to me.”
“Heh, nice job kid. They smell delicious. Now that’s what I call a good friend.” Ginyu patted him on the shoulder. “Go on, soldiers, take your rations.”
“Don’t forget the space milk. There’s some in a pitcher in the fridge. Please, it’s the classy way to eat these.”
They didn’t need to be asked twice. He gave them their laxative-laced cookies. They dipped them in their glasses of Sobren milk and ingested.
The boy’s smile morphed into a scowl. “Now, captain, explain to me exactly why you and your men ate my space crab ice cream? That was very rude.”
“Huh? What are you talking about, Kuriza? We didn’t eat your ice cream.”
Recoome grunted, finishing off his cookie. “No way. That flavor sounds disgusting.”
“Foul for us,” hissed Burter.
Jeice and Ginyu were nodding in agreement. The room was spinning a little. He wished he could see those monkeys again. His knuckles itched and his breathing quickened.
Not thirty seconds later, the Ginyu Force, barely having had time to lick their lips and congratulate him on his precocious baking skills, began vomiting profusely all over the floor. They tried their best to stop, but that was an impossible battle to win. Then they felt it in their stomachs and ran off to the restrooms, vomiting all the way there, getting it on the carpet, the walls, the tables, and down their armor.
Lord Frieza would be furious. Zarbon would be too. Somebody would have to clean it up. Wouldn’t be Kuriza.
- The name of this story is basically Kuriza's reasoning for performing the pranks on the Ginyu Force - he wants them to act like proper mercenaries, not like barbarians. His father pays them, so they should behave. He gives them what they deserve (which is not death, importantly, when considering what is the main thematic thrust of this collection) and nothing more.
- The first section is like a standalone I Wouldn't Want to Be a Fish Right Now one-shot. It is only in the second scene where the twist in tone comes. The second, third, and fourth scenes are like a second one-shot where the thematic emphasis moves from death to domination.
- Planet Frieza 062 is also seen in chapter VIII of volume II of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization.
- In every story I've written that features Kuriza and Zarbon, Kuriza is disgusted by Zarbon. It's not only that Zarbon is an arrogant bootlicker. He also gives Kuriza the creeps and disrespects him openly. I've never thought that was a wise strategy for Zarbon to attempt, but his arrogance blinds him.
- There is more alliteration in this story than in any other IWWTBAFRN one-shot. I guess that goes with the tone turning less serious here as well as the focus on shibumi. Each shibumi story utilizes that aesthetic in a slightly different way. I would say that the prose aspect of simple beauty is strongest in this one.
- Oh, if only Zarbon had tempted Kuriza just a little bit more. Two weeks really isn't that much time, all things considered.
- Most low-level soldiers in the PTO are inept. It doesn't surprise me that those guards didn't recognize Kuriza for that reason. I am sure that they were told about him, but given that the boy had never been there before, they likely did not retain the information, which sucks for them. The cooks inside recognize Kuriza, so that wasn't a station-wide issue.
- No fish, deep fish or shore fish, is appetizing to me. The usage of deep fish here, though, adds an Age of Empires II reference to the story.
- Kuriza refusing to say itadakimasu was very rude of him. The boy can be deviously ill-mannered sometimes, a personal quirk that I focus on in many of his stories. This will be one of his main personality traits in Heart of the Dragon, too. I particularly like having him act rude in silly ways, such as this, because of how formal Kuriza talks for the most part. He is especially formal around enemies and Saiyans, so that juxtaposition is nice for comedic purposes.
- The lactation fetish is interesting to me because I briefly got into it. It was even in "Bedtime", the deleted scene of Dragon Ball: Cold Vengeance for a while. However, I outgrew that fetish fairly quickly. I am to this day not sure how or why that happened, and it makes me question the general notion of fetishes being permanent things. Of course, I could have potentially never had the fetish and just went along with it, but I don't think so.
- "“No idea, mate. It’s fucked.”" - the entire management of the Planet Trade Organization is fucked. Showing the governor's lactation fetish is a case study in this phenomenon, but he is by no means the only culprit. Pretty much every planet is run like this. Kuriza gets a nice early lesson about this. Perhaps he will remember when he takes over his father's empire.
- The Sobren milk story is what gives Kuriza the idea to give some of that to the Ginyu Force later on. It was also useful for helping the audience understand what Sobren milk is, as not everyone has read all of my stories, so that may or may not be common knowledge.
- Kuriza's love of the Ginyu Force eventually led to him forming the Katchiguri Force, which will be seen in Heart of the Dragon.
- "Their style had always rubbed him the right way (he could usually only last a minute), and he enjoyed coming up with secret dances and poses with Ginyu in the closet on his father’s ship." - this is very true and is not just a joke. Also, Kuriza was seen with Ginyu in the closet in I'm a Candy Man.
- "The boy took the bowl in both hands and slurped it up, letting it spill down his chin in excess. He could feel their eyes on him. That was good. They would think he was just awful. When he finished, he threw the empty bowl at a wall and marched out without a word. That would give them something to talk about." - despite Kuriza reveling in being a devious boy sometimes, this is still rare for him. He doesn't usually act this way in front of his father's soldiers, but the moment was too good to pass up. The fact that he wanted them to think he was just awful, giving them a story to talk about, shows how little he cares about what they think of him.
- The space-badgers are the only beings killed in this story. They get what they deserve, but they are not the main focus, nor even secondary characters. This again emphasizes the shift away from dark comedy related to death in this collection. Such a thing could only be done in the final one-shot in IWWTBAFRN.
- Kuriza is not really a spice boy, though he may claim he is. He would have a very difficult time with medium spice.
- If Zarbon would've lost it after Kuriza rebuked him, the boy would have certainly vaporized him.
- Never let the spice win. That's the first rule of being a spice boy.
- One of the more important points made about the relationship between Zarbon and Kuriza is that Kuriza only trolls the man so much because Zarbon lets it get to him. If those jabs didn't hurt his pride, the boy would not have bothered. That weakness is certainly one of Zarbon's blind spots. He has no clue about Kuriza's strategy when engaging with him.
- The smooshed space-badger is what caused the other three to flee. They got what they deserved, of course, but their reaction was also not entirely unreasonable. I liked that reveal a lot, reading it back for this commentary. It was quite subtly done if I do say so myself.
- Ledas originally had a much bigger role in the second scene. I reduced that role significantly during the editing phase.
- Ledas meeting Kuriza in the second scene is not super significant, but they will remember each other when they meet in the first saga of Heart of the Dragon.
- When Kuriza lunged at the Saiyans, he let his rage get the better of him. He wasn't thinking clearly enough to react to Vegeta's dodge.
- Kuriza starts acting far more formal around the Saiyans than he did in the previous scene. This is like how he talks to Vegeta in A Space Christmas Story. He will continue to do this whenever he meets Saiyans, including during the events of HOTD.
- Ledas is a good liar in the second scene.
- Kuriza's tail, in the final paragraph of the second section, acts much like Frieza's does when he's pissed off on Namek. I have a feeling that the Arcosians' tails are like the tails of cats.
- The Ginyu Force had no idea why Kuriza ordered them to get the space crab ice cream, but they weren't about to be as disobedient as Zarbon.
- "Chef Zarbon’s double chocolate fudge packer two-pack with the tip’s skin pulled back" - I think that Zarbon would be highly offended if he was ever with a man who did not have a foreskin.
- Creeperman came up with the idea that Recoome would still like Malaka's bar. Good joke, that.
- Kuriza hides behind a vending machine when Recoome talks to Burter because he had so much trouble with those things in A Space Christmas Story and Twelve Majestic Lies.
- The Burter joke is so technical that I love it. Very messy on the eyes, but well worth it. The fact that I bothered to be precise to so many decimal points I suppose is the biggest joke in that paragraph, although what Kuriza does to Burter is quite heinous. Originally, he weighed down Burter's armor when Burter sparred with Jeice, but I thought that prank was weak upon reflection, so I changed it entirely.
- Jeice probably didn't try to dye his hair white again, but you never know.
- Kuriza's prank on Ginyu was the most savage of all, for being a poseboy himself, he quite likes the Ginyu Force's style. Forcing them to change their poses is not so easy and also is a cutting aesthetic criticism.
- Kuriza doesn't stop with those pranks because, bad as they were, they were not devastating. As the emperor's son, he had to show the Ginyus that he is not to be messed with. He had to really get them good. The first pranks were just an appetizer for Kuriza, basically done for his own amusement. The second prank with the cookies and Sobren milk is the one that is really full of venom.
- Kuriza only does what he does in the fourth scene because he has never had to clean anything in his life.
- I tried my best to only hint at Kuriza's emotions in the last few paragraphs. I didn't want to outright state anything, for that is the whole point of the twist, tonally-speaking.
- The ultimate message of this story is that Kuriza didn't have to clean up any of the mess he made.
I really like this one. There's a good pace to the prose, and it's quite cheeky too. The alliteration was a nice touch. In terms of the dialogue, Kuriza shone here for me, especially when he spoke to the Saiyans. It's always nice to work a Ledas cameo into a story, too. Kuriza's pranks were fun for me to write, especially the last one. Overall, a very solid piece, in my opinion. This is my favorite IWWTBAFRN one-shot so far (only Killing General Copper and Insatiable remain for me to analyze). Its light-hearted approach, the way that shibumi is blended into the tone, and the evolution of the "you get what you deserve" theme in this collection was well-executed in my opinion.
<---- Part 137
Part 139 ---->