This is the Ledas story in Starchasers: Origins. I had originally intended on saving this one for near the end of November, 2017, as I had planned to only use that month for this one-shot collection. Yet, after finishing Destroyer of Universes on November 6th, ideas for the Linessi, Vizzer, and Rianne The Twili stories were eluding me. The days were ticking down, so I just went ahead with this one.
The idea for this story was very simple: show Ledas purchasing Xii, which will become a Starchasers outpost in Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon. His origin story is Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten, so his story here necessarily had to be different from the other four. I also wanted to show a bit of him and Beelzebub working together in their intergalactic bounty hunting group (which becomes the Starchasers in HOTD), for I had recently completed A Quest for Booty with Creeperman129. In the final chapter of that story, Ledas and Beelzebub set up their organization. This was my first opportunity to explore it a bit before HOTD.
Overall, this is a fairly light story. The main thematic drama revolves around a similar theme as the main one in Girl. I will somewhat get into that in the endnotes. Other than that, I wanted to focus on how the PTO has fallen into disrepair and how Ledas is powerful enough now to not be threatened by any space pirates, or regular PTO soldiers (an obvious point, but it allows him to go through this story with a carefree attitude).
I began writing this story at 3:15 pm on November 11, 2017. I finished the first scene at 3:51 pm. The second scene was finished at 5:11 pm. Up to that point, I had taken a few 10-15 minute breaks, but after those scenes were finished, I wrote the opening two paragraphs of the third scene and then took an eighty minute break, returning to work at 6:43 pm. I finished the first draft at 7:36 pm.
Feeling fairly confident about this story, I did not wait long to edit it. Indeed, I edited it to completion that very night, starting at 9:19 pm and finishing at 10:49 pm. It took me an hour and a half of straight editing to finish this one, which is actually quite a long time, I think, for a 3000-word story. The first and second scenes especially were significantly edited.
In any case, this is a rather short one, light in both its plot and thematic content. I don't expect there will be as much to say about this one as there will be for the other Starchasers: Origins stories.
Once upon a time in Age 777 there was a very well-behaved Saiyan who was trying to kill motherfuckers.
He was strong as shit, but the most important thing of all was buying a new planet that he could make all his own, where he could possibly be the king of some rotund drums and live in peace for several millennia. There once was a basketball player who was also Miraak and that was the best character I ever saw. This is not his story, shame all we got’s this fgt Saiyan that for some reason has remained around 12 years of age for quite a few years and very few people have ever mentioned it to him, you would think loads more would bring it up hes a freak of nature shieeet.
He lived on Earth but also wanted to start an intergalactic empire like his boss Lord Frieza once had. In reality, the planet he was about to purchase would serve as the farthest outpost of his intergalactic bounty hunting business with Prince Beelzebub of the Underworld.
The seller was a bony, yellow-skinned alien wearing soot-grey armor from shoulder to toe and a blue-fur cloak following the slick curve his long hair down the back of his neck and to the ground. His polished face was nevertheless struck with age in the corners of his eyes and lips. He had a look of surprise on his face, no doubt because Ledas didn’t wrap his tail around his waist.
His shoulders were so broad, he painted the far wall with his shadow. “Greetings. I am Admiral Nectarian, First Vishei’i of the Holy Telnauki Empire.”
“Yeah, yeah, real impressive,” Ledas yawned, tossing him a single coin, worth ₩1,000,000,000. The metal flashed black and gold and purple through the air like a chip of melting ice; Admiral Nectarian caught it, studied it, and narrowed his eyes and paused before finally nodded approvingly. “We have a deal then. The planet’s yours.”
“You said it’s currently depopulated, but I can sense several power levels down there right now,” Ledas whined, nodding toward the planet below them, beyond the ship’s window, which they were circling in slow orbit like carrion over a mountain of spoiled corpses.
The legate shrugged. “Pirates and raiders are not my problem, sir. That stipulation is in the contract. Didn’t you read it? If there are any down there, you’re going to have to clear them out yourself.”
He sort of wanted to kill this man, not only for his smug look and meaningless smile, but because Ledas liked to kill people. But if he did that, he’d probably have to face the might of the entire Telnauki Empire, and the Saiyan didn’t feel like going to the effort of destroying them, no sir, so he let this so-called Admiral Nectarian off easy, paying the man exactly what he had asked for, but not one space woolong more.
“This goes beyond me! Beyond Tyit and Vagé-Vagé!! Beyond life itself. This… this, my friends is art…! Stunning, absolutely stunning! Aren’t you in awe of them, kid? Perfection incarnate, aren’t they? Please… don’t be modest now!”
“Yeah well I bought this planet, so get out of here before I kill all of you. I don’t have a lot of patience right now.”
This place had previously been known as Planet Cooler 92. He was shocked to find any life on it at all.
The first space-badger had motling, mossy grey fur; his snout was scarred and crooked, his eyes wet and squinting and black, and he had fewer teeth than he probably should have. “Come on, be reasonable! We’re only filming for another three weeks!”
“Yeah,” sneered the space-badger with white-and-brown stripes. He looked to be a good deal younger than his compatriot. “Let us go on a little longer, eh? You won’t mind, will you, kid? We’ll give you twenty percent of the profits, how about that?”
The boy yawned again, craning his neck for any sign of a spiky Xan fruit hanging from one of the planets numerous tropical trees lurching in over the path on both sides. Alas, there were none in sight. He knew that these filthy space pirates would have likely swept through much of the forests near the ruined Planet Trade Organization outpost just north of here, clearing out all of the sweet and alcoholic spiked fruits they could find. He knew that he would likely have to take a trip the southern continent in order to get what he wanted.
“No, I’m going to kill every last one of you if you’re still here five minutes from now.”
There were others here with the two space-badgers, both of whom wore rather vibrant and rather luxurious hats, spotless as this planet’s pale gold beaches. Six or seven male aliens were standing on the far side of the clearing, just a little bit down the road from the ruined outpost, posing for the space-badgers’ cameras. They were, all of them, shirtless, posing in various ways to accentuate their arm and torso muscles.
“Be reasonable monkey boy,” the younger space-badger pled, clicking his tongue carelessly. “My mommy was a real slut, got herself a rich pimp daddy, and I’m outta her forty-third batch, got it? What do you expect of the forty-third son, eh? Be reasonable now!”
His fellow space-badger, a very space-badgery-looking varmint, interjected, “Hot bods are all the rage on the galactic market nowadays! Be reasonable, kid!”
“Do it somewhere else!”
“Be reasonable!” the younger space-badger said testily. “I want to do this photo shoot here, yeah?!? This here’s a nice place, a lovely place, all tropical and humid. Look at them–they’re gettin’ all hot and sweaty just standing around! This is perfect, yeah? Our female clientele will be creamin’ in their space panties for this edition, I’ll bet you anything. We’ll make a fortune.”
It was getting pretty hard, even Ledas had to admit. “Make them put their shirts on,” he said earnestly.
“Aw, why’s that?!”
“Y-you know why,” the boy said sheepishly. “J-just… get out of here, all of you! Go! Now!”
“Aho,” said one of the posers, “I am Vagé-Vagé!”
He was kind of tall for a poser, but mostly just looked like if Payar had eaten a second Payar and not digested him yet. He did have a six-pack, though, which was just too much for the boy. His cheeks flushed pink in the humidity. “Alright, you asked for it.”
The wind stirred and an indentation in the moist, muddy ground fanned out from underneath Ledas’ feet. The boy was wearing black training shorts, black fingerless training gloves, black arm cooling sleeves, and a white v-neck t-shirt. His hair was wild, his shoes already getting muddy. When his hair turned golden, his eyes bluish-green, Vagé-Vagé gasped, his throat collapsed, and fell face-first into the mud, dead.
“That was totally not cool!” barked a space-badger. “Vagé-Vagé was our sexiest candidate! Now the whole photo op’s ruined. We’ll have to reassess, do this over in a reasonable way.”
“Hmph.” Ledas spun on his heel, his hair rising and becoming spikier, his aura dancing with electricity. He dropped to a knee, raising one gloved hand, pointing two fingers at the space-badger. With ease, he released a slew of purple finger beams that struck all around the creature’s body–but nowhere more devastatingly than on his old scarred snout. In the frenzy, the space-badger’s lower jaw was blown away, and he went screaming into the air, a spire of dark blood cascading in a broken liquid arc over the treetops as he struggled into the air, almost in reflex, trying to escape.
A moment later, he fell from the sky, crashing into to the treetops beyond the path.
“Eh, life goes on, boyos,” the younger space-badger quipped lightly. “Gotta be reasonable ‘bout this, yeah?”
In a breath, the Super Saiyan boy teleported to his side. Not wishing to look upon the unwashed scoundrel again, Ledas tapped him sharply with his knuckles on the side of the head, and out that poor varmint’s other ear, all of his bloody red-grey brains spilled out, and that was rather unseemly of him to die so messily.
There were posers as far as the eye could see, but contrary to his expectations, the vast majority of them were suicidal as well. Five of them took up the war cries of their various peoples, but they never even got within throwing distance of him. The last man who remained, who was absolutely shredded, with not only a six-pack, but thick biceps, sturdy pecs, and a chiseled core, alone stood there one moment later, when the dust cleared.
“Don’t you want to die too?” Ledas shouted at him innocently across the path.
He seemed not to mind the steaming piles of gore around him. “Nah, I’m good. Can I go now?”
“You already made your point, okay? Like, look at that,” he said, gesturing at Ledas forcefully. “What do you think that says about you?”
The boy’s cheeks were burning rose-hot. “You shouldn’t have said that.” He raised one slender finger and blew off the man’s head with a sudden and vicious Lightning Strike attack. He controlled the invisible explosion with his mind, making it erupt only around the alien’s head, and once that man was dead too, and his body had fallen, Ledas was at peace again.
He still felt hot. He had forgotten how tropical this planet was. It wasn’t like this on Earth. He’d grown used to that.
Instead of going up the road to the fallen outpost, Ledas went down to the ocean’s edge, where he stood for a while, bringing his shame to its end, the waves going out and coming in again, and after the sun had just begun its slow descent to the horizon, his eyes found the hard-shell of a Xan floating in the water, sloshing against the shore lazily, each successive wave trying again and again to return the fruit to land.
He didn’t sense anything notable around him. There was life–bird-like animals, mostly. The Planet Trade Organization had wiped out most of the bigger stuff.
Jabs of shame hit him in the chest, low and hard. He’d left them here–all of them. And now he couldn’t sense a single one of them. Arrogance followed–the arrogance bred into him by the Prince of all Saiyans. If they weren’t strong enough to survive, they weren’t worth caring about, a voice in his head whispered ferociously. He didn’t know what had happened–not that that now mattered.
“I’m here,” he told Beelzebub from his Model-14 TG/SV Sub. Ex–his Gravity Training Unit, provided to him by Dr. Briefs.
“Cool. Maybe I should head out there myself. Earth is so boring anyways.”
“This place is a lot more boring than Earth,” Ledas countered. “There’s no one here except me.”
“Ah, crap, that does sound lame. Well, anyways, your target’s hiding out on Jwe-Iko-Pok, previously known as Planet Cooler 103. He’s not far from you. Oh and, it’s ‘dead or alive’, same price. Doesn’t matter. You good, dude?”
Ledas’ grey eyes itched. “Yeah. Dead it is.”
“Alright, sounds good. Stay safe out there, Ledas.”
“Yeah, yeah, Mr. Beelzebub sir. Don’t worry about me. I got this.”
The communication died; he cracked open the ocean-borne Xan. He would have to pay someone to rebuild the outpost, he knew–well, an outpost for his bounty hunting operation. Ledas still hadn’t thought up a name for their group yet. That could come after their base was established, perhaps. He still didn’t have any recruits aside from Beelzebub. And Beelzebub wasn’t strong enough to comfortably go on missions with Ledas. He would need others–Super Elite battle comrades. He would find them, he knew. Pirates, most likely, or other bounty hunters. If they proved themselves worthy, he would let them live and join him in this lucrative business that was quite well-suited for a Super Elite Saiyan like Ledas.
The fruit was sweeter than he remembered, and the boy leaned back in his ship’s pilot’s chair, sighing deeply as that old familiar taste spread its alcoholic warmth through his veins to the tips of his fingers, alighting memories from his mind like tropical birds into the sun-drenched sky.
He sighed terribly and closed his eyes. His mind on the brink, Ledas sensed movement–not close, but not so far away. And there wasn’t just one… he sensed several and many more, and they weren’t all together–no, they were spread out across several islands.
Space pirates? Maybe feral space-badgers? Or could they still be here?
Power levels no higher than those of humans–he could feel those on the other side of the planet. Not that many, but more than nothing. His mind began to buzz as he sipped the Xan juice from the hard shell. At once, he staggered up out of his chair. The effect of this fruit on him was both familiar and aggravating, and he felt like he was not entirely in his body anymore. Stumbling, the boy shivered and laughed. He rushed out of his ship, nearly falling down the exit ramp. In a breath, he kicked off from the dry muddy turf and took to the air, heading due south, chasing those phantom signals spinning in his head that he could not be sure were not merely memories.
Flying with the greatest ambition and intent, Ledas chased the sun to the horizon, where he suddenly and savagely crashed into the water, and that was all he remembered.
The fall of the Planet Trade Organization was nowhere more evident than on Jwe-Iko-Pok, formerly Planet Cooler 103. Where once a grand imperial military complex had spread across the surface of the planet now remained little more than war-ravaged ghost towns and ruins interspersed with a few scattered pirate haunts festering around the outskirts of the demolished cities like open sores on decaying flesh.
A mighty dust storm was approaching the gambling town of Kwe’izu, or so the sensors warned. Ledas had three minutes and thirty-four seconds to complete his task. That was more than enough time.
“I’d pay a space woolong for that, I would,” a pirate roared, chasing a scantily-dressed (and topless) whore down the street. “Come on, darlin’, don’t need yer prime valuables, just a woolong’s worth!”
His whore was bare-chested, her pale blue breasts flopping madly as she ran past Ledas. The boy’s countenance remained cool, though a flicker of excitement buzzed loosely in the back of his throat. He was ready to make an end of this.
He was racing through the town, his power level hovering just a hair over one or two. Maintaining Super Saiyan 2 like this was draining his stamina quickly, but it was good practice nonetheless. Between breaths, he leapt between shabby buildings, past staggering, drunk pirates standing in the dust, scratching their head tentacles. His target, Pehyka, the Kidder, was the only pirate of notable strength in the town, making him far easier to track.
The boy’s head was aching. The sweat on the back of his neck reminded him of how weak he was. He arrived at the bar Pehyka was hiding inside. As a pirate came out, he slipped inside, too fast for anyone to notice.
They were, all of them, corsairs–swarthy, sneering fellows belching Nil smoke, playing bar games, seeing who was more manly by challenging one another to drinking games. His stomach muscles tensed instinctively. Pehyka was sitting in a gravity chair, purple energy holding it up from the floor, at a table in the corner. With him were several of his crew, who were seated in similar chairs.
When the quarry is wanted dead or alive, it is always preferable to bring them in dead. A dead bounty cannot escape, cannot cause problems. Nor could a man with a power level of just over 12,000 ever escape from a Super Saiyan.
He crouched in the rafters, in the shadows, the Nil smoke rising stale around him. He did well not to cough. His nose itched; his throat burned. He closed his eyes, seeing those men rushing him, their glistening, shirtless chests shining brightly. A ripple of shame coursed through Ledas’ body just before he let himself fall.
Before Pehyka, the Kidder, could run, Ledas had buried both of his feet in the grey-skinned alien’s neck, shattering bones. His quarry fell face-first into his meal, splattering it everywhere, and before anyone could look up, Ledas called forth his energy again, his muscles screaming at the surging boost. I’ll get used to this, he swore to himself. He had with Super Saiyan 1. Soon enough he would have this form mastered too. And then what? Vegeta said there was a Super Saiyan 3 too…
As the boy wondered about these things, he darted from one corner of the bar to the other, sometimes hitting, sometimes kicking, sometimes using invisible ki blasts to blow apart the heads of every last evil pirate. The strain was enough to sting his eyes with sweat. Not one of them had the faintest clue of what was happening to them.
Precisely one second after Pehyka had gone down, one hundred twenty-seven other aliens–all of them horrible, rotten, no good vermin–were executed with grim efficiency.
The collective sound of their bodies hitting the floor made Ledas shudder. He landed again on Pehyka’s table, wearing the same training outfit he had been wearing yesterday. Crouching down and giving a rather annoying look at the man, he grasped Pehyka by the ear and casually tossed him to the other side of the room, getting him out of that delicious-looking plate of food he had been eating.
Although the alien’s head had mashed up his ghour’s milk and rusoin infused grilled nele shirek, he hadn’t yet taken even one bite of it. That’s pretty good, the boy thought, leaning in and ripping off a handful of meat with his bare hand before shoving it into his mouth greedily. Two hundred fifty thousand space woolongs and a free meal. That almost makes it worth coming all the way out here.
Finishing up the nele shirek a moment later, Ledas stood, stretching his hand out in an arc around his body and releasing a wave of flamelike greenish-yellow energy. Caught in the heat and the movement, he had no time to think of anything else.
- The name of this story primarily references the pirates who are staying on Xii, but also the ones in the third scene as well.
- I see my writing style at the time was similar to how it was with Destroyer of Universes. That was a little immature, KV.
- "There once was a basketball player who was also Miraak and that was the best character I ever saw." - I do not remember what this line refers to. Possibly nothing.
- Admiral Nectarian will be featured starting in the second saga of Heart of the Dragon (I think - he could show up earlier, possibly). He is the one who saved Haimaru and Raimie from traitorous Faereth in chapter 4 of volume III of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization. He has, since then, lived with them on a planet called Melirion just outside of what was at that time Cooler's territory, but is now controlled by Icer. In chapter VII of volume IV, Icer granted Haimaru some planets from his territory, including Xii. In the as-of-unwritten chapters to follow, Haimaru's small, fledgling empire is attacked by the Corvos League and he loses control over everything except for Melirion. They are selling this planet because they do not have the soldiers to garrison it any longer, so there is no reason to keep it. The money could be used to buy mercenaries, or ships, which are in high demand at this point in time (Age 776, I believe).
- It would have likely been to Ledas' benefit to have killed Nectarian, but there's no way he could have known that at this time.
- Tyit and Vagé-Vagé are tits and vagina, one would expect. Those references are severely thematically relevant to what happens to Ledas in the second scene.
- Ledas kind of left the native Xili on PC92 when he ran off to Earth back at the end of the Stomping Grounds Saga of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten. As to whether or not they survived, this story allows the first indication of that, although I did not want it to be a major plot point. It had to be addressed, and Ledas realizing that he sort of didn't help them entirely (he left Guva's outpost in pristine shape, aside from killing The Plantains) makes him feel some guilt. I don't think he left them intentionally - he was just excited to reunite with Vegeta and wasn't thinking about them. This is a realization that he did something shitty years ago. And while he is a Saiyan at heart and may be somewhat of a barbarian, lusting for death and destruction, he had always had a soft spot for the natives of PC92.
- "“My mommy was a real slut, got herself a rich pimp daddy, and I’m outta her forty-third batch, got it? What do you expect of the forty-third son, eh? Be reasonable now!”" - in my opinion, this is the only reasonable thing that space-badger says in the story.
- Ledas wanted the models to put their shirts back on because he was getting an erection, obviously. That was important for me to mention, albeit indirectly, just after the space-badger said, "Our female clientele will be creamin’ in their space panties for this edition, I’ll bet you anything.".
- Ledas did not have to go Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 2 to fight the space pirates. He was embarrassed at getting an erection in front of them and hated them for doing that to him, so he responded to them very dramatically, even by his standards.
- "Instead of going up the road to the fallen outpost, Ledas went down to the ocean’s edge, where he stood for a while, bringing his shame to its end" - this line references a line from Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask, a story about a homosexual boy who grows up during the time of Imperial Japan, but is unwilling to really admit his sexuality to himself or anyone else. He struggles a lot with it through that book. In any case, at one point, he masturbates into the sea, thinking of one of his friends. I referenced that here. I had to read that book for one of my classes and had to write an essay on it, so that was probably why I drew the parallel here. Ledas' shame is not necessarily that he is attracted to men but that he let his attraction overwhelm him in that moment, letting all the space pirates see.
- The Xan fruit floating in the water is perhaps symbolically optimistic, or perhaps symbolic of Ledas' weakness when it comes to passion and hedonism.
- The arrogance Ledas feels after assuming the Xili were rendered extinct is a coping mechanism that he developed as a result of being around Vegeta during their childhood. It's not something he'll ever be able to stop feeling, but perhaps the more aware of it he becomes, the less power or influence it will have over him.
- Ledas will always kill his bounty target if the price for dead or alive is the same. He's a Saiyan, after all, and not one who is at all like Goku.
- As of writing the anthology for this story in September 2020, I still have not decided the circumstances of Ledas rebuilding an outpost on Xii's surface and moons, nor who will do it for him. Not sure if I will come up with that information before I begin writing HOTD (hopefully next year).
- Ledas gets his first desire for bounty hunter teammates in this story. That part was added in during the editing phase. He won't find his first recruit, however, until the second chapter of HOTD (at least, that's the plan right now).
- I find it funny how drinking the Xan fruit allowed Ledas to relax enough to be able to sense the Xili living on the other side of the planet. Maybe he should be loose and relaxed, like water, at all times.
- The Xan fruit's effects on Ledas indicate that it is extremely alcoholic - probably 50-60%.
- Although Ledas crashed into the ocean, he didn't drown, so he had to get out of there. He most likely did check the planet for Xili after he sobered up, confirming that they are not in fact extinct.
- Jwe-Iko-Pok was a case studyfor what would happen to the PTO after it falls. Given that I am still slogging through The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization three years after writing this story, it is no wonder why I would want to do this. This is the part of the timeline I've been trying to get to for 73 chapters of PTO. Still am not there yet, nor am I super close to that part of the timeline. I had an itch to scratch with showing the case study of Jwe-Iko-Pok. It being Planet Cooler 103 is important too, as it is located close to Xii. So while we still have people like Nectarian helping to run the PTO, the organization is no longer able to hold or control all planets within its borders. They simply do not have enough soldiers to quell every rebellion or eradicate every group of space pirates anymore.
- The man at the start offers the whore one space woolong to contrast Ledas paying a billion for Xii in the opening scene. One woolong's worth is probably not even going to get him a hand job, truthfully. She might allow him to jack off in front of her, but even that seems a little unrealistic.
- Ledas is in Super Saiyan 2 in this scene in order to work on his stamina. He doesn't need to be in the form, but as he has only achieved it recently, he's not comfortable enough to remain in it for a long battle. Using it at all times saps his strength, but against weak competition such as Pehyka, he won't get punished for that.
- Pehyka's gravity chair was meant to look like the chair the Prophet of Regret uses. There are some minor differences, such as Pehyka's being surrounded by purple energy, but the basic model was meant to be similar.
- At the time I wrote this story, I knew Ledas would unlock SS3 eventually and had already shown Vegeta use the form in The Forgotten. However, the specifics of how Ledas will learn that form are not known, even to me, as of writing this commentary. I think it's most likely that Vegeta teaches it to him.
Nice short story here. It still uses a bit of the unprofessional prose seen in Destroyer of Universes, but there's far less of that here. There's some repetitive prose too, but I will always nitpick stuff I wrote years ago. Ledas' characterization was done subtly, with his main issue only being alluded to and never outright stated. I prefer that issue to be discussed that way. It was delicately handled. Ledas learning about the Xili being alive was a nice moment too. And, it was fun to show him and Beelzebub working together for the first time on a bounty hunting mission. That's some good shit and I'll be happy to get to it in Heart of the Dragon. Overall, I am fairly pleased with how this story turned out.
<---- Part 101
Part 103 ---->