Twelve Majestic Lies was the second story I began working on for Ikigai. I began working on it on April 6, 2017, almost a month before One Chop Man, the second published story in Ikigai, was completed. This is a story that, looking back on it, I am not sure what the inspiration was, or how I came up with the idea. I updated the Ikigai page on April 7th, removing an origin story about Icer (which eventually became He Needs Some Space Milk) and replacing it with this story. I have almost no memory of writing this one.
Perhaps what I was going for was a bit of an origin story for Captain Ginyu, but not really in the most standard way. At the time I was writing this, I had been reading The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner and Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. The former was a decent novel; the latter was pure shit in my opinion. Regardless, they influenced me for this story. Those books utilized ungrammatical stream-of-consciousness sections which I found to be interesting. I wanted to try that out for myself. This was my first opportunity to do so.
While I did not want to do that for One Chop Man or Girl (though there is one line in Girl that starts heading in that direction), I resolved to attempt the stream-of-consciousness style with this story and The Monster and the Maiden. Indeed, I had written the first ungrammatical paragraph of this story before writing a word of One Chop Man or Girl. I decided to use this style for Ginyu remembering his past, rather than experiencing it in real time, sort of like how one remembers something during a dream. It's not always linear, logical, or neat and tidy.
The big question was if Ginyu's true form was the body he's seen in in Dragon Ball Z. There is conflicting information about this in semi-canon sources. I decided, ultimately, that he is not native to his purple-horned form.
I don't remember much of anything about this story other than at some point Ginyu hits his head on the floor and has memories of his past on Nyare. I thought it would be interesting to portray his family as a poor immigrant family, making his rise all the more impressive. It also worked for the themes of alienation and loneliness that permeate Ikigai.
In terms of writing this story, it was started on April 7, 2020, but over the course of that month, I wrote little more than a page. This story was a problem, I knew. I created the page for One Chop Man on April 15, 2020, knowing that it would be for the best for me to switch to writing that story for a while, as this one was proving to be extremely difficult. I only managed to write a sentence or a paragraph every few days until the 24th. At that point, I stopped working on it for a week or so, focusing on One Chop Man.
I had only managed to write up to the paragraph that begins with, "Miryu humming lightly to herself", over the course of about three weeks. Sharp-eyed readers will note that that paragraph is in the second section of the story. That section was intended, originally to be the first section. It was also significantly different in the first draft, as that sentence in the original version instead said, "They waited in near silence for him to return home, Miryu humming lightly to herself".
So I wrote a bit of One Chop Man, about two and a half pages in total. Then I came back briefly to this story on May 1, 2020 and edited it a bit, but didn't do anything major. I did not touch it again until May 13th. At that point, One Chop Man was done and posted and I was four and a half pages into the first draft of Girl. I added in seven paragraphs immediately after editing up to the part of the conversation between Carrow and Olivien that got super awkward. As that part was painful to write, I instead turned to Twelve Majestic Lies for a few minutes. I edited this story and Girl at the same time for a little while when I woke up later that day.
In the wee hours of May 15th, I once again simultaneously wrote this story with Girl, getting a lot done of Girl, but only a paragraph or so of this story done. The paragraph I did complete, however, was a stream-of-consciousness paragraph, so it was technically very difficult to do (this was the "yellow white golden" paragraph from the final version). I did not return to this story until the first draft of Girl had been completed the next day. But I only did some minor editing to the "yellow white golden" paragraph before finding my discipline and editing to completion Girl.
After I published Girl to the wiki, I had about 2 2/3 pages of content for Twelve Majestic Lies. At that time, it was also going to be the final story in Ikigai (though that was later changed after I came up with Mountain Bird several days after posting TML to this wiki). That night, riding the high of posting a story, I wrote two more pages of TML. Then, when I woke up later that day, I wrote like a madman. With Twelve Majestic Lies as my only story of focus at the time (I didn't know what to do for the sixth slot, and The Monster and the Maiden, being a story like this one, could not be juggled at the same time), I wrote five more pages on the 17th and into the wee hours of the 18th before going to bed. I had also edited all of the extant sections significantly during that time.
When I woke up on the 18th, I posted the first two completed sections of the story (much in the way I had with A Space Christmas Story), and then got to work on writing and editing the final section. I finished writing that section a few hours later and then edited it that night, finishing at 10:36 pm. I posted it to the wiki one minute later.
Overall, I don't remember too much about this story. I am interested to re-read it for that reason. Also, I am not sure what I will think of the stream-of-consciousness style. I was into it in 2017, but my style has developed over time, and I'm not sure if I can look back at this type of writing and love it anymore. We shall see. Onto the endnotes.
“And a number 12 for me,” Captain Ginyu said, scratching his chin and posing like an Arcosian God of Swag. “With… extra space pickles. Hold the space cheese. Eyaaah!” What a guy, and he was looking up from between his legs now, up at the bewildered and consummately professional cashier. Magisterial again from Ginyu. What a show, etc.
The cashier alien looked like a pair of pants on stilts. “O-oh, it’s my turn! Hyaaah, I’m Burrrrrrrrter, the Blue Hurricane!” Burter hissed, waving his arms and falling onto his knees (where he looked very pretty), working that pose with stunning gangsta grace and moderate debauchery. “I want one of those Frozen Red Hurricane smoothies…”
“Alright, that’ll be–”
“Quiet, noob!” Burter roared. “I want my smoothie in the blue flavor instead!”
“I’m sorry sir, but the Frozen Red Hurricane only comes in Red.”
That was a most unsettling development for Big Blue to endure, and he was not happy at all, not even a little bit. “Captaaaaaain!!”
Captain Ginyu looked mighty embarrassed. They were in public after all. “Burter, shut up. You’re gonna order that Frozen Red Hurricane, and you’re gonna like it! Alright?” Ginyu jumped in the air, pirouetting exquisitely. However, he landed in the middle of a puddle on the floor, soiling his armor and smacking his head against the floor with much less grace than you would expect.
not her metal and yellow eyes pulling him out up away from his body but this is where i want to be this is my home and sounding the mechanical drills tasting sterility testing poking touching feeling knowing his body was nothing to be admired but i knew there wasnt any escape or the eggheads peering down the lights so yellow so bright tears in his eyes the corners of his lips pulling a needle full of blood down his leg putting something inside the the taste of metal and he was home
Adding up the total, the cashier said monotonously, “Is that all for you wonderful people who are customers of this fine establishment?”
“Kuriza!” Ginyu barked, slipping as he tried to stand again. His left horn was vibrating with pain and he didn’t like it when it vibrated with pain, essentially. “Tell that fool your order, kid.”
“No fair, no fair!” the young Arcosian was whining. He stood at the other corner of the fast food establishment, wrapped up regally in his snuggie, banging on a half-broken vending machine. “I need those space funyuns!” The prince was nearly in tears. “There aren’t any left on Daddy’s ship! They’re my favorite, Ginyu, my favorite!”
“Son of a Frieza!” Captain Ginyu swore loudly. Everyone freaked the hell out, as one would expect when the Glorious Leader’s name was mentioned. A space-badger customer (a well-paying customer who had just gotten out of the slammer and had committed no less than three acts of necrophilia since Wednesday) dived into a trash bin.
The vending machine’s screen was cracked from where the prince had hit it. “Y-you’re going to have to pay for that, sir,” the pants alien stammered.
“Like hell we do! We’re the Ginyu Force!”
“Burrrrrrrter!!” Burter sang, flying around the room. Ten thousand spasming napkins flocked to the skies. The pants alien was blown clear over. “Special pose: hungry for some candy!”
“Very good, Burter,” Ginyu said in monotone, his face like stone. Perched on his shoulder was young Kuriza, who was doing the crazy hands like a seizure victim. “You have… fabulous strength,” he admitted, albeit unwillingly. They were in public, after all, and some things were better left for the training room.
Captain Ginyu threw a handful of caramel candies onto the floor. A toad-looking alien and Burter fought for all the prizes, but when Burter tore the froggy alien’s head off after he stole a piece, the pants alien began to sob. “Cleanup at the cash register!” she cried passionately into her microphone. “We’re gonna need a bigger mop!!”
“Alright, kid, whaddya want?” Ginyu asked Kuriza.
“Pass!!” Kuriza screamed.
“Burter, order for the others.”
“Umm, sure, captain,” Burter hissed in surprise. For a fast guy, he sure was thicc.
“I’m faster than you!” Kuriza shrieked, pointing at Burter. “You’re too slow!”
Burter inhaled a scream. “B-bu-bu-but Prince Kuriza, I’m the fastest in the universe.” It was an accusation that hurt him deep, that made him want to reflect on his emotions for several hours in a dim-lit room with Dr. Boson, who had always been the best at telling Burter that he was indeed the fastest in the universe. That’s why he kept going back; Dr. Boson was a loyal egghead, a man of impeccable extremities.
“Shut up, liar!”
“Burter, just order the damn meal already!” Ginyu interjected. “I wanna get back before the space traffic gets bad!”
“Alright, alright, quiet in the fast food restaurant!” Burter hissed grandiosely. A few aliens gave him a stink eye. He shot them dead without a second thought. Those motherfuckers looked like they wanted to die. “Jeice wanted a fat bag of space tots! Extra crispy. Oh, and I’ll get that with extra Space Australia sauce, please.”
The pants looked like they were about to swing back and forth and awkwardly escape at a very manageable pace. “Anything else, sir?”
“Feel dat fire,” one of the onlookers interjected. Kuriza blew his head off with a finger beam. A lot of people screamed and hurled insults and bad words, and they died too, and it was really just a horribly bloody affair when everyone should have just been enjoying their shit food.
“Crikey,” Pants the cashier girl replied. “Anything else for you mildly pleasant sirs today?”
“Recoome wanted a tub of space corndogs with extra space mayonnaise. And one chocolate eclair!!”
“That’s an extreme amount of orders. I hope you’re as rich as my daddy’s space mustache,” the cashier cautioned.
“We never pay for anything!” Kuriza yelled boisterously.
Captain Ginyu concurred (he polished his horns nightly). “Whatever we get’s on the house.”
“My Daddy wanted a big space salad!” Kuriza cried. “Get Daddy a big space salad with extra space oregano.”
“Kuriza, your father usually likes a nice space duck–”
“No, Ginyu! Daddy needs his big space salad!” He did a little spin in the air, slipped on Ginyu’s shoulder pauldron, and smacked his chin hard on the floor.
“Burter, get Lord Frieza a big space salad!”
“Cashier, I want a big space salad!”
And so it went. “My granddaddy’s a huge one. You should see him sometime,” Kuriza explained to the cashier as he walked over to Burter (he didn’t look even a little dazed). “He likes to drink wine all day. I want to get him a whole space ship full of it.”
“We don’t serve wine here, sir. I’m sorry, but this is a fast food restaurant, and our menu’s right above my head,” the pants alien said with a little bit of sass mouth. Nobody likes it when the cashier gives the sass mouth. “You’ll have to order something from up there.”
“I’ll get the kid’s meal for Granddaddy Cold,” Kuriza said dutifully. “He’s trying to collect all the Super Space Soniku’s.” It was a perfectly reasonable explanation since they were in the fine and singular Sonikku fast food establishment of Parsei Tepulai IV.
“Space tacoooos!” Kuriza sang like one would imagine Kuriza would. “Gimme that!”
“I’m sorry, sir, but we’re fresh out.”
“Then go make some more!”
“We’re out of the ingredients, sir. We sold our last batch to those gentlemen over there,” Pants the wonder-cashier said, pointing to a pair of tall aliens sitting in a booth in the far corner of the room.
Kuriza teleported over to them. “You’re eating my tacos!” he complained loudly. “Gimme!”
The aliens looked up at him strangely. They were wearing bizarre puffy white-and-yellow clothes that matched exactly. They had ordered the same meal too – the juicy tuna taco crunch. Kuriza licked his lips. It looked so good man, like you don’t even care that it tastes like a warm penny.
“Never will I ever do that, never once, never twice, not even three times!” one of the aliens shouted, taking his remaining taco and throwing it on the floor. A few of the survivors clapped. “Eat it now, ki–”
The booth exploded in a puff of smoke and heat. The aliens jumped aside, their food trays flying in the air like errant frisbees. One green-skinned woman, as there has to be, was walking with that sexy booty jafeel me with a tray in her hand but when she was hit in the side of the head by one, it wasn’t sexy anymore.
The aliens landed even as most of the rest of the patrons, those lucky few who had survived to be useful for this sentence, fled the Sonikku establishment. The taco-stealing aliens exchanged a glance, as if speaking telepathically.
“I’m Burter, the Blue Hurricane,” Burter yelled, spinning on his toes. “I’m the fastest in the universe!”
“You destroyed half the place!” one of the aliens shouted. “They’re gonna have to close up shop for weeks! Think of all the reconstruction! The horror!”
“Can they rebuild it?!” his companion asked tearfully.
“What are we supposed to get for lunch tomorrow? I love these tacos even more than I love other members of my species that I occasionally engage in copulation with, but that’s really none of your business!!”
“I love the space cheese, and the space tuna, but most of all, my favorite treat’s the space pico de gallo!” Kuriza screamed, resembling his father for one cold, terrifying moment.
“You are mentally unstable,” one alien said. Nodding to his partner, the two jumped two more paces away from one another. They fell into squatting poses. “We must defend the honor of our tacos! The space pico de gallo is ours!”
Kuriza inhaled terribly, as if he was too stunned to continue living. “T-take it back…!”
“Fu…sion…ha!” the duo spoke in unison, tipping on their tippy toes and swinging their arms and turning their knees and falling into a pose of slanted forms perfectly mirroring one another.
“Oh my candy Cooler…” Ginyu dropped to his knees, tears streaming down his cheeks. “It’s beautiful! Burter, did you catch that?!”
“No way, Captain! I’m too busy being the fastest in the universe!”
One of these days, someone was going to have to tell him.
“It’s fabulous… exotic… pure style! I love it!” The two characters inevitably did what they had screamed, and then there was only one of them, who, to everyone else, looked just like the last two. “I have to know what they call a move like that…!” He struggled to stand, but Kuriza flew forward, knocking the captain into Burter.
“Those were my tacos!” The energy in his hands ran with blues and purples, like a ball of veins.
Having none of that, the alien put up his arms in a blocking move. “Please… can you guys do this outside?” Pants the cashier alien cried to no avail. Kuriza’s veiny ball flew through the air, sailing at the impressive two-aliens-who-turned-into-one magic routine.
“Not so fast…!” a woman shouted.
The energy exploded against the condiments corner, spraying the room with boiling space ketchup. Ginyu had stopped paying attention – he was off in the corner trying to mimic the alien fusion technique, but he lacked the technical dance skills to perform it adequately.
The woman appeared like a shadow, and landed between Kuriza and the fused alien. “I’m sorry, but I don’t get paid if anyone else kills them,” she said to the princeling.
The fused man staggered forward, grasping his neck where a large tear had formed near the base of his throat, the skin charred black around the edges of the wound. His skin had gone pale, his eyes wide and white and looking. So did he fall over, dead.
“Good riddance!” the Arcosian yelled shrilly.
Ginyu had stopped his dancing, looking for the girl, but she’d vanished. She wore all black, her skin dark as night, her long flowing hair the color of a summer sky. “Burter, where’d she go?”
Burter was licking space ketchup off his claws. “I didn’t see her, Captain! She was too fast for me!”
His scouter read 55,000. He was out the door in an instant, chasing the faint scent, the dimming level, the taste of nothingness…
It vanished into the dark, leaving Ginyu by himself in the parking lot to watch the other asteroids drift by. Smoke rose from a hole in the ceiling of the Sonikku. His stomach was itching for that #12.
“Why were you following me?” she asked, a ghost behind his ear.
“What the… who’s there?” He spun around, flits of energy sparking between his palms.
Squeezing his wrists, she made him dissipate the energy. Her light blue hair flowed over one of her eyes. She was slender as a poleaxe, half his height, with a narrow, skull-like face, and lavender eyes. “Did you think you could kill me?”
Her armor was frilly and black, with a sheen of dark purple, almost like sweat.
“N-no…” Ginyu stuttered, trying to overpower her all the same. He couldn’t break her grip. She was clearly a warrior of great talent. “I-I-I… I wanted to ask you to join my team: the Ginyu Force! We could use someone with your… talents, eheha!”
“Yeah? What’s your price?”
“Hah, well we offer you a chance at glory and–”
She was gone. 55,000. He could have used someone of her quality. The same urging feeling was squirming in his stomach. He’d have to make a difficult decision in that case. Ginyu’s eyes found the Sonikku again; through the window, he could see Kuriza standing on the counter, demanding the tacos he would surely never get. There was only one way this could…
The explosion was a spire of orange-white melting metal, and he could taste Nyarin air, the dust and the heat and the cat-like people, teal-furred, striped, their ears as wide and fluffy as the spreading light…
“Can we go now, Ginyu?” Kuriza was standing before him, a steaming bag of food in either hand. Burter wasn’t far behind, and he too had a bag in each hand.
“Tell me you got something for Zarbon and Dodoria,” Ginyu said coldly.
“Right here, boss,” Burter said, raising one of his bags.
“You okay, Captain?”
“Y-yeah… it’s nothing. Let’s go. Kuriza can drive.”
“What…?! Really?” Kuriza was like one of them hood girls, one of them straight masterpieces.
“But Captain… last time you let him drive, he crashed into the moon on Planet Cooler 61! Don’t you remember?”
That was a memory Captain Ginyu couldn’t possibly remember, and it was ridiculous to assume it was even a true statement by that viper-faced liar who was known to lie just to get a child-sized space caramel. He’d once stolen Jeice’s space candy bar just for being Space Australian. What a slimy little fucker, what a crafty little shit. Cap’n Ginyu hated him moderately. He looked like a Tuffle spacewhore and not the good kind like you could find in space gas station bathrooms.
“Oh, that’s right. In that case… I’ll drive!” Ginyu had to do the Dance of Joy. It was marginally relevant to what was going on. “Huh, well look at you, Burter. Nice work, soldier. You finally are good for something.”
If Burter had been fast enough, he could have come up with a retort in time.
“You will be just fine.”
She drew up from the darkness, a shadow of a spectre, and there was his brother and his sister and his father behind. The smell of flowering trees and a slow-moistening sky. Fear and excitement were one in the same to him; the vividness of feeling, of simultaneous emotion, choked in his throat.
Miryu’s throat twitched as she drank deeply from the indiscreet bottle. Sweat glistened on her pale blue neck curling desperate fingers blue so blue mothers touch please mother I his cheek where the blue cold made him feel inside. Let me stay, he pleaded. Don’t be scared, my baby, Mother’s voice replied. I don’t want to go. You’ll go. Go, go! Don’t make me ask you again, Ginyu. And his brother, Jicho, with those melancholic eyes of his he was always so sad Father like a flurry of black. Go. Pupiless.
it’s all the same there or back home Go, go, don’t look back if you let it
He tread the road alone, the cold on his cheeks. It wasn’t as far to the foundry as he thought it would be. The road was not paved on the outskirts of Torrun. In the rising summer light, golden-winged insects hummed through the air, as if in uncontainable joy at the fall of night and the return of day. Sunlight slanted through wind-blown leaves. He was utterly alone, utterly removed from that oppressive realm known as social consciousness. In the distance, the city was drawn out of its surroundings like stroke brushes on a landscape painting; dust fluttered in the air like withered snowflakes.
A leaf drifted from a tree on the side of the road, bright as fire, and landed before him. Ginyu only realized what had happened after he stepped on it. The buildings too looked like trees – rising tall as kings, Torrun’s skyscraper’s were in competition only with one another. Around them huddled modest slate-grey buildings, fearful of the wind.
When he was three maybe four they had left. A fresh start, his father had said. We must. You’ll make friends, Mother had said, her voice soft as night. She brushed his hair and smiled down on him, wiping his tears away. Nyare’s a famous place. You should be happy we’re going. Stop crying, Ginyu! Oh, my boy, there’s no reason to be scared. Gicho, take him, make him stop! Papa are you getting a new job? Quiet Jicho not in front of Ginyu. But–. I said quiet!
He could still hear that slap, ringing in his ears like galing summer winds. They whipped at his cheeks, battered him, harsh, but warming. He wanted to go away be someone else his blue hand against his mouth the wind loosing his tears Miryu’s eyes serene and pale and violet tingling the wind pulling down his cheeks numb.
“Keep your hand steady, Gin.” The Nyarin’s paws brushed down his arms, grasping his wrist loosely. With a reverberating bang of molten metal, he sent a thousand sparks into the sky where at least they could burn out for everyone to see. “That’s it, lad, that’s it. Smooth it over, make it even now, steady. You’ve got some skill, heh. For a forrun, at least. Heh, now don’t lose focus now…” Now now now reverberating black.
“Yeah, but father’s the first foreign branch manager in the world,” Jicho said.
A swelling of pride, happiness enough to bring tears, overcame him. Ginyu nibbled on a piece of chaak, a type of unleavened hard bread the Nyarins lived on. He spat it out – dry. So dry. His older brother was grinning thinly, leaning up against a mud stone wall in the shadow of a flowering tree. Gicho had a Nyarin girl on his arm, her yellow eyes slanting diagonally away from him. Their fingers coiled and rubbed, two separate lives.
He remembered time as golden, black and fleeting. It sucked away, and she was melted into the surrounding dark.
“Why do we have to work if daddy’s the boss?” The locker slammed closed. The rusty ones would give off subtly different squeaks than the newer ones when they were closed like that, but only if one did so with conviction.
“You’re going to become big and powerful like him one day, Gin. If he wants you to work in the foundry, you will. You’ll like it. Y’know, once Father retires, I’m going to take over as the new boss, so you better start…”
The declaration filled Ginyu with wonder. The sound of hammers beating mercilessly; the smell of deep-coal fires. Soot. Ash. Sweat. Yellow eyes descending, falling away. Cat eyes looking. Floppy ears sagging at the end of a long day. A great fire roaring. Their arms swinging in practiced motions, aqua-tinged fur, striped with deep creases of shadow.
His father had been late to get home for a while now, traffic was always busy this time of the night and when he But daddy I don’t wanna You’ll go, damn it all, you’ll go, you’re my son, what will the others think Don’t make me, they call me names, Words mean nothing, if you don’t ignore them, I’ll send you to work with your brother how would you like that your brother works harder than three men combined why aren’t you more like your brother
Miryu humming lightly to herself, Gicho tinkering with the heat tank by the window, Mother already gone to bed. She had to get up early since she worked as a chef for a Nyarin aristocrat in one of Torrun City’s high-rise buildings.
“And if you have to get up a little early, then what’s that to you?”
“You’re not even the damn factory manager! What about that you said youd be the branch head what about that huh were barely getting by the kids are miserable they dont fit in we dont fit in we arent Nyarins we arent welcome here.”
Bitter chaak. A mouthful of dust villager scum. Common. Breathing loud and i cant hear i cant hear it when they yell if i think about something else
“Damn forrun, get outta here!” The Nyarin adolescent threw a rock at Ginyu, hitting his tail. He remembered crying hurting more than the impact.
Father and mother and
“Say one more word and I’ll bury you in the desert. No one will ever come looking for you. I’ll tell the kids you ran away, that you gave up on them.”
The sound of flesh in motion, and a thud. “This is it! This is all we’ve got! We’ve got to make it work! Your bitching won’t solve anything!” Something broke, something always breaks. “I was promised, honey…” he said, his voice becoming sweet again. “They told me I would lead the branch… they lied! What can I do about it? There’s no one to protect our kind out here. What are we supposed to do?
the a yellow white golden coming i cant coming its behind the light something there behind the light i cant see its there i know it is are you going to take me again where the needle is a sliver of metal bone yellow white white yellow burned to his eyes burned to the backs of eyelids but only for a short time only long enough to forget and if you tell your mother well whats to say they wont put you in the asylum your father works hard for us for the foundry hes going to be someone someday he needs this you cant mess it yellow gold like the molten bars of iron pressed into their moulds and the pressing of a needle against bone crying
He was always tired, the yellow beneath his eyes.
“Go on then forrun go on then. You shouldn’t look like that, come back here and I’ll skin ya!”
His sister died that summer. That was for the best she wasnt all there
Father was re-assigned to a factory in a different town. Mother didn’t have the money to go with him for another year. And it was only three years after that that they laid him to rest in the underwater crypts of Aubo Hall.
In the spring, the army drafted Gicho. The controversy of letting forruns fight died that day. They never saw him again.
Mother grew old and kind and unafraid.
“Deliver the shipment by noon. If you’re late, I’ll cut your hand off, forrun, ha! You know I will, don’t you?” Adukacho grinned. He had too many silver teeth. “Get movin’, kid. You got half an hour.”
Trapped in the body in the dust in the heart beating hot no reason for being the Nyarins trading buying walking running moving and him alone with his thoughts and where who did i I don’t want to be this anymore This isn’t me This isn’t who I want to be.
Two Nyarin children were scraping in the dusty street, drawing blood, their fur tinged with the deepest shade of blue where the wounds spilled out, fresh for all to see. A foreign trader was selling Nugahl Djio-Nil on discount, his squelching mandibles struggling in the heat. He needed the shade.
in you im The bonetower was echoing with music. Another forrun another problem take em out get em out of here did you actually think did you really the head of the foundry really are you mad best to be mad or a forrun never both
But it was another man with purple skin and pointy horns, wearing a tattered robe and holding a flask of some sealed alcohol. The bottle was green and murky, and the captain had a smile on his face – a chiseled, easy smile, fit for his rank. He was selling his haul to a group of thirsty-looking Nyarins.
Blue turned grey in the light and tiny hands like his father trapped and held another crypt made warm for him beneath the sea.
Feeling yellow I don’t want to be here this isn’t me this isn’t happening I have to
The taste of yellow. The life beyond it, staring down at him from the white blackness eggheads and eyes and capes and a bird beak sharpened. A spiced aroma in the air, faint as lingering perfume. Testing. Prodding. Making hushed comments. Blood on the table, looking up, unable to move. Why did they take him, why again and again the bloods gone washing away but the yellows still there and ill tell you if it makes you feel sick theres something wrong with you stop cryin Gin stop complaining nothings happened its all in your head youre a dreamer youll never learn youve had enough Chaak
A floating street monitor flashed soundlessly, showing the breathless dramatism of gladiators fighting in the Galactrix Arena: Nurt, Ghurt’s Blood versus Linessi, the Flea. He stayed and watched, feeling the cold yellow surge behind his eyes. One time, he’d asked Gicho if he had ever felt the same way.
“Nope. What the hell’s wrong with you, Gin? Are you alright? Are you feeling…?”
The horned man was vibrant. He sold bottle after bottle to those hushed Nyarin onlookers with easy words and a loose jaw, commanding the crowd like a hero from the stories. His muscles shone with sweat, with promise, with agency. He wanted to go. So bad he wanted to be gone black horns reflecting Nyare’s sunlight and the promise of escape in yellow
An old familiar feeling scratched at his brain, sending down a surge of blood so heavy that his eyesight rippled, and it was yellow.
“Oh yes, absolutely wonderful. Mmmmm, how delightful. Hah, I love a good tongue. Firm – but not too firm…” The man sighed effeminately as he opened his steaming box. The aroma roused great reaction in Zarbon, the guy who likes to dress up as alien military commanders in his off-time. He plucked at the tongue with his space chopsticks and moaned playfully. “Oh look Dodoria, this one’s got a piercing… how about that…!”
The fast food tongue (not too firm) indeed had some kind of metal piercing in it.
Dodoria looked up. “Come on, Zarbon. You know I’m on a diet.”
“Oh, Dodoria, please. Everyone – even you – deserves a little tongue every now and then…”
The two dolts walked by the rejuvenation tank room. Captain Ginyu was alone again, thankfully. Well, not alone – that would be an inaccurate way to put things. His three recruits were in the tanks, but being unconscious, they weren’t really there in that room with him.
He had to make a choice by the end of the day, and it was not a choice he was savoring. Vegeta, Guldo, Aranya – one of them would become the fifth member of the Ginyu Force. He favored Vegeta, but Vegeta belonged to Lord Frieza. Frieza was more protective of him than the others. He was undeniably the strongest and the smartest fighter of the three, though he was not even seven years old.
Aranya was a Nyarin girl, faster than the others, but weaker. Ginyu’s team already had their blue speedster. And Guldo… well, that little ball of greasy fat was a depressing option. He could stop time, which was fabulous, but he was so weak that it hardly mattered.
A feeling of fear spread from his throat to his fingers like tree roots. Why? He wasn’t afraid. Even if he picked Vegeta…
Captain Ginyu blinked and found himself in his own quarters, a cramped, grey-steel room with two beds. The second never went used. He went to the dead end of the room counting the tiles on the wall until he found his secret compartment. The Il N’ghic Aulmer was near the back of the compartment, its murky green color becoming at once familiar again to Ginyu’s old eyes. There was a fine layer of dust coating the bottle.
It was the last one left from the old days. He popped open the cork, inhaled, and poured himself a glass. “It’s as we discussed,” he said a few minutes later, breaking the stale monotony in his cabin, one finger on his scouter. “Hey Burter, are you there?”
“It’s Guldo. Have him and the Saiyan fight. Break the boy’s spirit. It’s the only way.”
There had been a time when he’d despised the taste of the Aulmer. After drinking a case of the bottles however, his taste for the arid, yet rich alcohol had grown into something resembling fondness. But he hadn’t had any of it in a long time. Bottles these days, rare as they had become, went for no less than a planet. He sighed and poured himself another glass.
Time passed; everything collapses. Forgetting was easier.
In an hour or so, it would become official. He was in the training room, standing in the center of the primary sparring mat, when Abo and Kado entered the room. In one hour from now, they would make this official. Guldo was far weaker than anyone else in the Ginyu Force, but given time, he should be able to improve… and with his time-stopping ability, the Ginyu Force would become invincible! Ginyu smirked drunkenly. He almost believed that.
“What’re you lookin’ at,” Abo muttered to Kado.
“Abo, my brother, look, it’s Captain Ginyu,” Kado said to his brother Abo. “Greetings Captain, and what a lovely day.”
“We’re in a spaceship,” he replied in a growl.
“It is an excellent day on this spaceship, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Is there a reason you’re talking to me?” Ginyu turned and did that sideways staring pose where he actually looks fearsome for once in the Namek Arc.
“Well, I was just talking to my brother Abo, who is right here you see,” Kado explained, waving his hands spastically, “who is very embarrassed to say – but it’s true – that in fact he has never touched even a single sweet alien booty before.”
“That’s a shame.”
“Please, for the sake of my dear brother Abo who is right here, please, Captain…!” Kado sobbed. “Where can we go when we wanna get a look at that high-quality alien booty in the wild, and for not too high of a price?!”
“Why are you asking me? Where’s that Benefactor guy…? He usually handled that kind of stuff.”
“Yo, he got lit up,” Abo chirped.
“Damn it!” Ginyu folded his arms seriously. “That was my only hope! I curse that guy who I should have been able to have sent these two imbeciles to! You were a space emo!”
Kado’s eyes sparkled like Cream of King Cold. “Tell us where to get that sweet alien booty, please. Captain Ginyu, you’re a legend! Can we be on your team?”
Those brothers were weird aliens, strange beings that should’ve been left immobile on the subaquatic hydrothermal vents of Arcose’s southern ocean. They made him feel uncomfortable to be around, particularly because one was red, and the other was blue. But more than that, if one combines their names, it will become “Abokado”, which sounds a lot like space avocados, and space avocados are hardly worth the effort of even mentioning, let alone eating.
All of this is to say that in the mediocrity of their personalities and appearance, Ginyu found his hatred of them. Why would anyone like Abo and Kado? Why would Frieza hire them? Why would they be given titles and ships for their strength? They were horrible, horrible scum, and Ginyu didn’t like them one bit, if that wasn’t already clear enough.
“The best place…” Ginyu whispered, lowering his voice dramatically, “is the Pink Oyster Cult on Poonjab VII.”
Abo squealed in wonder. Ginyu teleported from the training mat. They weren’t fast enough to follow. He felt a little drunk, maybe. It had always been hard for him to tell with the Aulmer. His body didn’t react to it much at all, which had always been a surprise. It was a total body experience, to remember the feeling: tingling in his fingertips, a rolling weight behind his eyes, rushing into his brain, and, always, the taste of heat.
Ginyu spun around Abo and reached Kado, tipping on his tippy toes, raising his fist wildly. “I hate you!!” He swung and took Kado down; that lil homeslice fallin like a bag of wet space pork. “You have no styleeeeee!!” Ginyu cried with all the passion in his veiny little head. “Raaawr!” he roared like a space dinosaur.
Abo screamed like a stuck space pig before he fell, but he went down all the same, and soon both of the Abo and Kado duo were asleep, and Ginyu was much happier now, and he called the janitor to clean that mess up ASAP since they had a Saiyan prince whose spirit needed breaking in less than an hour, and it was good, this rushing feeling in his skull, helping him forget.
- This story's name comes from the last lyric in "Aliens Exist" by Blink-182. This lyric deals with a supposed alien cover-up by the US government. I liked that phrase for it sounds rather beautiful to me. It relates to this story primarily through Ginyu's memories of his stay on Nyare and how he was treated there by the Nyarins as well as the other aliens, going into the conspiracy of what his true form is.
- There is some irony, I suppose, in Ginyu, the milk man himself, not wanting any space cheese on his space hamburger.
- This story isn't just employing stream-of-consciousness, it seems, but an informal, fourth-wall breaking style as well. I don't remember doing that, and it was not a particularly good choice, reading back on it now.
- There is a stylistically jarring effect to have the Ginyu Force start out acting so childish and silly (unfunny in how ridiculous they are) and then transition to that stream-of-consciousness paragraph, which foreshadows Ginyu remembering his past in much more grim detail later on. Additionally, the way in which Ginyu enters stream-of-consciousness was fun, for it wasn't random, it was because he hit his head on the floor. It is a common thing in fast food restaurants, in my experience, for there to be wet spots on the floor. I don't think there was a sign up in the Sonikku for such, though, so Ginyu could have probably sued.
- As to the actual content of the stream-of-consciousness paragraph, the main take-away should be that there is an alienation theme within it, that Ginyu has vague memories of being abducted or something similar, and also that he feels like Nyare was his home, regardless of how the Nyarins treated him. These ideas are tackled more heavily in the second section, being only alluded to in the first section's paragraph.
- Kuriza's appearance in this story is like a sequel to A Space Christmas Story. He still has his space snuggie and is still thinking about space funyuns. The Ikigai theme of PTO vending machines never being in stock is alive and well in this story.
- It seems to be a recurring theme with me to have space-badgers be necrophiliacs. Not sure why that is.
- "“You have… fabulous strength,” he admitted, albeit unwillingly. They were in public, after all, and some things were better left for the training room." - there are always homoerotic undertones when I write the Ginyu Force. This is one of the more daring ones.
- The Dragon Ball Wiki considers Burter to be faster than Captain Ginyu. That is not true in the slightest. One of the many reasons why that wiki is unreliable and should be vetted for every piece of information it presents. But yeah, Kuriza too is faster than Burter, though debatably, not in his first form, which he is in during the first scene.
- Dr. Boson is a character in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization.
- There is no explanation as to why Burter has to order for Recoome and Jeice, nor will there ever be.
- In the original version of this story (before I did this commentary), Burter got Guldo three extra large orders of Chili Cheese Space Coneys without drinks. The third section, however, shows that Guldo is still a recruit (this story taking place during the events of His Majesty's Pet), and so I had to remove that paragraph.
- Tots are pretty good in my opinion.
- "Feel dat fire" - this is something Tai Kaliso says when using fire weapons in Gears of War 3.
- Mayonnaise is disgusting in my opinion. Coupling that with corn dogs is just terrible.
- The cashier was really unaware to not realize who Kuriza or the Ginyu Force were. Perhaps this was her first day working there, for it's likely that Kuriza and the gang would have gone there often.
- The big salad joke is a joke from Seinfeld. The space duck thing is from TFS. I think it's likely that Frieza would have preferred the space duck, but might have requested the big space salad to maintain a proper weight.
- Kuriza is mystified by his grandfather, though he is keenly aware that Cold is a drunk. I've always liked writing about King Cold from Kuriza's perspective. The boy doesn't seem to really care about his grandfather being an alcoholic, but cares about him deeply. He is also at least somewhat aware of alcoholism being bad, which makes these interactions more bizarre. I quite liked that joke.
- Kuriza was indeed trying to order a space ship full of wine for Cold. His order would have cost much more than everyone else's combined. But he is the emperor, so.
- The difference in quantity and price between a space ship full of wine and a kid's meal cannot be overstated. It is interesting, in seeing what is ordered, to note how Kuriza treats and understands the various members of his family.
- I bet that juicy space tuna taco was pink, hahah.
- My brother once threw a taco on the floor rather than give it to me, which I thought was very rude. Tacos are too good to waste like that. It's something I would never conceive of doing myself, it's so heinous.
- It doesn't make sense why the Metamoran would waste his taco like that. Maybe I'm missing something, but that's some poor writing, KV, not accounting for how the Metamoran would feel in that situation. Everything is tailored for Kuriza's reaction, which is not realistic writing.
- The first section of this story is written with more neuroticism than I had remembered. Perhaps it's the most neurotic thing I ever wrote on this site.
- I really did an exceptional job of running the Burter speed joke into the ground, if I do say so myself.
- It only made sense for Ginyu to like the fusion dance. Considering how lame it is, the style has to be in Ginyu's wheelhouse.
- By this point in my writings, I knew I needed to start integrating Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon characters into my universe more openly. I had already put Vizzer and Okinaro into stories, and so the next one who could easily be integrated was Linessi. I am not sure how much of her backstory I had come up with as of writing this story. I know I had, just days before releasing this story, written her into the second chapter of Across the Universe. In any case, adding her in here was fun, for this had to be very early after she escapes from Dekiru in Mountain Bird. She would be fairly strong, but not close to where she's at when she's introduced in the Emperor Kuriza Saga. It should also be mentioned that when I wrote her into this story, I did not yet know that Mountain Bird would be a thing. As it so turns out, Linessi appears in half of the stories in Ikigai (she is dead as of Girl, though), being the only character to do so.
- It's a funny detail that Ginyu can't mimic the fusion dance with grace. That small moment kind of shows what he really is as a person. I guess a lot of what I do with the Ginyus is to mock them, but I do like them a lot too. I am not mocking them as I would Chiaotzu. It's more playful. Sometimes the points I make though are a bit more serious, as in this case.
- Ginyu must have been using a very powerful scouter to pick up a reading of 55,000. Certainly it's possible. I don't know why Zarbon and Dodoria had such shit scouters, but that's Toriyama for you.
- I think Ginyu pursued not only because of the high power level reading (a number likely higher than any member of the Ginyu Force sans himself) but because he got one good look at Linessi and liked what he saw. There's a light sexual tone in the air during his conversation with Linessi in the parking lot, one that I did not wish to overstate.
- Linessi's hair appears to be dyed in this story. I do not remember doing that, to be honest. Her natural hair color is black.
- Linessi wanted money. Ginyu probably could have offered her money, as his team is a mercenary group. With that said, he didn't pick up on her vibe quick enough, leading her to flee. That was probably for the best for both parties, as she is not one to dance, and Ginyu is not one to have subordinates stronger than himself.
- "The explosion was a spire of orange-white melting metal, and he could taste Nyarin air, the dust and the heat and the cat-like people, teal-furred, striped, their ears as wide and fluffy as the spreading light…" - this nostalgia was triggered by Ginyu hitting his head on the floor earlier.
- Even though Kuriza blew up the Space Sonikku restaurant, it is his favorite place to eat. No doubt a new one was built either on this very asteroid, Parsei Tepulai IV, or one nearby, within a months' time.
- Ginyu knew that Kuriza would destroy the Sonikku and did nothing to stop him. Given how they act around each other, that little moment reveals quite a bit about Ginyu's relationship with the prince. He sort of plays up his goofy side around the kid, making him appear more aloof and stupid than he actually is.
- Overall, my opinion on the first section is that it was extremely inconsistent. Some bad jokes and prose intermixed with some good ones. The overall plot was interesting, but not executed in a way that I think is acceptable for my own standards. If I were to re-write this story today, in 2020, I would likely keep the plot as it is, but heavily reword things. Perhaps the biggest thing I would change is Burter's inclusion. He would need to do something more tangible to be included in this scene. Definitely the weakest section so far of any Ikigai story I've read up to this point in my anthologies.
- The way I tried to do Ginyu's stream-of-consciousness in the second section was like having dream memories layer over one another, the fragments blurring and stretching and distorting with time. He has surely dreamed and thought about these moments before now, and so there is some level of degradation in their unfurling.
- The description of Miryu's neck perhaps indicates that Ginyu's original species is not in fact the purple horned one we see in Dragon Ball Z.
- The first couple of paragraphs were meant to show how anxious Ginyu is as he's on his way to work with Nyarins in the foundry, for since he is a different species, he feels like an outcast and has great anxiety about being rejected by them.
- Not all of the dialogue memories are italicized. This was done on purpose. As to why, that would be saying too much.
- I do not remember if Gicho and Miryu are puns on anything. My notes don't have anything on them, and the names don't come up on jisho, so I would hazard to say they are not.
- In the opening scene, I contrast Ginyu's anxiety at leaving the safety of home with the splendor of the city of Torrun. He can't help but feel some allure to the city, but that allure does not include the people within.
- The memories in the second scene are not presented in a linear fashion. Indeed, the one about Miryu drinking alcohol from a bottle takes place years after the memories that directly follow.
- The metalworker calls Ginyu a forrun, which is somewhat of a pejorative for aliens living on Nyare.
- When I describe time as golden and black, I do not necessarily mean that the colors intermix, or even that they shift from one to another. It's more like they are curling yarn strands, interweaving and unweaving, coiling and uncoiling, as they spiral downwards. It's difficult to describe, but it's how I see it in my dreams.
- There is both promise and dread in a future at the foundry, from Ginyu's perspective. So much meaningless manual labor coupled with a guaranteed paycheck and the possibility to rise high in the ranks makes the situation more complicated for him.
- Not only was Ginyu and outcast on Nyare, but amongst his own family. His father telling him to be more like his brother is something he's never forgotten, even after becoming as successful as he has. Criticism always lingers longer than praise in my experience, even the pettiest, most trivial kind. Even factually incorrect criticism too, sometimes. Humans are strange like that. I wanted the aliens to be portrayed in the same way.
- Ginyu tries his best not to listen to that conversation between his parents, but it's difficult to not hear things, especially when they were yelling at one another. I'm sure in some way, his family's dysfunction affected him later in life.
- The yellow white golden paragraph is when things truly break down in the manner that they did in the first section. This is brought about by Ginyu's emotions when he re-experiences his parents' violent fight.
- That paragraph, however, reveals that Ginyu is not being abducted by aliens (well, he technically is, but still), but the Nyarins. They know how about his mutation and are experimenting on him.
- Miryu is very specifically a Virgina Woolf-style character - sad, dejected, quiet, and doomed.
- Nyarins burying their dead underwater is a cool detail that I had forgotten.
- Ginyu remembers the deaths of all of his family members one after another despite those events taking place years apart. That is a subconscious grouping. His regret and loneliness is palpable but never directly stated.
- The foreign trader selling Nil is a Quglith. Nil is native to the Quglith homeworld of Ctaedi. It was fun to bring in some differing cultures in the trade port at the end of the second scene. Seeing the Quglith acting so meek, just in it for the money, boils them down a bit, but leaves the essentials in my opinion. It was gratifying to even have a species I could do this with, rather than having to make up something new just for that scene.
- Ginyu starts thinking about how he doesn't want to be in his body at the end of the second scene. That is only because he knows what's coming. He did not have those thoughts in the moment.
- Yellow recurs as a color, especially in the stream-of-consciousness moments, because that is the color of Ginyu's Body Change technique.
- Notice how Ginyu is enamored by the purple horned alien's charisma. He doesn't care that he's a foreigner. This reveals a lot about Ginyu. He was never really ashamed that he was an alien, but that he was a weak, cowardly, unconfident alien.
- Ginyu's memory turns to Linessi at the end because in his subconscious, he recognized her in the first scene. He just didn't realize from where. It's debatable if he remembers what he dreams about in the second scene, so he may never realize that he watched her fight in the Galactrix Arena as a young man.
- There is no guilt in Ginyu as he damns that purple-horned man to an eternity in his old body.
- "The aroma roused great reaction in Zarbon, the guy who likes to dress up as alien military commanders in his off-time." - this references the awful admin of Dragon Ball Wiki, PrinceZarbon. Yes, he does do that, and yes it does make me think that the genitalia that makes him hot is male.
- One of the tongues has a piercing because that's extremely gross and shows that they are taking these tongues from sentient beings. Not like Zarbon would care, though. He is a foul animal.
- Dodoria, with all his fat rolls, probably deserves more tongue than Zarbon.
- I am glad to see that Dodoria's diet ended up being a success.
- Aranya was originally Asaio in the third section. I hadn't re-read this story since publishing His Majesty's Pet until now, however. In HMP, Asaio dies before the Ginyu Force tryouts, so I had to change it to Aranya during my anthologizing.
- Ginyu wasn't feeling fear when musing over who would win the Ginyu Force tryouts. He was being reminded of his time spent on Nyare with Aranya's presence.
- The Il N’ghic Aulmer was the alcohol that the purple horned captain was selling when Ginyu Body Changed with him. I would like to think it's a drink not unlike whiskey.
- Kuriza knows where that hidden compartment is. He messes with it in His Majesty's Pet.
- Ginyu calls up Burter and tells him to aid Guldo in his upcoming duel with Vegeta. This fight is referenced in Slaved and is outright shown in His Majesty's Pet/Ginyu Force Tryouts. The reason as to why Burter helps Guldo, though, is never made clear in either of those stories. It was cool to have a reasoned, logical idea behind why Ginyu orders Burter to do that. He knows that Frieza prizes Vegeta (he's his majesty's pet after all) and so, fearful of taking the best warrior, knows that Burter will need to aid Guldo in beating him to have a chance at winning the duel. Really cool stuff. I had forgotten I had written that into this story.
- Ginyu could have sold that bottle for a planet. It's worth more to him to drink it, though.
- Abo and Kado's speech patterns are based on how they talk in A Quest for Booty. Only one chapter of that story had been written at the time I posted this, however, so some of the development I did with them here affected how I portrayed them in AQFB.
- I don't think Abo and Kado are at first form Frieza level as of this story. That doesn't happen for a while, methinks. Ginyu is still their superior as of now and he knows that. He treats them like absolute scum, I think, because they are so weird.
- It is odd that The Benefactor would potentially know about whorehouses. I think Abo is mistaken. Regardless, that's a funny call-out.
- "They made him feel uncomfortable to be around, particularly because one was red, and the other was blue." - I've got to say this is a stupid joke, but it did make me laugh. I don't know that the KidVegeta who wrote this exists anymore.
- Ginyu's reason for drinking is similar to Olivien's in Girl. They want to forget the shittiness of reality, of the past, of the present. Not to say that alcohol is a good medicine for that, but at least it numbs the pain. The closing paragraph thus confirms that Ginyu remembers at least some of what happened in the second section when he woke up.
- Ginyu telling Abo and Kado about the Pink Oyster Cult in this story is what leads them to make the wish that they do in A Quest for Booty.
The first scene of this story is wretched. The second scene is one I really like. The third scene is pretty good too. That makes my overall commentary on this story tricky. It's an inconsistent story, but its highs are very high. I think the stream-of-consciousness style worked out well. It's not something I would probably use again to such an extreme degree (having a few paragraphs here and there could be interesting in various stories), but I am satisfied with how that turned out. I quite liked the characters and the banter for the most part, though Burter was tiring in the first section, and the prose was neurotic in that section. Afterwards, the story tamed out a bit, even though it was still humorous in places. I like how it ties into His Majesty's Pet, too. I had forgotten about that. Anyways, this was a decently successful attempt at telling Ginyu's origin story in my opinion.
<---- Part 92
Part 94 ---->