So this one is a bit interesting. I'll have a few things to say about this piece of shit.
So basically, as weird as this sounds, this story is probably what influenced me most to create A Short-Lived Dream. As soon as I had finished my one-shot collection, Things Were Better Then, I had the urge to make a few DLC stories for that collection in relation to the deluxe edition of the album I based that one-shot collection on. I was going to use a few of the deluxe edition songs to then create 2-3 DLC stories.
While I didn't end up doing that, the idea stuck with me and eventually became A Short-Lived Dream. By the time I structured that one-shot collection, however, the number of TWBT DLC stories was reduced to one. Some of the other ideas were modified and put into other collections' DLC. Anyways, I settled on this story relatively early in the creation of ASLD, although the deluxe edition song I chose for it was a matter of more controversy. My favorite song on Weezer Deluxe is "Mykel and Carli", without question. However, that song was impossible to integrate with a Dragon Ball story, so I went with "Lullaby For Wayne" instead. This is a song that almost nothing about it is known, and that also made integrating it with the Broly idea difficult.
So in terms of the plot of this story, I had long wanted to write a story about kid Broly, because that part of his life is only hinted at and teased in a few scenes in the Broly movies, and it seems to be a pretty cool time, a time in which I could really have some cool battles.
Also, my re-watching of all of DBZ up to the Androids Saga for His Majesty's Pet in late 2015 also influenced me here. Particularly the battle between the Z Fighters and Nappa and Vegeta was something I wanted to to mimic, albeit on a much smaller scale. The savagery of those battles was what I focused on particularly, in regards to influence.
I don't remember a lot about this story, other than it was written quickly. I vaguely remember providing an explanation for how Paragus lost his eye near the end, which was also one of the reasons why I wrote this story. It's meant to be a short, adrenaline-fueled, DBZ-style fight that is almost entirely action.
That's not to say that I didn't take a lot of time to develop characterization and thematic content. That content is more subtly placed than in previous one-shot collection stories of mine, particularly the other TWBT stories. This was a common theme throughout the ASLD stories, though. Untouchable is one of the more subtle ones. With that said, I wrote this story while drunk, so I don't remember almost any of it aside from the fact that Broly fights 3 PTO soldiers and then punches his father. That's probably the basic plot, but if you only invest a basic amount of care and thought while reading it, that's all you're going to get out of it. That is often the case with my stories, but I think it's more severely an issue with the ASLD ones (and even more so with the earlier ASLD stories).
This story was written very quickly. Unlike other TWBT stories, it has only one scene, and that was intentional. This was meant to be "a short-lived dream" of a one-shot after all. I started writing it on November 6, 2016, at 3:23 pm. I finished most of the first draft by 6:01 pm of the same day. This is a relatively short story, although it would've taken much less time had I not been drunk while writing this. Certainly, that made my writing go a lot slower than it could have. Like with Shame, I probably could've written this entire story very quickly had I been more disciplined.
I edited this story from 1:13 am to 2:08 am on November 7, 2016. That's an unusually long amount of time for a short story like this, but there was a lot I had to fix in the editing phase of this story. I'll talk about that stuff more in the endnotes, possibly.
Also, I should mention that Dragon Ball Super made this story non-canon. When I wrote it, it was canon-following and would have been canon to my universe. But it's not canon any longer. The fact that Broly is no longer canon (and in my universe, Hyper Zergling's Saiyan, Kailon is now the Universe 7 Legendary Super Saiyan) makes me rather uninterested in this story now. I'll not pretend that non-canon stories have equal weight to me at this point in my DBF life. The fact that it's been rendered non-canon means that I probably won't have that much to say overall about this short little fic. But anyways, let's get into the endnotes and get this over with. I don't expect I'll like this story a lot, as I remember being underwhelmed at the time of publishing, but maybe it'll be alright.
|A Short-Lived Dream|
|Written:||November 6 - November 7, 2016|
|Released:||November 7, 2016|
|Theme song:||Lullaby for Wayne|
|Things Were Better Then track listing|
"A Soundless • "Untouchable"
This story's theme is Lullaby for Wayne.
Three grey clouds stretched across the afternoon sky. It was more chilly than it had been the day before. When the pods entered the atmosphere, he was ready. Paragus had risen two hours ago to prepare breakfast. Broly had been awake since dawn. Now he stood at the water’s edge, on the black sand beach, his fists clenched. His muscles still ached from yesterday.
The three metal balls slammed into the ground not far from him. Two sprayed sand; one sprayed water. The wind was blowing through the Saiyan boy’s hair. In the distance, alien birds swarmed above the ocean. The boy sensed his prey even before they exited their space pods.
They were clothed in alien armor, dark jumpsuits, and wore strange devices on their ears with painted red and green glass squares extending over one of their eyes. There were three of them.
“A Saiyan?” the one nearest Broly spoke in surprise, noticing his free-hanging tail. This beast was blue-skinned with scales and a fishy face. His power level was roughly 7000, as far as Broly could tell. He would not be a problem. The boy could hit 40,000 on a good day.
“I thought Lord Frieza wiped out all the stinkin’ monkeys?” another alien grunted. He was egg-headed, his skin spotted black and red. He had massive, yellow eyes that seemed to lack pupils as they gazed at the boy. Broly shivered, but did not respond. It was good his father wasn’t here.
“This one must’ve escaped the destruction of Planet Vegeta!” the blue-skinned alien noted. “We better kill him before we get to work!”
His muscles ached; he was incredibly tired. The sun shone down on them with blinding impatience. The Saiyan’s attention shifted to the alien behind the talkers – a lean-faced, pointy-eared female of murderous countenance. Her skin was mostly milk white, with splotches of blood red around the tips of her ears, above her eyes, and on her lips. Her arms were folded. She observed the boy with frozen blue eyes. He could tell she was much stronger than the others.
“What are you doing here?” he found himself asking.
“Heh, so y’can talk, huh?” the blue-skinned alien rasped. “You know who we are, don’t you?” Broly did not answer. “That’s Karkala over there,” he continued on, as if Broly had asked him to, “and that’s Captain Aspirene,” he said, pointing to the woman behind the two soldiers. “My name’s Ribaly! And I’m the last face you’re ever gonna see, kid.”
There were on him instantly, hungry for blood. He parried their blows, never taking his eyes off the captain, who had not moved. She watched the three calmly, and that made Broly’s fury start to build. His rage surging, he pushed back the two aliens who thought they could best him.
Ribaly slipped in the sand. Broly dashed to Karkala, punching the alien deep in the gut, kicking him across the face, and blasting him away with a green ball of ki. Then, Broly materialized behind the flying Karkala and did a flying kick into the man’s back. Karkala spit up blood. Broly tasted salt on his lips. The sun’s rays were meek upon his neck.
After elbowing Karkala over the head, Broly went to finish off the alien when Ribaly appeared and kicked him in the nose. Blood flew from the boy’s nostrils; the crisp air stung. He retaliated by smothering Ribaly in a cloud of dark energy. The alien screamed, and Broly was dashing to the ground again.
Karkala was limping to his feet, spitting up blood. A bird’s cry carried across the water as Broly punched his fist through the alien’s throat, creating a ki blast as he did, and incinerated the pathetic warrior in a sudden flash of light.
Captain Aspirene’s look did not change. She seemed utterly detached from what was going on.
Ribaly landed hard in a crater to Broly’s right, his armor cut to pieces. He was bleeding from nearly every orifice. The boy jumped on him, punching the loudmouth fool over and over and over until his lower jaw cracked and fell loosely from his face, hanging from his skull as tenuously as a snapped branch. Kicking him away, the boy leaned forward, spitting into the sand. His arms were on fire. He could hardly see straight. The fallen foe scrambled to his feet, bleeding a torrent of crimson from his shattered maw. He reached his captain, who grabbed him by the throat. As he gasped for air and sobbed, she easily snapped his neck and let him fall to the ground.
The wind blew across the beach, sending dark sand into the air. Though the sun burned alone in a concrete sky, the air was raw. His eyes stinging, Broly blinked away tears and looked up. The woman was walking towards him, her boots spraying sand carelessly with every step.
“Zarbon will be pleased to know I put you down,” she smiled coolly. Taking her scouter in her hand, she crushed it between white gloves, taking the boy aback. What arrogance was that?
“Die!” he shouted, launching himself at the woman.
She parried his storm of punches effortlessly until his arms grew heavy and she kicked him across the chin. Falling to the sand, he rolled to his left, to the water’s edge, to avoid Aspirene’s next assault, which left a crater in his wake. When he stood, she blasted his face with a pink energy beam. Broly’s chin smoked and burnt, but he would never scream. No, that only infuriated him more. He felt his energy rising; his head was spinning. He liked the feeling – this was good.
His fist connected with her shoulder, sending her flying back, sand spraying in all directions. He kicked her knee, laid his knuckles across her upper jaw, and sent her flying back with an invisible energy wave. Yet, as the boy pursued, the alien, spinning and leaking blood, backflipped and did a spinning kick, pounding Broly’s forehead. He fell to the sand, landing next to a bleeding carcass.
The waves fell away and rushed in again. Birds cried shrilly in the distance, where mist hovered over cool waters.
A magenta rain fell upon the beach, glassing it. He was flung like a ragdoll into the air where she elbowed him over the head, back down again, before rushing below him to kick him back up into the air and dash into his back, punching him hard. It was not just sweat the dripped down the boy’s skin now.
His face was hot; his fingers twitched. Gathering his energy, the boy was hit in the back by a quick blast. It hurt. He flung himself around, backflipping over the captain who was air dashing at him, to hit her in the back of the neck with his bare foot. She croaked and fell.
Wiping his eyes, Broly landed softly on the glassed beach. Aspirene was struggling to get to her feet. Her armor was chipped, her face covered in a beard of sand. She was ugly in her ruin. “Stupid monkey! Why won’t you just die?!”
She rushed him; he prepared to block her attack, but her body, extended like a diving bird, was merely an afterimage. From behind, the woman appeared, punching at him hard and fast, and it took all the boy had to spin around and catch her punches. They traded blows on that quiet beach, moving back and forth down the dunes until the captain hit Broly with a point-blank energy blast, teleported behind him, and punched at the back of his head. The boy absorbed the blow, which only made his ire grow, and turned to block her next punch. Throwing her back, he shot two moderately-sized ki balls at the woman. She batted both aside and jumped into the air, gaining the high ground.
There they stood, both bleeding and breathing hard and ready to end this. A thin-stretched cloud moved in front of the sun.
In her hand was energy growing by the second, purple and electric and shimmering. Broly’s own palms found two green beams. His combined when he shot them at her. Putting all of his energy into the attack, the boy screamed.
“You won’t beat me! I never lose!” Aspirene bellowed.
The boy grit his teeth. “This won’t be over until you lie dead at my feet!”
It wasn’t long before their beams met one another. The beach grew bright. The roar of fire was loud in the boy’s ears. He grit his teeth and pressed forward, unloading all of his energy into this attack. He knew she couldn’t stop him. Her power level was 20,000. He might have been tired, but he was not that tired.
He couldn’t hear his own voice under the rush of energy. Sparking and exploding, the two attacks met each other halfway between the warriors. Broly’s side was gaining slowly. Though Captain Aspirene put all she had into her attack, he was able to hold her and push back. It didn’t matter how much pain he was feeling right now. His arms were throbbing; they felt as if they were going to fall off. His hate guided him. It cooled his panic, dulled his pain. The boy’s aura grew, golden and bursting with electricity. He felt a surge of strength wash over his body. His throat was raw from screaming. There was nothing she could do.
Whiteness overtook everything. “There’s nothing you can do!” Triumph soaked Broly’s voice as Aspirene disappeared into the flaming white. Soon, the light faded, and everything was silent again, save for the lapping waves.
“Broly! Broly! Breakfast’s ready!” That was his father. “Broly!! Broly?!”
The man stopped in his tracks, a steaming wooden bowl in his hand. He saw the three pods, the two corpses, the desolated beach, and his son, covered in cuts and bruises and dirt and sweat. Nothing needed to be said. The wind was blowing keenly towards shore. The nearest trees were bare and grey, and the grass grew tall and yellow beyond the dunes.
A moment later, the tattered remains of Captain Aspirene landed with a dull thud between the two. On her back, she looked dead. Her armor had been blown to pieces. A fresh cut on her cheek was oozing emerald blood. Her mouth was open slightly; her head was thrown back; she didn’t look fearsome anymore.
“If only they could see you now.” Walking up to his father, Broly reached for the bowl when someone grabbed his ankle. It was Aspirene. “Ahh! Why aren’t you dead?!”
It was a rush of adrenaline in his brain, a sense of the highest injustice. Broly’s hand crafted the ki ball before he could even think about it, and he blasted her away in the blink of an eye. The woman’s body flew through the air, scattering alien birds, and landing with a heavy splash half a mile out to sea.
“Broly… my son…” Paragus began, his voice wavering.
The boy bit his lip and faced his father. His bones hurt. He was tired. He didn’t want to talk to this stupid man right now. His cheeks flushed. He could deal with this normally, or…
He didn’t remember punching his father. Paragus’ face contorted in surprise, then fear, and then his left eye exploded – blood and white matter raining down upon the scorched beach weakly. He fell to his knees shrieking wildly, clutching his wound. The bowl lay upside down in the sand.
Still breathing hard, the boy left the miserable man where he knelt and fired ki blasts at each of the three space pods, destroying them instantly. Frieza would send more men after this group soon enough, he knew. He’d be waiting for them. He walked three more steps towards the sea and then collapsed too, falling face-first into the sand. The waves were kissing his messy hair. His body felt as if it were about to explode.
His rage was waning, like the sun. Shivering in the cold, Broly could not move. And as he lay there, a familiar sound rose in his ears, pounding like a gong against his brain: the cry of a baby. Every sob and sniffle enraged him more; the baby wouldn’t stop. It couldn’t. It was foolish. It was dumb. More than anything, he wanted to find that baby and crush its skull. But he was too weary. Broly struggled to get up, clutching a pile of sand between his fist, and collapsed again.
The last things he remembered were his father moaning in excruciating pain, and the sound of the waves, forever coming in and going out again.
- The opening line of this story is one that I spent a lot of time on, and is one of my favorite lines in the story. It ties to all of the previous TWBT stories' openings.
- Black sand beaches recur in my stories. I think this is based on me going to the black sand beach on one of the Hawaiian islands when I was but a wee kayvee. I don't know, man. That memory has been a fond one for me over the years, and I've always liked the aesthetics of darker sand beaches. There's like 5-6 other stories of mine with black sand beaches. There's even one in His Majesty's Pet, which as of writing this commentary, I've not quite finished yet (but written more than 54k words for).
- The prose style for this style is significantly more minimalistic than I remember. It's actually much more beautiful than I remember it being, for me personally.
- This story's pacing is quite interesting to me. The story is right to the point, using minimalism and subtlety primarily. It reads as rather beautifully impatient, at least to me.
- The alien birds call to attention a similar emotion as the aliens birds in Shame, I think.
- This story revealed that Broly could sense one's energy intuitively. I always thought he could, based on how he acts in his movies, so this seemed natural. He is the Legendary Super Saiyan, after all.
- It was fun having Broly experience scouters for the first time.
- Broly's mind deals in the same numbers that scouters do simply for simplicity's sake. Obviously he's never used one, so he wouldn't be using the exact same numbers, but he would be able to understand the numbers in his own way, so I'm merely translating his thoughts to be coherent for the readers.
- So obviously Broly is a god. I had him be super tired from yesterday's unspecified sparring session, which explains why the random soldiers would put up any fight at all.
- The soldiers kind of creep out Broly. He shivers, but that's the extent of his reaction to them. I would think that at this point in the timeline (probably the late 740 Ages), he hasn't seem many aliens before. He doesn't even recognize PTO armor.
- The captain of the PTO team is a member of an alien species seen in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization. Overall though, the team was based on Dodoria's Team, seen in Bardock: The Father of Goku.
- I love the impatient, anxious pace of everything. I know that was slightly based on me being drunk and the shit going on in my life in November 2016 (those are times I basically never want to remember), but it produced an entertaining story, nonetheless, so that makes going through those times worth it to me.
- Ribaly's a really great name. It's interesting I didn't give that name to the Appule race character. Perhaps that was what I thought was expected and did Karkala instead. Either way, cool names.
- Ribaly's broken jaw harkens back to an earlier story in A Short-Lived Dream: Small. The imagery here was meant to work a bit of literary discourse between the two stories, but I shan't say any more than that.
- Aspirene killing Ribaly was a callback to Vegeta killing Nappa after he had been mortally wounded as well. Also, I just think that scene is a really badass introduction, using time efficiently, for Aspirene. The pacing of this story is really, really fast. It's quite amazing to me.
- Really liking the fight choreography. I don't remember spending a lot of time coming up with it, but at the same time, it does seem like there was some effort put in to make some beautiful combos.
- The thing Broly shouts at Aspirene was meant to be a little lame; he has similarly lame quotes throughout his various movies. Alas that they are all confirmed non-canon now.
- I love the imagery when Paragus enters the scene. Really, that's a great example of how I used a minimalist style to effectively characterize and color the emotions and appearance of everything.
- Captain Aspirene appearing again, falling from the sky like she did, was a callback to Vegeta doing the same thing near the end of his fight against Goku, Krillin, and Gohan. I always thought that moment was incredibly badass, and decided to use it here to both make a cool parallel plot but to also represent some things about Broly's relationship with his father. There's significance to the fact that she lands between them, for instance.
- I think the pacing of this story is kind of taking aim at DBZ's pacing in a way, because the way I dealt with Aspirene after she fell to the ground really shows how things "should have gone" so often in DBZ, yet DBZ dragged so many fights out to a stupid degree, even good fights like Vegeta vs the Z Fighters. Alas, no such pacing problems exist in my story. She is dealt with logically and swiftly, and it's beautiful in its starkness, I think.
- I wanted to give some focus to Broly's pain, but at the same time, he's a psychopath, so delving too deeply into his psyche didn't seem to be a particularly valuable endeavor to me. Anyways, I wanted to show how he is indeed going through stuff, and the minor callback to Goku at the end was useful for that, but it wasn't meant to gain sympathy for him. If anything, it shows how pathetic Broly is.
- Broly punching his father is an extremely sad, bitter moment, and one that deeply moved me even on my re-read. The unchecked, reckless violence of it is just disgusting and heartbreaking, especially considering Paragus just made breakfast for his son. We all know that Broly saved his father as a baby, and here we have a turn. In the heat of the moment, Broly's rage makes him numb to everything, and he isn't above hurting anyone. It's really sad, his blinding rage. Paragus losing his eye explains something in canon, but it's far more thematically relevant, I think. It's a shame this story had to be marked non-canon, alas.
Overall, I actually quite like this story, now having re-read it. The prose is beautifully minimalistic and I think the fast pacing makes this story action-packed from start to finish while also giving plenty of time to focus on characterizing Broly. I quite like this story, and I'm kind of surprised by that. With that said, it's non-canon, so I won't ever think too deeply about this one again, but I like it, and it's a shame it has to be non-canon.
<---- Part 73
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