|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.