Ten

Title: The Intermediate Years: The Legend
Plot, or Lack Thereof: The Z warriors fight another set of enemies.  Whee.
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization and annoying new character.  Awaiting rewrite.


Queen Regal held the Wish Crystal to the light and regarded it with wonder.

It’s barely bigger than my hand, and yet it has such power? She looked at the Crystal again.  And I can have ANY one wish?

A sharp knock on the door interrupted her musings.

“What?”

“Your humble servant Apuro wishes to speak to you, Madam.”

Queen Regal sighed.  “Come in.”

“Thank you, your Majesty.”

“What do you want?”

“Concerning the last Wish Crystal, my Queen.”

Queen Regal finally turned to look at Apuro.  “Yes?”

“Obviously, we will not be able to take it by force.”

“You came in here just to tell me that?”

“No, Queen Regal; I am here to inform you that the girl you saw earlier may be my brother’s child.”

“So?”

“She will be the one to hand over the Crystal to us.”

“And why, pray tell, would she want to do that?”

Apuro flinched hearing the sarcasm in Regal’s voice.  “She is without a doubt instilled with the old Saiyan beliefs of honor; I am certain that I will be able to use that to our advantage.”

Queen Regal straightened and leaned forward.  “Tell me more.”

***

“Hmm.” Bulma studied the Scouter.  “As far as I can tell, that extra part is a image capturing/converting device of some sort.”

“Huh?” Goku cocked his head to one side.

Vegeta rolled his eyes.  “She means its a camera, idiot.”

“Oh.  Can you get it to work?”

“If this Scouter’s like the one Raditz had, it should be a piece of cake,” Bulma opened the lid of the Scouter and almost dropped it when she saw the wires’ level of complexity.  “All right, maybe not.” She had a feeling she was going to have to pull another all-nighter.

“I think I can help you,” Mikazuki offered.  “My father taught me how to work with this kind of equipment.”

“That would be great!” Bulma let out a silent sigh of relief; she might be able to go to bed at a semi-normal time after all.

Bulma and Mikazuki got the Scouter to work a few hours later.

“Yes!” Bulma cheered when the eye piece lit up.  “Good job!” She patted Mikazuki on the back.

“No problem,” Mikazuki replied, blushing.

Bulma ran into the living room, where the others were watching television.  “Guess what, guys? We got it to work!”

“Congratulations,” Vegeta replied without turning his head.

“That’s great!” Echoed Trunks in the same manner, his attention also focused on the screen.

“My, what a loving, supportive family.” Bulma mumbled.

The Scouter started beeping.

“Eh?” Bulma went back into her workshop.  “Hey, Mikazuki, this Scouter is picking up something strange.”

“Let me see.” Mikazuki took the Scouter from Bulma.  “Hmm, looks like it might be a Wish Crystal; hold on.” She returned the Scouter to Bulma, then put on her own Scouter.  “Yep,” Mikazuki nodded as the same thing showed up on it.  “It’s a Wish Crystal all right.”

Bulma went back into the living room and turned off the television.  “Whatever you guys are watching can wait; there’s a Dragon Ball out there that we don’t want those jerks to get their hands on.”

Ten minutes later, Vegeta returned with the ‘Wish Crystal’.  The Son family, who arrived as soon as Bulma contacted them, crowded around to see it.

“Cool.” Goten breathed, holding the grape-fruit sized, dark green ball in his hand.  Its four stars glimmered brightly in contrast.

“Weird.” Goku tapped the Dragon Radar.  “The Radar doesn’t picking it up.”

“Of course it doesn’t, or we would have seen eight Dragon Balls all the times that we used it.” Trunks pointed out.

“So…what do we do now?” Goku wondered.

“We don’t need to do a thing,” Vegeta replied.  “Those idiots are not stupid enough to try to sneak in here and steal this from us.” He turned to Bulma.  “Is there somewhere you can keep this?”

“How about my workshop?” Bulma half joked.  “They’ll never be able to find it there.”

We would never be able to find it, either,” Trunks mumbled under his breath.

“It was just a joke, Trunks,” Bulma took the Dragon Ball from Goten.  “I’ll lock it up in the safe.” She went into her workshop with it; a few moments later, she returned empty-handed.  “There.”

“Does that mean we’ll have to go home now?” Goten asked, slightly disappointed.

“Why don’t all of you stay here tonight?” Bulma suggested.  “We have more than enough guest rooms.”

“Well,” Chi-Chi smiled at her son’s puppy-dog expression.  “Why not?”

“Thank you!” Goten cheered, leaping into his mother’s arms.

“I think I’ll be going,” Mikazuki stood to get up.  “I’ve disturbed you long enough.”

“Hold on, Mikazuki!” Bulma called; Mikazuki stopped.   “Where are you staying?”

“Wherever I can lie down, I guess,” Mikazuki shrugged.

“You mean you’ve been sleeping outside all of this time?” Bulma asked, horrified.  “It’s been freezing out there!”

“I’m used to it.”

“You don’t need to do that! You’re welcome to stay here for as long as you like!”

“Well, since I’m pretty much here all day anyways.” Mikazuki smiled.  “I’ll stay.”

***

“Here’s your room,” Bulma opened the door for Mikazuki.

“Thank you.”

“No problem; good night.”

“Night.”

As usual, Mikazuki couldn’t sleep; the brutal murder of her parents was still far too fresh on her mind for her to enjoy any rest.  So intead of sleeping, she spent the next few hours wondering what she would do to the Saiyan whom her father had called a ‘traitor’.

‘Traitor’, indeed. Mikazuki thought, not realizing how true that statement was.

Mikazuki’s Scouter began to beep, indicating an incoming message.  She picked it up.  “Hello?”

**I must commend you for your performance earlier today.  Not too bad, even if those were our weakest soldiers.**

Mikazuki recognized the voice at once.  Apuro.  She barely managed to keep herself from crushing her Scouter.

**Ahh, I have forgotten my manners; allow me to introduce myself; I am—**

**I know who you are, Apuro; I saw what you did to my father.**

**Oh, really? Interesting.**

**What do you want?**

A soft chuckle came from the other end.  “**I want to take a risk.  You know, gamble a little.**

**Get to the point.**

**Ooh; a big tough lady, aren’t we?**

**I’m not flattered.**

**Hmm.  Well, I want to fight you.**

**To the death?**

**It doesn’t have to be, unless you want to make it that way.  And to make our fight a little more interesting, I’ll throw in the Wish Crystals as a wager.  So how about it? Do we have ourselves a deal?**

Mikazuki hesitated; she was sure that she could beat Apuro in a fair fight, but she had a feeling that their fight would be anything but fair.

**What’s the matter?**” Apuro taunted.  “**Afraid? Where’s your sense of honor?**

Mikazuki tightened her grip.  “**Where do you want to meet?**

**Where you fought earlier.  Tell no one; come alone.  And don’t forget to bring the Wish Crystal that you have.**

**I’m on my way.**” Mikazuki turned off her Scouter and clipped it to her face.  Tiptoeing out of her room and down the hall, she made it into Bulma’s workshop without disturbing anyone.  There, she located the safe in which the Wish Crystal was hidden and made short work of the lock.  After taking out the Wish Crystal, she pushed the lock back in place so that it gave the illusion of being whole.

“I’m sorry, everyone.” Mikazuki whispered, more to reassure herself than to apologize.  “But this is something I have to do.”

She slipped out of the house and disappeared into the darkness.

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