Nine

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.


Out of some strange coincidence, the invaders landed near the place where the entire adventure had began.  No sooner had they gotten out of their space ships did the defenders of Earth arrive.  Using their Scouters (which were also small cameras) the aliens scanned the group of Saiyans, and would have deemed them all worthless had Apuro not informed them over the Scouter that their enemies were Saiyans.  Still, the leader of the group didn’t think that any of them aside from the Prince posed a real threat.

“Hand over the Wish Crystal quietly, and perhaps Her Majesty will be merciful and spare your pitiful planet,” he announced.

The only female in the group, after conferring briefly with the Prince, stepped forward and assumed a combat stance.  “You’ll have to go through me first.”

The leader laughed.  “Gladly.”

He was so confident of his abilities that he did not notice the expression on the female’s face change to a very dangerous smirk.  “Likewise.”

The female jumped into the air away from the group, and he jumped after her, striking out towards her face as he rose.  She dodged it with ease and counterattacked.

He barely managed to land without hurting himself even more than he already was.  “W-what was that?” He gasped.

“A fair warning,” the female answered.  Her smirk faded and her eyes narrowed.  “Next time, I won’t be going so easy.” She turned to face the group.  “Goten, Trunks, you two shouldn’t look.”

The last thing the leader saw was the female disappearing into thin air.

***

Goku frowned as he watched Mikazuki pummel the alien to death.

“Her energy changed completely,” he noted with some worry.  “It’s like—” His eyes widened.  “Like she turned part of herself off.”

As the leader’s limp body dropped to the ground, the others yelled a battle cry, and came at Mikazuki from all sides.  As they neared her, she just ‘hmph’-ed and pushed out her hands, and all of the aliens were blasted back by the invisible barrier that she formed.

Even Vegeta almost couldn’t bear to look as she finished the rest of them off.  He suppressed a shudder as she looked their way; her pitch black eyes seemed to have no emotion in them at all.

Then she blinked, and her eyes regained their normal shine.  “I’m sorry you had to see that, but I tried to end things as fast as I could.” She pulled off her gloves.  “I need a shower.”

“That scary face looked kind of cool, but I’m glad she didn’t stay that way,” Trunks whispered to Goten.

“Me, too!” Goten agreed.

Gohan picked up the Scouter that the leader was wearing.  “Bulma might like to take a look at this.”

***

Apuro gripped the back of a seat to keep his hands from shaking too much.  That girl’s fighting style was way too much like his brother’s to be a coincidence; the readouts which were printed confirmed that beyond any doubt.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” his hands curled into fists.  “How could I have been so careless?”

He should have gone down to this planet himself.  No, he should have killed his brother back when Kyuuri’s treachery had been exposed.  Now, aside from the Prince, he has Kyuuri’s bastard daughter to worry about.

Wait.

Maybe he could use this little mistake to his advantage.  If Apuro’s memory didn’t fail him, Kyuuri had been one of the staunches protectors of the old Saiyan ways until his unfortunate fall.  Maybe, even though Kyuuri’s daughter had tainted blood, Kyuuri taught her to be a ‘proper’ Saiyan.  An idea began forming in his head.

Yes, that would be perfect, he thought to himself.  Straightening, Apuro began heading for the Queen’s chamber.  He had a bit of convincing to do.

***

Vegeta, too, had noticed Mikazuki’s change, and he wasn’t sure whether to be glad that she had such fighting potential or worried that she might not be able to bring herself back from the self-induced shutoff.  So it was with this in mind that he had her meet him in the gravity room after dinner.

“Fight me the way you fought today,” he commanded when she got there.

As he suspected, Mikazuki stared at him as if his hair had suddenly turned bright green.  “I can’t.  I’ll—”

Vegeta silenced her with a Look.

Mikazuki sighed.  “All right.” She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes.

When she opened them again, they looked like the eyes of a doll: lifeless, soulless, and emotionless.

She attacked.

It was as if she had been born to do this; it was impossible to tell when instinct ended and skill began.  The mistakes that Vegeta had pointed out in their earlier training sessions were few and far between.  As he fought, Vegeta couldn’t help but wondering she could kill him if she were on his level.

They separated.  Mikazuki sported several visible injuries, but didn’t seem to be affected by them; Vegeta felt a dull ache in some of the spots where her hits connected.

“What in the world did they teach you to have you fight like that?” Vegeta wondered out loud, more as a rhetorical question.

Mikazuki shuddered, and her eyes came back to life.  “I don’t know.  Father only had time to teach me the basic skills.  The rest just—happens.”

Like she turned part of herself off, Vegeta thought to himself, remembering Kakarot’s astute (for once) observation.  “In that case, then, I think you’ve had enough training for tonight.”

Mikazuki escaped the gravity room.

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