Rebels Chapter 2: Trouble Arrives


The Z fighters gathered that night at the CC for a conference that night. All have felt the intruders’ approach and tracked the fast fights via the ki’s. Reactions to the news of a pending attack were largely confident.

Krillen and Yamcha had given up on serious training some time back, citing old age. 18 had busied herself with her daughter’s life and helping her husband in his dojo. Tien and Chaoztu are somewhere in Tibet; nobody had seen them for years. Ironically, the Earthlings have left the task of defending the Earth to the Saiyans.

Gohan was in the middle of a class when the fighting was going on, and extremely distracted. Once the most powerful Saiyan, surpassing even his father and Vegeta, he has now settled down into a placid lifestyle with Videl and their daughter Pan, both parents teachers at the Orange Star College where they had first met. Gohan still drops by the CC to spar once in a while, but his life is now largely focused on his career and family. Still, like any Saiyan, he felt his blood burn as he listened avidly to a blow-by-blow account of the fight from his younger brother and wishing he had been there.

“How long do you think we will have?” Piccolo was still Piccolo. Nobody really knew what he is doing, although it is certain that he is still training and meditating.

All eyes turned towards Vegeta, who was staring off in space, deep in thought with a frown on his face. Finally he spoke. “I really have no idea. However, if I were to hazard a guess, it would be at least a month. The fighters sent here were low-class; they obviously think Earth is an easy conquest. From experience, the main ship would not hang around then – the main ship only approaches a planet to be purged if that planet is expected to put up a lot of resistance. So it is likely that Coolant is not within this solar system, especially since the other planets around here have little value and it is at least a month’s journey to the outskirts of this solar system, based on the usual cruising speed of Frieza’s old ship.”

Quite a few eyebrows were raised at Vegeta’s long speech; they knew him as one who is loathe to explain himself. Only Goku, the boys and Bra were not surprised; the formerly cold, taciturn prince had changed much over the years especially since he has bonded to his vocal and chirpy mate.

“What?” Vegeta rasped coldly, slightly defensive at the looks directed towards him.

“Nothing…” Krillen placated the ruffled feathers. “Umm, but I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about right? I mean, Frieza was defeated years ago and you all have gotten much stronger since then.”

“Yeah. Let them come, we’ll kick their butts!” Trunks flashed a bright confident grin and exchanged a high-five with an equally confident Goten. The mood lifted perceptibly as the others broke out in relieved grins.

“Do not be overly confident.” Vegeta glared at his son. “It is one thing to be confident, it is another to under-estimate your opponents.” The proud prince spoke from bitter and hard-earned experience but the younger demi- Saiyans remained blasé. “C’mon dad, you saw how easily we whipped their asses today and we were only at level one!”

“There’s more to fighting than just physical strength.” Piccolo noted.

“We’ll have to remain vigilant and train hard in the meantime!” Heads nodded enthusiastically to Goku’s proclamation and that signaled the end of the informal meeting.

-----

6 months passed and the fighters were starting to feel confident that perhaps Coolant might not come after all. Only Vegeta, Goku and Piccolo remained uneasy. The demi-Saiyans trained but were hindered by commitments to work, but Vegeta had given his training top priority and has stopped going to the office unless it was absolutely necessary. It was at such an ‘emergency meeting’ that Coolant arrived.

Vegeta was starting to feel edgy and extremely irritated at the fickleness of the ningens. He sat rigidly in his plush chair staring out of the window, arms crossed, tuning out the bickering of the bakas around him. Under his tailored maroon silk shirt, he wore his blue spandex tank top, and instead of the thin working slacks and shoes, he had on hardy black leather pants and heavy combat boots. Unlike the demi-Saiyans, Vegeta had chosen to remain prepared; the boys can fight half-naked if they want. Trunks had teased his father about the admiring looks the handsome, muscled prince had been receiving whenever he stepped into the office building. The CC employees knew of the prince’s reputation as a fighter but none had actually seen him anything other than shirt and slacks. Males and females alike have been caught staring at the prince’s tight ass, shown off in the fitting leather pants. Vegeta’s reaction had been a predictable annoyed “Hn”.

Just as Vegeta had reached the limit of his patience and was about to strangle the whining director in front of him, he felt a group of large ki’s approaching the planet’s atmosphere. The meeting and annoying humans forgotten, he stood up abruptly. Heads swiveled in fear as the now silent people wondered if they had pushed the notoriously short-tempered prince too far. Trunks and Goten looked up grimly – they had felt the ki’s too. Without a word, Vegeta left in the direction of the approaching ki’s, taking the expedient method of leaving through the window. Trunks spared the shocked group an apologetic look and terse explanation along the lines of “Emergency go home take the day off and call someone to fix the window” before leaving with Goten through the broken window.

The main ship remained hovering in orbit as Coolant and a group of his elite fighters landed in a barren desert. Goku was already there when Vegeta arrived with the boys, and Gohan and Piccolo touched down a few minutes later. The other humans have decided not to fight, knowing they would only get in the way and Vegeta had insisted that Bra retreat to the lookout when Coolant arrives, charging 18 (the only one among the humans who is as strong as the demi-Saiyan) to drag her there if necessary. Bra was a competent fighter but had not much time nor inclination to train, and at 16, remained the only demi-Saiyan who cannot turn SSJ yet.

The two groups eyed each other warily, sizing the other up. Goku was dressed in his usual orange and blue gi and Piccolo has already discarded his cape and turban. The demi-Saiyans were still dressed in working slacks and sleeved shirts.

Coolant looked much like Frieza, but much taller and burly, with blue-green reptilian scales lining his forearms and shins. Similar large hexagonal plates jutted out from his shoulders and alongside his head, giving him the appearance of a horned lizard. A group of about a dozen assorted fighters stood to attention around him.

“Two Saiyans, a Namek and three Earthlings…” Coolant raked his red eyes piercingly over the Z fighters. Vegeta and Goku were the only ones to regenerate their tails, now wrapped protectively around their waist and the group decided telepathically not to enlighten the ice-jin, his mistaken assumption would be to their advantage.

“Send out your best fighter.” The ice-jin sneered.

Goku stepped forward, powering up. Although it still rankled the proud ouji, he had long accepted that the taller Saiyan was stronger than him. Coolant waved three of his soldiers forward.

With a yell, Goku turned SSJ and flew towards the three, launching on the offensive straight away. The ice-jin lost his composure for a minute as he realized that the legend of the Super Saiyan was true, but quickly plastered the sneer back on his face.

The fight looked quite evenly matched, trading and parrying blows without gaining purchase. This new group of fighters was obviously better than the trio that arrived six months earlier, and for a while, it looks like stalemate. A hard kick caught Goku to the jaw and he flew back, landing hard against a cliff. Quit playing around! Vegeta’s harsh thought resonated through their mental bond.

Quickly picking himself up, Goku grinned ferally and powered up to level two. Now that he is not holding back, the larger Saiyan launched an array of blurring blows and kicks, breaking one’s neck and finally finishing the others with a powerful blast.

The ice-jin watched in shock as three of his best warriors were *easily* beaten by *one* Saiyan. The demi-Saiyans whooped and cheered as Goku floated slowly down to the desert floor. Piccolo and Vegeta merely smirked, though Vegeta was extremely proud of his strong mate.

“Gould!” The irate ice-jin barked, pointing at Goku. Immediately, a short squat green alien with four eyes, two set to the sides of his bald head, stepped forward and held out his hands. “STOP!!”

Goku froze in mid-air, caught in a stasis hold by the mysterious alien. His pupils dilated in panic as he realized that he couldn’t move, his body abruptly dropping out out SSJ. The demi-Saiyans gasped in shock and Vegeta hissed. “Telekinesis.” Gohan’s eyes widened. “I remember, back on Namek, one of the Ginyu Force had the same ability!”

As the defenders lunged forward, Coolant hurled a wave of ki in front of them, forcing them to jump back to avoid it. At the same time, a blue scaled fighter leapt forward and with a sweep of his hands, set up a shimmering domed barrier over the invaders, trapping Goku within as well. Gohan rammed hard against it but fell back as the barrier remained impervious.

Coolant smirked and casually raised a glowing hand in Goku’s direction. “Sayonara.”

Rage and fear washed over Vegeta as they could only watch helplessly. Vegeta knew if he could probably break the barrier but he would not have the time to power up. Meanwhile Goku was vulnerable as he could not raise his defenses at all. Snarling in desperation, he did the only thing he could think of.

He sent his mind hurtling through their mental link and forcefully took control of his mate’s body.

Goku/Vegeta wrenched himself free from the stasis hold, missing the powerful ki beam by inches. With a deep snarl, Goku/Vegeta brought his glowing hands forward. “Final Flash!” Most of the fighters managed to jump clear but a few were caught in the bluish-orange beam, including the green alien called Gould. As the hold on Goku’s mind was broken, Vegeta relinquished control and sent his mind back to his own body. Luckily, all these took place within the space of mere seconds and nobody had noticed his sudden lapse.

 

With a chilling howl, the prince burst into crackling golden flame as he ascended straight to level 2. His eyes glinting dangerously, he dove a fist right through the barrier and shot a blast at the blue fighter who was responsible for the shield. As the alien crumbled in a heap of ashes, the barrier disappeared as well. The others defenders took the opportunity to power up and followed the enraged prince into a glorious free for all battle.

 

Goku had quickly recovered and powered up to level 2 as well, aiming straight for the big boss. Piccolo and the demi-Saiyans were each occupied with one of the enemy, while Vegeta found himself the target of the remaining three aliens, the invaders having concluded that the person leading the charge should be the most dangerous. They were unfortunately right as Vegeta quickly dispatched his opponents. Scanning the field rapidly, he concluded that the boys and the Namek were holding their own before turning his attention to his mate’s fight.

 

Coolant had already transformed but he still found himself beaten back. His movements became more jerky as he could now only concentrate on defensive maneuvers. A lethal jab caught the taller ice-jin in his side and a roundhouse kick sent him crashing into the cliff side. As the bloody Lord picked himself up from the rubble, Goku paused. “I know you have a final form and I wish to see it. Change.”

 

How does he know? Not many knew about the fact that we ice-jins can transform and even fewer know of the number of levels. He squashed the questions ruthlessly as he concentrated for his final transformation, something he rarely had to do. His body glowed and shifted, the tall bulk shrinking to a more compact, smoother form. It was very similar to that of Frieza’s final form but Coolant was still taller and heavier. The reptilian looking plates had shrunk and melded seamlessly into the skin in bluish-green iridescent hexagonal patches. Looking up finally, Coolant smirked confidently.

 

By now, Vegeta had flown much closer and was observing their fight with close interest. Once again the two combatants flew at each other. At first glance, it appeared that they were now evenly matched but it became quickly apparent that Coolant was winning. As the smirking ice-jin scored hit after hit on the now tiring Saiyan, he taunted.

 

“What’s the matter? Didn’t you want to see my final form?” A bruising punch to Goku’s side felt like it shattered a couple of ribs. “Legend of the Super Saiyan, hah!” A heavy smooth tail whipped across Goku’s face and wrapped itself around his neck, raising him above the ground in a choking hold. Hands snapped up in an attempt to loosen the crushing grip.

 

Vegeta tensed, about to spring to his mate’s help when Goku chuckled weakly. “…Heh heh… “ “What are laughing about you monkey?” Coolant shouted angrily, backhanding the Saiyan viciously.

 

Goku wiped the blood from his cracked lips. “Like you, we also have various levels to Super Saiyan.” To demonstrate his point, his ki began to rise yet further.

 

Coolant kept the taunting smirk on his face but inside, he was panicking. Realizing that yet another level of Super Saiyan would definitely exceed his maximal power level, he was faced with the only humiliating option of retreat if he wishes to live. Since it is unlikely that they would spare him, he racked his brains for a way to run. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the other Saiyan watching closely with predatory interest.

 

Flinging Goku against a nearby boulder, he drawled casually. “Alright Saiyan. Show me another level.” Meanwhile, he brought his left wrist up and quickly tapped a short sequence onto a metal band there. Before Goku or Vegeta could react, the ice-jin disappeared in a sparkling beam.

 

Onto Rebels Chapter 3

 

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