Welcome to a new feature of Nutmegger Daily, Fiction Friday! Each week we’re going to try and post a work of fiction to compliment our typical nonfiction writing. We hope you enjoy the stories that we post here!
I started my writing career with Dragon Ball fanfiction, and it’s always been something I wanted to return to. This story is part one of a fanfiction rewrite of the battle between the Z Fighters and Nappa when the Saiyans arrive on Earth. I think this is where the human cast of the manga started to become irrelevant, so my goal was to give them a little more shine in my version. I’d really appreciate any feedback on this to incorporate in my writing going forward.
* * *
A wave of nausea swept over Gohan as he felt a presence over the horizon. He’d learned to sense energies from anticipating Piccolo’s dark yet airy aura long before he could see him during their year-long preparations. Yet this time Piccolo was standing next to him. His arms were folded, and he was staring off towards the horizon.
Which meant what he was sensing now was the Saiyans.
“Get ready Gohan.”
“Yes, Mr. Piccolo.”
He could feel the heaviness of the Saiyan’s power in the direction Piccolo was looking. There were two different sources. One was physically large, and felt like a foot was pressing down on Gohan’s chest, squeezing the air out. The other, while smaller, was far more intense. It jabbed into Gohan like knives.
“Yeah, I know kid. We’ll wait for them to come to us. Hopefully the others will have arrived by then.”
“What about arriving now?” came a familiar voice from above. Gohan looked up to see the sun shine off of Krillin’s freshly shaved head. He’d been so focused on the Saiyans that he didn’t feel Krillin approaching. His aura was warm and fuzzy, like a cotton ball.
“Krillin!” Gohan cried, running over and hugging the man who was barely taller than him.
“Wow Gohan, you’ve grown so much in just a year. And your power! We might actually have a chance to win this thing!” he said, rubbing Gohan’s overgrown hair. He turned towards Piccolo. The last time they’d spoken was during the last tenkaichi, when Piccolo had nearly killed him. Their eyes met for a moment before a wry smile crossed Krillin’s face. He extended his hand towards him.
“Glad we’re fighting together this time,” he said. “I don’t think I can take another one of those stretchy punches of yours.”
Piccolo grunted, but shook his hand. “You survived it, which is more than most people can say. You’re not completely worthless.”
Krillin laughed. “High praise coming from the resurrected Demon King.” He turned to face the horizon as well. His smile quickly faded. “We need Goku. Tien and Yamcha will help, but all of us together can’t take these guys without Goku.”
Piccolo grunted again. He’d plotted Goku’s death for years, and here he was now hoping that he would arrive from the afterlife in time to save him. “We’ll try to goad them into fighting us one at a time. That should buy us some time at least.”
“Are you out of your mind? You’re the only one here who even has a chance against one of those guys.”
“Nice to know you think so highly of me.”
“So we’re just supposed to stall and die until Goku arrives?”
“Yes!” Piccolo snapped. “You’re in reserves since you’ve already died once. The others can be brought back when the Saiyans kill them.”
“Our best bet is to try and drag this out, making them tired. Yamcha and Tien are weak, but they’re experts so they might be able to last a bit. The kid might be able to make them sweat too, we’ll see. When Goku arrives, we can combine forces and take them down.”
Krillin looked over at Gohan. His eyes were watering. He must have heard Piccolo talking about their deaths. But behind the fear, Krillin could see a glimmer of determination. He took a moment to size up the child. His spiky, jet black hair hung over his eyes and down past his shoulders, held barely in check with a makeshift hair tie. He wore the same purple gi as Piccolo, but with a red belt across his waist.
Krillin was most surprised by Gohan’s aura. The kid was strong. Very strong. His aura was almost like Goku’s, but there was a softness to it that Krillin assumed came from Chi Chi, a powerful woman in her own right. There was something else too, an unfocused, frenetic energy that bounced around inside of him. A potential that might be enough to save them. He chuckled to himself. I’m hoping that a six year old can save the planet. We’re really screwed.
“How are you feeling Gohan?” he asked softly.
“I’m ready to fight!” he said, fists clenched.
“Good, because we’re in for a doozy.”
“Quiet! They’re on the move!” Piccolo said. Gohan could feel it too. The two auras were blazing across the sky now. They were headed right towards them. Gohan’s heart was pounding in his ears. He looked up at Piccolo. His eyes were set and his jaw clenched. Next he looked over to Krillin. The monk looked down at him and smiled, giving him a thumbs up. The two were totally different, but Gohan felt that there was no one better to rely on in the upcoming battle.
He opened his mouth to speak but a shiver across his body stopped him. He turned and looked up to the sky. Two figures floated directly above. They wore armor like Raditz, the Saiyan warrior who had kidnapped him a year ago. One of the Saiyans was gigantic. He was even taller than Piccolo, with muscles rippling across his massive arms and legs. A cruel grin crossed his face under a thin mustache. The smaller Saiyan was only a little taller than Krillin, save for his hair, which pointed straight up and stood nearly a meter tall on its own. He glared at them from behind a red scouter, his expression blank.
“Be ready Gohan,” Piccolo whispered between gritted teeth.
“Is that them Vegeta?” the large Saiyan asked.
“Must be, Nappa,” he replied. “Let’s go say hello.”
The two warriors descended quickly, landing only a few meters away from earth’s heroes. They stared at each other for a moment, sizing up the other side’s power and resolve.
“Leave this planet now,” Piccolo yelled across the divide. “Or face the same fate as your comrade who dared to challenge us a year ago.”
Vegeta laughed mockingly. “You’re the Namekian, I see. You think that because you managed to beat Raditz that you have any hope against Nappa or myself?”
“That’s right. I’ve learned the truth about my origins, and I know that Namekians are a proud race that can go toe to toe with you Saiyan scum!”
“That one hurt,” Nappa said. He stepped from behind Vegeta, slamming his fist into his open palm. “He called us scum, Vegeta. I think I should teach this slug some respect.”
Vegeta opened his mouth to speak, but the crimson scouter over his left eye beeped suddenly. “Hold it Nappa, we have more guests coming. Two- no, three power levels from the southwest. We shouldn’t be rude and start the party before they arrive.”
Krillin eased out of his fighting stance a bit. He too could sense their friends approaching. Chiaotzu’s aura felt like a bubble, while his best friend’s Tien was solid and uncompromising, like a boulder. To their right was Yamcha. His ki was wild and unpredictable, like a pack of wolves tearing through the forest.
“I don’t know how much of a difference they’re going to make, Piccolo.” He muttered under his breath. He knew his superior hearing would pick up what the Saiyans couldn’t. “They’re stronger than before, but these guys are nightmares.”
Piccolo grunted in agreement. He’d already thrown out his “war of attrition” strategy. It was clear that these Saiyans would destroy them one at a time. He walked slowly over to Krillin, never taking his eyes off of Vegeta. Gohan followed closely behind him. His gaze was fixed on Nappa. He’d never seen someone so big before.
“The new plan is to go all out at the beginning. All of us attack. Maybe we’ll land some lucky hits in the fray, and keep them on their toes long enough for Goku to show up. Are you ready?”
“Yeah,” Krillin said, then laughed. “To think there’s a whole planet of Gokus. The universe has a sick sense of humor.”
“You ready Gohan?”
He looked up and saw their allies approaching. Yamcha was wearing an orange gi identical to what his father and Krillin wore. His hair was wild, cascading down across his shoulders. He landed and smiled, and Gohan could see the battle scars that adorned his face.
“Hey Krillin, long time no see. Wish it was under better circumstances.”
“You and me both.”
“You must be Gohan! Pleasure to meet you little bud. I’m Yamcha,” he said, shaking hands with him. “And I guess we’re working together Piccolo?”
“How’d I know you were going to say that?”
Next to him landed a tall man. He was bald, with no shirt and bright green pants. His most dominant feature was the third eye in the center of his forehead. It looked at him, and Gohan turned suddenly, embarrassed he’d been caught staring.
“Is that Goku’s boy?” he asked.
“Yeah, can you believe it? Barely six and already stronger than all of us.”
“Just like Goku. We’ll have to get properly introduced after all this kid, but for now call me Tien. And this is my partner, Chiaotzu.” Gohan hadn’t even seen the mime-like boy floating directly behind Tien. He waved and smiled, and Gohan waved back.
“Is that it or are we waiting for more losers?” Vegeta asked.
For a moment Piccolo thought about asking them to wait for Goku to show up, but no. He didn’t want to show them how desperate he was already feeling. “Ignore that clown,” he said, turning to the gathered warriors. “The plan is to-”
“It doesn’t matter what your stupid plan is!” Nappa shouted. He charged a small ball of energy in his hand and tossed it lazily towards the group. Everyone easily avoided it as the small explosion threw dirt and debris up. “I’ll take you all on, right now!”
“Looks like he’s doing your job for you,” Krillin said to Piccolo.
Vegeta laughed. “The six of them versus you? That might almost be worth watching.” He turned to his opponents. “What do you say? Or do you still want to use your little strategy?”
Piccolo hesitated. He’d hoped that by ganging up on them he’d have the element of surprise on his side and score a mortal blow in the fray. But now they were expecting it. Still, they gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse: fighting Nappa alone instead of both of them.
“We’ll fight on your terms, Saiyan. Don’t blame us for your fate though.” The warriors assumed their fighting stances. Gohan copied his mentor’s style, crouching and raising his hands in attack position.
Nappa laughed as he approached, “Usually maggots like you beg for your lives when we show up. I’m going to enjoy beating you until you beg for death instead!” He brought his hands up, ready to fight. They stared down the Saiyan, waiting for someone to make a move.
Gohan saw Yamcha’s eyes flick towards Tien. The three-eyed warrior returned the glance, and instantly they dashed forward. Yamcha shot out to the left, while Tien approached from the right. Chiaotzu floated up, closing his eyes to concentrate. Blue energy began to surround him, growing in intensity.
Nappa watched as the humans launched themselves at him. They were painfully slow compared to his reflexes. He could sense that the three-eyed human was stronger than the other, and turned his attention towards him. He drew his arm back to deliver a crushing blow to his skull.
Chiaotzu’s eyes snapped open. He thrust his palms forward. Instantly the same blue energy appeared around Nappa’s raised hand. He motioned to bring his arm down, but found it frozen by the strange energy.
“What the-” he grunted as he yanked at his own arm. It was the opening Tien needed. He slammed his fist into Nappa’s unguarded jaw, knocking the massive fighter into the air. Yamcha jumped up to meet him.
“Rogafufuken!” he shouted, channeling his ki into his fists and striking Nappa with the force of a wolf’s bite. Nappa was staggered, but he recovered quickly and landed on his feet.
“You bastards are going to pay for that!” he growled through gritted teeth. He went to charge at them, but found the blue energy was now anchoring his feet in place.
“Krillin!” Piccolo shouted.
The two moved so quickly that Gohan lost track of their movements as their bodies turned into blurs. Seconds later he heard the air wheeze out of Nappa’s lungs as Krillin struck him in the sternum. He doubled over, and Piccolo reappeared behind him. He struck Nappa at the base of his skull with a vicious slicing hand. Nappa crashed face first into the ground. Piccolo and the others backed off for a moment to size up the situation. He knew they hadn’t defeated the Saiyan, not by a long shot. But had they even truly hurt him?
Gohan stared in awe. This was the first fight he’d ever seen; for most of the battle with Raditz he was trapped in his spaceship. Not only were his allies fast and strong, but they coordinated their attacks with barely a word. Although he could clearly still feel Nappa’s energy, he began to think they had a chance at victory.
Vegeta’s cackle broke Gohan’s reverie. “What’s the matter, Nappa? Bit off more than you can chew?” He turned towards Earth’s fighters. “Not bad. I can almost see how you managed to kill a fool like Raditz. But Nappa is in a different league.” On cue, Nappa stirred. He pushed himself up and stood before his opponents. To their dismay, he was smiling.
“This is going to be fun,” he said, wiping the dirt off the black chest plates of his armor. “I thought I might kill you all too fast, but I’m going to enjoy making you suffer.” Nappa took a deep breath as he gathered his power. Gohan braced himself against the surge. It felt like a black hole had suddenly appeared before him, drawing him in with its overwhelming power. The stronger he became, the harder Gohan found it to resist. He thought he would fall in to the Saiyan’s vortex.
“Brace yourself Gohan!” Piccolo shouted. “The next time we attack, you need to be ready!”
“Yes Mr. Piccolo!” he said, planting his feet and standing firm. Above them, Chiatotzu was gathering his own energy to immobilize the Saiyan again.
“I see you!” Nappa snapped, looking up at Chiaotzu. He fired a concussion wave at him. It hit him like a truck, and sent the tiny warrior spiraling back towards the ground.
“We gotta attack before he finishes powering up!” Krillin yelled. Tien and Yamcha approached again, criss-crossing their paths to confuse Nappa. Piccolo charged straight ahead with Krillin close behind.
“You’re all dead!” Nappa vanished, and reappeared in front of Tien. He was caught off guard by the speed of the giant Saiyan, and did nothing to defend against the left fist that hit him in the ribs. Tien gasped as he heard the sound of cracking bone. Nappa kicked him in the chest, sending him flying across the battlefield. He turned to Yamcha, attacking with a backhand blow that caused him to spin as he was knocked into a nearby outcropping of rocks. Piccolo and Krillin were on him by then, and the three exchanged a flurry of blows too fast for Gohan to follow. Nappa knocked Krillin away, leaving Piccolo to face him alone.
“Don’t be too eager to die, Namekian. We still need you to tell us about the Dragon Balls!” Nappa taunted him as he easily deflected Piccolo’s attacks.
“Like scum like you could ever hope to kill me!” he said, pressing his attack.
Tien finally sat up, wincing at the tearing pain radiating from his ribs. He touched them lightly, relieved that they were only cracked, not broken. He scanned the battlefield for a moment. Krillin and Yamcha were gathering themselves and preparing to attack again while Gohan looked on. Where was Chiaotzu? He searched frantically for his friend, casting out his senses to detect his life force. He felt him back a few meters. His life force was weakened, but steady.
“Hey, are you okay?” he asked, picking Chiaotzu up off the ground.
“This guy is too strong Tien. I don’t think we can do this without Goku,” he said, wiping the blood from his scrapes. “Unless we do something drastic.”
“Like what? What’s your plan?”
“A kamikaze attack. He won’t see it coming.”
“No Chiaotzu, you can’t. You’ve already been brought back by the dragon, we can’t bring you back twice!”
“If this keeps going, he’ll kill us all anyway. At least this way, it’s only me. I’ve been practicing this as a last resort for the last year. It’ll work Tien.” He began to gather his energy around him.
“Tien, you’ve been my best friend for longer than I can remember. I’m going to miss you, but I know I’ll see you again someday, after you’ve lived a long, happy life.” His aura grew in intensity, sending tendrils of energy whipping out around him. It was more power than Tien had ever felt him gather. Too much power.
“Stop, there has to be another way!”
“Goodbye, Tien.” Chiaotzu smiled. His energy spiked, and he blasted towards Nappa with incredible speed, his aura propelling him like a rocket. Yamcha and Krillin had rejoined the fight, and they and Piccolo sensed the jet of power coming their way. They quickly jumped back to avoid the attack.
The scouter on Vegeta’s face beeped, detecting the surge of energy that was approaching. “Nappa! Look out!” The other Saiyan turned just in time to see Chiaotzu smash into his stomach, cracking his armor. Chiaotzu extended his aura, enveloping both of them in his energy which continued to grow.
“You little runt! Let me go!” Nappa said, slamming his fists into Chiaotzu.
“Prepare yourself, Saiyan. I’m taking you to hell with me!” he shot into the sky, carrying Nappa with him. His aura looked like a second sun, a ball of blazing blue energy that was still getting larger.
“Chiaotzu!” Tien cried out. There was a flash, followed by a deafening explosion. The shockwave knocked Gohan off his feet, and sent dirt and debris flying in every direction. Tien dropped to his knees, fighting back tears. There would be time to properly mourn his friend later. For now, they still had the stronger Saiyan to deal with.
“Nice try,” Vegeta said, as if reading Tien’s mind. “But a waste in the end.”
The earth’s warriors looked on in horror as the smoke cleared above them. Nappa’s armor was shattered and his skin was burnt and bleeding in several places. His scouter was destroyed and even the hair on his tail was singed. But he was still very much alive, with barely any drop in his life force.
“That little runt saved me the trouble of killing him myself,” he chuckled. “So which one of you is next?”