"How many of these things are there?"
"Lots of em so don't relax too much. Otherwise, we'll get blown up instead."
"Ugh, right," Cheelai wiped some sweat off her forehead then pulled all the strength she had into rotating the ships cannon for another round. Her thumbs pressed down on the buttons and let out a few more laser blasts rip. Watching big space rocks blow up was fun the first couple of times but after half an hour of flying through a belt full of them? She was beyond done.
Not enough to quit, dying wasn't her style, but to whine about it to her pilot for a little fun. "Why are we here again?"
Lemo sighed in that rough, old-timer voice of his. It made her instantly feel better. "We're looking for soldiers to recruit to the Freeza Force. Which you already know. So stop playing dumb trying to annoy me."
"I can't help myself, it's too much fun."
"Not for me," Lemo tried sounding mad, but she could tell from his voice he was smiling."But I get why you hate this assignment."
Something he did below made the ship jerk hard to the right, almost knocking her out of the turret seat. "I'm not liking this either, but those're the orders."
"Weren't you Freeza Force guys supposed to be decked out with the best stuff? She asked, unloading another barrage into the belt.
"Yes, WE'RE supposed to be the most well-equipped army in the universe. But when everyone who can run it ups and dies one day, you get where we are now."
"That's an understatement," When she heard of the Freeza Force recruiting a couple of weeks ago, Cheelai was ecstatic. When most of your crew gets busted for hijacking their ships, going to the people they'd never mess with seemed like the perfect place for a hideout. Instead of joining a legendary army responsible for taking over the whole universe, she found... something a lot less impressive.
Half of the recruits were thugs who acted tougher than they actually were. The rest looked ready for retirement, not coasting through the universe.
The grand fleet? It was one decent looking ship with a bunch of smaller ones bought out from anyplace they could salvage. Shipment freighters, private yachts... It looked like a junkyard being scavenged over. She'd told this to Lemo a couple of times, and he said it was fine, they had Freeza back.
She'd heard of him too, even saw Freeza in photos but never in-person. Honestly? With that big purple head and tiny body, he looked really funny. Definitely not the kind of guy you'd expect to rule the whole universe. On the way to this piece of nowhere, Cheelai joked, calling Freeza a shorty. Lemo went nuts, telling her to never, ever make fun of Freeza's height.
At first, she thought Lemo was being too serious, but something about the cold look in his eyes made her wonder...
Unloading a few more rounds, Cheelai felt her shoulders cramp from using a turret built for people twice her size.
She caught a glimpse of a weird looking thing out there. The turret was built with a monitor to make firing easier, and for a split second, they flashed over something that didn't look like an asteroid.
"Slow down the ship. I see something out there."
"Really? What is it?"
"Just... Gimme a second..."Taping on the monitor, Cheelai zoomed to the spot where she noticed whatever was out there. It looked metal and broken with one big piece floating in-between the asteroids with lots of smaller ones there too. "Is that... a ship?"
"Yes," Lemo sounded grim."An old Freeza Force ship."
"What? You're sure?"
"I'd recognize that ship anywhere, it's an old XV model, two pilot fighter made for dogfights in space. I haven't seen one of those in over 30 years, since before even Freeza vanished."
Curiosity beat fatigue, so Cheelai kept looking, noticing how the asteroid belt seemed to thin out all of a sudden. She spotted another pair of those same ships looking just as if not more beaten than the first one. From the damage done, two of them crashed into the rocks, but the other two were definitely fired by someone.
Floating near the last was a body, wearing Freeza Force armor still preserved out there in the vacuum. The weirdest thing about it? It had a bone sticking out its backside.
"A-A Saiyan?" Lemo stuttered out. "I haven't seen any of them either, not for ages..."
"What? You've never heard of Saiyans? Although... I guess it's not too surprising."
"Wh-why is that?"
"The Saiyans were a warrior race kid, some of the toughest bastards I'd ever fought alongside. A few even scared me as much as Freeza..."
Cheelai poked her tongue out, trying to remember if she'd heard of them before. She gave up. "Nope, they don't ring any bells."
"A meteor smashed into their planet decades ago. Most of them were wiped out. A couple of leftovers stuck around with the Freeza Force but I never got assigned to a job with them. Where are they now? Who knows, probably got killed by the same thing as the Ginyus, Zarbon, Dodoria..."
A loud pinging noise started coming from Lemo's end, going into Cheelai's scouter. "What is that?"
"Freeza Force signal, a pretty old one too..."
"Yeah, that seems to a running theme around here."
"Don't get smart, if the signals still active, we might just find some of our guys stuck out survivors from the fight outside."
Which meant a reward from Freeza, a good one too if these guys were strong. "Where's it coming from?"
"See for yourself."
She raised an eyebrow at that until noticing a distinct lack of asteroids to blow up anywhere close. Strapping out of the turret position on top of their ship, Cheelai slid down a single set of stairs to the mid-section. A short walk later got her back to Lemo at the pilot's seat.
Squinting out into the void, she looked long and hard until spotting something resembling electricity going off at random in the middle of space. Which wasn't possible, nothing worked like ... "A planet?"
"Exactly, those storm clouds are camouflaging that recovery signal we probably would've missed the whole thing completely."
"Maybe we still should, To land, it'll take flying through those storm clouds and I don't exactly trust this clunker to get there."
"You obviously don't know much about mining ships," Lemo smiled. "Miners get sent off to hostile planets like this. They have to for recovering the most valuable might fly like a brick, but its tough as one too."
She raised an eyebrow at him.
"My old man ran a mining job, clunkers like these kept him alive for a good long time."
"Huh, guess we lucked out with it after all..."
"We'll see...," He strapped himself tight. "Take a seat, trust me, it's gonna get bumpy."
Bumpy was an understatement she'd realize turbulence was so bad even strapped down, both of them were being practically tossed out of their seats. It didn't help visibility dropped to almost nothing when they got to the clouds. Besides a general idea of "keep flying down" and avoiding whenever the big lightning bolts lit up the whole outside, they were totally blind. The lights coming out the front were useless.
A few dozen sharp turns this way and that and trying her damnedest from throwing up, Cheelai only let herself breathe once the clouds were behind them.
"Good grief," She gulped, wiping some sweat off her forehead. "I really hope we won't have to do that again later..."
"Me too," Lemo sighed, easing up on the control stick."Now, let's see what's down here."
He gently nudged the ship down, allowing the lights a chance to give them a look at the place. It wasn't much, the storm outside was blowing dust everywhere but from what Cheelai could see the planet was full of big, rocky crags and mountains. No forests, trees, oceans, or rivers to speak of.
Flying a while longer, the beeping of the signal grew louder, almost rhythmically going off when Lemo started hovering near a series of crags.
"Its down there, buried in that rock pile but we'll have to walk to it, I can't see a good landing spot any closer."
"How's the atmosphere look?"
"Mean. Temperatures almost zero, the winds moving hard and we'll need gas masks."
"Terrific," Cheelai sighed, unstrapping herself and heading to the back with Lemo by her side. With the loud clunker engines turned off, she could hear what he meant by the wind moving hard. It was loud enough to breach into the hull. Just ahead of the exit ramp was a few fully equipped locker waiting for them. They had masks, jackets, boots and all sorts of stuff leftover from whoever owned the clunker before.
They'd have to ditch wearing their scouters, the gas masks were full face but Cheelai was thankful it all seemed to fit her size this time.
"Ready?" Lemo asked, his thumb hovering from the ships open button.
"Yep," She answered, clicking her blaster pistol battery shut.
With the kind of laborious slowness one would expect from a clunker, the ramp took its sweet time going down, making the entire ship creek all the while. It made Cheelai wonder how they were supposed to get in again if something went wrong and needed a fast getaway.
From the scowl on Lemo's face, he probably thought the same. "Let's go."
A second out of the ship almost made both of them fall. The howling wind was strong and bitting right through their jackets, so much Cheelai had to keep her teeth from chattering. It didn't help the howling was creeping her out, sounding like some kind of twisted, moaning chorus of miserable people. With Lemo leading the way, they started walking towards the signal.
It was even slower than watching the ramp; every step was careful, almost scared. The wind blowing was one problem, but the low visibility meant they constantly checked for cracks or rocks littering the place and there were plenty. Even the gas mask lights and scouters didn't help much there. Cheelai was especially bothered by this. Everything looked like a creepy pile of pointy rocks in twisted shapes. It didn't help the wind constantly knocked pebbles over, giving the impression something was skittering around all the time, waiting to jump them...
Luckily, the crags looked bigger than they actually were. A corner turn then scaling a couple of boulders brought them to the crash site. With the way it looked, it couldn't be called anything else. The XV model was practically ripped in half with a giant, spiky rock sticking out the middle. The windows were blasted away, and the outside looked beaten from who knew how many years of exposure.
"How'd the beacon even survive that?" She shouted to Lemo.
"Let's go find out!"
A whole lot of pebbles falling on Cheelai stopped her from following him closer, that and... a weird growling noise sticking out from the winds. Snapping towards it, she squinted at an oddly shaped rock shimmering close by. For a second she thought her eyes were messing with her. But when a pair of eyes reflected her light, Cheelai knew they weren't alone out there.
"Lemo! Somethings out here!"
Whatever the thing above them was knew when its cover was blown and leaped right at them. Cheelai grit her teeth and dived away, hoping she didn't get stuck or smash her mask against something. The thing landed where she stood, its four spiky legs digging then ripping through the rocks before tilting its body to face her.
"Take it down!" Lemo shouted and she obliged. Training their pistols on the monster they opened fire lightning up the whole area with big, loud flashes of blue laser charges. For all the good it did, the spider looking thing just growled, shrugging off their blasts. From the brief flashes, Cheelai got a good look at its face, and the smile on it made her skin crawl. Not as much as what jumped out from its mouth.
From what she guessed was a tongue, a long flexible thing with a pointy end shout out towards her. She dodged in the last possible second and saw how it cut right through a big boulder just behind her.
"Holy crap!" She panted, watching the tongue retract so fast it looked like a blue blur.
"Hey! Creep!" Lemo shouted, fiddling with his pistol blaster behind the monster. Spinning its round body toward him, Cheelai saw it grin along with a spiked teeth mouth starting to open up again. From what she could see, he wasn't going to dodge it.
"Why don't you eat this!" In a split second, the spider's tongue blasted back out and Lemo dived. In that blur of motion, he managed to toss something into their attackers grinning mouth. Cheelai barely got a good look before it and the spider exploded in a big mess of blue energy and lots of monster guts...
Wiping orange blood and other bits off her, Cheelai ran over to a moaning Lemo trying to get back up. She offered him her hand."What was that?!"
"Overloaded weapon battery," He took it, breathing hard."I used it to kill a bunch of tough Mouma years ago."
"Huh and here I thought they were invincible."
"Not if you're-" Suddenly, the heard more growling off in the distance, just like the spiders. "Damn! I guess it was too much to hope for just one of em."
"We'll talk about it back in the ship! Come on!" Helping him along, Cheelai and Lemo climbed back down the boulders blocking their way in and heard lots of rhythmic thumping against the ground. Ignoring the nagging feeling of a horde barreling down on, they rushed towards their ship, getting back halfway when a group of the spiders cut them off.
Slowly, methodically, they skittered towards them, grinning and opening & shutting their mouths.
"I don't have enough blaster batteries for this one."
"I was afraid you'd say that..." They backed away even with more skittering noises all around and every instinct telling them both to run like hell. The monsters mouths opened wide and Cheelai mentally prepared herself for whatever was gonna happen next. She expected lots of pain, not a whooshing noise cutting through the wind and blowing up the ground between them and their attacker.
Staring at what just happened, barely realized someone had grabbed the pair from behind and was flying them through the air!
"Huh?! What?! Who?!" She stammered, trying and failing to get a good look at the person holding them. But his strength was unreal, she couldn't even budge! One thing was sure from the little Cheelai made out: his outfit was Freeza Force too.
Their mysterious savior landed near what looked like a pair of tunnels, the smaller one with the bigger off to the side. Once they were finally in, he let them go. Cheelai and Lemo backed a few steps away, taking a second to catch their breaths while their rescuer kept looking out the storm outside.
She didn't expect him to look... old. His hair looked gray or white and oddly spiked up. His face had lots of thick lines and a heavy beard covering the bottom half. The armor was broken or dented in a few spots. One eye was missing. But what got her attention the most was his long, white tail!
"Y-You're one of those Sayens!"
"Saiyans, Cheelai," Lemo corrected her, his voice lined with awe... and a little... fear? "I was right, it was you guys littering the asteroid belt up there. Now the big number makes sense.."
Glancing at his scouter, Cheelai's jaw almost hit the ground when she read out the number: 6200! "W-Wow...I didn't think it could even go that high..."
He didn't respond, instead staring out back into the storm. Cheelai was about to ask what his deal was when she heard the thumping and skittering noise again.
"Coming here..." The Saiyan said in a rough, scratchy voice. "They haven't been that bold in a very long time. I guess fresh meat's made them reckless tonight."
"More of them?!" Lemo shouted. "C-Can you stop them?"
"No, but I don't have to." She couldn't quite make it out from his beard and the bad lighting from inside the cave but Cheelai thought he might've smiled a little.
Facing towards the inside of the cave, the Saiyan took a deep breath then shouted right into it. "BROLY! GO!"
Almost instantly, Cheelai had to grab on to Lemo or risk crashing onto the ground. Something stronger than the wind outside blasted out from inside the caves and crashed somewhere ahead of the caves. Another second later, Cheelai heard explosions going off along with the loud shouts of a monster.
Gulping, she took a few steps closer to the Saiyan who'd turned around to watch the fighting outside and was stunned to find everything burning. Flashes of green went here and there before exploding into what was definitely the spider monsters outside. Their shouts of pain were still drowned out by the ones from whatever was fighting and killing them out there.
"M-My scouter..." Lemo said from her left, raising it up to the fighting. The numbers were going berzerk, increasing higher and higher until it blew up right in Lemo's hand! "Th-that never happens..."
"On the contrary," The Saiyan said like nothing out of the ordinary was happening. "Rising battle powers can break scouters, provided they're strong enough."
Lemo and Cheelai both just stared at him then instinctively backed away when the loudest roar of them all so far practically blasted into them.
The explosions got even stronger, practically swallowing up the entire view from inside the cave. Pretty soon, it all looked like a mish-mash of greens and fiery reds.
"W-What is that?" Cheelai asked and the Saiyan looked like he was smiling again.
"That would be my son, Broly."
A/N: I would like to thank my editor Kagari for fixing the writing issues of this and many more upcoming chapters.