Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball or its Characters, clearly.
Tropism: an involuntary orienting response; positive or negative reaction to a stimulus source
Dragonball Z: The Catalyst
Chapter 2: Tropism
Vegeta sat in his pod, replaying what had been said to Raditz again. Nappa heard the same from his pod, the two rocketing through space.
"Just think what we can do with Eternal Life, Nappa,"
"We could fight anybody!" Nappa said with a broad grin.
"Yes, we could... even Frieza."
Nappa blinked, before he realized the scheme's full scope. "Yea, it'll be great. We'll get to crush that smug bastard and all of his cronies, and then you can rule the universe!" Nappa said, before laughing.
Vegeta enjoyed the prospect of it, ruling the universe through strength and power, and of course, through his coming eternal life. Revenge would be his against Frieza to start with. His rule over the Universe would be eternal, even if a warrior emerged who was stronger, he could simply fight them until he developed the upper hand in power, or circumstance.
A smug smile appeared across his lips.
"What about Raditz?" Nappa finally asked.
"What about Raditz? His scouter went dark, and then his pod went terminal. In all likelihood he was killed by Kakarot, or that alien fool he found before that. Their records are clearly in the scouter."
"But they only had power levels around 300 Vegeta, maybe that blip of 15,000 wasn't-"
"Maybe what? Raditz was incompetent and was defeated? He was a low level anyway, he never could play in the big leagues like us Nappa." Vegeta said with a smirk.
"Well, what if Raditz is around when we get there?" Nappa then asked.
"Then he'd better have gathered those Dragonballs and killed everyone who would resist us. Earth is hardly a challenge and a waste of our time."
The wounds were extensive, burns and broken bones being the most prominent. Even as a saiyan warrior these took time to heal, too much time.
For several months he lay low. After his battle against Piccolo and Goku, along with his retreat, Raditz was frankly in no position to push any agenda. He could hardly conquer the world in his current state, he could hardly find any of the mysterious Dragonballs either. Instead, he'd gone to find shelter. He found some human hovel in the middle of nowhere, a village of perhaps 30 or 40. They'd been easy enough to dispose of.
It was pathetic, they had no warrior spirit inside of them, nor did they have anything of any real value beyond the shelter. So he killed them, a few strikes, a few blasts, but it was a foregone conclusion. Thankfully he'd not damaged much in terms of the buildings. Unfortunately it only took a few weeks to run out of their edible, yet terrible food, and he'd soon be forced to find a new hovel to make his brief home in. Even now however, his ribs felt as though they were almost completely healed.
He'd not heard from the mysterious green skin, hooded figure again. There was no way he imagined it, his scouter being destroyed before his confrontation with his brother and the alien, Piccolo. He almost expected him to come out from every corner even, given his appearance and disappearance. A grand plan apparently, to which he was to be involved in somehow. The others would come without a doubt, they would be too tempted by the Dragonballs, then he'd see how tough the Catalyst was, given Vegeta would easily outclass him if he showed up again.
There was something familiar in the distance he realized a moment later, the rattling of weapons fire.
With speed and precision another blow came within a quarter of a millimetre of making contact with green flesh. Piccolo dodged another assault from his copy as he continued fighting aggressively against his copy. Block, block, strike, strike, block, blast, block, strike, the rhythm was almost endless as the two figures locked into battle. Each attack leading to another vicious attack, going as full out as they could.
He had to get stronger. He needed to be strong enough not to just defeat Raditz, but defeat the two others on their way. It would be wise to first hunt down and destroy Raditz, but he had to be ready. Raditz's power was still on the planet, and it'd grown from where it had been in their battle, in essence, they were all helpless to stop him until they gained enough power, and Piccolo knew full well he could achieve that power and soon with his training regiment.
The kid was still in the wilds, and he'd have to check up on him soon however.
Pain exploded in his left cheek as his double landed a shot on his head while he'd been thinking of things other than training, and it served him right.
"Getting sloppy?" The double asked with a devilish grin, to which Piccolo just smirked, before launching back into his assault, and within seconds, and roundly smashed his copy down towards the hills which he fought over, breaking his opponent through the soil and into thick clay, as the world seemed to crater around him.
"I'm not sure, you tell me." Piccolo shot back with a grin as the double seemed to scowl almost for a moment as the ground beneath him began to rumble with the gathering of energy from the world around him.
Another flash of automatic weapons fire rattled through the side of the pickup truck as the vehicle steered violently away from its counterpart, a rusted out old bus which appeared to have an anti-aircraft gun mounted to it.
In the truck, cold blue eyes followed the bus from the bed of the truck. The firm grip of the hand holding the weapon steadied its aim, before the figure launched its next volley of fire back into the bus. The first two bursts through the glass shielding around the old war AA gun. The rounds riddled through the occupant, two bullets puncturing the chest as wet bloody weeping wounds burst through his body and gushed into his clothes. He slumped forward dead in the chair as the gun tilted down, firing its heavy bore rounds down through road as the guns fired without control.
Two bangs hit the top of the cab of the truck.
"Get us closer!" The purple haired figure demanded. "And you!" the shout came to the passenger. "Get ready to jump!"
Within the bus panic was erupting amongst its six passengers. All of them had the look of worn soldiers, people who'd seen too much fighting, but there was an element of fear there now.
"They keep coming! What the hell are we supposed to do!?"
"Protect the cargo! The boss will kill us if we lost it! He's spent too much time gathering the other two, we lose this one or the money and he'll kill us himself!"
The truck revved as it veered into them, hitting the side of the bus as the two vehicles drove now off road, driving through the backside of the open field and light brush. Twigs and tree branches snapped against metal bumpers, the two lumbering wheeled vehicles bumped up and down widely as their suspensions were put under further stress.
"Your going to jump first right?" The passenger, the crony, asked his boss. They had no time for this attitude.
Grabbing him with their gloved hand, the passenger was shoved forward and thrown towards the bus itself, as the boss jumped towards the rear of the bus.
Bullets blasted out of the side of the bus from within as they tore through the helpless man making his 'jump' towards the bus, leaving his purple haired counterpart to slip in through the back window. With a sub-machine gun in their hands, two bursts riddled through the back guard, blood spewing from his front as bits of clothes tore away along with flesh. The bloody heap fell to the ground before a knife went swiftly through the air, plunging into the neck of another guard, and then pistol rounds entered the skulls of two others, sending pink-red brain matter scattering all over the insides and windows of the modified bus. The last of the guards charged, drawing his combat knife.
He found a knee in his gut, he hunched over the camouflaged pants which the knee was contained in. The heavy gloved fist drove into the side of his head, slamming his head into the side of the bus, before the other hand came about, twisting violently and snapping the neck.
"Some people really need to learn to stay out of my way." Came the irritated remark, as the body slid helplessly to the floor of the bus. The drive was all that remained.
The bus stopped finally as he realized his comrades were dead. Slowly the camouflage wearing man stood up, noting his attacker for a moment as he froze with fear, raising his hands.
"You win, you can have the Dragonball, take the money too!" He begged.
They were already in the possession of attacker however, callous uncaring eye set on driver, simply drawing the pistol and firing. The front window of the bus had yet another bullet hole placed through it, but was uncomfortably decorated with yet more pink and red ooze.
Stepping over the downed body, the figure looked at the pickup truck as the driver got out.
"Damn Violet!" The Driver said loudly, walking to the former Red Ribbon Army Colonel.
"We're gonna be rich! Those guys went down like nothing! And think how much we're gonna get from the boss for that Dragonball!" He said with jubilation, noting the 3 Star Dragonball.
Cold eyes analyzed the buffoon who'd driven her truck, she gave a half sneer of disgust.
"I-I mean I get my cut too right? I put my neck out here too, Violet."
"I don't like sharing," She said simply, drawing her pistol at point blank range and firing a round between his eyes. His body stood there for almost a second, that seemed like an eternity before collapsing forward, blood pooling around his head. Without much ceremony she stepped over the legs of the body.
Despite having stolen almost all the money from the Red Ribbon Army, just as that kid Goku brought everything crashing down, "Colonel" Violet found herself always in need of more money. She hated it, deeply, because no matter how much she managed to earn or steal it always disappeared. It disappeared into houses, luxuries, everything anyone could ever want. That entire safe she'd stolen from yielded her two years, two years of terrible decisions. Then it went back to the trade.
She stole what others needed stolen, she killed who others needed killed, and it just fuelled the endless cycle of boom and bust for her. But after so long she was starting to get tired of it, but no matter how tired she got, the cycle never ended. This job was going to bring in another 20,000,000 Zeni. People paid mad money for Dragon Balls.
She stopped at the pickup, as if realizing something had changed just as she'd shot Milton, her driver. The front of the truck was utterly destroyed, not just that, the engine had literally been torn out of it.
"So." A new voice said, her eyes widening slightly before narrowing towards where she thought she heard it coming from. "That's what a Dragon Ball looks like. Its the same as that brat kid had back on that island."
Violet was finally able to make out the source of the noise. He was big.
"Who the hell are you?" She demanded, carefully pulling the Dragonball back behind her, only slightly. The money was valuable, but that Dragonball was worth far more, it took her months to track it down, and these idiots she stole it from had found it only a few minutes before she had.
He didn't answer as he started to walk towards her, a devilish grin on his face.
"Some people can't learn from others I guess." She said simply, raising his pistol and firing a shot directed at Raditz's head.
Faster then her eyes could follow his hand caught the bullet.
"You Earthlings are so dependant on these weapons. Its so primitive," He mocked, opening his hand to reveal the bullet.
To Violet, watching a man catch a bullet out of mid air was not an every day occurrence, however at the same time it was not something completely unseen. She'd seen video of men doing this from back in her time in the Red Ribbon Army. No one was invincible, she reminded herself, attempting to hide the look of mild shock on her face. Then the words he was saying hit her, earthlings?
He didn't look like an alien at all, or rather he didn't look so different she thought he was a-... tail.
Just like that crazy kid who destroyed most of Commander Red's Army, took out Mercenary Tao. The situation was slowly coming to her attention. This big beast was the same as that kid!
He then disappeared from where he was, appearing in front of her. Her eyes traced up to him as he continued to smirk like the devil down at her.
"I appreciate your ruthless attitude, just for that, if you hand over the Dragon Ball, I may let you live."
He'd watched most of the chase from the moment he heard the gunfire. He saw and heard everything relevant in his view. Use the weaker, inferior lackeys ruthlessly. No wasting time when dealing with her adversaries, and making sure there were no loose ends. In fact, she'd have already been on her way if he hadn't noticed the Dragon Ball.
He could see the uncertainty and fear coming from her now however, clearly a sign she wasn't stupid.
Her face switched to one of complete seriousness however. He saw her draw up the gun again to fire, this time obviously at point blank range.
Perhaps she was far dumber then he thought.
He grabbed her pistol effortlessly, looking down at her with revulsion. He saw her hands come up, grabbing his, as if trying to pull the gun out of his grip. She never saw the backhand coming a moment later, sending her rolling back and laying limply on the ground.
It was then that Raditz noticed something, a small device on his thumb. He crushed the pistol in his hand before plucking the small puck shaped object up, looking at it.
He then noticed her stared at him, pulling up a small trigger device.
Then the world got brighter and hotter.
Violet watched the explosion and raised her arms to shield her face, she felt the heat coming from the blast. The shock-wave was still enough to cause her to slide back against the dirt and grass below her. She smiled to herself as she barely managed to rise on weak legs. He'd hit her hard enough that she honestly thought she would die. Her whole body felt like it'd been in a car accident.
The remains of the truck were now smouldering with the flames of the explosion, and she knew damn well her last capsules were in the cab, but the freak had been dealt w-
There was a figure in the smoke. Her body froze in terror as the figure stood there, completely unscathed.
"That wasn't very nice." He said, sounding utterly amused.
Not a single mark on his entire body, not a mark even on his hand where the explosive had gone off.
With blurring speed Raditz appeared in front of her again, this time his hand grabbing for her neck and hoisting her into the air effortlessly. Instead of holding the Dragon Ball she dropped it, her hands going to his hand trying to keep her head up, all the same she was choking.
With lightning speed Raditz caught the Dragon Ball with his free hand, examining it closely. He noticed the 3 stars within the sphere itself.
"Now then, let's see where we are going to begin woman." Raditz said, his amusement still showing through into his voice. "How did you find this Dragon Ball?"
"Ugh-err-u-c-nt-br-th." She barely managed, his grip even tightening for a moment as his smile turned more sadistic. When he was satisfied he'd made his point, he finally let her go, dropping her to the ground.
"Speak." Came the immediate order.
Of course, Violet held her neck, coughing several times before looking up at him, still trying to gain her breathe through breathing deeply several times, replenishing the air in her lungs. Bruises already began forming around where he'd grabbed her, each finger enough to cause serious damage.
"I tracked it using a Dragon Radar." She finally admitted.
"A Dragon Radar?"
"It shows where the Dragonballs are." Came the exhausted response. Carefully, she drew the radar from her back pocket, placing it on the ground next to her. "Its yours." She promised.
Violet knew her odds of survival at this point played entirely on her ability to keep this maniac satisfied with her concessions, even if it was only a small chance.
Raditz just seemed entertained by her near plead for life. He raised his hand, a glowing ball of energy forming.
Having seen this a dozen times before, Violet head turned away and she closed her eyes, she attempted not to tremble, however some of it did show through. It wasn't violence or death that bothered her, but the idea of her own death.
"You, woman, are lucky." Raditz said, his voice filled with a false cheer. She felt the heat from the energy orb dissipating and realized he wasn't about to annihilate her.
A vicious grab came to her arm, forcing her to her feet before shoving her back against a smaller tree. She grabbed it for support as her eyes locked onto Raditz, not willing to let them move anywhere else now.
He didn't say why, and the last thing she noted was his tail swishing around several times, before it came by and slapped her upside the head so hard she felt her world spin into unconsciousness.
A/N: Thanks for the reviews so far. If you enjoy the story please give me feedback. If you don't enjoy the story please tell me its shit. Either way, lemme know, I love feedback.