Post by Capper Hofferson on Apr 3, 2017 16:07:25 GMT
The Long Fall
A short story of Capper in the mountains aiding with search and rescue, when tragedy strikes.
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A short story of Capper in the mountains aiding with search and rescue, when tragedy strikes.
Upon the eternally snowy peaks of the northern mountains of the Earth, there was a large and extremely popular ski resort called Heaven’s Rush, located just a little up the rugged mountains near Jingle Village and the ever eminent, looming Mount Frappe. People came from all over the world to ride down the mountains, everyone from those who had never seen a flake of snow in their lives to the most veteran and daredevil skiers. Snowboarders have staked their own side of the mountain to build ramps and half-pipes in hopes of usurping legendary snowboarders and skiers.And on this mountain resides Oden Foremore, a forty-something human man with grey streaking through his peppering hair and a lifetime of wrinkles and scars telling a story of ruggedness, adventure, and too many close calls to count. He was in charge of the rescue station, with a handful of good kids under his command and the most up-to-date information at his fingertips to track hazardous storms and problematic slopes across the mountain. It had been a quiet year with minimal accidents, mostly involving kids getting where they shouldn’t be going and doing stunts that made his eyes roll. Well, he remembered when he was at that age and felt nothing in the world could kill him. That was a very long time ago.So it surprised him when he got a call from the resort saying he was getting an additional member to his rescue crew. He had not requested any more staff and with such an uneventful year he surely wouldn’t need one. But the resort manager calmly explained that it was indeed precisely the right time and he the right person to take a greenhorn under his wing. He would be training a saiyans by the names of Capper Hofferson. A Saiyan, he inquired. Yes, in the recent year the Saiyan Solar Empire's invasion on the usually peaceful Earth, he had seen quite a few from day to day. Most were powerful, tall, and burly- others were in shapes and sizes so strange it was hard not to stare. But despite their appearance, some of them proved to be nice enough, and they certainly didn’t cause any more trouble than his normal customers.He asked about Capper. Who he was and what his experiences were.Capper, a saiyan teen, had extensive training in the world of technology and machinery- he was told the kid claimed that he had been on plenty of "adventures" in the past. But Capper had decided he’d like to move to search and rescue for reasons the manager didn’t disclose. How peculiar. But Oden nodded along nonetheless.
Oden arrived at the bus stop ten minutes before the bus was due to arrive, idly standing outside his truck, shuffling from side to side in anticipation. It was a nice day, the sun was shining but not blinding, the air crisp and fresh but not biting. Perfect weather for some skiing, and they were due for a fresh powdering of snow tonight. The bus pulled up and out stepped humans and aliens alike, all idly chatting to each other and gathering their things under arms. Oden was able to point out those from warmer climates, bundled head to toe and shivering just seconds after stepping into the brisk air. He chuckled. It wasn’t even that cold out. Inwardly he hoped these Hofferson saiyans didn’t mind the cold...
PART 1: THE MEET AND GREET
IN WHICH CAPPER GETS SEARCH AND RESCUE TRAINING
Capper took a deep breath in, his tiny foot tapping on the metallic bus floor. His grandfather was fast asleep, sitting next to him. The smaller of the two Hoffersons was garbed in winter wear. He wore a long green scarf and matching green gloves and boots, a jet black running winter jacket draped over his petite frame, coupled with baggy navy blue snowpants. He carried a duffel bag that was nearly as big as himself, packed to the brim with supplies, machinery, and snacks. He was used to being on his own for the most part- the boy was alone on Earth for the longest time, after all. But without his father (and mother), nearby, there was a longing emptiness in his tiny heart.
The trolley slowly came to a halt, rounding a corner and angling itself so that the sun shone right into Capper's eyes. Capper apprehensively took the lead off the bus and strutted out of the bus, glancing around for the man the manager had spoken of... Oden wasn't that hard to miss with his red rescue jacket. The little saiyan trotted up, causing him to raise a brow. He wasn't expecting this Capper to be so... small. As a matter of fact, he wasn't sure what he was expecting to begin with. "H-hiya! I'm Capper. Capper Hofferson." The boy spoke, holding out an arm to the earthling with a meek smile. The human crouched down, shaking Capper's hand and returning his smile. "Oden. A pleasure to meet you, Capper."
"I’ve got my things!" Capper called, holding up his duffel bag and a separate red rescue kit. "I-I'm ready to leave whenever you are." He proclaimed with another timid smile... The aged human wasn't expecting this squirt when he was told a saiyan would be joining the team, to say the very least. "Well, hop on in, kid." Oden said, motioning to his truck. "The resort’s about a half hour away. I can fill you in on the ride up there."
"Alrighty!" Capper chimed. He threw his bags into the bed and scrambled into the truck, having a little difficulty climbing in due to his short stature, though he managed to wriggle into the truck and take a seat. Oden took a moment to take all of… this in, then slunk into the driver’s seat and drove off. On the ride, Oden told Capper all about the resort, its history, and the typical things he should expect. Capper listened attentively, nodding his head every so often. Oden was afraid he’d interrupt every other sentence like some other older recruits, but Capper was a great listener. He never cut him off and actually asked very good questions when Oden was finished.
He was starting to like this kid."So it’s been a quiet year, and I guess this is as good a time as any to get some experience on a greenhorn." Oden was saying. "I was told you were adept in engineering before you came here?" Capper lit up like the morning sun at the mention of his passion. "Oh, yes! I spent most of my days working on my robots and inventions! It's lots of fun!" The little technician beamed. And, very suddenly and unexpectedly, his voice dropped to a normal volume. "But... Most saiyans don't like that. It's kinda weird. Being weak, and all." Oden's heart wrenched. He knew all too well. But a weak SAIYAN of all things was certainly... unexpected. He expected Capper to be at least somewhat proficient with ki, but with the way the kid talked about himself, it seemed like he was as weak as a normal human. "But! It’s alright! I helped the longrun. And there's a lot of weak people here also, which is comforting." Capper was right back to beaming, his grin looking impossibly sincere and comforting.
"That’s good work you did," Oden acknowledged. "What made you decide to go to search and rescue?"
The old human asked. "It was my dad's idea!" Capper said. "His name is Collard. He’s... kinda lazy, but he’s working hard at his bar now! He even sent a job application to a physics lab yesterday! He suggested it- Said it was a way I can help people. And... there’s nothing more I want to do than help people now." Capper spoke, a strange longing tone prominent in his tone. The saiyan was now staring out the window at the sun, his tail curled around his form. Oden smiled nonetheless. He had a good feeling about this little one.
They approached the lodge, and from there Oden showed Capper to his room, introduced him to the rest of his crew, and gave him a quick tour of the resort. The day was well under way, and hundreds of people were up on the mountains, skiing to their heart’s content. Little Capper took it all in with childlike wonder.
"We didn’t have mountains nearly this big on Vegeta..! Or snow, for the matter." he proclaimed. "It must take hours just to ski down one side! How can you manage all this?" Oden laughed. "You never skied before?”" he inquired, glancing down at the saiyan who bubbled with new enthusiasm. "Nnnope..." Capper trailed off, shaking his head while unbuckling his heavy jacket.
Oden was not one for sitting in a boring classroom, droning out lectures, and the young Capper didn’t seem like the type of saiyan to sit in one place and listen for hours and hours. So he opted for a more practical approach; he took the little one out on his snowmobile and drove around the mountains, pointing out hazards, ways to spot potentially dangerous areas, and ways to help those in trouble. And then he went on to describe the most lethal danger they’d have to face...Avalanches.
Oden and Capper spent the next several days going over the basics. The tiny technician was eager and enthusiastic as ever and quickly caught on. He was an expert with first aid, and even managed to enhance the rescue squadron's gear and vehicles with his adept mechanics. The human even allowed Capper to drive his snowmobile around a little, which Capper greatly enjoyed. He laughed his childish laugh the whole time, which in turn made him and his crew laugh, too.
Despite Oden's hatred of classwork, there were still laws and state regulations for certifications and had Capper take a few tests to make sure what he was teaching stuck. With hardly an effort, the saiyan aced them all with hardly a single answer wrong... But he noticed something odd about Capper's name. It had a strange ring to it, and it sounded a lot like Caper Greens, a vegetable. 'I’ll bet anything his father's named after those Collard Greens' The human thought in amusement. 'Oh my God, please tell me there’s a saiyan named after a chili out there somewhere, that’s just too funny.'He relayed this joke to Capper later that day. At the mere mention of the name "Chire", Capper instinctively twitched and didn’t talk for the rest of the day.Oden knew better than to push it.
Now officially certified, Capper spent most of his days with Oden, scouting the area but mostly sitting idly in the rescue center. They busied themselves with cards and games, and lord help him Oden regretted introducing Capper to chess. No one could freaking beat him. Sometimes the boy's family would visit, namely his grandfather. And Courgi was freakin' scary! The six and a half foot tall android was always eerily silent, but his father was nice enough...And it was on any normal, slow day that disaster finally struck.
PART 3: THE CRY
IN WHICH CAPPER IS TESTED
On the mountain they called Astral Coal, there was a sudden and severe avalanche. The entire mountainside had been hit. Oden had noted the potential for an avalanche and had closed the mountain, but some kids who “knew better” had been up there anyway. There were reportedly two caught. The team leaped to action, grabbing their kits and their gear and speeding to Astral Coal as fast as their snowmobiles could carry them. Capper hopped on with Oden, grabbing his rescue kit equipped with emergency supplies and advanced saiyan medical equipment.
Even with such the fast response they got, it still took them ten minutes to get up to the slope. Oden knew they only had minutes to find the kids. Minutes to scour an entire mountainside … "Capper!" he yelled. "We have to find those kids and find them fast!" Capper nodded, determination crossing his still nervous face. "On it, boss!" The saiyan called back. He strapped his pack around his chest and jumped from the snowmobile, taking off across the mountain. And then…Oden's jaw dropped wide.
Ominous orange energy crackled around the saiyan and in a second a mass appeared below Capper's feet. The mass shifted before the energy faded, revealling a six-foot long sabertoothed cat skull! It had two pairs of sharp fangs, and floating "ears" that twitched about. The oddity's reddish-orange eyes darted up to Capper, recognition flashing quickly. Oden only saw the saiyan and his skull for a second before he landed atop the bony head, darting off faster than his vehicle at full speed.
"What the hell was that?!" The human exclaimed. Capper paid him no attention and instead focused on his task, his skull's long muzzle scraping across the snow back and forth. Suddenly the bone creature stopped, and circled a particular area three times before he it plunged into the snow. It began to dig feverishly, energy crackling from it's maw to melt the snow while Capper dug away at the snow with his gloved hands alongside his summoned demon.
Oden raced up to Capper, still trying to comprehend what he was seeing. The saiyan… had a freaking skull monster!!! And no one had bothered to tell him this?!?! A loud hiss from the skull snapped Oden back to attention. By now the duo had dug a good three feet into the snow, revealing a young boy semi-exposed in the snow. The kid had to be barely seventeen years old. The two carefully dug around him, exposing him enough to safely pull him up out of the hole. The kid spat and sputtered, shaking a little bit, but thankfully looked unhurt.
"You ok?" was the first thing out of Oden's mouth. The kid nodded. "Y-y-yeah, think so..." he said in a stutter. "I thought I was going to die…" Capper reached his head around to his kit, grabbing a jar of a strange, teal in his palm, passing it to Oden. The boy stared at the smiling skull beside the saiyan, torn between awe and confusion. "S-so, is this y-your uh, cat-dragon thing?" he asked, slowly taking the jar. "Apparently." Oden muttered. The skull smiled, mewing happily. “Capper, we still have one more kid missing! Get going!”
Capper didn’t need to be told twice. Like a bullet he shot off, leaving Oden to look at the kid. A brief examination indicated the kid was alright, just a bit cold but thankfully no frostbite and no injuries. The container Capper passed over was filled with a strange, gooey liquid... Was this the liquid from one of those high-tech Rejuvenation Chambers?
A loud hiss once again alerted Oden. Capper and his odd skull must have found the other kid. Scrambling onto the snowmobile, Oden drove over to the saiyan technician and his pet. He was incredibly hard to see, but spotted his skull's telltale orange energy waving in the wind. When Oden approached he saw it was on the edge of another hole, this one much larger than the last. The skull was inside, lying up tightly against another teenager, this one a girl about the same age. She was shivering violently. Now that he was looking closer, he noticed the skull was glowing a faint red. Curious, he climbed into the hole and approached, extending a hand to the creature's forehead. It was warm to the touch, radiating heat to keep the poor girl from freezing. Capper saw him approach, and his tail began to wag again, though he dared not move.
"It’s ok." he reassured. "I’m going to grab some blankets, and we’ll bring her straight to the resort. She’s going to be ok." The girl continued to shake, her head swinging side to side. "A-alright." Capper spoke as Oden dashed off, before he leaned closer to her... He tilted his head to hear what the girl was trying to say.
"Tori…" she whispered in a shaky breath. "Wh-wh-where’s T-Tori?" Capper looked at the first rescue, whom had approached as well, tilting his head inquisitively. "My name’s Giri." he clarified. His eyes went wide. "Shit! Tori! He wasn’t supposed to be with us! Shit!" He turned in circles. "TORI! TORI!"
The skull beside Capper lunged out from it's spot, grabbing the rescued boy by the collar of his coat and dragging him next to the girl. It nudged him close, clearly indicating the two of them to stay. Capper hopped on the skull, and sped off for the third time, just in time for Oden to return with the promised blankets. "Where’s he off to now?" Oden asked, not expecting an answer. "It’s Tori! Eda's little brother!" Giri said, holding the girl- Eda- tightly. "We told him to stay off the mountain, that we’re going to go alone, but he must have followed us! He’s trapped out there, too!"
Oden's heart lurched. They were getting dangerously close to the critical time of fifteen minutes where mortality began to exponentially increase. If this Tori kid was lucky enough to survive the avalanche, they’d need to find him right now if they didn’t want him to die from asphyxiation. Another loud hiss, and the old human was instantly flooded with relief.
"Capper!" he breathed. "He found your brother!" The trio scrambled from the hole, jumped on the snowmobile, and followed the skull's call. The creature was standing next to a pine tree alongside the digging Capper, kicking up snow all around theme as the duo dug. And then, abruptly, their digging slowed, and stopped altogether. Capper stared down at the ground, unmoving.Something was wrong.
“You kids stay here!” Oden ordered as he hopped off the snowmobile and rushed to Capper. "N-no! He's my brother!" Eda protested, chasing after him. “I have to see-!”
A wall of bones sprung from the ground when the skull's eye flashed orange, creating a fence between Oden and Eda. Eda bounced off the wall of bones, surprised but unhurt. Oden whipped around and stared at Capper and his skull. His eyes were glowing orange, his hands firmly planted on the ground. The skull's bone-fence circled all the way around them, keeping the kids away from whatever it was Capper found.
"Stay. Here." Oden ordered again, more forcefully. He didn’t have time to hear the teens’ continued protests as he marched to Capper's side. As he grew closer, Oden felt dread welling up inside him. He saw that look in the saiyan teen's eye. There was such incredible and profound sadness. Whimpers escaped his mouth. Tears streamed from his eyes.Oden knew what Capper had found before he even looked down the hole.
There, in the snow, was another kid, this one barely thirteen years old. When the avalanche hit, he had been knocked and tumbled around and had crashed violently into the pine tree. The snow was red with his blood. Not just blood either. The site was … grisly. Oden barely had the stomach to look at the scene and turned away. But little Capper seemed like he couldn’t look away.Judging from the wound on the kid’s head, he died on impact.
Oden swallowed hard. He didn’t even notice the skull beside Capper fade... The boy was trembling like a leaf in a hurricane. Capper shouldn't have seen something like this. He was just so young, and... "I’ve … . I’ve never seen a dead human b-before..." Capper whispered. "I … I never … I never …" He wheezed between teeth, his tears unrelenting. "L-last time I'd seen… seen so m-much bl-blood..." Oden raised a tentative hand to Capper's shoulder after he trailed off into gibberish cries. The little one was shaking violently as if he had been the one buried underneath a mountain of snow. He collapsed to his knees, burying his head in his hands and openly weeping. "I wasn’t fast enough…!" He cried, slamming a fist into the snow. "I wasn’t… I wasn’t…"
“Hey, hey, Cappster, snap out of it.” Oden said, gripping his shoulders. "It’s not your fault, it is not your fault. You did everything you could. You did absolutely everything right. This is not your fault. You are a hero, ok? A goddamn hero. Those two kids back there owe you their lives." Oden tried to comfort the saiyan. Capper raised his head, turning to the man with tears still streaming from his cheeks. "And what about- what about Tori?!" Capper gasped between sobs. "I couldn’t … couldn’t help him. I couldn’t save him, I couldn’t save him... O-oh stars, why couldn’t I save him?!"
Oden couldn’t say anything, and simply hugged the poor saiyan. Capper cried into Oden's shoulder, gasping and shaking for minutes before Oden managed to calm him enough to get him back on his feet. They had two kids they had to take care of, he reminded him. They still need their help. Capper nodded, composing himself enough to head back to the snowmobile. The two teenagers didn’t need to be told what had happened; words neither rescuers could bear to say were written all over the saiyan's face.Eda screamed into Giri's arms.
PART FOUR: AT THE END OF EVERYTHING
IN WHICH CAPPER, COLLARD, AND ODEN PUSH AHEAD
IN WHICH CAPPER, COLLARD, AND ODEN PUSH AHEAD
Oden wrapped up what was left of Tori’s body and placed it on the sled attached to the back of the snowmobile. He radioed in their situation, and they drove back to the resort. The trip was silent. Barely anything was said as they returned and approached a waiting ambulance, with a sizable crowd gathered around behind police tape and officers barking at them to keep back. Giri and Eda were attended to by paramedics. The young boy's body was taken away in a stretcher. A woman in the crowds screamed, and broke the barrier, running to the stretcher. Capper grimaced, closing his eyes and turning his head away from the scene. She collapsed into sobs, clutching the body bag and wailing in anguish.
Oden grabbed little Capper's arm and led him away from the scene. "It’s late. You need some rest." The rescue leader muttered. "Are you ok, kid?" Capper only looked to the ground. "No." The saiyan answered quietly. Oden breathed in slowly, patting the little one on the back. "It’s ok. I’m not either."
The next day was deathly quiet. Of course Capper and Oden needed to make an official report, and met with a police officer to relay what happened the other day. Capper was completely silent and blank, leaving the human to do most of the talking. The officer nodded, took notes, thanked them for their time, and dismissed them. As they left the police station, Capper spotted a familiar woman, the same woman who had chased after Tori on the stretcher. Just seeing her made his heart ache... She was with Eda, the girl he rescued mere hours ago. They were both quietly sobbing as they were escorted inside, no doubt to give their own testimony.Capper stood there, watching silently.
"What is it?" Oden inquired. The saiyan put a hand to his chin, furrowing his brows in silence. Finally, after a while, the saiyan took a breath in and spoke. "I’d like to go to Tori's funeral. And maybe say a nice thing and give him flowers. T-That's what Earthlings do for... funerals, right?" By no means was this an unusual request. People died in the mountains, it was just a fact of life and a danger that was inevitable. When Oden or his team saw a death, sometimes they’d attend the funeral, if only to grieve for a bit and to seek some much needed comfort. And it seemed Cap was by no means an exception. "I will speak to the family." Oden spoke with a nod. "Would you like me to come with you?" Capper raised his brows, slightly surprised. Nodding again, the kid would speak in response. “I would like that. Thank you.”
Capper and Oden arrived at the funeral home on a dreadfully cold Friday morning. Despite living his entire life in the mountains, the human couldn’t keep the chill from his bones, no matter how warm his coat was. Since he had brought nothing other than his usual winter clothing with him for his job in Search and Rescue, Capper had to take a trip into town to buy himself a suit. It was very strange to see him so formal-looking, wearing all black in contrast to his usual wardrobe. He didn’t even wear his green and black shoulderpad, which Capper never took off. Oden was positive he even wore it when he showered.
Capper's own father was going to be here too, the saiyan had said. His old man had left to visit Capper the instant he heard the tragic news, barely even giving his own boss a proper notice before flying over in a matter of minutes. And right at the front of the funeral home was another saiyan. Short and lean compared to most of his species, the formal father greeted his son with a tight hug.
"I’m so glad you came, dad." Capper greeted with a smile. "Hey, anything for my kid." Collard replied. "You okay?" The father spoke, tilting his head with inquisitive concern for his own flesh and blood. "I’ll be okay." Capper assured, turning to Oden soon after. "This is my boss, Oden Foremore. Oden, this is my dad!" Capper spoke, gesturing between his boss and father. "Nice 'ta meet 'cha." Collard said, extending his hand. Oden took it with a nod and a hello.
The three of them went inside, and were greeted by a crowd of people gathered in a room off to the side. The atmosphere was quiet and tense, the very air dripping with grief. The family of the deceased boy were gathered at the far end of the room, which was covered in flowers and candle and pictures of little Tori, from baby pictures to school photos to sports pictures and everything in between. And between all the flowers and candles was a brown casket, half-closed and half opened, which even more people crowded around, all with their heads lowered thoughtfully. Soft music played in the background, the sound barely approaching above a whisper.
"Earthling funerals are horribly depressing..." Collard observed without humor. "It’s a very tragic death." Oden noted. "He was only a kid when he died. The family has every right to be sad." Capper was the first to enter, walking straight and tall right towards the casket. There, the young boy laid. He looked so peaceful, so peaceful that Capper for the briefest of instance mistook the boy to simply be asleep. But the horrible red images flashed in his mind. The wounds he had seen were too horrifying for anyone to recover from. But now, seeing him lay so comfortably on a white bed, it hardly looked like anything was wrong at all. The wound had been completely cleaned up, most likely with human ki or their incredible science. It was so easy to pretend he was sleeping, to pretend nothing was wrong at all.
Capper drew a deep, shuddering breath, composing himself. He turned to the weeping mother and grieving sister. The girl recognized him instantly. "You’re the one that saved me...!" she said. Capper nodded, staring up at the much taller teen. "I came to give my condolences." Capper said in an almost emotionless tone, though his sadness could not be hidden. "I... just wanted to say how sorry I am." He began to shake again. "I... I wanted to save him. And I tried, I tried so very, very hard-"
He was interrupted by arms being thrust around him, squeezing him tightly. "You saved my little girl, and I… the coroner… she said…" the mother choked back her tears. "You did everything you could have, and I should be thanking you. You saved my little girl, you saved her, you’re her hero. I can’t thank you enough." All little Capper could do was return her hug, wiping away his own tears. Oden and Collard watched the exchange from a distance, silently.
"You know, when Capper came here, no one told me he had that cat skull thing." Oden noted in an amused tone in an attempt to lighten the mood.
"Yep, that would be Nala, the culmination of Capper's own essence and ki. She's like a spirit animal to him, in a sense." Collard grinned, closing his eyes. “They’re both great, they really are.”
"Your son really is something else." Oden agreed. "But to be honest, perhaps… this may not be the best place for him. He has such a good heart. And I can’t fault him for the way he acted when he… found Tori. I don’t blame him at all, I really don’t. It was terrible what he saw. But he’s going to see more of that. He’s going to see people die." Oden breathed in slowly. Collard seemed deep in thought. "It’s just how it is. And I don’t want him to go through this every time. It’d destroy him."
"I get it." Collard said quietly. "You’ve done a good job looking after my child, and I can’t thank you enough for that. But Caps is tough. Really freakin’ tough. He’ll be ok.” The saiyan's response puzzled Oden. "Are you sure about that?"
Collard was silent for a while. "It may not look like it, but he’s been through a lot. Some really bad stuff, I mean. We both have. Vegeta wasn’t always pleasant, especially when he, his mother, and his friend headed off for…" He trailed off. "What I’m getting at is that yeah, it’s pretty horrible seeing a kid die, and I’m sure it really rattled him." Collard paused, thinking once more with a hand on his chin. "But I think maybe… seeing this sort of stuff reminds him of the bad times. And he’s trying to get over all that. It’s too easy to forget everything and pretend it never happened. But... it did happen. And maybe helping all these people, helping people get out of bad spots and saving people, it’ll help Capper get over all the bad that’s happened to him. Cuz he’ll remember the bad stuff, and he’ll learn to let it go. He’ll learn that things happen for no damn good reason and he’ll learn sometimes that’s okay and all we can do is move forward. It’ll be hard, for sure. But he’ll be okay."Oden nodded slowly with affirmation. "I think I understand.""Just keep an eye on him, will ya?" Collard asked with a smile. "He’s my son. And he’s all I got.""I promise."By now the wake had ended and it was time for the burial. The casket was taken outside to a waiting hearse and a silent queue of people followed suit. The weather had only gotten worse, the wind whipping around, blowing snow at everyone’s face and the cold winter air biting at every inch of exposed skin. The family had set up a tent around the grave to shield the crowd from the wind, but it did nothing to warm the frigid air. The families all huddled around, pressing themselves together for warmth. A priest was there and gave a short sermon, retelling some fond memories and comforting the crowd that though Tori's time on Earth had been bitterly short, his presence and memory would still live on. Finished, the priest stepped back and offered roses to each individual. It was at this point in time Capper stepped forward, talking quietly to the priest first before the priest nodded and ushered him in front.
"Um, can… can I have everyone’s attention for a moment?" The ever so short Capper asked timidly. The crowds looked towards the saiyan curiously. "I … I may not have known Tori. I know nothing of him, or his life. I don’t know his friends, and I don’t know his family. But I know that... He must have meant a lot to a lot of people. I mean, look at all of you risking hypothermia just to say goodbye!" He said with a tiny laugh. The crowds laughed with him, some wiping tears from their eyes. "So, I may not have much to say to him, or about him, but I know all of you do! Which is why I brought these flowers!" He held up a banquet of vivid orange flowers that seemed to glow. "These are Solar Glories! They’re from Vegeta, where I lived all my life." He pulled out a flower. "So, I thought it would be nice if everyone could take a flower, say something nice about Tori, maybe share a fond memory, or something you liked about him, or maybe even tell him a bad joke, if he liked that sort of stuff, I mean…" Capper coughed, bringing a hand up to his mouth and hoping his gesture would hide him wiping away the tears that had begun to form. "A-A-And then when you bury him, he can listen to all these nice things being said about him for a while. Would … would you guys like to do that?"
The crowd nodded enthusiastically, and Tori's mother and sister were the first to approach, taking a flower from him and thanking him graciously. The mother turned to the tiny Capper bashfully. The mother of Tori took a breath in, and turned to her flower. "Tori, my little boy, you were always so sweet. You loved to make people happy. I’ll always remember your smile…" Fresh tears began to streak down her cheek. "I’ll miss you so much, my precious baby boy. Mommy misses you so very much…" She gently placed the flower on Tori's coffin, and retreated back to the waiting arms of friends to comfort her. Eda went next. "You were always such a huge dork. You were always kind of annoying, too. And I know I teased you so much, but you know I only did it because I loved you. And I’ll really miss your laugh. You’ll always be my dorky little brother and I’ll always love you."
People lined up, each taking a flower, each saying something so touching and moving it was hard for Capper not to bawl like a little baby. And with each flower he learned something more about Tori. Tori was the fastest pitcher on the baseball team, Tori liked to put prank his teachers by writing upside-down on the chalkboards, Tori's favorite food was strawberry ice cream, Tori liked to pretend he hated romantic comedies, but secretly loved them and no one thought less of him for that. He loved to ski, he loved to laugh, he loved his little Labrador puppy and he loved making people smile.And when everyone was done, it was almost as if Capper knew him like an old friend.He had one flower left, and he spoke.
"I became a rescuer so I can help people." he started. "Because all I wanted to do was help people and make them better. I... I know I can’t save everyone. No matter how hard I try, sometimes even your best … it’s not good enough." Capper paused, biting back tears. "But all that matters is that you try your hardest, every single day y-you gotta do your best! And though it may not seem like it, you really helped me. Thank you, Tori. You have lots of friends and family who love you. And wherever you are now, I’m sure you’re going to be ok." He placed the final flower on the coffin, and stepped back.
He felt a hand on his arm, and turned to see the mother gripping him, a smile on her face. "I just wanted to say thank you." she said. "I can’t tell you how much this means to me. To all of us." She hugged him tightly. "Thank you."Oden watched, trying to keep his own tears from falling. "Dear God, what did we ever do to deserve someone like him?"Collard’s smile only grew. "I ask myself that sometimes. And I have no freaking idea."