[Thread PL: 90,483] [UT] Liquid Ki - Mist Active! Ki suppressed to 10000] [ Zucceta ]
It had been a while since Defrosch had effectively avenged his mother and even longer still since his meeting with Maeve; where she revived much of his confidence. So by this point, he had properly gotten used to the power gifted to him by the Ultra Divine Water. As a result of that blessing he felt as if a gate that once restricted his power to rise had now been busted open! He had however, been somewhat busy as of late with his several jobs. It was business as usual; being a basketball coach for children, a librarian, courier, part-time barista, and part-time mall security guard detail among several other things.
Today, he had a day off; so he decided to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies. One that he had neglected for the time he was feeling downtrodden and lost: Fishing.
Once again he had reached his favorite spot; a pond that had somehow managed to stand the test of time. It was nearly always like this. Peaceful, and pure. Untouched by much of the wider world. Only he and very few others came here. Evidently that was why he liked it.
Defrosch set his fishing gear down and sat beside it. For a while he would simply mediate, becoming almost completely still. One with the atmosphere around him. Focused, he could sense the life energies of the many creatures around here. The birds, the bugs and of course; the fish.
Perhaps he would find more than that soon enough. Only time would tell.
The forest was one of the only places on Earth that Zucceta could be herself. No need for a disguise, for either her physical appearance or her ki signature. If anyone wanted to find her, as the ex-queen of all saiyans and infamous killer, they could find her here by her energy reading or sensation. What they would find, however, could be anyone's guess. Zucceta sits in the air, her arms (organic and robotic) folded over one another, feet touching at the toes, levitating, relaxed, as an ice-cold waterfall plummets against her naked form, the only sign of movement from her body, the only indication of true consciousness, was her unruly brown tail, curling and uncurling like a fist opening and closing reflexively.
The saiyan warrior had been suffering from issues of identity as of late.
When she had first arrived on Earth, she had been little more than an angry, deranged killer capable only of fleeting mercies, like the last moments of pure winter snow melting away into a dirty ocean. Her heart had been hollowed out by too many small deaths, was left an empty beating thing capable of nothing but an illusion of humanity, a face too-often twisted into a smirk undone by its soullessness or faithlessness. She, then, had nothing to fight for.
Then, the childless, the mercenary, a rebel without applause, killed the son of a king in the darkest of nights in a dusty outskirt town, and she took that as a sign of something.
Something to do, anyway.
She became the queen of an empire merely days later. It had been like taking candy from a baby--only, she had nearly died, but still, far easier than expected (for, when did a saiyan ever want to live forever?). And yet she had been unfulfilled; she only wanted the job as the aftermath of taking revenge against the Ministry, who were all dust, ash or scattered to the fleeting edges of space by Queen Vennel, the precursor. Now, sitting in the stream of the waterfall, Zucceta allowed her mind to take a detour: where was Vennel now? Would she have heard news of Zucceta's acquittal of the throne? Would she return to the empire, to serve, or overthrow, Habana?
Had it been destiny that propelled Zucceta to that position, that rank? The saiyan warrior does not think so. There was no such thing as destiny in a world like this. People make their own energy. Only, that wasn't always true, either. There were gods in this world, and worlds beyond this, places for the dead.
She feels something in her throat at that last thought, before swallowing it.
One day soon, she might see him again-
No. Not again. For the first time. I never met him.
So, the newly-minted queen of saiyans had immediately mobilised an army. They went to Arcose with fury and seed. An empress fell and a horror was planted (and, later, again). She grew from that, but not emotionally--she was still frigid and hollow.
The anguished heart had turned her eyes to Earth, then, filled with a vision of a million years of warfare and pain. Then everyone else might finally know what it was like.
The present Zucceta's forehead creases with this logical fallacy. She'd been so arrogant, to believe she was the only individual capable of hurting, the only one in the world, in the universe, on whom tragedy had ever befallen. She'd been so blinded by her own pain, and so blinded by her own propaganda, that Earth would surely fall to her own utopia, dystopia, whatever name might suit her "Age of Super Saiyans". The Age of Small Deaths.
But Earth had bitten back, despite great losses. And, thanks to a small blue-haired android, she'd felt love in her broken soul for the first time in years.
It didn't heal her. Not immediately, anyway. But it gave her a new goal, one that (in the long run) might have worked--resurrect her son.
Only, there was that selfish arrogance, again. The lesson she learned on Earth was only half-complete, only a vision of laughter rather than a guided pathway. Her actions on Kanassa, with the second horror, were micro- compared to the macro-destruction of Earth, but felt greater. A good-hearted soldier from the blue planet had been defeated and, worse, contorted to her own purpose.
Small deaths compound. Bing Gan was dead in all the ways that mattered (for the time), and he killed more. He killed gods and lovers and demons. Some incalculable mix of hellish anger and cold-blooded programming made the warrior that used to be Bing murder his friends, as Zucceta watched and (mostly) smiled.
Tears mingle with pure waterfall water. You wouldn't know this if I didn't tell you.
They went to Earth, Zucceta and the robot, to find the Dragon Balls. And then, by force of will, Bing Gan came back to life--angrily, full of little incompletions, imperfections in the face of the trauma of small deaths, but the will, the soul, returned.
Where was Zucceta's soul?
Sitting in the waterfall, the saiyan warrior's eyes open: red, black and forlorn.
She moves out of the water, dries off, and gets dressed.
She flies to the energy by the pond. Ponds were the least favourite type of water body for Zucceta: they were small, stood still and never flowed anywhere. Without maintenance, a pond might one day become decrepit and lifeless if any pollution were to enter it.
And yet, there was a tranquillity to them that she couldn't deny.
"Hey," she waves a hand at the Arcosian. "I thought you might be doing this." Defrosch
In time, another being approached. One with enough life force to easily eclipse the smaller lights here. It was Zucceta, of all people. Had a different set of events occurred within the past year or so then such a casual exchange wouldn't be possible. The thought was mildly interesting if not far more terrifying.
This was the universe they were experiencing, against all odds. A massive collection of actions and reactions lead to it being a possibility. It was, so to speak; nice. Besides that, like many people, Defrosch always appreciated not being assaulted out of nowhere.
"Yo." Defrosch replied, with a short wave of his own. "That predictable, am I? Truth be told, I haven't been in this area specifically since we last spoke." His expression darkened for a moment, though he quickly collected himself. Thoughts came through his head; bothering and nagging at him to speak of the one that claimed to be Zucceta's sister. Selfish thoughts is what Defrosch would call these thoughts, it would be rude to open with that topic! "I had business to attend to." Slowly he floated upwards so that he was at eye level with Zucceta, remaining in his seated pose. "Just passing by, or do you have some free time?"
The brooding saiyan warrior arched an eyebrow, quizically. "Sure, I've got some free time--did you have something in mind?"
Zucceta felt mildly on edge around Defrosch, for no other reason than he was an Arcosian--and it was possible that he felt the same about her, as a saiyan. The two species had a deeply entrenched animosity...one that Zucceta had done very little to heal at the helm of the saiyan species. Queen Habana didn't seem to be taking actions to fix that divide, but the galactic frontiers were complicated realms. Earth was simple in comparison, if a bit too busy for the saiyan's tastes.
"Gonna try to teach me how to fish better?" she says, forcing a smile to her lips.
"Mm? Not really." Defrosch shrugged, noting an odd twitch to Zucceta's smile. Either she was not one to smile very often or there was something more to this. Though he was quite the perceptive, the Arcosian didn't know her very well personally so deciphering any of her mannerisms wouldn't be easy at the moment.
Still, he was considerably more relaxed than Zucceta, and that much was obvious.
"I was mostly just curious. Not many people wander past here by accidendnbt-- Ohp--" Defrosch held one hand up, and turned away from Zucceta for a moment before letting out a comical sneeze. As a result the horns on the side of his head would jut out a bit. "Blech. Excuse me." He brought out a handkerchief from his utility pouch and corrected the somewhat snotty accident. "I'm still getting used to a new sensory ability, s'all." For a moment, Defrosch's eyes had an otherworldly shine, but he blinked it off. "As for fishing? Only if you feel like it. I always bring spare gear." He nodded over to the carrying case nearby, also having noticed his horns had extended. "Oh for the love of--" With a sigh he simply flicked the ends of his horns and they shortened to their normal size. Recognizing how silly he must've looked, he couldn't help but crack a little joke. "Fun fact, Arcosian metamorphosis isn't as simple as it looks. Especially when you break its limitations by sheer force of will."
The saiyan queen walked over to the Arcosian and perched down next to him, noting with the cock of an eyebrow the mild hints towards transformation when he sneezed. She chuckled at the change. "Most people don't start sneezing when they learn how to sense ki. I didn't. What's up with that?"
With a nod of her head, the rod carry-case rose into the air and drifted towards Zucceta. She reached out and opened the case, holding the rod in both hands like an ancient bushido warrior brandishing folded steel. After last time, Zucceta had realised that fishing maybe took as much discipline and patience as one of those ancient warriors. "What do they feel like, your transformations? With Super Saiyan, and even Oozaru, it just feels like a rush of energy, like some sort of hidden well has been tapped in to. Oozaru changes you, but the power tapped in to is triggered by Blutz; and Super Saiyan by strong emotion. I know its different for Arcosians, that your "true" form is suppressed. But what does it feel like?"
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"Ki sense? Oh, no, no. That I can already do, ever since I was young." Defrosch shook his head, realizing the connection Zucceta had made with the increasingly common ability to feel the power of the universe's life. "It is something else entirely. I'm unsure how to describe it beyond that I can just see more. Interesting to be sure, and I have some theories at least, but I have yet to make proper sense of it." With his tail, he picked up his own fishing rod that he set aside on the ground, tossing it into his hands. He adopted a more fluid stance compared to Zucceta, indicative of his experience in this scenario as he floated back down to the ground. "It'll come to me."
The ex-queen had posed some interesting questions. How did Arcosian transformations feel? It wasn't something Defrosch put much thought into as it understandably just came to him naturally. "Hmm. Lets see..." He took a moment to figure out a good answer as he reeled an arm back and chucked the lure into the water with a soft plink. "As you might know; my people are born in our 'true forms'. The average power reading for a newborn as documented by a scouter is around twenty-five thousand or so. Quite daunting for an infant to live with let alone their parents to take care of; so we discipline ourselves. We learn to put up a sort of safety buffer. From what I remember I mastered it almost immediately."
With the basics set up quite nicely, Defosch paused, allowing to Zucceta to take the information in. "As for how they feel though? I'll admit, I'm an interesting Arcosian to ask." He began to speak again with a slight chuckle. "I would say that suppressing myself isn't restrictive. Its humbling in a way that being closer to other beings broadens the mind. Releasing my true power on the other hand is understandably liberating. Going full tilt is also sometimes necessary... But I see no meaning in it if that power used only to cause harm. That would be how I see it, anyway."
Zucceta smiled. "I only learned how to sense energy recently, when I was stranded on Earth for the first time. It was towards the end of that stint, actually--shortly before I ate that half-saiyan, Prince Akio, and travelled back to Vegeta to claim the throne." She sighed with a nostalgic look in her eye, as if fondly remembering the Oozaru-cannibalism of that Crane outcast. "Seems like a million years ago. Anyway, it felt like a third eye had opened. It was scary at first, but then comforting--even to me then, as this destructive force--to know that life and energy surrounded and bound everything."
She shakes her head free of the memory, and casts her line into the water. "So, you can just 'see more'? Vague. I dig it." If the Arcosian were to glance over, she'd offer him a wink.
Zucceta raised her eyebrows in disbelief, her forehead wrinkling. "Twenty-five thousand? That seems high. I have to assume most don't assume the form during the, erm, sacking of Arcose, or else we'd have had a more difficult time of it." Ah, there we go. Casually bring up your first big genocide. Good one.
"But how does it feel, physically? Do you sometimes forget that you're not utilising your full power? How does the sealing process WORK?" The saiyan queen pressed. It was intriguing. When Zucceta tapped into the Super Saiyan forms, it felt like she was accessing a power that had been there all along--but, of course, it hadn't. With the Arcosian forms, the power was there.
"Also, unrelated--Arcosians have a similarly low population to the saiyans (ignoring any, erm, military actions). In that small population, do you get identical people often? Saiyans usually bump into someone in their lifetimes who look identical to them, but are unrelated." Zucceta shrugged.
The bait bobbed in the water. Her shoulders were stiff and she felt on edge, as if she had to be ready at a moment's notice. Of course, if she really wanted to, she could focus her ki senses into the body of water and feel all of the individual energies of the fish, but that'd take some of the fun away. Besides, she wanted Defrosch to tell her how to improve.
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Okay. So she ate a dude. That would've normally been cause for alarm, but given educated guesses, this was likely a long time ago and Zucceta was a different person then... That lost and heartless person that she only recently had the chance to cast away. Defrosch smirked. "Didn't make a habit of eating people though, did you?" If she was able to joke about it, then it was totally free game. No big deal, right? "Well. If ki sense is the third eye then I've somehow opened a fourth. Like I said, it'll make sense to me eventually."
Defrosch watched on closely as Zucceta cast her line. "Good form." He idly mentioned as he then processed the Saiyan's assessment of Arcosian power and social norms. "Yeah, and I was born roughly double that strength somehow." Throwing that out casually, he didn't mean to brag. In fact, there was a mixture of ire and discontent with the way he spoke of it. "Lets just say ludicrously high or lofty expectations being foisted upon an infant isn't the best childhood experience." Kais above did he absolutely hate being born into nobility.
As for the invasion of Arcose... Once upon a time Defrosch would've had some rather vibrant, colourful and clearly downright aggressive words to say. Now he would be satisfied with bluntness. He took a deep breath, indicating that it was still a difficult topic for him. "Lemme begin by saying you're lucky that out of basically any Arcosian that has ever existed-- besides maybe two others that I can think of off the top of my head-- you've decided to bring that up with me." Defrosch paused for a moment to think about the most likely reason there wasn't much opposition. It would be logical to assume that many Arcosians were off world to begin with and those that remained skedaddled pretty quickly, leaving a staunch or proud few to stay, to fight. It made sense, but it wasn't as important as what Defrosch said next. "Pro-tip, if you of all people dwell on it, it'll be harder for others to move on."
Thankfully, Zucceta still had some more interesting conversation topics up her sleeve that just so happened to be unrelated to genocide. Now this was more like it. "Hmm. I'm unsure about completely identical, but there are some very common armor shapes and bio-gem placements across the board beyond the two constants; head and chest. If you're interested in some examples, I can try to explain them." With the way he spoke, it almost sounded as though he was ready to info-dump several hundred college biology textbooks if given the chance. "For the physical feeling of transforming, think about it as long breaths. Holding a lot of air in for a long time before releasing it. Forgetfulness though? That is uncommon... Uuuuunless you're my second oldest brother. Hes a bit dopey."
In the moments of silence, Defrosch was able to examine Zucceta's fishing stance. She was attentive, yes, but she was also a bit too rigid in his opinion. "Try to relax your shoulders slightly. Think of the fishing rod as an extension of you rather than a tool. See if that works."
Zucceta grinned despite herself. "Only the once. Even with consciousness, the Oozaru form can offer up some irresistible urges. I thought the action was symbolic of my right to the throne. Of course, it was just another kill under my belt. Obviously." She sighed.
Fourth eye?"Right on, spaceman." She chuckled, affecting a hippy tone.
Zucceta whistled. "Fifty thousand? Jeez. Elite-class noble saiyans would probably stab a child born with that power. That or weaponise it." Some would do it simply out of jealousy; others might remember, with a cold chill running up their spines, the legend of the Super Saiyan and the destruction of old Sadala, told to them by their fathers, and their father's fathers. That was, of course, before Zucceta's Age of Super Saiyans. If Queen Zucceta had found an infant with a dramatic power level... she'd have taken them as her own child.
Parental approval or otherwise.
She shook her head free of those thoughts. The past had a way of crawling its way back through her synapses.
She cocked her head towards Defrosch when he hinted at a disdain towards Arcose, and others of his kind. "It's a matter of fact. I don't want to run from the truths of my past. I never have. But, if I did raise it with other Arcosians... not sure many of them could do much about it." Nor you, if you'd taken offence.
"The past is gone. It happened, but no longer is. I made mistakes--more than anyone else alive, maybe--but I can do good, going forward. What I believe is 'good', anyway." The saiyan philosophised. Earth had taught her much. At times, she stole into libraries at night and sat with a lamp, her hands turning fragile pages of dusty, ancient tomes. If they had books like that on Vegeta, the saiyans might be a different kind of people.
Might be. But there was a reason why books like that had never been written on Vegeta.
The Arcosian examined her posture. Yes, she was too rigid, and his tip was obvious. The Furiosa, her mechanical arm, was now as natural a part of her as her flesh and bone. At times, she felt she could feel sensations in her artificial arm. At one point, her Zoonian surgeon had offered a cybernetic surgery where she would be able to feel, but she'd declined. This was a reminder of the permanence of things done. It also suggested that things might be mended.
If she could master her Furiosa, she could master a fishing rod. She relaxed her shoulders. The rod bobbed, relaxedly, in the water.
Minutes of silence passed. Suddenly, Zucceta felt something tug on her line. "Bingo!!"
She wrenched the hook out of the water, grinning ferally, an echo of saiyan bloodlust. Only...
Empty hook, no bait, no fish.
She sighed and sank back. "Too hard or something?"
"Even if you could control it..? Yeesh. That bites." He was genuine in the fact that he found the stubborn instinctual drive of the Oozaru form somewhat a bit of a double edged sword, it took him a moment longer to realize he had unintentionally made an unexpectedly topical pun regarding the matter. "D'oh." He winced. "Sorry. Pun not intended."
Noting the faux hippie tone, Defrosch decided to match it a little. "Eyyuuuup" He even made a similarly goofy 'rock on' hand gesture.
The Arcosian shrugged along with Zucceta's whistle and assessment of his well above normal power level at birth. While it was indeed impressive for even his own people, the ex-queen had basically hit the nail on the head with the general reaction that people might get in the presence of a baby like that; the desire to be rid of it immediately. The more unruly Saiyans would do it out of jealousy or fear and the absolute scummiest of Arcosians would do it out of spite their insatiable lust to be the only strong ones around. "The worst of my people would do much the same. Mostly the weaponizing part though. I don't think that needs explaining." As expected, it was but one of the many things that Defrosch took issue with. Oddly enough, given the time to think back on things his own father Sleete wasn't much of the 'brainwashing weaponizer' type. He was just obnoxiously harsh, and expected a bit too much of all three of his boys, not just the youngest.
Some part of Defrosch actually considered missing his father.
"Right, not acknowledging your past is just as bad." He nodded as Zucceta brought forth her views on one's history. Quite an opportunity had been presented as she spoke; a chance to throw out a cheeky diss. "Pfft. Yeah, if Koldar was any indication. That nimrod straight up called Vi-Poi Realigner Red once. Seriously, what kinda clueless is he?" Defrosch chuckled as he shook his head. "I'll give him this though; he cares deeply for his family. Probably one of... Two redeeming qualities he has." Talk of family reminded Defrosch that he should bring up the whole 'you have a crazy bloodthirsty long lost sister' thing to Zucceta, but he still didn't see an appropriate opening to start that conversation. 'Hrm. Might just have to be blunt about it soon.'
It seemed as though Zucceta was indeed quite hopeful in that she could at do good in the present and supposedly for the foreseeable future. 'Mhm. Everyone starts somewhere. Better late than never.'
Observing as his (to some degree) fishing pupil react to the prospect of a catch in a rather interesting way, Defrosch tapped his chin. Yes, that grin she had for a moment was a bit creepy, but it could be refined into something more than instinctual thirst for blood. What exactly it could be refined into was unclear however, and Defrosch didn't have much time to dwell on it as his mysterious fourth sense pinged again! The otherworldly sparkle and glitter in his eyes, mirroring that of a clear night sky returned as his gaze snapped towards the water. "Yes, perhaps you were a bit too harsh on the draw. Or, something a bit more mystical in nature is causing us a problem."