The Light to my Darkness

BY : SaiyanPrince541
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 5402
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN DRAGON BALL Z, OR ANY OF THE PRIMARY CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY!! THOSE ARE ALL TORIYAMA'S!! THIS IS A NON-PROFIT, FAN-MADE STORY!!!

Chapter 23: Impending doom

Bulma noticed that the fighting and explosions had come to an abrupt halt and so, taking a deep breath, she headed over to the others, heart racing.

Goku was having difficulty maintaining his balance and keeping his eyes open. Those injuries had more than taken their toll on his body.

"Goku?" Bulma asked hesitantly. "Is- is that- you?"

The Saiyan tilted his head up, only to see warm and familiar blue eyes looking back at him. As he recognized his childhood friend, he couldn't help it as his lips quirked up in a brightened smile.

"Bulma? Where'd- you come- from?" He began coughing violently.

"Shhh- Don't talk Goku." Bulma said gently, as she approached him and tenderly placed a hand on his forehead, wanting to be there for her best friend, just as he had always been for her and for everyone else!.

"Enough!" Vegeta growled, feeling irked as he witnessed her touch Kakarot so intimately. "I think it's time we get this idiot inside a regeneration tank. Follow me."

"Wait, what's that frog doing in your hand?" Bulma asked. "Don't tell me that's-"

"Say hello to Captain Ginyu." Vegeta smirked, holding the amphibian by one of its hind legs, leaving it hanging uncomfortably in the air, as treacly tears spilled from its moist eyes.

"Gosh, I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy." Bulma couldn't help but giggle. "Still, he wasn't quite as bad as the others."

"What do you mean he wasn't as bad?!" Krillin frowned in askance. "You do know that he tried to murder us! Not to mention, he stole our dragon balls!"

"Well yeah, but-" Bulma paused a moment. "I mean, he was more than a little eccentric, but he never really tried to hurt or take advantage of me or anything."

"Well, that's a relief." Gohan remarked after an awkward pause.

Goku furrowed his brows curiously at his blue-haired friend. Wait a minute! If she was here, did that mean she was the girl Vegeta sought to rescue?! But that could only mean- no way! Just as he was about to to ask her, he stopped and decided to keep his thoughts to himself, lest his morose rival blast a hole through him.

"Hey, I know!" Bulma smiled at Vegeta. "Can I keep him as a pet?" She looked at him entreatingly. "Pretty please?"

"Fuck no!" Vegeta growled back and promptly tossed the little frog all the way to the other side of the planet. Ginyu waved his legs about frantically and his croaky cries could be heard echoing from the distance, instigating a series of jocular laughs from Gohan and Krillin.

"Hey, what gives?!" The heiress scowled at the Prince. "You're such a jerk!"

"In case you forgot, he's a bodysnatcher, you idiot!" Vegeta glowered at her. "Would you like to have risked living the rest of your life out as a frog?!"

"W-Well- of course not."

"Then shut-up!"

"You shut-up!"

Gohan and Krillin looked between the odd pair bemusedly, while Goku let out a stifled chuckle. This wasn't exactly what he'd expected, but it seemed Bulma and Vegeta had found their match in one-another.

"What's so funny, clown?!" The Prince glared at his rival.

"Nothing, nothing." Goku bit back another laugh. Vegeta grunted.

"Get this moron inside the ship."

"Wait a minute." Krillin frowned dubiously. "What exactly are you planning?"

"I already told you, cueball!" The Prince snapped. "He's in critical condition! We need him up to speed, if we're to face Frieza, so get him inside! And Hurry!"

"It's alright Krillin." Bulma smiled assuringly. "Vegeta knows what he's doing."

"O-kay." The bald warrior cast a wary glance the Saiyan's way, before he and Gohan carried Goku aboard. Vegeta led the four Earthlings to the recovery room.

When inside, Goku immediately panicked as he spotted a needle lying on the table. The young Saiyan attempted to make a run for it, only for Krillin to allot every ounce of effort, as he struggled to hold him in place.

"I hate needles!" Cried the Saiyan youth. " Get me out here! Get me out of here! I'd rather be sick than get a needle!"

"Ugh, would you shut up!" Vegeta barked. "I'm not a even giving you a needle! Idiot!"

"Oh, okay." The younger Saiyan sighed in relief.

'Oh man, how embarrassing.' Gohan thought, completely mortified by his father's childish behavior.

"Gosh Goku, you're such a crybaby." Bulma laughed and the young Saiyan smiled at her sheepishly.

Vegeta brought him inside the tank, attaching all the necessary wires to his vital areas, before closing it. Bulma then worked up the controls to activate the liquid and adjusted the settings so they were just right for a speedy recovery. Given the extent of his injuries, Vegeta estimated it would take roughly forty minutes for him to fully rejuvenate.

"Hey, Bulma." Krillin came over to her. "How'd you end up here with that Ginyu jerk? I don't get it."

"You tell me." The heiress frowned at him. "Last I remember, you told me one of those soldiers was chasing us and then I woke up outside this ship." She then gave him a deathly glare as she put two and two together. "Wait a minute, you knocked me out, didn't you?!"

"U-U-Umm- n-n-n-no." Krillin lied, waving his hands frantically. "I-I-I s-s-s-swear."

"Oh you are unbelievable!" She shrieked, walking towards him threateningly, eyes burning with indignant ire that could easily melt through steel. She raised her hand up and Krillin flinched, shutting his eyes and praying to whoever was listening that he'd survive his maddened friend's wrath. Luckily for him, however, her expression immediately softened up and she placed her hand on his shoulder, smirking at his pitifulness. "But, you're lucky I happen to be in a good mood."

"W-W-Whaaaa?" Krillin opened his eyes, never so much at a loss for words.

"We're all alive, so I suppose that's what really matters." She placed her hands on her hips, before scowling at her cueball-headed friend. "But you try pulling any funny business like that again and you'll regret it all the way to your grave and further, understood?!"

"U-U-Ummm, y-y-yes ma'am."

"Glad to hear it."

"Enough!" Vegeta growled, garnering everyone's attention. He glared at the bald man. "Frieza could be returning at any time! Take the brat and make the wish before he arrives!"

"Aren't you coming with us, Vegeta?" Gohan asked.

The Prince let out a hiss of pain, pressing a hand to his forehead. Oh, he was feeling it now! He'd really overdone it earlier, when he was fighting Captain Ginyu! Goddammit!

"Hey are you okay?" Bulma walked over to the royal Saiyan, extending her arm out towards him.

"I'm fine!" He scowled, batting her hand aside. She looked at him with an expression of hurt. "I just need a few minutes to recover my strength!" He said, turning away from her and looking heatedly at the other two Earthlings. "What're you waiting for?! Go! Now!"

"Uh- sure thing." The duo began making their exit, before the Prince stopped them once again.

"Wait!" He looked towards Bulma. "You remember where the locker room is, right?"

She nodded weakly.

"Get these little twerps some training uniform and armor and be quick about it!"

"'Kay." Bulma nodded and scrambled off, Gohan and Krillin hot on her heels.

Vegeta sat down in front of the tank, sighing and shutting his eyes, as he tried to get some rest.

Bulma found appropriate sets of training gear for her two friends. Gohan's uniform and armor was an exact replica of the one Vegeta donned earlier. Krillin, however, wore a black lycra unitard, cut off above his knees and forearms, like Recoome's. His armor had shoulder and hip guards, but no groin guards.

After bidding her two friends farewell, the heiress headed over to Vegeta and sat down besides him.

"Hey, what's wrong?" She asked solicitously.

"Nothing, just go away!"

"No, it's not nothing!" Bulma pressed. "Just tell me!"

"Fine, I'll tell you what's wrong!" He growled, glaring nastily at her. "You putting your hands on my tail! It drained me of my strength!"

The heiress looked at him blankly, before her expression became apologetic.

"I'm sorry, I- I didn't know." She replied in a soft voice. "H-How?"

Vegeta let out an indignant grunt, not paying her any heed. However, a few seconds later, he sighed and responded.

"My tail's highly sensitive and extremely-"

"Extremely?"

"Erogenous!" He blurted out angrily, a blush smearing his face. He'd trained his tail to withstand any and all kinds of pain, but not eroticism!! Bulma's cheeks tinted many shades of red, as she finally realized the error she'd made.

"I-I didn't know." She mumbled, embarrassedly.

"Forget it!" Vegeta shook his head, averting his gaze and shutting his eyes, as he opted to continue resting. "Just go away!"

Bulma refused to heed his command, as she wound one arm around his shoulders and placed the other on his leg.

"Hey, I'm sorry, I really am." She crooned softly, as she rested her head on his rugged shoulder. "It won't happen again."

"Ugh- whatever." The Prince mumbled, his taut shoulders slumping, as he gave into his exhaustion, having neither the strength nor will to shove her aside. On its own accord, Vegeta's tail unwound from his waist and gently coiled around hers.

Bulma smiled at the sensation. That simple gesture made her feel so safe and secure, protected and cared for. She didn't regret her decision in the least. No matter what the future held for her, she knew she wanted, no needed Vegeta to be a part of it. Hopefully she could find a way to convince him to live on Earth and rid himself of any nasty ambitions involving war, conquest and glory.

'Ha, wouldn't that be great?' She thought to herself, chuckling inwardly. 'Unlikely thing, though.'

But he had to know that purging planets was iniquitous! She was resolved to usher him towards a new life, a better life! He didn't have to be a monster like the rest of his race and Frieza! He could be different! After all Goku was a Saiyan and she'd never known a living soul more noble than he was! Not that she wanted Vegeta to be anything like her best friend, not at all! She liked him the way he was: bold, brash and brazen and she wouldn't have it any different! But that didn't mean he needed to continue pursuing an existence of evil and darkness, if he didn't have to! He'd demonstrated a hint of mercy once before when he spared that Namekian village and she knew he could do it again, if only for her sake!

The odd couple were completely unaware that Goku had his eyes open the whole time and was observing them closely from inside the regeneration tank. It seems that Captain Ginyu wasn't wrong after all. Bulma really was Vegeta's- girlfriend?! How bizarre! Wasn't she with Yamcha?! Last he remembered they were still together several years ago, but they did have a habit of breaking up a lot. In any case, it wasn't his place. Whatever happened between the two of them was their business, but he still couldn't help but smile inwardly as he witnessed this side to Vegeta. He'd really changed for the better it seemed, just as Piccolo had.

XXXX

Nail had arrived too late in Elder Tsuno's village, which had turned into a slaughterhouse. The villagers repeatedly insisted that they did not have a dragon ball, but Frieza just wouldn't take no for an answer. The five warrior-class Nameks were the first to go down, followed by the other elders. The lizard then turned his attention towards the children. That was where Elder Tsuno drew the line, unwilling to allow the young to suffer the undeserved wrath of this horrendous fiend. He was left with no choice, but to tell him the truth!

"The dragon ball's not here!" He repeated for the umpteenth time, but continued hesitantly. "I do not know where it is, but I know who has it!"

That aroused Frieza's curiosity.

"What do you mean who?!" He demanded, narrowing his eyes dangerously.

"I have it!" Nail suddenly appeared behind Frieza, determined to draw the beast's attention away from the village and towards himself. He needed to buy time for his Earth allies. Frieza turned to the newcomer, eyeing him with great scrutiny. His face was stone cold and his posture gave nothing away. Truth be told, Nail was deluged with fear through and through. Anyone would be if they had to face someone as monstrous as Frieza, but he'd managed to confine his fear deep within, for any show of it could be used against him.

"NAIL?!" Tsuno exclaimed wide-eyed. He spoke to him telepathically, 'What are you doing here?! Why have you left Guru's side!' He chided.

'It was on Guru's orders.' The last Namekian warrior replied mentally. 'I'd have to face Frieza one way or another! This is the very last Namekian village and if this fiend destroys it, the first thing he'll do is go after Guru! I cannot allow that! No matter what it takes, I must hold him off!'

"Excuse me?!" Frieza stared murderously at Guru's bodyguard. "My patience is wearing thin! Tell me where you've stashed the last dragon ball, before I make you watch as I slaughter what remains of your ugly race, one at a time!"

"The last dragon ball is far away from here!" Nail hissed. "If you wish to know where, then face me in battle! If you can defeat me, I'll be more than happy to tell you whatever you want to know!"

Frieza smirked evilly at the dauntless Namek confronting him.

"You wish to challenge me?" He asked in a surprised tone, raising an eyebrow. "It looks as though someone's suicidal. Surely, you have heard of me, the almighty Lord Frieza?"

"Of course I've heard of you!" He growled. "You slaughtered my people in cold blood and now it's time I return the favor! You'll pay for your crimes Frieza! Come and let me show you the true power of the Namekian race and then you'll regret ever having come to our planet!"

Frieza frowned in appraisal of the warrior before him. He seemed starkly different to the others, from his very demeanor. He was a lot more more spirited and carried himself with such grace and pride, unlike any of the Namekians he'd encountered thus far. Breaking him would be fun and he had all the time in the world- or so he thought.

"Well, I suppose I'll oblige you." Frieza sniggered. "You may attack at your leisure."

"I do not wish to battle with these innocent bystanders in the way!"

Frieza let out a foreboding chuckle.

"Agreed." He aimed a palm towards the village and fired a humongous Ki blast, obliterating everyone and everything instantaneously. Nail looked on in horror as he felt the life force of Elder Tsuno and all the children dwindle away to nothing in that very moment, not having a chance to even scream as they were engulfed by a wave of Ki that reduced them to ashes. He snarled viciously at Frieza.

"YOU MONSTER!"

"There are no longer any innocent bystanders amongst us, is that not what you wanted?" Asked the lizard in his syrupy voice, full of deranged and twisted amusement. "Perhaps my methods were not to your liking, hmmm?"

Nail bellowed loudly, placing his fists by his sides as he powered up to his very highest. Frieza raised his eyebrows and his mouth formed an 'o' shape as he observed the Namekian's power reading rise to levels unheard of, amongst the people of this planet. Once Nail finished, he took up a battle stance and glared murderously at the fiend, who destroyed his people.

"Are you ready to lose?!" He snarled.

"Hmmm. It appears you weren't bluffing, after all." Frieza commented, as he read the display on his scouter. "Forty-two thousand truly is a power level worthy of high praise. With strength like yours, you could easily be ranked amongst my most powerful elite. How about you work for me? I will reward you with riches beyond your wildest imagination."

Nail expectorated sideways.

"I'll never join you, Frieza!" He growled irately. "I'm going to put a stop to you and your evil ways once and for all!"

The lizard cackled.

"As you wish." He let out a dismal sigh. "What a waste indeed." He shook his head. "You would have made a fine addition to my ranks, but it seems what you truly desire, is martyrdom." He shook his head wryly. "Well you shall have it. Before we proceed, would you like to know what you are up against? Hmmm?"

Nail let out a frustrated grunt, not looking forward to his adversary's answer.

"Allow me to reveal to you my fighting power: 530 000." Frieza stated, eyes glinting with sickening glee as witnessed the color drain from the Namek warrior's face. Nail knew all along that Frieza's power was horrific, but if those numbers meant anything, he was outmatched by a factor of more than twelve. How could any of them have ever hoped to defeat such horrible evil?! Dammit! No! He refused to let this deter him!

He knew from the outset that Frieza's strength far exceeded his own, but his primary mission was to keep him occupied for as long as possible, in hopes that his allies could make their wish!

After fighting with Frieza for a long while, Nail was completely spent, lying on his back, his large figure marred with nasty bruises, burns and broken bones. Violet blood was oozing out of the numerous gashes covering his body, as Frieza loomed over him, glaring imperiously.

"This is your last chance." The lizard glared at him. "Tell me where the dragon ball is, or I will cut you down inch by inch."

Nail laughed.

"You can kill me if you want- but I am the last Namek." He lied. "And I promise you this, Frieza: You'll never have the dragon balls or your wish."

The lizard gnashed his teeth viciously at his fallen foe and fired a Ki beam that seared his shoulder. Nail cried out in agony, before forcing himself to smile back at Frieza once again.

"Do your worst Frieza." He challenged, before continuing. "But know this: No matter what you do to me, you'll never find the last dragon ball, because I don't have it."

"What?!" Frieza growled angrily. "What do you mean you don't have it?! You said you did!"

Nail released a chuckle.

"Our little diversion worked perfectly." He smirked at the villain. "By now, our allies from Earth must have gathered all seven balls and are about to make their wish."

"WHAT?!" Frieza was suddenly overcome with dread. No! That lying scum! He was playing him right from the beginning! He shot Nail another nasty glare. "Mark my words: I'm not finished with you yet!"

The tyrant immediately zoomed towards his ship and pressed a key on his scouter.

"Ginyu Force, this is Frieza, come in, over!" The signal on the other end was dead, just like the rest of Frieza's most elite mercenary squad, minus their Captain who was reduced to a tiny amphibian. "What?! No?! There's no way Vegeta and those miserable little punks could take down the entire Ginyu Force!"

Frieza was livid, to say the least! This wasn't happening! He could not botch this up! There was no way he'd miss his shot at eternal life! He continued his supersonic flight with deathly resolve.

XXXX

As ordered, Dende had not moved from his spot, so locating him was no trouble at all. Not five minutes after exiting Frieza's ship, they arrived.

"Hey, Dende!" Shouted Krillin, waving to him.

The young Namekian's face lit up as he saw his friends and flew towards them, handing the dragon ball he held, over to Gohan. On their trip back to Frieza's ship, the demi-Saiyan and his older companion informed Dende that they'd been successful in eliminating all of Frieza's men here on Namek and that only Frieza himself remained. It was then that Krillin sensed the impending threat.

"Dammit, Frieza's headed straight towards his ship!" He exclaimed. "We have to make it there before he does, so we can summon the dragon! Let's hurry!"

"Oh no." Gohan said in a despondent tone. "N-N-Nail."

"Is he okay?!" Dende asked frantically.

"No, but we can revive him with the dragon balls, Dende!" Krillin reassured, his teeth clenched. "We need to move fast though!"

The three of them upped their speed and arrived at their destination several minutes later.

Krillin checked the radar and quickly located the dragon balls, buried beneath a patch of dirt nearby. They dug them out and Gohan dropped the one he was carrying with all the others. At last all seven orbs were united.

"Hey, uh- should we wake Vegeta up?" Gohan asked.

"Nah, let him rest." Krillin waved his hand dismissively. "He didn't look all that well before and I'd rather be the one to wake up an angry Saiyan haha- no offence Gohan."

"None taken." The boy chuckled, before look towards his young Namekian companion. "It's time Dende!"

"Right!" Dende pointed his palm towards the glimmering gems as he chanted the password. "Takorat pao Porunga poparay para!"

A short while later the dragon balls began glowing and the sky darkened.

XXXX

"What's happening?" Frieza wondered, glancing around as he stopped midair. "Why has the sky turned dark?"

Then it hit him! It was never dark on this worthless planet! It had three suns for heaven's sake! This could have meant one thing and one thing only! Nail said that those Earthling scum were making their wish! He snarled viciously, as he continued his flight towards his ship at tip-top speed.

XXXX

A rich orange ethereal light shot straight out of the dragon balls and up into the sky. Soon the light formed into the shape of a strapping, gigantic dragon with two horns on his head, bulky arms and a burly torso. The apparition starkly contrasted Earth's dragon Shenron, in both his sinewy appearance and heavily imposing demeanor. The motley trio looked up at Porunga an absolute wonder.

"You have collected all seven dragon balls!" The dragon chanted in his loud, authoritative baritone. "And now, as it is written, I shall grant you three wishes within my power! Choose wisely!"

"Alright! Three wishes, instead of one!" Krillin chirped, in exhilaration. "This is too good to be true!"

"Yeah!" Gohan concurred. "Porunga's awesome!"

"No please guys, don't disrespect the dragon!" Dende said worriedly.

"Alright, it's wish time." Krillin frowned. "For our first wish, we want to revive all the innocent people, including our friends, that died fighting the Saiyans on Earth. Can you please ask Porunga to do that?"

"I can try." Dende nodded, before chanting the wish in his native tongue.

"Your request is unacceptable." Replied the dragon. "I may only restore one life per wish!"

"Oh no!" Gohan looked completely frantic. What could they do?! Only three people could be brought back?! Damn!

XXXX

King Kai heard the news on his planet and informed his four new students. While Tien and Yamcha bickered amongst themselves, trading childish insults as they debated who should be revived, Chiaotzu suggested drawing straws. The three continued arguing amongst one another, but Piccolo dismissed them entirely and made it clear that he'd be the one to return. The Namekian from Earth requested King Kai to set up a telepathic link between himself and Gohan.

XXXX

"Krillin we need to hurry." Dende told his friend, feeling completely on edge. "Frieza's on his way!"

"Right, there's no time to stew over this Gohan!" Krillin ground his teeth together. "We have to make up our minds!"

The demi-Saiyan suddenly heard Piccolo's voice in his head and his mentor had instructed him to revive him with the first wish and bring him to Namek with the second, much to King Kai's dismay. Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu on the other hand gave the Namekian their heartfelt support and bade him good luck in the battle against Frieza.

XXXX

Vegeta sensed Frieza coming and was instantly jolted awake. Dammit! Why wasn't he a Super-Saiyan yet? Hadn't those fools made the wish?!

"Woman, wake up!" He brusquely ordered Bulma, who was still clinging onto him. The heiress shook herself awake, but before she had the time to register a thing, Vegeta got up, wound his tail back around his waist and frowned at her. "Frieza's on his way! Stay where you are at all costs and make sure Kakarot recovers, as soon as possible!"

Bulma hadn't a chance to say a word, as Vegeta took off out of the blue.

As he was leaving the ship, he noticed the sky darken. That only meant one thing! The Earthlings were making their wishes without him! He saw it! They were outside and there was some sort of gigantic apparition looming over them! That must have been the dragon! How dare they?! If they even thought about double-crossing him, all the demons in hell put together wouldn't be able to save them from his wrath! He made a beeline for the ship's exit.

XXXX

The second wish was now granted and Piccolo suddenly found himself in the woebegone heart of an expansive archipelago, a pitch-black sky doming over the dreary planet. So this was his home world! Upon taking in his surroundings, he felt a sense of familiarity and warmth bud within him, but a chill ran through him that immediately extinguished the warmth, as he sensed the scores of innocent lives vanquished by the icy invader. He began feeling out the colossal power of Frieza and his jaw instantly fell! It was completely off the charts, beyond anything he could have ever foreseen! It didn't matter! Now that he was here, he'd do exactly what he came for no matter the odds!

He grit his teeth furiously, zooming over towards the spot where he sensed Gohan and Krillin's energy signal as well as another diminutive Ki. And approaching them quickly was none other than Vegeta! He let out a snarl, as he upped his speed!

XXXX

It didn't take Vegeta long to reach his 'allies'.

"You summoned the dragon without me!" His dark eyes pervaded with bloodlust and raw anger and betrayal. Krillin and Dende looked as white as sheets, while Gohan desperately attempted to curb the Prince's rage.

"No, Vegeta, you've got it all wrong!" Gohan waved his hands frantically. "There's one more wish and we were about to use it on you and my dad! We just didn't want to wake you up cause you said you needed some rest!"

Vegeta's fury dimmed.

"Good!" He smirked, before frowning. "Now make the wish! Tell the dragon to make me a Super Saiyan this instant!"

"Right!" Gohan turned to the Namekian child. "Dende, tell Porunga to make Vegeta and my father, Goku, into Super Saiyans!"

"O-O-O-Okay." Stammered the Namekian child, before begrudgingly turning to Porunga and translating the wish into his mother tongue. Vegeta smiled gleefully. Yes! He would finally be a Super Saiyan and attain the power necessary to destroy Frieza! Victory was at hand and he could already smell its inebriating fragrance.

"This wish cannot be granted!" Stated Porunga and everyone's hearts sank. "To bestow such power is well beyond my grasp!"

"WHAT?!" Vegeta yelled at the dragon. The others flinched and Porunga's crimson eyes creased angrily at the Prince. He considered the massive entity's words for a few seconds. He only said that the power was beyond his grasp, but didn't say it was unattainable or nonexistent, meaning there had to be some way! "Tell me how I can become a Super Saiyan?! Quickly!"

"The power may only be summoned when the necessary need arises!" Echoed Namek's dragon, before roaring. "Tell me your third wish now!"

"Guys, hurry up!" Krillin yelled in disconcertment. "We need to do something fast! Frieza's coming!"

Curse that dragon! He couldn't possibly have given a more obscure answer! The necessary need?! What need?! What in seven hells did that even mean?! Dammit, they were out of options! It was time for plan B!

"Tell the dragon to make me immortal!" Vegeta demanded, earning surprised looks from the others. "There's no other choice. If Frieza cannot kill me, I'll only get stronger and stronger with each blow, until I'm finally powerful enough to destroy him!"

Everyone looked at the Prince in horror and disbelief, before his patience ran out.

"HURRY UP! HE'S COMING YOU IDIOTS!"

"Do it Dende!" Krillin ordered the child. There was no other alternative! He hated this, but it had to be done. Frieza was closing in fast! Goddammit! An immortal Vegeta! Just great! Who knows what level of damage he could inflict?!

The moment Dende had finished translating the wish into his native tongue, the dragon began fading out of existence and his red eyes abruptly vanished. Porunga slowly started imploding and with one final boom accompanied by a blinding flash of light, he vanished into thin air. The dragon balls fell to the ground as ordinary pieces of stone, their lustre gone.

"What- what happened?!" Vegeta asked, gritting his teeth as he looked himself over. "I don't feel any different! Am I immortal or not?!"

"No." Dende collapsed on his knees as tears began cascading down his face. "You're not immortal."

"Dende, what's the matter?" Krillin asked.

"It's Grand Elder Guru." He sniffed. "He's- He's gone."

"Oh-" Krillin had his face downcast. "I- uh- I'm really sorry Dende."

"Guru, why?" Whimpered the young Namekian.

"What?!" Vegeta yelled. "So you're saying the dragon balls no longer work because some old geezer decided to kick the bucket at the worst possible occasion?!"

"He was my father and he didn't decide anything!" Dende yelled back, enraged at the Saiyan's callous insensitivity. "The dragon balls were a part of him!"

"DAMMIT ALL!" Vegeta roared.

"Frieza's approaching, you guys!" Gohan slurred perturbedly.

The Prince quickly collected himself and let out an exasperated huff, as he tried to regain his composure.

"We have to move away from here!" He instructed, teeth gnashed together in frustration. "Kakarot hasn't finished healing and the woman's still inside the ship!"

"Alright!" Krillin nodded and turned towards Dende. "Stay here and keep your power level suppressed, got it?!"

"R-R-Right." Stammered the young Namekian.

"Come on, hurry!" Vegeta blasted off towards an island not too far away, Gohan and Krillin in hot pursuit.

Once they landed, the Prince sensed Frieza draw nearer and nearer. He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes, in a steadfast attempt to keep his cool. He felt reinvigorated and his power had taken a huge spike. It seems that in the long run, carrying himself to the very extreme during his battle with Ginyu had done him more good than harm. Less than fifteen minutes of rest was all it took and he was now back and better than ever! But it still wasn't enough! It would take Kakarot at least twenty minutes or more to make a full recovery and until then, they had to hold off Frieza, all by themselves.

"H-H-He's here." Krillin's face turned a sickly blue, as he quivered and pointed to the almighty overlord of the Universe, standing atop a pillar of rock with his arms by his side. Gohan began to tremble as he sensed the overwhelming force of evil laid bare, right in front of them.


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