The Light to my Darkness

BY : SaiyanPrince541
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 5250
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 31: Fatal error

Krillin had finally reached Goku's spaceship. He made his way inside and headed downstairs, finding a busted up single bed on the corner. Beside it was a thick mattress, where he carefully laid down Bulma's body, looking her over wistfully all the while.

“You know, you’ve always amazed me Bulma.” He forced on a lopsided smile and gently stroked her satiny blue hair, splayed out over the plush pillow below her head. “I could never tell anyone this in person, especially you, but for the longest time ever, I’ve been smitten with you hehe.” His cheeks tinted a shade of crimson, as he scratched the back of his head sheepishly. “Truth is, I really envied Yamcha, hell, sometimes I even went so far as to resent him for being so much better looking than I am. I was always a step or two ahead of him, where training was concerned, but he had the one thing that I could never possibly have: you.” He sighed forlornly and continued. “And now there’s Vegeta." A brief interval followed. "I still have no clue what happened between the two of you and I probably wouldn’t approve, but-” He paused a moment, letting out an exhale and continuing in a slow and calm, yet fervid tone, brows knit. “Seeing him actually shed tears for another person- it- it was just mind-boggling, to say the least. I never would’ve imagined such a show of affection from someone like that, but what’s even more amazing is that you, of all people, were able to melt your way through a heart as cold as his.”

Another short lapse followed, before he smiled at her in pure reverence and admiration. “You may not be a fighter, but you’ve always been one of us. We’d be nowhere without you, Bulma. It was you who brought everyone together, led the search for the dragon balls, saved all our lives, after the battle with Vegeta and-” Krillin shut his eyes, as he went on in a broken voice, “Died for us.” The bald warrior let out a dejected sigh and gazed upon her regretfully, eyes tearing once again. “You’re the last person who could ever deserve to be killed, so brutally. I truly wish it were me instead. I’m really sorry I couldn’t protect you. I tried my best, but we will bring you back no matter what happens! That’s a promise!”

wXXXX

Beads of sweat rolled down Frieza’s off-white forehead, as he trembled in shock and alarm.

‘No, I cannot allow this to shake my composure!!’ He willed inwardly and took a deep breath, in an effort to calm himself.

“I suppose there was some truth to that little legend, after all.” He smirked at his former underling. “It does make sense that among the whole barrel of monkeys, you’d be the one to finally make good. Though I never would have guessed that the key to your ascension would lie in some worthless whore of all thin-”

Frieza choked on his last word, eyes bulging, as the Prince quickly appeared in front of him and wrapped his hand around his throat in a death-grip.

“Before you die, I want you to answer one question for me, Frieza.” Vegeta spoke in a deceptively cool tone, tightening his grasp even further, whereby the lizard began gurgling and vainly clawing at the Super Saiyan’s staunch fingers. “Was taking her life really worth it, given where we are now?”

Frieza continued struggling to no avail. Vegeta elbowed him atop the head, plummeting him right into the dirt. The Saiyan followed quickly and before his enemy had a chance to rise, he stomped on the upper incline of his back with one foot and roughly began pulling on his tail with both hands.

“What are you doing??!!!” Frieza hollered in agony. “No!!! Stop!!! Aaaaarrrrrrrrrgggghhhh!!!”

“YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!!!” The Prince roared, giving him a sharp jerk that had him howling even louder. “HOW MANY TIMES DID I ASK YOU TO STOP, WHEN YOU SLOWLY BURNED YOUR WAY THROUGH HER FLESH, YOU SICK SON OF A BITCH??!!!” Vegeta tugged even harder, as he mentally relived that horrific moment. The Super Saiyan was intent upon making his quarry’s death as miserable as he possibly could!!

“PLEASE, STOP!!!!” Frieza beseeched, overwhelmed with searing pain, the likes of which he’d never felt before. “ I BEG Y- AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!”

“THAT’S RIGHT!!!” Snarled the Prince, yanking the thick appendage in such brutal fashion that he nearly pulled it right out of its socket. “BEG!!! BEG FOR MERCY!!! BEG FOR YOUR LIFE, LIKE THE COWARD YOU ARE!!!”

Goku moved nearby and couldn’t help it as his conscience took over, feeling that Vegeta was about to fall over the fringe of reason!!

“Vegeta, don’t.” He said tactfully, frowning in askance. “I know this feels right but it’s not.”

“Back off you stupid fool, unless you wish to join him!!!” The older Saiyan snapped his teeth at the younger.

Goku couldn’t help the fear that coiled through him, at his rival’s overt belligerence. The Prince was in a fragile emotional state and his new Super Saiyan abilities were making him see red. If Vegeta let his power go to his head, things could turn out very, very ugly and he refused to allow that, after all the effort they’d put into finally reaching this stage!!

“This isn’t the way!” Goku looked at him imploringly. “Remember the promise you made to Bulma!! This isn’t what she would-”

Vegeta simply flashed his teal eyes at the other Saiyan before he could finish his sentence, launching him completely out of the scene.

“DO NOT EVER SPEAK OF HER, UNLESS YOU WISH TO DIE!!!!”

“DAD!!!” Gohan yelled, as his father suddenly skidded along the dirt next to him.

Goku sat up and grit his teeth, taking heaved breaths, while his son grabbed him by the shoulders.

“Goku, what’re you trying to do?!!!” Piccolo demanded, looming over him with a disapproving glare. “You know you can’t go in there!!”

“You don’t understand!” Goku struggled to his feet. “He’s slipping! If this goes on, he’ll lose every trace of sanity he has left and become a crazed killing machine! What good is his strength if he ends up using it to destroy everyone of us?!”

“But dad, y-you could g-get h-hurt.” The demi-Saiyan boy gave his father a concerned look.

“I’ll be okay Gohan.” He gandered promisingly at his son. “You and Piccolo stay here and keep out of sight.” Without delay, he headed back over to the scene.

Vegeta wrenched Frieza’s tail so hard that he ripped it right off, as the tyrant cried out in absolute pain, feeling the loss of the chunky protuberance.

“YOU FOOL!!!” He yelled, harrowing tears stinging his eyes for the first time, in his entire life. “HOW COULD YOU??!!!”

Vegeta promptly stepped on the stub of the appendage he’d torn. Frieza howled agonizingly, as the Saiyan continued grinding his boot against the acutely wounded zone.

“GO ON, FRIEZA!!!” Yelled the Prince, laughing maniacally, as the rapidly surging flood of crazed derangement possessed him from the inside, inch by inch. “SUFFER!!! BEG!!! I WANT TO HEAR YOU CRY FOR MERCY!!!!!”

The lizard continued yowling excruciatingly, as he felt the horrendous pain in the area, where his tail once proudly endured. Vegeta grit his teeth upon feeling his rival’s Ki returning to the scene. Frieza was still under his foot, desperately trying to scramble his way out to freedom.

The Prince glowered bitterly at the younger Saiyan standing before him.

“Vegeta, you can’t let this power consume you!!” Goku pled ardently. “You have to learn to control it, before it controls you!!”

Vegeta’s heavy gaze made Goku feel like a stick insect in the presence of a mammoth.

“You have ten seconds to disappear from my sight, before I vaporize you!”

“Vegeta, listen to me!!” Goku argued. “We can wish Bulma back to life!!” The sinister gleam of raw murder gradually vanished from Vegeta’s eyes, his expression softening, as the other Saiyan’s words sunk in.  “After reviving Piccolo, Earth’s dragon balls returned, remember?!! Bulma’s body’s safe inside my spaceship. Once you’re done here we can head back to Earth, gather the dragon balls there and wish her back, but if you let your new power overwhelm your judgment, you’ll end up doing more harm than good and this’ll all be for nothing!!”

Vegeta blinked a few times and his shoulders slowly, but surely slumped, as sense and reason once again replanted themselves into the depths of his disarrayed mind. However, so lost in his own thoughts was he, that he hadn’t realized that Frieza’d already snuck away and was midair, as he fired a powerful Ki blast into the ground below him, immediately jolting the Prince out of his trance.

“What the?” Vegeta looked on at the gaping perforation nearby. Holy shit!!! He looked up to his adversary and snarled. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US ALL??!!!”

“Ten minutes.” Frieza stated simply, the smug glimmer of victory sparkling within his beady red eyes, as his lips quirked up, in a malign smirk. “You and I are both experts in planet demolition. Ten minutes is all you have left, twelve at the very most, before Namek is history and you monkeys with it!!”

Goku suddenly paled and his heart rate jumped.

‘Oh no!’ He thought in panic. ‘Darn it!’

“Vegeta, finish him now, so we can escape!!!” The young Saiyan yelled.

Not needing to be told a second time, the Prince shot up into the air, fists clenched and battle stance, readied.

“So that was your plan all along, huh Frieza?!!” Vegeta asked scornfully. “You knew you stood no chance against me in battle and so you decided to destroy the both of us, along with the entire planet!!”

“You’ve got me all wrong, my dear Prince.” He countered, his smirk spreading into a wide and malicious grin. “I have no intention to meet my end on this godforsaken pile of piss!! A planet explosion is not nearly enough to destroy either of us, however, while I possess the ability to breathe in space, you do not!! In other words, no matter how powerful you may be, I will live on and you will die along with this worthless planet!!”

“There’s only one problem with your wily little scheme Frieza.” Vegeta smirked. “You’ll be dead and dismembered and I’ll have escaped Namek, long before it blows up!!”

“I’m afraid it will not be as easy as you think, Super Saiyan.”

“You’re not serious, are you?” Vegeta scoffed. “If you really still think you have any hopes of defeating me, you’re only fooling yourself!!”

“Hmph.” Frieza shut his eyes momentarily, before narrowing them gravely at the Prince. “As I am, I admit that I stand no chance against you, but what you seem to forget is that my strength has not yet reached its zenith.” He raised a clenched fist, as he promisingly continued. “At full power, I will most certainly grind you to pieces!!”

Vegeta took in those words and contemplated a moment, interest slightly piqued, as he frowned at the tyrant.

“Even if that is true, which I highly doubt, what makes you think I’ll give you the time you need to power up?”

“Oh, you will.” Frieza stated, knowingly. “A Saiyan elite such as yourself, thirsts for a true challenge in battle. And, doubtless, now that you’re a Super Saiyan, that thirst has only intensified further, am I right?”

“So you’ve got me all figured out, have you?!” Vegeta chuckled. “It makes little difference though!! The end result won't change one bit!! Go ahead and gather your full strength!! I’ll crush you all the same, Frieza!!”

“As you say, my Prince.” The icy fiend placed his hands by his sides. Sparks of gold electricity frizzled around his figure, his muscles augmenting, as his power surged higher and higher. ‘Hahaha!! Like a true fool of a Saiyan, he’s fallen right into my little snare!!’

“Vegeta!!” Goku yelled from down below. “You can’t let him power up!! We might not make it in time!!”

“Quite Kakarot!!” The older Saiyan yelled back. “I don’t recall asking you for your opinion!!”

“Look, I’m a Saiyan too and I know you want to defeat him at his best!!” Shouted Goku. “I understand that better than anyone else, but this isn’t just about you!! All our lives depend on this!! That includes Bulma!!”

Vegeta paused for a moment and let out a frustrated huff. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and paid his rival a fleeting glance.

“Ten minutes is more than enough time for me to finish him off and escape this planet.” He stated earnestly. “Take the others and get out of here.”

“I’m not gonna leave you here, all by yourself!” Goku exclaimed, resolvedly.

“Enough of this sentimental crap!” The Prince snarled. “Just go!! I’ll find my own way out of here, once I destroy Frieza!!”

“No, I'm not leaving!”

‘Excellent, the more they argue amongst themselves, the more time I have to reach full power!’ Frieza thought gleefully. His figure was a lot burlier and several veins began protruding around his head, arms and legs. A stunning ice-blue aura blazed around him, with a bizarre reverberation sound, distinct from that of Vegeta’s golden aura, yet with the same perpetual echo to it. Golden sparks shot from beneath the ground and right into his body, as he continued harnessing every bit of his latent energy. ‘Ninety percent!! Good, I’m almost there!!’

“Vegeta, now’s your chance!!!” Goku yelled. “You have to take him out!!! Every second counts!!”

‘He’s almost at full strength!’ Vegeta thought, ignoring his rival, as beads of sweat fell from his forehead. ‘This is the defining moment!! It’s make or break from here on out!!’

“That’s right Frieza!!!” He growled, holding a fist up, “Do it!!! Show me your full power, so that once I vanquish you, you’ll know that even at your very best, you stood no chance against the might of a true Super Saiyan Prince!!”

Suddenly a large portion of the ground below Frieza exploded and Goku barely managed to jump up out of dodge.

‘Darn it!’ The Saiyan from Earth thought in dismay, teeth grit. ‘Vegeta, you idiot!! You should’ve beaten him when you had the chance!!!’

“RRRAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!” With a loud roar, the heinous despot finally reached full strength, a large explosion of blinding light deluging the surrounding area, for a good moment or two.

He breathed in revitalization, upon feeling the awesome new strength coursing through his veins.

“Now, Vegeta.” He began ominously, before gritting his teeth and snarling. “I will pulverize you into the dirt!!! ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME, I SHALL REPAY A THOUSAND-FOLD!!!”

He instantly vanished and appeared in front of Vegeta, landing a low punch to his mid-section. The Prince’s eyes widened and spit flew out of his mouth, before the lizard continued rummaging him with attack after attack at full strength and landed one final punch right on his forehead, snapping his head back.

‘Oh no.’ Goku thought, jaw clenched, in desperation.

“What did you think of that Super Saiyan?!!” Frieza smirked wickedly. “That was but a taste of my true power!!”

Vegeta snickered slightly and snapped his head right back, letting out an invigorated exhale.

“Well, I’m glad.” He responded. “If that was your best, I truly would have been disappointed.”

Frieza grit his teeth menacingly.

“YOU DARE MOCK ME??!!!” He instantly appeared behind him and attempted to punch him right on the spine. However, Vegeta whirled around, catching the blow before ramming his head right into Frieza’s face, crushing his nasal bone, as the tyrant winced in pain. The Prince followed through with an uppercut that sent Frieza flying sky high.

Frieza forced himself to a halt using his Ki, but upon looking down, he saw the Prince preparing his signature attack.

‘If that’s how he wants to play, fine!!!’ The tyrant placed his fists by his sides, powering up his legendary Nova strike. There’s no way that even a Super Saiyan could possibly survive this!!!

“GALIIIIICK GUUUUUUUNNNN!!!” Vegeta fired the awesome purple beam at his adversary.

Frieza launched himself like a rocket straight towards the attack, arms held out straight and hands fastened, a purple Ki shield encircled around him. Vegeta’s Galick Gun was unable to penetrate through Frieza’s guard and the latter continued advancing forward. Just as the Saiyan intensified his attack, however, his icy foe tactically disengaged, flying around the blast and ramming his glossy head right into the Prince’s solar-plexus, whereby a whole heap of spittle flew out of his mouth and he was propelled almost a hundred feet back at a downwards angle right into the sea, crashing through an abrasion coast.

Frieza was totally overwhelmed with glee and snickered for a moment or two, before chortling in complacence.

“I did it!!!” He cheered, “I really did it!!!” The lizard grinned victoriously, as he scorned his former underling. “So much for the Super Saiyan of legend!!! Well congratulations Vegeta!! You acquired the power you sought out your entire life, only to die at the hands of the almighty Frieza!!! I am the most powerful being in the Universe!!!”

“NO!!!!” Goku yelled. He couldn’t sense Vegeta’s Ki!! There’s no way he could have lost!! It was just impossible!!

“Ahhh, one monkey down, one to go.” Frieza stared malevolently at the younger Saiyan. “So, how do you wish to die, insect?”

Fear and desperation wracked the young Saiyan’s burly figure. He frantically ventured to call upon the rage-ridden beast that had tried possessing him earlier, in a last-ditch effort to eliminate Frieza once and for all. But- the beast was- silent!! He continued to try and summon it, but hadn’t the time, as the lizard appeared in front of him and with one flick to the forehead, sent him flying back towards Gohan and Piccolo.

Goku barely managed to land on his feet, jaw locked in frustration, as he clutched his throbbing head!! Goddammit!!! Frieza was so much more powerful at this level than he was at seventy percent!!

“Dad!!!” Gohan yelled, heading towards his father. “Are you hurt?!!”

“Gohan, you have to leave, now!!” Goku hissed through clenched teeth.

“None of you are going anywhere.” Frieza stated resolutely, making his way over. “You will all perish, just like that traitorous scum Vegeta.”

“There’s no way you beat Vegeta!!!” Piccolo growled. “It’s impossible!!”

“I’m afraid not.” He responded. “That little Super monkey should have known better than to mess with his superior.”

“God damn you, Frieza!!!” The Namekian readied his stance, valiantly taking a position in front of the father-son duo, knowing that Goku was too weakened and fatigued, to engage in battle.

“Big words, for such an overgrown slug.” The lizard snorted and cracked his neck several times, side-to-side, before abruptly charging right towards Piccolo and placing a hand over his mouth, gripping his jaw tightly, as muffled curses escaped his giant prey’s mouth.

“PICCOLO!!!!” Gohan yelled and glared murderously at Frieza. “LET HIM GO!!!” He demanded. 

“Oh, I will, right after I put a hole through his skull.” The tyrant aimed a finger at Piccolo’s forehead and flashed a kernel of Ki.

“I SAID, LET HIM GOOOOO!!!!” Gohan yelled, flaring his power wildly and assailing Frieza head on, without a second thought.

Frieza threw the Namekian aside and the moment Gohan was within reach, he roughly grasped the boy’s tender little neck and fired the beam of Ki initially intended for Piccolo, right through the child’s heart. Gohan’s body convulsed a moment or two, before sagging, as blood exuded from his mouth and his eyes stung with agonizing tears.

“GOHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!!!” Goku yelled out, in shock and dismay.

Not two moments later, an irate Vegeta was rushing back towards the battleground, only to gape in horror, as he laid his teal eyes on the horrendous sight of Gohan’s limp body held by Frieza, devoid of Ki. Shit!! He hadn’t made it in time and that fucking bastard had claimed yet another victim!! Fury contorted the legendary warrior’s visage, as he roared. “FRIEZAAAA!!!”

“WHAT??!!!” The lizard was stunned beyond imagination, disbelief and apprehension writ all over his face, as he gazed upon the Super Saiyan Prince, alive and well. “HOW?!!! I DESTROYED YOU!!!”

The heel of Vegeta’s boot immediately connected with Frieza’s cheekbone, sending him flying off. He caught Gohan’s body, before it hit the ground, gently laying him out on the grass and promptly dashing towards his much-hated adversary.

Goku and Piccolo hurried over to Gohan’s side, the latter kneeling down, his eyes watering, as he looked dolefully upon his only son.

“Gohan!! TALK TO ME GOHAN!!!” Goku shouted desperately, tears gushing out his dark eyes.

“D-D-Dad?” The child wheezed tremulously, coughing out a mouthful of blood, expression marred with unprecedented pain. “I’m- s-sorry.” He croaked out and with those words, the prodigious demi-Saiyan boy breathed his last.

“Gohan, no.” Goku strained, before crying out. “GOHAAAAN!!!!” The young Saiyan clamped his eyes shut and pulled the little one’s lifeless form to his chest, letting out one tear after another till they began streaming out his eyelids, like a waterfall, as a string of memories flashed through his muddled mind. He remembered the day his son was born and he held his tiny form in his arms. Since then, he watched him grow up day-by-day, learning things at a pace he never could and quickly surpassing his own intelligence. The boy ran to him for protection when Raditz had made his appearance on Earth. He was helpless before his evil brother’s might and had let his son be captured, only to now fail him again, just as he’d failed Bulma!! Not even six years old and yet he’d been murdered so cruelly!! How?!! How could anyone be so heartless?!!

He put the boy down and stood up, placing his clenched fists by his sides and gnashing his teeth, as he felt the ire soar within him. Everyone depended on him, trusted him, clung to him as their last pillar of hope and he repeatedly let them all down!!! Logic, reason and self-consciousness were defenestrated as the heavenly beast returned, more alive than ever before. It quickly wrapped its sharp claws around the young Saiyan and at that moment his hair shimmered an awesome gold, as rocks began to rise and bolts of lightning attacked the surface of Namek.

Vegeta felt the abrupt rise in Ki and his eyes widened when he turned in his rival’s direction, taking in the sight before him, in complete incredulity.

‘Unbelievable.’

While the Prince was gawking at the younger Saiyan, a hard right hook to the jaw took him by surprise. The lizard followed through with a powerful left uppercut, sending the Super Saiyan flying up into the air.

As Vegeta was midair, Frieza fired a powerful Ki blast. The Prince halted his trek and moved his hands forward to block the incoming attack.

“YAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!” Goku bellowed out, as a scintillating golden aura enveloped his chiseled frame. His eyes were teal just like Vegeta’s and his hair took on an awesome and fiery gold color, standing up on end.

After a couple moments of struggling, Vegeta had finally managed to kick away the blast into the vast emptiness of space. He quickly made his way back and witnessed with his own disbelieving eyes, yet another Super Saiyan!! Kakarot had broken through the barrier, just as he had!! It was inconceivable!

Goku instantly turned his hate-filled eyes upon Frieza and the lizard cowered, gulping and taking a few hesitant steps backwards. He’d made a fatal error. By taking away those precious to these two Saiyans, he’d allowed them to reach the pinnacle of their power.

‘No!!’ He thought in dread and despair, frustration rapidly stocking every pore within his being. ‘There’s no way I can defeat them both!!’

Goku turned his steely gaze towards his son and cradled his lifeless little form into his arms. He was just a boy and yet his courage, valor and selflessness on the battlefield would put even great warriors, to complete shame. To say that he was proud of Gohan wouldn’t even come close to describing the high esteem the young half-Saiyan held in his eyes. He took on a stone-cold countenance, as he handed the boy over to his ex-rival.

“Take Gohan and get to my ship, now!” He ordered firmly, tone firm and of a lower pitch than it normally was.

The Namekian gathered his pupil’s carcass in his arms and shut his eyes a moment, as grief and sorrow flooded through him.

“Quickly!!” Goku repeated emphatically. “You’re the only chance we have of reviving him and the others!! You need to stay alive, for Gohan’s sake!!”

“Right.” Piccolo nodded fervently and grabbed the boy, before sensing out Krillin’s Ki and taking off towards him.


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