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Price of the Priceless

Chapter eight: A New Threat

by Hatashi Kitty

“Master.”
Genkaku was abruptly woken by the urgent call of his computer.
“Master.”
“What is it ASU?” he rasped in a sleepy voice. Was it time for him to wake up? If so, why was he so tired?
“We are under attack. My defenses have been breached. I’m losing power,” the computer relayed.
“What?” Genkaku shouted in disbelief.
“All of my systems are being shut down. I can’t do anything for you. The androids have escaped, and the intruders are in level C, heading for the Saiyins.”
Intruders? Androids? Adrenaline pumped through the tired old man’s systems. But he could still gain control, as soon as he calmed down. Taking a deep breath, he reached for the golden cylinder he always had clasped to his lab coat. When it wasn’t there, he frantically looked for it.
“Where is my manual operation device?” Genkaku shouted at the ship.
“I’m afraid the androids took it with them when they escaped.”
Genkaku’s eyes widened in horror. That was his only chance of getting back into control. His heart thumped painfully in his decrepit chest. Clenching that area as if to stop his heart from jumping out, Genkaku crawled out of bed.
“I’ll deal with the intruders first. They’re just probably after Vegeta,” he told himself. If he could bargain for their lives, maybe then he could get them to leave. He could at least get away with most of his collection and ship intact. He could always come back for Vegeta and the androids later, next time more prepared. He had to do anything to make sure they didn’t let HER out!

***********

“Dad!” the two siblings shouted as they saw the older Saiyin. Raikel arrived there first, and pressed her hands against them glass.
“Raikel! Quin!” Negi called out as two pairs of anxious hands rested on his cage. He put his head onto the cool clear surface as tears crawled down his battle-scarred face.
As the tears sparkled on his father’s face, Quin gasped. “Dad, your eye! What did he do to you?” Quin’s bottom lip quivered, and his hands shook with rage.
Raikel was crying too much to say anything. In fact, her legs trembled and collapsed underneath her like a new born calf. Her body shook as she sobbed. “Get him out! Get him out of there, now!” she cried out between her sobs.
With one punch, Quin shattered the prison as if it were paper.
Negi rushed out, and pulled Raikel off from the ground. He pulled Quin to his arms too, and they all stood there in the embrace. For so many years, they had been searching for this moment, they worked so hard for this day.
“Treena?” Negi asked in disbelief after he let go of his offspring.
Treena had stayed back as the family had their moment. She now smiled, water dripping from her own eyes.
“You survived. Did anyone else escape?”
Treena’s head bowed reverently. “No, we were the only ones to live.”
Negi sighed a lament, the ghosts of the faces still reflected in his eyes where they would stay for eternity.
“What a very touching moment,” an angry voice growled. “Now if you are all finished, GET ME OUT OF THIS BLASTED THING!!”
“Sorry, Vegeta,” Gohan smiled sheepishly. “I’ll get you out in a second.”
“No, allow me the privilege,” the other Saiyin said valiantly, “of freeing my prince.” The older Saiyin strode to Vegeta’s imprisonment and shattered it. As the Prince took his first step to freedom, Negi knelt onto one knee with bowed head.
Vegeta stepped away from his confinement, his boots crunching the glass crystals underneath. He looked down at the Saiyin that freed him.
“Your name is Negi? That is not the name of a lower ranked Saiyin.”
Negi never looked up, but a smile crossed his lips. “Just like home, rank is everything. My father was a body guard to the King, your father.”
The mention of his father, reminded Vegeta of the destruction of their home planet. He was about to question how Negi survived when someone cried out, “Raikel!”
The new Saiyin turned at the name of his daughter. The girl lay limp in Quin and Treena’s arms, her eyes closed, skin paled.
“What happened?” Negi asked rushing to the trio.
“She just collapsed,” Quin explained. “I think from exertion. She hasn’t been eating much and never sleeps.”
Negi’s eyebrows drew together in concern. “My poor girl. It’s because you were worried about be, isn’t it?” Negi whispered lifting the thin body into his arms. “We need to leave now.”
“The spaceship is this way,” Gohan told them heading in the direction with Picolo in his arms.
“Wait a minute,” Vegeta ordered. “It appears we have company.” The Saiyin Prince nodded toward the dark shadows. “Come on out, old man.”
Genkaku stepped out, calm face, but inside angry about being found out. He wished they would just leave. “I guess I can’t hide anything from a Saiyin such as you. You were a greater opponent than all the others. You’re the only one able to get through my technology. You deserve your freedom. Now leave.” Genkaku used a mixture of flattery and lying to appease the unleashed Saiyin.
Vegeta didn’t move, a strange demonic smirk strayed on his face.
Genkaku felt his heart skip. “Go now, or I’ll have my computer capture you. This time I’ll make sure you never leave,” the old scientist bluffed.
“Go ahead. Try,” Vegeta challenged. His smiled pressed deeper into his face. “Call your machines. Bring them on. If you can.”
Fear spread throughout Genkaku’s entire body. Perhaps this is what it feels like to be in the Mind Catcher, he thought.
“Do you remember what I said to you?” Vegeta said tauntingly. “I told you once I get out, I’ll kill you.”
The calmness in Vegeta’s voice made Genkaku feel that he was so close to Death, close enough to taste the rotten air of Death’s breath. The muscles below his left eye jerked slightly. He took a step back, ready to run.
“Don’t do it Vegeta!” Gohan shouted. “He’s not a threat to us. Let’s just go.”
“No, we have to kill him,” Negi agreed. “If we don’t, he’ll just come back for us. Do it now, and quickly. He disgusts me just to see him.”
Gohan was surprised at the hatred in Negi’s voice. At first impression, Negi reminded him of his own father. He didn’t act like a Saiyin. Now the way he was talking, it was cold.
“Oh, I’ll kill him. But I want him to suffer first,” Vegeta said cruelly. “First I’m going to destroy everything that’s precious to you, starting with that blasted rock!” Vegeta shouted the last part out as he pointed to the large green gem on the platform.
Genkaku’s eyes widened. “NO!” he shouted forcefully, more so than his age allowed. “Don’t do it. You don’t know what will happen.”
“I know exactly what will happen,” Vegeta visualized. “It will blow up into little pieces. Then you will cry like a little child who broke his favorite toy. Then it will be your turn.”
“You will unleash the most powerful being ever to have lived. It will destroy the entire universe just to satisfy her vengeance. You can’t do it.”
“Enough of your lies,” Vegeta growled. “You would do anything to spare it. Now just try and stop me.” Vegeta extended his arm, and pointed his palm at the glowing rock. The energy ball didn’t even live for a second before it shrieked through the air to the gem.
Gohan watched this drama sickly. He didn’t believe that the old man was any threat now. His father would have agreed to let him go. But he felt even worse when he laid eyes on that green gem. The eerie luminescence of it was like a bad omen. The man’s warning seemed to confirm his hunch. But before he could object, Vegeta’s attack was in action.
To Genkaku, once that energy ball was flying, everything moved in slow motion. He watched petrified as the energy was absorbed into the rock. The rock reacted with the energy and exploded, expelling debris and dust everywhere. The explosion knocked him backward, sliding him further away from the gem.
“See, old man. It isn’t the end of the world,” Vegeta laughed softly. He watched the smoke lazily drift away from the rock, then frowned as he saw the glow of the gem. How could it still be intact? His attack should have decimated it.
“Vegeta, let’s get out of here,” Gohan tried to command.
Vegeta turned to the teen Saiyin. “Then go. I still have unfinished business.” He glanced at the old scientist sprawled out on the floor. He walked to the stirring form. “It’s time you finally find out what it’s like in the next dimension,” Vegeta laughed.
“Look. What’s happening?” Quin shouted pointing at the rock.
Everyone, even Vegeta, starred on as the green stone suddenly emitted a strong bright beam of green light. It pillared up in pulsed waves, like a lighthouse beacon. Radical vibrations rocked the ship, shaking everyone off their feet. That’s when the stone started to crack. A spider web of cracks flowed down the smooth surface. Pieces fell off, crumbling. Green smoke leaked out of every hole and crevice, obscuring everyone’s view.
“You fool! Not only have you succeeded in killing me, but all of life,” Genkaku screamed.
Energy flowed out of the rock, like large waves crashing on a shore, pulsing as regularly as a heart beat.
The smoke started clearing, and slowly they could see the gem had been torn into two large pieces. They could see the inside of one was hollow, a giant egg that could hold a person. In front of the broken shell lay a shadowy form still hidden by the smoke.
Gohan gasped and stumbled backward. “W-what is it?”

********

All around the world, people stopped wherever they were as the large green beam lit up the sky. They never knew what cause it. They didn’t even think of it as a bad omen. They just continued on with their oblivious lives, not realizing that it was a catastrophe that would dwarf the rein of Cell.
But nobody saw it as clearly as Android 17. His shirt and back had been burned from the intense friction of his breeching through the Earth’s atmosphere. In his arms lay an unconscious Hatashi, now breathing slowly and steadily. He was on his way to take her back down, but the arrival of a new energy signature stopped him.
Even though the energy was weak and small, the strangeness of it worried him. He focused his sensors on the ship, trying to figure out what was going on. Because of his battle with the ship’s computer, he wasn’t able to obtain any information.
Suddenly a large explosion erupted on one side of the ship. Through his powerful optics, 17 saw the explosion pushing the ship out of orbit. He floated in midair for several minutes watching as the ship fell through earth’s atmosphere just as he did. He could see it shine as the friction heated up the metallic surface. Finally, it landed in the ocean far away from where he was.
He checked for the strange energy force. It wasn’t there anymore. Satisfied, he flew off.

**********

“It’s a woman!” Negi gasped.
Her skin was a sickly pale gray, like the under side of a fish’s belly. The sickly skin hung lose onto the form like an old bag. Her legs were like tooth picks that would break at the slightest pressure. Her hips protruded from her sides, and her rib cage was obviously showing. Her arms were in the same condition as her legs. Her hands were long and skeletal. Every dip, and curve of her collar bone stuck out even more than normal. Her neck was very thin like a bird’s. Her face looked like a banshee, slightly blue lips, hollowed out cheek bones, and sunken in eyes. Her eyes had a touch of death to them, devoid of any color and covered with a pale film. Her hair was grayish white, dry, wiry, like an old woman’s. Her hair was about the length of her body, and the only thing covering her naked form.
At first she crawled on her belly, like a worm, her body slowly moving toward the group. Her breathing was loud and labored. She occasionally coughed, weak and congestive. She stopped crawling, and slowly raised onto her hands and knees. Her arms trembled from the weight of her thin body.
“Ahhh!” she cried out raspily, falling back to the ground, clutching her stomach. Her body convulsed until she heaved up a huge glob of grayish mass. The air was soon filled with her ragged coughing.
“What is she?” Vegeta shouted, then turned to the only one who would know the answer.
Genkaku stood in a state of stupidity. His body and eyes were tense and trembling with fear. However, his face was contorted into an insane smile.
“Who is she, old man?” Vegeta demanded, grabbing the scientist’s cloak collar.
Snapped out of his statue like state, Genkaku laughed. “Do you know what she is? She’s our Grim Reaper. She’s Death to us, and everyone else in her path until her revenge has been satisfied.”
“That still doesn’t tell me anything,” Vegeta yelled.
“She is the only one that can take life away from some and give it to others. She is the destructor and creator of worlds. For you see, she is a Goddess,” Genkaku snickered.
“A Goddess?” Vegeta wondered, and looked to the trembling form of the woman. “She looks pretty pathetic to be a Goddess.”
“You,” a feminine, raspy voice whispered. The Goddess slowly rose to her hands and knees again. She looked straight into the scientist’s eyes. Fresh blood glisten on her lips. “How dare you,” she started, then slowly rose onto her feet. Her whole body rocked to and fro. She looked so frail that the slightest breeze might turn her into dust.
“How dare you,” she said again taking an uneasy step, “do this to me.” She took another step. “I’ll see you pay.”
Vegeta felt the weak pulsing energy get faster. The pulses rapidly became a loud vibration that rattled inside his bones. Once he saw the shaky arm of the Goddess lift, he let go of Genkaku and dove out of the way.
Vegeta considered himself lucky that he did. He barely missed being caught in a huge beam of energy that engulfed the old scientist turning him into cinders.
But that’s not all the blast did. It also blew a giant hole in the side of the ship. Air whipped around as it escaped into the nothingness of space.
“Let’s go now,” Gohan shouted urgently.
Vegeta took one look around, but couldn’t see the Goddess anywhere. “All right. Let’s go,” Vegeta agreed.
Gohan led them down to the lower levels where his ship was. Once inside with the door closed, Quin took the controls, detaching them from the larger ship.
As they were being hurled through the Earth’s atmosphere, Vegeta silently watched through one of the windows as Genkaku’s ship fell out of orbit. He watched with his powers as the ship fell through the Earth’s atmosphere and into the ocean. He followed the pulsating energy signal until it was snuffed out like a candle. He sighed with relief, but part of him thought of the challenge that would never be.

*********

In Capsule Corps main compound, Bulma and Trunks gathered around the high-tech telescope that pointed directly at the foreign spaceship that orbited the Earth. They were both amazed as the green beam lighted up all of space. Bulma gasped as she saw part of the ship blow apart, but was instantly relieved as she saw the capsule ship leave the gigantic space ship.
“They did it! They’re coming back!” Bulma exclaimed moving away from the eye piece of the telescope.
“Let me see,” Trunks demanded, putting his eye up to the telescope.
Bulma rushed to the computer nearby. “I’m calculating where they will be landing.”
Trunks continued to look into the eye piece. “Um. . .Mom?”
“Not now, Trunks,” Bulma waved him off.
“Mom?” Trunks repeated more urgently.
“What is it?” Bulma demanded turning away from the computer.
“They’re heading right for us!” Trunks yelled.
Bulma checked her computer. “Ahhh! You’re right!” She grabbed her son’s hand, and ran out of the compound. Just as she did, a large round spaceship rammed right into it, destroying a large segment.
“Ahhhh! Our house!” Bulma cried out when she saw the wreckage. “It’s destroyed!”
Trunks rushed into the demolished building before the dust could clear. He could barely see the outline of the capsule. “Dad!” he shouted eagerly.
A door at the top opened up. Vegeta’s head slowly rose through it, and looked around. “You idiot!” Vegeta yelled angrily. “You completely decimated the house.”
For a moment, Trunks thought his father was yelling at him. But then another head popped out of the hole.
“You told me to land as close to it as possible,” Quin argued back getting up into Vegeta’s face. “I can’t get any closer than this.”
“I didn’t mean to land ON it,” Vegeta yelled louder than before.
“Humph,” Quin huffed crawling out by pushing Vegeta’s head back down.
“Hey you. . .” Vegeta started shouting, but then someone was pressing on his feet from below. Vegeta was shoved unceremoniously out of the ship.
Picolo’s unconscious body was next to come out, followed by Gohan who made sure the Namek didn’t slide down the round surface. Gohan slowly carried his friend down to the ground. Next out was Negi still carrying Raikel, and finally Treena.
“Dad!”
Vegeta turned to see his son run toward him. Trunks surprised both of them by plowing right into his father.
“I missed you, dad,” Trunks said, embracing his father.
“So it would seem,” Vegeta told him.
Trunks realized what he was doing. “Sorry,” he quickly apologized and jumped away.
“Quite all right, son,” Vegeta said stoicly as if the tender moment never happened. However, a slight smile flickered on his lips.
“Vegeta!” Bulma’s voice cried out.
The Saiyin prince looked up to see the next to welcome him. This one, he was sure, wouldn’t try to knock him flat. But he was once again shocked as his wife flung her arms around him, and hugged him fiercely.
“Oh Vegeta, when you disappeared I didn’t know what to do,” Bulma whispered.
Vegeta felt tears splash onto his neck. She was worried about me? Vegeta couldn’t help but feel pleased about his family’s feelings toward him.
Bulma let go of him, and saw that he was smiling. “What are you so happy about?” she demanded.
“You were worried about me,” Vegeta pointed out smugly.
Bulma frowned. “Duh, of coarse I was. Do you know how hard it is to be a single mother? Not to mention what would people think if my husband just suddenly disappeared,” Bulma ranted, trying to whip that smirk off Vegeta’s face.
“Sire.”
Vegeta looked down, and saw Negi kneeling. “What is it?”
Negi stayed kneeling, never making eye contact. “I humbly ask to be excused. My daughter is seriously injured. Gohan has told me of his friend the healer.”
“Sure. Go,” Vegeta waved him off haughtily.
Negi didn’t move. “I also ask where we might lodge ourselves. We are strangers to this planet, and know of nowhere to go.”
“Wow, what nice manners,” Bulma commented, looking down at the bowed Saiyin. “You and the kids can stay with us. We have plenty of room.”
“Only with the permission of His Majesty,” Negi said, still not moving an inch.
“Sure. Why not?” Vegeta answered in his same haughty manner. “The more the merrier.”
“Thank you, Your Grace,” Negi bowed lower. He finally stood up and walked away.
Vegeta stretched, feeling how much his muscles shrank from being confined in that minuscule prison. “Hey punk,” Vegeta called pointing at Quin. “If my gravitation machine was destroyed by your terrible driving, I’m going to be kicking some butt!”
“If it’s broke,” Quin shouted back insolently, “you can just kick your own butt!”
Negi smacked his son over the head. “Show some respect!”
“Ow. Geez pop, what was that for?”
Vegeta watched from the corner of his eye as the group flew off, then headed for his gravitation room.

**************

17 carefully landed in front of the hospital. People watched him closely as he carried the limp Hatashi inside the hospital doors.
A nurse at the front desk gasped as she saw the android come in. “Oh my gosh. Are you okay?” she cried out.
“She needs help,” 17 told her.
The nurse looked at the woman. “Second degree burns, lack of oxygen, malnutrition, and dehydration! Holy cow, this is serious!” The nurse ran to the phone. “I need a bed and a doctor in the foyer pronto. A woman has just come in, and she’s in critical condition.”
Instantly, nurses and doctor’s were there taking Hatashi from 17's arms and onto the bed. The medical staff rolled her down the hall, taking her vital signs and giving her an I.V.
As the rush died down, the nurse turned around to see the man who brought in the patient. She was surprised that he was gone.
Outside, 17 stood on the ledge of a building nearby, watching the hospital. “Hatashi,” he whispered, and touched the blue scarf that held his bandage in place. He smiled faintly. “Perhaps we’ll met again.” He then flew away. He had other things to attend to.

*************

Ever since Gohan left in the spaceship, Dendae couldn’t tell what was going to happen to his friends. But once the ship landed back on the planet, the Guardian of Earth felt everyone’s energy signature.
“They did it,” Dendae shouted happily. “They did it, Mr. Popo.”
The caretaker of The Lookout smiled. “I’m so happy. The Earth is safe once again.”
Picolo, Dendae called telepathically. He didn’t get a reply. “Picolo is hurt badly,” Dendae reported. “They are heading here. I hope I can heal him.”
They only had to wait a few minutes till Gohan appeared, followed by the group of new comers.
“Who are they?” Dendae asked Gohan wearily. It wasn’t proper to let just anyone into this sacred place.
“Don’t worry. They’re friends.” Gohan said. “They helped me a lot.” Gohan set Picolo on his back. “How is he?”
Dendae looked him over. “His wounds are serous and strange. I’ve never seen burns like these. I hope I can heal him.” Dendae put his hands over Picolo’s body, concentrating on his healing powers. It took longer than usual, but slowly Picolo’s wounds healed.
Picolo opened his eyes, and sat up. He took a quick look around and smiled. “I’m back,” Picolo said. “What happened?”
“I’ll tell you in a while,” Gohan promised. “First of all, Dendae, could you heal Raikel?” Gohan gestured to the unconscious young woman.
“Bring her here,” Dendae said. When Negi carried his daughter to him, the Namek Youth put his hands over Raikel and healed her. “She’s really worn out, so she’ll probably sleep for a while.”
“Thank you, Guardian,” Negi said with a bow. “I am in your debt.”
“Oh, it was nothing. Really,” Dendae told him hastily, embarrassed by such formal gratitude.
“If there is any time you need my service, don’t hesitate to call on me,” Negi promised with a smile. “Now we ought to go now. My daughter needs her rest.” Negi walked away from Dendae to Gohan. “Thank you, Gohan. I owe the same to you. I am in your service.”
Gohan nodded.
Quin came up, and patted him on the back heartily. “Yeah, thanks buddy. We were in a pinch this morning, but you handled it beautifully. But I was never worried,” Quin said with a wink.
They were turning away when a small tug on Gohan’s shirt stopped him. “Gohan?” he heard a weak voice call out.
Raikel’s eyes weren’t open, but her grip was strong. A smile was on her lips, the first sincere one he’d seen. “I can’t thank you enough, Gohan,” Raikel told him, her voice cracking. “Thanks for giving back my family.”
Gohan held Raikel’s hand. “It was my pleasure.”
Soon after, the three left followed slowly by Treena. She had kept her distance from the family. As they all turned to leave, she looked back one last time. Her eyes stayed on Dendae for a very long time. The Namek Youth felt her gaze, and matched it. For that instant, they both seemed to have a conversation with their eyes. Then she turned and left.
Gohan waved goodbye to the family, but he had a feeling it wasn’t going to be long before he see them again.
“Now, Gohan,” Picolo started. “About this adventure.”

**********

Down in the depths of the magnificent ocean, to far down for the sun’s powerful rays to penetrate, lay a spaceship. The fish of this environment didn’t take notice of it, for they were blind from the lack of light, and thought of it just another rock. The fish that bumped into it were ricocheted back without knowing why. They didn’t even know it wasn’t rock at all. In fact it was a weak energy field that just barely protected the ship from breaking apart, without letting in the ocean into it.
Inside the ship, the pale Goddess lay in a heap on the floor. Her breath was short and raspy. The heart that beat in her breast was slowing down. She was going to die. All of her energy was going into the shield, and that was almost up. Once all her energy was spent, she would live no longer. She was going to die on this miserable planet.
In the corner of her eye, she saw a small blur moving around in the debris. The goddess tried to follow it, but she could only move her eyes around. Finally the blur stopped just three feet from her face.
It was a tiny little creature no bigger than a new born human child. It was covered from head to paw in fuzzy, light tan fur. Hug orange ears were cocked listening for any slight noise. It’s huge orange tail twitched. The creature was just brimming with curiosity as it slowly walked closer on its delicate four paws. It’s wide blue eyes were locked on the Goddess’s face.
“Hello, little one,” the goddess called out softly so not to startle the creature. “Have you come to keep me company?”
Hearing the coaxing voice, the creature moved closer until it could look the Goddess in her eyes.
“Brave little thing, aren’t you?” the Goddess whispered, and lifted her hand up weakly.
The creature didn’t run when the light hand started rubbing its fur. Short, chirping sounds came out of its mouth as it closed its eyes in pleasure. But the pleasant rubbing stopped when the delicate hand grasped onto its neck roughly. The creature struggled to get free, clawing at the hand. It looked into the pale face of the Goddess. She didn’t look as faint as before, but hungry.
The Goddess wasted no time. She thrust the creature’s neck into her mouth, and bit through fur and skin to the jugular. The creature then stopped struggling as the Goddess drank up the life-giving liquid that flowed from the wound.
Once dried, the creature’s body was tossed aside. The last of it’s kind, to live only to let another survive.
The Goddess slowly stood up. She licked the remaining blood from her lips. Still jaunt and pale, she had a little weight added to her. A small fraction of a fraction of her energy returned. But she needed more to get back to the way she was.
The Goddess smiled. She could sense many other life forms on board, not enough to restore her fully, only to sustain. Too bad they weren’t as strong as the ones that escaped. No matter. She would concentrate on these hors d’oeuvre first, then onto bigger fish.

*********

Not far from the massacre, 17 was hunting in the deep. His sensors had a hard time picking up where the space ship landed.
17 barely found the spaceship in the dark gloom of the deep, but once he passed through the small energy field he felt foolish not noticing it earlier. He wondered why he couldn’t feel the energy field, but his thoughts were interrupted by a blood curdling scream.
The android stealthily crept through the ship with only the help of a dim light to find his footing. After investigating several floors, he found a few of the life forms that survived the crash.
The strange aliens were running across the floor in a panicky stampede. One close to the lead glanced behind, and tripped over some debris. The others didn’t stop, but trampled over him in their own hurry. The one on the ground moaned from the rough treatment. He rolled over and looked in the direction he was running from. A scream escaped his lips.
17 then felt the same pulsating energy from before. Staying out of sight, 17 looked in the same direction, and saw a woman. He was surprised how sickly, and thin she was. How could this pitiful creature be that strong? Was this the energy he had felt before? She looked as frail as rice paper.
The Goddess smiled down at her victim. How easy they were to catch. Fear did most of her work. All she had to do was herd them around like cattle, and one would eventually looked in her death touched eyes. Once they did, they were hers.
She had feed so well that her body was started to look not so starved. She was still very thin and pale. But new blood was pumping into her veins.
Grabbing hold of her captor’s shoulders, the Goddess lifted him up to her level. He screamed again which was silenced as she ripped into his throat to feed.
17 gasped in horror as he felt the pulsing energy grow a little bit stronger than before. Cell, he said in his head. This is exactly like Cell. She’s just like Cell. Even though his mechanical heart didn’t beat faster, and his body no longer produced adrenaline, it didn’t mean 17 couldn’t be afraid. It was just like his nightmares. Just like the one that brought him to this space ship in the first place. Cell has come back. He is right here. He is in her. Through those deathly pale eyes, 17 could see the monster of his nightmare.
17 backed away from the hole as he heard more screams. He did nothing as the woman hunted down, and drained the life from every last one of them. 17 couldn’t move through the ordeal as he thought of Cell. Almost petrified, 17 could only see those haunting death eyes, afraid they would be the last thing he would every see.
He only moved when he sensed the pulsing energy rising up through the hole in the floor. 17 wasted no time in hiding behind a pile of debris. When she passed by going up to the next level, 17 carefully followed. Whoever or whatever she is, he had to find out what she wanted.
The Goddess went straight to the main computer, where 17 himself was just an hour or two ago. Using a little of her own precious energy, she energized the computer. While it was booting up, the Goddess looked at a smooth reflective metal surface that caught her attention. She looked like Hell. So pale that she was almost transparent. At least her lips had some color from the blood stains of her victims. Her hair was atrocious. Dry and dirty. It also lacked any color as well as her eyes. Her eyes looked so cold. No wonder her food tried so hard to run away. A closer look to her pupils, she could barely see the pigments returning to the inner irises. She smiled at this. Soon her original eye color will return after she obtained more energy. Her smile disappeared as she looked down at her naked body. It looked like an old woman’s Even after he long meal, her skin was still baggy and wrinkled, hanging onto her frame like an decaying sack.
Without hardly thinking about it, the Goddess materialized a flowing white dress that covered her from neck to toe so as to cover her eye sore of a body. The Goddess frowned again. Even thought the body was covered, it didn’t hide her sagging breasts which still made her look old. No matter. That will change once she gained more energy.
ASU had been quiet once it was revived by the Goddess. But being only a computer, it didn’t wonder why, or even cared. It’s only purpose was to serve a purpose.
The Goddess turned to the computer screen. “Tell me, machine. How can I use this vessel.” she ordered softly.
ASU answered immediately. “For what purpose do you need me? I cannot. Due to the fact that the ship is in much disrepair, and damage is immense.
The Goddess sniffed disdainfully around the broken and twisted metal that was damaged in the crash. She seemed to despise having to rely on such a cold and inorganic thing. “I wish for you to set of your self-destruction device whenever it is to my convenience.
ASU’s monitor clicked a little, and blinked on and off before it replied. “Error. Error. Please use commanding piece or enter password.”
The Goddess frowned, clenching her skeletal hands. “Override it.” She slammed her hand on the consul, and the monitor blinked some more.
“I cannot do that,” ASU responded. “Only if someone enters the password or manually executes the controls from the command piece, then I can turn on the self-destruction device.”
“Fine,” the Goddess screamed, and narrowed her eyes at the thought of something she couldn’t do. “Very well. Where is this device?”
ASU’s screen changed to a picture of a woman with black and purple hair. The picture bounced up and down on the screen.
“Hatashi!” 17 whispered from his hiding place at the hole in the floor.
“A captive of my late master. She took it away from my hold,” ASU reported. Her screen changed to an image of the Earth. On the screen, the Earth grew bigger as if they were falling toward it. It focused onto part of an island. Closer it came into a city. Closer still until it was just a neighbor hood. Then onto one particular house. “My deceased master capture her from this area. From that I have no other information.”
The Goddess nodded, knowing she had not been lied to, because a computer of this intelligence couldn’t. Growling irritated, she shut off her connection with the computer so not to waste any of her precious energy.
17 heard everything. Quickly making his decision, he rushed up the hole. Maybe she was Cell, and maybe she wasn’t. But he couldn’t let her get stronger. This would be as far as she would go. However, she had other plans.
Quickly, the Goddess disappeared.
17 stopped in surprise. How did she move so quickly with so little energy? Laughter filled the room.
“Did you think you could sneak up on me with all the noise you were making?” the female’s voice echoed against the metal walls. “I knew you were watching the moment you came? I can smell the blood on you for miles.”
“Then why didn’t you stop me?” 17 asked trying to figure out the location of the Goddess.
“I thought it was amusing,” the Goddess laughed. “The way you smell of fear excites me. It wasn’t the same fear as those idiots who fed me. Your fear was respectful.”
“I won’t let you get out of here,” 17 told her a little calmer than before. “You know as well as I that I’m a lot stronger.”
“This is true,” the Goddess agreed, her voice sweet and haunting. “But even though I’m no match for you, you are afraid.”
“I’m not afraid of you,” 17 retorted.
“No, you’re not afraid of me doing something to you,” the Goddess’ words oozed like honey. “But you are afraid for someone else. Could it be that woman?”
17 gasped. Could she read minds?
“So, I was right. You spoke her name,” the Goddess said.
Next to his ear, he could hear her breath whisper. “Hatashi.” He quickly turned, but there wasn’t anything there.
“Why do you want to blow up this ship. You could destroy it easily with the power you have now,” 17 shouted.
“This is true, but that wouldn’t set off the self-destruction device,” the mulled over playfully. “You see, the self-destruction device is one of the late Genkaku’s earlier experiments. Using a unique invention, he is able to obliterate an entire solar system using only a tiny bit of energy. I don’t just want to destroy this ship, I want every living thing in a light-year radius to die.”
A shiver ran through 17's circuits, freezing his muscles up. Her voice didn’t have a hint of remorse, or of blood thirsty savagery. Her voice was consumed in raw and unadulterated hatred. “But why?” 17 protested. “The Earth didn’t do anything to you. The one who captured you is dead. You should be thanking the Earth, the people who saved you live there.”
“You puny mortals are all the same,” she spat out. “Always thinking that someone owes you your life, and always believing you matter to the universe. You have no idea how insignificant your lives are, how little time you have left. Can you even imagine if you were to live more than a hundred years. I was made billions of years ago with the purpose to create and destroy as I wished. If you think I owe you anything, you’re sadly mistaken You are the ones who owe me your lives, and I will do whatever I wish.”
“I can’t let you leave,” 17 told her, now overcoming his fears. She wasn’t Cell, he knew that now. Cell was power hungry, his only purpose to be the strongest and most perfect being in the world. This new threat didn’t want power, she just wanted to destroy. “I’ll destroy this ship, right now!”
There was silence.
“I don’t hear you laughing now,” 17 jeered.
“Perhaps we shall met again, android,” the voice rang out no longer laughingly. “And if we do, maybe you’ll be afraid of me then. Until that time comes, I suggest you keep an eye on your friend.”
As the voice died, everything around him started to glow. The light grew brighter, until it was too much for 17 to look at. He closed his eyes tightly so not to damage his optical circuits. When he opened them again, everything was dark. He was in water, swimming around in the dark. He was no longer in the ship. It was gone.
17 guessed the Goddess teleported it and herself far away. Then she is probably much weaker after doing so. Good, he’ll need the time to get that device and destroy it. If only he did so earlier.