CHAPTER 25: The Assassin

Freeza leaned back in his chair, propping his feet up on his desk and clasping both hands behind his head. It had been another slow day for the reptilian Emperor - signing petitions, okaying troop movement, and dispatching messages to the outlying colonies. Finally, he had a little bit of free time on his hands - as if his recent trip to Freeza Planet 82 wasn't enough free time, but even after two days back home, the work had started to pile up.

"Bookshelf," Freeza said simply, rotating his chair to watch the back wall slide open to reveal a towering shelf full of books. Extending his right hand, he idly touched a few slender volumes, then selected a thick tome entitled 'THE HISTORY OF ARLIASEI'. History had always interested Freeza.

He rotated his chair again and placed the huge tome on his desk, opening up to the first page and reading it over intently, his red eyes taking in the information so neatly preserved in computer-generated black font. After ten minutes or so, however, he sighed. The history of Arliasei was, it seemed, utterly boring. He closed the tome and leaned back again.

Few people knew about Freeza's enjoyment of history (well, military history, at least) - they only saw what lay on the surface, which was the great and powerful emperor of the largest Galactic Empire. The general opinion of the public was that Freeza was a cold, ruthless conquerer. To some degree, that was true.

What they DIDN'T know about Freeza's ruthlessness, however, was that it was a necessary evil - a leader who inspired fear in the hearts of his enemies was a leader who was less likely to be attacked.

Which was why King Vegeta's sudden plot against him had startled Freeza more than a little. The Saiyajin King must have been totally fearless - or totally stupid. Freeza had met a few Saiyajins several years before - they had struck him as pigheadedly brave, too proud to fear even the things they were supposed to fear.

The perfect warrior race.

However, the five Saiyajins who had defected to Freeza's side seemed different - at least they actually had MINDS. Unlike their witless king...

He would have to do something permanent about Vegeta fairly soon.


The assassin sat in the rafters of Freeza's chamber, his massive right hand extended and his left eye shut. His right eye focused on the targeting glass, aiming for a spot right between Freeza's eyes.

Ohhhhh yes, he'd get big money for THIS one.


[That's absolutely pathetic, even for a low budget assassin,] Freeza laughed inwardly, watching out of the corner of his eye as Dodoria aimed the sniper array at him from what was supposed to be a concealed spot. Unfortunately for the portly backstabber, Freeza had picked up a flicker of his ki - it hadn't taken long after that to find the big pink gumball. It was amusing, to say the least.

[I think I'll just humiliate him a little.] "Come now, Dodoria," Freeza called. "Get down from there, you fat sod."

Dodoria's round pink face suddenly flushed red, and he jumped down to land in front of Freeza, pocketing the targeter.

"And just what were you doing in my rafters, Dodoria?" Freeza inquired.

"Cleaning the roof," Dodoria lied.

"Why? I could've just asked a low-class soldier to clean the roof."

Dodoria was obviously caught in a rut now; he couldn't seem to come up with an answer besides a lot of spluttering.

"I see. You were trying to kill me, huh?"

"N-no!" Dodoria almost screamed. "I-I thought no s-such thing-"

"Don't try and lie to me, Dodoria. I can see right through you. Now, if you were a child I'd spank you. If you were a dog I'd hit you with a rolled-up newspaper. But since you are neither..." Freeza grinned very slightly and raised the index finger of his right hand, forming a small globe of red energy.

Dodoria immediately fell to his knees. "Don't kill me!" he wailed. "I'll do anything! ANYTHING!"

"Okay." The energy globe faded. "I'll tell you precisely what you're going to do, lard butt. You're going to get a ship and haul your wide load off to the Outer Rim where I won't have to smell you anymore. You're going to have a very successful career as a rock miner."

Dodoria's huge face began to drain itself of color.

"Well? Go on, get your fat ass out of here before I pick you up by the collar and KICK you out."

"Y-yes master!" Dodoria backed rapidly away, still on his knees, then straightened and charged towards the doors in terror.

Freeza watched him go, then shrugged and propped his feet up on his desk again, clasping his hands behind his head and looking at the ceiling. He had installed a large window just over his desk, allowing him to watch the stars from his workplace. He let out a deep breath and began to absently trace the constellations, letting his worries about Vegeta slip away.