CHAPTER 7: The Pilot

Bardock hadn't been exaggerating, Kiwi thought to himself as he looked around. Vegeta Capital's Sector Kappa was like a suburb of Hell. Garbage littered the cracked streets, and the sidewalks were thick with rag-clad Saiyajins, plaintively begging for money and food. The only aircars here were battered and dented - not that there WERE many aircars. The people here were far too poor to afford them.

"What a dismal place," Zarbon mused as he kicked at a doglike creature which had been sniffing at his ankles.

"I know," Bardock replied. "This place is the home of the Dregs - Saiyajins with power levels under two hundred. The REAL warriors are housed better than this."

"You Saiyajins are really class-conscious."

"I know."

Kiwi turned his gaze to Broli. The huge Saiyajin had stopped and was looking slowly around. "What are you looking for?" Kiwi asked him.

"A bar," Broli rumbled.

"You dragged us to the armpit of Saiyajin society just to get drunk?!" Kakarotto asked incredulously.

"No, you idiot," Broli snapped at him. "We need a pilot, and freighter pilots flock to bars like moths to a light." Looking away from Kakarotto, Broli gestured to a squat stone building bearing a sign labeled 'THE STAR GULL'. "That one," he said.

"Corny name," Raditsu noted.

"Bars are like that," Broli shrugged. "You can only have so many Lion Taverns in one sector, after all."

The group moved towards the bar, but they were stopped at the door by a scruffy-looking Saiyajin in a white apron. "We don't serve Imperials here!" he declared, indicating Zarbon and Kiwi.

Broli just looked at him.

The burlap-clad Saiyajin's gaze could probably have melted a rock. Cringing, the scruffy bouncer backed away."

"Kiwi, stay out here anyway," Broli ordered. "If any soldiers show up, come inside and tell me."

"Got it," Kiwi nodded.

The Saiyajins and Zarbon shuffled into the bar without another word.


Raditsu hated Dregs.

They were everywhere; weak, stupid, unwashed brutes barely worthy of being called Saiyajins, swarming around the dimly-lit bar and mingling with various offworlders. Raditsu didn't mind offworlders, but Dregs were another matter.

They brewed shitty beer, too, he noted as he looked down into his mug at the weak, watery beverage inside. Weak beer from a weak faction.

A tap on his left shoulder drew his attention, and he turned to see Broli sitting with a burly Saiyajin and a huge, hairy... thing. "I think we've got a deal lined up," Broli informed him.

"That was quick," Raditsu noted.

Broli only nodded. "The broad-shouldered fellow there is Han Soda, a second-class Saiyajin gone, erm, commercial. His hairy friend is Stewbacca, a Cookiee from Kashuusei."

"I've heard of Cookiees. They're supposedly great warriors."

The Cookiee - Stewbacca - nurred something.

"His power level is ten thousand," Han Soda told Raditsu with a smirk. "You could almost say he's my bodyguard. More of a copilot, though."


"So, fifteen hundred credits up front?" Broli asked Soda. Raditsu almost choked on that. Fifteen hundred creds?!

"Sounds good," Soda nodded.

"Tell me about your ship. If you can't get us there quickly, I'll withdraw my offer."

Soda looked at him with a strange expression. "You never heard of the Millennium Fugu?" he asked in surprise.

"Should I have?"

"She's the ship that made the Zun Run in less than three cycles."

"Impressive." "On a bad motivator," Soda added.

Stewbacca nurred.

"Oh yeah, and with a Zunjin patrol clinging to our ass all the way."

[What a pile of tripe,] Raditsu thought to himself. [The Zunjins don't HAVE patrols.]

"VERY impressive," Broli lied. "So when do we leave?"

"An hour. Meet me in Docking Bay 94... with the creds." Soda rose from the bar and clapped Stewbacca on the shoulder, walking away.

"He was armed," Kakarotto noted from his seat just behind Raditsu. "Hand blaster, but I suspect it's just for the look."

"Do you actually trust that guy?" Raditsu asked Broli.

"Not in the slightest, but he's the best we can get."

"I dunno," Raditsu said darkly. "I have a bad feeling about this."