CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: VEGETA, KING AND PRINCE
Zarbon's next order of business, after meeting with King Cold was to talk to King Vegeta. Well, that wasn't on his agenda until yesterday, when King Vegeta asked to talk to Zarbon privately. Most likely, this concerned his son.
Zarbon got some directions to King Vegeta's brand new Satellite Palace on capital, and didn't stop to think twice as to why he had seemed to be occupying this home more than his real one on Planet Vegeta.
/Let's see, now... Appointment- 12:30- that's what his secretary said when I called him up on the phone.../ Zarbon tried the door. It was locked.
"Idiot Saiya-jin," he mumbled to himself as one of the so-called idiots opened the door. It was Seripa.
"Oh, Hi! It's you again. How's Bardock doing lately?"
"I asked, how's Bardock? Man, you Imperials are thick-headed!"
Nearly laughing at the irony of her comment, Zarbon debated giving her a long answer, or a short one. He decided on medium-rare.
"We found Kakarotto, his son, alive and well on earth. He's staying there right now while we get the planet declared safe. That's odd," he said, changing the subject, "When you applied for my team you didn't say that you worked this closely to King Vegeta!"
"That's because I didn't. He needed a new division for Capital, and he picked me, among others. You have to earn money somehow. SO, Bardock found his lost son, did he? Tell me, how did he react?"
"Well, besides the shock and amazement? He seemed proud of him."
"That's strange. When Kakarotto was born, Bardock told me all about him. He was born with a power level of 2, and had the potential to be a third-class Saiya-jin. Why's he so proud of his son all of a sudden?" She asked, letting Zarbon into the palace and walking down with him.
"Kakarotto, the third-class Saiya-jin, had a power level of 30,000 when we found him."
"Oh," Seripa muttered, and then seemed shell-shocked for a bit. "I see." she finally continued, "How powerful is Bardock?"
"When we left, he was at 50,000, but he's still growing, I'd assume. The strange thing is, he didn't seem to care that Gok- I mean, that Kakarotto didn't have a tail!"
"This is getting really odd," Seripa commented, "First he finds his wimpy son as one of the most powerful Saiya-jin on the planet, barring the true elites and the King, and now he doesn't care about whether or not he has a tail! Figures, though."
"It figures? How? It can't be fatherly pride- I thought that all you Saiya-jin would kill your own mother if she didn't clear off enough planets."
"Yeah, Nappa would, wouldn't he?" The two of them laughed. "Although, I would agree with you on that last point. What's Kakarotto like? How Saiya-jin-like is he, personality-wise?"
"Not at all. He wouldn't hurt a fly, which really confuses me."
"Hmm. Then Bardock probably would have killed, if everything were normal. But, they aren't."
"What?" Zarbon asked.
"Oh, all of this really seems typical of Bardock," Seripa continued, "We were childhood friends. Believe me, I know the man well. He's a true Saiya-jin at heart, but he always attached too much importance to his mate and elder son. After they died, he just changed a bit. The answer is simple- he doesn't have any Saiya-jin pride!"
"What?" Zarbon asked again.
They arrived at king Vegeta's branch office.
"Oh! Nevermind, we're there! Have fun talking to King Vegeta, and don't insult his son!"
"But-" Zarbon started before Seripa opened the door, shoved Zarbon in, and closed it again. "Idiot Imperials," she muttered to herself, smiling.
"You wished to see my, My Lord?" Zarbon said, kneeling in front of King Vegeta's office desk. The man definitely looked more imposing on his throne.
"Get up and take a seat," the King told Zarbon, just seeming to notice him. "Yes, I summoned you here," he added as an afterthought.
Zarbon took a seat. "My lord, why did you want to talk with me?"
"I have several reasons, but the first one involves my son."
/Oh, shit,/ Zarbon thought to himself.
"Has he been harassing you lately?"
/Wha-?/ "Why yes, My Lord. Why do you ask?"
"I was just curious. Prince Vegeta is a little immature, don't you think?"
Zarbon did not answer, for fear that any words he chose would be his last.
"He's spent all his time lazing around the palace, living a spoiled life," King Vegeta continued, "It's really a shame that he hasn't reached his full potential yet. He really could be something, you know."
"Yes, I know that, My Lord," Zarbon answered.
"Good. I've been wondering if he really should join your team, in the hopes that it will mature him."
/Please, no, No, NO!/ Zarbon's mind hammered out.
"But, then, I realized what that would do to him, and probably to you. Knowing him, he'd train until he was more powerful than you, kill you, and cruise around in the galaxy. That would not do. Not at all."
Zarbon almost snickered at that last statement. Almost.
"Well, what do you want me to do about it?"
"Nothing at all. Disregard him and everything he says. Forget that I even have a son for the time being."
Zarbon stopped for a moment to wonder why the King would invite him for this, but his thoughts were soon cut off as King Vegeta continued on, changing the subject.
"Now that that's over with, the real reason why I asked you here- What happened on earth?"
"What?" Zarbon asked back.
"Your team suddenly barreled into that planet, and instead of destroying it, simply stayed there for a week like guests of honor. I want to know what happened there."
"Well, Bardock found his son."
"Impossible!" Vegeta retorted, "Raditz is dead! I checked the records!"
"His OTHER son, My Lord," Zarbon answered.
"Other son? Wait..." King Vegeta checked the computer next to him.
"Hmm...it seems that he does have another son. Kakarotto... third class warrior... pretty much worthless. Disappeared after being sent to Earth. So your saying that Bardock found him?"
"Yes. And not only that, but Gokou- Kakarotto's name on Earth- was also more powerful than most of the elites on this planet, save for a few of the top ones."
"30,000, sir. It had climbed to 40,000 by the time we left. Bardock himself was somewhere around 50,000."
The King folded his hands. "Ordinarily I'd kill you for lying," he said, "But this is too absurd to be true. A third-class warrior beating out most elites? Can you think of any way that this could have happened?"
"No, unless he got some special training or something. His son was very powerful, too. A half-breed whose power level exceeded 1,500 when he was enraged. He showed a lot of potential."
"I honestly don't know. I didn't really see him fight, but I asked people how long he had been in training- one year, they said. They also mentioned that he had a power level that was over 1,000 before he started his training. A kid like that could do anything. Anything at all."
"And are you attributing this in any way to his heritage?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes. I believe that his human side did this to him. Although the humans themselves are not very strong on average, there's something about the mixture between human and Saiya-jin that triggers an incredible explosion of power."
"So, is this why you want the planet declared Safe?"
"Cold told me about this, he just didn't tell me why."
"What else did he tell you?"
"He told me that he had something big in store for me that might effect both kingdoms. I think your little insight was what he was talking about. I assume he asked for the child?"
"Yes, he did. I'll pick him up when I go back to Earth."
"No rush, then?"
"Not too much."
King Vegeta smirked. "I like your style. You may leave now."
On his way back home, Zarbon met up with the other Vegeta in a rather odd manner. The prince jumped him.
"I got you now, didn't I?" Vegeta said, pinning Zarbon down. "You should know better than to oppose Vegeta!"
Unflustered, Zarbon simply asked, "What's your power level?"
"16,000! I've been training in the past month!" The prince said, pulling that cocky half-smirk that could only be done by him.
"Yeah, well I'm 35,000, so if you don't mind, I'd rather be leaving now." Zarbon simply stood up, not really caring about the Prince, who tumbled onto the sidewalk in a heap.
"How dare you do this to me!" he shouted, untangling his cape, "Do you know who I am?!?"
"Yes, a spoiled brat who could have been so much more, if only he cared. You really need to get a life."
"I already have one, you piece of shit!" Vegeta fumed at him, "My father will hear of this!" He shouted again.
"I already talked to him. He told me to totally disregard you."
Vegeta's face twisted into an almost total rage, but then completely fell into a look of abject horror... for a moment. Then it returned again. Zarbon puzzled over this for a minute. It looked as though Vegeta was about to cry for help... but, help from what?
"Recruit me," he said calmly, "I tire of this royal life. Recruit me or die, fool." He said before turning and walking away.
If Zarbon had known how to translate Vegeta-ese, he would have heard something completely different. /Please, get me away from here! There's something wrong in the palace, and I'm... I'm afraid! Please, help me!/
But, Zarbon had not been around the prince enough, and he didn't understand the hidden meaning that was in basically everything that he said.