"Ready to give up, Frieza?" Goku spoke, watching the small alien quickly get to his feet after he had been knocked flat. "We don't have to keep doing this. You can still leave with your life, you know. I'm still willing to forgive and let you go."
Unsurprisingly, the Arcosian lashed out yet again, striking a fraction slower than before. "Damn you!" he screamed, "I refuse to lose to a monkey!" Again, just as it seemed his fist would connect, the Saiyan danced away from his attacks. Frieza tried to sweep his opponent's feet out from under him, then, failing that, went to wrap his tail around the ankle of the fleeing Goku, only to go through thin air as he infuriatingly disappeared again. "Curse him..!' Frieza thought angrily, 'I don't know how, but every time I almost have him, he slips away! It's not just speed, it's something more!'
Goku lightly struck the small Arcosian with a knifehand to his back, having transmitted behind him. Just as before, the alien stumbled forward, before falling outright. 'This is getting old...' Goku thought. "So, are you finally going to admit that you've lost, and leave? I just want you to get out of he—"
He was cut off by a strike from something hard against his back that knocked all the wind out of him. He turned, arms up to block. 'I was wondering when this guy would join in...guess he was waiting for Frieza to finish me off, but he got impatient.' the Saiyan from Earth thought as he beheld King Kold, now standing between he and Frieza.
"Papa..." Frieza said, still sprawled on the ground. "I...I'm still trying to beat hi—"
"Get up. Now." Kold said sharply, not even bothering to turn to address his downed son. "It's painfully clear to me now that you are incapable of dispatching this Saiyan, so rather than wasting one more moment on this mudball of a planet..." He lashed his tail behind him in anger, his feet gripping the ground and forming cracks. "...I elected to step in."
Goku watched this initial exchange with mild curiosity. 'Wow, looks like Frieza's father isn't the type to mess around...I'd better keep my guard up...' he thought. 'The power coming off this guy is massive...but then, so's he! Something tells me that he's not even half-powered up yet. Man, I wish I could fight him all-out...but I can't. Not here. Not with Gohan, Krillin, and everyone so close. Not to mention Piccolo and the Dragonballs...'
A burst of power caught Goku, wrenching him from his reverie. Kold charged, head lowered and eyes flashing with malice. The Super Saiyan caught the first enormous fist aimed at his torso, but the second slammed into his face. As he flew backwards, he could only brace as he saw a shadow above him, and then the massive, sinewy tail smacked him into the ground, creating a cracked crater around his frame. "Gahk-!" He coughed up blood, eyes wide. 'He's so fast!'
Frieza watched, dumbstruck, as his father put down in seconds an enemy he had been struggling with for the past hour. "You know son, I really am tired of this dirty little planet," Kold said conversationally. "I was initially curious about your so-called 'Super Saiyan'...but now that I've seen him with my own eyes, I'm not impressed with either of you." The younger Arcosian set his jaw in anger, eyes narrowing, but he remained silent. "Don't think that I'm finishing the job on your behalf. To tell the truth, I'm just bored with this situation, and you're so hopelessly incompetent, I was forced to step in to clean up your mess." He stomped on the golden Saiyan's chest to emphasize, eliciting a strangled cry. "Let this be a lesson to you, Frieza, that when I suggest that you ought to just blow up a planet from space to deal with an enemy, you listen to me." Another stomp to punctuate that last word, the Saiyan's ribs cracking audibly. "Hmph. So much for that ridiculous legend that you were so worried about." He raised one foot again, aiming for his prone opponent's head.
SSHFFT! The King's foot came down on bare ground. Momentarily puzzled, he searched until he spotted the Saiyan, clutching his ribs some twenty feet away. "Well well, looks like you finally decided to use that trick of yours against me," he said.
Goku cocked his eyebrow in question. Frieza angrily looked between the two of them, as though they were keeping a secret from him. "What 'trick', monkey? What are you talking about, father?"
"Frieza, your considerable ignorance is showing," Kold chided. "The Super Saiyan has been evading you so easily, not because he's that much faster than you, but because of some odd disappearing act." Frieza gaped at him. Suddenly, it all made sense. 'Then...it's no illusion I'm fighting, it really is the real Super Saiyan..." Upon concluding this, he was struck by the fear that he'd banished when he had convinced himself earlier that it was all a hallucination. 'However,' he thought, 'Papa's fighting him with me now. Together, we can't possibly lose...right?' The fear's grip on him did not loosen though, even as he smirked over at his father. "Well, now that you've pointed it out, father, it adds up to what I had deduced from our fight. So, since we've seen through all his tricks, shall we finish the job?"
Kold gave a half-smile in response, before turning back to face the Saiyan. "Yes, son, let's. Afterwards, you can blow up this planet and the rest of these miserable insects." Something in his tone of voice, as though he was just talking about the weather, or some other trivial topic, chilled Goku's heart to the core. 'He's not like Frieza...not at all...' the pure-hearted Saiyan thought with trepidation, 'I can't afford to let this drag out...no telling what this guy'll do if I can't end this decisively. Then there's Frieza, too...' Frieza he could deal with, but this guy was bad news. Meanwhile, Goku noticed that the two aliens were talking again. Almost arguing, from the sound of it.
"I don't understand why, exactly, you had to set foot on the planet itself, Frieza. This would have been much easier if we hadn't bothered to land." Kold was saying, tail tapping the ground angrily behind him.
"But father, I already explained this to you...I had to come here, for my own reasons." Frieza looked agitated. To Goku, he looked like he was almost pouting...he didn't dare, but he could almost laugh at the display of childishness.
"One day, Frieza, you will see that your own personal honor means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things, that our collective honor takes precedence, and that you are very fortunate indeed that I was kind enough to humor you on this little excursion." Kold sighed in a lecturing tone. The whole thing was almost funny, Goku thought, if a little surreal. Still, if they weren't taking this seriously enough to focus fully on him, that could be a bad sign. He'd noticed Frieza had regained his confidence.
"Um, not to interrupt, but aren't you fighting me? Shouldn't you stop bickering and pay attention to your opponent? I mean...I'd like to get this over with, not to mention grab some dinner." Goku nervously ran his hand through his now-blond hair as he addressed the two. He couldn't help but force a semi-polite smile. They both turned, their full attention on him again, two sets of red eyes burning holes in him as they glared. 'Wow, they're really alike' Goku thought risibly.
"Frieza." Kold held the Super Saiyan's gaze, staring him down. "Let's teach this scum what it means to cross our clan. No more games." Frieza, at his side, slid into a fighting stance, grinning. "Right. For this insult, he'll pay."
'Here we go,' Goku thought, 'I guess that made them angry. Now instead of them fighting each other, I'll have to take them both at the same time!' Even so, the pure-hearted Saiyan wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel and ask for assistance. Part of him was even undeniably excited about this. He didn't have long to reflect on their new cohesive behavior, though, as Kold abruptly disappeared, Frieza not far behind.
"HAAA!" Frieza appeared in front of Goku, hand wreathed in crackling red energy. Too slow. The golden warrior leapt upwards, away from his attack, preparing to come down on his back, when...
Bkkshh! He'd been jolted sideways, sent slamming into the cliff to his left, as Kold's massive form reappeared and backhanded him with bone-crunching force. 'Damn! He's faster than he looks! I guess he didn't just get the jump on me before!' Goku's mind raced, trying to locate the huge energy coming from Kold, but at this range, it was overwhelming, like his aura was all around. 'Gotta get some distance..!' he thought as he ignited his aura, flying upwards into the cloudless sky. 'There!' he thought, finally discerning the titan's power. He fired a ki blast just as the hulking Arcosian shifted into view below and to his right.
The blast struck one of the pauldrons of his armor, and Kold was jerked to the left as it tore through the material, shattering one tip entirely. He paused to survey the damage, then tensed as he saw the Super Saiyan coming in for an attack. He dodged a punch to the face, and, while Goku's arm was still extended, grabbed hold at the wrist and bicep.
"Caught you. I'd like to see you try that trick of yours now!" he roared, angling his head downwards in preparation to drive his horns into the Saiyan's chest. 'Oh no!' Goku thought in momentary panic. Unlike Frieza, who he'd only fought in his fourth form, this opponent had sharp horns...and he knew how to use them! Gritting his teeth, Goku brought his free hand to his forehead, transmitting himself, still in Kold's grip, towards a thick wall of rock. Using all his strength, he leveraged the Arcosian sideways to smash against the layered stone, barely avoiding being gored. His gamble had worked though, as Kold lost his grip in the resulting landslide.
"Gah..! Stupid ape..." Kold growled, shaking his head to rid it of dust. "Frieza! Don't just stand there, attack! This is your fight, is it not?!" At this, Frieza snapped to attention, shouting, "Yes, father!", as he readied another ki attack. "Take this!" he cried, unleashing a large, dense ball of dark red ki at the Super Saiyan. Now that Kold had assessed the Saiyan's repertoire of tricks, he felt confident that they could claim victory, as long as Frieza provided a distraction.
Below, Goku deflected Frieza's blast, struggling only slightly. His hand came away burnt, but he ignored the sting - Kold was already on top of him, lashing with his tail, unleashing a barrage of punches and kicks, and when he thought he had an opening, swinging his horns to try to catch Goku with them. So far, Goku was keeping up, but he found himself tiring, feeling as exhausted as when he'd fought Frieza at 50%, before he'd gotten his second wind as a Super Saiyan.
An astute strategist, Kold too noticed Son Goku's condition. 'Just as planned, the wretched ape can only go so far in this form...he's obviously not used to it yet, giving me the advantage!' The wicked king smirked, feeling that he was already the victor. 'Still', he thought, 'it wouldn't hurt to make this worm suffer for all of the embarrassment he caused. Yes, I'll have to show him what true terror is, before he dies!' A plan already forming in his head, he used the momentum of Goku's fist to block and flip around, so that he floated some distance away. "Frieza! Hold him off. I want to teach this Saiyan scum some respect."
Frieza looked at his father, mouth quirked in a question, before widening his eyes slightly. He turned to Goku. "Ohoho, you're in for it now, monkey. Papa's going to make you beg for death!" His eyes lit up with a childish vindictiveness, as Goku felt Kold's power start to rise, then skyrocket.
Frieza was attacking—that, Goku was well aware of. However, his complete attention was on the bigger Arcosian's bulging form, his armor starting to crack and strain over the titan's rapidly-expanding frame. As he blocked another hit from the cyborg Arcosian, he felt that horrible, dark power shoot up and up. 'Uh oh!' Goku panicked. 'If that guy keeps powering up...it could be disastrous!' In his distraction, he'd given Frieza the opening to sock him hard across the jaw, and with his defenses down, the hit drew blood. "Arrrrgh, I don't have TIME for this!" he yelled in frustration, catching Frieza by the tail and, as on Namek, swinging him around before tossing him into the distance. He didn't care about the cybernetic tyrant right now. He had to stop the bigger threat.
"I sure hope Goku knows what he's doing," Krillin said hesitantly, his eyes wide as he tried to brace himself. "I mean, fighting two of those monsters at once...that's crazy, right?"
"It's not only that," Piccolo interjected. "The taller one... There's no denying that he bears a striking resemblance to Frieza's second transformation."
"Hey, yeah you're right," Gohan added, looking up at his mentor expectantly. "Only he's way stronger than Frieza was back then."
"Exactly," the Namek said, clenching his fists. "So what if..."
Even as the others realized what might be transpiring, a unanimous gulp came from the Z fighters. The prince himself even gasped, widening his eyes, as he pondered the situation. Having seen all of Frieza's forms, one could only assume his father might be capable of the same.
"You've gotta be kidding me, Piccolo!" Krillin finally stuttered, his mind hesitating to remember Frieza's hideous third transformation. "But if he transforms..."
"Then it's possible he could become even stronger than a..." Vegeta paused, not even daring to finish his sentence. A Super Saiyan was supposed to be the most fearsome being in the universe, a warrior unparalleled in every aspect of his strength! Surely it wasn't possible, even if this was King Kold.
"Dad..." Gohan uttered softly, concerned undertones filling his voice. "Please win..."
"RAAAAGH!" Goku roared as he kicked at Kold's hunched form with both feet, putting all of his momentum into it. He impacted the Arcosian's chest, prompting a startled "Ooomph-!" as his boots buried themselves in the King's solar plexus. Kold flew back, crashing into a cliff, the rocks falling in a jumble around his splayed out form. 'Whew...that was a close one...' Goku thought, letting his breath out in a deep sigh; the giant's ki had already decreased to the level it was at before, if not lessened. His relief, however, was short lived. With a sudden tremble which vibrated through the air, he felt the Arcosian's power surge again, as the fallen boulders rumbled and shook.
Hello my loyal readers! Thank you for reading Savior of Demons Chapter 2: Famicide! I'm going to keep working hard to bring you the next chapter, but in the meantime, a TVTropes page for SoD is on my wish list, hint hint. ~_^ If you make a page, I'll add enough tropes to rival the other page I've worked on for Honor Trip.
I received a virtual torrent of reviews & comments for Chapter 1: Revenants. I'll try to keep a dedicated Q&A here at the end of the chapters, so that I can respond to everyone's feedback.
Q: Greatly enjoyed this chapter (with some minor quibbles that I'll get to). I thought the interplay between Frieza and Kold was excellent. The way you present Frieza's psychology is amazing, really getting to the heart of that fear lying inside of him at everything. His slow descent towards greater madness and rage, after arriving on Earth and then in the struggle with the Z-Fighters was perfectly handled - I could really feel what was happening with him! The minor quibbles though - one on character and the other on structure. Character wise, I was a little surprised by Krillin thinking that Piccolo would only be self-interested, like Vegeta. I know they weren't best friends, but after the Namek saga I felt that he would have a been less suspicious of Piccolo's motives. Not a big deal, but it did throw me for a sec. The structural quibble is that you could really benefit by breaking character dialogue into separate lines, rather than having the dialogue all in one paragraph.
A: I'm glad that you liked how I presented Frieza. I've spent such a long time psychoanalyzing him, I feel like writing him is second nature to me, however creepy that might sound. As for your first quibble, I like to think that although Piccolo proved himself on Namek, the other heroes would still hold him at arm's length, because remember, he KILLED some of them in an earlier incarnation. Krillin especially, whose P.O.V. I presented, would be especially cautious. A big theme in SoD will be about how difficult it really is to welcome former enemies with open arms. Addressing the second quibble, I'm new at the whole fanfiction business, & formatting has always been frustrating for me, so I'm hoping I'll get better at it as I go along. Some of the paragraphs, though, are meant to have 2-3 people talking at once, to depict how fast-paced the scene is. Besides that, if I space out every line of speech, I'll end up with a chapter 30 pages long! I don't want to cause carpal tunnel in my readers, haha!
Q: Whoa, this is an awesome start to the story. The way you portray Frieza is second to none. You get into his head in a way I have seen no other fan-fiction do. The interactions between Frieza and his father were top notch as well. It is quite funny how Kold is bored of the whole thing and that Frieza is conflicted as to why he has come. He jumps between revenge and fear so much it seems that he just wants closure! The malfunctions he is suffering and the hallucinations of Goku help add to the dynamic. Kold seems unsure whether or not Frieza has become "damaged goods" at this point. It is all very intricate and shows the complicated family relationships quite well. I actually felt sad for Frieza as he rushed off to slaughter the earthlings, which as far as I'm concerned is a good thing. Villains (especially ones soon to be redeemed) are at their best when you understand their motivations and history. As far as the fighting goes I thought it was very well written. The defects Frieza was suffering from and the almost successful efforts of the Z fighters made the scene very exciting. Both me and Frieza would have expected a curb-stomp.
A: I love writing Frieza, I really do. Something about his twisted, self-contradictory nature is really fun to write, & as you said, I can get in his head like no other. If you're already feeling sad for Frieza, I have bad news: I'm gonna twist the knife a lot more in coming chapters. Ò◡Ó~⍣
Q: Have I mentioned that I love your writing? Even though there weren't any serious twists, your great writing kept me interested the whole time. The characterizations and dialogue for Frieza are most notable, though all of your character interactions are really great - and none of them felt like dialogue just for the sake of dialogue. I hope you are proud that you've once again presented us with such a high quality literary contribution.
A: Fffff...well, that's some serious ego-stroking. Good lord, you're gonna give me a complex with praise so high. X﹏xo
Q: I can't wait to see exactly what the difference between timeline 1 & this story will be, does Goku spare him again or does he surrender or otherwise stop fighting (paralysed in fear perhaps?) or maybe daddy doesn't mess around, transforms & slaughters all the Z fighters saving Frieza & leaving him ashamed? I hope now Honor Trip is un-cancelled you'll continue the Kaji/Arcos story as well at some point.
A: All good guesses, but you'll have to wait & see where the timeline splits. As for Kaji & his team, I look forward to fleshing them out more...but that won't be for a while in the story.
Q: lol, nice reference to Honor Trip and possibly Bringer of Death. Seems like a similar concept to The Fall of Lord Frieza. I'm not calling it a rip off though, as two stories with the same premise can be unique and good in their own ways. I'm anticipating that a traveler from the future will prevent Frieza from being killed in the hope that Frieza can turn the tide against the androids. Goku should be open to letting Frieza live, so long as they can convince Frieza not to antagonize him by trying to destroy the earth
A: Great catch on the Honor Trip & BoD references! There's one more Easter Egg in there referencing my other partner's fic - can you find it? ~_^ As for similarities between Mr. Arkham's fic & my own...in the next chapter, there will be no doubt that this story will take a different route. Your theory on where this story will go is...intriguing, but far off the mark. Good guess, though.
Q: Haha, I see what you did there, " 'If only I had been chosen by fate to become the legend, instead of that soft-hearted excuse for low-class trash..!' "Damn!" Nice tribute to Bringer of Death. Anyways, I loved the start of this story. Your grammar is very good. I didn't see any mistakes at all.
A: Very astute of you, catching one of the Easter Eggs in tribute to my awesome team. Can you find the other one? ÒᴗÓ Grammar is one of my biggest beefs with most stories, so I strive to have pristine grammar in my submissions. I'm glad I managed it with the first chapter!
Q:This title seems really interesting to me. "Savior of Demons", what could it mean?
A: What indeed? All shall be revealed, in good time.
Q: I liked seeing this side of Frieza. Most stories don't get inside his head to the extent that you have. Good job.
A: I practically live in his head...or rather, he lives in mine...er, anyway, there's some weird connection there.
Q: You did a really good job of describing Frieza's fear of facing Goku, the Super Saiyan. Goku should be able to take care of Frieza again, unless Kold steps in.
A: As this chapter showed, Kold decided that he's not going to wait for Frieza to win, against his fear & against Goku.
Q: Hey, nice work here! I have to say I was surprised by how long the heroes managed to last against Frieza, but I guess they are pretty smart. Looking forward to seeing what the divergence will be here.A few grammar issues you might want to look at, such as closing speech marks without punctuation, or closing them with punctuation outside the speech marks. Other than that, the only issue is that in one paragraph all the swearing is censored, and it's uncensored for the rest of the chapter (even the word 'damn' is replaced with 'd-' for some reason)...I doubt you did that intentionally, probably you sent somebody a paragraph for editing and whatever you used to send it censored it automatically or something is my guess. Also, the review count is criminally low for an opening as strong as this. Philistines.
A: Yeah, I've seen many fics that explore a different divergence point, but I wanted to explore a later split. I find it hilarious that you think we copy-pasta'd a chunk of the story to somewhere that auto-censored it... xD Most people don't realize I don't curse & I self-censor. Oh dear... So, that mistake will be corrected in the future; Sauce has already put in the appropriate curses for me. Cursing is, in my opinion, a sign of a weak mind that lacks eloquence. People who drop F-bombs every two words do not have my respect, period. So, I'm one of those rare few adults that you can leave your kids around. I won't teach them to curse...though I may corrupt them in other ways, heh.
Q: Keep up the good work! I like where this story is going and I hope Kuriza makes an appearance!
A: Thank you for the encouragement! Unfortunately, Kuriza, as much as I love him to death, won't be making an appearance in this story. He didn't exist in this universe, sadly. In the future, I may write another story with him in it, though. I hope you'll continue to read SoD, despite the lack of cute Arcosian kids (so far).
Q: An amazing start Roketto...I'm curious however...Goku did kill Frieza in the OT. So this time, what'll be the difference?
A: Ahhh, that would be a spoiler if I told you. ~_^ I'll give you a hint though: it has to do with who dies, & when. Now no more guesses if you please! :^V
Q: Wow. Great job, I am definitely looking forward to reading more. Frieza was never one of my favorite characters, but the story is so well written, and the fight scenes so graphic I can't help but want more.
A: I can assure you, things will get more graphic by the chapter. I like portraying how brutal an actual fight like those seen in DBZ would be, since I'm a martial artist with some sense of what it is to be hit hard.
Q: Hmm, so the Arcosians know about advanced ki techniques, even think they're the only ones with such powers, but they can't sense energy? Seems like an odd discrepancy... maybe the fact that they have such a high power level to start with would make it difficult to sense anything less than their own power, making it useless? It's as good a theory as any, I should guess...On another note, the Z Fighters have proven to be more capable than I would have thought, the idea that Frieza's mechanical parts would give him more weak points hadn't even occurred to me. Heheh, can't wait to see what happens next!
A: Why Frieza & others cannot sense energy will be addressed in a later chapter. Weak points are fun to write about. Anything mechanical with moving parts logically should be a hamartia, but in Frieza's case, it's even worse because his biological body is stronger than his metal components.
Q: Awesome first chapter. I really look forward to the next one. While I somewhat wonder how the z fighters sans Goku can put up so much resistance to Frieza, I think it could be plausible. He seems rather traumatized and confused. Also the cyborg parts would probably interfere with his use of ki further. Your characterization of the z fighters and the villains is spot on. I love fics that get that right.
A: Traumatized is putting it lightly. Thank you for the compliment on how I write characters; OOC is something I try very hard to steer away from.
Q: Wow.. As a fellow Freeza fan this, is, EPIC. Keep up the amazing work. Safe to say I'm hooked. Your detail to the fights is impressive.
A: Thanks! I always wanted to write the kind of fanfic that a Frieza fanatic like me could really love. I'm also a big fan of using unconventional/ignored techniques & attacks in fights, rather than just punch-kick-block sequences.
Q: I look forward to seeing where this goes from here. It's interesting that you're placing this in the original timeline as opposed to the alternate timeline created by Trunks and Cell. I can't really see Frieza becoming a true hero, but perhaps an anti-villain? Or is even that too optimistic for him?
A: Yep, the divergence point for this alternate universe is later...it'll be revealed in the next chapter, to be exact. I think that the alternate timeline (the "main" timeline from DBZ) is the template for most stories, so with mine, I wanted to think outside the box & go in a different direction. So, this story could have effectively been Mirai Trunks' universe, if not for the changes at hand. As for Frieza becoming a hero...yeah, don't hold your breath. xD Anti-villain is the best he can strive for.
Q: Fascinating first chapter! I love how you portray Frieza's thoughts and Kold's personality. Your reputation as the foremost expert on everything Arcosian is well deserved!
A: This comment alone makes me beam with pride. Expert? No, I'm just a xenoanthropologist with good analytical skills.
Q: Yay you're finally writing this! I was wondering if you would even bother after Mr. Arkham wrote a Freeza redemption story. This is very well written, you are definitely in the top 3 of most talented writers I've read in DB fanfiction. Having Bulma listed as one of the main characters is very interesting, especially over someone like Gohan (I saw last night that Vegeta and Frieza were also there, but now it's just Goku and Bulma?). I hope she is indeed a main character, since she is underrated and her genius can contribute a lot to the Z fighters.
A: Top 3?! For real? Thank you for such a glowing compliment! I enjoyed reading Mr. Arkham's story at the beginning, but it diverged more & more from what I thought was reasonable to expect from Frieza after a while. Still a good tale though, & I'm still committed to following it to the end. Without too many spoilers, Bulma will be exceedingly important to this story. I've since changed the characters back to just Frieza, because it was glitching, but that may be revised later.