Chapter Four: All I Wish For
All is all I can give you
All is all I can do
All is all I wish for when I'm with you
**Collective Soul, "All"
Mikari finally spotted his ally on the beach below, struggling with a rather familiar Saiyan warrior. And losing badly. He muttered a curse and dove straight towards the small Saiyan, intent on annihilating him and giving his friend (for lack of a better word) a chance to escape. He was only a few hundred yards from the pair. If he timed this just right -
/What in the seven kingdoms?/ he thought, pulling up short and looking around slowly.
Mikari locked onto the voices and whirled around to launch an offensive attack.
The Andromedan gave a sharp, pained cry as the three identical attacks hit him as one and blasted him into the sand not far from where Anara was battling against Vegeta and Trunks. (Juunana had grown bored of watching that particular fight some while ago and gone to see if Juuhachi would give him a shot at Xiram. The pair was now double-teaming the alien.)
Goku turned and grinned at his two sons, who grinned back.
"Juuhachi-chan was right," Gohan said, still grinning. "That does feel good!"
"Don't look now," Goten said, pointing to the sky just above them, "but I think our teammates are about to come through here!"
The three Sons moved quickly out of the way as the Juunana and Xiram plowed through the sky where they had just been, exchanging blows and ki blasts. Juuhachi, who was smirking in amusement, closely followed the combatants. The instant the trio passed through, Goten and Gohan drifted back to their former positions.
"Give him a left for me, Juuna!" Goten called after his friend.
Juunana's voice drifted up from somewhere below them: "Right after I give him one from Trunks! He asked first!"
Gohan stared at his brother and shook his head. "You really need to get a hobby after this," he said.
Zukani gave a fierce cry and launched the attack at her opponent, powering up a little more in order to launch her Power Blades. Kenchi was caught by surprise; the Energy Wave knocked him a few miles away from the Saiyan girl. He managed to stop himself and blasted back to where he'd left her.
"So," he said, smiling coldly, "you've managed to pick up a new attack or two, ne, little one? I don't see how they'll help you too much."
"I've also improved some old attacks, bakana," she hissed in reply. "Wanna' see?" Without waiting for an answer, she let her Power Blades fly. As before, they split into sixteen and surrounded the Andromedan. The second split was unexpected, and allowed all but two blades to reach their target. Kenchi screamed in pain and rage, dropping lower in the sky. Zukani smirked and drifted down to where he was attempting to regain his footing (so to speak).
"Ready to call it quits?" she asked sweetly, still wearing that Vegeta-esque smirk.
"Fire Sting Attack!"
Kenchi's counter attack took her by surprise, and she barely had enough time to throw a block before the fiery ki bolts hit her, knocking her back several yards. Before she knew what was happening, the Andromedan launched himself at the girl.
/She's never been a physical fighter,/ Kenchi told himself with an evil grin. /She'll be begging for mercy within seconds!/
He pulled back a fist, let it fly - and connected with nothing.
/Where the hell did she go?!/
"Looking for me?"
Before he had time to turn around, a booted foot connected with the small of his back, sending him flying down into the ocean below. Sputtering, he launched himself through the waves and towards his opponent once again. She was ready for him, and threw a punch the second he reached her.
/This is going to be more fun than I thought!/ he decided, letting a cold smile cross his face.
/I've got to keep this up for just a little longer,/ Zukani thought, blocking another kick from the Andromedan. /I have to let his strength reserves get low enough for me to unleash my final attack!/
"You've got spirit, girl, I'll give you that much," Kenchi hissed, powering up again. "Let's see exactly how long it'll last."
/That's it, keep draining your power,/ she thought, taking a defensive stance. /The sooner you weaken, the sooner I can end this once and for all./
/Come on, Kani,/ Trunks thought as he dodged a ki blast from Anara. /You can do this, I know you can!/
"Yo, Trunks! Behind you!" Goten shouted from above. Trunks ducked just in time to feel the wind rush past from Mikari's punch. He shot a glare at the man and swept a leg around to knock the attacker off-balance.
"You shouldn't sneak up on a Saiyan," he said darkly. "It's bad for your health."
About this time, Xiram crashed into the sand nearby. Vegeta, Anara, Trunks, and Mikari all swung their heads around to see what had happened.
"Xiram, what the hell are you doing?!" Anara demanded, placing her hands on her hips and frowning. She hated to have her battles interrupted - even if she was losing.
Vegeta smirked. "So, you're Xiram, ne? You're next on my list, once I finish with the Queen of Mean here."
Xiram pulled himself up out of the sand and looked over his shoulder, intent on blasting the owner of that mocking voice into oblivion. As he locked eyes with the Saiyan prince, his bravado disappeared.
"V - V - Vegeta?!"
"Did you forget about me, bakayarou?" another voice called from above him. The stunned alien turned his gaze upward just in time for Juunana to throw a punch. The force of the blow sent Xiram flying further down the beach. The Jinzouningen smiled and nodded to Vegeta.
"If there's anything left once Juuhachi and I finish up with him, feel free to join in," he said with a shrug before racing down the beach to join his sister (who was already giving the boy another beating).
Trunks smirked as he launched a Burning Attack against Mikari. "I think this is the most fun those two have had in ages!" he said, ducking another punch from the flustered Andromedan.
"Ah, let them have their fun," Vegeta said, pushing himself past SSJ2 and into SSJ3 (much to Anara's dismay). "Who knows when we'll get a workout like this again?"
"Yeah, you're right," Trunks replied, powering up to SSJ2 himself. "Besides, Kani-chan may need a little help later."
/No way, Niichan!/ Zukani cried through the link they shared. /Kenchi's my problem, you just take care of those two bakas Mikari and Anara!/
Vegeta chuckled - not a very common occurrence for the Saiyan. "You heard the brat," he said, turning his attention back to Anara. "Now, where were we?"
Anara shifted her gaze to Mikari, speaking through the mild telepathic link they shared: /We don't stand a chance, Mikari. Any last minute ideas?/
/Only one,/ came the reply as he locked eyes with his teammate. /We run. As far away from here as we can get. Train hard for the next few months. THEN come back and wipe these pests out./
/What about them?/ she queried, flicking her gaze skyward for a millisecond, indicating the other Elite soldiers.
/They're useless. Best to save ourselves and leave them to their fate./
The Andromedan pair nodded once, then powered up and took off. Vegeta and Trunks stared after them, a bit stunned.
"They're running," Trunks said after a few seconds.
"Hmm," Vegeta agreed. "Feel like chasing 'em down?"
"What are you waiting for then, brat?"
Father and son took off after the fleeing Andromedan pair, neither paying much attention to the battles going on around them.
"Where in the seven kingdoms do they think they're going?!" one of the Elite soldiers cried out in disbelief.
Several Elite, not to mention the Z Senshi, turned their gazes to the rapidly vanishing Inner Circle pair, followed closely by Vegeta and Trunks. Piccolo grinned and returned his attention to the soldier who had spoken.
"Looks like your Inner Circle could use some empowerment lessons," he sneered. "Or a few lessons in the meaning of leadership."
"It won't matter in a few moments anyway," the Andromedan replied with a smirk. "Once Kenchi-san finishes off the halfling, he'll destroy the rest of you senshi. Just like he did in the last world."
"Think again," the Namekian growled, powering up for his next attack and launching himself at the Andromedan. Mentally he said /Zukani may not be the most powerful warrior among us, but she's putting her heart and soul into this battle. If anyone has the power to stop these world-destroying monsters, it's her./
He briefly glanced at the battle going on nearby; Kenchi was pulling out all the stops, and Zukani was holding her own. Both seemed to be weakening.
/Come on, girl, make your move!/ he thought to her. She didn't reply either telepathically or verbally; she just nodded her head slightly, barely visible to the untrained eye.
The battle was drawing to a close. And the final blow was about to be struck.
"Looks like your 'friends' left without you."
Xiram pulled himself away from the female Jinzouningen, shooting a ki blast at her as he did so, and glared at her male counterpart. He had known both of them in his homeworld, and hadn't really cared for either one of them; he'd merely tolerated them for his father's sake. Now, though, his father was gone, and the Jinzouningen he'd tolerated were dead as well.
"What are you talking about, baka?" he hissed at the dark-haired boy.
Juunana smirked back. "Anara and Mikari just took off outta here like their lives depended on it. Knowing Vegeta and Trunks, that's probably the case." He shook his head, making a clicking sound in the back of his throat. "And they left you here with us. Talk about fair weather friendships. Oh, wait, you'd know all about that." His smirk vanished, replaced by an angry glare. "You betrayed Zukani in the same way, after all," he growled.
Xiram smiled coldly at the boy and said in a low voice, "You're awfully touchy about that, Jinzouningen. Why is that?"
Juuhachi noticed her brother tense and clench his fists, trembling to keep from striking the alien youth. She had a pretty good idea why her brother was acting this way, but she kept her silence. Besides, if he really did feel some... affection towards the half-Saiyan, he would have more to contend with than a vindictive alien half-breed. She wasn't quite sure, but she had the feeling that fathers were oddly protective of their daughters, and Vegeta would be no exception to the rule - despite the fact that Zukani was more than half-grown and quite capable of taking care of herself.
Xiram smirked at the other youth's consternation and switched gears. "Of course, that's none of my business, is it? Especially since it doesn't really matter in the long run. Zuka-chan [here both cyborgs winced at the familiarity with which he spoke her nickname] will be dead and gone, and the rest of you won't be far behind." The smirk changed to a slow, malicious grin: "Hell, I'll enjoy killing both of you again."
"Go ahead," Juunana said in a low, deadly voice. "You've got one shot." Juuhachi shot a surprised glance at her twin before shifting back to her smooth emotionless mask. Xiram, for his part, was a bit stunned as well. The Jinzouningen in his world hadn't been nearly as powerful as this pair, but they had put up a rather good fight - right up until the moment he'd struck the final blow. And now, this dark haired automaton, who seemed to have some sort of bond with his former best friend, was going to just let himself die.
It was rather amusing.
"One shot's all I'll need, Jinzouningen," he sneered, then produced a powerful blue ki ball. He shot it at the siblings, who waited patiently: both emotionless but fire burning in both pairs of eyes as a silent message passed from brother to sister.
The shot connected... and was deflected back.
Xiram never had time to react - it happened faster than he could catch the movement. Juunana and Juuhachi moved as one, each letting a punch fly at the ball just as it reached them, forcing it back to the hybrid who had launched the initial attack. As the ki ball crashed over him, all he had time to do was think:
/When the hell did they get so fast?!/
A bright flash of blue light caught the attention of both fighters for a brief instant. They turned as one to gaze at the beach below, and Zukani smiled slightly.
"Looks like Xiram-kun just paid for everything he's done while in your service," she said conversationally, even though she felt like she was going to drop from fatigue. They had been going almost non-stop - punches connecting, ki blasts finding their marks, kicks flying - since she had culled Kenchi from the rest of the Elite. She couldn't keep up this pace much longer, but she had to hold back a little something. If she didn't have the strength to use her Shock Wave...
Kenchi turned a glare onto the halfling. She had grown much more powerful, that was true, but he was growing weary of her. It was almost as if she was trying to exhaust him to the point where he wouldn't be able to fight back. And while he normally admired ruthlessness - hell, he'd been very impressed with the ease that Xiram killed his own father to prove his loyalty to the Andromedans - the girl was bothersome. Not only that, she was the last survivor of a dead world. It was only fitting that he made certain she join it death.
"Maybe you can ask him about that for yourself, little one," he sneered, "because you'll be joining him in a moment!"
He launched another barrage of ki blasts at the girl, which she dodged with a practiced gracefulness - she almost appeared to be dancing - before countering with her own blasts and physical attacks. Kenchi grinned slightly as she pulled back her arm for another punch. As she let her fist fly, he caught it with calculated ease and twisted her body, pinning the arm behind her back. He wrapped his other arm around her, holding her other arm to her side and effectively keeping her from attacking him again.
"Why must you be so fierce?" he whispered into her ear as she struggled in a vain attempt to free herself. "If I'd known you were so full of fire, I might have spared your life, perhaps taken you as my own." He smiled as the girl shuddered involuntarily. "Too bad you had to fight me, Zukani-chan. Your beauty will be missed. Now, close your eyes, and I'll make this as painless as possible for you."
/I have nothing left,/ she thought mournfully. /I've used up almost everything I have, and he still hasn't faltered. He's not even going to waste a ki blast on me./
Somehow, though, she realized that he wasn't going to use a ki attack because he, too, had been weakened during the battle. He was going to kill her this way because he didn't have the energy to produce a ki blast.
She thought about what Juunana had told her just before this battle began and closed her eyes.
/My ki is fading, I know it,/ she thought, a tear slipping down her cheek, /but my life force is still strong. If I use them together.../
"Good girl," Kenchi breathed into her ear, the slightest hint of a smile in his voice. "You won't suffer."
/But you will,/ Zukani thought viciously, even as she took a breath and cried out, "Ultimate Shock Wave!"
The Andromedan drew in a shocked breath as he felt her powering up again for this final, desperate attack. It wasn't just her ki, it was something else... her heart, her soul...
"You - you'll kill yourself as well!" he cried, vainly hoping that she would cease her attack, that she would give him the time he desperately needed to power back up to full again.
Although he couldn't see it, he could hear the small, cold smile in her voice as she whispered, "It's a lovely night to die." Her power continued to increase as her life force and ki melded into one powerful force, seeping through her body and tearing its way into Kenchi's.
The night sky exploded around them. Kenchi barely had the time for an agonized scream as the powerful energy tore through his body, burning him from within, annihilating him from its sheer power.
/You would have been a good mate,/ was his final thought to her as his ki blinked out of existence. Zukani smile weakly.
/Hai,/ she thought to the ki that had just died, /but not yours./
She sighed, feeling the last dredges of strength slip away from her, and fell towards the earth.
/Huh,/ she said to herself as consciousness began to slip away, /I've really got to start fainting closer to the ground./
Back to the zone...