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duhragonball · 12 hours ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (157/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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walk into namek and you see this... wyd?
[24 December, Age 762.    Planet Namek.]
Luffa arrived on Namek not far from where she had left.    It wasn't difficult to figure out what had happened since her last mission.    The Earthling Krillin, and his ally Gohan, had tried to take the Dragon Balls from Frieza's spaceship.    She could still sense Goku's ki from the ship itself, and reasoned that they had left him there to recuperate from his injuries.    Whatever Krillin had in mind for the Dragon Balls, it had failed.   The seven crystal spheres now lay upon the ground as useless stones, and Frieza had finally returned from wherever he had been.    Joining Krillin and Gohan was Vegeta, along with a young Namekian, whom Luffa had never seen before.    Luffa was unsure about Vegeta's agenda, but she didn't particularly care, since his only true loyalty appeared to be to himself.  
What troubled Luffa was that Frieza didn't look quite the same as he had when they first discovered the time anomaly in Toki Toki City.    In the altered history, his body was sleek and well-toned.   Now, at the very moment of the alteration, he looked very different.    His limbs were red, and the bony carapace on his skull was much thicker than what she had seen before.   Two black horns protruded from his head, much like the body Captain Ginyu had traded with Luffa's.    Frieza was also wearing the uniform used by his crewmen and  soldiers.  
"Remember, you don't need to beat Frieza," said the voice of the Supreme Kai of Time, who spoke to her through a special earpiece that allowed Luffa to stay in contact with the Time Vault.   "Just keep him busy and don't let him kill anyone until Goku arrives.   He should be able to handle things from there, and that will be enough to put history back on course."
"Why does he look so different?" Luffa asked.  
"Frieza can transform," Chronoa explained.   "He has trouble controlling his full power, so he stays in this form most of the time.   The problem is that Towa's magic made him more aggressive, so he'll skip straight to his final form and wipe them all out.    What's supposed to happen instead is that he uses all his forms, one by one, to drag this out."
"You there!   Tell me, are you part of Vegeta's little gang as well?"
Luffa suddenly noticed that Frieza was addressing her.    The others were looking at her too.
"I'm the lady who killed all your men," Luffa called back.    "You have a problem with that?"
"What is she talking about?" Vegeta said.   "I killed those men, and I've never seen her this entire time!"
"A Saiyan?" Gohan asked warily.   "You mean... there are others?"
"Stay behind me, Dende," Krillin said to the Namekian child.  
"Oh yeah, they don't remember me, do they?" Luffa muttered.   "Because you've already repaired the damage to the timeline after the last mission."
"That's right," Chronoa said.  
"Well, that gives me an idea," Luffa said.   She looked at Frieza and shook her fist as she raised her voice.  "You think I'm with them, Frieza?   You really have no idea why I'm here?  What I've done to your organization?"
"I beg your pardon?" Frieza said, though his hateful scowl belied his courteous speech.
"Yeah, your father begged me, too," Luffa said with a grin.  "I gave him a chance, which is more than I can say for all the Saiyans you killed on Planet Vegeta!"
And then, Frieza began to laugh.  
"Luffa, what are you doing?" Chronoa asked.    
"I see!" Frieza finally said.    "Then you're not just any random Saiyan woman.   You're some kind of revanchist, and a delusional one at that!   You honestly expect me to believe that my father could be killed by you?"
"Believe whatever you want," Luffa said.  "But did you really think you could conquer and destroy so many planets without a backlash?   My group's been plotting against you since before I was born, Frieza!   While you've been treasure-hunting on Namek, we've been activating sleeper cels all over your empire.   Ships sabotaged, planets destroyed, henchmen slaughtered... Even you can't be everywhere at once, Frieza.   We figured you'd come after one of us, but instead you've been playing around on this backwater planet, chasing dreams of immortality.    So I decided to pay a visit, and see if I could finish the job."
"What?!" Vegeta asked.   "You're telling me there was a Saiyan plot to take down Frieza and I wasn't informed of it?!"
Luffa laughed.   "You think we needed your help, you royalist dungpile?   We wanted results, not posturing and treachery, which seems to be all you're ever good for.    How is Nappa these days?"
Vegeta opened his mouth to reply to these insults, when Frieza cut them both off.
"Enough.    I destroyed Planet Vegeta to be rid of you Saiyans and your incessant chattering," Frieza said,  "but it seems I missed a few.    I would have killed you for that alone, my dear, but if you insist on giving me additional motivation... I shall indulge you."  
Frieza leaped down from the hill he was standing upon and began approaching the five of them.   Dende retreated behind one of the stone Dragon Balls for cover.   Krillin and Gohan stood their ground, but they were clearly terrified about their prospects.
"Shall I explain it to you?" Frieza asked Luffa.   "How Vegeta's 'treachery' saved his life?   I found the Saiyans quite bothersome.    Saiyans.   Plural.   An individual Saiyan seemed quite manageable, like an exotic pet.    So I recalled all of you to your home planet, but only after arranging for young Vegeta to be deployed far beyond normal communication range.   And so he and a handful of trivial subordinates would be spared.    For a time, he seemed to understand the important lesson I wanted him to learn.   He was a minor operative in my staff, but very obedient and professional.    I thought him to be the only monkey in the barrel who was capable of understanding this.   The only one who could obey.   Ah, but then he heard tales of the Dragon Balls, and decided to stage a one-man insurrection."
"Obey?   I only pretended to obey you, you misbegotten freak!" Vegeta growled.   "The entire time, I was waiting for a chance to overthrow you.   Did you really think I ever believed that story about Planet Vegeta being destroyed in a meteor collision?   You must have!   Dodoria thought he could shock me with the 'secret'.   Your so-called supremacy has made you gullible Frieza!    Maybe Zarbon and Ginyu were grateful to cower at your heel, but I wasn't tackling those missions of yours out of loyalty."
"Hold on," Luffa said.   She pointed at Frieza.    "You blew up his planet and then you sent him on combat missions?   A Saiyan?    Are you stupid or something?   You knew he would only get stronger, right?"  
"Oh, he knew all right.   He's too lazy to do his own dirty work," Vegeta scoffed.   "And in his arrogance, he never considered me a threat.    Zarbon and Dodoria told me you were afraid, Frieza.    Afraid of a mass Saiyan uprising.   But it seems I've done pretty well all by myself.   Your best warriors are all dead, your flagship is crippled, and if half of what this impudent woman says is true, then you've lost a great deal of your wealth and property.    Oh, and you've also lost your bid for immortality.   We can't forget that now, can we?"
"Vegeta, I promise you," Frieza seethed, "I shall never forget what you've done to me this day.   I had considered slaughtering you quickly, but you two Saiyans don't seem to recognize the terrible peril in which you've placed yourselves.   So, do allow me to correct your misconceptions before I escort you to oblivion."
He assaulted Vegeta first, completely ignoring the others.    Luffa raised her hand to fire a ki blast at Frieza, until she noticed that Vegeta was holding his own.   He blocked Frieza's opening strike, and the two of them were locked in a stalemate, their energies rising in a bid to outpower one another.    
"This is the guy you were so worried about?" Luffa asked quietly, so only Chronoa could hear.  
"Trust me, he's just getting started," Chronoa said.    "What I don't understand is how you got him to slow down.   Towa's magic had him so riled up that he was about to use his final form right out away, but now he's basically fighting at the same pace as before."
"I gave him something else to think about," Luffa said.    "He already had a reason to be mad at the others, but he has no idea what I'm doing here, and now he's not sure if I'm lying about all the stuff I just said.   So now he's angry and curious.   If he fights too recklessly, he risks killing me before he can find out what I'm up to.    That seems to be overcoming the influence of Towa's spell."
"He's still more powerful than he was before," Chronoa warned.    
"Yeah, well hopefully I can keep him focused on me long enough to balance the scales."   Luffa paused as she watched the Scouter device on Frieza's face overheat and explode from the sheer magnitude of ki being generated.
"Okay... I think I'm beginning to see what you meant about Frieza," Luffa said.   "Vegeta's keeping up with him for now, but he only got this strong a short time ago, and it looks like Frieza's got a lot more in the tank."
"We can still pull you back, Luffa," Chronoa said.   "Give you a chance to prepare..."
"No, this is good," Luffa insisted.   "Like you said, I don't have to beat him, I just have to run out the clock, and so far that's what we're doing.   I've seen fighters like him before..."
"Like Frieza?" Chronoa asked incredulously.
"I’m not talking about his power, but the way he uses it.   He's got an incredible ki, sure, but he's not used to bringing it out like this.    Why would he need to?   He's got all those lackeys to do his bidding, and there's never been anyone around who could challenge him.   That’s made him sluggish.   If he had to use his full strength more often, he’d be more comfortable doing it, and this would already be over."
"I hope you know what you're doing, Luffa," Chronoa said.  
"Trust me," she said.   "I've been in worse mismatches than this.    It's tough going, but you can't let yourself get discouraged.   That's the key."
As she said this, Frieza tried to attack the others, and she leaped into action, batting aside his ki blasts while Krillin and Gohan fired back.   Soon, Vegeta joined in, and Luffa used the distraction to grab Frieza by the tail.    
"You imsolent--!" he howled, but Luffa still swung him over her shoulder anyway.   She tried to plant him into the ground, but he stopped just centimeters from the surface.   This frustrated Luffa for a moment, but before Frieza could do anything else, Vegeta drove himself boot-first into the back of Frieza's head.    
"Not bad!" Luffa said.   "Maybe you're not the clown I took you for, Vegeta."
"Less talking and more fighting, you fool!"  Vegeta snapped.    "Or did you think that was all it would take to finish him off?"
To his point, Frieza had already recovered.    "You're all fools, Vegeta, if you think four ants can defeat a dinosaur!   Oh, you've improved a great deal, I shall concede that much, but if you think that improves your chances of survival, you are sorely mistaken!"
"You're wrong," Vegeta said with an anxious smile.   "Our chances of winning are just as good as yours, Frieza!"  He pointed his thumb over at Gohan.    "The kid's power has been increasing ever since he came to this planet.   Even Baldy over there has improved his power level.    You've already seen what the woman can do, and as for me... hmmph!    I'm well on my way to becoming a Super Saiyan!"
"A what?!" Luffa asked.  
"Is that so, Vegeta?" Frieza said with a smirk.    "With the Dragon Balls gone, you've already found a new fairy tale to latch onto."
"Mock me all you want, Frieza," Vegeta said.   "You'll see what I mean soon enough.    In the meantime, you might as well transform.   Zarbon told me all about your ability, and you won't last long against us like this."
"Trans...?!  Form?!" Krillin asked.  
"You mean he can change?" Gohan asked.
"If you're so eager to die," Frieza said, "I suppose I can arrange a demonstration.   Prepare yourselves for a terror worse than hell!"  
Luffa watched as Frieza held up his fists and powered up.   At first, nothing happened, but then his armor cracked apart and exploded from his body.   Then he began to cry out, as though in pain.    And then he started to expand.    It looked painful.    His upper body doubled in size, and then his arms grew longer and thicker.  Eventually, his lower body swelled to match the proportions of his torso.     And then his head finally grew to match the rest, his black horns bending upward as the rest of him stretched and lengthened.   And then, finally, Frieza rose to his full height, and smiled triumphantly.    
"What do you think, Vegeta?" Frieza asked.    His voice was deeper and more menacing now, befitting his increased size.   "Your father never lived to see this form.   I didn't need it to destroy Planet Vegeta."  He turned to face Luffa and sneered.   "And you.   I suppose you've seen this form before, since my father would have been using it when you supposedly killed him."
Luffa smiled, not out of confidence, but satisfaction.    By using this form, Frieza had confirmed that he had fallen for her trick.    He was more interested in exposing her lies than in killing the others.  
"I hope you're more powerful in this form than he was," Luffa teased.   "I'd hate for you to waste our time over nothing."
"Oh, don't worry about that," Frieza said.    "I’ve never been able to measure it, but I’d estimate that my power level in this form is probably around one million."
"One... million?" Gohan gasped.  
"I... I don't believe it!" Vegeta stammered.   "There's no way he could be that powerful!"
"Who cares?" Luffa said.   "Anyone can say a few numbers, Frieza!   Let's see you back it up!"
Frieza raised his left fist, and with an arrogant smile,  he opened his hand, and unleashed a wave of power from his body.  
Luffa had dealt with far worse in her lifetime, but at her current level, she was just as helpless as the ones she had been tasked with defending.   They were like saplings caught in a sudden squall.   The best they could do was hold on tight and do everything they could to avoid being blown away.  Luffa could hear the Supreme Kai of Time's voice in her ear, but the noise around her made it impossible to make out what Chronoa was saying.    The Kai's tone sounded very concerned, which wasn't terribly surprising.    
Once, Luffa had been the Legendary Super Saiyan, but something had changed, and she was far weaker than she had once been.   This change had coincided with her suddenly being transported to the future by the Time Patrol, who had no idea who Luffa truly was.    She saw no point in explaining it to them, and so, for all Chronoa knew, Luffa was simply a mysterious Saiyan woman from the same century as all of the other Time Patrollers.   Luffa's power level had increased dramatically over the course of four Time Patrol missions, but there was no way for her to know what this would lead to.    All that mattered now was that Luffa was barely strong enough to hold the line against Frieza's second form.    It just so happened that the Supreme Kai of Time didn't know that Luffa had some prior experience in these situations.
The others did not.    It was clear that Krillin was frightened beyond anything he had thought possible.    Vegeta, the would-be Super Saiyan, had thought himself prepared for this sort of power, but he was now realizing he had no idea what he had gotten himself into.   Gohan and Dende were literal children.   Luffa was impressed that they were handling the situation as well as they were, but it disgusted her to see Gohan put in such a dangerous battle at such a young age, and she was reasonably sure Dende had gone into shock.  
"And somehow," she muttered under her breath, "in the original history-- somehow they managed to pull this off without me."   The enemy's interference had tipped the scales of fortune, but it was hard to imagine this motley crew surviving under any circumstances.    As the maelstrom of Frieza's power subsided, Luffa reminded herself of the childhood lessons she had learned from her mother.    In times such as these, they would need to depend upon each other, for moral support, and not just strength of muscle and sinew.    Whatever happened next, she resolved to face it as part of this group, and find honor in their companionship.
Then Frieza leaped into the air and impaled Krillin on one of his great black horns.  
The attack was as swift as it was cruel.    Krillin had been holding Dende in his arms, only to toss him aside before Frieza could connect.   Luffa was astounded by the Earthling's courage.   There had only been time for him to take a single action, and he had chosen to save the child.    Dende floated down to the ground.   It seemed Namekian children could fly, but Dende was too horrified to do anything but slow his descent.  
And Krillin's reward for this heroic effort?    Frieza could have finished the Earthman off in an instant, but instead, he chose to prolong the agony.    As the blood trickled out of Krillin's wound and ran down the length of the horn, Frieza chuckled, and tilted his head ever-so-gently, aggravating the wound.  Krillin screamed, and Luffa was astonished that he still could.    Below, Gohan muttered words of outrage, calling Frieza a monster.   It made no difference.  
Then, Krillin gathered up what power he had, and tried to fight back.    It was a hopeless effort.  Frieza caught his leg with no trouble at all.   For the first time in a very long time, Luffa found herself too shocked to react.    This warrior was practically dead already, and yet he was still fighting with everything he had.   It was a level of fortitude she could scarcely imagine, matched only by the utter indignity of the torment he was suffering.   At last, she collected her wits enough to decide to attack.
But then, Gohan beat her to it.   The boy flew after Frieza, only to be swatted aside by the alien's massive tail.   Then Frieza began to bob his head up and down, jostling Krillin on his horn like beads on a rattle.
"Wait!" Chronoa said into her earpiece.    "I know this is hard to watch, Luffa, but this is actually how things were supposed to happen.   Save your strength for later.    You're going to need it!"
Intellectually, Luffa knew her advice was sound.   Emotionally, she was disgusted by this.   This was supposed to happen?  She was supposed to stand by and watch this man come to such a disgraceful end?  As Frieza grew bored with Krillin's dying gasps, he flung the Earthling into the Namekian sea below.   Gohan rushed to save him again, only for Frieza to intercept the boy in mid-air.   She could stand no more.    She had to act.  
And then, once again, Gohan beat her to it.    
The power she sensed from this boy was amazing, not simply because of its magnitude, or because of its sudden appearance, or even the results it produced.   Gohan kicked Frieza in the head and launched a series of melee and ki attacks that kept Frieza reeling.   He drove the monster to the ground, then unloaded a barrage of ki blasts without letting Frieza have a chance to recover.   This was not what Luffa found so incredible.  
What truly astonished her was that Gohan had just demonstrated a level of power she had never seen in any natural Saiyan.   Her own father had amplified his power through a series of bizarre experimental treatments, using Luffa's own biology for himself.    King Rehval III used alchemical potions to increase his powers, and the powers of his followers.   Her own son was a mystery, as it was unclear whether his strength came from Rehval's alchemy or Luffa's Super Saiyan biology.   And there was Luffa herself, who was exceptional by definition.   Aside from these, she had never met a Saiyan with such power.   Until now.   Until Gohan.    And he was only five years old.    And a half-Saiyan at that.  
Nearby, she saw Vegeta was coming to the same realization as herself.    In this era, Vegeta fancied himself the strongest Saiyan of all.    It was an empty title before, but now Vegeta was seeing it firsthand.   "And you said you were about to become a Super Saiyan?" Luffa asked him.    "Then what does that make him?"
"It... it can't be!" Vegeta protested.  
She ignored him and flew over Frieza's body.   As much as she would have preferred to rescue Krillin, Chronoa seemed to consider that a low priority, and Luffa's own martial prowess told her to focus on the enemy.   As impressive as Gohan's offensive was, she doubted that this was enough to win the day.    Neither did she expect her own ki blasts to finish the job, but it would at least give Gohan a breather, and it would give herself some satisfaction.  
She started with a Galick Gun.   Before she could even get a few seconds in, Frieza rose to his feet and flew through the beam, no matter how much Luffa struggled to increase the intensity of it.   He simply emerged from the head of the blast like he was surfacing from a river of violet water, and then he punched Luffa in the face.  
"Luffa!" cried the Supreme Kai of Time.    Luffa could hear her, but the Kai sounded very far away, despite the voice being generated inside her left ear.    
At some point, Luffa fell into shallow water, perhaps near the edge of the flooded crater Frieza had made with his demonstration of "Power Level One Million".   Luffa was aware of an attempt to climb onto dry land, but it all felt like a dream.    She felt like she was about to throw up, but never did.    Each attempt to pull herself up to a standing position ended in failure, and so she finally let herself lay on the shore, hoping that she would recover sooner this way.  
She could hear Gohan screaming, as Frieza repaid him in kind for the boy's surprise offensive.    Luffa clawed her fingers at the Namekian soil, desperate to do something-- anything-- to help the boy.    But she found she could hardly move.  
"--just hang on!" she heard Chronoa say.   Luffa wasn't sure if the earpiece's reception was cutting out, or if she was losing consciousness.   She had expected the Kai to pull her out of the mission, to bring Luffa back to the safety of the Time Vault.   The thought of the Kai healing her again, with those empathic powers that would transfer Luffa's wounds onto her, was horrifying.
"My... own...fault," Luffa groaned.   "For being... so weak."   She had been so confident about tackling Frieza, and he had leveled her with one blow.  There was a time when she would have crushed someone like him without a second thought.    
She thought she heard someone.   She felt a small hand taking hold of her shoulder and rolling her onto her back.   Luffa was no longer sure of her surroundings.   Was she on Namek, in the shadow of some nearby cliff, or the Time Vault?   Or somewhere... different?    Unable to recognize the person touching her, her mind flashed back to a time long ago.   She imagined Keda trying to pull her to safety.    She had been paralyzed, trapped on an enemy world with no one to help her, and Keda was there, against any and all reason.    
Luffa could hear clicking over the rush of the ocean, or the rush of blood pumping near her ears.    She wasn't sure what she was hearing.  
No.   It couldn't have been Keda.  Keda was dead.    In her delirium, Luffa imagined the Dragon Balls being used to wish Keda back to life, the way others had apparently been revived.   It was unfair that such a thing existed, and so few people could make use of it.   Luffa felt the small hands on her shoulder and the side of her head, and a curious wave of relief.    Then it wasn't Keda, after all.   Keda had no healing abilities.   Keda was a shapeshifter, like Jayncho, but not exactly.   Unless Keda had been keeping this power a secret, the way she had kept her shapeshifting a secret...
"Yeah, it's nothing personal.  It just never came up, so I never mentioned it."   Luffa imagined Keda saying this but couldn't be sure if that had actually been real.   She wanted to ask Keda how she got to Namek, and when they got back to the star-yacht.   She felt sure Keda could explain all of this, but the explanation never came.  
Then, at last, Luffa woke up enough to know better.   She was still on Namek.   It was not Keda.   Keda had been dead for centuries, killed during a war on Extraliga.  For a split-second, she wondered if Chronoa had followed her into the past through the Scroll of Eternity, or if she had sent some other healer.   Finally, she looked over to see that it wasn't Chronoa at all.    
It was Dende.  
"Y-you can heal people?" Luffa asked.  
"Yes, I can," Dende said.    "Please, don't try to move."  
"Goh-Gohan..." Luffa said.  
"He's fine," Dende said.   "I took care of him right after I healed Krillin."  
Luffa thought she was still dreaming.    "He's alive?"
"He is!" Dende said cheerfully.   "I was afraid I wouldn't get to him in time, but he's okay!"
Groggily, Luffa rose to a sitting position.   "Wait... who's fighting Frieza?"  she asked.    The ki signature was vaguely familiar, but nothing like the ones who had been in the area, and it was a much stronger power level than what she had experienced during these missions.  
"It's my friend Nail!" Dende said excitedly.   "I don't know how, but he showed up to save us!"
"Nail?" Luffa asked.   "Look, I need to get back out there.    Can you find someplace safe to hide?"
"Um... sure, but I think Nail's got it under control.   There's no need for you to get hurt again like that."
She heard the sound of thunder in the air, and Luffa recognized it as the concussive waves of Frieza fighting against Nail.    "You don't understand," she told Dende.   "I'm sure he's strong, but someone's stacked the deck against you, and I'm here to even the odds.    If I don't help out then you won't have a chance.    Besides, getting hit like that might have been the best thing for me."
"Huh?" Dende asked.   “What do you mean?”
Luffa held up her left hand and stared at her palm while she flexed her fingers.    "Lately, I've been getting a boost in power every time I take a really hard blow.    Normally, we Saiyans only get that kind of thing after getting beaten to the brink of death and recovering, but... Well, let's just say I'm not normal.   As long as Frieza doesn't take my head off, I might be able to use this to my advantage... Wait..."
"What's wrong?" Dende asked.  
"It's not working anymore," Luffa said.    "I got stronger from that, but not nearly as much as I expected.    Whatever's been happening to me lately, it's starting to give out."  
She scanned the horizon for Frieza and Nail, and occasionally caught glimpses of them, but they were moving too fast for her to follow.    
"Chronoa!" Luffa said.  "Can you hear me?"  
Dende was confused and began to look around for whoever Luffa was speaking to.   Luffa ignored him and waited for a reply.  
"Yes, I read you, Luffa!" came the response in her ear.   "I was getting worried about you until I spotted Dende coming to heal you."  
Luffa stiffened her upper lip and swallowed her pride for what she was about to say next.   "I think you may have to bring me back," she said.   "You were right, I underestimated Frieza, and it looks like I overestimated myself too.    I've lost control of the mission."
For a moment there was no reply.    "Do you read me?" Luffa asked.  She placed her hand over her left ear as though it would help somehow, even though she knew it would make no difference.    "Chronoa, are you there?"
"... -lem is we can't bring you back.    ... Chronal interference.  I've never seen... -g like it!"
Luffa had been having trouble with the earpiece every time she used it.   She had lost track of how many had been disabled or destroyed during a mission.    And so her first assumption was that Frieza had damaged it when he hit her, but then she began to wonder if the problem was on the other end...
"Come back, Time Vault?" Luffa said.    "You're breaking up.    Did you say you can't bring me back?"
Again, silence.   Then: "Repeat: I can't get you out of there, Luffa.  I'll k.... -rking on it, but I need... -t I'm dealing with here."  
In the distance, Luffa could sense that Nail and Frieza had stopped moving, but they were both far from finished.    And then, Frieza's power began to increase again.   It was like he was undergoing a second transformation, one that promised to make him even more dangerous than the first.  
"You'll... -ve to hold out... longer!" Chronoa said.    "...fast as I can...!"    
"Hey, are you okay?" Dende asked.   He had no idea what was going on, but he had heard enough to know it wasn't good news.  
A bead of sweat ran down Luffa's face as she bore silent witness to Frieza's ascension.   A grim smile crossed her lips as the truth of her predicament began to sink in.  
"I'll be all right," Luffa said, unsure if she was talking to Dende or the Kai, and doubly unsure if she truly meant what she was saying.    "I'll work something out."
And with that, she took flight, and headed directly for Frieza.
NEXT: The Demon's Snare.
1 note · View note
duhragonball · 21 hours ago
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My style and decent into realism and how much better I’ve gotten over time, I think shows through most with my Bulma portraits.
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duhragonball · a day ago
i cant find the actual post rn but lets rb this and say someting nice abt the person u rbed it from in the notes
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duhragonball · a day ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (156/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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[1 December Age 893, Earth.]
Throughout the night, Trunks had been exploring the simulated universe in the popular arcade game Super Dragon Ball Heroes.   To the Earthlings of the 9th Century, it was just a video game about famous warriors and battles from history, but it was in fact a secret project backed by the Time Patrol.   The game world in SDBH was a scale model of the actual universe, based upon the Scroll of Eternity itself.   This provided a unique gaming experience for the unsuspecting civilians, but it also allowed Time Patrollers like Trunks to conduct research and interact with historical events without altering history.   His main objective to was to learn more about his new partner, Luffa.    So far, he had spoken to several Saiyans across time and space, and each answer he found seemed to raise a new question.
At the Hero Lab, where the SDBH game was programmed and maintained, Trunks pondered these questions over takeout food.    Dr. Leggings had cleared off her desk for the plates and napkins.    Her assistant, a girl named Anne, was fussing over the bags of food, determined to make sure everyone’s order was accounted for and properly distributed.   No one asked her to do this, but she was the type who couldn’t relax otherwise.    She still complained about it, but Trunks knew she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nearby, Beat and Note had rolled their own chairs to face one another, and they each propped their feet up on the edge of the other's seat.    He had recruited them for help on a case when they were younger, and it was strange to see them as teenagers.   He wondered if there was something more than friendship developing between them, or if they themselves were aware of it, but it seemed undignified to ask, so he let it go.    There were more important things to consider anyway.
"The main job's been accomplished, at least," Trunks said after he swallowed a bite of eggroll.    "I know where Camelia's key planets are located, and our historians can probably fill in a more complete map of the galaxy from that era.   Then we can work with Luffa to figure out the correct date and location she came from."
"You don't sound very satisfied with that, Master," Note said as she fished out a piece of shrimp from her takeout box and fed it to Beat.  
"I'm not," Trunks said.   "We thought Luffa might be from a distant civilization, but one in the present day.    Now, it's starting to look like she's from our galaxy, but eleven centuries in the past.   Maybe twelve.   The Rehval that I spoke with was the third Saiyan King with that name.    The one Luffa mentioned may have been his father or grandfather."
"Why is that bad, Trunks?" Beat asked.   He found a piece of pork in his box and passed it from his chopsticks to Note's chopsticks.    "I mean, so what if she’s from twelve centuries in the past?   You guys are the Time Patrol, after all.   If anyone can send her home, you can."
"It's not that we can't send her back," Beat, " Trunks said.   "The problem is that I'm not so sure we should.   From the start, I just assumed Luffa was from the present time, or close to it.   Without realizing it, I've shown Luffa things that will happen in her distant future.    To us, it's the past, but if we send her back with that knowledge, she could change the course of history."
"Would she?"  Note asked.    "I mean, I'm sure she's an honorable person, or Shenron wouldn't have chosen her as your ally, Master.   And now that she's seen the dangers involved with time anomalies, I'm sure she'd never tell anyone what she learned about our era."
"It's not that simple, I'm afraid," said Dr. Leggings.    She was chewing on a bone from her order of spare ribs, and Trunks couldn't help but appreciate a very faint resemblance she had to his father.   Leggings looked a lot more like his mother, particularly with the way she wore her green hair in a ponytail.    She was no warrior, but there were definite hints of Saiyan to her.    He liked this.   In his own timeline, Trunks was an only child, and the last of his father's people.   It was comforting to spend time in places like Hero Town and Toki Toki City, where he had an extended family of sorts, no matter how distant.  
"What do you mean, doctor?" Note asked.
"We've seen how even minor changes in the past can cause major changes in the present," Leggings said.   "The game world makes it easy to see, because we can jump from one time period to another very quickly, and we can reset those changes as easily as refreshing a computer.   It's not just a matter of winning a battle you were supposed to lose, or telling secrets that you aren't supposed to know about.   Luffa might change history without even realizing she's done it."
"She's right," Trunks said.   "When I first went back to the past, I tried to be careful not to make any unwanted changes.   I only wanted to warn Goku about the Cyborgs and give him the medicine for the heart virus.    But somehow he got sick about six months later than I expected.   I still have no idea why that happened.   My guess is that he was training for the Cyborgs, so he must have been in a different place than he was in my timeline, so he wasn't infected under the same circumstances."  
"You think Luffa might do something differently, now that she knows what's going to happen to the Saiyans?" Beat asked.
"She might," Trunks said.   "Luffa hates King Rehval, and now that I've met the guy, I can't say I blame her.   If I understand correctly, there's a direct throughline connecting Rehval's policies with the class system used by my grandfather on Planet Vegeta.   So she might blame Rehval for the downfall of the Saiyan race, and try to take revenge.   For that matter, she knows about the Dragon Balls on Namek.   She might be tempted to use them in the past, to try to make wishes to prevent some of the terrible things she's seen in the future."
"That'd be good, wouldn't it?" Beat asked.    
"Not for you, it wouldn't," Note said in a scolding tone.    "Son Goku is your ancestor, isn't he?   If the history of the Saiyans changes too much, then they might never send Goku to Earth, and you would never be born."
"Oh, right," Beat said.   "Maybe Luffa should stay in Toki Toki City, then."
"And that could have consequences too," Trunks said.    "Luffa might still play a role in history, however small.   Shenron may have only brought her to us because he knew the Time Patrol would eventually put her back.    But there's also the matter of her power level..."
"Power?" Anne asked.   She had already finished her meal and was busily cleaning up the discarded cartons and wrappers.     "Don't tell me that's a problem on top of everything else!"
"Yup, I'm afraid so, Anne," Trunks said.    "Luffa's done well on her missions, but she's nowhere near as powerful as what I had expected.   Now that I know what time period she's from, that makes more sense.   King Rehval told me he was the strongest Saiyan of his era, and he's a lot stronger than Luffa, but he wouldn't stand a chance against the kinds of enemies I've had to fight.   Luffa defeated the Ginyu Force, and Rehval might have handled them more easily but that's about all I could expect from either of them."  
"That's nothing you can't fix, Master!" Note said.   "I'm sure you can train Luffa just as well as you trained us!"
"I appreciate your confidence, Note," Trunks said, "but Luffa's not exactly what I'd call 'teachable'.   Besides, she seems to have improved dramatically on her own.   Even she doesn't understand how she's doing it, but she may catch up before too long.   But if she returns to her own time with all that extra strength, then that could mess up history too.    And if she has to remain with us, then I'm not sure she'll be any good on future missions."
"Why not?" Beat asked.   "She's sure to get stronger."
"I thought so too, but maybe I've been taking that for granted," Trunks said.   "I'm used to dealing with Saiyans descended from Son Goku, or from my own family.    Goku and Vegeta were extraordinary fighters, even among Saiyans, but Luffa could be... Well, there's no gentle way to put this.   She might not have the same potential."
"You're not going to just fire her, are you?" Note asked.    
"Of course not," Trunks said.   "If we can't send her home, I'm sure we can find a place for her in the Time Patrol.   But we can't risk sending her on certain missions.   Towa and Mira are dangerous, and if I'm right, their raids on history's warriors are only going to get bolder.   Luffa could find herself in deep waters with no one to help her.   Shenron may have granted my wish, and maybe she is the best person for the job, but that doesn't mean I can gamble with her life.   I need more information before she goes back into the field."
"I'm sure whatever happens, it'll all work out, Trunks," Beat said.    
"You always say stuff like that," Note groaned.  
"Well, I'm right, aren't I?" Beat shrugged.    "Well, most of the time, anyway."
"This has been fun, but I should probably get moving," Trunks said.    "I need to report my findings to the Time Patrol, and maybe the Supreme Kai of Time has a fresh lead on Towa."
"You have to leave already?" Beat asked.    "But it feels like you just got here!"
"Yeah, it was beginning to feel like the old days," Note said.  
"I've missed you guys too," Trunks said.   He stood up and brushed loose grains of rice from his pants.   "You've grown up a lot while I've been away.    You too, Anne."
"I guess it's kind of childish how I keep calling you, 'Master'," Note said.   "Force of habit, I suppose."
"You're welcome to call me 'Trunks' if you want, Note.    But to be honest, it reminds me of when I was a kid.   I used to call Gohan 'Master', back when he trained me to fight the Cyborgs.   He meant a lot to me.   Hearing you say it... It's a good feeling."    
"I'll keep the Hero Switches ready in case you come back," Leggings said.    "You'll probably need to do some follow-up work to pin down an exact time for Luffa."
"Good call," Trunks said as he slung his sword over his shoulder.   "I'll probably have to bring her with me.   I'll see if I can get her to make some more of that lasagna she made for us the other day."  
"Lasagna?" Beat asked.    But Trunks vanished before he could get an answer.  
[4 March, Age 850.  Toki Toki City.]
Luffa felt ridiculous doing this, but she had no other ideas for how to handle the situation.   She knew the way from her apartment to the Time Nest, and the Time Vault was unlocked and unguarded, but she had no idea what to do on her own.   Trunks had always contacted her whenever she was needed, and he always had the Scroll ready to send her on her next mission.     Without him, it seemed that the Time Vault was a useless building with a tree sticking out of the roof.    And so, her only way forward was the Supreme Kai of Time, who lived in a modest capsule house in the Time Nest, next door to the Time Vault.    Luffa felt awkward simply entering the house, and so she went back to her apartment and baked a cake.   That wouldn't make things less awkward for her, but at least there would be something to eat during her visit.    
"Luffa, Hi!" Chronoa said as she answered the knock on her door.    "Ooh, what's that?  It smells good."
"Uh, I got in a mood, so I made some cake," Luffa said, in a failed attempt to sound nonchalant.   "And I thought I should check and see if you and Trunks had any update on the search."
"Afraid not," Chronoa said.   "But perfect timing on the cake.   I just put on a pot of tea.   Come on in!"
The interior of Chronoa's house was littered with technological gizmos.    There were entire jet engines laying around the Time Nest, and it seemed that this was because those larger objects were the only ones that wouldn't fit inside.    Chronoa tossed several of them off one of the couch cushions and gestured for Luffa to take a seat.    
"I'm glad you finally came over," Chronoa said.   "I was worried that you might be having trouble fitting in with the Time Patrol."
"It's uh... it's not so bad," Luffa said.   "My roommate is kind of weird, but we get along well enough.    I've met a few people here."
"They're all a very special bunch of people," Chronoa said.   "I haven't been able to get to know them all as well as I'd like to, but they've helped me out a lot.   That goes for you too, Luffa."
"Listen, uh... I think I owe you an apology," Luffa said.   "I was in a pretty bad place right before I ended up here, and... well, I might have taken out some of my frustrations on you and your staff."
"You've had to adjust to a lot of changes very quickly, Luffa," Chronoa said.    "And we didn't exactly give you a choice about coming here.    You're entitled to get frustrated with us."
"Thanks, but... I'm a mercenary," Luffa said.   "Well, I used to be.   My parents always taught me how important it was to maintain a professional discipline around the clients.   I don't think I've lived up to my own standards."
"I don't think of the other Time Patrollers as mercenaries, Luffa," Chronoa said.   "We're a team, and we're friends.    At least, I'd like to think of you as a friend."
"Yeah, I guess so," Luffa said.   "I... Can I ask you something?"
"You're a god, aren't you?   A god of time."
"That's right."
"Don't you already know how all of this turns out?"
Chronoa chuckled as she sipped her tea.  
"Did I say something wrong?" Luffa asked.
"No, I get that a lot, actually," Chronoa said.   "The short answer is: no, I don't know the future.    Not in the way you're thinking of.    I watch over time, and maintain the flow of time.   When it's necessary, I correct problems in that flow.  But I don't make time, or control it."  
"It's just... I'm kind of anxious to get back on the trail of those demons," Luffa said.   "And we've been waiting for them to make their next move, and it occurred to me that it doesn't make much sense that we have to wait.    You could jump ahead to the moment when they've already made their play."
"Well, now that's something I could do," Chronoa said.   I can travel to the future and find out when the next mission happens.   I could even take you with me so you wouldn't have to wait."
"You can?" Luffa said.
"Oh yeah!" Chronoa said.   "I can do a lot of things.   But I shouldn't do it, so I won't."
"It's not an arbitrary rule, either," Chronoa said.   "Most Supreme Kais are only permitted to travel forward through time, and only to observe future events.   They can't interfere, so they have to limit their use of that power.    With me, the problem is that if I skip around too much, I run the risk of upsetting the balance of my own timeline.   Things have to proceed in order.   That's what time is all about."
"I guess that makes sense," Luffa said.  "Honestly, I had a feeling it wouldn't be that easy, or you would have already done it.  But I had to ask."
"You’re right, it’s not that easy.   In fact, it's part of the reason I established the Time Patrol," Chronoa said.   "For millions of years, keeping watch over the flow of time was pretty simple.  I just had to keep Tokitoki fed and watered, give him plenty of enrichment.   But as the universe grows older, it becomes more complex.    Once, there was no Supreme Kai of Time.   We didn't even need one.   But then we did, and now we've reached a point where I need a whole staff to help maintain things.   If I could just jump back and forth in time any way I wanted, maybe I could do the whole thing alone.   But it’s more satisfying this way, with all of you.”
"Why mortals?   Why not get other Kais to do this work?" Luffa asked.  
"Because there aren't enough of us, for one thing," Chronoa said.    "We come from a place called the 'World Core'.    There aren't many Core People, and few of us ever achieve the rank of Kai.    Fewer still ascend to the status of Grand Kai, and even fewer make it to Supreme Kai.   There used to be seven Supreme Kais in this universe, including me.   These days, there's only three."
"Is three enough?" Luffa asked.
"For now, it'll have to be," Chronoa said.   "Besides, I've found that mortals are very dedicated and resourceful.   To say nothing of all the technology they produce..."
She reached for an end table and picked up a machine that looked vaguely like a can opener combined with an alarm clock.    Luffa expected her to use the device, but instead Chronoa simply admired its surfaces.  
"So what's all this stuff for, anyway?" Luffa asked, gesturing to the assortment of similar gadgets that lay in every direction.  
"Nothing in particular," Chronoa said.   "I just find their designs fascinating.   The electronics, the cogwheels, the little blinking lights.   It's helpful for contemplating the nature of time."
"If you say so," Luffa said.    
"Without time, everything would happen all at once," Chronoa explained.  "Birth, death, creation, destruction, none of that would mean anything without the passage of time to separate those moments.   The oven you used to bake this cake.   Without time, there would be no need for it.   Cooking would be meaningless.    You can't preheat an oven or leave a cake inside for seven hours, not when there's no hours."
"S-seven hours?" Luffa asked, but Chronoa paid no mind.    
"Mixing the ingredients would be pointless, too.    Even the pan you put it in, it would be unnecessary, because there could be no cause or effect.    There could be no hunger, because there would be no time for you to become hungry."    
"That's why you like these tools, then?"  Luffa asked.   "Their functions remind you of the flow of time?"
"Yes, that's one way of looking at it," Chronoa said.     She picked up another object that had a handle connected to a transparent dome on wheels.   Inside the dome were several colorful plastic balls, which bounced around inside as Chronoa pushed it along the floor.  
"What does that thing do?" Luffa asked.  
"Oh, this is just a child's toy," Chronoa said.   "Same idea though."
"Okay..."   Luffa decided this was as good a time as any to serve the cake.   It was yellow with chocolate frosting, a recipe which suited her aesthetics, though she had no idea what flavor “yellow” was supposed to be.    She wondered if “yellow” was a kind of fruit, like the oranges used to make the juice she had discovered while shopping.
 "Very impressive," Chronoa said as she took a bite.   "You must have turned the oven up to full power for this."
"Uh, not exactly," Luffa said nervously.   She was beginning to get the impression that Chronoa had no idea how cooking worked.  "Jayncho found a recipe, and they had everything I needed in the Industrial District.   I've been using my downtime to get a handle on Earth cuisine."
"That's great!   You know... when we figure out how to get you home, Luffa, you wouldn't have to stay there.    You could come back for missions."  
"We have a lot of Patrollers who still live on Earth, in their own native eras.    Mostly ranging from Age 850 to 1050, but there are a few exceptions, like Trunks."
"Well, that's nice and all," Luffa said, "but I don't know that it would work for me..."
"Do you have any family?"
Luffa hesitated before answering.    "No," she said.   "It's just me." To explain further would require her to reveal that she knew she was from the distant past, and she wasn't ready to divulge that just yet.   She wasn't sure she ever would be.   But somehow, sitting in Chronoa's home, sharing snacks with her while they watched the view outside her window, Luffa felt like she could trust her.
She just wouldn't trust her today.  Not yet.   Like Chronoa had said, these things had to happen in the proper order.
"Have you heard of ‘Providence,’ Chronoa?" Luffa asked.
"I know the term, if that's what you mean." she said with her mouth full.  
"My... a friend of mine, she believed in a divine plan.  I just wondered if you, or one of the other Kais, had any connection to that."
"Are you religious yourself, Luffa?"
"Not really.   But I've known people who were.   You wouldn't know a god with nine eyes, by any chance, would you?"
"No, I can't say that I do," Chronoa said.  
"What about Beerus?"
"Oh, well that's different," Chronoa said.   "You see-- Wait, what was that?"
She put her plate on the coffee table and stood up, as though looking for something beyond the walls of her house.    
"What is it?" Luffa asked.  Her own senses picked up nothing out of the ordinary. 
"Something's wrong," Chronoa said.    "We need to go to the Time Vault."
"Is it Towa and Mira?" Luffa asked.  
"I'm not sure," Chronoa said, “but I think it could be."
Luffa punched her right hand with her left as she stood up from the sofa.   At last, it seemed like her waiting was over.
[24 December, Age 762.   Planet Namek.]
The Namekian Dragon Balls were ordinary stones.   Two wishes had been granted, but they petrified upon the death of their creator, Guru.   When Frieza arrived to discover this predicament, he was furious.    So furious, that he wasted no time in destroying the objects of his wrath.    Within minutes, Krillin, Vegeta, and the Namekian child, Dende, were all dead.    Piccolo, newly resurrected by the Dragon Balls, joined the battle, but far too later to do any good.   Gohan was next, and then the only one left was Goku.    
"Who... are you?" Frieza asked, as Goku cradled his dead son in his arms.     "Never mind.   I don't need to know."
Goku followed the others soon after. 
[4 March, Age 850.    Toki Toki City.]
"It has to be Towa," Chronoa said.   She had the Scroll of Eternity unfurled on the great octagonal table in the Time Vault.    Luffa watched over her shoulder, while Tokitoki flapped his wings and hooted overhead.    
"This looks like the same day as the Ginyu Force battle I was just in," Luffa said. 
"It is," Chronoa said.  "This new temporal change takes place thirty-seven minutes after you left.    Towa must have decided it was the last place we would expect her to strike.   I didn't think she was prepared to try her energy stealing techniques on someone as powerful as Frieza."
Luffa had never actually seen Frieza before.    Until now, she had only heard about him.   During her previous mission, the Ginyu Force and Vegeta had spoken of him as being present on Namek, but occupied elsewhere.   Before that, she had heard about Frieza's conquest and destruction of the Saiyan homeworld from the Toki Toki City historian, Dewar.    Dewar had said that Frieza was a clansman of his own species, and now that Luffa could see Frieza in the mystical images generated by the Scroll, she could see the resemblance.   Mostly, Frieza had purple colorations wherever Dewar had blue, and Frieza didn't bother wearing clothes.   He was a white-skinned, muscular humanoid with no hair and three-toed feet.    A long, thick tail waved behind him.  The purple aura from Towa's magic seemed to suit his cruel, indifferent expression.  
"Looks like it's the same story as before," Luffa said.    "Frieza got a power boost and he overwhelmed these guys too quickly, so I'll have to step in and balance the scales."
"It's not that simple," Chronoa warned.   "Frieza is far more powerful than anyone you've faced so far."
"He can't swap bodies like Captain Ginyu, can he?" Luffa asked.    
"No, but--"
"Well then, this should be a lot more straightforward," Luffa said,  She held up her hands and began cracking her knuckles.  
"Wait," Chronoa said.   "Luffa, I really think we should hold off on this until Trunks gets back."
"What for?" Luffa asked.   "I'm the one who has to go on these missions, and I'm ready right now.   With any luck, those miserable demons will still be there, and I can pick up where I left off."
"You don't know what you're dealing with, Luffa," Chronoa warned.  "Every time you've come back from these missions, you've been badly hurt.    Fighting Frieza is one thing.   If he hurts you, you can be automatically recalled to the Time Nest before you die.   But if Towa decides to step in, that might not work.   She's already threatened you, and there's a lot we don't know about her temporal manipulation abilities."
"Then it's time we found out," Luffa insisted.   "I don't know what kind of Saiyans you have working for you in the Time Patrol, but I'm the kind that doesn't back down from a challenge.    I think your pet Dragon noticed that, and maybe that's why he brought me here to help you out."
"There's more at stake here than whatever chip you have on your shoulder, Luffa," Chronoa said.  "I can tell you're out to prove something.   I don't know what, but I won't risk your life like this."
"And what happens if they try to alter history somewhere else while we're waiting around?" Luffa asked.   "We need to address this sooner rather than later.   And no matter what we do, it's going to be me who ends up going.   You know I'm right, Supreme Kai of Time.    I wouldn't be here if I weren't."  
Chronoa regarded her for a moment, then looked back at the Scroll.    "All right, we'll try it your way," she said.   "But I'll be watching, and at the first sign of trouble, I'm pulling you out of there."
"Thanks," Luffa said.   "I was thinking about making a grab for the Scroll, but I didn’t want to upset you.   I've never fought a god before, and I didn't want to make things awkward between us.”
"Uh... sure.   Well, promise me that you’ll keep that in mind if I have to bring you back from the mission early," Chronoa said.   "If you can't handle Frieza, then you definitely don't need to be picking fights with me."
Luffa smiled as she picked up the Scroll, and then she was gone.
1 note · View note
duhragonball · 2 days ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (155/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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Hey, it’s the Hero Lab!
[1 July, Age 726.    Planet Plant.]
The latest reports from the frontlines were very encouraging.    The Tuffles were a stubborn enemy, but the Saiyans had managed to drive them out of the north quarter of Orange City, while the Truffle pushback in Cidertown had slowed to a virtual standstill.   Nappa smiled as he laid the report down and enjoyed the view from his new penthouse.    The blood of the previous owner still stained the walls and floors, but he rather enjoyed the scent of dead Tuffles.   It gave the place some much-needed personality.    
"You seem to be in a good mood today."  
Nappa looked up from the balcony and spotted a young Saiyan floating overhead.    He didn't recognize the man, but judged him to be part-alien from the color of his hair and the strange clothes that he wore.    He looked more like a Tuffle than a Saiyan, but the scent was proof enough that he wasn't Nappa's enemy.    Whatever the young man's parentage, his blood was nothing like the kind that decorated his new home.    
"Why wouldn't I be happy?" Nappa asked.   His thin mustache framed his smile as he crossed his arms over his massive chest.    "The Tuffles have been lording over us for years, and now we're finally taking over this planet, just as easily as I took over this apartment.    Before long, the Tuffles will be the ones begging us to let them stay on Planet Plant."
"I guess you're right," the man said.   "At least until someone stronger comes along and takes it all away from you."
"I like you, kid," Nappa said with a gravely laugh.    "You sure do know how to tell a joke.   What brings you here?"
"I had some questions," he said as he alighted on the balcony.  "I need information, and I heard you knew my father, so I thought I'd start with you."
Nappa eyed the man suspiciously.    "I know a lot of fathers," he said.   "None of them wore long black coats, or carried a sword, though.    What's your dad's name, kid?"  
"Vegeta," he said.  
Nappa laughed.    Then he looked at the young man more carefully, doing his best to ignore the blue eyes and the lavender hair that hung around his face.   Then he laughed harder.  
"Something funny about that?" the man asked.    
"I do see a bit of a resemblance," Nappa said.   "Guess King Vegeta II had a few 'unofficial' heirs over the years, huh?   Who knew he had it in him?   So which is it?   You want to blackmail the royal family?    Or were you hoping they'd give you a cushy civil service job?"
"Nothing like that," the man said.   "I just wanted to ask you some questions.    Nothing personal, just general background stuff."
"Yeah?  Well why should I help you?" Nappa asked.    "For that matter, killing you would probably be a smarter play.    One less would-be usurper for the king to worry about, right?  I’m sure your old man would make it worth my while."
"Oh, I probably should have been more specific," the young man said.    "My father isn't Vegeta the Second.    It's Vegeta the Fourth."    
Nappa gave him a sidelong glance.    "There is no Vegeta IV," he said warily.  
"Not yet, anyway," the man said with a knowing smile.  
"That's it, I don't know what your game is, punk, but I'm through playing!" Nappa said.    "You can tell your lies in hell!"  
He drew back his arm and threw a punch that would have killed most Saiyans on contact.    Nappa had made a name for himself on the battlefield for defeating entire companies of Tuffle mechatroops all by himself.    He fully expected to turn the young man's head into a cloud of red mist.    
Instead, the man blocked his strike with such incredible speed that Nappa couldn't even tell that he had moved.   In one instant, the man had been standing with his hands in his pockets.    And then in the next, the man was now gripping Nappa's palm with his thumb and index finger.    He squeezed slightly, and Nappa nearly dropped to his knees from the pain.    
"Nnnghhh!" was the noise he made as he struggled not to show how much it hurt.   His free hand reached up for his scalp, where he tugged at the tuft of thick black hair on his head.
"Look, let's cut to the chase, all right?   For you, this'll only take a few minutes, but I might be doing these interviews all night, so don't waste my time, okay?   Those Tuffles you're fighting might be pushovers, but I'm not.    So now that you know that you can't brute force your way out of this, what'll it be?"
He released Nappa's hand, and Nappa gasped with relief as he cradled it in his other palm.   He stared at his hands for a moment, then at the man.   Then he paused to consider the sword, and how much worse it would get if the young man decided to make use of it.    
"Heh.   Uh, yeah, sorry, Your Majesty.   I-I should have recognized you sooner.    Anything you want, just let me know, Prince... uh... Prince... What'd you say your name was?"
"I didn't," he replied.  "So, let's start with a simple one.    Have you ever heard of a Saiyan named Luffa?"
[1 December Age 893, Earth.]
"Honestly, I didn't expect him to know Luffa.    Nappa didn't recognize her when she faced him on a Time Patrol mission, but he did fill me in on a few things."
By Age 889, the arcade game Super Dragon Ball Heroes had become a popular pastime, and the city of Hero Town became the global headquarters for the craze.    Gaming enthusiasts from around the world traveled to Hero Town to partake in the game, which was based upon actual events from the previous century.   Trunks had logged many hours in front of an SDBH cabinet, though his reasons had nothing to do with recreation.   For all its popularity, the game had a very strange secret.    It was the Capsule Corporation who developed the software, but the world within the game was actually made possible by the Time Patrol.   Deep beneath Hero Tower was the Hero Lab, where the Time Patrol occasionally conducted secret research and reconnaissance.  
"I don't get it, Master," said a teenage girl standing near one of the main computer terminals that surrounded nearly every surface of the Hero Lab.    "You formed the Dragon Ball Heroes Team to help you defeat Sealas, right?   So why didn't you come to us on this Towa situation?"
"Note's right, Trunks!" said a teenage boy eating mochi from a bag.  "I'm Goku's descendant, after all!   It's not fair to leave me out of a case like this."
Trunks deactivated the Hero Switch device and handed it to Anne, one of the scientists who maintained the lab.    His black trenchcoat and sword hung next to several labcoats on a metal rack in the corner, revealing the olive-green sweater he wore underneath.   He smiled at Note and Beat, and then Dr. Leggings, the project director of the Hero Lab, who was programming the next simulation.
"I understand where you're coming from, kids," Trunks said, "and I appreciate the offer, but it's not that simple."  
"Why not?" Beat asked.   "From what you've told us, Luffa's a Saiyan, right?   If that's all you needed, then I could have tackled these missions for you.  I'm a Saiyan, too."
"Oh, here we go..." Note grumbled.  She made sure to roll her eyes dramatically enough for everyone in the room to see.
"What?" Beat asked.    "It's true, isn't it?"
"Beat, even I have Saiyan ancestry," Dr. Leggings said without looking up from her computer terminal.   "After a hundred and thirty years of Saiyans living on Earth, it's not as uncommon as you might think."
"She's right," Trunks said.   "We have a lot of Saiyan-Earthling Time Patrollers back in Toki Toki City from the next century.   A few of the stranger ones call me 'Your Highness', but I try not to hold it against them.      Besides, if all I cared about was Saiyan blood, I'd go to my father for help.   So that's not why I recruited you, or Luffa, for that matter."
"Then why did you recruit Luffa instead of coming to us?" Beat asked.  
"Listen,” Trunks said.   “In my timeline, No. 17 and 18 had destroyed much of the world.   Son Gohan was the only Z-fighter left, and he was reluctant to train me.    He needed the help, but he was worried about me getting hurt.    I think eventually he decided he didn't have a choice.    He knew that if anything happened to him, there would have been no one else to defeat the Cyborgs.   But now I understand how his reluctance.    After he... well.... Later on, when I was on my own, I was determined to defeat them alone.   I wanted no part of my mother's plan to use her Time Machine to get help from Goku."
"But, Master, if you hadn't gone back in time," Note said, then you never would have joined the Time Patrol, or formed the Dragon Ball Heroes Team!"
"Exactly," Trunks said.    "Working with Goku and his friends in the past, I learned how valuable it can be to have allies.   It's not just about having extra hands to help with the hard work.   You can learn from each new friend you make.    And they can learn from you, as well.    I think that's why the Supreme Kai of Time created the Time Patrol in the first place.  So it wouldn't be right to keep turning to the same handful of allies every time.  Besides, I need you guys here, keeping an eye on things in Hero Town."
"Well, yeah," Beat said.   "I guess that makes sense.   But it's been so dull around here lately."
"Tell you what," Trunks offered.   "Once things settle down in Toki Toki City, I'll pull a few strings, maybe bring you guys in on a Time Patrol mission.   How's that sound?"
"Really?!" Note cheered.   She jumped into the air and kicked her heels behind her with excitement.    
"Awesome!" Beat said.  
"Don't get too carried away," Trunks said.    "I can't make any promises.   Ultimately, it's up to the Supreme Kai of Time.    But I think we can manage something."    
"I think we're ready for the next session, sir," Leggings said.   "Assuming these coordinates you gave us are valid.   Are you sure we can trust Nappa?"
"She's right, Master," Note added.    "He's bad news.   Just because you're stronger than he is doesn't mean he would have had any reason to tell you the truth."
"Which is exactly why I'm using Hero Lab to access the game world instead of traveling back in time," Trunks explained.   "Our research teams back in Toki Toki City are constantly using time machines to observe historical events, but they can't interact with anything or ask questions, because it might alter history."
"But the SDBH game is a simulation based upon the Scroll of Eternity itself," Dr. Leggings said.    "Meaning it's a nearly perfect copy of the real world, one that you can tamper with and not have to worry about permanently changing anything."
"Of course!" Note said.   "It's like how Sealas used the game to learn what changes he could make to alter history.   He used the game like a practice run for the real thing."
"Only, instead of changing the way things happened in the past," Beat said, "you're using the game to find out how things are supposed to have turned out.   But how does that help you learn anything about Luffa?"
"I asked Shenron to bring me a powerful ally," Trunks said.    "I should have been more specific about the wish, but I was kind of desperate for the help.   Shenron sent me Luffa, but she had no idea what was going on, and neither of us knows how to get her back where she came from.   She talked to one of our historians, and it's starting to sound like she's from some other part of the universe, or maybe from another timeline.   But wherever she's from, she's still a Saiyan, and not a descendant of Goku or Vegeta, like we are.    So I think if I go far enough into the past, I'll find some historical information we have in common, and maybe I can follow that thread back to her home."
"Phew!" Beat said.   "That sounds like a lot of work!  I'm worn out just thinking about it."
"You're not even doing anything," Note muttered.  
"There's no telling what kind of trouble I might run into in the simulated history," Trunks said.   Dr. Leggings has only ever run the simulation in a very narrow time range.   A few centuries at most.   I may end up taking the simulation into uncharted territory, and everything I know about Saiyans tells me that they had plenty of enemies to fight.    If things get hairy, I'll need some backup, and that's where you two come in.   I can't think of anyone better qualified than my two top students."
"Gosh...!" Note said.
"Yeah!  Now you're talking!" Beat cheered.    
Anne handed the Hero Switch back to Trunks.   The device was a powerful computer, but it looked like a black bracelet covered in glowing blue lights and a Capsule Corp. logo.   Trunks placed it onto his right wrist and prepared to activate it.  
"In the game world," he said, "Nappa told me that "Saiya" was a name for several planets colonized by Saiyans throughout history.   The most recent one was destroyed around four hundred years ago.    Hopefully, someone there will know more about King Rehval, or the Camelian Empire, or this Planet Nagaoka that Luffa once mentioned."
"What if they don't know, sir?" Anne asked.  
"Then I'll have to keep traveling backward until I find someone who does," Trunks said.   "Wish me luck."
"Wait, Trunks, one more thing before you go!" Dr. Leggings said urgently.
"Huh?   What's wrong?" Trunks asked.    He held up the Hero Switch on his wrist and pointed at it.   "Everything looks good on this end."
"It's just... are you sure you don't want to wear the Great Saiyaman 3 outfit for this mission?" she asked.  
"I'm positive," Trunks said.   Before anyone could object, he activated the bracelet, and vanished into the game world.    
[12 May, Age 513.    Planet Saiya.]
"You picked a fine time to ask about the weather, stranger."
The Saiyan’s name was Reeque, and Trunks had no idea how old she was.   The small settlement he found on Saiya was it's largest population center, and they directed him to an old hag who lived in the wastelands.   Trunks found her easily enough, but then the blood-wraiths attacked, and they had to take their conversation on the run.   Powerful as Trunks was, his technology and ki were useless against the intangible creatures, and Reeque's warnings were enough to convince him that he should keep his distance.    
"They become solid every seven months," Reeque told him.   "Then we pay them back a thousandfold, but in the meantime, we run and hide until dawn.    They say the storms left them behind, but I doubt that.   Not even Luffa would be so cruel."
She carried a walking stick carved from some gnarled length of driftwood, but Trunks was impressed with how swiftly she crossed the rough terrain.    Her dark red robes flapped behind her back like the wings of some great ugly hawk.    
"I apologize for not making myself clear, ma'am," Trunks said as he hopped over a rock.    "The Luffa I asked about is a Saiyan, not a storm system."
"Well that's perfectly clear to me, boy," Reeque said, "but it doesn't change the fact that you're mistaken.   Only Luffa I've ever heard of is the one my great grandmother told me about.     Wiped out the entire Kingdom of Saiya in a single day.   The smart ones fled while they could.   The rest stayed, but only the hardiest few survived.   The environment here was harsh before Luffa, and it only got worse from there.    Without the supplies from allied worlds... well, you learn to savor the taste of roast blood-wraith."
"Then where did the Saiyans go when they abandoned this planet?" Trunks asked.
"Hell," Reeque said.   "If there's any justice, they went to hell.  Otherwise they scattered across the galaxy.     There was a kingdom on Sadala, but my life wouldn't be worth a zinc coin on that forsaken place.   My parents were banished, and they joined the usurper kings during the civil wars.    Fifty years ago, they tried to rebuild Saiya, like the name alone would restore their fortunes.   But there's nothing left here.  Nothing but blood-wraiths and ruin."
None of this was surprising to Trunks, since Nappa had told him this planet would eventually be destroyed altogether.   He had tried to arrive on Saiya well before that day, but it seemed like the destruction of Saiya had been set into motion long before whatever warrior finally put it out of its misery.
"And King Rehval?" Trunks asked.    "What became of him?"
"Why should you care, boy?" Reeque asked.    "You've come a long way in search of the dead."
"I think he's my ancestor," Trunks said.    "I, uh, I'm trying to settle a dowry on another planet, and they're very interested in genealogies."
"Social climber, huh?" Reeque said.   "Well, I can't help you with that.   Anything else you wanted to know?"
"The Camelian Empire," Trunks said.   "Do you know where I can find it?   I don't need exact coordinates, just a general idea will do.  Er, is something wrong, ma'am?"
She began to make a sort of rhythmic coughing sound from her throat, and Trunks eventually figured out that it was laughter.    "You're an amusing fellow," Reeque finally said.   "When I saw that purple hair of yours, I thought I might be seeing things, but my imagination isn't wild enough to dream up such silly questions.   Oh, I've spent countless nights like this one, running from bloodwraiths, but I think I'll remember tonight for a long time to come."  
"Then you can't tell me about Camelia either," Trunks said.    
"There's nothing to tell, boy," Reeque said with a rasping chuckle.    "The Camelian Empire fell more than three hundred years ago!"
[23 February, 238 Before Age.    Chai I.]
"The ‘Super Saiyan’?   Now what in the world is that, Trunks?"
"It's a legend I heard when I was a boy," Trunks said.   "According to my father, once every thousand years, there's a Saiyan who surpasses the limits of what Saiyans can do.   They're considered the ultimate warriors.   Powerful, invincible, and with an insatiable craving for battle."
Rehval III considered this tale for a moment while admiring the bouquet of his wine.   At last, he took a sip from his glass, and sampled a bite of his fish entree.  Trunks waited patiently at the other side of the table.   The restaurant looked fancier than any Trunks had ever seen on Earth, in any century.   And this was merely a section of a minor administrative building in the Camelian capitol.      
"I'll be blunt, Trunks,” Rehval finally said.    “You seem like the kind of man who likes to get to the point, so I won’t keep you in suspense.   I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I see," Trunks said.    
"Do you believe in this legend yourself?" Rehval asked.  
"No," Trunks said after a pause.  "In my experience there's no such thing as an invincible warrior.  There are extraordinary Saiyans, but not necessarily one every thousand years.    There could be two or three, or a hundred, or none at all."
"I'll tell you what I think," Rehval said.   "I have heard tall tales of ancient Saiyan heroes.   Chanisp was said to have lived about a thousand years ago.    For all I know, they've been saying "a thousand years ago" for centuries.   I mean, a year ago, was anyone saying Chanisp lived 'nine-hundred and ninety-nine years ago'?   Of course not.   The round numbers make for better storytelling, but I deal in precision."  
Rehval paused his meal to point at a gold watch on his left wrist.    "My summit with the Camelian Imperial College begins in three hours and twenty-two minutes, Trunks.   I can't afford to offend the Camelians by rounding up.    Time can be a strict mistress."
"I take your point," Trunks said.    "And I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me."  
"Not at all," Rehval said.   "There aren't many Saiyans in this part of the galaxy, besides common raiders, I mean.   And you're a man of unusual manners and poise, Trunks.   You're exactly the sort of citizen I want in the Kingdom of Saiya.    I think you'd find life very prosperous under my rule."
"I am... interested in hearing more," Trunks said.    "Let's put it that way."
"Well, then, it's a good thing you found me during this gap in my schedule," Rehval said.    "I have all afternoon to convince you to come home with me."
Trunks smiled as though amused by his remark.    In fact, this had been his third attempt to speak with King Rehval III.   An earlier visit to the Camelian capital world gave him access to important diplomatic records, which showed him the exact date and time of an official visit by the Saiyan King.    Trunks found him on the first try, but he was too busy to talk.    Trunks reset the game world simulation and tried again, approaching Rehval three hours earlier, but wasn't able to catch the man's interest.    This time, he figured out that the key to Rehval's attention was to show interest in joining his cause.   Rehval’s Kingdom was the most powerful Saiyan faction in this era, but his subjects made up less than half of the Saiyan population, and Rehval was very keen on getting more Saiyans to rally to his flag.     Even half-aliens like Trunks were welcome, apparently.    
"Where did you say your mother was from?" Rehval asked.    Trunks was pretty sure Rehval had aims for establishing diplomatic ties with Earth, even if he had no idea where it was or if it was worth his time.
"The Yajirobe System," Trunks lied.  "It's pretty far off the beaten path.     But what were you saying about Chanisp?"
"Well, there are lower classes in every society, Trunks," Rehval explained.   "It's not something Saiyans think about much, but other civilizations have demonstrated it time and time again.    The problem is that, in disorganized societies, these lesser citizens don't understand that they have a duty to follow their betters.    And so, in their confusion, they turn to superstitions."
"Go on..." Trunks said.    He took a bite of his salad and chewed thoroughly.  
"They say Chanisp defeated a mighty demon and liberated the entire Saiyan race from slavery.    Did it actually happen?    Maybe.   Was he one of your father's 'Super Saiyans'?    He might have been.   How does any of that prove that there should be another one like him ten centuries later?   Oh, and the cycle just happens to reset in the present day.   So the tale expects us to believe that, at any moment, any one of us might miraculously transform into an invincible, demon-slaying superhero.   How convenient."  
"Well, when you put it that way..." Trunks said.    
"I'm not one to brag, Trunks, but as far as I know, the strongest Saiyan alive is sitting across the table from you.   That's not a challenge, or a demand for respect, just a statement of fact.   I'd have to be stronger to be the king, or I wouldn't be the king for very long, now would I?"
"Makes sense to me," Trunks lied again.   
He only brought up the legend to gain historical context.   Rehval seemed to enjoy discussing it, so that worked to Trunks’ favor, but what he had truly wanted to know was whether Rehval had heard of a golden-haired cryptid running amok in the galaxy.   He had not, which meant that there had been no Super Saiyan in this era, or that the Super Saiyan hadn’t appeared yet. 
"These legends are just stories people invent to convince themselves that there's a way out of their reality.     When the thousandth year passes, they move the goalpost, or invent a new story to replace the old.   'Oh, the Super Saiyan is real, he's just invisible and working in secret, but he really is here to help us all.'   That sort of thing."
"And that's why you're pursuing diplomatic ties with Camelia," Trunks concluded.  "You can't afford to wait for a messiah."
"The Saiyans are at a crossroads, Trunks," Rehval said.    "If our race is going to survive, we need to follow the same well-tread path as the Camelian Empire.    Statecraft.   National unity.   It's not as romantic as your father's legend, but it works.    It's a path that leads to prosperity.    If we all unite as one kingdom, under one law, then we grow stronger as a people.   That means forming alliances, brokering treaties, and all the other minutiae that goes with it."
"Well, this has been a very interesting discussion, but I'm afraid I need to get going," Trunks said.   He stood up from his chair and gestured to the waiter to bring his coat and sword.    "It's been a pleasure, Your Majesty."
"Wait," Rehval said.   "I thought you wanted to hear more about Planet Saiya.   The great society that I'm building there.   I'd like you to be a part of that society, Trunks."
"I'm sure you would," Trunks said as he put his arms through the sleeves of his coat.    "But I've already seen how Saiya turns out, and I'm already a part of the society you envisioned.   What's left of it, anyway."
"I don't understand."
"It's simple.   Your vision isn't all that visionary, Rehval.   No matter how strong you think you are, there's always someone stronger who'll come along to challenge you.   That's not a leader, that's a gunfighter daring someone to come along and defeat him.   I've grew up in a world ruled by strength alone, and you're half-right.   It is a well-worn path, but it doesn't lead to prosperity."
"What do mean you've already seen Saiya?" Rehval asked.   "Who are you?"
Trunks activated the bracelet on his arm, and vanished from the game world.    The simulated Rehval who existed within it was left with more questions than answers, though he would not ponder them for long.    Soon enough, the simulation would be refreshed, and he would have no memory of this encounter.
NEXT: Burning Questions
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duhragonball · 3 days ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (154/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball,  which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made  on this work  by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please  don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note:  This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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Time Patrol.  When you’re here, you’re family.
[28 February, Age 850.   Toki Toki City.]
The overseer of time itself was Chronoa, the Supreme Kai of Time.   Her headquarters was a strange realm known as Toki Toki City, which housed the Time Nest, a habitat for Tokitoki, a bird-like creature of great cosmic significance.     Within the Time Nest stood the Time Vault, a stone fortress which housed the Scroll of Eternity.     Luffa recognized the atrium of the Time Vault immediately.    The first thing she saw when she materialized was the large octagonal table in the center of the room.   There was a casserole dish of lasagna sitting on it.    Luffa had left it there before she departed for her mission, and now it was half-empty.   A pair of plates and forks were lying beside the meal, both stained with sauce and crumbs.    
"Excellent job," said Trunks, who was standing to her left.    
"The mission, or the lasagna?" Luffa asked.    She wanted to lighten the mood, but she had taken a lot of damage, and now that the battle was over, she found it difficult to remain standing.    
"Both," Trunks said.   He pulled one of the round stools closer and gestured for Luffa to take a seat.   "That was a great fight."
"They got away," Luffa said.   She lowered herself onto the stool and found it much more comfortable than she had expected.  "Did you pull me out of there because I couldn't find them, or because you didn't think I could beat them?"
"Sorry, but you didn't have your earpiece, so I couldn't tell you what was going on," Trunks said.   "You accomplished the mission and contained the changes to history.    And you found the two that were behind all of this, which is awesome, but I didn't want to push our luck.    You see, I know those two.   I've had dealings with them before."
"I get it," Luffa said.    "Instead of letting me follow them blindly, you wanted to compare notes."
Trunks nodded.   "Even if you had found them and defeated them, Towa's quite the escape artist.   And if you pursued them out of that time period, we'd have a lot of trouble tracking you down.   If they managed to lure you into their territory, they might have been able to steal your energy."
"Mira said something about that," Luffa said.   "And Towa acted like I didn't have enough power to justify the effort."   She put her elbows on the table and couldn't help but notice the leftovers nearby.    "Were you guys done with this, or...?"
"Oh, sure," Trunks said.    "Help yourself."
Luffa grabbed the dish and scooped a chunk of lasagna up in her hand.    As she began to eat, she noticed the bird, Tokitoki, standing next to her stool.     He looked up at her with a curious expression.    She didn't know if he was begging for scraps or just interested in what she was doing.  
"Towa and Mira are energy thieves," Trunks explained.    They travel through time, siphoning ki from powerful warriors."
"If that's what they're after, then you'd think they'd be more subtle about it," Luffa said with her mouth full.    "If they stole some energy here and there, it wouldn't actually change history, right?   But instead, they're making these guys stronger and more aggressive, and wound up getting your attention."
"Yes, but Towa has ways to draw energy from the damage inflicted upon warriors as they fight," Trunks said.   "Look at what she did to Guldo and my father.   By enraging them, making them more powerful, the battles were longer and more intense than in the original history.   Not to mention your involvement.   There's a good chance she was counting on us sending someone to clean up her mess, just so she could harvest energy from whatever Time Patroller we sent."
"Then maybe it's good that I'm the one who confronted them," Luffa said.  "Towa was sure I was working for some group, but she didn't know who.   That might give us an edge."
"Perhaps," Trunks said.   "But they know the Time Patrol will come after them eventually.    If she hasn't already figured out you're one of us, she soon will.   I'm more concerned with what she plans to do with all this energy she's gathering."
"She put some of it into Mira," Luffa said.   "I can tell that guy used to be a lot stronger before, but she said she was saving up for something else.    All of her meddling with history, she called them 'experiments'."
"Mira's especially dangerous," Trunks said.    "If Towa restores him to his full power, he could give us a lot of trouble.   So if she's putting that off, then whatever she's up to must be even worse..."
"But who are they?" Luffa asked.   "Towa thought it was strange for me to be traveling through time looking for trouble, even though she's basically doing the same thing.    Where did she come from?"
"They're inhabitants of the Demon Realm.    In the distant future."
Luffa looked up from her meal to see Chronoa enter the room.    She noticed that, whenever the Supreme Kai of Time entered the room, Trunks seemed to stand up a little straighter, if such a thing were even possible.    
"Supreme Kai of Time," Trunks exclaimed.
"Demons?" Luffa asked.
"Towa is the younger sister of Dabura," Chronoa went on.   "He used to be the King of the Demon Realm for a time.    She might have tried to claim the throne for herself, but Towa is much more interested in her research.   Mira is a warrior she created to serve her ambitions.   Trunks defeated Mira the last time we encountered them, but it looks like she's managed to put him back together."
"But what could they be up to this time?" Trunks asked.  "Before, Towa was gathering energy to resurrect the Dark Emperor, Mechikabura.   But there's no way he could have returned, is there?"
"No, I'm sure of that much," Chronoa said.   "Remember, Towa sought to revive the Dark Empire because she wanted to break the seal on the Demon Realm.    With Mechikabura lost to her, she may be looking for another way to reach the same goal."  
Luffa didn't care much for her somber tone.   Chronoa tended to be much more cheerful, but not now.   "Seal?   What do you mean?" Luffa asked.  
"The universe you know is just the part that mortals live in," Chronoa said.   "There's also the higher realms, where gods like me live, and a lower realm.   Millions of years ago, Mechikabura was banished to a space beyond time.  A seal was created to keep him from escaping into the normal universe.   It was meant to imprison him, but he founded what eventually became the Demon Realm, the home of his Dark Empire."
"I think I get it," Luffa said.   "If someone breaks the seal, they could cross over to this side, and invade."
"The seal isn't an absolute barrier," Chronoa said.   "Lesser demons can pass through without quite as much trouble, but the stronger ones need a large amount of ki to get across.   To break the seal entirely would require an enormous power.    If it ever happened, an invasion would only be the beginning.    Even if the demons were turned back to their own realm, there would be nothing to keep them there.    The balance of the entire universe would collapse.   Nothing would ever be the same again."
"Then it sounds like we should take the fight to them," Luffa said.  "Kill Towa before she can take any more energy."
"I'm afraid we won't be able to find them, Luffa," Chronoa said.    "Towa's proven to be very resourceful.   She knows that the Time Patrol will be watching for her, so she's always been very careful about having a place to hide."
"I agree," Trunks said.  "Our best chance is to keep tracking them through the changes they cause in history.   And when we catch up to them again, we'll be ready for them."
"All right, then, I suppose that'll have to do," Luffa grumbled.    "I should probably get healed up while I still have the time."
"I can take care of that again," Chronoa offered.   She stepped towards Luffa and smiled warmly as she held out her hand.
"No!" Luffa said.   "I mean, you've already done enough for me.   I can make it to the hospital.  Pulmon can take care of it.   You don't need to hurt yourself like you did before."
Chronoa shrugged.   "Well, if that's the way you want it, suit yourself."  
Luffa nodded as she rose up from the stool.   "I'll be fine.   Just make sure you let me know as soon as you find anything.   I want another crack at those demons.   My ancestor, Chanisp, he slew a demon or two in his day.   Maybe it runs in the family."
"Don't worry about that," Trunks said.   "I'm sure you'll get your chance very soon."
[3 March, Age 850.  Toki Toki City.]
"Nothing!   Three days, and no changes in history, no time anomalies, no nothing!"
Luffa was in her apartment, sitting in her roommate's bedroom.    Jayncho lay on her bed, fast asleep.   It was a black canopy bed with red fabric hanging from black metal posts.   The sheets and blankets were varying shades of pink and gunmetal grey.    Despite Luffa's outbursts, Jayncho did not stir.    Occasionally, one of the Majin tentacles on her head would twitch, or she would smack her lips and snore quietly.
Luffa had discovered that Jayncho was a very sound sleeper, and she had gotten into the habit of talking to her while she was asleep.   It was far easier than talking to Jayncho while she was awake, since the Majin was very terse and eccentric.    Besides, Luffa found that she could speak more freely when there was no chance of being heard. 
"I haven't seen much of Trunks either," Luffa grumbled.    "Not sure what he's been up to, but I guess it doesn't matter much while we don't have a lead on Towa.   That smug demon bastard.    I'd like to make her eat that spear."
Jayncho rolled over onto her left side.  
"No one in this era even remembers the Super Saiyan," Luffa went on.     "On my mission to Namek, Kakarot told me he'd never heard of the idea.   Well that figures, since they shot him to Earth as a baby.    Still, you'd think his mother would have at least told him a few stories  about me before they launched him, but whatever.    I guess Vegeta's mother might have said something about me, but he barely paid attention, the royalist twit.    He thought the Super Saiyan blew himself up on accident.    Himself.    Don't even get me started on that."
Jayncho did not get Luffa started.    She instead raised her hand over her face and murmured quietly.    
"I don't know why I'm suddenly sore about it now.   I guess switching bodies with Captain Ginyu spooked me so badly that I forgot to get pissed off about everything else.    I'm not the Super Saiyan anymore.   I don't even know why.  But I think I wouldn't mind so much if people at least remembered me.   I remembered Chanisp, dammit.    Everyone remembered Chanisp.   I was a Super Saiyan just like he was.   So... did I do something wrong?    Was I just not important enough to remember?"
Jayncho did nothing.  There was a plush unicorn doll lying beside her pillow.  It had a friendly smile and stared pleasantly at the ceiling.  
"Your ancestor, Majin Buu.   You told me about him.   You remember him.  He was important enough for that, at least.   I just thought... no matter how bad things got, that at least people would talk about me, and the things I did.    My wife, all my friends, they're all long dead by now.    I figured they'd be forgotten, but at least if people remembered me, then it'd sort of be like they could live on through that.   Does that make any sense?   It sounds kind of egotistical now that I say it out loud."
Luffa stood up and began to stretch her arms and legs.    "I just wish they'd find those demons already, and then I could settle this.    I don't know that killing them would change anything, but at least it'd give me something to take my mind off things for a while.   After that... well, I don't know.   I can't go home.    I don't even know where home is anymore.    Oh, what's the use?    I'll see you later, Jayncho."
She left the room and shut the door behind her.   Jayncho continued to sleep peacefully for another twelve hours.
[13 June, Age 1001.   Planet Frieza 79.]
Planet Frieza 79 had been abandoned and resettled numerous times over the centuries.    Certain populations had attempted to rename the planet, but none of the new designations ever seemed to last.    Eventually, it came into the possession of a wealthy Imeckian baron, who used the planet as a private resort.   There was a small population of servants and technicians, whose sole purpose was to maintain the manor while their lord was away.  
"Who are you two, and what are you doing in my private bedchamber!" he shouted at the man and woman who had inexplicably walked right into his home.  
"Why Baron Tur Kee," the woman said.   "I didn't realize you had returned.   How are things on Imecka?"
"Wait... I remember you," he said, a sheen of cold sweat forming on his face as he spoke.  "You did this before.   Eluded my security forces somehow, and then you... you did something to my mind... Why can't I remember?"
She pointed the tip of her spear at his head, and a glowing purple vapor appeared and surrounded him.   Soon after, it vanished, and the only trace was a curious red glow in the baron's eyes.   It faded a moment later, leaving no trace of her spell.
"Welcome home, Mistress Towa," the baron said humbly.    "How may I be of service?"
"The usual, Baron," Towa said.    "Go and make yourself at home in the servants' quarters until you're scheduled to depart for Imecka.   Mira and I will be using the manor for a while, and we don't want to be disturbed."  
He bowed to them both and took his leave.   Mira closed the door behind him.    
"Would it not be simpler to place him under a more permanent thrall, like you did with the servants?" he asked.  
"Easier, maybe," Towa said.    "But not worth the trouble.   The Baron is a powerful man, and if anyone noticed him acting strangely it could attract unwanted attention to this place.    What good is a secret lair if it isn't a secret?"
She sat down on the edge of the bed and removed the golden clip from her white hair, then shook her head to let her hair fall freely.    With a tap of the blunt end of her spear, her high-heeled boots vanished from her legs and reappeared along the far wall of the room.   Then she held up the spear and it levitated away from her, crossing the room and taking up a position next to the boots.   Mira stood at attention, never taking his eyes off of his Mistress.    
"You are displeased with my performance," Mira said.   The words might have suggested hurt feelings, but his voice was cold and dispassionate.  
"Don't be ridiculous, Mira," Towa said.    With a wave of her hands, her skin-tight unitard rearranged itself, blooming into the form of a red nightgown.   "You've been exceptional during these expeditions."
"But you did not allow me to finish that Saiyan interloper," Mira said.  
"I already explained that, didn't I?" she said.   "I want to know who she's working for.   If it's the Time Patrol, then we need to know for certain.    If it's another faction, then we might be able to play one side against the other.    But if we killed her, then we might never know the answers, and all it would gain us is a small amount of energy that we can easily gather later."
"As you say, Towa," he replied.  
She regarded him for a moment and smiled.   "Come here," she said.   "I'd like you to rub my shoulders for a while."  
He moved to the bed immediately to comply.    Towa took a deep, satisfied breath as he began.    
"You really don't appreciate our relationship, do you, Mira?" she asked.  
"You created me," he said.    "My only goal is serve you as efficiently as possible."
"Good boy," Towa replied.   "The thing is, Baron Tur Kee serves me just as faithfully, you know.   At least, he does when I don't forget to enchant his mind.   But you're the one I married, Mira.    You're the one who fathered my son.   Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Those were your orders," he said.  
"Of course they were," she said.    She reached up for his face and leaned back to kiss him.   Mira returned the kiss, but immediately resumed his task when she was finished.  
"I created you, Mira, to be the ultimate life form.  Not just a superior warrior, but a perfect mate.    You could think of yourself as my critique of everything I find lacking in the universe.   Some might call that egotistical, or blasphemous.   A woman falling in love with her own creation.   Some might say that I'm a fool.    You're nothing more than a living machine, and yet I'm putty in your hands."
"I am whatever you desire me to be," Mira said.    "It follows that our relationship is whatever you wish it to be."
"That's the next frontier for you, Mira," Towa said.   "I want you to have a soul.   To realize that you're more to me than just a slave, and return my feelings.   That's enough.    Just hold me for a while.   No, move your left hand a little higher.   Good.    Very good."
"I will do everything I can to achieve this goal, Towa," Mira promised.    
"Ah, but that's the trouble," she said.    "Even if you can grow a soul, I still want you to be my obedient slave.    If I can pull that off, manufacture a soul without free will, then I can truly unlock the secret of life itself.   With a little more work, I'd soon be able to enslave anyone and anything."
He rested his chin on her shoulder and she ran her hand down the side of his face.    "What a shame that you can't understand what I'm telling you," she said.   "You're my love letter to myself, and you can only think of yourself as black marks on white paper, unable to comprehend the meaning of the words."
"Perhaps with more energy, I can advance my consciousness as well as my physical strength," he suggested.  
"Interesting.   What makes you say that, Mira?"
She touched her cheek, and he kissed it, in accordance with pre-arranged instructions.   Then he replied: "I have a strong motivation to destroy the Saiyan time traveler we encountered," he said.  
"Yes, I see," Towa said.   "Could this be pride in your design, Mira?    Or ambition?   Or maybe you feel humiliated by your perceived inability to defeat her.   Could it be that your hatred for this Saiyan woman is greater than your love for me?   I wonder if I should be jealous."
"My devotion to you is absolute," he assured her.  
"Naturally," she said.    She got up to move to the side of the bed, and gestured for Mira to lay down beside her.  "You only want what I allow you to want, but this fascinates me, Mira.   Does this prove that hate is more powerful than love?   Or perhaps hatred is simply more primitive, and easier for nascent intelligences to develop.   I almost hope this Saiyan girl does try to interfere with our plans again, Mira.    It could be worth it just to see how you react."
"Is it worth risking your ultimate objective?" Mira asked.    There was no emotion in his question.    A genuine husband might have asked "Would you really give up your dreams just to understand me better?"   He might have had tears in his eyes, or placed his hands over his heart.   But not Mira.   He spoke as if he were asking Towa whether she preferred coffee or tea.
And she adored him for that.   It wasn't just his cold demeanor, though it did give her a thrill.    No, she loved Mira not only for what he was, but for all the things he might become.  He was truly the perfect man, an undiscovered country that she could go on creating and exploring forever.
"Have I ever told you why I want to break the seal on the Demon Realm?" Towa asked.  She snuggled up closer to him so she would feel the warmth of his breath as he answered.  
"You have said before that it would liberate Demonkind," Mira said.    "That it would allow the Dark Empire to be restored, and to expand into the outer Universe."
"I did say that before," Towa admitted, "but only because that's what Mechikabura wanted to hear.  Now that the Time Patrol has defeated our Dark Emperor, I suppose there's no longer any reason to hide my true motives."
She took his hand and intertwined his fingers with his own.   "I've heard about the seal my whole life, Mira," she said.    "How the Kais sealed us away, how the great Mechikabura turned our prison into a mighty nation of evil, and how it all came to an end because he tried to break the seal, only to fail.   And I heard of how the seal was just permeable enough to let certain beings through, given enough energy.  It always seemed to me that breaking the seal was the only goal worth achieving.
She pulled his arm over her like a warm blanket.   "Soon enough, I learned to pass through the barrier at will.   I could go anywhere I wanted, but the real wonders lay in the outer Universe.    It's no mystery why I spent most of my time out here, instead of back in the Demon Realm.   For a time, I honestly started to think that the Kais had been right to seal our kind away.    They had built a magnificent world, while ours always seemed so stagnant.   But they didn't seal us away.   It was just Mechikabura they feared.    We demons worshiped him as a god-king, but only because we had been trapped alongside him.    Punished for his sins, he was as much a jailer to us as the Kais.   Maybe more."
"If you felt this way, Towa," Mira asked, "then why did we travel back in time to revive Mechikabura?"
"Excellent, Mira.   You know, there was a time when you never asked questions at all.   Your curiosity has come a long way."  She gave him a playful kiss on the nose and smiled before continuing.   "I never hated Mechikabura, if that's what you're asking.   It's just that his legend had been this constant in my life, and I needed to see what he could really do if he had the chance.    My scheme to restore him to his former glory, that was a test.    Three tests, really.   First: a test of your capabilities, of course.   You served me brilliantly in that adventure, Mira, as you always have.    Second: a test of my enemies.   I wanted to discover what sort of resistance I could expect to face.    The Kais, the Time Patrol, and so on.    Third, and most importantly: it was a test of Mechikabura's reputation.  If he could shatter the seal, then I would have been satisfied.    As the one who resurrected him, his successes would have been my own."
"But Mechikabura failed.  The Time Patrol defeated him."
"Which was a setback, but one that also showed me the path forward.   I learned more from Mechikabura in a week than I had gained from years of research.    And his downfall proved that he was an anchor holding us back.   With his power, he made me into a Demon Goddess, and that was exhilarating, but it also proved that his power wasn't unique.   Any demon could become a "god" like him with the right preparation.   And when I finally shatter the seal, it will prove that I've truly surpassed him."
"Then you must understand my need to defeat that Saiyan woman," Mira said.  
"Of course I understand, Mira," Towa said.   "But for me, it's about more than just proving my superiority.    Once the seal is removed, the Kais will never be able to make another, because I would just remove that seal as well, and the next, and the next.  They'll have no choice but to accept the presence of demons in their precious creation.    And who knows what sort of chaos that will bring?   It will be a new world, brought into existence by me."
"You would create an Empire of your own, then," Mira suggested.  
"Hardly, Mira," she said with a smile.   "The universe already has far too many kings and emperors and gods.   I seek knowledge, not conquest.    And that's why I didn't let you kill that little Saiyan woman.    To you, she's just another warrior to conquer, but to me, she's an opportunity.   A chance to learn what our enemy is planning.   Her energy is pitiful, but she might improve, or lead us to more powerful enemies who could serve our purposes."
"Then you believe we can gather energy from even stronger fighters in history," Mira said, almost hopefully.   She grinned as she enjoyed the hint of emotion in his eyes.    
"Yes, Mira!" she whispered excitedly.  "The Saiyans and the Ginyu Force were just the beginning.   Now that I've learned that the energy stealing technique works, I can refine it, and use it on more powerful targets.   And best of all, the targets are historical figures, so we know exactly where to find them.   The Time Patrol will discover our tampering eventually.   Maybe they already have.   But so what?   All they can do is clean up the changes we make to the timeline.   Meanwhile, we escape to our present time, and the energy we steal is ours to keep.   Some for you, and some for my experiments."
"What of the side-effects from the temporal changes?" Mira asked.   "Before, you had mentioned concerns about making frequent trips into the past."
"At first, I was cautious," Towa said,  "but with the knowledge I've gained, I don't think it should be a problem anymore.   Let the Time Patrol worry about any time anomalies we might cause.   And even if they fail to prevent history from changing, you and I will be protected from those changes.    When I'm finished, I'll have a universe made to my own liking.   A chaotic wonderland where I can roam freely through space and time.   And if the Saiyan girl tries to get in our way, you can destroy her, Mira."
She decided to tease him a bit.    "Or... on second thought... perhaps I'll let her live," Towa said.   "She can join our good Baron in the servants' quarters, and she can bring you tea every morning."
"Whatever you wish, Towa," Mira said.    She sensed a hint of resentment in his voice, but decided not to point it out.    Instead, she simply embraced him and gestured with her finger to magically douse the lights.    
"That's right, Mira," she replied.   "Whatever I wish..."
NEXT: History and Trunks
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duhragonball · 4 days ago
All Aboard the Update Train
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Good afternoon, Mr. President.    Sorry I’ve been away so long... I won’t let you down again.
Sorry, I always have this scene in my head when I resume a big project after a long pause. 
So, I write fanfic.   Specifically, I write one insanely long fanfic based on a daydream Vegeta had in 1990.   A daydream about exploding gorillas, and their importance to galactic folklore.
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“I’m just saying, if you had been thinking about me, maybe he would have written a longfic about our passionate romance instead!”
“Oh, sure, because no one's ever covered that subject before.”
There you see what I just did there?   I took some other guy’s characters and made up something for them to say!  Writing!   I don’t mean to brag, but I’m the best writer who ever lived.
I post the damn thing on tumblr, but if you’d rather read it on a more stable website that wasn’t coded by a guy who wears a tie for a belt, then you can head over to AO3 and check out my fanfic here.
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(Disclaimer: This scene featuring Space Jotaro may not be in the story.   Yar Yar Days.)
All right, so I did the slap-happy plug stuff.   Let me talk about what’s on tap this week.
Luffa #151: You know how Captain Ginyu can switch bodies with people?  Well Luffa didn’t and she’s all traumatized from experiencing such a radical change in her body!    Again!   A side-quest might take some of the edge off, except the only way to complete it is by tackling the deadly power of MEGA-CHIAOTZU!   Available now!
Luffa #152: No rest for the weary!   Luffa must resume the Captain Ginyu mission or forfeit the continuity of spacetime itself!    But first she has to beat the fiendish GULDO and the metrosexual JEICE!   And waiting in the wings are...????  Also available now!
Luffa #153: The Enemy Revealed*!  Wait, why is that asterisk there?   Are we trying to imply this isn’t the final boss of Xenoverse 1?  Well, anyway, TOWA and MIRA are here and I can finally stop having all the characters talk about them without knowing who they are!  Luffa knows who’s behind these incursions in time, but can she survive long enough to tell anyone else?   Available now!
Luffa #154: Who?  Are?  The?   Time Breakers?   Get ready to find the fuck out, because not much else happens in this chapter.    Look, sometimes you have to pause the action to provide EXPOSITION.   Not everyone played all these VIDEO GAMES, okay?   Available tomorrow!
Luffa #155: Luffa’s not in this one!   “Move aside, old timer! The Dragon Ball Heroes are taking over!”   That’s the blurb I’d put on the cover of this chapter if it were a Bronze Age MARVEL COMIC.   But it isn’t, which is just as well, because it’d kind of be a bait-and-switch.   Also, YOUNG NAPPA makes a guest appearance, which seems more IMPORTANT if you asked me.    Available in two days!
Luffa #156: Uhhhh, the Dragon Ball Heroes kids are still around, because Chapter 155 RAN LONG and I had to split it up.   Also, Luffa made CAKE, so bring your own beverage!    Meanwhile, SOMEONE is about to make their opening move!   Cryptic enough for ya?  Available whenever the hell I finish editing it!
Luffa #157: Well, uh.... you can’t expect me to give away ALL my secrets.   What would be left for the KIDS, Jimmy?  
One thing I’m enjoying this time around is putting images on the Tumblr posts.   That was something I always wanted to do, except the first 141 chapters are just my OC’s, and it felt a little weird to start doing it after that.    But now it’s 2021 and I’m like “fuck it”.   If I want to put a photo of lasagna in my post, I will, and everyone else has to deal with it.  
And I think that’s all I have.   Good night, folks!
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duhragonball · 4 days ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (153/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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And then there’s these jerks...
[24 December, Age 762.  Planet Namek.]
A stiff breeze blew over the azure plains of Namek.   The Time Patrol had recruited Luffa from the distant past to hunt down a mysterious enemy who was altering history.    She had found them.  
They were humanoids with pointy ears, snow-white hair, and ice blue skin.    They wore matching costumes of black and red.   Towa carried a long spear in her slender hands, while Mira appeared to be the warrior of the pair.    With a voice devoid of emotion he threatened to destroy Luffa for daring to oppose them.    
Luffa had already taken a beating.   Undoing the changes to history had led her to several pitched battles with the Ginyu Force.    Her pants were reduced to strips of yellow rags that hung from her waist and boots.   Fortunately, her black compression shirt and shorts were much more durable.   Since arriving in this strange era, Luffa had found her powers to be a pale shadow of her former glory.   Once, she had been the Legendary Super Saiyan, and she would have destroyed the Ginyu Force with a swipe of her golden tail.    Now, it had taken everything she had to defeat them one at a time.
She raised her outstretched hand towards Mira, and curled her fingers toward herself, beckoning him to do his worst.  
"You acted a bit rashly a moment ago, Mira," Towa said.   Usually you ask my permission to attack before you power up.    Not that I mind, of course.   This Saiyan will make a good test run for you, but I am rather fascinated by how eager you are to fight her."
"He's just smart, that's all," Luffa said.    "He knows that I came here to fight, and you two are next on my list."
Mira charged at Luffa and the battle was on.    She avoided what she expected was a right punch, only for Mira to grab her by the face with his left hand and drive her into the nearby hillside.   She attempted to reverse the grab into an armbar, but he was quick enough to release her before she could lock in a grip.   She settled instead for a barrage of punches and kicks.   Mira deflected all of these with ease, but Luffa was only testing him at this point.    So far, she liked what she was seeing.  
"Towa," Mira called out.    His voice was louder, but showed no more emotion than before.    He spoke like a man reciting passages out of a phone directory, and now he simply raised his voice to be heard.    "This is the one who has been interfering with us all along."
"I'd say you're right, Mira," Towa replied from a safe distance.    If she was concerned at all about getting hurt during this battle, she didn't show it.    It irked Luffa enough that she was tempted to fire a ki blast at her just to make a point, but she didn't want to give Mira any openings.   She would deal with Towa in due time, or so she told herself.  
"It's a shame, really," Towa said.   "We made history a lot more interesting, and then you came along and put everything back to normal again, didn't you?    How disappointing.    You struck me as somewhat impressive, but all you care to do is maintain the status quo.    That's not very adventurous of you, now is it?"
"Is that why you came here?" Luffa asked.   "No big plan, just tampering with history for a few laughs?"
Asking that question nearly cost Luffa her head, as Mira fired a large ki blast from his hands that she almost didn't dodge in time.    It was like her Galick Gun, but not quite.   There was a hint of Saiyan style in Mira's fighting moves, but Luffa wasn't entirely certain what that could mean.  
"Oh, I'm here for more than a good time, if that's what you're asking," Towa said.    "But speaking of laughs, I did enjoy that part where you switched bodies with Ginyu.    Very amusing.    You had no idea he could do that, did you?"
"You two were watching us fight the entire time?" Luffa asked.   "But none of us sensed your energy.     I'm kind of surprised Kakarot and Vegeta aren't rushing over here now to see what I'm up to."
"Your friends will not save you," Mira said in his gloomy monotone.   "They have no idea that you're here."
Luffa went low and attempted a kick to sweep Mira off his feet.   He avoided her foot, but he failed to account for her tail, which hooked his ankle and flung him over her shoulder.    He recovered quickly, but not quickly enough to take back the initiative.    Luffa pressed on, hammering away at his defenses with rapid strikes.    Mira showed no sign of despair or frustration, but Luffa smiled anyway.  
"I've been generating a cloaking field around us ever since we came to this time," Towa explained.   "It doesn’t obstruct line-of-sight, but it does prevent outsiders from sensing our energy, so that way we can operate and observe without attracting any unwanted attention.   That's why you didn't notice us earlier, or on Earth, when we were conducting experiments before."
"Experiments?" Luffa sneered.   "That's what you call it?   That purple crap you used on Raditz, and then Vegeta and the others?"
"I have to give you some credit," Towa said.   "Because of how well you performed against the Ginyu Force, I decided to try the same spell on Frieza's entire crew.   I wouldn't have considered trying it otherwise, not that I expected them to beat you, but it certainly made things more amusing.    And it seems like you've gotten a little stronger since then.   There's something odd about you.   I like that."
Mira suddenly set his jaw and tensed his arms, and a bright green field of energy surrounded him, deflecting Luffa's attacks and forcing her away.   As the field subsided, he pushed back on Luffa, fighting harder than he had before.    
"Getting serious, Mira?" Luffa asked.    "Took you long enough.   I thought maybe you two were waiting for Frieza or some other goon to show up and bail you out."
"Hmph," Towa said from the sidelines.   "I guess you thought I was bluffing before.   You're from Earth, aren't you?   What do they call it on Earth?   A duck blind?   Something hunters use to avoid being noticed by their prey.    This whole area has been camouflaged, so they won't sense any of us, no matter how hard you and Mira fight.    And we're too far away for them to see or hear us.   Well, maybe Namekian frogs could pick us up.   They have an uncanny power to sense humidity.   Did you know that?"
Luffa hadn’t known this, but it explained how she found them.   Captain Ginyu had trapped himself in the body of a frog, and somehow he had noticed Towa and Mira from a great distance away.    Perhaps his new amphibian senses had picked up the moisture from their breath.   If Luffa hadn’t been watching Ginyu, she might not have discovered them.    But she had no intention of admitting that.  
"So there won't be anyone else joining us?" Luffa asked.    
"No one," Mira said.
"Excellent," Luffa replied.
She ducked Mira's next ki blast and then drove an uppercut into his abdomen.     Despite his cold, stoic demeanor, Mira's eyes went wide as the breath was driven out of him.
Luffa used the lull in the action to turn her head and spit on the ground.    "Don't get me wrong," she said.   "I wasn't waiting for someone to help me, and I wasn't worried about someone else showing up to help you.    I just wanted to make sure I could fight freely without causing anymore time anomalies.   And if no one sensed that little love tap, Mira, then I guess they won't notice this either..."
She balled up her fists and began to scream.   Mira recovered from her punch, but he wasn't in any hurry to renew his offensive.   He stood his ground and winced as Luffa's ki aura grew stronger.    Towa raised an eyebrow, but nothing more.  
"You were so excited to fight me, Mira," Luffa said when she finished.    "Let's see how you like me now."   With a cheerful growl, she raised her left hand over her chest and flung a ball of green energy at him.   Unable to dodge in time, Mira tried to block it, only to be stunned as the ki made contact with his body, like his hands had gripped a live wire.    The damage was minor, but it gave Luffa an opening to slip behind him and drive her knuckles into the small of his back.   To add insult to injury, she grabbed the length of cloth that hung from his waist and swung him around a few times before tossing him into the ground.  
"Mira...!" Towa said under her breath.  
"You said you watched everyone," Luffa snarled.    "Observed all of the fighting.    Didn't you pay attention to how those fights ended?"
She pounced on Mira's chest and knocked him over before he could get up.   Then she began punching his head as hard as she could.    Her hands glowed a furious crimson as she charged them with enough ki to make every blow as painful as possible.    
"They ended with my enemies whimpering with fear!" Luffa shouted.    "With me slaughtering them like livestock!    And you call yourselves the hunters?    Not anymore, Mira.   Now you're just another victim."
At last, she hit him hard enough to draw blood.   It was purple.    
"Enough!" Towa gasped as she raised her spear.    Luffa caught this motion out of the corner of her eye, and leaped clear of Mira to defend herself.    
"So, you finally got bored with watching, Towa?" Luffa asked with a grin.    "You're welcome to join us whenever you like.    Mira could use a hand, couldn't you, Mira?"  
With a horrid look in her eyes, Luffa glared at Towa as she licked Mira's blood off her knuckles.    
"You have no idea who it is you're dealing with," Towa insisted.   She was almost beginning to look worried.   "Mira has defeated far greater warriors than you, little girl.    Let me show you..."
The spear began to glow, and Luffa expected an attack, but instead it was Mira who was affected, as he suddenly glowed with a dark red aura, much like the one he had displayed before the fight began.   He rose to his feet, and stared at Luffa with a renewed sense of purpose.  
"Your fate is sealed," he said, his gloomy voice cutting through the rushing pulse of his ki aura.    
"You can make him stronger?" Luffa asked Towa.   "Hah!  You should have done that in the first place!    Do I have to kill him before you'll take me seriously?"
"I had been conserving that energy for other applications," Towa said.   Now that Mira was back in the game, Towa had regained her former composure.    "But I won't just stand by and let you damage my masterpiece."
Mira wasted no time.   As he rushed towards Luffa, she noticed that his wounds had even been healed.  Curious, she backed away, retreating into the sky and keeping her distance.  
"You two make a hell of team," Luffa taunted.    "Mira does the fighting and Towa handles support.   Does she fight at all?    I was looking forward to seeing what she could do after I kill you, Mira, but I'm starting to think she might not last very long."  
Mira didn't answer.    Instead, he increased his speed, and suddenly appeared less than a meter away from Luffa, then caught her with a roundhouse kick to her ribs.    Before she could fall, he caught hold of her wrist, then wrapped his arms around her and dove head-first to the ground.   Just as they reached the surface, Mira released Luffa and jumped clear, leaving her to suffer the impact alone.    
"N-not bad..." Luffa muttered as she slowly rose up from the ground.   But before she could get to her feet, Mira fired a wide ki blast over the crater she had made.   For several long seconds, there was no sign of Luffa from within the intense purple light of Mira's attack.    When he ceased fire, she was still alive, but had dropped to one knee, her head tucked behind her forearms in a desperate attempt to defend herself.   The burns and scrapes on her skin proved that she had only barely managed to survive.    
Mira attacked again, zipping around Luffa with blinding speed, and finally stopping to deliver an elbow strike to the back of her neck.    She collapsed, only for Mira to grab her by the collar of her compression shirt and toss her high into the air.   He crouched and widened his stance, then held his hands together on his right flank.   As he charged his energy again, he spoke.  
"Ka...! Me...!  Ha...!  Me...!"
"Wonderful, Mira," Towa said with a chuckle.    "You really do know how to put on a show."
"...Ha!" Mira finished, and he extended his hands, wrist-to-wrist, and fired a burst of blue light directly towards the falling Luffa.    The beam caught her in mid-air, breaking her fall and shoving her further into the sky.  And further...
And then she stopped.    
"What--?" was Mira's only reaction.    And then he began to feel something pushing back.
"That... that can't be right," Towa said.   "She couldn't be strong enough to handle that attack, especially not after the beating she just took...!"
And then the Namekian skies echoed with raucous laughter.
"Mira!   Finish it now!" Towa said.    "This is no time to be playing around."
"I'm not 'playing'," Mira said.   His expression was as blank as ever, but the strain in his voice was unmistakable.    He was doing everything in his power to kill Luffa.    It just wasn't enough.    And then, finally, his Kamehama Wave deflected at a near right angle.    The beam continued on into the sky, leaving only the one who had deflected it.    
Luffa dropped to the ground and smiled triumphantly.   The yellow rags had all been burned away, and even her black shorts and shirt were beginning to show signs of wear.    Her hands were trembling, and her eyes were wide with wild, desperate emotions.   But she was still alive, and eager to continue fighting.  
"Come on!" she shouted, pointing at her face.  
"You've gone mad with terror, then," Mira said.    "Very well."
He rushed Luffa again and struck her in the jawline.    Luffa absorbed the blow, and responded with a punch of her own.    Mira stayed on his feet, but the impact staggered him.    
"That's not all you've got, you bastard!" Luffa snarled.    "Again!"
"Mira, watch out--" Towa warned, but Mira took the bait.   He tried a kick this time, and Luffa winced and gritted her teeth when his boot hit her ribs, but she recovered and fired back with a kick of her own, which landed squarely on Mira's right thigh.    He shuddered as his quadricep began to spasm from the impact.    
"You used to be a lot stronger than this," Luffa said.   "I can read it in your fighting style.    You're accustomed to fighting on a higher level than where we are now.    But you can't attain that level anymore.    You might get back there eventually, but you've got a long way to go."
"I have all the power I require to destroy you," Mira insisted.  
Luffa laughed and held her hands behind her back.    "You don't have anything," she said as she held up her chin, daring him to take another free shot.   Her wide eyes glared at him as she waited for him to answer.   "You've got skill, Mira, and you know how to handle all that power, but you've got no spirit, and that's why you'll never win against me."
"You're bluffing," Mira said evenly.    "If you think your feeble threats can intimidate me, then you are a fool.   I will end this here and now."
"Maybe you're right, Mira," Luffa said.  "I honestly don't know myself, and that's what makes it so exciting.   But I feel very sure of myself right now.   Like the next punch you land is going to push me over the edge.    So how about it?   What do you feel?"
She held her ground, waiting for Mira to make the next move.    For a moment, he hesitated, but only for a moment.    "It's over," he said.   "Don't worry.   I'll use your energy well."  
Then he drew back his right arm and prepared to strike, until--
"Hold on, Mira!" Towa called out.    He stopped immediately, and waited for her next command.  
"Looks like someone's not ready to find out if I was bluffing," Luffa said.   "Too bad."
"Oh, don't flatter yourself," Towa said.   "I only wanted to ask you a few questions before Mira kills you."  
She approached the two of them and stood beside Mira, who seemed mildly annoyed at being ordered to stand down.    Towa looked very calm, but Luffa couldn't help but notice how she held the spear in her hands, rolling it anxiously in her slender fingers.
"Who's supporting you?" Towa asked.   "Who's backing you up?   It's not as if you could have done this on your own."  
"Why not?" Luffa said with a grin.  
"Don't play dumb with me," Towa said.   "You traveled through time, came to this planet, just to fight us?    It doesn't make any sense.   Someone put you up to this.    I'd like to know who."  
Luffa's only reply was the sadistic grin on her face.    
"I see... So it's the silent treatment, huh?   No matter."   She gestured to Mira.   "Let's leave her for now, Mira."
Mira crossed his arms indignantly, though his blank expression remained unchanged.    
"You don't mind, do you?" Towa asked him.   "As she is, she's nothing right now.   I could extract her energy, but it wouldn't amount to much.   But maybe things will be different... later."
Mira harrumphed in reply.  
"Well, let's move on to the next era," Towa said.  
"What makes you think you can just walk away?" Luffa asked.
The two of them turned their backs to Luffa, and Towa glanced over her shoulder and laughed quietly.   "I'll let you live for now... little girl.   But if you decide to get in our way again... I'll have you erased."
"Why wait?" Luffa asked, but before she could do anything, Towa and Mira vanished.   She couldn't sense them anywhere.    For a moment, Luffa considered that they might be hiding again, using the "duck blind" that Towa had spoken of.   How long would it take to search the planet?   Were they even still on the planet to be found?    
Before she could weigh her options, the world around her began to fade into a swirl of colorful light.   Luffa had experienced this before.    The Time Patrol was bringing her back from the past.    For now, her mission was over.  
NEXT: The Time Breakers.
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duhragonball · 4 days ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (152/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
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[24 December, Age 762.   Namek.]
Luffa found herself back in the past, on the Planet Namek, during Frieza's invasion.    She did not understand how the Scroll of Eternity worked, or how her Time Patrol missions could "fix" anomalies in the flow of time.    What mattered now was that a mysterious enemy had altered the course of events on this date and place, and when Luffa had failed to correct the problem on her first try, she ended up switching bodies with the villainous Captain Ginyu.    Somehow, the Scroll of Eternity had recalled her to the Time Vault, but the only way to complete the mission was to resume from the exact moment where she had left off.   And because of the bodyswapping complication, Luffa would have to handle the matter personally.
Inhabiting Captain Ginyu's massive purple body was a deeply unsettling experience for Luffa.    So was the sight of her own Saiyan body acting independently of her consciousness.   Disillusioned as she was with the Saiyan species and culture, she still clung to her heritage as a refuge of self-esteem.    Ginyu had ripped that away from her without even noticing he had done it.    It had been a great relief to be recalled back to the Time Vault and made whole again.    Returning to this nightmare was just as traumatic as it had been the first time.    Luffa's only solace was that she was somewhat more prepared this time around.  
She felt the weight of her new alien body, took note of the curious deadening of her sense of smell, and felt her own ki nearby,  as Ginyu used her body to attack Goku.    Then she saw Jeice and Guldo, ready to finish her off.   Everything was happening just like before.  
Only this time, Luffa laughed.
"Oi, what's so funny?" Jeice demanded.   The red-skinned, white-haired alien was one of Captain Ginyu's squad of mercenaries.    During her first go-round on this mission, Luffa had noticed that Jeice was familiar with Captain Ginyu's bodyswapping technique.    Jeice had seen it used before, which meant that he must have known the last person Ginyu had used it on.  
"You... fools!   Luffa cackled.   "You played right into my hands!   I never dreamed you'd actually be stupid enough to use that trick again, but now that you have--!   Well, that just makes this so much easier, doesn't it?"
The next moment would decide everything.   Luffa's plan was mostly a hunch followed by a lot of improvisation.   If she had miscalculated, then the entire house of cards would collapse.    Jeice's reaction would tell the story.   He blinked twice, his face blank as he seemed to process what she had just said.
Then he swallowed hard, and his lower lip shrank behind his upper.   Luffa would have smiled anyway, in order to keep up appearances, but now she could grin much more genuinely.    
"Y-you can't be--!" Jeice gasped, his throat suddenly dry with terror.   "Not... him!   It's impossible, ain't it?   W-we left you for dead!"
"Did you actually think a Saiyan woman could fight like that?" Luffa went on.    "Take a look at your captain over there.   He's not doing so well, is he?  He thought that a Saiyan body would give him an edge, but that little savage girl never would have beaten Recoome on her own.  Without me, she's useless.      As for me...?  Well, now I'm back where I belong.   So where does that leave you, Jeice?"
Jeice spared a moment to glance over to the fight between Son Goku and Ginyu-in-Luffa's-body.    Goku had a clear advantage, and Ginyu seemed to be struggling for a chance to switch bodies again to even the odds.      
"It's a trick!" Jeice protested.    "Nah, you're puttin' me on, lady.   I can tell you ain't him.    It can't be.  There... Well, there's no way!"
The sweat on his brow was enough for Luffa to know that she had him in the palm of her hand.   She didn't need to convince Jeice; she just had to make him wonder long enough to stop fighting.   As for Guldo, he had been acting strangely ever since her unknown enemy had enchanted him.    His four eyes still glowed red, and a purple aura rose up from his bulbous green body, making him look like an evil frog.   From then on, Guldo had been driven by his rage against Luffa, but he seemed to lack the will to speak or ask questions, and Luffa's bodyswap with Ginyu seemed to confuse him a little.   The important thing was that Guldo was staying out of the conversation.     Jeice would be a lot harder to fool if someone were around to talk sense into him.
"To be honest, Jeice, I'm not him," Luffa continued.  "I used to be once, but not anymore, I suppose.   You did leave me for dead, but I survived, and I swore I'd find Ginyu someday.    Make you all pay for what you did to me.    I can't switch bodies the way Ginyu does, Jeice.   It's more like a possession.    Or a merger.    With each soul I take over, I lose a little more of myself in the process.  And that Saiyan woman over there?   Hah!   And I thought I had anger issues.    It's funny.   Now that I'm back in my original body, it almost doesn't feel right anymore.     It's just another vessel I've stolen.   I guess after all I've been through, I'll never feel 'right' again.     But that's a small price to pay for revenge.    Yeah, a real bargain, as long as it gets me Ginyu's death."
She had concocted this half-story over a hot stove, working out just enough details to make it sound plausible.    The hard part had been figuring out how to impersonate an alien warrior she knew nothing about, until she realized that she could use that to her advantage.   Besides, if this didn't work, she would fail the mission and have to start over, so she could theoretically try again as many times as she needed, and tweak her approach each time.    Luckily, Jeice was hooked on the first try.  
The key was to look past her own fear of being trapped inside this purple man's body, and see the fear Captain Ginyu must have had for the purple man's body.    It must have belonged to a powerful enemy.   A being so powerful, that there was no other way for Ginyu to defeat him.    And perhaps Ginyu could trade up whenever he was cornered, but Jeice could not.   It wasn't important that Luffa didn't know the purple man's name, or what sort of powers he had.   The body itself was a weapon.    And now that Jeice was paralyzed with fear, Luffa had the chance she needed to figure out how to use it.  
Her first target was Guldo.   A simple ki blast from her eyes was enough to stun him, and that would put his psychic powers out of commission long enough to do what came next.   And now that she didn't have to worry about any psionic hold on her movements, Luffa found that controlling the purple man's body wasn't all that difficult.  
"Guldo!"  Jeice cried.    In the moment it took him to notice Guldo toppling backward and down to the ground below, Luffa was upon him.  
"It must have been comforting, Jeice!" Luffa whispered into his ear as she grabbed him from behind and twisted his arm behind his own back.   "All this time, knowing that you never had to worry about me, as long as your precious captain had control of my body.    But he can't save you now, can he?"
"Y-you're wrong!" Jeice whined.   "The Captain knows how to handle blokes like you!    He always maims himself right before he does a body switch.    Or hadn't y'noticed that hole in your chest?   All that blue stuff leakin' outta you?   That ain't soda, mate."  
"I did notice," Luffa said.   "It's kind of uncomfortable, actually, but I've had worse.   Your boss must have wanted to injure me so I'd be too weak to put up a fight, but he couldn't do too much damage or he'd wind up killing himself before he could use his magic trick."  
It was her-- the purple man's-- left pectoralis muscle that was wounded.   A similar wound on her own body would have been devastating.    Her left arm would be practically useless, to say nothing of potential damage to her ribs and the lung tissue underneath.   And the blood loss alone would have been debilitating.    For a Saiyan body-- and  for several other humanoid anatomies-- this would have been an ideal place to sabotage.    But in the purple man's body, the wound didn't seem to bother her much at all.   It just hurt.    It hurt a lot, but she didn't feel any weaker, and her left arm worked just fine.    In fact, she almost wondered if the wound was healing itself.  
She decided to demonstrate her good fortune by wrapping her left arm around Jeice's neck in a choke hold.  
"You and Ginyu really don't know anything about me, huh?" she asked.    "He wanted my body so badly, but he never bothered to study it, to learn how it works!   So many secrets, Jeice.    Let me share them with you."
This was exactly how she wanted it to work.    She had already overpowered Jeice, but she still needed more time to master the purple man's body.    And it suited her sense of justice that the purple man still carried the keys to victory within his body, long after his spirit had been removed.    She struggled to gather more ki, mostly to intimidate Jeice further, but as she did this, she began to realize it was a lot easier than it had been in her own body.  
"You're crazy!" Jeice pleaded as he gasped for breath.    "Even if you kill me and the Captain, you still wouldn't stand a chance against Lord Frieza."
"You aren't listening Jeice," Luffa snarled.   "I don't care about Lord Frieza, or these Saiyans, or even the Dragon Balls.   I only came here for revenge.   I'm not even sure where I go from here.   I could take your ship and escape, or maybe Frieza will kill me before I get the chance.    It doesn't matter anymore.    As far as I'm concerned, I'm already dead.   I died the day Ginyu stole my body and left me to rot.   All that matters is that you Ginyu Force goons will precede me into hell..."
With a sudden burst of power, fueled by desperation, Jeice managed to break free of Luffa's grip.     He might have attacked, but instead he screamed as loud as he could.  
"Captain Ginyu!   Heeellllp!"  
By the time he realized that he needed to be fighting back, it was too late.   He cut loose with a bombardment of ki energy, and Luffa was enveloped in a glowing vermilion fog of destructive power, but it wasn't enough.    She emerged from the clouds of light and struck Jeice with a devastating punch to his jaw.
"He can't save you," Luffa taunted.   "He can't even save himself."
By now, Luffa was not only satisfied with her own control over Ginyu's body, but with Ginyu's apparent difficulty in handling hers.   She would have expected him to have beaten Son Goku, but instead Ginyu was still struggling.   She doubted that switching bodies again would help him.   His only chance now was to get help from his teammates, and so Luffa decided it was time to eliminate that option.    She held up her hand and fired pointblank into Jeice's face.   When the light of her attack faded, there was nothing left of him.    Her Saiyan body would have caught the odor of burnt flesh and hair, but the purple man's inferior nose couldn’t pick it up, and so Luffa had to settle for her imagination of the aroma.
She smiled anyway.
Nearby, it seemed that Captain Ginyu had reached the same conclusion as Luffa.    He needed help to defeat Son Goku, and he was running out of allies.    Recoome and Burter's bodies had barely grown cold, and Jeice was the third to die, but Luffa didn't plan to stop there.      She looked around for Guldo, but could find no trace of him.    Under the influence of the unknown enemy's magic, it was unlikely that he would flee, but his strange powers did make him tough to find.   And then, when she finally realized where Guldo had gone, she flew towards Ginyu as quickly as she could.  
She didn't spot Guldo until she was much closer.    He was taking cover on the ground, behind a large rock formation, but Luffa couldn't take the time to deal with him.    Not while Goku suddenly found himself frozen in mid-air, unable to move, not while Ginyu, sensing the opportunity, raised his arms and began to glow.    Under different circumstances, Luffa might have found it surreal to watch her own body glowing this way, but she couldn't afford to think about that, not until she was at last where she needed to be...
Directly between Ginyu and Goku, so that the body-changing technique would strike her instead of Ginyu's intended target.  
The results were nearly instantaneous, though Luffa did notice a horrified look in her own eyes when Ginyu realized his technique was about to misfire.   In the next moment, she was herself again, and Captain Ginyu floated between the two Saiyans, once more in the purple man's body.  
"Wh-what's going on?!" Goku asked, his body still paralyzed by Guldo's power.    
"No!" Ginyu shouted.   "How can this be?!"
"I'll explain later, Kakarot," Luffa said, surprised by the sound of her own voice.    She raised her fingers, and began charging her ki to attack.    Everything felt so familiar, so right, although she still had only a fraction of her former strength.    "First, I need to kill this bastard off before he gets any more bright ideas.     Say, goodbye, Captain.   I'll be sending Guldo to join y--"
But before she could attack, she found herself overcome by a wave of exhaustion.    She had expected to find a certain level of ki in her own body, but what she hadn't considered was the damage her body had taken from Ginyu using it to fight Goku.   For that matter, Luffa had also forgotten the damage she had sustained against Recoome and Guldo earlier in the mission.     When the Time Patrol had recalled her to base on her first botched attempt, Chronoa had healed those wounds.   But now that Luffa had returned to try again, it seemed that some of that damage was restored.    It was no wonder that Ginyu had performed so poorly in Luffa's body.   Even if he had known how to use it to its fullest, Goku was fresh.    
Had Luffa been prepared for this fatigue, she might have still been able to gather the power needed to kill Captain Ginyu as she had planned.   But she wasn't ready, and so she had gathered her ki much faster than she should have, and the result left her dazed and weakened.   She began to sink to the ground, like a leaf falling from a tree.     She had fully expected to finish the Ginyu Force off for good, but now it was all she could do to slow her descent.    
Even before she reached the ground, Ginyu's laughter told her what would happen next.    She tried to call out to Goku, to warn him of what would happen, but she knew there was nothing he could do.    Guldo's power would keep him frozen in place until the deed was done.    
At least history was back on course!   This was what Luffa told herself as she tried to force herself to stay conscious.   Galling as it was, Ginyu was supposed to switch bodies with Goku, and no one else, and supposedly, Goku and the others could resolve that problem themselves.    The only trouble was that Guldo was still in the picture, and Luffa was reasonably sure Guldo was supposed to be dead by now.  
"Game over, monkey."  
She suddenly noticed Guldo looming over her, and before she could defend herself he kicked her with those stubby legs of his.    His eyes still burned red, and his body still roiled with the purple aura of the enemy's magic.   It seemed that he wasn't going to stop until Luffa was dead, which suited her just fine.     If she could just keep Guldo occupied, then her mission could still succeed, and this would all be over.  
It was getting easier to concentrate now, but she still wasn't sure if Guldo had gotten stronger, or if she was still weak.    As she tumbled across the Namekian plains, her tattered yellow clothes staining blue from the alien grass, Guldo gave chase, punching and kicking her before she could ever come to a stop.    In the distance, she could sense Goku and Ginyu leaving, no doubt heading back to Frieza's ship.    Guldo could still interfere in their battle, and so she decided not to fight back.    She wasn't sure if she was in any shape to defeat him, but she could definitely keep him occupied for a while longer.  
"Miserable little savage!" Guldo growled.    It seemed like all he could say now were these spiteful names and racial epithets.    The enemy had amplified his hatred until there was nothing else for him to express.    Luffa ignored his words as she covered her face to block his next strike.  
She wasn't sure how to make sense of it.    During these missions, her powers seemed to grow whenever someone hit her, but Goku had battered her senseless while Captain Ginyu had been in possession of her body, and she didn't seem to gain anything from it.   And yet, Guldo's attacks seemed to be getting her fired up again.    
"Saiyan germ!" Guldo screeched as he punted Luffa another few hundred meters.   By now, she was fed up with stalling him, but she was having trouble keeping up with his movements.    He seemed to blink in and out of existence for a moment, and she couldn't anticipate where he would be next.    
"You're not like Chiaotzu at all," Luffa muttered as she flew high into the air.    If she couldn't intercept his next kick, she could avoid him completely and see how he reacted.    "When I fought him he was possessed like you are now, there was still a decent man underneath, clawing and scratching to get out.   But you!   You're just a pathetic wretch, and that dark energy just makes it that much more obvious."
He was gone.    Luffa played a hunch and turned herself to face the sky, where she found Guldo preparing another psychic attack.    She fired a ki blast, but he vanished again before it could connect.    
"Golden Duster," Luffa grumbled.   This technique was something she had developed long ago, useful for tracking stubborn targets who were better at hiding than fighting.    The problem was that its range was limited.   As the Legendary Super Saiyan, Luffa could have covered large swaths of the Namekian surface with it.   In her present condition, the best she could do was to surround herself in a misty field of ki globules.   Guldo would have to pass through it in order to attack her, and she would sense the disturbance in the field, even if she couldn't detect him directly.  
Only, it didn't work the way she had planned.   Guldo suddenly struck her, and she sensed the hole he had made in her defenses, but it all happened instantaneously.   As she crashed into the Namekian turf, she wondered if Guldo had super-speed abilities, but that didn't make sense.   Burter had claimed to be the fastest of the Ginyu Force, and she had managed to outrun him with little trouble.    If Guldo was even faster, Luffa suspected that Burter wouldn't have had much to brag about.    There had to be more to his secret than mere speed.
"Whatever this is, you can't keep it up for very long," Luffa said as she gathered herself up from the ground.    "And it doesn't make you any stronger; it just gives you a free shot.   Then you have to reset before you can do it again.    So let's make the most of that time, shall we?"
She shot straight up into the air, flying as fast as she could.   Luffa wasn't sure if Guldo's strange abilities would help him catch up, but she figured she couldn't go wrong by moving in one direction.    As she ascended, she charged her ki and began firing wild shots down to the surface below.    None of them would be strong enough to destroy Namek entirely, but the bombardment would scorch the land directly beneath her, and Guldo would have to attack or flee if he wanted to avoid taking a hit.    And with the dark energy controlling his thoughts, Luffa was sure that Guldo wouldn't run away.    
As expected, Guldo's pudgy green form came rising up to meet her, vanishing every few seconds and reappearing ever closer.    Luffa continued firing ki blasts in her wake as she flew higher and higher.    Without knowing what Guldo's power was, her only chance was to test it to find its limits.   He continued to chase her into the air, following her no matter how high into the sky she climbed.  And then, just when he was close enough to strike...
Guldo's fist reached Luffa's face, but she didn't even feel the impact.   He had managed to blink ahead just enough to break through her defenses, but there was no force behind his punches.   And then Guldo started gasping for breath.    
"K-kill you!" he sputtered, as Luffa continued to back away.    They were high enough in the air that the stars were visible in the green sky.  
"So that's it," Luffa said.    "Whatever you're doing, you have to hold your breath to make it work.   And maybe you've got a good handle on it at sea level, but not when the air's thin and you need to move quickly."
She threw a kick, and he managed to hold his breath long enough to blink out of the way, but she was ready for him, and fired a ki blast when he reappeared.    Then she grabbed him by the collar of his armor and punched him in the gut to make it even harder for him to breathe.  
"It's almost like you can stop time.   Is that it?   I didn't even know that was a thing.   If you weren't such a weakling, you might actually be pretty dangerous.    No, you're not a weakling.   You're a lot stronger than Nappa and Raditz were.    The problem is you've got no ambition.    Ginyu only keeps you around so you can help him use his own ability.   No one's interested in using you for anything but support.   It's pitiful, really.   Such a waste of talent."
To his credit, Guldo continued to struggle, but he was powerless at this altitude.    
"Even if you can stop time, or just immobilize me, it won't do you any good while I'm holding on to you like this," Luffa said.    "Now let's just see what's in that pea brain of yours..."
She placed her free hand on his face, and found the texture of his skin revolting, like the rind of a rotten fruit.     She hoped that Guldo had some memory of the one who had enchanted him, but instead she only found a torrent of rage and hatred, mostly aimed at Vegeta for insulting him, and at herself for humiliating him.  
"You don't smell that bad," Luffa grumbled.    "I knew Vegeta was a spoiled brat, but this is ridiculous.   Wait..."
There was no recollection of Guldo falling under the enemy's spell.   He had been alone on Frieza's ship when it happened, but Guldo did remember seeing the rest of Frieza's crew falling under the same spell, one by one, until the entire crew followed him into battle.   And that was when Luffa finally realized...
"The enemy must still be here!" she gasped.    "Near Frieza's ship!"
She killed Guldo as quickly as she could and reached out with her senses to find Goku and Vegeta's power signatures.    They would be heading for Frieza's ship as well, and may have already arrived.   And perhaps Captain Ginyu was a threat they could handle, but if the Time Patrol's mysterious enemy was still on Namek, still influencing other fighters, then she had badly miscalculated Guldo's purpose.    Luffa had assumed the enemy had sent Guldo to neutralize her, but he was probably nothing more than a diversion.
After what seemed like an eternity, Luffa finally reached the ship, where she found Goku lying defeated on the ground, and the purple man's body battling desperately against Vegeta.    Krillin and Gohan were there as well, and the seven Namekian Dragon Balls lay on a patch of upturned soil near the entrance ramp of the ship.    She had been eager to join the fray, except she had no idea which of these fighters was Captain Ginyu.   At last, she settled on checking Goku's body first, since he would be the easiest to avoid if he were Ginyu waiting for an opportunity.    
"You've looked better, Kakarot," Luffa said as she alighted next to him.  
"Heh.  Dunno why you guys keep callin' me that name," Goku said.    
Up close, Goku looked even worse than she had feared, but at least he had gotten his own body back, and he seemed to be in high spirits.    
"Ginyu," she asked.    "Which one is he?"  
"He... he's in his own body again," Goku said.    "But he's gonna try to switch with Vegeta, and Vegeta's got no idea--"
"Typical," Luffa scoffed.   "If that royalist coward hadn't cut and run earlier, he'd know all about Ginyu's ability by now.   Instead, he's completely fresh, and ready to walk right into a trap.    Well, I'll just head up there and--"
"No, wait!" Goku pleaded.    "You're hurt too!  If you try to get between them now, you might only make things worse!"
"You've got a better idea?" Luffa demanded.   As much as Vegeta disgusted her, she could at least understand him.   Goku was difficult to read.  
Mostly, she found him rather pathetic.   Raised among Earthlings, Goku seemed to lack the killer instinct that defined Saiyans.    He appeared to have plenty of courage, and his power had developed impressively over a short time, but there was still something missing about him, something she couldn't quite figure out.     As Luffa waited for him to answer, she noticed him suddenly looking at a frog that had burrowed up from the ground beside him.    Before she could ask, Goku grabbed the frog in his hand, and then tossed it into the air.
"What the hell are you d--?" Luffa started to ask.    And then she saw Ginyu use his technique, and she got her answer.  
Vegeta remained transfixed in midair, completely confused by what had just happened.   Both the frog and the purple man fell to the ground.    The purple man landed on his hands and feet, looked around with a blank expression, and croaked.    Then he hopped away from the ship, passing Luffa and Goku without even noticing them.    
"It worked!" Goku said with a stifled groan.   Luffa suspected that throwing the frog had aggravated his injuries.   Krillin and Gohan, also very confused, rushed to Goku's side, and helped him up.    
"What happened to Ginyu?!" Vegeta demanded.    He landed nearby, and glared in the direction the purple man had hopped away.
"Wrong way," Luffa replied.  "If you want Ginyu, he's right over there."  She pointed at the small blue frog that Goku had tossed into the air.    The frog was trying to hop away to safety, but something about its movements seemed very unnatural, like it wasn't sure how to be a frog, and it was trying a little too hard.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding," Vegeta growled.  
"You saw how he used Kakarot's body, idiot!" Luffa shouted.   "Ginyu was going to do the same thing to you if Kakarot hadn't tossed that frog in the way."
"Then he's helpless," Vegeta said with a malicious smile.   "Well that suits me just fine..."
"Don't be a fool!" Luffa warned him.   "He's smaller now, but he might still have that bodyswapping power.   If you're not careful, you'll be the one catching flies.   Then again, those antennae would be an improvement for you, Vegeta...  Go ahead and fight him, if you dare."
Vegeta crossed his arms and turned his back on Luffa and the frog.    "Lucky for you, woman, I have more pressing business than listening to your feeble japes.   I'll deal with you after I've settled with Kakarot..."
With that, he walked over to speak with the others.   Luffa continued to watch the frog-Ginyu as he hopped away.    After everything else she had endured, this felt anticlimactic.  She was sure the enemy was still lurking somewhere nearby, and if Ginyu was still a potential threat, then they might use him to attack them once more.     She considered killing the frog and the purple man's body, if only to eliminate any loose ends, but then she noticed the frog glancing to one side, as though something had caught Ginyu's attention.  
Luffa sensed nothing in that direction.    If there was a strong ki signature, it was carefully hidden.    Curious, she stared into the distance, trying to find whatever Ginyu had seen.   It occurred to her that Namekian frogs might have possessed keener senses than she understood.    And then she spotted it: a pair of humanoid figures in the distance, watching from the top of a tall, narrow hill.    
She looked back for a moment, and saw the others helping Goku into the spaceship.    Satisfied that nothing would happen to them, Luffa took flight, heading directly for the hill.    
When she arrived, there was no one in sight.   Luffa had expected to find a spaceship, or a time machine, or some other vehicle or base.    As she examined the terrain at the base of the hill, she heard footsteps, and suddenly, she could sense their ki.
A woman's voice made a bemused chuckle, and Luffa turned to find her stepping out from behind the hill.    
"You're pretty sharp," the woman said.   She had pale blue skin, and pointed ears.   Luffa almost wondered if she was a different strain of Namekian, except all the Namekians she had met were bald, with two antennae on their foreheads.    This woman had a head of white hair, and she was dressed head-to-toe in a skin-tight red-and-black costume.    Something like a skirt flared out from the waist of her suit, and she held a spear in her left hand.
"It must have been you snooping around," the woman continued.   "I hope you aren't thinking of interfering.   That would be a mistake."  
Luffa didn't understand.   She had already interfered, hadn't she?    This woman was the Time Patrol's enemy, wasn't she?    The one who had tried to alter history, except Luffa had just set things right.    It seemed like this woman had a completely different plan altogether.   Could the changes in history simply be a means to an end?
"A costly mistake," added a man who now stepped out to join the woman.    He appeared to be the male of the same species, whatever that species was.   He was considerably taller than the woman, and his red-and-black costume included a white chestplate with a bronze bar that looped around the back of his neck.  
"I will eliminate you here and now," he declared in a somber, dispassionate voice.    His words were hostile, but he made them sound like a bored weather report.    Luffa wondered if he was some sort of machine, but before she could ask, he began to raise his ki, and a large red aura flared up around him.    
"Shall I proceed, Towa?" he asked, never taking his eyes off Luffa.  
"Very eager today, aren't you, Mira?" Towa replied with a wry smile.   "All right, I'll let you have your fun.   Killing this Saiyan will make a decent test of your abilities."  
Mira stepped towards Luffa with cold menace in his eyes.    Luffa stood her ground, and smiled.  
NEXT: Luffa vs. Mira
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duhragonball · 5 days ago
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Hey Tien- Know what thy call me?
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duhragonball · 5 days ago
[FIC] Luffa: The Legendary Super Saiyan (151/?)
Disclaimer: This story features characters and concepts based on Dragon Ball, which is a trademark of Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.   This is an unauthorized work, and no profit is being made on this work by me. This story is copyright of me. Download if you like, but please don’t archive it without my permission. Don’t be shy.
Continuity Note: This story takes place about 1000 years before 66 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z.  
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[27 February, Age 850.    Toki Toki City.]
"I'll be honest," Trunks said.    "I don't know if we can rely on her."
He stood in the kitchen of Chronoa's house, his lavender hair casting a gloomy shadow over his concerned brow.    The Vault of Time looked like a fortress in the center of the Time Nest, a daunting structure of grey stone.   In sharp contrast, the Supreme Kai of Time lived in a modest Capsule house, with rocket engines and other half-assembled machines scattered all around it.   The epicenter of this clutter lay inside the house, where Chronoa maintained a collection of gadgets and nick-nacks.   Some were displayed on overcrowded shelves, while others lay in various piles strewn in every room.    Trunks had cleared an assortment of vacuum tubes off the stove to brew tea.    
"You made the wish," Chronoa said from her sofa.   "You asked Shenron for a strong ally, one who could help you defend time itself.    And Shenron granted your wish.   He sent you Luffa.    Do you think the Eternal Dragon made a mistake?"
"The Dragon doesn't make mistakes," Trunks said.   "At least, that's what I would have said before today.   But now, she's blown a mission, and she's terrified at the thought of trying again.    What's worse, we can't afford to send anyone else in her place.    The enemy made a big play in that battle with the Ginyu Force, and if we reset the mission we might lose our chance to track them.   Oh, and I almost forgot how she got you hurt."
"You're being unfair," Chronoa said.   "Healing Luffa's injuries was my call, not hers.    You saw how upset she was.  I didn't think we could wait to get her to the hospital."  
"That doesn't mean I have to like it," Trunks said.    "Your healing ability transfers the wounds of others onto yourself.   You've used it on me before, and I'm grateful, but... A power like that... Well, it bothers me.   I don't know how else to put it."
"It has its uses," Chronoa said.   "You can learn a lot about someone by taking on their pain for a little while."
The staff at the Toki Toki hospital had healed the Kai, but her movements were slightly stiff and more careful than usual.    Most people wouldn't have noticed, but Trunks could tell.   The healers in Toki Toki City were capable of restoring a person to perfect health in a matter of moments, but somehow they never seemed to finish the job properly when it came to the Supreme Kai of Time.  He didn't know why that was, or what it meant.   So he chose to focus on the kettle and making sure he had the correct burner turned on.
"Are you ready for the water?" Chronoa asked.
Trunks was about to ask what she meant, and then the kettle began to whistle.   As he reached out for the handle, he noticed a slight distortion around the kettle's surface.    Then he looked back and saw the Kai holding out her hand towards the stove.    He had seen her do this before, using her control over the flow of time to speed up or slow down the movements of objects, but he hadn't considered how this could be used to boil water.  
"Uh, thanks," Trunks said.   "I guess that's one ability I can get used to."
He prepared the cups and brought them to the coffee table next to the sofa.  Then he double checked the sofa for any loose circuit boards or cogs.  When he was sure the cushion was clear, he sat down beside her.      
"You're so sure that Luffa will recover from all of this, and then she'll come back and see this mission through," he said.  "I don't suppose you can speed that up the same way you did the kettle."  
"Maybe I could," she said with a childish grin, "but I'm in no hurry with her.   It's like we always say around here: There's time."  
"I know," Trunks said.   "I mean, I understand that Toki Toki City sits outside of the normal flow of time, and that it doesn't matter if we send her back to Namek today or a year from now.   But we still have to send her back eventually, and until we do, we can't do anything else in the meantime."
"Sure we can!" Chronoa said.   "We're having tea, aren't we?"
"I... I'm not gonna win this discussion, am I?" Trunks said with a sigh.    "All right, fine.   Could you at least share with me why you're not worried about Luffa?    Maybe then we could both enjoy our tea."
"Sure!" Chronoa said, "Why didn't you ask sooner?"  She set her cup on the table and held up her hands to start counting her fingers as she spoke.    "First, I know enough about the Dragon Balls to know they wouldn't let us down.   Second, I've learned a thing or two about Saiyans from working with you, Trunks.  I don't think she'll give up on this.    She's too stubborn.   And third... if there's one thing I know about time, it's that it doesn't matter how you start.    It's how you finish.   Each of those wounds she took tells a story.    I'm nothing special when it comes to fighting, but I could tell this much: she was battling harder than her body could handle."  
"What do you mean?" Trunks asked.   "Are you saying she lost because she overexerted herself?"
"I mean," she said as she picked up her cup to sample the tea, "she's stronger than she's letting on.    I don't know if she's sandbagging for some reason, or maybe she doesn't realize what's happening to her.    But she's giving it everything she has.   More than she has to give, really."
"And that's supposed to make me feel better?" Trunks asked.   "What good will it do us if she burns herself out before we get to the bottom of this case?"
"Well, it's a good thing she has you for a partner, then," Chronoa said with a smile.   "Besides, I think you need to give Luffa some more credit.   She knew better than to dive right back into the mission.   I'm sure she's taking some time to rest and recover before she tries again."
"I hope you're right," Trunks said as he sipped his tea.  
[3 November, Age 762.  Earth.]
Luffa used to be the Legendary Super Saiyan, but she no longer had that extraordinary power.    She didn't know why, unless it had something to do with her attempted self-destruction on Planet Nagaoka, or the intervention of Shenron, a mystical dragon who had reached out across time and space to pull her out of that battle and into the ranks of the Time Patrol.    Luffa had fully expected to die on Nagaoka, but instead she wound up in the distant future, an era where the Saiyan species was nearly extinct, and the legend of Luffa had been utterly forgotten.   With no other prospects, she threw herself into the work of the Time Patrol, until she was traumatized during a mission involving a bodyswap with the villainous Captain Ginyu.
Fear and shame had given way to boredom, and Luffa had decided to try a different activity to take her mind off her troubles.   Her roommate had suggested a "Parallel Quest", and she had found a pair of Time Patrollers who offered to show her how they worked.   They had planned to handle all the fighting while Luffa sat back and watched, but things had gotten out of hand.    
"Luffa... run!" begged Ravi.   The enemy had defeated him almost instantly, and Ravi's boyfriend, the Saiyan Mosh, was the next to fall.   As Luffa knelt beside Ravi, the enemy floated high above and charged a ki attack in his index finger.  Ravi's advice was very sensible.    
Except Luffa couldn't run.   "I'm stuck!" she told Ravi.    "Some kind of psychic hold..."
"I can... reverse it!" Ravi promised.   The Earthling held up his hand and offered it to her.    "Take my hand, and be ready to move."
Their enemy was another Earthling called Chiaotzu, but he looked nothing like the little person Luffa had encountered in other missions to this era.  Chiaotzu was at least four times his original size now, with bulging muscles and a look of unthinking hatred in his eyes.  When Ravi saw him, he addressed Chiaotzu as his Master.   It followed that Chiaotzu had taught Ravi how to apply this psi-lock, and how to reverse it.    
And then, just as Chiaotzu fired his beam, Luffa felt her body slip free of the psychic power, and she leaped out of harm's way.    The ground beneath her exploded into a fiery crater, and she alighted onto the top of a butte.  
Ravi wasn't pleased with her decision to bring him along for the ride.    
"What're you... doing?" he asked.    "I'll only slow you down!   You gotta... get Mosh out of here!"
"That's exactly what that big goof is counting on," Luffa said, gesturing toward Chiaotzu in the distance.   "As soon as I put you down, he'll slap another psychic whammy on me, and I'll be finished.   But as long as I keep you close by, you can protect me from those weird powers of his."
"Girl, that won't work!" Ravi protested.   "He'll just come in close and pick you off!   You can't fight and carry me at the same time!"
"I'm not going to fight him," Luffa said.   "Not yet, anyway.   I have to save your lover first."  
"He...! I...!   I mean, we're dating, but we aren't that serious yet!" Ravi stammered.    
Luffa might have apologized for the presumption, but Chiaotzu opened fire one again, forcing her to hop from one rock formation to the next to stay clear of his attacks.   The hard part came when she reached Mosh's position, and had to carry them both.   Their combined weight was no trouble, but the easiest way to handle a Saiyan of Mosh's size was to drag him by his tail, and Luffa felt bad for putting him though such an undignified situation.   Luckily, his ordeal was brief, as she made it to their time machine soon after.    
"Inside!" Luffa shouted as she kicked open the canopy with her foot and dropped Mosh in.   The Saiyan was nearly as tall as the corrupted Chaiotzu, but the time machine was big enough to hold three passengers, so she knew they would fit with room to spare.   "You'll be safe in there."  
"Luffa wait!" Ravi cried.   "We--"
She might have stopped to listen, except Chiaotzu had closed in on her while she was dropping them off.   With her arms free, Luffa swatted aside his ki blasts, but then he locked on his psychic hold, and she was immobilized in midair.    
"Come on!" she growled, unable to do anything else.   "Free shot, if you're brave enough to take it!"
For Chiaotzu's part, it wasn't a matter of bravery, but rather the irrational rage that consumed his thoughts like a brushfire.   He charged toward Luffa, and began to pummel her with his massive fists.   Luffa had been in a similar pinch while fighting Guldo of the Ginyu Force, but she decided against the strategy she had used before.   In that battle, she had push against the psychic lock with her own telepathic abilities.   At the time, it had seemed sensible, but she didn't want to become over-reliant on her Saiyan telepathy.    She wasn't sure it would be available the next time she faced Guldo...
The next time... while she was trapped in...
... in Captain Ginyu's body...
As Chiaotzu worked her over, the realization hit her that much harder.     Despite her fears, without really being aware of it, she had already made up her mind to go back and try again.    She had come to this "parallel quest" in an effort to distract herself from the Ginyu mission, but in her heart of hearts, she was still fighting that last battle, even as she fought a new one against this mutated Chiaotzu.  
There was something terrific and horrifying about this.   It was as though her Saiyan heart would push her forward no matter badly she wanted to give up.   Saving Ravi and Mosh had almost been second nature to her.   Less than an hour ago, Luffa had been curled up in a fetal position in the shower.    
And then, at last, the answer came to her.   If Chiaotzu wanted her to hold still so badly, then she would oblige him.    Instead of using her power to try to break free, she concentrated her energy inwards, using every last bit of it to fix herself to that spot.    She clenched her teeth as she waited for the next blow, and when it came...
There was a loud 'clang', and Chiaotzu reeled with pain as he clutched his fist.    Thanks to her ki, Luffa's body had no give to it whatsoever.    She had been unhurt, while Chiaotzu's aching knuckles left him in too much pain to maintain his hold on her.    
"That trick won't work on me anymore," she snarled.   "Get that through your thick skull.    You'll have to try something else if you want to defeat me.  
He glared at her with those wide, enigmatic eyes, then said only one word: "Corn..."
Then he rushed towards her, throwing punches and kicks with incredible speed.    "Coooooorrrrrrn!" Chiaotzu wailed, seemingly for no reason.  
"My name's Luffa, not Corn, you idiot!" she screamed.   Fast as he was, she managed to weather the assault and responded with an explosive wave.   It wasn't enough to defeat him, but it did give her some breathing room.  
She pressed the attack, and danced around him, shifting left and right through the air to catch him off balance.   But whenever she went in to strike, he was always ready to block.  
"Hold on... You're good," Luffa said.   "But not this good.  What are you trying now...?"
(Luffa, he's reading your mind!)
She suddenly heard Ravi's voice in her own thoughts, and she glanced back at the time machine to make certain he and Mosh were still inside.    Chiaotzu capitalized on this by kicking Luffa in the head.    The blow sent her down to the ground, hard enough to shatter a nearby hillside, but not enough to defeat her.  
"Oh, is that right?" Luffa grumbled after coughing up some dust.   "I should have figured that out sooner."
(In my native era, Chiaotzu was an old man,) Ravi explained.   (I didn't have much going for me, but he took me in.  I was stealing food from his farm, and he invited me to join his dojo.   He offered me a chance to become a warrior.   This... this isn't how he's supposed to be!)
"I know that," Luffa said as she dodged another Dodonpa.    "He's been corrupted by the same evil magic as the others.    In this time fragment, the enemy must have used their power on him instead of Vegeta.  Or... hell, I don't know."
"Nine...!" Chiaotzu groaned.     "Minus... One!"
Luffa threw a punch, expecting him to block and counter.    She fully intended to reverse his counter, but instead she was surprised to see her punch connected this time.   It wasn't enough to stop Chiaotzu, but it did stagger him.  
"Well now..." Luffa said with a grin, "maybe you're not as tough as I thought."   She tried to follow through with a roundhouse kick, but Chiaotzu blocked this one and caught her in a throw.  Before she could escape, Chiaotzu caught her with another psychic hold, and she was helpless to stop herself from being hurled into a cliffside.  
"Left!  Right!" Chiaotzu screamed.    "Right, right, right!   Left!"
Luffa took her frustration out on the rubble that surrounded her, blasting it all away until she was standing in the center of a crater.    "I've had enough of your riddles!" she shouted back.   "Do your worst.  I won't back down until--"
"Disappear!" Chiaotzu said in a dreary monotone.    And then he did disappear.    Or at least, it seemed like he had.    Faster than Luffa's eyes could follow, Chiaotzu suddenly appeared behind her, and caught her in a full nelson.    With his immense size and power, the pain of the hold was incredible.    
"Dis... a... peeeear....!" Chiaotzu said as Luffa grunted and struggled to break free.    "Wish..."
"Shut up!" Luffa shouted.   "You'll wish you were dead when I'm finished with you!"    
But for all her bluster, Chiaotzu's psychic effect was making it difficult for her to escape the hold.    Luffa considered herself an expert on such things.   Joint locks were one of her specialties, and every hold she knew was accompanied by the way to escape.   But these all depended on being able to control herself, and her body just wasn't responsive enough.    
(Luffa, that's it!)  She heard Ravi in her mind again.   (He wants you to beat him!)
"Oh he does, does he?   Well... he's got... got a funny way of showing it," Luffa snarled.  
(Listen to me!   When I was younger, he told me the story of King Piccolo.   The Demon King gathered the Dragon Balls to wish for his youth, but Tien Shinhan told Chiaotzu to stop Piccolo by trying to make a wish first!   'Wish for King Piccolo to disappear!' that was what Chiaotzu tried to say, but Piccolo killed him before he could get it out!)
"Left, right, left right!" Chiaotzu droned on.   Suddenly, Luffa felt herself moving forward.    Chiaotzu's hold was as tight as ever, but he was floating forward, sliding across the air like a stone sliding over ice.    He drove Luffa into a mesa.   Then another, then another.    Each time, the stone broke apart on Luffa's face like a punch from an angry giant.
(He wants you to kill him! To beat him)  Ravi said.    (That's his wish!)
"And how--ow!   Does he expect me to do that?!    Ow!  Dammit!"  
"Nine!    Minus!   One!" Chiaotzu wailed.  
(That's it!) Ravi said.   (When he fought Krillin in the World Martial Arts Tournament!    Master Chiaotzu was always bad at math.   Krillin beat him by calling out arithmetic problems, and he'd get so flustered trying to solve them that he'd leave himself wide open!)
"Fine!" Luffa muttered.     "Hey, Chiaotzu!  What's the square root of twelve?!"
She tried to kick at his thighs, hoping that she could cramp up his quadriceps muscle enough to make him loosen the full nelson, but instead Chiaotzu's psychic attack intensified, and she could barely move her leg enough to tap him with her heel.    
"It didn't work!" she shouted, just as Chiaotzu drove her face first into another butte.    
(That's because it was too hard!)   Ravi said.  
"Well, is he bad at math or not?!" Luffa demanded.  
(Whoa, easy now.   Easy,) Ravi said.   (We're on the same side here!)
Luffa knew this on a factual level, but she was getting sick of Ravi's voice in her head, almost as much as she was sick of Chiaotzu's power locking up her muscles.    
"What's six plus two, Chiaotzu?!" she shouted, desperate to get this over with.    She almost hoped it wouldn't work, if only to disprove Ravi's suggestion.    And yet...
"Uh... uhhhh..." Chiaotzu grumbled, and Luffa could feel her toes again, and a slight relief in her shoulders as his grip slackened.  
"Hah!" Luffa said as she twisted her arms and slid free of Chiaotzu's hold.   She withdrew to a safe distance, then opened fire with a volley of ki blasts.    She expected Chiaotzu to avoid or deflect them, but they were nothing more than a diversion anyway.  
"On your left!" Luffa shouted as she rushed headlong at him.    Sure enough, Chiaotzu turned, expecting her to attack him on that side.    She swerved at the last possible instant and blindsided him on his right.  
"Ino...Shiko...Cho..." Chiaotzu moaned.    
"Two minus three," Luffa said.   It was almost disturbing how easy this was becoming.    She hesitated a moment before trying a kick to Chiaotzu's abdomen, and yet she still managed to land the blow, and the elbow smash between his shoulders after that.  
"What's 'InoShikoCho'?" Luffa asked aloud, hoping that Ravi was still listening.    
(It's what he called one of our practice drills back at the dojo,) Ravi said.   (Only... I don't know what that has to do with anything.)
"Don't worry," Luffa said.   "I'll try and find out for myself--"   As she spoke, Chiaotzu lumbered towards her, and she ducked under his massive hands and grabbed hold of his face.    She hadn't tried a telepathic reading in a long time, but in her last Time Patrol mission, she had seen the Saiyan Son Goku use it on Krillin, which led her to suspect that she had recovered enough of her former strength to do the same.    The Saiyans had a peculiar range of psychic talents, but before Luffa could reminisce on this, the images came flooding into her mind.
His name was Chiaotzu, and long ago he had trained under the Crane Hermit, a master whose skill was matched only by his cruelty and bitterness.   The Old Crane School taught the ways of treachery and deception.    Among these lessons was the InoShikoCho, a beast with the body of a boar and the antlers of a stag and the wings of a butterfly.    To raise money during their training journeys, Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan would use the InoShikoCho to grift small, isolated villages.   The Crane Hermit had adopted it as a pet and trained it well, but it could pretend to be a wild animal when needed, and Tien and Chiaotzu would unleash it in villages, then offer to "capture" the beast... for a price.   After pretending to subdue the InoShikoCho, and collecting their reward, they would move on to the next village and repeat the process.    
But one day, Son Goku intervened.    Stumbling upon the three of them sharing a meal between villages, he learned of their trickery, and when he tried to expose them, Tien was forced to betray the InoShikoCho to cover his tracks.   After that, Tien and Chiaotzu knew that the creature would never trust them again.   Eventually, Chiaotzu felt a similar grief when Tien defied the Crane Hermit, and Chiaotzu had to choose a side.    The Crane Hermit swore he would have revenge, and when he returned, it was with his brother, the assassin Tao Pai-Pai, who beat Chiaotzu so badly at the World Martial Arts Tournament that he had to be carried out on a stretcher.  
And this was what ran through Chiaotzu's mind now while he fought Luffa.    Beneath the mindless rampage forced upon him by the dark magic, there was an undercurrent of sadness and regret and longing to be done with betrayal.   As Ravi had said, in this moment, Chiaotzu wished for nothing more than to be made to disappear.
The depths of this despair shocked Luffa, so much so that when she snapped out of her mental link, Chiaotzu was able to knock her back with a well-placed chop to her neck.  It was not enough to defeat her.    Luffa knew that it would never be.   For in spite of the increase in power the dark magic gave Chiaotzu, he was still holding back.    The Earthling had that much willpower, at least.    
"I see," Luffa said to him.    "So this is the resolve of you Earthlings, then.   Even in this sorry state, you keep fighting to resist this power that's come over you.   It's impressive.    Four minus three."
She dodged his next offensive and went around him, catching him in a belly-to-back suplex.   This wasn't enough to stop him, but she was no longer trying to defeat him.    Now that she understood how to beat him, she could secure victory at her leisure.    Until then, she simply used her attacks to buy enough time to say her peace.
"I might not look it," she said, "but I used to be somebody important, a long time ago.    Left left right."    Chiaotzu fired the Dodonpa again, but she grabbed his arm and spoiled his aim, then swung around and brought her knee into his face.  
"I'm not telling you this to brag.    I'm not much of anyone now, not anymore.   But I'm telling you this because I want you to know that I'm someone who impressed a lot of people, and you've impressed me today.   Not sure if you can understand what I'm saying, but I needed to get it off my chest, okay?   Your students, your memories, your pride, everything you are keeps fighting, even after your mind and body have been corrupted like this.   It's... comforting.    Twelve plus six.    Galick Gun."
Now she was ready to defeat him.   The Galick Gun she fired came quickly, with as little warning as she could give.    That made it weaker than it could have been, but Ravi's prediction was true: Chiaotzu was so distracted by the numbers that he was virtually defenseless.   Even a weak Galick Gun would be enough to knock him out.    She intensified the power anyway, once she was certain he was too overwhelmed to stop it.    
"I see what I have to do now!" she shouted.    And then with a savage cry, she chased after Chiaotzu, and leaped down beside him where he fell.    
"You've shown me the way," she said in a low voice as she checked to make certain he was beaten.    The dark energy dissipated, and his body began to shrink to its normal size.    "I'm in your debt, Earthman.   I guess I should cook something tasty for your student Ravi, who honors your teachings."
Satisfied that the immediate danger was over, Luffa gathered Chiaotzu in her arms, and went back to the time machine to collect Ravi and Mosh.    
[28 February Age 850.   Toki Toki City.]
"That should hold, for now anyway."
In the Time Vault, Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time stood before the large table at the center of the atrium.    She had just finished performing a supernatural treatment on a section of parchment from the Scroll of Eternity.   Trunks did not even pretend to understand how it worked, but she said it would help, and that was good enough for him.    
"Let's hope it lasts," Trunks said.    "I've checked for signs of enemy activity.   Nothing so far, but I can't believe they'll stay quiet for long.   If they strike again...  I don't suppose you can contain the ripples from two time anomalies, can you?"
The Kai looked up at him with a confident smirk.    "Hey, I can do a lot of things, you know?"   This made him feel a little better, but there was still a hint of worry in her eyes that kept him from smiling.    
"At least we know if they strike somewhere else, we can send other Time Patrollers to deal with that," Trunks said.   He gestured at the scroll on the table, which still roiled with purple energy.   "But we can't resolve this current anomaly without Luffa, and there's no telling how long that could take."
"She'll be back," Chronoa said.    "And we'll manage until she's ready."
He was about to reply, when suddenly a third voice called out.
He had already turned to face the entryway before he heard the voice.    His ki senses had told him who it was, but he was still surprised nonetheless.    Luffa marched up to the table with purpose and laid a casserole dish on the table with a loud thud.    
"Luffa!   Y-you're back?" Trunks asked.  
"I would have gotten here sooner, but I wanted to make sure Chiaotzu was okay, only they told me I couldn't bring him back to the city.    Parallel Quest stuff.    It's over my head."
"You went on a Parallel Quest?" Trunks asked.   "We thought you were resting..."
"After that," Luffa went on,  "I made pasta for Ravi and Mosh.    Took me a while, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.   I made too much, and this is what wouldn't fit in the refrigerator.   You like lasagna, Trunks?"
"Uh, sure," he said.  
She stared at him, as though suspicious of his answer.    "Good.   Help yourself."   She then looked at the Kai and added.    "You too, Chronoa, if gods eat this sort of thing.    Oh, you know what?  I didn't bring any plates."    
"I've got some in my house," Chronoa said.   "We'll manage, but we really need to talk about how we're going to handle this scroll..."
"We already did talk about that, remember?" Luffa said.   "And it's pretty simple.   I'm the only one who can finish the mission, because of how I got bodyswapped with Captain Ginyu, right?   So I'm going back in there, right now, and I'm going to finish it."
"Hold on," Trunks said.    "You were in pretty rough shape a few hours ago.   Are you sure you're feeling up to this?"
"I've got it all figured out this time," Luffa said.   "Trust me."  
She didn't even look at Trunks as she spoke, but instead leaned in and took the scroll before anyone could stop her.    And as she vanished into the past, Trunks saw a sadistic grin on her face.  
He wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
NEXT: The Bluff.
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duhragonball · 6 days ago
This but it’s goku and gohan
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duhragonball · 7 days ago
If it's no trouble, may I ask wether you have any plans of drawing a buff lady punching a mountain in half? I adore the mental image.
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duhragonball · 8 days ago
Battle Tendency Liveblog: JJBA Ch.109-113
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Hard to believe we’re at the end of this crazy ride.  
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Last time, Joseph had defeated Kars, only for Stroheim to order his men to finish Kars off with UV rays.  Stroheim just wanted Kars to hurry up and die faster, and maybe he also wanted credit for the kill, but instead he played right into Kars hands.    After Joseph kicked his ass, Kars put on a Stone Mask he had stowed away somewhere, and he installed the Red Stone of Aja into the Mask.  
I should probably go over that a bit, since it hasn’t been mentioned for a while.   Kars has been perfecting the Stone Mask technology for thousands of years.   It turns humans into vampires, but for his species it unlocks even greater powers.   But Kars hit a wall in his research.   He wanted to design a mask that would make him the ultimate life form, but he lacked the means to power such a mask.   He discovered an answer in the Aja Stone, a mineral that focuses light, but he needed a bigger, more flawless sample of it, and that’s the Stone he’s using right now, the one he captured from Lisa Lisa.  
So instead of killing Kars, Stroheim accidentally made his lifelong ambition come true.   One nice touch I just noticed is that the Mask itself falls apart as soon as it’s finished its task.    I suppose, in theory, someone else could have tried it on and get the same power boost as Kars?  Would it even work on a normal human?  Well, we’ll never find out.   
There’s a couple of ways to interpret this.   One is that Kars’ “Super” Mask was highly experimental, and it must have been untested, since he’d never had Lisa’s stone until now.   So it’s possible that the thing burned itself out after a single use.   The other interpretation is that Kars designed this Mask to self-destruct after the first use, because it was never intended for anyone else but himself.    The whole point of this was to become the Ultimate Life Form, the very pinnacle of all living creatures on Earth.   I think it was implied that Wammu and Esidisi were expecting to share in this power when the time came, but why would Kars have ever allowed for this?   What’s the point of being the greatest and best in the world if you have to share that top spot with two other guys? 
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Stroheim realllly wants to believe this is all a big fluke, and that he didn’t just make the bad guy stronger.   The Ripple wound on Kars’ arm is still there, so Stroheim figures he’ll die anyway.    Except Kars doesn’t seem too bothered by his injury.   And then...
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Yeah, so Kars not only repairs his injured arm, he reshapes his hand into a squirrel.   Joseph speaks for us all: What the fuck?
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For a hot minute, everyone thinks the squirrel he made is kind of cute, until Kars sends it to find another squirrel and kill it.  Then the Kars-squirrel tears a hole through Stroheim and carves a trench in a Nazi soldier from chest to eyeball.   Then it rejoins Kars’ wrist, and turns into a flower, and then a butterfly.   Some Part 5 and 6 pre-references for ya.  
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Then the sun comes up.    Wait, the Joseph/Wammu fight happened around midnight, right?    How many hours have these folks been out here?    And it’s February, too, so this had to have been a long night.  Anyway, the sun comes up, so we’re saved, right?   Wrong.  Sunlight doesn’t hurt Kars anymore, thanks to the power he got from his special mask.   So now what are they supposed to do? 
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Well, Joseph’s going to use his last resort: running away.    Also, he grabs the Aja Stone, for no apparent reason.    Kars grows a pair of wings to chase him.    He no longer cares about the Hamon users, because they’re no longer a threat to him.   But he wants to kill Joseph personally, both to celebrate his new powers and to avenge the deaths of Wammu and Kars.  
Smokey joins Joseph, which doesn’t make much sense to Joseph, but Smokey wants to tell Joseph about Lisa Lisa being his mother.   Except Joseph’s a little too distracted by the eldritch horror that’s trying to murder him. Read the room, Smokey.
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Here’s a helpful diagram of Kars to explain what his deal is now.   Basically, he’s immortal and can regenerate and reshape his whole body, but he had that before, just by being a Pillar Man.   The big upgrade is that he’s no longer weak to sunlight (and by extension, the Ripple), and he can now replicate the traits of any life form on Earth.    He’s faster than cheetahs and has better hearing than bats and so on.   He can go for a full year without eating, and he no longer needs to sleep.    Sex is meaningless to him, because procreation is only important for lower life forms to maintain their species.   Kars has no need for children or bretheren.    “There is but only one summit.”  
Maybe Wammu and Esidisi had understood that truth all along, and they never seriously expected Kars to share this power with them.   They practically worshipped Kars as it was, so maybe they were only doing this for the greater glory of their leader.   
So what does Kars plan to do with all of this power he now has?   The Aja Stone was his only goal before, and that’s done.    He has no enemies to fear, and as Speedwagon observes, there’s no way left to kill him.    This page states that his only purpose now is to create a world to match his own desire, but what is that?   What’s Kars’ vision for the Earth now that he’s reached this point?   
We never really find out, and I suppose that’s why it’s convenient that he decided to start out by killing Joseph.    For all we know, he would have just chilled out and left humanity alone after that, but this way there’s still an immediate threat to deal with.  
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Miraculously, Joseph manages to stay ahead of Kars long enough to find the airplane that brought Stroheim here.   You’d think Kars could have caught up to him with all these fancy new powers, but Kars was never in much of a hurry.    He took his time to search for the Aja Stone, and he made it a point to trap Jojo and Lisa rather than risk fighting them fairly.  So even now, when he has such an overwhelming advantage, he seems to be playing things the same way.   He has no weaknesses, so he may as well take his time and stalk Joseph, if only to watch him squirm.
Joseph tries using the plane’s weapons to even the odds, but Kars grows armadillo hide on his wings to protect himself, and he fires the armor at Joseph like shrapnel.   So machinery doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.   
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So Joseph just flies south, using the plane’s engines to give himself a comfortable lead.   He’ll run out of fuel in a couple of hours, but Speedwagon calls him on the radio and tells him that they’ll figure out a plan.   Except that Joseph already has his own plan.  There’s a volcanic island off the coast of Italy.  I assume this is Stromboli Island, since Italy has only three active volcanoes, and Mt. Stromboli is the only one on an island.   Anyway, Joseph plans to lure Kars into the volcano, and destroy him with molten lava.    I mean, Kars is still flammable, right?
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Speedwagon hates this idea, because he doesn’t see any way for Joseph to pull this off without getting killed in the process, and that sounds way too much like what happened to Joseph’s father and grandfather.  Oh, and his great-grandfather.   I didn’t notice George I up there until just now.   Speedwagon tries to tell Joseph about Lisa being his mom, but Joseph can’t hear him because of all the piranha noises in the plane.    Wait... what?
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Yeah, all the feathers that Kars turned into armor and launched into the fuselage?   Well, he’s still controlling those things, and now Kars has turned them into piranhas.   Well, I guess not literal fish, since they’d never survive up here.  The point is that Kars can control every cell in his body and mimic any animal traits he wants, so if he wants to make small bitey creatures to wreck Joseph’s plane, he might as well make them look like piranhas.    ALso he makes an octopus that tears up one of the engines.  
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So Joseph bails out, but he’s a sitting duck in that parachute.    Kars calls him a butterfly caught in a web, which is the second time we’ve seen that analogy in Part 2.   Araki just out here telling everyone what Jolyne would be wearing in twelve years. 
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But the parachute contains a dummy.    Why did Joseph waste time drawing a face on it?   Because he knew he had to fool Kars’ razor-sharp senses, of course.    Kars probably saw the dummy, and got suspicious, but then he noticed the eyes and mouth, and though “Oh, okay, I guess that’s a real person then.”  
Anyway, this suckers Kars in so that Joseph can crash into him with his plane and they can both go into the volcano together.
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But Kars thinks he can tear up the plane before it lands.   Except a robot hand grabs him from behind, and he finds Stroheim stowed away.   Wait, so Stroheim outran Joseph AND Kars and hid in this plane before Joseph took off?   
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Anyway, Stroheim manages to get Joseph out of the plane to relative safety, but he crushes his whole lower body in the process.  But it seems to be worth it, because Kars landed smack-dab in the volcano!  Awesome!   Fuck you, Kars, you screwed over Lisa Lisa, and that’s what you get!   He tries to protect himself, but he can’t grow a defense against 1000 degree heat...
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... is what I would say, except no, Kars totally does that.   Just when Joseph thinks Kars has succumed to the lava, Kars pops out and slices off Joseph’s left arm with his goofy blade.  
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How the fuck did Kars survive?   Well, he couldn’t grow a lava-proof shell, but he could create a porous layer beneath the shell, and use the air inside to insulate the rest of his body from the heat.   That wouldn’t protect him indefinitely, but it was enough to get the drop on Joseph.  
So that’s it then, right?  Not even molten lava can kill Kars, unless you could shove him down in there and keep him still for like ten minutes, and who’s going to pull that off?    Stroheim begins to lose all hope...
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Then we get a flashback to Kars’ origin.   Long, long ago, there was a race of subterranean humanoid with long lifespans and an aversion to sunlight.   Prehistoric humans thought of them as gods or demons because of their reclusiveness and power.   Also, they would eat humans and animals, so that probably made them dangerous, too.   
But I don’t think they were nearly as powerful as the Pillar Men we’ve seen in this story.   I say this because the flashback establishes that Kars was the one who discovered the latent power in their brains, and he was the one who invented the Stone Mask technology to harness that latent power.   So it stands to reason that much of what he and the others could do was the result of Stone Mask enhancements.   The problem is that those enhancements increased the amount of blood they needed to consume, and the others in the Clan feared that Kars’ experiments would destroy their whole ecosystem.   So when they tried to stop Kars, he killed them all.   The only survivors were himself, Esidisi, and two young children who grew up to become Wammu and Santana.  
So that story tells you something about what Kars might do with this newfound “ultimate” power.   He didn’t achieve this for the good of his own people, because they’re all dead now, and he wiped most of them out personally.   If he would do that to his own kind, the rest of the Earth would be expendable to him.
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Back to the present, Joseph’s not giving up yet.   He tries to use the Ripple one more time, but it doesn’t work.   Worse, Kars counters with his own Ripple.    Because Kars can do that now, you see.    He’s got the powers of all life on Earth, and that includes Ripple users, I suppose.   Worse, Kars’ Hamon power is hundreds of times greater, so he ends up getting badly burned on his right knee.  
So now Joseph’s completely out of tricks, and he starts to accept the inevitable.   Kars decides that the best way to kill Joseph would be to destroy him with his own finisher, Ripple Overdrive.  So he charges up the most powerful Hamon attack he can muster, and just as he’s about to strike...
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Joseph impulsively grabs the Red Stone of Aja and uses it to block, kind of like how he stymied Kars back on that cliff in Switerland.   Only this time, Kars doesn’t hold back, and the Hamon attack is amplified.    It bursts through Joseph’s right hand and into the volcano below. 
The narration says that not even Joseph really understood any of this.   He just sort of acted on instinct.   That bothered me once, but now I see that it wasn’t entirely unconscious impulse.   Back in Venice, when Lisa first told Joseph about the Aja Stone, Joseph suggested destroying it to deny Kars his prize. But Lisa said there was a legend that foretold that Kars could never be defeated without the Aja Stone.   And that would at least explain why Joseph picked the thing up back in Switzerland before he fled to Mt. Stromboli.    Maybe it was unconscious action that made him pick up the stone in this fateful moment, but I think it was a more conscious thought that made him take the stone with him in the first place.   On some level, he remembered that legend.  
Okay, so there’s a mega-ultra-Super-Saiyan-5-Ripple that just went into a live volcano.    What good does that do?   Well, it makes the volcano erupt, and it launches Joseph and Kars into the air.    So what?   Kars can fly.    Yeah, he could, but...
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You know, Joseph’s lost hand really left an impression on me when I first watched the anime of Part 2, but now that I’ve read the manga, I’ve noticed tons of severed and wounded forearms all through this story, almost as if Araki had been building up to this moment.    I’d make a Part 4 joke, but nah, that’s too easy.   But it wasn’t even that long ago that Wammu lost both of his hands, and then he launched them as Joseph to distract him.    Kars lost his hand before he grew it back and turned it into a squirrel.    Hell, Stroheim launched his robot hand at Kars to distract him for the volcano crash.   And now Joseph’s hand has somehow launched itself into Kars’ throat to distract him again!
I’m assuming that Hamon energy has a lot to do with this.   You’d think Joseph’s hand wouldn’t have survived getting fired up this high, and it shouldn’t be powerful enough or alive enough to bother Kars this much, but it does.   So I’m chalking it up to all that Ripple energy.  It briefly reanimated Joseph’s hand and made it follow Kars up to this altitude, kind of like how Jonathan controlled Wang Chung’s decapitated body at the end of Part 1.
So Joseph taunts Kars about this, and implies that he planned this somehow.    And when Kars pauses to ask if he did plan this, more rocks and stuff from the volcano hit him and send him even higher up into the air.
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And Joseph claims that he did plan this entire thing!  That’s bullshit, but he hopes Kars will believe it, if only to make him more frustrated.    Maybe Joseph didn’t plan all this out, but he seems to have deduced what’s happening here.  
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Kars has been launched so high into the air, and at such an incredible speed, that he’s achieved escape velocity.    Does Kars even realize what that means?   I mean, he’s super-intelligent, especially now, and he’s been alive for thousands of years, but what could he really know about outer space?    Has he ever even considered it before?  It seems like all of his ambitions involve the Earth, and only the Earth, and everything living upon it.  
As for Joseph, the chunk of rock he’s on does not fly into space.   Instead, it starts to fall back down, and Joseph assumes that he’s probably not going to survive the impact.    Eight hours later, Stroheim makes it back and informs Speedwagon that Joseph must have died in the eruption.   
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But Kars isn’t worried at first, because he thinks he has this whole “vacuum of space” thing figured out.  He just takes a page from Wammu’s playbook and makes air jets on his back to expel compressed gas from his body, like the maneuvering thrusts on a spacecraft.  Except that’s not nearly enough to counteract the force of the volcano that sent him up here.  
Yeah, Kars has no idea how space works.  Instinctively, he probably counted on friction to slow him down, except there is no friction in space.   He probably also expected his air jets to push him a little bit at a time, and maybe he could pull in more air as needed, except there is no more air.   Even the air from his body is denied to him, because it just dissipates into the vacuum of space.    Kars talks about the air freezing as it comes out, but I don’t think that’s right.   What’s happening to him is like when you use one of those compressed gas canisters to clean your keyboard.    Release a lot of the gas at once, and the can starts to get cold.   That’s because the liquefied gas left inside the can now has more room, and it begins to boil as it expands.    This draws in heat from the surroundings, which makes the can feel cold to the touch.    That’s what’s happening to Kars here.   All he’s doing it losing all his body heat.   Maybe some of the air really is freezing around him, but I don’t know.   It depends on whether the sunlight is hitting him, I think.
Anyway, the last thing Kars says is “I can’t go back!!!” And that’s what makes this so perfect.   In the anime, we see the Earth recede into the distance as he continues to tumble further and further away. By surviving the lava, Kars had “mastered” the Earth, but now he’s been separated from the Earth.   He’s got all this incredible power, but without the Earth, he’s got no one to use it on.
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And then we come to the pièce de résistance of Battle Tendency: The epilogue page that establishes, in no uncertain terms, that Kars never returned to the Earth.   There’s no miracle escape this time, no clever trick or loophole.   He simply doesn’t have the necessary acceleration to push himself back the way he came. 
Did he die?   Nope, because he made himself immortal, remember?   Not even sunlight or starvation can destroy him now.   But now death is the only thing he craves, because he’s completely alone and has nothing to do.   I can’t imagine he’s very comfortable like this either, because it’s incredibly cold in outer space, and Kars must be able to sense that cold, even if it doesn’t actually hurt him.  
And this is such a fitting punishment for a villain like Kars.  Just as Stroheim wanted to become superior and lost his humanity in the process, Kars ruthlessly sacrificed friend and foe alike to achieve this Ultimate form, and what good does it do him?    It’s become his prison, his hell.    At long last, he’s become the supreme being, a world unto himself, but with no one around to lord it over, there’s really no point to any of it.  
I just really love this ending.   I’m not sure how else I can express it.    This is what should have happened to Akio Othori in Revolutionary Girl Utena.    But Araki was brace enough to do it to Kars.  
I suppose I could attempt some exercise in JoJo Part Comparison and connect Kars’ final fate to all the other JoJo villains.    But I dunno, this is getting pretty long in the tooth as it is.   I’ll just say that I’m suddenly reminded of Reimi’s final words to Kira in Part 4, when Kira asks where he’s being taken.   “Who knows?   But I’m sure it’s somewhere you won’t be able to rest in peace.”
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So all that’s left is the matter of Joseph’s funeral-- Nah, just kidding, he’s not even dead.   What’s weird is that Smokey says he met Joseph “six months ago”, which seems a lot longer than the events of this story.    Anyway, Joseph returned to New York, only to find everyone at the cemetary.   He wonders who they’re mourning, and he’s shocked to discover it’s him.
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So yeah, the rock Joseph was on acted as a “shield”, and he managed to survive the fall, and even ended up near Venice, where Suzie Q found him and tended to his injuries.  Stroheim even set him up with a robotic hand to replace the one Kars lopped off.   I guess Stroheim never sent word of any of this to the U.S., probably because of Nazi Germany gearing up for World War II.  
Anyway, Suzie took care of him for like two weeks, and they got married.   So in a way, Joseph did follow in the legacy of Jonathan.   Not in the “dying young” way, but the “Beat the bad guy and wake up in the care of a gorgeous blonde lady who eventually marries you” kind of way.   You love to see it.   But Suzie forgot to send a telegram to New York to let everyone know Joseph was okay, which is why everyone is so shocked and why Joseph is so shocked about them being shocked.
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Then we get the epilogues for all the surviving characters.   I mentioned this when I liveblogged the Part 5 manga a few years ago, but the stark contrast between Battle Tendency and Vento Aureo is that Part 5 is very ambiguous about its ending.   We know who wins and who loses and who survives, but that isn’t really enough.   We don’t know what will happen to Giorno Giovanna after Part 5.   Does he live up to his lofty dream, or does he succumb to corruption like his wicked father?  I think that’s intentional, because Giorno is the “golden wind” in the story.    He’s an agent of change, but we don’t get to see the effects of his efforts, only the cause that he fights for.    But Part 2 operates in the exact opposite way.   We know exactly how and when Speedwagon dies.   I’m a little confused how Stroheim could have died at Stalingrad when Kars and a volcano couldn’t kill him, but maybe the Russians had Stand powers.    I think the only minor mystery is that we don’t know what happened to Lisa Lisa after 1948.    It’s likely that she survived into Part 3, and maybe beyond, but we never see her again.
It’s also kind of weird how upbeat this epilogue is about reporting on the deaths of so many characters.   Like, Stroheim died in one of the worst battles in human history, but he went out on his own terms, so it’s cool?  I guess?   Even the characters without deaths, like Smokey, it’s sort of implicit that he’ll die sooner or later.   But it’s a good thing because it’s final and proper.    It’s something Kars craves now, but can never experience.  A life worth living, made more precious by its limitations.  Kars tried to use cheat codes in nature, and he ended up clipping through the map and making the game unplayable.   But Smokey, he‘ll be mayor someday.
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As for Joseph, we see him in an airport in 1987, bullying Japanese people because his daughter married a Japanese guy and moved there.    He’s headed to Japan right now to see her and his grandson, who probably doesn’t even recognize him, it’s been so long.   
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On the other hand, he appreciates his Walkman, which is either Joseph giving the Japanese some credit, or maybe he’s just too dense to notice the irony.   
I hate that he’s listening to the Beatles, because the Beatles are overrated trash.  My favorite thing about the Part 2 anime is how they changed his music to “Bloody Stream” by Coda, which a) kicks ass and b) wasn’t a song by the shitty Beatles.  
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And that’s Battle Tendency.   Kind of neat how it closes on Joseph’s flight departing to visit his daughter and grandson, in contrast to the final panel of Part 1, which showed Erina floating in a coffin alone in the ocean.   Joseph has bucked the curse and he’s graduated to Part 3, for better or worse.   
But I feel kind of weird leaving it here, because I do love the way the anime wrapped up, so I’ll close out with this:
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Tsugi ni omae wa “Grazie!” to iu!
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duhragonball · 8 days ago
i get so frustrated with those uhh, “you can only pick ONE OP shounen protag to be on your team in the, uh, the Fight” memes guys share on facebook. like… no. it’s goku. it’s always goku. you buffoons. you absolute candy canes. rurouni kenshin is not going to protect me from goku’s wrath. goku will kill naruto, and he’ll kill natsu, and yes, he will kill saitama. he may have a heart of gold but he could flick his pinky and obliterate eren yaeger instantly.
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duhragonball · 9 days ago
Battle Tendency Liveblog: JJBA Ch. 105-108
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“Master Kars has taken a fighting stance!   I... I wasn’t expecting tongue...”
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Hey, remember Wammu?   Well, he’s dead now, so the only Pillar Man left to worry about is the leader, Kars.  His army of vampire slaves don’t like this, so they try to bumrush our heroes, but Lisa kills a few of them, then threatens to destroy the Red Stone of Aja unless Kars honors their agreement. 
And Kars is cool with that.   He only took off his headdress and exposed his antennae to prepare for the next one-on-one fight.   He then kills his unruly henchmen to prove that they don’t speak for him.  Moreover, Kars is now willing to fight Lisa Lisa.   Earlier, he said that he didn’t like fighting women, but now that he’s seen her in action, he’s on board with the idea.
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But he doesn’t want to fight in Skeleton Heel Stone, where Joseph and Wammu squared off.   Instead, he chooses the Piza Berlina Temple, right next door to the S.H.S.  Apparently, after a hard day of chariot racing, the winners used to come here to worship their gods and drink the blood of the losers. 
It’s weird to me that Kars and Wammu should be so familiar with this place, and carry such an abiding respect for it.   I mean, they’ve viewed ordinary 20th Century humans with utter contempt, dismissing them as backwards primitives.   Santana disassembled a German rifle like it was easy, and he’s supposed to be the big dummy in the Pillar Men.   That’s how little they think of 1938 technology and civilization.   The Hamon users in this story only get a bit of respect because they‘ve become worthy adversaries. 
And yet, the Pillar Men seem to be a lot more respectful towards ancient humanity.   Esidisi knew the writings of Sun Tzu, if not the man himself.   You’d think he’d just ignore or devour Sun Tzu sooner than look at him.   And you’d think Wammu would have wanted to fight in the traditions of his own culture, but instead he’s all into this ancient human racetrack.    It can’t be because it’s old.   Compared to Wammu, it’s positively brand new.  
On the other hand, these guys are the last of their kind, as we’ll learn in a few chapters.   Human culture is the only kind the Pillar Men have gotten to see, and it’s been that way for about a hundred centuries now.   If Esidisi wants to read a book, he’s pretty much going to have to tolerate human authors, because that’s all that’s left.   And if Wammu wants to admire a sporting arena, he’s stuck with places like these, built by those pesky “primitives”.  
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Joseph asks Lisa to let him fight Kars instead, since he’s still worried about her being a woman.   Also, he believes Kars is weaker than Wammu, so he should be able to defeat him.   But Lisa insists on handling this, and she strips down to this circus outfit.    That sounds like I’m making fun of it, but I’m not.   It looks pretty badass, but also period-appropriate. 
The fight is very short.  Kars pulls some sort of disappearing act, then emerges from one of the stone surfaces of the temple, trying to slash at Lisa from behind with his blades.    But Lisa has it scouted, and she wraps her silk scarf around Kars’ arm, charges it with Hamon, and kills him, wham, bam, thank you ma’am.  
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And then the real Kars emerges from the same stone, and stabs Lisa in the back.   Somehow, Kars disguised one of his vampire minions to look just like him, right down to the blades in his arms, and sent that flunky out as a distraction.    It’s a cheap trick, and a complete 180 from the honor displayed by Wammu in the previous fight.  Kars doesn’t care.   He doesn’t care about dishonoring Wammu’s memory, nor does he care about breaking his word.   The only thing Kars cares about is getting the Red Stone of Aja, and now he has it. 
Unfortunately, this takes Lisa Lisa out of action for the rest of the story.  Kars hasn’t killed her, but she’s too badly hurt to do anything from here.   That kind of sucks, because Lisa’s such a cool character.   A friend of mine once complained that Lisa got a raw deal in Part 2, and we should have gotten to see her get a big fight, on par with Joseph vs. Esidisi, or Caesar vs. Wammu.   I can’t really disagree with the sentiment. 
However, I have a hard time figuring out how such a fight could have been worked into the story.   She couldn’t beat Kars, for Pete’s sake.   He’s the final boss of Part 2, so it sort of falls to Joseph to do the honors.  And she couldn’t beat Wammu or Esidisi, because Joseph was the one who needed the antidote to their poison rings.  Lisa could have lost to either of them--the way Caesar lost to Wammu-- except she’d have to die, which would spoil the big reveal of her origin story.
So maybe there needed to be an extra Pillar Man in the cast?   Not Santana, because he’s too weak, but maybe Kars’ group has a fourth guy named Talqingedz or whatever.  So Lisa Lisa could mop the floor with that dude... and then what?    Would it really carry any dramatic weight for her to defeat a guy like that?  A Pillar Man so ancillary to the story that the plot would flow just as well without him?    When you get down to it, Lisa Lisa’s dream opponent for Part 2 just ends up looking like Wired Beck, a random jobber presented solely to establish her credibility as a fighter.   And we already got Lisa vs. Wired Beck, and clearly that wasn’t satisfying enough.   So Lisa Lisa vs. a Pillar Man probably wouldn’t have been much of an improvement.  
Nonetheless, I think it’s a valid criticism of Battle Tendency.  You come out of this story wishing we could have seen more of Lisa Lisa in action, and we just aren’t going to get it.   But the root of the problem isn’t that she didn’t get to fight more, it’s that she was presented as a fighter when that really wasn’t her role in the story.   She’s a teacher, training Joseph and Caesar in the ways of the Ripple, but more importantly, she’s an enigma.  Who is she?   What’s her connection to the Joestars?  To Straizo?   To Caesar?   Where did she get the Red Stone of Aja?   And so on.  
Her Ripple mastery makes her one of the strongest fighters on the board, but that’s just another piece of the puzzle.   I think there was a profile of Lisa Lisa in the manga that said her Ripple was three times stronger than Joseph’s.   But we never get to see it demonstrated, because that’s not the point.  We’re just supposed to wonder who this lady is and how she got so powerful, and where has she been this whole time.    I think this is also why everyone keeps writing her off as a woman.   It’s not just chauvanism, it’s intended to keep the reader off-balance.  One minute Joseph and the Pillar Men are respecting her power, and the next minute they’re dismissing her.    It keeps you guessing. 
I suspect this is one reason why Araki dealt Lisa Lisa such an inglorious defeat here.   Could Lisa have defeated Kars in a fair fight?   Yeah, I think she could.   But if she cleaned his clock, it would defeat the mystique of the character.   The same is true if Lisa lost to Kars in a fair fight.  We’d say “Oh, okay, she wasn’t quite as strong as Joseph, so that’s that.” 
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Now, the other major reason for Kars to defeat Lisa Lisa like this is to demonstrate Kars’ main character trait.   He only cares about achieving his objective.   Wammu had his warrior code, and Esidisi had his devotion to his comrades, but Kars has only himself and his goals.   He had Lisa and Joseph cornered in the abandoned hotel, but they didn’t have the Aja Stone on them.   Lisa made that bluff about a bomb, and then proposed this contest to settle things.   Kars agreed, but not because he had any intention of honoring the agreement.  He just let things play out because he knew Joseph would bring the Stone to the battlefield, and even if Wammu lost, he would still have all of these vampires to back him up.  
That’s how Kars was able to defeat Lisa.   He used Wammu’s own honor to lull Lisa into a false sense of security.   After seeing how noble Wammu was in defeat, and how gracious Kars was in disciplining his vampires, she began to believe that Kars would fight her fairly.     That was Kars’ plan all along.   Once he had her isolated on the temple, with the Red Stone of Aja on her person, he made his play.    It’s dirty pool, but it worked, and that’s all Kars cares about. 
This makes Joseph super-duper pissed, but what’s he gonna do about it?   He’s way down there on the ground, surrounded by vampires, and his Ripple is weak from the fight with Wammu.    So now Kars can just watch from a safe vantage while his henchmen tie up the last loose end.  
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But then, the Nazis show up, led by Stroheim, complete with a repaired cyborg body.  And Speedwagon and Smokey are here too, along with a fighting contingent of the Speedwagon Foundation.   And they came prepared too!  Everybody’s armed with UV emitters.   To be sure, ultraviolet lamps haven’t worked so well against the Pillar Men, but against ordinary vampires, they seem to do the job quite nicely.   
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So while they clean house, Joseph climbs up to where Kars and Lisa are, and he’s ready to throw down.   Joseph has plenty of harsh words for Kars’ dirty tactics, but Kars doesn’t care.   This has all been a chess game to him.   The Ripple Clan, the vampires, even Wammu and Esidisi, they were all just pieces on a board, maneuvered and arranged until he could secure a path to victory with minimal risk.  
See, that’s the other thing about Lisa Lisa.   It’s very subtly expressed here, but Kars was clearly very worried about her.   He knew Joseph was a threat because he killed Esidisi, but he knew he could use Wammu to wear Joseph down.   But Lisa Lisa is even more powerful and experienced than Joseph, and she’s shrewd enough to destroy the Stone if cornered.    He knew he couldn’t beat her at her own game, so he let her think she was playing her own game in order to set her up for that sneak attack.   If Kars hadn’t done that, he’d be dead by now, or the Stone would be lost or destroyed.  
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Likewise, I’m not sure Kars is confident about a fair fight with Joseph, even though he’s tired from fighting Wammu.  I mean, you’d think he’d just charge Joseph and cut his head off if he could, but instead he lures him into another trap.    Before Joseph got up here, Kars tied Lisa’s feet to a rope.    He made sure not to kill her, but only so he could use her as a hostage.   Kars tosses Lisa down, and Joseph has to grab the rope to keep her from falling to her death.
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And the whole point of that was to keep Joseph standing still.   He can’t let go of the rope, so he’s in no position to defend himself.   Now Kars can just walk right up to him and kill him at his leisure.   As far as Kars is concerned, this is what fighting is all about.   Not a test of strength and skill like Wammu’s ideal, but the achievement of victory at minimal risk.  
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And this is where we see Joseph exceed Lisa Lisa.  They both got suckered into Kars’ traps, but Lisa doesn’t have Joseph’s penchant for trickery and quick thinking.    She’s got more Ripple power, sure, but that doesn’t matter against a guy like Kars.   I’m starting to get the impression that Kars is a lot weaker than Wammu, since he fights so conservatively in this story.   He may not be able to afford to fight Joseph in any other way.   
So how in the hell can Joseph get out of this one?   Well, first he tries to kick Kars to keep him away.   Kars just cuts his leg, along with a section of rope that was in the way.   Joseph’s Ripple is so weak that the kick did nothing. 
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Then Joseph sets his own scarf on fire and talks about how he has a plan, and it’s so awesome that he can make this work before the flames reach his body.    Kars thinks this is just desperate posturing, and all Joseph seems to do is swing away.    Kars thinks he’s trying to get some distance so he can recover his Hamon energy.
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Then Kars cuts the rope, since Joseph won’t stand still and get murdered.   
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And it backfires, because Joseph did more tricky rope tricks!   Hermit Purple, bitch!
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Basically, that very first bit, where Joseph tried to kick him, even then, Joseph had a plan.    He got Kars to cut a section of rope, which he then used to tie his own leg to the rope holding Lisa Lisa.   Then he goaded Kars into cutting the rope so Lisa would fall, not realizing that Joseph had her secured with his other rope.   Also, that other rope got caught on Kars’ own foot.   It’s complicated. 
Oh, wait, I forgot to talk about chess.   Okay, so earlier, Kars was gloating about using Lisa as a pawn to achieve checkmate.   It’s a good analogy, but I’m pretty sure chess was invented within the last 2000 years.   In other words, Kars literally slept through the entire history of the game.   So for him to be talking about it now, I have to assume he learned about chess during that month while Joseph was training.   That kind of sucks.   Esidisi and Wammu were running around trying to find the Red Stone of Aja, and Kars was probably chilling out in Switzerland playing chess and drinking hot cocoa all night.   Wotta heel.
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Then Joseph pulls himself back up with his scarf and uses Overdrive against Kars’ blade.  Joseph’s Ripple is so strong that he just powers right through, destroying the blade on Kars’ arm like it’s no big deal.  That’s interesting, because when Joseph first saw Kars’ blades, he worried that he wouldn’t be able to block them, and now it’s Kars who wasn’t strong enough to block. 
Maybe “Light Mode” was more of an illusion than a genuine power?  I mean, the blades are super-sharp, but I never understood what difference it made for them to be all sparkly, unless it’s a psychological trick to demoralize the enemy.   It definitely worked on Stroheim, and it worked on Joseph for a while, but I don’t think Joseph’s gotten that much stronger since their last encounter.   
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Anyway, the Ripple worked, and Kars’ entire arm explodes.   Yeah!  Then he falls off the temple, and Joseph loosens the rope to help him on his way down.    Cool!  Then Kars lands on a bunch of spiky rocks, the same gruesome fate he intended for Lisa Lisa.   Yeah, how’s that taste, Kars?   You loincloth-wearin’ piece of crap?  
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So... yeah, we won!  Great job everyone!  Except for the Nazis, they can all go fuck off and die in a fire.   Smokey’s feeling a lot better about everything, so he asks Speedwagon about Lisa Lisa.   See, earlier, Lisa revealed to Joseph that she was the baby that Erina rescued at the end of Phantom Blood.   But Erina told Smokey about the same baby back in New York, and Smokey knows that Lisa Lisa is Joseph’s mother.  
Except, Erina told Joseph that his mother died of a disease when he was a baby, so how can Lisa be alive and a Ripple Master?   Speedwagon agrees to explain, since Smokey took care of Erina while he was away, but he insists that Smokey not reveal any of this to Joseph, because it’s Joestar family business.  
I hadn’t really considered it until now, but this is the first time we’ve seen Smokey and Speedwagon interact so far.   They’ve gotten to know each other off-panel, and they seem to have a bond over their shared respect for the Joestars, so it lulled me into thinking they’ve appeared together before this.    Anyway...
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The origin of Lisa Lisa isn’t all that complicated, actually.   She was raised by Straizo and became a Ripple warrior, while Jonathan and Erina’s son, George Joestar II, joined the British Air Force in World War I.   George and Lisa fell in love, married, and had a baby, Joseph.  
The catch is that there was one last zombie from Phantom Blood.   Speedwagon and Straizo thought they got all of Dio’s zombies, but one of them was very clever and managed to stay hidden.    He just made sure to eat his victims’ entire body, so as not to leave any physical evidence.   Also, he faked a disability to excuse himself from any daylight activities.    By the 1910′s, he had successfully infiltrated the RAF as a Major.  
So George learned of this, because he knew all the Phantom Blood lore from his wife and mother.    But George never had any Ripple abilities himself.   He may have had the potential for it, but he was never trained, and I guess he didn’t develop it naturally, the way Joseph did.  
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So he tried to gather evidence to expose the zombie Major, but his plan backfired and the zombie killed him instead, then covered up George’s death by reporting it as a plane crash.    Speedwagon and Straizo investigated this, but before they could act...
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Lisa got wind of it and took matters into her own hands.  She killed the zombie major, but she did it in front of another officer.   The authorities knew nothing of zombies or Stone Masks, so they just thought she murdered an RAF officer in cold blood.    So she had to leave Britian as a fugitive, and she’s been living in exile in Italy ever since.    The Speedwagon Foundation has been trying to clear her name, but I doubt there’s whole lot they could do about a case like this.
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And there you have it.   Erina was so heartbroken over the death of her son and the exile of her daughter-in-law that she asked Speedwagon to never tell Joseph what really happened to his parents, and to keep the Ripple a secret from him.   Of course, none of that really worked, because Joseph developed the Ripple on his own, and Straizo and Stroheim forced Joseph to develop those abilities even further, leading him directly to his long lost mother.   Erina wanted to protect Joseph, but she couldn’t save him from his own fate.    Smokey starts crying, and I’m like “same tbh.”  
This ties back to a point I made early on.   When I watched the anime, it seemed kind of random to introduce Smokey, then drop him for most of the story, then bring him back at the end.   But now, it makes a lot more sense.   He was a viewpoint character, but only so far as the stuff about the Joestar Family.   All the fighting and Ripple stuff could be done without Smokey, since Joseph could function as his own viewpoint character for that part.   And while it’s kind of weird for Smokey to be absent for so long, it helps that he seemed to feel the same way.    He clearly went out of his way to join Speedwagon on this mission to Switzerland.  He simply cares about the Joestar Family that much.    He couldn’t sit in New York and wait for an update.
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Anyway, Lisa’s going to be okay, and the vampires are all dead, and Kars is slowly dying from the Ripple wound Joseph gave him, so it looks like we’re all finished here.   Stroheim decides to put Kars out of his misery by shooting him with high-intensity UV rays.   Maybe that’s overkill at this point, but we might as well let Stroheim have his fun.
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Oh SHI--
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So yeah, Kars had the Red Stone of Aja this whole time, but he only just now decided to use it.   That’s because the Stone will only amplify the power of his special Stone Mask if there’s a powerful light source.    This whole fight has been happening at night, so Kars had to wait until morning to try this little stunt.  But Stroheim has helpfully supplied a bunch of UV lamps, and those work just peachy, thanks.   Fuck Stroheim forever.
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And just like Dio and Straizo before, the Stone Mask digs bony protrusions into Kars’ brain, but this time the mask has the Super Aja powering it, so Kars stands to gain even more power, turning him into... what exactly?  
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