South City. When was the last time Ochra had been in a city? It was the last time Ochra had been on Earth, when he could walk around the streets without any worry. Now, he was worried about himself turning into a walking time bomb. A lost temper could mean complete destruction of everything around him. Still, Ochra did find himself missing the hustle and bustle of the city. So, right now, Ochra would have to settle about hanging around the outskirts of the city. and even then, Ochra felt her might have been a bit close.
He could see the tall buildings and the lights in the distance. He couldn't help but let out a small sigh. He had become quite adapt at surviving out in the wilderness, but really, there was just something about social interaction that he missed. Just the atmosphere and everything. Instead of someone stumbling upon him out in the middle of the nowhere. Besides, sleeping in an actual bed would be nice. But no, not until he got this problem under control...or died trying.
It was Tarch visiting day! Belle didn’t get excited about much these days, but visiting Tarch was always the highlight of her week. He was very fun to be around. Kind of a goof. But a good good. She was flying by herself all the way from Central City. She could have taken her space ship, but sometimes she just wanted to feel the wind on her face. She had always enjoyed flying. Ki control, at least, was something she had always been really good at. Even if she wasn’t very strong. Speaking of strong, Belle spotted a big old aura. She figured it was either Tarch or Chromo, though it felt a little weird. Who else could it be anyway? The aura was on the outskirts of the city. Maybe Tarch was going on an adventure?
Dropping out of the sky, Belle landed right next to the aura only to see…. that it wasn’t Tarch. It wasn’t even Chromo. It was some strange man. He looked… kind of familiar though, which was bad in Belle’s books. She couldn’t really place him. Backing away slowly, Belle’s guard went up. Why was someone this strong hanging around outside one of the Earth cities anyway? They had to be up to no good. She increasingly didn’t want to be here the longer she was, so she mumbled the first excuse that came to her mind.
Well...this was certainly something interesting. Ochra had long since gotten used to people suddenly dropping in on him, even when he didn't want to be found. But this was the first time someone literally dropped out of the sky right next to him. A small girl, who was quite familiar to him. The instant she saw him though, that happy smile on her face was immediately replaced by worry and she mumbled out a small apology. Granted, Ochra knew he could look a bit intimidating, but there was something about a small child being scared of him that just, well, bothered him.
"No harm done," Ochra responded. There was just...something about her that seemed really familiar. And now, seeing her so meek in front of him, made her seem even more familiar.
Now he remembered. He had seen her on Namek. She was...Kalabas' niece, wasn't she? Well, it was good to see she was in good health. "Hold a moment," he said, trying to keep a gentle tone to show that he didn't mean the young saiyan any harm. "You're...Belle, right? I don't know if you remember me. We met briefly on Namek. Ochra." Hopefully she would remember him, and thus learn that he didn't mean her any harm.
Belle was about to just turn and leave. She had to find Tarch still, after all. The stranger didn’t seem mad at her or anything either, so that was good. She paused when he asked out of reflex more than anything else and glanced back at him curiously. He knew her name? How… how did he know her name? Belle’s tail bristled with a familiar feeling of apprehension. As he prodded her memory, she did remember him. He was a Saiyan. Apprehension morphed quickly into hostility and fear. No.
She backed away in earnest now. Should she run? She wasn’t sure if she could get away from someone so strong. Maybe if she hid. Could she hide? What if Mister Ochra could feel or see auras too? Belle stuck out like a sore thumb. Maybe she should just… act.. normal…? It might have been too late for that. Her whole body screamed with hostility. Fine! She’d threaten then! Tarch and Chromo were both really strong.
“D-Don’t come any closer…! Or I’ll get Tarch and Chromo to beat you up!”
Ochra blinked as the girl responded to him in fear. Well, so much for remembering him. Then again, Ochra didn't exactly look like the most friendly of individuals. He looked like a biker thug after all. That being said, seeing this young girl being scared of him bothered. He wanted to do something to calm her down, especially when she started threatening him with Tarch and Chromo. The latter he didn't know, but thankfully the former he did. That was his way in.
"Please, don't be afraid. I'm not here to harm you." He stopped and slowly bent down on one knee, trying to bring himself closer to her height. "I'm actually a friend of Tarch's. We've sparred a couple of times. He can vouch for me, honest." He knew Tarch knew that he wouldn't hurt little Belle. But what had happened to the little girl to make her so anxious like this? And speaking of which, "Hell, your uncle Kalabas can vouch for me. To be honest, I'm a little surprised you're on Earth right now. Where is he?"
Belle could tell by Ochra’s aura that… that he wasn’t hostile, but… that had to be wrong. Saiyans from the Kingdom were bad. They were so bad and twisted up inside. Even as he said that he wasn’t here to hurt her, some part of her didn’t believe it. She sniffled and paused when Ochra bent down onto one knee like he was trying to coax a hurt animal. What he said next took her a second to process. A friend? Of Tarch? Mm, well, Tarch still thought that Mister Vocado was a good guy, and he definitely wasn’t. But still… Tarch was… her brother, so he knew some good things, right?
And then he mentioned her uncle. Her uncertain expression soured into something mixed and dark. He knew Uncle Kala. Apparently, he wasn’t aware of anything that had happened in the past few months. In the end, the emotion her face settled on was sadness. Belle hugged herself and frowned. Him knowing Tarch and Uncle Kala wasn’t proof that he was a good person, but his aura didn’t seem all that volatile. So, it was probably fine for now.
“...he’s dead. I’m alone now, Mister Ochra.”
Belle rubbed her arms as a sudden chill ran through her body.
“I remember you. We trained together that one time. Miss Nashua punched Uncle Kala through a wall.”
What was she even doing? Talking to a Saiyan from the Kingdom was a bad idea. Some small part of her was just screaming that at her. But, was he really? What was he doing here? Alone. Maybe the Kingdom was after the Dragon Balls? She should probably find out.
Well, him mentioning Tarch seemed to be enough to get through to her. She wasn't immediately trying to run away, or threaten him or anything of the sort. He could tell that she was still uneasy around him, but it was a start. He didn't expect her to be friendly to him right off the bat. She did seem a bit shy when they had met in the past.
But then came something Ochra hadn't expected. Kalabas was...dead? "I...see..." Ochra was more of an associate to Kalabas than a friend, but still, he was a bit surprising to hear he had died. And that left this poor girl alone as well. He looked over at the small girl. "How did he die...if it's not too painful to talk about." After all, he was her uncle, her only remaining family. If she didn't want to speak about how he died, that was her decision. Ochra wouldn't force the issue. What was important was that she remembered him, speaking of how Nashua punched Kalabas through a wall. The memory earned a small, sad chuckle from Ochra. "That's right. She really overdid it back then, didn't she?"
Then came the question of why he was here. A pretty valid one. When they had last met, it was on Namek, and with Vegeta free, it would only make sense he would be there, rather than here on Earth. Ochra shifted himself to sit down on the ground. "To be honest, really just wandering around. Surviving, nothing special. Really, I ended up here on Earth when my pod crash landed here." Ok, that wasn't the whole truth, but he didn't want to frighten her with the whole 'walking time bomb of Super Saiyan fury' aspect of his life.
He decided to change the topic. "So, how about you Belle? How have you been? I see you've grown since we last met." Ok, so that was a bit of a cheesy thing to say. But what else was he going to do? He had only met the girl once, and it wasn't like he had much experience with children, outside of Tarch.
Ochra’s follow up question wasn’t unexpected. Belle let him answer hers before she considered answering him. It seemed like he really was here for no reason. His aura didn’t say anything like he was trying to lie to her. Belle just guessed she couldn’t escape other Saiyans no matter how hard she tried. She let out a little sigh and hugged herself a little tighter. Well, how did she tell it? Maybe it would be good to warn Mister Ochra of the dangerous line that he was treading.
“He went crazy. He got this golden form… He was a Super Saiyan. It made him crazy. So crazy that he tried to kill me… or use me. Either way, Mister Lord Chill… from the Fleet? He was there. He protected me. And he killed Uncle Kala. But… he didn’t mean to. It was an accident. But Uncle Kala died because of me.”
“You should be careful, Mister Ochra. You’re stronger than uncle was when he went crazy.”
Shaking her head, Belle plopped down onto the grass. Ochra was asking all of the questions that required her to reflect on the bad things that had happened.
“Mister Lord Chill adopted me after that, but Mister Vocado killed him in front of me on my birthday. I don’t like the Saiyan Kingdom, Mister Ochra. I tried to hurt them. So, I’m bad. But… Tarch stopped me. He brought me to Earth with him. So now I’m trying to find the Dragon Balls to bring Mister Lord Chill and Uncle Kala back.”
Belle’s hardened eyes flicked up to look at Ochra with a grim determination that was unsettling for a child to possess. She was weak now. Weaker than she had ever been before. But she had a lot less to lose.
Ochra's eyes widened as she explained what happened. Kalabas went Super Saiyan...and tried to kill her? His hands clenched into fists as a result. Damn that man! He knew he was arrogent, but to try and attack a child? Still, this affirmed Ochra's belief that the Super Saiyan transformation was dangerous. He was surprised though that it was a member of the Fleet that protected her. Well, he had run into some former members that had been surprisingly alright. It wasn't that far in the realms of impossibility. When Belle pointed out how strong Ochra currently was, he let out a sigh. Seemed like she was aware of what was going on with him.
"I thought as much. To be honest, that's why I'm trying to avoid people. I...I don't want to hurt anyone..." Especially not this small girl in front of him. It seemed like she had been through enough.
But, that wasn't the end of it. So, not only did she lose her uncle, but her savior, Chill, was killed by Vocado shortly after. And on her birthday to boot! Seriously, how much tragedy can one girl go through? and yet, she seemed so cheerful when she first appeared. Well, she at least had a goal now. To gather the dragonballs and revive Kalabas and Chill. She then asked him if he was going to stop her.
Ochra shook his head. "No. They're your family. I've seen people going after the balls for far more selfish reasons. I only ask one thing. When you revive them, I want to punch Kalabas right in his smug face." Sorry, but Ochra could not abide someone attacking a child, insane or not.
Seeing a flicker of fear go through Ochra’s aura, Belle faltered, her grim determination once again turning into uncertainty. Was he scared of himself? He seemed like it. Part of her wanted to console him. The other part said he was a Saiyan with the Kingdom and therefore just as bad as her uncle or Mister Vocado. She relaxed a little more when he said that he wasn’t going to try to stop her. Though his request made her tilt her head in confusion. It made her have an uncanny resemblance to a confused puppy.
“You want to punch him…? Well, he’s buried on Arcose… that’s probably where he’ll revive…? Are you… are you not with the Kingdom then…? Not working for the glory of the Empire…?”
If that was the case, then Mister Ochra was a lot like Tarch. He was still a Vegetan Saiyan, but maybe he had escaped getting all twisted up by the Kingdom. Belle had been twisted up through other means, she realized, but maybe Mister Ochra was good. Like Tarch. She held a little sliver of hope. Belle rubbed her arms to comfort herself.
“Tarch is nice. He said I could be his sister. It… it’s been nice… but what I did still hurts. So, I have to fix it. My wish is selfish… but everyone is. So why should I be any different?”
Reaching out with a little hand, Belle actually touched Ochra and tapped his chest over where his heart would be. She offered him a sad smile.
“Don’t be scared, Mister Ochra. Tarch is a Super Saiyan too, but he doesn’t go crazy. You can do it too… if you’re really good. I know you can.”
Ochra nodded. "Well, insanity or not, I can't abide someone attacking a child. Especially if it's a child related to them." And, if Kalabas came back insane, Ochra would need to do more than just punch him. When Belle asked if he was with the Kingdom, Ochra gave a small shrug. "It was a loose association at best. The Fleet took over our home, I wanted to liberate it. But that was before Kayen took over, and all this empire nonsense. Makes me wish things were the way they were before. There was actual peace in the galaxy." He gave a small sigh of regret. He just wished he could do something about it all. But in his current state, he was powerless to do anything. His best bet, ironically enough, was Super Saiyan. The one ability he was scared of right now.
When she spoke about Tarch, and how she felt her wish was selfish. Ochra shook his head. "From what I hear, you've done nothing wrong. And you're working to bring people you care about back to life. I've heard of people wishing for their own power, money, that sort of thing. At least you're doing it for others." Really, Belle was a good kid. It was really refreshing to know that not all of his kind her war happy. And he seemed to be encountering them all on Earth.
And then, she offered him words of comfort, offering him support with his own problem. Ochra would be lying if he said he wasn't touched by the kind gesture. He gave a small smile and a chuckle, gently placing a hand atop of her head. "Thank you Belle. You're a good kid. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
Belle blinked and actually started to relax a little when Ochra made clear exactly what his association to the Saiyan Kingdom was. He had only joined up with them to save Vegeta? As much as Belle disliked Vegeta, she could see why someone would want to try to save their home. It didn’t seem like he subscribed to the Empire stuff that made her uncle go crazy and twisted up so many Saiyans and ruined their lives. Plus, he was Tarch’s friend. And that was a definite good mark in Belle’s book. He seemed like a decent person too. He was scared of himself, it seemed like. To be fair, Belle was a little afraid of him too, but only because of the cursed Super Saiyan that lay inside.
Shaking her head when Ochra tried to console her, Belle sighed. “No, it’s my fault that this wish needs to be made in the first place. I caused everything to happen… if I hadn’t asked Mister Lord Chill to save me… none of this… would have happened.” It was true too. If Mister Lord Chill hadn’t shown up, maybe both he and her uncle would still be alive. Maybe they could have figured some way out to be peaceful. But no.
Stuck in a foggy mire of regret, Belle came to when she felt Ochra’s hand on her head. Her lip wobbled in a frown. She was a good kid? If she was so good then she would be strong. She wouldn’t have helped kill the only two people who actually cared about her. Even her uncle whom she wasn’t actually sure still cared about her. Not after what he did. Mister Ochra was the good one.
“Super Saiyans are scary. Uncle Kala was one when he went crazy. Mister Vocado was one when he killed Mister Lord Chill. The only not scary one is Tarch. And… I hope you too. But I’m not good. I’m really the worst… I have to be… or else, why are so many bad things happening to me? It doesn’t make any sense, Mister Ochra. I’m so tired…”
Belle felt her eyes go all watery. Sure, things had been better for her recently, but it all felt like it was just waiting to fall apart. Just waiting to shatter her happiness again because she didn’t have the right to be happy. Something would happen to Tarch. Or someone would find her and take her away back to Vegeta. Something. She was tired of waiting for it to happen. She was scared of it happening. Belle sniffled.
Ochra had nothing for sympathy for Belle right now. The girl had been through so much pain, so much trauma, and she was blaming herself for it all. She was just a little girl. How can one blame her for the foolish decisions of others? "Bad things happen to good people, unfortunately..." he said, gently resting a hand on his mechanical leg, drawing attention to the prosthetic. He had tried to take control of Knutts, make it a prison once again. A move that had not been popular with the stronger people in the galaxy.
Seeing the girl almost about to cry before him, Ochra found himself gently reaching out, taking the little saiyan child into his arms into a tender hug. "It's not your fault," Ochra said softly, gently stroking her hair, "You can't be blamed for your uncle's idiocy. You can't be blamed for Vocado's actions. They chose to do what they did. Not you." He looked down at the small Saiyan. "Besides, if you really were so bad, then you wouldn't be trying to restore them to life. Even after what Kalabas tried to do to you, you want to forgive him and bring him back to life. That doesn't sound like something a bad person would do."
Belle wasn’t expecting to be picked up. She definitely wasn’t expecting to be hugged and comforted. It reminded her of the first time that she had met her Uncle Kala. The first time that she had been accepted and known warmth and gotten the love that she had so desperately craved from her father. Something about it felt horribly bittersweet. Belle sniffled. Then sobbed softly into Ochra’s chest. He said it wasn’t her fault. He said it. But some part of her still refused to believe it. It would be such a nice thing to believe though. Mister Vocado and Uncle Kala were both so twisted up inside. She felt herself getting twisted up by them. By her father. By the cruel world.
“I… I dunno if I can forgive Uncle Kala…”
Mumbling through her sniffling, Belle blinked away tears. She wasn’t sure. The thought of forgiving him hadn’t really crossed her mind. She just wanted him back. To set the record straight. To fix what she messed up. She wanted to pretend like none of the bad things ever happened. Like everything was the way it was in those early days on Namek where everything looked bright and new for the first time. She wanted to go back. She wanted to play another game of space chess with Mister Lord Chill. She wanted to be spun around by her Uncle Kala. She wanted to feel like she was loved again.
Her tiny arms wrapped around Ochra and returned the hug. Maybe it would be okay if she just pretended like she was loved again. Just… just for a little while. Belle closed her eyes.
Ochra held the small girl tenderly in his arms. She had been through so much in her life, more than a child her age should ever have to go through. She really was a kind girl. She didn't deserve all this pain. He held onto her, large arms shielding her from the world around her, allowing her this brief moment of peace. Ochra had never been a father, and a part of him figured he'd never have a family of his own. But the potential was there, and right now, that protective aspect was coming out with young Belle here.
He held her for a little bit, before a thought occured to him. He looked down at the little Saiyan in his arms. "Do you have anywhere to stay? I'm sure you'd prefer that over being out here in the middle of the city." Ochra's fears about losing himself in the middle of a populated area were forgotten for now. right now, he just wanted to cheer up Belle.
Jun 9, 2021 20:55:38 GMT -6
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