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[Dragonball Victory] [Dragonball Victory] Chapter 1: The Quest Begins..

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The Intergalactic Grand Tournament promised Great glory, wealth, and honor to whoever won. Beings from across the cosmos fought, but in the end only one could win.

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To make it to the quarterfinals put one among the top sixteen fighters in the competition. This is where Everyone watching was surprised. Many first time competitors were among the top sixteen, though only one managed to get into the top eight, though he lost there.

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Still for, Serrana, Vela, Kelage, Datura, Darrik, and Tetsuko, They'd done well for their first time. The One first timer to get beyond, though he lost in the next round, a man from Earth named Genichiro, smiled as he neared where the others were, having recovered after their bouts, at least enough to watch the semi finals and the final match.

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Genichiro was an unassuming looking man, someone who worked out, and could use Ki efficiently, but he lacked Darrik's stunning good looks, though He did smile at the other human fighter.

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"This could go either way."

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On the battlestage, two fighters leaped around firing energy blasts of varying intensity, all the misses being absorbed by Capsule Corps' Audience defense shield, using the power to power it. They seemed evenly matched, and more brute force fighters. one they hadn't fought, the other, Serrana had fought, and lost too, but only barely.

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"What do you all think?"

,,

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Tetsuko succinctly, plainly, but perhaps overanalysing... observed. "This is actually a disturbing turn of events. Both to my handlers and to me. If people are capable of reaching this level and take me out of the tournament this easily, that means that Red Ribbon probably has a large set of potential candidates to fight for them. Particularly the ones that do not reach the finals and any sort of prize."

She paused observing a field absorb a particularly violent blast. "Not all of us have employment already." It was obvious that people that could fight at this level could find employment as mercenaries if the price was right.

She sighed. Keeping her eyes on the fight. Gleaning any insights into the combat she can.

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"You worry too much. Sit back and enjoy the show, robot. Leave the worries to the paper pushers," offered a taller and greener woman to Tetsuko's left, a grin on her lips as she paused to take a long pull on her soda, lips smacking, "Hmmmm. I have got to get some of this shipped home when I'm done here..."

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She laughed and cracked her neck in her seat, dressed down in pants, boots, and a jacket over the white-and-red battle leotard she had fought and lost in. "5,000 zeni on Volstaag beating this guy. He's got a right hook that took me down without tearing my head off, and someone like that will go all the way. Any takers? I'm good for it."

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There was an unabashed confidence in Serrana's voice, an ego unbruised and unbowed despite her loss. Anyone who could beat her was still the toughest fighter in any room. At least until the rematch, that was.

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Tetsuko brushed back her hair, her bodysuit had some signs of strain from the fight she had lost in.

"7500 Zeni on the new guy, Serrana. His tactics are quite solid. Just because Volstaag beat you doesn't prove superiority. That and his fight with you took much longer because he was fighting you. He got lucky."

"To be honest I'm going to win something here. Hopefully."

She looked down at her outfit. "One good thing I can talk to the Capsule Corporation's Clothing Design Department and tell them if they intend this ouotfit to be used in the outdoors, it might need some re-enforcement."

She looked over Serrana. "You seem... more lucky in the clothing department."

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Datura watched all the contenders, even as she seethed inside that she’d lost. She could at least be proud that she went down hard. These earthlings could put up a fight, though she was laying odds on the Namekian who was one of the other semi-finalists.

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The Saiyan female stood tall and firm, her tail coiled around the waist of her armor. Though it was now scuffed and dirty, she refused to change out of the distinctive black and green armor of a Saiyan Elite. She’d removed the shoulder pads; the left was cracked and would need to be repaired before she’d be comfortable wearing it again.

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The man who approached wasn’t even accorded a single glance; the Saiyan was fanatically watching the semi-finalists, trying to study and learn from them. In truth, she was annoyed that her prime watching spot was being crowded with other losers who were nattering about the winners. The urge to snap at them that she was trying to watch the fight in peace was swallowed. Humans tended to behave like tiny dogs; they would puff up until you cuffed them and expressed dominance. Unfortunately, humans didn’t allow one to express dominance over them.

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So she remained silent, ignoring the yakking morons. Her dark eyes remained fastened on the current fighters, watching avidly.

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Darrik was equally silent as the Saiyan lady to his left, exquisite lips in a bit of a pout as he watched the remaining fights. He lost! Seriously?! Hell, he should have at least went down in the semis - far more drama there. Quarter-finals or less, you were just the chump who got a bit lucky. And Darrik was more than lucky - he was the sexiest man of the year for the past five years running, and he'd be so to an everlasting infinitude.

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He should have won. The babbling of the women further down only made him sulk more. Even the two fangirls huddling up next to Darrik, trying to comfort their idol and sex god, didn't sooth Darrik's petulance. THIS WAS NOT RIGHT.

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Kelage grunted an answer. That's all she COULD do. The fight took a lot out of her. And the thing she fought was a freakin beast. No seriously, where do they get some of these competitors? At least the fight lasted for a bit. She wasn't totally curbstomped. Bob, on the other hand thought it was hilarious. He described every excruciating blow with an almost loving tone. If she were in any state to hush him, Kelage would have.

A few of the losers bracket were bickering amongst themselves. Robot. Saiyan. Jolly green giantess. Holy hotness. Others. It brought her a little bit of joy to know she wasn't the only one that got beaten. She took stock of their vital signs a injuries as she took a seat. A smirk crossed her face. "Nice," she managed to eke out a compliment to Darrik. When the two groupies looked over to her, she narrowed her eyes as the crackled with energy, "Leave." The women ran off as if they had seen the terror of their nightmares. "You were pretty good out there, Darrik," she said with a loaded tone, "those techniques were certainly fun to watch at least."

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Sitting at the bar a little ways off from the other recently-defeated warriors was yet another washout, drinking unsweetened coffee out of a steaming mug with what could only be considered a ‘glum’ expression. She was what would be called an ‘exotic’ humanoid…very human in appearance but with several differences obvious to the eye. Her skin was a sort of dark tan, tawny color, with slashes of lighter hued skin across her face and along her sides, arms and legs. Her hair was several shades lighter than her skin, and was very stiff and bristly, more similar in texture to a lion’s mane than human hair. She was tall but lanky, with long legs and arms. Since this was not a fight, she wore cloth wrappings that covered her chest and around her hips and upper legs, and not much else. Since she was First, the cloth was white with gold fringe. On the seat beside her was a more colorful pile of cloth…a cloak or poncho of some kind perhaps. Unlike most of the others in the room, she had no evidence of armor or weapon on her. Those who had seen her fight knew she needed neither.

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She was quiet, as many others were, but for a slightly different reason. She was waiting for something.

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It came, just as she’d known it would. A presence in her mind; her Second back on the transport. She banished the brooding dread that was lurking within, sent it deep into the black sea of her subconscious. She’d kill it later. For now she just had to make sure her Second didn’t see it when contact was made. If he did, he’d be honor-bound to attempt to take command from her, and then she’d have to kill him. He was a good Second…much better than his successor would be. It would be an unfortunate turn of events.

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Housekeeping finished, Vela opened her mind to the contact. The Second, boosted by the telepathic gestalt of the shipmind, felt overwhelmingly strong to her. There were over a hundred of the People on board, each contributing to the shipmind. She had held the gestalt herself on the voyage over…it was a heady thing.

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The Mother of Tribes has contacted us, First, he placed in her mind. He didn’t ask whether or not she wanted to communicate with her. It wasn’t his place. She would tell him what to do next, though the protocol was clear.

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Vela reached out, into the gestalt, into the shipmind. She couldn’t join it or take control of it from here, but she could establish the connection more strongly if she took an active role. The Second conceded that active role, giving Vela control of the communication.

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The Mother of Tribes, who was nominally the leader of the Khazrak…though she laughed at that according…utilized a gestalt of over ten thousand minds to reach across the cosmos and find a single mind hiding on a planet of billions. Of course, it helped to have a receptive shipmind handy to be a beacon for her…but Vela had no illusions that she’d be able to evade the Mother’s will for long, should she try. Indeed, the reason there even WAS a Mother of Tribes was to helm the planetary link that had devastated the one and only attempted invasion of Kaz. Since then, the position had accrued political and even semi-religious connotations, but it all started with the need for a will strong enough to stand for the entire race. The Clan Chiefs interests were too focused on their own clans…someone needed to take all the People as one, unify and direct them. Someone who cared nothing for the divisions between them, and whom they all trusted.

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Now she spoke in Vela’s mind, from across thousands of parsecs. You lost. The words were gentle and infused with multiple levels of emotion. Telepathic speech was rich in content, every word seemed shrouded in a prismatic rainbow of color, with each shade a different emotional hue. Sympathy and disappointment, concern for Vela overlaid with a deeper concern for the Khazrak people. An unexpected shot of humor…the comment was at least in part meant to be teasing, a reminder that Vela’s dreams of shattering conquest in her first time fighting were always rather overstuffed.

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How bad is it? Vela returned. She let her shame show in her words, as was proper. Shame and fear, not for herself but for her purpose here, and for the future she had failed to show the way towards.

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Dunesnaps have not yet stolen the children, came the amused reply. In some ways, this was better than you winning easily. The Chiefs saw the fights, and while there has been a great deal of talk… Vela received images now, of huge crowds gathered around the few screens that had been set up specifically for this purpose around the planet. The Khazrak had never used energy pulses to communicate, be it radio or subspace or any other means of sending signals other than telepathy, which meant that communication had always been problematic with other species. …but the overall consensus seems to be that you did not make any grievous tactical errors. You were simply overpowered. It is a good reminder of how large the galaxy is, and how new we are to exploring in it. Perhaps it will teach them some caution.

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Vela couldn’t find it in herself to be relieved. She felt the conciliatory edge in the Mother’s mind. She wasn’t lying, but she was definitely putting things in their most positive light. There are Saiyan here, on Earth, she sent. Would it help if I fought them outside the tournament?

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There was a thoughtful pause, then, No. It would undermine the real point of all this. How can we show them the better way, if we refuse to follow the rules ourselves? It would simply encourage them to charge unprepared into space and seize whatever they can grab hold of…and inviting the reaction of a united galaxy against them. Against us.

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Like the Saiyan did.

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And look what happened to them, the Mother replied. They may not have been exterminated, but they must have come very close. For a time they were a scattered, lost people. She paused then added casually, There has been talk of sending an attack fleet to Earth, you know. To seize the victory that eluded you.

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Vela’s heart skipped a beat. They can’t! Earth is…it’s…it’s a meeting ground. There are people here from many places at once. They fight among each other constantly, but if there were ever an attack from outside, they would all immediately come together.

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Enemies fight back to back when the skrugs come, agreed the Mother. The Clan Chiefs are still mostly focused on each other, and the colonization worlds. Once they fight out who gets the worlds within reach, the ones who could not win any will most likely be a problem. Their honor hurt, feeling their future is in jeopardy, they will want conquest offworld. And if that brings fire down on the new colonies…well, those do not belong to them, so what of it?

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They will belong to US, Vela said hotly, balling her hands into tight fists.

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Just so. But they do not see that. They see only their own clans. We have a steep mountain to climb, Vela. We must show them not only to cooperate and make a family of the Khazrak, but with others not of our world. There is where the true strength to carry us into the future is.

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Vela took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I know.

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Good. You are there to show them how one can be strong, and a warrior, and still fit into the larger galaxy. Defeating the Saiyan is not your real purpose. Keep that close to yourself, but do not forget it. Be the First for our people. Show us how to live with the others, without losing ourselves.

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I will try.

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The silence was cavernous and disapproving.

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I will, Mother of Tribes.

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Immediately the sun rose and warmth flooded in. Good.

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And then she was gone.

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After the long external silence of her mental exchange, Vela handed the gestalt back to the Second and told him to hold position and await further orders. She felt the questions bubbling in the back of his mind, but she ignored them. She needed time to think, to decide what to do next.

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…and she needed more of this coffee drink.

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She looked around, registering the other warriors in the room. Most of them she’d watched on the screens, alert to the fact she might have to fight them. As such, she was familiar with their fighting techniques…at least nominally…but had no idea who they were as people.

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Was that what the Mother had been telling her, in her subtle way?

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Some there were at least somewhat interesting, in that they’d advanced as far as Vela herself. The machine-girl, who’s mind was almost too fast and alien in nature to comprehend. The ‘witch,’ who had strange abilities based neither on advanced science, nor on psionics, but something else entirely. The one called ‘Darrik’ who used ‘ki’ powers similar in some ways to those of the Saiyan, but with some unique training of his own. Though Vela found most humans to be a bit short and stocky for her tastes, she had to admit Darrik’s ferocity and beauty contributed to how interesting he was. There was a green woman who fought mostly with impressive brute strength from what she’d seen, and of course…the Saiyan woman.

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Then again, what could she learn from people who had not done any better than she? The ones she needed to study, and learn from, were the ones who had gone farther, done more.

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Vela waved the bartender over and said in heavily accented English, “Anudder coffee. Bigger. An’ tell me…when is de next tournament? Is it here on Eart as well?”

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(OOC – Feel free to read the spoiler…it’s just a big long telepathic conversation that’s all character development and I felt like it made the post a little spammy to have it all on the screen at once.)

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"I wonder if humans remember things in such detail as I in regards to being "knocked out"..." Tetsuko suddenly mused. "Actually, the temporary file of my fight has corrupted... when I was subjected to three sudden +9 G accelerations, my internal CPU and all non-essential functions went into safe mode and my primary systems went offline... That last right hook... found the sweet spot, as it were. I forgot who I was fighting it was so bad."

"Is that what humans call the after effect of a "concussion"? It is a very disconcerting experience. Not to mention my superiors will be dissapointed that I have very little combat data... perhaps if somoene was recording it on their communication device I could at least have a video copy?" Tetsuko looked sheepish at this point. More wanting as much information on her own fight as much as everyone else. Suddenly her mood changed from being as depressed as a android could be, to wanting to learn as much as she could.

"Genichiro, what is your fighting style, by the way, it is in fact rather effective. As some of my compatriots here seem to have said... I think probability wasn't on our side, although at least in my case I feel I wasn't fully prepared for combat at this level yet."

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Serrana chuckled warmly, waving away Tetsuko's negativity, "Not ready or unlucky in our chosen foes. These things happen. Don't worry about it."

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"And I'll take you up on that 7.5. nothing spikes interest in a fight like a personal stake in the outcome. This is nanoweave, by the way, takes a beating, breathes easy, and ensures I *usually* give only as much of a show as I want to. I'll give you the name of my tailor just in case you swing by Beppa after this is all over," she finished with a grin, tugging on the collar of her leotard. The green fighter was at her ease, glad to find someone to talk to among her fellow former competitors not brooding or in apparent heat.

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Tetsuko smiled. "Actually this isn't my usual. I'm usually wearing a high durability crys-polymer bodysuit and a utility vest. As both that and this bodysuit I'm wearing now have a distinct lack of pockets."

She grinned looking back at the fight, her attention divided between Genichiro, Serrana, and the fight itself. "I just hope my opponent remembered all I gave them." She said with a grin.

Seeing a refreshments vendor wandering about, she holds up some cash, to get the hot dogs he was peddling and a soft drink.

"You know... I've not had this odd elixir... "Soda" it's called, correct?"

She was smart not to eat before the fight, to make sure her undigested stomach contents weren't emptied on a single blow. The concept of a Android even eating seemed novel to a few of the people looking at the Android woman.

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Ginichiro smiled. "Neo Turtle Style." He looked at the others. "It's something of a family tradition." He looked at Tetsuko. "I didn't realize Capsule Corps was going into android research. I know there's been some resurgence in robotics to help people who've lost limbs, but something along the lines of you, that's news to me."

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He looked over at Serrana. "It's even money right now. The Guy Volstaag's fighting is holding back. They're just beating on each other. The other guy's waiting for just the right time..."

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For Vela, the Bartender nodded, fixing her another coffee. "The next tournament is in three months, on planet Arc, It's one of those anything goes affairs. They're generally frowned upon, but people still pay to see them, so they happen.."

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Tetsuko smiled. "I'm ony one of two right now, Genichiro. I and my sister were originally built as test pilot androids. Quick enough to fly the best aircraft, and tough enough to survive if we crashed. Better than losing a flesh and blood pilot, right? But when Capsule Corporation heard that Red Ribbon might be rattling about we were refitted to be combat capable. Better to be safe than sorry. Although my sister is more... militant... than I am."

She sipped the soda she requested. "To be honest being a Biosimulant Android has a few drawbacks. I still need to breathe, I still need to eat and sleep... I'm not even space-worthy." She said with a sigh. "But... to be honest me still standing here even after the beating I took that I can't remember... that has to mean something."

"But that is beside the point... Neo Turtle style? As in derived from the Turtle style?"

Tetsuko turned to Serrana, gesturing to Genichiro. "Hey, maybe we can pick up some pointers. This man is the real thing!"

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Darrik even notice anything until the groupies were suddenly scared off by Kelage. For a moment as he turned around he was momentarily annoyed at their disappearance - but Kelage did have plenty in the right places, with the right curves... Darrik's lip curved into a self-satisfied smile. Plenty enough Darrik to go around for the bewitched - or so he chose to presume - witch.

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"Of course they're fun. I am fun." Having implied himself to be the personification of delights, Darrik inquired with smirking lips, "Never saw a witch casting spells before."

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"I am sure you are," Kelage chuckled as Darrik identified himself as 'fun'. She reached out her hand as he complimented(?) her abilities, "Oh I am not just any kind of spellcaster," she said with a sly grin.

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"She made me melt the first time we met," Bob said, popping up between two, "I'm not sure you want to take that hand, guy."

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Had she not been watching the fighters, Datura would have rolled her eyes. As it was, they were almost budging from her head with the effort to not express herself. Flirting with another competitor? And so badly! It was disgusting. Saiyans proved their worth to a mate, they didn’t babble about how superb they found the other person - or how incredible they were. Words were air; actions mattered.

The tall Saiyan teen crossed her arms harder, feeling her armor dig into her flesh. The discomfort kept her in check, kept her from turning around and snapping at the idiots behind her.

The sound of her teeth grinding together was noticeable to those standing close enough, or with good hearing.

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"Never head of it," Serrana cheerfully confessed before waving to Genichiro, "But then again, I don't know what a turtle is either, so he's free to sit down with us and offer more commentary. The best part of not being in the ring is being able to poke good-natured fun at the people inside it. Good for the self-control."

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She took a pull of her drink, chuckling, "Don't knock the weaknesses of the flesh, robot. Those are some of the best kind of weaknesses to have. A little pain and hardship is the sign we're alive and well, blood in your veins and smile on your lips kind of stuff. Not that you seem low on passion now that you're rebooting or whatever from your beating."

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The green warrioress laughed again, utterly devoid of malice.

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Tetsuko smiled. "If anything I do feel pain. Even bleed. Luckily the Biosimulant Lubricant Formula #16 in my supply lines is bio degradible and non-toxic."

She grinned, sitting on a crate. "So, you don't know about turtles huh? Perhaps if you are sticking around on Earth I could give you a guided tour... although I feel a Human not an Android would be a far better host and prepresentative of the planet."

"Then again, there are the animal-folk here, and the Earth Saiyans. We even have a Namekian or two I think... I've not really kept up on the latest census."

She sighed. "There I go being analytical... now that my other mental functions are coming online I think you see me a real bore..."

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“I am not an Earth Saiyan.” Datura spat out the words without turning around, but it was clear she was addressing the android. “Learn who your betters are, wind-up toy.”

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Even Datura would admit her words were harsh, but following on the restraint she’d shown thus far, her words could be no less harsh. Even still, she didn’t turn around, watching the fight. She knew she’d screwed up. She’d engaged them, and no doubt they’d try to interact more. Either to coax an apology—a Namekian had a better chance of getting laid—or to try to return the insult. There was a third option, but Datura had rarely met a human who realized they were overmatched until you smashed their face into the ground through their feet. She really doubted they’d leave her alone now.

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Genichiro smiled. "It is a small school and few on world have any knowledge of it." His gaze turned to Tetsuko. "I see you're programmed with some knowledge though, which I'm not too surprised by."

,, ,,

Datura's comment raised his eyebrow, he'd not expected her to say anything. He said nothing, letting Tetsuko defend herself if she wished. He looked back to Serrana, even as he kept one eye on the match. There was a thunderous Crash, and an explosion of truly massive proportions, and Volstaag hit the shield in front of them before hitting the ground unconscious.

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Genichiro sighed. "Prima Destruction Wave triumphs again I see."

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Tetsuko smiled. "Wind up toy, miss? I just accurately predicted the outcome of this battle with a 97.348% accuracy. And you really should not grit your teeth like that... your dental bill must be atrocious."

She stepped over next to Genichiro. "Capsule Corporation owes alot to the founding fathers of your art, Sir. I'm honored to be in your presence." She said with a bow. "I've not proerly introduced myself. I am Tetsuko Ueda. Capsule Corporation Tactical Asset #1 and the daughter of Hikaru and Miku Ueda."

She took back a standing posture. "The green woman next to me is Serrana. I... am not familiar with the planet she is from, unfortunately."

She smiled, although now she took a nervous eye to the Saiyan near her.

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Vela looked away from the bartender, thinking his answer over as she drank the coffee. Three months. Anything went. But it didn't sound like it would be the same sort of event this one had been. Was it worth it? Did she really have a choice?

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Then came the fracas...something set the Saiyan off, and that got Vela's attention immediately. Her eyes narrowed and she set the coffee down, just in case things got rough. The tension was electric, and she reacted with a quick mental 'dip' to see if it was real aggression or merely posturing. Two things became apparent...the Saiyan was not just posturing, though she wasn't really looking for a fight either. She would just refuse to back down, even if it meant a fight.

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But more interesting than that...the human, Genichiro, had an actual telepathic shield. A refined mental defense of a sort that she would not have been surprised to see on a Khazrak, but that she had not seen on other Earth humans before.

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She got off the little stool and walked around to where the human was sitting, on the opposite side of him from the other defeated warriors.

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"Your mind has been trained," Vela said to him. "A strong defense. Who taught dis to you?"

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Serrana was too busy following the closing blows of the fight and making 'oh come on! Get up! You weren't hit *that* hard!' gestures at Volstagg's slumped form to pay attention to the first few exchanges of the conversation. Were this a Beppan arena, she'd have been on her feet and heckling the crap out the man, her and half the audience if it was a typical match prior to the inevitable debate/brawl at the pubs afterwards.

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The green fighter was passionate about her sport of choice, and it killed her to not be able to indulge in the traditional venting and back-seat couching.

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When the emotion passed though, she turned back to the conversation proper and found it more crowded, lips quirking as she tried to recall what she missed, reading a tension in the conversation, "Sorry. I missed something, didn't I? Looks like owe you some money, robot, fair and square."

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Datura had forgotten there was a fourth option: placation. The robot yammered something dumb about predicting battles, as if knowing how much you were right by was a boasting matter. You were right or you were wrong, anything else was empty boasts. Then she remarked on Datura’s teeth and the Saiyan snorted derisively.

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“Maybe human teeth give under a bit of pressure, but Saiyan teeth are made of sterner stuff.” The robot had already turned to address the talkative human male, leaving Datura speaking to nothing. That was preferable to conversation with anyone else here.

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Vela’s approach was ignored, but her words were not. Now that the fight was over, the Saiyan turned and swept her gaze over the other losers. Her eyes lingered on Vela for a long moment, noting not only what she said, but who she said it to–and who she didn’t. Expression shifting into a slightly thoughtful mien, Datura returned her attention to the field, where a groggy Volstagg was being roused long enough to staggered off the arena sand. Rotating her neck, Datura waited for the next match while keeping half-an-ear on the conversation the striped woman was having with the black-haired fighter.

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Darrik snorted and lazily batted back the skeleton's head, right into Kelage's magnificent bust - although Darrik wasn't paying attention to the skeleton's presence, or the implications of one accompanying Kelage. He smiled a rather ravishing smile and took her hand...

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Tetsuko continued to observe the Saiyan, switching to her lifeforce sensor mode. She knew a Saiyan when properly stirred up would jump at the chance for a conflict, so it was wise to at least grow a set of eyes at the back of her head. She turned to Serrana. "Yes. 5000 Zeni." She would quote the timestamp of Serrana's wager to the milisecond, but decided it would better not to further rub things in.

"Saiyan..." Tetsuko turned to Datura. Well at the very least putting the Teenage Saiyan in her peripheral vision. "At your strength rating, you would break your teeth. Have you ever tried some other form of stress relief? I heard certain teas are a good way to reduce stress levels." She said, actually wanting to be helpful. After all being so high strung was detrimental to one's health, no matter the species. Even an excess bit of stress to Tetsuko's internal systems would prove disastrous requiring higher maintenance.

She runs her fingers through her medium-legnth blue hair. Noticing the newcomer she smiled. "Oh, hello..."

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"Well sure, just ignore the walking dead," Bob fumed off after he bumped into Kelage, "If anyone needs me, I'll be over at the bar. Chewing pretzels."

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"Excuse my friend," Kelage said with a smile as Darrik pulled her towards him, "He is a bit overreactive about the death thing. No, Mr. Reynolds you are one of the few people who i want living." Her eyes crackled a dark red as she checked his health. It was 100%, lucky for her, his fighting spirit wasn't detained for very long. Then again, maybe that wasn't his fighting spirit. Darrik was quite prolific in other regards. "In fact, we should get together some time to spar," her inflection was something between a question and an order, "it would be great to test out those moves."

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The next fight began as soon as the fighrts made it to the ring, one of them, the Namekian, enjoying an obvious advantage in power. He was toying with his opponent, trying to test the other fighter's limits.

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Genichiro beheld Vela and nodded. "My father and our sensei taught me that a strong and disciplined mind is hard to fool, and seldom loses control." He seemed to be a friendly man, though the way he stood was pure warrior.

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He saw the skeleton walking off, and chuckled. "looks like someone was sent for drinks and food."

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He looked to Tetsuko, "Her name isn't Saiyan, it's Datura, Tetsuko,"

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"Yes, I am aware, I just wasn't told her name until now. Genichiro. I was actually backstage prepping for my match when Datura was being introduced for her fight. I was... getting in the zone as it were."

When Tetsuko gets into the zone she starts going over opening tactics, possible variants, other tricks she could toss out and improvise with. To an Android this is simular to having "butterflies in the stomach".

"I meant no slight. I just had a lack of information." Tetsuko assured. She turned to the Saiyan Teenager and bowed. "My sincere apologies." Standing up she straightened out a little bit. "Fair is fair, I am Tetsuko Ueda." She said to Datura, offering a hand. "No hard feelings?"

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This time, it was not only an act of will to hold her tongue, but biting said tongue. Datura knew that if she continued this “discussion” with this thing, she was going to get into a fight with it. Just as she was sure that she would lose the battle of will, the next fight started. Datura straightened at the appearance of the green Namekian; from the first time she’d seen him, she’d known he was going to be the one to beat. Thus far, he hadn’t let her down.

Her appraisal was interrupted by the thing talking again, but this time, it got so close to her that Datura couldn’t ignore it. A contemptuous gaze swept over Tetsuko, perfectly designed to make her feel lower than something scraped off the bottom of a shoe. The hand remained untaken. “I have no hard feelings. Particularly not because of an appliance.”

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Vela regarded the human intently, trying to decide if he was deceiving her, or simply ignorant. Normally the knowledge would have been simple to have. But even if she broke through his defense, he would sense the intrusion through it and would be able to hide the knowledge. And it would make an enemy of him, which would complicate learning more.

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A developed mind shield was more than just discipline though. Those who were truly blind in their minds would not be able to do it. Oh, they could strengthen their wills, focus their perceptions and thoughts...they could make themselves harder to read, but there was a difference between that and actually having a shield.

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She wondered...if this man's teacher could form such ephemeral talent into something like a shield, what could he do with a talent like Vela's? Maybe the key was not just seeking MORE power, but trying to use what power she had more effectively.

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"Your 'sensay,' does he live?" Vela asked, a little irked when his attention wandered to the android. She looked over there too and noted the Saiyan girl on the verge of challenging the machine-woman.

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That got her interest. Seeing how this 'Datsura' fought would give her precious information on the abilities and powers of the Saiyan...much more than the flimsy histories of the past squabbles between their people and her own.

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"That sounds like hard feelings to me, Miss Datura the Saiyan," offered Serrana from the sidelines with a guffaw, "No one has that kind of disrespect in their tone where I come from without serious issues. At least while actually meaning it and not trying to trash talk their opponent for the crowd. And none of us are in a position to need to be doing that any more, if I recall."

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The green fighter hadn't risen from her seat, counting out a handful of bills to pay off Tetsuko, but the tone of her voice made clear that it wasn't the Saiyan's corner she'd be in if a fight broke out.

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“You have a sensitive nature, if you think that I have hard feelings, or any feelings, toward a toaster.” The Saiyan remembered when she’d first heard the word ‘toaster’, she’d thought it was a weapon. But then she’d found that it was a food preparation device, disappointingly. Trust earthlings to give a strong name to something that browned bread.
Datura had turned back to the fight, her tone still dismissive and contemptuous. “I do not come from where you do, thankfully, and where I come from, we don’t let our lips tremble like crying babies over some words.”
It was always like this. You could express strong Saiyan opinions, and everyone reacted with butthurt anger and idiocy. Scowling, Datura watched the current fighters, studying the Nemakian play with his opponent. No, it wasn’t fair to say that. The Nemakian was not his opponent; the other fighter was not close enough in skill or talent to provide a real fight. Most of the stadium knew it, too; there were some ardent watchers, but most were more casual about it, holding side conversations.

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"Yes, he's still alive. He's just didn't feel like coming to the tournament." There was a shimmer in his mental defenses, and then it was gone. He listened to the others, hoping they didn't come to blows. The Namekian put his foe away with a final energy blast, and a break was called. There would be only three matches left now. the finals on either side of the bracket, then the tournament final two. It was then that bob came back, and tripped over the foot of someone above in the stands, and dumped the entire tray of drinks and snacks on everyone there. Kelage and Darrik caught the worst with getting soaked from the drinks, though some caught Vela too. Popcorn rained down on Datura, sticking in her hair, same as Serrana, and Nachos splattered Tetsuko. Genichiro got hit with a candybar, and caught the other one.

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"Oops..."

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Tetsuko calmy started picking nachos off of her already tortured but still remarkibly stainproof bodysuit. "Well, if it is any consolation I do have one regret, Datura. That we did not meet out there on the battle stage. I'm sure you would have triggered my higher tactical subroutines."

"Serrana, I don't think words are an adequate salve right now..." She said, plucking a nacho chip from her hair.

"In fact I will even say you have a decent chance of besting me as well, Datura... perhaps some other time these uncertainties coud be addressed?"

She once again offered her hand, not out of consolation, but now as an offer to some future sparring... or perhaps a out-right knockdown drag-out. "Hopefully without obviously unhealthy snack foods raining down on us."

"Also, club soda works wonders on food stains."

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Grinning and unbothered by the shower of delicious grime in her hair, Serrana held out the money she owed the android, tone cheeky, "Yeah, I've heard rumors that Saiyans don't shut up until you beat them up. Don't know how much of that is true, but there's always a bigger wyrm in the acid bog. Just doing my good deed for the day in trying to save miss fuzzy tail some future trouble."

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She smirked sidelong at Datura, snapping a piece of popcorn from hair into her mouth, "For all the good that it'll do us. Oh, well. Might get an afternoon's sparring out of it."

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Datura ignored Tetsuko; she was not going to spend her time in discussion with an appliance. A much better and clearly mentally-inferior target presented itself immediately.

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“Clearly you’ve had to listen to many Saiyans, as it would take more than one of your ilk to beat one of my people down.” Datura turned from the arena, her dark eyes glinting with a cruel humor. Her sentence was punctuated by the ignition of her forcefield; the surge of power knocked the debris in her hair loose. “Your concern for my well-being is misplaced. I do not need a caretaker, particularly not from someone who looks like she should be shrilling vegetables on the television.”

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Darrik grinned, knowing how this would go down (and tuning out all the menacing words about him being the only one - people after all had their ways of ignoring inconvenient information), and kissed her hand gentlemanly. This incidentally gave him an ample view of very ample cleavage out of the corner of his eyes...

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And then the skeleton's mess caught up with the witch and Darrik. Who was immediately offended at being drenched with soda and his hair getting damped like that. "You stupid skeleton." Moving up to Bob like a panther, albeit one flushed with offense that its coat had been dirtied... metaphorically speaking, Darrik grabbed him and hurled him away into the crowd.

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"You got soda on my Diarmelli's Outfit!" It was classy expensive stuff, and Bob got soda on it.

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Tetsuko withdrew her hand, stepping back, seeing that Serrana got the full attention of the Saiyan now. Standing next to Genichiro she whispered, a hand blocking her face. "On the one hand I want to ask if you can fly, as we should vacate the premesis... on the other I, and perhaps you should stay in case this turns into a crisis... what do you think?"

There was a look of concern. The protective fields around the arena have been getting a workout and to be honest having two very motivated superbeings settling matters with their fists would be a safety risk.

"Not that I am saying we should intervene, sir... perhaps this will blow over on it's own..."

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"I know where we can go if fighting is the only way to resolve this, but I don't think it's that bad really." He handed the candy bar up to Kelage, and nodded. "I think your servant dropped this miss."

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