Cosmic Crisis 3 - A New Enemy
Written by Erin Miller - Scarlet14@aol.com
Author's note: Here is the first chapter of part 3 of the Cosmic Crisis series! First of all, it starts off around 8 months after the end of Cosmic Crisis 2 and days before Natalie's 16th birthday. Second of all, the Briefs and Son families are taking a trip to Hawaii to get away from their daily lives and to chill out! Note that Natalie now calls Goku "Kakarotto" out of affection. Now, without any further delay, let the story begin. (PS - don't forget to check out my page, the address is above!)
Chapter 1 - Airline Adventures
Bulma sat in her seat, looking out the window at the clouds below her. They had been on this flight for two hours already, and there were an easy five still to come. She let out a bored sigh, looking over at Vegeta, who was dozing next to her with his seat reclined. Goku was on the other side of the cabin, snoring loudly.
<Good thing we used the private jet; Goku's snoring would have caused an uproar among the passengers.> Bulma thought to herself. Chi-Chi was sitting next to the sleeping Saiya-jin, looking quite annoyed. Gohan and Videl were in the back, trying to get some sleep amidst the noise.
Vegeta opened his eyes and looked around. Trunks and Goten were sitting adjacent to the young girls, Bra and Pan. Goten was listening to his Discman while Trunks leaned against the window, trying desperately to get some shut-eye, despite Goku's loud snoring.
"Mmph...no, wait Vegeta...don't eat that..." Goku muttered in his sleep. Trunks was about to slam his head into the side of the cabin in frustration when Goten tore his headphones off and handed them to Trunks.
"Wanna listen?" he asked his friend, who was on the brink of temporary insanity. Trunks looked up at Goten with an "I-have-a-headache-and-don't-want-to-hear-it" look on his face.
"Nani?" Trunks asked.
"Nevermind. I guess he forgot to bring his "Breathe Right" nasal strips for the trip." Goten said, gesturing to his sleeping father. Suddenly, the door to the bathroom swung open and Natalie came bounding out, waking Goku in the process.
"Huh? Wha -?" Goku said, sitting up.
"Oh, gomen, Kakarotto-san." She said, walking toward her seat. She passed by Vegeta on the way, elbowing him affectionately. He growled in annoyance and looked out the window. She continued until she came to where Goten and Trunks were sitting.
"Goten. Can I listen?" she asked, pulling one of the headphones off his left ear while looking at him with her sweetest expression. He looked up into her eyes and tried to mutter something, but failed.
"H-hai." He said, handing her the CD player. Trunks looked at his friend with a smirk on his face as soon as the girl headed for her seat in front of them.
"Man, Goten. Feminine persuasion really gets to you!" Trunks joked.
"Hey!" Goten cried, punching Trunks in the arm. "You're the same way." He muttered. The long flight had made them all cranky, so Goten decided to stretch his legs. He got up from his seat and walked towards the cockpit, drawing back the curtain to see Dr. Briefs piloting the airplane.
"What can I do for you, my boy?" the man asked without even turning around.
"How did you know -?" Goten broke off, looking rather confused.
"Oh, I saw you come in." he said in his gruff, but friendly voice. "Only a few more hours until we reach the island. What can I get you?" he asked, opening a cupboard filled with food and beverage capsules. Goten inspected the contents, but declined, knowing that dinner would be served soon.
"Arigatou, Briefs-san." Goten said, returning to the passenger cabin to discover Bra and Pan arguing over who would get to eat the last piece of chocolate in their bag. Deciding to end the quarrel, Goten walked over and took it, throwing it up in the air and catching it in his mouth. "Problem Solved." He said wryly and walked away, chuckling. The two girls stood with shocked expressions on their face until Bra's jaw dropped and Pan's lips quivered. Natalie glanced over at them, producing a look of surprise when she saw their faces and then watched as Goten passed by, winking at her. She shot him a questioning look and then turned and looked out the window. She could hear Trunks say something to his friend but couldn't make out the words with the headphones on. The sun was slowly setting over the horizon, producing a brilliant golden light, which shone through the windows and danced on everyone's faces and figures.
"Excuse me. May I have your attention, please?" Dr. Briefs said over the loudspeaker. Natalie ripped off the headphones to listen. "According to the charts, we have another seven hours to go. We have to fly off course as a result of passing storms." Groans were heard throughout the cabin. "Tonight, we have a wide variety of food capsules to chose from, so help yourself! There's plenty to go around." He finished, turning off the speaker. Natalie rolled her eyes at the thought of sitting on this stupid airplane for any longer.
<I wish I hadn't packed all my stuff into the stupid cargo bay. I could really use my sketchbook right now.> Natalie thought to herself. If there was one thing she loved, it was art. She had numerous drawing books filled with pictures that she had kept. Her mother used to keep them in a safe box to preserve them. Natalie quickly dismissed the thought, since thinking about her mother tended to upset her. Ever since the accident almost a year ago...
"Natalie!" a voice shouted, startling the girl. She looked around, intent on telling that someone off for scaring her, when she saw Trunks looking at her from behind her seat.
"Nani!?" she said, taking off her headphones for the third time now. This was beginning to irritate her.
"What do you want for dinner?" He asked. She looked towards the aisle and saw Mrs. Briefs standing next to a cart full of food and beverage capsules. The blonde-haired woman smiled and handed the girl a menu. Natalie opened it and quickly scanned its contents.
"Um...I'll have..." she began, looking at the various selections. "Curry Chicken with extra rice." She finally decided.
"And to drink?" Mrs. Briefs asked.
Natalie couldn't make up her mind, and seeing the rather impatient looks on the people behind her, she blurted out, "Surprise me!" Mrs. Briefs looked at Natalie with a doubtful grin and then proceeded to pull out a capsule. She depressed the top and set it on the cart to manifest itself. When the meal appeared, she quickly shoved it into the high-powered microwave to warm it up.
"My husband is still working on developing food capsules that heat themselves. Unfortunately, he still has a few bugs to work out." Mrs. Briefs said while waiting for the food to cook. When it was done, she handed the steaming plate to Natalie. The girl looked at the food hungrily and was about to dive in when Mrs. Briefs shoved a bucket of beverage capsules toward her. Natalie buried her hand into the container, drawing out a random capsule. Mrs. Briefs moved on, giving Natalie some plastic-ware and packets of soy sauce on her way. Almost instantly, the girl forked a bite of food into her mouth. Unfortunately for her, it hadn't cooled down yet and she cried out in pain as tears welled up in her eyes. She forced herself to swallow the piping hot food, wincing as it traveled down her throat. Everyone on the plane turned and stared at the now embarrassed Natalie. She flashed a grin that resembled one of Goku's cheesy smiles and looked down at her food. After what seemed like hours of silence, but was really only a few seconds, Mrs. Briefs finally spoke.
"And what would you like, Trunks, sweetie?" She asked, smiling sweetly at her grandson. While everyone else ordered, Natalie depressed her beverage capsule to see what she had gotten. When a can appeared, she quickly looked at the label.
<Oh, man. I hate root bear.> she thought as she reluctantly opened the can. She didn't want to waste the stuff, so she took a sip and swallowed it, trying not to acknowledge the taste. She turned around to see what the boys had gotten after taking another bite of her now-cooling-off curry. Trunks and Goten had both gotten steaks with fries. She then noticed that they both had five more food capsules set aside. <Those pigs!> she thought to herself. She knew that being a Saiya-jin meant that you had a big appetite. She sure had one, but it wasn't as big as theirs. There were a few other differences between her and all of the others. For one, she couldn't go Oozaru when she had her tail. Bulma once explained that since humans are neutral, their anatomy didn't affect any of the Saiya-jin characteristics when the two were combined. In fact, it enhanced them. But Sidra-jin anatomy, like Saiya-jin, had special characteristics to it, that when mixed with other races with the same characteristics, could produce several outcomes. She wished that she knew more about her past, but she was thankful for the little information she possessed. It was all she had.
"Do you need something, Nat?" Trunks asked, snapping her back to reality. She realized that she had been staring at him the whole time.
"O-Oh, no. Um...sorry." She said, becoming flushed and turning around quickly. Her dinner was now cool enough to eat enjoyably and she ate another bite, thinking about the week ahead. Her birthday was in a couple of days, and she would be turning sixteen! She could hardly wait. Trunks and Goten had already had their birthdays, and so far, she was the youngest of the three. Bulma and her family had decided to take a trip to Hawaii to celebrate, as well as to get away for a while. She was so deep in her thoughts that she hadn't noticed the bite of chicken that slipped off her fork and onto her shirt, leaving a red stain on her light grey pullover. "Man..." she muttered, her mouth full of food. She rummaged through her carryon bag for another shirt, finally locating a short-sleeved yellow shirt with "Capsule Corp." printed in navy on the front. She hurried to the airplane bathroom to change but it was already occupied. Looking around the airplane, she immediately noticed that Goku's chair was empty. Just as she was turning to leave, the bathroom door swung open, narrowly missing her face, to reveal Goku.
"Gomen, Natalie." Goku said, moving out of her way. He slapped her on the back on the way out.
"No problem, Kakarotto-san." She muttered. Just as she was about to walk into the room, Vegeta raced past her and slammed the door in her face. She narrowed her eyes and growled in frustration, leaning against the opposite wall with her arms crossed. She could hear Trunks and Goten snickering from their seats. After a few minutes, Vegeta emerged from the bathroom and she shot him a glare, proceeding to bump into him on her way past. She went into the tiny stall and shut the door behind her and changed into the new shirt, trying to stay standing as they went through some mild turbulence. Finally, after five minutes of torture, she emerged from the bathroom with an annoyed look of her face. Her hair was pushed to one side messily and her cheeks were burning. She could feel Goten and Trunks watching her as she strode past, trying desperately to keep her cool.
<Okay, so it's not exactly my day. It happens to everyone.> she thought reassuringly to herself. Plopping down into her seat, she sighed. She was DEFINITELY not looking forward to the flight ahead...
Chapter 2 - Airline Adventures part 2
Natalie stirred in her sleep. She had been fortunate to drift off during the long flight. The bad part was, everyone else was awake on account that it was only 8:30, their time. Pan and Bra were playing with their dolls, while Trunks and Goten sat in their seats with absolutely nothing to do. Gohan was in the back of the cabin, reading a book on physics, while Videl flipped through a magazine, looking bored. Bulma was working on her laptop, trying to design an advanced version of the Hope time machine, and Vegeta was dozing next to her.
The young Sidra-jin girl was having a nightmare. This wasn't a good sign, since she seemed to be prone to them, especially whenever her subconscious sensed an impending enemy. Trunks watched her with interest as she tossed vigorously in the airplane seat. She let out a muffled cry and her aura flared, lighting up the airplane cabin and startling all of the passengers. Even Dr. Briefs saw the flash, sitting in the cockpit. Trunks took immediate action and jumped from his seat to the one next to her, shaking the girl furiously. She still hadn't awakened, and had now started trying to beat Trunks away from her, for she thought that he was trying to attack her.
"Natalie!" Trunks said, grabbing her shoulders and gripping them tightly. Suddenly, she snapped back to reality, looking terrified while she took rapid breaths. She then realized that everyone was staring at her and immediately turned bright red.
"Uh-uh...I g-guess I was having a nightmare..." she said, shrinking back into her seat and curling into a little ball. Everyone then went back to whatever they had been doing previous to the little episode. She could hear Vegeta mumble something about the fact that Orion had better be dead this time. Trunks plopped into the seat next to the girl, trying not to make her nervous.
"What was it about?" he asked her. She muttered something under her breath, not even bothering to look back at him. "What?" Trunks asked.
"I said it was nothing. I can't even remember it anyway." She replied, this time in a louder tone.
"Nat, you could've ripped the airplane to shreds!" he said, almost in a joking tone of voice. She looked back at him with a bitter expression. "Whoa. What's wrong with you?" he said, backing up a bit from the girl.
"Don't you know when to leave someone alone?" she said, crossing her arms and staring straight ahead. She desperately wished that she could sleep peacefully without threatening everyone around her. Meanwhile, Goten was watching through the crack between the seats with a smirk on his face.
<They fight like a married couple.> he thought, smiling inside. Obviously Natalie was sensitive to certain things, and nightmares were one of them.
"Aww, come on Natalie. You look so cute when you're mad." Trunks joked, punching her on the arm playfully. She just sighed and sunk back into her seat, staring out the window. The sun was now set and the stars glittered in the night sky. She saw a rather bright star twinkling, wondering about her home planet, Vela, and if she would ever be able to learn more about her past. It was quite frustrating to her. At least Trunks knew of his origins. She didn't even know her real parents.
Trunks watched her curiously. He could sense that something was bothering her...just by the look on her face. But he didn't want to disturb her, for he knew that she could have short temper at times.
<Must be her Saiya-jin side surfacing...> he chuckled to himself. His dad was the same way.
Vegeta sat in his seat, his arms crossed. He could sense something bothering that girl. And he didn't like it.
"What's the matter?" Bulma asked, looking over at her husband. Vegeta just grunted in reply.
"Hey Bulma!" Goku yelled, appearing in the aisle next to where Vegeta was sitting. His voice was so loud that Vegeta jumped in surprise, becoming greatly annoyed.
"Kakarotto..." Vegeta muttered under his breath.
"Yes?" she asked, looking up from her laptop.
"Where does your dad keep the food capsules? I already finished the fifteen that Mrs. Briefs gave me." He said, burping. Bulma and Vegeta produced sweat drops, not bothering to reply. "Hmm...oh well!" Goku said, frolicking down the aisle towards the cockpit to get another serving of food.
By now, Natalie had rested her head on Trunks shoulder, half asleep in this position. Suddenly, Goku's cries of joy were heard through the plane, waking her with a start, much to her annoyance. She opened her eyes slowly, focusing on her surroundings.
"Kakarotto no baka..." she said with an irritated tone of voice. Trunks tried not to laugh and put his arm around her, resting his head on hers. Just as they had gotten comfortable, Bra walked up and jumped right into Trunks' lap, landing in a rather...bad spot. Trunks turned a strange shade of blue and winced before doubling over. Goten, who had seen it happen, had a look on his face that read, "That HAD to hurt".
"You're so funny, Niichan!" Bra cried, slapping him on the back before she leapt back into the aisle, heading towards Vegeta's seat.
"Trunks...?" Natalie said, lifting up a few strands of his hair to see his face with a rather painful expression on it. She glanced over to see Pan snickering from her seat. Finally, Trunks regained his composure and shot daggers at his sister with his eyes. Natalie slapped herself on the head and fell back into the seat.
"DESSERT'S HERE!" Mrs. Briefs shouted, causing everyone on the entire plane to jump three feet out of his or her seats. The perky, blonde haired woman came strolling out of the cockpit holding a silver tray of various cakes and pies. Natalie casually looked up from fiddling with the radio on the armrest and grew wide-eyed when she saw the confections. She waited in anticipation as Mrs. Briefs served Goku and Chi-chi, who were in the front, until she was at Bra and Pan's seats, which were across the aisle from the teenagers. When Mrs. Briefs leaned over, Natalie almost fell out of her seat from leaning over to get a closer look at the treats.
"What would you like, sweetie?" the woman asked kindly. Natalie stuttered as she struggled to make a decision.
"U-um...I'll have..." she said, twisting her hair in that agonizing moment. How she wished to just devour them all and enjoy each one. <Damn why do some decisions have to be so difficult?> she thought to herself.
"We'll take them all." Trunks blurted out, grabbing the entire tray out of her hands. Natalie and Goten looked at the boy in shock.
"Oh, dear. I should've brought more capsules." Mrs. Briefs said and headed back towards the front. Trunks, Goten, and Natalie all headed toward the back of the plane, passing everyone on the way. At the end of the aisle was a curtain. Trunks pulled it back to reveal a door, which he opened cautiously. Natalie and Goten followed, peering around the corners curiously. Inside were a sofa, a few chairs, and a round table in the center, as well as a TV mounted on the wall in the far right-hand corner.
"It's Ojiisan's recreation room. I'm the only one who knows about it besides him." Trunks snickered. He sat the tray down on the table and pulled up one of the larger, more comfortable chairs and sank into it. "Well come on." He said, motioning for them to join him. Goten let out a cry of joy and leaped onto the sofa like a little boy, while Natalie made a mad dash for the dessert plate. Her eyes lit up as she scanned the plate, reaching for a fork in the process, but noticing that there weren't any.
"Uh..." she said, looking down at the tray and then back up at Trunks. However, she wasn't going to let this slight disadvantage deter her, so with a "what the hell" look, she simply reached and broke off a bite of cake with her hand. Trunks let out a combination of a laugh and a sigh, rolling his eyes as she popped the bite into her mouth. "What!?" she said, her mouth full of cake. She then noted the ridiculousness of her appearance, as her cheeks were puffed out like a chipmunk and her hands had icing smeared on them. An evil grin appeared on her face and she looked at Trunks slyly.
"Natalie...? Natalie what are you doing?" Trunks said, backing against the back of his chair with a worried expression. He knew that look meant that she was scheming, and it usually involved him and a heavy dose of embarrassment. Suddenly, she hurled her fists toward him, smearing cake icing all over his face and in his hair. Goten laughed hysterically from where he sat, and Natalie shot him a "you're next" glare, causing him to back away like a frightened child. Trunks then took her by surprise and grabbed a handful of cake, smashing it right in her face. She cried out in surprise, wiping globs of icing off of herself and licking it off of her fingers happily. The purple-haired boy laughed with delight and seemed to transform from the fierce, strong-willed warrior that everyone knew into a little schoolboy playing in the mud. Goten was happy to see his friend like this, and so was Natalie. The trio continued to make mischief, just for the sake of delight. By this time, the rest of the passengers were beginning to tire, as the journey had been very tolling. Bulma had already settled down, burying her head into Vegeta's right shoulder, gripping his arm and wrapping her own around him. He didn't like to show it, but he really loved his mate. Suddenly, his state of contentment was shattered when Goku began snoring once more. Chi-Chi turned red in the face and held his nose shut to waken him.
"Huh? Wha -?" Goku broke off. Chi-Chi had a look on her face that was mixed between anger and embarrassment. "Was I snoring again, honey?" he said, yawning. Chi-Chi just nodded a pathetic "yes". "Oh, sorry. It usually only happens when I sleep on my back." Goku finished and rolled over on his side, falling right back into deep sleep. Pan and Bra had fallen asleep as well, their arms and legs tangled together as they slept fitfully. Gohan had fallen asleep in the back with his glasses on, and Videl was struggling to keep her eyes open. Suddenly, Dr. Briefs' voice came in over the intercom.
"Uh...attention passengers. We still have three and half hours to go, so get comfortable. I'll be turning out the lights in the cabin in a few, so if you have any preparations to make, make them quick. Enjoy the rest of the flight!"
Bulma had now awoken and was rubbing her eyes sleepily.
"Are you going to sleep, dear?" she said to her husband, trying to suppress a yawn Vegeta grunted a reply and shifted positions in his seat, attempting to get comfortable, which isn't really possible on a Trans-Pacific flight. She took this as a yes and snuggled up to him. She could almost detect a slight smile form on his lips as she rested her head on his chest and took her last deep breath before settling in. Videl, by now, had managed to untangle the two young girls and tuck them in, as well as get herself and her husband to sleep. She took small, short breaths as she rested peacefully next to her husband. Chi-Chi and Goku had also managed to get comfortable and fall asleep. Just then, the lights dimmed and then faded out completely, allowing darkness to sink in.
Meanwhile, Natalie, Goten, and Trunks had all fallen asleep in very peculiar positions on the floor of the recreation room. Bits of cake strewn about the floor made it apparent that they had had a massive food fight. Natalie was curled up into a fetal position, resting on her left side with Trunks and Goten on either side of her, sandwiching her in the middle. The lights went out in the recreation room as well, giving the three a sense of comfort and protection as the jet soared through the night sky.