Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Chapter 7 - The Brink of Death

    As evening set over the Capsule Corp. building, Natalie and the others were busy formulating a plan.
    "But we still don't know where they came from. Dr. Gero is dead. Besides, if he were alive and creating androids, they would at least have some kind of fighting ability." Trunks said, looking deeply concerned. Meanwhile, Natalie didn't even know who Dr. Gero was.
    "Well they seem to want something with the girl." Vegita sighed, folding his arms, looking over at Natalie.
    "Who's Dr. Gero?" she inquired.
    "Oh, he's dead now." Trunks replied. "But he used to make androids with unfathomable fighting strength and power. You haven't met Krillin's wife, but she's an android." Natalie looked at him with surprise.
    "She's an android? Then how -?" Natalie broke off.
    "She was based on a human model, don't worry. She isn't a hunk of nuts and bolts."
    "Oh." Natalie said simply. She looked as confused as ever, sitting back in her chair, staring into space. Everyone glanced over at her at once, startling the girl. "What?" she asked with an innocent look on her face. Trunks pulled a Kamesennin and looked her up and down, much to her surprise. Vegita and Bulma began to converse on the side, discussing a plan of action.
    "Well if you hadn't disintegrated it, maybe I could do an anatomy readout and find out where they come from!" Bulma shouted at her husband. The two were always arguing. Natalie and Trunks discreetly left the room, as they were tired of hearing the couple shout at each other.
    "Trunks let's go out!" Natalie suggested, suddenly full of energy.
    "Okay..." he said, looking at her with an eyebrow raised.
    "Come on! It's not like there's anything better to do HERE." She said and grabbed his hand to lead him out the door. The couple raced down the sidewalk, heading towards the city. The girl was practically dragging Trunks behind.
    "Wha-what's your hurry?" Trunks cried. Natalie turned her head to smile at him, when she ran into something. They both fell to the ground, dazed. (Sound familiar?)
    "Natalie?" a voice said. She looked up and observed Ryan standing over her. "Whoa, nice running into you." He said, and helped her up off the ground. Trunks helped himself to his feet, looking at the boy questionably.
    "Ryan! What are you doing here?" she asked, surprised.
    "Well I was about to ask you the same question. Where are you going?" he inquired. "Because...if you're not busy, I was wondering -"
    "I'm heading to the city with Trunks." She said. "Wanna come with us?" Ryan eyed Trunks suspiciously.
    "Oh. No, that's okay." He said, turning to leave. "I'll see you at school." Ryan finished and hurried down the street.
    "Well he was in a hurry." Natalie commented, turning to Trunks.
    "There's something strange about him." He said, folding his arms Vegita-style.
    "Oh, don't get jealous Trunks!" she joked, jumping on his back like a little girl.
    "Hey!" Trunks cried in protest. "I'm not jealous." He said, shrugging Natalie off of him. She backed away defensively.
    "Hey, excuse me! I was just kidding anyway." She said and continued down the sidewalk towards the city. Trunks followed, catching up with her quickly. When they reached the metropolis, they streets were buzzing with people trying to go about their daily lives. The streets were so crowded that Trunks and Natalie were having a tough time staying together. Suddenly, they both heard loud gunshots followed by terrified screams. People began to panic and run in every which way, almost trampling the helpless teenagers. She scrambled to safety in a nearby alley, frantically searching for Trunks. She could see dozens of frightened people hurl past her, trying to save their own lives. She exited the alley to look for him but he was nowhere to be seen. Worrying about his safety, she ran into the street to try and get a better view. Still yet to locate his whereabouts, she turned to head in another direction when a bullet whizzed by her head. Startled, she cried out in fear, no knowing what to do. She didn't want to reveal her powers in public, yet she knew no other way out. She was about to run in the opposite direction when someone pounced on her, pushing her to the ground and knocking the air out of her lungs. She hit the pavement with great force, causing her to gasp in pain, yet no air would come in. Seeing no other alternative, she powered up and forced her ki outward, throwing the person off of her body with tremendous speed. This caused even more panicking, making the situation worse. She struggled to her feet, intending to find the person that jumped on her. She turned in the direction that he flew, seeing a dark figure in the alley across the street. Knowing that she could take him on, she approached. She poked her head around the corner to get a closer look, but the figure was gone.
    "What the -?" she said, greatly confused. Suddenly, something hit her from behind and forced her into the alley. She spun around in a defensive stance, preparing to attack. She looked up to see who was trying to hurt her, when she fell back in surprise. "Goku!?" she cried, greatly alarmed. "What are you doing?"
    Goku came towards her with a menacing look on his face. She backed away, her heart beating so hard she was sure he could hear it. Suddenly he lunged towards her and pinned her against the ground, his face mere inches away from hers. Her instinct suddenly took over, causing her to power up in sudden bursts of energy which sent Goku flying backwards into the brick wall. She immediately sprung to her feet and charged toward him, intending to slam her fist into his chest. Unfortunately for her, he dodged, and her fist met with the brick. She cried out in pain, grasping her hand. She looked up at Goku, who was preparing to attack her again. This time, when he leapt for her, she stuck out her leg and kicked him in the stomach. While he was down, she took the opportunity to bring her fists crashing down on his back.
    Suddenly, Trunks appeared in the alley and observed Natalie and Goku fighting.
    "Natalie! What are you doing!?" Trunks shouted, obviously confused with the situation. He rushed over and pried her off Goku's back, getting elbowed in the side mistakenly.
    "Trunks let go! This isn't Goku!" she cried, struggling to get free. Trunks soon realized that it was probably another clone, and set the girl free. Unfortunately, Goku was already coming at them. He shot his fist into Natalie's stomach, causing her to stumble back into Trunks, sending them both crashing to the ground. The clone continued to beat on the girl who was desperately trying to get herself off of Trunks. He kicked her sharply in the side, breaking on of her ribs. Natalie screamed in pain and coughed up some blood. Trunks managed to get out from under the girl, and stood up, ready to fight. He looked down at the coughing, bleeding Natalie in horror. This enraged Trunks, who went Super Saiyan and lurched towards the clone. His fist met with Goku's face, sending him flying backwards. Trunks shot a powerful ki blast in his direction, hitting its target dead on. When the smoke cleared, Goku was still standing.
    "That's impossible!" Trunks cried in surprise. Goku sprinted towards Trunks, who easily dodged. Suddenly, he realized that Goku was heading for Natalie. The clone leaned menacingly over the girl, who was on the brink of consciousness. He scooped her up in his arms and took off for the sky. He landed on top of a building, holding Natalie in his arms. She was trying to get free, but failed as a result of her weakened body. She looked up at him, her face stained with her own blood. Seeing no other choice, she weakly lifted her arm, placing a finger on Goku's forehead.
    "Akiyah..." she whispered. Her fingertip began to glow brightly, much to Goku's surprise. He looked down at her with a bewildered expression on his face. With a final burst of energy, she concentrated all of her power into her hand. Her body began to grow numb, and she muttered her final word. "...Meh!"
    It was all in slow motion. Goku dropped her body like a hot coal, but it was too late. The energy erupted into a massive explosion, engulfing the entire building in its fiery brilliance, surging outwards like a thermonuclear explosion. The Goku clone screamed in terror, his very flesh being incinerated before his eyes. Trunks was still in the alley, watching in amazement as the power billowed above him. Seeing it rush towards him at neck-breaking speed, he held his hands over his head and cried out, forming a ki shield around his body. No sooner than he had done that, everything around him was vaporized instantly. He shot towards the top of the building, observing Natalie's body emitting a tremendous amount of energy. The Goku clone was screaming in pain and terror, as he was not quite dead yet. Trunks ran for Natalie and held her head in his hands. She was limp, not moving or even breathing. He panicked, not knowing what to do. Energy was still exploding from her body, surrounding the whole building in its deadly grip.
    "Natalie!" Trunks cried, shaking the girl's limp body. "Wake up!" Seeing this to prove useless, he locked his ki onto hers. He felt a tremendous surge of power, knocking him back. He struggled to keep the energy under control. Finally, with one final move, Trunks exploded his ki, causing hers to subside. When the dust settled, Trunks was seen covering Natalie's body with his, breathing heavily. He looked around, seeing the remains of the Goku clone lying nearby. He knew that the reporters would be here soon, so he grabbed Natalie and Goku and took off for Capsule Corp. faster than anyone could see. His ki was completely exhausted from the battle. He looked down at the girl, seeing a trail of blood running down her chin. He sped up, reaching the Capsule Building in less than five minutes. He burst through the door, carrying the two bodies in either arm. Vegita emerged from the kitchen, producing a look of shock on his face as he observed his son carrying two limp bodies in his arms.
    "What the hell happened here!?" he shouted, rushing over to the three. Trunks was still trying to catch his breath. Vegita could sense that his son's power was completely gone, as well as Natalie's. He looked them over, locking his eyes on the beaten Goku clone. "Woman! Get in here!" Vegita shouted to his mate. Bulma came out of the room, crying out in surprise when she saw the sight. She ran to Vegita's side, looking absolutely terrified at the scene.
    "Wh-what the -?" Bulma tried to speak, but no words would come out. Bra came bounding down the stairs joyfully but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw her brother holding two unconscious people in his arms. Trunks looked absolutely worn.
    "We -" Trunks started.
    "What? What is it?" Vegita asked, stepping forward.
    "We" he finished, and fell to the ground. Bra screamed and ran up the stairs with Bulma following after her. Vegita ran as fast as he could towards his son. He felt Trunks' neck for a pulse and found one. He sighed in relief and picked him up, taking him to the medical wing. Natalie and Goku were still left lying in the foyer.
    Vegita placed Trunks into rejuvenation tank and switched it on. The tank filled up with water and attached an oxygen mask to his mouth, followed by two wires with round pads on the end attaching to his temples. When the setup process was complete, Vegita returned to the foyer for Natalie. He felt for a pulse on her as well, but found none. Alarmed, he put his head to her chest to listen for breathing or a heartbeat. There was still nothing.
    "Oh hell! WOMAN!" Vegita shouted. His voice echoed through the building. A few seconds later, Bulma appeared.
    "What is it? I'm trying to calm down out daughter!" she cried, angry for being disturbed.
    "The girl! Her heart isn't beating!" Vegita said worriedly. Bulma's eyes widened and she ran to Natalie's side, checking her vital signs (or lack thereof).
    "Oh god! We need to get her to the medical wing ASAP!" she cried. Vegita grabbed Natalie under one arm and Bulma under the other, fading out and then reappearing in one of the emergency areas. Vegita placed the girl onto a table while Bulma prepared the machines. "She's in cardiac arrest! If we don't get her heart beating she'll die!" Bulma cried, trying to keep herself rational amidst all the panic of the situation. She pulled two wires from a machine on the wall, each with round pads on the end, similar to the ones in the rejuvenation tank. She then placed them on Natalie's temples and switched on the machine.
    "What are you doing?" Vegita asked, looking down at Natalie.
    "These should send electric impulses to her brain to make her heart and lungs start up again. Hopefully." Bulma said, hooking up the heart monitor to her body. There was a steady line flashing across the screen, signaling that there was no heartbeat. After a few seconds, she still wasn't responding.
    "Do something woman!" Vegita said, trying to make sense of the jumbled wires and electronics on the wall of the room. Bulma raced over and cranked up the machine attached to her temples. Suddenly, Natalie's body gasped for air.
    "Her lungs are working!" Bulma cried joyously. Her joy was stifled by fear when she noticed that the heart monitor was still showing an absence of a beat. "Her system is going to start shutting down if we don't get her blood circulating!" Bulma said, frantically searching the room for something of use. She reached into one of the cabinets, pulling out a box of capsules. She forced the box open, spilling the capsules all over the floor. She got on her knees and searched, her eyes locking onto a grey and white medical capsule. "Yes." She said and compressed the top of it, causing it to explode in a tiny puff of smoke, forming a device of some sort. Bulma stood up and placed it on the girl's chest, pressing a blue button located on the side. "If this works," Bulma said, "we might be able to pull it off." The little machine started to emit a low, humming sound. Bulma then pressed another button, causing an electric current to surge forward, connecting to Natalie's chest. Natalie once again gasped for breath, this time her face began to turn red. Bulma repeated this process, causing electricity to flow through the girl.
    "Stop that! What are you doing?" Vegita asked, stepping closer.
    "Vegita I know what I'm doing! If this thing doesn't get her heart started, I don't know what will." Bulma shouted, pressing the button once again. Natalie's body began to spasm, causing her to almost fall off the table. Vegita had to hold her down as Bulma continued to send electricity through the girl's heart in hopes of it starting up again. After several more tries, there was still no heartbeat. Bulma slowly withdrew the tiny device from Natalie's chest, her whole body shaking with fear. "N-n-no..." Bulma said, choking back tears. She began to sob uncontrollably, dropping the machine and causing it to shatter into hundreds of little pieces on the cold, hard floor. Vegita looked as if he were in shock, just staring at Natalie's lifeless body on the table. He suddenly snapped back to reality, producing a look of sheer determination and anger on his face. He clenched his fists and shut his eyes, becoming infuriated. Bulma placed a hand on his back, causing him to power down again.
    "Vegita there was nothing you could do." She said softly, stroking his arm.
    "But there is." He said angrily, walking over to where Natalie lay. He placed his palm on her forehead and began to concentrate. Bulma looked up with a tear-stained face, watching Vegita hopelessly. His palm began to glow a brilliant blue and white color. He gritted his teeth and concentrated harder, his hand glowing brighter.
    "Vegita...?" Bulma said, reaching out to him.
    "Not now." He said through clenched teeth. He focused all of his power into her, weakening himself substantially. Finally, after draining all of his energy, he collapsed to the floor.
    "Vegita!" Bulma cried, jumping over to his side. He was barely conscious, trying desperately to breathe. Suddenly, a beeping noise caused Bulma to jump. She sprung to her feet and looked around for the source of the noise. It then came again. And again. It started to develop a pattern, appearing faster until it was on a steady beat. Bulma looked over at the heart monitor and gasped in utter happiness. Tears streamed down her face as she realized that Natalie was alive! "Oh she's going to make it!" she cried, jumping into the now standing Vegita's arms. She gripped him tightly, crying tears of joy. The beat of the heart monitor was music to her ears as she and her husband stood next to the table where the girl lay. "You saved her!" Bulma said, looking into Vegita's eyes. She never knew he would be capable of something so miraculous. She stood next to Natalie, holding the girl's hand in her own.
    "We need to get her to the rejuvenation tank." Vegita muttered. Bulma shut off the machines and disconnected them from Natalie's body. Then Vegita picked up the still unconscious girl and walked into the room where Trunks' tank was. There was another tank next to Trunks', identical in size and capacity. Bulma set the controls on the panel while Vegita placed her inside, putting the oxygen mask over her mouth and the wires on her temples. When they were both finished setting up, Bulma closed the glass door and started it up. They both stood back and watched the tank fill up with water and begin the healing process.
    Suddenly, Trunks tank started beeping, signaling that he was finished already (this is possible because he didn't have many injuries). Trunks' eyes opened slowly and he looked around, trying to figure out where he was. Bulma switched it off and opened the glass door. Trunks ripped the equipment off of his body and jumped out of the tank, his body still dripping with water.
    "Where's Natalie?" he asked, ringing out his hair. Vegita gestured to the tank beside him and Trunks walked over, placing his hands on the glass, looking at Natalie's unconscious body inside. Her clothing was torn to shreds, and there were a great amount of cuts, scrapes, and bruises on her. She suddenly coughed up blood into the oxygen mask, which removed the contents into the back of the tank where all waste was disposed of. Trunks looked at her with a worried look on his face. "Is she going to be okay?" he asked, turning to his parents. Bulma nodded her head softly, looking at Natalie with a grateful expression. She was afraid to tell Trunks of the events that had taken place, fearing that he would get extremely upset if he found out. She was so thankful that Vegita had been there. If he hadn't been...she dismissed the thought immediately and turned to leave the room. The sun had now set below the horizon and the stars glittered in the night sky. Vegita followed, leaving Trunks alone in the room, still looking into Natalie's tank as she coughed up more blood. He suddenly remembered that he had brought the Goku clone with him. He ran after his parents to inform them. Hopefully, Bulma would be able to determine what it was and where it came from.
    "Mom!" he cried, catching up to his mother. She turned around, expecting to hear bad news.
    "What is it? Is Natalie okay!?" she cried.
    "She's fine." Trunks said. "Mom it was a clone!" He continued while Vegita overheard and walked over.
    "Did you kill it?" he asked.
    "Natalie did. I brought it back so you could analyze it." He said and ran into the foyer to retrieve the body. When he returned, Bulma got a sickening feeling in her stomach.
    "THAT thing is supposed to be Goku? How can you tell!?" she said, looking nauseated.
    "It used to look just like him. Before Natalie killed him." Trunks commented, carrying it into the science wing to be tested. He plopped it onto the table and turned to his mother. "Here you go."
    "Uh..." she said, hesitant to even get near it. "Are you sure it's dead? It looks only about half baked to me." She asked. Vegita walked over and placed his hand on the clone's chest, powering up and shooting a beam through it.
    "It is now." He said. A trail of blood ran down the side of the table and dripped onto the floor, much to Bulma's disgust. She walked over and slipped on an apron and gloves, preparing to dissect. First, she took a tissue sample and put it on a microscope slide to be examined. Next, she took some blood to be looked at as well. Trunks and Vegita left Bulma to her work, returning to the living quarters of the Capsule Corp. Building. Bra was sitting in the main living room, playing with her gameboy. She looked up from her game with her bright blue eyes.
    "Trunks!" she cried and ran over to her brother.
    "Wha-?" he said, holding his little sister in his arms.
    "I thought you were dead!" she said in her cute little-girl voice. Trunks laughed at his sister, placing her on the ground. "It's not funny!" she said sternly, crossing her arms. Trunks continued to laugh, further infuriating Bra. Finally, she punched him in a not-so-great place, causing him to double over and fall to the ground. Vegita burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter at his son's fate. Trunks shot his dad a "that's not funny" look, while Bra had an amused look on her face.
    "That's funny!" she said and then proceeded to do the same to Vegita. His face turned red and he fell to the ground, rigid, just like a board. Bra laughed and ran into another room, leaving the two Saiyans in pain. She ran into the science wing, calling for her mom.
    "What is it dear?" Bulma asked, inspecting the clone's DNA strands.
    "Hey mommy! If you punch daddy in between the legs, he falls down!" she cried happily. Bulma looked up from her high-powered microscope and looked at her daughter in shock.
    "Bra Briefs! Did you hit your father?" Bulma said sternly. Bra had an ear-to-ear grin on her face as she nodded with delight. Bulma sighed and looked into the microscope again. "Mommy's busy, honey. Go play somewhere else."
    Bra frolicked down the hallways and back into the living quarters. She was full of energy, so she decided to run around the house. She ran down the hallway towards the medical wing, stopping abruptly when something caught her eye. She spun around and discovered Natalie in the rejuvenation tank. She walked over curiously and pressed her face against the glass, observing the warrior floating in the tank of water. Suddenly, the machine started beeping and a red light flashed on the control panel, startling the girl. She looked at the control panel and pressed a series of buttons, draining the water and opening the glass door. Natalie awakened to Bra crawling into the tank with her.
    "Huh? Where am I?" she asked, looking around.
    "Natalie!" Bra cried, jumping into the teenager's lap. Natalie picked the girl up in her arms and stepped out of the tank, beads of water chilling her skin. She set the girl down and shook the water off of her body. Bra soon noticed something strange about Natalie that wasn't there before.
    "Natalie!" Bra cried, walking around the back of Natalie's body.
    "What is it?" she asked, shaking the water out of her thick mass of brown hair. Suddenly, a painful sensation crashed through her body, bringing her to the ground. She turned around to discover Bra gripping a long, furry brown object in her hand. "You have a tail!"

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Chapter 8 - Unexpected News

    Natalie looked at Bra in astonishment.
    "A what?" she asked. Bra gripped the object tighter, causing pain to lurch through Natalie's body again.
    "A tail." Bra exclaimed. "Let's go show daddy!" Natalie took the tail from Bra's hands and felt it, realizing that it was hers!
    "I have a tail!? What!? How can this be possible!?" she cried out. She ran into the living quarters, Bra following close behind. She stopped abruptly when she saw Vegita. Bra soon caught up.
    "What do you two want?" Vegita asked, eyeing them suspiciously.
    "Natalie has a tail, daddy!" Bra exclaimed, grabbing Natalie's tail once more, causing Natalie to become paralyzed in pain. Vegita immediately shot up, looking at Natalie in disbelief.
    "What the HELL!?" he shouted, racing over to where the two stood. He grabbed Natalie's tail and squeezed it, causing her to cry out. "This is a SAIYAN tail!" Vegita's voice was heard throughout the building, causing Bulma to look up from her work.
    "What is it this time?" Bulma sighed, heading for the living quarters. When she reached the living room, she stopped in her tracks when she saw Natalie out of the rejuvenation tank.
    "How did she get here?" Bulma asked, not noticing the tail.
    "I got her out, mommy!" Bra said proudly.
    "That's mommy's little scientist!" Bulma said, scooping her daughter up into her arms. She noticed the concerned look on Vegita's face.
    "What's the matter, dear?" Bulma asked, unaware of the situation. Without saying a word, Vegita held up the tail. Bulma almost dropped Bra when she saw it.
    "What the HELL is that!?" Bulma cried, inspecting it.
    "What does it look like, woman? This tail belongs to a Saiyan!" Vegita said. Bulma glanced over at Natalie, who was obviously confused.
    "Natalie? A Saiyan?" Bulma cried, setting her daughter onto the ground and walking over to the girl, grabbing the tail and squeezing it. Natalie cried out once again.
    "Why does everyone do that?" Natalie shouted, obviously in pain. Bulma swayed side to side, unsure of what to do.
    "Natalie, come with me." Bulma said, ushering Natalie towards the science wing. When they reached the room adjacent to the one Bulma was working in previously, she had Natalie sit on the table in the room while she went to get some equipment. Vegita walked into the room and leaned against the doorframe, watching Natalie as her tail twitched involuntarily. Bulma returned in a matter of moments, carrying a microscope, a syringe, and some sort of computer.
    "You're not going to give me a shot, are you!?" Natalie asked, cowering in the corner.
    "I have to! I need to do some tests with your DNA." Bulma said, wiping Natalie's inner arm with an alcohol soaked cotton ball. She then took the needle and inserted it into Natalie's vein, getting a sample of her blood. Natalie whimpered in pain and looked away as Bulma drew her blood.
    "Ironic," Vegita started, "That you can fight aliens and clones with ease, but you can't even handle a small needle."
    "Vegita you're the same way! You won't even let me tear a band-aid off you!" Bulma retorted. Natalie stifled a laugh while Vegita grumbled. Bulma placed a drop of Natalie's blood onto a slide and inserted it into the computer. After pressing an array of different buttons, a display appeared on the screen. Bulma facefaulted while examining the sample, discovering that she was, indeed, Saiyan.
    "Well? Did you find anything?" Vegita asked impatiently.
    "What are you looking for, anyway?" Natalie asked. She had no idea of what was going on. Bulma continued to examine the screen, realizing that the girl was not just Saiyan. She was mixed with another species, and it wasn't human. After gathering all the information, she switched off the screen and turned to face the two. Vegita was tapping his foot impatiently and Natalie was looking at her with a confused expression.
    "Natalie." Bulma started. "Do you know the name of your race?" she asked. Natalie produced a sweat drop and looked down at her hands.
    "Sidran." She muttered. How she knew her race was beyond her, but she somehow knew that she was right.
    "Do you know who your parents are?" Bulma continued interrogating the girl.
    "I only know my mother. She came to me in a dream once. She never said anything about my father." Natalie replied. Bulma turned to Vegita.
    "She has a mixed bloodline. Half Saiyan, half Sidran." Bulma said to the full-blooded Saiyan prince. "From what I know, her father must have been a Saiyan."
    This new information surprised Vegita. Natalie was a Saiyan? That meant...
    "Can she go oozaru?" Vegita asked, crossing his arms.
    "Vegita I don't know. It's possible, but I don't suggest that we try it." Bulma replied.
    "Oozaru?" Natalie said with a strange expression on her face.
    "Well why can't we try it? Unless you want to lock her in the house every full moon..." Vegita commented to Bulma, ignoring Natalie.
    "Full moon? Huh?" Natalie was still confused.
    "Vegita don't get smart with me! I'm saying it would be dangerous." Bulma continued.
    "SOMEONE LISTEN TO ME!" Natalie screamed, startling the arguing couple. "Thanks." She said after getting their attention. Seizing the opportunity, Vegita grabbed the girl and headed outside.
    "Vegita come back here!" Bulma cried, racing after him. "I swear, Vegita! You're sleeping on the couch tonight!" Vegita carried Natalie outside and powered up a blast.
    "What are you doing!?" Natalie cried, thinking that he was going to blast her.
    "Quiet girl!" Vegita yelled at, covering her eyes with his free hand. After a few more seconds, he was finished powering up. He threw his ball of energy towards the sky and it stood in place, resembling the full moon. Vegita then uncovered her eyes and held her head in his hands, forcing her to face the light. Nothing happened.
    "Vegita let me go!" she cried, struggling. He let her fall to the ground with a thud, and sent a beam into the sky, exploding the ball of light. He then walked back inside to face an angry Bulma.
    "Vegita kindly explain yourself!" Bulma shouted, her hands on her hips. Natalie staggered in, seeming to have a terrible headache. "What did you do to her!?"
    "I was just testing her, woman." Vegita said, facing away from his mate. Trunks then came down the stairs, finally finished with his shower.
    "W-what are you doing?" he said, looking at the three with a confused expression on his face.
    "Trunks what's oozaru?" Natalie called to him. Trunks hadn't been there when they discovered her tail. The Saiyan boy walked down the stairs, intending to be filled in on what he missed.
    "How do you know about oozaru?" Trunks asked suspiciously while Bulma and Vegita argued in the background.
    "I'll explain later. What is it?" she demanded.
    "It's the Saiyan transformation when they look at the full moon..." Trunks said, trailing off. Natalie's tail twitched, revealing itself to the young warrior. Trunks' eyes became large when he saw it. "What the HELL is that!?" he cried, lunging forward to grab it. Instinctively, she blocked him with her hand. He looked up at her with one eyebrow cocked.
    "No. Don't touch it." She said, wagging it back and forth mockingly. Since his tail had been removed, as well as all the other Saiyans' tails, he had never seen one before. Vegita stepped in and interjected.
    "She has a tail, boy. What does it look like?" he said rudely. Trunks looked up at his father, bewildered.
    "Natalie? S-she's a -?" he broke off.
    "Saiyan." Vegita finished for him. Trunks facefaulted and fell over.
    "Half Saiyan, actually." Bulma said, stepping in. "She's mixed, like you and Goten. BUT," she continued. "We don't know if she has all of the same traits as you two because she is mixed with a different race."
    "She doesn't transform." Vegita commented. "I wonder if she would go Super Saiyan." Bulma turned around, shooting him threatening looks.
    "Vegita I don't want you to train her. You'll work her too hard and she'll hurt herself." She said sternly. Vegita acted like he had no idea of what she was talking about.
    "What makes you think I was intent on doing that, anyway?" he argued back. Natalie glanced at Trunks with a dry expression. As if they could read each other's thoughts, they both headed upstairs, leaving the two bickering people behind. On the way up, Natalie made sure to stay behind Trunks to prevent him from grabbing her tail. Trunks walked into his room, followed by Natalie. He looked up at her, watching her tail twitch.
    "How does it feel?" he asked, studying it curiously.
    "Weird...but natural." She replied.
    "It all makes sense now." Trunks said. "I used to wonder why you liked to fight so much, and why it came so naturally to you. Now I know."
    "What does this mean for me?" she asked. "Am I going to be different with a tail? What am I going to do at school?" she belted out question after question.
    "Mine was removed at birth." Trunks replied. "I don't know a thing about them." He could see the worried look on her face. Suddenly, her eyes welled up with tears and she began sobbing.
    "I'm so confused!" she cried, tears streaming down her face. Trunks held the shaky girl in his arms, trying to calm her down. "Why can't I just be normal?" she said in between sobs. Bulma and Vegita, whom had obviously reconciled, walked by, observing the distressed Saiyan girl.
    "Is she okay?" Bulma asked, walking into the room and standing next to the crying Natalie. Trunks shook his head sadly, shrugging his shoulders. Vegita looked o as his son held the girl in his arms. He grumbled and walked further down the hall to the master bedroom. "We're heading to bed. Call us if you need anything." Bulma said, kissing her son on the forehead. She glanced down at Natalie with sorrow in her eyes and left the room, shutting the door quietly behind her. When she entered her room at the end of the hall, Vegita was leaning against the wall, obviously ticked off.
    "What's wrong?" she asked.
    "Nothing." He muttered. Bulma became annoyed and crossed her arms.
    "If you think that's going to convince me, you'd better try harder." She said. "Now really. What's bothering you?" she persisted.
    "Woman, if you're not going to leave me alone until I say something, then I'll tell you. Haven't you noticed? Our son has grown fond of the girl." He replied, looking into her eyes with a distraught look in his own. Bulma stepped back in surprise.
    "Vegita he's just watching out for her, that's all!" Bulma replied.
    "Oh is that all? Well maybe you haven't noticed the way he looks at her, or they way they touch." He said, getting worked up.
    "Oh, Vegita." Bulma said, walking over to her mate. "He's growing up. It's going to happen whether we want it to or not." She said, running her hand down his back.
    "It's sickening. I don't like it at all." He continued.
    "Well let's get some rest. Worrying won't get us anywhere tonight." Bulma said, lying down on the bed and slipping under the covers. Vegita grunted and joined her, flipping the light switch on his way.
    Meanwhile, in Trunks' room, Natalie had managed to calm down for the most part. She was still a bit shaky, but otherwise, she was fine.
    "Trunks I'm sorry." Natalie said, running a hand through her brown hair, looking somewhat frustrated.
    "Natalie you don't have to apologize. I've grown up knowing I was different. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be hit with something like that all at once." Trunks said reassuringly. She looked up at him, her eyes still watery from crying.
    "Thank you for understanding." She said, leaning towards him slowly. She rested her head on his shoulder softly, sighing with relief. It had been a long day. She had a way of recovering from incidents like this quickly, but they would always come back to haunt her. A chill ran down her spine and she shuddered. There was something...something there. She didn't know what it was, but her instincts told her to turn around. She did so, seeing nothing but the west wall of Trunks' room.
    "What is it?" Trunks asked, looking down at her.
    "I-I don't know. There's something very close...I can sense it." She said, this time standing up and looking around the room. She ran out on the balcony and scanned the outside. Her tail twitched anxiously. Trunks followed her outside and placed a hand on her shoulder, causing her to jump.
    "Natalie?" he asked, stepping next to her and looking into her eyes, now wide with fear.
    "Can't you feel it?" She asked, her eyes darting around at the slightest movement, the softest rustling of tree branches, the tiniest gust of wind. The hairs on her neck stood in end as if a sudden chill had embraced her body. Trunks looked around as well, confused with the situation.
    "There's nothing out there." Trunks said. "Come inside, Nat, you're scaring yourself." He begged, putting a hand on her back and giving her a nudge towards the inside. She took one final glance around the yard and gave in, following Trunks inside. She shut the door to the balcony behind her, and spun around to face inward. She gasped in horror as a figure stood before her, grinning evilly.
    "ORION!" she cried, backing against the wall. Orion said nothing, but proceeded to fold his arms and laugh mockingly. She covered her ears to keep the noise out of her head. It continued to reverberate around the room, filling the entire building with its evil tone. She screamed an ear splitting scream, falling to the floor. Trunks stood in a daze, not moving. Natalie glanced up just as Orion charged a blast, hurling it toward the young Saiyan warrior. Trunks didn't even flinch as the energy slammed into his body, producing a gaping hole in his chest. He looked at Natalie one final time before falling to the floor, dead. She let out an exasperated cry, her eyes wide in horror. She opened her mouth and released the loudest, most shrill cry ever emitted from her body. The only thing she could see was Trunks' dead body, lying on the floor without movement. She continued to scream while Orion's laugh penetrated her skull, driving her insane. She forced her eyes shut, still seeing Trunks lying on the floor in his own blood. She raised her head to the sky, crying out to the stars. Orion stood, his face twisted in an evil smile as he laughed the all-familiar laugh.
    Natalie's body jumped up and she opened her eyes, focusing on the world around her. She felt strong arms around her, holding her down. She screamed once more, trying to break free. When her eyes finally adjusted, she looked around her world. She was in Trunks' room, but everything was intact. He eyes raced to locate Trunks' body lying on the floor, but there was nothing. She inhaled sharply, trying to make sense of the situation.
    "Natalie." A soothing voice said.
    "What!?" she cried, trembling violently.
    "Natalie wake up." The voice continued. It was Trunks' voice! Trunks' arms were around her! She turned to see his face, looking at her, deeply concerned. She broke down into more uncontrollable sobbing as Trunks held her still. She could hear Vegita and Bulma talking, standing next to her. They sounded worried. She could still hear Orion's laugh, ringing in her ears. Trunks' dead body remained fresh in her mind.
    "She's having a nightmare..." she could hear Bulma's voice echo through her head. Natalie fought to keep breathing, her chest burning in protest. She thought that she would explode with anguish and pain. Finally, after a few minutes, she had finally passed out and gone completely limp in Trunks' arms. If it weren't for her heart beating incredibly fast, she would've appeared to be dead. The three stood there, watching the girl as her body tried to return to the rhythmic patterns of life.
    "What do you suppose brought this on?" Bulma said to Vegita, who was staring at the young girl intently.
    "There's something eating at her. You can see it." Vegita replied. "We need to figure out where these clones are coming from. They may be the source of this confusion." Bulma looked at her husband in shock. All she had expected in reply was a simple grunt or "Hmph". She glanced over at Trunks, who had an equally surprised expression on his face. Vegita proceeded to leave the room, returning to the master bedroom. Bulma glanced over at the clock on the wall. It was almost midnight. She and Vegita had awakened when they heard the screams. Natalie stirred in her sleep, letting out a slight cry.
    "Trunks just get her into her room and make sure she gets to sleep. We'll deal with this in the morning." Bulma said, leaning on the wall for support. This whole ordeal was very tiresome and draining. Trunks grunted in reply as Bulma walked out of the room.
    "I swear." She thought to herself. "He acts more and more like Vegita every day."

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Chapter 9 - Encounter

    Natalie could vaguely feel her body resting on the bed. To her, it was like floating. Floating in a vast emptiness. She could sense Trunks' presence next to her.
    "I have to protect them." She thought, the world flowing through her mind like water. "I can't let this evil consume their world." She knew what she had to do. She would leave this place. She would find Orion, and she would destroy him. She loved Trunks dearly, but she couldn't ignore this threat anymore. She would sacrifice her life for him. Natalie could feel a tear run down her cheek and land on the pillow resting beneath her head. She slowly opened her eyes, bringing her body back to reality. Trunks lay next to her, sleeping. She stroked his hair, looking at him sorrowfully.
    "I'm so sorry." She said, sadness consuming her soul. But she had a mission. She had to protect them. She arose slowly, making sure now to disturb the sleeping Trunks. Dressed in nothing more than her back training clothes, she pulled her flowing brown hair into a ponytail. Another tear slid down her face and landed softly on the ground. Her nylon pants rustled when she moved, causing Natalie to use more careful movements. She couldn't let them know she was leaving, for they would try to stop her. When she had pulled on her training shoes, she walked towards the balcony door. She looked back at Trunks, still sleeping, and kissed him softly on the forehead. With that, she slipped outside quietly, shutting the door behind her. She stood out on the balcony, looking up at the night sky. She inhaled the cool, night air, preparing herself. Her nerves shook, telling her to turn around and go back inside.
    "No." she said. "I have to do this." She leaned over the railing, looking down at the ground. Her ki flared, forming a yellow aura around her body. Her tail twitched in anticipation, and she lifted herself onto the rails. She stood, looking out at the sleeping world. Slowly but surely, she floated into the air, her hair blowing in the mild wind that her ki produced. When she had reached a safe distance from the Capsule Corp. building, she allowed her aura to expand, energy surging through her body. She then took off across the sky like a comet, leaving a blazing trail of power behind her. She didn't know exactly where she was heading but she knew her senses would guide her. Orion was nearby, and she could feel it. She had felt ever since that day, when she sat alone in her room. That's when she knew he was alive.
    Natalie stopped when she reached the rural area. Making sure that there was nobody around, she shot straight up, towards the sky. The wind surged past her, giving her a feeling of incredible freedom. Freedom that she couldn't possess. When she was a good 3 miles above the earth, she slowed her pace, continuing on until she stopped, looking down at the tops of the clouds. She then allowed her whole body to relax, or as close to relaxation as she could maintain. She closed her eyes and concentrated.
    "Orion! Show yourself!" she cried out. She could feel an evil presence about her. Then there was the laughter. The laughter that had caused so many nightmares, so much terror.
    "So you've finally decided to join me Carina." The evil voice said. It echoed through the sky, sending a chill down her spine. She looked around, trying to locate the source.
    "Orion you can take me, but leave the earth out of this!" she said in response. Suddenly, a shadowy figure emerged from the cloud, talking on the form of Orion himself. As he approached her, she fought to keep control of her body. She so desperately wanted to get away, to return to the safe haven of Capsule Corp, but she knew that she couldn't abandon this now. Orion stood, a mere two feet away from her, his arms folded and an evil smile on his face. Natalie forced herself to look away.
    "What's the matter, princess?" he asked, reaching out a hand and pulling her chin towards him. Her eyes were full of fear as she looked at him. "Do you fear me?" he said. She trembled as he held her chin in his hand. Her tail twitched nervously and Orion's eyes widened when he saw it. "What is THAT?" he asked, looking down at it menacingly.    
    "It's a -" she broke off. "It's a tail." She replied. Orion growled angrily.
    "So you have a tail?" he asked, looking back into her eyes. She nodded her head fearfully. A gust of wind blew past them, blowing her hair around while it passed. Orion laughed softly. He grabbed her hand suddenly and his brilliant aura appeared, enveloping his body in it's bright light. Natalie closed her eyes, awaiting whatever fate had in store for her.

    Vegita awoke with a start. His heart was pounding so loudly that he was sure it would awaken his wife. He put his hand to his forehead, wiping off the beads of cold sweat that had appeared in his sleep. He could sense it. The power was intense. Suddenly, the thought registered in his mind.
    "Oh shit! The girl!" he cried, jumping out of bed and racing down the hall to Trunks' room. Seeing it empty, he headed to Natalie's. He swung open the door to reveal Trunks sleeping on the bed. Natalie was nowhere to be seen. Vegita clenched his fists and cursed under his breath. His sharp increase in power caused Trunks to awaken as well.
    "Huh? What's going on?" he said, sitting up. He looked up at is father, who was looking out at the balcony. Noticing the absence of Natalie almost immediately, he opened his mouth to speak.
    "She's gone." Vegita replied, as if he had read Trunks' mind. Trunks felt the sudden surge of power in the distance and his eyes widened.
    "Oh no..." he trailed off and jumped up from the bed, powering up.
    "Don't!" Vegita shouted at his son. "We don't even know what's going on yet...let's wake up your mother." He said and ran down the hall for Bulma. A few moments later, Bulma was awakened and dragged to the science wing where she groggily searched for the enhanced scouters.
    "I don't know what you want these for..." she said, poking her head into a cabinet. "It isn't going to tell you WHAT the source of the power is."
    "Just get them, woman." Vegita said hastily. Bulma rolled her eyes and continued, locating a green-tinted one. Pulling it out, she tossed it to her husband.
    "Here." She said, standing up and brushing herself off. Trunks stood in the corner, hardly keeping himself still. Vegita put on the scouter and pressed the main button on the side. The scouter bleeped and displayed several numeric readings.
    "No, stupid piece of junk!" Vegita shouted at the scouter. "I don't want to see Kakarott's power level!" He continued to press the main button on the side until it displayed two powers. One was fairly strong, the other enormous. "I've found her." Vegita said, staring into the tinted piece of glass.
    "Let me see!" Trunks said, jumping up and ripping the scouter off of Vegita. The Saiyan prince was about to protest when he caught a glance from Bulma that warned him not to. Trunks put on the scouter and located the two ki's. He almost fell over when he saw the power reading on the second ki. If his mother hadn't enhanced this scouter, it would have surely exploded by now. Before Bulma or Vegita could protest, Trunks tore off the scouter and took off, not even bothering to open the door before he flew through it. Vegita cursed under his breath and followed, leaving an annoyed Bulma behind.
    "Oh well. I guess you get used to it when you marry the prince of an extinct warrior race." She said, and slumped onto one of the chairs.
    Trunks hurled through the sky at an amazing speed, with only one thing on his mind.
    "Why did she do this?" he thought to himself as he whizzed through the clouds. He was angry with her for leaving, but he knew she had reasoning behind her motives. Suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks. He could see the blinding light at a distance, and knew she was there.
    "Natalie!" he cried, racing towards the scene.
    Orion sensed Trunks presence at once. He snapped his head around, locating the light of his ki.
    "So you set a trap?" Orion said, turning back to Natalie.
    "No! I had no idea that he knew where I was!" she said, trying not to get the boy killed. "Please don't harm him. Just take me." She said desperately. An evil smile appeared on Orion's face and he grabbed her by the shoulders, sending out a huge shock wave of power. The wave tried to knock Trunks back, but he persisted, getting closer. He could see Natalie. But who was that with her? Trunks sped up, making out a figure. No...It couldn't be! Trunks narrowed his eyes in rage, increasing his speed. When he was within 20 feet of the two, the light began to grow infinitely, becoming painfully bright. Natalie looked over at him with horror in her eyes as she was enveloped in the bright light. Just before she disappeared, she reached up a hand and ripped off one of her silver star earrings, throwing it to Trunks. Then, she screamed an ear splitting scream and disappeared into the night sky. The light exploded, hurling outward several miles. It lit up the entire sky and then subsided just as quickly, leaving behind no evidence that it was ever there. Trunks blinked several times, trying to focus on his surroundings. When his sight returned, he saw that Natalie was gone. He thrashed about, trying to locate her presence. He couldn't even feel her ki. Enraged, Trunks let out a deafening yell, exploding into a huge ball of energy. His hair turned gold, his eyes green. The massive surge of power knocked back the stunned Vegita. He looked up to see his son, fists clenched, exploding into USSJ.
    "Shit. This isn't supposed to happen!" Vegita cursed and headed towards Trunks. The young Saiyan boy didn't even notice his father approach as anger filled him, causing him to become insanely powerful. Vegita faded out and appeared in front of him.
    "Trunks! Stop!" he shouted. Trunks didn't even acknowledge his words and continued to emit an enormous amount of energy. Seeing no other alternative, Vegita powered up to super Saiyan and confronted Trunks once more. This time, the boy noticed his father and looked on, eyes narrowed in complete exasperation. He saw the look in Vegita's eyes and calmed himself down considerable, yet still remaining in the super Saiyan stage.
    "Boy there was nothing you could have done." Vegita said, putting a hand Trunks' shoulder. "Now we have to focus on finding her." Trunks clenched his fist and then opened it to reveal Natalie's earring. Seeing this caused Trunks to break down again. He was positively angered,
    "It was Orion." Trunks said through clenched teeth. His rage was boiling inside of him as he fought to stay under control. Vegita looked as his son in doubt.   
    "He's dead." was the only thing that escaped Vegita's lips. Trunks looked at his father with a reassuring look.
    "He's alive. I saw him. That bastard is going to pay with his life." Trunks said. He was desperately trying to locate Natalie's ki, but it was nowhere to be found. He would head back to Capsule Corp. for the scouters.

    Natalie awoke slowly, her head throbbing in pain. She took in a breath of icy air, causing her to gasp in pain.
    "Where am I?" she said aloud. Her voice echoed back to her. It sounded so far away, yet close. A chill ran down her spine. Suddenly, she remembered what had happened. Orion had taken her somewhere. Had she done the right thing? There was no helping her now as she sat alone. The whole world was dark. She could see nothing, hear nothing, only her rapid breathing. Suddenly, something caused her power to surge. The force caused her to claw the ground in pain, trying to keep herself under control. She screamed as the energy surged through her body. Then, the pain left as quickly as it had come. She was now sitting still again, with nothingness around her. No sound could be heard except for her breathing, which had increased. She called out to Orion.
    "Miss me?" he said, his voice echoing as well. The sound caused Natalie to jump. She still couldn't see anything, just black nothingness.
    "Where am I?" she cried, her tail swishing back and forth. Then, it hit something. Something hard and strong. She spun around in reaction, and though she still couldn't see, she felt around on the ground with her hands until she reached it. "What is it?" she wondered. She felt it, running her hand upward. It was smooth in texture, like metal. Then, it stopped. Next there was some kind of material, like fabric of some nature. Suddenly, she stopped, realizing that it was Orion's leg. She jumped back five feet, grasping her hand as if she had just touched acid. Her eyes darted around wildly, desperately trying to locate the figure.
    "Oh, did I scare you?" Orion laughed mockingly.
    "He loves doing this to me." Natalie thought bitterly. She struggled to her feet, waving her arms around in the air. She accidentally stumbled forward, falling into Orion's arms. She tried to pull away at once but was kept in place by his strong grip.
    "Orion let me go." She said firmly. She wasn't going to plead this time. She wasn't going to be his weak little princess any more. He obeyed, releasing her. She fell backward, inhaling sharply. "Where am I?" she repeated, this time speaking directly to him.
    "That's not important." Orion said. She could hear him shifting, probably folding his arms. "What is important is that you're here with me." Natalie shuddered. She wanted so desperately to get out of there. But she didn't even know where "there" was. She forced herself to speak, her voice quivering.
    "Why do you want me so badly?" she asked. "Can't you see that I like it on Earth? Why won't you just leave me alone?" Orion narrowed his eyes.
    "Princess, you love Earth because it's the only home you've known." Orion started. "If you come with me, you would have anything and everything. With that perspective, Earth would be nothing more than a grain of sand in the hourglass." He said. Natalie was becoming angry with him for taking her home so lightly.
    "I don't want that perspective! I have everything I could possibly want." She argued. "If you really want the best for me, you will leave me and the earth alone. There are plenty of other things out there for you to pursue."
    "It's your destiny to be with me!" Orion said, almost shouting at the girl. "Have you forgotten your past?"
    "I don't want that past! I am Natalie. I'm not princess Carina of Vela or anything else." She shouted back.
    "But you ARE Carina." Orion said. Suddenly, the room lit up, startling her. She blinked her eyes and looked around. She could see Orion standing before her, his arms crossed. "Look at yourself!" he said. Natalie looked down at her hands. She was still the same person. Tears began to stream down her face and she looked up at Orion.
    "I won't let you do this to me!" she cried. She was finished with trying to negotiate with him. She stood up, preparing to attack him, when her ki surged again, causing her to double over in pain. She gritted her teeth and tried to stand, only falling onto the floor.
    "No, no, no, princess." He said. "Not this time. I took this into consideration before I returned to earth." She looked up at him, enraged. Suddenly, she felt something on the back of her neck. She reached for it, her ki surging again. "It's this great little device that locks onto a person's ki and controls it." Orion explained.
    "Get this off me, NOW!" she screamed, trying to power up. Unfortunately, Orion wouldn't allow it.
    "I'll remove it as soon as you decide to join me." He said.
    "Then I guess it's staying on." She said bitterly. Orion laughed at her fate.
    "Stubborn, I see. No matter. I'll change that." He said, stepping closer to her. She backed away, looking at him threateningly.
    "Don't touch me." She said in a low, menacing tone.
    "My, my. Aren't we feisty tonight?" he said. Suddenly, he lurched forward and grabbed her neck. She tried to pull away but there was no use in trying. He then placed his palm to her forehead. Then, his hand started to glow intensely. Natalie's eyes widened in terror and she used all of her strength to try to escape, but Orion held on. Soon, her whole body went numb. One by one, her senses started to dissipate. She couldn't move, even if she had a chance of getting away. Another tear slid down her cheek and onto Orion's hand. He looked down at it and then back into her eyes, smiling evilly. This was the last thing she saw.