Heyo, everyone! I'm here today with a Dragon Ball Xenoverse story! Since the 'main character' of this game is user created, @Idoro has been kind enough to let me borrow his character, Zucchinia. Everyone say hello (and possibly goodbye) to our guest of honor! Spoiler: A story starring me? About time! She's an angsty teen Saiyan. Just... dwell on that for a bit. With that out of the way, let's get this party started! ====== "One, and two! One, and two!" This was so dumb. "One, and two! One, and two!" This was so, so dumb. "One and two and work those glutes and one..." Zucchinia - usually just referred to as Z to stop idiots from massacring the name - was a member of the fabled Time Patrol. Her duty was to right any wrongs caused by evil forces messing with causality, physically if need be. She was an eternal protector, one which existence itself would collapse without. ...At least, in theory. Technically, as a fairly new recruit, she was roughly as vital to the Time Patrol as the man who shovels french fries into cardboard sleeves is to a fast food chain. But dammit, she was going to be one of the best! She could just feel it! Which made this joke of a 'training regiment' all the more infuriating to her. "One and two and keep up the rythym and one..." Zucchinia blew a lock of her wild, brown hair out of her eyes as she assumed yet another silly pose, following the lead of her 'tutor'. One plus of this profession was that you could learn damn near anything from the best that ever were; great warriors could be pulled from alternate timelines to serve as personal trainers and pass on their signature techniques. Zucchinia had heard from many sources that Captain Ginyu was an especially good tutor, and his lessons were in fact an absolute must for Saiyans such as herself. They never gave her any details, though. She supposed that now she knew why. "One and two and streeeetch!" She had gone through every lesson he had to offer, and all they had done was these dumb poses. She had even gone through the trouble of slipping on one of those stupid Frieza Force Battle Armor outfits instead of her usual getup to do this training, and still got nothing out of it. No hidden techniques, no combat strategies, just circus clown antics over and over. This was supposedly the final 'lesson', and it seemed to be going exactly the same. Sure, maybe in some abstract way it made her more nimble or flexible, but this purple goof wasn't yanked out of the ether to teach goddamn yoga. "Aaaand done!" Ginyu struck one final pose; Both arms straight out to his side, with one leg pulled up so that the knee touched his stomach. This particular stance was used to signify the beginning - and end - of every lesson. This time though Zucchinia did not return it. Instead the Saiyan crossed her arms and shot a glare at her 'teacher', her amethyst eyes all but boring into his bulbous head. "What's the matter, Zucchini?" Ginyu asked, still holding his position perfectly. "Getting too tough for you?" Alright, that was it. Zucchinia did not have much in the way of patience - even by Saiyan standards - and this farce had gone on long enough. "Too tough?" Zucchinia spat incredulously. "Too tough? The only thing you're testing is my oath not to kill you, broccoli-head! My job is fixing temporal problems, and even I can't get back the time you've stolen from me with this nonsense!" Zucchinia walked up to the still posing Ginyu and stared him dow... well, up since she was smaller, but the general idea was there. "Do you know how many people said you'd be able to teach me something good? Any idea at all? You must be the biggest in-joke in the entire Time Patrol! One I don't think you even realize!" Zucchinia spun and began to stomp out of the training room, but stopped short as she heard the purple prick speak up. "...So you want to learn something, eh?" -=- Alright, maybe she was a bit hasty to judge. Filling up all the lessons with nonsense unless you spoke up was actually kind of clever. The real spoils went to those who could be assertive, and Zucchinia certainly fell into that camp! So now Ginyu was going to show her how to do one of his secret techniques, something called the "Holstein Shock". She wasn't familiar with it, but the very least it sounded cool. "Now raise your right hand..." Ginyu lectured, doing so himself while talking to lead by example, "...and focus your ki into it. Not to throw. Just cram as much as you possibly can between your fingers and palm." Zucchinia followed along, feeling a certain degree of pride that her concentrated energy was clearly much more intense than that of her 'teacher'. It was obvious to her that by the time this lesson was over, she would be better at this than the putz who actually came up with it. "Good. Now, bring that hand against your chest." Zucchinia did as she was told, laying her hand against herself as if making a prayer. "Noooo..." Ginyu chided. "Harder." Puzzled, Zucchinia brought the hand back and tapped it against herself. "Still no. Harder." Zucchinia was starting to get frustrated now. What was even the point of this? Some sort of energy-boost technique? In any case, maybe if she whumped i- "What are you doing?" Ginyu asked, aggravation seeping into his voice. "What kind of Saiyan is this soft? Harder!" Now incensed to show this mutant what she was made of Zucchinia threw all reserves to the wind; drawing back her arm fully, then slamming it into her chest with all the force she could muster. Well, she did show him who was soft. And also what she was made of. -=- Zucchinia crumpled against her own blow, sinking to her knees as her hand bore through her armor like it was nothing and lodged in the body beneath. The wind was knocked out of her lungs from the strike, but that was the least of her worries. She was almost sure that she was actually touching one of them. She gave a couple tugs, but besides the shocks of agony sent throughout her system her arm did not move an inch. It seemed that gentleness would get her nowhere here. Already sweating from pain and panic, Zucchinia tried her best to ignore the fact that she could feel her own racing heart as she braced to do what had to be done. With a brutal pull and a terrible RRRIP, Zucchinia pulled her hand from her torso in one mighty motion. Crimson arced from her stained fist as it flew, slightly spattering a nearby wall and a slightly amused Ginyu. The Saiyan let loose a roar of pain during the act, but it died down to ragged panting as she fell forward onto her hands and knees. A pool of blood began to form underneath her, the obvious side effect of her now gaping wound. "What..." Zucchinia half-asked, half growled through clenched teeth, "was the point... of that?" "Simple." Ginyu replied, squatting down to be on his student's level. Only now did Zucchinia notice that, while he led by example with the charging portion of the move, he did not actually follow through with his own self-strike. "This lets me soften myself up, so that when I switch bodies with someone they'll be left with something weakened while I'm just fine." Zucchinia managed a pained smile as she looked up at the Captain, her teeth stained pink. "O-oh. I get i-it? You're going to t-teach me that move now?" Chuckling, Ginyu rose back to full height." "No." With a kick to the side of the head Zucchinia went tumbling, eventually hitting a wall in a sprawl. "Already got this all set up how I want it." -=- Zucchinia, coughing and dazed, tried her best to lift herself up using the wall she had collided against for support. She wasn't making terribly much progress, but her ever helpful teacher was there to give her a helping hand. To her throat. The strong, purple fingers of his right hand closing around her neck, Ginyu lifted her up so that her legs kicked weakly in the air and against the surface behind her. Zucchinia pawed at the hold to no avail, wheezing as her air was almost completely cut off. "Why..." the trainee managed to get out, before a brief squeeze cut her off with a squeak. "You wanted a lesson, Zucchini..." Ginyu replied, his eyes hard despite his goofy little smile. "...and now you're getting it." "M-my name isn'-" WHUMP Zucchinia coughed, letting out a small crimson mist, as Ginyu's free hand balled into a fist and punched her in the gut. "Lesson 1: Never underestimate your opponent. An enemy does not need to be stronger than you at your best if they can trick you into being weaker than them." The fist drew back only to plunge in with doubled force. The wall the cadet was pushed up against cracked behind her, a telling sign of what her organs must have been going through. "Lesson 2: Everyone is a potential opponent. The very worst attacks you will ever face will be from behind, by those you trust. If you are not prepared for them, then you are not prepared for anything. And lesson 3..." The fist reared back again, but 'mercifully' did not give the Saiyan's stomach another go. Instead it went higher, ramming into the bloody crater on her chest. As Zucchinia half-wailed, half vomited blood, Ginyu pulled her close to stare her right in the eyes. "...Don't cave in your own ribcage just because you're told to, you stupid monkey." Then he released his neck hold, and with a flick of the wrist aside shook the writhing Zucchinia off the hand impaling her like an annoying bug. -=- Zucchinia hit the ground badly, but did not waste any time lingering on that. It was clear that she was in a life-or-death struggle now. She had to get some distance, get some time to recover. Wincing and moaning, the cadet rolled onto her stomach and started to crawl away as fast as she could. For a surprisingly good handful of seconds she was left uninterrupted... but then a boot came down on the back of her head, smashing her face against the floor. Only now did she realize a very worrying problem with the outfit she had donned for this 'training': Like all standard Frieza Force Battle Armor kits, her outfit came with a scouter visor. She didn't really need one, but just to 'complete the look' she slapped it on alongside everything else. It was thus her need to look spiffy that earned her a face full of glass shards now; the visor shattering into jagged pieces upon impact, and tearing at her skin as Ginyu rolled her head around in it. After what seemed like an eternity the foot drew back... leaving Zucchinia only a moment of respite before Ginyu came down on her back with his full body weight, his humongous knee resting between her shoulderblades. Chuckling lightly to himself, the Captain took a handful of the Saiyan's scalp and pulled back until she arched enough to look directly up at him. "So..." Ginyu said, looking down at his battered 'apprentice' with a smirk. "What have we learned today, Zucchini?" -=- Zucchinia was in agony. Moving hurt. Breathing hurt. Living hurt. But she was still proud... perhaps to a fault. She could possibly have dealt with the beating. She could possibly have dealt with being tricked so badly. But at the least - the very least - this prancing idiot could get her name right. Calling upon reserves she didn't even know she had, Zucchinia put her palms to the floor and fired twin ki blasts. The sudden, massive kickback forced Ginyu off of her, as well as making him relinquish his hold. Rolling with with momentum the cadet flipped backwards, only to stop herself midair upside-down and facing Ginyu. Then, bringing her hands together in front of her, she began to charge for another blast. "My name... is not... ZUCCHINI!" -=- Ginyu had to hand it to her: That was a pretty clever move. It probably could have been a tide turner if she wasn't already running on fumes. As of now, though? The beam she mustered seared a little. Ginyu rose back to his feet and took the counterattack head-on; ki energy flowing across his body in a spectacular lightshow. Then, he took a step. Then another. Then another. He could have moved faster - be over there in an instant, actually - but this was better. He could see the Saiyan realize what was happening this way. Another step. The girl's brow, furrowed in rage, shifted into confusion. Another step. Her bestial cry of triumph faded away, into a damning silence. Another step. A small sniffle, as she fully came to terms with her immediate future. And now he was there. Lunging forward, Ginyu seized her arms and pulled them apart to break the focus and stop the beam. "Now now..." Ginyu chided, "...Don't go saying you're not a vegetable until we're done here." -=- What happened next was quick, and all the more brutal for it. Bringing one of his feet up, Ginyu kicked straight into Zucchinia's midsection while simultaneously pulling back on her arms. What resulted was a twin set of POPs as they were dislocated from their shoulder sockets, and a wail of agony from the hapless trainee. A wail that turned into a pitiful squeal as Ginyu directed her body downward and crushed it to the ground with a stomp. Turning around and mounting her, Ginyu began to lay into her in earnest with punches to the face. Her comparatively small body spasmed below him, twitching and seizing as her head bounced against the floor. Her cries degenerated from pleas, to whimpers, then to gurgles. "S...stop..." Ginyu paused for a moment, surprisingly enough seeming to actually consider the prospect. Then he leaned down to take her head in both of his hands, his beady black stare staring straight into her glassy, unfocused eyes." "What do we do, then?" "W... wha?" "C'mon, kid. Ya gotta remember at least this." Zucchinia stared up at her 'teacher' for a moment before it dawned on her; comprehension sweeping across her bruised, gashed face. Whimpering softly from the exertion the girl brought up one of her legs, the knee now touching against Ginyu's back as it could not physically go any higher with him in the way. This, coupled with her spread-eagled arms, created a trembling, prone version of a rather familiar pose. "D...done..." "Good girl." Ginyu said with a chuckle. "Looks like you can learn. Well then." Zucchinia's world spun, a wicked SNAP filling her ears as her body went mercifully numb. She stared down at the floor, drool dripping out of her slowly opening and closing mouth, trying to speak but finding no words. "Class dismissed" was the last thing she heard, before her eyes unfocused and everything went dark. -=- All things considered, that went pretty well. Ginyu walked away from the defeated Saiyan, not even looking back to watch her last spasms. Although amusing, it did not hold his interest quite as much as it used to. Being in a 'hub' from where all of time and it's alternate branches could be freely explored opened up... interesting possibilities. Some more obvious than others. For one, the fabled Dragon Balls were pitifully easy to collect and use. Even those weird Namekian ones, with no limit on resurrections. So, in this little slice of nowhere, death was rarely the end. Ginyu knew this personally. And had carved out a... niche. Everyone knew that Saiyans gained permanent boosts in power after fully recovering from sound beatings, their bodies rebounding spectacularly from near-death situations to once again confront whatever messed them up so bad in the first place. What few realized, however, was that said boost was relative to how close to death they actually came. And that 'actually dying' was a valid selection. Sure, it was nothing but dumb trivia anywhere else in the multiverse, but here? Where you could die on Friday and be back for work on Sunday? That opened up options. Ginyu had built a 'training regiment' specifically for those of Saiyan blood, one that he'd get a hell of a lot of fun out of while also promising a very significant boost to his apprentices. True, they did not actually know what they were getting into until it was too late. And few signed up for repeat lessons. But judging by the way they spread praise for him amongst their brethren, it seemed that they at least appreciated the result if nothing else. Speaking of which... Ginyu finally turned, to examine the broken body he had left lying in a puddle of herself. Occasionally a finger twitched lightly, but it was clear that she was stone cold dead. For the moment, of course. Given a quick trip to nab a wish, she'd be back up and as grating as ever soon enough. It was already noted that very few signed up for the program again. For very good reasons. But occasionally Ginyu stumbled across a cadet so engrossed with becoming the best that they'd subject themselves to this again and again, literally allowing themselves to be broken to revel in the power they gained when mended. Could this noisy little runt turn out to be one of those? She certainly had the attitude down pat... ...Ah, whatever. That would come when it comes. And there was really no need to rush things, either, since the Dragon Balls didn't care how long someone was pushing up daisies. Slowly taking in a breath of air, Ginyu focused and assumed his starting stance. Might as well get another personal session in. "One and two, one and two..."