Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z

Umi and the Great Dragon Father

by Devon_Aster 0 reviews

Every culture has a story of where they came from, a myth of how their people began. This is one for the Namek-jin.

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama, Fantasy - Characters: Other - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2006-06-08 - Updated: 2006-06-09 - 2514 words - Complete

Author's Note: This piece was written a while ago as I wondered what sort of creation myth the Nameks would have. If I did my job well, it should read like a mythic piece. I chose a different style of writing this in terms of dialogue. Hopefully, it will create the tone I was going for.

Disclaimer: DragonBall and DragonBall Z were created by Akira Toriyama and is copyright © Toei Animation and FUNimation. No infringement is intended.

Umi and the Great Dragon Father

A great dragon rode the silent winds of endless space. His emerald scales sparked in the starlight, his long back undulating through the dust. Weaving among the stars, his dark eyes searched. Searched... searched for a place to rest, for he was old and weary. His heart was heavy within him. The eternal expanse of night was lonely and void of life.

Ancient eyes searched...

Until the dragon spotted a planet nestled between three suns and two moons. A world of lush vegetation that knew no dark or cold. Surely this place must be home to other spirits, the dragon thought, souls he could commune with.

The dragon landed upon the ground, shaking the nearby trees from their slumber. His sharp talons dug into the rich soil. The bright sky was yellow-green and the waving grass was blue. The breeze carried on it the scents of many flowers and fruits.

But it was silent. There was no one.

The dragon raised his head in an anguished cry to the heavens. Would he never be free of this terrible ache?

And the heavens answered: Yes, but at great price. Love and create. You cannot find in the void what is within the heart.

The dragon did not understand, so he rested his head on the ground, intending to die there.

Eons and eons passed and still the dragon did not move.

Eventually, he was so weak from hunger and thirst, he knew that his life would soon end. And as the dragon closed his eyes to accept death, a tiny thing began to crawl in front of his nose.

The dragon opened one large eye and fixed his stare upon the creature.

It was a snail. Brilliant green with an ivory shell.

The dragon became enraged and his eyes burned red. How dare this puny creature mock him in his last hour? To come so late that death was already cooling his blood and bones!

So the dragon roared and reared up on his hindquarters. He clawed the air with slashing talons and shook the ground with mighty thumps of his tail. Then he swooped down and devoured the creature.

Alas! The moment it was done the dragon knew his sin. Out of rage and bitterness, he had taken life, the only other life he had seen in all the ages.

How could he have done such a thing? To crush so quickly what had taken this planet so long to give birth to? For the universe to create?

Large tears fell from the dragon's eyes and he mourned bitterly, crying to the heavens: Take me, take me and give back the life I stole!

But the heavens frowned and despaired: Life, once taken, cannot be re-given. Only birth can fill the void of death.

The dragon paced the surface of the planet. His muzzle dragged the ground and his tail scraped hollows in the earth. The tears from his eyes flowed into the trenches left behind. And he pondered. How? How could he bring birth from death?

In time he came to a magnificent lake and lowered his face to the waters, to divine an answer there. He peered deeper and deeper into the fathoms. Then he drank the waters and knew!

He could draw his own life, his own joy, into another. This dragon, with powers hidden deep for he had believed there to be no reason to use them, knew what he could do.

Concentrating his mind, he drew from his heart his most precious memories, his greatest joys... ah but found them lacking. What more could he give?

He looked at the world around him, its colors and lights, warmth and smells, found joy and peace in them and brought them together. He thought of the brilliant emerald and smooth ivory of the snail and added them as well.

Then deep within, these things united, binding and creating. The dragon imbued this creation with all he knew as holy and pure. And he waited. Waited, days slipped away, but never did he become impatient, not wishing to taint this new life with malice or evil.

A year passed.

And the dragon felt a surge in his heart. He gave a great heave and from his mouth fell a perfect oval egg. He fixed his gaze on the fragile shell, sensing the life it contained.

The shell dried and cracked and from between the fissures came a hand, then a foot, kicking away the prison that concealed it. A small form struggled out onto the soft grass.

Its arms were smooth and as green as the snail had been. It had pointed, delicate ears and slanting eye ridges. Twin antennae bobbed as it raised its head. Large, black eyes peered into the dragon's own and it grinned.

The dragon recoiled in surprise, for its child had the fangs of a predator. The child frowned at this disapproval and the dragon quickly spoke: Do not be upset. I had wished for you to know nothing but happiness and peace. Yet, have I tainted you before your birth?

The child did not speak for it knew no words, only impressions and feelings.

The dragon sighed and gathered the tiny child close, warming it with his own body. He said: Rest now and tomorrow I will show you your world.

Years flowed on and as the dragon promised, every tomorrow he showed this child something new. He gave it what love and peace he could and cherished this life.

But soon the child was not a child any longer, but well formed and strong. Its body was long and lithe, its emerald skin shiny in the constant sunlight. Its mind was full of curiosity, but quiet and deep.

One day it sat upon the beach, next to the rolling sea, and looked into the eyes of its dragon-father. It said: Great Father, what is my name? You have told me of the stars, of oceans of night and water. Of eons and eternity. Of plants and earth. Of all things holy. Yet you call me by no name.

And the dragon answered in his rumbling voice: Child, what need we of names? We are the life of this planet, this universe. Should we divide ourselves, our intimate companionship, with names which are as ephemeral as mist and wind?

The child thought and replied: Did not the heavens hear your cry, Great Father, so many years ago? Was there not another before me, for whom you created me to follow?

The dragon looked closely at his child and wondered, for he had not spoken of these things. He asked: Where did you hear this, Child? What dreams are you speaking of?

The child said: No dreams, your memories. They float about my mind as the clouds do in the sky.

Then the dragon mourned and sighed and said: Oh Child, I would have spared you such things. I wished to give you only joy and peace. What have I left in you, to tarnish your soul?

The child looked away and did not speak again for many days. When it did, it asked again: Great Father, what is my name?

And the dragon responded: Since you know of the sin I have committed, I will give you a name to honor life.

He breathed upon his child, granting the separation which names must give and called this being Umi.

Many more years passed and the dragon continued to bestow the wisdom of ages on his child and to speak plainly of that which he avoided before. Umi grew ever stronger, sleek and slim.

And one day, as Umi stood upon the beach and looked into the sparkling sea, it said: Oh Great Father, I am lonely.

The dragon swirled the sand with a talon and questioned: How can you be lonely, Umi? Am I not here from day to day?

Umi answered quietly: You are a dragon and I am not. There is no other such as me.

The dragon blew upon the waters, angered and unsettled. And he grumbled: Am I not enough then, Umi? Must you seek those so akin to you?

Umi did not speak, but nodded.

The dragon thumped his mighty tail, shaking the ground, and said: I will not give you the power to do so. I will not, for what you seek you will not find in the places you look. Do not repeat my mistake!

But Umi did not bend to this reasoning.

For days this impasse stood, dividing Father and Child. The dragon saw Umi would not recant, so he relinquished his anger and felt a great sadness for his child. Then he breathed upon Umi and granted it the power to make more of its like.

Umi settled on the dry sand and the great dragon watched. He sensed the spark of new life burst into being within his child and they waited... waited

Two days came and went as the spark grew into a strong spirit. At last, it pushed its way into the world of its creator. The dragon cried at his child's pain, for the egg was large and not easy to free. Umi bent over and set the ivory oval on the ground, finding happiness in spite of its hurt, watching for signs.

They came quickly. The shell cracked and shattered, delivering forth a new being. This child looked as Umi did and thought as Umi did. Over months and months, it would grow as Umi did.

Umi smiled and the dragon knew his child was pleased. He listened as Umi granted this new being the name Nama.

Umi said: For it is the first of my own.

The dragon shook his great head, but did not speak his troubled thoughts.

Umi taught its child as the dragon had taught Umi before. And the dragon saw that Nama grew more quickly and knew more than Umi had at its own birth.

Days and months and years carried on.

The dragon looked on in sorrow as Umi brought forth more and more of its own. Each of those brought forth their own, filling the land in which they lived. The dragon could now see the taint he had given Umi's soul and how it spread and grew in the others.

For it was not long before certain names became favored over the rest. For strife to begin between two and grow until it swallowed many. For arrogance and pride to sneak into speech and thought.

Finally, the dragon approached its child and said: Umi! Umi! You cannot let this be! Yours have become divided and lost. You must guide them back.

And Umi replied: Back to you, Great Father? Must you take them from me? Will you be so cruel to leave me alone?

But the dragon shook his head. He had not meant to take them away and he saw the fire in Umi's eyes. So the dragon urgently cried: Umi! Umi, they are lost! Bring them back to you, back to what you know!

And Umi said: Great father, do not distress so! For they know my heart and I would not wish them to be unhappy.

The dragon bowed his head and saw then, though Umi was foolish, his child cared for its own.

Many more years passed and the planet was ridden with anger. Umi's own would not be content anymore. They decried any favors Umi gave one over another and that they each gave over themselves. They supplicated and when Umi would not choose only one to be above all, they fell upon themselves in a rage.

Umi despaired and ran to the dragon, who was now beyond ancient and no longer moved from his place by the sea.

Umi fell to its knees and begged: Father, Great Father! My own have turned on themselves! They use their nails and fangs to tear their own flesh. Please Father, what have I done to wipe the joy and peace you gave to me from their hearts?

The dragon breathed softly on his child and said: Child, you have only given them the emptiness that was in yourself. The loneliness you felt was passed to them, so that they fight to pry from outside that which they should have found within.

And Umi cried, watering the sand with its bitter tears and asked: Oh Great Father, what can I do? How can I give them what they need?

The dragon replied: You cannot give them now what you did not have before.

Umi begged again: Great Father, please, how shall I save them? What of my life, all of my life, can I give for this?

And the dragon looked on Umi's sorrow and knew that Umi had begun to understand. So he breathed on his child again and said: You must give them all that you have, all that you can find in your heart for them. But it will take time for them to learn.

Umi wept for its own, for those who would be lost before this mistake could be corrected.

The dragon rose from his place on the beach, rippling his old muscles and knowing that there was one last thing he could do to help his child. He said: Umi, Umi, I must go. But I will leave you something more valuable in my place.

Umi shook its head and responded: How can anything match your wisdom, Great Father?

The dragon rumbled deep in his chest. He replied: I will give your own the means to survive the tragedy that is on them. But it will take all my strength and I will pass beyond your senses.

Umi asked: Must you go, Great Father? You would leave me alone?

The dragon shook his head and said: No, no you will not be alone. You must give yourself to them and they to you. I will go to rest. Perhaps someday, you will find a way to awaken me again.

Then the dragon stood, stretching his neck to the heavens and drew in a breath that lasted a day. Then he exhaled, the air rushing out and over the planet, over Umi and its own.

The dragon watched as new skin formed over Umi, the emerald becoming rippled and ringed around tough armor plates. Watched as new power settled onto his child to protect and heal, such power which was divided among his child's own.

And the dragon faded as he fell, eyes closing and mind slipping away, having passed on his final gifts.
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