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(Though this "if" doesn't preclude me actually writing it, maybe.)

Backstory that happens before the actual start of the story, to be revealed in flashback or exposition later:
- X centuries ago, Saiyajins sell out the Suponjin, their space-faring rivals/cousins (generations of intermarriage have been going on at all levels of society as a result of shared borders, trade routes, and peace treaties) by signing a mercenary agreement with Freeza's empire (then probably not ruled by Freeza himself depending on how long-lived his people are).
- A small band of Suponjin survive the war and swear revenge, slowly building themselves back up to be a coalition of Saiyajin-hating planets and rebel factions of Freeza's empire.
- Meanwhile, at least some of the Saiyajins are cognizant that Freeza's not the most reliable of business partners and start sending emissaries to the Suponjin in hopes of negotiating a new truce.
- The Suponjin kill, exile, or enslave the emissaries that get sent, ignoring the overtures of peace.  One of such emissaries was a very young Nataku, a noble princess from one of the major royal houses of Vegitasei and was raised as such; never met Vegita in person.  (Vegita didn't care to give a shit about palace politics or history and so none of the above will ping his mental meter.)
- Vague Horrible Things happen to Nataku, a combination of abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual) and brainwashing.  And hints at the "surprise twist" that should be sufficiently foreshadowed so it's not a huge huge surprise when The Reveal happens.
- Freeza destroys Vegitasei, Goku gets shot to earth, etc.

Story starts here:
- Fast forward to the "present".  Goku and Vegita still go pretty much all-out fighting each other all the time in the name of "keeping themselves sharp", but it's mostly them being Saiyajins and rivals (albeit friendlier about it); Bulma is bored out of her skull now that her father's retired and she has to deal with the daily minutiae at Capsule Corp; Chi-Chi seems to be more chill about things, but she's actually just gone passive-aggressive with her controlling personality and is slowly suffocating her family with her lack of proper boundaries; Gohan's pretty much retired from being the Great Saiyaman and enjoys his job as a professor of something-or-another, but he often has to mediate between his wife and his mother, who can't stand each other; Goten and Trunks are teenagers more interested in average teenaged stuff (video games, girls, etc.); Bra and Pan are secretly doing additional training behind their parents' back beyond the token and somewhat patronizing effort they've put forth so far--everybody thinks' that the girls' obsession with martial arts are 'just a phase' that they'll get over, etc.  Possibly make a passing reference to secondary characters at some point, whatever.
- Spaceship crashes to earth, oh noes! Out emerges two aliens--a Suponjin by the name of [Needs a Name], and an unconscious Nataku.  The Suponjin claims he's seeking refuge on behalf of Nataku--the Suponjin empire always treated Saiyajins as second class citizens at best, but now they're heading towards total genocide of anyone with Saiyajin blood.
- Day in the life stuff here, with the characters reacting to the looming threat.  Meanwhile, the "mundane" problems that everybody was facing don't go away, either.
- Bra sneaks in to look at the spiffy alien resting up in mom's lab and gets attacked by Nataku.  All she can do is run away--even Trunks has trouble fighting Nataku when he shows up.  Then Vegita wakes up and basically curbstomps her to death.  Various reactions are had.  Dragon Balls, or at least the idea of revival, are mentioned, but the other alien says something to the effect of "it's probably for the best [that Nataku's dead]".
- Goku, Gohan, and Goten (who are vaguely aware that something happened last night but not sure what) all run into someone who looks identical to Nataku.  The one Goku meets wants to spar, they have a good time.  The one Gohan meets is wary but not overly hostile, it ends up being written off as not unusual.  The one Goten meets is very flirty and freaks him out with her (nonverbal) advances, it ends with super awkward.
- A few days after this, the first of the Suponjin armada arrive.  They demand the return of their "property" and the "traitor".  The entire planet mobilizes for war.  Scenes of stuff blowing up, etc.
- The first fight between the major characters and one of the (apparently) faceless goons happens.  After it's over, somebody takes the helmet off, and--gasp, it's Nataku! But that's not possible, her corpse is still at Capsule Corp! And the other alien has disappeared and is nowhere to be found.
- A study of the corpse confirms the suspicions Vegita has had for a while because he's paranoid like that--the Natakus are genetically identical.  Goku, Gohan and Goten reveal their encounters with what they thought was the same person, and are now super worried at the prospect of a bunch of clones running around capable of giving even Trunks a run for his money--even if he's let his skills slack off in the intervening years, he's at least Super Saiyajin 1.5 ish and that's nothing to sneeze at.
- One of the Nataku's gets captured alive and is questioned, but she refuses to answer anyone.  An argument is had over whether or not to use more extreme techniques when the other alien shows back up and claims that she can't understand the Galactic Standard language, only the native Suponjin tongue.  More exposition goes here--the other alien confesses that the whole "seeking refuge" thing is part of a plot to invade Earth, but he really does hope to put a stop to what's going on, especially to Nataku (he'd panicked earlier when one Nataku died, which was why he'd bolted, but with one of them being captured his conscience caught up to him again).  Preliminary exposition goes here--some of the above is revealed, but in broad strokes.
- The decision is made that one group of main characters is going to go straight into the heart of the Armada to fight the leader of the army, while the other group stays to defend Earth from more threats.
- Alternating scenes between earth and space, with lots of fighting.  The Nataku army's suicidal determination is noted by everybody--but a few of them (like Goku) make some headway into making some of them at least hesitate.
- Confrontation with the leader of the invasion goes here.  Except--surprise, it's another Nataku! This one seems older than the clones and speaks directly to the main characters without the alien providing translations, and her demeanor seems to suggest she may know Vegita, but he dismisses the possibility and poo poos the significance of them being from the same generation.
- Both talking and fighting goes here.  Once again, Nataku doesn't back down even when soundly trounced, standing back up again and again despite this obviously taking a toll on her body.  But she refuses to surrender, saying she's had worse, a lot worse.
- Goku says something unintentionally profound.  At this, Nataku finally stops fighting.  "I wish we could have met earlier," she says, and sends the order for the army below to retreat, before dying.
- But wait, it's not over--there's still MORE clones of Nataku running around.  In fact, ever since she arrived at the Suponjin, they've been replacing their goons with clones of her, genetically modified every generation to be faster, stronger, tougher, and more compliant.  This round was just to test Earth's defenses--they'll come back with bigger guns and stronger minions.  It's time to bring the fight to the Suponjin--and all of the Saiyajins have to go, lest a surprise attack happens on Earth while the expedition team is away, because there would be no realistic way to ask or send for reinforcements if that happens.
- As everyone prepares for this, the scene focuses especially around the turmoil in the Son household: first, Goten defies Chi-Chi to her face when she begs him not to go, and then Goku backs Goten up on this, but the real last straw for her is when even Gohan refuses to obey her request to at least let Pan stay behind.  Despite their very rational reasoning for full mobilization, she continues to be very irrational, and eventually has a (literal) aneurysm and has to be hospitalized.  Meanwhile, Vegita's having problems talking his wife out of coming with him--despite him acting like an ass about it, he's genuinely worried about her wellbeing and he already has two kids to babysit--but she'll have none of it.  She's the wife of the Prince of all Saiyajins, she's going--unless they want to trust the flying to the other alien guy.
- More flashbacks/exposition on the flight there.  The other alien confesses to having had an affair with the original Nataku.  He doesn't know what happened to her, though--or so he says.
- They arrive at the Suponjin high command.  As they fight into the heart of the building, they're taunted with video repays of Horrible Things Happening to Various Natakus at various ages (keep the narrative still vague, perhaps, so the reader can use their own imagination?).  Even Vegita is disturbed--in some of the videos, Nataku's no older than Bra is now, but abuse is still heaped on her with everyone in the videos reveling in it.
- Original Nataku is there to block the way before the final chamber, proving herself to be such by her detailed knowledge of peoples and events none of the other clones have so far displayed.  And unlike the other clones, which at their oldest were in the prime of their lives, she's definitely middle-aged, the same as Vegita and Goku.
- She opens combat with almost killing the other alien.  "All Saiyajins must die," she claims as an explanation, and she's been so indoctrinated that in her eyes there are no pureblood Suponjin.  At the same time that she's helped expand the Suponjin empire, she's also been culling it from the inside out (this seems like kind of a stupid "twist" reveal, but maybe if it's foreshadowed well enough it won't seem like an asspull?).  The other peoples and planets in alliance either have no idea or are willing accomplices because they didn't want the Suponjins to have the majority of power.  She believes that all that's left is to kill the Z fighters, and then herself, and it'll all be over.
- Vegita thinks that's the stupidest idea he's ever heard.  Unless she's omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent, she must have missed somebody somewhere and in a few generations some idiot's going to have the bright idea to get revenge, either for real, or as a pretext for more war.  Besides, Bulma just broadcasted what she just said to the entire Suponjin armada and now there's an army's worth of very pissed off clone-daughters and opportunistic alliance members who are going to descend on this place.


...and that's what I have so far. It'll probably end with the Z fighters wishing for a happy ending for everybody, but I'm not sure how to get to that point.

And man, I've been into writing some super depressing stuff lately. Maybe I should look at more pictures of cute kittens.

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