A Demon in the Night

Half a year had passed since the bio-android known as Cell terrorised the Earth and brought it to near-extinction. The terrible being had come devastatingly close to succeeding in his conquest of the planet, but was ultimately defeated by the 9 year old demi-Saiyan Son Gohan. However, while the world was safe once again, and the overwhelming majority of Cell's victims were brought back to life, there was one important casualty who was not revived.

Son Goku, the father of Gohan, gave his life to save the Earth from Cell's self-destruction, although his efforts were all for naught in the end. Nevertheless, after the bio-android was killed off for good, Goku asked to not be brought back to life, using the reason that his very existence put the Earth in danger, as evil beings constantly sought him out.

While his friends and family were devastated that he wouldn't be rejoining them in the world of the living, ultimately they respected his decision, and peaceful times began anew. However, as the Z Warriors were very much used to, this peace did not last. And unlike before, when they could restore peace by defeating a powerful enemy, such a solution was impossible when the enemy was the world itself.

Mark Satan, better known by his stage name Hercule, was one of the fighters who showed up at the Cell Games intending to defeat the monster. However, unlike the other warriors participating, Mr Satan's skills paled in comparison. Nevertheless, as bumbling as the man was, he was overwhelmingly charismatic and had a ridiculous amount of luck.

After the Z Warriors disappeared following Cell's defeat, Mr Satan managed to convince the people of Earth that the was the one who bested the bio-android, and that the other fighters who showed up were mere tricksters who only sought to deceive the populace.

The Z Warriors, angry as they were, decided to let Mr Satan have his glory, as they didn't want the attention that came with it. However, they certainly didn't expect the man to take his boasting even further. They were wrong.

Dende sighed as the turned away from the edge of the lookout, his guardian's staff clanking against the tiled floor. Piccolo, who was meditating nearby, cracked an eye open. "They done yet?" he asked.

Dende nodded his head wearily. "The protestors have all gone home, but the posters are still plastered all over the walls.

Piccolo frowned deeply. "Those ungrateful bastards," he spat. "This has gone one for far too long.

Earth's Kami could only nod glumly. "I agree, but what can we do? We can't exactly wage war against humanity because of its ignorance."

Piccolo pondered this predicament. They couldn't reveal themselves, because none of them wanted publicity. But if no action was taken, how bad could things become? Chichi was currently pregnant with Goku's second child, and she certainly didn't need the depression from having her dead husband slandered by the media.

Gohan, meanwhile, was still coming to terms with father's decision to stay dead, on top having to care for his pregnant mother despite not even being 10 years old. As much as he tried to put on a brave face, Piccolo knew they boy like he would his son, and the Namek could tell all this was getting to him.

Even Vegeta was close to blowing his gasket, and that didn't bode well for anyone.

Piccolo's thoughts then turned to the main person responsible for this mess, and resisted the urge to snarl. That moron, Mr Satan, thought he was covering his ass by publicly ridiculing the "tricksters" from the Cell Games. The masses lapped up all the lies, so the afroed buffoon turned his slander towards the famous martial artists of yesteryear, who were known to use ki. Son Goku, Tenshinhan, and even Muten Roshi were ridiculed by the press.

Piccolo doubted even Satan expected things to escalate to the degree that they did. The people of Earth had been brainwashed so badly by Satan's boasts, that they started smear campaigns against the Z Warriors, and protested to have the former Tenkaichi Budokai champions stripped of their titles.

'Of course,' Piccolo thought. 'To stop the snake you need to cut off its head.'

The elder Namek turned to his protégé. "Dende, I'll be paying Satan a visit tonight to… clear up some misunderstandings," he muttered cryptically.

A flash of worry appeared in Dende's eyes. "Don't hurt him!" Earth's Kami pleaded. "I know he said all those bad things about us, but we can't sink to his level."

Piccolo smirked. "Don't worry Dende, I'm just going to have a little chat with him."

It was past midnight when Piccolo flew through the skies of Satan City, his cape billowing in the chilly winds as lightning crackled in the atmosphere. "What a ridiculous name," he scoffed as he passed a billboard with the world champion's smug face plastered on it. "As if that fool's head needed to swell up even more."

It didn't take the Namek long to locate Satan's residence. It was large and gaudy, and the towering solid gold statues of the afroed buffoon himself that lined the driveway were a dead giveaway.

Piccolo sensed two ki signatures in the manor; one small and one smaller. He figured Satan would have the bigger one of the two, so he followed it and came to a stop before a large window at the top floor of the building.

Piccolo wasn't sure whether to be pleased or disappointed that the window was open. While he didn't want to make a scene, he wouldn't have minded destroying some of the bastard's ill-earned property. With a frown on his face, the Namek floated into the room through the window and landed gently on the carpeted floor.

Piccolo's frown deepened at what he saw. Satan, clad in a fluffy maroon bathrobe, was sprawled out on an enormous bed. The sheets looked to be lined with golden silk, and the pillows, of which there were many, were a fierce gold in colour. The burly man's legs stuck out from underneath the rumpled covers, and his excessively hairy chest was on full display. A small puddle of drool was forming beside his mouth, dampening the otherwise pristine sheets.

All in all, Piccolo was disgusted at the sight. Figuring it was time to get to work, the Namek slightly raised his ki, causing an ever-strengthening whirlwind to spread throughout the room.

At that moment, a grumbling Hercule Satan slowly opened his eyes, annoyed at being woken from a rather pleasant dream in which he was soaking in a bathtub full of zeni while sipping from a constantly refilling glass of the finest wine. As his sight adjusted to the darkness and started making out the silhouetted figure at the foot of his bed, the world champion's eyes bulged open and he sprang back against the headboard.

He couldn't make out any features, but he did see an enormous broad-shouldered figure with pointy ears and a large cape. The winds in the room became fiercer, and a flash of lightning briefly illuminated the imposing figure's face.

Hercule gasped and began trembling. Dark green skin, narrowed eyes, a shark-toothed grin, and a turban and cape. He wouldn't ever forget those features, nor would he ever forget his first encounter with the person they belonged to. All the world champion could think was, 'They've finally come for me…'

Piccolo glared at the trembling figure before him, his menacing grin morphing into a scowl. "I take it you recognise me, Satan."

The afroed man's only response was to nod meekly.

"In that case, I figure you also know why I'm here."

There was a brief pause, before Satan nodded again.

Piccolo crossed his arms, his clawed fingers tapping against his right bicep. "I knew you were an idiot the moment I saw you, but what did you think your little vendetta would accomplish?" he inquired. "Surely you're well aware of the fact that each of us can snap you in half like a twig?"

Satan whimpered, as his mouth flopped open and closed like a fish, but the words refused to come out.

"Answer me!" Piccolo snarled, a vein throbbing on his forehead.

The bumbling excuse of a world champion took a few seconds to stop shaking, then sighed. "After it all happened… you guys just left," he mumbled. "I figured you didn't want to take the credit and… the people wanted to know what happened. I saw a chance and I… and I…" He gulped. "And I took it," he finished with a whisper.

Piccolo frowned. "You're right, we didn't want the credit. We do what we do not because we want to be recognised for it, but because we're the only ones who can," he seethed. "We risk our lives to ensure people like you get to continue living yours. And we didn't care that took the credit for killing Cell. The Earth needed a hero to look up to, even if it's a hero in name only. But you…" He took a step forward and flared his ki once more, rattling the glass in the room and knocking over the various ornaments. "You took from the hand that fed you and you spat on it! Instead of thanking us, you mocked us! Your ignorance bled through to the people and turned into pure hatred! The true protectors of Earth were crucified by the public, while the fraud who took their credit got to bask in his ill-earned wealth!" The Namek was livid now, and stomped on the floor in rage, creating a mini earthquake that cracked the ground. "Did you think word wouldn't reach us? Did you think we would remain ignorant? Just what were you thinking!?"

Satan mumbled something incomprehensible, and Piccolo stomped the ground again. "What was that coward?" he taunted. "Speak up, I couldn't hear you!"

Satan, now shedding rivulets of sweat, tried to compose himself. "I… I… I wasn't!" he finally managed to cry out.

"That's right, you weren't," Piccolo sneered in response. "Maybe Cell killed whatever brain cells you had left when he knocked you into that cliff."

"I know what I did was wrong," Satan whimpered, "but I didn't think the media would take things so far."

"Thinking clearly isn't your strong point," the Namek scoffed.

"W-what now?" the afroed man asked, trembling in fear. "Are you… are you going to expose me?"

Piccolo laughed mockingly. "Why am I not surprised that your fame is the only thing you care about, instead of how badly your lies have hurt the people you profited from?" Before Satan could reply, Piccolo raised his hand. "You can keep your false fame. We don't want the attention. We'll keep protecting the Earth, regardless of how the public sees us. However," he continued, "your lies have made things especially difficult for some of us, so it's up to you to clean up the mess you've made, or else…" the Namek trailed off.

Satan gulped. "Or else… or else what?"

Piccolo chuckled inwardly. He didn't seriously intend to punish the moron, he just wanted to instil some fear in him. The Namek then picked up the second ki signature he sensed when he first arrived at Satan's residence, and noticed it felt somewhat similar to the buffoon. The gears in his head turned. "I'm surprised someone like you was able to find a woman to breed with… that poor child," he muttered, shaking his head.

Satan's eyes shot open in alarm, and in that moment Piccolo almost pitied the man… almost. "Please, I'll do anything, just don't harm Videl!" he whimpered. "I'll find a way to fix my mistakes, just leave my little girl out of this!"

"See to it that you do," Piccolo responded, before spreading out his arms and flaring his ki one last time. The bedroom shook and the glass in the mirror and window shattered. The immensity of his ki disintegrated the legs of Satan's bed, causing it to crash to the floor with a thud. "You may be called Satan, but I am a real demon, and you do not want to get on my bad side!" he thundered, a convenient lightning strike adding further emphasis to his words.

It took Piccolo a few seconds to calm down, and when he did his sensitive nostrils picked up a wholly unpleasant stench. The Namek's eyes trailed to the object of his ire, and widened slightly at the large yellow puddle staining the bedsheets beneath him. His face twisted into a look of disgust. "You're pathetic."

With that the Namek floated out of the now broken window, but just as he was about to take off back to the Lookout he noticed an unexpected presence beside him. "Vegeta, don't tell me you were planning to lecture Satan too?" he inquired curiously.

The prince of all Saiyans scoffed. "Please, I sensed you heading towards the oaf's house, and was in the mood for some late night entertainment."

Piccolo smirked, not believing the Saiyan's story. "Well whatever, my work here is done," he exclaimed as he took off through the air.

Vegeta waited until the Namek was out of sight before turning to the six golden statues molded to look like Hercule Satan. Without a word, he fired six small ki blasts that completely wiped the hideous abominations off the face of the Earth. "That'll teach you to take credit for the work of a Saiyan warrior," he spat, before shooting off towards Capsule Corp.

The following day, Mr Satan called a surprise press conference in which he scrapped plans for Hercule Satan Day; a celebration that was to take place on the following year's anniversary of the Cell Games, and renamed it the Cell Games Memorial Day. Its new purpose was to commemorate the warriors who showed up to fight Cell, and honour their sacrifices. Mr Satan also called for an end to the smear campaigns against the former Tenkaichi Budokai champions, claiming that, tricksters or not, they still showed tremendous skill in order to be crowned Strongest under the Heavens.

Dende laughed as he turned away from the edge of the Lookout and looked over at his mentor. "You know Piccolo, I never took you for a diplomat."

From where he was meditating, Piccolo resisted the urge to smirk, but chuckled inwardly. 'I still got it.'

AN: I've had this oneshot planned for a while, but only recently got around to writing it. For the record, I don't hate Mr Satan. In fact, I find him hilarious, especially in Super. However, a lot of characters in the series have done some really stupid shit and haven't been called out on it, and I like to cover that in my fics. That aside, I have another oneshot in mind, also featuring Piccolo, which should hopefully be out within the next few months. In the meantime, feedback on this one would be much appreciated. Until next time!