Dragon Ball Yugure Z

A Dragon Ball Z fanfiction

by Son Goharotto (son_goharotto@hotmail.com)

Welcome to Dragon Ball Yugure Z, my personal pet project. This is what I like to call a "multi-generational alternaverse epic." Expect a complex story spanning several volumes that are littered with cliff-hangers and titanic battles. Sorry for taking so long on this one. Hopefully, I can get back into the groove and finish volume five before getting distracted again. ^o^```

DISCLAIMER: As much as I mgiht wish it not to be, DBZ does not belong to me. It's the property of Akira Toriyama-sama and many others who (unfortunately) aren't me. I'm not trying to make any money off of this and it's just a way for me to show my love of all things Dragon Ball. Well, except maybe GT. Bleah. I is teh poor, so don't sue me.

WARNINGS: As a whole, this series contains mature language (usually in Japanese), graphic violence, brutality, mature situations (non-lemon), and a touch of angst.

NOTES: A liberal amount of Japanese vocabulary is sprinkled throughout, though nothing extremely important is ever said in another language that isn't translated. Mostly just basic Otaku Japanese. I've compiled a list of phrases I use on my homepage here: www.enpitsudo-dojo.com/libjapanese.html.

"dialogue"

""layered voice"" (Fusion, for example)

{alien language}

[thoughts, telepathy, memories]

_stressed words_

*sounds*

~scene change~

Volume V -- Evil, Revisited

Episode 39 -- Son Goten, Where Are You!? The Time For Revenge Is Now!!

Hidden in the bowels of Hell, a fair distance from the commotion of battle, was a room cut deep into a mountain of obsidian. The light of a single candle flickered in this room, but that meager illumination was magnified by the walls of shiny black stone to a sufficient level. Shadows and reflections danced along the inky surface like tiny imps in a wicked ritual. Knowing that such things could be happening not far away did little to contradict this impression.

This room's occupant had long grown accustomed to these conditions and he worked feverishly, without pause. A mane of coarse white hair settled on his head and shoulders like newly fallen snow and his face, crusty brown and lined with age, resembled a very old mountain. His small blue eyes darted and here and there as arthritic hands tinkered with the tools laying on a table roughly hewn straight from the mountain.

Dr. Gero sighed inwardly as he worked. He could hear the din of combat outside his hideout, though it was still farther than it sounded since the rocky passages amplified sound. Regardless, that was still too close. The seemingly ancient scientist was hunched, looking over his latest creations. There were two figures laid out on the table; one was very tall while the other was far larger in girth. A large canvas covered them and hide their features, but one pale blue arm was exposed. Gero had a makeshift stone scalpel in hand and was cutting strange symbols into the being's flesh, swearing occasionally at the laboriously slow pace.

In the stifling silence, a low hum like that of giant power lines filled the room. Gero turned and glared into the corner, where a dull purple glow had arisen. He crossed the room and picked up the crystal ball that was generating the glow. Contact with the object sent a ripple of energy coursing within the cloudy depths of the heavy orb and it eventually coalesced into the sneering blue face of a demon.

"What is it now?" the old man growled indignantly. "Don't you trust me to uphold my end of the bargain?"

""But of course, my dear Doctor Gero,"" Garlic Junior replied smoothly. It never ceased to irritate the scientist that his demonic partner could always act so indifferent. ""You're hatred of Son Goku is as great as mine. I just wished to inform you that the youngest of these warriors has been neutralized and I advise that you do the same. Their brashness and inexperience makes them easier to get out of the way.""

"I know how to do my damn job," Gero countered hotly. "But it would be a lot easier if I had better materials to work with down here. This magic of yours is hardly as effective as my science."

""Whatever you say, doctor,"" Garlic Junior replied nonchalantly. ""Once the others here are taken care of, I will endeavor to open a portal, releasing you and my new minions from Hell.""

"Then let's cut the chatter and get back to work. I've spent more than enough time down here, thank you very much."

With that, Gero let the crystal ball fall from his hands unceremoniously and the signal from Chikyuu cut out. Gero eyed the magical device, always wary that somehow Garlic Junior was somehow using it to spy on him. It wouldn't be the first time the mad scientist had allied himself with someone he neither liked nor trusted. But he didn't want to make it the last time either, so he put up with the demon's snobby attitude. Gero had outlived the colleagues that criticized him, just as he had outlived the Red Ribbon Army's destruction and planned to outlive Garlic Junior's ambitions.

A loathsome turn of fate placed his hidden laboratory within the impact radius of Nagareboshi's arrival and in an instant, the scientist's life was snuffed out, over a decade of painstaking work annihilated. Gero was not really an evil man, but his morals and ethics had always been borderline. The overwhelming desire for revenge is ultimately what dragged him down to Hell, but this steadying force also let him keep himself after the soul-cleansing process. For another decade, Gero dwelt in the underworld growing stronger and experimenting with magic in place of science. It took time to master, but he was eventually confident enough to continue his work. Then 'the accident' happened and Hell was flooded with evil energy. His window of opportunity had come at last.

Gero leaned over the taller of the two prone figures. He finished etching some runes onto the being's arm and they flashed, transmuting the necessary bits of flesh and bone into metal and wires. He didn't like magic, but it was effective. And he was almost done.

~~~~~

*ssshhhhhk! ssshhhhhk! ssshhhhhk!*

The whet stone in Trunks' hand was starting wear down. He'd been sharpening his sword for nearly an hour now; not that his sword ever needed more than a cursory maintenance. Back during the early years of Nagareboshi's terrorization of Chikyuu, Bulma had experimented with various new technologies that might have given the Z Senshi an edge. Just about all of them, the devoted martial artists that they are, refused to use any kind of firearm, despite the woman's pleading.

Yamucha once suggested making a sword, something he wasn't averse to using since he'd wielded one in his bandit days (a thought that made him quite wistful). Bulma was no swordsmith, but she experimented with special polymers normally used on spacecraft. As a result, she produced this single blade. It was simple of design and didn't have the best balance, but the new material held an edge far better than metal and it could withstand tremendous heat. But by then, the battle was already lost.

As a child, Trunks found the sword in Bulma's old workshop, sitting in the corner and gathering dust. Vegeta didn't approve of weapons, but he never had the heart to take it away from the boy. It would forever remain one of a kind, as the exact methods of its genesis died with its creator. Since then, this lone blade has acted as a security blanket of sorts for the lavender-haired half-Saiyajin. But it provided no consolation for him now.

Goten was missing.

Since they were children, the raven-haired boy had always been like Trunks' shadow. Even after Goten discovered his father and found a girlfriend, he always stayed in touch. "Me an' Paresu are gonna catch a movie," he would say. Or: "Got caught up sparrin' with tousan; be back soon." But the Son boy had disappeared in the night, never returning from his appointment to see Paresu. When Trunks called the girl's home, no one answered the phone. He expected her brother to be working, but why didn't Paresu answer herself? Meanwhile, Vegeta had been scouring the city and scaring various citizens with his questioning, but to no avail.

Goten was missing.

Many such thoughts and questions drifted through Trunks' mind. So distracted was he that the young warrior never sensed a familiar ki approaching the house. The faint creaking of the kitchen door was the first signal that penetrated his sword-sharpening trance. Like a bolt of lightning, Trunks tore out of his room, down the hall, and into the kitchen, joined halfway from another part of the house by the similar blur of his father.

And poor Paresu was caught up in the back draft of their rapid deceleration. Assorted small kitchen trinkets were flung around the room in the suddenly violent rush of air, and the chaos was punctuated by the dual cry of: "GOTEN!!!" Paresu had to cling to the door frame so as not to be washed outside and deposited on her rump. The startled girl climbed to her feet and eyed the pair of Saiyajin, then noticed the glint of Trunks' sword.

"Gee, I sure wouldn't want to be Goten right now," she joked in a hesitant voice. Her eyes bounced between the two, seeing the obvious anxiety on their faces. Vegeta, realizing that he had been caught in a state of concern, quickly crossed his arms and turned away with a hasty 'che!' But the girl noticed how the prince's fingers dug into his biceps. "What's up with you two?"

"Oh. It's just you, Paresu-kun," Trunks said with a sigh. He sheathed his sword with a ringing *shnik* and sat down at the table.

"Domo, that really makes me feel welcome. So?" Paresu prodded, sitting across from the young man. "Question posed, answer appreciated."

"Did you see Goten last night?" Trunks asked.

"Iie, I was too busy at work. Sat down for a minute and just nodded off." Paresu scratched the back of her head--a habit she picked up from Goten--and laughed. "The boss took pity on me and gave me today off, which is why I'm here." But then something occurred to her and she leaned forward over the table, a cold feeling in the pit of her stomach. "What's wrong with Goten-kun?"

"We don't know and that's the problem. He just...disappeared. We searched all over, but there isn't a damn trace of him anywhere." Trunks slammed his fist down on the table and Paresu was afraid he'd smash it to pieces.

The girl ran her fingers through her chocolate brown hair, eyebrows knit together. "Could...could it be that there's someone...someone strong enough to beat Goten-kun? Is there anyone left besides you guys who's that strong?"

"Shirimasen," the young man sitting across from her admitted. "If that's the case, then the fight was over so fast that Goten didn't have time to raise his ki to a level that we could detect. And...I don't want to think about that, because that means..." but he trailed off. Trunks' teeth ground together and a vein stood out on his temple. It was the same vein as his father's, the kind that only popped out when something was desperately amiss. "No, I don't know anything anymore. It's like some malevolent god is toying with us, getting his kicks from seeing us stumble around in the dark."

A low murmur caught the two teens' attention and they both looked back at Vegeta, who was leaning against the wall. His mouth was hanging open slightly, as if he was about to speak. But then his jaw shut with an audible click.

"Doshita, papa?"

The Saiyajin no Ouji shook his head and smiled ruefully, as if trying to banish a silly thought. "A long time ago, the Saiyajin had a god that they prayed to for victory. I say 'they' because like my father, I only ever believed in my own strength. I never had time for silly superstitions. I can't even remember his name. But now...heh...I can't help but wonder if we're being punished as heretics."

Trunks frowned. "I have no time for gods. Not when I have to search for my friend. Paresu, can you lock onto him with the Shunkan Idou technique?"

"I can sure as hell try," Paresu replied. She placed two fingers to her forehead and closed her eyes in concentration. An apprehensive silence settle onto the room as the two men watched her intently. Several minutes passed and the only sound was the soft tick tock of the wall clock. The girl's brow furrowed and her eyes opened. "I think I've got something!"

The father and son rushed forward to take the arm she offered and they were gone in a blink. Miles away, the trio reappeared in a clearing in some random park of West Capital.

"There's nothing here," Trunks said in disappointment.

"No, there's something," his father corrected. Vegeta was kneeling some feet away, hand hovering over a spot where something had collided with the lawn and torn up much of the grass. The side of a nearby tree appeared to have a dent in it and splinters of bark littered the ground.

"I sensed a trace of Goten-kun's ki, but not much," Paresu said. She looked around, noticing some birds and a couple kids playing on the sidewalk a ways off. Nothing out of the ordinary. "We come to this park sometimes because there's a guy who sells good lemonade on the weekends. I think this is where we were going to meet last night."

"Looks like Goten was ambushed," the lavender-haired teen said, now standing by his father.

The prince stood and wiped his pants clear of grass and dirt. "But there's no blood. No burns anywhere. Didn't seem to be much of a fight."

"So we're back where we started. Goten-kun's missing and we have no clues," Paresu lamented.

Vegeta crossed his arms again, but he looked more thoughtful than angry. "Something evil came out of the Tenkai. Popo and the new Kami are gone. Now Goten too. I don't see any kind of a pattern. Kuso..."

As the remaining Z Senshi talked amongst themselves, something was hiding in the bushes. Garlic Junior observed them carefully, quietly. He didn't recognize the one with spiky black hair, but the blue demon could tell that he was the strongest. The girl didn't seem to be of any consequence. That teleportation trick she used to get them here looked interesting, but he wasn't in any rush to take it for himself. No, the one that looked most appealing him was the younger man. He had the same kind of power as Son Goten; too strong to assimilate outright, but not so strong that Garlic Junior still couldn't capture him.

The demon's lips twisted into a strange, crazed grin.

~~~~~

Two figures stood on the summit of a mountain of obsidian. One was very tall while the other was far larger in girth. They both wore similar armor with winged shoulder pads, but the taller one had a blue cape that flapped in the breeze. It was a hot breeze, hot and unpleasant, that carried the stink of smoke and blood and evil. Hell normally wasn't the place of fire and brimstone that some like to think it was, but that concept had become a reality in such a short time. As the Z Senshi fought to subdue the hordes of mutated spirits and oni, these two figures observed from their lofty vantage point.

Sunken black eyes scanned the mountainous foothills, tracking the Senshi's progress. Despite the distance, Dodoria could see them as plain as day. Where he once needed a Scouter even to detect power levels, his eyes alone could do so much more now. Small servos and lenses behind the retina magnified the image of a tall Namek-seijin and his human charge fighting past a nest of spider demons.

Dodoria focused on the boy, who had a crown of wild black hair and wore the same purple gi as the Namek-seijin. The hair was different and he was older, but the face was unmistakable. This was the boy that had humiliated the pink alien warrior on Planet Namek so long ago.

Purple lips spread, revealing a wicked sneer. "I know him," Dodoria began, drawing his partner's attention. Zarbon turned to look in the direction Dodoria indicated with an accusing talon. "That human sucker-punched, er, kicked me." The bulky warrior drew his hands up in shaking fists. "I'm going to get my revenge right now."

"Very well," Zarbon said. "You should be able to handle those two yourself. I see another group over to the east." The blue alien smirked. "Two humans; it shouldn't take long."

"If you see a short bald one, break a couple ribs for me. That little gaki almost blinded me."

Zarbon laughed. "Little buggers got the best of you, eh? Let's be off then. The sooner we squash these weaklings, the sooner Gero and Garlic Junior will get us out of this hole."

Both aliens took off into the sky. When they were alive, truly alive and not animated by this autonomous half-life granted to them by Gero's experiments, their fiery auras would leave a streak of white across the sky. However, there was nothing to indicate their passing but a chilly breeze that would make one's skin goose-bumpy.

~~~~~

Piccolo tore off the spider-demon's pincer tail and whipped it around like a scourge. Lashing the whining beast again and again, he managed to rip open its tough hide and even take off a claw. Finally, he wrapped the stolen appendage around the demon's neck and stood on its back, choking the monster to death. With a sharp twist, its neck snapped and collapsed to the ground.

Gohan was having a far easier time fighting these creatures than the mutant oni. Once they learned that using ki attacks were counterproductive, the young half-Saiyajin's speed and agility proved to be an advantage over the clumsy spiders. He ran circles around them, a feat which became increasingly easier as he truncated their legs one by one. A single crushing blow to the vulnerable underbelly would release a cascade of ichor and the demon would quickly bleed to death, freeing the teenage warrior to take down the next.

"You're doing well, Gohan," the tall green man said. He ruffled the boy's hair in a paternal manner, proud of his student's progress. "Pretty soon, I think you'll be a match for your father."

The half-Saiyajin grinned in response, looking up at his mentor. He was surprised to see a genuine smile on that normally stoic face. He was even more surprised when a large booted foot struck Piccolo in the back of the head. "PICCOLO-SAN!!" he cried, watching as the Namek-seijin crashed several meters away.

Gohan barely had time to turn around and shout at his mentor's attacker when said warrior rushed forward with a ham-fisted blow. The boy jumped back as gravel from the fractured ground bounced off his chest. He looked into the angry pink face that glared back at him and recognized the puffy cheeks and spiked brow.

"I kicked the Namek-seijin to make a point," Dodoria sneered. "But I'll take my time and enjoy squashing _you_!"

The young warrior recovered from his surprise at seeing this old villain and regained his composure, easily blocking the pink alien's heavy blows. They were slow, but still seemed just as strong as the child with the bad haircut remembered seeing all those years ago.

"Why are you here?" Gohan demanded. "I though you would have escaped with Freeza!"

"I SHOULD HAVE!" the bloated warrior shouted. He fired a blast of red ki that Gohan back flipped over to avoid, landing a safe distance away. Dodoria didn't pursue him immediately, instead stomping his feet in frustration. "But that bastard left me behind! I swore my allegiance and in return, he kicked me to the street like garbage!" Dodoria huffed for a moment, then chuckled. "But now I have a new power and a new boss. I won't waste this second chance, so first I'll get my revenge on you, and then Freeza."

"Sou ka?" replied the youth. He dropped into a fighting stance, confident in his power. The fear the Gohan felt no longer existed, replaced with a certainty that he'd grown stronger than Dodoria had in the intervening time since their last confrontation. "Maybe I'll just have to rain on your pity parade by stopping you here and now. I ran from you back then, but you're no match for me now. What kind of power could you gain in Hell that makes you so egotistical?"

"Ho ho ho," Dodoria laughed, sounding like a demented Santa Claus. The pink alien was just as confident in himself as Gohan was, so he felt a little bragging was in order. "A very interesting kind of power. You didn't sense me, did you? You still can't, can you?"

There was something in those beady black eyes that sent a shiver down Gohan's spine. What Dodoria said was true: the boy couldn't sense him. But that didn't make sense because in Anoyo, their bodies were only illusion. Here, the soul was bare and his ki should be standing out like a lighthouse on a foggy night. Instead, Gohan could sense nothing. He could see the pink alien as plain as day, but for all intensive purposes, the creature just wasn't there. He glanced helplessly at the crumbled form of Piccolo's body.

Dodoria saw the cogs turning in the boy's head and laughed that dark laugh. He took a threatening step forward and growled like a mad dog. "That's right. Fear me, boy. The power that old man Gero gave me is beyond your comprehension. I won't just destroy you; I'll eat your pitiful little soul."

"That's enough of that," came a gruff reply. Both warriors snapped their heads around to see Piccolo rising from the ground as if nothing happened.

"P-Piccolo-san!" the youth cheered.

"Sorry to leave you hanging like that, Gohan. I guessed this fat pink freak would speak easier if he thought the stronger of us was already down for the count." The Namek-seijin turned his head to face the other alien and smirked grimly. "But I won't let that cowardly attack go unpunished. Now that I've heard everything I needed to hear, I'll destroy you and we can move on."

Dodoria gritted his teeth, gathering balls of energy in his hands.

On the other side of the mountain that housed Gero's little workshop, a similar conversation was taking place. Zarbon wasn't as quick to divulge his secrets as his pink partner, nor had he resorted to cheap sneak attacks. He confronted the two humans head-on like a civilized man, but there was no doubt that he would fight just as ruthlessly.

"Dodoria asked me to make sure you suffered," said the tall blue alien. He brushed some strands of seaweed-colored hair from his brow.

Kuririn flinched and took a step backwards when Yamucha put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't sweat it, pal," he reassured the shorter man. He flashed a thumbs-up with his other hand. "We can take this guy down together."

"H-hai," replied the ex-monk. His fear assuaged, Kuririn assumed a fighting stance that mirrored Yamucha's. "I won't run from goons like you anymore!"

"How very nice for you," Zarbon responded, unimpressed by the bald man's renewed bravado. "And how nice for me as well, because I certainly don't want to fight a couple of cowards." The tall alien's golden cat-like eyes closed slowly and dramatically, and when they opened again, they were filled with icy malice. "Come then, and I will guide you to oblivion."