A/n: Gomen! I've not given up yet!I just got distracted by InuYasha fan fiction and this original story that I'm writing (2 chapters already! Yay!) which I actually decided to plan ahead and will be posting sometime in September
Say a big thanks to Happygohangirl. She made me remember that some people actually enjoy reading this!
Disclaimer: I own my own tiny library of books. I don't however own Dragonball Z. I don't even have pirated episodes stored on my computer anymore (stupid Kazaa). I mean, not that I ever did :s
Chapter 20: Watching
Life is like a fragile thread that lays between birth and death, so easy to snap, to cut, to stretch to it's utmost limit.
This is of course what War has discovered in the glorious few hours since his bonds had been broken. His first direct kill had been that pathetic little servant girl at Lust's palace. His second had been the clumsy war mongering General that he had so easily brought under his direct command.
It was just so simple, and he got such an unholy rush every time life slipped through his red stained fingers.
Now he was in command.
It felt wonderful.
Not as wonderful, of course, when he had discovered the nuclear weapons. They were some of the most beautiful things that he had ever seen. Such raw, destructive power rarely came into his grasp. He had visited several test sites personally and spent his evenings reading reports of death counts and destruction from the two times they were ever used as an offensive weapon. He even had them set one off, just for him in the desert. The giant mushroom cloud gave him intense feelings of unbridled Joy.
There was just one problem.
There were only two left.
Not only that, but no one could remember how to build any more, and no one could be paid to remember, or at least figure out how to do it.
War got up, and went to the large one sided mirror that formed his window. The workers below milled around, refurbishing bomber planes, and slowly taking apart one of the massive (about 1 meter by half a meter) bombs to ensure that it was still in proper working operation after all of these years it had spent in a museum, collecting dust and spiders.
Two workers dressed in radiation protection suits slowly lifted the radio active, solid uranium fuel from it's reaction chamber. Quickly, they turned to place it in a vat of oil to stop it from oxidizing. One man stumbled and the Uranium wobbled slightly from the tray they had placed it on. It wobbled , then fell to the floor. He dived and caught it before it hit, and clumsily manhandled it into the vat of oil, sweat oozing from every pore. Every one let out a breath of relief, and War almost laughed, for the oil provided no shielding against the radiation.
It was only a matter of time now.
Krillen stirred in his sleep slightly. Korin had placed a simple white bandage over his eyes, to protect them while they healed. 18 had cleaned the gore from his face and body, frowning at the new scars that acid burns would make.
She had finally consented to allow the cat to clean her off, and to see that non of her parts were too damaged. The metal had etched a bit, with interesting swirling patterns over the shiny surface. For the sake of her husband and the cat she had agreed to let him place bandages over the ruined half of her face.
"How much longer is this going to take?" 18 asked impatiently.
"I don't know, 10 minutes?" Korin flinched slightly
"You don't know? What margin of error is this? I want him fixed, not with a margin of error."
Krillen stirred again and she stopped in her tirade to glance over to see that he was still alright. He stirred again and groaned softly.
"18?" He asked , and she softly walked over to him and helped him to sit up. His hands instantly went to the bandage across his eyes, but she shooed them away.
"Are you still injured?" She asked
"No, I feel alright, a little stiff, but a lot better than I have in a long while"
"Good. That means that the cat can live." Korin sweat ed a little at that, silently giving thanks to the wonders of gardening. Krillen frowned suddenly and turned his head in the direction of the door.
"I think something is coming here." He said, "It almost feels like those demons that we encountered. You did bring them to the lookout right?"
18 looked guiltily over at the electric blue sac that held the two demons, Chaos and Panic. She had forgotten about them.
"No, I did not, but I will bring them there shortly as soon as I am sure that you are unharmed." Krillen reached for the bandage again, and once more had his hands gently swatted away.
"I'd keep that bandage on for at least a day! If your vision has been properly restored as I have hoped, you do not want to expose it to too much light at first.
"I still feel something strange coming. It's getting really close now."
Suddenly, something misshapen and deformed tore through the open door way, and landed clumsily on the ground. It looked both bloated and shriveled at the same time, covered in lumps and spines and claws. It was a Keeper, not that anyone present knew that. It sniffed the air, ignoring 18, Krillen and Korin, and making a beeline for the glowing sac that encapsulated the two demons.
(WARNING: What follows is extremely violent and well, bloody. If you have a weak stomach or just don't enjoy sizable amounts of gore, skip until my next note)
With it's twisted claws it tore at the electric blue strands and ripped a sizable hole in it, despite the weakened protests from the living beings also present. It reached in and dragged out the naked body of Panic. He struggled against the Hideous creature, but it's overlarge hand encapsulated his neck. With a sickening crunch he tightened his claws until Panic's heals began to drum against the ground, and his fiery eyes began to dull in colour. The Keeper whispered something into Panic's ear, then delivered the Killing blow.
It took it's free set of claws and gouged into the chest cavity of Panic, digging into his flesh and flaying open the skin until he grasped the weakly beating heart of the demon. It was unmercifully ripped from his chest and Panic shuddered and died with a horrible spine tingling throaty roar of pain. His acid blood spilled over the floor, burning rivulets and channels in the pristine marble, and his eyes were burned away
Chaos had struggled free of the net and was crawling weakly towards the window in and attempt to escape. She managed to push herself out when the keeper launched himself on her back. She shrieked in terror, and began to fight it off, her nails gouging at his wings and eyes. In horror Korin and 18 moved to the window and saw Chaos get ripped to bloody black shreds by the awful claws. The keeper turned awkwardly in the air and landed on the sill of the window that it had exited from.
"The promise was broken, the price has been paid." It said simply, seeming to grow slightly in power before it left again, flying out of sight.
The corpse of Panic began to sizzle, it's eye;less head turned towards the three witnesses as it disappeared into black motes that blew away out the window.
(OKAY It's safe now, you can keep reading)
And just like that, Panic and Chaos were no more.
Korin left to discreetly empty his stomach, and Krillen looked noticeably pale. So did 18 for that matter.
"That solves that problem" She said quietly.
"But I think it gives us another."
"It's lucky for you, that you met me." He heard her say as she walked towards him once more.
"You have managed to make a fine mess of things here haven't you?" She asked accusingly. The Kai couldn't answer.
"Let's see, you've had them for what, 2, 3 days? And you have only managed to capture this pitiful handful? That's simply not good enough Shin. I did not train you for 10 years on demonology for this." She spat. Shin choked slightly.
"Took you that long to figure it out eh?" She said, digging around in her handbag again. She pulled out a small compass like object and another that looked like a thermometer.
"Did they make the wish then?" He asked slowly
"Hmm, wish? Oh no, no one wished me here. That little spit there got to the dragon balls before your golden boy did." Suian told him distractedly, observing the thermometer object carefully and putting down the reading she got on a notepad. She began to follow the spinning dial of the compass until it lead her to the edge of the lookout. She peered over, her toes dangling over the edge.
"But then how did you get here?" He asked
"You have Keepers on this planet too! What have you been doing my boy, counting your fingers?"
"OF course not!" He protested, "How did you get here again?"
All of a sudden, a high pitched scream cut the air like a knife. Shin could feel goose bumps raising all of the hairs on his arms. Several of the captive demons winced. Suian calmly looked at her thermometer again and compared it the the number she had written down in her notes.
"Well, that's Two more down." Sh paused looking thoughtfully, "Have you gotten any readings off of Fear or Crime yet?"
"Yes, but crime is weakening, and fear disappeared a couple of hours ago. Lust has been giving us a particular amount of trouble as well."
"What about War?"
"Nothing yet, however I believe that he has managed to worm his way into a position of power"
"Alright, I want you to get you monkeys over here so I can explain things to them." Suian said. Vegeta fumed and Goku looked slightly worried. Trunks, who had been poking the bubbles to see what would happen, came over as well. "You, lead Monkey." It took all of Goku's and Trunks' strength to keep Vegeta back. "You will locate War and sabotage all of his plans. Base, weapons, whatever, as long as they are out of commission. Then you will attempt to Capture War and bring him back here."
"No one gives me Orders Wench!" Vegeta yelled and elbowed Goku in the face, lunging for the old woman, only to be brought up short by an invisible barrier.
"You will. Otherwise I enter your mind and force you to." She turned to Goku, who was rubbing his cheek. "You will locate your sons." Without thinking, Goku said "Done. Found them. Now what"
"You will go and capture Mischief. You will bring it back here, and you must also report to me on the status of Crime. They are in Satan City. Then you will bring your sons back here." Goku nodded.
"What about me!" Trunks yelled, eager to be of use.
"You will stay here and alert me of any demon activity on these meters." She handed the child the compass and the thermometer. "If anything unusual happens to either of them alert me immediately."
She Marched up to them like a drill Sargent and stared them each in the eye. "GO!" She barked.
To put it simply, they went.
"Now, who else do I have at my disposal?"
Caleb woke up.
However, it was the weirdest sensation that he had ever had, like he was floating. Slowly he opened his eyes to see, well, himself, lying in a hospital bed in one of those stupid looking hospital gowns with tubes all over his arms and in his mouth. A cardiogram was letting out a slow, unsteady beep. Several tired looking doctors and nurses milled around, shouting things at each other. He saw his friend and fellow officer Sarah slumped in a corner, staring at her gun. A nurse came by and gently took it out of her hands, laying it on the lower section of one of those moving trolleys.
Sarah launched herself into the nurse's arms and began to sob silently. Caleb realized that his strange, disembodied world carried no sound.
The Cardio machine began to peak more erratically, and Caleb desperately tried to swim towards his body, before he realized that he had no arms, no legs, no head, Just consciousness.
The world seemed to tip and spin, blurring into a giant muddy swirl.
He found himself in a rather dull looking pink room. There were little green plastic benches arranged as one might see them in a waiting room, And the clashed horribly with the walls Several bored looking people lounged around on the benches. There were beat up magazines scattered on low white tables. They all had titles like KOSMO!: the cheaper alternative to Cosmo, HEALTH TODAY, and REAL ESTATE WEEKLY: The Andorra Edition. You know them, the kind nobody reads, but you end up flipping through anyway.
Against all reason, there was a reception desk with a pink haired woman behind it. She had cherry red lips, and was lazily rubbing an emery board across her nails as she chatted on a telephone that was wedged in between her shoulder and her ear, while managing to chew gum at the same time. He wandered up to the desk and rang the bell.
The Receptionist looked at him reproachfully and blew a large pink bubble. She glanced him over and dug out a stack of forms and a beaten up blue ballpoint pen. She pushed them towards him and waved him off.
"Um, Excuse me, Where am I?" The receptionist glared at him, then mouthed: "fill out those" and turned away, continuing to chat.
Feeling more than a little confused and lost, Caleb sat on one of the uncomfortable plastic green benches and spread the tattered papers out on his knee. The first form looked something like this:
NAME (please print):
That was it. He scanned the rest of the page carefully to make sure that there was nothing else on the page. He turned it over, to find that the back was equally as blank. A pained expression crossed his face as he slowly and carefully printed:
The other pages turned out to contain similar queries, such as:
DATE OF BIRTH (20/04/80)
MARITAL STATUS (single)
Then they started to get weird, containing queries such as
SANITY LEVEL (CUAL)
WILL TO LIVE (110)
NUMBER OF FRIENDS
LAST THING EATEN
He thumbed through them to make sure there was no mistakes. For will to live he feverently put down a 10. Sanity level received a good, followed by several question marks. Number of friends took a while for him to figure out before he carefully put down 5. The last thing he had eaten was a bean burrito. Political affiliation he put down 'liberal'. As for current condition he simply wrote down 'extremely confused'. Last flashback he circled no.
he brought the forms back to the reception desk and patiently waited for the secretary to acknowledge his existence. She put down her emery board and took the forms from his hands and, then one by one, fed them into a paper shredder. Caleb felt somehow cheated. He really wanted to know why on earth he had to fill out those in the first place. The woman scooped the shredded bits of paper into another machine, which fed out a single piece of paper, which she handed to him. It read:
CHANCE OF AWAKINg: 4/10
HAVE A NICE STAY
The message appeared to be comprised of letters from the questions and his answers.
One of the bored looking people sidled over to him and glanced at his sheet.
"4 in 10 then? Not a bad chance there mate!" Caleb looked at him distractedly.
"Are you telling me that there is a 6 in 10 chance that I'm going to be stuck here forever!"Caleb suddenly cried, staring at the tattered copies of Real Estate weekly and Hair Today! (circa 1976)
"Cheer up! You probably won't be stuck here forever!" Said the man. He was blond, and very eager looking. "Police man like you, probably a fighter eh?" He punched Caleb on the arm. Caleb cheered up slightly.
"That, or you'll die!" He said cheerfully, then stuck out his hand "Ken Dright, Traveling home Cleanliness apparatus vendor!"
Caleb looked at his sheet of paper, and he looked at Ken's honest shining face, then at the copies of Real Estate weekly, and screamed.
Revenge is sweat
A/n: Yay, I moved back to some of those story lines that I thought I had forgotten about! I really need to get some moving so that everything stays roughly on the same time line. Caleb and Sarah are about an hour ahead of Gohan and Videl, who are like 4 hours ahead of everyone up in the lookout. War has conveniently decided to skip out a few whole hours of existence, and is now, err somewhere. 18 and Krillen are right in sync with the lookout.
If you are still reading, I'd like your thoughts, and your extremely critical critisism if you have it! Point out all of my mistakes! Please?