Author's Notes: This is version two of DBA -- I have spent the last week or so fixing chapters one - five, and this is the end result. There are many stylistic changes between the two, and a couple plot-hole filings, but no major changes (so don't feel like you have to re-read the entire story).
This is a slightly AU DBGT continuation story for two reasons: I am disregarding DBGT's crap "epilogue," where the families lost contact, and I am pretending that the series took place ten years after DBZ ended, as opposed to the official 5/7. Other then that, everything in the story is completely canon.
For the most part, I am using dub spellings of names ("Krillen" versus "Kuririn," for example), with four key exceptions: Bulla, Valese Hercule, and Majuub will be referred to by their original names -- Bra, Paris, Mr. Satan, and Uub. Other then that, the only Japanese used in-story will be the honorific "-chan" and the names "Tenkaichi Bodoukai" (for "World Martial Arts Tournament") and "Room of Spirit and Time" (for the "Hyperbolic Time Chamber").
The main characters of this story are Trunks, Goten, Marron, Pan, Bra and #17, although everyone has a part to play of some sort. The couples are pretty evident; and aren't past "sub-plot" status, but in case you're really curious they are: Canon couples plus Goten / Marron, with possible Trunks / Pan (much) later.
Ages are pretty much told throughout the story, in context, but just in case you really cared: Pan is sixteen, and you can do the rest yourself. :P Just bear in mind that Bra's a year younger then Pan, as some people have that confused for some reason, and you're set!
Also, I don't own any of the Dragonball series' / manga. So no suing.
Chapter One -- Loopholes and Saiyan
(March 6th, 796 A.D -- March 7th, 796 A.D)
After several million years, it wasn't surprising that most loopholes in the judging system had been discovered and rewritten. It also wasn't surprising that the discovery of new loopholes was enough to make Lord Emna want to tear his horns out in frustration. But lo and behold, here they were with a new comer to the judgment desk, and instead of getting to send the bastard to Hell like he deserved, the damned loophole was giving him a first-class ticket out of Otherworld entirely.
Emna glanced at the young man standing impatiently in front of his desk, where he had been for the past two days, and then back at the large rule-book he had dug out of his desk after the loophole had been realized. When he had checked the box next to the boy's name to send him to Hell, the ink had vanished and that had been the clue. The rule-book was written in tiny print, but Emna could see the two rules that, together, would send the young human in front of him back to Earth.
Rule 745a: If the judged is not entirely responsible for his actions, he is to be given a reduced sentence; if the judged was possessed or under the direct control of another person at the time of his crime(s), he is to be kept out of Hell.
Rule 852d: If the judged is still alive when brought into Otherworld, he is to be realized to the planet of his birth in the state that he was in when last here.
No matter what way Emna looked at it, the rules spelled out one thing: If you were a human based android, you counted as an artificial being. However, you could also be counted as human if your artificial parts were separated from you -- and, assuming that you were not killed in the process of being a cyborg, your human self would still count as 'alive.' To worsen the matter, if your artificial parts were being remotely controlled at the time of your death, then only your artificial parts were to be sentenced to Hell, leaving your human parts alive and guilt-free. To add the icing to the cake, the person in question had cleared himself of his sins years ago, so they had no reason to put him in Hell for his own, chosen, actions. It was a complicated bit of legal jargon, but it meant one thing:
Artificial Human No. 17 was completely free of guilt for the killing of all those on Earth a few months ago according to the highest laws of the universe. He would have to be stripped of his artificial parts -- which would go to Hell as a pile of metal and computer chips -- and sent back to Earth as a human teenager of the age and appearance that he had been before becoming a cyborg.
"Hurry up, old man!" #17 yelled up at the giant red demon from where he had been standing for the past forty-eight hours. Lord Emna ignored the tiny cyborg (soon to be human) and put a hand to his temples. Somedays, everything went wrong...
The spaceport was easily the largest in the area, meaning that it was the only place for millions of miles where one could buy even the most basic of supplies, unless you fancied landing on one of the semi-inhabitable planets in the region and foraging for edibles. Not many travelers did, and so the merchants living on NPLNT025 were rich and prosperous.
There had been a planet where the station was, once. It had been destroyed over half a century ago by Lord Freeza (although the merchant was dead, force of habit and lingering fear still caused him to be addressed as such), and almost immediately afterwards the station had begun construction to house those inhabitants that had been off planet at the time. Eventually, the station had grown into a trading hub, and now the survivors of the planet were all dead of old age, leaving only a few mixed-blood children.
Until that day, that is.
"Never did I think I'd see with my own eyes another Saiyan..." An elderly Adbren woman said lowly, her brow wrinkled and four eyes squinted as she looked up at the landing spaceship. She was by no means the only one; there was quite a crowd of people - humanoid and non - around the landing bays, for word spread quickly on space-stations, especially word about those aliens that had once inhabited the planet.
It was not the traditional Saiyan space pod that was landing, slowly, on the station -- this spaceship was much larger, although still round and obviously Saiyan in make. Someone pushed their way through the crowd - a young, arrogant sounding woman.
Ononi, the most Saiyan person on the spaceport (she was about 1/4th Saiyan and the rest Adbren), was shoving her way through the crowd. Ononi considered herself superior to everyone else on the station because of her Saiyan blood, and she had probably delegated herself the spokesperson of these aliens with a Saiyan ship.
"As the last Saiyan in existence, I demand that you let me through!" She said, shoving several aliens aside. "Oh, hello grandmother." Ononi said, slightly more pleasantly, to the old Adbren woman.
"You're so hasty." The woman scolded. "Hasty and rude."
Ononi ignored her, and stood impatiently in front of everyone else, waiting for the passengers of the Saiyan ship to land. When it did - finally - land, and the hatch opened to let the travelers out, Ononi ran forward.
"I welcome you to our space-station," She said proudly, "And hope that you realize you are speaking to the person -- the woman -- with the most remaining Saiyan blood in the known galaxy."
She was ignored by the two people that stepped off of the ship, a short woman with spiky black hair and brown eyes, and a tall man very short spiky hair and grey eyes. Both wore dark red capes and elaborately decorated Saiyan armor, and both had tails.
The woman turned back to the ship and said something in the Saiyan tongue, while the man strode forward. "Who is in charge?" He said in Standard North Dialect in a thickly accented voice.
"I am." Ononi said, as expected. She seemed very hard to be trying to impress the newcomers, especially now that everyone could see that they were, in fact, real Saiyan.
"You are in charge?" The man asked her, looking doubtful. "Where is the Planet Plant?"
"The what?" Ononi said. "There are no planets around here!"
The old Adbren woman's face lit up, and she walked feebly forward. "Planet Plant was renamed years ago. It's been destroyed since."
"He doesn't care about that, Grandmother." Ononi snapped.
"It was here, before?" The Saiyan asked.
"Many years ago. My husband was born there, and we met just after the planet's destruction." The Adbren smiled faintly, thinking back to the good old days. "Those Saiyans, it seems they could have children with any sort of species."
The woman Saiyan emerged again from the ship, accompanied by two more men. The first of them was tall and more arrogant looking then even Ononi. His armor was noticeably more elaborate and ornate then the others. He strode out of the ship and grimaced at the aliens assembled, before saying something to his companions in the Saiyan language.
The other Saiyan was younger, his hair jutting up above his head. He had a rather high forehead, and wore armor that was far plainer then the other three's. He wore no cape, but it was he who approached the Adbren woman to speak.
"You are then someone who knows of the Saiyan race?" He asked; his accent perfect but speech uneededly formal.
"Why, yes." The woman said. "You look awfully familiar, you know."
"Grandmother, stop bothering them!" Ononi hissed, upset that the attention was being taken away from her.
"Are those words that you say; where you speak of the planet having since been destroyed, true? For our party is searching for the Saiyan who may have lived on said planet decades ago, and if the destruction of the Planet Plant is actual I few we have wasted a journey." The young Saiyan explained.
"My, how polite you are." The Adbren said. "Well, I know of the planet -- and so does everyone else around here -- as Planet Vegeta, but the idea is the same, isn't it? Lord Freeza had it destroyed many years ago, and the few survivors have died off."
"Ah - a pity!" He replied. "For those Saiyans in question originate from our planet, and we had hoped to find what had become of them. You see, a time ago my computers had register a power that we at that time had believed could belong to nothing but a Saiyan warrior. At once we set out to find the source, only to find this!"
The old woman smiled sympathetically. "I'm very sorry to hear that, but you won't find any Saiyan here."
"I'm Saiyan!" Ononi yelled, pushing her way between her grandmother and the young man. "Me!"
The other three Saiyans, who obviously did not speak much of the Northern Galaxy General dialect, seemed to understand Ononi's words. The woman took a device out of a bag around her waist, and pointed it at the girl.
"Too weak for being Saiyan." She announced.
"I'm plenty strong! My Saiyan blood ensures it!"
"Who are your friends?" The old woman asked, ignoring Ononi.
"Oh, please forgive me for failing to extend the proper courtesies. The two guards," the man said, indicating the woman and the man in less elaborate armor, "Are Lord Baiseru and Lady Anbe. The other man is the high crown prince of our planet, Prince Yasai. I myself am none but a scientist by the name of Bejita."
"Why, that was the name of the old ruler of Planet Vegeta. Are you related?"
"I believe my father's father was the General's brother, yes." Bejita replied. "However, thus is not the point of my questioning. You claim that the Planet Plant has long since been destroyed by a creature named Freeza... where can we find this being, for we are searching for Saiyans who survived the planet's destruction."
"Ah, well, Lord Freeza is dead as well. He was killed on a planet... oh, what was it..."
The crowd of aliens, who had silently been watching and listening to this exchange, parted to let a green alien with antenna through. He wore a simple robe, and bowed to the old woman and Bejita as he approached.
"That would be my homeworld, the Planet Nameck. I wasn't born at the time, but I have heard the tales." The young Nameckian said politely. "Freeza killed when trying to steal... something... from us, by a Human by the name of Son Goku."
He didn't mention the dragonballs, but Bejita didn't ask. "Are these humans a fighting race?"
The young Nameckian, only having heard tales of three Earthlings, nodded. "The males of the race are all powerful fighters, andthe females are all very clever scientists. That's what I've heard, anyway."
"Do you know of any Saiyan that were with the humans or Freeza?"
"One. He was an evil man, but we Namecks don't know his name. He sided with Son Goku and the other humans."
Bejita nodded, and turned to relay the information to his superiors in the Saiyan tongue. The four spoke together for a minute, but then Prince Yasai said something and the discussion was over. Bejita turned back to the Nameck and old Adbren. "Where is this planet Human?"
"A year's travel from here." The old woman said. "I think it was slated for purging by the Saiyans at one point. Ononi, go find the old maps?"
The young woman stomped off in a huff, upset at being assigned such a job and that her Saiyan blood was being ignored by the full-bloods. When she returned, the Nameck, Saiyan, and Adbren looked over the old documents, until they finally found Planet Earth (the apparent name for the Human planet).
"There is yet a chance that this Son Goku lives, and can tell us about the Saiyan with Freeza. Perhaps this Saiyan is still alive, and we may ask him our questions." Bejita said, obviously pleased to have turned up a solid lead.
"If I may ask, what is the purpose of this expedition?" The old woman asked.
Bejita looked up at her, his face suddenly stern. "I am quite sorry, but I may not say without my Prince's permission. Suffice to say that we of Planet Yasai need discover whatever happened to the Saiyan of Planet Plant, at any cost."
"If they live." Baiseru said thickly, scoffing from where he stood.
#18 liked to sit outside while she drank her morning coffee. It wasn't because she wanted to avoid her family and the other residents of the Kame house, but it also wasn't that she particularly loved watching the sun rise over the ocean. There was no real thought put into the choice, really, besides the fact that the brisk morning air served to wake #18 as much as the caffeine did.
She was always a very early riser, and everyone else was still asleep or barely stirring. As she looked out over the water, #18 noticed a movement off shore, headed towards the island. It looked like waves, the sort made by a fast moving boat, but there was no accompanying buzz of an engine.
In any case, if whatever it was really was headed towards the Kame house, #18 could bet it was for either Krillen or Master Roshi. She took one more sip of coffee, then stood to go inside to tell them of the guest.
"Hold on a moment," Someone, an old woman from the sound of the voice, called. #18 turned to see that the person was much closer now, and actually recognized the visitor as Uranai Baba, sister of Roshi and fortune teller. She was sitting on her crystal ball like always, but she was also pulling along a small raft, on which sat (clung, more like) a rather frightened looking teenager.
#18 waited with an arm on her waist and the other holding her mug, wondering why Baba wished to speak with her. Normally, after all, the elderly witch came only to speak with Master Roshi or to share news of a new threat or dead relative.
After a few minutes, Baba arrived at the island and the raft was dragged on shore. The teen, a black haired boy around eighteen years old, quickly scrambled off it, and crossed his arms huffily when he was standing safely on the beach.
"What are you doing here?" #18 asked, after a moment of silence where neither visitor spoke.
Baba chuckled, and while #18 didn't pretend to be good at telling emotions, she thought the pink-haired crone might have been nervous for some reason. "Well, you see, there have been some difficulties over in Otherworld."
"Well, ah," Baba said. #18 made up her mind -- she really was nervous about something. In the pause that followed, she looked back over at the teenager. For some reason, he looked vaguely familiar... what was a teenaged boy (an alive one, no less) doing hanging around Uranai Baba anyway?
"You see, there's been a complication surrounding #17's death." Baba said, finally. #18 frowned at the thought of her brother -- not out of sadness for his death, but out of anger for the memories brought back by his being mentioned.
"Of what sort?"
"Well, to keep a complicated matter simple, due to an unfortunate loophole in the Laws of Death he wasn't dead after all." Baba glanced over her shoulder -- quite a feat when one barely has a neck -- at the teenager still standing on the beach.
#18's breath stopped for a moment as she looked over at her brother. "Why is he here?" She demanded, after finding herself able to speak again.
"You're his family, of course." Uranai Baba stated, as if the fact was obvious (it probably was, but #18's mind wasn't functioning properly at the moment). "In any case, I do have a few manners to discuss with you before --"
Over on the beach, the human that had once been #17, scoffed. "Y'know, I can hear everything your saying. So stop talkin' like I'm not here." He spoke differently, now -- he sounded younger for sure, and his voice conveyed emotion.
"Yes, well," Uranai Baba said, succeeding in regaining #18's attention, "When we began to rebuild #17's physical body, we ran into a problem. The law said that only his human self could be re-animated, but there was no way to separate human from android. That's why he looks like he does, you see."
"No, I don't."
"We used the last completely human form of him we could find by going through his brain. He's approximately eighteen years old, taken from what we assume to be the day before Dr. Gero began his experiments."
#18 flinched slightly at the crone's words, but said nothing. She wondered if the other residents of the Kame house were awake yet, what her husband would think when he found that his murderer was alive again.
"That leads me to the reason of this visit... you see, we hadn't counted on #17's new body to come with a new mind. He remembers very little of his life as a cyborg, because most of him is from, essentially, the past."
"So... he has amnesia." #18 said. She was finding it easier to simply repeat Baba's words, because that took little thought and left her mind to think through other things. Like the fact that, oh, you know... #17 was alive.
Baba had been speaking, and #18 focused her attention back on the woman. "-- and so, we thought it would be best that #17 stay with you, due to circumstances. Lord Emna and the rest of Otherworld all apologize for the inconvenience."
#18 wanted to ask what the 'circumstances' were, but her pride wouldn't let her admit she hadn't been listening. They probably weren't important. Uranai Baba began to excuse herself, apologizing once again for having to bring #17 back to life. This time, instead of taking off across the ocean, she rose into the air and vanished with a pop.
Leaving #17 and #18 alone on the beach outside the Kame House. #18 looked at her brother warily. True, his ki was at a tiny level, equal to that of a normal human's, but that didn't mean she trusted him any. #17 yawned widely, exaggeratingly.
"That was dumb." He said. "Guess I'm going to be living here now, huh?"
#18 closed her eyes and took a deep, steadying breath. When she opened them again, he was still there.
"Who are you, anyway?" #17 asked.
She wanted to scream.
Adbre -- "Bread" with switched sylables.
Ononi -- "Onion" with switched sylables.
Yasai -- Japanese word for "Vegetable."
Anbe -- "Bean" with switched sylables.
Baiseru -- Bastardized Japanese spelling of "Basil."
Bejita -- Bastardized Japanese spelling of "Vegeta."
Thanks to Brandon. B for beta-reading for me!!!