Disclaimer: Don't own anything related to dragons, their balls or any combination thereof.
"Interesting," The Supreme Kai mused as Gohan made his rather stunning announcement. His mind-delve of Babidi's minions was completed a minute or so ago, allowing him to place more attention on the fight. And it was a most impressive sight.
Having read his memories, the Kai knew that Gohan did not make idle boasts or threats. The others in the fighters' waiting area gave reactions of various sorts. Most of the normal humans had at this point descended into spouting nonsense or outright fainting. Of course, the two boys masquerading as this 'Mighty Mask' were still standing. But they too had been stunned, equal parts fear and admiration dominating their mind.
For his part, the Supreme Kai had once again been pleasantly surprised. He had kept an eye on Gohan's thoughts during the fight; the boy intrigued him. His mental condition made it difficult, but not impossible. And the result truly impressed the age-old guardian.
Gohan had, indeed, perfectly theorized Kibito's defensive technique. After having only seen it once. For all their eons together, the Supreme Kai had never met anyone who had realized the nature of Kibito's technique so quickly.
"An impressive mind," The Kai mused to himself, losing himself in his thoughts, "As well as a highly capable warrior… I wonder…"
On the other side of the waiting area, Piccolo's head suddenly shut up, fear in his eyes, but the Supreme Kai didn't notice it.
"What?" Kibito scoffed at Gohan, lowering his hand again. "You dare assume you understand my technique?"
"Yeah," Gohan smiled, his hands relaxed at his side. "I've got a pretty solid idea on how it works. Scared big guy?"
"No mortal has ever discovered the workings of my technique while fighting me." As he spoke, Kibito suddenly rushed forward, but Gohan quickly disappeared and appeared a distance away, still smiling.
"If you're so sure… why not let me try it?" He continued, already cupping his arms at his side. "If I'm right… I win. If not… nothing happens, right?"
"You think I will give you a free sh-" Kibito tried to rush forward again, but Gohan was already gathering the energy in his hands.
"Gah!" raising his hand in front of him, Kibito managed to get his shield in place before the Kamehameha hit. It would never penetrate the barrier, no matter how much power Gohan put into it.
"Foolish mortal, you will not defe-"
But even as Kibito was talking, before the Kamehameha attack hit his shield, another energy blast shot out of it. A generic, weak gold-colored energy blast shot out of the white-and-blue wave, moved through the shield like it was never there and struck Kibito straight in the face.
His shields died down as he lost focus.
The Kamehameha wave struck him unopposed and unprepared.
"GRRAAAAAGHGGG!" the screams of pain escaped Kibito as he felt his entire body burn. This Kamehameha was far less powerful then the last one Gohan had fired before, but more than enough to seriously injure the pink giant.
Finally the attack died down, releasing Kibito and allowing him to fall to the ground. A last effort to stabilize himself failed and he ultimately dropped down the twenty-odd meters and fell on the ground.
The huge craters that had been formed by the battle all sloped down, so Kibito was still rolling for another three or four before he finally came to a stop.
The sudden lack of movement seemed to finally be registered by the rest of the world as Gohan slowly descended.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WHAT A FIGHT!" the announcer shouted, "AFTER A FIGHT THAT I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE AS A CLASH BETWEEN TITANS IT'S FINALLY OVER! I'VE SEEEN MY SHARE OF INTENSE FIGHTS OVER THE YEARS BUT NOTHING LIKE THIS! THE RING IS COMPLETELY DESTROYED! YET, BY SOME MIRACLE, NOTHING HAPPENED TO THOSE OUTSIDE THE RING."
The stands were apparently starting to recover as well, though they barely understood what exactly had happened.
"WITH A DEVESTATING KNOCK-OUT AND RING-OUT COMBINATION BY SMASHING KIBITO INTO THE GROUND, GOHAN HAS SECURED HIS FIRST VICTORY IN THE WORLD TOURNAMENT OF MARTIAL ARTS! AND IT'S ONE THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED!"
Finally, Gohan landed next to his defeated opponent. Down on the ground, Kibito managed to flip himself over so he was lying face-up. Now that he was close, Gohan could see the damage he'd done.
Kibito was a mess; most of his body had severe burns, most of his clothes had been completely destroyed and he was obviously drifting in and out of consciousness. It actually made Gohan feel rather guilty, Kibito was after all an ally.
But, as he drifted in and out of consciousness, Kibito started to raise his left hand. With an obvious effort, he placed the hand on his chest and immediately a gentle yellow glow enveloped him. It flickered a couple of times, before stabilizing. Injuries and burns vanishing quickly, Kibito opened his eyes. They were much cleared now as his healing magic did its work.
Crouching down, Gohan gave a smile. He was still excited about how the fight itself had gone down, but the most exciting of all had been that his theory had been right. And now that the fight was over, he didn't mind explaining what he'd found.
"I noticed a pattern." He finally said, still crouched down. "When we were fighting, your moves, they were… predictable. You're fast and strong and you've got a lot of energy. In fact, you were stronger and faster than me. But, something just felt off. It took me a couple of exchanges, but then I noticed it."
"You studied fighting and studied it well." Gohan said, "You move without hesitation and your technique is extremely well executed… but you lack experience in fighting opponents. My guess is it's been a long time since you've ever been in a real fight. It's all over your style; it's by-the-book, predictable and inflexible. Anyone who's seen real combat knows that the forms you train and study are just basics; real fighting is finding variations that your opponent can't stop, because they're just a tiny bit different from before.
"You didn't have those variations, which made you easy to read. The longer our fight continued, the easier it was for me to stop you. That's why I started winning the melee exchanges and closing in without taking any hits."
Kibito, now fully healed by his magic, sat up. He looked Gohan in the eye for a second, and then lowered his eyes till he was looking at the ground.
"You are correct, mortal." He conceded, "For all my time and training, as my master's aide I rarely see combat. Still... for you to notice it so quickly… But how did you see through my Barrier?"
He raised a hand, which Gohan took and used it to pull the larger man to his feet. The moment their hands made contact, Kibito's magic started healing Gohan as well.
"Well, your barrier was tricky. But, once I started really thinking it became pretty clear how it works. I had to ask myself a couple of questions. First off, how does a non-warrior have such a powerful defensive technique? Secondly, if his barrier is so strong… why not use it to stop my other energy attacks? And thirdly, why was the barrier completely stable at all times when I fired my Kamehameh?"
Kibito raised an eyebrow, clearly surprised by the number of questions that had been on the teenager's mind during the fight. If he fought that well when he was distracted…
"The answers became obvious during the rest of the fight. You didn't raise your barrier against my barrage, even though that did more damage than the Kamehameha would've done. Even if you wanted to keep your technique a secret, it's pointless not to use it to defend yourself in that situation. Unless you couldn't.
"And the answers to my third and first question were tied together. The energy you used didn't fluctuate at all when you stopped my Kamehameha wave, because your defense wasn't like any I'd ever seen before. You didn't stop it with a barrier… you dissolved it with another energy pattern."
Now Kibito's eyes really shot wide open. He wanted to say something, but Gohan was on a roll.
"I've been doing some research into the nature of Energy and its use. Most attacks have random formations, but a specific technique has a constant pattern in the energy, it's always molded the same way. Once I thought of that, it all became obvious. You didn't need to fluctuate your energy use, because you weren't blocking it, but negating it. No matter how much power I put it, it would never get past your negation barrier.
"That also explains how you have such a powerful defense, despite your lack of experience. I'm guessing you have a lot of experience dealing with energy, to the point that you can sense the patterns of specific attacks and create negations. How am I doing?"
"I cannot believe it." Kibito sighed, releasing Gohan now that the healing was completed. "You are correct. I have the ability to negate any specific technique used against me. But to realize that from only a single viewing… You truly are impressive, Gohan."
Gohan's wide-eyed reaction from being complimented by Kibito – and called by his name, even! – was short lived.
Most of the fighters in the waiting area had missed Gohan's explanation. In fact, everyone there who could use energy was too busy looking up. To the other fights, it looked distinctly weird… but that fitted with the day they were having.
They had NOT signed up for a tournament like this.
"What's going on…" Videl hated the fear that was audible into her voice, but she couldn't stop it. What she was feeling… the energy involved…
"Babidi has begun his attack!" Supreme Kai finally said, "But… No, we must not falter. Everyone, follow me!"
Immediately, everyone shot after the Supreme Kai, who was already racing towards Gohan and Kibito.
Even from up in the stands, two figures jumped up, then shot forward. Yamcha and Chiaotzu, who were not participating in the tournament, were also heading their way.
In an instant, Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Yamcha, Ciaotzu, Tien, Android #18, Videl and the Supreme Kai had made a circle around Gohan and Kibito.
"Hey guys, what's wrong?" Gohan asked, standing up in surprise.
"Gohan, use your senses." Piccolo said, his voice even grimmer than usual. A moment or two later, Gohan's eyes widened as he realized what was going on.
"It… It can't be."
"Master," Kibito sounded worried as well.
"It is." Was all the Supreme Kai said, "My friends, the time has come to call upon your aid. Babidi has begun his attack. His forces have scattered themselves all over the world and are now… attacking the people of earth. Planet Earth is under siege."
"So we noticed." Vegeta snarled, "There're unusually high energy signatures everywhere. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"
"We split up." Goku immediately said, "The energy levels are high, but nothing we would even have problems with. If we move fast, we can stop the assaults before too many people get hurt."
"Agreed," Piccolo growled, "I'll take the southern continent, Yamcha and Krillin come with me. Gohan, you take Tien and Chiaotzu and deal with the eastern continents, Goku can"
"No." the Supreme Kai was quiet, but he still interrupted Piccolo's instructions. "I fear that we should not focus all our attention on this wide-spread attack."
"What!?" Yamcha shouted, "Guys, who's this clown and why is he ordering us to let people get hurt?"
"Mind your tongue!" Kibito immediately snarled, but Krillin was already on it.
"He's the Supreme Kai; he's kinda pulling authority on us. I'll explain in a bit." Then the smaller man, turned back the Supreme Kai, "Then what would you have us do?"
"This attack is obviously a diversion." The Kai stepped forward, "Babidi knows that this level of attack is no threat to any of you. He wishes to keep you all occupied while he focusses on unleashing Majin Buu. We must not let him succeed in this."
"What. Is. Your. Plan. Kai?" Vegeta finally said, earning another glare from Kibito.
"This; we split up our forced, like Goku just said. However, we focus most of our efforts on taking on Babidi in his ship. With his entire army out, he will be mostly defenseless. Yet, I am sure that he kept his most elite warriors to defend himself. I will take Vegeta, Gohan and Goku to Babidi's base to attack them. The rest of you, including you Kibito, split up and stop his armies."
"But, Master!" Kibito stepped forward, but was stopped by the Supreme Kai raising his hand.
"We are dealing with Babidi." The Kai stated, "No doubt, there is another reason for this widespread attack. Babidi always has plans within plans, we cannot allow his forces to run rampant unchecked."
"Very well," Kibito stepped back, "As you wish master."
"Piccolo, will you coordinate the defense of the planet?" The Kai turned to the Namekian, who nodded, "If you will allow it, I can set up a telepathic link between all of you, this would make it easier to coordinate."
"I will agree. Everyone else?" a series of nods quickly followed. For a moment, the Supreme Kai's eyes lit up a bright blue, before they returned to normal.
"As for us, let us go." The Kai continued, turning to his chosen three warriors, "Using the memories of Yamu and Spopovitch I have managed to locate the base of operations Babidi uses."
Goku and Gohan nodded once, while Vegeta gave a nod. Immediately, the four floated up until they were well above the stadium, before disappearing over the horizon with a burst of energy.
"Good luck." Videl whispered, though she knew Gohan couldn't hear it. She wished she could go with him, but she knew it was futile.
"Alright," Piccolo pulled everyone else out of their thoughts, "we have a planet to defend, so let's get to it."
Like the four before them, the entire group floated up until they were well above the stadium.
"Let's see here…" Piccolo closed his eyes in concentration for a moment, and then opened them again. "We have attacks in almost every major city, and from what I can hear, there are even things going on at un-attacked sites. We'll split up.
"Tien and Chiaotzu, you two take the east. Krillin and #18, the west. Yamcha and Kibito can take the South and I'll go North. Split up as you see fit and don't be afraid to use the multiform techniques."
"What about me?" Videl said. She'd thought she'd be teamed up with Piccolo, but he was going alone? "And… Goten and Trunks?" she finally added as everyone's eyes turned to her.
"If possible, I don't want the boys involved." Piccolo said, "They're strong and willing, but we've all seen what happens when we make children fight our battles. If we need help, I'll contact them. Until then, we keep them out."
That made sense. Gohan was bad enough with all the stuff he'd gone through. And if Goten or Trunks didn't turn as stable as he had…
Videl suppressed a shudder, but Piccolo still hadn't answered her first question.
"As for you; I want you to stay here and defend this island. Babidi has shown interest here before. The strongest fighters in the world are still gathered here, as well as most of the political, social and cultural leaders. If Babidi's forces attack here, we need someone who can hold them off. And keep an eye on the boys, make sure they don't sneak off to join the fight anyway."
"I doubt I can stop them if they try to get away."
"They'll listen to you. They respect and like you."
"One thing you should all know." Kibito said, "Those who are under Babidi's control can never be freed. My Master and I have tried many times, but it has always failed. Death is the only escape. They are slaves to their own evil, thanks to his magic. They deserve your pity for their fate, surely, but you show mercy by ending their slavery. Death is the only escape from his magic."
"Right," Piccolo nodded again, "So… we fight with deadly force. Do not hold back. If we don't stop this army soon enough, Majin Buu might well be free before Goku and the others reach that ship."
Beta note: Kushin eX here, authenticating this beta. Enjoy!
A/N: Ok, this chapter is finished and now we are really getting the ball rolling on the Babidi saga. Hope you enjoyed the chapter and, as always, leave a review telling me what you thought. Sorry that this chapter is quite a bit shorter then what you're used too, but this is really the best point to cut it off.