By: Kitten Kisses
Setting: Pre-Buu; Post-flying lessons.
He was crazy; insane, and he knew it. The blood pulsed through his veins, throbbing painfully in his mind. Where was he? Where were his friends? What was he doing here, in this strange place?
The busy life of Satan City bustled by him unnoticed. All he could see was it. Death. Blood. Lives gone- lives ruined. Missing arms, and legs… Heads that were still half-there; the brain tissue lying discarded on the ground.
Why wasn't he dead?
Wasn't it his turn, yet? Why was he the last? Always the last. Could he still win this war? Could he fight back what he knew was coming for him? The evil that had claimed his comrades- they had been so close. How many secrets had been traded at night between them? How could they be gone? How could they die without a fight?
One second, they were standing there, and the next, they were lying on blood-soaked soil, their brains' scattered amongst the gunpowder and the violets.
His eyes darted from side to side. He knew they were coming. It was almost as if he could feel it in his bones that were now creaking with age. He wouldn't let them take him like they had taken the friends that were almost like a second family to him. He would fight them to the death. Suddenly- he saw them.
How many were there? Ten, or tens of thousands? It was hard for him to tell. But he knew they were there, and that they were coming for him. They had missed their chance all those years before- when he was young and spry, and had lain among the dead as if he were one himself. He had been a coward. Never again. No!
He wasn't going down without a fight.
Police sirens wailed into the already-warm morning air as the entire Satan City Police Force raced through downtown, brakes squealing as they turned corners a little too sharply to try to make it to their destination faster. This was important.
The general public stared in wonder as the sirens screamed past- their heads turning to watch the cars disappear in the distance. What was going on? What was so important that they needed twenty cop cars? An exciting high-speed chase, perhaps? Street racing?
The sirens were silenced as the cars all ground to a stop in front of the local department-grocery store. The Police Chief shook his head when he saw what lay in before him in the parking lot.
An older man, appearing to be…perhaps in his late 50s, was backing down an aisle, a loaded machine gun in his arms, and a scowl on his face. He was mumbling to himself as his eyes darted around frantically, as if he were trying to pinpoint a target.
Curious spectators peered around their cars to see what was going on. Vehicles pulled in and out of the parking lot with no idea as to what awaited them should they happen to reach Aisle Seven.
All of his men stepped slowly out of their cars- guns drawn, barrels pointing downward. Shooting was a last resort. They needed another kind of backup.
Her eyes watered as she yawned, stretching her arms as far over her head as she could get them to go. That infernal beeping of her watch had woken her from a rather restful night's sleep. 'This had best be worth it,' she thought to herself, answering the call that was certain to wake her up completely.
"Videl!" The loud voice of the Police Chief blared through her watch, and before 10:00am, it was enough to give her a headache. "We need your help! A man is down by AllMart, waving a gun around like a maniac! He seems to be rather unpredictable. You might want to get in touch with Saiyaman, just in case."
Videl wanted to smack herself in the face. One man. One gun. How hard could it be? Were they really that incompetent? She would call Saiyaman all right- if only to prove to him how utterly ridiculous life in Satan City was. Had it always been this way?
"Gotcha, Chief. I'll be there in a few." She shut off her watch and tore off her pajamas, throwing on a t-shirt that was a size too big, and a pair of jean capris.
She had called Gohan on the way to the scene of the crime to inform him that he just had to see it, and she would meet him there. She had been doubly sure to tell him that if he took too long in getting there, she would be forced to end things without him, and then he would miss everything.
Everything referring to the Police Force's obvious lack of skill.
Her eyes went wide when she saw more than twenty cruisers blocking one end of Aisle Seven, and twice that many police officers swarming the general area. One man was causing this much trouble? She wasn't sure what she was supposed to think about it. Should she be scared of one man with one gun?
Hell no, she wasn't! She would go down there and kick his butt to Kingdom Come if worse came to worse! She had the determination, the strength, and the brainpower to do such a thing! She was Videl- the great Mr. Satan's daughter! She had saved the city countless other times- and today would be no exception.
She landed her copter in Aisle Six, and walked over to talk to the Police Chief. The older man was standing still, his head facing an old gentleman who was walking backwards- towards the front of the store.
"What's up, Chief?" she asked him, hands on her hips. "Doesn't look like such a big problem to me."
His eyes turned to face her, but his head stayed still. "Look," he told her, his tone soft. "This guy is a nutcase. Don't move too quickly, or he'll be sure to jump at you. That's no ordinary gun- that thing can fire 200 rounds a minute! And he knows how to use it, too- he has to. They don't make guns like that for the general public. That's an army-issued gun."
"Then just shoot him down!" she whispered harshly, her eyes never leaving the old man. "What's so hard about that?"
"We can't." The Chief sounded rather upset about the matter. "He hasn't done anything yet!"
She sent a death glare to the old man who was still backing towards the entrance. He was almost at the end of the aisle. She needed to stop him before he went insane on one of the people meandering in and out of the store. There was already a crowd of people standing nearby, eyes also glued to the interruption to their otherwise normal morning.
'Why don't they stay out of the way?!' she yelled in her own mind, angrily. 'Don't they know that they could get hurt?'
She crept closer to the man as he stopped in the middle of the crosswalk in front of the store until she could hear what he was saying.
"Stay away!" he shouted, his voice cracking from fear. "You bastards are going to get what you deserve! You might have missed me last time, but you're not getting me this time, either!"
Chills ran down her back. He was staring at nothing. At no one.
She could faintly sense Gohan landing in the sky above and behind her. He was holding his ground, not making a move.
Suddenly, she spotted two pre-teen boys on skateboards, headed directly to the front of the store- they would pass right by the insane guy. She wanted to yell for them to stop, but her voice caught in her throat, subconsciously afraid that the man would turn and aim the gun at her, rather than at the air.
The man was shouting now, his eyes wild, gun pointed at the two boys, who had stopped and were staring at this strange man with expressions of shock, confusion, and fear. She felt her hand reach out as the man yelled again.
"I'll kill you all!" It happened so quickly that nobody had any time to react. The man himself really wasn't sure what he was going to do until he did it. Suddenly, bullets were pumping out of the gun as he waved it in a full circle around him, bullets pinging off of cement, and burying themselves into the sides of cars, and into soft flesh.
Gohan himself was rather surprised by the man's sudden and vicious attack. If he'd had only a second longer, he might have had the time to take the gun away from the man. Within thirty seconds, he knew quite a few people were already dead, and three times that many were giving lodging to a bullet or two themselves.
"Videl!" he shouted, suddenly remembering that she had been standing right at the front of the Police Force. After a moment, he spotted her.
She was lying on the asphalt.
Fear, worry, dread, and despair all gripped her as she saw the madman start to swing his gun around in a rather sloppy, lopsided circle. If she had moved sooner, this wouldn't be happening!
A searing pain tore through her left leg, and she felt it buckle beneath her, still unable to tear her eyes from the scene playing out in front of her, as her hands frantically grasped at her wound. She could hear people screaming; some in fear, others in agony. She wasn't sure whether or not she was one of them.
Behind the man, a woman stepped out of the sliding doors, a baby cradled in her arms. Her eyes widened when she saw what was happening, and she quickly let go of her shopping cart and took a step backwards, her back pushing against the glass doors.
Videl could feel her heart pounding in her chest as the screams tuned themselves out. The pinging of the bullets quieted to a dull roar in the back of her mind, and all she could hear was the time crawling by as the man started to turn towards the young mother, the gun still blazing.
She tried to tear her eyes away as what she knew was going to happen, did. The doors hesitated only a second-and-a-half to open, but it was all the time the man needed to turn around.
Suddenly, everything stopped in front of her- her breath, the screams of the injured, and the sound of the bullets- and all she could hear was a long, pain-filled screech as a single bullet slammed into the baby the woman was carrying.
She felt suddenly cold as the woman fell lifelessly to the ground, dropping the still-screaming infant to the blacktop as the doors behind her fully opened.
The baby rolled a few feet, still screaming, before suddenly, it stopped. The last bullet had landed in between its eyes.
She wanted to claw her own eyes out. To scream until she had used up every last ounce of strength she had left. She was glad she hadn't eaten any breakfast, but her stomach was churning, regardless.
The man realized he was out of ammunition, and stopped. Less than a minute had passed since he'd pulled the trigger. His eyes were locked on the mutilated infant lying only a couple of feet from him. They widened, and he dropped his gun to the ground, finally able to see what was around him.
Eyes still wide, he pulled a pistol from his back pocket, cocked it, and placed it between his own horror-stricken eyes before quickly pulling the trigger. His body slumped to the ground, his lead lying mere inches away from the baby he had just killed.
One minute and fourteen seconds had passed since the trigger had been pulled initially.
She half-realized her hands were covering her mouth, which was hanging open in complete and utter horror. She blinked rapidly, her eyes filling with tears as she fought to control her emotions.
Finally, the dark-haired teenager managed to rip her line of sight away from the mangled remains of the man and the infant, instead turning it to her own hands, covered in blood from gripped her wounded leg.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the skateboarder boys twitch and lie still. Her hands were shaking. She was shaking. Her mouth was still opened, and she wanted to scream so badly, but all she could manage was a strangled gasp as the voices of the injured came to her ears.
Unexpectedly, a black and green form was kneeling in front of her, one hand on her shoulder. "Videl," he was saying. "I'm here."
Her tear-filled gaze rose up to meet the dark eyes she knew were looking at her from beneath his sunglasses. "G-G… I…" she started to stutter, managing only a few random sounds. She kept seeing it replay itself, zooming in and focusing on the infant as the bullet lodged itself in its forehead.
"Shhh," he said softly, pulling her towards him as the sounds of the EMS squads pierced through the now muggy air. "Shhhh, it's not your fault. Not your fault." He ignored the blood he knew he was getting all over his clothes and gave her a comforting embrace. "There was nothing you could have done. He was insane."
She didn't hug him back- she only laid her forehead against his chest, eyes going back to her bloody hands. They sat there for several minutes, his arms around her in a comforting grip, her eyes staring almost blankly at her fingers as she tried to think.
"G… Gohan?" she finally managed, her voice sounding almost as if it had been wrung through a juice squeezer.
He gave her shoulder a squeeze, and pulled away so that he could look at her. He almost regretted doing so.
Her long lashes dripped with a few tears, eyes wide with emotions he couldn't bear to see- horror, fright, and realization. He could see her swallow thickly before she was able to speak, her voice a small, desperate whisper.
"T…that could have been me."
I know this is weird. I'll bet it wasn't quite what you were expecting, was it? I've never written anything quite like this. I felt inspired to write this at work about a week ago. Weird, I know. But when you do the same thing over-and-over again building car doors, you have time to think. And you are always hit with the most random ideas.
Videl is awfully cocky in the show when she fights crime in the city. The police force might be incompetent (and just stand there instead of shooting at the bad guys), but not all the enemies are that stupid.
You can't read the movements of an insane person. If you didn't understand, this man had been through a war, had hidden among the dead, and had survived. Unable to forget what he'd seen, he had gone insane. It's actually a fairly common thing.
I hope nobody was too out of character. I tried pretty hard on this one. It's past midnight now, though, and I have to get to sleep. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought!
Yes, this is a one-shot.