As a side note, my beta reader is way behind. So I've decided to post these without her proofreading and corrections. Expect lots of errors cause I tend to have trouble finidng them.
Welcome to Altered History, Saga 6, Heaven and Hell.
Chapter One - Family Ties
Nearly seven years have passed since Cell's defeat...
The sky overhead was blocked out by thick black clouds. Low rumbles of thunder could be heard rolling over the lands in the distance. Between their deep growls the only other sound was the rain as it fell upon the leaves of the trees and the grass covered ground. It was coming down in buckets and soaking through the clothes of the two figures that stood upon the small hill, though neither really cared.
Both wore the same thing, a simple white t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and sneakers. Nothing more. They'd been standing there in the rain for almost ten minutes now, one several feet further up the hill than the other. When they'd first arrived the woman had been carrying a bouquet of flowers. Flowers of blue, red, pink, white, and yellow. Now that bouquet lay down upon the ground in front of a small white stone.
The stone was unimpressive in and of itself, the formal burial site was where the impressive and extravagant marker was. Even if there was no body at that location. She had been buried here, on her favorite hill where the flowers always grew in the spring and summer and only a few yards beyond the palace. It had been a request in the last few hours of her life that she be laid to rest here.
It had been... such a shock. So sudden and unexpected, like all the deaths that had come in the two months before and the three months after it. A terrible illness unlike anything they'd ever experienced had befallen them. The entire planet had suffered its effects, a world wide epidemic. Their already small population had taken a devastating blow.
It seemed that no one on the planet was immune to the disease. In the five months that it ran its course through the planet's population each and every one of them had gotten sick. Those who were lucky enough to survive developed a powerful resistance and immunity to it, there would be no threat of it returning to harm them. But most weren't that lucky and they died... within twenty-four hours of showing symptoms of the disease.
A population of just over four hundred thousand had been reduced, in just five months, to less than one hundred thousand. That had been over two years ago now and the population had begun to restore itself. In those two years they'd managed to climb back up over one hundred thousand again. That mile stone had just been reached just that morning. Though neither figure on the hill knew it there were currently one hundred thousand of them, exactly.
A hand rested lightly on her shoulder but she didn't notice it right away, too lost in her thoughts and memories. Then she heard a voice saying her name, though it sounded distant and foggy. A moment later it came again. "Hotaru?" Finally she turned her head over her shoulder so that her eyes met those of the man with her. "We should head back to the palace." he said. "I don't want you getting sick on me. Besides, our ship leaves soon."
She nodded. "Ok." she said, turning around completely. It had been two years but she still came to the grave once a week to offer a prayer or to just talk, let her mother know how things were going. She moved beside Yamcha, wraped her arm around his, clasped his hand in hers, and leaned her head against his shoulder as they walked.
Despite having lost her mother to the powerful illness that had swept the planet she still considered herself lucky. There were... entire families that had been destroyed and people who had lost everyone. Thankfully Sango had been off-world, as she often had been over the years, handling offical business, when the disease had struck. She'd shown no symptoms and had remained off-world and out of physical contact with anyone from Tanaria until a vaccine had been developed.
Yamcha had, much like Kavar, experienced a far less severe infection. For the Human it had merely caused a high fever, sore throat, and an inability to keep any food down for a few days. A simple IV had remedied his eating troubles and some basic medication had dulled the pain of his throat and reduced his fever.
Kavar had suffered from similar issues. However, while he'd not had any problems keeping his food down he had lost all of his hair for a couple of weeks and, out of everyone on the planet, been sick the longest. He'd also revealed the source of the illness. Taraganin histories spoke of it coinciding with the planet's steam venting. A natural process where thousands of fissures and openings across the entire planet would vent steam at random intervals for random peroids over several days as the planet released built up internal pressure.
Apparently the bacteria lay deep inside the crust where it had gone completely unnoticed by the Tanarians after their arrival. The steam venting had begun about two days before the first case of infection. And so the bacteria had been forced to the surface and had found a planet full of new creatures to make its host, to far more devastating effect than the natives.
Another thing Hotaru had to be happy about was that neither of her daughters had contracted the illness to the same degree as the Tanarian population. They'd both suffered the same symptoms as Yamcha as well as the body aches and temporary loss of vision that all the Tanarians had experienced. But their hybrid immune system had been strong enough to stave off the worst of it and both had survived.
She herself had come out pretty well, considering. She'd been hit by the illness hard, almost as hard as her mother. There had been a few times during the twenty-four hours that she'd been sick that the doctors thought they were going to lose her. She was extremely thankful for the Regen Tanks that King Vegeta had sent the year before. Without them... it was possible no one would have survived. The Tomyu Flower Extract that they used to heal injuries just wasn't effective on sicknesses.
At last the two reached the doors into the palace and made their way through the halls to the ship bay. "It'll be nice to see everyone again." Hotaru said after a moment, smiling. Sure, she'd seen everyone several times over the years but never everyone at once like this.
Yamcha nodded. "Sure will be. And I'm looking forward to the tournament. I can't wait to see how far along Krillin and Tien have come. Not to mention Gohan!"
Hotaru nodded. "And I want to see how much Vadora's improved... Hard to believe she was stronger than me at one time."
Yamcha laughed. "Yeah, well, that happens when you're, what, the second strongest person in the galaxy? I mean, at this point, the only one who could beat you would be Gohan."
"Oh, come on Gohan, hurry up!" Goten cried dancing back and forth on his legs. "I don't want miss the ship!"
"Relax squirt, we'll get there in plenty of time." Gohan said laughing. "I still don't know why you didn't just stay on Planet Vegeta in the first place..."
"Cause I wanted to fly back out with you guys!" he said. "Now come on, let's go!" And with that he blasted off in a streak of blue.
"Well, he sure is excited." Videl said laughing as she emerged from the Son home with a large suitcase, having offered to carry Chi-Chi's things. She'd recently cut her hair short again, in perperation for the tournament, and the breeze caught the wild tufts that jutted out here and there and blew them about.
Gohan nodded. "I think the idea of the tournament's got him really worked up. He's heard all the stories about dad entering the Budokais here so now he wants to compete too." He looked over the stuff they had out to carry. A suitcase for all of his things, one for Goten's, and one for Videl's, and one for Chi-Chi's. "Looks like everything..." he said.
"Your mom's going to meet us at the Embassy, right?" Videl asked, picking up her own suticase and lifting up off the ground.
Gohan nodded. "She went over to Capsule Corp yesterday to help Krillin and Mijima settle up things there. She's going to head to the Embassy with them. Your father should be there by now too."
"Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's get going." she said flying off. Gohan grabbed his and Goten's things and took off after her. The trip was made in peaceful silence... at first. They'd been flying about twenty minutes, having covered a good distance, when a blue light appeared in the distance zooming toward them. Goten was moving at full speed and reached them a moment later.
"Big brother!" he cried, pulling to a stop. "Trouble down in East Laketown!"
"What is it?" he asked, pulling to a stop and reaching out his senses.
"I dunno, I heard explosions so I got closer to look and there were a lot of energy blasts zipping around down there!"
"Here, take the suitcases." Gohan said handing the two he had over. Goten tucked one under his arm and grabbed the handle of the other, then did the same with the ones Videl had. The teen then looked over to Videl. "Ready?" she nodded and both moved off toward East Laketown. They could feel a lot of powers of varying levels coming from the city. Nothing on their scale though.
The two landed a moment later on a rooftop a few blocks from the ongoing fighting. The area around them was pretty badly damaged with craters of various sizes in the street and sidewalk and a couple buildings completely destroyed. Feeling a faint power in the alley beside them Videl moved over and looked down. "Oh no... Gohan, over here!" she called over her shoulder as she jumped down.
He joined her a second later and saw what she'd found. A man in the Earth Defense Force's green and blue battle armor with a large section blasted off and rather serious injuries as well as a broken leg. "Who...?" he said weakly, looking up.
"It's ok." Videl said kneeling down beside the guy. "Can you tell us what's going on?"
"Gang of thieves..." he said slowly. "Tried to raid... the town. We were just flying by... and came to help the locals..."
Videl nodded and stood up. "Must be some pretty impressive thieves to be able to do this to someone in the EDF." she said, crossing her arms.
"Well, impressive or not, they're no match for us. Come on, let's give these guys a hand." Gohan said walking down the street. "Then we can send help for this guy." Videl followed after him and a moment later they'd reached the battlefield. The EDF had taken cover behind one of their reinforced vans, which had taken a serious beating. Meanwhile the thieves appeared to be hiding out in a bank across the street.
"Who's in charge here?" Videl asked, walking over to the EDF soldiers.
A short guy, no more than three foot tall, with orange skin, blue hair, and a short and fat little blue spike atop his head turned to look. "I... I am now." he said, a bit nervous. The two teens glanced at each other recognizing the insignia on his armor marked him as only a level four. Team leaders were always level three or higher which meant...
"Where's your original leader?" Gohan asked. The short man jerked his head toward the street and Gohan looked. There was a lone EDF solider laying dead in a pool of blood in the street. "Damn." Turning his attenion back to the others he nodded. "Alright, we'll handle this from here, just relax."
The little orange man started to say something but was cut off by a really deep voice from behind. "Gohan!? Ha, it is you!" Glancing back Gohan saw what could best be described as an eight foot tall bowl of blue-berry Jell-O in white and orange battle armor.
"Dubibub." Gohan said with a nod. He knew the alien fairly well having encountered him several dozen times at the training center. "What are you doing out here, you're not with the EDF."
"Was passing by..." he started as he tapped his scouter. "Heard the distress call from the EDF forces. Mind if I take a shot at these guys before you? I could use the exercise."
"Just be careful."
"No problem!" he cried walking out into the street.
Meanwhile Videl leaned over a little. "Um, Gohan... is it just me or... are there no Kis coming from in there?"
Gohan frowned a little and then focused, reaching his mind into the building. Videl was right, he found, there wasn't a single energy inside the bank. He was about to suggest that the thieves had escaped when Dubibub's surrender speech was cut off by a blast of golden energy. The alien deflected it away easily enough and then repeated his order to surrender.
"Ha! Not on your life!" came a voice from inside and then four odd looking... things... walked into view. They were obviously robotic with upside down cone shaped bodies and four spider like legs that ended in multiple toe like prongs. Atop the cones were black glass domes, probably where the sensors and such were stored. In the middle of the body, between the dome and the legs, they each had a pair of arms, the hands of which were now split open revealing energy guns.
The four machines began firing together, their energy blasts charging toward their target with perfect accuracy. But the alien deflected each shot with ease. "Nice toys but they wont work on me!" he said as the last energy blast was deflected away.
"Then allow me!" came the voice once more. A blast of red energy surged out and slammed into Dubibub square in his chest. His armor shattered and he was thrust back into the armored vehicle and knocked out. "Now, unless you want to be next, get lost!"
Gohan walked out into the street with Videl at his side. Both stopped directly in front of the bank in the middle of the road. "I suggest..." Videl began. "That you give up. You won't like the alternative."
The reply came in the form of another blast of energy but she deflected it with ease. And then twin flashes of gold exploded from the teens and bathed the streets. The bright light cutting into the darkness of the bank and revealing the man inside. He was a large man in jeans and a red tank-top. His face was hidden from view by a metal helmet made to look like a skull. However, the most distinguishing feature was the sleek metal right arm he bore.
"What-the-hell?" Videl said, blinking.
"Brats!" the man growled. "It's always a pair of brats!" With that he charged toward them, his metal arm cocking back for a punch. With a cry he swung his fist toward Videl's face but she caught the arm with little effort. But then, to their shock, the man laughed. Suddenly a cry of pain sounded from Videl and she dropped to one knee. Gohan turned and looked and saw her golden aura flowing into the metal arm of the man.
With a cry he thrust his arm out and landed a punch to the large man's helmeted head. The metal helmet cracked but held as he was knocked down the street. The metal arm reached out and he rebounded off of it and onto his feet once more. "Crap, shouldn't have held back that much." Gohan muttered. "You okay Videl?"
She nodded as she stood. "Damn, that felt..." she said shaking her arm. "He took a small chunk of my energy."
"Who are you!?" Gohan called.
"I... am the great Autoro!" he called, charging in toward them again.
/Autoro? Where do I know.../ Gohan thought. /Ugh, no way, could he be!?/ "Autoro!?" he cried, as the thought hit him. "Mijima and Gainin's father!?"