A Hero's Time Warp

"Truly tragic. Have you not been able to find his parents? ...Right, no luck whatsoever? Okay... Yes... I just wish I wasn't the one to break the news to the crowd. Cyber was a favourite to win it this year, and he was so young. I can't believe he's dead..."

Chapter 18... Sleeping

Goku didn't really understand why he stopped fighting Piccolo. He just knew he couldn't continue –that he had to be somewhere else. But, he had no idea where. Something, somewhere, was happening and he needed to be involved. His bones rattled with irritation and he was itching to use every portion of energy he had to help do something for some purpose. But, what?

His heart had so suddenly sunk. He had never felt so low in his life. Even when his Grandfather died, he had never had so many tears sting his eyes. This was all new, and he didn't like it. At first, he thought maybe this was the fault of him proposing to Chi-Chi. Maybe this had been what it felt like to be married, or something? He knew lots of guys who complained about their wives.

But that hadn't been it. It was stronger than marriage, he supposed.

"G-Goku, are you NUTS?" Goku turned around and faced Bulma lazily, still in a daze. She didn't look at all impressed. Hands on hips, clenched teeth, eyes so focused on him that were bulging –yes, she was extremely angry. "What happened out there? You need to save Kami, not call for a break!"

"Shh..." Goku said softly to her, angering her all the more. "I'm thinking."

"Ooh, I'm sure that hurts." She snarled.

Then, there came an awkward silence between them. Bulma just stared at her friend, his eyes still misted and he was somehow looking smaller than he always had been. She attempted a smile. "Hey, sorry, 'just don't know what's going on in your head. You've been all mysterious lately, and none of us get it."

Goku raised his head and stared at her intently, he opened his mouth to speak, however-

"An urgent announcement for all participants and ...remaining spectators, due to a tragic accident, the final match will not be scheduled to continue. We have concluded that the winner of this tournament is both Majunior and Goku!"

Several 'Boos' could be heard.

"Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for coming to the WMAT this year. Exits are at the rear and front of the ring. See you next time. Also, can the participants; Majunior and Goku, please come to the private lounge? Thank you."

Goku didn't haste, even when Bulma called him back to her. He walked speedily down the hallways, avoiding any media, fans or haters and just continued onwards until he reached the private lounge. A lonely door was sported in the corner of a long corridor, near several potted plants. Eagerly, he tried the handle, but the door was locked. However, there was an intercom only centimetres away.

He reached for it and pressed down a sizably square button, speaking swiftly and firmly. "Uh hey, this is Goku."

There was a faint 'click' before the door cracked open. Inside, Goku noticed that Piccolo was already there. He could only stare at the young man with the same angered expression he had given him when he called off their fight. The room held a tense atmosphere. It was slightly claustrophobic and the air was a little thin. But Goku tried to put that down to the room being as small as it was.

"Ah Mr. Son." Greeted a stiff gentleman dressed in chequered suit. He had a rich accent the young martial artist had never heard before. Before Goku could even respond, the stiff man grabbed his hand and shook it violently.

He spoke again, full of self-confidence. "I'm Jacques Lefleur. I sponsored the WMAT this year. I run some small businesses in the travel and tourism market in the area, but I'm usually known for managing hotels in Europe. However, I'm now investing in some scientific industries."

Goku tried to look impressed.

Jacques Lefleur smiled emptily. "You're a busy man. I'm a busy man... so I'll make it brief."

The Saiyan then turned to Piccolo. His expression was dull, bored even.

"I am looking for the new face-" Jacques then turned to Piccolo and winked. "-or faces of my latest business project. All I need you guys to do is to tell the people how good my next lot of hotels are –pose for a few lousy photographers, read some silly lines into a camera..."

"If this is anything 'businessy', Mr. Le-flower, then I can't really be any help." Goku said honestly.

"Lefleur." Jacques corrected sourly.

"This is a waste of my time." Piccolo snorted curtly. He brushed himself down before walking towards the door.

"No, no!" the business man approached the Namek, and brought out a memo pad. "Let me at least take your number."

"Mr. Lay-flour, that's not a good idea..." Goku warned him.

"Lefleur!" he stressed. He scribbled down some nonsense onto the small pad of paper, before turning and looking up at the tall green fighter. "Originally, I'll be honest, I wanted the kid. What was he called? Cyber? –Or something stupid like that. We would have had to work on the name, but..."

"Then stop pestering me, you imbecile. Go to him." Piccolo snapped."Let me leave or I'll kill you in a swipe."

"Mr. Laflair..." Goku continued, frowning.

"Le...fleur! Agh, fine; just call me Jacques." The stiff Frenchman turned back around to Piccolo, completely ignorant to the serious death threat. "Yes, I was looking forward to working with the Cyber boy, but with what happened... I'm surprised that you're unaware of your fellow competitor's condition."

"What are you talking about, Jack?" The Saiyan asked, suddenly perked with interest.

Jacques' eye twitched, and he paused."That's why the final match never went ahead, Goku. May I call you Goku?"

"Was he injured?" Piccolo asked. The Namek's intrigue surprised Goku.

"Dead." Lefleur deadpanned. "They found his body about an hour ago or so. Apparently someone stabbed him. What a terrible world we live in, but imagine both your smiling faces on giant billboards brightening everyone's days. I can see it now; 'Come to the Lefleur Hotels' in bubble wri-"

Smack. Right in the gut.

It seemed Piccolo had lost patience with the businessman and punched him straight through the door. Wooden pieces which were once part of the door scattered were now scattered around the room and edged into the hallway. Lefleur was leaning against the wall, twitching. Goku took this as a good sign. At least he wasn't dead.

But... Cyber...

Goku sat in a lonesome room, isolated. The tournament had been cancelled, Kami was still trapped, Piccolo remained unpunished and to top it off; Cyber was dead. Goku couldn't call this day a successful one, which was certainly for sure. Tired and at a loss for ideas, all Goku could do was reflect on the passing day and attempt to piece together the ankle-biting mysteries which mocked him.

The wind was picking up and he could hear the light patters of rain tapping at the window. He welcomed the depressing weather, feeling it was only appropriate for sky to be as miserable as he was.

Suddenly, he found his feet the most interesting thing in the world, even when the radio fizzled and crackled with static. He didn't even bother to raise his head when he heard the repeated message from the radio presenter about the 'Tournament scandal', or 'Murderer at the Budokai strikes!'. A churn in his stomach persuaded him that this was a turning point, and things were slowly going to unfold from here on.

Dark eyelashes fluttered. His eyes blinked open only to see darkness. His legs were as numb as his arms and a firm restriction stopped him from moving. Despite this, he could still feel the faint sensation of blood rushing to his head. An uncomfortable friction was swallowing his mouth and choking him, causing faint gagging from his behalf.

Was he gagged? He'd never known how it felt, so he couldn't compare.

Fingers twitched, but that was the only strength he could muster.


He flinched at the voice. It was patronizing, dark.

"You should be. It took several types of sedatives to restrain you." A pause. "You should never mix drugs like that. It really is a wonder you are alive."

He could only release a lowly groan behind the tasteless material.

"I don't know who you are." The male voice sounded irritated, croaky now. "My detectors couldn't even comprehend your vast amount of power." A longer pause; then footsteps echoed against a tiled floor. Was he coming closer?

A hiss shot through his ears, only to realise that it was his own muffled voice. A sharp pain sliced into (what was supposed to be numb) arm. In addition to that, burning crawled up his throat, and he felt a sudden shot of dizziness before his being turned to jelly.

More footsteps could be heard, but these steps sounded stranger than the last. The echoes continued onwards seconds after each step. Every sound seemed stretched out and became louder; enforcing jolts of pain to shoot from one temple to another.

The man was speaking again, but nothing managed to make sense. Mumbles barely made it to his ears now, and he couldn't even find the energy to panic. Another sharp pain scratched at his skin, but it was in no comparison to the first. It didn't last long and he even managed to feel a little livelier.

A grumble identified itself from the mysterious man. Could he hear scribbling? Was this person taking notes?

He remembered taking notes. Every Saturday he would go out and study Phillip's behaviour, and take notes then.

Another sharp pain carved him apart; he flinched.

Phillip was a well-behaved dinosaur, not like Miki. Miki, once, chased him right down to the river. But he forgave her because she had babies, and mothers need to protect babies.

The pain dragged itself torturously through his calf. Was that a knife?

His own mother told him not to touch the knives without permission. But then Piccolo gave him a sword. He didn't tell her that, though.

Something warm trickled down to his ankle, and that's when he began to see the colours; red, blue, yellow... All floating; it was pretty.

"...eresting- ...No blood cl... erfect for testi..."

Tapping on his face began to tickle, so he smiled. Then he choked on something. Had he always been gagged?

"-an you hear? ...Listen you lit..."

The colours merged into shapes.

"I asked you a questi...!"

A sharp slap sent the shapes spiraling away, and then he realized his cheek was stinging.

Then he couldn't feel anything.

Oh heeeey, sorry for delay. But I'm still kicking. These "cliffhangers" are probably grinding on people now, and I know everyone must have given up on this by now. But I am determined to finish this damn thing. Just to clear things up in the last half of the chapter, he has gone a little loopy (just if you are wondering whether or not I wrote this whilst taking something I shouldn't). I have set the story up to finish soon, nonetheless, sooo... yeah.

I am considering whether or not this will be my last fanfiction, after I finish Rejection of the Precious (When I get there), because I am tempted to write Bleach or a crossover or something. I am tempted to write something super, super dark (maybe you've noticed in my latest chapters). :D

Sorry for any mistake, this is un-betaed so there WILL be some. Thanks for all reviews, Pms, alerts and favs. Happy Holidays!