Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Son Goku stood in front of the Dragonballs, thinking the events of the past week over. It had been the hardest time in his life, but the light at the end of the tunnel was finally there, and everything could be made right.

It had been Kaioushin who had brought them the balls, appearing with them minutes after Agony had been defeated, once and for all. It had scared the hell out of most of them, thinking it was Agony returning somehow. He had left shortly afterward, saying that bringing them the balls would hopefully make up for the fact that he could do nothing in the battle with Agony. But it was good enough.

And now it was time, as the remaining survivors stood on the hillside where they had flown to summon Shen Long. The destruction of New Namek and the loss of their Dragonballs would make the wish that Son Goku wanted to make even harder, but he had hope that it would work. Indeed, it had been hope that had held them all through the horror of Agony.

He glanced around at the said survivors. Goten and Marron hadn't spent more then a minute apart after the terrible test that Agony had made them do, and even now they stood, holding each other. Nearby stood Chi-Chi, who Goku had fetched so she could witness this, and who was helping support a grief-weakened Videl, while Pan clung to her mother's knees. Dende stood alone, although close to Yamcha and Ubuu so that the image of true solitude was not there. Vegeta was also alone, but he stood admist the group so the image did not present itself with him either. The only one who gave the image of true solitude was Erik, who stood away from the DBZ group, his arms crossed and his eyes downcast, not looking at Goku's ritual but instead into himself. Goku knew Erik's mind was still turning everything over, and that he still held himself responsable for Agony's massacres.

Goku crossed mental fingers and hoped this would allow him to see Erik smile for the very first time.

"Come out, Shen Long, and grant my wish!"

The sky darkened and electricity crackled as the massive form of the Eternal Dragon of Earth formed in front of the group. Erik looked impressed, but it faded quickly.

"Son Goku. It is good to see you again. Tell me your wish, and if it is in my power, I will grant it." Shen Long said. He had grown fond of the man who had called him so often and yet never had a selfish desire in his heart.

"Great Shen Long, do you know of what has happened?" Goku asked.

"Yes. I know of the monster named Agony and her destruction. I will do anything within my power to undo what she has done."

"Then I wish that everything that she has destroyed be restored, now!"

Shen Long was silent.

"I am sorry, that is beyond my power. Perhaps my brother Poranga could have granted such a great wish…but I cannot."

Goku's face fell. But he pushed his sadness aside and quickly considered other options.

"Then I wish that New Namek be restored with its people!"

Shen Long was silent, and again Goku's face fell.

"I am sorry, but that is also beyond my power. I have already wished back the Namek people from death once, I cannot restore the planet and do it again."

"Then I wish that all the people of Earth that were killed by Agony be brought back!" Son Goku said, his hope starting to slide.

Shen Long was silent.

"Great Shen Long, you cannot do this wish too?"

Shen Long lowered his head.

"No."

"BULLSHIT!" Vegeta suddenly screamed. "I've seen you wish back multiple people before, lots of them at onnce, so do it now before I…I…" Vegeta trailed off. Hurting the dragon would solve nothing. The rage in his heart began to be replaced by a feeling that he would never see his family again.

"Vegeta…I can wish back one, dozens, hundreds, thousands, even millions…but it is beyond my power to wish back billions. The power needed to restore each and every life, each different, each marked by individuality…is something I do not possess. Indeed, Poranga was barely able to do it, and he is gone. I am sorry. I have seen the horror Agony caused, but I do not know if the Balls that summon me have the power to undo it." The dragon said sadly.

"Then I wish to know if there is a power, of other Dragonballs or anything, that can bring back all we have lost!" Goku said, desperation creeping into his voice. The same desperation was washing over the faces of all the people gathered. After coming this far, it couldn't end like this. It wasn't right.

"I do not have that knowledge, Son Goku. I cannot grant that wish. I wish I could."

Murmurs began to break out among the group on what to do.

Then suddenly Erik stepped between the fighters and stood before Shen Long.

"Shen Long."

The gigantic dragon turned his head to look at the dark warrior.

"Yes. You are the one from another world, the one they call Vengeance. You aided in saving my planet and I thank you for it. What do you wish to know?" Shen Long said. Goku looked quizzingly at Erik, puzzling over what he was going to do.

"You claim your inability to grant these wishes is the fact that the power to restore people is difficult or impossible due to their individuality."

"Yes. When bringing people back I must make sure nothing is lost in the transferance from death back to life, and since everyone is different, it can be of great strain. Plus, I cannot wish back people who have been wished back before, and many people who died at Agony's hands have been revived by me. I feel great sorrow, but there is nothing I can do."

"No."

Shen Long looked at Erik, who had lowered his head. For a second he appeared to be thinking, and then he looked up at the dragon once more.

"Shen Long, is it possible that you can change one small individual act?"

The group looked at Erik in confusion. What was he talking about?

"It is possible…although there are limits."

"Shen Long, I must know. Could you change just one small act, one thing, but something that happened in the past and in another world? Is this in your power?"

Shen Long looked at Erik, and Chi-Chi and co could see he was thinking it over.

"It may…just be…but I must know the wish."

"Then I wish that a week ago, in the factory where I fought Agony, that I threw her into the machine instead of into the reality-rip that brought her here."

There was silence.

"Can you do this?" Erik said.

The group stared, trying to figure out just what the hell Erik was asking for. Vegeta took a step forward, trying to figure out if Erik was wasting the wish and planning to take action if he was.

"I…don't know. I will have to gather my power and see." Shen Long said, and closed his eyes.

Erik turned as Goku came up behind him.

"Erik, what are you doing?"

"I threw Agony to this world while trying to destroy her. I caused all this. And now I am going to pay the penance for it. If Shen Long can do this wish…and make this change…then I will have never tossed Agony to the rip, she will have never come here, and none of this will have happened. Everything will be restored, the way it should be."

The meaning hit everyone like a sledgehammer.

"But that means…" Goku gasped in shock and horror.

"…that Agony will still be alive. I know, Goku. But she will be locked away in my world, with no way to get here and back to the power she had before she came here. She will have never come here, she will never know that this world exists and what she did in it, but she also will have never died."

Goku reached forward and grabbed Erik's shoulders.

"No Erik! I won't let you do this! We'll find some way to fix everything, find a wish, new dragonballs, a new power, anything, but I will not let you do this! I won't let you bring Agony back, even to bring back everything we lost!"

"I agree." Vegeta said quietly, stepping forward. "I have lost my family, but Agony alive again, in any world, I will not allow it."

"Yes!" Goten said. "Even if my brother, and Trunks, and everyone else comes back, I will not let you make a sacrifice like this! You don't deserve it!"

Slowly, everyone sided with Goku, Vegeta, and Goten.

"Erik, you are not at fault here. Don't bring Agony back to your world, don't inflict her on your life, the life of those you care about, the life of your people…" Goku trailed off.

Erik was silent, and then he took Goku's hand, which still rested on his shoulders.

"Goku…I made a mistake. I won't risk the possibility that Vegeta could be alone for the rest of his life, due to a wish that cannot be made. I won't allow the possibility that Marron won't have her parents around to see her get married. I won't allow Videl to be a single mom, and I won't allow people to try and live on this destroyed planet. I swore I would always help people who needed help and couldn't find it, that I wouldn't allow the little guy to be stepped on. I forgot that vow, I put my own hatred ahead of my promise I made on my parent's grave, and this is what happened. I must pay the penance for my sin."

"You commited no sin! You made a mistake! That's what makes people human, they make errors! You have no penance to pay!" Goku said.

"Yes I do, Son Goku. And I will pay it, a million times over if I must. If I must bring Agony back, if I must let her loose again on my world in order to take back what I did to yours…if she kills again…whether it be a stranger, or someone I care about…I will do it without batting an eye. I had no right to bring her here. And for your world, and your future, I will sacrifice any future I might have without Agony."

Then Erik let go of Son's Goku's hand as he stepped back. Goku stood, his hands out in helpless horror, amazement, and sadness.

"Erik…"

"I swore I would protect people. I failed. Now I will make it right." Erik said as he turned back to Shen Long.

"It is possible, Erik Damien Ravensky. I can grant your wish. Do you still wish it?" Shen Long asked.

"ERIK, NO!" Goku screamed.

"I do."

Marron was never sure what happened. She saw Erik speak, and suddenly she was surrounded by blue swirling energy, a force that was powerful and yet peaceful. It swirled her hair and ruffled her clothing as she looked around in amazement with everyone else.

"Erik…oh kami…what is this?" Goku said to the back of Erik. Erik turned around.

"I never thought I would see something like this…it's a temporal storm. The past has been changed and now the future will change with it…right before your eyes."

Erik pointed off in the distance.

"Look."

Goku looked.

In the distance, the blackened spot where Satan City had once stood was gone, as buildings that had been destroyed, crushed, or vaporized rebuilt themselves. Highways and streets came back together, crushed cars were suddenly back to normal, and people who had laid dead suddenly got up and kept walking as their clothes and anything else they had on them was suddenly as it was to have been, in a future that would have existed without Agony and a future that was now being shaped.

"It's beautiful…" Marron whispered, holding on to Goten. She looked up and gasped. A long cut on his face, inflicted during the final battle, was disappearing, sealing itself like glue. Goten looked shocked and felt his cheek. It was flawless, as if he had never been cut.

Vegeta looked and found his shoulder wound was gone, as if it never was. Everyone gasped as injuries vanished, because now they had never happened.

And around the world everything began to come back. Blackened ground came back together and sprouted the grass, flowers, and other plants that had been growing there. Rivers, mountains, cities, forests, and everything else went back to the way it had been, rebuilding itself.

New Namek came back together from its ashes, even as all the other planets did. And the inhabitants found themselves alive again, as it should have been.

And Goku looked at all this in joy, but also in sadness, and then he turned back to Erik. His gasp drew the attention of the whole group.

Erik was glowing a soft white colour, which was slowly building.

"Erik…?" Goku began.

"I will be going now Goku, back to my world, a world I never left now, back to the moment where I made my new decision, back to a new time in which Agony never came here. I will make sure that the machine that caused the rip is destroyed, so that Agony or no one will ever find a way back here."

Erik looked to Satan City as it continued to rebuild itself. Off in the distance, the place where Gohan's body lay stirred, and suddenly Gohan opened his eyes and breathed as his heart and spine regenerated, for they had never been removed and he had never died.

"I don't know if this change will cause you to forget what had happened, if you will remember the events of the last week, or if they will be replaced with new memories. But I hope you remember…if only so that you will remember what I said now."

Erik looked over to Goten and Marron.

"Goten…Marron…as you have seen…life can be random…it is best not to wait…because if you do…what you want…could suddenly vanish…just like I will. But as long as you have each other…you can endure anything."

Erik then looked at Vegeta, who stood with a strange mix of cockiness, confusion, and thanks on his face.

"Vegeta…there is no beast that never cried…or cries."

Erik's eyes passed to every other person in the group.

"Everyone else…I have no advice but to life your life to the fullest, and don't let little things drag you down…because there are far worse things that can happen."

And finally, Erik turned back to Goku.

"Goku…"

And then Goku blinked in surprise as Erik suddenly brought his hands together and leaned forward in a bow of respect.

"Goku…oh how I wish I could have know someone like you in my world. It might have given me hope for the future of my people, my world, and my existence. But I know that as long as someone with the mind, the heart, the soul, and the experience of an adult can still look through the eyes of a child…can still hold that innocence, that unselfish love and true feelings of hope…then there will always be hope, no matter where, when or who. Thank you Son Goku. I will always remember you and what you have taught me."

The glow had kept growing, to the point where Erik was practically a silhoulette of light, but Goku could still see his face as Erik smiled, a smile of warmth, friendship, and of no regrets.

"Goodbye, my friends."

And then Erik was gone.

"DIE, YOU BITCH!" Erik screamed as he lifted Agony above his head, aiming for the strange hole that had opened up in mid-air from the overloading machine.

He reared back his arms.

And then suddenly something flashed in his eyes, like a wealth of knowledge given in a split second.

And then Erik turned and hurled Agony against the computer console, which she crashed into with a scream. She was consumed by sparks as Erik brought up his hand, his finger talons slick with her blood and wanting to spill more.

Behind Erik, the hole squirmed and then fell into itself, vanishing into nothingness.

"I'm not impressed, little boy." Agony smirked as she pulled herself up, her wounds already gone. "Did you actually think that little throw could KILL ME?" she screamed as she leapt forward, her hands turning into blades Erik was all too familiar with.

Erik didn't move, but instead thrust his hand up as his claws punched through Agony's chest and through her heart, a heart that still had the souls of thousands but would never have the souls of billions like it had been once, but now would not be.

And then he used Agony's own momentum to hurl her straight into the machine, which was reaching critical mass, for Erik had never shut it down.

And then it went beyond retrieval as Erik's arm transformed itself into a rocket launcher and he lauched several missiles into the side of the machine. As it prepared to explode, Erik looked at where Agony lay, her wounds healing, but back to the slow healing it had been before, a healing power that was still great but no longer instantaneous due to absorbed souls and the power she had stolen from them.

"No Agony, I didn't. But I know there's a way now, and I will find it."

And then Erik fled the factory, running out the door and into the dead of night as Agony looked up with a restored face right into a generator that was in the midst of overloading.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

And then the machine exploded in her face, consuming Agony in flames before she was buried under hundreds of tons of concrete and steel, a way to another world gone and never to be discovered.

The blue energy was gone, and the Z Fighters looked around, as if in dumb amazement.

"The wish has been granted. Farewell." Shen Long said, and vanished, the Dragon Balls turning into stone and flying off to the new corners they would rest in until they were needed again.

"Oh Erik…" Goku said. He remembered, he still remembered all that had happened, and he still knew of what Erik had done for them.

Then his head perked up as a ki he was all too familiar with came to his attention, and his heart leapt. Could it be…?

"Toussan!"

Gohan landed next to the fighters, who stared at him in numb shock.

"What?" he said, looking in confusion.

"DADDY!" Pan cried, running to her father and jumping into his arms even as she burst into tears. Gohan's surprised look got even bigger as Videl quickly joined her daughter, clutching her husband as if she never planned on letting go. Then they were nearly all crushed as Goku added his arms to the hug.

"OK! OK! TIME OUT! TIME OUT!" Gohan said, managing to pry himself free. "Damn! I know I'm popular, but geez, it's not like I died or something!"

Gohan's eyes grew apprehensive of the looks that followed, and he pushed his glasses up his nose.

"What?"

"Oh Gohan…" Videl said, grabbing hold of her husband again. "Don't you remember?"

"Remember...damn, come to think of it…I can't remember anything! I can remember finishing up my Tatos project, going to bed, then waking up in Satan City and knowing I had to come here…I can't remember anything in between!"

Goku stared.

"Father finished that project eight days ago…and he doesn't remember anything else…" Pan said.

"Whoa, whoa, ok, what did I miss? What's the big secret?" Gohan said. The only response was for Goten to detach himself from Marron and be the next one to give his older brother a hug.

"It's a long and incredibly hard to believe story, older brother, and maybe you would be better off never knowing…but we will tell you anyway. But let me tell you…"

And then Goten's words were cut off by another shriek.

"MOMMA! POPPA!"

Goten turned to see a very surprised Krillian and Eighteen get practically attacked by their daughter as she leapt into their arms. Goten smiled. He could only imagine their confusion, but they would work it all out, as Eighteen tried to get some info out of their daughter, who couldn't stop holding them and sobbing with joy.

The reunion only increased, as Tien, Chaozu, and Lunch showed up, confused on why something had called them to this spot and even more surprised at the joy in their arrival. Then it was Piccolo, who was lugging Mr. Popo, Karin, and Yajirobie with him and cursing that when he found out why he was being dragged to this spot and he had to bring all of them with him someone was going to get hurt. Goku didn't know if Dende's joy in seeing him and his friends back made him feel any better.

"Ok, ok, Son, what is going on here? And why is it I can't remember anything that happened since I went to sleep…god, how long has it been? It feels like a week!" Piccolo cursed, adjusting his turban.

Goku smiled.

"I'll tell you Piccolo, as soon as…hey, where are they?"

In all the joy, no one had noticed the absence of a certain three people. No one except the one who missed them the most.

Vegeta stood away from the group, seemingly immune to the joy, looking around with hard eyes, waiting.

But there was no one.

Goku's heart sank.

"No…it's not possible…they couldn't have been skipped in some way…is there?" Goku said.

The same thought was occuring to Vegeta, and once again the daggers of despair and lonliness began to stab at his heart.

He lowered his head.

"No…I don't want to be alone…" he whispered, as twin tears began to form in his eyes.

And then there was a sudden whooshing of air and Trunks landed in front of his father, setting down his mother and little sister as he did.

"Hey, Toussan!"

Vegeta looked up.

And the tears did slid down his cheeks, but for a whole new purpose.

In all his time, Trunks couldn't remember being hugged by his father too many times, and never this hard and violently. Of all the surprises, the Briefs family perhaps had the strongest of them.

"Toussan…you're…you're crying." Trunks said in amazement.

"Are you alright, Vegeta?" Bulma, a Bulma that had never seen her daughter's dead body, had never become catatonic, a Bulma that had never died for a mind trick of a demon.

Vegeta could only sniff and keep holding. He knew it was an affront to his royal roots and his saiya-jin roots and all his other roots but he didn't care. They had never given him the joy the three people he now held had.

"Daddy, are you ok?" Bra said.

Vegeta looked down as his daughter, her innocent eyes and wide smile, ones that had never been destroyed by a woman looking to eat her heart.

"Yes, princess. I'm fine. I'm better then fine. I'm better then I ever have been." Vegeta said, stroking his daughter's cheek.

All the fighters and people stood or sat in silence as Goku completed the tale of Agony and Vengeance, what had happened and all that had been, and now no longer was thanks to the wish of a man from another world.

"God…even you telling it toussan…you, who never lies, I can't believe it." Gohan said.

"I don't blame you bro. I can't believe it either, and I was there." Goten said, as he sat on a couch with Marron, Krillian, and Eighteen.

"Yes, but what of the world? All the people are back…and I'm sure they're just as confused as we are on what happened. And then there are the people who were still alive and would remember. If word gets out, it could cause a panic." Yamcha said.

Bulma stood and pulled out a cell phone.

"I'll get right on it. Capsole Corp will help us, we'll concoct some kind of story for the media to tell the people, an alien attack, anything to make people think they just imagined it all. We can handle the knowledge of what happened, I know I can, but I don't know about them." Bulma said, as she began to push buttons.

"It's hard to believe I died…that we all died…so horribly…that a woman of such evil could exist…and what Erik did…to bring us all back. It's just…beyond my ability to comprehend." Gohan said.

Suddenly, Pan was sitting in her father's lap.

"Then don't try Daddy. You're back. That's all that matters."

Gohan smiled and stroked his daughter's hair.

"Yes honey, I suppose you're right."

"And Daddy, I want to ask you something."

"Yes honey?"

"What's a cunt?"

Everything had been brought back to normal, a time of peace, where the sun shined.

But for some, the knowledge remained, knowledge they knew was true, knew that it wasn't really a gas that had gotten out of control and spread across the world, causing short comas, amnesia, and hallocinations so vivid they seemed like they really happened. The story was flimsy, flawed, even ludicrous, but people accepted it. For just like people are glad that certain things should not fortell what is to happen, they are also glad to accept some things never happened, even if there is proof they did.

But some knew the truth.

Some did not care, as Tien, Chaozu, and Lunch laughed around a fire, Tien with his arm around the woman he loved, or Gohan swinging his daughter on a swing in a park even as he cursed Agony for using such language in front of her. They celebrated their salvation instead of dwelling on the truth.

Some who could have been gods, like Piccolo, as he mediated by a waterfall and turned what had once been over in his head over and over, trying to make sense of it, looked for answers.

Some were gods, like Dende, as he stood on the edge of Kami Tower, Mr.Popo by his side and a smile of friendship on his face, who had no answers to give.

And some looked at the truth, like Son Goku, and were humbled by it.

Son Goku looked at the setting sun, which spread a magnificent beauty across the lake he sat in front of. He had told Chi-Chi he was going fishing, but in reality he was thinking over the last words Erik had said to him before he left.

Thank you Son Goku. I will always remember you and what you have taught me.

"Erik." Goku said to himself. "You were the teacher. You made me remember that a person should not be jugded on what he does, whether it is mass murder or sainthood, but on what truly lies in their heart. You had goodness so great you could hold a Genki Dama…and a spirit so noble you willingly brought Agony back to your world so that ours could be made right."

Goku smiled. Erik may have worn black, but if Goku could have seen his heart, he was sure he would have seen something shining and white, like a star in the sky.

"Thank you, Erik. From the bottom of my heart. You claim you would sacrifice your future for us…may you have one, and one far greater then you could ever dream of."

Goten and Marron were also watching the setting sun, once again of the roof of Marron's house, as Goten strummed on his guitar, a guitar that had never been shredded by claws of black energy. Marron lay against him, listening, and her question of commitment not gone but no longer important. She'd seen all the truth she needed in Goten's eyes when he'd tricked Agony to save her.

"Marron?"

"Yes, Goten?"

Goten didn't answer. Instead he stood up, looking off into the sky, before turning around. Marron quickly stood up beside him, her eyes curious.

"I've been thinking of your question about moving in together." Goten said. Marron's cheeks coloured slightly.

"Oh Goten…that was another girl…one who thought…god, I don't even remember what she was thinking anymore…"

"That's not good enough."

Marron stopped in mid-sentence, his eyes wide at what Goten had said and what it could mean.

"During all we saw…the death…the horror…the sacrifice…and the joy…I was asking myself a question. I didn't reveal it to you, but I was still asking it. And I know now."

Goten turned around, his eyes full of love, and he took Marron's hand.

"I want to be with you…my whole life…through everything we could possibly face."

Marron's mouth opened slightly and she made a noise of surprised joy and amazement as Goten got down on one knee, revealing he had turned away from her to secretly remove a box from his guitar, a small velvet covered box which he now opened to reveal a diamond ring.

"Marron…will you marry me?"

Marron blinked as tears, tears of joy, the reason tears should be shed, sprung to her eyes.

"Yes. Oh Goten, yes."

Goten smiled, and slowly placed the ring on her finger, just as Marron had always dreamed it. But this was better then any dream she could have had as the man she loved stood to face her again.

"I love you, Marron."

"I love you too, Son Goten." Marron replied.

And as their bodies came together and their lips met, Eighteen looked down at her husband and smiled, as the three of them sat on a rock, watching.

"Our daughter is going to be a bride." She smiled.

"She couldn't ask for a better man." Krillian replied, holding his wife's hand as their wedding bands glittered in the sun's setting light.

"You raised a good one sis." Seventeen said, as he crossed his arms and looked over to his sister. Eighteen looked back and smiled again.

"I know, brother. I know that best of all."

And on a cliff where he had once planned to take his life, Vegeta stood and watched the sunset himself. Like his great rival, and a man that maybe, for once, he could call friend, his mind was consumed with thought. But it was thought that was different.

Would Kakkarott wish me back, if doing so brought back Freiza? Would Gohan have revived Cell to bring back the future version of my son? Would they or someone else bring me back, or Trunks, or anyone, if Majinn Buu was once again given life and a chance to wreck havoc?

"Toussan!"

Vegeta was startled out of his thoughts as his son landed next to him.

"Hey Toussan, you never struck me as a sunset kind of person." Trunks joked, trying to rile his father up. He looked so serious, and that usually did not mean something good.

"I can appreciate beauty just as well as anyone. God, why did I get such a baka for a son?" Vegeta said in mock regret. Trunks smirked. He might not have been able to annoy his father as much as he could when he was young, but he still had the touch.

"Daddy!" Came Bra's voice, and then she was at her father's side. Laughing, Vegeta reached down and swung her up on his shoulder.

"It's so pretty!" Bra squeeled.

"It is, isn't it?" Bulma said, as she joined her family. "But what's so special about this cliffside, Vegeta?"

"Maybe someday I'll tell you, Bulma."

Bulma's eyes arched in surprise.

"Bulma? What happened to "woman"?"

"I got tired of it, so I'll call you by your real name until I can think of something more insulting."

Bulma smiled and wrapped her arms arounds her husband's right arm. Usually Vegeta shrank away from such touching, but this time he reached over and held her.

Perhaps someday he could tell them that the reason this cliff was so special was because it was the one he had planned to stab himself in the heart and pitch himself into the ocean on, the one that symbolized how much he needed the ones he loved.

But as Vegeta stood there was all he cherished and loved, his mind was occupied with another thought.

Erik…you might have been weaker then me…fought cheap…caused all the tragedy I endured in one way…but you took it all back…and willingly inflicted a nightmare on your life and your world to make mine right again. You might have been weak…but you are the greatest warrior, and perhaps the greatest man, that I have ever known.

There was no sunset for Erik, only the light of a dead moon that shone on him and illuminated him as he stood, crouched over on the edge of an old building. He looked like a living gargoyle, for he sat so still, absorbed in his own thoughts.

Off in the distance, the Starfire, the special airship that the Legacy owned, sat quietly in a field, set down for the night. Erik had made his way from the destruction of the factory to the ship, met with his comrades, given them information on his battle with Agony, and then walked off to be alone.

He did not tell them of the other world, the other existence, that he had visited, of what had happened there, and that for a short time, Agony, the woman who had taken nearly everything from him, had been dead.

And as he thought it over, he knew he had no regrets.

I can't bring back the lives Agony took in this world…but I could bring back the lives she took there, lives that I gave to her in a moment of selfishness, and that makes it all worthwhile. She'll be humilated from this small defeat, crawl off in a dark corner to lick her wounds before she strikes again, and when she does, I'll be there. I saw her die. If it could be done there, it can be done here. I may not be able to form a weapon of hope and love, indeed, I don't know if I can even feel love any more…but I made a promise. And I will find a way to defeat her. And kill her. For eternity.

"Erik!"

Erik was startled from his mental musings by a female voice, but not of Agony's. Indeed, it was as far away from Agony's as possible. He stood up and turned around.

"Hello, Christine."

Christine Merseric, perhaps the only member of the Legacy he called friend, stood before him. She had taken off her armour for a more casual outfit of jeans and a shirt, indeed, such clashing fashions were quite common in this world, where one might find a village from the Dark Ages at one mile and find a city out of Star Trek the next. Xaxargas had done this, and while it was strange, it made Erik's world unique.

"You left so quickly. Is there something wrong, Erik?" Christine said. Erik turned back to the moon. Why Christine was sweet on him, Erik had never found out. But he was glad she was. In a way, she made the hell he endured liveble. In a way, he had loved her, still did, but he had no desire in having her. He didn't feel that way, and she had found her own soulmate in the leader of the Legacy, the man who had defeated Xaxargas, the god who had twisted this world into the way it was and the being that had created Agony, Ash Merseric. Erik was happy for them. They truly loved each other, and were happiest when together. If that was Christine's choice, Erik would allow it, but if Ash ever hurt her, although Erik doubted it severely, he would pay the price.

"No Chris. Nothing's wrong. Nothing you can help. I'm just living my life...one day at a time…hunting for answers that might not exist…things that may never be."

There was silence, and then Christine's hand was on his shoulder.

"Don't talk like that Erik. You're one of the noblest souls I have ever known. If anyone deserves love, happiness, anything…it's you, my friend."

Erik smiled.

"Thank you Chris. But you should concern yourself with your future, with Ash. I may have no future."

"Bullshit Erik. One day you're going to find what you want. Carrying the world on your shoulders, sacrificing anything without a second thought for a greater cause…the powers that be can be cruel and hard, you know that all too well, but they can also grant you your dreams. Never lose hope Erik. That is the strongest thing of all. Hope."

"I know Chris. I know that now, truly." And perhaps someday, I'll tell you about the man named Son Goku and how he made me know this was true.

Erik turned, squeezed Christine's shoulder, and began walking across the roof. The building was on the edge of one of the larger and more technologically advanced cities that existed in this version of Earth, and the way Erik was heading made it clear he was heading into it.

"Erik? It's late. You should come back, get some sleep." Christine said, already knowing her words were futile.

"I don't need sleep, Christine. This is the time when they are out. The Corrupt, seeking to destroy, in whatever way they desire. As long as I draw breath, this will not be allowed. I swore it. Love, peace, happiness, they will come eventually, or they may never come. I don't know. But all I know is that the Hunt is on, and that somewhere, I am needed."

And with that Erik was gone, swallowed by the shadows, the master of his domain. Christine looked after him.

"Erik…my friend. I know it and I hope you do too. Sacrifices, like the ones you make…you will be rewarded. Maybe someday you will kill Agony, and claim the vengeance you named yourself after, for you and for your family. And I know there is someone out there for you, someone who will love you in a way I can't. Erik Damien Ravensky…Vengeance…you will reap what you have sowed, and the harvest will be bountiful."

Christine turned to leave, casting one last smile at the dark Erik had vanished into.

"Happy hunting."

And somewhere else, a hand burst from a giant pile of burnt concrete and smoking, twisted steel, a hand that was part flesh and part bone where flesh had been ripped away, flesh that was already re-appearing via a power that was pure evil.

And the peace of the night was shattered by a laugh of evil and all-consuming madness.

The End

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(Limp Bizket's song "I Know Why You Wanna Hate Me" starts up as the words appear like credits)

Consuming Madness

Cast

Starring

Son Goku as Son Goku

Vegeta Breifs as Vegeta Briefs

Son Goten as Son Goten

Trunks Briefs as Trunks Briefs

Bra Briefs as Bra Briefs

Bulma Briefs as Bulma Briefs

Son Gohan as Son Gohan

Marron as Marron

Krillian as Krillian

Eighteen as Eighteen

Piccolo as Piccolo

Dende as Dende

Ubuu as Ubuu

Chi-Chi as Chi-Chi

Videl as Videl

Pan as Pan

Yamcha as Yamcha

Tien as Tien

Chaozu as Chaozu

Lunch as Lunch

Kaiou-sama as Kaiou-sama

Kaioushin as Kaioushin

Emma Daiou as Emma Daiou

Mr. Popo as Mr.Popo

Gotenks as Gotenks

Gogeta as Gogeta

Erik Damien Ravensky as Vengeance

AND

Patricia Delhart as Agony

Mentionables

"Oops, I Did It Again." by Britney Spears

"It's My Life" by Jon Bon Jovi

"The Real Slim Shady" by Eminen

"American Pie" by Madonna

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss

Nursery Rhymes by Mother Goose

The Legacy by Ash The Wanderer

AND

Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama

All Rights Reserved. No Money has been made off any of these.

Conceived By

Ash The Wanderer

Written By

Ash The Wanderer

Special Thanks

Akira Toriyama

Stephen King

Wes Craven

And

You, the readers.

And so it comes to an end. If you can, write me a nice long review telling me what you thought of the final chpater, favorite part, favorite line, favorite anything, and then rank my story if you can. Until next fic, I am Eric Mersereau, aka Ash The Wanderer. Good night.