Dragon Ball Z

Gohan: Protector of Earth

Chapter 23:

The vision that lasted seemingly for days only took a few hours of the present time. Gohan sat up from the grassy hill and stared out into the crystal blue lake. The serenity of the planet was the antithesis of what he had just seen. The planet Earth was lush and beautiful, unlike the changeling's planet which reeked of death and mayhem. The next six months would be the most stressful of his life. Once again, the fate of the universe depended on him. But first, there was someone he had to ask for assistance. Gohan rose to his feet and flew away from the lake, with Satan City as his destination.

The tournament grounds had been cleared as the police continued their investigation into the strange events from earlier. Bulma, Chichi, Marron, Master Roshi, Puar, and Oolong were sitting in the shade outside the arena waiting for Vegeta and the others to return. They were anxious for an explanation as to who those men were and what had happened in the ring. Chichi glanced away from the group and noticed Videl sitting on the cement resting up against the arena structure. Videl looked distraught so Chichi took it upon herself to comfort the girl. Chichi walked up to Videl and kneeled beside her, placing her hand on Videl's back. As Videl turned her head, Chichi noticed her eyes were bloodshot, as a result of trying to wipe away her tears.

"Oh hi Chichi."

"Videl, I am so sorry."

Chichi wrapped her arms around Videl, who hesitantly rested her head on Chichi's shoulders. Videl then started to cry once more as Chichi continued to embrace her, as if she were her own daughter. Videl, who was now without both her parents, imagined Chichi as a mother figure, and one of the only people with whom she could let her guard down. Bulma and the others walked up to the two of them but did not disturb Videl yet. Eventually, Videl was able to calm herself down and stood up, acknowledging everyone with a slight head nod.

"Are you feeling better dear?" asked Bulma.

"I think I am over the shock of it. Now I would like an explanation."

"Well if those idiots ever get back I am sure they will explain what happened. Those two monsters do not stand a chance against Vegeta and the others."

"I would not be so quick to say that," said Master Roshi. "There's something not right about those two. The way they fought earlier still troubles me."

Puar and Oolong looked at each other and shuddered, recalling the image of those two monsters.

"I just wish there was something I could do," said Videl.

"Dear, you don't have to do anything yet. You have been through a traumatic situation," said Chichi.

"I've got it!" yelled Bulma startling everyone. "The dragonballs, we can collect them."

Videl's eyes lit up as she remembered a conversation she had once with Gohan.

"You mean the magic stones that grant you a wish if you collect all seven of them."

"Exactly right Videl. We can go and collect them all and then wish your father back to life. I should have a dragon radar on the ship somewhere," said Bulma.

"Then let's get going," said Videl.

Excited about the prospect of fixing the events of the day, everyone headed off to Bulma's ship in search of the dragon balls.

Elsewhere, the Supreme Kai had just touched down on the lookout, followed immediately by Kibito, Vegeta, Piccolo, Trunks, Goten, Krillen, 18, and Yamcha. Eagerly awaiting their arrival were Dende and Mr. Popo.

"Hi everyone and it is a pleasure to meet you again Mr. Supreme Kai. It is truly an honor," said Dende graciously.

"You are very kind Dende," responded the Supreme Kai. "But we have important business at hand. Dende and Mr. Popo have already been made aware of the circumstance so there is no need to go over it again."

"You knew about this?" said Krillen surprised.

"Sorry, I would have liked to tell but I promised the Supreme Kai I would not mention anything. He explained it to Mr. Popo and me yesterday."

"That was smart Dende. It would not have been good had we all known beforehand what would happen," said Yamcha.

"Enough of this idle chatter; get on with your plan," said Vegeta looking over at the supreme kai.

"We should probably wait for Gohan to arrive first. He is an important part of this strategy."

"I do not think Gohan will be arriving anytime soon," said Krillen. "After what he went through, and what Videl went through especially."

"I can't even imagine how she must feel now," said Yamcha.

"We can tell him later then. Just tell us and get it done with," said Vegeta.

"Very well then Vegeta. Many things will have to be done between now and then. You will all have to improve greatly by the time they arrive. Your current abilities are not nearly good enough. Not only that but we will have to recruit more warriors, not just from this planet but from planets all over the galaxy. By the time they arrive we will need an army of our own to combat them. It will be an arduous task and alone it will not be enough. But luckily we have a secret weapon."

"Oh boy, this should be good," said Krillen grinning.

The supreme kai extended his arm and opened up his palm. Everyone anxiously looked and saw that he was holding two earrings, exactly the same as the ones he was already wearing.

"Earings, our secret weapon are earings!" said Vegeta angrily.

"But these are no ordinary earrings. They have an unimaginable power that were kept in the sole possession of the kai's, until now. If two people each put one of these earrings on, left ear and right ear respectively, then it will happen."

"What will happen?" asked Krillen.


Everyone looked at him confused, waiting for further explanation.

"Two people will be joined into one. The strength of the one being far superior to the strength of the two otherwise combined. These earrings placed on two already powerful fighters will create an ultimate fighter, one capable of amazing feats neither fighter alone could possibly accomplish."

"So who will wear them?" asked Goten anxiously.

"Well that is simple, the two strongest warriors on this planet."

Goten and Trunks eagerly looked at each other hoping the supreme kai would mention their names.

Everyone else turned and looked at Vegeta, whose face grew red with anger.

"No way in hell will I wear those earrings. I will fight the enemy by myself without help like any true saiyan warrior."

"Come on Vegeta, all you have to do is that fusion thing once, beat all the changelings and you are done," pleaded Krillen.

"Unfortunately," said the supreme kai, "It does not work that way. When two people use fusion, the process is irreversible. When Vegeta and Gohan put these earrings on, they will not be able to return to their bodies afterwards."

"Absolutely not. I will fight every single changeling myself and defeat them, without those stupid earrings."

"Is there a chance we can defeat them without fusion," asked Piccolo.

"No," said Kibito bluntly. "Their ruler, the one who commanded Liev and Tasids, is unlike any foe you have ever encountered. Even with fusion it would be a difficult battle. Without it there is no chance for victory."

"Unfortunately Kibito is right," said the Supreme Kai. "This strategy is based around fusion. Without it, this galaxy is doomed."

Several hours after they began searching for the dragonballs, Bulma and the others were well on their way to summoning the dragon. Already with four balls in their possession, they eagerly anticipated gathering the remaining few. None were more excited than Videl, who anxiously awaited the opportunity to wish her father back to life.

Just outside of Satan City, Bulma haggled with a trader over the fifth ball while the others waited inside the ship. After paying him a hefty sum, Bulma grabbed the ball from his hands and ran back to the ship.

"Five down and only two more to go," said Bulma confidently.

"Yeah, only two more to go," said Marron who was being watched over by Chichi until her parents returned.

"And I don't think I even have to look at the radar to find the last two balls," said Bulma.

"How is that?" asked Oolong.

"If I remember correctly, I should have a dragonball at Capsule Corporation. Just as a memento I remember using the dragon radar and collecting one a while back."

"And what about the seventh ball?" asked Master Roshi.

"Well that is easy. The last ball would be the four star ball, Goku's old ball. Gohan would have that one. After we go to Capsule Corp. all we have to do is find Gohan and then we can make our wish. I am sure he won't mind lending us the ball to make our wish."

The mere mention of Gohan's name snapped Videl out of her daze. Was she too hard on him for what happened earlier? She still did not understand his motivation but he must have had a reason. Gohan not helping her father went against everything she ever knew about him. He was the most considerate person she had ever met who lived to help others in need. There must have been a reason. Once her father had returned, she would apologize to Gohan for the hurtful things she said. Then, hopefully, he would tell her why.

As Bulma and the others headed to Capsule Corporation, someone they knew was already there, with a different goal in mind. Immediately after the vision finished, Gohan flew to Capsule Corporation and found Dr. Briefs. The doctor was sitting outside the facility on a bench, working on some type of remote control device.

"Hi Dr. Briefs, do you have a minute."

The doctor turned to Gohan and adjusted his spectacles. After a few seconds, Dr. Briefs was able to identify Gohan and warmly greeted him.

"Hi there my boy. Long time no see. What can I do for you?"

"Well I know this is short notice but I need a space ship. Preferably the fastest ship you have. I am in a real hurry."

"Huh, well let's see what we've got. The ship your father used to get to Namek would work. But Vegeta uses that as a training room now so that is out of the question."

"No that's fine. It won't take long. He will not mind at all."

"Well I suppose that would work then. I have increased the performance of its engines so its speed is much greater now than it was when your father used it. You should be able to get around the galaxy in no time."

"Excellent. So then just show me the controls and I'll be off."

"Can't, there are still some adjustments I have to make for it."

"Really, how long will that take? I am in a real hurry."

"Well the new coffee maker I ordered should be arriving tomorrow. The problem is the blender broke so I had to back order one. It could take a few weeks to arrive, maybe longer."

Gohan stared at Dr. Briefs for a moment in shock.

"No, that is really okay. I do not need a coffee maker or a blender or any other kind of random food preparation device. I just need a ship and some food. That is it."

"Well okay then. Now are you absolutely sure? I don't want you coming back and complaining about a lack of smoothies."

"Yes, yes, really it is okay."

"Well then my boy, let me show you the controls and you can be off. And if you change your mind about that blender just let me know."

Dr Briefs proceeded to give Gohan a tour of the ship: the kitchen, training area, and control room along with detailed instructions on how to navigate the ship and input directions. After the short tour, Gohan exited the ship with Dr. Briefs and, to his chagrin, was surrounded by everyone. Bulma, Videl, and everyone that had gathered the dragonballs were looking at Gohan confused. The supreme kai and the others had just arrived from the lookout to find Gohan, tracking his power signal to Capsule Corporation. They too looked on, unsure of why Gohan was at Capsule Corporation.

"Gohan, just what the heck are you doing here?" asked Chichi as she walked up to him ready to swat him on the head at a seconds notice.

"Uh, it is kind of a long story," replied Gohan jokingly.

"The boy here asked for the ship. It seems he will be doing some deep space exploration," said Dr. Briefs.

"You are not taking my ship," said Vegeta angrily. "That is where I train, no way in hell are you using it."

"I won't be gone long Vegeta," said Gohan. "And I promise nothing will happen to it."

"Gohan, since you are already here I might as well ask you if you have the four star ball on you," asked Bulma.

Gohan reached into his pocket and pulled out the four star ball. It shone brightly since the other dragonballs were nearby in Bulma's possession.

"Fantastic," said Bulma. "With that we have all seven. Now we can make our wish."

"Why do you need all of the dragonballs?" asked Gohan.

"We are going to wish my father back to life," said Videl curtly.

Gohan looked down at the four star ball before looking back nervously at Videl.

"I am sorry but you can't use the dragonballs, not yet at least."

"Why not!" responded Videl almost immediately, her blood boiling from his words.

"We may need to make a wish later and we can't waste one now," said Gohan.

"Waste one? Waste one! Is bringing my father back to life a wasted wish? Is his life that meaningless to you that you won't even let me wish him back?"

"No Videl, that isn't it."

"You let my father die in front of you and did nothing to stop it. And now you won't let me wish him back to life." Videl was so angry her heart was beating a mile a minute while her face turned to a bright red. "Do you hate him that much? Or do you just hate me?"

"No Videl really, I could never hate you and I didn't hate your father. It is complicated. I want to tell you more but…"

"I don't want to hear any more of your excuses. Do me a favor and just stay out of my life," said Videl before walking away from everyone. Bulma and the others looked at Gohan, surprised by his solemnity and apparent disregard for Videl's feelings.

"Gohan, I don't understand?" asked Bulma.

"I'm sorry, but I just can't explain right now. Please trust me when I say I have everyone's best interests at heart."

Gohan walked over to Piccolo and handed him the four star ball.

"Only use the dragonballs if there is no possible alternative. In the mean time, keep them safe."

"I will," said Piccolo.

Gohan was about to walk into the ship before being stopped by the supreme kai. He was standing in front of the door, impeding Gohan's entrance.

"Gohan, I don't know what you plan on doing but you cannot leave this planet. I have to tell you what I have told the others. In six months, there will be…"

"Please supreme kai, I already know. A changeling army will be arriving on this planet, and it is our responsibility to stop them before they destroy the galaxy."

The supreme kai looked at Gohan, shocked by his response.

"How could you possibly know that?" asked the supreme kai.

"I know everything that is happening and that is why I have to go."

"Go where, what are you planning Gohan?" asked Krillen.

"I am sorry but I can't say. I will be back for the battle, so don't worry about that."

"That is not good enough Gohan," said the supreme kai. "The only way we can win is if you stay on this planet. You and Vegeta must train and use fusion. Only then can you defend this planet from the changeling invasion."

The supreme kai extended his hand and showed the earrings to Gohan.

"Please Gohan, just take them," said the supreme kai.

After a couple seconds deliberation, Gohan took the earrings from the supreme kai. He held the earrings in his hand for a second before making a tight fist, crushing the earrings into dust. The cracking sound seemed to echo for miles as everyone looked on speechless, even Vegeta. Although he did not plan on using fusion, Vegeta was surprised by Gohan's hasty Vegeta-esque demonstration.

"Well that settles that," said Vegeta in a cocky tone. "It appears Gohan has some saiyan pride after all."

Gohan walked by the supreme kai and onto the ship. The supreme kai, in a state of shock, let Gohan pass without a struggle. Before boarding, Gohan turned around one final time and waved casually. He then pressed the buttons Dr. Briefs told him to and within seconds the ship was off the ground heading into space, destined for some unknown location.

"I hope you know what you're doing Gohan," said Piccolo as he watched the ship leave the atmosphere and enter space.