A quiet night surrounded the half-Saiyans house. The neon green lights of the alarm clock stared hard back at him. 1:28 in the morning, and all Gohan could do was toss and turn. A slight breeze came in through the window ruffling the curtains almost beckoning Gohan to leave the comfort of his bed. His insomnia was not without reason however. Ever since he had glanced at that room, it was all he could think about. He knew, even though he wasn't sure how, that he would be no match for Teralos. He could feel his very presence. He knew he was near, inside a spaceship in orbit, or very possibly on the Earth itself. It was strange, like the being had no intentions of masking his power level. In a sense he was, but not entirely. He was showing only a portion of his power. Enough for anyone with the ability to sense power to pick his up, but it would also be obvious to those in the know that he was covering up most of his power.
Gohan was growing weary of his own indecisiveness. He knew what he needed to do. He was afraid that if he did it that when he came out, there would be nothing left to save. Still, in the back of his mind, and the pit of his stomach, he knew what he would need to do. Gohan rolled onto his right side and faced his wife. She was sound asleep, unaware of her husband's internal struggle.
Videl, his soul mate, the love of his life, he knew for a fact there was no one better he could have met and married in his lifetime. She was in every way perfect to him. There was no other word for it. He remembered a saying he heard once. We were given two hands to hold, two legs to walk two eyes to see, two ears to listen, but why only one heart? Because the other one was given to someone for us to find, and that's exactly how it was for him. She had his heart, and he had hers. Those three years they were apart, his heart ached beyond all reason. And he knew it was the same for her. Then he returned, and they had a child together, and she was every bit as tough and strong willed as her mother. Not to mention smart and beautiful. She was a saiyan, and with that came great abilities. If it was possible, Pan also had his whole heart. So why was this choice so hard? Because he didn't want to fail, that was why. He didn't want to spend a day in there and accomplish nothing.
Gohan let out a quiet groan then slowly sat up. The sheets fell off his torso and stopped as the bend in his body. Videl's back was facing him. Her light purple nightgown was now visible due to the slightly removed covers from his arising action. Gohan let out a crooked smile at his sleeping beauty then turned and got out of bed. Gohan, after stretching high and yawning, pulled the covers back up so Videl wouldn't get cold. He went to his closet and grabbed his fighting gi before heading out of the bedroom and towards the stairs. He poked his head into his daughters room and made sure she was safe and asleep before making his way to the ground floor.
After he got dressed he grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled a note for Videl and Pan.
To my ladies,
I'm sorry for not letting you know in person, but I thought it best to do this without causing a ruckus. I am going to take my last day in the Room of Spirit and Time in an effort to unlock something that is deep within me. Please do not worry, I will be fine. Dad and Vegeta are our best bet for stopping Teralos. I will be back in 24 hours which will be sometime around two tomorrow morning. Until then, I love you both and stay safe.
Gohan looked over the note one last time before setting it down on the counter. He didn't really like this, and if they lived through this he was going to catch hell for it, of that he was sure. But he needed to do this. It was almost as if someone was telling him to do it. He only hoped that his father and Vegeta could buy enough time, if they were in fact unable to defeat him. Gohan took on a pensive look for a moment before heading out the door and closing it quietly behind him. Unbeknownst to him, a certain pint sized warrior was watching him carefully from around the corner. After reading the note, Pan scribbled one quick herself and made for the door. Shutting it quietly behind her, she took to the sky and toward the lookout.
Gohan appeared just at the edge of the Lookout. He took in his surroundings and noticed that no one seemed to be awake here. He started walking toward the building in the center of the Lookout, and was surprised to see Piccolo come walking out to meet him.
"It's about time you showed up," Piccolo said gruffly.
"You were expecting me?" Gohan asked surprised.
"I've had this feeling you wanted to take another round in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a good week now. It seemed appropriate you would come tonight since you hadn't come yet." Piccolo spoke as he and Gohan made their way to the Chamber doors. "Did you at least try to find someone to go in there with you?" Gohan simply shook his head. "You do know it's dangerous in there right. Having another person in there can help you keep your sanity."
"Hey, Vegeta did it. Why can't I?" Gohan asked smugly
"There's no way of talking you out of this is there?" Gohan shook his head smiling. "I just hope you find what you are looking for in there." Piccolo said sincerely.
"So do I Piccolo, so do I," Gohan sounding almost worried. Piccolo opened the doors and Gohan stared into that white abyss, something he had not seen in over ten years. Gohan slowly walked inside only briefly noticing a small gust of wind brush past him. Gohan turned his head and glanced to Piccolo out of the corner of his eye then nodded. Piccolo nodded back, a small look of worry etched into his face, and closed the door.
Gohan turned away from the door and walked out into the heart of the chamber. "This place hasn't changed a bit," his voice echoing slightly in the above normal temperature room. Walking forward and down off the sleeping platform, he immediately recognized the enhanced gravity. It was only ten times Earth's, but it was still different. Gohan gazed off into the endless horizon. His mind began to wonder until it was brought back to reality by a loud thunk followed by crying. Turning around, Gohan came face to face with nothing. The crying continued and he glanced down toward the noise to see his daughter spread eagle on the floor face down.
"PAN," Gohan scream as he raced over to her and picked her up with ease. Cradling her in his arms, Gohan surveyed the damage. It appeared as though she face planted into the floor of the Chamber. Her nose bled slightly. Gohan walked back toward the building and onto normal gravity. Gohan placed Pan on one of the beds, and knelt down beside her.
"Sweetie, what are you doing in here, Mom is going to be very upset?" Gohan asked calmly. There was no sense to add insult to injury.
"Well, I followed you when you left home, and when I heard Mr. Piccolo say that it is better to have someone else in here, I thought I'd keep you company daddy," Pan said trying to hold back the pain tears unsuccessfully.
"Pan it's dangerous in here. Even for someone as strong as me. And there is no way to get out of here until they open the door once the day is up out there. But it is a full year in hear sweetie. That's a long time," Gohan explained.
"I know, I want to train to become a Super Saiyan," this got a chuckle out of Gohan. Truth was, the damage was done. She was stuck in here, and he may as well make the best of it.
"I'll tell you what you behave and every day for a little while I will try to help you become a Super Saiyan. But I need to train alone sometimes too. I will need to venture far out in this place, and you will need to stay here okay," Gohan looked at his daughter as she nodded excitedly.
"You promise to teach me?" Pan asked with puppy dog eyes.
"Hey that's my trick. That's how I got mommy to marry me," Gohan said smiling. "But yes, I promise. Pan smiled and wiped the tears from her face with the back of her hand.
"Well, let's get started daddy, a year isn't that long," Pan said enthusiastically as she hopped off the bed.
Gohan sighed then said to himelf, "You are far too much like your mother sometimes."
Dreams, they can be wonderful experiences during a person's sleep, or they can become nightmares that scare us awake in a rush of adrenaline. Videl was currently having the latter. A barren wasteland lay before her. Fire existed in a few random spots, there were chunks of rubble and debris everywhere. Worst of all though, Teralos had her baby girl in his arms and was crushing the life out of her. Pan's screams filled her ears. Videl was on her stomach covered in her own blood in the barren and scarred landscape unable to move, unable to come to the aid of her daughter. Videl screamed in agony her daughter was dying and there was nothing she could do. She was sick to her stomach.
"Let her go," Videl her someone scream. She turned to see Gohan struggling to stand. His gi was tattered and worn almost beyond recognition. His bare skin bore dozens upon dozens of gashes and bruises, and his right eye was swollen shut from an enormous shiner Videl heard Pan scream again, and whipped her head back to face Teralos.
"Help me daddy please," Pan yelled at the top of her lungs. Videl returned her gaze to Gohan who was still struggling. Pan let out another scream.
"I said…let…her…GOOOOOOO," Gohan screamed just as he was enveloped in a bright yellow light.
Videl awoke and sat bolt upright. She was covered in sweat and breathing heavily. She glanced to her left and noticed Gohan was gone. She looked at the clock on her nightstand and noted the 7:30 time.
"I suppose you had trouble sleeping too," Videl said to no one as she tossed the covers off of herself and got out of bed. She headed into the bathroom and decided a shower would be nice. Half an hour later she exited the bathroom and made for her closet. Videl grabbed a pair of spandex shorts and a blue t-shirt and a white camisole for over the tee. She wanted something she could fight in should the need arise. Videl finished dressing and took a look in the mirror. After a moment a flash of her nightmare came before her. These were the clothes she had on as she lay incapacitated on the ground.
"No, it's not going to happen like that," Videl said to herself, and she turned and made for the hallway. She passed Pan's room and noticed she too was not in bed. Perhaps she got up when Gohan did. Videl continued for the stairs and made her way down and into the kitchen where she spotted the note from Gohan. Videl read the note twice before noticing another note next to where Gohan's was. It was in Pan's hand writing.
I saw daddy get up early this morning. I read his note and I am going to follow him. Please don't
Videl was awestruck. What was Pan thinking? Gohan had better not take her into that room, or there would be no end to the pain she would cause him. Videl threw down the note and headed out the door and directly for the lookout.
"Oh crud," Piccolo exclaimed as he stared off into the distance from the entrance to the lookout.
"What is it," Dended asked, coming up behind him to stand at his side.
"Videl is on her way up and she is not happy. She's probably upset that Gohan went into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber without talking to her," Piccolo deduced. Dende nodded.
"What time is everyone else supposed to get here?" Dende inquired.
"The Tournament starts at ten, so everyone decided to meet here around nine then head to the island," Piccolo returned.
"Who all is entering," Dende questioned as he turned to face his green companion.
"Goku, Vegeta," Piccolo started counting off on his fingers. "Goten, Trunks, myself, and Gohan was going to be a sixth, but now it will be just us five. Krillin, Eighteen, Tien, Chautzu, Yamcha, will be in the stands ready in case the storm hits."
"I don't know Piccolo, I can feel it. There is some evil power at work here," Dende voiced his concern.
"I know, I feel it too," Piccolo began. "And to be honest, I am not sure if we will be able to beat it this time. Gohan is the one he wants to fight, all we have to do is buy Gohan the time he needs and hopefully he will be able to put Teralos in his place.
"Do you really think it is up to him to save us? He knows for a fact that Vegeta and Goku are now stronger than he is," Dende asked quizzically. Piccolo stared up into the morning sky and smiled.
"Gohan has never ceased to amaze me. When Goku had him fight Cell, I was sure he had sent his own son to death. But look at what happened, Gohan defeated Cell and saved the world. That kid has more tricks up his sleeve and more secrets inside of him that I don't think even he knows about. If Teralos wants a fight with the boy that killed his brother, he'll just have to wait for it," Piccolo looking pensive as he voiced his thought to Dende. "I have no doubt in my mind, that if we can beat this monster, Gohan is the one who will do it.
"I hope that you are right," Dende spoke solemnly. "Uh…She's here." VIdel came into view as she flew up above the Lookout platform and came back down to land on its surface. She began walking quickly toward the two green men.
"Just what the heck is going on?" Videl asked, but giving no time for an answer. "I wake up to find my husband gone, and then to top it off, Pan has decided to follow him.
"Wait, what?" Piccolo asked looking confused as she came to stand full in front of him. "Pan never came up here last…wait." That must have been what that small gust was, damnit. "Look Videl, I'm sorry, I didn't even know she followed him up here. To be honest, yes that place is dangerous, but I know that Gohan will keep her safe. And truthfully it may in fact be safer in there than out here.
Videl looked back into Piccolo's eyes, anger hot in her own. Then slowly it started to fade away and was replaced by tears.
"Oh Piccolo, I'm just so scared. I don't want to lose them," Videl had collapsed into Piccolos chest and began sobbing.
"Videl, it's okay, that room can be dangerous yes, but it's not so dangerous to someone as powerful as Gohan," Piccolo said as he wrapped his arms around Videl.
"No it's not that, I had a dream last night. That monster had my baby and no one was able to help her," Videl looked right into Piccolo's eyes again. This time they contained fear.
"Videl it was a dream, I'm sure it was nothing," Piccolo said trying to calm her down
"Piccolo it seemed so real," Videl whispered back.
"It will be all right Videl, I promise. We'll stop this monster," Piccolo voiced confidently.
After a couple of minutes, Videl calmed down and everyone else began to show up. Vegeta, Bulma, and Trunks were first to arrive, followed by Goku ChiChi, and Goten. Krillin, Eighteen and Marron arrived last.
"Hell, even Baldy beat your son here Kakarot, what gives?" spat the Sayain Prince.
"I don't know Vegeta, honestly," Goku said smiling and scratching the back of his head.
"He's in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber," Piccolo finally announced. "He suspected it might upset some of-
"You're goddamn right it upsets us. We're about to enter the biggest battle the Universe has seen, and now Gohan wants to pussyfoot about in that blasted room!" Vegeta roared.
"Calm down Vegeta, I'm sure he had a good reason," ChiChi piped in after Vegeta's outburst.
"He knows he is not strong enough to defeat Teralos, so he wants to spend time in the Chamber in hopes to become as strong as or stronger than you or Goku, Vegeta," Piccolo began explaining. "He felt that he would only be a hindrance in the battle."
Vegeta let out a Hmph, but everyone else just nodded. They all knew, even Vegeta, that Gohan always had everyone's best interests at heart.
"There is more though," Videl orated. "Pan is in there with him." Now it was ChiChi's turn to explode.
"WHAT!? Gohan took my one and only grandchild into that ungodly room, what was he thinking. She could get hurt or worse killed."
"ChiChi, she kind of snuck in," Piccolo explained. "It's too late now anyway, that door cannot be opened for another 17 hours."
"17 hou---…" ChiChi slowly
lost consciousness and collapsed into Goku's arms.
"ChiChi," Goku exclaimed having caught her under the arm pits. Goku then lifted her up, one arm supporting her back, the other under her legs. Goku looked hard into the face of his unconscious wife, then into the crowd of friends that stood before him.
"Everyone, we must do what we can until Gohan emerges from the Chamber. Gohan has always done right by this world, and I know in my heart he will continue to do so. If Gohan feel's that this is necessary, than I believe him," Goku explained. "With that in mind, I say we head to the tournament. "