Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or have any rights to it.
An 18-year old Gohan ascended the mighty Korin Tower. It had been a year since his last battle with the androids, and he needed to replenish his senzu bean supply.
Within a few moments, the magnificent sight, which was the top of the tower, came into view.
Smiling, Gohan increased his speed and was at the top in less than a second. "Hey Korin," he called happily.
"That you Gohan," came the voice of the cat. "My you grown up," he said, noting the size difference. "You look just like your father…except for the hair off course."
Gohan chuckled as he ran a hand through his hair.
"I suppose you came because you needed more senzu beans."
"I sure did. Those androids can really do a number on a guy."
Korin's face darkened somewhat. "I see…I'll give what I have left, but please don't go rushing off into battle the next time they attack. Please only engage them sparingly."
Gohan was taken aback by Korin's mood change. "But why Korin? I can't just leave all those people out there to suffer while I hide away."
"You won't be hiding Gohan. You'll be training to get stronger. I said those were all I had left. You see Gohan; the plant that grows the senzu beans is intimately connected with the earth itself. The earth's health is reflected in its own, and right now the Earth is dying under the reign of the androids. The plants stopped producing beans long ago, and even before then, the quality and healing power of each bean decreased as the androids killed more and more."
"Isn't that why I have to get out there and kill them as soon as possible?"
"I would agree with eliminating a problem as quickly as possible, but I doubt you'd be able to do that anytime soon. I know you've sensed it Gohan. You would never have survived this long without the beans, but now the beans ability to heal you has decreased."
Korin got the remaining beans and handed them to Gohan. There were only five. "I suspect you'll need three of them to heal you now."
Gohan looked at the beans in his palm, then back at Korin. A worried look had crossed his face. "I've noticed something else too. It started about a year ago."
"What is it?" asked Korin in a concerned tone.
"My power…it's barely improved. I doubled my strength in the first three years after the androids arrived. However, lately my power hasn't been increasing much at all…no matter how hard I try…it feels like I'm standing still."
Cupping his chin, Korin went into deep thought. This is most peculiar. I'm sure the rate of power increase would go up as Gohan got stronger…it was true for him all this time, why the sudden change.
"I have no idea what's going on," said Korin as he looked back up. "I'll look into it, but please don't challenge the androids the next time they attack. This issue you told me about only proves my point. You won't be ready to face them for a long time. Maybe you should wait. Trunks should be 8 years old now. Train him, and eventually, the two of you might prevail."
Gohan nodded with a serious expression. "Thanks Korin." After exchanging some more news, Gohan left his old friend behind, to go join the rest of the world below.
A few weeks later…
Gohan sat was watching some television in his living room. He had just finished the breakfast his mother had made, and was trying to relax with some cartoons…but his mind kept wandering to his disturbing lack of strength.
This isn't right…I should be stronger…why can I beat them yet? I know my dad would've if he were alive.
Just then, the cartoons were replaced by a news bulletin.
"The androids are attacking Ginger town! They've already taken down the local militia and are playing cat and mouse with the remaining survivors."
The despair was evident in the man's voice. Sounds of screaming people, and explosions made up the background noise.
Gohan clenched the arm of the sofa he sat in. I…but Korin told me to hang back for a while.
However he could not. The reporter's last words hit him hard. The androids had found their way to him and he was about to die. He made one last plea.
"We were just people. We didn't do anything wrong. Why are you torturing us?"
Sadistic female laughter could be heard.
"If anyone listening has the power to do so, please, I beg of you…don't let them hurt anyone else! No one deser-"
That was it, the man had died. His words stung deeply, a he had been on the verge of tears.
Gohan felt anger well up inside of him. Grabbing the bag of senzu bean, he tied it around his sash. Sorry Korin, but that was all I could take.
At explosion sounded as a car burst into flames. There was running and screaming and the sound of debris hitting the ground. The only laughter was it of the man who had caused it.
Seventeen's eyes gleamed proudly at his accomplishment. "Now that's what I call destruction."
A whimpering sound caught his attention. Turning his head to the side, a euphonious and almost insane smile adorned his face. It was a little girl clutching a teddy bear. Her parents were nowhere to be found.
The android walked towards her, his advance was purposefully slow. He wanted her to see the end coming. He wanted to see her fear as she waited for the end to come.
The girl shook with fear as the android loomed over her. "Awe…did I scare you?"
She remained silent, fearfully staring into his eyes.
His grin broadened. "I suppose I should put you out of my misery." Raising his hand menacingly, he materialized a ball of ki, ready to vaporize the girl.
However, before he could make his move a boot connected with his cheek, sending him into an intact gas station.
Smiling down at the little girl, Gohan told her to run before an angry android Seventeen regained his footing.
"I was wondering when you'd show up," said Seventeen as he emerged from the destroyed gas station.
"So you've finally come. I knew staying near Seventeen would pay off," said Eighteen as she landed next to Seventeen.
Gohan tensed up. "It's been a while since I've fought you both at once."
Seventeen chuckled. "Oh that's right, Eighteen hasn't had a chance to fight you for a while. You've always run off before she arrived."
Eighteen started walking towards Gohan. "Seventeen, stay out of this. You've fought Gohan for the past four years. It's about time I got a crack at him."
Cracking his knuckles, Gohan slid into his fighting stance. I'll never forget that face. She's the one who killed Piccolo. And from her voice, I know she killed that man on the news. I will defeat her!
Looking him up and down, Eighteen couldn't help but smile. My…he's all grown up. Licking her lips, she took her own stance. I think I'll have my own fun with him.
This is first chapter is more of a teaser. Again, I wanted to take advantage of my inspiration. This story was the winner of the pole, so I was bound to do it first anyway.