Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z. Period, dot, end of statement.
Here begins Part Two of Sic Veta Est.
Chapter 1: Possession
Gohan struggled vainly with the chains that bound him to the wall of the strange room. He did not know what they were made of, but they had somehow been reinforced with something that made them strong enough to resist even his colossal strength. Giving up against the shackles for the moment, he scowled and sat petulantly on the floor, still trying to figure out how he had gotten himself into this (rather embarrassing) predicament.
The demi-Saiyan supposed that he could start with the mess that had been the Cell Games seven long years ago. After defeating Cell, he had somehow been sent thirty years into the past. He landed on the about-to-be-destroyed Vegeta-sei and consequently decided that, no, he did not want to die, thank you very much. He killed Frieza (easily of course) and then somehow ended up living with his grandfather Bardock and his uncle Raditz. After a messy series of events – including a pissed off king, a rather helpful commander, and several thousand palace guards, not to mention an extremely screwed up timeline – the three Saiyans had been forced to flee the planet or else be killed. They had spent the next seven years in space meeting surprising people, making surprising friends, and discovering a new level of Super Saiyan before getting the message that King Cold had attacked Vegeta-sei. Bardock was able to kill Cold after finally reaching the Super Saiyan level, but it was far too late to save the planet. They decided to go to Earth both to train Kakarotto – Gohan's future father – and to wish Gohan back to his own time. Gohan had originally stayed in the timeline to fix what he had messed up and get history back on track, but the Supreme Kai had intervened with a barely understandable explanation consisting of rocks in time streams, ordering Bardock to force his grandson home. Gohan agreed to return home (with much reluctance, it should be noted). And now he was chained to a wall in a steel room. Life could not get much better than this.
Gohan growled audibly, letting his instincts get the better of him for a moment. The journey through time and space this time around had been even worse than the last. The first time he had been able to collect himself quickly enough and get a lock on his surroundings, something that saved him from making painful contact with the ground. The way the Dragon had sent him was shorter but much more intense, leaving him virtually blind in all senses physical and otherwise. His entire surroundings had been whipped out from underneath him, like taking a tablecloth out from under a full dish set. Though he had landed on his feet, he had been out of it long enough for whomever it was that had kidnapped him to be able to knock him out. The teenager was definitely glad that his grandfather and uncle were not there to see him in his current predicament. Bardock would scold him for failing to pay attention to his surroundings and Raditz would laugh his ass off in the background at the scolding. He could not even guarantee that they would rescue him first; more than likely they would sit back and watch the fun that was Gohan trying to escape his subjugators.
The sliding of the door of what was for all intents and purposes his jail cell alerted Gohan to the fact that he had visitors. He understandably wanted to know who his captors were, seeing as the only person he had seen was one low-level flunky with a stylized "M" tattoo on his forehead. He had tremblingly brought in food and water, neither in enough quantities to sustain a Saiyan, even a hybrid. Or perhaps "especially" a hybrid would be better: Bardock had run several tests on Gohan's blood and they had shown that Gohan actually required more sustenance than a full-blooded Saiyan to maintain the same energy level. Gohan had not really listened to the explanation and only vaguely heard something about the blood mixing the way it did was straining his body as he grew. It did not matter anymore – he was finished growing, he hoped.
Two people came into the room. One was a tall man, red-skinned, with horns gracing the crown of his head and a malicious smile crossing his thin lips. The stylized "M" was tattooed on his forehead as well, and it pulsed ever so slightly. Gohan had no doubt that this was the person who had rendered him unconscious. His energy was greater than Cell's had been, and the second being was much too puny to have done any serious damage physically. He looked like a wrinkled yellow onion with sparse hairs, but his energy was quite large for someone so small. It also felt different from a normal martial artist ki, though the demi-Saiyan could not explain why.
The yellow being smiled. "Well, well, what have we here? A monkey caught in a cage?" His voice was high and whiny, annoying to Gohan's superior hearing. It was almost as annoying as the insult.
"Do I look like I'm searching for insects in my hair?" the teenager retorted, glaring at the strange creature. "I'm a Saiyan, you moron. There's a big difference."
"Of course there is," the thing agreed pleasantly. "A monkey knows its place." The oily, unctuous voice slid over Gohan's ears and the demi-Saiyan was hard-pressed not to shudder. Ugh, this guy was disgusting! His appearance was as unpleasant as his voice. The teenager decided to ignore it as best he could in favor of some much more important questions.
"Who the hell are you?" Gohan demanded. "Why did you lock me up in here?"
The person looked positively gleeful that Gohan had asked such questions and it made the prisoner reflexively wary. "I am Babadi, son of Bibidi," he answered proudly. "I am a Majin, what the people on this pathetic planet call a wizard. I am here to resurrect Majin Buu, my father's most brilliant creation. As to why you are chained up like this…" The Majin trailed off, tapping his chin speculatively and ignoring Gohan's eye roll at his arrogance if he saw it. "Here, let me show you." A crystal ball suddenly appeared in between captor and captive. "Look closely!" Babadi ordered. "You'll enjoy this, I'm sure." Somewhat against his will, Gohan looked at the picture forming within. He was not sure that he wanted to know what had happened, but he knew that he needed to know in order to fight back effectively. Know your enemy, right? That was what Bardock would say.
Babadi and the tall red man stood over Gohan's unconscious body. "Master Babadi," the giant rumbled, "is this Saiyan really worth so much? His heart is unusually pure."
The Majin laughed. "His heart? Oh yes, it's pure, no question about that. But his mind, Dabura, look into his mind! There's a large piece in there that's practically overflowing with negative emotions. How interesting that he's been able to keep it from overcoming him and infecting his pure heart. How fortunate for us!"
Gohan raised an eyebrow in slight trepidation. Fortunate? He was not sure that he liked the sound of that.
Dabura looked down at his master blandly. "Fortunate, Master Babadi?"
"Of course, you fool!" Babadi snapped. "The more he fights against it, the stronger it becomes. If I can harness it, bring it forward, this boy could well be as strong as you! I wonder…" A crystal ball appeared in front of him. "Pa-pa-ra-pa-pa!" he cried out, stretching his frail hands toward the ball.
Immediately Gohan awakened, arching his back in pain as he screamed incoherently. Dabura was startled by the sheer agony of the screams, but recovered quickly. After all, he was the king of demons; he used to hear things like this every day. Neither of them expected the Saiyan to erupt in a golden aura, his eyes turning green and his hair blond as he tried to fight whatever was happening, but it did not faze them much. It was unimportant.
Babadi began to sweat. Whatever he was doing was obviously taking more effort than he had anticipated. Soon enough however, he relaxed, grinning widely as Gohan suddenly stopped screaming and lay prone on the ground. "Get up, my faithful servant," he ordered.
Slowly, oh so slowly, Gohan rose to his feet. Green eyes opened lazily, alight with malice. The electricity that always accompanied the second level of Super Saiyan sparked dangerously as it peppered the floor with small charred spots. Babadi's trademark "M" adorned his forehead. A cruel smirk graced his lips and he laughed, sending unwanted shivers up the spines of both Babadi and Dabura. There was a note of true madness in the laugh and suddenly Babadi did not look so sure about the decision that he had just made. He quickly recited another spell and Gohan collapsed again, Dabura hurrying forward with the chains Babadi created out of thin air.
Gohan backed as far away from his two captors as possible while the picture faded. "No," he whispered, horrified, "no. You didn't… you couldn't…" He swallowed thickly. "What the hell did you do to me?" he demanded. He tried to sound threatening, but the effect was ruined by his white face.
Babadi laughed, delighted with his prisoner's reaction. "It's simple, really. I simply took that part of your mind that was filled with all those beautiful negative emotions and… made my own warrior, I suppose you could say. I do wish that you could remember everything that you're going to do for me, but somehow it's even better when you don't know what you've done to make everyone hate you." He motioned to Dabura, who grabbed the chains that bound Gohan to the wall. Gohan fought against them uselessly as he was dragged along the corridor. Where was all his strength? The amount of ki he had left was dangerously low, barely enough to sustain life, but how could it have been drained so quickly? Was there some sort of spell on the chains?
"You see, I needed a third person to defend my ship," Babadi explained casually as he walked. "I could use Dabura, but I want him to stay with me. He is much more useful to me than you would be. No offense," he added mockingly. He stopped, stepping inside a room. "There are some pesky creatures that are coming to try and stop me from reviving Majin Buu. I don't think that they can get past the first floor, let alone the second, but if the Supreme Kai does make it past them, you'll be my surprise!" That said, Babadi left the room hastily as a threatening growl rumbled deep in Gohan's chest, despite the energy-draining chains keeping the teenager from attacking. Dabura tossed a familiar bag on the floor before exiting as well, slamming the door ominously behind him.
Gohan collapsed the instant he heard the lock click, all pretenses of acting tough gone in an instant. How the hell could he let this happen? He traced the M, feeling the slight ridge from the tattoo. With the amount of power that he could now control, Gohan was not sure that even his father would be able to hold his own against him. Maybe Goku and Vegeta working together could do it, but that all depended on whether or not Vegeta had dispensed with his enduring hatred of the other man and if the prince had attained Super Saiyan 2. The teenager was sure that the boost in power from dying had helped Goku reach that point easily. With Goku to spar with, surely Vegeta was not too far behind! The demi-Saiyan cursed aloud once more before falling silent, deciding that it would be better to not waste the energy that he had remaining. He might be able to use it to fight Babadi later. Noticing the bag sitting next to him, he opened it, giving a small smile at what he saw inside.
The red, blood-stained cloth that Bardock had worn around his head was neatly laid on top of the armor that both he and Raditz had given Gohan. The armor was sitting on top of some relatively worthless trinkets, ones that held meaning for him nonetheless. He gripped the strip of cloth tightly, a tear coursing its way down his face. 'I'm sorry for being so weak, Granddad,' he thought. 'I can't believe that I let myself get into this situation.' Gohan wrapped the cloth around his head like his grandfather had, knowing that it probably looked stupid and not really caring. He then pulled on the armor, laughing weakly at how it only just fit. If he had been an inch taller, it probably would not have fit at all. There really was not a reason to wear it, but it still smelled like his grandfather and that smell had always helped him to calm him a little bit after the nightmares he had been prone to have after he killed Frieza and his men. The sound of men's dying screams as the explosion took their lives still haunted him. The calmer he was, the more likely he would be able to figure out a way to get out of this. Throwing the discarded gi into the mostly empty bag, Gohan sat back against the wall, his head in his hands. How was he going to get out of this one?
He did wonder how Babadi had managed to control his newest prize. The hybrid had seen the madness in his alter's eyes, heard it in his voice. He was not just mad – he was totally, utterly insane. How could Babadi control a person who has no control in the first place?
And why was the alter insane anyway? Too much pain combined with whatever negative emotions had been used? Gohan knew that he had seen too much in his short life to be quite right in the head, but he had never really considered the effects on his psyche before. Would he not have had some sort of warning sign about losing control of himself? The Cell Games could be counted as such, he supposed, but becoming so egotistical seemed to be a natural reaction to attaining a new level. Vegeta was a perfect example of this. There were the occasional spars when Bardock or Raditz really pissed him off and the next thing he knew he had won in what appeared to be a brutal manner. But those had only happened after he had gained control of the second form and everyone involved dismissed them as slight relapses. The relapses quit occurring after a few months, so none of the three worried about them. "What am I doing?" the teenager exclaimed suddenly. "I'm psychoanalyzing myself when I should be worrying about how to not kill anyone!"
Gohan's eyes widened as he felt several large powers and a few relatively smaller ones moving quickly toward the ship. He recognized them almost all of them in an instant. The biggest one was his father, of course, with Vegeta only slightly less powerful. The energy he could feel emanating from both of them was somewhat reassuring – both had definitely reached the second level. Piccolo was there, along with the Supreme Kai and another otherworldly power. He could not feel any of the other fighters that used to be one big family. The teenager shuddered. Had they already died? Was he going to be forced to kill the rest of his family and friends?
Outside, the unknown otherworldly power suddenly disappeared. Piccolo's ki dropped to the bare minimum needed to keep a person alive. Goku, Vegeta, and the Supreme Kai started their descent into the bowels of the spaceship. The demi-Saiyan began to shake. 'Please don't let me have to kill my friends,' he prayed desperately. 'Please don't make me have to kill my father!'
One of them is your father? Babadi's voice sounded like a child whose birthday had come six months early and Gohan's blood ran cold at the sound. Oh, this is going to be so much fun! the Majin cried. Father and son pitted against each other! What could be better?
"NO!" the teenager cried aloud. "Please! Don't make me do it!"
Babadi's evil laughter was his only reply, and the demi-Saiyan finally broke down and began to weep.
Dabura watched the spectacle with a bored face that betrayed none of his true feelings. He regarded his newest ally with faint disgust. How this man could have such an evil place within his mind was something that the giant could scarcely believe. What kind of evil bawled like a baby?
A flash of memory swept past Dabura's eyes and he shivered slightly, remembering the crazed look upon the man's face when he stood up after submitting to Babadi's spell. "Master Babadi, are you sure that enslaving him is a good idea?" he queried blandly.
"Enslaving who, Dabura?" Babadi snapped, switching the crystal ball's view from the broken man on the third floor to the fight on the first. The Supreme Kai was currently fighting their weakest lackey, Pui-Pui, and from the looks of things was not doing a good job. He sported far more bruises and cuts than his opponent did. A bright flash of light obscured the globe for a moment and Babadi gasped. "Kill him, Pui-Pui!" he cried. "Kill the little rat!"
Dabura raised one delicate eyebrow. As far as the demon king was concerned, Babadi looked more like a rat than the Supreme Kai ever thought about being. Deciding not to mention this, Dabura replied to his master's question. "The Saiyan, master," he said. "He is not stable, especially not when he turns gold."
Babadi groaned as the light from the ball faded and Pui-Pui was nowhere to be seen. The view broadened to show the flame-haired man's hand outstretched, the Kai's shocked face, and the spiky-haired man laughing, a hand behind his head. "On to Round Two," the Majin muttered disappointedly. He waved a hand negligently and the door to the next floor opened. "The Saiyan is completely under my control," he added coolly. "There is no need to worry, Dabura."
"Master, I have seen this before," the demon king pressed. "All it will take is a small push and he will not be under anyone's control, least of all yours." He winced as a sharp pain lanced through his head. That was the wrong thing to say.
"Dabura, I have everything under control," Babadi replied dangerously. "You would be well-advised to remember that." The pain let up as the yellow mutant's attention was drawn back to the newest fight between Yakon and what looked like the man who had killed Pui-Pui. However, the man was surrounded by a familiar golden glow, the same one that had surrounded their captive Saiyan earlier.
"Of course, Master," Dabura submitted. He resented having to answer to this creature, but this creature also had incredible pieces of magic at his disposal. Dabura was under at least half a dozen different subjugation spells to keep him serving the Majin. It would not be a tragedy were Babadi to suddenly lose his life. Indeed, the demon king would probably shake the hand of the person who killed the wizard, before killing said person, of course. He would allow no one who had seen him in such humiliating circumstances to live. Until such a time, however, he would have to suffer under Babadi's spell and bide his time.
Goku frowned as Vegeta easily took care of the gluttonous Yakon he had been fighting. It was not because of the battle – as far as he was concerned, Goku had not been paying much attention to it. He knew the outcome before the fight even started. It really was pathetic how their enemies were so weak. Of course, he and Vegeta's only remaining ally was startlingly feeble compared to their own Super Saiyan powers. They had both expected the Supreme Kai to be much stronger than what he actually was. The reality did not match up to their expectations.
No, the source of the Saiyan's frown was what he could feel lurking just below them on the next floor. Though dormant, he could feel the malevolent power clearly. It was frighteningly strong, almost on par with his own strength. The strange thing was that it felt vaguely familiar, like the last vestiges of an otherwise forgotten dream. Was it some former enemy that had suddenly grown so much in power? Whoever it was, they were giving Goku a bad feeling about what was to come.
The opening in the floor slid open easily. The Supreme Kai, confidence clearly bolstered by his companions' strength, went down first. Vegeta and Goku remained behind. They glanced at each other. "Remember, Kakarotto, I'm the only one who's allowed to kill you," Vegeta ordered before jumping down into the hole in the floor, looking somewhat flustered. Goku grinned at his fellow fighter's backward way of telling him to be careful and followed him, only to nearly land on top of the shorter man as they both gaped at the sight in front of them.
Whatever the Saiyan had been expecting to find as the source of the evil power, it was not what he found. Instead of a monster, he was confronted with a man. A tall man in Saiyan armor with a tail wrapped around his waist, chains binding him to the wall, and face damp with what looked like tears. "Get away!" the man shouted. "Hurry up! Go down and stop him before –" His face contorted in agony and he collapsed, screaming, as the chains that bound his wrists suddenly opened and fell off. Goku started forward to try and help him, but Vegeta grabbed the back of his gi and dragged him back.
"Are you insane?" the prince hissed, keeping a wary eye on their unknown foe. "This is the enemy, Kakarotto, not one of your friends!" Goku glared at him, but whatever he was about to say died in his throat as the Saiyan in front of them became encased in golden flames. Both his and Vegeta's jaws dropped at the sight. There was only one other person who could transform into Super Saiyan, and that was…
"Gohan?" Goku whispered, doing something that he never thought he would do. He hoped that this was not his son. Not this source of evil. It could not be him. Gohan did not have the capacity to be intentionally malicious, especially since he had kept a tight rein on his Saiyan side the second he learned how to control it. His Gohan was not evil. He could never be. Whispers of a faint memory, of Gohan tormenting Cell, floated through Goku's mind and he flinched. 'That wasn't Gohan!' he cried mentally. 'He didn't mean to! The power went to his head; that was all!'
Beside him, Goku heard Vegeta cry, "Gohan? What the hell is this?" Their enemy smoothly rose up off the floor. His green eyes fixated upon the orange-clad warrior and Goku felt his heart sink into the bottom of his stomach. There was only one reason that this man would focus on him. A malevolent smile spread across the armored man's face.
The tension was so thick that it could be cut by a knife. Two of the four fighters stared at their newest enemy in shock and growing horror, while their ally was merely confused. The last fighter, wrapped in a golden aura, had eyes for only one of his opponents.
For his part, the Supreme Kai was bewildered. Who was this "Gohan" and why did he call Goku "father"? He seemed to be Goku's son, but as far Shin knew Goku only had one son. He had done extensive research on the Saiyan before approaching him at the World Martial Arts Tournament, wanting to know as much about him as possible. Goku had a veritable book of all the good he had done in his life and the Kai had perused it intently in order to ascertain that the Saiyan was the best man to defeat the evil menace hidden deep within Earth's surface. It only briefly talked about his family, mentioning only that he had a wife and one son. Where did this "Gohan" come from?
Gohan's smile morphed into a smirk as he cast his eyes over the other two occupants in the room. "Vegeta, I see that you've gotten stronger. Of course, I guess that getting your ass beat by a bug is good motivation, hmm?" Vegeta let an angry growl slip, but refrained from attacking the whelp. Maybe a few years ago he would have hit first and asked questions later, but he had changed. The power he could feel emanating from the young man in front of him made him wary of going on the offensive just yet.
The demi-Saiyan's gaze slid over to the Supreme Kai, who flinched from the power in it. "Shin, it's been a while, hasn't it?" he asked. "The same can't be said for you, I'm afraid. You're still as weak as you were seven years ago." The Kai did not bother to answer or show that he felt offended, too fearful of this curveball that Babadi had thrown at him.
The cold green eyes fixated upon Goku once again, but before Gohan could comment on his father's strength or insult any of them further, Babadi's enraged voice echoed through the room. "Saiyan, what are you doing?" he screeched. "Kill the Kai! Kill the little rat!"
"The name is Maze," Gohan said coldly. "Not Saiyan. And not Gohan either," he added, glaring at his father. "Gohan was a weak, cowardly child who wouldn't have been able to survive where we ended up."
Babadi's voice gave a huffy little sigh. "Fine, Maze," he relented, stressing the name sarcastically. "Kill the Kai and his little friends!" A small smirk crossed his supposedly controlled servant's lips.
"Let's not and say we did," the demi-Saiyan replied. "I have no interest in killing Shin, even if you do."
"I ORDER YOU TO KILL THE KAI!" Babadi screeched again. Down on the bottom floor, Dabura was hard-pressed to keep from laughing at his master's enraged yelling. He dearly wanted to tell the Majin "I told you so," but knew that would be a one-way ticket to the next dimension. The demon king wisely kept silent, a glint in his slit-pupil eyes the only indication of his amusement.
Babadi was angry beyond words. "Pa-pa-ra-pa-pa!" he shrieked furiously. He was fully intent on giving the monkey the lesson of his life. It came as a huge shock therefore when, far from putting this Maze through pain and agony, the man openly laughed.
"It's not going to work, Babadi," Maze said amusedly. "You can't control me no matter how much you try. I've been trying to get out since Gohan was five. Do you really think that I'm going to let someone as weak as you tell me what to do now that I've succeeded?"
"I made you!" the Majin yelled angrily. "I am your creator! You must obey me!"
"Don't think so," the teenager replied. He returned his attention to his father. "Catch me if you can," he whispered, and disappeared.
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