Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or any of its characters. If I did I'd be a whole lot richer.
Summary: What if Goku hadn't lost his memory as a child. Alternate universe starting at the beginning of Dragonball.
A/N: I've posted this story before but I'm starting over and changing things so it flows better. Let me know what you all think.
Bardock looked down at his sleeping son in front of him. After the betrayal by Dodoria earlier he knew it was only a matter of time before Frieza decided to finish off the Saiyans. He also knew there was not much chance of stopping the evil tyrant. But he still had to try.
"Where's Kakarot being sent to?" Bardock asked the attendant as he lifted the infant Saiyan from his crib to start his journey.
"Some planet called Earth," the Saiyan attendant said. "It's pretty much a planet of weaklings. Shouldn't be a problem even for an infant Saiyan. I haven't put him through the programming yet but that's his next stop."
"Do me a favor," Bardock said. "Forget the programming. Just put this in the pod with him." Bardock handed the man a box.
"What's this?" the man asked.
"Just some items he might find useful on his mission," Bardock said. "There's a scouter in there as well as some training material. "I've also included a message to explain to him what he needs to do."
"Isn't that what the programming is for?" the attendant asked.
"Yes," Bardock responded. "But it always seems to turn them into mindless drones. I want my son to be a warrior not a mindless drone."
"Whatever you say Bardock," the attendant said as he placed the box and the infant into the pod.
"Goodbye my son," Bardock whispered as the pod took off headed for the planet Earth.
Gohan looked up as he saw a meteor shooting down from the sky. The old man walked over to the crater that the meteor made only to find that it was not a meteor but a space pod. He looked inside it to see a naked baby with a brown tail. That's odd, he thought as he picked up the baby only to be hit in the face by a tiny fist. "You've got an arm don't you little guy," he said sweetly. Then Gohan looked and noticed the second item that was in the pod. "What have we here," he said to himself as he picked up the box and brought it and the baby back toward his house.
Several minutes later in the privacy of his own house Gohan opened the box. First he pulled out a suit of green plated armor with a black undersuit and an green scouter. Wonder what this is for, he thought. "You're a bit young to have you're own armor little guy," he said to the baby. The next thing he pulled out was a tiny little cube. He pushed a small button on it and a hologram of a man appeared.
The man was dressed in armor similar to that in the box and wore a scouter over his right eye. He looked very similar to the baby except he had several more scars on his face from the numerous battles he must have been through. Must be the kid's father, Gohan thought.
A few seconds later the hologram began to speak. "This message is for my son Kakarot when he's old enough to see it," the Bardock hologram said. "If you're seeing this then I was unable to stop Frieza and you are likely the last Saiyan alive. Now, you were sent to this planet to eradicate all life from it so it could be sold to the highest bidder. We Saiyans have worked as planet brokers/slaves under Frieza for years now. We are a warrior race and get stronger after every battle. That is why Frieza felt the need to destroy us. But you, my son, will some day be strong enough to destroy him. My mission for you, my son, is not to destroy life on this planet but to protect it as you train to get strong so you can avenge your people. Seek out anyone who is strong on the planet. Often you can learn much from those that may seem like weaklings. Have pride that you're a Saiyan but don't let it blind you like some of our race have done. Enclosed in here is armor and a scouter for when you're old enough to use them as well as information about the Saiyan race. Never forget where you came from my son and someday I hope you'll show Frieza what a Saiyan is truly made of."
Five years later…
Gohan ducked as the young boy in front of him threw another punch at his head. "Not quite strong enough to hit me yet, Kakarot," he told the boy as he sent a punch at the boy. Kakarot deftly dodged the attack and countered with a round house kick.
Gohan caught the boy's leg and used Kakarot's own momentum to send the boy flying off into the bushes.
Kakarot got up from the bushes and dusted off his white karate uniform. "No fair the boy said. It seems no matter what I try I can never hit you."
"You've only been training with me for a few months now," Gohan replied. "You'll improve with time. "I've been training my whole life. You can't expect to get results like that over night."
"Mr. Gohan," Kakarot started. "Is everyone as strong as you are?"
"No," Gohan replied. "Most people aren't even as strong as you are now. I've been studying martial arts for my entire life to gain the amount of strength that I have. Don't be discouraged that you're not winning. It takes time to be the best but eventually I know that you will surpass me."
"How do you know that?" the skeptical child asked.
"I guess it's time I told you then," Gohan finally said. "As you already know I'm not your father. Well the truth is I found you as a baby in a spaceship and raised you as my own. You are a member of a proud warrior race called Saiyans."
"Is that why I have a tail and you don't?" Kakarot asked waving the furry brown appendage behind him.
"Yes," Gohan replied. "That is also why you're not allowed out in the full moon. As it turns out Saiyans have the ability to transform into a giant ape at the full moon. This makes you ten times stronger than your untransformed state but is difficult to control. Last time you transformed I barely managed to knock you out before you did a lot of damage to the surrounding area."
Kakarot looked taken aback. This was a lot for a boy to take in at once, Gohan knew, but he could feel that the boy had a destiny to be a great hero someday and he needed to know about his heritage. "Come inside. Your father left a message for you as well as details on your people and what happened to them. It's time you knew the truth."
Seven years later...
Kakarot threw another punch at the imaginary opponent as he continued his workout. The boy wore Saiyan style armor with a black undersuit and green plating and his brown tail wrapped neatly around his waist.
"Dinner…" Gohan called from the house. Before he had a chance to finish, Kakarot had sped through the door and was inhaling the food at an alarming pace. "'s ready." Gohan finished.
In seconds the food was gone and the boy looked up at the old man. "Will you spar with me this evening?" he asked.
"I suppose I could make time for that," Gohan said.
"Promise not to hold back this time?" Kakarot asked.
"You know I could never go all out on you," Gohan replied. "I could seriously hurt you."
"But how am I supposed to get strong if you hold back all the time?" Kakarot countered.
"There's more to fighting than being strong," Gohan reminded the young Saiyan. "First you have to have good technique. If you're a sloppy fighter it doesn't matter how strong you are."
"But I can handle it," Kakarot countered.
Gohan had to admit the boy was strong. He was probably twice as strong as the average human and at only 12 years old. "You have your scouter," Gohan reminded him. "Does it say you're strong enough to fight me at full power?"
Kakarot hit a button on the side of the scouter and watches as the reading appeared on the device. "80," he said reading Gohan's power level.
"Now what's your power level at?" Gohan asked.
"12," Kakarot answered without even consulting the scouter. He knew about how strong he was at all times, a side effect to constantly measuring his power level.
"That's why I can't go all out on you without holding back," Gohan replied to the earlier question. "You wouldn't stand a chance and it wouldn't be fair. And you wouldn't gain much from being knocked unconscious."
Kakarot scowled but he knew it was true. "I could transform," he said brightening up.
"Now you know that isn't a solution," Gohan said frowning at the boy. "You don't have the control to fight in that form and what you gain in power is lost in control."
Kakarot sighed. He knew that his adopted Grandfather was right. He always seemed to be right. It was very frustrating being young. He just couldn't wait to avenge his people. But he knew he needed to learn all he could and get as strong as he could before he'd even have a chance against a monster like that. The message from his father had included Bardock's last known power level and it was 10,000. A power level of 10,000 and his father had feared that Frieza could wipe out him and his whole people without much effort. Kakarot knew if he were ever to avenge his people he'd need to be much stronger than he was and much stronger than his current teacher. "Let's spar already," he said getting up from the table.
Gohan wiped his mouth, having finished his meal at a much slower rate than his adopted grandson. "Alright he said getting up."
The two stood outside only minutes later, Gohan in a old martial arts uniform and Kakarot in his armor. Kakarot lunged forward first throwing a fist at his Grandpas face.
The old man quickly back flipped out of the way and came up with a kick aimed at the Saiyan's face. Kakarot knew that he didn't have a chance of dodging the kick at the speed Gohan had moved so he crossed his arms in front of his chest absorbing the blow in his arms and then sweeping his leg out to try and take out the foot that Gohan still had planted on the grown.
Gohan lept above the kick and sent a fist flying at the boy's head. Kakarot deftly redirected the attack with a hand using minimal effort. "Very good," Gohan said. "You are learning well."
Gohan was interrupted by a fist heading toward his face as the boy counter-attacked. The boy was good that much was true. Gohan was amazed how quickly he had improved over the last few years.
The two fighters looked up as they heard a noise in the distance. A blue car stopped and a girl with blue hair and a pink dress that said Bulma got out. "If my bleeper is right, the Dragonball should be around here close."
"What are you doing here," Kakarot asked.
"I'm looking for a Dragonball," Bulma answered honestly.
"What's a Dragonball?" Kakarot asked.
"They look like this," Bulma said pulling one out. The ball she held was orange and had three red stars in the middle. "This is the three star ball. If you collect all seven you can summon the dragon and he'll grant you any one wish. Have you seen anymore around."
Gohan looked at the balls with interest. "I have one with four stars inside that I found a few years ago," the old man admitted.
"Can I have it?" Bulma asked. "I'm Bulma by the way."
"What are you going to use the wish for?" Gohan asked.
"I want to wish for the perfect boyfriend," Bulma replied.
Sounds a bit selfish but harmless, Gohan thought. "Alright I'll give it to you."
"What are you doing?" Bulma asked the curiosity getting the better of her finally.
"Sparing," Kakarot said.
"You're a fighter," Bulma said. That is so cool. "You must be strong. Would two big strong men like you like to come help me find the remaining Dragonballs?"
"Why would I want to do that?"
"What else do you have to do?" Bulma said.
"Train," Kakarot replied turning back to his Grandpa.
"Now don't be rude," Gohan said. "This young lady out there by her self could end up in a world of trouble. You should go with her and make sure that no harm comes to her."
"But Grandpa," Kakarot started. "I have training to do."
"Kakarot," Gohan said. "What good is strength if you don't use it to help those that are weaker than yourself? Besides the experience will be good for you. You can't spend the rest of your life in the woods training with me."
"Let's get started," Bulma said getting back into the car and motioning for Kakarot to get in too. And with that the two drove into the distance looking for the next Dragonball and starting the adventure or a lifetime.
Kakarot (age 5): 3
(age 12) 12