Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or any of its characters. If I did I'd be a whole lot richer.

Chapter 68

Bardock flew over Orange Star City stretching his senses in a desperate search for his girlfriend's energy. Unfortunately, with the millions of occupants of Orange Star City, it was like trying to pick out a needle in a haystack. Erasa's power level wasn't all that high compared to the average human so it was difficult to sense her at a distance. That was assuming she was still in Orange Star City. He had to remain positive if he was going to find her.

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted some movement in a dark alley. He dove down to take a closer look. Two thugs were moving toward a frightened girl. The girl was backing away her white knuckles clutching her purse in fear. The two men stalked closer to the girl, the one on the left pulling out a knife. "Look what the cat dragged in," he said. "I call first dibs."

"Not fair," his partner said. "You got firsts last time."

"Leave her alone," came an angry voice from behind.

The thugs turned to confront the hero. "Or what," one of them said.

Bardock was in no mood to give them a fighting chance. The young Saiyan phased out of sight and appeared next to the man and shot his fist into the man's stomach. The force of the blow caused blood to shoot out of the man's mouth as he lost consciousness.

The man's partner in crime brought his knife around and swung it at the half-Saiyan.

Bardock moved his hand up faster than the man could even see and caught his wrist. "You really picked the wrong day to mess with me," he growled. The young Saiyan squeezed the man's wrist and bones cracked.

The man yowled in pain and dropped the knife. A quick chop to the neck and he was out cold.

"Thank You," the girl said in a trembling voice. She was still shaking pretty badly.

"You better get going," Bardock said. "It's not safe in dark alleys."

"But I didn't even get your name," the girl said. But by then he was gone.

-Dbz-

Bardock landed at Capsule Corp completely exhausted. He'd been searching for Erasa for hours and hadn't found a trace of his girlfriend. Her energy just wasn't strong enough to detect from much of a distance at all.

"You know you need to get some rest," his father's voice said from the doorway.

"How am I supposed to sleep when she's still missing," Bardock retorted.

"You have to," Kakarot said. "Going days on end without sleep won't do you any good."

"I should be able to find her," Bardock said.

"You're being much too hard on yourself," Kakarot replied. "You know you can't do everything."

"If only I could feel her energy," Bardock said. "I could save her." In fact not being able to sense her worried him. He hated to think it but the reason he might not be able to sense her might be because she was dead.

"You know trying to pinpoint a single energy among the billions on the planet is nearly impossible," Kakarot said, "especially one that doesn't have an abnormally large power level."

"It's been a week," Bardock said. "What if I can't find her?"

"It's not all up to you son," Kakarot said. "The police are following every lead they have."

"And they've found nothing," Bardock said banging his fist into the counter and leaving a dent.

"You can't do much until you have a lead," Kakarot said. "You might as well get some sleep."

"I can't sleep," Bardock said.

"I have an idea," Kakarot said. "It sounds like you need to let some of that stress out. Let's go have a good spar."

Bardock thought about it for a minute. He really wanted to be out looking for Erasa but that was just exhausting him mentally. The frustration was starting to get to him. He did feel like hitting something and his father was as good as target as any. At least he wouldn't really have to worry about hurting him. "Fine," the boy said.

-Dbz-

"This should be far enough from civilization," Kakarot said as he landed in the middle of a desert. "Let's get started."

Before the older Saiyan could finish his sentence, Bardock's fist connected with his jaw and sent the warrior flying back into a cliff face. The rocks gave way to the Saiyan's body and crumbled down on top of him.

"I see you want to skip the warm up," Kakarot said as he climbed out of the pile of rocks his son had put him in.

Bardock was in no mood to talk. He just wanted to beat the crap out of something. He charged at his father, his aura flaring a golden hue as the teenage Saiyan transformed strait to Super Saiyan 2.

Kakarot's aura flashed gold as he also ascended to the second level of Super Saiyan. He crossed his arms over his chest just in time to block his son's punch. "That's the way you want to play it then," Kakarot said as he sent an energy blast into his son's side.

The blast hit the younger Super Saiyan and sent him flying back from his father. Kakarot used this opportunity to phase out of sight and appear behind his son, sending a hard jab toward the back of his head.

The blow hit Bardock like a ton of bricks sending the boy stumbling forward. "You're not focused," Kakarot said. "You're letting your mind be clouded by your frustration. I know I trained you better than that."

Bardock turned and stared at his father. He wasn't in the mood for a lecture. The young Saiyan charged at his old man looking to show him who was boss. The young demi-Saiyan reached his target and then teleported out of the way at the last second.

Kakarot braced himself for his son's brash charge but the attack never came. Almost instantly he sensed Bardock a short distance behind him. He turned just in time to see a flurry of energy blasts heading at his back. Kakarot turned and started to backhand the attacks back at his son. "Nice try but I'm not that much of an amateur."

Bardock phased out of sight and appeared behind his father who was swatting away the last of his energy attacks. The boy sent a sweeping kick towards Kakarot's legs, taking the older Saiyan's feet out from under him. He followed up with a flurry of kicks and punches at his opponent. Kakarot blocked the attacks as best he could but his son was one of the strongest fighters in the universe so some of them hit their mark. Within minutes, Kakarot was returning attacks as good as he was taking them. The two disappeared and reappeared up in the sky still trading blows faster than any normal person could follow.

-Dbz-

"Doctor, we're picking up some power readings that are off the charts," a man in a white coat said.

Dr. Wheelo turned to his assistant. "Ah yes," he said. "That must be young Briefs. It was only a matter of time before he decided to blow off some steam."

"There's two of them doctor," his assistant said. "They both seem to be equally powerful."

"Yes," Wheelo said, "the other would be the boy's father. He was also one of the world's strongest. But don't worry our creations will be enough to take care of our target."

"And the boy's father?" the assistant asked.

"If all goes according to plan we'll be able to neutralize him as well," Wheelo said. "After all once I get my prize I'll be strong enough to take on any opposition."

"Are you sure the body transfer technology will work?" the assistant asked.

"It should," Wheelo said. "As long as we can incapacitate young Briefs, I should be able to take his body. After that I'll be unstoppable."

"Are you sure the Androids will be strong enough to incapacitate the boy, doctor?" the assistant asked.

"Oh I'm sure he'll have a lot on his mind," Wheelo said laughing. "After all you would if you had to fight your own girlfriend." He looked down to the girl on the table. "Gero's work at making bio androids was simply amazing after all. And thanks to Diavolo getting us this girl we'll have the perfect weapon against Briefs. After all who can hit his own girlfriend?"

-Dbz-

Bardock panted as he and his father took a short break in the sparing. "How are you beating me so easily?" he said. The sparring had been just what he'd needed to get his mind off of the recent events. But now his mind was focused on something else. Even fighting with everything he had, his father was still stronger than him. Especially since he'd broken through the wall he'd seemed to hit recently. He wasn't able to transform and hold Super Saiyan 3 for more than a few seconds but like the other Super Saiyan transformations, it had been accompanied by a quick growth in the power available in his base form. By all logic no matter how hard his father had physically trained, he should have still hit a similar limit.

"You've been slacking a bit lately," Kakarot answered with a smile. It was good to see his son getting his mind off his missing girlfriend. He could only imagine what he would do if Bulma were to go missing.

"You reached Super Saiyan 3 didn't you?" Bardock said. It had to be. How else could his father have surpassed him? "How did you transform without any of us noticing?"

"It's really pretty simple," Kakarot said. "I just took my training off planet. Even the power output of Super Saiyan 3 doesn't scream out at you from the other side of the galaxy."

"So you've been holding out on me then?" Bardock said.

"Sorry," Kakarot said. "So are you ready to concede defeat?"

"If I was, I wouldn't be a Saiyan," Bardock said. "See how you handle this." Bardock clenched his fists at his side. He knew he didn't have enough of a handle on Super Saiyan 3 to use it effectively in a spar. In fact trying to transform would most likely cause him to lose the match. His father had an edge in power but not one that couldn't be overcome. Unfortunately, he'd also seemed to have spent more time focusing on his techniques than Bardock had. So it was unlikely that he could come up with much to push him off guard. So really he only had about one possible option left. He'd never tried this but it was something that he'd considered as a last resort in a fight before he'd started feeling the Super Saiyan 3 power inside of him. It was risky but he'd give it a shot. "Super Kaioken," the young demi-Saiyan shouted as he pushed his power well beyond its normal limits. His golden aura flared out all around his body and was almost instantly replaced by the signature golden aura of the Kaioken technique. His power also skyrocketed but his body couldn't contain it all. Power radiated off of him and the earth around him shook and rocks crumbled into dust leaving a crater around the young Saiyan. Bardock shot off the ground in an instant leaving the crater caused by his power behind.

Kakarot saw a flash of red and then his son was in front of him faster than he could even follow. The boy's fist struck him in the face sending him staggering back with earth shattering force. Luckily for him, his face was much harder to shatter than a planet. He staggered back but quickly recovered. But before he could go on the offensive, Bardock was on him again launching his foot out trying to capitalize on his father's distraction. But Kakarot wasn't there and his foot passed though only air.

Kakarot appeared a short distance from his son and rubbed his face a bit. "That was a nice one," he said.

The red aura faded as Bardock let his power return to a sustainable level. His body ached all over but the attack had worked for the most part. Had the opponent been less skilled with Instant Transmission than his father, he probably could have ended the spar. "Yeah I got you good with that first punch," Bardock said laughing for the first time in days.

"Yeah but it cost you the spar," Kakarot said. "The energy you wasted makes it impossible for you to win now."

"Well I didn't actually expect you to be able to dodge the follow up attack," Bardock said.

"With a bit of practice, it has the potential to be a good trump card," Kakarot said. "You just have to make it count if you use it."

"Yeah," Bardock said. "Though I think learning Super Saiyan 3 would probably be more efficient. I'm just about as drained after using that and it wasn't nearly as powerful."

"I agree," Kakarot said. "But for now how about you get some rest. I'm sure you could use it."

Bardock shrugged. As much as he wanted to keep searching for Erasa, he knew that it was futile until he had something to go on. As much as he honed his senses, he couldn't detect her out of the billions of people on the planet. Her energy signature just wasn't strong enough to attract attention from a distance. And after trying a Super Kaioken, he was definitely physically exhausted. In fact just holding on to Super Saiyan 2 was difficult at this point. He let his power drop as his hair turned from its golden hue to its normal blue and its normal style. "I think you're right," he said.

Power Levels:

Bardock:
5 (suppressed)
55 million
15.5 billion (Super Saiyan 2)
23.25 billion (Super Saiyan 2 Kaioken)
10 billion (Super Saiyan 2 after being worn out by the Kaioken)

Kakarot:
57 million
16 billion (Super Saiyan 2)