Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ or have any rights to it.
Cell eyed his handiwork with a gleeful smile. Below him lay the ruins of the city, a large crater marking the spot where Gohan had been. If Gohan's body hadn't been vaporized, it would be buried beneath the rubble at the bottom of the crater.
Taking his eyes off the desolate landscape, Cell turned his attention towards himself, flexing his biceps and reveling in his own power. "Yes! I win! I am the strongest! There isn't anyone on this planet…no, in the entire universe that I cannot defeat! I am Cell; the perfect warrior!" Cell began laughing as he powered up. The entire planet began shacking as his power reached its zenith.
However, his joy was quickly replaced with confusion. Gohan was undoubtedly the strongest opponent he could ever face. With him dead, Cell wouldn't have anyone who could challenge him. The remaining fighters on earth; including Juu; where peons compared to him. He could kill them all faster than they could blink.
What to do now? This planet is so boring. Now that I've become perfect and defeated Gohan, there is nothing left for me to accomplish. Then an idea came to him as he remembered Dr. Gero's records about the saiyans and the ones who had survived the destruction of their home planet. He also recalled that all of his meaningful strength originated in space. His eyes turned skyward as he began pondering the possibilities. Hmmm…perhaps there are adventures and new, strong opponents waiting for me out there. Who knows…maybe someone up there can actually give me a better fight than Gohan.
Without bothering to look for Juu or get absolute proof that Gohan was dead, he took off for space, with not so much as a backwards glance. His planet of origin meant nothing to him now, there was nothing left for him here. Without anyone to challenge him, the universe would be his private playground. His first objective was to find the person he thought would be the strongest now that Gohan was dead; King Vegeta.
Juu watched from a perceivably safe distance as Cell ascended and eventually exited Earth's atmosphere. She could only hope that Gohan had somehow survived and that Cell didn't decide to blow up a planet he no longer had any use for.
However, her concern for Gohan outweighed any instinct against approaching the crater. She couldn't see any sign of him in the crater below, but that wasn't going to stop her from looking. Landing in the center of the crater, she scanned the area in an attempt to see any sign of his body.
She heard a groan, causing her ears to perk up. Hearing another groan, she locked onto its source; an overturned car. It had landed on him while he was being covered by debris, providing an air pocket in which is could survive being buried. Rushing over to it, she quickly tore it out of the ground, revealing his broken body. He was in terrible shape, but his body was intact and could be saved. He was unconscious and the groan had simply been gas escaping his throat.
She shook him lightly to see if he would wake up. "Gohan. Gohan!" He wouldn't stir, so she looked for a pulse, praying that she would find one. At first she couldn't sense one as she checked his neck, but then she felt it. It was faint, and she knew that he was in urgent need of medical attention.
She began digging through his uniform, praying that what she was looking for hadn't been broken. A relieved expression crossed her face as she pulled out a disk-like object. It was intact, and contained his space ship. Pressing the red button in the center, she threw it like a Frisbee. It slowly began expanding until it was the larger than a house. The egg-shaped vehicle contained a healing chamber where Juu knew she could keep Gohan.
Picking him up, she carried him into the ship and quickly located the healing chamber where she placed him, typing commands into the computer in order to start the healing process.
Once she was sure of his safety, she turned her attention to what her next course of action should be. She realized that there was nothing left for her on Earth. The Z-fighters would probably kill her on site. She had no allies here and Gohan wouldn't be healed for some time. The only place that came to mind was New Vegeta, and that was exactly where she now intended to go. Vegeta and the saiyans had recognized her as an ally; they would understand the situation and help her and Gohan find a way to defeat Cell. Right now, that was her only option, so she got to work firing up the ship an setting the coordinates that she had remembered Gohan telling her when he was giving her space ship lessons.
Within a few minutes, the ship began its rapid ascent, climbing high into the atmosphere.
Piccolo couldn't take his eyes off the sky. He had been staring at it ever since he had brought the others back to Capsule Corp. His injuries were now healed and the enormous power he had felt was far too much for him to ignore, even though it was now rapidly heading away from Earth.
"Hey Piccolo," said Trunks. "That was a really radical power that was hear a short while ago. Do you think it's the creature?"
"I do," replied Piccolo. "I also sensed another, significantly smaller, but still huge power level fighting it. I think that was…Gohan. He must've some how transformed into a super saiyan during the fight against the androids. But as strong as he was, he didn't have anywhere near as much power as that creature and now I can't sense him anymore."
"You don't think that he's dead do you?" asked Trunks. Even though he didn't like the way the Gohan of this universe acted, he couldn't help feeling concerned for him. After all, he was still fighting on behalf of the people and he was able to change the saiyans into good people.
Piccolo shook his head. "I just don't know. He could be hanging on by a thread…but I would never know. It's best to assume that he's dead. The chances of his survival are slim, though not impossible."
"Hey guys," said Tien, walking up to them with a serious expression. "So I take it that the androids are no more. That creature probably destroyed them or something, just like it did Gohan."
"Like I said about Gohan, we can't be sure Tien," replied Piccolo. "All I know is that it is now the most powerful force I have ever sensed. It was at the area where Gohan was likely fighting the androids. Now I can't sense Gohan, so the creature probably killed him, and judging by what I know about it, it would do the same to all three androids."
Tien clenched his fists as his face contorted with a combination of fear and frustration. "I can sense it leaving. It's heading away from the Earth…probably to terrorize space. It's probably passing the moon by now; yet it still feels as powerful as ever. I feel so useless and outclassed."
"As selfish as this sounds, it's not really our problem anymore unless it returns to Earth," said Piccolo. "Our priority should be helping the people of Earth, nothing else matters more. Once we've made sure the planet is safe, we can go after it and try to defeat it."
"You're right," replied Trunks. "We can't really fight it in space anyway." Then he noticed something exiting the Earth's atmosphere. "Is that a space ship?"
"It must be Gohan's," said Piccolo as he watched it fade from sight. "Maybe Gohan somehow survived and has been suppressing his power. "I can't tell though."
"It's kind of scary," said Tien. "There are all kinds of weirdoes that could sneak onto the Earth we wouldn't know it if they were concealing their powers. In a way, I'm glad that Earth doesn't have any dragonballs anymore. I don't think it would go well for us if someone snuck onto the planet and made a wish that puts everyone in jeopardy."
"We shouldn't think about that right now," said Piccolo. "Let's get going. We should get Yamcha and Chaotzu and head up to the lookout to see what kind of state the planet is in."
Juu felt had an uneasy feeling as she sat next to Gohan's sleeping form. The healing chamber ha saved his life and fixed up his wounds, but he was still in a coma. She had dressed him and moved him into, what she thought, was his room on the ship. Even though she knew that sitting by his side wasn't doing him any good, she felt compelled to do it. She was in love with him and didn't want to leave his side unless something urgently required her attention.
Lighting rubbing his forehead, she noted how vulnerable he looked at the moment. A tender smile formed as she brushed a few hairs away from his face. "Don't worry Gohan. It's my turn to protect you. I'll get you the help you need, and then we'll all beat Cell together."
Then a loud beeping sound caught her attention, alerting her to a problem. A sound like that only accompanied an important notice. Luckily, she could access the information from a small bedside laptop in the room. Turning it on, she accesses the alert folder and found that it was a distress signal. Clicking on it, her eyes widened as an image of Raditz appeared.
"Hello Gohan! If you can hear me I have bad news for you! We've lost communication with New Vegeta, and Nail and I are now trapped on planet Cold! It's Cooler, Freeza's brother! He's retaken the planet and captured Glacer! Please come here and help us! Cooler's forces shouldn't be too much for you to handle! Don't go to planet Vegeta though! Something bad is happening there! I can't say more, now goodbye!"
Juu was freaked out by this latest development. While she and Gohan were worrying about the androids and Cell on Earth, the universe had been thrown into chaos…or at the very least, Planet Cold and New Vegeta had. There was some sort of war going on the judging from the desperate look on Raditz' face, the enemy would be a challenge, even for her, especially since Planet Cold had genetic mutation technology. Juu shuddered at the memory of a mutant King Cold. The worst part was that on top of all this there was the unstoppable android, Cell, roaming around the galaxy.
She turned her eyes on Gohan, as if expecting him to have all the answers. "You'd probably know what to do Gohan." She sighed sadly, feeling pathetic all of a sudden. "I just don't know what to do. If Vegeta's in trouble, what could I possibly do to help? I'm not as strong as Vegeta."
She balled her fists tightly, closing her eyes as tears began flowing. If I had let Piccolo kill Seventeen and Eighteen, Gohan would still be conscious. We could've defeated Cell together, and then he'd be here with me now. I'm such a fool!
However, she knew that she had to act. Chances were that it would be easier to break into planet Cold and save Raditz and Nail than it would be to confront whatever was threatening New Vegeta. She began typing on the laptop, resetting the destination coordinates for planet Cold. She also put the ship into stealth mode so that the AI would know to make the landing as stealthy as possible.
Several Triceratons stood in front of a prison cell; it was on one of their many ships that had landed on New Vegeta. The cell, which was more heavily guarded than the others, housed the planet's namesake. The super saiyan had caused heavy casualties on the Triceratons part, but after two hours, they were able to overcome him with their superior machinery.
A shorter Triceraton, one with a darker colored frill and stockier build approached the cell. He had a triumphant grin on his face, making it seem as if he had been the one to defeat the saiyan king. His regal, brown robes, indicated the he was a royal, in fact, he was the Prime Leader, the highest-ranking Triceraton. His name was Zanramon, and one of the infamous Big Five that had begun taking over the galaxy.
"So you're the mighty king of all saiyans! You don't look so tough when you're all bound up like that!" The prime leader smirked proudly at his insult. "I wonder what all your people are thinking. They're probably disappointed...no, broken at the fact that their LEGENDARY super saiyan couldn't save them." He proceeded to laugh, and was soon joined by the guards.
Vegeta wanted nothing more than to turned super saiyan and show the prime leader what he was capable of, but his legs and arms were bound by a strange electric field that blocked his powers. He was hanging from the wall in a crucifix pose and there was a thin tube that had been attached to his naval, through which nutrients were supplied to keep him alive as long as the Triceratons wanted him to be.
Biting hard in an attempt to relieve some stress, Vegeta thought of his own verbal jab. "It's just too bad. You Triceratons value strength as much as we saiyans do, and yet your prime leader was too scared to step out onto the battlefield himself." Vegeta's characteristic smirk reappeared when he saw the Prime leader's laughter cease.
The Triceraton's face darkened into a scowl. His fists balled up, causing his guards to abruptly cease their laughter. He glared towards the smirking prince and spoke with venom. "Don't get cozy Vegeta! You're only alive as long as I want you to be! Get too cocky and I'll be forced to eliminate you!"
This didn't faze Vegeta; it only amused him. "Are you going to do it, or will it be one of your loyal soldiers. Last I checked, you weren't on the battlefield when the Triceratons took over this planet. You were probably hiding away in one of your ships while your men did all the work. At least I can take pride in the fact that I was on the front lines."
"That's enough," said one of the guards. "You have no right to speak to the prime leader that way!"
Vegeta laughed the comment off. "Now you've got your soldiers defending you verbally? What's wrong can't think of a good comeback? From the looks of things, you're all bark and no bite. In fact, I don't think you're even in charge of this operation. Someone else must be behind this, since I doubt you could come up with this kind of technology on your own."
Zanramon quickly hid his look of surprise and turned his back on the prince. "I'll be leaving now. You'd better behave yourself. My allies want you alive, but there won't be any trouble with them if I kill off all of your people. Be careful not to push me too far or they will pay the price."
Vegeta fell into silence as the prime leader left. He would never want to harm his own race after working so hard to build it back up. The saiyans had yet to reach their former numbers, and if they were struck down now, they would likely become extinct. Vegeta's thoughts then began making connections.
Zanramon said that he had allies. Could those allies be responsible for our inability to reach planet Cold? Vegeta's thoughts then wandered to Raditz, who he had sent there to checks things out. He hoped that he wasn't a prisoner, though even so, there was still one hope left. I'm sure Gohan can think of something…as long as something bad hasn't happened to him on Earth.
Juu hugged herself as she began thinking about what she would do once they reached planet Cold. Gohan was still unconscious and it had been three hours since she had taken him out of the healing chamber.
The situation was beginning to seem hopeless for her. There was no guarantee that Gohan would wake up, in which case, she doubted her own ability to help out against the new threat to the galaxy. If Gohan woke up, he would, at the very least, give her comfort. Her thoughts returned to Cell, that wretched doctor's ultimate creation. Even with Gohan around, Cell was unstoppable now. He was currently the most powerful being in the universe and could pretty much do whatever he wanted.
Letting out sigh, Juu decided to see how long she had until the ship reached planet Cold. Picking up the laptop from the bedside table, she turned it back on and checked the status of the trip. Three days left…thank god! I have three days to wait for Gohan to wake up and contemplate what I'll do if he doesn't. Satisfied that she had enough time on her hands, Juu shut down the laptop and placed it back on the bedside table.
Her thoughts returned to Gohan and the condition he was in. She knew he was alive and his condition was stable, but she had no idea how long the coma he was in would last. There was only one sure way she knew of to bring Gohan out of the coma, the Namekian dragonballs. However, she realized that whatever was affecting New Vegeta, and Planet Cold was likely affecting Namek as well. In all likelihood, Guru would have died by now and the dragonballs would be gone for good.
Juu suddenly felt vulnerable again. She wanted to curl up into a fetal position and feel warmth and comfort. Turning back to Gohan, she noted the strength he seemed to exude. His unconscious state simply made him into a sleeping giant. He wasn't active now, but one could never deny his immense power.
She slid beneath the covers next to him, and cuddled close, trying to feel as much of his warmth as possible. "Sorry if I'm taking advantage of you…but I don't feel safe anywhere else."
Her eyes shut as a smile came back to her face. It wasn't happy, but content. So what if Gohan wasn't conscious? She knew that he cared for her and that was enough to make her feel safe in his presence.
"Please hurry elder Mori!" A group of strong Namekians guided the elder out of the main tower that had once been occupied by the previous elder, Guru. They ran as far away from their former settlements as possible, seeking refuge in the planet's mountain ranges where they could remain in hiding for weeks if necessary.
The Namekians were in the middle of a mass retreat across their planet. Slug's forces were too powerful and the nameks had become outlaws on their own planet. They were now heading away from their former settlements and the fertile meadows they had once called home. Now they would live in the wilderness, hoping and praying for help to arrive.
When their greatest warrior, Nail, had left with the saiyan, Raditz, they had suspected something was wrong. Planet Cold was in trouble, and they had now lost connection with many of their allies, including the saiyans. They had to assume that the threat they were facing was occurring across the galaxy.
When they reached the caves, Mori turned to the other Nameks with a serious face. "I can only hope that our brethren have sought shelter as well. However, there is something else that concerns me. What happened to the dragonballs?"
"We have one here," said one of the warrior nameks. "We didn't have time to get the others, but this still means that Slug cannot use them."
Mori nodded in acknowledgement, his expression turning grim. The memory of Freeza was still clear in his mind. The galaxy's worst tyrant had nearly destroyed their planet, and what made Slug worse was the fact that he actually knew the Namekian language. They only had one ball and in the worst-case scenario, Slug would have the other six. If he got hold of the one they had, he could get his three wishes.
A few hours later, another namek arrived at their camp. He came to them on foot, suggesting that he was a messenger and scout from another group camped somewhere along the mountain. He seemed relieved when he found them. "Ah elder Mori. I'm happy that I've found you."
"What news do you have my child? Are the others all right?"
"They are. Dende, and over thirty of us made camp a few miles away in the direction that I came from. We can reach them in an hour's walk."
"Very good," replied elder Mori with a relieved smile. At least he knew that some of them had escaped.
I know that this isn't on my update priorities, but after the less than satisfying ending to 'Crossroads of Destiny', I thought the readers deserved this. Anyway, I don;t really plan on updating this too often since I'll be holding the chapters to a higher standard in terms of length. Once I've cleared all my update priorities, which you can view on my profile, I'll only have four stories to juggle around, which means that I'll probably be updating this on a monthly basis.
As far as the plot goes, Cell is now more of a wild card, even thought he's the most powerful being in this story. Also, the identities of the Big Five should be clear now. They're the leaders(not necessarily the strongest) of their respective factions.