Kuririn's voice came from a phone that swung back and forth, dangling from it's cord.
The room was empty, but if anyone were present they would swear that it felt like someone had been in it seconds earlier.
"Are you there? Answer me if you're there!"
A phone continued to swung back and forth as though someone had just dropped it, but no one was there.
"Someone pick up the phone! Gohan? Chichi? Helloooo?!"
The phone floated up on it's own will and hung itself upon the receiver with a quiet click.
"Where am I?"
The words, born of confusion, were left unanswered. The lips the words had come out of were pressed together in a firm line, set almost unnaturally in a young face. The boy's eyes, black as sleet and glittering with intelligence, were deep, wrought with visions that one so young should never have seen, yet had. And those eyes were windows to a mind that should have been insane but was not.
Short, wild black hair dangled just above the boy's vision, swaying in a breeze that the boy's skin could not feel. Every muscle on the boy's body was toned to perfection, yet incredibly proportional to one as strong as he.
He was Son Gohan, first born of Son Goku. A half Saiya-jin, half Human. The strongest fighter in the known universe.
He had no answer to his question.
He realized his hand was still raised as though he were talking on the phone, cradling the thin air against his ear from where only seconds ago he had been talking with Kuririn. That had been mere seconds ago, he had been standing the familiar surroundings of his living room. Now, nothing around him looked familiar, or natural. It was just a never ending flat plane of grass.
"Where am I..... am I...... am....." his own voice echoed back at him stronger than it had come out, the sound waves bouncing off of unseen walls, returning to him, tearing at his body. He flinched. The sound hurt, like scorching ripples of chi than ripples of sound, all aimed at his head. His head throbbed, his ears rang, his breath caught in his throat. He clutched his head, nearly tearing out his own hair in the sudden agony that washed over him.
Once the sound had passed, there was a complete, unnerving still. His body felt as though the pain had never happened.
Then, slow and gentle, a breeze passed over his body, whipping his hair and running chills down his back. 'Not even the wind feels right', he thought to himself, wincing when even his thoughts echoed around in his skull for a few seconds..... or minutes....... Time felt as though it passed wrong here.
"Do you know where you are?"
A voice, so familiar yet totally indistinguishable asked him, rolled over him, pushed him around, made him stumble.
"No." Gohan answered, cringing as his answer raked back over his body. "no no no....."
"Silence, your words will hurt you."
A gentle, vicious voice. A kind, malicious voice. A caring, evil voice.
"Why?" Gohan asked, cradling his head as his voice attacked him. "why, why, why......"
"It is the way here."
The voice continued to push and shove, never letting the small figure get his footing even though he was standing perfectly still as he listened. It was terrifying and calming, tearing his body as it put it together, making him want to kill and be killed.
All in a horrifying, beautiful way.
"Are you ready to make your journey?"
He wanted desperately to say no and yes at the same time, but he fought for his own control.
"What journey?" he risked, agonizing as the pain heightened and subsided. "journey journey journey......."
"You don't learn... I'll show you."
"Now where am I?" Gohan asked again, relieved when his voice sounded normal and didn't echo back onto and into his body. He looked around to see only blackness, but not as though there was lack of light, but rather, lack of substance for the light to bounce off of.
"In the room starting your quest."
"Quest, journey... I need to know what you're talking about!" his patience was growing shorter as his curiosity and confusion gave way to need of information, "What do you want with me?!"
"I need you.......," the voice stopped as though interrupted, "You should meet your fellow questors. I'll explain everything then."
"Wait!" Gohan called, but the presence of the voice, whatever it may be, vanished.
"Where am I?" a very real voice asked behind him. The boy turned, his already surprised face turned to near shock as a familiar figure popped into existence. A white tail whipped the air, attached to a small, white body. Glittering purple accents and thin purple lips, set in a pale, doll like face, all of the features jerked the boy into painful memories that even now haunted his dreams.
And, attached to the dreams and memories was a name.
But why? Why was he her? Did he have something to do with this... quest? The boy pushed and shoved disordered thoughts around in his head.
The ruby eyes of this new arrival turned on Gohan, "Who are you?"
"I'm-" the boy started to reply.
"Where am I?"
Both Freeza and the boy turned to see who had just spoken. The youth's eyes widened once again as he saw yet another familiar face came into existence before them. And yet again all memories were unpleasant. Perhaps best described as a gnome or dwarf, with pointed ears and even pointier teeth. Large eyes set deep under a high ridged brow and small spots doting his temple, the figures name echoed through the boy's memories like a sour note.
Garlic. Garlic Junior.
The demon opened his mouth to speak, most likely to ask a question similar to the one Freeza had issued when a third voice spoke up.
"What is this place?" A deep voice, resonating with charisma came forth from a man much larger than the room's other inhabitants. The man's face, haloed in a massive shock of orange hair, was marred by a deep gash, long since healed over. Deep, brooding eyes and deep blue skin decorated in gypsy styled clothes brought to surface fresher memories of pain and helplessness as Gohan beheld the man. The man's name that had been so branded in his mind quickly related to the face.
Bojack? Bojack? Why are all these people here? Why am I here?
The boy's rattled mind can up with millions of questions, but deep down he would settle for just one answer, the answer to the very questions the enemies around him had asked.
Where am I?
What is this place?
Before anyone could speak further, a fifth person, a man, entered the room, coming into view out of nowhere, but very obviously entering in a way much more intentional than the way everyone else had come. The man had a thin, delicate face, a long slender nose and high cheek bones. His eyes never seemed to remain one color, flashing from stunning blue to brilliant purple to emerald green. His hair, whiter than the cleanest snow or the fluffiest clouds, was noticeably long, spanning down his gray robe to the back of his knees, the hair that hung over his forehead seemed to try to hide the intensity of his eyes, yet could not.
"This is the room of nonexistence, to answer your mutual question."
All four people in the room winced. Gohan immediately recognized it as that voice. Even in this room, where his own voice didn't seem to attack him, that voice was still as full as ever. Tugging and pulling, dripping with want and giving everything away. A quick glance around the room proved to the boy that he wasn't the only one affected.
"You're the one that was messing with my head, weren't you?!" Freeza was the first to exclaim, confirming Gohan's assumption that they had all been plucked from their own little states of reality and drawn and cast into this unnatural place.
"Indeed, that was me," the man said, his eyes fading to deep sea gray, "But I was not 'messing with your head' as you put it. I was merely trying to keep you quiet while I was talking. But it seemed too... cruel. Besides, none of you were cooperating. But do not interrupt me further," his eyes suddenly flashed a red straight from the depths of hell, "I could always take you back to the fields of silence."
All present became quite still.
"Now, listen and listen well. My name is Larkas," the man said, his eyes flitting back to gray with small ripples of purple, "Your timeline is being torn to shreds even as we speak. You will all cease to exist if you do not comply and fix the problem."
"What should it matter?" Bojack suddenly spoke up, ignoring the red flashing over Larkas's eyes again, "I'm already dead. He's dead, too," he jerked a thumb toward Freeza, "I've seen him in Hell before, if I'm not mistaken. And I'm pretty sure he's somewhere along those lines too," he gestured toward Garlic, "And he's probably-"
Only now did the giant's eyes land on Gohan.
"And what the hell is he doing here?!"
Gohan held a fist to his mouth and coughed quietly, "I would also like to know what I'm doing here..."
Larkas opened his mouth to speak when he was interrupted by Freeza's quiet, yet commanding voice, "Why? Who is he? His clothes remind me of-"
"His clothes are just like-" Garlic started to say.
"My name is Son Gohan," the boy stated quietly, his eyes mostly closed. He did not like all the attention he was receiving.
"Well, now that we have that established," Larkas grunted, the red in his eyes deepening to a dangerous burning ochre.
"Son Gohan?! Like the brat of that Saiya-jin?!" Freeza's eyes widened, then pinched at the corners in hatred.
"I warn you all once more before I resort to more drastic measures...," Larkas said quietly, his eyes starting to turn black.
"Perhaps being brought here will give me the chance to-" Garlic started to say.
Suddenly, everyone save the white haired man collapsed to their knees, clutching their heads and wailing in pain. The louder they wailed the more agony they experienced, rolling and shrieking on the ground like one possessed.
"Now will you all cease this aggravating noise?" the robed man asked, carefully stepping back as Freeza writhed toward him.
No one was capable of making a recognizable word in their current state, and Larkas waited still a few moments more before allowing his eyes to drift from black to blue. The squirming bodies stopped their displays of pain as they lay, heaving and gasping on the dark.
"Why-," Gohan attempted asking, hand pressed against his rapidly beating heart, his voice raw.
Larkas clipped him off, "If any of you say one more word I shall start the pain all over again, only I won't stop until you are all unconscious or dead."
The boy closed his mouth. The other three bit their tongues.
"Now, as I was saying, your reality will cease to exist and I don't care if you want to or not, you all will fix it. Your reality and my reality are too closely related; if yours were to collapse, it would make ours unstable as well. It is my duty to make sure that doesn't happen. You see, I come from a planet that is the center of the universe, unlike yours that has galaxies where several heavenly bodies rotate around a star, ours is only one giant galaxy. And the center is a planet. And on that planet, I am Kami."
Kami? Gohan felt a sudden sense of horror. How could a god willingly hurt someone like this?
As though reading his young mind -- and, perhaps, he did -- Larkas turned his intense eyes to look at Gohan. The youth pressed his lips together.
"If your dimension knew what was happening, perhaps your Kami would have resorted to the same thing. But our reality has no saviors like to protect it. None with the power remotely near the likes of you. There is no one that could save us. You think I want to be wasting my time in this room instead of watching over the planet trusted in my care? Certainly not! I am desperate, though. Time is running out and I'm willing to do anything to protect what I hold dear."
Gohan's thoughts silently drifted to Dende. Would that young new Kami do the same if he were in the same position? Gohan entirely help but to wonder if he wouldn't.
"Good, now perhaps I should give you your orders."
Suddenly, the darkness of the room around them swirled around and around until it turned into the vacuum of space, black emptiness and bright pinpoints of starts dotting everywhere Son Gohan looked. Some planets were close enough to make out different details; green planets with long mountain ranges, blue planets of crystal water swirling under huge masses of clouds.
Gohan forgot to be afraid as he admired the raw beauty of space. No matter how many times he's seen it, no matter if he had looked for collective hours from his planet's surface, or from the window of a space ship. Space was, in every way, awe inspiring and radiant.
Looking back, the boy saw that he was still standing in the room of nonexistence, as were the other three people he was abducted with. But one side of the room seemed to have collapsed, revealing the heavenly spectacle. Looking back outward, Gohan watched with a shamelessly gaping mouth as he saw a shooting star go careening past his vantage point.
All four of them gasped in surprise when the space suddenly started flying by them, stars, suns, planets, asteroids, all reduced to bright gleaming streaks and smears of color before vanishing from sight. The light flashed faster and faster, over Gohan's face, gleaming in his eyes a blinding blue from a passing planet, then a split second of black, then a flash of yellow from a sun. A cosmic strobe light flashed before them.
They were thrown to a stop just as suddenly as they had started, now in the outter atmosphere of a planet that took up most of their view. The planet wasn't the loveliest there was, though it seemed to have sustenance, water, clouds, splotches of green and brown. It was a rather tiny planet compared to Earth, but still impressive.
"Behold the planet Aeesu," the Kami said.
"Aeesu?" Freeza suddenly spoke up, clipped in voice, elegant in his mannerism, "Impossible. That planet was destroyed fifty years ago. I should know, I was there. Planet Aeesu is-"
"Your home planet, I know," Larkas said, he folded his hands behind his back and looked out at the planet, "This tiny planet is the reason for all of our problems, the reason for reality's now shaky existence, and the reason that you are all here today."
Everyone looked at him inquisitively as he spoke the next words, "You see, this planet was targeted and destroyed six hundreds years before it was supposed to be. We don't know who did it, or how. All we know is that you four have to put a stop to it. Your mission: Save planet Aeesu."
To be continued........
Contradicting Mission -- Next Part
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