Mad World - Ch25
WC: 2,458

A dead man stood in a blaze of light.

A father was ripped apart, blood splashed on the ground.

Blood covered too many hands.

Keigo screamed, falling to his knees. His mind was a blur of images, distorted moments of his vision hitting him from all sides. He felt the warm whisper that had been in his head for as long as he could remember go silent as the vision tore at his mind. He felt Takeo reaching for him over their bond, but Keigo was lost.

It was happening. It was happening now. The culmination of his vision that he had been seeing for months now. It all came together now.

He wanted to do something, anything to stop it, but he couldn't. Only now, in this moment as he writhed on the floor did the vision truly make sense, clear from the fog that had covered it from the beginning. He could do nothing, but let it happen.

Let his papa die.

The ground shook and Keigo's body was covered by his brother's, shoved into the corner of their room as the castle shook from an explosion. The shockwave brought Keigo out of his vision daze and he could sense the world around him. Takeo was on top of him, barely covering Keigo's body with his smaller build. Keigo's eyes darted around, not able to see much of anything with his limited vision, the energy from the explosion had spread, obscuring his sight.

Keigo hadn't seen that coming.

He heard men shouting in the corridor to their room, running towards the origin of the explosion. But over all of that noise, he heard something he had seen coming, but only understood now. He heard the cry of a baby. Gohan's baby.

Keigo closed his eyes, tears running down his cheeks, ignoring Takeo's desperate calls.

Vegeta was gone.

Trunks picked his way around the battlefield, staring at the dead eyes stuck in their last moments of fear. Saiyans and Bakulans alike littered the desert, blackened from the explosion of Goku's power closer to the epicenter, and dusty further away. As much as it hurt, Trunks searched for any survivors.

All of that battle and strife, the suffering and loss from both sides, and it all ends in complete bloodshed. Trunks had tried to end it peacefully, or as peacefully as he could. But here he stood among the corpses of his people.

He came to Decebal's body. He was virtually torn apart, standing so close to Goku. One of his arms lay almost a body's length away, his head almost completely severed except for a small tendon clinging stubbornly, and covered in burns and blood. His chest was collapsed, bones crushed all over his body from the impact.

He walked from one end of the battlefield to the other, finding no one else living. Not even Brolli. He lay crumbled on the ground, eyes glassy black and empty. Trunks hoped he hadn't bonded with Tarble yet, so his uncle didn't die from the breaking of their soul bond.

Trunks was getting ready to close some eyes, as a last honor, when he felt Goku's power again. His head whipped around, finding the power exploding half a world away. Trunks shot into the air, flying towards the power, but by the time he got there it had dissipated and Goku was gone.

The Bakulan ships were in shambles, smoking wrecks with bodies clinging to the metal.

Trunk's breath caught and he didn't linger this time. He turned around and went in the other direction, racing to the castle. As he flew he felt another discharge of power from Goku, but it was thankfully further away, in the opposite direction of the castle. It wouldn't be long before Goku got there, mad in his grief and destroying everything. Trunks just had to make sure he didn't destroy what was left of their slowly shrinking family.

He saw smoke in the distance, black curls coming from the castle. Trunks pushed himself even harder, coming up on the large structure. The southern corner was on fire, the roof and wall collapsed in many areas. That was where they kept many of the smaller ships. That must have been Decebal's gift. An explosive on the ship they had taken for negotiations.

Damn it, why didn't Trunks search the damn thing.

Trunks flew over the wreckage, seeing the injured and dead being helped by those uninjured. The men he had left behind looked up, faces tight with worry and fear.

"Gather everyone up, and get to the ships!" Trunks shouted, pointing to the large spaceships the Saiyans had been using for years to travel. "We need to get off of this planet."

No one questioned him, ignoring basic triage procedures and hauling anyone living to the ships. No doubt they could feel the desperation in the air and the power that was building bit by bit from Goku, each explosion bigger than the last. Other men went off to spread the word and Trunks flew to the living quarters, wanting to find his family.

Piccolo met him when he touched down. The Namek looking him up and down with worried eyes. Tarble stood behind Piccolo, an anxious look on his face, searching over Trunks' shoulder for someone who wasn't there. Trunks shook off the urge to comfort his uncle, to explain what happened. They didn't have time for comfort, they needed to get out of here.

"Piccolo, get the twins and Gohan and get them to a ship, now. Tarble, go get your father from the infirmary. I'm going to clear out everyone else and get Goten." Trunks stated, giving orders and pushing past both of them.

"Trunks? What happened," Tarble asked desperately, grabbing onto Trunks' shirt sleeve.

Trunks shook off the touch, continuing on. "There's no time to explain. We need to get off the planet, now. I'll explain when everyone is safe."

He left them standing in the hallway, but he believed they would do what he said. He couldn't even guarantee that they would be safe from Goku's wrath if they got off world. Trunks had to believe they would be, or he would just sit around, doing nothing but watching as everything he held dear was destroyed.

Trunks ran through the castle, getting people out, systematically going from room to room, waiting to make his last stop for as long as he could. Finally he had to go to the room where the regeneration tanks were. He stepped into the room, alone except for Goten, who floated oblivious in his liquid cocoon. Trunks walked up to the glass separating them, stroking a hand down the surface.

Ideally, Trunks would have left Goten in here for months. Over time, theoretically, Goten could have re-grown most of his limbs in the nourishing environment. They wouldn't have been perfect though, possibly missing pieces like a kneecap or a tendon, so Trunks had thought he could supplement any failures with technology, building artificial supports.

If he pulled Goten out now, he would have no chance to even re-grow part of his limbs. Trunks looked over at the controls, shutting down the machine and draining the liquid. Goten may hate him for this, but Trunks wouldn't leave him here. He would save his mate and build him new limbs, from metal and circuits. They wouldn't fully fix Goten, but at least his mate would be somewhat whole, and able to live his life however he wanted.

Trunks reached into the chamber, taking off Goten's oxygen mask and lifting his mate into his arms. His eyes glanced at the un-marked skin on Goten's shoulder. Maybe someday he could put his mark back there.

Trunks quickly left the room, streaking through the castle and flying towards the ships. Two of the three had already lifted off. One waited for him. A quick sweep with his senses showed that he was the last one out of the castle. The doors to the ship closed behind him once he was onboard and it immediately took off. Everyone would have been feeling the discharges of power Goku was releasing, and sensed the urgency to leave.

He took a knee on the floor, catching his breath and clutching Goten close. Trunks looked up and saw his family, or what was left, standing over him. He tracked his eyes over each of them. Tarble, tears in his eyes. Piccolo, standing tall and strong but with worry lining his face. Gohan, holding a squirming baby. Takeo, arms crossed, looking so much like his father that he quickly glanced away. His eyes landed last on Keigo, who was crying profusely, tears making his cheeks shine. His youngest brother probably had the best understanding of what was going on.

The ship suddenly lurched to the side, alarms going off. The hull shook and creaked, and Trunks worried it would give. The sudden pressure on the ship eased. Trunks focused his senses outward, feeling what he feared he would feel when he saw his father's body in Goku's arms.

An immense power emanated from where the planet was. A power so strong there was no way the planet would have survived.

Trunks looked back at Keigo, shoulders slumping. His brother shook where he stood, mouth in a grim line and more tears falling from his bloodshot eyes. Keigo looked at Trunks, eyes still sightless but so expressive. Keigo nodded, confirming the question Trunks hadn't wanted to ask.

The new Saiyan planet was gone.

Blood. Hot and red and dripping. It's never enough. It's too much. It's everywhere.

Screaming, loud and shrill is ringing, ringing inside and it won't come out.

Too much, too much.

Not enough, not enough.

It's gone, all gone. The life, the body, the bond, everything. Gone, gone. Where was it all, where had it gone?

Blood, more. Light and heat and fire and pain. It's not enough. Still not enough.

Lost and alone and gone. Just gone.

Too much, too much.

Not enough, not enough.

Blood rained down, hot and cold and red and black. It was everywhere. It was nowhere. It was always there.

Pain, deep, too deep to rip out and fix. On the surface where it burned and festered and stank. Pain, everywhere. Up and down, inside and out.

Too much, too much.

Not enough, not enough.

Get rid of it. Get rid of it all. Nothing left. No more blood. No more screaming. No more pain. No more. Let it go, get rid of it. Be gone.

Too much, too much.

Not enough, not enough.

Safety. Where is it? Here? Here. Safe. No blood. No screaming. No pain. Safe. Now wait. Wait for it to change. Wait for the end. Wait for the beginning. Wait for it all.

Too much, too much.

Not enough, not enough.

Krillin enjoyed days like these the most. Nothing to do but soak up some sun with his family. The sky was blue, the waves were relaxed, and everything was peaceful. He sat in his lounge chair, watching his wife and daughter play in the surf, swimming and laughing and blinding Krillin with their beauty.

He was one lucky dude.

18 glanced at him and Krillin lowered his glasses long enough to waggle his eyebrows and wink at her. She huffed and turned away but he noticed the extra sway in her hips as she walked deeper into the water.

Oh yeah, one lucky dude.

Krillin sat back and put his glasses back on his nose, relaxing into his seat. He fit his hands behind his head and looked up at the cloudless sky, feeling himself start to drift off. He was so tired he thought he was seeing things at first, but the more he blinked the clearer the image got.

There was a light in the sky, like the sun but much smaller, and changing. It changed shape and size as he watched it. Krillin sat up, pulling off his glasses and staring hard at the object in the sky.

If he didn't know any better, it looked like something exploding.

"18," he called, keeping his eyes on the strange light in the sky. "What do you make of that?"

He pointed at the light, hearing the play his wife and daughter were engaged in stop as they looked up. The light grew and grew and then started to fade.

"Looks like something blowing up," his wife said, her shadow falling over him as she came to stand beside his chair, still looking up.

Krillin nodded, a sinking feeling settling in his stomach. He stood up once the light was completely extinguished, rushing to their house to put on a shirt and some shoes. 18 and Marron followed him inside, exchanging puzzled glances at his actions.

"Where are you going?" his daughter asked, worry in her tone.

When Krillin was ready he hugged his daughter, feeling the annoyed twinge he always felt when he realized she was taller than him. Not by much, not as much as her mother, but still noticeable. On fun easy days like today, 18 would tease him mercilessly about it, and Krillin would laugh. He didn't laugh now, he just hugged his daughter tight.

"I need to see some old friends. I've got a bad feeling about that explosion and I want to check things out. I'll call when I know more." Krillin explained, pulling away from his daughter.

"We could come with you." 18 suggested, though it came off as more of a threat than a suggestion. Krillin had always loved that about her, the way she talked, her strength.

Krillin shook his head though. "I'm not even sure there's anything wrong. I don't want to drag both of you around if it's nothing. But if it's something, I'll call you right away. I might even need your help by then."

Krillin pulled his wife down for a kiss and jogged outside, taking to the air when he was clear of the front porch. On the wind he heard his daughter call out. "Help with what?"

Krillin answered but he doubted either of his girls heard him, as he shot off, using more energy than he had in a long while. He was already a mile away when he replied.

"I'll need your help to gather the Dragon balls."

AN: Not much happening in this chapter. Well, except for a planet blowing up. Couldn't help myself. Otherwise it's a filler chapter. We'll end up with some big exposition soon, things aren't peachy keen and will need some explaining. But the end is on the horizon. Few chapters at least. We'll see where I go after this. Might need a breather, I'm pretty emotionally wrung out in this fandom.

Oh Vegeta, oh Goku, oh everyone, what have I done.

Until next time.