Outside Metro North, within the towering mountain ranges hidden from the unsuspecting public, reality was stitching itself back together. It was here a few days ago, that the Master had appeared when he crossed dimensions.
And now this was the place where the Master and the Servant reappeared after retreating from the battle with Gohan and Z-Warriors. As soon as they rematerialized, the Servant ripped his wrist from his counterpart's grip. The abrupt action caught the Master off guard, but he recovered quickly despite his injuries. "How dare you question my orders? You will do as I say, when I say it!"
"I don't care what you have to say!" the Servant spat. "That battle was exhilarating! I'd never felt so alive before…and you tore me away from it!" He wasn't even trying to conceal his rage.
Despite the outburst, the Master stayed calm. "Would you please learn some patience?" He moved over to a nearby tree that had been hollowed out by the local wildlife. Reaching inside he pulled out a satchel he had brought with him from his time. "We'll be heading back once I'm back to full strength," he said as he reached inside and pulled out a small cloth bag and emptied its contents into his hand.
It was a pair of synthetic Senzu beans created by Antithesis. During the Cell Games, Goku had given Cell a Senzu bean for his fight with Gohan. Cell accepted it, and once he ingested it, the transmitter that had been installed inside him recorded its chemical make-up and transmitted it to Antithesis. After analyzing the data, the supercomputer succeeded in creating an approximate duplicate. This had come in handy considering the Senzu plant had died out in that timeline.
The Master popped one into his mouth as he tossed the other to the Servant who snatched like he was swatting a fly. Swallowing it whole, his muscles bulged and his burned flesh began to regenerate. A moment later, the only sign of the battle he had just been in were his shredded robes.
"Can we go back now?" the Servant snarled, his own wounds similarly healed.
I'm definitely going to kill him when this is all over, the Master thought. I can't rely on him anymore. "In a moment," he said aloud. He took a deep breath and focused his ki. Shockwaves shot out of his body as his aura engulfed him – but only for a moment. No sooner had he released his energy did he drop to the ground writhing in pain.
The Servant said nothing. He only looked down at the pitiful sight at his feet.
Managing to pick himself off the ground, the Master howled in anger. "WHY? Why can't I use my ki?" He swung his arm around and smashed it through the tree's trunk. The sound of snapping wood echoed off the mountains. "Damn it!" His mind raced trying to figure out what had happened to him. It was that damned Genki-dama. That attack was meant to kill beings with evil spirits. When I channeled my power into it, there must have been some kind of feedback. He clenched his fist tightly as realization dawned on him. "My life force has been damaged…if I try to use my ki it's only going to kill me…" The Master growled in frustration.
"Who cares!" the Servant shouted. "Are we going back or not?"
"No we're not!" the Master snapped. "If I can't use my ki then jumping back into battle is just gonna get us killed!"
The Servant let out another snarl. "To hell with this!" He turned away from his counterpart.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" the Master shouted.
"Back to where the action is."
"No you're not!" the Master howled and grabbed his wrist. "You are still my Servant. You will obey my orders dammit!"
"I'm breaking off our agreement!" the Servant shouted back and pulled his arm away. "The only reason I agreed to be your servant was because you promised me the chance to fight powerful opponents! Yet you've done nothing but deny me the chance to do so! I'm done with this!" And with that he blasted away.
The Master was left with his jaw hanging open. However, his surprise quickly turned to rage. He snapped his index and middle fingers to his forehead and dematerialized. A second later he reappeared in the Servant's flight path. Just as quickly, he smashed him with the back of his fist sending him spiraling into the earth.
"Listen to me closely," the Master said through clenched teeth as he landed outside the settling dust and dirt. The Servant grunted as he slowly got to his feet. "There never was any agreement, so there's nothing to break off! Either you will serve me, or you will die!"
"Fine," the Servant said quietly. "If you won't allow me to kill Goku's friends then I'll kill you instead!" He charged forward. The Master shifted to the side avoiding his counterpart's punch, and shoved the heel of his palm into his cheek. The Servant managed to retain his balance and countered with a knife-hand swipe. The other clone ducked down struck him in solar plexus. He doubled over groaning as the Master stood over him.
"Give me a break," he said in a condescending tone. "I might not be able to use my ki but I'm still stronger than you. I've had ten years of fighting experience outside the conception chamber while you only just woke up. Give it up and submit!"
The Servant responded by swinging his leg out knocking the Master off his feet. The maneuver caught him off guard and he fell to the ground. Jumping into the air, the Servant held his hands above his head and charged an energy blast. He then swung his arms down and hurled it at the other clone. The nearby trees were ripped out of the ground by the shockwaves created by the following explosion. The Servant dropped back to the ground and took up a fighting stance as the smoke cleared.
His eyes went wide. "W-what the…!" The smoldering crater he created was empty.
"Not good enough!"
The Servant spun around in time to see the Master's shin coming to collide with his nose. The spin kick connected and the clone struck the ground; the dirt stuck to the blood covering his face.
Before he could get up, the Master picked him up by the fabric of his orange gi and tossed him through the air like a rag doll. Despite his spiraling tumble, the Servant managed to gather his ki and fell to the ground, skidding to a stop.
The Master charged, quickly entering point blank range, but the Servant was ready for him. The two clones exchanged blows in a bizarre spectacle; like the reflection in two mirrors fighting each other. For a moment they both managed to match each other's combination of punches and kicks.
However, the Master soon took the advantage. Wearing down his opponent's guard, the clone caught his counterpart off balance, and smashed him into ground face first with a closing kick.
"Now do you see?" the Master asked, keeping the Servant's head planted in the dirt with his foot; that crazed smirk slashed across his face. "You more than my 'servant,' you're actually my slave! Do you want to know why that is?" He ground the other clone's head deeper into the ground. "Because I am Son Goku! And you are just a clone."
There was an unintelligible mumble from the Servant. Kneeling down, the Master grabbed him by the hair and pulled his face out of the dirt.
"And here's something else," he said mockingly. "Once you're dead, you'll never be able to fight again."
Spitting out clomps of dirt the Servant coughed out, "I…will…k-kill you."
The Master exploded with laughter and smashed his face back into the ground. "Oh please, you can't even stand up! You'll never be able to kill me, because you are nothing more than a weak clone!"
Struggling against the Master's force, the Servant managed to lift his face up enough so his words wouldn't be muffled. "I…don't care that I'm a clone…" he gritted out, the rage in his voice almost feral. "Because, I…am…a Saiyan."
The smirk on the Master's face vanished as he felt the change in the other clone's energy.
Lifting his head a little higher the two clones of Son Goku locked eyes. "…and I...WILL KILL YOU ALL!"
There was a giant flash of light, and a giant shockwave that knocked the Master flat on his rear end. Recovering from the initial shock he screamed as an intense pain shot up his arm. He looked down at the hand that had held the Servant down to see that the flesh had been seared away.
His eyes filled with pain and fear, the Master looked up at the glowing figure slowly standing up in front of him.
The Servant's black unruly hair and turned gold and was sticking up on end. His eyes had sharpened and the irises had turned bluish-green. His golden aura thrashed out around him like a whip.
Barely unable to find his voice the Master finally managed to say, "Y-you're a S-Super Saiyan…?"
"I don't care if I'm a clone," the Servant said again. "And I don't care if I'm a servant, a slave, or whatever. But I won't let you stand in the way of my battle anymore."
The Master slowly stood up, his eyes now filled with rage glaring through the bangs of his hair. I didn't think we could go Super Saiyan, but I see know. We hadn't experience the level of anger required to awaken the transformation… He jumped forward into the tempest; his fist clenched with all his strength, and drove through the Servant's aura. "I'm the one who gave you chance to fight here!" he shouted as he moved.
The Servant did nothing as the Master approached.
"YOU WORTHLESS SON OF A BITCH!"
There was a loud crack, then for a few long seconds, the only sound was crackling of Super Saiyan energy.
The Servant stood with his feet firmly planted, his palm wrapped tightly around the Master's fist a few centimeters away from his face. The Master could only gape with a look of total despair on his face.
Slowly, he pulled his fist down, and the two clones simply stood there, not saying anything to the other.
Finally, the Servant said, "You wanted to become Son Goku. You have." He raised his hand back up, close to his counterpart's face. The Master didn't say anything; he didn't even try to move. "Now you can die."
Azure colored energy completely engulfed the clone so quickly he didn't have a chance to scream. The blast was powerful enough to incinerate his body almost instantly. With it already damaged from using the Genki-dama, the sudden destruction of his body was too much for his soul to take.
It was torn to shreds.
The Master not only died in that instant…he completely ceased to exist.
As the energy from his attack dissipated, a sense of undeniable joy fell over the Super Saiyan clone. "At last," he crackled. "I'm free to fight and kill whoever I choose!"
The Servant – no, he no longer had a master so there was little point in thinking of himself as a servant – spread his arms, basking in the sunlight that was just as golden as his aura.
So what should I call myself now? he thought to himself. Thinking back on the Master's final words before his transformation, an idea occurred to him that he loved immediately.
"From now on, my name is Kakarrot!" Free to fight who he pleased, "Kakarot" turned his attention to the direction of Metro Central where Gohan and the others still were.
"Mr. Goku? Mr. Goku!"
Slowly, Goku opened his eyes, the light from the outside world burning his pupils. A shadow hovered over to him. It was calling to him.
He tried to place the voice and profile as the figure slowly came into focus. Vegeta? Is that you? Finally his eyes adjusted to the light and he recognized the man standing over him. It wasn't Vegeta, but he had been close.
The young Saiyan smiled as Goku slowly sat up. "Good! You're finally awake!" he said cheerfully.
"What are you doing here?" Goku asked as Vegeta's younger brother sat down beside him. "I thought you and Gure left Earth."
"We did," Tarble said as he reached inside his breastplate. Goku noticed that his armor was charred and the spandex beneath had burned away in several places. "However, my ship's computer picked up a spatial anomaly on Earth soon after we left. I told Gure to go on ahead while I turned around to check it out." Finally he pulled out a cloth bag out. "I managed to arrive in time to save you from that giant energy ball." He opened it up and pulled out a Senzu bean and offered it to Goku. "Here, these were given to me by Dende."
Goku took it and quickly popped it into his mouth.
"Real life saver, those things," Tarble continued. "I probably would've died when that energy ball exploded if I hadn't had those things with me." He indicated the burns on his armor.
Goku stood up and smiled as he felt his strength return. "Thanks for saving me, Tarble," he said and extended his hand to help the younger man off the ground. "But why haven't the clones come after; they must be able to sense my energy…"
"You don't have to worry about that!" Tarble said. "I've disguised both our power levels."
"You what?" Goku asked, his head tilting slightly to one side.
"It's a technique I learned to help Gure and I hide from Frieza's soldiers. I've used my aura to disguise our ki by matching it to the life force generated by the planet's plant life. As far as the clones know, you're dead."
Goku thought for a moment. "That sounds very similar to a technique that the Yardrats developed."
"That's who I learned it from," Tarble replied.
A wave of ki washed over them, interrupting their conversation. Both warriors were caught off guard by the intensity of the energy.
"I'm starting to regret asking big brother to teach me how to sense power levels," Tarble whispered fearfully.
"He's gone Super Saiyan…" Goku muttered absently. He smiled. "This just got a little more interesting."
Despite his lowered tone, Tarble still managed to make out his words. "Mr. Goku…do you have a plan to stop this thing?"
"I do," he said. The resolve in his voice put a hopeful look on the young Saiyan's face.
Goku looked down and noticed how badly shredded his clothes were. The memory of the Servant clone dressed in the same orange gi crossed his mind. Then another memory surfaced.
"But first, I think I should change my clothes."