~Memoir's of a Survivor~
Chapter 6 – Nine Miles Southwest of South City
The day started off like any other. The sun rose over the sea between Amenbo Island and the larger southern continent that housed South City, the golden rays bouncing off the waves as the island began to wake up to what was meant to be a happy day, unaware of what was silently, with mechanical precision, flying towards it.
A nine year old Gohan rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he started helping his mother with morning chores. It was nothing hard. Cutting wood and cleaning were pretty boring, especially when you had to do them every day. Hunting the local wildlife was fun though, Gohan smiled to himself as he rubbed his stomach. Tomorrow was a special day for him. Mom might even let him track down a dinosaur or two for something extra tasty!
Flattening his hand, Gohan chopped away at a log before him, splitting it clean. Maybe Bulma would come over with Trunks too? That would be nice. It would be even better if everyone came to visit, but Gohan wasn't about to cross his fingers. That would be asking a lot, even for tomorrow.
Even Bulma making it was a stretch. She was close to a cure for that Hearth Virus … the one that had taken dad. In all honesty, Gohan would rather her just stay home and work. The sooner she finished that, the better. The world was in chaos. A modern day Black Plague they called it on the news. It didn't act like any kind of virus they had seen before. It spread from person to person, but not in any way that could be contained. Worse still, you could be a carrier for it and not even know it, you didn't always get the symptoms.
The entire world had all but shut down these past few years. It didn't really affect them all the way out here at their house, but Gohan had gone to West City every now and then whenever Bulma wanted to pull a few all-nighters in a row to make up some ground and needed someone to watch over Trunks.
It was fun, going over there to play with Trunks. Even as young as the little guy was, Gohan could see both the boy's mother and father in him. The tyke was a proud one, that's for sure.
Bundling up the wood, Gohan picked up a humorously large amount of lumber and started walking towards his small hut. He would never say it out loud, even all the way out here, but between Trunks and the Heart Virus, Bulma was aging before his eyes. It made Gohan worry, but there really was nothing he could to help her. With an estimated guess, Gohan placed himself about at the college entry level already. As smart as he was, Bulma was just out of his league. She could look at something, anything really, and she'd have a working understanding of it and how to make it better in five seconds flat. Honestly, he'd be getting in her way more than anything the way he was now.
All he could do, much to moms delight, was study. Study study study. It was enough to drive him insane honestly, but not being able to help dug at him even more.
Mom had let it slip that she was thinking about sending him to some fancy school. Gohan had checked it out later, and funnily enough he was all but positive he could test out of it already. She had said it was so he could meet people his own age and make friends, but Gohan was pretty sure mom just wanted the school's stamp on his student record.
Setting the bundle of wood down, Gohan dusted himself off and headed on inside. He could smell breakfast cooking and his stomach was grumbling already. Making his way into the kitchen, he could barely see mom behind all the food on the counter, but she seemed to notice him come in.
"Did you manage to cut enough firewood? The nights aren't as cold now that springs finally here, but I don't want to hear any complaining if we run out and you get chilly!"
"I got enough."
"Good, after breakfast I want you to hustle upstairs and finish up your homework. If you want tomorrow off, you have to get it all done today!"
Gohan had already descended upon breakfast, though Chi-Chi seemed content in taking the boy's silence as an affirmation that he heard her. May Kami above protect him if he hadn't.
Setting down the final plate of pancakes, Chi-Chi let out a sigh and reached for the remote. The news flickered onto their old TV, the station just coming into focus.
"We stand in front of Capsule Corp. today in order to confirm the rumors of a CURE for the deadly HEART VIRUS that has been plaguing us for over the past three years. Since the first wave of cases, Capsule Corp. has gone silent, not releasing a new version of their highly acclaimed Capsules, even letting many knock off brands to spring up without taking legal action against them. The only information we have on their activity are the recently leaked receipts of cutting edge medical research and development equipment."
The reporter turned, pressing a button on a small intercom just outside the gates of Capsule Corp. as she tried to gain an interview she had no real hope of getting.
"Bulma must be really close if she let it slip she's working on a cure..."
Gohan paused to look up at his mother. She had barely spoke in a whisper, but it had been enough to force a lump in his throat. One he couldn't easily swallow down like his food. Her eyes were distant as she made a mental wish of something that just couldn't be. Dad was gone, and he wouldn't be happy if he knew the both of them were still filled with regrets and what-ifs.
Gohan's eyes returned to the TV when it changed pace, instead going to what looked like an acceptance speech for some kind of prize.
"We are gathered hear today..." started a very old looking dog, "to not only celebrate Hercule Satan and his accomplishment of winning the Twenty Fourth Martial Arts Tournament and being named the Worlds Strongest – but to celebrate earthlings as a whole. These past few years have been hard..."
"They have been hard on all of us," continued King Furry. "We have lost loved ones without warning, struggled to pick up the pieces, and continue on without them in a world that has been very unforgiving. Our economy has been tested, and proved wanting. Many people struggle just to find a job so they can get by with the necessities. Many of my supporters told me that allowing this tournament to happen was a bad idea. That celebrating the lucky among us in such hard times would look poorly on us, on me. But I say this to them. Our Champion, Hercule Satan is not such a lucky man. His very wife was among the first cases of this Hearth Virus, and he managed to both raise his daughter and train himself to a state where he could be called our Strongest. If this is not a man we should celebrate in these times, I do not know where else we as a people could turn to for a light in these dark times."
The people cheered an roared as their King built up the crowd. Even with the Heart Virus, the small Island of Amenbo was packed to the brim with people.
"And so! People of Amenbo! Of EARTH! I give you OUR CHAMP! HURCULE SATAN!"
The King stepped aside as the crowd went ballistic. From the shadows stepped a man with a large afro. His blue eyes scanned the area as he held up his hands, both sporting V's for victory.
The crowd began to chant the name of their champion. Hercule Satan, over and over again filled the small island.
Hercule smiled broadly, taking in the sights and sounds. It was an adrenalin rush, without a doubt. For a moment, what honestly seemed like a dream, he felt like he was on top of the world.
Waving his arms, the Champ began to silence his crowd. Bit by bit, the people began to quiet themselves so they could hear what he had to say. Hercule smiled, milking the silence just a little longer. He could see it in their eyes the longer he made them wait. They may have been standing, but they were all on the edge of their seats waiting for what he had to say! How cool was that!
And with a painful screeeech, the entire island groaned as the microphone discharged what could only be described as nails on glass.
Silence followed, though Hercule wasn't quite as comfortable as he had been with it before. A young girl with pig tails and deep blue eyes slapped the front of her head, slightly embarrassed that she was related to the now bumbling man in front of her.
As quickly as he could, Mr Satan picked himself up and started again. "Ah-hah! Just making sure all my fans were listening! CAN YOU HEAR ME IN THE BACK!?"
The crowd instantly roared out again. King Furry meanwhile sat down, catching his breath after giving that introduction speech. His lungs just weren't what they used to be. Still though, it was either simply amazing or rather horrifying how this Hercule Satan could get a crowd to follow him. Which it was, the King wasn't quite sure himself.
"Now, truth be told, a few years ago if you had told me I would be standing here – getting introduced by KING FURRY HIMSELF, I would have giving you a dynamite punch straight to your kisser. But here we all are."
"In fact, the only thing that could have made this day any better would be if I could have had a chance at taking is belt from the last man who wore it, Son Goku."
Both Gohan and Chi-Chi stiffened at the mention of Goku, stopping mid breakfast to listen to what this funny looking guy had to say.
"But rather than calling him out for not showing like some did, I would like to do something a little different."
The Champ pointed his finger at the nearest camera, the crowd going silent as it panned in on Hercules detestably handsome mug. "I challenge you Son Goku! These past few years have been hard on all of us, I'm willing to bet even you! But this day marks the turn around. Things are finally going to start getting better! So I'll be waiting for you at the next World Martial Arts Tournament! Lets give these people something to really look forward too!"
The crowd once again went wild. Gohan was rather flabbergasted to be honest. Whoever this guy was, well, from what Gohan could tell, he was quite frankly biting off more than he could chew. But mom was just across the table, eating breakfast, way to calmly than she should be given what just transpired.
Gohan's face began to grow blue as she just continued to eat as if she didn't have a care in the world. And as her fists slowly started to clench down, Gohan knew … they would never again be able to use that poor poor spoon.
"It seems you know of our query human. Tell us the location of Son Goku? We will not ask again."
Gohan turned back to the TV when a strangely metallic voice came from it and he had to admit, he couldn't have even begun to explain what was on screen. Before the Champ, floating in front of the balcony he had been giving his speech from, floated two people.
One was old, dressed in baggy clothing with a strange hat atop of his head. The second actually looked something like what Chiaotzu would look like if the small mime was taller and, well, fatter.
It definitely wasn't anybody Gohan knew, but the part that bugged him most was the fact they were hovering mid air. It wasn't exactly hard to fly, once you knew how to do it. It's just, he didn't think anyone outside their group even knew what energy was, let alone how to use it.
The sudden sound of a braking ceramic plate brought Gohan's attention back. Mom was standing, shaking even as her eyes locked with the screen.
"Mom, what is it?"
She didn't answer, to Gohan's annoyance. She simply brought her hands to her mouth as she gaped at the screen.
"MOM, what is it!?"
This time she heard, or at the very least reacted to him. She turned, looking him dead in the eye. It startled him, she only looked like this on the rare occasions he was in serious trouble. Like, full name kinda trouble.
"Son Gohan, you need to change, quickly now! Something you can fight in!"
It took a moment, but Gohan gave a nod. Still, he wanted to know. "What is it? Who are they?"
Chi-Chi turned back towards the screen, a look of fear in her eye for the mass of people on that island. "Red Ribbon Army."
And without missing a beat, the clock struck. It was May 12 – at 10am, the very moment a weak and weary planet earth began a fight for it's survival that would span for years and years to come. One that would claim the lives of many, even her greatest heroes, and destroy the lives it left.
I can already feel the messages rolling in about how it was 17 and 18 who first appeared in the Mirai Timeline, and Dr Gero and 19 never were seen nor heard from. So, before that happens, I would at least like to say "Yes, I know. I have, in fact, watched DBZ before."
Those two will appear, sooner rather than later, and I'll explain it all away in due time. So just put up with me for now, eh?