Otherworld Saga, Part 6: Gods and Generals
Thousands of years ago…
The hero struggled with all his might, but the massive pirate's grip on his skull was inescapable.
Bojack's laughter dripped with derision. "So this was the cavalry, huh? The great hero who was going to come and stop us? Haha, you are nothing," he laughed. "And once I kill you, there'll be no one left foolish enough to try to stand in the way of our galactic conquest."
The hero closed his eyes, doing everything he could to block out the pain. He had to concentrate. If only he could summon enough energy, maybe he could take out the warlord with him. If only…
The pirate released his grip on the hero's fractured skull, letting the lifeless body plummet toward the planet below. In his language, it was called Hera Prime; in the common language of the galaxy, it was known as Alpha Juno.
Debris from the hero's attack filled the skies—the shattered remnants of nearly a third of his pirate fleet—but space tugs were already hard at work cleaning up the mess and preparing to make repairs. His factories on the surface were churning out a new siege frigate each week, with mining operations in the core of the planet and on the iron-rich moons of the Hera system. Most importantly, the Sky Gates were all still intact.
The massive, shimmering rings had been the key to transforming Bojack from a regional warlord into a galactic threat. With the help of Bujin's magic and the industrial engine of Hera Prime, the Sky Gates allowed the Galaxy Soldiers and their fleet to teleport to and from any system in the entire galaxy, all from the central hub of Hera. Superluminal slipstream drives were still a costly and inefficient technology, suitable for huge lumbering transports but impractical for battle fleets. Bojack knew of no society that had managed to miniaturize the new engines. Until those drives improved, the Sky Gates would give the former warlord an unparalleled grip on the the galaxy.
Hera's position near the Galactic Center had already given Bojack the means to waylay shipping lanes in the Dormideous Sector for quite some time, but now it was time to expand. He looked around at the gang of mercenaries surrounding him in midair high above the planet—all had been watching in amusement as he crushed the challenger.
"Bido! Confirm with our engineers that the Sky Gates are still fully operational. Tomorrow you will take ten of our corsairs deep into the heart of the Western Quadrant to punish them for today's uprising. Execute the leaders and wipe out any resistance, sell half the women into slavery, and bring the other half back here as playthings for our troops. The planets and the rest of their inhabitants will be torched."
"It will be as you command." The hulking warrior, Bojack's highest lieutenant and chief enforcer, was feared in every system. Bido was even more cruel and bloodthirsty than Bojack himself.
The lieutenant started to take off from the rest of the group, but before he could do so, something completely unexpected happened.
Above them, a blaze of flame erupted, casting red-gold light on the whole fleet.
Below them, an earthquake seemed to emanate from midair, simultaneously shaking every ship in the fleet as well as the planet underneath.
To one side, a furious rush of wind took their breath away.
On the other side, a wave of vibrations made them cover their ears in pain.
"What's going on?" shouted Zangya, confused. The whole group was instantly surrounded, as if these challengers had come from nowhere.
A nasally voice sounded from the blaze above. "Your murderous rampage is at an end!"
From the quake below, a deep growl erupted. "Your warlike ambitions are an offense to the gods!"
The wind emitted an even more nasally shout. "Your day of reckoning is upon you!"
The vibrations sharpened into a high-pitched cry. "Judgment has come!"
Stunned and bewildered, the Galaxy Soldiers took defensive postures...then erupted in laughter as the four new challengers came into view. Three were short and dumpy; only the fourth seemed physically imposing. And all had ridiculously low power levels.
"It seems the news of your power has reached even the gods, Bojack!" purred Zangya. "Too bad they are such puny, puny gods."
Kogu grinned viciously, drawing his sword. "I wonder if a god will bleed the same as any mortal," he murmured with a smile. "Guess it's time to find out."
West Kaio glowered down from above, his face a mask of righteous indignation. "Your cruelties are beyond compare, and you have transgressed against the laws of nature. Your murder will not go unpunished."
"So you're the one who sent that puny 'hero' an hour ago?" snorted Bojack. "You must know you cannot oppose us. You will only share the same fate as him."
North Kaio bared his teeth, his antennae sticking straight up. He looked like a furious round pincushion. "Silence, mortal. We have come to see that you pay for your crimes."
"You and what army?" taunted Zangya. "I see no threat here."
Bido turned to face South Kai below them. "Might as well take out the big one first, huh?" Lifting one hand, he began to form a crimson ball of energy.
"Not so fast!" growled South Kaio, throwing his hands forward. Another earthquake erupted, stronger than before; the planet below them shuddered. The Sky Gates in orbit began vibrating. Bido moved to attack, but found that he could not; every bone in his body felt like it weighed ten thousand tons. More, in fact. He couldn't move at all!
Bujin snickered. "I have magic too, and I'm—" but his voice was suddenly cut off as he, too, felt gravity collapse around his body. The wave of divine power from South Kaio intensified as all the Galaxy Soldiers became trapped in the gravitational bonds. "You are bound by the entire weight of your planet," South Kaio said, strain in his voice. "Do not try to escape."
Bojack and Kogu each raised their energy levels, struggling against their invisible restraints, but their tiny motions sent massive quakes through the air. All around them, the Sky Gates twisted and cracked, crumbling; the fleet began to fall from obit. East Kaio reacted immediately. Her antennae stuck straight out and began to hum as she extended her hands, channeling the vibrations through herself and feeding their energy back into South Kaio.
"Thanks, East Kaio," grunted the larger demigod. "Your move, West."
"My pleasure," said the monocled deity, still visibly upset. He extended one arm up toward the red star behind them and clenched his fist. Tendrils of fiery plasma began snaking out toward them from the surface, blazing paths through space. The star's gravity shifted, lifting them out of Hera Prime's atmosphere and accelerating them toward it. A bubble of air was still present around them, however, trapped by South Kaio's gravitational bonds.
"How...who...are you?" grunted Bojack, still struggling with all his might.
North Kaio folded his arms. "We are the Guardians, the Overseers, the Protectors. We watch over the mortal realm and maintain justice. We have witnessed the suffering visited upon this sector by your villanies and have descended from Otherworld for the first time in millennia to stop you once and for all."
"But...you're just...we're so much stronger...how are you doing this?" gasped Kogu.
"Our power is not of this world," North Kaio replied. "You may boast greater strength, but strength avails nothing against the will of the gods. By wind, by water, by fire, by ground, we have the authority to pass judgment on you."
"Judgment for...what!?" demanded Bido, the picture of helpless fury. "We're no worse than anybody else!"
"Silence, blasphemer." North Kaio drew himself up in righteous indignation. "You are the worst of all your brethren. Now listen and tremble, for your condemnation is nigh."
"For murders, tortures, and atrocities without number, we find you guilty. For forbidden magic, we find you guilty. For unholy ambition and gross injustice, we find you guilty. For assault against the gods, we find you guilty."
The other three Kaios echoed him. "We find you guilty."
North Kaio raised his hands above his head, drawing white tendrils of energy seemingly from the fabric of space itself. "In the name of the North Kaio of Air, the South Kaio of Ground, the West Kaio of Fire, and the East Kaio of Water; by the power vested in us on the authority of the Grand Kaio, chosen of the High Gods, we condemn you and sentence you to eternal imprisonment."
The four had now drawn away from the tight cluster of pirates, and the tendrils of flame summoned from the red star by West Kaio began to close around them. North Kaio thrust both his hands forward, sending waves of Genki energy toward the group. Bars of pure white energy formed around them, interlocking in a complex weave.
All four Kaios spoke in unison. "BY AIR, BY GROUND, BY FIRE, BY WATER, WE SEAL YOU IN ETERNAL JUDGMENT."
West Kaio clenched his fist, and the snaking flames closed around the spherical prison, pulling it back toward the two suns. All four Kaios relaxed, panting from exertion.
"I have placed the prison in the space between the two stars," said West Kaio. "The red star will shrink into a white dwarf a hundred million centuries years hence; their prison will remain until the end of time."
East Kaio was panting the most of all of them. "I honestly had not expected so much of my life force to be drained. We must not do this again, not for a long time."
"That is true, you know," South Kaio nodded. He was dripping with sweat. "The Seal of the Gods is incredible, but more difficult to perform than I could have imagined."
"And even if we recuperated enough to perform the sealing again, there's no guarantee that we can rely on a technique like this over and over," added North Kaio. "We certainly can't seal away every powerful villain in the universe—nor should we. I think it's clear we must redouble our efforts to raise heroes from the mortal realm, or it will be without defense."
"Agreed," the others said.
Below them, fires raged across the surface of Hera. The quakes had sent the entire fleet plummeting to the ground, and the Sky Gates were all destroyed. Content that their work was done, the Kaios all concentrated for their return teleport to Otherworld so they could report back to Grand Kaio.
The Genkikai Mafuba held the Galaxy Soldiers between the two stars of the Hera system for dozens of centuries, dimly aware of the passage of time but insulated from its effects. They didn't age, they didn't think, they didn't plot, they didn't plan. They just...existed.
Until, one day, the red giant exploded.
Cracks began to appear across the cage of Genki energy as it was flung free of the two stars, only to be captured by the gravity of Alpha Juno. As it entered the atmosphere, it disintegrated entirely. Five streaks of light appeared in the glowing sky as the Galaxy Soldiers fell toward the surface.
Zangya opened her eyes slowly, dimly aware she was laying on her side in a small crater. The air around her was hot, like someone's breath on her face, but there wasn't much light. Pushing herself up on one elbow, she rolled over.
"SHIT! What the hell, Kogu?" She scrambled to her feet, clearly bothered by the tall soldier who had been crouching next to her.
"Whoa, whoa, I was just coming to see if you were okay!" the other Hera-jin stammered, backpedaling away. "What's wrong with that?"
The woman frowned. "You're just...give me some space, all right?"
"Yeah, fine!" nodded Kogu, clearly trying to appease. "No problem."
Zangya turned around, surveying her environment. The light around them was eerie; it was dim, but bright enough to cast shadows. Only...there were no shadows. Looking up, she saw why: the sky was glowing a uniform, shimmering orange from every direction. It looked like space itself was on fire.
"A supernova," said the shortest of the fighters from a few yards away. Bujin was already taking stock of the situation, she could see. "Somehow, our star exploded, and the prison fell apart. But this planet won't be habitable for much longer."
Just then, Zangya spotted Bojack's dark form walking up behind her, and her heart fluttered. "Oh, uhm, sir…"
"Who could have managed such a feat?" demanded the warlord, ignoring her.
Bujin shrugged. "Someone powerful, that's for sure. There are power levels on the other side of the planet that seem fairly high, but I don't know if they're high enough. I do know that we need to get off this planet, and soon. Hopefully some of the rings are still active."
"I guess you won't know that until we get to a temple," grunted Bido, also joining them. "How long has it even been?"
Bujin ignored the question. "We're about forty leagues from one of the smaller temples. We should go there first. With luck, the crypt is still sealed."
Despite the amount of time that had passed, the band wasted little time getting used to the feel of flying again. Soon, they arrived at the temple Bujin had referenced. The short, turbaned alien spread his hands apart, fingers twitching, eyes closed in concentration. "Good news is, the crypt isn't compromised. Bad news is that the others most definitely are." He turned to face Bojack, taking on a serious tone. "This is our only ticket off this rock, but we'd better be gentle on it. We can't take a ship through it, but at least we'll end up somewhere there isn't a supernova threatening to turn us to plasma."
The scarred leader nodded. "Excellent work, Bujin. I've no attachment to this rocky wasteland anyway. We leave immediately, then we'll take stock of—"
"Hold on," Bujin interrupted, placing his hand on the ancient control system within the temple. "Sir, there's...another slipstream signal. No, wait...there's...dozens, no, hundreds of them! There are multiple ships out there, really advanced ones. What the hell..?"
Zangya absentmindedly curled her hair around her finger. "Maybe...all that time we were imprisoned, this kind of travel improved? Is that even possible, Bujin?"
The short warrior nodded, "Yeah, it was inevitable. We were sealed away for centuries—no, even more than centuries. In all this time, it's no small wonder that the slipstream drives have become commonplace. I'm afraid the Sky Gates can no longer be the trump card they once were."
"Not to worry," snorted Bojack. "We're free. Free to enact vengeance for our captivity. We ditch this planet and find a new base of operations, then take control of the new technology. We will raise an army and the reclamation of our former territories will be swift and terrible. Those imbecile gods who dared to imprison us will have no choice but to face us again...but this time, we will be ready!" The others grinned, straightening up. Not one of them had forgotten who was responsible for their imprisonment, and they felt sure that this time they wouldn't fall prey to the same tricks.
"I'm gonna wring that short blue one's neck if it's the last thing I do," Zangya snarled.
"I don't blame you," Bujin nodded affirmatively. "Only thing is, I'll have to charge up the Portal before it'll become active once again. It'll take a few days, but as long as we're careful and keep our ki up, we should be safe from the supernova radiation we're currently getting bombarded with. Meanwhile, I'll try to get a fix on where the slipstream trails of the strongest power levels are heading. That's as good a place as any to jump to."
Bojack shrugged. "Until then, we wait."
Back on Earth...
"Stupid, stupid kid," the champ murmured, crushing yet another empty beer can and tossing it over his shoulder; a collection was quickly forming on his living room floor. "Grrhh, I ought to punch his lights out," he grunted once more, slamming his fist down on the armrest of his recliner. "After all I did for him, the ungrateful brat just vanishes into thin air, leaving me there looking like an idiot! Oh sure, Hercule only took me under his wing in front of the whole world, hoisting me to instant celebrity status...but I think I'll pass," he said, mocking the boy's actions. For how much he'd laid on the line for the boy, though, the wrestler had failed to recall that it was all in support of his own ends. In his desperation to save face, claiming the boy as his own prodigy pupil was the only thing he could think of to do. Well, now he was paying the price.
The wide plasma screen in front of him suddenly caught his attention, repeating the same world-news interview for what had to be the tenth time this hour:
"We're joined now in West City by World Martial Arts Champion Mr. Hercule Satan, who a mere two days ago stepped into the ring with the creature known as Cell. According to the champ, Cell met his final end at the conclusion of the tournament, but so far we've been unable to get an accurate depiction of exactly how everything went down. Earth tremors, catastrophic damage to not just the ring, but the entire local terrain, reports of hundred foot tall walls of dirt, craters nearly a half a mile in diameter...we've had just about every kind of natural disaster you can think of, and so far there's been no explanation. Here now to tell us exactly what happened is the champ himself. Mr. Satan?"
"You wanna know what happened to Cell, do ya? Fine...there's really no point in denying it anyway," he boomed, his glistening white smile accented more than usual by his thick mustache; his clean white robe and flawless championship belt garnished his appearance with even more grandeur than normal. "It's true, what many of you have guessed at," he began, the guilty feeling in the back of his mind trying its hardest to appeal to his conscience—but to no avail. "In the end, the one who had to put a final end to Cell...was none other, than myself!"
No one had really seen what happened at the end, he was sure of it...none besides those super freaks, at least. And of course, the frustrating Gohan boy was nowhere to be found, meaning he should still be able to save face providing he explained everything sufficiently well. Although, just the thought of what that ridiculously powerful boy would do to him if he became angry was almost enough to deter him.
"I saw that things had gone too far, and I'll admit, I underestimated Cell a little bit. That psychopath was just way out of control, to the point that I forgot reservations about interrupting a match and finally stepped in. When I realized that even my uniquely gifted pupil wasn't going to be able to finish things himself, I had to find a way to intervene. I only wish I'd have done it sooner before all the cameras were destroyed."
An eruption of cheers rang out behind the wrestler, accompanied by the ever-familiar chanting of "Satan, Satan, Satan!" The crowd certainly was buying it, to say the least.
"A travesty indeed, sir, that we were unable to witness your final bout with the self-proclaimed 'Destroyer of Worlds'," the reporter continued, seeming to display less enthusiasm than one might expect. In fact, his words had come off rather pointedly...almost sarcastic.
"Mr. Satan, sir," he continued, "speaking of the boy, there has been much speculation around your recent decision at the Perfect Tournament to allow a mere student to challenge a foe considered to be a planetary threat," the reporter recapped. The faces of shocked audience members reacted in unison to the cloaked accusation, most of them well-trained to believe their champ's every word without question. Clearly, this interview had taken a sudden and shocking turn. Towering at least a foot above him, the afro-sporting man shut his eyes as he tried to keep his cool.
"Furthermore, any investigation as to the whereabouts of this boy, known only as Gohan, have been a wild goose chase. In fact, even members of your own staff have admittedly stated that they were unaware of said prodigy's existence. How would you respond to those out there that are claiming you likely had no prior connection to this boy whatsoever?"
Mr. Satan's throat dried up in embarrassment just from re-watching the damn news story. It was the single most loathsome and humiliating interview he'd ever had in his life, and yet he couldn't turn away from the television. Each time it was replayed, he felt more anger. Whoever on his staff had spoken up without first checking with him was going to be out on the streets before sunset...not to mention this entire news station would be hearing from him personally about that reporter.
"Well, uh..." Hercule began, attempting to remain composed in spite of his inner frustrations. "...it's true that I was training him in secret," he agreed, finding himself unsure whether he was more mad at the reporter or at the boy. "But that's just ridiculous. Of course I was the one who taught him, how else do you explain him getting so strong? His family just didn't want him having to live his life in the limelight, so that he could have a normal childhood," the champ lied, making up the best excuse he could think of. In fact, it wasn't all that bad, considering he wouldn't mind an escape from the annoying press right now either. "Once he's come of age, I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of him. For now, he just wants to get away from all the publicity."
"That's well and fine," the reporter added during the pause, "but we, the people, have a right to know the truth. It's not like we're going to kick down his door and follow him around with cameras," the reporter slyly said, weaving his way through the conversation. "We just want to speak with him, even for five minutes. Surely you could make that happen for us, eh, Champ?" he asked excitedly. The crowds seemed to agree, though merely following the guidance of the interviewer. "Unless you've got something to hide, that is..."
That was where he'd lost it, something he'd never done in front of the public. With a quick swipe, Mr. Satan snatched the mic away and crushed it between his mighty hands. A typical reporter might've cowered in fear, and yet this one seemed to have been anticipating the angry response.
"You've got some nerve, buddy," Hercule roared, mustering every ounce of intimidation he possibly could. "This interview's over, and you can expect to hear from my lawyers!"
The shocked crowd could only stare in silence as their champ walked over towards his large yellow copter and slammed the passenger door. It took off loudly, rudely throwing dirt upon them all only seconds after.
"And there you have it, folks," the reporter, now holding the backup mic, concluded. "All is not as it seems. Now, back to the studio..."
The screen transitioned back into a news station where two hosts sat behind a single very large desk. The female reporter spoke first.
"The footage you just saw was recorded live earlier this morning by another news station. Attempts have been made to contact Mr. Satan further, but so far no comment has been provided." She turned to her colleague, passing the conversation over. "Tom, what do make of all this?"
"Well, I think we're all surprised—not necessarily that we've lost faith in the champ, but for sure curious about why all the secrecy. Mr. Satan has always been regarded with the utmost respect and dignity, so I personally find this sudden questioning of his character to be a pretty big issue."
"That's certainly true, Tom," his co-host added. "We've seen celebrities fall again and again, but Hercule seems to hold a special place in all of our hearts. The amount of support that's been shown all over the world in opposition to this interview have been enormous."
"Indeed," the other reporter jumped in. "And yet this is definitely something that even his most loyal supporters are going to want answers about eventually."
"Well, he did just save the world," Diane added with a chuckle. "Perhaps we all could show a little more gratitude before we bombard him with a million questions."
"True enough, Diane," Tom chuckled, turning back towards the main camera. "When we return, we'll be hearing from theorists regarding the miraculous recovery of the West City area, which received substantial damage during the tournament. Then later, was Cell's destruction of Mars a conspiracy or the real deal? How is the red planet suddenly back in our night sky? All this and more when we return after this break."
Hercule flipped off the tv, now sitting in silence except for the faint ringing of the television as it died down. A light pair of footsteps from behind alerted him to the presence of another, followed by the familiar sound of his butler clearing his throat.
"Some gentlemen to see you, Mr. Satan."
"Send them away," grunted the champ. "I told you already I'm not speaking another word to the press until all of this madness dies down!"
The butler's practiced expression puckered beneath a thick grey mustache, as if he was announcing the weather. "As you say, sir—they claimed to know the truth of what 'really happened' yesterday, clearly a pathetic gesture of blackmail; not even well-veiled."
"Uh," Hercule's eyes widened, a trickle of sweat forming on his forehead. "Yeah, probably so, but, uh...maybe I should hear them out all the same."
"Very good, sir," the butler replied, showing no reaction whatsoever. "I'll show them to the parlor."
Hercule stood tall, tightening the belt on his gi, and lowered his eyes again in anger. "If that damn kid went and told..."
"Good afternoon, Mark," a nasally, snide-sounding voice said in greeting.
"Ghh!" Hercule raised a judgemental eyebrow, flexing his muscles in hopes of intimidating the stranger. "How dare you address me by my first name? Just who do you think you are?" Most people weren't even aware that Hercule was just his stage name, but even fewer knew his given name.
The short, round man smiled a rather nasty sort of smile. "I'm someone you'll definitely want to have on your side; let's leave it at that. My name is Mr. Borbonne, and this is my associate." He indicated a taller, hooded figure beside him. "I'm here because I've noticed you're suffering from a bit of a public relations problem, and I'd like to help."
"Tch, I can handle the press just fine...it's those freaking grhrhr—" Hercule ended his sentence in a grumble thinking of the Z-Fighters. He raised his eyes, his patience for these apparent thugs growing thin. "Get to the point already."
Borbonne walked across the room and plopped into an overstuffed chair as if he owned the place. "We've had...experience...with these golden-haired fighters who gave you so much trouble at the tournament. I've personally had 'dealings' with the one called Trunks, and my associate here has ties to the one named Goku. We're also aware the boy wonder Gohan isn't actually your student, as you claim, but is in fact one of the freaks."
"So you know they're all cheats, huh? Big deal," Hercule said authoritatively, raising his massive arms across his chest. The fact they'd called the Gohan kid a freak had piqued his interest. "The only trouble they gave me was getting in the way. They're just a bunch of tricksters, see?"
"Don't patronize me," snapped the mobster, his voice icy-cold. "Unfortunately, I know as well as you do that their abilities are as real as they come. They're in a class by themselves; you and I would be nothing to them. But that's not really my concern. My concern is making sure your public image is repaired—not only repaired, but improved."
"What would you know about that?" Hercule said skeptically. "I'll have you know, I won't be bullied or blackmailed...I have my own way of handling people who attempt to do either."
"This is no shakedown, Mark," the mobster said smugly "It's merely an intervention. From now on, I'll be handling all your schedules and media appearances. I'll tell you what to say and when to say it. My associate here will help you...develop...some new demonstrations to add credibility to your image." The hooded figure stepped forward slightly, a red glow in his eyes. "Let me introduce you to the greatest assassin in the world, Tao Pai Pai!"
The hooded figure pulled back his head covering, revealing a face with two telescoping lenses where the eye sockets should have been. Shiny metal plates and rods covered his torso and legs, as if they had only recently been added. Something about his appearance made Hercule grimace...had he met this monstrosity before?
"Greetings. You are in the presence of the most feared man in all the world. But don't be afraid. With my help, you might one day be able to pass as a respectable fighter."
Hercule jumped to his feet, incensed. "Now you listen here, buddy! I don't know who you think you are, but you're talking to the world champion of all martial arts! I'm not gonna let some wacky metalhead talk to me like—"
THUMP. Before the champ could blink an eye, Tao crossed the room and flicked Hercule back into his chair and across the room. He slammed against the back wall, a portrait falling down on his head.
As if nothing had happened, Borbonne spoke up again. "There's also the small matter of compensation. We're going to be needing a fee up front...fifteen million Zeni downpayment. My associate has graciously agreed to waive his usual fee, as it would likely be half of your entire fortune. He's also technically still working for me, not you," the man said, reminding the mercenary with the slightest bit of caution. "We'll also be taking forty percent of your appearance fees, prizes, and winnings henceforth."
"Absolutely not!" growled Hercule. "I'm not paying you a single—"
"Now now, Mark, let's not be hasty." Borbonne's voice was dark. "You don't really have a choice, you know. You wouldn't want the public to know the truth, would you? And that little girl of yours—Videl—how would her life turn out if everyone found out her dad is a liar and a fraud? Worse still, imagine how you would feel if something...happened...to her."
"You wouldn't dare!" The champ's instinct was to charge the fat little man, but the bruise from Tao's strike still throbbed horribly. And the thought of something happening to Videl...he sank back down, deflated.
"Of course not," Borbonne smiled. "This is all hypothetical. As I said, I'm here to help you."
"Fine, then," the champ said.
"Splendid!" exclaimed Borbonne, clapping his hands. "I knew you'd see reason. In fact, I was so sure you'd come around to this agreement that I already took some steps. Why don't you turn on the TV?"
"Hey guys, check this out, another news bulletin," Krillin said, standing behind Roshi's couch and resting his elbows on the back cushion. "That old bat's gonna be on TV again, this time to 'explain' exactly how he beat Cell. After that last interview, I was actually starting to think people might wise up to his schemes, but...well, he's at it again."
"Eh?" his master peeked his head out of the kitchen, his frail old neck doing all the effort. "Mr. Santa or what's his name?"
"You guessed it," the monk confirmed.
"Oh boy," Oolong rolled his eyes in reply. "More from the comedy club...I'm overjoyed."
"Apparently there's gonna be a demonstration too," Krillin added with a wide grin. "Hey, you know what we should do? We should totally crash his party, fly in from above, guns blazing. That'd teach him a thing or two about taking credit for all our hard work."
"Now, Krillin," the wise master interrupted, his voice serious. "You know full well a respectable martial artist would do no such thing. Since when are you in it for the glory anyway? I thought I taught you better than that!"
"Aw, I was just kidding around."
"Even so," Roshi continued, pushing his sunglasses up on his nose, "you left out the best part..." after a brief pause, the pervert's face reddened. "All those pretty young fangirls would go nuts for us! Who knows, I might even get a free feel up!"
Oolong facepalmed, as did the fighter beside him. They dared not look behind, watching as Roshi performed several thrusts of his torso, chuckling like the degenerate he truly was.
"Oh yeah, baby, heheh," he continued, waving his hands through empty air in a squeezing twisting motion.
"You know, for all your indignities, old man," Oolong began, "I really don't know how you expect to get into heaven. One day you're going to die and Yemma's going to have such a long list of your fornications, no amount of heroism will be able to save you."
Krillin snickered aloud. "He's right, you know."
"Hey," the master whined, almost saddened, "that's not cool, guys."
"Aw, boo-hoo," the anthropomorphic pig shunned. "It's not like you're ever gonna die anyway. You know, if you're actually thinking about going to this thing, I'll say this—it should be you who steps up and dethrones this good-for-nothing world champion."
"Think so?" Roshi replied, raising an eyebrow.
"Why do you say that?" Krillin asked.
"Think about it—what greater humiliation could there be for him than to lose to a decrepit old man? Besides, if anyone else fought him it would just be overkill."
"—and then the LADIES would be all mine!" Roshi yelled excitedly.
The other two in the room paused once again, sharing an awkward glance. "On second thought, maybe you should just forget it. It's not like him taking credit for this is doing harm to anyone but himself. What goes around comes around—it'll catch up to him eventually."
"Eh, I guess you're right," the master said in disappointment, hunching his shoulders. He wasn't actually about to go try to show up some stage performer just to relive his glory days. "Hey, wait just a second," he said, turning to examine the TV more closely. Standing beside the shorter suit-clad man speaking was a face he almost didn't recognize. But even as little human remained of him, Mercenary Tao's posture alone was distinct. "Is that...who I think it is?"
"Hey," Krillin peered closer, "I think you might be right! Would you believe it, old Tao Pai Pai. Boy, I sure would love to teach him a thing or two!" he said with a smile. "Back in the day he might have had the edge on me, but now...oh, it makes me excited just thinking about what I could do to him!"
"Yeah yeah, we get it...finally someone you can beat, Krillin," Oolong said with a laugh...and maybe a twinge of jealousy.
Krillin only grinned, unphased, knowing at the moment he was actually the second strongest person on planet Earth—behind only Piccolo III. He couldn't remember a time when he'd felt as good about his strength as he did now, so the insult didn't really get to him \. Oolong was merely envious.
"I do wonder what he's doing mixed up in Hercule's funny business, though," the pig continued.
"Hmm..." Roshi pondered, rubbing his beard. "That's a good question, a good question indeed. Whatever he's involved in, it's not good. I know that."
"You've got a point there, guys," Krillin confirmed. "Maybe checking in on him isn't a bad idea after all."
"Weirdly enough, I think you might be right about us stopping in, Krillin," the master said, lowering his head slightly in seriousness. "Guess it's settled. I'll phone over to Bulma's and let her know we'll be in town. When's the thing—tomorrow, right?"
"Uh, the day after, I think," his student said. "But yeah, that sounds good."
Krillin walked out onto Roshi's porch, eyeing the distant waves, smelling the salty air.
It certainly was weird now that he thought about it. There wasn't a single Saiyan currently on Earth—the last time that happened was when they'd all gone to Namek...only he hadn't been left behind. No Goku, no Gohan, no Vegeta, no Trunks...such a strange thought. Well, technically there was still Trunks the toddler, home at Capsule Corporation, but it would be a while before he could be considered the same man as his time traveling-counterpart.
So much had happened since the conclusion of Cell's Perfect Tournament. For the first few hours, everyone had just been grateful to be alive. If not for the many sacrifices of Earth's heroes, Gero's greatest android would have certainly destroyed the planet, the solar system, and maybe even the entire North Galaxy by now. The price to pay had been steep, the ultimate cost. Goku and Vegeta were true saviors, both of them willingly sacrificing themselves for the the sake of their families and friends.
In spite of the fact that they would, hopefully, only be dead for a few months, the Earthlings still held a somber gathering atop the Lookout to pay tribute to the fallen. Both of the grieving widows had been comforted by friendly words from the Z fighters as each took turns speaking. Even Piccolo, to everyone's shock, described Vegeta's actions as "a rare moment of selflessness." Once they'd concluded there, they'd summoned the dragon and restored the Earth to its pre-damaged state, while also fixing Trunks' sword. The next morning, the young man from the future returned to his own time.
Krillin could tell how badly Trunks missed his own mother, but he could only imagine what it must have been like to be away from home so long. He kind of felt that way himself, about having not seen Number 18 in the past two days...so he at least partly understood why Trunks was in such a hurry to get back to his own time. Things wouldn't be the same without him. As if him leaving wasn't enough, that same evening came yet another curious change...the return of Vegeta's vessel and crew.
Krillin had been one of the first ones to greet the ship, along with Gohan, Piccolo, and Ottavino. The problem was, no one on the ship had been aware of their Lord Vegeta's demise. Piccolo had broken the news to them almost immediately, which drew an initial wave of denial, particularly from Oniya and the ever-loyal C47. After all, Vegeta had just ascended to a new height of power, and then as if by magic, willed himself all the way back to Earth unexplainably. Hearing he'd died was a little hard to believe. Krillin himself had been the one to lift the crew's spirits, though, explaining the plan to revive him with Namek's dragonballs as soon as possible.
Then there was Broly. Krillin almost gulped audibly as he remembered. Along with the damaged Bringer of Death, another full-blooded Saiyan had emerged—and in true Saiyan fashion, it seemed he wielded incredible power of his own. Oniya wasted no time in explaining he was the same warrior who Vegeta had left to fight just before the start of the Perfect Tournament.
She felt it wise to explain the entire story, as much of it as she knew, making special mention of the fact that this other Saiyan was actually something called the Legendary Super Saiyan—apparently an ancient warrior spoken of in Saiyan mythology. He had been a prisoner of his own father, mentally tortured and controlled since his youth, and used as bait to draw out the Planet Trade Empire's Leader. The ploy had failed, of course, thanks to Vegeta's fortunate ascension to the second level of Super Saiyan. So far Broly had caused no problems, but the Z fighters viewed him with suspicion nonetheless.
For Broly, being free to experience the fullness of his life for the first time was, well, overwhelming. He was so accustomed to being shunned and ignored that he didn't quite know how to take it all in. In the past, not only was his father the only one to ever speak to him, but none of Paragus' subordinates dared to even look him in the eyes. Meeting new people, being looked at and spoken to...these were strange new things. At least in the presence of Oniya and the crew, he felt like he at least had a place. It was another new feeling, something he didn't know if he liked or not, but for now he was just trying to figure everything out about his new life. Him and the chef seemed to get along best of all, as he'd consumed Saiyan-level quantities of delicious food during the trip to Earth.
Despite his lean stature and quiet demeanor, this warrior had been incredibly intimidating when he met everyone. He didn't know how to smile, or that it was even an appropriate action any time outside of crushing an enemy's skull in one's bare hands. The constant blank look on his face was a practiced expression of obedience, and despite the others trying to be friendly, the tall thin Saiyan simply came off as distant. Krillin, in particular, had looked like the quarter-man, rather than simply the half-man, when standing beside him. And it wasn't just his demeanor. Broly didn't look as dangerous as Vegeta, nor as powerful as Goku, but he was otherwise everything Saiyan genetics could summon.
He'd been freed from his father's control and convinced to join Vegeta, yes—even given the title of Chief Enforcer. But since he'd learned of Vegeta's heroic death, it was as if everyone automatically began to be suspicious of him. He might not have been quite completely aware of it yet, due to his lack of social development, but he was catching on that there were still people who feared him. The others failed to understand the mental trauma and just how difficult it was for Broly to react to normal situations. Even Oniya seemed worried he might retreat back inside himself, regressing into the same warrior who had attacked Vegeta. Or that perhaps he was biding his time, plotting something no one would expect.
Piccolo, feeling the most uneasy about the situation, had telepathically contacted each of the Z fighters to warn them. He was skeptical of almost everyone, of course, but they all felt it more than justified in this case. It was Gohan who offered to go along with Oniya and the crew, back to base 79 for repairs. He'd expressed a lot of interest in the ship's inner workings as well as the science of the base itself, but in reality he was following Piccolo's suggestion—keeping a watchful eye on this Broly. They wouldn't be gone more than a few days, but all the while Gohan just felt in his gut that this Legendary Saiyan was dangerous.
In any case, Krillin was simply glad that scary-looking Saiyan was off somewhere far away. At least now they could enjoy a few more days of well earned peace...hopefully.
"Well, if anything happens, I guess it'll be all up to me, haha," the short man chuckled. He turned over his shoulder, his face and forehead glowing red as the setting sun gleamed its last few rays. His teacher's snoring could be heard from just inside the screen door. The smell of leftover barbeque was still tangent in the air. It certainly didn't feel any different than normal.
Yet now that he was truly alone, Krillin really felt like Earth's defender. It was invigorating and exciting, like he had a renewed purpose and was meaningful once more. Of course, he wasn't one to want the spotlight, but it sure did feel good to be out of the stifling shadow of a bunch of Super Saiyans.
That was a big part of the reason he'd decided to be proactive. Whatever Tao was up to, he wasn't going to let innocent people fall prey on his watch. Not to mention, maybe Number 18 would be in the city. She'd been staying with Bulma, after all, so there was at least a small chance he'd bump into her at Capsule Corp—plenty a reason to make the trip.
The whining hum of the ship's slipstream drive, typically a low purr, had acquired several not -too-subtle tics since the events of Alpha Juno. Even the slightest change in speed seemed to rattle the entire ship like it was a can of loose screws. Their last two trips through space had been far from smooth. Number 16's diagnostics had revealed the ship's main thrusters had been almost completely fried and would have to be taken out and rewired, in addition to the entire body being buffed and checked for cracks and leaks. Of course, the Bringer of Death was not the only ship in dire need of repairs after the recent supernova, but as the flagship it was given highest priority. They were looking at a few days minimum for repairs.
As the black vessel landed on Base 79, those on board felt quite glad to have arrived in one piece—though Commander Oniya seemed almost too preoccupied to notice. Vegeta's death had hit her pretty hard, and it seemed now all the weight of the empire had fallen to her. From what Gohan could tell, though, she had always appeared to be a very responsible leader—despite being somewhat skittish when it came to giving authoritative commands herself. She was first to disembark the vessel, followed by C47. Gohan and the ever-silent Broly were next, though part of the boy's mind wondered how they were planning to breathe on the landing pad—it looked to be completely exposed to open space.
But as he looked up at the vast array of stars, he noticed a slight blue halo from the light scattered by the air around the base. It was clearly a shield or bubble or something, whatever was holding a normal atmosphere around the space station; the boy was immediately fascinated about how it might work. Not only did it provide them stable air and keep the temperature warm, it also blocked out the harmful effects of radiation normally found in space. Gohan was already ecstatic he'd decided to come.
"Commander Oniya, we're glad you've returned," one of the guards said, bowing slightly. "Per your request, the flagship will be escorted immediately to the shipyard."
Oniya merely nodded to the soldier as she continued walking, the armor-clad humanoid giving strange looks to both Gohan and Broly. It was his job to be suspicious after all.
"Pardon me, commander, but is Lord Vegeta present with you? I take it from the presence of these other two...Saiyans...that the rumors of him creating a new position of authority in the emperor aren't entirely exaggerated?"
The Asari paused suddenly, lifting her chin in realization. "Ah, yes...that." She turned to the others. "The boy you see is named Gohan, also a Super Saiyan, born and raised on planet Earth. He was in fact present for Lord Vegeta's final confrontation with Frieza, or so I understand."
The guard's eyes widened, clearly impressed, before he bowed to the boy. "For one of your age, this is most impressive. I'm certainly glad you've come."
"He's just here to learn," Oniya continued, turning next to the tall Saiyan. "As for the other, allow me to introduce the empire's new 'Chief Enforcer', a position created for Broly by Lord Vegeta himself. I'll be recording the promotion officially when I reach my office, doing the paperwork and such. Before you ask, yes; this is the same Broly that challenged our great Lord for control of the empire...however, his loyalties have now shifted. it's a long story."
"So it would seem," the guard said.
"Regarding Lord Vegeta, he is preoccupied elsewhere and will not be joining us," she concluded.
"Understood," the soldier said with a bow. "I'll make the proper log entries, and make sure the ship is transported safely to repairs."
The ship's android stepped forward. "Statement: You should indeed, meatbag. Just remember...if you or any of your peon associates ever do decide that insubordination sounds like a fun idea, I'll be so glad to splatter your insides all over the nearest wall or vertical surface."
"Uh, yes sir," the alien fumbled, gulping audibly. C47 had quite developed a reputation for being bloodthirsty—whenever he passed by, many would tremble in fear just as they'd done with Frieza those years ago. Of course, this was exactly what the android wanted.
"This place is really neat," Gohan observed as they continued walking. The inner corridors were all airtight, the ground mostly a white tile, and circular windows to the exterior were spaced every few feet. There were several much larger domed buildings, each connected by dozens of tube-like walk ways. Based on their construction, it occurred to Gohan that each individual building might possibly be a space vessel all to its own, and if the need arose it could detach and traverse at least short distances without assistance. That, or, maybe they were all connected together far below the planet's surface and were actually one giant ship. It was fascinating to speculate.
"It's just one of many as far as Imperial bases go; this outpost just so happens to be the most centrally located. You'll also notice the outward coloring of the base, mostly white and purple. It was...an aesthetic choice specified by our former ruler."
"Frieza..." Gohan said, finishing the thought. "Yeah, I actually was noticing that on the way in. It's pretty unusual for a military base of operations. But it does remind me of Frieza...a little too much for comfort."
"Exactly," Oniya said, making a left turn down through a much larger connecting tube. This one was filled with various species of aliens hard at work, many of them races Gohan had never seen before. There were three different floors inside the tube, computer monitors lining the walls of each, and the center was just one very tall ceiling. Smaller, less intimidating aliens manned these tech stations, while bulky off-duty soldiers wandered the halls. Oniya pressed through the crowd largely unnoticed; only the ambient noise caused her to speak louder.
"To those who knew the Arcosian Prince personally, the old decor probably inspires a certain level of fear to this day. I've intended to have it redone in whatever Lord Vegeta would prefer, but I've been preoccupied running the day-to-day affairs."
"Right..." Gohan said, watching out as he avoided the dozens of brutes. They all wore traditional armor and strode confidently down the hall as if they owned the place. It felt like Gohan and his group hadn't even been noticed at all, like one of the crowded malls he'd been to with Bulma before. "Has the place changed much… um… since Frieza, I mean?" he asked, hopeful.
"Most definitely. While the military elements of the empire are as strong as ever, they now serve to protect our allied planets, rather than enforce the Frost Demon's universal oppression. We provide security for the galaxy's biggest trade hubs, as well as ensuring safe transportation of their goods from place to place."
In the boy's mind, it was still hard to picture Frieza's former grunts actually being any better than low-lifes. He'd certainly witnessed enough of their atrocities to have reasonable doubt about whether or not they could ever be trusted.
"What about all the soldiers left over from before? The ones I met on Namek were merciless and cruel, but worse than that—they actually enjoyed it."
"Ah yes, them," Oniya said, leading the others up a massive flight of stairs in the center of the tube. "I questioned them at first as well. However, fear seems to keep most of the remnant soldiers in line...fear of Lord Vegeta. Not to mention, their quality of life has increased dramatically these past few years. Pay is up, and there's been a decline in excessive violence on the job. I still have reports of soldiers getting out of line pretty frequently, double dealing on the job and such, but the majority seems to prefer the new way things are run." She turned an eye upwards at Broly. "That's actually one of the things I'm hoping our new Chief Enforcer will take charge of, since busting heads seems to be first among his list of qualifications."
The giant raised an eyebrow. "Busting heads? Is that...killing? You want me to kill soldiers?"
"If necessary, perhaps," the Asari continued. "However, I have a feeling that once you take a more...active...role here, there will be fewer and fewer incidents. It's bad for our image if we let remnant thugs continue thieving and murdering, plus it'll get your name out there within the ranks."
Broly nodded, but was puzzled over the assignment. Being told to kill seemed oddly...similar to the demands Paragus had given him his whole life. Sure he was free now, but if he was still being instructed to kill people what was the difference? He started to open his mouth to ask Oniya more about it, but paused. He knew never to ask his father to repeat himself, lest he be punished, but he didn't know if other people minded. Luckily, Gohan noticed his hesitation.
"It's okay to fight sometimes, Broly," the youthful Saiyan said kindly. "Some people just won't listen to words alone—trust me, I know. I doubt it will come to killing very often, though."
Without pausing to consider how Gohan had known exactly what was going through his head, Broly replied. "If I hadn't listened to words, I'd be dead too."
The boy smiled at him, stopping on the stairs briefly. He didn't know exactly how the fight between the Prince and the Usurper had gone down, but he'd gathered that Vegeta had somehow been able to appeal to Broly's sensibility in the midst of battle. That'd been what had saved Broly—that and the fact that for some reason, Vegeta had decided to spare him rather than finish their fight. It didn't sound very much like the ruthless Saiyan, but then again, he had changed as well.
"Fighting and killing aren't the same. I don't know who taught you that people only fight in order to kill others, but I fight because it's fun, and to protect the people I care about."
Broly's hard eyes brightened slightly.
"It isn't wrong to fight against those who hurt people," Gohan continued. He was hopeful that his simple explanations would hit home with the newly-freed mind of Broly. "Plus, you don't have to kill them—nobody says you have to. I wouldn't."
The Legendary Saiyan paused in silence as he gathered his thoughts. "The way I see it," Broly began, "freedom means I choose what to do. Is that what you mean?"
Oniya responded this time. "Of course you're free. You're no one's slave, and if you choose not to do what we ask, you will not be punished."
"What will happen?" the tall Saiyan immediately inquired.
"Well, if you don't want to work for the Empire, you'll have to find another place to live, sleep, and eat. But certainly there'd be no negative repercussions. If you stay, however, we'll pay you and provide for all your needs. You'll simply be asked to complete certain tasks, killing optional. Lord Vegeta has given you a great honor by granting you the title of Chief Enforcer; it would be a shame if you declined his generous offer."
"Honor?" he repeated. "Yes, honor is everything to a Saiyan warrior."
"Indeed," Oniya replied, turning to look him in the eyes. "Broly, this is your chance to begin anew, to figure out who you want to be for the rest of your life. Nobody can decide for you, so be certain you make the right choice."
"I understand," he replied confidently.
"You know, you and I have more in common than I thought," Gohan said with a grin, the group turning to continue up the stairs. "I don't like killing either."
Broly turned to him with an enthusiastic smile. "Actually, I love to kill."
C47's red eyes suddenly glowed with admiration. A warrior powerful enough to go toe to toe with Vegeta, who also loved to kill. Oh, they would get along nicely.
The South Pole was hardly the place to expect fair weather. Then again, thunderstorms weren't exactly common at the coldest place on Earth. Lightning snaked down from the roiling black clouds, leaving jagged spiderwebs of melted snow that immediately froze back into ice. The winds drove dry snow in angry swirling clouds, all rotating around a single point.
ZZZZZAAAACKKKKPPP. The air parted into a shimmering disk just inches above the ground. Moments later, the tip of a sword emerged, followed by a tall, powerful blue-skinned warrior.
Greetings, everyone, and thanks for reading! I apologize about the long wait for this chapter. The BoD backstory for Bojack has been a long time coming, many of you having guessed the connection between Hera and Juno a long while ago. There was always a question of how his gang were sealed away to begin with, so we went into more detail about the Kaios and how they did it. Not only that, but there was the issue of why they didn't seal away Frieza or his family the same way. Why was Bojack so much more a threat that he deserved to be sealed? We introduced the planetary gateways/Stargates to explain their ease of access to many various worlds and why he warranted their action. Plus, as many of you might guess, the hero who challenged them and failed was sort of a last straw. If any of you are unsure who that was, I can confirm it was someone you know. Another thing I'm glad I get to show is Krillin in a key role where he feels important again. We haven't seen that in a while, so I'm excited to give the humans a chance to fight again soon. At this point in the story, we're also getting to see Mr. Satan deal directly with the media, who are not so blindly unquestioning of his account of what happened. You'll get to see where his ties to Tao lead him next chapter, as well as whether or not he can manage to convince everyone of his lies. Plenty lies in store for our next chapter.
Q: Are you gonna have some special chapters about Future Trunks and the now resurrected Z Fighters of his timeline including Future Gohan since he's one of my favorite Gohans and will you continue into the Buu Saga?
A: I do plan to tell Future Trunks' story and tie things off somewhat. It should be before the normal DBZ timeskip. The canon BoD Timeline will continue through the events of Buu.
Q: Well when supreme Kai came he thought that the saiyans (Vegeta, goku, gohan) were stronger than him wouldn't they be stronger than grand Kai as well in super saiyan 2?
A: That's difficult to determine. Eastern Supreme Kai never completed his training. He might have become as powerful as Southern Supreme Kai or Di Kaioh eventually, but in DBZ it actually seems most likely that he is weaker than the Grand Kai. His Kaioshin powers, however, are still significant even against the likes of a SSj2 (As shown when he restrained adult SSj2 Gohan at the Tournament).
Q: Will Dr. Raichi be in this story in any way?
A: I've become more interested in Raichi through DBM, however I don't currently have any plans to include him in BoD.
Q: Is there some kind of monthly release you do now or is it just when you get it done. I just want to know if there's like a schedule of some kind.
A: Currently, there is no schedule. I would love to be able to at least finish one chapter a month, if time allows, but I just can't guarantee that.
Q: Having Vegeta so indomitable(and when he does lose, he always comes back stronger and stronger merely by plot convenience or a poorly explained "power up) is a large mistake that surely must be addressed?
A: A completely fair assessment. He's been subject to much of the same treatment Goku got in DBZ itself, to be honest. What you're going to see though, I hope, is that some of the difficulties that canon Vegeta had early on in the Android/Cell sagas (being constantly surpassed by Goku/Gohan and humbled/offended/angered) are still potentially going to happen... Part of what I want to explore is how differently Vegeta would have handled those issues if he was more mature/developed as a hero. He's had his time in the limelight, and as you've stated, some people think it's getting old. I wonder if I've said too much, but maybe that gives you insight enough.
Q: How much of this fight was inspired by the majin vegeta vs ssj 2 goku battle? Also is the comparison in strength around the same as that fight? And I read in the Q&A that gohan was the strongest. When did that occur?
A: I definitely re-watched that fight before and during the writing process, so a few things might have been intentionally similar. Strength-wise, in canon Majin Vegeta and Goku are dead even. Here, Vegeta has an edge, but Goku has a much better body. Gohan is the strongest SSj2 at this point because when Vegeta died he was resurrected at the same level he was at in life. Gohan, on the other hand, healed and became stronger thanks to his Saiyan DNA. And Goku just now became a SSj2, so he is the weakest. Truthfully though, they are all very very close, and are low level SSj2 still.
Q: Why did you decide to end the battle in a draw?
A: Several reasons. First, to illustrate that at this point it's not totally about winning for the pair. It's about proving themselves in the fight itself and enjoying it. But mainly, because I think that's what would've happened if this fight took place.
Q: I have a question, Will the Big Gete Star be in this story in any way?
A: No plans to use it as of now.
Q: Hey I was just curious though about the quip you made about Gohan in here? What exactly did you mean by what Vegeta said.
A: It was mainly a comment about how potentially fighting the boy, strong as he is, wouldn't give the same satisfaction to Vegeta as fighting Goku. He'd enjoy it a lot though.
Q: Also, in Battle Of Gods, everyone stated that for a moment, even while ssj2, vegeta surpassed goku in power when bills hit bulma. Do you believe that? And if its true, shouldn't that proc a ssj3 transformation?
A: Yes, this is canon now...thanks a lot Toriyama (sarcasmcoughsarcasm)! I haven't gotten far enough in BoD to worry about the new plot holes Toriyama casually introduces to his previously glorious franchise.
Q: Out of curiosity, how up to date are you on Naruto?
A: I try to stay current with the manga. But I don't always understand everything that's going on in the manga.
Q: Whatever happened to BoD Abridged?
A: The writer is busy working on other projects now. We haven't discussed its continuation.
Q: I like the commentary on the powering up. Is that a reference to DBZ's less than steller pacing?
A: Most definitely.
Q: What about those villains that had a body like Frieza, Cell, etc? Would they eventually be reincarnated? What about those in the other world? Does those get reincarnated?
A: Yes, they'll eventually serve the remainder of their time in Hell. Afterwards they'll be reincarnated. Those in Heaven have more leeway with when they are reincarnated I believe.