Eighteen stretched her arms slightly as she glanced at Krillin who was in deep meditation. They had only realised that something was amiss with his Ki about twenty minutes ago, Eighteen herself could only just barely detect it even though it was right in front of her.
His fists were pressed against each other gently, his old bony legs crossed as small trickles of sweat were dripping down his neck. The trademark sunglasses that usually accompanied what was formerly Roshi's face had long since been carelessly flung onto the living room's couch.
"I'm going to go check on Mar... Vegeta," she said as she stood up. "Let me know if you make a breakthrough or anything, it's very odd that you can't even bring it out—almost as odd as this entire situation."
Krillin bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement as she began to travel up the stairs. It was all very... intriguing to say the least. Body swapping was something that she would have expected to be in one of her brother's comic books, not reality. However it wasn't entirely impossible, she realised, not even half a year ago an angry chewing-gum monster blew up the entire planet.
Yawning slightly as she stepped up the last stair, Eighteen glanced at the clock near the ceiling. Her conversation with Goku had only taken place a mere hour or two ago, although it had involved minimal input on his... or rather her part. It was enlightening but at the same slightly unnerving to find out that Bulma wasn't in her own body too, whoever or whatever was organising the body swapping sure knew who to target.
Bulma was easily the smartest in the group with an IQ of well over 200, her future self had even built a goddamn time machine! Something that Gero, being the scientist that he was, had done his fair share of meddling with only to draw blanks. To make a device capable of time-travel in a world overrun by despair, ironically herself and her brother being responsible for it, was no small feat.
Eighteen was willing to bet that making body swapping machine wasn't too impossible for the blue-haired genius, and evidently so were those responsible for the body swapping. The little gang of friends that she was now a part of was full of brawn but very lacking in brains... Bulma more than made up for that by herself. However without her, the group had lost a potential tactician and given that its strongest member had suffered a rather large blow to the head as a child, the chances of a solution to their predicament was much smaller.
At the same time, Eighteen had to commend both the genius behind the changes and the hilarity of them. As much as she didn't want to admit it, her daughter was easily the most vulnerable member of their group so putting its rashest member in her body was not a bad idea by any means. Similarly putting Goku in a weak body-the second most vulnerable one-was pretty smart too, and hell she'd probably be more fascinated with exploring her new body than actually doing anything constructive.
The funny side though? Vegeta was in the body of a five-year old girl's body, the Prince of all Saiyans in the body of a little human girl... her sides almost hurt at the thought of it. And then irony was ever present with Goku, easily their most idiotic member, being put in the body of their smartest.
Whatever was happening though was no laughing matter. Vegeta and Goku were already knocked out, even if they managed to access their Ki their bodies would be snapped like twigs if they got into a fight. That was their two strongest members gone. Boom.
Just thinking about it made her feel frighteningly vulnerable, a feeling that she was not accustomed to in the slightest.
Whatever Dende was expecting, it was not a stern grandmotherly woman giving him a lecture in the art of garden cleaning. She was a portly woman of advanced age and wore what people would typically associate with an old woman; an apron and circular spectacles and the like. Her gentle, caring features belied her true nature.
"Are you honestly telling me you don't know how to operate a lawn-mower? What are they teaching kids these days?" The woman said in an irritated voice, her hands on her hips and her face set in a frown. She couldn't believe a man his age didn't know how to use such a simplistic tool in this day and age.
"Well, it is sort of my first time doing such a thing. I come from a village in the rural areas, so I kind of grew up cutting grass with a machete …" Dende didn't know anything significant about the background of the body that he was inhibiting, aside from the fact that he was dead broke, so he desperately lied to conjure up anything that would allow him to keep his job and escape the wrath of this terrifying woman.
The woman, Shijimi was her name, sighed in exasperation. Really, what were kids being taught these days? "Well, at least he knows how to work hard, if his claim is anything to go by. Cutting grass manually is pretty hard work, after all." One look at his arms made her doubtful though. How did anyone manage to do anything with those spindly arms? They looked like they couldn't even lift a machete, let alone use it in any effective fashion.
Again Shijimi sighed. "Alright, fine, I will get you a machete to work with," she said, walking back to the house. She came back a little while later to find a fidgeting Dende still standing in the same spot she had left him earlier. She had a wickedly sharp machete in her hand; it was a wonder why she had it in the first place.
The old woman held up the machete to show to the younger man and Dende flinched a little, expecting to get hit. "Here, you can use this to cut the grass instead if you want, but I want lawn to look perfect by the end of the week." That was saying something about the amount of work she was expecting; the lawn was positively enormous. Dende could barely see to the opposite fence.
Satisfied with the understanding nod she got from her new employee, Shijimi went back to the house to carry on with her knitting. Sighing at the retreating back of the old woman, Dende squatted down on the floor to begin his backbreaking work.
He nearly cursed when his first swipe nearly took off his own leg.
Eighteen had been surprised to find Vegeta asleep on the floor, almost looking out like a light, however she had been even more surprised to find the guy-she-had-kneed-in-the-balls talking to Krillin quite casually.
Her eyes narrowed in suspicion as she pressed herself against the wall, her head barely peeking around the corner which lead to the living room.
"I'm a businessman, entrepreneur in fact," he said, rubbing his right elbow as though he had been struck by it.
"Oh that's nice..." Krillin said, "I was raised by monks, never went to school in fact."
"Well that's about eighteen years of your life that you saved right there," Cuilt chuckled before glancing at Krillin. "I don't suppose you know anything about this whole situation?"
"Not as old as this body might suggest," Krillin shared a little laugh with the man occupying his body before continuing, "I've still seen my share of weird stuff, and I don't think this is the first time I've witnessed body swapping but-"
"Well if you're already used to this weird crap, why don't you fix it then?" Cuilt suddenly suggested, an arrogant tone beginning to surround his voice.
Barely able to contain herself, Eighteen watched as her now-extremely aged husband reprimanded the man. "I've got no clue how this happened and no idea how to fix it, so I'd suggest you calm down before my hand is forced."
"You're an old man now, and I'm in a pretty strong body... I'd watch my mouth if I were you," he said threateningly.
Almost about to step in, Eighteen smirked slightly as Krillin just began to laugh. "I'm not in the body of any old man-you yourself mentioned that Master Roshi was a martial arts veteran."
Watching as the recognition clicked in, Krillin glanced towards Eighteen before adding with a cheesy grin, "plus I'm sure my wife could hand my body's ass to itself anyday."
Cuilt followed the trail that Krillin's eyes had gone along and paled slightly as he recognised Eighteen standing just passed the corner, a menacing glare on her face. "O-okay, so no-one knows what's going on then?"
"No," she confirmed. "But I do want to know exactly who you are... I don't care what the hell's going on, all I know is that you have effectively stolen my husband's identity and have placed him in another person's body."
It was a blatant lie, she highly doubted that the idiot had anything to do with it, but he didn't know that there had been multiple accounts of body swapping, especially within the circle of her friends. However if there was one thing that Eighteen was, it was cautious, and given that he was the only one that wasn't apart of their little group who had been body swapped it certainly meant that she had a good reason to be careful.
"W-what do you mean?" he stuttered, his hands drawn in a defensive position as his eyes shimmered with fear, "I haven't done any of this!"
"Maybe you haven't," she said optimistically before sadistically smirking at him, "or maybe you've been lying to us. Think about it... and you were just threatening my husband a few minutes ago, who knows?"
"W-what do you want from me? H-how do I prove that I'm innocent?" He pleaded, the vicious woman's body language showing that he was in hot water.
"You can't," she grinned as cunningly as a chesire cat. "It means that if you screw up once more-I don't care if my husband's body goes with it—I'll blast you to smithereens."
"Blast?" He questioned, a small sensation of dread growing in his stomach as she merely nodded. Not so sure if he wanted to find out just what she meant anymore, he sank backwards into the couch.
"Good, if you're smart... you'll stay like that," Eighteen muttered darkly before turning towards Ros-Krillin. "I take it you had no luck with your Ki if you ended up resorting to talking to this idiot?"
Krillin turned towards her, a more serious look upon his face. "It's there but not at the same time. It's nothing like what accessing my own Ki was like, I can barely even feel the connection!"
"That doesn't sound too great," Eighteen sighed, "have you tried maybe sensing for other's Ki?"
"Yep... but I'm not sure if I've lost the ability to sense Ki or there just aren't any substantial Ki signatures out there." he said, messaging the temples of bald head.
"What do you mean?" she questioned, more confused than curious.
"Well you couldn't feel my Ki?" he asked, continuing when Eighteen nodded her head in agreement, "well what's to say that the others don't have really weak Ki signatures now too?"
"Hang on," Eighteen said, her eyebrow pursed in concentration. "I'll see if I can sense any of them, didn't really bother to try..."
Stretching her arms, Eighteen extended her Ki senses, searching for any recognisable powers. After not getting a clear picture of any familiar ones, she narrowed down her search before her eyes widened in surprise.
Vegeta and Goku were gone, she knew that much. However... she couldn't sense any of them, Tien, Yamcha, Piccolo, Buu, Gohan... the best she could pick up was a slightly jumbled version of Trunks' Ki signature but even then she wasn't sure.
This was going to be a long day.
Author's Notes: This chapter was brought to you by Majin Son Goku and Kakarot Son.