To any and all of my readers. I would like to thank all of you personally for clicking on my fanfiction, and for trying to give it a chance. This is my second fanfiction and I'd like to know what I you think. Anything works: praise, constructive criticism, possible suggestion for later plot development.

He didn't know what he'd done wrong. One minute ago he was playing with the friendly resident talking turtle, and the next he was being carried away by this bully claiming to be his uncle. However, he knew he was powerless in this predicament and completely at his kidnapper's will. So, he did what any fourth-and-a-half year old would do.

Cry. Cry a lot. Cry the entire time. His tears and wails echoed throughout the air and Raditz's increasingly abused ear drums, and he wasn't exactly appreciative of the kid's demeanor.

"Quiet, brat! So, help me if I have to land to shut you up," screamed Raditz, yelling over the air current and the brat's incessant dramatics.

The ear pulsing shout brought Gohan out of his crying trance, at least to be completely terrified for a split second. Once the abject terror had dissipated he started to cry again with at least twice the vigor and heartbreak. Needless to say (but I will), Raditz was more than a little glad to be back at his space pod.

Upon landing on the grassy field, the only thing Raditz could think of doing was dropping Gohan straight onto his butt, which he did with a vengeance. Of course, this caused him to only cry louder and harder from coupling a physical pain with his already debilitating emotional despair. Nevertheless, this was a consequence that just increasingly infuriated Raditz's chagrin.

Raditz had reached a breaking point; he couldn't handle the crying any longer. "Shut up, you disgraceful piece of shit!" and leveled a punch straight at the crying boy's left cheek sending him crashing into the dirt and out cold.

`Great. The boy is both weak and a sniveling baby.' Pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration, Raditz's grabbed the fallen "warrior" and threw him into his space pod so he could get some peace and quiet.

The thought of solitude Raditz's stomach went off showing off its own displeasure at the monotony of the days proceeding. `Maybe a little foraging wouldn't hurt,' thought the kidnapper as he stalked through the forest to find some sustenance.

Thirty minutes later, the alien invader returned to the grassy field carrying a bundle of exotic fruits that he was leisurely munching on. `Why is that brother of mine not finished with his purge? It's unacceptable! Nobody on this planet has a power level that exceeds three-hundred except for that green-man. It should be child's play wiping out the population of this planet. Might as well check my scouter and see if he's in route?'

Raditz pressed the button on the far end of his scouter, searching for any notable power levels in the area. The reading he received in the area was absolutely stunning. "A power level of seven-hundred and ten, inconceivable on this mudball; it's double the power level of my foolish brother and that green slug."

The scouter beeped, breaking Raditz out of his reverie. Apparently, judging by the arrow cursor, it found the location of this imminent threat approximately a couple dozen meters away from his current location.

Turning around to confront this new threat, his eyes nearly flew out of his head. The power level was coming from within his own space pod. The brat is the source of this fantastical power reading? That can't possibly be right. Must've been a stupid computer glitch, you just can't trust anything but yourselves these days.'

Despite his monologue, however he was curious about why it would provide such a scandalous reading. He would get to the bottom of this one way or another.

Pacing towards his own space pod, he peered down at the half-saiyan brat. His eyes were bloodshot from crying and snot was glazed around the nostrils of his nose, but beyond this sniveling appearance Raditz recognized an astoundingly high level of imbedded anger, the type that surrounds a cornered animal with nowhere to go.

At a distance, Raditz opened the door to his space pod curious to see what the brat would do.

The little boy launched himself out the space pod with strength he didn't know he had. Upon landing on the green turf of the meadow, he shifted into an intrinsic fighting stance and started to emit dangerous levels of ki that fluctuated violently like his anger.

Meanwhile, Raditz had left his scouter's power level scanner on during this entire interchange and was stupefied at what he was seeing. `A power-level of twelve-hundred! He's as powerful as me!'

A furious ripple of ki silenced Raditz's gawking. The boys power-level had stabilized at the twelve-hundred mark, but the volatile nature of the boy's countenance remained the same.

Out of the inaudible hiss and groans came one single phrase from the boy. "Leave me alone!" Unable to hold himself back any longer, he charged at Raditz faster than he could react, leveling him with a devastating headbutt to the solar plexus cracking Raditz's armor and causing the warrior to gravitate towards his abused mid-section.

Before Raditz could retaliate, Gohan placed his hands on Raditz's sternum and fired a massive ball of blue ki at point blank range. It was a blast so large that it ripped the top soil from the ground and engulfed everything including Raditz in a blast radius well over three body-lengths long. Upon detonation, the wall of energy combusted and formed a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire that disintegrated most forms of solid matter upon contact.

After the awe-inducing instinctual rage had led its course throughout Gohan's body, he collapsed onto the uprooted topsoil and fell back into a comatose state.

Unfortunately, the blast didn't disintegrate all matter, or more specifically the matter that composed Raditz. The saiyan invader was injured, but still very much alive, albeit his armor had been reduced to atoms and most of his chest and precious leg hairs looked like they went through a very bad Brazilian waxing session.

Miraculously, his scouter had survived the blast as well, and it was that piece of equipment that doomed Gohan's life.

Pressing the communicator on, Raditz flipped through numerous frequencies to find the one where Vegeta would be on. `Come on, come on. Where the fuck is he?'

Jackpot, he was at some obscure frequency that Frieza probably wasn't scanning. "What do you want?" barked out Vegeta, in his tactful as a hammer manner of speech.

"Yes, Vegeta, I've reached the Planet Earth—"

"Yeah. And," interrupted Vegeta, who was not so subtly telling Raditz to get to the point.

"Yes, I was going to tell you that I found Kakarot, but I think I found somebody more useful to our plans: his snot-nosed brat."

"So, why should I care about this…brat. Children aren't going to any use in the battles we have coming up, and especially not pampered pieces of shit that this kid seems to be."

"I know, Vegeta. I thought the same thing about this kid: he may be a brat, but if we get him angry he could be a very useful ally. I just did, and he almost killed me without any formal training whatsoever."

"Your point, Raditz. Any competent saiyan could kill you without batting an eye, what makes this kid any better if he couldn't kill you."

"Well, the point is that you sent me here to fetch Kakarot. Kakarot is far weaker than his untrained whelp, so much weaker it would be in our best interest to train the kid. He could be of use to us. Besides, if I'm so useless than why exactly do you still keep me around."

"Whatever, just make sure to not to screw this up Raditz; I think you know how much I adore failure. If we follow your lead, then you will bring the brat with you in your space pod."

Raditz's face blanched at the thought, stunned beyond belief by Vegeta's declaration. He, a saiyan warrior share his pod with that…baby; that ain't gonna happen in this galaxy, or any really.

"Surely you must be joking, Vegeta. Why can't we use the Kakarot's space pod to accomplish the task?"

Even on a radio transmission, the vein that bulged on Vegeta's forehead could easily be inferred. "Raditz, don't question my orders. I do not tolerate insolent and disobedient behavior. I swear to god if you talk to me like that one more time I won't hesitate to retire you permanently. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Vegeta, I'm sorry," replied Raditz, who had clearly forgotten how intimidating Vegeta could be when he wanted to be.

"Save it for somebody who cares. Now, if you really want to repent for your blasphemous tongue then follow these instructions: unlock the spare space pod and set the coordinates for Planet Argos. Once you've finished, return to the rendezvous with your brat."

Raditz fumbled through his outfit locating where he put that spare space-pod, which was in a storage device conspicuously like a standard Capsule Corporation capsule. Once activated, the space pod popped into existence with the universally recognized trasnparent wisps of smoke covering its fuselage.

The alien invader walked towards the vacant ship and pressed the enter button on the top of the ship, allowing the hydraulic doors to slid skyward revealing the passenger cabin. Without hesistation, Raditz stuck his hand into the empty cabin tracing the top of the ship to find its navigation module. Normally, all they'd have to do was yell out where they had to go, but if you wanted to go somewhere after pre-programming was set then you'd have to manually override the instructions in the command module.

Finally, Raditz's hand started to grasp the outer edges of the module. Smirking like a Cheshire cat he navigated his hand to the location override button, which was he could infer was completed due to a metallic voice being transmitted through the hull of the ship.

The automated voice was monotonous, but came with a very grating nasal inflexion in its voice. "You requested a location override; state your new desired location at the beep…beep."

"Planet Argos," responded Raditz, clearly scowling at how his day was going.

"Destination set. Departure immediately?" replied the ship's artificial intelligence.

"Not yet, the next person who climbs in will be the one sent to Planet Argos."

The module understanding the command given to it shuts down until said person arrives. Seeing that the computer is reacting appropriately, Raditz's removes his hand from the ship and closes the doors to the ship.

Failing to miss a step, Raditz walked leisurely in the direction of where the boy was last found: laying face first in a massive rectangular stretch of dirt resembling skid marks on asphalt after a car drifts around a corner.

In the center of this "skid mark" lay Gohan, enthralled in a deep penetrative somber. His green outfit had been ripped in multiple places, and his red-topped hat had been blown several meters away into the meadow. However, outside of the fact that his face looked eerily similar to a chimney sweeper he appeared to be fine.

The coarse alien clasped onto the back of the child's neck, lifting him off the ground with one hand. His cargo in hand, the alien returned to his own space pod and had the door flip open. He haphazardly placed the boy on the floor of his pod, not particularly caring if his knees pushed against the boy's face during their journey.

With all of the arrangements for their journey set, only a vocal command was needed to get the show on the road. "Computer, take me to Planet Meteora!"

"GPS coordinates confirmed: Planet Meteora. Please prepare for take-off," replied the ghostly specter that was the space pod's computer system.

Then, they were gone. The computer sent a message to the engine and before either saiyan knew it they were in space, never to return to that homily little planet in the North Galaxy.

`Ah, man he packs a wallop,' thought Goku, picking himself off sandy beach of Kame Island. He never expected any of this: he was an alien, he was responsible for Grandpa Gohan's death, or that he had a ruthless brother somewhere in a galaxy not so far away.

He thought it was going to be a fun day. He'd finally be able to visit his old pals again, especially now that he had a son of his own. He even got Chi Chi to sign her reluctant approval (of which he still couldn't fathom why) on the whole gathering. In other words, it would be a great day.

Now, he was coughing up blood after getting beaten in one punch; Krillen had been punted through a wall; Bulma was beyond scared; and to top it all off, Gohan had been kidnapped by the demon. Oh yes, it had been a great day for the Earth's protector.

To make his day worse, he felt another ki running right towards them and it wasn't exactly a friendly ki. Preparing to face another foe, Goku shifted into one of his patented fighting stances waiting for his nemesis to arrive on scene.

He didn't have to wait long. The dark ki—who turned out to be Piccolo—zipped through the air and came to a sudden stop right above the Kame House. It was apparent that he wasn't pleased, judging by the scowl on his face and his furrowed brow.

The mortal enemies didn't talk to each other, embroiled in their traditional intense stare down before any mitigating factors were brought up. However, neither were willing to be the one to initiate a conversion, and the confrontation became increasingly awkward.

Unaware of the green demon above him, Krillen climbed out of the pile of ruined plywood, shaking the sawdust off of himself and nursed a nasty abrasion on his shoulder. The daybreak sun glares directly above him, creating a shadow effect under the circle of his eyes and added impact to the wilted frown gracing his lips. "Goku, we have to go after that…monster, we have—"

"Don't make me laugh. None of you humans can even come close to this power, your just too weak," snickered Piccolo, who took great pleasure in seeing Krillen hang his head down in shame.

Goku could begrudgingly accept Piccolo's taunts on a normal day, but today was far from a normal, and insulting his best friend wasn't making him any less testy. "So what do you propose we do, Piccolo? I'd love to see your strategy to beating this…saiyan."

Piccolo's pleasurable mien at insulting Krillen quickly dissolved into an incoherent snarl, knowing that he didn't have a true comeback. So instead of admitting defeat, he changed the subject back to what was important. "Terseness aside, I actually do have a plan; not that your puny sized brain could ever truly understand it. Now, pay attention; I don't want to repeat myself once I'm finished. First, as much as I want to kill you, I'll need your help. To win we must team up or we will die. Second, we use ki sensing to locate that sniveling brat of your's. Third and most importantly, we ambush the rat and grab his tail. Once we have his tail we should be able to execute him with ease. Now, you got it?"

"Crystal," curtly responded Goku, "but how do you know my tail, or that it was weakness in battle."

Piccolo started to guffaw at the inquiry; it was always enjoyable seeing the confusion written on Sons face. "Let's just say that your one of your scientific enemies tipped me off to your former weakness. Of course, the man held no use for me, so I killed him after he stopped talking to me."

The earth-raised saiyan started to growl at the indifference the demon placed on another's life; it was like he didn't give two shits about anybody but himself? That didn't mean that he wouldn't agree to his proposal, though. "Sure, I agree to our…temporary truce. After all, I don't have much to lose if I don't."

"So it's settled. Me and Goku will team up and kill the new invader, while you idiots hide behind a wall," said Piccolo.

Goku didn't miss a second on replying. "Okay, hope you're ready Piccolo. Flying nimbus!"

At the beck of the command, the sprightly little golden cloud careened into the picture from exactly nowhere in particular to land right at the base of Goku's feet. With a deft leap, Goku landed on the cloud in the lotus position, beckoning Piccolo with a wave of his arm. "You think you can keep up?"

"Sure, if I couldn't keep up with that little…thing, I'd be better off hiding behind that house with the rest of the rats," responded Piccolo, not missing a beat in their battle of baits, and without fanfare launched himself into the air current with his nemesis nipping at his heels.

The tense peace of their initial confrontation reestablished itself almost immediately upon their entrance into the Earth's jet stream. Neither party barely could look at each other, as their mutual resentment of each other kept any talk pertaining to anything, be it pleasantries or strategy from formulating.

This equilibrium wouldn't last long, though. A ki, an enormous one at that, cut straight through the troposphere and for a moment dwarfed Goku's demented older brother's. Unfortunately, both Piccolo and Goku could recognize it.

"Go…han," uttered out Goku, whose voice was distorted by both apprehension and the altitude of their flight.

Piccolo's voice, on the other hand, was neither soft-spoken nor apprehensive in tone. "Were you ever going to tell me that your son had this kind of power?"

The wild-haired jackass just shrugged his shoulder at the demand, not truly taking his inquisitions seriously. "How could I tell you about the power of my son, when I didn't know about his power myself?"

"Useless in everything I see Goku, " snarled Piccolo, disgusted at his rival's cluelessness.

As the duo approached the grassy field where they felt the enormous ki, Goku shifted into a fighting stance on the nimbus cloud itself. Upon disembarkation at the sight, Piccolo deactivated his ki and Goku jumped off the cloud—both methods produced the same result: an abrupt landing.

The landing was not the least of their worries, nor was geotechnical surveying. Raditz was gone, vamoose, tardy, or any other adjective to describe somebody who was missing. This was all fine and dandy, only if he hadn't taken Gohan—which was an increasingly likely prospect at that moment.

However, their endeavors weren't completely fruitless. Piccolo, while carving the far end of the grassy plain came upon a strange object—a round pod that wasn't a perfect sphere nor elliptical in exact shape. It was just…there, nobody around to claim it or take it.

Piccolo's inert ki signature brought Goku to the strange sight, neither being able to figure out why it was there. That is until Goku had an unfathomable epiphany.

"Do you think that this…thing was what my brother came to Earth on?" questioned Goku, trying to keep his thought to himself. By the sound of Piccolo's snort, he quickly gathered that he blurted out his inner thoughts.

"You really are stupid, aren't you Goku?" snidely remarked Piccolo, not willingly going to let Goku's comment slide. "If he took this space-pod he'd be still on this planet and we'd be tracking him!"

Goku flinched at the snide jab and bristled at Piccolo's point. Did Piccolo even realize what was going on? Not that it really mattered in the end, he was going to get his son back; space, time and evil monsters be damned.

"Piccolo, don't tell me you're not thinking? That…monster came to this planet to recruit me to kill a race of innocent beings. I doubt that there'd only be one ship he'd bring, especially if it's as small as this little thing. No, this ship can take me directly to son—I know it will."

The namekian snarled at the "condescension" laced throughout his nemesis's comment. Unfortunately, he also knew that the wild son of a bitch was right on all accounts. So, he decided to let the irony of Goku calling anybody clueless pass this one time.

What he wouldn't let pass was his rival making a run at the space ship. Before Son could board the small ship, he fired off a blast of ki to vaporize the ship.

Meanwhile, the aptly named wild-haired son of a bitch had found the open button on the ship and was about to board the space-worthy vessel. Well that was plan, until he felt a ball of ki race forward from out of the corner of his peripheral vision. In a move of instinctual brilliance, Goku turned around and deflected the attack with his forefingers of his right-hand before his equilibrium was knocked off balance catapulting himself onto the outer surface of the space-pod.

Goku picked himself off the smooth exterior of the ship and glared at Piccolo, obviously cross at his enemy for the cheap shot. "What gives, Piccolo? What was that for?"

Piccolo smirked at the goofiness of Son's serious look. "You plans well and good and all, but that doesn't mean I'll let you go into space."

The earth-raised saiyan face changed from defensive to confused and finally to irritated. `Why does he care if I go into space,' thought Goku, clearly irritated by Piccolo's brash refusal of his objective. Still, it didn't prevent him from vocalizing his disapproval of his rival's intentions in one phrase: "and why not?"

"Because I want to see you suffer. I want you to know that your son has one of two fates: either he dies a gruesome death or he'll become just like Raditz. More importantly than that, you ought to remember it will be all your fault, due to your incompetence as a person. In the end, I will make sure this moment is your legacy, and that legacy will hold only one truth: failure, your failure."

As cutting as the namekian's words were, they were only a half-truth: Although, tormenting Goku with his failure greatly pleased him, his decision to prevent Goku's passage into outer space was about self-preservation moreso than sadism. The brat's power level was enormous, and in Piccolo's mind translated to a threat that he would never want to willingly deal with. So, he made the decision to never allow that possibility to ever emerge—damn what Goku thinks!

Goku's former indignation hardened into an almost feral fury, buried deep within his simian hide. `How dare that…bastard impede his mission for such an evil reason?' he screamed from within himself, his once dormant pride beseeching him to extract retribution by any means necessary. After a pseudo-eternity of white-hot anger coursing through his veins, our hero had conjured a devilish idea to use on the demon, and his aforesaid pride wouldn't let him keep the idea to himself.

"You're right, Piccolo, if what you said happens then I will be a failure in every sense of the word. My power, virtue and dignity will be all for nothing, I'll forever be nothing just like your father. The great demon king—the killer of thousands—reduced to nothing but ash by just a little boy throwing a justified temper tantrum. What a shame, but once a failure always a failure."

Piccolo couldn't just believe what he had just heard. The naïve, ignorant, but ultimately noble Son Goku had slandered his father's name straight to his face! Even the thought of the "world's protector" made the demon unconsciously snarl and his eyes shine with malice. That diatribe wasn't going to go unpunished.

"Consider our truce breached, Son. Prepare to die." Nothing left to say, Piccolo charged at Goku ready to lop off his head with a karate chop.

Goku was ready for the assault and caught the limb with his outstretched hand, followed by bending the hand backwards at an obtuse angle breaking the namekian's wrist. "I hope that wasn't the best you could do. I hope you've trained for this, I've gotten exponentially stronger since the Twenty-Third Budokai."

The demon staggered back nursing his broken wrist, his hate hardening at the determined look in his eyes and challenging demeanor. "Of course I have, don't count on anything else. You'll never beat me this time."

"I doubt that, Piccolo, but this will have to be settled by a battle. Let the second battle for Earth commence!"

Meanwhile, in a galaxy not so far away our favorite half-breed had finally woken up from his self-induced slumber. The sight of the child's face upon seeing the planet's granite colored sky would have been comical provided that he wasn't being kidnapped or if his life wasn't in danger, but sadly his predicament involved both terrifying variables.

The duo had landed on Planet Meteora without any complications, having arrived on the outskirts of their rendezvous: the great walls of the city of Varlaam.

Unable to control his undeveloped sense of despair, Gohan's eyes started to subconsciously water. Without his dad, mom, or any of their friends to help guide him through this problem, he knew that he was very much alone in this cruel and unforgiving world. And unfortunately, the only thing he felt like he could do about it was cry inconsolably.

That didn't mean Raditz would tolerate the waterworks. One vicious glare courtesy of the space pirate was all it took for Gohan to break through the haze of despair, albeit temporarily.

In this period of time, Gohan learned one pivotal truth about the "saiyans:" they didn't condone weakness, and specifically crying. To survive with his demented uncle, he'd have to grow out of his shy exterior and not back down from his look of contempt.

Only problem was that Raditz wasn't aware of this sudden change of attitude and took it upon himself to emphasize his point. "Brat get up. Nobody is going to tolerate your theatrics for even an iota longer. If you want to live, and believe me you want to live, then cut out the incessant crying this instance," he barked, while simultaneously jerking the boy to his eye level by the collar of his coat.

The little boy didn't even let out a sliver of a tear, but his terrified mien told a much different story. Raditz rolled his eyes at the raw fear still in his baby of a nephew's expression. `At least he stopped crying; it's a start even if it's slow one,' bemused the rapscallion. "Good nephew, but do try a little harder to act tough. Your fate is still up in the air as we speak, so if you want to keep your life here's a little advice: don't show your feeble heart on your sleeve, you'll live longer."

After concluding his speech, Raditz relinquished his hold on Gohan's shirt letting the boy catch his own fall. To his surprise, the boy didn't land flat on his ass but on one knee in a kneeling position looking directly up at his kidnapper.

"Aw, nephew, you've just stumbled on the second most useful tool you'll ever learn: how to kneel at somebodies feet. Memorize it; you'll be doing a lot of it," added Raditz, laughing with a bit of caustic amusement. His amusement disintegrated when he didn't hear any shuffling of feet behind him, provoking him to turn his head to find Gohan exactly where he was a moment ago. "Brat, get up and follow me—and don't you dare run away!"

The petrified boy complied with his uncle's "request," knowing what non-compliance will bring. He had to walk at a fairly fast clip to just keep in stride with Raditz's leisurely strolling pace and even seeing his filthy untamed waterfall of hair was getting hard to see among the crowd of aliens.

What the boy didn't know was this was a test proctored by none other than Vegeta. The premise was simple: if the sniveling brat couldn't even keep up with Raditz than he wasn't worth the hide he was born with. Failing this task meant that Raditz's new charge would be purged just like all the other locals. Of course, Vegeta was aware of the fact that the testing ground was a hyper dense cityscape with millions (if not billions) that would make any reconnaissance mission challenging. All it meant to him was that if the kid passed, he'd live to see another day provided he didn't do anything stupid.

So, with this test in mind Raditz meandered through the bustling city; strolled down wide thoroughfares, browsed through the cities grand bazaar looking for armor, or any other idea that made this test more arduous for his nephew.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned nephew seemed to be doing exceedingly well. Even if he didn't have a clue where he was going, he kept pace with his deranged relative. He was doing so well in fact that Raditz was almost considering making him their designated scout for a few of their later missions on weaker planets. Every unorthodox decision he made, the kid was right on his heels predicting the exact same motion and smoothly shadowing the rogue.

What Raditz didn't know was that Gohan hadn't merely been guessing where he was going, and his correct intuition wasn't the result of a series of coincidence. Although his mother was obstinate in her self-delegated assignment of preventing her firstborn from fighting, his father was equally steadfast that his son ought to be prepared if he finds himself in a dangerous situation. A situation not unlike the one he was in.

The difference was that Chi Chi was overt in her desire, while Goku was covert in his. The casebook example of Goku's covert behavior was how he took advantage of Chi Chi's implicit belief that Gohan truly wanted to be a scholar. In his mind, one honest glance in his son's eyes foretold a much different picture: his son didn't know what he wanted. With this tidbit of information in hand, he was able to get Gohan to agree to a little rudimentary training.

The covert aspect of Goku's actions was how he got Gohan away from his mother. In the morning before he started to train, he would convince Chi Chi to have Gohan's study session be one massive block of time throughout the morning to the late-afternoon. Once Gohan was settled in his room, he'd jump out the window and train with his father for two hours in the morning and two hours in the late-afternoon while Chi Chi was cleaning or cooking.

Looking back on those moments, Gohan wished he could have had a few more training sessions. Heaven knows what that little extra training could do for him. Still, what he did learn was keeping him alive: ki-sensing.

The technique of raising and tracking ki was the first thing he was taught by his father, who believed that the skill was an absolute necessity for survival. He didn't say why, just that it vaguely had something having to do with protecting his love ones. He learned other skills, but only his ki-sensing had come to any use with how bleak things were looking.

Only now did he appreciate his dad's insistence on him learning it. At the time, he was more interested in the more "cool" aspects of being a Z-fighter, such as flying, fighting, or blasting bad guys out of their hiding places. Most people—especially kids—hate having to learn the basics before getting to the fun part, now it was those same fundamentals that were keeping him alive.

That didn't make this game any less trivial, though. No matter what Raditz did to out maneuver Gohan, all the halfbreed had to do was sense his change in direction and adjust on his own accord. This easy game of cat and mouse quickly bored the hyperactive half-breed and his mind started to wander to his surroundings.

The city of Varlaam through Gohan's eyes was…big. Bigger and denser than anything his country eyes were used to. `There ar' so many people,' thought the half-breed, amazed at the perpetual motion of denizens of the city and the uniform flame red paint of each house.

However, what truly caught the eye of the inquisitive child were the scenes of family gatherings. These aliens, although they resembled anthromorphic leopards seemed to hold a strong concept of a nuclear family: a mother, father, two fairly young offspring, and some form of pet. To add to the strong dynamic, all the family members seemed to hold each other with a steady stream of affectionate gestures—everybody seemed to be blissfully happy.

These rather public display of affection dampened Gohan's spirit; the all-to-apparent scenes reminding him of what he had lost and how much he longed for its return. `Where are you dad? Where are you?' beseeched the boy, trying his best not to sob quietly from the encroaching loneliness pervading his mind.

Finally—after almost two hours of pointless wandering—Raditz got to his assigned rendezvous in the center of the city, which he and Gohan instantly deduced to be a trashy hovel.

This dark hovel had was adorned with dull red paint, clearly cracked and peeling off the smooth limestone base. The chairs that were organized neatly around the café were obviously in piss-poor shape and the smell of booze, urine, and…something else wavered throughout the air like a miasma. A hovel indeed. In two of these dilapidated lawn chair they both scouted the faces of Raditz's colleagues lounging around in the sun.

There were two of them and neither seemed to be bothered into giving their names for the time being. However, it didn't take a genius—which Gohan was for his age—to feel the condensing smirk on both of their lips, or the malice that spread from their closed eyes. Truthfully, the half-breed could barely decide where to begin describing the predatory faces of those two demons-in-disguise.

So, he chose the easier of the two: the hulking behemoth of a man facing the street. He may not have known his name, but everything else was pretty obvious: one, he was strong, judging by his girth and muscle tone. Second, if there was a personification for the word `stupid' then his face would be the example in the dictionary. Other than that, everything was useless gibberish pertaining to this warrior.

His partner was a much less clear-cut caricature. He didn't have a 'hulkish' frame like the behemoth next to him, nor the lanky build that Raditz was blessed with. Only, what he lacked in height and size was replaced in his facial expressions. Raditz and his friend were likes comic books; big, burly, dumb, and easy to read. Not their associate, he was more like one of his text books; menacing, stoic and deceptively disarming.

The "text book" slowly opened his eyes, almost sulking in the sunlight for a moment before getting down to business. "So Raditz, I assume that the brat was able to follow you here." Of course even his voice reeked of an enigmatic, but more importantly commanding undertone.

"Yes, the kid was able to keep up with me remarkably well considering he had no formal training," replied Raditz, somewhat proud of his nephews resilience.

"No formal training, Raditz? Then do tell why we are even considering him for this job; why not just kill him now to spare myself the misery?" chided Vegeta, not even attempting to mince his lack of regard for the child's life.

"The kid's got potential, Vegeta. When angry enough, the kid could probably kill me. If we could teach him how to use it, you may get a valuable ally."

"We teach the brat, Raditz. I think you're implying I teach the brat. After all, you're incompetent in all facets of battle and Nappa is…Nappa. Besides, you haven't even answered the main question: why should I waste my time on the son of a low-life clo—"

A fierce growl emanated from the tyke's throat, completely beyond his voluntary control. Gohan could handle being taunted himself, but nobody taunted his father to his face. Nobody. Not even this menacing meanie!

Meanwhile, our favorite prince raised his brow at the "response" of the child, lips curled with jeering smirk. "It seems that our visitor wants a say in our…arrangement. So, tell us boy, what will you do about it?"

The boy didn't respond to the verbal jab, opting instead to growl again before calming down enough to talk. "Don't talk about my daddie that way! He's going to rescue me and teach you a lesson, you mean—"

In a moment a brisk and violent movement of the Vegeta's palm smashed into Gohan's left cheek, leaving a red imprint for everybody to see. Without missing a beat, the prince picked up the "pauper" and held him up to eye level.

"Now, that's no way to treat your prince brat. I know you can't fathom this with your feeble mind, but you daddy won't be coming back and he will never find you. Even if he did, I'd just step in and slaughter him right before your eye. Understand that your my property now, you're my charge and I have unlimited jurisdiction over any and all of your actions. For now, you'll live, but never come at me with such contempt again. Do I make myself clear?" After getting the terrified tyke's reluctant approval, the prince dropped the half-breed back onto the ground.

Like the last time, Gohan caught himself instead of falling straight on his butt, but in the same position as last time: kneeling.

Of course, Vegeta would comment on this. "See brat, you're learning," snidely commented Vegeta, amused at the kid kneeling at his feet.

His smirk turned into a full blown grin when he sees the kid blush in perturbation, realizing dawning on him that he was kneeling beneath the feet of the prince. Quickly getting up on his feet to get out of kneeling position, he just blankly stared at the hot-head prince.

The arrogant prince swiftly changed his mood and returned to detached stoic self. Getting back to business, he squatted down and grasped at Gohan's neck and jerked it up, evaluating the brat's appearance and battle-readiness.

"Uh…hardened hide…functional tail…no major injury or apparent illness…below average muscle tone…above average amount of involuntary twitching," monotonously chanted Vegeta, to nobody in particular. Evaluation completed, the prince picked himself up and turned towards Raditz. "We have a lot of work to do to get this kid battle ready. Clearly, he hasn't been trained in anything remotely useful. In your opinion Raditz, why should I keep him alive?"

Gulp. That was the sound of Raditz swallowing copious amounts of saliva, panicking to find a way to keep his useless nephew alive. `Damn it. How do I justify my choice to Vegeta of all people? If he doesn't like my reasons I could end up like my brat: killed and thrown away in a thrash heap.'

"You see Vegeta…that brat has poten—"

"Were you going to say potential, Raditz? How about you say something that makes you not look like a retarded parrot," sneered Vegeta, predicting Raditz's comment long before it was uttered.

"Yes Vegeta, I understand," reciprocated Raditz, "but you should measure the brat's power level. It's twice that of his good-for-nothing father and at least the brat has a tail if we get in a bind. I know I've said it once, but here me out: if we train him, I honestly believe that we'll get a powerful warrior and ally for the future."

Gohan desperately tried to stop from scoffing at the remark. `Me become their ally; as if.' Thankfully for the disobedient boy, his captors couldn't hear his inner monologue or his life could've ended there and then.

Speaking of his captors, they were still deliberating his fate, or more-like Raditz's pleading and Vegeta scoffing at his sentiment.

"Come on, Veg— "

"That's Prince Vegeta, remember your place third class! A super elite doesn't need to have there decisions constantly poked and prodded at!" snapped the prince, having lost his amusement with Raditz's continued nosy behavior at his business.

"Sorry Vegeta but if you'd check your scouter, you'd see a power-level that may be of use to us."

"Raditz, if I check his miniscule power level will you finally shut up? Your voice is getting more aggravating by the minute," scowled the haughty, losing any sense of his patience by the repeating banter of the conversation.

"Yes, I will Vegeta," relented Raditz, who was feeling a bit more comfortable around Vegeta after he brokered the agreement.

Vegeta pressed the white button on the end of his scouter and aimed the reading at Gohan. "Umph, 1000; not really a big deal," he replied, a little intrigued by the fairly high reading.

However, Raditz was stupefied at the reading. `One-thousand! He was only at seven-hundred-and-ten only a day or two ago. How did he get that powerful in such a short time!' Now, he felt that killing him wouldn't be such a bad idea. After all, he was the person who kidnapped the poor kid in the first place; it was logical that if the kid flipped he'd be the first one he'd execute.

On the other end, Vegeta was now a fair bit interested in the reading. Sure, it was mediocre, but Raditz was visibly sweating and was clearly nervous at being in the same place. To the saiyan prince that meant the older saiyan was a little bit afraid of the younger half-breed. A perfect recipe for disciplinary action!

"Well Raditz. What have you done? You've disobeyed a direct order to bring your brother, you didn't purge Planet Earth, and have validated your existence as an abject failure for the umpteenth time since I met you. Now, begone while I induct our new charge." Vegeta then turned his back on Raditz and walked towards the boy.

"But, why Vegeta? You were just advocating killing him a minute ago," cried out Raditz, confused and perturbed at Vegeta's change of heart.

Raditz's iniquiry was brutally suppressed by one glare of Vegeta that was filled to the brim with pure malice, causing Raditz to stumble back in shock. "Don't think for a minute my decision to spare the kid is out of any compassion. No, it's about you. You didn't believe I saw that look of terror on your face, or how your attitude changed completely upon the power reading. No, I want you to live in constant fear of this new threat; I want you to understand this is what happens to pathetic individuals like you. Now, begone whelp!"

Whipping his head back into position, Vegeta non-chalantly paced toward the mute boy; his boots leaving deeper and deeper imprints into the porous dirt. The prince's gaze centered on Gohan's center who subconscious reciprocated the gesture by staring right at him absentmindedly, making the saiyan prince scowl in displeasure. That is, until the malicious enigma of a man just started to smirk.

"No fear; I like that," commented the saiyan leader before finishing his invitation. "Are you ready to pledge your loyalty to me: the Prince of All Saiyans? Perhaps, you may be of use to us unlike your uncle or that pathetic father of yours. No matter, you'll be living under my boot anyway," recited Vegeta, who had apparently rehearsed that little speech from memory; after all, he'd be ruler of the universe someday.

The `are you ready to pledge your loyalty' shtick broke Gohan out of inner reverie, now realizing what Vegeta was offering him: another (albeit bad) chance at life. It was an opportunity that left a clear fork in the road for the child: refuse and die, or live and become like these soul-killing monsters. If you would have asked him earlier the answer would've been refuse and die. Of course, that's easy to say when you're pre-pondering life in a study session in comparison to a life or death situation.

Nevertheless, that inner conflict was all about what he'd do with his "fellow" saiyans. The conflict about whether he wanted to live or not was simple in the mind of the little boy: he wanted to live. After Vegeta extended his invitation, Gohan settled for nodding his head up-and-down indicating his affirmation of the invitation—he knew his voice would undoubtedly fail him now.

Vegeta, picking up on the neurotic acceptance of his "hand" just smirked condescending at his new charge. "So, brat, here's your new comrades: the failure-at-everything uncle of yours, Raditz," pointing towards the aforesaid lanky saiyan. "The stupid behemoth to my left is Nappa. If I don't give you orders but Nappa does, then they are still orders. The only reason to not follow Nappa's orders is if I order you to do something, which takes inherent priority. As for your uncle, nobody follow his orders and neither should you. Any questions?"

Gohan—his voice still failing him—settled for nodding his head up-and-down again for Vegeta's apparent amusement and staying silent.

"Good brat, you've already learned the second rule of our trade: don't ask me any questions. Now, how'd you like to do some chores for us?"

"Do I have too?" Gohan couldn't believe he just said that, and in front of Vegeta's face no less. Hearing the word chore, it just made him illicit the response he was all to use to at home. Unfortunately, he wasn't at home and most certainly not with jovial company. `I hope they don't kill me.'

Meanwhile, Vegeta grimaced at the answer to his question. He kinda expected the response he got with the intonation that the brat used, but that didn't mean it was acceptable. Nevertheless, he'd let it pass this time, but not before a few more snide comments.

"Of course brat, you'll have chorus; here's the list: cleaning my boots, polishing my armor, cleaning the banquet tables, and many more "fun" things for somebody your age. That said, you need to learn the third rule of your new life: What I say, you do; no exceptions."

Gohan let out a sigh of relief; he wouldn't be brutally murdered today at least. Turning to stare right into Vegeta's eyes, he tried to bring his most servile manner to appease the cocky bully. "I-is tha` anything I cou' do for yah-you?"

A chorus of guffaws erupted from Nappa's maw. The big oaf apparently found Gohan's stuttering to be quite amusing. "Hahahahaha, Vegeta. The kid's already frightened of you. Don't worry, kid we'll take real good of yah."

"Silence, Nappa. The only person who'll mock the kid is me. By the way, I ought to teach you some manner you brainless buffoon. I was clearly in the middle of business matters!" reprimanded Vegeta, not pleased at Nappa's little outburst. He may have been more useful than Raditz (and who isn't), but that doesn't mean that he wasn't expendable.

Sweat crept through every pore of Nappa's skin, staining his battle armor and glistened on his forehead. Pissing off Vegeta at any time wasn't a very good life insurance plan, and now he'd have to face whatever his manically violent sovereign had in store for him. `I just hope it's nothing too painful.'

Vegeta smirked at Nappa's rapid change in demeanor; he specialized in breaking up mirthful and mocking comments, while making the originator of the quote genuinely paranoid. It was one of his favorite perverse amusements.

Getting back to business, the arrogant prince turned his attention back to the nephew of the epic-failure. Apparently, the kid had the attention span of a gnat. Judging by the flabbergasted expression adorning the kid's face, he'd already forgotten the true topic at hand.

Coughing to alert the attention of the half-breed, Vegeta returned to the original topic at hand. "So, you want to know what you can do. Simple: survive." Before anybody could react, the prince was out of sight and almost out of mind.

to everybody, the prince had rematerialized in the center of the square that was adjacent to that mud-shack of a café they were lounging in. `Hundreds of people, infinite number of possible angles and countless secondary items. What to blow up? Who to kill? Fuck this trepidation! Just fire away.'

And fire he did. Out of the blue, the prince unleashed a volley of relatively weak ki blasts at every object that entered his line of sight. Granite, stone, concrete, plaster, or anything else: it didn't matter. Everything was shredded like wet paper and the debris mixed together into a consecutive string of smoke screens around the predator incinerating the square.

As the smoke began to clear, Vegeta's comrades began to approach the veiled square; all of them concerned for their own safety except for Gohan. He just peered through the smoke in a trance at the dark visage of his prince's shadow, which elongated at him subconsciously screaming `come hither.'

Back on Earth, the great second duel between Piccolo and Goku for the fate of the planet had been…underwhelming to say the least. Piccolo was simply outclassed this time around. For ever technique revealed another counter was devised by Goku; every power-up he made was countered by an even larger one. The namekian needed to find a way through his rival's defenses or all hope was lost.

Needless to say, Piccolo wasn't finding any exploitable weakness and it was showing by the disheveled chagrin contoured on his face. Now, even his rival was fanning the flames of his frustration by pressing his buttons.

"Come on Piccolo, what gives? I know you're stronger than this," chided Goku, with his face in his trademark clueless gesture plus the additional bonus of having his arm around the back of his head.

Without even thinking, the overly irate Piccolo shot his arm across the field towards Goku and cold-cocked him right in the face, uprooting him and shooting him across the starry plain. Not waiting for his advantage to disappear, the demon reckless charged after his temporarily disabled prey preparing to cave his face in with another brutal punch.

Unflinchingly, Goku tenses in anticipation for the unleashing of his rival's haymaker. Upon the release, the saiyan parries the punch with enough force to jar his foes arm up over his head and out of position. Using the recoil from the devastating punch, Goku tilted his body downwards and pushed his legs forward into Piccolo's shin, causing the green devil to topple over in mid-air.

With Piccolo's equilibrium breached indefinitely, his rival wrapped his arms around his body and began to twist and spin his body in an elliptical orbit around the falling warrior. At the zenith of the orbit, Goku tucked into somersault and slammed his foot into the small of Piccolo's back like a chisel burrows into stone.

The scintillating blow rocketed Piccolo hundreds of feet down directly into the porous turf of the field; the impact dislodging a cloud of dust and pesticides that enveloped the namekian's entire frame.

The explosive landing put a temporary halt to the ever-progressing rout of a battle; both combatants believed it was prudent to wait out the smoke than risk a blind attack. As the smoke cleared, each fighter scanned the other—of which, only one was badly reeling after the last attack—to look for any apparent weaknesses.

After finding none yet again, Piccolo recklessly vaulted into the sky trying to lop his nemesis's head off with one earth-shattering punch.

Expecting such a reaction from the demon, the saiyan side-shuffled to the left of the careening fist, while pivoting to face the back of the demon that just realized his punch just missed. Without warning, Goku started to charge a ki blast while waiting for the namekian to turn around. Upon the inevitable, our hero fired his charged blast at the sash of Piccolo's right hip. The explosion was so violent that it catapulted the demon king into the air, helpless to defend against Son.

The battle was over. Goku rematerialized and dropkicked Piccolo directly in the stomach, sending him flying into the ground unleashing yet another dust storm. Like last time, Goku chose not to charge back into the fray because of the prudence of avoiding blind attacks. This time though, he was confident that Piccolo wasn't getting up.

On the ground, the demon king was writhing in agony. The blast had eviscerated his left hip and seared all of his skin on the left side of his body from his navel to his mid-thigh, leaving nasty abrasions dotting him like craters on the Moon. His strength failing him, he dropped into the trademark kneeling position: both of his knees on the ground, one arm cradling his injured left flank and his head completely facing the ground.

Goku sighed at pitiful state of his rival. Beaten, broken and barely a scrap of dignity left after the pounding he had received. `Why, Piccolo? Why did you have to force me into fighting you? All I wanted was to get my son back. Was that really so much to ask?'

Unbeknownst to our hero, he failed to recognize that Piccolo's middle and index fingers were pressed deep into the center of his forehead with this head shielding the motion.

Our protector turned his back on his arch rival, silently walking away from the battle towards the spare space-pod. `I better get into space right now. Who knows where Gohan is and I don't have time to waste.'

"Get back here, Goku," roared the demon. Piccolo had enough of the disrespect. Beaten into submission he could handle; ignored like he was harmless fly he could not. "I'm not done with you yet, Son."

The primal roar brought back Goku's attention, eyes widening at the fury that was buried underneath Piccolo's normally cool exterior. He had remembered only one time that Piccolo was this infuriated—he almost got his stomach blown to smithereens. Nevertheless, a desperate Piccolo was something he'd need to watch out for.

"Why do you insist on fighting me, Piccolo? Look at yourself! You've been beaten before and it happened again. I don't want to hurt you, Piccolo, why can't you see that? Why can't we let ourselves the rest of your life in peace? Damn it, Piccolo; I don't want to kill you!"

Piccolo grasped the ground and lifted himself back up into a standing position, albeit with his back hunched over and head drooping down. "Peace, Goku. What part of demon king do you not understand? Peace? Love? Friendship? They're just mirages for weaker being to compensate for their incompetence. And Goku, you're the most incompetent. No being of your strength should be groveling at the feet of these pathetic organisms. Now, let me show you true power!"

The demon lifted his head back up into an erect position, letting go of the bidden energy inside of him. He paused to enjoy the feeling of pure power that letting go of the tumultuous pulse of energy meant to him. His attack was almost ready.

`What's going on?' questioned Goku, knowing that any conjured answer would be purely hypothetical. `It's like he's on fire and did I just feel his power level skyrocket?' Whatever he didn't know, he did know this: whatever happens, if his plan succeeded than there'd be no more Son Goku in this world.

The bright maelstrom of yellow energy tapered into a single spark on Piccolo's forefinger, who had been smirking with a look of untraceable irony. "This is the end for you Goku; your time as a hero is over! Makankōsappō!"

Goku braced to evade the spiraling beam, but then saw it wasn't even heading towards him. `What's his game? Wasn't he going to fire the beam at me?' If the dire reality of the situation wasn't so bleak, his trademark clueless gesture would've been plastered on his face. Then he realized where the blast was really going. `Oh no, not the ship!'

Without even thinking about the consequences, Goku blasted off towards the ship, hoping above all that he wasn't too late. `Come on body! Move faster!'

Ten meters to the space pod: the blast was moving closer and closer to detonation. Piccolo's smirk widen, and Goku's curled into a frown.

Five meters to the space pod: time wasn't almost at a complete standstill. Even the gods wanted to know the conclusion of this grand scene!

One meter to the space pod: Goku got there in time, yah! So did the makankōsappō, uh! Reacting without any thought, Goku braced a ki shield around his palm and prepared to catch the projectile.

Detonation: The beam pierced through the first of Goku's defenses: his palm. Fortunately, the beam was slightly off kilter in its release and the first ki shield afforded Goku just enough time to divert the beam into space away from the space-pod. That said, the heat of the blast melted the skin of his hand and nicked both the radial and ulnar recurrent arteries in his wrist. In other words, the attack may have been fatal after all.

Meanwhile, the green devil dropped to the ground. Maintaining that beam in his pitiful condition did more than a small strain on every cell inhabit his body, and he had reached his absolute limit. Nothing left to give; the titan collapsed in a heap and settled for mutely watching his rival bleed to death on the turf of battle.

Of course, fate had different plans and was prone to being unnecessarily dramatic almost all the time. Just when the light had faded from Goku's vision, when the harbinger of doom—who happened to be a very fat opera singer—was about to bring him to the light, fate flew into action.

At the very last second, a silhouette of shadows rained down on the battlefield. As each walked into the sun, their names became clear: Krillen, Master Roshi, Bulma, and Yamcha. Every single one of them—except Bulma—was ready to fight and end Piccolo's life on the button.

That is until they saw the face of their mutual best friend—it was almost too much seeing his severed wrist and the pool of blood conglomerating around him. His face was a pale white with a tinge of blue on his cheeks and his eyes expressed a despondent mien. It was like he knew he failed in some quest that he'd regret for the rest of his life and his entire afterlife.

Krillen had seen enough. First, Goku's son had been kidnapped and now Goku was on the edge of death himself. Deep down in his subconscious, Krillen snapped; nobody would face the threat of the demon king any longer.

However, that wasn't his main priority. Goku needed to be healed and healed now! He intrinsically ran his hand through his orange gi, praying that he hadn't ran out of the sensu beans.

Deep in the folds of his sash, he hit jackpot. One tiny miniscule bean, but a bean that meant everything would change. Pulling it out of his gi, the bald monk sternly told one simple directive to Bulma. "Bulma, catch this!" He then threw the miraculous bean straight at her.

Bulma, surprised by the sudden request wasn't ready to respond when she felt something hit her palm, causing her to clench down hard on the aforementioned hand.

"Bulma, give the bean to Goku! It may be the only chance we have left!" screamed Krillen, desperation clawing through his gut. They may have had their squabbles in the past, but they were brothers in all but blood. He didn't know what anybody would do without the glue that kept their group together. `You can't die now Goku, this whole world still needs you to protect it! We still need you to protect us!'

Meanwhile, Bulma had scurried towards the fallen saiyan; reaching out to touch his face which was already growing alarmingly cold. She quickly retrieved the sensu bean from her hand and placed it in Goku's mouth; hoping to Kami above that it would work. To the blue-haired scientist's surprise, the saiyan fought from the maw of death to swallow the bean.

The collective miracle occurred. Upon digestion, the magical elixir raced to Goku's bleeding wrist and sealed the wound, while mending the severed arteries in Goku's arm. He'd live; somehow he had defied death's firm grip for the umpteenth time to the joy of almost all.

"Haa-heh gua-guy's," mumbled Goku, who was clearly delirious from blood lost and was barely conscious in the first place.

Krillen breathed a cathartic sigh of relief. The fact that his best friend would live and that Piccolo was kept in check just a little longer worked wonders on the monk's mind. `Speak of the devil, where did he go?'

Unbeknownst to everyone else, Piccolo was seething with rage. Rage at the wild-haired son-of-a-bitch, rage at his midget of a best friend, but ultimately rage at himself. For once in history, the demon king had been abjectly defeated without even a hope for retribution. For now, all the green demon could do was sulk silently at this ironic change of circumstances.

Still, the namekian knew that there was nothing he could do about much of anything. He didn't even have a scrap of energy left, not even enough to move an inert muscle, let alone be able to get past any of Son's friends. Resolving himself to his fate, Piccolo just closed his eyes and waited to be found by one of fleet-footed Z-fighters.

He didn't have to wait long. Krillen turned around to find the mound of green flesh that composed Piccolo's being. The sight of the green devil brought a sick feeling in the pit of the monk's stomach; a feeling that he wanted to be rid of for good.

In a snarl of rage, the bald fighter extended his left arm as far above his head as he could, his palm perpendicular to his wrist like a waiter holds a tray. With a flash of light, a disk of light appears above the palm of the man's hand, sounding similar to the roar of a chainsaw about to bisect a piece of wood. "Goodbye, Piccolo."

Right before Krillen launched the disk at his unarmed adversary, a moan from clear-cross the battlefield startles the poor fighter, causing the disk to veer off direction and cut of the namek's hand instead of his head.

"Do-Don't do…it Krillen. Yo…u're bettah than that," groaned out Goku, trying to reason with the monk.

Krillen turns around to face the pleading look of his best friend and was stumped and frustrated on what to say. "Why shouldn't we kill him, Goku? Look at what he's done to you, or what he'll do to us without you! You've already given him a chance for redemption and look where's that gotten you; almost on death's door."

"I know Krillen. But, what has he done to the world since the Budokai? Nothing. The reason why is that he wasn't the strongest and he knew it, and now he knows he'll never be the either. Just let him live Krillen, for me."

Krillen stared pensively at Goku's countenance, looking for anything that betrayed that his thought contradicted his speech. Oh, how he wanted to find an excuse to end the green man's life. But he couldn't disobey Goku. Mouth curling into a frown upon finding nothing, Krillen responded. "Whatever you say, Goku. I just hope we don't regret this, I still don't trust him."

"Tha-Thank you, Krillen. I really appreciate it!" After hacking up a bit of blood, the stubborn saiyan slowly picked himself off the grassy plain, before trying to hobble around without the nauseating feeling of vertigo barrage his vision. Unbeknownst to his friends, his clumsy stroll had a final destination: the space pod lying haphazardly in the distance.

Unfortunately, Goku's clandestine purpose was quickly rooted out by Bulma, who had kept one of her eyes on Goku at all times. Needless to say, Goku's attempt to flee brought out her ire. "Just where do you think you're going, mister! Are you truly going to leave us all alone with that monster!" shrieked the blue-haired banshee, gesturing at the sunken form of Piccolo in the distance who had slipped into a comatose state.

Goku chuckled, albeit hoarsely at Bulma's characteristic accusations. She was right; he had tried to escape, but it wasn't how she envisioned it. He knew he'd have to confront them, so why not bait them out. "Bulma, my brother has kidnapped my son. Gohan, my baby boy is in the custody of those heartless monsters and I don't even have the slightest clue where he is."

Most of Bulma's haughtiness disappeared upon the realization of the direness of Goku's plight. That didn't mean she completed agreed with him, though. "You think you're going to be able to help him like that. Frankly Goku, I could probably beat you in a fight let alone Raditz. If you're going to do this, than it might be in your best interest to get healed."

Goku almost forget to respond to Bulma's rebuttal, as he was so close to the space ship. Close enough to have opened the hatch and climbed in. When his sanity (and eardrums) reminded him of her presence he alleviates her concerns the best he could. "I don't think I got time for that, Bulma. Gohan may be dead if I wait too long. This is a risk I must take, so I apologize if we don't meet for until sometime later. Sayonara." As a farewell, he weakly waved his hand as the ship closed its portal sealing Goku from the outside world.

The remaining of ensemble of Z-fighters were treated to the sight of Goku blasting off into deep space, progressing many light years away from the Earth and all he's ever known. They all knew he'd get into another phase of trials and adventure; a harkening for a new Son Goku. Just who will the new Son Goku be, and who would be around to enjoy it?

Now, since you've got to the end of my first chapter, I think I'll answer a few questions on some of the basic parameters of my story.

First, the story has a highlighted focus on three characters: Goku, Gohan, and an OC that you'll meet later on. Vegeta, Frieza, Cooler, and many others share a smaller (but no less important) role.

The story is mainly action adventure with a large dash of drama at times. There won't be any form of romance; it's just frankly something I'm not interested in writing about nor would I be able to simulate it realistically.

Updates are in the range of 10-14 days. I, for some reason, can never average anything above 1,000 words per night during the school year. So the best you're going to get is a ten day update. However, it's also extremely rare for an update to take more than fourteen days.

My goal with this story is to write about five-hundred thousand words. Yes, that's a lot and will probably take me years, but I want to do it!

Finally, I was inspired to write this story by the fanfiction Cold World by jjgp1112. His story is the best of the `Gohan gets kidnapped by Raditz and gets inducted into their merry band' cliche by a country mile. If you haven't tried reading it, I strongly encourage you to do so.