A new chapter is finally ready here. I'm kind of disheartened because I had to write part of it twice, and I don't think I had as good of a mood the second time through as I did the first time. I posted a little story on what happened that caused me to have to write some of it twice on my tumblr account. If you're interested you can see it by going to revstuff dot com, or following the link from my profile page.
This chapter has a lot of fun in it, so I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 4: Blind to the Present
Light filtered through the clouds from the northeastern horizon in the early morning hours in North City. The beams of sunlight, which pierced the layer of clouds, were clearly visible as they were trailed through ice crystals still floating about the crisp mountain air. But like any other normal morning, the people of North City rose from their beds, donned their work clothes, and began their typical daily routine.
Children watched as their parents begrudgingly tromped out of their homes, a whisper of "Happy Winter's Day," spoken faintly under their breath.
Once again Bit was left astonished at the dining room table as Gohan wolfed down an overly hearty breakfast, "Where does it all go?"
Within seconds a large stack of pancakes disappeared, "You should see my dad, he still needs more food than I do." Gohan pulled over a tray of omelets and dug in.
Being near Gohan had inspired Bit to demolish nearly four plates of egg scramble, though now he was regretting it, "I'm not going to be able to move for the rest of the day!"
Melonie walked through the dining room and shook her head at Bit, "This is why it's important to do things at your own pace Master Phillip."
Bit nodded his head from where he remained collapsed on the table.
"I have some morning errands to run, some paperwork to drop off for Mister Durel and all that; will you two be alright on your own for a little while?" Sometimes Melonie had a distinct motherly attitude towards Bit despite those duties technically not being part of her job description.
"Of course, we'll be fine," Bit ensured his favorite caretaker.
Melonie wrapped a scarf around her neck, "Very well, I'll be back in a few hours." Her footsteps were audible far down the hall as she left the house.
Gohan was still having himself a hearty serving of food when the bell on the service door in the back rang. "I'll be right back," Bit announced. He chuckled, as it didn't seem as though Gohan even noticed.
The locks to the backdoor were undone and Bit opened the door, "Hel…lo?"
A singsong voice greeted him, "Happy Winter's Day, Bit!"
"Carol! Happy Winter's Day!" Bit gulped, surprised the girl would be at his door. "What are you doing here this morning?"
The girl held up a basket and handed Bit a cool milk bottle, "My cousin who normally helps with the milk run is sick today, so I offered to take care of a few blocks."
"That's really nice of you!" Bit tried to sound energetic, but the immediate drop in conversation made the moment of silence afterward slightly awkward, "So… umm… How many more deliveries do you still have to make?"
"Actually this was my last one," Carol smiled sweetly.
"Oh… well then… can you come in for a little while?" Bit invited stepping aside.
"Of course, thank you," Carol stepped over the threshold without a problem and waited as Bit locked the door back up.
"Let me get you something to drink, would you like some juice?" Bit offered.
Carol followed him to the empty hall by the sound of his voice, "That would be great thanks."
"Alright, then I'll grab some real quick and be right back," Bit hurried over to the kitchen as Carol waited patiently in the hallway.
A minute passed as steps were approached the hallway from another room, turned the corner in front of Carol, and stopped, "Oh… hello." Not expecting to see the girl, Gohan gulped nervously.
Carol turned to Gohan's general direction, "Hello… Oh, so you're Bit's new friend!"
Gohan looked surprised, "Umm, yeah."
Bit returned with a few glasses of juice, "I didn't think you were going to be done with breakfast for a while yet," Bit chuckled.
"Nope, it's all gone," Gohan grinned sheepishly.
"Right," Bit rolled his eyes, "So Carol, this is my friend Gohan. Gohan, this is my friend Carol Jewel."
"Pleased to meet you," Carol gave another warm smile of hers as she and Gohan shook hands.
"Likewise," Gohan greeted cheerfully before they returned to the seats in the dining room.
"So how is it today Carol?" Bit asked as he plopped into a chair.
Carol's smile saddened slightly as she shrugged, "The mood around town that I saw while making the deliveries was glum but what can you do?"
Bit folded his hands in his lap and didn't look up, "Yeah…"
A look of sympathy crossed Gohan's face until something clicked in his head and he turned to Carol, "You're deliveries?"
Carol nodded, "Ah-huh, my cousin who does the milk run through here was sick today, so I did it for him."
Gohan looked to the side not sure what to say and not wanting to be rude, "Is that… umm… safe?"
Carol laughed, "Of course it is! I appreciate your concern, but I know this neighborhood very well. I know every house, step, and bump in the area so it's really not a problem for me at all."
"Cool!" Gohan grinned sincerely.
"So what have you two been doing?" Carol asked generally.
"Oh!" Bit started up, "Gohan spent the night here last night, and it must have been around midnight that we saw a ghost in the house!"
"A ghost?" Carol laughed thinking Bit silly.
"Oh yeah!" Gohan jumped up from his seat, "I wanted to see where the… ghost went."
"The ghost went down into my basement, you should come with us to check it out Carol," Bit urged eagerly.
"Alright, sounds like fun," Carol stood from the seat and grabbed onto Bit's offered arm to follow the boys through the large house.
They reached the staircase the led down to the floor below, "What's down there?" Gohan asked first.
Bit shrugged, "Not much, some storage I think… I don't normally go down there."
Gohan nodded and descended the stairs.
Remembering the night before, Bit gulped nervously, "Alright, here we go…"
"It'll be fine," Carol teased as she followed Bit down, "I'll scare away the ghosts if need be."
Bit grunted but laughed as he and Carol took the stairs down.
The lights weren't on, and being that there were no windows made the basement exceptionally dark. Bit began feeling the wall for a light switch that he thought was nearby. He hadn't found anything when Gohan popped up in front of him, "There isn't a lot down here huh?"
Bit jumped back, breathing hard after getting a good start, "No… not really…"
Gohan chuckled to himself, "Sorry."
Bit shook the aggravation out of his system as he found the switch, "And, light." With the lights on the group could see two rooms leading off to the sides of the one they were currently in. The first was filled with old boxes and furniture. A lot of it had a very antique look to it. The second was the wine cellar filled with racks and bottles dating back many decades.
The three of them tore through boxes in the storage room for a little while, blowing dust off of old items. Gohan even found an old vinyl record player that started playing a song when he pressed the button.
"I like this song," Carol smiled as she listened to the classic.
"Stuff around here is old, but I don't see anything that would be especially interesting to an extra dim…" Gohan caught himself and quickly adjusted, "I mean a ghost."
"Would something have to be interesting to a ghost for it to come down here?" Bit questioned, "I mean why be in the house at all? It's not like the place is cursed or has ever been haunted before."
As the boys talked, Carol swayed her way across the hall still engrossed by the music.
"Maybe it specifically wanted to give us a message," Gohan thought out loud.
Recalling the experience, Bit commented, "All it did was scream at us and sort of catch fire."
"It's possible…" Gohan started, "that was the only way it could communicate…"
"Bit, Gohan!" Carol called from across the hall.
The two ran across immediately to check on her, "What's wrong?" Bit yelled as he ran into the wine cellar.
Carol was holding her hand up against one of the wine racks in the room, "Come feel this."
A confused look came across both Bit and Gohan as they stared at the wine rack. Bit took a closer look before he put his hand against the shelf, "What is it? I don't see or feel anything unusual about it."
Carol frowned but reached for Bit's hand and held it closer to the edge of the rack, "Can you feel it now?"
Gohan came closer and put his hand against the end of the rack as well. His eyes lit up as he realized what Carol must have been pointing out, "There's air moving through here!"
Carol nodded, "Right, there must be something behind the rack, possibly another room, for this much air to be passing through the space."
Looking over the various racks in the cellar, Bit put his finger to his lips in thought, "So, you think there might be something like a hidden passage, or…?"
Before he could finish, Gohan was sliding the rack out of the way, wine bottles and all still fully loaded on the shelves. There was a loud metal snap and ping noise that caused Gohan to involuntarily cringe, "Oops…"
Behind the large rack was a mechanism that at one time had been able to slide the rack forward and back like a door, "Well it was a secret passage…"
Everyone nodded and entered the back room.
Inside the room were racks of clothes, jewelry, boxes, pictures, radios, a piano, as well as victorian decorations such as vases and candle stands.
Silence spread throughout the group as Bit slowly stepped into the room. He ran his hand through one of the dresses hanging on a rod, "It's… my mom's… All of it… this stuff, it's my mom's."
Carol approached Bit and hugged him tenderly without saying a word. Gohan didn't know what to say either; his gaze remained affixed to the floor.
"I'm alright guys," Bit assured them after a sniff and sigh.
Carol let Bit go as she took a step back from him and continued to smile supportively.
"Someone's been in here recently," Gohan finally broke the silence.
Bit's enthusiasm returned, "Like the ghost?"
Gohan shook his head, "No, someone very real," Gohan pointed to a table where a glass of tea had been left. A few small pieces of ice were still float on top, not quite melted yet.
"My dad's…" Bit frowned wondering how often his father immersed himself in a room like this.
"There's another door," Gohan led his friends through a clothes rack, which was left far enough away from the wall for the door to open.
Gohan opens the door slowly to look inside, but then pulls it open the rest of the way revealing a long corridor like pathway.
"Let's see where it goes," Bit marched on in a determined manner.
The hall was only dimly lit, and seemed to extend a long ways. Bit was positive they were beyond the property lines of his house by then. Up ahead though there was light filtering in through what appeared to be windows.
"Are we above ground again?" Gohan wondered as he hopped over to the windows to take a look.
Bit approached with Carol and took a look as well, "Oh." Through the windows was a clear view of the factory. They were looking through windows raised at least fifteen feet above the work floor. "I've seen these windows from inside the factory before. They're like a bunch of mirrors over the place that I always thought there was a room behind, but I never knew how to get up here."
A hiss of steam blew by the window drawing Gohan's attention. Robotic arms on the work floor were soldering electrical components on one side, which were then moved to a vat of freezing liquid nitrogen and were dropped inside.
"What is it that this factory makes?" Gohan asked out of curiosity.
Bit shrugged uninterested, "Dad calls the main products onnsium high temperature superconductors… I don't get it though since most of the parts have to be frozen in order for them to work."
"Superconductors…" Gohan watched the factory for a moment longer before shaking his head, "It's relative high temperature because they work at greater than negative a thousand degrees."
"Huh?" Bit asked looked confused while Carol giggled, "You say the weirdest things sometimes Gohan."
"Sorry," Gohan responded to the comment but it didn't seem as though he was paying attention. Something else had his mind racing. Without another word he turned and continued walking down the hall.
"Hey, not so fast!" Bit called out as he and Carol chased after him.
The hallway and the windows carried on for several hundred meters, making turns to follow the factory wall, "An observation deck over a factory of superconductors… one way glass…" Gohan mumbled to himself as he tried not to walk too fast for his friends.
"Yeah, and?" Bit wasn't sure why Gohan seemed to be stressing about something.
"It's practically new, well maintained, and clean," Gohan was still trying to connect the pieces.
Bit ran in front of Gohan, "You're freaking us out, so it's clean and nice and everything, what's the big deal?"
Gohan looked away, "The big deal is why have you never been here before?"
Bit took in a hitched breath and was quiet for a moment, "My dad's like that, he never really shows me anything."
"Gohan, what are you trying to say?" Carol asked as she reached for Bit's hand.
Gohan bit his lip for a moment, "I'm sorry Bit, but you've shown interest in the factory, you've even broken in to it before to see what goes on inside. And as angry as your dad was with you for being in the factory saying that you could have gotten hurt, or broken something… he never brought you to a place where you could watch what happens in the factory safely and without the risk of breaking anything?"
Bit's jaw began to quiver as he thought about Gohan's words.
Carol felt the tremble through her grasp on Bit's hand, "Gohan! That was a really heartless thing to say!"
A shocked look came over Gohan as he realized how they took his words and he quickly shook his head, "I'm sorry I really didn't mean it that way because I don't think that's the answer at all." Gohan rubbed his hand along the railing under the window before examining his hand closely, "There's a much bigger reason why you've never been here."
"I still don't understand…" Bit choked emotionally.
Gohan hugged Bit, "I'm sorry, the reason he never brought you here is because this place is much more dangerous."
Bit shook the tears from his face quickly, "What?!"
Forgoing further explanation, Gohan turned and continued down the hall. At the end of another turn in the corridor was a staircase leading down, "I think we're close to where our ghost went."
The stairs spiraled down, much deeper than the factory itself. They ended in a large warehouse like room filled with computers connected to a lot of strange equipment, tubes, and machinery. In the middle of it all was a huge ring held vertically up on a pedestal.
"That shouldn't be here…" Gohan mumbled as he looked over the devices.
"I've never seen anything like it before…" Bit gulped nervously, "What is it?"
"It's a rift generator," Gohan spoke barely above a whisper as his hand brushed the metallic surface of the object, "It opens doorways between ours and other worlds."
Carol gripped tightly onto Bit's arm as Bit continued to stare with his mouth hanging open, "How do you know all this, and what is it doing here?"
"Long story," Gohan started, "And I have no idea…"
"It opens doors to other worlds?" Carol asked with a hint of amazement in her voice, "Like where, where does it go?"
Gohan walked over to a computer and flipped a switch, "That's a good question, let's find out!"
Once the lever was thrown, the surface of the ring began to glow until the space within the ring filled with energy and bounded like a bubble. Without much further regard Gohan walked through the translucent glow, leaving a ripple in the surface after disappearing through it.
"He just went," Bit gulped nervously.
"He seemed pretty confident about it, we should follow him," Carol encouraged.
Bit nodded, "Okay…" He held her hand tighter as they walked through rippling surface as well.
The glow around them faded instantaneously as if they just passed through a normal doorway. The light on the other side was different, but they were surrounded by metal and an open sky. Tubes and wires were strewn about connecting panel to panel.
"The noise here is different," Carol mentioned, "things are buzzing, but I can't tell what kind of buzz it is."
"There is a lot of light, but things don't look that alien," Bit felt the panel on the wall with wires and tubes coming out of it, "I don't see any weird twisted rock formations, or a plaid sky. Actually it just feels really modern, and a lot like… well… earth…"
"There's a reason for that!" Gohan popped out from behind some equipment; startling Bit again. Gohan pulled open a conduit panel and pulled Bit open to take a look.
Bit's eyes widened as he read the label inside the panel, "Manufactured by Durel Onnsium Superconductors."
"Your dad built this place," Gohan stated as he kept a close eye on Bit. "Your company logo is all over the place, and these superconductors are running massive amounts of electricity across this whole planet…" Gohan stopped for a moment, "Incredibly massive amounts of energy… I can feel it… it's not normal electricity at all…" Gohan closed his eyes and put two fingers to his head as he focused his senses.
Footsteps approached, clanking loudly on the metal surface and getting nearer, "Hide!" Gohan whispered as he quietly pulled Bit and Carol to the side and behind a pile of devices.
Three aliens turned the corner and walked past the rift generator.
"The spooks are mounting their forces again; think they're planning another attack?" A large muscular one asked.
A lithe alien brushed hair from his eyes, "It'd be more fuel for us if they did, Icival should be pleased with the results from the latest harvester."
A short alien bounced by his two companions, "If only the dwellers knew how pointless their attacks on us are!" He laughed maniacally, "At least this way the madder they get the more energy we collect off of them!"
The three continued on down turning another corridor and were quickly out of earshot.
"What were they?" Bit asked in a shaky voice.
"Standard phase extra-dimensional ent…" Gohan stopped realizing he was getting funny looks from both Bit and Carol, "They were aliens."
Bit nodded, "Yeah, of course, sorry."
"Don't sweat it," Gohan moved and walked down the path from whence the alien trio came. Carol and Bit followed slightly behind him.
Through the hallways of tall conduits, they came across a doorway into a completely sealed room. Gohan examined the door for a moment before putting his hands against it. He solidified his ki in the crack of the sliding door and forced it open. The chamber inside was dimply lit, and the walls were covered in what appeared to be drawers.
"What's in there?" Bit asked.
"I doubt these are file cabinets…" Gohan walked up to one of the small doors and pulled. An apparatus on rollers pulled out of a chute and suspended over the air in front of the trio. On top of the table like apparatus was a membrane like bag with an alien body inside.
"Whoa!" Bit jumped back out of shock, but gulped and took a closer look, "It's face! It's the same as the ghost we saw last night!"
Gohan nodded, "Very similar…" There were wires and sensors prodded into the alien being all over its body.
"Is it dead?" Bit asked.
"No, I can still sense it's life force," Gohan confirmed. "But… it's life force… isn't just in its body…"
"It's life force isn't in its body?" Carol asked confused, "Then where is it?"
Gohan followed the wires that connected everything together, tracing them back into the contraptions and conduits by the wall that joined the superconductors running throughout the complex, "Everywhere…"
The pieces started clicking together in Gohan's head, "Those aliens said if the spook's attack then more fuel for them… that ghost last night that came to us was burning… It wasn't trying to scare us, it was begging for help…"
"They need help? What's going on?" A shiver sank through Bit's spine as he was fairly certain what Gohan was going to say.
"They're being used as fuel… Someone is using living creatures as fuel for their power…" Gohan flipped another switch, which turned on lights below the platform floor they were standing on. It was transparent and possible to see down for hundreds of feet and see that every wall was covered the same kind of storage chutes. There had to have been thousands, maybe millions of them.
Gohan grit his teeth as anger began swelling through him. His breathing had obviously become deeper and more exaggerated as he tried to control his temper.
Snapping from the trance immediately, Gohan turned around and put a hand on Bit and Carol's shoulder, "Come on, we need to leave… now. We have to get back to our side of the rift in a hurry."
Urging them through the complex, Gohan got Carol and Bit back to the rift generator.
"What's going to happen to the aliens who are captured?" Carol asked glumly.
Bit's mind was racing as well, "We've got to tell someone what's going on here so they can do something!"
They reached the area with the alien side of the rift ring.
"Who can we possibly tell about another world under your dad's factory who'll listen though?" Carol reasoned.
Gohan started messing with the controls of the rift to open the link back up.
"There has to be someone who would listen to us, some kind of police force or government crew," Bit tried thinking of anything helpful
Finally after some playing, the rift came to life once again, creating a bubbling link of energy between their two worlds.
"Even if someone did believe us, what if they take too long, and something happens?" Carol was exceptionally empathetic to the alien's plight.
Gohan put his hands up on both of Carol's shoulders, "Don't worry, nothing is going to hurt them, I'll make sure if it myself, but first I have to get you guys home where you'll be safe, okay?"
Carol calmed down and sighed, "Alright, Bit trusts you Gohan, and I do too."
Gohan smiled and walked them both back through the rift, "Thanks."
"But we should still tell someone what's going on ove…" Bit started, but stopped once they exited the rift on earth's side.
Gohan immediately jumped in front of his friends as they came face to face with a large muscular alien, mostly white and light blue in skin town with an elongated head and thin eyes, and wore a long heavy black coat, "Oh, you're going to tell who about what now? I do so hate it when you humans snoop around places you shouldn't be."
Gohan's stance was as broad and defensive as he could manage, "You must be Icival, right?"
"You managed to hear that too?" Icival snickered.
The alien wasn't making a move so Gohan took a step forward, "Icival, you are intruding upon this dimension. You are hereby ordered to leave this realm immediately and return to the dimension from whence you came. Comply and no harm will come to you."
The room was silent as everyone stared in Gohan in shock, Icival included. Bit couldn't believe Gohan had managed to say something like that in complete seriousness.
The silence was eventually broken by Icival's laughter, it started as a chuckle, but quickly erupted into full hysterics, "Funny little human! Your words almost sound important!"
"This is no joke Icival," Gohan remained steadfast and firm, "This is the only warning you're going to get."
"Indeed, and whatever would I do without warnings…" Icival's laughter began to subside.
Gohan's eyes narrowed, he had the feeling something was up.
"I must thank you all for coming during the snowy weather, it helps a great deal in making your deaths look like accidents," Icival pulled out a gun from his coat and fired.
Not expecting a blaster to deal significant damage, Gohan spread his arms in front of his friends to take the hit and was struck by the beam. His eyes widened from shock as strange sensation wove its way through his body. His energy immediately left him and he felt weak, as if he couldn't hold his own weight and began to fall.
Out of reflex he grabbed onto Bit and Carol as he fell and in a flash of light the three of them vanished from the room.
Icival lowered his weapon and checked over the spot the three children had been standing. A sweat built up on his brow and a terribly frustrated and loud growl escaped him as he stepped through the rift.
Instantaneously Gohan, Bit, and Carol appeared in Bit's bedroom. Slightly disoriented for a moment, Bit wasn't able to act before Gohan collapsed to the floor.
"Gohan!" Bit cried out as he kneeled by Gohan's side. Gohan began to thrash and convulse on the floor, "Gohan what's wrong?!"
Gohan was unable to speak. His eyes were unfocused and his body continued to shake beyond his control.
Carol kneeled close to Gohan as well and put her hand on his head, "Bit, he's freezing!" As she spoke his skin paled and took on a bluish hue.
Bit ripped the blankets off of his bed and piled them on top of Gohan. They started rubbing his arms trying to warm him up, but within a few minutes his skin was so cold to the touch that it was stinging their hands.
The seizure like shaking was becoming stiffer, and condensation was beginning to freeze to Gohan's skin
Emotions heightened through Panic as Bit ran out of ideas, "What do we do?"
"I'm not sure," Carol was also working through tense emotions, "Is there anyone here who can help us?"
"Melonie might!" Without another second's hesitation, Bit shot up and ran from his room down the hall as fast as he could. Once he was in the main hall he began screaming, "MELONIE! HELP! I NEED HELP, MELONIE!"
Bit stopped in his tracks when a masculine voice shouted back, "What in hell's blazes do you want boy?!"
Bit cringed now that he had his father's attention. He knew there wasn't time for his dad's ranting, and though his dad was not the pillar of hope he'd been searching for, he ran up to him and grabbed his arm, "He could die, please help us!"
Mister Durel was dragged through the hall by his twelve year old son, and remained oddly quiet through the sprint. The reached Bit's bedroom where Carol was still near Gohan, "What in the hell are you doing with her in your room?!"
Bit ran in and slid towards Gohan to check on what changed since he left, "We're trying to save Gohan, please help!"
Mister Durel bent over and put a hand on Gohan's head feeling the same stinging coldness the others had. He looked over Gohan's icy blue skin and shook his head, "…Son… this boy isn't going to make it…"
Mister Durel's hand moved from Gohan's forehead to over the boy's mouth to check for breathing. His lips crunched under the pressure of the man's hand and there was no reaction and no breath, "He's gone…"
Gohan's eyes snapped open and his shivering tremors resumed as he took in a sharp deep breath, "GREAT GALAXIES! How is he still…?" Mister Durel watched as Gohan continued to shake but the movement was becoming stiffer.
Mister Durel calmed and then came up with a plan, "Alright, we're going to need to get heat into him right away but gradually. We need to get a bathtub running with lukewarm water. We'll get him submerged in the water and slowly raise the temperature."
"Alright, I'll take care of the water," Carol stood and made her way to the bathroom.
A stunned look on his face, Mister Durel turned to his son, "Isn't she blind?"
Bit shook his head looking almost ashamed, "She knows where the bathroom is at and can take care of it no problem, really."
Mister Durel scrunched his face in aggravation, "Help me get his clothes off so we can get him in the water."
Mister Durel held Gohan's arms up while Bit pulled up on Gohan's shirt. Mister Durel's jaw began to quiver, "…What is that?"
Bit pulled Gohan's shirt all the way off, "What?"
Pointing to a black spot on Gohan's abdomen, Mister Durel asked again, "Where did that come from?"
Bit noticed it for the first time too, "That wasn't on him before, I think that was where he was shot."
"Shot?!" Alarm sounded in Mister Durel's voice as he lifted Gohan from the floor.
Bit nodded hurriedly, "Yeah, by the ice beam."
Inside the bathroom, the tub was filling just as specified. Mister Durel lowered Gohan into the water, the temperature of which instantly dropped, "Keep the water running, let the cold water drain and slowly turn up the hot tap."
"Of course," Carol kept her hand on the knob and waited.
"Bit, come here and keep his nose and mouth above the water," Bit did as he was told and took over by Gohan's side.
Now that they'd done what they could, Mister Durel stepped back and tried to appraise the situation, "I need you to tell me just what the hell happened?"
Still emotional from everything that had happened that morning, Bit turned to glare at his father from over his shoulder, "Don't play dumb with me anymore dad! I know exactly what you've been doing!"
Anger rose in Mister Durel for being spoken to in such a manner, "Why you, don't you…"
Bit interrupted his father, "No, this is because of you and your partnership Icival!" Mister Durel halted his advance; it was a jolt to him to hear that his son had learned of such matters, "I know all about it now, that you sell our factory's products to aliens and do whatever you have to so that others don't find out!"
Mister Durel sighed and turned away from his son for a moment to collect his thoughts, "I was waiting until you were older to tell you about our arraignment; it's not something that was going to be kept from you forever. But what does that have to do with this boy's condition?"
Still aggravated with father, Bit snapped back at him, "What do you think?!"
"Bit…" Carol whispered sympathetically to calm him.
Taking a deep breath, Bit explained, "We found the room in the basement that led to the lookout over the factory. At the end of the hallway was a ring that opens a door to another world. We stepped through and saw what's on the other side, and it wasn't pretty. Icival found us when we came back and shot Gohan to keep what we saw a secret!"
"He wouldn't do that!" Mister Durel cut in immediately, "Icival is a business man, not a monster."
Bit's mouth hung open in astonishment, "Do you even know what he's doing? Using our products to make weapons to enslave an entire population of aliens in his world and using them for fuel to generate power which gets pumped through our superconductors!"
"That's not even possible!" Mister Durel's face turned red and his clenched fist shook.
"Like hell it is, we saw it!" Bit retorted immediately.
"I said don't talk back to me!" Mister Durel's hand swung forward about to strike Bit's face. The hand came close but stopped just before he made contact. Bit had closed his eyes to brace for the hit that never came. He slowly looked up and noticed his father's hand still close, and still shaking. His father was breathing heavily, obviously lost in his own emotions. The man swallowed hard and stepped back. He looked from his son to Gohan again, his eyes focused on the spot fading from Gohan's torso.
Without another word Mister Durel turned and left the bathroom.
"Are you alright Bit?" Carol asked after a moment.
"Yeah…" Bit sighed and continued to hold Gohan's head up as he was told.
Carol had been steadily turning up the hot water. The color was returning to Gohan's face. A few minutes of calm passed when abruptly Gohan's eyes shot open and he sat up in a splash of water, "W-w-w-where…?"
"It's OK Gohan, we're safe," Bit ensured him, "We're inside my house, we were just kind of… thawing you out…"
Gohan nodded, his teeth chattered throughout the head motion.
"Are you okay?" Carol continued turning up the hot water even though Gohan was awake.
"Y-y-yeah, just c-cold. K-keep turning that up-p p-please," Carol complied without complaint.
"I told my dad about what we saw, but I don't know if he believes us or not," Bit's voice was sullen.
"Don't worry, things will be fine," Gohan spoke encouragingly, "I just need to warm up a bit more…"
Within a few minutes the tub was steaming, and the bathroom windows were fogged over, "That's so much better," Gohan sighed.
Bit was glad to see Gohan alright again, "So what do we do now?"
"Now…" Gohan climbed out of the tub and grabbed a towel as Carol shut off the water. Bit looked away slightly embarrassed as Gohan dried off and pulled his pants on, "Now I need you guys to stay in a safe place for a little while." Gohan threw the door open as he pulled his shirt down over his head.
"You need us to stay in a safe place, where are you going?!" Bit caught on to Gohan's insinuation very quickly.
Gohan turned and smiled, "Thanks for everything, but there are some things I need to do now on my own."
"You can't, we're in this together!" Bit shouted vehemently.
"You almost died, you shouldn't go wondering off alone or do reckless things," Carol protested.
"You guys are awesome friends!" Gohan grinned from ear to ear, "But this is what I do, I make sure bullies don't get their way." With two fingers to his forehead Gohan disappeared into streaks of light.
Bit blinked in disbelief, "Gohan…" Carol grabbed hold of his hand and the wait began.
You know what this means right? Next week is the fight!
I really liked connecting a lot of little details in this chapter, it felt really good. I hope you guys enjoyed it too!
The plan is to have two updates next week. I'm really hoping I can pull it off since I haven't been quite on time these last two weeks with updates. It'll be tough, but I'm on winter break now, so hopefully that means I'll have some time to finish this up.
Wish me luck, and we'll see you next time!