Wonder Wall

Author`s Note: Took me a while on this one, eh? Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Don`t own it.





Hybrid Theory: Opaque Portents
Wonder Wall



Videl cracked her knuckles and stretched her legs, popping the joints in her toes and arching her back and neck until he heard a loud popping sound that made her question her skeleton`s structural stability for a moment. The punching bag in front of her rested solemnly as if expecting it`s incoming punishment, and with a smile, she gave it just that, hopping up and lashing out. In three seconds, the bag had recieved a mid-air spin kick, a second kick that twisted into being from the first, a low flying sweeper kick into it`s bottom, an uppercut that came close to ripping it open - and literally shattered it`s lower anchoring to the floor - and finally a judo-type throwing motion that ripped it from it`s chained hold on the sealing. The slam into the floor that followed caused several on-lookers in the plane to wince visibly as the bag exploded.

As it stood however, only one of them was smiling. The soon-to-be retired Hercule Satan. He had made the announcement shortly after the last Tenkaichi Budoukai, maintaining his public image but privately undergoing a transformation that stunned a lot of those around him. For one, Hercule had practically come to his senses. As a result, half of his "friends" were tossed aside like the leeches they were, the other half was on the verge of following suit with exception to Capel Binde*, better known to the world`s masses as the announcer at the Tenkaichi Budoukai. The two had actually come to be close drinking friends as of late.

But there was another piece to that transformation his daughter had welcomed enthusiastically. Videl was quite happy indeed, her father was actually being what he was supposed to. Hercule had even taken Videl on as a personal trainee, which despite it`s lack of overall necessity did a lot to help Videl out. While she was indeed a good deal stronger than Hercule could ever hope to be, she had a lack of experience, which the two were striving to counter. Hercule was even passing on his personal style of martial arts blended with wrestling techniques to the girl, which itself wasn`t too impressive visually or dramatically(he had created the style during the years before he became a professional athlete, striving for utilitarianism with it. For a fairly ki-lacking style it was actually rather useful). It got the job though, and it gave the two the chance to bond.

He had failed his promise to his wife for a long time after her death, yes. He didn`t deny it anymore, but hell, better late than never.

"Going to need another set of punching bag anchors at this rate," he thought bemusedly, watching his daughter get back to her feet and dust herself off. A month shy of her 14th birthday, and developing along on an almost similar course he remembered of her mother. Heck, if she grew her hair out, got bangs, lost the muscle and finished blooming into an adult, Hercule felt she`d be a near twin to her mother. Lesser and lesser of his own genes were showing through in the girl. If anything, the only resemblances he held to her these days were eye color and Videl`s stubborn attitude about some things, though he didn`t know if he could attribute that to himself or her mother.

"Anyone up for a spar before the tournament?" Videl asked, hopping around like a boxer. In unison, the rest of Hercule`s trainees backed away timidly, and Hercule himself let out a sheepish expression of reluctance. "If I were the one to spar you, we`d rip out the insides o` the damn plane," he stated. Oddly enough, he was close to being right. Videl gave a nod and spoke. "Then I`m gonna just get ready for the tournament. Enough rest and I might make it into the Adult Division," she began. "... And if that`s the case..."

Hercule definately caught that competitive look she gave him, smirking in reply to it without any words. That was another transition for him, he had lately quieted down a bit. His public image was now portraying him more as a wise veteran with only an urge to fight into his retirement rather than an unstoppable fighting machine with something to prove.

Another change was that he was finally stepping down. Win, lose or draw, this was going to be his last round of fighting, in or out of the Tenkaichi Budoukai ring. The resulting ticket sales for the tournament, and the expected fighter turn-out, had both entered the world record books as a result. Even if the arena wasn`t completely rebuilt, it was just rebuilt enough to carry out another tournament. There had even been ticket sales over the walkways at the back of the arena`s main walls, and a few private seats around the lounge. It was going to be one to remember and Hercule intended to make sure he survived through to the finals at least. Without bribing or cheating his opponents.

It would be a glorious day.

Today is gonna be the day
That they're gonna throw it back to you

Vegeta sat in silence at the back of the hovercar. Zangya was idly chatting it up with Bulma and ChiChi in the front seats, and Gohan was busy trying to occupy the increasingly restless Goten and Trunks. The two of them, Goten aged three and a half, Trunks aged four and a half, weren`t going to be involved in the tournament. They were both too young for even the junior division, which bottomed out at five. Trunks was six months short, Goten a year and a half short on it, so neither were going to be fighting, even though both could utterly decimate roughly 99% of the fighters - and most of the audience for that matter - that would be there without even breaking a sweat doing it.

True to the Mirai Goten that he had seen during his trip into the distant past(and what a messed up adventure that had been**), Goten was a near twin to Gohan`s father. The boy had even been born with a tail no less. Trunks was so far the only demi-saiyan known to be born without one(human genes seemed to have dominated Bulma and Vegeta`s children`s appearances, as demonstrated both by Trunks and the Mirai Bra he had met**), but Goten had entered the world with a fuzz-covered pinkish tail. It had grown back twice since Piccolo first removed it. Both of the boys were already powerful enough to give Yamcha a run for his money, which given that the major league baseball player had essentially retired from fighting - bar the infrequent spar with Krillin - wasn`t saying much. Given Yamcha would`ve ranked in at a million or two by the old Saiyan power level scalings though, it actually was saying much.

For now though, Gohan had his own ulterior motives in keeping an eye on Goten, aside from the fact the boy was his own little brother. For one, Goten had seemingly learned the Kame Hame Ha attack on his own. The child had never seen Gohan himself, or anyone else, utilize the move. Another thing about Goten was how imaginative the boy seemed to be, even at age three and a half, even at an age Gohan himself had been pretty average at, Goten knew perfect english, and had an 'imaginary friend' named Jack, that he himself couldn`t even see but could always hear at times.

It unnerved Gohan that any child could be so advanced at that age.

As for Gohan himself, he was maturing into adulthood at a much saner rate than his father had. Goku went from waist height to 6'3" in roughly six years with two growth spurts. That was roughly a foot and a half in a pair of growth spurts that had individually lasted only a year each at the most. Goku was lucky he hadn`t developed stretch marks. Gohan on the other hand was growing well too, now age 15(he had celebrated his birthday two days earlier on May 7th), he was becoming a limber youth, more so than he had been the last time he had gone to a Tenkaichi. The fact he had remained training the entire time had been something that chargrinned his mother deeply, but he managed to rationalize it in a way that managed to get past ChiChi`s maternal instincts.

Quite simple really: The older, stronger son who already has his emotional baggage and combat experience manages to fight and train as he wishes, while the younger, weaker, unscarred son who was the spitting image of their father took the role of learning to be a scholar. Barring his Gokuesque naivete, Goten was highly intelligent as it was. It had been a cold revelation to ChiChi that Gohan`s thoughts on it made sense, and after a bit of convincing from Piccolo and Krillin, she had conceded.

Only if he got his homework done, anyway. Classic compromise, neither liked it much but both could live with it.

Goten rocked back and forth quickly while Trunks jumped up and down in his seat, both of the virtual bundles of energy shifting around a bit quickly at the moment. Vegeta was remarkably impassive. Gohan attributed the Prince`s demeanor at present to what he was wearing. True, it was more fashionable than the jump-suit Vegeta wanted to wear but for some reason it was just hard to envision a stately Prince of a dead race of warriors dressed in a pair of black leather pants, boots and a red muscle shirt with a sleeveless jean-vest over it. The only part of the outfit Vegeta was willing to accept were the gloves. For some odd, inexplicable reason, Vegeta loved fingerless biker gloves.

He even had a collection of them near his private gravity room.

"Maybe the pants are too tight," Gohan mused, glancing over his shoulder at the annoyedly impassive Prince. "What?" Vegeta demanded with a snarl. Gohan had since forgiven the Prince for a few misgivings of the past, he had done so when his little trip over the summer had ended**, the only reason he hadn`t ripped Vegeta`s head off for his attitude. "These pants are too tight," Vegeta finally grumbled.

"Damn I`m good," Gohan thought with a snicker, turning back towards Goten and Trunks to find the lavender haired boy asleep and his little brother not far behind. "Woman, how long until we get there?" Vegeta demanded. "It`s Bulma, Vegeta. B-U-L-M-A. Don`t ask if you can`t get it right," Bulma replied sharply. "... Alright, Plum-bitch, how long?" He asked. "About an hour, Plumber-enima," Zangya retorted. "Why can`t the woman be like you?" Vegeta asked sourly. "Because said-woman would probably rip your balls off if she had any sens-," Zangya replied, cut off at the end as ChiChi slid a hand over her mouth. "Lay off of that until Trunks and Goten are asleep," ChiChi mumbled.

Zangya gave a nod. "Ehm... Me and Trunks already know all the swear words," Goten spoke up. ChiChi glanced over her shoulder at him. "Piss, cock, ass, cunt, fu-" "SON GOTEN!!!" ChiChi interupted irately, jarring Trunks awake. "Ilearneditfromhim!" Goten blirted out, jamming his index finger into the other boy`s ear by accident while trying to point at him. "Ow! I learned it from him!" Trunks pointed at Vegeta.

ChiChi twitched and the Prince visibly sank into his seat a bit as if trying to hide. Gohan knowingly shoved Trunks and Goten to the side of the seat while diving out of the way as ChiChi tore from the front seat and flew into the back of the airbus. Vegeta`s screams echoed for miles around outside the airbus...

No one inside noticed.

I don't believe that anybody
Feels the way I do about you now

Tinoca Island*, home to the Tenkaichi Budoukai. Crowds filled every square foot of free space, not a single parking lot was free and the blimp tour services were at their peaks since the businesses offered to give passengers a sky-high view of the action. The arena owners had tried to sue them but things had been settled in time for game day, so the arena owners would definately be raking it in this year, gaining a sizable chunk of the blimp service`s profits from the game. It had been a mad dash into the arena, but a few hardcore fans had been there all day. Numbering in at close to four thousand, the fighters hadn`t exactly been a small crowd either, and since some of them would be slugging it out if they passed the punching machine test, the tournament`s arrangers had set up a most-of-the-day sparring set up so that anyone who wasn`t fit to fight would just get eliminated before they even had to pass the punching tests.

The announcer/owner figured it would be a nice way to lower the punching qualification time from what would`ve been so long they were going to set up both punching machines to hurry things along, which he figured they would probably have to do anyway. One of the things that Capel was thrilled about was how action filled the tournament was going to be. Three of the tournament`s last better fighters, along with a few who had tried to make a decent showing anyway.

Among them was a certain green skinned fellow in a turban and cloak currently making short work of anyone that dared come into the ring. Ma Junior, Piccolo, had been the thirty seventh fighter to make it to the Budoukai, he`d gone into the ring at the start of the "All you can fight" spar and hadn`t budged outside of it since. Roughly two hundred people had been thrown out and he hadn`t broken a sweat. Near twice that had left the arena. A few hundred more were about to follow as Piccolo smacked around the next would-be challenger with minimal effort, sending the man crashing into the grass with a number of painful cracks.

He hadn`t even looked at the man. Eyes that were intimidatingly framed by a green skinned face devoid of any hair had been locked onto a figure outside the ring at the back of the masses gathered around it. The figure was tall, powerfully built, and could only faintly pass as human if viewed from behind if he`d had surgery on his ears. Dabura was at the tournament again. Everyone who caught a glance from him seemed nervous except Piccolo, who cocked his head to the side and then flung it back into it`s former place, avoiding another would-be opponent`s leg and then sideways headbutting him in the midsection, right out of the ring.

After Dabura and Piccolo there were three other majorly familiar faces at this tournament. Jewel wasn`t present - he was busy posing for a women`s nudity magazine or some such, making him effectively banned since the Tenkaichi was supposed to be a family event of sorts and an adult star wasn`t exactly a good thing to have your kids modelling themselves after.

After them though, there was Killa. The grizzled looking veteran was back once again, a few newly acquired scars marring his appearance, a different fighting outfit and a shaved head, a bit more limber than he had been at his last tournament showing, a bloody match with one of the other returnees that was still spoken of as one of the best evenly fought matches Post Goku. His former opponent was also back again, Yamu had shown up in a new form of fighting outfit, as had Spopovich. Both now bore a similar M on the forehead to what Dabura held on his own. To add to Piccolo`s suspicions, the three were tightly packed together, and he could vaguely hear a fourth voice communicating and giving them orders. A boost to being Namek was the natural ability to hear a good deal of telepathic communications. He wasn`t on par with one like Chaozu at it, but he had a good bit of understanding for it.

Which is the whole reason he was so focused on the lot of them. Another fighter jumped at him, this one stopping in mid-air. Piccolo didn`t have a mastery with telepathy, sure. But telekenis...

"Fly into the stands."

... Was another thing entirely, as proven by how the would-be fighter instantly flew up into the stands and slammed into some of the seats. He let out an agonizing scream and passed out. Close to a thousand combatants left in the following seconds. Dabura, Spopovich and Yamu didn`t even open their eyes to notice.

"Master, it appears things are proceeding as I expected. Already, one of the stronger fighters from the last tournament has arrived," Dabura thought in report. "Good. Do you know if the others are coming or not?" Babidee asked calculatingly. Dabura thought smugly. "Yes. Three are on the way as we speak, the fourth might be as well and there is a newer one along with them. This one seems similar to the one I fought the last time I was here."

"Good. Everything is coming as planned. Tell me, Dabura. Do you plan to lose or come to a draw this time?"
Babidee asked. "I am the Demon King, the mortal boy will die by my hand even if it means annihilating the entire tournament in the process!" He thought back. "Excellent," Babidee replied with a grin through his link. "There is also another one... Vague, supressed somehow. I can feel it but it`s too low to detect. Highly powerful as well," Dabura thought. "Evil?" Babidee asked. "Unsure," Dabura replied. "Any likely candidates?" Babidee asked again. Dabura briefly opened his eyes and scanned through the crowds.

"None visible."

Babidee made an audible, thoughtful sound through the link. "Report back when you`ve won. And all of the excess power I filled you with had better give you victory too, we probably could`ve gone a long way to reviving Majin Buu with it and it had better not go to waste, is that clear?" Babidee asked. "Crystal, Master." The connection ended there.

Piccolo grimaced and bent forward, leg shooting up and bending to hit his next would-be foe in the chin and throw him over Piccolo himself and down the steps of the ring. The man landed with a bloody face and didn`t move. The number of fighters had by now thinned visibly.

Capel was grinning ear to ear. Only the best were left! This was going to be a tournament to remember!

Backbeat the word was on the street
That the fire in your heart is out
I'm sure you've heard it all before
But you never really had a doubt

Gohan sat idly in his seat as his younger brother crawled around over him, not really noticing much while Trunks tried to keep up with Goten, climbing invariably down the same paths Goten took and eventually squirming under the seat with the younger of the pair. At times, one could practically see the words 'Insanity,' 'Run while you can,' 'God help you' and 'Future chaos' written on their foreheads. The two currently seemed intent on touching and pinching the ankles of Gohan`s boots. He had gone back to the old style of gi he had worn before he fought Cell nowadays, updated to go with his current age. It was a scarf and then the black gi outfit and the red sash-type belt and the tight red wristbands, updated only in that he now wore boots instead of those weird shoes.

Vegeta hadn`t liked it much. If anything he almost envied Gohan at this point, now lying there in the foot with a black eye and a bruised ego, both of which likely to heal by the time they arrived at the tournament given how quickly a pureblood Saiyan could heal. At least Gohan had an actual fighting uniform! "Blasted demon-cow wench," Vegeta grumbled as Goten and Trunks wandered up to him and sat down on the side of his head.

"I am not a damn chair!!!"

The torture just wouldn`t end. Goten had gas...

"SWEET MOTHER OF KAMI! WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING THAT CHILD?!"

So did Trunks...

"AGH!!!"

It just wouldn`t end. Frieza, now Frieza was an evil that Vegeta could stand while he served in slavery to it. At least Frieza wasn`t a gassy three year old brat!

"How much longer until we get there?" Gohan asked, leaning forward in his seat a bit. He was anxious, it would be the first time he`d seen Videl in close to four months! She hadn`t been able to call or write him since she had been off with her father on some round-the-world bonding trip. He was happy for the two, they were finally getting to be a family again, although Hercule`s ego was still just vaguely present. Gohan still snickered from time to time now that he knew Hercule`s past**, but that was an inside joke he`d kept to himself for the most part. Not even Videl was going to learn unless Hercule asked him to tell her, or did so himself.

"Twenty-" "GET THEM OFF! PLEASE WOMAN, I`M BEGGING YOU!!!" "- minutes. Sit down and take a nap or something," Zangya replied casually, being interrupted early in her sentence by Vegeta`s agonized screams. "Al-" "SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!" "- right," Gohan replied, plopping down into his seat and scooting over to a window. Other aircars were in plain view of his own, but only one caught his eye, namely a singular green airbus, same make and model as the one he rode on now, save it had a young woman strongly resembling a Mrs. Bulma Briefs sitting on a large turtleshell in nothing but miniaturized turtle shells to cover certain parts of her anatomy.

"I don`t even wanna know," Gohan thought with a shake of the head. At least that meant Krillin, Yamcha, Roshi, Juuhachigou(she had succeeded in getting everyone to start calling her that over the past three years), Oolong, Puar and possibly another would be coming. Gohan could feel a pair of other energy signatures inside the car, one of them ungodly high for a human, the other not to shabby by any means either.

This really would be a good tournament. Gohan could almost line up everyone who would be fighting with his thoughts: Himself, Vegeta, Hercule, hopefully Videl, Piccolo, most likely Dabura(Gohan could feel his energy in the distance, however supressed it was), maybe Krillin and a few others, definately Zangya and with any luck, a few stronger opponents. He could feel a few of them on the island in the distance, though Gohan was unsure if Vegeta was even concious given the gas bombs Trunks and Goten were letting loose on him. If he was, he probably felt the things in the distance as well, if not then he would probably be vomiting by the time he woke up.

Thumbing a small piece of crystal that was his good luck charm, Gohan smiled. Maybe he`d give the thing to Videl if she managed to get into the adult tournament, he`d heard something about the punching machine setup being made to allow anyone over the age of ten who had enough strength to pass into the top sixteen or so into the adult setup. If that was the case he most certainly intended to give the thing to her, Setsuna`s words hadn`t exactly been forgotten.

"I can see the island," Bulma announced.

I don't believe that anybody feels
The way I do about you now

Piccolo languidly turned around as his next wannabe opponent, a massive looking fellow by the name of Tesuk, entered the ring, almost immediately cowering back as Piccolo looked at him. Piccolo didn`t move. Tesuk looked over his shoulder at what was left of the normal fighters, then back to Piccolo, who still hadn`t budged an inch. Tesuk assumed the stance of a classical Sumo Wrestler, stomping forward and trying to intimidate the Namekian fighter. Piccolo didn`t even blink. Tesuk began gaining speed, stomping forward a bit quicker with each step until he was halfway to Piccolo, at which point he made two jumps, the first being forward, the other being near straight up.

Tesuk came barreling down with a yell, Piccolo watching him with little interest before telekinetically siezing the fellow`s clothing and yanking them toward the direction of the wind. While in most cases they`d just do that, in this case the owner happened to be wearing them. Tesuk landed with a crash outside the wind, a deadly smirk slowly gracing Piccolo`s features as he watched the remanining normal fighters go through a three step conversation and leave. They hadn`t even checked on the unconcious Tesuk, who was quickly carted away by monks.

It was now down to six remaining fighters, Piccolo included. "With them out of the way, I can scan for that power easier," he thought with a tinge of satisfaction. Glancing around while still standing in the ring, Piccolo counted the other five fighters. Dabura, Yamu, Spopovich, Killa and a fellow who stood out like a sore thumb. He was a taller figure to be sure, concealed within a strange cloak. His head looked to be especially tall but since his actual features were hidden within his cloak, Piccolo couldn`t figure out anything about him. The power was vaguely familiar but disguised, Piccolo couldn`t identify it and it was also low. Low enough to barely match what Piccolo remembered of Raditz on the first time he encountered the Saiyan. Low enough to be considered a non-threat to he and the others but high enough to be a killing machine if nobody kept an eye on him.

Killa glanced around nervously though. He was now surrounded by a pink demon looking guy, two steroid enthused lunatics, a green guy and some weirdo in a messed up looking black cloak.

"Howdoah get muhself intothese things?" Killa thought, nervously hoping he got disqualified for some petty reason or another.

And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would
Like to say to you
I don't know how

The airbus touched down with the sound of depressing pistons letting loose compressed air to help ease the shock of landing before pumping back up into a stable setting as the occupants filed out one by one. Bulma and Zangya got out first, the first of them managing a slight hop to her feet, the second just stumbling out with an over-active lavender haired boy trying to climb her hair like a rope ladder. In the past years, she`d yet to get it cut but kept it at the same length, sometimes bunning it up or tying it in a pony-tail but never getting rid of it. Everyone else thought she was eccentric but in reality she was just heeding an old custom among the people she came from.

After that, ChiChi came out, prying Trunks from Zangya`s hair and setting him down with a scolding look while Goten casually wandered out, the most evil, cheesiest grin in history on his face as he seemed to taunt the other boy without any words. Trunks looked half-ready to kill him, but hey, that`s kids for you. Gohan hopped out next, cracking his knuckles as it were and stretching his arms and legs. One of the few things about him that remained unchanged was his hair, which had seemingly remained at a constant in that mess of orderly chaos, set mostly forward as always.

Finally, a very lightheaded Vegeta staggered out, eyes rolling around in opposite directions as he tumbled from the airbus and onto the ground, where Zangya nonchalantly tossed him over her shoulders and shook her head. Gohan had a bit of a time trying to keep from laughing, but he managed. Bulma encapsulated the airbus with a puff of purple smoke and swiped the pill from the air before it could even hit the ground, at which point the vehicle that had formerly been obscured from their view became apparent. Bulma twitched, ChiChi rolled her eyes and Zangya snickered. Trunks was curious, as was Goten, to who the girl on the side of the vehicle was.

And finally the occupants filed out, mostly through a back exit save for the driver and the front passenger, who both lazily exited the front of the plane. Juuhachi gave a mild wave over to Zangya, a rare smirk cracking the generally stoic cyborg`s face at the sight of her best friend carrying around a twitching, unconcious Prince who was at least a head taller(not counting the hair) and currently dressed like some demented rock star. Krillin on the other hand broke into hysterics.

From the rear of the vehicle though, that was where Gohan had focused, Yamcha, Roshi, Puar, Umi Gama, Oolong, a dark haired, pleasant looking woman in a pair of plain jeans and a t-shirt and then two very familiar faces exited. "Tien and Chaozu?!" Gohan gaped. "I thought you two retired?" He asked while darting up to the pair, the smaller of whom shrugged in respose. "I am. I`m just here to watch the chaos," Chaozu stated a bit cynically. "I`m here for another reason," Tien said, motioning off to the side with his head towards the woman that Gohan simply didn`t even know to recognize in the first place.

"Meaning?" Gohan asked. "Meaning I`m going to be a dad and I`d like to actually have the money to settle down and retire entirely," Tien answered. "Nevermind that all the money I have could pay for you into the next life time or two," Chaozu interjected while leering off to the side. "That and I needed an excuse to come see if I`m lucky enough to be the one to knock Hercule`s block off since this is supposed to be his last tournament," Tien snickered. "Better reason than the cover story you had," Chaozu added. "She`s not pregnant... Yet anyway," Chaozu spoke, conveniently lowering his voice at the 'yet' part of his sentence. Gohan was the only one that heard it, but he didn`t say anything.

"Yamcha fighting?" Gohan asked. "Nah, I`m just here to watch you guys kick some butt and take a few names," Yamcha replied while walking around the rest of the group and heading off to go help Zangya with the unconcious Vegeta. Tien spent a few seconds looking around and then cracked his neck. There was a crashing sound and Yamcha went flying, coming to a skidding halt next to Gohan and rebounding to his feet with a sore jaw. "Where are they?!"

"Guess Vegeta woke up, " Gohan thought, judging by the irate sounding voice, the expression on the people in front of him and the fact two blurs happened to dart by him towards the arena. "You alright?" Gohan asked. "I`ve had worse, at least he didn`t mean to," Yamcha chuckled out, now qualifying as being one of the only three plain humans ever to take a full force blow from Vegeta and live to tell about it. The other was the fuzzy headed Bhuddist monk standing off to the side with Juuhachigou and Zangya, and after him there was an overweight ronin who currently lived with a short cat god.

"Guess we`re ready to go, eh?" Gohan asked, suddenly becoming a bit antsy and anxious. "Yep," Bulma answered, leading the group. "You guys go get signed up, we`ll be headin` off and gettin` our seats already," Roshi advised while the non-fighters of the tournament gathered together, minus Trunks and Goten, who were still essentially MIA at the moment. Gohan could sense their energy signatures inside the arena, and he was sure Vegeta could, but given the Prince`s current state he was more likely to rip apart a car or two rather than blow up an arena.

And that was pretty much what he did really, throwing out a weak ki blast and detonating some poor sap`s hovercar in a blaze of greenish flames that arched upward into the air in the form of a small mushroom cloud. Nobody really noticed, they were all pretty much used to how Vegeta would randomly annihilate things by now. The groups split off as soon as ChiChi made sure to tell Gohan what to do if he found Goten and Trunks, namely grab them, and if required to drag them kicking and screaming up to she and Bulma. He had agreed of course, then darted off after the rest of the group.

The fighters among them were a pretty varied crowd as they all moved through the parking lot, entering the arena and heading directly for the sign-ups. Vegeta signed in first, almost snapping the pen in half by accident several times and writing his name in Saiyago just to annoy the announcers. Zangya went next, managing to get herself signed in without damaging anything with surprisingly excellent handwriting. Given she had only been on Earth for around three or four years, it was pretty surprising she had learned English so well in such a short time. Krillin just said his name and was let in, Juuhachigou signed in the same way as Zangya and Tien signed in writing his full name(Tienshinhan) in old Imperial Standard, the writing style utilized by Chaozu`s former Empire prior to it`s collapse.

Gohan went next. The sign-up man blinked a few times. Sure the hair and face were familiar, bit older than the last time around, but the height and build and clothing were all off. "Do I know you?" He asked curiously, leaning forward a bit. "Son Gohan, you probably signed me up last time," Gohan answered. The man blinked and twitched a bit, then promptly fell over backwards. He was back up a few seconds later. "Adult round, right?" He asked, having recovered from his prior shock. Gohan gave a quick nod and the man signed which division he would be in before handing Gohan the pen and notepad. Gohan signed himself in and then stepped back, about to walk away when the man spoke again.

"By any chance, are you related to any 'Son Gotens?'" The man asked. Gohan winced a bit. "Did he come through here with another boy by the name of Trunks Briefs?" The man nodded. "Oi... That`s my little brother and his best friend," Gohan admitted. Vegeta stood off to the side, oddly enough he was now grinning ear to ear. "Yep. Kid looked just like a younger version of Goku and his friend looked like a time delayed twin to that Trunks Mirai fellow," the man admitted. "Both of `em were pretty eager though, signed `em in for the Junior Tournament."

Vegeta`s smile couldn`t get any wider. Gohan winced. "Mom`s gonna kill me," he thought while turning and glancing off at Vegeta. "Both marked in as five so, they were a-okay. Besides, one`s a son o` Goku, how can the kid not be tough as nails?" The man asked. "Good... Point..." Gohan conceded, moving off to the side and standing next to Vegeta. "Look at it this way, at least we`ll get some pre-tournament entertainment when those two maim their way to the finals," the Prince smugly snickered. "Yeah..." Gohan mumbled. "Scared for them?" Vegeta asked mockingly. "More so for all the kids they`re gonna face... Eegh," Gohan muttered, wandering off from Vegeta, who looked about ready to explode with pride.

Next up went a normal looking fighter calling himself Suta. He was a young looking fellow in a plain white gi outfit, the sleeves ripped off, no shoes. Fingerless Thai kick-boxing gloves covered his hands and wrists. The guy looked to be a bit too laid back for his own good, had a slight edge to him that made Tien, the only one really paying attention to the sign-up, feel a bit cautious. The fellow wasn`t as strong as he was, then again no human really was. Tien hadn`t spent the past years training hard enough to knock even Vegeta out on his ass just to be considered a second-best to Krillin or even the two cyborgs, Juuhachigou and her brother, still known as Seventeen. He hadn`t gone with the name change like Juu did but he kept in touch.

And that`s why his appearance at the sign-up desk didn`t really surprise Tien. The black haired cyborg signed in after Suta, doing a fairly good job of keeping low key as he entered the tournament under the alias of Vincent Troid. Given the lack of creativity Seventeen had, it was actually not that bad a name. He didn`t notice Tien, since the cybernetic fighter cracked his knuckles, muttered a small prayer and then darted towards the fighter`s lounge. Given the change of clothing and the fact he had grown a few inches over the past years, Tien actually doubted most would really recognize him.

Obviously, he didn`t know about Juuhachigou`s ability to detect electromagnetic signatures like a fingerprint.

After him came a smaller fellow. Tien cracked a smile as Chaozu entered the room, now garbed in the kind of clothing the tiny former emperor tended to fight in, idly signing up into the adult division and then leering over at Tien. "Lunch made me do it," he muttered balefully. "Sure she did, Chaozu. Sure she did," Tien replied with a smirk, waiting for Chaozu to join him. The two then proceeded towards the lounge as the last fighter, a heavyset marine-looking fellow with a crewcut in typical fatigue pants and a muscle shirt signed himself in.

After that there was a flock of reporters and the "People`s Champ" signed himself in, followed by Videl, who, despite her lack of outside enthusiasm to the reporters, looked to be a fan favorite this year.

Because maybe
You're gonna be the one who saves me?
And after all
You're my wonderwall

"Hello there Piccolo," a sickeningly sweet voice echoed into the Namek`s ears. "Hello there, Zangya," Piccolo finally muttered as the short, orange haired, dull blue skinned woman walked up beside him. "I take it you`ve spent the day doing little more than terrorizing the poor saps who thought they`d be knocking off Hercule, hm?" Zangya asked. "What the hell do you think?" Piccolo replied with a deadly grin. Zangya shook her head. "What am I going to do with you, anyway?" She asked morbidly. "Hopefully you`ll go bug someone else," Piccolo responded almost automatically, only to feel a hand slap itself across his posterior.

Nameks are normally several shades of green, combined with the occasional bit of peach and reddish tones, this is how they evolved. At current though, this Namek, Piccolo Daimou Junior, former Kami, nicknamed Kamicolail by Dende and the late, great Son Goku, was turning twenty seven different shades of red and looking half ready to maim Zangya with a pick axe. Would have, possibly could have, in his mind he should have, if not for the fact she waltzed off the moment he turned to rip her face off.

"You`d better hope I don`t get my hands on you in the tournament," Piccolo snorted and turned back towards the fighters he had been keeping an eye on, ignoring the arrival of the rest of the fighters, save for the one who was currently standing next to him. Gohan wasn`t eying or even really paying much attention to his mentor though, he was keeping his eyes squarely on one Dabura, who was glaring right back.

Everyone else who was in for the adults, or who hoped to be, signed in a few moments later.

"Alright, everyone in here come on," the announcer stated. Capel lead the grouping, minus the reporters, into an unroofed area west of the Fighter`s Lounge, a pair of heavy looking punching machines set up. Hercule was quick to take the head of the group, ignoring that smug look from Gohan that only the young demi-saiyan really knew of. "Hercule here, will be setting the bar for the rest of you fighters, so sit back take note."

Unlike the way he probably would have before he was so humbled by Dabura, who watched him gleefully like a murderous cat watching a mortally wounded mouse or bird, Hercule didn`t waste any time chanting, shouting or trying to 'power up.' He didn`t have those skills and he wasn`t going to lie and say he did, so instead of all that, Hercule did the sane, simplistic thing. He winded back and punched the machine with a pretty serious looking haymaker. Medium effort from him, it registered at a 137, roughly half of what he could do if he really tried, a quarter of what he could do if he put some time and a lot of effort into things.

"Good, now I`d like to see all of you at least come up over one hundred so we can have a good tournament and keep the people happy," Capel stated as Hercule walked away. Videl was next, taking a moment to gather herself up and then slamming her first right into the machine with everything she had. For a brief instant there was a series of electric sparks and then Videl`s hand plunged into the guts of the machine, tearing right through the punch registering section, which topped out listing her at an astonishing(to most of the people anyway) 1,257 before breaking under the force of her punch. Hercule winced, as did Suta and the military looking guy, but none of the others did much aside from showing obvious surprise at the girl`s potential.

"Holy... Okay, Videl`s in for the adult round," Capel muttered, marking her name onto a scorecard. "Next?" He asked, pointing at the unbroken punching machine.

Suta went, registering a 304 with what looked like a mid-effort punch. After him came Piccolo, who lightly tapped the machine and got a 286. Then came Juuhachigou, who lightly jabbed it and got a 704, and then the military guy, who topped out at 120. After that it was nothing but the low 200s at least for everyone, with Gohan coming close to breaking the machine on accident, and the cloaked fighter, now identified as Jun-yah also coming close to the same feat. Dabura had just finished as Vegeta snorted and walked up to the machine.

"Stupid piece of crap," the Prince uttered, throwing his hand forward and hitting the machine just lightly by the standards he trained under. What was left of the machine after an ensuing explosion of parts rained down onto a wall a few dozen feet away, splintering right through it and flying on until they eventually crashed somewhere out at sea. Vegeta casually turned around and walked back to the fighter`s lounge.

Videl, Hercule, Suta and the army fellow`s jaws all hung open in unison. Gohan shook his head and stared at the Prince with a sarcastic look plastered on his face. "So much for not scaring everyone away," he thought aloud, trudging after Vegeta a few seconds later.

"Hold on everyone, since you guys are all in the adult division, you`ll have to watch the juniors from the walkway or the stands," the announcer stated, causing Vegeta and Gohan, both now situated in the fighter`s lounge, to idly get back up and begin to move along with the rest of the group towards the stands, though Yamu, Dabura and Spopovich all remained where they had been before, deciding to sit it out from within the punching area rather than hang around everyone else. Hercule eventually broke from the group as well, heading to go get himself prepared, as did Suta and the military fellow, leaving everyone else to lounge about together.

Gohan, Videl and Zangya moved at the back of the group, Tien and Chaozu took the right side, Piccolo moved off ahead of them all alone, Krillin, Juuhachigou and Seventeen(who had yet to be recognized by anyone but Juuhachi and Piccolo) moved along at the opposite side from Tien and Chaozu. It was a motley looking group, but there also seemed to be a barely friction involved within the group. Everyone was pretty laid back for the most part, even the ever intense Piccolo and Tien weren`t really edgy. Vegeta had gone off towards the bathroom, but Gohan could sense him heading towards one of the Tenkaichi`s tower-like buildings. The Prince could hide it all he wanted, but he wanted to watch his son go into action the first time and he`d be damned before having to do it with everyone else.

Today was gonna be the day
But they'll never throw it back to you
By now you should've somehow
Realized what you're not to do
I don't believe that anybody
Feels the way I do
About you now

Among the flock of twenty eight young competitors, there were two young children, both too young to actually be legit for the tournament both both somehow inside of it just the same. Goten looked edgy, Trunks looked confident, both looked ready to wage war and both knew they probably wouldn`t really get any decent fights until the last round.

"How long until we get started?" Goten asked. "I dunno, a few minutes I guess," Trunks replied with a whisper. "You do know I`m gonna beat you though, right?" Trunks asked. "`S not what Jack said," Goten replied with a grin. "You and your imaginary friend... Feh," Trunks replied with a roll of the eyes. Goten fidgeted as the countdown to the start of the Junior Tournament began...

And all the roads that lead to you were winding
And all the lights that light the way are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you
I don't know how

Bulma, Yamcha, ChiChi, Roshi, Umi, Oolong, Lunch and Puar all gathered together in their seats, a tightly knit grouping themselves. Bulma and ChiChi were both grumbling about their sons while Roshi and Yamcha were placing bets with each other, and Oolong and Puar, as to who would be walking away with the championship this year. "Gohan`s gonna win this one," Roshi stated. "Vegeta isn`t exactly a push-over you know," Yamcha replied. "He and Dabura both might be some trouble for him," the former bandit added a second later.

"Piccolo`s gonna knock `em both out," Oolong interjected smugly. "Or Tien," Puar added. Lunch`s addition to the conversation was probably the only unexpected one, she was usually so quiet unless reverted into Kushami, but for the moment she had decided to join the main grouping in placing a bet. "I`m going to say Videl might win," she said. Yamcha and Roshi blinked a bit before continuing, Puar shook her head and Oolong snickered a bit.

It was about this time that Umi noticed a pair of familiar children among the crowd of junior competitors. He didn`t say anything though. The announcer did, but Umi didn`t.

"... Son Goten and Trunks Briefs are new competitors to the Tenkaichi, but given their heritage and the fact they say they`re great friends and sparring partners outside the ring, they could go a long way to victory," the announcer stated. ChiChi and Bulma both twitched before settling back down and placing their gambles on who would win. That, and planning the dozen or so punishments they had planned for the two after it was all done...

End Part One





Author`s Note: * = Capel Bind is a corruption of Italian for blonde hair... I think. Tinoca can be respelled as action.

** = Read Hybrid Theory: Evolution if you want to know about the things hinted at in this story. It explains a lot of the backstory of the Hybrid Theory series so...