This fic is brought to you by TDS member AlphaShenron.
Disclaimer: TDS does not own Dragonball/Z/GT
Reach into your center and stretch it out. Legs were crossed lotus style, hovering a meter above the smooth tiled floor. Pool it into your muscles and let it resonate within you. A white cape fluttered in the wind over a red sheath for an unremarkable red pole. Let the energy flow along the coils and ease away the pain. A large white mantle was attached to the cape and extended out to the left, leaving the right side free for the pole to stick out. Now with the aches gone, contract and extend each individual fiber. Let the energy do the work. A dark purple gi was worn over the bearer's tall and powerful frame, with the shirt and pants stretched to accommodate the wearer and a brown belt-like tail wrapped around his waist. Ignore the pain, keep the flow steady. Ease out any knots before they appear. Little brown moccasins were attached to the man's feet. Once long ago the man had jokingly referred to them as 'booties,' but now he wouldn't wear anything else. When the fiber is finished, release it and move onto the next. When the group is done let the energy sit and revitalize the muscles, allowing it to be taken away and absorbed. Black hair waved in the air, rising up in the air before gently arcing down as it submitted to gravity's will. Relinquish control, let your body do what it knows to do. The air itself thrummed with power. Energy wafted off of the man's form in waves, giving him an eerie blue glow. With a final pulse of power the man uncrossed his legs and returned to the floor, his mind quiet now that his workout is finished. His gaze swept over the world from his lofty perch, eyes surveying each city within their reach, looking for any sign of danger. Satisfied with what he saw, the man turned around and headed to the center temple on the heavenly platform.
On his way there, he passed a short rotund black genie. The genie didn't pause in his humming as the warrior walked past, the event having occurred repeatedly during his stay. So far the man had been here much longer than even the one who once wore the style of clothing he now emulated. Many years had passed since that time, and ever since the departure of the fighter's only child he had stayed up here, away from the world he had protected for so long. Space held his only remaining family and while the Earth had forgotten him, he had not forgotten it. Fifty years had passed since that fateful day when the eternal dragon Shenron had returned to the world and during that time, the warrior had only gotten stronger, and younger.
The man's genetics were inhuman; in the fact, they weren't human at all. A series of alternate genes led to the creation of naturally occurring stem cells that replenished his body. Combined with a boost in power with every injury, this was a recipe for the perfect warrior. Able to live forever and gain power indefinitely, this man could have easily taken over the cosmos had he so chosen to do so. But evil had never taken root in his heart, and every action led to the betterment of others. He had helped save the Earth countless times, had fought crime in its cities, and had even died for it. And while he sometimes felt the distant ki spikes of his friends and daughter, he never once left his home.
When Shenron had been summoned, it was the first time the man had seen him angry. In fact, angry didn't even begin to describe the raw fury of the Eternal Dragon. The dragon stared down at the man and Majuub, recognizing the two warriors from when he had personally arrived to carry the elder warrior's father away with him. The two of them should have realized the folly of reviving the Dragonballs.
"How dare you summon me once more! Have you not considered the consequences of your actions? Did you not learn from last time?"
Though the dragon's booming voice shook the entire Lookout, Dende stood firm.
"The world needs Dragonballs once more Shenron. Without them it will descend into chaos. Besides, we no longer have to worry about the effects of using them. Remember when Goku swallowed the four star ball? He purified it using his own energy and I can do the same easily."
Shenron's head actually reared back in surprise. He had not forgotten what Goku had done and the fact that Dende could easily do the same definitely changed his perspective.
"Very well, I will allow this to pass. Do not make me regret it. Do you have any wishes?"
"No I do not. This summoning was merely to inform you of our decision."
"Wait!" the man shouted up to Shenron, stepping forward. "What has become of my father, Goku?"
Shenron bowed his head, though whether in sorrow or shame, none of those gathered could tell.
"The one known as Goku exists no more. His body could not contain the power of the Dragonballs. He planned to absorb them, but instead, they absorbed him. Only his power knowledge, and purity remain; all other facets of his personality were erased. For what it is worth, I am sorry, Gohan."
Gohan was saddened to hear the news. After all this time, he had hoped that he would be able to see his father in Otherworld, but if he had been unable to contain the Dragonballs and was absorbed instead, then there was nothing he could do. Gohan was saddened more for his mother than anybody else. As she grew older the one thing she held onto was the belief that she would one day see her husband again, and it was painful to think that she was without that solace.
Gohan had actually given up on ever seeing his father again; with his power there was virtually nothing that could kill him, and with his love of fighting he doubted that his father would ever grow old and die. At least Shenron had finalized the notion.
The eternal dragon then began to glow, until finally he dispersed into seven distinct rays of light, each heading off in a separate direction. All except for one, the four star ball descended down to the Lookout to rest at Gohan's feet, the orb glowing faintly in response to the ring Gohan wore. Reaching down to pick it up, Gohan was shocked to feel a presence insert itself into his mind.
'Your family has held onto this Dragonball for years, keeping it safe. It is only right that you should continue to do so. I think you will be able to handle one easily enough.' And with that the ball pulsed once more before sinking down into his flesh, melting completely into his hand. Gohan felt power surge through his body, but also knowledge. Everything that his father knew, he now knew. The Kaio-Ken, the Genki Dama, Instant Transmission, the fusion dance, everything! While the power boost was minimal, the knowledge was far more useful, and while there were some things that Gohan did not want to know about, mainly his own conception and that of his brother, it would open up many new avenues for training and getting stronger. There was something else that snuck in with everything else as well though, some fleeting impression: a sense of warmth and love that vanished as quickly as it came.
Gohan entered the main temple, walking down the myriad hallways contained within to a room seldomly used. Opening the thick stone door, the demi-saiyan stepped onto the platform, located in the exact center of the room. With a glance upwards at the giant pendulum above his head, Gohan mentally pictured his destination. A full-body tug was the only warning he got before the room's magic whisked him off to another time.
Deciding to have a light warm up, Gohan chose for room take him back to before the Cell Games officially started. As the light faded from his eyes and returned, Gohan saw before him the familiar arena of the Cell Games, with Cell, standing in the center. A twitch of his ankle and Gohan soared through the air towards him, gravity pulling down on him the whole time. Cell turned to face him, wearing a look of disinterest until he saw Gohan's clothing.
"Do you have a death wish? My tournament isn't slated to start for three more days. If you want to die, then come then, or just wait until I win," Cell's tone was bored as he looked upon the figure in front of him.
"Oh I don't have any plans of dying just yet Cell; I'm just here for a warm up before I go," Gohan said cockily, a confident smirk on his face.
That comment made Cell unfold his arms and actually look at Gohan. Seeing the tail around his waist, he immediately assumed he was a saiyan or had saiyan blood. His clothing was almost exactly the same as Piccolo's, the only differences being that half the mantle was gone and there was no turban. There was also the Power Pole on his back, something that up till now he had thought was safely at Goku's home. Since he had never felt this man's presence before, he could only assume he had come from the future.
"You're Gohan aren't you?"
Gohan's eyebrows arched up; he was surprised that Cell figured it out so easily.
"Of course you are," the insect-like creature sneered. "Your reaction gave it away. Don't look so surprised I'm no stranger to time travel. I'm guessing you came back in time to stop me or some other form of nonsense."
"Oh none of that Cell. I'm just here to train. You don't win Cell, and you never will."
With that said, Gohan launched himself towards Cell, his aura bursting to life around him. He gave his opponent no time to react as he swung his left arm forward into his face, knocking the bio-android back several meters, and forcing his feet to dig deep into the arena. With his free hand, he reached up and unsheathed the Power Pole and extended it to a length that could be comfortably wielded with two hands. Gohan didn't bother transforming into a Super Saiyan, seeing as it would place him so high above Cell that there would be no benefits from his training. Granted, he wouldn't actually gain strength from training in the Pendulum Room, but it could still help him work on his tactics.
Cell finally managed to negate his momentum from the surprise attack and gazed at Gohan in wonder. His power was far greater than anybody else's on the planet. He might even have to use his full power. "Fine," he spat. "If you want to play, then don't blame me when you die."
Cell's wings flared out and he rushed at Gohan with his aura roaring up around him. Gohan adjusted his grip on the Power Pole and waited for Cell to meet him, and he did not have to wait long. Cell reared his fist back and sent it directly at Gohan's face, but before his fist met flesh, he Zanzokened out of the way leaving an afterimage in his wake. Gohan countered by letting out an explosive wave of ki from his body. Cell was pushed backwards several meters, surprised that Gohan had rebounded so easily. The demi-saiyan didn't even need to know where his opponent was; an area attack would ensure that he was safe in all directions.
Turning around, Gohan shortened the Power Pole down to one hand and then pointed it at Cell. Bracing the end closest to him with one hand, Gohan rapidly extended it into his foe's stomach then retracted it before repeating the action. The Power Pole's first impact drove the air out of his lungs and the second sent him flying towards the large rock formation that Earth's Special Forces would eventually rest on. With a quick flare of his energy, Cell stopped himself in midair just inches away from the formation. Glaring down at Gohan, Cell decided to power up and teach the man a lesson in pain and power.
"I'll admit you have surprised me, but this ends now. I don't have time to play around with you."
Cell's power instantly soared upwards, stopping when it reached the level that he would fight Goku at, confident it would be enough.
Stretching his body out straight, Cell leered down and taunted Gohan. "Any last words?"
Gohan sheathed the Power Pole and nodded. "Yep! Just this though: Kaio-Ken times three!"
Gohan's body erupted into red ki as his power quickly jumped up much higher than it had been. He was still weaker than Cell, but that was the point of this exercise. Placing two fingers to his forehead, Gohan warped directly behind Cell and placed his free hand on the insect's back. Gohan charged ki into his palm and fired it directly through Cell's unguarded body. The green and black fighter clutched at the open wound in surprise before flipping upside down and landing a kick directly on Gohan's shoulder.
Gohan felt around his new wound open as he violently smashed into the ground. The instant he touched it, his nerves screamed as if they were on fire. Gohan was surprised to see how much damage Cell had done; he had broken his left clavicle in one hit.
Well he did say he was done playing around. Well, time for the next level I guess.
Gohan lurched to his feet, fighting the urge to grab his wounded shoulder. Drawing a deep breath, he braced himself for the pain as he shouted, "Kaio-Ken times four!"
His shoulder screamed in protest, but Gohan had been expecting just that and knew how to stop it. He sent his ki into the wound, finding the screaming nerves and silencing them, ending the signals of pain. Turning around to face the smug android, Gohan glared at him, his old anger resurfacing at the look on his face.
I'm going to enjoy ripping him apart again.
The demi-saiyan poured ki into his right hand, then lobbed it at Cell. The android Zanzokened away from the blast and, noticing that it arced back towards him, fired a blast at it to counter. Feeling a rush of air against his back, Cell flared his wings out and extended his tail, stabbing it directly behind him.
Gohan dived to the side, causing the tail to miss his right lung and go directly under his armpit. Seeing his chance, the warrior grabbed onto the tail and forced the stinger open. Ignoring Cell's shout of surprise, Gohan capitalized on his advantage and collected ki into his throat. His eyes winced at the sting and his throat felt like he had just thrown up, only the sensation was twice as bad. Despite the pain, Gohan fired the ki directly down Cell's tail, causing the bio-android to scream out in agony as the energy traveled along the tail and directly into his internal organs.
Whipping the vulnerable appendage out of Gohan's grasp, Cell turned around and unleashed everything he had from point blank range. Gohan had no time to raise his defenses and the blast carried him off into the distance, the ki attempting to eat away at his flesh. Cell rocketed up into the atmosphere, content that he had bought himself some time. Reaching the safety of space, Cell relaxed and let his body take care of the damage. He could feel his power increasing rapidly as his cells replicated and replaced the damaged tissue, beginning with the life-threatening internal injuries.
This Gohan from the future is a much bigger pain than I realized. He hasn't even transformed into a Super Saiyan and he's this powerful. If he transforms, then that could be the end of me!
Looking down at the Earth, Cell had an idea. If he can't breathe then he can't fight, or live. It's a shame I couldn't fight Goku, but his son has proven too dangerous; perfection will not be defeated no matter what!
Blue ki started to flicker into view in between the creature's two hands as he drew them together by his side. Cell focused, charging his Kamehameha, and ignored the blast leaving Earth's atmosphere several hundred miles away from his location.
He started to put all the ki in his body into the attack; everything not related to keeping him alive would be used to destroy the Earth. The bruise on his cheek started to sting and the area around his left shoulder started to ache. All his injuries were becoming more pronounced as the ki used to stabilize them went away. Cell felt... odd. All his extremities were growing stiff and began to feel tingly. His eyesight started to blur, similar to the head rushes some of the humans experienced whenever they stood up too fast or suddenly. Finally when it was unbearable, he brought his arms forward, with some difficulty, and fired all of the collected ki down directly towards the planet.
Ow, ow, ow, ow. Unwilling to scream, Gohan merely gritted his teeth and repeated his mantra: mind over matter after all. Finally getting fed up with Cell's blast, he flooded his muscles with ki, expanding them to many times their normal size, and threw the blast up into space.
The ki's heat left his gi torn to pieces and parts of his body literally smoking. Gohan was angry with himself; he should have seen that attack coming, but had never expected Cell to be so desperate. It seemed that that last attack had definitely left quite an impact on the android.
Gotta get used to charging ki into my throat, he mentally berated. Piccolo could do it and even Nappa used it once. And each time they did so it was more powerful than a blast concentrated into the hand, must be the difference in surface area.
Gohan was brought out of his musings when he felt Cell's power climb higher than what his max had been. It still wasn't as big of an increase compared to when he tried to self-destruct but it was still significant. Looking up, he saw a bright blue light in the sky and realized that it was an attack. Gohan's eyes bugged out when he realized the sheer amount of ki it contained; it was much higher than what Cell had used to try to kill Gohan in their final struggle.
And this is what I get for being careless. Vegeta would kick my ass if he ever found out about this.
"Kaio-Ken times ten!"While it wasn't the highest level that he could take the Kaio-Ken, Gohan struggled to maintain the power, then he lost it. The damage to his body was much too severe to sustain it. With the Kaio-Ken backfiring on him, he was left much weaker than he had been when he started. Looking up into the face of the attack, Gohan frowned,
"Ah shit, at least it isn't real."
Then it was upon him and there was purest agony for a second, then it was gone, and the world faded to black.
Gohan fell down on his hands and knees with a gasp. Even though he was accustomed to the room's effects, it still floored him on every return. His power spiked for a moment along with the urge to smash his fist into the floor to vent his frustration, but it quickly dropped down to normal levels as he calmed himself. Releasing a pent-up breath, Gohan slowly started to stand. Gohan turned toward the exit and walked out of the Pendulum Room toward the main platform.
His muscles throbbed painfully from his earlier meditation, so he opened his floodgates and let his ki sooth each one. Gohan was glad he had thought of this new training method: using his ki to utterly destroy his muscles in a process similar to actual contractions. He was able to more thoroughly repair each muscle causing his strength to grow much faster. When coupled with his technique training in the Pendulum, he could get the physical training aspect done quickly and then train in a life or death situation without the actual death.
Sensing that Majuub was waiting for him, Gohan gravitated towards the young man. Though he was now several hundred years old, he still looked as young as he did when he first fused with Mr. Buu, the good-half of Majin Buu. One of the unforeseen advantages of it was that he was essentially immortal; the only way to kill him would be the same way that his previous self had been killed, an all out attack to destroy every atom of his being. While his regeneration wasn't nearly as effective as the real Majin Buu's due to having an organic body, it was similar to namekian regeneration but without the energy drain. Initially Majuub had been stronger than Gohan, but the difference had faded rapidly after Videl's death. When Videl's health had gone south, Gohan had stopped training to focus entirely on her which enabled Majuub to pull ahead in that time. When Videl died, however, Gohan threw himself into his training, gaining strength in leaps and bounds, miles ahead of anything Majuub could achieve. At his present full power, Gohan was many times stronger than Majuub, but ever since Shenron had first been summoned and the four star Dragonball was stored inside his body that had changed. Gohan ended up teaching Majuub all of the techniques that his father had withheld from him, so with the Kaio-Ken Majuub could bring his power upwards to match Gohan's. In fact the highest that Majuub could go with it was a multiplier of one hundred and twenty-seven.
Raising a hand to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight, Gohan stepped out of the temple and onto the platform. He spotted Majuub over at the edge standing next to Dende, and made his way towards the two men.
"...at least the village doesn't treat me like some kind of god. Man that would be awkward, imagine me, a god," Majuub was saying to the nodding Dende. Gohan only managing to catch the tail end of his statement as he got closer.
"I can see how that could be a problem," the namekian agreed. "It is so odd to see how short ordinary human lives are, after all by my race's standards I would still be considered a teenager in terms of age. Luckily our species does not view young ones as inexperienced; we value all input no matter the source. Sometimes wisdom flies from the mouths of the young. This is true for all beings, but it seems only some realize it."
Gohan by this point had reached the two of them and waited, content to rest his muscles. He did not have to wait long as Dende immediately noticed him and included him in their conversation.
"How did your training go, Gohan?" the Guardian of Earth asked his friend.
"I got cocky," he sighed, ashamed. "Cell beat me. Quite easily I'm afraid."
"How? Didn't you beat him when you were like what, eleven?"asked a shocked Majuub. The idea of Gohan losing to someone he had beat as a child was ludicrous, to say the least.
"I decided not to transform into any of the Super Saiyan forms. Originally, I needed to go Super Saiyan Two to kill him. That was the first time that I realized I had broken through the barrier. I pushed him into a corner and he got desperate, but I had forgotten how many tricks he had up his sleeve. He ended up destroying the planet to kill me. Granted, with that attack he pulled off I don't know whether or not he would've needed to destroy Earth. I am curious as to how he managed to make such a strong attack when he was weaker than he had been when I killed him."
Dende chose that moment to interject, "I saw what happened. Cell put all his energy except what he needed to live into the attack. It was a last ditch effort in case you transformed. That thought was what made him so desperate."
Gohan opened his mouth to talk when Dende whipped his head up towards the sky and frowned.
Tensing up, Majuub asked, "What is it Dende?"
"A ship is entering Earth's atmosphere, but I can't tell whose or how many are in it though. Or what their intent is."
A slight flicker of ki caught everyone's attentions. Majuub looked at Gohan with a grim look; while the flicker had been brief it was enough to to show the person was powerful.
"Seems that someone isn't good at hiding their ki," Majuub said.
"Or maybe something else," Gohan added. "Any number of reasons could account for the flicker. Just be ready for anything."
The ship came into view at that point, coming in for a landing directly on the Lookout. It was beat up, with various pieces of scrap metal welded onto it. One thing was for certain: the Capsule Corp. logo was on it, faded as it was. Coming to a stop above the Lookout, its landing gear came out and down and settled onto the tiles. With a rush of escaping gas, the hatch opened and lowered, two figures present on it, a man and a woman. The woman had spiky black hair that went in every direction down to just below her collarbone. She was of average height at around five feet and nine inches. She was wearing a dark blue armor similar to that of the old Planet Trade Organization but it covered much more than the older models. Solid armor pieces covered each muscle group with armored flexible segments at each joint; the armor covered her whole body with seemingly no seams, not even at the boots. The most noticeable thing about it though was the many cracks that adorned its surface. What shocked Gohan and Majuub the most was the brown tail wrapped around her waist just like Gohan's was. The man was wearing the same type of armor in even worse condition and he was wounded. A fresh scar was cut diagonally on his right eye, leading away from the center of his serious face. His right arm was in a sling and he stood with the majority of his weight on his left leg. A sword was strapped onto his back and he had long purple hair.
Hopping off of the platform, the woman turned towards the wounded man and held her hand out to him. The man smiled as he took it and she helped him off the platform, it was obvious that his right leg pained him from the way he had stood. Turning towards Gohan and Majuub, his smile got bigger and he spoke, "Hey Gohan, almost didn't recognize you without the glasses. Did ya guys miss me?"
It was Trunks.