Disclaimer, in case it wasn't obvious. I don't own Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, or really any other property. Thank you.
The Long Road
Chapter 1: Purge
Hope was something that the Son family had held onto for thirteen years since the day Raditz had taken Gohan into the stars.
There had been years of strife, villains, monsters, and nefarious plots. Each one as they arrived down the chain of events preventing Goku from doing what he'd promised Chi-Chi the day he got back from death. Goku had wanted to search the stars for their son, and bring him back to the Earth. The Dragon Balls themselves had denied them the right to bring their son home.
"It is beyond my power to bring the one known as Son Gohan, son of Goku, back to this planet."
Shenron had implied he was too far away, beyond the power of the Guardian of the Earth himself. That, was when hope had started to die, at least for Chi-Chi.
Goku and the others had certainly kept the Earth safe. The saiyans were defeated, Nappa and Raditz being killed in the process. Raditz had been killed by Piccolo before Goku could even make it to the battlefield, his old enemy Piccolo unintentionally making his quest all the harder. Vegeta had survived, if only just, barely escaping to his space pod.
It wasn't until Namek that Goku discovered that Raditz had just simply left his son at a 'facility' for the Planet Trade Organization. He never knew which one.
After Frieza's defeat on Namek, and then death on Earth at the hands of Trunks, it was time to prepare for the Androids. First Androids 19 and 20, then 17 and 18, and finally Cell. When Cell managed to become "perfect" he'd nearly destroyed the Earth. It wasn't until Piccolo, Vegeta, Trunks and himself came together, uniting their powers into one that Cell was defeated in a final gargantuan effort.
Finally, there was peace, and finally Goku was going to leave the Earth to find Gohan.
Instead, however, he found out about his new son Goten. Chi-Chi had gotten pregnant before the Cell Games, and with the new child on the way it'd been impossible to just leave, at least at the moment. And then there was the fact that both he and Chi-Chi felt the fear of loss, every time he'd felt prepared enough to leave, there was always the fear that his leaving would somehow jeopardize Goten.
Now, now in this exact moment, Goku was looking at Gohan's room quietly. Chi-Chi had always insisted on maintaining the room for when Gohan got back. But it was finally getting to the point where they needed more space in the house, there had been another scare that Chi-Chi may have been pregnant a few weeks earlier, but it turned out to be off. The simple truth was however that they finally needed more space, and he'd not exactly been fighting in many Martial Arts Tournaments lately, money was tight so they weren't just going to buy a new home or get some kind of addition.
Beside him, Chi-Chi looked incensed, upset. Who could blame her? Goku had said what perhaps should have been said years earlier.
"I think its time we started to use this space... a bit better."
That was all Goku had to say to set things off for both of them.
It was like a punch in the stomach to both of them. To Goku it was a combination of things, he'd failed his eldest son and wife the day he couldn't save him from Raditz. The same day he died. He'd failed to find his son amongst the stars, life continuing to get in his way. Finally, it was the realization that Gohan may have even been dead, and years of hope may have been misplaced. Chi-Chi's pain was perhaps even greater than his own, as he'd always felt he could at least right the wrong, but she had been truly helpless watching what happened from the side-lines. There was no real difference she could make in her son's fate.
But now, it'd been 13 years. Thirteen years since their son Gohan, at the age of 3 and a half had been taken away from them. Thirteen years they'd kept this room ready for if a small boy would return. The pain had been very, very real for Goku, as all he could imagine was a small boy when he thought of his son, but the truth was that was no longer going to be the case. Even if he found Gohan, Gohan would have a life of his own by now, whatever life they may have been.
I hope you are safe, Gohan.
"Better how?" Chi-Chi immediately questioned, her line of words delivered with a harsh tone. "I'm not exactly pregnant, Goku. So what would reorganizing this do, other than destroy Gohan's room?"
To Chi-Chi, perhaps this place had almost become a shrine to what they'd lost, a final connection to her boy. The boy who would grow up to be an acclaimed scholar, a loving husband to some beautiful girl, and eventually a proud father himself. She'd always had dreams for her son, dreams built on the idea that if she'd helped raise him right he wouldn't want to be a fighter as Goku had been, or even herself.
But right now she knew Goku was shattering those last illusions. Their son was gone.
Guilt washed over her, the same guilt she felt in her nightmares. The feeling dragged down her spirits and her angry, loud antics almost ceased immediately. There were no tears, not right now anyway. Her eyes just disappointingly looked at the room for a moment. Quietly she pushed past Goku, walking inside. Sitting down on the boy's bed, she just sighed, looking down at the floor and felt sick.
Within a few moments, she felt Goku sit next to her, an arm coming around her shoulders and pulling her against him.
It still hurts. Chi-Chi thought to herself.
"I know Chi," was all her husband could say to her, as if reading her thoughts.
It was the words that somehow pushed it over the edge, quietly she felt herself slowly starting to break down. Hot tears slipped from her eyes as the idea of taking the room down settled in. This was her last reminder of Gohan, and they had to take it down, but worst of all she knew he was right.
Later that Evening:
A streak of fire shot across the night's sky, burrowing through the atmosphere. It made collision only 50 miles from the outskirts of Satan City. To everyone watching it was a spectacular event, to some who'd lived through the destruction of East City, and there were few, it was a nightmare. It looked almost the same as what had happened when the saiyans arrived on the Earth, so very long ago.
The pod slowly hissed open as a white glove came out, grasping the side of the pod and pulling himself up. His black undersuit clung to heavily developed muscle, but hid the scars beneath. White armour was dimly visible in the night with golden pauldrons. An elite if there ever was one, forged in the fires of more wars and battles than most lived through. Short cropped saiyan hair hung to the side and front of his head, keeping it purposely short in order to prevent opportunities for his opponents to exploit, as well as decrease maintenance.
The oldest wound he'd earned was the great scar on the left side of his face, a long dark line from the top of his forehead, to the bottom of his cheek. He'd nearly lost his eye from that lesson. It was his first lesson.
A legacy project like this was hardly worth his attention, but it reflected poorly on the organization. Forty Years, an unserviced contract remained out on this planet, and the buyers were rightly upset. Lord Cooler had personally given him this project, and he was hardly going to fail the most powerful being in the universe. He'd survived this long by never disappointing those who were more important than himself.
His three mentors in his life had taught him well the price of failure. They'd taught him well how to ignore the screams of the dying, and to delve into his own bloodlust for more strength. The worst were weak planets that offered near no resistance. All the same, he knew he'd at least get to indulge in real battle before the ever boring slaughter began. You just blocked out a slaughter, so there was little to celebrate.
A fuzzy brown tail wrapped around his waist as he idly thought about his next move.
The city lights in the distance told him however, where he could bring the fighters running. Annihilating a city from the map usually gave the same result as tapping a Sozen Wasp's Nest with a stick, the defenders would scurry out as quickly as they could.
Nothing particularly impressive came on the scouter, a few power levels exceeding 50,000, but little else. Even then, 50,000 was nothing compared to his power.
Hovering into the air, Gohan's purple aura surrounded his body, before blasting into the night sky, towards Satan City.
Now above the city, the monster who'd purged over 100 worlds, pointed his hand down towards the city which bore the name of Mister Satan, letting power flow through his fingers and palm, a purple blast forming at the edge of his hand. Before it could fire however, a figure appeared in front of him, out of nowhere. His scouter beeped several times as it tried to get a reading.
15,000? This will hardly be a challenge.
"Who are you?" Goku demanded.
It was a simple question, and one that didn't really need to be answered as far as Gohan was concerned.
"A saiyan warrior," the response was given with a devilish smirk, before the blast he was forming for the city, was instead blasted into Goku, the sky seemed to almost be cut open in a massive purple wave of energy, illuminating the entire city.
I don't waste my time talking with low level... ?
When the saiyan saw that his counterpart floated there, absolutely unscathed, his eyes tightened into a narrowed glare.
There is no way his power level is 15,000.
Reaching up and clicking the scouter to update the reading, it processed for several moments before the device exploded from the side of his head. The small explosion caused him to shift his head to one side and flinch away.
"I don't think you know what you're up against. You're strong, but you don't have much of a chance against me. My name is Goku, and I am the defender of this planet."
This comment made Gohan reassess the look of this fighter, no longer able to just ignore him. The face, the hair, the build...
Turles? No, there is no way this guy is Turles.
"I don't think you know what you are dealing with either, Goku," the word came out with a measured level of contempt.
It was more irritation that he'd destroyed a perfectly good scouter. This clearly wasn't Turles, as Turles had a power level greatly inferior to his own. But he did understand something about this new challenger...
He's a saiyan. But why is he wearing such strange clothes, and why is he protecting these weaklings?
"I know exactly what I am dealing with," Goku's response was flat, now becoming more serious. "For your own sake, you should leave this planet and never come back. I don't want to have to hurt you."
Hurt me? Please.
To Goku, he was staring into the cold serious eyes of a monster, one just like Vegeta had been when he came to Earth, maybe worse. There wasn't the amusement in Vegeta's eyes that he'd seen when they first met, these were detached, cold, unforgiving.
"Please," Gohan responded, not sounding impressed. "I can tell you are a Saiyan, just like me. Your blood must be boiling right now, itching at the chance of fighting a strong opponent."
It was then that Gohan took a fighting stance, preparing himself to defend, or attack, finally a cold, yet genuine smile creeping across his face.
"But you aren't a strong opponent," Goku told him bluntly.
There was something that ticked, before the younger Saiyan launched forward, his aura trailing along with him before he struck out, trying to bring down this supposedly powerful enemy. His arm sailed past the other Saiyan's head, his speed almost untraceable. Every kick and punch that followed were completely ineffectual, not even blocked but simply dodged, avoided. Finally, as if to stress the point, Gohan's fist connected directly with Goku's chest.
A small shock-wave blasted out, cracking through the air. Goku however, didn't move. He didn't budge, he just stared straight ahead at Gohan's face.
The younger to the two looked at this in complete confusion.
He's so fast, and yet he can take a punch from me without even flinching? What the Hell am I dealing with here?
His thoughts didn't have time to continue, with a single effortless knee, Goku slammed into Gohan's abdomen. Hanging over the knee in agony, his ribs almost buckled and broke from the blow. Air suddenly became hard to contain as he tried to gasp for it. Once the knee pulled from his stomach, Gohan in the air almost dropped out of the sky, moving his hands to hold his ribs as he tried to stop himself from vomiting.
"You know the Price of Failure." Cooler's words echoed in his mind, trying to pull him out of this miserable state.
"Your kind are all the same. Arrogant and unforgiving, you don't understand when you are being offered mercy, or when you are outmatched."
Suddenly the purple aura flickered around Gohan brightly, staring up at the man who was, unbeknownst to him, his father. Blue bolts of lightning rippled around his hands before he shot higher into the air.
Turning his head up, Goku just looked up at what he was doing, feeling this saiyan condensing most of his power into one point.
Well, he knows how to try and damage a stronger opponent. That's a big attack. Goku thought.
Even before the attack, whoever this was had a power close to that of Frieza's. For a saiyan who'd never ascended, never fought on earth or understood how to red powers, control their energy, or unite body and mind, it was very impressive.
"Outmatch this! Because if I miss it'll blast this planet in two!" Gohan shouted, before finishing preparing the assault.
Forcing Goku to challenge the blast was his best option now, if he dodged then he'd at the very least condemn the people of the city to their doom's, if no most of the planet.
His entire aura disappearing into him before he shot the lion's share of his power forward.
Screams erupted from the streets below as people saw the huge purple blast shooting down.
Let's see you stop that!
High winds swept through the streets, glass on larger buildings waxed and waned. Some cars began to almost flip from the force of the bolt of massive purple energy as it made its way towards Goku.
Two black eyes widened as the real force of the attack made itself known. It was absolutely massive in its size, and its power was enormous... for his opponent's current level of power. What it did do however, was force him to begin powering up.
When his hands touched the incoming blast, he put all his own force into it. It slowed in the sky itself as the winds and force below picked up.
To Gohan watching this, it was fantastic, watching this huge attack battle with his adversary. It was when he saw it stop moving that he became concerned. When it slowly started to push back, he knew what to do.
Dropping down, Gohan zipped to a lower level, preparing to attack with what little energy he had left to disrupt his enemy. Only to find Goku's body almost burning with a golden energy, his hair having turned gold as well, arching itself upward. Within a second, his own blast was sent flying up, arching towards outer space itself, spiralling into oblivion, leaving only a purple trail behind it.
Gohan's eyes turned upwards, into the sky as the lion's share of his energy had been done away with as though it was nothing. His eyes seemed to almost shrink, trying to focus as if to find where it had gone, despite the fact that finding where the energy was hopelessly heading was now pointless, it wasn't heading towards his enemy, or the earth.
But... I... He... There isn't...
Jumbled thoughts ran through his mind. Unconsciously he started to almost tremble, a powerful fear beginning to grip him. This fighter was further beyond him than his master, Lord Cooler. He was at the very least multitude beyond Cooler. But how was that possible? On this lump of green, brown and blue, how was it possible for this to occur?
Why wasn't this guy laying waste to the universe? Conquering, crushing, and destroying, as any Saiyan should.
Finally turning his head, he stared at the golden fighter with something itching in his mind, clawing at the edges of his brain, spitefully almost laughing at him.
He's going to kill you now! It almost seemed to mock.
Before Gohan could even say a word, this Goku fighter had appeared in front of him, his fist already having connected with his gut. It was almost instant, several ribs broke effortlessly, he felt his organs themselves almost bleeding, and some probably were. Blood instantly shot up through his mouth, inherently responding to the damage inside him. His gold and white armour fractured and shattered from the blow.
It was in the next millisecond that Goku's leg had already flipped around, crashing into his right arm at the shoulder. The sound of his shoulder giving way and breaking was uncomfortable to say the least, as his arm became crippled as well. His already agonized ribs shrieked with further pain.
Things ended with a diving punch, only a second later, colliding with the side of his face. His head almost came off, if it wasn't for him pouring the remains of his energy into his body to defend, it would have. He'd completely lost control of his body however, there was no ability to even raise his remaining 'good' arm to defend his landing, hitting the earth at sound barrier breaking speeds head and neck first.
Completely unable to resist the forces around him, for almost a mile his body tumbled through the utter layer of the earth's crush, creating a new canyon of destruction just outside Satan City.
When Gohan finally came to a halt, covered in mud and blood, his undersuit almost entirely destroyed, his armour certainly nothing but advanced chip fragments now buried in soil and rock, all he could do was breathe. Even that was a struggle. Blood was leaking from his shoulder, his head, his body and various cuts along his entire body, along with internally from the vicious blow he'd received at the beginning of the battle.
You can't even stand? Be a Saiyan, learn to die on your feet! It was Paragus's voice in his mind, urging him to stand up at least to die with some dignity. The old warrior had been his first mentor after he'd found himself within Cooler's section of the PTO.
Trying his best to move, his body was almost completely unresponsive. It was agony even to attempt it, it felt like he was going to come apart just in the attempt. Barely managing to sit, Gohan immediately coughed up more blood.
In the last 12 years, he'd never been hurt so easily, never been cast aside as if he was a child. His pride was badly, badly mauled by this failure, worse, panic was beginning to set in.
I can't die yet, not like this.
Looking up helplessly, Goku was already standing there, looking down at him with unsympathetic eyes, they were utterly unforgiving. He'd receive no mercy, nor did he deserve any. Any Saiyan would never offer.
With his humiliation already completed, his pride already torn to shreds, all Gohan had left was a plea, the same one he'd used as a child.
"P-please." he struggled, barely able to speak. "S-s-spare... me."
There was another cough, his left eye barely able to look up at Goku, his right one swollen shut now by the force of the impact of Goku's punch.
The other Saiyan's face did change. It was even disgusted. It was far worse than just anything such as disgust, something his mentors Turles and Paragus had given him constantly, no, it was a look of revolting pity that he received, mixed with anger.
"I pity you. You're so lost you think begging for your life is going to save you? You had your chance. I always offer monsters like you a second chance, and you always refuse it. You try to hurt and kill more people every time. Well no more, you've dug your own grave. Just remember how many people you gave a chance when they begged for you not to take their homes away, or kill their entire worlds?"
Fear, panic had turned into it the second the fighter spoke. He knew it'd come to this, but it was all so sudden, too sudden. His body became wracked with painful convulsions, as if desperately trying to find a way out of this terrible situation.
He would be completely forgotten, just another dead body on a distant world, within a few years there would be no one left who bothered to speak his name. As it were, he was nothing before, he would be nothing then, not even a lasting reminder.
A selfish sob escaped him, just as Goku's kick came, hitting him in the sternum and breaking several more ribs, his body was once again sent diving through the ground.
When he stopped this time, he couldn't even sit up. A few warm tears had leaked from his swollen and normal eyes, tears born of a feeling of complete helplessness and fear. Splayed out and unable to move, his body laying in an awkward, broken position, Goku appeared above him one more time.
His consciousness was now in and out, blurring and then barely focusing in sporadic moments, he couldn't focus, his mind felt raw.
This is it.
Hell surely awaited him, and it would be a Hell filled with the judging voices of the billions he'd sent to the next world screaming.
"What's your name?" Goku finally asked, putting his hands out to mercifully end his suffering.
At first he tried to speak, but the word wouldn't come out, he tried to mentioned it, but blood just came, coughing out. Finally, after his second painful, bloody cough, the saiyan finally managed to speak.
And then the world fell into darkness.
A/N: I decided I wanted to write something really different from my other story, even though ts my primary focus and ongoing. But given that this is a side effort of mine, its not going to be updated twice a week, but perhaps once a week, or once every other week depending on if a chapter is done or not.
Despite the first chapter, I wouldn't expect an over abundance of fighting happening in this story for a long time. The issues just don't get resolved in giant fights. If I were able to describe this correctly, it'd be an Tragedy, Drama, Angst, Romance, hurt/comfort, perhaps even spiritual. However I'll probably list it as a "Drama/General" given the broad scope it falls under.
I really wanted to tackle a Gohan whose not just in, but from a very dark place. He went from a sheltered, happy life, to a violent hellhole nightmare, and thrived. But to thrive, you're really not the same anymore.
Expect a fair number of flashbacks as the story progresses.
The M Rating is going to be largely for the flashbacks. Extremely terrible and vicious physical child abuse, violence, and other things such as mature themes.
But, let me know what you think. Please Review and tell me what you think.