Shades of Darkness

Part 10

Judged by Blood

Disclaimer: I know, I know, no matter how much the voices tell me otherwise, I don't own. sigh

Well, I'm sorry for the wait! Hope y'all like! Till later,


Several years had passed since Goten's birth and Gohan, now sixteen, was getting ready to go to highschool for the first time. Both he and Mirai would be Orange Star High School in less than a week for the rest of their school careers. Chichi was currently in the kitchen holding Gohan's schedule in her hand, frowning at her oldest son for his vehement protests. "You are going." She told him coolly over the noise, and you won't deter me from that decision."

"But Okassan–!" Gohan cried, "I'm a slave! They'll hate me!"

"I was a slave when I went." Kakarotto pointed out. "It's not as though it's a big deal. Most people didn't know until they realized I knew universal AND Saiya-Go."

"But I have to wear THIS," Gohan gestured to the collar encasing his neck, "and I can't really HIDE the thing. It's to big and bulky. Why do I have to wear it anyway?"

"Because our government..." Kakarotto trailed off not adding the ending he really wanted to. "Now, my son, you have to accept the fact you are different and stop hiding it from the world. The world gives no pity and grants no quarter and you need to learn to deal with that. You and I, we'll always be dirt to them. That doesn't mean we're actually less. You remember that."

Gohan turned away, "I know, Otousan, but it's hard to remember out there."

Chichi looked from father to son and slipped quietly from the room, giving the two privacy. She recognized that this was not something she could help Gohan with. She just didn't understand what was going on like Kakarotto did, since she was never a slave. Kakarotto sent her a wave of love through their bond and returned his attention to their son.

"Otousan, this isn't like when you were a kid!" Gohan finally burst out. "It's worse, different."

"What I put up with daily." Kakarotto pointed out. Gohan blushed but didn't turn his gaze from his father. "You and I will always be different than them, Gohan, but we can't let it change how we act towards others or what we do in different situations. You will have to go and do the best you can or you will let them control you even though you are free. Well, almost. You understand that?"

Gohan thought he actually did. By letting society control his actions, he was letting himself be a slave to others even though it wasn't really in name. He nodded to his father and then dropped into a chair, head in his hands. "I'm just so...afraid that I won't be able to do it. Won't be able to keep up with the other kids, won't understand anything. I'm afraid to fail. Because if I do, then they'll think that we're not worth anything."

Kakarotto hugged Gohan gently, stroking his spiky hair softly. "You've grown so much, my son," He whispered, "and so I will share the secret that got me through school. You do not fail until you have given up. You are not a failure until you do not try. The greatest warrior Vegita-Sei had ever seen was once asked why acted as though he never lost a battle. 'I do loose,' He had replied, 'but I do not fail because even when my opponent was bigger or stronger I refused to give up. It is one thing to loose a battle, it is another to loose your will. Even when I lost I learned something, so I did not fail.' Bardock told me that once, too. You and Mirai may fail a class, but you will never stop doing your best."

Gohan smiled at his father and nodded, hugging him tightly. "Arigatou, Otousan," He whispered. "Watara no ai dasa." (I love you much. This is NOT Japanese!)

"And I you, my son." Kakarotto gave the teen one last squeeze and released him. "Never forget that."

And Gohan knew he never would.

"Gohan!" Chichi yelled, running into the room. "Hurry! Get up! We're going to be late! Quickly now, come on!"

Gohan gasped, waking fully. "What do you mean?"

"It's five already! If you want to have time to do your daily katas before you have to leave and still eat you have to get going!" Chichi exclaimed, throwing his window open. "Come here so I can remove your collar." Gohan obediently rose from the bed, walking to his mother and bending down so she could reach the clasp of his collar.

"I hate that thing." Gohan snarled, glaring at it. "I can't wait to get it off."

"It's not going to be until you are twenty eight, you know." Chichi said softly. "That's another twelve years."

"I know, Okassan. And Goten's getting his soon as well, isn't he." Gohan sighed.

"In about a month." Chichi agreed, holding her son's collar. "I'll go hang this by the door. Don't forget it when we leave or else they might come after you again."

Gohan offered his mother a small smile and nodded in agreement. "I won't." He promised. He hustled her from the room so he could dress and quickly took off through the open window. This morning probably wouldn't be fun, nor would the rest of his day seeing how he had to go to school.

It had been a plot between Chichi and Bulma, to send Gohan and Mirai to school in Satan City. They needed to socialize and get used to the world, the two women had told his sadly. Despite the two teen's arguments about how they would be treated, and both their mothers telling them that they knew, the two demi Saiya-Jins would still have to go.

Gohan did several high kicks, working on his katas even while he was lost in thought. Satan City, named so after Hurcule Satan who claimed to have been why the slave rebellion was stopped ten years ago, had grown large. Gohan and Mirai would be attending Orange Star High School, much to their displeasure.

"Gohan! You need to come in and get ready!" Kakarotto yelled as he passed. "Chichi just called me in as well."

"Thanks, Otousan!" Gohan called in reply, just getting ready to take off as he was tackled from behind by a little Kakarotto look-alike who was giggling madly.

"I wanna piggy back, Go'an!" The little boy yelled happily. Gohan smiled at his little brother. Goten had grown quite a bit over the past five years, though he was still as cute as ever.

"You want a piggy back ride Goten?" Gohan tossed the child into the air. "What makes you think I'll give you one?"

"Cause you is the bestest big brother in the whole wide world!" Goten exclaimed, admiration shining in his big black eyes.

Gohan laughed and settled his little brother on his back and nodded. "Well, if that's why, I'll give you a piggy back ride."

"Thank you Go'an!" Goten told him cutely. "I love you!"

"I love you too, little brother." Gohan replied, taking off. "Now hold on tight!"

Goten squealed and giggled the whole ride home.

Gohan stared nervously at the wooden door that lead to his new classroom. Mirai put a hand on his shoulder and the duo gulped at the same moment. "We can do this, right?" Gohan whispered softly to Mirai. Only Saiya-Jin ears could have heard his words.

"We will do this, whether or not we can," Mirai replied, looking just as nervous. "That's what my Tousan said, at least."

"Vegita said that? Words of wisdom from your Otousan that weren't for you to discover it on your own?" Gohan grinned.

Vegita was a loving parent, but didn't go much for advice. It was funny that way. When one of the boys needed advice, it was Kakarotto or Radditz, and occasionally Bardock they'd run to. Vegita was more of a disciplinarian than anything. Even for Gohan. All of the boys had ended up calling both he and Kakarotto Tousan for a long time. They occasionally still did. Of course, the favor was returned for their mothers as well.

Gohan shook himself forcefully from his thoughts and touched the metal doorknob. "Let's do this," He whispered, and opened the door.

The classroom fell silent as the two entered the stark room. It was a typical classroom, tiers lining the room setting the desks slightly up form the row before it. The floor was white tile, the walls were white, and the ceiling had harsh florescent lights glaring down at the class. The form of the room held the stereotypical teacher's desk and green chalk board. Mirai and Gohan glanced at one another and then to the class.

The teacher eyed them, then their collars, "What are you two doing here?" She finally demanded. She really didn't have anything much against slaves, but she couldn't let them be run aways without reporting them in.

"We're the new students, sensei," Mirai inclined his head slightly in a bow. "Our mothers, who are also our owners, signed us up here."

"Ah, yes. You must be Son Gohan and Briefs Mirai, then." The teacher nodded to them and gestured to the only seats left. One was next to a boy with long blond hair and the other was by a girl with black hair and eyes. She almost possessed a Saiya-Jin look, though she was definatly human. The seats were one in front of the other so Gohan allowed Mirai to sit behind him, next to the girl, while he took the other seat.

"So you're a slave, huh?" The blonde demanded. "I'm Sharpner the sixth. You'd better stay outta my way, scum."

Gohan snorted and turned to find Mirai deep in conversation with the girl next to him. He tilted his head and heard small snippets of conversation that meant absolutely nothing to him. A flash of metal at her throat caught his attention. It was one of the smaller metal bands used on the weaker species of ki wielding aliens to keep their powers in check.

Mirai glanced up and met his eyes, grinning slightly. His fingers flicked in the military fashion that their parents taught them years ago. "Her name's Chico." He signed.

Gohan nodded to the blond next to him and signed out, "This is Sharpner the sixth."

Mirai made a face, he had heard the stories of the original Sharpner from their fathers and he wasn't pleased about the arrangement. Gohan tilted his head towards Mirai and winked, flicking his fingers in a gesture that meant they could talk later.

Mirai nodded and class passed without further incident.

Gohan was in second period when the door to the room flew open and slammed against the wall. A teenaged girl ran in, bowing. Gohan sat straight up in the chair and eyed her with large eyes. She was short, maybe five feet three inches, with long black hair and large baby blue eyes. Her face was set in a permanent scowl, and her stance just screamed the fact she was a fighter.

"Sorry I'm late, Mr. Balazir." She panted, throwing her hair from her face, "I was out fighting some criminals, they were holding up the bank AGAIN. You'd think that place would figure they would need a better security system by now."

Balazir nodded in agreement, it was the third time that week she was late due to a bank robbery, but he overlooked it just the same. "Please go and sit down." He requested, gesturing towards her seat. Videl began the trek up the stairs when she noticed that the seat next to her, normally empty, now had someone in it.

"Mr. Balazir? Who is this?" She gestured towards Gohan, nose wrinkling slightly at the collar that hung around his neck.

"Son Gohan. He's new. I expect you to treat him as you would anyone else." Balazir stated coolly. "Now, go sit down."

Videl shrugged and nodded, putting her head in her hands. "I should have known that riffraff would start sending slaves to school." Her tone implied that she found them worthless, but her eyes stated differently. Gohan blinked and turned to see Chico shake her head to Mirai when he seemed to take offense.

The duo shrugged at each other and turned back to the teacher to pay attention. If class was this boring all the time, they would have to work out a system. Maybe Gohan spacing in one class while Mirai took notes and Gohan returning the favor while Gohan slept.

It was lunch time before the rest of the student body had a chance to speak to the two teen Demi Saiya-Jins. The slave activists were grilling them for information and the two boys were trying to get away from the fanatics. Not with any luck, of course, but that was not unusual.

"Gohan?" Mirai dodged another fan girl and then a teen trying to get them kicked out for fighting, "Were our mothers insane to send us here?"

"Of course. Remember, we have to set an example for our little siblings, cousins, and other annoying relatives that aren't really related by blood." Gohan made a face and imitated his mother.

"Oh yeah." Mirai made a face, "Forgot about that."

"Oh, look! Clearing! Clearing!" The two made a mad dash for it and managed to reach it just before their fan club caught them.

Some one clearing their throat caught their attention. "May I help you?" The voice was feminine and annoyed.

"Erm. . . Gohan squeaked, "Maybe?" The speaker was Videl. A rather irrate Videl, with Chico trailing behind her.

"Chico?" Mirai looked shocked.

"She's my mistress," The girl offered. Mirai looked rather affronted. The girl ignored his look and turned back towards the way they had come. "Follow me and we'll explain."

"This had better be good," Gohan threatened. "I'm in no mood for jokes."

"It is," Videl snorted. "Now hurry up. It's a long story and lunch isn't that long."

The two half Saiya-Jins glanced at one another, confused, and hurried after the two women, wondering what on earth was going on.

(A/N) And so ends chapter 10. I thought it was a crappy chapter, but I need to have character interaction to show change in times and reactions to slaves. Sorry about all the filler stuff. Sighs Hopefully life won't wear me down again. Review, please! Flames are for S'mores!

Okay, those of you that have read this once will note the I no longer have Amaye. I didn't like her character, and I didn't like how she was turning out. So. . . I changed her. Chico is a slave. This will be explained next chapter. She has not met Gohan before, unlike in the television show.

Remember, feed the author!

Love you all!

Lady Foeseeker