Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or any of its characters. If I did I'd be a whole lot richer.

Chapter 1

Goku watched as Gohan and Cell fought over the fate of the earth. They seemed to be evenly matched. Gohan phased out of sight as Cell threw a punch at his face. The Super Saiyan reappeared behind the killer android and lashed a leg out at the monster's head. Cell was too fast however and dodged easily, kicking Gohan in the stomach. The Super Saiyan clutched his stomach from the force of the blow as blood gushed out of his mouth. His knees buckled and he collapsed to the ground dropping out of his Super Saiyan transformation.

Why isn't his hidden power coming out? Goku thought as he watched his son struggling to stand up. I know he has hidden power in him.

"All finished already boy? I thought your father said you were going to beat me." Cell moved his hands down to his sides in a very familiar fashion. "Oh well I'll just finish you off then. KA… ME… HA… ME…."

Gohan looked up in fear as he saw his father's signature attack forming in the android's hands. The boy brought his hands to his side. He only had one chance at this. "KA… ME… HA… ME…." Gohan chanted as he gathered all the energy he had into a beam of his own.

"HA" Cell screamed as he released his energy. The Kamehameha shot at the young demi-Saiyan while the fate of the Earth hung in the balance of this fight.

"HA" Gohan released his own Kamehameha wave. The two beams met in the air and pushed against each other. The boy poured every ounce of energy into the attack but Cell's power was too much. The two blue energy waves were pushed toward Gohan, the boy's energy barely slowing down the monster's attack. Goku watched as his son was engulfed by the energy. Seconds later he felt his son's energy signature fade away.

Cell turned to stare at Goku. "Now the Earth is mine," the android said.

-Dbz-

Goku awoke in a cold sweat. It was three days until the Cell games and he had been having the same dream since he'd left the hyperbolic time chamber. It always ended the same. Every time Gohan fought Cell, his hidden power failed him and the monster destroyed the boy. Goku knew what he had to do. He slowly got out of bed, leaving Chi-Chi sleeping soundly beside him. He briefly thought about waking Gohan and bringing the boy with him but he decided to let his son sleep. After all it may be too much to put the fate of the world on the shoulders of an eleven year old boy. After putting on his orange fighting uniform with the blue undershirt and leaving a note saying that he'd be back tomorrow morning, he left, headed for the Lookout.

Goku traveled the distance in minutes and found Dende waiting for him. "I felt you coming," the little green Namekian said as Goku landed. "What's bothering you that you'd be up here at four in the morning?"

"I need to use the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to train more for my fight with Cell," Goku told the new Guardian of the Earth.

"I thought you'd already trained all you needed," Dende replied.

"I need to be sure I can beat that monster," Goku said with his voice shaking slightly.

Dende noticed the uncertainty in the normally carefree Saiyan's eyes. "Sure, you can use the chamber for another year if you need to. Just don't stay in there too long. We don't know what we would do if you got stuck in there."

"Thanks Dende," Goku said as he headed into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. "I'll make sure to come out in time."

-Dbz-

Out in the expanses of nowhere, in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Goku threw kicks and punches at an imaginary opponent with determination in his eyes. The Saiyan phased out of sight appearing deeper in the chamber still locked in a fight with his imagined opponent.

Several hours later the Super Saiyan floated to the ground panting for breath. That had been a good workout but he just didn't feel that he was getting much stronger. He and Gohan had started running into the same problem when they had been training in the Time Chamber together. At first the two Saiyans had made great leaps in power but after they fully mastered Super Saiyan, the power gains started to become much less from the same amount of training.

Around that same time Gohan started running the fever. Even in his poor condition, his son had refused to quit training. It was during one of these training sessions that his son, delirious from fever had momentarily ascended to the next level of Super Saiyan. Goku could instantly tell the difference between this new form and the Ascended Super Saiyan form that he and Vegeta had both discovered. This was truly ascending to the next level. The power was amazing and it didn't make Gohan overly bulky. He hadn't seen firsthand if the boy was faster in that form since Gohan had collapsed back into his base form from the strain of the transformation. But, he knew that this form was the key to beating Cell. He had been sure that if backed into a corner that Gohan's hidden power would come out and allow the boy to ascend past Super Saiyan and beat the monster.

So, being as strong as they could without ascending, the two had exited the Hyperbolic Time Chamber early and took it easy while waiting for the day that would decide the fate of the Earth. But then the dreams had started. Now Goku was back in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber training more so he would be able to beat Cell. I have to find a way to ascend, Goku thought. That's the key to beating Cell. Goku clenched his fists at his side and began to power up to his maximum. His aura expanded in a golden flame as his power rose. He pictured Cell fighting Gohan in his head. He could see his son being engulfed by Cell's Kamehameha Wave. He had to get stronger for the fate of not just his son but the fate of the whole planet. Images of Cell killing everyone he cared about flashed through the Super Saiyan's head. The anger grew inside of him. He hadn't felt this angry since he witnessed Frieza killing his friends. His power continued rise above his maximum. His hair lengthened slightly and his muscles bulged just a little. Lightning joined his aura. Goku looked down at his hands amazed at the new power flowing through every muscle of his body. Now all he had to do is learn to control this new power.

-Dbz-

Goku exited the Hyperbolic Time Chamber feeling stronger than ever. He hoped it would be enough to beat Cell. He let his worries drop from his mind as he went to spend the last two days before the Cell Games with Chi-Chi and Gohan.

-Dbz-

"Ladies and gentlemen," an announcer with dark black hair and glasses said, "this is Jay Firecracker reporting live from the Cell Games. The world champ is expected at any moment. Wait, here he comes now."

A big limo drove up and Hercule Satan stepped out giving the victory sign and generally acting like the jackass that he is.

"Mr. Satan," Firecracker said. "What are your thoughts on the fight?

"I'm going to crush that stupid amateur," Hercule said. "Cell doesn't stand a chance against me."

"Well you heard it ladies and gentlemen," Firecracker said into the microphone. "Hercule is already declaring victory against the monster Cell."

Just then Vegeta landed next to the ring and stood there with his arms crossed over his chest.

"It looks like we have an observer," Firecracker said. "How'd he fly in like that?" he asked Hercule.

"It's all a trick," Hercule said. "Just like the ones that Cell uses."

Mr. Firecracker walked over to Vegeta and put the microphone in his face. "Do you have any comments to make about how Hercule is going to beat Cell?"

"Get out of my face before I blast you to oblivion," Vegeta said clearly irritated.

-Dbz-

Goku, Gohan, and Trunks flew toward the Cell Games arena. They stopped in midair as they saw Tien, Yamcha, Krillin, and Choutzu waiting for them. "Glad you could make it," Kakarot said.

"We're not going to face Cell one on one," Tien said. "But we'll be there to try and stop him if everyone else fails."

"That's all anyone can ask," Goku said.

"Let's go then," Trunks said. With that the warriors took off toward the arena once again.

-Dbz-

Android Sixteen landed right next to the arena.

"Well Sixteen," Cell said with a grin. "I see you're still alive and kicking."

"You will be stopped today," Sixteen said in a flat voice.

"And who is going to do that?" Cell asked. "You?"

"Even with my improvements," Sixteen said, "I am still no match for you. But you will be defeated today."

"Apparently Cell knows this newcomer," Firecracker said.

"It's all a trick," Hercule mumbled to himself.

The 'World Champ' was interrupted by the rest of the Z-warriors landing just outside the ring.

"Ah, Goku," Cell said. "I was wondering if you'd show up."

"I'm ready for you Cell," Goku replied. "You're going to pay for all the people you've killed."

"So who is going to be the first to face me?" Cell asked.

"I'll go first," Goku said stepping up to the ring. He shot a glance to Vegeta, "unless you have a problem with that."

"Go ahead," the Saiyan Prince replied. "We all know it'll be me that ends up beating Cell so it doesn't really matter."

"Excuse me," Firecracker interrupted putting the microphone in front of Goku. "Do you intend of fighting Cell?"

"Yes," Goku answered. "I'm going first."

"The insolence," Firecracker replied. "We all know it'll be the champ Hercule that will beat Cell. He is going first."

"That dumb ass," Krillin said. "He couldn't beat a fly."

"They use a bunch of tricks like Cell does," Hercule said. "I could beat them all with one hand tied behind my back."

"There you have it ladies and gentlemen," Firecracker said. "We have some competitors that claim to be stronger than the World Champ but personally I think they were just scared of Hercule's power and refused to face him in the last tournament. We'll begin with Hercule facing the monster Cell. We all know that this will be the only match of the tournament since Hercule will surely win."

"I don't think we're going to convince them," Gohan whispered to his father.

"He deserves what he gets," Yamcha seconded.

"We can always wish him back with everyone else even if he dies," Tien pointed out.

"You're going down, Cell," Hercule yelled interrupting the conversation. The stupid man walked up to the monster and got in a martial arts stance.

"Let's begin," Firecracker announced.

Before Hercule could enter the ring, a helicopter interrupted the Cell Games. Out of the helicopter jumped a tall blonde man with long hair. He wore a white jumpsuit. The man landed in the ring with a rose in his mouth. This man was Caroni one of Hercule's best students. He turned to Hercule. "Allow me to take out this trash for you master."

A second man quickly jumped from the helicopter and landed in the ring beside Caroni. This man was as tall as Caroni but built like an Ox. He wore a dark blue jumpsuit with a metal mask. He took off the mask and crushed it with his strength. He put it in his mouth and swallowed it. "I am Piroshki I will demolish Cell."

"Who are these newcomers," Firecracker asked Hercule.

"These are my two best students," Hercule said. "I will allow them to face Cell first."

"Caroni and Piroshki will defeat Cell," a fiery redhead said into a microphone of her own as she slid down a rope from the helicopter.

"Who are you?" Firecracker asked.

"I am Ms. Pizza, Hercule's agent," the woman answered.

In the ring Caroni leapt into the air at Cell. As he came down for a karate chop to the monster's neck, Cell lightly flared his aura out sending the blonde fighter flying far out of the ring and into a cliff.

"Oh that was a horrible defeat," Firecracker said. "Any comments from the champ or his agent?"

"Well Caroni was like a son to me but he never quite lived up to his father's expectations," Hercule said.

Back in the ring, Piroshki charged at Cell with his arms swinging in wild circles but the monster was in no mood to play with weaklings. He spun a foot around and landed a kick in Piroshki's face knocking out the huge warrior in one hit.

"Another crushing defeat," Firecracker said. "It appears that the champ himself will have to face this monster."

"Hercule is much stronger than his students," Ms. Pizza said. "He'll defeat Cell for sure."

Hercule stepped up into the ring and faced the monster. "Cell you're going down," he said. He pulled out a capsule and threw it on the floor of the ring. Fifteen tiles appeared. The champ leapt into the air and smashed his fist into the tiles. Fourteen of the tiles cracked to nothing but one of the tiles remained un-cracked.

"Wow," Mr. Firecracker said, "you saw it here today. Mr. Satan has just broken fourteen bricks with his bare hands. Now he is going to face the monster Cell."

Hercule charged at Cell with a kick right to the monster's face. Cell never even flinched, not even feeling the blow. Hercule continued to throw kicks and punches wildly.

"Hercule is throwing punches and kicks so fast that Cell doesn't have any hope of blocking," Firecracker said. "This man is amazing."

Finally, Cell got bored with Hercule and backhanded the loser and sent him flying out of the ring where he hit the ground hard.

"Oh no, Hercule has landed out of the ring. Is there any hope left?" Firecracker walked over to where Hercule lay. "What happened in there?"

"Well with the kind of power I've got, one little slip can send you flying like that," Hercule lied.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Hercule's own power is what sent him out of the ring. He may still be able to beat Cell after all."

Cell turned to Goku. "Now shall we get started?"

"Let's do it," Kakarot said stepping into the ring and getting into his fighting stance.

The fight between the two titans began as Goku launched forward and threw a punch at Cell's head. Cell deftly dodged and came around with a kick to Goku's head. Goku phased out of sight and reappeared behind Cell. The two then disappeared from sight battling faster than the spectators could follow.

Firecracker turned to Hercule. "Any comments on the fight?"

"It's all a trick," Hercule said hoping that the media would buy it. "I could beat both of them with one hand tied behind my back."

Minutes later the two warriors landed facing each other in the ring. "Surely you have more power than that, Goku." Cell taunted. "I'm done warming up." The android clenched his fists at his side and screamed as his power rose to more than twice Goku's power.

"Fine if that's how you want it," Goku replied. With a scream he raised his power to match the monster's power. "Now let's get this show started."