Author's notes (for pt. 4):
Okay, that has to be the most amusing way I've ever been encouraged to write more fic. Quote: "Are you in jail or somthing? Or did you die? If your not dead, would you please update?" *laughs* I'm not in jail, nor am I dead obviously. :) If you want the excuses for this part here they are: I go to University during the week and work on the weekends. I also found a new fandom to write fanfiction in and picked up making AMVs. O_o; Bad me I know. Ah well.
More Notes : This is where the good ol' science fiction stuff starts coming in... see if you can figure it out what happened.
He drifted in and out of somewhat disturbing dreams for most of the night. He last dream consisted of something to the effect of watching Goku fish in a small pool of water. Vegeta watched him lazily. It was only when the idiot emerged from the water again, buck naked and grinning from ear to ear that he turned and looked away, letting out a small snort of disgust.
It was when he turned his face that the flash happened. So bright, it blanked out everything and when it faded away again, he couldn't see. It was dark and not only could he not see, he also could not sense Goku's chi. In his dream state he panicked and turned all about, trying to locate him somewhere... anywhere... even naked and acting like a complete dolt would be preferable to constantly being stuck alone in silent darkness. He could not find him however and he still could not see. After a few more steps he stumbled and fell into water... into what he could only assume was the fishing hole. Suddenly he was suffocating-- *drowning* and he couldn't get to the surface again, no matter how hard he fought....
He came to with a start, sitting straight up and gasping for breath. It took a moment for him to reorientate himself. Yes he was still blind, and yes he didn't have his sense of hearing, but he certainly was not drowning. Not only that he could sense Goku, and though the larger Saiyan was several kilometres away, he was still close enough for Vegeta to 'feel' him. The other's chi was calm. Relaxed. There was no reason for him to be worried.
So why did he still have goose pimples crawling up his arms and the moderately disturbing feeling that he was being watched?
Shivering, Vegeta slowly climbed to his feet. For a moment he wavered slightly. Hands reached out to help steady him.
The hands weren't his own. The hands weren't Kakarrot's. These hands were slightly cool, and left a slightly charged feeling along his skin, speaking of metal and electric circuits beneath those fingers...
Android. It could only be an Android.
Vegeta freaked out.
Goku had been fishing in one of the only lakes that he had discovered had fish left alive in it, several miles away at the time. Even underwater and concentrating intently on his prey, he could feel Vegeta's chi flare.
Confused, Goku stopped concentrating on the fish and rose to the surface. Obviously Vegeta had awaken then. But then what could have caused Vegeta's chi to flare like that? It was a very quick power up, one that was only used when desperate or in the heat of battle...
He was out of the water, airborne, and racing towards the valley in an instant. As he went he was surprised that he actually felt a wave of pure terror wash over him. It nearly knocked him out of the sky with its intensity. It was only when images began to pop up in his mind, of both android 17 and 18 and he "saw" an very brief image of one of his arms being broken. It was only then that he realised that what he was feeling wasn't coming from him. They were coming from Vegeta.
'Huh,' He thought to himself. 'I must have done something to his mind last night.' He didn't know that he would have been opening a constant thought channel between the two of them by sending Vegeta mind images the night before. "Opps." He added out loud, placing a hand behind his head and grinning sheepishly, even in mid-flight.
His grin faded as the panic he felt ascended to new heights. He instantly placed a serious look on his face and concentrated on flying faster.
He wasn't in time to prevent any damage... but he was more than a little surprised at what he did find. His mouth fell open as he began his slow descent into the small valley. Potholes all about the place that weren't from the night before indicated were the prince had rattled off chi blasts in a desperate attempt to keep the android at bay. The android in question was presently standing several feet away from the prince. His arms were folded in front of his chest and his eyebrows were raised in a vague expression of surprise. He had nothing hostile with him, except for what looked like a rifle or a large gun, but that resided harmlessly slung over one shoulder. It didn't look like he had used it...
Vegeta was cowering against a tree. Goku couldn't imagine what could possibly have caused Vegeta to cower... until Vegeta inadvertently told him with his mind. He had been just awaking when the android had touched him. He had just touched his arm, but the cool feel of artificial skin over metal had tipped him off that it was one of the androids. Vegeta had panicked, understandably... apparently he had been in the throes of a bad dream only moments before, and the android was one of the only things he could not sense the chi of.
Goku landed and began to walk forwards. Vegeta's head turned in his direction and he calmed considerably as he approached. As for the android, 17 turned and raised an eyebrow as he approached.
"What do you want?" Goku asked him. He shook his head slightly, as he still could not hear his own words... only the very faintest buzz. There was no way he could hear the android. This... this was going to be interesting, he decided grimly. He could only hope that the android was friendly. 17 was always the loose cannon of the two... though he hadn't attacked or interfered with any of the Z warriors since Cell...
The android cocked his head to the side and considered him for a second. "....?" He asked, but his voice was, of course, silent to Goku.
Goku shook his head slowly. "I can't hear you." He replied. He gestured to his ears and shook his head again for good measure.
"...?" The android repeated. He sighed when Goku shook his head again and instead pointed over his shoulder very deliberately. He made the motion again, paused and waited for Goku to react.
Goku got it. "Follow you?" He replied out loud.
The android nodded. He levitated into the air and flew a couple feet away, then stopped, waiting patiently.
Goku hesitated for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of following the raven-haired android. On one hand the android could want to take them some place where they would be able to attain medical attention. That would be nice... and it would be especially helpful if Vegeta were able to see and hear again. On the other hand it could be dangerous to follow the android... there was no telling where he'd lead them.
After a moment of careful consideration Goku decided to follow the android anyway. He was fairly sure he could deal with whatever there was in front of them. He raised himself up in the air as well. He glanced back at Vegeta... then landed again. He paused then took off again flying in the direction of the android. There he stopped again and patiently waited, hoping that Vegeta would get the hint much like he had on the day this had all began.
Vegeta did get it. The prince raised an eyebrow slightly, then pushed away from the tree, blasting up into the air. After a moment Goku began to fly away from the valley with Vegeta followed him close behind.
As he followed the android Goku mulled over the android's sudden appearance. He wondered vaguely how long the android had known of their existence. He had thought it was fever sleep, but had he been the one who helped them on the first couple of days? He only had slight memories of a dark haired stranger giving him a hand, nursing him back to health. If so, he wondered why he was helping them anyway? Or was he not, and was merely leading the two Saiyans off to their demise?
A sudden flash of light off to their side called Goku back to his present surroundings. He stopped, surprised as what looked like weapon's fire came flying at them. Android 17 had stopped as well, holding them back with his hand. He turned his head and shouted something back at them, then shook his head. Goku glanced back at Vegeta only to find that the prince had stopped as well and was waiting obediently.
Another flash of weapons fire came at them from off to the other side. This one came a little bit closer to home as something very large exploded off to Goku's right, blinding him for a second. He blinked his vision back just in time to see Android 17 yell something and fly backwards. He landed squarely against Goku's chest. Startled Goku caught the android and simultaneously ducked another large projectile object. Not only were they under attack... they were under heavy attack. He turned frantically, only to find that Vegeta had already figured this out and more... having powered up so that a strong shield of chi shimmered around him. His face was closed with concentration as he swung about, relying on senses other than his sight and hearing to locate the movements of the weapons' fire. After a moment he had guessed the approximate location of the weapons' fire based on the angle the projectiles flew at him by. He reached out, and fired, hitting the local of the weapon's fire on the one side dead on. Goku watched a bit gapped mouthed as he turned and did exactly the same thing on the other side.
Then he turned and smirked in Goku's direction. 'Well?' He seemed to say.
"Very nice," Goku muttered out loud. He suddenly realised that the android he held was struggling against him. "Oops..." Goku quickly let him go.
The android flew a few feet away from Goku and quickly brushed himself off. When he turned back around again Goku could see the tears in his shirt where he had been hit, but other than that the android looked none the less worse for wear and appeared to be functioning fine. Goku cocked his head to the side, his face full of curiosity. He wondered why the android hadn't attacked the weapon's station instead of letting his blind and deaf companion do it for him.
"Why didn't you attack them?" Goku asked out loud, gesturing down at the now smoking locations where the weapons had been firing from.
"....?" The android moved his head to the side as well and questioned him, looking honestly confused. "...." He held up his gun and gestured down below. He then shook his head. "....?"
Goku had no clue what the android just said. He had forgotten that he was pretty much completely deaf despite the fact that he spoke out loud and couldn't hear himself. He winced and shrugged sheepishly.
'Will you stop trying to talk to him when it's obvious you can't and let him take us to where ever it is we're going?!' Vegeta's irritated voice echoed through his head. Goku flinched and clenched his skull briefly, turning to stare at the prince with wide eyes. When all he was met was a scowl, he sighed and turned back. Nodding to the android, he gestured at him to continue to lead the way.
They reached the city after only a little bit more travel, and there was no further incident with attackers. Goku nearly started at the sight in front of him though as the city came fully into his view. It was more a town than a city, and it looked more like a refugee camp than anything else. A small downtown core of buildings was surrounded by ring upon ring of poorly constructed haphazard houses and tents. On the very outskirts of the town lay a last ring; this one looking like it was occupied by soldiers at posts. They gave the three of them very suspicious looks as they flew by, something that troubled Goku very much.
The android guiding them ignored the soldiers and instead continued flying, above the lines of tents and shambled houses, past the lines of dirty grimy looking people gazing up at them with curiosity and a little bit of foreboding. They continued on, right into the town centre, where the buildings were tall and straight and admittedly a bit different than the buildings in Satan City that Goku was used to. After a moment of hovering, 17 set them down in the middle of what looked like a helicopter landing pad on the top of one of the buildings. He indicated for Goku and Vegeta to follow suit.
Goku did so, only after a hesitant glance at the guards that stood framing the circular pad. Besides the fact that they looked grumpy and carried weapons, they made no move to intercept the android and his guests. In fact they even stepped aside with slight inclining of their heads as the android walked by towards a set of double doors at the edge of the building. He typed something into a keypad and the doors swung open. He stepped inside them into an elevator-like contraption, and beckoned his companions forwards.
Goku afforded one quick glance behind himself at Vegeta to find the prince was following close behind him. Satisfied he turned back again, and stepped in the elevator with the android. It was Vegeta's turn to hesitate when he came to the threshold of the doors. Walking inside would put the prince a little bit too close to Kakarrot than he would like. His lip curled slightly. After a moment Goku sighed and reached out. Grasping the prince's wrist he hauled him forwards and brought him into the car with him. The android smiled slightly and jabbed a button on the side of the elevator car. The doors swung closed even as Vegeta turned to snarl something intelligible at Goku.
Goku smiled back. The elevator jerked and began to descend, which caused Vegeta to stumble ever so slightly. The blind prince allowed himself to be surprised for a whole half a second until he folded his arms across his chest and picked up sulking arrogantly.
17 caught Goku's eye around the prince's stiff form. He raised an eyebrow, a slight smirk creeping across his face. Goku shrugged in response, grinned and looked away.
The elevator deposited them several floors down, opening up onto a brightly lit floor all in pristine white. 17 stepped out of the elevator purposefully, leading the way as Goku and Vegeta followed silently. 17 continued down the hall without looking around, but Goku was ever curious and looked about eagerly. His eagerness faded into apprehension as he saw what was in the various doors that lined the halls. The rooms were full of people... some of them covered in bandages, others looking very sick. White clad doctors and nurses administered to them.
Goku's hand almost unconsciously carried up to press against one of his ears. He was glad they were in a hospital... for Vegeta's sake. However for him... he didn't want to be here. If they were in a hospital of some sort that mean unpleasant things... like needles. He shuddered at the thought. He almost wouldn't mind being deaf forever if he could avoid having to have a needle...
'We're in a hospital,' was Vegeta's sudden and sharp announcement in Goku's head. It so surprised the taller one that Goku flinched and looked back to give Vegeta a surprised look.
Vegeta picked up on his look even if he could not see. He sighed and sent him back images from his own head. They consisted of pictures of needles and general antsy alarm. 'I can read you like an open book Kakarrot.' Was the sarcastic tone that accompanied his message. 'You broadcast your thoughts far too easily. ... And often.'
Shame faced, Goku flinched and vowed deliberately started working on hiding his thoughts.
By that time they had reached the end of the hall and had started down another one. Upon reaching the end of that hall the android and stopped suddenly, then pushed open a closed door. He stepped inside, gesturing that Goku and Vegeta should follow him.
Goku looked around avidly. This room was large and well lit. Computers lined one wall, flickering dully. A desk surrounded by all kinds of medical looking equipment sat in the middle of the room, and at that desk sat a woman with light brown hair. Her back was turned to them and she was hunched over papers, seemingly enveloped in her work. It was only when Goku caught Android 17's mouth move out of the corner of his eye did she look up. She turned in her chair to face them, a bright smile on her face.
Goku took a step back and nearly bumped into Vegeta in his shock. Her hair colour was different, but she looked exactly like...
When it was confirmed at Kami's lookout that Goku and Vegeta truly were not on the planet any longer, a quick 'call' to Kaio-sama brought forth even more troubling news...
The two Saiyans appeared to not be anywhere else in the Galaxy either. Neither were they in heaven or hell. By this time everyone had gathered on the lookout, and this news was taken with varying degrees of shock. Chi-Chi went into minor hysterics, shouting obscene words at the deities involved. Bulma and the oldest Son boy Gohan, (who had skipped out of overtime at work when Trunks had called), looked rather shocked. Only Piccolo remained calm, though he was usually the one that remained calm in any given situation.
It was also Piccolo who picked up giving out orders as well. "When was the last time you saw your father?" He asked Trunks.
Trunks looked up at the stanch Namek and blinked. "He and Goku were travelling east away from home," He said making a hand gesture in a vaguely eastwardly direction.
"Good," The Namek replied. "We start there." When he realised that everyone had turned to look at him expectantly, he raised his voice. "We'll search every inch of land in that direction until we figure out what happened to them."