Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Touketsu ❯ Reunion ( Chapter 12 )
Gohan had just been stepping out of Orange Star High with Videl when the city was plunged into darkness as though an eclipse had occurred. At that moment, his old mentor's deep voice lanced through his head.
"Gohan, get out of the city."
Gohan needed no explanation. The first thing he and Videl did was find her father and evacuate. Gohan easily hoisted the flabbergasted wrestler over his shoulder and took to the sky, Videl on his heels, as they made their way straight to Gohan's home where Piccolo informed him telepathically that he would meet them there.
Gohan stretched out his senses, and was relieved beyond words that his mother and grandfather were okay. It seemed that the demons had not yet reached the countryside. He glanced down at the crawling shadows below; much of the inky blackness diverged towards more densely populated areas, less of it crawling across the countryside in thin streams. They seemed to be taking their time, but the smaller groups would eventually reach his mother and their home. The creatures didn't seem capable of true flight; while they could levitate and glide they otherwise seemed to stay close to the ground.
He reached out to find his younger brother's ki, and let out a breath when he detected him. He was with the Briefs, and they seemed to be all right; he had apparently left for his sleepover at Trunks's early. Gohan immediately caught his breath when something occurred to him; these things seemed to be attracted to large congregations of people. Back in West City, his brother and the Briefs were particularly vulnerable. He reached out to his younger brother telepathically.
"Goten, are you and everyone ok?"
"Gohan! Yeah, we're ok. Did you see that big monster? What's going on?"
"I don't know, Goten, but I'm not as concerned about that animal as I am with those shadow creatures. They're attacking the city, but now they look like they're on the move. They're almost like one big shadow, but they're spreading out beyond Satan City and heading in different directions. They're not moving very fast… is there anything strange going on over there?"
"No, everything seems normal."
"Ok, good, but this isn't going to last; these things will eventually reach West City. Tell the Briefs to hop a hover jet and meet us at our house. I want all of you to get over here where we are. These things are focusing mostly on cities and towns. The countryside is the safer place to be right now. Piccolo, Videl and I will put up a defense if we need to."
"Ok Gohan, I'll tell them."
Goten turned to the Briefs. "Dr. Briefs, my big brother says we should leave."
Dr. Briefs and Bunny were watching the news, trying to get more information on the unfolding events. "What's that, Goten?"
"Gohan said we need to leave and go back to my mom's house. Whatever's happening in Satan City is going to get here soon."
Dr. Briefs and Bunny exchanged a shared look of reluctance before returning their attention to the little boy. Dr. Briefs stroked his mustache in thought. "Well I suppose if we're going to be on the safe side we should. I'll send Bulma a text and let her know where we'll be, then we'll need to pack a few things. If we're going to be away from home for a while I should also secure a few things that I've been working on in the lab."
"Oh dear, and I still have cookies in the oven!" Bunny exclaimed, putting a hand to her face. She scurried into the kitchen, calling out over her shoulder. "This batch is nearly done. I have one more to pop in the oven and that'll be it! Just another 10 to 12 minutes or so. Oh and I must pack up some to bring to Chi Chi. I'm sure she will appreciate it. They go so well with tea!"
Goten scratched the back of his head. "Um…ok."
Gohan had cut his telepathic communication with his brother when he realized something; when he had stretched out his senses to Capsule Corp, Bulma and Trunks were not there. Where were they? He stretched out his senses again, focusing, when his stomach dropped; Trunks was in Satan City, and Bulma was on her way there. He hadn't known, and apparently Piccolo hadn't been focused on their ki at the time either. Grappling with indecision, he debated going back; Bulma was not yet at Satan City, and while Trunks was a Super Saiyan he was still just a kid. Meanwhile, his mother and grandfather, while not in immediate danger, could well be if he didn't press on. What should he do? Just then he sensed an immense power level in Satan City that he didn't even have to focus on to detect. It was extremely powerful - and unmistakeable. A small smile quirked his lips.
From his vantage point atop the beast, the winged demon king surveyed the carnage being wrought by his army. Then, something below caught his attention out of the corner of his eye: a flash of bright, golden light.
An 8 year old boy, his golden hair standing on end, was standing on top of the immobile school bus. Amidst the confusion and chaos from his classmates, he had busted out a window and leapt up to the top of the vehicle. His classmates didn't notice the singular student slip away, not that Trunks cared whether or not they'd see him go Super Saiyan; he had to put up a defense. With a scream he ascended in a blaze of golden light, and the mass of shadows that was converging on the bus was driven back. Encouraged, Trunks proceeded to throw numerous ki blasts into the darkness that swirled about him and the school bus like eddying floodwaters.
Zhernobog Daimao arched one smooth eyebrow. This one knew how to channel his life force. Not only that, he was exceptional at it. Concentrated life energy: the Kagemazoku's Achilles heal and the only threat to their plans - however small. As if in response to their leader's observations, the Kagemazoku suddenly increased their efforts; whereas before they had been almost idly carrying out their attack on the city and consuming their quarry, now they were executing a blitzkrieg. The Kagemazoku soldiers divided and quickened their efforts in transforming the once bustling Satan City into a frigid, sprawling tomb.
The boy's interference was nothing more than a minor setback. Zhernobog and his army had encountered a number of races with this ability, but it had never been anything they couldn't overcome. It had only ever been an annoyance. Zhernobog and his Kagemazoku simply increased their efforts and retaliated with their own weapon that walked the shadow's edge between life and death. The demon king channeled his will through Tosho and into his steed's mind. "Touketsu," he intoned. "Destroy that gnat."
The massive, baboon-like creature swung its shaggy, horned head downward and leveled its burning red gaze on its target. With a curl of its lip and a snarl, dark energy began to pulse throughout the deep markings between its ribs and on its shoulders, arms, and on its face. It inhaled, a purple glow emanating from beneath the shaggy hair over its throat and chest, and fired a terrifying blast of black and purple energy.
Shocked, Trunks turned his head just in time to see the massive wall of energy heading his way. He reactively raised his ki and charged a defensive blast, barely managing to release it when the column of dark energy hit his attack dead-on. The force of the impact knocked him off the school bus, and the vehicle, its hapless passengers still inside, imploded on impact. Trunks was spared the sight as he tumbled down the street a block away. The shadow demons all around recoiled from the aura of the boy who was still in his Super Saiyan form. Trunks sat up, dazed, to see the roiling shadows around him take the shape of one winged, ghostly soldiers. In the next instant, they threw their arms out to deploy icy, obsidian sickles attached to chains. Crying out in fear, Trunks reacted quickly. He leapt up and out of the way of their attacks to levitate into the air and threw a barrage of ki blasts down on the creatures.
Trunks was emboldened when the armored specters were flattened to mere shadows under his attacks, and he flashed a cocky smirk as his confidence returned. "Yeah, take that you stupid ghosts!" He hollered as he continued his aerial assault. His smirk faltered; they kept coming back. As soon as he felled one, another emerged from its brother. Well, I guess I have to take them all out at once. He shot higher into the air and drew back his hands as he charged his attack. "You should have stuck to haunting graveyards, losers!" he shouted. "GALLIC GUN!"
Trunks sent the Super-Saiyan charged volley of purple energy into the mass of shadowy demons below. With a resounding, collective shriek, the Kagemazoku were reduced to formless shadows as they disappeared into the blast of the attack. While not strong enough to destroy the planet like his father's signature attack was capable of doing, it was enough to take out a huge portion of the vastly transmuted and derelict Satan City.
Not far away, Zhernobog flinched. Touketsu raised its head to relocate the moved target.
"Yeah! All right!" Trunks whooped in triumph, pumping his fist in the air. His celebration was short lived when he turned to see another flood of shadows cascading through the streets from the West. They took form and deployed their weapons skyward. Trunks dodged in midair before laying into them with another slew of ki blasts, rendering them formless as the shadows receded like the night from the rising sun. Trunks then felt an abrupt change in the air pressure, as though everything was being sucked inward. He turned to see the ghost-white, horned kaiju fire from its mouth a blast of dark energy straight towards him.
Without another thought, Trunks again brought his hands back to his side. "Gallic Gun!" Both attacks of purple energy clashed, one light at its core, the other dark. There was a brief stalemate as the energies pushed against each other, neither moving. A concussive wave of energy rippled outward, and with a thunderous crack the attacks completely nullified each other.
Astride the monster, Zhernobog betrayed a rare scowl of annoyance. "Finish him, Touketsu." Touketsu launched towards the levitating boy, bounding up as the knuckles of its forepaws shattered the icy asphalt with earsplitting cracks in every leap. It took a swipe at the child, barely missing as Trunks slipped through its fingers. Trunks backed up after the near hit, levitating up just out of the monster's reach. He was terrified but he would not flee; this big, dumb, werewolf thing seemed pretty slow. He could take it! Trunks gave a battle cry and released a volley of ki blasts right at its head.
The beast flinched only slightly, as though mildly annoyed by buzzing flies. It unleashed another energy beam that Trunks barely dodged. However he couldn't dodge the downward swing of the creature's massive tail. It hit him as he was going in the opposite direction sending him sailing into the base of a partially transmuted building. Chunks of ice and concrete rained down, burying Trunks beneath the debris as the rest of the building collapsed. Touketsu inhaled deep, its garnet intercostals strumming with dark light and its throat and chest glowing as it prepared to blast the pile of rubble into oblivion. The beast faltered when Zhernobog heard something.
An expansive blast of brilliant energy blazed its way in Zhernobog's direction before connecting with his steed's right shoulder, instantly enveloping them both in blinding light. The impact knocked the creature off its feet, and with a shriek Zhernobog was reduced to a formless shadow as Tosho dissipated. Zhernobog's destroyed body streamed off the creature in rivulets like black blood as the huge animal went crashing and tumbling through the buildings of the largely transformed Satan City. It finally came to a stop when it went through the base of a building, and the structure collapsed on top of it.
Touketsu pulled itself up from the rubble, snorting and shaking the glittering, dusty ice and glass from its great head as it did. It leaned forward on its knuckles and lashed its mighty tail, pulverizing the frozen rubble beneath it. Raising its massive head, it locked dull red eyes on the being that threw the projectile. The person was quickly levitating down to the ground. He was wearing an orange and blue gi, and he was wreathed in gold light, his hair a blazing yellow…
The beast's half-lidded eyes snapped fully open, flashing with a fire that had not been there before. Touketsu's long muzzle crinkled into a snarl, its lips peeling back over slimy purple gums to expose terrifyingly long fangs. It filled its lungs before unleashing a terrifying howl, the glass from the surviving buildings and vehicles shattering around it into sparkling dust. Its mental connection with its master severed, the animal retaliated against its assailant. It cracked its heavy, whip-like tail in rage before bounding straight in the direction of the golden-haired figure. Leaping and trampling over the remains of the destroyed buildings, patches of transmuted concrete shattered into sparkling obsidian fragments beneath its massive paws.
Some distance behind the charging beast, Zhernobog was recovering from the blow and managed to re-manifest his body. Around him, and miles away from beyond the city, his soldiers slowed momentarily in their advancement. Zhernobog looked over his shoulder in the direction of Goku and his errant steed. Never had he encountered a ki-wielding warrior with this level of power. The demon king noted the warrior's halo; this fighter was of the Spirit World. "The kais have sent a champion?" Zhernobog mused. Since when have the gods ever intervened on behalf of these flawed creatures? Zhernobog would need to reforge his mental connection with Touketsu. By this point the other Kagemazoku were recovering from Trunks's attacks. Suspending their nearly finished siege on the city, Zhernobog and his soldiers collapsed back into shadow before racing in Touketsu's direction.
Goku had quickly lowered himself to attend to Trunks, throwing the debris off the boy. Goku could feel his ki; he was injured but not severely, his Super Saiyan form having helped mitigate his injuries. Blearily, Trunks peered up at the person standing over him, the blurry figure's wild, upswept hair a brilliant gold. "…Dad?" he asked in a daze.
"Trunks, take my hand," Goku gently commanded.
The person before Trunks came into focus. It was not his father, but he recognized his face from the pictures at Goten's house; he was his friend's father, Goku. But wasn't he dead? Trunks pushed the stray thoughts aside and grabbed Goku's hand as he helped pull him out of the rubble.
Goku looked over his shoulder. The enormous beast was pounding its way over to them in a complete rage. Goku turned and collected his energy until his body burned with the blinding light of a small star. Trunks had to shield his eyes from the incredible light as Goku's golden hair grew incredibly long until the mane of spikes took on the appearance of a plated dragon's tail. The pupils of his eyes reappeared in blazing, blue-green irises, and his brows smoothed to take on a simian appearance. Trunks uncovered his eyes and gaped up at Goku in awe of the dramatic transformation. "Head for cover, Trunks," Goku said urgently, pushing Trunks behind him as he faced the oncoming threat.
Trunks turned, his back to Goku's, before stiffening; a wave of pulsing shadows was racing up to them. Reactively, he again ascended to Super Saiyan and blasted the throng of demons with a powerful wave of ki energy, driving the shrieking things back. Goku and Trunks then leapt out of the way of an energy blast shot from the beast's mouth. The animal trained its burning gaze at the new enemy before launching itself again. It snapped again and again at Goku, just barely missing each time.
This thing had been slow at first but now seemed to be in the full throes of battle. Goku powered up his fists and dove into the side of the creature's face, burning its right eye and temporarily blinding it. It shrieked horrifically and it immediately reacted, swiping out blindly with one enormous paw and connecting with its target at last. Goku was flung end over end through the air over a section of city that had avoided the Kagemazokus' touch. Goku did a controlled, backwards somersault as he descended down to the debris-riddled street before throwing a hand out in front of him. Digging his fingers into the pavement, he finally slowed his momentum to a stop.
Goku's head snapped up just in time to see a giant maw close around him. He leapt out of the way at the last second, and the beast drove its toothy muzzle into the pavement in a shower of asphalt and earth. Goku quickly flew up above the monster while it recovered from its miss, and he hit it with another energy blast directly to the back, flattening it into the now demolished street as though it had been hit with a giant sledgehammer. Goku didn't hesitate when he dove into the prone creature's back with both feet just as it was struggling to get up, driving it back down. He immediately leapt off and performed a spin kick that connected into the giant animal's ribs. It went flying low into the base of a building that immediately collapsed over it.
Goku caught his breath to quickly assess the situation while he had the opportunity. Out of his peripheral vision he could see the shadow demons hovering on the outskirts of their battle zone. They seemed to be repelled by his and Trunks's Super Saiyan forms, and didn't attempt to engage him. While they did not seem to be an immediate threat, the damage they had done to the city and the loss of life spoke volumes as to what kind of threat they were.
Damnit, I was too late, he thought. Physiologically, the animal they had seemed pretty different from them. While no match for Super Saiyan speed, its strength and endurance seemed about on the same level. He was jolted out of his thoughts as an energy blast made its way towards him, and he again dodged it before firing his own. The creature batted Goku's blast away to take out several buildings to its right.
Goku gulped. Shit, this thing is learning.
Zhernobog and his army had again recovered but could only observe, frustrated, from a distance. They couldn't breach the forces generated by the two golden fighters, particularly the awesome power of Super Saiyan 3; They couldn't reach the beast. Touketsu was now operating of its own volition, but perhaps it would be to their advantage. Touketsu's ties to the physical plane made its energy the only suitable deterrent against these meddling, golden pests. While they were engaged, Zhernobog and his army could continue their campaign to the next city, and the next, until they had overtaken this world. Zhernobog resolved that they may have to come back for Touketsu when they were ready to move onto their next conquest. He sent the telepathic command to his army beyond Satan City to fan out and continue their conquest of the Earth. Meanwhile, he and the rest would remain and monitor the situation while giving the Super Saiyans a wide berth.
As Touketsu bore down on Goku once again, it was hit with another enormous ki blast to its left hip. It was spun around, and it immediately swung its head up to see Trunks who quickly dodged out of the way of the creature's retaliatory attacks.
"Trunks, no!" Goku screamed. "Get out of here!"
While Goku was distracted over Trunks's well-being, Touketsu snapped its titanic tail at him, striking Goku and sending him through several more buildings. The beast immediately shot a blast of dark energy after the Saiyan. Still airborne, Goku was quickly enveloped in the dark blast. He reactively screamed in pain before his breath was taken away; he felt as though he was being crushed, the air being ripped right out of his lungs and his very spirit weakening as the wall of dark energy closed around him. He dropped down to Super Saiyan 2. Gritting his teeth in determination, he gathered his power and threw his hands outward, pushing his ki against the force that was threatening to crush him. At last, he managed to push it away as it exploded around him in a nullifying wave of golden energy. Utterly spent, he dropped out of his transformation completely and went through the bases of several more buildings as he crashed to the streets.
The creature raised its head in expectation, its pointed ears pricking up to attention as it awaited its adversary. When its enemy didn't show himself, it snorted and began to stalk in the direction Goku had fallen, hackles raised. Trunks meanwhile had taken cover behind a building. He began charging another ki blast, ready to hit the creature while it was distracted when he felt something rustle his hair from overhead.
The beast likewise paused to look up over its shoulder when it heard the humming sound of an approaching vehicle; it was a hoverjet, and standing at the doorway on the side of the vehicle was a woman in a red dress with a large weapon steadied over her shoulder. She fired.
It hit Touketsu, and it recoiled more in surprise than actual pain. Bulma lowered her rocket launcher briefly and grasped the side of the doorway as the hover jet banked, still on auto-pilot.
"TRUNKS!" she screamed "Get in! Hurry!"
The moment of hesitation was all the beast needed. It swiped at the hoverjet and immediately sent it into a tailspin. Bulma screamed as she was flung back into the cockpit by the centripetal force. Trunks's eyes widened in terror for his mother and he shot like a rocket into the plummeting vehicle. He grasped her hand and yanked her out, flying them away from the creature and to the safety of the ground seconds before the hoverjet impacted to the street and exploded into flames.
Dangling precariously by one hand, Bulma was quickly lowered to the ground. "C'mon, Mom I'm gonna get you out of here," Trunks said as he was about to scoop her up and fly them both out of the city. Trunks again felt that change in air pressure, and he looked over his shoulder to see a stream of dark energy nearly engulf them. Trunks dropped to the ground and reactively flared his ki as a shield around himself and Bulma as he hastily deployed a counter attack. The energies clashed, and while Trunks's attack mitigated that of the monster's it couldn't completely stop it; it swallowed Trunk's ki blast and quickly enveloped the two, its terrible energy threatening to crush them both into oblivion.
Trunks's Super Saiyan transformation now the only thing shielding him and his mother, the 8 year old raised his power as far as he could to hold the deadly energy at bay. Locked in a stalemate, the suffocating black and purple energy began to pull in the debris around them; twisted, burning wreckage glommed onto the crushing energy that encompassed the two, caging them within an ever-growing wall of ruin visible beyond Trunk's brilliant aura. The burning fires of the wreckage closing in on them were snuffed out as the oxygen supply was sucked away by the beast's attack. Then the icy, transmuted objects that had been pulled into the terrible force melted, the black liquid swirling about the pair like an oily bubble. The cage grew smaller.
With a cry of furious determination, Trunks raised his power as high as he could, his golden aura pushing outward against the dark, crushing energy. The beast's attack was finally losing steam, and in a jarring blast that ripped through the atmosphere the darkness was driven away. The debris blasted outward from them and Trunks was blown back, hitting his mother in the process and the both of them went tumbling end over end. They both finally came to a stop amid burning rubble, Bulma on her back and her son sprawled on top of her. Trunks's Super Saiyan transformation winked out.
Zhernobog and his remaining forces had been watching the battle closely some distance away. With one Super Saiyan currently recovering a mile or so away and the younger incapacitated, this was their chance to reclaim their key. They sped in the direction of the boy and the blue-haired female, Touketsu just beyond them.
Meanwhile, Bulma was painfully pushing herself up into a sitting position. Her young son was sprawled over her lap, barely conscious with blood streaming down his temple. "Oh my god, Trunks! Sweetheart!" She drew him close, and only a second later noticed the enormous animal stalking up to them some distance away. She looked on in abject terror, drawing her son closer in her embrace. Trunks's head fell back against the crook of his mother's arms, his pained blue eyes barely opening.
With a howl the beast bounded up, hackles raised and teeth bared. Its nostrils flaring with every lunge, it was almost upon them when it banked its body sideways, halting its charge as it bounced to a complete stop. It sniffed the air for a moment, pricking its ears to attention before slowly stalking up to close the distance. Trunks was coming to, and Bulma pulled her son close. She had to crane her neck to look up at the creature looming against the dark sky, its hideous face partially obscured by the thick atmosphere polluted with debris. Its red eyes glowed down at them through the fog before slowly narrowing, and it lowered its head down to Bulma and Trunks. It flared its nostrils and sniffed them, their hair rustling under the vacuum before being blasted by a gust of its cold breath. Its red eyes locked onto the twin pairs of wide blue ones that shined with tears of terror.
An image of a blue-haired woman sleeping at a desk, her head resting on her forearms, lanced through the creature's brain. Then, that of the blue-eyed, lavender haired boy standing in a desert.
The creature's red eyes flashed, and its snarl relaxed. Then, its eyes suddenly widened as it shrieked and staggered backwards, shaking its shaggy head as it did. Bulma flinched in terror and tightened her hold on her son as she watched the unpredictable animal. It didn't seem to be paying them any attention now as it turned away in the throes of its sudden and inexplicable agony.
The Kagemazoku meanwhile were racing up behind Bulma and Trunks like a seismic wave of black seawater. Just then Goku IT'd at Bulma's side, ascending up to Super Saiyan 2. He flared the blazing energy around the three of them as a shield and turned to the advancing shadows, throwing out a hasty Kamehameha wave that flattened the creatures and drove them back. Bulma and Trunks had barely registered Goku's sudden appearance, distracted by the animal's strange behavior. Whirling around, Goku stooped down and clasped Bulma by the shoulder. He put two fingers to his head as he prepared to IT the three of them elsewhere when he faltered. Like Bulma and Trunks, and against his better judgement, he stood transfixed by the sight. Something was happening.
"What's happening to it?" Goku murmured to himself. "It's…shrinking."
Some distance away, the pool of shadows was creeping back towards the trio that stood between it and Touketsu. As it approached, Zhernobog and the Kagemazoku sluggishly resumed their forms. The glowing Super Saiyan stood between them and Touketsu, his powerful, golden aura acting as a barrier against the temporarily weakened demons. There were repelled from crossing and reclaiming their quarry. For the first time, Zhernobog's features tightened with concern; he could only look on helplessly as their plans seemed to crumble before them. "No," he hissed.
The creature continued to diminish in size. It reared up on its hind legs, bringing its forepaws up to its head as the shape of the beast began to change as well; it was beginning to look almost human. Its muzzle began to shorten and its forepaws altered into a pair of clawed hands that cradled its head. Growling and panting in pain, it lowered one knee to the ground as its ever shortening tail lashed behind it. The deep, scar-like markings between its ribs sealed up and disappeared, and its deep, demonic sounding growls gave way to a soft, deep groan. At last, its transformation slowed to a stop. There was only the sound of its labored breathing for a moment when it slowly and unsteadily stood, still cradling its head in its hands from the latent pain of the sudden change.
It had become a man, though he strongly resembled the monster he was moments ago; he was stark white, and the strange, ribbed markings that laced over his shoulders and down his biceps remained. The shaggy black hair that covered his forearms to the back of his hands also remained unchanged, however the great mane of black hair that had covered the neck and down the chest and belly had receded. His now bare chest had the same markings resembling open wounds, one etching diagonally across each pectoral, but gone were the markings that had lined its throat hidden beneath its mane. The crest of black hair that had run all the way down the creature's back had tamed into an upswept flame over his head, the rest falling across the man's shoulders and down his back. The large, digitigrade feet he stood upon had changed only slightly, the third, thumb-like toe having become little more than a dewclaw. He bore a resemblance to a satyr; curved, jet-black horns grew from his temples, and shaggy black fur covered the lower half of his body from his hips down to the tops of his feet. His tapered, white tail, whip-like and roughly 5 feet long, lashed once through the air.
The strange being began to lower shaky hands from his face. From his profile Goku could see similar, wound-like markings extending down from beneath the being's red eyes over his cheeks, and the Saiyan was suddenly struck by the similarity this creature had with Frieza. But… there were other features as well….very familiar ones…
When the man's hands lowered completely, all three watching felt like the world had dropped out from beneath them. Bulma clapped a hand over her mouth, stifling a scream as she breathed heavily through her nose. Trunks's blue eyes widened, and Goku stood speechless. Bulma lowered her hand, and the name that escaped her mouth echoed the disbelieving thought in Goku's head.
"Vegeta," she whispered.