Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Touketsu ❯ Instinct ( Chapter 13 )
Touketsu stared at his transformed paws, now a pair of hands tipped with black claws. He glanced down at his bipedal body. What just happened? He was still reeling from the effects of his sudden transmutation when he heard the soft sound of a female's voice. His slightly pointed ears pricked up, and he turned towards its source.
"D…Dad?" Trunks ventured.
Touketsu's crimson gaze flicked to the cub before going back to the female. He studied them both for a moment, his brows drawing together and his black-rimmed eyes narrowing in confusion. Cocking his head, he took a step towards them. His nostrils flared as he sniffed the air. That scent - their scent - it had stopped him dead in his tracks. Then, he had finally gotten a good look at their faces just before undergoing the jarring physical change. They seemed so familiar…but how?
"Toukestu!" Zhernobog thundered. Interrupted from his disordered thoughts, Touketsu snapped his head in the direction of his master.
The winged demon king stood together with his army some distance away behind the three people. Zhernobog kept his authoritative gaze locked on Touketsu. He may not be completely lost to us. Still weakened and unable to breach the Super Saiyan's flared aura, Zhernobog beckoned to his servant. "Come. Rejoin your family." Touketsu straightened and took a step towards his king.
"…Vegeta?" Goku called out tentatively.
Touketsu turned his attention to Goku, and his eyes flared in recognition of the one he had just been fighting. Scowling, a snarl tugged at his lips to reveal a set of sharp fangs, and a throaty growl not unlike that of a lion rumbled from his throat. He lowered himself into a crouch as his tail lashed behind him. His eyes widened in rage, and the pupils in his blood-red irises constricted. Goku stiffened.
"Touketsu…" Zhernobog warned.
With a feral scream Touketsu leapt at Goku.
Goku barely had time to get his defenses up as Touketsu barreled into him, his clawed hands outstretched. The two of them flew away from the shocked and terrified Bulma who shielded the injured Trunks as the pair tore past them. They bore straight through the Kagemazoku, Goku's Super Saiyan energy rendering the demons formless and parting them like water.
Now fully aware of the demons' dangerous proximity to him and his mother, Trunks ignored the pain of his injuries and dug deep. He again powered up to Super Saiyan and scooped his mother up before she could react, flying them both out of harm's way. Zhernobog and his Kagemazoku had recovered their forms. However, their attentions were turned towards the unforeseen monkey wrench thrown into their plans…
Touketsu struck Goku again and again with open, clawed palms at lightning speed. Surprised and not yet recovered after enduring the crushing attack of the Demon Oozaru, Goku had lost his tenuous hold on Super Saiyan 2 and dropped down to 1. They continued to barrel backwards through a section of the city that had escaped transmutation when Touketsu grabbed Goku by the face. He slammed the back of the Saiyan's head against the side of a towering office building before immediately scaling up it.
Held up in front of the demon, Goku's back was dragged against the concrete as they continued their vertical ascent. He was thrown crashing through a large window where he tumbled over desks, computers, and office chairs before recovering to perform several backflips. He looked up to see Touketsu springing towards him like a panther. Goku leapt sideways towards the adjacent windows while throwing a nearby desk at his opponent. Touketsu merely leapt over it, pushing off of the airborne object as he changed direction mid-air. Goku flung a ki blast which sailed over the demon's head as he landed to the floor and dove into Goku's midsection before the Saiyan could recover. They both went flying back out through the window panes, shattering them in a spray of glass.
Goku and the demonic Vegeta tumbled several times as they plummeted downward. Both of them upside down now, Goku got his bearings and kicked out with both feet. He hit Toukestu in the stomach, and the demon was sent flying away from him. Goku flipped upright and descended to the street below. Touketsu did the same to land up against the side of a building, the claws of his hands and feet digging into its vertical surface. Goku looked up to see the demon leap off the building down towards him.
Goku snapped a spin kick to the demon's jaw, sending him sailing to Goku's right. Touketsu bounced over the top of an abandoned car, denting it and setting off its alarm. Landing on all fours behind it, he immediately leapt back over its hood with a snarl. He bounded back towards Goku, striking and clawing with such speed and ferocity that even the Super Saiyan couldn't block them all.
Goku grunted as he was pummeled by the relentless demon. Damnit he's fast, he thought, as he parried the beast-man's strikes with his own. Much faster than he was before - but he's nowhere near as strong as he was. Goku threw a punch at the creature's head. He hasn't even used any energy atta- "YYYEEAOWWW!"
Touketsu sank his fangs deep into Goku's hand.
Goku flung the demon away in surprise and pain, gripping his bleeding hand. "You bit me!" he exclaimed, incredulous. As he was looking up he was struck in the face with a clawed right hand that sent him flying.
Goku hit the ground and tumbled a bit before coming to a stop face down. In the next instant Touketsu pounced onto Goku's back. In retaliation Goku released a concussive force through his body that blew Touketsu off him, but not before the creature snapped his whip-like tail around Goku's ankle, yanking him off the ground with him. Touketsu flipped mid-air and landed to the street on all fours before flinging Goku over his head. Goku yelped in surprise as he was flung through the air, twisting around before his back crashed through the windshield of an abandoned mac truck.
Goku shook the shattered glass out of his hair, his feet resting awkwardly on the dashboard. It was eerily quiet for a moment. Then there was a thump as Touketsu jumped on the hood of the truck before diving straight into the cab at Goku. A fraction of a second faster, Goku kicked out towards Touketsu with both feet. The demon was hit directly in the face and sent back out through the broken windshield. Goku kicked out the door and jumped out of the truck, battle ready.
Touketsu was gone.
Goku heard a scuffling sound to his right on the other side of the truck, and he shot up into the air to see Touketsu bounding on all fours onto a dumpster. Goku threw out several ki blasts with just enough energy behind them to incapacitate, but he missed every time. The fast moving target leapt up onto a fire escape behind him and continued his ascent, dodging the trail of ki blasts that followed him before leaping at Goku. They shot back down to the ruined streets, tumbling end over end. Touketsu kicked out with his massive, clawed feet, sending Goku hurtling down the street before he recovered with a backflip. The demon was again charging him.
"Vegeta, STOP! PLEASE!" Goku shouted while simultaneously flinging a ki blast which Touketsu quickly dodged.
They were deadlocked; at just Super Saiyan 1 Goku was still stronger than the demon, but Touketsu's speed was on par with his own. In addition, the creature seemed to be fueled with a berserker rage that made him resistant to Goku's strikes. Geez, he's not stopping, is he? Goku thought to himself. Touketsu dove head first towards Goku, his sharp horns prepared to gore. Goku caught each of Touketsu's horns in his hands as the force of the demon's charge drove Goku backwards. Digging his feet into the pavement, the Saiyan twisted his hands and flung Touketsu away to send him soaring two blocks into the distance. The creature immediately recovered and began bounding back towards him.
All right. I've got to end this. Goku wasn't sure if he could really stop Vegeta without killing him; he completely outclassed the other in power. But, the apparently possessed prince wasn't stopping either. He had to hit him with something too large to dodge, but he also had to be careful not to put too much energy into the attack. I'm sorry, Vegeta.
Goku dropped his Super Saiyan transformation.
The quickly conjured blast tore through the streets. Goku had aimed its trajectory slightly downward into the street, sending out a wall of torn up asphalt, rubble, and vehicle parts under its force. Touketsu skidded to a stop as the wall of debris rocketed towards him. His eyes wide with alarm, he crossed his forearms over his face. He disappeared into the attack as he was hit full force.
Goku lowered his hands. Before him was a broad swath of destruction wrought by his Kamehameha wave. "Shit," he whispered. Once again going Super Saiyan, he blasted through the air, flying low and following the path of his attack.
One hand burst out of a pile of rubble, followed by the other. Touketsu pulled himself up out of shattered concrete and twisted metal painfully, his snow-white skin now streaked with blood. With a groan he rolled down to the ground, coming to a rest on his stomach. Grimacing, he was propping himself up on his elbows with some difficulty when a pair of navy boots touched down gently several feet away from his face, bathing him in brilliant gold light.
Touketsu blinked, and he raised his head unsteadily to squint hatefully up at his enemy. Fueled by an unquenchable, animalistic wrath, he snarled and drew himself up to his feet to continue the fight even as his broken body protested. Touketsu swung his fist clumsily at Goku which was caught with no effort. Goku growled. "That's enough!" He hauled Touketsu forward and punched him in the stomach, then struck his compromised opponent in the temple with the heel of his hand.
Touketsu was sent flying into a nearby building that had miraculously escaped much damage. Goku had pulled his punch; the side of Touketsu's face hit the wall, merely chipping off pieces of its facade. He collapsing into a heap, greying out for a moment. Groggily, he shook off the impact and rolled over when a strong hand grabbed him by the throat to draw him back up. Touketsu came to and grasped the powerful arm with both hands, digging his black claws into the other's flesh as he once again renewed his attempts to continue the fight.
Goku snarled angrily, his patience completely gone now. He tightened his grip and slammed the other into the wall again, busting right through it. Gasping in pain, Touketsu's grip loosened and he ceased struggling, the fight at last taken out of him.
Goku yanked him out of the hole before pushing him back up against what remained of the wall, holding the twisted version of the Saiyan prince at arm's length. They regarded each other studiously for a minute as they regained their breath. Finally, Goku broke the silence.
"Vegeta," he panted quietly, searching the other's hate-filled, crimson eyes. He shook his head in dismay, looking him up and down. "…What happened to you?"
Touketsu only glared back, his nostrils flaring as he breathed heavily in pain and anger. He narrowed his gaze.
"It…it is you, isn't it Vegeta?" Goku asked. He was no longer so sure. He could feel the prince's unique ki signature, but it was different somehow. It felt diminished…as though it was very far away. His skin felt cold to the touch. Was it really Vegeta, or was this some imposter that had taken on some of his characteristics?
Touketsu couldn't understand the drastic change his body had undergone in the past few minutes. More importantly, he didn't know how he was suddenly capable of understanding this being's speech at all. He certainly couldn't understand the complex communication of higher beings before, including that of Zhernobog. He only ever did what his master willed him to do. More perplexing - he inextricably knew how to communicate back with this man.
"Why do you keep calling me that?" Touketsu hissed.
Goku's eyes widened. That was Vegeta's voice all right - and the first time he had said a thing since they laid eyes on each other. Did he no longer know his own name? Goku's voice softened. "That's your name. You're Prince Vegeta."
Vegeta? Prince? What was this person talking about? "My name is Touketsu," he growled.
Goku blinked and straightened, looking at Touketsu warily. Vegeta wore his title like a badge of honor. He wasn't responding to it? "Do you know who I am?"
Touketsu couldn't remember ever seeing this person. Yet, he felt an indescribable, intense rage towards him that seemed to go far beyond their single battle. "I don't know who you are," he finally snarled, his grip again tightening a little around Goku's arm, "but I AM going to kill you."
Well maybe Vegeta is in there somewhere after all, Goku thought with some fleeting amusement. He gave a wry smile. "Yeah, you never really liked me much."
Disarmed by Goku's change in demeanor, Touketsu's angry expression became tempered with one of confusion.
"I'm Goku." Goku paused to look for some sign of recognition in Touketsu's eyes. "…Kakarot?" he prompted.
The moment that word left Goku's mouth, Touketsu saw an image of arid terrain and the man in front of him flashed through his brain. However, he had black hair. The man's clothes were in tatters and he was wreathed in red flame. Simultaneously, Touketsu was overcome with scathing indignation, shock, and humiliation. Encompassing all of that was the disorienting agony of his entire belief system being shaken to its core.
He blinked and a rictus of pure rage overcame his features. "YOU PIECE OF SHIT, I'LL KILL YOU!" he screamed.
Aw shit. Goku tightened his grip on Touketsu's throat as the other struggled with renewed vigor, spitting and writhing like a rabid animal. Careful to maintain some distance between himself and the other's massive, clawed feet, Goku yelled, "Hey! Wait, wait! We have a truce! We've fought alongside each other!"
"Bullshit!" Touketsu shouted, mentally shoving aside the confusing vision. "What are these lies you're trying to feed me?! I've never met you before in my life!"
Goku's mind raced. Mentioning his Saiyan name seemed to spark some recognition in Vegeta, albeit not favorably. He began to ramble in an effort to get him to pause again. "You have! We're Saiyans - you're the Saiyan prince! You first came here for the Earth's Dragon Balls, and-"
"Wait, what?" Touketsu interrupted. Dragon Balls? He stopped struggling completely, though his hands were still gripped firmly around Goku's wrists. At the mention of the mystical objects, Touketsu had seen in his mind's eye an amber orb being held in the palm of a hand, two red stars embedded within it. Attached to the image was a sense of emptiness and apathy. Immediately following that was the vision of a large orb being held within a pair of gloved hands. It was marked with a single star, and he was seized with anxiety; there was a sense of a race against time, and a gamble that came to an abrupt end.
Touketsu slowly looked to the other, studying the man's face for any signs of deception. "Were they…" he began hesitantly. "Were they large and orange, with a red star?"
Goku's face brightened with hope. "Yeah…yeah! But, you might be thinking of the Namek Dragon Balls. They're bigger than Earth's. Do you remember Namek at all?"
Touketsu stiffened. "…Namek?" he whispered. He had the fleeting image of blue grass, cliff sides, and a green sky. That green sky…It filled him with an indescribable sense of dread, as though he was facing death itself. He blinked, taken aback. One after the other he was seeing more of these scattered visions. More powerful than the fleeting images however were the feelings they were eliciting; it was as though he wasn't just seeing them but also experiencing them. Almost as though…he had been there. He had been to many worlds, but always with his master at the helm. He never had strong memories of any of those places; by the time he and the Kagemazoku left them, they all looked the same. Was this Goku telling the truth? But, how was this even possible?
Seeing the distant look in Touketsu's eyes, Goku relaxed his grip on the other's throat. When he wasn't attacked, he withdrew completely. Touketsu's hand drifted up to absent mindedly rub his throat, his other hand bracing up against the wall behind him.
"This can't be," he muttered to himself. Finally, he looked up at Goku, shaking his head in disbelief. "This can't be. I've served the Kagemazoku all my life. They're my family. You…you're telling me I've had another life?"
Goku nodded. "Yes." Goku looked regretful. When the heck did this happen? Did Bulma know anything about this? "You don't remember at all how this happened to you?"
Touketsu straightened and stared, his hand still supporting his exhausted body against the wall. "How what happened?" he asked incredulously.
Goku took in the other's appearance, noting the disturbing resemblance his face bore to Frieza's. "How you became that…Oozaru. Then this," he gestured gently towards him. "I mean, you still look a bit like yourself." Goku looked thoughtful for a moment. "You're taller than you used to be, though." Touketsu was slightly taller than him, his eye line just above his own. Then Goku glanced down to see the large digitigrade feet that Touketsu carried himself upon. "Oh yeah. Heh - cheater," he chuckled.
Touketsu scowled in confusion, and an unfamiliar word entered his head: …moron.
Goku looked back up, his expression again turning serious. "Bulma and Trunks must have been wondering where you were. I had no idea-"
Bulma and Trunks…those names. Touketsu suddenly recalled the woman and the boy he was moments away from killing. He interrupted Goku. "Who was that blue haired female? And the cub?" he demanded.
Startled, they both turned to the direction of the booming voice. Zhernobog Daimao and his army were suddenly there, surrounding them. Goku turned to face the shadow demons, digging down and powering back up to Super Saiyan 2 while Touketsu looked warily up at his master. Zhernobog glared at Touketsu disapprovingly. Cowed, the demon prince lowered his head and averted his eyes.
Zhernobog seethed. Their weapon - their key to all the realms. He had nearly regressed completely to his previous, useless form, and this golden-haired warrior was to blame. He leveled his gaze on Goku and frowned. Seeing him up close, he recognized him now: he was the Saiyan his pet had hated so in his previous life. Zhernobog was beginning to share the sentiment…
"So, we meet with the gods' meddling little champion," Zhernobog ground out.
Finally seeing what he was dealing with up close, Goku appraised the cadaverous, winged apparition. "I don't know what you're talking about, but my name is Goku, and I won't let you take this planet."
Zhernobog gave a small smile. "Oh, we know who you are," he replied. Touketsu's eyes flicked up to his master at this, his head still cautiously lowered. "And we know you're no longer of this world - not anymore. Just visiting, as it were. Tell me, how much time will you have here before the kais call you to hurry home?"
Goku grit his teeth. Less than 24 hours is what he had. But Gohan was there to fight in his place, as well as Trunks. He had seen how these creatures gave Trunks a wide berth so long as he was in his Super Saiyan transformation. They seemed to be completely repelled by the brilliant energy they gave off. Other than being deterred however, it wasn't clear how to stop these shadow demons. They operated on a reality apparently independent of the physical plane.
"I'm a Super Saiyan, and there are others like me. I'll fight as long as I can, but you're mistaken if you think I'm the only one here right now that can defeat you and your army."
"Nothing on this plane can defeat us. You are an annoyance only. We have nearly finished claiming this city, Goku, but we have much more work to do. After all, we have an entire planet that we must yet subjugate. We shall simply have to step up our efforts." Goku tensed for action, but Zhernobog merely bowed his head slightly and closed his eyes for a moment. The demon king looked back at Goku. "You may wish to run along now."
Goku scowled in confusion before he suddenly felt Gohan's ki spike. Shortly after, an unknown but strangely familiar aura flared up elsewhere. Goku's eyes widened in fear. Chi Chi, Gohan. They were in trouble. Goku couldn't see what was happening, but he realized he had to get back to his family. Now. Without another thought he put two fingers to his forehead, focused on Gohan's ki and winked out of sight, leaving Touketsu blinking in astonishment. The adrenaline from his battle having finally worn off, he slid down the wall to collapse on his knees in exhaustion.
That should be a sufficient distraction for our little firefly for now, Zhernobog thought. Goku may have slowed them down, but he and whatever resistance he thought he could amass would be no threat to their plans, of that he was certain.
His Kagemazoku soldiers shuddered and divided, half of them spreading out in different directions to finish transmuting the city before the Super Saiyan's interruption. Zhernobog turned his attention to Touketsu. The bigger problem right now was the matter of Touketsu's regression. Without the Demon Oozaru's power to tear the fabric of space-time, they would be trapped here. Their campaign would effectively come to an end.
Touketsu's mind was still reeling from the bombardment of visions and information. What was Goku going to tell him? And since when had Zhernobog Daimao met this man? He jerked his hand back in surprise as the wall he was leaning on transformed into black ice. Black frost continued to spread out from beneath the soldiers surrounding him, finishing the transformation of the area.
"Touketsu," Zhernobog spoke sternly. Tentatively, Touketsu looked up to his master. The demon king beckoned. "Come."
Touketsu swallowed and pushed himself to his feet as the Kagemazoku flanked him. Head lowered, he approached his king with trepidation and stopped before him. Touketsu knew he was angry, and the longer the tense silence and scrutiny wore on, the more anxious he felt.
"Look at me, Touketsu," he said quietly.
Hesitantly, Touketsu looked up at his master.
"You disobeyed me."
"…I…I'm sorry, he whispered hoarsely. Unable to hold his king's gaze any longer, he dropped his eyes. "I don't know what overcame me," he continued, looking helplessly down at his altered body. "I - I don't know what happened to me-"
Zhernobog suddenly threw his arms up skyward and a deep THWOOM tore through the ground. Touketsu flinched as the sensation ripped through his very being. Beyond and all around, transmuted buildings tore themselves straight down. Touketsu threw up his arms in alarm and cowered over the ensuing noise of the destruction that encircled the group. The blackened ice that had once been buildings were reduced to shards, the sparkling pieces fusing and climbing skywards. They feathered out and spread like giant crystals of murky hoarfrost to meet at a pinnacle over them, forming a translucent dome of smokey ice.
Now protected from any further interruptions, Zhernobog could focus on undoing some damage. It was fortunate Touketsu hadn't regressed completely; he was still largely an animal, and in spite of some behavioral issues he remained submissive. There was a good chance that Zhernobog need only reforge their mental connection in order to draw out the beast completely.
Touketsu slowly lowered his arms and tried to slow down his breathing. He looked over in uncertainty at the demon king.
Zhernobog regarded his underling placidly. "Well, Touketsu. It seems we may be here for a while."
Touketsu's heart dropped. He had failed his family. The Kagmazoku relied on him to help carry their will. His power gone, he could no longer do that. They were trapped here. Completely undone, he collapsed to his hands and knees and bowed deeply in submission. His weakness and uselessness filled him with an indescribable shame that went beyond his king's disapproval; it was a self-loathing on a deeply personal level. It made no matter whether or not he had been able to prevent what had happened. Additionally, he had disregarded his master in favor of fully engaging the other fighter, only to be beaten severely. He deserved punishment for his transgressions. He only hoped that his master wouldn't choose to toss his now useless hide aside.
"Please forgive me, my lord. Please…don't cast me out." He squeezed his eyes shut at the thought. Zhernobog was as close to a father as Touketsu knew. He guided him and gave him purpose. What if his family abandoned him? Death would be a preferable penalty.
The moments trickled by. Finally, Zhernobog spoke. "Know that we don't blame you, Touketsu," Touketsu dared to look up at his master. "You are our loyal servant. You are a part of our family, and we know you want to help us achieve our victory."
"I do," he replied eagerly, hope beginning to stir within him.
Zhernobog nodded before sighing. "You are but a beast, and we can expect nothing more from you. You reacted as any animal would. That "Goku" attacked you and you retaliated. For all we know it was his interference that affected this unfortunate…," he gestured to Touketsu, "…development. He weakened you, but all is not lost. Given time, we will again draw out your power and restore you to your previous and perfect form."
Touketsu bowed his head in gratitude, overwhelming relief flooding him. "Thank you, lord."
Zhernobog approached the kneeling figure. Drifting down, he reached out and tenderly placed his left hand upon Touketsu's head. "You will be reunited with us, and you will be worthy once more," Zhernobog spoke charitably. The demon king held his right hand out to his side as it slowly took the form of the blade Tosho.
Touketsu glanced out from his peripheral vision and his breathing hitched at the sight of it. The precise recollection of the weapon was muddled, but he knew its name, and the pain it wrought was very clear in his memory. He also remembered that it was necessary. Still, he was afraid of the pain it promised...
Zhernobog brushed aside Touketsu's long hair before gripping the hair at the nape of his neck. He gently lowered Touketsu's head further, the demon prince complying willingly even as his body began to tremble. The point of the ice-cold blade was positioned at the base of his skull. Touketsu's brows drew together in dreadful anticipation, and he closed his eyes.
Tosho was plunged in, and Touketsu's guttural cry ripped through the dark fortress.