Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Touketsu ❯ Broken Bonds ( Chapter 14 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Broken Bonds

The sun was setting. Gohan and Videl flew through the darkening sky, Videl's father still flung awkwardly over her boyfriend's shoulder. They were nearly at Gohan's house.

"Uh, Gohan? D'ya think you could move a little faster there?" Hercule asked nervously from over his shoulder.

Gohan blinked and glanced down, catching his breath. A mass of inky shadows had pulled ahead, suddenly moving at alarming speed to cover the land in black frost. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the blackness spider out from below into the sky, spreading like a drop of ink in water to darken the atmosphere. Oh no. He looked around; hundreds of streams of light-swallowing blackness, the sky darkening behind them, sped out in every direction as far as the eye could see. Cities and villages, their lights sparkling in the distance, awaited their doom.

"Videl, we have to hurry." Videl nodded and they increased their speed. The masses below were moving faster and faster. Gohan grit his teeth. "Hang on, Mr. Satan." Hercule barely had time to formulate a blubbering response when Gohan powered up to Super Saiyan. Gohan flung a ki blast down at the mass of shadows below and watched as they dispersed. His relief was short lived as he watched the mass begin to slowly recollect itself. Nonetheless, a few ki blasts seemed to slow it down and buy them some time. Gohan's home came into view and he and Videl increased speed. Gohan urgently reached out to his younger brother.

"Goten, are you and the Briefs out of the city?"

"Hi Gohan! No, not yet. Mr. and Mrs. Briefs are packing a bunch of stuff on their hoverjet - "

Gohan interrupted. "Goten you all have to get out of there NOW. They're coming!

Meanwhile, Chi-Chi was preparing dinner. Her father the Ox King was in the living room enjoying the tea she just brewed. Chi-Chi hummed to herself as she chopped vegetables. Just because her younger son wouldn't be joining them for the evening didn't mean that she didn't still have to prepare an abundance of food for her Gohan. She shook her head, smiling a bit. Boy, and she thought he ate a lot before. Saiyan teens and their appetites…

The door practically exploded off the hinges, startling the hell out of Chi-Chi who heard the noise from the kitchen. She rushed over to see what had happened.

Gohan stood there, Videl at his side with her father Hercule Satan just behind them. Chi-Chi was about to admonish her son for busting the door open before the words died on her tongue when she noticed the unexpected company. The looks on their faces told her something was very wrong.

"Gohan, what is going on?"

"Mom, we gotta go right now."

Chi-Chi didn't question him further. She called her father over and the small group headed out the door. They didn't make it far from the house before Gohan saw it: A wall of darkness approaching them like an incoming tidal wave. Just at that moment, a powerful ki blast plunged into the swell of blackness. The group looked skywards in surprise.

Piccolo had arrived. From the Namek's vantage point in the sky he saw the darkness bearing down on the little group and without hesitation fired down into the swirling darkness below. To his dismay, the attacks had almost no effect. The mass of darkness merely rippled in reaction. Gohan meanwhile had powered up to Super Saiyan 2, enveloping his mother, grandfather, and girlfriend in a shield of light that extended to their home behind them. Videl summoned her own ki, and they both readied themselves.

The darkness diverged around the group like water around a stone. Everything else the shadows touched turned to dark ice: the trees, the car, the tractor. The darkness crawled across the sky, snuffing out the remaining light from the dying day. As the blackness encircled the group in an eddying vortex, dead-looking, one winged soldiers clad in icy armor and light-swallowing robes emerged.

Videl threw ki blasts of white energy at the demons, but the energy merely passed through them, their figures flickering in reaction for only an instant. Gohan sent a volley of ki blasts with only marginally better results. The creatures lost their form on contact, but several of the fallen re-emerged from their comrades in the next moment. Curved, icy weapons attached to chains were hurled at the group, but dissipated before they could reach them. Gohan suddenly realized something; they and their weapons were being repelled by the aura of his Super Saiyan energy; it was acting as a sort of forcefield. He flared his power out, driving the demons further back. He would have to hold them off. He reached out to his younger brother telepathically.

"Goten! You have to power up to Super Saiyan! Fan out your power as far as you can and protect the Briefs!"

The Briefs were making their second trip back to the house as they packed, Goten standing uncertainly by the door. The little boy caught his older brother's telepathic message just as he saw an ocean of shadows abruptly flood the streets. The dark mass froze everything it touched, and the twilight shifted very suddenly to night as the sky itself was affected.

The Briefs had paused to look over their shoulders when Goten went Super Saiyan. He flared out his ki around himself and the Briefs as Gohan instructed him to do, and with a cry he quickly pushed his aura outward to the very periphery of the compound. Many of the shadow soldiers had diverted their efforts in search of easier quarry, but others remained as they tried to breach the young hybrid's defenses. Goten threw out several ki blasts, dissipating a number of soldiers as he attempted to drive them back. He didn't know how long he could keep this up…


Goku was now on a mission to IT over to family and friends and transport them to the safest place he could think of: Dende's Lookout. He homed in on Gohan's powerful ki signature, and he could tell he was already embroiled in a stand-off with the demons. He IT'd over to the small group, shelving his surprise at seeing Hercule there and a young woman he didn't recognize. He instantly teleported them to the Lookout. By then, Tien, Choutzu, Yamcha and Puar had already made their way there, as well as Krillin and his family. Having experienced the futility of their efforts in fighting the creatures, they had come to the same conclusion that they must head for higher ground.

Goku IT'd to Master Roshi's island. Before the creatures could cross the vast ocean surrounding it, he teleported everyone there to the Lookout. With scarcely a word acknowledging his surprise visit much less the urgency behind it, he brought them to the Lookout with just a promise that he would elaborate further. Piccolo had just touched down upon the tiled floor of the sanctuary when Goku was about to leave again. Suddenly, Gohan grabbed him.

"Dad! You have to get Goten!" When he was met with a blank stare, he clarified. "My brother!" Goku blinked and looked to Chi-Chi, who gave him a strained smile. She nodded in affirmation, and without anymore questions, He searched for Goten's ki. It wasn't difficult: though unfamiliar, his power shown brilliantly, and was similar to Gohan's. He quickly IT'd over to him and found himself on the Capsule Corp. grounds. He blinked in astonishment at the 7 year-old powered all the way up to Super Saiyan. Bulma's parents were with him, and he was keeping an ocean of the shadow demons at bay.


Before long, the Earth would be a dead planet of ice and shadows. The Kagemazoku should have been preparing for their next conquest. Tosho at his side, Zhernobog looked down at the kneeling figure before him, his upper lip quirking in frustration. Damn him.

Touketsu leaned forward on his knees, his blood-streaked body wracked with uncontrollable trembling. One hand was clasped in pain behind his head, the other braced against the ice-slick ground. There had been no change to his compromised state. He knew that Lord Zhernobog was growing displeased…displeased with him. As much as he wished to reconnect with his king, it was as though his mind subconsciously wouldn't allow it. His thoughts were still reeling with the revelations that he had received. He couldn't get them out of his head now. He scowled, gritting his teeth in pain. That damn Goku; he had turned his world upside down.

"Our campaign on this planet is nearly finished," Zhernobog finally spoke, his deep voice reverberating throughout the immense glacial dome. Touketsu ventured to look up at his king. "We should soon be proceeding on to our next conquest, from planet to planet, throughout the 12 universes, and on to Otherworld." He paused pointedly. "The only thing that is standing in our way, is you."

Touketsu flinched as though physically struck. He felt his mouth dry up, and his fears of abandonment came rushing back with a vengeance.

"This form you now inhabit…" Zhernobog continued dispassionately, gesturing down to him. "It is useless to us." Touketsu dropped his head in shame. He leaned forward on both hands, his self-loathing and embarrassment nearly crippling. He caught his faint reflection in the glassy ice that coated the ground, hating what stared back at him; he had been shorn of his strength. If he could no longer serve the Kagemazoku then he was nothing. If he wasn't executed, he would be abandoned. He wished that they had never come to this planet.

Zhernobog studied Touketsu for several moments. It was apparent that Touketsu was not resisting intentionally. Consciously, he remained loyal to the Kagemazoku. It was becoming painfully obvious however that while he hovered between this state of being the Saiyan Vegeta and the Demon Oozaru, his mind remained unreceptive to Zhernobog's influence. It was not enough that he was still part animal; Zhernobog was unable to draw out the beast and its powers while he remained in this state. Zhernobog would allow his pet time to recover while he considered how to handle this problem.

"I'm sorry, Lord Zhernobog," Touketsu shuddered, his tapered, white tail twisting in anxiety behind him. "I'm trying…I am-"

"We know you're trying, Touketsu," Zhernobog replied gently. He sighed. "Understand how much we value you. This is not your true form. It is this…false incarnation that I am upset with, do you understand? You are still the Kagemazoku's loyal servant."

"Yes, my lord-"

"You're Prince Vegeta."

Touketsu scowled thoughtfully when Goku's words pushed their way into his head. After a moment Touketsu glanced up, looking around at his ghostly, one-winged brothers. He then looked to his master, curiosity on his face. "Lord Zhernobog, you and the Kagemazoku are my family?"

"Yes. You know this."

Touketsu nodded to himself. "You are my king," he affirmed.

"Of course, Touketsu."

Touketsu nodded again absent-mindedly, his eyes going to the side in contemplation as his brows drew together thoughtfully. He cautiously looked back up to his king. "Does…does that make me a...prince?"

A scowl crawled across Zhernobog's normally cool features, and Touketsu immediately regretted asking. "Now, why would you think that, Touketsu?" he asked, his voice stern.

"I…I…meant no disrespect-"

"What did that Goku tell you?"

"…N-nothing," he lied in a small voice.

Zhernobog drifted closer, the edges of his dark, billowing robes drifting around Touketsu. "We saw you speaking with this man. You tell us what nonsense he filled your head up with. Now."

Touketsu tilted his head up at the demon king towering over him. Intimidated, he confessed. "He…he said I had another life. He said that I was a…Saiyan prince. Prince Vegeta."

Zhernobog seethed inwardly, his oily black gaze drilling into his underling. That Goku had compromised the Kagemazoku in more ways than one. "You think it prudent to entertain the words of an enemy? Are you forgetting how he beat you? Humiliated you?"

Touketsu dropped his head shamefully. "No," he muttered, focusing again on his hated reflection.

"He was trying to manipulate you. I am your king, the Kagemazoku are your brothers, and you are our servant. From Alpha to Omega, that is the order of our hierarchy."

"…no sense of order or hierarchy. That isn't YOU now is it Vegeta?"

Touketsu blinked at the intrusive thought. Scowling in bewilderment, he tuned back into Zhernobog's voice. "Poor beast. You are a simple animal, and that Goku knows this. You could not help that you were suddenly thrust into his world of deceit."

"The wine not agreeing with you, Vegeta?"

Suddenly the ice-slick ground Touketsu was staring at became a mirror-smooth, immaculate floor. The reflection looking back at him was that of a teenager that looked remarkably similar to him. He was pale and covered in a sheen of sweat. He looked ill, and his features were tight with pain. The vision went dark and Touketsu was hit with a wave of nausea. Gasping in pain, his hand went to his stomach. He blinked as he breathed hard in shock. What the hell was that?

Zhernobog scowled at Touketsu's erratic behavior. "Touketsu. Have the injuries that person inflicted upon you become too much?"

Touketsu looked up, shaking his head adamantly in denial. "No, my lord." He scowled, growling. "That fool couldn't hurt me."

The demon king quirked his brow at the aggression in his voice. He regarded Touketsu shrewdly for a moment when a thought occurred to him. "Are you so sure of that, Touketsu?" Touketsu's face fell, and Zhernobog continued. "You see your reflection there?" he asked, motioning to the ice-slick floor with his sword. Touketsu clenched his jaw and looked down. He stiffly nodded his head. "Contemplate it." He turned to drift away a short distance.

Zhernobog considered a strategy. He had noticed the way his servant had been despondently staring at his reflection, ashamed of his diminished strength. That shame seemed to be further stoked after losing to his old rival, implying that he remembered Goku to some degree on an unconscious level. This could actually be the key. Prince Vegeta had many flaws, and his conflated sense of self-worth had been chief among them. All of those flaws had been exploited to cultivate the emotional pain that made his transformation possible. Perhaps Zhernobog simply needed to repeat the process in order to again draw out the beast. It could be risky; it was apparent that interacting with these people from his former life had triggered his regression. It was possible that Touketsu could simply regress completely if he recalled too much.

"Do you wish to continue to serve your king and the Kagemazoku?" Zhernobog asked, his back to his servant.

"Yes," Touketsu replied quietly, his head still lowered.

"You cannot." Behind him, Touketsu's kneeling form crumpled as though struck. "You are weak now. Useless. Do you wish to be rid of your weakness?"

"Yes," he answered, his voice cracking.

The demon king nodded to himself. As Vegeta did, Touketsu desired power and purpose. Zhernobog needed to ensure these attributes continued to serve the Kagemazoku if he were to proceed with reconditioning. Otherwise, Touketsu risked further regression. To increase the chances of drawing out the Demon Oozaru, Touketsu's long-time role as a servant in his previous life needed to be reinforced. Zhernobog selected the relevant memories that would revive those feelings in his heart, and icy blue particles of light began to travel down his arm to re-imbue the blade. He would be reminded of his weakness, his inferiority, and his deference to power and authority.

"We will help you. You are still the Kagemazoku's valued servant, and we will make you fit to carry that title once more. I want you to rest and ruminate on your weakness, then we will try again. The process will be painful my pet, but you will be stronger for it."

"While painful, you will ultimately be stronger for it, my pet."

Touketsu blinked at the reedy voice that again ran through his head. He stared hard at his reflection. That face that stared back at him…

A fleeting mental image of a very similar looking, deathly-white creature with red eyes smirked back at him. Then another: a pale, pinkish face with ribbed flesh beneath its eyes and a pair of jet-black horns upon its head. Somehow he knew that the creatures were one and the same. It spoke:

"You're going to benefit from this. Therefore this can hardly be considered a punishment, even though your transgressions make you deserving of one. That is one of the most miraculous things about Saiyans…how you and your kind become stronger after near-death. While painful, you will ultimately be stronger for it, my pet. I will help make you one of my most powerful soldiers."

Touketsu's hand flew up to his jaw in surprise; there was the sensation of being struck in the face, his jaw broken. The beating continued but quickly faded beyond his grasp. Touketsu lowered his hand and stared, dumbfounded. Upon experiencing the vision he had been filled with a sense of agony, fear, and overwhelming, impotent anger. Who was that creature? Why did he look so much like him?

"We're Saiyans - you're the Saiyan prince!"

But…why then did he so strongly resemble that other demon? Was…was he his father? Then what of that young man that also looked so much like him? Had that been him, the Saiyan Prince? Or…did he have a son he wasn't aware of? Touketsu was so confused. He could no longer ignore these visions and voices, these strange emotions and the physical sensations they brought. It was as though they were…memories. He was being absolutely bombarded by them now. He had to know more.

Zhernobog knew more.

Touketsu slowly looked up to his master and noticed the change in Tosho. With a mixture of fascination and apprehension, he stared at the blade that glistened with icy light. After a moment, he swallowed and summoned his bravery. "My king," he began carefully as he looked up to his master. "How did you know that person? Goku?"

"I know many things, Touketsu. Now reflect on your weakness."

Touketsu hesitated for a moment. "Lord Zhernobog, I wish to make a confession. Zhernobog barely moved his head. "Goku did tell me things, but, that's not all." Touketsu found himself studying his master intently, searching for a reaction. "I've seen things." Zhernobog stiffened almost imperceptibly. "I don't know how but, I have a memory of fighting this Goku before. I remember…serving another. How is that possible?" Zhernobog turned to look over his shoulder.

Touketsu stared up at his king with an intensity that he had never before exhibited. Why wasn't he answering? Touketsu started to feel the stirring of an emotion. He had previously only felt it towards Goku before experiencing it again during his last vision: it was anger. "Did I have a master before you? Was…was he my father?" There was an edge to his voice now. Growing frustrated and increasingly suspicious over Zhernobog's continued silence, he slowly got to his feet. Around him, the Kagemazoku stirred. "You knew Goku. What else do you know?" His voice began to rise. "Do you know anything about a blue-haired female and a boy? A boy with purple hair?"

Zhernobog's implacable expression darkened. He turned around completely and began to approach his underling. "You needn't concern yourself with these matters, Touketsu."

"Who were those people?"

"That's enough-"


Touketsu was swiftly backhanded by the demon king. He flew back to hit the ground, sprawling onto his side. Wincing and his eyes watering, he clutched the side of his throbbing face and stared up at Zhernobog in shock.

"Enough," Zhernobog hissed. "You forget your place, Touketsu." He glided towards him, Tosho drawn and glimmering with Vegeta's dark memories. The demon prince's shocked expression melted into a glare. Now defiant, he snarled and scrambled up to his feet.

Two Kagemazoku behind him made an upwards motion with their hands, and icy shackles sprang up from the floor to fasten around his wrists. Touketsu flinched in surprise, and he was instantly jolted with blood-curdling, freezing energy. Roaring in pain and anger, he collapsed back to the floor, his energy subdued. Groaning, he seethed as he looked up at the demon king approaching to loom over him.

"There was more before this, wasn't there?" Touketsu accused, panting. "Wasn't there!?" Zhernobog's cool countenance didn't change. Touketsu's incredulous expression began to fracture into one of betrayal. "I can't believe it," he whispered, shaking his head. "I can't believe it. That Goku was telling the truth. You've been keeping it from me, using me. I...my whole life," he muttered, glancing feverishly around at his shadow brothers. "My entire life has been a lie. This…family is a lie," he snarled, looking back up to the demon king. "IT'S ALL LIES!-"

Zhernobog seized him roughly by the hair, yanking him to his feet. Touketsu's arms, chained to the floor, pulled painfully behind him as Zhernobog wrenched his head back. Touketsu grimaced in pain before locking a livid gaze at his master. Black eyes bore right back into his.

"This ends now, Touketsu. Your body has been corrupted and now your mind has as well. Your poison will be reversed." Gripping the now spitting and twisting Touketsu, he forced him to bend backwards.


Zhernobog raised Tosho and positioned it over his chest. Touketsu suddenly saw a green sky, and his eyes widened: Zhernobog became the white, red-eyed demon. He saw himself being lifted up by destroyed armor, saw the pale creature through a blur of tears. His tormentor's hand was held as a blade, readied for a killing blow….

"Goodnight, sweet prince."

Tosho was plunged through his heart.

Touketsu squeezed his eyes shut and screamed in anguish and outrage. His heart was filled with the helpless fury of a caged beast, the knowledge of having incredible power that was not his own, forced to use it for another: a lifetime of subjugation, frustration, and humiliation. No control, no autonomy…

Pure, unadulterated rage.


Touketsu's eyes flew open. He bared his fangs in a rictus of pure hatred, and his red irises flashed with fire. Suddenly, his white skin darkened as though a shadow had been cast over him. Beneath the surface of his skin a pulsing, dark light circulated from his heart and throughout his body like lightning flashing from within a thunderhead. The wound-like markings on Touketsu's face, chest, shoulders, and arms began to strum with the strange, ultraviolet light, and a thin aura of indigo energy wreathed his form. Zhernobog faltered. The pulsing light increased in intensity and speed until the markings were completely lit up. Finally, in a flash of dark light the markings on his chest had disappeared; instead, just beneath his sternum, was a diamond shaped, garnet stone pulsing with ultraviolet light.

Zhernobog flinched, blinking. What? He felt his frigid hand begin to burn and drip under Touketsu's growing aura, and he was forced to release his grip. He quickly withdrew Tosho, alarmed as the demon prince's shackles began to fracture. With a primal scream, Touketsu thew his arms forward to shatter the weakened bonds.

The energy was unleashed.

An inferno of blue and purple fires exploded over Touketsu's adumbrated body like the burning corona of a solar eclipse, forcing Zhernobog back. The flames of Touketsu's aura then fell to wash down his darkened form like burning water, and the furious demon pulled his right hand back to strike. In that instant, the shadow over Touketsu's body snapped back to race up his arm, leaving him pale once more as a black blade wreathed in the dripping flames shot out from his hand. The Kagemazoku king could only watch as Touketsu leapt forward, swinging the newly forged weapon in an arc over his head.

Touketsu brought it down hard over the right arm of his master, severing it and Tosho clean off. Zhernobog reeled back, screaming in pain and dismay as the severed Tosho was consumed in the bizarre flames. Zhernobog sank to the ground, looking to the stump of his arm now wreathed in dripping indigo energy. The flames could not be extinguished; he could not regenerate his hand. Touketsu stood before the wounded demon king, the energy rolling off his body and the dark blade like liquid fire. Dancing flames of blues and purples collected at his feet to crawl across the floor of ice, dissolving it to be replaced by blackened, dead earth. The army of Kagemazoku soldiers shrank back in collective confusion and fear.

Zhernobog cowered as he held the stump of his ruined arm, the edges of his smoky robes beginning to burn in the crawling flames. For a moment, fear flitted across his features. "Touketsu! You will stand down NOW! You forget whom you serve!"

Touketsu fixed Zhernobog with wrathful, red eyes. "I…serve…NO ONE!"

He charged, plunging the blade of dark energy straight into the center of Zhernobog's chest. The demon king shrieked in agony, his shrill cry pairing with the deafening, high-pitched sound of pure, chaotic energy ripping through the atmosphere. With a guttural cry of hatred, Touketsu unleashed a massive pulse of dark energy through the blade just as he ripped it upwards, cleaving his master in half. He then swung the flaming sword through what remained of Zhernobog's body, the suffocating energy swirling around the two to engulf them in a whorl of indigo flame. Zhernobog's shattered and melted form was ripped apart by the fires, reducing him to shredded, insubstantial black energy until that too was consumed entirely.

Hesitant at first, the Kagemazoku began to encircle their rogue weapon. Touketsu looked over his shoulder at them. "Yes," he snarled. "Come at me, BROTHERS!"

He swung his arms around to cross over his face, the energy of his aura simultaneously whipping around him at the movement. Collectively, several soldiers launched their spectral kusarigamas while others summoned chains of ice from the ground. They were too slow; the dark blade had reabsorbed into Touketsu's body to again cast him in shadow, and his aura continued to spin around him as it quickly grew in size to form a shield. The vortex of indigo flames distorted over the top of Touketsu's darkened form like the accretion disk of a black hole. The Kagemazoku's weapons and restraints struck the barrier only to be dissolved. Then, the encircling Kagemazoku solders were quickly pulled into the attack. Caught in the tightly spinning vortex, the demons began to disintegrate in its fire as it began to retract.

With an animalistic roar that would have rivaled that of Fenrir, Touketsu threw his arms out to his sides and the energy immediately pulsed outward in a single flash, the shadow leaving his body to become one with the attack. A swirling hurricane of blue and purple fires, black at its core, completely consumed the trapped Kagemazoku as it continued to rip outward. The dome above fractured and shattered under the explosion, sparkling pieces raining down to be consumed in the expanding conflagration. The inferno continued to spin outward, shattering and melting the transmuted buildings before reducing them to shadowy vapor. On and on the energy traveled, scrubbing Satan City out of existence until at last the fires went out. Nothing but flattened, black earth remained.


Goten had been in the midst of charging a Kamehameha wave when Goku appeared. "Kamehameha!" Goten released his attack, flattening a throng of the demons into shadows before they disappeared completely. The remaining Kagemazoku suddenly faltered and withdrew.

Their brothers did not re-spawn.

What? Goku thought. Seconds away from teleporting the small group to safety, he instead stayed to fight. Charging his own attack, he joined his young son in defense of the Briefs's home.

"KAMEHAMEHA!" Goten, who hadn't even realized Goku had appeared behind him, looked over in shock at this haloed angel that was suddenly standing right next to him. Goku's attack wiped out the remaining demons, and all around what was left of the shadows began to recede. They appeared to be retreating.

Without another word he grabbed hold of Goten and Bulma's parents and teleported them to the Lookout. Goku then latched onto Trunks's ki signature, whom he sensed was with Bulma. He IT'd to them and appeared in their path midair; Trunks had been in the process of transporting his mother back to Capsule Corp, the only place the boy could think of going. Goku teleported them to the Lookout, and when he and Bulma locked eyes, there was an immediate understanding between them.

"Goku, it was Vegeta. I know it was," Bulma said urgently.

"Yeah," Goku confirmed regretfully. "Yeah I know, Bulma."