Chapter Twenty Eight: The Final Blow
The monstrous ape was nowhere to be found. Jackie Chun breathed heavily as he stood on the ring, alone, and Bulma looked up in horror. The crowds were filtering back into the arena to see what had happened, and the blue-haired girl wiped her tears away. 'What did he do to our Kakarot!'
'Kakarot!' said Chi Chi. 'No, you can't be gone!'
Had Jackie Chun truly put Kakarot down for good. It seemed so. They hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye. They could have reasoned with him, talked him down. Couldn't they?
'This has been a fight for the history books, Ladies and Gentlemen!' said Mr. Announcer. 'And who could have imagined such an unusual interruption!'
'Does he even realize what he's saying?' asked Bulma as she cried into Yamcha's shoulder.
'I'm not even sure I do,' said Yamcha bitterly.
'And so we should probably continue the match,' said Mr. Announcer.
'Calm down, all of you.' said Jackie Chun 'Look over there.' They followed his gesture and saw a tail sticking out of the rubble.
'Hey is that a…' began Bulma.
'A tail.' said Yamcha in breathless awe.
Suddenly the rubble shifted, and Kakarot pulled himself out of the rubble, his clothes now all but gone. Blearily eyed, he fell down again, then rose again.
'He's alive!' cried Krillin 'Kakarot's alive!'
'Yamcha, he made it!' said Bulma.
Chi Chi ran up and hugged him. 'Don't scare us like that!'
'Unhand me.' said Kakarot.
'Sorry,' said Chi Chi, before realizing that he was naked and blushing furiously.
Kakarot broke away from her and turned to Jackie Chun. 'What have you done? How did this happen?'
'You weren't the target of my kamehameha wave,' said Jackie Chun before pointing into the sky. 'that was.'
Mr. Announcer stared up in horror. 'There is nothing there! The sky! It's been demooned!'
'Well with the moon destroyed,' said Jackie Chun 'it can't possibly get full again so Kakarot won't turn into a big ape! Heh heh heh, sometimes I'm so clever it amazes even me.'
'Fffffffffffffffffffffff….' began Kakarot.
'Ladies and gentlemen! Jackie Chun has done a reprehensible thing!' cried Mr. Announcer in panic. 'What's going to light up the skies for us at night! What about romantic moonlit walks! And you can just say goodbye to relaxing ocean wave CD's! And what about the wolfman! What will he howl at!'
'Stop being a goofball and start narrating the fight!' snapped Jackie Chun.
'Uh… alright,' said Mr. Announcer, 'okay once everyone except the contestants is cleared off the ring, we should be able to-'
'FUUUCK!' roared Kakarot, cutting him off. 'You just couldn't let me get away with it could you! You just had to steal my thunder, you goddamn killjoy!'
'Well I'm sorry if I interfered with your plans to destroy the world,' said Jackie Chun. 'but I live here. Now get out of the ring, we've got a match to fight?'
'Are we just going to ignore the fact that Kakarot just tried to kill everyone on the planet?' asked Blue Launch.
'Yeah, that's more or less how we do things around here.' said Bulma. 'Welcome to the club.'
Kakarot approached Krillen. 'Your clothes give them to me.'
'Wha…' began Krillen.
'Just do it, there no reasoning with him when he does this.' said Launch.
Krillen complied and took off his gi, leaving him only in his boxers, before switching to his old yellow gi. He then handed his clothes to Kakarot, who dressed quickly. 'So what's it's like to run around like a giant scary monster?'
'Pretty good actually,' said Kakarot. 'I get a real rush of power, and suddenly, my mission to end all life on this wretched world becomes a lot clearer in my mind. Of course, I'm not going to be able to do it anymore!'
'If I could do that,' said Krillen 'I'd jump on mountains and make earthquakes.'
'You have no imagination.' said Kakarot before walking to watch the ring.
'Okay,' said Mr. Announcer 'now we've uh… I think we can get back to the fight.'
Chi Chi and Jackie Chun took stances across from each other, though Jackie looked somewhat drained. It seemed that destroying the moon had had a terrible effect on them. 'Let's finish this up, Mr. Jackie.' said Chi Chi.
Then she staggered slightly, before righting herself.
'Unguarded!' cried Jackie Chun 'Kamehameha!' In place of a blue energy wave, there came out a poof of smoke.
'Ohh, what a drag for Jackie Chun!' cried Mr. Announcer 'His energy attack has fizzled out like a can of soda pop!'
'I guess you don't have enough energy left,' said Chi Chi 'and that means you can't fly anymore either! Kamehame…'
'No, wait for a second!' cried Jackie Chun.
'HAAA!' cried Chi Chi, before launching an energy wave. Jackie Chun sprang into the air just in time to avoid it, but Chi Chi leaped after him with a flying kick. Jackie Chun was sent spiraling back, as Chi Chi landed on the ground. 'It worked! Yay!'
Jackie Chun fell downwards, flapping his arms as if to achieve flight. 'Oh no! I'm going to land outside the ring!' He descended un halted and then landed with a crash.
Chi Chi looked at him. He looked like he was standing on the grass, though his feet were obscured by the ring.
'Chi Chi you did it!' cried Krillen 'It's a ring out!'
'That's my Chi Chi!' cried the Ox King.
'Way to go kid!' said Launch.
Cheers broke out from the crowd as hats were tossed into the air and celebrations ensued. 'Jackie Chun has landed outside of the ring!' cried Mr. Announcer. 'That makes Chi Chi the new martial arts champion of the world!'
'Yay!' cried Chi Chi, jumping for joy and flashing a victory sign. 'I'm the strongest in the world!'
'Excuse me!' snapped Jackie Chun, teeth gritted.
Everyone turned their attention his way.
'This fight isn't over just yet,' said Jackie Chun 'look at my feet, carefully.'
Mr. Announcer approached for a closer look and gasped in awe. Jackie Chun had kicked one of his feet halfway through the side of the ring and was supporting himself by his toes alone. 'My feet haven't touched outside the ring.'
'Wow,' said Mr. Announcer, adjusting his glasses. 'Well, I'll be. The fighting continues!'
Even more, cheers broke out amongst the audience, though everyone was getting a bit tired. Jackie Chun began to scramble back up onto the ring, as Chi Chi looked in bemusement.
'Wow, you sure are skilled.' said Chi Chi.
'I was in control the whole-' began Jackie, before narrowly avoiding slipping back onto the ground. '-time!' He got into the ring proper. 'Your kamehameha wave is too weak to do damage now.'
'It is?' asked Chi Chi.
'I'm afraid that your fatigue has drained your energy past the breaking point.' said Jackie Chun. 'Same with me, we've both done all the fancy tricks our body can handle.' He took a stance. 'It looks like we're going to have to rely on good old karate chops and flying kicks to finish this! The stronger warrior will stay standing! It's as simple as that!'
'I'm going to win, and make my papa proud of me!' said Chi Chi, taking a stance in turn.
'Come on Chi Chi, give it everything you've got!' said Jackie Chun as the cheers grew louder. 'Let's make this finale worthwhile, no tricks, no fancy shows!'
Chi Chi thought about that for a moment. 'Okay, that sounds fair.'
'Just fist to fist martial arts.' said Jackie Chun.
The stage was set for the final showdown.
Sometime later, Mr. Announcer was on the job. 'Absolutely amazing! Chi Chi and Jackie Chun have launched into some of the most intense close combat we've seen yet! By my watch, they have been fighting for… oh my gosh, over four hours! And you can't even tell!'
Chi Chi was propelled back by an open palm that saw her sliding back. Chi Chi had been fighting well, but not good enough. Jackie Chun had been beating her, little by little, slowly but surely. Even so, they were both panting in exhaustion, having been pushed to their respective limits.
'Okay, maybe you can tell a little bit!' amended Mr. Announcer after a moment.
Chi Chi charged forward and unleashed a flurry of strikes, which Jackie Chun parried and countered with strikes of his own. Jackie Chun kept her at a distance, before going in for a trip, but Chi Chi leaped over it and tried to kick Jackie in the chin, only to be blocked.
Chi Chi landed, panting in exhaustion, as Jackie Chun righted himself and wiped his brow with a sweat-soaked sleeve.
'What a play!' cried Mr. Announcer 'Despite obvious physical exhaustion on both sides, neither of these fighters is willing to give up!' Jackie Chun let out a war cry and charged, before driving Chi Chi back with a flurry of attacks all the fiercer. 'They just keep going!'
Their fists and feet were a blur between them as they parried and struck at each other. Then Chi Chi almost got Jackie in the side with one leg. Yet he blocked, and for her trouble she was struck in the stomach, only to retaliate all the fiercer, and vice versa.
Finally, they stood, battered and bruised with neither one the victor. Yet Chi Chi realized she was hurting worse. Her punches weren't affecting Jackie as much as his were affecting her. But why? Weren't they equally strong?
While she pondered this, Jackie was thinking to himself. 'This girl is going to wear me out if I don't finish her soon! I definitely need a knockout, but what finishing move can I use? Her body is too small for a lock.
Yes, of course…' He spoke. 'Hey, how about one final charge Chi Chi?'
'That's alright with me!' said Chi Chi. Then everything stopped for her.
'Now hold on a second Chi Chi,' she thought to herself. 'your arms and legs are too short to win in a head-on battle, so use your head. His greater reach has made all the difference so far, so I need to find something to stack the odds in my favor. But what?
'Wait, that's it. That's how I win!'
Jackie Chun charged forward with a cry, and Chi Chi rushed to meet him. Both fighters leaped into the air to meet each other in the ascent.
'This could be it!' said Mr. Announcer.
Jackie Chun went for a flying kick, and Chi Chi did the same.
'Kamehameha!' cried Chi Chi.
A beam of blue light shot from her hands, not very big, but large enough to boost her speed to enormous levels. Both of them collided, slamming each other with their flying kicks, and both reeled backward. Then they passed each other and landed to lie still on the ground.
Mr. Announcer stared in shock. 'Y-You saw it yourself, folks! A double knock out! By the rules, I have to start counting! One, two, three, four, five,' Chi Chi and Jackie both struggled to stand, and failed.
'Come on Chi Chi!' called Kakarot. 'Get up, get up!'
'Get along there, Jackie Chun!' cried someone from the audience.
'Chi Chi, stand up kid!' cried Launch, and Chi Chi struggled to rise.
'eight, nine, ten!'
Jackie Chun and Chi Chi collapsed.
'Neither one of them were able to stand,' said Mr. Announcer. 'Common rules would label this a draw, but the World Martial Arts Tournament can't go without a champion! I believe that in these situations, the first person to stand and say that they are the champion becomes just that! So, which fighter can stand up first and declare victory!'
Chi Chi began forcing herself to stand up. At the same moment, Jackie Chun forced himself to try and keep up, yet Chi Chi was younger and sprier. Even so, she looked incredibly tired.
'Chi Chi has stood up on both legs! While Jackie Chun is still glued to the floor! All Chi Chi has to do now is say she's the champion!'
'I…' began Chi Chi 'I am…' For a moment, Chi Chi halted as Jackie Chun rose. Hadn't she played fair, had she? She'd agreed not to use energy blasts, and then gone and used one anyway. Didn't that mean she cheated?
Then the idea of being champion of the World Martial Arts tournament seized her.
'Do it Chi Chi!' cried Kakarot.
'I AM THE CHAMPION!' cried Chi Chi aloud. 'I am the Champion! I AM THE WORLD CHAMPION!'
There was silence for a moment as Jackie Chun closed his eyes in silent regret.
'Chi Chi! Chi Chi! Chi Chi!' called the audience.
'Well I couldn't have said it better myself!' said Mr. Announcer. 'Chi Chi is the new champion of the world, the youngest person to ever attain that rank! And this time I'm certain of it!'
'Chi Chi! Chi Chi! Chi Chi!'
Her friends spilled over the walls to meet her. Among them was her papa, who took her up in his arms and hugged her like a bear. 'I'm so proud of you Chi Chi, who would have thought that my daughter would be the strongest in the world!'
'Nice work kiddo!' said Launch 'You showed that old geezer who was boss!'
'You really are great.' said Krillen.
'…Yeah, okay.' said Kakarot 'You beat me. This time. But I'm going to win the next one. I promise you that-' And then Chi Chi hugged him. 'Hey, what are you… stop hugging me in front of all these people.' A slight blush came to his face.
Jackie Chun had only partially succeeded in his mission. He had knocked Kakarot out of the race, that was the important part. The others would continue their training. And yet as he saw Chi Chi's happy face, he could not help but feel like a failure. His loss was not important to him, Master Roshi had won this championship year before. But Chi Chi's victory might lead to her slacking off.
It was time to salvage what he could from this tournament. He approached her and offered her a hand. 'That was a close match, Chi Chi. I'd been counting on my size to give me the edge. But it seems you thought of that.'
'I feel kind of bad, actually.' said Chi Chi, taking the hand. 'I mean, I used a kamehameha wave.'
'Well it was a touch underhanded,' admitted Jackie Chun, 'but there was no rule against it, so it still flies. Just remember that not every martial artist cares about this tournament. For all you know, there could be someone out there far stronger than the both of us put together. And now that you've won, everyone will be trying to knock you down a peg.
So don't stop training ya hear me? If you don't keep up your strength, it will wane. And the next time you might fight someone much stronger than me.'
'I will Mr. Chun.' said Chi Chi.
'Why are you talking about me as though I'm not here?' asked Kakarot in annoyance.
Launch hit him over the head. 'Shut up Kakarot.'
'Let's not forget the ancient master who almost won the whole tournament! What an incredible martial artist!' said Mr Announcer, before moving forward and taking Chi Chi's hand. 'Now let's award Chi Chi her prize as the new world Champion!' He made his way over to a monk and took a roll of bills. He brought over to her and pressed into her hands. 'And you deserve every bit of it, five hundred thousand zeni!'
'You're really strong, Mr. Jackie.' said Chi Chi.
'Yes,' said Jackie, 'well you were a worthy opponent.'
'This isn't over, old man.' snapped Kakarot. 'I'm going to train every day until I'm stronger than you! Then I'll show you my true power.'
'You're welcome to try kid,' said Jackie.
As the group broke up, Mr. Announcer turned to the fans. 'Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the tournament! Please fly safely on your way back, and please watch out for stray dinosaurs!'
'Great job Chi Chi,' said Krillen 'you want to find Master Roshi and get something to eat?!'
'For the last time…' began Kakarot 'you know what, I give up.'
The group ran together, calling for Master Roshi.
Jackie Chun, in the meantime, hid in the bushes. He hauled off his wig painfully, changed out of his outfit, and switched back to his suit. 'I go through so much for my students, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing! I'm very selfless.' He sighed. 'Five hundred thousand zeni. Just imagine what I could do with that!'
He pictured himself lounging on a sofa, surrounded by bunny girls who catered to his every whim, and tried not to cry as he walked off.
'I am so hungry,' said Kakarot.
'I've looked through every bathroom stall in a seven-mile radius.' said Krillen.
'Where is he?' asked Yamcha.
'Kid,' said Launch 'you've got five hundred thousand zeni. You want to just eat without him?'
'Uh uh,' said Chi Chi, clutching the money. 'papa says I have to use the money responsibly. I'm not buying you dinner.'
'Miser,' muttered Krillin.
'Did you try the ladies room, Krillin?' asked Bulma.
'I wonder if he even watched Chi Chi in the tournament.' said Krillin.
'Can we eat, please!' said Kakarot.
'Yoohoo!' called Master Roshi as he made his entrance.
'Oh hi Jackie Chun, when did you get here?' asked Kakarot in deadpan.
'Where did you run off to?' asked Bulma suspiciously.
'I wanted an autograph from Jackie Chun, and you wouldn't believe how long the line was.' said Master Roshi ruefully.
'So did you see us in the tournament finals, Master Roshi?' asked Krillen eagerly.
'Well of course.' said Roshi. 'And you all did incredibly well for your first attempt.' He paused to look at Chi Chi. 'Just remember, there might be much stronger martial artists who simply have no interest in tournaments. You can't afford to slack off. You all have a lot to learn before you are on the level of the likes of Jackie Chun.'
'What a load!' said Launch. 'Chi Chi is already on his level? Who do you think won the fight old man!'
'True,' said Roshi 'but Jackie Chun was at a serious disadvantage in the final stretch. Kakarot's little stunt forced him to use most of his energy to blow up the moon. Remember, your training has only just begun.'
'I…' Chi Chi looked downcast. 'I didn't think… I mean I'm sorry I…' She sniffled and began to cry. 'I guess I really am a fraud!'
'Great job Roshi,' said Kakarot in deadpan, 'you just made the Champion of the World cry on her big day.'
'What a jerk.' said Launch.
Roshi's eyes widened. 'Erm, please don't cry! I didn't mean to say that you don't deserve the title! You won it fair and square! Here uh… how about I take us all out to eat a fancy restaurant to celebrate our first successful tournament!'
'Thanks, Master Roshi,' said Chi Chi, her tears instantly drying. 'you're the best.'
'Finally,' said Kakarot.
Roshi turned to Yamcha, Puar, Bulma, and Ox King. 'Would you four like to come with us?'
'It's been years since I've eaten with you, Master Roshi.' said Ox King 'Of course!'
'Sounds like a nice celebration,' said Yamcha, 'I'm in.'
'I would love to.' said Puar.
'Alright,' said Bulma 'but if you make one crude remark I swear I'll break your arm.'
That night they ate at the fanciest restaurant they could found, and devoured their food ravenously. No one had been aware how hungry they had been until they had the food placed in front of them. They talked about insignificant things and discussed each other's respective matches with one another. They argued over who would have won had Yamcha faced Kakarot, or Krillen faced Jackie Chun, or Chi Chi faced Kakarot. Ox King relayed stories of his and Gohan's time together under Master Roshi.
Chi Chi seemed oddly silent for the whole meal. Contemplated something, and Kakarot wasn't sure what.
Thus it was that the adventure of the world martial arts tournament came to an end. But a new adventure waited just over the next horizon.
It was a tranquil day at Kami's lookout belaying the terrible events which were about to take place. The earth's moon had been destroyed. Although the long term ecological effects could only be guessed at, the immediate death toll from the molten fragments raining down upon the worlds population centers would be in the hundreds of millions. And that would only be the beginning, for the broken fragments of the moon would turn into an asteroid belt that would periodically cast stones down into earth's atmosphere. The oceans would go silent stagnant, as countless ocean species went extinct from the changes in their natural. Earthquakes became commonplace, tearing down the high buildings that humans and animals had built.
And that was how Master Roshi ended humanity.
'No.' said Mr. Popo, while watering his gardens.
Erm… the natural world suddenly realized it had better things to do than defy the will of Popo, and the seas returned to their normal state. Meanwhile, the newly created asteroids found themselves with a million better things to do than stick around the earth. And so it was that life on earth went on, very much as it had this past day.
Well, this concludes the World Martial Arts Tournament arc. By the time you see this chapter, it will be my birthday, and I will be celebrating it with my family. Let it never be said that I don't keep a consistent schedule ladies and gentlemen.
The decision to make Chi Chi win the world martial arts tournament is one I'm not really sure about. I have some ideas about where it will lead, but it's by no means planned out. I ultimately decided to make Chi Chi the winner because it would be different from in canon. After all, nobody came here to see things turn out exactly as they did in canon. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel bad about screwing up Master Roshi's plan, but such is the price of an AU.