Chapter Thirty Three: Dr Gero's Offer
Kami beheld an army seeking the dragonballs from high in his lookout. Judging them wicked in nature, he summoned up a rain storm to interfere with their quest. It would not prevent them from taking it, if all else failed. But it would delay them long enough for a more worthy quest to gain it.
Dusk lay over the river, so the whole of the world was bathed in orange lights. Birds chirped in the waning day, as the mountains distant became less and less visible. The world went on, despite the slaughter which had been committed only a few hours prior.
The Red Ribbon Army moved on with no appreciation for the beauty of the landscape. This time they went by boat. Many armored ships floated along the river. Undersea divers dove into the river, seeking the dragonball. Yet in vain.
Colonel Silver gritted his teeth, pacing in frustration. The Red Ribbon Army did not tolerate failure.
Paur finished her efforts as the sun had nearly sunk behind the hills. Within the shade of the forest, she had removed the bullet using her medical kit, cleaned the wound and then bandaged it. Now the only question was whether the mother would survive.
'Is she going to be alright?' asked Kakarot, looking very worried.
'Don't worry Kakarot,' said Yamcha 'Puar used to bandage me up when I got injured too. She's an expert.'
'Well thats good,' said Bulma 'but I don't see what the big deal is? I mean its just a monkey.'
'And you are just a human.' snapped Kakarot 'If somebody shot you in the chest, I expect you would want medical treatment as well.' He looked down to the monkey child, who was nuzzling its mother. Running his hand through its ears. 'You needn't worry, your mother will survive. And I will avenge your clans losses here today.'
Suddenly water dripped down onto his forehead, and his attention was drawn upward to gathering clouds. More water fell down, and before long they were standing amidst a downpour of rain. In moments they were soaked.
'Vengeance will have to wait.' reflected Kakarot 'Bulma do you have a capsule house?'
'I didn't exactly go on this trip planning to go on a quest, kid.' said Bulma.
The monkeys motioned with their hands, telling them to follow. Lightning tore across the sky at the same time.
'You think we should follow them?' asked Puar.
'We don't have any other options.' reflected Kakarot.
Meanwhile the river began to rock the ships back and forth, further inconveniencing their efforts. It was now too dangerous to continue work, and so Silver chose to postpone the search. 'All personal abort search and report to sector F708. I repeat, all personal abort search and report to sector F708.'
Silver watched the divers pulling themselves up the ship, feeling the chill rain beating down upon him. More delays would not go well with the Red Ribbon HQ. He turned and made his way back to the Capsule House where he was staying.
In the meantime the group had taken shelter in a cave. It was small, very small, so that they were all cramped together. Bulma shuddered, and shook her head. 'This is awful, why couldn't anyone think to bring a Capsule House?'
'We were just supposed to go to the World Martial Arts Tournament, fight in it, and leave.' muttered Yamcha 'This wasn't part of the plan.'
'Well at least there is a lot of body warmth here.' said Blue Launch cheerfully.
Lightning struck, and a tree fell from the ground into the river, alongside the rocks it stood on.
Deep within the river, as the rain pour down harder and harder the dragonball was shifted from its position and sent spiraling away downriver. By the will of Kami, it was caught in a current and dragged farther and farther away, down a waterfall. As the river overflowed it was washed far ashore into the barren plains.
The Red Ribbon Army's dragon radar was not nearly as precise as Ms Briefs. The Red Ribbon Army would have to spread out to search vast areas of land, while Kakarot and company would head right for it. It was highly likely they would find it before the Red Ribbon Army did, and once they had it, there was practically nothing these forces could do to seize them.
As the rain continued to pour down, and the wind droned on, and the lightning shattered the sky, Kami turned his thoughts to the group who he now relied on. Summoning his power, he brought peace to their minds and allowed them to sleep without a single dream. He also willed that the monkeys mother would in time recover fully, though it would bear a scar till the end of its days.
'The dragonball has shifted to a new location.' said Black over the radio. 'Coordinates, 2XU southeast.'
Silver moved the marker on his map to the location in question, trying to contain his anger. 'X marks the spot.'
'You are to resume your search at first light tomorrow.'
'Understood,' said Silver, before putting down the com. He turned off the lights and stared out the window at the cursed weather. 'With the river flooding like this, the dragonball could be very easily washed up on land. Looks like I'll have to widen the search in the morning.'
The sleep of Silver and his soldiers was restless, and plagued with nightmares.
The next morning the birds chirped once again as the clouds cleared away. Before the sun had fully risen, Silver had set his men to work overturning stones and digging through the dirt. They worked laboriously, but it seemed as if some force was conspiring against them. As Silver drove through the area, he looked around at his men working.
'Look alive men!' he called 'No cracks! No crevasses, no rocks unturned!'
The group set out from their cave, and said farewell to the monkeys. However Yamcha hesitated as he looked through his capsules.
'What is it?' asked Bulma 'Don't tell me we're out again.'
'No, its not that.' said Yamcha 'I just think we should use a plane instead. This terrain isn't exactly ideal for driving you know.'
He threw a capsule, and summoned a plane. They quickly got aboard it, and buckled their seat belts. 'I didn't know you could fly a plane.' said Blue Launch.
'Fly, yes.' said Bulma 'Land, no.'
'I told you, that was a mechanical malfunction!' snapped Yamcha, before taking off.
As they flew onwards under Kakarot's steady direction, he looked. 'Its not much farther now, my friends.' he said 'Soon we'll be able to find the dragonball.' He looked down out the window. 'From the looks of things we're not alone, however.'
'Those mean men must not have found it yet either.' reflected Blue Launch.
'They are way off.' said Yamcha.
'Alright!' said Puar 'We might be able to get it without a fight!'
Kami beheld that two Red Ribbon soldiers had been sent to search the place where he had hidden the dragonball. So it was that he confused their senses, causing them to overlook it, and inspired laziness in their hearts.
'Ow, my aching back.' said the one, who was human.
'I could really use a nap.' said the other, who was an coyote man as they lounged on a rock.
All of a sudden there was a sound of repeated gunfire, and they scrambled for cover as Colonel Silver appeared, pointing a gun at them both. He looked very angry, to say the least.
'Colonel, we were just uh…'
'Taking a break!' cried one.
'I have no patience for excuses!' snapped Silver 'Get back to work now!'
'Yes sir!' They said with a salute.
Colonel Silver drove away. Kami tried to inspire sloth once more in them, but their terror of their superiors was too great. Instead he was only able to convince them to complain, rather than put their full attention on the task at hand.
'Man, what does he think we are? Bloodhounds?' said one as he searched through a bush. 'That darn ball could be anywhere. This place is huge.'
'I hear ya,' said the other 'its crazy. And he'll kill us if we can't find the stupid thing!'
At that moment a plane landed a group of kids got out of it. They looked up in surprise, as a spiky haired child stepped forward, followed by a pretty blue haired girl, and a buxom blonde bombshell. Trailing behind them was a black haired teenager.
'Its around here somewhere,' said the boy.
'Hey kids,' said the coyote 'unless you want to end up six feet under, you'd better turn around and fly home.'
'Should we do something about these punks?' asked the blonde.
'Don't pay them any mind Launch,' said the boy 'just ignore them and perhaps they will go away.' Then he made his way over to a crevasse and began to look around. Eventually he drew out the dragonball. 'Hey, its the five star ball!'
The soldiers were astounded. 'Who are these kids?!' asked the coyote 'We've been looking all day! How did they find it so fast!'
'Pure luck, thats how they did it.' said the human, raising his gun. 'But I'd say we're the lucky ones now! Hey, why don't you hand that to me, boy?!'
'Why would I want to do that?' asked the boy.
'I don't need any sass!' snapped the human. 'Just do as I say, give me that ball right now! If you don't, bad things are gonna happen!'
The kids suddenly burst out laughing hysterically, laughing and laughing without a care in the world. The two soldiers could not help but feel they should have been taking this more seriously. 'We're serious!' said the human.
'We know,' said a blue haired girl. 'thats why we're laughing.' And then she punched him out with a right hook.
The coyote raised his gun, but before he could do anything the dark haired teenager was in front of him. He hadn't even seen him move?! His gun was slapped away, and a single fist was slammed into his solar plexis. The coyote fell unconscious, and landed with a crash.
The human dragged himself away, as the group got back in their jet and gunned the engines. As they fled the human rushed to the communicator and opened a channel to Colonel Silver. 'Sir, Colonel Silver sir… I… I think we have a problem here!'
'What is it?'
The soldier explained.
Silver heard the news, and knew he must act now, or fail his mission. He snatched up his trusty rocket launcher and rushed out of the capsule house. Quickly he scanned the skies, and sure enough there was a jet flying away over him. 'There! That must be it!'
Raising the rocket launcher, he locked on, and then fired. The missile surged through the air and caught the jet in the engine. There was an explosion, and then it careened down towards the ground. Five figures leaped out of the plane wearing parachutes.
One such figure fell towards Silver, and he moved to confront them.
She was a beautiful, blue haired teenager with good curves and a feathered haircut, which was now completely messed up. She wore a white shirt which had the capsule corporation logo on it, and she was wearing two arm bands.
'You blew up our plane you jerk!' she snapped in a very familiar tone. 'And you ruined my hair too!
'A capsule corp logo, and your voice.' said Silver 'You would be the enigmatic Bulma Briefs then. A spoiled child playing with matters far too big for her. Pity, it looks like you lost your ride. There won't be any getting away this time.'
'You know your going to be in a lot of trouble once Kakarot and Yamcha get here.' snapped Bulma. 'Why are you jerks after the dragonballs anyway?!'
'I'll ask the questions here.' said Silver 'Depending on your answers, I may let you live. Now tell me what do you want with the dragonball, and how did you manage to find so easily what my entire army could not?'
'Gee, why would a pure hearted young lady want to keep the dragonballs out of the hands of a bunch of psychos like you?' asked Bulma 'And as for how we found it, you do realize that its been like eight years since I sold the dragon radar. The stuff you have is way out of date.'
'As I suspected,' said Silver 'our radar is somewhat imprecise, you clearly have something more sophisticated. You may be of more use to the Red Ribbon Army alive than dead. Surrender.'
Bulma stuck out her tongue at him.
Silver smiled. 'Foolish,' and he threw off his trench coat to reveal muscles on top of muscles, and a cross shaped scar on his right bicep. The girl seemed on the verge of drooling at the sight.
'So do you work out or what?' she asked, voice mildly flirtatious.
Silver chuckled. 'You would be wise to be reasonable, little girl. I strongly suggest you surrender, because I'm not going to ask again. Provide me the location of your dragon radar, and offer your services to the Red Ribbon Army.'
Bulma took a stance, looking suddenly a little afraid. 'Listen, can we just wait for the others to get here, because they actually like fighting-'
Silver surged forward and unleashed a punch, which Bulma sidestepped, stepping back beneath and onslaught of punches. Bulma ducked and weaved, scarcely avoiding being hit by his strokes. Despite himself, Silver was impressed. She was doing far better than most.
Eventually he halted his attack, and she stepped back, keeping her feet. 'I see, you're no ordinary girl are you? I'll just have to keep my eye on you.' He resumed his stance. 'But I always get what I'm after.'
Bulma was shaking visibly, and gulped audibly. Then Silver surged forward and brought round a right hook. She caught it on her arm, but lost her balance and was sent falling into the dirt. Silver was on her, and she rolled away as one foot fell where she had been. Scrambling up, she ducked under a strike and then was caught in the gut.
Bulma keeled over, clutching herself as Silver loomed over her. 'Ready to give up, little girl?' He asked, cracking his knuckles.
'Bulma!' called a voice. 'Take off your weights!'
Silver stopped and looked up in surprise to see the spiky haired boy from before. Bulma rose up, getting some distance between them. Silver let her, she was beaten anyway. 'You again?' snapped Silver 'I'll deal with you in a minute.'
'You won't get the chance.' said the boy with a shrug.
At that moment Bulma had pulled off both of her arm bands, and was currently in the process of pulling off a vest beneath her capsule corp shirt. Throwing it down, the vest landed in the dirt with a crash. Silver stepped back as she was now standing in front of him, clad only in her bra and pants.
'You know, I'd completely forgotten about those things.' said Bulma, experimentally punching the air. 'I feel so light!'
Silver lost patience and rushed her. Unleashing a series of jabs, she ducked and weaved past all of them with ease. Her expression was shocked, as if aghast at her own speed. Then suddenly she caught Silver's hand, and dealt him a kick to the gut, which sent him stepping back a few paces.
'Your better than I expected, I'll give you.' grunted Silver 'Now I'll have to take this seriously.' He lunged repeatedly at her, and she was forced once more on the defensive, yielding ground. Then she caught one of his hands and brought him around to crash against the ground behind her.
Silver arose and met her in a flurry of punches, taking a number of hits in the process, and dealing none in return. Why couldn't he hit her! As the fight went on, Silver became angrier and angrier! This was a high schooler! At best she'd had a few weeks of karate training at a second rate dojo! She had no business being this good, weights or not!
They broke apart from each other, and Silver panted.
'So are you ready to give up yet?' asked Bulma 'Because I really don't like working up this kind of sweat, and we kind of need to get going.'
'Your not going anywhere!' snarled Silver 'Except to your grave!' Then he lunged in a series of attacks, going berserk on her. Finally he used a roundhouse kick, which she leaped over. Her eyes narrowed as she straightened her hair mid fall, and unleashed a roundhouse kick of her own.
Silver landed with a crash, and remembered no more.
Kami took some satisfaction from that. He had been taking steps to ensure Ms Briefs increased her power and skill at a greater rate than was entirely normal. After all she was putting herself at risk partially by his will, so he felt it only fair to give her a fighting chance.
Bulma blinked in surprise at the prone and defeated form of her opponent. The sound of clapping became audible, and she looked up to where the others were clapping. She rubbed the back of her head. 'Well I guess we won't be hearing from him again will we?'
'I'll be not.' said Yamcha, 'wait, uh… does anyone have any flying capsules? Our plane is kind of wrecked.'
There was silence.
'So Yamcha,' said Bulma slyly 'does this count as a mechanical failure too?'
'Hey we were shot out of the sky, thats not my fault!' snapped Yamcha 'Besides we need to find some means of transportation.'
'Would these help?' asked Kakarot, withdrawing the plane capsules from before and tossing them to Yamcha.
'These are… yeah!' said Yamcha 'These could fly us just about anywhere Kakarot, nice work buddy.'
'Don't call me that.' said Kakarot.
Bulma in the mean time was jumping up and down and stretching her long legs. 'Woohoo! I'm so glad to be out of those stupid weights!'
'Thats great,' said Kakarot 'now put them back on again.'
'What?' said Bulma 'But…'
'No buts, their supposed to make you stronger.' said Kakarot 'If you stop using them, you'll get weak again. Or are you saying your too much of a wimp to wear them?'
Bulma stuck her tongue out at him, but went and put the weights on anyway. It was with some regret that Kakarot watched her put all her clothes back on. It had been a nice view. In the mean time Yamcha hurled on of the capsules and in a poof of smoke a plane appeared. He walked forward and inspected it. 'Hang on guys, these things are too seaters. We're not going to be able to fit into it.'
'I got two of them.' said Kakarot 'And Puar can fit in no problem.'
'Yeah, I guess.' said Yamcha, throwing the other one. 'Whose flying who?'
'I'll fly Kakarot.' said Bulma 'Yamcha, you take Launch and Puar. You follow us, and we'll lead you towards the next dragonball.'
'Its some place far to the north of us.' said Kakarot.
'Sounds good to me.' said Yamcha.
Within the Red Ribbon HQ, a soldier rushed up to General Red. 'Commander, there is something very strange happening on the dragon radar!' he cried. 'The one Silver's been searching for! Unless I'm mistaken its headed right for General White's position.'
'Contact Colonel Silver!' snapped Red.
It took far longer than anyone would have liked for Silver to pick up. He was breathing heavy, and his voice was pained. 'Colonel Silver here…'
'Silver,' said Black 'how did the ball get away from you? Were you attacked?' No one heard Silver's response save Black. 'How many of them were there? Who is responsible for this?' His eyes went wide with shock. 'What do you mean Bulma Briefs?!' He set down the com and explained the situation.
Later within his office, Black approached General Red.
'What do you think Capsule Corps involvement in this is, sir?' asked Black.
'I don't know,' said Red 'but if she was able to beat Silver, we'll have to be on our guard.'
'She's just a teenaged girl,' said Black 'she can't possibly be any trouble for an entire army of men.' He paused thoughtfully. 'Even so, her technological abilities might be of great use to us.'
'You'd better be right.' said Red with a growl. 'Get in touch with General White at once. Tell him to capture Briefs, and bring me the ball.'
'Of course sir.' said Black.
'And another thing,' said Red.
'Bring me that weakling Colonel Silver!'
His pet snarled hungrily.
The five friends piled into the two jets, and together flew off, directed by Kakarot. As they flew over the wastes, Kakarot looked down below. 'The Red Ribbon Army is still searching. Their commanders probably don't even realize we've gotten the dragonball yet.'
'Yeah,' said Bulma, 'well it isn't exactly a perfect radar they have.'
'Speaking of which,' said Kakarot as the world zoomed by. 'I've been meaning to ask, Bulma. What is gods name were you thinking?!'
'Ah, right,' she said 'the whole sold the red ribbon army a dragon radar thing.'
'Yes, that thing,' said Kakarot 'and Emperor Pilaf too.'
'Look kid, I'll level with you.' said Bulma 'Back when I was eight years old, I heard the story of the dragonballs from my grandpa and decided to try and find them. I made the radar, but it turned out to be way too large to take with me, and my dad wouldn't let me go anyway. So I lost interest for a bit, until a couple years later when my dad cut me off from my allowance for skipping school. I needed money and quick, so I put my dragon radar on the market.
Some guy named Black snapped it up. He must have been working for the Red Ribbon Army. I got a lot of spending money, the Red Ribbon Army got their dragon radar, and my dad grounded me for a week.'
'Alright,' said Kakarot 'so what about Pilaf?'
'Uh…' she paused 'well I started working on improving the precision of the original device a couple years ago. I ended up making it super good, but I still couldn't take it with me and I didn't have a wish. So after I got bored, I sold it to a women named Mai. Dark haired lady, I didn't recognize her at first, but I think she was one of the people working for Pilaf.
Anyway, then I came up with the idea for wishing for the perfect boyfriend. So I set about working to make the dragon radar small enough so that it could fit into the palm of your hand. Didn't quite get that small, but the result was the device you are holding now.'
There was silence.
'Anything else you want to tell me?' asked Kakarot.
'Nope.' she said.
'Are you sure?' asked Kakarot sarcastically. 'Maybe there is some kind of evil demon lord you've sold the prototype for this device to, that you haven't told us about either. I ask so we won't get blind sided like this again in the future.'
They flew onwards through the landscapes for much of the rest of the day, until the beginnings of darkness could be seen in the sky. Snow began to fill the air, and appear in on the crests of mountains. Before long the whole of the landscape around them was covered in the stuff. Bulma shuddered. 'Its getting chilly, I'd better turn the heat on.'
'Heat?' asked Kakarot.
'Oh, um… technology which keeps us warm while we're inside the plane.' said Bulma, putting on a heavy coat and hat for good measure. 'You know its a good thing you have me flying you, kid. If it were a robotic assistant, they wouldn't be programmed to turn it on. You'd freeze, or more likely its joints would freeze up and you'd crash.' She paused as it grew very dark. 'Hang on, its not night yet. Why is there… a… shadow…'
They looked up and saw Pilaf's death fortress looming far over them. Bulma shook visibly as multiple gun ports opened beneath them. Yamcha's craft behind them took evasive action as the weapons trailed on them.
'How did they find us?!' cried Bulma.
'They probably used their DRAGON RADAR!' snapped Kakarot.
Then countless exploding rounds were fired at them. Bulma dodged and weaved as the shots crossed beneath them. Suddenly there was a sound of shredding as several rounds tore through her jet, and she spun out of control. 'Kakarot, hit your ejector seat, quickly!' she cried as she reached down.
'My what?!' he cried.
'To your left!' she pulled a lever, and she was thrown out of the jet in a seat.
Kakarot was blasted with freezing temperatures, and only had time enough to reach for the lever. His hand never found it, before he crashed and was thrown from the windows to land and remembered no more.
Pilaf leaned back in his command chair in satisfaction. 'You know, I really, really, love having a flying death fortress. Shu, is my hot cocoa ready?'
'Of course sire.' said Shu coming back from the kitchen.
'Sir,' said Mai 'shouldn't we go after the dragonball.'
'No need for that, Mai.' said Pilaf 'We'll shoot down the other plane then come back for it. They aren't going anywhere after a crash like that. I don't want anyone taking us by surprise again.'
'Still, what if someone gets there first.' said Mai.
'Hmm,' said Pilaf 'alright we'll send our new minions to collect the dragonball. See to it personally Mai, there will be no one to stop us this time.'
Within occupied territory of the Red Ribbon Army, two soldiers looked up to see smoke rising. 'Hey did you hear that?'
'Yeah,' said a humanoid fox. 'sounded like something crashed. Lets go check it out.'
Within the wreckage of the crash site, Kakarot lay senseless upon the ground, slowly freezing in the snows. His eyes were vacant, and he had a death grip on the bag carrying the dragonballs.
A being, clad in a blue trench coat crunched its way through the snows and stood before Kakarot, looking down on them. After a moment they took hold of his feet, and began to drag him away.
Within the towering form of Muscle Tower General White received the report. He was a large man, with white hair and long sideburns. He wore a yellow sweater, and a red scarf around his neck.
'What? There is a plane down?' he asked 'Its got to be the missing jet that headquarters radioed about. Do you have a visual?'
'Yes sir, its definitely one of ours. Its in front of me, in pieces.'
'According to the report those planes were stolen during the Ox King attack, by a boy who killed three soldiers.' mused White. 'And he's likely in the company of Bulma Briefs.'
'There is no sign of him here sir, just wreckage. Wait, there is a trail. It looks like someone dragged someone or something away from the wreckage'
'Follow the trail!' said White 'It may lead us to one of the dragonballs!'
'Yes sir, over and out.'
White looked out the window at the snowscape stretching into the distance. 'Whoever these kids are, their in for a big surprise.'
Later, Silver had finished his debriefing, held at gunpoint by two men in suits. He was stoic faced, concealing his inner panic.
'Thats no excuse Silver!' said Red.
'Please Commander,' said Silver 'give me one more chance. I'll find her.'
'This army isn't in the habit of giving second chances, let alone third ones!' snapped Red. 'You know that!' The guns were pressed to either side of him.
'But sir, you don't understand, they were exceptionally skilled. They must have been trained!'
'You truly are a disgrace.' said Red 'Take him out of my sight!'
The soldiers moved in. 'Don't touch me!' snapped Silver, and they recoiled. For a moment Silver just stood there, looking at the man before him. After a moment he turned and walked out of the door.
The men with guns followed after him.
General Red waited for the gunshot, shaking with wrath. It never came, however.
The men found Silver waiting for them on the other end of the door. He knocked one out with a vicious right hook, disarmed the other and slammed his head against the floor with silent precision. Rising up, Silver picked up a gun and moved away.
He'd get out of the HQ, that should be simple enough. Once he'd done that, he'd lie low for awhile and then-
Dr Gero appeared before him. He wasn't sure exactly when the old man had appeared before him, however he stood in his way. Silver raised a gun. 'Step aside, old man.'
'There is no need for that.' said Gero 'I'm here to make you an offer, Silver.'
'I don't have time for this!' snapped Silver 'Now stand aside or die!'
'Very well,' said Gero, stepping aside. 'accept your defeat. Do as you like.'
The words held Silver in place for a moment, and in that moment more guards appeared with guns. Silver turned round, but Gero stepped before them. 'I'd advise you gentlemen to put your weapons away. Silver and I have business to discuss.'
'Dr Gero,' said the lead soldier. 'we've been ordered to execute Silver by General Red.'
'Well I'm afraid those orders will simply have to change.' said Dr Gero 'I require Silver's cooperation in a matter of top importance.'
'…What do you expect us to tell General Red?' asked the soldier. 'He… he won't be pleased.'
'Simply tell him that Gero has need of his mark.' said Gero 'That should be enough.'
And against all odds and rational reasoning, the soldiers saluted and moved away. After a moment Gero turned to Silver. 'Shall we?'
Silver remained silent for a moment, then spoke. 'Alright, lead on Doctor.'
Silver had no idea what was going on, but he had the distinct impression that Dr Gero was the most dangerous man in the Red Ribbon Army.
The plot thickens. The decision to have Bulma defeat Silver was made after long through. My original plan was for Yamcha to fight and defeat him, since I'm of the opinion that Yamcha would have beaten Silver with moderate difficulty, and without having to use the Wolf Fang Fist. However that went out the window, since I made Yamcha encounter Tien, and become far stronger as a result. Then I figured I'd give Launch the win, since she didn't get as many matches in the tournament as the others. However then the whole thing with training Bulma happened, and I realized I might actually have a fighter who could stand a chance against Silver without being overpowered.
Curb stomp battles aren't any fun, and so Bulma VS Silver happened. I still feel kind of bad about it, of course, since this means Bulma has been beaten by a person who has only had a few weeks training. However I mean to make it up to him later.
Now here is how I justify Bulma's explosive power growth. First of all, she was in pretty good shape to begin with, so she has a good starting position. And secondly, because she has a higher goal than Silver. Think about it, when Goku trained at Kami's lookout, he ended up becoming about equal to Piccolo Jr, maybe a little stronger. When Yamcha trained at Kami's lookout, he became stronger than Raditz, despite being arguably weaker than Goku was when he started.
Why is this?
Because Yamcha had a goal to be strong enough to surpass the Saiyans. He didn't succeed, but he increased his power by roughly seven times its number. Its the same with Silver and Bulma. Silver is used to already being the best, and his training seems more a way to remind himself of his own perfection than a true attempt to improve. Bulma meanwhile is training to be able to hold her own in the company of World Martial Arts tournament finalists. Plus she's a genius, and Kami was helping her along. Even so Silver would have beaten her had she not been wearing weighted training clothes.
This still doesn't make me entirely comfortable with the way the fight ended. Yet its still less absurd than the likes of Goten or Trunks, or even Gohan in their early power increases. So I'm going to just run with it.
Now as for Kami's interference in affairs, Kami is a great character. I really really like him, and so I decided to expand his role in affairs. In fact I may go back into previous chapters and mention him being behind events. I just find it an odd coincidence that events constantly conspired to see to it that the Red Ribbon Army never got the dragonballs. The elements themselves went out of their way to make sure the right protector was always there at the right time.
So yeah, Kami is working against the Red Ribbon Army.