Chapter Thirty Four: Cold Reception
Silver was led into a wing of the Red Ribbon Army HQ he had not even been aware had existed. It was out of the way, and led through several obscure doors. As Gero led him on, he said nothing, his arms clasped behind his back. 'They designed this wing of the HQ specifically on my orders, for our operations.' he explained.
'Whose we?' asked Silver.
'You'll see soon enough.' said Gero.
Silver came to a door, and raised one hand to open it. However Gero set his hand on his. 'No, not that door, this one,' he then turned to a different door and knocked.
'Yes, come in.' said a friendly voice.
The door was opened to reveal a pleasant living room like area, with an attached kitchen. There was an open balcony, looking out over a scenic garden, while in one corner of the room was an empty bird cage. In the center were a number of coaches, and in one of those coaches a giant of a man was sitting. He had a red mohawk, and was scratching the ears of a dog. On the table before him was a tray with a kettle, and tea cups. Three exactly, to be precise.
'Ah, Father,' said the man, standing up and looking pleased. 'you got there in time, excellent, just excellent.'
'Who are you?' asked Silver, eyes narrowed.
'Who decides what rank each color will be assigned?' asked the man as he approached. 'Who determines that both White and Red should share a rank, though Red is the commander? Who engineers the robots, and weaponry, which all you men of martial prowess take so completely for granted?'
'Dr Gero.' said Silver.
'Ah,' said the man as he neared, and he motioned to Gero. 'I'm on his staff. We're both scientists, with different specialties. And my name, is Barracks. Come in, sit, the teas getting cold.'
As he sat down across from him, Silver reflected that the man before him didn't look like a scientist. His build was huge, and he looked like he could crush rock with his fingers. Even so, he moved with a certain grace as he offered Silver a cup, which he took.
'Its earl gray,' said the man 'it helps me sleep.'
'I'm sure it does,' said Silver 'but that doesn't tell me why you brought me here?'
'I want to make you an offer.' explained Barracks 'Its dangerous, very dangerous in fact, but if it works it may make you among the strongest men alive, and potentially very rich and powerful to boot.'
'I'm not afraid of danger.' said Silver.
'Ah, but its not the sort of danger you are used to.' said Barracks 'You aren't afraid to get your hands dirty. You stay cool under fire, you fight well. But the sort of danger I have comes from experimentation.'
'You want me to become a lab rat?' said Silver. 'What if I refuse?'
'Then you can walk out that door, and never have to worry about being killed by the Red Ribbon Army again.' said Barracks 'But before you do, you may want to hear me out.'
'…I'm listening.' said Silver.
'Tell me,' said Barracks 'did you watch the World Martial Arts Tournament this year?'
'Can't say that I did.' admitted Silver.
'If you had, you would have known that the people you fought were, with two exceptions, finalists in the World Martial Arts Tournament.' said Gero 'You are in peak physical condition, but these people have somehow managed to exceed that peak.' He fished a number of pictures out of his breast pocket and set them down.
Silver looked at them. He recognized each of them. 'Yamcha… I defeated him quite easily some time ago. He was a decent martial artist, but nothing superhuman.'
'He was wearing weighted training gear. Seventy five kilos, to be exact.' said Barracks 'I observed events surrounding the tournament quite closely by my own means, and I saw that they all purchased them. He was probably still getting used to it.'
'Seventy five kilos?' asked Silver 'Thats impossible, no one could fight in that kind of outfit.' He sipped his tea to settle his nerves. It was good tea.
'Didn't your report indicate that Bulma Briefs also wore such clothes?' asked Barracks. 'I believe it was twenty five kilos for her.'
'…If this is true,' said Silver 'then how is it that these people have attained this kind of power.'
'Launch and Kakarot were both students of Master Roshi.' said Barracks 'That man has a reputation for churning out superhuman individuals.'
'So you intend to replicate Master Roshi's training methods?' asked Silver. 'Is that it?'
'Don't be foolish,' said Gero 'Roshi tasks his students to menial labor while wearing extreme weights for a period of months. There is nothing secret about it. The problem is that such methods cannot be replicated reliably. Most men who attempt such tasks would give up, or simply collapse from exhaustion. It may create a few elites, but it will not make an army.'
'And in any case,' continued Barracks 'it takes too long. The situation with this gang of teenagers is an immediate problem. We can't wait eight months while you and the others deliver milk and do construction.'
'Then what are you asking of me?!' snapped Silver 'Get to the point.'
'Roshi's methods are a brute force means of forcing men to, and past, their physical limitations.' explained Barracks 'However I believe we can do by technology in minutes, what takes Roshi months.' He drew from his pocket a photograph and passed it to Silver. 'In fact, I already have.'
The photo showed an incredibly frail young man, with blonde hair, skinny arms, pathetically short. He was strapped into a machine, as scientists injected him with something. 'Who is this?' asked Silver.
'That is General Blue.' said Barracks 'He was my first subject.'
Silver stared, and set the picture, and his tea down. 'There must be some mistake, I sparred with General Blue once, he-'
'Knocked you out with one punch.' finished Barracks 'I'm aware. And Blue has only gotten stronger since then. In fact, I believe, that he is more than a match for any one of those teenagers.'
'Then why do you need me?' asked Silver 'Why not just send Blue after them?'
'Because there are four of them.' said Gero 'They let Bulma fight you, because they knew that any one of them could effortlessly crush you with ease. Give them a worthy opponent, capable of defeating them, and they would likely not be so sporting.'
'Moreover,' said Barracks 'I want to continue my work. Blue got the treatment when I had only just developed it. I believe that if used on someone in peak physical condition, I could create a warrior far more powerful than him.'
'And this warrior is me.' surmised Silver. 'Whats the catch?'
Barracks smiled. 'There is of course, the possibility that you will die from the strain of the procedure, Blue nearly died himself. Yet even if you survive, you will not be unchanged.'
'What do you mean?' asked Silver.
'How do I put this?' asked Barracks 'The treatment amplifies everything about a person. Blue had a very mild psychic ability before he was used, and now he has abilities which are very strong indeed both physically and mentally. However it also exaggerates personality traits of a person.'
'Just how exaggerated are we talking?' asked Silver with narrowed eyes.
'Erm… when Blue got the treatment he was mildly effeminate.' said Barracks.
'…I don't think I'm interested.'
'It won't change you in that way!' said Barracks quickly. 'Its just that it sort of brings your personality out to the forefront. A pacifist would not become a bloodthirsty warmonger, they would merely be even more unwilling to hurt another living creature.
Also, I'm hoping to tone down the personality exaggeration. It was an unforeseen consequence, and if I'm ever going to create an army it will have to go.'
'Alright, fine,' said Silver 'I'll do it. Now when do we start.'
'In a few days, at least,' said Barracks 'we'll need to use various drugs on you ahead of time to prepare your body for it. Even after that there are other aspects to the procedure we'll have to work out. For now, I suggest you use the down time that you'll have to train yourself as hard as possible. Anything you have now will be multiplied.'
'Fine then,' said Silver 'I was probably going to do that anyway.' He finished his cup, downing the whole thing. 'You know, this is really good tea.'
'I'm aware.' said Barracks.
A cold wind blew past Muscle Tower. It was a gigantic red brick structure with blue windows, far wider at the base than at the top. Multiple gun ports started out from every direction, facing for any sign of opponents. Men clad in blue uniforms, with black face masks patrolled back and forth around the surroundings, looking for any sign of intruders. At the top of the imposing fortress was a satelite dish which scanned for frequencies 24/7.
Far away from that grim scene, however, a long red haired girl, clad in a blue trenchcoat with a tall blue cap dragged Kakarot through the snows, leaving behind her a trail of snow. Her eyes were brown, and narrowed in determination. She could not have known that she was being tracked by soldiers of the Red Ribbon Army.
However Kami summoned up a great snow storm and sent it past her, slowing the progress of their lumbering machines. At the same time, by his will, he warmed her enough to survive and gave her strength to continue marching in the bitter winds. Her red haired flowed around her, causing her to groan in pain. For a moment Kami was afraid she would leave Kakarot behind to save herself, and he reflected that in such dire circumstances she could not be blamed. For a time she considered it.
Yet she pressed on. Under tree and over hill, the snows covering their tracks.
Kami turned his attention to White.
'Report sergeant, any sign of Briefs?!' snapped White.
'Not yet, sir.' replied the soldier as he looked out of the top of the tank. 'Its kind of hard to see on account of all the snow.'
'Its a blizzard you idiot, of course its hard to see! Which means that kid couldn't have gotten far!' Feeling spiteful, Kami dropped the lid of the tank on the soldiers head. These were extremely bad people after all. 'Now move your tank and find him!'
'Y-yes sir!' said the soldier 'We're moving out! Look sharp and follow my lead!'
As the soldiers spread out, seeking their quarry. Kami then turned his attention to other matters, more specifically the Flying Death Fortress. It had been Kami's suggestion that Pilaf turn his attention to the other jet, just as it had been his suggestion that he slow his pursuit, and wait for word from Mai.
Mai and the soldiers they had recruited from the Red Ribbon Army were making their way slowly after the red haired girl, Suno. However they were slowed by the storm, and Kami set his will against them, even as he set his will behind Suno's steps. They were soon outpaced.
Kami felt very pleased with himself. It had been his idea to direct Suno that far afield in the first place, and his influence which had led Pilaf to attack them there. Suno would direct his agents towards Muscle Tower, and through them this area would be liberated from the Red Ribbon Army, and another dragonball secured. Assuming everything went as planned, of course.
'Mr Popo,' said Kami, turning his attention to the lookout. 'I cannot help but shake the feeling I'm forgetting something. Do you have any ideas as to what it might be?'
Mr Popo looked up from his gardens, and then he answered.
Bulma Briefs clutched herself, shuddering in the middle of a snowdrift, while hiding behind a tree from a tank that was rolling by her position.
'Here I am, in the middle of a frozen wasteland!' roared Bulma in her mind. 'Playing hide and seek, with the Red Ribbon Army! Thanks for nothing god!'
Ah, right, Bulma Briefs had been the pilot and had ejected. Awkward. Kami arranged for a freak lightning bolt to set fire to a tree, allowing her to warm herself, while mentally directing Yamcha to land his plane nearby, and head towards the lights. At the same time he used what influence he had over the Red Ribbon Army to move their search elsewhere.
It wasn't easy. As a rule of thumb, the more good was in a persons heart, the more influence Kami had over it. Conversely, the more they were possessed by wickedness the more influence he had over it. Fortunately he was unable to enforce his will on this world anymore, and hadn't been able to for centuries. Consequently the forces of evil on earth were without true direction, beyond what they could manifest themselves.
Speaking of evil without direction Kami turned his attention back to Kakarot.
Suno was knocking at the door to her home with one mittened hand. 'Mother, mother! Come quick!'
The door opened and a women with brown hair looked out at her. Kami sensed her relief, and felt some guilt at having brought her daughter into such danger. 'Suno, what are you doing out in weather like this?' asked Suno's Mother, whose name was Miranda. 'You'll catch your death of cold!'
'I found something, mother.' said Suno, motioning to Kakarot, whose face was now covered in snow.
'Oh my…' said Miranda.
'Its a boy, he fell from a plane.' continued Suno.
'Thats a matter for the authorities dear.' said Miranda.
'But I think he's still alive.'
'Huh?!' cried Miranda, suddenly fearful.
The boy was brought inside quickly, and warmed by the fire with a blanket over him. Satisfied that things were progressing as planned, Kami then turned his attention to General White.
The General was sitting with his legs on a table, uncorking a bottle as he did so. He drank deeply of the whisky, then put it away. Leaning back, he questioned the universe: 'How can a group of teenagers evade an entire army? Maybe I should fire my soldiers and hire him instead.'
That was a terrible plan. The only reason Kakarot had been held in check this far was because of the friendships he had created. If his heart were ever sufficiently darkened enough to join the Red Ribbon Army at the expense of those friendships, then he would assuredly either go about trying to complete his mission, or rise to the ranks, killing most of his superiors in the process to become the supreme overlord of the Army.
Not that General White knew any of this. He laughed to himself. 'Crafty little bug, I'm going to enjoy squishing him.'
Kami returned to Kakarot, and found him sleeping in a rocking chair by a roaring fire. A yellow blanket was draped around him, and Suno was watching him sleep. 'He looks so peaceful sleeping there.' she said 'Can we keep him?'
'He's not a pet, Suno.' said Miranda.
'He's better, he's a boy.' said Suno 'Now I'll have something to play with.' At that moment Kakarot groaned in his sleep, moving. Suno gasped. 'I think he's waking up!'
'What?' said her Mother.
Kakarot opened his eyes blearily, groaning as he did so. He looked up to see the smiling faces of Suno and Miranda, who came by with a cup of hot cocoa.
'Who are you?' he asked 'Are we enemies?'
'I'm Suno.' Suno said.
'I'm cold.' replied Kakarot.
'Yeah, you were frozen.' said Suno, as her mother came forward with the hot cocoa.
'Here drink this, you'll feel better.' said Miranda, offering him the tray. Kakarot took it reluctantly, wondering if it was poisoned, before sipping from it. He choked, and nearly spat it out. 'Silly, you need to blow on it first.'
Suno laughed as Kakarot blew on it.
'You know you gave us quite a scare.' said Miranda 'If you'd been out there any longer we probably wouldn't have been able to thaw you out.' As she spoke, her daughter gazed at Kakarot in adoration, as though he were a pet.
'How did I get here anyway?' asked Kakarot. 'I can't remember a thing.'
'I found you in the woods, silly.' said Suno.
'…My thanks to you then.' said Kakarot, before sipping the hot cocoa.
'Oh no problem,' said Suno 'I was coming home anyway. Yep, you'd probably be dead right now if it weren't for me, stuck out their frozen stiff. So tell us about yourself, do you have a name to go with that handsome haircut?'
He sipped his hot cocoa. 'My name is Kakarot. I came here to destroy the Red Ribbon Army and take their stuff.'
'Destroy the Red Ribbon Army?' asked Suno, shocked. 'But your not even my age.'
'Actually I've seen what passes for an elite among them.' said Kakarot 'So I'm pretty sure I could kill them all no problem. They wilt when faced with a true warrior. I just hope my friends are alright. Hey, did you see anyone in the crash site?'
'Um, nope.' said Suno 'Just you.'
'Wonderful,' said Kakarot 'well I'll have to meet up with them before I do anything else then.'
Kami turned his attention elsewhere. He gazed through the eyes of a rabbit to see a Red Ribbon Army armored car driving across the snows. Right towards a cliff face, though they had yet to realize it. Valuing all life, Kami made the leader aware of his impending doom. 'Stop!' he cried to the driver. 'Stop!'
The vehicle's treads ceased, but it continued to slide on the ice towards certain doom. The men aboard the vehicle were panicking, they did not want to die. Yet still they slid on. Feeling pity for them, Kami pushed against the vehicle so that it slowed to a halt just in time. Rocks fell down into the abyss below, visible from where they stood. They knew just how close they had come to death, and Kami put into their minds thoughts about where they would go when they died.
The spotter breathed in relief. 'Soldier look in the back. See if there's an extra pair of shorts.'
'Yes sir.' said the other.
The spotter raised his communicator. 'Coordinate X1 appears to be a dead end. Repeat, X1 is a dead end. We're turning east to coordinate X2. Copy?'
'Turning east to coordinate X2.' affirmed the pilot.
Kami tried to keep them from seeing it, but even he had his limitations and the spotted saw it. 'Wait!' the soldier snapped 'Cancel that order!' He then looked through his binoculars to Suno's village, and an evil smirk played upon his lips.
He had been trapped for countless years, yet he was not powerless. He could still sense what his counterpart sensed, corrupt what he touched. He had been sewing seeds within the minds of many for some time now, and these in particular were easy to manipulate. Two soldiers, with no one to stop them, tired and cold, walking through a village while looking for a lone boy. They were confident. They were powerful, in their own minds at least. They had no fear of retribution.
It was a simple matter to overturn Kami's good intentions, and convince them to machine gun the first house they went into. To his disappointment, Kami convinced them not to kill the old man and women who cowered as their home was destroyed by the sound of gunfire. Glasses shattered, doors were shot full of holes, the bed was torn up. It was all Kami could do to keep the old man and women from having a heart attack!
They hadn't even asked any questions, and already the house was a smoking ruin, riddled with ammo casings. The sensation of these mens sin was addicting, a small pleasure to distract him from his imprisonment.
'He's not here.' realized the soldier.
Kami tried to inspire guilt, but with the mens help he turned it around into spite and contempt. At his urging, the wolf made his way over to the old man and women, and pointed a gun at their heads. 'What big eyes you have.'
'Please, don't hurt us…' said the women.
'Pull the trigger,' he said in the soldiers mind. 'do it. Riddle these old codgers full of holes. No one will care. You can say they were harboring fugitives.'
'Let them be,' stated Kami 'you have already more than made your message clear. You need not inflict any more harm on them.'
'DO IT!' he roared.
In the end the fools didn't have the guts to murder a defenseless old couple for the thrill of it. Their hands fell short of pulling the trigger. They were more posing bullies than true monsters, and he felt a surge of contempt for them.
'Listen,' said the wolf 'if you happen to see a gaggle of teenagers around here you be sure to let us know.
'There are other houses in this cesspool to search.' snapped the human. 'Lets go!'
He made a mental note to make sure these fools came to a bad end. And he knew just the way. Mentally he directed them to the proper house, before Kami could change to other matters.
Kami realized that he was at work. He could not sense him, but he knew that he could affect anything Kami effected, when he was awake. No doubt that was the reason behind the soldiers sudden bout of viciousness. Their hearts were now almost completely closed to Kami, walled up by pride and wrath. He considered ceasing his observations, however if he had already set the seeds of evil in Kakarot's heart, Kami's presence might be needed.
Yamcha, Bulma and the others were following in Kakarot's footsteps. Kami quickly instructed Bulma to try and help the old man and women as best she could. Then he moved his attention to Kakarot, hoping he was not making a serious mistake by doing so.
Now he observed Kakarot speaking with that insufferable child Suno, and her mother. Their existence he tolerated for the greater evil. Had Kakarot frozen to death in the snows, his plans for him would have been foiled as well as Kami's.
'So the Red Ribbon Army must be after the dragonball in this location as well.' reflected Kakarot 'I wonder why they want them.'
'I don't know,' said Suno, slightly distrustful. 'maybe for the same reason you do.'
Kakarot laughed. 'Given that I'm trying to keep them out of their hands, I highly doubt that.' He paused 'Tell me, would you like to see a dragonball?'
He grabbed his bag, and opened it, drawing out the five star ball. 'This is a dragonball.'
'Thats a…' Suno began.
"Dragonball..,' finished the Mother.
The childlike innocence of the scene made him sick. Kakarot was at his best when being utterly vicious, without regard for others wellbeing or life. The boy had the potential to do so much harm, inflict so much suffering. And yet he was being held back from this by those he called friends.
He regarded Kakarot as a work in progress.
'Wow,' said Suno as she moved forward. 'its beautiful.'
'Its part of a set of seven,' said Kakarot 'the one who gathers these together will have the keys to wish for anything they want.' He amplified an old resentment. 'Except when they don't because of pointless technicalities.'
'What?' said Suno.
'Long story, I'll tell you later.' said Kakarot. 'See, once you have them all you can call out to Shenron, and he appears. I've only seen it once, as soon as the dragonballs were together the sky was covered by stormclouds and the ball started to glow and make this weird noise. Then they shot out this huge bright light into the sky. It was brighter than the sun. It started to move about as quick as lightning, and then it turned into the shape of a dragon! It was absolutely gigantic! Larger than this whole village!'
He didn't care about any of this! Why was Kakarot wasting time lecturing these peons on the details of something they would never see anyway! Even now he could feel Kami smugly appreciating as Kakarot's inner child told a story.
'So what did you wish for?' asked Suno.
'Eternal youth, for me and my friends,' said Kakarot 'though I'm not sure if it applies to friends I make now, or just to those friends I had when I made the wish. I think I'd better figure that out when I next get these things together. Maybe talk to that Kami person again.'
'You've talked to god?' said Suno eagerly. 'Was he a force larger than the universe yet more personal than the friendliest person in the world? A talking Lion who radiates power?! A man in a white robe who was crucified and died for all our sins?!'
'Eh, more like a mid level obstructive bureaucrat.' replied Kakarot.
Suno looked very disappointed.
Okay, he took it back, this was actually kind of amusing. Then he realized that Kami was amused as well, and the humor turned to fury. Humility and laughter were terrible things when no one was suffering.
'So you have eternal youth?' asked Suno 'That sounds really cool!'
'Well it wasn't my first choice of wish, but it worked.' admitted Kakarot.
'So what was your first wish?'
'To bring my grandfather, erm, Master, back to life.'
Grandfather. That term had been sneaking its way into Kakarot's vocabulary, a sign of the good that was growing within him. He hated it.
'Well that sounds like a very nice wish.' said Suno's Mother.
'Yeah, we considered world domination but decided it would be too much work.'
'Oh wow!' said Suno.
'Thats it,' said Suno's mother 'that must be the reason the Red Ribbon Army is trying to find all of the dragonballs. These are the kind of men who would want to take over the world.'
'Well they are digging in the right place.' said Kakarot 'There is another dragonball around here.'
'I know,' said Suno 'my father and the others are helping them search for it.'
'So… he's a collaborator then.' surmised Kakarot.
Suno shook her head. 'The Red Ribbon Army didn't have enough men around, so they forced the men of the village to help them.'
'If there aren't that many, why not just kill the Red Ribbon Army and take the dragonball for yourself?' asked Kakarot.
'Because their too strong!' cried Suno 'And they've got weapons!'
'Whats more they have kidnapped our village chief.' said Suno's Mother. 'And their holding him hostage in their tower.'
'And if we don't do what they say, their gonna hurt him.' said Suno.
'Are they?' asked Kakarot, no more impressed with this reasoning than he was.
'Maybe we should just give them what their after.' reflected Suno's mother. 'so they will leave our village in peace.'
'Yes!' cried Suno 'Maybe if you give them the dragonball you have the army will go away and leave us alone! You have eternal youth, so you could just gather them later.'
Ah, appeasement, that wonderful little thing which helped so many evildoers prosper and set an example for future generations. He had already influenced General White, when Kami was trying to stir up feelings of sympathy and good within him. He was looking forward to the day when the Red Ribbon Army got its hand on the dragonball in this region. He could only hope he could somehow manage to do that, while keeping Kakarot alive. It would be the best of both worlds.
'Have you heard nothing I've just said?' asked Kakarot 'I'm literally going to kill all the Red Ribbon Army soldiers in like, a week tops. Just consider it repayment for saving my life. And one day I'll come back and make you part of my harem.'
'What are you crazy?' cried Suno 'They have big tanks and guns! And your just a little boy and… uh… whats a harem?'
Her innocence was sickening. Fortunately at that moment there was a sound of snow tires, as a car came to a halt outside the house. Suno and her Mother looked up in shock and fear, as a chill wind wailed through the night. The sound of boots crunching through the snow became audible. Someone was coming toward the door.
Here came their grim end. He waited in anticipation.
'What was that noise?' asked Suno.
'It… it might be the…' terror was in her Mothers tone. Then she kneeled by Kakarot. 'Quick, you had better hide somewhere.'
He filled the soldiers hearts with bloodlust, convincing them to kill everyone in the house. When they resisted, he convinced them to kill everyone in the house if they were harboring fugitives. After all, traitors deserved death.
'That won't be necessary.' said Kakarot.
Then the door was kicked open by the soldiers, and both of them marched in. 'Knock knock!'
Suno ran into her mothers arms and cowered as they moved forward. Kakarot stood in plain view, looking at them without a hint of being impressed. 'I'm looking for a boy,' snapped the soldier 'and from the looks of things you are sheltering him.' He raised his rifle. 'Any last words before we blow your brains out?'
'Please sir!' cried Suno's Mother 'We found him unconscious and injured, we didn't know anything about him-'
'Quiet!' snapped the soldier.
Then Kakarot stood between them. 'So your capable of bullying innocent villagers, bravo,' noted Kakarot 'I hope you aren't too proud of yourself.'
'Yes, yes, get the trash talking out of the way and kill them!'
'Considering your position you should be begging for mercy.' said the soldier 'Tell us where the rest of your friends are, or die right here.'
'Cute,' said Kakarot 'I think this is the part where I pretend as though you people are a credible threat, and get all intense and self rightous. Truth be told, I'm not really feeling up to it. The white stuff out there came far closer to ending me than you ever will.'
'Its called snow.' said Suno in a small voice.
'I know, I'm being condescending to these morons.' Kakarot lied.
'Shut up!' roared the soldiers before opening fire.
Kakarot's hands moved in a blur as the sound of gunfire echoed throughout the house. Bullet cartridges hit the floor in droves, as the rattling continued. Then it stopped, and was replaced by the clicking of two guns. The soldiers stared in horror as Kakarot's motions ceased, and he opened his hands to let numerous crushed bullets land on the floor. Not one had strayed beyond his grasp. Two, however, remained in Kakarot's hands, held between his thumbs and forefingers.
He was enjoying this. Their helplessness, the soldiers sudden fear of what would happen to them after they died. And die they would. And then it would be too late for Kamit to do anything for them. 'You've had all the amusement you can at these fools expense. Dispose of them.'
Kakarot shifted his hands, then flicked the bullets at his enemies. They surged forward faster than they had been shot, and slammed into their guns, which were flung from their hands by the force, ruined. The soldiers stepped back fearfully.
'Wha-what are you?' one asked.
'Someone significantly more powerful than you,' reflected Kakarot. 'run, and don't let me see you back here.'
The soldiers fled. And now the helpless fear of the afterlife which had before beset them might be put to use by the forces of good to reform them. The battle for these men's souls, rather than being unceremoniously ended with a one way ticket to HFIL, had instead shifted. They might well save themselves.
This was Kami's doing. There was no other explanation.
'You might want to not go to the tower by the way?!' called Kakarot after them. 'Thats where I'm going next!'
'Are you alright?!' cried Suno 'You just caught like a million bullets in your hands!'
'Actually it was more like two hundred and fifty four bullets.' reflected Kakarot.
'That was unbelievable!' cried Suno.
'Don't be silly,' said Kakarot 'you just saw me do it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get your chief, and then we can eat lunch.' Then he rushed out the door.
'Wait!' cried Suno.
Yet Kakarot was already gone, scurrying swiftly over the snowbanks in pursuit of his enemies, and leaving behind him a trail of flying snow. There was a long silence among Suno and her Mother.
'Unusual boy,' reflected Suno's Mother.
'I know.' said Suno.
'I hope we see him again.' said Suno's Mother.
Suddenly a chill wind blew through the open door, and Kakarot returned, shivering, his teeth chattering horribly. 'I-its… kind of… cold… outside…'
Suno and her Mother fell over.
He had just about had enough of this heartwarming scene. He was fairly certain he knew how it ended.
Thirty minutes later, they warmed themselves by a roaring fire and drank hot cocoa. Kakarot leaned in close, allowing the flames to melt the ice which had built up on him. Miranda closed in and set a blanket over his shoulders. 'Here, try and stay warm.'
Kakarot smiled, looking more like the child he was than he ever had before.
'I'll get you some of my clothes to wear.' said Suno with a laugh, rushing off.
'Kakarot, listen to me,' said Miranda 'this is foolish. Do you have any idea whats out there?'
'A bunch of guys with guns.' said Kakarot with a shrug. 'Still I guess I could wait for my friends. Their almost as strong as I am.'
Suno came back. 'Hey, see how these fit!' she said, offering him a trench coat and hat.
'I'm afraid we haven't told you the full story.' said Miranda. 'The Red Ribbon Army is holding our chief in a place called Muscle Tower. Its the army generals command post. Its got solid stone walls, fortified with guards and guns and who knows what other dangers. Several of the village men have already tried to rescue the chief. Not one of them made it out of the tower alive.'
'Sounds fun.' said Kakarot 'I'm definitely waiting for my friends on this. Wouldn't want them to miss out.'
Later Kakarot stood in the snows, wearing a violet trench coat with pink mittens, and a heavy blue cap. 'I think trench coats look pretty good on me. Though the color leaves something to be desired.'
'Yeah, well it was the only thing I had.' said Suno in annoyance. 'And you still haven't told me what a harem is.'
'Yo Kakarot,' called Launch's voice. 'where have you been?!'
Kakarot turned to see his friends heading towards him in a multiseat snowmobile. They were all clad in black trench coats that billowed behind them in the chill wind and wearing black sunglasses. On their heads were heavy caps.
'I could ask you the same question.' said Kakarot as they pulled up. 'Where have you guys been?'
'Writing checks,' said Bulma 'lots of checks.' She got out of the car and approached Miranda. 'Alright whats the damage?'
'Damage?' asked Miranda.
'A bunch of jerks have been walking around the village shooting up any houses they find and looking for my friend.' said Bulma in resignation. 'Since its kind of our responsibility, I've been paying for the damages suffered by the villagers.'
'We um… didn't suffer any damages.' said Miranda 'Kakarot caught all the bullets and sent the soldiers packing.'
'These people saved my life.' said Kakarot.
'Fine, whatever,' said Bulma, before writing out a check and handing it to Miranda.
'This is…' Miranda stammered. 'I mean… I don't…'
'Save your praise, its just money.' said Bulma before looking melodramatic. 'No one will ever understand the pain of being a pure hearted maiden, endlessly drawn to right the misdeeds of a cruel world.'
'Would this be before or after it was all the pure hearted maidens fault to begin with?' asked Kakarot ruefully.
'Shut up.' said Bulma.
'So where to now?' asked Yamcha. 'I mean what does the dragon radar say?'
'We're not following the dragon radar this time.' said Kakarot 'This villages chief has been taken hostage by the Red Ribbon Army. I mean to free him from the place called Muscle Tower.'
'Sounds like a decent showdown,' said Launch 'count me in.'
'I'm with you too.' said Yamcha.
'Don't try to leave us behind!' said Puar.
'Yeah, we'll show those Red Ribbon Army types whose boss!' cheered Bulma. 'Lets go!'
'Be careful,' said Miranda 'and don't take chances.'
Leaping aboard the snowmobile, they drove off, leaving a trail of snow behind them. Suno and Miranda watched them drive away, waving goodbye as they did so. Finally Suno looked up. 'Mom, whats a harem?'
'When you're older dear.' was all Miranda would say.
More silence. 'Do you think they can really defeat the Red Ribbon Army, mom?' asked Snow.
'He thinks they can.' said Miranda 'But so did your father.'
Elsewhere men bundled up in heavy clothing dug through the snow. Any who tried to stop working, or leave, were reminded of their duties by soldiers in ski masks with guns. Heavy equipment could be seen lying about, filled with missile launchers and other such weapons. The work had gone on for hours, and the men were tired, but there was no rest allowed for them.
At that moment one of the soldiers saw a cloud of snow in the distance. Bringing up his binoculars, he saw a group of teenagers in a snow mobile heading towards them. 'What the…'
The snowmobile swerved away, as gunfire whistled through the air, tearing through the snows around them. The skidded to a halt as a Red Ribbon Army machine came into view. Men with guns emerged, pointing their weapons at them. 'Hey, where do you think your going kids?'
'Sorry for the interruption, gentlemen.' said Kakarot 'We've come to murder you, and free whatever captives might be imprisoned in muscle tower.'
The men laughed. 'Got some pressing business do ya?'
'Why don't you run home to your mommy?'
'Cause we've been too busy plowing yours!' roared Launch 'KaameehaameeHAA!'
A surge of blue energy rushed forward and scattered the soldiers, obliterating the vehicle. Before they could recover, Yamcha was upon them, his trench coat flowing around him, as he knocked out the first with a punch, swung round with a kick to take out the next one, and leaping high into the air as the other fired at him wildly. Descending, he knocked him out with ease. As the rest got out of the snow mobile and continued on foot, running towards the gradually nearing form of Muscle Tower.
'I… I can't keep up!' cried Bulma as she fell behind. 'Slow down you guys!'
Kakarot halted until she had reached him, then scooped her up in his arms bridal fashion and continued running. She struggled. 'Hey, let go of me Kakarot, will ya?' Soon they came within sight of Muscle Towers base, and there they saw a force of soldiers waiting for them.
General White heard a communication.
'Intruder!' cried a voice.
'General, there are a bunch of kids storming the castle!' said a soldier.
'Heh,' said White 'like lambs to the slaughter. Fire! Fire now!'
As the soldiers opened fire, Kakarot hoisted Bulma up over one of his shoulder, while drawing his power pole with the other hand and deflecting a host of bullets. At the same time Launch drew out her machine gun and opened fire in return, downing the solders in moments.
'Power pole extend!' cried Kakarot, before setting it before him as he rushed at the wall.
'Kakarot!' cried Bulma 'Let me go! Let me go!'
Kakarot ignored her cries and vaulted over the snowbanks on the power pole, landing atop the battlements of Muscle Tower. On a whim, he took the opportunity to feel Bulma up. She was very firm, and his actions caused her to start kicking in an adorable way. She was probably blushing right now. After he'd had his fill he set her down, and grabbed his power pole with two hands. 'Power pole retract!'
'Whats the big idea Kakarot?!' snapped Bulma, hitting him over the head. 'You perve!'
'Call me what you want,' said Kakarot 'I got us up here didn't I?'
'Yeah, but you left half the group behind!' said Bulma 'Lower your power pole so they can climb up!'
'Nah,' said Kakarot 'its more fun this way.' He leaned over the parapet. 'Hey you guys, take the stairs will ya. Bulma and I are going on ahead.'
'Now hang on a sec-' began Yamcha.
'Can't hear you, don't care.' said Kakarot.
He then turned away, and gazed up at muscle tower far above him, and the challenges which lay within. He smiled in anticipation.
General White watched with raised eyebrows. 'Well, I am impressed little lambs. Come on up I'll be right here waiting for you.'
Now that our heroes have made it to the mysterious Muscle Tower what peril awaits them inside? Will they be able to rescue the village chief? And can they defeat the terrifying General White, and his hideous agenda? Find out on the next thrilling episode of Dragonball.
Wow, and entire episode that is almost completely from Kami and his viewpoint. This is new. I figured as long as I was actually making Kami act like god, I'd have him act like Satan. Speaking of which, I think anyone with a passable knowledge of dragonball will know who he is. For those who lack such knowledge, I'll leave it vague.
I had a lot of fun writing this chapter, actually. Writing a standard episode from the perspective of the angels and devils on the shoulders of the heroes and villains was a very interesting experience.
As for Bulma being groped by Kakarot, Kakarot's primary role model is Master Roshi, his primary friend was Krillen, and unlike in canon, he's not naive and pure hearted enough to remain unaffected. Frankly its no wonder Kakarot doesn't understand women, and why you are supposed to limit yourself to just one. Even if he does, he probably wouldn't care.