Chapter Forty-Six: Surprise Attack
Within the Red Ribbon Army HQ, General Red received the report from Black. His pet nuzzled his hand as Red ran his fingers over its head in affection while clenching a cigar in his mouth and eyeing the incompetent buffoon in front of him.
'General Blue's Company A is in pursuit of the dragonball. Captain Dark is supervising the raid on the island with Company B. Our radar has a confirmed lock on two dragonballs located within the scientists compound. As you know the old man is accompanied by a woman and a turtle, who are believed to be his only protection.'
'Yes, yes,' said Red 'General Blue's a brilliant tactician, I'm supposedly surrounded by the best minds of every conceivable industry. Yet I'm still chasing a teenager for what should have been in my possession months ago!'
'I understand sir.' said Black.
'You understand nothing!' snapped Red 'But make sure General Blue does. I want that scientist brought back to me alive at all costs! He is the key to our success!'
Black smiled. 'Consider it done sir.'
At that moment the door opened, and Dr. Gero entered. Red looked up. 'What is it, Gero?'
'I thought I should let you know that Captain Dark will fail in his mission.' said Gero 'However my subordinates won't.'
'That is big talk coming from the man whose machines were a steaming flop at Muscle Tower.' snapped Red.
'I assure you.' said Gero 'My agents are already closing in. Very soon, the dragonball will be ours.'
'You'd better hope it is.' said Red.
Krillin piloted the sub through the underwater cave, sweat dripping down the side of his face. Behind them, the Red Ribbon Armies subs were in fast pursuit.
'Great!' said Bulma 'Now they have two ships and they don't look happy! Are you trying to get us killed?!'
'Trust me,' said Krillin 'I don't want to meet them either.'
'And to top it off, they have torpedoes!' said Bulma.
'What are torpedoes?' asked Kakarot.
'Haven't you been paying attention?' asked Bulma 'Their bombs, they blow things up!'
'Oh so that's what those things were.' said Kakarot.
'It must be nice to live in complete oblivion.' said Bulma 'Which is about what we're going to be!'
'On a brighter note, they can't shoot at us anymore.' said Krillin 'They are probably afraid of causing a cave in.'
'Come on Krillin, step on it!' roared Bulma 'They're gaining on us!'
'I hate backseat drivers.' muttered Krillin.
Then they were slammed from behind. Krillin struggled to hold on to the controls as Kakarot and Bulma were thrown forward in their seats. Again and again, they were struck from behind as the Red Ribbon Army rammed into their craft. Their craft was forced gradually towards the wall, and Krillin desperately guided the craft to avoid the wall their enemies were trying to smash them into.
They hit a rocky outcropping as the tunnel led upwards, and fortunately, it gave way before they did. The rock crashed into the enemy sub, which was thrown back. In that moment Krillin was able to escape from the enemy and they surged upwards.
In a moment they broke out of the water and reached the surface.
Krillin opened the cockpit and they looked around. They stood within a small pool, with a passage leading away into a cave system. Kakarot looked around. 'Well we're out of the water, I guess. What I want to know is how.'
'We're still in the ocean,' said Bulma 'but this cave has a pocket of air.'
'One of these days I should devote time to study the nature of such places.' mused Kakarot 'Not today, however.'
'Not now Kakarot,' said Bulma 'those maniacs are still after us! Come on, lets get out of here!'
They leaped out of the cockpit and rushed into the cave, even as the Red Ribbon Army subs arose behind them in the water. The chase was on!
Company B flew through the air towards their destination. The humming of engines was all that could be heard as Dark saw them approaching the island. Raising his com, he spoke: 'Alright me we're coming in hot so I want this one done strictly by the book! Tonight is sandwich night and we're not going to miss it!'
Blonde Launch was watching a movie about cops and robbers. A thrilling car chase was in progress, complete with machine guns firing on both sides. Even so, she felt rather hungry and that hunger was distracting her from true enjoyment. With a sigh she raised a remote and hit the pause button.
'Hey!' she shouted 'Where's the chow at? I'm wasting away over here?!'
'Coming!' cried Roshi as he came through the door with a hot metal pan which he set down on the table. Taking the lid off, he revealed a delicious looking orangish substance. 'bon appetite.'
'Looks interesting,' noted Launch 'what do you call it?'
'Oh it's an old family recipe.' said Roshi 'I call it Roshi surprise.' And he served her.
'Well, then you've had a long time to get it right.' noted Launch, taking up her utensils.
She tried it. Then looked him in the eye.
'Does it need more salt?' asked Roshi.
'You're the chef.' said Launch, offering him the spoon. 'You tell me.'
Roshi tried it. Then Launch picked up her glock, stood up and pointed it at Roshi. 'What are you trying to poison me?! You call that stuff food?! In case I hadn't mentioned it, I'm allergic to garbage!'
'Wait!' cried Roshi 'Give me another chance, I make a mean-'
'You've made enough!' snapped Launch 'Now it's my turn!' At that moment a plant was put up against her nose, and she felt a sneeze coming on. 'Ah… ah… ah… ACHOOO!'
What was she doing here again? And why was Roshi cowering at her feet? 'Roshi, what's wrong? You look beat.'
'You certainly have a way with the ladies, master.' noted Turtle.
'Well I guess everyone has their talents.' said Roshi.
Then they heard an ungodly buzzing noise, and saw, coming towards them in the clouds a vast swarm of many coptors and planes. Roshi made his way over to the window and put one hand over his eyes. 'Wow.'
'Are you expecting any visitors today?' asked Turtle.
'Nope,' said Roshi 'I don't know em.'
Yet as Launch saw the planes approaching, something within her awoke. She wasn't sure what it was, but she kept getting flashes of an amusement park high in the sky.
Master Roshi made his way out onto the front steps, wondering what all the ruckus was about. Turtle followed behind and he stood there watching as the planes descended towards them. Watching them land, Roshi blocked the sun from his eyes. 'Looks like we have a lot of guests. Good thing I made plenty of soup.'
The crafts finished landing and out of them came a whole host of men armed to the teeth with guns. They looked like a regular assortment of stereotypes, idiots, and ne'er-do-wells, and to top it off they were led by an obese man who looked about as threatening as… well… himself. Such was the range of commentary, snarky statements, and one liners which came to mind that Roshi found himself quite speechless as they approached.
The fat man smiled in what was likely supposed to be a menacing look. It… really wasn't. 'Ensign, check the house.'
Roshi hoped for the sake of the poor fool assigned that duty that Launch didn't go blonde. That girl was far too angry for her own good. 'Who are you?' Roshi asked. 'I paid my taxes.'
'Congratulations doctor you've been recruited by the Red Ribbon Army.' said the fat man.
Red Ribbon Army? Was that what kids were calling the bad guys these days? Roshi hadn't really been keeping up with events on the mainland, beyond his students, and he found himself bemused. Was he supposed to feel threatened? Why was it that every time a group of newfangled bandits emerged they always thought the universe revolved around them? Wait, what had they called him? 'Doctor? That's a new one.'
The man laughed and straightened out a whip. 'Don't play games. We know who you are.'
'I wish I could say the same.' said Roshi, looking around at the soldiers. Urge to snark rising. 'I've never had so many guests on my island with so much ammunition?' What should he start with.
'The Red Ribbon Army is well supplied.' said the man. Oh, so he meant to snark back, did he?
'The Red Ribbon Army?' asked Roshi, identifying a weak point. 'Oh, I have heard of you before.' He was lying, of course, he'd stopped concerning himself with politics a long time ago.
Blue Launch emerged with a gun to her back and the Ensign spoke. 'We found the girl. She was alone inside the house.'
'There doesn't appear to be any booby traps on the property.' said a soldier.
'Good.' said Fat Man.
'You'll have to forgive me,' said Roshi 'it took a moment for me to register the name of your organization. I've heard it called so many different names. You have a real reputation for being cruel and unjust.'
'What?' said Fat Man.
'There's a ton.' said Roshi 'Like the Jerk Patrol, the Dirt Bags, and my personal favorite the Red Ribbon Slimeballs.'
Fat Man forced a smile. 'That's nice, in case you haven't noticed, these dirtbags as you call them, have you outnumbered and outgunned.'
'Yep,' said Roshi 'and out whipped. That must come in handy on training day.'
'It's not for my men,' said Fat Man 'it's for those who oppose me, now let's dispense with the pleasantries. You will soon learn that I am not a man with whom to toy. Hand over your dragonballs immediately. Yes, we know you have them, do it, or suffer my wrath!'
His whip slashed through the air at Roshi, who dodged it. It was a special kind of dodge, the sort which can only be done by people very skilled indeed. It was a subtle movement so that one barely saw the movement, yet despite its lack of obvious dodging, the whip, which had been dead on moments ago, passed Roshi by without touching him. It hit the turtle shell, which it bounced off.
The man looked shocked, and Roshi glanced to Launch. 'I guess he needs more practice. Say, I didn't know you had any dragonballs.'
'Maybe he's confused.' said Launch.
'Silence!' snapped Fat Man, whipping the ground. 'There are two things I want from you doctor! The dragonball Briefs left in your possession which you undoubtedly have hidden somewhere on this island, and a radar to track down the other balls like the one you made for that spoiled brat!'
Roshi blinked. 'You think she left a dragonball here?'
'Oh the bag,' said Launch, looking bothered about something. 'she left one behind. Maybe that's where it is.'
'Well, we'll soon find out.' said Fat Man 'Tear the house apart! I want those dragonballs!'
'And I can see why.' said Roshi 'You're obviously lacking in the ball department.'
'That's it!' roared Fat Man 'I'm sick of your mouth old man, just remember you asked for this!'
He unleashed a flurry of whip strikes which came no closer to hitting Roshi than the first one had. These ones didn't even hit the turtle. Of course, to an untrained normal human, Roshi's casual movements must have been nigh impossible to notice, so he must have looked like he was missing a stationary target at point blank range.
'Hey, felt the wind on that one!' said Roshi cheerfully.
Fat Man drew back his whip to strike again.
'Captain, he's just an ordinary old man.' sneered a soldier. 'He can't fight anybody, he probably can't even walk without his cane.'
'That's true, scout.' said Fat Man.
'Whatever helps you sleep at night, slick.' said Roshi.
'Next time I might not be able to hold myself back!' snapped Fat Man.
Roshi cracked his knuckles one handed. 'I understand, that's a lot to restrain!'
'Bring it on gramps!' roared Fat Man, before lashing out with his whip.
Roshi was too quick and surged forward to punch Fat Man in the gut, KO's him instantly. Another soldier was kicked in the face, and Roshi used his momentum to knock out two others. Then raising his staff he hit another, before kicking a soldier behind him. Falling on two others, these two were sent reeling, before another was elbowed on his head.
A soldier laughed and raised his gun and began firing nonstop at him. Roshi caught the bullets easily as they came, before crushing them. 'Is that all ya got?' He dropped the bullets to make his point.
He let the soldier have just long enough to realize how screwed he was before kicking him in the face.
'Hold it old man!' roared a soldier.
Roshi turned to see a man holding a gun to Blue Launch's head. The man was in a great deal of danger, but if Roshi made any sudden movements he might fall victim to Blue Launch. 'Alright, take it easy. Put the gun away….'
'I'm the one whose giving orders, not you, so pay atten-'
Blue Launch elbowed the man in the gut. His eyes bulged and he fell forward onto the ground as Blue Launch stood over him. 'Oh no, I hope I didn't hurt him too badly.'
Roshi looked up to where a soldier was slipping towards a coptor. 'Hello, are you sure you don't want to join your friends?'
'No sir!' said the man, terrified. 'I'm only in the reserves.'
The men scrambled up and got on their coptors before flying off the island towards the distance. Roshi watched in satisfaction as they fled. And then a sphere of yellow light shot through the air and through the crafts. They exploded into a million pieces, killing everyone on it.
'Pathetic worms.' said a cold voice. 'Unworthy of the title of soldier.'
Roshi turned around, feeling a twinge of anger. He saw before him a red-haired, highly muscular man in a black trenchcoat. He wore leather gloves and sunglasses on his face. 'That was uncalled for. They might have deserved a beating, but if you hadn't killed them they might have learned something from it.'
'The Red Ribbon Army does not tolerate cowardice or failure.' said the soldier.
'Silver…' said Launch.
'You know this guy?' asked Roshi.
'He's a member of the Red Ribbon Army.' said Launch 'He ransacked a town, and burned down a forest. But then Bulma beat him in a fight.'
'Bulma?' asked Roshi 'When did she learn to fight?'
And then Roshi moved aside. It was just in time, for a fist passed by his face. The Old Master was driven back beneath a flurry of punches from Silver, who brought up one leg to strike him. Roshi back flipped away and landed, taking a stance.
Both ran to meet each other and they met in a flurry of blows, which end with Silver taking several punches to the gut. Roshi brought around a leg and kicked him in the head, sending him flying back. But Silver caught himself on the ground and took a stance.
'For someone who doesn't tolerate failure, you're awfully good at it.' noted Roshi. 'Maybe instead of beating up people who can't defend themselves you should run away and join the circus.'
Silver smiled. 'Gero told me that you would be a formidable enemy. Fortunately, I have everything I need to defeat you.'
'Gero?' asked Roshi 'Mind giving the audience some context here?'
Silver drew out a device and pressed a button on it. It emitted a shrill signal, and Launch clutched her ears. Roshi looked at her in concern, before he sensed a gathering ki. Silver put out a hand before him.
A yellow ball of energy, larger and more powerful than the one before surged towards Roshi, who took a stance and caught it on his hand. For a single moment, the energy attack pressed on him, before Roshi brought up his other hand and hurled it into the sky where it exploded harmlessly. 'You've got a pretty powerful ki attack there. Maybe if you had even an ounce of control you might even make it as a martial artist.'
Silver gritted his teeth. 'Mock this old man!'
Roshi was honestly impressed that a rank amateur like Silver could throw quite so many energy blasts at him without getting tired. It didn't actually improve his chances, Roshi knocked them all skyward, before grabbing the last three and beginning to juggle them round and round. Finally, he tossed them skyward with one motion so that they exploded like fireworks.
'Is that it?' asked Roshi 'Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a game of hot potato as much as the next man, but I was led to believe an officer of the Red Ribbon Army would have better things to do with his time.'
'Catch this, old man.' said a feminine, british voice which was definitely not Silver.
Roshi hesitated, and in that hesitation, he was struck in the back of the neck and remembered no more.
As his soldiers rushed out of the subs to find and kill their enemy, Blue received a call from an unknown entity. 'Who is this?' he asked 'I'm in the middle of an operation.'
'This is Silver.' said the voice. 'I thought you might want to know that your entire company has just been slaughtered. The old man you thought was a scientist wiped them out.'
'The whole company?!' said Blue.
This changed everything.
As they ran something occurred to Kakarot. 'Why the hell are we running?' he asked 'Let's just turn around and kill them all!'
'What are you crazy?!' asked Krillin 'They have guns, we have fists now let's move!'
'Guys, what is going on?' asked Bulma.
'Nothing,' said Kakarot 'I'm just going to brutally murder a bunch of people.'
The sound of the soldier's footsteps grew louder. They could hear voices. Then suddenly a command was given and they withdrew. Puzzled, Kakarot stared. 'Why abandon the chase now? They followed us this far.'
'Way to go, you did it champ!' cheered Bulma 'Now let's get out of here before they decide to come back!'
'Maybe Kakarot scared them off.' said Krillin 'Or maybe they just went back to get some reinforcements.'
Blue met with his soldiers, who were confused by his order to halt. And so they should have been, for it was against the nature of the Red Ribbon Army to retreat. It called for an explanation, and Blue would give them one.
'It seems we have underestimated our enemy.' He said 'That was the mistake our predecessor made, I'm sure. If we are to avoid their fate we must be careful.'
'But sir, the enemy is just a bunch of kids.' said a soldier.
'Yes,' said Blue 'the same kids who decimated both Silver and White corps. Not to mention what they did to company B. An entire company wiped out by an old man and a girl who are known associates of these kids.'
They were trembling. Blue had broken them and now he would rebuild them. 'Do not know them as old or young. Simply know them as your enemy, and all three will crumble before this day is through.
As they made their way on, Kakarot looked to Bulma taking a moment admire her bared shapely legs. 'Bulma, are you certain this path leads to the dragonball?'
'Pretty sure.' said Bulma 'Unless the Red Ribbon Army gets us first.'
'I don't see anybody following us.' said Krillin.
'I can't see anything at all.' said Kakarot 'It's far too dark here.'
'I know,' said Bulma 'we could put Krillin up front. His head could light the way.'
'That's not funny.' said Krillin.
They groped their way forward in the dark, the sound of their footsteps echoing in the caverns. As they walked, Kakarot saw a button on the wall. Pressing it, there was a sound of activation and many lights appeared on the ceiling above, illuminating the caverns.
'These are lights like those in your house.' noted Kakarot.
'Yeah,' said Bulma 'these are electric lights.'
'Okay,' said Krillin 'now I'm scared.'
'One things for sure, we're not the first ones here.' said Bulma 'These lights had to be put up by someone, I just hope they're not still here. Strange, who builds a base at the bottom of the ocean.'
'What I'm more interested to know is how the dragonball got all the way down here.' noted Kakarot 'It would have had to descend into the sea, roll up a cliff, get out of the pool and then get to wherever it was the dragonball is now stored. In retrospect, it should have been obvious that someone had stolen it.
Oh, and there is a corpse over there.'
He motioned to where the skeletal remains of a pirate, hands clutching an antiquated submachine gun were lying.
'Gross.' said Bulma.
'Wait, the skull!' said Krillin 'The mark of the pirate! This must be the place Master Roshi was talking about! The pirate's sunken treasure is here!'
At those words, Bulma's thoughts turned to gold and jewels and beautiful things stolen and hoarded, just waiting for her to find them. 'Oooh! All that gold and jewelry and diamonds! Oh please let there be diamonds!'
'Yes, we did it!' cried Krillin 'We discovered the pirates treasure!'
'Hate to be a killjoy, Bulma, but you are already one of the richest people on the planet.' said Kakarot. 'It isn't going to improve your standard of living any.'
'Who needs dragonballs!' cried Bulma 'We're rich! We're rich!'
'But you're already rich!' said Kakarot 'You are literally the daughter of someone who is worth more than all the pirates in the world could plunder in a thousand lifetimes! We haven't accomplished anything!'
Krillin and Bulma began to dance.
'I'll never underestimate the motivational effects of mindless greed again.' muttered Kakarot.
Had they but know it, they were being observed.
'Are you telling me that old tale is true?' asked Blue as he heard the communication. 'The treasure exists and its right here in this cave?!' He regained control of himself and smiled. 'Well done soldier. Get back here now, I want a full report.' He lowered his walkie talkie. 'Ha ha! We have just made the greatest discovery of our age, and the most lucrative.
Supreme Commander Red will be most pleased!' Then he began to giggle incessantly while flashing victory signs.
The celebrations were ongoing.
'Hip hip horay!' said Bulma and Krillin. 'Hip hip horay! Hip hip horay!'
'I'm surrounded by idiots.' said Kakarot sadly.
This revelation was only reinforced as Krillin and Bulma grabbed his hand and began to run around in joyful circles.
Holy crap this chapter was a long time coming. I'll try to get the next one out in a more reasonable time. I guess I just needed a bit of a break from Dragonball and with any luck, I'll get future chapters up in better time. Enjoy.
So what do you think of the title for Silver's energy attack? I figured since Dragonball names are always puns, I'd base Silver's attack off of the process of minting coins. You know, because coins are often made of silver.