Chapter Sixty-two: An Unlikely Alliance
Dr. Gero made his way into a secret lab alongside his son. Barracks slid his card through a locking mechanism and they entered the innermost lab. There the child Silver and Launch had captured was chained to a reinforced steel table. He glared hatefully at them.
'Ah, the specimen.' said Barracks 'It is time for more experiments.'
'You'll die for this.' said Kakarot.
'I sincerely doubt that.' said Barracks 'My position grows stronger with every passing day, and my plans are coming into fruition.' He pressed a button on a control panel.
Kakarot screamed as electricity surged through him. He pulled on his restraints to no avail, screaming louder and louder, before it stopped. Barracks looked at the readings on the screen. 'Interesting, it appears that my scientists theory was correct. Your body naturally adapts to disruption and emerges stronger for it each time. Do you even realize the potential use which your cells could have.'
'I understand the millions of potential ways I'm considering killing you.' said Kakarot 'They're getting slower.'
Barracks did not respond and pressed another button. The shocks increased and Kakarot screamed and screamed until at last he fell limp to the ground. Barracks kept the machine on for a few minutes before he turned it off. Then he looked to a scientist. 'Get some more injections of his blood. I want to know how it has changed.'
As they busied themselves, Gero kept silent. He had never thought much of his sons obsession with genetics. At one time it had seemed to him that flesh and blood could never be stronger than steel and stone. Now that had changed.
'Well Father?' asked Barracks.
'I admit,' grunted Gero 'your research has yielded better fruit than I had expected. And your newly engineered soldiers have proven to be quite formidable. They succeeded where my machines failed. You have outdone me.
Your plan may work.'
'Thank you.' said Barracks with a smile. 'But I couldn't have done it without your example. I really look up to you dad.' Then he hugged him.
Dr. Gero was not one prone to shows of affection, but he returned the gesture. Then they broke it. 'Have all the preparations for your plan been made?'
'Of course.' said Barracks 'Actually they've been made for some years. I just need to perfect my serum. Which reminds me, I've been experimenting with including that boys blood in the serum.
I believe it may allow us to give some of his traits to those effected by it.'
'Perhaps,' mused Gero 'and that is why you wanted Ms. Briefs here?'
'Yes.' said Barracks 'Bring her out.'
Bulma Briefs was brought in, hands cuffed and looking very annoyed. And far more defiant than anyone in her position ought to. She looked at them in contempt. 'Alright what the hell do you want now? I've just spent the last few days doing nothing but tuning up your damn machines. And the room you gave me is horrible! The shampoo is aweful! Don't any of you people know how to treat a lady?'
'I haven't the slightest interest in the subject.' said Gero. 'However at this stage you have all but outlived your usefulness to us.'
Bulma took a step back and paled. 'You… you don't really mean that do you? I mean, I'm a qualified genius! Nobody is as smart as me! If you kill me you'll regret it!'
'I highly doubt that.' said Gero with a smile. 'Since someone of your intellect could easily turn the tables on me. However since you have upheld your end of the bargain I've decided to give you at least a chance of survival. Your physical tests indicate you are above average in terms of muscle and fitness. Which makes you an ideal test subject.'
He turned to a machine that looked more like a sarcophogas of steel than anything else. It had only a small window in it. Pressing a button on the wall the machine opened and revealed was a bed which Bulma was herded towards.
Bulma resistd. 'Hey, uh… shouldn't you do some preliminary tests or something before you put me in that?
'Where's the fun in that?' asked Gero. 'Put her in.'
Yamcha was pacing back and forth as Puar watched. She'd never seen him so worried as he walked, his hands behind his back. 'Okay, okay, so we need to get to the Red Ribbon HQ and fast. But how are we going to do it?'
'Well we could walk there.' said Puar.
'Puar it's hundreds of miles.' said Yamcha 'If I ran full speed I might get there in a week, but… damn it. We don't have time!'
'Yamcha look! A golden cloud!' cried Upa.
They looked up and saw Chichi heading towards them on her nimbus. She looked worried. Her clothes were torn and she was covered in bruises. Her hair was a mess as she landed on the ground. 'Yamcha! Puar! You have to help me!'
'Chi Chi, are you alright?' asked Yamcha.
'No, they took Kakarot and Bulma!' said Chi Chi 'We've got to save them!'
'We know. We also know where they are but…' Yamcha paused. 'we've got no way to get there.'
'I'll go on ahead then.' said Chi Chi.
'No you can't!' said Yamcha 'They beat you and Kakarot, if you go alone you won't get lucky twice!'
'But I have to do something.' said Chi Chi.
At that moment a shadow was cast over them and they looked up to see Pilafs death fortress coming into view. Down came the Emperor with his minions Shu and Mai and he looked at them with a smile. 'Perhaps we can be of some assistance.'
'Pilaf, what are you doing here?' asked Yamcha.
'My associates and I have been looking for the dragonballs for some time now.' said Pilaf, looking at his hand. 'Unfortunately it seems we've both run into some trouble with a group of vagabonds called the Red Ribbon Army. I've been gathering my forces to assault their compound, but I could use some help.
And from the looks of things you could use some transportation.'
'Yamcha do you think we can trust these guys?' asked Puar.
'We don't have a choice.' said Yamcha 'Alright Pilaf, we'll team up.'
'Capital.' said Pilaf. 'Come, my death fortress awaits.'
It was a scenic grassy field. Birds were chirping, the flowers were in bloom and Commander Red was playing golf. He struck the ball and sent it rolling across the fields before finally getting right into the hole. Red smiled in satisfaction as Black clapped.
'Nice shot sir, really.' said Black.
Red looked up in irritation. 'I've told ya before! An underling should never look down on his leader!'
Black immediately squatted and clapped faster. 'Right sir.'
They turned and walked back the way they had come. 'What a glorious day.' mused Red 'The sun is shining, I'm on top of my game and before long I will own all the dragonballs. As soon as Mercenary Tao gets back we will have only two more dragonballs to track down.'
'Then it's only a matter of time before the Red Ribbon Army rules the world, right sir?' asked Black.
Red didn't answer because at that moment his cell phone rang. Drawing it out he put it to his ear. 'Red here, speak!'
'Commander,' said a soldier 'we have had a very interesting conversation with Colonel Violet in the field. She claims to have recovered another dragonball.'
'Excellent.' said Red.
In a far away jungle birds flew overhead a small modern raft as Colonel Violet lounged sleeping. She was a medium sized attractive woman with short violet hair and a broadbrimmed hat over her head. It was a beautiful day. And soon it would be made even better by the addition of some serious new power. She blew air into her bubblegum as her dragon radar beeped repeatedly.
Then up came the divers. 'Colonel Violet, we found it!' cried one. 'It was right where you said it would be.'
The bubblegum popped. Violet looked up. 'You sure?'
The Red Ribbon Army had been constantly given trouble getting these things. Vulcanos exploded, storms blew them away. Teenagers got superpowers. Every time they almost had them something showed up to interfere. Or so Violet had heard. Her experience had been quite calm and peaceful.
That made her suspicious.
And then the giant crocodile showed up. It roared into place. The machinegunner opened fire on it, but Violet observed as it drew closer. Obviously it was bulletproof. Typical.
Making her way up to the pilot she sighed. 'That big old aligator looks hungry. Don't you think we should feed him something? You look like you could whet his appetite.' Then grabbing the soldier she threw him forward. He hit the machinegunner and sent them both spiralling into the water.
Violet turned the vehicle to go past the aligator, which went after easier prey.
'Colonel please!' cried the soldier.
'Looks like you picked a pretty lousy day to go for a swim, boys.' said Violet.
Two fewer people to share the credit with. So much the better.
Soon enough the raft landed on the shore. Violet and her only remaining soldier rushed quickly onto the plane which was waiting for them. However a spear shot past Violet's ear and buried itself in the ground. She looked up. 'Whose that?'
A pack of natives were coming toward them, hurling spears and firing arrows. Some swung on vines down toward them. They really looked upset.
'What's the deal with these guys?' asked Violet.
'It's the barbaric Pak Pak tribe.' said the man 'This is their territory!'
'Start the engine.' said Violet.
'I'm trying!' he said, gunning it. 'Come on, baby.'
An arrow shot into a tree above and a monkey fell downward, injured. Violet caught him. The poor thing was injured and she ducked down in her seat. The sad creature had been grazed by an arrow. Those beasts had hurt this poor innocent forest creature!
'Poor baby.' said Violet.
And if the groan of pain and the thump was indication her pilot had just died. Whatever, she had more of those things at the base. 'Would you look at that.' said Violet 'The pilot's napping. I think you'd better go home now.'
She sent the monkey off and jumped into the seat. Gunning the engine one last time, she got the propeller spinning. Soon she was driving through the air, arrows and spears flying around her. The wheels took off the ground and then she was flying home free in the open air.
Later Violet was led by Black into the Red Ribbon HQ. There he approached Red. Red was an unimpressive person if Violet had ever seen one, but he was the boss. 'Sir, Colonel Violet has returned. She's waiting for you with the dragonball.'
Red made his way up to Violet. He didn't look like he thought much of her but his face brightened up when he saw the ball. Violet saluted. 'Sir, good afternoon sir. I'm sorry I couldn't be here sooner.' said Violet 'I hit a little snag.'
'Good work, Colonel.' said Red 'This one makes six when Tao comes back with the rest of them.'
'If Tao comes back with the rest of them.' said Silver.
'I don't want to hear it!' snapped Red 'Don't think just because you're under Gero's protection that I've forgotten your previous failures!'
'Be that as it may sir.' said Violet 'That radar Briefs built made finding the dragonball a walk in the park.'
'Excellent,' said Red, turning to Black, 'now hand the radar over to General Cappa and instruct him to locate the final ball immediately.'
'Um,' said Violet 'about the reward.'
'How uncouth!' said Black.
'It's okay.' said Red 'We did have a deal.' He brought out a bag. 'Good work, Violet.'
Violet took it and looked at the gold. It was as much as she had agreed to be paid. She saluted. 'May you triumph, sir!'
'Commander Red,' said a soldier 'the dragonballs have passed through sector B. Calculations say that they'll arrive in approximately fifteen minutes.'
'It's about time Tao returned.' said Red.
'Commander,' said another soldier 'there appears to be an unidentified flying object approaching at a high rate of speed.'
'You dolt!' said Red 'It's Mercenary Tao!'
'No sir!' said the soldier 'It appears to be some kind of death fortress!'
'What?' said Red. 'Activate our defense systems at once!'
Pilaf's Death Fortress was gigantic. it was spacious and it was actually quite comfortable to live in. Puar clearly enjoyed herself. 'Have you seen this place, Yamcha? It has a wine bar! A wine bar!'
'Yes well, you're welcome to help yourself after the victory.' said Pilaf 'Mai, what is the status on our advance?'
'We're picking up heat signatures convering on us Emperor!' said Mai 'They are firing at us!'
'Return fire and activate our AA defenses!' cried Pilaf 'Nothing will stop us from achieving our domination of this world!' There was a brief shuddering. 'Mai, why is my Death Fortress shaking?'
'Emperor' said Shu. 'they are firing huge numbers of missiles at us. We can't catch them all.'
'You'd better, or my pet crocodiles will be having dogmeat for lunch!' said Pilaf.
That go them into a flurry of activity and soon they were soaring overhead the trees, ducking and weaving through the shot with ease despite the onslaught. Yamcha was impressed despite himself.
'Alright,' said Yamcha 'so when we get there what's the plan?'
'You and your friends take to the ground and remove the more powerful threats.' said Pilaf 'My own henchmen will deal with the lesser enemies. They'll rue the day they ever dared cross the Emperor Pilaf!' Then he began to laugh.
'Emperor!' said Mai 'We're past the defense systems and are making our final approach against the Red Ribbon Army!'
'Excellent!' said Pilaf 'Unleash BUYON!'
I would like to take a moment to sincerely apologize for the long delay in getting this thing out. I've been preoccupied with other fics and in a creative slump regarding Dragonball.