Chapter Sixtyfour: Triple Showdown
Explosions echoed throughout the complex. The walls shook as Barracks typed upon the computer console. Behind him he heard the door open.
'Barracks your father has given orders to evacuate.' said a scientist.
'Evacuate?' laughed Barracks 'We are at the verge of triumph my friend. I will be along shortly. However first I must finish my greatest experiment. This will mean a new future for humanity!'
'But-' began the man.
'Go!' said Barracks 'Get out of here! I must finish this!'
The man left. Barracks looked to the canister and it opened before him as he began the process. It was time for the next stage of human evolution.
Chi Chi and Silver blocked, punched and kicked at eachother. Neither could gain the edge over the other as they dueled. Finally Silver parried a kick and lashed out with a strike that caught Chi Chi in the gut. The girl reeled back, clutching her stomach.
Silver smirked and cracked his knuckles. ''ll admit you're pretty good for a little girl! But you can't take on a Red Ribbon Army elite!'
Chi Chi took a stance. 'I'm the world martial arts champion! And I won't take that kind of talk from a common thug!'
'Thug?' said Silver 'Who do you think you are talking to.'
Chi Chi surged forward and punched him in the face before kicking him in the gut. 'Not a soldier, that much is plain. You travel from town to town, breaking windows and hurting people for fun. You beat the answers out of people who would have told you what you wanted to know if you just asked. You send murderers and kill peoples fathers just because you're too scared to have a fair fight!'
Silver reeled back and summoned his power. 'Silence! Mint flasher!'
Chi Chi made hand signs and summoned blue energy in a splt second. 'Kamehameha!'
There was a flash and Silver narrowly avoided the blue beam as it passed him and blew up a building behind him. Before he could react Chi Chi was on him and kicked him in the back. As he stumbled she kicked his legs out from under him before body slamming him.
Then she stood up and walked away. But Silver arose, covered in bruises and bleeding from the mouth. 'I won't stand for this! I won't be beaten by a kid!' And he put forth two hands. 'Finishing move! Silver standard!'
And into his hands appeared a silver beam of light. Silver spun it around and slashed at Chi Chi, who ducked too late. As a line of blood appeared on her cheek. She wiped it off as Silver spun his weapon.
'Like it?' asked Silver 'It's as sharp as a spear! Let's see how you look with one through you!'
Then he surged forward. But Chi Chi ran to meet him. 'I won't let you win! Ox punch!'
Energy surged around her fist, but Silver ducked aside. 'You're too slow-'
And then he was sent spinning away to crash into a wall. The standard fell from his grip and faded. Chi Chi came at him again and he ducked. But he was smashed into the wall harder, leaving cracks in it. Chi Chi stepped back as he gasped.
'Arg! What!' gasped Silver 'You missed me both times!'
'My daddy taught me a new move while I was with him.' said Chi Chi proudly. 'His Ox Punch summonss the ki in the air and surrounds his fist. When I strike with it all that ki is released at once. Even if I miss you I still hit!'
'You little brat!' roared Silver as he stood. 'You think I'm done!' He summoned his ki.'Mint flasher! Mint flasher! Mint flasher! Mint flasher! Mint flasher! Mint flasher!' A barrage of shots was unleashed and Chi Chi was forced to duck and weave as blast after blast went around her. Silver last as he hurled one shot after another. 'How long can you run? Huh?! How long until I break you!'
Then Chi Chi stopped and he could not fire anymore.
'…What?' gasped Silver.
Chi Chi smirked and crossed her arms. 'Didn't your master ever teach you to pace yourself silly? You throw too many flashy attacks around and you'll end up exhausting yourself.'
'You… you brat… I'll kill you…' gasped Silver.
Chi Chi looked up behind her to where a building was creaking and groaning, its foundations broken. 'Well you definitely killed the building. Nimbus!'
A golden cloud shot by her and she leaped onto it.
Silver staggered forward. Then the building fell towards him. He had just enough time to scream before he was covered in many tons of brick.
Launch simply wasn't on Yamcha's level anymore. Her punches were easily dodged, her energy attacks went wide. Yamcha ducked and weaved and leaped over her before reappearing directly behind her. His arms were crossed. 'Launch you can't beat me. I don't care what kind of power ups you went through, you aren't on Tao's level.'
'Shut up!' said Launch 'I'm not going to lose to you!' Then her voice changed. 'And my names' not Launch! I'm Hasky!'
'Only one question.' said Yamcha 'Why?'
'What?' said Launch.
'Why are you working for these psychos? For money?' asked Yamcha 'I always thought better of you than that.'
'Why not?' asked Launch 'It's not like there is anything else worth having in this rotten world.'
'Even I knew that wasn't true when I was a bandit.' said Yamcha 'I became what I did to survive. But I'd have thrown away it all to protect Puar, and later Kakarot and Bulma and you. And I don't you're as psychotic as you seem.'
'Shut up!' roared Launch, seeming to struggle. 'I don't have to take that from you! What the… no… I…' She looked down and her hair changed. Then she looked up. 'I don't want to die. I'm not Launch. I'm a computer program designed to override Launch's personality and implant a new one when they need me.
'Besides, this way I can get paid a huge amount. Live in luxury. Y'know, what all girls want.
Obviously she was struggling with her inner demons. But Yamcha didn't have time for this. 'Fine, but you aren't going to get it here.'
'What do you mean?' asked Launch.
'Colonel Violet is robbing the place even as we speak.' said Yamcha with a shrug. 'Even if the Red Ribbon Army wins they'll be bankrupt. And you won't get paid a cent.'
Launch paused. '…Shit.'
'She went that way.' said Yamcha, pointing toward the hangers.
Launch or Hasky sprinted in that direction.
The reports came in and they were bad. Red was clenching his cigerette between his teeth so hard that it looked like it would snap in half. Black looked around at the borderline panic in the eyes of the soldiers. But Red would never admit the truth.
'Commander Red we'd best withdraw to the safehouse at once.' said Black.
'I already know that you clod!' said Red as he arose. 'You men, guard the doors!'
They rushed out onto a balcony and Red halted to look over the utter destruction. Most of the buildings were shattered. Some had fallen into nothing more than piles of rubbles. The attackers were beating up what little remained of his forces.
'Look at this! My beautiful base!' said Red 'They're smashing it to pieces! But they'll never find us here. And soon enough I'll get my wish.'
They rushed into the highest tower. One designed to resist artillery bombardments and stand tall before earthquakes. Making their way to the higher rooms they found a luxorious bunker. There Black had a revelation. 'Sir something just occurs to me.'
'What is it now?' asked Red.
'We have our dragonballs. And they have the means of tracking them.' said Black 'That means they may be able to track us here.'
'Well then you'll just have to defeat them won't you?' said Red, before opening the stair to the top room.
Black flinched. 'Me? Sir?'
'You're trained as a bodyguard aren't you?' laughed Red 'Hold your ground soldier and know that the Red Ribbon Army stands or falls on your shoulders.'
And he marched upward.
Black gulped. He doubted he was any match for whatever would come through that door. But he was a soldier for the Red Ribbon Army. He would never surrender.
As soon as Red came into the top room he opened up a console and smiled. Fully functional. 'Fool. He doesn't know about the trap I set up.'
The door was blown open. Pilaf's soldiers stormed into the room and Pilaf marched forward. Mai and Shu were on either side. They stopped just beyond the door.
'Finally.' said Pilaf, before seeing the tall dark skinned man taking a stance before him. 'So, Commander Red, we meet at last.'
'I am not the commander.' said the man.
'Then where is he?' asked Red.
'He's safe.' said Pilaf 'Now stop talking, you will deal with me.'
'You don't have very good job security do you?' asked Pilaf 'Why not come over to the winning side?'
'My loyalties aren't that easily broken.'
'Admirable. But foolish. Shoot him.' said Pilaf.
Red smiled. 'Now!'
He activated the trap.
Suddenly the ceiling shook and came down on them.
'Ah! Emperor!' cried Mai, pulling Pilaf back through the doorway. As they did he dropped his case filled with the dragonballs.
Down came the ceiling to land with a sickening crunch on the floor. Pilaf, Shu and Mai scrambled backward and peered around the corner. And out of a room came a short, red headed man in a suit. He laughed.
'Ahahahahaha! It worked! It worked! They're all dead! And now the dragonballs are mine! Just one more ball and at last… my dream to be tall as a mountain will come true. Soon now, no one will ever be able to look down on Commander Red again.
He opened the case. 'I will become ruler of all I can see and my eyes shall tower over the heavens.'
'What?!' said Pilaf as he stepped forward.
Red looked up in shock. 'You.. you're still…'
'Alive.' said Pilaf 'Yes. Emperor Pilaf is not so easily killed.'
'You killed your subordinate.' said Shu.
'His job is to die for the Red Ribbon Army.' said Red dismissively. 'Nothing wrong with that.'
'Are you seriously telling me that you wasted your entire army so you could make yourself a few feet taller?!' asked Mai.
'You bet.' said Red 'And what's wrong with that?'
'You idiot! It has nothing to do with ruling the world!' said Pilaf 'You had armies of elite troops, squadrons of tanks and aircraft! You could have probably conquered the world directly if you hadn't wasted them all chasing after some meddling kids!'
'It has everything to do with the army and my plans for the organization!' said Red 'The dragonballs were the key to making the army and myself huge! It would be a grave mistake to undestimate my plan!'
'Your lame plan got hundreds of people killed for nothing!' said Mai 'You should be ashamed!'
'I am the Red Ribbon Army! What's good for me is good for everyone and I want to be taller!' roared Red 'All my life I've drawn the short straw! I've had to contend with being a mere pebble in a land of giants! You couldn't possibly understand what it's like! The nightmare of being a genius trapped inside this little body!'
'I'm shorter than you, you red headed stepchild!' snapped Pilaf 'And my wish is to rule the world!'
'Well that's to be expected since you could never rule it yourself!' snapped Red 'Look at you! A three foot tall shrimp with brains tinier than his body! What's really eating you is that there is no Commander in front of your name, and there never will be!
'You want to know why? Because you're small time! What are you going to do with your fake ninja and your-'
There was a noise like a thunderclap and Red reeled backward, a bullet in his brain. He hit the ground and landed with a thud. Stone cold dead. Pilaf stood over him with a menacing leer on his face. 'That seem small time to you, peasant?
'I'm Emperor Pilaf. Emperor. I outrank you. And my organization is more than the sum of its parts.
'Don't waste my time with your wishy washy goals! It's like my grandmommy Pilaf once said! If you're not going to shoot for the stars, don't build a rocket ship!'
'Emperor you inspire us with your every word.' said Shu.
'You are truly a genius unparallelled.' said Mai.
'Shu, did you succeed in swiping Yamcha's dragonball?' asked Pilaf.
'Yes Sire.' said Shu, drawing it out.
'Excellent.' said Pilaf 'Commander Mai, get the dragonballs! We're leaving!'
'Commander?' said Mai in surprise.
'You've just been promoted.' said Pilaf.
'What about Yamcha and the other kids?' asked Shu.
'Don't worry Shu.' said Pilaf 'They'll come to us. But we can't beat them now. So we'll come back later and strike from a position of power. You need to know when to fold em in this business.'
'Right you are, sire.' said Mai.
Colonel Violet was just loading the last of her gold into the airship when she abruptly saw Hasky leaning against it. In her hand was a gun and it was pointed at her. Violet froze up. Hasky was one of Gero's experiments. Violet didn't stand a chance against her.
'Alright stop right there, Colonel Violet.' said Launch.
'Whoa, whoa, hold on don't shoot.' said Violet.
'Why not? You're making off with the Red Ribbon Army's treasury.' said Hasky.
'What army? Look out there!' said Violet 'The whole place is falling to pieces. Even if we stick to our guns it'll get looted anyway. Besides, if you're so concerned about the Red Ribbon Army what are you doing out here?
'Come on girl, why don't we make off with this stuff? We could split it fifty fifty. Retire to an island somewhere.
'Money is why we're all here. Money and brainwashing. And I don't mean to be brainwashed.'
What was Violet thinking. Hasky could just kill her and take the loot herself. She was dead.
Launch remained silent for a long time. Something played across her face. '…Not me sister. Go on ahead.'
'What?' said Violet 'You're letting me go without taking any of the money?'
'Why not?' asked Hasky 'I'm not the sort of gal to interfere with another girls heist. Get going.' And she walked on by.
Violet wasn't one to question her luck.
Kakarot blew open a wall with a kamehameha as they rushed through the halls of the research facility. They found and saw no one wherever they went. Krillin, Roshi and Bulma rushed after him.
'Kakarot shouldn't we try to meet up with Yamcha?' asked Bulma.
'No, we've got to get Gero and Barracks before they,' He burst through the door. 'escape…'
The lab was empty. Only a black pod about human sized was still functioning and there was green liquid running through the tibes. Several pieces of the wall had caved in. They fanned out.
'This place looks deserted.' said Krillin.
'I guess they must have cleared out in a real hurry.' said Roshi.
'Took all the files too.' said Bulma, opening a filing cabinet. She walked over to the pod and looked through the window. 'What the…'
'What is it?' asked Kakarot.
'That's the machine they put me in Kakarot.' said Bulma 'There's someone in it.'
At that moment the pod burst open and steam filled the air. And into the room stepped a familiar figure. Kakarot took a stance. 'Barracks.'
Well that was climactic. I've been planning that particular kill for quite some time. What's funny is that I originally planned for Silver to be Yamcha's archenemy. But then I realized that Silver wrecked Chi Chi's village so if anything the real person who should beat him was her. Meanwhile Launch has been established as a rival for Yamcha so he ends up fighting her. As for Red, what better way to give Pilaf some credibility than to have him have an eviler than thou moment with Commander Red.