10.19.## continued . . .
When we first arrived, I was amazed we were still alive. I hadnít taken in the implications of what our arrival meant or proved yet. Mr. Yondeiru headed to the nearest bush immediately to vomit what he had eaten that day and probably the day before as well. The good doctor was already off, like an excited little kid, running to explore and take readings and set up a base location for us to work in secret. As soon she discovered where the Ďsubjectsí were located, she sent me to film them and photograph them and take readings while she analyzed the data back at the base. I was chosen for the job because I was quicker and much more agile and therefore I could hide and spy better. Besides, I knew all their names and personalities and what they were capable of better then she did. After all, I was the big Ďfaní.
Our goal was to observe and study while interacting as little as possible . . .
Peace of years
And joy in children
Cannot cover the anxiety
Felt deep within.
They were a blur in the sky, unable to be seen by any normal eyesight. Fists and feet flew as the three fighters sparred, two small ones working cooperatively against the larger one. A closer look revealed all three fighters to be Nameks. The large adult was well known as Piccolo. And his two opponents were children, his children to be exact. Eight-year-old twins named Pendril and Lidal.
Suddenly, Piccolo threw an energy blast and the twins barely dodged it. They were quick to throw their own blasts in retaliation, which Piccolo deflected. Powering up slightly, he created a melee of small ki balls and began tossing them randomly at the twins. Shouting, he said, "Concentrate on deflecting them rather than dodging!"
Concentrating, Pendril and Lidal worked hard to follow their fatherís instructions. They were able to deflect most of the ki balls with their hands and dodged the few they couldnít. During the midst, Pendril exchanged a glance with his sister and nodding, they flew together, back to back, and were able to deflect the last of them with no trouble, using their hands and feet.
Once all the ki balls had dissipated, Pendril and Lidal looked to their father for approval. Piccolo nodded, causing smiles to appear on the twinsí nearly identical faces. Piccolo couldnít help but smirk back. His children were very strong, with his son being only slightly stronger than his daughter. The slightly would change to greatly when they were older. Lidal didnít mind though for she had inherited her motherís unusual speed and if Mirai Lidal was right, would soon outrace a Super Saiyan.
Turning his attention back to the children before him, Piccolo announced, "Thatís enough sparring for today. Weíll meditate for an hour and then itís time for a lesson with your mother."
Pendril grinned and gave his sister a playful shove as they flew to the ground. Lidal shoved him back as they took off their boots and settled into a cross-legged position for meditation. The twins only wore boots when sparring for like their mother they were comforted by the Earth under their feet and went barefoot as much as possible. They wore their gis more often then they wore the Shizen style clothing provided for them by Kya. The gis were similar with Pendrilís being purple with a red sash and red arm guards while Lidalís was blood red with a blue undershirt, blue sash, and blue arm guards.
Lidal and Pendril began to float off the ground as their breathing slowed and they went deep into their minds. Piccolo studied them. The twins got along better than anyone he knew. They were so attuned to each other they predicted the otherís thoughts and moves, making them a great fighting team. And they really did look very much alike with their thick dark forest green hair and plant green skin with matching antennae and Shizen tattoos on their foreheads. But Lidal kept her hair in two braids down her back while Pendril kept his hair in a thick ponytail. Pendril also had the Chi mark upon his shoulder, which meant he would train to be a Chi beginning at the age of fourteen. Lidal would be trained as a backup so what happened to Kya wouldnít happen to her.
After making sure they were not faking it, Piccolo began his own session of meditation. As he went deep into his thoughts, his senses instinctively searched his surroundings, for what, even he wasnít sure of. Piccolo didnít know why but lately things around him seemed a bit off. And he couldnít put his finger on exactly why. Kya sensed it too but she didnít want to worry Piccolo. Piccolo was already worried though. Maybe it was because over eight years had passed and no new enemies had appeared. Mirai Lidal had said she had a happy childhood but there had been some hard times. And Piccolo was slightly anxious about what those hard times entailed.
An hour passed all too quickly and soon Kya could be seen walking out to them on the meadow. Embyr and Byrn swooped through the air behind her, following. Lidal would not be old enough for a sendragon partner Ďtil she was thirteen and Pendril would receive a yuudragon when he began his Chi training. Which was a relief to Piccolo. He could handle Byrn but he didnít get along well with Embyr at all. The little red dragon enjoyed pestering him. He could only imagine what the twinsí dragons would be like.
Piccolo raised an eyeridge as Kya reached them. In her arms were several sticks of wood. "Just what exactly are those for?"
Quietly Kya kneeled to set the wood on the ground and set them up in two separate pyres. She stood up and straightened before answering. "Well, theyíve mastered earth and water. And though we have a few kinks to work on with air, theyíre ready to begin working with fire."
Pendril leapt into the air. "Alright! Finally!"
Kya gave an amused look as Piccolo turned around to frown at him. Pendril managed to look sheepish as Lidal tried not to grin. Piccolo returned his attention to Kya. "Are you sure about this? Fire can be stubborn when it comes to being submissive to anotherís control."
"Piccolo, they are ready. Donít worry," said Kya, trying to reassure him. "Learning to become part of the element and one with it is advanced lessons, remember? Right now theyíll learn to work with it and bring it under their control." Silently she added, Piccolo, they have excellent discipline of their minds. You made sure of that. Besides, you have good rapport with fire. Theyíll probably take after you.
Piccolo grunted but did not reply. But Kya knew from his mind that he had adhered. Kya smiled and turned her attention to the twins, who were waiting patiently. "Alright. Letís begin."
Pendril and Lidal exchanged looks. Sometimes they wished they could hear what went on in their parentsí silent conversations. But then glancing back at their father, they thought, Maybe weíd rather not know. They quickly stood at attention as Kya began to speak.
"Fire is a wild element that lies close to the heart of the Earth. And thus youíll have to go deep within yourselves to call it forth." Kya paused and closed her eyes. She opened them a few seconds later as a stream of flame leapt from her fingers to the kindling. "Now this part should be familiar. Just like with the other elements, I want you to reach out with your minds and get acquainted with fire."
Obediently Pendril and Lidal calmed as if meditating only instead of going within themselves, they reached out to the two small fires before them. Pendril came in touch with it first, a heated, turbulent presence at the edge of his mind. As he furthered the contact, becoming familiar with it, he realized what his mother meant by Ďwildí. A moment later he received a tight path from Lidal: Now I think I understand why Papa doesnít like it when Ma works with fire! Pendril agreed with her.
In unison the twins pulled their minds away from the fiery element. They blinked, adjusting after acquainting with such a riotous element. Their mother took a moment to converse with the fire as well. "Good. Fire knows you. We can move on to the next step. I want you to reach within yourselves and try to call it forth, now that you recognize it. Only a little, enough to make a small ball in your hand. Now with fire, you need to remember to be firm. Earth is always willing; water and air you only have to be a little firm; fire you have show whoís boss. All right? And go slow, be careful."
Pendril and Lidal nodded. Piccolo added an extra warning. "Stay in control. If you lose control, let go immediately."
"Yes, Papa." With that, Pendril and Lidal began, a little nervous after all those warnings. Concentrating, the twins searched for that heated presence. There was the comforting, welcome presence of the earth; the always busy but playful water; and the quiet, steadfastness of air. Lidal reached fire first, hidden deep as if it would go lose if it werenít. Taking a commanding tone, she coached it to let go of a little of itself in her hand. First her arm, then her hand began to grow hot. Holding out her hand, a burst of flame leapt up from it. Opening her eyes, Lidal sternly took control of the flame, condensing it into a little ball that burned brightly upon her small palm.
Beside her a few moments later, Pendril had his own little flame in his hand but had a small difficulty in making a ball of it. Piccolo gave them both approving looks as Kya nodded thoughtfully. "You two are very adept at this." Looking at them, she said, "You may release those balls now. But carefully."
Kneeling, the twins carefully dropped their flaming balls into the two fires before them. The flames burned a bit brighter, then calmed. Standing up, Pendril and Lidal noticed the position of the sun in the sky and exchanged looks. Pendril was the one to ask. "The sun is setting. May we take the meal basket to Chichi now?"
Glancing up, Piccolo and Kya saw that the sun was indeed setting and exchanged looks. With her rapport with Earth, Kya grew the best vegetables and fruit around. She grew extra to trade with Chichi for her famous bread and rice and occasionally meat if they grew tired of fish. After a moment, Piccolo, "Donít dawdle."
Grinning, Pendril and Lidal raced off to the cottage at the edge of the meadow. It looked different now. As a gift, Gohan and Krillin had added stairs and a second floor with two rooms for the twins. Smiling Kya put out the fires and headed back at a slower pace with Piccolo. Just as they reached the door, two green blurs raced by, taking off into the sky.
Shaking her head, Kya went inside to begin dinner while Piccolo went to the roof to meditate. Pendril and Lidal were back within a half-hour with the rice and a loaf of bread. Dinner was ready by the time the stars came out. During dinner, Pendril put forth a question. "Papa, while you train with Uncle Gohan tomorrow, may Lidal and I play in the woods with Pan?"
Piccolo glanced at Kya as he took a bite of rice. Kya shrugged. "Its fine with me. But no fooling around with your powers, got it?"
Pendril and Lidal nodded. They finished their dinner and were doing the dishes when Lidal put forth another question. "Ma? May I sleep within a tree tonight?"
Piccolo raised an eyeridge as Kya frowned. With the regenerative abilities they inherited from their father, the twins didnít need to sleep in a tree like their mother to regain energy or heal unless it was really necessary. They usually slept in beds in their rooms. "Why?"
Lidal shrugged. "It would be nice. We havenít done that in awhile. Something strange is going to happen soon. I might need the extra energy."
Piccolo frowned. "What makes you think that?"
"I just have this feeling. Something is going to happen and were going to meet someone new."
Piccolo and Kya exchanged looks. Although Mirai Lidal claimed her gift of Sight didnít manifest until she was thirteen, Piccolo wasnít so sure if she didnít always have it and no one noticed. Little Lidal always had a sense of when someone was going to get hurt or something unusual was going to happen. Like now. Piccolo turned back to Lidal. "Is this someone new a bad person?"
Lidal shook her head emphatically. "Oh, no. Not bad. Just . . . not normal." Lidal paused. "So may I?"
Piccolo sighed. They would just have to wait to see if she was right. He looked up in startlement as he heard Kya say, "I donít see why not."
"May I as well?" asked Pendril.
"Sure," answered Kya. She caught the look from her husband. We havenít had time for ourselves for awhile, Piccolo. With Pendril and Lidal outside we can have some privacy. Donít worry. Kaachi will protect them. Kya paused. Iíve, well, missed . . . and she sent a mental picture.
Piccolo quirked both eyeridges in surprise at his wife but had to admit he wouldnít mind. Piccolo harumphed but Kya smiled and blushed as she received his mental reply. Luckily, the twins didnít notice as they hurried to finish the dishes. They wanted to talk with Krechi before going to sleep. Sometimes it was weird to think your grandmother was the planet you lived upon and that she was an all powerful being but you would never be able to talk or see her face to face. She didnít have one. Not really.
The last dish dried Pendril and Lidal ran out to the forest that lied near the cottage and picked two good trees to slip into. Within the cottage, the light went out as Piccolo took his mate into his arms and they slipped into their bedroom. Later that night, as he lay exhausted by his sleeping mate, Piccolo couldnít help but ponder his daughterís words. Although peace reigned without, there was still that underlying tension as if someone was waiting, watching. But Piccolo still couldnít figure out why.
As the green man fell into a restless slumber, some distance away, high in a tree, a shadow moved. A closer look revealed it to be a person, a human woman to be exact. In her hands was a large black camera. Quietly she slipped it into the gray bag on her shoulder, then cautiously climbed down the tree. Hitting the ground, she crept away into the forest.
A mysterious watcher
Hidden beyond their sight
She knows of them and their ways
But she is a stranger to their world.
The door slammed as the young African-American woman entered the ship, which had become a lab and living quarters. Across the room, a blonde woman worked busily at her laptop. "Donít slam the door," she said distractedly.
Grumbling, the young woman set her gray bag on the table beside the computer. Stretching to work out all the stiff muscles from sitting still so long in such an unusual position, she began her report of the day. "I got some footage of Piccolo sparring with his kids. Thatís the Namek, remember? And of that strange woman, their mother, teaching them to work with fire. Oh, I found out the kids can disappear into the trees just like the mother. I got shots of that with the camera. But I still havenít figured out why or how they can do that. Or who exactly their mother is." She paused in her stretching. "Personally Iíd really like to know how a supposedly asexual Namek has a wife and two kids. Twins, no less."
The blonde woman finally looked up at her companion and reached for the bag. "I would like to know that as well. Fire, you said? That woman has the most amazing abilities. Itís as if sheís some sort of nymph or elemental from one of those ancient myths. I do wish you could get closer and tape their conversations. Maybe you could learn more that way."
The blondeís voice drifted off as she took out the video camera and rushed over to the VCR to play the tape. The African woman sighed. "Weíve been over that before, Dr. Aleks. If I get any closer theyíll be able to sense me and then theyíll want to know why I was there and then our cover is blown. The device you created only dims my life energy to make me seem like a squirrel or chipmunk until I get to close and they can sense more then that."
"Yes I know that. And Iím working on it. Did you take any energy readings?" asked Dr. Aleks as she began reviewing the tape in slow motion so she could actually see the fighters sparring. "What I wouldnít give for a DNA sample," she murmured as she watched in fascination.
The young woman shook her head and ignored that comment while answering the previous question. "I took some towards the end of the spar and during the fire lesson. The data is in the bag."
"Good, good. Whatís the agenda for tomorrow?"
"Well, Piccolo will be sparring with Gohan, which should be intense. Besides Vegeta, theyíre the two strongest fighters. The real true strongest was Goku but heís dead and from indications he died more recently the Cell event, so I donít know who killed him. I believe the kids plan on playing together while their fathers train. Since I didnít go to Capsule Corp., I donít know what the Briefsí plans are."
The young woman paused and looked around. "Whereís Mr. Yondeiru?"
"Mr. Yondeiru went to bed early. He hasnít been sleeping well. Heís been so edgy lately. He really should learn to relax. No oneís going to discover us way out here. As long as we continue to be careful." Briskly Dr. Aleks walked back to the bag and took out a small reel of paper printed full of numbers and began reading.
Plopping into a chair, the young woman made a decision. "Dr. Aleks, I want to take the day off tomorrow. Iíve earned it. If I spend another day up in a tree, attempting to staying as still as a mouse to keep from being spotted and try to take readings, I may curl up and die."
"Donít be ridiculous. You wonít die."
"Dr. Aleks, please."
The good doctor heaved a big sigh. "Oh, all right. I guess I can play the spy for the once and take the readings and film. But I want you take the camera and get some more shots of the kids while theyíre playing tomorrow. I want to see how they interact."
"Come on, doc. They probably act like any other normal kid. Why not send Mr. Yondeiru? All he does around here is sulk and complain. He wants to go home, you know."
"Please. Youíre a much better photographer. Besides, he probably never spent a day camping or climbing trees in his life. And I told him before we left that I was conducting a full study, which takes weeks. Just humor me."
"You know very well that he thought that the machine would never work." Dr. Aleks glared at her. The young woman took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes tiredly. "Fine. Iíll develop the film and then go out tomorrow. But Iím not leaving Ďtil after lunch. A late lunch. I plan on sleeping in for a change."
Yawning loudly, the young woman stood and grabbing the camera from the bag, headed off to the makeshift darkroom, which was also where she slept in a makeshift cot. The scientist didnít even notice her exit as she entered the new readings into the computer.
Our goal was to observe and study while interacting as little as possible. No influence in their lives. Nothing to create a drastic change or alteration in the timeline. Fat chance of that happening . . .
The mystery is just beginning to appear
For the mystic one is just fluttering her wings
She has said good-bye to her old world
But has yet to say hello to her new one.