10.19.## continued . . .
When I woke up that morning, I was unsure of what to expect when I went with the kids on their little adventure. What I do know for sure was that I did not expect to slide down the side of a cliff or to be attacked by a saber-tooth lion, a creature that in my time is quite EXTINCT!
But that is what happened.
And since I did not come out unscathed from my little adventure, I wound up being flown to Dendeís Lookout to be healed by the Guardian of the Earth, Dende himself. They would want to know about me and I could not tell the truth. Not then anyway.
How do I get myself into these messes?
But that doesnít even compare to what happened to Dr. Aleks and Mr. Yondeiru. Or even what happened afterwards. I knew Dr. Aleks had been hiding something, but what she did, what she caused . . .
It was beyond horrible.
The first blood has been shed
But it will not be the last
For secrets are revealing themselves
As something evil is about to transpire.
Dende and Kya were meditating in the garden while Mr. Popo served Gohan a mid-afternoon snack when the first arrivals came to the Lookout. It was Vegeta, Sixteen, Krillin, and Eighteen with Bulma in her arms. There was something slung over Vegetaís shoulder but from his vantage point, Piccolo could not tell what it was. Eighteen hadnít even set Bulma down on her own feet yet before she began bellowing for Dende. Mr. Popo, Piccolo, Gohan, and Videl, who had come with Kya, went down to meet them and cease Bulmaís bellows.
"Iím sorry Bulma but he and Kya are attempting to speak with the Earth at the moment," announced Mr. Popo.
"Well, you better interrupt him," said Krillin.
"Why?" asked Gohan.
"Because of this," announced Vegeta, throwing down his burden. Videl gasped as they got a good look at it. It was the body of a man. He was covered in blood from two holes in his chest and his face, though his eyes were closed, was set in terror. Piccolo crossed his arms as he faced Vegeta. "Did you kill him?"
Vegeta crossed his arms in belligerence but Bulma answered before he could. "Vegeta didnít kill him! My security system did! For some reason this man tried to gain access to the gravity machine."
"So you donít know this man? Any of you?" questioned Videl. Bulma shook her head.
A voice interrupted them. It was Dende and Kya approaching from off to the side. "Why have you brought him here? I cannot heal those whose life force has already passed on."
"We know. Bulma canít find any information on him, so we were going to hunt the Dragonballs down and wish him back. Whoever he was, he didnít deserve to die the way he did and besides, Bulma would like to question what he was doing at Capsule Corp.," explained Krillin.
"You think he might be the one who has been watching us the past few weeks," stated Kya, voicing her thoughts.
Bulma blinked. "Yeah. Howíd you -?"
"Weíve all been feeling uneasy lately," explained Dende. "The Earth senses things we cannot. Unusual things. She thinks someone may have traveled through time."
Krillin groaned. "Again?"
"You still havenít explained why you came here," said Piccolo.
"Oh, yeah." Bulma pulled a device from her pocket. It was the dragon radar. "When I bought out the dragon radar, it showed that all the Dragonballs were already gathered in one place but on one has made a wish."
"All seven?" asked Gohan. Bulma nodded. Piccolo frowned. So many pieces but none of them fit. What the hell was going on? Sixteen suddenly turned his gaze from the group, to beyond the Lookout. "I read seven people heading this way. One fast and strong, ahead of the group. A Super Saiyan."
Vegeta frowned as he reached his senses out. "Itís Trunks. Heís in a hurry."
Kya stepped forward, closer to Piccolo. "Itís the children. But somethingís wrong. I sense anxiety and fear, from the twins." Piccolo nodded and placed a hand upon her shoulder. He could feel it too and it worried him.
"Thereís an eighth person with them. And his life force is fading rather quickly," announced Dende. He was already rushing out to meet them, the others hurrying after him. Within moments Trunks arrived at the Lookout, the other kids still farther behind. Dropping out of Super Saiyan, he landed and walked quickly to Dende with what appeared to be a young woman cradled in his arms.
"Set her down Trunks," instructed Dende, all business. Carefully Trunks laid out the young woman on the ground and Dende kneeled down by her side. A golden light soon surrounded both figures as Dende began healing her. Trunks stood and turned to the adults standing nearby who were full of questions. Bulma went first, placing a hand upon Trunksí arm. "Were you hurt too, Trunks?"
Trunks glanced down, seeing his jacket had turned dark from the blood soaked in it. He hadnít even noticed. He shook his head. "No. None of it is mine."
"What happened boy?" asked Vegeta.
But Trunks was prevented from answering by the arrival of Goten and Marron, Bra, Pan, and the twins. They immediately ran towards Dende and the woman he was healing but Trunks stopped them. "Donít disturb them. Let Dende finish."
Videl cried out and rushed to her daughterís side as she saw Panís disheveled and dirty state. "Are you alright? What happened?"
"Iím okay. Ali was the one who saved me. She went up against a saber-tooth lion! Thatís why sheís hurt," blurted out Pan.
"And just what were you doing near a saber-tooth lion?" asked Gohan sternly, kneeling beside his wife and daughter.
"It wasnít her fault," protested Marron. "She and the pterodactyl fell off that cliff and landed in a bush. They didnít know a lion was behind it. They wouldnít have even landed safely in the bush if it wasnít for Ali acting so quickly."
"What?!" shouted Panís parents. Pan flinched.
"Hold on a second. Time out," said Bulma. "Just who is Ali? How did you meet her? When did you meet her?"
"Her name is Ali Mystic. And these guys," explained Trunks, indicating Marron, Bra, Pan, Lidal, and Pendril, "met her yesterday in the woods."
Piccolo turned his full glare on all five kids, causing them all to take a few steps back. Lidal gulped and began to speak. "Weíre sorry for keeping secrets Papa. Its just Ali didnít seem to like meeting new people and, well, we didnít want explain how Ali saved my life too."
Shocked, Kya gripped Piccoloís hand to keep herself steady. "And just how did this ĎAlií save your life?"
"That was my fault, Ma," spoke up Pendril. "I scared Lidal and she fell and hit her head and- and-."
Marron took over as Pendril became too choked up. "Lidal nearly drowned in the river. If Ali hadnít been there to perform CPR, Lidal would have died."
Tears in her eyes, Kya kneeled down and took both Lidal and Pendril into her arms, hugging them tightly. "Iím sorry Ma," whispered Pendril. "It was an accident, Ma. Really," added Lidal. "I know," Kya whispered back.
Piccolo couldnít handle the scene in front of him and had to turn away to bring his emotions under control. He felt his wife in his mind and realized she was trying to comfort him and also needed comfort in return. Discreetly he sent soothing thoughts back to her and the twins. He turned around just as Eighteen said, "That doesnít explain who she really is or where she comes from."
"She said she was a hermit," replied Marron, slightly embarrassed that they didnít know much about their friend. "We assumed she lived in the woods."
"She tells really good stories," added Bra, trying to be helpful.
"Well, this is hers," announced Goten, setting a large gray bag on the ground. "All it holds is a camera and some film."
The discussion was interrupted when the golden light disappeared and Dende abruptly stood. "That was difficult. She was very close to passing on."
"Sheíll be okay thought, right?" asked Bra fearfully.
"Oh yes. She should regain consciousness in a few moments."
Without warning, the young woman laying on the tiles that the kids knew as Ali Mystic opened her eyes and sat up, gasping in air as she was able to breathe without hindrance. She looked around wildly, taking in the Lookout and all the people staring at her. "Where am I? How did I get here?"
"Ali! Youíre okay!" All five kids barreled forward to hug her, nearly knocking her over. Ali blinked and pulled away, examining her side and arm, which were both completely healed. "What happened? For a second there I thought I was dying."
"You were dying," replied Trunks.
"But Dende here healed you," added Goten.
"Oh." The children helped Ali to stand. "I thank you then." Discreetly Pan slipped Ali her glasses, which she had retrieved from where they had fallen in their roll off the cliff. Slipping them on, Ali Mystic studied all the adult faces staring back at her. Mentally she reviewed what she knew about them, things they didnít think she could possibly know and cringed. Iím in big trouble. Dr. Aleks is going to be so pissed!
"So just who are you?" asked Vegeta fiercely.
Ali gulped and gathered her courage. Here it goes. "Didnít your kids tell you? Iím Ali Mystic. Used to be just Mystic but the kids thought Ali Mystic sounded much better."
Krillin closed his eyes in disbelief. "Please tell me she did not just say that to Vegeta." But she had. The adults didnít know what to make of her. Marron, Bra, Pan, Lidal, and Pendril were gaping dumfounded at her while Trunks and Goten wore identical faces of horror. Vegeta, though, looked about ready to explode.
"Who do you think you are, girl?" said Vegeta lowly, dangerously. "Do you think this is a game?"
"Of course not. I told you who I am, when I donít even know who you are. What more do you want . . ." Ali Mystic cut herself off. Her eyes grew wide as she stared past Vegeta at an object lying on the tiles of the Lookout.
"Ali? What is it?" asked Marron. She followed Aliís gaze and shrieked, running straight to her motherís arms. Now all the kids had seen it and were frightened. They had never laid eyes upon a dead body before. Ali remained oblivious, her gaze fixed unblinkingly on the body.
Bulma clutched a slightly hysterical Bra to her. "Its okay, sweetie. Iím sorry you had to see that. I totally forgot he was there."
"Maybe we should move him or at least cover him up," suggested Gohan. Removing his cape, Piccolo went to the body and covered it almost completely except for an errant hand.
"Who was he?" asked Trunks.
"And what happened to him?" added Goten.
"Thatís the thing; we have no idea who he is. He tried to get into the gravity machine and the security system fired upon him," explained Bulma, hefting Bra into her arms.
Stoically Ali Mystic stepped forward and sunk to her knees beside the body. "But why would he try to get into the gravity machine? I told him such things were better left alone."
Eighteen looked sharply at Ali Mystic. "Did you know this man?"
"Yes, I knew him," answered Ali quietly. "His name was Mr. Yondeiru. Yondeiru Shiroi. He was the supervisor of our project."
"Supervisor? What project?" asked Bulma suspiciously.
Ali ignored her, reaching a shaky hand out to Mr. Yondeiruís still one. She shivered. He was so cold. Worried, Pendril knelt beside his friend. "Ali? Are you okay?"
"He was so annoying, fussing and complaining all the time," whispered Ali. "Always serious. And I was so very rude to him. All he wanted to do was go home. He never wanted to come here in the first place. But she forced him. We should never have come. We donít belong here . . ." Ali swallowed against the lump rising in her throat.
"Whoís she? What are you talking about? Ali!" Pendril shook her arm but Ali shrugged him off.
Abruptly Vegeta, who was losing his patience, pulled Ali Mystic roughly to her feet. "Snap out of it! Answer the questions, girl!"
In an unusual show of forwardness, Sixteen shoved Vegeta away from Ali Mystic. "Beating her up wonít help you Vegeta. Canít you tell sheís in shock?"
Behind them, Lidal stepped up to Ali, who had been unfazed by Vegetaís rough handedness. Lidal calmly tugged on Aliís long vest. The young woman blinked and finally turned her attention to the living. "Ali? Whatís the truth?"
Taking a deep breath, Ali Mystic prepared to tell the truth. About everything. What was the point in hiding anything anymore? "The truth is, Lidal, is that Iím not from around here. And I knew who you all were before I met you." She had everyoneís full attention at this point. "I knew your parents: Piccolo, Vegeta, Gohan, Bulma. I know them all, except Kya. I know of Goku, of Chichi. I know about Radditz, Frieza, the Androids. I know because-."
"Donít you dare utter another syllable!" shouted a voice.
The whole group whirled to see a strange woman jump down from one of the apple trees in Mr. Popoís garden. Her aqua eyes sparked angrily and her long, blonde waves of hair bounced around her shoulders as she marched smartly over to them. Covering her left eye and extending to hook behind her ear was a device that none of them had ever seen before but looked similarly to a scouter.
"Dr. Aleks? What are you doing here?" asked Ali Mystic, puzzled.
"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?" asked Dr. Aleks indignantly. The twins took an instant disliking to her. "I explicitly ordered you not to let any adult see you! Once I realized those people were taking Mr. Yondeiru with them, I followed them in the aircar and what do I find? A place you never told me about! And you, about to blurt out our whole mission! What are you thinking?"
"Who cares about the mission?" shouted Ali Mystic, shocking her young friends with her vehemence. The others stood by, watching the little drama unfold. "Mr. Yondeiru is dead! Getting killed was not part of the mission and as far as Iím concerned, the mission is over. Donít you care at all that heís dead? Sometimes I think that all you care about is your stupid research and experiments and . . and . . ." Realization dawned on Ali Mystic. "You sent him to the gravity room, didnít you?"
Dr. Aleks didnít respond, avoiding looking in Aliís eyes directly. "You did. I canít believe it. What in the world were you thinking, sending him in there? I told you the gravity room was too dangerous to try that sort of thing!"
Dr. Aleks faced Ali head on, her posture reading righteous dignity. "I needed a sample of Saiyan blood or this trip was fruitless, despite the film and readings. The gravity room was the best possibility without making contact. I deemed the risk worth it."
"Worth a manís life?" blurted out Bulma in spite of herself, too incredulous to keep silent.
Lidal was growing concerned about Ali Mystic, who was breathing heavily as she tried to reign in her temper. Suddenly she looked up, her face contorted in fury.
"You . . . you . . . BITCH!!"
Ali Mystic leapt at Dr. Aleks, her hands going straight for the scientistís throat. Marron gasped at her language while the kids were plainly confused. Trunks and Goten rushed forward to pull Ali off Dr. Aleks before she caused any serious injury. Ali fought the two teens with all her might, unwilling to let Dr. Aleks get away with what she had done. Krillin and Eighteen helped the scientist up, keeping a tight on hold on her to prevent her from getting away. She clutched her left ear, which was bleeding from Ali knocking off the unusual device attached to it.
"Let me go! Its all her fault!" yelled Ali Mystic as she struggled. Trunks and Goten did not look happy at all with their burden. For a human, an untrained human, she had a lot of strength in her. Or it may have been because she was fueled by fury.
Kya stepped forward before Piccolo could stop her, placing her hands upon the brawling young womanís shoulders. "Ali Mystic," she spoke, authority in her voice. "Cease your struggles. Breathe. Calm."
It took several moments and more of Kyaís authoritative voice, but Ali Mystic gradually stopped struggling. She hung limp in Trunks and Gotenís arms, breathing deeply and avoiding glancing at Dr. Aleks.
"Now, tell us, Ali Mystic. What is your mission here? Where do you come from?"
"I come from about a million years in the future, in the year 2002 AD," began Ali Mystic, causing everyone who was listening to gasp. Dr. Aleks looked away, sullen. "From our best guess, and this theory developed after we discovered you exist, that about a thousand years from this time, everything on this planet will be destroyed. The Earth will be forced to start over. The human race eventually reappears but no one has the powers, the magic, that seem to exist in this time. Such things are myths, legends, stories. It took centuries to reach the technological level you seem to be at. We have electricity, phones, tanks, guns, computers, satellites. But no cars that fly. No capsules. No spaceships that can go beyond our galaxy. No animals that can talk, no encounters with alien races.
And then came along a man named Akira Toriyama. He discovered these computer disks at an archaeological dig site. It was thought to be a prank for such disks could not be so old. He recovered most of the files on them, discovering them to be the diary of one Bulma Briefs."
Bulma gasped but Ali continued on without stopping. "Mr. Toriyama found them so entertaining, he made a cartoon show based upon the entries, called Dragonball, which later evolved to Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT. The show was a hit but Mr. Toriyama began wondering if the diaries were true. Swearing her to secrecy, he asked Dr. Aleks to build some of the devices described, like the dragon radar, the scouter, and the time machine. I was hired as an assistant. Mr. Toriyamaís assistant, Mr. Yondeiru, was in charge of supervising and reporting Dr. Aleksí findings to Mr. Toriyama. When the time machine was completed, Mr. Toriyama gave permission for us to use it, to go back, to find out if you were all real and what had happened to you. Bulmaís diary degrades greatly after Gohan defeated Cell, so we donít know all that much about this time. We were able to make out a few facts. Things about Videl, Pan, Eighteen, Marron, Bra, and some strange things about the Earth and some woman.
So here we are. Weíve been here for a little over three weeks. Dr. Aleks sent me to spy and study you, trying to figure you out, how you all are able to do what you do. There was a second set of disks but the files on them were in another language we couldnít decipher."
Ali Mystic sighed and leaned back, worn out. Realizing they were still holding her, Trunks and Goten released her, forcing her to straighten up.
"Its . . . unbelievable," murmured Kya.
"Trust me, itís all true. I barely believe it myself," said Ali Mystic. "What I really find unbelievable is a supposedly asexual Namek having a wife and two kids."
The remark released some of the tension they were all harboring. Kya blushed, the twins giggled, and Piccolo glared. "Thatís none of your business."
"What I would like is some proof," said Bulma, returning Bra to her own two feet. "Do you have the diaries with you now?"
Ali Mystic blinked. "Well, yeah. Dr. Aleks keeps them with her laptop and she never goes anywhere without that. Theyíre probably all in her aircar."
Bulma turned to the scientist. "So whereís the car?"
Dr. Aleks set her chin, refusing to answer. Bulma smirked. "Oh, well. Search her."
Krillin outright blushed and didnít move a muscle. Eighteen, having so such scruples, searched their captiveís pockets Ďtil she found the capsule. Throwing it several feet away, an aircar suddenly appeared in a cloud of smoke. Searching the car, Ali not only turned up the laptop and disks, but all seven Dragonballs safely stowed away in the backseat.
Ali Mystic was startled. "What the-? So this is what youíve been up to. But why would you collect the Dragonballs, Dr. Aleks?"
Dr. Aleks was still not in the answering mood. Bulma shrugged indifferently as she took the laptop and disks from Ali. "Probably to study them, since thatís what sheís here for. Its lucky for you that theyíre all here, for now we can wish back your friend."
"Really? You would do that for us?" asked Ali Mystic, brightening.
"Of course," replied Bulma, as she began checking out the disks on the laptop. Dr. Aleks looked as if she would like to protest but kept her mouth clamped shut. Ali noticed and began to worry that there was more to what the scientist was hiding then just simple studying but Bulma was calling her attention away.
"For whatever reason that you came here, you saved Pan and Lidal, so itís the least we can do. Oh my gosh! These are my diaries!" shouted Bulma, startling everyone, who had parted to their own private little conversations. "I didnít want to believe it but youíre telling the truth. Youíre from the future."
"So we can wish Mr. Yondeiru back?" asked Ali, anxious to get it done with.
"Yes, yes. We can even leave the Dragonballs in the car, as long as theyíre together," replied Bulma. She was distracted as she began checking out the mystery disks. Trunks shook his head, stepping forward. "Here, Iíll help you. All you have to do is . . ."
The two began walking back towards the aircar as Bulma continued studying the files intently. "Huh. She was right. Theyíre not in any language I recognize."
Kya and Piccolo stepped up besides Bulma. "Bulma, I think I recognize it. If Iím not mistaken, thatís Shizen. Could you open one of the files for me?"
"Sure. You think its Shizen? Thatís strange."
Kya studied the small screen intently. "It is Shizen."
"Can you read it?" asked Piccolo.
"Well, yes. Itís a journal. And itís dated many years from now."
"Who wrote it? Did they leave a name?"
Kya blinked as she came across the name at the end of the entry. "Why, itís signed by-."
She was interrupted by a great shout from several feet away. "Arise Shenlong!"
It was Ali Mystic, calling forth the dragon just as Trunks instructed her to. The skies blackened around them as the Dragonballs glowed brightly and from them swiftly rose the mighty form of the great dragon Shenlong. Ali was in awe as she saw the dragon for the first time. She wasnít the only one. Marron, Bra, Pan, Lidal, and Pendril were in awe as well. Dende frowned. Something didnít feel quite right about the dragon.
"I will grant thee two wishes and no more," rumbled Shenlong powerfully. "What is thy first request?"
Trunks nudged Ali, who was still lost in amazement. "Make the wish already. Heís not known for being patient."
"Oh, right." Ali blushed, then cleared her throat. "Shenlong! I wish for you to bring my friend Mr. Yondeiru back to life."
"A simple wish." Shenlongís huge red eyes began to glow brightly just as Dende figured out what was wrong. "No! Donít!"
And then everything went to hell.
What can I say? It was beyond horrible. I would never have uttered that wish to the Dragon if I had known what was going to happen because of it . . .