Chapter 5

 

 

10.19.## continued . . .

 

What happened next . . . was pure chaos.

And it was all my fault.

 

 

The rift has been opened

The world set askew

The warriors have been taken

And old evils have risen once more.

 

 

"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.

Lightning flashed and the winds picked up, as Shenlong let out a powerful roar, shaking the foundations of the Lookout. Thunder crashed and everything continued to shudder, as Ali Mystic slowly stepped back from the Dragonballs and the dragon above her. What had she done?

Without warning, a strange dark light began to appear in the sky beside the Lookout. Rapidly it grew, spreading Ďtil it became what appeared to be a tear in the sky, like ripped fabric, forming a hole in the atmosphere. The edges of it touched the Lookout, creating a disconcerting picture. Shenlong let out another blaring roar and then to the shock of everyone there, he began falling. Before she could register what was happening, Trunks grabbed Ali Mystic and joined the others in running out of the way. She could hear Bra screaming in fear, the shrieks of the other kids, and the confused shouts of the adults as they all asked the same question: What was happening?

For the first time in his existence, the mighty dragon Shenlong fell from his position in the sky, crushing the buildings and tiles of the Lookout beneath the massive coils of his body. The fall jarred the Lookout violently, the vibrations knocking everyone to the ground on their hands and knees.

Before anyone could recover, the real whirlwinds began, pulling everything towards the eerie hole in the sky. Everything, including the warriors and their families. Within a few seconds the winds had brought them all rather close to the rift before they could even begin thinking about bracing themselves against the winds. Pendril, Lidal, and Pan managed to crawl behind the inert form of Shenlong where they were relatively protected. Dende and Mr. Popo were also by the dragon, holding onto to the ridges along its gargantuan back.

Krillin and Eighteen were able to grab onto a couple of pillars that were still standing and held tight to them and the people in their arms, Marron and Dr. Aleks. Trunks and Ali Mystic clung to a partially standing wall, with Vegeta, Bulma, and Bra nearby. Piccolo, Kya, Gohan, Videl, Goten, and Sixteen had braced themselves in various places among the rubble. It was all they could do to just hold on.

The pull of the winds increased and that was when the hands first appeared in the rift. Grasping wildly, they reached through the rift towards them. Before anyone could puzzle about this new development, the first hands seized a hold of Piccolo and Kyaís legs and pulled them towards the rip in the sky. Kya could only let out one scream before she and Piccolo disappeared into the rift.

"Ma! Papa!" shrieked Pendril and Lidal in unison shock. Pendril would have leapt after their parents if werenít for Lidal holding him back. She couldnít handle it if she lost him as well.

Moments after Piccolo and Kya disappeared, a shadowy figure that looked familiar but they couldnít identify appeared out of the rift and floated above it, watching, waiting. Again hands reached from the rip in the sky and this time snared Gohan, Goten, and Sixteen. The three warriors struggled but the hands were aided by the winds and they were pulled inexorably towards the rift. Videl grabbed her husbandís hands and attempted to free him but she disappeared along with the others into the rift. Moments later, three new shadowy figures appeared to join the first one floating above.

Needless to say, a few of the others, including Ali Mystic, were beginning to panic. As once more hands reached from the rift, Ali tried to back away but the winds prevented her from making any headway. A little ways away, Vegeta couldnít either but managed to dodge the hands that were reaching for him. The hands instead seized Bulma, who held Bra in her arms. Bulma instantaneously began screaming and kicking, catching Vegetaís attention. Cursing, he immediately wrapped his arms around his wifeís waist and tried to pull her free of the hands. Realizing they werenít going to make it, Bulma set her mouth in a grim line and then with all her might, threw Bra towards Trunks just as she and Vegeta disappeared into the rift.

Although Bulma had used all her strength, Bra didnít quite reach her brotherís position or his outstretched hand. She began screaming as the winds pushed her back towards the hole in the sky that had swallowed her parents. "TRUNKS! Help me!"

In a flash Trunks left the wall that had been shielding him and Ali Mystic and flew to his little sister. He barely caught her before she reached the rift and immediately began flying back to the wall. Gasping, muscles bulging, Trunks fought against the supernatural winds that had been the downfall of the other warriors. Then his eyes went wide as he felt something grab his legs. It was the strange hands once again.

Glancing at his sister and then back at the rift, Trunks realized he had no choice but to do as his mother had done. Locking eyes with Ali Mystic, he watched as she nodded in understanding. With only seconds to spare, Bra was once again thrown by a family member to be saved from whatever was in the rift.

Knowing if she stopped to think about it she would chicken out, Ali Mystic unhesitatingly let go of the wall and let the wind take her straight to Bra. Flying forward at breakneck speed, Ali Mystic knew she had no control and needed to stop. Reaching out, she took a hold of Braís hand inches before she reached the rift and with the other hand she seized onto the ridges along Shenlongís back. Gritting her teeth, she dug in her nails and held on as hard as she could. Bra shrieked and wrapped both of her hands around Aliís single one, her untrained Saiyan strength nearly crushing the bones. "ALI!"

Wincing in pain as the delicate bones in her hand gave way and began to crack, Ali Mystic just shouted, "Hold on! Iíve got you!"

The wind continued to roar around them and Ali Mystic wondered how much longer she could keep her hold onto Bra and onto the dragon. Suddenly two green hands covered her own and Ali looked down in surprise to see Dende and Mr. Popo. Setting their feet in determination, Dende and Mr. Popo slowly but surely pulled Ali Mystic and Bra to relative safety behind Shenlong.

Ali Mystic half-collapsed against the dragon and gathered Bra who was in tears, to her to try to calm her as well as herself. Breathing deeply to slow her fast-track heart, she examined her hand, which was deeply bruised and misshapen, as well as throbbing painfully. Seeing it, Dende gasped and took it gently in his own, healing it in moments, ending her pain. Smiling in thanks, Ali Mystic sat up and dared to peek over Shenlongís back. In that peek, she saw two more shadowy figures had appeared, making a total of six floating above and there were still more hands in the rift, searching for someone to capture.

Ali turned back to Dende and Mr. Popo, shouting so she could be heard over the winds. "Whatís going on? What is that thing?"

Nervously, Dende tried to explain. "When Shenlong attempted to return your friend from the other dimension, the afterlife, he didnít have enough power. So instead he wound up ripping a hole between the two dimensions."

Ali Mystic stared at Dende. So this is all my fault. "What do we do now? I mean, how could this have happened?"

"I believe someone stole energy from Shenlong while he was sleeping, which is why he didnít have enough power and why he wasnít aware of anything being wrong. If he had, he would never have attempted to grant your wish."

Ali Mystic frowned. "Stole? You mean Dr. Aleks . . .?"

"Yes. Iím afraid so." Dende turned his gaze to the dragon and placed a gentle hand on his scaly hide. "We must close that rift, which means I must heal Shenlong and restore his energy. I need your help to do this."

Ali Mystic blinked stupidly at the little Guardian before her. "My help? What could I possibly do?"

Dende met her confused eyes, his own serious. "I can give some of my energy to him but it wonít be enough. Iím afraid I have to ask you to give some of your energy to him as well and become linked to him. For just a short while."

Ali Mystic was incredulous. "My energy? Linked? Iím human! I donít have any special powers!"

"Thatís why I need you! To keep Shenlong and the Dragonballs on Earth where they belong, I need to link him to a normal indigenous being of the planet. Thatís you! Canít you see heís dying? If we lose Shenlong, we wonít be able to fix what happened here! It will mean no more wishes!"

Ali Mystic was struck numb. Dying? No more wishes? She looked at the chaos all around her. I canít let that happen! Itís my fault weíre in this situation! I knew Dr. Aleks had to be up to something more than studying! But who knew she would steal energy from the Dragonballs! Abruptly she turned her thoughts to the present as she felt someone shaking her. It was Dende. "Ali! You have to decide now, before anyone else gets pulled into that rift!"

Glancing back, Ali Mystic saw that the hands had grabbed a hold of Krillin and Dr. Aleks. Sighing, she met Dendeís gaze. "Okay. Tell me what I have to do."

"Just concentrate. And feel within yourself. I can lead you through it but you first must find the life force, the ki, within." Dende took her hand and placed his own on Shenlong. Trembling nervously, he began to meditate. Sensing his anxiety, Ali Mystic couldnít help but ask. "Uh, Dende? You have done this before, right?"

Dende fidgeted apprehensively. "Well, actually, this has never happened before. So no one has ever attempted to do this before."

Ali Mystic gulped. "What will happen to me?"

Dende frowned. "Iím not sure what the side affects will be. You might feel his presence, hear his thoughts and he might hear yours. But I do know that you will be linked to Shenlong only until he completely heals. Then I will remove the link and you should be okay. It might feel strange but there shouldnít be any pain."

Ali Mystic nodded, contemplating. She crossed her fingers. "Do it."

Within moments a golden light appeared around Dende. It spread to Shenlong and grew rapidly to encase the whole length of the mighty dragon. The Lookout rumbled beneath them as the dragon began to faintly stir. Concentrating as Dende had told her to, Ali soon felt a strange vibe within and watched in slight anxiety as she began to glow as well. Suddenly, she could somehow sense Dende with her and then felt herself weaken as he left, with something of her with him. Eyes half-lidded, she watched as Dende passed what he took from her to the dragon. He pulled away as Shenlongís eyes opened wide, revealing the huge red orbs hidden beneath the lids.

Letting out a mighty roar that startled everyone, as well as nearly deafened them, the Eternal Dragon stood upon its four small legs, digging his claws into the tiles of the Lookout. Pendril, Lidal, and Pan, who had been shielding themselves by him, were roughly knocked back as he whipped around his great head. Staring hard at the rift, his eyes began to glow. Slowly, then ever faster, the rift in the sky closed, too late to safe Krillin and Dr. Aleks but in time to stop anymore of those shadow figures from coming through. The winds died down, creating an eerily silent peace.

Slashing his giant tail, nearly taking off everyoneís head, Shenlong took to the air and then dived back down to the aircar, disappearing within the Dragonballs. Carefully, Pendril, Lidal, and Pan picked themselves off the ground as Eighteen let go of the pillar and cautiously stepped forward with Marron at her side. Everyone was coughing slightly from the debris and dust settling around them.

"What just happened?" inquired Eighteen.

Before Dende could open his mouth, Bra started rattling off at top speed. "That mean doctor stole energy from Shenlong so he didnít have enough power to grant the wish and instead made a rip between dimensions. To close the rift Dende had to heal Shenlong and to do that he had to link Ali to the dragon. But itís only temporary."

Here Bra stopped to catch her breath as the twins, Marron, and Pan blinked at her. Eighteen seemed to have assimilated the information for next she asked, "So why did Shenlong leave?"

Dende and Mr. Popo were helping Ali Mystic to her feet, who was a bit lethargic and queasy from her energy drain. Dende answered this time. "I could only partially heal him, enabling him to close the rift but do nothing else. I had to link him to a native of Earth, which is why I used Ali Mystic, to keep him alive and on Earth Ďtil he could finish healing by himself. Thatís what heís gone to do now."

Stepping away from Dende and Mr. Popo, Ali Mystic placed her head in her hands, trying to gain her bearings. Her voice was quiet and distant, sounding far away to her own ears. "I feel so strange. Like thereís someone else in my head."

"Thatís because someone else is there. Itís Shenlong. Can you hear his voice?" asked Dende.

"No. Is that bad?"

"No. Just means heís sleeping. Any pain?"

Ali shook her head. "I just feel really nauseous."

"The nausea is your body trying to adjust. It will pass. It seems the link was established without any complications," explained Dende. He noticed the look on her face. "Donít worry. Your body will balance out once you get used to the link. Besides, the link is only temporary."

"I donít want to get used to it," muttered Ali Mystic darkly.

"This is all fine and dandy but what about the others? Where are they? Whereís my husband?" demanded Eighteen, keeping a tight arm around Marron, who was near tears. The rest of the children looked just as upset.

Dende gulped and opened his mouth to speak but instead of hearing his gentle voice, they heard a cold, mocking one. "I believe we can answer that, since we just came from there."

Bra gasped and backed up right into Ali Mystic, who numbly placed a hand on her shoulder. The shadowy figures that escaped from the rift had landed upon the Lookout unnoticed. What once was slightly familiar was now entirely recognizable. Ali Mystic couldnít believe her eyes. The cartoon had been pretty accurate in recreating their general looks but the artists hadnít even come close to the frigidity and the malice that radiated from their eyes, from their evil grins, from their very presence.

Ali Mystic closed her eyes. This isnít real. This is not happening. Opening her eyes, she saw they were still there. Disbelievingly she began naming them from her memory of the cartoon she had been so fond of.

"King Kold. Captain Ginyu. Frieza. Cooler. Dr. Gero. Ce-Cell."

And indeed it was them. The old enemies which the Z-warriors had defeated long ago. King Kold in all his gargantuan glory; Captain Ginyu with his purple skin and sharp black horns; Frieza with his feminine looks and cyborg body; Cooler with his strange pointy headgear; Dr. Gero with his exposed brain and robotic body; and Cell, the worst of them all, with his green skin, wicked tail, and a DNA makeup of the best warriors in the universe.

The kidsí eyes widened as they listened to Ali Mystic name opponents that they had only heard about in stories. Nervously the twins and Pan stepped forward to gather behind Ali Mystic as Eighteen and Marron backed up to them. Marron clutched at her motherís shirt as if she was three years old again. "But that canít be them! Theyíre dead!"

"Itís them," said Eighteen tightly, her limbs tense and reflexes at the ready.

"Oh yes. We are who you say we are and we are still very much dead," taunted Cell, indicating to the halos floating above their heads. (Why did these guys have halos while dead on the show when they were evil? I thought halos were for angelic people. Oh well. Back to Cell.) "Weíve just cheated Death and escaped from Hell."

The whole of those vile creatures began chuckling evilly, causing a shiver to go down Ali Mysticís back. As she looked upon their cruel countenances, she had only one thought in her head: I think weíre in big trouble.

 

 

Meanwhile, in a place beyond the living world . . .

 

 

Krillin and Dr. Aleks had landed roughly upon their behinds and were just gathering their bearings when they found themselves being helped to their feet by Goten and Sixteen. "Hey, youíre all right! Are the others here too?"

"Weíre all here, Krillin," replied Trunks. "The question is: Where is here exactly?"

Krillin examined their surroundings as he dusted himself off. The place was like a barren wasteland, the ground red and dry while the air was hot and smoky. Krillin was already breaking into a sweat. Standing around him were Dr. Aleks, Goten, Sixteen, Trunks, Vegeta, Bulma, Gohan, Videl, Kya, and Piccolo, who all were mildly sweating as well. In the distant he could see the faint shadows of people but he wasnít so sure he wanted to go and ask them questions.

"Where the hell are we?" he wondered out loud.

"Hell is right," remarked Bulma oddly.

"Huh?"

"I think," said Piccolo slowly, "that this is Hell."

Krillin gulped.

 

 

We were all in big trouble. The world had been set upside down on us. Things were only going to get worse . . .

And I, average, mediocre, Ali Mystic, shared a link to the all-powerful Eternal Dragon Shenlong. If only I had known what would happen because of that . . .



Go Back a Chapter
Go to Next Chapter
Return to THE MYSTIC SAGA