Author: Sorry itís been awhile. But having spring break, I was finally able to finish this chapter. In the beginning, it will be a little review of what went on during the Shizen and Frozena Sagas for those of you who forgot. Donít worry, the rest of the chapter will be much more interesting. The next few chapters after this things will really start picking up in the story, so hang in there guys.
Hereís a little reminder of the meanings of some Shizen words:
Kaachi Ė Mother
Krechi Ė Grandmother
10.19.## continued . . .
We were safe for the time being with the pterodactyls. But we were all on edge. We tried to keep the fear and tension at bay by talking about miscellaneous things. At one point, I finally got the answers to the many questions I had about the mysterious Kya and her mother and how a once asexual Namek was able to have children. To say I was surprised by their explanations was an understatement . . .
Like I said before, we were safe for the time being with the pterodactyls. But how long would that last?
In reality . . . it did not last long.
A guiding light in the dark
And still the fear takes root
Itís time to run.
"Youíre not pulling my leg are you." It was more of statement rather than a question.
"Of course not Ali," replied Lidal, who was sitting next to her in front of the fire. Night had fallen rather rapidly and the twins had quickly gathered some wood and got a fire going. Once she knew exactly where they were, Eighteen snatched some blankets from a clothesline at a nearby house, which they were all now wrapped in. The baby pterodactyls and their mother were asleep in the nest nearby while Toby, with Embyr perched on his shoulder, kept watch of the night around them.
"Well, why not. Aliens, magical balls that grant wishes, people returning from the dead. Letís have a planet thatís aware to throw in the mix." Ali Mystic buried her face in her drawn up knees.
Eighteen eyed the young woman sitting across the fire from her cautiously. "Youíre not going to get all hysterical on us now, are you?"
Dende grew concerned. "Itís all right if you do. That you havenít yet surprises me. You should let it out. Most would have snapped by now."
Ali Mystic glanced up, tears building up behind her eyes. And what she saw were the faces of the children studying her, nearly as grave as old men. Lidal and Pendril sat on either side of her, being supportive with just their presence. Marron was cuddled into her motherís side while Dende had Pan and Bra gathered to him. What right did she have to cry when their parents and friends were missing? I havenít cried in years and Iím not going to start again now.
So Ali Mystic wiped her eyes as she sat up straighter and said, "No, Iíll be alright. Do we have a plan on what to do tomorrow?"
Mr. Popo blinked. "Tomorrow?"
Ali Mystic turned her eyes to him. "Well, yeah. We canít hide out forever. If I remember correctly, Frieza and the others are pretty fond of killing people and destroying planets. We need to get Vegeta and the others back as soon as possible, right?"
"That is correct," replied Eighteen. "We only have to hide out until the Eternal Dragon has finished healing. Then we can have him bring the others back."
"Actually, I just received a message from King Kai a little while ago," announced Dende. "It was a bit cryptic but he said that he sensed what happened and he sent Goku to find the others and fix it."
"Fix it? Howís he supposed to fix it?" asked Ali Mystic.
"I suppose he can return the others to our dimension, sense theyíre alive, not dead," answered Dende. "But that still leaves the problem of trying to kill people that are already dead. All I can think of is asking Shenlong to return them where they came from."
"So weíre stuck waiting either way. How long will it take for the Eternal Dragon to heal?" asked Marron.
"A day, maybe less. You have more power in you than I thought, Ali Mystic. How are you feeling anyway? Still nauseous?"
Ali Mystic blinked. "No. The nausea has passed actually. I guess you were right about my body adjusting. In fact, I feel a little hungry."
"Iím hungry too," piped up Bra.
"Me too," added Pan.
"I think weíre all hungry. Itís been awhile since lunch," said Marron.
Eighteen stood, patting her daughterís shoulder in reassurance. "Iíll go get us some dinner."
In a flash she was gone. Ali Mystic turned her attention back to Dende, a thought puzzling her. "You said Kya stayed hidden and did not trains new Chi warriors Ďtil Queen Frozena escaped. Who was Queen Frozena?"
Dende coughed. "Uh, Queen Frozena was King Koldís wife."
"So Queen Frozena came to avenge the deaths of King Kold and her sons?"
"Well, actually, she only cared about Cooler. She killed Goku in a fit of rage when she found out he was dead. She wanted to kill Kold and Frieza herself but she was glad either way that they were dead."
Ali Mystic frowned in puzzlement. "Okay. Youíve lost me. Why did she want them dead?"
"Thatís up to Lidal and Pendril to tell you."
The twins in question fidgeted nervously as Ali turned her questioning gaze to them. "Well, uh, you see," began Pendril.
"Frieza is our brother. King Kold forced our mother to give birth to him," said Lidal.
Ali Mystic raised an eyebrow. "Now Iím definitely lost. Maybe you two should start over at the beginning."
Pendril and Lidal exchanged looks. In that moment, they reminded Dende too much of Kyaís own unreadable expressions. Pendril was the one who began. "It happened over a hundred years ago. Our mother, who was known as Kyloa then, was much younger and more open to people. An alien came to Earth and discovered that when human DNA is combined with another species DNA, the offspring are more powerful then both species on their own. This alien was King Kold."
Ali Mystic nodded in understanding. Thatís why Gohan and Trunks and Goten were able to achieve Super Saiyan much sooner that their fathers. I wonder how powerful these two will become.
Lidal continued. "When Ma approached the ship out of curiousity, Kold captured her and impregnated her with his child. Ma was forced to five birth to the baby and when she was able to, she escaped."
Ali Mystic couldnít help but interrupt. "She left her baby behind?"
Pendril pointed to the blood-red drop tattooed to his forehead, identical to the ones his sister and mother bore as well. "This is the senra, the symbol of the Shizen people. It means weíre of the Earthís blood. When a Shizen turns evil, Krechi removes it, revealing your true nature to everyone. You canít hide the truth from her. She left the baby behind because he was born without a senra."
Ali Mystic opened and closed her mouth a few times, trying to find her voice. "But she didnít even give her baby a chance! Couldnít she have tried to raise him as a good person?"
Pendril averted his eyes. Lidal answered for him. "Ma regrets her decision but she didnít get chance to correct what she did. Queen Frozena found out what her husband did and came to destroy the Earth and her husband and the baby along with it. Kami tried to stop her but she was too powerful. So Krechi loaned her power to Ma and she was able to trap Frozena in a rose. But the power was too much for her and she died. Kold escaped with the baby and the rose. And that baby grew up to be Frieza."
"Kya died? But Ė?"
Pendril continued. "When a Shizen dies, their body is absorbed into the Earth and if she feels it is right, she can bring them back to life. She felt Ma needed to complete her task, so she brought her back to life. To do so is not easy. It took a whole year. When she came back, Ma hid herself from all civilization, only seeing Mr. Popo, who had raised her."
"I see. But why wasnít she able to destroy Queen Frozena the first time around?"
Lidal continued. "Krechi created Ma to hopefully restart the Shizen race. It is not in Maís nature to fight and she is not trained in how to handle the Earthís power. Thatís why she died. Itís also why she died during the second fight as well."
"Do we disgust you now?" asked Pendril.
"Disgust me? Why would you ask that?" asked Ali Mystic, her forehead furrowed in confusion.
"Because weíre related to Frieza. That our Ma is his mother," he answered.
Ali Mystic placed her arms around the twinsí shoulders and hugged them close to her. "Of course not. Neither of you are Frieza. I feel sympathy for your mother, what she endured. But no disgust, except for maybe King Kold. And maybe a little pity for Frieza."
Lidal glanced at her curiously. "For Frieza? Why?"
"Because he never got to know his real mother or grandmother and now will never know the truth. Or meet the greatest little brother and sister anyone could ever have."
Pendril and Lidal hugged Ali Mystic harder, their spirits lifted by her words. That was when Eighteen returned, a large sack slung over her shoulders. "Did I miss something?" asked Eighteen, noticing the twinsí closeness to Ali as she sat down.
"Nope," replied Marron. "Pendril and Lidal just explained to Ali how Frieza is their half-brother."
Eighteen raised an eyebrow. "I see."
"So what did you get?" asked Marron.
"I stopped by a deli and bakery and purloined enough meat and bread to make sandwiches for all of us. Plus sodas and water for Dende, sense thatís all Nameks need," replied Eighteen as she opened the sack and began to deal out food and drinks.
"Purloined?" asked Dende warily as he accepted the bottle of water.
Eighteen gave the Guardian of the Earth an exasperated look. "Weíre in danger of our lives and youíre worried about stealing? If it makes you feel better, Iíll pay the owners back after this is all over. I donít dare go back to the Kame House for money right now."
Dende nodded in adherence. For several minutes the group ate in silence, the only sounds were the crackling of the fire and the strange cheeping snores of the baby pterodactyls in their nest. A half moon shone high above, keeping it dark enough for any searching done by their enemies to be nearly impossible. Ali Mystic finished eating first, never one to have a large appetite, and settled back to study the stars above her. This world seemed so alien to the one she came from and yet in reality it was the same world, separated only by time.
Shaking her head to get rid of all those serious thoughts, Ali Mystic turned her attention back to her companions, who were just finishing their own meals. "So . . . does anyone here know the details of the battle between Queen Frozena and Goku and the others?"
Marron looked up, taking the last swig of her soda. "Well, Mom and Dende were there, I remember that. They should be able to tell it."
Ali and the kids looked expectantly at the two in question. Dende and Eighteen glanced at each other, then Dende cleared his throat. "Well, I guess we could tell you what happened."
Dende settled back into a comfortable position as he prepared to tell his story. "Letís see . . . The day Queen Frozena arrived dawned bright and clear, belying what would happen that day. We all met at Kyaís meadow. That is, Goku, Piccolo, Gohan, Sixteen, Kya, and myself. To our surprise, Vegeta, Krillin, and Eighteen decided to come along as well. I remember Vegeta saying, when Goku asked why he was there, Ďwherever there is a fight, I will always be close byí . . ."
Meanwhile, in a different plane of existence . . .
"Here we are!" cried Goku. "This secret passage will take us past the barrier around Hell to Snake Way. From there I can use instant transmission to take us directly to King Yenma."
From Gokuís shoulders, Skorch chirped an agreement to his partnerís statement. Arranged around behind them, covered in dust and sweat, were Vegeta, Bulma, Piccolo, Kya, Gohan, Videl, Goten, Trunks, Sixteen, Krillin, and Dr. Aleks. They had walked for hours to reach this point, keeping from flying to avoid being noticed by the other residents of Hell.
"Well, itís about time! How long is the passage?" asked Bulma, her thoughts centered on her daughter and the other kids, just like the other adults around her.
Goku scratched his head. "Well, I always ran it, which only took a minute or two. So its probably a couple miles."
Bulma groaned. None of the others appeared too happy either. In the back, Dr. Aleks looked ready to collapse. For the most part they had been ignoring her, for which the scientist had been grateful but she didnít know how much more of this she could take.
When everyone was done grumbling, Goku moved aside the large boulder covering the tunnel. Once everyone was inside, Goku moved the boulder back into place. The group was only in the dark a few seconds before Goku created a ki ball to light their way.
As the group of fighters followed Goku, Kya couldnít help but let her thoughts drift towards Frieza. She had never gotten to meet her son. The only time she had seen him was when he come to Earth with his father to kill Goku, only be destroyed to be destroyed by Mirai Trunks. She always regretted abandoning him with King Kold, wondering if she had taken him with her, would he have turned out differently? She had never questioned Kaachiís decisions but had Frieza truly been so evil at birth that he couldnít be given the senra?
Her wondering thoughts came to a halt when another voice barged in. You have become so worried your thoughts have begun to crack through my shields. And I know itís not just about the kids.
Kya glanced at her husband, who may have appeared stoic to the others but she could tell by his eyes that he was concerned. I apologize Piccolo. I am worried for the children but I canít help thinking about Frieza as well.
Piccolo sighed. Weíve been over this before, Kya. Frieza is evil and always will be. Thereís nothing you can do now or could have done in the past to change that.
I know. Kya place a hand over her heart. But it is hard to convince my heart of that fact. She paused. Iím also concerned about how Pendril and Lidal will react when they come face to face with him. Weíve told them Frieza is evil but can they handle the reality of their brotherís evil when they encounter it?
Piccolo glanced at his wife, taking a minute before responding. I have thought about that as well. And I think Pendril and Lidal are stronger than we give them credit for.
Kya didnít respond but she gave him small smile to show his words helped. Piccolo gave her hand a quick squeeze, then looked ahead to where he could see Gokuís guiding ki ball. For now, letís concentrate on getting back to them.
Kya nodded. Right. They left their other thought unspoken. The thought that they must hurry before Frieza and the others did something to their children. They continued walking with the group in the dark tunnel, hoping theyíd make it in time.
Back in the living world . . .
Smoke rose into the morning air from the dead campfire. Around it lay nine sleeping bodies nestled together for warmth and one small red dragon. In their nest, the baby pterodactyls were just beginning to stir. Toby and Dona had taken turns on the watch during the night and it was now Tobyís turn again while Dona went foraging for food for the babies.
When Dona returned, only Eighteen and Ali Mystic awoke to the babies cries for food as they were fed. The twins, with their sharp ears, woke briefly but when no threat appeared, they fell back asleep. Eighteen left to get their own breakfast while Ali Mystic watched the others slept. They had stayed up rather late. After Dende finished telling of Queen Frozena's defeat, Kyaís resurrection and her marriage to Piccolo, the kids asked Ali to tell her origin of the butterfly story again and then a couple other tales she had in her repertoire.
As she watched her companions sleep and waited for Eighteen to return, Ali Mystic envied their deep slumber. She herself always had a difficult time falling asleep and when she did sleep, she slept lightly, wakened by almost any noise. Ali had to admit though that lying between Pendril and Lidal, she had slept better then she could remember in the past.
Ali Mystic turned her head as she heard an indistinct shout. In the distance she could faintly spot an object flying towards them. Is that Eighteen?
The shout sounded again and without warning Pendril and Lidal jumped abruptly to their feet in a fighting stance. Their eyes quickly picked out what Ali Mystic had seen. "Get everybody up!" ordered Pendril.
Ali Mystic scrambled to her feet. "What is it? What Ė?"
"They found Eighteen! Hurry!" shouted Lidal.
That got Ali Mystic moving. She didnít have to ask who Ďtheyí were. She knew. Hurrying among her sleeping companions, she shook them awake, shouting, "Wake up! They found us! Get up!"
Within moments, Dende, Mr. Popo, Marron, Bra, and Pan were all up, with varying expression of terror and horror on their faces. They could all see Eighteen clearly now, as well as the six figures chasing behind her.
"What do we do?" cried Marron, clutching Bra.
Unaware they were doing it, the kids all looked to Ali Mystic. They trusted her completely. Except for Pendril, she had saved all their lives at one point or another since she met them. They trusted her to do it again. Even Embyr put her faith in Ali, taking up perch on her shoulder, much to Aliís consternation. Ali saw their eyes and felt their trust. Suppressing her panic, she attempted to stay calm as she grasped at her hair with tense hands. What do we do? What do we do?
Glancing wildly around, she barely registered the presence of the pterodactyls. We shouldnít have gotten them involved. Theyíre innocent. How will the babies get away when they canít Ė . Ali Mystic did a double take, staring at the nest. Fly?! Itís a stupid, desperate plan but itís all Iíve got!
"Everyone into the nest!" ordered Ali, grabbing Pan and hauling her in that direction. Embyr screeched as she struggled to stay on Aliís shoulder.
"What? Ali, wait!" yelled Marron, pulling Bra with her as she chased after Ali and Pan. Dende and Mr. Popo followed closely. Pendril and Lidal stayed on guard. Eighteen and her chasers were almost on them.
"Why are we getting in the nest? Whatís your plan Ali?" asked Dende.
Ali Mystic paused at the nest with the others. "I want us all in the nest so we can all get away together, even the pterodactyls. When Eighteen gets here, Iím hoping that she can create a big enough distraction so that Pendril and Lidal can fly us out of here. Theyíre strong enough to lift all of us, right?"
"Weíre strong enough, Ali! Donít worry!" replied Pendril. Lidal nodded in agreement.
"I can help them," added Pan.
"Okay," said Ali. She lifted Bra into the nest among the babies as Marron clambered in. Then she helped Dende and Mr. Popo climb in as Toby and Dona squawked in puzzlement and fear from the edge. Embyr hopped from Aliís shoulder to Mr. Popoís, chirping hurriedly to reassure the adult pterodactyls. And suddenly their time was up as Eighteen landed on the cliff beside Pendril and Lidal. Before she could ask what the hell was going on, an energy ball came from above and exploded upon the cliff, knocking them all off their feet.
"Well, look what we found brother," remarked a frigid voice. "Vermin to be exterminated." Ali Mystic knew that voice, from when she was dangling at the edge of the Lookout. It was Cooler. She glanced up, confirming what she knew.
"I donít know about that brother. They look more like sheep to me," responded a more feminine voice. That was Frieza. And beside him were King Kold, Captain Ginyu, Dr. Gero, and Cell.
"You canít talk about us like that!" shouted Pendril. In unison, the twins leapt into the air and began exchanging blows with Cooler and Frieza. For now they had the upper hand but it wouldnít last long.
Wincing from the cuts and bruises she had received in her fall, Ali Mystic crawled over to Eighteen, who was clutching a rather bloody wound in her shoulder. Placing a hand on the older womanís other shoulder, Ali asked, "Eighteen, do you think you create a big enough blast to blind Cell and the others so we can make an escape in the nest?"
Eighteen though a second, then nodded. "I believe so."
"Good. Call the twins back so we can get out of here." And with that, Ali scurried back to the nest and climbed in. In her absence Mr. Popo, with Embyrís help, had managed to convince Toby and Dona to get into the nest, instead of staying perched on the edge.
Ignoring the pain in her shoulder, Eighteen flew into the air and raised her arms, powering up. "Pendril! Lidal! Move! Get back to the nest!"
In unison, Pendril and Lidal turned at the sound of their names. Seeing Eighteen, the twins realized what was going on and abandoning their fight, they sped back to the nest. Joining Pan, they took up positions around the nest and lifting it up, they began rising into the air. Toby and Dona squawked in surprise as the babies squealed in fear while Ali Mystic and the others attempted to calm them.
"Do you think you can escape from us?" asked Cell incredulously.
"Ali Mystic believes so. Especially if I do this." Shoulder beginning to bleed profusely, Eighteen quickly grew a large energy ball in her hands. "Take this!" she shouted, throwing her arms down and releasing it. Cell and his group easily dodged the blast but Eighteen wasnít aiming for them. The blast hit the cliff with a tremendous BOOM!, exploding in a great ball of light, blinding anyone who looked at it, including the undead brigade. Eighteen had already turned away before even the blast hit, speeding to the nest to grab a side and add her strength to the propulsion. Rapidly the odd group flew away, making their escape before the blast could dissipate.
It was quite a few moments before Cell and his companions could see again. By that time, their prey was long gone. Upon that realization, Cell bellowed in frustration, his voice echoing over the valley and even reaching the far away ears of Eighteen and the others.
"You may have gotten away this time, cowards, but you canít run forever! And when we catch up to you, your deaths will be excruciatingly painful, Iíll make sure of that! You hear me, you cowards? Thatís a promise!"
Ali Mystic couldnít stop the cold dread that creeped into her stomach at hearing those words. And she could see fear in Marron and Braís eyes as well. Luckily, Pan provided a distraction with her usual bravado comment.
"How dare he call us cowards! We shouldíve stayed and fight."
Eighteen quirked an eyebrow, Dende and Mr. Popo exchanged looks, Marron rolled her eyes, Pendril and Lidal grinned. Bra was the one who responded. "Stayed and fight! More like stay and get slaughtered!"
"Maybe you would have gotten killed but I bet I could have at least taken on Captain Ginyu!" retorted Pan.
"Why you Ė!" Bra leapt for Pan, who let go of the nest to defend herself. The nest lurched and tilted, alarming the pterodactyls. Ali Mystic barely kept the baby runt she held before all this happened from tumbling out as Eighteen and the twins righted it. Grabbing Bra by the leg, Dende pulled her roughly back into the nest.
"Thatís enough! Stay down and be quiet! Pan, get back into place!"
Embyr added her own two cents, trilling in fury and indignation. Ashamed, Pan and Bra obeyed with no arguments. They had never seen Dende angry before. None of them had. Even Eighteen was surprised. Silence spread throughout the nest. Cuddling the runt in her arms, Ali Mystic carefully stood, glaring at the two girls.
"I canít believe you two. Fighting at a time like this. And you Pan, even thinking of Bra being killed. And you Bra, attacking her. Apologize to each other right now. And they better be sincere apologies."
For a few minutes, the girls could only stare at each other. Then Pan murmured, "Iím sorry."
"Iím sorry," whispered Bra.
"Good," said Ali Mystic. "Now I want you two to understand something. And the rest of you as well. Thereís always a time when you must stand up and fight. But then there always comes a time when you have no choice but to run. This was one of those times. Do you understand?"
Both girls nodded. Marron, Pendril, and Lidal nodded as well. Ali Mystic opened her mouth to say something else but was interrupted by an unknown force entering her mind, hitting like a sledgehammer and bringing Ali to her knees in agony. Ali Mystic grasped her head, dropping the baby runt as she let out a pain-filled cry.
"Ali!" Marron and Dende rushed to Aliís sided as Mr. Popo gently took the shocked baby runt. Pendril and Lidal had nearly dropped their hold on the nest in their surprise. Perched at her knees, Embyr crooned in worry and concern. "Are you okay Ali?" asked Marron, tentatively placing a hand on her shoulder.
Marron jumped back in fright, as abruptly Ali Mystic shouted, "No! Donít! Not now!"
"Ali, what is it? Whatís wrong?" Dende asked anxiously.
Ali Mystic whispered brokenly, as if the pain was so great now it made it difficult to for her to speak. "Heís . . . heís in my head . . . I can hear him . . . I can feel him . . . Its . . . its Shenlong. Heís finished healing . . . and . . . and heís ready to rise."
I meant what I said. There comes a time when you have no choice but to run. And this time certainly applied. But the time for running would soon end and the time for action would come. Especially with the Eternal Dragon all healed and ready to rise.
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