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CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: IN TRAINING

"Gokou! GOKOU! WAKE UP!!!!! WE HAVE VISITORS!!! Gokou? GOKOU!!!!!" Chichi shouted at the top of her lungs to the unconscious Saiya-jin. Gokou didn't seem to notice. He simply kept on snoring, one foot dangling off the bed, a trickle of drool coming out of his mouth. In the meantime, Bardock had long ago ceased to knock on the door- he was now hammering on it instead.

"ONE MOMENT!" CHichi shouted, then resumed husband-shaking. "GOKOU! GET UP!" CHichi thought for a moment. "YOU'LL MISS BREAKFAST!" she shouted again.

"Uhhhh..." Gokou finally groaned. Chichi heaved a sigh of relief as he struggled out of bed. "What's to eat?"

"Your father and his friends are at the door!" CHichi said, with not just a hint of frustration in her voice.

And that was how their day began.

***

"Kakarotto, you idiot! No! DOn't dodge- counterattack! Meet my ki blast with one of your own! Do it... NOW!" Right as Bardock shouted that last "now," he fired one of his trademark moves, the Double Hammer. In it he fired two ki blasts, one from each hand, combined them, and sent them after his son. Slow, but extremely powerful. Gokou, as per instructions from his father, put his hands together by his side and begand charging up ki, saying the famous word. "Ka...me...ha...me..."

Before he could get anywhere, Zarbon intervened with a rather large ki blast of his own, nearly incenerating Gokou, and totally destroying all of his chances of winning this training session.

Bardock came up to him and patted him on the back. "Good job, Gokou. Just remembger that we bad guys don't like to play fair."

Gokou puffed smoke at him before falling face-first on the ground. Zarbon flicked a Senzu Bean in his direction. This Year's crop hadn't come to much use earlier, so why not use it now? Gokou ate it and hopped back up, just as energetic as before. bardock hadn't yet told him that every time he got severely beaten up like that his powerlevel would rise. Zangya was sitting on a rock somewhere in the background reading all of the levels- although she wasn't wearing thescouter that she was using (she refused to wear a scouter). She wrote Gokou's power level down on a piece of paper and held it up while the Saiya-jin was still down so he wouldn't see, although Bardock would. 35,000. He was a fast learner. Very fast. He had the potential to be the best. But then, the same thing applied to his father and to his son. What a family!

Both Gokou and Bardock went into some low-impact training for the next half-hour. Zarbon shoook his head at how the boy- make that man, was progressing. Zarbon also noticed a few other things about Earth. For one thing, he noticed that the mixture of Saiya-jin and Human DNA produced an incredibly powerful hybrid. This could be very, very good, or it could be very, very bad. He also noticed that the Earthlings gained power in the same way that he did- through training and through willpower. Everyone gained through training, but to gain through willpower was a special ability that could ultimately make you incredibly strong, like Sauzaa. Zarbon hadn't totally taken advantage of this yet, but he HAD slowly begun to use it the way it should be. The only problem is that he needed to be in a life-threatening situation to gain power in this way. Humans had a lot of potential, but they didn't use it, regardless of where they found themselves. The ones who did had proven to be incredibly strong for a basically docile race (when compared to most others).

"Hey, Zarbon," Zangya said from behind him. Zarbon started and looked over his shoulder.

"Are you okay, or are you trying to camoflage yourself by standing still?" Gokou and Bardock are going to train where you're standing in a minute."

Zarbon smirked. "Then you'd better get off that rock you're sitting on- I don't think it's any more safe than where I am right now. Anyway, I was just musing on... never mind."

"Whatever. Hey, can you help me with this scouter? I'm trying to turn the lens around."

"Why?"

"Because I have to use it right now, and I refuse to actually wear it. It's kind of hard to look through it without wearing it with the way it's shaped right now."

"Do you really think I'll help you wreck an expensive piece of-"

"It cost us five credits, we have tons of them, and this one is mine, anyway. Now help me... please."

Zarbon rolled his eyes and proceeded to find a way to turn the lens of a scouter completely around, thus making is not only possible but easy to operate it without wearing it.

"There. Are you happy now?"

"Utterly pleased. You'll win many women over with your scouter-twisting skills."

"Very funny. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm on in ten to disrupt Gokou's defense."

"Go break a leg! His, that is."

Zarbon smiled. He hadn't remembered seeing Zangya in this good a mood since... well, since he first met her. She'd been much better after that party that all the earthlings threw. Something happened there that started a healing process in her.

***

"So,Kakarotto, who did you train with while you were preparing for me, again?" Bardock asked when the two of them sat down to eat.

"I trained with the great Kaiou-Sama, the god of this galaxy!" Gokou said in between moutfulls of CHichi's home cooking, "He trained with me in a special room!"

"Yes, yes, you told me about the room," Bardock said, waving his hand in a dismissive fashion, "I'd like to meet him someday. Do you think you can arrange that?"

"Not unless you're dead, dad," Gokou said with the same tone of voice he had used in the preceding statement, "So, are there any more potato chips!"

"Potato what?"

Zarbon turned to Zangya and asked her a question. "I don't know. Is it just me, or has Bardock completely forgotten his heritage?"

"What?" she asked back.

"You know what I mean. As a Saiya-jin, Bardock would normally be more than ready to kill his son at this point. Gokou there may be Saiya-jin physically, but mentally he's more human than he is anything else. I'm worried of what will happen when Bardock realizes this."

"So am I." Zanya almost whispered.

***