CHAPTER 15: The Hunt Is On

The little blue man cringed away from Taurus, edging towards what was once the wall of his castle. Taurus could only laugh. The so-called great Emperor Pilaf was feared by common people of Earth, but in truth he was nothing.

\ "Do you want to give me the Dragonball now, Pilaf?" Taurus asked in a tone one might use with a small child who has just stolen a cookie.


"Come on. I don't have all day. Either you give me the Dragonball or I'll kill you and ask the raccoon and the woman."

"ALRIGHT!" Pilaf screamed. "It's in the helicopter."

"Thank you so much. You're too kind. Here's your reward." With a friendly smile, Taurus picked Pilaf up by the collar and threw him at a large chunk of rubble. The stone shattered as Pilaf hit, sending pebbles flying.

As Pilaf lapsed into unconsciousness, Taurus turned and strode towards the charred remains of Pilaf's helicopter. It didn't take his eyes long to find the Dragonball, a small orange globe with six stars floating inside. He reached out with his right hand to pick it up, examining it.

\ His scouter registered no power reading, but Taurus could almost see a faint glow around the ball. Unusual for an inanimate object. "Apple!" he shouted.

"Yeah?" came the reply from behind a pile of rocks.

"We're heading out. Thanks to Pilaf's Dragonball Scouter it shouldn't be too hard to track down the other balls."


As Apple floated up from behind the wall, Taurus gathered his ki into a blue aura of flame, and the two soldiers flew towards the northwestern hills.


Raditsu wasn't too impressed by the so-called 'Frypan Mountain'.

So it was a burning mountain with a castle on top. Big freakin' deal. He could easily walk through the fire unharmed, grab the Dragonball from the castle, and walk out without a problem. So why the hell were they milling around at the bottom?

"This is NOT good," Bulma muttered. "We won't be able to walk through that fire."

"Then I'll just put it out," Bardock shrugged. "It won't bee too difficult."

"Father, I could CRAWL through that without a scratch," Raditsu protested.

"This isn't normal fire," Bardock replied. "The heat is too intense. I'm guessing it comes from a spiritual source."

Raditsu hadn't even noticed the heat, but now it seemed to hit him at full force. "I see your point-"

Bulma screamed.

Raditsu followed her gaze quickly. His eyes focused on a pair of huge boots, then moved up... and up... and up... and up. The human - if it WAS a human - was HUGE! He was at least eleven feet tall, with a huge shaggy beard and a somewhat rotund build offset by his goggles, armor, and red cape.

Standing just behind the gargantuan warrior was a young woman with black hair and large dark eyes. She wore a simple white tunic that clung nicely to her body, as well as a peach skirt that ended a fair distance above her knees.

"I've tried putting out the fire," the giant rumbled. "Water doesn't affect it."

"I don't intend to use water," Bardock replied.

"Do you think you can put it out? Chichi and I have been trapped down here for months."

"We can cook over the fires, at least," the woman added. Her voice was light with the faintest hint of an accent.


"Let ME put it out!" Kakarotto demanded with a strange note of exuberance in his voice. "I know the techniques, father! Let me at it!"

Bardock looked at him for a moment. "Alright," he said, giving Kakarotto a nod.

"Alright, give me some room!" Raditsu's younger brother demanded. "I'll power up and give it everything I got!"

Raditsu backed away to a safe distance. Sometimes Kakarotto's tendency for drama during his powering-up went to extremes. He vaguely noted the woman and the giant standing behind Kiwi.

Kakarotto's fists clenched, and Raditsu could feel his ki building as the short warrior built up to his full potential. A bright red flame surrounded Kakarotto's body, and he gave a loud yell as dust clouds began to shoot out from beneath his feet. Fair-sized rocks began to float upward.

"Oh, my!" the woman breathed, and Raditsu thought he detected a note of admiration in her voice.

"Now you mustn't get excited, Chichi," the giant said almost absently.

Kakarotto was finally ready, gathering a ball of energy into one hand. He had never given the attack a name, but it served when he didn't have time to charge up for the Galick Gun. After a moment, Kakarotto thrust his hand forward, shouting theatrically as a flaming red beam blazed out of his palm.

The burning ki engulfed the mountain's burning mass. A bright light and a loud crash ensued, and Raditsu shielded his eyes to prevent blindness.

He failed to notice Bulma huddling near him.

Finally, the light and the noise faded away, and Raditsu looked up. [What an idiot,] he thought.

"You were supposed to PUT OUT the mountain, not blow it up," Kiwi remarked.

"My beautiful mountain!" wailed the grief-stricken giant. "You blew up my beautiful mountain!"

"You dunce!" Raditsu shouted. "You just blew up the Dragonball!"

"So what?" Kakarotto shrugged. "Taurus can't get it now."

"You fool! If we can collect them all, WE can wish for something!"

"Hold on," Bulma piped up. Raditsu was surprised at how close she stood to him. "The Dragonball is in the wreckage - or so says the Dragon Radar."

Without a word, Kiwi jumped up into the rockpile and began rooting around, directed by Bulma's shouts. Finally, the purple alien straightened and held an orange sphere triumphantly over his valved head.

"A Dragonball!" Bulma exulted.

"Daddy, they're stealing our Dragonball!" Chichi exclaimed.

"They can borrow it," the giant smiled. "We can rebuild the castle anyway - and I think most of our belongings are intact. Besides, the heat won't stagger us anymore."

Chichi blinked.

Raditsu smiled inwardly. One dragonball down, six to go. And then he'd finally get his wish. He'd wish for that bigger space pod if it killed him.