CHAPTER 74: Council of War

An oddly assorted group sat in the highest tower of Kami's lookout, solemnly planning their moves. Kami himself sat in a large plush armchair while Mr. Popo slouched near a TV, watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. Raditsu reclined on a large sofa, flanked by Cirell and Bardock. Broli was also present, standing with Piccolo Daimaou near the window.

"I'm starting to see flaws in our initial plans," Broli rumbled sullenly.

"How so?" Raditsu asked him, frowning.

"The entire plan relied on luring Dai Shinnoma into an ambush," the massive Saiyajin pointed out. "The problem is, we have nothing that would lure him onto a battleground of our choosing. He has all the advantages in this situation."

"He's right," Bardock put in. "We need something that would provoke Dai Shinnoma enough that he'd risk coming to us. If we cannot lure him to a site of our choice, the only alternative would be a frontal assault on his fortress - and in my experience, frontal assaults cost lives."

"What're Dai's motives?" Cirell asked Piccolo Daimaou.

The big green demon shrugged slowly. "He wants to annihilate every human on Earth to discredit Kami."

"So we can bait the trap with humans."

Raditsu was actually shocked by the coldness of Cirell's suggestion. A small corner of his mind, however, admitted that the plan had merit.

Kami shook his head vigorously. "I'm not going to risk any more lives that I have to," he declared.

"But you can cast illusions, can you not?" Daimaou asked pointedly.

"Yes, but I'm not strong enough to create the illusion of a vast group of humans. I'd need to be at least twice as strong as I am now."

"And exactly what does that suggest to you, Kami?"

The deity's expression took on a horrified cast. "Fusion?" he breathed.

Daimaou nodded solemnly.

"Let's explore alternatives first."

"I doubt there are any," Broli rumbled. "Dai is a demon, so I doubt he'd love his subjects enough to respond if we kidnapped or killed one of them. He doesn't need material wealth, since he's a demon and he can conjure up the money he needs. Nothing short of a vast herd of humans will draw him out."

"He's right," Bardock said in support. "If you two must fuse to ward off the threat, do it."

"Do you have any idea of what's involved?" Kami demanded of him.

"I don't really care what's involved," Raditsu interrupted, leaning forward a bit. "I don't care if you ARE the Kami of Earth - you're acting like a selfish little child. This is the fate of the planet we're talking about here. We do what we have to."

Kami looked like he was about to say something, but instead sunk back in his chair, his green cheeks touched by bright yellow. "Your words shame me," he murmured. "I've been Kami for so long that it's possible I've forgotten how important these things are."

"Don't step there!" Mr. Popo screamed at the TV, leaning forward as a hulking purple and green creature approached the vast shadow of a hovering sphere.

Kami shot him a brief look, then glances apologetically at the others. "Sorry," he said. "Mr. Popo's in an Evangelion swing lately."

Raditsu concealed a grin. He'd been meaning to hunt down some Eva for awhile now, and Mr. Popo was a convenient method of acquiring the tapes which had eluded him for months on end.

"So do we have a deal?" Daimaou pressed. "You fuse with me, we cast the illusion, and then we blast Dai with the Demon Annihilator."

Kami sighed heavily. "I suppose so," he said defeatedly. "There's no other way."

Daimaou's smirk was one of smug victory.