The Attack of the Saiyans Saga covers the third saga of Pan's Ascent in its entirety.
Rigorous Exam! A Greater Threat!
It had been some time since her very first mission as a Time Patroller. As far as she was aware, only Trunks, the Supreme Kai of Time, and herself knew of what she had done.
These past weeks had been her getting back to her routine in the academy, donning her Time Patrol track suit from before and keeping her newly acquired jacket and cape with her belongings in her housing unit.
Alongside her other recruits in the 10's, she kept up as their training slowly increased in difficulty.
On one of the days, before their session could begin, Commander Hale's voice informed her and a few others of something:
"Umiu, Amura, and Pan. Please report below to the training chamber."
The three of them proceeded onward, going down fleets of stairs to deep below the academy, where Hale was waiting for them.
"You three have done exceptionally these past weeks. For your efforts, I grant you the opportunity of taking an advancement test."
Umiu seemed surprised at this.
"A test? But I thought we advanced by fighting others."
Hale confirmed his thesis.
"That is normally the case, yes. However, I realize there is much more to prepare you for the ensuing ranks than just battle with your fellow recruits."
He pointed at a doorway.
"This is a training chamber, designed to push patrollers to their brinks. It is in here where you will be tested."
Amura raised her hand as Hale nodded, awaiting her inquiry.
"So... any hints on what we're up against?"
"You will be facing various villains. They aren't the real thing, but they fight like them."
Pan raised her hand as well.
"So are we talking... holograms?"
"Partially. Their presence in the room will feel no different from a real person inside. They take hits... and deliver them as well."
The door to the chamber opened as the three waited to see which of them would be willing to enter first.
"Bear this in mind before you enter: they will not kill you... but do not take them lightly for that. If they do not knock you unconscious, they will beat you within an inch of your life if given the chance."
Hale made his way to an elevator.
"I will monitor everything from another room. If anything goes wrong, I'll pull the plug. Good luck, you three."
As Hale exited, Pan, Amura, and Umiu tried to decide who would go first.
"Rock, paper, scissors?" suggested Pan. "First two decide third, then the last two decide first and second."
"Sure, let's go with that," stated Amura, who got her hand ready.
"1, 2, 3!"
Pan had drawn paper and Amura scissors: not the outcome Pan was hoping for.
"Alright, I'll be third."
From there, Amura turned to Umiu, his hand already drawn.
"1, 2, 3!"
Umiu had paper and Amura rock.
"Shoot, I'm second."
The Namekian had a mix of emotions on his face: being excited that he was going first, but also nervous at what was to come. But he tried to cover it up as best as he could.
"Don't worry: I won't be long, ladies."
Both saw Amura enter and after the door closed, they couldn't see or hear anything going on inside: it would remain a mystery to them until Umiu came out.
To pass the time, Pan and Amura conversed about a plethora of topics, eventually leading to Pan's lineague.
"So... you're the granddaughter of Son Goku, huh?" asked Amura.
"Right," answered Pan.
"What was he like?"
"I never got to meet him. He died in the Cell Games."
"The tournament Cell hosted? That never happened on my Earth."
"If there was no Cell Games on your Earth... then Goku was..."
"Goku was still around. Famous fighter. Won the 25th world tournament when he fought Hercule. Rung him out in one punch."
Pan could barely believe what Amura had told her: she had grown up hearing how Hercule had managed to defeat Goku in spite of being a human against a Super Saiyan.
"Strange. Hercule rung out Goku in one punch on my Earth."
Amura was certainly struck by this, but also saw how sincerely Pan believed it. Pan also considered what this would mean for her mother and father's relationship.
"What about Gohan and Videl, my parents?"
"Well Pan, I don't think they got together on my Earth. I think when the 25th tournament went on, a blonde haired girl was dating Gohan."
"Huh. Guess this was one of the timelines I wasn't born in."
"As for Videl, I don't recall, but..."
Finally, the door had opened. Umiu began to step out.
"I finally did it... I'm a part of the 20's now..."
But Pan and Amura saw him injured, a few cuts on his face, his hands covering a wound to his side as he slowly approached them. He lost his footing as he exited the room, Amura catching him, but finding he could barely stand.
"No, no... I'm fine... just..."
"You're not foolin' me..." answered Amura, whom kept him on his feet.
Pan certainly didn't like seeing him in such condition and offered to help him.
"Amura, what can I do to...?"
"It's alright, Pan. I'll take him over to medical. You go on ahead and take the exam."
She still wasn't sure about this.
"If we take him together, we'll make it faster, then you can go next."
"Times a'wasting, Pan. Go for it and when I get back, I expect the room to be ready for me. Got it?"
Pan nodded, then watched as Amura began to lightly float upward to help Umiu over the stairs.
"Okay, don't panic, Pan. Whatever in the room just seriously hurt him, that's all... this isn't helping."
Finally, she took a deep breath and took her first step into the room, seeing that it was massive with a high tech ceiling, floor, and walls.
"Come on already. Amura'll be back in no time."
Once she was inside, the doors closed and the room began to change: everything was becoming covered by bits that slowly formed new surroundings...
In this case, a narrow rectangular room with no exits. If Pan wanted to back out of the exam, it was too late for that now.
Hale, standing at a console, watched as Pan stood waiting for what was to come. On a screen was various indicators, including the number of combatants remaining and Pan's vital signs.
Pan heard a sound in front of her, then saw red text emerge on the walls, spelling out "Warning".
"Well, at least it's being up-front about the danger."
As she stood battle-ready, she saw what looked like a shadow of a man forming from the shadow of the wall. As it came closer, a body began forming from it, revealing...
"There's no cheating in a fight to the death..."
A blonde haired man in a brown uniform and hat, blue pants, and black boots: General Blue.
"...only the last one alive."
She already knew this exam wasn't to the death, but even then, as Hale had informed her, it would be as close as they could get to the real thing.
Just then, Hale's voice over an intercom.
From there, Blue charged at Pan, throwing out punches as she stood in place, swerving her head and torso left and right to avoid them.
"He's pretty quick, though I've fought faster..."
After hopping over a sweeping kick, Pan brought her fist towards his face, only to see him sidestep it.
"Okay, how about we compare him to past opponents AFTER this is over!"
She turned, seeing him dash forward, his fist aimed right for her head. She ducked, seeing his strike go through the wall of the arena and causing small pieces of it to scatter. His arm wasn't stuck, so he would probably tear it back out at any moment, so Pan acted quickly, rising upward with an uppercut to his jaw.
Blue's forehead hit the ceiling, then as he fell back downward, Pan struck him in the gut. As the general rolled across the ground, then got back to his feet...
"How could you?!" began Blue. "You actually hit me!"
Pan certainly wasn't expecting a villain to react in that manner. Since this was a physical projection based on someone, she figured it wouldn't do much of anything to converse with it.
Blue waved his hand at her, then hopped backward into the darkest corner of the room. Pan pursued him, but saw and sensed no sign of General Blue anywhere.
"Did he just bail on the fight after one hit?"
The walls were covered in red warning text once more.
"Is he back?"
From the shadows entered a mustached man with black hair in a ponytail, donning a pink Chinese longcoat. The kanji in the upper left...
"Does that seriously say 'Kill'?"
She didn't need to know his background to know what the kanji represented regarding his occupation. During all of this, this man kept his eyes on her, not a hint of emotion on his face.
"Fancy yourself a trained fighter, do you?" he asked, moving his ponytail to his opposite shoulder. "The name is Tao. Pleased to kill you."
Instead of charging at her like Blue before him, Tao simply waited for her to make a move, not even taking on a proper fighting stance: just standing with both arms behind his back.
"Don't want to keep Amura waiting..."
Pan ran to him, swinging and alternating between hands, only to see Tao stepping backward while avoiding each almost casually. She switched to kicks, still seeing him as carefree and unphased avoiding them.
She jumped upward, descending upon him with a punch only to see her hand striking the ground...
...and feeling a hit to her head, forcing her face-first to the ground. Did he use one of his hands? She took just a moment to glance at him, but Tao's hands were still behind him. All she saw was his ponytail hanging idol. As crazy as it seemed...
"He did that... with just his ponytail?"
She didn't ponder on that for long as she saw Tao running for her. She got back up and, not able to get out of the way of his kick, put her arms in blocking positions. It didn't break her guard, but she flew back regardless.
Pan stopped herself from colliding with the wall full-force by putting her hand out behind her to catch herself. It was a success, though she saw she left small fingertip-shaped dents in the wall as a result. Just as she recovered, Tao covered the distance and struck at her with rapid claw-like strikes. She moved her arms quickly, managing to intercept or redirect them, though noting how strong the force behind them were.
"...is Tao even human?"
Just as she thought of moving to the side...
"Huh? I'm stuck."
Pan saw her feet pinned to the ground by Tao's own. She threw a punch to get Tao off her, but he caught it, as well as gripped her other hand before she could ready it.
"If he's only my second opponent of many more... this could be bad."
Tao moved his head backward...
...and struck Pan with a headbutt, causing her to fall backward, though still in his grip, her back touching the wall. For a normal human, it'd be like being struck on the head with a bowling ball.
In spite of his feat, Tao still kept the same demeanor, no doubt an attempt to keep him true to the historic version.
"Is that all?" he inquired, seeing that Pan was in no position to make eye contact with her head hanging backward.
But just then, he saw Pan's head coming back up and her body flying forward. She headbutt him back, dazing him just enough for her to free her left foot. She used that freed foot to trip him, getting enough of Tao's attention to allow her right hand to slip free of his left.
With her right hand gripping his right arm, whose hand still held her left, she stomped the ground with her left foot, then swung both arms over her, lifting Tao off his feet and slamming him back-first through the wall behind her. Her hand still holding him tight, she swung in the other direction, throwing Tao in the direction of the other wall upon releasing him.
Tao managed to land on his feet, brushing some debris from the wall off his shoulder before hopping backwards.
"Oh no, you...! ...don't."
And he was gone, having disappeared in the same manner as General Blue earlier. So far, she had only taken hits from Tao, though she figured whoever followed...
"Warning" on the walls once more, though it looked as if the hole from before had healed over, no doubt due to the environment being a construct. Another shadow...
"Another human villain?"
This one emerged from the ceiling instead. It had a humanoid shape, but had sharp nails on its fingers, two wings on its back, and what in the shadow almost looked like a thin mohawk...
...but upon taking physical shape, turned out to be a part of this green scaled creature's head. His only attire was martial artist pants and shoes, and a red sash wrapped around his waist.
Tambourine grinned at her, standing on the ceiling without effort.
"I'll kill you just for fun," he gleefully announced to her.
With a flip, Tambourine flew down with a flying knee towards Pan, whom hopped backward, avoiding a strike that left an indent in the floor. She jumped forward with a kick, but he turned his torso, swinging his right wing into her.
She blocked, but was sent rolling as Tambourine flew in with rapid kicks. She controlled her rolls to avoid them, each kick able to pierce the ground, until she used a ki blast to push herself out of range. Once able to get back on her feet in peace, Pan zoomed after Tambourine, throwing punches, only to hear him cackling with each miss.
"Oh, humans... all the same..."
Pan saw her fist caught, but also a yellow glow from across Tambourine's entire body...
...a continuous electric shock went through Pan's entire body.
"Weak... and pathetic."
Tambourine was so caught up in demeaning his opponent he didn't even care to notice a faint blue glow going across her body.
"At least the sounds you make when you die are most enj..."
With a shout, Pan channeled ki through her whole body, then unleashed it in an explosion around her. Tambourine was pushed back and lost his grip, then, as he tried to hurry back to her, was met by a punch to his jaw with Pan's left hand followed by a kick to his side with her right leg.
As he began to reel, an upward kick to his chin left him exposed long enough for a strike to his chest, flooring him with his front on the ground. She ran to him, another punch headed his way, as he floated upward quickly thanks to his wings and span in place, dissuading her from attacking at that moment.
Once he stopped, he simply remained off the ground, the only damage appearing to be some purple blood falling from his lip. He wiped it off with his wrist, then smirked before floating backward...
"Oh come on... really!?"
For the third time in a row, Pan could only watch as her opponent vanished out of the room. She kept her eyes open for "warning" to appear at any moment, but instead...
...a sound and a flash of light. She walked over to its source, seeing something floating above her...
"A ring... like in the maze."
It would appear the room had nothing more to offer her, and that whatever else remained for her lied wherever the ring would take her. She put her arm through it, then slowly made her way through it, exiting the room elsewhere.
Pan emerged in what seemed to be a cityscape, though it revealed itself to be an empty metropolis. Not old and decayed, but not exactly shiny and brand new either.
It wasn't long until she saw "Warning" in the sky. Shortly after from above, she could see two figures flying in. It was hard to distinguish them due to the artificial sunlight getting in her eyes...
"I can see them... but I can't sense their ki..."
Even the other holograms from earlier still gave off a similar signature to ki to come as close to their real counterparts as they could, but these... they couldn't be sensed no matter how hard she tried.
At last, they both landed hard on the ground:
What looked like a towering man in blue and brown with red hair and wearing sunglasses over his eyes. But the metallic sound upon its landing told her it was not human.
Next to it was a purple robot suit with a logo akin to a red bowtie with two white R's. Inside, she could barely make out the pilot: only that he wasn't wearing anything close to combat attire.
"I'm not just Officer Black anymore. Now I AM the Red Ribbon Army! Metallitron..."
The large man turned its head towards Officer Black's Battle Jacket as he pointed it in Pan's direction.
Metallitron threw a downward swing at Pan, whom hopped backward. From there, he stepped forward and threw another, finding his attack once again only hitting the pavement. He then switched to a jab, nearly striking Pan as she sidestepped it and threw a punch to his side.
He stumbled into the side of a building as Pan then turned to see the Battle Jacket going for a downward two-handed swing. Pan hopped backward, then jumped atop its hands before leaping towards the cockpit door. With another punch, she struck the see-through dome, not breaking through it entirely, but cracking it and sending a few pieces inside towards Officer Black.
The large machine stepped backward, then positioned both its hands in her direction, where Pan saw the palms glowing.
"It's not ki, but..."
Dual beams fired, forcing Pan to retreat with the Battle Jacket's arms tracking her. More beams fired, Pan ducking or jumping as they struck windows and other obstructions before she found herself being grabbed by Metallitron's massive hands. She pushed back with her hands, but found both his pushing against her was like stopping two weight machines at once.
She could see that the Battle Jacket was aiming once more, Officer Black's face looking eager to take advantage of her struggle to finally land a blast. With a kick to Metallitron's chest, she managed to break out of his grip, then flew upward, just barely avoiding the next beam that struck Metallitron dead-on. Officer Black was getting frustrated.
"Stupid machine! All you had to do was keep her in place!"
He began firing more and more beams as Pan swerved across the cityscape avoiding them. Unlike before, Pan now had plenty of space to maneuver around her opponents.
"You won't get away! I'll see to that myself!"
Pan saw the Battle Jacket flying off after her and decided to keep climbing upward, see how far she could lead him...
...then she felt a bonk on her head, as if she had hit it on a ceiling. She looked up and saw a small glimpse of a teal field, which slowly dissipated: it must've appeared upon her touching the highest point.
"Figures the range here isn't unlimited."
Once the Battle Jacket had caught up to her, the two clashed, with Pan managing to guard against the giant robot's swings with her wrists. They certainly still struck hard, but so far, Pan wasn't about to let that stop her.
The two then flew into each other with a shoulder charge, the two trying to overpower the other. Instead of seeing Officer Black panicking or gritting his teeth at her, she instead saw him grinning at her. She looked behind her...
...and was struck by a punch by Metallitron, whom aside from a hole in his jacket and part of his chin revealing a grey hue underneath, was still in working condition. She saw herself falling towards the ground fast and quickly grabbed hold of the top of a stop light's bar to stop herself from crashing. As she then allowed herself to gently land, she saw both robotic opponents hovering above her, as well as something in the sky...
"Warning!" once more appeared. She looked to her left and right, but then saw something flying right towards her from above: a pink pillar and what looked like someone standing atop it.
She hopped back, barely avoiding it crashing into the ground, now seeing the figure was Mercenary Tao.
Behind him, General Blue and Tambourine both landed to the left and right of him.
"So Tao," began the general. "What say you to us working together for a change?"
Tao didn't even comment back to him, but seemed to accept Blue's gesture. Tambourine looked at both of them, not hiding his disgust of them, but slowly showing a smile.
"I suppose just this once, I'll work with you pathetic humans. Just as long as we kill that one."
Pan had gone from fighting one-one-one to one-on-two, and now one-on-three...
"Enough dawdling!" exclaimed Officer Black, him and Metallitron hovering downward slowly. "Finish her off!"
"One-on-five... well that's just perfect."
Against each alone, she could hold her own against them, but now she had to find a way to combat all five of them at once. First, she flew past them, trying to get them to pursue her and hopefully break formations.
"You can run, but you'll still die!" shouted General Blue, whom watched alongside Tao as Tambourine flapped his wings to pursue their target.
She fired off ki blasts, seeing Tambourine swerving to avoid them, only to bump her head into a metal structure...
The Battle Jacket, which could only mean Metallitron wasn't far behind. Officer Black took advantage of this by trying to strike with his robot knee. Pan guarded against it, but then saw Metallitron about to land hard into her with his feet.
"Gotta pay attention to my surroundings!"
She flew between the Battle Jacket's legs, leaving Metallitron to leave a small crater and force the Battle Jacket to fall onto its back.
"Come on, come on!" shouted Officer Black at the controls. "Get up, get up!"
Pan saw the Battle Jacket exposed, but before she could act, Tambourine flew in with a kick aimed for her forehead. She ducked, only having her bandanna dragged off her head, as Tambourine then turned around and swung at Pan with his nailed fingers. Pan ducked, then saw Metallitron throwing another punch at her, and was forced back in Tambourine's direction. She blocked with her wrist, but received a few scratch marks for her effort.
The fresh wound on her mind, she fired off an angry blast with one hand, one that Tambourine was more than happy to hop over, then, as she surveyed her surroundings, saw General Blue, having caught up to her and staring at her with a blue glow to his eyes.
"I... I can't move a muscle!"
Left frozen in place, she could only watch as General Blue ran in and kicked her akin to a football punt, launching her backward. Just then, she saw the Battle Jacket hovering overhead and free to punch her back downward. Upon hitting the ground, Mercenary Tao landed on her with both his knees.
Pan coughed after the fact, watching as Metallitron grabbed her by the back of her jacket.
"If I don't get out of this now..."
With his own punch, Pan struck the back of a wall, embedding her back into it. Tambourine walked up to her calmly, taking his time as he readied one of his hands, which took on a red glow.
She thought back to the wound that Umiu had on his side when he exited earlier: it looked like a claw strike as well.
"He must've been struck by that."
If she couldn't get out of the way, this would be the end of her run. Not fatal as the simulation would not allow fatalities, but not something she was going to walk off anytime soon.
"If I could just... move."
She couldn't move her limbs, but she could still use her ki. But she looked back at General Blue, who continued eying her to prevent her escape. He chuckled at Pan's gesture.
"Are you so eager to continue taking on my psychic powers that you'd look into my eyes?"
He didn't suspect a thing. That was good.
As Tambourine got ready to finally swing his superheated hand at Pan, he saw something from the corner of his eye: thin blasts that would be invisible to a normal human eye. Before he could register this, General Blue was struck on the face by them and gripped it with both his hands.
"My face! My beautiful face!"
Now that he had broken eye contact with her, Pan finally burst free from the wall. Tambourine tried to recompose himself and threw his swing at last, but Pan hopped over it, then struck his forehead with her foot, sending him onto his back.
Metallitron went for a kick, but Pan grabbed hold of his boot, then swung as hard as she could, sending him off his feet. Mercenary Tao was the closest person to her, so she let go, throwing Metallitron in his direction as Tao simply hopped over him.
"Now where is...?"
Something struck the back of her head: General Blue, a few scratches on his face, having swung a payphone at her.
"That's what you get, you brat!"
Before she could turn to face him, she was slammed into at high speed by the Battle Jacket, which slammed her into another building's wall. He flew backward afterward, then signaled Metallitron and Tambourine.
"Altogether now," rallied Officer Black. "FIRE!"
A missile fired from Metallitron's mouth.
Two beams fired from the Battle Jacket's hand.
A blast fired from Tambourine's mouth.
The explosion collapsed the building Pan was stuck to, leaving a gigantic crater in the aftermath.
General Blue, seeing nothing left of Pan, laughed to himself with his hand near his chin in feminine form.
Major Metallitron simply put out his left hand with his middle and index fingers up in a v-shape and said "Victory" repeatedly.
The Battle Jacket hopped upward repeatedly with both its mechanical arms up in the air.
Tao and Tambourine didn't celebrate, instead turning their backs on the destruction left behind.
Unknown to all five of them, Pan peered over a few buildings away from the carnage. She looked to see who was the most distracted, and ran as quickly as she could towards them.
She made it to Metallitron first, whom tried to turn his bulk around upon hearing her, only to receive a kick to the chin...
A kick that knocked his head right off to the shock of the other four. Upon seeing Pan not only still alive, but having beheaded Metallitron, Tambourine couldn't hide the fear on his face or his body's shaking.
"That's... that can't... how did she...?"
General Blue lunged at her with a punch, but saw him striking through what looked like a holographic image of her. Just then, Pan kicked him in the chest through a nearby building. She then saw Tambourine's tongue launching towards her.
"His tongue... really?"
She flew upward to avoid it, though still found her legs grabbed by it. He swung his tongue downward, knocking Pan to the ground, then began spinning it rapidly as Mercenary Tao took aim with one finger.
"That's Tien's move... and Kani's!"
With a ki blast, she struck Tambourine's tongue, causing him to release her. Still feeling a burn, he tried treating his tongue and began reeling it back into his mouth as saw the Dodon Ray coming right for him. He narrowly ducked it, but felt a burn in his wing.
"Cursed human!" growled Tambourine, looking at a hole in his wing before being punched into the ground.
Pan then zoomed over to the Battle Jacket, punching it several times while flying after it, pushing it back several feet as Officer Black tried to get it to grind to a halt. But a sound from behind caught her attention...
She saw Metallitron's hand in a fist... but it was flying right for her. She moved to the side, but still felt it striking her cheek. But during this, Officer Black saw it coming for him as well.
"To the right, to the right!"
Finally, the Battle Jacket did as he wanted, though only narrowly as the rocket-propelled fist still tore a chunk out of its shoulder before flying into another building.
After getting back up, Pan saw that even without its head, Metallitron still seemed able to track her.
"Guess its head was just for show."
He slammed his fist downward, forcing Pan back, then stomped on the ground to force her off-balance. It worked and she fell onto her back, then watched as he prepared to step on her with his massive boot.
It only muttered that word repeatedly, perhaps saying it with an internal speaker of some kind. If Metallitron's head wasn't the center of him, then it had to be his chest.
With a beam of ki, she struck the boot before it could stomp her, pushing it back just long enough for her to fly backward. She peppered him with ki blasts, seeing Metallitron cover himself with his arms before firing off his only remaining hand.
This time, Pan saw it coming a mile away and swerved with ease to avoid it, then began accelerating as she charged ki in both her hands. Metallitron tried to step backward, but by that point, Pan had built up so much speed that his bulk couldn't sidestep her oncoming attack even if he wanted to.
Flipping and aiming both her feet for his chest, she didn't just slam into him, but tore right through him. As her upper body began to enter the hole she had created, she fired off the ki she had stored at his internal systems. In a flash, Pan stood nearby, Metallitron hunched over as the inside of him glowed.
The mechanical major exploded shortly afterward, Pan remaining standing until she felt a piece of his jacket brushing against her face. She blew it away, then turned to see where her remaining four opponents were. Tao and Tambourine were out of her sight, as was the massive Battle Jacket. But from above atop a crumbled building top as a result of the dodged rocket punch from earlier...
"Now you've really done it, girl!" shouted General Blue, his brown uniform top in tatters as he tore it off of him. "Why don't you come up here?!"
She flew upward to him, knowing to avoid eye contact with him after the thrashing she went through earlier. From behind a nearby building, Officer Black saw an opportunity and pressed away at the Battle Jacket's controls. Above the jet boosters on his back, a hatch opened revealing a missile. He took aim and tried to lock on to Pan on a screen.
"Stay still, you two."
As she blocked a chop from Blue with her wrist, she tried to use her wrist to provide cover from his eyes like a warrior using a shield to keep from glimpsing a medusa's gaze. It was then a loud sound fired off from below them...
A rocket, one much larger than the one Metallitron fired from his mouth, zoomed quickly towards them. Blue was in disbelief.
Taking advantage of her opponent being just as shocked as she was, Pan grabbed hold of him by his left arm, then threw him forward before hopping to the side. By the time General Blue saw himself heading right for the missile, it had already struck him, pinning him to it as it flew further upward. The two reached the highest point of the barrier's ceiling, dragging against it before the two finally collided with the corner.
The explosion was far more massive. Even while this far from it, gusts of air still pushed Pan back hard...
...to which the Battle Jacket finally landed a blast against Pan, hitting her in the back. The TP logo on the jacket was almost entirely gone thanks to a seared hole. He flew up after her, believing it to have been a critical blow.
"That will teach you to stand against the Red Ribbon Army's ambitions!"
He flew in for a hard clap with both mechanical hands, but by the time they collided together, there was no impact with Pan at all.
"That really stung!" Pan shouted.
Only suffering some burns to her back as a result, Pan flew around to his back and saw the jet boosters clear as day. With a ki-enhanced punch, she tore into it, soon causing the monitor in the Battle Jacket's cockpit to flash with warnings.
"Boosters disabled?! No, no, NO!"
Pan then saw Tambourine flying in her direction. It seemed he was far too afraid to fight Pan alone at this point, but thought with her facing the Battle Jacket that it'd be the perfect time for him to strike. With sheer desperation, he flew for her, his superheated hand ready to strike once more.
She grabbed hold of the Battle Jacket by its arm and swung downward as hard as she could, managing to flip it over. The momentum of the slam struck Tambourine and his hand head-on. Officer Black was panicked after seeing Tambourine's hand tear through the back of his seat, nearly striking his head.
With the momentum of the swing, the two of them were now falling fast towards the ground. As they slammed into it, Tambourine basically crushed underneath the Battle Jacket now, Pan formed a cup with her hands.
Inside the cockpit of the Battle Jacket, Officer Black panicked at the sound and glow of the attack in the making.
"What's the matter with this thing!? It has everything but an ejector seat!"
He saw the hole Pan had made earlier to punch him, but knew the reinforced material would be too hard for him to break bare-handed.
He moved a lever for one of the arms, then ducked immediately as its right arm punched through the side of the dome.
It flew towards the Battle Jacket and Tambourine at a high speed as Officer Black hurried through the new opening to escape. Tambourine, however, knew he was trapped under its weight and screamed as the Kamehameha neared him.
The beam tore through the Battle Jacket and struck Tambourine dead-on. The ensuing explosion reduced the Battle Jacket to scraps, as well as left Tambourine defeated for good...
...but to her surprise, Officer Black stood, rolling up his sleeves.
"Tao was it?"
The mercenary leapt down next to Officer Black after having disappeared earlier.
"I'd be more than happy to pay you handsomely for your assistance."
"Very well, but it'll be double the cost."
Pan kept eyeing them as it looked as though Officer Black was waiting for Tao to make his move towards her. Instead, Tao stood appearing uninterested.
"Well...?" taunted Tao.
"Okay, fine, you'll get your money," shrugged Officer Black hesitantly. "Now earn your keep!"
Both ran at Pan, swinging their fists as she blocked or ducked them. With a sweep, she tried to trip them, but Officer Black jumped high into the air while Tao only hopped slightly just enough to go to a kick. Pan guarded with her wrist, only being pushed back slightly, when she saw Officer Black falling downward for a chop.
She then caught Tao going for... a poke with his finger?
"If his ponytail could floor me..."
Her other hand gripped his wrist before he could strike, only his fingernail partially poking her forehead. A burst of ki knocked Tao backward, then Pan fell onto her back and booted Officer Black in the stomach, boosting him back upward. Before Tao's lunging punch could strike, she guarded against it with her knee.
"My death punch... with your knee."
A poke to the surprised Tao's throat left him exposed enough for Pan to dropkick him a good distance from her. She then turned to Officer Black, having landed and throwing a barrage of punches.
"You will not be the end of MY army...!"
As he went in for a more powerful kick, Pan flipped backward.
"And you will you not be the end of ME!"
Pan made her move, Officer Black beckoning her forward and readying himself for a counter-attack. He jumped over his charging opponent, swinging his hand into her neck for a chop. But when he did, he touched only air...
Followed by a chop to the back of his neck, rendering him unconscious and leaving him to fall onto his front hard.
"Guess that wraps up the Red Ribbon Army, huh?"
Now Mercenary Tao was the only opponent still standing, cracking his neck.
"Any last words?" he inquired.
Pan simply put up her arms, responding with only her stance.
"I'll annihilate you."
From above, it looked as though two streaks of motion were colliding and running past each other repeatedly. Their fists repeatedly clashed with each collision, neither landing a blow just yet.
"I'll crush you!"
Finally, Tao had landed a punch to Pan's face, then kicked her upward. She caught herself on a building, then repositioned herself to launch off of it back to him.
"Come get me!"
Tao waited for Pan's approach, then swerved to avoid a flying kick from her. Pan then found herself flying almost uncontrollably back down and swung her arms to regain control in midair. By the time she did, almost running into a building, she saw Tao swinging both his arms at her, rocketing her to the ground.
He landed, surprised to see her getting right back up and brushing off bits of pavement from her hair.
"A glutton for punishment, I see. Well... at least you take a better beating than most."
In mid-taunt, Pan had already thrown a punch his way, then Tao responded with his own. Both pairs of legs were in place, the two vying to get past each other's arms. Bits of their sleeves began to tear off as their fists failed to strike their arms.
"When I'm done, you'll be dust in the wind!"
Managing to grab onto both of Tao's arms, she hopped upward and kicked him in the face. Upon letting go, she then slammed him back down to the ground. She hopped backward afterward, firing off a blast of ki at him.
Tao still stood, seeing his outfit's sleeves tattered, rendering his long coat sleeveless. Realizing he had some blood coming down his lip, he simply licked it with his tongue before reaching for a capsule in his pocket.
Pan ran at him, not wanting him to get away with using it, but he tossed it high upward, then leapt after it. Once Pan caught up, she saw Tao catching the item that the capsule released: a sword.
"Sure could use that power pole right about now."
She managed to catch a one-handed swing from the blade with both hands, clapping them together to keep it from getting her. Tao then struck her side, forcing her to let go, allowing him to swing once again. As they fell back downward, Tao swung as hard and as quickly as he could at Pan, whom tried desperately to avoid each one.
"Hale won't let me die in the simulation... and he wouldn't let me lose a limb... would he?"
Pan wasn't about to chance it and upon her feet touching the ground, tried to get as much distance as she could from Tao until she figured out a plan.
"Oh come now. I'm just taking a little off the top."
She found her back against a wall and ducked under a horizontal slash, seeing the blade cut into the wall behind her with ease. A horizontal slash she sidestepped left the wall with a plus-like mark.
"If I can't block it..."
Tao saw what looked like Pan running around him rapidly... almost like she was splitting into two.
"Are there... two of her?"
He swung at each of them, seeing his blade touch nothing at all, and the images of her running still there.
"Good. Just have to keep avoiding them."
Tao began to lose patience with Pan's tactic, and each of his swings became less precise and more frantic. Pan kept avoiding them, but saw a few hairs off her head from the last swing.
"He's losing it, but he's also getting closer to getting me. Gotta get that sword away from him... or..."
At last, one of the images of Pan stopped moving and instead stood in front of him. Tao aimed right for her as he then recognized a technique...
Tao had shielded his eyes with his wrist and partially with his sword. After having seen Tao use the Dodon Ray earlier, Pan had to at least anticipate the possibility that he would know of the Solar Flare as well. Even then, it still worked to her advantage. With her hand not only charging, but overflowing with ki, she threw a punch aimed right at the sword itself.
The top half of the blade shattered, turning the bottom half into little more than a blunt-looking dagger.
In spite of this, Tao quickly threw the blade downward towards Pan's leg. She moved to avoid it, but found that it had gone through her the bottom of one of her track pants' legs, pinning her to the ground. He jumped high into the air, then unveiled a grenade.
He threw it downward at her as hard as he could as Pan tugged her leg as hard as she could, knowing the sword was deep embedded in the ground. As the grenade got closer, she finally kicked upward, tearing part of the pant leg's bottom while knocking the grenade away from her.
Tao saw the grenade coming back to him, but also saw Pan leaping upward after him. He knocked the grenade back down, but also towards where Pan would be, leading her to kick it back up to where Tao was headed.
At this point, the two were playing a game of badminton with the grenade, her striking it to him with kicks and him swatting it back down to her. Both knew the fuse didn't have long now and each strike was now desperate to be the last one. Tao almost look frightened with his last hit, lucky it didn't go off on him then, whereas Pan thrust her hand forward, a gust of air pushing the grenade so she didn't have to touch it herself.
After the grenade detonated, only a short distance from this Tao suffering the same fate as the true Tao, he saw Pan flying right for him as he began descending. He tried to recover in midair and even took aim with his finger...
...only to find Pan using a hand covered in ki to stop the blast. From there, before Tao could act, Pan flew into him and the two slammed straight downward into the ground.
The dust settled and by the time she saw him in the aftermath, Tao was lying at the bottom of a crater. Tao slowly began to lift his upper body upward, but his legs were buried under the rubble. Instead of trying to get out of the hole he was in with his freed hand, he instead took aim at Pan. Even now, this mercenary would try to accomplish his mission.
A punch to his face forced him back down, then, as Pan stood at the ready, saw he was out like a light.
"...is that a wrap?"
Green font emerged in the air spelling "Finish!" With the five defeated, Pan had succeeded. As each individual pixel of the environment began to disperse, revealing the original chamber, Pan saw her bandanna flowing in the artificial air and caught it.
Having exited the chamber and putting her bandanna back on her head, she saw Commander Hale waiting for her.
"Congratulations, Pan. Like your comrade Umiu, you are now a member of the 20's."
Just then, Pan turned to see Amura returning as well.
"Amura, is Umiu okay?" asked Pan.
She nodded back to Pan as Hale walked closer to both of them.
"Rest assurred, I won't allow any of you to be killed in the simulation."
Amura, however, still had a few drops of Umiu's blood on the side of her uniform from carrying him, didn't seem so sure.
"Umiu barely walked away from that. How do I know I won't get ripped to shreds?"
Hale, whom was much taller than Amura, knelt down to her eye level.
"The job of a Time Patroller always involves a threat to one's life. This simulation comes as close as it can to the real thing to best prepare you all for it. After Umiu suffered that wound, I offered him the chance to end the simulation and try again, but he told me he wanted to see it through to the end."
"Umiu took that clawed attack... but he didn't stop until the battle was won."
Amura finally began to understand.
"...because when the time comes, we have to be able to fight on, even in the face of death... for time's sake."
She no longer had doubt on her face, but instead determination to see this through. She tapped Pan on the shoulder. "Good job... but I'll catch up with you soon."
Pan nodded back to Amura as Hale placed a hand on her shoulder.
"You've more than earned your rest for today, Pan. We'll resume training tomorrow."
Now with his say to leave, Pan left the two, intending to get much rest and relaxation after all the fighting prior.
That night, Pan's dream left her recalling a time when she, her father, her mother, and her grandmother went on a trip to a forest area. Young Pan wasn't sure what they were doing there, but throughout the way there, marveled at all of the wild life they encountered, including a small deer.
Gohan, Videl, and Chi-Chi kept a careful eye on Pan as she interacted with it, gently patting its head with a smile on her face.
After a long day of traveling on foot, they came across a village filled with tents and at the center of it a large tower.
"Pan..." began Chi-Chi. "This is Korin's Tower."
"How do you know of the tower?" asked a voice unfamiliar to Pan.
The four turned, seeing a dark-skinned man with braided black hair with a feather atop it, a tan vest and pants, and two painted lines on his cheeks. Upon seeing their faces, the man began to smile at them.
He turned to see Gohan's mother.
Finally, he looked over at Videl and Pan, the latter of whom didn't know what to think of him.
"...I don't believe I've met these two, Gohan."
"This is my wife Videl and our daughter Pan."
Upa put out his hand to shake Videl's hand.
"A pleasure to meet you, Videl."
He then turned to Pan.
"As well as you Pan, the granddaughter of Goku."
"You knew my grandpa Goku?" inquired Pan.
"Long ago, Goku saved my life... and my father as well."
From behind Upa, an even taller man with grey-white hair approached them.
"Telling the tale of Goku again, are you?" this man asked Upa.
Pan looked to him, almost nervous at his stature.
"Pan, honey..." began Videl, putting her arms around her daughter to comfort her.
Upa gestured his hand towards the large man.
"This is my father, Bora."
After being reacquainted with Gohan and Chi-Chi, he saw Videl and Pan, as well as the latter almost hiding from him.
"Any family of Goku's is ours as well."
Bora sat down in front of Pan and Videl with his legs crossed.
"It's okay, Pan." said Videl.
"Bora's a friend." added Chi-Chi.
"He and Upa have known Goku before I was even born."
"Really?" asked Pan.
Pan was finally starting to relax and not only approached Bora, but even sat down with her legs crossed like he was.
"Your father was a great fighter and it was thanks to him that I'm still here."
He reached out his hand to Pan, whose hands could barely cover his palm.
"His legacy is safe in your hands, little one."
Pan woke up not from the dream ending, but from loud knocking on her door. She stumbled out of bed to greet whoever was there. Upon opening the door, she saw Trunks, whom looked panicked.
"It's an emergency, Pan! Get dressed and meet me at the Time Nest right away!"
While still waking up, Pan understood the distress in his voice and got into her usual attire, as well as the Time Patrol jacket and cape she had been given last time.
Upon her and Trunks going through the gateway, they ran towards the library.
The large owl from nearby stood on a perch, looking over at the two.
"Who’s that?" asked Pan.
"I'll tell you another time!" answered Trunks, whom pushed the door open.
As Trunks finally slowed down, picking up a scroll from the table, Pan waited to hear what the emergency was.
"This'll be a lot to take in, so be ready for it."
Pan nodded, understanding that Trunks was choosing to give her the full truth.
"This scroll covers the fateful day in which Goku and Piccolo teamed up against Raditz... Goku's own brother."
Pan put out her hand, needing to take a moment to take this new information in.
"Goku has a brother... and I have a grand-uncle?"
Trunks was about to answer when Pan put her hand out once more.
"...and wait, what are my grandpa and Piccolo doing fighting together after what happened last time?"
"Oh, that? Goku made the decision to spare him so that he could have a rival to fight."
"So... was he a good guy then?"
"Not quite. He still had world domination and revenge in mind, but he and Goku found a common threat in Raditz."
"And back to Raditz... no one ever mentioned my grandpa having a brother. Where was he all this time?"
"Raditz was a vicious Saiyan warrior who kidnapped Gohan and tried to kill your grandfather, Piccolo, and your father."
"Guess that's why my dad never brought him up."
"...and even then, he was killed and never returned after the fact."
Pan paused for a moment, then thought back to how Trunks had described Raditz.
"So when you say Raditz was a vicious Saiyan, you mean he was one of the bad ones?"
"What do you mean?"
"I was always told the Saiyans loved fighting. So if Raditz was threatening his own family, he was one of the bad ones... right?"
Trunks took a breath, then readied himself for the explanation to come.
"Raditz' viciousness was actually in keeping with Saiyan tradition."
"Saiyans were... well..."
Trunks could tell Pan wanted the full version, even with how much it would flip her world upside down.
"The Saiyans were a brutal and militant race of warriors that sought to prove themselves the strongest in the universe. They not only conquered planets, but often cleared out their entire populations."
There went Pan's childhood image of Saiyans being heroes like Goku and Vegeta fighting against villains, now replaced by those same aliens committing genocide. And it was then she recalled learning of Frieza wiping them out.
"...so then why did Frieza wipe them out?"
"At first, the Saiyans were subjugated under Frieza, clearing out planets for him to sell, but upon believing them to be a threat, he destroyed the planet and nearly wiped them all out... except for you grandfather, my father, and a few others."
Pan was conflicted: on one hand, Frieza wiping out the Saiyans sounded like an injustice to her, but considering all they committed...
"How come my grandpa was so different from them?"
"A nearly fatal injury to his head as a baby, after which he was the man my parents knew."
"...and if it wasn't for that..."
"He would have followed in the footsteps of his father and his older brother and may very well have wiped out all life on Earth."
Trunks saw Pan crouching down for just a moment, deep in thought.
"To think what my grandpa would've done..."
"I'm sorry, Pan... but Goku and Piccolo need your help. I have the feeling after your last success, whoever's doing this may try something else to throw us off."
Pan got up, seeing Trunks with the scroll in his hand for her to grab.
"It's fine. Gotta protect history and my family... even if it is from a relative."
She began to grip the scroll when Trunks put his hand out for her to wait.
"One last thing, and this is critical: both Raditz and your grandfather died to an attack of Piccolo's."
Pan had heard of her grandfather dying in the Cell Games... but not before... and not by Piccolo, who at this point was a villain...
"...but Goku sacrificed himself to ensure Raditz was defeated. And he was brought back to life a year later with the Dragon Balls."
As much as he wanted to be nurturing to Pan, who was taking in so much information that was shaking the very cores of her person, he knew he had to be strict here.
"Which is why you absolutely cannot interfere with Piccolo's killing blow to both of them. Ensure Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan survive against Raditz, of course, but you have to maintain Goku's death by Piccolo to stop Raditz, no matter how much it will hurt to see."
Before, Pan was protecting her grandfather, making sure he survived his battle, and now she had to protect him until the right time for him to die. History depended on her, so she knew she had to do it...
...but could she really bring herself to just sit and watch when the time came?
"It's for history... it's for my dad..."
She closed her eyes and gripped the scroll as white light covered her person before she vanished.
Goku and Piccolo stood before Raditz, both having taken off their weighted clothes to better stand a chance against their fearsome opponent who oozed confidence.
"Last chance, Kakarrot," Raditz offered. "Join me and the remaining Saiyan race... your real family."
"My family's right here," answered Goku.
"Do as your brother says. These Earthlings are beneath you and me."
"I don't care if I'm an alien and I don't care if you're my brother. I'm not going to let you take my son."
"This would've been avoided if you had just given me a hundred bodies... but if you won't join me... then you will..."
He was interrupted by a white glow next to Goku, which then revealed itself to be Pan. At first, Goku and Piccolo looked at her like she was a total stranger...
But then a flash went on in both their heads: of their prior battle during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament.
"Hey, I know you..." recalled Goku. "You were the one that helped me in the tournament."
"And I remember you were that brat that stood in my way," snarled Piccolo, though this slowly morphed into curiosity. "But it's been five years and yet... you look the exact same."
"I don't know about that, Piccolo. I think that cape and jacket's new."
Raditz didn't know what to make of this.
"What's this? An Earthling has come to watch your defeat?"
Seeing Pan remaining in place, he pointed to her.
"If you know what's good for you, you will not interfere."
Goku and Piccolo weren't confident, but they felt some relief at having another person with them.
"Maybe you're stronger than all three of us..." admitted Piccolo. "But I'd say the numerical advantage is ours now."
"You really think one more body will make a difference? Another piece of trash... is still just trash."
He still didn't see any of the three quivering in fear of him.
"Underestimating me, are you?"
He began stepping forward slowly, a faint purple aura forming around him.
"You think of me as a joke like my comrades do, is that it?!"
Now a red glow was over his eyes.
The Supreme Kai of Time had entered the library, seeing Trunks looking over the events unfolding.
"What's going on, Trunks?"
"Something's not right. Raditz is acting out."
She looked over, noting the evil Saiyan's glow.
"Is it the same as before?"
"No. This is..."
Raditz not only saw the power flowing around him, but felt it through his being.
"I'll show you... and I'll show you with suffering!"
All three moved toward Raditz, ready to strike first, but then...
Goku and Piccolo lost sight of him, then were each struck by an elbow to the back of their heads. Pan could hardly react to his movements either.
"Piccolo was fast... but this..."
By the time she perceived Raditz coming right for her, a knee struck her in the stomach. The impact sent her flying backwards onto her shoulder, which grinding against the dirt before she finally came to a stop. She tried getting up...
And spat out in pain. The day before, she had taken hits from five villains... but Raditz's hit struck harder than any of them.
"He's not just stronger than me... he's..."
As the Supreme Kai of Time and Trunks listened in to Pan's thoughts, they knew something was terribly wrong.
"Last time with Piccolo, he was simply restored to full energy. But this..."
"Is Raditz now far stronger than a Saibamen?"
"Raditz doesn't just have a power boost. Whoever's doing this... they've given him far more power than he should be able to possess."
"You mean he's...""His power's greater than all four of them."
Goku's Brother Raditz! Saiyan Cruelty!
"It's been several weeks and your formula..."
The same two figures who interfered with Goku and Piccolo's battle were now watching Raditz's complete domination over his two opponents.
"I've greatly enhanced its effects. It doesn't just restore power: it strengthens it. In his case, a low-power Saiyan with the might of an elite."
"And the Time Patroller?"
They looked to see Pan a short distance away, still trying to get off of her back.
"A few weeks of training won't save her now. And if she interferes... he'll make her suffer."
"One hit... he only landed one hit... and I'm..."
Pan had been struck by Piccolo in their prior battle. The day before, she had been struck by two knees falling right onto her stomach. But this strike by Raditz outclassed all of them.
She finally made it onto her knees, slowly lifting her upper body upward, and saw Goku and Piccolo's efforts for naught against him:
They had both tried combining their efforts only for him to block each of them with each hand. Then Raditz floated high above as the two of them flew upward.
Goku and Piccolo almost reacted too late as he fired off two purple beams from his hands, swerving to evade them. From where she was, Pan saw the impact of one of them towards a set of mountains, leaving an explosion far greater than the one Piccolo unleashed.
Raditz began cackling upon their landing, hardly having used up any of his reserves from his last attacks.
"Oh, is something wrong? Missing anything important?"
Goku and Pan finally noticed that Piccolo's left arm was missing: seared off by the prior beam.
"His arm... did Piccolo...?"
Trunks stood ready to answer her inquiry.
"Yes, he did lose his left arm in the battle, though he'd go on to regenerate it afterward. So far, everything in their battle's gone the same way it's supposed to..."
"But Raditz's power..." began the Supreme Kai of Time. "He was strong, easily the strongest foe Goku and Piccolo ever faced at that point... but he shouldn't be this powerful."
Goku and Piccolo both were panting heavily.
"They shouldn't be nearly as exhausted at this moment. They're still going now, but with Raditz's power-up, I fear they both may be..."
Pan got back on her feet, pushing past the pain she still felt.
"I won't let that happen."
Piccolo, believing Raditz to be standing idly waiting, turned over to Goku.
"Tell me, Goku... any new techniq..?"
Raditz interrupted Piccolo's inquiry to Goku with an immediate strike that the Namekian barely blocked with his remaining arm.
The Supreme Kai of Time took notice of this.
"This can't be right! He was supposed to stand back and allow Goku and Piccolo to form a plan. You have to keep Raditz at bay!"
Pan made her way to the three.
"I'm on it!"
Goku and Piccolo both tried stopping Raditz's offensive with guards, talking it out during their desperate stand.
"Afraid I'm fresh out," answered Goku.
"Hmph," scoffed Piccolo. "You've kept lazy."
Raditz, instead of letting them carry on their conversation as per history, actively tried to break it up, and finally managed to send both off their feet, Goku with a leg trip and Piccolo with a sweeping chop.
With two ki-covered hands, he was ready to fire down upon his brother and the Namekian...
...he sensed Pan flying in for a punch from behind. He span, avoiding it while swinging his tail into her back, knocking her downward. By the time he turned to blast Goku and Piccolo, the two had jumped out of the way.
"I was saving it for you, Goku... but I have something."
"Sure you can pull it off with one arm?"
"If you keep him occupied."
"Worth a shot."
After being sent across the ground, Pan dug her fingers into the ground to slow down, then stood back up. She saw Piccolo standing back as Goku charged back to Raditz.
"Good," began Trunks. "It looks like Piccolo's finally starting off his plan."
"I'll go give my grandpa cover."
Raditz moved his right hand side-to-side stopping Goku's punches, the largest grin on his face at how easily he was stopping his little brother.
"This power..." he started, more than capable of realizing the newfound increase in power at his fingertips. "It's overflowing in me."
As he said this, he moved his hand behind his head, blocking another strike from Pan.
"There are two more Saiyans besides myself..."
Raditz then threw out a punch from each hand, which Goku and Pan had to catch with both their hands.
"Both of them stronger than me..."
Both Goku and Pan strained to hold back his individual mere limbs, their feet being slowly dragged back.
"This guy, my great-uncle, whose overpowering us... is the weakest of the three?"
"But now... with this..."
He floated off his feet and span in place, tossing Goku and Pan aside.
"I'm not their weakling anymore. After I'm done with you, I'll show them just how powerful I really am."
"Raditz planning to go against his comrades?" began the Supreme Kai of Time. "That could be disastrous if he succeeds here."
Piccolo placed his index and middle fingers over his forehead, charging his whole body with ki.
"Look, Piccolo's starting to power up for his move," began Trunks. "Help Goku keep Raditz occupied."
Pan got ready as Goku, looking over at her, seemed to know her plan as well. They both flew at Raditz, whom cockily stood in place.
They both kept their full attention on Raditz, whom humored them with attempts to stop him. They hoped their efforts would keep Raditz occupied away from Piccolo so his attack would succeed.
Slowly, Raditz's small smirk turned into a large smile as he began using more and more power with each strike. First, Goku and Pan were guarding against them. Then they began to stagger with each block.
At last, their guards were completely broken, leaving them both free to be struck back by Raditz. Both flew back, but while Pan was on her feet shortly afterward, she saw Goku leapt high into the air, his hands together and with a white glow between his fingers.
Raditz took notice of this, but he then saw Pan firing ki bullets at him. A ball of purple ki formed in his hands as the bolts harmlessly dissolved upon impact.
He saw Pan shifting her legs to move, so he fired off another purple projectile, which struck Pan before she could side-step it. Once she was hit, she felt stuck in place, not unlike the effect from General Blue the day before.
"Damn it! I'm..."
She turned her eyes over at Goku firing off his move, but...
"Wait... his aim's completely off. He'll only hit the ground beneath him."
But with a turn of his wrists, the beam changed its course towards Raditz.
"...Grandpa bent his Kamehameha?"
All this time, Raditz didn't even move, only putting out a single hand in front of him. The Kamehameha collided with him, but by the time it finally dissipated, Raditz still stood.
"He stopped it with just one hand... and he's not even the worse for wear."
She heard that Raditz was killed by Piccolo, but after all she saw Raditz do so far, she almost began to doubt if it that was even possible.
After pulling off that move, Goku found he couldn't get out of the way of Raditz's projectile attack. He fell back towards the ground, looking unable to move.
"The same move he used on me..."
Once he hit the ground, Goku looked up, seeing Raditz ready to strike him down...
...but then Raditz felt Pan grabbing hold of his arm, trying to pull him away.
Upon hearing Piccolo's voice, he took his attention away from Pan.
Raditz saw just a glimpse of a yellow beam leaving Piccolo's fingers. Even with all the power he had now and after stopping the Kamehameha, the idea of this attack hitting him was terrifying.
Pan let go of Raditz, then hopped upward, striking his back with both her feet.
"Pan!" shouted Trunks. "What are you doing?!"
She saw the beam coming for both of them and fell onto her back, seeing the spiraling beam passing over her.
"You could've changed history right there!" scolded the Supreme Kai of Time. "You're lucky you didn't!"
"Huh. That girl almost did our work for us there. A shame Raditz was just fast enough."
Pan saw that Raditz had moved to the left, the only damage done to his left shoulder piece and part of his shoulder.
"I have to admit, slug... it's a good thing that didn't hit me."
He charged purple ki in one hand, pointed at Piccolo.
"And as for you..."
He had his other hand pointed down at Pan, whom knew even if she got up right then, the ki in that hand would still hit her.
"Those who try to kill a Saiyan... will not ge...!"
He couldn't finish his sentence: his face grimaced as Goku had managed to grab hold of his tail and pulled. Soon after, the ki left his hands and he was forced onto his knees.
"You got careless," taunted Goku. "I may not have a tail now, but I'll always remember how much it hurt when someone pulled on it."
He turned over to his rival-turned-temporary ally.
"Piccolo, can you do it again?"
The Namekian grinned, then placed his hand and two fingers back over his head.
"I have enough to pull off another... but only once more, so don't let go of his tail."
"So... should I get going or do I need to stick around?"
"Hmm..." began the Supreme Kai of Time. "Try to leave discreetly while they're occupi..."
"Brother, please...!" cried out Raditz. "I was only bluffing."
"You tried to kill me, you took my son, and you threatened to kill him!" shouted Goku.
"I would never kill you or your son. Never! It was only a test. You have to believe me, brother."
Piccolo overheard all of this, then, remembering Pan was there fighting alongside them, turned to her as she tried backing away.
"You there! Girl! Quickly! Grab his tail!"
"Guess I'm staying here."
She began stepping forward towards Raditz...
"You can't!" shouted the Supreme Kai of Time. "If Goku survives, the changes to history will be unfathomable."
Pan knew as much as she wanted her grandfather to live, she had to let this happen.
Piccolo saw Pan standing, no longer moving.
"What the hell are you waiting for?!"
She could only watch as Raditz's silver tongue worked its charm on Goku.
"I'll leave... I'll never come back. Let me go now and I swear to you no more Saiyans will ever come to your planet."
"Swear on your life, Raditz!"
"Yes!" Raditz managed to draw a tear from his eye. "Yes, I swear it on my life!"
Goku had faced his older brother, whom toyed with him and taunted him this whole time, but now there he was begging for mercy.
"Don't listen to him, Goku!" shouted Piccolo. "It's a trick!"
He turned back to Raditz, looking less like the menacing figure from earlier and more like a weeping child.
"He swore on his life."
His hands began to loosen.
"Now get off my planet and never..."
An elbow interrupted Goku as Raditz gleefully struck him away, now that his tail was freed.
"Damn it, Goku!" cried Piccolo.
He then turned to Pan.
"And you... you idiot! We would have finished him off if you hadn't froze up!"
They both turned to see Goku's back finally touching the ground, followed immediately by a knee to his chest by Raditz.
He spat and screamed out in pain, grabbing onto Raditz's leg while his older brother appeared rather pleased.
"Oh, I'm sorry, brother. Was that your ribs?"
He lifted up his foot and stomped on Goku once more.
"A real warrior kills their opponent where they stand... show no mercy, even to their own brother."
He turned over to Piccolo and placed both his arms outward.
"Go on." taunted Raditz. "Take your shot."
Piccolo already knew why he couldn't.
"You'll just dodge it," confessed Piccolo.
He tilted his head to the side, feeling only the faintest touch of Pan's fist glancing by his cheek.
With a swing of his wrist, Pan was knocked to the ground behind him.
"Wait your turn."
He turned back to Goku.
"Now Kakarot... beg."
Raditz stomped on his chest again, taking a sadistic joy in it.
"I want to hear you beg for mercy! Do it!"
Goku was in too much pain to even speak.
"You'll beg with your last breath, mark my word!"
He kept stomping over and over, Pan making her way back...
...she heard a shout from a four year old boy, but with the fury of a raging warrior.
Raditz saw his pod, which held Gohan, was broken apart by the young half-Saiyan, floating in the air and snarling his teeth at him. Pan had seen pictures of a young Gohan at Chi-Chi's house, but it was still surreal seeing her father as a child before her.
"Stop hurting... MY DADDY!"
"That's it!" exclaimed Trunks. "Once Gohan can get in one hit, the battle will be all over."
Gohan flew towards Raditz head-first, to the panic of even the powered-up Raditz.
"Not for long."
A flash of purple went across Raditz, along with a red glare in his eyes. His terrorized face turned into a smile as he flew to the side, Gohan missing him and eventually crashing back down to the ground.
"No!" cried out the Supreme Kai of Time. "The power-up made him fast enough to avoid it!"
Raditz then fired off a one-handed blast at Gohan.
Goku was horrified at the sight.
Without even having to be told to, Pan flew towards her father as quickly as she could.
Goku and Piccolo looked over in terror at Gohan's fate, but also at the girl flying directly in Gohan's direction.
They looked and saw Gohan a short distance away from the crater the blast had created. He was untouched, save for some dirt on his clothes.
"My son... she..."
Pan was crouching a few feet from Gohan.
"You saved that brat?!" inquired Raditz, whom then began laughing for a reason Goku and Piccolo didn't realize. "Look at what good it did you!"
She was gripping her left arm, whose jacket sleeve was seared off and whose skin was heavily scarred. The arm didn't appear to move as she grit her teeth at the burn of the wound.
He put his hand towards Goku.
"Now he can watch his father go first."
She dove out in front of Goku, taking the blast head-on with ki covering her body. Piccolo suspected something about her.
"That girl's been trying to protect Goku since she got here... and five years ago. Just what is Goku to her?"
Raditz was starting to get irritated by her intrusions.
"Annoying little Earthling. Are you so eager to die you'd throw yourself in front of my attacks?"
Even with her ki managing to block it, it still took a lot out of her.
"Be patient: I'll put you out of your misery..."
His two glowing hands turned back toward Gohan.
"After I've finished with family affairs."
"None of this is supposed to be happening, right? Now what am I supposed to do?!"
"Goku may make a move to save Gohan, but without Raditz taking that critical blow, it'll be for nothing," explained Trunks. "All you can do now is try to get his attention... maybe even do damage to him to set Gohan up for another strike to him."
Pan thought of all the moves she could try and her mind narrowed it down to one: a move her mother Videl had taught her, but also one her mother told her not to use lightly, for it could likely kill a normal human. Obviously Raditz wasn't an ordinary human, but Pan hoped it would strike true and hard.
Goku hopped off his feet toward Raditz, whom caught him by his neck.
"Oh brother... like these pathetic Earthlings, you are so predictable."
"Let's see you predict this!"
A kick by Pan struck the side of Raditz' neck. He spat out, then stumbled backward after the fact, dropping Goku. He put his right hand over the side, feeling some blood dripping from it.
Pan punched with her right, which Raditz caught with his left...
A knee to his groin made him nearly forced him off his feet, though he soon saw himself being tossed head-first into a tree by Pan's arm.
"You..." began Goku in amazement. "You actually landed a hard hit on him."
Piccolo was just as shocked.
"She... she managed to hurt him."
His head poking through the tree, Raditz then tore himself out, though his right hand still tended to his neck. Pan had punched at the tree, Raditz barely ducking in time. He tripped her with his legs, but then saw that in spite of this, she rotated herself in midair facing him still.
Her fist swung at his right cheek, this time drawing some blood and leaving a bruise.
"Keep going, but whatever you do, don't hit his scouter!" cautioned the Supreme Kai of Time.
She adjusted her two-legged kick, striking the right side of his face, hitting his forehead and making his cheek bruise even more noticeable.
This time, he was knocked through the entire tree, tearing through it before stopping himself with both hands: he finally let go of his neck wound.
"You... you struck my neck... made me, a Saiyan, bleed."
With a look of fury, he zoomed straight for Pan.
"You wretched human!"
Pan got herself ready for his assault and kept up with her right arm, moving it rapidly to block, as well as ducking and hopping over high and low strikes.
Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan all watched this transpire: Pan looked to be turning the tables against Raditz in that moment.
"If she's overpowering Raditz..."
"That would appear to be the case, but she won't keep this up for long."
The initial fury Pan unleashed was starting to slow: she was doing all this work with just one arm while her opponent still had two healthy arms to work with.
Raditz took notice of this as well, seeing her left arm was not participating. His frustration in the face of her attacks turned to focus as his left hand gripped her right tightly and pulled it away from her.
She saw his right poised for a chop and, without time to avoid it, went for a block with her left.
Just realizing what she was doing, she felt the full impact to her left arm and even her left shoulder.
Not only had that chop struck the wound, causing it to bleed further, but it practically dislocated her left arm, robbing it of all feeling save for the pain.
Pan could barely stand, gripping her left even tighter than before.
"Thought you could get away with that, did you?!"
Raditz, seeing his right palm still covered with blood from his neck, approached her slowly.
"I'll make you pay for that ten times over!"
From their screen, the two figures saw Raditz going all-out on Pan, whom was in no position to guard effectively, taking blow after blow.
"See? It was only temporary. Now Raditz will show the Time Patrol just what happens to those who interfere with our work."
With a clothesline-esque swing, Pan was slammed down onto her back. Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan saw the extent of the beating so far: her cape was torn to shreds, her jacket and shirt had several tears, and her bare knees were exposed through holes in her pants.
She looked up at Raditz standing to her side, looking down at her, his anger still prevalent, but his cocky attitude returning to him: he was waiting for her instead of just attacking outright.
"Pan, get out of there, now!" shouted Trunks.
"Trunks, you know she can't do that!" the Supreme Kai of Time shouted back. "If she does, Raditz might follow her, and you know what that would mean!"
"She's right, Trunks." began Pan, trying to speak as calmly as she could even in her condition. "Every second he's focused on me buys Grandpa, Piccolo, and my dad time to win this."
She made her way back up to Raditz's amusement. Pan went for a kick to his neck, but he took hold of her leg, then swung her downward, knocking her onto her side. He grabbed hold of Pan by her left arm, practically dragging her off the ground and holding her out in front of him eye-to-eye.
Pan moved her right hand...
...and it was caught by Raditz before she could even think of where to strike.
With another knee to her stomach, equal to the one that hit her before, Pan should've gone flying, but was reeled back by Raditz's arms pulling her back.
He released Pan's arms and grabbed hold of both sides of her head, then pulled her in his direction while readying the same knee.
Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan at first could only guess as to the impact of the hit until they saw something scatter to the ground. Gohan, in particular, was in dismay at this.
Upon the knee striking her, Pan not only felt a pain in her jaw, as well some blood leaving her mouth...
...but saw a few of her teeth flying out.
Raditz grabbed hold of her by her shoulders, then hovered off the ground with her before moving his head backward. A mighty headbutt sent her back to the ground, further bruising on her forehead and nose.
"Supreme Kai of Time, we can't just stand here! She's getting killed out there!"
"You and I both know what will happen if we get her out now or if you interfere."
"How can you be calm at a time like this?! Just look at her!"
Trunks would never talk to the Supreme Kai of Time like this, but the sight of Pan in this state made him forgo his normal formalities.
"I don't enjoy this, Trunks!" shouted back the Supreme Kai of Time before recomposing herself. "But there's too much at stake. All we can do is help her from here."
Raditz looked down at her once again, gesturing with his hand.
Pan lied, seeing a few of her teeth lying next to her in the crater.
"A few loose teeth and you're done, is that it?"
He turned back towards his family members.
"Then I guess I'll just let you lick your wounds while I deal with Kakarot."
It was a struggle just to try lifting herself up with one arm, but the thought of what Raditz was going to do to them...
"I won't let him hurt them anymore!"
She ran towards him for a right punch, but he easily sidestepped it, then grabbed her by the back of her head.
"Leave her alone, Raditz!" Goku shouted. "This is between you and me!"
He forced her head face-first into the ground.
"She chose to get involved, brother."
Raditz placed his boot onto the side of her head, just barely holding back enough from stepping on her with all his might.
"And now she has to learn the price for interference."
"Damn it all!" shouted Trunks. "If only Raditz' hadn't have avoided Gohan's blow..."
"Could my dad do it again?" Pan asked.
Trunks had to think on this quickly, but then...
"He just needs the proper motivation to unleash his rage."
"I have an idea. It's all I've got now..."
Pan decided to take a play from her grand-uncle's playbook.
"Raditz, please stop...!"
He stopped for a moment, hearing her speak for the first time, as well as referring to him by name.
"I'll... I'll never interfere again. I swear it to you. Please, I beg you... let me live."
She already had enough tears in her eyes to sell it.
"Please... I don't want to die."
He took his foot off of her, and Pan turned towards Gohan, then as he was in her sight...
A stomp to her back.
"You hear that, Kakarot?! How easily these Earthlings give up?!"
Gohan was terrified at everything: seeing his father in such a poor state, this mysterious green man missing an arm, and this girl who had just saved him earlier being beaten and tortured before him.
"Their weakness has rubbed off on you, brother... made you puny like them."
And yet, there Pan was, looking right at Gohan. She pointed at him with her right hand, then was mouthing something with her lips. He tried making out what she was trying to say.
Gohan was positive she was addressing him, then saw her pointing upward at Raditz.
"I may have been a disappointment to my father, but you... you are a stain on our race."
Pan pointed back to Gohan, then, as she mouthed four words, pointed back at Raditz.
"You can do it."
The four year old didn't know if he could do anything at this point: as far as it looked, Raditz avoided him before and was a match for everyone around him.
"You, like this Earthling..."
A ball of ki held from his hand began searing at Pan's back.
"Will learn your place in the universe before you d..."
Another angry shout from Gohan.
Raditz saw his nephew flying towards him once again, and moved to the side once more...
But something kept him from moving: Pan had gripped his tail with her hand.
"She lied to me... like I lied to Kakarot..."
As he contemplate this, with a tug, Pan pulled Raditz back in Gohan's direction.
Gohan's headbutt not only damaged his Saiyan chestpiece, but critically injured him as well. He could only stagger backwards, grasping his chest area.
Pan looked over to see if Gohan was okay, seeing him hit the ground once more with his eyes closed.
"Gohan!" shouted Goku.
"Don't worry, Pan," the Supreme Kai of Time reassured. "Your father's just unconscious."
Raditz managed to stop and turned around towards Gohan.
"I'll kill you... and everyone on this planet when I'm done with your son."
As one hand still gripped his chest, the other charged.
"No more playing around. Now he dies!"
Goku gripped Raditz with a full nelson, throwing off his aim as the blast fired far from Gohan.
The Namekian heard Goku's cry for help and stood ready.
"Now's your chance! Your attack... do it!"
A grin went over Piccolo's face, possibly at the idea of getting the chance to eliminate two of his enemies at once.
"Goku, you surprise even me..."
Somehow, in spite of the beatings Goku took and the fact he didn't even have his tail, Raditz couldn't seem to break free from his younger brother's grip.
"Kakarot... you'll kill us both! Let me go and I'll do anything... anything!"
Goku had learned from his mistake: Raditz would promise anything to live, but the second he would be free, he'd be back to his cruel self. Raditz's words fell on deaf ears.
"This is your last chance, Raditz..."
The purple aura covered only Raditz's legs as he began to float straight upward, Goku still grabbing onto him.
Piccolo couldn't believe it.
"Damn it... I can't hit him on the move."
Pan was barely crouched over seeing this.
"Is this part of history?"
"Another change," answered Trunks. "A last-ditch effort, I'm sure of it. Raditz can't get away."
"What to do... what to do..."
Hitting Raditz with a blast seemed too risky: it could also hit Goku as well, possibly causing him to lose his grip.
She could try a one-handed Kamehameha to propel herself up to him... but she had no guarantee she could pull it off successfully.
She pushed herself off the ground onto her feet, trying as hard as she could to keep her balance while looking up and anticipating where Raditz would be.
Piccolo looked over at her, seeing a glow in her feet.
He could see her shoes beginning to sear.
A Kamehameha from her feet launched her upward rapidly towards Raditz, who looked down in shock. She raised her right hand outward in a fist, which collided into the cracks in Raditz's armor.
As Pan zoomed past him after the hit, Raditz couldn't fly any higher, only keeping himself afloat. He saw Goku gritting his teeth.
"Kakarot, now don't...!"
And with all the rest of his might, Goku forced Raditz back down towards the ground. The moment their four feet met the surface...
"Special Beam CANNON!"
Now with no more ki to spare, Pan fell downward, watching the beam flying through Raditz... and behind him...
Her grandfather falling backward, a hole in the center of his chest.
With a flash of white, Pan disappeared. As soon as she left...
The tree that had fallen over was back up and rooted to the ground. The torn bits of Pan's cape and her teeth were nowhere in sight. Even the small wound on the side of Raditz's neck vanished away.
Piccolo, after getting his kill, could only wonder...
"Who is that girl and where did she...?"
From there, the thought completely left his mind, as if she were never there. Instead, a more terrifying thought...
"There are two more Saiyans?"
"...and they'll be here in one year for your Dragon Balls... and your planet."
Raditz, even now when he was about to meet his own demise, taunted Piccolo with the dreadful knowledge of what was to come.
"Supreme Kai of Time, Pan's done it! History's restored."
"I'll send her back now."
The two watched as a white glow entered the center of the room...
...followed by Pan appearing and falling onto her back. Trunks was too late to stop that, but kept her head from hitting the floor.
He felt her neck with his hand for a pulse.
The Supreme Kai of Time gestured Trunks to the side as she placed her hands underneath Pan's head.
"I'll watch over her. Go get help."
Trunks flew out of the room quickly as she saw Pan's partially open mouth with a few teeth missing.
"Someone made Raditz strong enough to do this. Please... please don't be who I think it is..."
One of the figures angrily slammed their staff into the ground.
"Damn that stupid Saiyan! I gave him more than enough power to beat them..."
"If I may..."
The taller figure waited as the shorter tried to calm down to better listen to what he had to say in response.
"Your formula gives them power and can alter their motives to an extent... but they are still themselves, their faults and all. In his case... his boastful nature and tendency to leave himself open."
The slender figure began to ponder.
"You're right, Mira. I should have realized Raditz was too poor a subject to carry this out."
"As for the next batch...?"
A burly bald Saiyan with facial hair and a shorter Saiyan with spiked hair emerged on their screen."If Raditz nearly killed her thanks to my experiment... she'll be no match for these two..."
Imminent Danger! Fighting Memories!
The Plaza of Time seemed somewhat crowded today for what seemed like a community gathering. Patrollers of all stripes, new and old, together.
Amura walked over to Hakusa, whom was cleaning her scouter's screen.
"You promised if I got stronger, you'd scan me again."
Hakusa finally finished scrubbing it with her glove, then placed it over her eye.
"Okay, here goes..."
A few seconds later and Amura eagerly awaited an answer.
"So... how strong am I now?"
Hakusa took off the scouter to show her...
"Not bad, but you've still got a way to go."
Amura seemed somewhat disappointed, but then chuckled as she recalled something...
"I almost forgot: you're way stronger because you're a Saiyan."
"This again? I've told you before, Amura, that there's more to it than just genetics. I started in the 10's too, you know."
"Oh, I'm not in the 10's anymore..."
Amura stood with her arms to her sides in human pride as Hakusa realized...
"Ah, you made it to the 20's? See? You're getting there."
"Just need a zenkai boost and I'd catch up to you in no time."
"Amura, you know, being a Saiyan isn't..."
"I NEED HELP OVER HERE!"
Both turned, immediately recognizing the voice coming from the Time Gate: Trunks. They were both caught off-guard by how panicked he was, as he always appeared and spoke in a reserved fashion.
Trunks, looking over at the horde of patrollers in front of him, looked over at those closest to him, including...
The Saiyan loner turned over to Trunks, accepting he had been picked.
"Whatever you need..."
Trunks ran back through the gate as Pima followed. Whatever conversations went on before went dead quiet as no one knew what to expect. Amura turned over to Hakusa, whom even as a Saiyan wasn't immune to the shock of the moment.
"Hakusa... do you know what's going on?"
"I don't... but I hope it's not what I think it is."
"But what do you think it could be?"
Hakusa couldn't even answer back, nor could she hide her concerned look.
Pima didn't take the time to marvel at the Time Nest and followed Trunks closely as they finally entered the library. He found he had been summoned for...
The Supreme Kai of Time still held Pan's head up off the floor as Trunks began lifting her up by her shoulders.
"Pima, I need you to help me keep her stable. Can't have too much movement."
He looked over at her, realizing why she was there.
"Out of all of us... they went with her to defend history?"
He looked back over at Trunks.
"Did you hear me?"
He got that out of his system and instead crouched down.
"Now when I say go, lift and keep her steady. Okay, and... go!"
Outside the Time Nest, Ziko remained by the gate, waiting for Trunks to return. As he caught a glance of his purple hair and his dark grey coat going through...
"EVERYONE BACK! Give them space!"
The patrollers backed up and as they saw Trunks appearing to be carrying someone, they began splitting up to create a clear path to the medical area.
"Double time, Pima!"
As they made their way out of the gateway area towards their intended destination, the crowd finally got a clear look at...
"That girl! The one that was found here!"
"That means... she's the one going on the big missions!"
Amura couldn't believe her eyes.
"Pan... she's the one?"
Hakusa couldn't even speak.
"I was afraid this would happen... and now it has."
The secret was out: that day forward, everyone in Toki Toki City knew Pan was the patroller who did the biggest missions for the Supreme Kai of Time.
The Supreme Kai of Time sat at her table next to her living quarters in the Time Nest. The cup of tea next to her, which she heated for herself earlier, was cold and untouched. Even as a kai, her hands were shaking at the thought of recent events.
"Supreme Kai of Time!"
She turned to see Trunks approaching her.
"How is she?"
"Pan's stable and healing. Should be just a day longer."
While this should have been comforting to her, the Supreme Kai of Time could barely keep her head up to Trunks, seeing her reflection in the surface of her beverage.
Trunks took notice of this and crouched down to the side of her.
"She's a fighter. Pan'll get through this, and when she does..."
"It was too close, Trunks. TOO close. Had she been just short of that last hit..."
She got up from her seat, the crouching Trunks still slightly taller.
"This shouldn't have gone this way. She was more than a match for Piccolo. She should've been on Raditz's level, but someone enhanced him. And now I fear this is only the beginning of something worse."
Trunks took in her concerns and tried pondering.
"First, we have to wait for Pan to recover. From there, we have to prepare her for whatever's next. And I do think we should try finding out who’s behind this."
Both thought on the last matter Trunks brought up. Both knew the Time Patrol didn't have many enemies. As far as Trunks knew, no one else came about from his time travel. As for the Supreme Kai of Time...
"There's one suspect, but he should be locked away. It should be impossible for him to act this way."
"So that leaves... could it actually be T...?"
They were interrupted by the large owl flying towards them carrying a scroll in its talons. The Supreme Kai of Time shot straight up out of her seat infuriated at it.
"HEY! What did I tell you about taking scrolls out of there?!"
It dropped the scroll in her hands, and as she opened it, her expression went from composed worry to complete dread.
Trunks looked at it as well, seeing the scroll starting to faintly glow a purple hue.
"No... no, not now..."
"It's already starting, Trunks..."
As she lied in the hospital bed, Pan's mind wandered backwards past her teenage years and her childhood to a memory from when she was just three.
Her father pointed over towards a large patch of dirt, where a figure was slowly pushing a large rock in front of him.
"It's your uncle Goten."
Nearby stood Master Roshi, who watched as the sixteen year old sweated profusely with his efforts. Seeing both the hard work his pupil had showcased, as well as the two approaching members of his pupil's family, he put his hand out to signal him to stop.
"You've earned yourself a breather. Plus... family to see you."
Goten looked over, seeing Gohan in his scholarly attire and glasses.
And next to him, Pan, who was wearing a white shirt and dark green overalls.
He approached, reaching out to Gohan for a hug, whom hugged back in spite of his younger brother's sweated orange gi.
"What are you two doing here?!"
A chuckle broke out between the two brothers.
"We wanted to see how you were."
Goten took his dedication to martial arts so seriously he had basically lived under Master Roshi's roof. Not only had he forgone going to high school, but he had been away for several years.
Pan lightly tugged on Goten's pants to get his attention.
"Do you live here?"
Goten pat her on the head.
He then turned around upon hearing two heels approaching behind Gohan.
"Long time no see, Videl."
She was somewhat surprised at the young man Goten had grown into. He was only seven years old when he and Trunks used the disguise of Mighty Mask to enter the adult division of the World Martial Arts tournament. Videl had been paired up with them for their very first match.
Goten had only met her a few times prior to that tournament, and even then, she seemed to be a novice with ki. He and Trunks didn't think less of her for it, but they were both children going in thinking they'd win this match, maybe even the whole tournament, with ease.
By the time they realized they needed to take it seriously, Videl had landed a vital kick, tearing through the uniform. At first, she was terrified, as if she had kicked through an entire person and didn't even feel much effort in doing so. Soon after, she caught a glimpse of Goten's hair and face with two legs hanging behind it.
After being exposed and fleeing from the tournament, Goten accepted he and Trunks overestimated themselves and that they should always fight seriously. If there ever was another bout between them, he wouldn't make the same mistake.
As both recalled that memory, they were interrupted when they realized they didn't see Pan near them. The brief panic subsided once they saw her in front of the rock Goten was pushing. She looked over at Master Roshi, her hands ready to push it.
"Can I try?"
"That's up to your parents, little one."
As former fighters, Gohan and Videl both knew she was curious what she could do. While at first hesitant, they both decided it was better she test her strength in their presence.
"Okay," began Videl. "But don't push yourself too hard."
With permission granted, Pan finally began trying to shove the rock forward as hard as she could...
...but it didn't budge. Her shoes dug into the dirt as she tried to muster more and more to do what Goten had done before her.
"Take it easy, Pan," said Gohan. He didn't know how strong she would be at three, but all the same, he didn't want her to overdo it and hurt herself.
Sweat dripped down from her forehead and arms and Pan's teeth clenched together as she gave one more push. The three adults and Goten watched as Pan finally fell onto her knees, barely catching herself with her hands...
...and the rock moved. Not even an inch, but it was moved all the same. Pan's feat astounded all four of them, but especially her mother. If Pan had done this already with no training, Videl could only imagine what Pan could do as she grew.
Not just that, but Videl was rather curious about her own strength, perhaps the first time since before marrying Gohan.
The turtle hermit already had an idea of what Videl was about to ask and nodded to her.
"Hold these for me, dear."
Videl had taken off her heels and handed them to Gohan, who was only half-surprised with his wife. Videl was incredibly determined when he first met her and when they fought in the tournament, so this wasn't entirely out of left field.
Pan, trying to catch her breath, saw her mother coming up to her and the rock.
Videl got into pushing position, then looked down at her daughter.
"Let me help, Pan."
Pan nodded to her as they both shoved forward.
Goten couldn't believe it...
The rock shoved at a much faster rate, almost as fast as him earlier. Videl still felt much strain doing this, but it was almost counteracted by her amazement at her own strength.
At last, they both stopped, each leaning on the rock to stand up. Gohan crouched down in front of Pan.
"Good job, Pan."
Then he turned to his wife.
"Great work, both of you."
Goten was in awe. He remembered an old video of Hercule pulling four buses, but always figured it was just a stunt. Now that he had seen Videl almost match his feat, he not only knew that Hercule's strength was immense for a human, but that Videl's could be even greater.
"Well done," applauded Master Roshi.
Until he had begun training Goten, Roshi hadn't trained any pupils since Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha were younger. Seeing the wife and daughter of Gohan's display of strength, an idea came to him.
"How would you three like to join Goten and I in training?"
Goten actually seemed excited, both at the idea of having training partners, as well as the idea of working out with his brother again like they used to 11 years ago.
"I appreciate the offer..." began Gohan. "But I'm afraid I'll have to pass."
His younger brother turned to him, pleading him to change his mind.
"But bro, you're the greatest fighter I'll ever know."
"I'm sorry Goten, but my time for fighting has passed. I'm a scholar now and I have a wife and child to take care of."
Goten turned to Master Roshi, trying to get him to turn the tide.
"I'm afraid it's Gohan's choice, and he's more than earned it. All we can do is respect his wishes."
Even in spite of his teenage mind, Goten finally accepted it and tried recomposing himself.
"Just know that you three will always be welcome to become students."
"Wait just a minute here..." Videl cut in. "I didn't say no."
Gohan turned to her, gulping to try to hide his nervousness.
"Honey, are you sure..."
"Yes. I can train and watch Pan. You've got nothing to worry about."
As much as Gohan tried to think of something else to say, he knew his wife made up her mind and he wasn't about to get her to change her mind. She could tell by his expression that he wasn't about to get into any further argument with her.
"Master Roshi..." addressed Videl, approaching him and then bowing in as respectful a manner as she could. "I would be honored to train under you."
Roshi tapped her on the shoulder with his cane, signaling her that she could stand up.
"Your father Hercule is certainly no slouch, but he has never been one for ki. You, however, I can teach to master it. And given time, you will far surpa..."
Little Pan interrupted and was leaning on his cane.
"Yes, little one?"
"Can I... try too?"
Videl may have wanted to train, but even she wasn't sure about having her three year old daughter training so young.
"Pan, I don't think..."
She paused the moment Pan made her eyes as big as she could.
She turned to Gohan to see what he thought they should do in that circumstance.
"Honey, we both know she's just as stubborn as you are."
She grinned at her husband, then pat Pan on the head.
"Okay, Pan. If that's what you want to do."
Gohan looked over at his watch.
"Shoot! I've got a conference to catch. I'm not sure I can drop you two off at the house in..."
But he knew they were both happy where they were.
"You have nothing to worry about, Gohan..." reassured Roshi. "They're welcome to stay a few nights if you'd like."
As he got ready to step back towards their car, he pointed over at Videl and Pan.
"Just don't do anything too crazy, okay?"
Videl nodded while Pan tried gesturing with her hand.
"Don't you worry, bro..."
Goten snuck up behind his older brother and slammed his hand onto his shoulder.
"I'll watch out for them."
Gohan pat him on the shoulder in return.
"I really appreciate that, Goten."
"It's already starting, Trunks. Even if Pan were to wake up right this second fully healed, it would be impossible for her to survive this battle, zenkai or no zenkai."
After the Supreme Kai of Time made her point crystal clear, Trunks had to face the facts.
"She's right. Raditz powered up beyond his limits almost cost Pan her life... and her opponents here not only outclass Raditz, but if given the same power-up, would be leagues above. As she is now, she'd stand no chance."
He desperately tried to think of a way around this.
"...'as she is right now.' Wait... that's it!"
"Is there any way you can delay the change? Slow it down to a crawl?"
"I'd have to give it my full attention... but I could do that."
"How long could you halt its progress?"
"At best ...a week."
His frustration was hardly concealed already, but after hearing this, Trunks turned his back to the Supreme Kai of Time knowing he couldn't hide it anymore. He tried muttering as quietly to himself out loud as he could.
But the Supreme Kai of Time still heard him and already he lamented not saying it in his head.
"Look, I'm sorry Trunks, truly I am, but if I do any more than that, I'll be completely drained and that'll threaten this whole city."
Someone entered into the Time Nest, but his entrance and presence went undetected in the moment as Trunks turned back to the Supreme Kai of Time.
"I didn't mean it. I just... I brought her here to defend time and now with this change to history coming already, all I can do is lead her to the slaughter."
The Supreme Kai of Time looked over to see the man approaching, but Trunks was too caught up with what he was saying to notice.
"The enemy has us in the worst spot possible: days to train that will do nothing to win this battle to protect history. I just feel so... hopeless."
He finally noticed a familiar figure's shadow and turned to see...
He gave a respectful bow to the Supreme Kai of Time, then to Trunks as well.
"Forgive my intrusion. I arrived to update you on matters, but I just overheard you two discussing the current situation."
"I might have a solution. It won't be easy and it'll take most of the city's power to do it... but it's the best shot we have."
"What do you have in mind?"
Four year old Pan, donning an orange gi, chopped at the air while Videl watched over her in similar attire.
They had been training with Master Roshi, as well as Goten, over the course of a year as often as they could. While they never quite spent an entire week there since they didn't want to leave Gohan by himself at home, there were times where they were so in tune with the training that they stayed over instead of flying back.
Tomorrow was going to be a big day for Videl: the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. Ten years ago in the 25th, she had just discovered ki and was only beginning to dabble with it. But now thanks to Roshi's tutelage, Videl's basic understanding of it had more than evolved.
In spite of pleading to join it, Pan was told by both her parents that she had to wait until she was older. While disappointed, she still kept at her training all the same and was excited to see how her mother would do.
She stopped what she was doing and faced Master Roshi while Goten did the same nearby.
"What is it, Mister Roshi?"
"You've both made much progress. Now it's time to see first-hand."
He pointed over to one of two makeshift rings and Goten and Pan both knew what he had in mind. Little Pan looked upward at her uncle.
"Please don't go easy on me. Fight me at your best, okay?"
Goten crouched down to her level and nodded to her.
"You got it, Pan."
As Pan turned back towards the ring, he turned over to Videl and winked to her, signaling he wouldn't go too far in their spar. Videl, meanwhile, had been called over to the ring next door by Roshi.
"You, Videl, have a simple task: hit me."
The four stood, three of them waiting for Roshi to give the signal to begin...
A stamp of his cane on the ground could be felt by everyone nearby: all three knew that it was time.
As her mother swung and kicked at Roshi, whom swerved to avoid them or moved his limbs to block them, Pan found her efforts against Goten being met with the same results: nothing landing thus far.
Goten knew from his training with her that Pan packed a punch for one so young and small. Even as he appeared to guard her with ease, he knew her hits would leave a mark if he let his guard down. But he knew he had to get on the offensive at some point and leapt backward into the air.
Pan pursued him on foot, then saw her uncle crashing down with a chop. She blocked it, the hard dirt floor beneath her cracking after the impact. She could barely hold back his one hand with both arms, but as partially frustrated as she was, she got exactly what she asked for: Goten challenging her.
He swept, forcing her to hop upward, where she saw a fist coming right for her. She blocked, but was still sent flying backward...
...right in the middle of Videl and Roshi's spar. Both caught a glimpse of her from the corner of their eyes. By the time they did, they were too caught up to move out of the way...
Except Pan didn't collide with either: she was floating in midair right between them. She didn't remain long and flew back, not wanting to keep Goten waiting.
After Roshi ensured she made it back to her ring, he realized Videl had just been standing there.
"You waited for me. Why didn't you go for a hit?"
"It would've been poor sportsmanship."
As much as Videl saw the opportunity, she didn't think it fair to take advantage of the interruption to achieve that goal.
"Good," replied Roshi, adjusting his sunglasses, then putting his hand out to her. "Now hit me."
During this conversation, Pan flew right into a guarding Goten with a flurry of punches. The first forced him off his foot, then the rest made him float backward as Pan continued forward. The ring they stood in before appeared to shrink as the two continued flying farther away.
Roshi stopped a sweeping leg with his cane, then rotated it to block an elbow. What Roshi initially assumed to be a claw-like strike coming for his forehead instead took hold of his cane's handle, Videl's other hand charging with ki.
He ducked from the ki blast, but then found himself being lifted off his feet by a two-handed hoist of his cane. As she swung Roshi and his cane downward towards the ground, he let go of it and bounced off the ground with his hands. As she pursued him, Videl tossed his cane outside the ring.
Goten decided it was time to return and pushed Pan back with a thrust of air. He zoomed back to the ring, then as he turned his head, saw Pan raising a fist toward him, and readied his own...
In the same instance Pan struck Goten on the cheek, she too was. Goten remained standing where he was while Pan was struck out of the ring.
Videl could practically feel this happen nearby and her first instinct would've been to leap out of the ring right then and there, but she knew Roshi would stop her before she could. To that end, she struck harder and faster. Seconds later, one blow glanced off his fist, the next snuck under his arm, and then a swerving kick towards his face failed to hit his nose...
...but put a crack in the center of his sunglasses. Videl, not even realizing this, went for another kick until she saw the two halves of the glasses fall downward, exposing the eyes they hid.
He pulled out another pair of sunglasses to replace the fallen one.
"Go on. Tend to your daughter."
With his permission, Videl ran over towards Pan, whom covered one of her cheeks with her hand and was being tended to by Goten.
"I'm sorry, Videl. I didn't mean to..."
Videl moved Pan's hand, revealing only a bruise. Pan smiled back at him.
"That's okay, Uncle Goten."
The three turned to Roshi, whom congratulated them all for their efforts. Just then, he saw a tiny cut on Goten's face from the one punch Pan landed.
"Young Pan has only trained with me for a year, but like her uncle and parents, she has so much potential."
Even though it was the middle of the night, Pan found herself restless in the guest bedroom of the Kame House. She snuck out of bed, careful not to make a sound that would wake her mother.
As she made her way to the kitchen, she thought about maybe floating up to the counter and reaching into the cookie jar...
"Master, please reconsider..."
Goten speaking from outside.
"I told you I would not change my mind about this."
Roshi as well. She slowly walked towards the opened front doorway.
"But I've improved so much..."
"Yes, you have... but my decision still stands."
She hid behind the door, the breeze hitting her face as she could better hear the heated argument.
"What is this about, Master? I've done everything you've asked. I've followed all the rules you've laid out. So why can't I enter the tournament tomorrow?"
"You're far stronger than your father was at your age... and that is the problem."
"The problem is that I'm too powerful?"
"Your power comes from genetics! As naturally gifted as your father was when we first met, he still endured tough training before I allowed him to proceed. My training simply hasn't pushed you as much as it pushed him."
"The tournament wouldn't be a challenge, so I'm not going, is that it? You never did that for my father."
"You're right, I didn't. But it has to be this way."
Goten had always tried to be respectful towards his father's old master and mindful of what he had to say, but in that moment...
"This isn't fair, Roshi!"
He raised his voice and pointed right at Roshi, who didn't take this lightly, pointing his cane right between his eyes.
"Mind your tongue!"
As both waited for one of them to escalate things further...
...both heard a sneeze from behind the door. Pan had tried to cover the noise with her hands, but she realized soon after that her cover was blown. She slowly revealed herself, acting inquisitive about the situation.
"Are you two okay?"
With young Pan in their presence, both faced her, changing their expressions to happy ones and with one arm over the other's shoulder.
"Oh yes, of course. Master Roshi and I were just..."
He looked over to his master, then back to Pan, trying to keep the same look and tone.
"Pan, I'm afraid we won't be going to the tournament tomorrow."
She was somewhat surprised at this.
"Goten and I have very important errands to run."
"Well, you know, Pan... martial arts errands."
"Don't worry: we'll still be able to drop you and your mother off at the tournament."
The flimsy excuses were obvious to her adult self now, but as a kid, she bought it entirely.
"Now go on to bed, Pan. Wouldn't want you sleeping through your mother's matches tomorrow, now would we?"
"Okay, Mister Roshi."
There Pan was with friends and family watching the tournament. The first few matches almost seemed to blur together in her memory, but she definitely recalled the semi-final match.
A large man with a mustache and braided ponytail brought his fists down onto Videl, but she stopped them with her wrists. Even then, she seemed to struggle with keeping them upward for long.
Worried, Pan shouted from the crowd.
"Come on, you can do it, Mom!"
Videl's opponent began to grin, believing himself to have the strength advantage and just seconds from bringing her down. Videl, gritting her teeth, tried lifting one of her legs off the ground.
By the time her opponent saw what she was doing, she kneed him in the chest. This allowed her to better redirect his arms, then trip one of his legs. Off-balance, Videl managed a punch to his face, knocking him onto his back.
"That's it, Mom!"
Once the man got back up, he jumped upward in her direction. Seeing this, Videl stepped backward, but suddenly fell onto her back.
Now confident in victory, he went for a falling double axe chop. Pan was terrified at the sight of this.
"No, no, no... WATCH OUT!"
She almost covered her eyes when she saw Videl putting her palms on the ground behind her, then lifting herself off the ground. Just as her opponent realized this...
He was struck by two feet to his stomach, forcing him off his feet. Flipping herself backward, Videl launched him outside the ring, where his back struck the wall below the spectators.
"The winner by ring out... Videl!"
Pan hopped upward, ecstatic and clapping her hands until Gohan caught her.
"She did it, Dad! Mom did it!"
"Indeed, she did."
He sat down with her on his lap as the final match was underway. Bulla, sitting on Bulma's lap next to Gohan, was also excited at what she did.
"Wow, Pan. Your Mom is awesome."
She realized her mother was right there.
"Uh... you're awesome too, Mom."
Bulma thought nothing of the earlier comment and put her arms around Bulla to keep her still. Gohan realized a seat between Bulma and the teenage Trunks was still empty.
"So... Vegeta got held up?"
"I told him he could come if he wanted. I suppose... even now, it's just so hard on him to be here."
Young Pan didn't know the context, though adult Pan understood it perfectly now.
"And now for the final match. First up, our savior against Cell and the champion of four consecutive tournaments..."
A familiar set of boots hopped into the arena.
In the time between first becoming champion and holding the title three more times, his afro began to bald slightly. Even then, he still kept the same poise while the crowd shouted "Hercule" repeatedly.
"And his challenger: the champion of the 24th Junior Division and who had not been seen in the ring since the 25th tournament until today. Hercule's very own daughter..."
Pan's mother jumped into the ring in similar fashion.
She turned to see her husband and daughter cheering her on, then looked back to her father.
"This marks the very first finale between a parent and their child. This will be a match for the ages."
Hercule didn't appear nervous at being her opponent, but instead appeared prideful: his daughter beat the odds and made it to the finals.
He gave her his full attention even as the crowd continued chanting his name.
"Let's both fight at our best. No holding back."
"I couldn't agree more."
As Videl and Hercule both got into position for their bout, Pan turned to her dad looking somewhat unsure.
"Will Mom be okay? Grandpa Hercule beat Grandpa Goku, right?"
Trunks budged in.
"What? That fight was completely...!"
He received a glare from his mother and quickly changed his tone.
"I mean... the battle between those two was absolutely amazing. I hope this one's just as incredible."
Gohan put both his hands over Pan's shoulders.
"If your Grandpa Hercule's that strong, I think your mother's pretty strong herself."
Videl took on a stance based on her time with Master Roshi as Hercule had both his arms flowing in front of him.
As they sprinted towards each other, Hercule and Videl filtered out all the noise around them: they might as well have been fighting in complete silence.
Once they arrived at the center of the ring, they both took a step forward with their left legs, then readied their right fists for a swing. Both landed the blow as intended, but also received a hit to the face.
"Our first hits of the match: two simultaneous punches!"
Both remained on their feet and swerved to the side, preparing for an immediate counter-attack. A chop by Hercule and a knee by Videl, followed by a haymaker and roundhouse kick. None of them landed as they anticipated each other's moves.
Changing tactics, Hercule ran in for a grapple, but saw Videl jump right over him. As she turned in midair for a downward kick, Hercule grabbed hold of her leg and swung her downward. Before the impact, she landed on her hands first, then flipped backward towards the edge of the ring.
Both wiped off sweat from their brow, then grinned to each other before cracking their necks.
"With neither landing a blow, what could they be planning next?"
They remained standing still...
"Wait, where did they go?!"
The announcer lost track of them.
"I think I see them!"
For a split-second, the two could be seen throwing out rapid punches. Then they were gone again in a flash. There they were on the other side rapidly kicking, but disappeared once more.
"We've never seen Hercule or Videl fight this fast before. They're too fast for me to even keep up."
The crowd tried turning their heads, following the sounds of the two battling, only to hardly see any trace of them.
As for the Z-Fighters, they could keep up with their movements. Even when they didn't see them directly, they could sense where they traveled in the brief intermissions between clashes.
"I didn't think Hercule could move that fast," began Gohan.
"But wait..." questioned Pan. "He had to be really fast to beat Grandpa Goku."
Gohan quickly caught what he said and immediately changed his stance.
"Oh, of course your Grandpa Hercule was, but..."
He had to think of something and something fast.
"I think he's moving even faster than he did then."
This comment further excited Pan.
"Wow, really? Then Mom's faster than Grandpa Goku too."
Gohan turned Pan's head back towards the ring.
"Right. Now let's keep watching."
No further questions came from the inquisitive four year old, who focused intently on her mother.
"...faster than a Super Saiyan. Amazing."
Just then, both were plainly visible in the center of the ring, having landed and recieved a punch to the gut. Both stepped backward, one hand covering where they were struck and the other still battle-ready.
Unknown to Pan, but when Videl was younger, around the time she first met Gohan, she believed her father to be slacking off and only getting by on his reputation alone. When she entered the 25th World Martial Arts tournament, she wanted to dethrone him from his title herself, only to be eliminated.
But now, her view on her father had changed entirely: the Hercule she fought was like the same man she saw fight with everything he had to win the 24th tournament. He didn't let his skills wane by lying on the couch watching his old fights or looking at magazines. In that moment, Videl had gained newfound respect for Hercule.
Five minutes passed...
"We're passed the five minute mark and so far, Hercule hasn't attempted his Megaton Punch or Dynamite Kick."
The crowd couldn't figure out the reason, but the Z-Fighters and Videl knew: Hercule was fighting seriously, not showboating.
A kick struck Videl near her forehead. She felt a small drip of blood coming from her eyebrow, but she focused, guarding against a follow-up kick with her wrists. She grabbed onto his foot, then managed to rotate Hercule, sending him spinning onto the ground.
A right hook hit Hercule near the jaw. He rolled out of the way of a punch that left a small dent in the arena's tile floor, then swung his leg to trip Videl. She flipped backward, leaving Hercule to realize his lip had a small bruise.
Another five minutes passed...
Hercule's robe had never been close to any disrepair in a match: his sleeves were beginning to tear and one of his shoulders poked out of it. His cheek took on a very noticable dark purple hue and he scrubbed a dab of blood from his nose with his wrist.
Videl's uniform didn't look as damaged by comparison, but her arms were covered in spots from where Hercule had struck and she had a black eye beginning to form. She had her hand on her nose, which had felt better, then felt a scar forming on her cheek.
"We're now over ten minutes into the finals and both Hercule and Videl have taken and dished out a lot of punishment. I don't think we've ever seen them take more than just a few hits like this before."
Seeing Videl approach him, Hercule began moving his arms in a circle. Once Videl punched at him, he used one to catch her hand, and the other to go for one of his own. Videl caught this intended strike and the two vyed to free their trapped fists. The two gritted their teeth, trying to push one another back.
Pan couldn't tell that Gohan was getting nervous watching this play out. He knew Videl and Hercule would go all out, but he didn't expect to see the two in the states they were in.
Hercule stomped forward, then slipped free just quick enough to strike her side. Both went for a sweeping kick right after and felt a pain in their leg, then themselves landing on their backs.
Both hit the ground with their elbows, then made their way back to their feet.
Ten minutes passed...
The torn shoulder of Hercule's robe now exposed his entire chest, whose bruises were only partially hidden by his chest hair. His forehead and chin were practically purple and his cheek may as well have been an inflated balloon. He just realized that two streaks of blood snuck behind his mustache.
Videl's shoulder poked through her gi and one of her wristbands barely held on by a thread. In the midst of those ten minutes, she felt her nose partially bent and the black eye puffed up, half-blinding her.
"Twenty minutes and both are still standing. How much longer can they keep this up?"
Even Pan finally began to notice just how beat up her mother and grandfather were.
"Dad... are they going to be okay?"
"Of course, honey."
Hercule and Videl charged. Unlike before, they didn't appear to be trying to account for their opponent's movement or to sidestep: both were reaching their limits and just wanted to get in close. At this point, they weren't even blocking or trying to get out of the way.
A punch by Hercule. One by Videl. The two then threw out attacks quickly, only instead of matching and blocking one another, they all got through.
"I think we're close, folks. Hercule and Videl are now on their last legs, trying to get the knockdown first."
A simultaneous punch to each other's chests send both rocketing back.
"They're both flying backwards! Could this lead to a ring out?"
Both knew they would hit the ground outside the ring if they didn't stop themselves now. Videl put her hand out to grab onto the ground, her fingers scratching into the tile. Hercule tried grabbing onto the tile, but to no effect.
"No, no, no...!"
From the corner of his eye, the dent Videl made from punching the ground earlier. He desperately reached for it even as his feet were already dangling outside of the ring.
Both came to a complete stop with Videl's hand having made a hole in the tile from how hard she dug into it and her knees having hit the ring's side. She knew if she let her legs stretch out now, they'd touch the ground below and she would be rung out.
Hercule stopped, but felt his feet scurrying to avoid tapping the ground. It almost looked like his legs were running in place in a cartoonish fashion.
Gohan peered forward with his glasses and thought he saw...
...just as Hercule climbed his way back into the ring...
"Hercule's back in the ring!"
...one of his boots touched a blade of grass.
He gently placed Pan onto her feet, then stood up.
"It's a ring out!"
The other crowd members looked over at Gohan in disbelief.
"You kiddin' me, pal?"
The announcer took notice and looked over at where Hercule was.
"Well, let's see..."
He looked to the grass for any noticable bend in the grass, but as far as he could tell...
"I'm afraid I don't see anything out of the ordinary, sir."
One crowd member turned towards Gohan from the row below him.
"You tryin' to be funny, Four Eyes?! Now shut yer trap or I'll shut it for you!"
Pan didn't take the insult towards her father lightly and floated over to the heckler, pulling him towards her with his shirt collar and raising a fist.
"Nobody talks to my daddy that way, you big bully!"
In spite of his obnoxious attitude earlier, the last thing this man expected was to be tugged with that much strength by a floating four year old. Gohan grabbed hold of her hand, then tried pulling her back.
"No, Pan! Let go!"
"Wait, folks! I don't think Videl can...!"
With a shout, Videl pulled herself upward, her knees still bent like before.
"No, Videl is still in it!"
Seeing this, Pan peered over towards the ring, finally loosening her grip enough for Gohan to pull her backward. He sat her down next to him and pointed to her.
"Pan, you can't do that to people."
"But he was mean to you!"
"Yes, but that doesn't mean..."
Just then, the man, utterly grateful for not receiving a punch earlier, reached out with his hand.
"I'm sorry, mister. I got carried away. I won't do it again."
Pan turned away, her arms crossed at this gesture, but Gohan shook his hand.
"Hope you and your little girl enjoy the rest of the match."
Videl didn't notice any of that transpire: she watched Hercule like a hawk with her eye. Hercule looked to be taking on a running start stance, though from below, his forehead was dripping sweat onto the tile. Videl matched it, also scrubbing her eye to keep sweat from it.
"I think they're both going for one final move here."
Both sprinted, almost giving off roars while doing so. Before they reached the center, they both hopped upward, their leg outstretched for a kick.
Hercule and Videl both took the full brunt of the force on their faces, spitting out while the shockwave traveled through their cheek.
They slammed to the ground with a hard landing.
"Oh my goodness, folks! Both Hercule and Videl are down, and I'm not seeing either of them getting back up."
Pan didn't like the looks of this at all.
"Oh, no... Mommy! Grandpa!"
Gohan held onto her close even as she began tearing up.
"It's okay, Pan. They're both going to be okay."
"We might have a double knockout here, so..."
He pointed upward, then to the ring.
Still no movement.
Videl's eyes opened up and she coughed.
She tried pushing herself upward, but could barely lift her back off the ground.
Putting her hand onto the ground, she pushed as hard as she could.
She finally stood back up.
"Videl's still in it, but no response from Hercule just yet."
She turned to see her father, still not moving one bit. After the announcer cleared his throat...
Hercule's eyes shot open.
He practically forced his upper body off the ground as he finally made it to his feet.
"Absolutely astounding! No matter how much punishment he takes, Hercule refuses to lose by countdown."
He seemed to struggle, nearly falling backward, but then he used his arms to lean forward. Videl always knew her father was a champion, but this... even now, her father still impressed her.
"You there, announcer!"
He turned to Hercule puzzled at his request.
"What is it, Mr. Satan?"
Videl kept waiting, knowing her father had taken a lot throughout their match and also not wanting to hit him unless he was ready to continue.
It was hard to tell for the crowd from that distance, but Hercule was breathing heavily. The announcer and Videl, however, could both see and hear him clearly.
He coughed for just a moment, covering his mouth with his wrist.
"Look, Mr. Satan, you're delaying the match."
"Right, right... just one sec..."
He put his hands over his knees, breathing heavily still.
"Videl... I am so proud of you."
Even while battle-ready, she blushed at this.
"I'm proud of you too, Dad."
The announcer was still trying to figure out what Hercule was doing.
"M... Mr. Satan?"
Hercule took a deep breath, then exhaled.
"I had a good run while it lasted..."
The announcer was finally running out of patience.
"Sir, are you still in the match?!"
He put his hand up.
"I cannot fight any longer. I forfeit the match."
A huge gasp came across everyone in the entire arena: Hercule Satan had given up.
"...and I retire."
An even louded gasp, followed by complete silence at what had transpired: he was done with fighting.
"Folks..." began the announcer, who tried to recompose himself. "Folks, the tournament has been decided. Our new martial arts champion of the world..."
He raised Videl's arm upward.
Thunderous applause poured from the crowd as Videl put her other hand up as well, a tear of joy falling from her eye: she had finally fulfilled her life-long dream.
Hercule pat her on the shoulder.
"You did it."
Once they had left the arena, Gohan and Pan ran over to Videl. As Gohan hugged her, Pan walked over to Hercule.
"You did good, Grandpa Hercule."
He pat her on the head.
"Thank you, Pan, but really, your mother deserves this moment."
Videl put both her hands out to her daughter.
She flew into Videl's arms, then felt Hercule and Gohan joining in on the hug.
"Videl," Hercule began. "You're the champ now."
Trunks and Commander Hale both waited for the Supreme Kai of Time to return to them. Both had much to consider regarding their plan in progress.
"Hale, can the training chamber handle it?"
"It will take a considerable amount of the city's power... but it can be done."
He caught Trunks inhaling and taking a deep breath.
"I should be in there with her. I know she'll be given the best help we can offer, but..."
Hale put a hand over Trunks' shoulder.
"We've trained her well, you in particular. She'll..."
The two of them heard several sets of footsteps approaching them. They saw the Supreme Kai of Time.
"Here they are!"
She moved to the side, showing the trio she had brought before Trunks and Hale. One of them decided to speak.
"You really the Trunks from the future?"
Trunks nodded back to the man that addressed him.
"So you've been here since the Cell Games, huh? How's your mother?"
Pan was now seven years old, walking hand-in-hand with her grandfather on her way to the 29th World Martial Arts Tournament.
"So Pan... you nervous about your mother?"
"Why? She's the strongest fighter on Earth."
In spite of his question, Hercule smiled back at her and pat her on the head.
Just then, she noticed her grandfather stopping in his tracks.
"What is it, Grandpa Hercule?"
She then saw what her grandfather saw: Roshi arguing with another older gentleman with teal hair and a black cap. She couldn't hear what they were talking about specifically, but she could tell from the tone and expressions that it wasn't pleasant.
"He's not a friend of Master Roshi."
"No, I don't believe he is."
Next to the man who looked like he had a crane on his head was a massive man in a green robe and hood.
"Is that the tall guy from the last tournament?"
"I'm not really sure, Pan. Maybe..."
Just then, the man turned towards Pan and Hercule, his face unfamiliar to her, but the goatee instantly recognizable to her grandfather."... Spo... Spopovich?"
Drastic Preparations! Spopovich's Quest!
"Ah, good. You're awake."
A male voice. Pan turned to her left, seeing a man with short white hair and a small strip on his chin. He was donned in teal attire and a white Time Patroller chestpiece.
"We were starting to worry. Granted, you were in worse shape when you first arrived here, but it was worrisome all the same."
She began to sit up, then saw tubes of some kind going into the top of her left hand. She then lifted up her sleeve, seeing only faint markings on her left arm from the damage Raditz had inflicted on her.
She felt her teeth for gaps from to any of them being missing, but everything felt in place.
"But these were... did you put them back?"
"It certainly seems that way...but no."
He handed her a tiny bottle. She looked at it and shook it, seeing and hearing individual teeth inside.
"The healing fluid grew teeth virtually identical to the ones lost."
Just then, the man put out his hand.
"Ah, my apologies. I haven't introduced myself. The name's Beetro. Medical professional."
As she shook his hand, Pan's eye was drawn to something behind Beetro: a tail of the same white color as his hair.
"He's a Saiyan... yet he's a doctor."
He could see the thoughts flowing through her upon the revelation.
"Ah, yes. You wouldn't think of a Saiyan for having a medicinal background."
"But Saiyans are a warrior race, raised to take over planets, right?"
She spoke the first thought she had on the matter:
"Did you receive an injury to your head like my grandfather?"
Once she spoke it, she caught just how presumptuous that sounded.
"I really just said that. What am I, a Saiyan expert, spouting that out loud?"
"That was rude of me. I apologize."
Beetro put his hand out, signaling everything was alright.
"What you asked is understandable, as there is much not known of Saiyans as a whole."
He turned, both his hands to his back.
"Yes, not all of them are the savage warriors most believe them to be. Indeed, some were the result of an injury to the head as a child like Son Goku."
He turned back to her.
"But as for myself... it was how I was born."
Beetro sat down atop a stool.
"Both my parents died fulfilling a mission for Lord Frieza, so I lived among the orphaned. As my peers grew restless for blood and battle, I found that I had no taste for violence and conquest as a whole. In fact, I preferred to tend to the hurt. And because of that..."
He shut his eyes for just a moment.
"I was met only with disdain. They abhorred me, believing me to be less than a Saiyan. Time and time again, they tried to force me into changing, to become like them... but I couldn't betray who I truly was even amidst the scorn."
Pan could tell Beetro was pained bringing this up.
"Since I was unfit for combat, I took the lowest jobs available to a Saiyan like myself: tidying the streets and facilities of Planet Vegeta. But even as I grew, I was always reminded that a Saiyan that didn't want to fight was worth less than the muck I scrubbed from the gutters."
That last sentiment was heartbreaking to her.
"I'm so sorry. I can't even..."
"It's alright, Pan. Painful as it was, it is all in the past."
"But how did you get away from all that?"
"One day, a member of the Time Patrol came to me and made me an offer: to join them here, where I could finally utilize the skills that I had longed to learn... or to remain where I was, where nothing would change."
Finally, he opened his eyes and stood back up.
"Since arriving here, I trained to become one of the Time Patrol's top medical professionals... and could finally be myself."
Pan was certainly happy with how his tale ended, but a new thought occurred to her:
"How does the Time Patrol pick its members?"
"Throughout the nearly infinite timelines, there are several individuals who are left idle, unable to leave their marks due to their circumstances. When they accept, they leave their timelines, leaving no alteration. Just as an example, had I stayed on Planet Vegeta instead, I would've fallen to Frieza the same as the rest of the Saiyans on the planet."
Pan then thought back to how, if she had been left in space after her Earth was destroyed, her death wouldn't have changed anything... except she was summoned by a wish on the Dragon Balls, not recruited.
The door to the room opened, Beetro standing at attention as Commander Hale made his way inside.
"Hale... I mean, Commander..."
"At ease, Beetro."
Pan got out of the bed and made it to her feet.
"What's the situation, Commander?"
"You're certainly quick on the uptake."
He tossed Pan her Time Patrol fitness attire, all wrapped together.
"Get dressed, then come along with me, Pan. There will be much to discuss."
Commander Hale and Pan made their way down flights of stairs below the academy towards a familiar room.
"You must understand how dire our situation is."
"I do, but... I have just six days?! To become that much stronger?"
"I've recalibrated the training chamber to give you more time."
"The training chamber can recreate nearly any environment or condition we require... it can even slow time inside of it."
Pan stopped for just a moment.
"That room can slow down time? I could train for anything on short notice."
"It takes a substantial amount of Toki Toki City's power to do so. Too much and the entire infrastructure would be drained, perhaps beyond repair. That is why we always hesitate to use the room in this way."
He continued downward as Pan followed.
"Now, we are left with no other options, but even then, we will only use as much power as we can without jeopardizing the city."
"In six days time here... you'll have six months inside the chamber."
Even as the idea of having time to herself to train appealed to her, this was massive to her.
"Six months... by myself?"
Outside of the doors to the training chamber were three figures: one with a bald head in a formal fighting attire, one with long hair and sideburns, and one a foot shorter than her. As she got closer, she saw one man had a third eye, another a scar on the lower left of his face, and the shortest with pale white skin and red circles on his cheeks.
"So... she's the one we're training?"
Just then, the figure in white felt a tight hug: Pan knew his voice from anywhere.
"Yamcha. It really is you."
This Yamcha, however, didn't know how to respond to this gesture.
"So... big fan, huh?"
Once he said this, she noticed the surprise on his face, more akin to meeting a stranger rather than anything familial.
"He doesn't know me?"
As she let go of him, she noticed his hair wasn't dark grey like the Yamcha she knew: he was younger, maybe by a decade or two. Next, she looked over at Tien and noticed him lacking his short hair and goatee.
"Tien... your hair..."
Tien was puzzled by her mentioning hair with him, but it barely showed on his face. Finally...
The small man looked right up at her. As for his appearance...
"You look the same."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Commander Hale stood to the side between Pan and the trio.
"These three are from the main timeline, not your own."
"Wait... if they're from the main timeline and they're here..."
"The Supreme Kai of Time found an opening in their timeline in which all three would be available without any issue. Once they are finished, they'll be returned back, their timeline restored like they never left."
Yamcha put out his hand to her.
"Well, since that's all cleared up and you know the three of us, how about introducing yourself, Miss...?"
As she shook his hand, Yamcha pondered regarding the name.
"...That's a nice name."
Just then, the doors to the chamber opened as Trunks made his way in front of the five gathered outside it.
"Checked everything myself. Everything's all set inside."
Once Trunks joined the group, Hale made his way to an elevator.
"I'll make the necessary preparations. Trunks will explain the rest."
Once Hale left, Tien had an inquiry for Trunks.
"How large is the inside of the chamber?"
"It gives the illusion of several miles, but try to avoid flying at top speed or you may run into a barrier."
Yamcha had a question as well.
"Is it going to be daytime the whole time?"
"The chamber will flicker between day and night about every hour in real time, but at its proper time when inside."
As did Chiaotzu.
"What will we do about food?"
"Your bodies won't be able to tell the difference between the food the chamber generates and the real thing."
And finally, Pan.
"How will we be accommodated when we're not training?"
Trunks put his hand out to the four.
"Come inside and see for yourselves."
As they took their first steps, they saw the chamber took on the appearance of a desert wasteland. Yamcha was ecstatic about this.
"Alright. This'll be like old times."
Trunks then pointed to the left and right at small white structures.
"Each of you will have your own housing quarters. Beds, bathrooms, clothes... you name it."
All four structures had a different color stripe, each associated with one of them: green for Tien, red for Chiaotzu, orange for Yamcha, and blue for Pan.
"Oh, before I forget..."
Trunks took out what looked like a metal wrist band with a small screen on the center.
"Pan, this will let you gauge your power."
As he put out his hand to give it to her...
"Trunks!" called out Hale on Trunk's communicator. "It is time."
He placed it in Pan's hand, then bowed his head to her.
"This is going to be difficult... but I believe in you."
He lifted his head back up.
"Take care of yourself."
Trunks flew through the entrance, the doors slowly beginning to close upon him exiting.
Commander Hale, at the controls, watched on a screen as the doors finally closed all the way.
He pressed on the console...
Patrollers walking around were caught off-guard as electronics across all of Toki Toki City began to flicker on and off rapidly.
"What's going on?!"
"Is it a power failure?!"
"That shouldn't be possible!"
And for a few seconds, all the power in the city went completely dark. All the holographic screens disappeared, not a single light glowed, and even the mechanical staff stood motionlessly.
For all the time Toki Toki City was around, the power had never once done this.
"The city's power... is it...?"
Right at that moment of terror, the power returned... except it was reduced somewhat. The holographs partially fuzzy, the lights dimmer, and the mechanical staff slightly slower to move and act.
"What in Hercule's name is going on?"
Pima, crouching over in a corner behind one of the structures, grasped what was going on before anyone else.
"That girl... after what happened yesterday..."
He stood up and turned towards the academy, then peered at the ground as if he could see through it.
"The chamber... if it needs that much power... time itself is threatened."
The moment the chamber powered up, the entire area around Pan felt heavier...
She began to hunch over.
As Trunks came to see Commander Hale at the console, something hit him:
"I forgot to tell her about the gravity!"
He turned to exit.
"Open up the door and I'll let her know..."
"It's too late, Trunks," Hale told him, gesturing him to stay where he was. "If we open the door now, it will waste valuable time and power that we cannot get back."
Trunks accepted the case, but also was in disbelief about his blunder.
"How could I have forgotten? Time itself is on the line! This is the worst time for me to screw up!"
Pan tried to stand up straight as the trio inside with her stood almost unaffected. Yamcha took notice of this.
"Hey... you okay there?"
Tien walked forward towards her.
"We may have half a year, but we have a lot of ground to cover."
He took on a fighting stance.
"We need to get started right away."
Pan tried gesturing for him to wait.
"Hold on. I just need a minute to..."
"Do you think the Saiyans gave us a minute?!"
As Tien shouted this, Pan felt a kick to her side, grounding her to Yamcha and Chiaotzu's shock.
"Do you expect them to give you a fair fight?!"
As Pan tried getting up once more, he kicked her in the side once again. Yamcha stepped in front of him.
"Tien, what the hell are you doing?! Can't your three eyes see the gravity's getting to her?"
Tien grabbed onto Yamcha by the collar of his coat.
"The Supreme Kai of Time made it crystal clear to us: if we fail in our task to train her, then time itself will be at risk, ourselves and our home included."
During this heated argument, Pan made it onto her knees.
"If we coddle her, she'll die the same as all three of us!"
Once Tien stated this, both Yamcha and Chiaotzu began to reflect on the exact moment they were brought to train her for. Yamcha was finally let go and backed away as his anger shifted.
"You're right... but we're not going to kill her either."
Tien turned back to Pan, whom could tell he wasn't about to offer her a helping hand up.
"But you will be ready for a fight to the death!"
This time, his kick was blocked as Pan's initial shock wore off.
"Now get up! Stand!"
Pan made it back up, but like before, they could tell she was struggling to stand upright.
This scenario already sounded familiar to her, only this time, the chamber's gravity was against her. She took a step and a punch, one that Tien was quick to redirect, tossing her aside rolling.
"Come on," shouted Chiaotzu to her. "You can do better than that."
Pan could tell he, like Tien, was beckoning her to push through. She wasn't sure how much individual steps would take out of her, so she began floating off the ground.
"Now to just go to him..."
She zoomed forward, Tien stepping to the side from her intended punch. Right after, she came crashing into the dirt, as if she were pulled straight down. Standing was hard enough, but flying forward somehow pulled her down even harder. She strained just to lift herself up from the small hole her impact created.
"I can't function like this. The gravity..."
Instead of seeing Tien standing and waiting for her, he approached her on foot as if the gravity was normal to him.
"If you want to fight among the Z-Fighters... if you want to survive the coming battle, get up or you'll end up buried!"
With a burst of ki, Pan pushed herself upward, then swerved her arms to keep from falling onto her back. Once she gained her composure, Tien swept at her legs. She hopped over it, floating in midair, but then saw a chopping hand coming right for her. She barely avoided it, then grabbed on to try flipping Tien over.
She felt Tien's finger pointing right at her.
"No... he wouldn't... would he?"
Not wanting to try her luck, she quickly let go. Her upper body was out of range...
The beam fired all the same and while she tried to move as quickly as she could, the thin beam was far faster than any Dodon Ray she had faced before.
In the midst of this, Yamcha tried approaching and putting out a hand in protest.
But by the time he began, the beam had struck and Pan lied on the ground grabbing her right knee. At first, Yamcha feared the worst.
"Tien, what were you thinking?!"
"Did you really think I would use the Dodon Ray anywhere near full power?"
Pan let go of her knee, seeing a hole in her track pants, but only a sear from the beam: it didn't pierce through her leg as Yamcha and even she herself feared. She looked back to Tien, who already looked ready to strike.
"You'll live. Now get up."
As soon as Pan heard those two words, her mind echoed with Raditz saying the same.
Tien, seeing her just staring at him for a moment, grew impatient.
"I said get up!"
A blast struck near her side. Pan focused, seeing the crater in the ground from an intentionally missed attack.
"You think Raditz was the worst?!"
Another blast on the other side.
"The Saiyans you'll fight are his superiors in every way!"
A third neared her feet.
"You just going to lie there and let yourself and everyone you know and love die?!"
This last statement cut deep down into her: she had seen her loved ones slain one by one before her and in spite of giving it her all, she couldn't stop it.
"You think I did nothing at all? That I didn't even try?!"
Suddenly, rocks began to flow around her as she floated off the ground, then flew towards Tien. The shock and fear in her face was replaced by seething as she struck at Tien, forcing him to block. Yamcha was in awe.
"I think we may have a Super Saiyan on our hands."
As Tien continued his defense, Pan zoomed past him several times, trying to force his guard open. As far as he could tell, she didn't show any hints of a golden glow in her hair or her ki.
"At least at the moment... no, we don't."
There she was fighting with all she had, perhaps surpassing her efforts against Raditz, only for Tien to be unmoved by anything she had. It was like fighting Goten when he went Super Saiyan or Frieza in his golden form: all her power and training in vain.
Tien leapt over one of Pan's charges, then, as she turned and found him, he already came crashing down with a two-handed slam. Pan blocked it and managed to land on the ground without being pushed into it...
Followed by a burn in her knee. She had been floating this whole time and now that she was standing on that leg, she struggled just to not crouch from how much it stung. Tien landed hard in front of her and began unleashing a flurry of punches. Pan recognized the Machine Gun Punch immediately and guarded accordingly...
But each punch was harder than any hit she took from Raditz. In spite of her efforts to keep her guard up, her wrists began to waver. With two final upward swings, her defenses were broken and her arms went upward. Before she could even think of forcing them back down or even trying to float out of the way, Tien placed a lone palm in front of her face.
From the distance, Chiaotzu saw Pan flying back before landing onto the dirt, leaving a trail behind until she came to a complete stop.
Tien walked over to her almost calmly as Yamcha ran with haste. Both looked over, seeing Pan with her arms stretched out and her eyes closed. She wasn't unconscious, but she wasn't in any condition to continue the spar. Yamcha grabbed hold of Tien's shoulder.
"You need to tone this down. We can't just do this for six months and expect her to just toughen up."
Tien shrugged the hand off of him.
"Then what? Are you just giving her a taste of the training Tao gave you?"
Tien was about to respond angrily, but then Yamcha saw him pause, as if he really did begin to wonder if that was the case.
"Tien, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to go that far."
"Tao taught me almost everything I know, but he tortured me to make me... how I was. This is to help her to survive. You know what Nappa did to all of us."
Yamcha couldn't help but realize his shortcomings in that battle.
"You two at least got to fight Nappa. I was done in by a..."
"Don't beat yourself up over the Saibamen again, please. It could have happened to any of us. Even Gohan or Piccolo."
"...Saibamen?" asked Pan, having finally opened up her eyes. "What are... Saibamen?"
"You'll know in due time," replied Tien.
He felt someone tapping on his shoulder and turned to see Chiaotzu floating.
"Tien, are we going to be fighting like this the whole time we're here?"
"No. Not like this every day."
He turned back to Pan, crouching down and offering his left hand to help her up.
"Forgive me for my methods, but I had to see how far you could go."
"You mean... it was a test?"
"To an extent."
She took his hand as he lifted her up. Once she tried standing on her right leg, she struggled to keep standing. Yamcha quickly helped her keep steady.
"We trained an entire year just to be able to stand up to Raditz. In spite of how intense our training was, it wasn't enough. I promise you that we'll do all in our power to make sure you succeed where we failed."
Even after Tien stated this, Pan still couldn't help but think about how powerful Tien was in their spar alone. He talked about them only matching Raditz, but all his attacks and speed were greater than anything even the powered-up Raditz was capable of.
"...but you're way stronger than Raditz."
"But that was after we traversed Snake Way and trained on King Kai's Planet."
He already saw Pan getting ready to ask about them.
"I'll tell you about them, don't worry."
After treating her leg and cleaning up, she and the three Z-Fighters gathered around a simulated camp fire as the sky turned dark.
"Tell us about yourself, Pan." began Yamcha. "What's your timeline like?"
"I don't even know where to start..."
"Anywhere. Wherever you'd like."
"This may come as a shock, but..."
Chiaotzu had his hand on the side of his face.
"You're Gohan and Videl's daughter, huh?"
Yamcha fell over, struck by the revelation Chiaotzu stated nonchalantly while Tien turned to his friend with the mildest look of disappointment.
"Chiaotzu, it's rude to read someone's thoughts like that, especially at your age."
Just then, Yamcha got back up.
"You're... Goku's granddaughter."
He turned to Tien.
"Say, wasn't Videl expecting the last time we saw her? Do you think..."
"It isn't our place to think about that. And even then, Pan, you're from another timeline."
Tien realized he sounded somewhat harsh, so he tried gesturing to Pan.
From there, Pan spoke at long lengths about her Earth and the people she grew up with, the three listening nodding along and rarely interrupting, save for...
"Wait, so you're telling me Vegeta... Vegeta grew a mustache?"
While this was just a plain observation to Pan, Yamcha tried hiding a smirk from the sound of that.
"Oh man... I would pay to see that."
Tien thought of something:
"So, your grandfather... Hercule... is he still the world martial arts champion on your Earth?"
Pan tried as hard as she could not to reply with how it was the past tense, and instead answered with...
"He won four tournaments in a row, but then my mother fought him in his last tournament."
Yamcha sat up intrigued.
"So, your mother dethroned the champ, huh?"
The word "dethroned" didn't sit well with her, but she continued.
"Right. She had trained with Master Roshi a year prior."
"With Roshi training your mother, I bet she racked up a bunch of tournaments after that."
As she thought more on the issue, she could hear the cheers of a tournament crowd followed by shocked gasps, and the tournament announcer...
"It's over! It's all over!"
The three could see her in thought before she tried changing the subject.
"So, do you wanna know what you three were like on my Earth?"
Chiaotzu looked to be trying to use his telekinesis again only for Tien to put his hand down.
"I'm not sure. I mean, that is..."
Yamcha didn't seem to have any issue with the topic.
"Sure. Tell me all about my alternate Earth self."
Pan saw Tien's hesitance on the subject, so she began with Yamcha.
"Well, you were an instructor at Tien's dojo..."
"Like... like a full-time job?"
"You practically lived with him. You even babysat Tien and Launch's daugh..."
The moment Tien heard the word "Launch", he began to get up. Once he began to hear the start of "daughter", he turned away.
"I'm alright. Don't mind me."
He tried hiding it as well as he could, but Tien couldn't shake Pan's unfinished sentence: that him, on another Earth, had a child with Launch. Chiaotzu flew after him shortly afterward.
Pan began to wonder if she had said something to hurt him.
"Was it something I said?"
"Don't mind him. Launch is just a touchy subject for him, that's all."
"You mean they didn't have a kid?"
"No. Never married either. They hardly keep in touch these days. They used to be an item, but not anymore. Guess they just grew apart."
He didn't show it in his tone, but Yamcha knew that feeling all too well.
Just then, a large yawn.
"It's getting late, so I figure a good rest'll do all four of us good. You can tell us more about your Earth tomorrow night after some training sessions."
As he got up, he marked the ground with his finger, leaving a small line. When Pan was about to ask...
"One day down. One seventy-nine to go. Good night, Pan."
As Pan lied in her bed in her quarters, she thought on what Yamcha said.
"One seventy-nine to go..."
Her seven year old self stood next to her grandpa Hercule, looking over at Master Roshi and this older man with a crane-shaped hat in a heated argument. She only caught bits of it without much context.
"What are you doing here, Shen?!"
"Just bringing my latest pupil! And he has a history with Mr. Satan..."
"If either of you try killing anyone...!"
"We won't. Maybe he'll just beat them to near-death."
After inquiring about the large man in a hooded green robe, Hercule recognized him as the man approached them.
"Spopovich... that really you?"
Hercule didn't sound intimidated and instead changed to a more casual tone.
"Oh man, it has been ages..."
"Ages?" Spopovich began. "It's been twenty years."
"Well, uh, how's it been? What have you been up to?"
"You know something, 'Savior of Mankind'?"
He grabbed hold of Hercule's collar to both his and Pan's shock.
"You humiliated me. And then I heard how you defeated Cell when no one else in the world could. It broke me. I couldn't stop thinking about how easily you bested me in the ring."
His look of resentment then began to mold itself into something else...
"Then your daughter showed me the truth when she fought you: you're just flesh and blood like the rest of us. You didn't defeat Cell: you weren't even in the same league. And yet for decades, you conned everyone into believing it."
He let go of Hercule.
"I made it my life's mission to reveal to the world the fraud you really are. My only regret is that you had to retire before I could crush you myself..."
Hercule had taken in everything Spopovich had to say and turned him and Pan away from him, wanting to end the conversation.
"Sorry, but you missed your chance."
He and Pan made their way elsewhere when...
"...so I guess I'll just have to settle with your daughter."
Pan could feel Hercule stopping in his tracks. As he turned around, she could almost feel an aura of anger around him.
"What did you say?"
"If I can't beat you in the ring, then Videl will suffice."
He had tried composing himself as much as he could through Spopovich's threats to his legacy, but this pushed him over the edge. Pan saw him approaching the massive fighter, pointing a finger right at him.
"You a low enough man to threaten my daughter?!"
"Threaten? No. It's a promise."
Roshi overheard all of this and turned away from Shen.
"You wanna fight me that bad?!"
Pan, having been left by Hercule, was in shock at what her grandfather was doing.
Spopovich stood in anticipation at Hercule's intended punch, only to see Roshi pushing Hercule back.
"Let me go, Roshi! I beat the goatee off him before and I'll do it again!"
"Stop this," Roshi interjected, keeping him at bay even as Hercule kept trying to move forward. "You're just playing into his hands."
Shen laughed, relishing the fact Roshi had to hold Hercule back.
"If your pupil's father is having this much trouble keeping it together, then we'll see how far the apple falls from the tree."
Pan had stomached their insults towards Hercule, but once Shen remarked about her mother...
"Don't you talk about my mom that way!"
Shen and Spopovich both took notice of Hercule's granddaughter, her anger matching Hercule's from before. Spopovich tauntingly crouched down to her level.
"Ah, look at the little runt. Here to watch your mommy dearest?
She took a step forward, but Hercule grabbed hold of her to keep Spopovich away from her.
"Don't fret: we're just having a little chat."
Pan glared at him, trying to come up with words to express her distain for everything he had said thus far.
"What's the matter? Nothing else to say? Not even one word?"
She stuck her tongue out at him before Hercule backed away with her.
"Come, Spopovich. Let us leave these old men and their little mongrel."
All three of them were struck with how they described Pan. She tried flying out of Hercule's arms towards them.
Shen stopped immediately upon hearing this, turning with the slightest bit of annoyance on his face.
"My mom's gonna win, and you and your bully are gonna lose!"
Instead of replying, he simply turned away, him and Spopovich resuming their exit.
"YOU HEAR ME?!"
She tried wrestling through Hercule's arms more and more as he saw himself tiring from his efforts.
"Pan, honey, you're making a scene."
Roshi grabbed onto her shoulders.
"It's not worth it, Pan."
She saw him looking her in the eyes and stopped moving.
"Those two are despicable out of their own choosing. It is no reason for you to lower yourself to their level. Understand?"
After nodding to Roshi, she accompanied the three in silence towards their seats. She had been looking forward to seeing the fighters, but now this unpleasant encounter with Shen and Spopovich had begun to poison her day so far.
It was day 2 inside the training chamber. It still somewhat boggled her to think just how little time passed outside the chamber's doors while 24 hours passed for her. When she way ready, she met with the trio, already gathered outside talking amongst themselves until she arrived.
"So what's the game plan for today?"
"We talked it over last night," began Tien. "And we've decided going forward that the training each day will be in three parts."
Pan saw what looked like track lines for two people stenciled into the dirt, stretching off from nearby into the far distance.
"Did you make this yourself?"
"Well... I might've had a little help."
"And how did you know where to stop before the barriers?"
Yamcha put a hand on the back of his head and she could only catch a glimpse of a round bruise with two bandages in an x-shape.
"I... might've forgotten what Trunks told me."
Pan made a mental note to herself: always watch for the track lines whenever she flew.
"Anyway, before the Saiyans showed up, your granddad wasn't kicking back in Otherworld: he trained with the martial arts master King Kai on a small planet with greater gravity than Earth."
"Like it is here?"
"That's right... but before he got there, Goku had to traverse Snake Way, a pathway a million kilometers long."
"It took Goku six months to cover the whole thing. Tien, Chiaotzu, and I had to cross it too. You wouldn't believe it, but we actually crossed it even faster."
Pan was in awe at this: like her grandfather Hercule defeating Goku, it seemed even now, humans always found a way to match or even beat Saiyans.
Yamcha had his hands to his sides in pride.
"Sometimes we humans even surprise ourselves."
Tien cleared his throat.
"That was because of our training a year prior to the Saiyans." Tien explained. "We were stronger than Goku was after his fight with Raditz when we crossed."
After Tien contextualized this, Yamcha continued, sounding less like a braggart.
"Right. The point of this exercise being... the room's not a million kilometers obviously, but if we did laps, we could try to cover that distance over time."
Yamcha got down into a running stance as Pan slowly followed his lead.
"As long as you can, okay?"
After a nod from Pan, the two stormed off, running in such a blur that a normal human wouldn't have been able to see either of them: only a trail of dust from where they ran.
Tien had drawn a sketch of some short creatures in the dirt for Pan to see.
"Before you get to the Saiyans, you'll have to get through the Saibamen: creatures they grow to handle tasks beneath them. The soil of any given planet determines how powerful they are. With Earth's soil, they were on the same level as Raditz."
As if facing an opponent as powerful as Raditz wasn't a horrible enough thought, now Pan had to imagine that level of power in multiple combatants at once.
"Chiaotzu will be your opponent."
She saw Chiaotzu approach and at first wondered how he would fill the part of several combatants on his own...
...until he split himself into four.
"Treat him and his clones as Saibamen. Do all that you can to stay in the fight."
Tien began to take his leave...
"One more thing: if any one of them manage to grab onto you, the session is over, so stay vigilant and keep your guard up at all times."
She saw that Tien had not left, but was only observing from a distance. Just then, one of the Chiaotzu's flew at her, trying to grab onto her arm. Pan managed to avoid it just in time, then gave her full attention to him and the other three.
There she was face-to-face with Tien once again. Pan came at him with everything she had and he won with ease the day before. She knew he wouldn't be going at her like he did the day before, but even then, she still had to accept just how grueling the coming exercise was likely to be.
"Yesterday, I gave you the unwinnable battle. Now, I give you a chance at victory... but I won't hand it to you."
His two hands were out ready to strike.
"Are you ready?"
She grinned, taking on a stance. After the day before, she wasn't about to let Tien catch her off-guard before the actual fight began. The two already took a lone step towards each other, a lone fist from each already closing in.
Seven year old Pan sat between her father and Bulla as the rest of the Z-Fighters and their families had finished seeing the first seven quarter-final battles. Pan, Hercule, and Roshi hadn't seen Spopovich as of yet and all three were hoping he somehow didn't qualify. But after the announcer introduced the first combatant of the eighth match, a young man in rags with scuffs of dirt on him who looked to be from a poor village, he turned to the crowd.
"For those of you who were there for Hercule's very first tournament, you may recall that Spopovich was his opponent in the quarter-finals. While Hercule went on to win that tournament and three more in a row, Spopovich hadn't been seen or heard from in twenty years... until today."
He pointed to the tunnel.
"Here he is, folks: Spopovich."
His reception was somewhat mixed, but there were plenty of gasps from when they saw his completely shaved head, a green wrestling top, and martial arts pants.
"That really him? He shaved his head?"
"That wrestling meat head took up kung fu or something?"
As Spopovich took to the center of the ring, he glared at his opponent. In spite of this, the young man bowed to him.
"Good luck Mr. Spopovich, and may the best man win."
This gesture of respect and goodwill went unreturned by Spopovich as the announcer put his hand into the air.
The young man made the first few moves: a swinging kick to Spopovich's side and a left-handed punch to his chest. To the shock of him and the entire audience, Spopovich didn't even flinch. Instead, he grinned.
Immediately, the young man rolled out of the way of a downward punch, then continued backing away as his massive opponent walked calmly toward him. He was no child and was well past his teenage years, but even now, this man struggled to not shiver in the face of Spopovich's aura of intent. He took another step backward...
Then saw himself about to back out of the square and swerved forward to keep himself in play. He succeeded, but fell onto his knees and hands, seeing Spopovich still approaching. The announcer might've said a few things regarding the state of the match so far, but the young man didn't hear a thing, as if the entire world around him had gone completely silent, save for the footsteps of this giant before him. He was lost in thought for a few seconds, perhaps pondering if he should just forfeit the match right then and there.
But then he considered how far he came from home just to get there and what it would mean for him to just give up. What winning the tournament would mean for him and his family. He got back up, recomposing himself entirely, which Spopovich took notice of.
"He's back on his feet and now Spopivich has stopped in his tracks."
With fear no longer on his face, the young man came at Spopovich with a flurry, moving side-to-side as he threw punch after punch. Nothing seemed to hurt his opponent so far, but he didn't let himself get discouraged. Hitting him was akin to striking a solid material, but not quite like hitting a sheet of metal either: Spopovich was still a human, flesh and blood.
A sweep to Spopovich's legs didn't quite seem to work, but the young man bounced back with a blow to his stomach. No matter how futile it seemed at the moment, he kept trying, going across all the tournament-legal areas to hit excluding the eyes and groin. He was now working up a sweat and Spopovich hadn't attempted a counter move as of yet. Maybe the young man was moving just fast enough to keep him too occupied with where he was last to fight back. Or perhaps the man was foolish enough to stand in place and outlast him through durability alone.
He saw Spopovich's neck completely exposed. A strike there wouldn't be tournament-illegal and it might've been the best place to attack where it could actually hurt. With his hand ready to poke like a cobra, the young man thrust it at Spopovich's throat...
...and nothing still. Hercule couldn't believe this.
"What?! How is he...?!"
Just then, the young man felt a monstrous grip crushing his wrist. Roshi turned to Hercule.
With a spin of his own hand...
The young man closed his eyes and cried out, his hand dangling as if it were deflated. By the time he had opened his eyes again...
A punch to his face sent him crashing into the tile floor. He could barely feel his face, his nose was clearly bent out of place, blood was starting to drip from his forehead, and he spat out pieces of what were once teeth to keep from swallowing them.
But even now, he tried getting up. He had to try. His other hand aimed right for Spopovich's knee...
Only to be caught by Spopovich's hand once again. He flung him upward one-handed, then swung downward, slamming the young man back down into the same spot as before, leaving a greater indent than before. He then lifted the young man once more, who tried kicking away at him with whatever he had left.
"This is... absolutely brutal."
Spopovich looked over at Shen and from his posture alone without a single word, he could tell his master wanted him to end things already. He turned back to his opponent, who landed a two-legged kick to the top of his head with all his strength. Spopovich felt the faintest irritation: the tiniest cut from the impact.
With almost a feral snarl, he used his other hand to lift the young man up above his head, then stood on one leg, the other bent. He crouched over, one leg back, and his opponent came crashing down...
Back-first onto Spopovich's knee. He wasn't dead, nor was he snapped in two, but the crowd was completely silent. Even the announcer failed to so much as form words after what he saw.
"'May the best man win'?" taunted Spopovich in his defeated opponent's ear, not even caring if he could hear in that moment. "You're less than one."
He was finally finally let go and fell to the ground. The announcer tried to recompose himself just enough to begin the ten count.
"One... tw..." "Don't bother counting." Spopovich scolded, turning away.
Pan was horrified at all of this, especially at what happened to Spopovich's opponent. She turned to her father.
She was tearing up.
"Is he dead?"
Gohan put his arms around her, trying as best as he could to comfort her as she put her head against him.
"It's all going to be okay, Pan."
Videl, who was watching all the matches through a window from a private room, didn't even know what to think of this. She had anticipated seeing fighters from all across the world try their hands at the chance to take her on, to prove themselves like she had years prior...
And she had just watched this savage act by the man her father had defeated 20 years ago. She didn't think anything ill of him before: just a fellow fighter that tried his best against her father long ago and had the tough luck of losing to him with ease. But this changed everything: Spopovich could have beaten the young man in so many different ways that would have left him far less injured, or comatose as she she feared he was, but instead, Spopovich took the most brutal and damaging as if it pleased him to break someone weaker than him.
"You!" Spopovich shouted from outside.
She looked downward at Spopovich, whom pointed right at her.
"I'm coming for you, champ! You're gonna be history! You hear me?!"
Bulla, while tearing up just as bad, tried reaching over to Pan, who turned her head to the ring, still crying, but her face scorn at Spopovich."You're gonna be history!"
Straining Regiment! The Fateful Match!
The following is a synopsis due to my inability to write out the chapter proper.
The first couple weeks in the Training Chamber start off comfortably enough for Pan, but upon finding that she has hardly increased her power level since she had entered, Tien decides to have himself, Yamcha, and Chiaotzu step up their sessions so she can level up to the required power level needed to even stand a chance against Nappa and Vegeta. Pan repeatedly finds herself struggling to keep up with Yamcha in their foot races, unable to prevent Chiaotzu and his clones from getting a hold of her ala-Saibamen, and being completely outclassed in her spars with Tien.
In her dreams, Pan thinks back to the 29th World Martial Arts Tournament final between Videl and her grandfather's former rival Spopovich. Despite appearing to be little more than a slow and brutish oaf throughout his initial matches, Spopovich's style completely changed, becoming much faster and more disciplined thanks to his time with the Crane School. Videl's training with Master Roshi allowed her to stand up to and match Spopovich with the battle seeming even throughout.
Back in Toki Toki City, as the Supreme Kai of Time is straining to slow down the most recent alteration in time, she sees Pima in the Time Nest with her, having slipped past the guard Ziko. The full-blooded Saiyan suspected that most of the city's power was going into giving Pan a fighting chance after what happened prior with Raditz and insisted that he would be the better candidate to take on the battle.
Distressed by the months that had passed with little to no progress to show regarding her power level, Pan finds herself falling apart in her sessions, either trying to succeed through rage or through allowing herself to take punishment. Tien sees this and refuses to aid her in improving through attempting to abuse the zenkai boost alone.
Infuriated at her mixed human and Saiyan heritage failing to elevate her, Pan angrily questions how she is stuck where she is when her mother Videl fought Hercule, whom managed to defeat Cell and Goku before she was born. Having lost all patience with her, Tien angrily discloses that Hercule didn't defeat Cell and that his "victories" against super-powered fighters were all hoaxes. At first, Pan denied what Tien had told her, but then memories of the 29th tournament came rushing back to her:
She witnessed her mother going for one final kick to end the match aimed for Spopovich's neck, only for Videl to hesitate and strike his shoulder, dislocating his arm. In that instant, Spopovich took aim with his other hand, firing a dodon ray through her left knee. With Videl vulnerable, he tackled her out of the square, slamming her into the ground outside the ring to win the match. Immediately afterward, Spopovich went on to tell the audience that Hercule defeating Cell was all a hoax and that he and Videl were beneath the bio-android. The crowd didn't buy it, Spopovich found himself booed by all the onlookers for daring to insult the champ, and Pan found no reason to believe him...But with all Tien had revealed to her, Pan was crushed by the realization that what she considered a lie and slander against Hercule all those years ago was all true. She realized Hercule and even her mother, both humans, were nothing compared to Saiyans. Pan was left to ponder how she was only one-fourth Saiyan while the remaining three-fourths made her a "weakling".
The Aftermath! Is It Too Late?!
The following is a synopsis due to my inability to write out the chapter proper.
Pan recalled a memory from a few days after the 29th tournament, in which she listened to talk about the match on television. There, the hosts discussed Spopovich's claims about Hercule not defeating Cell or Goku, which they ruled to be false, but then discussed the possibility that Hercule gave Videl her win and her not being his equal. They then saw Videl's loss after one tournament compared to Hercule carrying four in a row as confirming their thesis.
Outside her room, Pan could hear Hercule being outraged about something and listened in. From what she could gather, the construction of a statue of Videl to commemorate her victory and one meant to stand alongside one of Hercule, was cancelled. Hercule was ready to use his money and resources to have it be finished, but Videl, a large bandage over her nose and using crutches for the time being due to her injury, insisted "there's no need for that." Reflecting on it in the present, Pan saw it as her mother giving up and being crushed by defeat.
Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Tien didn't see Pan at all the next day in the simulated desert of the training chamber, which Yamcha saw as her just needing a break. Tien, however, knew their exchange the other day had fundamentally changed her views of her grandfather Hercule and humans in general.
Pima, still in the Supreme Kai of Time's presence, continued to make his case. She made it clear to him that the reason he and other high-ranking patrollers couldn't take on the task was because their sheer power, even if they tried to hide it, put them at the greatest risk of altering history unwittingly. He then asked if that was worse than Pan getting killed and history changing as well since, if Pan failed, the Supreme Kai of Time would be too drained to stop it.
Back in the chamber in simulated night time, Pan thought for the first time in a while about the Dragon Balls and what she could do upon gathering all seven. Believing that her human side was "holding her back", she began to ponder the possibility that the Dragon Balls could make her into a full Saiyan like her grandfather Goku.
Tien requested to speak with her about the day before, to which Pan asked him if he ever battled against Cell. He answered that he once held Cell off in order for Lazuli to get to safety, successfully buying her time. Pan then pressed him further about what he did against Cell, to which Tien answered that even when using all his power and nearly draining himself of life energy, little harm was done to Cell and Tien would've died were it not for Goku's intervention.
This answer seemed to confirm to Pan the idea that all she had to look forward to was standing on the sidelines as an onlooker, not being able to do anything, and needing to rely on the help of someone far out of her league. In her anguish, Pan showed Tien the metal wrist band Trunks gave her to measure her power, stating that it had barely gone up at all since they started training months ago. Despite Tien's attempt to tell her power wasn't everything, Pan rebuffed this with the fact that she and all the Z-Fighters on her Earth were all nothing compared to her world's Frieza, then proceeded to throw the wrist band to the ground.
After letting out her anger, Pan vented her frustration at all the expectations that had come of her being Goku's granddaughter since her arrival, concluding that they needed her to be her grandfather Goku and she simply can't be. Tien consoled that Pan was right, that she wasn't her grandfather and that others asking her to become him was detrimental to her. He then apologized for his harsh methods, confessing that he truly didn't know how to train someone for a battle that'd determine the fate of time itself. He believed what he did was necessary to ensure her survival, but now he saw the harm it was doing to her.
Before leaving, Tien picked up the wrist band, seeing that the screen was cracked, making one of the digits harder to read. He then squeezed it, making the screen illegible. He simply told Pan not to worry about her power level and that it wasn't just about being the strongest fighter physically, but also winning through tactics.
Pan thought back to the earlier memory of Videl telling Hercule not to use his money to make others commemorate her. Young Pan shouted to her mother that she was giving up and stormed off to her room. Gohan tried to get her to calm down, but even knowing to behave for her father, Pan refused. Videl talked to Pan alone, trying to find out what was wrong. Pan stated she was upset about how Spopovich won even after everything he did, which Videl acknowledged was just how life is. She then talked about how now that Videl lost, everyone was saying she wasn't good enough and that she was nothing and a failure. Videl said it didn't matter to her, to which Pan asked why she was giving up.
After some thought, Videl reflected on how much worse the match could've gone and what that would've meant for Pan and Gohan, then answered that now that she had Pan, fame, winning, and her reputation didn't matter to her anymore. Pan worriedly wondered what would happen if she herself would end up a failure, to which Videl hugged her and explained that all that mattered was Pan doing her very best, no more or less.
Pima concluded his case regarding Pan, seeing her as not being able to match Nappa, which would ensure even if she survived against him that her death would be guaranteed against Vegeta. Trunks countered that Gohan and Krillin, despite not being on Nappa's level, managed to survive against Vegeta and that it was someone far weaker than Vegeta that prevented his victory. The full Saiyan retorted that things were different thanks to the power-ups villains were being given, then made it a case that he wasn't doing this out of ill will towards Pan, but because he truly believed whoever was behind everything would succeed and time would be irrevocably changed.
Chronoa admitted she knew Pan's limitations at the moment and that the possibility of her failing was very real. Trunks also confessed that her being the granddaughter of Goku didn't make her his equal or automatically guaranteed their success.
The next day in the chamber, Pan returned from her quarters and resumed her training. Much time passed and she still didn't see rapid progress, but now that her mindset had changed and Tien changed his methods, she kept up her efforts in spite of her seeming short-comings. As the final month approached, Pan still couldn't catch Yamcha, but was able to keep him in her sights and wasn't as far behind. Chiaotzu and his clones inevitably caught her like before, but Pan's speed and strategies allowed her to keep them at bay for longer. Tien still remained the victor of each of their spars, but he found himself taking more hits and having to step up his efforts.Trunks ended the conversation between the three with the belief that training for such events is something heroes can never do with ease, and even in the events themselves, they are never truly ready, but that they work to find a way, no matter the odds or the difference in power. And with that, he believed Pan would be able to do just that.
Training Is Over! Saibamen Strife!
Pan woke up, her hair the longest it had been in six months, knowing today was going to be their last day in the Training Chamber. Something was off:
“I can’t sense any of them.”
She exited her unit and searched diligently, fully expecting that at any moment, they would jump out with an ambush.
“Must be for me to be ready for the unexpected at the drop of a hat.”
Once she had exhausted the possibility of them hiding in or around their housing quarters, Pan decided a trek around the makeshift track was in order.
“Either I’ll find them somewhere around it or I’ll just get some exercise in.”
When she made it halfway across towards the first turn, peculiar markings were visible on her left...
...in the shape of a diamond of sorts.
“Wait a minute... that’s almost like a...”
Between the four points of the diamond were white squares and in the center of it was a circle with another white square.
“A baseball diamond?”
Pan ducked upon hearing the three from behind her, expecting to dodge any number of melee or ranged attacks from them. Once she saw them simply standing, Pan saw that they weren’t dressed in their fighting attire, but instead in baseball uniforms.
“You guys set this up last night?”
“That we did,” went Yamcha, wearing a uniform and cap almost identical to what he wore when playing for the Taitans. “When your Kai of Time Supreme... Supreme Time Kai...”
“Supreme Kai of Time,” Pan corrected.
“Right, right. Well, when she first explained our training situation to us, I always thought we should have some fun on our last day after all our hard work. Guess you could say it was something I pitched.”
Tien and Chiaotzu were silent after Yamcha’s baseball pun, though Pan had to cover her mouth to keep a snorted chuckle at bay.
“So I asked for real deal baseball stuff and snuck them in.”
Tien, wearing a Taitans uniform as well, but no headwear, actually had a smile on his face.
“You’ve come a long way since we first entered this chamber. You’ve earned not just a break, but something to enjoy.”
As for Chaiotzu, also not donning a baseball cap like Tien, but rather his usual black hat...
“It sounded fun to me, so I convinced Tien to play along.”
“But how are we going to play baseball with only four people?” Pan asked.
“Leave that to us,” answered Chiaotzu, splitting into four, then back.
“Yamcha and I will be one team,” Tien began to explain. “You and Chiaotzu will be the other.”
Pan got ready to head towards the diamond when Yamcha had a hand out to stop her.
“If you’re gonna play on a team...”
Pan saw him holding out a female Taitans uniform in front of her.
Now that Pan was dressed for baseball, though keeping her bandanna on, she got up to bat while four Tiens were the basemen and catcher. Yamcha got ready to pitch...
“Get ready for my greatest technique yet...”
And as Pan saw him turn for the pitch, one leg up in the air, she could swear that an image of a wolf emerged around him. Then, as he stepped on the pitcher’s plate and threw the ball, now it appeared as though a wolf was running right towards Pan, the ball at the center of its face.
Pan knew the wolf wasn’t real and this wasn’t an attack, but the baseball was coming faster than any she had encountered. In that moment, she decided to duck, her bat raised enough for a bunt, but instead saw the ball swerve over her in a perfect arc.
“Strike!” went Tien.
“You controlled the ball?” Pan asked.
“I call that the Wolf Fang Pitching Fist Ball.”
“It’s like you combined the Wolf Fang Fist with the Spirit Bomb.”
“Spirit Ball,” Chiaotzu corrected on the sideline.
“Happens all the time. But yeah, that’s the idea.”
Now Tien was at bat, seeing four Chiaotzus and Pan pitching.
“Don’t go easy on me. All my years with Yamcha have taught me everything I need to know about this sport.”
“You heard him, Pan,” began Yamcha playfully. “Go for a strike.”
Pan’s pitching stance seemed pedestrian, not much out of the ordinary. She then stepped and threw the baseball, Tien seeing it not appearing to be thrown with superhuman speed, but instead approaching slowly.
“A slow pitch? Your worst mistake.”
He had the timing down and swung...
...appearing to have hit nothing as the baseball then flew past him.
“Strike!” went Chiaotzu.
“No way! How did it slip past me?”
“Pan, you found a way to combine your pitch with the afterimage technique,” Yamcha elaborated. “How long did it take you to come up with that?”
“To be honest, just thought to try it now.”
Tien shook off the strike from before, as if taking the game seriously.
“It won’t work on me a second time. Do your worst.”
Throughout this game, their superhuman might led to very few strike outs and not one single walk. The majority of at bats, even with Yamcha and Pan’s pitching techniques, eventually led to hits. Without a proper fence for them to have home runs, the duplicate basemen or pitcher, if they couldn’t catch it, instead ran after the ball, however far it flew into the distance, to bring it back, but had to do so quickly before the runner made it to home with their speed.
Pan ended up catching one high-flying hit by hopping straight into the air from the pitcher’s plate in a move Yamcha couldn’t help but chuckle at even while he was out as a result.
“You’re definitely your father’s daughter.”
Chiaotzu at one point caught a ball with his telekinesis.
“Hold up,” went Yamcha, his hands signaling a time out. “Tien, did we agree on whether or not you could catch the ball with telekinesis?”
“It never came up, Yamcha. You never once addressed it.”
“Chiaotzu, you didn’t bring it up either?”
“I didn’t think it’d be a problem.”
Yamcha fell to his knees, his eyes hidden by shade.
“I can’t believe I overlooked that completely.”
Later, Tien flew towards home plate with his hammerhead technique. Chiaotzu, appearing nervous, flew aside while Pan flew in front of the base, then realized how fast Tien was going.
She hopped over, Tien going underneath her as he gestured his leg enough for his foot to touch home plate. He did…
“You’re out!” went Chiaotzu.
“But how? I...”
Tien didn’t even feel it: Pan had touched his back with the pitcher’s glove, baseball in hand.
“My physique has toughed up so much that such a slight tap didn’t even register...”
Once the game had wrapped up, all four of them had dirtied their yellow uniforms with the artificial dirt. While they had kept track of the score and stats at one point, as the game went on, they forgot and went on without scoring, just enjoying their time playing together.
After cleaning themselves off and changing in their own units, the four then hung out around the campfire for their last night together. Pan realized Yamcha had brought cans of an alcoholic beverage of sorts with him and shared them with Chiaotzu. She and Tien declined, the latter due to not having any interest and the former as she was only 18 still. Instead, Pan had a can of soda, drinking it as the four took turns trading stories.
Eventually, Pan realized Yamcha and Chiaotzu had fallen asleep, cans around them. She and Tien cleaned up and placed a blanket over each of them. Pan sat by the flames, keeping her hands close to it to keep warm, when she saw Tien place a blanket over her shoulders.
“I’m glad we got to have today to ourselves, Pan, I really am. But now I have to go over perhaps the most critical factor you will face tomorrow.”
He sat down, then, seeing Pan was paying close attention, continued.
“The one leading the Saiyan’s mission, the one ordering his subordinate... is Vegeta.”
Pan couldn’t even manage a gasp.
“You have to realize that, while he would go on to become Bulma’s wife and the father of Trunks and, as you said, Bulla, he was a vastly different man before he came to Earth.”
She still couldn’t make words over how this felt to her, but clearly was ready and willing to hear more from him.
“You can’t afford to go easy on him just because you know he’ll go on to be your best friend’s father. He’ll fight to kill and while you obviously can’t kill him due to what it would mean for history, us, and yourself, you have to fight to stop him.”
She nodded to him, but remained silent.
“Ideally, your mission will conclude before Vegeta gets his hands dirty himself, but should the Supreme Kai of Time require you to face him, it will be the fight of your life. More than it was with Raditz, and even more so than the Saibamen and Nappa before him.”
Tien put a hand to her shoulder.
“I don’t think ‘We’re counting on you’ is what you really want to hear right now, so instead, just know that I believe in you. I know you can do it. And so do Yamcha and Chiaotzu.”
While this did lead to a small smile building on Pan’s face, as Tien walked back towards his unit, he had one last hard truth for her:
“But most importantly, you have to be ready for what will happen to us. Us three and Piccolo. Know that it’ll happen... and it has to.”
He waved to her as he opened his door.
“Sleep well, Pan.”
Shortly after, Pan gathered all her belongings within her housing quarters, ready to depart once the day began. But she found that she couldn’t sleep in her bed, instead deciding to lie outside by the fire. Peering up at the ceiling simulating stars and a night time sky, she was left to wonder how different the Vegeta she was going to meet would be.
What felt like morning arrived and the first thing Pan did upon waking up was go into her unit’s bathroom to cut her long hair back down to the length it was at before she entered the Training Chamber. She immediately got dressed in her Time Patrol uniform and, both as a precaution after her battle with Raditz and for whatever edge it could give her, had her Power Pole and case on her back hidden by her yellow cape. Stepping out, she found Yamcha and Chiaotzu dressed back in their attire from their first day and cleaned up despite their drinking the night before.
“So that’s your fighting uniform, Pan?” Yamcha asked. “It’s a good look.”
“Seems a little casual to me,” went Chiaotzu. “Do you really need to carry something on that chain while you’re...?”
“Don’t mind him,” Tien interrupted. “Though if I might ask, while I understand the jacket, gloves, and even the cape, why those clothes in particular?”
“When my world was...”
Pan paused, trying to explain without bringing down their mood and hers.
“This was all I had left of it. I was never one for fashion, but Bulla, she...”
She caught herself stopping once again, then worked her way to a smile.
“Bulla had a better handle on fashion than I did. Said she’d make sure I looked okay at least.”
Just then, for the first time in six months, the doors to outside the Training Chamber opened with Trunks there to greet them.
“You four have everything?”
He saw them each lift a bag up while nodding back.
He approached Pan, seeing that, while it had only been six days for him and she was back in her standard uniform as usual, something had changed about her.
He realized he had been staring off at her and tried to play it off.
“So hey, can I see your wrist band?”
She tried not to appear nervous as she took it out from her pocket and handed it to him, knowing this moment would come.
“I’m really curious what your power level’s...”
Trunks paused, realizing it was basically unreadable due to the cracks all over the band’s screen.
“Trunks, what happened was... you see, I...”
“I broke it,” answered Tien. “Struck it by mistake during a spar.”
After putting it in his coat’s pocket, Trunks then took out a capsule.
“We developed these for you.”
Throwing it to the ground, from it poofed...
...a gray pair of boots, the heel and toes a lighter shade with a flaming symbol of sorts at its center.
“These were designed to withstand ki, so if you need to use your feet for a Kamehameha again, they won’t burn through them like it did your shoes.”
As Pan placed them on, they noticed the desert-like area around them began to shift away, and even a change in the air as it slowly reverted back to the Training Chamber’s default state. As this happened, Pan realized the ten time’s gravity had left and, having grown accustomed to it over all that time, she now felt lighter.
“This must be how Grandpa felt when he finished training with King Kai.”
Commander Hale stood by the open door.
“The Supreme Kai of Time can’t hold the change at bay for much longer. I will take Pan to the Time Nest.”
Pan ran over to Hale’s side, then turned back to the three Z-Fighters with a waving hand.
"Thank you all for everything."
After the three waved back, she and Hale sprinted out with haste. Trunks knew this moment had come to discuss this topic with the three visitors from the main timeline.
“I’m sure you understand how important preventing changes to history is by now and why neither myself nor the Supreme Kai of Time brought this up until now, but...”
“I know I can’t go around telling your mother that we bumped into you again,” went Yamcha as Trunks paused.
“And, whether or not the Videl of our timeline has Pan or not, we can’t bring her up to either of her parents,” continued Tien.
“Sound like anyone we know?” went Chiaotzu, everyone knowing he was referring to when they first met this Trunks of the future.
“In order to prevent changes to time once you return back, your memories of everything here will have to be suppressed,” Trunks explained. “Of the Time Patrol, Toki Toki City, the Supreme Kai of Time, Pan, and all your time in the Training Chamber. All of it.”
For most, the thought of six months of their lives just disappearing away from their memory would’ve seemed like a hard concept to accept, let alone agree to. But for these seasoned Z-Fighters, they appeared ready to go through with it.
“We understand,” acknowledged Tien.
“It’s like the saying with the butterfly and dinosaurs...” added Chiaotzu.
“I don’t know about you guys, but with how much we grew in that chamber, I bet we can do it again, memory or no memory,” went Yamcha with a fist raised. “Besides, we’ve shown just how great of teachers we can be.”
Tien gave Yamcha a friendly hit on the back.
“Who knows? Maybe we three will teach a dojo together like in her world.”
Chiaotzu, however, appeared disinterested.
“Sounds like too much work if you ask me.”
Pan arrived at the library, seeing the Supreme Kai of Time straining at this point.
“Supreme Kai of Time?”
Pan was not expecting to hear Pima’s voice, seeing him crouching by a table.
“No time for small talk. Take the scroll.”
He was blunt and to the point regarding the stakes as Pan grasped the scroll, seeing the possible change she was trying to stop:
Tien, Chiaotzu, and Krillin lied in round craters with pieces of Saibamen around them. Gohan and Piccolo were hunched over, exhausted and heavily bruised, and Yamcha was fending off the final Saibamen while missing his left hand. He fired off a blast with all his remaining ki and life force, destroying the Saibamen, but at the cost of his own life, dropping down in front of the two to Gohan’s horror.
Nappa, entirely untouched at this point, fired off a one-handed beam at Gohan, one larger than his entire body. He couldn't even move while Piccolo flew in front of him to protect Goku's son, taking the brunt of the blast. But it didn't take long for the blast to tear through Piccolo, his head, shoulders, arms, and legs scattering as his upper and lower body burned away. The undeterred beam soon enveloped Gohan, eventually reducing him to nothing.
Pan’s thoughts at what had transpired were interrupted by a tap on her shoulder by Pima.
“Now look... I’m trusting you to do what has to be done, but should you fail or end up dead, I’ll put things back in their proper places. Got that?”
As Pan closed her eyes, she nodded to him...
“Loud and clear.”
Pima and the Supreme Kai of Time both saw Pan transported from the library into the past.
“Now, Supreme Kai of Time!”
With Pima’s signal, she stopped herself from slowing down the flow of time any further, falling onto her back. Despite his less than affable attitude towards Pan earlier, Pima rushed to help the Supreme Kai of Time back up.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ll manage. I can watch over her.”
“As you wish.”
...and headed back to his position from before.
As per history, Yamcha, Ciaotzu, Tien, Krillin, Gohan, and Piccolo stood against Nappa, Vegeta, and their six Saibamen. Pan watched over the event behind cover.
“Seeing as how there are six of you Earth warriors, the same number as our Saibamen...”
Vegeta’s voice, while obviously different to the one Pan was used to due to decades, had a different tone to it, almost as if he were acting out a role of a character in a play. Less resigned, more casual, but with an aura of grandiosity to his every phrase.
“How about fighting one at a time? Sporting, wouldn’t you say?”
Piccolo appeared to object to the arrangement until Krillin hopped out in front of him.
“W-wait, Piccolo! This could work in our favor!”
Tien stepped forward first.
“Nothing out of the ordinary yet?”
“Not that I can see...”
Trunks’ voice answered her. He had finished his business with the three Z-Fighters of the main timeline.
“Now Tien should soundly defeat this one.”
This first Saibamen up to bat ran to Tien, but was struck back with one hand.
“That can’t be right...”
The Saibamen fell onto its side, seemingly unable to get up.
“The first hit shouldn’t have hurt the Saibamen that badly. It was on its feet for its next attack.”
A purple glow overtook its green skin and it angled its head in Tien’s direction. Its head then split in two, a burst of acid shooting out straight at Tien, who tried to move to the side, but was caught off-guard by its speed.
His left wrist couldn’t avoid it in time as Tien screamed out in pain, his right hand over the bubbling flesh.
“Tien!” shouted Yamcha.
Chiaotzu seemed especially demoralized to see this happen to Tien.
Krillin tried to keep his composure, but realized...
“Tien’s hurt bad... and that was from just the first Saibamen. The first... of six.”
Vegeta’s smirk became even more pronounced.
“I guess our entertainment will be brief. Less of a full feature and more like a short commercial.”
As the Z-Fighters heard this, they then realized the Saibamen had left its spot in a blur.
“Where did it...?!” went Gohan.
Piccolo followed its movement through its ki, realizing...
He looked in the Saibamen’s direction, seeing in terror that it was lunging right for him, its arms outstretched to grab a hold of him.
“TIEEEN!!!” screamed Yamcha.
“And there goes the three-eyed...”
Nappa stopped in the middle of his comment upon hearing a sudden high-speed strike and saw the Saibamen flying straight into a large boulder. He and Vegeta, as well as the Z-Fighters, saw a caped girl in front of Tien, having delivered a kick, then firing a barrage of ki blasts at the Saibamen before it could recover.
“You won’t die this way, Tien.”
The six had differing reactions of shock to seeing her, some having not seen her since the World Martial Arts Tournament six years ago.
“It’s you again,” went Gohan first.
“You haven’t changed since Raditz, yet your power has...” went Piccolo next.
“Raditz?” Krillin went inquisitively. “I thought it was just you two and Goku. You mean she was there too?”
“And what’s with the jacket and cape?” Chiaotzu chimed in. “You’re gonna bake in those out here.”
“You don’t appear to have aged a day since you and Goku fought Piccolo,” added Yamcha.
“Thank you for that,” went Tien, now back on his feet, but still tending to his left wrist. “I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
As for Nappa and Vegeta’s thoughts on Pan’s presence...
“She certainly handled that Saibamen a lot better than that three-eyed Earthling did.”
They turned to the Saibamen, seeing that once the dust settled from Pan’s blasts, the creature fell onto its front, struggling in vain to get up. Seeing Vegeta pointing his palm at it, the Saibamen squealed and raised its hand, trying to plead, but was then eviscerated by a blast by the Saiyan Prince.
“I offered you Earthlings a fair chance. One-on-one. That was the deal. But now thanks to...”
He directed their attention to Pan, pointing at her.
“This caped Earthling girl interfering in the three-eyed man’s fight, now your lives are forfeit. Saibamen!”
The five turned to Vegeta.
“Attack all at once! Give these scum everything you have to offer!”
While Pan had saved Tien and stopped a change to history, this...
“I’ve already created a change, haven’t I?”
“A short term one,” went the Supreme Kai of Time. “As long as the Saibamen are defeated, it won’t amount to much of an alteration.”
But now that the five Saibamen, the aura over them, charged, Pan focused on their movements, watching them pick their targets. The first of them to near its target chose Krillin, who was more than prepared, but the Saibamen found its path blocked by...
"Yamcha?" went Krillin. "But Yamcha I can..."
"Let me take care of this," the former desert bandit answered back, guarding against the Saibamen and keeping its claw-like hands at bay.
The next Saibamen found Chiaotzu hopping over it, firing acid straight into the air, but just missing his black hat. The third swung at Gohan, who backed away from each swing, not even wanting to risk blocking, when Piccolo got in front of the Saibamen to occupy it.
"Gohan, what do you think you're doing?!"
"It's too fast, Mr. Piccolo! I can barely see what it's doing!"
"Then sense its ki, you idiot!"
As she saw Piccolo guarding the young child who would become her father, her focus turned to Tien, who was fighting back against the fourth, but was still injured from the spray he took earlier and began to struggle.
"It doesn't look good for him."
When the last Saibamen joined and tried to gang up on him...
"REALLY doesn't look good for him."
Chiaotzu took notice of his friend in trouble.
"Hold on, Ti...!"
The Saibamen he was fighting got a lucky punch in to his red dotted cheek, knocking him down. It looked ready to hop on top of the grounded Chiaotzu when Pan flew under, catching it by its torso, stood on her feet, and slammed it back down.
With Chiaotzu relatively safe, at least for the moment, Pan made her way to Tien's side, ready to fight back-to-back with him.
"I'll cover you."
Had she not trained in the Training Chamber for all those months, Pan knew this would've felt like fighting Raditz, and just this one Saibamen would've been an overwhelming challenge she could barely stand against. But where she was now, Pan not only kept pace and at an even level of strength with them, but could surpass it.
Even then, as she found Tien taking a kick to his leg, Pan found that her Saibamen seemed to speed up, trying to scratch at her stomach. She caught its wrists, then angled its head away from her and anyone else so it couldn't counter with its acid spray.
"They're still formidable all the same. My ambush was a big part in the first one seeming so easy to bring down."
"Just don't kill any of the Saibamen," instructed Trunks. "They're the ones that finish the creatures."
"That's a copy," went Pan, simply throwing the Saibamen's arms upward, exposing it to a punch to knock it away.
As vulnerable as Tien seemed in the moment, crouched over and the Saibamen he faced now lunging at him, he fell onto his back, then booted the Saibamen with both feet. Before it could look down at him, he flipped, sending it right into the one Pan had punched just then.
"I won't fall for that one again."
Chiaotzu kicked his Saibamen backward, Piccolo swiped his and Gohan's away with a backhand, and Yamcha, having struck his to the ground from high above, began charging his...
It appeared completely helpless in the crater it lied in already as the beam fast approached it, trying completely in vain to stop it with its arms. A cloud of dust overtook the whole area until at last, the Saibamen's beaten and battered body was shown, steam stemming from its body and its opened mouth, frozen in its last expression of fear. Almost as if reacting to what happened to their comrade, the other four Saibamen backed away, regrouping in the face of another one of their own having fallen.
"Yeah, that's right, you better run," taunted Yamcha.
Pan watched Nappa appearing to have some shock, but noted Vegeta's demeanor had hardly shifted.
"Guess what, creeps?! Your little monsters won't win you this battle, and you're not taking Earth from us!"
While Yamcha was showing off some of his pride at his accomplishment, another part of him, having seen what a Saibamen had done to Tien just moments ago, was declaring not just his strength, but that of his friends and temporary allies.
She heard Trunks.
"Goku will come back to us to find that we took care of the trash for him!"
"Neither of you are going to lay a hand on even a single Dragon Ball, and that's a promise!"
Pan heard both Yamcha speaking aloud and Trunks on her comms, but she found that, while Yamcha and the Z-Fighters faced the Saiyans and the four Saibamen...
"With the seven of us together, our power combined..."
"You have to..."
...the one they thought to be dead lunged forward toward Yamcha's backside with blinding speed. It was almost as if everything went absolutely silent. Pan couldn't hear Trunks' voice anymore and now she was reading Yamcha's lips.
"Even you two Saiyans..."
Her mind flashed with so many memories of her with her world's Yamcha:
Him training her in his moves when she was a child.
"Puppy Tooth Punch!"
"No, no. Wolf Fang Fist."
Him at the reunion with his extended surrogate family of friends.
"Pan, long time no see. How's my old pupil doing?"
Him trying to raise her spirits after her loss to Goten in the tournament.
"Always keep trying. I'll be rooting for you at the next tournament."
Him saving the small boy she couldn't reach in time from getting run over by a car.
"Watch where you're going, buddy! You okay, kid?"
Him smirking after they brought down Frieza's ship.
"So... how did we do?"
Him pushing her and Bulla aside to save them from the self-destructing Chiaotzu.
Him bloodied and on Death's door in the aftermath.
"You're all... still here. I'm... glad."
Her attempt to save him with a senzu bean all for naught as they burst into flames.
Seeing the Saibamen so close, and her the only one aware of it, lone tear drops only barely poking out from her eyes...
...she broke the silence.
In those milliseconds, the Z-Fighters, turned to her shout. Yamcha in particular saw Pan's panicked face, realizing right then and there that not only was she warning him of something from behind, but from her tone and expression that she was deathly afraid for him. He glanced the Saibamen he had supposedly killed from the corner of his eye, and immediately went into shock.
"I didn't even think to..."
The other five then quickly looked over at Yamcha, not able to see the creature inches from him. But both he and Pan saw it. He turned his body, as well as his torso, to try to swerve around it, to get away, to just narrowly avoid its intended grapple.
"Oh no you don...!"
...but to his horror and the other Z-Fighters, it managed to scratch its way to his back all the same.
"Oh no, no, no...!"
He saw Pan's face take a turn for the worse: in her eyes, he was about to die.
"This can't be it...!"
He turned to his friend, Krillin. His former enemy, Chiaotzu. His hated–turned-friendly rival, Tien. The son of one of his three oldest friends, Gohan. And even Piccolo, who he considered a monster years ago, but who, even with his ill intent towards the world, had joined him and the others side-by-side to stave off a worse threat.
"I can't be going now...!"
A bright glow began to emerge all across the Saibamen's body. Even without an increase in heat, he could tell...
"This really is it for me..."
As it grew brighter, his shock wore off, and now Yamcha was left to reflect.
"You're going to have to win this one without me, guys. At least now... you won't screw up like I did."
He thought of this mysterious caped girl, who saved Goku from Piccolo in the tournament, saved Tien from this very fate he was tethered to, and had just tried to save him by warning him.
"Thanks for trying, but it looks like we just weren't fast enough. But maybe... you'll keep everyone else alive..."
The glow had reached its apex as Yamcha thought back to his oldest friend by far...
"Puar. I'm sorry to leave you like this. You were always there for me. Through everything."
He felt the slightest change in the Saibamen's appendages, as if it were about to burst at the seams. This could be the last thought he'd have while living on this Earth. And now his thoughts went to...
"Bulma. I... I should've cherished what we had instead of throwing it away. But just know that even when I'm gone..."
One droplet escaped his left eye towards his cross-shaped scar.
"I hope you find happiness..."
His eyes closed.
"...with whoever you choose."
The Saibamen self-destructed, an even more massive cloud left over the area than the one his Kamehameha did. Pan couldn't see his silhouette at all, tears now freely coming down her cheeks.
Seeing a crater where he stood, but still no sign of him, she fell to her knees, then her hands.
Now the dust had settled and Pan saw scattered remains of the Saibamen's limbs and hands... ...and Yamcha's body, curled up and now completely lifeless, just at Tien and the others appeared in her vision. She had gone through losing Yamcha once before. Even though she didn't see him die or the aftermath, Pan had felt it, sensed it. But now she saw not only the cause, but the end result. She had tried to do what she couldn't before, but Yamcha still died all the same.
Her wrists struck the ground, as did her face, sobbing into the dirt as the other Z-Fighters had their collective reactions of shock and grief.
Elsewhere, the two mysterious figures watched what had transpired on a monitor.
The larger one took notice of the shorter figure with a hand to her chin.
"What is it?"
"Did you see it too?"
"Of course. But the action was inconsequential. What of it?"
"On the contrary..."
A staff clanged on the ground."What she tried to do... changes everything."
Z-Fighter Down! Three To Go?!
The following is a synopsis due to my inability to write out the chapter proper.
In the aftermath, Pan and the five Z-Fighters saw Yamcha's dead body, crumpled over in a crater as per the vision she saw of the others in the scroll prior to the mission. The Supreme Kai of Time immediately jumped onto comms to scold Pan for nearly altering the past, to which Trunks attempted to deflate the situation by stating he understood why she did what she did. In spite of this, the Supreme Kai of Time gave her ultimatum: the objective was to ensure Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo's survival, and not to interfere with Tien and Chiaotzu, no matter what. The thought was tearing her apart inside, but Pan agreed and attempted to compose herself in the face of the imminent battle.
Vegeta laughed at the fallen Z-Fighter and told the rest to pick up their trash. Pan was shocked at hearing Vegeta speaking like this, but tried telling herself that he would change. Soon after, instead of waiting on the Saibamen first, Nappa insisted he join in the battle to finish them quickly. Vegeta allowed this and the Z-Fighters now had to fend off both the four remaining Saibamen and Nappa's assault. Pan had to zoom across the area, stopping Saibamen from wearing down Krillin and guarding Gohan alongside Piccolo.
Piccolo, seeing Tien struggling against Nappa, insisted that she help him instead. As much as she wanted to, she remained where she was, even as she saw Tien having his left wrist chopped by Nappa's strike. Krillin was preparing a technique of sorts, but found himself swarmed by four Saibamen at once. As they tried to dog pile him, Pan blew them back with a burst of ki, then slammed them to the ground with swings from the power pole. Krillin noted its similarity to the one Goku used, but then focused on the opportunity in front of him, firing off what seemed to be a slow-moving blast until it split apart. The scattering bullets then struck down and destroyed the four Saibamen, leaving only one remaining.
Seeing Gohan about to be grappled by the last Saibamen, Pan flew in to stop it, but found the intended grapple stopped by Piccolo, who grabbed it by his hand. After throwing the Saibamen and vaporizing it with a mouth beam, he questioned why she was so concerned with protecting Gohan, even as far back as their battle against Raditz a year prior. Trying to answer him without giving away anything, Pan responded that she didn't want "the kid" getting hurt. He scoffed at this, telling her to watch Gohan since she appeared more concerned with his safety than that of those two (Tien and Chiaotzu).
Knowing she couldn't interfere, she stood guarding Gohan as she saw Tien and Chiaotzu failing to harm Nappa, and Krillin and Piccolo trying to assist them. Gohan turned to her and asked why she wasn't helping them, to which Pan couldn't come up with an answer for the boy that would become her father. Upon seeing Chiaotzu lunging onto Nappa's back, Gohan told her he wasn't going to stand by and do nothing, and joined the battle. Pan followed and also joined in the assault, but once a glow began to emerge from Chiaotzu, she and the other Z-Fighters backed up. Tien, seeing that Chiaotzu was about to detonate himself, tried telling him to stop, but his life long friend was content with his decision and left smoke and debris in the aftermath.
To both Pan's and Tien's anguish, they saw that Nappa was barely harmed and that Chaiotzu's sacrifice was for nothing. As Nappa flew to attack Tien, Piccolo and Krillin managed to knock him away in Gohan's direction. Piccolo shouted at Gohan to attack with everything he had, but Gohan instead ducked out of the way. Nappa recovered and clashed with Krillin and Piccolo, knocking them down. The Namekian turned to Pan, blaming her for Gohan hesitating from watching her a year prior. In his last-ditch effort, Tien fired off a powered up one-handed Tri-Beam at Nappa, putting everything into it, only to see the Saiyan dodging it.
After Tien fell down dead, Vegeta taunted him for dying "like a dog", further revealing to Pan the kind of man Vegeta once was. She was then informed that the beam was supposed to damage Nappa and his armor, and, since it was prevented, this could cause any number of unwarranted changes. As she was told to try inflicting the damage herself, she saw Nappa already coming right towards her. Since, according to Trunks, a three hour stop to the fight would commence at some point, it was advised that she try to keep Nappa from the three remaining Z-Fighters for the time being.
In the distance from the four spectators, with Krillin, Piccolo, and Gohan making no moves against Vegeta due to the glow of power he emanated, Pan and Nappa battled one-on-one, finding themselves more evenly matched than either would have expected. Pan started to worry if Nappa was pushing her and what this would mean in the case of Vegeta, and Nappa openly wondered if this "scrawny girl" was actually a Saiyan like him. Finally, she managed to catch Nappa with her Maiden's Blast, which seared his armor and partially hurt him. Just then, Vegeta summoned Nappa, and the two returned to the main battleground to discover that Vegeta intended for the fighting to stop for three hours maximum. When realizing Vegeta's only reason for doing this was because he was intrigued from hearing about the power of "Kakarot" from the others, Pan began to hope that this would be a point of redemption for Bulla's father.
Not wanting Pan to be bombarded from questions, the Supreme Kai of Time had Pan teleported out before anyone could notice, removing the memory of her being there for the time being. She returned to the Time Nest, being informed that there was another change already beginning to occur and that she had only a brief duration to rest. She asked how long she had to protect the remaining three before Goku arrived, to which Trunks told her it'd take several minutes, then fumblingly stated not to worry about Piccolo. Upon catching this, the Supreme Kai of Time urged Pan that what Piccolo was going to do would be a pivotal moment in both his and Gohan's lives, and she must not stop it. Seeing the Supreme Kai of Time tiring from holding back the new change, Pan was sent back, only for everyone to wonder how she disappeared and where she was for the three hours they waited.
Piccolo pointed out that three hours earlier (in his time), Pan wasn't using her full power against Nappa, and began to question just whose side she was really on, but Gohan and Krillin insisted they needed all the help they could get. Vegeta, his scouter's timer having gone off, commanded Nappa to get back on the attack. After Piccolo's plan to grab and pull onto Nappa's tail succeeded, but with little to no effect on the Saiyan, the Namekian was knocked unconscious, leaving it up to Pan, Krillin, and Gohan.
When Krillin threw his Destructo-Disk, Nappa simply tilted his head to avoid it. Even Gohan, who at this point in history was supposed to be getting in major blows, found Nappa's defenses sharper than before. Pan intervened, keeping Nappa at bay with the Power Pole. Swinging her grandfather's weapon the hardest she could, it struck Nappa's cheek, leaving a blunt scar.
This combined with a burning blast to his back by the now-conscious Piccolo and a pummeling through rock by Gohan enraged the Saiyan. He fired off a massive beam toward Gohan, who was too scared to move. Before the thought came to Pan to intervene, she saw Piccolo shielding Gohan, and understood that the moment before her was the day Piccolo changed for the better.
Piccolo fell, his wounds fatal, and his last words heard only by Gohan. Soon after Piccolo died, everyone nearby could sense a presence approaching them from a far distance: Goku. Vegeta ordered Nappa to finish them off quickly to demoralize him, and Nappa went right for Gohan. Krillin and Pan both stood before him, but with a gesture of his hands, both were blown away from him. He swung his hand down on Gohan, but found no trace of him. Everyone turned to see Gohan sitting on the Flying Nimbus and Goku standing before them: he had finally arrived to put things right.Instead of being infuriated or nervous, the mysterious figure seemed content to see his arrival, indicating to her partner that history could still change yet.
Goku Arrives! Terror of Vegeta!
The following is a synopsis due to my inability to write out the chapter proper.
Upon tending to Gohan and Krillin, and acknowledging the help Pan had done in protecting them, he turned his attention to the two Saiyans, as well as the bodies of Yamcha, Tien, and Piccolo nearby. He inquired where Chiaotzu was, to which Nappa joyously announced that Chiaotzu blew himself up in a pathetic effort to bring him down. After taunting that Chiaotzu and the others were nothing but weaklings, Goku grew enraged at Nappa, charging with a massive amount of ki, one that even gave Vegeta pause.
After stating to Nappa that his scouter gave Kakarot a reading of over eight thousand, Vegeta gave his comrade the order to attack. The two clashed, but while initially caught off-guard by Goku, Nappa soon seemed to adapt, nearly matching him. Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time informed Pan that Nappa should've been far more overwhelmed and, while they anticipated Goku would ask her to let him handle this alone, Pan had to intervene. As predicted, Goku was hesitant in accepting her aid, though Krillin and Gohan plead with him. Nappa noticed Goku was heeding the words of his comrades, but after being knocked back, turned his attention back to his opponent, the two flying into each other and clashing in midair.
Nappa fired his Break Cannon from his mouth, which Goku made no attempt to dodge. As the attack dissipated, Pan collided with him, but Nappa blocked her attack. With both struggling to overpower the other, Nappa told Vegeta that the only explanation for this was that Pan was a Saiyan like the two of them. Just then, Vegeta shouted at Nappa to turn around, which he did, seeing Goku nearly untouched after the Break Cannon save for some searing on Goku's wristbands. Trunks feared Goku might've actually taken damage, unlike in history where his ki alone was enough to stop it.
In a rage after being ordered to leave Kakarot to Vegeta, Nappa went flying towards Gohan and Krillin. Pan flew in after him, grabbing hold of his tail, which he initially scoffed at. Just then, she stomped on his back with both her feet, then pulled his tail as hard as she could, actually causing Nappa pain in doing so. After Nappa elbowed and knocked Pan away, he flew in even faster, about to finish them. Pan heard Goku shouting "Kaio-Ken", flying in fast enough to intercept Nappa, striking his back, knocking him towards the ground, then catching him. This left Nappa crippled, unable to fight any longer and only able to crawl back to Vegeta.
Goku gave the two Saiyans the ultimatum of leaving Earth, but Pan heard Nappa asking Vegeta for help, and saw the Saiyan Prince putting his hand out to him. Once Nappa took it, he was flung into the air by his comrade, then, even amidst his begging, was obliterated by a blast. After witnessing Nappa destroyed by Vegeta, a grin on the Saiyan Prince's face, Pan began to wonder if this was all because of what Frieza did to him or if this was just how Vegeta was. It looked as though history was back on point when Vegeta glowed with a purple aura and struck Goku unannounced.
Trunks suspected whoever was manipulating his father wanted him and Goku to fight right then and there instead of a desert canyon Goku was supposed to lead him to first. The Supreme Kai of Time wasn't sure what Pan should do, as she freely feared even after her training that she was well below Vegeta's power. Pan simply asked if Trunks could direct her there himself and that'd she handle it.
In mid-fight, Goku told Krillin and Gohan to leave, then asked Vegeta to fight him elsewhere. Vegeta wasn't moved, still attacking him, forcing Pan to blast at him with ki blasts. He swiftly avoided them while still battling Goku, to which she flew in close for a flurry. The Saiyan Prince blocked attacks from both her and Goku before a palm rocketed her to the ground. During this, Goku found an opening, landing his first blow against Vegeta. Pan, getting up from a blow far stronger than Nappa's, began to fly off into the far distance. Goku noticed this and flew after her, Vegeta following soon after.
Catching up to her, Goku asked Pan if she also wanted to move the battle elsewhere, then asked her to follow him. Vegeta decided not to waste his energy attacking for the time being and followed suit. Upon arriving in the desert, Vegeta gave the two only a brief respite, announcing his superiority due to coming from a royal Saiyan bloodline. Once Goku rebuked this with the concept that even a lower ranked could challenge an elite, Vegeta questioned Pan as to why she was even involved to begin with. Trying not to give anything away, but needing to answer, she responded that she wouldn't let anyone else die.
Throughout their battle, Pan found herself barely able to keep up with Goku and Vegeta's battle, and even as she attempted to intervene, Vegeta simply avoided them or his sheer movements blew her backward. Realizing that Vegeta's power-up was getting the better of Goku even with Kaio-Ken, Pan tried something differently by using the Power Pole. As Vegeta caught a jabbing Power Pole with his hand, he taunted her about using a blunt instrument. Before he could fire off a blast with his other hand, Pan quickly shouted "Power Pole Extend", landing her first attack against Vegeta and pinning him to a wall. This also allowed Goku to knock him through several afterward, after which he noticed the Power Pole Pan held, stating that it reminded him of the one he used to wield.
Vegeta reemerged, this time on the offensive against Pan, his punches blocked by the Power Pole, but still knocking her backward. Robbing Pan of her weapon soon after, he swung it at her, putting a blunt cut on her back and slicing off her cape. After a knee to her stomach knocked her into a wall, Vegeta prepared to throw the Power Pole at her head, only for Goku to land a critical blow to Vegeta's armor. The thrown Power Pole barely missed her and lodge itself in the wall next to her as Goku unleashed a Kaio-Ken times three onslaught on Vegeta.
Goku returned soon after to check on Pan, the Kaio-Ken already taking a toll on him, until Vegeta recovered in a rage. Intending to end the battle then and there and destroy the Earth, he flew into the air for his Galick Gun, which Goku countered with the Kamehameha. Vegeta's power-up began to take hold, overpowering even Goku's Kaio-Ken times four power-up, and threatening to overtake his Kamehameha.
Pan didn't know if her own Kamehameha could help to turn the side, but knowing she had to do something, she flew upward behind Vegeta and began firing ki blasts at him. Though they all landed, none of them even phased the Saiyan Prince. With a more powerful charged shot, Pan finally harmed Vegeta enough to catch him off-guard, throwing off his focus long enough for Goku's Kamehameha to tear through his Galick Gun.The two watched as Vegeta was sent far into the sky by the Kamehameha, followed by Yajirobe joining them. Pan saw Goku barely able to stand, and she and Yajirobe tried to help him stay upright. Despite Yajirobe celebrating their victory, Goku and Pan sensed Vegeta's survival and his impending return. Goku told Yajirobe to get to a safe distance, then watched as Vegeta hovered back down with a glowing object in his hand. After seeing Vegeta toss it into the sky, Goku and Pan witnessed in terror Vegeta growing in size and his face violently morphing, concluding with him towering over his opponents as a Great Ape.
A Great Ape! An Unveiling!
The following is a synopsis due to my inability to write out the chapter proper.
Upon his transformation's completion, Vegeta lunged at them, forcing Pan and Goku to flee from their massive foe. Neither knowing if they could even damage Vegeta at this point, they made their way through the canyon's structures only to find the Great Ape always keeping pace with them.
After using the Solar Flare to momentarily blind Vegeta, Goku fled, trying to gather energy for his Spirit Bomb. Pan attempted to defend Goku upon Vegeta finding them, but even her Kamehameha could only delay his approach. She stopped her attack to avoid draining herself completely, and flew around the Great Ape's head to hold his attention. While her ki blasts annoyed him far more, Vegeta kept to his intended path.
She finally stopped Vegeta by landing in front of him and extended the Power Pole, striking his throat and forcing him to back up. With a punting kick, he struck the Power Pole, knocking Pan to the side and sending her weapon so far out of range she couldn't hope to recover it and return in time. She tried getting up, but Vegeta's next step forced her into a stumble, leaving her open to a falling punch. Despite creating a shield of ki around herself, the impact shattered it and left her further exposed to a stomp.
Left injured in the crater the punch and stomp created, Pan could only watch as Great Ape Vegeta fired a beam from his mouth, finally reaching Goku. As she turned over onto her stomach, she witnessed Vegeta stomping on Goku's legs, then pointing to fire at him only to stop his attack. She couldn't hear the conversation between the two, but she did see Goku firing one last beam at the Great Ape's right eye. In retaliation, Vegeta grabbed hold of Goku and began squeezing him, during which Pan endured her grandfather's screams of pain.
Soon after, she saw Gohan arriving, followed by Krilling throwing a Destructo-Disk at Great Ape Vegeta's tail. As per history, Vegeta leapt over it, but as he taunted them, a purple aura took hold of him. Once it covered him, he instinctively turned around, avoiding Yajirobe's sword swing and knocking him away with his tail.
Pan, Trunks, and the Supreme Kai of Time watched as history began to change before their very eyes: Krillin flew after Yajirobe, and Gohan tried to attack Great Ape Vegeta to save Goku, but none of his attacks could do a thing to the Great Ape. Upon Krillin's returned, he joined in as well, about to fire off a Solar Flare, but Vegeta swat him into the distance with his freed hand. Gohan went into a rage and collided with Vegeta's chest, trying with all of his might to push him over, and, to Vegeta and Pan's surprise, actually forced the Great Ape to take one step backward.
Out of frustration, Vegeta swatted Gohan towards the ground with his freed hand, rolling close to Pan's crater. Vegeta looked over at Goku's two grounded allies, turned Goku towards Gohan, and taunted him over what would occur first: Goku being crushed in his hands, or him living long enough to see his son killed. Pan looked up and saw Vegeta's mouth beginning to glow, but then noticed Gohan trying to get her attention. Once he had it, even though Pan couldn't hear him, Gohan managed to mouth the words "You can do it", the same words she had told him in their battle against Raditz.
Redetermined by the words given to her from the child who would become her father, Pan floated off the ground, then charged with all the ki she could muster. Right as Great Ape Vegeta's charging mouth beam began to reach its apex, she flew between his legs and took hold of his tail, tugging with everything she had. As the beam finally fired, Vegeta saw it miss and felt himself being lifted off the ground by his tail. In spite of his power, the squeezing pressure on his tail combined with the pull off the ground left him unable to break out of it. For the first time, Vegeta felt an agonizing pain in his tail, so much so he let go of Goku, who landed close to his son.
Trunks and Supreme Kai of Time witnessed Pan flying higher into the air while lifting up Great Ape Vegeta, but also saw the strain on her body that she was powering through without even feeling. The two opened communications with Pan, telling her she had to stop what she was doing. At first, Pan didn't even respond, hellbent in the moment on getting Vegeta as high up as she could. Trunks insisted to Pan that both Gohan and Goku were alright and that it was time to let Vegeta go. Still receiving no response, both knew that if Pan kept this up, her body would break down completely and she would likely be killed.
Both tried to think of what to do then and there, to which Trunks mentioned Bulla, which gave Pan pause even with all her adrenaline and instincts raging through her. He told her to let Vegeta go, and that it's all for Bulla's sake. Both due to hearing Trunks' words and the strain finally registering, she descended, nearly throwing Vegeta downward. As she saw the Great Ape crash into the ground first, she mustered just enough ki to soften her landing before landing on her back. As Great Ape Vegeta struggled to even get on all fours, Yajirobe lunged at his tail, slicing it off with a single swing of his katana. Pan watched as Vegeta began to revert back to his self until she lost consciousness.
Seeing the battle wasn't over, Pima believed he had to cover for the unconscious Pan, but the three of them saw that despite the power-up Vegeta had been given, the pain from his tail in his Great Ape form prevented Vegeta from vastly overpowering the remaining Z-Fighters. They watched as it appeared history was restored back to its proper form.
Pan opened her eyes, seeing Krillin placing his hand on Goku's followed by the Spirit Bomb forming in the Earthling's palm. Her eyes closed, then reopened to see Gohan taking the fight to Vegeta, though ultimately not stopping the Saiyan Prince. Once more, she blacked out, then awoke to see Krillin's tossed Spirit Bomb missing Vegeta, but ultimately hitting its mark after Gohan deflected it back. She watched for as long as she could as the Saiyan Prince was forced into the sky out of her view until her vision went dark.
This time, when her eyes opened, Pan saw Yajirobe, who was helping her to sit up. He complimented her on her feat as Krillin and Gohan looked over at her happily, the battle finally won. Goku, while immobilized and unable to speak, looked her in the eye and somehow managed to communicate telepathically with her, giving Pan his thanks for saving his son on both occasions.
As she managed to make it onto her feet and stand, she nearly lost her footing as something came crashing to the ground: Vegeta, who quickly got off his back and knocked Krillin away with a simple swing. He then emitted a massive explosion, during which Pan shielded Gohan, but was soon sent flying backward along with him. While Vegeta sparred with Yajirobe, Pan noticed Gohan's tail, which was hidden throughout the entire battle, as well as the artificial moon Vegeta created to transform himself still shining down on them. Seeing Yajirobe being beaten savagely by the enraged Vegeta, she was told that Gohan transforming into a Great Ape was the key to their victory. Pan whispered for her father to forgive her for what she was going to do, and held Gohan in the moon's direction so he would see it clearly.
Within seconds, Gohan grew in size and Vegeta turned his full attention towards her after pushing Pan out of the way. In spite of attempting to kill Gohan before he could complete the transformation, the Great Ape took hold of him and tossed him into the distance. While Krillin at first celebrated this, the Great Ape smashing the area around him revealed that Gohan was not himself and more akin to a wild animal. Pan flew in front of the Great Ape, putting her hands on his face to try and calm him down. As Vegeta reemerged, she saw the Great Ape turn around and lunge high into the air towards the Saiyan Prince, unsure if what she attempted worked.
Vegeta, knowing he would be overpowered in a prolonged bout, tried to finish it quickly and threw a disk at Gohan's tail, successfully cutting it off. A burst of purple ki enveloped Vegeta and Pan, Trunks, and the Supreme Kai of Time had a feeling this was a last-ditch to ensure Vegeta avoided his fated defeat. Knowing that Vegeta couldn't be allowed to escape this, Pan flew into his view and fired a Kamehameha at him, which he descended to avoid. To his surprise, Pan bent the Kamehameha, which came downward after him, which she learned from watching Goku do the same against Raditz long before. The Saiyan Prince blocked it successfully, ready to taunt Pan until he saw himself too late to avoid the falling body of the shrinking, but still massive Great Ape.
In the aftermath, Vegeta crawled out from underneath the unconscious body of Gohan, truly unable to continue fighting and desperate to get to his pod. Krillin approached him, Yajirobe's sword in hand, about to stab Vegeta when he stopped. Pan saw Krillin turn towards Goku, indicating he was speaking to Krillin telepathically like he did for her. Krillin ranted about how Vegeta wasn't going to turn over a new leaf like Piccolo, and that he was completely irredeemable. Pan soon caught the purple aura around Krillin, whose eyes turned red as he declared he'd kill Vegeta no matter what Goku said.
She intervened, standing in Krillin's path and pleading with him not to do this. This did nothing to deter Krillin, who promised he'd do whatever it takes, even if it meant killing whoever tried to stop him. Knowing Krillin wasn't himself, Pan fought him, but with both so exhausted from the prolonged battles before, neither made any effort defensively. After receiving a cut to her cheek from the katana, she managed to disarm Krillin of the blade and struck him on the neck, knocking him out. Even with this, she saw Krillin getting back up slowly, almost akin to a puppet, and wondered what to do. Just then, Goku spoke to her telepathically, knowing that someone had to be possessing Krillin to do all this and informing her he detected a strange ki from far behind the pod itself.
Pan flew off quickly, wanting to get to the bottom of this before the possessed Krillin would finish the job, eventually finding a woman in red with a white hood and cape using a staff of some kind glowing with the same purple aura afflicting Krillin. She fired a ki blast, damaging the staff and freeing Krillin of its influence, then went for a punch when a massive man garbed in red, black, and white with blue skin stood in front of the woman, shielding her from the blow with his own body. Pan reeled afterward, her hand hurt just from the impact with him, allowing the man to gut punch her, hitting with a force greater than even Great Ape Vegeta. He put his hand in front of her face, about to fire off a point-blank blast Pan was in no position to avoid when the woman pulled his arm away from Pan, stating "That's enough, Mira". As she readied herself to depart, she looked over at Pan, telling her "Continue Chronoa's bidding for now, but you'll know better soon enough."As she saw this woman and Mira vanish, Pan also saw the canyon disappear, replaced shortly by the Time Nest. Trunks and Pima both helped Pan upward as the Supreme Kai of Time told her after she flew after the source of Krillin's possession, Pan's communications went silent and they lost sight of her. Pan answered that the hooded woman was protected by a bodyguard named Mira, who stopped her with one punch, and that she referred to someone named Chronoa. After Pan asked who this was, the Supreme Kai of Time revealed Chronoa was her name and that only three people in the Time Patrol knew of it: Trunks, Commander Hale, and a former patroller named Towa.