It had been almost a year and a half since Goku had won his third Tenka'ichi Budokai. His life had changed dramatically since then. Little did he know it would become even more complicated very soon. He had married Chi Chi (almost) immediately following his victory, and their son, Gohan, had been born six months ago. Even though Goku loved spending time with his new family, he couldn't allow himself to ease up on his training. So every morning, if Chi Chi and he weren't "busy," he went of into the mountains to lift the biggest rocks he could find which, lately, weighed several tons. Chi Chi, meanwhile, took Gohan out for walks in the surrounding countryside. Most of the animals left her alone, since she and her son smelled a great deal of Goku, and he was friends with most of the local animals.

On this particular morning, Chi Chi had taken Gohan to a lake near the house. Gohan giggled at the fish that continued to leap out of the water, causing his tail to wave around. Chi Chi smiled at her son's delight. She looked up at the sky and thought to herself, I'm the luckiest woman in the world. Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw something in the sky. She wasn't sure what it was, but it seemed to be headed right for them. She assumed it was her father in an air car, and turned back to her son, making sure he didn't wander off. She looked back at the whatever-it-was, and realized that not even her father was that big. As it continued to approach, Chi Chi became frightened. She grabbed Gohan and ran behind a nearby boulder. The craft, for it was a craft, managed to land, but just barely. Either there was something wrong with it, or there was something wrong with whoever was piloting it. The craft itself was about 50 feet long, with a semicircle at it's front. It's engines, which were in the rear, seemed to produce no heat. It wasn't very ornate, being all brown, but it certainly looked functional. Chi Chi took a peek out from behind the boulder in time to see a hatch open from the belly of the ship. A figure came tumbling out.

Never one to leave someone in distress, Chi Chi walked over to get a better look and offer to help. The figure was using it's arm to crawl away from the craft toward the lake, and when Chi Chi saw it properly, she gasped. Whatever it was, it wasn't human. He (she assumed it was male, given a lack of breasts) had tentacles coming down from the top of his head, which only sported facial hair. The being was dressed in a purple (flight?) suit, and had a sword on his back, which for some reason was holstered in the back of his belt. There was a device on his crawling arm with a long needle on it. Chi Chi regained her composure and asked, "Excuse me, are you all right?" The being looked up, and pointed his arm, or rather the device on it, at her. No, she thought, not at me. Gohan! She realized this as he shook his arm once, which released a white ball of energy. The energy enveloped Gohan, and split in two. The being spoke, saying "I Suggest you catch one." She didn't realize what he meant, until the two energy spheres disappeared, leaving Gohan falling. She caught him, only to realize there was another Gohan!

The being went limp as what can only be described as a red amoeba mad of light left his body and entered the other Gohan. Gohan immediately righted himself, and landed in a one-knee position. Chi Chi, feeling slightly overwhelmed (can you blame her?), could only think How did Gohan land so well? Goku, who had heard the landing, had run over (not at full speed, obviously) to see what was going on. When he saw the two Gohans, his mouth fell open. The Gohan in Chi Chi's arms had fallen asleep, while his counter part had walked over to the tentacled being, and was removing the device on his arm. Goku walked over to his wife and asked in a wavering voice, "Ch-Chi Chi? What's going on?" He was answered in a voice much to deep for the 6 month old body it belonged to. "If you assist me in retrieving this equipment, I'll explain." Chi Chi realized that the voice was identical to the being's. In a quiet voice she asked, "Who are you?" He turned to her. "Just a moment." He turned to Goku. "Get the sword and belt too." Goku got all the requested items. Nodding, the second Gohan sat on the ground and motioned for the others to do the same, which they did. "I promised I would explain, and I will, but I need your promise that you will never discuss this with anyone. It is of utmost importance." Not trusting themselves to speak, the couple nodded.

"Very well. First, I will answer your questions. You," he said pointing to Chi Chi, "asked what I am. I am an Energy Rider. You," this time pointing at Goku, "asked what was going on. This is complicated. First, I 'twinned' the infant." Goku raised his hand to ask a question. Gohan 2 (This is a temporary name) looked at him and waited. Goku took this as a signal to continue. "What do you mean, 'Twinned'?" Gohan 2 growled. "I was about to explain that. Twinning is a process by which a single being is split into two beings, completely identical to the original. Neither is a clone or a copy. They are, as the inventor of twinning said, 'equal and original.'" Chi Chi raised her hand. "Does this hurt them?" Gohan nodded. "Yes, but only after the 30th or 40th twinning. A single twinning has no adverse effects. Now, back to my explanation. The body I was inhabiting was damaged beyond repair, and I needed a new one. I don't wish to deprive anyone of a loved one, so I always twin myself a new body. I prefer to use children since they last a good while, and the younger they are, the less of a personality they have. This makes assimilation much easier. As a point of interest, how old is this body?" "About six months old." Gohan 2 shook his head. "I don't know what that means. How many cycles old is he?" Chi Chi was confused. "Cycles?" Gohan 2 sighed, and explained. "The amount of time it takes your planet to completely circle the sun." "Oh!" exclaimed Goku, in a rare flash of scientific understanding, "You mean a year!" Gohan 2 shrugged. "Well," said Chi Chi, "That would mean Gohan is half-a-cycle old." Gohan 2 nodded, and turned his attention to Goku. "I have two favors to ask of you." Goku raised an eyebrow. "My son's body isn't enough?" "I left you with a son. I could have simply taken him without twinning him. For this, you owe me." Neither Goku nor Chi Chi could argue with that. Gohan 2 smiled. "Excellent. Now, my first favor is simple. Keep the twinning machine and the sword here until I am large enough to use them myself." Goku nodded. "And the second favor?" "I detected a large power source from orbit around your planet. I came here hoping to find a power generator, but instead I realized it was either you or your son. I want you to take me to someone who can teach me to have that kind of power. It may be necessary if those who attacked me follow me here." Goku widened his eyes in surprise. "Who attacked you?" Gohan 2's face hardened. "They call themselves the Peacekeepers. They are the second largest military force in my galaxy, The largest being the Scarran army. They have deemed Energy Riders a threat, and hunt us ferociously. I possessed that Luxan," he jerked his thumb to the tentacled alien, "stole a transport pod, and tried to escape. I was sure I would be caught, but it seemed luck was with me. A wormhole opened up and pulled me through. once I was back in normal space, I saw your planet and made for it. The rest you know." Goku looked over at the crumpled form and asked "How did he get hurt?" Gohan 2 looked down. "I didn't anticipate the effect a wormhole would have on Luxan physiology. I had promised him that I would leave him as soon as I had a new host. I didn't expect him to die." Chi Chi gasped. That's horrible! he must feel so guilty. "Can he be saved?" Gohan 2 shook his head. "He was dead when we landed. I just barely managed to crawl out. Another arn, and I would have been dead too." He looked at them as if he was expecting them to speak. Simultaneously, they both exclaimed "WHAT?!" "Aren't you going to ask what an arn is?" Both husband and wife broke down into laughter. Gohan 2, who had a tight control over his emotions, only allowed himself a small smile. "Well if you're not going to ask, I'll tell you. An arn is 1/24th of a solar day." Goku, who had recovered from the peals of laughter. "We're sorry. It was such a somber moment. We didn't expect you to say that." Gohan 2 nodded. "I understood the source of your laughter. I may not look it, but I was conceived 1,200 cycles ago." Goku gave an impressed whistle. "Wow. I'm only 19." Gohan 2 raised an eyebrow. "Only 19 and you have already conceived a child? Most Sebaceanoid species I've encountered wait longer than that." Not bothering to ask what Sebaceanoid meant, Goku stood and said, "Alright. It's time I took you to someone for training." Gohan 2 nodded. "Wait a minute." Chi Chi stood also. "We need something to call him. He can't have Gohan's name." Goku nodded. "OK. What do we call him then?" Gohan 2 spoke up. "I apologize for not bringing this up earlier, but the last group I lived with gave me a name: Erado. They claimed they were inspired by my race's name." Goku scratched his head. "I don't get it." Erado shrugged. "Neither do I, but I will use it nonetheless."

Chapter Two

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