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Dragonball Xz: Episode 75 by The dark TRUNKS


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"UNDER CONSTRUCTION"
This article is currently under construction and is incomplete at the moment.

This page is the property of Nkstjoa. Edits to correct grammatical and format errors are encouraged, but please refrain from drastically changing and altering my works.


The Frieza Saga covers the upcoming chapters of Pan's Ascent in their entirety.

The Inevitable Comes Next! Be Prepared![]

Pan's adrenaline had worn off after what felt like the longest mission she'd overtaken, and now the collective toll of the hits she had taken, using Kaio-Ken, and the burns on her back and arms had kicked in.

“We’re almost there, Pan.”

“Watch your step, Trunks.”

Hakusa joined Trunks in carrying Pan through the Time Patrol’s medical center.

“Over here.”

Beetro called them into an available room, then helped the two carefully lie Pan onto a table.


Back in her lab, Towa had placed the unconscious Mira onto a table, a bubble over his body keeping him stable while she looked over the extent of the damage done to him.

"What has he done to you?"

Holographic screens emerged all around her, highlighting the most severe areas of injury, the most apparent being his missing right wrist and hand, half of his metal skull exposed, and his left eye, which Vegeta had attempted to rip out, dangling from its socket. The majority of the damage was to Mira’s upper body and his robotic skeleton held up for the most part, but finger-shaped dents were made into the skull from Vegeta trying to crush his head.

“You monster...”


Beetro had holographs on the walls of the room, signaling any and all physical afflictions which he could not tell from sight.

“At least two broken ribs.”

Pan, her eyes closed, ached as she reached her hand to her side.

“Agh! Three!”

“Please try not to move if you can.”

Beetro tried walking over to retrieve a tray of tools, but Trunks, standing close to the table, blocked his route.

“I need you to step aside please, Trunks.”

“Sorry.”

He hadn’t realized this and made his way towards the door. He pondered exiting the room, but asked “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Hakusa put a hand on Trunks’ shoulder.

“She’ll be alright, Trunks. We’ll take it from here.”

As Trunks nodded and took his leave, Beetro handed Hakusa a pair of medical scissors.

“While I prepare to treat her burns, I must ask that you help me cut this.”

The female Saiyan lifted the bottom of Pan’s blue shirt and tried cutting it precisely down the middle, then continued lifting and cutting upward.


Pieces of Mira's armor had been discarded to the side, the front pieces all but made brittle from Vegeta’s close-range blast. Towa turned Mira over to take a closer look at his back, which had been struck repeatedly. The backplate she removed soon after had a hole in the clear shape of a fist. Mira’s back, while not pierced through, bled enough from the attempt to do so.


Now that Pan was lying on her front on the table, the next obstruction to be taken care of was her light gray jacket, which was nearly in two already and simply had to be cut by the back of its collar. But what was beneath would be the most grueling for everyone involved:

Part of Pan’s shirt stuck to her burns, as did her jacket’s sleeves.

“Cut around it if you can, Hakusa.”

As she did this, Beetro had three square pails, one containing water, the other towels, and the last various bottles. Once Pan’s back was almost completely bare, he placed a towel into the water pail.

“I do apologize Pan, but this will feel unpleasant.”

The soaked towel was held over Pan’s back, who found herself wincing just from droplets of it touching her.

“I must ask you to stay as still as you can.”

Pan tried looking elsewhere to try to ease herself, akin to looking away from a needle when getting a shot, but the moment the cold towel touched her back, she found herself spitting out while she shouted and realized her fingers dug into her gloves, the nails so close to piercing through the gloves to her palms.


Much time passed outside the room Pan was in as Taino sat, looking what some would consider uncharacteristically down. She took her mentoring duties seriously, but even then, she generally kept things light. Trunks, two water cups in hand, joined her.

“Here.”

Both were clearly concerned for Pan and while Trunks didn’t wish to address it out loud, he knew Taino’s demeanor was reflecting one of guilt.

“There was nothing Taino could do to account for Towa and Mira’s tricks. We fell for it. All of us.”

He opened his mouth to begin a point of how well Pan had done on the field, that even through the various points which could’ve spelled either her end or a change in history that she fought the odds and came up with solutions mid-fight. But he couldn’t make words and once Taino looked at him like he was frozen in place, he ceased, clearing his throat and trying to sit straighter.

Almost in sync, both heard the door they had waited for open, with Hakusa gesturing to the two of them to come in. Beetro was the first one they saw, looking over holographic x-ray images. As they turned, there was Pan sitting up on the table, a light green Time Patrol top in place of her blue shirt and wrappings over the back of her arms.

“Trunks. Taino. How are you two?”

Pan was in good spirits even after the ordeal of the beginning of her recovery within that room. Both stumbled to answer her back while Beetro approached the three of them.

“The primary injuries are recovering smoothly and while it won’t be overnight, you will be fully healed from your burns shortly, Pan.”

Hakusa, her arms crossed, turned to Pan with a grin.

“You did good, kid.”

She took her leave and Beetro was about to take his.

“I’d suggest a few days of rest, then the healing compound can do its work. Take care, Pan.”

As Beetro left, Taino stepped back, allowing Trunks to approach Pan first.

“You saved my father, your grandfather, Krillin... and...”

Pan noticed him stumble to finish before he stood at the side of her table.

“...and Gohan.”

She caught him looking deep in thought, juggling his thoughts, and his gloved hands together.

“Something up, Trunks?”

Once he realized this, he had his hands to his sides.

“It can wait. ”

Nodding his head to Pan...

“I’ll see you again soon.”

Trunks turned around, nodding to Taino, then departed from the room. Now only Taino remained with Pan.

"Taino."

Her instructor who had covered her adversaries of her last two missions was silent. Pan slowly stepped off the table, standing at nearly the same height to look her in her eyes.

"What's wrong, Taino?"

She broke her silence.

"Ginyu switched bodies with you, didn't he?"

Pan didn’t answer, but the combination of her facial expression and the small winces from moving her arms gave Taino her answer.

"I knew it."

While Trunks had seen Taino composed enough to show only guilt on her face, now in Pan’s presence, her professionalism broke down.

“I failed you, Pan.”

“No, no, no...”

“You wouldn’t be like this... all of this... if I had just...”

Pan put her hands on Taino’s shoulders.

“Hey... hey.”

Even with Taino’s scouter covering her eye, Pan saw one tear making its way down.

"I'm so sorry, Pan. I let you down. I..."

“Neither of us could’ve predicted Guldo was going to return.”

Her instructor’s eyes shot open, realizing that could have easily been the catalyst for Pan being caught by the Body Change in the first place.

"If it wasn't for your training, Taino, I wouldn't have made it. "

Taino then felt one of Pan’s fingers stopping her tear.

“You gave me the tools to keep going, to come back, and to complete the mission.”

Pan managed a hug with her arms.

"You taught me well."

Taino wanted to wrap her arms around Pan, but tried to be mindful of her burns, hugging closer to her waist.

“I’m just glad you made it back to us okay, Pan.”


Towa, her coat with splats of oil across it, looked down at Mira now that she had concluded her initial repairs:

Pads covered his bruised areas, all open wounds were sewn together, a temporary skeletal right hand and wrist was installed, and wraps covered up his skull until his face could be fully healed.

“Rest for now, Mira.”

Putting her coat aside, Towa walked about in a red suit back to her monitor, checking on the status of something sent out some time ago.

A camera feed peering out into deep space...

...and towards a cruiser of sorts.

“Now who do we have here?”


Now that a few days had passed, Trunks and Chronoa both made their way to Pan’s housing unit, where they had a meal before the pleasantries concluded with what was to come.

“We really hate to have to tell you this,” began Trunks. “But as much as we’d hope what happened to Mira will keep Towa from trying anything for a while, the most likely candidate for her to strike next...”

"I know,” Pan interrupted. “All signs point to the battle against Frieza on Namek."

She closed her eyes, inhaled, then exhaled.

"With me going back to the past, it always seemed inevitable that I'd have to face him."

“This will open up a lot of wounds, Pan, but to prepare for what’s to come...”

Chronoa put one of her hands on Pan’s.

"It's time that we fully debrief what happened on the last day of your Earth."

The Supreme Kai of Time directed Pan towards her living room area and sat down on her sofa. Trunks stood aside for Pan to sit, but she instead sat criss-crossed on the ground in front of them. Chronoa signaled for him to sit down and he did so as they waited for Pan to begin.

Pan chose not to mention losing the World Martial Arts tournament to her uncle Goten the day before and jumped right to when she and her parents saw Frieza’s ship. From there, she discussed herself helping to evacuate Satan City, meeting up with the other Z-Fighters, her and Bulla volunteering to help in the coming battle, and being given her grandfather's Power Pole. They divided the 20 of themselves into teams to dispatch Frieza’s men and eventually bring down his ship.

While they did down the ship and wiped out most of his forces, Frieza remained along with about a quarter of his soldiers.

“That’s when not only Goten and my father, but also Vegeta and Trunks... I mean my world’s Trunks... all four went Super Saiyan. And even amidst the fighting, I felt with four against him, Frieza had no chance.”

Now for the first time in her telling of her last day on Earth, Pan lowered her head.

“But that was when the nightmare began. And it all started with a golden flash...”

The very first casualty of the Z-Fighters was the very man who had trained his entire life to become like Goku, won the tournament, and, unlike Pan, had actually become a Super Saiyan. Frieza, now in a golden form, had killed her uncle Goten with a sneak attack.

After Goten, she continued with each of them that perished, starting with the Trunks of her Earth, and continuing with Launch, Tien, and their daughter of her Earth Kani. After mentioning the loss of Yajirobe and Piccolo, Pan noticed Trunks’ gloved hands making fists after she mentioned Lapis and Lazuli for some reason.

“Trunks?”

He realized this and stopped.

“Lapis and Lazuli, right.”

She resumed.

“Krillin...”

She paused, thinking about how helplessly he was dispatched, being lifted into the air and then detonated.

“And when Chiaotzu was wounded, about to self-destruct like before, Frieza threw him at me and Bulla. Yamcha... he... pushed us out of the way...”

While neither Trunks nor Chronoa doubted Yamcha had an impact on Pan due to her trying to warn him about the Saibamen, hearing that he had saved her and her best friend from certain death cemented it.

“Master Roshi... my dad... Vegeta...”

Trunks took a moment to reflect, realizing she had lost them all over time, not just in a flash.

“Bulla and I thought we were the last ones left, but we found my mother, my grandmother, and my grandpa Hercule. Three Earthlings and two quarter-Saiyans. Except... Yamcha survived, but he was going to die without a senzu bean. Frieza burned them and...”

As if feeling something at her throat, Pan had a hand to the side of her neck.

“He held me with his tail, his finger at my head to get everyone to stop. I couldn’t break free. He...”

As necessary as it was to hear this, Trunks and Chronoa both absorbed the sheer tragedy Pan had to endure.

“Yamcha gave his life for all five of us to escape, but it was for nothing. We were caught again. I don’t know if my mother and grandmother survived or not, but then...”

Pan was trying not to squeeze her hands into fists, which Trunks recalled first-hand from the very first day he spoke to her.

"After Frieza killed Bulla, and my grandpa Hercule, it becomes a blur to me. I felt like I had lost everything in that moment, and then... I just lost it. The last of his soldiers were swept away and I just wanted to destroy him. But nothing phased him. It was like he was invincible."

This description Pan had of herself led to Trunks trying to raise his hand, but Chronoa gestured it back down as Pan finished.

"I guess when he had his fun, he dispatched me with ease and left me to die. I remember this feeling that the entire planet was about to go. I protected myself with whatever ki I still had, and then... there went Earth.”

She cleared her throat, not going over what occurred in space before her retrieval, then stood back up.

“And the rest is history.”

The room was quiet with the Supreme Kai of Time nudging Trunks about the point he wished to address before.

“If I may, Pan... from your description, it sounds to me like you went Super Saiyan.”

Just the concept that she achieved it without knowing left Pan baffled.

“How could that be?”

“You said it became a blur. That you just lost it. That sort of intensity sounds to me like going Super Saiyan for the very first time.”

Having seen Trunks in person go Super Saiyan on Namek, she believed he knew what he was talking about, yet she still had doubts, less to do with him and more with herself.

“But Trunks, even if it was... if I somehow did go Super Saiyan then, how could I do it once that time, but never again since?”

“You said it seemed to do nothing against his Golden form," entered Chronoa into the conversation. “Not to mention surviving the destruction of a planet.”

A hand to her chin, the Supreme Kai of Time came up with something.

“My hypothesis would be that, unconsciously, your body has tried suppressing Super Saiyan to protect itself from trauma like that happening again.”

Pan didn’t want to voice her frustrations aloud, peering at her grandfather’s Power Pole hanging on her wall.

“First, I thought it was my age. Then, I thought it was my mind. Now even my body’s keeping me from it.”

Trunks then stood in her view.

“Pan, I want to help you achieve Super Saiyan. So you can use it at will from now on.”

Trunks’ proposal caught both her and Chronoa off-guard as they tried to process what this would mean for the mission at hand.

“Me, a Super Saiyan at will? After all these years?”

“You know we can’t have Pan go Super Saiyan... not before Goku.”

“Trunks, say we pull it off and break my barriers... but you couldn’t have me going Super Saiyan before my grandfather.”

“That is true, but with you able to achieve it once more, and freely...”

“I’ve wanted that since I was a child.”

The two of them then saw the Supreme Kai of Time standing to the side of them, her arms crossed in deliberation with her eyes closed, but then opening.

“I will allow you to carry on with this on one condition:”

She turned to Pan.

“You need to be able to battle against Frieza’s final form without it. If you need to go Super Saiyan against the others...”

“I’m sorry, but...” Pan interrupted, trying to understand something. “...final form? As in Frieza has more than one?”

“This will be a two-front exercise: Commander Hale will prepare you for Frieza and all his forms, and Trunks will assist you in achieving Super Saiyan.”

She put out her hand to reach for Pan, realizing the height difference between the two, as Pan caught this and knelt so Chronoa could put a hand to her shoulder.

"As much as Trunks and I know you deserve rest after what you went through with Ginyu and Mira, we have to be ready for Frieza... and whatever comes next."

“I understand.”

Trunks knelt down right after.

“Just please let us know how you’re doing. If you’re doing great or not. That way, we’ll help you through it all the way.”

After what had gone awry when Pan trained for Captain Ginyu, believing she was failing, not allowing herself to rest or heal, and trying to keep it all to herself, she knew he was bringing this up to prevent the same thing from happening again.

“I’ll keep you both informed.”


Early the next day, the partially clouded sky appearing closer to what Pan remembered early mornings looked like, she and Trunks traveled on foot through the housing area.

“We’re not going to meet Hale at his office?”

“His office may be his home away from home, but this is his home still.”

Commander Hale’s housing unit, only slightly larger compared to Pan’s and the others she had seen, had the roman numerals CXXVI. After a knock on its door by Trunks, the door opened with Hale in light olive green attire.

“Ah, Trunks. Miss Pan. Do come in.”

As they made their way to his living room, very light in decorations for one as high ranked as him, they saw another at his kitchen’s table with a coffee mug.

“You didn’t tell me you were having company, Hale.”

The voice was that of Beetro, wearing casual teal apparel instead of his medical work attire.

“I must admit, with all the things I keep constant track of, this one slipped through the cracks.”

Despite this, Beetro was unperturbed, getting up for a moment to the kitchen. Hale directed Pan and Trunks to two of the table’s four seats.

“It’s no problem. The commander and I...”

“You can call me Hale, Beetro.”

Pan couldn’t help but notice four coasters, one for each seated person.

“Right then. Hale and I were just...”

She found a steaming mug placed onto the coaster in front of her by Beetro.

“Just having our morning coffee before duty.”

Another coffee was given to Trunks, who took a modest sip from it. Pan tried to hide her nervousness from having one in front of her and, having been given one without asking, didn’t want to appear picky. The moment she thought Beetro had taken notice of her hesitancy, she drank from her mug.

“So what brings you two here then?”

Pan placed her mug down and covered her mouth to hide her expression and quiet a cough.

“You okay, Pan?” Trunks asked.

Pan nodded, releasing her hand when she felt her face was neutral again.

“Well Beetro, the Supreme Kai of Time has arranged for Hale and I to train Pan for her next mission.”

“I see. I need not peer any further.”

“I mean it’s not exactly top secret, is it?” Pan inquired.

Seeing the spotlight on her once more, she took another sip of her coffee, even as it was clearly strong for her tastes.

“While it’s not classified per se,” Trunks began to answer. “We’d prefer to keep things to... key figures.”

“Not a word of it will pass through my lips,” began Beetro, raising his mug. “A solemn promise.”

Seeing Trunks and Hale raise their mugs as well...

“Oh great...”

She held up hers, the four clanging lightly above the table’s center.


Some time later, Trunks and Pan prepared to depart.

“Want a coffee for the road?” Beetro asked.

Pan, having somehow finished just one, put out both hands in front of her shaking.

“Uh, no, that won’t be necessary.”

She then tried to reposition from her reaction to the prospect of another coffee with a bow.

“But thank you.”

“But perhaps next time we meet...”

Trunks began to lead Pan away, her putting up a hand while looking back at Beetro.

“Maybe just a water.”

Hale remained stoic in stance throughout as he saw them off.

“We begin first thing tonight, Pan. And good luck with your other sessions.”

Trunks turned to them, walking backwards momentarily while facing the two.

“Thank you for having us.”

“See you then, Commander Hale,” went Pan, waving.

Now that two of Hale’s visitors had left, the two walked back inside and he gave his full attention to his first.

“Well, Beetro?”

Beetro, rinsing and scrubbing the four mugs in Hale’s sink, found himself in a contemplative state.

“Facing the likes of Frieza? Most frightful.”

“Indeed.”

“And you, Hale, will be preparing her for such an endeavor yourself.”

“As instructed to by the Supreme Kai of Time.”

Hale saw Beetro had stopped in mid-cleaning, his hands to the sides of the sink.

“I know as Commander... as the patrol’s instructor, you mustn’t coddle them, lest they go in completely unprepared...”

“Beetro, you wouldn’t suggest that I...”

Hale then found both his hands held lightly by Beetro’s.

“Promise me you won’t push her too far. That however she needs to be prepared for what’s to come, it won’t come at such a cost. Now maybe you won’t be able to be patient with her or there’s something that simply cannot be avoided or done lightly, but even amidst all of that...”

Beetro paused upon feeling Hale’s tail wrap lightly over his left wrist.

“I understand completely what you’re asking of me, Beetro.”


Pan found herself in the Training Chamber, the environment around them appearing to be higher ground with ocean waves beneath them.

“This isn’t a spar, is it?”

“It’s not.”

“But then why this place?”

Trunks looked down at his reflection in the water, picturing a memory of his teenage self doing the same, a hand over his shoulder.

“I trained to become a Super Saiyan in a spot just like this.”

“Trained with my dad of your world, right?”

As Pan stepped next to Trunks, the water blurred and for a moment, he couldn’t make her out. It was like the imaginary image of the hand merged with the reflection next to his, in its place emerging the Gohan of his world, a scar on his left cheek and by his left eye.

“Right. To this day, I still don’t know how he managed to achieve Super Saiyan. What I do know is it’s what helped him survive for years.”

“You mentioned androids before. That was what you and him faced?”

Now the image of his Gohan vanished away, the true reflection of Pan next to him now clear.

“That’s a story for another time.”

He walked away from the edge facing the water, then turned to Pan like an instructor.

“As I said, I don’t know how my Gohan pulled it off, but he instructed me that it required motivation.”

Part of Pan was tempted to scoff at this...

“Yeah, no sh...”

But upon catching this thought in her head, she shook it off and was attentive towards what Trunks was saying.

“In particular, he believed it was about focus. For him, Gohan said he thought about the loss of Piccolo and Krillin.”

She had seen both perish on her Earth, but had only seen the death of Piccolo when he saved the young Gohan from Nappa’s attack, figuring if the Krillin of Trunks’ world had died, it was long after Piccolo’s.

“He described it as feeling a terrible hurt and pain turning into rage, then...”

Seeing a small portion of rock keeping a wave of water from rising above it, he blasted it, splitting it to illustrate his point.

“...then the dam breaks.”

Pan paced back and forth with the description Trunks had given her...

“My grandpa going through it was one thing... my father too... I can only imagine what your father went through...”

...yet one case still didn’t make sense to her:

“But my uncle Goten... he lived in peace times like I did, and yet he still achieved it.”

“I will say that it’s not universal, and that can vary greatly from person to person. It also varies by circumstance. Goku didn’t go Super Saiyan as a teenager when Krillin died.”

“Krillin died...?”

It had occurred to Pan that not mentioning the vicious battles of the past was part of her upbringing and likely the other youth of the other Z-Fighters’ families, especially the deaths of four of them. Why would Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Tien, and Piccolo speak to her, Bulla, Kani, and Marron about having died before? And now she knew Krillin had died once before as well.

“So then Krillin was brought back with the Dragon Balls, just like the others who died, right?”

“Look, I’ve sidetracked us. My mistake.”

A clenched gloved fist accompanied Trunks’ next point.

“Now I am not the foremost expert on Super Saiyan as a whole, but I believe, as did my Gohan, that a Super Saiyan born of rage and loss was by far the most potent.”

Realizing all the time he had spent talking, he walked behind Pan.

“Now it’s time to unleash it. I want you to stand right where you are and channel not just your ki, but your anger.”

Pan closed her eyes, clenching her fists, but couldn’t help but sense the area around her being one of tranquility. Trunks, knowing this contrast first-hand, explained...

“The sights, sounds, and even the smells around you will try to distract from your rage, but you have to focus.”

She tried doing as he instructed, quieting her ears to everything but her own thoughts and Trunks’ voice. Instead of the rocky landscape and tranquil waters, she recalled Satan City ruined by battle with fires and lava emerging from below.

“My home... it’s gone...”

Trunks didn’t want to whisper it next to her ear, instead telling Pan from a distance...

“Frieza.”

There the galactic tyrant was in her head, in that golden form she despised. The form that made a lifetime of training and improving moot. That made her going Super Saiyan, something which sounded unstoppable and the peak of power, seem like absolutely nothing.

“Now let your anger out.”

Small pebbles lifted off the ground as Pan continued, opening her mouth to allow a snarl to escape her lips.

“It’s okay to be angry. Don’t hold back. ”

Pan tried allowing herself to feel it more freely, opening her mouth and snarling louder.

“Think of everyone Frieza killed. Everything he took from you.”

Trunks circled around the hunched over Pan, seeing larger pebbles float around her, her teeth almost closer to fangs, and even a glimpse of her front bangs starting to hover upward past her bandanna...

...as well as tears running down her cheeks.

“You’re doing it, Pan! Don’t let up!”

Pan saw her loved ones, friends, family, mentors, those she grew up with, all of them scattered around Frieza. This should’ve driven her over the edge, broken open the dam containing her anger.

“Now harness that rage to use it as a tool!”

Pan lifted up her upper body and head, letting out a tear-drenched roar...

...then fell straight onto her front, going quiet for a moment until Trunks could make out a whimper.

“Pan?”

He tried helping her up by her arm, Pan stopping him when she made it to her knees.

“Talk to me, Pan.”

“I lost it.”

She realized her nose was leaking and wiped it with her black training jacket’s sleeve.

“I was angry... but once I thought about who he killed, I...”

Trunks had a feeling what had happened.

“You experienced such intense emotions that you switched from one to another.”

“I couldn’t help it. I was more torn up having lost them than I was enraged at their killer. He can live or die, but them... everyone... they’re gone. Gone for good. Same with my Earth.”

He put out his hand to help Pan up all the way to her feet.

“That’s a wrap for today. You’ll work on focusing your anger and I’ll try thinking of other ways for you to achieve Super Saiyan.”

She took it, tears no longer coming down, but the streams that had before still visible on her cheeks.

“No one gets it on their first try. Well...”

“My grandpa?”

“Yeah. Goku’s definitely the exception to the rule.”

The two began to head for the Training Chamber’s exit, which emerged as the area around them dissolved back into its default form.

“Hey Trunks...”

“Yes, Pan?”

“When Gohan trained you... did you lose anyone before?”

He stopped, his hand just outside the door, trying to keep his hand from forming a fist, but he kept his demeanor and tone calm.

“Gohan tried getting me to focus on all the death and destruction the Androids caused. I still remember feeling a small stuffed animal in my hand. From a child who perished by their hands. But I only ever saw the aftermath. I never saw the deaths first-hand.”

He turned back to Pan.

“What sets us apart is that you did.”


Now it was night time, at least so it appeared, with the Training Chamber now taking the form of a canyon at night. Commander Hale stood atop a thin structure, his visage splitting the large moon in two.

“From the moment you were brought here, I promised Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time that you would not become a casualty. I watched over your progress, helped select your teachers, and studied the results of your training. To prepare you for the likes of Frieza, I will work with you directly.”

He hopped down in front of Pan in dramatic fashion.

“You trained well to face Captain Ginyu. Without Guldo’s reemergence, I’d say the rest of the mission would have gone swimmingly. But know this: Frieza in his first form is four times stronger than Ginyu.”

“Four times?!”

One hand was held out, all but his thumb up.

“The first of his four forms you’ll have to contend with.”

“Four forms?!”

He then placed both arms behind him.

“Managing to face, let alone defeat, one of a greater power level of that amount is entirely possible as you have witnessed. Raditz was nearly four times stronger than both Piccolo and your grandfather. Your father, Krillin, and Yajirobe were far more outmatched against Vegeta.”

He then seemed to take on a combat stance, but one without either of his arms in use.

“Therefore, you should see that it can be done. I will ensure you are capable of surviving, as well as being victorious.”

Pan at first had her arms behind her back as well until Hale raised and wagged his tail akin to someone doing so with their index finger.

“No, no. I will fight with no arms. You will face me with everything you have. Now come.”

A flurry of punches came Commander Hale’s way once Pan was given the green light, but found him swerving his body left and right to avoid all of them. She adapted with a sweep to trip his legs, but found him hopping upward. As he struck with one booted foot, Pan guarded, but was not only sent back, but tilted toward her front to the ground. She struck the artificial dirt with her right hand’s fingers, dragging her way through until she managed to stop herself completely.

“All that from a blocked kick. Even Ginyu didn’t...”

But this didn’t deter her as she then launched herself forward with that hand.

“It’s just as Hale said: four times stronger.”

She flipped during her approach towards her instructor, going for a chopping kick when his tail had guarded against it. It flung her away with tremendous force and then Pan found Hale in pursuit of her. He span in the air, kicking at her repeatedly, Pan being forced to either avoid them or redirect the kicks she couldn’t get out of the way of.

“I’m doing better than I thought, but I can’t get complacent.”

His tail then came down towards her.

“Agh! How can I forget the tail?!”

Once more, guarding still didn’t stop her from being struck back, now straight towards the ground. Her feet touched down first and before the force could send her straight through it, Pan used just enough ki to give foothold to launch herself back upward. Racing to the descending Hale, she raised two fists, then saw his tail poised to strike.

“I’m ready for you now!”

She swerved out of the way, then went for a punch with the hand closest to Hale’s face, but his chin tilted just past it. Pan span for a kick, then saw Hale had countered with his own, their shins clashing. The pain she felt in that leg was overshadowed by her roar as Pan swung furiously at his head to the same predictable result as before, leading Hale to jab at her with his tail.

He found that Pan had ducked just under it and went for a punch directly to his stomach. For the first time in this spar, Pan had managed to not only land a hit on him, but struck him backwards. But that moment of accomplishment did little to help her leg as she was forced to grab a hold of it in midair soon after.

“Like a truck hit it...”

She then had to duck in midair from a flying kick by Hale, then found his tail exposed for a grab. Pan took hold of it and tried to swing Hale, but soon found that he had swung his tail and span with such force that she was now on the receiving end of a Dragonthrow. All she had to do to get away from it was let go, but the moment she did, she knew Hale would take advantage of the opening.

Pan had gone on fast rotating rides as a kid, but spinning at this speed was making her especially nauseous and Hale was now increasing his speed. Her fingers still kept as tight a grip on his tail as she could muster, but now she faced either her hands eventually giving way or having gone so long spinning that she’d puke.

“Gotta think of another way out of this. Come on, think!”

Hale caught Pan all but curling into a ball, her feet beginning to glow.

“Kame... hame...”

He grasped what Pan was trying to do, but with how green her face was already turning, Hale couldn’t understand why she’d fire a Kamehameha with her feet in the same direction he was spinning her...

...until she swerved, her feet now facing the opposite direction.

“Haaaaa!”

“Astute woman...”

Her Kamehameha gave her enough power to overpower Hale’s spin, now going in the other direction. The change in direction didn’t make things any easier on Pan’s current state, but with Hale momentarily disoriented, she could let go of his tail, then, after timing it just right, land an uppercut to his jaw.

With Hale going airborne, Pan could attack while he was vulnerable, her punches now getting closer to his head, whose dodges were much too close for comfort. Another jab of his tail tried to intervene, but Pan moved it away with both hands, then punched him between his cheek and nose downward. About to collide with a rock formation, Hale had to try slowing down, but Pan’s offensive made a collision inevitable.

Another tail swipe was swept away, resulting in a punch directly to his tan and olive green exoskeleton forehead. Hale was struck by two more near the same region, a literal second away from not only hitting the structure, but being struck through it. One last fist from Pan came for the same location...

...when he came to a dead stop in midair and caught her wrist with his right hand.

“This whole time... but now he’s using...”

Pan then realized his left hand was up against the rocky structure, possessing the strength in conjunction with his ki to cease all his movement.

“Now he’s really going to...”

He released her wrist and Pan could tell from both the manner he did this and his expression that he was not combating her, at least not at this moment.

“You have done well.”

He had both hands lightly clap.

“I knew Taino had taught you well. And you’ve undoubtedly become stronger after the ordeal in your last mission.”

But now his praise had concluded and he was stern.

“Next time, I will combat you with my arms included. And once you have met the mark, we will proceed with how to combat his other three forms.”

As the two lightly descended back towards ground level, Pan noticed something down the middle of Hale’s blue two-eyed scouter: a crack, undoubtedly from her attacks just earlier.

“Your scouter... I didn’t mean to...”

“It is not my scouter you should be concerned with. Just know you mustn’t strike Frieza’s.”

“It’s gotta break by another means, ri...?”

Once Pan touched the ground, not only did her shin begin acting up again, but she couldn’t help but grasp her stomach.

“Body ignored it once I was on a roll, but now that the fighting’s over...”

“You’re not using your grandfather Hercule’s technique, are you?”

Pan tried giving off a light chuckle.

“No. For once, it’s not. The speed we were spinning at...”

As she took a deep breath to work through her nausea, it occurred to her this was only how fast they went with Hale going as fast as Frieza’s first form was meant to.

“The other three forms are going to be quicker?”

“That is correct, Miss Pan. Just try to get comfortable with this speed until the next increase.”

He prepared the exit for the both of them as Pan then lied down, her arms out as she took another deep breath.

“And this is just from Hale fighting at that level without his arms. Next time...”

She groaned, both in dread of their next session, as well as from her stomach.


Towa was working with various liquid concoctions in beakers and tubes, heating some of them with open flames and lifting them with clamps. She poured a few together, the various colors mixing together.

She stopped for a moment when she heard a noise: something heavy touched the ground.

“Towa?”

She saw Mira off the table he was on and standing up.

“Mira.”

Putting her clamp down, Towa made her way to him.

“You’re awake.”

Mira stood in place as Towa hugged him, slowly hugging her back with his right hand. She felt the replacement hand’s skinny mechanical fingers against her back.

“I was so afraid when I brought you back that you’d...”

“That I’d perish? Not a chance.”

The two then sat down in chairs near her large monitor as they both had much to address.

“It has been at least a month, has it not, Towa?”

“You were out cold. You were stable once I began repairs, but yes, it has been a little over a month since that day.”

Now that she was thinking about it, a sniffle escaped her nostrils and she stood back up.

“Mira, I’m so sorry I...”

“The fault is mine.”

“No. I shouldn’t have left you on your own. Had I just...”

“But it was my idea, Towa. I talked you into it. All because...”

He looked over at his thin right hand and wrist compared to his left which still had flesh.

“Because I was so overconfident. I arrogantly believed I needed no further help and that I would succeed without you watching over me.”

Mira attempted to make a fist with his right, but it seemed off to him.

“I overlooked the Earthling completely. I didn’t even notice the slightest difference in power when holding off the others. If I had simply been paying attention, I’d have sensed his attack.”

Now that mechanical hand reached out for the wraps covering the right side of his face.

“What followed after... all of it... was the cost of my pride.”

Towa saw him tear the wraps off, revealing his metal skull it had been concealing was mostly hidden by flesh, though mostly by dark blue muscle, especially around his right eye.

“Perhaps not all that different from the Saiyan Prince.”

Towa made her way to him, her hands to the sides of his face including his right.

“No, Mira. You are not like him. What he did to you...”

She hugged him once more.

“I will never allow that to happen to you again.”

“And I promise you that I will not fall for the same trap a second time.”

Just then, they both were made aware of the monitor lighting up, brightening the room.

“Hello? Anyone there? Is this thing on?”

A grumbly old voice spoke and Towa made her way to the front of the monitor.

“Ah, there you are. Well, well. It has been a long good while, hasn’t it? How goes your little science fair project?”

“It is near its completion. I believe it will be finished within the next few days.”

“Heh. You know, the last time someone told me what I wanted would take that long, I blasted a hole straight through him. Can’t do that to you over long distance, of course, but when I want something done, I want it done fast.”

While Mira didn’t take the casual threat to Towa’s life by this man lightly, Towa’s tone and gesture indicated to him that she was not the least imperiled.

“You wish for me to do so quickly, but would it not be more beneficial for you if it were done right?”

“Couldn’t you just do both? I’m not as patient these days. I get especially cranky when it comes to my vitamins.”

Towa peered over to her staff, a batch of her formula on a table next to it, then back to the shadowed figure on her monitor.

“If I told you I will have it ready for you in 24 hours, would that be sufficient?”

“I would have killed you if you said 48.”

Mira saw the man get closer to the screen, still hard to make out due to the lighting of his whereabouts, but he saw gloved hands reach out and pick up his screen from his end. He had a hood over his face, mostly concealing a gem of sorts towards his forehead, and a wrinkled face whose grinning fanged mouth was missing teeth.

“You got it, little lady. I can hardly wait to try it out.”

Chapter Name Pending[]

Work in progress



To be continued

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