WARNING: This article, Piccolo: The Guardian of Hell, contains mild or major swearing.
This story, Piccolo: The Guardian of Hell, was written with the intent of retaining canon to the Dragonball story, and to fit seamlessly into the Dragonball Universe.
Piccolo: The Guardian of Hell is an unfinished fanfiction written by Mongo42089. Piccolo is the main protagonist. The story takes place after the final Dragonball GT episode, "Till We Meet Again," where Piccolo has become "The Guardian," or protector of hell, and follows the Namekian as he battles with the villains of the Z Warrior's past, attempting to keep them in check within the boundaries of Hell, until a dark, ancient secret unbenounced to anyone is accidentally revealed. This fanfic attempts to follow the canon of Dragonball as best as possible.
Chapter 1 - It Awaits...Edit
"Someday, you'll get out of here, Piccolo... I promise," Son Goku had said, and just before Piccolo could even utter a single breath of a word, his best friend and ally had vanished into thin air.
"Farewell, old friend..."
Piccolo suddenly snapped awake from his subconcious, covered in a thick, cold sweat, which was very odd, considering his location deep within the boughs of Hell. He had contested some of the world's strongest fighters in his heyday, but now, just being able to capture some sleep was becoming the toughest battle of his life. Hell had been a dreary place before his arrival; where anarchy ruled, and law and order was seldom enforced. Although a passage way to Earth, or Heaven was not possible, it did not stop the tyrannous villains of the Universe' past from attempting such a feat.
Hell was an unusually large place, thus dictating control of it was hardly a practice of novice experience. Different sections of Hell were maintained by fixtures of the past; Freeza and family controlled the border to the South, Cell to the Northwest, with Kid Buu and others to the Southwest principality. Piccolo's arrival some months ago had meant a time of change for the villains. They soon realized that no longer would they be able to roam the landscape of Hell freely, and if they were to retain their iron grasp of the spiritual realm, they would have to splinter off into different factions, thus making Piccolo's job as Guardian that much more difficult.
The Watch-Keepers of Hell had proved themselves as no help, either. Their reputation had become that of spectators, rather than enforcers, due to their remarkably low power levels. Cowering in fear at first, they cheered Piccolo whenever he triumphed, but were nowhere to be found when, and if he struggled. Stress, and exhaustion was beginning to consume the Namekian, coupled with a hopeless feeling of no end in sight. To awake, and proceed to another day patrolling the land of the damned not only seemed futile; it was unbearable.
Piccolo arose from the cot, which was laid upon the damp ground of his cavernous dwelling. Peeking out from the opening of the cave, he noticed the same, redundant image of boiling lava, and the eerily unforgiving crimson sky.
"Forecast... blistering heat, with a high chance of no return," Piccolo murmured to himself.
After dawning his traditional Namekian armor, Piccolo quickly zoomed off into the dark horizon, as he prepared himself for yet another day...
"Hmph! Such an inferior specimen," Freeza retorted, after throwing an unsuspecting watch-keeper into a mountainous revene. Those surrounding him erupted in a flurry of chuckling, and grunting. Morale had become extremely low among the dwellers of Hell, as of late, and particularly among those who resided within Freeza's territory...
"DID I GIVE ANY OF YOU PERMISSION TO HUMOR YOURSELVES AT HIS EXPENSE!?," Freeza furiously replied, "If I didn't have the knowledge to know that killing every one of you was not only impossible, but would ultimately bring you back here to torment me, YOU'D BET DAMN WELL I'D DO IT!"
King Cold meekly approached his son from the right, placing his hand atop the precipice of his shoulder.
"Son... don't let these mongrols get the best of you. You know you're better than that," said King Cold, attempting to rectify his child's intolerable behavior. "Besides, we have bigger fish to fry. The Green Man is still among us. He is waiting for us to slip up. He WANTS us to become fragmented, and disenfranchised with one another, don't you see? That is his end game."
Freeza grimaced at his father's remarks. Although it is not at all what he wanted to hear at that moment, he was distinctly aware of it's truth. Despite this, Freeza proceeded walking on, shrugging off the grasp of his father's hand.
"As true, and wise, as your words may be, father... it does not change the fact that I am stuck here. The fact that we are ALL stuck here," replied Freeza, as he walked off into the fray of blood-red light.
"Don't fret, father.." said Cooler, as he walked up and approached King Cold, parallel to his left side...
"He'll be back."
Piccolo was approaching an area of Hell known as The Blood Plains, a place that, even for Hell, had once seemed ruthlessly broodish. It was once the refuge, and stronghold of the villains; the heart of their resistance. When Piccolo had first arrived here, the landscape was littered with combatants whom Piccolo himself had had a hand in defeating in the past. At first, it was not at all easy to segment these villains into respective areas of Hell. Fighting them all off at once, was no easy task, not even for a fighter of his strength. But, little-by-little, he began to chip away at the resolve of the perpetrators, and thus, maintaining peace. At least, for a small amount of time. Thus, Piccolo had no expectations of finding anyone in habitating the area, he was just merely passing by as a means of surveillance.
Although his naked eye had not spotted anything into the distance below, he began to feel a surge of mysterious, strong power, coursing through the insides of his body...
"What!? This... I have never felt this before. This - how can this be?," Piccolo exclaimed to himself, beneath his breath, as he began to descend upon the source of the mysterious power, reaching flat ground within a matter of seconds.
He knelt down upon his right knee, and scooped up a handful of soil from the loose ground. Reaching his hand to his nose, he attempted to smell the small grains of ancient bedrock sprawled out upon his palm.
"It smells like Hell...," Piccolo murmured to himself, in an attempt of reassurance. But, as he wiped his hands, he soon discovered that assurance was a feeling that was much farther from the truth. "Blood!?," he questioned to himself. The small ripple that he had left in the ground began to ooze with a thickened, black substance. It was unlike anything that Piccolo had ever seen here before.
"If it's blood... how can it be ascending from beneath the ground?," Piccolo questioned to himself, awe-strucken by his discovery. He soon began to dig away at the rock slab, restlessly clawing out the deposits of soil, and granite. As he continued to dig further, the blood continued to distribute out further and further from beneath. "What... what is this!?," Piccolo continued to ask himself, until eventually, he struck something that felt solid underneath the puddle of ancient blood. Digging his hand into puddle, he attempted to grasp the physical object, and pull it out, with surprisingly little success.
"Just... one... more... PULL!," he yelled, as he tried to pull the object out with as much torque from his body as he could muster, but to no avail, as he collapsed backwards from the force of his thrust. As he slowly recovered, Piccolo wiped the sweat from his brow, inadverdently covering a partial amount of his face in the putrid blood. "I've smelled some foul things before in my life... but this certainly takes the cake," he told himself. Gathering the reserves of his strength, Piccolo moved onward to make a second attempt, as he confirmed to himself that this object was indeed, the source of the immense power he had detected from above. Piccolo knelt down, this time digging his feet into the decline of gravel he had orchestrated from all of his previous digging, in an attempt to give himself more leverage. This time, with one powerful, jerking motion, he successfully pulled the object out from the ground, only to fall upon his aching spine once more.
As Piccolo recovered from this second fall, he turned his attention to the object he had unearthed, and was astonished at what he had found. Amidst the thick cover of black blood was what appeared to be a book, bound in dark leather. Wiping away the blood, he found the runes of a language he could not himself interpret, enscribed upon the book. The pages of the book began emitting a translucent glow, as Piccolo began to feel the power of the object intensfying beyond his imagination. "This is unreal," he muttered to himself, as he sheepishly approached the object. He knelt down once more, and as he attempted to open the book's cover, a radiant blast of energy erupted from it's core, spiraling Piccolo off into the distance.....
Chapter 2 - Judging By The CoverEdit
"Nothing's ever enough, it seems. Ever since I was young, even now, they would much rather tell me what to do, rather than listen to what I have to say... But it was I who brought glory to this family, it was I who gave them their wealth and fame. I instilled their confidence, and what do I receive for all of my generous contributions!? Fatherly advice, and a pat on the back. HEH! I'll show them... I'll show them all," Freeza thought to himself, as he was scouring the high grounds of Hell in pursuit of something much grander than his petty yes-men's laughter, or the child's play of beating up on Watch-Keepers.
Freeza had been entrapped here on The Other World for quite some time. From the return of his battle with Goku that ultimately ended in his death by the hands of Future Trunks, to the failure of his escape attempt with Cell and Super Android #17, Freeza was not only frustrated with the situation as a whole - he was ultimately disappointed in himself, and his failure to do anything about it.
He had once ruled the Universe with an iron fist as Commander-in-Chief of the World Trade Organization. Entire races once bowed at his feet, cowering in fear of what harm he might inflict upon them. Whole planets had once been at the whim of his mercy; and now, in his eyes, he had seemingly been reduced to a bottom-feeder.
"26 years - 26 years of captivity... I would much rather have the chance to die again, and never wake up, than to even spend another second unsheathing my eyes upon this treacherous abode," muttered Freeza to himself, as the grimace on his face suddenly disappeared, trading itself for a devilish smirk in return. "You're right, father... it's exactly what he wants. But I'M not going to give him that satisfaction. I'll bring you the head of The Green Man, for the good name of our family. In the name of all those who suffer daily within these foul walls. And when I find him, the tables shall turn. He will become the prey - and we.. the predators."
Piccolo's entire body was a nervous wreck. It was far from dawning on him at that very moment, but soon, he would come to realize that the blast of energy had propelled him nearly two-hundred feet away from where he was initially standing. The indented path made from the force of his dragging feet still maintained it's firm grip, and he was finding it difficult to just even sit up. "Ughhh," Piccolo winced, too flabbergasted in the wake of the blow to even form a structured sentence to describe such an event. He turned his attention to the numbness in his left arm, and soon realized that half of what had previously been the bottom remainder of his limb was now nothing more than empty space. After calculating the collateral damage, he then shifted his attention back to the site of where it had all occurred, as he slowly attempted to collect himself physically. "It can't, - it couldn't be... the book?," Piccolo asked himself, feeling light-headed from the explosion.
As he approached the near end of the mountainside, Piccolo realized that the light that had been previously glowing from the book before the blast, was now becoming even brighter in it's immensity. The light was beginning to blind him now, as he attempted to shield his eyes with the one arm he still possessed. As the light grew in size and diameter, the forces of nature began to take their toll; fierce gusts of winds began penetrating the rocky surface, mountain sides were sliced in half, and somehow, small rocks were defying gravity and suspending themselves in air. The light was somehow taking a physical form, and the unforgivable force it was unleashing was beginning to take Piccolo with it, as he held for dear life by his one hand, grasping tightly on the edge of a rock slab.
Soon, the strong winds started to subside, as did Piccolo's balance. Smoke fumes were now dissipating, and what had once seemed like just a harmless book, was now taking the form of something far more grave and sinister, than Piccolo could have ever predicted...
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Other World, it was a bittersweet day for King Kai. As he watched the very last glimpse of Goku recede into the clouds of Heaven upon the backside of Shenron, the ancient Kai could no longer bare himself not to cry. "I... I told myself I wouldn't do this, Bubbles... I told you not to let me! Baaaah!!!," exclaimed King Kai, as he belted out a cry reminiscent to that of a little boy's. A thousand memories of Son Goku began to race through the Kai's unformiddable mind. He had never felt such pride before. Although he knew that he was not solely responsible for shaping the great warrior that Goku had become, he did know that his part had been an integral one. Although he would never let it go to his head, one could argue that Son Goku was never the same fighter before, and especially after, his training with King Kai.
"Well, Bubbles, I guess it's time we-," King Kai murmured to Bubbles, suddenly dropping the cup of tea he once had firmly grasped in the clutches of his hands, shattering what was left of the utensil into several broken shards. "Ohhh... Oh, no."
"It's pointless, anymore," stated Cell, his back remaining turned to the small crowd of fighters who had been accompanying him for the past few months, "He's just leading us like sheep to the slaughter." Cell was not the only one who had felt this way recently. After he and the others had managed to escape the walls of Hell's jail, and made quick work of Goz and Mez, there was a short-lived feeling of redemption among those who's souls were forced to reside within Hell. They had once been one unified force, but after Piccolo's one-man dismantling of their operations, they were left with no option but to subside their opposition for the meantime. Frieza's usual cast of goons had followed him, while Kid Buu remained a loner, not even accepting the company of either Babidi, nor Debora, the two men who had been the chief operator's of his own ressurection. Cell was not so subjective. Knowing that strength lies in numbers, he and Dr. Gero were quick to recruit anyone who was willing to stand by their side and fight. A vast majority of these so-called "soldiers," had once been members of the Red Ribbon Army, and were eager to follow and join the infamous Dr. Gero, and his greatest creation.
"No matter what the objective, my child, we will not stray from our path.. we will succeed. We will have our revenge," said Dr. Gero, with a cold, articulated gaze beaming from his glossy, cybernetic eyes. He then turned his attention to all those who were patiently standing behind them. "Tonight, men.. we will no longer idly stand by, and let what is rightfully our's be so viciously ripped away from us! Tonight, we will rise as one unified force, a resistance of hundreds, forever fulfilling the hatred of millions! Those who's voices cannot be heard beneath the dank, cavernous walls of Hell.. for those who's cries for freedom, and emancipation have been drowned out by the chilling cackles of Saiyan oppression! TONIGHT, MEN, WE WILL RISE, AND WE WILL NOT FOLD!!!," Dr. Gero yelled, as those behind him and Cell erupted into a flurry of cheers, pumped fists, and unrelenting testosterone. Cell smirked, shaking his head at the gull of his own creator. "I see those public speaking classes are finally paying off, Doctor," said Cell, as he blasted off into the distance, with Gero motioning the rest of their men onward, "TO THE GREEN MAN WE GO!," he yelled, as he and the others attempted to catch up to Cell. "I guess they are...," he said, and as hard he tried, he could not resist flashing a smirk himself...
A shrieking voice erupted through the thoughts of the decimated Namekian, as he struggled just for a breath of air. He recognized that voice. "Kin- ... King Kai?," Piccolo sheepishly asked. "There's no time for chit-chat, Piccolo! You are in grave danger!," replied King Kai, "You have unleashed something awful... something most awful indeed!" Piccolo grimaced, "Yeah, well it can't be as awful as it feels," he replied. "THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER! You have stumbled upon an ancient relic, so ancient in fact, that it nearly predates my own existence! I never thought this day would come, I wasn't even sure if it was just a myth..," King Kai responded, "That manuscript that you discovered, it was referred to by the very first Kai's as The Book of Xueye. It's origins can be traced back more than a hundred million years ago... in those times, there were several Kai's who ruled over the infancy of the Universe. For several thousand years, peace and serenity washed over the cosmos, until one of those Kai's broke away from the others, and declared himself the de-facto ruler of the Universe. Thus, he was banished from the Kai's, and in his retribution, attempted to slay all those who resisted him. They fought for many years, until one day, the Kai's were successful in their attempt to dismantle him. In an attempt to forbode his great power, and prevent him from ever trying to claim the Universe for himself again, they created the realm of Hell to seal him away for good. But it was not enough. In fact, his own imprisonment made him stronger, and more of a threat to the Kai's. The evil that brewed in his heart soon changed the landscape beneath the Snake Way, transforming it into the dark, broodish territory you see before you. In response, the Elder Kai's crafted The Book of Xueye, a magical manuscript enscribed with a spell to forever lock his dark soul in eternal oblivion. After defeating him once more, they were able to lock him away in the book, sealing it shut by his very own blood that he shed onto the battlefield. For eons he has been locked away.. the ancient's called him MACE."
Piccolo's arm was beginning to regenerate itself, King Kai's words still slowly registering inside his mind. "I'll admit.. the energy exerted from the blast was more than I had expected, but you shouldn't worry so much, King Kai. I've handled much worse, before," responded Piccolo. "I'm sorry to say, but I'm afraid this isn't quite like anything you or the others have ever faced before, Piccolo. His is an ancient, dark power that has yet to have resurfaced this Universe. It, and it's secrets have been sealed away in the pages of this book for eternity, and a long with it, the secrets of his strength," King Kai replied, with the nervous anticipation in his voice reaching it's climax, "You would do well to refrain from arrogance, my friend." Piccolo chuckled, "Arrogance is one thing, but a sure thing is knowledge; and knowledge is power," Piccolo replied, loosening up his regenerated arm, as he ventured on into an overwhelming cloud of dust...
Chapter 3 - Revenge Is A Frozen Gun
Freeza had been scouring the grounds of Hell for Piccolo, and as fruitful as his efforts had been, he was so far unsuccessful in sighting anything at all. "I may not be a bail of hay, but this Namek is certainly a needle piercing my side... I'M GOING TO PLUCK YOU OUT, YOU HEAR ME, NAM-," but just before Freeza could finish the finishing touches of his vocal outburst, he finally spotted a glowing emittance of energy below. "I've found you now, you slimy bug!," Freeza yelled, as he descended downward with all of his capable thrust. But just as quickly as he had descended, he was disposed of by an unforseeable blast of Ki, skidding his Changeling form across the rugged, and beaten bath of Hell's crust. Freeza slowly gathered himself, patting the debris from his chest, and attempting to regain the air that had been so violently knocked out from his lungs. "How.. How could that be!? This is not the power I have sensed before, this is something greater!," Freeza exclaimed.
In the midst of Freeza's confusion, little did he know that Piccolo was actually approaching from the South, and not from the vicinity of where he had previously targeted, before being violently struck to the ground. Piccolo emerged from the haze of dust, awaiting the arrival of the demon Mace that King Kai had just forewarned him of. "I don't have time for fun and games, Mace! I know who you are, so allow me to introduce myself... My name is Piccolo, and I am the protectorate of this region, not you! I make the rules here, I am th-," but before Piccolo could finish his sentence, he was abruptly blindsided in the jaw by a fierce blow to the right from Freeza, who's arrival he was unaware of. Piccolo was strewn a few several yards across the ground, but quickly regained his composure, willing himself up effortlessly, and darting straight for Freeza. The two traded quick, evenly-contested blows for a few hundred fractions of seconds, before Piccolo was able to gain the upperhand, and send Freeza hurling into the face of a nearby boulder. Piccolo soon returned his attention to the glowing orb of light that he knew contained the dark remnants of Mace, edging his feet forward with fists clinched. "This is your last warning, Mace! Leave this realm for good, or I'll do so by my own accord!," yelled Piccolo, refusing to cave in to the distraction of Freeza, or the humbleness of King Kai.
Then, in a flash of a second, with the surrounding debris afront of him somehow evaporating into the thick air of Hell, Piccolo was met face-to-face by the dark being himself. His skin was completely painted in a thick coat of crimson, his eyes piercing gold, and his hair a fragile eggshell white, much like that of the Old Kai, himself. After what seemed like forever of refusing to move an inch, Mace pierced a devilish smile, sharp fangs protruding from the corners of his mouth, as his silence was finally broken. "You.. you are not the one the prophecy had spoken of," Mace muttered beneath his breath, in a deep, piercing tone. "Prophecy?," Piccolo replied, as the agitation growing on his face became ever more apparent. "Hmph. You pathetic being. Does it make you feel.. alive?," Mace retorted. "Look, you shit, I don't know what you're trying to achieve, here, but it's not going to happen unless you plan on going through ME!," exclaimed Piccolo. "All fun and games with you, isn't it? It must make you feel like a real man, doing what you do, preying on those who have nothing, while you, have everything," said Mace, as he took sick pleasure in fanning the flames of Piccolo's resentment. "I've heard ENOUGH!," Piccolo yelled, digging his feet firmly into the ground, as he slowly withdrew two of his fingers, angling them vertically to his forehead.
"SPECIALLLL.... BEAMMMMM....... CANNNNNNNNNOOONNNNN!!!!!"
Piccolo disclaimed, shooting forth the massive wave of energy in the direction of the ancient nemesis, his smirk refusing to vanish. Mace extended his right arm, dispersing the trajectory of the blast to his wayside. As Freeza was collecting himself, his mouth was agape in disbelief of Mace's immense fortitude. "His power... it's unlike anything I've felt before! No one has ever stood up to The Namek quite like this," Freeza thought aloud,
Earth had been a peaceful place since the time of Son Goku's departure. And so it was such an occassion to celebrate, as Gohan and Videl had decided it would be a lovely day to bring Pan to such a delightful abode, in the company of her Grandmother. The beauty of Orange City's little-known countryside had bewildered Gohan at a young very age, when things seemed so hopeful, and consumed with joy; but despite the resurgence of his long untamed nostalgia, he couldn't help but notice that his mother had been quite consumed as well, albeit by something different. Although Chi-Chi had been reassured by her husband that one day he would return, the loneliness was starting to take it's toll on her, Gohan noticed. As she sat with her back turned to her family, firmly clutching a used up napkin with her fists, Gohan slighted his hand upon his mother's shoulder in reassurance...
"Mom.. Everything's alright. Don't you worry. I'll always protect you - no matter what," said Gohan, flashing his mother a loving smirk. Chi-Chi smiled, brushing the tears away, and placing her hand on her son's knee. "Gohan, you turned out to be such a good boy, I can't.. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ALL GROWN UP!," Chi-Chi exclaimed, and as hard as she had fought to fight the tears away again, it was futile. They were begging to be shed. Gohan rolled his eyes, and comforted his mother with a hug, as little Pan poked her head up in-between her own mother's arms. "Mom, why's Grandma been crying so much lately?," she asked. Videl patted Pan on the head, "Because your Grandmother misses Grandpa," Videl replied, "It's normal for grown-up's." Pan's eyebrows furrowed, as she crossed her arms, and winced her eyes. "Well, I think being all grown-up is overrated. Too many emotions," replied Pan, as her mother Videl couldn't help but chuckle at her young, maturing daughter. "You're certainly not wrong, there, Pan." Videl responded.
Gohan helped pick his mother up to stand, bracing her arms, and pulling her face to the direction of his own. "Mom... Dad will be back, but in the meantime, it's up to me and Goten to look after this planet. I promised him. I know it hurts, but he has saved our lives countless times. It's up to us to repay that debt, and carry on his name with pride." A final tear dripped off the side of Chi-Chi's chin, and finally, the smile took it's place for good, as she squeezed her first-born son with enough love to tranquilize an elephant. Gohan struggled for air, as Videl and Pan laughed uncontrollably at him, in the limelight of one sunny, beautiful afternoon...
Piccolo's mouth had nearly hit the ground, at the display of Mace's effortless strength - he had not been prepared for this. What he had prepared for, though, was another initiative for attack by Freeza. Yet, Piccolo obviously had much bigger fish, just waiting to be fried. Freeza was speechless. The last time he had challenged Piccolo, he was left with a massive hole burrowed between his stomach, and thrown away into the pits of a jail cell. If Piccolo had defeated him so effortlessly, then he was surely no match for this stranger of red complexion. Just as a million thoughts were swerving through the tyrant's head, the demon who called himself Mace violently snapped his neck back-and-forth, before turning his attention to Lord Freeza himself. The Changeling instantly collapsed in fear, falling to his rearside, and crawling backwards with as much might as could muster.
"Just put one foot in front, of the otherrr..." hummed Mace, as he began stalking Freeza diligently. Freeza could not even bring himself to utter a response, crippled in fear and disbelief at Mace's unbelievable power. "And soon," Mace continued, extending his right arm, and eventually, his index finger, at the direction of Freeza, "You'll be headed on your way," and just as Mace completed his verse, he was lifting Freeza into the air with the sheer strength of his overwhelming Ki. Freeza began flailing his arms around in some hopeless attempt of defense, squirming around like a punctured worm. A single beam of orange energy began fluxuating at the tip of Mace's finger, and as instantly as Piccolo was pushing off his right foot in attempt to attack Mace, Freeza vanished into a thin veil of vapor. Piccolo haulted his offense, sliding his feet just a couple inches from Mace's fixtured position. "Now, now, friend... let's play nice, sha'll we?," Mace responded to the discovery of Piccolo's close proximity, just slightly before kicking the Namekian violently in the right side of the head, and sending him crashing through the rock walls to the west.
As Piccolo finally landed on the dirt below, he began struggling for air, and grabbing at his ribs in intense displeasure. "AAGGGHHH!!!," he screamed, but it was useless. Yelling wouldn't heal his wounds, and even if someone could hear his cries of help, there was no one in Hell whom would be willing to answer them. Piccolo heard the muffled voices of others in the background, as well as the collision of several bones and ligaments hitting the barren rocks of Hell. Confused and bewildered, he attempted to lift his head up to find out more of what was going on. But, in a flash of an instance, Mace suddenly appeared before him, cocking his head slightly to the side, and grabbing Piccolo by the forehead, pulling him up adjacent to his own perspective. Piccolo could hardly see out his right eye, but winced as he noticed a crumbling pile of bodies just ahead, two of them resembling Cell and Dr. Gero. "Friends of yours, I presume?," Mace asked, devilishly smiling, then tossing Piccolo to the side as if he were yesterday's news. "No matter," stated Mace, "You won't be seeing them anytime soon, either way." And as Mace calmly strutted in the opposite direction of Piccolo, he knelt down to grab the very book he had been locked away in for the millions of years that proceeded.
"All of you, and all whom stand in my way.. I don't care if it's the last thing I do. All those who have opposed me in the past, and continue to do so to this very day - you will feel the pain I've felt. You will shed the very same frustration that I vented. You will know what it truly means to never see the light of day. I will CAST the Universe in an era of unformidable darkness! I... WILL... SUCCEED!" Mace exclaimed, clutching the book firmly as he extended it just above his head. The clouds of Hell began to swirl, as lightning struck, and drops of thick, pounding rain began to pummel the geology of Other World with unprecedented force. The pages began to glow once more, as blood spewed forth from cracks that were excavating themselves from the ground. And as the loose crust of Hell began to shake, Piccolo found himself unable to move.
"Bas... you - Bastard." Piccolo mumbled beneath his breath, just before falling through the cracks of the ground, to what seemed like not just his own, but as well as The Universe's, untimely end.
Chapter 4 - Not Even a Hole to Crawl IntoEdit
Complete, unadulterated silence had perferated every inch of matter within seconds. What once was everything, was now infinitely vacant... or so it seemed. It certainly was that way to the humble demon known as Piccolo, who's form laid collapse amongst a wasteland of colorless space. Too afraid to open his eyes, he could feel himself breathing, registering and developing his own thoughts; he just couldn't bring himself to view what could have been possibly awaiting him in his own parallel direction, but as he would soon find out, he need not worry about such things, as a voice within his own head was quick to reassure our downtrotten hero...
"You can open your eyes now, King Piccolo - I'm sorry, you're not exactly considered royalty anymore, are you?" the voice spoke, before a devilish cackle quickly proceeded. Piccolo recognized that voice, but before he could react, he mustered the strength to will himself back up to his knees, and scope the area around him. He was surprised to find that their was nothing. No ground, no sky; not even the champagne-soaked horizon of Hell. "Where the hell did you put me!? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?" screamed Piccolo, reaching the very precipice of his own lung power. "Oh child, there's no need to cry over spilt gas and matter... do not fret, for those whom you call friends still remain safe and sound. Well... for now, at least." Mace replied, "To answer your question, though, consider this to be what your human friends refer to as, a sort of... oh, what do they call it? Limbo?"
Just the force exerted from yelling at Mace moments earlier was enough to deplete Piccolo of any reserve strength he may have had left. The battle in Hell had done quite a number on him, so much so that even budgeoning an inch seemed about as physically straining as running a mile. "How... how could you do such a thing? No one has that kind of power... no one," replied Piccolo, his voice growing ever weaker. "Now if I told you that, I'd certainly have to kill you, wouldn't I, Guardian? In reality, I pity you... even if you were sheepish just like the rest of your Earthling ilk, there's nowhere you could have gone to escape. You swore a duty to the Other World, your mortality was bound - your fate contractually sealed. Kind of an eery destiny, isn't it? Honestly, Piccolo, if I wanted to kill you, I could. But I spared your life. Think of it as a measure of goodwill. You unknowingly scratched my back. I don't have a backscratcher myself, so, consider this as a weekend resort spa treatment, if you will. There might not be a whole lot to do, but you have plenty of space to relax, and think over about some things. In fact - you've got all the time in the world."
Trunks Briefs had been loitering around the bar that night for far too long. A lot of things had been weighing on his mind as of late. 789 A.D. had been a crazy, stressful year, and alcohol seemed to be the only thing that could figuratively, and literally, wash it all away. On the exterior, he appeared to his mother as a perfectly normal, well-abled young man. Inside, he couldn't even begin to grasp who exactly he was. "Hey Gou, could I get another martini over here?" muttered Trunks. "Kid, I hate to break it to you... but you've already had about a dozen of those damn things tonight. Trust me, I love the extra cash, but, I don't want to see you hurt yourself anymore than you need to," replied Gou, as he continued rinsing away the outer edges of a dirty cup. "Why don't you go ahead and put that on my tab," said a voice distantly to the right of Trunks. The man then extended his right arm onto the shoulder of the Saiya-jin descendant, before peering his head down to speak in a much softer tone, "You look like you could use it." Trunks adjusted his head to his immediate horizon, and within seconds, instantly realized the identity of the man who had just purchased him his dozenth drink of the night, Trunks' childhood friend - Goten.
For the first time in many years, Trunks legitimately smiled as he embraced his best friend in a passionate hug, the two young half-Saiya-jin's patting one another on the back as the son of the great Prince Vegeta now stood tall to his feet in disbelief. "Goten... it's been far too long, old friend," Trunks replied, his cheeks still brimming wide. "It's great to see you too, Trunks, and yes... it has been awhile, apparently" said Goten as he now peered down to the bar in front of him, a row of lined shot cups remaining stagnant with what was now small puddles of liquor clinging to the edges of the inside of the glasses. Yet, despite the hush-hush concerns of his childhood buddy, Trunks proceeded to gulp down yet another, before itching his growing lavender beard and turning to face Goten with what was becoming a more progressively lucid grin. "Judge all you want, Goten - you've been away dedicating your life to some woman. Some of us don't exactly have that leverage.." replied Trunks, a sly smirk now rising on his face as he soon folded his dusty trenchcoat to the side in order for Goten to glance the shiny golden badge that firmly rested on the edge of his belt. "Orange City PD? Really!?" Goten responded in slight disbelief as Trunks quickly chuckled. "Heh! You're not even close to warm, old buddy of mine.." Trunks remarked as he now placed his right arm a long the shoulder of Goten as the two slowly made their way out of the dingy barroom.
It seemed that no matter how hard Piccolo tried to move even the tiniest muscle, his body fought against him, as if the laws of physics were no longer intact. Even thinking was now becoming a struggle, as everything around the Guardian of Hell was now beginning to shift in shape, color and dimension. Yet, despite this difficulty, Piccolo couldn't help but notice something edging into the vision of his left peripheral. In what seemed like minutes, a slow, oozing vapor was now materializing into a white matter. Suddenly, a tail spout forth, as a recognizable foe was now beginning to take form in parallel fetal position. "Freeza?..." Piccolo muttered to himself, "Why in God's green Earth would he place you near me of all people!?" The Changeling then awoke, confused and disoriented as he let out a howling yell, every muscle within his body now contracting as Freeza was now coming to the same physical realization that Piccolo himself had just encountered. "What... what is this place!? And why are you here!? I MEANT TO KILL YOU!" Freeza screamed with all his might, draining himself absolutely in the process as Piccolo could not help but chuckle to himself. "What.... what at.. what at all do you think you're laughing about?" Freeza asked in vain. "You, all of the other pathetic souls in this dimension that have followed you and even myself - we're all playing the hand that he favors. With all of you fighting against me, instead of us fighting together, I have become weaker..." Piccolo responded, gasping for breath as his energy continued to drain.
"You and I, working together? Never, Green Man... I would rather waste away in the abyss of immovable infinity than be an accomplice to your self-righteousness!" Freeza exclaimed, when the oddest thing began to happen, as the right side of his body was now beginning to disappate. "Self-righteous? I didn't choose to guard the bowels of Hell, Freeza - I was enlisted here. If not for me -" Piccolo replied before being promptly cut off, "If not for you, we wouldn't even be here! You're the one who opened the book in the first place! YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DOESN'T BELONG HERE! I EARNED MY WAY INTO HELL, YOU FILTHY NAMEK!!!" Freeza screamed, his physical form continuing to disappear, yet, unbenounced to Freeza who was now consuming himself with resentment. "If not for me, you wouldn't have a Hell to call home, Freeza. Don't you realize that he's feeding off your anger? Your spite? This is what he wants, he wants us to feel all of those things and more. Don't you get it? This isn't limbo... he created this place. I can still sense his presence here, even though I can feel him somewhere lightyears away from us as well.... Freeza?" Suddenly, the son of King Cold now faded off into obscurity nearly as quickly as he had appeared. "Hmmm... I guess he was never much of a good listener anyways," Piccolo thought to himself before finally resting his eyes and soothing himself in a warm bath of floating, tranquile meditation.
Chapter 5 - The ProtectorEdit
"So they call him The Protector? May I ask exactly what it is he's protecting?" Goten asked as Trunks couldn't help but notice the beautiful women in the front of the line as the two of them stood patiently waiting to make their order at a local food stand. "We do... jobs around here, Goten. Local jobs, sometimes global" Trunks responded. "Yeah, appreciate you being straightforward with me, old pal," Goten snidely remarked, a smile returning to the face of Trunks as he now waved at the attractive pair of girls as they had finally taken notice of him while waiting for their order, "And since when did you become Master Roshi, all of the sudden? Last time I saw you, you barely had the moxy to talk to a girl, let alone make it publically obvious that there's a torpedo in the bottoms of your Gi." Goten finished. "A lot has changed over the years, Goten... this city is changing, and The Protector has an answer and a plan in place to execute that answer. I believe in him, and that's more than I can say for the rest of the human race. I may be an alcoholic, but I'm no damn fool." Trunks remarked with the least amount of levity so far in this aging evening, "Anyways, let's blow this popsicle stand... seeing you must be good for me. I'm tired of chasing the same old floozies around. Maybe if you meet him, you'll see why I hold the man in such high regard."