The Time Patrol Training Saga covers the second saga of Pan's Ascent in its entirety.
Pan's Recovery! What Is This Place?Edit
Pan could barely make out where she was now. It looked like she was in a pod of sorts, filled with water or some kind of blue-green liquid. But even then, Pan could breathe just fine. She then felt something covering her nose and mouth: a mask of sorts.
Outside the pod, she only saw blurry figures: one short wearing purple with pink skin and another much taller in dark grey with light purple hair.
From what she could make out, it looked like the two were conversing with each other. She tried as best as she could to listen in.
"...were you thinking...?"
"...we're spread thin..."
"...used the Dragon Balls..."
"...didn't think it'd be like..."
"...lucky to be alive..."
"...knew my name..."
But as she tried to hear the conversation, she saw her eyelids closing: she was losing consciousness once again.
When she awoke this time, Pan found herself lying in a bed in a small white room. Upon taking off the covers, she saw she was wearing white pajamas, but with "TP" written on her top.
"TP? I don't remember any clothing brands called TP."
She pat her chest and stomach to see if she still had the wounds from before, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. She lifted up her top's sleeve to feel her elbow and no wound there either.
"They're all... healed?"
To her right, she saw a small nightstand with a lamp. The clothes she was wearing that day were all neatly folded and appeared to have been washed and even repaired.
To her left, a monitor indicating her vital signs, as well as a window. From where she laid, she could barely make out the sky between some larger light grey structures.
Pan was starting to piece together this wasn't Otherworld.
The door opened. Pan sat upward quickly and turned in the direction of the noise to see who it was, revealing itself to be a younger man who looked like Trunks.
He saw her heart beat going up on the monitor, as well as her panic upon seeing him, and put out his hands to try to calm her down.
"It's okay. It's okay! You're safe!"
After seeing Pan start to relax, he pulled up a chair and sat nearby.
"I'm glad to see you've recovered. You were in really bad shape when we found you."
Pan thought back to the photo of Trunks Bulla showed him: one where he looked much younger, but where Bulma appeared to be the same age as when Trunks was born.
There this young man was, almost a splitting image, save for the dark grey coat.
"Is that really you, Trunks?"
He had to think hard on how to answer that.
"Yes, my name is Trunks. Vegeta was my father and Bulma my mother... but I'm not the same Trunks you knew."
Pan looked down for a moment, coming to terms with the fact that this Trunks was technically the same person with the same parents and appearance, but this was not the Trunks she knew growing up. Trunks saw her deep in thought and tried to start the conversation over.
"What's your name?"
She looked back at him.
"Pan. My name's Pan."
She knew Trunks, or rather, another Trunks, but she was entirely new to him. He stood up and put his hand out for her to shake.
"Nice to meet you, Pan."
He noticed Pan was hesitant to shake his hand.
Pan saw through the eyes of her younger self when she was just old enough to talk. It was the day she learned the names of the Briefs family. Gohan pointed to Vegeta.
"Pan, this is Vegeta."
Then Gohan pointed to Bulma.
"And this is Bulma."
He pointed further downward towards Bulla, who was just a year younger than Pan.
The teenage Trunks, however, knelt in front of her and put his hand out below her.
"My name is Trunks."
Pan reached out her small hand to him.
Upon putting her fingers around his hand, he gently shook up and down.
"Nice to meet you, Pan."
The weight of everything came back to her: she was alive, but everyone she ever knew was gone, the Trunks of her world included.
"I'm sorry," apologized Pan. "It's just..."
She could tell she was beginning to tear up and looked down, trying not to make eye contact.
"Is everything okay, Pan?"
She sniffled and had to wipe her face with her wrist.
"...it's a lot."
Trunks didn't think of it due to how well Pan looked, but when he first found her...
There he was, awaiting the arrival of someone. He saw a flash of light beginning to form the shape of a person as it floated downward slowly.
"You're surprised, I'm..."
But then the shape revealed itself to be a young woman, who had clear wounds on her arms, legs, and upper body, and whose skin and clothes were covered in frost.
He soon realized she was in no position to stand up and ran over to catch her before she could fall face-first on the ground. He turned to others around him.
"Quick, someone get help! Now!"
For the time being, all he could do was keep a tight grip and hold her close with his coat to soothe her freezing temperature.
"Just hang in there, okay?!"
But then she looked up at him.
He was shaken by this.
"She knows my name... but how?"
But then she fell unconscious, barely alive as is.
He remembered how bad things looked.
"No, I'm the one that should apologize. I can't even imagine what you went through."
He sat back down in his chair, trying to figure out what to say now, as Pan sat with her legs under the covers trying to think it over as well.
"How am I even alive right now? I was in space. I should've..."
He turned back to her.
She waited for his explanation.
"You were brought here and we had you in a healing pod for three days."
"So... it was just luck that you found me?"
Pan decided to get out of the covers and sat up, her legs and feet hanging off the side. Trunks got up and pointed over to the side of her.
"Do you mind?"
She shook her head, signaling "No, I don't mind" to him. He sat down, both looking at the wall in front of them.
"If there's anything you want to talk about..."
"18 years... for 18 years, I had a home. I had friends. I had a family."
She looked down, Trunks noticing she was making fists with both hands.
"And it was all taken from me... BY THAT MONSTER!"
He saw her fingers piercing into her hands, blood beginning to drip as a result. The sight of this made Trunks uneasy...
There he was, 14 years old in the pouring rain, screaming into the night in anguish while his fingers squeezed into his palm.
He could feel the pain, but the blood released, like the tears on his face, were indiscernible to him at that moment.
He saw the blood beginning to go down her wrist, some getting onto the inside of her sleeves. Trunks grabbed onto her hands, trying to stop her.
Her expression switched from anger to that of confusion.
She didn't even know what she was doing until he brought it to her attention. With that, Trunks let go and she saw eight of her fingertips turned red.
"I didn't realize I was..."
Trunks took the lid off a bottle and pointed it downward towards her palms.
"Here. This'll help."
He carefully poured a green liquid onto her hands, which seemed to cover the wound. Within seconds, Pan saw the bleeding had stopped and her palms were completely healed. From there, he handed her a towel, which she began to use to wipe the blood from her hands and wrists.
She then realized the big question she had been meaning to ask since she arrived.
"Where are we, Trunks?"
"Now look, Pan... this is going to be a lot to take in..."
"Well? Is this even Earth?"
He pointed over to the window.
"All of this... is Toki Toki City."
"And where is this city exactly?"
"At the edge of Universe 7."
"Universe 7? As in there's more than one?"
"Pretty much. Yeah."
She lied her back on the bed, her legs still hanging off the side.
The world was certainly much bigger than she imagined. Pan just looked up at the ceiling.
"Pan, I'm sorry for your loss. Truly, I am."
Trunks could tell she was deep in thought.
"If you want some time alone, I'll leave. But I'll be back to check on you."
Pan could hear Trunks opening the door to leave and just realized another thing on her mind.
He stopped for just a moment.
She pointed at the logo on her pajama top.
"What does this stand for?"
"I was hoping to wait until tomorrow, but... Time Patrol."
"Time Patrol? What's that?"
Something was beeping on Trunks' wrist: something had come up.
"I'm sorry, Pan. I promise I'll tell you all about it later. Please, take care."
Finally, he left, leaving Pan to herself.
"What could the Time Patrol be?"
"Don't you see? Pan's awake now. She's recovered."
"Physically, yes... but the trauma is still there, Trunks. It's not just going to go away overnight."
"You're right... so we'll give her time. But I still think this will all work out."
Trunks came back into the room, seeing Pan lying on her bed with not much to do and without much will to do much of anything.
"I'm back, Pan. I didn't know if you were hungry, but I brought a few things."
He placed several capsules, each containing a food item, onto a tray.
"Don't know what you like, so here's a variety..."
"Tell me, Trunks... all about the Time Patrol."
He placed the tray in front of her, then sat down in a chair.
"You see, time is... well, complicated. There are countless, perhaps infinite timelines for this universe alone, but they all stem from one single source, which we call the main timeline."
Pan opened one of the capsules, which revealed a bowl of rice with chop sticks.
"Well, the problem is that some rather malicious individuals have tried to use time travel in order to alter time to their own ends. Should they threaten the main timeline, it threatens all of time itself."
Pan had slowly eaten a ball of rice, then had an idea.
"But what if someone was trying to stop something bad from happening in a timeline?"
Trunks already had an idea what she was thinking.
"Like..." began Pan. "If I went back to stop Frieza."
She was almost starting to smile and getting excited.
"Right! If he never gets to my timeline's Earth, then my family and home would be saved!"
But even then, she saw Trunks sighing: something told her this wasn't going to fly.
"I'm sorry, Pan, but using time travel is forbidden, even if it is for good intentions."
Pan put down her chopsticks: she didn't feel like eating anymore.
"So that's it then... history is set and I can't change it."
"I'm afraid so."
He could see she was upset at this.
"I'm really sorry..."
She turned away from him.
"Please... I just... I need time."
Trunks exited the room, trying to think of what to do now.
"What am I supposed to tell her? 'Hey, your family and home's gone, but now we need you to join our team?' Damn it!"
None of this went as well as Trunks had hoped. He didn't think he'd be helping someone cope with such loss. Nor did he anticipate them wanting to save their world by changing the future.
In fact, it brought back so many of his memories of the past.
Pan's lied with her eyes closed as her room went dark, the window hidden away to simulate night time. The bowl of rice was on the nightstand and still nearly full like it was earlier.
She had taken in so much: she was in a city that existed on the edge of one of many universes, she lived in one of many timelines, and altering history for any of them was forbidden.
What was she going to do now? Just live the rest of her life there? And do what?
But at long last, Pan had managed to get to sleep.
It was another childhood memory of hers. The Briefs had invited Pan and her parents to the Capsule Corp headquarters. Inside the building were tons of marvels and technologies being designed and manufactured.
Bulma was guiding them through it with Bulla and Trunks beside her. It seemed Vegeta was too busy to join them. Trunks, now nearly 18, was excited looking at everything.
"I'll be running Capsule Corp someday, right Mom?"
"Sure thing, Trunks... that is, IF you keep your grades up."
He put his hand behind his head.
"Uh... yeah... right."
"And don't forget college too."
"Yes, yes, I know, Mom."
But then they proceeded outside, where Bulma pointed to a giant rocket ship pointing upward.
"Now this is what I brought you all here to see: the launch of our latest space travel vehicle, the..."
Little Pan didn't even hear its name, as her attention was drawn to the rocket itself.
"It's going to take off in a couple minutes, so let's get to our seats so we can watch."
Pan saw Bulma and her children, and her parents heading to another section. But Pan didn't follow.
Instead, she found her way downward to where the rocket was. As far as she knew, no one could see her. And there it was, standing before her.
It was much bigger than how it looked where she was earlier. She knew rockets could fly and she had learned how to fly from her parents. A fun thought occurred to her:
"Can I fly as fast as a rocket?"
Just then, she heard a loud booming voice.
"PREPARING FOR IGNITION IN 30 SECONDS. 29. 28. 27. 26."
Pan backed up for just a moment, then decided to get herself ready as well. Finally...
"3. 2. 1. IGNITION."
The bottom of the rocket fumed with flames as it began to ascent upward. But at this point, Pan had already began flying over it. From the side, she saw the viewing area, where her parents, Bulma, Trunks, and Bulla were. For just that brief moment, she saw their jaws drop... all except for Bulla, who hopped and grinned seeing her.
But even then, Pan could tell the rocket was starting to go faster. She sped up as well, racing it up through the sky. It seemed neck-and-neck for some time, but Pan kept pushing and pushing to get ahead of it.
She was ahead of it. In the lead. She saw that the clouds were nearly entirely gone. There was still one just ahead of her. She turned toward the rocket.
"Last one to that cloud's a rotten egg!"
She sped up as fast as she could, then flew right through the cloud, putting a hole in it. But even then, she kept going, wanting to see how high up she could go.
Pan soon saw herself in space, looking down at the entire Earth. For her at that age, it was like seeing a giant spinning globe like the one on her dad's desk.
But she found she didn't like how space felt, which, as a kid, she couldn't quite explain why. As she flew downward towards Earth, she passed the rocket and waved at it.
It may have been her imagination, but Pan thought she saw someone wave back to her from inside the rocket's cockpit.
She made it back to the clouds and sky and Pan decided to try something else: she stopped using her ki to fly, just for a moment.
Pan found herself falling downward, but instead of being frightened, she smiled and giggled, twirling during her descent downward. Though as she neared the Capsule Corp building, Pan finally started flying again, slowing her descent and allowing her to hover slowly back down to the ground, where she found a few people waiting for her.
She saw Bulla pointing up at her, to which Bulma, Trunks, and her parents looked up as well.
"Pan, that was awesome!"
The two giggled as Pan touched the ground, but then saw her father running over to her, looking less than pleased.
"Pan! Don't you ever fly off like that again! Ever!"
She was starting to feel like she had done something wrong. She turned to Videl, whose face was just as stern.
"Your father and I were worried sick!"
Pan definitely knew she had upset her parents. Bulma tried to step in.
"The important thing is Pan's fine. Now why don't we all just..."
Pan sat down on the ground, covering her face. Bulla was the first to notice.
"Pan, are you okay?"
From there, everyone could hear Pan was crying. Her parents turned to see their daughter clearly upset at what she did.
Bulla sat down next to Pan, then, when she saw Gohan and Videl approaching, stood up and pointed at them.
"You made Pan cry. You're mean!"
Bulma didn't take this lightly.
"Bulla, don't talk to them like that!"
"But they did. They made her cry."
Pan then felt herself being lifted up: her mother placed her over her shoulder. Pan tried not to look her mother in the eyes.
"I just wanted to see how fast I was."
Videl looked over at her and Pan could see her mother's face was no longer angry.
"I know you didn't mean to scare us, sweetie. But that could have been dangerous."
Gohan made his way to her, wiping her tears with his hand.
"Just promise not to do that again, okay?"
Pan was starting to understand that they didn't hate her for what she did and that she hadn't done something unforgivable. She placed her head between her parents' shoulders, then looked back up at them, no longer upset.
From there, Pan remembered how the rest of the day went: they went to the Briefs' house for dinner, where it was one of the last times she saw Vegeta without facial hair, and the rest of the day was pleasant. Everyone agreed to keep the story of Pan flying the rocket to themselves and not to tell anyone, and Pan understood not to fly around without one of her parents with her.
But this was different. Pan almost saw time itself stopping, like her parents' faces and movements were entirely frozen.
Her father suddenly sunk downward, his skin looking like sand, as his clothes crumpled to the ground with nothing left but them, clumps of sand, and his glasses.
Panicked, she grabbed onto her mom tightly, who still didn't move.
Her mother sank as well and Pan tried to hold on, only to sink through her mother's hands. She fell to the ground, seeing just her mother's clothes remaining, as well as seeing sand all over her.
She turned over to Bulma and Bulla, whom already began to turn into sand themselves.
"No, NO, PLEASE!"
They fell apart, though their clothes were still there. She knelt on the ground, unable to comprehend what was going on around her.
Trunks' voice. She looked at him, who had not yet turned into sand, but seemed to shift, his casual attire from that day in the past turning into the gray coat she saw in the present.
But then, to her horror, his entire body, skin and clothes, turned into sand. As his face began to dissolve, he still spoke to her.
"I'm so sorry..."
He blew away in her direction, Pan covering her face and trying not to breathe any of the sand in. But this gust was strong, knocking her onto her back.
Pan turned around, seeing the ground she stood on turning to sand as well and even beginning to sink. She tried to fly up, but found she couldn't. Pan then tried climbing upward, but as she tried, realized how futile it was.
It was then she saw Frieza, in his golden form, creating a ball in his fingertips... one of sand.
Pan felt nothing beneath her and now only her head and arms hadn't sunken yet, and now there Frieza was, ready to finish her off.
He tossed the ball right at her, sending her deeper into the sand and now leaving her with no sky or anything to look at.
It was strange: even now, trapped in sand, she wasn't suffocating. In fact, she could still clearly see herself. But as she looked at her fingertips, she saw them slowly fading away. But how?
Her hand's skin tone was slowly morphing into that of sand. As she looked down at her lower body, she saw that it was already sand as well... and fading from the feet up.
Soon, all that was left was her chest and shoulders.
"Your time is up."
Frieza's was the last voice she heard as she saw nothing left of her.
Pan sat up in a cold sweat, breathing heavily from the nightmare she just experienced. At first, she felt relief.
"It was... it was all just a dream."
But as she looked around, she realized she wasn't in her room on Earth, but in a room in Toki Toki City.
It crushed her: Frieza's attack, her family's death, her Earth's destruction, this new Trunks, Toki Toki City, and the Time Patrol... all of it was real. It wasn't a dream she was ever going to wake up from.
She put her head on her knees and let all her emotions out while outside, the sky was still bright in Toki Toki City.
Trunks arrived several hours later, seeing Pan standing up and looking out the window.
"Hey, Pan. Did you sleep well?"
"I'm... I'm sorry to hear that."
He looked over at the rice bowl, seeing that Pan hadn't finished it, let alone put a dent in it since they ate the day before.
"Look, Pan, there's no rush and we want to make sure you're well..."
"What am I doing here? Why am I really here? It's not like I'm going to just work a small job here. So what's really my purpose here?"
Trunks was dreading this. He sighed.
"The Time Patrol needs all available warriors. Fighters. Martial artists."
Pan turned back to him.
"So they need me?"
She didn't look sad or angry: unlike before, where see unleashed all her emotions in front of Trunks clearly, it was almost like Pan's face looked indifferent.
"Not like I have anywhere else to go. Where do I start?"
Trunks wasn't pleased with her emotionless tone, but the fact was she was out of bed and he knew her presence here was critical.
"Well, the first step will be for you to join the Time Patrol itself. Go ahead and get dressed. I'll wait outside."
As Trunks left the room, Pan didn't waste any time and quickly changed from her pajamas to her old attire: a blue shirt, light purple pants, faded dark purple fingerless gloves, and purple shoes.
She made her way for the door, but realized she had forgotten something...
Trunks stood patiently as the door finally opened and he saw Pan dressed, but with her orange bandanna on her head.
Pan pointed up at her bandanna.
"Will this be a problem?"
"No. No, that should be fine."
He composed himself and led Pan through a hallway filled with doors. From what Pan could see, this was a medical facility, as she saw what looked like other humans lying in some of the rooms. In one, she spotted someone that looked like Piccolo, but with purple skin.
As she saw a doctor of sorts entering one in front of her, she caught a glimpse of the patient inside: one with pure white skin with purple spots and only three toes. Almost like...
But before she could piece it together, a curtain closed, covering the rest of the patient.
"Alright, Pan, now let's start the tour of Toki Toki City."
From outside, Pan saw grass alongside the hard floor they were on, as well as bridges over water.
"This is the Plaza of Time."
She couldn't help but notice the large altar in the center.
"What's that altar for?"
"Oh? That? It's not important right now."
She then saw a doorway of sorts, but with a strange glow around it.
"It's... a doorway to somewhere I'll show you after training."
He tried to change the subject.
"Ah, look over here."
He pointed over to what almost reminded Pan of the entrance to the World Martial Arts Tournament.
"When we're not defending time, fighting tournaments are hosted there. Nothing serious, of course, but it's there if you wanna try your skills."
Pan and Trunks turned to see a woman slightly shorter than the two of them with green hair in a black and white martial artists top.
"Who’s the new kid, Trunks?"
"Oh... uh, this is Pan."
Pan gave off a light wave back to her.
"Pan, this is Hakusa."
Hakusa put out her hand to shake, which Pan took. She felt a tight grip just from Hakusa shaking hands with her.
"Whoops, sorry about that."
Trunks tried steering her and Pan towards the next area.
"Say, listen Hakusa, we need to get going, so we'll have to catch up later."
"Wait, before you go..."
Hakusa reached into her uniform's pocket on her purple pants and pulled out a scouter. Unlike the one Pan had seen that was at the Briefs house, which had a green screen, this scouter's screen was a pink-purple hue.
"I just picked up this special edition scouter. I wanna see how strong you are."
Pan stood in intrigue.
"Okay, sure. Go ahead."
Trunks walked over to the side of Hakusa to see as well.
"I mean, suppose it couldn't hurt."
Hakusa put the scouter into place by her left eye and tapped the side, activating it as it began to scan her.
"Let's see here..."
It concluded and Hakusa's face wasn't stunned by a massive power level... but almost looked concerned.
"Hakusa, what did it say?"
She took off her scouter and showed it to Trunks, who saw that the reading was not exactly a confidence booster.
"Trunks, are you sure she's ready for this?"
He tried to figure out what to say when Pan cleared her throat.
"We don't want to be late, right Trunks?"
"Right, right. We really do need to get going right now, Hasuka."
The two hurried over to the next area as Pan saw Hasuka waving back to her.
"It was nice meeting you, Pan."
When the two left her sight, Hakusa looked back at her scouter, still wondering about Pan's power level being much lower than she had expected of a Time Patroller. She sighed.
"What is she doing here anyway?"
Pan saw various shops in the next area.
"So is this the market place, Trunks?"
"More or less. It's the Industrial Sector."
Pan looked over to a clothing store, which had various items on display, including an orange gi with the turtle symbol.
"Wait, that's... from the Turtle School."
"Yes, the Turtle School's warriors are quite famous around Toki Toki City."
As Pan looked at the shops, she saw they weren't run by other people, but rather small round robots with coiled arms.
"Greetings. Can I interest you in anything today?"
Pan paused as Trunks stepped in.
"Uh, sorry. Just browsing."
Pan figured that was the case and the two proceeded.
"And this is the Time Machine Station. Perhaps one of the most pivotal areas of Toki Toki City aside from..."
"...aside from behind that glowing doorway by the plaza?"
She turned to see various time machines standing by.
"So use of a time machine's illegal, but you still use them to catch them in the act..."
"Well, I mean, sure... but it's different, though, because..."
As Trunks tried explaining how the Time Patrol's use of time machines was allowed, she caught a glimpse of a golden statue behind the tunnel to that area. It seemed to be a robed figured... in fact, it almost looked like it had a familiar stance she had seen before...
"Hi, excuse me..."
Pan heard the voice behind her and turned to see no one looking at her.
"I'm down here."
She looked down...
...and nearly hopped backward at the sight of this individual: a short, chubby-looking green creature with a blue top, yellow pants, and a black cape wrapped around his waist.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to alarm you, miss. I was wondering if you could help me find Team Registration."
Trunks immediately pointed in the direction of a round structure.
"Team registration's over there."
"Oh. Thank you, Trunks."
Before leaving, this short green man put out his black gloved hand to shake.
"Oh, my name's Goma."
Pan crouched down, then shook.
Trunks heard a beeping on his wrist and knew what it was signaling.
"Sorry Goma, but we're running late! We have to go!"
He began taking off as Pan ran behind him. Goma waved to her, then looked over to where Trunks pointed earlier.
"Now let's see... Team Registration's there, right?"
He then saw another similar structure.
"...or was it over there?"
At last, Trunks and Pan had arrived to their intended location: from appearances, the structure looked like a recruitment center with a boot camp behind it.
"Here it is, Pan: the Time Patrol academy. The proving grounds for all Time Patrollers."
He walked her through to the entrance as they finally made it through the front doors. They came across a front desk, which was headed by another robot.
"Not a lot of living workers around here..."
"With so many at work defending time itself, mechanical staff help to keep everything running."
Trunks walked up to the desk.
"How may I help... wait, aren't you already signed up for the Time Patrol, Trunks?"
"Uh, yes, but I'm here to sign her up."
"Did you schedule an appointment?"
"Yes, around this time."
The mechanical worker tapped a keyboard-esque surface, searching through files as Pan waited.
"An appointment for a 'Pan'?"
"Yes. We're here... I mean she's here, but I'm just making sure everything goes over okay."
"And this appointment is with Hale?"
The robot pointed in the direction of a door, which opened shortly afterward.
"You may proceed."
"Do all recruits meet with this Hale?" Pan inquired to Trunks as they proceeded through.
"No," Trunks answered. "Commander Hale's one of the highest ranking members of the Time Patrol. I made the appointment myself so you could meet him beforehand."
He began to turn a corner.
"In fact, his quarters should be coming up..."
A deep voice called out to him.
"Commander Hale. We were just on our way to your..."
"I was just getting some exercise. Stretching my legs and tail, as it were. So where is this Pan you wanted me to speak to?"
Pan finally turned the corner herself as Trunks turned to introduce her.
"She's right here. Pan, this is Commander Hale."
She saw Hale's feet and legs first: military-style boots and olive green pants. She also saw the tail that Hale was mentioning: a dark brown tail swerving behind him. From above, a curious set of tan body armor with TP on the left side of the chest.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance, Pan."
He lifted his hand up to shake, but then Pan saw his head. Despite the dark brown skin, the tan horned exoskeleton and green gem plate on his head having different colors from him, Hale's facial features were very reminiscent of...
"Just like Frieza..."
Hale noticed Pan looking a little uneasy.
"Is everything alright?"
Trunks saw this as well and realized something he had forgotten to mention.
"I didn't even think of it. She lost her family to Frieza and I never told her the Time Patrol also consists of members of his..."
Hale could see Pan beginning to make fists with her hands and placed his hand to his side.
"It's about Lord Frieza, isn't it?"
Pan heard him acknowledge what it was she was thinking of.
"Yes, I am of the same race as Frieza... but let me make it clear to you: myself and the rest of my kind do not share his evil and cruelty."
He took a step closer to her.
"You lost family to him?"
She was attempting to calm down, even as her mind kept overlapping Hale's image with that of Frieza's.
"My family... and my home."
"I cannot express how much it pains me every time Frieza performs these acts... but do not let that color your perception of me."
Pan imagined Frieza beckoning her, then cleared her mind of it.
"...or else Frieza wins."
"Right you are, Pan."
With that standoff over...
"Now we can proceed to my quarters so we may properly begin."
The moment behind them, they arrived at Hale's room, which appeared to be a small, humble abode with a desk, a few chairs, and not much in the way of decorations. He let Pan in first, but stopped Trunks.
"You'll have to understand that such a discussion must be done with confidentiality."
The door shut behind Pan and Hale as Hale took his place behind his desk. He pointed to the chair in front of her.
"Sit... unless you would prefer to stand. It makes no difference to me."
Pan remained standing.
"Now then miss "Pan"... you are here to join our Time Patrol. But before you do, I want to hear why you're joining us."
Pan then decided to sit down and tried to think of what to say.
"...because I'm needed here."
"That may be so, Pan, but why are you truly here? Only you can make yourself a Time Patroller. I can't force it onto you."
"I can't go back home. I have nothing left. And I'm here. There's nowhere else for me to go."
Hale put his hands together, listening intently to every word from her.
"All my life, I trained in martial arts... and it's not like I'm going to use them for much else now."
"I understand that, Pan, but are you truly making that choice yourself?"
She pondered for the longest time: Trunks had told her that the Time Patrol needed her, but did she truly agree to it?
"I don't know."
Hale saw her sigh.
"At this point of my life, I don't know what to do with myself."
He stood up from his chair.
"You do understand that whatever normalcy you attain here... will not be the same as that of your home."
"The most important ideal of the Time Patrol is that we must look beyond our past. This must be understood before one joins. Tell me truthfully... do you understand this?"
Pan took longer to respond to this, but nodded.
"Good. Then welcome to the Time Patrol. Tomorrow, you will begin your training. You're dismissed."
Pan let herself out as Trunks heard Hale's voice from the room.
"Trunks... might we have a word?"
"Pan, wait here or in the waiting room. I'll be just a minute."
Trunks took a seat in Hale's office as Hale remained standing before him.
"I know I'm mirroring the Supreme Kai of Time's sentiments, but emotionally, Pan is not ready for this."
"Shenron never makes mistakes. He couldn't have made one."
"That may be true... but that does not mean Pan will be prepared for battle immediately."
"It's why I came to you, Hale: only you can prepare her for that."
"I give you my word she will not become a casualty."
Trunks nodded, then turned to leave.
"One more thing, Trunks..."
Trunks let go of the door for just a moment to hear what Hale had to say.
"You must not delay telling her exactly how she came here. The longer you postpone it, the worse your mentorship with her will be as a result."
Trunks exited to see Pan was still waiting for him by the door.
"Alright, Pan. Now that you're with the Time Patrol, let me show you where you'll be staying."
Between the academy and the medical area she had been staying at the day before was the housing area.
"Obviously with so many Time Patrollers, they are all provided living quarters when not on missions."
They passed by countless houses, each marked by roman numerals.
"Ah, here's your unit."
He pointed Pan to a house with "DCCXX" etched on the side of it. Upon entering, she saw that it was more-or-less a one room apartment, but with adequate space for entertainment, cooking, eating, and sleep as well as a bathroom.
"This is all yours, Pan."
He looked over at the sofa.
"Hey, what's that over there?"
Pan walked over to it and saw...
"The Power Pole! My Grandpa's Power Pole!"
She was ecstatic to see the prized possession of her grandfather with her own eyes again. She turned to Trunks, her mood uplifted.
"Thank you so much, Trunks."
"Uh, don't mention it. Also..."
He pointed to a button on the side of the couch.
"Just a push of that and it'll convert into a bed complete with sheets."
He then pointed to a small closet.
"Clothes, including pajamas and your Time Patrol uniform for tomorrow."
Then over to the cooking area.
"The fridge is filled with a variety of things to eat. I mean, if you're picky, we can work on just getting you specifics, but for right now, it's to gauge your tastes."
Pan caught a pair of keys from him with the house numerals on a key chain.
"I guess with that, you're all set here. I'll see you at the academy tomorrow."
He started to make his way for the door.
He turned to her.
"I know things haven't been easy for me so far and I probably could've acted better before... so I just want to say thank you for sticking with me."
"Well, I mean I'm happy to help. If you ever need anything, just let me know and I'll be here."
She nodded to him almost cheerfully as she watched him opening the door.
He turned, pondering if this was the best time to tell her.
"I just wanted to say..."
Pan waited for his answer.
"Good luck tomorrow."
The door closed and Pan looked over at her new surroundings, then at the Power Pole still on her couch. She grabbed onto the power pole and its case, almost hugging them.
"I still have you with me..."
That night, she lied in her Time Patrol pajamas, the power pole neatly hung up on the wall above her.
What is Pan's Level? Trunks the Mentor!Edit
Pan found herself waking up in another cold sweat brought about by another nightmare of Frieza. She sat up, trying to control her breathing to relax, but it wasn't until she looked up at her grandfather's Power Pole, which she had hung up on the wall the night before, that she finally began to relax.
Having it back in her possession after she believed it to be lost was a large comfort for her: it was like her grandfather Goku was still watching over her.
As breakfast was heating, she checked her closet for the uniform Trunks left for her training:
Black and white track clothes and shoes, with "TP" on the back of the jacket top.
"I can work with that color scheme."
Upon getting dressed, orange bandanna included, she had a full meal: probably the most she'd eaten in Toki Toki City so far. She wanted to make sure she had full energy for today.
She opened her door, then turned to the Power Pole.
"Wish me luck, Grandpa Goku."
Pan had plenty of time and simply walked over out of the housing area towards the academy. She saw plenty of other Time Patrollers nearby and waved back to those that said hello.
Though she did catch a few seeing her, then talking amongst themselves. Pan didn't want to try eavesdropping, but did hear a few things on the way.
"It's that girl. The one from four days ago."
"I saw her. She was in pretty bad shape when they found her."
"Rumor has it she was summoned here."
But Pan thought nothing of it as she arrived bright and early, only a few other patrollers there alongside her.
It didn't quite feel like high school, since this looked to be entirely based on physicality, more akin to gym. Maybe this is what college felt like... but for fighting.
Of the people there, it was a mixed cast: humans, or maybe even Saiyans since it was often difficult to pick them apart from each other, as well as Piccolo's race...
"What are you, Mr. Piccolo?"
She thought back to when Piccolo was babysitting her for her parents. Why they were away, she couldn't even begin to recall.
But there she was, coloring a picture while asking Piccolo this question. He didn't quite know how to approach it.
"What do you mean, Pan?"
"You look different..."
Pan was getting old enough to figure out most people in her life didn't have green skin and antennae.
"So what are you?"
"My father was from space. A planet called Namek."
"And where is your dad?"
Piccolo immediately changed the topic by leaning over her.
"Hey. What's that you're coloring, Pan?"
Pan had just finished.
She had colored the dragon's skin green and was putting the finishing touches on its eyes with a red crayon.
"From Namek, so... Namekians?"
She saw a few members of Frieza's race. Some short and with exoskeletons, others much smoother-looking, and some large and bulking.
Pan had definitely internalized what Hale had told her the day before, not looking at them with a scowl and being gracious whenever they approached her.
And then there was that odd group entirely new to her: the males, short and tall, seemed chubby, while the females were much slimmer. They all came in a variety of colors and with almost cartoonish faces.
But she didn't know what they were or where they came from.
"Well, you're certainly early..."
Pan saw a familiar face approaching her.
"Hey, Trunks. Just checking on me?"
"Actually, I'll be assisting with today's session."
Trunks' wrist beeped, then Commander Hale's voice could be heard all across the area.
"All new recruits, report to the training grounds."
"That's our cue."
Trunks ran off as Pan saw the other newcomers making their way there and joined them.
There Pan stood in the arena-esque training grounds alongside a mass of other new recruits. They all didn't know what was to come, but knew the life of a Time Patroller would not be a cakewalk.
But then Pan caught Trunks approaching alongside Commander Hale, the ground beneath those two rising until they came to a stop.
"Welcome, everyone. Before we start, a few words from Commander Hale."
Trunks moved to the side as Hale took center stage, his arms behind his back as he stood up straight while overlooking the crowd before him.
"I know the fears and doubts that plague you. 'How can I survive these battles? Or these opponents?'"
Anyone who had been initially talking during his speech were completely silent at this point.
"But I promise you that if you stick with me... I will ensure your survival."
This statement was met with applause, though Hale raised his hand to quiet it down.
"Today will be simple enough: you will all be gauged individually so that we can place you into your designated levels."
All the recruits split into several lines, each leading to stations to process each individual's strength.
Pan saw herself in front of a punching machine, one far more high tech than the one at the World Martial Arts Tournament. A round robot looked at her, then at a holographic list in its three-fingered hands.
It marked her name, then gestured toward a circle on the ground in front of the punching machine.
"Alright Miss Pan. Stand right there and hit the machine as hard as you can."
She swung her arm to get ready, then fueled her arm with ki as she gave out a shout.
The machine didn't even shake as she struck it.
"Huh. Maybe they're nailed in more here."
A screen next to the machine blinked red and beeped. The robot looked at this while appearing to scratch its head with one of its arms.
"...is that good or bad?"
She tried to play it off casually.
"So how did I do?"
"Miss Pan, your striking power is under the requirement."
A requirement? Pan was unaware of this.
"M... maybe I should hit it again?"
"I'm sorry, but you're several hundred points below the minimum requirement."
Pan didn't want to hold up the line of other recruits behind her, but she had to know if this was really it for her.
"Is there nothing else I can do?"
Trunks overheard all this and couldn't bear to see her potentially getting turned down.
"Now hold on just a minute," Trunks stated, stepping in front of the robot. "Power isn't everything."
Hale took a step forward.
"You bring up a perfectly valid point, Trunks. Power alone does not win battles... it is how it is utilized."
The robot didn't have a face to convey emotions, but almost put up its hands nervously.
"Look, I'm just programmed to inform recruits when their striking power is too low. It's nothing personal towards any of them. It's all a matter of ensuring their safety against others here and on the job."
Hale pat the robot on its top.
"You've done nothing wrong. We'll keep an eye on this one."
The two gestured Pan to move forward as the robot remained nailed to the ground at its station. It swiped its hand against its top like one would wipe sweat from their forehead.
As much as Pan appreciated Trunks and Hale standing up for her despite her lower power, she couldn't help but wonder about the robot's concerns.
"When the robot said I was below the minimum, does that mean I'm...?"
"It's more of a guideline, really," answered Trunks.
"However, it would be wise to exercise caution for the time being," added Hale.
From behind her, Pan heard a loud slam on the machine and could feel it shaking from where she was. The robot turned toward a man in a black and red uniform.
"That is one of our highest scores today. Proceed."
Pan realized her strike hadn't even shaken the machine and there was this man, who had done just that and was one of the highest scorers here.
Nevertheless, she kept moving alongside Trunks and Hale, whom were trying to talk quietly to each other.
"Obviously, with training, she'll reach it in no time, right?"
"It's all a matter of how much time it'll take."
Pan acted like she wasn't listening, though her unintended eavesdrop on their conversation regarding her didn't quite ease how she was feeling.
"I know they're both looking out for me, but what if that robot's right? That my safety could be at stake."
Next, Pan saw herself standing underneath what looked like a large rectangular block. Trunks described its function to her.
"When you catch it, it'll slowly increase in weight to map out your maximum lifting capacity. It'll become light as air when you're finished."
She nodded at him, then placed her hands over her head as she awaited its descent. The robot running the station pressed a switch, causing the block to fall towards her.
She caught it with ease, the weight hardly feeling like anything. But then, she could feel it slowly becoming heavier. Trunks saw a gauge next to the machine listing its current weight.
"500 pounds... so far, so good, Pan."
Back home, she could work just about any weight-lifting machine to its maximum, often being coached not to overdo it or she'd risk breaking the machine. But here, she felt she could lift even more and knew the technology could keep up with her.
"I've never tried going this far before. Let's see what I can do..."
Trunks kept watching the monitor.
"15 hundred pounds..."
She was starting to sweat now.
Pan could feel the weight of the block increasing faster every couple seconds, as well as her muscles beginning to ache.
"This might be a bit much... but I've gotta keep it up as long as I can."
Some of the Earthling recruits in line behind her were talking amongst themselves.
"That girl's not from Earth, is she?"
"Are we sure she's a human?"
Pan nearly lost her footing, crouching over, but still stood on her feet and continued to grip the block. Even with that success, Pan could feel sweat pouring from her face and the veins in her arms bulging.
"This is... a lot."
Trunks saw the monitor's numbers go up once more.
At this point, Pans' arms finally gave out. She fell onto her knees, grabbing her right arm with her left hand, then saw the block falling down towards her head...
...when it practically bounced off her, now weighing next to nothing instead of the several tons she could barely lift seconds earlier. The robot at the station marked down her score.
"Ten tons. Proceed."
Pan managed to push herself upward back onto her feet from the ground, but then stumbled back for a moment before regaining her balance. Three robots with tank tracks moved toward her, their hands helping her to stand as they moved her past the station.
The Earthlings then began looking nervously at their arms, then back at the station.
"I knew I shouldn't have skipped weights."
A few Saiyans, however, did not seem impressed at Pan's display.
Trunks saw the robots walking Pan across, then approached them.
"I'll take it from here."
The robots left Trunks to help Pan over to a bench to sit on.
"So... ten tons. That's pretty impressive."
Pan tried lifting her jacket's sleeve, seeing her arm's veins plainly and almost red.
"My arms are killing me already. Any more and they would've fallen off."
"Right. Obviously punching and lifting are two different things. Not to mention your legs certainly helped with that as well."
As Trunks saw and Pan felt, she could still stand up after that session, but it obviously took a lot out of her.
"For someone from Earth, that is still quite the..."
"25 tons! Proceed."
Pan and Trunks watched as the man in black and red continued onward, his arms down, but him not even needing the robot helpers to help him across. She could clearly see his face and his messy black hair, his expression almost indifferent to the experience.
"He lifted almost three times as much as me... and he's still walking around just fine."
He noticed Pan looking at him and stopped in front of her.
"What's with the staring? Do you have something you want to say to me?"
She didn't care for his tone, but didn't want to come across as aggressive or bothered in her current state. Plus, she didn't have many friends here.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it."
She used her left hand to anchor her right arm for him to shake.
He didn't move his arms an inch.
"I'm here to defend history, not fraternize."
He turned his back to her as he continued on his way.
"And my name is Pima."
After Pima was far from the group, Trunks turned back to her.
"Look, I know he seemed rude, but..."
"It's fine, Trunks."
As frustrated as Pan was with Pima's attitude, she knew they were all on the same team at the end of the day.
"I don't know all the recruits here, but I know this Pima's a bit of a loner. Not a bully by any means, but a Saiyan of few words."
Vegeta was the only full Saiyan she had ever known. Her world's Trunks, her uncle and her father were half-Saiyan, and Bulla, like herself, was just a fourth Saiyan.
"Right. Through several timelines, we've obtained a sizable number of surviving Saiyans. Some even predating Frieza's extermin..."
He caught whose name he had just mentioned and went silent. Pan just took in what he had to say.
"So he's the one who eliminated most Saiyans."
Trunks couldn't help but notice she was somewhat knowledgeable on the topic to an extent.
"You seem to know a few things about Saiyans. Where did you learn about them?"
There she was sitting in her dad's lap.
"Where did Grandpa Goku come from?"
Gohan simply smiled at her.
"He came to Earth from faraway."
"Was he an alien?"
"He was a Saiyan."
"Are you a Saiyan, dad?"
"Well... I'm half-Saiyan."
"Am I a Saiyan too?"
He paused for just a moment.
"A little bit."
"You'll know when you're older."
"How many Saiyans are there?"
He had to pause much longer to find the right answer.
"Not too many."
On another occasion, Pan recalled Vegeta watching over her and Bulla.
"Tell me about my Grandpa Goku."
Vegeta seemed a bit hesitant.
"I'm not sure your parents would like that, Pan."
"I can keep it a secret. I promise."
"So... you really want to know about him?"
Pan nodded her head and Bulla seemed just as curious. He grinned under his mustache.
Much time had passed and her and Bulla remained sitting in intrigue throughout the whole story. With it so far about Goku traveling to other planets and fighting bad guys, they were enjoying it.
"...and when he fought the evil monster Frieza, Kakarot did something incredible: his hair turned golden and he became even stronger."
Bulla raised her hand.
"Like super-duper strong?"
"That's right. He became the one and only Super Saiyan. And with that, he defeated Frieza, who never came back to do evil again. The end."
Pan recalled that day especially: it was when she first heard about Frieza, but most memorable of all was hearing about Goku going Super Saiyan.
She raised her hand.
"Can I go Super Saiyan too?"
Vegeta thought on this for some time...
"Maybe when you're older."
It was that day in which her lifelong goal first began: to become a Super Saiyan like her grandfather Goku.
For so many years of her life, she kept trying to achieve that form to no success. When she was younger, she assumed she wasn't old enough to achieve the form. As she got older, however, she began to wonder if she was incapable of it.
Finally, she answered Trunks about his inquiry.
"Family and friends, I guess."
A thought occurred to Trunks.
"Speaking of... you knew my parents, right Pan?"
"Did your folks work for Capsule Corp?"
Their conversation was interrupted by Hale approaching them.
"You're falling to the back of the line. If you've fully recovered, I suggest you get moving."
Pan looked back at her arms, whose veins were plainly visible earlier, and saw they had recovered somewhat.
"Well, now my arms feel loads better."
She got up from the bench, seeing that she wasn't struggling to stand this time.
"Okay, I'm all set."
She got in line for what appeared to be a running station as Trunks turned to Hale.
"I've been thinking, Hale..."
"Pan's at least part-Saiyan and when we found her, she was nearly... so she should get a Zenkai boost pretty soon."
"Maybe so, but that depends entirely on her biology. Once again, I must emphasize that it could take much time."
Trunks mused to himself after this.
"Pan's power hasn't doubled... or even gone up by a third yet. How much Saiyan is she?"
She saw an indoor area more akin to a track and field. A robot pointed Pan in the direction of a sensor at the start and finish line, as well as a monitor.
"This will be a two-part test. First, you'll run a lap as fast as you can. After a ten second rest, you'll fly towards the sensor as fast as you can."
Pan saw several starting blocks: one of human-esque feet, as well as much ones with much larger foot prints including those with more or fewer toes. She grabbed and placed the one closest to her foot size at the designated spot, then got into a running position.
"Ready? Set. GO!"
As soon as the robot gave her the clear, she raced across the track with her feet alone. In high school, her parents had told her to ease up on her speed so as not to draw attention, much like her father had to at her age.
There Pan was back in high school, running a lap outdoors at a casual jogging pace, hardly looking the worse for wear at the finish even as other runners lied down on the grass afterward from their own.
Her PE instructor turned to her.
"With how well you keep a pace, I'm surprised you still haven't joined our track team yet. They could use someone like you."
Pan put her hand behind her head.
"Sorry, I'd love to, but my parents really want me to study hard."
"Knowing Professor Gohan, I'm not surprised."
But here in Toki Toki City, she didn't have to worry about that. She could finally go all out.
The robot simply watched the timer on the monitor:
Pan rarely got the chance to move this fast. As much as part of her was enjoying it, she focused on the turns.
From there, she passed the scanner and the timer paused at just a little over seven seconds.
Pan crouched over for just a moment, then saw the scanner and monitor moving farther ahead of her current position. What looked to her like a giant pillow emerged on the track wall, which made some sense to her: flying at such high speeds would cause someone to crash straight through otherwise.
"A hundred and twenty-four miles per hour. 8 seconds to the next exercise."
She watched the counter go downward to six and five.
"You may begin floating now."
She was off the ground, her feet facing the other directions and her arms toward her intended destination. With three seconds left, she thought back to all the times she had flown.
Flying to Bulla's at night.
Flying into the sky during the tournament.
Flying into space against a rocket as a kid.
At one second, she was ready.
She flew forward with everything she had. It didn't even feel like a second had passed to her as she passed the scanner and monitor. It was then she saw that she heading right for the pillow, unable to change her course before hitting it...
...but as she struck it, almost feeling like she was about to pierce through it, Pan suddenly felt a complete loss of momentum. This material, whatever it was, had stopped her.
But then she saw herself flung backward, not nearly at the speed she was flying, but a high speed all the same. In her path, another pillow-esque structure of the same make at the other side of the track. She bounced off that one as well, then finally began to regain control.
She slid on the track's floor for a moment, but managed to come to a complete stop before the robot. Once she did, she had to crouch down again, this time grasping her stomach.
"How fast was... that?"
"Seventeen thousand miles per hour. Proceed."
She walked across to the next room, ready to lie down on the ground when she saw a handful of other recruits already having done the same.
One Earthling especially took it hard, lying next to a trash container, which she assumed he had to use after he had finished.
"There went my breakfast..."
Pan saw Pima, whom was standing by himself, not even looking at the others lying around him.
"Are full-blooded Saiyans just better with this sort of thing?"
She sat down, her back against the wall and her stomach still bothering her.
"Is my human side really that weak?"
But the longer she thought on it, she realized that wasn't even close to the case.
"There's flying at a comfortable pace and then there's flying at my maximum, then bouncing back and forth. Of course I'm not feeling great after that."
Outside this room was back where they started, with Hale back in his original position.
"Now that we have gauged all of you, you shall all receive your current level."
Swarms of robots skated across the area, each handing out small papers to the recruits present. She could hear the scores from across the various groups read aloud by the robots.
Near the Saiyans, she could hear even larger numbers.
She saw Pima receiving his.
Then a robot approached her, handing her hers. She read the double digit number just as the robot had stated it.
Pan didn't know if this was a case where the lowest number was better or not. But then Hale began assembling them by their numbers.
"80 and higher, to your quadrant."
She saw holographic lines appear on the ground nearby her position, an 80 in the center of it. She stepped to the side as only a handful of recruits entered, Pima included.
"These select few ranked the highest in initial testing."
What Pan suspected was true: she was among the lowest of all the recruits.
"10 tons... a hundred and twenty-four... 17,000... and I'm this low?"
She watched in silence as the rest of the groups assembled from 70 to 20 before Hale finally made it to the last group.
"10, to your quadrant."
A square right in front of where Hale stood emerged as she made her way there. She saw what looked like the smaller, shorter, and skinnier recruits assembled around her.
Pan could see and hear the same reaction from others in her square.
"I can't believe this..."
"I trained so hard and here I am..."
"I'll never get anywhere at this level."
"Am I really that pathetic?"
This almost seemed to confirm what Pan had feared...
...but Hale stomped with his foot, the loud noise and impact getting everyone's attention.
"Allow myself to be clear, everyone: for those of you of lower levels... do not be discouraged. Even the lowest level can rise to become one of the highest... but it will take time. Time and hard work. And for the job of defending time itself, I expect you all to put in your maximum effort from this point forward. Understood?"
Pan could see all the other recruits stomping their feet on the ground and saluting, then followed suit.
Pan sat in her housing unit, slowly eating the lunch she had prepared and swimming in thought regarding her current status in the Time Patrol.
Just then, a knock on her door. She answered it and saw Trunks before her.
"Hi. Uh... is this a bad time?"
She opened the door all the way for him, allowing him entry.
"Is this about my level, Trunks?"
She sat down at the table while he stood nearby.
"You have to understand that this is just how you rank currently. With enough work, you're bound to go up in no time."
"And how long will that take? A hundred years?"
Trunks could tell what he had to tell her wasn't helping. But then Pan caught how ungraciously she responded to him.
"I apologize. I didn't mean to snap at you, Trunks."
He pulled up a chair from the table and sat down looking at her from across the table.
"Between you and me, I didn't start off high either..."
He reached into his coat for something.
He handed her an old piece of paper. Partially torn, the number faded, though still readable.
"I was at the bottom of the barrel myself."
She saw that this paper had 10 written on it, the same as hers.
"And for the longest time, I couldn't get over it. After everything I went through, I figured I should've been a shoe-in for anything but that. But I kept at it. I trained harder. Took on the best of the other levels. And eventually, I made it to where I am now."
Pan knew what he was getting at: for her not to be distraught over her level and to keep trying.
"How long did it take you?"
"Not as quickly as I would've liked, I'll admit... but not that long either."
He stood back up.
"Commander Hale has permitted me to use the academy grounds after-hours to help you train. Starting today in a few hours."
He put his hand out to her.
"Be there and I promise you I'll get you through the ranks quicker than it took me alone."
She shook his hand.
"Deal. I'll be there early."
"Take your time, Pan. I'll see you there."
He proceeded to exit, leaving Pan to finish her meal. She was starting to eat faster now that she had something to help her current situation.
Since Toki Toki City didn't experience night time, Pan was still getting used to her night time schedule taking place in what appeared to be continuous sunlight.
Trunks stood waiting as she approached the academy grounds.
"Now that you're here, let's head to the sparring area."
There Pan saw a square, somewhat larger than the World Martial Arts Tournament's, surrounded by bleachers of some kind.
"To move further up, you'll be fighting your fellow level, as well as those higher than you."
As soon as both entered, he pressed a remote in his hands and Pan saw a field go over the square, then turn invisible.
"Here, there's no ring outs. It's decided by knock out, forfeit, or Commander Hale's call."
She noticed Trunks stretching his arms and neck and followed suit.
"I'm going to gauge your strength and use my power accordingly. But whatever you do, don't hold back on me, Pan. Understand?"
Pan nodded and took on a fighting stance while Trunks just stood normally.
"Attack me any way you like."
She tried coming up with what to start with, but the ease of his stance made it difficult for her to think.
"He's clearly seen more battle than I have. He'll be ready for anything I throw at him."
Nonetheless, she sprinted over to him, noting he was keeping up with her movement the entire time. He blocked her first punch with his wrist, then did the same for the opposite hands. Her kick was met by his own, stopping hers in its tracks.
Sensing she was at a disadvantage right there, she jumped backward, Trunks still in the same position as before. She fired off a ki projectile, which Trunks swatted away behind him, the projectile dissipating upon striking the field. She fired off multiples as quickly as she could, dust appearing all around him, hiding him from her sight.
"I panicked. I always throw out ki like candy when I'm nervous. And when has that ever worked for me?"
She saw the dust settle around her and saw no sign of Trunks in that spot. Just then... it was like she could feel the air behind her moving...
Pan turned around and saw Trunks going for a punch. Despite guarding with both hands, she was sent back so hard that she struck the barrier. It was almost like being struck into a net, but with a slight shock.
"Sorry Pan, but I can't go easy on you."
He fired off a barrage of ki projectiles in her direction, the speed much faster and the quantity much larger.
She moved left to right and right to left as quickly as she could, avoiding the first few batches, but soon saw herself completely overwhelmed. In that moment, she was struck by one, leaving her wide open to the rest.
Trunks watched the dust settle this time, seeing what looked like a silhouette of Pan lying on her hands and stomach. He charged ki in his hand, aiming towards her.
He fired, the dust practically vaporized, but also without any sign of Pan.
She flew in from behind him with a kick, partially striking his hair as he ducked to avoid it. From there, he charged his ki in his palm and swung it downward into her back.
His hand pierced right through her, then she seemed to fade away. He then caught her going for another punch, which he barely caught in time as he slid back a few feet.
"The afterimage technique, huh?"
After pushing Pan back, he went for another ki-enhanced punch, which, as he predicted, struck an afterimage of Pan. He then charged ki around himself and detonated it around him.
Just as he planned, the shockwave struck Pan, who was to the side of him.
"You can't over rely on that technique, or else you'll get predictable."
He charged at her and threw a punch she avoided. The next punch, however, struck her side dead-on. She went to guard an incoming strike to her head with her wrist, but found it and her wrist being slammed into her forehead.
Pan fell onto her back, then realized a small trail of blood dripped from her forehead: that struck her harder than she expected.
He charged a ki blast with both hands, then launched it at the grounded Pan, whom leapt upward to avoid it. She kept flying upward as high as she could with Trunks in hot pursuit until her head struck the top of the barrier. She bounced downward toward the ground to Trunks' surprise.
"She should've known better than to try flying that high up... unless it was..."
It was then that he caught her firing a beam at the ground with one hand to propel herself back upward and with her other fist raised upward toward him. Pan had made him think she was too careless to pay attention to the barrier, but counted on hitting it to send her back downward out of his attack range.
She finally landed her first blow of the match, striking him in the stomach while the two were propelled into the top of the barrier. Both received a shock from it, but Trunks especially took the brunt of it. She took advantage of this to throw more punches, though even in this state, Trunks was still stopping them.
She went for a knee strike, which Trunks countered with one of his own, and then the two slammed into each other shoulder-to-shoulder.
"She's good... but I'm not going to make this easy for her."
"I know he's holding back. I just don't know if this is Trunks at 10% effort, or less even."
Both put their hand out to strike each other with a ki blast, but they each intercepted each other, knocking the two back towards the arena's barrier. Both bounced off them and flew back at each other, Trunks not even having his arms up at this point.
Pan threw a flurry of punches, but instead of blocking them with his hands like before, he simply moved his head and body left-to-right and back to avoid them.
"Something tells me he's not holding back anymore."
He caught one of her hands, then placed his free hand in front of Pan, it charging with a gold ki. Pan covered herself with her ki, anticipating the attack, but as it struck and sent her backward, she saw her ki shield... cracking?
"How is that...?!"
As she neared the ground, the ki shield shattered entirely, the remainder of the beam slamming her hard into the floor. As she slowly got back up, she saw Trunks performing a gesture of some kind with his hands, each fueled with ki.
Pan saw the beam approaching her, but instead of panicking, she simply stood there.
"What is she doing?! She's going to get hit for sure!"
But he realized she was doing the same gesture as him earlier as quickly as she could. Just as the beam was about to hit her, she pushed forward with her hands, her own ki beam striking it.
It fired back, knocking back Trunks' and forcing him to swerve to avoid it.
He floated downward slowly, gesturing his hands in the shape of a T.
"Okay, time out!"
Pan could tell from his tone and demeanor that their spar was over.
"Where did you learn that technique? The Masenko?"
She thought on it for a moment:
First, she recalled some training with Piccolo as a child. Nothing serious, though he was trying to show her how to perform the Masenko.
"Put your hands above your head like this."
He had his hands like so, his palms facing forward, one over the other, and the fingers in opposing directions. Pan followed suit. Piccolo turned her towards a straw training dummy.
"Now just push your hands forward and shout 'Masenko.'"
Pan tried pushing forward, charging with ki.
But nothing left her hand.
"It's okay. Just a little more."
The ground beneath her lightly cracked as much more ki charged.
"That's it. You're doing it, Pan."
She then shoved forward as hard as she could.
But after firing it off, Pan was sent off her feet and sliding on the dirt on her side, the beam arcing just over the dummy into the ground behind it, leaving a small hole.
Piccolo ran over to her.
"Pan, are you alright? Are you hurt?"
She saw her beginning to sniffle, then looked over at her left arm: she elbow was scraped with some red emerging from it.
"It's going to be okay. Just hold on. I'll get that treated."
He picked Pan up, putting her over his shoulder and ran to the house.
Inside, he doused a piece of cloth with a liquid antibiotic, then placed it over Pan's elbow. She gritted her teeth and closed her eyes as it stung.
"I know it's not pleasant, but it'll help."
As soon as he was finished, placing a band aid over her elbow, he saw that she was no longer crying.
"Tell you what, Pan: we'll try that again another time, okay?"
"I learned it from Mr. Piccolo..."
"You knew Piccolo?"
"Yeah. He was like a friend of the family. Of my..."
But she paused for a moment: Piccolo was the first one she practiced the move with.
"But I really mastered it with..."
She then recalled her father trying to help her with it when she was a few years older after her attempt with Piccolo.
Pan's hands were practically beginning to fume with ki.
"Keep it up, Pan. You're getting it."
She saw the straw dummy from before, but this time took more careful aim with her hands.
Pan was pushed back a bit, but was still on her feet as the beam struck the dummy head-on. The Masenko hit it hard enough to tear its bottom out of the ground and split it in two before crashing into the ground a short distance away from it.
Gohan ran over to Pan with a look of excitement on his face.
"You did it, Pan!"
Pan laughed in joy at her accomplishment as Gohan lifted her upward and span her around. When he let her back onto the ground, she saw Piccolo looking right at her.
"Good job, kid."
She flew upward over the two of them, her fist raised in glee.
Trunks had then realized he had never once inquired to Pan about who her parents were.
"What was his name?"
Considering Pan knew Piccolo and his own parents, he was especially curious who her father could be at this point.
"His name... was Gohan."
Trunks' jaw dropped and his eyes enlarged before her.
"You're the daughter of Gohan?! THE Gohan?!"
Pan was baffled at his reaction.
"What? You never asked me about my parents until now."
After the shock left his face, he grinned to himself...
"He made it. Gohan had a family of his own."
...then he turned to Pan.
"Do you know what this means, Pan? It means you come from one of the world's strongest warrior bloodlines."
He placed a hand over her shoulder.
"I can't wait to see your maximum potential grow even further."
Trunks and Pan headed to the industrial sector, where they both picked up ice cream cones.
"Here. It's on the house."
"I never thought I'd ever have ice cream again."
Both walked across the plaza of time, each having made good progress on their desserts.
"Let me just say that it is an honor to be training the daughter of Gohan."
She stopped for a moment and looked over at him.
"The way you talk about my dad, it sounds like he was your idol."
As much as memories of Gohan came flooding in, Trunks had control over them.
"He was my mentor. Taught me nearly everything I know. I wouldn't be where I am today if I wasn't for him."
Pan was surprised at how grateful Trunks sounded in regards to her father, or rather her father from another timeline.
"What was the Bulla like in your timeline?"
Trunks didn't have a clue what she was referring to.
"Uh, what's a Bulla?"
"Bulla, your sister."
He was completely flabbergasted at this.
"The Trunks from your timeline had a sister?!"
"Yeah. 14 years younger than you and only a year younger than me."
"In a more peaceful future, I had a sister... and Gohan had Pan..."
"She was... my best friend."
He caught her pausing, realizing the Bulla she knew was gone, so he started the conversation up again.
"What was I... well, that Trunks like?"
"He was nice... though as I got older, he put a lot of time into his work at Capsule Corp."
"I worked there, huh? What was I, my mom's assistant, or...?"
"You were Capsule Corp's president."
Once again, he could barely process this.
"Like, I was wearing a suit and tie, in charge of everything at Capsule Corp?"
"Pretty much, yeah. And sometimes you'd wear glasses to look more in charge."
Considering how his world turned out, Trunks almost envied how Pan lived, but knew that all the peace time in the world didn't mean much once calamity took her entire world from her.
Pan saw she didn't have much of her ice cream left as she began chewing the cone.
"Well, I don't want to keep you waiting on me, so I'll let you get going."
She stopped eating, noticing he was starting to turn towards the gateway.
"Gotta do top secret stuff behind there?"
"Yeah, more or less."
He waved at her as he began to enter.
"See you tomorrow, Pan."
She waved back at him.
"See ya, Trunks."
He walked right through it, disappearing from her view entirely.
"Hopefully I'll get to see what's in there soon."
She threw the remains of her cone into her mouth, then began trekking back to the housing area.
A cup of tea was being stirred with a spoon atop a small table as someone saw Trunks approaching.
"So Trunks... how was your day?"
Trunks approached in a pretty good mood.
"We were training when Pan showed me the Masenko, so I asked where she learned it and turns out it was from Gohan. Not just that..."
She could tell Trunks could hardly contain his excitement any further.
"Supreme Kai of Time, Pan is Gohan's daughter."
The cup of tea fell off the table, but was caught with some kind of force before it could hit the floor. Trunks could tell this news had startled her.
"Um... that's not going to be a problem, will it?"
The cup floated back into her hands.
"No. As far as we know, the areas most affected are before her birth, so no, it's not a problem. Just unexpected."
Trunks counted with his gloved hands.
"This would be, what, the second time a major player from an alternate timeline has joined the Time Patrol?"
As he said this, he realized she wasn't in the mood to discuss how he was employed. But even then, he tried to turn the conversation around.
"I mean this is good news, right? The daughter of Gohan, the granddaughter of Goku, is on our side. And her potential's only just begun to be tapped, I'm sure of it."
"She trusts you?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Does Pan trust you?"
"Well, yes. Of course. Why?"
"She may have to be on the front lines sooner than we would have liked. Just make sure Pan has zero reason to lose faith in you or the Time Patrol."
Trunks wasn't sure what she meant by this, but nodded his head all the same.
As he took his leave, the Supreme Kai of Time mused over this situation.
"Pan will either be the one we need... or she may just become another Towa."
Commander Hale's Training! A Challenger?Edit
Pan jogged over to the academy, readying herself for whatever test would be coming her way. As she stood with the others looking over at Commander Hale, holding something behind his back.
"Today, we shall begin with..."
He took out what looked like a book of some sort.
"...the Time Patrol manual."
To her surprise, today started not with physical exercises, but sitting at a desk and reading a Time Patroller manual.
"Now I really do feel like I'm at school again."
Pan knew better than to skim through the pages, though it was certainly a lot of information to take in: items and their uses, timeline alterations, and long-term effects of untreated distortions.
"Class...!" Hale shouted, getting the class' attention. "Before you can be let out into the field, you must know the intricacies of our role as Time Patrollers. So then..."
He took out a piece of chalk and wrote something rapidly. Just as Pan read the two words he had jotted down...
Pan noticed she wasn't the only one nervous about needing to remember the materials right at that moment.
"True or false: You are permitted to kill enemies outside of the timeline."
Pan wasn't entirely sure on this, then saw someone had raised their hand.
"True... because due to these enemies existing from elsewhere, their demises wouldn't alter the timeline and instead would help to restore it."
In spite of Pima's standoffish mannerisms, Pan could tell he knew his stuff when it came to patrolling.
"Correct. As long as serious enough harm does not come to those who exist in the proper timeline, then it will revert once those outside it disperse."
Shortly after their classroom session, Pan and the rest were brought back onto the track.
"It's simple: just run across the track for as long as you can."
After Commander Hale gave the signal, all of his students took off, nearly blurs.
Some patrollers were running slowly by comparison, forcing Pan to move around them in mid-run. Others seemed to be evenly paced with her, and her with them. A select few seemed to zoom past Pan and the rest of the pack with ease.
"Don't worry about how fast they are: just keep going."
"Increase the gravity."
Trunks was at a console and with just an input, the gravity around the track grew.
"Ten times gravity."
Pan and the others immediately felt the area around the track becoming much heavier. She saw herself and a good chunk of the pack slowing down.
"Is this field like the gravity machine?"
At this point, she wasn't sprinting so much as she was moving at a much slower pace trying to stay upright on her feet.
"Increase it again."
Pan and the other struggling members didn't like the sound of that.
Trunks pressed the console once more.
"25 times gravity."
Pan felt herself dragged down and put out her hand to catch herself.
"This... this is..."
With a forceful shove to the ground, Pan pushed herself back upward, but while standing, she was hunched over, unable to lift her upper body.
"No, I can still do this..."
She managed to lift one of her feet upward, then to the ground, and continued with the other foot. At this point, Pan was just forcing herself forward with one step at a time.
Trunks turned to Hale.
"Commander Hale. Isn't the gravity training... a bit much?"
"I won't have any of these men or women becoming casualties, Trunks... and to ensure that, they will be pushed to their brinks."
He pointed at the console.
Trunks nodded and did so.
Pan and a few behind her suddenly felt themselves pushed onto the ground.
"50 times gravity."
This time, she couldn't bring herself back up.
"Fifty... fifty times?!"
Hale and Trunks could see some on the field alongside Pan on the ground unable to lift themselves off the ground.
"Hale, they'll be crushed."
"Do you think I hadn't considered that?"
With a remote in his hand, Commander Hale activated fields around the lanes of the track with the fastest runners.
"Those of you still going, continue for as long as you can."
From there, the remaining lanes had the increased gravity deactivated. Hale flew down, minding the fastest runners, to make sure those who were down before were okay.
For the most part, none appeared to be seriously injured: just sore from having to endure that much gravity for less than 30 seconds. Those that were hurt were carried out of the academy to get medical attention.
Pan managed to get herself onto her hands and knees, but could barely push herself up beyond that. Hale could see this was a big push for her.
"I take it you haven't trained with gravity before..."
She lifted her hand just long enough to wipe sweat off of her forehead.
"No. And I never thought it'd be like this."
Hale flew off to check on remaining patrollers as Pan allowed herself to fall onto the ground.
"And to think I almost did 300 times..."
Pan stood on two pillars in a large room with a floor far below her. Around her were dozens of other patrollers doing the same.
Two other pillars rose to her left and right with small bars emerging on different sides. They looked like Wing Chun dummies, but much thinner and not made of wood.
"You are to stand, defend, and anticipate for as long as you can without falling onto the floor below or flying."
Pan looked over at the dummies, which would begin spinning at any moment.
The one to her left span clockwise, the right the opposite direction. She stopped both with her fists, then saw them stopping and turning in the opposite direction.
This time, she had to face four bars: two high enough to hit her on the head, the other two low enough to strike her knees. Pan ducked, avoiding the top two, then stopped the lower two with her wrists.
It seemed predictable enough at first until some of the bars sunk back into the dummies while new bars emerged almost immediately, some higher and lower than those before them.
"Just have to keep a sharp eye."
Hale turned to Trunks.
Now the dummies were spinning much faster and Pan felt one bar strike her left side. She had to duck, barely spotting some spinning above her, then caught a swing on the right.
"They're fast. Much harder to see."
She stood up, moving her arms to hit above her, as well as below at a faster rate than she had earlier.
"Just have to keep up."
From what Hale could see, only a few had fallen off their pillars onto the padded ground below. But he also saw some patrollers almost nonchalant about the exercise thus far.
"Once more, Trunks. Faster."
For a moment, Pan could see the bars... and now she almost couldn't with how quickly they were going.
Each time she managed to strike one, she felt herself struck elsewhere, higher or lower. A successful block of the chest lead her knee to be hit, and protecting her waist led to her forehead being struck.
"I can barely track their movements."
One struck her back, forcing her forward, then another tripped her right shin and Pan saw herself forced off her feet falling back-first.
"No, no, no!"
She flipped in midair, catching herself on the pillars' tops with her hands as she barely kept herself up. She looked over at Hale, whom appeared neither impressed nor disappointed.
"She didn't fall... but she still has much to master."
"No ki. No special techniques. Only basic close-quarters."
Pan had been paired with a Namekian with pinkish skin in a green and white uniform.
"A little short for a Namekian..."
All the same, Pan got herself ready for the spar.
She moved in, then saw her way immediately blocked by this Namekian stretching his arms to block her path.
"Crap! I forgot all about that!"
Even in her training with Piccolo, Pan never truly fought him in fisticuffs, let alone had to counter his arm stretch ability.
"Guess I have to figure out a way now."
But this Namekian had charged at her, swinging away at her. It almost seemed predictable for Pan, who was ready to take advantage of a clear opening.
"Wait... I can't see his left arm!"
She felt something grab her by her ankle and yank her to the side of him. Left stumbling after this, the Namekian ran in for a jumping kick to her stomach, knocking her further back.
As much as Pan tried to counter the ensuing onslaught of stretchy-armed strikes, she kept getting struck on her sides, leaving her exposed. Just then, she felt two hands grab her by her arms, then toss her behind the Namekian toward the barrier.
Unlike her spar with Trunks the night before, the barrier seemed to sting much more. As she landed on her wrists and knees, she appeared slow to get up. Before the Namekian, who didn't show a hint of exhaustion, could continue his assault, Hale deactivated the field.
"The match has been decided. Umiu wins."
As Umiu left the ring, Pan had managed to stand on her knees and lift herself up.
"Damn it... I wasn't done... I could still..."
But she faced the fact that she wasn't in the best shape to finish the fight with him.
An Earthling in the stands got nervous seeing all the non-Earthlings around him.
"Wait, so you mean you guys stretching your arms isn't breaking the rules?"
"It's not a technique and it doesn't use any ki, so yeah."
He then turned to a Frieza race member, whose tail pointed at him.
"Don't forget tails."
The Earthling hunched over, utterly nervous at the prospect of being paired with one of them.
"Oh, what would Hercule Satan do?"
"It is vital for a Time Patroller to aim carefully and keep a close eye on their enemies and allies alike..."
But then Commander Hale pointed at a narrow hallway-esque maze of sorts.
"But more often than not, your enemies will not give you the opportunity to take your time. Thus, you will have to act and react quickly."
Pan stepped forward, the area of the floor she stood on rising a few feet.
"Fly through there and make it to the end as quickly as you can while hitting the proper target. Hitting any allies will result in an automatic failure."
She started floating off the ground she was standing on and tilting herself forward.
She flew forward and while it appeared to be clear-sailing at first, she had her eyes peeled for...
Two pop-ups appeared, in the shape of Frieza soldiers.
She fired off two ki blasts, hitting her marks, then saw what looked like a miniature rectangular force field appeared in her path.
Pan basically screeched to a stop in midair to avoid hitting it, then flew around it. More Frieza soldier pop-ups appeared, which she was quick to dispatch. After blasting one at near-close range and flying through its remains, she saw herself about to blast a pop-up of...
She didn't want to fail the mission and flew straight into the wall to avoid hitting it. But then she saw herself crashing into a field the Krillin pop-up had hidden from her vision.
"Just gotta pay attention! That's all!"
Pan saw herself coming up to the end of the hallway, which split into two paths, one to her left and the other her right.
"Right... it's a maze. Okay, just have to keep an eye out and I'll be at the center before I know it."
But she found that much time had passed as she still tried finding her way there. She was weary of targets popping up, not sure if they'd be enemies or allies and having to stop and check them.
"I'm taking too much time. I have to hurry!"
She tried zooming forward, but found so many fields popped up in front of her that she had to slow down or risk running into all of them.
"Where the heck am I? And where's the finish?!"
Pan had to retrace her steps, often flying through areas where she had already destroyed the enemy pop-ups around her. But at last...
"A giant floating ring?"
She saw it right before her in a tiny room: she had finally made it to the center. It looked like a portal of some sort emerged inside the ring as Pan flew closer to it.
"Let's just get this over with..."
Pan zoomed through it, then found herself back outside the maze, Commander Hale standing before her. He had a stopwatch-like device in his hand, which he clicked upon seeing Pan before him.
She wasn't sure if that was a good time or a bad time, but then saw what looked like a leaderboard of sorts on a screen nearby:
Pan figured there was much she could improve on the next time. But then she overheard a conversation.
"If it's just the same maze every time, I could ace it next time, right?"
"The maze changes every time someone steps in. Moves the walls and even the pop-ups."
That didn't sound too promising.
"Well, there went my plan."
"Your fists may not be enough against some foes. You shall learn to utilize these weapons."
Pan saw a container filled with prop weapons: swords, bo staffs, axes, knives, pitchforks, and even fans, canes, and whips.
Since she'd only really used one melee weapon before, the choice seemed obvious to her:
"I mean if I did use Grandpa Goku's Power Pole, I may as well use the bo staff."
But as she reached for it, Trunks' hand stopped her.
"Maybe next time. This session's about swords."
Trunks took one out for himself, then waited in the center of the ring as Pan retrieved one as well.
Pan had seen plenty of movies with people using swords, but she herself never used one before. The only person she knew who owned one was Yajirobe, and she was definitely never permitted to use it, let alone hold it.
But then she focused on Trunks, who awaited her approach while wielding his sword with two hands.
"Remember: no ki."
The other Time Patrol recruits watched in the stands as the two slowly made their way to each other, their prop swords about to be swung.
"Has anyone ever beaten Trunks with a sword?"
"Even without him using ki, no one has."
Hale simply crossed his arms as they saw the spar commence.
Pan swung downward at Trunks' shoulder, which Trunks side-stepped before swinging himself. She barely intercepted the sword coming at her head, then crouched down to swing at his legs. Trunks hopped over it, then swung downward at her.
Despite blocking Trunks' swing, Pan found herself knocked onto her back. She saw Trunks approaching and swung her sword to deflect as many swings as she could, but then saw her blade launched from her hands and out of her reach. At this point, there's wasn't anything Pan could do without ki as Trunks pointed the sword at her.
"Told you: no one's beaten Trunks with a sword."
"How are you doing today?" asked Trunks, sitting across from Pan while the two ate.
"I didn't do as well as I would have liked..." answered Pan, stopping for just a moment to chew her food. "...but I know it'll take time."
Trunks was glad to hear her performance wasn't getting her down like it was the day prior.
"Believe me, Pan. The more often you work on those tests, the better you'll do at them."
Weeks had passed as Pan was in the classroom, now having a much better idea of the Time Patrol manual.
"True or false: You aren't permitted to speak to those around you in the past."
She raised her hand.
"And why is that?"
"I think you're allowed to speak with combatants for... say, strategies."
Hale smiled at her.
"That's correct. Contrary to what most believe, Time Patrollers are permitted to speak to individuals of the past..."
He did, however, turn his hand, pointing upward.
"...but it is important that they absolutely must not divulge too much about the future. Otherwise too much information may alter the timeline."
Pan ran across the track again, knowing that it would soon be...
"10 times gravity."
While still nowhere as fast when in normal gravity, Pan could keep a decent jogging pace in it. She saw that those like her that struggled with it the week before were also acclimating to it.
Even as the Wing Chun dummies span faster, Pan was starting to see that she didn't always have to directly see where the bars were spinning in order to predict their mechanisms.
Seeing this, Hale turned to Trunks, who looked over at Pan and all the others who she was keeping up with and activated switches correlating to their specific areas.
The dummies stopped spinning for just a moment as four more pillars rose around Pan: two for additional points to stand on, and two more dummies for further strikes to block and anticipate.
With how well she was doing today so far, Pan couldn't help but grin.
Umiu swung his stretched arms at Pan, who, this time, kept her guard up on all sides of her. She hopped over two swings aimed for her legs, then swerved to avoid a punch to her side. Two fists came down on her and she blocked them with her wrists, then, when one eluded her sight, she span and kicked in place, stopping an attack aimed for her back.
When he went for a two-handed grab, she jumped over at the last moment, then grabbed onto his wrists in mid-jump. Pan flipped over Umiu's head, then upon touching the ground, launched him in front of her.
He struck the barrier and landed on his feet, his arms reverting back to a normal size. It seemed like he realized his stretched arms weren't offering him an advantage at this point.
Pan saw him running right for her, throwing as many punches as he could, but she kept moving left-to-right to avoid them or redirected them with her hands. Finally, she caught one of his hands, the grip seeming to keep Umiu in place as she threw a punch right at his chest.
Umiu went sliding across the ground, his head nearly touching the barrier. He tried getting up, but had trouble lifting himself back up.
She offered a hand to Umiu, whom had worked up a sweat.
"Wow. You've improved a lot since our last bout. I'm going to have to step it up from here."
Pan had never heard him speak before, his voice much higher-pitched than she expected.
It wasn't the same maze as before, but Pan had a new strategy in mind: instead of stopping and hitting the targets, she could fly ahead and turn around so she could hit them while still on the move.
She went ahead and did this, carefully aim and fire at the enemies only while minding the fields behind her.
Pan could already tell she was saving much time than before and with a much calmer mindset, she didn't panic whenever she ran into a dead end.
"No biggie. Just retrace your steps before this point, then take the next turn."
Soon enough, the ring was in her sight and she flew through it, materializing before Hale.
"How was that?"
"4 minutes. You almost cut your last time in half."
Her time wasn't the top 20 and she could go faster next time, but for now, it was a huge improvement for her.
In her latest sword fight with Trunks, she swung her blade upward toward his face, forcing him to tilt his head to avoid it. He then clashed with her, the two standing their ground. He then swung hard enough that Pan's blade was forced toward the ground, then struck it again, sending it sliding across the ground.
"I've got no weapon... but I can't just give up now."
Pan eyed Trunks' sword, then as she saw it beginning to move, swung her wrist below its handle near Trunks' hands, keeping the blade from coming down on her head.
One of the patrollers was puzzled by this and turned to Hale.
"Commander, is that allowed?"
Hale watched closely as Pan timed blocks with her wrist, keeping Trunks from swinging the sword at her.
"Yes. She's keeping the blade itself at bay while trying to get back to her weapon."
As Pan pushed Trunks back, he then crouched and launched Pan over him. She rolled across the ground, but got back onto her feet, seeing her sword just behind Trunks' position.
"She's still in it. Have you seen anyone last that long against Trunks?"
"Not in a while, I think."
Trunks saw Pan's intended target and prepared to swing his sword. Just then, he saw Pan ducking and sliding across the ground. He couldn't adjust his swing in time, just barely missing her. She grabbed her sword in one hand, then, as she saw Trunks making his move, swung her legs at his.
He saw himself falling onto his back, watching as Pan stood over him, her sword ready to strike him where he lied. The patrollers were shocked at this sight.
Just then, Trunks caught Pan's sword with his own, then tripped her with his legs, knocking her onto her side. She saw Trunks about to bring his sword down onto the ground and rolled out of the way, then swung at him. He swerved, the sword nearly touching his eye, then with a two-handed swing knocked the guarding Pan back several feet from him.
"Trunks is getting serious now."
"Yeah, he's not fooling around anymore."
Pan and Trunks looked over at each other, standing in place, as they readied their blades for what they both intended to be the final blow.
Both charged, their blades nearly touching the ground, and their arms prepared to swing at any moment.
The two zoomed past each other, their blades drawn, then stood on their knees after coming to a complete stop: it looked like both felt a sting in their side.
The other patrollers weren't sure who had won that one.
"Who won that one?"
"Is it... a tie?"
Commander Hale pulled up a virtual screen on his wrist, then scrolled back and forth on what appeared to be a video clip of the two dueling just now. He slowed the movements between their last swings, which, at normal speed, was nearly indiscernible, as if the two struck simultaneously.
As he rewound it and moved frame-by-frame he saw Trunks' sword had struck Pan just before Pan's struck him.
"Trunks wins. That's all for today."
Pan went ahead and placed her prop sword back into the box of weapons, then began to make her way to the exit.
Outside the academy, Trunks approached her.
"You did really well today, Pan."
In spite of losing to Trunks once again, she was feeling much more confident than the week prior.
"Yeah, I guess I did."
Trunks stopped in front of her.
"Don't sell yourself short. You almost had me earlier, you know."
"Sure... without ki."
"Well, when the time comes..."
"Hey!" shouted a voice from behind them.
Pan and Trunks turned to see a short girl with pink hair and a ponytail with a purple and black uniform.
"You're that new girl, right? I'm Amura..."
Her introduction was immediately followed by her pointing at Pan.
"...and I challenge you."
This was new for Pan: having someone wanting to face her. She turned to Trunks.
"Wait a second... people can issue each other challenges?"
Both could hear Amura clearing her throat to get their attention.
"Well... do you accept my challenge?"
Pan grinned back at her.
Pan and Amura approached the tournament area, Trunks looking over at his wrist and then at them.
"I have to take off, so just have a good, clean fight, okay?"
Both nodded back at Trunks, who ran off in a hurried fashion.
"Huh. Guess he must have more top secret stuff to do."
From there, they stepped into the arena square, which definitely reminded Pan of the World Martial Arts Tournament. Amura laid down the ground rules:
"How about this: no ring outs and we'll stop at the knockout or when one of us gives up."
Pan stretched while Amura stood confidently.
"If I beat this girl, who almost beat Trunks, I'm sure to shoot up the ranks."
Pan took on a stance, then nodded back to Amura.
"Alright. Aaannnd... fight!"
The two ran into each other and clashed immediately, each unleashing a flurry of punches and kicks.
Both broke it off and hopped back, with Pan flying forward quickly with a kick. Amura blocked it, but was knocked backward, landing on her hands and flipping backward to get back on her feet.
Pan ran across Amura in a circle, whom seemed less than intimidated by the technique.
Amura began charging with blue ki, then unleashed a bubble around her. The result removed all afterimages from the equation and knocked Pan backward.
"That's for beginners."
She struck at the ground with her leg, seeing no trace of Pan. When she turned around, she saw Pan coming at her, right on cue.
Pan saw Amura pointing her right hand into the air pointing up and her left hand to her side...
...and Pan was unknowingly doing the exact same pose.
"What in the...?"
"Let's do this!"
Now Amura's right was pointing to her right as she shook her body, with Pan mirroring her entirely.
"How are you doing...?"
The two of them stood on their right leg, their left off the ground as they turned their bodies to point both arms towards the left.
"Right and right!"
Now they were slightly hunched over to the right, moving their bent arms up and down.
"Left and left!"
They turned in the opposite direction.
"Spin and turn...!"
They span 360 degrees clockwise, then stood on their right, their left leg up and bent and their arms to their sides.
"And a great big smile!"
This dance concluded with Amura hunched over, pointing at her mouth with both hands, which had an open-mouthed smile. Same with Pan.
"Please tell me this is over..."
But as Pan pondered this, Amura flew forward at high speed, her fist striking Pan on the cheek and launching her towards the stands. Pan stopped in midair, then saw Amura flying towards her, attacking with a rapid barrage of punches.
Pan was initially dazed enough that Amura got in a few, but afterward, she began blocking them with ease before moving behind Amura to grab her from behind. She climbed up Amura's back, then stomped her back down towards the ground.
Amura stopped her descent and the two flew back to the ring, where they both fired ki projectiles at each other. Pan waited, then saw Amura jumping towards her.
Amura struck an afterimage, then caught a punch from Pan. She tossed Pan to the side, then saw several more afterimages before her. She didn't even turn around to punch Pan in the face, her hands over her nose from the impact.
"I thought you'd have learned by now..."
Pan could tell from Amura's hand gestures that she was about to perform that cursed dance again.
"Oh no you don't...!"
Just as Amura placed her right hand over her head, Pan had already placed her hands towards her eyes.
The flash went off just before Amura could start off the move again. Pan saw that she had only barely began to take on the first phase of the dance, then broke free with Amura unable to continue it.
She threw a kick, then saw that despite her current state, Amura was able to back away from it. Pan threw a punch, seeing Amura stop it with one hand while still covering herself with the other.
Catching this, Pan then threw a punch to Amura's left side, causing her to flinch just enough to land another blow. Afterward, both of Amura's arms went to work stopping Pan's offensive, even if she still didn't open her eyes.
Pan hopped back, deciding to try a different attack. She charged golden ki in both her hands.
As it struck Amura, it was instead repelled by a blue ki bubble that formed around her mid-attack. Pan saw herself being dragged backward several feet as a result of the shockwave, then saw Amura, her eyes wide open now and charging ki in her right hand. This wasn't just going to be a standard projectile.
With that in mind, Pan began cupping her hands together and gathering ki herself.
"Ka... me... ha... me..."
With a shout, Amura fired off an orange energy wave from her right hand.
The two beams collided, neither seeming to overpower the other, though by the looks of it, the kamehameha appeared to have more power.
Slowly, it appeared that the kamehameha was going to take over.
"Only have on shot here..." Amura said begrudgingly. "Kaio-Ken!"
Amura glowed with a red aura and the energy wave from Amura's hand nearly doubled in size and power. Pan had never heard of this technique before...
...then saw her Kamehameha being swiftly overpowered.
Pan was sent flying back, being struck by both Amura's attack and her own.
Seeing Pan lying on the ground and not moving, Amura's kaio-ken expired, leaving her barely able to stand.
"Surely, this new girl couldn't be..."
But Amura couldn't believe what she saw next: Pan was getting up.
There Pan was, still standing after the energy wave and her kamehameha struck her, her jacket torn to shreds to reveal her blue shirt underneath... but certainly battered and panting heavily.
"Okay, guess it's time for my back-up..."
Amura wasn't much better either, as it took nearly all of her power to overpower her opponent's kamehameha. Pan noticed both her arms were down, but her right hand's index and middle fingers were out.
"She still has another...?"
Pan's opponent raised her right arm, the fingers in the air as she grinned.
A destructive white flash exploded in front of Amura, reaching high into the sky where she knew even Pan couldn't fly high enough to evade it in time.
"That should do it..."
The debris began to clear.
"Now... where are you?"
Amura looked up, then down, not seeing Pan in her direction. She then turned around, not seeing Pan behind her either. She almost began to get nervous that her move worked too well.
"Oh, please don't tell me... that move actually..."
Just then, Amura heard a muffled sneeze behind her.
She turned around throwing a punch... and still no sign of Pan.
"How did you...?!"
She turned around again, seeing Pan as clear as day. Without a moment of hesitation, Amura fired off two beams, one from each hand.
"Didn't dodge that one, now did y...?"
Pan was still standing, almost like the beams hadn't even phased her. In fact, she looked untouched.
"There's no way..."
This time, Amura fired off a simple ki bullet, one which phased right through Pan.
"You were never there. That was..."
Amura thought back towards the beginning of the match:
"Afterimage, huh? That's for beginners."
After she had foiled her initial attempt at the afterimage technique.
"I thought you'd have learned by now..."
After she had struck Pan from behind before using her dancing technique a second time.
But when she thought about what she used after their beam struggle, her seeing Pan appearing nervous before she unleashed it.
Amura saw the white wave flashing from the ground up and looking back, it almost looked like...
...Pan was winking at her: she wasn't standing there when the attack hit.
Amura turned, then saw too late that Pan was running right for her.
With a punch to the gut, Amura was launched out of the ring and rolling across the ground. Had this been the World Martial Arts Tournament, she would have been rung out then and there.
However, Pan hopped downward, walking slowly as Amura struggled to get up. Pan wasn't about to hit her when she was down and instead stood waiting to see if her opponent wished to continue.
Amura spat on the ground, a small amount of blood in her saliva, then stood up on her knees, looking over at Pan, who still seemed battle ready even now.
"Just one minute please..."
Pan wasn't sure if Amura had a trick up her sleeve or if she actually did need a moment to get back up after the blow she was dealt. But she eyed Amura, whom finally made it back to her legs, though it looked like she could barely move them.
"Are you alright, Amura?"
Her opponent put a hand out in front of her.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm good."
She looked down at the ground for just a moment.
"Can I really keep going? After that?"
Pan could hear Amura taking a deep breath, then looking back up at her.
"You win this one, Pan."
Pan helped Amura out of the arena onto a bench just outside the tournament area.
"And here, I figured you for an easy mark to get up the rankings. No, not even close. That was an entirely different animal."
Pan sat down next to her.
"Well, you definitely had to make me work for it, Amura."
Amura noticed Pan's jacket was barely together, save for the back and sleeves.
"I'm really sorry about your jacket."
Pan took what was left of her jacket off and wrapped the sleeves around her waist.
"Tell you what, Pan..."
Amura reached for something in her gi, then handed it to Pan.
"Here. I want you to take this. You earned it."
Pan saw something familiar in the palm of her hand...
"Mrs. Bulma... what's up there?"
A young Pan was pointing at a decorative table with a glass covering.
"Here. Let me show you, Pan."
Bulma lifted Pan upward, whom could see various items under the glass covering: something that looked like a cross between a watch and a compass with a green screen on the left, a rice cooker that appeared water-damaged on the right, and in the middle...
Pan pointed to an orange-gold orb sitting atop a red cushion between the other two items. She noticed something on its surface.
"It has stars on it."
She counted on her fingers.
"One, two, three... four. Four stars!"
Bulma placed Pan down, then pushed a button on the table, opening the glass cover. She picked up the orb, crouched down in front of Pan and handed it to her.
"It's a Dragon Ball."
Pan was completely mesmerized by the stars on it.
"This used to belong to your grandpa Goku. In fact, it was thanks to this Dragon Ball that I met him."
"Yes. Your grandpa Goku was just a small boy watching over the Dragon Ball in his grandpa's house when I... bumped into him for the first time."
Bulma placed her hand out to indicate she wanted the Dragon Ball back. Pan slowly returned it back to her, then watched Bulma put it back.
"Now we keep this here as a reminder of him. Of when the adventure first began..."
Pan couldn't believe it: the four-star dragon ball in her hands once again.
"Where did you get this?"
"Won this from another patroller about a week ago," answered Amura. "Wanted to get the whole set."
"The whole set?"
Amura could tell Pan didn't know everything there was to know about the Dragon Balls, but she didn't want to act condescending towards her.
"There are seven Dragon Balls in total. From the one star to the seven star."
"And... what happens when you get all seven?"
"You can use them to make a wish to Shenron."
Pan stumbled at the concept.
"I thought that Dragon Ball was just a sacred ornament."
But then she just realized what she could use them for.
"What can you wish for?"
"Nearly anything..." answered Amura, though Pan noticed she paused for a moment. "...But the thing is, as Time Patrollers, we do have rules on what we're allowed to wish for. Guess the boss doesn't want us asking for something too big."
As always since she first arrived in Toki Toki City, it seemed that every chance Pan saw to have her home and family back was impossible to grant.
Amura pat Pan on the shoulder.
"You beat me fair and square, so I wanted you to have it. I wouldn't even know what to wish for anyway."
She got up from the bench and appeared to be walking just fine on her own now.
"Be seeing you around, Pan."
Pan waved as Amura left for the industrial area, then, to her surprise, saw that Toki Toki City's sky began to become covered in grey clouds.
"I guess even places at the edge of the universe have their rainy days."
She looked back over at the tournament area, umbrellas being put up over the stands.
"Hey, I recognize you..."
Pan turned to the source of the voice and saw a man who was nearly bald save for some spiked purple hair wearing a light green and black formal uniform.
"You know me?" inquired Pan.
"Name's Cloke. I saw you here weeks ago. When you first came here. You were in really bad shape. Looked partially frozen all over."
"You mean when they found me?"
"Found you? You were summoned here."
Pan didn't understand.
"Summoned? But how?"
Cloke pointed over at the altar.
"The Dragon Balls."
She just learned from Amura that wishes could be granted by gathering all seven, and she could tell by the openings on the altar that this was the place to do so.
She then thought back to when she was in space that day, suddenly being taken by a light into another dimension. A dimension of time. And that voice she could barely comprehend...
"Someone... from... far away... Warrior! Now..."
But it was like she could suddenly hear it clearly now.
"Someone summons you from a land far away... brave warrior! Now, come forth!"
She realized then and there that she wasn't randomly found, but brought here specifically. Now she had just one burning question on her mind.
"Who summoned me?"
Cloke could tell from her tone that she wasn't going to be happy with the answer one bit, but sighed as he couldn't bring himself to lie to her.
There Cloke was weeks ago at his post by the tournament area when he saw someone in a coat approaching the altar, seven dragon balls in his arms. He thought nothing of it initially, seeing as how plenty of patrollers had made wishes.
The sky went dark as Shenron emerged from the altar and looked down at the one who had summoned him.
"State your wish."
This person didn't keep him waiting.
"I need someone, a strong ally with the power to help me defend time itself. This wish I ask of you."
Shenron's eyes glowed a brighter red.
"Your wish is granted."
In all his time, Cloke had never heard anyone wish for another person before. And even from that distance, he could tell whose voice he heard...
"It was Trunks."
Pan could barely stand. In fact, she felt sick to her stomach. Cloke could see then and there that it was not the news she wanted to hear.
She could only put her hand out.
"Please... just stop..."
She slowly walked away from the tournament area towards the housing area. She needed time to take in all of this...
She turned, seeing Trunks waving at her from nearby. But then Trunks saw Pan's distraught face and put down his hand.
She turned and ran away from him.
Trunks turned toward Cloke, whose face couldn't hide what had transpired.
"What did you say to her?"
Cloke looked down, unable to speak. Trunks already had a feeling what he told her.
Trunks ran in Pan's direction as rain began to pour down onto Toki Toki City. He managed to catch up to her as she neared her housing unit. She could hear him behind her and stopped at her door.
She didn't make a sound or even move as she waited for him to talk.
"Pan, please let me explain..."
Once she turned around, he couldn't think of another word to say.
"You summoned me here... and you kept that from me."
Trunks couldn't even process a defense for himself. He just stumbled through the first thought he could think of.
"I... I didn't lie to you..."
She pointed at him, just shy of poking him in the face.
"You kept the truth from me! You fed me half-truths! And for what?! So I could become your naive personal assistant?!"
"But if I hadn't summoned her, she would have died. Pan's alive... because of me."
Trunks' nervousness suddenly transformed into brashness.
"I saved your life! And if it wasn't for me changing the future, you would never have been born!"
Lightning struck again.
He realized right then and there that he had given away something critical... something that jeopardized everything.
Pan didn't even register his shock: only his words.
"...and that's supposed to make it better?"
The lone angry tear on Pan's face told him he had made a grave error.
"You got to change the future, but I can't?!"
She turned away from him and began to open the door.
"I was wrong: the Trunks I knew is dead."
She entered and began to close the door even as Trunks put his hand out for her to stop.
"Like you should have left me."
By the time Trunks tried to reach her, the door was closed. He knew no amount of knocking or pleading would get Pan to come out now.
He turned around and fell onto his knees, his legs soaked from a puddle.
"Damn it all! What have I done?! You idiot!"
He could only make his hands into fists.
"I did this! I should have told her before! This is all my fault!"
He got up and walked away, his head down and tears clearly visible going down his cheeks.
"I'm so sorry, Pan. Please forgive me."
Inside her housing unit, Pan sat with her back against her door, trying in vain to keep it together as her head fell onto her knees.
"Why did you keep this from me? I trusted you, Trunks... I trusted you!"
Much time passed as Trunks couldn't bring himself to find cover from the rain even as he was drenched.
"This... this is all my..."
He suddenly realized the rain wasn't touching him anymore and saw a large umbrella top over him.
He looked down and saw the Supreme Kai of Time covering herself and Trunks with the umbrella.
"What are you doing out here?"
He could barely look her in the eyes.
"I did it. I've jeopardized everything."
He crouched over, his hands over her eyes as the Supreme Kai of Time placed her free hand over his shoulder.
"I... I hurt her. I hurt Pan."
Pan's Decision! An Emergency Situation!Edit
"You may be half-Saiyan, but you still could've caught a cold out there."
The Supreme Kai of Time checked up on Trunks in her quarters. He sat up in a chair in a different set of clothes and with a blanket wrapped around him.
"If you'd like, I can make you a hot chocolate."
Trunks stuck his hand out of the blanket, trying to hide any semblance of panic at the concept of her making something for him to eat or drink.
"No, that won't be necessary... but thanks."
Afterward, he put his hand back under: he was still shivering somewhat.
"Trunks, I just want to understand why you were walking around in the rain for that long. Why didn't you just came back here?"
"Because I felt terrible for what I did, okay?!"
"You should know better than to..."
"I didn't care!"
After a pause between the two, Trunks took his hand out again to wipe something from under his eye.
"I was careless. I didn't even think. I didn't tell Pan the truth... and then I had the gall to act like she owed me.
He put his head down, sighing.
"I ruined everything."
The Supreme Kai of Time walked up to him, using her hand to nudge Trunks' head up by the chin so she could look him in the eyes. She smiled at him.
"It's all going to be okay, Trunks."
In her housing unit, Pan lied on her bed without covers, not even having changed her clothes from the day before. Even though her day was starting, she didn't have the will to get up.
With it still raining outside like it was hours earlier, all she could think about was what transpired.
"From the moment I recovered, you were the one friend that I had. The one piece of my home I still had..."
She turned over onto her side, looking over at a wall.
"You said I was found... and that Time Patrollers could not change the future no matter what..."
But then she thought back to what Cloke told her.
"You were summoned here. It was Trunks."
And then what Trunks told her.
"If it wasn't for me changing the future, you would never have been born!"
She reached for her covers, then pulled them up over her body.
"Why didn't you tell me? Why did you keep that from me?"
"I was your friend."
Getting up wasn't a concern. Neither was eating breakfast or going to the academy. At this point, Pan didn't want to take care of herself. She closed her eyes, not wanting to be awake.
At the academy, Commander Hale and Trunks went about their routines in spite of the student they both noticed was missing.
As far as the rest of the class was concerned, Pan was sick. It wasn't irregular for patrollers not to show up every now and then, be it from injuries or any plethora of ailments.
But as the last of the exercises wrapped up and Hale let everyone leave, he approached Trunks.
"Might we talk in my office?"
Inside his office, Hale stood while Trunks sat.
"We both know Pan was physically able to be here today. No illnesses that we knew of."
Trunks was getting irritated, already knowing the point that had been ringing in his head since earlier that day.
"Damn it, does everyone have to remind me of my mistake?!"
Hale turned, seeing Trunks almost snarling with his teeth. Not at him, but clearly angry about something.
"Is something the matter, Trunks?"
Trunks realized what he was doing and calmed himself down.
"You told me not to delay telling Pan the truth about how I brought her here... and I waited too long."
Hale sat down to be at Trunks' eye level.
"You gave me the best course of action and I neglected it."
"You've acknowledged your error in the past, Trunks, but you must focus on what you can do now."
"But what can I do? For all I know, Pan's through being a Time Patroller... and through with me."
Hale turned back for just a moment, then a thought occurred to him.
"How long does she have?"
Trunks looked over at his wrist.
Even now at what felt like night time to Pan, it was still pouring outside. She had kept herself isolated the entire day with only her thoughts.
She thought back to her conversation with Trunks the first day she woke up.
"But what if someone was trying to stop something bad from happening in a timeline? Like... if I went back to stop Frieza. If he never gets to my timeline's Earth, then my family and home would be saved!"
"I'm sorry, Pan, but using time travel is forbidden, even if it is for good intentions."
Thinking on it now, it sounded hypocritical coming from Trunks.
The fact that time could be changed... that Trunks had changed it in the past... and that it was attainable...
Just then, a thought.
"The Plaza of Time... nearby was..."
She recalled the tournament area, where she fought Amura, but that wasn't what Pan was looking for. But past it, before the housing area...
"The gateway! That's it! It has to be behind there!"
She finally willed herself out of bed, donning the attire from her home. As she retrieved her grandfather's Power Pole, she began to realize the risk.
"They'll try to stop me. Trunks... and the Time Patrol."
But as Pan held the four star Dragon Ball in her hand, her mind was already made up.
"The chance to change the past... save my home... and my family, is here... and I'm going to take it!"
Lightning struck outside.
The rain had begun to die down as Pan exited from her housing unit, though the dark clouds still hung over Toki Toki City. It seemed like not that many people were around at this time.
She tried keeping a low profile despite the Power Pole and its case on her back. Pan caught no glances from anyone, or at least none that meant any cause for alarm. Finally, she arrived in the Plaza of Time and to her right...
An older Time Patroller with a bald head and white beard sat nearby it in a chair under an umbrella. Pan stood behind a wall looking over at him starting to doze off.
"Just him. No one else around. Now to sneak past."
Pan stepped forward one step at a time, minding the noise she made and keeping an eye out for any puddles. So far...
The man began to wake up from his doze, then looked in front of him. He turned his gaze to the left, Pan slowly moving around him to avoid being seen. Now there she was right behind, trying to stay still and not breathe, lest he heard her.
But she saw him starting to lie back in his chair again, his head lowering as she began to hear him snoring.
Pan saw the gate right there in front of her, just a few steps away.
"Just have to go through and..."
As Pan walked through it, a sound emerged from the gateway.
This patroller woke up entirely, jumping out of his seat after he heard the sound and saw only a flash of Pan entering through before disappearing. He brought his wrist up to his face and pressed a button to activate a communicator.
"Supreme Kai of Time... are you expecting a visitor? Because someone just came through here."
"It's fine. I'll take care of it, Ziko."
After going through the gateway, Pan saw herself in a massive round room with a field of grass. To her left, a body of water stopped by stones. To her right, a small round house.
"No, it couldn't be in there."
From above, it looked like...
"It's like a bird cage..."
Pan looked up and saw a large white owl, one that looked like it had eyebrows and a long beard. She tried to stay still, seeing what it would do next.
"Please tell me he's not their guard animal."
The two stared down each other for the longest time until finally, this owl descended down from its perch towards her, screeching...
She ran across the tiled floor, trying to find where to go next.
"This is bad! They probably know I'm here with that bird making that racket! Where...?!"
Pan saw a building ahead of her. Something like a cross between a temple and a library.
"It's there! It has to be! I have to hurry!"
Using as much of her speed as she could muster, she ran to this building. She saw a large door in front of her and pulled on its handle as hard as she could. It was heavy... extremely so, and the bird was catching up to her.
"Come on, come on!"
As she began to sweat pulling it, it was now open just enough for her to squeeze through. She did so, then as the bird nearly reached her, she pulled the door with all her might to keep it from her.
"Toh! Ki! Toh! Ki!"
The bird screeched from outside, which Pan was sure meant her time alone was going to be short.
"With that bird making all that noise, they'll be onto me any minute now."
Pan ran through various rooms, trying to find anything close to what she was looking for.
"Nothing in here... nothing there!"
She began to have doubts. That perhaps she may not find anything. That she would be caught before she would come close.
A massive round room. She came across a stairway down. She made her way down to an octagonal table, which had a scroll on top of it.
"That scroll right there..."
Pan stretched it out on the table and saw...
She saw herself in the World Martial Arts Tournament fighting Goten. She placed her hand on the image, then saw that with a wave of the hand, it began moving forward...
Then there she was hearing her father cry out his younger brother's name as Golden Frieza broke Goten's neck with ease.
She waved her hand to the left as rapidly as she could, trying to get away from that moment and then saw herself sparring with her grandmother the day before the tournament.
"I still have no idea how this works, but maybe if I keep scrolling back... maybe when I'm younger... I can warn everyone. Maybe with enough training, they'll be strong enough to fight him..."
Pan then began to ponder just how far she could go.
"...or could I go back to before I was born? Find Frieza and stop him from ever arriving on Earth in the first place."
But then she realized...
"Wait... my scroll being out here in the open... that's too convenient... as if..."
"I had a feeling you'd be coming here..."
Pan turned around, seeing a short-sized woman with pink skin in purple attire approaching her.
"...so I picked that out for you."
"Damn it, I should've known...!"
This woman put out her hand to Pan.
"I'm the Supreme Kai of Time."
Pan was starting to see that this woman's tone and mannerisms were not that of someone about to punish her. Meanwhile, the Supreme Kai of Time saw her handshake had not been returned yet.
"Pan, I know what you're going through... better than you'd think..."
"Then explain one thing to me: why did you allow Trunks to change the future?"
Chronoa knew this question was coming from the moment she had planned this.
"Very well, Pan."
With a teal glow emanating from her fingertips, the Supreme Kai of Time began forming an image of what looked to Pan like a rocket ship.
"Trunks and his mother were the first to have time traveled, as well as the first to have altered the main timeline. By the time I had noticed it, what was done was done."
"So Trunks got a freebie, is that it?"
While she could tell this answer didn't please Pan one bit, she explained further.
"Their time machine wasn't perfect. It created rifts... several alternate timelines. One which allowed a bio-android to invade the main timeline as well."
Pan knew what bio-android she was referring to.
"That's right. Trunks had inadvertently unleashed him and despite trying to stop Cell, was killed."
This fact shook Pan to the core.
"Trunks was... killed?"
"He was, but was resurrected by the Dragon Balls before returning back to his future, which was now a parallel timeline. That was when I had to intervene."
The image between the Supreme Kai of Time's hands began to shift, turning into a large line with dozens, maybe hundreds branching off of it.
"The discovery of time travel invited challenge. Without anyone to stop it going forward, it would threaten the entire universe itself. Thus, the Time Patrol was created, Trunks the first among them as penance for what he did."
Earlier this day, Pan had tried to run away and go back to her home, but now there she was being talked out of it by this woman.
"You're here talking to me when you could've just let me go through with what I was about to do."
The Supreme Kai of Time turned away from Pan for a moment.
"If you had tried to change history, we would have had to intervene, and you'd have been forced to suffer through that event a second time. I wanted to avoid that as much as possible."
Pan couldn't have even imagined what she would've done if she had to see her world destroyed again, this time with someone stopping her from saving it.
"...and now I have to ask for your help, both to protect time... and to save yourself."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm afraid your very existence is at stake."
A new image emerged from her hands, this time of a large line with dozens of smaller ones breaking off from it.
"Pan, you are born in various timelines, including the main timeline which all the others you are born in stem from. And should that timeline be altered..."
The large line appeared to become distorted, then as it gradually disappeared, so did the others.
"...I'm never born and I cease to exist."
"Both your life and time itself is threatened by this."
She could tell from the Supreme Kai of Time's tone that it was serious, but even then...
"Why send me? You already have hundreds of others that could take this mission."
"The Time Patrol is spread as thin as it can be. And the recruits aren't ready for the field yet."
"And I am? I'm in the 10s. There's Saiyans here with more power in their pinkies than..."
The Supreme Kai of Time pointed at her.
"Don't put yourself down! You are the granddaughter of Goku!"
But then she lowered her arm and reveal a scroll in her other hand.
"And he needs your help."
Pan slowly took the scroll from the Supreme Kai of Time's hand, then opened it, revealing...
Goku facing Piccolo in what looked like a barren wasteland at a glance. Both looked clearly exhausted when a purple energy flowed through Piccolo's body and his eyes turned a glowing red. The Namekian grinned...
And in a flash, Piccolo quickly overwhelmed and overpowered Goku, breaking one of his legs and his arms. He picked Goku up by his newly crippled arm and punched him in the stomach, causing him to cough up blood.
He then tossed Goku into the air, cackling maniacally before firing a massive golden beam from his mouth, one far larger than Goku's body.
It struck Piccolo's intended target dead-on and Pan didn't have to let the scroll finish to know what fate lied in store for her grandfather in this alteration to the main timeline.
Pan closed the scroll, not wanting to see what happens from that point on.
"If my grandpa's been killed, then my dad's never born, and I..."
She looked at her hand to see any signs of anything happening to her, but she looked the same and didn't physically feel any different.
"But then how am I still here?"
"The effect has yet to transfer to the rest of the timeline, but given time, it will reach the point of your birth." answered the Supreme Kai of Time. "And then it will be too late for you."
But something else didn't add up to Pan: why would Piccolo kill her grandfather?
"Someone's controlling Piccolo, right? They have to be possessing him to do this."
The Supreme Kai of Time sighed.
"I'm afraid there's a lot you don't know about your family and friends. Piccolo as just one example."
She began forming images of past events in her hands.
"Piccolo's father was Demon King Piccolo, an evil Namekian who wreaked havoc on Earth before being sealed away by Master Roshi's master. Centuries later, he was freed from his imprisonment, made a wish on the Dragon Balls for eternal youth, and briefly took over Earth, but was stopped by Goku."
She remembered when she asked Piccolo about where he came from long ago.
"My father was from space. A planet called Namek."
"And where is your dad?"
"Before he died, King Piccolo spit out an egg, which contained Piccolo Jr... the Piccolo you know."
Pan could never have imagined that Piccolo's father was an evil being, let alone that Piccolo could come from one.
"Early on in his life, Piccolo initially intended to avenge his father's death and take over the Earth. And it seems whoever is interfering with history is trying to help him succeed."
The Supreme Kai of Time could tell Pan could barely believe anything she was being told, like her whole world was being torn asunder.
"Pan, many of your grandfather's friends, including Piccolo, once began as his enemies, but over time and through his actions, they changed. And some time after this, Piccolo changed for the better as well."
But now Pan had hardened her resolve.
"But for now, I have to fight him. Keep him from killing my grandfather."
"You got it, Pan. Now let's get you goi... oh, almost forgot."
She handed Pan what looked like a tiny earpiece.
"This allows you and I to communicate with each other telepathically so that no one else can hear us."
"...so you can hear all my thoughts?"
"Only on missions. And it'll all stay strictly confidential."
Pan looked over at the Supreme Kai of Time with a doubtful look.
"Now why would I give out your information?"
"Fine. Can I get going now?"
Pan gripped the scroll again when the Supreme Kai of Time pointed right at her.
Pan saw that the Supreme Kai of Time was pointing at something behind her.
"The Power Pole!"
"What about it?"
"You should know that weapons aren't allowed in the World Martial Arts Tournament! Even the older ones!"
Pan handed the power pole and its case over to her.
"Just remember what the handbook says, okay?"
From there, Pan stood, grasping the scroll in her hand, then closing her eyes as a familiar sound overtook her:
The same sound from the day she was nearly killed, which she now recognized as her traveling through time itself.
Back in Age 756, Piccolo stood after having unleashed his attack that destroyed the World Martial Arts Tournament arena. With no sign of Goku, he was cackling in victory, his arms raised high.
"I have won."
Krillin, poking his head out from cover saw no signs of his fellow colleague...
Piccolo's eyes shot up: Goku was still standing, his arms covering himself and with only some bruising to show for it.
"Surprised to see me, Junior?"
"You're... but that's impossible! You should be...!"
All of the friends and members of the Z-Fighters rooted for Goku as Piccolo backed up a few steps, clearly nervous at the prospect of his opponent being alive and well.
Goku got ready to return the favor.
"Alright. Let's finish this."
He charged with energy to Piccolo's surprise, who seemed terrified at this point.
"Oh no. This is really gonna hurt...!"
Goku charged at him, but as he was about to strike Piccolo with his elbow, something changed: Piccolo became overcome with the purple aura and managed to block Goku's strike with his palm.
"...for you," grinned Piccolo.
He pushed Goku back several feet with just one hand, then when Goku ran back in, appeared to be stopping his attacks with hardly any effort.
"How is that possible?!" exclaimed Krillin. "Junior was panicking and on the ropes earlier and now it's like he's totally fresh."
Goku gripped Piccolo's hands with his own, trying to overpower him, but already began falling to one of his knees.
"This isn't good..."
Piccolo broke the clash, hopped backward, and then dashed forward as Goku looked over at him partially in panic before receiving an elbow to the face.
This struck with tremendous force, as it looked like Goku was going to be sent out of the ring. Kami couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Has Piccolo truly...won?"
A strange sound...
He and everyone else all looked over at the center of the ring to see what looked like a white silhouette in Goku's path.
It shortly revealed itself to them to be a young woman with an orange headband in a blue shirt, light purple pants, and dark purple fingerless gloves and shoes.
"Who is...?" asked Krillin.
Piccolo was certainly surprised to see this as well.
Pan looked at her hand, seeing the scroll was no longer there.
"Okay, now to just find my..."
She turned and saw her grandfather flying backward right towards her.
Everyone was absolutely puzzled: someone had just gone into the ring and had gotten in Goku's way, and due to that, the intended ring out was prevented.
"That girl..." began Krillin. "She stopped Goku from being rung out."
Despite how honorable that sounded, Pan had taken the brunt of Goku's impact by complete accident as the two lied near the ring's edge, lying on the ground.
"Owww!" went Goku, gripping his head before turning to see Pan, who had her hands on her stomach. "Wait... who the heck are you? And what are you doing here?! This is my fight!"
Pan looked over and saw her grandfather in the flesh, about her age.
But as for his comment, she couldn't come up with any answer to the question that wouldn't result in her telling him about the future. Instead, she was struck by the first words she had ever heard from her legendary grandfather sounding somewhat ungrateful.
"Yeah, you're welcome, grandpa."
"Pan..." started the Supreme Kai of Time in her head. "Your grandfather is... well, a complicated person. Plus, you have to realize we're interfering with a one-on-one tournament."
"How are we not already changing history doing this?!" asked Pan.
"As long as we restore the correct outcome by Goku's hands, everything will be fine."
As Pan looked around while she and the Supreme Kai of Time conversed, she looked over at the others hiding in a square hole outside the ring. She had seen old pictures of how everyone looked back in their younger days and there they were, clear as day to her.
Her grandmother was a young woman with pure black hair. Despite Pan intercepting Goku's possible ring out, Chi-Chi was suspicious of her.
"Just who is that girl with the bandanna? She better not try anything funny with Goku!"
Yamcha and Tien were both much younger with the former having black hair in a ponytail and Tien with a bald head and clean shaven, as well as with a fresh scar in his chest.
"Whoever she is, I hope she's on our side, Yamcha."
"I don't know... I mean it seems to me she didn't mean to stop Goku."
Launch was in a red dress behind Tien, not a trace of grey in her blonde hair.
"If she's with us, I sure hope she's tougher than she looks."
Bulma, her hair much longer, was in an indigo outfit next to Yamcha pondering about the whole situation.
"How did she get here? And why?"
Kami, someone whom Pan didn't know or even recognize, looked over at Pan, then back to Piccolo.
"I think someone is trying to interfere with this fight... but not just her."
Roshi still looked about the same to Pan, though he had on sunglasses and a black suit. He also looked closely at Goku's opponent.
"The very attack that destroyed this arena used up much of Junior's energy. For all accounts, he was frightened at Goku's survival and could barely react to his approach... but something or someone has revitalized him."
Goku had overheard this.
"You mean that Junior is cheating?!"
Piccolo cackled after hearing this.
"Don't be so sore from me beating you. And be thankful I'm giving you time to get up before I destroy you."
He then turned to Pan and pointed at her.
"But as for you... leave the ring, now."
Goku finally stood and got back into a fighting stance as he and Piccolo both noticed Pan not moving.
"Did you not hear me, girl, or do you have a death wish?"
Her grandfather looked at her with concern.
"Even if Junior is using a dirty trick, you're going to get hurt. Get out of here."
Pan didn't say anything back to him and instead took on a martial artist stance. She tried hard to ensure it didn't resemble that of anyone he knew, so, for the time being, her stance looked like that of her mother's.
Goku thought over the whole situation: Piccolo suddenly regaining his composure and power, this girl that was there next to him in the ring, and Kami and Roshi's suspicions of interference from someone or something.
"I'd prefer this to be one-on-one... but if Junior's using someone else for power, then I guess having someone at my side should even things out."
He turned to her, this time with a smile.
"Alright then. Let's do this."
In spite of his attitude earlier, with the power at his fingertips, Piccolo was indifferent to the situation.
"Don't want to leave? No matter. I'll just kill you both."
Pan tried to remain calm and composed, but this was her first mission, and it was against Piccolo, someone who had babysat and cared for her since she was a baby... yet vastly different from the Piccolo she knew growing up.
Pan's First Mission! Vicious Piccolo Jr!Edit
There Pan stood in the wasteland-like remains of the World Martial Arts tournament grounds, save for the square shape of the ring. Her grandfather, a young man about her age, stood to her right and Piccolo, whom everyone here referred to as Junior, in front of her.
Even as the battle was about to take place, and even with everything she had read from the Time Patrol manual, she was still processing everything...
"Pan, you're in the field now," stated the Supreme Kai of Time. "Everything rests on your shoulders. You've got to stay focused."
She began to recompose herself.
She watched Piccolo like a hawk, whose feet began moving.
"If there's one advantage you have, Pan, it's that Piccolo's laser-focused on Goku."
Sure enough, Piccolo made his move towards Goku, just as Pan had counted on. Their left wrists clashed, along with their right knees.
The two were now trading kicks and punches quickly, neither managing to land a successful blow as of yet. Goku watched the two clashing in front of him.
"She didn't have to do that... but wow. This girl's managing to keep up with him."
The Z-Fighters were also amazed at this as Master Roshi's gaze was hidden behind his sunglasses.
"Whoever this young lady is, human or otherwise, must be well-versed in martial arts to be standing her ground against Junior."
But as she clashed with Piccolo, Pan caught her mind wandering through memories.
"No, no, not now!"
There Pan was, four years old, sparring with Piccolo. She was trying as hard as she could to hit him while Piccolo was clearly feigning, swinging his arms halfheartedly and letting Pan slip past his guard.
"I'm gonna beat you, Mr. Piccolo."
Piccolo, smiling, covered his face with his arms.
"What? I am being defeated?"
Her punches hardly affected him, but he played it off like he couldn't stand them.
"You better look out."
"Oh no, this can't be..."
Piccolo pretended to fall over onto his back as Pan's fist was aimed right at him. He raised his hands upward.
"You win, Pan. Have mercy."
And in that moment, Pan realized as she was thinking of that memory of play-fighting with Piccolo, she had begun striking with less force.
"What's this?" asked Piccolo. "Pulling your punches on me?"
In spite of her gesture, he struck hard with his left arm, which Pan barely blocked with both arms.
"You dare to underestimate me?!"
Pan just realized she was only stopping one of his arms.
A punch from his right hand slammed Pan into the ground.
"Junior!" shouted Goku, getting Piccolo's attention.
With a blast of air creating by thrusting his fist forward, Piccolo was partially knocked back.
"Come and get me!"
From there, the two stood their grounds, charging with electricity-like ki, Goku's red and Piccolo's blue.
Pan, starting to get up, realized the side of her lip was bloodied by that punch.
"What happened, Pan?" inquired the Supreme Kai of Time. "I told you before this that Piccolo's a villain here."
She looked over at Goku and Piccolo clashing, almost appearing to be surrounded by orbs of electricity.
"I know Piccolo was there for you growing up, but if you don't fight him seriously, he'll kill you if he gets the chance."
Pan could now see that Goku's field was beginning to weaken due to him having used much of his energy throughout the fight.
"Oh, Goku..." taunted Piccolo. "You can barely even stand against me now."
The other Z-Fighters saw the clash going in Piccolo's favor, as well as Pan wiping the blood on her lip with her gloved hand before...
"Hey..." went Krillin. "Where did she go?"
She had vanished from their sight. Even Piccolo took notice of this while overpowering Goku. But then Goku caught him grinning.
"This girl won't save you now..."
He pushed Goku back with left hand while his right reached behind him...
Grabbing Pan by the back of her head. Goku quickly got back to his feet and rushed Piccolo for an attack, only to see him turning around, holding Pan off the ground in front of him. This gave him some bad deja-vu of when he faced Demon King Piccolo, who took Tien hostage.
"Damn it..." thought Goku. "I knew this was going to happen."
Confident, Piccolo cackled away.
"I knew it: you really do care for these pathetic weaklings... even one that interrupts our match."
He began to charge his left hand for an attack.
"I wonder what'll take longer: you being blasted to pieces, or this whelp's head being crushed in my..."
Pan had enough. Both her hands charged with ki as she aimed them behind her, blasting Piccolo's chest. He began to lose his grip for a moment, lowering her just enough to stomp on his foot.
Freed entirely, she struck him on the chin, causing him to stumble backward. Before she could follow up, she saw Piccolo's eyes glow red, then saw a beam firing from them.
She ducked as Goku hopped over it, then kicked Piccolo in the face. Upon landing on his feet, Piccolo leapt up high, firing a barrage of ki blasts downward at the arena. The two took evasive action, flipping, rolling, and sliding to avoid each that came.
She saw Goku starting to tire from the constant evasion. Seeing he couldn't avoid the next incoming projectile, she ran right for him with all haste.
"Look out, Gran...!" started Pan, stopping herself from finishing that sentence as she pushed Goku out of the way.
By that point, she could only try stopping it with an outstretched hand. After a small explosion, she found her right glove was nearly roasted off.
Despite her having saved Goku, Chi-Chi was not pleased with her.
"She was about to call my Goku 'Grandpa'. What nerve! After this is all over, I'm really going to give her a piece of my mind."
Pan caught the dirty look from the young woman who would become her grandmother.
"What's with Grandma? What bone could she have to pick with me?"
"Pan, you almost gave away something just now," said the Supreme Kai of Time. "If you call Goku by his name or Grandpa, you risk them catching on and changing history. Try something like 'look out, mister' next time."
"Yeah, that's a good point."
She saw Piccolo starting to land and Pan lunged at him, the two grabbing hold of each other's hands. Piccolo fired eye beams at Pan, who swerved her head to the side to avoid it. She saw Piccolo starting to crouch over.
"Get out of his grip, now!" shouted Goku, running towards Piccolo.
But by the time these words left his mouth, Piccolo had jumped backward, his arms stretching. With another hop, Piccolo yanked Pan off her feet. He swung her around, tossing her into Goku. Before she could touch the ground, Piccolo grabbed hold of Pan below her arms, then lifted her upward.
Pan was back to her memory of her sparring with Piccolo. Despite Piccolo's gesture and plea, young Pan backed away slowly, her fists still raised.
"You won't fool me, Piccolo. I bet you have something up your sleeve."
"But Pan..." went her father, who had just entered the room. "Mr. Piccolo's not wearing any sleeves."
She peered over at Piccolo's arms, not seeing any sleeves...
As well as realizing he had stretched his arms to grab hold of her by her sides and lift her off the ground.
"You let your guard down."
Despite Pan trying to swing her arms and legs to swing free, Piccolo had her.
"Now I'm really gonna get you, Pan."
With flicks of his fingers, Piccolo tickled Pan's sides while lifting her up even further as she laughed.
Finally returning to the present, Pan felt herself being yanked back downward, the back of her head hitting the ground hard.
"Let her go, Junior!" cried out Goku.
He lifted Pan back up once again, then another slam downward.
"Then go on..." taunted Piccolo. "Try and hit me."
Goku already knew Piccolo's tactic: if Goku tried to make a move on him, Pan would be placed in front and take the hit for Piccolo.
Pan turned her head, seeing a few drops of blood on the ground from that last collision: Piccolo was slamming her down as hard as he could. She could feel from the next fling that this one was intended to be his hardest.
She grabbed hold of his wrists with her hands, then squeezed as hard as she could.
"I could lift 10 tons, so let's see what I can do here."
Piccolo thought nothing of the gesture...
Until he felt something crushing his wrists.
She forced herself downward onto her legs, then began tugging on his wrists.
"L... Let go of me!"
Pan didn't heed his words and kept pulling. She knew it was far from pleasant for Piccolo, but, as he had demonstrated with his viciousness thus far, this Piccolo was a far different individual than the one she knew growing up.
He charged both his hands with ki and fired two beams aimed for her face. Pan tilted her head twice, one beam only barely touching her hair. The beams in question flew far off into the distance, causing explosions farther away.
"He probably put a lot of energy into those... good."
After this, she tugged as she stepped backward, then, upon letting her feet off the ground, let go of Piccolo's arms and launched herself right at him.
Upon landing a two-knee strike to Piccolo's jaw, causing him to spit up some purple blood, Pan transitioned to a gut punch.
"That's it, Pan. Keep up the damage. Wear him down so Goku can take care of the rest."
Launch looked over at Pan's barrage against Piccolo with intrigue.
"Look at that. That girlie's really putting the hurt on Junior."
Tien watched alongside her.
"You're right. While hesitant before, now she looks to be overwhelming him."
As he got up, Goku saw Pan landing a multitude of punches against Piccolo, who couldn't seem to break free of her blitz.
"Wow... she really is strong. I'm surprised she wasn't in this tournament."
An uppercut to Piccolo's chin sent him flying upward as Pan flew after him. He fired off three projectiles to stop her, only for her to move left and right to avoid the first, then, with a ki-charged fist, punched through the last before it struck his face.
She zoomed above him, Piccolo clearly dazed as she readied both her arms to slam him back down into the ground.
"Wait, wait, stop!" cried the Supreme Kai of Time.
"What is it?!"
"Don't you see it?"
Pan began to look downward, seeing that had she struck Piccolo...
"You would've knocked him out of the ring! History will change if you're the one who rings him out. You have to keep him in the ring."
Seeing Pan frozen in midair, Piccolo decided to take advantage of it.
By the time Pan heard this, she saw too late yellow beams firing from Piccolo's antenna, striking her dead-on. She felt a shock across her entire body, crying out, before it dissipated, leaving her steaming...
And unable to move.
She slowly descended as Piccolo floated above her, his fists raised above his head. In spite of his anger from the beating he took earlier, his expression slowly morphed into a cocky smile.
"I suppose I might as well get in a ring out."
As his fists slammed downward toward Pan, Goku intercepted it, blocking the blow with his wrists.
"Save the thrashings for me, Junior."
Piccolo grinned as he lifted his foot up, then stomped the top of Pan's head. She descended faster now, still not able to move.
"Oh, I will... after this."
He managed to move one of his hands in Pan's direction, unleashing a projectile aimed for her.
With a quick look up to see Goku and Piccolo, Pan also saw a projectile heading for her. She leapt out of the way, waiting to see the attack hit the ground, but instead, it curved, avoiding the ground and coming after her.
"Oh, come on!"
Yamcha saw Pan zooming across the area as the projectile kept following her.
"Wait, that's... that's almost like my Spirit Ball... except it's following her all by itself."
Kami turned to him.
"Indeed, it is very much akin to your technique. Perhaps he based it on yours."
Hearing that someone had based their technique off of his would've touched Yamcha in any other context, but this by the hands of the reincarnation of King Piccolo left him uneasy.
Pan was realizing how futile it was trying to outrun it.
"No matter what I do, it follows me."
But as she looked back at Piccolo and Goku's clash, she got an idea.
With a big hop, she zoomed toward Piccolo, then swung her arms in Goku's direction.
"Get outta the way!"
Goku did so as Pan flew behind Piccolo, then tapped him on the shoulder.
Piccolo swung at her with an enraged hook, which she ducked.
"Quit interfering with my...!"
He realized he had sent his homing attack at Pan earlier, then turned around to see it coming right for him. He had fallen for the same tactic Goku used on him earlier, his own attack redirected back at him.
"Not this time!"
With his wrist, Piccolo knocked his own projectile attack away from him, which then course-corrected towards Pan once more.
"That was a good idea, Pan," complimented the Supreme Kai of Time. "It's just too bad that Piccolo already fell for it against Goku."
Now a distance from the ring, Pan saw the projectile returning to her, and faster than before.
"I can't outrun it anymore. Now..."
She put her hands out in front of her, the fingers in opposing directions.
She fired it off, the beam managing to strike Piccolo's projectile before it could hit her.
Piccolo and Goku, arms locked, descended fast and slammed each other into the ground, then saw a midair explosion in the distance.
"There... I did you a favor, Goku. No more distractions."
Goku and all the Z-Fighters looked over, not seeing any signs of Pan anywhere. Bulma was terrified at this.
"Did he... did he really kill her?"
Frightened, she grabbed hold of Yamcha's arm as he looked just as unsure as her. Krillin, next to him, looking all around him.
"I don't see her... anywhere at all."
Even Chi-Chi began to change her tone of Pan from earlier.
"How could that monster do that to her?"
"And now..." began Piccolo, gripping both his arms with his hands. "I'm getting bored of all of you."
Veins grew across Piccolo's body as he charged with an unbelievable energy. Everyone there recognized the technique... especially Goku, who had survived it earlier.
"He's doing that again?!"
Kami couldn't hide the fear on his face.
"This does not bode well for us. Not only is he about to unleash such a massive attack a second time... Goku doesn't have enough power to survive it again."
Tien was especially concerned with this statement.
"What are you saying? That Goku is done for?"
"Get out of there!" shouted Yamcha.
As much as Goku was more than capable of doing so, he saw Piccolo stepping in the direction of his friends and colleagues.
"What's the matter? Don't you want to see your friends one last time before they all go?"
This time, Piccolo intended to wipe everyone out. Goku looked over at his friends, then back to Piccolo.
"No... I won't let him do it. I know what I have to do. I have to get Junior as far away from here as I can..."
Goku saw Piccolo ready to place his arms outward, and got ready to charge at Piccolo with everything he had...
When Pan flew into Piccolo, grabbing hold of him and directing him high above the ring as quickly as she could.
"Look!" shouted Krillin, pointing upward. "That girl... she survived!"
Pan blasted Piccolo back with a quick burst of ki, then turned in the other direction quickly, knowing something big was coming her way.
"How... dare you!" screamed Piccolo, his arms upward, driven away from his intended targets and unable to stop his attack from commencing now.
A flash of white emerged, much like the one that destroyed the arena before. A huge explosion went off in the air, the shockwave in the air being more than enough to push Pan back with tremendous force towards the ground.
The crisis being averted and with Piccolo having used much of his energy like before, Goku ran in Pan's direction.
"Thank you for your help, but I'll take care of the rest."
Pan placed both her hands out in front of her as Goku jumped towards her. She grabbed hold of him, then threw him in Piccolo's direction as hard as she could. Combined with his own momentum, this allowed him to soar towards Piccolo rapidly, whom was in no position to defend himself.
"Tired already, Junior?!"
He unleashed a rapid barrage of punches, mostly striking his chest, stomach, and face.
Pan slowed down her descent, though still hit the ground hard, bouncing across before coming to a halt. She looked and saw Goku's flurry against Piccolo, then turned to see the Z-Fighters cheering for him.
"Sock it to him!" shouted Launch.
"Send Junior packing!" cheered Yamcha.
"Bring him down, Goku!" shouted Chi-Chi.
With a two-handed slam, Goku knocked Piccolo downward towards the arena square.
Pan looked back up and saw Piccolo coming right for her.
She rolled to the side, avoiding the crashing Piccolo. Goku just realized he almost accidentally sent Piccolo directly onto Pan and lightly chuckled to himself with his hand behind his head.
"Sorry about that."
But after this, Goku looked down at Piccolo, who didn't show any signs of getting up soon. He then cupped his hands together.
"Ka... me... ha... me... HAAAA!"
The Kamehameha came at the grounded Piccolo, who screamed as the attack neared him, unable to get out of the way.
In a round hole lied Piccolo, partially buried by the dirt, his hands up and his mouth still open from his scream earlier.
As much as Pan didn't like seeing Piccolo in this condition, she knew that it meant the battle was over.
"Good job, Pan." congratulated the Supreme Kai of Time. "Once you get going, the announcer will start the countdown, and history will be restored."
Pan started to make her way to the edge of the ring, one foot raised outside it...
Pan heard Goku talking to her and turned toward her grandfather.
"You really fought well. Who are you? And who trained you?"
These were exactly the two questions Pan had hoped to avoid hearing. Now what was she supposed to say?
A beam emerged from behind Goku, whom turned around upon hearing it...
And it pierced through the right side of his chest. Goku coughed up blood and fell back, seeing the beam originating from Piccolo's mouth.
Pan managed to catch Goku, holding him upward as he covered his wound with his hand. She was heavily shaken, as were the others, after having believed that Piccolo was defeated.
"Can't stand up without someone helping you, Goku?" asked Piccolo, spitting a drop of purple blood on the ground.
Yamcha could tell Goku was probably going to take this to heart and wouldn't accept this girl's help any longer.
"Don't listen to him, Goku! He's just trying to get under your skin!"
"What do I do, Supreme Kai?" asked Pan. "Can my grandfather still win this now?"
"Had you left unseen earlier, history would have restored itself, but since you're still here..."
Pan began to feel Goku trying to gently push away from her.
"You... you can't be serious, Grandpa."
He grinned at her, a drop of blood still on his lip.
"I appreciate you helping me earlier, I really do... but this is my fight."
"No!" shouted Kami in protest. "If you give in to your pride now, you will only allow him victory."
"Pan, Goku may be right," began the Supreme Kai of Time. "This may be the best time to leave. Once you've exited their sight..."
After seeing that Goku could stand up on his own, Pan began backing up as the Supreme Kai of Time explained. Chi-Chi did not take this gesture well and pointed right at her.
"Are you really going to leave my future husband bleeding here?! You... you...!"
Piccolo, however, was simply surprised to see Goku standing up at all.
"Your aim is as bad as your fighting..." taunted Goku. "You missed all my vital parts."
"All of them?!"
His composure began to turn as Goku slowly let go of his wound. But then he spotted Pan starting to hover overheard.
"I don't think they like how this looks..." Pan noticed. "...they won't remember a thing, right?"
A beam struck Pan on the back.
Goku turned to see Pan being struck, then realized Piccolo was fast approaching him.
With a lunge, Piccolo struck Goku with both feet, forcing him onto his back. Upon landing with a stomp on his wound...
Pan stopped herself from touching the ground, then heard her grandfather screaming in pain: Piccolo was stepping on his wound repeatedly.
"I should've expected nothing less from the demon spawn of King Piccolo!" shouted Tien. "I can't stand aside any more!"
He and the others began charging for the arena when Piccolo, not even looking at them, spread a beam across the ground in front of them. They stopped, seeing a massive wide hole in front of them.
"I'll kill you all when it's your tu...!"
A flying tackle by Pan knocked Piccolo off Goku, followed by several punches to his face.
"I won't let you not kill m... him!"
Knowing to keep him in the ring, she concluded by throwing him straight down. As the two got to their feet, Piccolo looked at Goku's last location only to see a couple of drops of blood.
A punch to Piccolo's back from Goku.
"I didn't hear the ten count."
Pan immediately attacked in front of him, forcing him to defend as Goku ducked under a desperate swing. In spite of his wound, Pan could at least keep Piccolo's attention split between the two.
He tried to jump upward, but found Goku hopping and grabbing onto his right arm. It seemed his attempt to pull Piccolo was unsuccessful...
But with Pan jumping onto his back, wrapping her arms around his neck, their combined force finally forced him crashing down. Goku kept Piccolo's right arm pinned as Pan pinned his left with her own, then raised her right fist to strike him.
"Pan, you've got to let Piccolo go now," ordered the Supreme Kai of Time.
"No offense, but..." began Pan, while noticing Piccolo was pushing back harder. "... this really isn't the best time."
"Goku has to score the final blow himself. If you both defeat him together, history will change for sure."
His eyes glowing red, Piccolo fired beams from his eyes at Pan's stomach, causing a searing pain. Unlike the quick bursts from before, this beam seemed to continue firing as it then zapped straight up across her chest.
Grasping her burning wound, Piccolo was free to use his other arm to push Goku off of him, then flew forward with both elbows reached out. One struck the back of Pan's head while the other...
Pierced Goku's wound. As Goku fell backwards, Piccolo aimed both his knees for Goku's.
Both of Goku's legs were broken, leaving only his left arm and neck able to move...
Until Piccolo fired a beam through his left shoulder.
"You see, I learned from my father. I won't repeat the same mistake he made."
Pan could hear Goku's screaming the entire time she was trying to recover.
"Have I... failed?"
With the beam concluded, Piccolo took a look at his immobilized opponent.
"Everything that's happened here is how it went in the official history."
...but then a flash of purple enveloped him as he then pointed his hand right at Goku's head, charging for something.
"...EXCEPT THAT! He's not supposed to...!"
Pan didn't hear everything the Supreme Kai of Time had said and already stood in front of her grandfather, intercepting the beam with her wrists, both covered in ki. With a shout and a swing of both arms, she sent the beam firing away from Goku.
Immediately afterward, Pan saw herself too late to block a punch... and off her feet. An uppercut to her chest struck the wound from Piccolo's beam earlier. Upon hitting the ground, she was left to lie on her stomach as Piccolo finally turned back to Goku.
The sky went dark as Piccolo began to float upward.
"Your body is useless now!"
Pan saw him preparing an attack.
"You couldn't block this even if you wanted to!"
With no sign of Goku getting up behind her, Pan floated upward to protect her grandfather. Piccolo took note of this, but was unperturbed.
"Even now, you're in my way?! Fine! You'll die too!"
Piccolo gripped his right arm with his left hand as it charged with energy, firing a massive beam.
She saw the attack coming and simply covered her head and upper body with crossed arms as her ki shield enveloped her entire body.
"I may not be able to go Super Saiyan anymore... but no matter what, I'll make sure you survive, Grandpa."
She closed her eyes as it finally reached her.
From the distance, the explosion almost looked akin to a nuclear explosion.
Inside their hole, Z-Fighters and friends didn't see any signs of either Goku or Pan standing. Piccolo floated down to see the aftermath for himself.
In a massive crater in the ring, he saw...
Pan lying inside of it, covered in dirt not unlike how Piccolo was earlier. Her gloves were tattered, her shirt's sleeves had been burned off, and her pants were reduced to shorts at this point.
"You survived?" Piccolo asked in amazement.
It was from there Pan began to wonder about Goku's whereabouts.
"Wait... if I was in front of him, then..."
She turned around, digging through the dirt she was laying on for any signs of him.
"I'm not seeing him! He's not...!"
She found nothing. At this point, she was panicking.
"But... but I was covering him! How could Piccolo's blast hit him from behind?!"
But Piccolo's grin slowly turned as he started to put together the improbability of his attack killing Goku if Pan survived it.
"Where is he?!"
He stretched his arm to grab Pan, whom leapt to the side onto her right arm and shoulder.
"Girl! Where is Goku?!"
Piccolo raised his hand, poised to strike at Pan at any moment as she simply looked upward at him...
...and began to grin.
Pan didn't answer: her grin widened and opened up.
"What are you smirking at?!"
He finally decided to turn around and see what Pan was looking at above him...
Goku flew in from above at a high speed towards him.
"I told you...!" shouted Goku.
Piccolo couldn't move his legs in time and was struck by a flying headbutt to his stomach.
Piccolo fell to the ground outside of the ring: not only was he in no condition to fight any further, but as per the tournament rules, he had been rung out.
"You've done it, Pan!" cheered the Supreme Kai of Time. "Now quick! While everyone's looking over there, head to cover and we'll extract you!"
With everyone turning towards Goku and Piccolo, Pan began to walk in the other direction behind a large rock.
"Hey..." inquired Yamcha, turning around looking for Pan, whom was hiding behind the rock. "Where did that girl go?"
After his inquiry, Bulma grabbed hold of his ear and tugged on it.
"Why? Because you want to ask her out on a date?"
After catching a glimpse of this, Pan saw the area around her beginning to disappear and turn into flashing lights...
To which Pan vanished. As for anything Pan had done, from holes in the ground from her attacks to even her footprints, had vanished as well.
In an instant, something flashed through everyone's heads: they lost all memory of Pan being there.
Yamcha turned over, seeing Bulma tugging on his ear. Bulma just realized what she was doing and, not having any reason to do so, let go.
"So..." began Goku, taking Yamcha and Bulma's mind off of what happened earlier. "Is he out of the ring?"
The announcer, whom had kept his head down the entire time, looked over and saw Piccolo lying outside the ring clear as day.
He raised his arms in triumph.
"Goku is the winner of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament!"
Pan found herself back in the Time Nest, the scroll in her hand once again.
"Well done, Pan."
She turned to see the Supreme Kai of Time giving a small clap.
"You successfully protected history."
As much as Pan was happy she had saved her grandfather, she had one burning question on her mind:
"Why didn't you tell me Goku flew over that attack?"
"If you knew he would do that off-hand, Piccolo might've caught onto it. So your shock matched Piccolo's just long enough for Goku to get in the winning hit."
"Yeah..." as Pan looked over at her tattered attire. "And it only ruined my favorite clothes."
"Don't worry about that."
A familiar voice.
"We have machines that can repair clothing."
Pan and the Supreme Kai of Time turned to see Trunks walking down the stairs.
"Since the mission's accomplished, Pan, you're free to head back to your housing unit... if you're still staying with us, that is."
The Supreme Kai of Time left the room, leaving Pan and Trunks to themselves.
He looked downward.
"I'm sorry. I never should have kept that from you."
He turned away from her.
"If it was unforgivable, I understand."
She walked over in his direction to face him.
"Trunks, I'm sorry too. I didn't mean what I said about leaving me dead."
In spite of her apology, she pointed at him.
"Just promise me one thing: from now on, even if you think it'll hurt me... tell me the truth about everything."
He nodded without hesitation.
"I promise, Pan."
As the two began to exit the room, Trunks took out a capsule.
"One more thing..."
Pan saw the capsule in his hand, then caught it when he tossed it to her. With a push of the button...
A grey-white jacket landed in her hands, an orange Capsule Corp logo on the left shoulder, and a yellow cape attached to it.
"Welcome to the team."
"So... Chronoa found herself another lapdog, I see."
Two shadowy figures looked over a red and white screen at the battle that had just taken place.
"How soon before we make the next alteration?"
"There's no rush. I now have an excuse to improve my formula."