I do not own Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT or any of its affiliated characters.
Evan stepped into the compound, in awe of the position he was in. This was the location of the labs in which the esteemed Dr. Briefs had first created capsule technology. This was where Bulma Briefs had done the work that had eventually taken her father's small but monumentally successful family company and set it on the path to becoming a powerful global conglomerate. He was so caught up in his awe that he didn't notice someone approaching him.
"Well hello m'boy. What business do you have here?" Evan turned to face an old man with a black cat riding on his shoulder. In an instant Evan recognized the man as none other than the esteemed Dr. Briefs.
"Oh-oh I-I'm here as a part of the SIRD department that Bulm—Ms.—Dr. Briefs started," he stuttered out, in awe of the scientific legend standing before him. "I-It's an honor to meet you sir. You're an inspiration to aspiring scientists everywhere."
The old scientist chuckled lightly. "Is that so? Hmm, you must be Evan. My daughter is probably helping one of the other scientists get situated, so why don't I show you around, possibly get you where you need to go."
"It would be an honor sir!" Evan said, feeling awestruck. "Dr. Briefs said that I would be working under Ellis sir."
"Ellis? Hmm…Ellis…Oh! I remember now, she had a wonderfully interesting contraption that measured a person's bioelectrical wavelength or some other fancy term like that. Believe she said I registered as a three hundred thirty odd something, whatever that means. Scratch here registered as a thirty seven himself," Dr. Briefs said, chuckling and scratching under the cat's chin while starting to walk through the compound, with Evan hurrying after him. "Are you of a similar field of study as her?"
"Ah, well I'm planning on working towards a biology major over the next few years, though it's been tough to find a college willing to offer courses to a student who is in all but mathematics and the sciences an average first year high school student," Evan said.
"Hohohoho, sounds like tough is an understatement…ah! Here we are then." They had arrived at a door next to a wide glass window through which they could see Ellis and Kim tinkering with some sort of machine Evan wasn't familiar with. "Well then I should get going. The animals don't feed themselves you know," Dr. Briefs said, walking off towards another section of the compound. Evan stared in awe after the old genius for a few moments before tentatively opening the door to the lab. The two scientists looked up from their work.
"Ah, there you are Evan. Listen could you stand over there for a second?" Ellis asked, gesturing vaguely towards the area that seemed to be where the front of the machine was facing. Confused, but seeing no reason to question the request of the scientist, he moved towards where she had gestured. "Great, that's perfect. Now just stand there for a moment while I get this…there!"
The machine flared to life and a holographic screen sprang up, a number displayed on it rapidly rising. When the number finally stopped climbing there was a bold faced 362 on the screen. "Hmm, that does seem to line up with my previous data points," Ellis said. "I think we can assume that it's been properly calibrated again, though we should probably perform some exertion tests just to make sure. Hey Kim could you roll that cart over to Evan?" Ellis asked. Kim grabbed the cart in question and pushed it over to the teenager. A quick inspection revealed a strange looking dumbbell that had a small display lengthwise along the middle of it which currently read ten kilos.
Evan looked up at Ellis. "What am I supposed to do with this?" he asked.
"Just lift it."
He stared at the scientist for a few moments in disbelief before shrugging and picking up the dumbbell. He could feel the weight but it wasn't anything major.
"You can put it down now," Ellis said. Evan complied and put the weight down. Kim pressed a few buttons next to the display and the dumbbell suddenly read twenty kilos. He barely had time to wonder what had just happened when Eliss' voice cut in again. "Pick it up again if you could."
Tentatively, Evan grabbed the dumbbell and lifted again, being met with unexpected resistance. After getting over his shock he put more effort into lifting the weight and was able to take it off of the cart with some effort. "You can put it down now."
As he put the weight down he turned to Ellis, noting briefly that the number on the odd machine's display had dropped to 359. "How in the world did that weight get heavier?" he asked.
"Fascinating isn't it?" Kim asked. "Dr. Briefs and her father apparently developed a machine that can increase the gravity in an enclosed area a few years back and have recently developed a way to create the machine on a smaller scale, though far less powerful apparently. There's a ten kilo weight in the bar with a pair of gravity generators in either end of the dumbbell. This one can locally increase the gravity of the weight by about ten times earth's but apparently the larger model can reach upwards of fifty times that."
Evan's eyes nearly bugged out of his head. "Five hundred times earth's gravity?! Why would they ever need a machine for that?"
"Based on her probable connections to the fighters at the Cell Games I can only assume it would be used for extreme resistance training," Ellis said. "Even training under twice earth's gravity would provide an incredible return if you think about it."
"But what about all of the negative consequences that would theoretically bring about? Doubling the gravity in an area should have disastrous results on a living body, from increasing the weight of the body's fluids and making the heart work several times harder to keep it circulating to air getting so heavy that it should tear apart or crush the delicate tissues of the lungs. Not only that. Without a long readjustment period the body would probably kill itself through overworking itself when gravity lowers. Who on earth would risk that?" Evan asked.
"Probably the Cell Games fighters," Ellis said. "The one with the flame like hair more specifically, since he lives on the premises."
"What?" Evan asked in disbelief.
"Me and Kim saw him earlier when Dr. Briefs herself was leading us to this lab and the two of them got into a shouting match over something or another. His name is Vegeta and he's apparently the Prince of all Saiyans. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the two of them are together in some form or another," Ellis stated.
Evan blanched. "Together?"
"It would be my first guess yes. The fact that the two of them seem to bicker like an old married couple and the fact that the baby boy who Dr. Briefs has with her from time to time's facial structure is remarkably similar to Vegeta's seems to point pretty strongly towards it. I'd give it seven to three odds that even if the baby was an accident born of a night of drunken passion or built up sexual tension that they'll be sleeping together within a few months if they already aren't," Ellis said.
"I'd say nine to one personally," Kim input. "Dr. Briefs had a glint in her eyes after that argument that makes me think she enjoyed getting a rise out of the man. I have to give the woman credit for standing up to him like that too. I could actually feel the hostility rolling off of his body, but she talked him down like he was nothing more than an angry teenager and he didn't do a damn thing besides walk off grumbling incoherently. That's no small feat when you consider that he could probably kill everyone in the building without taking a single step."
"While I'd love to learn more about your theories on who Dr. Briefs is or isn't together with, I'd still rather hear how you think it is that someone can survive the effects of training at elevated gravity and have it actually produce good enough results for it to be efficient," Evan cut in.
"Ah, yes. Well it's my theory that those who can willingly tap into their own energy are in some ways resistant to the detrimental effects of training in high gravity. It is my belief that muscles empowered by this energy can produce a far greater output with far less strain on the body. In fact I'd be willing to believe that it isn't just the body's muscles but the body as a whole. Think about it. The Delivery Boy was kicked straight into a rock formation that shattered upon impact and he came out of the rubble with no more than a tattered gi and a few scrapes." Ellis pointed out. "The heart is not taxed by blood becoming increasingly heavier because it is being enhanced by energy. Bone density is not forcefully increased and your spine does not compress upon itself because they are fortified by the body's energy. If my theory is right, so long as one avoids drastically surpassing the body's ability to bolster itself with energy, the negative effects of training in high gravity could be ignored and only the benefits of the resistance training would be taken away from the ordeal."
Evan thought about it for a moment. If Ellis was right it would certainly explain other things as well, like how the bodies of those who fought Cell could physically hold up under the acceleration needed to hit speeds faster than the human eye could follow in an instant. He turned his attention to the strange machine in front of him again.
"So what does this machine do exactly?" he asked.
"Oh, I forgot you didn't know. This here is the machine I repurposed to sense energy levels. It analyzes the intensity of bioelectrical frequencies put off by the body and assigns them a number. The higher the number, the stronger the person appears to be," Ellis explained.
"What's the highest number you've seen recorded so far?"
"Hmm, I think the highest I've seen it when someone is at rest is around fifteen hundred. We managed to get a previous WMAT participant to participate in the experiment, Spopovich I think. Nice guy really, though he seemed a bit frustrated with his loss to Mr. Satan during the 24th WMAT. It honestly makes me anxious to think what kind of numbers the fighters at the Cell Games could put out."
There was a moment of silence as the three remembered Bulma's words the day before.
"I wouldn't put it beyond the capabilities of even the weakest of the energy fighters present at the Cell Games to be able to blow up this planet with only a fraction of their power."
"So anyways…I'm currently trying to determine how varying degrees of physical exertion effect the intensity of the energy that radiates from the body. So if you wouldn't mind trying to lift the dumbbell again after Kim ups its internal gravity another level," Ellis said.
Evan nervously appraised the situation he was now in. Intense physical activity most definitely hadn't been on his list of things he thought he would be doing when he began working for Capsule Corp.
"-and that's effectively what the SIRD is. Do you have any questions?" Bulma asked.
Gohan thought over what he had just been told. "So to clarify, the SIRD is a group of scientists who have been told the truth about the Cell Games because their research was approaching the point that would lead them to that conclusion or brush along related truths,"
"-and they know about the existence of alien races,"
"-and while they know I defeated Cell they don't know that I defeated Cell," Gohan finished.
"Exactly," Bulma affirmed. "It's up to you whether or not you feel comfortable enough opening up to them, but they're all incredibly intelligent people that you'll be working in close proximity with. If you aren't actively attempting to hide who you are I wouldn't put it past them to put the facts together. Anyways, why don't I introduce you to one of them and get your learning experience started. I'm sure within a few weeks you'll have a good idea of what interests you and you'll be free to work more extensively under the scientist whose work is related to that field."
Gohan nodded and together the two of them exited her office and headed down a hallway. Within a few minutes they had arrived at a room Gohan had become well acquainted with during the time in which the Namekian population had been living on Earth.
"I thought we'd start you off in an area you're already familiar with," Bulma explained as she input the entrance code. The door slid open to reveal a large room. There were several white boards and computers set up along the walls as well as several tables with various tools scattered about them. What really stood out was the large cylindrical structure in the center of the room. It was approximately three meters across and one meter tall, and a control panel jutted out of the ground a slight distance away from it.
Standing at one of the computers was a figure in a lab coat. What drew Gohan's attention to them was the reptilian tail that slid back and forth along the ground. The figure turned around revealing a reptilian face that Gohan placed as being that of a Komodo dragon.
"Ah, Dr. Briefs. Checking to see how I'm adjusting to the new la—who is this?" the lizard man asked, noticing Gohan.
"Dr. Drake, this is Son Gohan. He's a new member of the Gifted Youth program as well as the most recent inductee into the SIRD," Bulma said. "He's the son of a family friend and I'm having him work under you for the day while we try to figure out which of the scientists is working in the field closest to his interests."
"I see," Drake said, looking skeptical. He turned to address Gohan. "If you take a picture it will last longer."
"O-oh I'm s-sorry. It's j-just I've n-never seen, only r-read about—" Gohan stammered out, embarrassed to have been caught staring.
"Yes, yes. That's what they all say. I understand that reptilian anthropomorphics are much less common than the mammalian ones, but you'd think that someone who was accepted into the Gifted Youth program would have the decency not to stare," the scientist said exasperatedly.
"I see there's been some miscommunication," Bulma said. "You see, Gohan's lived in a remote region of the land near Mt. Paozu for his entire life. He's been down to the more populated parts of the world a handful of times at best so I wouldn't be all too surprised if this is the first time he's actually come face to face with an anthropomorphic."
Drake looked surprised for a moment before he sank into contemplation. "Mt. Paozu…so then…then that would mean…" he murmured. The lizard man looked back up at Gohan. "I apologize for my initial reaction. I've had some less than pleasurable experiences with people's ignorance."
"No, it's no problem at all," Gohan said. "I'm sorry for staring."
"Well you two seem to have worked things out so I'm going to leave you be. Make sure not to break anything," Bulma said, leaving the lab and letting the door slide shut behind her.
Drake looked around the lab for a moment before turning back to Gohan. "Well I'd love to give you a crash course in my field of study, or at least figure out what you need to learn to understand a crash course. What level are your studies at?"
"Hmm, well for most subjects I'm around the level of a starting first year high schooler, but Bulma's been sending me video lectures on Capsule Theory for a few months now so I'm pretty sure I've got a good grasp on the level of mathematics I needed to learn to understand them," Gohan said.
"Really now? That's far better than I would have guessed. I should have assumed you didn't get accepted into the Gifted Youth program on a fluke or favoritism," the lizard man chuckled. "Of course that does mean I don't really have anything for you to do until I get a better handle on what everything in this lab is and does."
"What exactly is it you study?" Gohan asked, thinking about the possible reasons Bulma might have put the scientist in this room in particular.
"As a generalization I specialize in the theory and development of systems of propulsion. In laymen's terms I develop vehicles of transport. My current project deals with developing a space faring craft that can quickly and efficiently hit relativistic speeds for convenient travel within the solar system."
"What do you want to do with interplanetary travel within the solar system?" Gohan asked.
Drake eyed the boy with an inquisitive eye for a moment. "The near extinction of the human race brought about by King Piccolo Daimo several centuries prior to the current day left us with very little history, but some old documents suggest that we stood on the edge of finally reaching out beyond the confines of our own planet. Before, I was simply inspired by the thought of Earth's people spreading beyond our home planet, but now? Now that I know there are alien races out there that can actually cross the open expanses of the galaxy between solar systems in a timely fashion it inspires me to do my part in introducing Earth's people into the galactic sphere."
Gohan chuckled. "I suppose it makes sense why Bulma chose to put you in this room above all others," he said, walking over to the cylindrical structure.
Drake gave him a curious look. "Oho? Now why would that be?"
"Because," Gohan said, pressing a few buttons on the control panel to boot the machine up. The entirety of the structure's surface seemed to grow translucent and a three dimensional image of the Milky Way Galaxy appeared within the machine. "Bulma has the galactic map set up in this lab."
"Well I'll be," the Komodo dragon said, walking up to the machine. "This has to be one of the most fascinating pieces of machinery I've ever seen. Do you know how accurate it is?"
"I'm not entirely sure actually. The last time I used this I was around six or seven and if I know her at all Bulma's probably wheedled some information out of Vegeta or hacked the space pod my father came back in and updated the database. Probably a combination of both now that I think about it. She's not really the kind of person to do things in half measures," Gohan explained, sifting through menus in an attempt to look for the commands he remembered.
"Short, constantly annoyed looking man with black hair that spikes upward like a flame. Also happens to be the father of Bulma's son and lives on the premises."
"The one who attacked Cell after he killed the young lavender haired man yes?"
The question gave Gohan pause for a moment before he remembered that every member of the SIRD had watched the full events of the Cell Games. "Ah, yes. He's got a nasty temper so it's generally best to stay out of his way, though Bulma seems to have learned how to keep him in check by some means or another. You should probably try to stay out of his way in particular."
"And why is that?"
"Well, um you…you vaguely resemble someone who Vegeta, for lack of a better word…detested," Gohan awkwardly explained, remembering how the scientist had reacted to him staring only a few minute earlier. He cut the man off before he could protest and continued with his explanation. "You see this person's name was Frieza and before my father defeated him in battle he was known as possibly the single strongest person in the galaxy in more ways than one. He was the head of an organization that made regular work of purging all sentient life off of a planet before selling it to the highest bidder as well as running an interstellar dictatorial empire. As might be expected of someone in that line of business he was a sadist of a remarkable caliber. I can only imagine what kind of torture he might have put Vegeta through while using him as collateral to keep the Saiyan race in line," Gohan trembled in anger as he remembered the cruelty Frieza had taken a malicious pleasure in inflicting upon those who had fought against him on Namek, creating indents in the metal of the galactic map's control panel with his hands.
"How important is he that he could be used as collateral?" Drake asked.
"Vegeta is the last prince of the Saiyan race and with him in hand Frieza was able to prevent any Saiyan that might have thought of gathering a rebellion from doing so, not that many would have. From what Vegeta has said, the Saiyans served Frieza rather faithfully. However, they eventually became more powerful than Frieza was comfortable with them being and he annihilated their planet along with almost every single member of the race. As far as we know the Saiyan race now consists of a single full blooded individual and two half-bloods," Gohan explained.
"One of which would be you I assume?"
Gohan froze. "How…?"
"Several things actually, though your reaction just now was the confirmation," the scientist said. "Mt. Paozu is several thousand kilometers from West City and it would take several hours even one way on the fastest means of transportation on and off the market and the fighters at the Cell Games could move at speeds far faster than the human eye can follow as well as fly which suggests that they can outpace even the fastest of the prototype vehicles I've been working on in my spare time. Secondly, the rather noticeable indents you left in the casing of the control panel shortly after mentioning this Frieza's penchant for cruelty shows you have strength far stronger than the average adult, let alone a child your age. The third clue towards the truth is that your hair style is quite similar to that of the boy who defeated Cell, sans the golden coloration and more pronounced spikiness. This inconsistency is of course remedied by the fact that the lavender haired man, who I know for a fact had Saiyan blood in him, performed a transformation in which his hair turned golden and rather noticeably spiked."
"Huh," Gohan muttered, surprised that he had already given away so many clues without even trying, though it hadn't been him that had let it be known that he lived in the area near Mt. Paozu. Bulma had certainly been right in thinking that the members of the SIRD could quickly put the pieces together if he didn't actively try to conceal his nature.
"Now that that cat is out of the bag, if I could return the conversation to our previous topic?" Drake asked. "You mentioned that Frieza ran an empire. Is there a possibility that you can display how expansive it was?"
Gohan blinked before turning his attention back to the console. "Funnily enough I was actually looking for—Ah! There it is." Gohan pressed a series of buttons on the console and the image shown by the machine focused in on sizable portion of the galaxy. Within moments a good deal of the screen was overlaid by a purple coloring.
"The areas covered in purple are roughly the areas that were controlled by the Kold Empire. If I zoomed the image in we would probably be able to see more specifically which planets or solar systems it contained and such," Gohan explained.
"Fascinating," Drake's eyes lit up with scientific curiosity as Gohan fiddled with the view. The two of them lost track of time as their fascination with the surprisingly in depth plethora of information machine held consumed them. They were only interrupted by the sudden sound of the P.A. system turning on.
"Hey there you two. I know you're probably busy with something or another but I just wanted to let you know that there's food ready compound's cafeteria. Taking into consideration how your father ate I've decided to give you a fifteen minute head start to avoid ruining the other employees' appetites Gohan."
Gohan perked up at the mention of food. His appetite was nothing compared to what his father and Vegeta could put away on average but he still ate several times what a normal human did, especially now that he'd taken up training again. He reached the door faster than the eye could follow and seemed ready to bolt when he turned back towards Drake. "Are you coming?"
The lizard man couldn't decide whether or not he was more shocked by his first personal viewing of someone showcasing superhuman ability had happened courtesy of a boy who probably wasn't even in his teens yet, or the fact that its trigger had been little more than the promise of food. After a moment he regained his composure.
"Yes of course, though I'll have to ask you to be my guide," he said, walking towards the door where Gohan was still impatiently waiting. "I don't quite know my way around yet and would rather avoid getting lost if I can help it."
A/N: And that's the end of Chapter 7. What did you all think of Evan now that he's had more than a tiny bit of characterization and has gotten the chance to openly interact with several of the characters? I'm hoping I've made certain aspects of his personality clear enough to catch.
I decided shortly before starting to write this chapter that I was going to give the anthropomorphic animal population of the DBZ world a bit of representation. Mammalian creatures tend to have a lot more representation but the Red Ribbon Army did have several crocodile/alligator men in it so I thought why not go with a Komodo dragon? My after the fact justification for not making note of it in the previous chapter is that Evan has been working in Capsule Corp for a few months by this point and is relatively desensitized to the "out of the norm" and doesn't pay it too much attention. That and he was far too excited with the meeting's premise.
On a semi-related note I decided to actually go and read the original Dragon Ball. I know that it's common knowledge that he survived a pistol shot to the head the first time he and Bulma meet, but within a few chapters of that he's already survived an ax to the head and some sort of sub-automatic gun barrage to the back from Bulma as well XD. It's also somewhat disturbing to realize that the merciful Goku everybody knows from DBZ probably has the second highest kill count of the group's fighters. I'd hazard a guess at his kill count being anywhere from the low tens to nearly a hundred depending on how many of the Red Ribbon Army members he killed in total. It certainly didn't look like many of those attacked by him in his raid on their base survived, and pupiless eyes tends to be more often a sign of being dead rather than unconsciousness from what I can recall in the case of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
Oh and for those of you wondering, 1 kilo = ~2.2 lbs.
Be sure to let me know what you think :D