She felt the water run over her hands as she scrubbed the fifth bowl in her stack. The water was almost too hot, but not quite. The terry cloth rag made circles over a bowl that, to be honest, was already clean when she had started. It was dusty. She reasoned to herself. It was the fifth bowl she grabbed after cleaning all of the plates, two pots, and few drinking glasses. This task had been preceded by laundry, floor scrubbing and table polishing. Chores were good, they were predictable, they didn't go flying off wearing body armor to intercept evil galactic overlords.
Chi Chi looked down at the bowl in her hands, realizing she hadn't been moving for some time and the skin on her hands was red. Turning off the tap and placing the bowl in the drying rack she took a deep breath. It had been two hours since Gohan had flown off. There was nothing left to clean, nothing left to keep her busy. To keep her mind from wandering. How many 25 year-old women had worry about their sons dying in battle? She thought.
"No!" Saying it out loud felt good. Her son was not dead. When he got home, because he was coming home, that was another story. She was going to burry him under enough books to keep him from flying off and causing her worry until he was 30. She reached around and felt for the apron ties at her back. In her earlier frustration she had tied them uncomfortably tight and they were digging into her waist through the layers of clothing. She tugged on the end and they came lose allowing her to remove the apron. She draped it over the back of a chair and stuck her hand under her shirt feeling the indent the strings had left just under her ribs. In her earlier frenzy she hadn't felt them but now it was clear she had rubbed her skin raw. Another deep breath, this one unrestricted. Chi Chi closed her eyes and rested her hand on the back of the kitchen chair. Her son would come home. He would be fine.
"He's the worlds' strongest kid. He will be fine." Again it felt good to say it out loud. As did the breeze on her face. Chi Chi's eyes snapped open. The door and windows were closed, where was the breeze coming from? She looked around and confirmed that everything was still shut tight. But there was a wind inside her home, and it was getting stronger.
"What in the world?" Her eyes darted around as the breeze built to a miniature tornado. The room darkened and a low moan started to emanate from the center of the vortex. Chi Chi shielded her head as objects began to fly around the room. The dishes, which had been previously drying, were tossed up and shattered against the walls. One of the shards flew at her and sliced open her forearm making a shallow cut perpendicular to the line of her bone. The warm blood began seeping out, soaking into her shirt sleeve. Along with the pain of the cut she felt something akin to static electricity all along her skin. It was crackling in the air and like the wind, getting stronger. The swirling mass of wind and energy was pulling everything, including ChiChi towards it. First the smaller objects like the dishes, and the fabric of her clothing. Her apron lifted off the back of the chair and whipped into the air. Next the chairs started to move, Chi Chi could hear them scraping across the floor.
She picked her eyes up and squinted towards the center of the room, where this mysterious pull was coming from. There in the center of the vortex was a black sphere at the moment no larger than a baseball, but growing. The more it grew, the stronger the winds got.
She was not about to get sucked in there, and if she stayed that was exactly what was going to happen. Chi Chi bolted for the door, the moment she moved however the wind at least doubled in strength and she lost traction on the wood floor. She landed hard cracking her chin and splitting it. Her teeth clamped together and the pain shot up from her mouth through her jaw.
"No! No way!" She screamed as she pushed herself up and scrambled for the door again. This time she made it, but just as she reached the door nob the wind picked up yet again along with the energy crackling throughout the room. Her feet were picked up from underneath her and if it weren't for her grip on the nob she would have been pulled back to the black ball sucking away at her home. Chi Chi screamed and reached her other hand for the door. Her fingers were slipping on the cool round metal. She tried to grip harder, to find those tiny grooves where the ball connected to the rod on which it rotated. Hoping to find some purchase, anything to keep her from being pulled back to what ever had appeared. Then she felt her hair come lose. The tie holding it back was pulled out and at that sensation she looked back. That was a mistake. The sight she was met with made her temporarily lose focus on her grip. That was all it took to send her feet first into swirling, crackling, three foot wide black ball of energy in the middle of her home.
The second Chi Chi hit the ball she too began to spin. It felt like she was being pushed at all angles by competing winds. Her body spun and twisted and her limbs flung around her with such force she thought they might be ripped from their sockets. All the while she screamed. Screamed for help, screamed for her son for her husband and then just screamed. As she tumbled through the wind and black her thoughts seemed to swirl as well. What is happening? Where am I going? Will Gohan be ok? Will what ever this is pull him in too?
Then everything stopped when she slammed into something solid. She landed facedown with such force that she bounced and rolled three times before coming to a stop.
"You are not Son Goku." A low menacing voice called out. Chi Chi's head throbbed as she tried to stand. She could taste blood in her mouth and the wind had been knocked out of her. On top of that her throat was raw from screaming. Through all of it her mind latched onto her husbands' name.
"You told me the portal would open in the home of Son Goku." The voice said, this time it sounded like who ever was speaking was facing in another direction. Chi Chi turned her head towards the voice. As her eyes began to focus again she could dimly make out a huge, imposing but vaguely human shape about twenty feet from her.
"It did your majesty. It seems our timing was a bit off." This voice was high and grating. Like the squawking of a shrill bird. Chi Chi pushed herself up to her hands and knees. She could feel a cold stone floor under her fingers. It was rough on her skin, rough enough even to feel digging into her knees through her pants. She opened her mouth and spat out blood. At some point she had bitten her tongue and split her lip. Now that the world wasn't spinning she began to orient herself. The room she was in was cold and dark. Judging by the echo of the voices it was also large, and most likely stone. When she looked down she could make out strange symbols and patterns painted on the floor.
"Explain. How did poor timing bring us this woman?" The low voice spoke again. "Woman, who are you? What is your name?" This time it spoke to her again. More than spoke. There was power intertwined in those words and Chi Chi felt her own words ripped from her throat before she could stop herself.
"Son Chi Chi." Her voice was hoarse and raw.
"Son Chi Chi. What is your relation to Son Goku?" Again some power in these words pulled hers out.
"I am his wife."
"Wife you say." The power was gone, these were just words this time. Spoken slowly, as if pondering what the voice would do with this information.
"Majesty, as to your earlier question. The seers were not wrong. The place was correct however something interfered with the timeline. Son Goku should have been in that place at that time having returned to earth and intercepted the warlord Freeza. However something has altered events from their previous path. The seers see a new path now." This was the high voice again. It was now attempting to placate the powerful one.
"I see. Place the woman in a cell. We shall see what worth to us she may yet have." At this Chi Chi heard two sets of heavy footstep approaching her. Then she was lifted up from underneath her arms. Her feet scrambled to get underneath her, but her legs would not support her weight. They trembled and bent in unnatural ways before giving out entirely. She tried to lift her head and open her eyes as the two half dragging, half carrying her passed the spot where the voices had come from. However it was no use, whatever energy she had she had used when she had tried to stand. Her head rose maybe an inch before flopping down like a rag doll.
Again she thoughts began to swirl. Where am I? What's going on? What do they want with Goku? With that last question she felt surge of panic followed by the embrace of sleep as she passed out.