Dead And Gone To Hell

Chapter Five.

Breaching The Veil

Gohan shifted from one foot to another uneasily, not knowing how to deal with this new development. The preteen had experienced things that would have brought grown men to their knees. Yet, he had handled everything with calm indifference, always stepping up to the plate when the time called for him to play a protector to the planet he called home.

In a short twelve year period, he had been in more life-threatening battles than he cared to count, travelled to outer space, been kidnapped twice, watched his father die three times and killed one of the universe's strongest threats to mankind.

As it stood, he was the strongest sentiment being on his planet, possibly the whole universe. That was a lot of responsibility for a boy to shoulder and normally he would have thought up a strategy to counter whatever fate threw at them but this time his mind was blank.

Gohan had brains, sure, he was quite possibly one of the smartest up and coming minds on planet Earth, only coming behind a few particularly smart scholars and of course his godmother - Bulma Briefs. He was a strategist first. His time with Piccolo in the wilderness at the tender age of four had taught him it was unwise to rush into battle without a strategy but right now the halfling was tempted to throw all caution to the wind and rush into Kami-knows where they were keeping his loved ones and blow the full place apart in his quest to have them home safely.

Of course, that would help if he could sense them.

A roar of agony caused Gohan to whirl round and look upon his father with shock. The kind-hearted man Gohan had known all his life had turned into something he did not even recognize.

Goku's trademark black hair was shifting rapidly from black to the legendary golden hue that was associated with the super saiyan transformation. Every time his hair would light up golden, the man's head would snap backwards revealing a pair of cold turquoise eyes. Then Goku would seem to loose the will to hold the transformation and his head would fall forward, his hair and eyes reverting to normal.

If Gohan wasn't so strong himself, he was sure he'd be halfway across HFIL by now with the amount of energy Goku was exerting.

"Dad?" He attempted to shake his father from his stupor.

Nothing.

"We'll get them back, we'll make them pay!" Gohan promised, attempting to reassure himself and his father at the same time.

At that point in time Goku resembled for only the second time in his life, his true heritage. A true Saiyan. A revenge-seeking monster.

Goku stood up, his bangs shielding his eyes from Gohan's view. The demi-saiyan peered up at his father through black eyes too old for his face. Goku turned and smiled at his son, but the smile didn't reach his eyes and he attempted to hide this by ruffling his son's hair affectionately.

Gohan's eyes narrowed, seeing straight through his father's charade but choosing not to comment. His father's aura was still radiating anger, disappointment and above all danger. His very presence was letting all the inhabitants of HFIL know why Saiyans were considered the danger of the universe and why Frieza probably did a good thing by wiping all but four out of existence.

"They're here aren't they?" Goku asked emotionlessly.

"Yes." Gohan replied simply, not needing to ask whom his father was referring to.

"Good."

In the blink of an eye, Goku had raised his hand and released from his outstretched appendage a torrent of energy, which surged toward a nearby cliff blowing it up in the space of two seconds. As the blast connected, those quick enough leapt from their hiding place and took to the skies for solace. Those who were unlucky enough not to have speed on their side were tossed from the impact site like rag dolls, their forms littering the skies as they either regained control of their flight or crashed into the unforgiving ground.

Gohan resisted the urge to question his father on his motives.

"YOU!" Two pairs of eyes shot up to the skies to see the man who so very resembled his son hovering over them, pointing a finger shaking with unquenchable rage. "You two are Super Saiyans? What is the meaning of this and how do you explain the treason you committed by attacking your own people? My army?"

Goku returned the heated glare with nothing but a levelled glance. "You should not be talking about treason to me when it seems you have a traitor in your ranks."

King Vegeta's face turned purple. "WHAT?! How dare you hope to assume that there is a traitor in the Saiyan army when all have swore an oath of fealty! You are nothing but a third class embarrassment who-"

"This third class embarrassment could send you to the regeneration furnace in the blink of an eye." Goku said in a monotonous voice.

The King's mouth opened and closed attempting to sprout words that his brain couldn't form. A large vein throbbed on his forehead further expressing his outrage. His full form shook with rage and if Gohan didn't know any better, he would have thought the King was about to burst into Super Saiyan.

"My King." A voice said suddenly, breaking the Saiyans out of their stalemate.

"Rise Bardock." King Vegeta said neutrally, waving his hand as the strongest Saiyan second only to himself rose from his kneeling position. "What troubles you warrior?"

Bardock cleared his throat nervously. "I mean no disrespect to the throne sire, but perhaps it would be wise to enquire of Kakarot what the enemy is planning, what we are up against?"

King Vegeta flushed red. "Yes, very well. Kakarot?"

"We don't know." Goku said flatly.

Gohan jumped into the conversation before things got anymore heated. "What my father meant to say was that we're not completely sure what we're up against but we think a saiyan, possibly a group of them are double agents—"

"Absurd!" King Vegeta spat.

"—however we cannot be sure. We think it has something to do with Frieza and Cell. They've sunk low; this isn't just about getting back at you Saiyans for what you've done in the past. They know we're here and they've somehow found a way to enter the living realm for a short period of time."

"What would entering the living realm do?" King Vegeta asked.

"Nothing. The veil that separates the living from the dead is too powerful for someone like Frieza or even Cell to penetrate. It's the same concept as destroying a soul, it can be done but the amount of pure energy that it takes to actually accomplish this is massive. Even Cell doesn't have all that energy, not to mention it would be tainted."

"And how do you know so much about this boy?" The royal suddenly questioned.

Gohan blushed. "My teacher was former Kami of the Earth. He knew a lot more about the otherworld workings than he liked to admit."

"Did they do anything when they entered the realm of the living?"

"No." Gohan lied smoothly.

King Vegeta stared at the demi-saiyan for a moment, trying to gauge his honesty. Then, shrugging the King took off in a blaze of blue glory toward the mountainous palace they called home in dark, desolate HFIL.

The only one to stay behind was Bardock; he stared at his young grandson emotionlessly.

"Why did you lie?"

Gohan's eyes widened for a fraction of a second until he brought them under control. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"I think you do. I know two females and two brats came out of that portal, one looked like Kakarot and the other suspiciously like King Vegeta. Now, as the King's been dead for the best part of thirty years, I highly doubt it's his brat. Which leaves only one other person who could have sired the infant - the Prince."

Gohan didn't know what to say. "I-I..I? What? How do you know that? You weren't even here when the portal was opened so there was no way you could have saw it."

"Oh, I saw it. Just not in the way you think." Bardock murmured, tapping his temple ominously. "As a loyal solider I have to ask why you lied to the King?"

Goku looked round at his father, who met his stare with an emotionless glance. Was this what it was really like to have a father? All those years growing up after his grandfather had died, he had been lonely. He'd lie out at night under the stars and wonder just who his parents were and what they were like. Of course that was before he found out the truth - his parents were murderers.

He nodded in greeting. "Kakarot."

"The reason we didn't tell the King is because the black haired woman and the little boy are my family - my wife and son. The other two, were Bulma and Trunks - Vegeta's wife and son." Goku informed him gravely.

"Great oozuro! Prince Vegeta took a mate?!"

Goku nodded. "What's so surprising about that? There was a woman on the throne next to the King when we were in the hall wasn't there? Isn't that the Queen?"

Bardock barked a laugh. "Lady Onya? No! She's the Prince's dam. She doesn't have any say over the empire at all. Heck, there hasn't been a queen in over two millennium. She's the daughter of a noble and was powerful in her own right when she was alive. The King only used her for her eggs to grow the young Prince."Gohan shuddered. "That's sick."

"It's our ways." Bardock shrugged nonplussed. "However what I fail to understand is your inability to go after the brats. That is the heir and the mate of the Prince. You lied to the King, he's killed for less."

"If we told them who Bulma and Trunks really were they would have raced after them and gotten themselves and Bulma and Trunks killed in the process. Try explaining that to a temperamental Saiyan Prince who is no doubt going to tear through the seven layers of HFIL himself just to ensure his families safety." Gohan said.

"Why would the Prince do such things for a human women and a half-breed brat?"

"Love." Goku said simply.

"Love?" Bardock echoed rolling the familiar word around on his tongue.

The word was so foreign to him. There wasn't such a word in the Saiyan language and he was hard pressed to figure out what the word actually meant.

"Maybe I'll tell you what love truly is, if you tell me how you knew about my family coming through the portal." Bargained Gohan.

Bardock scowled at being outsmarted by a preteen but slowly his face stretched into a feral grin. "You've got yourself a deal, kid."

"I'm going to go warn Yemma." Goku announced suddenly, raising two fingers to his forehead as a concentrated look took over his features.

"Why?" Bardock enquired.

Goku grinned. "Because pretty soon he's going to have one peeved off Vegeta in his office."

With that said Goku's form flickered a few times before disappearing. Bardock, leapt back in surprise, blinking repeatedly as his brain tried to process what his eyes had just witnessed.

"What in all HFIL?" He murmured.

"Instant transmission."

"But he shouldn't be able to transport out of HFIL. It's impossible to get out once you get in, it's a one way thing!"

"We don't know how it works either. Perhaps it's because my father's not supposed to be down here to begin with, because he's never committed a sin worthy enough to condemn him to this desolate existence. He's never committed mass genocide."

Bardock shrugged. "Come on kid, let's connect you with your roots."

{ - On the living plain, - }

Before the abduction.

"Goten! Trunks! Lunch time!" Chichi called, her voice echoing loudly through the vast halls of capsule corp.

Almost immediately after her shout, two colourful blurs appeared at her feet, puddles of drools already appearing at their feet as they took in all the food that was laid on the dining table for the taking.

Bulma sat at the other end of the dinner table, as far away from the eating saiyans as possible. Experience had taught her that unless one wanted to lose a limb, it was wise not to get between any person with Saiyan blood and food. She clutched the coffee mug tightly in her hands, swirling the brown liquid around and watching with morbid fascination. Chichi had taken the death of her husband and son remarkably well. Actually she had taken it too well.

When Vegeta had first came home and delivered the news that the two had died in battle, Chichi had of course broken down in tears and clutched her little son to chest and rocked him back and forward for about an hour solid. However, after the hour was up, the Son matron had stood up and declared she had to start on lunch for the boys. Bulma of course hadn't been complaining when she had offered to cook. Cooking was not her forte.

"Will Vegeta be home for dinner?" Chichi asked cheerily.

Bulma blinked up at her friend and shook her head slowly. "No. He's gone up to the lookout with Piccolo to see if they can get King Kai to contact the planet Namek to wish Goku and Gohan back."

Chichi did not say anything at the revelation but instead busied herself by cleaning the stack of dishes the two infants had already began to stack up.

Suddenly a loud crash from the hallway just outside the kitchen door caused both women to leap out of their chairs in alarm and even caused the two demi-saiyans to stop eating. Bulma scaled the coffee in her haste and cursed fluently as the liquid burned her wrist.

"Dad?" She called.

There was no answer to indicate that it was Dr. Briefs who had caused the disturbance. Of course, loud noises, crashes and even the odd explosion or two were a common occurrence at Capsule Corp. However, this time, Bulma just couldn't put her finger on it but it felt different somehow.

"Children?" Chichi questioned uneasily as she saw her two year old son suddenly position himself in front of her. Trunks doing the same in front of his mother. "What's happening?"

"I dunno mamma, but their energy feels icky. Papa taught me how t' sense peoples life forces but these feel scary." Goten explained.

"Uhuh! They're giving me a headache mum." Trunks agreed, pouting slightly as he rubbed his forehead.

Chichi and Bulma shared a sidelong glance with each other as fear gripped their very cores. They knew from experience that if an energy sensor felt somebody's energy was bad then it was wise to steer clear of them because they were most likely out just to cause death and destruction.

The Son matron didn't even have the opportunity to voice her unhappiness on her husband teaching their youngest son martial art techniques at such a young age, as the kitchen door suddenly glowed a bright white before exploding and sending shards of wood in all directions.

The two women let loose a piercing scream and dove under the table for cover, grasping their respective childrens ankles and dragging them under moments later as it became apparent that they weren't going to come of their own free will.

Goten and Trunks struggled mercilessly against their mothers iron type grips.

Bulma could feel the wetness behind her closed lids. The fear that gripped her was paralyzing. This was not her thing. She wasn't the one on the battlefield, she was the non-combatant of the group. She was the wife of one of the strongest defenders of planet Earth and possibly the whole universe.

Their temporary shelter did not last long. Mere moments after the door had been blown up, the table above them also suffered the same fate. Instinctively, Bulma threw her body over her son to shield him, although in her mind she knew his tough Saiyan skin could do that just as well.

"Get up!" A voice growled from above them.

"No!" Bulma answered with as much ferocity, struggling to keep her much more powerful son contained under her fragile body.

There was another flash of light and Bulma felt the right side of her face explode in blinding pain. She flew across the room, hitting the wall hard and sliding down. The blue-haired beauty attempted to open her right eye but to her horror found it swollen shut and could only squint through her left eye.

What she saw made her breath catch in her throat.

There was her son, her little three year old boy attempting to land punches on a six foot tall, blue skinned humanoid alien. Out of nowhere, Goten leapt in and delivered a roundhouse kick to the alien which made him stumble slightly. More out of shock than anything, the alien took a step back and glared at the two children who now stood side by side shaking in fear. The adrenaline rush had worn off.

Faster than Bulma could ever hope to track, the aliens leg shot out, catching the two boys in the stomach and sending them in a tangle of limbs toward a few of the remaining cupboards. They smashed through it and a dull thud could be heard as they connected with the wall behind.

"Trunks! Goten!" Bulma managed to croak.

"My baby! You've already taken my husband and son, you're not taking Goten too!" Chichi suddenly announced, launching herself with new vigour at another figure in the room Bulma hadn't noticed up until then.

The alien was shorter than his companion and yet again looked fairly humanoid in appearance. He had beady red eyes which sat at the bridge of an elongated snout. His skin was a muddy brown colour which vaguely reminded Bulma of the coffee in her cup.

Both wore a set of armour which Bulma was sure she'd seen somewhere before.

Chichi fell into a fighting style pretty quickly, after not training since the birth of Gohan almost thirteen years previous, it was obvious that she was rusty but she still knew her stuff! Throwing out a right hook, Chichi growled when it was blocked effortlessly and thrown back using her own momentum against her as she stumbled and fell onto her rear end. The brown skinned aliens fist shot out, catching her in the side of the head and sending her into the disturbing land of unconsciousness faster than she could blink.

"CHICHI!" Bulma cried, tears spilling from her eyes.

"Come on, wench." The alien who had struck her sneered, his voice was raspy and sounded weak in comparison to how hard he had hit her.

'VEGETA!' Bulma screamed in her head as the alien came closer and closer to her, looming over her ominously. He struck her hard in the side of the head and just before the blackness engulfed her completely, Bulma realised two things.

One, there was a halo floating above his head which meant he was dead - but that was impossible, right?

And two, she finally realised just where she'd saw that armour from. On Namek, Frieza and his soldiers around six years ago.

Vegeta, help …

{ The Lookout }

"— and after everything Goku's done for planet Namek, surely they would have no quarries with allowing us to use the dragon to restore him and his son to life?"

Vegeta had tuned out most of the conversation that the Namek was having with the nasally voiced Kai through the little green brat. All that mattered to him was having the third class clown back as soon as possible so he had a suitable sparring partner to test his abilities against. Nobody else on the planet could withstand his power, - well that was a lie, Gohan could, and could beat him down with both hands tied behind his back but Vegeta would never admit that - even the Namek would not put up a good fight anymore, he had to hold back anyways because the brat wouldn't be happy if he killed him.

One thing he didn't feel like dealing with was an emotionally unstable powerful boy like Gohan. He had seen firsthand what happened to those who pissed him off - they ended up on his shitlist. A place he had been once and would like very much not to go back. The kid was a schizophrenic powerhouse.

Two new energy signals suddenly appeared on the planet, causing Vegeta to cast a glance over the edge of the lookout and for Piccolo to stop his conversation with the Kai altogether.

"Vegeta, do you—"

"Yes Namek, I am not inapt." Vegeta snapped.

"They're energy signals are close to—"

"The woman!" Vegeta hissed suddenly, practically throwing himself off of the lookout in his haste to reach his mate.

From behind him, he could feel Piccolo's energy signal racing to make pace with him. He was doing quite good too, flying parallel to him until Vegeta suddenly glowed the legendary golden colour. There was a brief pause as the transformation took hold of his body and then Vegeta shot forward accompanied by a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier.

Piccolo was forced back by the shockwave.

In the ten minutes time Vegeta had taken to fly from one end of the world to another, he already knew it was too late. He dropped through the roof of Capsule Corp and landed in the kitchen which was where the confrontation had taken place.

A quick scan by his senses told him what he feared, Bulma and Trunks were not in the compound and an extensive search made his stomach drop - they weren't on the planet either.

Vegeta couldn't help but let out a feral growl at the wreckage that awaited him. There was no door left on its frame and bits of it were scattered all over the floor. The kitchen table which had previously seated many a family meal now lay in pieces in the four corners of the room. There were mini craters all over the floor as well as a large dent with cracked tiles on one wall, blood spotted around the point of impact on the wall. From the cupboards that previously lined the walls, there was now only two left still on the wall. Others lay in pieces or just weren't there altogether. Bits of food littered the walls as well as the floor.

A fight had broken out here and Vegeta wasn't even there to defend his own mate and heir. Letting loose a snarl, the Prince of all Saiyans punched the tiled floor, creating yet another crater to add to the carnage of the room.

"Saiyan?!" Piccolo said in a demanding tone as soon as he touched down by entering through the hole Vegeta had created in the roof.

"They were taken. I can't sense them on the planet." Vegeta murmured.

Piccolo's sharp mind quickly put the pieces of the puzzle together, his face pulled into a frown.

"We'll get them back Vegeta." Piccolo said in a surprisingly soft tone, tugging on Vegeta's shoulder to guide him back toward the lookout.

Vegeta hissed, batting the Piccolo's hand away furiously. "Don't dare touch me Namek! I will get the woman and the brat back and I will personally see to it that the cretin who dared to attack the house of Vegetasei meet his end by my hand alone!"

The Saiyan Prince stood up to his full height as the anger bubbled through his system. In response to his anger, a familiar golden aura began to lick at his body. His power rose, almost breaking to the surface of full on transformation when suddenly all went blank and the royal fell forward, his hair reverting back to its normal onyx colour before he crashed on the kitchen tiles.

Piccolo breathed a sigh of relief, lowering down and hoisting the surprisingly heavy man over his shoulder. That bought them some time for the moment, because if Piccolo had allowed Vegeta to carry on much further, he would have gone on a one man rampage which would have probably destroyed the very planet they all fought so hard to keep safe.

Slowly, Piccolo began to ascend through the dome shaped building until he was eventually just hovering over the top of it, surveying the damage. He breathed a deep sigh.

"We'll get them back Vegeta, all of them." He murmured to the unconscious body before turning and blasting off toward the lookout where Dende would most likely be waiting on them.