World Championships Saga, Part 5: False Prophets

Vegeta stared at his reflection, scrunching his nose as the last droplet of water trickled off and down into the sink. He half expected the mirror to warp into some magical trap any second, or to hear the wizard's voice in his head, but there was nothing. Calling out to Babidi hadn't baited the ancient mystic out of the shadows, and if it had upset any of his plans there was no sign of it. An air conditioning vent kicked on above him, frustrating Vegeta's senses further with cool air against his damp skin.

'This is my mess to clean up. The last thing I need is that damn Kakarott or the Namek getting involved.' He huffed, shaking his white glove dry and clenching his fists. 'But if the mess with Yamcha is any indication of what's to come, Babidi has laid far better traps for us than I expected. That bastard...'

Just outside, Yamcha was surrounded by medics, amazed at his sudden recovery. Goku's instant transmission had made the trip to Korin's and back in mere seconds, proving to all he could stay focused when a life depended on it. In spite of seeing the senzu work themselves, the doctors still insisted on a full inspection. That could mean they were either very thorough doing their job, or, Vegeta supposed, that they were slaves of Babidi meant to stall the Earthling fighter for some reason.

"Get away from him, you morons," came the Saiyan's voice unexpectedly. The scattering doctors were almost hurled aside by the miniscule, invisible kiai accompanied Vegeta's words. "Leave. You were already informed he's completely healed!" He turned to Yamcha. "Now, you! What else do you remember?"

The human looked a little rattled still, but smiled weakly. "Nothing except what I told everyone else a minute ago," he answered. "It had to be magic though, that I'm sure of. Strong too. I've been around that stuff before, but this was on a whole other level."

Vegeta mused silently, trying to piece any of it together. For what purpose had Yamcha been deliberately turned into an exploding man? If this was all just Babidi's attempt to get rid of him, nothing made sense. Whatever his true aim was, though, it would have to involve the tournament... and that inclusion in particular had the Saiyan prince puzzled.

He rolled back the sleeve of his glove, raising up his Imperial communicator to his mouth and sending a signal to his next in charge. Transmitting across interstellar space, and enabling phone call speeds for conversation, was something Bulma had figured out before her first trip to Namek—when she casually dialed up the Kame house landline from thousands of lightyears away. But somehow, Vegeta had never thought to ask her to look over his Imperial coms.

"Vegeta, milord, this is Oniya speaking," came a pleasant voice from the device. "To what do I owe the pleasure, sire?"

"Where is Broly?" the prince flatly asked.

"Chief Enforcer Broly is currently in the Eastern Quadrant, sire. Sector 187, in the Therian system. Shall I recall him?"

Vegeta flinched an eyebrow. He could blockade the planet all he wanted, but if Babidi wanted to flee Earth he could just as easily do it by teleportation. What good was an entire fleet when they could be bypassed so effortlessly?

"No, but have him report directly to me after he completes his mission. As for you and the reserves, make your way to Earth immediately. I need eyes and ears on the ground."

"Understood, milord," she answered, keeping her surprise hidden. Vegeta hadn't once in all these years requested their aid on his home planet, which meant whatever situation had arisen was to be considered with utmost seriousness. "With all haste, we should arrive by the end of the day."

Vegeta rolled his glove back down and made his way back towards the room where everyone else was gathered, not feeling much better about things. He wasn't surprised to find them all huddled around Yamcha, but he was curious as to why the towering fighter named Apollo was center among them. Entering the waiting area, he decided to hang back and leaned against the wall, listening from a distance.

"Again, I find it most undesirable to have to deliver you this news," the Shining One said, his head hanging low in a sigh. "I wish I'd never had the misfortune of encountering Shin, but I have no doubt the explosion was his doing."

Piccolo shared a worried look with Gohan, the pair of them being careful not to glance in the direction of Kibito or his short colleague. Vegeta was much more bold, darting his eyes at the odd couple. Strangely enough, the shorter being immediately met his gaze, as if expecting it. Shin's dark eyes concealed much, but one thing that was coming through now more than before was concern.

"I'll say this much," Piccolo finally added, quietly. "He's secretive to a fault. I recognize certain qualities of his energy, markers I learned back when I was guardian of the Earth. He's from Otherworld, and maybe even a Kai. Goku, have you ever heard of him?"

"Well no," Goku chimed in, "and he doesn't seem particularly bad to me. But maybe I just got used to sensing the energy there."

"That could be exactly what he wants us to think," his son quickly added. "I agree with Piccolo. I saw the look on Shin's face when Yamcha was attacked, it was almost as if he was expecting it..."

"The guy is pretty sketch, but does that for sure mean he's the one responsible?" Krillin asked in his usual tone. "I mean, Vegeta seems pretty convinced that it's that Babidi guy he was warning us all about."

"It very well could be," Piccolo said in hushed tones. "If I had to surmise the most likely scenario, it's that they are connected somehow. There's a much bigger picture here that we're missing."

"Wise words," Apollo said, after having been silent a moment. How well he had hidden his true intent from them! Babidi's magic was truly magnificent. Even better, he could feel the Supreme Kai nearby trying but failing to read his mind — the Kaioshin wouldn't find out his plans until it was too late! "Although, it seems the time for discussion has ended." He turned towards the announcement of the next match.

"Goku," Piccolo turned to the Saiyan, "we're up. If we don't participate, they may suspect something—whoever they are. For the moment, act natural, they may not know we're onto them."

"Right," the hero replied quietly. "I'll be keeping a close eye out, but I still had my sights set on fighting you in the ring again, Piccolo. I hope you're still up for it!"

"I'll try," Piccolo managed a smile for nostalgia's sake. But his mind was elsewhere.

Vegeta turned his head to the side, away from the Z fighters, fools that they were. They didn't know Babidi like he did, how cunning or manipulative he could be, to have fooled even the Prince of Saiyans. Then again, could he be sure that even they hadn't been put under some influential spell by the master wizard? Something unconscious? No, surely not.

"Pah. This is making me paranoid."

If Babidi had some scheme up his sleeve, some plan to eliminate him, why bother with the tournament? Why did any of this matter, ultimately? This whole mystery was infuriating, and he was sure it would somehow distract everyone from his presumed battle with Goku in the next round.

Piccolo and Goku had made their way into the ring and barely begun fighting, which Vegeta watched silently from the sideline. The Namek was immediately at a stark disadvantage, fighting sloppily and paying way too much attention to his surroundings. Kakarott, meanwhile, was demonstrating a level of poise and control that Vegeta had not yet seen from his rival. Indeed, the years training in Otherworld had been productive for the low-born Saiyan, and while only using his base form he was pushing the Namekian back on his heels.

"This is...amazing!" Videl stuttered. She understood what they were doing, how they were using their ki to move, block, attack, everything... and yet, she simultaneously understood nothing. "Gohan, I've never seen anything like this. They' fast...I can't even see them, can you?"

A familiar hand rested on her shoulder and helped focus her mind. "Hone in on their energy," Gohan instructed. "Your eyes are seeing it fine, your mind just isn't practiced at processing it. Shut your eyes for now and just feel their Ki, like this."

Their impromptu training session went unnoticed by anyone else in the stadium. For the announcer and spectators, the fight was jaw-dropping and amazing, a completely different version of the championship fight from thirty-four years earlier. In that battle, the tournament grounds had been completely destroyed by the battle between the enraged Piccolo Jr and the young Goku...and yet that battle had been tame compared to the power of this bout.

"Come on, Piccolo, I know you're way stronger than this," said Goku, landing on the ring with a grin. "Show me your real power, like you had against that dragon guy seven years ago."

The Namek couldn't seem to land a solid blow. "You know I would, Goku. That power... I haven't been able to tap back into it."

"Doesn't mean it's not still there," Goku continued his smirk into a new crouch. "Maybe you just haven't had a good enough fight to bring it back out since!"

With that, Goku dashed in again, pushing the white aura of his normal state to an even higher level of power. From the sidelines, Gohan suddenly gulped audibly. If his Dad's base power was this high, his Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2 forms were definitely spectacular—certainly above his own, he guessed. But the thought only made him smile, of course his Dad was the best.

Piccolo took the first punch in hand and swept it aside, dodging Goku's second and third follow-up blows in an impressive parry. Maybe he really could tap back into the power he'd had facing Majcnavn—then a shiver went down his spine and he thought he heard a cold whisper. Was it Shin, reading his mind? Perhaps it was the wizard Vegeta had warned of. A hard knee immediately struck his nose and Goku sent him face first into the ring with a left kick.

"Pah," Vegeta huffed. "The Namek was much stronger than this seven years ago, even without that strange powerup he should be at least a match for Kakarott's base form."

"He's just distracted, Vegeta," Gohan defended his teacher. "And I don't blame him, with everything going on. I'm starting to get antsy myself."

Vegeta opened his mouth to retort, but paused. Normally this would've been the perfect time to lecture Gohan on what it meant to be a true Saiyan warrior, but he too was distracted. As important as his rematch with Goku was, one thing stood above even that—finding a way to return his son's Ki to him.

Up in the ring, Piccolo had gathered himself, standing tall once more. But his countenance was different and his movements slow. Goku had charged in already, but screeched to a halt in midair just a mere foot in front of him.

"Um, is something the matter, Piccolo?"

"Yeah," the deep voice answered. "I can't shake this bad feeling I've got. I know you were excited about our fight, but you deserve a better rematch than this."

Goku's face remained stern, understanding the gravity of Piccolo's statement. He knew the Namekian to be one to take things seriously, but Goku wasn't the type to stop a fight based on bad vibes. Plus, Piccolo knew as well as he that this twenty four hours was their once in an after-lifetime opportunity to fight, before Goku would be returned to the Otherworld.

Piccolo turned his back and began walking to the ring's edge. "Don't let me stop you from enjoying yourself, Goku; today is special. I just hate I have to forfeit."

The announcer quickly hopped in to announce the assumed surrender, finding the result to be quite a surprise himself.

"Uh, Ladies and Gentlemen, I do believe that's it! Majunior appeared to be doing well, but if I heard correctly he just conceded the match!" He scampered towards them gripping the microphone and pushing up the rim of his glasses. "So with that, Goku advances! Folks, it looks like we're on to the next... oh my look at the time. We'll pause here for a quick intermission, everyone! Be back in a half hour!"

The crowd had been loving every second of the fight and clearly wanted more, though amazed and unsure of what they had seen, but they quickly remembered how hungry they were upon the mention of a break.


The loud gurgle came from the end of the long table, where Piccolo sucked the last drops of water through his straw. The rest of the table was abuzz with the sounds of grunting, chewing, and heavy breathing as the Saiyans consumed an army's worth of food.

"It's a shame...that no good cooks...end up in Otherworld," remarked Goku between bites.

"What do you mean, no cooks in otherworld?!" blurted his oldest son, who was stuffing fried rice into his face almost as fast as his father. "You don't mean they go to the Bad Place, do you?"

"No, it's just—" Goku paused to rip a monstrous chunk of meat directly off the bone and chew twice before swallowing "—that the people who end up in our part of Otherworld are all—" he popped half a melon into his mouth "—muscled up heroes and stuff. Although, King Kai is a pretty decent—"

"Kakarott is trying to say that only the strongest get to keep their bodies," grunted Vegeta, wiping the juices from a blue-rare steak off his jaw. "It takes years of endless training to develop the kind of power we have. No time for womanly duties like cooking."

Videl's eyes flashed. "Hey! Just because I can cook doesn't make me any less committed to training! I bet you couldn't cook that steak properly if your life depended on it!"

The table erupted in laughter at her boldness. Vegeta, who wasn't used to Earthlings other than Bulma speaking to him in such a tone, bristled for a moment before sating himself with another bowlful of soup. "For your information, I prefer my meat rare," he finally retorted once he had swallowed.

Apollo, who had been sitting alone near the group, smiled in restrained amusement. Unlike the others, he hadn't touched his meal.

The group's shared humor concealed a deeper unease, but they set themselves to eating, mostly in silence. The astounded servers were bringing out a fifth course when the two strange competitors in question finally approached. Everyone paused: even Goku managed to stop chewing momentarily.

"Excuse the interruption," Shin began, his demeanor still quite calm but a bit more rushed than before. "I'm afraid we may have gotten off on the wrong foot, I wanted to assure you all that we are not your enemy."

"Is that a fact?" Vegeta grumbled. His mind was still focused on Babidi. Across from him, Yamcha gulped and clenched his fists.

Shin quickly shot an eye at him, nodding slowly. He seemed unsure how to proceed, the room suddenly tense. "We were not the cause of your friend's accident, I assure you."

"Then tell us everything: who you really are, why you're here, what you want," Piccolo interjected quite confidently.

"And how could possibly have known about the Dragonspawn, or that we fought him?" Vegeta added.

Shin paused, glancing up as his red-skinned comrade, shaking his head slightly and then turning back to them. "I will reveal that and more to you soon, I give you my word... but for now you must trust me, the survival of the Earth, perhaps the entire universe, depends on it."

"As I predicted," came the voice of Apollo from nearby, earning a sudden harsh look from Shin. "A vague warning, void of any specifics. Haha, bold of you to assume these Earthlings could be manipulated so easily."

"Silence, demon!" Shin yelled, flustered, before realizing how he'd been perfectly manipulated.

"Master, come," Kibito said. "They will have to see for themselves. It is nearly time."

"See what for ourselves?" Gohan asked. "Our fight's up next. Do you plan on clueing us in then, huh?"

Kibito paused, turning back to his master. Shin turned to Gohan. "Whatever happens, it is imperative that you reveal your true power in the upcoming battle. Let nothing hold you back, Gohan."

"That won't be a problem," Son replied sternly. "I'll be ready; just be careful what you wish for."

As the pair left, the Z Fighters shared silent glances. Videl laced her arm around Gohan's, barely aware she was doing it but just wanting him to know she was there. She wasn't sure of her place in all this, only that she would stand beside Gohan through whatever he faced... and speaking of... where was her father? Probably off in his private quarters relaxing or watching clips of his old fights. Still, whatever this was, it felt like it might overshadow the tournament itself. Should she warn him?

The girl sighed, rolling her eyes at the mere inkling. She couldn't talk about any of this to him without mentioning Gohan. Her stress levels suddenly shot back up as the thought jolted her mind. What even were she and Gohan now? Friends, student and teacher, heroes, possibly more than friends? She knew where she stood beyond a shadow of a doubt, but did he feel the same way? There was too much going on at once.

Gohan got up from the table, having just been called to the arena. She tried holding onto his arm a second longer, but he wore a different countenance now. He was a protector, a defender of his friends, family, and planet, and while tender she now saw a new ferocity in his face.

"Thanks for waiting, everyone! Now let's get started with the seventh match of this competition: Kibito versus Gohan!"

Kibito and Gohan made their way, side by side, up the small staircase and into to the tournament ring. A few paces separated them as they turned to face one another, each fighter appearing quite serious.

'Well, whatever this guy's up to, I'm about to find out firsthand,' Gohan thought, crouching into an opening stance.

Kibito remained tall, eyeing him silently a moment before speaking. "Gohan, I wish to see your Super Saiyan powers firsthand, as we may be able to use them. Show them to me."

"Just what do you mean 'you may be able to use them?'" the teen asked, his eyes fixed on his opponent. "And how do you know so much anyway?"

"You'll know more in time. Show me your Super Saiyan power now." It was given as an order, not as a request, as if Kibito was not used to being questioned.

Just inside the competitor viewing area, Shin smiled. "Now it begins," he muttered. From behind, he began to approach the other Z fighters.

"They're not fighting," Krillin gulped. "What are they doing, they're just...talking?"

Goku turned to him, whispering. "Kibito wants to see him become a Super Saiyan."

"Indeed he does," Shin said loudly from behind them. "It is time. You do not need to worry about Gohan, he will be fine."

Krillin turned, nervous. Goku seemed more perplexed. Vegeta leaned against the wall, on guard.

Shin lowered his voice. "But no matter what happens, I want you to promise me you will stay out of the ring. Do you understand?"

"Wait, why?!" demanded Krillin.

"What do you want with Gohan?" Goku asked. He was guarded, but a bead of sweat had formed on his cheek.

"He wants to see his power," Piccolo replied, turning back to the ring.

"Kibito is not an opponent that requires Gohan's full power. He is really asking for it," Apollo said, coming up behind Shin.

The Supreme Kai's face twitched, but turned back to the Z fighters anxiously.

Gohan ground his teeth. Powering up all the way in front of so many people was a big deal. What would the kids at school think of him? Would people recognize him as the kid who defeated Cell?

The crowd was beginning to grow anxious, the two warriors having now stood still for well over a minute. Even the announcer was perplexed, and reminded them that the match had already begun. Then, with all eyes on Gohan, the youth lifted his fists to his waist and spread his feet.

Small sparks began to flicker at his feet, crackling around the tiles and hopping randomly throughout the ring. The Earth itself seemed to suddenly hold its breath as if tensing up.

"You wanna see me turn into a Super Saiyan? Fine, I'll do it. Just remember, you asked for it!"

Kibito's eyes had begun to widen, as had all the spectators, realizing something big was about to happen.

"Goku, I've got a bad feeling about this. I think Gohan's in trouble," Krillin murmured.

Shin stepped between their ranks. "Listen carefully. The instant Gohan transforms, I'm certain Spopovich and Yamu will try to attack him."

"What?" Goku turned.

"But as I've already told you, you must not try to help him," added the deity.

"I don't know what you're after, but, Gohan can take care of himself. He doesn't need any help from us."

"Yes, of course," Shin answered dryly.

"What makes you so sure that those two are going to attack Gohan?" asked Goku. Piccolo grunted, turning as well.

"Spopovich and Yamu are not yet aware of it, but Gohan is the one they are searching for. Don't worry, they don't want his life, only his energy."

"His energy?" Goku repeated.

Up in the ring, Gohan took in a deep breath. "Last chance for requests. Do you just wanna see a Super Saiyan, or should I take it up to the next level?"

"What's that? There's a level beyond Super Saiyan?" Kibito's eyes shot open wide.

"There is."

A sudden spherical shockwave burst out of Gohan's body, Kibito's hair rippling behind him. The tiles of the ring began to rattle and shake, dust and debris rising into the air inexplicably. Son Gohan bent low, clenching his fists tight in front of him. His onyx eyes had already brightened to a reflective blue-green as his hair stood tall in black rippling strands. A flicker of gold was accompanied by the tiles of the ring levitating into the air and even more blue bolts of electricity surrounding his arms and legs.

The crowd gasped in amazement, stunned to silence, while the Z Fighters smiled...all except Videl. Her head was swimming, both from the pounding in her chest and the overwhelming waves of ki she felt in Gohan's aura. It was different, now: not just a flood of power, but a sharp, crisp anger she had never felt from him.

With a booming roar, Gohan's energy burst to its full Super Saiyan 2 glory, a massive blaze of golden light blinding everyone momentarily. His golden aura shimmered around him like fire, crackling intensely with blue streaks of lightning. The youth's hands dropped back to his sides, and with them every tile that had lifted in the air fell back in its proper place.

He smiled. It felt good to reach deep into himself and pull out his true power. How long had it been? "There, now you know what I can do. Is this good enough for you?"

Kibito said nothing, but his face was a mask of awe.

"What happens now? Should I start fighting?" There was an unsubtle threat in the teen's voice, as his Saiyan instincts crowded to the surface. His craving for battle was at the forefront of his mind.

'What enormous energy... he is far stronger than I expected...' Kibito thought silently.

"Well," Vegeta smirked. "Gohan has a lot more power now than when he fought Cell."

Goku turned to the prince, nodding in approval.

"At least your son hasn't gone soft in these peaceful times."

Shin turned to them. "Yes, as the strongest, his power is of utmost importance to us. The only question is... will it be enough?"

Vegeta huffed aloud to mark his objection to Gohan being labeled strongest, but Goku quickly butted in. "Enough for what?"

"For the coming battle."

Piccolo turned to Shin, frustrated. "If you what you've told us is true, you'll have earned our trust."

"Wait and see..." the Supreme Kai answered.

Kibito looked around, scanning the nearby area for Yamu and Spopovich's attack. Shin, meanwhile, prepared his paralysis technique, ready to intervene and prevent Gohan from stopping them. Kibito would quickly heal the boy's lost energy, and afterwards they would follow the two henchmen to Babidi's spaceship — hopefully, they could confront the wizard before Majin Buu could be released.

"What's the matter?" came Gohan's voice, deepened by his ascension. "Afraid now that you've seen what I'm really made of?"

Kibito continued waiting, arms at his sides, eyes and senses directed outwards. But with each passing second he began to feel inward doubt. What were Babidi's slaves waiting on? Gohan's energy was ripe for the taking. The bait had been set!

"Fine then," the half-Saiyan said sternly. 'If you won't make the first move, then I WILL!"

A taunting voice suddenly and sharply shot through Kibito's mind. 'You fools!'

Kibito realized it was Babidi and his eyes widened in terror. He saw Gohan rushing toward him, almost faster than he could perceive.

'Did you really think I would fall prey to such a pathetic, obvious ploy?' came the wizard's laugh.

The Super Saiyan's elbow collided with Kibito's chin, smashing his cheekbone in 3 places and launching him out of the ring in a bullet trajectory. The Kaioshin's servant was unconscious from the blow alone, before concussing the outer wall of the grandstands like a ragdoll and falling to the grass like a sack of potatoes.

Supreme Kai froze, trembling with his mouth agape. What had just happened? Piccolo and the others turned to him, while Shin's mind shuddered, backpedaling.

"Gohan, what have you done..." his words came, barely audible.

"Wow, what a buildup, ladies and gentlemen!" the announcer yelled. "After all that, Gohan wins with a single incredible attack!"

"'re certain they'll attack Gohan, huh?" Piccolo uttered, crossing his arms. The other Z Fighters turned towards Shin, upset.

"Please... wait!" Supreme Kai muttered. "There must be some explanation, I was certain they would..."

Out of the corner of his eye, Shin suddenly caught sight of Yamu and Spopovich. They stood at a distance around the ring, and in that second shot the Kai a malicious mocking smirk. They knew, somehow. How could they have known? Did that mean the wizard Babidi was already here at the tournament? Yes, they weren't clever enough on their own to have avoided the trap, it had to be!

"Don't take this the wrong way," Goku said, less sternly than the others, "but I think it's best for you to leave."

"There's no need for that," Apollo said, chuckling. "I will take care of him myself. Let's settle this in the ring, Shin, shall we? And when I win, you must leave these honorable warriors in peace, do you understand?"

Supreme Kai glanced over at Kibito, being carted off to the medical wing. He needed to heal his friend, and quickly, but his own match had already been called. This was all happening so quickly! He could stay, fight Apollo, and somehow try to convince the Earthlings he was on their side, or retreat for now and try to conceive a new strategy. But this so-called Shining One had the humans wrapped around his finger already—the only way for them to see the truth now was to defeat him. The Supreme Kai's mind raced, knowing full well what he was about to gamble.

"Very well, Apollo," he sighed. "I will fight you."

"Excellent!" the Shining One laughed. "Fear not, my friends, soon this will all be over!"

Vegeta remained silent. This would not soon be over, not for him. Apollo, Shin, Kibito, Spopovich, all these fools...he didn't trust a single one of them. As far as he could tell, any one of them could be working for Babidi. Soon the Saiyan Emperor's fleet would arrive, along with overwhelming numbers of foot-soldiers. He just had to bait out the wizard somehow, which meant for now playing along.

"Oh, Dabura Dabura!" Babidi squealed with delight, speaking telepathically with his minion. "You've really outdone yourself this time."

"Thank you, Master. Soon, not only the pathetic Servant but the Supreme Kai himself will be out of our way for good!"

"Shining One indeed," the wizard laughed. "I only hope Majin Buu is able to gobble up all that Kai's delectable energy—I'm not certain if those dirty gods and their tainted ki will be acceptable to my pet."

As he spoke, a pair of tournament medics suddenly appeared behind Babidi, delivering Kibito on a stretcher.

"Master Babidi, what do you want us to do with him?"

The wizard turned, grinning wickedly, seeing Kibito's eyes just barely regaining consciousness.

"Paparapapa!" came his incantation, poofing Kibito's weakened body into a pile of dust. The particles then collected into a small glass bottle that Babidi placed nearby. "Can't have you returning to Otherworld to warn anyone of my plans, now, can I?" the wizard cackled. "No, you can wait here patiently. Who knows, if you're good I may even give you the pleasure of being killed by Majin Buu himself!"

Babidi glanced back to his crystal ball, two figures in the ring staring one another down intensely. The fight was about to begin.

"Dabura! Defeat the Supreme Kai and bring him to me within the last inch of his life!"

Apollo smiled, turning to face Shin in the ring. "It will be done, Master."

Greetings, everyone, and Merry Christmas! We're glad to bring you the next installment of BoD here, as a little gift to you all. We've loved highlighting the incompetence of the Supreme Kai—in canon we all know, as David puts it, 'the release of Buu was a comedy of errors'. Our depiction of Babidi was introduced to Vegeta in advance so that he had to take extra precautions, but while our version of Supreme Kai knew Gohan's strength in advance he failed to do any kind of recon work on the Earth. Now, Shin finds himself in the worst possible scenario, up against Apollo (who as many of you figured out, was the fallen angel Dabura all along, disguised by Babidi's magic). Things are definitely not going to go the similarly to canon from here on out, so be prepared for anything!

Thank you all as well for continuing to read, comment, and enjoy. We see every new review and wish we could respond to every one. Life is busier than ever-David is in law school and spends far too much time writing stuff that isn't Bringer of Death-but we still find time to talk through new plot-lines and plan the upcoming chapters.

Q: If Goku was flying hundreds of mph and he teleported somewhere else would he still be moving hundreds of mph? What about if he teleported into a moving object like a plane while he was motionless?
A: Instant Transmission teleports to the same reference frame as the destination by locking onto an energy signal. That's a good thing, too; otherwise, Goku would arrive at the same speed as where he came from. Earth is rocketing around the sun at 30 kilometers per second and the sun is whipping around the galaxy at 150 kilometers per second; if Goku teleported to another part of the galaxy (or to another realm) with his original velocity, the landscape would smash into him at 400 times the speed of a bullet. Whatever energy signal Goku locks onto (for example, King Kai at the end of the Cell Saga in canon), he arrives with the same speed as that signal.

Vegeta's move, Spacial Rifting, is a little different because it acts more like a portal, allowing Vegeta to maintain his own body's momentum through the moment of teleportation. This means he can build up speed and smash into someone. But it's only his relative velocity compared to his surroundings that transfers. He cannot carry a charged energy attack through the teleportation like Goku can, though.

Q: What is the maximum superluminal speed that the Bringer of Death Spaceship and Cell can travel at during slipstream?
A: You can always increase to a higher multiple of the speed of light by adding more power, though it yields diminishing returns. In our universe's conception of slipstream, the ability to slide through spacetime has a lot to do with math; you can speed without requiring more energy if you solve the math that causes spacetime to drag on matter. Future Bulma fully solved these equations, allowing not only full teleportation, but time travel itself.

Q: Is evil some quantifiable "thing" in the DBZ universe and not just a label? Examples being the Brave Sword being effective against 'malevolent power' and somehow being able to tell the difference! Babidi's magic that allows him to control people with 'evil in their hearts', why is that? Janemba, a being born from evil energy extracted from cleansed souls, I'm sure you'll dismiss him as non-canon! I know this is a bit philosophical but that's what happens when you bring concepts like evil into the equation!
A: Interesting line of thought. I think there's an understanding of morality enforced by, perhaps, King Yemma? As for where universal morality came from, maybe we can look into that at some point.

Q: How is someone like Goku not pushed back when launching a KAMEHAMEHA? How does he keep himself anchored to one spot without being pushed by his own attack? Doesn't every action have an equal and opposite reaction?
A: One of the things we discussed in the Gohan Special was that the energy in DBZ is essentially infinite because it doesn't come from the fighters themselves, but from the quantum vacuum. An energy beam isn't necessarily coming out of a fighter's body like opening the tap on a keg; it's more like opening miniblinds to let the light shine through. Of course, the Z Fighters can "grab onto" that ki to use it to add to or remove their momentum; that's how super-speed and flight work. They also use ki to anchor themselves in one place during a beam struggle.

Q: Does it irk you that DB Super is being ridiculously illogical about power levels? It certainly irks me! How will you deal with them when you get there since they are extremely at odds with your power levels system.
It's about what we expected. Fans will have to make up our own explanations and systems to account for the inconsistencies in Super, just as we did for Z.