Title: Like Father, Like Son
Premise, or Lack Thereof: The curse on Bardock spans more than one generation.
Reason For Banishment: Too much reliance on canon, plus it’s not very well written.
The first section of this story was lifted almost word-for-word out of the Jump Anime comic for the Bardock TV Special, but I put it here because not everyone is familiar with it and it’s the inspiration for the rest of the story. The other two sections, though, are entirely out of my speculations.
“Your race is under a curse! It will be destroyed, and you won’t be able to do a thing about it! Hahahahaha!”
The alien’s mocking laughter echoed in Bardock’s head as he stumbled his way to the bar where most of the soldiers went to relax after a battle.
Damn. I never thought that a routine mission would turn out this way.
Frieza had won the service and unshaken loyalty of the Saiyans by defeating their enemies and offering them the technology necessary to conquer other planets. No one paid much attention to the few who opposed the King’s decision to work for Frieza, and no one gave much thought to the strange assignments that Frieza gave—until now.
When the last inhabitant of Kanassasei rose out of its ruins and cursed him with seeing the future.
When a dying Toma told him of Frieza’s treachery.
“Return to Planet Vegeta! Then rally our comrades, and defeat Frieza! Let him know the power of us Saiyans—”
Bardock’s men—his only friends—were all killed.
Why? Bardock wondered. Why does Frieza want us dead? Is he afraid of us? Bardock shook his head to clear it. There wasn’t much time left to think; he had to act—fast. He opened the door that led to the bar.
“Hey!” Remarked one of the soldiers. “Isn’t that Bardock?” Bardock opened his mouth to speak, but he felt very dizzy and fell—right onto a table, breaking it in two.
“What’s the matter?” Another asked, concerned. Bardock brushed aside those who tired to help him up.
“Come,” he rose to his feet. “Come with me! Defeat Frieza!”
“What?” The soldiers stared at Bardock. “What the hell are you blabbering about?”
“Believe me! Toma—and the others—have all been killed—” He looked around the room. “Frieza intends to destroy us—and Planet Vegeta!”
The soldiers were quiet for a moment—but only a very brief one.
Then they began to laugh.
“He says this planet will be destroyed! Ha!”
“You okay, Bardock?”
“Get real, Bardock! Lord Frieza would never do such a thing!”
“You must have been hallucinating!”
Their laughter was even more humiliating than the alien’s. Bardock gritted his teeth.
“A bunch of idiots,” he muttered.
“Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Ignorant fools!” Bardock screamed.
The laughing stopped.
“I don’t need your help!” He turned. “You can all go to hell!” He walked back out of the bar.
“Yo! Bardock!” One of the soldiers moved to chase after him, but another stopped him.
“Don’t mind him; he’s missing a lot of marbles!”
Maybe I am crazy. Bardock thought as he fought his way to Frieza’s ship. But I will not allow Frieza to succeed!
“Frieza!” Bardock called, as more and more soldiers came to oppose him. “Come out and fight me yourself!”
The top hatch of Frieza’s ship opened.
“Frieza-Sama?” A murmur went through the crowd.
Now it will all change. Bardock thought. The fate of this planet. My fate. And Kakarrot, yours. He concentrated all of his energy into his right hand.
“It all ends—NOW!” Bardock shot the energy towards the tiny ball that Frieza balanced on one finger.
That was when the ball grew and engulfed Bardock’s blast.
“WHAT?” Bardock couldn’t believe his eyes.
With a dip of his finger, Frieza threw the ball at Planet Vegeta.
“NO!” Bardock screamed.
As his body disintegrated, Bardock had one last vision.
And he smiled.
“You are also under a curse, Frieza!” The dying Saiyan whispered. “You will also be destroyed! My son—Kakarrot—”
II. Son Goku
“I’m not Kakarrot!” Declared the man in the orange gi. “My name is Son Goku!”
—May 16, year 768 (The night before the Cell game)—
“Answer me, Goku-san!” Trunks begged. “What are you hiding from us?”
“I can’t fool you, can I?” Goku grinned.
“Of course not! You said that Cell was stronger than you, but you act like we’ve already won!”
“What makes you so sure?”
Goku looked away. “I—I just know.”
“Bullshit!” Trunks let out before he could catch himself.
“Trunks-kun!” Goku stared at Trunks, stunned.
“Sorry, Goku-san. I shouldn’t lose my temper.”
“It’s all right.” Gokou placed a hand on Trunks’ shoulder.
It was Trunks’ turn to look away.
The two sat in silence for a long time.
“After you showed up,” Goku took a deep breath. “I began to have these dreams.”
“Dreams?” Trunks gave Goku his full attention.
“Yes. I dreamed that I would die.” Goku paused, letting the words sink in. “At first, I thought I was just too worried over the heart attack thing you told me about, but after Cell appeared, the dreams became clearer.”
“Goku-san!” It thoroughly alarmed Trunks that Goku, who was so optimistic otherwise, would suddenly talk like this.
“I had those dreams every night.” Goku continued as if he wasn’t interrupted. “And last night, I finally got the whole picture.”
“What was it?”
Goku only said one word: “Gohan.”
“What about Gohan?”
“He’s only a boy. And he doesn’t like to fight. He’s too scared of the great power sleeping inside of him, so he tries to suppress it instead of utilizing it.”
“What does that have to do with you dying?” Trunks felt more and more frightened and confused.
“Everything. Tomorrow, Gohan’s power will be brought out. He will become stronger than even me—and Cell.”
Gohan? No way! His strength is nowhere near Goku’s!
Goku, who seemed to be able to read Trunks mind, smiled. “Yes, it’s possible. Because for the first time in his life, Gohan will feel pure rage. And it will trigger his Saiyan blood.” Goku sighed. “But he won’t be able to control that power. He’ll give Cell the beating of its life, but then he’ll become overconfident—and careless.”
Trunks stared at Goku. This man—his hero since childhood, the one that, according to his mother, ‘would always make us feel that he had some way of beating a crisis’—would die tomorrow? “Isn’t there some way to prevent it?”
“No. If I don’t die, then the whole world will be destroyed.”
Goku held up his hand. “Not even you can change this, Trunks. It’s fate.”
“If you die, then what was the point of me giving you the medicine three years ago?”
Goku smiled. “Didn’t you say: ‘if there could be one world without the Jinzoningen, then traveling through time would have been worth it’?”
“I don’t want to sound selfish, but I need you to fight against the Seventeen, Eighteen, and Cell of my timeline! That was why I came back!”
“No, you don’t.” Goku shook his head. “You’ve gotten a lot stronger, thanks to your training in the Room of Spirit and Time. You’ll be able to defeat the Artificial Humans on your own without any problems.”
“Well,” Trunks tried to think of a way to deter Goku. “What about Gohan? and Chi-Chi?”
“I’ve thought about them already: Gohan needs to grow up and stop depending on me to help him, and Chi-Chi is a strong woman. They’ll survive.”
“I’m not so sure about that.” Trunks remembered ‘his’ Chi-Chi, who has been in a state of catatonic shock ever since Gohan died.
“I am.” Goku smiled. “She has two reasons to live.”
“Two? When you die, only Gohan will be left!” Trunks thought of something. “Unless—” He looked at Goku, who smiled even wider.
“The only person that I’m worried about,” Goku grew serious again. “Is Vegeta.”
“He fights—and lives—only because he clings to the hope that he will one day beat me. So if I die by someone else’s hand—” Goku gave Trunks a meaningful look. “But Vegeta has a wife and a son now. Maybe he’ll finally see how much they mean to him.”
“Hell would freeze over before that happens,” Trunks muttered.
“Don’t be so sure.” Goku winked.
There was another long silence.
“All right!” Goku got up and stretched. “Tomorrow is going to be a long day; go home and get some sleep.”
The young man looked at the older man with great respect.
“Mom and Gohan-san were right. You are undoubtedly a warrior through and through.”
III. Son Gohan
—In another timeline—
A man in an orange gi and a boy in a ‘Capsule Corp.’ shirt sat on a cliff.
“My mother said,” began the boy, “that you look so much like your father in that gi, it surprised her!”
“That’s why I wear this gi: I hope to become as strong as my father when he passed away,” replied the man. “But I’m afraid it’s not as simple as just copying his clothes.”
“—so Son-kun still died?” Bulma took another sip of her coffee.
“Yeah,” Trunks nodded. “But you know what? The night before he died, Goku-san told me that he dreamed about his own death. Isn’t that weird, Mom?” Bulma turned pale as a sheet. “Mom?”
“Trunks, there’s something I never told you about Gohan,” Bulma said slowly, her voice shaking.
Bulma wiped the sweat from her brow and reached for another part when else entered the room—
“Oh, hi, Gohan.” Bulma sighed in relief. “Next time, please don’t sneak up on me like that.”
“I’m sorry.” Gohan replied. Bulma noticed the sadness in Gohan’s voice.
“What’s the matter?”
“I wanted to say goodbye to you one last time.”
Bulma suppressed her alarm and forced a weak laugh. “Don’t be silly.”
“I’m not, Bulma-san.” There was no hint of silliness in Gohan’s voice. “I’m not going to make it tomorrow; the dream told me.”
“At first, I thought it was just nightmares. But every night more and more details were revealed—and last night, I saw the date.”
“Gohan,” Bulma began. “You are pretty stressed: you’ve been single-handedly fighting against the Artificial Humans for many years now—”
“I’ve been having this dream ever since I lost my arm.”
“All right, tell me everything.”
“Tomorrow, when I take Trunks training, the Artificial Humans will attack the city.”
“That’s happened plenty of times before, and you’ve always made it back safely!” Bulma interrupted.
“Yes, but this time, I will decide to fight them. Trunks will also want to come with me, but I won’t let him; I’ll fight alone. And then—”
“Why?” She demanded. “Why are you so determined to die?”
“Because as long as I live, Trunks will also be in danger, and he’s the only one who can operate the time machine.”
“No!” Bulma slammed her fist into the tool box. “I won’t allow it! Even if Trunks changes the past, the present might not change! And Trunks has already lost his father; does he have to lose you, too?”
“When a Saiyan baby is born, it is sent to a distant planet.” Gohan looked away, lost in thought. “Completely on its own, the baby must grow strong to survive.”
“What’s your point?” Bulma didn’t understand why Gohan would suddenly talk about some very questionable child rearing practices.
“Trunks can’t become the warrior he must be with me around.”
“So this way, he has to be self-sufficient.” Bulma guessed. “How cruel!”
“I know, but it works. It’s secret of the Saiyan’s power; I learned that when Piccolo-san trained me.”
“And your mother, will she become stronger as well?”
Gohan didn’t answer.
“You’re the only reason why Chi-Chi lives. What’s going to happen when you’re gone?”
“You can’t change history Bulma…at least, not yet.” Before Bulma could stop him, Gohan left.
“—the next day, before he called you to leave, he pulled me aside and said: ‘tell my mother that I’m sorry I couldn’t be the scholar that she wanted me to be. Maybe in another world, things can be different.’ And then—well—you know what happened after that.”
You were wrong, Gohan. Trunks thought. You lived—and died—in your father’s legacy.