—Core Universe: Dragon Ball
Year: Approx. 781 Tori—
Debris littered the empty streets, and the main road that ran through the city bore an enormous slash down its length. Many of the buildings had been demolished altogether, and the few that were still standing appeared as if they had been ripped in half by some monstrous force. Huge, gaping craters was all that was left of other places.
And one metal rod stuck in the ground with a tattered orange cloth tied to it marked where a young man was killed. The bloodstains that the dying boy left behind had long been washed away. The memories, though, were still as fresh as they had been a year ago.
I knelt before the makeshift flag, its bright orange color the one thing that registered in my mind. I thought that I had no more tears left after losing my son, but once again seeing the place where Gohan fell brought those tears back with relentless force.
“Gohan.” I choked out, stroking the ground. “Your father would have been so proud of you.”
After Goku died of a heart attack, my dreams of making Gohan a famous scholar died as well, when two creatures who called themselves the ‘Androids’ appeared. Krillin, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Tien, Piccolo, and Vegeta—Goku’s comrades while he had been alive—gathered together to fight this new threat. They were all killed, and the Androids began destroying everything in sight. The population of the world dropped sharply, and those still alive spent their days in terror and despair. The burden of fighting the Androids and training Vegeta’s young son Trunks fell on Gohan.
On that fateful day, I had begged my son, having already lost an arm to the Androids, not to risk his life any longer. Gohan had replied that, as Goku’s son, he had a responsibility to the world, but promised that he would be all right. The last image I had of Gohan was the word bearing his name that I sewed on the back of his shirt as he and Trunks flew into the sky.
Even now, I could almost imagine the broken, battered body of my son sprawled before me. The brilliant light which had shined in his eyes, so much like his father’s, was snuffed out, leaving behind two coal-black pits that refused to close. After burying Gohan next to his father, I had returned to where he was killed and erected the small monument to him using a scrap I had saved from making his gi.
Once again standing before the tattered piece of cloth waving in the wind, I let all of the emotions I had locked within her for the past year to spill on the dry, lifeless concrete.
I tumble out of the tunnel onto the hard ground. At first, it’s too bright for me to see, but bit by bit I can make out where I am.
I squeeze my eyes shut and curl into a little ball. I don’t want to be here, but I don’t know where to go.
Somebody please wake me up from this nightmare!
A weak, muffled moan startled me out of my reverie. Turning towards the source of the sound, I gasped as I saw a young lady collapse against one of the ruined buildings. Her beautiful blue dress was torn and ripped in several places, and her face bore many bruises. A whimper escaped her lips as she hugged her knees to her chest and rocked back and forth, her eyes shut.
“Miss? Are you all right?” I asked, reaching out to the young lady. As soon as my hand made contact, the young lady jerked up and her eyes snapped open.
When I look at her, she becomes a little bit afraid of me, but she doesn’t run away.
“Are you lost?” She asks. Her voice is gentle and kind, like Kent’s, and like…like…I can’t remember, but I know I’ve heard a voice like hers before.
I nod. “Hurts.”
She frowns. “Can you stand up?” She sounds worried. Why?
I nod again, and stand up. My legs wobble a little, and she holds my hand to steady me. Her hand is warm, and it makes me feel stronger.
She throws something on the ground, and like magic, a flying disk appears. “Do you know where you live?”
“No.” It is not quite the truth, but I don’t care. I don’t want to go back there again, ever.
“Then you can stay at my house for a while.” She opens of the top of the flying disk, and helps me in. “By the way, my name is Chi-Chi.”
“My name is—” I think hard for a while. “Samui.”
She looks at me funny, then shrugs, and starts the engine. Soon, we land in front of a domed-shaped house.
“The bathroom is down the hall and to your right,” she says, as she opens the door and lets us in.
“Thank you,” I say, and walk down the hall.
I felt my heart go out to Samui as I watched her wobble her way to the bathroom. Something terrible must have happened to Samui, and thus she was still in shock from it. I went into my room for some clothes for her to wear, and left it at the door of the bathroom.
I was setting the food I made for her on the kitchen table when she walked in, my clothes hanging from her small, skinny frame. She thanked me again in her quiet voice before sitting down and digging into the food, scarfing everything down with the speed of a ravenous animal.
I sat down across from her. “Do you have any family?”
She hesitated a bit, then shook her head. “No.”
“Do you think there’s anybody looking for you?”
Samui looked up at me, the expression in her eyes one of absolute terror. In one swift motion, she dropped her spoon and knocked over her chair. The next thing I knew, she was running out the door at full speed.
She calls after me, but I don’t stop. I have no idea where I am or where I’m going, but it doesn’t matter, as long as I keep running. Pain shoots up my legs each time one of my feet hit the ground, and my lungs feel like they’re on fire, but I keep running.
My path is blocked by a tall man with scary eyes. “Where are you going, little miss?” His voice is laced with venom.
I back up half a step. “S-stay away from me.”
He laughs. “Or you’ll do what?” He begins walking forward.
I keep going back. “Stay away from me,” I say, this time making myself not sound as afraid. I trip on something and fall.
The man is almost standing over me. He smiles like a cat that’s about to eat a canary. “Make me.”
My hand closes over something sharp. I don’t like to hurt people, but this man gave me little choice. I leap up, aiming for his eyes.
I miss by a fraction of an inch.
The man touches the pencil-thin wound on his cheek, and gets angry. “Damn bitch!” He blurs, but I avoid his fist. I use this opportunity to slam the broken glass into his rib, pushing myself away from him at the same time. I land a little bit hard on my side.
When I stand back up, my heart is beating like a jackhammer. The man is still staring at where I hurt him. The expression on his face changes from shock to rage, and he looks up to glare at me. Before I can even blink, he punches me in the stomach, and I go flying into a building. A loud explosion sounds over me, and things start falling on me.
I panic. If I don’t get out soon, I will die. I’ve got to get out got to get out GOT TO GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT—
I managed to catch up with Samui, but I hid out of sight at once when I saw Eighteen appear. I wanted to scream out to Samui to run, but in my cowardice, I could only watch.
“Damn bitch!” Eighteen yelled, holding his hand to his face. Samui had managed to hurt him? They move too fast for me to follow, but when the dust settles, Eighteen’s side is bleeding. While my mind still boggled at this fact, Eighteen knocked Samui into the building she’s standing in front of and shoots a ball of energy into it, causing the building to collapse. Eighteen gave the ruins one last contemptuous glance before pulling something out of his side and flying away.
I waited until I was sure that Juuhachi was gone before running forward. I froze in mid-step and my heart skipped a beat when the rubble shifted.
Samui looked like a different person. The frightened look that I had seen before was gone, replaced by an emotionless mask that sent shivers up my spine. Samui’s light grey, almost-pupilless eyes turned my way, and I was certain that she would have had no qualms over killing me if she saw me as being a threat to her. She took a step towards my direction, and then her eyes rolled into the top of her head as she collapsed.
I wake up in a white room. A doctor comes in and tells me that I’m not hurt too bad, I just need some rest. I ask the doctor about Chi-Chi, but the doctor doesn’t know who she is.
The door opens again, and Chi-Chi comes in. She talks with the doctor for a while. Then the doctor leaves, and Chi-Chi comes closer to my bed. She looks a bit nervous.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked you where you were from. It wasn’t any of my business.” She takes my hand, and her warmth spreads into me. With her other hand, she hands me a sheet of paper. “Here’s some places that you can go if you don’t have any place to stay.”
After a while, she gives my hand a squeeze, gets up, and leaves. My hands become cold again.
About two or three weeks after I first met Samui, I was in the living room altering some clothes when I heard a knock at the door.
“Samui!” I exclaimed when I opened the door. “They discharged you from the hospital already?”
“Yes.” Samui shifts her feet. “I’ve come to give this back.” She held out the sheet I had given her.
I gave her a puzzled look. “What for?”
Samui’s eyes lowered to the ground. “I—I decided.” she looked back up at me. “Can I stay with you?”
From: “Namida Samui”
To: “Dot Warner”
Subject: Fwd: Your request
Here’s the document that you requested. The computer I was at didn’t have a image-to-text program, so I just scanned in the pages as images. Sorry about the bad handwriting.
P.S. About the other files you were requesting: sorry, but they are still classified. I’ll keep trying, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get those to you.
The day before Chi-Chi died, she had already began to feel ill. I was really worried about her, but she assured me that she would be fine. By late evening, though, Chi-Chi was so weak that she had to go to bed. I wanted to call for a doctor, but Chi-Chi wouldn’t let me. I wish I had disobeyed her, because she passed away that very night, and I didn’t even find out until the next morning.
I’ll never quite understand why Chi-Chi chose to keep my existence from Trunks, or vice versa, or why she didn’t tell me when she was about to die. Maybe she thought that she could have survived the night and was going to tell me in the morning. I wish that she could have chosen some other way to go about it, because after finding out about Trunks, I felt (and still feel to some extent) that she took unfair advantage of my trust. To think that she had sent me out of the house on errands every time Trunks dropped by, and that she never mentioned the fact that she was actually good friends with his mother!
Sometimes I wonder if Trunks and I could have started off better if Chi-Chi had introduced me to him. Or maybe Chi-Chi really did do the right thing, because [illegible]. Heck, she was already taking a big risk by welcoming me into her home, even after seeing what happened.
I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if Chi-Chi hadn’t found me. I probably wouldn’t have lived to this day, or if I did, I would have ended up doing horrible things to keep myself alive. But Chi-Chi saw that I needed to be loved and taken care of just like anybody else.
I still have the teddy bear that Chi-Chi gave me, but I don’t sleep with it any more for fear of making it fall apart. It’s a miracle (and a lot of thread) that that thing is still somehow in one piece. Gohan must have really liked that bear, because it was in danger of losing its stuffing even when I inherited it.
Strangely enough, now that I’m older, I tend not to think of that bear as ‘mine’ any more. True, Chi-Chi gave it to me, but I keep feeling like I’m only borrowing it. As if I could really give it back to its ‘rightful’ owner.
I still visit Chi-Chi’s grave every year on her birthday with a dandelion like she asked me to. I still remember the funny look the local florist gave me when I asked him for what was considered an obnoxious weed. He always has a pot ready for me now, and he always teases me about it when
I drop by to pick it up. Chi-Chi never bothered to weed out the dandelions, since they had such long, tenacious roots. She was the one that taught me to make a wish while blowing away the dandelion seeds. To this day, I still do that to every dandelion whose seeds are ready to be blown into the wind, but I don’t make a wish any more.
Sometimes I wake up and expect to smell the rich breakfast that she cooked for me. Or I would be doing something dangerous, and I could almost hear her admonishing me to be careful. Or I would be trying to sleep after an especially tiring day, and I could imagine her hands holding mine just before she tucked me into bed and wished me good night. Or I could be accomplishing a difficult task, and I would see her smile her brilliant, wonderful smile that told me how proud she was of me. There are times that I’m so tempted to go back into time and be just her daughter again.
I miss her.