Fandom: Dragonball Z
Publish Date: 10/15/2002
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.
A bright flash of light erupted from the seven orange stones, and the form of the Eternal Dragon flung itself into the now-darkened sky. Shenlong’s red eyes flared and he spoke in a low, gravelly voice. "You have summoned me from my slumber. Speak your wish, but be careful, for it will come true."
Son Goku looked up at the formidable creature looming over him and gulped nervously at what he was about to wish for. It was something that had been bothering him for a long time, and he needed to know the truth. He took a deep breath and called out to the Dragon, "I wish that I could see the monster that killed my grandfather!"
Shenlong growled, "Your wish has been granted." His eyes glowed even brighter, and suddenly the world around Goku went completely black. His hair moved, like there was a strong wind, though he didn’t really feel a breeze. But he felt strange…very strange…
Suddenly, the darkness vanished. The desert where he had made the wish was gone.
He was standing alone on top of a bluff, looking out over a huge forest. His sensitive Saiyan ears picked up the sound of a river running somewhere nearby; his sharp Saiyan eyes could make out the forms of deer running around through the trees.
The whole place had a very familiar aura to it. Like he’d been there before, a faint but fond memory from long ago.
Then it hit him.
This was the mountain forest where he’d lived with his grandfather for his entire childhood, including the time after Grandpa Gohan had been killed. He could even remember climbing on this very cliff as a boy. He’d lived here until he’d met Bulma and heard about the Dragonballs. Until he’d left with her, embarking on the life-changing journey that would lead him to meet all of his current friends, and eventually his wife.
Over the treetops, the sky was red and orange; the yellow-orange sun was slowly sliding down behind the curtain of foliage, where it would leave darkness in its wake.
"Why am I here? I asked to see the monster that killed my grandpa," he wondered out loud, then shrugged. "Oh well, might as well go see what’s up." Without a second’s hesitation, he did a beautiful swan dive off the outcropping of rock.
It was a few seconds later when that swan dive turned into a belly flop when he realized he couldn’t stop falling. It was as if someone had taken away his ability to fly. All he could do was hang there, seemingly suspended in the vacuum of air until the ground violently and painfully introduced itself.
For quite some time, he just lay there. Pain…hurting…ouch… were pretty much the only thoughts that made it through his head. Finally, he sat up, rubbing his injured shoulder. "Why couldn’t I stop myself? How weird." Climbing slowly to his feet, ignoring the painful protests of his various joints and limbs, and tried to focus and push off the ground into flight as he had done so many times in his life.
But it wasn’t working. He couldn’t fly anymore.
Confusion set it, and he realized he had some time before the full moon came up and the monster appeared, so he set about trying to figure out if any of his other Saiyan powers had been affected by whatever magic the Eternal Dragon had worked. And surprisingly enough, none of his other abilities seemed to be in working order. Super strength? Out of order. Unbelievable speed? Gone. Super Saiyan transformation? Out of commission. Ki blasts? Not cooperating. Kaio-ken? Nowhere to be found. Instant Transmission? On an extended coffee break. Nothing worked!
After several trials, Goku just gave up and set off on foot to find the little cottage where he had spent so much time as a child. It didn’t take long; his memories led him right to the place. He got there just as the first light of the moon was coming into the sky.
Deciding it would be best not to disturb anything, he tiptoed up to the window and peered in. Inside, he saw himself as a boy in bed right beside the window, talking to his grandfather. Gohan finished saying something before blowing out the candle and instructing Goku to sleep.
Seconds later, the old man appeared outside. Goku jumped a mile. There was no way he could avoid being seen now!
But strangely enough, for all that his grandfather noticed him, he might as well have been a tree or something. At one point, Gohan even looked right at him—or rather, right through him—before walking further out and disappearing into the trees, muttering something about the moon.
More than a little shaken by this experience, Goku turned his attention back to…well, himself. The child in the room was laying on his back and seemed to be having a conversation with his tail. Surprisingly, Goku actually remembered having that discussion.
By this time, the moon had crept higher into the sky. Pale beams of moonlight were shining down through openings between the trees.
Inside the room, the child looked up and out the window at the light. A look on confusion crossed his face, and he craned his neck to glimpse the beautiful silver disk floating in the sky.
For a moment, all was still. The forest was peaceful and silent.
Then, all hell broke loose.
Goku watched in alarm as something began happening to his younger self. First, the child’s eyes changed colors from onyx to mahogany, and he stiffened. His whole body began to shake, like a leaf in the wind. His lips parted then, revealing long, sharp fangs, and his mouth opened in a loud, deep roar as the mouth and nose extended on a growing snout.
As soon as the transformation began, Goku knew. Something clicked inside his mind, and he knew. He just knew.
But if wasn’t over yet. The boy began to grow, and thick black fur grew all over his body as his clothing—the all-too familiar blue and white gi he had always worn—was shredded; his eyes changed for a second time from chocolate-colored to a glowing red. As his size increased, he eventually grew too large for the house, and the house imploded from within at the pressure of the growing creature, sending pieces of the domicile in every imaginable direction. It took about sixty seconds, but by the end of it, there was no longer a child, but a towering ape-beast.
Crying out in shock, Goku just barely managed to scramble out of the way as the giant ape-foot came down right where he’d been standing. Then he had to dodge the swinging tail, landing hard on his back. He looked up in horror at the creature the child—no, he, his younger self—had become.
"So this is what Radditz meant by transforming on the full moon," he whispered. Then suddenly, realization dawned, and he jumped to his feet. "Grandpa!" Wasting no time, he took off in the direction Gohan had gone. That was when he really felt the effects of his reduced speed.
Nearby, the monster was knocking down trees and roaring, painfully loud to sensitive Saiyan ears, but he ignored the ringing and the pain in his head and focused on catching up to his grandfather.
Finally, the old man’s back came into view. Goku heaved a sigh of relief.
"Grandpa!" he called. "Grandpa, you have to get out of here!" Strangely enough, Gohan did not turn around when he was called. Goku tried again. "Grandpa Gohan! Hey!" By this time, his running steps (even in this slowed state) had managed to catch up to the old man’s plodding trudge. He reached out a hand to grab his grandfather’s shoulder…
…and yelled in surprise as his arm went right through Gohan, putting him off-balance and sending him sprawling onto the ground. He sat up, rubbing his head and groaning. "Oh no…"
He knew exactly what was coming. He knew what was going to happen.
The ape-creature reached his grandfather then. He saw Gohan’s surprise, and watched helplessly as the old man tried to get out of the way. In the end, it was the tail that caught him off guard and sent him face-down on the ground. He rolled over quickly, but it was too late.
Goku clasped his hands over his ears, squeezed his eyes shut, and turned away, but it didn’t help. He could still see that awful image in his mind, the huge ape-foot coming down on top of the only family he had ever known at that point in his life. He could still hear the last, dying scream of his adoptive grandfather. And it was just too much.
Tears seeped through his tightly-closed eyes, onto his eyelashes, and down his face. He refused to let himself really cry, though. The tears came, but that was all they were—tears. No sobbing or anything was permitted to accompany them.
Suddenly, the night went completely silent. He let his hands fall from his ears and opened his eyes and looked around, looking everywhere except towards the spot where he knew the bloodied, broken body of the first Son Gohan was lying. The monster was still rampaging, knocking down trees right and left, but it was silent now; there was no crashing as trees fell, and no beastly roars when the creature pounded its chest in victory. And the whole scenario seemed to be moving in a kind of fast-forward. He followed the creature half-heartedly as it continued its reign of destruction.
When it stopped going by at four times the speed at which it had actually happened, the sun was rising over the trees, dying the sky in a brilliant set of pinks, reds, and oranges. As the shadow crept away pursued by the rays of light, and the sunbeams touched the beast, the creature began to shrink rapidly. As it diminished in size, the fur seemed to melt away. About ten seconds later, a naked little boy with a furry brown tail was lying asleep in the middle of the wreckage that had once been a beautiful forest.
Goku walked over slowly to stand beside the boy, and sadly looked down at the child he had once been. "Sleep now, Goku. You’ll be in for a surprise when you wake up."
With that, the scene faded before his eyes.
The desert wind picked up and swirled sand around Goku, but he ignored the wind; he ignored the sand in his face and hair. He didn’t even hear someone calling his name; he didn’t realize that anyone was there until he felt a yank on his arm.
"Goku, man, what’s wrong with you?" Krillen looked up at his best friend in concern. "Were you sleeping or something?"
It was then that they noticed the Dragonballs, still glowing. As they watched, the seven flashing spheres shot into the sky and each one torpedoed off in a different direction.
"Goku, why was Shenlong here? Did you summon him?" Krillen demanded, tugging on the Saiyan’s arm again to get his attention.
"Huh? Oh…yeah, I did," Goku replied half-heartedly.
"Well? Whadja wish for?" Krillen asked.
"Oh…nothing," Goku lied. "He couldn’t grant it, anyway."
Krillen looked a tiny bit suspicious, but shrugged it off. "Oh, well that’s too bad. You’d better get home. ChiChi sent me off to look for you. She said to tell you it’s dinner time."
"Oh," Goku made a valiant attempt to sound cheerful at the thought of dinner. "Okay. Thanks, Krillen. I guess I’d better head home."
Apparently, his best performance wasn’t good enough, or maybe Krillen just knew him better than that, but the shorter man looked up at him curiously. "Is everything okay, Goku? You don’t look too good, man. Something wrong?"
Goku shook his head and managed to flash his famous grin at his best friend. "No, just a little tired today, that’s all. And I’m really hungry."
That satisfied Krillen, and he lifted off, waving goodbye as he turned and shot off across the darkening sky overhead, leaving Goku alone once again to his troubled thoughts.
So that’s what happened. Why didn’t I figure that out? It makes sense…I should have known. Why did I look at that moon? I was so stupid! But I can’t change it now. I shouldn’t have made that wish. What I didn’t know wasn’t hurting me. I went through all the trouble of gathering the Dragonballs, and I wished to see the monster that killed my grandfather, when all I had to do was look in a mirror.