CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO: ABOUT GOHAN
"Look Daddy, a spaceship!" Gohan cried out, pointing up to the sky. "Daddy" boosted the boy up on his shoulder and smiled. /They're here,/ he thought to himself as the saucerer ship landed in a field near the Son family House.
"Heh," Bardock smirked, "I was wondering if they'd be back."
"Wanna go see them, Gohan?" Gokou asked before taking his son on a piggyback ride throught the woods.
Chichi ran out of the Son House, with a second realization dawning on her. How she didn't notice this one bugged her the most. Gohan didn't have his tail either. Gohan and Bardock were missing their tails! Someone had hurt her little boy, and taken away his beautiful tail!
Why was everybody running off into the woods?
Chichi saw the ship begin to land and decided that if they were going to ignore her over something as insignificant as an alien spaceship landing, they had another thing coming!
Piccolo looked up from his meditative slumber at the landing ship, and at the group of Sons going to meet it. He grinned to himself in an expression more fitting of his demon days.
Somebody was going to get a talking-to very soon. Somebody with blue skin and green hair.
"What do you think, Zangya?" Zarbon asked rather sarcastically, "Do you think they missed us?"
"For their sake I hope not," Zangya replied with a similar tone, cracking the first smile that she had in weeks.
"Then let's dampen their day," he said, grinning, as he flipped the switch to open the door. Zarbon's cheerful demeanour belied the thoughts that were racing around in his head. he was wondering how the hell he would be able to get Gohan off Earth and over to Capitol without bloodshed and war in the meantime.
Piccolo forced a smile as the hatch to the ship opened. It made him look positively demonic. He had to try to hide his current thoughts, though. Were the two aliens who left anything like the one they left behind? Deceptively amiable, but dark on the inside? he calmly read their power levels. Zangya's was easy to recognize- it hadn't risen much and was now only at 40,000, but the other one was too high to belong to the pretty boy. it was at 70,000, easily. When they had left earlier, he had been at 35,000-40,000. How did it-? Piccolo did not want to know the answer to that. All that he wanted, as he saw the door fully open and the two inhabitants stepped out, was peace for Gohan's future. And nobody had better try to take that away from him. Nobody.
He thought all of this in the short expanse of time between when the ships' door began to open, and when Zarbon stepped out, smiling and waving.
Three seconds later, Chichi burst out of the woods like a raging bull, screaming about "My baby's precious, beautiful tail!!!!!" and "What did you people do to him!!!! I'll kill you!!!!"
Life was normal again.
Later, at dinner, actual conversation started for real, and the heart of the matter was reached: Gohan's immediate fate.
"What did you say?" Bardock asked, absently chewing on a mouthful of food. "You need Gohan? What for?"
"I need him to come back with us to Capitol."
Dead silence filled the dinner table. Even the usual sounds of Gokou snarfing up all of his food had ceased.
"Absolutely not," Chichi said flatly, not even turning around from her cooking to face them. "My Gohan has too much studying to do. isn't that right, Gohan?"
"Yes, mom," the boy said rather dejectedly.
"Then we'll bring his books and keep him on a tight schedule," Zarbon answered, "But if he doesn't go before Cold and Vegeta, Earth won't be declared Safe, and it won't be long before you get a full extermination squad here."
"I don't care about that!" Chichi shouted, still not turning around. "I want him to become a scholar, not a space traveler! And besides, what if he got hurt while he was gone?"
"He won't get hurt, and I don't think that he can do much studying if somebody blows up his home planet, yes?"
"That doesn't matter. Discuss it with the boy's father. I'm sure that he'll agree with me."
Zarbon turned to Gokou. "Well? King Cold said that I had to bring Gohan for a little visit before Earth could be declared Safe. What do you think should happen?"
"I don't see why he can't go," Gokou said, his mouth full of food. "In fact, I'd love to go with hi-" he was cut off as a large frying pan came down on his head, knocking the food out of his mouth and onto the table, while simultaneously making a dent in the pan so huge that Bugs Bunny could not do it any better.
"He's not going," Chichi growled, still holding the mangled pan in her clenched right hand, "And that's final."
"If planet earth gets destroyed, there will be no more studying."
Chichi did not have an answer for that.
After a while Zarbon spoke up again. "So it's agreed? The boy comes along?"
"But what about me!" Gokou chimed in, busily re-stuffing his mouth, "Don't I get to go?"
Zarbon gave him a classic "Now why didn't I think of that?' look, then answered. "...Isn't that expected?"
"Aren't you forgetting someone?" came a rather surly voice from outside the window.
Zarbon turned around to see Piccolo standing directly outside of the sun house, letting the rain fall on his grinning face. He looked like an ogre out of a children's storybook.
"What about you?"
Piccolo forced the window open and stuck his head in, now REALLY looking like an ogre. "I'm like a second father to the boy- he'll tell you himself. I think that it would be reasonable for me to come along with your merry little band."
"Sure!" GOkou started to say as the frying pan came crashing down again, denting it even further.
"NO!" Chichi screamed, "I won't let that... that MONSTER go alone with my little baby in outer space!"
"Monster?" Zarbon asked, "You think he's bad? Look at me," he said before transforming.
Chichi took one look at the bulky, semi-reptilian monster in front of her and fell silent again.
"Besides," piccolo added, still not quite entirely inside the house yet, "I've been proven to be trustworthy with Gohan. Haven't I, Bardock?"
Bardock muttered something incomprehensible about some fight or another, and said no more on the subject. Zarbon went back to his normal form and turned to face Him. "You just want to come to protect him, don't you?"
"it seems that you DO have a brain, after all," Piccolo remarked back sarcastically. "After what happened last night, I don't trust any of you. If Gohan has to go with you, then so do I. As for his father, I couldn't care less about if Gokou comes or not. I just don't want you doing anything to him that I wouldn't do myself."
Zarbon's eyes widened. "I'm not that perverted!" he shouted at the Namek.
"What?" Piccolo asked, now totally confused. "I just don't want you people pulling a Bardock on us."
Zarbon calmed down when he realized that, being asexual, Piccolo had absolutely no comprehension of what he was implying.
"Someday you have to tell me EXACTLY what it was that Bardock did that cost the two of them their tails."
"I'd rather not talk about it," The older Saiya-jin growled in a tone more befitting of Piccolo.
"Fine, then. Both of you can come. I'm only making one exception, though."
"What is it?" Gokou asked curiously.
"Chichi stays home. I don't want to have to stand several weeks of her screaming at every turn. She might make King Cold destroy the earth anyway."
This time it was Zarbon who got the frying pan on the head.