I hate this chapter. It took me a week to write and I kept on getting stuck on the first two pages.
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Krillin moved through the air vent. Strength or no strength it was no easy task to perform and if anything the muscles he had developed after so many years of hard work were getting in the way. At least it was better now that he didn't have to help get Goten through here.
Now that Goten and Trunks were safe, he didn't have a clue how he was going to deal with Goku. How do defeat someone who is about a hundred times stronger and better trained than you? If he could somehow out smart Goku, that would be a start, but how?
He stopped near one grid that led out of the vents and looked outside. It was one of the bedrooms; probably Gohan's since there was a stack of books next to the bed and a picture of his family on a shelf. The door leading into the recreational was a crack open. Would Goku leave the door open on purpose, or was this some type of trap?
The human sighed and started undoing the screws that held the grid in place, grabbing at their pointy ends and turning. It wasn't long before they had all fallen to the ground. If this was a trap he would probably have time to escape before he was caught and whether he liked it or not this was his best bet and so getting up on his hands and knees, he slid himself out of the vent and into the blessed fresh air.
Creeping carefully to the door, he mentally prepared for a fight. Each muscle tensed and his breathing increased slightly. He pressed his back against the wall and looked through the door's crack into the recreational area. After scanning the area, he saw no sign of Goku, yet at the same time there was no sign of Vegeta and Gohan. Goku could have moved them… or he could have blasted them into a ball of ash then swept them under the carpet.
Krillin hoped his first idea was true.
He entered the chamber searching for clues to where his friends could have gone, and in a matter of seconds, he found out that neither of his ideas were right, when Gohan and Vegeta smashed into him, sending all three of them to the floor.
"Ouch," said Krillin and he getting up, he pushed Vegeta's foot off of his face. He stood up and looked at his companions. They were bound together with some white rope, and another one rope that was tied to their binds and to a handle of the door he had come from.
He leaned and helped them get onto their side, so that poor Gohan's face wasn't smushed into the floor anymore. "So why did you do that?" Krillin asked.
"We thought you were Kakarot," growled Vegeta, forcing Gohan's face back into the floor so that he could look at the human. The halfling barely gave Vegeta enough time to say his comment and then pushed him into the floor instead.
Krillin decided it was best not to ask why those two were acting about as mature as a pair of monkeys and knelt next to them regarding their bonds. He got a grip on one of the loops in the knot and pulled, only for his fingers to slip off. Trying again, the loop didn't budge and he repeated his attempts until his nails started aching.
"How tight did he tie these things anways?" he asked more to himself than anyone, trying once more.
The knot just would not loosen. It didn't help that he couldn't get a strong enough grip on any of the loops. Every time he yank at it, his fingers would slowly slip off and the knot would remain completely intact.
He considered using a Destructo Disk to cut through the rope, but immediately knew that was useless. The disks hadn't been able to cut through Cell and compared to this ship and its equipment, Cell was a piece of paper to steel. If only he had a hook or something with a sharp enough edge to get underneath a loop so he could pull… Maybe a Destructo Disk wasn't such a bad idea.
Calming himself, he focused. First he needed the proper mind state. The disk was only as sharp as the mind that formed it. Normally Krillin would have made it quickly, since in battle you didn't really have time to think properly, but to get the edge distinct enough to do the job now, he had to be in complete control.
Breath in, breath out. Ki formed in his right hand. Not a lot. He only wanted a small disk.
Breath in, breath out. One edge dull so he could grip without hurting himself, the others narrowing at the ends. Going off into oblivion to made them as sharp as possible. He was done and held the Destructo Disk carefully and took hold of the dull part.
Getting a sharp edge under the knot's loop, he pulled with all his might until finally it loosened. After wrenching at the knot further, this time bracing himself with his legs, it finally came undone it a matter of microseconds, throwing Krillin off balance and making the Destructo Disk barely missing his head and succeeding giving him an unwanted hair cut.
Gohan and Vegeta got to their feet. They didn't seem harmed though he noticed some rubbing of body parts that had been touching the rope.
"Where's Trunks and Goten? We've got to hide them," said Gohan as he looked around for the two children
"Don't worry they're in the bathroom. The door's locked. They'll be safe in there until we can figure out what is happening here," Krillin explained.
Gohan looked relieved and leaned against a chair. "I think we already know what's going on. Mostly anyways."
"He's after Goten?" That might explain why the little half-breed had been harmed. Of course why was a different thing.
Vegeta's eyes flickered to the door leading into the hall and answered "He wants to kill Goten and after claiming the Right he will kill Trunks and I."
"What's this Right?"
"It's an old saiyan tradition that can make a person's status go up by killing off another saiyan's family if there is a good enough reason," said Gohan. He looked uneasily at Krillin. "He needs to kill Goten to be eligible to take over Vegeta's position as leader of the saiyan people. Goku is going to use the dragon balls to wish back the saiyans and then he will kill Vegeta and his children."
Krillin noted that he called his father Goku instead of Tousan. Even with that affection that was taken away when Gohan referred to his father, Goku was a name associated with kindness and loyalty and not this sort of thing. "You said there has to be a reason but what?"
"The Saiyan Royal Line is only allowed one child, that's why Goten must be killed," said Vegeta darkly. "If they had more than one heir or heiress, there would be fighting for the throne and chaos would break out. To keep my position without constant challenges I would have to either have disown Bra at birth, leaving her to a life on the streets or kill her or Trunks."
Krillin had to admit that he felt a new sense of respect for Vegeta. The prince actually cared for his children. More than once he wondered what Vegeta would do if he were reunited with his kind and now he knew. He turned to Gohan with one more question, one more thing that he didn't understand. He knew he was bound to die if Goku had his way, but… "Gohan, what would happen to you?"
The young man looked at him blankly. "From what I understand, Goku would need his heir to kill Trunks to properly take the position. He plans to use the dragon balls' other wish to brainwash me."
"At least Goten and Trunks are safe for now," Krillin muttered.
"I don't think so," growled Vegeta.
"But the door is locked and you know how strong everything in here is."
"Then why is Trunks raising his ki?"
Trunks carefully placed Goten in the cupboard below the sink. So often he and his friend had always dreamed about being big powerful adults like their fathers, but now Goten being kid size might save his life. He closed the cupboard doors, concealing his best friend from sight and faced the towels and other junk that had been underneath sink before he had taken it out to make a hiding place for Goten. He quickly picked up the stuff and put in the bathtub pulling the shower curtain in front of it. If Goku saw the stuff, he might suspect where his son was. Only two things remained out, a towel and an open bottle of shampoo.
Tipping the shampoo onto the floor, Trunks spread it so it covered most of the ground, then hovered above the ground with the towel in hand and pushed his power to the max, a full blown Super Saiyan level one. If with his adrenaline pumping through every vein in his body he felt regret. He would have to leave Goten. Hopefully it would make them both safer, but he still didn't like it.
The scratching at the door stopped. In a movie this would be the moment where the door would open revealing his father, Gohan or some other friend, but this wasn't a movie, and door opened there was Goku smirking.
Trunks smashed through between Goku's legs, flying at his top speed, then flipped around throwing the towel over the man's head, and the halfling pushed him into the bathroom as hard as he could, and flew for his life, barely hearing the sound of Goku skidding on the shampoo and falling over.
Despite all the fear that pulsed in Trunks, an out of place thought went through his head. He had beaten someone stronger than him using brains.
Kaasan would be proud.