Survivor of the 66
The Gathering Part 2
It was calm. The only thing to hear within range was the frequent tune of the birds in the distance along with the subtle brush of the shallow waves beneath. Given that he was on watch duty he surveyed all that came into view from his high position above. There had been nothing noteworthy to speak of within the last hour. Without realizing he began to fade, finding it increasingly difficult to keep his eyes from sealing with every passing minute.
As he flicked a final eye there was something that caught his attention. He pushed up from where he leaned, steadying his eyes to take note of something in the distance afar. "Guys, I think you better check this out." His eyes dropped to the deck below to find no one in sight. "Just where the hell did everyone go?"
He made his way to the lower level. As he did several dark clouds began to blow in, darkening the sky notably. Once on deck there was still no sign of the others. That could only mean that they were below. Just as he was to call out for them the ship began to vigorously rock from side to side, resulting in him losing his footing.
"What in the?!" He lost control before he could finish his words. With the ship tilting heavily to the right he fell, rolling all the way over to make rough contact with the wall. He instantly jumped up as he brought a hand to the side of his head, clearly feeling the effects of the impact made "Son of a-"
He would once again be interrupted, this time by the swinging sound of a door. "Zorro, what the hell is going on?!"
Hearing the call of his voice he turned around to face him. Who he came to find was a young man with a strong build who wore a straw hat atop his head. "How in the world am I supposed to know," The swordsman retorted. "And where the hell have you been anyway?! And the others for that matter?"
"We were down in the-" Without warning the ship took a nose dive to the left in position.
By this time instinct had kicked; in turn resulting in Zorro maintaining his balance. The boy in the straw hat however fell to the ground before skidding all the way to the wall head first. He popped up in immediate pain. "Arrgggaawwww! That hurt!" His hat had fallen from his head, leaving him to reach down to pick it up from where it now laid.
The moment the prized possession was back in place the door from a short distance away swung open for a second time. He looked over to see who had made their way onto deck. "Chopper, Nami.."
His voice gravitated their attention toward him. "Luffy what is going on?!" Nami exclaimed as the boat experienced yet another rough shake.
"How am I supposed to know," Luffy responded. "I just got out here right before you guys. If there's anyone who would know it would be Zorro."
All eyes were now on the swordsman. He didn't even have to look back to know this was the case. Without hesitation he pointed to the very thing that he believed to be causing this sudden uproar. "Whatever is going on, I think that is the source of it all."
All of them looked out to sea to spot exactly what had been pointed to up ahead. "It looks like some kind of whirlpool!" Chopper yelped as they inched in closer with each passing moment.
"I was thinking the same." Zorro noted.
In that instant both Nami and Chopper moved off to the side as someone stepped up to join them. "Hey guys, what's going on?"
She looked over to see who it was as she replied. "No time to explain Usopp," stated Nami. There was now intent residing within her eyes. "We need to get into position. If that is truly a whirlpool we need to avoid it at all cost."
There was not a second to waste. Knowing the importance of the situation and what ramifications it could have she gave immediate instructions to her crewmates. Within seconds everyone had a given assignment, leaving them to go their separate ways to accomplish the necessary.
By this time strong winds began to blow in, accompanied by shards of rain drops that carried along in its wake. Zorro of all people was not surprised by this. He had seen the dark clouds arrival just a minute prior. Being that he was the one instructed to steer Usopp made his way to the wheel. Once there he accessed the situation further. "Now let's see here," Using goggles he zoomed in on the whirlpool, measuring its position in relation to theirs before making his decision. "It's roughly seventy two yards ahead and sixty nine feet left of us. Given those coordinates the best action to take would be to try and outflank it right."
With a determination now made he conveyed this bit of information to everyone else. The sails were adjusted soon after to meet the requirement for what he wished to accomplish. To their advantage the winds blew into the sought direction. By this time the rain picked up as the ship continued to rock back and forth. He gulped as they neared, knowing this was going to be a tight one.
Without warning someone tapped his left shoulder. He glimpsed back for a split second to find who it was. "Fran-"
"Nami just explained the whole situation to me," Franky conveyed. "Let me know when you have the angle that best suits us. Once you do I'm going to give us a boost, if you know what I mean."
He looked back at him with a smile. "You got it!"
Franky smiled back in return. With that in mind Usopp focused all attention back on the ocean. He grabbed the wheel firmly as he activated the zooming system of his goggles once more. He locked onto the whirlpool again, mentally measuring out everything for a final time. Once he had the wanted mark he gave the sealing thumbs up. "Alright Franky," Usopp called. "Let her rip!"
And with that they powered forward with a heap of speed, launching past the whirlpool in one quick move which sent them high into the air. Filled with a joy of accomplishment he pumped his fist. "Yes, we did it!"
They touched back down into the sea after traveling a lengthy distance. He sighed, removing the goggles sitting over his eyes before stepping away from the wheel. A short time later he found himself on deck with everyone else who stood. "That sure was a close call," Chopper said.
"Yea, no kidding. That whirlpool came out of nowhere," added Zorro. "Everything happened so fast."
"About that," Nami said looking over at him.
There was a change to be seen on her face from the previous minute, her demeanor even. He noticed this almost immediately. "Is something the matter?"
"You said it was like that whirlpool came out of nowhere. What did you mean by that?"
He was unsure of what she was getting at but replied none the less. "It's as I said," Zorro rehashed. "I was standing on watch duty when suddenly a whirlpool appeared. The thing that didn't make sense was the distance I saw it from initially."
Hearing this Luffy raised a hand. The swordsman looked his way before addressing him. "What is it Luffy?"
"What was wrong with the distance?"
Grunting he rolled his eyes. "I was just about to get to that," Zorro stated. Refocusing he continued. "The distance at which the whirlpool first appeared was short of the furthest I could see out."
Looking clueless as ever Luffy brought both hands to the back of his head. "Yea.. I don't get it."
Zorro eyed him over for a split second. "Of course you don't."
Usopp on the other hand understood exactly what he was talking about. Before he had the chance to speak the six of them were alerted by the sound of someone approaching from behind. "It looks like the cook finally decided to join us."
"What were you guys doing just a minute ago, having some kind of party?" Sanji inquired with a hint of sarcasm.
Laughing lively Luffy replied. "Something like that."
He huffed. Following this he reached into his pocket and pulled out a single cigarette before lighting it. "Since departing from that last island we're pretty stacked on supplies," he inhaled deeply. Pausing, he then let out a soothing exhale of smoke. "I have something special in mind I'm going to whip up."
This was satisfying news to hear. No one was more pleased than the captain himself. With a beam of light now within his eyes he graced his tongue over his bottom lip in delight. "Lobster, please tell me it's going to be LOBSTER?!"
Sanji shifted for the opposite side as he exhaled for a second time. "You'll just have to wait and see." He walked off, holding onto the truth for what was to come.
In light of this he looked to the remaining members of his crew as the grin on his face widened. "So in the meantime who's interested in playing a game?"
Both Chopper and Usopp instantly responded. "You can count me in!"
Zorro on the other hand took his leave. "No thanks."
"Come on Zorro, it'll be fun," Luffy said attempting to coax a change in his decision.
He shook his head as he continued walking. "I have more important things to do right now."
His eyes then trailed to the other side to see Nami had walked off as well. "Oh come on," complained Luffy. "Not you too!"
"What's the game you had in mind?"
He looked up to meet eyes with Franky. "Well I didn't have anything particular in mind," Luffy admitted. "I was thinking we could all agree on something."
Minutes passed. But even though the storm had seized there was still an uneasiness that resided. She stood at the edge alone, doing nothing more than staring into the depths of the deep sea. "Something's not right. Usually when we come in range of something like that whirlpool I usually get a sense for it, but this was different. Nothing registered," Her eyes then peered up into the sky. In those moments she realized there was something that needed to be checked. "The Log Pose."
Not wasting another moment she reached down to grab it. Now in her possession she brought it to eye level. What was discovered brought an expression of uncertainty. "What is this," The compass was not pointing in a singular direction, but rather ticking a full circle around like a clock. "What's wrong with this thing?"
She shook it to see if that would resolve the apparent malfunction. When that didn't work she snarled in disgust. "I wonder if I should alert the others about this?"
Before she had the chance to come to a decision on that a tune played. One that carried with the wind. Her ears perked as she keyed in on its call.
Row, row, row your boat
Gently through the cave
If you see the giant bat
Try to remain completely brave
"That voice… where is it coming from?"
Her eyes scoured through the skies before her. With no discovery made she then looked down to the ocean below. It was here that she spotted something, someone rowing along in what appeared to be a small canoe. "Who is that, and why are they in a canoe. And traveling through the Grand Line of all places," Nami wondered. She watched as the person in what looked to be a bat costume continued to chant while paddling along. There was certainly a curiosity. She motioned for the others with the wave of her hand. "Hey guys, come check this out."
Chopper was the first of the lot to notice her. "What is it?"
"Come over here and you'll see." Nami simply put.
Putting their game on hold the four of them walked over to join her. "Down there." Nami pointed the moment they arrived.
Each of them looked down to the ocean only to see nothing but the dark blue sea. With a questioning look coming to each of their faces they all looked directly at her. "Umm, hey," Luffy said rubbing the side of his head. "What exactly are we supposed to be looking at?"
By this time there was a dumbfounding look to be found upon her face. "But.. but there was a man in a canoe. He was just there a second ago!" Nami stated.
"A man in a canoe," Franky questioned. He broadened his search of the ocean but registered nothing of the sort. "Are you sure you weren't just seeing things?"
"Perhaps it was just a mirage," noted Luffy.
"I'm pretty sure you'd have to be somewhere extremely warm like a dessert for that to be a possibility," Chopper shot down.
"So if not a mirage then what?"
Her fists clutched strongly with each remark, finding herself becoming growingly irritated with each word. "You guys wouldn't happen to be suggesting that I'm going crazy, now would you?"
Sensing where this was going Usopp quickly denied the presented claim. "Of course not, we'd never think that!"
"Yes Nami, we would never think that!" An unfamiliar voice whistled from behind.
The five of them looked to one another in questioning fashion. And with a pause in time each of them spun around at the exact same time to face someone they had never seen before. There floating in midair before them was a small guy in a bat suit who held a large sack over his shoulder which was just inches shy of touching the ground. Now that he had their undivided attention he smiled. "Greetings Strawhat Pirates, it is so nice to finally get the chance to meet you all."
"That's him," Nami exclaimed pointing directly at him. "That's the guy I saw in the canoe!"
"Can confirm," the man in the bat costume backed raising his free hand.
This begged the question. "First, what happened to your canoe? And secondly how did you get up here?" Nami asked.
"And undetected at that?" the voice of another inquired from behind.
"Robin!" Luffy said upon seeing her.
The man floating in the air shifted to face the person behind. The bag hanging over his shoulder fell loose of his grasp, feeling as if his heart skipped a beat after seeing her for the first time. "Well hello there." Hearts formed within his eyes as he took the time to analyze her from top to bottom.
He would however be interrupted by the steps of someone who approached from the right of him. "Hey Luffy, who the hell is this guy?" Zorro asked letting out a yawn.
He shrugged. "I don't know," Luffy replied. "He just appeared on the ship just a couple of seconds ago."
"What's your name?" Nico Robin asked.
He was dazzled by the chance to hear her voice for a second time. Turning back to face her his feet were kicked up as he leaned back while both hands falling to the back of his head; looking as if he was comfortably sitting back in a couch. "Oh my dear, you can call me whatever you see fit." He jested in response.
Slightly taken back by this she took a half step away. Without warning Luffy laughed. This brought all attention his way. "What's so funny?" Usopp asked out of curiosity.
"Nothing. I just find his costume to be so awesome! And look he's FLOATING," Luffy shouted in excitement. He then looked to him directly. "Hey bat guy I know this is out of the blue, but would you be interested in."
"Don't do it!" Both Nami and Zorro shouted together.
He looked over at the two of them with a look of confusion. "Do what," Luffy questioned. "I was simply going to ask if he wanted to join our crew. I wasn't going to do anything."
"I'd love to join you guys!" The man in the bat costume accepted.
Nami face palmed in reaction to the decided. "Does he ever think anything through?"
"Yessss!" chanted Luffy in excitement.
"Now I have a question," Bat-Mite said looking to each and every one of them. "Would you be interested in playing a game?"
"A game?" Nico Robin questioned.
"Of course we would!" Luffy said giving a decisive answer.
"Then it has been decided." He grinned.
"Wait," Nami said stepping forward. "What game?"
He looked down at her with only one message to convey. "The captain has spoken."
And with the snap of his finger a blinding light erupted, consuming each of them in its birth.
How much time had passed since he had begun? A minute, several minutes? An hour? By this time mid-day had been reached. It was evident by the hot beating sun that beamed down from above. He did what the job required of him, driving along behind the wheel of a tractor. He couldn't be any more disinterested with his current predicament. The fact of this detachment lied upon his face.
His thoughts took center stage at that second. "I shouldn't be here doing field work, no.. I should be out there training. It's the only way I'm going to get stronger."
He looked to the path to see how much grass and weeds remained before his task would completely be done. His heart irked at the thought of it. Without realizing he slouched forward before pouting in his depths of dread. "This is going to be one long day."
Unknowingly his day would soon take an unexpected turn. Minutes more passed as he continued to plow his way along. Uncertain of the time his stomach began to burl within. There was only one thing to make of this. He stopped the tractor before stepping out. "Time for a break," He stretched, gaining immediate relief in his back. "I don't know how long I've been at it for the day, but I could sure use something to eat."
Sitting on the far left corner of the seat where he had stepped down from was a box. He reached inside to grab it. Once in his possession he loosened the red ribbon that had been neatly tied around it. "I wonder what ChiChi packed for my lunch today." Just the thought of it sparked his excitement. With the ribbon now removed his mouth moistened inside. "Now to take see what's-"
Before his words could conclude a powering gust of wind blew past, taking the box right out of his hand. It crashed to the ground with the top rolling off. All content inside blew into several directions. An antagonizing look of despair immediately found way to his face. "No, my lunch!" He clutched his fists in anger. "Who could have done this?"
Hoping to find out just that he turned around. What he came to find was a small ship of some kind levitating in the air about sixty feet off of the ground. "Wooh, who is that?!"
Seeing the ship gradually descending to the ground he leaped back, making sure he was completely clear of its path. Now with a good view of the air craft it became clear who had made way to his location. "That emblem on the side of the ship, that's Capsule Corp," He pointed. And with this realization his sorrow of emotions were wiped away. "That must mean Bulma's here. Maybe she even has something to eat with her!"
The thrilling thought of that quickly turned to one of uncertainty as he looked down at the ground. "Hold on.. ChiChi said she would be attending some funding event in town today along with Bulma-chan and Satan-san," He then looked back up at the ship. "So if it isn't her, then who?"
Furthermore he had not heard the ship traveling his way before it arrived, it was almost as if it just appeared out of thin air. He was now on guard, prepared for anyone or anything that stepped foot out from the ship. A half minute more was all it took for the ship to find landing. The glass top to the shuttle popped open as a cloud of steam released into the air.
He gulped, watching as a dark figure eased up from where they apparently sat. And with a quick move the person behind the wall of smoke soared out to reveal themselves, landing within ten feet of him. Upon seeing them in the clear his eyes brightened. "Mi.. Mirai Trunks?!"
"So they wished you back after all. Long time no see Goku." The boy from the future confirmed.
"No way," Goku exclaimed. "It really is you! But what are you doing here? Why have you come back?"
"I traveled back to this exact time for a reason," Trunks conveyed. "We might not have much time depending, so we better get started."
There was now a registered focus along with an added interest. "This important matter you're talking about," Goku began with a pause. He was now hopeful. "It wouldn't happen to have something to do with a new enemy would it?"
To his delight he nodded. "That could very well be the case," Trunks noted. "But it is far too early to jump to any conclusions. Let's head to Capsule Corporation, there's something mother needs to see."
"Mother," questioned Goku. He laughed after realizing. "Oh that's right, you mean Bulma. Yea about that, she's not at Capsule Corp right now."
He wasn't sure if he should be surprised by this. "She isn't?"
"She along with ChiChi are attending some charity event in town that she is cohosting," Goku informed. "I could take you there if you'd like."
He nodded. "Yes, of course," It was at that moment that he noticed the box on the ground a few feet away from them. He smiled. "If anything, it looks like I owe you lunch."
Goku chuckled. "It's no big deal," He played it off as best he could. "I know exactly where she is. Gohan and some of the others will be there as well, they'll be pleased to see you again no doubt."
He couldn't agree anymore. "You lead the way."
Goku launched into the air with Trunks following right behind. The first minute of flight was silent. Trunks glanced over at him, even without him being transformed he could feel he had significantly gotten stronger since the last time he'd seen him. His eyes then adjusted back to the path ahead as he heard him speak. "Hey Trunks."
He looked at him curiously. "What is it?"
"This guy, or group that you speak of," Goku said as a subtle smirk began to slip into place. "Just how strong are they?"
"I couldn't tell you," Trunks admitted. "There's a lot I don't know concerning this matter, I know next to nothing as it pertains to whoever it is we're dealing with. Which is why I have come."
Understanding this he nodded. "I have one more question," Goku said. "Of all periods to travel back to, why here? Why now?"
"The very essence of the foreseeable problem dictated just that."
He raised a brow, clearly not fully on board in regards to what this meant. "What do you mean?" Goku asked.
"I'll explain everything once everyone is present." Trunks promised.
Ok with this for the time being Goku face forward. "At the pace we're moving we'll be there in no time."
The pair flew for a little over three minutes before Goku came to an untimely stop. Seeing this Trunks did the same. His eyes immediately looked to the city below. There were several people gathered in the streets, all standing just feet away from a large stage that had been set up. "This must be it," He then looked over at him to see an uncertainty on his face. "Goku is something wrong? Is this not the place?"
"No, this is it alright," Goku confirmed. "I'm just looking for an opening."
"Yes," replied Goku as he continued to survey the grounds beneath them. "If we simply fly down there we'll cause a scene. That's the last thing I want to do. And besides, I'd never hear the end of it from ChiChi."
With those words leaving his lips his eyes shined in success. "There, by that light pole," Goku announced. "There is no one around it."
"So what's the plan for getting down there without being seen?"
Goku hovered over to his side as he placed a hand on his right shoulder. "Instant Transmission."
The second those words escaped were spoken the two disappeared before reappearing beside the light pole next to the road. "I had almost forgotten about that transmission technique of yours." Trunks admitted.
"Come on," Goku instructed as he began walking. "We're only about a block away from the main event. We'll be there in no time."
"Right behind you," Trunks called following him step for step.
The further the two traveled the more condensed the crowds became. It was irritating to say the least. "You're certain you couldn't have teleported us any closer?" Trunks stated.
"Sorry, that was the only true people free zone," Goku apologized.
The two patiently made their way along. After a few minutes of walking the two came to a stop the moment they came in view of a group of men dressed in dark blue uniforms. "This is as far as you go," One of the men of six declared holding his hand up. "If you don't have a silver slip, you are prohibited from getting any closer."
Goku stepped forward to voice his claim. "But we're friends of Bulma, surely you-"
He was abruptly cut off. "No silver card, no pass," The man in uniform stated. "Protocol is protocol; there is no bending the rules already put in place. Not for anyone."
Seeing that no progress was going to be made given their current stance he tried his hand at speaking to them. "Could you at least bring Mrs. Briefs here," asked Trunks. "It's really important that I talk to her now."
The men in uniform looked to one another. They shared an agreeing glance before facing him again. "I'll see what I can do," One of them replied. They turned for stage only to stop after a single step. "Hey, what's your name kid?" He asked looking over at him.
"Trunks," The boy from the future conveyed.
With that he marched off, leaving the two of them to wait. The furry of the crowd began to mellow down in the coming minute. There was only one thing to make of this. "Whatever everyone is here to see is probably about to go underway," Trunks thought to himself.
The next moment came with the sound of a familiar voice, and even though he could not see them; he knew her voice better than any other. "Mother."
As she neared she spoke in a tone that would suggest she was disgruntled to a degree. "What could Trunks possibly be doing here? He should be in school right now," She snapped. "He better have a good reason for being here or else I'm going to-"
She finally stepped into view of the two, but she wasn't alone. Standing at her side was the prince of the saiyan race himself, Vegeta. She first spotted Goku before noticing the young man at his side. She found herself at a loss for words, standing there stone still as she stared into his eyes. Her response was warranted, so he took the initiative of making the first move. Smiling he waved as if to greet her. "Hi Mom." He then looked to the man at her side who was just in as much shock. "It's good to see you as well father."
Goku looked to his friendly rival before speaking. "Vegeta you're here as well. I would have never guessed you would be taking part in this."
Was it true, was it him? "Mi… Mirai Trunks," She moved an inch forward. "Is that really you?"
"It's really me." Trunks assured.
Without warning she raced forward, embracing him the moment he was in arms reach. He hugged her in return, welcomed by her warmth. "It's good to see you too."
Vegeta slowly made his way over as well. Watching from a few feet away, Goku not wanting rudely interrupt the moment raised his hand before speaking. "So Trunks, now that Bulma is here can we discuss the new enemy?" There was a growing anticipation to see on his face.
Hearing this Vegeta too now found himself interested in this whole predicament. He crossed his arms as he asked the obvious from his position. "Trunks, what are you doing back here from the future," asked Vegeta as the two brought their embrace to an end. "Surely you didn't just come here to pay us a visit?"
"I wish it was that I came on my own accordance, but that's not the case. Something has happened," dispensed Trunks. He paused. "And I'm going to need help."
Bulma smiled. "That's why we're here. So what seems to be the problem?"
He nodded, ready to discuss just that. "To investigate a matter if you will."
The change in his tone was noted. The smile on her face dropped. "What are you here to investigate?"
He looked downward. "One moment."
Vegeta watched as he reached into his jacket before fiddling his hand as if to look for something. Looking at him curiously he spoke. "What are you doing?"
The second this was inquired his hand made contact with the sought. "There it is," He pulled out a square shaped device. "All the answers for why I have come lay here."
Before he had the opportunity to reveal its contents the ring of a phone was heard.
"That's mine," Bulma said. "Give me just a moment."
She took the call. The two waited patiently in silence. The conversation lasted for a little over a half minute. Once done she tucked the phone away before giving complete attention back to the three of them.
"Who was that?" Goku asked.
"It was 18," Bulma replied. "She is unable to come at the moment. And since Krillin-kun is already here she sent someone else to deliver the goods for the event."
It came as quick as an unexpected blow of cold breeze, a roughness brushing past her right leg. She grunted in minor irritation. Looking down a boy in what looked like a bat costume walked right past without even acknowledging her. "Well excuse you." Bulma muttered rolling her eyes.
Following that her heart jumped at a detail that came to eye. It swung back and forth as he walked. He had a tail, and not just any kind of tail but one which resembled that of a saiyan. She immediately looked to the others who were just as attentive in position as herself. They clearly had noticed the tail as well. But what did it mean?
The boy in the bat costume stopped upon reaching Trunks, a move which caught everyone by surprise. The boy looked up at him. Trunks huffed in response, responding in the best way that he could. "Can I help you with something little guy?"
The boy held up his right fist as he spoke. "Nice to meet you brother from my mother's lover."
He was confused by the stated. Not wanting to decline the greeting he softly bumped the boy's fist with his own. "Umm.. ok, thanks?"
Looking past Goku completely the boy then turned his attention to Vegeta. Two steps was all it took to find himself standing before him. He looked up at him with a big bright smile. Uncrossing his arms Vegeta kept a straight face as he asked the question everyone wanted to know. "That tail of yours," Vegeta noted scaling his eyes on it. "You're a saiyan, aren't you?"
"Why would you ask a question like that," the boy replied. "You already know the answer to that, after all you are my Papa!"
Everyone's eyes blasted wide including Vegeta's.
"What?!" Bulma shouted.
"Did he-" Trunks began only to be cut off.
"Just say?!" Goku finished.
The boy in the bat suit turned around to face the rest of them. "You heard right, this is my."
"I am not your PAPA!" Vegeta exclaimed.
The boy turned, looking up at him hopelessly with a display of sadness. "Father, why do you deny me in the face of others?"
"There is nothing to deny!" retorted Vegeta.
Inching in Goku now found himself at his side. Nudging his friend he whispered something that only the pair could hear. "So if he isn't Bulma's, then who is the mother?"
"Kakarotto you clown, he is not my son!" Vegeta snapped in growing irritation.
Goku looked at him then down at the boy in the bat costume before rubbing the back of his head. "I don't know Vegeta," Goku said voicing an uncertainty. "He does kind of look like you."
"He does not!" Vegeta growled. In that moment his eyes fell in line with his wife. Her void of emotions was that of disgust, disappointment, anger, and above all.. betrayal. Seeing her like that, it felt as if a dagger had been wedged into his heart. He glared down at the opposition with a fire now in eyes. "Alright, enough! Who the hell are you?!"
"I'm your son, Batgeta" The boy repeated with a look of innocence. "Why do you forsake me in the light of your known acquaintances?"
"I'm running out of patience boy," Vegeta sneered. "Now I'm going to ask you once more, and only this final time. Who are you?!"
They would however be interrupted by the sound of a voice. "It appears we have finally found Son Goku. And look, Vegeta is with him."
He turned to face him the moment his voice was heard. "Whis-sama, what are you doing here?" Vegeta asked in surprise.
Trunk's eyes narrowed upon sighting the two newcomers. "Who are these guys?"
Standing next to him was the God of Destruction himself. Hearing the inquired he took the liberty of answering. "Clearly Goku hasn't told you about the challenge."
A puzzled look fell upon the saiyan's face. "What challenge?"
"For Earth's fate," Beerus reminded. "Do you not recall claiming that you were now strong enough to best me?"
Vegeta instantly shot eyes his way. "KAKAROTTO!"
"What, I don't remember giving such a-"
He would then be interrupted by the boy in the bat suit who stepped in between the two of them. "Good, now that everyone is all here we're now ready to commence."
Before anyone had a chance to respond to the proclaimed he tapped his fists together, setting off an immense wave of light that blinded everyone.
The race was now on; and with every passing moment the obvious enemy waited in the clear, time. It was now twenty two after mid night. Only ten minutes remained before the eight hidden bombs were set to go off. After a difficult struggle he finally managed to hack into the enemy's network, giving him the location of every bomb. The only problem.. They were all spread out from Gotham all the way to Metropolis.
There was no way he'd be able to disarm them all in time, which left him with no other choice but to call in reinforcements. "Batman this is Aquaman, do you copy?"
"Loud and clear Aquaman," replied Batman. "What's your position?"
"I'm on the coast of Tampa Bay," dispatched Aquaman. "With the coordinance you sent me I should be there within the minute."
This was pleasing news to learn. "I didn't hear a question," Batman noted. "Is there a problem?"
"Well, possibly," He paused before elaborating. "As you know Flash was assigned to take care of the single bomb in Kansas, and then once that was accomplished he was then to head to the opposite side of Gotham where you're located to take care of a second bomb."
He weaved through traffic carefully, continuing to listen as he drove in pursuit of one of the bombs himself. "It turns out there's a situation involving Captain Cold in Central City which warrants his full attention. Luckily I was able to get in contact with Kid Flash and relayed the task to him," Aquaman informed. "According to my tracker he's at the first site now, the problem is he has been there for the last two minutes. I've tried contacting him, but nothing."
With where this was going he answered the question that he knew would be asked. "Don't worry about it, I'm sure Kid Flash can handle the one," Batman responded. "Red Robin has been patrolling the east side of Gotham for the past week in investigation of something; I'll contact him and allow him to take care of the second. We still have time."
"Roger that. Aquaman out."
With the transmission between the two ending Batman then contacted Red Robin, giving him full details of the situation. Once that was accounted for all that remained was to take care of the bomb chosen for himself. The gap closed with each passing second. He checked the time, only six minutes remained. He drove for a short time more, bringing the Batmobile to a stop at the side of the road.
His eyes were locked on a holographic map which was being projected from the device on his wrist. The tracker led him into a dark alley where the signal of the bomb only strengthened. He came to a stop about halfway through after making a discovery. "It's beneath me," Batman realized. "The bomb is in the sewer somewhere."
Lowering his arm he took notice of a manhole just a couple feet away. Before taking a single step the sound of something soaring from above was heard. Looking up he watched as she flew down to join him. "Diana." Her appearing was unexpected to say the least. "What are you doing here?"
"All the other bomb locations are accounted for," the amazon princess replied. "I was unsure on how off target you were concerning this one so I decided to come."
With that now cleared he headed directly for the manhole. She followed him from a step behind. "Batman, I don't like it." When he didn't respond she continued. "Superman went after the bomb you marked at the bottom of Lex Corp. Since we parted I haven't heard from him since. I have tried calling him but he has not responded."
His mind immediately fell back to the conversation he had with Aquaman just a short time ago. Could this be an elaborate trap? The possibility was certainly there. He kneeled after reaching the manhole, opening it with little difficulty. "We'll move with caution from here," said Batman as he stood back to his feet. He then looked over at her. "After you princess."
She smiled. "Such a gentleman." Accepting she made the first move in with Batman jumping in after her.
It was dark, as expected. Batman wasted no time in pulling out a mini flash light, turning it on with the click of a button. "Where is it?" Wonder Woman asked.
"Close," Batman vaguely replied. He glanced down at the wrist device every few seconds to check their progress. "It's just around the corner up ahead."
The two were now on full alert, preparing themselves for anything. They motioned around the corner to find something unexpected. There lying in the middle of the floor in a model like pose was a little boy in a bat suit, sitting in between his teeth was a red rose. He snarled suggestively, winking at Wonder Woman which provoked a response.
Batman's eyes locked down on the one now before them, knowing exactly who he was. "Bat-Mite."
Pleased that he was recognized Bat-Mite stood up as he tossed the rose aside. "Hi'ya Batman, so good to see you," The grin on his face couldn't be any wider. "You two are the final of the contestants, and now that you're here we can finally get started!"
The pair looked to one another, both just as clueless as the other. "Bat-Mite it is clear you lured us here," Wonder Woman said facing him again. "What is this all about?"
Bat-Mite nodded. "Well of course. But all at once."
Batman's eyes perked at this. "All at once?"
Winking his eye a light appeared out of nowhere, forcing the two to place their arms over their eyes to block its intensity.
"Let stage one, BEGIN!"
To Be Continued