Dream . . . .
She was running, running away, yet running to someone or something. No, it was someone. She was running from someone and running to someone. Her feet hurt and her lungs were burning and felt like they were going to burst. She didn't know from whom she was running from and to whom she was running to. She just knew that she needed to run to save her life. Suddenly she crashed into a solid body, yelping as her hands slammed into someone's chest. She felt arms wrap around her waist and she looked up to see a pair of obsidian eyes staring down at her . . . a pair of Saiyan eyes.
Bulma's eyes shot open, scaring the tech that had been positioned to watch over her. She saw the scrawny man back away from the tank, clearly frightened. She looked out of the tank and saw the blinking lights of the computers as they worked out whatever problems they were programmed to do. She hadn't touched a keyboard since they had come, and her fingers were fairly aching to now. She swished around a bit in the fluids, testing out her limbs to see if they were fully healed. They seemed to be. She lifted up her hand and banged on the glass twice, signaling that she was perfectly fine to be let out.
The tech seemed to looked relieved that his shift was finally over. He pressed a button and the fluids began to drain out of the tank. Once the fluids reached below her waist, she pulled on the mask and pulled it off, taking in a much needed fresh breath of air. The sides of the tank came down as the fluid drained away completely, and she stood completely naked before the tech. He handed her a robe and she put it on, not caring what the tech had seen; so many had seen everything anyway already. She stepped out of the tank onto the cold steel floor.
She looked around, wondering what the day would bring today. She wasn't sure if she dreamt about the Saiyan oracle or not. Everyday seemed to be a horrible nightmare that wouldn't end. She looked at the tech who looked at her uncertainly. "Now what?" she said to him.
"Um, someone will be here to get you soon." he said, his high voice paining her ears.
Bulma winced and sat down on a bench that stood beside the door. Presently she heard the door click and saw a tall, familiar figure step in. Goku?
"Where is she?" she heard him say in a very familiar voice.
The tech motioned to her and she stood up, wondering if Goku would be able to recognize her, if they had broken him enough, if they had brainwashed him. He turned to look at her and she saw a flicker of recognition pass through his eyes. He kept his composure though, and roughly grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the room. They walked down the hall into an unfamiliar corridor. She remained silent, not sure of what she could say and not sure if he would remember anything anyway. She realized now that his hand was at the small of her back, softly nudging her forward as they walked. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes.
"Goku?" she said, her voice cracking with emotion.
Goku looked down at her, his face hard for a moment. Then his childish grin broke out and pushed Bulma against the wall, embracing her gently behind the covering of a curtain.
Bulma wrapped her arms around him and cried softly. He hadn't changed a bit. He lightly kissed her head and pulled away from her. Bulma studied his face and saw that he had aged a bit, probably from the continual wear on his nerves. They hadn't broken him. She blushed slightly when she found that he was studying her just as intently as she was studying him. She pulled away and wrapped the robe around her body tighter.
He seemed to realize the difference now and he put his arms down. They stepped out from behind the curtain and continued to walk down the hallway. "Bulma," he said softly, enough so that only she could hear. "What are they going to do to you?"
Bulma looked down at the floor, her hands clasped behind her tightly. She was confused. "What do you mean?" she asked him.
"The oracle-" he started.
Bulma's head shot up and she placed a restraining hand on his mouth. It hadn't been a dream. "Don't say a word, Goku. Last time someone did they were totally consumed by fire."
He looked at her confused, but said nothing, believing her.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked hima few moments later.
"I am to take you to get dressed and then to teach you how to use a pod-- though personally I believe you could figure it out on your own." he added.
Bulma smiled weakly at him. A few moments of uncomfortable silence passed. "Goku, I'm sorry about Chichi." Bulma said after a while.
Goku gulped, but remained stoic. "She's in a better-- safer-- place." he said.
"Have you seen Gohan?"
"He's . . . around." was all Goku said. Bulma knew enough not to push it, though she really wanted to know how he was.
Eventually they came to the end of the corridor and before them stood two massive doors. Goku pushed them open and Bulma was presently surprised to see-- what looked like to her-- a Saiyan locker room. Though there were basically mostly males, Bulma saw some females. As soon as Goku stepped into the room with her in tow, the whole room quieted. Everyone stood and stared as they made their way to an obscure corner of the room, hidden from everyone's gaze by the tall lockers standing between them. Bulma walked with her head held high and eyes proud; inside, though, she was cringing.
Goku finally stopped in front of a locker and opened it. Inside was a three-piece suit of armor-- shirt, pants, top armor-- and a pair of silver-tipped Saiyan boots. The suit was mostly a dark blue, and the top armor was a dark yellow. It was definitely a Saiyan armor suit, but the shoes . . . they were silver-tipped.
Goku seemed to realize her confusion. "You're not a Saiyan. The gold-tipped are for Saiyans."
"But I don't understand why I'm being given a suit of armor." Bulma said confused.
"The oracles orders." was all Goku said. He turned the corner so he couldn't see her dress.
Bulma quickly dressed. The armor looked uncomfortable, but was actually far from it. It fit closely to her body, almost like a second skin. It displayed all her girlish curves. Despite how bad she'd been treated these passed few month, she still had retained her figure. Bulma twirled a bit in her new clothes, relishing how they felt against her skin.
She felt a hand on her shoulder and she jumped. She spun around, ready to cry out to Goku if she needed help, but was presently surprised to see another pair of familiar eyes. "Gohan!" she squealed. She flung her arms around him, tears streaming down her face. He roughly pushed her away from him, his eyes a mixture of disgust and sadness. He made a move to touch her, but Goku suddenly stood between them.
Bulma could feel an intensity between them. Gohan's eyes filled with hatred. He dropped his hand. "Father."
"Gohan." Goku grunted, his arms crossed in front of his chest. "What do you want?" Goku said, his voice low.
Gohan smiled maliciously. "I just wanted to say hi to an old friend."
"Go ahead and say hi, but don't you dare touch her." Goku threatened.
"Why? Are you willing to kill your own son?" Gohan said, spitting out the last word.
"If I have to, I will. But I'm sure Vegetasei can do it all on her own." Goku said calmly. He turned to Bulma. "It's time to go." He grabbed her arm and pulled her with him to the two doors they had entered.
"Goodbye, Father." Gohan said, his voice laughing.
Once they were outside the doors, Goku let out a ragged sigh. "What was that?" Bulma asked him.
"Gohan isn't the same anymore. They got him to believe that I had abandoned him. He hates me now." Goku said, his voice sad.
"I'm sorry, Goku." Bulma said, placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. "I wish there was something I could do."
Goku looked at her through his sad eyes, but said nothing.
He led her to another room. Inside she saw the latest in technological advancement: the Saiyan pods. She had to give them credit for that . . . but that was the only credit they would get from her. Goku led her to a pod at the left rear corner of the room. He ran through the schematics with her and then tested her on how much she could recall. She passed the test with flying colors. By that time a significant number of people had begun to populate around them, curious. When it got too big, Goku shot a small ki beam at the crowd, dispersing it quickly.
After having finished with that, Goku led her out of the room and led her down another unfamiliar hallway. "Where to now?" Bulma said.
Now that Bulma wasn't on the floor any longer getting beaten by Saiyans, she could really take a good look at the oracle. The oracle was clearly a Saiyan female-- she had a thin brown tail circled around her waist-- but that was about as Saiyan as she seemed. Her disposition was much warmer than the average Saiyan, and instead of Bulma having to go to her, the oracle came to her. Goku was left outside while the two women talked to one another.
"What is it you want?" Bulma asked her.
"It is not what I want, but what Vegetasei wants." the oracles said mystically, the only way oracles could.
Bulma scrunched her eyes together to think. "Who is Vegetasei?"
"Who and what." the oracle stated. "She is the embodiment of the whole Saiyan race. She is their mother; they are her children. Without her, all Saiyans would be lost."
"She's a god?" Bulma asked, trying to grasp what the woman was saying.
"She is. She is also a planet."
Bulma smiled a small smile, comprehending what was being told to her now. So the Saiyans referred to their planet the same way people of earth did, except they made the planet a god. Well, she supposed that would make sense since the planet did incinerate someone yesterday. But what would Vegetasei want her for? Why would she single out her out of millions and millions of people in the universe? Why not some Saiyan?
"All your questions will be answered in due time." the oracle said mystically again.
"So, what am I to do?" Bulma asked her.
"You've been having dreams lately, haven't you? Dreams that you can't explain. Dreams where you find another Saiyan you've never seen before in your life. Dreams of a dark-souled Saiyan. Dreams where someone you don't know is chasing you, and you are saved by this dark-souled Saiyan stranger." the oracle said, circling around Bulma.
Bulma stood still. As the oracle spoke, images flashed through her mind. Yes, yes; she'd been having dreams. What did they mean? Did Vegetasei send them to her? Bulma nodded as the oracle listed everything that her dreams consisted of. "What do my dreams have to do with anything?" Bulma said, looking at the woman.
The oracle stopped her predatory circling and stood up straight and tall. "You are to travel through the stars until you come to the place where this man is staying. Once there, you are to teach him how to love. You have to be quick, because if you don't teach him before the other stranger in your dream appears, then you will die, along with millions of others." the oracle simply stated.
Bulma looked at her skeptically. Teach someone to love? That wasn't so hard; didn't everyone love? But the look on the oracles face was dead serious.
"This man you will find to be impossible. He will hurt you; he will try to break your spirit. He will say careless words, and he will argue with you. His pride and his ego will blind him, and he will reject everything you have to say."
"Then why am I being sent to do this if he will push me away? If he won't accept what I have to say from the get-go, then why go at all?" Bulma asked her.
"Because, you are the universe's only chance."
"Don't question! Just do! You have been chosen by Vegetasei, and you will be the one to go!" the oracle roared.
Bulma stepped back out of surprise and cringed a little, thinking the oracle might hit her. But the oracle didn't. She sighed defeatedly and sat down on a chair.
"I don't know why Vegetasei chose you, but she did, and she has never been wrong before. You will be the one to go." the oracle said in a softer voice with finality.
The wheels in Bulma's brain began to turn. She had no choice but to go. And, for the sake of the universe, she would have to get through to this impossible man. Then Bulma thought of something. "If I do this for Vegetasei, would she do something for me in return?" Bulma inquired.
The oracles head shot up and her eyes were filled with an angry rage. But Bulma stood her ground this time. This might be the only chance for her friends. The oracle turned her gaze away from her and seemed to be conversing with Vegetasei about something. After a few moments the oracle turned back to Bulma.
"Yes, she will do something for you. What do you want?" the oracle asked her.
"I want the earth to be restored to how it was before." Bulma said, her voice clear and sure.
The oracle was silent for a moment longer. "Granted."
Bulma's face broke out into a smile. "Then let's get started."