Cell, Conversions, And A New Guardian
Al found Ed on the peak of a mountain. He landed behind his brother, remaining completely silent. After a few minutes, Ed broke the silence. "Did you explain to Krillin?" "Yes. Tien and Trunks heard as well." Ed nodded. "That's good. Less people I have to explain that to." Al laughed a little. Ed turned to face his brother. "I swore I would never let something like what happened to Nina happen to another human being. I failed. Nothing for it but to try harder." Al smiled, relieved. "I'm glad, brother. I was afraid you wouldn't be able to forgive yourself." Ed grinned. "It doesn't do any good to dwell on things. Do you remember what I told Rose? After that thing in Lior? 'You've got a good pair of legs. Get up and move forward.'" Al nodded. "I remember, brother. It was good advice. Still is." Ed looked back to the sky. "I sensed the others go toward Goku's house. Maybe we should follow them?" AL shook his head. "No. It won't do any good. We need to become strong enough to defeat these androids." Ed snorted. "I doubt we can do that. It's impossible to transmute them, even if they are part machine. We just got our bodies back, and it would cost that much to destroy both of them. Plus, there's that third android. I don't think he was ever human, but I'm willing to bet that he's at least as strong as his companions, if not stronger." Al nodded. "I know that. We have to do what Vegeta's doing. We have to go past Super Saiyan." Ed sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't know that we can. I've only just managed the form, and you haven't gotten there yet. The only one who could do it is Goku, and he can't even move. If we had more time, maybe we could do it." Al's eyes widened. "Ed, we need to go to Kami's lookout!" Ed was surprised. "Kami's? Why?" "I've got an idea, but I'm not sure if it'll work. Goku once mentioned a place in the lookout where time passed quickly. Maybe we could use that!" Ed shrugged. "OK. It's worth a shot."
They arrived at the lookout 5 minutes later. Kami was looking out over the world, and Piccolo was meditating. They saw Mr. Popo, whom they had met while training with Piccolo, and went over to talk to him. "Hello, boys! how wonderful to see you again." They waved in greeting. "Hey Popo. What's going on?" Ed asked. "Well, Piccolo wants to fuse with Kami, but Kami has misgivings. He is currently watching a new being he detected recently. It may turn out to be a bigger threat than the androids." Ed and Al both took a sharp intake of air. "Stronger than the already unbeatable androids?!" Mr. Popo nodded. Al spoke. "Then we're here just in time. We once heard Goku mention a place in the lookout where time passes faster. Do you know of it?" Mr. Popo nodded. "Of course! The room of Spirit and Time, also known as the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. In a single day, you can train for a whole year. However, you can only stay for two days before you become trapped, and then you can never enter it again." Ed grinned. "Great. Take us to it. We need serious training." Popo held up a hand. "Wait a moment. Are you sure? The conditions inside the chamber are far from ideal. The gravity is ten times that of earth, and the temperature can change faster than your heart can beat." Al nodded. "We need to do this, Mr. Popo. It may be our last chance." Popo sighed, and led them to the chamber. "Good luck." He said as he opened the door. Once inside, the brothers gasped. They were standing in an apartment, with beds, bathtubs, and refrigerators. Outside the apartment, however, was a vast expanse of white. There was nothing else. Ed walked out onto it, and almost fell down. Popo hadn't been kidding about that gravity! "Whoa! Heavy!" Al laughed. "You think it's funny?! Come out here and laugh!" All followed, but didn't stumble. Ed's mouth was hanging open. Al laughed again. "I had to learn perfect balance while I was in that armor. I fell the gravity, but I don't stumble." Ed growled. "Let's get on with this!" The training commenced.
Outside the room, down on the planet, Krillin and Trunks had arrived at Goku's house. Tien had gone to train with Chiaotzu. They knocked, and Chi Chi answered. "Hey Krillin! Did you beat the androids? Where's Gohan?" "Calm down, Chi Chi! No, we didn't beat the androids. They're a thousand times stronger than us! And as for Gohan, he went to take Bulma and Yajirobe to Capsule Corp. For now, we need to get Goku out of here! those androids are after him, so he needs to be taken to Master Roshi's!" It took them a few minutes to get everything packed (Chi Chi insisted on taking everything she might possibly need), and before they took off in a capsule airbus Yamcha had, Gohan showed up. "What's going on?" Trunks gave him a quick summary. "OK, let's get going." The airbus launched, and they were on their way.
Two Days Passed.
Ed and Al came out of the Time Chamber. Their clothes were ragged, but there power had increased dramatically. Mr. Popo greeted them. "Hello, boys. How did it go?" Ed smiled. "Better than expected. I think we've gotten what we needed. How are things out here?" Popo looked down, tears in his eyes. "Kami and Piccolo have fused. I'm going to miss Kami." Al thought of something. "If they fused, who are they now? They wouldn't be Kami or Piccolo now, would they?" "Actually, he is still Piccolo. Kami just became part of him. His memories remain inside of Piccolo, but his personality remains mostly intact." Surprisingly, Ed placed a comforting hand on Popo's shoulder. "Don't worry. I'm sure you'll have another guardian before long." Popo brightened at the thought. "Thank you Edward. I hope so. Perhaps you and Alphonse should get going. I'm sure everyone is wondering what happened to you." The brothers nodded, and flew away. Mr. Popo returned to watering his plants, and sighed.
The Elrics flew to Kame house. They sensed most of the Z-warriors there, the only exceptions being Tien, Chiaotzu, Piccolo, and Vegeta. When they opened the door, everyone inside looked up. Riza Ran over and hugged them. "Riza? Are you okay? I don't think I've ever seen you hug anybody." Riza smiled. "Maybe not Ed, but it's good to see you. I wasn't sure where you were. Your ki just dropped of the map!" Al grinned. "Sorry about that. We were in the Room of Spirit and Time." Riza hadn't heard about this, so they explained. She shook her head. "This world may not have alchemy, but what it does have more than makes up for it." Ed grinned, then he thought of something. "Where's everyone else? I don't sense Piccolo, Tien, or Chiaotzu." Yamcha spoke up. "We don't know where Piccolo is, but Tien and Chiaotzu are training. Last we knew, Piccolo was at the lookout." Ed nodded. "He fused with Kami while we were in the Time Chamber. He was gone when we got out." They all tried sensing for Piccolo. He was on the mainland, with another large power. Everyone capable of flight, except for Yamcha, flew to meet him. When they arrived, Piccolo was fighting with the other power. The strange thing was, they could sense several kis inside the other being! Goku, Piccolo, Tien, Yamcha, Krillin, Frieza, King Cold, Vegeta, Ed, Al... They were all inside this thing! The other being noticed the new arrivals. "Well, Well. More of you. I'm not ready for you yet so, SOLAR FLARE!" There was a blinding flash of light. When sight returned to them, the new being was gone. Ed landed next to Piccolo. "What the hell was that?!" Piccolo didn't move, but he said "His name is Cell. He's another android, created by Gero. He's made of cells from all of us, and so he has all our powers. I'd be willing to bet he even knows alchemy." Ed paled. "How is that possible? We've only used it a few times since we arrived on this world!" "Dr. Gero has small machines that have been following us. He said that Gero even learned how to perform the Kamehameha Wave through these machines, so I don't see any reason why he couldn't figure out your alchemy." Trunks spoke. "Wait a minute! Does this have anything to do with the other time machine I found?" "What? What other time machine?" Ed asked. "While you and Al were in the time machine, my mom found another time machine. According to the readout, it had been there for four years. That was before I ever showed up, so someone or something must have used it. So, Piccolo, was that it?" Piccolo nodded. "He's from the future, even from your perspective. He said he found you about to travel back and tell us that you had defeated the androids of your time, killed you, and traveled back in your place. He had to revert to a larval form, and it took him four years to get to the form he's in now. He has to absorb androids 17 and 18 in order to reach his 'perfect form.' Whatever that is, I don't think we want him to reach it." The others all nodded in agreement. Gohan had a thought. "Piccolo, you, Ed, and Al are all a lot stronger now. Maybe you could destroy the other androids!" Piccolo nodded. "Yes, but I think I should do it myself. The rest of you should hunt down Cell. He absorbs people through his tail to increase his power, and there's no telling how many he'll absorb before he's ready to go after the androids." Ed nodded. "That's a good idea. It won't be easy, though. He's suppressing his energy, making it almost impossible to track him effectively. We'd better get moving." "Wait." Piccolo held up a hand. "How did your training go?" Both Elrics gave wide grins. Ed spoke first. "We mastered the Super Saiyan form, and figured out the next level." Piccolo raised an eyebrow. "Mastered the form? How so?" "Well," Al spoke up, "we realized that the form didn't feel natural. Our movements were strained. So, we stayed in the form constantly, until we got used to it. That took a whole year to do. After that, we found another form. It's like an upgrade. It increases the power and speed for the Super Saiyan as much as it did for our base forms." Piccolo grinned. "Not bad. Maybe you should take care of the androids." Ed shook his head. "No. Cell is the real threat. We can deal with the androids afterward." Piccolo nodded. "I'm going back to Goku then. They might show up there." Ed nodded, and the Elrics went after Cell.