Part VI: Waking to Resolution

 

Wishing you were somehow here again . . .

Knowing we must say good bye . . .

Try to forgive . . .

Teach me to live . . .

Give me the strength to try . . .


No more memories, no more silent tears . . .

No more gazing across the wasted years . . .

Help me say good bye.

~Wishing you were Somhow here Again: Phantom of the Opera

           

The elven-voiced deity awoke hacking and sputtering.  Grime coated his skin and clothes, which were stiffened with blood.  Hardly able to remember where he was or why he should be there, Kaioushin surveyed the desolate land in which he had awakened.  Hazy brown mountains shimmered in the distance.  Dust swirled about his ankles as he staggered to his feet.  The heavens, the hue of a firedrop, stretched above him, endless and untamed.  He slowly mounted the blazing air currents, conducting a search of which only his subconscious was certain.  In this befuddled quest, many hours of similar landscape, usually desolate mountain and cliffs sculpted from the wind, passed beneath his feet, unheeded.  The shadows lengthened and darkened until even his sharp eyes could not make out crevice from hill.  At length, stars spilled across the length of the sky, as inky as Kaioushin's very eyes.  The tiny segments of diamond fire seemed a somehow crucial part of his missing memory of what had transpired to land him on this desert in the middle of the planet.  However that night awakened no new understanding in him. 

            Finally, the sun shone over the desolate land, illumining the sky in orange and golden flames.  Bands of clouds, as richly shaped as the mountains themselves, casts pockets of shadow over the traveler.  He had just begun to question the validity of his own memory when he stumbled upon an inexplicable patch of greenery amongst the lifeless desert.  His roving eye fell upon a youth clad in black tatters.  Tiny animals surrounded him, sniffing and licking at him with tiny noses and tongues.  Kaioushin drew in a hoarse gasp as the memories slammed down on him on after another like a wall of ocean waves.  Son Gohan! 

Kaioushin landed just outside of the clearing and strode through the relative coolness of the shade.  The leafy trees there brimmed with life.  How different it was from the world of dreams where the grass always shined like wheat and smelled of straw.  I have at last awakened.  But how much of it was a dream?  Could Meghann still be alive somehow?  Somehow he knew that this couldn’t be so.  Finally he understood the truth of the dream that was not a dream.  Like Buu, I was an apparition, a cloud of scattered particles as she would say.  That would explain why I was able to strike him and why no one noticed my arrival…save for the night runner. 

Bitterness soured his mouth as he recognized the early stage of forgetfulness: referring to Meghann as the night runner.  Was it her affinity with the night that enabled her to see me when no other could?  To understand me when it was possible for no other mortal being, or divine entity for that matter?  I suppose I will never know.  The secret surely died with her. Through the murky bitterness, a ray of reason shone through.  "I must take what she has given me and not mourn her passing overlong.  That would be what Babidi would want.  And yet…"  Despair clouded over the ray.  Before he could dwell too long on the loss of the unique mortal girl who had opened his eyes to the meaning of guardianship, Kaioushin sensed another ki.

Could it be? the elvish deity thought incredulously.  Icy, yet nurturing, the ki seemed almost familiar.  Soundlessly he stole through the thick underbrush, turning the possibility over in his mind.

Sure enough, kneeling beside Gohan in the clearing was Kibito.  Healing radiance sparkled in the air around the two of them like sunfire.  As Kaioushin approached, Kibito looked up.  A rare smile, though a grim one, split his face into innumerable wrinkles.  "I am glad of your return."

Kaioushin did not reply.  As Gohan's body absorbed Kibito's healing, traces of color returned to the youth's face.  By the time, he opened his eyes, the sun beat upon them from directly overhead.  Kaioushin smiled with genuine hope and determination.  "Son Gohan."  His voice was the music of the birds gathering at sunset.

"Kaioushin!" Gohan gasped.  "Kibito!"  Overcome with relief and surprise, the youth could only grin dazedly.  He gingerly shifted to a sitting position.  As he did so, the animals surrounding him fled.  The smile became wider when he realized that the pain was gone.

Knowing his intention would disturb Kibito, Kaioushin chose his next words carefully.  "There is a weapon of importance that you must claim.  With it, there is a better chance of bringing about Majin Buu's defeat."

Gohan got to his feet slowly.  Kibito's sour grimace chilled him with uncertainty "Where is this weapon?  What is it for that matter?"

"It is the Zet Sword on Kaioushinkai.  No mortal has yet been to this planet."  Kaioushin met Kibito's eyes with a frosty glare of his own.  "However, it will provide an unbelievable advantage - something which we could use - once you learn to use it," he added as much for Kibito's benefit as for Gohan's.

"Well then, let's go!" Gohan laughed, thrilled at the prospect.

"KaiKai!"

In a heartbeat, the trio materialized on the lavender planet of eternal twilight.  Gohan stared about in awe.  There was no mistaking the frigid majesty of the rosy planet. However, the very grass ached with sorrow, for they had drunken of the purest of all blood.

Disapproving of so much as every movement of the youth's eyes Kibito nonetheless maintained a respectful silence.  Kaioushin, surveying the silent hills, of almost glass-like keenness, could not disregard the lingering presence of the Kais who had perished that day.  Closing both eyes, the elven deity clenched his fists tightly.  In the name of the lives that monstrosity claimed for the void, for the sakes of those still alive to experience its agony, I must endure!  I am all that is left!  As he envisioned the night runner, the task, though its importance had been enhanced beyond measure, suddenly seemed to weigh less upon his shoulders.  Many more will perish in this undertaking…but it must be done!

Kaioushin turned to Gohan.  Despite all that the Kai had himself discovered, the extent of hope he had placed in Gohan's affinity for the Zet sword rather frightened him. 

The half-Saiyan met the Kai's eyes unwaveringly.  Between the wells of shining darkness resounded an echo of understanding.

 

Fin