Yes, it's a crappy title.
But I promise, the story's not. :P
Centuries after the end of Dragon Ball GT (maybe, not entirely sure on including GT in the timeline yet, also not sure just how long after it takes place), a new generation of warriors must find and protect the seven magic Dragon Balls in order to defend the planet. It's a half-reboot half-sequel sorta deal, like the 1984 Godzilla.
So here it is...
Chapter 1: Dawn of a New Era!
by Lugion and @Sabbyxx
The sky was gray with clouds, and a light breeze stirred the trees and grasses to life. But that was outside. Inside, the room was full of rather stale air, which carried the scent of several sweaty pre- and post-pubescent bodies, as well as a hint of rubber. The whispering of pencils communicating their holder's thoughts into the ears of paper was joined by the metronomic ticking of the clock hung high on the wall above the windows.
Son Goshin brushed a jet-black lock of hair from his eyes. His bangs were unruly, often being described as “exploding”.
He glanced up at the teacher, a middle-aged woman with crow's feet and a rather pronounced brow. She was watching the clock, seemingly just as anxious about the continuing passage of time as any of the other students.
It was the thirty-first of May. The last day of the school year. Goshin knew that all the other students were awaiting the dismissal bell, and their first taste of freedom since the term began. They were all scribbling away at their final assignment of the year, trying excitedly to cram in every detail of their summer plans. Their eyes were probably all filled with anticipation of the longest break from school that the year offered. Even more so about High School and all the wonders it possessed.
But Goshin felt no such glee.
He looked down at his own paper, with his name in the heading, titled, “My Summer Vacation Plans”. There, in one short paragraph, lay the fate of Goshin's summer vacation, and the rest of his youth.
“This summer, I am going away to live with my great-great uncle. He runs a small delivery company, and I am going to be helping with deliveries. He will also train me in martial arts.”
Most of the other students in Goshin's class were probably planning to spend just about every day of the three months they had off with their best friends, going to the beach, or going to see family in other cities.
But once Goshin left Satan City Junior High School, he wouldn't be doing any of those things. He wouldn't even be advancing to High School with his classmates.
Truth be told, Goshin's plans were probably more interesting than any of his classmates', and were, in reality, more interesting than he'd made them sound on paper. His uncle just happened to be the revered Muten-Dashi, the current holder of the title of Kame-Sen'nin. The Turtle Hermits were renowned in the martial arts community as masters of their craft. According to the rumors, they even held mastery of the art of ki manipulation. Rumors Goshin knew to be true.
But the fact was, Goshin had had nothing to do with making those plans, and honestly wanted no part in them. It was a family tradition passed down for centuries. The Son family had, for the past several hundred years, been the guardians of an ancient relic, a perfect translucent orange sphere with four red stars suspended in its center. Goshin hadn't even been told what the ball was or what it did, only that he would be going away to train under the Turtle Hermit in order to gain the skills needed to protect it from those who would use it for nefarious purposes.
What kind of purposes would those be, though? What purpose did the ball serve? Goshin had asked these questions, but they had never been answered. It was just his fate, his destiny.
The teacher sighed in her apparent boredom, shaking Goshin out of his thoughts for a moment. He glanced around the room again, and spotted his friend Soku, still writing. For whatever reason, there seemed to be the usual crazy grin on his face, with one side of his mouth lifted higher than the other.
Goshin couldn't help but share the smile. Soku and Goshin had known each other since preschool, and if Goshin could pick anyone to go with him to live with his uncle, it would be Soku. That was why Soku had begged and pleaded with his parents until they decided to allow him to go along. And if Soku was excited to be going, then maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
Soku's short brown hair contrasted almost perfectly with Goshin's wild black hair. Only two stray strands of Soku's hair ever stood out, one above either eye. With Soku leaning over his paper the way he was, the two hairs almost resembled antennae.
Roola had finished writing, and straightened himself coolly in his seat. He was a good-looking young boy with a talent for baseball and a popularity with the fairer sex. But in spite of all this, he never let his popularity go to his head. He was just as friendly to the unpopular as he was to the popular.
Both of the twins, Bun and Doki, were still writing. So was Keshi, the token female of the group of friends. Her lengthy straight violet hair hung down from both sides of her head, her pencil squirming between the two barriers created by it.
He was going to miss all four of them. Sure, he'd see them during breaks from his training, but those would be few and far between.
Goshin looked one last time down at his paper, and, deciding he didn't have any more to say, dropped his pencil into his open backpack. He looked up at the clock again, just as the bell rang. The teacher stood and walked to the door, opening it, and turned around amidst the cacophony of chair legs scraping against the floor.
“Hand me your papers as you leave, everyone. And have a great summer!” she said. “Have a good time in High School, too!”
Goshin shouldered his backpack and fell in line next to Soku, who flashed him a grin. “Aren't you excited, Goshin?” he said. “We're about to spend the rest of our lives training together!”
Goshin looked down at his feet and frowned, sighing. “Please don't put it like that.”
“Oh, sorry. I forgot you're not looking forward to it,” Soku apologized, handing the teacher his paper and stepping outside the door.
“Bye Soku! Bye Goshin!” the teacher said.
“Bye, ma'am,” they both politely replied as she took Goshin's paper.
“I guess I just don't really understand it, is all,” Soku said. “I mean, your uncle owns his own planet, for cryin' out loud! Every day will be an adventure!”
“But I don't really want adventure...” Goshin muttered, more to himself than his friend.
“Hey, Goshin, Soku! We're all riding our bikes to the cafe! Wanna come?” Goshin and Soku looked around for the source of the invitation, locating Roola between the heads of passing seventh- and eighth-graders.
“Yeah!” Soku and Goshin replied simultaneously.
The six children hurriedly rushed out of the school building, pushing past and around other students and avoiding teachers' disapproving gazes.
Goshin, as was usual, reached his bike first despite the head start given to Roola and the others. Before they had even reached the outer glass double-doors, he was unlocking his bike chain, storing it inside his backpack, and mounting the blue and silver aluminum bicycle.
He pedaled to the edge of the sidewalk before he stopped, leaning on one foot and waiting for his friends to follow suit. Roola followed suit, then Soku, then Keshi, and then the twins tottered up to the makeshift starting line.
“Ready, guys?” Roola asked. Everyone nodded and gave general approval.
“All right. One for the money,” Roola said. Goshin tightened his grip on the black rubber of the handlebars. “Two for the show.” Goshin could feel his own blood pumping through his veins. “Three to get ready.” He leaned in close to the handlebars. “And four to go!”
Like a flash, the six racers were off, hurtling down the streets at what seemed to them unbelievable speeds. Goshin pulled ahead quickly, flying down the street at speeds a bystander would've found astonishing.
Goshin let out a loud, gleeful whoop, and then stood up on the pedals, letting the wind flow through his hair. He glanced around behind him, and saw that Roola was in a distant second place, his blonde hair fluttering like a frustrated bird in a heavy wind.
Goshin casually dropped a fistful of Zeni onto the counter as a man dressed in a light blue shirt and a white apron handed him a frigid glass full of various colorful flavors of ice cream, topped with a swirl of whipped cream and a cherry. He grabbed a spoon and began wolfing down the frozen treat.
“Think ya'd never eaten before in yer life,” the man muttered. Goshin pretended he didn't hear; it was easy, having heard comments like this all his life.
Goshin was halfway through his desert when Roola, out of breath, arrived, shortly followed by Soku, and then Keshi, and then the twins.
“I don't know... how you always... get here... so fast,” Roola puffed between gasping breaths.
Goshin just smiled, setting his spoon down next to several empty plates covered in crumbs. He grabbed the desert glass and upended the contents into his mouth, and swallowed the remaining scoops of ice cream.
A second later, he was clutching his head in pain. “Oh, owww...” he whined.
Everyone else laughed.
A few moments later, once the remnants of Goshin's mid-afternoon snack had been cleared away, the other took their usual seats at the bar, each ordering an ice cream similar to the one Goshin had half-downed in a single bite.
“So, Goshin, give it to me straight: why are you so anxious about going to your uncle's?” Roola asked between bites.
“I dunno...” Goshin replied. “I've never even met the guy, really. I mean, he lives on his own planet, y'know? He's never in the neighborhood.”
“His own planet?” Keshi gasped. “Goshin, that's so cool! I wonder if the gravity's any different.”
“Well, Mom and Dad said it is. They said it's a lot harder to move around over there than it is here,” Goshin said.
“Y'know, Goshin, I'm pretty excited,” Soku said.
“Yeah, I guess I am, too, in a way,” Goshin said. He sighed. “I'm just gonna miss everyone, y'know?”
“We'll miss you, too, Goshin!” Bun said.
“Yeah, but you'll come back strong!” Doki added, with a nod.
“You know, we can keep in touch,” Keshi said. “Doesn't your uncle have a video phone?”
Goshin thought for a moment. “I don't think so. He's always used this think called eem-ale to talk to my mom and dad.”
“What's eem-ale?” Bun and Doki asked together.
“I think it's like a magic kind of beer or somethin',” Goshin answered, shrugging his shoulders. “B'sides, we'd probably never have the time to use it. We'll be too busy training and working for the old man.”
“What's your uncle gonna make you do?” Roola asked.
“Ahunno,” Goshin mumbled, shrugging again. “Probably just household chores. He's a hermit, after all.”
Roola stuck a spoonful of ice cream in his mouth. Goshin glanced down at his stomach, and rubbed it, realizing he was still hungry.
“Man, I could still eat a horse,” he grumbled.
Roola, Keshi, Soku, Bun, and Doki all laughed. Goshin could swear that, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the waiter shudder.
“All out of snack allowance already?” Soku asked jokingly, inciting another round of laughter.
Once the laughter died down, Goshin let out a “Yes.” His friends all laughed again.
“Y'know, Goshin, Soku, I don't think our gang will be the same without you guys around,” Roola said.
“Hey, waiter!” he called, leaning forward over his nearly-empty glass. “Give us another round! On me!” He slapped down a pile of Zeni onto the countertop.
“Wow, really!?” Goshin gasped. “Thank you!”
“No problem,” Roola said. “It's the least I can do for our last hurrah before you two leave.” He leaned back in his seat, putting his hands behind his head.
“Yeah, thanks, Roola,” Soku said, amidst other grateful replies.
A few moments later, the waiter brought out six small desert plates each holding a fresh Bing cake, and laid one in front of each member of the group. Goshin's disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared.
A few more moments later, the six of them were outside of the cafe, unlocking their bikes.
“Anyone wanna race?” Goshin asked.
Everyone else broke out into laughter once again.