Gohan awoke the next morning to a strange thumping pressure on his stomach. Prying his sleepy eyes open, he noticed his fully awake, energy overloaded little brother pouncing upon him.
"GOTEN, STOP!" Gohan growled.
Goten immediately ceased his leap in mid-air and stared dumbly at his brother. "Mom told me to wake you. You didn't move when I called your name or when I tapped your shoulder so this was the only way I could think of."
Gohan sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Fine. Thank you. You can go now. I'll be down for breakfast shortly."
"K' brother, but if I were you, I wouldn't take too long or I'll eat all the---hey, what are these things?" Goten said as he caught view of the canisters on Gohan's desk before departing.
"Nothing. They're for school. They're not toys Goten."
"Oh. But they look like something fun."
"No, they're not. Touch them and even your super saiyan strength won't protect you from what I'd do to you."
Goten gulped and understood. "Okay, okay, I won't touch them. Geesh, you're grumpy today brother." Goten muttered as he trudged out of the room.
Gohan sighed. He hated threatening his brother like that, but the little saiyan never seemed to understand any other form of 'no.' Peering over at his clock, he realized that he had an hour to get ready for school. Luckily it was Friday and he didn't have to worry about school the next day. Glancing back at the canisters, Gohan knew that his plan would have to take action over the weekend. The sooner the better as Vegeta was already hot on his tail and the ever-vigilent Piccolo woudn't be far behind him. Then, an idea boldly entered his head. Grabbing the canisters, he stuffed them into his school bag. Why wait for tomorrow when he could get it over with tonight? He would just tell his mother he would be hanging out with friends from school, but actually find a quiet secluded place then complete the transaction with Veleet. It should work assuming he could find a good excuse with Videl. ChiChi seemed to believe the daughter of Mr. Satan so if she wanted to check up on him, she'd simply call Videl. So, naturally, he had to give Videl a good story that matched similarily with what he was going to tell his mother.
After dressing, Gohan ran downstairs and sat at the table. Breakfast was already being served and Goten was already on his fifth plate of pancakes.
"Bout time you showed up for breakfast Gohan. I was beginning to swat Goten from your half of the food."
"Sorry mom. I had to make sure I had all my books and papers ready this morning."
"That's my scholar. You're forgiven."
"Uh thanks. Oh, uh mom?"
"I'm going to hang out with some friends after school tonight okay?"
"Something like that."
"Is Videl one of them?"
"When will you be home?"
"Uh, I'm not sure. If we take a study break, we may end up at the movies or a ball game or something."
"Just don't make it too late. I know you don't have school tomorrow, but I don't want you out in that city when it's late. Things happen in cities late at night."
"Take it or leave it Gohan."
"Fine. I'll be home before midnight."
"You'd better be."
"What was that Gohan?"
Immediately Gohan raked a hand through his hair and cringed. "Uh nothing. I'm just mumbling to myself."
"Oh, if that's all." ChiChi said with an all-too-knowing expression across her face.
Gohan wolfed down his meal in a fashion very reminiscent of his father then departed from the room as rapidly but as calmly as he could. He'd barely averted a ChiChi lecture about back-talking one's mother. It was wise not to push the issue. The results would not be kind to the eldest son of Goku.
Grabbing the canisters and placing them in his schoolbag along with a textbook, Gohan passed his mother and waved as he launched out the back door. Looking at his watch, he pressed the communicator.
At the Satan Mansion...
Videl received the beep from her wrist comm, her excitement building at the opportunity to bash yet another baddy into justice.
"I know that silly. What's up?"
"Can you cover for me?"
"Please? If my mother calls you, just tell her I'm with you and the rest of the group from school?"
"Gohan, it sounds like you're wanting me to lie to your mother. Why would you want me to do that?"
"It's very important. I'll explain tomorrow."
"Gohan, I surely wouldn't want to be you. Fine, if she calls I'll say you're with us, but if you get into shit with her, I'll confess that you put me up to it."
"Thanks Videl. I owe you one."
"You owe me more than one Gohan, but I'll just put it on your tab."
"You're running a tab?! Eeeeesh, some friend you are."
"And you want me to take a dive against your mother?!"
"Okay, okay, we're even."
"Not even close, but I'm sure you'll make it up to me."
"Somehow I think I'm not getting a fair deal, but fine. Thanks again. Gohan out."
"Stay safe Gohan. Videl out."
And with that, Gohan sighed with slight relief. His plan was falling into place. Now he only needed to complete a 'downpayment' , deliver it, and make sure Veleet held her end of the deal. The rest of the transaction would be completed seven days later, in Earth's orbit. Gohan figured he could use a rocket he could build and launch into orbit himself. The canisters could be placed into a capsule for compact storage and placed in a special container in the rocket's nose. Veleet must then intercept the rocket in orbit, then depart the solar system within six hours. If not, she would surely see exactly how powerful a super saiyan with Gohan's level and ability could be. Though she'd only see it coming. The rest she'd have to view from the afterlife.
Gohan flew onward for nearly an hour before landing and trekking the rest of the way on foot. He had found a section of ancient caverns embedded within a remote mountain range far from any civilization. Only he (and a few animals) knew of their location. He stumbled upon them by accident once when he and Icarus were playing when he was a boy. One cave was now partially excavated thanks to him and it was here he could find solitude from life's pressures and prying eyes. Satisfied that this location would suit its purpose, he pulled a canister out of his bag and got on with business.
Vegeta, who was trailing the half-saiyan from a vast distance felt the drop-off of ki. He halted mid-air and concentrated for the faintest of hints. He knew Gohan had ceased his flight and was likely on foot now, but where and why? Unable to sense Gohan's ki, Vegeta resorted to a more physical yet just as efficient of tactics. Arching his nose into the various wind currents, he used his sensitive sense of smell to track the boy. Saiyans could track a scent better than the average bloodhound if they felt it necessary. Soon enough, the faint but familiar scent of Gohan wafted into his nose and registered in his brain. The prince of saiyans followed the scent as it grew stronger in one particular direction.
Piccolo grew agitated with every step. First he sensed Gohan on the move and now it had ceased and Vegeta was hot on the trail of something. Was it Gohan? Was his once student getting himself into trouble yet again? Unable to handle the suspense, Piccolo too, took flight and directed his flight towards the path of Vegeta. Vegeta didn't just fly without purpose afterall. He was obviously up to something and whether or not it had to do with Gohan or that female saiyan was something the powerful Namekian had to find out.
Back at the cave...
Gohan placed the lid on the second canister then wiped his forehead. He placed the two canisters in a separate compartment in his bookbag and sighed. Task one complete. He now only had to get to Veleet and the transaction would be half over and life could begin to return to normalcy once again. He had to be cautious however. After such an act, Gohan's body felt more like mush than a solid fighting machine. It wanted to rest and regain some of the energy it had lost, but time was of the essence. Testing his rubbery legs to make sure they'd move on command, Gohan summoned his ki to launch into the air once again. And while his brain was trying to return to normal from its rush of relaxation, it failed to realize that it should have checked for any suspicious ki readings. Rather, he directed his flight towards where he knew Veleet was laying low.
Vegeta felt the ping of increased ki from Gohan. With a devillish smirk of mayhem, Vegeta increased his own ki as his flight picked up its pace. He could easily track Gohan now. How grand it would be to thwart the heroic son of Kakarrot and catch him in the act of whatever trouble he was getting into.
Piccolo too felt the resurgence of Gohan's ki as well as the increased output of Vegeta's. A sense of urgency enveloped the Namek as he had an inner gut feeling that his once pupil was in for a rude awakening. And eventhough it would be of his own doing, Piccolo could not allow Gohan to face it alone.
In another area of the sky...
Gohan landed a safe distance from Veleet's 'lair.' From there he summoned a call. Instinct chose the type as he released a medium-pitched yelping howl. Immediately after, he cupped his mouth, surprised at the sound that came out of it. He had never heard such a call and had no idea how or why that was the choice of calls. He then found some shadows and slinked towards them to wait and hoped that Veleet heard the call and could figure out it was him instead of some dying coyote begging to be eaten by an always hungry opportunistic saiyan.
Veleet however, knew that call. Saiyan males often used such a call to attract a female of interest. Saiyan females often sought out territory when they felt ready to mate and defended it voraciously against any intruders, especially unwanted male intruders. The call was a 'doorbell' of sorts and gave the male caller a cushion of distance and an opportunity to run if he was found to be unwelcome. While Gohan knew none of this, his saiyan instincts did.
Silently coursing the woodland, Veleet closed the distance between her and her caller. Her saiyan nose had picked up his scent and guided her through the dark depths of dense foliage.
Gohan's sensitive hearing picked up on the sound of light bipedal motion. Stepping out from the shadows, he opted to become more civil and break the silence.
With the speed and stealth of a jaguar, Veleet pounced upon him, pulling him into the muddy ground. Her mouth cupped his.
"Quiet! We're not alone."
All Gohan could do was raise his eyebrows inquisitively, urging her to explain.
"I smell my brother." Veleet whispered.
That's all it took for Gohan to become quiet and refocus on ki reading. Sure enough he could sense both Vegeta and Piccolo on the move and their kis growing ever stronger by the second. They were both headed in their very direction!
Gohan pried Veleet's hands from his mouth. "Then let's get this transaction done quickly." He replied quietly as he urged her off of him. But, the saiyan female didn't budge.
"Why don't I just take it now, from you in this position?"
"You know my reasons Veleet. I'll kill you before I allow you to defile my body in such a way."
"Fine then, have it your way. " Veleet groaned as she removed her body and allowed Gohan to return to a stand.
Gohan grabbed his schoolbag and removed the two canisters. "There's more than enough here already, but I will give you four more canisters if, and only if you leave this planet by daybreak tomorrow. That would last you you're entire remaining reproductive life. And if I still find you here by daybreak, I will consider the deal off and destroy you myself. But if I find you have left as agreed, I will launch the rest into Earth's orbit via a small rocket. Understand?"
Veleet looked over the two canisters with a small sensor device. "You would have made a better stud than your grandfather, son of Kakarrot. It's a shame really. Ah well, a deal's a deal. I will comply." Veleet replied and slinked into the darkness once again without any other acknowledgment.
"Comply? I don't think so." came a response from the shadows. It was followed by an all too known snickering laugh.
"Vegeta." both Gohan and Veleet said softly.
to be continued...