Ki-Blind: Chapter Three

Bulma picked up the phone to call Chi-Chi, but froze at a tremendous crash from elsewhere in the building. The humans and half-Saiyajin children spun around.

"That was a window," Dr. Briefs said. "Oh, dear. Do you suppose there are more of them? Fascinating creatures ... I wonder who created them ..."

Bulma's mind raced. For so long she had depended on the Saiyajin when danger threatened, but now the only nearby Saiyajin were her son and Goten, and they were almost as helpless as any humans. "The lab," she said. "Quick, to the lab! There are no windows and we can seal the doors, and we'll have all the tools we need to make something to destroy these creatures."

The boys didn't move at Bulma's urging, but stood side-by-side, glaring at the door with expressions not unlike their fathers'. "We're Saiyajin, Mom," Trunks said. "We never run away."

"Don't argue with me, you stubborn brat! Move!"

Mrs. Briefs gave a small cry and Bulma looked up to see that a spider (the same one? or different?) had appeared in the doorway of the room. Its red light focused on them, and Bulma wondered if it was just her own panic or if there was truly malevolence lurking in that crimson stare.

"Go! Go!"

They fled, slamming and locking doors behind them. The exterior door might have balked the spider, but it tore through the light interior doors as if they were made of tissue paper. In one leap it sprang over the fleeing humans' heads and positioned itself between them and the doors of the lab, as if it knew exactly where they were trying to go.

They skidded to a halt.

"Uh-oh," Bulma said. She had one boy's hand in each of her own. Now the children tore free of her and assumed battle stances. "Trunks! Goten! Don't try it!" she cried helplessly.

"Exterminate," the spider said in its flat metal voice, and suddenly it blurred and was gone from Bulma's sight. It's moving so fast I can't even see it! she thought in horror. But the boys had vanished too. There was a loud clang and the spider reappeared, crouching on the ceiling with the panting kids beneath it. Bulma realized that a battle had taken place that she hadn't even been able to see.

"Quick! Come on!" They all dashed for the lab doors; Bulma grabbed the boys' hands again and dragged them with her. The lab had foot-thick steel doors (normally intended to keep things from getting out of the lab, not into it) and Bulma closed and locked them with a sigh of relief, then gave a little shriek when her mother reached for the controls to open the door.

"Mom! What are you doing?"

"My cookie dough, dear," her mother said, giving Bulma a don't-be-silly-dear smile. "I left it uncovered. It'll dry out and the whole batch will be wasted."

"Mother! Forget about your cookie dough! There are killer spiders on the loose out there!"

The two boys plopped down on the floor, still breathing heavily. "We're so slow!" Trunks said, clenching his small fists in frustration. "It was all we could do just to keep it from hitting us! If only we could go Super-Saiyajin."

"Trunks, my arm hurts," Goten whimpered.

Bulma looked down at the little boy and saw to her horror that his sleeve was soaked with blood. "Goten! Oh, no ..."

While Trunks hovered anxiously underfoot, Bulma and her father laid Goten down on one of the tables in the lab. The wound turned out to be superficial; the child's upper arm appeared to have been slashed as if by a knife. Bulma was terrified that the injury might have poisoned him or transmitted some sort of space virus, and insisted on cleaning it thoroughly while Goten squirmed. Finally it was cleaned and bandaged, and a painkiller/tranquilizer had been administered, causing Goten's squirming to give way to yawning. Bulma picked up the little boy and he curled up sleepily in her arms. She felt a small pang; it had been years since her much more independent son had consented to be hugged like that.

"Is Goten okay? Goten's okay, right?" Trunks asked in worry.

"He's fine. He'll just need to sleep for a little while." Bulma handed the child to her mother, who took both boys off to one of the cots that Bulma and her father kept in the lab for their frequent all-nighters.

"I'd better call Chi-Chi and find out what's going on over there," Bulma said. She quickly discovered, however, that communications with the rest of the city were down. A few of the news channels were still on the air, reporting rampant destruction and many deaths.

No sounds had come from the lab doors. Scanning the Capsule Corp. buildings through the various security cameras, Bulma and her father could find no sign of the spider. The animals all appeared to be fine.

"It must just be hunting humans, and leaving everything else alone," Dr. Briefs said.

"But ... why? Where did these things come from? It can't be a coincidence that the boys lost their ability to transform right before the spiders landed. Somebody's hatching some kind of plot ..." Bulma slammed her fist into the table, frustrated. "And there's nothing we can do about it!"

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Dragonball and Dragonball Z, all characters and situations are (c) Akira Toriyama.