“Well, Actually In The City Of New York; The Past Is Prologue”
(A/N: The Dating System in DBZ is not the same as in BatB or in current real-life; its B.C.E. and C.E./A..D. locate its zero somewhere in the Middle Ages of our Dating System. I can only guess, based on hearsay, that DBZ would be put somewhere in the middle of the 21st Century of our Dating System, give-or-take about fifty years; hence, I needed to invent the terms ADS and NEDS. Also, Vincent the Lion-Faced Man must have an incredibly strong constitution, so he ages very slowly, possibly more slowly than his offspring and descendants—but that is a separate story and very tragic, unless the slow-ageing genes in Vincent and his offspring are strongly-dominant genes, and that’s still a separate story. The Great Mutation is something I theorize that occurred somewhere after the 20th Century and before the character Son Goku was born. In the G.M., what living things were either very rare or nonexistent, such as talking animals with the gift of humanoid intelligence and reasoning, and the odd cases of people with *naturally* pink, or violet/purple, or bright blue, or bright green, or very bright orange hair—these weird things became rather commonplace in the short course of weeks or even a couple years. So why is Vincent still hiding-out in the Secret Place??? Old habits die hard, both his old habits, and the old habits of other people, both Tunnel-Worlders and Top-Siders.)
In the usual place, where Son Gohan and Piccolo are known to spar, partly for practice of several valuable warrior skills, and partly for fun, Gohan asked Piccolo an interesting question, if Otherworld (sometimes humorously and cornily called "the Other Dimension") would allow Son Goku (Gohan's father) back for a few days' or maybe a couple weeks' of vacation, or would one or two days' of vacationing be tops? Piccolo answered in a way that suggests a very practical mind: "Who knows, but maybe the mind of the Infinite?" (The question was practical in that Piccolo was not pretending knowledge about future events, and his decision to not utter the name of the infinite G-d was respectful.) Eventually those two, and others, found out.
Meanwhile, in a place somewhere far below the streets of a city that had simultaneously several legally-valid names, including "The Big Apple" and "NYC", a man whose face suggested in its features that he was part primate (specifically human) and part feline (specifically leonine), and looked not a day over forty-five (45), though he was actually over a hundred, easily, spoke to two of his fellow subterranean-cave-dwellers. This ancient, amber-maned cat-man had an inconvenient habit of still speaking archaicly, which was the manner of his childhood. For example, he still referred to a by-gone era the "Twentieth Century", using an old timeline known as the ADS (Ancient Dating System) instead of the more current NEDS (New Earth Dating System). (It was often difficult for his conversational partners to understand what particular year he was referring to, because "year zero" (0) in ADS had happened thousands of years ago, whereas the "zero" in NEDS had occurred only a few centuries ago.
Figuring out the exact date was only slightly more simple a mathematical act than converting miles into kilometers or inches into centimeters; yet, that was the man's style of recounting historical past, or his own biographical past.) The stories he told were interesting, though; also, more importantly, they all had the ring of truth : for Vincent had the habit of Always Telling The Truth When He Discusses Something Vital. He only withheld true information only when someone innocent's life or dignity or liberty or posterity depended on it ! Other tunnel-dwellers, especially those in a small area known as "The Secret Place" weren't able to get enough of history, as told by Vincent: if anyone understood the tunnel-world history, traditions, and culture, it was a man who looked like a beast, and was sometimes called a Beast by his enemies, but by far was the most-Unbeastlike man alive.
Son Goku was allowed to return to the Land Of The Living, specifically a planet called Earth, or Terra, or other names; the planet were he spent his childhood, ever since the day his life-pod had crash-landed onto the planet's surface several decades ago. "They allowed me to return for two or three weeks!" Goku exclaimed with ebullient joy, "Those bureaucrats, and King Yemma, have agreed with us that several weeks' vacation to meet loved ones was actually a good idea! Now, where do we go? Seattle? Kyoto? Somewhere else?" He and the Z-team, including Piccolo, finally all agreed to vacation in a North-American city; it was a nasty city to live in, but at least it was not so boring a vacation-spot as South City (also known as Satan City, supposedly named after a famous professional wrestler; but South City’s new satanic name also well describes how *inferior* their city really was), the most banal city on earth was : at least the North American city was not as humdrum or lackluster as South (Satan) City !! So, off to North America they all went...
Goku and Piccolo and the Z-team and their families had been vacationing in a city on the North American Landmass that still goes by the old name New York City, although by now it also answers to some three or four other names, all of them legally valid just like the old appellation. Another common moniker was “The Big Apple”, a very affectionate and humorous name for a city!!! They were both enjoying the fact that Goku was allowed a three-week vacation from Otherworld, another place with multiple names, including the very numinous name “The Afterlife” and the very silly-sounding “The Other Dimension”! Goku was very happy to see his family and go see parts of Planet Earth that he had passed through on several occasions, but had never got familiar with. He decided that it was time to start vacationing in the Western Hemisphere of Earth, and the others all agreed. They also agreed that New York City was a good start, although Washington, D.C. and Seattle and Austin, Texas were also good ideas. But only one city per vacation, so Goku had to narrow down his choices to only one city: N.Y.C., also known as New York City.
A few days later, the evening of the first day in which the entire Z-team and their families had started vacationing in "New Yawk", far beneath the streets of that same city: "Well, I'm going off on my nightly walk," Vincent announced softly to a couple of his fellow Secret-Placers. Many times they had tried to tell him that, ever since The Great Mutation in which animals, including lions, had become persons gifted with the powers or talents of reasoning and speech and upright bipedal locomotion : it was now safer for Vincent to walk in the daytime ! Old habits, such as nocturnal strolling, died hard; and Vin, as some affectionately called him, usually took offence at the suggestion that he was a mere animal simply gifted with the Three Talents (bipedal locomotion and the two others), so they let Vincent go on his nightly routine, so off Vincent went.
(For imagine the arguments there might occur: “Vincent, why not go out in broad daylight? There are a lot of Topsider people who look like animals ever since the Great Mutation.”
(“Excuse me?!” Vincent would reply, “Are you calling me an animal, or a mutant?”
(And then Vincent would not speak to that particular person who said those unfortunate things again for at least two weeks; and who would blame Vincent?)
Piccolo and Goku took a walk through the infamous Central Park, these two mighty men, feeling more and more fatigued with each step and somehow believing it were merely because of the hour of the evening; it was, after all, very close to the usual time they tended to fall asleep, thanks to a new melatonin-related supplement they had taken minutes before in order to overcome the effects of transcontinental jet lag. (Both had naively assumed that it was the melatonin increase that made them feel so tired more quickly than they had originally expected.) They were not aware that some group of fools had managed to magically wish back to life the eternally sworn enemies of Son Goku and the Prince Named Piccolo AKA “Ma Junior”. Several enemies had been so quiet as to even escape Piccolo’s superhumanly sensitive ears. “Long time, no see!” an extremely malevolent high-pitched voice growled from behind. Goku and Piccolo turned around to face the source of that miserable voice, and the source was in fact a known former inmate of Hell:
FREEZA!!!!!!!!! and several others, King Kold (Freeza’s/Furiza’s father), Cell (AKA Seru), and several others whom Goku and Piccolo can easily recognize, and several whom they cannot so easily recognize...
(To Be Continued…)