"Huh, so God's a green alien," Ron said. "Didn't see that coming."
During the three hour flight to God's Temple, Twilight Sparkle had bombarded Bulma with science and engineering questions related to the bulky airplane they all rode in—which had come out of a pocket-sized capsule. Bulma had done her best to entertain as many of Twilight's questions as she could while still concentrating on flying the plane.
When the gleaming, bowl-shaped Temple first appeared, the four teens had crowded the cockpit to look on in awe.
"It kinda looks like a ramen bowl," Ron had pointed out.
"It really does," Kim had said, blinking.
"Huh," Oolong had mused. "Now that you mention it, it...kinda does, doesn't it?"
"Yeah," Roshi had agreed. "Huh. Never noticed that before."
They'd landed on the gleaming white tiles that stretched from edge to edge of the floating platform. The Temple was sparsely decorated: at the "front" were two small groups of palm trees in rectangular patches of grass, and at four points along the edges were grass beds with four tall evergreens planted in each. Four tall, thin columns surrounded the actual temple, which stood near the back and had a humble, modest design.
Immediately after they'd disembarked, a fat black genie had approached the plane. After a brief exchange with this genie, who had been introduced as Mister Popo, the group was greeted by a tall, thin, wrinkled old green alien with pointed ears and antennae, who wore flowing robes and carried a tall staff with a top shaped like a beast's fang.
Ron's assessment of Kami-sama's appearance caused some tension among the group...until Kami-sama laughed. "Indeed I am, young man," he said. "But despite being human, you are more alien here than I. I witnessed your arrival in this dimension."
"We're sorry to intrude, your Holiness," Kim said abruptly. "We just—"
Kami-sama raised a clawed hand to stall her. "You're seeking a Rainbow Monkey Crystal," he said. "A quest complicated by the fact that the devices used to seek out my Dragonballs can't tell the Rainbow Monkey Crystals and Dragonballs apart."
"Uhh...yeah," Kim said.
Kami-sama bowed his head. "Alas, that particular problem is one I'm afraid I can't help you with," he said. "But I can, at the very least, tell you that the object you seek does exist in this world. It appeared here six months ago."
"Six months? But..." Kim blinked. "The founder of the Yamanouchi School scattered the Crystals hundreds of years ago!"
Kami-sama smiled. "Young lady...a man capable of scattering mystical objects across multiple dimensions need not concern himself with something as trivial as the flow of time." He tapped his staff on the ground. "If I understand the nature of the magic which scattered these crystals, they will appear at the time and place where those who have need of them will have the best chance of obtaining them."
Everyone stared at him. "...huh?" Ron said.
"Hey, as long as we don't have to figure out how to travel through time to find them, I don't think it matters," Twilight said.
"Indeed," Kami-sama said. "Unfortunately, I can't tell you precisely where the Rainbow Monkey Crystal is, any more than I could give you the precise locations of the remaining Dragonballs. It is a journey you must undertake, using your own wits and the tools at your disposal. I can, however, offer you respite here until you are ready to begin your search."
"Thank you, Your Holiness," Kim said.
"Kami-sama," Bulma interrupted. "There's...there's one other thing." She squirmed in place, worrying at her lip. "Gohan. Is...is he...?"
"Ah," Kami-sama said, nodding. "Be at ease, Bulma. Gohan is alive and well, and being shown surprising consideration." His eyes took on a faraway look. "By no means is Piccolo coddling him, far from it—the next several months are going to be sheer hell for the child. But he is in no danger from Piccolo. Rather the opposite. Piccolo seems to have developed a fondness for the boy." He smiled grimly. "I will admit I am most interested in seeing what the end result will be."
"Hmm," Bulma muttered unhappily. "I doubt that'll be of much comfort to Chichi..."
Kami-sama laid a hand on Bulma's shoulder. "I understand her concern," he said. "But I agree with Piccolo's decision to take the boy, even if I disapprove of his methods. The child is a Saiyajin, like his father. If we are all to survive what's coming to this world, Son Gohan may play an important role in our salvation."
Bulma sighed. "If I hadn't known Son-kun as long as I have, I'd argue, but..." She shook her head. "Alright. Will you let the guys know we're here? We don't want to interrupt their training, but it'll be nice to talk to them for a few minutes."
Kami-sama nodded. "I believe they are about to break for a meal. Follow Mister Popo, you can eat with them..."
* * * * *
The rest of the evening had a much lighter, more festive environment. Team Possible was introduced to a group of fighters training to defeat the Saiyajin: the wild-haired, rough-mannered Yamucha, who appeared to be in an off-again, on-again relationship with Bulma; the short, bald, noseless monk Kuririn, the three-eyed, super-serious Tenshinhan, and the tiny Chiaotzu, who looked like a porcelain doll. Over a massive, delicious feast, the fighters caught up on recent events with their friends, as well as swapping stories with the new arrivals.
"Man, when things get crazy, they get super crazy," Kuririn said once Kim finished explaining their entire adventure to date.
"Yeah, but something tells me everything you guys deal with is way crazier than anything we've ever dealt with," Kim said.
"True that," Ron agreed as he shoved a pork bun in his mouth. "Mmm, good eats, Mr. P!"
After dinner, Mister Popo stood before the new arrivals, hands clasped behind his back. "I shall prepare rooms for you," he said. "We have not had this many guests in quite some time, but I should be able to—"
"No need, Mister Popo," Bulma said, taking her capsule case out of her jacket. "There's more than enough space here to set up a couple of mini huts. Besides, no offense, but I've been in some of those rooms guests sleep in, and they kinda smell like feet."
Mister Popo shrugged. "Well, it's true," he said blandly.
Kim raised an eyebrow. "Don't tell me you have instant camping gear in there or something..."
Bulma laughed smugly, then tossed two capsules to the ground. They exploded into a pair of hemispherical huts, each roughly the size of the plane they'd landed in, taking up almost a third of the upper deck of the Temple.
"Whoa," Ron said, eyes wide.
"Okay," Bulma said. "Boys on the left, girls on the right." She stretched and headed for the right hut. "No peeking, guys, I'm serious! Get some sleep, tomorrow we're headed out early to start the search."
"Sounds good to me," Kim said, following her into the right hut. "Come on, girls. Goodnight, Ron!"
"Yeah, g'nite KP," Ron said, yawning as he headed for the left hut. "Let's check out these digs ooooh NICE. Is there cable?" From inside, they heard him yell, "Oh snap, there's cable!"
Mutenroshi chuckled and followed him in, Oolong and Puar right behind him. Sonata and Twilight looked at each other, shrugged, and went into the girls' hut.
Outside, the group of fighters watched the huts close. Kuririn let out a heavy sigh. "Man, I wish she'd brought out one for us," he said. "I don't know about you guys, but my room smells like celery and feet..."
Yamucha tilted his head. "Umm...you don't...have a nose," he pointed out.
"I know, and that makes it worse," Kuririn muttered as he headed off into the Temple. The others looked at each other, shrugged, and followed.