Serendipity: Shifting the Paradigm

BY : Ghost-of-a-Chance
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 589
Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ, any of its characters/devices, or any books/movies/song mentioned; no money's being made here. I DO own Sierra, Rio, Rowan, & all my OCs...and a very fat cat named "Heifer."

Hey, Folks! Ghost, here. Thanks for checking out StP; I certainly hope you enjoy it. It includes some head-canons of mine, specifically regarding Piccolo, and though the prologue is an OC-centric chapter, it's the only one. Main pairing is Piccolo / Sierra, with secondary pairings of Tapion / Rio, and Dende / Rowan. (Canon names in bold.) This story contains some serious stuff, including grief, chronic illness, and a character with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a history including abuse, stalking, assault, and minor-adult relations which resulted in a child; none of such things are currently occurring, and none will be explicitly described. Trigger warnings will be posted before any and all affected chaptesr.

A bit of warning: this prologue is very OC-centric, but incredibly short; after this, less focus is on the main OC and more on the storyline and cast. The lack of any canon characters in this chapter is exactly why I posted the second chapter so quickly.

Lastly, this chapter is dedicated to Kitty, who got me hooked on DBZ when my peers were all obsessed with makeup and hooking up.

par·a·digm shift

NOUN

a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.


 

Prologue

Suggested Listening: The Moody Blues, "Forever Autumn"

Fall was lovely this time of year, mused the lone woman as she half-dragged herself through the forest. Even the constant pain she'd become almost used to couldn't keep her from noticing the carpet of multi-colored leaves beneath her feet, or the curtains and sprays of turning leaves the ancient trees boasted. Ruby red, golden yellow, flame orange, earthy brown…The colors were endless, the shades only limited by the number of leaves.

Pausing at the center of a wide clearing, she took in the sight of the ancient Gingko towering overhead. It had to be hundreds of years old, she reasoned. The thought reminded her of her current plight, though, and a mask of cold indifference fell into place again. She wasn't very old, even by human standards; yet somehow, that ancient behemoth before her was more steadfast and sturdy than she. She'd seen how her family had crumbled under the illness she'd been saddled with, and she had no desire to suffer their fate.

Did that make her a coward…or did it mean simply that she couldn't take the pain anymore?

Taking a seat at the foot of the tree, she gazed solemnly at the burled walnut cane she relied on, now. Smoothing her palm over the silken surface, she took in the impeccable feathering and the ripples of brass and bronze just beneath the surface. The cane's carver was gone, just as she would be, soon.

A lone ant struggled along a root nearby, weighed down by its load and barely able to crawl. A moment later, another ant approached the struggling one, and took up half of its burden. The load lightened, they made the trek to their hill. The woman gazed after them long after they'd vanished, wondering if it would be worth it to try, to find someone to help her along the journey ahead. The wind rustled through the trees overhead, bringing goose bumps to her bare arms.

Steeling her resolve, the woman settled back against the tree's trunk, laying the cherished wooden cane across her lap. Closing her eyes, she thought back to better times, times when life was worth living. Names echoed through her mind in a ceaseless, mournful refrain…Rio, Rowan, Cor, Rick, Randy, Koda, Constanza, Mother….A lone tear fell at the memories that filled her mind…memories of a crumpled station wagon on a rainy night, and a lone necklace lying in a pool of blood on a dusty street.

Was it better to die without trying, or to try, and die regardless? The answer eluded her still.

( * )

Next time: Gohan pushes Piccolo around, Piccolo is surprised, and some light is shed on our mystery woman.



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