Serendipity: Shifting the Paradigm

BY : Ghost-of-a-Chance
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 981
Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ, any of its characters/devices, or any books/movies/song mentioned; no money is being made from this story. I DO own my OCs...and a very fat cat named "Heifer."

Hey, Folks! Ghost, here. Thanks for checking out StP; I certainly hope you enjoy it. This story contains some potentially triggering topics later on, and trigger warnings will be posted before any and all affected chapters. Main pairing features Piccolo, and secondary pairings feature Dende and Tapion from Wrath of the Dragon.

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. Also, the first few chapters of this story are up to (and a couple are over) ten years old. There's only so much I can do to improve them without completely redoing them. Later (newer) chapters have improved in quality as my writing skills have improved. Please be patient, it gets better. (I could have sworn I mentioned that before...oops.)

This story is dedicated to Kitty, who got me hooked on DBZ when my peers were all obsessed with makeup and hooking up, and to the other three horsewomen of the apocalypse, Cherie and Ronnie. Those lovely ladies were the best nerds I ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I miss our daily geek-fests.

Par·a·digm shift - n.  A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.

 

Prologue

Suggested Listening: The Moody Blues, "Forever Autumn"

Fall was a lovely time to die; the lone woman, however, had no time for the sights as she half-dragged herself through the forest. Even the constant pain she was almost used to,m however, could not blind her from the carpet of multi-colored leaves beneath her feet, or the curtains and sprays of turning leaves and bare branches. Ruby red, golden yellow, flame orange, earthy brown…The colors were endless, and 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; somehow, though, that ancient behemoth was more steadfast and sturdy than she. She saw how her family crumbled under the illness she was 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 in her hands. 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 - dead, 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. Would it 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. Pointless...it was pointless.

Steeling her resolve, the woman settled back against the tree's trunk and lay 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. Nick. Randy. Koda. Constanza. Mother… The memories filling her mind brought a stinging to her eyes - 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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