"Nothing endures but change."
-Heraclitus & Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
Chiyo watched him closely as he lunged for the fat Android, whom she now knew was called Nineteen - he struck Nineteen with a blow she felt as a tremour through the ground, but she couldn't see him. He was so fast she had to scramble to catch up with them, straining her senses to feel rather than to look. It was one of the first lessons Goku had taught her.
"That's it, Son," Tenshinhan muttered. He and Piccolo watched the battle avidly, eyes darting from left to right as the two men - one real, one artificial - battled it out in the sky above, and Chiyo followed their gaze, squinting as they came into focus.
It was silly to believe that Papa had ever gone all out when they were in training, but even so...she'd never seen anything so powerful and fast.
"Astounding! What power!" Tenshinhan said in amazement. "I never knew what being a Super Saiyan meant…it's as if he's in a different dimension from us…too different…"
"It may be," Piccolo replied.
Chiyo said nothing, concentrating all her energy on following the battle. She didn't even notice the others had arrived until she heard Gohan's voice.
"Don't worry," Tenshinhan said, grinning at the boy over his shoulder. "Goku's power is incredible! Being a Super Saiyan must be glorious! Those Androids talked a great fight, but they're nothing against this!"
"Has it been like this the whole time?" Kuririn asked.
"Yeah. It hasn't laid a finger on Son."
Chiyo squinted at the sky. Her father was punching the Android relentlessly. He was winning so far; Nineteen didn't even seem to be fighting back.
Kuririn smiled. "Goku's definitely got the upper hand."
"Yeah, no kidding. Look at him go - he's rewriting history up there. Looks like we're going to live after all!"
Twenty minutes passed, twenty minutes in which Nineteen took blow after blow - and yet, still kept standing. The group talked amongst themselves, their faces anxious. Chiyo ignored them, still concentrating on the battle above.
She'd heard Goku was the strongest of all the fighters, and yet...there was something not quite right. She knew it, and she couldn't put her finger on it..
"Have you noticed it too, Gohan?" Piccolo said suddenly.
"Son Goku is rushing the battle for some reason…he's already giving all he's got. But look how weak he is…"
"Weak…? Did you say weak?" Tenshinhan said. "What are you talking about?! Goku's overwhelming the Android!"
"This is nothing," Piccolo replied. "His power as a Super Saiyan should be far more staggering than this."
The ground lurched, and Chiyo staggered, grabbing onto Gohan's arm for support. It was a few moments before she realised someone had hit the ground with enough force to throw shrapnel and dust in every direction.
Fear stabbed at her chest, but it was quickly replaced with relief when Nineteen appeared through the dust. But the others were gaping.
"Look at him!" Yamcha gasped. "Like he doesn't care about the beating he's getting…"
Tenshinhan nodded in agreement. "He's an Android. He probably doesn't feel any pain or fatigue."
Nineteen stared blankly into the sky. The group followed his gaze and saw Goku floating, legs spread wide, hands cupped in the peculiar and distinct stance of the Kamehameha.
Chiyo stood rooted to the spot - she'd only seen Goku perform the Kamehameha once before, and she knew it was powerful enough to defeat Nineteen. She clenched her fists, hoping, praying this would be it -
Nineteen glared up at Goku with his cold eyes. He seemed uncaring, or perhaps unaware, that he was about to be blasted away.
The area exploded with white-blue light as Goku released the Kamehameha. But as the chi blast headed for Nineteen, the Android extended his arm, and she barely heard his cackle over the sound of crackling chi.
The blast hit his hand with enough force to knock him over - it should have knocked him over, but to Chiyo's horror it vanished into the Android's palm, inch by inch, until the light disappeared.
"He absorbed it!" Yamcha shouted. "I was right. They take it from their hands!"
Piccolo craned his head back so he could look into the sky.
"Goku!" he roared. "Don't use energy attacks! They absorb power! Watch their hands! Don't let them grab you – do you understand?!"
"You're kidding me!" Goku shouted back. He sounded frustrated and angry, and fearful - and that was what made Chiyo shrink closer to Gohan.
"Something's wrong," she whispered to him. "Isn't it?"
"Yeah," Gohan said quietly.
Nineteen shot upwards, so fast Chiyo only saw a blur, and then Goku doubled over.
They absorb power, Piccolo had said. If the Android could do that through his hands, then...
Chiyo cringed at the sound of a blow, and she caught a glimpse of Goku falling from the sky - before she could react, he spun inches from hitting the ground and cupped his hands again.
"Ka me - "
"Goku, don't!" Piccolo roared.
"Ha me - HA!"
Goku froze, his hands outstretched after he had fired off the Kamehameha. He gave a grunt of pain and slowly began to descend.
Chiyo turned a white face to her brother. "Did Papa get hurt?"
"H-he looks like he's in a lot of pain," Yamcha said. "Is he weakening…?!"
Kuririn frowned. "He must be hurt really bad..."
Goku bent over on the ground, one hand clutching at his chest, breathing in great gasps.
"I don't understand," Chiyo said to Gohan. "Did he get hit in the chest?"
"What?" Gohan said. Then - "No! Dad is sick - it's his heart!"
Of all the things she'd been expecting to hear, that was not one of them. She'd never seen him sick before - she'd come down with the flu once when she was four, and that was enough for one lifetime, she thought.
"The viral disease that the boy from the future mentioned," Piccolo said. "So it is his heart…"
"Th-that's ridiculous!" Kuririn said. "The medicine made him better, didn't it? They just stole his chi, that's all!"
"What's going on?" Chiyo said, raising her voice. "What's happened to Papa?"
"Chiyo," Gohan said, warningly.
"No!" Chiyo shouted, rounding on him. "Something's wrong and I wanna know what it is!"
"Just what I said," Piccolo rumbled. "Three years ago, a boy from the future arrived here, on Earth. He told us Son would have a heart virus in almost three years' time. If his prediction was correct, Son should have already been sick."
"But Papa's never been sick," Chiyo said, puzzled.
Piccolo's eyes narrowed, but he wasn't looking at her. He stared at Goku's bent head, frowning.
"Then history has already changed," he said, and a shiver ran through her.