Saturday, July 2, 2016

5. NIGHT IN THE FRIGHTFUL FOREST

Noah, Ryan, Zach and Alan ventured into the home dimension of cartoons and comics’ heroes - the city of Nootra. Nootra Security Forces considered them as intruders and the agents chased them. However, some heroes came to their rescue and prevented NSF from arresting them. Among these were the children of the most renowned Saiyans of the universe, namely Trunks, Gohan, Goten; and their friend Krilin. These four decided to take the Earthlings to Secret Base L4 to keep them out of the reach of NSF. Yet to attain L4, they had to traverse a forest inhabited by villains and beasts. They tried to be discreet but Windfang, the man transformed into a winged creature, spied them and destabilized them in their flight.

To avert calamity, the band of Saiyans made a crash landing in the heart of the Frightful Forest. They found themselves surrounded by a gang of villains and beasts with Freeza and Wrath-Amon at the head. These didn’t appear like they wanted to give a warm welcome to the heroes.

Gohan: “Stand down Freeza. We were only passing through the Forest. We mean you no harm.”

Freeza: “Mean me harm? You must be kidding Saiyan. Things have changed since our last meeting. I’ve become stronger thanks to my friends here. Nootra didn’t know they were doing me a favor when they sent me to this forest. Your prison cell is a villain’s paradise. I made extraordinary encounters with people who have the same goal as me and they contributed to the upgrading of my powers. I’d gladly test my new powers on you Gohan but to Trunks be the honor.”

Wrath-Amon: “I have nothing personal against these children but crushing them means weakening the forces of Nootra and that, I’m totally for.”

Goten: “Brother, let’s prepare for combat. They aren’t willing to let us go.”

Freeza: “Let you go when you’ll serve as our dessert tonight?”

Gohan: “Listen men, NSF sent you here for reformation. The best place in the city has been allotted to you so that through its spirituality, you may reflect on your ways and change from evil to good. Why do you persist in bringing down Nootra? Freeza, Wrath-Amon, you’ve turned this place into a villain’s den, dragging down with you those who really want to change. What do you gain from doing this?”

Wrath-Amon: “A child thinks he can sermon me, the dreadful Wrath-Amon? Weigh the word when you talk of ‘evil’ kid for you haven’t yet seen what true evil is all about. You and the agents of NSF shall soon witness the rise of the reign of chaos.”

Trunks: “Only in your dreams Wrath-Amon. Mark my words too. I am Trunks, son of Vegeta, the prince of Saiyans: never will evil reign in Nootra. Your cause is a lost one. We’re open but the choice is yours. If you refuse to join us, you’re doomed.”

Freeza: “Trunks, your father worked for me as many of the Saiyans did. But the values Goku acquired in Nootra influenced him and he rebelled and turned good. I am the one who destroyed planet Vegeta,[1] home world of Saiyans. Saiyans had been barbaric until your fathers settled here and instead of fighting the Nootrans, they joined them in upholding this monstrous civilization that seeks to eradicate evil in the world. But Nootra and her heroes won’t succeed. I made it my personal mission to exterminate your race and I succeeded so far until I met you stubborn Saiyans. Unless you serve me, you’ll suffer the same fate as your stiff-necked compatriots. And when I finish with the offshoots, I’ll deal with the fathers and Saiyans will be wiped out forever.”

Freeza laughed out loud when he finished his discourse.

Goten: “Talking doesn’t help with this band. Did you hear them? It’s impossible to reason with these people. We must fight Niisan.”

Gohan: “You read my mind little brother. Krilin, protect the Earthlings. Goten, cover the five of them. Trunks, you and I will engage Freeza and his band.”

Ryan: “Zach and I know something about fighting. Krilin, I count on you to protect Noah and Alan.”

Krilin: “Have no worries friends. I grew up with the Saiyans and I don’t fail when it comes to protecting my friends.”

Goten: “The least you can do during a battle is to trust your companions.”

Trunks: “These are strong adversaries. Zach, Ryan, are you sure you want to fight them?”

Zach: “I came here to challenge Son Goku, one of the mightiest warriors of the universe. How could I if I can’t even fight these guys?”

Ryan: “You said it Trunks; evil can’t prevail in Nootra. We’re bound to win.”

Gohan: “Everyone to their assignments.”

Noah: “Be careful guys.”

Alan: “Don’t worry Noah. The Agape is in them so everything is going to be alright.”

A fight broke out in the Forest between Freeza, Wrath-Amon and their band on one hand, and Gohan and his companions on the other. Gohan and Trunks fought Freeza and Wrath-Amon. Krilin protected Alan and Noah while Goten covered these three by deflecting the fires of Windfang. Ryan and Zach defended themselves against the beasts of Wrath-Amon. Son Gohan noticed the strength of Zach and the fighting skills of Ryan impressed him. Though Saiyans and friends struggled hard, there was no way out for them. They couldn’t drive out Freeza and his gang. They were close to despair when they heard a voice call from an underground tunnel.


Voice: “Come with me if you want to live.”

Since the battle pressed hard on them and they found no respite, Son Gohan ordered his companions to follow the Voice. One after the other, they dived into the tunnel, slid down for a long distance and came out on another part of the Forest. The passage closed instantaneously once the last one came out. They got up and followed a silhouette, which went towards a baobab. On reaching the tree, they found friends who came to their rescue - Rahan, Son of the Dark Age,[2] Conan, the Adventurer,[3] Tarzan of the Apes,[4] Samba and Leuk the Hare.[5]

When his enemies escaped his claws, Freeza got in a rage, infuriated that the Alliance joined the Saiyans. He threatened them with a loud voice.

Freeza: “Saiyans and the rest, you won’t leave this forest alive. You shall all be crushed by this time tomorrow. And I’ll finally take my revenge on Trunks and deal with him as I dealt with his grandfather.”

Wrath-Amon: “Quit the shouting; they’re all gone. But our objective hasn’t been attained. We must destroy them to weaken Nootra’s forces. Then our friends at large shall overthrow NSF and get us out of here.”

Freeza: “That will be the end of Nootra. We shall establish a reign of chaos in the land. This is our big chance. Assemble everyone and let’s win this one.”

Wrath-Amon: “Don’t give me orders Freeza. Let this be clear: I’m doing this for my own interest and not because of you. Windfang, keep on patrolling so that none of them escapes from the Forest before our army is set. My loyal beasts, you’re not trapped in the woods like us. Get quickly to our comrades outside and tell them they’re expected here before dawn.”

So the enemy prepared for the battle, which would take place at dawn. Meanwhile, darkness had fallen in the Forest. Tarzan and his companions of the Alliance led our friends to a cave, a place to spend the night in safety.

Tarzan: “Sorry friends but you’ll have to do with this. We must stay here this night. It won’t be to our advantage if we fought Freeza and his band in the dark. Wrath-Amon’s beasts are more ferocious at night.”

Samba: “These guys go crazy each time a Saiyan comes this way.”

Leuk: “It’s Freeza. He’s bent on taking revenge on one of them.”

Trunks: “He addressed himself to me. I don’t know what he meant by wanting to take revenge on me personally. What did I do to him?”

The Alliance looked at each other and said nothing. Noah wanted to speak but Gohan covered her mouth to prevent her from letting the cat out of the bag and revealing to Trunks the truth behind Freeza’s words.

Gohan: “Don’t worry Trunks; he was just saying anything. Alliance, thanks for coming to our help. We would have been crushed by this hour if you hadn’t intervened.”

Conan: “Save your gratitude for tomorrow son of Goku. The real battle hasn’t begun yet.”

Goten: “I see the Alliance continue in their activities. I can’t believe valiant men like you live in the Forest with these villains.”

Krilin: “Part of Nootra Security Forces is in the Frightful Forest then? This indeed is an effective means of containing villains and very strategic of NSF.”

Tarzan: “The Forest is first of all our home Krilin. We live here and try to put some order though a few villains want to turn everything upside down. We also help anyone who might find themselves in danger here.”

Gohan: “That’s just like NSF. You can’t get anywhere in this city without finding allies.”

Trunks: “The agents of West Side wanted to arrest these strangers from planet Earth without hearing them first. Those big guys have become over-suspicious. And I thought Captain Nootra never played the game of Batman!”

Leuk: “It’s because they used the cloning and passed for citizens. You must know that security has tightened since the recent assault on HQ East. Domes are over residential quarters and heroes now guard the gates. But don’t fear friends from Earth. The Alliance belongs to Nootra Security Forces but we’re not directly accountable to them. We’ll see you safe out of the Forest.”

Conan: “Well said Leuk. I don’t always call ‘danger’ what they call ‘danger’. We, the Alliance, judge from our own perspective before taking action.”

Noah was happy when she met Rahan. She drew near to him and made a request.

Noah: “May I sit beside you son of Craô the Sage?[6] I’m Noah from Earth.”

Rahan: “Of course Noah. I’m honored to meet those-who-walk-upright from planet Earth.”

Noah was over the moon when Rahan made room for her to stay close to him. He put his chain around her neck and allowed her to play with his knife. The knife of Rahan was a famous white instrument serving, not only as weapon, but also as a compass to show him the direction to take any time he set off for his never-ending journeys. After the Alliance acquainted with their guests and delighted them with treasures of the Forest, they all found a place of comfort to rest. Then Rahan began to think aloud.

Rahan: “Those-who-walk-upright are complex in their line of reasoning. The people you call villains have a cause and they’ll fight for it.”

Krilin: “That ideal of yours that wants all men living together in peace is popular but quite utopian. How can you be at peace with people who want to take away your life and bring chaos to the world?”

Conan: “Krilin is right. No need to try to understand those guys. Give them a chance and you’ll find yourself regretting it all your life.”

Ryan: “I think it’s good to stick to one’s convictions, even if they sound utopian. That’s where our honour lies.”

Goten: “Are you also a thinker Ryan?”

Zach: “We admire Rahan for his virtues: courage, loyalty, wisdom, resilience, generosity. People respect him on Earth for these noble values.”

Trunks: “Are people guided by these virtues in your world?”

Alan: “Our world is similar to yours. There are good as well as bad guys there. But it’s up to everyone to choose the path to follow. What I’m convinced of is that good always triumphs over evil.”


Rahan: “Perhaps the faith and the hope of the good towards the ‘evil’ is what matters. Heroes aren’t those who possess physical strength. Heroes are those who accept all those-who-walk-upright as they are and believe the best about them. This faith transforms them into better people. That’s how good eradicates evil.”

Alan: “You mean the good things we think about people can turn them into good people?”

Conan: “Anyone can, except Wrath-Amon. He’s the incarnation of evil itself.”

Samba: “Don’t categorize people Conan; every man is perfectible. Never give up on anyone.”

Conan: “You wouldn’t say that if you knew who Wrath-Amon really is.”

Goten: “I agree with Conan. Wrath-Amon’s speech on installing a reign of evil frightened me a lot.”

Rahan: “Goten, fear is a negative force. If you allow it to gain ground on your mind, you’ll never achieve anything great, but if you have faith, everything will be the way you want it.”

Samba: “Don’t be afraid because of what they said. The enemy only has one weapon at his disposal: fear. He has no power, no strength; nothing at all. But if you’re trapped in fear, he’ll have you without you even putting up a fight.”

Tarzan: “Well Rahan, your thoughts on ‘the evil can turn good if you believe the best for them’ are noble and I’m familiar with them, especially when I’m with the animals. Many won’t believe animals have feelings despite their wild nature. I deal with them and trust me when I say the wildest can sometimes be as gentle as a lamb. But you must watch out and be on your guard against people like Freeza and Wrath-Amon. Such are hard to learn. We fight them first, then we pray they change.”

Rahan: “We can also do the inverse Tarzan. Friends, I’ll be by your side and I won’t allow them to harm anyone. They may have a cause but their method isn’t right. They can’t go against people’s freedom to fulfil their dreams. Any cause demanding that those-who-walk-upright should suffer isn’t right. Yet I must believe the best for them. That’s the peace I’m after.”

Conan: “Then it might take you a long time to find that peace. Believe me; I know what I’m talking about.”

Trunks: “I have questions on the existence of evil in the world. I used to wonder why some men have chosen evil instead of good when the heart of every child is filled with love. Childhood mindset is the apogee of a human being. In this state, a man believes, he loves and lives in happiness. Why is it that when some people grow up, they choose evil instead?”

Samba: “Trunks, there are many reasons why people turn evil. The presence of evil can be casually explained as a consequence of the Fall. That’s when things started opposing man and he discovered that he wasn’t happy. But this is no excuse for people to practice evil. There are billion cases of people who went through hard times and came out with a heart filled with love; still keeping that ‘good’ nature with them. A human being is divine and he has the capacity to rise from his ashes unto beauty.”

Tarzan: “As you said Trunks, childhood is the evidence that man was born to love and to do good. In my opinion, the reason why people turn evil is because either they don’t have knowledge of what happiness is or they’ve never experienced it. Another reason can be that they do know, yet they deliberately choose to hurt. There’s nothing you can do about that except as Rahan said, believe they will find happiness and become good. Without any controversy, a happy man is good. The revolution that shall change the world is every man finding happiness and be happy.”

Ryan: “In our world, the Agape came and preached love for friends as well as for enemies. He took on humanity and reversed the consequences of the Fall in His body.”

Goten: “Wow! You’re lucky to know Him. My father has been looking for Him ever since.”

The Earthlings stared at each other in amazement, hardly believing what they heard with their own ears.

Alan: “Revelatory! (To Ryan) And you came here looking for Him!”

Rahan: “So it was on Earth He did it.”

Conan: “We know of the Cause and what the Agape did for its benefits to be effective for every man. The Agape is the hero who saved all people by becoming one with them.”

Rahan: “Legend has it that the Agape planted a seed in the ground of Nootra. Its influence over this planet prompted our ancestors to raise this civilization on love, justice and faith. That seed is responsible for endowing superhuman abilities to those who want them.”

Gohan: “The Agape gave us our powers yet none of us can compare to Him; not even my father or Superman.”

Tarzan: “The glory He received for us propelled His fame to the utmost galaxies. All people of every planet have benefited from that victory He got on Earth.”

Trunks: “And the most fascinating thing is, He never used His fists to do that. Love is the most powerful weapon there is.”

Alan: “I’m one hundred per cent with you Trunks. With love, you take down the whole band of villains in one round and there’s no need for a rematch.”

Samba: “Well said Earthling. Truly, the Agape’s love for man is indescribable. What He did out of love for us is the noblest thing ever done in the history of existence. There’s nothing greater.”

Goten: “But who can love like the Agape? If we could, we would have wiped out evil in the world already. My father is determined to meet Him. That’s why he visits galaxies to gather information about Him. He’s convinced the knowledge of Him will give him illumination on the love that turns everything into good. This is the dream of Son Goku.”

Ryan: “I’m glad Son Goku and I have the same dream.”

Tarzan: “Earth must be sacred if He chose it as the site to obtain salvation for all men. I’m sure your people are special.”

Zach: “Earthlings are human beings like you, though with no super powers. Yet this is the first time I realize how unique we are among the peoples of the universe.”

Ryan: “The Agape fills the entire world but His life is yet to be experienced by many. There are people who have His Spirit and they dispense His kingdom everywhere so that all may know what He is for them. His earnest desire is men knowing themselves the same as He knows them, even as His sons. Our union with Him is the original thought that inspired creation.”

Gohan: “Piccolo usually says people don’t see the worth of something when it’s near. We have believed the testimony though it didn’t happen here. What He did on Earth profits all humankind, whatever planet or age they are. I’m sure when the entire Earth knows Him, that will be the inauguration of the age of the manifestation of the perfection of all things.”

Krilin: “Friends, Goku will certainly visit your planet after hearing this.”


The Earthlings exulted because of what they heard. They never knew these things as regards cartoon heroes.

Rahan: “Will you permit me to tell you the story of how the Agape helped me adopt my vision of life?”

Conan: “Not one of his stories again. Doesn’t he ever tire of narrating them? I can’t understand how some people do repeat the same things over and over again.”

Samba: “These children are strangers here. It would be a pity if they left without hearing any of Rahan’s stories, which we all have. And this is the perfect atmosphere - a dark night with a million stars, and a cool gentle breeze all over the cave.”

Tarzan: “Rahan isn’t doing it for his own sake Conan. His stories are inspiring. I assure you these children will be thankful after hearing it.”

Leuk: “Remember the sensation it produces when you hear them for the first time.”

Krilin: “I’ve heard news about your stories firehair, and I can’t wait to hear one of them.”

Rahan opened his mouth and began to talk. Noah was resting close to him and the others, Earthlings, Saiyans and Krilin, sat around him. They were all keen on listening so they paid reverent attention to what he said. When he started talking, Noah handed him the chain he entrusted to her and he took it and put it around his neck. He kept on touching the beads as he related the story. The five bear claws of the necklace represented the five virtues he inherited from his father, which guided him throughout his life.

Rahan was vested with wisdom and knowledge, which he received from his insatiable quest for identity and purpose. He found his Nindo[7] in life through the things he experienced and his difficulties only strengthened his convictions. What was peculiar to him was his deep reverence for those-who-walk-upright, be they good or ‘evil’. He was committed to finding that peace, which would bring men to respect each other and have them living together in unity.

His story captivated the Earthlings, Saiyans and Krilin. They explored the enormous wealth of his person through that astounding narrative. Even Conan, Samba, Leuk and Tarzan couldn’t resist it as the wonder of his incredible adventure captured them. It was a blessing for all of them to hear the blissful tale of the man who traversed land and sea, space and stars to get to the lair of the sun, the place where the Agape dwelt.

When Rahan finished his narrative, there was complete silence in the cave and all around the surrounding forest. Only the noise of the gentle breeze, which periodically developed into stronger winds, was heard. This reinforced the feeling of awe already formed in each of the people present in the cave in the Frightful Forest at that hour. They all cherished the magical sensations mounting in them, drawn from the depths of the heart of the son of Craô the Sage. Under this unspeakable enchantment, the children fell asleep while the Alliance kept watch.



[1] Planet Vegeta is the home planet of Saiyans in DBZ.

[2] Rahan is the hero of Rahan, Le Fils des Ages Farouches. Rahan is a comic series about an intelligent prehistoric man. It first appeared as part of Pif Gadget, and then published in albums of 2 to 4 complete stories. It was initially written by Roger Lecureux and later by his son, Jean-François Lecureux. Most of the artwork is drawn by Andre Cheret, as well as other artists (Enrique Romero, Zam, DeHuescar). The animated series was developed by France Animation and broadcasted on Canal+ from November 21, 1987.

[3] Conan is the hero of Conan, the Adventurer.

[4] Tarzan is a character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. He first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes first published in All-Story Magazine in October 1912. The first book edition was published in 1914.

[5] Samba et Leuk le Lièvre is a French-Canadian television series of 26 episodes created by Olivier Massart and broadcasted from 30 April 1997 on France 2 in the program ‘La Planète de Donkey Kong’.

[6] Craô the Sage (Craô le Sage) appears in Rahan, Le Fils des Ages Farouches.

[7] Nindo: a personal way of life that someone takes upon themselves to guide them. See bibliography for reference.