"A path of life, in all its glory, need not be predetermined."
One of the illustrated covers for Honor Trip.Honor Trip
is a Fanfic written for Dragon Ball Z
by American Vigor, edited by Genescritor, and with amazing art drawn by Ruga-Rell and colored by RyunoOhi
). The story features an alternate reality scenario in which Cell gains the opportunity to overcome his malicious evil and pursues a path of redemption. He becomes one of the Earth's greatest heroes in this epic twist of Dragon Ball reality and ends up assisting the Z-Warriors following the events of the Cell Games.
Disclaimer: The Dragon Ball franchise is the property of Akira Toriyama
, Toei Animation
, Fuji TV, and other entities that have created or broadcast or otherwise disseminated official content for the franchise.
The sophisticated writing style and frequent updates have made Honor Trip a tremendous success in the fanfiction community. Wordof God
has it that a spin-off Honor Trip
revolving around Frieza may be in the works. As of June 2013, Savior Of Demons
is the spiritual successor to Honor Trip
Honor Trip includes the following tropes!!
- Absent-Minded Professor: Dr. Briefs, at times, and Professor Ignai, almost all the time.
- A Chat with Satan: Done metaphorically, and literally, between Cell and Future Cell, while one has absorbed and possessed the other.
- A God I Am Not: Cell can create Temnizziv, the Dragon of Space and Time, but he explains that despite his intelligence and other abilities, he can't bring the remains of Namek (and the Namekian Dragonballs with them) out of a black hole.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- Aliens Are Bastards: Played straight, subverted, and generally turned on its ear with the Arcosians - turns out they have every reason to be wary of other races.
- All Your Powers Combined: A heroic example. At the end of Season 3, Cell reads the minds of many different people in order to create a new set of Dragon Balls. He is also able to learn Namekian healing, as well as gain immense knowledge of time travel from Bulma.
- Alternate Universe Fic
- Angrish: Future Cell does this a LOT when he's losing.
- Apologises a Lot: Cell suffers this early in the story, especially the first few chapters. Justified in that he'd just come to his senses and realized the suffering he had inflicted on the Earth.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In chapter 2, Gohan delivers this one to Mr. Satan:
"My friend, the world deserves truth for so important
an event as this," Gohan said.
"Are you really willing to stick by your story?
After all you've seen today, are you really going to take
as much credit as you are for defeating Cell?"
- The Atoner: Cell and Broli.
- Bad Is Good And Good Is Bad: Due to his programming never receiving the Percussive Maintenance treatment that his counterpart suffered, Future Cell is doomed to always perceive the world this way.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: A big part of the fight with Future Cell. Cell tries everything in his power, including Talking the Monster to Death, and harassing his captor by beat-boxing a taunt.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Goku comes from otherworld and rescues Trunks from Future Cell just before the latter kills him.
- Born Winner: Due to being created and not born, Cell may be this. In any case, Lamarck Was Right when it comes to inheriting the strength and abilities of his genetic 'parents'.
- Byronic Hero: In the beginning, Cell's new lease on life might make him similar to this trope.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Future Cell. Specifically, he's a combination of Type 2 and Type 3, trying to corrupt the hero while reveling in destroying the Earth.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: This being a Dragon Ball Z fic, Enma, Kami, and the variously ranked Kais appear, and play important roles. The "bureaucracy" bit is actually addressed by Cell himself in later chapters, when he complains to Kaiou-sama and Enma about the fact that less-important souls (e.g., Bulma) have spirit tails instead of their whole bodies.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Cell essentially states that his new-found purpose is to help others, turning him into this.
- Continuity Porn: American Vigor seems to have taken it upon himself to explain away the main shows major inconsistencies regarding time travel, otherworld and many other continuity errors that Dragon Ball Z seemed to have. Whether this is a good choice in terms of the narrative is up to the reader.
- Crack Pairing: Launch and Future Broli hook up at the end of Season 3!
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Word of God says that Hufeh is this. He's second only to Kaji in the speed department, despite how he looks.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: What transpires at Enma's Check-in Station after Future Cell is finally killed, and decides to refuse his punishment. Cell, Broli, and Trunks show up to put him down once and for all, and it is awesome.
- Dark and Troubled Past: It would be an understatement to say that Kaji has one, what with his home destroyed by the Saiyans at the beginning of their war, leaving him with a limp and some very prominent scars.
- Deader than Dead: Goku sacrifices his freaking soul just so that Trunks will have enough power to kill Future Cell. Good Cell asks his newly formed dragon if he can bring Goku back based of the dragons knowledge of space, time, and different dimensions, but ultimately states that it is impossible.
- Description Porn: Author American Vigor is known for this.
- The Determinator: Notably Cell, Trunks, and Gohan, although the human characters get their time to shine as well.
- Dimensional Traveler: Cell and Trunks.
- Dirty Coward: Future Cell, full stop.
- The Dog Bites Back: Future Cell's Cell Jr.s in Chapter 48.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Invoked by Cell against Future Cell.
- Dying Race: Arcosians came from a dying planet, settled on a new one, and then promptly had a war with the Saiyans, severely reducing their population. They're understandably a bit xenophobic.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first lines introducing Kaji in the Arcos Special Chapter have him scowling, and annoyed at having to wait. The next paragraph is a flashback detailing the brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he gave to a fellow soldier. Similarly, the other Arcosians are introduced in ways that reflect their personalities.
- The Exile: Kaji, of course.
- Exposition: Loads and loads of it.
- Exposition Beam: Cell masters this and uses it often to transfer and receive information instantaneously.
- Evil Albino: Ratsura plays this trope straight as an arrow, though he himself is not straight in the least.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Future Cell is presented as this.
- The Evils of Free Will: Future Cell laments this about his now-good counterpart as they're fighting.
- Evil Twin: More like "evil counterpart from another universe who hijacks the hero's body".
- Face Monster Turn: Done to horrifying effect to the main protagonist.
- Fat Bastard: Invoked by Kaji's word-for-word exclamation when he first meets Hufeh, but subverted when he decides that Hufeh's more of a Fat Idiot...turns out, he's neither.
- The Farmer And The Viper: Cell learns the hard way that you shouldn't forgive someone who is programmed to be an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Fighting from the Inside: Made all the more tearjerking when Future Cell kills Bulma.
- Five-Man Band: Kaji's patrol consists of Kaji himself, Hagala, Ignai, Hufeh, and Kataba.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Hagala and Hufeh, to emphasize their Sibling Yin-Yang personalities and appearances.
- For Want of a Nail: If Gohan applied JUST enough force into an attack aimed directly at Cell's head... who knows what kind of mental trauma he might have inflicted without causing Cell to regurgitate #18?
- Friendly Rivalry: Future Trunks and Broli. When last we see them before Cell returns to his timeline, they're setting up to have a sparring match in honor of their comrade's bravery and their recent victory.
- Functional Addict: Some of Ignai's conversation implies that all Arcosians are addicted to wine, as it's a big part of their culture - to the point that his former comrades couldn't function without alcohol in their system. He invented a machine to address this problem & "restore social balance".
- Gadgeteer Genius: Who else but Bulma?
- Genius Bruiser: Cell and Gohan, notably, though everyone in the story can sound like this from time to time due to Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
- Get It Over With: Invoked by Cell in the first chapter to Gohan, after which he refuses to defend himself from Gohan's Masenko...needless to say, the coup de grace never comes, due to Gohan's better judgement of Cell's personality change.
- Good Is Not Nice: Practically everyone when it comes time to lay the final beatdown on Future Cell.
- Grand Theft Me: The source of most of the drama for the past story arc; Cell has been hijacked/absorbed by Future Cell, and his allies are desperately fighting the bad guy, while realizing that their friend is alive and conscious of the atrocities he's being made to commit.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: Perpetrated on both sides in the war between the Arcosians & the Saiyans.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Kaji. His default personality is annoyed, and his moods only get less friendly. Of course, he has to constantly deal with Hufeh's shenanigans, which would test anyone's patience.
- Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Cell uses this and other, more logical arguments to try to persuade his evil counterpart from the alternate future from being, well, evil.
- The Hermit: Broli is living on a remote planet, far away from civilization when the heroes find him.
- Hollywood Tourette's: Averted with Ignai, who the author acknowledges is based on fellow fanfic author Davidstarlingm. He displays tics of the physical variety.
- Hot-Blooded. Everyone, once they get going.
- Humiliation Conga: Future Cell is summarily CurbStomped, killed, and suffers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in Otherworld, before finally the heroes literally kick him into Hell.
- I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: In Gohan's case in the second chapter, "I must be crazy for doing this".
- Iron Woobie: Future Trunks, who hails from a doomed alternate universe where literally ALL the heroes are dead. He rarely, if ever complains about this fact.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Cell is fast becoming one, thanks to his ability to absorb peoples' knowledge and memories (with their permission, of course).
- Jade-Colored Glasses: When the heroes first find Broli, he's metaphorically wearing these, as his outlook on life and himself is understandably pessimistic.
- Jerkass Woobie: Kaji is presented as this.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: In spades, in pretty much every Curb-Stomp Battle. Mostly on the villains' side, but rarely, the heroes indulge in this a bit.
- Large and in Charge: For the most part, since Cell is freakishly tall, he fits this trope, except when his group of companions/allies includes Broli, who is taller. Subverted with the Kaji's patrol unit in the upcoming Arcos Arc, as early character sketches clearly show him as the shortest member of the group.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: Future Cell tries to in Chapter 49. Enma Daimaou ain't having it! Future Cell doesn't particularly care about that, though it buys time for Cell, Broly and Future Trunks to show up, and deliver a thorough ass-kicking
- Living Legend: Broli is well-known for carving a swathe of destruction wherever he goes, which is why he went into hiding.
- Martial Pacifist: Son Gohan, who is mild-mannered outside of battle, but does NOT hold anything back in his fights.
- Memory Gambit: Naturally, the Z-Fighters think that Cell is attempting one of these. Fortunately, Wordof God starts the story stating, "A path of life, in all its glory, need not be predetermined" and so the story's premise dictates Cell's new-found humanity.
- Messiah Creep: Cell is starting to fill the position of universal savior, what with his new Dragonball-creating abilities.
- Mind Rape: Attempted, with varying levels of success, by Future Cell on Bulma, Enma, and a few others.
- Mr. Exposition: Usually Cell, but other characters get in on the act, too, especially when they're explaining the science behind some of what's taking place.
- Mugging the Monster: An indirect example - in this case it's Bulma being mugged, and Cell coming to her rescue and frightening away the hapless StupidCriminal.
- Multiversal Conqueror: Future Cell's ultimate aspiration.
- Mundane Afterlife: In chapter 51, Broly is surprised to learn that Hell isn't a fiery place of torture. Rather, as Kaiou-sama explains, "Hell itself is boring".
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Reiterated again and again, by several characters.
- My Future Self and Me: The story has this in the form of Cell (who is now a protagonist), and Future Cell, who is most decidedly NOT.
- Neuro-Vault: Enma Daiou has a surprisingly labyrinthine mind that not even Future Cell could crack to obtain knowledge of Otherworld's various barriers.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Cell would have just let Trunks kill Future Cell in Gero's lab they both could have avoided a major tragedy.
- The Nicknamer: Hufeh delights in giving his more serious brother demeaning, insulting nicknames, and also seems to have a nickname for everyone else in the group...except Kaji, of course.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Emphatically averted in female Arcosians and other alien species.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Future Cell.
- Not So Different: Cell and his evil counterpart from the future. Cell even reflects that if Gohan hadn't inadvertently reprogrammed him, he would have been the same in his universe.
- One-Gender Race: Averted with Frieza's race, the Arcosians.
- Only Sane Man: Poor Kaji, forced to constantly be in close proximity to Hagala, Hufeh, Ignai, and Kataba.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Taken seriously in the story proper, but completely inverted/played with/lampshaded in the special parody chapters.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Pops up occasionally, usually when author exposition puts big words or meaningful Technobabble in Goku's mouth.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: In the Arcos Special Chapter, Kaji references this when he compares himself to Frieza. He's fairly strong for his age, and has the military rank to prove it - but when your leaders can blow up planets, you don't look so strong in comparison.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: Played straight with all of the Arcosians shown so far - females are not quite as bright & showy, while males display very saturated colors.
- Perpetual Frowner: Kaji displays the "angry and angsty" variety, but he can't really help it.
- Person of Mass Destruction: This is a DBZ fic. The only ones who are not explicitly people of mass destruction are the non-combatants (like Bulma), and the general populace of whatever planet the story arc is focusing on.
- Planet of Hats: Arcos is, ironically, not a planet full of PhysicalGods or ProudWarriorRaceGuys. Their hat is probably closer to being merchants/traders, exemplified by the Royals' position at the head of the Planet Trade Organization.
- Poisonous Captive: A rare heroic example in Cell, who is helpless other than his sharp wit and even sharper tongue at the hands of Future Cell, who thinks that he has effectively neutralized the biggest threat to his plans by incapacitating Cell.
- Pragmatic Hero: Broli. Understandable, given that he's still got shades of his old bad habits.
- The Prankster: Hufeh is first introduced when he locks Kaji in a room and then nearly gets killed when the latter breaks the door down and almost kills him. Later, Hagala explains that his brother's antics are what got them on the expedition team in the first place.
- Precision F-Strike: At first these were bleeped out, but in later chapters they were not.
- Present Absence: Goku. He's either in another universe, dead, or otherwise unavailable to aid in the major battles, but he's always talked about as a paragon of positive influence, hope, etc...
- Present Company Excluded: From Chapter 49:
"Now, at last, all of those damn androids are dead."
Upon realizing exactly what he had said, Trunks turned to directly face Cell, and grinned. "No offense, of course," Trunks said.
"Of course none is taken," Cell said, with a humble grin as well.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: All the Saiyans, and Cell by proxy, because of his biological heritage.
- Rage Breaking Point: Kaji's story begins with a flashback to another soldier egging him on and insulting him. He wouldn't have succeeded in getting to Kaji, if he hadn't first implied that Kaji didn't deserve his rank, and then attacked his weak points. Also, Kaji probably wouldn't have beaten him to death.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Or, in Kaji's case, given the choice between a perpetual jungle trek...or PRAML.
- Redemption Quest: Just replace redemption with honor and quest with trip.
- Redemption Rejection: Future Cell does this, in conjunction with an Ignored Epiphany.
- Reformed Criminal: Cell pretty much outright says he's this.
- Right Makes Might: Cell is a good guy. He also spends a disproportionate amount of the story locked in violent combat. Even the other protagonists are quick to note that they're Glad He's On Our Side.
- Sacrificial Lion: Son Goku himself.
- Senseless Sacrifice: When Master Roshi attempts to trap Future Cell by using the Mafuba. He succeeds, but collapses and dies shortly after. Cue Future Cell breaking out of the trash can that Roshi trapped him in.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: "Oh, shut up, already," Cell said, interrupting Future Cell and causing him to become even more livid. "Face it, my counterpart – despite the fact you're already dead, you're screwed."
- Significant Anagram: Combined with a Shout-Out, Temnizziv is an anagram of Niv-Mizzet.
- Slasher Smile: Ratsura.
- Speech Bubbles Interruption: Done hilariously in the Valentine's Day 2013 Gag Strip featuring Frieza's reaction to Cell and Isa. The Word of God reason for this is that the artist, Roketto, doesn't use profanity...but the joke practically wrote itself.
- Start of Darkness: We get a few tantalizing clues to Frieza's past in the Arcos Special Chapter.
- Stutter Stop: Ignai tends to stutter and generally have trouble speaking when he's nervous or agitated, but speaks normally otherwise.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Subverted. Turns out Cell fights better when he has friends and allies than if he just has megalomania and universal domination as his motivator.
- Super Senses: Everyone who isn't a normal human, but especially Cell, since he often draws attention to his heightened senses, especially his hearing.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Undoubtedly, Kaji's initial impression of his companions.
- The Svengali: Foreshadowing in the Kaji Special implies that General Polaris is both this and a Treacherous Advisor.
- Tears of Remorse: In the first chapter, this is what stops Gohan from delivering the killing blow to the now-changed, genuinely remorseful Cell.
- Technical Pacifist: Cell in the main timeline, due to his oath to never commit evil acts again.
- That Liar Lies: Vegeta's reaction in the first couple of chapters to Cell becoming reformed.
- Tragic Villain: Future Cell.
- The Fettered: Cell himself definitely counts.
- The Medic: This being a DBZ fic, anyone who has healing powers or is carrying Senzu counts.
- They're Called Personal Issues For A Reason: Kaji invokes this when Ignai asks him where he was during the war.
- Token Evil Teammate: Cell is a mild example at first, and later Broli is introduced in this role.
- Unfazed Everyman: Cell's lawyer, who seems to have rather quickly come to terms that he's defending a former Omnicidal Maniac who looks like an insectoid human.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The author, American Vigor, loads an already good fanfiction with virtual science/math/physics porn to appeal to some genius fans who love debating about how things like ki and magic work in the DBZ universe.
- Villainous Breakdown: Future Cell, obviously. Complete with profanity, Sanity Slippage, and one final attempt at an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
- Walking Disaster Area: Cell, through no fault of his own, tends to act as this.
- Weapon of Choice: For Kaji, it's his faishin sword, which is a cross between a Cool Sword and a machete.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Elements of this, arguably, in Future Cell's motivations.
- Winged Humanoid: Bizarrely, Cell has large, insectoid wings in all three of his forms, which couldn't have conceivably come from any of his genetic donors.
- What You Are in the Dark: A big, overarching theme of morality and Good vs. Evil.
- Which Me?: Both in the production of the story, and in-canon, it was quite a task distinguishing the two Cells, considering that technically, they are ‘both’ from the future.
- Younger than They Look: Cell in all of his incarnations is much, much younger than you'd expect - even with all the time-traveling he had to do to reach a timeline where he could absorb the Androids, he's still only in his early twenties. Of course, it's hard to tell with someone who doesn't physically resemble any of his parent/donor species and retains all of their memories and experiences.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Cell to Future Cell.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Evil: Future Cell laments this the entire time he's fighting Cell, and can't seem to wrap his head around why Cell would want to go against his programming.
- You Have to Believe Me: Cell, in the first chapter.