DBM Universe 14 (Cyborgs): One Way
Written by Foenidis
Adapted by Adamantine & TheOverlyMadHatter
Following the deaths of the Z Warriors as told in Twin Pain, Universes 12 and 14 had a few years in common before everything fell apart for the latter. What are the events that led to Trunks' victory in one, and to the reign of the Artificial Humans in the other?Part 1 :123456789Part 2 :10111213141516Part 3 :1718192021222324252627282930313233Part 4 :343536
"Go wherever you will... Die where you must. "
Anonymous quote found in a french 15thcentury manuscript.
Nature had exuberantly reclaimed its rights on the ruins of a devastated megalopolis.
The green and blond wild grass now stood out on the grey of the blocks of concrete and the rust of the destroyed carcasses... it almost concealed numerous craters, remnants of the titanic fights that had raged here once.
Here and there, trees had even found the strength to draw a triumphant sap from the sad heap of rubble that could have appeared barren at first glance, and the coloured radiance of the wild flowers shone with happiness on what had been, about twenty years ago, only sadness and desolation.
A flight of sparrows took flight in a rustle of dull frou-frou... an athletic figure suddenly had appeared in the middle of this landscape that wildlife had reclaimed.
It was a young man whose severe look contrasted with the light and mischievous breeze that defied the smooth thickness of his amethyst colored hair.
His eyes slowly swept what used to be a big and hectic city... then he closed his eyes for a second, seeming to enjoy the quietness and the harmony that had taken possession of this place.
He then went towards a very particular place in this flowered meadow... an impressively big circular area in which no vegetation had grown and directly descended in the centre of the huge crater.
For a while, he stood still and pensive... a coloured statue in the middle of the dark and black striped parabola.
Then he slowly took the long sword from his sheath he was carrying on his back, the shining steel reflected an intense sparkle on the young fighter's face when he turned it in front of him.
With a sharp move, he vigorously thrust the blade straight into the ground.
The next moment, a knee on the ground, he softly passed the tips of his fingers on the hard ground that was both smooth and cracked... concrete, metal... any matter had melt, as if vitrified by a formidable release of energy. Then he placed his hands on the grip of his weapon before bowing his head to rest it on the pommel. Eyes closed, as a praying knight. Trunks was focusing on his thoughts.
He was thinking of this almost unknown father and at the extraordinary power that he must have developed to generate an explosion of such intensity.
And in spite of this, the cyborgs had outlived him!
He knew almost everything there was to know about the fight that had taken place in that place... almost everything except the last moment of the prince fighter. He had to be really annoying to make his friend Gohan come here and tell him this tragic day.
The evocation of the memory of these dark moments had been scary for Son Goku's son, yet hardened by years of struggles and sufferings. And Trunks remembered the embarrassment he had felt when he saw for the first time tears running down Gohan's face... The child he had been at the time would never have imagined that so powerful a fighter could cry.
And now, emotion was rushing through him... the painful wound of the death of his mentor and friend that had never closed.
It was partly why he had taken the decision to go back in time. He wanted to be sure that his mother and he would have succeeded in putting an end to this hellish carnage that was about to turn the planet into humanity's grave.
Bulma, who at first had been in favour of the project of a second round-trip, now appeared to be reluctant. For her, there were no doubt that, if Goku lived, he and his friends would be able to defeat the two bionic killers. And it was after many days of stubborn arguing that he had eventually convinced her of the necessity of this travel. He'd need to be there to make sure they'd not be caught by surprise by the unimaginable power of the cyborgs. Besides, they could need extra help, and also the precious information that he could get to change their present... just in case, as she thought, this change in the past would make two different space-time alternative instead of erasing the nightmare that was weighing on their life.
There was so much at stake!
He understood his mother's reluctance... They had no way to calculate the eventual consequences of such an intervention on the tidy order of history... But they had to face reality, they already had taken a risk when they brought the medicine to Goku... so a bit more or a bit less... they should at least go to the end of the line now.
The young man realized the full extend of the burden weighing on his shoulders...
His heart beat stronger when he thought of the terrible battle getting nearer, a battle that they couldn't lose... shouldn't lose!
The prospect of being near his father for a while longer, to be even able to fight alongside him increased the size of the emotional flux that rang out even to his ears.
Gohan always spoke of the warrior with respect... he was more discreet regarding the man.
His mother had warned him before his first travel. Vegeta wasn't your typical man and he could seem to be utterly antipathetic at first sight... but he hadn't needed her to say anything else to know that truth was completely different.
The young man thought too highly of Bulma's intellectual abilities to believe even for one moment that she could have felt so madly in love for a heartless bully. Twenty years later, the feelings were still here and apparent in the timber of her voice, or in the glint of her eyes when she spoke of, or even thought about this deceased love.
Seeming to take a deep breath, the young man slowly got up.
He remained motionless for a moment longer, his hands still on the grip of his sword... even if he had all the time he want, it was useless to postpone the moment of truth for much longer.
In a swift movement, he tore the weapon off the ground and extended his movement towards the sky to send it swirling high above him.
He remained motionless for a moment, his look still pensive, then he suddenly bent leftwards... the sword that had been falling, twirling, found its sheath, making a the nice chirping of metal, with a stupefying accuracy.
His face now changed of expression and his eyes hardened, clearly showing an intense concentration.
Clenching his feet, he straightened, emitting a deep grown... all of his body seemed to tense in an impressible effort while a strange wind blew all around him...
His hair rose even more when a dull explosion emphasized the appearance of a golden aura that spread to his now golden hair.
Under the familiar pulse, the Saiyan seemed to feel the energy rushing through him for a second, he starred his clenched fist that he had raised, as if to check their strength... Then he slowly looked up, in his eyes now shone the glint of an implacable determination, all the while he motionlessly rose in the air...
A sudden cry rang out in the quietness of the meadow as the entire vegetation bent under the blow of the incredible release of energy that the young man just let go of... by way of challenge!
A challenge to the established order... a challenge to his own powerlessness... a challenge to destiny!
It wasn't time to doubt anymore... Time had come!
In one moment, all that was left of the fighter's presence was the aerial ellipse of a long golden wake that quickly faded.
Bulma was worried.
She always was when her son was far from her.
He had so often faced death when he fought those two bullies.
She sighed. She had been obliged to get used to it... with Saiyan blood running his in vessel, how could this child be different?
Even the soft and sweet Gohan, who seemed to hate fighting, had turned out to be a dreadful fighter.
That was the way it was and there was nothing to do about it.
We weren't the owner of our children, and preventing them from being themselves was an insult to common sense.
But still... Trunks could have more consideration for her mother's heart.
Of course, he was stronger, more resistant, less frail that anybody on this planet... anybody except the cyborgs.
And that wasn't quite the vague detail!
She got a grip on herself... It was ridiculous to worry herself sick like this, the machine was ready at least and he certainly wasn't going to postpone his travel to the past for any longer.
He was a clever boy... there were no risk that he could jeopardize this project with going, once more, against the hellish couple.
The familiar noise of the sliding of the reinforced door that led to the underground shelter tore Bulma off her thoughts.
When Trunks finally joined her, his mother welcomed him with a warm smile.
It was after checking that the threat was far from here thanks to the informations that the chirping of the radio equipment had released... it was the last means of communication that worked... only after this did they got the time machine out of the buried laboratory.
Bulma scanned the serene face and the unbowed stature of her son, as if she wanted to swallow the image.
How much he had grown! He was almost a man now...
She felt a pang when she thought of all these childish moments of joy that he had been denied since his babyhood by this terrible nightmare they dwelt in.
She saw him again, this vigorous and laughing baby he had been, and suddenly the vice of panic strongly flooded her.
And what if he never came back?...
No! Better not think of it... Never think of such an awful thing!
He did come back the first time... yes... but he certainly ran less risks too... but this awful realization that had led hear to try and make him change his mind... he was all she had left.
She forced herself to smile to sweep the frightful dread, but it wasn't enough... she recalled her past confidence to gather courage... in vain! Where had gone the fearless Bulma of before? She knew: she had slowly passed away... at the pace of defeats, failures... and death that kept piling up, more and more.
She then rushed to her son to bury her face against him... at least he wouldn't see the tears she couldn't hold back anymore.
She was surprised for a moment by the contact of this strong shoulder... this feeling reminded her...
She held back a sob... it wasn't the time for this!
At this moment, the young man, who had perceived his mother's quivering, wrapped her in his protective arms. All of a sudden she seemed to be so small, so frail.
He didn't notice that this gesture revived the memory of the cradle so strong and soft of another man's arms.
Bulma couldn't help tightening her grip on the sturdy chest against which she pressed... that involuntary movement made her face the forgotten feeling of the contact with the firm muscles of a warrior's body.
Vegeta's face now forced itself in Bulma's mind as she gave up trying to contain the emotion that was overwhelming her behind her closed eyes.
How much she had missed him... how much she missed him still...
Images of so deep eyes, the warm of a small smile that he showed her only, the thousands feelings of a deep passion... everything was incredibly sweet and painful all at once.
The metal contours of the machine appeared in her mind... it would have been so simple to have it all again...
It's be so great to see them all again, to hug them, to feel the joy of this dream reunion...
But it was out of question!
Apart from the problem of space-time continuum, the disruption that her incongruous presence wouldn't fail to create in their mind could turn out catastrophic.
It wasn't the same for Trunks, as they didn't know the man he had become, they wouldn't be confounded to see him fighting at their side... plus, there was only Goku who knew who he really was.
How much she still missed this friend of old... this brother...
Cuddled up to Trunks' reassuring warm, Bulma still didn't decide to let go of him... so in the end, it was him who softly put an end to it with putting his hand on her shoulders to push her back very slowly.
This forced parting pierced Bulma's body and heart with an icy blade.
But she knew it was unavoidable, no matter the cost, she had to let him go.
She hastily turned around, she didn't want him to go with the sight of her face puffed because of tears.
“I'll expect you to be here in three hours...” She muttered, her voice almost unrecognisable after a sob that she couldn't hold back. “It's the minimum security time difference. Anyway I'd not be able to wait any longer...”
Trunks went forwards to hug one last time his mother in a protective gesture.
“I know... I won't keep you waiting, don't worry... but you, you stay here, in the laboratory, in this safe place, promise me...”
Bulma couldn't help but smile a bit...
Incredible... he was the one giving her security instructions!
“I promise you I'll be good...” she answered, her voice stronger than earlier. “Go in peace...”
The young man, happy to hear his mother joking once again, went on.
“No trip to Gero's former hideout or other foolish things like this, ok?!”
She was aware that she'd have to cut these farewell short... before they become completely unbearable.
“No danger... I'll stay here, I promise...”
There was a short moment of silence, then she added, in a muffled sob.
“Go now... before I change my mind!”
A shiver went through all of her body when she heard the well known noise of the locking of the reinforced glass bubble... The next moment, a hardly perceptible breeze in her back confirmed her that the machine had just disappeared in the void of another dimension.