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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?


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Part 2 :10111213141516
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[Chapter Cover]
Part 2, Chapter 15.

A deadly silence spread its icy wings on the night of the ruins of a megalopolis whose buildings' arrogant shadows were nothing but a distant memory.

No sign of life in these concrete and metallic intertwined hills.

Streets had disappeared under thick rubble that no light came to warm after the sunset.

It was below earth that the majority of the poor survivors of an endless nightmare had taken shelter. Men, women, children that could still cuddle up together, so they could still feel alive. This was their last shred of happiness.

No moon tonight... It'd be dangerous to go out in the night that ruins darkened and where mutual aid was, unfortunately, not everyone's priority.

It was harder to survive with each passing day. Time between restocking was longer and longer and ration were less and less large. Money, once the ruler of the world, was of no use now. Even worse, it now survival of the fittest was resurfacing from the depth where civilisation had buried it... Its heavy hand was threatening the future of the survivors, each time a bit more.

As if the cyborgs weren't enough.

There were talks of atrocious stories about slaughtered family for a bit of food, or a comfortable shelter, attempts of attacks on food convoys, group of robbers going through the countryside to steal those who were doing all they could to try and ensure the production of basic necessities, no matter what.

No... Once again, in adversity, humanity didn't show only qualities.

However, in the depths of a well protected shelter, hope clinked at the feverish sound of the typing on a keyboard.

Bulma hadn't slept nor eaten since she had got back to work.

Her eyes left the screens of her computer only to enable her to darken pages and pages with enigmatic scribbles, where mathematics formula laid alongside numerous technical diagrams.

In spite of the strength of her motivation, tiredness was now insistently stinging her nape, shoulders and eyelids. She eventually decided to straighten to ease the pain on the muscles of her neck that were begging for her to rest.

She indulged in resting her head on the back of her chair that had been patched somewhat. She couldn't resist closing her eyes a little bit... Just a little bit...

A shiver ran through her spine. To try and warm this body numb with tiredness that was clamouring for a rest she felt she couldn't give. She put her hands under the fold of the jacket that she hadn't dropped since her awakening. Trunks was here, in this cloth wrapping her thighs with a so heart-warming warmth.

Trunks...

Without her noticing it, her mind stole the break that Bulma had been refusing her body for so long. Unaware, her spirit went from thought to memory... A memory that then took flight on the dreamy wings of a deep sleep.

That day, the sun was cheerfully rising in a clear blue sky that seemed to be singing the tune of a joie de vivre to the world that had forgotten it.

After she had had a look around at low altitude to check that the place was sure and to ensure that it was the right place of the laboratory the two cyborgs had destroyed, Bulma then decided to land.

To think that, without her father's indications.. her father who had remembered that Gero, in a fit of self-importance, had the absurd idea to boast about these installations during a scientific meeting. Without these indications, none would have ever managed to find his lair. And why would he hide his working place in the mountains like he had done if that was to almost tell the entire world about it?

Megalomaniac's pride often led them to commit stupid blunders.

Yet, it wasn't this imprudence that caused Gero's downfall... but his own creations.

The young woman's flying vehicle had landed on a dust hill not far from metal pieces that threw their tortured and rusted stumps towards the sky.

After having scanning the surroundings once again, Bulma had sighed of disappointement.

She had run the risk to come in this desert region, hoping to find some elements, or even plans of high technology. And why not something to stop the cyborgs? Yet, Krilin and Yamcha did claim back then that there was nothing left. But she still had felt the need to come and check it byherself.

Even if she shone in numerous fields, she cruelly missed her father's genius to finish the project they had started together... An invention that'd mean the end of the nightmare. The other scientists that could have been of some use to her were either nowhere to be found, killed or simply lost, shut off in some shelter without means of communication.

Her parents...

A weight of sorrow had darkened the turquoise's eyes, usually so full of life, of the young woman.

The day they hadn't come back, she didn't want to believe that it had happened to them too. We always believe that it can't happen to people we love.

Yet, they had let themselves be surprised.

The cyborg at the other side of the planet, a slackened vigilance when we want to believe that life hasn't changed... A building that many attacks had weakened that collapsed, dozens of people being crushed under blocks of concrete, among them a couple of old people. What could be more common in these time of tragedy?

Common, except for the relatives.

It was the pastry chef to whom Mrs Brief liked to go buy things to supply her tea time who had told Trunks what had happened not far from his shop, with the window barricaded with planks.

And under the rubble, the young man had indeed found his great-parents in the midst of the bodies of the numerous victims.

That was how it went. Either buildings engines were too rare, or they lacked fuel, or they simply couldn't go through the ruins. They didn't come to clear out the rubble. Those sinister graves spread an abominable death smell that added to the burden, if that was possible, of the everyday life of the survivors in many cities. Trunks couldn't be every where and, even if that had been possible, he couldn't devote all his time to doing road works.

At least, her dear parents didn't witness the barbaric slaughter of the menagerie they cared so much about. In any case, if the poor animals hadn't succumbed to one attack of the twins, they'd have to kill most of them as they couldn't keep feeding them. And if they had released them, not many would have managed to survive in the wilderness. So it was best to spare them abominable death throes or a cruel death under a predator's fangs.

With the back of her hand, Bulma had wiped the tears that had appeared in the corner of her eyelids to concentrate once again on the rare remains of Geto's lair.

To think that this psychopath had realised here, in the place in the middle of nowhere, unprecedented technological prowess... He had been the greatest specialist in robotics that ever walked this world. There were no doubt about it. What a waste! To devote such talent, such genius to pursue a sinister revenge, to lose oneself in such madness... such obsessional and destructive madness.

What did he plan on doing with his cyborgs once Goku would have been killed?

Why did he reactivate them? To reprogram them?

That was a secret that was as deeply buried as the millions of innocents killed in the name of an totally crazy obsession.

Deeply buried...

Bulma's eyes had stopped on the remains of two corroded steel pipes emerging less than one feet and a half from one another.

When she had knelt to start scratching the surface of the ground that turned out to be loose between the two metal pieces, there was a shadow, then two feet that abruptly landed below her eyes and gave her a start!

She had immediately recognized these boots.

Trunks!

Even before she had time to ask him what he was doing here, her caught her by the armpits to take off right away with his mother in his arms.

Her face pressed against her son's chest, Bulma remained silent.

Acting like this meant only one thing, the cyborgs were in the area!

How unlucky! Yet she had listened to several radio channel: all of them had said that they were several thousands of kilometres in the South.

Flying as fast as he could a few inches above ground, depending the chaotic hills of this rough region, Trunks had eventually dropped his precious burden under the dark shade of a thick forest of pine trees.

They hardly had the time to look at one another than an explosion rang out far off.

The car!

“But how?”

“How what?” Trunks' tone clearly showed his mood: it was very bad! His eyes, usually so sweet when he turned towards her, were for the moment so incredibly hard. Bulma suddenly had the impression she didn't recognise her son. “How did these two damned things know you were here, or how did I manage to find you just in time?!”

“Do you believe they knew that I was here?” she blabbered.

“Because you really think that it was mere coincidence they had popped up from the other side of the continent at this very moment?!”

Bulma had lowered her head.

“And you?”

“Me?! I was worried, as you can imagine, when I saw that my mother had gone without leaving any word behind, and leaving open on the table the box where the capsule of a long distance vehicle was missing...”

His mother, with a low voice, the same of a school girl caught out.

“You've looked up the data of the V-2556's GPS...”

“Imagine what I felt”, Trunks growled, his cheeks and his forehead burning because of anger, “when the channel announced that these two damned things were flying straight to the area that the landmarks showed me on the map, an area in red: 'Dr. Gero's laboratory'!”

He certainly had been so frightened for her to be so mad... Wise Trunks, he habitually has so self-control...

“I destroyed an entire region to divert them from their path. I hardly took the time to check that nobody lived here... Do you realize that I run the risk of killing someone to get ahead of them?!”

She had shyly looked at him. Of course he hadn't run that risk. His sense would have told him if there had been anybody there. But there, he had been afraid and this feeling now get out as reproach.

Without adding any word, he had suddenly wrapped his arms around his mother and pressed her against him, getting her almost breathless. But she hadn't moved, letting him hugging her at length as she had guessed, from the small sounds he emitted, that tears were blurring these eyes she liked so much.

Her nose buried in the jacket she had raised to her face, it was now Bulma's eyes that got blurry due to the sorrow rekindled by this memory.

Woken up with a start due to a sob, the last image of her dream-memory kept kindling the ember of pain.

Bulma lost herself ever more deeper in the clothing... She'd like to disappear there, to forget everything...

And she suddenly straightened, putting with an abrupt gesture the jacket on her knees. She wiped her tears with her fingers then, loudly sniffing this sorrow that distracted her from her goal, she massaged her face to finish chasing it away.

Then she ensconced herself again in her chair, read her last notes then started again typing.

She lacked several essential elements if she wanted to build another time machine. But if some were gone for good, with a little bit of work, she should be able to build their equivalent from what was still available! She had managed to overcome her father's absence, as well as the destruction of their precious laboratory/workshops in order to finish the first one, so she'd manage to get over these new problems for this one!

Her son wasn't lost yet!

Whatever had happened to him, she'd find him, wherever he was, if it was the machine that was out of order, or she'd go back in time to shelter him before he get killed, if that was what had happened.

No, Trunks wasn't dead yet!

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