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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 16.

The radiant rays of a fierce sun sparkled on the grey expression of Bulma's swelled up by tiredness eyes. Instinctively, she rose a hand to protect her eyes from the light that was much brighter than the one of the low voltage neon lights of her shelter, then she slowly lowered it, closing her eyelids in order to finally enjoy this unexpected touch for a moment.

Just for a moment. A moment of happiness during which she let forgetfullness invade her mind... The mere pleasure of this natural warmth, a hardly perceptible breeze softly brushing her hair, she was soothed by the nice chirping of small birds and their mischievous songs.

Well, here and there, vegetation had started some shy incursions on the oldest piles of rubble. Shy, except in the place of Bulma's parents' huge greenhouse. In this place, the cyborgs' attack hadn't been enough to destroy life. Through the ruins of cement and glass, the interior jungle of the couple's small zoo had resurfaced to exuberantly spread on this new territory it could conquer. It slowly erased the sad sight of the ruins of a house that had brought good time to the Brief family and her friends. The small feathery singers liked this oasis and their jolly voices ran so much louder that their were almost no sound of cars nor of human activities to cover them anymore.

What a strange paradox it was, nature managed to take advantage of a cataclysm provoked by human technology. But it most likely was it way it went. How many time had the fragile balance of life turned? And, each time, nature had succeeded in rising up from the ashes. Species followed species, the unchanging circle of life carried on, no matter what.

Bulma got rid of this odious thought by abruptly opening her eyes and swiftly walking to get away from the entrance of her shelter. No, the era of man wasn't over yet, human race wasn't doomed yet.

The two killers weren't a divine plague, they weren't two demons from another worlds... But they were two creations, thought by a human genius. What man could do, he could undo as well!

They just had to find the right way to defeat them.

The eyes of the young woman lost themselves in the devastated landscape that was spreading before her.

Yes, the right way.

Acts of despair were of no use. They merely plunged into mourning an already decimated population. People didn't understood that, for now, each life was important? That each man, each woman, now carried the seed of rebirth in them? That the world of man would need the energy and abilities of each survivor in order to be rebuilt when this nightmare would finally end?

A few moments ago, the radio had sputtered on a laconic tone that a desperate man would have managed to grasp one of the twins around the waist before blowing himself up. An old man, with explosive all around his waist. Some witnesses would have recognised a former martial arts champion, according to his suit and the belt he wore between two rows of munitions. An absurd attempt, an uneless sacrifice. How could this man think, for a second, that he would succeed in doing what a nuclear bomb had failed to accomplish?

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only case. Regularly, men, or even women, out of sorrow and hatred, rose up to go against death, with the desillusion they'd get an impossible revenge.

No weapon could reach these machines, not even the ultimate weapon that a super Saiyan was. Everybody should have understood it by now... But between understanding and accepting it... there sometime was a chasm that reason couldn't fill.

Bulma opened her hand that she had kept close until now in order to look at the capsule that laid in her palm. She had to be far enough so that none that wasn't from the neighbourhood could find where she lived.

She was aware that the future of men were in her hands only now. Who else could find a way to finally stop these grave diggers of the human kind?

How long, how many days would she require to explore every trails, study every possibilities?

She finally understood that not only the life of her only son depended on the success of the building of this second machine.

Yet, the thing was, in spite of her tireless work, the application of all her knowledge and talents... some devices were impossible to reinvent. It was useless to start anything without these componants that were as complex as they were essential.

One last glance around and the capsule flew into the air to explode with the so caracteristic little 'puff' sound even before it reached the ground.

She had no other choice but to go looking for them in the places where there was a small chance to find them. She needed them.

The young woman adjusted on her shoulder the Tommy gun that was beating at her side. She had always hated firearms, but this measure could prove to be useful. With her other hand, she checked that, in the depth of one of her pocket, laid a metal box.

She had all she required, it was useless to expose herself uselessly any longer!

An operational vehicle, with technology from the Capsule Corp., some killed for less than that!

When she'd come back, she'd go to the opposite side of her starting point to land... Just to avoid evil-minded welcoming commitee.

The next moment, the almost forgotten purring of the turbines of a mini-jet disturbed the peace of the capital in ruins.

Bulma got up, emitting a long sigh.

It was the last laboratory, almost the last hope.

But there was nothing left, nothing but ruins, destroyed materials and rusty debris.

The tips of her fingers were covered with blood. She had been looking, digging, going through hills of rubble, relying on the whistling of her mini-detector. Which hadn't been that useful in the end. There were so many metallic debris that even the special component on which it was settled, made it ring time and time again. It wasn't that surprising, given it was the ruins of a company that was specialized in the development and the assembly of high tech devices, the kind she lacked.

A fragil technology, that couldn't have resisted such a disaster. She'd have believed she could find a building that was, if not intact, at least partially still standing. After all, there still was a small percentage of spared buildings.

But no!

It was as if the cyborgs had carefully targeted the places where researchers and high technology gathered together. If so was the case, it meant that they were aware there existed a way to stop them! The famous 'stop' button Krilin dreamt of. Gohan had actually reported how they had been worried by the Maserfuse... Not because of his nature, but because they believed it was a remote-control.

Yet, it was reasonable to think that Gero had chosen with particular care the necessary frequences for this remote. It was impossible to find it by chance, not without a clue to determine it.

No, the time machine was the best solution... Besides, she had to bring Trunks back. Unless...

Lost in her thought, Bulma didn't see anything coming and even before she could make the slightest movement, she found herself targetted by her own Tommy gun.

What a fool she had been! She should have never put it down! Even to rummage through the rubble more easily!

The thief was young, almost a child.

Bulma's heart tightened. Same built, same hair cut, same suit, jeans, sneakers, T-shirt and scarf... That kid had took on 17's look!

The teenager burst out laughing, before shooting a burst into the air right when Bulma had turned her head at the sound of dozens of feet treading upon pile of rubble.

Quickly, it was an entire band of young people with sleek bob hair who surrouned her. Even the girls had the make up to make their eyes almond shaped.

Bulma raged against her stupidity. It they were to search her, she'd be lost. Retuning to the West Capitale, without means of transportation could very well take months! Months of travel during which the worst could happen. How many extra dead during all that lost time!

No need to panick, they were only kids after all.

"Hey! Hi guys... I hadn't seeb you." Quick, she shouldn't give them time to react. "I'm looking for someone who'd have worked here. You'd not happen to know if one of them live around, by any chance?"

A girl, who was coarsely chewing something with her mouth open, looked her up and down. What could she be chewing like this? It had been impossible to find gum for ages.

"You probably aren't from around here to ask such a thing, old hag. How didya come 'ere?"

Bulma had no time to react to the insult that a boy, whose ginger curl had a hard time adapting with the sleek bob hair cut, snickered.

"What do ya bet that she come with the jet we heard coming?"

Another girl minced, bending towards their prey.

"What if you gave us this jacket, so we could make sure... 'Sides, she's so cool! It's a waste on an old hag's back!"

Cut to the quick, enraged at the idea that someone could take this jacket, she hadn't let go of since she had realised that her son wouldn't come back, away from her, Burla screamt:

"None will take this jacket, is that clear?"

The circle, that had been getting closer and closer, moved backwards due to the vehemence of this unexpected yell.

But calming down as fast as she had lost her temper, she went on, smelling a part of the collar of the jacket that she brought to her face.

"That's all I've left from my son." she said with a sad tone. "He was about your age."

Bulma, a veil of tear in her eyes, watched the group of thieves in the making. They obviously were unsettled by this revelation, which wasn't surprising. It was very rare now to find people who hadn't lost one or more of their relatives in one of the cyborgs' destruction sprees.

The young woman made the most of her slight advantage. She calmly crossed the cordon of the group to start and get away as if nothing had happened, a big and hypocritical smile on her lips. "Well, you're all very nice, but it's time for me to go back to my friends, they're going to worry..."

The sound of a burst from a Tommy gun rooted her on the spot. In no time at all, the pack was surrounding her once again.

"We want that jet!" commanded one of them.

Bulma had a hard time swallowing her saliva. It wasn't going to be that easy... Perhaps if she went on with her bluff?

"The jet?... Well.. that's to say..."

The barrel of the gun moved under her nose.

"Gaki... search her!"

Before the ginger-haired boy extended his hand in her direction, Bulma took a capsule from one of her pocked and she showed it with the speed of an illusionist.

"No need to do this, I've got only this with me!"

The eyes of the group's chief sparked with envy as he muttered, with an almost blissfull smile.

"A jet in capsule."

But Bulma denied it right away.

"Ah no! I'm sorry. This is what I was trying to tell you. It's one of my friends who has it..."

Before the young people had time to be surprised, she threw the capsule which opened with a huge steam cloud after two loud bounces on the ground covered with cement dust.

Puff! A small fridge, with an independant system appeared in no time under the eyes of a group of surprised kids.

Boys and girls looked at one another, not knowing how to react, until a girl bend forwards to carefully open the fridge.

She then stood, triumphantly lifting a can.

"Soda! There are juices, energetic drinks and even beer!"

Right then, it was a rush to the fridge, the teenagers jostling one another, elbowing their way to the device in order to tear the drink they coveted from the pack.

Bulma started moving backwards. She was almost muttering.

"Well... It's time for me to go..."

Then she noticed that the Tommy gun had been forgotten to allow its owner to better rush to the fridge. She turned to first walk as fast as she could before running.

Having hurtled down the hill of rubble that once had been the company which occupied this field, she rush to the closest part of wall that was still standing. She dove behind it and took her breath, away from anybody's eyes.

A quickl glance in her attackers' direction... None to be seen.

The next moment, a group of teenagers that were sipping either soda, fruit juices or beer, looked with disappointment a jet, with the Capsule Corp. logo, flying father and farther, leaving a light steam trail up above their head.

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