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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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[Chapter Cover]
Part 3, Chapter 18.

Bulma hardly had the time to be ironic about the proud Yamcha's somewhat macho attitude.

A sinister thud took them both by surprise. Within half a second, the ex-bandit turned around to face again the warrior he believed out of commission… and stretched his eyes out in astonishment!

— "Vegeta!"

Indeed, the Saiyan prince was just straightening his posture right after breaking the neck of the still-unconscious soldier.

— "You idiot! If you want to get us caught, why not let out even more energy while you're at it?!"

Dazed, Yamcha was speechless, while Bulma stared, frightened, at the the man she was currently housing, whose nature of character she'd somewhat forgotten about: an alien warrior capable of killing in cold-blood without the slightest hint of emotion.

In spite of her fear, she remained motionless as he approached them. While he was wearing the pink shirt she threw on him, which was to some extent meant to shut him up a little, he nevertheless retained his mad charisma… that thing she can't quite put her finger on that made it so that, despite his apathetic manners and the potential danger he represents… she found him attractive.

Of course, she was currently with Yamcha… but that guy's eyes had a tendency to stray to anything that's wearing a skirt. A stark contrast from the person who once had a phobia of girls during a time not so distant from now!

The sound of a few shots in the distance turned each of their heads.

Vegeta grumbled to himself:

— "We didn't even have a chance to begin with, and now we've just lost the element of surprise! What a bunch of incompetent fools!"

Further away, Piccolo, who was letting the corpse of the lastest victim he'd stealthily dealt with slowly fall to the ground, looked just as disgruntled while looking towards the sounds of the battlefield.

On the grounds of his mistake, Gohan quietly voiced his gratitude while looking down. The tall Tenshinhan threw him an accusing stare. Around them, six bodies lied around them.

— "Damn it, Gohan! You know that they can communicate with their scouters!"

Gohan was red with shame:

— "I… I’m sorry…"

Goku's former rival growled:

— "You should have thought about that beforehand… take them by surprise to neutralize them before they can even realize it, that's what should've been done!"

Poor Gohan didn't even know what to say anymore.

— "I know…"

Piccolo's voice rung, cutting off the young warrior's:

— "It's too late to make excuses!"

Around the large circular spaceship… another voice rung!

A soldier emerged in a rush of the wide open hatch and made his report, nervously standing to attention. It was never pleasant to be within the immediate proximity of Lord Freeza when he employed that tone! The soldier's scouter was shaking under the fearful spasms his owner was desperately trying to hide.

— ”So?!” roared King Cold.

— "Our… our forces have all vanished, my Lord… Power levels exceeding… exceeding 5,000 units have made a brief appearance…"

Cold and his son shared a mutual gaze. The tall alien spoke first:

— "5,000… Huh… We didn't see anything like that on the way here…"

Freeza had looked better:

— "We had the same problem on Namek before losing our scouters… These Earthling dogs are capable of masking their true power levels!"

The face of the bio-mechanical tyrant twisted in a sneer of hatred.

— "They haven't seen the last of me!"

The following second… Freeza took off towards the sounds of struggle that had reached them, under the critical watch of his father.

Piccolo was the first to react:

— "Shit… There he is!"

Tenshinhan braced himself, ready to defend himself despite his concern, which manifested itself in the form of icy sweat beads on his bald head:

— "He may be a real monster, but I will not roll over and forfeit my life without him paying for it dearly!"

The tall Namek then retorted authoritatively:

— "No! If we fight him head-on, we really won't stand a chance!

Our only hopes are our combined powers and the element of surprise…

I'll hold him back… you guys regroup without letting your presence be known and let me know when you're ready!"

Gohan was about to object before being cut off by the green fighter who employed a tone that did not inspire discussion:

— "There's no time! Get out of here, now!!"

Tenshinhan grabbed Son Goku's son by the back of his armor to take the child who remained fixated on his mentor..

They hardly had the time to vanish within the land-forms of this rocky landscape before the voice of each of their nightmares rang.

— "You?!"

The Mecha-Freeza was indeed here… facing the Namekian who held his own on his home planet. The eyes of the tyrant grew narrower and narrower. Surprise? Jubilation? Hard to tell… Both, perhaps.

— "You're a lot harder to kill than your subordinates, it seems… I'm surprised you even made it here."

Piccolo wore a smirk on the side of his face. He had to exude confidence to gain as much time as possible. Freeza was alone… Maybe, if he did it right…

Damn it! A gargantuan horned being had just made his appearance on top of a land-form above them. With a hop, he landed right next to the shorter, partially mechanical warrior… and his power nearly matched that of the genocidal tyrant.

The Namekian had to try his hardest not to lose his front. Time… They needed time!

Tenshinhan almost felt sick to his stomach sensing the power given off by the two characters facing Piccolo.

He never would have imagined feeling such a powerful life force within a living being… Never mind an alien.

Goku's was definitely impressive… As much as Vegeta's, Gohan's and Piccolo's were after they'd returned from Namek… But this…!

This was unimaginable!

The tall fighter took the time to chase away the feeling of panic that briefly sunk into him.

Taking down a being in the leagues of Freeza already seemed inconceivable, but two of them?! Even with their combined powers and a surprise attack… this became impossible. But they didn't have a choice… In any case, the fate of humanity, no, of the planet was decided. At this point, it's all or nothing!

Thanks to the energy signature let out by Yamcha's assault, Gohan easily found him along with Bulma and Puar. The latter had returned to him and was recovering from the sharp blow he'd taken. Hardly a fighter, the brave little creature had little knowledge of defensive techniques, much less how to handle pain, and tears he tried to hold back formed on the fur around the corner of his eyes.

Kulilin and Vegeta were missing, having, again, disappeared.

The problem was, they took such good care to hide their energy signature, it was impossible to find them through other means than sight. Taking flight at the risk of being detected wasn't an option either. The improvised team still needed to find each of their members in order to formulate an effective strategy, but time was of the essence. They couldn't just let Piccolo take on the reunited intergalactic murderers on his own!

Just about as always, Bulma was the one to find a solution.

A few seconds later, a blue bird flew over the surroundings while searching the ground.

Goku's short bald friend was then able to find his friends, but Vegeta was still nowhere to be found. Bulma then suggested Puar go find Tenshinhan, with the instruction to back further away from the dangerous interlopers so that, once regrouped, they could discuss what to do next without attracting too much attention to themselves.

It was a blue rabbit, this time, resting at higher altitude than the Earthlings who followed him with their eyes, overlooking the currently motionless trio.

While Puar's head was still feeling the pain dealt from his battle with the tyrant's soldier, it was also filled with pride from being as useful as he was be during these critical events..

Hidden and protected behind a rocky mound, those taking part in this improvised reunion were almost whispering to not let themselves be heard. None agreed with other.

Kulilin had hoped Puar could search for the remaining Saiyan, arguing that without his power, their own would be of no help to Piccolo facing Freeza and his lookalike… While Tenshinhan wanted to act immediately. For all he knows, the Saiyan Prince wasn't worthy of trust, and could even return to his former master's side… That's if he's even around here anymore.

Kulilin almost got carried away:

— "Don't say that! He was garbage when he first arrived on Earth... But he really changed back on Namek! He's still in the gray, but he's shown that deep-down, he's better than he'd led us to believe. Besides, he hates Freeza for wiping his planet and people off the map!"

Tenshinhan was unmoved:

— "Don't make me laugh… He's just using you! Once he gets what he wants, he'll just kill you all!"

This time, it was Gohan who retorted:

— "You're wrong… Kulilin is right. He saved our lives on Namek when he didn't have to, and it's only thanks to him Kulilin is alive today."

Bulma, to put this matter to a close, authoritively added:

— "You seem to forget you were hardly better than he is, Ten… We gave you a second chance, so you should be able to understand why we're giving him one.

In any case, he's not the problem for now!"

Yamcha then looked away to ask the rabbit Puar for news, only to be told the three warriors have yet to make a move. Piccolo, with his back facing them, simply signed scissors to them behind his back.

— "He wants us to flank them with a double envelopment." concluded Yamcha.

Again, Tenshinhan disagreed:

— "Actually, I think he's asking us to separate them..."

Gohan, who knew Piccolo better than anyone, voiced a third hypothesis with seriousness rarely displayed by boys his age.

— "I think he's actually trying to tell us to cut this out; to stop arguing aimlessly instead of acting!"

Yamcha found that concept amusing:

— "Come on... As if he could hear us from all the way over there!"

— "Piccolo is taking off his turban and cape!"

This declaration took the group by surprise. Without another question, they slowly made their way in unison to the spot where Yamcha's little blue friend was to see the events unfold themselves.

Unfortunately, it was now too late to formulate a strategy!

Tenshinhan was the one to finally muster up what everyone was thinking:

— "Damn it! Piccolo is going to be the one to pay for our bullshit!"

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