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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 19.

Shortly afterwards, everyone was at the top of the rocky mound they'd met behind. Its top ended in a soft slope, so the group could just lay on their stomachs to watch Piccolo, Freeza, and the tall unknown fighter while out of their sight. Bulma finally ended her laborious climb only to find out that the men were so close to one another, there was no vantage point left.

— "Gentlemen till the end, guys!

How nice of you to help me get up here, and I can appreciate the fact that you kept me a spot!"

But none of them appeared to even hear her… They were far too captivated by the trio about clash on the ocher of the landscape further away from here.

— "So, that's Freeza… He's enormous!"

Kulilin promptly corrected Yamcha:

— "No, you got it wrong… Freeza's the short one!

Well, he does look a little different, but it is him. That's his ki."

Tenshinhan grumbled:

— "Big or small, it's all them same. They're both as repulsive and terrifying in strength as each other!"

Gohan noticed an important detail:

— "They're not wearing scouters!"

— "Oh, just what we needed! They know how to sense ki?! As if we weren't dead already…" said Kulilin, sighing pessimistically.

— "Just like Vegeta… They must have learned by seeing us do it…" stated Goku's son.

Resuming his irritation, Tenshinhan let out a swear, without anyone really knowing to whom it was specifically directed.

— "Bastard!"

Exasperated by the fact that she can't get their attention, and frustrated that she can see anything… Bulma suddenly grabbed on of Yamcha's ankle to sharply pull him further down. Taken aback, her boyfriend couldn't help but let an audible "Hey!" escape his mouth while knocking down part of the rocky surface.

Collectively, everyone else turned around to throw him a murderous glance while shouting a juvenile "Hush!!".

Concerned by the racket, even Puar, while still in the form of a rabbit, turned around to get his point across:

— "Make more noise while you're af if! Tha'll geth uth killed muth quicker!...(Then, annoyed by current speech impediment) Fthupid teef!"

The poor Yamcha, who didn't even know what to say, did dare make the slightest complaint when Bulma literally finished her climb by crawling over him. Satisfied, she grabbed Gohan's hand which was stretched out to help her up.

— "Thank you, Gohan… At least someone here understands women, unlike all the other meatheads! As if it was easy climbing this thing in a skirt! Look at that, I've got cuts all over my knees!"

— "No one forced you to stay!"

She completely ignored Yamcha's remark; and since she was sitting back up to get a better view, Kulilin, who was on her right, reminded her of the situation:

— "Get down! If they see us, we're done for!"

The young woman then leaned down a little more like her companions.

— "What are you doing?!"

That question was addressed to Kulilin, who was focused on flattening her friend's opulent hair. He replied with an apologetic smirk:

— "With this color, it's kind of easy to see hair like this!"

He then started to have second thoughts, noticing the sudden burst of anger that crowned the eyes of the object he was focused on:

— "No, wait…! It looks amazing…! Really original, too… You know what I'm saying, right…?"

Bulma was furious!

— "You got a problem with my hair?!"

Yamcha, who managed to reach them by slipping between Gohan and her sloppily tried to appease his girlfriend:

— "No, she's right Kulilin… From afar, it could look like flowers, you know?!"

A large mallet, seemingly having appeared out of nowhere, crashed against the tactless fool's skull, while a bloodthirsty sneer instantly formed on the now haughty face of Bulma.

— "Ouch! What'd I say now?!"

Ignoring him, the umbrageous young lady focused her attention on the two characters:

— "So, Freeza's the short one with the metal rat tail? I didn't imagine him like that!"

Tenshinhan was surprised:

— "Didn't you see him on Namek?"

Kulilin filled in:

— "Of course not! She would've been killed too, if she had…"

He then added, with an ironic smirk:

— "He didn't have any metallic parts back on Namek… Looks like Goku still managed to mess him up pretty good!"

Tenshinhan grumbled:

— "He should've killed him instead of playing mechanic!"

— "And the tall pacifier-looking thing next to him? Who's that?" inquired Bulma.

Kulilin couldn't help but laugh, while Yamcha was shocked to some extent.

— "Bulma ! This isn't funny!"

— "So what…? Piccolo threw his cape off… It's to tell us the everything's lost… Might as well laugh one last time if it's to die? Don't you think it'll be less scary that way?"

Kulilin then turned his gaze to the trio, which was dominated by the tall figure armed with huge horns.

— "Well, when you put it that way…"

Gohan put everyone back into perspective:

— "Come on, Kulilin… You know that when Piccolo throws his cape off, it's not to give up… the complete opposite, actually!"

— "You're right… What I would give to know what they're talking about over there…"

Tenshinhan's deep voice added:

— "We ought to be ashamed of ourselves!… You would do best to find a way to get Piccolo out of there instead of exchanging childish banter!"

Facing Freeza and his father… Piccolo regained some faith.

The fact that the tall individual was none other than King Cold, Freeza's father, wasn't good news. That implied that one would defend other. Father would defend Son, and vice versa.

No… The good news were what he'd just heard.

While arrogantly bragging about how he could kill him whenever he wanted, Freeza gave away that Goku's return to Earth was imminent. The Frost Demons only had a few hours ahead of him.

Piccolo's brain was working at full-throttle. How to hold him back until the return of the Super Saiyan?

From what he was hearing, the damn fools hiding further back weren't even able to plan out a worthy strategy, and Vegeta remained nowhere to be found. No way to know if he could be counted on. Although, he'd made it clear that it was crucial not to repeat the mistakes made on Namek. They were wrong in challenging Freeza one by one, one after the other. They underestimated him, and were taken aback and overwhelmed by the power of each of his transformations.

No… Their only chance was to combine their powers. Together, they should be able to hold him back, at least until Goku arrives.

Holding him back… If he was alone, yes. But he wasn't. There are two of them, and Cold appears to be about as strong as his son… And who knows?! He could still have other transformations up his sleeve!

This is what went through Piccolo's mind as he tried to delay inevitable battle.

He slowly closed his eyes to better concentrate. Surprised at first, Freeza was quickly irritated by what he thought was a provocation.

Hidden behind the rock mound, Gohan's face took a daze look. He heard a voice he was very familiar with resonate in his head:

— "He'll attack at any moment, now… Goku should be here within a few hours… TOGETHER, WE CAN WIN THIS! STAND READY!"

Right next to him, Yamcha noticed the young boy's absence, who's face was slowly being invaded by a large smile.

— "Gohan…? Gohan, are you alright?"

Gohan wanted to let his joy burst out, to jump around in excitement, to shoot high up in the sky and let the world know of his happiness. But he had to contain himself to announce the great news!

— "He's coming… Dad is coming!"

Bulma was the first to react:

— "Are you saying Goku is finally coming home?"

Popping up over Bulma's shoulder, Kulilin was skeptical while examining his young friend's face:

— "That's it… He's been in the sun too long… What's Chi-Chi gonna do to us now?!"

Tenshinhan asked for details:

— "Let him speak! Where did you get this from, Gohan?"

— "It's Piccolo… He just told me!"

Yamcha couldn't believe it:

— "Piccolo? I didn't hear anything. Can you hear him from that far?"

Kulilin then looked jaded:

— "Of course not, he told him telepathically!"

— "Oh? Piccolo can do that?"

Bulma further overwhelmed the boy with questions:

— "Well, that's all good, but… When will be be here, exactly?!

And how would he know that anyway…? Is he psychic, now?"

Kulilin shook the young lady with a friend shove.

— "Don't make yourself look stupider than you are… Freeza must have told him. That would explain why he is on Earth. He came to wait for him!"

Gohan looked serious again:

— "Piccolo told me he'd be here "in a few hours"… He also told me that he would attack at any second now, and that we should be ready."

— "That's not good… That means we can't just stall him with words until Goku gets here." concluded Kulilin, looking gloomy.

Tenshinhan began to take flight.

— "You guys do what you want… But I'm not staying here another minute without doing anything!"

The following instant, despite Kulilin's attempt to hold him back, the three-eyed warrior went back down from the improvised vantage point to disappear among the rocky terrain.

Puar then got everyone's attention:

— "Careful! Looks like things are starting to move!"

Freeza was indeed losing patience!

— "I planned the annihilation of the Earthlings to be the welcoming gift for that filthy monkey… but his Namekian friend as the red carpet sounds just as good!"

Cold chuckled:

— "We've more than enough time to do both!"

— "That's right." answered his son, adding the sadistic snickering he was fond of.

Without the slightest giveaway, Piccolo suddenly went on the offensive, screaming, having decided to take advantage of the element of surprise!

— "IT WON'T BE AS EASY AS YOU THINK!!"

Briefly disappearing, he reappeared behind the two aliens. By the time they turned around… He was gone again… Only to reappear in front of them and disappear again…

Cold growled:

— "Is this a joke?!"

Freeza however, was exalted, wearing a smirk on the side of his face:

— "Please, Papa, leave him to me… I'll take care or this!" and he too sizzled away.

In fact… Piccolo was quickly beaten at his own game.

Freeza, faster than he is without contest, was clearing enjoying appearing right in front of him, sometimes under his nose, others back-to-back… or nose-to-nose, with the tyrant floating in the air upside down. Cold observed his son's amusement with a smirk typical of a father proud of his sonny whose victory was certain.

Understand that this led to nothing and only put him at the mercy of his pursuant, Piccolo attempted to stop what had grown out of his control. But Freeza didn't see it fit! Appearing next to the Namekian's ears, he mumbled him a word… then another on the opposite ear, then again, and so on, moving so fast it, the sentence didn't even sound fragmented:

— "If you stop, I'll kill you!"

Piccolo's fangs were revealed as his face twisted with rage. The idea of being this monstrosity's plaything angered him. But we still had to gain some time! What were the others doing?

At that moment, a shriek tore through the air:

— "Taiyōken!"

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