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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 1, Chapter 2.

Shivering under the cold bite that chilled her heart, Bulma took refuge into the familiar lair that her laboratory had become.

She put on, almost mechanically, the waistcoat that was hanging to the armchair's back before placing her hand on the handle of one of her drawer.

For a few seconds, she remained motionless, starring at this drawer that she seemed to hesitate to open.

Then it finally slid and her hand plunged under a pile of papers before taking out a photograph with scribble written by numerous hands all around.

Clutching the mysterious frame tight against her chest, she sat down, taking a deep breath to hold back the salt wave that threatened to flood her eyes.

She cared very much about this picture... but looking at it was so painful...

All of there are here... the happy group... even Vegeta was here!

It was actually the only picture of him she had.

He was the only one who hadn't signed the precious picture, but it didn't matter...

That day, he was exceptionally in a good mood... both of them just had come out of the bathroom where they had had their special encounter and this picture was taken at the end of a huge meal.

In any other occasion, he'd most likely have avoided being with Goku for so long, getting back as fast as possible to his beloved trainings, but that day had really been particular... and it was an unusual happiness that he had set about defeating his food lover of a rival regarding the number of dish they devoured... a tender smile appeared on the nostalgic woman's face while a crimson blush warmed her cheeks... She had to admit he had good reason to be hungry.

After this pantagruelian meal, Vegeta had stayed for a while on the guardrail of the balcony where he loved to sit apart from the others.

Not only had he let the photograph be taken... but the Pr. Brief had pushed the button at the exact moment when she had been turning to ask him to get down of his perch and to join them... at the moment when he had been looking at her with a shadow of a knowing smile.

Bulma's eyes brightened even more when they travelled to the other members of the group in the picture.

She could see Muten Roshi who probably was taking advantage of her having turned away to look at Vegeta. It was precisely bowing at this moment, his hand extended, a lecherous look on his face, to grope her arse. Behind him, these was Chi-Chi, a huge club in her hand, that she had taken out of who knew where, and she was about to hit the old perverse with it, a carnal smirk on her face...

Next to her, Gohan was standing, good as gold, beside Goku. The latter was happy as ever, an ear to ear grin, brushing his son's hair with one hand while, with the other, he was giving Krilin bunny ears, Krilin who posed, proud as a peacock.

Behind Kirlin, there was Yamcha, also smiling broadly, was giving Gokû a pair of bunny ears while Tien, standing beside him, looked sorry for them.

At his right, Chaoz laughed, a hand on his mouth, as he saw Puar and Oolong, both of them had turned into a gigantic bunny ear and were floating above poor Tien's head...

At the other side of the group, standing a bit apart too, Piccolo had crossed his arms on his chest and he was watching the happy group of jesters, a grin on his lips.

How much had they laughed that day... How happy they had been...

The memories of so many joyful moments that now were gone.

With the tip of her fingers, Bulma brushed the smiling faces frozen for ever, as she closed her eyes... trying to remember the forgotten feeling given by a voice, the contagious loud laugh, the warmth of a smile, a knowing look...

She slowly opened her eyes as sadness now clearly showed on her face... What was the point?

No matter how Trunks' travels would end, she felt that all of it was lost forever in this reality.

How would the changes in the past affect the present time? She had no idea... and if this 'now' was erased, none would ever remember it, as it'd never have happened... but her feeling of scientist told her that it'd open a parallel dimension, another world whose fate would be more serene than their own.

At least, in this world, life would get its chance!

She shivered compulsively... Please, don't let their meddling with time cause anything irreversible, a chain reaction that'd lead the the creating of a black hole, for instance.

No, that was ridiculous. None knew the true origin of black holes... but they certainly didn't come from that.

Bulma! You've a lot of imagination!

She sighed. She truly was stronger than this in the past.

But all these dead.. all these mourning times, those failures eventually got the better of her endless enthusiasm.

The whole human race succumbed to a true genocide and none could do anything about it.

In the end, it was a good thing to let Trunks go... It was safer with him at their side... Gokû's presence would be decisive, that was for sure... but it was also certain that they'd still need help, and if he could come back with THE solution to get rid of these walking nightmares...

She put the picture on the desk to take another item in the bottom of the drawer that had remained open.

She pushed the button of the round devide, its squared screen emitted a green light... but remained completely empty.

Gokû and the Dragon Balls... so many memories!

She remembered the funny little boy that she had met in the mountains... What a character!

Then the tall young man who had joined them for the 23rd martial arts tournaments... What a surprise, none had recognised him!

She then remembered the Saiyan when he came back from Namek, before sickness defeated him... a wonderful strong and self-confident fighter... He emitted such a calm power then!

It had been a real wonder that this naïve man had such a pure heart... She didn't dare imagining what he could have done with such power under the influence of an evil mind.

But Gokû had been an angel... A miracle fallen from the sky... She smiled... She could say that again!

Yet, that was when he died that the fate of the world had changed... and that was why she had devised this machine so Trunks could go and give him the medicine.

Bulma put the radar on the desk, next to the picture as she got up to pace in the big room full of scientific devises, tools and items.

Abode a big closet, there was the armour with which Vegeta had come back from Namek... In the end, she had managed to convince him to let her have it so she could study it and build him a new one.

He wasn't going to go around such a cracked and broken thing on him!

She emotionally remembered the fascination Trunks had had for this item when he was a child... How many times had she found him wearing this shell that was so big for him!

One could have said that he felt a bit of the soul of his departed father.

Actually, it had been to reach that strange thing that he had managed to defeat gravity... all alone... no doubt he had been influenced by Gohan's example. He often came flying when he visited them.

He had always seen their friend coming this way... and he felt it was natural... to the point he reproached his grandpa for using a ladder whenever he wanted to reach the upper part of his inventions.

Freshness of youth!

She had then told him the difference between him and his grand-father and the common point he had with Gohan... And in spite of his apprehensions, he was quite enthusiast when he learnt about his alien origins...

But it was true that xenophobia was an adult thing!

As she was a mindful mother, she waited some years before telling him the true nature of his father's people, without hiding anything about his story.

It would have been idiotic to hide the truth... and it hadn't sullied Trunks' opinion at all anyway.

Well, between his mother's feelings and Gohan's admiration for the prince fighter, it'd have been hard to be different.

She even should have thought that the child would want to do as this adopted big brother, the involuntary heir of the fighting talent from this father who had reached mythical dimensions.

And to think that these two had been able to plot behind her back!

But how could she hold a grudge against them... It was so frustrating to watch the enormous slaughters that plunged the planet into mourning on a daily basis...

She closed her lids shut as she saw her son carrying Son Gokû's son, injured... Courageous Gohan... generous friend who hadn't hesitated to give his left arm to save Trunks' life.

A big tear ran down her cheek... The young Saiyan's courage had eventually cost him his life.

Vegeta's ruse to protect him from the cruelty of these mechanical killers had expired.

And to think that these monsters didn't think much of the super fighters, that they were mere toys they avoided killing too soon so that they could keep playing with them!

Freezer was an angel beside them... He despised life, that was true, but at least he had a goal in mind when he killed: his thirst for conquest.

And now she regretted this frightening tyrant... Had anyone told her that twenty years ago, she'd not have believed him at all!

The thought of all this time past brought her back to the void that her absent son had left...

What could he be doing?

Since his departure, about ten minutes ago, an eternity may have flown by in the dimension he was.

Her heart contracted... let everything go well, please...

Stop it Bulma! Stop worrying like this!

It was a super saiyan, not a frail little boy... Besides, he was with Gokû, Vegeta, Piccolo, Gohan and everyone else... The cyborgs didn't stand a chance against such a team!

And they had been warned this time. They wouldn't do the same mistake than in the past... Moreover, they had had three years to prepare... So they no doubt are much stronger than what Dr Gero could think!

She smiled.. At least Vegeta would have found another goal to his race to power, not only his victory over Gokû... She had often wondered if he really was serious when he spoke about killing her friend or if it was nothing but a provocation... Yet, if she had been asked to bet, she'd have bet on the second hypothesis... More than once had the proud Saiyan shown that he wasn't as bad as he wanted them to believe.

And Son Gohan most likely thought the same thing... He couldn't have been so fond of someone that he knew he wanted to kill his father...

Actually, he was the first one to accept the Prince after the saga on Namek.

He most likely took this ability of detecting the nice side of people after his father... without the naivety part though.

What a team they'd have made if the Saiyan had had the chance to see his son grow!

He'd certainly be proud of what his son had become.

Bulma went to the other side of the big room.

From an incredible bric-a-brac made of bits of all size, forms and natures, she took a really strange item...

Well, a piece of item actually.

It looked like a huge fragment, though more organic than mechanical... a kind of piece of concave shell... one side was uneven and the other was smooth.

The scientist' analysis had concluded that it was completely unknown... most likely from alien origins.

Suddenly decided, Bulma went back to her desk and, after having placed the strange piece beside her, she started typing on her keyboard in order to open several documents...

It was now or never if she wanted to put the notes she had taken from Gohan's take in order... It was the best way to not see time go by.

The strong figure of the young fighter occupied her mind once again.

The day he brought her this fragment, he certainly had destroyed another threat.

Showing once again that he was worthy of his father.

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