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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 21.

For a few seconds, a strange silence reigned supreme on the natural space that had been deserted in a salutary flight by a fauna whose infallible survival instinct had dictated so. All that remained were the seven fighters for the moment petrified in a chapter of their fight to the death. The type of occurrence during which each can feel the life palpating within oneself, the priceless value of each beat in their hearts. The feeling of being alive takes on a whole new flavor for anyone who is aware of how fragile it truly is.

Only for some, this fragility generates a pleasurable feeling of omnipotence!

How does could one feel more alive than by distributing death on a whim? What could possibly feel greater than the incredible sensation of seeing ordinary commoners bow down with respect to the mere mention of your name?… Than to feel the respect and fear exhaled by every living cell in the whole galaxy?

A living god! That's who is fit to enjoy this power!

And now, an insignificant green piece of trash mounted with two sluggish antennae would dare to believe himself on rival grounds with a such a divine being?!

Cold tried to mask the exasperation that was violently rising in him. This insect would feel the divine wrath before he could even comprehend his predicament!

Aside from the burning hatred culminating within the darkness of his eyes and his faintly noticeable pulse that could only be discerned by the outcropping of his veins, the former demon could easily have been mistaken for a veritable statue what with the perfect hold he had with himself.

The smoldering under the mountain… Even masters in the art of combat could call it perfection. But for the Namekian, only one thing mattered: efficiency!

He knew full well that even if Cold tried to hide his frustration, the confidence he displayed hardly left his opponent unmoved… the fluctuations in the ki of the horned creature gave it all away! Furthermore, the uncontrollable twitching from the end of his tail were just as eloquent. In contrast, the tall Namekian didn't even look like his guard was up, however, for each of his muscles, the slightest part of his nervous system was ready to react to any of his adversary's solicitations.

Literally captivated by this battle of wits, Son Gohan and Tenshinhan almost forgot about their other opponent. However, the sepulchral silence that haloed the battlefield should have served as a wake-up call!

Observing from about half a mile, Bulma was wondering why everyone stopped movie. The sudden calm was as strange as it was worrisome. From this distance, her simple human eyes had a hard time following what was going on during battle… even as they are stationary, she'd needed quite a bit of concentration and focus before she could distinguish each of the seven protagonists, essentially by the size of their dot-like silhouettes and the color of their clothes. A tedious task when separated by such a distance. Thankfully, she had Puar at her side, the eyes of whom were a bit more trained, to help her confirm her speculations..

What could be the significance of the apparent paralysis the battlefield had be stricken by? Could it be that they agreed to wait for the announced arrival of Goku, like was done during the battle against Vegeta and Nappa? Yes, that had to be it! What other reason would they have to stop like that? By the looks of everyone, it seemed the wait would turn out to be pretty awkward, but at least no one would be risking their lives anymore, and her old friend, without a shadow of a doubt, will quickly do away with those two monsters as soon as he gets here!

As for Puar, he no longer said anything. All of his senses were focused on a single point all the way over on the battlefield: his friend Yamcha!

Something wasn't right! From what he could make out, his posture had nothing natural to it, a far cry from his usual battle stances. The more he looked at him, the more his intuition suggested his current immobility was abnormal. Though he was unable to sense kis, the little fur-ball couldn't help but feel a strange sensation, as if a vibration was being emitted by his friend, a faint, but agonizing one. Puar didn't know what to think of what his senses were telling him, much less what to decipher from them, and found himself at the mercy of a visceral fright he couldn't exactly explain, which further accentuated his unease.

The faint vibration sensed by the little polymorphic critter was actually that of a scream, or rather that of a mute and painful howl. He could feel it too; the distress and rage born from the feeling of powerlessness when forced to bear witness to the torment of a dear friend.

Now held prisoner by the intangible vise of Freeza's psychic abilities as well, Yamcha couldn't move the slightest muscle by an inch. Even breathing was an ordeal under the pressure of his own rib cage. He was silently suffocating, both literally and figuratively… his body was quickly losing oxygen as he was focusing all of his muscles in a futile attempt to free himself, while his mind was literally on the verge of imploding.

The bio-mechanical butcher seemed amused by the torment of Goku's two oldest friends. Without the slightest effort seen on his mechanically disfigured face, a snicker sounded intermittently in his throat while undisguised glee danced in his eyes.

In front of him, the agony of the bald runt was reaching its climax. He observed in delight the frantic pulsing of his unnaturally swollen veins on his neck, the curious shifting in tints this cue ball had undergone, going from a violent crimson shade to a livid pale underlined by a beautiful blue on the lips… the spasms of agony that clenched his powerless fingers more each instant… and let's not forget, especially… the fear and panic that was rolling his bloodshot eyes in every direction in their sockets. But the most notable highlight was this already half-dead gaze met his own!

It was practically a shame that it would end so quickly…

The tormentor's purple lips stretched into what could only be described as a heavily perverse grin. In a gasp that was both painful and liberating, Kulilin could finally draw in a long and critical mouthful of air, with the sudden blood flow irrigating his brain, which had been on the edge of fainting. The unfortunate man didn't even have time for a second intake before his executioner was back at it again.

Tears of rage were now pouring down Yamcha's cheeks. Nothing! There was nothing could do! Nothing else to do but stare at his grounded friends, hoping they would sense his call for help. He mustered up all his spiritual powers, concentrating his efforts on a vain attempt at telepathically calling them. But mastering this delicate art was not part of his abilities and his cries of despair were lost in thin air.

The two red energy jets gushed with unimaginable brilliance! No one could have possibly avoided them! That's what King Cold though, at least.

However, Piccolo, on the alert, was able to skillfully avoid the deadly beams spewed by the eyes of the alien.

Enraged by having missed such a flawless attack, the father of Freeza prolonged the emission of his deadly double lasers by pursuing the little green devil who dared play him for a fool. The pure beams of energy sizzles are they tore through the ground, diggiging several deep furrows… cutting through mounds and rocks like they were melted butter.

Suddenly on the path of this deadly gaze, Son Gohan and Tenshinhan only had a fraction of a second to bolt their separate directions in light of Piccolo's ordeal. Indeed, the aggressor was incredibly nimble and the Namekian warrior couldn't turn the tables. No way to counterattack!

Thankfully, he wasn't alone in his fight. The twin attack hit Cold with full force, completely taken aback by the very object of his chase. The devastating blow he didn't expect destabilized him for a moment, enough for him to bend under its sheer force. With that surprise ended the emission of his ocular rays.

Tenshinhan would have gladly used this moment of advantage to throw him a Kikōhō… but he no longer had the strength for it. He then resolved to join the still very young son of his former rival to strengthen the explosive Kamehameha he was preparing, already beginning the first syllables of the devastating technique.

— "COLD!!"

Piccolo tried to hold their target's attention.

— "Eat this!"

Twin lasers sprung out of the eyes of the Namekian, hitting the face of the monarch who'd been gathering his bearings. A stench of burnt flesh quickly spread in the surroundings as the aliens hard skin sizzled under the intense heat of his opponent's attack.

This insult to his person further enraged King Cold. His anger literally exploded in an incredible release of ki that swept everything that stood in its path.

Freeza took care to form a protective bubble around his toys and himself. Much closer to the epicenter of this formidable explosion, Piccolo, Son Gohan and Tenshinhan couldn't avoid being swept away like dust in a storm.

While regaining his balance, the Namekian warrior felt his heart shut down under the pressure of a hollow feeling of anxiety. He wasn't exactly sure, but the moment Cold let his energy explode, it appeared that the King's output level surpassed that of what seemed to be his maximum! Of course, the adrenaline produced by the sheer anger had to be the cause of this spike… but no one could emit power they don't have! The loss of self-control can lead some to release power from unknown resources. Unknown, or rather, hidden resources!

His gaze then fell on three completely motionless figures further levitating in the air. Freeza used different forms to mask and contain his own power… Though, a small detail soon cut Piccolo's reflection short. The three protagonists off could seem stuck in the status quo of a conversation, but…

The mass of a giant body suddenly masked his view of the scene.

Cold had joined him and a predatory sneer revealed the teeth of the tyrant at the precise moment a blinding light flashed from his hand.

— "LOOK OUT!"

Son Gohan's warning reached him too late, the attack hitting his mentor at point blank range, who was now violently falling towards the ground. The rocks exploded under the brutal impact of fall.

Taken aback that the sudden shift back in dominance, Tenshinhan charged the enemy, furiously roaring! Carried away by rage, he began to blindly hammer the giant's face with blows that would seem invisible to common eyes.

Wondering what the deal was with this three-eyed fighter, Cold took the full assault without so much as flinching. He could honestly care less than a buffalo swarmed with flies.

Gohan immediately took advantage of the diversion to rush to Piccolo's inert body. Kneeling beside him, he gently lifted her head as the tears blurred his young vision. The green eyelids remained shut, but the voice that spoke to him was in no way altered:

— "Don't worry about me, I'll manage! Leave Cold to me… Kulilin and Yamcha need you!"

— "Kulilin and Yamcha?"

Son Gohan looked up at the trio that at first glance seemed so calm… only for the child's complexion to lose all color.

What about Tenshinhan?!

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