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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 25.

At first, the Saiyan's order seemed ineffective

Which was, in a way, Completely justified. Making the slightest move would exposing oneself to the deadly predator's energy beams. Kulilin almost fell victim to them. Briefly poking his head out of the provisional shelter he'd taken cover in, his was just a hair shy of losing its beautifully slick surface.

Cold to have his eyes everywhere, and the slightest movement could not escape his boundless sight, leaving no chance of respite for his main target, much to Goku's dismay. Indeed, though it seemed the Saiyan was getting fun out of the situation by flying around all over the place without even fighting back, it was only in the vain hopes to detract the tyrant's attention onto himself. A waste of time. He needed to figure something else out.

Disappearing and reappearing on random points in the sky, he quickly evaluated the situation. On the South, Kulilin was on all fours hiding behind a rock. Further away laid the unfortunate Tenshinhan flat on his stomach at the bottom of a crater dug by blasts from the preceding battle, likely having had to throw himself in there in a rush; it wasn't a position that someone with crushed forearms would favor! As for Gohan, he stood calmly with his back against one of the few remaining landforms surrounding the perimeter of the battlefield, facing more North than West; He seemed to be attentively watching the battle, though only through what he could sense… "Look at how much he's grown!" Piccolo wasn't too far away from his young protege, laying in the middle of a rocky scree. While he didn't exactly pick the most comfortable vantage point, it was without a doubt the best spot there was to carefully watch both Gohan and King Cold. As for Vegeta… He was nowhere to be seen. He'll only show himself when he decides the time is right, because the Saiyan didn't doubt for a second he was watching things as they were happening unfold up close!

Goku thought Yamcha had done well to bolt back to Bulma as soon as he arrived. That's already two that have managed to get away… and one person less to worry about.

There was no other choice. Since playing cat and mouse lead to nowhere… no more games!

A brief shriek preceded the sharp sound of a golden aura lighting up. Sticking to the skies, the Yardrat-clad warrior stopped trying to avoid the Death Beams that incessantly chased him. With all of his muscles tensed, and a look of savage determination, he overtly challenged the giant alien by grinning a smirk full of irony as he watched Cold's beams ricochet against his. None of them could get through.

Without taking his eyes of his opponent, he slowly joined both his hands as he calmly recited the first syllables of his favorite technique.

While an implacable light grew brighter within the hands of the Saiyan's hands, the monarch displayed a rictus of rage.

During the battle that had preceded his arrival, he had learned the significance of that ridiculous pose and the effect of the incantation of that pathetic monkey. Surely he wasn't going to allow himself to be taken by surprise again. He was King Cold, self-proclaimed demigod. Fear isn't something he knows, nor is superstition. That piece of Saiyan crap wanted to tangle with a superior being? So be it!

Goku internally rejoiced. His objective was attained. Cold couldn't take his eyes off of him, this time. Concentrating to send a telepathic message to everyone all while gathering so much ki within his hands was far more taxing in effort than he'd expected. Even so, he still managed to get his voice to simultaneously resound into each of his friends' minds:

— "Now's your chance! Get out of here, quick!".

Within the time it took for Piccolo and his protege to share glace, Piccolo had already reached Tenshinan to help him distance himself from the battlefield. In spite of all his might, the tall warrior was drained both in strength and in will as a result of the dreadful battle during which he could only manage to have his forearms crushed to pieces. He wholeheartedly welcomed the help of the former demon without a word. He, who took pride in depending on none but himself, acknowledged this wasn't the place nor the time for bravado.

Evacuation successful, noted the Freeza's executioner with satisfaction.

However, one small detail had him intrigued…

Evidently, Cold was a seasoned fighter. So why would he just patiently wait for him to launch the blast? Goku was wondering if he would have to brace himself for a counterattack, but the tall horned being displayed no sign of offensive intent. He was just standing there, eyes fixed on his opponent, full of hatred and cruelty and expecting a challenge.

Finally free to focus on his battle, Goku could see through the imperceptible shudder of his adversary's eyelids. Before the tyrant could fire his dirty blow, the Saiyan moved to the right at hyper-speed, then suddenly, he reappeared on the left, as quickly and elusive as a spark. The second-to-last syllable had already crossed the threshold of his lips as he positioned himself vertically relative to Cold during the same fraction of a second. An ideal vantage point, he'd have trouble blocking it from this angle.

The conclusive "Haaaa" rung at the same time a wave of pure destructive light surged straight towards the alien taken aback. "Taken aback"? Truly?

Goku had just enough time to back away to feel the heat of his own energy brush dangerously close to his face!

The surprised one wasn't who you'd expected!

How could have Cold managed to return one of his Kamehamehas, even if it wasn't all that powerful? The Saiyan considered the possibility of there being a higher level of power within his opponent. The mass of energy contained within his attack had briefly prevented him from feeling his… but he could have sworn he'd felt something emitting from him…

The gold fighter's thought were cut short, unfortunately; triumphantly smiling, the interplanetary king suddenly exposed both his palms aimed at the sky… light emerged from both of them, to be released in the form of a ball… then two more, then another pair…

Within a few seconds, a dozen shining spheres slowly flew up only the come crashing on the ground in what seemed like a random trajectory.

"That bastard!"

All of the surrounding seemed to be boiling with the heat of the devils cauldron.

Goku was raging. He'd hoped no one had to bad idea of sticking around a little too close ! He knew his friends well… Discipline wasn't their strong point, and when fighting was in question, their curiosity was insatiable. They were all exhausted, it was very much possible for them to be taken by surprise by this.

Cold seemed to read his opponent's face like an open book. It had far too much humanity in it. What a waste, such sentimentality. How disgusting!

The verbal threat fell from the sky just as the Saiyan rushed the alien with the ferocity of a carnivorous predator.

— "You're going to pay for that!"

Cold didn't let himself be impressed. Each blow resounded with force beyond natural, shaking everything that surrounded them. Neither of the two adversaries made the least concession, each hit the other with as much of a punch as the other, as much as they could muster, with the rage of a atavistic hatred… the vioence of their respective races et the pride of exceptional warriors.

Futrther away, a pair of dark eyes was not missing a second of the titanic confrontation that was raging about a mile from their position.

He'd gotten rid of the pink shirt Bulma had imposed upon him, far too flashy for a day like this one. How could that idiot even think to dress a warrior of royal descent like a simple schoolgirl? The sub-par cloth was as uncomfortable as you can get, without any kind of elasticity, stunting whatever move his body made as opposed to following them. Sweat wouldn't properly evacuate, to the contrary! The textile stuck to the skin very unpleasantly due to the humidity, accentuating the coldness of the wind against his muscles. A real burden! As for its durability, you might as well be wearing toilet paper!

The Saiyan Prince's skin shone against the sun, in spite of his seemingly static attitude. Cold sweat he vainly tried to contain ran down his skin as he analysed the information that his senses were relaying to him. How could it be? How could a Lower-Class Saiyan Warrior reach a level of that caliber? Even he, the elite amongst elites, in his wildest of dreams, could never fathom this level of power even being conceivable.

Jealousy, resentment, frustration agitated Vegeta's temples. He had to try his hardest to contain the surges of ki he felt swelling with rage within him, in spite of his desire to let it explode.

Though he never wanted to admit it,fear was no strange to this internal agitation. He'd heard Cold's promises a little too well for his own comfort… Freeza was but a choir child next to his father.

For the time being, that pathetic excuse for a Saiyan Kakarotto was more than holding his own against the tyrant. But the idea that had hit Vegeta at the moment the alien reflected his opponent's Kamehameha made the elite warrior feel as though he'd missed a beat in his heart. During a brief instant, at the exact moment of the impact, that son of bitch's ki had literally exploded! The former captain of Freeza's army couldn't help but remember the successive transformation of his old master. One of them bore striking similarities with the current physical appearance of the king, and that one was far from being the last of them. There were also these rumors of garrison. Some whispers about the true nature of the frost boys' respect for their father; that it was more a sign of fear than that of love for their daddy. And what he sensed earlier packed more than enough punch to relegate the legendary Saiyan to the ranks of…

That Kakarotto's an idiot! He barely made it out alive of Namek. He'd ultimately proved himself incapable of defeating Freeza. He had done well to take the son of a bitch by surprise, but he should have done the same with his father! The infinite buffoon!

A lack of foresight that may cost him and everyone else dearly!

Back on the battlefield, energy-based attacks came to complement the exchange in physical blows. The two adversaries now wore the bloody stigma of blood without concession. Cold's tail was working miracles during certain phases of hand-to-hand combat, and Goku already had his hands full against the sovereign's fists and kicks as it was. And it wasn't striking, it was quick to wrap itself around one of his wrists or ankles, as swift and supple as a snake. Even more so than Freeza, this fighter here knew how to exploit each of his assets effectively. Could it be he had to reduce foes of his own caliber to silence during his younger years…? Unlike his son, as it would seem, who had never encountered anyone remotely powerful enough to inspire concern. And then there this; not only had he managed to counter his Kamehameha, he threw it right back at him! Yes, the attack wasn't at the peak of its power, but that was an unmatched exploit regardless! Cold was hiding something, no doubt about it.

This new level of challenge lit the Saiyan's blazing temperament anew, and the excitement of the battle caused him to somewhat forget the fragility of the situation, and that of those around him. The two fighters were starting to move more and more to either dodge of charge the other… explosions growing more intense with each successive marked their path with gaping craters, déforming what was once an untouched land. Entire mountains were collapsing under the sheer pressure created by the struggle, waterways stuck beneath unnatural piles of rubble, an entire ecosystem had been sacrificed as result of the frenzy of battle. Earthquakes were propagating in baneful waves, epidermic reaction of the surface of an ill-fated planet.

In the faraway palace lying above the land of Karin, Kami-sama was powerlessly watching the events unfold. He was this planet's guardian, true enough. The sworn protector of this world. But he was just that… He could only do so much against such titanic monsters. Son Goku loved this planet. He could only hope he would quickly realize the gravity of the situation, before irreversible damage is done! But would even that be truly enough? If Cold was really capable of what he'd feared, the Earth was currently living its final moments.

Several thousands of miles away, an old man had turned pale as he was taken aback beneath his sunglasses, distracted from his reading session of a risque magazine at the precise moment the king had sent the Kamehameha back. In spite of the tropical temperate of his small piece of paradise lost in the middle of the ocean, the old-timer couldn't help but shiver under his flowered shirt.

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