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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 30.

Fear.

True fear. The very same that made you pale, that seemed to extinguish your very essence. Scare, fright, dread, panic… heart pounding out of your chest… you begin to falter… it's hard to think clearly… hard to react swiftly…

A split-second. All of that, for a seasoned warrior, only lasts a a split-second, even when faced with the imminent threat of death extending its baneful shadow over all he holds dear.

The Z-Warriors already had their hands busy with a killer wielding unreal power, but now the urgency of things doubled. Taking the risk of letting Cold kill Goku? Stopping that idiot Vegeta? Splitting up to sloppily cover both fronts at the same time? Who? Where?

While the group of Earthlings remained still, as little time as that was, in bewilderment and indecisiveness, another, however, did not hesitate for a second to move. Indeed, all that was at stake was his very own life, making the choice very simple!

Within the beat of an eyelid after the Prince of the Saiyans uttered the final syllable to his sentence, the interplanetary monarch had already released Gohan from his iron grip, the latter of whom being stupefied before the scene unfolding.

Vegeta wasn't messing around. He'd skillfully prepared the concentration of his ki; making good practice not to allow its release to perturb the elements until the right moment. Controlling it was no easy task at that level. Of course, he was more than capable of causing as many storms, lighting, and earthquakes as he pleased to intimidate his inferior opponents below… But in this case, having to use the full extent of his power… he couldn't contain anything. Having to delve into his deepest recesses of power to fuel the most powerful attack he has ever attempted thus far was far too taxing. Of course, he wouldn't have needed nearly as much to do away with a mere planet, but for the blast to outdo the monster in speed, however, he needed to give it his all.

No, never before has he been pushed so far since that fateful day when his space-pod had dug its landing crater on the Earth. From that point on, everything had changed and fate seemed to take mocking pleasure in putting his limits to the test. He'd seen strenuous battles in his days. He thought he had a good idea as to what his limitations were. Elite amongst the elites of his people, he was so close to the pinnacle of the hierarchy of universal warriors. Such a shame! Just a little further, and the dormant power of the legendary Saiyan would have finally allowed him to claim the only position of power he was born to have: the top! He'd always known it, that place was always meant for none other than himself… If Kakarotto, a worthless low-class warrior could manage to humiliate the monster that was Freeza, he should be capable of far more, there's no other explanation! What utter waste. Cold, by barging unannounced with his son on this planet, had cut all of his hopes short. He was going to pay, for that, and for the annihilation of the Saiyan people. It will be him, Vegeta, to finally have the last word!

Arms burning with the power contained, Vegeta had anticipated Cold's next move. How predictable of him… At the very moment the king vanished into thin air, a gigantic ball of pure energy fueled by a powerful beam launched from the hands, for once exposed, of the Saiyan towards the ground. The sheer force of the blast was such that it had managed to go a few dozen yards before Cold could deviate its trajectory to incercept it. It is worth mentioning that the hideous tyrant had had a small moment of hesitation, torn between his desire the crush this pathetic prince of a worthless people once and for all and the imperial necessity to halt the attack before it penetrates the surface of this planet of degenerates. The instinct of survival had overcome his pride, the Gallic Cannon found on its way down the foot of Freeza's father, kicked away as an unsatisfied child would do a lousy toy, and the dangerous explosive head lost itself beyond the terrestrial atmosphere.

Mad with rage, tears ready to burst out of his eyes, fully aware that his initial attempt at victory had just been aborted, the Prince of the Saiyans nevertheless resumed his explosive onslaught, tapping into everything he had, anger and frustration fueling the madness. He'd much rather die than suffer humiliation once more!

It was with surprise that the Z-Warriors witnessed the monster singlehandedly stop the incarnated fury of the Saiyan that had almost destroyed the planet. There was Cold, tyrant, murderer, slaver of entire planets, having just saved their own from who they'd thought would make a crucial ally against him.

The gargantuan alien leisurely carried the beam with him, his other hand ostensibly tucked behind his back, to display without leaving chance for doubt his crushing superiority. In contrast, the opponent facing him was grimacing, shivering from effort, and soaking in his own sweat. Furthermore, was he truly just quivering from the pronounced effort from his last attack?

Eyes glued onto the monster's that was inexorably drawing nearer, Vegeta read in that cruel gaze that plunged deeply into the greatest of his fears that he will not meet his end to the brutal death he'd actually hoped for. If the Freeza's vicious reputation truly preceded him, that of his father's made it almost appear merciful. The idea to blow the planet up from a secluded are, away from all other hazards, had indeed come to his mind, but the bastard would have never known who had killed him… damn pride!

With his arms having suffered harsh punishment, he howled in a last-ditch effort to release the remainder of his energy in an ardent flash to hit the abomination, almost close enough to hit him. At the very same moment, the Saiyan had taken flight, reappearing not too far from his original location to scram at full speed in a vain attempt at escaping. A futile effort…

The smoke from the blast Vegeta used as a diversion had quickly dissipated. Cold, obviously unscathed, remained still for a moment to watch with a detached expression the remaining traces of the renegade Saiyan's flight that stretched unto the horizon.He then disappeared himself.

The fleeing prince slowed down a bit. What a fool he'd made of himself! Flying straight in single direction was of aggravating stupidity. He did his best to fight the anxiety that plagued his mind and stunted his senses to scan the landspace. He should've known to hide himself on ground level sooner! Meanwhile, that asshole has probably seen in which direction he'd fled. Bolting off at such speed was sure to leave a trace far too visible behind, so much so he shouldn't need a scouter to follow him. Quick, to correct this terrible mistake!

SHBAM!

Stunned by the impact, Vegeta dryly dropped to the ground before reaching it. His forced landing caused the terrain to explode with such force that any witness could have sworn having seen the impact of a meteorite. He needed a few moments to regain his inhibitions. First of all, the pain was agonizingly sharp! Whatever he had hit felt like it had shattered half of his skull. Even after suffering the punishment Freeza had inflicted upon him back on Namek, nothing had ever hit him as hard before. Still groggy, he decided to get out of the rocky debris he'd fallen into. He hadn't the time, as something grabbed him by the hair. Cold!

It is without the slightest hint of reaction that the Prince of the Saiyans allowed himself to be lifted off the ground. The difference in size between he and the monarch was such that the latter didn't even have to levitate to stop his victim from touching the ground. The victim bearing the look of a disjointed puppet. Vegeta had played a losing game… It'd be useless to struggle. What good is there in further humiliating oneself? He'd reached the bottom, all that was left was to let it end.

Opening his eyes?

He didn't want to. He didn't want to show how ashamed, scared, and frustrated he was in the mirroring eyes of the mocking piece of shit. Holding in the tears that bound his throat was difficult enough as it was. He felt "pathetic" was a perfect word to describe his strength in the face of the disgusting monster whose voice strongly hinted satisfaction and irony as his claws slowly drew five deep furrows into his toy's torso.

— "Not even the guts to look upon your pathetic fate with your own eyes? Do note that I made no mention of "death"… that will be for later, I assure you… much, much later. And believe when I say death will be the least of your fears, far from that. You will have wished for it so many times that you will welcome it with open arms like you would an old friend when it is finally granted to you."

The Saiyan's veins were boiling. Allowing himself to be humiliated so was unbearable and rage had taken the place of his shame and of his fear. The crackling of his skull reminded him that his skull had been shattered. And showing that horned bastard that he would flee granted him far too much satisfaction for his liking. That, he could not stand for! A tear, however, strayed from his eye. A satisfied grin formed on the monster's face. It hardly mattered to him whether the salty pearl was born from the pain, the frustration or from the fear this insect felt. He was wounded inside and out, and that was all that mattered to him as he licked the blood off his fingers. And peculiar glow crossed his eyes.

— "What a shame. Your race was blessed with many redeeming qualities. Your endurance worked miracles for mere cannons in the flesh… besides, your blood tastes delightful. I should have thought to try it sooner, but no matter. After all, I will be able to feast upon it for a little while longer."

And it was with exalting pleasure that he proceeded to wipe off the bloody furrows he'd just dug into this pathetic creature with his long and sticky tongue.

Vegeta shuddered. This was more than he could bear! Could this be an opportunity to bring to him to finish him off immediately?

Within a fraction of a second, the ex-commander of Freeza's army opened his eyes and threw his arms straight at his oppressor. The Saiyan's fingers didn't even come close to the serpentine tongue. Cold's, however, instantly locked themselves around Vegeta's wrist. The tyrant bent over slightly as he lowered his hand, his eyes meeting those of his victim. As his bones were slowly given into the pressure of the ruthless grip, the tortured prince couldn't contain a howl of agony. The monster had only released it after the bones of his toy's forearms had torn through its flesh. By reflex, Vegeta would have wanted his other hand to reach for the one that was now dangling freely, and that arm was soon about to meet the same punishment.

— "That's enough! Let go of him, now!"

The tone of the order that just screeched across the land did not call for an answer.

Sizzling, a gold-clad figure had just appeared behind the tortured Saiyan, slightly above him, not doubting that Freeza's father could best appreciate his entry. Rarely has Son Goku's face ever displayed as much rage, wearing a mask of anger and contempt.

Cold couldn't hide his stupefaction. The other Saiyan! Apparently back on his feet, at full strength, having recovered from the beating that should have kept him on the ground! What was going on on this planet? Freeza had indeed told him of a little Namekian that had as it seemed the ability to heal wounded warriors, but he had killed him… In any case, he couldn't have survived Planet Namek's explosion. His son had also made it a point to mention that the Namekian that was with the Earthlings did not possess such properties, since after the pipsqueak's death, none of the Earthlings would get up again. The Namekian Earthling, Freeza had recognized him when the fighting began, so it was indeed the very same. Could there be another one hiding somewhere, healing these fighters whenever he had the opportunity? No doubt about it! That was the only possible explanation.

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