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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 9.

Bulma's hand remained still above her keyboard.

The obvious dread of her dear Gohan's tale also contributed to rekindle her own anxiety.

For a second, she was about to move her forefinger to make the clock appear on her screen... Then she stopped her movement once again, slightly shivering.

Hurriedly, she slammed her left hand on her right to stop this physical testimony of her fear.

The feeling of uneasiness that she felt at this precise moment lashed through her heart. It reminded her of another dread... another malaise that tore her chest with icy talons...

The cold shadow of her intuition of Vegeta's death cast a shadow on her forehead as a wet wave blurried her sight... She used all her strength to repress the wave of the sob that was forcefully making its way.

All of a sudden, her fingers moved on their own to ask for the the fateful clock!

For a little while that she felt lasted an eternity, Bulma's blood seemed to have frozen in her veins... Then she literally dropped in her seat...

There wasn't any doubt left... The time hadn't passed yet, there were still more than five minutes left to wait... She really have been stupid to restrain herself from checking!

That was really worth it... to worry herself sick... That latent dread of the latent threat in Son Gohan's tale was the true responsible of this terrifying feeling.

However Bulma regretted that she hadn't started the recording of this story earlier. Time had flown by. There were only five minutes left before she'd find once again Trunks' so reassuring presence.

And then, she owed this to these heroes who have given their life for humanity's survival... She was the ultimate keeper of their memories. It was important that their story lived on. They didn't deserve that what little was left of them sank into oblivion.

Let's get to work!

Considering the little time she still had, she certainly shouldn't take her time if she wanted to be done with it before her son's return.

It wasn't likely... but this small challenge gave her strength to carry on and warmed her heart.

The Saiyan was calmly detailing the inside of the hemispheres without showing any real surprise or any hint of fear. He even stopped emitting that golden light that was surrounding him. Babidi managed to crawl towards him and the open globe, at the expense of incredible effort, using what was left of his mutilated arms.

Curiously, Son Gohan watched the painful crawling of the disgusting gnome who was moaning as he slowly went forwards.

“Boo... Answer me.. It's me, Babidi, your creator's son. I'm the one who enable your coming back to life... Boo-boo?...”

Arrived near the two hemispheres, Babidi squirmed and struggled to stand straight and stretch out upwards as much as he could. He gritted his teeth, apparently concentrating as he extended the stump of his right arm.

The young fighter was surprised as he starred at him struggling and sweating under the effort and he eventually understood that that pathetic thing hadn't the necessary strength to defeat gravity. He was trying to make the two shells tip over so that he could look inside.

But he hadn't enough strength left to do that either.

Out of sympathy, Son Gohan toppled the one that was closer to him... If there was need of it, the pathetic creature's behaviour attested that there weren't any danger left to dread in that ball.

As soon as the edge was close to the floor, a thick and pink molasses slowly flowed with a sticky sound. That weird stuff emitted a strong smell. To Gohan, it smelled like a mix of candy and mould.

Contrary to Gohan who made sure not to touch it, he even rose a few inches above the ground so that the slimy tide wouldn't reach his feet, Babidi strongly plunged the remains of his arms into it.

“No... no... no... It's impossible.. Why? Why??...” he sobbed.

Even though he had no idea what it was and what that thing would have looked like if it had worked, Son Gohan already had an idea: the addition of the vital strength of the two unlucky fighters who had been sacrificed hadn't been enough!

He shivered. In retrospect, it would have required such an amount of energy to activate this mysterious monster... Maybe they'd have needed to destroy half the entire population of Earth when it still was at its height!

Then it meant that Babidi probably wasn't kidding when he was talking of the creature's potential power... So much power within one fighter alone... It made his head spin.

So Gohan was relieved when he saw the strange syrupy stuff spread under him... He was also glad that he could avoid having his feet in that... The awful smell alone was enough to turn his stomach.

As for the gnome... He now looked like he had totally and utterly lost his mind. He was blabbering gibberish and jerkily smearing both his face and the remains of his body with this disgusting molasses.

Son Gohan sighed.. Even if he very well knew the true nature of that small being, he couldn't help but feel deep pity for it.

He slowly dropped the hemisphere he was holding into place and then went up towards the sky without uttering a single word.

Babidi didn't seem to notice his departure: he was crawling and moaning in the thick sticky layer that covered the ground.

With a heavy heart, the young Saiyan slowly rose above the gigantic crater that now scarred the valley... He rose again, moving away from the centre of the wide hole, the two hemispheres with their pink syrup and he watched the crawling figure that was painfully squirming at the bottom of the impressive cavity growing smaller.

He stopped when he reached the right altitude and firstly took his time to slowly scan the horizon... A countryside of this world he loved so much... He closed his eyes to feel the beat of the energy of the closest human beings, then he opened them again after he had frowned for a short second.

He didn't like at all what he was about to do...

But he couldn't afford not doing this!

He then looked up to see the infinite sky...

He'd have loved getting an approval, an encouraging word that'd help him to do what had to be done...

But he desperately was all alone. He had never managed to create a contact with the faraway Kaïo. The being his father so freely spoke with. He slowly and sadly lowered his head... All hint of divine presence seemed to have died with Kamisama, some years ago.

Then, he'd have to find somewhere else the necessary motivation that'd help him to overcome this horrible feeling of disgust that magnified the nausea provoked by the pink stuff's weird smell.

Son Gohan closed his eyes again... As if he was going to pray.

Actually, he was diving in the depth of his mind, looking for memories... And not the best ones!

He forced himself to experience again the death of each of his friends. He saw Yamcha, Chaoz, Tien, Piccolo dying against Nappa and the Saibamen... Krilin exploding under Frieza's blast... Vegeta's laugh when he believed his father had died on Namek... And the big motionless and white body laying in his deathbed... Tien's coffin... The bloody corpses of his grandfather and Yamcha... The white sheet over Piccolo... The poor Mr. Popo... Kamisama's ashes... Poor Chaozu' face... Vegeta's tortured body and, finally, the image of his friend Krilin, a strange smile fixed on his face for ever... his so joyful face...

And the tears.. always the tears, even more tears, sobs and sorrows on the faces of those who were still alive... What cruel spectacle that was to powerlessly watch the despair of those you loved when you already had so much trouble getting on with your own suffering!

And each of these images pierced deep down inside as so many white-hot spears... The pain rose in him as an inexorable groundswell... An emotional tsunami that beat against his mind, erasing any other thought.

Unfortunately, he had learned how to transform this awful pain into anger... And with such a level of emotion, it was in a deep rage that he was forcing himself.

Changing all these years of sorrow into hatred hadn't been really pleasant. But it had been the key that Vegeta had given him during their time in the Spirit Chamber... It had taken long for him to learn how to use it efficiently, but the impossible fight against the cyborgs had been a perfect motivation.

He didn't despair of one day getting the capacity to go beyond his limits, to improve even more and eventually outclass and defeat those mechanical demons.

His face transfigured, he lighted up his aura that intensely crackled with the numerous small lightnings, as if they were welcoming its return.

He yelled at first... He yelled for a long time, arching his back under the effort, clenching his fists to concentrate as much energy as he could. Then, extending his arms in front of him, without pausing this time, frowning due to a cruel determination, he once again said the precious syllables. His voice raspy and implacable... It didn't sound like his voice anymore.

“Kameha-MEHAAAA!!”

This time, it didn't let go of his energy in one long shot, but he concentrated it in a huge and compact ball that he threw at incredible speed, propelled by a powerful stream that went after it and disappeared right away.

As soon as the energy ball hit the bottom of the huge crater, it loudly exploded and swelled in a frightening and blinding dome. It quickly changed into a double mushroom rising at a surprising height into the sky!

Son Gohan wasn't directly above his attack, but he still moved back, protecting his face with his arms crossed so that he could avoid the incandescent blast that brutally swept the surroundings.

The noise of the explosion tore through the atmosphere before mutating into a deep rumble that seemed to shake the entire planet down to its depths... The landscape itself seemed to be convulsing as the thunder rolls were now becoming a long and whistling on the wane.

Son Gohan went downwards again to witness the results of his attack with a pang in his heart.

What he just had done disgusted him but this uneasiness added to the dread of his having miscalculated the angle of attack and the concentration of his shoot.

Such a powerful discharge of energy couldn't bear approximation... He had to make sure it didn't go though the earth's crust at the risk of making damages whose consequences would be catastrophic... And even that word sounded weak!

A soft breeze dealt with dispersing the remaining dust that the incredible explosion had rose.

The crater was wider... so incredibly wide now!

There were no hint of Babidi, of the molasses and of the weird cocoon... The entire surface the explosion had dug was smooth and clear.

Yet, a strange small bump caught Son Gohan's attention. It laid on the burnt grass that surrounded the wide gash in the middle of the valley.

He flew to this odd detail and landed right beside it.

A broken piece of the brown shell... The lone remains of the passing of the invaders had been carried away by the blast of the enormous attack and had ended up there... Son Gohan knelt to take it, but let go of it quick... It was so hot that the heat had managed to pierce through his Saiyan skin. The tanned surface hadn't any mark of the pink stuff anymore.

Bulma tenderly smiled... She knew that in spite of his desire to leave this place that made him feel so uncomfortable, her young friend had patiently waited that this strange material got colder so that he could bring it back to her.

She certainly knew this young man better than anyone else. She had seen him grew and imagined what courage he had needed to overcome his true nature and find the strength in him to kill the injured extra-terrestrial in his hole.

A strength that his father perhaps wouldn't have had. Son Goku... so generous... More than once, his unchanging faith in human nature almost cost him dearly.

But the cyborgs' ruthless beatings had been the harsh teaching that had forced Gohan to continuously push back the limits of his natural sensitivity.

Always look at the bright side of things... right? For this time, the circumstances that had hardened Gohan, so sweet Gohan, had maybe protected them of a plague that could have been even worse that the one who slowly annihilated humanity.

It was hard to believe that the situation could have been even more catastrophic that it was now... But experience had taught Bulma that it was always possible to find worse!

Speaking of situation... The hissing sliding of the armoured door should now be about to finally precede Trunks' joyful voice, Trunks who would be impatient to tell her of his own adventures in the past.

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