DB Multiverse

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 24.

As the incredible explosion shook the landscape, leaving for a moment a trace of its power within each cell of all the present living beings, the dazzling flash created by the release left no doubt as to its origin.

For a moment, King Cold's face seemed to have turned pale.

All but Son Goku knew what was at the heart of the explosion… And all, aside from Freeza's father, recognized who was responsible for the destruction of the alien mothership. Be it murmured or shouted out, it was all the same name to be spoken in unison: "Vegeta !"

Son Goku was the first to recover his bearings, having a rejoiced look on his face.

— "He's still here! I was actually wondering what he'd be up to after being sent to Earth!"

Tenshinhan grumbled with a pained voice, in spite of his attempts to conceal his agony:

— "Thanks a lot for sending him here, by the way… You do realize how much trouble he could have meant for us, right?"

His friend replied with the trademark smile full of goodwill that they'd miss so much:

— "It's me he's after, so there's nothing to worry about… Besides, Piccolo is here just in case."

Kulilin growled discreetly:

— "'Nothing to worry about' he says… Who knows what's going on in that head of his…? If it weren't for Bulma's coaxing…"

No one seemed to pay mind to Cold, that is until he'd recover from his state of stupor. As his fans were gritting against one another and his claws were digging into his hands, the tyrant began to shake under the influence of unadulterated rage.

— "Vegeta! That rogue! That worm is still alive, and here no less!"

His eyes met each and everyone of the present Earthlings.

— "I won't repeat myself, hand those Dragon Balls to me!"

Beginning to sizzle again, Son Goku now stood before him. Within a brief moment to concentrate, he shone anew behind a dissuasive golden aura.

— "I wouldn't count on it! You can still leave. The ship I used to get here is still working."

A daunting burst of laughter shook the atmosphere before Cold answered and regained a menacing composure:

— "Do you forget who I am? Do you really believe King Cold is going to reduce himself to folding into fours to get into these ridiculous pods? I've no need for it! Its transmitter alone should be enough for me to call for another to pick us up."

Kulilin immediately questioned the implication the King had made at the end of his sentence.

— "'Us'?"

Goku indirectly answered that question by addressing the giant that towered before him:

— "Don't waste the only chance you have to leave this planet. You'll never get your hands on the Dragon Balls, and you can definitely forget about leaving with Freeza, of that you can be sure!"

A smirk added glow to the monarch's gaze.

— "I've no use for that pathetic waste of space! Be my son in his stead! Together, we could extend our reign beyond what you could possibly imagine! For starters, bring me that traitorous ape, but don't kill him just yet. I've something special in store for him, to hold in trust that everyone know there is a fate worse than death itself for those who should so much as think to betray us! Freeza had always been too permissive, despite my attempts to call him out on it."

The look on the Saiyan's face immediately hardened.

— "Don't even count on it! This planet is now his home, just as it is that of every other Earthling. Between the two of you, I stand! I'll tell you again, you won't get anything here but a chance to leave this place alive; don't let it go to waste."

A heavy silence fell upon the ravaged landscape of the battlefield. Each held their breaths in anticipation of the horned giant's next move, though his eventual surrender seemed unlikely. They were all wondering if Son Goku would truly be capable of swiftly taking down King Cold. After all, he defeated Freeza, indeed, but only after a devastating bout that cost the battle ring that was Planet Namek. How would the Saiyan manage now, on the Earth he held so dear, populated by billions of innocent souls?

Without a doubt, it would've been much easier to take the King down without offering to spare him. But never would the honest-minded Son Goku do that. Everyone could not help but think it a shame.

A voice rung with the force of a spark:

— "What are you waiting for, Kakarotto! Show him that you are a true warrior, that you are a real Saiyan: Kill him!"

Vegeta was just floating there, overlooking from the skies, arms crossed with a severe look in his eyes, all the present warriors.

Tenshinhan couldn't immediately manage to properly articulate his anger. Only a "You dirty…" managed to escape the threshold of his lips.

Piccolo couldn't contain himself, either:

— "Coward! Of course you'd only show up now… when the battle's already over!"

— "It's not my fault if Earthlings are such stupid creatures! It was obvious that you wouldn't stand a chance without Kakarotto. Why should have I joined you? I'm not going to die before seeing and defeating the legendary Super Saiyan!"

A flash of malice shone in Goku's eyes.

— "Do you really think you'd be able to close the gap between us?"

A spark of vanity echoed in Vegeta's retort:

— "Don't you mock me! The elite warrior here is me! There is nothing that a Lower-Class Saiyan can do that I can't!"

A howl cut the exchange short at the same time a gigantic release of energy swiftly swept the dust off the floor:

— "Foolish monkeys, what you are is solely up to me! It is time to put you back in your place!"

Cold looked back at the figure clad in golden light with eyes full of hatred:

— "You're going to regret that little show of conceit. I will begin by first breaking you within an inch of your life… I'll allow you to keep just enough strength to witness the deaths of your companions, who one by one, will beg me like the dogs they are to take your precious Dragon Balls in exchange for their lives before finishing them and dragging their carcasses across my ship. Then I will finally let you have the pleasure of witnessing the show that is your magical balls disappearing in the sky that will burn along with you…"

The first blow was struck not even a second after the end of that sentence, so quickly that only those with the most experienced eyes could follow it. But fast as it was, Goku had more than enough time to dodge it by leaning to the side. Though anyone could see the monarch's shock, it didn't slow him down at all, consistently trying to overwhelm his opponent.

The ensemble of witnesses was left in awe of this spectacle. The speed of each blow, the air that whistled around them, leaving no room for doubt to the power behind their struggle. Goku could dodge them, but was he as relaxed as he would let them believe? Probably not as much as everyone would have liked to think, as he was losing ground with each step taken.

Without a doubt, Vegeta was the most studious onlooker within the crowd.

At last! He would finally be able to bear witness to Saiyan of legend in action. He certainly didn't expect the physical transformation he just discovered, much less that the transformed state wasn't permanent. He theorized that this condition merely came to a superior level of power. It wasn't a mutation, strictly speaking, like he'd expected it to be… and if it was only a matter of power level, there was no reason for him, Prince Vegeta, the elite amongst elites, to not be able to achieve that form! All he needed to know was how much further he had to surpass his limits. From the beginning of Cold's offensive, Kakarotto's ki shot up in a spike… But he was still far from his maximum level of output, of that he was certain. Never could he have defeated Freeza in his final form with such a low power level, even if the number that translated out of habit according to his what he sensed went far beyond anything he could have imagined just a little over a year ago.

But what is this fool doing, allowing himself to get dominated like that?! Ah, there we go!

On the ground, Son Goku finally blocked his adversary's punch with his own fist instead of just dodging it… Cold's left then charged, only to suffer the same end. Not allowing himself to be phased by such a minor setback, the giant continued his assault simply by varying the angles of his blows, and each one of them systematically hit his opponent's own fists. Even worse, under the pressure of the blowback of each of the Saiyan's counters, it was now him who was forced to progressively step back.

The interplanetary monarch was boiling inside. He knew full well that this exchange of blows only served as a means to test the waters, a manner of gauging his opponent before finally getting serious if need be. It would have been much easier to just annihilate him before anything… What kind of idea was telling him he wasn't going to kill immediately, anyway?! Of course, nothing forced him to hold true to his word… but how to wished to just trample over those dirty monkeys' arrogance. Killing them quickly and painlessly, after the outrage of which they'd made themselves guilty, would be far too forgiving! The crew in charge of the ship that is supposed to pick him up will witness the price for defying his authority, before the entire galaxy watches the torment and the slow, agonizingly slow death of the last prince to this race of failures.

Freeza simply wasn't strict with them enough. There's the problem! But he was finally going to take matters into his own hands, to show to these vassals that the era of charity was now over. Fear wasn't enough… Terror! Only with that can you truly reign efficiently and without a concern.

Cold would have done better to pay mind to the fight instead of the considerations of his resentment. A hook and an uppercut later, the all-supreme sovereign found himself sitting flat on the ground covered in dust, with a trickle of purple blood slowly sliding down the sneer of rage that twisted his lips.

The monkey had drawn first blood! Forget about the example! If he can't control himself to the point of killing him, so be it.

Before anyone could see what was happening, the monster that was on the ground just a second ago suddenly appeared right in front of the Saiyan! In a blink of an eye, he flipped around and Goku, surprised by the nature of the attack, could not avoid the tail that hit with incredible force. Thrown at high speed, before he could reach the safety of ground, another masterful blow came crashing against him, deviating his course! Once again, the unique sizzling of hyper-speed signaled the end of the enormous alien's movement. But the Saiyan did not allow him to hit him at his own leisure again… in a jerk, he threw his legs towards the sky so as to perform a back-pike and could then use his ordeal to his advantage. In a vigorous push, he took advantage of his momentum to project himself higher than his opponent. A prodigious circular kick concluded the acrobatic counterattack.

Cold was not discouraged by the Saiyan's skill. It wasn't in his habits to make the same mistake twice! To the contrary, he demonstrated an uncommon sense of promptitude by grabbing Goku's ankle that was just stuck on his sturdy neck!

Taken aback, the Saiyan attempted to land a kick right in his face in order to free himself. But the giant had already stretched his arm out to keep himself out of reach. For a short moment, he held his opponent upside down, head dangling, with a smile that screamed both satisfaction and cruelty.

Raising an eyebrow, already proud of his triumph, he lifted his other hand with his index finger pointed at the Saiyan. Goku immediately understood he was no longer playing around!

The gold fighter then held both his hands in front of him in an attempt to get a shot at him.

But the tyrant didn't wait to deflect the blast at point blank range. Within a fraction of a second, before the energy left the hands of the runt before him, he threw his free hand towards the exterior, deviating the blast. The ray of energy that was meant for him exploded further away on the landforms, and Kulilin only survived thanks to Piccolo's reflexes.

The force of the impact on the ground of the planet Goku loved so much proved rough, but more of it would be inevitable fighting a warrior of this caliber. He didn't wait for the giant to make another move; with both his hands on the ground, he brutally propelled himself back by firing from both his palms. As he was gaining ground again, Cold, destabilized, fell back dryly.

Now in a dominant position, the Saiyan proceeded to assail the giant on the ground with several devastating kicks to the head.

Under the power and accuracy of those blows, the alien could hardly maintain his grasp any longer. However, he didn't let his imposing foundation crumble for a second. Gritting his teeth under the avalanche of kicks he was subject to, he managed to blast his opponent in the back with both his hands.

Goku only had half a second to vanish in hyper-speed.

The following moment, Cold was already back on his feet, and, his face covered in blood, twisted by a profound rage, was coming at the impudent with a shower of highly concentrated energy blasts.

The deadly threads were flying at an alarming pace in all direction, following the Saiyan everywhere he'd reappear, but not only that. Outcries could be heard, and their authors would frantically try to shelter themselves from the light of death.

Goku's voice rang suddenly in spite of the deadly deluge of energy that just wouldn't let anyone catch their breaths:

— "All of you, get out of here, now!"

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