- a Dragon Ball Z FanFiction -
Chapter Five: Like Fathers, Like Sons
Disclaimer: Dragon Ball, the glorious franchise it is, is not in any way a property I control. I can only wish to supplement its mystique with stories such as the one herein. The same is in regards to related characters, symbols, plot elements, etc.
With that said, I hope you enjoy the story!
In Hell …
Cell had never thought, after listening to his creator's legacy recording in the timeline from which he had originated, that he would ever have the opportunity to meet the illustrious and remarkable man responsible for his existence.
Gero's recording had informed him that he would only be listening to it in the event that he had passed away before the true beginning of Cell's life, and Cell had always acknowledged that even though he had never expected to meet Dr. Gero, he would carry out the wondrous purposes for which he had been designed and programmed.
However, here they were, together in the afterlife, where neither had expected they would ever arrive due to the nature of their designs.
"It is an honor to finally be in your presence, Dr. Gero," Cell said with a bow of unconditional respect, signifying his enthrallment in the glory of the moment.
"The honor is mine, my ultimate creation," Dr. Gero said, while holding out his right hand, beckoning Cell to cease his bow and shake it.
Cell complied, and he straightened his stance and shook the doctor's hand.
It was a meeting of similar minds with similar goals – a mentor finally being able to see the results of his education and training for a student he had never formally met.
They released their grip and considered their situation, while hearing the resonant sounds of Goku fighting Cold and his sons in the background, seeing flickers of energy in the distance, intermittently.
"I must say, your present appearance comes as a big surprise," Cell said. "I had no idea that you had been planning to turn yourself into an android."
"And I'm quite surprised that you were released from your incubation chamber as soon as you were!" Gero said. "By my calculations, you weren't supposed to have completed your genetic and tactical integration until about 20 years from now! I programmed my super computer to assist in these processes while I prepared for my more immediate pursuits. And yet you were released, apparently within the past 10 days or so, since that is how long I've been in this wretched place. Had I known you would soon be released, I wouldn't have bothered wasting my time drawing the attention of the Z-Fighters to my laboratory and releasing those ungrateful fools Seventeen and Eighteen! But how could I have miscalculated so severely?"
Cell chuckled mildly to himself.
"Actually, Dr. Gero, your calculations were quite accurate," Cell said. "I was released about 20 years from now."
Gero at first didn't fully believe that he had heard the comment correctly, although after acknowledging that he was an android, after all, and that his aural sensors had not likely misinterpreted the intention of the comment, he wondered if Cell had somehow come to possess unanticipated flaws.
"I hope I properly configured your logical framework, Cell," Gero said. "The statement you just made does not make any sense."
Cell was momentarily taken aback by the comment, although he realized what had caused the confusion.
"Oh, I understand," Cell said. "Dr. Gero, I need to clarify something quite important for you. You see, I'm not from this timeline, and – "
"What!" Gero yelled rather loudly. "Are you actually suggesting that you are somehow from an alternate timeline?"
"Indeed," Cell said. "In my timeline, 17 and 18 were destroyed by Vegeta's son, Trunks, before I was released. Since he had already traveled back in time to try and create an alternate timeline in which the Earth would not be splendidly decimated as a result of your revenge, he had a time machine at his disposal. I killed him, then took his time machine to the past, creating yet another new timeline in the process. That's the timeline we're in now, we're – "
"Wait, stop," Gero said, placing his right hand on the dome that substituted for his forehead. "I'm not fully mechanical, and this is giving me quite a headache. You're absolutely sure you want to keep on suggesting that you actually managed to take advantage of time travel?"
"Yes," Cell said, in a tone indicating that he was suddenly concerned about the connotations of Gero's apparent surprise. "Why, what's wrong?"
"Time travel is impossible, that's what's wrong!" Gero yelled, not at Cell, per se, but at what he had said. "In all my studies into the advanced electromagnetism that helped me create you and all my other creations, I enhanced my knowledge of quantum mechanics far beyond the preexisting body of knowledge. Through all I researched, I came to the conclusion, based on the comprehensive math and all the interactions of the quanta, that time travel could never be possible under any circumstances. To breach so many of the quantum principles would almost certainly require a level of thinking beyond human comprehension! But you're saying it's possible, after all? Who made Trunks' time machine?"
"Bulma Brief, actually, and –"
"Bulma made the time machine!" Gero yelled. "Do you mean to tell me that in a significant area of understanding regarding something that even I viewed as entirely impossible and beyond comprehension, she was able to do it? That nosy, obnoxious, self-centered fool of a woman did it when I, Dr. Gero, failed to accomplish that achievement! I don't believe it!"
Cell appeared downtrodden at Gero's frustration.
"It's true, Dr. Gero," Cell said. "It's as true as the fact that I despise Seventeen and Eighteen for what they did to you."
Gero momentarily softened his facial expression and tone.
"You're being totally serious, aren't you?" Gero asked.
Cell nodded in the affirmative.
"This is unbelievable!" Gero yelled, once again captivated by his own vehemence.
Cell saw Gero clenching his fists, with an enraged expression emanating an essence of resentment.
"You created me, Dr. Gero. Bulma never could have done that," Cell said. "Your knowledge of biomechanics is unparalleled. I am living proof of that."
Gero quickly regained a demeanor of composure.
"Yes, this is unquestionably true," he said. "But you were supposed to achieve perfection, Cell, and you were designed to completely overpower the Z-Fighters. I can tell by your present form, and the fact you are here, no less, that these goals were not fully achieved. What happened?"
Cell was suddenly speechless.
He had realized upon meeting Gero that this subject would almost certainly be discussed, and that he had every reason to be nervous about answering Gero's inquiries.
Earth, Guardian's Lookout …
The grandiose forces of power inherent in Shenron's abilities were being reflected in the manifestation of his physical appearance.
As his father had done in instances beforehand, Gohan now wanted to use the superior power of the Dragon Balls to enable Earth, and all the universe, to become profuse with righteousness that would overcome previous degradation through evil.
Wishing back to life those who had been killed due to the misguided heartlessness of Cell, and in a broader context the terrorist evil exhibited by Dr. Gero that had been passed on to Cell, was something Gohan was more than eager to accomplish.
However, before Gohan could speak his wish, Trunks spoke up.
"Gohan, how exactly are you going to phrase this first wish?" he asked.
"I am intending to ask Shenron to bring back all of Cell's victims," Gohan said. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, how about everyone whom Seventeen and Eighteen killed?" Trunks asked.
"Good point," Vegeta said. "But do we actually know if they killed anyone, other than their own bastard of a creator?"
"We should make sure to wish everyone back whom they might have killed; it shouldn't hurt to incorporate that into the wish, as long as we make explicitly sure to mention that we don't want to revive Dr. Gero," Trunks said.
"Yeah, that would suck," Yamcha said, while subconsciously placing a hand over the area that Dr. Gero, as Android 20, had pierced a little more than 10 days beforehand. "I really don't want that creep coming back and attacking us again, especially with the sort of impaling he seems to like."
"The guy … was a bastard," Eighteen said, startling everyone atop the Lookout, especially Krillin, who had been holding her. He suddenly, but securely, enabled her to stand on her own two feet.
He was amazed that she had apparently become conscious so suddenly, and he wondered if she had been conscious at all while she had been silent and he had been holding her, and if so, what that could have meant.
"Krillin, what were you doing?" Eighteen asked.
In response to the question, he began stammering rather copiously, forming mutters rather than full-fledged words.
"Well, if you're not going to tell me that, then at least can you tell me why I'm here and no longer within Cell?" she asked.
Krillin's stammering continued, and Eighteen wondered exactly what the implications regarding his loss for words were.
She came to what she felt was a rather prudent decision.
"Alright, will someone who isn't drooling like an idiot over my gorgeous appearance explain what the hell happened?" she asked, causing Krillin to stop even the stammering, further compounding his loss for a response.
After a few moments of silence, and the dragon continuing to impatiently wait overhead, as he had not yet detected anything resembling a wish, Trunks decided to answer her question.
"Gohan punched Cell extremely hard in the gut, and this caused Cell to expel you from his system, making him revert back to his previous form," Trunks said. "Gohan and Goku then … defeated Cell, although it unfortunately cost Goku his life. He was brave, and fortunately, since we'll be able to use the Dragon Balls to bring him back, he won't have to suffer for his selfless action."
"A wish, huh?" Eighteen asked. "Well, that would explain why the dragon is here. And don't worry, even with the big guy here I'm not about to try and use any wish for myself. Do what you want. Just bring Seventeen and Sixteen back; we didn't actually kill anybody other than Dr. Gero. I've got no reason to lie to you. Gero was a bastard, and I don't want anything to do with him. Oh wait … Vegeta, there was that one truck driver I accidentally killed because you were arrogant and refused to move out of the way. I guess he should be brought back."
"Fine by me," Vegeta said. "And next time, I'll be the one who wins a fight between us."
"Oh please, like I actually care about fighting you anymore," Eighteen said.
Trunks found the discrepancy between this incarnation of Eighteen and the diabolical bitch from his own timeline to be rather remarkable.
"It's noble of you to actually be helping us," Trunks said, almost not believing that he was saying this to an android, of all entities. "Thanks, … I guess."
Eighteen found the comment to be quite astounding.
She also felt that, with this renewed opportunity for life, there was something she wanted to do.
She looked quickly at Krillin, but did not give him enough time to properly react to the glance.
Eighteen then swiftly walked over to Trunks, and before he knew what was happening, she embraced him with emotional passion, kissing him on the lips for many moments while caressing him with tender enjoyment.
Trunks was dumbfounded, to say the least, and while he didn't consciously kiss her in return – at least, he didn't want to admit he had – he at the very least subconsciously returned the kiss for a few moments.
Eighteen then let go of her embrace, and she smiled, looking into his eyes.
"You're welcome," she said, right before flying from the Lookout toward the Earth below, to a rather astounded Trunks, a puzzled group of many fighters, and an absolutely bewildered Krillin.
Vegeta seemed to be the only one among them who was actually smiling.
In fact, it was more like a smirk.
In Hell …
Goku was in the midst of blocking one of Cold's punches while he simultaneously kicked Frieza in the gut and dodged a kick that Cooler had unleashed at him.
It had been quite some time since he had fought either Frieza or Cooler, and while neither of them had truly possessed the capacity to defeat him as a Super Saiyan before, they seemed to be even less capable now. While both of their strengths had improved – albeit marginally – the disparity between their abilities and those of Goku had increased significantly, as Goku had systematically compounded his strength and speed in all his preparations for battles with the androids.
Cold, however, was offering him somewhat of a challenge, especially since Frieza and Cooler were adding to the assault.
For many minutes, Goku had been enabling the three of them to attack him, meticulously analyzing their current levels of power.
But he also wanted to prove a point, and decided that he would do so after a few more rounds.
While Goku was busy blocking a kick from Cold and a punch from Cooler, Frieza landed a punch into the left side of Goku's face. However, to Frieza's chagrin, Goku was barely affected by the baleful attack.
Goku grabbed Cooler's right arm and flung him into Frieza, sending both of them spiraling away. He then instant transmitted behind Cold and kicked him in the back, although Cold moved merely a few meters before stopping himself, then back-kicked Goku in the chest, propelling him backward a few meters.
Frieza and Cooler managed to get behind Goku, and each of them used one of his arms to grab one of Goku's arms, in what Goku thought was an attempt to enable Cold to strike his chest with reduced defenses.
However, when Goku sensed Frieza pointing his right hand toward his back and Cooler pointing his left hand toward that area, Goku realized they were trying to each use a Death Beam against him.
He simply couldn't allow that.
Before either of them had the opportunity to gather sufficient energy for the attacks, Goku kicked each of them in the chest, forming what was an almost perfect split with his legs.
Goku then charged forward and bashed Cold upside the face, although Cold quickly recovered and headbutted Goku, sending him backward with some force.
Goku recovered, then noticed Frieza appear by his father's left side, while Cooler appeared on the right.
"It seems you have improved since last we fought," Cooler said. "However, you have not been able to defeat the three of us together, and you never will be."
"You're only saying that because you're a coward who hides behind the strength of his father for protection," Goku said, causing Cooler and Frieza to become even further enraged.
"How dare you!" Cooler shouted. "I am a force of incredible power in my own right, and while he is weaker than I, so is Frieza!"
Frieza grunted at the comment, but elaborated on what his brother had said.
"I killed your father, Goku, and I would have done the same to you had I not been toying with you on Planet Namek before you transformed!" Frieza shouted.
"The universe has benefited considerably from your overconfidence," Goku said. "I never knew my father, and he never really knew me. You deprived me of that opportunity, Frieza, but Trunks and I stopped the three of you from hurting anyone else that way."
"Ah yes, … Trunks," Cold said, bemusedly. "Tell me, how has that wretched Saiyan whom my son and I fought on your miserable planet been? I bet you're jealous that he, and not you, was responsible for our untimely demises."
"Actually, I'm quite proud of him for what he did, and he's also much stronger than any of you," Goku said. "Unlike you, Cold, I didn't pass on to my son the wicked value of taking pride in killing others. While Trunks isn't my son, he inherited many of my values because he was mentored by my son, Gohan. Like Gohan and I, he doesn't take particular pride in killing others; he just does what needs to be done to help the innocent and end oppression."
"That makes no sense," Frieza said. "Your brat was clearly a child when I encountered him on Planet Namek, and Trunks must be an adult by now, while your brat still is probably a mere child. What do you mean when you say that Gohan mentored Trunks?"
"Well, like Cell said before when he mentioned that he came from another timeline, Trunks came from an alternate future too," Goku said. "And remember, I killed all of you in Trunks and Cell's futures."
"Charming," Cold said. "But that doesn't explain who his father is."
Frieza suddenly realized the implications of all this.
"Unbelievable!" he shouted angrily, and yet with trepidation. "He isn't Vegeta's son, is he?"
Goku didn't verbally answer, but he smirked, with a chuckle.
As livid as Cold and Cooler became over the realization, Frieza's fury far surpassed theirs.
"For all this time, I thought that kid was some random Saiyan I forgot to kill!" he yelled. "But now, … now I have the further dishonor of knowing that my father and I died by the hands of Vegeta's son, a Super Saiyan in his own right! The universe has conspired against me!"
"It serves you right for all the years you spent warping Vegeta's mind and repressing him in all the ways you did," Goku said. "And now, in a further glorification of the Saiyan race, I'm sure you will enjoy knowing that I've been taking it easy on the three of you."
Frieza, Cooler, and Cold were rather perplexed at the statement.
"I've got to admit, Cold, that you're quite strong, and a lot stronger than either of your sons," Goku said. "I'm sure that deep down, you're disgustingly proud that you're stronger than they are, as they would be if they ever surpassed you."
Cold said nothing in response, and maintained his disgruntled expression.
"In fact, Cold, had you used this form against either Trunks or me a few years ago, you would have had a very good chance of defeating us," Goku said. "You paid the price for overconfidence, and it's a lesson you've obviously taught to neither of your sons."
"You Saiyans are freaks of nature, disturbing the rightful course of the universe, in which the strong are meant to dominate the weak," Cold said.
"It's somewhat ironic that none of you ever knew about Broly, but that's another subject entirely," Goku said. "The Saiyan race has evolved, and now, among all its surviving members, it fights for peace. And – "
Goku suddenly stopped himself when he noticed below that Cell was talking with someone.
He had diverted his attention from Cell in the midst of his battle with the Cold family, and he wondered exactly whom Cell was talking to.
Goku quickly realized that the entity had no detectable energy signature, and that his appearance was indeed familiar.
He had been told after he had recovered from his heart virus about the true identity of the man who had masqueraded as Android 20, and it was time to finally confront him, face-to-face, with the knowledge of who he happened to be.
"What's the matter, Saiyan?" Cooler asked. "Have you suddenly realized how inferior you actually are to the three of us?"
Without responding, Goku started to descend down to where Cell and Dr. Gero were standing.
"Hey, get back here!" Cooler shouted.
But Goku ignored him.
As horrid of a monster as Cell had been, and as wicked as the androids of Trunks and Cell's futures had been, the man responsible for all of this, the mastermind behind not only the androids but the Red Ribbon Army, in all of his endeavors acting for the purpose of subjugating the Earth through the paragon of selfish violence, was a monster far beyond any level even Cell could have hoped to achieve.
Goku knew that it was time for him and Dr. Gero to truly meet, without the veil of secrecy guarding either of them.
He owed it to his son, a boy who had watched his father die to stop the efforts of this murderer's creation, to truly confront him at last.
Up next: The wishes with Earth's Dragon Balls will finally be made! Will Goku be revived? And what will become of Cell? Stay tuned!
Thanks so much for reading the fifth chapter!
In fun and fanfiction,
Fanfic requested by Gonstika. Various notions, concepts, plot points, and other ideas presented and conveyed in this fanfic were originated by Gonstika.
Chapter completed: July 21, 2012
If you're enjoying this story, be sure to check out Honor Trip, another Dragon Ball Z fanfic involving Cell as its main character – with a twist! Whereas Cell is indeed a villain in the canon Dragon Ball universe, in Honor Trip, circumstances arise that enable Cell, despite the villain he had been, to become … a hero! Honor Trip is accessible via my profile page, and I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks again, and have an excellent one,