It was everything I ever wanted.
The androids dead, the war won, hope restored to humanity. Mom tells me that in a few decades the world will be back to normal.
As if I have any idea what normal is.
I fly around the empty cities, see the marks of devastation wrought by the Androids, and I can't help but feel cheated. There was no great battle to restore Gohan's honour, no final payback for what they'd done to the planet, nothing to avenge my father's death.
They just dropped dead after years of terrorising the planet. Mom said it was because their energy source finally ran out, infinite energy made finite. It all sounds too clean, too neat for me. Like turning off a computer. They should have suffered like Gohan did when he lost his arm, should have felt the helplessness I had known for my entire life. Maybe they did feel helpless, slowly feeling their invincibility slipping away. Maybe that's why they hadn't made any appearances in the months before their deaths.
Oh sure, the two of them would still show up and destroy part of a city or town, striking fear into peoples' hearts and laughing about it as always. But it wasn't the same. Android 17 used to take his time, played games, toyed with the people. Then, he'd just shot blasts everywhere and flown off, looking like he was running out of time for something. It puzzled me back then, the change in behaviour, I guess now I know why.
One of the reasons I feel this way is because I have a feeling I could have ended al this so much sooner. Fought harder against the androids when they were weaker, not let their taunts get to me so much, chase after them when they flew off. But I was scared of being beaten again, nothing but a coward. They were bluffing about sparing me and holding back, they couldn't kill me! They didn't have the power! My father would roll in his grave if he knew of what I'd done. The son of Vegeta, Prince of all Saiyans, run from a fight, too scared to battle a stronger foe? Inconceivable!
That's what I get from what mom tells me at least. I never got a chance to meet my father. He died when I was still a baby, one of the first to fall to the androids. I had one chance to meet him but it didn't turn out. Mom's time machine was a failure. And it was my fault, again. I was supposed to gather all the materials she asked for, not be spotted by the androids, make sure nothing was damaged. One day while I was transporting a few mostly intact circuit boards back to the lab, I was spotted by Android 18.
Maybe I'm imagining things, but for a brief second there, when she saw me carried all those electronics, she looked scared. Panicked, not a look I ever thought I'd see on the face of the deadly beauty. Well, I must have imagined it, because in the next second she was firing a blast at me. I didn't react fast enough, and the components mom had worked so hard to locate were destroyed instantly.
Nature took its course from whenever I ran into the androids, and I ended up staggering into mom's hidden lab, covered in bruises and with blood all over my clothes. When I'd recovered mom said it was okay, that she could make due with other pieces of hardware, that it wasn't a big deal. Well apparently it was.
I wish I could put these thoughts to rest, just forget about the androids and move on with my life. But I can't. I've been haunted by and hunted those demons for most of my life, how am I supposed to just forget about them, about everything they did? I wanted, no, needed to make them pay!
But even in this peacetime that's suddenly come over the world, there are still threats. There have been a number of strange disappearances from towns up North. Nothing like the androids, no steaming craters and piles of ash, explosions that can be seen from miles away. No, all that's left here are pieces of clothing, just fluttering in the breeze.
Whatever is causing this moves incredibly fast, and strikes with cold precision. No survivors and it looks like the job is done in minutes. Mom is worried that it could be another android but that makes no sense to me. Dr Gero built 17 and 18 as his tools of revenge against Goku and his friends, why would he build more? Backup? I don't even want to think about it.
Well, my search for this thing looks like it's come to an end. I can sense a bunch of strange energy signatures coming from one location. Whatever it is, it looks like it's done hiding. I'm nervous, this thing obviously thinks it's ready for me now, or why would it reveal itself? On the bright side, it can't be an android, machines don't have Ki. So at least that's behind us.
The billboard I see as I fly into town says 'Nikki Town', and I can already see empty clothing littering the streets. So it's the same creature, that's a relief. Better to have just one of these things than two. I cautiously draw my sword and land where I sensed the energy coming from, though it has faded again. Probably trying to sneak up on me. I catch a glimpse of movement in one of the alleys, and see something green vanish behind a corner. Whatever this thing is, I'm about to find out!
We all worked so hard to free the future of the androids reign of terror; I won't let some new monster take their place! Even if I didn't defeat the androids myself, rebuilding this shattered world is the best I can do to honour Gohan's hopes for peace and freedom from fear. Whoever this new enemy is, I will stop them. For Gohan, for my mother, my father, for everyone!