Disclaimer: Don' own don't sue. I do own all the other characters that pop into this ficcy as well as the story itself.

Rating: PG 13 Some violence & language.

Eighteen's POV

Summary: When Eighteen is regurgitated by Cell, what thoughts are going through her mind? How does she cope with who and what she is? Her past and the future?

If you wish to archive then please ask I'm a nice person. :)

Android arc #4

"Salvation"

Debs-dragon May 2002

Scared... I remember feeling scared and then I heard Juunannagou's voice. But although I could hear the familiar sound the voice was not his. That's about all I can remember before that beast managed to out smart me and I found myself being pulled and drawn into that body. I fought with everything I had but it was useless. He won and I found my body and mind detached... floating if you will and the only comfort I could find was that my brother was here with me.

I couldn't see him but I could feel him, sense his presence lost and wandering as mine was also. Both trying to find each other in the darkness that had claimed us. Idly I wondered if this was how it was supposed to end.

The scariest part of all was that I no longer cared.

Blinding light and then I was being draw upwards. All my sensors returned to me and began to flash and beep as the power was sucked out of my system. Warnings were all around me as my core power began to drop rapidly. Blindly I scanned through fading memory banks to try to stop the inevitable, but it was too much. Then the squeezing. I felt as if I was a square peg being pushed through a round hole. The pain - while bearable for the moment - was rapidly becoming uncomfortable and I began to wish it would all just end.

I have never been a great fan of pain.

And then as rapidly as it had begun, with one final, crushing pulse it was over. My system flashed the red 'shut down' message behind my closed eyelids and I plunged into blackness.

I have no idea of how long my system was shut down for but I do remember waking slowly. One by one my circuits and wiring began to hum as the power core somehow had re-energised and was almost back to full. Ironically I now thanked the man that had been responsible for my existing condition, thanked him for the foresight he had to equip me with an inbuilt safety mechanism that allowed my mechanical side to shut down and run on the very barest of power until my core could re-energise, in effect keeping me alive until it was safe for me to reactivate.

I groaned softly as my systems began to function; running a full check I found that I was pretty much all okay. A few minor faults, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. The biological side of me was in really good shape considering all it had been through and already the regeneration had begun. I opened my eyes to find I was no longer in the desert. I stared around in an attempt to get my bearings but nothing looked familiar. Over to one side stood the Z fighters and I quickly stood, taking up a defensive posture as I did so. The short guy, realizing I was functional, spoke softly to me.

I couldn't help myself though. I had been programed to destroy these people and yet... they had helped me. Why?

They chattered amongst themselves and to me and I discovered that the young boy had managed to defeat Cell. That certainly stunned me. I was awash with different sensations. Part of me wanted to run and part of me wanted to stay and find out more.

I stayed.

The one they called Yamcha was quite happy to hurl threats at me from a distance. That amused me until it was revealed that it was Krillin - the little guy who had saved me. Once more I began to wonder why. The bald one hit the younger one. What was his name? Gohan... That's it; Gohan across the head as he revealed the others crush on me. I was shocked.

Afraid of the feelings that were rising inside me and unsure how exactly to deal with them, I did the one thing that came naturally to me. I spoke my mind, telling the short guy in no uncertain terms that regardless of what he had done for me there was no way I was going to fall at his feet or become his.

I turned on my heel and jumping from the platform I began to descend towards the earth.

I hadn't got far when the sky began to darken . I stopped in my downward flight and glanced upwards where an amazing sight met my eyes. A long, golden streak was spiralling upwards, lighting the way as it twisted and swirled, then became still as it formed into some type of beast. My curiosity well aroused, I headed back towards the platform to see for myself just what it was that graced the skies.

They were all huddled together with that creature hovering above them. It opened its mouth and spoke. The Z fighters conversed with the beast and I was dimly aware of wishes being granted, but I found it hard to focus on anything but the magnificent creature before me. Slender green body with delicate overlapping scales. Elegant legs with claws adorning the end of each toe, the many ridges that graced the spine from the base of the skull to the tip of the perfect tail; and the eyes... They glowed like two rubies. The deep but soft voice that boomed out across the landscape held within the sounds of one wiser than his years. I was mesmerised by the beauty of the dragon that had arisen from those seemingly plain orange balls.

My mind was brought back to the present with a jolt as I heard the Krillin guy make a wish for me to become human. I tried to process the meaning of this but kept drawing a blank. Why would he want me to become human? After what Junnana and I had done to this planet and his friends why should he care what happened to me? I felt moisture begin to leak from my eyes and hastily brought myself under control. This would not do. I couldn't show any weakness. What I heard next stunned me and I felt weird as a warmth enveloped my chest and then... nothing. There was an emptiness where there once was my means of destruction. It took a few moments for this to sink in and then anger took over once again.

I could hear them conversing about myself and Juunanagou. Oh boy, did I have to set the record straight!

I came from my hiding place and let fly with a barrage of words, informing all of the fact that Seventeen was my twin brother and not my boyfriend. I said a few other things before once more turning on my heel and going to leave. I don't know why I stopped, but I did and turned back to Krillin and thanked him in my own way before again plunging off the edge and flying back towards the surface of the planet below.

My mind was scrambled, all the information racing through at breakneck speed as I tried to catalogue, analyse and understand it - but to no avail. So much had happened in such a short time and I was feeling both physically and emotionally drained. I needed to go somewhere, somewhere safe where I could sit and think, recharge my systems and sort out this rollercoaster of emotion that was travelling through my wiring like miniature electric shocks.

The lab had been destroyed so there was no point in heading there. A distant bell began to tinkle and then increase in volume until It pealed loudly in my head. Of course! I would go to Aunt Jenny and Uncle Howard's home. I'm sure they would understand what had happened to me and give me the warmth and comfort that I so desperately craved as I tried to sort through my tangled life. I set a course for the place I once called home.

#

Pretty soon I found myself on the outskirts of the city and I kept myself low and fairly well hidden as I made my way down familiar streets and past familiar homes. My heart, if I had still got one as such, would have been thudding in my chest by now, but instead all I could feel was an increase in body temperature as my nuclear core began to heat with the increase in emotional stimuli. I rounded the corner and there up ahead was Aunt Jenny's and Uncle Howard's place.

I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat and broke into a run. The tears flowed freely from my eyes and sobs began to escape my mouth as I drew closer. As I neared the stately home so my steps slowed as my mind took in that all was not well with the house. The closer I got the slower was my progress until finally I halted outside the familiar white gate that led up the path to the front door. The now boarded up front door. My head swivelled as I noted that the windows were similarly boarded up.

Stunned, I stood for a moment taking it all in, then there was a rustle of bushes and I turned to see the wrinkled, yet familiar face of Mrs Butler the next door neighbor. She stared unblinking for a moment and then her hand came up to her mouth as recognition set in.

"Krystal? Is that really you?" she asked.

Controlling myself as best I could I returned the old woman's gaze. "Yes, it's me, Mrs Butler."

"Oh my... I never thought I would ever see you again, child. Now look at you, all grown up." A large tear made its way through the maze of wrinkles on the face before splashing down and being absorbed by the cloth of the woman's shirt.

I moved towards her. "Mrs Butler, where are Aunt Jenny and Uncle Howard? Why is the house all boarded up?"

Mrs Butler reached forward and took the young android's hands in her own. "I guess no one has told you."

"Told me what?"

"I was sure that they notified Gero when it happened," Mrs Butler mused to herself.

"Please, Mrs Butler, what happened?"

"They never told you. He never told you, did he?" Mrs Butler's voice began to climb in volume as she stared at the blonde.

"What didn't they tell me? Please, Mrs Butler, I have a right to know," I began to beg.

She sighed softly then looking at me with sad eyes she began.

"Not long after you and Jay were taken away by that man, Gero, Jenny and Howard engaged another Lawyer. A really top class one from the really big city. They were heartbroken when you two left and equally determined to fight to get you both back. I'm not too sure on all the details as I didn't like to pry, but I gathered that no matter which avenue they tried, which way they went, Gero managed to block them. "

She stopped for a moment and looked at me once more to see If I understood what she was saying.

I nodded.

"They tried for years but all to no avail. I could see what it was doing to your Aunt. Bit by bit she was giving up... losing hope as the time dragged on and they were no closer to finding you both or succeeding in getting you returned. In the end she seemed to just fade away. She nothing left to live for once you two were gone. In the short time that you had been living with them Jenny had blossomed and grown. You guys were good for her, you were the children she could never have had naturally and therefore were doubly important to her. Then to lose you both was a bitter pill to swallow. In fact she didn't swallow it. I suppose you could say she choked on it. She passed on just a year ago next fall..." Her eyes were misted as she was lost in her memories.

I felt the tears begin to slide down my own cheeks. "What about Uncle Howard?" I whispered unable to speak any louder.

"When Jenny passed away it broke him, the poor man. He nothing left to live for. He lost both of you and spent their life savings on lawyers and detectives in their attempts to solve the mystery of your parents' deaths and locate you two and all for nothing. He was greeted with a brick wall at every turn. My heart bled for them both." Mrs Butler pulled out a tissue and blew her nose before continuing.

"Just six months after Jenny's passing Howard gave up his fight for life and joined her. I suppose you could say he died of a broken heart."

I stared straight ahead as I absorbed this information. They had tried to find us. They hadn't given up at all, but Gero had somehow managed to stop them at every turn. Once more I felt the anger return as I realised just how low Gero had stooped in an effort to continue his work. I stared at the old woman in front of me. "Thank you, Mrs Butler."

Mrs Butler reached and tucked a stray strand of blonde behind my ear, the gesture was simple and yet it spoke volumes. "I wish I could say or do more for you my dear to make this easier, but I can't."

"That's alright, I appreciate you telling me all that has happened. I never forgot them or stopped wanting to come home to them." My voice trembled and I took a deep breath to steady myself.

"That's okay." Mrs Butler suddenly pulled me into a warm embrace then just as quickly let me go. "What are you going to do my dear? Where are you going to stay?"

The questions were simple enough but in all honesty I didn't have an answer. I thought for a moment before replying. "I would like to take a moment to go inside the house and look around. You know, a way of saying goodbye..."

"Sure honey, I can understand that. You go right ahead, I will be next door if you need me. Please stop by before you go."

I nodded my head to confirm that I would.

Mrs Butler turned and headed back to her home next door, she paused at the gate and turned to me once more.

"Didn't your brother come with you?" she asked curiously.

"H...h..he couldn't make it," I replied and quickly turned my head and then walked to the front door before she could say anymore.

I forced the front door to open and stepped inside. Immediatley the quietness and gloom overwhelmed me. Dust was thick everywhere, coating the once white sheets that covered the furniture and turning them grey. The specks danced merrily in the few sunbeams that permeated the gloom. My footprints remained in the dirt that covered the once shining floorboards. I looked around and felt my heart catch as familiar sights came back to haunt me. I moved deeper into the house. Finally I reached the bedrooms. I pushed open the doors, taking in the damp, rank smell of neglect, each room the same endless stream of dirty dust covers. The last door I opened I moved into the room and pulled the covers from the bed. Staring around I removed the remaining covers and then took in the familiar sights, as fresh as if I had seen them only yesterday, not eight years ago. I felt the emotion break forth as the sights assaulted me. No longer could I hold back. I sank to my knees as a long anguished cry broke through from the restraints of my throat to cut through the air and the dam of tears broke free.

"Oh Jay... Aunt Jenny... Uncle Howard..." I cried the names to the heavens, but no one was there to hear my sobs.

I continued to cry until the well was dry, then I curled up into a ball and drifted in and out of consciousness as I tried to come to terms with the loss of the rest of my family.

tbc...