Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or have any rights to it.
It had been several months since that day. Picking up that newspaper ruined it for me. The battle I was looking forward to, one where my beautiful creations would crush that barbaric ape-man Son Goku would never happen. There was no need to upgrade 17 or 18 to their full power, though considering their insubordination that gave me some sense of security. As for 16, he would remain permanently unfinished, and was now dismantled along with the others. However…
Android 19, my latest and dare I say, favorite creation was done with the procedure. In a few hours I would personally see to the destruction of Goku's remaining allies. If I couldn't hurt him directly, I'd just make him suffer in the afterlife as he watched me tear down everything he ever cared about to build my world. My creations, my children, would replace humanity as the new dominant species!
"When shall we start doctor?" Ah yes, 19 certainly was obedient. If only the other two were as respectful.
"As I said earlier, we'll set out shortly before sunrise. I've chosen Amembo Island just in case we are forced to retreat. I'd rather Goku's friends not know where this lab is." I began flexing my new limbs. I could feel the overwhelming power, if only Goku could taste it that would have been the most satisfying outcome.
"Shall take those two with us?" I followed his gaze to the pods containing 17 and 18. This was a bit of a conundrum, though my better instincts told me to just destroy them now. There was one reason why I kept those two, my ultimate creation, Cell. Maybe I should have nixed that project. I no longer needed that kind of power in my army.
19 was now staring at me eagerly. This would be an important decision. On the one hand, they were weaker than previously intended and there was a reasonable chance that 19 and I could control and deactivate them. Goku's allies, especially Vegeta, might pose a greater challenge than previously thought, especially if the entire group mobbed us at once. On the other hand, they had a history of insubordination, and I had a difficult time deactivating them earlier, albeit before upgrading my own body. Should I have destroyed them along with 16?
I told 19 that I would think about it, and we each began our own preparations for the upcoming battles. The first step was establishing the locations of Goku's allies. They were spread out and assuming the element of surprise, we would be facing them in waves instead of at once.
"19, do you think we would need help dealing with any combination of Goku's allies in a two on two battle?" I don't know why I had to ask, since I had at least as much knowledge.
"No. My data indicates that they are all manageable for us. Either you or I should be able to handle Vegeta, the strongest among them."
This was good. I wouldn't need those two after all. We would be facing them in waves, and none of them ought to be able to touch either of us. Things were set up perfectly. We were good to go, until it was actually time to depart.
We were right outside the lab when I stopped to look back. It would certainly be a shame if we were wrong and another wild card ruined it all. I had everything planned out for the Red Ribbon Army as well, yet Son Goku came out of nowhere to destroy it all. There would be no harm in taking them along. My calculations indicated that 19 and I should be strong enough to deal with them at their reduced level. Surely they wouldn't be stupid enough to challenge us knowing full well how they compared to us.
"Is something wrong Doctor?"
"We are going to take 17 and 18 with us. I don't want to risk another wild card ruining everything." He looked at me with an odd, dare I say worried, expression. He definitely knew of their past insubordination as well as what their true specs were. "Do not be alarmed 19. I stopped increasing their power after I found out about Goku's death. They shouldn't be stronger than you."
With no further discussion we went back inside to rouse the twins, those hellish ghouls. As I found the remote that had been my lifeline a few years ago, 19 pushed the button that opened 17s pod. He knew that we'd be better off releasing them one at a time.
"Good morning Doctor." I had to double check to make sure I'd heard it right. He was smiling at me. Was he actually being polite? "Ah, and you must be his newest creation."
"Yes. I am android 19."
"19?" I expected him to arrogantly proclaim himself as my most powerful creation. "Ah, you must be an energy absorbing model. Perhaps that system is better after all." This was amazing! Yes, he was actually being polite! "I assume we are going to attack Goku."
Off course neither he nor 18 had received the news of Goku's death. 19 looked to me. I didn't feel like telling them, perhaps out of fear of disrupting this seemingly fragile respect the boy had for me. "Actually we are going to attack a city to lure Goku and his friends. I've decided to bring both you and your sister along in case the group is too much for us to handle."
"Off course." He then looked to his sister's pod as 19 proceeded to open it and awaken her.
After a brief eye contact with her brother she looked to me with her own smile. "Good morning doctor. Are we heading out to fight Goku today?" I couldn't believe it was happening. Perhaps their confinement had given them an attitude adjustment.
I cleared my throat. "Well now that you're both up, this is android 19, my latest creation." I gestured towards 19 who was now standing beside me. "Together the four of us will be heading to Amembo island, 9 miles southwest of south city. I chose that place on the off chance that we are forced to retreat. We can't let anyone find this lab."
They both nodded, and though they were smiling warmly I felt the need to clutch my remote more tightly. Surely 19 and I could handle them even if they rebelled. Their power should be significantly lower than their intended full power after all. When we exited the lab I could see the sun beginning to rise. It was around 5 am, a perfect time to give Goku's friends the wakeup call from hell.
We set out immediately and I began to relax. Those two were listening, and 19 was here in case they decided to try something. We were just past the mountains surrounding North City when 17, in apparent excitement sped ahead. I couldn't help rolling my eyes, however in light of his relatively good behavior I didn't have any problems with it. However his sister was less careful and knocked into me as she tried to catch up to him.
"Watch it 18!" They both stopped and look at me apologetically until they noticed something. Both my hands were empty. The remote had fallen into the ocean below! After briefly gaping at my hands I looked back at the two gremlins and saw them grinning. A cold chill ran down my spine, though I felt somewhat reassured as 19 floated beside me, ready to take them on. "What is the meaning of this?"
"We won't be taking orders from you anymore," 17 replied.
"You have betrayed us. I will eliminate you!" 19 really was my best creation so far. However I would need to overcome my fear, as he could not beat both 17 & 18 at once.
"I'll discipline 17," I told 19, and he nodded. At the moment I didn't care about what Goku's friends could bring, beating this two would be enough to ensure our readiness.
17 was such a cocky brat, I would enjoy showing him why this was such a mistake. With 19 keeping 18 busy I was sure he wouldn't be too challenging. 19 had already started battling 18, but I couldn't afford to see how that battle was going. "Shall we begin doc?" I'd have to admit that his acting skills were incredible; to think I'd actually considered the possibility that he had matured.
"I have a schedule to keep. This will end quickly." I rushed towards him and he was caught somewhat off guard as I landed a punch to his jaw. Funny, I thought it would do more damage. Wasting no time, I flew around him and landed a knee kick on his back. He was able to spin and block a few follow-up punches, however I soon broke his guard and kneed him in the gut. "I didn't just stop increasing your power fool. Your combat data is also out of date compared to my own. You're outclassed both in power and skill-"
He cut me off with swift jab to the gut. The pain was greater than I thought, and looking at him, I could tell he didn't feel it as much as I did. "You shouldn't waste time gloating."
No…I couldn't let this stand. There is no way he should have been able to beat me according to my calculations. Thankfully, I could see his movements. He was not overwhelming fast and I had little difficulty deflecting or evading his punches and kicks. Still, he had me on the defensive and I couldn't find an opening. Then he committed to a powerful roundhouse kick, and after dodging, I was able to begin my own offensive.
It felt so good laying into him. I repeatedly landed punches to his face and guts and ended the combo with a knee attack to the gut. While he was doubled over I put distance between us before hitting him with my eye beams, but why stop there? I decided to zap him multiple times. However I had to stop myself when the black cloud of smoke obscured my view of him. My breathing was more labored now, however it wasn't anything a trip to North City couldn't fix.
"Well played doc." A thin beam quickly followed that voice; it was a similar technique to my own, but fired from the finger. It pierced my shoulder before I could react. When the smoke fully cleared, it revealed that 17's clothing was riddled with holes, but his body looked mostly unharmed.
As I clutched at my pained shoulder to stop the bleeding, only one word came to mind. "H-How?"
"Really doctor? I thought you knew your own creations better than that."
He was right and the answer had come the moment the word had escaped my lips. "You threw up an energy shield to evade the most destructive shots while my vision was obscured." My breathing was getting more labored as my heart rate skyrocketed.
"I can't believe you would fall for that." It was 18's voice!
I whirled around immediately. "18!" Though her jacket was torn to shreds and her shirt had burn marks, she looked just as unharmed as 17! As I looked around frantically, there was no sign of 19 anywhere. "What happened to-"
"Don't get me wrong," she replied in a tone of false politeness. "He was doing quite well, even giving me a good run. That was, until his energy began to run out." Her face contorted into an eerie grin at that last part, and I immediately realized my mistake.
It was true that 19 and I had a slight advantage over them initially, but being energy absorbing models we lacked their staying power. My breathing was getting worse. Fighting at this level had more of toll than I had counted on. Turning back to 17, I noted his superior smirk. He was as ready as ever to continue the fight.
"What's wrong doc? I thought you were going to put us in our place." His grin darkened. "I hope for your sake that you haven't run out of steam like that fat clown." He began hovering towards me and noting my own fatigue I began to back away. "You thought you could shut us down and lock us away for months on end, and awaken us at your convenience to do your bidding." His voice was now filled with contempt, it was frighteningly obvious that he hated me. He was furious with me.
"What? You think begging will save you?" He rushed in, and at this point I couldn't react fast enough. The pain as his knee collided with my gut left me doubled over and gasping. My shoulder had stopped bleeding, but it was also as sore as ever. I felt his fingers wrap around my neck and squeeze. "All actions have their consequences and here's yours." The pain in my gut was quickly overshadowed by one in my chest as his free hand punched through it.
He dropped me, leaving me to die painfully in the ocean from a combination of drowning and bleeding out. The last image in my head was that of those twins from hell, my worst creations ever. They were both smiling, filled with triumph. Would they continue my dream and fight Goku's friends? I didn't know, nor did I care. All I could think of was what a horrid and foolish mistake I had made.
This is the last chapter of this story. I hope you like my take on Dr. Gero's death and the built in theory of what happened to 19 & 16 in this timeline.