Disclaimer: I don't own the DBZ gang, a rich Japanese man does. Written for pleasure not profit.
Warnings: Angst, mild horror, Juuhachi POV
Rating: PG 13
Archive: dragonball-diaries. 150m .com
Notes: This is set at the end of the Cell saga. It's a little take on what Juu may have been experiencing when she found herself once more back on the earth.
Written April 2003
Flashing, blinding lights.
How much time had passed I did not know. One by one my systems came back on line and I blinked. Where was I?
My sensors scanned the area and I could detect no other living presence. My eyes began to focus and I took in my surroundings. Rock, rubble and dirt. I sat up and gazed about.
I knew this place.
This had once been my home.
I stood and moved, my feet raising little puff balls of dust as I scuffed the ground. Energy level not yet 100%, my computer brain informed me. Well no shit! Even I could have figured that one out without all my electrical parts.
That's where I am. I pause and shake my head at the ruins. What a mess. Gingerly I pick my way over the rubble and towards what used to be the main entrance, only now it is a monument of rock. Even with my lowered energy level I am still able to move most of the larger chunks, only a few remaining; silently stubborn they defy all my attempts to shift them. I leave them. The feeling of defeat beginning to become easier to live with the more I suffered from it.
The work is tedious and laborious, but it somehow soothes my circuits, calms my inner confusion and allows rational thought to return.
Methodically I shift the pile of rock, creating a larger one behind me. The thought occurs to me that I could have just blasted my way in, but then I am glad that I didn't. It would have drained what little energy level I had and could have caused more damage.
No. It's better that I do it this way.
I look down upon my bleeding and torn hands. Pain doesn't register for some reason. Maybe my pain sensors are still damaged? I give a shudder. Just as well, the human flesh that makes up part of my system is too easy to damage and the resulting pain from it is not pleasant.
I guess I'm just lucky today then.
The mound of rubble becomes a little smaller and I can see I am making headway into the entrance to the lab. My efforts re double despite the protest from my metallic, skeletal system. I can sort out the grease and oil change later.
At last persistence pays off and I can see inside to the dusty lab. I manage to squeeze through the small gap I have made and step inside the ruins.
Strangely the lighting system is still functioning and the swirls of dust can be clearly seen dancing in the beams of light.
It echoes eerily.
My eyes adjust to the dimmer light of electricity as opposed to the natural light of the sun and I begin to pick my way over the debris that surrounds the floor.
I will know what I am looking for when I find it.
My eyes are drawn to the mess of wires and metal against the far wall. I move towards it and frown. What was once a magnificent piece of technology is reduced to a burnt out tangle of mangled wires and circuits, the metal casing nothing more than a ruined shell.
My fingers caress the twisted metal lovingly. No one would or even could begin to understand my feelings for this piece of inanimate mess of fibres and steel.
This was the only mother I remember.
It gave my current form life.
A tear escapes and rolls down my cheek, carving a pathway between the granules of dirt clinging to my skin before pausing at my chin for a moment and then making a leap to freedom.
Sadly I stare at the remains. A part of me died when that final light stopped glowing and the last pulse passed along failed wires.
Who said you couldn't care for something that did not draw breath? The mere absorption of gaseous molecules did not mean that you were any more alive than the next object. As for a pulse... This work of art had more life pulsing through it than most humans I have ever met.
Sadly I turn away. There is nothing anyone can do to restore the one that gave birth to me.
I search the ruins once more. My memory banks are a little hazy, but most is coming back to me.
I trip and stumble forwards. My arms snap out to slow my fall and I land unceremoniously in the dirt.
Spitting out a mouthful of dust I roll onto my rear and draw my legs upwards. I peer through the darkness to see what tripped me...
... and freeze.
The hydraulic fluid that runs through my system becomes sluggish as all my functions begin to seize. Oxygen becomes a priority and desperately I will my lungs to work. Fortunately they respond.
I stare transfixed at the object that caused my fall and a shiver passes through my systems.
Or at least part of him.
My memory banks choose that moment to completely restore themselves and happily supply me with the images from the past. The arrival of the Saiya-jins. My brother.
At the hands of my brother.
Now I know why I came back... What it was I was seeking.
Knowing that Cell was gone, my brother was gone and I had to be sure that the last part of my controlled past was also gone.
Until then I could never be really free.
I scooted forwards a little and gazed curiously at the rounded object on the floor. Gingerly I reached out and picked it up.
The glass dome was shattered, fluid still leaking out and bits of matter hanging determinedly to the broken shards. I turned the object over and studied the grizzled lines of the old man's face. Like a spider web the wrinkles and lines mapped out a chequered history. The eyes were closed as if in sleep and the white hair adorning the upper lip caressed the skin of my arm... like a ghosts touch.
I felt my whole system surge with renewed energy.
At last I was free, truly free to seek my place in this new world. Gone was the commanding, the chip inside that Gero controlled me with ceasing to be active with his demise. I smiled as I stared at the remains of my creator... my master.
The eyes suddenly opened and stared straight at me. The mouth crinkled into a lopsided leer.
~ Fin ~