By Penna Argentum

Cell kept his head level, even as he flew downward towards the Earth; it was a symbolic ritual for him. Perfection in all things; posture included. Even so, he couldn’t help smiling as a twinge of emotion resembling excitement coursed through his veins. It did not matter that it had been an accident; he was indeed back from that wretched world below Snake Way and his revenge would be glorious!

The entire incident had happened so suddenly; he had finally had enough of Frieza’s arrogance toward him that morning and was about to proceed with strangling the little… whatever he was, when a storm rolled over the heavens, or if you prefer, the hells. There had been some freakish atmospheric disturbance, and his perfect eyes could see the wonderfully convenient results; the barrier between Hell and Snake Way was open; he was free! He had quickly knocked Frieza into a comatose state and taken off through the hole in the barrier; this was his big chance and he was not about to miss it.

Clearing the check-in station was easy; instead of going through it he went over it, skipping that red devil Yemma and his cursed magic. Now he was passed all that, and heading downward to the Earth; admittedly not the same Earth where he was created, but the very same one where he had, unfortunately, been terminated all those years ago. That wretched boy would pay. His friends would pay. They all would pay for his humiliation that fateful day! And he would savor his revenge every little bit.

He had apparently landed on this side of the Earth during its dark hours; how appropriate, for he would sweep across it like a black death, killing all of the inhabitants …starting with that saiya-jin child and his pathetic friends!

“Cell!” A fog rolled across the field. Cell turned to see that a figure was approaching him from somewhere in the fog. The figure was tall, but not as tall as he, with the eerily familiar features of a lean young man in spandex armor. “Cell”, the figure spoke again, “It’s been awhile.”

The sinister android’s eyes widened a little; he knew that voice. “…Trunks? That you saiya-jin?” he inquired, a smirk bepainting his lips. The young man’s long hair blew in the breeze around him; he was silent.

Cell grinned with delight, “It is you! And here I thought I had killed you all those years ago.” The figure finally spoke, “Right before Gohan killed you? Listen, I don’t have time to reminisce about the past Cell; I’m here to destroy you.”

Cell laughed to that, “Just like you did last time, right Trunks? Fool! I am stronger than I have ever been, and I will crush you like the ant you are! But before that, how did you learn of my arrival so early?”

The young saiya-jins’ eyes fixed on his target, “I could smell you coming all the way from 20 years in the future. This is destiny android; you and I in one final showdown. And this time”, he grinned, “I’ve got a surprise for you.”

Cell kept his cool, “Show me then; go on my young friend, and then I will show you the futility of your power, whatever it may be.”

“You asked for it Cell; you’ve been asking for it a long, long time”, the boy snarled. And with that, his muscles began tensing. The clouds in the sky above began to move faster in pace across an ominous moon as the time traveler’s ki began to rise …and rise …and rise. He had assumed the golden transformation of Super Saiya-jin in absolutely no time at all, but still it was rising.

Cell was not surprised; he had seen this before. First with Vegeta, then him, then with Gohan. This was what they had called the ascension, and it was nothing compared to his perfect power. And yet, curiously enough, the boy’s powers continued to rise. His hair gained that sudden depth and his muscles, defined though they were, did not bulk in the least to reduce his speed.

Cell was having flashbacks; Gohan has ascended in this way as well. He had been different from the others; a more perfected version. He was not afraid; not in the least. He had been training, secretly, in meditation all these long days, and now he was most certainly stronger than even a perfectly ascended saiya-jin. “Impressive transformation boy, but it won’t save you. I too have had time to train, and my true power is much stronger than yours seems to be.” He waited no longer; the android raised his ki as well, passing that of his would-be challenger, just to prove his point.

Trunks eyes remained fixed on Cell, his statement unchanging as he spoke, “Is that your maximum Cell?” Cell smirked, “So what if it is; I’ve still got you beat saiya-jin.” The boy smiled, “And now …the surprise.”

Cell’s eyes widened, his smile becoming something of a disbelieving jaw drop. It wasn’t possible! That boy’s ki! It was still rising! He was clearly outmatched, but how??? It just wasn’t possible! “How!” the android bellowed, “How did you do this? I demand that you tell me now!”

“It’s simple”, the saiya-jin shouted over the sound of his own power surging across the ground, “Seven long years have gone by since our last battle. You’ve been training; so have I. Your victims mean nothing to you; the only thing you care about is your own selfish goal of perfection. My father was like that…

When we were training in the time chamber, he and I, we both had our motivations. He wanted to be the best… but as for me, I was spurred on by the cries of every life you and your kind took away without warning… without mercy! They were innocent you monster! They never had a chance! I’ll never forgive you!”

Cell applauded, “My my my; so this entire time your hatred for me has spurred you on towards this… this power. But really Trunks, think about it; no one is innocent my saiya-jin friend. Not even you.

Just think; remember your battle with Frieza? Remember how you felt then boy? They didn’t have a chance against your super saiya-jin powers either, but you killed them didn’t you? And why did you do it? Simple”, he grinned, “They were in your way.”

The super saiya-jin’s statement was yet unchanged; a grimace of unshakable determination. “There is another reason I’m here… I’ll admit that.”

Cell’s eyes narrowed, “And what might that be?”

Trunks smiled, his statement lightening into something resembling pride, “I’m here because I want to see you suffer Cell; just like I suffered all those years. It’s called revenge android, and I’ll make sure you get yours over and over as long as I can. Each time I beat you down it relieves a little more of the pain in my heart.”

Cell snarled, “You little demon! Who sent you anyway!?”

The young saiya-jin couldn’t suppress a laugh, “Nobody ‘sent’ me; I’ve learned how to sense ki through even such distances as time, and every night I sit up and wait, hoping you’ll return so I can finish what I started; my revenge.”

This was ridiculous in Cell’s mind; he was the scientifically perfect being and yet these little apes were destroying him again and again! But, as his eyes fixed on the boy, returning that hateful gaze, he realized for the first time that there was something very different about this one. All the others had a goal that could be easily dismissed as pathetically heroic. They always were trying to ‘save the world’. But this one was far worse than the others. All Trunks wanted …was him.

Cell had no time to think; a determined fist found its way into his gut and drilled clear out his back. The pain was unimaginable by even the standards of a strong man. It was bad enough to be defeated by an imperfect being, but even worse, that was the entire intent of the blow. He wasn’t standing in anyone’s way now, and the only reason he was still alive was so that this …this monster could pick on him yet more!

“It hurts, doesn’t it”, Trunks commented, as if reading the androids’ mind, “Just think Cell; think of how many people thought the same thing about you right before you killed them.” Cell’s eyes widened, a sudden sweat engulfing his entire trembling form. He could not deny it; this was destiny. Every time he thought he had the upper hand, this one would be there to haunt him like some harpy from …no! Hell was easier on the nerves! This was true suffering! The agony of despair a million times over!

“Remember Cell”, the saiya-jin’s voice echoed in Cell’s brain, which was swimming with unimaginable terrors from within, “I’m not going to just go away. You’re going to see me again and again, no matter what you do. That’s your fate, and you have no one else to blame but yourself…!”

“Ahhhhhhh!!!” Cell woke up screaming bloody murder in his cell, clawing at the empty air as if fighting some imaginary foe. Frieza chuckled from where he sat, arms crossed, “Something got under your skin my friend?”

Cell was panting, but regained his cool, “No… no; just old memories.” He looked out the window of the Otherworld’s prison, his eyes narrowing at the sky. He was up there somewhere …waiting forever in the shadows.


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