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... 'til the point of no return
By Roselyne Marot


"Once upon a time, I dreamed... Pain and death have their reign and also... something more..."  (R.M.)
"Some things are too beautiful to de destroyed... until the point of no return..." (Juuhanagou)

"Why do you make that to people", asked Chichi as Juuhachigou was close to her. "Dr Gero's dead. Your
program..."

"It's our program... Or simply fun, I don't know" replied Juuhachigou as she hit Chichi on the side of her throat.
Gohan turned into super saiya-jin and attacked her but she sent him a knee into his midriff. He realized he couldn't breath and everything was going darker and darker. He fell on the floor, his hair returning to his normal color, his eyes expressionless. Goku was still, he knew he couldn't do anything : every times he had tried to hit the cyborgs, he had passed through them as if they didn't exist... as if *he* didn't exist, he corrected, as he remembered than Trunks also passed through him when he attacked the cyborgs. And now, Trunks was the only one left, still held by Juuhanagou who was keeping his catch on Trunks's wrist, twisting his forearm. Trunks couldn't move, watching his friends being killed by his loathed enemies. Couldn't move... because of Juuhanagou's catch that was giving him terrible pain every times he has tried to move - he couldn't even use his sword to cut his arm, in last solution, as the hand that was holding the sword was at the end of the caught arm. Every movements he had tried since Juuhanagou caught him has been ended in hard to stand pain. It seems that Juuhanagou knew some ancestral techniques belonged to the body's vital points - Or perhaps the reason he couldn't move was simply because of the fear... He was going to be killed, he has no doubt of it... And his mission would be a failure... All his hopes - all his future's hopes - would be reduced to void... in a few seconds.
The fear was too high now that he realized he was the only one left and that the ki ball that Juuhanagou had prepared in his right hand for Gohan - before Juuhachigou killed him - was still there. With a graceful movement, Juuhanagou turned to him and placed his right hand with the ki-ball against Trunks's midriff. Trunks doubled over when the ki-ball touched him, but with a feline movement, Juuhanagou released his wrist and went behind him, touching rapidly his spine at two places before his hand raised to the back of his neck. His right hand was still pressing against Trunks's midriff, his left arm passed over Trunks's shoulder and his left hand under his tank on his chest in a near-caress, holding "tenderly" Trunks against him.

There has been no scream or loud sounds, just the sounds of steps and movement...

Goku, behind Juuhanagou, couldn't see exactly how Trunks was hurt, he didn't really want to know, as he knew than the young warrior was going to die even if he tried anything... He could just hear Trunks rapidly gasping for breath, and then his breathings get more and more spaced out, as if he was calming down... as if he was dying... Goku didn't want to hear or see anything more, but he couldn't go anywhere else. There was no other place to go that this house where they had previously taken refuge, thinking that the cyborgs would never find them there... They had been wrong, and during the night, as Goku was sleeping, he had been awaken by a strange noise outside... And then, the two cyborgs had appeared...
They didn't want to kill the others, but as they tried to protect Goku, they all died. The next one would be him, lying down unconscious on the bed.
"It's so strange", Goku thought, "to be here, standing, and to see myself there. My soul and body has apparently already been separated. It won't change a lot that they kill my body."
A terrible thought came to his mind : "If they didn't... If they didn't try to protect me, they would still be alive. And Gohan, Trunks and Vegeta would have together been one day ready to destroy them... If only I had died facing #19, they would still be alive..."
And then he get a terrible feeling : suddenly he could feel what Trunks, in his last moments, was feeling. It was an horrible sensation adding more to the remorses Goku had. He saw Trunks's arms falling on his side, lifeless, and afterwards, Trunks's whole body completely slackened, the only reason he was still standing was because Juuhanagou was still holding him.

"NOOOOO !! YOU HAVE NOT THE RIGHT !!! WHY DO YOU DO THAT ?!!" Goku screamed.
Even if he has no real body and was passing through everybody, like a ghost, Juuhanagou seemed to hear him. He smiled to him over his shoulder.
"What the hell does he... ?" Goku thought.

********

As he didn't feel any pain, Trunks decided not to move, and stay in this dark and soft place. He realized that when Juuhanagou hit him with his ki-ball, he didn't really have felt pain... just fall into this dark world. Was it *that*, to die ?
It's when he felt water drops falling on his face that he realized what was happening.
"Oh, SHIT !" he screamed, or at least, thought so...
He opened his eyes suddenly and tried to raise his arms to protect him from the wave of water he was expecting. The wave of fury took him before he could do anything, surrounding him, playing with him, treating him badly. He kept his breathing and try to swim to reach to surface. He knew he was a good swimmer, but in this *kind* of water, perhaps swimming had no use...
As he tried to move, he felt an horrible pain through his whole body. As he screamed, he released most of the air from his lungs.

*********

Goku saw a movement from Trunks, and afterwards he heard him screaming.

*He's not dead !* he thought with a light of hope. *... Yet... * another voice in the back of his mind said.

Juuhanagou was still holding him against him. He raised his left hand from Trunks's chest to his face, pressing his hand on Trunks's mouth and nose, and leaning Trunks's head against him.

*********

Trunks felt water coming into his mouth and lungs. He desperately tried to cough it out of him, and then he let go what the remaining air left he got.
The pain was paralyzing him, and he couldn't fight against this wave. He knew in the deep of his mind, that it was not a normal wave... Not at all...
Every time he had tried to move, the pain was so high that he had each time wished to die.
"He has hit me at special points. That's why it's so painful. How the hell does he know about this technique ? He never used it in the future..."

*********

Juuhanagou could feel Trunks struggling to fight, struggling to live, even if this fight was less and less effective. Juuhanagou realized that *this* was even more enjoyable than blasting somebody at a distance point. He would have to use this technique more often. But this one was special. He sensed Trunks twisting to get out from his catch and he held him even more tight. Trunks tried to move his head to released himself from Juuhanagou's hand, but Juuhanagou pressed his head even more close to him.

*********

"He prevents me to move and breathe" realized Trunks, still into the water. He decided to go beyond the pain, and moved his arm to his face.
The pain was totally awful, but he managed to catch something before his face : Juuhanagou's arm. He recognized what it was, even if he didn't see them, and tried to pull it away from him, his nails tracing bloody lines in the artificial flesh as he lost his catch and then recover it.

**********

"Let him go !!" Goku screamed, as he flew to Juuhanagou, moving his fist directly to the cyborg's head... and passing through it... He landed on the other side and turned to face Juuhanagou. Bad idea, he realized, as now he was facing Trunks and see the desperate look in his eyes, and the pain and sweat on his face. He had just heard sounds and receive feelings from where he was. Now he had to face the view of it. He turned his eyes from Trunks to Juuhanagou.

"Let him go ! ... And take me instead !"

Juuhanagou raised his eyes to him, and Goku thought that the cyborg was considering the proposition. But then Juuhanagou made a mock face. "Itís not a bargain, I'll get you afterwards."

Goku considered Trunks again. "He is NOT your target. I am ! LET HIM GO !!!" Goku screamed.

Juuhanagou had a soft laugh, and then returned his attention to his victim who was no longer struggling but instead used his catch on the artificial arm to hold on to.

***********

Trunks began to see stars before his eyes. He was slowly dying, by one of the most horrible way. The water was all around him nearly solid. But he didn't care where the current was leading him, the water was not the problem. He had heard that people dying of drowning were conscious during a long time. And even if this water was not real, he knew that the one responsible of this wouldn't let him go. He had still a long time before to dye and he never realized how suffocating could be horrible.

As Juuhanagou would never let him go, perhaps he would accept to do him another favor...

"Kill... me..."

***********

Juuhanagou felt Trunks having convulsions and falling. He put a knee on the ground to follow him.

Goku perceived Trunks's thought, and considered the alternative. He wasn't able to fight the cyborg. The only thing he could do was negotiating with him. He had never been very gifted for this. He *had* to improve himself... RIGHT NOW !

"Why are you doing this to him ?" he asked Juuhanagou with a terrified and sad voice. "If you decided to kill him, why don't you finishing him off RIGHT NOW, instead of torturing him as you're doing ? What will it bring more to you what you're doing now ?"

Juuhanagou considered him a moment, and then smiled, returning his attention to Trunks. Holding him nearly tenderly against him, he approached his mouth of Trunks's hear and closed his eyes, and spoke softly...

***********

Trunks didn't even suspect such a feeling would exist. He had suspect he would one day die in a fight, and that the last thing he would have felt would be an ultimate pain... but not *this*. He had suspect that when he would die, the thought he would have would be "I want to live !"...
He didn't imagine that he would feel *that*, that he'd prefer to die instead of agonizing like that... Perhaps that he wasn't worthy of the royal blood of Vegetasei... He wondered how his father would react when he would learn about his death.
He felt regret filling his heart and soul... But nevertheless, he repeated his wish in thought :

"Please... Kill... me... now..."

And then he heard a soft voice that he recognized immediately.

***********

"Some things are too beautiful to be destroyed..." Juuhanagou told with a soft voice. Goku stared at him. Juuhanagou continued : "... until the point of no-return."

"What are you talking about ?" Goku asked, eyes widened, with an unease feeling in the back of his neck.

Juuhanagou opened his eyes and glare at him a moment, then he turn his eyes away and watch a distant point.

"When you love or respect somebody... The more intense thing you can do, is to kill him - or her - ... but very slowly, so that you can feel that person's life slowly going away, and passing through yourself. You possess totally this person... you are the point of no return...". Juuhanagou looked back to Trunks, and continued to speak softly : "I am *his* point of no return...".

Goku stared at him, his eyes wide, totally surprised by this illogical answer. He'd like to thing that Juuhanagou was feeling only respect for Trunks, but the way he was holding him...

***********

The sensation was still horrible, and Trunks couldn't even breathe the water to accelerate his death, as Juuhanagou was preventing him to breath anything...

He realized ironically that he was going to die in the arms of a boy he had swear to kill... during his whole life. And then, he viewed rapidly the content of his short life. After that view, he realized that he never did anything really useful in his whole life... Even his trip in the past wouldn't have helped anybody, as the result would be the same... Or even worse, as Gohan was also dead, and then, in the future, the young Trunks wouldn't have no sempaï, and no way to learn how to fight properly... And no one would defend the Earth against those bastards...
 

************

Goku felt Trunks's ki decreasing more and more, becoming hardly perceivable. He had no time to loose.

"You're wrong !" Goku yelled, trembling. " I never heard something more stupid in my whole life ! When you love somebody, the only thing that's important to you is that that person is fine and safe, that that person doesn't suffer ! You even sacrifice your life for that person !!"

Silence...

Goku continued with a low voice, fist clenched : "you don't kill that person."

Juuhanagou was fixing Goku, his eyes wide, and a surprised look on his face. Goku felt hope for Trunks. It was perhaps not too late for him...

"Release him", he murmured.

*************

Trunks had stopped to hope, he didn't even resist to the flow of water.

No, he had one hope left : that it would be over very soon.

"I have... lead ...this... world... to... its end..." was Trunks's last thought. He felt, or perhaps, imagine, tears ...

*************

After a moment, Juuhanagou smiled to Goku : "Very strange... Your human ways..."

Goku startled, feeling hope leaving him, as he also perceive Trunks's thought.

"What do you mean ?"

He realized afterwards. Then he continued : "You're perhaps a cyborg... but you were human before ! You cannot forget that ! Please..."

Juuhanagou looked at Trunks and then at Goku. He could still feel the youth's heartbeat... weak and irregular... but still there...

The cyborg smiled gently : "you're right...". At that time, Goku thought that the youth's life was saved.

But then, Juuhanagou's smile became mischievous as he continued : "... *were* human....".

And then he abruptly turned Trunks's head on one side. The youth opened slightly his eyes...

No scream, no gasp... Just a soft sound from Trunks's neck.

Silence...

******************

Silence, all around him. The water had stopped to move. It was now very calm... Trunks didn't feel anymore the suffocating sensation... He didn't give a damn, either ...

So quiet, and yet ... so strange...

No more sounds...

He relaxed as he realized he wasn't feeling the pain anymore... He wasn't breathing... But didn't really feel the need... Why would he breathe ?

He felt himself falling more deeply into the water... in a place deeper, and darker...

He didn't resist ... And let himself sink into the depths of darkness...

...where the sound...

... and the rhythm...

... disappear...

********************

Silence, all around them ...

 
Juuhachigou lifted an eyebrow, surprised. Goku was still... Contemplating the scene... He didn't have expect it from the cyborg. This bastard had made him hoping 'till the end...

Juuhanagou removed slowly his hand from Trunks's face and watched him for a moment. "He was too far...", he said softly to a Goku still under shock. He continued, caressing gently Trunks's cheek. "Without oxygen, the organism products a lactic acid that destroy the cells. He had a too high concentration of this acid in his blood. Even if I have decided to let him go now, he would have die...". He leaned to Trunks, and kissed him.

Goku was too shocked by Trunks's death to react, even if his own son and wife were also dead, they died quickly, without him to realize that there was a chance for them, but in Trunks's case...

He closed his eyes...

In the silence of the room, everything seemed suddenly normal... as if in a dream. Goku was feeling the darknesses coming around him. Juuhanagou released Trunks and after a while, laid him down slowly on the ground, brushing gently a purple lock of hair from the youth's face. Trunks's eyes were still half-opened, but they didn't see anything anymore... Juuhanagou touched lightly the youth's lips, amazed. "They are still warm..."

Goku opened his eyes as Juuhanagou sighed and got up - as with regret - and began to walk to Goku's body, still asleep in the bed.

"Someone will kill you for that" Goku's spirit said quietly. He didn't want to fight anymore, he felt tired, more tired than he never felt in his whole life. And what could he do against those cyborgs as he couldn't even hit them without passing through them, doing no harm to them... He didn't want to call help of someone... Too many people had already died, trying to save him. He remember Trunks's last thought. The youth was feeling too responsible for all the events. He didn't want to see Trunks's soul lost in sadness, with no way to find the peace... He didn't want to see this kid crying again. As he was going to die, he'd have to find Trunks and set his mind at rest... He has been linked to the youth, able to feel his feelings...
Perhaps would they still be linked in the after-life, this would be better if Goku'd have to find Trunks...

He turned to face Trunks whose lifeless body was laying down near his sword, his face's expression was so sad...

"Soon, kid... Soon...", Goku murmured feeling sadness filling his heart.

Juuhanagou reached the bed and turned a little to watch Goku's spirit. He lifted an eyebrow :  "Really ? Do you think 'bout the other Saiya-jin, ... Vegeta, right ?". He smiled : "Well, he's not a match for us..." He turned again to face Goku's body, his smile broadened. "And he'll never hear 'bout his son... except if I tell it myself. My sister won't, and *you*, you won't be able to speak anymore !". He smiles mischievously and lifted his hand... but another hand took his and stopped his movement. He turned to see his sister.

"It's my turn !", she said nearly coldly.

Juuhanagou released his hand, and shook his head : "you've killed two of them : his woman, and his son. I just killed one. So, it's still my turn."

Juuhachigou frowned : "But you took your time... !"

Juuhanagou faced Goku's body again, looking at her from the corner of his eyes. "It's still my turn ! Final point !"

Juuhachigou didn't insist, even if she was becoming angry. She would destroy a city or two to calm her down. Juuhanagou raised his hand, curling it gracefully. "you don't even deserve my respect Goku, I was just programmed to kill you, and I didn't even fight against you. So, don't worry, you'll die quickly...". He smiled and plunged his hand up to the wrist into Goku's chest.

********

Goku cried out, and raised his hand to his chest, gasping. The next moment, Chichi put a wet cloth on his forehead, trying to calm him down. She yelled after Gohan for him to give her Goku's medicine.

"Here it is !!", said Gohan, giving the bottle to his mother. She placed her hand under Goku's head and lifted it a little in order to make him drink a dosage of this future medicine.

Goku continued to gasp for breath, but after a while, he calmed down, and breathe normally, again asleep, probably due also to the motor hums of the plane.

"Phew, it looks like the medicine's starting to work", said Chichi, more reassured.

"He's acting as if he had a nightmare", Trunks said. "It must be a terrible one..."

[the end]


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