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Shadows Chapter 12

Piccolo stood his ground and weighed up his opposition. The three green bands which were attached to the androids' torsos suggested that they were elites. He had heard of them. Despite the fact that they looked perfectly human in nature, they were not. At the heart of every one of these machines beat a central processor unit, where they were programmed. Ruthless, efficent and focused. These characteristics summed up the elite. More problematic was that each carried a power level in excess of 150,000. There were a dozen of them. Staying perfectly calm, Piccolo began to power up. The full extent of his power was intense, knocking back several of his opponents from its sheer force. Yet against this many he was not sure if it would be enough.
"Common! What areyou waiting for!?!", Piccolo yelled. It was then that he realised, his eyes suddenly widened. They were waiting. For backup. He had to destroy these as fast as possible and escape with Ferefire, Alker and Jake. Or he and them would be dead. Simple.
Now fully powered up Piccolo charged at the group of androids. He was not particularly surprised for them to react sharply and dodge his first attack. He tried again. Failed. A wave of attackers met him. As he blocked punches and blows, they were not doing any real damage. Unfortunatly this state of nondamage was mutual. It seemed uncanny. It was almost as if they knew exactly what he was about to do. If only...If only he could use energy attacks. Then he might actually stand a chance. It was then that Piccolo noticed something. These elites did not have any means of absorbing ki. Receivers were not located anywhere. That was it! Testing his theory he threw a light blast of energy at one of the androids. It blocked it! It did not absorb it! Now he had a chance. Concentrating all of his ki into a point he hurled a far larger blast at the android nearest to him. In a tremendous explosion which almost demolished the entire building the android had been vapourised. Alarmed by this turn of events, the other androids began to close in, determined to weaken him before he could even the odds any further. Quickly Piccolo hurled two more shots at the approaching machines. Once the smoke had cleared there were only 9 left. Weary from his exertions, he received several blows from his attackers from all sides. There were just too many of them. Trying to break free to fire off some more attacks he realised that he couldn't. Charging up his fist with ki, he threw a punch at an android to his left, which knocked it back. This freed up a space, which he immediatly maneourved through. Gathering his energy, he began to charge up for a Masenko. Then he paused. This was no good. Changing his mind he tried an entirely different approach.
"Split form!", he yelled. With that his body abruptedly tore itself apart into three indentical looking Piccolos wearing exactly the same clothing as before.
"You two take those, I take the other three", instructed the first Piccolo.
"Right", agreed the other two. Odds had been evened.
All of the Piccolo's rejoined the battle. the tide was beginning to turn in his favour now. It was not long before two more of the androids were similarily wrecked. One was smashed to pieces with a charged punch and the other was blasted by a Masenko. True, Piccolo's power had been diluted from the split, but the advantage in not being so heavily outnumbered was beginning to tell. With all of the Piccolos either blocking hits or dodging most of them, the androids were now being heavily beaten.
"Tactical retreat! Alpha prime 235", one of the elites hastily announced. With that, the remaining hald dozen androids turn and fled the battle. Clearly they had realised that they were now hopelessly outpowered and were seeking backup.
Piccolo surveyed the scene. Alker and Jake were in bad shapes, but they would live. Ferefire was another matter. As Piccolo approached, he realised that barely being able to breathe - Ferefire would not have much time left in this world. Reaching into a pocket, Piccolo brought out a senzu bean. Ever since Gero had demolished Karin tower these had been very rare indeed. In fact this was now his last one. Kneeling down, Piccolo popped it into Ferefire's mouth.
"Swallow(*)", Piccolo instructed bringing Ferefire back to consciousness with a slap.
"Ghmn?", Ferefire replied. He was dying. Swallow did he hear? Flexing the muscles in his throat he tried his best to carry out the command.
And was almost immediatly brought back to full alertness. He felt terrible. But he was alive! It had been a senzu bean. But he had thought that they no longer existed? It had saved him. Piccolo had saved them all.
"Piccolo?", Ferefire stated the anger present in his voice, "We tried", he was downcast. His body still ached, "They're gone"
"Enough babbling Ferefire!", Piccolo snapped, "You pick up Jake. I will pick up Alker. Let's get out of here"
"Okay", Piccolo was not much one for small-talk, Ferefire considered, "Do we have to take him?", Ferefire indicated to Alker.
"Shut up"
As quickly as they could, Piccolo and Ferefire picked up Jake and Alker and blasted their way past the ruins of their base. Just before they exited, Ferefire paused and turned into a door.
"Ferefire! Are you going for a wash or something?!?", Piccolo yelled furiously.
"No. There was something I had to get", Ferefire replied as he came back out cluthing something tightly in his right hand.
"Common! Lets go!"
Passing through the exit they both rose through the air. The landscape below had been annilated. Where the warehouse had once stood, there were smoking ruins. Houses nearby had been destroyed. People killed. It was tragic the extents that the EWO would go to carry out their desires. Piccolo scanned the horizon. Good. There was not anyone approaching. They might just get out of this one alive after all.
A shadow cast over the world. One goal. One motive. The absolute destruction of it. Alker saw it. He saw it all play out in front of his eyes. He might still be alive now. Soon he wouldn't be. And then he and the other 6 billion people on the planet would be dead too. Annilated in a single moment - billions of souls screaming and then silence. Ceasing to exist.
All of a sudden Alker jerked awake. He screamed. He did not even know why he was screaming, but he did it anyway. Another nightmare? He could not even remember this time.
"Alker! If you do that again I will drop you!", yelled Piccolo.
"I...sorry sir", Alker apologised somewhat confused. They were flying in the air, yet again over that same featureless landscape that he had become so accustomed to. Why was Piccolo carrying him? How had Ferefire recovered so much to be able to carry the still unconscious Jake? Alker gave up trying to work things out. He checked his body. He had been lucky. Nothing much seemed to be broken. He did have a broken nose and a split lip, but in the context of what had just happened, that did not seem to be too bad now.
After a while they landed.
"We've lost them", Alker stated miserably.
"Yes, you have", Piccolo smirked completely unsympthetic, "your mistake. You're all just lucky that I decided to intervene when I did"
"How can you say that?", Ferefire felt like screaming in fury, but just kept himself in check in front of the formerly self proclaimed demon lord, "I grew up with them. We protected each other. Now this! I failed them! I'm going back!"
"You will do no such thing!", Piccolo exclaimed angerily, "I do not want to have to rescue you again. Right now they are probably with Gero and all of his creations. We would not stand a chance"
"We need to...", Alker, Ferefire and Piccolo turned around, surprised that Jake was already awake, "...get training", Jake smiled, winching in pain. He was certain that he had broken something. Or actually he was sure that he had broken a lot of things, as he struggled to get up.
"Yeah and who will train you?", Ferefire said sarcastically, "Dr Gero?"
"No", Jake groaned, "I remember that Piccolo once said that he received training from Kaio-Sama in the afterlife. Is that not true?"
"Yes", admitted Piccolo.
"Will he?"
"Whatever you did, it would still be pointless", Piccolo stated deadly serious, "even if your strength was to increase twenty times, you still would not win"
"But we must try. Please Piccolo", Jake begged, "It is the only hope we have of saving them. Please, Piccolo can you take us there?"
Piccolo hesitated. He thought about it before finally replying.
"Okay. I will"

(*)As I said before in chapter 8, these things should NOT be taken out of context

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