"I'm just sayin' you coulda woken me up," Krillin complained, rubbing the back of his head.
"We didn't have time."
"Yeah, you say that now, but do you know what it's like to wake up with the wind in your face at 300 miles per hour?"
"We weren't going that fast. Don't be a wussy."
"I mean a new android is important and all, but you could have woken me up."
"I'll make it up to you later. Just shut up about it."
"I'm just sayin'," Krillin grumbled.
Bulma stopped at the doors to the lab. "Are you two sure you're ready for this?"
Android 18's heart raced. "Yes."
Krillin shrugged. "No time like the present, I guess."
"Okay." Bulma swung the doors open to reveal Vegita standing cautiously over a figure tied to a chair in the middle of the room.
"Oh sweet Mary, there's two of her," Krillin exclaimed, jumping back. Then he thought about it and smiled. "There's two of her."
Eighteen was speechless. There, the new android, it was her.
"Wha.. How?" Krillin asked.
"Actually, I was hoping you could tell me," said Bulma. "She just showed up out of nowhere and tried to blow up the house."
"She attacked you?"
"Yeah. We assumed Eighteen had gone bad again until she picked up the phone."
"You have any idea honey?" Krillin asked his wife. She seemed more shocked than any of them.
"Kill it," she said.
"Kill it. It's evil."
"Honey, don't you think you're being a bit hasty."
"No, we have to kill it."
"Are you sure?" Bulma asked.
"You heard her, woman. She said to kill it." Vegita begin to power up an energy blast.
"Vegita, would you be patient! I'd like to know where she came from before we just decide to kill her."
"You're insane woman! It tried to kill us!"
"And it didn't get very far, did it. We don't have anything to worry about. Aren't you at all curious about how an exact double of Eighteen got here?"
"There are differences," Krillin said.
"You're kidding. I don't see anything," Bulma said, surprised.
"They're subtle, but you can see them. This 18 looks the same as Eighteen did when we first met. Mine has aged a little."
Eighteen turned from her examination of the double. "Gee thanks."
"What? I like you a little older. It's sexy."
"Why don't you ever say nice thing like that to me?" Bulma asked her husband.
"Oh please, next you'll want me to write you poetry. I'm a Saiyan warrior, not a tree hugger."
"It wouldn't hurt you to let up once in a while."
"A true warrior doesn't let up!"
"They don't pay attention either," 18 said.
Everyone turned to see the formerly tied up Android 18 standing behind Vegita. She had her hand on Vegita's neck.
"Now be a good boy and stand still while I absorb all your energy."
"Oh god, she's got energy absorbers too?" Krillin moaned. "What is she, the upgrade?"
"Vegita?" Bulma asked, worried.
"Damn it woman, quit sniveling," Vegita said through gritted teeth. Summoning up his strength he broke free of the Android's grip and hurled himself forward to his wife's feet.
"I'll be fine, just give me a second to regain my strength."
"That was refreshing," the Android smirked. "Now let's see who else wants to play. Hmmm, the bald shrimp's grown some hair and... What the hell?"
Eighteen and her counterpart locked stares, each looking at the other in nothing less than utter shock.
Eighteen wanted to scream. This was her, this was who she would have become if it hadn't been for Krillin. This was the her that had never known love, never known unconditional acceptance, never known what it felt like to hold a beautiful little girl in her arms and hear her say "Mommy". This was the woman she had nightmares about.
"Oh look, it's me," the Android said. "Tell me, what happened in this world? Why didn't you kill all the obstacles so you could enjoy yourself?"
"Cell." Eighteen had never thought about it. If it hadn't been for Cell then she would have eventually killed Krillin. She couldn't believe she actually owed something to that monster.
"Cell. He came from the future. He absorbed me and Seventeen. The others saved us."
"And for that you didn't kill them. You're too sentimental. Imagine the fun you could have had if you had only done this."
The Android released an energy blast aimed at Krillin. Eighteen tried to jump in front of it but Krillin pushed her out of the way. He released his own energy blast and blocked the Android's.
"Krillin!" Eighteen screamed.
"It's okay honey. It'll take more than one shot from an Android to do me in."
The Android was staring at Krillin as though he had just pulled a rabbit from thin air. "What the hell is going on here? You shouldn't have been strong enough to stop that?!"
"Lady, you might look like my wife, but you sure aren't as smart as her."
"Wife? I don't know how you managed that, but let me do her a favor."
The Android 18 shot forward, flying towards Krillin faster than even he could dodge. She tackled him and took him through the wall.
"Krillin!" Eighteen shouted and flew after them.

They had ended up in the desert. The desert of all places. Nothing but sand as far as the eye could see.
Krillin was having troubles. The hard part wasn't the strength of Android 18, she wasn't much stronger than his wife, but that he couldn't let her hands touch him or she would drain his energy. So instead of just fighting he had to split his concentration between the fight and where her hands were at all times.
Still, Krillin was more than holding his own. He blocked every blow she tried to land on him. He countered all of her energy attacks. And every now and then he could get into his head that this wasn't his wife and throw a punch or kick of his own. He didn't dare try to use one of his own energy attacks against her for fear that she would absorb it and become stronger.
After a flurry of punches and kicks, none of which connected, Android 18 disengaged.
"This doesn't make sense, you shouldn't be this strong," Android 18 screamed in frustration.
"Lady, you really didn't do your homework. Meanwhile I'm betting I know a lot about you."
"You wish little man."
"You were born in Dr. Gero's lab and the first thing you and your brother did was kill your creator. You've got a feeling that you had a life before that, but thanks to the good doctor you can't remember any of it. I'm betting the first thing you did when you got out was meet up with a decimated special forces unit. Only one of them escaped. For the next thirteen years you terrorized the world, killing everyone you came across. Then one day a purple haired kid, someone you hunted for a long time, appeared in front of you, turned his hair blonde and served your asses on a plate."
"How the hell do you know that?" Android 18 demanded.
"Like I said, I know all about you. Including..."
He moved quickly, and he hoped to Android 18 it was just a blur. She didn't turn, so he knew he had tricked her. He stopped behind her and slowly traced his finger down the line on her back that only he knew about.
"What do you think you're doing... Oh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" she moaned in pleasure.
"Yup, same sensitive spot," Krillin grinned. "Almost identical. Almost."
As Android 18 was recovering he slammed his fist into her side. She grabbed her ribs and groaned in pain.
Krillin threw a kick but she caught it.
"You can't hurt me," Android 18 hissed. "I killed you already."
Krillin gasped as he felt his energy draining from his body. He was getting weaker and weaker and...
"Get your hands off my husband!"
The Android 18 turned, surprised by the sudden scream and was tackled from the side by Eighteen. The evil double's hands were torn from Krillin by the sheer force of the blow, sending both Androids hurtling to the ground.
"Why are you doing this?" Android 18 demanded. "I'm freeing us of this baggage you call a husband. Then we can go and punish the humans for what they've done to us."
"Never," Eighteen spat. "You think you're nothing but a machine. So you go around attacking the humans because you hate them for being alive. You think they're your enemies, so you take them out before they can hurt you."
"What's wrong with that?" Android 18 asked as she struggled to stand up.
"Because you're wrong. You're human." Eighteen, slightly weaker than Android 18, was having a harder time of standing up. She was managing though.
"You can love, you can be loved, you can bear a child. A beautiful child that loves you unconditionally just as you love her."
"Don't be stupid, no one loves us."
"Krillin does."
"He just wants something from you. Or he's afraid of you."
"No, he loves me."
"How can you believe that."
"My heart tells me."
"Your heart," Android 18 laughed. She reached forward and tore off Eighteen's shirt. Android 18 stabbed Eighteen's naked chest with her finger. "There's no heart there. Only a machine made by Dr. Gero."
Eighteen took Android 18's hand and placed it over her heart. "Feel that."
Android 18 held her breath as she felt the steady heartbeat beneath her palm. It was warm. "What is that?" she asked, fascinated.
"My heart. It beats for Krillin and my daughter Marron. They are my love."
Android 18 took her palm away. "They are what make you weak. They're going to hurt you like you've never been hurt."
"They would never hurt me."
"Yes they will. If you love them like you say, they're going to make you hurt more than anyone else ever could."
"How could they do that?"
"They will die."
Eighteen froze.
"They will age when you won't. They will die when you won't. Your love makes you vulnerable and one day they're going to hurt you more than anyone else."
It was true, Eighteen realized. She was immortal, mechanical. Krillin and Marron would grow old and feeble, they would die and she would always be the same. No matter how much love they gave her, one day they would be gone, and she would be all alone.
"That's why you've got to hurt them first," Android 18 whispered to her.
Eighteen shook her head, trying to clear away the cobwebs caused by Android 18's words. No, they may leave her one day, but today, here, now, they were with her. They loved her. She loved them.
"I'll kill Krillin and then your daughter," Android 18 said.
Eighteen tackled Android 18 to the ground. "Like hell you will."
Eighteen, fueled by a need to protect her family and the rage of knowing that she had failed them, even if it had been for a moment, wailed away on her counterpart with a series of hard punches. Any connection the two might have shared was inconsequential when stacked against the love Eighteen felt for her husband and daughter.
Android 18 wasn't going to have any of that. She wrapped her hands around Eighteen's arms and began to drain her energy. Eighteen cried out in pain as Android 18 pushed her counterpart to one side.
Eighteen was saved when an energy blast hit Android 18 from behind, sending her flying into the desert sand. Eighteen looked up and smiled with relief.
Krillin stood some twenty feet away, partially recovered from his own draining. He raised his hand over his hands and created a disc of light.
"Destructo disc!" he shouted and hurled the disc at Android 18.
The evil android laughed and raised her palms out to absorb the energy. The disc split into four smaller discs and attacked her from all sides. Unable to position the energy absorbers in her palms correctly, Android 18 was forced to take the entire brunt of the attack.
She fell to the ground, severely weakened.
"Finish her!" Eighteen screamed.
Krillin took the stance to create another disc.
Android 18 looked up and shrieked. She ran towards Eighteen. Krillin hesitated, not wanting to accidentally hit his wife with his attack. Android 18 smiled and tore off her own shirt.
Krillin almost lost his concentration at the sight, but in a testament to his skills he was able to create another Destructo Disc.
Android 18 leapt onto Eighteen and tried to latch on with her energy absorbers. The short fight sent up a cloud of sand that momentarily blocked Krillin's vision of the two women. When everything had settled the two topless androids were standing apart by a distance of six feet, more than enough room for Krillin to fire the disc.
"Get her Krillin!" Eighteen shouted.
"No! Get her!"
Eighteen blanched. What was Android 18 doing? Then she saw Krillin looking back and forth between the two identical androids, a lost expression plastered on his features. No wonder Android 18 had torn off her shirt, now that the two of them were both topless there was no way to tell them apart. Krillin couldn't attack them both, and he couldn't risk hitting his own wife.
"She's the evil one," Android 18 called.
"No, she is!" Eighteen countered.
"I love you Krillin!"
"Krillin, don't listen to her!"
"Don't listen to her!"
"I'm the one that loves you."
"She's lying she hates you. She hates our daughter. She wants to kill her."
Krillin was looking impassively between the two, as though he were trying to figure out the truth.
"She'll kill our daughter! You can't let her live!"
"Krillin, please! Why don't you recognize me?"
"You've got to kill us both! It's the only way to guarantee Marron will be safe! Just tell her that I loved her!"
Eighteen stared at Android 18. What the hell was she trying to pull? She saw something register in Krillin's eyes.
"No Krillin!" Eighteen shouted. "It's a trick."
Krillin let fly the destructo disc straight at Eighteen.
"Krillin!" Eighteen screamed, falling to her knees. She shut her eyes and waited for the end. It wasn't fair! Krillin, Marron, they'd both be at the mercy of Android 18.
She heard something being sliced and then four explosions.
When Eighteen finally opened her eyes she saw Krillin smiling at her. She turned towards Android 18. The evil duplicate was staring at her arms. Her hands were gone, sliced off at the wrists by the destructo discs.
"Almost identical," Krillin said grimly.
Eighteen got up and ran to her husband. She picked him up and held him in a strong embrace. "How did you know?" she asked.
"I told you before, you look older. I don't know why, but you're aging. She isn't."
She was aging? Eighteen felt the smoothness of her face. She didn't feel any wrinkles, but Krillin wouldn't lie to her. She was aging, just like Krillin, just like Marron. They wouldn't leave her alone. She would grow old with Krillin and then meet him again in the next dimension.
Krillin noticed her crying. "Are you okay honey?"
"I'm fine," she sniffed. Eighteen put Krillin down and wiped away the tears in her eyes.
"So what do we do about your evil twin?" Krillin asked, motioning to the catatonic Android 18.
"Kill her," Eighteen said.
"Are you sure?"
"If we don't she'll go after Marron."
Krillin sighed. "It's a shame to destroy such beauty. But if you say so."
A Kamehameha solved the problem. Where Android 18 once stood there was only a crater.
"Let's go home," Eighteen said, spent. "I want to see my baby."
"Okay," Krillin said as they both began to float.
Eighteen noticed he was staring at her exposed breasts. "Give me your shirt."
Krillin smirked. "Why? I think that look is quite stunning on you."
"Just for that you cook dinner."


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