Ed and Al chased after him as fast as they could, but since Gero had no ki to detect, they soon lost him. The Elrics returned to the other Z-Warriors to decide what to do next. Yamcha was the first to speak. "I don't think I'm going to be much help here. That android stuck his arm straight through my chest." Piccolo shook his head. "There is something you can do. Take Goku home. I know for a fact that Goku is being affected by a heart virus, and that the boy from the future gave him an antidote. In fact, since it's a virus, you should have some to." Yamcha nodded, and took Goku immediately. As Yamcha was flying away, everyone sensed Vegeta approaching. "Where's pretty boy taking Kakarot?" he asked, landing. They explained what had happened so far. "Hmph. Well, then. Let's find this Gero and obliterate him."

They split up into groups of two; Ed and Al, Tien and Chiaotzu, Vegeta and Trunks, Krillin and Gohan. Piccolo searched by himself. He would have searched with Gohan, but wanted the boy to try and give Krillin's confidence a boost. "So, how've things been going, Krillin?" Krillin gave a heavy sigh. "Well, for the last two years, I've been doing nothing but training. I haven't had time for anything else. The last girlfriend I had was Marron, and you know how that turned out." Gohan, not wanting to reopen old wounds, changed the subject. "How much stronger did training make you?" Krillin laughed sardonically. "Well, by human standards, I'm a lot stronger. But you, your dad, Piccolo, and Vegeta have me outclassed." "What about Ed and Al?" Gohan asked this without thinking. Krillin nodded. " Yep, them too. Of course, they aren't Super Saiyans yet, so they aren't as strong as Goku. Or Vegeta." Gohan was confused. "What makes you think Vegeta is a Super Saiyan?" Krillin chuckled. "Well, one thing I'm good at is sensing hidden power. Vegeta has the same kind of power I sense from Goku. He's not as powerful, but he can definitely transform." Suddenly, something caught Krillin's eye. It was Dr. Gero! Gohan saw it too. They flared their energy too alert the others.

They all gathered in front of the door Dr. Gero had gone through. It was large and metallic, obviously a security door, but it wouldn't be a problem for them. Ed moved to knock it down. Krillin tried to stop him. "Wait a minute! We don't know what's on the other side!" Ed nodded. "Right. That's why we should open the door. That's the fastest way to find out!" Ed kicked the door open with a mighty BAM!! The inside was a laboratory, with chambers on one side numbered up to 20. Gero was opening two of the chambers, marked 17 and 18. Immediately, Ed ran forward at full speed, clapped his hands together, and began a transmutation. He managed to transmute the pod marked 17 into a part of the wall, but pod 18 opened. A young woman with blonde hair stepped out. She looked at Dr. Gero, then at Ed, then at the transmuted pod. She gasped. "17! Are you in there? Can you hear me?" in answer, the pod exploded, and out stepped a young black-haired male. This time, it was Ed's turn to gasp. "How are you still functional?! You should have been bonded to the wall! The only way you could have escaped the transmutation was if you were at least partially human, and..." Ed fell silent as he realized that these were not simple androids. They were a combination of man and machine. Just like a chimera. Just like Nina. He turned to Gero. "You monster. You're just like Tucker. You'll pay for this!"

Ed attacked, his heart full of rage and despair. Gero was able to easily dodge the young man's attacks, at least at first. As Ed continued to attack, the rage inside him grew until there was nothing else. He exploded with power, transforming into a Super Saiyan. Gero could only stare at Ed. He hadn't calculated that this could happen, and he didn't have a contingency plan for it. The only thing he could do was stand there as Ed removed his head with a swift kick, and crushed it between his hands. Seventeen laughed. "What do you know. Someone did it for us." Ed didn't hear this. He was still consumed with anger, and had continued destroying Gero's body until there was nothing left. Once the source of his anger was gone, Ed reverted to normal. He fell to his knees, sobbing. Eighteen made a disgusted noise. "So much for that. I was hoping he would attack us so that we could test his strength." Seventeen chuckled. "Leave him be. I'm sure he'll get around to it. In the meantime, we have other guests to keep us busy." He looked at the other Z-Warriors, who were still standing right outside the door. They all assumed defensive positions, except for Al and Riza, who had walked over to Ed and were trying to calm him down. The two androids ignored the three Amestrians, and kept their attention on the others. "Where is Goku? We know he's the strongest, and we want to fight him." Vegeta stepped forward. "You don't need to fight Kakarot! I have also become a Super Saiyan (Krillin whispered an "I told you so" to Gohan)!" Seventeen just grinned. "I don't know what a "Super Saiyan" is, but we were made to fight Goku. Anything else is a distraction. Not that I mind distractions, but you don't seem worth it." Both androids turned and picked up a pod, this one marked 16. "Let's get this open." Vegeta was becoming more furious by the moment. First they insulted him, now they were ignoring him! He let loose a flurry of ki blasts that leveled the laboratory. When the dust cleared, however, neither the androids nor the pod were harmed. Still ignoring him, they opened to pod. An android that was as tall as Piccolo got out. He spoke with a computerized voice. "I am Android 16. I was created with the purpose of killing Goku. Are we going to do that now?" Seventeen shrugged. "Why not. Let's go." The three of them flew away. Vegeta's destruction of the lab may not have had the desired effect, but it did bring Ed out of his trance-like sobbing. "Where are they going?" he asked. Al put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "They're going after Goku. We have to stop them." Ed nodded, and flew after the androids. Vegeta had already gone after them, and by the time the main group had caught up, he was already battling Eighteen. Seventeen flew in front of them. "Don't interfere. If you try, you'll have to deal with me." Ed signaled to Al, who nodded. Al flew straight at Seventeen, who easily dodged, but moved directly into Ed's attack. Ed connected a punch directly to the android's jaw. Seventeen was knocked back a few feet, but when he looked at Ed, he was smiling. "That was pathetic. Surely you can do better than that." Ed wasn't intimidated. He pushed himself into Super Saiyan mode, and struck again. Seventeen blocked. They developed a pattern of strikes, blocks, and parries quickly, but Al attacked again, distracting Seventeen, who got hit again, this time in the gut. Once again, however, he came up with a sarcastic grin. "Still not good enough!" He attacked Al, who went down after two punches. Ed managed to take six before he blacked out.

When Ed came to, Krillin was standing over him. "Oh good. I thought you were dead! Here, eat this Senzu bean." He did, and his wounds disappeared. He sat up and looked for Al, who had already recovered and was sitting on the ground. Ed turned back to Krillin. "Where did the androids go?" Krillin shrugged. "Don't know. once they beat everyone up, they flew off. Didn't even bother attacking me, just told me to give everyone Senzus. We're out of them now, by the way." Ed stood up. "Where's Piccolo? And Vegeta?" "Piccolo went off to Kami's lookout. I think he's going to fuse with Kami." Ed nodded. He had heard the history. "And Vegeta?" Krillin shrugged. "Couldn't say. He was pretty broken up over losing, even as a Super Saiyan. He said something about 'the next level,' whatever that means." Ed knew what it meant. "He means the next level of Super Saiyan." Krillin looked pale. "A new level of Super Saiyan? Is that even possible?" "Logically, it should be. If you think about it, life is all about getting to the next level. Getting better at anything you do. I don't see why there shouldn't be more levels to the Super Saiyan form." Krillin's eyes widened. "Oh, yeah! You turned into a Super Saiyan! Way to go!" Ed grinned. "What got you so mad, though? I heard you mention someone called Tucker?" Ed's grin disappeared. He flew away. Krillin was shocked. He turned to Al. "What's going on?" Al looked at Krillin with a pained expression. "I guess I should tell you. About three years ago, Ed decided to become a state alchemist. In order to do it, he had to study under a state alchemist, then take the exam. He studied under Shou Tucker, the Sewing Life Alchemist. Tucker was famous for making a chimera, a being created by fusing two creatures together, that was capable of human speech. Unknown to most, he used his wife to do it. She died shortly after." Krillin gasped. That was horrible! Al continued. "Tucker had a four year old daughter, Nina. Ed and I grew close to her while we lived there. After Ed passed his test, we found out that Tucker had bombed out at his re-certification, and if he did it again, he would no longer be a state alchemist. We found him in his basement, and he showed us a new chimera, which could speak. I didn't recognize what had happened, but Ed did. He realized that it was Nina. He almost beat Tucker to death that night, and he always carried those memories with him in his heart. He swore he wouldn't let it happen again." Krillin looked down. "He sees those androids like he did Nina?" Al just nodded. "Wow. That would push him, wouldn't it? He feels like he failed. You should go find him." Al nodded again, and flew after Ed. Krillin turned to the others. "Well, that just leaves us. What should we do?" Tien didn't have an answer, neither did Trunks. Riza, however, did. "We should move Goku. Those androids are after him, and he's defenseless." The others nodded in agreement, and they all flew off to Goku's House.

Chapter Four