Cell vs. the Androids (人造人間対セル Jinzōningen Tai Seru, lit. "The Artificial Humans vs. Cell") is the three hundred sixty-ninth chapter in the Dragon Ball manga. The chapter's anime counterpart is the first half of the episode "Up to Piccolo".
On a deserted, far away island from any civilization, the woeful, fearful Piccolo, and the confused, intrigued Android 17 stop their ongoing struggle and look at the odd entity who has just arrived on the island, Cell. Eager and sadistic, Cell looks upon Piccolo and Android 17 as nothing more than petty prey, nothing that can stand even near its own feet. Piccolo, growling at the beast's appearance, regrets not noticing the monster while he was fighting Android 17. Android 17 stops his dazing to ask Piccolo what the creature even is, as he notices Piccolo seems to know who, or what, it is. Piccolo becomes surprised at Android 17's lacking knowledge of Cell, thinking that Cell and the Androids would have been working together.
Cell opens its mouth in great anticipation, and states that this day has been delayed for far too long, but now is the time where it can finally absorb Android 17 and Android 18, and achieve the perfect state of being it has desired since its creation. Cell also notices Android 16, gazing emotionlessly towards Cell. Despite not knowing who Android 16 is, Cell assumes with confidence he must be a lower, and weaker model than the others, and weak enough to safely ignore. As Cell descends from the higher rocky formation of the island, he begins to charge his ki, to prepare to swiftly take care of Piccolo and easily absorb the androids without any hassle. Piccolo notices how much Cell's ki has rose sharply since their last battle, meaning Cell must have absorbed many more victims while Piccolo and the other Z Fighters were searching for him with no luck. Cell manages to completely decimate the entire rocky mountain area of the island just by charging, leaving Piccolo now no choice, but to attack. However, Piccolo stops all effort, and stands frightful and stiff, as Cell just walks past the astounded Namekian, and proceeds to absorb Android 17 first. Before Cell can proceed with an attack, Piccolo demands to know how many victims Cell has just absorbed. Cell chuckles, and states to they are not victims, but part of something greater, something worthwhile, and something much more amazing than anything they will ever achieve in their lifetimes.
Back at Kame House, Krillin, Roshi, Chi-Chi and Tien Shinhan wait anxiously for a result from Piccolo, Cell, and the Androids confrontation. As Tien feels no hope whatsoever now that Cell has increased in power, Roshi states it will take about 20 minutes for Bulma to arrive with the emergency turn-off switch for Android 17 and Android 18, but Krillin realizes he can just fly to Bulma, and it will only take about a minute or two. As Krillin speeds off, Tien watches in awe as Krillin now has something to do to help the cause. Tien now decides he needs to assist Piccolo, no matter how much stronger the Androids may be. Despite Roshi's persuasions and demands to stay, Tien flies off towards the island, and prepares to assist Piccolo in the deadly battle. Angry he cannot assist in the slightest, Roshi becomes amazed there were even days where he was considered the strongest on Earth.
Back on the island, Cell, and Android 17 look at each other, with Cell feeling excitement, while 17 feels annoyance. Android 17 demands that Cell leaves immediately so that he can get back to his fun battle with Piccolo, but Cell stands silent, preparing its strategy. Piccolo realizes Cell is preparing an absorption, and begs for Android 17 to run immediately. Android 17 now notices Cell's tail rising too, and prepares to dodge any attack thrown at him. Cell now uses its tail in a swift and deadly swipe, slightly missing Android 17. As Android 17 continues to quickly dodge Cell's attacks, Cell grabs 17 by his right arm, and throws him into the ground, creating a large dust pile and crack in the island. As Cell grins, Piccolo just in time manages to directly kick Cell on the side of its head, knocking him away from 17. As 17 recovers and lifts himself up, he asks Piccolo why the creature needs to absorb him. Piccolo begins to explain simply and shortly that Cell is a creature that started creation by Dr. Gero himself, but was left to Gero's Supercomputer once Gero realized a human mind, and the little time he had, was not enough to finish the revolutionary project. Cell carries on Piccolo's explanation and persuades Android 17 that the power unlocked from the absorption will be beyond comparison, and the ultimate super-being will be decided and created. Despite Cell's attempts, Android 17 refuses to even be associated with Cell, and once again orders him to get lost or he will suffer from Android 17's lack of compassion. Calling Android 17 powerful, but not intellectual, states it was never a choice, and that the absorption will carry on with or without Android 17's permission. Android 17 interrupts to state Cell will not stand the slightest chance, however, finally speaking, Android 16 orders Android 17 to stand down, and move away from Cell as far as he can, telling Android 17 Cell is far beyond both him and Piccolo. Now surprised Android 16 is actually speaking, Android 17 is disappointed that the first thing he speaks about is cowardice. Ignoring Android 16's plea, Android 17 rushes towards Cell with great contempt. Without any effort, Cell elbows the confident Android 17 into the ground, and Piccolo rushes into the scene in absolute fear, worrying Cell will achieve a much more powerful state, where nothing can even try to stop him for conquering the world, and eventually, destroying the entire universe.