DO NOT OWN DBZ....and thank god for my Rolling Stone cd, which got me through this chapter and got the dubious honor of being linked to the chapter title..if it is any good, write Mick Jagger..his singing inspired me in every scene of this story...." look at me, I'm in tatters..I've been shattered..."


Does It Matter When You're Shattered


Bulma had wanted to pilot her own airplane, fly her own bird so to speak, but Trunks had demanded on taking flight himself, insisting it would be quicker, safer and more efficient in the end. 'Hey..I don't take fuel, mom, all you have to do is feed me...' The quick, easy grin he had shot her, the lightening of his mood for that briefest of seconds was enough to sway her. So here she was clinging to him as he flew hellbent for leather towards the Northern Canyons. Rationally she knew she was safe with him, but somehow the only person she felt utterly secure flying with was Vegeta and he went much faster then this all the time. She wasn't sure there was any such thing as a leisurely pace in Vegeta's world, but then everything about the man was just...intense. She attempted to relax and enjoy the feel of the wind whipping around her, glad now she had thought to dress warmer for the cool mountain air. She would have frozen in mere minutes with her shorts. Her mind trailed back to the unlikely reunion she had left behind at Capsule Corporation. What were the odds that all three presumed dead men would turn up there? Not that she wasn't ecstatic to see any of them. She loved them all, they had been her family for so long she had lost count, and their deaths had been a life altering event to her. Most especially since all she could do was hide and watch the battle as it had unfolded, too paralyzed with fear to even hand out a senzu. Watching the best and the brightest that Chikyuu had to offer in defense, perish. At least she had been able to help Gohan and Vegeta, though Vegeta had hated her for days after that, seemingly resentful she had not allowed him to perish a warrior's death. He still resented her, but she would not change what she had done for the world or for him. She loved him, to allow him a death such as that was not something she would even contemplate and if her inability to have him in her life the way she needed was the price she paid for that selfish decision, the selfishness of seeing him live, then she guessed she was going to accept it. Maybe someday, he would come to understand the choice she had made and why she had chosen the route she had.

"There they are.." Trunk's voice cut into her melancholy reverie, thankfully. She didn't want to go down that road again right now. It was still too fresh, too achingly bitter. She swallowed painfully and followed Trunks's line of vision, seeing the hulking, jagged mass of rock that spiked through the wisps of clouds, the ugly roughness of the jutting rock a sharp contrast to the ethereal beauty and softness of the ivory clouds.

Trunks had spotted the aperture in the rock that he was searching for. A black, gaping cavity that made Trunks think of a mouth. The wide, monstrous mouth of the mountain, a living, breathing entity, intent upon luring it's prey in and swallowing it whole. Sending it cascading to the neverending mazes of the inner caverns, a place of no escape. He shuddered at the thought, seized abruptly with a deep feeling of unease. He shouldn't have brought her here, regretting the impulse that had led him to suggest it as a fitting replacement to their current hide out, yet they were here. Perhaps he was just being foolish. Too much time spent fighting monsters and shadows, of worrying about his mother who was alone in a time filled with evil and chaos and no hope. It was affecting his mind. He set down next to the huge black entrance, releasing his other mother, his past mother, carefully.

Bulma looked around her, hugging herself, chilled from the cool mountain air. Even with the light jacket she had chosen to wore it was still freezing. She stared into the cavernous opening warily, glancing over at Trunks. The air seemed so heavy..maybe it was just the thinner air cutting off the oxygen to her brain. Yes, that had to be it. Not only was it harder to breath, but it was toying with her mind, encouraging her to feel things she wouldn't have normally felt. "This place is awfully forbidding, Trunks..." Now why had she said that? She had wanted to suggest they enter, that they look around, but instead that had come out.

"I know, I was just thinking that myself...maybe we should go back."He spoke hesitatingly, looking at her solemnly, ready to take flight if she so wished it. She thought about it, thought long and hard. The overwhelmingly sinister aura about this place was enough to send anyone running, but she strengthened her resolve. No, they had to do this. They needed a new shelter and if they could overcome their fear,this place might suit their needs.

"Come on.We're just being silly." She grasped in her jacket pocket, feeling around for her small case of survival capsules, feeling it and yanking it from her pocket. She opened the case and surveyed her inventory, finally settling on two. Clicking them each once, she let them fall on the ground and watched as two electric lanterns appeared. "Here.." She bent and picked them up, handing one to Trunks and keeping the other for herself. "Just use the knob on the base to turn them on."

He did so and paused. Finally starting into the mouth of the cave slowly, cautiously, feeling his mother close behind him. The lanterns put out strong beams, illuminating the darkness in an eerie,incandescent light. Bulma instintively moved closer to her son. Kami it was spooky in here. She tried to picture the place lit up with lights and bustling with activity, but the only thing her mind could really conjur up were monsters and dark, evil creatures that never saw the light of day. The chill that had first settled over her, deepened, entering her bones with an unshakeable force, leaving her permanently icy and unable to shake the giant goosebump that seemed to have become her body. They moved deeper into the mountain, neither speaking, though Bulma would have paid money to be able to start up a conversation.Anything to lessen the unnatural silence that surrounded them. The very incongruity their voices would be in the vast, resounding silence, kept them both quiet, neither wishing to disturb the eerie peace that seemed to envelope the place.

"Well," He whispered after a time," what do you think. I know it seems impossible now, but once we get the generators in here and light up the place..some heat..for the group of people we have it would work."

He was hoping she would say no. He hated this place, in fact he would go as far as to bet, that no amount of lighting and heat would ever make it hospitable.

"I think it would be alright. It seems spooky to us now, but I bet in time we could warm this place right up, at least enough to be passable." She shuddered again, a motion he didn't miss.

"Are you sure, because honestly, I am just not getting the feeling.."

"Oh, Come now. I think the place has a lot to offer you as a home. You only need to decorate....a woman's touch. That's exactly what it needs." The laughing, silky voice, rose the hackles on Bulma's neck. Trunks whirled around, thrusting his light forward. Illuminating the cold void of Juuanagou's face, behind him a flash of his sister's, their eyes glowing an almost red in the muted light. He smiled. A smile filled with malevolence and a chilling wicked promise. "You know sis, I think they are surprised.."The smile widened.

Trunks handed his lantern to his mother,his eyes never leaving Juuanagou's face. Reaching behind him, he silently slid the long, double-edged sword that hung on his back, out of it's scabbard. "You've picked the wrong fight.." His mouth compressed into a thin line.

"Oh, you misunderstand us boy. We aren't hear to fight, only to issue an invitation to Dr. Gero's. He would like very much to meet you both."

"What if we aren't in the mood to be entertained to day?" Trunks's breath came in short,silent bursts, his body filling with the dreadful knowledge that he couldn't defend her against these two. The best he could do was give her time to get away and even that was risky and prone to failure. He clenched his teeth in impotent fury. How had this happened? He hadn't even sensed them, and worse then that he had let his father down. The man might be a cold hearted bastard, but he knew how to take care of his own..and Trunks had just handed Gero, Vegeta's very own mate.If he got away from this alive, Vegeta was sure to kill him, and it was no less then he deserved. Kami, how could he have been this reckless? "Get back mom." He hissed under his breath.Well he would die trying to save her, there was no question of that. He lowered himself, sword drawn back, prepared for the inevitable.

"Well, Doctor Gero is fairly insistent with his invitations. I mean if it was up to us, well we would just be done with you and go about our way, but he wants to meet you both very much, especially this lovely woman." He motioned broadly to to Bulma who stood , silently, squished into a far corner. Juuanagou's voice, all silk and edge washed over her like cool water,..smooth and illusion, Bulma..nothing more then an illusion..deceptive... he hides the killer in him so well..She scooted further back into the corner, wishing she were invisible. Still she couldn't let her future son handle this all by himself. Now is the time Bulma, now. It would be better to die here fighting rather then let Gero get his hands on you. She took a light, guarded step forward. What in the hell was she supposed to do now? She couldn't best them in strength, she had no weapons with her. Vegeta....couldn't he feel her through this bond of theirs? It had to be good for something besides misery and sadness. She shut her eyes, opening herself as much as she could,attempting to project herself as much as possible. The same way she did whenever they made love, imagining her emotions, her soul, everything she was, pouring from her and into him, filling him as if he was a cup with everything she was and everything she felt. If this worked he would know, if he was receptive, he would realize and if he cared he would come. She just hoped it wouldn't be too late.


Vegeta was almost back to Capsule Corporation, attempting to figure out why he was reading the ki's of so many people that had died at the place. Krillin? The three-eyed goon? His eyes widened as he read the idiot's ki. Yamcha, the man his woman had given herself to. Shit, he was there and probably already attempting to reunite with her. What the hell was going on? He sped up, determined to reach the Corp and his woman before she gave herself up to the weakling fool again.

He nearly fell from the sky as his body was suddenly assaulted with an overpowering emotional onslaught. That damn woman.What in the hell was she trying to do to him, kill him? He was about to push it all away,throw it back in her face,when it dawned on him there was something serious at the core of this. Something he could very definitely feel, fear. A terrible cold dread and she was deliberately projecting it to him. He scanned the corporation for her ki, a terrible, gnawing fear filling him as he realized hers was not among the ones present and neither was his future sons. Dammit, what trouble had those two found? He managed to send something back to her, some small sign that he had felt and undertood what she was doing. He felt again for their ki's, feeling them both faintly miles away..How in the hell was he going to be able to reach them before anything bad happened to them. He cursed her again, with every known expletive in his vocabulary, that she could make him feel fear and feel it on a level he hadn't even felt it on with Frieza. Damn her....damn her..He rocketed forward traveling as fast he could, hoping that he could reach them before something happened to her.He was going to have to save her so he could kill her himself, slowly. He would torture her first, make sure she felt every ounce of what she was making him feel now. No. He would beat her for leaving the safety of her shelter without him. He cursed again, knowing he would do none of it. That fear she had projected to him, it had been deep and terror filled.Whatever it was was bad and his son couldn't take care of it on his own. Damn, weak fool. That left him with only one chilling thought, the artificial humans.Why had he ever let her out of his sight this morning. When in the hell was he just going to admit it to himself, that nothing he did was ever going to expunge her from his system and that he was with her and in love with her for better or worse, no matter how incongruous that was with his Saiyajin blood. Somehow he had gotten some tainted blood somewhere, from some small offshooting branch of his genetic pool and it gave him the ability to connect to a woman that was probably going to get him killed. He didn't know the hows or why fors of it, but he realized it was pointless to continue the battle at least for now..He kept their connection open, letting her feel his growing panic that he wasn't go to be in time, that she would be dead and to his utter dismay she did nothing to change that impression. Confirming for him what he had already figured out. It was serious..


Bulma opened her eyes slowly, elated that she had managed to contact him, and that he had felt her. He was coming,now if only they could stall these two for the amount of time he would need to get here. An apalling thought struck her..what had she just led him into. She hadn't even given thought to the idea that he was unable to defeat the artificial humans as well. She had allowed her fear and trepidation to reign supreme over any logical thought. Even together he and Trunks couldn't defeat these two. She cursed herself for her stupidity. If he came now, he would be killed. and she wasn't sure what was worse, being in Gero's control or living with the knowledge that she had led Vegeta to his death. Kami, what a choice that was. She looked up at the twosome with wide blue eyes, her eyes darting to her son, who stood poised and ready to defend them. This was hopeless.."Trunks..Trunks.." she spoke his name quietly, hoping to cut into the cloud of fury and hatred that seemed to surround him now. She watched as his head inclined ever so slightly back towards her.."Maybe we should just go with them, Trunks, you know live to fight another day. "

"Are you crazy? Do you really want Gero to get his hands on you?" Trunks could hardly believe his ears.

"No, not particularly, but you can't beat them, son, and I certainly can't, at least not right now, so we need to think of something else." Her voive had taken an unnatural air of calm to it. The only indication of her fear was the subtle shaking that she seemed unable to stop from rolling through her body.

"I'll die defending you, mother."

"I know that son, but then I will be left alive and alone to face Gero, I'd rather do this together then alone. There's a chance that your father could rescue us, before anything bad happened."

"How in the hell would he even know where we were, let alone that he would care." Trunks couldn't believe she would even consider his father, but yet he had been there for her last night hadn't he. That in itself was telling and spoke volumes about a realtionship he could not even begin to understand.

"He'll know..don't worry and he'll care." The way she said that,so confident, so sure of herself. Somehow she had a way to let him know, but what, how? He risked a glance back at her, and she smiled tremulously. She hoped Vegeta could comprehend the sacrifice she was making for him, the trust she was putting in him, that he would be able to get to them, their son, the one person she should be protecting above all others, before Gero could do anything vile to them. It was a huge choice to make, but in the end wasn't it the only one she could make. She couldn't let Vegeta fly here to his own death, she couldn't even comprehend that course of action.She nodded slowly towards Trunks, encouraging him to accept the invitation. He turned back to the two artificial humans, his lips curled into a sneer..

"I guess it's your lucky day today. "He slowly slid his sword back into the scabbard, trying not to wince as Juuanagou and Juhachigou advanced on him, standing his ground, determined to at least not make it easy for them to take him..never feeling the blow that knocked him into a dreamless abyss.

Bulma cried out as Juunagou swiped down against Trunks's neck, knocking him out, with one devestating blow,so quickly she had never seen it coming. She looked up, eyes wide and brimming with a potent mixture of fear and hatred. She had to find a way out of all of this for them, find a way to get Trunks out of this. She backed up as far as she could as the menacing, blond girl walked slowly towards her.

"Don't worry," Her flat, toneless voice seeped into Bulma's brain, infusing it with an even greater sense of cold dread. "It won't hurt too much." The hand descended again, faster then Bulma could follow, and she joined her son in the cold comfort of an empty sleep.


Vegeta was almost upon them, he could feel the ki's nearby, in the mountains. He had already made his turn northward, keeping a tangible connection to Bulma open, feeling her out for any signs of further distress,or pain. He stopped suddenly in shock as the connection was broken between them abruptly and unexpectedly, every sense of her was gone, even her ki was gone. No it wasn't gone, it was weak and low, but she was still alive. Whatever had just happened hadn't killed her. He felt out the boy's ki and sensed the same thing. Perhaps they were unconcious. He would have to follow their ki's now, and that was going to be difficult considering they were still miles away from him. Fuck..what in the hell had those two gotten themselves into?He tried to keep the cold finger of fear at bay, trying to concentrate on their ki's and on following them, but it kept creeping back into his mind, insidiously, unrelenting in its determination to see him bow down before it. What if he couldn't get to her in time, what if something happened to her. He had spent so much time denying what he felt, what she meant that he had given no thought to what he would do if something had happened to her. He felt his insides turning into tight knots at the thought that he would be denied the chance to look upon that face again, to touch her or h ear her voice. No, never. He was the Prince of the mighty Saiyajin race, he would not allow this fear to run rampant through his mind and he would not allow his mate and his son to be taken. If this was Gero that had taken them, he would feel the wrath of Prince Vegeta and he would live to regret the day he had disturbed the House of Vegeta. He might not be on Vegitasei anymore, but he and the two that had been dumb enough to get themselves captured were all that remained of his heritage. Trunks by blood, Bulma by invitation. His mate and child. No Gero had played the game with the wrong person and he would come to regret having started it at all. He smiled grimly. Yes, he would take great enjoyment in making him see the error of his ways.


It was dimly lit. That was the first thing she noticed as she came back to conciousness, the lack of light. She was on something hard, something metal. It's odd angles and hard surface pushed against her skin painfully,urging her to shift her body. She managed to pull herself up to survey her surroundings. Kami, where was Trunks. She looked around her frantically, looking everywhere. He was not here. On, no. What did that mean. This was obviously his prisoner section. Cubicle after cubicle, seperated only by cold metal bars, filled the room. It was possible to look from her position and see the entrance door, and it was enough to tell her that her son was not in this place with her. What had they done to him. She stood and surveyed the small area she'd been dumped in. A metal cot and a toilet. Gero had to be kidding. She looked back up at the sound of the elevator shifting into life, the number display flashing as it moved slowly towards her.Someone was coming. Should she pretend to still be unconcious? What if it were Trunks, what if he was hurt or worse?She shut her eyes against that impossibility. No she still needed to get him back to his home, back to his mother. In the end she stood her ground and waited, with as much courage as she could muster, for whatever was about to show itself.

Trunks sat clamped into the chair, his arms fastened down by thick metal shackles, his body drugged with something he could not fight. Whatever it was it made him weak and listless. All he could do was sit there as Gero poked and prodded him, helpless to defend himself. He cursed himself again for his stupidity. All of this was his fault. He had not considered the dangers of bringing Bulma out and how stupid had that been. He knew what these things could do, had seen it,lived it first hand since he could remember, yet he had been arrogant enough to dismiss them as a threat when they had left that morning. Now here he sat in the clutches of Gero, a monster by any standards, having Kami knew what done to him. He could barely stutter out a word againist this drug he'd been given. He swallowed hard, trying to overcome the fear that was living within him right now, it would only get him killed, render him even more helpless then he was right now. His father would be fighting right now, not cowering, and neither would he, even if he was a silent, willing victim for Gero's experiments. He followed Gero's every move with his eyes, never once allowing them to disengage from the older man's face. He was startled when Gero smiled at him and spoke, never once stopping his activities. He sat beside Trunks, inserting a needle, drawing blood..

"I suppose you are wondering what I have planned for you. I can see the look in your eyes. " He smiled again, an attempt at being charming, but he only really succeded at confirming to Trunks his mental insanity. The almost dreamy look on his face was more frightening to Trunks then any promise of violence and beatings from a hundred artificial humans.That there was a living, thinking brain behind the mindless look of insanity, capable of reasoning, logic and intelligent thought..he shuddered..not wanting to consider what was going on in there.

"Don't worry. Nothing too painful right now. I only want to study your blood, see what it is made of. See what use you'd be to me. You have nothing to fear, at least not yet.." He trailed off into a mocking laughter, collecting himself after a brief moment.."You know, Trunks, I can make your life endless..if you please me."

Piercing blue eyes watched as Gero reached for a small metal pin,no bigger then a needle, and a scalpel, the eyes knitting in confusion, then flaring wide in shock as the scalpel slashed down across his arm,opening a deep cut up. He swallowed hard, and looked away, unable to hide from the welling panic that was flooding him.

"Don't worry, Trunks, I only want to ensure that I don't lose you." He placed the pin into the cut, using a bonding gel to reseal the wound. "That should be as good as knew Trunks. Only a small scar. Insignificant in the big picture. "

Trunks looked at the wound in mute disbelief, had they done to this to his mother? Where was she? He had not seen her since the cave. He noticed with some shame, fine tremors racking his body. No. He would not fall apart now. He looked back up at Gero, anger and confusion mixing together in his eyes, frustration at not being able to speak his mind.

" truly are your father's boy. So defiant, even in the eyes of defeat. I will enjoy you I think. A challenge to be sure and I certainly love challenges. I expect your mother shall be no less stimulating. She's on her way now if you are wondering. I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to converse with the brilliant Ms. Briefs.There's so much I could learn from her." Trunks didn't miss the glint that lit Gero's narrow eyes. Kami, his mother. What was he supposed to do? He looked away in disgust at inability to move, to speak,to do anything but sit and listen to Gero speak as if he was over for a friendly visit. Damn him. Gero's chuckle filled the room. "So kills you that you can't help her doesn't it?" He smiled coldly, meeting Trunks's eyes for a moment, neither willing to break the contact, Gero glancing away only upon Juuanagou' s entrance. Smiling indulgently at him as if he were a pampered, spoiled child.

"Dr. Gero, we've brought the woman up as you requested. " His voice set Trunks on edge, giving him the strong urge to smash his fist into the demon's mouth, anything to shut it up, but he couldn't. He could only sit there in frustrated silence as his life and the life of his mother were played with and manipulated as if they were mere toys for Gere. His mother was certain Vegeta would come? Was she right and how would he find them? Should Trunks raise his ki? He watched once as Gero stuck him with a needle, injecting an amber colored liquid into his vein. What was this?He looked up at Gero, eyes knitted once again with the frustration he felt at the inability to at least speak a word, any word that would get his point across.

"Don't be bothered Trunks. Just some more assurances in keeping you here safe and sound. Your lack of strength and your inability to is merely a side effect of this drug. A ppotent mixture of my own invention. It would kill a human, but you Saiyajins are much tougher then that aren't you? " He smiled, motioning Juuanagou forward. "Take him back to his cell,until I call for him again. I have something special planned for our young guest."

No, he wanted to see his mother,make sure she was alright. They couldn't take him away, she couldn't be alone with Gero. No.He wanted to scream the words,to strike Gero dead. His muscles were growing heavier with each breath. His mouth fell open, the words were trying to burst forth, why wouldn't they come....He shot Gero a murderous glance, nothing else left in his arsenal but the power in his eyes and the promise of a reckoning. Juuanagou yanked him up, dragging his unwilling body along to the elevators.

"Come on now. Don't be difficult. I'd hate to have to kill you.." Juuanagou smirked icily at him, his sister merely liftiing an eyebrow in apparent boredom.

"Why do we always get stuck with the dull jobs? I'd rather be out there destroying cities.." The way she said it, so unemotional.Her voice vapid, as if it all really just bored her,the taking of human lives and the mass hysteria that went with that. It sent a chill through Trunks.How could anything be so cold hearted.

Trunks felt himself being hauled out of the room, unable to stop them or even yell at to his mother who had to be in the next room.No..he wanted to see her, to see if she was alright. Juuanagou tossed him into the elevator, allowing his body to hit the back of the cold metal, hard.

"Quit being so difficult boy. I'd hate to have to hurt you." Juuanagou smirked coldly at him, leaving little doubt that he would be more then happy to deal Trunks a killing blow. Trunks could do nothing but glare at him, promising himself that when and if he ever got out of this, he would personally blow this piece of metal straight to Hell himself.


Vegeta had lost their signals completely. He could sense nothing. Trunks, whose ki should have been a beacon, was gone completely, as if it had been wiped from existence and Bulma's, whose ki had barely registerd on the map at all, was so faint he could not even feel it. He hovered in mid air, shocked and upset at this turn of events. How could he have lost them so completely? He lowered himself, setting himself down on the nearest mountaintop, staring straight ahead, seeing nothing, but listening intently, seaarching for the ki's that would guide him to their location. Why couldn't he feel them?Trunks? Was Trunks dead? He could barely form the thought. His son, his blood..wiped out by Gero? No..something else had to have happened. Gero must have some way to mask ki. He would not even contemplate that either Trunks or Bulma were dead. The bond..why had he not thought of that? Gero would have no way of knowing it existed between them.He reached out a bit, attempting to project his thoughts and feelings to her, to see what kind of shape she might be in. He drew back in surprise as he felt nothing. Nothing, why was he not getting anything? She was alive, he could feel her ki, though just barely. Was she clinging to her life? Woman..he growled mentally, answer me now..willing her hear him. He tried to send her impatience and anger, to see if that motivated her. Still nothing, wait..there was something..something she was.. supressing..distress..a deep, wrenching distress. His fists clenched in fury.What in the fuck was that bastard doing to her? He looked up into the sky, attempting to keep the violent force of his rage away from her. The last thing he needed to do was add to her emotional distress.He needed her to stay calm and together, something he was having a hard time doing as her distress turned into obvious terror and shock, the bond fading away as something traumatic happened to her..."NO!" He screamed the single word out. He would not lose her now. He would not lose his son and he would not lose everything he had built on this miserable planet. He had been a fool, to turn her away. A fool to not realize he couldn't fight what ran through his blood and she did. She ran through him like liquid fire, hot and molten in its sheer intensity. To be here now, completely unable to help her...he growled in absolute fury..unmindful that it rose and changed in pitch to a scream of primal raging proportions.

"NO..BULMA!!" In his outrage and wounded anger he lost control of himself, the shift to Supersaiyajin unnoticed as he roared his indignity to the heavens. He looked forward again, bringing himself under a barely leashed control. He would save the fury for Gero. He would continue to stand here and barrage her with himself until she opened herself up and gave him a clue as to where she was. She could try to hide from him all she wanted but she would not be successful for long. He had years of practice controlling his mental abilities, she had mere months. He would break through eventually, it was only a matter of time.


Bulma sat frozen in her chair, still shocked from what Gero had just done to her. She glanced down at the gaping wound on her arm that he was now sticking something into. Kami, when she had first seen that scalpel, she had freaked out, actually thinking he meant to use it on her in a much more deadlier, perverse way. Everyone in the scientific community had heard of Gero's inclination to experiment on human being's. Something that was very much taboo in the world they lived in. What was worse was the feeling of Vegeta, angry and impatient trying to get to her, to figure something out. She had kept him out by sheer force of will, not wanting to tip off Gero that they had that connection.She would keep that for the privacy of her cell. He was still there, too, just sitting there on the fringes of her mind waiting for his chance. She'd been forced to keep the steel wall up and around her emotions tightly. She watched Gero bond the wound together curiously, wondering what he was up to.

"What did you do to me?"It had been a metal pin of some kind. She'd seen that much, but what did it do?

Gero smiled affectionaltely at her. "I admire you. Even now, in the face of such obvious danger the scientist in you is curious, almost rabidly so to know what I am capable of and what technology I might have."

"Well, when you're sticking it in my arm I have some concerns. So what is it?"

He regarded her for a moment, as if weighing the consequences of telling her what he had just done.

"Alright. I don't suppose there's anything you can do. I will know if you find a way to cut it out and I will be very angry if you attempt to do mind yourself. You'll be a very sorry girl if you don't." He chuckled at her.."Clever as you may be, you can't challenge my superior intelligence.."

"You never said what was in my arm?" She supressed the desire to roll her eyes at his pompous attitude. It was to her advantage that he thought her less intelligent then himself. She would do well to promote that belief.

"A small transmitter. It will allow me to find you no matter where you are. The latest in new technology. You can appreciate that now can't you my dear." He sat down beside her and smiled, placing his hand gently over own. She was forced to tolerate the touch, repulsive though it was, considering he had her shackled to the damn chair. She clenched her other fist, forcing herself to sit quietly no matter how intolerable his touch was. She swallowed back angry words, knowing full well that he would not hesitate to do something horrific to her if she didn't comply as he thought she should. Bide your time..there has to be a way out of all this.

"What do you want me for?" She watched his face,studying it for any clue as to his motives.She wasn't entirely certain he would tell her the truth anyway.

"My dear Ms. Briefs.." He paused, his cold hand sliding up her arm.."May I call you Bulma?"

"Do you really need my permission. I kind of thought you did whatever you wanted." She tried to fight back the urge to throw up. His touch was repulsive and cold and to be forced to sit and endure it was more then she could bear. She swallowed, feeling the first tiny slip of her control. She couldn't allow Vegeta this access right now. If Gero even suspected they had this kind of connection he would do something horrible to Vegeta. Vegeta..not now..just a little longer..please.

"Too true, but I would not want to overstep my bounds with you." His hand moved up to caress her cheek. She turned her head away, but he grabbed her chin forcing her to look at him, his grip tight and painful. "Is that anyway to behave? I could have killed you the moment I found out where you were going this morning. The twins are always willing to end a life." He smiled cruelly at her, enjoying her obvious discomfort. His hand refused to let her chin go.His fingers bit into the side of her mouth painfully, obliging her to stay put, so she stared back at him, defiantly, hatefully, hoping she was projecting everything she felt clearly.

"You are a defiant one.I see why Vegeta picked you. You have spirit and beauty. A powerful mixture and one that Vegeta would have been unable to turn away from, with his equally spirited heritage. I wonder if he's looking for you right now? I hope so. What a capture that would wild and untamed. I would love the opportunity to study him. His pure Saiyajin blood could be the keys to destroying Goku."

"He won't be looking for me." She bluffed, hoping he bought it.His thoughts on Vegeta had frightened her. she could not allow this madman to capture him."He could care less what happens to me."

Gero laughed heartily, as if she were a small child that had said something cute and amusing. "Do you really believe that or do you just want to convince me of that?" He laughed some more. "My dear, I am not the fool you think I am. I am well aware of Vegeta's attachment to you and the fact that he fights it. Those feelings are taboo to the Saiyajin race are they not?I'm afraid I have little knowledge with their ways, but I do know pride.Your failure is in comprehending the male mind, most especially the mind of a prideful warrior..he will come because you are his and for another man to trifle with that is unthinkable. His pride would demand nothing less then for him to show up here and take you back."

"Vegeta's pride revolves only around his fighting. Believe me, he has no true feeling for me, except perhaps ones of lust."

"Aah, yes..Lust is a powerful motivator, and he is a passionate man. One need only observe his fighting to know that and I can certainly understand his desires where you are concerned. You are a beautiful woman."His hand caressed her arm lightly again. " Any man would appreciate that." His tone was suggestive.

Bulma's control slipped some more. The urge to yell and scream for Vegeta nearly overwhelmed her. She felt him back, pounding on her mind full force, bullying her, noticing the slipping structure and hammering on it with his own strong will. She swallowed with difficulty, fighting the desire to let him in completely..

"Have you given any thought the future? To your future or more to the point to your future with me in control of this planet?"

"No. Not particularly.I don't recognize you as leader of this planet."

"The time is coming when you will be forced to. Come now, you are a brilliant woman. You have a mind to rival my own. Think of what we could create and I. Something infinetely more superior then anything you could achieve with Vegeta.Think of the genius that could be born from us!" He looked at her with such sincerity. Bulma was sure her mouth must have fallen open.She felt the carefully constructed wall crumble completely, opening her mind for Vegeta to feel and he was there, triumphant and arrogant, searching her for anything he could use. She wasn't certain he would get much. Her mind was too dumbfounded and horror filled at what she thought Gero might be suggesting. Almost unconciously, she clung to Vegeta's presence in her mind, using him as a buffer from the dawning realization that she was in the hands of a complete lunatic who had some very devious plans for her and her loved ones. She struggled for the right words to speak, not sure how to respond to his proclamation of their greatness.

"I..I..don't know what to say.You want us to.."She couldn't form the words.The whole idea of reproducing with Gero or even willingly working with him in some sick, twisted way was too much. Kami, what was she going to do.

"Our child would be just the start of what we could achieve. There is nothing we could not do if you would only join me." He smiled at her, a smile full of certainty. He seemed confident she would agree to this.What could possibly motivate her to let actually contemplate..she shuddered, thinking she might really throw up now.

"There is no way in hell I will ever willingly work for you." She'd managed to spit that out alright. "As for a child. I have a child and that is with Vegeta. He is the only man I will be having any children with and their is nothing inferior about him or his blood. He is a Prince after all. So don't even think about it."

"I have ways of changing your mind." He didn't seem surprised by her adamant refusal, almost pleased actually." I'm sure we can find some way of changing your mind." He stood and walked over to a machine the size of a small box, with various wires protruding from each end. "This is my latest creation..and it has been tested very thoroughly, might I add. I think a few hours with it will persuade you to do a great many things you think yourself incapable of doing."

She fought back the tidal rush of fear his words invoked forth, shivering unconciously, she looked at the machine. What could it possibly be?

"What does it do?"

"Oh, why don't we leave that as a small surprise for you. Suffice to say, it will break your mind completely,leaving nothing but an empty, hollow shell ready to be filled. I would hate to see that happen to you, but I can certainly arrange for it if neccesary. After that,all these things you find so important. Vegeta, Trunks, Goku..will be meaningless to you."

"I don't believe that. Nothing could make me forget Vegeta." She spat out the words, terrified beyond words at what he was saying. Kami, he could take her mind from her and she wouldn't be able to stop him. She tried to contain the fear, tried to calm her shallow breathing, but still the whole thought of what he was suggesting...

"Oh, I think you will be the one who is in for surprise Ms.Briefs. This machine is quite effective. It has already been put through the ultimate test and not let me down yet." He smiled, reflectively. "My twins..Juuanagou and Juuhachigou..they weren't always the way you see them. They were orphans, looking for a home. Quite desperate for one actually. They would have gone with anyone for companionship and care. It broke their minds in mere hours,allowing me to fill their heads with everything I wanted them to know, everything I wanted them to feel. I created them. Their minds and their bodies.Modifying, perfecting, molding.They will live forever thanks to me. " His eyes had filled with the glowing pride of his achievement, frightening Bulma with its almost fanatical gleam. He moved closer to her, maneuvering so that his face was mere inches away.."You could have all of that. Eternal life, the perfect body and mind. There would be nothing to stop you..don't be foolish.I will have you one way or the other." He was so close she could feel the whispering trace of his breath on her face. She gulped hard, trying to find a way to stall him.

"Could I think on it? A day or two maybe? This is all so much to take in.." She trailed off, trying to appear appropriately confused, hoping he would believe her legitimately torn by his offer.

"Of course. I will give you until tomorrow morning. Tonight I start on Trunks.." He smled at the look of stunned incomprehension on her face. "He too will be the ultimate killer. Far more superior to the other two models. I will start on his brain first, then we will make the appropriate changes to his physical structure."

"No.." She cried.."Please, you can't do that to him.." Kami,what was she supposed to do now. She could feel Vegeta. Feel his rage and helplessness as he could come no closer to finding her. My father would have an idea of where to look.. It was a stray thought and one she wasn't sure he would pick up on. She had no idea where Gero had brought them, all she knew was that it was awful and cold and filled with every imaginable horror one could conjur up and she was pretty sure she was doing a pretty poor job of hiding that from Vegeta.

"My dear I cannot pass up the opportunity that your timely arrival has given me. I would much rather have the boy's father or better yet, Goku. How fitting it would be if pascifist Goku who loves peace above all else were to be turned into a killer beyond anyone's imagination." He ugly sound to Bulma, who struggled to get out of her restraints.

"Why? Why are you doing this to us? We haven't done anything to you, please.."

He laughed arrogantly,pleased with her obvious dismay. "I like the sound of your begging..perhaps you will be easier to turn in my favor then I originally thought. A well placed threat to Trunks or Vegeta might do it." He walked over to her, releasing her restraints, grasping her arms and hauling her up. She found herself eye level to him, struggling to get away. His grip was unbelievably strong, the fingers digging into the sensitive skin he had just cut into.She cried out as he twisted brutally, forcing her back down into the chair.

"Now now Bulma. Is this anyway to behave. I am afraid you are stuck here. "His head lowered toward hers, causing her to panic yet again. No he could not touch her..she turned her head away just as the door slid open with a bang. His head snapped up irritably as Juuhachigou stuck her head in, looking bored..

 "Doctor Gero, there is a call on the hologram..the man said it was important." Her insipid voice rang dully through the room. Gero scowled and straightened.

"Stay put, I will be right back. "He released her and strode out of the room. Dimly, she heard the doors sliding closed. She barely had time to roll outo f the chair, her knees hitting the floor, before she threw up. When she had finished she hauled herself up and looked around. There had to be a way out of here,or something she could use against him. She rifled through things quickly, seeing nothing. She looked back towards the door, she still had time.She was aware of the bond that existed between her and Vegeta. He had left it open, though he had withdrawn his demanding presence. He was definitely letting her know how he fetl and right now that was extreme anger and she could sense fear as well. That was strange, that he would be scared for her. She hadn't thought that he cared that much. Not after this morning. She yanked open a drawer and paused seeing papers..maybe there was some code..she flipped through them quickly..whoa, what was that? Heart virus? Was this the heart virus that Goku had? She grabbed the papers and stood , stuffing them down the front of her pants. She looked around some more..her eyes narrowing as she saw several syringes on the table. That was the strength inhibitor Gero had shown her when she had first been brought in.He had given it to Trunks he'd said, to keep him weak. She grabbed them as well, placing them in her back pocket, just making it back to the chair when Gero came back into the room, Juuanagou behind him. She tried to still her labored breathing and appear calm.

"Aah, good you didn't get into trouble.My dear, I am afraid something pressing has come up, I'll have to take care of you later. Remember what we discussed...I'll be seeing you in the morning." He motioned for Juuanagou.and spoke softly. So softly Bulma could here none of it.

"Take her back down to her cell and fetch Trunks. Then I want you and your sister to go and bring me Vegeta. It appears our visitors from Maordi Prime will be with us very soon. Why not offer them a welcoming gift."

Juuanagou stared at him for a moment, almost defiantly, before nodding."As you wish Doctor." He walked towards Bulma and grabbed her arm, pulling her up. "Come on,little bird, time to go back to your cage."

"Remember Bulma, tomorrow morning..."His voice trailed off, leaving her to think about the ultimatum he had issued.Kami what was she going to do and Trunks....he was planning on doing something to Trunks tonight. She let Juuanagou drag her into the elevator, studying him very carefully. Was Gero telling her the truth about him and his sister? She cleared her throat,attempting to gather the courage to speak to him.

"Do you remember life before Doctor Gero?" She watched as he inclined his head towards her.

"Why?" His voice was so incredibly smooth and placid.Such a sharp contrast to the impassioned tones of Vegeta. She knew which one she preferred, but she still felt some small sorror for what this boy might have once been, and what had been taken away from him

"Doctor Gero is planning on doing something to Trunks tonight,something to his mind. He said he had used it on you....I wondered what it was." She watched as his lips compressed slightly. He turned towards her, brows furrowed.

"I know nothing but Doctor Gero, so don't ask me again. "

"Do y ou at least know anything about his plans for Trunks?"

"Sorry, the doctor doesn't check with me before he works. I'm sure whatever it is, it won't be happy." He turned away from her and waited as the elevator slid to a stop. "Well, here you are..home at last."

He shoved her out of the elevator and towards her cell. She saw Trunks sitting forlornly on the corner of one cell. "Trunks!" She yelled at him. His head jerked up, relief infusing his face as he saw she was alright. He still couldn't utter a word. She felt Juuanagou shoving her into her cell and locking it, turning towards Trunks. "Trunks, you fight him! Do you hear me? Don't give in to him."

Juuanagou was dragging him away. She through herself at the bars, shaking them violently. "Trunks no matter what happens, don't forget who you are..Trunks!"

She watched helplessly as Juuanagou manhandled him onto the elevator, a look of haunted realization on his face as he listened to her pleas...He tried to smile at her, but couldn't manage it. He held her eyes with his as long as he could, taking comfort in the blue eyed caress she seemed to send him with her own.

"TRUNKS!!!" She screamed as the doors slid shut.."Trunks..."her voice dwindled down into nothingness as she felt the first splash of tears on her cheeks. Kami, Trunks..she sunk to the cold floor, her small body wracked with deep, heart rending sobs. Her son..she had failed to protect her son and technically he was her son, as much as the baby Trunks was, just her son from a different time..Oh..Kami Trunks..I'm so sorry. She hugged herself tightly trying to still the broken sobs that shook through her body.


Vegeta had flown back to Capsule Corporation like a rocket, the same stray thought rattling round and round his head..Bulma's father..Bulma's father. Maybe he would have an idea of where Gero's fucking lab was. He had not closed himself to the bond, perhaps because once she had let him in she had clung to his presence, to his feelings as if she were drowning.He felt every sensation that rolled through her body and none of it had been good. He didn't even want to hazard a guess as to what was going on or what she and Trunks were being put through, he just hoped he could find them in time.Strange, this morning he had pushed her away with ugly,unforgiveable words.Now he just wanted to find her.The thoughts that he had been forced to contemplate, the whole idea of losing her,of seeing her killed, were more then he could endure.When had he, one of the universe's mightiest warriors, become so enraptured with a little slip of a human girl. What amazed him the most was that he had been able to fight it off for as long as he had. That was actually quite an achievement considering he and the heart he wasn't supposed to have were completely captured and enslaved by her. When he got her back, and he wasn't even going to ponder a different outcome, he would sit her down and they would have a talk about safety issues, such as letting yourself get captured by the enemy. Then he would have her and her body repeatedly until she could not walk a straight line, there by ensuring that she understood completely who she belonged to and who held her mind and soul. She was his and no one, Gero, artificial humans, whomever, were going to be taking away the one good thing that had happened in his life.

He saw the Corporation ahead and sought out Brief's ki, flying directly towards him. To his dismay he was in his office with Kakkarot. Great, just who he didn't want to see right now.

"Vegeta! Haven't seen you in awhile." Kakkarot's voice was cheerful and lighthearted, grating into Vegeta's last working nerve. Vegeta bit back the angry retort, instead choosing to ignore the idiot..

"I need an idea on where Gero's lab is. A place to start looking." His voice was harsh and angry, his eyes drilling straight through the Doctor who looked at him in concern.

"Vegeta, I have no idea where that..."His remark was cut off by the angry snarl of the Prince.

"You have to have some idea..dammit, your daughter's life is riding on this. Do you want to see her alive again?Where is the lab?"

"Vegeta what's going on?" Goku stood in concern and looked at the obviously distressed Prince. What was eating at him? He was always intense and demanding,but now, it was something more..Goku couldn't quite put a name to it, but it was serious enough to warrant Vegeta's obvious attention.

"Gero has taken Bulma and Trunks, though why I am wasting my time in telling you is a mystery."

Briefs hit his chair hard, his limbs heavy with shock. "Bulma, oh kami..Gero..." He looked up helplessly into the narrowed eyes of Vegeta. "Vegeta you have to get her, Gero is a madman, he will do any number of.."

"I know that.."His voice was too harsh, too uneven and troubled. The pent up fear over exactly what Gero would be doing to her had eaten at him like scavenger,leaving no place untouched by nightmarish images. "I know what Gero is capable of..." he forced himself to speak more calmly," that is why I need to have some idea of where she might be."

"The last I heard, Gero had holed himself up in the Madarino Canyons, just southwest of the Northern canyons. That was over five years ago. I don't know that he is still there..please Vegeta.."He looked imploringly at the Saiyajin.."please find her before he can.."he broke off unable to continue. he had witnessed first hand Gero's experiments and creations,many years ago before Gero had finally given up on swaying the scientific community to his way of thinking. He doubted he would ever completely forget the poor, tortured souls that had been the result of his genetic manipulations. He shuddered.Gero had been ran out of civilized society that very day, his name ruined, his reputation in shreds..He had never forgotten it.

Vegeta merely nodded. He had no desire to share any tender moments or allow either Kakkarot or her father to see just how shaken he really was. He could barely admit it to himself. He had seen firsthand exactly what monsters like Gero were capable of, of the death and destruction they wrought and he could not, even for one moment, allow himself the weakness of worrying about her now. It would distract him and then she would be dead. After he had her back he would take his time to make sure she was alright,to allow himself the shameful weakness of taking comfort with her. She had to stay alive.She was the only one who had ever given a damn about him, even when he had continually tried to drive her and her affections into the ground.

"Vegeta, I'm going with you." Kakkarot looked solemnly at him, studying his face intently.It amazed him how Kakkarot could so abruptly change facades the way he did.An amazing talent actually and one he was surprised the idiot possessed, but there it was. The swift change from sickeningly happy idiot to serious defender and guardian, ready to fight and defend. Vegeta could not bring himself to call Kakkarot a warrior. Warriors did not hesitate to kill when neccesary, yet Kakkarot was forever showing mercy to beings who deserved none. Gero would be a glaring example of that and if anything did happen to Bulma, he would hold Kakkarot personally responsible.

"How do you figure to be of any help to me Kakakrot when you have no strength. Bulma is stronger then you are right now."He sneered in disbelief at the other Saiyajin, hoping he would take the hint and leave him alone to take back what had been taken from him.

"I have strength Vegeta." Goku spoke sharply, "besides, I have known Bulma since I was a child. She is my family and I won't let her come to any harm.We've been through too much together." He looked straight at Vegeta, daring him to contradict him and allowing him to see through to his inner thoughts and feelings. Letting him see the love and affection he held for Bulma.

"Kakkarot," Vegeta thought he would choke on the words, choke on saying them to him, but seeing it written so plainly in the other man's eyes, seeing the deep well of understanding opened up some flood gate in him that he was unable to dam..." Kakkarot she is my mate...." He stared helplessly at his bitter rival for a moment, letting him see for the briefest of moments, something deep and guarded, before slamming the door shut on his feelings.

"We'll get her back Vegeta..there has to be something we can do, someway to gain access to Gero's lab. I might not be able to fight but I can do something to help you."

Vegeta turned around, angry with himself for allowing Kakkarot the small glimpse he had gotten into his soul. "Fine.."he snapped.."But stay out of my way. I go for her, and I won't help you out." He strode away from them, not wanting to waste anymore time on pointless conversations. His woman would be dead by the time they got through debating the horrors of Gero.

Goku turned towards Doctor Briefs, the look of panic on his face shot through Kakkarot's heart like an arrow, piercing it, forcing him to remember again the awful, queasy feeling of having a child in mortal danger and being unable to do a thing about it. To be forced to rely on others to help. He sighed and clasped the Doctor's shoulder for a brief second.

"Don't worry, Doctor Briefs. We'll get her back. I promise. She and Trunks are going to be just fine. Vegeta isn't going to let Gero do anything to her."

Briefs looked up at him for one fleeting moment, his expression chillingly serene.

"Neither of you fully understand.." He stopped for a moment, gathering his breath and his thoughts, seeming to think better of what he would have said..."Gero is truly evil, I only hope you and Vegeta can deal with him."

"We'll die trying."

"You just might, just might.."


Costa stood on the bridge of his ship, observing the stars that zoomed by.Two days until he was on Chikyuu. Two days until he would finally be able to strike back at Vegeta. The ironic thing was that Vegeta would not even know who he was or why he was there. Nappa had always kept his younger brother's existence hidden, a carefully guarded family secret. Nappa's only true noble act in life, but a noble act all the same. The secret kept with the hopes of keeping Costa out of the hands of Frieza and for that Costa would always be indebted to his brother. Yes, he would strike back at Vegeta with a fury the Saiyajin Prince had never witnessed before.He would crush him and have him begging for life before the end, destroying the pride and honor that the Prince wore like a glove. Yes, by the time Costa was done, Vegeta would be shedding it all and exposing the weak coward that lie at the heart of his very soul. Only a coward would have destroyed Nappa the way he had. He glanced back as Refallo entered the bridge.

"I have contacted Gero of Chikyuu. He has been appraised of our imminent arrival."

"Good, did he say anything about Vegeta?"

"He has apparently come into possession of Vegeta's woman and son. He is expecting Vegeta any time."

Costa laughed gleefully, rubbing his thick hands together in anticipation." I will be sure to use her against him at some point. Nothing like knowing your bitch is being used by someone other then yourself. Perhaps I will be take her in front of him. Hell who knows I might even enjoy the bitch." He laughed again, allowing his brain to fully absorb the thread of thoughts that continued to overflow his brain. Thoughts filled with malicious ideas and dark plans for Vegeta's torture and defeat.

"It will be a fitting end to the Saiyajin's life."

"Oh, yes,Refallo. Vegeta will be crushed. I will make sure of that, but I will make sure he suffers mightily before he does finally expire. What better knowledge to send him to Hell with then the knowledge that his woman is broken and bleeding from another man, that he is in truth a coward who has commited cowardly deeds in the name of pride and that there is no escape from what trouble you wrought in life. He will understand vengenance, Refallo, he will come to understand vengenance very well."

"What do you mean to do with him, after that Costa?"

"We'll take him back to Maordi Prime. I can make him suffer some more there. I have plenty of tools to make him evalutate the wiseness of his ways." He chuckled lightly.

Refallo smiled coldly, his whiskered, cat like face lit by the dim lights on the bridge.

"The debt will finally be settled."

"Yes, Refallo. My debt will finally be settled." He turned back towards the viewscreen and watched the streaming flow of stars that lit their way towards Chikyuu. "Soon, Vegeta..soon..."


Trunks found him self once again strapped into the chair. Kami, how he hated this stupid chair.He couldn't shake the look of despondent grief that had shone in his mother's eyes, right before they had shut the elevator door. He had held her gaze for as long as he could, knowing that if he was coming to meet his death, it was her eyes that he wanted to see, that he wanted to take with him. They had shone with all the love he had needed to see and all the comfort he wished he could take. She had said to fight, to remember who he was..Who was he really? Her son? Yes, he was her son.She was the strongest woman he knew,now and in the other time. She had endured loss and pain and suffering and survived it whole and untouched. He was proud to be that, to be her son,no matter her age, the time or the place. He loved her with his whole heart in only the way a son could love a mother, with devotion and honor, and yet there was more to him. A deeper,more primal side that came from his father's people. Don't forget who you....She had been trying to tell him something,something important. Who was he? Don't forget who you are..He was the sum of both parts...Bulma and Vegeta.That was it, that was what she had been trying to say to him..I am the son of Vegeta..Prince of the Saiyajins...a fighter, a warrior. She had been reminding him of that.He was not an ordinary man. He was the heir to the Prince of The Saiyajins..a fighter, a warrior..he would not succumb to his fear and he would not roll over and die. His spine straightened as he thought the words, invoking the proud image of his father..You are weak...his father's voice echoed through his head.

No father, I am not weak..I am strong..I am stronger then you..because I have..I have..a heart.. I have love. It's just like Goku had always said. His power came from the deepest part of himself, and when used in tangent with the mind and the spirit, it was all powerful and there was no end. He understood that now.. I will not forget mother..I will not forget who I am...

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Table of Contents
Chapter 2
Chapter 4