Chapter 1- Something's Coming
Bulma squinted as the glare from the blowtorch hit her eyes. She carefully welded the last joint on the steel structure with the precision that experience had given her.
"There," she said turning off the blowtorch and lifting the visor on her mask "the outer shell is finally finished." She laid the torch down and lifted off the helmet and checked everything over one more time. She enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction that came whenever she finished an important phase of a project. This one in particular gave her a good feeling. It was an upgraded gravity room for her friends to use in their training for the upcoming battle against the androids. This was her contribution to the struggle. It made her feel that she was a valuable member of the z team. This gave her extra incentive to work hard and finish it as soon as possible. For this reason she had taken over the project from her father and was dedicating every bit of her spare time on completing it, that and it kept her mind from dwelling on Yamcha. She had broken-up with that jerk for the last time and she was glad it was over. Yamcha just wasn't capable of being any thing more than a faithful friend to a woman. It still hurt and made her angry though every time she thought about it. She was also lonely although she hated to admit it. The fact that her parents were away made her loneliness even worse. Thus work helped fill the void that love had left.
Suddenly she had the feeling that she was being watched and turned to see Vegeta, arms crossed over his chest, looking her over with a critical eye. This immediately called to her mind that her face and hands were smudged with grease and her sweat-drenched hair was plastered to her scalp. Of all people to see her like this he was the worst. He already called her ugly all of the time and now that she looked like a drowned rat she was sure he'd have a field day. "Here for your daily inspection I see," she said as she walked over to towel and wiped her greasy hands off on it. He said nothing as he regarded her efforts to look presentable. "Well," she finally remarked wringing out her wet hair with another clean towel "are you here to look at the gravity room or me?"
His enigmatic expression changed little as he un-crossed his arms and started toward the door of the unfinished gravity room. "You should have stayed the way you were. It was an improvement" he remarked as he entered the unfinished room.
She frowned slightly at this stab even though she had expected it. He always had to make some sort of disparaging remark about someone or something and she seemed to be his favorite target. However, she had gotten kind of used to it and she could dish it out as well as take it. Besides, he acted the way he did because he didn't know how to act any other way. In fact she sort of felt sorry for him. Sometimes she even wondered if he might get lonely.
"When will my gravity room be ready?" Vegeta asked as he emerged once more.
Bulma winced slightly at his emphasis of my. It was his initial idea for the gravity room but she didn't see why it couldn't be used by Goku as well and had said so before. "A week" Bulma answered closing her compact and putting down her brush, "two at the most."
"No wonder it's taking so long" he said gazing down at her " every time I come here you pick-up your brush and your mirror. You seem to spend all your time preening yourself instead of working."
This irked Bulma "I'll have you know I've done almost 99% of this myself. Just because I'm a genius doesn't mean that I can't take pride in my appearance as well as my work."
"I don't see why you take any pride in either," Vegeta answered "your little toys are far inferior to most race's technology and no amount of attention could ever change the fact that you're ugly."
"I could care less about your opinion of me" Bulma retorted "Your too wrapped-up in yourself to notice anything else. I don't see why either. You'll never be a good enough fighter to beat Goku and the planet you're so fond of reminding everyone your prince of no longer exists. " With glee Bulma noticed that her last statement had hit the mark. She had learned to study his face, his eyes in particular, and could now read his moods rather effectively.
"One day I will best Kakarot and I hope you'll be there to see it" he said "he is a peasant and will always be a peasant. I may not have a planet woman, but I do have the blood of Saiyajin Elite running through my veins."
Bulma rolled her eyes "Is that the best come-back you can come up with Princey?" she said with a smirk. "You're loosing your touch."
"I don't have to defend myself to the likes of you woman" he said in anger. "You are so weak I could crush you with my bare hands."
"I'd like to see you try it monkey-boy" Bulma challenged with a smile. She never would have dared such a statement a month ago but now she no longer feared him. She knew he was powerful and fully capable of executing his threat but her gut told her that he wouldn't harm her. Her smile grew larger with triumph when she noticed the momentary flare of increased fire in his eyes was replaced with a look of perturbed amusement.
"I would" the proud prince began as he once again folded his arms across his chest "but then who would I get to finish my gravity room?"
"There's always my father" Bulma began "but then you'd probably end up with a combination gravity room and snack bar when he got done. Although that might not be bad considering how much you eat."
Vegeta gave her his now familiar cock-eyed smirk proving he just might have a bit of a sense of humor. "Very well woman you've convinced me to carry out your execution. Since I'm in a good mood you can choose the method of your demise."
"I can't believe that he seems to be playing along with my joke" Bulma thought allowing her gaze to meet his "Just when I thought that I've figured Vegeta out I seem to discover something else that proves I'm far away from truly understanding him. In fact, I wonder if it's really possible to understand him."
"Excuse me" came another voice from in front of them. Simultaneously both Bulma and Vegeta turned to see Yamcha with an odd expression on his face. Vegeta's expression turned to a scowl once again as he simply grunted an acknowledgement.
"Oh hi Yamcha" Bulma said half-heartedly "what brings you here?"
"I'd kind-of hoped we could talk for minute" Yamcha said with a slight tinge of annoyance in his voice "that is if you aren't already too busy with other matters." He punctuated the last statement with a disgusted glance in Vegeta's direction.
"I was just leaving" Vegeta said tersely "I have better things to do than listen to an empty-headed woman's prattle." With that said Vegeta left the chamber without a glance behind.
"No!" Marai Trunks shouted, as he started awake. The anger and fear began to dissipate as he looked around and found himself in his mother's time machine.
He closed his eyes and spoke aloud to himself reassuringly "It was only a nightmare. She's alright." He looked out again into the blackness of space and tried to think of something else but instead he kept replaying the frightening image of his mother being struck down because he wasn't there to protect her.
At last he gave in and switched on the communicator and spoke into it. "Mother can you hear me," he said hoping and praying she would answer. Each second that went by was an eternity and each time he repeated his words was pure torture.
"Trunks" at last he heard his mother's voice coming in over the static "what is it? Are you still there?"
"Yes, I'm here" he said in relief.
"What's wrong," she asked, "you sounded upset?"
Trunks gave an inaudible sigh. He really didn't want to tell her that he dreamed that she had been killed. "Nothing," he said "just a silly dream that's all. I guess I just wanted to talk."
"What about," Mirai Bulma asked.
"I think I know how to find out what's happened to the timeline," he said subtly changing the subject and hoping that she wouldn't realize it.
"How?" his mother asked clearly excited.
"I know how you said I should avoid talking to as many people as I can so I don't alter the timeline too drastically but there's someone here in the past that I think can help, Kami-sama."
"You're saying you want to go see Kami?" Bulma said with concern.
"Yes," The young man said resolutely "I think he can look at the timeline and tell me why our actions in the past appear to have had no effect on the future. I think he can even tell us what to do to make it work."
"I don't like it" his mother said, "I think we should just continue as planned. If you get someone else too involved in working out our problems they may not do something important to the future."
"I know," Trunks agreed "but sometimes it can't be helped. We're flying blind right now. We need some direction or we may do something unintentionally that will damage the future. Right now I think seeing Kami is the lesser of the two evils just like warning everyone of the coming battle and talking to Goku was the lesser of the two evils at that time."
"You may be right" his mother said "but take care."
Just as he was about to answer the warning system on the time machine went off.
"Mom I think it's here" he said sitting up straight.
"Have you fed the coordinates and figures into the system yet?" Mirai Bulma asked her son.
"Almost," Mirai Trunks replied as he typed, "I just wish you were here to do this. You're so much better at this than I am."
"That's why I put in the communications system" his mother replied "so I could talk you through any problems you encountered."
"It's not the same" her son replied with a laugh "Done. Computing now."
"By the way" Mirai Bulma asked, "How are the other enhancements working?"
"Just fine" Mirai Trunks assured her "The proplusion system handles like a dream and ...it's done computing the trajectory."
"Well," his mother asked impatiently "where is it headed?"
Trunks smiled as he brushed a lavender lock from his eyes "Right where it's supposed to, Earth."
Vegeta sneered as he exited the chamber. Of all the pathetic humans he had met while on earth he despised that pretty-boy Yamcha the most. Not only was he in possession of one of the weaker kis, but also he continually broke his word to the woman who for all intents and purposes (as far as he could gather from his limited knowledge of human customs) was like a trial mate.
"Now what do you want Yamcha?" Vegeta heard Bulma say as he continued to walk towards the house.
Vegeta knew exactly what was coming and he was sure Bulma did as well. Yes, this poor excuse for a life form continually was unfaithful to Bulma and then had the nerve to come crawling back, further demeaning himself, to regain favor in the woman's eyes only commit the same act again. He couldn't understand why the same woman who wouldn't put up with any of his insults could constantly take this weak human back.
"First of all I've got a question for you Bulma" he heard Yamcha's voice say just as he was beginning to get out of earshot "what's going on between you and Vegeta?"
Vegeta stopped dead in his tracks. "What does that mean?" Bulma said echoing his sentiments.
"I mean" said Yamcha harshly "ever since that psychopath decided to help us for his own twisted reasons you've been getting more-and-more buddy-buddy with him all the time."
"And it snows in July" was Bulma acrid but calm retort.
"Indeed" thought Vegeta as he levitated closer to the room in order to avoid detection "imagine Crown Prince of the Saiyajins being friendly with anyone on this backwater planet, especially that woman. Although I do have to admit I somewhat enjoy matching wits with her in debate."
"Then how come every time I come here," Yamcha frustratedly began "you too are together and in some kind of conversation."
"They're called arguments Yamcha, not conversations" Bulma snapped "and we can't help running into each other because he now lives in the same house as me. Just what are you trying to get at?"
"Come on Bulma" Yamcha began "you and I both know that you and Vegeta have the hots for each other. "
"Hots?" Vegeta puzzled "damn these humans and their expressions. What does the baka mean? Judging by the woman's cry of anger and disbelief it isn't to her liking."
"He's always checking you out and you primp for him and flirt with him," Yamcha accused "And you even did it right in front of me, your boyfriend. You even told me once you thought he was attractive."
"Oh really Yamcha" Bulma began in a tirade "Just because you check out every woman that walks by doesn't mean I stoop to the same level. If I had ever been unfaithful to you, which, I never was even in just my head, I certainly wouldn't pick an arrogant, self-serving, and cruel bastard like Vegeta to fool around with. Sure I've been nice to him and done a few things for him but that's only because he's a guest in my house and I have to be a gracious hostess or my mother would have a hissy-fit. And as for him the only reason he ever takes an interest in me is to find something to use as ammunition against me in an argument. He has always been and will always be only interested in himself. So you see you have nothing to be jealous about, especially since I told you that it was over between us, and for once in my life I really meant it. So get off of my property now!"
Yamcha came storming out of the room and was distracted enough in his rage that all Vegeta had to do was levitate above his head to remain unnoticed as he exited the building. Vegeta's attention was soon diverted back to the room when he heard the sound of a metallic object being thrown, glass shattering, and Bulma's subsequent crying.
Vegeta slowly peeked in the doorway to see just what the woman had broken in her anger. It was that stupid mirror, and from the look of things she was now regretting having broken it for she was gathering up the pieces and muttering something about a "family heirloom" in between curses and tears with her back to him.
"You shouldn't waste your tears on that fool," Vegeta at last said to her not really knowing why. He normally took delight in watching others suffer but the sight of her in emotional pain disturbed him for some reason.
Bulma jumped and then yelped in pain. "What are you doing there you baka" she asked clasping one hand in the other "You made me cut my hand."
Vegeta was a bit irritated by her response. After all he had actually gone out of his way to say something nice to the bimbo. "That's what you get for becoming emotional woman. Emotions are a waste of time."
Slowly she turned her head to regard him her eyes shining with tears. "I'd rather be hurt and have some trouble now and then than end up like you" she said in cool anger. "Everyone hates you so you're alone with only your pride and hatred. I pity you Vegeta you have a cruel and cold heart, if you have one at all, and live only to murder, maim, conquer and destroy. You think you can just use people and mistreat them because you have power. How dare you look down on me for being emotional! How dare you down on me at all when I've taken you in and was misguided enough to think you'd at least be grateful instead of despising me and sneering at my pain. Well, I've had enough of it and I refuse to be a doormat for you anymore. Here," she said chucking the tool box at him "you can finish your precious gravity room yourself!"
Vegeta barely had time to dodge the toolbox and catch a glimpse at her as she left the room.
"Why that little?" he said his voice trailing off in a growl as he pounded his fist into the wall behind him before he set off after Bulma in a furor to match her own.
Mr. Popo delicately pruned the flowers in his garden. Deep in concentration he tried to decide what to prune next in order to achieve the perfect balance to reflect the quiet order of his abode. At last he knew and slowly reached out the shears to make the cut and carefully began to close the blades around the offending appendage.
CRACK! The sound ripped through the air and caused Mr. Popo to jump decapitating one of his beautiful flowers. He looked up to see a flash of light and an object appear above him. It appeared to be a ship of some kind and he watched in amazement as it's engines turned down and it began to descend toward the Lookout. At last it touched the ground belching out a cloud of steam and smoke that stung Mr. Popo's eyes and throat.
He coughed and squinted as the door to the strange craft opened. A young man exited the craft and as the smoke cleared Mr. Popo had a chance to examine him. He had only one weapon, a sword sheathed in an over the shoulder harness and his peaceful demeanour convinced Mr. Popo that he had no intention of attacking. He couldn't have been more than 16 at the most yet he had a dignified air about him beyond his years. He had thick and slightly unruly lavender hair and piercing blue eyes touched with sadness. Although he knew he had never seen this teenager before there was something about his facial features that were familiar.
"My name is Trunks" the young man said addressing no one in particular as his eyes roved about the Lookout "and I've come to see Kami-sama."
"I'm not sure that Kami is available right now," Popo said to him still not completely sure if the young man's intentions were peaceful. Trunks frowned at him and once again he was struck by how familiar he seemed. "I will need to talk to Kami and then I will let you know."
"It's alright Mr. Popo" Kami said stepping from the shadows of the doorway in which he had been observing Trunk's arrival. "I will see the young man." Kami crossed the space between them as he spoke and stopped in front of Trunks. "Tell me what brings you here from the future?" When Kami said this both Trunks and Popo did a double take. Kami laughed good-naturedly "I see the fact that I knew where you are from surprises you. The truth is that I observed your visit with Goku from here and he has already asked for my advice as how to best meet the future threat."
"I see" Trunks said "I too have come to ask for your advice."
"Come inside and we will talk" Kami said to Trunks before turning to Popo "Perhaps you could bring some refreshments for our guest Popo."
"Of course," Popo said bowing "I will bring some right away Kami."
Just as Popo turned to leave and Kami began to lead Trunks away the entrance of a craft into the atmosphere above caught their attention.
Trunks looked up above as the brightly glowing object streaked toward the earth. "And so it begins" he said.
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