Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ, unlike some other very lucky people, but I do own this story. I am not making any money from it.
Chapter 14- Struggles
Piccolo blinked trying to adjust his eyesight as the outside lights of Capsule Corporation suddenly illuminated the area. He looked over his shoulder at the window to the door he had just disabled and saw Bulma banging on it. She was saying something to him but there were more pressing matters to attend to than trying to read her lips at the moment. He felt the other Ki coming to join him as he looked up and met the eyes of his opponent. "Vegeta" stood only a few feet away looking at him with an imitation glare.
Yamcha joined Piccolo with a worried look on his face. "Where's Bulma?" he asked. Waiting on the sidelines while Piccolo did the actual spying on the saiyajin had not been to his liking. Piccolo, however, had insisted that he was too emotionally involved to do it properly and gone himself. Subconsciously he knew that the namek had been right though. He felt badly that he had ignored Bulma's message for help. He had reasoned it was all her own fault for getting involved with Vegeta in the first place and so she alone should deal with it. Now that he had stumbled into a situation in which he could help he intended to do everything in his power to deliver Bulma from the hands of that baka Prince Vegeta.
"I trapped her inside the building," Piccolo said gesturing over his shoulder with his head.
Yamcha looked behind himself and his eyes met Bulma's. Bulma ceased banging on the glass and started to speak. She appeared to be mouthing whatever she was saying very deliberately. "Is she trying to tell me something?" he wondered.
"You can drop the façade" the nameck said coolly "I know you're not the real Vegeta. I heard the whole conversation you had with Bulma. I've been following you for most of the day. The real Vegeta would have been on to me in a second but you were easy to tail and sneak up on."
"What do you mean he's not the real Vegeta" Yamcha asked. Turning his attention from Bulma back to the nameck.
"An alien probe has taken over his body" Piccolo explained.
In answer "Vegeta" caused the expression that he had donned to melt away from his features. He looked first at one opponent. "You are Piccolo" he said unemotionally "Your power level is much lower than Vegeta's. You will be easy to dispose of."
"What?" Yamcha exclaimed as he suddenly realized exactly what the situation was. "Piccolo, you mean to tell me that Vegeta is the thing that you, Goku, Krillian and Gohan fought before. I thought you destroyed it."
"Your grasp of the obvious is impressive Yamcha" Piccolo said a little sarcastic. "Bulma's been experimenting with some pieces that remained after the explosion. It seems one of those pieces took over Vegeta's body." After saying that he addressed his opponent. "I'm much stronger now than when I last faced Vegeta. I won't let you leave this planet and take any of the information you collected about us to your creators."
"I saw the power you speak of when you battled my probe" it answered "and it doesn't even match this body's power." "Vegeta" now turned his attention to his second opponent. "You are Yamcha. You are considerably weaker than Piccolo. You will be easy to dispose of, as well."
" Just remember who ever you are," Yamcha answered, "You've got to face us both at once."
"That is no problem for Vegeta" the machine said speaking through the saiyajin.
"We'll see about that," Piccolo said flashing a pointy-toothed grin.
"It will be a pleasure beating the stuffing out of you and Vegeta both" Yamcha cockily taunted. He was looking forward to fighting Vegeta. The only other time that he had fought Vegeta one on one was three weeks before when he had stupidly attacked him because of his jealousy over Bulma. Vegeta had humbled him and gloated over him that day magnifying the emotional blow he had already delivered by stealing Bulma's heart from him. Now it was time for pay back.
Piccolo and Yamcha flew forward and landed on the lawn and dropped down into fighting stances. "Vegeta" didn't move a muscle but remained where had been standing since the confrontation began. The two fighters stood on edge wondering if they should make the first move or if they should wait for "Vegeta" to make it. Then, suddenly in the blink of an eye "Vegeta" was gone.
The Nameck tensed. He hadn't realized that "Vegeta's" speed had increased so much that he couldn't even follow his movements. Instinctively he reached out for the Saiyajin's Ki but found none. He suddenly felt an elbow being jabbed into his back sending him careening forward the turban falling off his head.
Yamcha instantly reacted when "Vegeta's" blow connected with Piccolo's back throwing a punch at the saiyajin's head. "Vegeta" easily ducked it and disappeared again. Confused Yamcha looked in Piccolo's direction in time to see him receive a blow to his midsection as "Vegeta" caught the nameck with the edge of one of his gold-tipped boots in the fleshy part of his abdomen throwing him upward. "Vegeta" then almost instantly appeared above the nameck. Piccolo's own momentum sent him slamming into both of "Vegeta's" feet square in his back. When Yamcha saw Piccolo hurtling towards the ground, his white cape fluttering above him like a flag of surrender, he finally snapped out of his dazed stupor.
As Piccolo slammed into the ground "Vegeta" slowly descended after him until a determined Yamcha intercepted him with a flying jump kick. "Vegeta responded by turning his Ki up in a tremendous explosion of energy. The power was too sudden and too great to avoid and enveloped Yamcha sending him careening through the air before he righted himself and attacked once again.
"Vegeta" effortlessly dodged and blocked each of his blows with an ease that made Yamcha angry. He had hoped that this probe wouldn't be able to truly fight like Vegeta but it was clear that it was perfectly capable of executing anything that the real Vegeta could except the arrogant attitude. Much to his chagrin Yamcha was finding out that at that time Vegeta evidently had been holding back a great deal in their previous fight.
Yamcha cried out in pain as "Vegeta" countered his attack by throwing up his knee up connecting with the ribs that had been broken in his previous fight with the saiyajin three weeks before.
Unable to move Piccolo had been forced to merely listen to the confrontation going on above him. At last he felt his strength returning and he planted his arms at his sides pushing himself up into a sitting position. He tried to blink away the blood that had flowed down to his eye from the gash on his head. He looked up to see Bulma tapping frantically on the glass although he couldn't hear the sound it made. She was mouthing something over and over again. Although his head ached this time he tried to make it out.
Yamcha tried to steel himself against the pain striking out at his opponent only to be faked out and struck again in his vulnerable chest. This time the pain felt like a knife was being jabbed in his side and he reflexively doubled over shouting in agony only to be hammered in the back with the crushing force of a fist like granite.
Piccolo concentrated on the words being formed by the woman's lips despite his fuzzy head. He tried to repeat the words under his breath hoping it would give him some idea of her message. At last his rambling stream of words came across what seemed to make sense and he looked up at the woman to repeat them back. "Find Goku. Only Goku can stop him," the namek wheezed back. He was rewarded by a happy display from the other side of the window. Just then he was distracted by Yamcha's cry of agony. He knew he had to intervene or Yamcha was done for.
Yamcha tried to attack again but he was beginning to have trouble breathing and his mind was too clouded by the searing pain in his chest to make it effective. As Yamcha missed him "Vegeta" connected with an upper cut to his jaw sending him into the blackness of unconsciousness. Piccolo caught the man in midair and fired an energy attack to keep "Vegeta" busy long enough to place Yamcha on the ground. Before he had a chance to think the nameck found himself engulfed in a never-ending hail of kicks and punches that in his condition it was impossible to dodge or block.
Mirai Bulma and Mirai Trunks furiously dug through the rubble in search their missing friends. Trunks looked up from his task at hand and nervously scanned the area. He was expecting the androids to arrive any minute now, that is if his dream indeed turned out to be prophetic.
"Trunks I've found something" Bulma exclaimed arresting the young man's attention once again.
Some purple cloth was sticking up out of a pile of rubble. Trunks helped his mother move the chunks of concrete, metal, and debris slowly uncovering the woman who lay beneath it. Bulma moved Chi Chi's head gently as she brushed away the last few specks of debris from he cheek.
"How is she mom?" Trunks asked choking back his tears.
Bulma waved the wand up and down her friend's body. "Her vital signs are very weak. We have to get her out of here now or she won't survive."
Mother and son increased their pace as they removed the last remains of the crumbling prison from around Chi Chi. Trunks lifted up a large chunk of plaster and sucked his breath in surprise. A small hand was protruding from underneath the tangle of wrecked wood and metal beneath it. It's cubby fingers seemed to be reaching out for the unconscious woman nearby.
"Mom" he called diving into the rubble which covered the body attached to the hand. "Over here!"
By the time Bulma made it over to him he had the child partially uncovered. Just as he had feared, the child was Flora. Bulma leaned over and felt for the girl's pulse and scanned her.
"She's in better shape than Chi Chi is" Bulma said fighting back tears. "We have to get Chi Chi out first."
"Let's just uncover Flora too," he said "That way I can fly all of us back to the infirmary."
"You know that you can't do that with seriously injured people Trunks" Bulma said emphatically. "You have to take Chi Chi first then come back for Flora. When your done with them then come back for me."
"I'm not leaving you" Trunks stated continuing his task of uncovering Flora. His blood ran cold when he uncovered a large beam of wood. "Don't you see?" he yelled at his mother "it's just like my dream."
"It's not just like your dream," she said softly placing her hand on his. She waited to continue until his piercing blue eyes came up to meet hers. "You are here Trunks, my leg is broken, and Chi Chi wasn't in your dream either. "
"It's enough like it my dream that I won't leave you" he said.
"Damn it Trunks, take Chi Chi now or she'll die. Do you want that?" Bulma spat.
Trunks looked at his mother's earnest face and then at Chi Chi's face. "I'm putting you two in a safe place first" he said sternly bending down and lifting the beam off of the girl with ease.
"I'll find us a place to hide" Bulma countered. "Go now!"
Trunks watched as his mother bent over Flora and performed first aide to a laceration on her leg. Every part of him was screaming to stay with his mother, but there was also that part of his conscious, which shuddered at putting her selfishly before others. Chi Chi was a dear friend and he didn't want her to die.
"Kuso Trunks!" Bulma vehemently snapped at him. "Take her now! If Chi Chi dies because of your damn dream I'll never forgive you!"
Trunks looked into his mother's eyes and knew she genuinely meant what she had said. After one last longing glance at his mother Trunks advanced to the unconscious Chi Chi and gently lifted the woman into his arms with care.
"I'll be back as soon as I can," he said glancing over his shoulder as he hovered up off the ground. Bulma looked up at him as he left and wished to Kami that Chi Chi would be all right and Trunks' dream wasn't really as prophetic as it seemed.
"Damn you Piccolo!" Bulma cried pounding her fist on the reinforced glass watching him get mercilessly pounded into the ground by "Vegeta". "Why didn't you listen to me?"
Turning around she slid down to the floor and hugged her knees. She didn't want to watch Piccolo's beating. Although she had never been very fond of Piccolo or really never truly knew the nameck she was distressed to see him suffer. Also, she knew that if he died Kami would disappear, as would the Dragon Balls, and that though t alone made her sick. Yamcha's unmoving body lying prone on the ground was especially hard to take. Though he may not think it, she still thought of him as one of her dearest friends and the idea that he was possibly dying was unbearable.
"Piccolo and Yamcha are no match for Vegeta," she said out loud to herself. "The only person capable of stopping the probe is Goku. Only he can become a Super Saiyajin like Vegeta can. "
She buried her head in her hands. "I've got to think of something," she thought feeling helpless. She had designed the hanger so that it was impossible to escape from in the eventuality someone broke in. The idea was that they wouldn't be able to escape and the authorities could come and collect them. Now those same security measures would thwart any attempt at escape she tried to make. Also, realistically even if she could get out there was no way she could really be of any help to her compatriots outside.
"Look at me" she thought gazing at her distorted reflection in the metal door behind her in disgust. "I'm wasting my time hoping to be rescued like a stupid fool. I'm my only hope, my friends only hope, and Vegeta's. " She sighed as the reality of the situation struck her as it never had before. "Right now the only way of stopping the probe is to either hurt or kill Vegeta. There has to be some other way to stop it."
She turned her head and her eyes fell on the duffle bag she was forced to carry in. "I wonder what's in that thing?" she thought sliding over to it. She undid the zipper and found some strange prototypes of what appeared to be weapons, some of which had the Capsule Corporation logo on them, and she bristled. She never had liked the idea of manufacturing weapons for a bunch of trigger-happy soldiers. "He must've gotten them from the bases he robbed" she thought. She then rooted around a bit more and found some microchips in protective casing and some other items. Finally her hand hit a large object. She grabbed on to it and then, to her surprise, pulled out the memory module.
It's outer shell had been put back together and fused some way from when she had opened it to investigate it's circuitry. As she stared at it pieces of memories began to fall together in her mind. The object embedded in Vegeta's neck was the receiver. She suddenly recalled her discovery that the circuitry in the receiver didn't allow it to operate on it's own.
"That's it," she exclaimed out loud. "It's the module that's controlling Vegeta. That object is a receiver it's receiving instructions from the "brain" here. Now I know what to do!"
* * * * *
What is Bulma’s plan? Are Yamcha and Piccolo on their way to another trip to the afterlife? Is Mirai Trunk’s nightmare a premonition as he fears? Find out in…
Chapter 15- A Nightmare Come True