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Chapter 15- A Nightmare Come True

Goku sped towards the Capsule Corporation in the darkness. He had an odd feeling about what his unique Ki sense had been picking up. Both Piccolo and Yamcha's Ki's had been powered up to levels that only a battle could explain yet he felt no other fighting Ki. The only other time he had felt anything like it was when he and the others had been fighting the probes. That fact alone made him uneasy because only machines didn't produce Ki. Now his concerns were magnified by the fact that both Yamcha and Piccolo's Ki signatures had seriously dropped.

"Something's happened" he thought. "Maybe I shouldn't of left Gohan at home. I might need help with this."

Just then Goku sighted the battlefield, Capsule Corporation's front lawn. Goku's acute eyesight made out a scene that at once shocked and disturbed him. Yamcha was down and unconscious and Piccolo was being mercilessly pummeled by Vegeta. The most disturbing thing about the scene was that he could see Vegeta's Ki aura flaring about him but he couldn't feel it. Where Vegeta should have been was a blank spot.

The other saiyajin seemed to have no trouble sensing him and turned in his direction abruptly leaving the namek. Goku slowly descended and landed in front of Vegeta in silence and glanced down at Piccolo who was coughing and appeared on the verge of collapse.

"Goku" Piccolo wheezed "He's not Vegeta. The probe has taken over his body. He wants to leave in Bulma's spaceship and take the information he's collected to whoever built the probe. You can't let him leave."

"Don't worry I won't let him leave" Goku said confidently trying to access his opponent.

"Vegeta" suddenly kicked back and struck Piccolo in the head rendering the namek unconscious.

"You are the one Vegeta calls Kakorot" the machine addressed his adversary. "You may present a problem. But then again I do hold the element of surprise."

Goku had little time to prepare as "Vegeta" suddenly launched his attack with a speed he had not noticed before. He blocked the processed warriors kick to his chest only to have Vegeta grab his raised arm and use it to throw him. Goku used the momentum of the throw to convert his forward momentum into a flip landing in a crouch. The younger saiyajin met his oncoming opponent halfway with a vicious punch to the midsection targeting vital organs. Hardly phased "Vegeta" recovered quickly and landed his own forceful blow to Goku's jaw followed by a kick to Goku's belly.

Goku felt the sick feeling of his lungs being emptied of the air they contained. Despite his lack of air Goku managed to grab Vegeta's fist midpunch as it came towards him once more. Suddenly he found himself grappling with the other warrior. The strain Goku felt in his muscles as he exerted all the force he could muster against the older saiyajin undeniably attested to "Vegeta's" massive increase in strength.

"You won't win" Goku said as he strained with his opponent "I won't let you."

"You have no idea what you're up against" the probe informed him through the other fighter. "You must have already noticed Vegeta's increased speed and strength. The truth is that you've only seen a fraction of how the power he has gained. Let me enlighten you."

"Vegeta's" aura increased in intensity and Goku felt the air around him begin to circulate and charge with energy although he could not feel "Vegeta's" Ki. The movement of the air around the two picked up and the feel of it sent Goku's Ki sense reeling. He knew what was coming although his senses were mysteriously impaired. The searing heat of "Vegeta's" aura enveloped Goku as the bright light enveloped "Vegeta" himself. When the light died he felt "Vegeta" easily wrench his fists from his grasp with a new boost in strength and gasped more in admiration than astonishment as he found himself looking into a pair of brilliant turquoise eyes. "He has done it" Goku thought "Vegeta has become a Super Saiyajin." Before Goku could react fast enough he was sent hurtling upwards by a tremendous upper cut. Just as he slowed his momentum he found himself sailing through the air from a flying kick to his head.

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Mirai Bulma shielded her eyes as she nervously tried to make out the object that was flying toward herself and the injured child. Trunks' dream had unnerved her more than she wanted to admit. She glanced back down at the child who still hadn't regained consciousness with a fear ladened heart. No matter what happened Bulma was determined that Flora would survive.

She looked back up as the dot that drew closer by the second and reached down drawing one her grenades into her hand. If the visitor was one of the artificial humans she and Flora didn't have a chance of survival. She couldn't run if she wanted to with her broken leg and Flora had to be moved with care in case of a spinal injury.

With relief she finally recognized her son and turned back to the girl. She then began to run a final check over her makeshift pallet. Using the top of a table (the legs having been graciously removed by the impact of the debris slamming into it during the android's assault) and rope she constructed a palate so that Trunks could "air-lift" the child without harming her any further than the beam landing on her already had.

"I thought you were going to hide" her son scolded when he landed.

"I couldn't move her without hurting her and there was no way I was going to leave her by herself" Bulma calmly answered. "Now help me lift her onto this and secure her with these ropes."

Trunks thought about continuing with the subject but instead bit his lip and helped Bulma lift the child.

"How's Chi Chi?" Bulma asked after they set the girl down.

"They won't know for a while yet," he answered solemnly as he helped her tie the child to the palette.

"I can hold this beneath my body" Trunks said gesturing towards the palette "and you can climb on my back."

"It would be better if you took us one at a time" Bulma answered.

"I'm not leaving you again," Trunks said firmly.

"You don't have a choice" Bulma retorted " and I don't want to hear another word about your dream. That's all it was Trunks, a dream. "

"A dream that's been pretty accurate so far" Trunks answered "Damn it mother why do you have to be so stubborn?"

"Because I'm right and you know it," Bulma answered. "We shouldn't waste anymore time bickering. Just find a place to stash me and take her back. The longer we're out here in the open the riskier it is!"

Trunks opened his mouth to reply when he heard the sound of familiar laughter from behind him and he whipped around to face it. The blood ran from his face and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as his eyes met an eerily familiar sight.

"Well, well what do we have here?" 17 said with a cocky smirk. "If it isn't the Briefs Crusaders."

Bulma glanced at her son nervously as she felt the fear well up inside her soul. The android's laughter echoed in her ears. She felt like she was in a dream but then again she was, only it was a nightmare, Trunks' nightmare to be exact.

"Just what do you two think you're doing?" he said with a cold smile.

"You're not going to hurt either one of them!" Trunks shouted feeling his shock turn into the familiar anger and hate the artificial humans gave rise to.

"Don't lose your cool Trunks" Bulma told him her gaze unmoving carefully moving her hand down to her belt. "They aren't worth it. They're nothing but a mess of circuits and microchips."

"Really now" 18 said as she joined her brother. "You are feeling especially brave today Ms. Briefs or maybe the word I'm looking for is fool-hearty."

"I'm so glad we finally got a chance to meet you face to face Ms. Briefs" 17 said. "We've heard so much about you."

"The pleasure is mutual I'm sure" Bulma hissed.

"Enough with the games 17 and 18" Trunks snarled. rising to his feet

"On the contrary" 17 said, "the game has just begun for you half-breed." He then turned his icy, blue glare to Bulma. "I'm afraid I can't say the same thing for you though. " He smiled coldly as he saw the fear creep into the woman's face. "We finally get our chance to get rid of the brains behind our constant headache my sister" he said at last to his female counterpart.

"We finally got checkmate" 18 said with a laugh. "Once we get rid of the queen then all we have to do is clear-out the rest of the pawns." She punctuated the last remark with a sly look at Trunks.

"You won't find it that easy to kill me" Bulma said with a defiant smile. Quickly she threw her grenade at the would be attackers. They tried to jump out of the way but were struck by the enormous surge of power it gave off. 18 dropped from the sky unconscious but 17, who had managed to miss the brunt of the jolt, merely fell to the ground.

"What did you do to my sister!" he demanded pushing himself up off the ground.

"Her systems shutdown because they couldn't handle the power. Unfortunately it's not permanent" Bulma said with a satisfied grin.

Trunks quickly unsheathed his sword before the rest of his vision could become reality. He rushed forward at the still kneeling 17 and swung at his head. The android reached up and caught the blade in his hand and tried to wrench it from the teenager's grasp.

"Trunks out of the way!" Bulma cried tossing another orb at 17.

17 spun around on his knees and reached out his hand to aim a chi blast at the orb only to be grabbed from behind by Trunks before he could release it. The orb struck them both and Trunks cried out in pain as the electricity, which was more than enough to kill him, coursed through his body.

"TRUNKS!" Bulma shouted in terror as she watch her son fall unconscious to the ground along with the android.

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Tentatively Bulma picked up what appeared to be a prototype laser gun. She aimed at the heavy steel doors in front of her and was pleased to see a laser beam shoot from it and began to slice through the titanium. "A little adjustment and this will do the trick" she said excitedly. "I just hope I can do this in time to save Yamcha and Piccolo."

Bulma rushed to her toolbox and pulled out a screwdriver, which she used to pry off the outer casing of the gun. She made some adjustments to strengthen the beam and pointed it at the module. "Here goes nothing," she said.

At first nothing is exactly what seemed to happen but then the metal grew red as the laser began to cut through. Bulma tried to steady her hands as she began shake with anxiousness. It seemed to be taking intolerably long to cut through the outer shell of the module. For all she knew her friends outside were already dead. At last she reached the end of cutting out a rectangular piece of the shell. She drove her screwdriver between one side of the piece and the rest of the shell and pushed up with all her might until it gave way. Breathlessly she pulled out her wire cutters and began pushing through the tangled mess of circuitry until she found the group of wires that had mysteriously repaired themselves when she had cut them before. "All I have to do is cut these and the module will loose contact with the receiver and Vegeta will be free of it's control" she thought taking another deep breath.

Just then something came crashing through the wall about fifteen feet in front of her. She ducked down and covered her head defensively and then looked up to see what it was. She could see through the dust that now hung in the air that a body was now resting on top of chunks of what remained of the wall. Bulma tentatively crept toward the body lying on the floor atop the pile of rubble. As she drew closer she saw that the man in question was dressed in an orange gi and had a mess of unruly black hair on the top of his head.

"Goku!" she shouted in recognition rushing to his side. "Oh Kami! Goku are you okay?" He looked up at her with a dazed look in his eyes. She slapped his face as hard as she could. "Goku! Snap out of it! Answer me!" She smacked the other cheek throwing all of her body weight into it.

"OW!" he at last shouted. "Bulma did you have to hit me so hard?" He sat up slowly as his head began to clear.

"Sorry but time is of the essence right now" Bulma answered helping him to his feet.

"I know I have to get back out there before he kills the others" Goku responded looking down at his friend in concern. His determination to win the fight was strengthten as he looked into the anxious face of the woman who was like a sister to him. He wasn't about to allow anyone to injure her or his two friends outside no matter what it took. Even if it meant killing Vegeta he would do it and he knew by commiting such an act he would undoudtly hurt Bulma. He was sure that the feelings his friend and the Saiyajin Prince had for each other which would lead to the birth of Trunks had already taken root. Giving Bulma a confident but pitying smile he began to leave.

"Goku I can stop Vegeta." Bulma cried catching his arm before he could leave. "Just keep him busy for the next few minutes and try not to hurt him too badly."

"Did you say that you could stop him?" Goku said looking at her quizzically. "You do know he's a Super Saiyajin don't you?"

"Yes!" Bulma snapped at him. "I'm not going to fight him idiot!" She then looked at her friend in question. "Goku how did you know he was a Super Saiyajin?"

Before Goku could answer a figure stepped through the door bathed in the glow of a golden light. "Vegeta" stepped inside and looked at them both with a blank expression in his turquoise eyes.

"Go do whatever you have to do Bulma" Goku said setting his brow and pushing her gently aside. "I'll hold him off!" he assured her becoming Super Saiyajin himself. He would do his best to keep "Vegeta" alive not only for Bulma but for Trunks as well. He didn't want to prevent Trunk's birth by causing "Vegeta's" death.

With a quick glance at "Vegeta" Bulma ran back to the memory module as Goku rushed him. She slid down to her knees and began her search through the wires as she heard them impact another wall. She tried to concentrate on her task at hand and ignore her fear that the building would come crashing down around her.

Goku watched as "Vegeta" quickly rose from the rubble and came rushing towards him. It seemed that one of the abilities that the probe gave "Vegeta" was a super high tolerance to pain. Goku dodged "Vegeta's" kick to his neck and came down at him with a double axe handle only to make contact with air as the possessed warrior ducked and struck out at his ankles. Instinctively Goku flipped up into the air over the other saiyajin's head landing just in time to meet a ki blast head on. Goku raised his ki up a notch and deflected it.

At last Bulma found the wires once again. She positioned the wire cutters and clipped the first wire and was startled by a the wind generated by an explosion. Bulma covered her ears and squeezed close her eyes until it passed. Not losing any of her focus she moved to the second wire and readied the cutters to clip it as well.

When the smoke cleared Goku was surprised not to find himself at the end of another attack. With fear Goku saw the reason why. "Vegeta" had turned his attention to Bulma and was running straight for her.

"BULMA!" Goku shouted running to rescue his friend as the cutters were ripped from her hand.

Bulma looked up surprise caught a glimpse of "Vegeta's" face and screamed as she was lifted up by her neck. She gasped for air as "Vegeta's other arm came down across her chest with force.

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Will Goku and Bulma be able to stop the probe without killing Vegeta? Is Mirai Trunks out for the count? Will he and Mirai Bulma be able to circumvent the hand that destiny appears to have delt them? Find out inů

Chapter 16- Fight For the Future


Table of Contents
Chapter 14
Chapter 16