More than Machine is an Au Fic focusing on the pairing between 18 and Future Trunks. This first two chapters will be a bit heavy in regards to flashbacks as it's setting up the beginning of the story. I promise however that going forward I will not rely heavily on flashbacks. Beyond that this fic is meant for mature audiences and will include gore and dark themes faced during a near apocalyptical setting like this. Later on Sexual content will be included however I fully intended for the pairing between Eighteen and Trunks to develop slowly and not be an overnight kind of pairing.
Anyways I hope you all enjoy what I have planned and without further ado let's begin...
Trunks sucked in a deep breath as he pushed himself up and out of his time machine. He offered a cursory glance around the damaged state of West City, before his gaze settled upon the front door of Capsule Corp. He fought back the nerves welling up in the pit of his stomach as he strode forward. He truly had no sense of how much time had elapased since the last time he'd been home. After all he had intended to arrive to help the Z-Fighters before their intitial encounter with the androids, however he'd been late. He hoped that there was still a planet left to save from the androids in his own timeline.
Any fear he felt ebbed away as he neared the door only for the automated door to grind open as his mother stepped out into view. Her face lit up as tears sprang to her eyes as she closed the distance between them and threw her arms around her son who returned the gesture with a small smile. "Oh my god Trunks! You've been gone for so long, I had begun to fear the worst." she exclaimed as she pulled herself away a moment to get a good look at the young man.
"My goodness. It's only been six months, but look how much you've grown. You're practically a man." she mused with a smile.
Trunks let out a chuckle. "It's good to see you too mom..I-" he paused a moment his eyes widening.
"Wait did you say six months?! I thought at most the time machine would bring me within a few days at most a couple of weeks after the time I left. So much time wasted... What's going on out there? how much more damage have the androids caused? how many more innocent people are dead?"
Bulma let out a soft sigh. "Well for one Trunks...as far as I know I'm the first person to invent the science of time travel, I'll be the first to admit that it's far from a perfected art. Why don't you come inside? we have a lot to talk about. "
Trunks slightly bowed his head. "Right. I'm glad to see that at least you're alright mom." he murmurred as he followed behind her as she made her way through the door into Capsule Corp.
"I would be lying if I said I didn't have my share of close calls Trunks, but I had the most unlikely person helping me, they saved my life actually." she mused as she made her way through the damaged foyer.
Trunks quirked a brow. "Who are you talking about? and did the Androids pass through here again?"
'That doesn't make any sense though. If the androids did come back through West City there's not a person on Earth strong enough to put up a fight.' he thought to himself as he followed Bulma into the Kitchen where the woman promptly took a seat, a look of nervousness was now on her face as she laced her hands in front of herself.
"Trunks why don't you tell me about what happened in the past? Where you able to help save that timeline?"
Trunks noted her nervous behavior but pushed it aside as he smiled and nodded his head as he began to recount the events that transpired in the other timeline.
An hour or so elapsed as the Half-Saiyan left no detail out of the story. Bulma remained silent for the most part only reacting to Vegeta's outburst when Trunks had died and at the news of Goku's death.
"So Goku ended up sacrificing himself in the end anyways. How sad, but I'm glad things seemed to work out nonetheless. I'm so proud of you Trunks."
Trunks blushed from her praise as he rubbed the back of her neck. "It was nice to be able to meet father. He wasn't what I expected, but at the end..I think we understood one another."
Bulma smiled at that."I'm glad to hear that honey. You deserved that and so much more."
There was a brief silence, before Trunks cleared his throat. "So I have to know what happened while I was away? I can tell your nervous about something mom."
"Trunks I need you to promise me you'll keep an open mind and hear everything I have to say."
The Lavendar haired man felt a chill on his neck at her words, but nevertheless slowly nodded his head as he slowly took a seat across from her. "Alright you have my word mom. What's with all the secrecy?"
Bulma ran a hand through her graying hair. "Well perhaps the best way to explain things is to start from the beginning..."
*FLASHBACK 5 Months ago*
"This is Chester Arnold of Star News have breaking news, the deadly Androids have been spotted in New Ginger Town just moments ago. New Ginger Town was formally known as Ginger Town, the site of one of the first attacks from this deadly duo years ago. It's this humble reporter's opinion that this poor town will soon meet the same fate of it's predecessor. Please if anyone in New Ginger Town or anyone close to that town can hear this...I Implore you to evacuate immediately."
Bulma gritted her teeth. "I can't stand this anymore. !" she growled as she reached out and shut the radio off, before resting her head into her hands.
'Trunks where are you?' she wondered to herself as slowly looked up and through one of the windows are the ruined skyline of West City.
'Please come home to me safely...'
The day had turned into night as the aging Scientist tried to occupy her time by working on another project in the garage. She sighed as she looked at her handiwork. "If this Android mess is ever dealt with we'll need to scavenge more parts if this bird is going anywhere other then back to the junkyard." she mused, before bolting upright as she heard a device on her arm go off alerting her that someone was approaching Capsule Corp.
'The Alarm has been triggered. Could Trunks finally be back?' she wondered to herself as she went from a fast walk to a dead run as she bolted towards the front door and threw it open.
What she saw made her blood run cold. It most certainly was not her son, but a battered and bloody blonde haired girl. One that while she'd never seen...she'd heard the description of many times before. "You!" Bulma gasped as rage and terror gripped her simultaneously. She was frozen as her mind went into overload. She noted the massive puncture wound in her shoulder and her labored breathing.
The blonde didn't look so threatening at all. Perhaps it was because of the blood or how frail she looked as she rested against the side of the wall. "P-please. Please help me..." she gasped, before promptly falling forward into unconciousness."
*END FLASH BACK*
"What happened next?! You took the chance to kill her while she was unconcious right?" Trunks asked as he leaned forward worry evident in his tone.
Bulma let out a soft sigh. "Trunks Briefs. You let me finish. You promised."
Trunks swallowed as he set back and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry mom. Go on."
"It's alright honey. I know this is a lot to take in. "
"Anyways when Eighteen showed up at my doorstep like that, my first thought was to kill her before she awoke and did the same to me. But as I stood there examining her I realized that she wasn't just some machine. I know your father and you probably would hate me for it, but despite how much I hated her...I did as she asked. "
Trunks gritted his teeth but tried to keep his tone even. "But why mom? you know what they've done."
Bulma nodded. "I know Trunks. But even though Goku and the others were gone...I also remembered how many times Goku spared his enemies...enemies that would one day become our allies, our friends, and in Vegeta's case...he became your father. Goku always believed in finding good in others and I couldn't bring myself to kill a wounded girl who was begging for help at my doorstep."
Trunks was quiet a long moment as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "What happened next?"
"She and I spoke for the first time." she mused as she continued her story.
Bulma slammed her fist into the headboard above where Eighteen lay resting, before wincing. 'And that Bulma is why you're a scientist and not a fighter..' she mused as she stared down at the unconcious woman.
'Damn that Goku...I'm sure Vegeta is turning over in his grave, but I just can't do it. She looks so helpless that and I can't help but wonder where her brother is and furthermore what would cause her to be in this shape in the first place.'
Bulma almost let out an audible yelp as she watched the deadly blonde's eyes twitch before her lids slowly parted open.
'Oh god this is how I'm going to die. I hope she at least makes it quick. ' Bulma began to think frantically as she shied backwards, before finally pressing her back against the far wall as she watched nervously as the other woman awoke.
Eighteen winced slightly as she looked around her surroundings, before starring at her own hands a moment, finally her eyes would settle upon Bulma who had shrunk as much as possible in the opposite side of the room.
"...If I wanted to kill you or your son I would have done so a long time ago. " she mused.
Bulma in her stupor said the most intelligent thing she could muster. "What?"
Eighteen sighed as she reached up and brushed a few strands of her hair out of her face. "I've known where you and Trunks lived for some time now. But as of late I've grown bored with killing humans and Trunks was always fun. Nothing that use to be any fun is anymore though..." she mused quietly as a strange almost sad look appeared on her face.
Bulma was silent a moment as she slowly mustered her courage. "Um...you're Eighteen right?...uh why were you hurt? As far as I can remember from the stories you androids have never really been hurt. "
For the longest time it seemed as if Eighteen wasn't going to respond, however finally her voice broke the silence. "You're wrong...we're not androids. Turns out we're cyborgs. That we were originally human." she said as if the information troubled her.
"We can bleed too. Though this was the first time either of us learned what your kind must have felt for years now."
"What do you mean?" Bulma asked her voice gaining a bit more confidence.
Eighteen bowed her head slightly.
"We felt fear..."
*Earlier that day*
"And that makes thirty!" Seventeen exclaimed with glee as he extended his finger, before evaporating a fleeing man in the distance. He cast a glance over his shoulder at his sister who lay perched on the back of a taxi car with a bored expression on her face.
"Yo sis what's wrong? You throwing in the towel? because if not you've got a lot of catch up to do." he laughed as he hopped up upon the hood of the car she rested on, before starring down at her.
Eighteen offered a weak shrug. "It's all the same Seventeen. I'm bored with killing humans now, their all predictable and weak. I want a challenge.I miss one arm and Trunks. she mused as she crossed her legs as she seemed more interested in watching the clouds in the sky then the screams around them.
"Heh was that the name of the brat with the sword? Yeah I guess things were more interesting back then, but we've just gotta find a way of spicing things up." he mused with a grin. "What'ya say we stop stalling and take things to the next level. Instead of just killing some of the humans and letting them rebuild, we start blowing up entire countries ? It'll make for some great fireworks. Then we can blow this dump and see what else the galaxy has to of-" his words were cut short as Eighteen immediately snapped to attention as she felt something warm and wet splatter across her arms and face. She shivered as she recognized the sight of blood covering her. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as she saw something that chilled her to the bone. A large tail like appendage had skewered her brother through the stomach.
Seventeen twitched unnaturally , before collapsing forward onto the hood of the car as the tail retracted. He cried out in pain, before coughing as he spit up blood.
There behind the collapsed warrior stood a tall insect like humanoid with predatorial eyes and a long bloodsoaked tail that came to a point.
Eighteen shook herself from her shocked state as she rolled up to her feet, before immediately taking a defensive stance. She glared balefully at the creature, her gaze never leaving him, before she tried to speak. "S-Seventeen...are you still with me?" she asked a rare moment of emotion for her touched her voice.
Seventeen only offered a ragged grunt in response.
"Oh you shouldn't worry about him. He'll be fine... Apologies sister for making such a dramatic entrance, but I figured this would be so much easier if one of you couldn't move. Finding you two has been quite the task. " the creature mused with a sick smile.
"I'll make you suffer for that! You son of a bitch!" Eighteen yelled as she launched herself forward, before tilting her body as she brought both of her feet together as she planted her feet into the side of Cell's face sending the creature flying across the street and into one of the nearby buildings.
A couple of seconds passed before an explosion of energy cleared the ruined building and Cell came stalking out an amused grin on his face as he wiped some blood from his mouth. "It's so touching to see you act so troubled about your brother's plight. Especially after how many humans have undoubtedly been in this same situation."
Eighteen scowled. "Don't compare us to humans. Seventeen and I are Androids...The Doctor who created us is enough of a reason for me to hate every human. "
Cell let out a loud chuckle. "Oh this is rich! you really don't know where you and brother come from?"
Eighteen gritted her teeth as she landed in front of Seventeen who was trying to pull himself up.
"How would you know? and what the hell are you ?" she spat as she clenched her fists.
Cell smirked as he touched his temple with a single digit. "My name is Cell and I know everything about you two. After all Doctor Gero created me with the purpose of assimilating you both into my design, to become the perfect being. I was built to have every advantage, to be able to hunt you both and overtake you. Beyond that I know that you both were born human and were kidnapped as teenagers and are the product of extensive modifications and cybernetics. I promise everything will become clear very soon."
Eighteen's eyes widened before she shook her head. "T-that's not true. I have no data to support that. We were Gero's creations and nothing more."
Cell began to stalk forward his smirk widening. "If that's so...then why are you standing in front of Seventeen? if you are just a machine you would know that the most logical thing you could do is leave Seventeen behind and run while I gobble him up. But you can't do that..can you Eighteen?" he taunted as he continued to advance on her.
Eighteen's expression faltered a moment, but she quickly regained her composure as she extended her hand. "I don't know if you're telling the truth or just trying to confuse me, but I don't care. I won't let you touch my brother! Infinity Bullet!" she yelled as she began to fire a series of purple beams at the monster in front of her.
Cell merely chuckled as he extended his arm and battered the blasts away. He ignored the burns on his arms as the charred skin began to heal almost immediately as he continued to advance on Eighteen till he was only about ten feet away.
"Game over Eighteen..." he mused with a smirk.
"Go to Hell!" She screamed as she launched forward and slammed her first into the side of Cell's face causing the larger android to stagger back half a foot or so as his neck tilted back. A laugh escaped his bloodied lips however as Eighteen barely registered the motion of his tail out of the corner of her eye.
She tried to weave out of the way as Cell's Tail shot out towards her neck seeking her shut off point, however she managed to twist her body at the last moment causing Cell's Tail to instead pierce clean through her right shoulder.
A scream escaped her lips as her right arm fell limp.
Cell merely chuckled as he wrenched his tail free causing blood to spray everywhere.
"Hmph well I might have missed your shut off point, however I wonder how far you'll get with that wound? "
"Sis!" Seventeen gasped as he forced himself to his feet a gaping hole through his stomach. Blood continued to pour out of his wound.
Eighteen winced as she braced her wounded arm with her good hand, her eyes widened as she glanced over her shoulder. "Seventeen! What are you doing? you need to save your strength. Get away I'll hold him aslong as I can."
Seventeen's typical cocky expression was vacant and was instead replaced with a look of determination.
"Heh maybe all that big talk about us getting ours finally came true. Never thought the day would come that we'd be the hunted." he mused before he spit some blood on the ground.
"Sis. I'm not walking way from this either way. The least I can do is slow him down. If he at least curses me from the grave I'll feel accomplished." he chuckled as he slowly walked forward until he stood next to his sister.
"Ah so touching. But I doubt even together either of you could put up a fight in your current condition." Cell mused with a grin as he flicked his bloodstained tail back and forth a look of amusement on his face.
"Like hell I'm going to let you do that. Seventeen. We're siblings. I'm suppose to be your older sister. I'm suppose to make sure that my idiot brother doesn't get into trouble." she exclaimed emotion touching her voice as she tried to reach out with her good hand to grab her siblings shoulder. Her hand extended but fell short as Seventeen without warning barreled forward towards Cell who only smiled in response.
Seventeen fists met with Cell's as the two warriors danced across the ruined streetscape. Each blow caused cracks to form alongside the nearby buildings and streets. It was clear from each exchange that even without his mortal wound that Seventeen was weaker, but nevertheless he continued to trade blow after blow with the larger android.
Finally the two disengaged and landed apart from each other, before Seventeen took the intitiative and lunged forward his fist cocked backwards all the while Cell with a flick of his tail positioned his tail intent on impaling the android.
Seventeen never slowed his advanced catching the larger android offguard as his tail pierced through his chest, before Seventeen wordlessly wrapped his arms around Cell's Torso and gripped him tightly.
"Brother!" Eighteen screamed as she felt something wet touch her cheek. The sensation continued as she felt her eyes begin to ache.
"Gah what is this going to achieve Seventeen?" Cell growled as he struggled to free himself.
Seventeen coughed once more spewing blood as he summoned what strength he had left to keep Cell in place.
"Sis! Go now! I can't hold this bastard long. He's too strong. "
"S-seventeen...I-I can't. " She responded as her voice cracked.y
"Dammit Eighteen! I won't say it again. RUN! " he yelled his voice taking a rare level of authority to it.
"No! Blast you Seventeen!...My dear Eighteen there is no where you can run that I won't eventually find you! Do you hear me?! I'll gobble you up! I swear it!" Cell yelled as he continued to thrash around.
A few more seconds passed, before Eighteen felt herself almost on autopilot, her feet running across the ruined city streets, before she felt nothing but air beneath her as she launched skyward.
Minutes blurred into hours until the blonde cyborg couldn't stay in the air anymore. She impacted the ground roughly. Her vision faded a moment, before she pulled herself up from a small crater and staggered forward. She looked around silently, before a familiar structure came into view. Capsule Corp..."
"Damn Cell! I had hoped I would be able to stop him from becoming a threat in this timeline. Wait a minute did you say that Eighteen knew where we lived? Why didn't she take the chance to kill us much sooner?" Trunks wondered aloud as a frown formed on his face.
'Dammit I won't stand a chance against Cell in his Perfect Form.' he thought to himself as he clenched his fists.
"I see you are familiar with this Cell creature. As for Eighteen you'd have to ask her yourself." Bulma sighed.
Trunk's blinked. "Wait so Eighteen hasn't been absorbed yet? how has she managed to avoid Cell for so long?"
Bulma allowed a small smile. "Well it's simple. The only reason Cell found her in the first place was because of the destruction Seventeen and her had been causing. It left a trail to follow, but Eighteen hasn't given Cell much to follow. Without a powerlevel he's forced to scower the planet blind."
A look of relief touched Trunk's face. "That may be the first bit of good news you've told me mom. If Cell hasn't reached his perfect form, I can end this fight. Though I get the sense there's something more you haven't told me." he mused as he eyed his mother critically.
Bulma rubbed the back of her neck. "Well this is where things get complicated. In the first few weeks Eighteen was only here to recover. I wasn't sure of what to do next and I wasn't sure that at some point she might not change her mind and decide to kill me. But as time went on I learned a lot more about her. She was pretty torn up about her brother and I think she finally understood how it felt to be powerless and that she wasn't the machine she believed herself to be."
Trunks tried to keep his expression neutral. "Mom...you did not make friends with that 'thing'!" he said seething though he kept his voice from getting too loud.
Bulma's eyes narrowed. "Trunks don't for a moment think I'm some fool. I was terrifed of Eighteen at first and I hated wondering how many of my friends she'd likely personally killed, but she earned my trust!"
Trunks settled back in his seat. "How?"
Bulma sighed as she rubbed her forehead. "Well it started like this..."
*Begin Flashback* 4 Months ago
"How are you feeling this morning Eighteen?" Bulma asked hesitiantly as she peered through the small guest bedroom the Cyborg had been staying in.
The blonde lay motionless starring up at the ceiling. Slowly her icy blue gaze shifted to Bulma. "I'm fine. My shoulder is fully healed now. " she said simply.
"I-I could have fixed you up sooner if you'd let me look at your damag- um I mean wounds from a technical perspective. I could have possibly made some upgrades." she mused.
Eighteen eyed the other woman for a long moment as if she was trying to discern something. "You've done enough. " she finally said.
Bulma swallowed. "I uh...alright well if you want something to eat. I made more then I can eat." she managed as she began to shut the door.
"Bulma?..." Eighteen asked her eyes still unreadable as she stared at the other woman.
"Yes?" she responded a look of aprehension on her face.
"Why did you help me?...why are you still trying to be nice? I'm trying to relearn human emotions. Maybe you're being nice because you're afraid of what I might do to you if I get angry..but it still doesn't explain why you saved me in the first place."
Bulma blinked obviously caught off guard by Eighteen's words. Usually Eighteen uttered a hand full of words a day or nothing at all.
"Well I...At first I wasn't sure myself. I hated you and was terrified at the same time of you, but even though the thought of killing you crossed my mind, I knew that an old friend of mine would never kill someone who asked for help and that he would always give someone a second chance."
"Sounds like an idiot.." Eighteen remarked.
Bulma actually laughed. "I guess he was sometimes, but he saved this planet more times then I can count. He changed everyone for the better. The world truly is a worse place without him."
Eighteen fell silent as she seemed to have nothing further to say.
Bulma sighed as she was about to close the door when the device on her arm blared to life. "Someone is here! Maybe Trunks is back!" she exclaimed a look of hope crossed her face as she turned and without another word bolted out of the room earning a strange look from Eighteen.
Bulma opened the front door expecting to finally see her boy walking towards the door only to see a group of six men armed with full automatic weapons approaching her. Her face paled though she tried to keep her composure. "Uh is there something I can help you gentlemen with? "
One of the guys let out a chuckle. "Matter of fact there is. See we've heard from a little bird that you've been collecting scrap for something. I'm also certain that you've got plently of food and supplies in that place of yours. Now back in the day the Briefs would be untouchable, but in this new world is all about survival. Now step aside and we'll spare you any unpleasantries."
Bulma shook her head. "You can have all my food and supplies, but I beg you, please stay out of my garage. What I'm working on might very well save mankind."
"Heh sounds like there's something worth taking in there then.." mused another one of the six armed men.
"Heck she's a little old, but when you haven't been with a woman in a while...you ain't picky.." another man remarked with a lecherous grin
"Stop thinking with your dick..now move lady." the first man ordered as he leveled his rifle.
Bulma threw her arms apart as she stood in front of the door. "I won't let you through this door!"
"Stupid woman. You had your chance." The man in front said as he pulled the trigger as a series of bullets flew forward at Bulma. None would find their target however as a small hand would pluck each of the bullets out of the air as beautiful blonde woman appeared in front of Bulma with a small scowl on her face.
"I haven't killed anyone in a while, but I might have to make an exception today."
"Eighteen!" Bulma exclaimed in surprise.
"Oh my god! Is that one of the androids?" one of the men asked as a few of the other men began to shy backwards.
"So what will it be Bulma? does this lot deserve a second chance too?" she asked a bit of sarcasm dripping from her voice.
Bulma took a deep breath. "These people are most likely only this way because of desperate things have become. Please Eighteen let them go."
Eighteen made a face, before shrugging. "Fine. But I'll deal with these little toys of yours." she mused as she in a blink of an eye disarmed each of the men leaving the collection laying in a pile on the ground. She stopped at the guy in the back who'd made the perverted comment directed at Bulma and placed the tip of her index finger upon the back of his neck as she made a motion like she had a gun in her hand.
"Come back here again...and I'll be the one to pull trigger...little man " she whispered.
"Bang" she said before smirking slightly as the group without further warning took off at a full run.
"Maybe a bit overdramatic, but I think they got the point." Bulma laughed.
Eighteen shrugged. "Doubt anything good will come by letting those fools live, but it was your call."
"Thank you for giving them that chance though and for saving my life!" she said as she bowed her head slightly earning an uncomfortable look from Eighteen.
"Don't mention it. Care to explain why you were willing to be gunned down over some useless scrap?"
"It's not useless! With that Cell creature still out there and with no sign of Trunks this might be the only way to save the planet. "
"What are you talking about?" The blonde asked as she rested a hand on her hip.
Bulma sighed. "Follow me."
The older woman led the blonde through Capsule Corp to a large garage area that was still secure and covered. Bulma held out a remote and pressed a button causing the front door to the garage to open up revealing a large metallic structure that looked like some sort of vehicle though it was clearly far from finished.
"What is this suppose to be?" She asked as she folded her arms. "And furthermore how is it suppose to be of any use against Cell much less save this pathetic planet?"
Bulma forced a smile. "Years ago I piloted a ship into the deep reaches of space. I'm going off most of the framework that was used then. Since the world has certainly seen better days I need a lot of parts to get her spaceworthy, but I have a plan. Tell me do you have any information about the Dragonballs?"
Eighteen was silent a moment. "Doctor Gero had some information about these items, and that they were in some way connected to Piccolo. He didn't seem to put much stock in their supposed mystical power."
"Well they are certainly real. I've seen them for myself many times. In any case you're right...they were connected to Piccolo who is dead, but the Earth isn't the only planet who possesses dragonballs. In fact I know of another set. If all else fails if I can get to New Namek I use the Dragon there to undo some of the damage the Earth has sustained and maybe find a solution to stopping Cell permanently."
Eighteen's eyes widened. "You're serious?"
Bulma nodded her head. "I was willing to die to protect my ship. What do you think?"
Eighteen was silent a moment. "What do you need?"
Bulma blinked. "What?.."
Eighteen offered the scientist an eyeroll followed by a hint of a smile. "I'm still not so sure about this planet and it's people, but I owe you and the thought of making that smug bastard Cell pay makes this even sweeter. Where do we start?"
Bulma smiled as she walked into the garage. "Follow me. We've got a lot of work to do."
*AN* And there's the first chapter!
I do need some feedback from you guys! I'm not sure if I should post power levels for this fic and if I do what source I should use to keep things somewhat realistic with canon. I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter! Thanks again and I'll see you soon!