Mended Future, Unforgettable Past
Chapter one – The Awakening
That was quite a painful recovery. He mused, flexing his writhen fingers. He hadn't expected it would take this long. Five years…he had thought. But a decade and half had passed and still the cells in this wretched body have yet to fully develop. He boosted a bit of his power and frowned. Not yet…but soon. That fool would soon have a taste of defeat like he did fifteen years ago.
Stressed out from working at his mother's company and weary from his training, Trunks retired to the balcony. As he stepped out, the wind blew gently, carrying the sweet scent of the budding oaks from the city beneath. He breathed in. His muscles relaxed and his head cleared.
He walked to the balcony's rail and stretched his arm. He leaned over. His balcony stood five stories high, overlooking part of the city. Streetlights radiated to all corners of the roads and alleys. Though the sun had retired in his haven five hours back, people continued to scatter the streets. With his keen eyes, he could see a young couple strolling, hands in hands. The young man leaned over to whisper words in her ear. He could see her giggled with a hint of shyness. At the far end of street, hidden behind the shadow, Trunks could vaguely see a form of a man. In his hand, a flash of light glistened from the reflected streetlights. No doubt he was waiting for some unfortunate souls who happened to cross his path. Trunks considered stopping him before any harm was done, then paused when he saw a pair of local law enforcements patrolling the streets. Better leave this one for them.
He had never thought life could ever become normal after witnessing the near destruction of the world. Fifteen years ago, he had never dared to dream of this day. Even though crimes still infested the city, it was peaceful compared with what the world once had been. Days had gone by without foods on the table for most families. Half of a roof could barely shelter those unfortunate from rains or snows. Trunks could still vividly remember the haunting eyes of the young homeless children pleading to him for help. Trunks and his mother did everything they could. Artificial foods had been made in a desperate attempt to feed the empty stomach of the ill-timed survivors. He had helped with the heavy labor, building houses and sometimes farming. It had been a formidable task to bring life back to the wasted land, but the desire of the inhabitants to have a home again had made the impossible seemed trivial.
Trunks' eyes followed to the two law enforcers who were now questioning the suspicious lurker. He smiled and relaxed. Crimes were still a menace to society. Now, at least, he didn't have the weigh of the world's destruction upon his shoulder.
He averted his attention back to the two young couples. Hands in hands, they took a turn to the busy streets, still giggling. Fear was long forgotten in their simple mind. For them, the catastrophe was news of yesteryear. Simple thinking, these humans... Yet it was not a bad thing; maybe he could learn a thing or two from them. He sighed.
The door to the balcony was left open. Cira knew her husband was in one of his thoughtful moods again. His silence was more apparent as of late. Cira stepped outside with two cups of jasmine tea. She tiptoed to where Trunks was, afraid to pull him from his thoughts. As she approached him, he turned around. He always knew when she was near so sometime she didn't know why she bothered.
"Trunks, it's late. Shouldn't you head to bed soon?" Cira asked, handing one of cup off to her husband.
He took it and leaned against the rail. The wind blew his lavender hair, obstructing his view. He brushed it away before responding, "I can say the same to you. You looked more tired than I feel. Busy at the hospital?"
"More or less. There was a bus accident around my district. There were many injured. Good thing it was not serious," Cira explained as she loosened the tension in her neck.
It was subtle, fleeting, but it was definitely there. She sighed and leaned closer to him, letting their body touched. "This world will not be this peaceful without you, Trunks. We can't be heroes forever. You did your part, now it's my turn to do mine."
She felt him playing with her hair. She leaned closer and rested her body on his. "I know. Maybe it's too peaceful. I feel a bit useless when you're out there everyday helping everyone."
"Running that company of yours is no easy feat. Besides, the people would not have survived had you and Bulma not invented artifical foods and capsule housing. The world would still be in chaos. Even now, the poor is still dependent on your generous offering. Don't sell yourself short."
"You can really make a guy feels good," she heard him say.
"Well, it's my duty as your wife," she smiled. He wrapped one hand over her shoulder. They never had much alone time together. She spent most of her days at the hospital and he spent it in his company. Tonight was a special treat and as a doctor, she knew not to waste precious time.
"Ready for bed?" she asked.
"I'm just waiting on you," he said with a smirk. Cira chuckled. As long as he was in a good mood, all the fatigue would melt away, all the day of tireless work forgotten.
"Let's go, my hero," she teased.
"Cira, thank you," Trunks said as they walked toward the double door into their bedroom.
That one phrase had sealed their fate, had brought them together in the midst of all the terrors and nightmares. Without the appearance of the androids and Cells, they would have never crossed path. Without that one phrase, they would have never spoken. Despite the horrors each soul had suffered through, she was secretly pleased that the calamity had happened, otherwise, there would be no Trunks in her life.
He stretched again. Sleeping had become such a wearisome activity. He couldn't fathom why humans like to sit on their behind and do nothing all day long. He yawned. He couldn't see a damn thing, buried in all these soils, but that was his whole purpose, concealing his existence until the time was right. He flexed his muscles. Soon…he could already feel his blood pounding against his vein. The soils surrounded him suddenly smelled sweet. What was that flavor human cherished so much? Strawberry? No…that was not it…Cherry…nah…not that, too. Ahhh…who cared. He inhaled deeply. The sugary scent of revenge was dancing by his nose, teasing him. He licked his lips. Yes…he could almost taste it.
"Go away!" A little boy screamed while zooming in and out, over and beneath. There was another body tailing him from behind.
"What's all these noise?" Bulma complained when she walked into the living room.
"Grandma!" Mito cried. Mito and Tori were both in the air.
"Mito! Tori! What's going on? Come down here right NOW!" Bulma yelled. She stomped across the room until she was beneath the two floating figures. As she reached the center, she tripped on what appeared to be a dinosaur's head. Cursing, she scanned the rest of the room. Pieces of plastics and woods scattered the floor. Her favorite antique vases lied beside the stand, shattered in tiny shards. "Shit!" She cursed. "Where are your parents?"
The two little devils descended obediently. The younger one beamed and skipped to her.
"Dunno…papa, mama not here. We were practicing a move papa showed us." Mito said. "But Tor got mad and chase me."
"He was throwing things at me when I told him he was wrong!" Tori exclaimed, seemingly aggravated at the accusation. "And call me Tor one more time, I will make sure your neck can't find your head." She threatened.
"Tor! Tor!" Mito taunted. He skipped backward, away from Tori's line of attack and at the same time flapped his tongue out.
"Brat!" Tori tightened her fist into a ball and was about to lunge at her little brother.
"You two, stop it! Do I look dead to you?" Bulma stepped between them. "Tori! You are too old for this childish act. And Mito, stop provoking your sister." Bulma said. She eyed them, challenging them to fight in front of her.
Kids...Bulma rolled her eyes. They could drive any sane person crazy. She was so lucky Vegeta only gave her one, but Trunks had to put two little demons into this world to drive her nuts. I'm getting too old for this.
"Grandma, please don't get mad. I'm sorry." Mito tugged on her shirt. The light blue eyes that were inherited from his father innocently pleaded for her forgiveness. Demon he was, but the most adorable one. Bulma tousled his light lavender hair, feeling her anger had somewhat subsided.
"Promise you won't do it again," Bulma said, although knew all too well that a pledge of promise would only last momentarily.
"I promise." Mito smiled until all his teeth appeared on his round face. This little devil had really mastered the art of feinting punishment.
She looked over to the young girl standing a foot away. Her arms were crossed and her green eyes focused irritably at her brother. If Mito was a splitting image of Trunks, then Tori had inherited all genes from her grandfather. Her stances, her scowl, her temper…she wondered what Vegeta had to say about his little granddaughter. "How about you, Tori?"
Tori spun her body around, "I promise as long as that little brat over there doesn't bother me." Without directly apologizing, she left the room.
Bulma sighed. Definitely the attitude. "Mito, you know your sister's temper, don't annoyed her again."
"Okay, grandma," he said, but Bulma doubted her words had gotten through both of them. She scanned the room again. Her tired shoulder slumped slightly. This mess would take her the whole afternoon to clean.
She looked down at Mito. "As for your punishment, little one, you have to help your poor grandma clean all these messes."
"But Tori…" Mito pouted. His little fingers pointed at Tori. Bulma eyed with silent authority. Mito quickly closed his mouth and sagged in defeat. "Yes, grandma."
Tori flipped up from her bed. This is so boring. Her earlier episode with her spoiled brother was not enough to provide her the satisfactory entertainment. What she wanted was to beat that little brat to the bloody pulp.
That little brat knew he was born with their father's best feature and while she did not even inherited the slightest traits. He used this fact to find ways to weasel out of any punishment and flaunted at her every chance he got. Angel face…was how her mother had always described him. Tori snorted.
Tori walked to the mirror and raked her fingers through her red hair, but the roughness clogged the trail. She hissed. No one in her family had hair like hers. They all had strands of silky hair. She flipped her bangs to reveal her forehead. She was teased all through her childhood for having the highest forehead. She did run back crying in her younger years, but now, she found a more enjoyable way to shut their mouths. Yes, her father had taught her well in the arts of self-defense. She smirked.
She popped back in her bed and felt boredom completely overtook her mind and body. Where is that little brat now? She flipped up again and left the room. Maybe she could continue their sparring.
She walked to the living room and saw Mito obediently following their grandmother's order and cleaned up the mess they had caused. The front door opened. Her mother walked in with her hair tied in a loose, disheveled ponytailed, looking like she had not slept for the past few days.
"Bulma! What happened here?"
"Your kids," her grandmother grumbled.
"I'm so terribly sorry, Bulma! Let me help you," her mother instantly dropped to her knees and started picking up the shards from the vase.
"Don't worry, Cira. You've been at the hospital since last night. You should get some rest," her grandmother said. "I might be old but I'm more than capable of cleaning this mess."
Tori felt guilty when she saw her grandmother and tired mother cleaning their mess. She was about to step out and help until that little devil pounced on their mother. "Mama! Tor did it!"
That little snitch! That's it! I'm going to kick the little devil's ass!
Her mother looked apologetically at Bulma. "Sorry, Bulma. I'll talk to Tori. Where's she at now?"
"She went upstairs and don't want to help!"
She had intended to help, but the little brat was pissing her off. If she hang around, she was sure she would kill that little brat. Growling, she quickly moved down the hall, out the nearest window exit.
Trunks didn't know the reason for his uneasiness for the past few days. He looked up at the sky. Gray clouds gathered in the far south and seemed to be heading this direction. The earth was vibrating as if it was trying to warn all living things of a future peril. An omen? Was something about to happen? His warrior's intuition indicated this possibility, but he could not pinpoint the source.
Trunks sighed. His restlessness could also be his needs to fight. Deny that he would, he still had Saiyan's blood running in his body. His mind might have been satisfied with the peacefulness of the current world, but his blood spoke differently.
He heard a soft crumpling of rocks behind him. He was surprised he did not sense the intruder's ki. Usually he was more alert. Something was definitely wrong…
"Tori, come out." With his eyes, he motioned her to the spot next to him.
Tori has not expected her father to be here at this time. She knew he was just finished with his work in the Capsule Corps, but he usually went home and spent time with her mother, especially if he knew she was going to be home. Tori walked next to him and sat down. She folded one leg while letting the other one hang from the edge of the cliff.
Trunks side glanced at her. Tori was watching the horizon in silence. Her profile painfully resembled his father. The forehead, the small pointed nose, the furrowed brow…
Tori caught her father giving her that particular look again. She remembered once her father briefly said she looked a lot like her grandfather. She knew at this moment her father was not looking at her but the ghost of someone long deceased. From the time when she understood human words until now, she never heard her father openly speak of his past. It was through the conversations her father and grandmother shared did she piece together tidbits of past events.
She knew she was no ordinary kid and neither was her family. Her grandfather was a full-blood Saiyan, an alien from another world. Chi Chi's husband was also a Saiyan, who died of a heart attack. There were many other warriors, whom she did not remember the name of, died from the battle with the dreadful androids. Her grandfather was part of them. Basically, her father, who was young at that time, was the only survivor. And there was that whole business of going to the future, which confused her immensely. But when she asked for details, they would shrug and promise to explain when she turned older. She felt her age was not the reason for their reluctance, it was more like the painful memories were still fresh in their mind.
"Why aren't you at home?" she heard her father asked.
"I don't want to clean," she stated bluntly, "And I don't think I should, because it wasn't my fault."
"Let me guess, it was Mito's fault, right?" her father's chuckled. She felt a palm on her head, tousling her rough hair. Although her father trained her hard and considered her a full-fledged warrior, sometimes…he still had the tendency to treat her like a little girl.
"Dad, stop that. I'm grown up," she grumbled. She brushed her father's hand away.
Her father laughed. "If you're such a big girl now, you will stop fighting with your little brother."
"He started it." More laughter escaped her father's mouth. She looked at her father as he continued to amuse himself at her expense. There was something not right. Before her father realized she was here, she saw a troubled look on him. He was quick to conceal it in her presence.
Her father cleared his voice and finally stopped the teasing. His hand fell upon her shoulder, giving a light squeeze. "I know Mito can be a bit annoying at times, but remember, he is still your little brother." He hesitated. "Be glad you can still call him a brat."
She shrugged. She knew her father was right. He usually was. She didn't really hate Mito, but the brat could get to the last cell beneath her skin. Casting her eyes downward, she gave a quick nod to indicate she understood.
Her father fell silent. He stared at the barren land before them. She could see his body tensing slightly. "Dad, what's wrong?" she asked, tilting her head as she studied his face.
As if she broke the silent spell, her father shook his head. He pointed to the dark clouds formulating to their south. "I'm just worried that we might have a big storm coming our way."
Tori snorted. "Storms are just like bug bites for us warriors. There's hardly anything to worry about."
Her father gave her a disapproving look. "For us, it might be as you say, but for our friends and other people living with us on this planet, it could very well be life threatening. Tori, you have to remember not to think so selfishly when others suffer."
Tori lowered her head. She didn't mean to sound like a selfish brat, especially in front of her father. "I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean it like that way."
"I know." He tousled her hair lightly again. He smiled down at her. "For a second there, it seems like your grandfather was talking through you."
"Grandfather?" Tori hold back her excitement. This was one of the few times that her father brought up her grandfather. She always wanted to learn more about her grandfather and the past that her father was reluctant to talk about. "Dad…I don't know why you don't like to talk about grandpa, but I really want to know what kind of person he is." She looked up at her father.
Her father sighed. "He was strong, arrogant, proud, and stubborn. Human in his eyes is a race of weaklings. Since I have half human blood in me, even though I'm his kin, he saw me also as a weakling," her father explained.
"He thought of you as a weakling?" Tori said, astonished at the thought. Her father was the strongest fighter. She remembered she sneaked out one night when her father went to train by himself. She was hidden behind the trees and had suppressed her ki so she could not be detected. After two hours of dazedly watching her father warm-up, her father stood still. His hands wrapped in a tight fist. His chin lowered to his chest. She could feel energies gathered around him. With a sudden scream, her father stood, surrounded by golden ki. His hair, which was strands of lavender, stood up in golden layer. Even from where she stood, she could feel the immense power traveled through the air, electrifying her skins. She had respected her father from the day she was born, but at that moment, she was at lost for words of level of respect she had for him.
Her father hesitated before continuing, "Sadly, I had proven him right. My stupidity had caused a greater and more powerful evil than the androids to surface in their timeline."
"He should appreciate that you had brought him a challenge," Tori said with a light snort.
Her father stared at her with wide eyes, seemingly surprised at her words. "You have hit the characteristic of a Saiyan to the dot, at least pure blood Saiyan. My sole purpose when I went back to the past was to warn them of the danger. I pleaded with them to destroy the androids before they were activated by the mad scientist, but they refused, even when I told them that they will die in the androids hand. The second time I returned, I went as far as trying to destroy the androids myself. I still remembered the look he gave me when he caught me in the act. How could a son of mine be such a coward was probably his thoughts. If only he knew what was the world like if they failed."
Tori listened. Though she knew her father was right by doing as he did, she also felt that she wouldn't have destroyed the androids without a good fight, especially not when she has a chance to test her current power. "Did they end up kicking the androids' ass?"
Her father raised her brow at her choice of word, but answered her questions. "As I thought, they were too powerful, but they didn't go on a killing spree as soon as they woke up, unlike this timeline. They fought when we provoked them. They went off minding their own business as long as we mind ours."
"So they were harmless?" Tori asked. In and out of schools, from the time when she could talk, she heard stories about how terrifying the androids were. They killed for the sake of killing; destroyed for the sake of destroying. It was her father who finally put them to rest.
Her father nodded. "Yes, they were much more powerful, yet they were not evil. It was another who was the real threat. An uninvited guest had followed me through time..."
The winds suddenly picked up and blew violently. The weather in this part of the mountain was unstable. She pretended she was not a bit bothered by the storm, but it seemed to be a cue for her father to stop.
"We have to go home now. Her mother will be worry," her father said.
Tori cursed beneath her breath…just when she was getting interesting details from her father. "But…"
"I'll finish another day," he assured.
Tori stood up and patted the dust from her pants. "It's a promise, okay?"
Her father chuckled, "Promise."