Chapter 1: A Girl To Kill For
"Some would say it has been a long time since the Androids were defeated; others would say that it hasn't been very long at all. Either way, it doesn't much matter to me anymore. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of my mother, time is no longer a boundary for me. When I first traveled through time, I tried to save a world from an android threat. I didn't know it at the time, but that wasn't my past. Somehow, my time machine jumped dimensions, and I found myself in a world that looked like mine, but wasn't. I can't say that I minded being able to see friends and family long since gone. But I didn't know the danger that I had breached. The first time I traveled to that dimension was to save a hero's life. I went there to save Goku from a deadly heart virus that would kill him in just less than three years. When I did this, it actually caused the heart virus to disable his abilities more slowly. This slowed down the date of Goku's appointed death. He survived due the medicine I delivered, but the fact still remained, something had changed the date. We couldn't worry about it then, we were still in a race against time. After giving Goku the vaccine for the virus, I returned to my "time" to see any effects of the change. There were none. The Androids in my dimension were still just as alive and strong as they were before I left. I returned again to what would be three years later in the other dimension to see what had happened that had not changed time. There was no change to my time, but we found one major change to Goku's. The Androids I had warned them about had become even more powerful than the ones in my timeline. Again, I wasn't sure what had caused this change, but we didn't have the time to ponder it. It began to make more sense when I finally returned to my timeline after we had defeated Cell. My original intentions were to travel through time. Specifically back to my past to change things that had happened. The loss of my friends and family, the rise of the Androids; I wanted to change that. Well, I did travel through time, but also through dimensions. Since then, I have devoted much of my attention to studying the effects of my time machine. And one day, maybe I will find a way to travel back to the past of my dimension. So far, my attempts have been unsuccessful. It has been two years since the Androids were defeated. Lucky for me, not many people know that I am responsible for the fall of the Androids. I don't like being in spotlights. I don't like having people rely on me for the preservation of the Earth when bad comes to worse. But they do anyway, because I'm all they have left… whether I want it or not."
"TRUNKS!" a familiar voice snapped over the intercom system of the Capsule Corp Mansion.
"What, Mom?" Trunks asked the intercom in his room.
"You've got a visitor!" Trunks' mother, Bulma announced, "and be quick about it, this one's important."
"Ah, great," Trunks said to himself. He wondered who it could be, but didn't dwell on it.
He closed his journal and got up from the desk in his room. His room was very large. As he was the richest man in the world, it wasn't surprising that he should have some of the most expensive items available arranged around his room. Of course, Trunks was much more organized than your average nineteen-year-old. Things were reasonably well kept and in order. He was, of course, President of the newly reconstructed Capsule Corporation. He had expected his mother to carry on the family business until she died, but Bulma had decided to pass her time just tinkering with old ideas and new toys in her private workshop. After all, she had built the time machine that way.
Before leaving his room, Trunks glanced out a nearby window to see who might be there to see him. No car.
"Oh well," Trunks thought to himself, "find out soon enough."
Trunks left his room and walked down the corridor to an elevator. Trunks thought about how funny the mansion seemed. There must have been over 200 rooms in it, and only four people lived there. After Gohan's death, Bulma had invited Chi Chi and her father to come live with Trunks and her. Trunks entered the elevator and announced "ground level" and the elevator began to take him there. When the doors opened again, Trunks left the elevator and headed for the living room next to the entrance hall. When he entered the room, two faces greeted him. The first was bore by the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had medium-length, shining, dark brown hair. Below her streaming bangs, was a masterfully round, almost heart-shaped face and two bright blue eyes staring deeply into his own. Her mouth was clearly cut exposing a warm smile and pearl-colored, straight teeth. She was dressed in a tight, white top and jeans, and her figure was as nothing Trunks could compare to. Trunks remembered his mother would brag about her outset figure in her youth, but he knew she was in no compare to this young lady. Trunks stood transfixed for several moments before he realized that there was another face in the room, and it was apparently the other extreme from the young woman. Bulma looked at Trunks hard, as if silently telling Trunks of her irritation.
"Trunks! Do you have any idea how long you have kept this young woman waiting?" Bulma interrogated.
"Uhh, I, um, I–," Trunks stuttered.
"Spit it out!" Bulma roared, but Trunks just shrugged and continued smiling at the young woman before him.
The young lady cut in, "Trunks Brief? Pleasure to finally meet you." She extended her hand.
Ignoring her hand, Trunks was still frozen on her eyes. After a brief moment, Trunks was dragged back to consciousness by Bulma's elbow buried deeply into his side.
"A pleasure!" Trunks spat out, "For me, de–definitely a pleasure… Miss?"
Bulma smiled. It warmed her to see her son with the young lady, even if he was losing the conversation. "I'll get you something to drink," she told the young lady, and excused herself.
"My name is Shell," she explained to Trunks.
"Shell…" Trunks repeated, "how pretty, I mean that's a really pretty name, I mean…"
He was cut off by her giggle. He stood for a minute admiring her small figure. He didn't consider himself particularly tall, maybe of medium-height and medium-build and all-cut-muscle. But she looked quite miniature to him. Not that he didn't like it, she was just the right size, but to him she appeared almost too soft to touch without breaking her completely. And perhaps that added to her beauty and Trunks' fascination with her.
"You're pretty handsome yourself," she said interrupting his train of thought.
Trunks blushed vividly and murmured, "Oh, uh, thank you."
Bulma returned bearing a tray with fruit drinks. "Shell, dear, just make yourself at home, ok? Trunks doesn't understand social manners."
Shell smiled and took a seat on the couch. Trunks hesitated and then slowly sat down next to her.
Bulma, realizing she would have to save the day again, kept the conversation going. "So, Shell, what brings you to the neighborhood today?" she asked.
"Oh, well, Mrs. Brief, I'm currently looking for work and I tried to get an appointment but everything was booked. The office secretary told me that if I could catch you at home, it wouldn't hurt to just stop by. I don't usually do this, but she insisted that Mr. Brief was not much of one for formalities," Shell explained.
"And she was right," Bulma said answering for Trunks, "Trunks doesn't usually have the taste for the business world." She looked hard at Trunks. She knew that Trunks could actually conduct business deals very well, but she was trying to get Trunks to talk on his own.
Knowing that meant agree, Trunks acknowledged, "I like more of a home life." Then, feeling a terrible knotting pain in his stomach, Trunks excused himself from the room and left acknowledging that he'd be back.
"Is he ok?" Shell asked.
"Peachy," Bulma snapped, "He just doesn't know how to be sociable with females."
"Oh, I'm sorry I'll keep that in mind," Shell apologized.
"Oh don't be," Bulma retorted, "He's always been that way…"
"What happened?" Shell asked knowing by her tone that she meant more than she said.
Bulma hesitated for a moment. "I don't know if I'm the right person to tell you," she said, "Ask Trunks sometime about the details of it, but all I can tell you is that he is single-handedly responsible for the fall the Androids."
Shell stared for a moment, apparently processing everything that Bulma had just given her. Perhaps not much in words, but in action, that was a mouthful. "Tru–Trunks," she stuttered, "destroyed the Androids? By himself, with no army? On his… own?"
Bulma nodded with a proud look in her eyes.
Meanwhile, Trunks stood before the mirror in the bathroom. "What's wrong with me?" he thought to himself aloud. The thought that a girl had made him throw up was almost insulting. Gohan would never have been so weak, and his father would have laughed at him. The thought of Gohan looking at him now was burning in the whole of his chest. And what was worse, the thought of what his father would think! He could practically hear Vegeta's voice in his head.
"Silly, boy, have you no balls at all? Proud Saiyan warrior ran off by a mere girl? Face your fears, you worthless coward!"
Trunks thought for a moment. Well that was fighting, not talking to a girl. In that respect, the most beautiful girl Trunks had ever seen. Gohan had never taught him about anything of what to expect from a girl. And he couldn't imagine his father even addressing the matter. What would Goku do? Never mind. That was the surest way Trunks could think of to have a girl dump him. Chi Chi must have been crazy… but then, so must have been Goku.
"Well," Trunks thought out loud, "my mother seems to get along well with anyone, so maybe I should ask her… Oh, come on, Trunks! You're nineteen years old! This is childish. She probably doesn't even think you're cute in the first place! So just act normal."
Another moment of thought, he concurred the obvious – easier said than done. "Oh well," Trunks sighed, "Here goes nothing."
He left the bathroom and headed back to his impending doom-of-a-conversation. When he entered the room, Shell looked up to see Trunks' eyes meet her halfway. She smiled instinctively. Surprisingly, he smiled back.
"Sorry about that," Trunks announced with a new-found confidence, "business call."
Shell frowned, "If I'm interrupting, Mr. Brief, I'm very sorry I can come back another time…"
"No!" Trunks almost shouted, "I mean, uh, it wasn't important. Mother, could you get us all something more to drink?"
Bulma seemed eager that Trunks had collected himself a bit more and so she didn't hesitate to hurry to get the drinks. Hurry out that is, but not particularly back.
"Are you sure, Mr. Brief?" Shell began to ask again.
"It's Trunks," he answered and sat down on the couch next to her. He would have begun to ask about her job skills, but the same hold she had over him started to come back.
"Trunks?" she asked wondering if there was still sense in him, "Are you ok?"
Trunks came back to reality. "Uh, yes. Shell, I'm really sorry…"
"Well you look ill," she stated, "and your face is all pinkish. Perhaps it would do you good to get some fresh air?"
"Yeah, can we go out?" Trunks asked and then, "Outside! I mean. Can we go outside?"
She giggled for a moment. "Okay."
Trunks let Bulma know they would be outside and then they walked into the yard. Unfortunately, living in the city, Capsule Corp Mansion didn't have much yard space. It did have much larger than most, but nothing spectacular.
"Trunks," Shell asked, "could we go for a walk? Maybe a short one through the city?"
Trunks hesitated and then agreed. As he walked toward her to get to the sidewalk, she held onto his arm and walked with him, arm in arm. Trunks' first thought was that his stomach just dropped lower than when Cell gut-punched him. But then, at the same time his heart was on fire and racing.
"What's going on?!?" Trunks screamed inside his head.
As they walked, the shock of having a beautiful woman holding onto his arm began to subside and Trunks began to be able to fully answer some of Shell's questions without stuttering or near tripping to get the words out. They talked about anything that came to mind as they walked. Well, Shell talked the majority of the time, but eventually Trunks got into the conversation. Soon enough, they came to a park.
As they walked, Trunks asked, "So where are you and your family originally from?"
Shell hesitated, the first time all evening, "We were from here."
"Were?" Trunks asked blindly.
"My mother and father were killed in the Android Massacres," she explained, "and I was an orphan that survived."
"I–I'm sorry," Trunks apologized.
"It's not your fault," she answered, "why do you apologize?"
"Because I was too late," he responded under his breath.
"You could not have known, and did the best you could, Trunks. You destroyed them and that's more than anyone can ask of you," she complimented.
"How do you–?" Trunks tried to ask.
"Your mother told me," she cut in.
Trunks stood for a moment. "She told you?"
"Just that you destroyed the Androids," Shell explained, "She told me to ask you about the rest of your adventure."
"It wasn't an adventure…" Trunks faded, "It was a nightmare."
"I'm sorry Trunks; I didn't mean to upset you. I promise I won't say anything else about it," she apologized.
"You don't need to be sorry," Trunks muttered, "you're not at fault."
They stood in silence for a moment in the park, watching the sun fade into the horizon. Its bright orange glow penetrated the city and even into the trees of the park.
"I guess this isn't your idea of a job interview is it, Trunks?" Shell asked.
Trunks turned away from the sunset, and towards Shell. "You're definitely not ordinary," Trunks said. "I don't know if we could ever find another potential employee like you."
Shell smiled, and then moved closer to Trunks urging him to hold her. He did, and then she looked up at him. "So you'll give me a call if I'm hired?" she asked softly.
"Tomorrow," Trunks assured, "But can I walk you home, the city can be dangerous at night for a beautiful young lady walking home."
"Would you?" she asked as he coupled her arm and walked with her.
They didn't walk long and had different talks about what type of work she was interested in and the different studies she had taken. Trunks found out a lot about her and was surprised at how much he enjoyed being with her and how well he got along with her. He learned that Shell took advanced schooling at a younger age and managed to pass with flying colors. She had a brilliant mind and a stout heart. To Trunks, she seemed to believe strongly in her opinions, but at the same time she had an open mind to discussion. For the most part Trunks just listened. He liked just listening to her. He loved the sound her voice made, and the way she looked at things. He found it particularly fascinating that they shared some of the same hobbies and passions. She, too, enjoyed the science field and home lifestyles that Trunks held dear. By far not ready to end the walk home, they finally arrived at her home. Surprisingly not far from the Capsule Corp Mansion, it occurred to Trunks that she had taken the long way around.
"Trunks," Shell said as she turned to face him, "thank you for the afternoon. It was the best time I've had in a long time."
"You made it great," Trunks said blushing.
She gave a slight laugh. "Are you always this sweet to the ladies?" she asked.
Trunks blushed heavier and then looked into her eyes again. A reflect–?
Staring back, she whispered, "Trunks, I–AAH!"
She screamed while looking over his shoulder, but Trunks had already seen it. Three men had come at them, one carrying a knife, one unarmed, and one carrying a gun. The man with no weapon came at Trunks from behind and tried to hold him, but Trunks had seen it coming and countered. Trunks twisted the man's wrist, and then flipped the man over his hip and into the air. Trunks threw him a good twenty feet away. The man with the knife had come at Trunks from the side. As the man stabbed, Trunks grabbed the man's hand and twisted him, throwing the knife from his hand, down the street, and into a brick wall. As for the man, after the knife left his hand, the helpless man continued to be drug in a vertical circle by Trunks. After spinning the man by his arm several times, Trunks roundhouse kicked the man and he flew across the street into a tree. While Trunks was fighting, Shell had backed up to stay out of the way. The man with the gun had grabbed her from behind just as Trunks had finished with the other two. Using Shell as a hostage, the man held his gun to her head and peeked around her head to face Trunks.
"What the–?" the man asked in shock, "Where the hell'd he go?" He paused for a moment looking down the street. Nothing. "Well, sweetheart," he said to Shell, "looks like your boyfriend dumped you and ran off scared. Must suck for you to know your man's a pussy!" He started to laugh hysterically at himself, "Never knew you had more balls than your man did you, lady?"
Shell began to become frantic with the fear that Trunks had perhaps really left her to die out in front of her own apartment. Tears started to swell in her eyes.
"If you want to live to see the next minute, I suggest you let her go and run as fast as you can away from here and hope to God that I don't feel like chasing you," Trunks answered in the darkness.
Becoming frantic, the man began looking all around the street trying to figure out where Trunks' voice had come from. "Now you listen to me, kid. I'm calling the shots here, and I've got your bitch. So show yourself nice and slowly before I cap her ass!"
"What did you call her?" Trunks whispered in the darkness.
"You heard me you little shit, so get out here now!" the man screamed into the darkness.
A hand came from above and grabbed the man's hand away from Shell's head.
"Here I am, but you should have shot yourself in the head before you called her that," Trunks threatened from above. He had been flying upside-down above the man the whole time.
Shell managed to break free from the man's frightened grip and moved away. Looking up at Trunks, the man began to panic and rapid fired his pistol in hopes of hitting Trunks. But to no avail. Trunks' grip on the man's hand was not something easily broken. The man fired several rounds into the air next to Trunks until Trunks applied a mild amount of pressure to the man's hand. Trunks and the man listened as the bones in his hand began to crack and crush under the immense force of Trunks' grip. The man shrieked in pain as he felt all the bones in his hand shatter and stared into Trunks' angry gaze upon the man's eyes as he did it. As soon as Trunks felt satisfied with the man's hand, while still holding it, he swung his feet down, upper cutting the man in the lower jaw with his right boot. Trunks released the man's hand allowing the momentum from the kick to knock the man back onto the sidewalk, staring up at Trunks as he landed a back flip from the upside-down kick. Trunks stood up slowly from his bowed position. With the use of the slightest bit of energy, Trunks manipulated the forces of gravity long enough to pick the man up and put him on his feet. The man stood, disheveled, bleeding from the mouth from the impact of Trunks' kick, holding his sickly bent hand, dirty and aching. Trunks grabbed the man by the throat and picked him up off the ground with his one hand.
"Is that your car?" Trunks asked Shell.
"What?" Shell replied curiously, "Well, no… but, Trunks what are you–?"
With that, Trunks slammed the man into the side of the car causing the car to cave in from impact, and the man to bleed profusely from the sharp metal in his back. The man spat up blood, begging Trunks to stop and let him go. Shell watched from ten feet away as Trunks held the man in the crater-of-a-car door, becoming more afraid, but not of the man who attacked them. To her this was a new side of Trunks she couldn't have imagined him having, ever. He seemed, to her, to almost glow in the darkness of that night as he held the man to that car. At last she couldn't take it anymore and ran to Trunks grabbing his free arm.
"Trunks!" Shell screamed, "Let him go! There's no need for you to hold him like this, just let him go! He's not worth this!" Looking at him closer, she began to notice that his eyes seemed to have faded into a white color, like the pupil disappeared. Her eyes must have been playing tricks on her, because after she had blinked, she saw his eyes and his collection return to him. His odd glow seemed to subside, his muscles relaxed, and he dropped the man and backed away immediately.
"Trunks," Shell said trying to call Trunks' attention back to her, "Trunks, are you ok?"
Trunks stood for a moment transfixed on the man. He was dying.
"Trunks!" Shell shouted.
Then Trunks returned his attention to her. "Shell, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry," Trunks started, "I–I need to go. I'm really sorry about all this, but I'll have to explain later. Please believe me, please." He stood for a moment wondering of her decision.
Shell thought for a second, then, "Go, Trunks, go home, and you can tell me tomorrow…" Then she ran to him and held him, "And please promise me you'll be ok, Trunks, please."
"I'm really sorry for all this, but I'll talk to you tomorrow, goodnight Shell," Trunks said as he ran down the street and rounded the corner to fly off back to Capsule Corp Mansion.
People began to wander out into the street and look on at Shell standing alone on the street.
Shell looked up and shouted, "Somebody call an ambulance!"
That night, she had to explain to the police what happened without incriminating Trunks, and then try to get some sleep without the whole incident bothering her. She didn't sleep that night.