Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ. I'm not making any money out of this, just having fun… hope you like it, let me know your thoughts. :)
Trunks eyed his sword carefully, slowly turning it over in front of him, a solemn expression on his face. Beyond the sword, out the window of the remnants of Capsule Corporation, he could see smoke rising in the distance. His eyes focused on the smoke and then darkened at the visual reminder of the destruction the androids were capable of. He put the sword back in his holster and slung it over his shoulder, his blue eyes focused as he looked out the window a moment longer.
It was time. Time for him to go back into the past and set everything right. He briefly contemplated his mission, the weight of the heart virus antidote feeling like a brick in his chest. He needed Goku's help if he was to end the madness. He wasn't sure if Goku would make such a large difference, and if he was being honest, he was still a bit skeptical. His mother though believed so much in the warrior that Trunks had to believe as well.
They had nothing left to lose.
Bulma took the cap off the black sharpie in her hand, before scribbling on the metal of the time machine she had built for her son. She hadn't finished writing when her teenage son came up behind her. The lavender-haired young man tilted his head to the side a little as he peered over his mother.
"Hope, huh?" he asked. She smiled, putting an extra exclamation point for emphasis after the word before putting the cap back on the sharpie.
"That's what keeps us going," she said, turning to face her son. He gave her a smirk, and she noted how much he resembled Vegeta when he did that. She smiled nostalgically. "Now, son, do you have everything?"
"Yeah, I have everything I'll need," Trunks said, opening his leather Capsule Corp jacket to show his mother the capsules that were tucked on the inside.
"And you have the antidote for Goku?" she asked, her blue eyes concerned.
"Yep, got that too," Trunks replied easily, giving his mother a reassuring smile. "It'll be fine, Mom. It'll be exciting actually," Trunks' eyes gleamed a little, and Bulma laughed, recognizing that look.
"That's your Saiyan side talking all right," she said with a chuckle as she shook her head.
"It's true though. I'll be able to see Gohan again, and meet his father who I've heard so much about. And I'll even be able to see my own father," he said, not able to keep the smile from growing on his face. Bulma sighed and gave her son a knowing look, making Trunks laugh. "I know, I know, you've already told me that he wasn't exactly the… friendliest guy around."
"I just don't want you to be disappointed, Trunks…" Bulma said hesitantly, trying to find the words to say what she was feeling, "Vegeta wasn't a bad person. Proud, arrogant, sure, but he was a hard man to really know and understand. He never showed me any affection at all Trunks, and I just don't want you meeting him with these huge expectations that he won't live up to…"
"I know, I won't set my expectations high, but it's still going to be so awesome to actually see him," Trunks said excitedly, brushing his lavender hair out of his eyes.
"Now Trunks," Bulma said, her voice taking on that motherly tone as she placed her hands on her hips. "You're not going back in time to socialize with Vegeta, you know."
"I know," he said, his face turning solemn again. He walked past his mother up to the time machine and looked up at it, the machine as daunting as his task. Slowly, he reached out and let one hand rest on the word his mother had just written on the side of the machine.
"I wish you would give me another few weeks to run more tests on this thing," Bulma sighed behind him. He turned to face her, giving her a small smile.
"Mom, you're a genius, I'm sure it'll be fine," he told her reassuringly. She nodded, giving him a strained smile before looking away. She unconsciously wrapped her arms around herself, hating the feeling of dread over being away from her son for so long. She was startled when she felt her son wrap his arms around her, as if reading her mind. "I'll be fine," he told her with complete sincerity.
She sighed and hugged him back tightly. He let her hug him as long as she needed. "You're all I have left, Trunks," she told him, pulling away from their embrace. She took his face in her hands, simply gazing at the man her son was becoming. "You better come back in one piece, do you hear me?" she told him, and he smirked.
"I'll be back in one piece, Mom, I promise."
"Good," she told him, letting him go. She gave him a wink. "You stay out of trouble, Trunks."
"You too," he said, his tone light-hearted as he turned back to the time machine. In one swift and easy jump, he was in the machine. He took a seat and looked down at the blue-haired woman below him.
"You know me, I'll find something to keep me entertained," she called up to him. He laughed at that.
"That's what I'm afraid of," he joked, pressing a button on the control panel. The glass top of the time machine whirred and lowered itself around him, closing with a click as the machine came to life. He pressed another button, and immediately the machine began to rumble underneath him.
Smoke rose out from underneath the yellow time machine as it slowly elevated into the air. Bulma watched anxiously, a nervous smile on her face as she slowly craned her neck back to look up at her son. They made eye contact, and he gave her a small but confident wave.
There was a small flash of light, and then Trunks was gone.
Trunks blinked, his eyes focusing as the white light that had engulfed the time machine finally disappeared. It hadn't taken more than a few seconds, and he was somewhat surprised by that. He hadn't known what to expect, since he had never used the time machine before, so he laughed inwardly at himself for finding anything surprising at all.
He pressed the button the triggered the release mechanism to his time machine, and the glass top whirred to life and slid up. He hopped out of the time machine, landing gracefully on his feet. He looked around curiously, before pressing a button on the side of the time machine to put it back into its capsule. He picked up the capsule and put it back into his jacket with the other capsules. His mother had given him everything he would need to stay here as long as he thought he needed to.
Trunks wasn't planning on staying long though. He just needed to speak to Goku and give him the antidote he would need so he could live long enough to help them against the androids. He did not want to leave Bulma alone for longer than that, not with the androids constantly hunting them down. Scowling, the teenager looked around him, wondering where he had landed. The coordinates had him landing a few miles away from Goku's home. He had never seen Goku's home, nor would he be reasonably expected to recognize the area twenty years back in the past.
But somehow, this didn't seem right to him.
The area he had landed in was barren, something like stone or concrete underneath him. There were minimal bushes, more like shrubs, and they looked like they were dying. It was nighttime, and Trunks' scowl deepened as a feeling of unease crept up through him. Somehow, this didn't feel right at all. The darkness and emptiness of the place made even his destruction-filled future look bright. Trunks shot up into the sky and took off, trying his best to locate some type of power that would let him know where the other Z fighters were.
A few minutes later of flying over nothing more than barren land, Trunks began to grow concerned. He couldn't pick up any power signal from the fighters that he was anticipating encountering. Even though Gohan was technically a child in this timeline, he doubted that Gohan's energy level was so low that he couldn't detect it. Gohan's energy level was the only one Trunks had ever learned to read and sense, and he would recognize that energy level no matter what year it was.
Oh no, Trunks thought, horrified as a thought suddenly struck him. What if I'm too late and they're all gone?
No… no, it can't be, Trunks thought, arguing with himself as he flew faster though the air. Gohan survived the androids before, he would still be alive…
Suddenly, Trunks saw lights up ahead. They were dim, but he could vaguely make out buildings. He grinned and went even faster. There were people up there, he knew it. He would feel much more at ease when he saw them.
The closer and closer he came to the lights and buildings though, the more and more his grin slowly disappeared, replaced with a look of concern as his eyebrows furrowed together. The look of concern grew into a look of shock as he suddenly stopped flying.
He hovered in the air, gazing down at the panic and hysteria that was engulfing the streets. Everyone was running and screaming in sheer terror, with people running into each other and horrified eyes filled with pure fear. Trunks was also horrified as he watched the scene below him, his eyes also filled with terror.
These… people… weren't human.
They were average-sized creatures, their skin appearing hard, scaly, and deep purple. Their eyes were large and yellow, and they had no hands, just claws. They walked upright like humans though, and at the moment, seemed to express human emotion in their eyes. They were aliens, they had to be.
Trunks clenched his fists, understanding but not wanting to understand.
Where the hell am I?
Slowly, he descended, his approach not even registering in the mass hysteria that was engulfing the city. The aliens were screaming in a strange language that he didn't understand. Trunks landed and quickly ran around the corner of a building. He found a deserted alley and immediately retrieved the capsule with his time machine. He clicked it and threw it on the ground.
And nothing happened.
Trunks felt his stomach drop as he retrieved the capsule from the ground, before clicking it and throwing it again. And again, the capsule just lay there. The teenager just stared at it, his hands beginning to shake.
He had no idea where he was, had no idea even what year it was, and now had no idea if he could even go home.
He slowly picked up the capsule, fighting his impulsive reaction to throw and destroy the capsule. No, he would have to keep it, find somewhere quiet, and try his best to repair it. As he put the capsule away, he was regretting not having listened more to his mother when she had tried to explain the design of her inventions to him.
Just then, Trunks was sent sprawling onto the ground as someone ran into him from behind. He was on his feet immediately, his sword drawn in less than a second as he gazed at the offender.
"Who are you?" Trunks demanded, glaring at the alien in front of him. It looked smaller than the others, like a child. The alien was in a sitting position on the ground as it gazed up at Trunks with pure terror. Trunks saw the terror, and felt a pang of recognition. Usually he was on the other side, that look in his own eyes.
Slowly, he offered a smile and put his sword back in its holster. The alien backed up a little, clearly afraid of him. Trunks knelt down and his smile grew.
"Hey, I won't hurt you," he said sincerely. The creature's look went from terrified to confused. "Can you understand me?" Trunks asked as the creature slowly stood. The alien was only half as tall as Trunks.
"Ila yen kai trinkalei," the alien said, panic in its voice as it looked at Trunks with pleading in its eyes. Trunks just shook his head, trying to communicate that he didn't understand.
Suddenly, the alien was up close to Trunks, grabbing fistfuls of the teenager's jacket. "Whoa," Trunks said as the alien's eyes grew large with obvious fear.
"Ila yen saiyan!"
Trunks tilted his head curiously, recognition dawning in his eyes, "Did you just say Saiyan?"
The alien's eyes grew even more, and before Trunks could ask anything, the alien took off running, dragging Trunks behind him. "Hey, wait a minute!" Trunks cried out, knowing he could stop the alien but not wanting to. He wanted answers. "I'm a Sai-"
The alien stopped running suddenly, pulling Trunks down quickly behind a piece of fallen concrete and covering the teenager's mouth with a clawed purple hand. The words in Trunks' mouth died anyways as they both peered over the concrete. The sight that greeted him sent chills up his back.
Not even fifty feet away, he saw a ki blast rip through the streets of this strange civilization he was in. Horrified screams filled the air and painfully lingered, tortured wail followed by tortured wail. There was smoke rising, and in the middle stood a tall man with long black hair that went down almost the entire length of his back. The man was wearing a metallic contraption that covered his left ear, with a red piece of glass that stretched over to cover his left eye.
The man turned with a smirk, and Trunks and the alien child both lowered their heads behind the piece of concrete. A ki blast sailed right over their heads and slammed into a nearby building, immediately engulfing it in flames. Trunks watched the devastation in horror, conflicted as indecision tore through him. Should he step in and end this madness?
He had seen the man's armor, had seen the man's tail wrapped around his waist securely. He knew he was a Saiyan. That type of energy could only come from a Saiyan. But all of the Saiyans were gone that he knew of. The only ones who had survived were Goku and his father. They were the only pure-blooded Saiyans left twenty years into the past.
Trunks felt his eyes widen. How far back in time had he actually traveled?
"Saiyan," the alien whispered, motioning back towards the man. Trunks looked at the alien next to him in a daze before feeling another explosion rock the area. Trunks covered his ears, grimacing as he tried to shield himself from debris falling near them.
Anger suddenly flared through him. He hadn't left his world of death and destruction asking to enter another one, and he was struggling to contain the fury he felt running through his veins. But his mother had warned him, that he wasn't to change anything except giving Goku the antidote, because the smallest change could have huge ramifications in the future. Things could change wildly, and he had promised his mother…
Trunks felt another explosion rock a nearby building, and he clenched his teeth together, his body trembling as he ached to intervene. He heard the man laugh loudly, and he couldn't imaging what kind of monster he was to laugh at this. This civilization was helpless, and he had destroyed them and then done nothing but laugh at their pain and deaths.
"Way to be selfish, Raditz," Trunks heard a deep, gruff voice say in amusement. His eyes widened when he realized they were speaking his language. This voice was closer to him, less than ten feet away. "You didn't even let me have any fun with them before you went and killed them all."
The other man snickered. "Sorry Nappa, but you have to jump in a lot sooner than that if you want to have some fun too. I just couldn't help myself."
The first man laughed, "Well, I'm sure I can find some alien freak left to have fun with around here."
Trunks and the alien child remained sitting with their backs pressed up against the slab of concrete, and Trunks didn't dare breathe. He didn't know who these Saiyans were, but he was fairly confident that he could destroy them easily and single-handedly. But he had no idea what that might do to the timeline he had always known. He just wanted them to leave, so he could figure out how to get away from there and either go back home, or go back to the timeline and planet he was supposed to have gone to.
Just then, there was a low shuffling sound. Trunks' eyes narrowed as he stared straight ahead, where out of the smoking and burning wreckage, what looked to be a female alien of around his height stumbled out. The alien looked at Trunks and the child alien sitting next to him and gave out a loud cry.
The child alien returned the cry, before rushing forward towards her. "No!" Trunks hissed. He turned around enough to peer over the concrete at the Saiyans behind him, and he saw that the one closest to him was a burly, bald, large and menacing man. The bald man turned and saw the aliens, and raised an eyebrow in amusement. Neither of the Saiyans had noticed Trunks there, but that was about to change if they tried to do what he thought they were going to do.
Trunks growled as the bald man laughed and raised his hand towards the aliens, preparing a ki blast. "Hey, look Raditz, free target practice."
"Hold that thought, Nappa," Raditz said.
Trunks froze when he heard the other man speak. His hand had already been on his sword, and he had been prepared to leap up and make himself known. He had seen enough destruction, and seeing the child alien and what looked to be its mother slaughtered before his eyes would be too much for him to take. He had been about to jump out and block the Saiyan's attack, but now he sat back against the piece of concrete, his body tense.
"What is it?" Nappa demanded with a sigh, looking over his shoulder at the younger Saiyan. Raditz had a frown on his face as he stared at the aliens that Nappa had been ready to disintegrate.
"My scouter briefly picked up something," Raditz said, and Nappa scoffed at the ridiculous remark. Trunks closed his eyes, squeezing them shut. How could he have forgotten? Those contraptions on both of their faces were scouters that could read power levels. He had never needed one because Gohan had trained him to pick them up on his own, using just his senses. Even then, it had proven of little value since he could not pick up the power or energy levels of the androids. Now they had picked up a flicker of his power level, and he cursed to himself. He had to keep it suppressed and not let his emotions get the best of him.
"Well, maybe you should get a new scouter because mine didn't go off," Nappa remarked, his tone bored as he rolled his eyes. "Can I destroy them now, or do you have another pointless observation you want to share with me?"
Trunks braced himself for action as Raditz laughed, "I'm not Vegeta, you don't take orders from me."
Trunks felt his blood run cold and his heart fall.
Vegeta, his father, Vegeta? The man his mother had fallen in love with, that same man?
He… was behind this?
The lavender haired teenager's head began to swim as he suddenly struggled to breathe. This wasn't happening, there must have been some mistake. Maybe he had been knocked unconscious while taking the trip in the time machine and this was all some nightmare.
Suddenly, there was an explosion in the distance. Nappa and Raditz looked at each other and smirked. Nappa lowered his hand, cracking his neck.
"All right! Vegeta's getting the fireworks started in the palace!" he laughed as he walked back over to where Raditz was standing.
"What about your little friends?" Raditz asked with a sneer. Nappa waved them off without even a glance back.
"They'll get theirs when we blow this planet to bits," Nappa laughed. Trunks clenched his teeth together as he watched the aliens try to walk away. The mother was wounded, and his stomach churned at the sight of the dead bodies they were trying to maneuver around. His heart ached for this strange alien race that was being massacred right in front of him. "Let's go, we don't want to miss the show. Vegeta mentioned he wanted to have some kind of tournament, and we don't want to miss that."
"That will be fun, even though there's hardly anyone worth fighting on this planet," Raditz said with a shrug.
"Hey you never know, someone might actually last more than ten seconds," Nappa laughed as the two men took to the skies.
Trunks let out a breath once he felt their energy levels fading. He closed his eyes and rested his head back against the concrete he was sitting against. The smell of rotten flesh reached his nose, and he fought the revulsion in his body at the sense. Anguished cries slowly started to rise around him, and Trunks slowly opened his eyes to see the destruction.
Slowly, he got up to his feet and turned around to survey the damage, feeling a horrible sense of déjà vu rise through him. The fire, the destruction… he thought he would have momentary peace from this by going to the past, but instead, he had fallen knee-deep into it once again.
And his father was behind it.
He suppressed the feelings that raged through him at that fact. He had known his father had had a painful past, but his mother knew next to nothing about it except that he had been under the command of Frieza since he was a boy. His father had been private and hadn't shared the details of his past with her, which had annoyed Trunks when he was younger. How could he learn about his father when his own mother hardly knew the secrets of his life?
But now… now, he was starting to understand.
He walked slowly off to the side, away from the carnage, away from it all. Dazed, his hands shaking ever so slightly, he reached into his jacket for the capsule to the time machine. He tried it again, and nothing happened.
Again, and nothing.
Again, and nothing.
Again, and nothing.
Trunks picked up the capsule. He had no time to properly fix it. He had no tools here, but most importantly, he had no time. If he heard the Saiyans correctly, they were planning on destroying the planet. And probably soon at that. Trunks gripped the capsule tightly.
"What do I do," he mumbled, his lavender hair falling into his blue eyes. "I can't wait for them to destroy the planet…"
Slowly, two options dawned to the half-Saiyan teenager. The only two he had.
The first was that he stopped the Saiyans from destroying the planet he was on. The only way he could do that though was if he fought them, and killed them. Although he wouldn't mind getting rid of Nappa and Raditz, he knew he couldn't kill Vegeta because then he himself would simply never exist. He might just disappear into thin air or something if he killed Vegeta.
Plus, there was the not-so-small factor that the man was actually his father and that even though his admiration and perspective of the man had been shaken badly, Trunks still loved him deeply. He knew he could never, ever bring himself to actually kill Vegeta, though he was well aware that he was strong enough to.
That left only the second option.
If he couldn't stop them, then he would simply have to join them until he had enough time to figure out how to get out of this mess. After all, Trunks was half-Saiyan, and he was the strongest fighter perhaps in the universe in the timeline he was now in. He nodded slowly to himself, knowing he would have to suppress his power and be one of them. He didn't want to stand out, but he would do enough to gain the acceptance of the Saiyans… especially their prince. He would hide his identity and his Super Saiyan power and present himself as a Saiyan survivor. One of them. A brother that they would hopefully accept.
Determined now, Trunks took to the sky and flew off in the direction Nappa and Raditz had flown in. He kept his eyes straight ahead, letting the wind whip through his hair, never looking down at the death below him.
Finally, after 18 years, he was going to meet his father. Just not in the way he had hoped…