Age 788 – Alternate Timeline

The wind was cold. Trunks pulled his jacket more tightly around his body. A few thousand meters below was Metro North. A snowstorm was moving across the sky covering the city and surrounding mountains. Trunks was struck by the intense bustle beneath his feet. Metro North was alive with activity. A few years ago this area had been a ruined wasteland were survivors had fled in a futile attempt to escape the Artificial Humans. Ironically, this was where those monsters had been born in the first place.

It was also the reason for Trunks's visit. One month had passed since he had killed the last of Dr. Gero's creations. After twenty years all that remained of that dark era was the lab were the mad scientist had built his murder machines. Now Trunks intended to wrap up all the loose ends. The young man dropped through the clouds towards the mountain ranges.

There shouldn't be anything left there that will pose a threat anymore, he thought. Still, I won't be able to put my mind at ease until I've destroyed the last trace of the Artificial Humans.

The last time Trunks had searched for Dr. Gero's lab, he and his allies were racing against time to stop Gero from activating #17 and #18. Now he had all the time he needed, and of course he also knew where the lab was.

Upon arrival, Trunks saw that not much remained of the place. The entire cave face that housed the facility had been blown out. The ground was littered with broken machinery, rusted brown after years of exposure to the elements. Landing on the ground, Trunks examined the damage. An explosion no doubt, caused by the Artificial Humans when they turned against Gero. The place was in similar condition to the lab he had destroyed in the past. Only difference was this blast had originated inside the lab and blown outward. Anything of value had been incinerated. However, only the area above ground had been destroyed.

Working from memory Trunks was able to locate the hidden door that led to the basement. The hatch had been blown clean off but the ladder was still intact – not that he needed one. At the bottom of the shaft Trunks pulled a flashlight off his belt and flicked it on, illuminating the tunnel ahead. Walking forward he eventually reached a doorway. Without hesitation Trunks lifted his free hand and blew the doors down with a small ki blast. The entire tunnel shook. Trunks braced himself and waited for the rock to settle. The basement in the past had been much more stable. Perhaps some kind of natural movement of the Earth's crust had jeopardized the structural integrity of the underground over the years. When the shaking finally stopped Trunks pressed on into the secret area.

The room was the same as the other had been, a simple rock cavern with a few lab tables strewn about. The lights were still on and shining bright. And at the center of it all was Dr. Gero's Super Computer. The circular machine was several meters taller than Trunks. With its oval dome and grasping appendages jutting out of its base, the Super Computer looked like a demon out of a child's nightmare. Considering what it gave birth to, Trunks couldn't help but think that it was some kind of demon. Speaking of which, linked to the machine via several wires, cables, and hoses was a large containment dome, or rather, what was left of it – the thing was in pieces. The demon's womb, Cell had ripped his way out.

Trunks looked around. A familiar set of blueprints rested on one of the workbenches: the plans to #17. In another timeline he had used them to create a shut off switch for the Artificial Humans and briefly restore peace. Then Cell killed him in that timeline and traveled to past where the Artificial Humans still lived so he could absorb them and become perfect. Because both Trunks and Cell had tampered with the timeline, it created brand new futures with unseen outcomes. After Son Gohan killed Cell in the past, Trunks returned to his present strong enough to kill #17 and #18. The Cell of this timeline tried to steal Trunks's time machine as he had in the other future, but Trunks was ready and effortlessly killed him.

The lab was completely devoid of life now.

Trunks had tried to change the past, and though he failed in regards to his own time, he was given a chance to change the future. Replacing the flashlight on his belt, Trunks raised both hands and formed a diamond with his index fingers and thumbs. Drawing on his ki, his joined hands began to glow golden.

"It's over now," Trunks said, more to fallen friends than himself. "I'm going to blow this place to hell, where it belongs."

Then the shaking began again.

With a grunt Trunks jumped into the air and floated above the vibrating floor. There was movement on the edge of his vision. He turned and saw part of the rock wall crumble away.

"What in the world?" he gasped out. There was a door behind the collapsed wall. Unease began to settle in the pit of Trunks's stomach. Without much choice, he landed in front of the door and pushed it open.

In the past he hadn't seen any other rooms when he and Krillin destroyed the basement. There had been a lot of smoke and debris though, and Krillin was sure to obliterate the ruins with a full power ki blast. It wouldn't be surprising if they hadn't seen it. Or perhaps this room hadn't existed at all, one of the changes caused by Trunks's meddling with time.

The room was roughly circular and lined with computers and other machines that cast light into the otherwise darkness. They were all linked to a chamber braced against the wall opposite the door. It was similar to the chambers that Gero kept the Artificial Humans in.

It was open.

Trunks felt a fear begin to build up that he hadn't experienced in over three years. He crossed the room and examined the chamber. The system was intact, but there was no telling how long it had been open. Where the chambers in which the Artificial Humans were kept were labeled with their numbers, there was a single word in bold letters that marked this one's door.

Antithesis.

Trunks's eyes swept the room. Aside from the door there was no visible way out. Considering that the door had been blocked was it possible that there had been anything in here at all?

"It could have been #16. Or maybe that beheaded one I saw," Trunks muttered. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling of dread he had. Walking over to one of the computer terminals, he tried to pull up some information. The system seemed to be linked to the Super Computer for data exchange, but was operating on an independent intelligence. The computers themselves were old – much older than the Super Computer, and it was over twenty years old.

"What were you doing, bastard?" Trunks whispered to himself. "What kind of murderer where you…well this looks like something." An encrypted file…and quite heavily so. Dr. Gero had gone to great lengths to keep this hidden. Trunks was no hacker, but he was the son of one, and the computers at Capsule Corp. were the most sophisticated in the world. If he could get the file to his mother, then she would be able to crack it open. Only problem, Trunks didn't have any kind of data storage device he could transfer the file to. He would have to come back once-

An explosion tore up through the floor.

Trunks was barely able to put up a barrier before he was swept away. The blast burst through the ceiling all the way to the surface with Trunks in tow. When the energy subsided he could see the sun and feel the cold wind on his face. The lab was completely gone; all that was left was a giant crater.

Trunks's mind kicked into battle ready mode. Whoever had attacked him was standing in the settling dust. Ready to go full power at any moment Trunks landed a few meters away from his opponent.

The dust cleared and Trunks finally got a good look at his attacker.

The dread he had felt turned to shock. For a split second Trunks thought his heart had stopped. Maybe it had.

Son Goku was standing in front of him. He was naked, and what appeared to be a Saiyan tail twitched in the wind behind him.

Trunks was completely stricken silent. What is going on here?

The other man smiled. It was the same warm look that had given Trunks hope when they had first met in the past.

"Yo, Trunks! It's been a while." Before Trunks could reply, his expression changed. He was still smiling, but it was full of malice. Trunks hadn't even thought Goku could be capable of such an expression. He had the same face and voice, but there was no way it could be the same person.

There was a spike in ki. Trunks felt it a second too late; he hadn't even seen Goku raise his hand. An instant later he was totally engulfed by a bright searing light. Pain registered for a brief moment.

He didn't even have a chance to scream.