Disclaimer: I do not now, nor will I ever, own Dragonball Z. It belongs to Akira Toriyama.

A Prelude

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - Lord Acton

Bulma Brief was the most powerful woman in the world. Rich, prestigious, brilliant, and beautiful, she was top dog. Only 25 years old and already the president of her father's booming corporation, she was expanding the business to monopolize virtually every market: automobiles, weapons, homes, fashion, everything. Born into a multi-billion zeni family, she always got what she wanted from the day she was born. No one could say "no" to Bulma Brief. Perhaps that was why she was so spoiled and self-absorbed. Of course she had every right to be. She had everything everyone else wanted. She could buy her heart's every desire. Money had never been an issue with her. But she wasn't only powerful economically.

When she became more involved with her father's company, she started making friends in high places in the government. She could sway a politician any way she wanted with the offer of monetary reimbursement and positive media. When Bulma Brief wanted a politician elected into office, there was no doubt that politician would be elected. When she wanted someone out of office, that person might as well start packing. She held the world in the palm of her hand. Everyone bent to her will, and she loved it. She used her power to her advantage.

Sometimes it was lonely at the top. Bulma Brief was a stunning beauty, but she was a single stunning beauty. She had never been able to hold a steady boyfriend for longer than a week. She would find some flaw, consider him unworthy, and break up. The media would have attacked her failed relationships like vultures, but they valued their incomes too much. She would have seen to it that any reporter who dared write a story about her personal life in a negative light would be unemployed and immediately black-listed, never having a hope of finding any job ever again. Honestly, Bulma didn't care that she was alone. Everyone on the planet was inferior and she wasn't about to lower herself for the sake of companionship. Her employees feared and respected her, and her parents let her have her way in everything she did. That was all that mattered to her.

Bulma Brief didn't live by the ethics of Man. She lived by the ethics of Power. If she could somehow gain power, she would, regardless of the cost, regardless of how it hurt another party. She didn't care. She was a goal-driven, cold-hearted, hard-headed businesswoman. She would stop at nothing to make it to the top and stay there. She loved power more than life itself. It was her belief that every person in the world should bow down and worship her. Why not? She was superior. She was the almighty Bulma Brief.

No one dared cross her. The board of trustees walked on eggshells around her. They catered to her whims in board meetings. They allowed her as much money as she wanted for her projects. It wasn't all bad. She rarely made a bad move that cost them. Instead, it was her conniving business tactics that brought them millions.

This isn't to say Bulma Brief was a heartless woman with no compassion. She did use her power for good – when it served her purposes. She donated millions of zeni to non-profit organizations and charities. She sent food and money to poor communities throughout the world, she created a scholarship foundation that gave students hundreds of thousands of zeni annually, and she created her own organization to promote education all over the world. Of course, she was given tax breaks for all her good deeds, but that was irrelevant. At least, it was when she was answering questions in interviews and giving motivational speeches at conferences. Even if anyone suspected her ulterior motives for her acts of kindness, she never heard about them. No one would be foolish enough to question her. That would certainly end badly.

Law enforcement was privy to the fact that Bulma Brief had business competitors "taken care of" when they were too troublesome or uncooperative in business negotiations. That didn't mean they were going to do anything about it, though. She could get away with anything short of genocide. Even then, she might be able to sweet talk her way out of any sort of punishment. It wasn't as if she had to resort to crime often, anyway. Most people were more than willing to go along with whatever she wanted without much persuasion. In a sense, Bulma Brief had the whole world tied around her little finger. She had the politicians on puppet strings, and she had more money and influence than any other individual in history. There may have been a king of the world officially, but in reality it was Bulma Brief who governed the world through her economic might.

Power. She could never have enough of it. At least, she didn't think she could.

A/N: Ok, so this is going to be a lot different than my other stories. It was an idea that kept me awake last night, so I decided to write it. Trust me, it's a lot different. Note this is rated 'M'. That should tell you something right away. This will be a dark fic. I'm looking forward to writing it. Tell me what you think!