Pandora's Box: Chapter 1
aka Mystery Man
"bye bye oooh/
got to get back to the bottom/
bye bye oooh/
the big come down isn't that what you wanted?/"
-Nine Inch Nails "The Big Come Down"
When the light of day once again shined upon Trunks, he was grateful in that he had arrived somewhere. The computer calculated that he was presently located three years prior to when the androids would first go public. Quickly landing, he returned the time machine into its capsule form so that he could approach the massive energy level that was radiating from somewhere not too far away. 'It has to be Freiza,' Trunks thought to himself, placing the capsule in its case. As he took off into the air, he jammed the said case into his inner jacket pocket, keeping his ki in check.
Just as he suspected, it was Freiza, and with his father no doubt. At least, that's who he assumed the larger, purple alien (who had a resemblance to the smaller, white creature) was. He made a good entrance by killing off a few of Freiza's men with no effort. One look over the albino and Trunks already decided that this fight wasn't even going to cause him to break a sweat, 'If Goku can defeat Freiza, then I surely can.' He made certain that the Z Fighters weren't nearby before concentrating on the impending fight.
Some soldier informed Freiza that Trunks' power level was only that of five. Amused, the power-crazed alien ordered for the lizard-like warrior to fire a round off on the teenager. He did, and Trunks easily swatted the energy away, all the while holding almost utterly still, except for that of the movements which deflected the blasts. The yellow spheres crashed into a few mountain sides in the distance, and Trunks held a very unimpressed look on his face.
The green follower was quite surprised at all of this, so surprised he didn't bother to move as Trunks launched himself forward and socked him square across the jaw. His body crashed into the side of King Cold's ship and he fell with a large thud. Freiza, all the while, watched with a bit of interest. A random warrior called for the next move to be made, and the entire group of soldiers rushed towards the purple-haired teen only to meet the fate of his quick and flawless blade work. Trunks landed unscathed while his attackers literally fell to pieces.
After a bit of conversation, which wasn't all too pleasing for either parties, Trunks finally said with a smirk, "Enough kidding around! It's time you understood who I really am. So I'll tell ya what...I'm going to let the two of you in on a little secret! You're about to find out what it's like to fight a real Super Saijin. And I'm not talking about Goku."
He clenched his hands, holding them about waist high as he took a breath, and released a scream as his energy surged. The bodies and pieces left of the soldiers lifted into the air and were flung out of the area as if they were made of nothing. Large clumps of dirt and rocks rose above the ground, dissolving away at the intensity of Trunks' aura. He felt his hair stand on end, the earliest signs of turning Super Saijin, and then he let himself smirk as he stood up straight, a glow beginning to surround his body. Energy crackled around him, and Trunks watched as Freiza cowered, his face full of complete and utter shock. Finally, he let the power overwhelm him, causing his purple hair to glow a magnificent gold as his body tingled from the transformation. 'There's no way this will last,' Trunks thought, completely sure of himself, 'He's even afraid of me.'
Freiza made a few attempts to take the demi-Saijin's life, but all of them failed. Finally, frustrated, the alien summoned the same attack he used to destroy the planet Namek. The massive ball of liquid fire pressed into the earth, blocking the sight of Trunks completely. Freiza gloated his easy victory, which was cancelled very abruptly when Trunks lifted the giant energy concoction in the air with one hand. "Does this belong to you?" the purple-haired man questioned, a smug look upon his face. Enraged, the tyrant released a small blast into his original attack, causing a reaction that was all too easy to keep under control by a Super Saijin. Finally, Trunks decided he had toyed with the aliens enough, and it was time for them to meet their much-needed end...
Powering down, Trunks gave a sigh. He only wished fighting the androids were that easy. It was then he was all too aware that he was being watched. 'Shit! What are they doing here!? Oh god, I hope they didn't see too much...' he cursed himself and his lack of control. The Z Warriors were staring at him in complete and utter awe, amazed at the fact that he had single-handedly destroyed both Freiza and King Cold. 'Might as well go on ahead with the schedule,' Trunks thought to himself before yelling out, "Hey! I'm going to meet Goku! You all are welcome to join me!" He didn't bother examining everyone. He was so excited, and yet...he didn't want to spoil the moment. He wanted to see his father close up, not far away. His gaze was fixated on a point in space, forcing his anxiety to rise. The group was quite surprised with his announcement, so he hastily added, "I'm going to wait over there for Goku! He'll be arriving in two hours!"
He flew off at an easy pace, hoping the others would join him. It'd be so exciting to see everyone his mother talked about. She would tell him stories, when he was a child, about the adventures she had when she was young. She did it mainly to get him to sleep, but partly to relive that portion of her life. Unfortunately, it had its negative consequences, and it made Trunks a very adventurous person - hence his love to follow Gohan around, besides the other obvious reasons.
He landed gracefully, and after a few moments of waiting, was rejoiced to find that the Z Fighters had decided to join him. Carefully, he removed his capsule case from his inner jacket pocket, causing quite a few people to get nervous. He removed a capsule, pressed the top and tossed it a few feet away. After the puff of smoke cleared, he knelt before a mini-fridge that had appeared. As he opened the door, he offered, "It's really hot out here! Would any of you like a drink?"
Gohan gave a nod and rushed over to Trunks, not at all worried. He sensed no threat from the demi-Saijin, a trait part inborn, part learned, "Yeah, sure! Thanks a lot! Orange for me!" Trunks nodded and passed him his choice as he himself got out a can of soda.
Krillin, a bit shyly, approached, "Is there perhaps..a grape in there?" Trunks nodded and handed him the drink as Gohan finished his with a satisfactory sigh.
Bulma suddenly noticed the logo that was on the side of Trunks' jacket. "Hey, do you work for the company?" his past version of his mother queried, gesturing to the sleeve of his jacket.
"Oh!" Trunks realized what she meant, "No..no...."
Bulma smiled a little more warmly, "Oh? A fan then?"
Trunks, nervous, put his hands in his pockets so he wouldn't fiddle with anything, "No..not exactly."
Bulma straightened her posture, putting her hands on her hips, "Well..give me your name and I'll recommend you to dad!"
Trunks shook his head in disagreement, catching onto her ploy, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that. I know it's strange."
Suddenly a voice rang out, catching everyone's attention, "And why can't you? Sounds like you're hiding something. What do you have to hide, kid? You just killed Freiza after all, there shouldn't be anything to hide."
Trunks blinked as he looked over the blue-skinned man before him, 'Mother never mentioned someone who fit his description...'
Another voice rang out from the back of the group, "Leave the kid alone, Zarbon! You're just jealous because he's stronger than you! Let the boy hide his name if he wishes, what the Hell difference does it make?"
The man presumably known as Zarbon (to Trunks) turned around to face the person who spoke up to him, "You know, Vegeta...you just have to contradict everything I say, don't you? Do I have to beat the shit out of you again to get you to shut up?"
Trunks ignored the rude response as he realized that the man who defended his decision, was in fact, his father. He was more than a little shocked at what he saw; it was definitely not what he had expected. His attire was strange for one - a pink shirt, a white muscle shirt underneath, lime green pants, and black shoes. His dark brown hair seemed to look a bit unruly, as if he didn't brush it that morning, or for several days for that matter, and two dark circles were under his eyes, signifying that he hadn't had much sleep at all recently.
Vegeta glared at Zarbon and looked the other way, muttering something along the lines of, "Whatever..."
Trunks inhaled nervously, and spoke up to ease the tension, "Well, I guess we'll have to wait. Goku's not due to arrive for another two hours or so."
Gohan turned and looked up at him, "Yeah, how do you know that?"
Trunks shifted his weight and looked down, "Uh..sorry, I can't tell you that either."
Bulma threw her hands up in the air, "I guess we'll have to wait then!"
Zarbon adjusted his clothing, as if getting used to the new outfit, "I guess so.."
Everyone took places around the nearby area and there was total silence, save for that of the wind, and Bulma's non-stop chatter with Zarbon. Trunks took a deep breath, and taking a bold step, looked over at his father again. Vegeta was sitting on a rock by himself, one knee propped up with his elbow resting upon it. His gaze moved upward and he caught Trunks red-handed. He quickly shouted out, "What!?"
The young man faltered for an excuse, "Uh..nothing, it's just, uh...I like your shirt."
Vegeta merely redirected his gaze, staring off into the distance. After sometime however, he felt like he was being watched, and so, he turned to find Trunks staring at him again, "What is it! The shirt? Here, have it!" He got up and began unbuttoning it, ignoring any other looks he may have been receiving. Trunks fumbled around for something to say, taken aback by the prospect. All the fighters watched Vegeta take off the shirt, walk over, and throw it into Trunks' lap. "There," the prince proclaimed as he sat down.
As the brunette got comfortable again, the demi-Saijin suddenly saw something Vegeta must have been previously hiding, and the young man could only stare as he watched his father's tail twitch back and forth in the air in an agitated fashion. Turning his attention away from the prince, Trunks felt terribly embarrassed, but slightly enthusiastic. He lied about liking the shirt, but now as he held it in his hands, he began to feel the sentimental value it held. 'I wonder what mom will say when I come back with dad's shirt,' Trunks smirked to himself, folding the item up neatly and storing it into a capsule for later, 'I hope Goku arrives soon...too bad I know he isn't due for at least another hour.'
"Goku!" everyone called out, waving frantically, happily. As the black-haired Saijin pulled himself out of his ship, he looked up, quite surprised. He flew up and landed before everyone, greeting them all.
"Wow! How'd you guys know where I was going to land?" he asked, completely impressed.
Bulma answered before anyone else had the chance, "Oh, that's thanks to 'Mystery Man' over there." She pointed at Trunks who approached the full-blooded Saijin.
"Amazing! And who beat Freiza?" he asked the most prominent question that was nagging him.
"That too," Zarbon mentioned, "was 'Mystery Man' over there." Goku nodded to the alien and looked over at Trunks to congratulate him.
"Goku," the purple-haired man said in a very serious tone, "Can we have a talk? Alone? Over there?"
Goku nodded, becoming a little serious as well, "Yeah, sure."
Bulma called off to him as he followed Trunks, "Be careful, Goku!" He waved back at the group, and landed a considerable distance away from the party.
'I can't believe I'm meeting Goku,' Trunks thought to himself, 'Gohan's father..the strongest fighter on all of Earth..I have to test him. I just have to.'
"Man, you're good. No, you're great!" Trunks complimented, thoroughly happy with the way Goku performed, "I wasn't too sure, but now I have no doubt that you can handle this." Goku tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. "My name is Trunks, and I didn't come here to kill Freiza, I only did that because I wasn't sure if you were going to be able to make it here in time or not," Trunks began to explain, sticking his hands in his pockets again. It was a nervous habit, but it was better than smoking.
"Hmm? But I could've been here at any time! I know I was two hours behind, but thanks to a new technique I've learned, I could've been here in seconds!" Goku watched Trunks take in this information with a bit of a shock.
"Man! I wish I had known that.." Trunks took a deep breath, "That way I could've came later and met you alone and not risk meeting the others!" The black-haired Saijin scrunched his eyebrows together in wonder, but Trunks continued before he could question anything. "You see, Goku," the young man said, "I'm from the future. I'm here to tell you that three years from now, a pair of deadly androids are going to emerge. They're going to be more powerful than any enemy you've ever faced. They're ruthless killing machines who delight in other's pain. Living in my time is like living in a nightmare..always running, always hiding, and there's no stopping them! Goku, I don't want this to happen. I believe some history should be changed. That's why I'm here."
Goku took a deep breath, "You mentioned about these androids, Trunks. But what about us? The special forces couldn't possibly..." He frowned and trailed off as Trunks' expression darkened.
The demi-Saijin shook his head, "Everyone dies, Goku. Piccolo, Vegeta, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien..everyone dies in the battle against the androids! That's how powerful they are!"
Goku blinked a few times before replying, "But, I.....What happens to me, Trunks? Do I die in the battle too?"
Trunks took another deep breath, and stood up straight, "No, you die before the battle. Not too long from now, you're going to catch a nasty virus that attacks the heart. Not even a Super Saijin can overcome it..and..you die."
Goku's eyes went wide, and his hands clenched into fists, "What!? No way! I die because of a stupid virus!? No, I have to fight, Trunks! I can't let everyone down like that!"
Trunks took a small step back, "A-Are you serious? After all you heard about the androids you want to fight them? I mean, aren't you scared?" Trunks knew that he himself was scared, as always, the future was unpredictable, that is, once the past changes.
Goku sighed and relaxed a little, "Well, yeah. I mean, every challenge is a little frightening at first, but still! If they're as bad as you say they are, Trunks, I can't let them hurt anyone, especially those I know and care about."
Trunks beamed, silently thanking his mother for making the time machine, "That's exactly what I wanted to hear! Here, take this, man. For your health." Trunks pulled out a capsule from his front jacket pocket and tossed it to Goku. The taller Saijin examined the bottle with curiosity as Trunks explained, "There's no cure now for that virus you'll get, but in my time, there is. Take this when you get sick and you'll be better within a few days."
Goku grinned and held the bottle securely, "Hey, thanks a lot! Oh, and Trunks, I have a question..."
Trunks shifted his weight and gave a pleasant smile, "Yeah, sure, ask me anything, Goku."
The full-blooded Saijin put the medicine in his pocket, "A couple of minutes ago, you were a Super Saijin, weren't you? I could feel it.." Trunks suddenly realized the situation he had put himself in. "...and I was just thinking if you're able to go Super Saijin you must have Saijin blood in you, and well..if I were just to guess, you look a little bit like a Saijin prince I know.." Goku trailed off again, a grin spreading across his lips.
Trunks blushed lightly, "Yeah, you see..my dad, Vegeta, he gets a little lonely and hooks up with my mom not too long from now."
Goku seemed pleased, "Well, that's good to hear. I was worrying about him."
Trunks nearly forgot to breathe, "You were??" The way his mother spoke about Vegeta, it was as if he had no connections to anyone but her.
The taller man laughed and rubbed the back of his neck, "Ever since I beat him when he first came to Earth...he's been kind of a loner. It's good to hear that he's able to be close to someone like that."
Trunks gave a small laugh, "Yeah, well, mom told me not to expect a lot from him, but I don't think he's as bad as she's made him out to be."
Goku began to laugh harder, "Yeah, well, I guess I could see why someone could exaggerate his characteristics..he is a very unique individual. Honestly, I mean that in the best possible way."
Trunks looked over at the light green dot in the distance, "Yeah..." His eye caught the form of the man his mother hadn't mentioned to him, "Hey, Goku? I have a question for you too..."
Goku folded his arms, "Sure."
"That man..Zarbon?" Trunks turned his gaze back to the black-haired man, "Who is he?"
Goku raised his eyebrows, flatly replying, "You don't know?" Trunks hesitantly shook his head, a strange type of nervousness and fright pitting in his stomach. Goku gave a shrug and smiled happily again, "We met him on Namek. Vegeta and him had a fight, and after he won, he went off on his own. Once he realized that Freiza had no chance of surviving, he joined our side. He met Bulma and they seemed to have hit things off pretty well so I think he'll be alright. I hope he'll be alright."
Trunks blinked slowly, having to catch his breath before he asked, "Wait...Zarbon and Bulma are..together?" Goku nodded, wondering why Trunks was so interested in their relationship. 'Why didn't mother mention him?' Trunks thought to himself, 'Is it because things fell through so bad she doesn't want to talk about him, or he died and it's so painful she doesn't want to talk about it?' Another thought came to Trunks and he looked up at Goku, "Hey, Goku..? Why does Vegeta have a tail?"
Goku's eyebrows raised again, "All Saijins have tails, Trunks. Mine get cut off a long time ago, and Gohan had his removed by Piccolo a year before the whole catastrophe with Vegeta and Nappa coming to Earth."
Trunks blinked a few times and recalled the circular scar at the base of his spine. He had seen it on more than one occasion when he'd been showering, or dressing, or things of the like, 'I probably had a tail once as well, then. Mom probably got it removed at birth.'
Trunks smiled and waved to Goku, "Look, I better get going! I'll see you in three years, ok?"
Goku nodded and waved back, "Ok! See you later, Trunks!"
Trunks floated up into the air, "Oh! And please don't mention anything about this to the others, ok? Especially anything about me, alright?"
Goku nodded again and gave a thumbs up. Trunks' smiled widened before he flew off, disappearing from sight. The full-blooded Saijin gave a deep sigh as he walked towards his friends, 'Three years? I hope that's enough time..'
Part Two |