Slowly, the lavender-haired teen opened his eyes, only meeting with the white tiled ceiling above his head, the memory of his previous battle that landed him in the hospital bed he was lying in still fuzzy in his mind, but all he could clearly remember was the devious chuckle of the monster before he fell unconscious from his injuries.
"Damn it, he actually stole my time machine, how could I let that happen?!" Clenching his fists, Trunks was snapped out of his thoughts, hearing the door open to his room and spotting his mother walk into the room with a first aid kit in her hands.
"Oh good, you're finally awake, that was too close a call back there Trunks, I can't believe those androids beat you this badly." The blunette sighed, opening the first aid kit and began unwrapping the bandages around her son's left arm.
"It wasn't the androids that did this..." Trunks turned his head to the left, trying to avoid his mother's gaze, mentally contemplating if he should even tell her about this new threat.
"What do you mean? If it wasn't the androids than who did this to you?" Bulma was dabbing Trunks' injured arm with an antiseptic-dipped cotton ball, only to turn her gaze to the expression on her son's face.
Her instincts telling her that there was something weighing heavily on Trunks' mind and just continued to study his expression until Trunks couldn't hold it anymore, feeling his mother's gaze burning holes in the side of his face.
"I don't know exactly what it was, but it said it was an android named Cell, I don't know where it came from, or even how it got here, but when I saw it, it felt like it had all sorts of energies all crammed into a single body." Bulma's eyes widened slightly, momentarily stopping her actions before continuing to treat her son's injuries.
"It was powerful... More powerful than I anticipated; I tried fighting it off, but it was too strong for me to deal with on my own, the fight is still hazy, but all I do remember is his laugh just as he stole the time machine." Trunks' eyes narrowed into a visible glare, though his glare wasn't directed at anyone in particular, his mind was trying to enhance the fuzzy image of the green android that had stolen his time machine.
"WHAT?! IT STOLE THE TIME MACHINE?!" Bulma asked in shock, pressing the cotton ball a little too hard against Trunks' wound, making the teen wince slightly.
"Ah! Yeah, it did. I don't know what it wanted the time machine for, I don't even know where it went, but I'm sorry Mom. I tried to fight him off but he was just too powerful..." Trunks trailed off, only looking away, feeling ashamed of himself for letting the time machine that his mother had worked so hard on fall into the wrong hands, his guilt only piercing into his chest even more once he thought about what the android could want the machine for.
The possibilities were endless, he could have ended up dooming another time line into the hell he was living in.
"Well, I don't know what that android could want with the time machine, but I'll bet anything that it isn't good." Bulma sighed, beginning to wrap her son's arm in a fresh set of bandages.
"I know it took a long time for you to find the supplies for the first one. I'm sorry Mom, I just can't believe I actually let someone take that time machine." The teenager clenched the sheets within his balled fists tightly, nearly enough to rip them, his eyes continuing to glare at the door, but Bulma could tell that the glare in her son's eyes was aimed at himself.
A small sigh escaped her lips, closing the first aid kit, the blunette rose from her seat at her son's bedside and began to walk out of the room. "Don't worry about that now Trunks, all you can do now is to focus on getting better."
"It's not just that! The last time I went into the past, it didn't help anything! The androids were still able to kill the others! Even with my warnings, they were just too strong!" Trunks squeezed his eyes shut, he remembered his last mission all too well, the androids in that time line were too powerful, not even his presence and warnings could save the Z warriors of that time, and the guilt over not being able to prevent their deaths still weighed heavily on his soul.
"You know, if going into the past didn't help, maybe you should try going into the future." Bulma mused, only for Trunks to breath out a heavy sigh.
"But if the androids are still a threat I doubt that there would even be a future for us!"
"You'll never know unless you try Trunks, all I'm saying is that if one option didn't work, maybe you should think outside the box."
"But if I can't time travel anymore then what would be the point of even thinking about it? The time machine was stolen!"
"Hey! That isn't the kind of attitude you should have! Look Trunks, I know things are looking bad right now, but you can't keep blaming yourself for all of this happening! It wasn't your fault that Goku died! It wasn't your fault that these androids were created!" Looking down at her son, Bulma saw Trunks clenching his eyes shut for a moment, only to open them slightly as he felt his mother's hand on his head, brushing his bangs out of his eyes.
"I know Gohan would be telling you the same thing if he were here, stop being so hard on yourself. Just try to focus on getting better, alright?" A soft smile spread over the blunette's face, only hearing another soft sigh escape her son's lips.
"Alright Mom. But what are you going to do now? You have that look in your eye again." The teen only earned a small chuckle from his mother as she began her stroll out of the room. "It's gonna be a surprise, I'll show you once you're feeling well enough to walk around." She finished with a wink, closing the door behind her and leaving Trunks to look up at the white ceiling above him, curious about what his mother could be up to now that the time machine was gone, time travel was impossible.
He figured it was for the best though, so far all the machine had helped him do was cause more trouble instead of preventing it, even if he could time travel again, he was beginning to question if this mission was nothing but a big mistake.
"Gohan, I wish you were here. You always knew what to do, I just don't know what to do anymore." Closing his eyes, Trunks let his mind wander, thinking back to the many happy times he had with his mentor before he met his untimely end at the hands of the androids.
There were times when he wanted him back, where he wished that he could go back in time and stay in his time line, just to save Gohan from dying, but knew that was an impossible feat.
He tried to curl himself up, only to wince as a sharp pain stabbed through his right side, Cell has blasted him at point-blank range, the shot alone was nearly enough to kill him.
Knowing that trying to adjust was futile, the lavender-haired teen just kept his eyes closed, trying to relax even a little bit, though the fact that he could have doomed another time line into the hell he was living in made it hard for him to fall asleep.
Days have passed since that day, Trunks had made a steady recovery under his mother's watch but began to grow more curious about what his mother had planned for him. Every night he would see the light to her underground laboratory gleaming from under the door.
There were times when he even wondered if she slept, every time he were to try to peek into the lab, the door would be locked or he would be told to just head back to bed by his mother.
Trunks was sitting on his bed, unwrapping the bandages from around his torso, his left side adorned with a large, almost circular scar that began just under his rib cage and ended just above his right hip.
He gently traced over it with his fingers, gazing at himself in a large mirror that was in his bedroom, over the past few days that he had spent recovering, he found himself able to remember the finer details of his encounter with the green android that stole his time machine and nearly killed him.
His eyes narrowed slightly at the scar on his side, it would forever be a reminder of his failure, of how he could have sent another time line into the kind of hell he was forced to live in.
But today was the day, he was fully recovered, and earlier that morning, Bulma told him that the project she had been working so hard on for the past few days was finally ready.
As Trunks tossed aside the bandages that once wrapped around his right arm, he threw on a black tank top and began his descent into his mother's lab, he could hear the sound of a power drill whirring inside the room, and with a small sigh, the lavender-haired teen knocked on the metal door a couple of times.
"Mom? I'm here to see what you made." He was greeted with a proud grin from his mother, who had a small oil stain on her forehead, her blue hair tied back into a messy ponytail and a power drill and socket wrench in both of her hands.
"Just in time! I just finished making the final adjustments!" Bulma set the tools down on the desk next to her, and pointed at what looked like a large machine that was being covered by a large white sheet. "Trunks, are you ready to see what's going to save us?"
"Come on Mom, you've kept this whole thing a big secret for two weeks now, I'm ready to see it." The possibilities of what his mother had created ran through Trunks' mind. If she was capable of building a time machine, heaven knew what else Bulma was capable of creating!
"Alright, feast your eyes on this!" Bulma swiftly yanked the white sheet off of her surprise. Revealing her newest creation to be what appeared to be an arcade game. And from the looks of it, some sort of arcade card game.
"Uh... what is it?" Trunks was at a loss for words, how could a video game help to save their world from being destroyed by the androids? And what could have been going through his mother's mind to have her create this?
"Can't you see? It's a new time machine! Well sort of, it is a time machine. But with these cards I made, the time travel will only work on people with at least a fourth saiyan blood in their veins." Bulma explained, holding a reflective orange card stamped with the Capsule Cooperation logo and had the words 'Hero License' written on the top of the card in black text.
"But how am I supposed to use this?" Trunks walked over to the machine, picking up one of the Hero licenses and looked around it a little bit; still at a loss as to how this was going to help them.
"Well I made you another time machine first off- it's in here." Bulma started, picking up a capsule in her hand and held it out to Trunks; whose eyes widened when he looked at it. "A-Are you serious? How were you able to find the supplies for another Time machine?!"
"A woman has to have her secrets son, besides, it would take too long for me to explain. Anyway, I built you that time machine, I have the coordinates set for Satan City about three hundred years in the future from now; first off, I want you to go there and if it looks like a peaceful time and all life isn't extinct, I want you to leave the time machine there. I'm pretty sure that the people there will take it. And after that, we play the waiting game and see if anyone has at least a fourth saiyan blood in the future." Bulma finished explaining, sitting at her desk and began typing away on a computer in front of her.
"This is your idea? But what if no one comes? what if there is no future because of these androids?!" Trunks quickly asked, only earning a scolding glare from his mother. "Well do you have any better ideas?"
That made him fall silent; he didn't have any other ideas at the moment. Despite his attempts to come up with a solution, he's only fallen short up until now and let out a defeated sigh. "Alright so I just use the time machine again, go into the future and leave these weird cards and the machine there?" He asked, picking up one of the playing cards that had himself on it, making him blush slightly.
He never expected to find his face on a game card.
"Yep! That's pretty much it, the sooner you go, the less we'll have to wait for help so get going." Bulma told him, pressing a button on the side of the machine and with a loud 'Poof!' the machine was gone along with the cards. The supplies being safely tucked away inside of a capsule which she promptly tossed to her son.
"I guess we don't have a lot of options right now. We'd be better off if I hadn't lost the time machine though." Trunks had a more melancholy tone in his voice now, he still felt guilty for losing the original time machine in the first place but was snapped out of his thoughts when Bulma had flicked her finger against Trunks' forehead, making him wince slightly.
"Snap out of it Trunks! What happened, happened, you can't change that. But what you can do now is stop moping and do what I told you to do alright?" She said in a stern tone, only earning a nod from her son. "Right, don't worry Mom, I won't mess up this time." He said, taking both capsules and started heading outside. It was still very early in the morning, the sun had barely risen but the androids scarcely attacked this early in the day so he knew that now was a safe time to go along with her mother's plan.
Once outside, Trunks threw on his signature Capsule Corp jacket over his shoulders, pressing down on the Time Machine's capsule and tossed it on the ground; resulting in a loud 'Poof!' and in a small cloud of smoke, revealed the new time machine.
It looked very similar to the old one, almost an exact copy of the original if Trunks didn't know any better but he figured now wasn't the time to admire his mother's craftsmanship and jumped into the cockpit of the machine.
Looking at the central monitor, he saw that the date he was set to land in was Age 1103, roughly around three hundred years in the future like Bulma had said.
The lavender-haired teen looked at the capsule in his hand, holding within it, the machine his mother had made as well as the strange cards that went along with it. He had to admit, he was skeptical about how well this was going to work; but seeing how horribly the androids had destroyed his time line, he knew that he had the obligation to everyone who had died by their hands to at least try.
He shoved the capsule into the front pocket of his jacket and switched the machine on, and in a matter of seconds, vanished from his home and within the next second, found himself in an entirely new place, at least from the looks of it.
Everywhere he looked, there were large trees, and looking down below, he saw a few forest animals scurrying about; he couldn't remember the last time he had seen a forest like this.
Switching the time machine off, Trunks hopped out of the cockpit of the machine, easily landing on his feet and reverted the machine back into its capsule form and put it safely in his pocket.
Looking at his watch, Trunks could see that he was in a small forest that was located outside of Satan City. But the date was correct, it was Age 1103 like the machine was set for. And so far, he was seeing a great improvement from his own time line.
He wasn't sure if he should let anyone see him flying so he took the time to walk out of the forest, taking in the scenery that he never got the chance to see within his own time line, green grass, the smell of blooming spring flowers, hearing the rustling and chattering of the forest animals that seemed to be thriving.
This was a nice change for him, a small smile spread over his face. But even if this time line was nice, he wasn't sure if there would be saiyans in it or not, but that was something he was going to find out.
After about ten minutes, Trunks found himself looking at something he never thought he would see. Satan City, perfectly peaceful. No destroyed buildings, no wreckage, the last time he had seen Satan City, it was in shambles, completely obliterated by the androids and there were people everywhere! All lining the streets, driving their cars, talking among themselves, it was like as if the androids never existed!
"This is incredible..." He spoke softly to himself, walking down a sidewalk and just looked around the city; there were no signs of destruction or mayhem to be found at all! He couldn't believe this but his mother was right! Spot on this time!
After the initial shock of how peaceful this time line was wore off, Trunks remembered the task at hand; he had to deliver this time machine. But where was he supposed to deliver it to? Bulma wasn't specific on that part, and he had no way of contacting her either.
He took a quick look around, there were all sorts of buildings lining the sidewalk he was walking on. A Karaoke bar, a karate dojo, Chinese restaurant, the list went on and on. But there was one building that sparked his interest; it was a very large arcade, it had the word 'Arcade' written in flashing neon lights, and the size itself was at least as big as a shopping mall!
He figured that this was as good a place as any to leave the time machine and with that, took a step into the arcade. Taking a quick look around, he saw various kids and teenagers enjoying the games. All of them completely carefree and happy; that alone was enough to do his heart some good. All he wanted was a time of peace; it was almost too surreal that his request was granted so easily.
"Excuse me, may I help you find something?" He was snapped out of his thoughts when he spotted a young girl walking over to him, her black hair cut short, and her bangs were perfectly parted to the left with a pair of white hair pins keeping them in place.
He could see that this girl had a kind air around her, he could see it in her eyes and the way she smiled at him. "Uh yeah, where do I go if I have a delivery to make?" He asked, he didn't want to seem too suspicious and he was already wearing the Capsule Corp logo so he was sure he could pull off that he was a worker for the company.
At least he hoped so...
"Oh you can just come to me, I see that you're a member of my family's company. You must be new though, my name is Kimiko Shuurei and the arcade here is owned by my family. If you have a delivery then I can sign for it." The girl smiled back at him.
"Wait a minute... Did she say her family's company?" That thought went through Trunks' mind, how could this belong to her family? Well it was three hundred years from his time, he was sure times had changed quite a few things anyway.
"W-Well that's good, at least I found the right person." Trunks said, taking the capsule out of his pocket and handed it to her.
Kimiko just looked at the capsule for a few moments; seemingly inspecting it. "Strange, this appears to be a fairly old capsule design. I've never seen one like this before. And I don't remember mother or father saying that we were expecting a delivery today."
"Crap! She's starting to get suspicious! Come on Trunks think of something!" Trunks' mind began to race, he wasn't sure what to do if she found out the truth about why he was there! He didn't want to risk screwing up the time line!
"Yo! Kimiko! Hurry up would'ya?! We're getting old over here and I need my Mocha latte or I get bitchy!" Turning over his shoulder, Trunks spotted two other girls who had just walked in, the one who spoke had tanned skin and sharp-looking eyes. Her hair was spiked and tied in a short high ponytail with a yellow tie.
"Come on Kasumi lighten up, God, Kimiko has a job unlike some people." The second girl was of a paler complexion, but she had large black eyes and long black hair tied into a neat ponytail with a red ribbon.
"You do not want to get on my bad side when I am getting pissed over here! Come on girl! Get the guy's number and dump his ass so we can go!" The tanned girl, Kasumi called once again, making Kimiko blush a light shade and clear her throat.
"I-It's not like that! Well as for the delivery, may I see your ID?" Kimiko asked, making Trunks pale slightly, he didn't have any form of ID and even if he did it would just show off that he didn't belong in this time line!
"U-Uh let's see... I know I had it with me somewhere, Oh crap! I must have left it in my car! I'll go get it!" He quickly made up an excuse and began to run out of the store, but as he did, he noticed that the bow-wearing girl; Tsukimi. Just looked at him with wide eyes and a visible blush staining her cheeks but he didn't have time to stick around and quickly made it out of there.
"Ah! Wait!" Kimiko tried to call after him before sighing. "Oh darn, well he did say it was for the store, I better put it in the back." Kimiko mused to herself, walking to a silver door near the back of the store and opened it.
Inside the room were various arcade games lining the walls, some, out of order, some awaiting to be used. She pressed down on the capsule and tossed it at an empty space. Only to look at the cards that came with it.
"Some sort of card game?" She asked, picking up a Hero License and looked around it, only to be snapped out of her thoughts when she heard Kasumi call for her.
"Kimiko! Yo! Kimiko! We got a situation!" The short-haired girl quickly dropped the card and ran out of the store room, only to be shocked when she saw Kasumi, trying to fan Tsukimi; who was lying on the ground, her eyes swirling and her face completely red.
"Oh my goodness! What happened?!"
"Beats the hell out of me! She just passed out and I can't understand her!" Kasumi replied, still fanning the bow-wearing girl who was mumbling slightly.
Trunks had made it back to the forest where the time machine had brought him, he breathed out a relieved sigh when he saw that no one was following him. "Thank God, that was too close." He said, taking the time machine capsule out of his pocket and activated it.
Once the smoke cloud cleared, the time traveling teen jumped into the cockpit, adjusting the return time and date; making sure the time machine would send him back home.
As the machine began to hover off the ground, Trunks just looked back down at the peaceful time. This was what his mother wanted to see all along, this was the sort of time he knew she wanted to live in.
All he could hope for, was that this plan of hers would work, and that the time machine would bring him some help. Not only for him, but for his future as well.
A sad smile spread over his face. "Mom, Gohan, I wish you two could see this. This is the kind of time I know you two were fighting for."
And with that thought in his mind, Trunks vanished from the forest, heading back to his own time. Only being left to sit and wait, and hope that someone would answer his time line's call for help like he so desperately wanted.
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