Disclaimer: I don't own any of Dragonball/Z/GT.

Corporate Calamity (part 13)

Both Bulma and Bra arrived at Capsule Corporation HQ at the same time, only from opposite directions. Neither saw the other enter.

Meanwhile, Trunks could sense the elevated ki of both his mother and sister. He took a deep breath and trained his eyes slowly onto the other 'ki reader' of the group. Pan apparently was more interested in her stare down with Marron. And, amazingly enough, Marron was holding her own!

The sound of verbal commotion and banging outside the conference room doors indicated that his mother had indeed arrived. Trunks knew his sister would likely flank her from the shadows, unnoticed...just as their father had taught them to do.

Bulma stormed into the room and immediately burned her gaze into her son. Trunks remained firm and returned her glare, his blue eyes glowed within of super saiyan green. Though physical combat was not an option, the combat of the mind was and it had already begun.

"What is the meaning of this Trunks?" Bulma asked somewhat calmly, hoping to get as much information from her son before he became too defensive and stubborn.

"It's really none of your business." Trunks replied softly, meeting his mother's calm tone.

"I AM the chairwoman of this company. I outrank you. Have you forgotten?"

"Rank means nothing. It's not what got this company where it is now. Your approach won't work in this situation...but mine will."

Bulma huffed and puffed,but didn't blow her son down. Instead, she retained her composed dignity and stature as she eyed the rest of the group in attendance and sized up the situation. Both Marron and Pan were there and throwing daggers across the table at each other. Capsule Corporation exectutives were not seated together as they usually are, but were rather split in a faction of loyalty. Those who were loyal to her acknowledged her presence with relief. Those who sided with her son, were beginning to sweat nervously. This was going to be the proving grounds for Mr. Trunks Vegeta Briefs, both in his personal AND in his business life.

Bulma smirked deviously. There were so many potential little bombs set to go off in this single room! But first, she'd give her son some respect (and get herself filled in on the latest goings-on). She grabbed Trunks' portfolio and notes from the table, pulled over a chair, and began to peruse through them without saying a single word.

This of course, amused Trunks' curiousity. He snickered at the spectacle before him, which of course, was a big mistake. Bulma heard his snicker, sent him a death glare, then returned to her browsing. All anyone could do was remain quiet and await the next speaker, be it Trunks or his mother, Bulma.

Now was Bulma's turn to snicker. "Trunks, do you honestly think this could fly?"

Trunks felt insulted at her remark, especially since she gave it out in the open in front of everyone he was trying to convince.

"Yes." he replied sternly and confidently.

"Perhaps, but look at these numbers here." Bulma said as she pointed to a paper of figures. "Given current estimates of the economy, this can't happen. A merger will result in too many lay-offs and cut-backs. So many that once the economy gains once again that we will be left short-staffed and unable to increase productivity.We will be behind in the game rather than ahead before it starts."

"Mother, current trends don't show the opportunity to expand either. Expanding in a down economy can be just as beneficial. We can bank off of all those laid-off employees from other companies. The merger could re-create jobs faster than destroy them if we expand."

"With what resources?"

"Mr. Satan is a primary shareholder. Satan City would be the target. Expansion would be reasonable and feasible there."

At the sound of her grandfather's name, Pan began to divert her interest to the conversation between mother and son.

Marron, not liking the possible favoritism towards Pan, stood in defiance of Trunks. "Sorry to interrupt, but Mrs. Briefs is correct. Expansion wouldn't even prevent the massive lay-offs and down-sizing that always comes with mergers. Perhaps it wouldn't be wise for Pakar to--"

"Pakar is going to fall whether there's expansion or down-sizing. There's outside interest in the company by others already. If Capsule Corporation doesn't acquire it, another company will." Trunks interrupted. His eyes glared at hers and gave her yet another message. His eyes revealed a question...one that asked 'why are you siding against me now?'

Marron gave her answer with a sidewards glance back at Pan. Trunks hissed under his breath. Both Marron and Pan weren't here for business. They were just here to do each other in and he was the one caught up in the middle. Even if Satan City was the most logical business choice, friction and complications were going to happen simply because of Marron's assumption that Trunks was playing favorites. Quickly, he tried to come up with a decent, financially feasible alternative to Satan City that still had a major shareholder, popularity, and transportive convenince. South City was too much Marron's ground and would therefore upset Pan. East City was too close to Satan City and could still be playing favorite with Pan. West City was where they were presently and already developed. North City was the only alternative. But, it was very expensive to develop there. It was the hub for government and political escape from Central City. Why couldn't his mother, Marron, and Pan just see it his way!?

Another snicker from his mother returned Trunks out of his thoughts. "What now?"

"This graph. I don't understand it." Bulma stated as she pointed to the triangle and lines of Trunks' proud creation.

Before Trunks could respond, his dear lil' sister came to his rescue with an interruption.

"Hi all! I'm Bra Briefs, but I'm sure you knew that already." she replied joylously as she made quick check of who was in attendance. Her eyes then met her brother's and gave a slight wink before looking at her mother.

"Why are you here?" Bulma asked her daughter.

"Thought I'd take interest in the company besides spending its profits." she replied matter-of-factly as she took a seat and played with a clicky pen.

"Yeah, right." Bulma commented dryly as she looked at Trunks who, in turn, shrugged his shoulders and tried to hide the fact that he knew. Bra was the neutralizing force between Marron and Pan. She would be a buffer of sorts. But, how was she at buffering their dear old mother? Her manipulation of their father was something short of amazing, but would she have the same power over the ultimate force in their family?

Bulma shrugged her off as just a presence and continued her dissection of Trunks' 'master plan.'

"I broke off our Pakar affiliations for a reason Trunks. I don't see a need to assist them. They tried to screw us once, so let them screw themselves."

"And should Capsule Corporation ever require assistance, wouldn't it be best to have certain other companies at its side rather than joining the opposing one?"

"Why would there even be a possility that Capsule Corporation would ever be in such a predicament? If it did, it would be because of the screw up of its current President/CEO wouldn't it?"

"You put me here."

"That's irrelevent. We're in this mess now because of your dick. Now what's to say it won't happen again?" Bulma said softly yet sternly as she eyeballed both Marron AND Pan.

"Mother, I don't have to take this from you. Not here in front of everyone. If you want to criticize and accuse me in private, fine, but NOT here." Trunks sternly retorted.

"Don't like it when the shoe's on the other foot eh? And who rubbed my face in the ground by going behind my back to bring this meeting for merger? I had already taken care of it. You made a mockery out of my decision."

Sensing hostility all over the place, Bra interrupted once again. "Um, excuse me, but perhaps now would be a good time to take a break? Both options have been put on the table right? Merger or no merger. So, perhaps now's a good time to sit on it and think it over? Let the shareholders decide. It's their money right?"

Both Trunks and Bulma looked at her like she was from outer space. But, from the general murmuring of discussion from those in attendance, it sounded like it was the best option at this time.

"A splendid idea. We will break for today and reconvene tomorrow morning, say nine o'clock? This will give us all time to bring each company's entire grouping of shareholders into this as they should be rather than just a select few. Perhaps those on the outside may see what we are having difficulty with on the inside due to our bias judgements."

All nodded though Bulma didn't seem pleased. She'd just been neutralized by daughter and son.

As the others left the room, Bra decided it was best to escort Marron and Pan. This left mother and son as the only occupants. Silence burdened the room especially when the doors shut behind the rest of the group.

Trunks, embarrassed and insulted by his own mother stepped away from her and gazed at the view from the windows. Bulma tossed the notes and folders back onto the table.

"What has gotten into you lately? I have never seen you like this before?" Bulma spoke calmly, trying to place some sincerity into it. If she yelled at him, he'd only become defensive and ignore her.

Trunks turned his head to look slightly behind him as he looked at his mother out of the corner of his eye.
"It's nothing you can help me with. Leave it be."


"Don't. You've always said you've wanted the best for me and yet whenever I try to please you, I'm shot down and chastised. I know as much as you about business and this company, yet you always stick your nose up at me and condemn all my ideas to hell. I work so hard at proving myself to you and dad that my own personal life has been sacraficed. I can't even have a life of my own. I'm used and abused by you, father, and every other person I try to get close to. I've had enough. It is time to reclaim what I have saraficed even if it means stepping on those I care about. For once in my life, I want something for ME." Trunks replied as he stripped off his jacket, loosened his tie, blasted a hole through the window, and flew out.

A tear scampered down his mother's cheek as she picked his jacket off the floor and held it as she watched his departing form enter the clouds above.
"My dearest little Trunks, I've never met to hurt you. Please don't leave me?"

Meanwhile, outside, Bra had her hands full with a firey Marron and Pan. But both Pan and Bra ceased and looked to the sky as they sensed Trunks' ki elevate and then fade. He'd left. Bra was worried. What had their mother done? Trunks was in enough hot water for their mother to make it boil over. With the blood of Vegeta coursing his veins, the unpredictability of Trunks was stronger than ever.

Marron watched her two "friends" gaze at the window. She couldn't read ki, but she knew from their reactions that Trunks had likely left the building saiyan style. Inwardly, she felt sympathy for the royal demi-saiyan. Pressure from his family, from his job, and now from those he considered friends and no rewards in sight for dealing with such. The man deserved so much more than life was handing out to him. He was a good man and a rare find. He was a gentleman, always abiding by manners and etiquette. He was a great listener and friend, always there when one needed to vent. No, he didn't deserve what life was dishing out to him. He may be the son of Vegeta, but he surely wasn't anything like his father.

As Pan gazed out the window, her thoughts returned memories of the past. She recollected the trials and tribulations of the black star dragonball hunt, times when Trunks use to babysit her, other times where he was there to keep her company and be her friend, and their little teasing and sparring matches. He was the best friend she ever had though she'd never admit that to him. Life wasn't fair and surely wasn't simple. But why couldn't it be? It was time to reshuffle the cards and deal out a new hand. Trunks had earned at least that much.

to be continued...