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

Corporate Calamity (part 8)

*What the hell am I doing!? I can't! I won't! This isn't right! I would be in so much trouble that my death wouldn't even smooth things over. No, Rui isn't going to be a pawn in my quest to eliminate my problems. She's a friend and employee, and that's all I can ever consider her to be. Cross the line and I definitely lose her forever.It wouldn't matter whether it was true love or not.* Trunks thought as they returned to the office in an uncomfortable silence. Once back, Rui thanked him as she stepped out of the limo. From this point on, they were a corporate president and his secretary, no more, no less.

Upon reaching his desk, Trunks was swamped by several of his senior execs.

"Sir, shareholders are dumping Pakar stock at an astounding rate!"

"They're wide-open for a hostile takeover! We just need to buy up those now free stocks."

"If we do it, our worries about them are over for good!"

"Mr. President?"

Trunks only heard portions of their rants. His mind was locked on his own personal battle. It wasn't until one of the execs placed a fresh, hot chicken leg in front of his nose did he finally come around. It was a tactic Bulma had taught them. Place some form of meat product in front of her son's nose and you'll have his full attention. It was weird and unorthodox, but for some reason, it actually worked, even if Trunks had just returned from a meal.

Trunks immediately grabbed the chicken piece then eyed the execs in his office. His sensitive ears picking up bits and pieces of several of the conversations occurring at the time. It was enough to completely fill him in.

"We don't go for a hostile takeover. We maintain our current relationship with them buy buying up only enough to prevent another company from trying such a thing."

"Sir? Why?"

"We're not going to stoop to their level. They tried to gain too much too fast and now they're feeling the consequence of such. The dog is choking on its bone now. Just wait. Pakar will turn to its ally, namely us to dig it out thus recognizing our superiority over it, plain and simple. Now, please leave me alone for a bit. I have important business to attend to."

The execs swiftly departed and left Trunks alone in his office. Once all were gone and the door was shut, Trunks grabbed his cell phone and dialed Marron's personal number.

"Marron here."

"Hey, it's me Trunks. I just got word about Pakar. Are you okay?"

"It's too soon to say Trunks. But don't worry, your balls are safe. I'm sure Pakar's board is grovelling to Capsule Corp's board at this very moment."

"Too much too soon. I hate to say this, but I told you so. Well, if there is an overhaul in senior execs there, remember, you will always have a job here at Capsule Corp. We have a distribution center just to the--"

"Trunks, let's just let it ride first."

"Let it ride? Are you nuts? Pakar's going to be put in its place by my mother and the rest of the board. All those involved in the aggressive stance at Pakar will likely feel the bite. That would include you Marron."

"Being a good executive in the dog world of business means taking the bad with the good. Nothing's good all the time."


"Trunks, I've got to go. Thanks for the concern, but I'm a grown woman now. I don't need your assistance. It's all part of the job, remember. We'll chat again another time. And I'm sorry. Good day." Marron replied hastily as she hung up, leaving Trunks listening to nothing but dead air.

Frustrated, Trunks threw his cell phone across his office. It smashed solidly into the wall and broke into several pieces. With a growl of disgust, he opened the window and lept into the crisp autumn air. His world was now a mess of confusion and mistakes from several aspects. Flying blindly, he sought out the only ki that would relieve him of some of his pent up emotions...his father. Physical bashing and pain was often used by Vegeta and now Trunks to punish oneself for stupidity.

"Fooling around again boy?"

Trunks said nothing, but rather began to peel off his suit until the only clothing left on were his pants. He made his way to the gravity room, grabbing his sword that was leaning against a nearby wall, and urged several spherical bots into attacking him. He knew his father would take this as an invitation to train once Trunks had warmed up.

"That metallic stick is nothing but a weakness, a crutch. It is shameful for a saiyan to use anything other than one's own body in combat."

"Leave me be, father. I didn't ask your opinion of my actions." Trunks growled as he forcibly swung in a powerful horizontal arc, causing two bots to become four halves.

"My saiyan blood courses your veins. I will not tolerate weakness in my bloodline."

"Then perhaps you should drain it from my body. I have no use for it anyway."

Vegeta's muscles tensed into tight clumps at that statement. "You have no pride."

Trunks pivoted to his right and sent another swing arcing towards yet another helpless bot. It smashed neatly onto the floor. "I have no soul."

"Explain." Vegeta said as calmly as his pride would allow him. He was ready to pound some sense into his son, but refrained. It never got him anywhere but into trouble with Bulma.

Trunks ceased his swinging and stared blankly into one of the bland walls before him. "I will never be nothing more than a pawn for mother and beating stone for you. I can't live up to mother's expections nor yours and neither of you seem satisfied with who and what I've become. I'm not the business driven son mother wants and I'm not the warrior you want. I'm stuck in a perpetual ring of an existence that isn't me. I can't even find a mate who would hack this ring and give me a sense of purpose. The closest mates I've come to find are my best friends. And with that, I would have to sacrafice years-tempered friendships for a slim possibility at love that may never arise. It isn't worth it. I'm destined to a bland solitude of an existence."

"You are pathetic boy. Your emotional side, like Gohan's is your weakness. You pity and deny yourself that which could also break your so called 'bland existence."

Trunks threw down his sword. "WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW FATHER! LEAVE ME ALONE!"

"Just as I thought. You won't see things through. You would rather flee than fight. Truly pathetic."


"Oh? Could've fooled me. Ask your heart what your mind denies. Both Gohan and myself found our answers within. Even a cold heart can find warmth if it is open to seek it." Vegeta replied before opting to depart.

Trunks spat in disgust as he grabbed his sword once again. "FATHER! YOU DARE TURN YOUR BACK ON AN OPPONENT?!"

"You challenge me?"

"I've got nothing to lose."

"You are foolish boy. I have mastered levels which you could only dream of attaining."

Trunks ignored his father's warning. His saiyan blood was surging in its need to relinquish the filth of frustration and despair that was also coursing through his veins. With a gutteral growl, Trunks launched his attack onto his father, his sword poised to strike a downward blow. Vegeta knew the attack was out of rage rather than calculated skill and found it easy to dodge the blow without even leaving the ground. All he had to do was lean slightly to the right. The ongoing momentum of his missed swing sent the sword and Trunks careening into the wall. The clang and thud resounded through the chamber. Trunks tried several more attacks of which Vegeta avoided effortlessly. The full-blood siayan refused to go onto the offensive however. He simply maintained his defensive maneuvers until Trunks wore himself out. Panting and sweating profusly, Trunks dropped to his hands and knees. His lack of training not only weakend his power, but his endurance as well. He slammed a fist onto the floor while yelling in frustration at his own body. Rather than striking a decisive blow onto his son to prove the point, Vegeta simply exited, leaving his son in his misery.

Once in the kitchen, Vegeta helped himself to the goods in the refrigerator.


Vegeta looked at his mate with an expressionless stare. "I'm thirsty. Got a problem with that?"

Bulma didn't answer but rather looked for her son who normally trailed behind Vegeta for a refreshment after a training session. "Where's Trunks? YOU DIDN'T BEAT HIM TO A PULP AGAIN DID YOU?! WE DON'T HAVE ANYMORE SENZU!"

"I didn't touch the boy. His condition is self-inflicted."

An image of her dear little boy laying in a pool of blood darted through Bulma's mind. She quickly dashed past her emotionless mate and entered the gravity chamber. There she saw her son slumped up against a wall with his head between his knees in deep thought.

"Oh thank Kami,you're not dead!" Bulma exclaimed as she ran over to her son for a closer inspection.

Trunks grew annoyed at her poking and prodding. "Mother, leave me alone. I'm FINE!"

Bulma took a few steps back. "Funny, you don't look fine. Physically fine yes, but mentally, you look like shit in a microwave."

"Thanks for the mental image mother. You sure know how to kill an appetite."

"Let me guess...girl troubles?"

Trunks looked at her in amazement, but emotionally remained that of a stone and said nothing.

"Ahh, so it is. See, mother always knows. Want to talk about it?"


"Oh I see. You'd rather skulk and mope. Well, I'm sorry Trunks, but that isn't going to fly. If you're miserable and pouty then I will see Vegeta tempermental and Bra will become moody. For some reason there's a tied effect. So, I win. Now spill it young man."


"Your stubborn streak isn't going to work on me. Hmm, I guess I'll just have to play a guessing game then."

"Please don't."

"Then talk and more than two words this time."

"It's too complicated."

"Three. We're getting somewhere. Can you do four words now?"


"Sorry, that's only one. You can do better than that."

"This is childish."

"That's only three. C'mon, go for four. Hey, that reminds me. What are you doing out of work at this hour anyway hmm?"

"That crap in the microwave didn't taste very well."

"HaHa, very funny. No, really, what's going on?"


"Let's see, I could believe you, but your expression says otherwise, so, perhaps I should just call over there and find out?"

"No, don't."

"Okay, then you'd better clue me in now."

"Can't you wait until tomorrow's meeting. I've got to explain everything then anyway."

"What's going on! The company's not in danger is it?" Bulma rattled, all panicky.

"The company's fine. It's Pakar that isn't."

"What'd you do to it?"

"I didn't do anything."

"Okay then, who do you know that did something to it."


"Bullshit, Trunks, I can read through you better than you can hide it."

"I'm not at liberty to say."

"Dammit Trunks, you can't hide information. Who is involved that you know?"

"I promised I wouldn't reveal such."

"It's too late."

"Mom, drop it. I'm serious." Trunks muttered as he stood, slid past his mother, and headed for the depths of his room.

"Hmph. Well, that was certainly rude." Bulma said to herself as she departed as well and returned to the kitchen. There was no use in trying to pry it out of her son. When warranted, Trunks was as stubborn and cranky as his father. The only advantage she had over her son was that unlike his father, Trunks would eventually reveal whatever it was he was hiding. It was just a matter of patience and persistence on her part.

Once in his room, he grabbed his phone and began to dial Marron's number. As he did so, he glanced at a picture hanging on his wall. It was a photo taken of him, Giru, Goku, and Pan shortly after the blackstar dragonball hunt. His eyes focused on the young lady in the image and before he could finish dialing, he hung the phone back up.

*Crap, what is it with you!* Trunks asked himself in thought as he angrily slammed himself onto his bed. It knocked an item off one of the obscure shelves he never bothered with.

"OWWW! Geez! Wait, what IS this? I don't remember this photo album." Trunks muttered to himself as he opened the dusty album. In it were images of times just before his birth. *Hmm, this must be around the Cell era. Gohan looks to be roughly 9 or 10 here.* Trunks flipped through several more pages. *Heheh, mom must've been a handful then. Father was likely in strategic hiding. I made her fat, but it was dad's fault.* A few more pages later, *More baby pictures of me. Great. My ugliest phase and yet, I still had that killer cuteness. But uh, who the hell is that!?* Trunks asked himself as he looked over several photos that contained a baby him and yet a strikingly handsome young man that looked very much like his double.

*This must be that 'other' Trunks mother and Gohan kept mentioning, but they never showed me any photos of.* Trunks flipped slowly through several more. *Eeeech, note to self, never try long hair! Hey, what's this? We never created this product before. It's not gramps'. It must be mom's, but, I've seen all the products mom created. It is this 'other' Trunks'. It must be that time machine thing that mom has mentioned in her stories of the guy. He looks like a creep. He's too serious and looks too much like dad. Why would mom want me to be like that? Isn't one Vegeta enough for her?* Trunks snickered as he closed the album.

*A time machine? Hmm, I could alter time and fix the complications that are occurring now. I could prevent Marron from ever taking that job at Pakar. That's little enough that it wouldn't alter history in any big way, but would help both her and me. No, I mustn't, altering history is wrong, good intentions or not. It's one thing that other Trunks did that I never want to duplicate. But still, it would be kinda fun to time travel. Oh Trunks, I smell a 'secret' project! Or...hey wait, did mom create that thing afterall and has one already built, hiding somewhere in the labs under this house? But first...I MUST eat!* Trunks thought as he changed into his casual clothes.

Trunks met his mother and father in the kitchen for dinner. "Mom, can I ask you something?"

"Oh, NOW you want to talk? Well maybe I don't. You were rude to me back there earlier."

"I'm sorry mom. And I still don't want to talk about that matter. I just have a question. I found an old photo album you never showed me before. It had that 'other' Trunks in it and a strange machine. Does it exist in our timeline? I mean, have you built one of these?"

Bulma set the pan down on the stove and sighed. "I'm not going to say if it exists in this time or not."

"But mother--"

"But nothing. Drop it Trunks. It's old news and nothing you need to be concerned about." Bulma sternly replied.

The rest of dinner was eaten in silence. The usually serious and often grumpy looking Vegeta was now the only one not sporting such. His mate and son were wearing his usual scowl. It amused him somewhat, but he kept it to himself.

Trunks completed his dinner and departed.

"Trunks, where are you going?"

"Out. Don't wait up for me." Trunks answered as he slammed the door.

"Trunks..." Bulma trailed worriedly.

Trunks flew aimlessly, relishing in the refreshing breeze and oncoming coolness of the night. In the air, the rules were simple...do anything you want, but remember only one rule...gravity. It wasn't like work or home where shades of gray often manipulated and complicated rules. It wasn't like life itself or that strange phenomenon called 'love.' Both wore the shade of gray so well that Trunks began to despise both. He wanted his head as clear and as free as the air he glided in. But, his mind kept returning to that 'other' Trunks from the photos. He was an alternate timeline existence. But what was that timeline like now? How was that other Trunks living now? Or was he? How does time travel alter existence? Who's life was impacting who's? Were their lives more parallel or meandering away from one another? Did they have similar personalities? Destinies? Problems?

These questions dogged Trunks' brain and curiousity. He had to find out! He knew from stories that many who lived in the present timeline didn't exist in the other one, but he had to know if that Trunks had sought out and found that elusive love after returning his world to peace. It may help him seek out direction with his own quest right here in the present. Of course there would be no Marron or Pan, but perhaps he could at least be satisfied in an answer of whether or not he was meant to have a mate or find true love.

*I've got to know if that time machine exists! Or, if mom won't tell me then I've got to build my own. I just want to observe. I won't even reveal myself to anyone there..assuming that timeline even exists at a certain point. But I've got to find a sense of direction in life! If I don't, I will wander as I am now and never find any fixed direction.And I could end up hurting those I care for...Marron and Pan don't deserve it.*

to be continued...