Note: In a portion of this chapter, I decided to give another of my favorite couples that never happened some hints: Mirai Trunks/Juuhachigou (Android 18).
Once again, the Z Fighters were gathered in the desert to train. After several weeks, all of them have made a lot of progress. Goku and Gohan had finally made it to SSJ Level 3 along with Trunks. Krillin's power had doubled while Vegeta only achieved SSJ Level 2. As usual, he wouldn't admit it and continued to train heavily.
Training with the fighters today was Juuhachigou, also known formerly as Android 18. Despite being human now, thanks to a wish made on the Dragonballs, she retained her ability and desire to fight. After Krillin told her what was going on, she decided to train with them.
Trunks was busy sparring with Gochi when he glanced over to where Juuhachigou was sparring with her boyfriend, Krillin. He watched her gracefully dodge and block several well-aimed hits, her ice-blue eyes concentrated on a possible opening. He knew that there was something more to this Juuhachigou, much more than what was at face-value. When Trunks turned around, he was greeted by a smirk from Gochi.
"NowI know where your attention's been for the last hour." Gochi said.
"It's not like that." Trunks said calmly to his friend. "I was just thinking, that's all." He glanced back to where Juuhachigou and Krillin continued to spar. "She so different from the way she is in my time. Back there, the Androids are nothing but killing machines. They slaughtered thousands of innocent people just for the hell of it. But here... here she actually has a soul." Trunks then noticed that Gochi had a knowing grin on his face.
"Do you know what your problem is?" Gochi said. "You've got a thing for a certain ex-android and you just can't admit it."
"That's ridiculous. Why would I have something for her?"
"You tell me."
"Never mind." Trunks said as he powered up his ki, hoping that it would hide the blush appearing on his face. "Let's just get on with our training." Suddenly, a flash of ki raced through them both. It was cold, thick with the chill of evil.
"Did you feel that?" Trunks said. "It felt... it was different from anything I've ever sensed before. Not even Cell had that much power."
"It's him..." Gochi said, narrowing his eyes. "Zero. He's early. Too early." Just then, Goku and the rest flew over to where Gochi and Trunks were.
"Did you guys feel it too?" Goku asked.
"It's just what I was afraid of." Gochi said. "Guys, this is what I wanted to train for. Zero is an evil unlike anything else. A few months ago, in my time, we found out that Dr. Gero made a backup copy of Zero's program in case he was destroyed someday. It's somewhere in his lab and has to be destroyed."
"But we already destroyed his lab when Cell started attacking." Krillin interrupted. "There's nothing left there."
"Wrong. There's a sub-level hidden underneath that rubble. That's where he developed Zero's original program and the designs for the Androids. No offense, Juuhachigou."
"None taken." The blond replied. Gochi then turned to Trunks.
"Trunks, I want you and Gohan to go there with Juuhachigou and destroy what's left while Goku, Krillin, and I try to stop Zero."
"All right, if you're sure." The violet-haired boy said.
"Are you sure you don't want me going with you?" Gohan asked. Goku bent down to face his son and smiled.
"Don't worry, son." Goku said. "You can always meet up with us later. Besides, with all the training we've done, this'll be a piece of cake." Suddenly, his stomach rumbled. "Speaking of which, I'm kind of hungry."
"We'll eat afterwards, Goku." Gochi said as he sweatdropped. With that, he charged his ki and went to the skies with Goku and Krillin. Trunks turned to Juuhachigou and Gohan and also charged his ki.
"We might as well get this over with." Trunks said as he leapt into the sky. Juuhachigou and Gohan so followed him in the direction of Dr. Gero's lab.
"P-p-please..." the young man pleaded as he looked into the soulless eyes of the figure radiating with purple energy. "D-d-d-don't kill me! I have a family!"
"The I would suggest that you answer quickly, then." Zero said as he placed what appeared to be a hand on the man's face. He had already absorbed several meaningless people into his program, none of them the pure raw power he was seeking. "Where are the Saiyans?"
"I-I-I don't know!" the man blubbered. Suddenly, laughter was heard from behind him. The being turned and saw a man with tall, spiky hair standing there in Saiyan armor and a superior smirk on his face.
"If you are through terrorizing these invalids," Vegeta said, "perhaps you would finally accept a TRUE challenge from a REAL opponent."
'Finally.' Zero thought as he threw the man aside as the flash of Saiyan ki touched his senses. 'One of the powerful Saiyans I was seeking. Yet his power was nothing to what I sensed while in space. He will be an easy defeat.'
"Very well, then." Zero smirked in return as he rose into the air, facing Vegeta. "Let us see if you are something to fear or just another insect to be squashed."
"Then I will teach you to fear me!" Vegeta charged forward, his ki flaring a solid saffron. Zero charged his own purple ki, letting it glow totally black, and also charged forward.