Hey guys! I'm back. Sorry for the long absence. I got too busy with work to continue any more writing for the longest time, not to mention that I lost motivation for it too due to work and personal reasons, but I've been spending time getting my next story together. Though I finished writing it a long time ago, I was just too lazy to get it typed up. This fic is based on my previous work, Dragon Ball Z: a future changed. If you guys haven't read it yet, I encourage you to do so because this story is heavily based on that one. Well anyways, I'll try to make this short, but this fic takes place in the Mirai Trunks timeline, but don't expect a complete retelling of History of Trunks. I've made a couple of changes during certain events, but this is fan fiction after all :) It took me a while to get this rolling, plus I felt like my quality of writing has suffered a bit, so bear with me. Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did :)

DM777

P.S it's good to be back! :D

Dragon Ball Z: Timeline Zero

Prologue

For many years, Trunks Briefs experienced a life of destruction, suffering and death. Two killer androids took away everyone and everything he knew before his very eyes. Created by Dr. Gero, these heartless monsters ravished the planet, and all who dared to oppose them faced certain doom. When all hope seemed lost, Trunk's mother, Bulma, along with the greatest minds of earth came together to build a time machine. Trunks, at the age of seventeen ventured back into the past, to bring in a new timeline; a world free from the wicked creations. After he helped carry out the vision of a timeline free from their grasp, Trunks eventually returned to his world, bringing with him newfound strength and courage. Hope of saving his ruined future burned strongly, but that flame of hope became discouraged when he discovered that Cell awoke prematurely. Before he had a chance to act, Cell absorbed both androids, and Trunks feared for the worst. Being the only one left to stand against the perfect android, the fate of the world rested upon his shoulders. Despite the odds standing against him, the lone hero gave the dreaded Cell everything he had and then some, but in the end, the wretched enemy gained the upper hand.

When the half blood warrior almost gave up, somebody else joined the battle. In the nick of time, Vegeta from the past wouldn't allow his only son to fall against the ultimate villain. Together, they finished Gero's horror for good, and Trunks got to witness the compassionate side of his father, something that's an extreme rarity to see from the prideful prince. Thanks to the second time machine, the one that Cell used to go further into the past. Trunks gave it to her so she could learn from it. Managing to repair it, it allowed the prince from the restored timeline to save his only son from impending death.

It's been six months since Cell met his perfect defeat, and the remaining survivors resumed their rebuilding. Restoring order over the chaos, what was once crumbled metropolises finally reached back to the skies.. While many months have come and went, Trunks spent as much of that time as he could to train and prepare to take on any threat that may come against the earth. However, to his surprise, his best friend and master Gohan returned to life, appearing before him. For that moment, he believed he saw a ghost or a memory from his childhood, rendering him speechless at the sight of his only true friend. In the mountains to the far east of West City, the fateful reunion took place between the teacher and the student. The last of the world's greatest fighters finally summed up the courage to speak with the one clad in orange; who wore Goku's symbol of fighting, showing off his father's innocent grin and spirit.

"Gohan… is that really you?" Trunks asked nervously and excited at the same time. This caused the son of Vegeta to power down, where his golden aura slipped away, and his long straight hair turned light purple again, hanging low and touching his broad shoulders.

"Well, that was my name last time I checked." He answered kindly, giving out a light laugh, carelessly scratching his scalp.

"But, the androids… they killed you a long time ago. How did you come back to life?" Trunks still couldn't believe what he was seeing, but he knew there had to have been a reason, and a motive to how he earned the chance to come back to life. "I buried you at the hero's memorial ground." Finally, Trunks started to calm his own nerves.

As for the site that Trunks mentioned, they found a place near Goku's home to make a sacred burial ground for him and his friends. Bulma contributed to the formation of the memorial site, and monuments were built in their names: A place for remembrance of them. Trunks had to bury Gohan there, and it was the toughest and most emotional burden that he ever had to carry on his shoulders. He recalled that day like it happened yesterday, and it was something he could never forget. Yet there he stood, alive and well.

"We lost the dragon balls a long time ago, so there was no way we could bring you or the others back, as much as we wished we could have." Trunks uttered out, almost unable to suppress his emotions.

Then Gohan approached him, placing his hand upon Trunks firm rough, firm shoulder, proving that this was no dream after all.

"Well Trunks, that's a long story, but I'll be glad to explain that to you." He responded softly, ready to share his tale that led to his return. However, the story of Gohan's struggle, from the death of Goku, through the times of his battle with the androids, at last came to light.

Chapter 1: When Light Fades to Darkness

Ever since he was a young boy, Gohan possessed unimaginable hidden power. In fact, his strength surpassed his father's when he was same age as he. Of course, the half saiyan had always saw Goku as the invincible warrior. No evil force could oppose him. Being the first to achieve the legendary Super Saiyan, Goku defeated the intergalactic space pirate dictator, Freeza on planet namek moments before that world became nothing but space dust. Everyone feared for the worst, believing that the planet's destruction took the great hero with it, but the earth's dragon assured everyone that he survived, and that he would return at his own time. Trusting in Goku's judgment, everyone continued to live their lives in peace, patiently waiting to reunite with the warrior of a pure heart. Though they knew not when he would return, the comfort of knowing that he was alive and well gave everyone hope to get though each passing moment. Well, everyone except for Vegeta, who devoured himself in envy of the fact that a "low class soldier" earned the power of legend before he, the prince of all saiyans could. Despite all of this, they all lived in a time of rest.

Meanwhile, days became weeks, and weeks turned into months that passed by, and Gohan continued on with his studies to become a great scholar as the arrogant prince searched in vain for Goku. Spending time in space, seeking out the answers on how to achieve the gift of the legends, he found nothing, so he returned to earth, only to discover even more bad news. With no sign of Goku, Freeza survived, and his father came along for the ride. Joining forces, Lord Freeza and his father, Cold, vowed to wipe out the earth, taking vengeance from the frost demon's loss on namek. Even though Gohan and the others knew they had no chance against them, they were ready to take on the enemies, but in the nick of time, Goku showed up, finishing off the tyrants for good. Thanks to his training on a distant planet, the hero of a pure heart achieved far more power than ever before.

It's been over two years since Goku defeated Freeza and King Cold, and the people of earth lived in another time of peace and rest. Living in a time where they vanquished the worst of the evil for good, everyone went their separate ways. Vegeta, of course spent time alone in brutal training. Piccolo typically stayed in meditation in the distant mountains. While Gohan devoted his life to the study books, he and his dad sneaked in some sparring time with one another. Having to stay in shape, they battled and trained together, though not as often as they wished. They had Chi Chi to blame for that. "Gohan! How many times do I have to tell to get back to the books and stop throwing fists with your dad!" She screamed out like a raging lunatic. How dare they come between her and the vision of an educated genius! "At this rate I'll go bankrupt from the all books and tapes I spent all our money on!" Her enraged babbling happened on a daily basis, but they chose to ignore her, for staying shape was always important.

It was outside, a beautiful peaceful sunny day. Been like that for a while now. The earth was full of life, and Goku, his family and friends cherished the beauty and preciousness of nature. Though she hated it, she allowed Goku and Gohan to train, but only as long as it didn't interfere with the kid's studies. On that afternoon they exchanged blows, back and forth in the distant open planes not far from home. The whole world was their arena. The sky appeared on fire from their growing power, until their bout of sonic booms ended as they both took their landing. Their clothes were torn to shreds as blood and sweat covered them both. Goku took in a deep breath, panting like a wild dog in the heat, and so did Gohan. "Well son, I think that did it for me, I'm so worn out. You're getting tougher and tougher every time we train. Sooner or later I won't be able to keep up with you." Goku kept a gentle smile, but Gohan noticed something different about him.

"But dad, we've only been training for an hour…" Gohan replied, sounding a little bummed out. "I really don't want to work on my homework. Besides, if we go back home now, I'll have to study for that big test in biology." Gohan finally caught his breath back, but he noticed that his dad was still sweating profusely. "Dad, are you okay? I haven't seen you this tired since your fight with Freeza."

Goku pulled himself together, wiping his forehead from the drops of water. "Yeah son, I'm fine! Man you did me a number." He kept a straight face, but Gohan could tell he was hiding something. His strength was slipping away faster than before.

"Are you sure, dad? You look so pale." he stayed concerned, noticing that Goku held on tightly to his chest.

"Trust me son, I'm fine… now let's get back home and get some lunch… I'm starving!" Goku replied in excitement, but deep down inside, he too knew something wasn't right.

'Oh man, what's going on? It feels like my heart is being ripped apart.' Goku said in thought, feeling his energy drain faster by the minute. 'I must have over did it today, but I can't let Gohan think there's something wrong with me... I sure could use a Sensu bean about now.'

Traveling above the woods, Gohan decided to take his father's word. "If you say so dad," Gohan uttered out quietly, flying off into the skies and back to their house deep in the lush green forests.

Unfortunately, Gohan would have every right to feel worried about his dad. At first, he thought that maybe they've been training too hard and it all just caught up with Goku, but in a matter of days, he was bedridden in great pain. A couple of weeks before hand, news broke out of a terrible heart virus, killing hundreds of thousands. With no cure for this mysterious illness, it spread throughout the planet like the plague, killing the young, the innocent, and the old. Not even the most powerful, wealthy, or in good health could survive it. Why nobody else close to Goku caught it had always remained a mystery. Not even Bulma and the greatest minds on mankind could cure it, at least for a long time, and the sensu beans from Koren had no effect on him. All that they could do was watch the great hero's life slowly slip away. For the next few weeks, Goku suffered horrible pain, laying helplessly as his life slowly slipped away. Unfortunately, Gohan, his family and friends stood by, doing all they could to keep him comforted.

"G…Gohan, come close son." Goku whispered out weakly. "I need to ask you something, please."

"Dad, anything for you… what is it?" Gohan replied.

"Promise me that you will protect the earth, and all of its life." Goku at that point could hardly keep his eyes open, nearly lifelessly gazing into his son's eyes.

"But dad, I can't. I'm still not a Super Saiyan… I can't do it alone, I need you!" he cried out, as tears fell from his face, but his dad reached out to him gently, giving out a weak smile.

"You can do it son, I know you can! I've already seen a glimpse of you growing up to become stronger than I am. There will be more evil forces out there, even more terrible than Freeza. Gohan, you can do it. Be strong, for me, for your mother, for everyone." Goku uttered out, as the last of his life began to slip away.

"Dad, I don't know how I can, but I promise… I won't let you down." He kept in his tears, remaining strong for his father's last moment.

"Just believe in yourself… you have always had the power in you. You'll become a Super Saiyan in time, but just remember that it comes in response to a need, not a desire." Then his eyes shut, fighting the grip of death. The final thread of life was about to break.

"Father, don't die! We need you!" Gohan pleaded, and Goku opened his eyes one last time.

"Take care of Chi Chi for me… It's time for me to go, back to other world. I'll be… watching from above. Never forget that… son, you made me so proud too…" but he could say nothing else, and he breathed his last. The cold wind began to howl.

Goku perished.

Everyone surrounded him, weeping in sorrow for the loss of the greatest hero of all the earth. Not even the legendary Super Saiyan could fight off the horrific heart virus. Over a period of three months, this awful disease took out over four million people, including one of the victims, Goku. Nobody knew what caused the virus, let alone knowing whether or not if anyone would have the audacity to create this illness. Some believed that it mutated from something else. For several years, that secret didn't surface, not until another time, in another place. However, that tragedy would only be the beginning of the light slipping into darkness.

Six months after his death, a city on a small island nine miles south of south city suffered a horrific invasion. Two young people, one of a man with dark hair, and a beautiful blonde woman struck that city without warning, setting it ablaze, devouring all the innocent people that lived there. Thousands died in an instant. Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Yamcha, Tien, Chaozu, Krillin, and Yajirobi were the ones to answer that call. Feeling the destruction from all over the world, they followed Goku's example by assembling for battle. Coming face to face against the two new threats, they stood in the ruins where the two young people remained. They appeared lifeless, cold, and emotionless. The Z warriors faced them, confused by their appearance, but Piccolo approached them slowly. "Did you two do this? Who are you?" he angrily demanded.

They didn't appear intimidated, giving them a cold, terrifying stare back at all of them, until they focused on the namekian fighter as their light blue, cold eyes started flashing at him. Then they glanced over at everyone else, giving them all a quick scanning. Glaring with with a small, evil smirk the dark, long haired one uttered out, "Piccolo, a namek..." after further analyzing, he muttered, "according to my data, you're at a medium threat level."

Krillin backed away slowly, terrified of these strange invaders. "I have a bad feeling about this, guys… I think we should get out of here." He said nervously, turning blue in the face, but nobody listened to him. Everyone else stood ready for battle. Sadly, choosing to remain there was the biggest mistake all of them would make.

A few moments later, the young blonde finished her scanning. "Vegeta is also at a medium threat level according to my sensors and log readings. Everyone else is at a low threat. How about we make an example out of them. Tearing these buildings down and killing normal people sure got boring." She said, very monotone, lifeless, wicked, wanting to destroy and kill more.

"I don't know who you two are, but you aren't going to kill anyone else." The namekian warrior said confidently. "We'll stop you from hurting them. You have no clue who you're messing with."

'I hope you're right Piccolo.' Gohan said quietly, remaining by his side. 'Dad, we need you.'

Feeling uneasy, Gohan knew in his gut that without Goku to stand by their side, the odds were against them. Though he couldn't sense their power levels, he saw a glimpse of another battle from the past... one that also ended badly. 'I've never seen them before in my life, but I know their incredibly strong... dad, I hope you're watching over us.'

They laughed menacingly at the heroes who dared to oppose them. "No piccolo, you have no idea who you guys are messing with. You should have listened to your friend Krillin." he showed a menacing smirk, the look of wanting to kill. "Allow us to introduce ourselves. I am Android Seventeen, and that's my twin sister Android Eighteen. We are androids created by Dr. Gero, and we're looking for Goku. Have you seen him?" he asked calmly, about to give them an offer. "If you tell us, we might let you guys live."

"My dad's been dead for six months now, and even if he was alive, we would never tell you!" Gohan stepped in bravely.

"Look sis, the son of Goku. Oh how brave of him." Seventeen mocked the kid.

"So, he's dead huh? That's too bad. I guess our deal is off then. We get to kill you all in his place." Eighteen gave out a laugh.

"We'll be the ones who will kill you. You aren't going to get away with what you did to these people!" Tien said valiantly.

Vegeta became so annoyed by all of the exchanges of words, that he pushed everyone aside to get in the android's faces. "Will you guys just shut up already?! I'm so sick of all this talking. I'll take out the two tin cans myself! Feel the power of the saiyan race!" Shining so bright like the sun, he powered to the fullest of his strength. Blowing everyone else out of the way, the powerful warrior's energy was almost too much for them to bear.

The androids eyes widened for a moment, intrigued by this sudden change of the saiyan prince. They looked at each other and then scanned him for moment. "I can't find any data on this, can you find anything Seventeen?" she asked him.

"No, I can't find any files containing this golden glow." He said blankly.

"It's called a Super Saiyan you clunks of metal! Feel my wrath!" Vegeta positioned himself for battle, going into a fighter stance as everyone else did the same, except for Krillin and Yajorobi, where they hid in the rubble. Meanwhile the arrogant fool known as the prince targeted Seventeen, ready to attack, as the blonde android scanned his power level one more time.

"Seventeen, be careful, his power just grew rapidly when he transformed. He's now a high threat level, so you better be on guard!" that time she sounded more serious.

"Don't worry sis, its nothing that I can't handle. It'll take more than a fighting power of forty million to stop me... you take care of the rest." He said confidently.

"Understood." She replied coldly.

Leading the other pack, Piccolo stood first ahead of everyone else, facing against the evil blonde. "Alright guys, let's power up, I can't sense their power levels, but we can't underestimate them!" Piccolo ordered them, thus beginning the fight…

The last battle that all but one got to experience…

Vegeta charged forward, throwing a golden fist into the young male android's face, throwing him into the rubble. Leaping into the air, the enraged saiyan prince stretched out his arms sending golden blasts to consume the android. Sensing nothing, Vegeta grinned in celebration, but his thought of victory ended quickly when he saw the android, completely unharmed took a speeding leap to face him.

"Thanks for the massage, I needed that." He snickered, cracking his head one way and then another. "Now it's my turn."

"Oh shut up you fool!" he dashed at the android, throwing a raging fist after another, but nothing could touch him. Swiftly, the artificial human evaded him with no trouble whatsoever. It only took a matter of seconds before Android Seventeen gave him an uppercut in the gut, only to vanish and return to the naked eye above him, throwing a double handed slam over Vegeta's head where he fell helplessly into the rubble.

Struggling, he tried to escape the crater that swallowed him whole, but he had lost the energy to take his stand. "Gah! No! The Saiyan legend, buried in the mud already… I can't believe it." he choked out globs of blood, his vision blurring against the figure above him, nearly over shadowed by the growing fog of smoke and dust.

The artificial human hovered above him, grinning with a sinister look. "Don't worry prince, it will all be over soon." Then he extended his arm towards the fallen Super Saiyan. "Say hello to Goku for me! Hahahahahahaha!" He shot the final blast from his hand, sending a vicious Ki blast on a collision course for Vegeta.

"Nooooooooo!" Vegeta screamed helplessly, as he was engulfed in flames and in a dome of destruction.

Everyone else looked back in panic. "No, Vegeta!" they saw nothing but a battered corpse of what was left of the almighty Prince.

In anger, everyone charged against android Eighteen, and she brought every one of them to their knees in seconds. After he finished off the cocky fighter, seventeen joined in the battle, and that only added more trouble to their odds of winning. Their power was unreal, and nobody could touch them. Tien, Chaozu, and Yamcha were the first to suffer defeat, all from one blow. A fist through their chests ended that one quickly. Trying their best to stop them, Gohan and Piccolo were the last to stand against them. Anger fueled them relentlessly. "No, those were my friends you just killed!" Gohan cried out in rage.

"Don't be angry kid. be glad, because you will see them again in just a moment." Hearing a sound in the distance, both cyborgs looked to their right, noticing movement in a pile of ruined buildings not far away.

"Heh, we got a couple of rats hiding somewhere. I'll deal with them. We don't need any stragglers." She sent forth a ki blast, and an explosion of searing fire carried the sound of Krillin and the fat sensu bean bearing fighter crying to their deaths.

"No, Krillin, Yajirobi!" Gohan and Piccolo cried out helplessly, knowing they couldn't save the last two Z fighters who hid in fear.

"You two are so predictable. Let's finish these two off sis." Android Seventeen wanted to finish the job.

"Gladly…" eighteen replied menacingly.

Piccolo and Gohan tried their best to hold their own against their might, but it was for nothing. Quickly, they were overwhelmed by their limitless power. Within a matter of a couple of blows, the teacher and pupil were savagely thrown into the wind and into the ground below. Managing to take another stand, Gohan used every ounce of his strength to get back on his feet. With his power drained completely, all he could do was stare the two killing machines down as Piccolo lost the power to fight with him. With the namek unable to move, the androids surrounded him, mercilessly preparing to finish him off.

"No, Piccolo!" Gohan screamed out in panic, seeing his battered friend laying defenselessly as the two menaces slowly approached him, with their arms aiming straight for him.

"Gohan, run, get out of here. It's all up to you now! Only you can stop the androids! AHHHH!" Ki blasts devoured Piccolo, killing him in an instant, and with him gone, the dragon balls died with him along with Kami. That was when that terrible feeling from the past transformed into a vision. It was as if time froze to him when he witnessed all of his friends die so quickly. Remembering the time when Vegeta and Nappa invaded the earth, where they wiped out everyone but Krillin like they were nothing. Again, Gohan took hold of that burden once again, letting it sink deeply into his soul.

'I let them die again... if dad was here, he would have stopped him, but it was because of that heart virus. It killed him, and now they killed my friends... Krillin, Yamcha, tien, Chaozu, Yajirobi.' Recalling his teacher and true friend dying from the saiyan's hands, he watched it happen again, but unlike that time, Goku, won't be answering the call to save the day.

'Piccolo, this is all my fault,' his heart sank so deeply, having no clue that Seventeen and Eighteen were stepping closer and closer to fight him next. 'If I was strong enough, you would have been alive. Everyone would have been alive.'

But then a switch suddenly turned on, the power that all enemies came to fear. Gohan's wrath came to light.

"I won't let you get away with this!" consumed by rage, the last fighter channeled all of his hidden strength, forcing out great winds and lighting impulses in every direction. Violently, it shook the entire island, brushing everything away into the distance. Even the artificial villains braced against it. Seeing the infernal storm of anger in his eyes, they were about to find out how powerful he was first hand.

"What's this? His power just rose tenfold..." Seventeen guarded himself, as he glanced over to his twin sister.

"I don't know but all of this dirt is ruining my hair, ugh!" she grumbled in disgust, keeping her defensive stance, only to notice something different about the lone hero of strength.

"He's glowing yellow, just like Vegeta!" she yelled out.

"But his hair is still black. It's just a glowing aura around him." Seventeen replied.

"So we got another Super Saiyan on our hands huh?" she asked, showing a little concern.

"Not too sure, but we don't need to wait and find out, let's kill him now before he becomes one of those." Seventeen stated.

Reaching into a state of a Semi Super Saiyan, Gohan entered into a pinnacle of his strength that only surfaced in a time of need. Unlike the Full transformation, this form can only be maintained for a short amount of time. It's an instinctive reaction that only certain saiyans can reach in times of serious danger. (Goku also used that form when he battled against Lord Slug, Remember?)

Scanning his vastly growing power, they showed panic and surprise when his level appeared in their cybernetic eyes.

"You killed my friends... you killed Piccolo!" Gohan shouted angrily at them, keeping his firm golden glow, walking steadily towards them.

"Seventeen, his power level is over fifty million! He's at a high threat, we gotta be careful!" the blonde insisted.

"Obviously..." the black haired one responded, unable to say anything else since Gohan suddenly Vanished, then returning with a savage blow to his gut. Gagging out blood, the cyber human flung back at light speed into a ruined set of buildings.

"Why you!" she yelled at him, charging at him aggressively only to miss a swing and receive countless, powerful punches to the face and the midsection. For the first time, she felt pain. Unable to dodge Gohan's blows, she earned a powerful kick up her chin, hurling her like a rag doll into the skies. As soon as she regained her bearings, Seventeen found a way out of the ground, as it's maw opened wide for his escape, but by the time they reunited, the raging Gohan flew above them with both palms stretched out. He used Piccolo's signature move.

"Masenko Hannnn!" he cried out, sending forth a monstrous wave, devouring both of them in an instant.

"GAHHHHH!" they were caught in the mighty energy wave, that threw them into the wind, straight into another island that became totally engulfed by the rising dome of light and fire. Moments later, the storm finally cleared away, and the startled androids wiped off the blood, sweat and dirt from their heads. Finding a way to endure the attack, they were still puzzled by his sudden surge in power. Returning to the first island they wiped out, they desperately searched for the one remaining threat, but he was nowhere in sight. Gohan used that moment to make his escape.

"Shouldn't we go look for him, Seventeen?" she asked him, wanting to finish off the last threat.

Seventeen pondered for a moment, giving out a quick shrug only to respond with, "Nah, we'll leave him alone. We need someone to play with since we just killed the earth's strongest warriors. Besides, He'll come looking for us sooner or later."

"You're always wanting a challenge…" feeling annoyed, she rolled her eyes at him.

"I don't think he'll reach our level in strength, and even if he does, we'll put an end to him before he becomes too difficult. It's a good thing Gero gave us infinite energy restoring units in our bodies." Seventeen snickered out, facing into the sea, itching for another city to destroy.

"It's the least he could do after keeping us locked up in his lab for who knows how long." She replied, relieved that they killed their creator. "We took care of him pretty quickly."

"Serves him right after what he did to us. So, how about we find another city to destroy for the time being?" Seventeen asked, changing the subject since he'd prefer not to think about the good ole times in the mad doctor's lab.

"Sounds good to me, let's have some fun. We run this world now after all." She laughed, becoming consumed with the desire to kill everything she sees.

And without hesitation, Seventeen said, "Let's go." And they were off, traveling at almost light speed to the next unsuspecting victim.

One by one, everyone but Gohan suffered a horrible death against the two killer cyborgs. With nobody to protect the earth, the light had faded into darkness. No one was safe. That small island was one but many towns that would crumble into ruins. Without Dr. Gero to control them, they started their plague and onslaught against the planet, leaving everyone at their mercy. As for Gohan, he disappeared for awhile, tormented by the guilt of losing his friends. All he could do was wonder what could have been done to prevent their defeat. Over the next several years, Gohan put his studies aside, and he trained to the fullest of his limit. Filled with determination. he kept going, longing to avenge the death of his friends. Would he find the strength he needed to take on the ruthless killers? find out next time, on Dragon Ball Z.