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Time's Orphan
By Femme-Chan

Chapter One: Heaven for a View
Watch my world spin round
It stops for you
I'll give you heaven for a view
I set my sights on high my aim is true
I'd walk on water just for you


Zukani opened her eyes slowly, then squeezed them tightly shut again as intense pain shot through her head and neck. She couldn't quite remember what had happened....

No, that was a lie. She remembered quite clearly what had happened. The argument with her father - she had told his she was staying to fight. He had begged her, pleaded with her, and finally ordered her to take the time machine and escape; she had steadfastly refused each time. Then something had hit her in the back of the head, causing her to plunge into darkness.

/Damn you, Juunana,/ she thought as she moved one hand to touch the sore place at the base of her skull. /If I wasn't so sure you were already dead, I'd take this thing back right now and kill you myself./

The pain wasn't dying down any; in fact, it felt as if it was only getting worse. Zukani groaned slightly and tried to force her body into a sitting position, giving up only when she found herself collapsing into darkness once again.

/I'm sorry,/ she thought to her father, hoping that, somehow, he could hear her. /I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to fight anymore./

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"I'm sure that something showed up on the radar in this sector!" Bulma insisted, hands on her hips and wearing that determined look that everyone knew so well.

"But, Bulma, there's nothing here!"

The only response Goku got to that statement was a glare from Bulma and a snicker from Vegeta (who was glad that, for once, he wasn't the one on the receiving end of his wife's temper). She was absolutely certain that, for a brief moment, there had been a strange energy signal in the mountain region. Now that they were here, and had been searching for over an hour, she was beginning to think that it had just been a computer glitch.

/Not that I'm going to admit it,/ she thought as she turned to scan the woods once again. Out loud she said, "Trunks and Goten haven't come back yet. Maybe they found whatever it was."

"And maybe Kakarroto's a genius," Vegeta muttered under his breath. If there was nothing here, then there was -

/I'm sorry./

/What the hell was that?!/ he thought, glancing over his shoulder to see Goku gazing at the mountainside, looking just as confused as Vegeta had been by the psychic message.

/I'm not sure,/ Goku thought back, still staring at the mountain. /There aren't too many people with telepathic abilities on Chikyuu./

The voice spoke again, even fainter than before: /I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to fight anymore./

"But it is up there," Goku confirmed aloud. Bulma turned around swiftly.

"What's up where?" she asked. Both Goku and Vegeta had been silent for the past minute or so - had they been scanning the area themselves?

"The girl."

Bulma looked over at her husband and noted the mildly curious expression on his face. He didn't look like that too often - whatever it was that had shown up on the radar, it - she - had managed to contact the Saiyans telepathically.

"Well, then," she said, smoothly taking control of the situation, "we should go and find her. She might be injured, and there could be others with her."

/No,/ Vegeta thought, /there are no others./

Even as the trio teleported into the mountains, Vegeta wondered why he was so certain that the girl was all alone.

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"Hey, Trunks! Check it out!" Goten called from the other side of the canyon. He wasn't too sure of what it was that he had just found, but it was too cool for words. At least, he thought so.

"What is this thing?" Trunks asked, dropping down quietly next to his best friend.

"Who knows? But ain't it sugoi?!"

/Sure, you'd think that,/ Trunks though to himself. /You'd think it was cool even if someone jumped out of - whatever this thing is and demanded that we take him to our leader!/ But what he said was, "Yeah, right, sugoi. I wonder if Kaasan could figure out what this thing is...?"

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than Goku, Vegeta, and Bulma teleported next to them. Goten's eyes widened and he shot a look at Trunks.

"How'd you do that?" he demanded. Trunks sighed and dropped his head into his hands.

Bulma, for her part, stood and stared at the machine, head tilted to the side, a look of concentration on her face. The last time she had seen a machine that even remotely resembled this one was -

"Is it just me," she began, not exactly sure of where she was heading with the question, "or does this thing look an awful lot like Mirai no Trunks' time machine?"

Goku's eyes widened and he took a second look at the small, capsule-esque machine. "You're right, Bulma! It does look like the time machine!"

"Then who used it?" Vegeta demanded. "Unless I'm mistaken, that was a female's voice that we heard, Kakarroto."

"There's a girl in this thing?!" Goten asked, turning his attention quickly back to the time machine. "I wonder if she's cute," he mused aloud.

"Hel-lo! Chikyuu to Goten!" Trunks shouted into Goten's ear. "Whoever is in there could be bad news, and you wanna' know if she's cute?!"

Before anyone could say another word (Goten on the verge of saying something along the lines of Hey, I'm an opportunist, so sue me), a low groan came from within the time machine. Everyone froze, even as Vegeta and Goku trying to get a reading on the person who was slowly attempting to awaken.

/Whoa!/ Goku thought to Vegeta. /That ki level is really high!/

/I know,/ Vegeta answered. /There's something else, though. I'm not quite sure what -/

A wave of powerful emotions swept over both Saiyans at that moment, pushing them out of the slight contact they had made with the girl. Anger. Sorrow. Fear. That last emotion was the strongest of the three. Something had recently frightened her very badly, and, even though she was still struggling to regain consciousness, she was managing to use her fear to lash out at the attacker - or attackers - who were long gone.

/Hey, easy!/ Goku pressed on telepathically, trying to reach the girl inside the capsule. /No one's going to hurt you now. You're safe./

Silence.

Then, the top of the machine opened silently, and a delicate hand appeared on the edge. Everyone watched quietly as a dark haired teenage girl pulled herself up out of the time machine and looked at them with a slightly stunned expression on her face.

/Well, I guess I know what my answer is now,/ Goten thought. She was cute, in a 'don't-know-where-the-hell-I-am-or-what's-going-on' kinda way. She didn't seem to be very tall - she was probably no taller than Vegeta and Trunks were - but even Goten could sense that she was a very powerful being. Her shoulder-length hair was a deep shade of blue. A few stray strands fell over her brownish-black eyes, which blinked a few times as she tried to clear her confused mind.

"Goku?" she said softly, not really believing her eyes. /Am I dreaming?/ Zukani thought to herself, even as she felt her strength slipping away again. As it did, she caught a sidelong glance at the others in the group. Her mind reeled as the now familiar darkness came to claim her.

/Oniichan? Tousan?/

As the world faded to black once again, she had the sensation of falling....

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Trunks lunged forward to catch the blue-haired girl before she hit the ground. She had looked... stunned to see Goku, then her eyes had rolled back and she passed out. If he had been one millisecond slower, she would have hit the ground. Hard.

As it was, she landed safely (thought not exactly softly) in Trunks' arms, knocking both teens to the ground. He shifted his body at the last possible second so that he would take the brunt of the fall, landing hard on his left side. Pain flared briefly to life in his shoulder, but he merely gritted his teeth and lay the girl gently on the ground.

"Remind me to never do that again," he joked lightly, rubbing at the offending injury and wincing slightly. It was going to take him at least an hour to recover from the force of the blow. /Damn,/ he grimaced, /I hope I didn't dislocate it./

Goten crouched down next to the girl and swept the stray strands of hair away from her face, trying to get a better look at her. As he did, a thought occurred to him, and he looked up at his father.

"Uh, Tousan?" he said.

"Hmm? Yeah, Goten?"

"I think she's a Saiyan."

"Nani?!" Bulma said, moving to the girl's side and taking a closer look at her face. The dark eyes were closed now, but her face seemed troubled, a slight frown upon her lips. Her features were a bit more on the delicate side than either Goku's or Vegeta's, but the shape of her eyes left no doubt in Bulma's mind.

"Yep, she's Saiyan," Bulma confirmed, her voice barely above a whisper. "Or, at least, half-Saiyan."

A small moan came from the girl, who was beginning to stir once more. Her eyes opened slowly, blinking as the light streamed into them. She moved her hand to shield them, only to have pain shoot through her body once again. She winced and drew in her breath sharply, but still began to pull herself into a somewhat less-vulnerable position.

Bulma gently pushed her back to the ground. "Lie still," she insisted, trying to place where she'd last seen eyes that particular shade of brown. "You're in no shape to move around!"

The girl blinked her eyes in confusion. She was far from home, much farther away than she had ever been in her entire life. She had just seen her father, uncle, and brother in a place where she'd least expected them to be. And now some blue-haired woman - who for some odd reason seemed very familiar to her - was ordering her to lie back and take it easy when the Andromedans could show up at any moment.

"Are you completely baka, lady?!" she cried, shifting into a seated position and instantly regretting it. "If the Andromedans tracked my trans-dimensional jump, they could show up any second and start blasting us into the afterlife! And you want me to just lie here?!"

Bulma blinked at the outburst. The girl might not look like she could put up much of a fight, but she was tougher than she appeared to be. And since she had Saiyan blood in her veins, it was no use in trying to argue with her.

"I don't know who these Andromedans are," Vegeta said in an even - but still dangerous - tone from behind his wife, "but you can't expect to jump up and fight in your condition, brat. So either lie there and keep your mouth shut or let us take you someplace safe."

The moment he began talking, Zukani snapped her mouth closed and stared. She had listened to that voice her entire life, and never defied him. Until recently, that is. She pushed that particular thought out of her mind and weighed her options. She definitely did not want to be out in the open should the Andromedans chose this moment to time-jump. But she could tell that she was in no shape to walk, or even fly away. Zukani realized that she needed help.

"We can't be out here if they show up," she said in a softer, more subdued tone than before. "Is there someplace nearby that we can be out of the open?"

"We can just teleport back to Capsule Corp.," Goku offered helpfully. The blue-haired girl turned her surprised gaze to Goku once again.

"Teleport?" she asked, confusion appearing once more on her face. "You can do that?"

She dropped her head into her hands and sighed. "This timeline is just too confusing for me!" she cried into her hands, more to herself than to anyone else. "Goku-ojisan and Trunks-niisan are alive, Tousan's pretty much the same, this blue-haired woman looks familiar, and the Andromedans could show up right now and all I could do is say pretty please don't kill me until I get my strength back and can put up a bit of a fight!"

"Wait a sec!" Goten half-shouted, causing everyone (including the girl, who was still talking to herself) to look over at him. "Did you just say the phrases Goku-ojisan, Trunks-niisan, and Tousan?" All eyes turned back to the girl, who was glaring up at Goten for interrupting her personal rant.

"And if I did?" she demanded. "What business is it of - " and then visibly paled as she realized that everyone, not just Goten, had caught her half-muttered words. Then, mercifully, the world began to turn black once again.

Her last conscious thought for a while was /Me and my big mouth..../


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