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No Choice

One Piece
Dragonheart287 - Fanfiction

The rapid pulsing thudded in his ears, blocking the sound of his own breathing. His mind was racing with one thought being replaced by another, each one just as quickly forgotten as the next.

Move! Say something! Attack him! Why? Do something!

But these tangled thoughts never got through to his body. They were blocked by the image imprinted on his memory.

The room was shadowed and dark. The curtains had been drawn long ago, and the light bulb that swayed gently on the end of its wires had been smashed. Despite the dim light, it was still possible to see the unmistakeable dark crimson of blood splattered across the floor and up the walls.

Wide eyes slowly moved to gaze in disbelief at the three bodies slumped over the floor. His father, his mother, his younger brother. All of them dead, and all of them lying in each others blood, their bodies split wide open.

Standing between him and the corpses of his family was the source of this madness, this bloodshed. His clothes were splattered with the Saiyan blood that he had shed. In the darkness, Raditz thought that he could see a satisfied, almost insane, glint in the golden eye that was visible to him.

"Z ... Zarbon ..." he managed to find and choke out a little of his voice, the words strained. "Why ..."

"Why?" a low tone repeated the question. The body of the killer turned to face him. "Oh dear, it seems that there are a few secrets in this family."

There was a low snarl from Raditz.

"To sum it up," Zarbon continued. "Your father crossed my master, which isn't a very wise thing to do at all. It was just very unfortunate that I was assigned to this task."

"Your master?"

In the back of Raditz's mind, the mystery of Zarbon's particularly generous bank balance was suddenly solved. For a very brief moment, he wasn't quite sure whether it was better or worse than his father's suggestion of Zarbon making money as some sort of rent boy.

"Fate's a bitch like that I suppose," steering away from Raditz's question, Zarbon rubbed his fingers over one of the blood stains on his jacket, frowning. "But seriously now," for the first time that evening, the malicious smile on Zarbon's face dropped. His knees bent so that his eyes became level with the Saiyan's. "You probably consider us over after this, which is fair enough. But, because I still care about you, I'm going to give you a chance to live."

Raditz opened his mouth to speak, to force anything out, but that was as far as he got as his body jerked backwards. There was something hot and ripping that tore along his chest. It set off his gag reflex and he coughed, spluttered. A hand slammed into the ground, steadying him as the other went to his chest to press down as if somehow that would make the pain go away.

Biting down sharply into his lower lip, he chanced a look at the hand pressed into his chest. The blood that dripped off his palm had been what he'd expected to see but it still seemed unreal.

"But ..."

"I have to make it look convincing. If I told my master that I spared your life because I used to date you, it just wouldn't fly."

As if to prove his point, Zarbon slashed him across the chest again with the ki blade that he had built up around his hand. A short, harsh cough came from Raditz and more blood splattered down his chest. His body jerked back again but a hand grabbed his collar and jerked him forward.

"Listen very carefully, this is the important part. After I leave, wait for a while and then get as far away from here as you can. Cover your tracks as best as possible. You can hate me, detest me. As I've said, that's fair enough. But I warn you, if you seek my master for revenge then I will have to kill you. I don't have any choice."

Zarbon let go of Raditz's collar and the Saiyan landed with a thud on the ground. His head throbbed, his thoughts spinning as he tried to make some sense of what was happening. He knew that he should say something, do something but his body remained still on the ground.

He could make out Zarbon as he crossed the room and pulled a long coat over his shoulders, hiding his blood-stained clothes.

There was a faint "good luck" before he heard footsteps growing fainter, then a door opening. Closing.

Raditz didn't know how long he stayed there, as still as the dead bodies that were a few feet away. Zarbon's words were still in his head.

"I don't have any choice."