This chapter is brought to you by ShadowMajin
Gohan's back slammed into the wall hard, instantly caving in the sheetrock and causing a spider web's worth of cracks to spread all over it. Speckles of spit and blood flew from the young man's wide open mouth as every part of his body screamed in pain. However, before he could collapse to the ground, a hand grabbed him by his throat and held him suspended in air, pressing him against the damaged wall as his feet limply touched the floor.
Though he was hurting, the youth had gotten his licks in on Prince. The man's clothes were worse for wear and there were a few trickles of blood on his face and arms. Unfortunately, Gohan hadn't come out of their latest exchange in that fine a condition. An eye was swollen shut, various bruises and cuts appearing randomly on his exposed flesh, not to mention the throbbing ache that burned throughout his body.
That pain got worse a second later as Prince began slamming his fist into his face, once, twice. Each time caused the back of Gohan's head to collide with the wall behind him, sending stars throughout his vision. Cracking open his good eye, he saw another punch coming right for him. At the last second, he jerked his head to a side, causing Prince to ram his fist into the wall. "Fuck!" the assassin shouted as he quickly withdrew his hand, his other hand releasing his hold on the youth's neck. Immediately, relief filled the young man's throat as the pressure on it disappeared.
As Prince cradled his hurting hand, Gohan didn't allow himself a moment's rest; he had to strike now before the dark-haired man retaliated. Steading his feet on the floor, he lashed out with a punch to the assassin's face, causing him to jerk back from the blow. Bending his striking arm, he lunged forward with it, ramming it into the man's right eye. A wild scream tore from his opponent's lips.
Finally, Gohan ducked down and fired off punches into Prince's chest and stomach, finishing off the barrage with an uppercut to the man's chin. The blow sent the man stumbling back until he bumped into the wall on the other side of the hallway.
Unfortunately, as he took a step to press on his attack, whatever stores of strength the youth had left vanished, leaving him listless as he found himself wobbling on his feet. In the interest of keeping himself up right, the young man leaned backwards and retreated back to the damaged wall, leaning up against it. Not once did his sights leave Prince, who was right now glaring at him through one good eye.
"You just don't give up, do you?" the man growled dangerously. "I haven't been this frustrated in a fight since Kakarot. Who the hell are you?"
That got Gohan's attention, enough so that he could even open his swollen eye a little bit. Goku had faced this guy? When? How had that fight ended? He would have kept showing his amazement had his training not kicked back in and forced him to steel his features. Now wasn't the time for questions.
"Kakarot was my father," he responded.
Prince stared at him before snorted in derision. "Lies. Kakarot only had one son and he's dead. The blonde bitch made sure of that. And considering that the clown was rarely home, there's no way he had time to make a second one."
Gohan kept quiet. No point in trying to force this guy to accept him. However, it seemed the assassin was doing his own accepting in a much different manner. "No, that isn't right is it?" Prince asked after a moment. "Spawn was his second child, right after his first one went missing."
The assassin narrowed his eyes more, studying Gohan. "Kakarot's stench is all over your fighting style. I thought I had been seeing things, but every move you've done is the same he would've done. And your face, there's a resemblance." A smirk began working its way over the dark-haired man's face. "So, Kakarot left us a nasty little surprise after all. After all the damage you've done, it's no wonder he wanted to strike out on his own."
"Which he was killed for," Gohan couldn't help but retort.
Prince's smirk grew wider at that. "Which I killed him for."
The very blood in Gohan's veins went ice cold. "You?"
"It wasn't all that hard," the assassin taunted, clearly getting a kick out of this. "The man was always so focused on his assignments, he never would have expected one to end up as a trap. The moment he went to take his target down, I took him out. It was easy."
Chaos raged in the youth's head. The last three weeks of his life were all the result of a set-up. Ox-King hadn't been the real target, just a convenient red distraction for the true victim. Just the thought of that focused his anger. His body went rigid, hands clenching into tight fists.
Prince was going down.
Ki flooded throughout Gohan's body, the youth focusing it in various places, particularly in his legs and left hand. Snapping his charged hand up, he fired a ki blast at the assassin, who jerked to a side to avoid the beam as it cut into the wall behind him. Yet, the man had made an error as his head turned to follow the blast, his eyes leaving Gohan.
The world around the dark-haired youth blurred them, the only thing remaining in focus was Prince. With his other hand, he swung it at the assassin's head and made contact, the blow instantly launching Prince into the wall and crashing through it. Pieces of sheetrock and concrete were flung throughout the air in the room beyond it.
Gohan paused at this as he kept his sights on Prince, who crashed to the floor roughly. The young man had been trying to imitate that blurring trick that Piccolo had used against him and the results were startling. The entire time the green man had been boosting his speed, though at the expense of his vision. The eye wasn't designed to process information at such high speeds, thus the blurring.
The youth shook his head. Now wasn't the time to be marveling over such tricks. Prince was beginning to push himself off the floor and turning to face the youth. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know he would be very, very angry. Once more, Gohan shot towards the shorter man, his sight blurring all except for his target. As he closed in, the young man drew his leg further back than necessary and swung it forward. His foot connected with Prince's chin, immediately sending him off the floor, his body hanging in midair as spit and blood erupted from his mouth. With his left hand, Gohan pulled it back and swung it forward, slamming his fist into his opponent's chest and sending him flying into another wall. A pain cry came from the assassin as the sheetrock nearly shattered, a spiderweb of cracks indicating where it had been hit. The short man collapsed to the floor a moment later, somehow managing to land on his hands and knees.
However, it seemed that blow wasn't enough to take him down. Recovering much faster than Gohan had anticipated, Prince jerked his head up to glare with rage, raising a glowing hand up as well. A ki blast fired from his hand, racing towards the youth. Gohan reacted instantly blurring to one side of the beam and barely feeling its heat as it flew by harmlessly.
Prince would not let that go though, as he readjusted his aim and fired another blast at the dark-haired youth. Again, Gohan blurred back to his original position unharmed.
"Stay still!" Prince barked out enraged as he reamed again and fired another beam. Once more, Gohan blurred out of the attack's way, but this time he shot towards the assassin, ramming his knee into the man's face. Prince's head was forced backwards, the back of his skull slamming against the ruined wall behind him. As the assassin's body collapsed to the floor, Gohan moved out of the way, standing at the man's side.
The youth wasn't done, however. Kneeling down, he grabbed the back of Prince's shirt collar and hauled him up. With his other arm, he wrapped it around his opponent's neck. Releasing his grip on the shirt collar, Gohan brought his hand to Prince's face and put it on the opposite side. Then with as much force as he could muster, the young man jerked the assassin's head to a side, a roar erupting from the youth's lips as Prince's neck broke with an audible crack.
Dropping Prince's body to the ground, Gohan stumbled backwards as another cry rang out. Rage was overwhelming his senses and before he knew it, he was back in the hallway. Never mind that he hadn't been walking towards it, his body had somehow made the trek while his mind was preoccupied. Unfortunately, anger couldn't only last for so long as he soon felt drained. With his legs giving out, the youth fell backwards, his hands catching him before he hit the floor. He roughly settled his rear end on the floor before bending his knees up so he could rest his arms on them.
Heavy breathing filled the hallway as Gohan calmed himself down. Resting his forehead against his arms, the young man tried to process his thoughts. He hadn't ever expected to feel so enraged for his father. Their relationship had been strained the last few years, what with him moving out to live his own life. Then with the sudden revelations of who the man was and what he had done to him, Gohan had no idea what to feel. And yet, despite it all, finding out that his father had been murdered had sparked something within him. No matter what Goku had done, he would always be the man he called dad.
But with that said, even after avenging his death, Gohan felt hollow. Was this what it felt like to kill people? To want to kill them and succeed? It was horrible. He…he needed to get out of here.
Tilting his head up, Gohan found himself staring at the wall in front of him, which had a building directory still in one piece. As his eyes gazed at it from bottom to top, something caught his attention. There, towards the bottom:
CEO Office—Room 306.
The sound of Tien's shoes clashing against the cement floor of the parking garage echoed throughout the building. The agent was antsy, constantly looking over shoulder and from side to side to make sure there weren't any nasty surprises around. At this point, it would be a shame if he got shot just as he was on his way out of here.
The place was relatively abandoned, at least in comparison to when he and Gohan had first arrived. It seemed the explosions had ran everyone off—all the better for Tien's escape.
His car was just in front of him, three empty spots down. The bald man's pace quickened as he closed the distance. However, when he reached it, he was disappointed to see that Gohan was nowhere around.
Tien gritted his teeth at that. Oh, how much he wanted the dark-haired youth to be waiting on him.
He had been dreading the sight of not seeing Gohan as he left. There were so many things that needed to be done and he was the star witness to it all. Without him, it would be harder to press on—that wasn't to say it would be impossible, but the degree of difficulty would drop.
"Don't wait for me," Gohan voice echoed in his head, which only served to frustrate the agent further. Reaching the driver's door, Tien reached for the door handle and pulled, opening the door. It was then that he remembered his last words to the younger man about locking it. "The next time I see him, I'm gonna have words with him," Tien grumbled before climbing into the car. Slamming the door shut, he fished out his car keys and inserted one into the ignition.
A calm silence then fell onto the bald man. Glancing out the passenger's window, he stared at the elevators, willing them to open and reveal his partner. Moments passed and the longer he waited, the more he felt that his wish wouldn't come true.
Trying to buy time, Tien reached over and pulled on his seatbelt, clicking it into place. Reaching to the ignition, he turned the key and heard the engine roar to life, the sound amplified by the acoustics of the parking garage. With one last look to the elevators, the agent let out a sign before shifting the gear into reverse, backing out of his spot, and then shifting to drive. A second later he was driving up the ramps to reach the surface.
"You better make it out of there, Kid," the agent muttered.
Light flooded through the open doorway and into a dark room. Despite the fluorescent bulbs giving off some very bright light, the darkness of the room swallowed it whole, barely allowing a few feet inside to be illuminated. Gohan stood in the threshold, a hand on the door handle and staring into the dark void.
He had to admit, he wasn't expecting this. When he'd read 'CEO Office', he'd assumed there would be a large room with furniture out the wazoo. Instead, it looked as if a recluse that feared sunlight lived in here—assuming that there was some sort of furniture in here. He wasn't all that sure.
"Who are you?' a voice echoed out from the room, startling the youth out of his musing. It had come so unexpectedly, he had no time to try to focus on where it came from. Somewhere in front of him obviously, but that didn't help things at all. However, he didn't respond at all to the raspy voice. He would outwait them and let their impatience betray their location.
"I said, who are you?"
Gohan held back a grimace. That statement didn't help him pinpoint a location either. All it did was confirm what he already knew. It seemed he needed a different tactic. "You don't need to know my name," he called out into the darkness. Faintly, he was aware of the wooden floor that the light showed.
"You will tell me your identity, or I promise you, it will be ripped out of you, along with some very important organs."
Gohan narrowed his eyes into a glare, his first expression of emotion here. "Tough talk for a man that hides in the shadows."
A silence fell upon the room for several moments until it was interrupted by a harsh chuckle. "Hide? No one has accused me of that in many years."
"Show yourself then. I didn't come all this way to shout at an intangible voice."
Another silence ended their exchange, but Gohan didn't have to wait to receive a reaction. On either side of him, lights began to appear, giving off a dull glow. They beat back at the darkness, but had as much luck as the fluorescent lighting in that endeavor. Yet, the young man could see just a tiny bit further.
That little bit, however, proved all the difference as a creature emerged from the shadows. It came to a stop a short distance away from Gohan, but he could clearly make out pale skin, bordering on white. It was only on its hands and head as the rest of its body was covered in a suit, but it was still noticeable. The purple on the top of his head seemed to act as some sort of hair, though he was obviously bald.
And yet, Gohan found that this creature's red eyes were the most discerning part of this thing. He had never seen such eyes in his life and the alarms in his head were screaming loudly in his head. There was something wrong with this guy.
"My eyes are quite sensitive to light, you see," the creature stated, its masculine voice seeming to warm up, though warming up from frigid to icy wasn't much of a difference. "Darkness is a necessity for me to see, though it does come with some fringe benefits."
The creature's eyes scanned the youth, sending a chill up and down his spine. "I must say, you do look familiar. I've doubt we've met before, but you look like someone I once knew."
Gohan mentally shook his head, clearing out the daze that had settled on him. Now wasn't the time to be rattled. "So you're the boss of Tactical Securities."
A small smile appeared on the creature's lips. "I am. You may call me Frieza, but I still wish to know your identity." The smile disappeared from his face. "Unless you are the one responsible for the commotion going about my building."
This time, Gohan deigned to reply to the man. "I am."
Frieza's face was one of contempt at that response. "You've made a terrible mistake. I can promise you that you won't be leaving this building alive."
"That's assuming you're able to kill me," the young man retorted. "Your guards weren't able to take me down and your agent, Prince, is dead. Actually, I'd be willing to say your top three agents are all dead, so there's no point in you hoping one of them shows up."
The contempt look faded away, replaced by a blank one. "So, you're the mysterious Paul Kay I've heard so much about. I commend you on your efforts—it's no easy task fighting and killing the men in my command. I believe I can understand why Kakarot and Spawn decided to align themselves with you."
This time, it was Gohan's turn to scowl at the man before him. "Which you killed them for."
"This is a cutthroat business," Frieza shrugged off with a roll of his shoulders. "There's enough competition in this field and a fledgling new rival is the last thing I need. I was quite disappointed that those two would actually consider such an attempt after everything we've been through." A sly look appeared on the pale man's face. "But now that I see you and the beauty of your work, I can't blame them for their aspirations."
A straightening of the man's posture alerted Gohan that something was up. "Which leads me to this offer: Join me. Tactical Securities is in a rebuilding phrase and I need fresh blood to take it to heights unimaginable up to this point. Together, we can change the world. What do you say?"
Gohan wasn't able to hide the incredulous look that appeared on his face. A job offer? After everything that had happen, this man, the one that ordered the deaths of his family was offering him a job as if it had been one large interview?
A snort came from the youth. "Fresh blood you say? You mean people like me."
A small smile graced Frieza's lips. "In so many words, yes."
"I didn't pick up these skills overnight, you know." At this, the dark-haired young man could see Frieza was hiding some annoyance behind his smile. Oh well, he would just have to listen. "It took years and the experimental training of Project Dormancy to get here and one of your agents blew that all away without a second thought."
That got Frieza's attention. "Dormancy?" he practically exclaimed if one could call a few raised octaves in one's voice exclaiming. "It really works?" A thoughtful silence settled on the pale man. "Interesting."
Before Gohan could respond, Frieza was talking again. "It would seem I've underestimated quite a bit the last few years. Between success and the yes men, I've been blinded to the changing currents of this industry. Already you're paying off dividends. Don't you see? You are the future and I am not a fool to stand in your way. You're a bit rough around the edges, but I can assist you in your climb to the top. What do you say? You won't find another offer this good."
The young man had to admit, the flattery was enticing. So much so, he answered "Okay, I'm in."
Frieza's eyes lit up at the acceptance. "I'm glad to hear that. We will change the world, my Agent Dormant."
"Change the world, yes," Gohan agreed. "For my first assignment—"
"Don't worry about that just yet," Frieza interrupted, a bemused expression on his face. "There's plenty of things we need to go through before you reach the field."
Gohan's arm lashed out, his hand grabbing the pale man by the throat and lifting him off the ground, taking him by surprise. Almost immediately, the young man felt Frieza thrash around in midair, his own hand grabbing the youth's arm as he tried to dislodge the hand choking him. "As I was saying," Gohan continued nonplused, "For my first assignment, my target is you. And I will be fulfilling that assignment in three…"
At this the dark-haired youth raced his other hand and held it right in the middle of Frieza's torso. How this guy thought he would just forget the agony and torment he had caused the young man, Gohan didn't know. But he was going to show him quickly that he had made a great error. "Two…" he counted down as his hand began glowing a golden light.
A strangled cry ripped from Frieza's lips as he continued to struggle. It would all be for naught.
The ki blast roared from his hand, enveloping everything from Frieza's chest on down to his feet. A gargled scream sputtered out of the pale's man's wide open mouth as his eyes bulged out of his skull.
Then as sudden as it appeared, Gohan stopped the outpour of ki and the beam disappeared in an instant. The only thing left of Frieza was the top part of his shoulders, his neck, and head. With a disgusted look, the dark-haired youth tossed the remains to the floor before turning around to exit the room.