Fandom: One Piece
Dramatis Personae: The Straw Hat Pirates(A Captain, a Cook, a Swordsman, a Navigator, a Sniper, an Archaeologist, and a Reindeer), another Cook, a Waitress, Seven Villains Most Foul
Rating: I'd like to say PG, but I'm going to say PG-13 just to be on the safe side.
Summary: The Straw Hat Pirates land on an island, only to find themselves beset by a mysterious group of villains after their bounties.
Status: This is the fourth chapter. The whole story can be read here.
A/N: Set post-Alabasta, pre-Jaya
Robin crossed her arms once more, and arms sprouted all over the bodies of the eight men surrounding her.
But before she could even complete the attack name, all eight stomped the ground hard in perfect unison. A perfect duplicate of themselves burst forth from each of their chests, breaking through her grasp with such force that Robin cried out in pain and withdrew her arms. Now there were sixteen men surrounding her.
"Your little party tricks won't do you much good against me," one of the men said. Another continued.
"I ate the Dupe Dupe fruit, and I gained the power-"
"-to absorb kinetic force, and use it to create copies of myself," a third concluded.
The sixteen men took another step forward, stomping down once more, and another sixteen copies of Sixbones the Many came into being. Another step, and there were sixty-four identical men advancing on her from all directions. On the next step, though, not all of them duplicated.
"Now, I've created my full complement," Sixbones said. "Ninety-nine copies, and of course the original. You could undoubtedly defeat one of me, but a hundred of me? I think not."
This is bad, Robin thought. I can only sprout two hundred body parts. I could probably kill a large number of them, but the others would just create more duplicates!
She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. Sixbones was closing in on her from all sides, faster now, and she knew she would only get one chance at this.
"Cien Fleurs Kick!"
One hundred legs sprouted from the earth in front of her, lashing out violently at the attacking duplicates. The feet caught them in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of them and sending them toppling backwards to the ground. Robin seized the opportunity and ran, dashing through the hole in the Sixbones formation that her attack had generated.
The enemies behind her broke into to a run, closing the gap between them, and no fewer than twenty of them leapt into the air, arms outstretched, ready to grab her when their trajectory inevitably landed them on top of her.
Robin twisted,turning about and falling backwards so that she could see her airborne foes. Her arms crossed once more, and she called out:
"Veinte Fleurs Palm!"
An arm sprouted on each man's thigh, and thrust upwards with a vicious open-handed blow. It was a dirty move, but like most dirty moves it was effective. Robin was erased from each of Sixbones' aerial duplicates' minds, replaced by a sharp, overwhelming pain.
Robin hit the ground hard, skidding along her back. Her thick denim jacket protected her from the worst of it, but she still had to grit her teeth against the pain. She rolled backwards, bringing herself up to a kneeling position. She skidded a few more feet before finally slowing to a stop.
Robin turned her eyes upwards, regarding her plummeting attackers. They were no threat to her anymore, but she wasn't done with them yet. She sprouted up her maximum of two hundred arms, creating an elaborate construct on the ground below them.
"Doscientos Fleurs Catapult!"
As each of them fell, they were grabbed out of the air by ten arms, which then launched them back towards Sixbones' incoming ranks.
The human cannonballs ripped through Sixbones' small army, knocking duplicates off their feet and sending them flying. But if Robin had been counting on it slowing their advance, she would have been sadly disappointed. The fallen simply vanished, and were created anew by those few who had avoided her attack. Within a few moments, there were one hundred versions of Sixbones again.
There. Now she could see all of her enemies right in front of her. She crossed her arms, and an arm sprouted on each man's shoulder.
"Doscientos Fleurs Snap!"
The sprouted arms grabbed hold of each dupe's head, but before they could give a strong twist, snapping their hosts' necks, all one hundred versions of Sixbones reached up in unison and grabbed her arms by the wrists, preventing her from completing the action.
And that wasn't all. As soon as Sixbones' gloved hands made contact with her bare skin, a great weakness came over her whole body and she collapsed on the ground, unable to move.
"Now now, we'll be having none of that, Miss Nico," Sixbones said in many voices. "One of my gloves has a little piece of seastone affixed to the exterior. Obviously, not even a Devil Fruit ability as spectacular as my own can affect seastone, so it's only on the original glove...but just one touch is enough, isn't it?"
Without her strength to maintain them, Robin's arms withdrew, freeing her from the Seastone's influence. She began pushing herself to her feet, but it was too late for that. The nearest Sixbones reached her and struck her across the face with his left boot. Robin cried out and fell back at the impact, and suddenly Sixbones the Many was all around her. One of them gripped her hair, yanking it backwards roughly, keeping her off balance, while others rained blows all over her body. She gave out a strangled cry as she was pummeled by a hundred men at once.
And then suddenly there was something like a small explosion at the center of the mass of Sixboneses, and they went flying in every direction. Robin stood at the center, her breathing labored, her body covered on all sides by the arms and legs she had just generated to free herself from the crushing mass of copied assassins.
Between his multiplication abilities and that seastone glove, my normal tactics are useless against him, Robin thought frantically as Sixbones' multiple bodies pulled themselves to their feet. I need to think of some way around them, and fast, or I'm going to lose this fight.
Baraba's hammer struck the ground hard. Unbelievably hard. So hard, in fact, that the ground beneath Usopp's feet exploded upwards, sending him flying.
"Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee!" Usopp screamed as he plummeted down to earth. He impacted roughly, churning up a cloud of dust. Usopp sat up creakily, chanting 'ow ow ow' as he moved his bruised body. Baraba laughed heartily.
"Got you that time, fast little man! I told you I'd catch you!"
"Holy shit, how strong are you?" Usopp asked as he panted on the ground.
"I ate the Rho Rho fruit. My whole body is...uh..."
Baraba's face lost its fierce appearance, and adopted one of intense puzzlement. He stroked his chin and began hemming and hawing, as if he was trying to remember something.
"No, don't tell me, I know this," Baraba said, holding out a hand to cut Usopp off.
"Hush, I said! Er...my whole body...um...is incredibly...compressed? No, that isn't right..."
"If I could just-"
"Ah-ha!" Baraba shouted as a look of triumph came over his face. His eyes, shut in concentration, opened wide. "My whole body is soo-per-nat-choo-rally dense, including my muscle tissue!"
He sounded like he was reciting from a text book. He also looked so earnest, and incredibly pleased with himself that Usopp actually hesitated for a moment before wiping the expression off his face.
But only for a moment.
Usopp fired a tiny capsule in Baraba's open mouth. Baraba bit down on it without thinking. For a moment, nothing happened, and then Baraba's eyes crossed, and he began to sweat profusely. He fell to his knees, clutching at his throat and screaming in agony.
"Just like I thought!" Usopp shouted triumphantly. "If your whole body is super-dense, then so are your taste and pain receptors!"
"Why you...little runt!" Baraba shouted angrily, staring at Usopp with bloodshot eyes.
"Double Pepper Star!" Usopp shouted, loading the projectile into his slingshot. Two packets impacted Baraba right in the eyes, and exploded into a cloud of pepper.
"Shit! Shit shit shit shit! That stings!"
Baraba began stomping around, clutching at his eyes and sneezing. When he finally got a firm enough hold on himself, he opened his eyes, but Usopp was nowhere to be found.
"Hmm? Where has that coward run to now?" Baraba wondered aloud. He turned about, searching frantically for his diminutive opponent. He failed completely to notice that Usopp was standing directly behind him, matching his every move.
This is perfect, Usopp thought to himself. This guy is huge, and he's stupid, so I should be able to keep behind him until someone arrives to help me!
Baraba began walking forward, searching, and Usopp followed behind him, matching his footsteps as much as possible. Baraba's footsteps were so heavy that they easily masked Usopp's near-silent ones.
I can just stand behind him like this until Luffy shows up...or Zoro...or Sanji. They'll be able to take care of this guy, no problem. Yeah, that's what I'll do.
He felt a tendril of guilt creep through his gut, but he mentally crossed his arms and glared at himself disapprovingly.
Oh no you don't! he admonished. Not this time! I'm already in enough trouble!
And here I thought you wanted to be a brave warrior of the sea, part of him replied.
I do! But not so much brave, and not right now.
Guilty as charged, he responded.
What would Luffy do?
That's completely different. Luffy is freakishly strong, I'm just a normal guy! This guy's powers have me completely outmatched.
Do you think that would stop Luffy? the rebellious part of his mind asked.
Usopp started responding to that, but then stopped. No, it wouldn't stop Luffy. Nothing ever stopped Luffy. Even after seeing the power that villains like Arlong or Crocodile wielded, he always got back up and fought them with all of his strength. Even if he had a weak body like Usopp, he'd have done the same thing.
And so, silently cursing himself, Usopp drew his slingshot again and loaded it.
Alright, you win, but this is the last time, he said to himself.
Whatever you say, Great Captain Usopp, the voice in the back of his mind said before vanishing. Usopp got the impression that it was grinning.
With trembling hands, Usopp raised his slingshot to eye level, pulled back the strap, and let fly.
"Sure-Kill Lead Star!"
The dense ball of metal struck Baraba in the back of the head with a clong sound. Baraba turned around slowly. The hard lead ball hadn't even dented the super-dense bone that made up his skull.
Baraba reached down and lifted Usopp with one enormous hand. Terror seized Usopp as he was hoisted up to Baraba's eye level and another hand raised in front of him.
Alright, so now I'm a brave warrior of the seas, he thought. I'm going to die, but at least I'm a brave warrior of the sea!
Somehow, that wasn't very comforting.
Baraba flicked him with one finger, right between the eyes. Despite the blow being so tiny, it was powerful enough to send Usopp flying, skidding, and then finally crashing into a rock. Blood was dripping from his forehead, and there was some of it in his mouth, too. Usopp groaned and opened his eyes, just in time to see Baraba charging him, each footstep shaking the earth below them.
Sanji ran from building to building, barely one step ahead of his opponent.
Bullets whizzed through the air around him as they penetrated through wall to his left, speeding through the room before exiting through the wall on his right. He leapt over tables, chairs, and people, apologizing as he did so.
How is that shitty sniper tracking me like this? he wondered as he ducked under another bullet. I've got a wall between us, but he always seems to know where I am!
An ugly thought occured to him. Robin had said that all seven of the assassins were devil fruit users. What if this guy-
"In the interests of fairness," Varin shouted down as he reloaded, "I should tell you that I ate the Lock Lock fruit, and gained the ability to track you by your body heat."
Sanji grimaced. It really didn't matter, then, how much cover he found. That guy's rifle was absurdly powerful, and he could track Sanji wherever he went. The only thing for it was to keep moving.
Sanji dived forward, evading another pair of bullets, and then there was a brief lull as Varin reloaded his weapon. Something in the building ahead caught Sanji's eye: An enormous metal statue of an elephant.
He ran into the room, where a shocked and somewhat alarmed man looked up from his morning paper at the sudden intruder.
"That statue..." Sanji panted. "Is it solid metal?"
"Y-yes," the man stammered, still trying to come to grips with this sudden intrusion.
"Good," Sanji said, sitting down underneath it.
There. Even a rifle as powerful as that one couldn't penetrate that much solid metal. Varin the Longshot could aim at him all he liked, but Sanji had just bought himself some time to catch his breath-
A bullet tore through the wall, through the statue, and then through his back. Sanji gasped, and grabbed at the wound.
Shit...that's one hell of a rifle!
"I suppose, in the interests of fairness, I should have also mentioned that this rifle can penetrate six feet of solid steel," Varin shouted. "Unfortunately, I guess I just don't believe in being quite that fair."
Sanji stood up, grimacing at the pain. He pulled out a fresh cigarette, and lit it.
"Right," he said, blowing out a lungful of smoke. "I think I've had about enough of this shit. Old man, I'm borrowing your table."
"Uh, wait!" the man said, but Sanji ignored him, and kicked the table out the door, and into the street. He followed it out, leaving behind a rather befuddled man who was suddenly short a piece of furniture and up one bullet hole.
Sanji brought his heel down on the middle of the table in a devastating axe kick, splitting it in half. He used a roundhouse kick to send one half flying towards where Varin was lurking, and then spun about and used a back kick to send the other one after it.
Varin fired twice, and the table halves shattered, sending splinters of wood flying through the air towards him. Varin decided that taking cover was preferable to getting hit with shrapnel, and ducked low, allowing the broken tables to sail safely over his head.
The Longshot poked his head over the roof once more, and saw that Sanji had taken advantage of the diversion to make a dash aross the street, towards the building that Varin was crouched atop of. Idiot, he thought. Varin raise the rifle up to his shoulder and fired.
Sanji stumbled as the shot ripped through his shoulder, but kept running, kicking the doors open and making for the nearest staircase. Shots rained down from the ceiling, sending the house's inhabitants screaming and running for cover, but Sanji ignored them as he climbed steadily upwards. When he reached the roof access door, he took a flying kick at it that send it flying off its hinges and out into the street.
Varin stood not six feet away. Sanji grinned at him between panting breaths.
"Got you now, you shitty sniper. Nowhere for you to run."
"Hate to break it to you, but I have plenty of places to run," Varin said, pulling out a small hand-held device. "You just can't follow me to them."
He raised the small device and pointed at a rooftop across the sreet. There was a bang, and then a cable shot out of the device's end. It wrapped around a decorative outcropping, and then suddenly Varin was sailing through the air, pulled along by a powerful motor in his towline device.
Sanji's jaw dropped. He hadn't been counting on this, but he could see where it was going. he would keep running from house to house, getting riddled with holes all the while, and Varin would just keep sailing from rooftop to rooftop, safely out of reach.
There was a crack as Varin fired again, and then Sanji was running again, trying to avoid getting shot.
Ronas pulled himself to his feet, rubble cascading off of his body and falling to the ground. He brushed dust off of his shoulders, and then wiped a thin line of blood off of his chin. Then he threw back his head and laughed.
"Nya ha ha ha! A good hit, Straw Hat Luffy, but ultimately futile. You see, there is something that I neglected to tell you."
Luffy stood several meters away, still partially obscured by the clouds of dust that Ronas' impact had kicked up. He reached back and set his trademark hat back firmly on his head.
"Being the leader of the Order of Seven has benefits," Ronas said. "And one of them is that my Devil Fruit ability has been mystically enhanced. As long as I'm running, I'm completely immune to any harm. You can hit me as much as you like, but you can't hurt me."
"It doesn't matter," Luffy said, cracking his knuckles and lowering his body and bringing his arms up into a fighting stance. "I'm still going to kick your ass."
"Now, that's a good fighting spirit," Ronas said. And then he vanished.
Luffy's fist lashed out, connecting just below his ear. The force of the blow sent Ronas flying backwards and upwards until he collided with the corner of a building, knocking it clean off. Indeed, just he had said, his face was unmarked from Luffy's punch.
"Gomu Gomu no Stamp!"
Ronas pushed off of the wall, leaping out into midair and allowing Luffy's sandal to harmlessly impact against the wall. Unfortunately, doing so placed him in a vulnerable position, which Luffy was quick to take advantage of. He ran forward, stretching his arms out behind him.
"Gomu Gomu no Bazooka!"
Ronas twisted his body in midair, slipping right between both of Luffy's outstretched palms. Both of his hands shot out, and grabbed Lluffy by the wrists as his feet made contact with the ground. Luffy's eyes widened as he skidded back several feet, leaving twin trenches in the street.
Luffy gave a shout as he was jerked off his feet. Ronas whipped him about by his elongated arms, sending him flying into a building. The building's stone wall crumbled beneath him, and Luffy tumbled to the floor.
"You have a lot of potential," Ronas said. "Under the right circumstances, you could have become a great warrior. It's a shame that you squandered it on foolish dreams of freedom and treasure."
Luffy stood up, ignoring all the dust falling off of his body. He stepped forward, out of the shadows. Ronas continued speaking, ignoring him.
"Our training regimen is very strict. Up at dawn every day, and then every day the same routine. Non-stop training. That is our way of life, and it's what gives us the strength to pursue the only two things that really matter: Money, and the glory that comes from honorable combat."
"You're wrong," Luffy said as his sandaled feet struck against the dusty road.
"Oh? And what exactly am I wrong about?"
"What you just said. There's stuff way more important than that. Nami loves money, and Zoro loves a good fight, but they've got something else that keeps them moving forward. That's what makes them strong. You guys don't have anything like that, so there's no way you can beat us."
"And you think that this will allow you to beat us?"
Luffy glared at the assassin lord from under the brim of his hat.
"I know it will."
Ronas snickered. "How about a wager, then, if you're so sure of yourself. If me and my men defeat your crew, we won't hand you over to World Government like we planned. Instead, you'll join us here, and live out the remainder of your days as we do: a life of training and solitude."
"Fine! And when we kick your asses, you have to go and become pirates!"
"Agreed," Ronas said with a wicked grin. "We'll soon see whose way of life is stronger!"
"I already know!" Luffy shouted, dashing forward. "Gomu Gomu no..."
Ronas cocked his right fist over his shoulder. "Speed Force..."
And then, with simultaneous shouts of "Pistol!" and "Hook!" both combatants threw a devastating punch with their right arm, catching the other in the face. Luffy's rubber face flattened as Ronas' super-fast fist plowed into it. Ronas, who had taken the punch standing still, grunted with pain as Luffy's fist impacted his unprotected cheekbone.
Ronas went flying backwards, sailing in a slow-moving arc that would have made him an easy target had Luffy been in any shape to take advantage of it. The rubberman's face was bouncing in and out as it snapped back from the blow.
Ronas hit the ground roughly. He brought up to inspect his head where Luffy had struck him, and it came away bloody. He stared at it for a moment, his eyes narrowing and his teeth gritting. Then he dashed forward, grabbed the still-dazed Luffy by the wrist, and dragged him away.
"I've played around with you for long enough," he said, blood flowing down his face. The landscape around them beame a blur as he ran circles around the island, picking up speed.
"Let me go, you asshole!" Luffy shouted, but Ronas ignored him. The force was stretching him out, leaving a long trail behind them. They were going so fast that Luffy literally could not see anything around them.
"Gladly!" Ronas said, and suddenly Luffy was flying through the air. Ronas was standing on a cliff behind him, and the only thing beneath him was...
"I used my speed to launch you over the ocean," Ronas shouted as Luffy fell. "Even if you survive the fall, you won't be able to swim because of your Devil Fruit abilities. This fight is already over!"
Cross-posted to one_piece and onepiece_fics