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 third chapter. The first can be read here and the second can be read here.
A/N: Set post-Alabasta, pre-Jaya
"I'm terribly sorry about this, miss! I'm sure that had we met under other circumstances, we could have been the best of friends!"
Nami didn't waste any breath responding, and she wasn't certain exactly what she would say, anyways. She was being chased down by an enormous boulder, which had suddenly sprouted arms, which it was using to push itself along the ground.
That wasn't the strangest thing about her current situation, though. In fact, by the standards of her voyages with Luffy, that was positively banal. What was strange, however, was how very polite the boulder was.
"I really do wish things could have been different, miss!"
"Oh my god, shut up!" Nami shouted, assembling her Clima-Tact into the proper configuration and waving it in front of her. The tip left a heat-shimmer in the air as she called out "Mirage Tempo!"
A few seconds later, Ergon finally caught up to her fleeing form and ran it down. But as he did, she faded into thin air and he found himself rolling on, unobstructed. He rolled to a halt a dozen feet away and turned around, confused.
"Miss? Miiiiiiss? Where did you go? Please don't be angry with me! I couldn't bear it if I hurt your feelings in any way."
"I'm over here," Nami said from behind him. Ergon turned to face her, a look of elation on his face.
"Oh, there you are, Miss! You shouldn't run off like that. It's very rude."
"And you shouldn't talk so much," Nami replied. "Let me guess, the Rock Rock fruit? Something like that. Whatever you have, you shouldn't have given me the time to prepare my attack."
Ergon tilted his head inquisitively. Of course, his whole body was his head, so when he did this he nearly fell sideways. He righted himself, then followed Nami's gaze up to the thundercloud formation directly overhead.
"Thunderbolt Tempo!" Nami called out, sending a Thunder Ball from the tip of her Clima-Tact floating up to the cloud. Ergon watched in fascination as the ball of golden energy floated up to the sheet of clouds.
He had just opened his mouth-no doubt to say something else incredibly idiotic-when the Thunder Ball reached the cloudsheet, and with a crackle a massive bolt of lightning came crashing down onto the boulder-man's body.
When the flash faded, and the thunder passed, Nami uncovered her eyes to see the result. To her dismay, Ergon was still standing there. He was smoking, and some of his top layer had melted, but there was no other visible effect. He gave her an expression that seemed to sit somewhere between anger and the sad expression of a five year old whose best friend has just stolen his lollipop and smashed it on the ground.
"Fine," the enormous boulder pouted, "be that way."
Ergon leapt high into the air. Nami squinted and covered her eyes from the sun's glare, trying to make out exactly what he was doing. As Ergon came down, she could see that he was spinning rapidly.
"Gravity Thruster!" the boulder-man called out as he fell directly towards Nami. Nami turned and ran, trying desperately to not be under him when he impacted.
In this, she was successful. She was several feet away when he finally hit the ground, well out of reach. What she didn't escape, however, was the shockwave. As he hit the ground, the force of the impact knocked her off her feet, and sent the ground around his landing zone flying.
Nami landed with a grunt. She looked around, dazed, and found herself slowly sliding down a slope. She was on the side of an enormous impact crater, slowly sliding down the steep slope towards Ergon, who was waiting at the bottom.
"Oh no!" she shouted, scrambling about and trying find purchase on the ground beneath her, but she could not. The earth was too loose, and too scattered to allow her to fight gravity's pull. Inexorably she slid towards the enormous boulder-man, who was already drawing his fist back.
She cried out in pain as the enormous rocky fist collided with her cheek, sending her flying backwards over the lip of the crater. She bounced three times before finally coming to a stop. She groaned loudly as she tried to pull herself to her feet. There was blood dripping from her mouth, and it hurt even to move.
She could hear the sounds of Ergon climbing up the side of the crater. Within minutes, he would be out and then the fight would start again.She had to think of a way to get through his thick outer shell, or she didn't have a chance. She pulled herself to her feet, ignoring her protesting muscles, gripped her Clima-Tact, and prepared herself for battle.
Zoro pulled his second katana from its sheath, leaping forward. His and Cortez's blades met with a thunderous crash. Zoro disengaged the sword in his left hand, bringing it around in a deadly slash. Cortez parried, then swiftly struck out in the opposite direction. Zoro deflected the blow and brought his left hand up again, slipping past Cortez's guard.
An instant before he would have cut the assassin's flesh, there was a flash of light and Cortez vanished.
There was another flash of light to Zoro's left, and suddenly Cortez was flying at him from that direction. Zoro stopped his assault cold with a series of parries, and then attacked with both blades. Cortez vanished once more in a flash of light.
Zoro went rigid as Cortez's sword slid into him. Cortez had reappeared behind Zoro, and stuck his blade into Zoro's lower back. Zoro whirled to strike at him, but he was away before Zoro could bring his weapons to bear. He reappeared several feet away from Zoro.
"Tricky bastard," Zoro said through gritted teeth. "How do you keep jumping around like that?"
"I ate the Bamf Bamf Fruit," Cortez said, grinning. "It allows me to teleport short distances instantaneously."
"That sounds useful," Zoro said as he stood up straight once more. He drew the Wado Ichimonji and gripped it between his teeth. He set a solid stance crossed his arms, and settled in low.
"Onigiri!" he called out as he dashed forward, swords flashing. Cortez vanished as he approached, momentarily blinding Zoro with a flash of light.
Where is he going to come from this time? Zoro asked, glancing back and forth. He caught sight of a brilliant flare to his right, but he turned to face it too late; Cortez lashed out with a vicious kick that sent him flying.
Zoro skidded along the ground, kicking up dust, before finally slowing to a stop. He brought both swords up to catch Cortez's downward strike as the young swordsman teleported directly over him. Cortez pressed down, hoping to use his body weight to push through Zoro's defences, but Zoro brought one boot up and kicked, forcing the smaller man to teleport away.
Zoro rolled forward, avoiding the strike that had been directed at his head. He rolled to his feet, bringing his right sword back to deflect a strike at his flank. He whirled to face his foe, but Cortez was already gone. Zoro braced himself for another attack, but it didn't come.
"Amazing," Cortez said. He was standing on a rock about a dozen meters away. "You truly are a master of the blade. Perhaps the best I've ever seen. But it will do you no good. You cannot hope to defeat my special technique."
"You sure do like to talk," Zoro said with a cocky grin. "Are we going to fight, or are you just gonna stand there jawing at me?"
"Oh, don't worry, Roronoa Zoro," Cortez said, pointing his sword at Zoro's distant form, "I'll give you all the fight you could possibly want."
The air around Cortez began to shimmer, and small patches of light began flashing around his body. "Quantum Flurry!" he called out, and then he vanished.
A moment later, he reappeared, directly in front of Zoro. He struck a single blow, which Zoro easily parried, and then vanished. He materialized again on Zoro's right side, and again struck once and vanished again. Next he appeared behind Zoro, and again struck once and vanished before Zoro could bring his weapons to bear.
Around Zoro, again and again, the bright lights flared and died, and each time there was a ringing of steel on steel. The flashes accelerated until finally Zoro could not keep up. He recieved a shallow cut on his upper arm, and minor gashes all along his legs and sides. And Cortez kept speeding up. Zoro knew he somehow had to stop him soon, or the fight was already over.
Chopper bit down on the crystalline sphere, shattering it between his teeth. He could feel its effects flood over his body, allowing him to morph and shape it in different ways. He shifted into Jumping Point, leapt towards Cluran, and then changed to Arm Point. He brought both forehoofs forward in a devastating blow...which never connected. Cluran turned sideways and slid right between his muscular arms, then spun about and sent Chopper flying with a back kick.
"A morphogenic field destabilizer, eh?" Cluran said as Chopper picked himself up. "Not bad. Most Zoan users don't know how to make stuff like that. They can be pretty handy, can't they?"
Cluran's form shifted, becoming larger and hairier. There was a popping sound as the bone structure in his arms and face changed. Massive fangs jutted forth from his jaw. His ears grew large and concave.
He's a Zoan user too! Chopper thought nervously. I think that's the Bat Bat Fruit!
"I just eat this powder," Cluran said, holding up his hand to reveal a small handful of white, chalky powder, "I get one hour of increased morphogenic flux." He tipped the pile of powder into his mouth.
What!? He gets a whole hour? That's way better than my Rumble Ball! I need to get the formula for that stuff!
Chopper's musings were interrupted as Cluran crouched low, and lunged forward. "Claw Form!" Cluran shouted, and his shape changed. He now looked more-or-less human, but in place of fingers he had ten long, vicious-looking claws.
"Dark Knight Talon!" Cluran called out, thrusting both hands forward. Chopper shifted once more into Jumping Point and leapt high in the air, allowing Cluran's attack to pass by underneath him.
"That won't save you!" Cluran shouted out to him, followed by a cry of "Wing Form." Cluran's shape changed once more, becoming a bat-man once more, but this time one with an enormous wingspan. He flapped his wings, taking off of the ground in a cloud of dust. He beat his wings against the air, pushing himself higher and higher, until he was at last up above Chopper, and then he threw himself into a spinning dive.
"Dark Knight Tackle!"
"Guard Point!" Chopper called out, and he was suddenly small and covered in a protective layer of fur. The fur absorbed the attack's force and sent Chopper rebounding harmlessly away. Chopper bounced twice along the ground before rolling to a stop.
Chopper shifted back into Heavy Point. He grabbed ahold of a large rock and with a grunt, pulled it out of the ground. He hefted it onto his right shoulder, sighted with his left eye, and then hurled it at Cluran's flying form.
Cluran swerved to avoid it, but couldn't quite manage it; the boulder clipped his left wing. With a squawk, he fell to the ground, lying in a crumpled heap.
Chopper shifted down into Horn Point and charged, closing the distance between them in seconds. He bent his head low, bringing his deadly antlers to bear.
Cluran leapt up from the ground, gripping Chopper's antlers and facing Chopper, suspended between the antlers. Chopper kept running forward, hoping to run the assassin against a tree, but CLuran's body began shifting again. The bat features mostly vanished, save for a some fur about the throat, the ears, and short fangs. He also retained the bat-like arm structure.
"Echo Form...Dark Knight Screech!"
Cluran inhaled deeply, then let it out in a piercing shriek. This was not simply an onslaught of sound, but also of physical force. Leaves were blown off of trees in a cone twenty feet behind Chopper. For the poor reindeer, it was like being struck between the eyes with a sledgehammer. Chopper stumbled and fell with a cry, and then was sent flying by the constant force of the scream.
Cluran kept up the pressure for a moment more, using the sound to push himself backwards through the air, towards a tree. He leapt off of it, heading back towards Chopper's prone form. As he gripped Chopper's antlers once more, he shifted into yet another form. His jaw jutted out, revealing a monstrous mouth filled with needle-sharp fangs.
"Fang Form," Cluran stated as he brought his face down towards Chopper's throat. Fortunately, at the last moment the dazed reindeer realized what was happening and changed shape again, this time down to his Brain Point size. Cluran's jaw snapped shut harmlessly on the air behind his head.
Chopper shifted up to Arm Point, twisted about, and hit Cluran in the chest with booth forehoofs, with a cry of "Kokutei Cross!"
Cluran went flying backwards and slid across the ground, two hoof-shaped indentations in his chest. With a wild grin he began pulling himself off the ground. He was hurt, but not badly.
Chopper knew his situation was dire. He was keeping up, for now-but his Rumble Ball only had another minute and a half left. And when it was gone, he didn't stand a chance.
Luffy screamed with rage as he threw his fists forward.
"Gomu Gomu no Gatling Gun!"
Luffy's punches flew so quickly that there appeared to be many arms, jetting out towards Ronas, but it mattered not at all. Ronas used his speed to slip between them and race right up to Luffy's side. He hit Luffy in the face with a punch that sent him spinning...but Luffy turned that momentum to his own use and transformed that spin into a kick that caught Ronas offguard.
Ronas landed on his feet a short distance away, turned and ran back towards the pirate captain. He threw another punch, which Luffy somehow saw coming in time to jump up over it. Ronas jumped as well, intending to strike him, but an instant after his feet left the ground he realized his mistake. With no ground to run on, he was as slow and vulnerable as anyone else.
"Gomu Gomu no Spear!" Luffy shouted as both his legs shot out, catching Ronas in the ribs. Ronas flew backwards into a building and hung there, pinned by Luffy's feet, until the laws of elasticity took over and Luffy's legs retracted back to his body with a snap. Ronas fell to the ground, gasping and clutching his chest.
How can he be so fast? Ronas asked himself as he pulled himself back to his feet. He can't move nearly as fast as I can, but he can track my movements! Nobody alive should be able to do that!
"You'll pay for that, you bastard..." Ronas said. He cracked his knuckles. "Infinite Mass Punch!"
And then he was gone, running in the opposite direction.
"What? He's running away?"
Luffy and the two bystanders were left alone in the rubble-filled street, wondering what was going on.
Amina was the only one who figured it out in time.
"Look out! He's behind you!" she shouted.
"Huh? What-" Luffy's question was cut off as a fist, moving at impossible speed, struck him in the back of the head. He gave a strangled cry and fell forward. Ronas was gone down the street again before Anyone could so much as see him. The only only sign of his passing was Luffy's fallen body, and the debris thrown aside in his wake.
Luffy hauled himself back up to one knee, facing the direction that Ronas had come from last time. There was a rush of air and Luffy was struck again as Ronas ran past, even faster this time. Luffy gritted his teeth and got his other foot under him as well, refusing to give any ground even when Ronas ran past again. Luffy skidded back, but managed to keep his footing.
"For god's sakes, man, get out of there!" Derrek shouted from the restaurant's side. "He's killing you!"
"I won't!" Luffy shouted as Ronas whipped past him once more, delivering a devastating punch that set him staggering. He straightened up, gripped his upper right arm with his left hand, and stretched his arm back as far as he could.
"Gomu Gomu no..." he screamed, watching the road ahead of him. There was nothing for a few moments and then, suddenly, he saw a flickering, far too fast for anybody else to see.
"...Bullet!" he cried out as his fist impacted into Ronas' face, less than an arm-length away. The short assassin lord flew away through the wall of a building.
Cross-posted to one_piece, onepiece_fics