Trial by Error

BY : Demonized
Category: +M to R > One Piece
Dragon prints: 1819
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, nor do I make any money off of this work.

It was freezing on Rusukaina, yet there was no snow. This baffled the Kuja who had come to pick up Luffy and Ace, and they couldn't help but look around as they made their way to the clearing Rayleigh had given them directions to. It was supposed to be the one safe place on the island, where nothing would attack them.

 

To their amazement they found Luffy and Ace camped out at the clearing, a massive hunk of meat roasting over flames controlled by the elder of the two, with a gigantic lion, alligator, gorilla and a much smaller tiger. The animals were eating, or attempting to do so. It looked strange, seeing a gorilla and alligator fighting over meat.

 

"Luffy!!" Marguerite called out as they entered the clearing.

 

"Yeah, I'm coming." The nineteen year old Pirate Captain tossed aside the gleaming white bone that had been covered in meat moments ago and got up. He went over to where the pair of hats, as well as Ace's other belongings, rested and picked both of them up. "Time flies, ne Ace?"

 

"It doesn't feel like it's been two years," Ace responded softly as he made a few final adjustments to the flames then got up to retrieve his belongings. He attached his knife to his belt then shouldered his bag when Luffy unexpectedly stuck his orange hat onto his head.

 

"Shishishi... Ace looks like himself again." Luffy grinned and all but pranced away, his own straw hat back on his own head.

 

"Ah, um... The ship..." Marguerite looked from Ace to Luffy, an unsure expression on her face. "The ship is ready, Luffy-san. We can leave at any time." She cringed a little as the enormous animals got up from where they were squabbling over their portions of food and looked over to her, growls and roars coming from them.

 

Luffy had opened his mouth to say thank you, but his expression quickly darkened and he shot a glare to the animals. "Hey!!" The lion, who had instigated the situation, looked a little taken aback. "Take a good look. Those are my friends."

 

Marguerite was in quite a daze as the animals began to cower, while an amused Hancock, Sandersonia and Marigold walked into the clearing. Elder Nyon didn't look as impressed by Luffy's display.

 

"Fufu, amazing," Hancock commented as her small group came to a stop at the clearing's edge.

 

"You've really become the boss of this island," Sandersonia observed, her gaze lingering on Luffy before it went to Ace. It was hard to determine which of the two were stronger, and the slight age gap didn't make that much of a difference. Sure, Ace might have been stronger than Luffy at one point, but now...

 

"Yeah, but because I made friends with these guys, I didn't get to eat their meat." Luffy glanced over to the still cowering animals, a pout on his lips. "Too bad, cause it looked really good." He was obviously disappointed about not being able to eat these particular animals, though some of the ladies seemed mystified as to why he and Ace would want to befriend the animals of the island.

 

"Don't worry, Luffy, I've loaded up the ship with your favorite foods." Hancock was blushing as she looked away from Luffy, even though he wasn't really paying attention to her. "...I think a thoughtful woman like me would make a wonderful wife."

 

Ace opened his mouth to say something, but Luffy beat him to the punch with a monotoned, "I'm not marrying you." Even his expression was flat. "Thanks for the food!" Ace opted to sigh instead, and shook his head at his little brother's more enthusiastic thanks. Luffy would never change when it came to food. He was also thankful that his brother wasn't as oblivious as he had thought.

 

Hancock sighed and swooned, while Elder Nyon continued to watch her with a disapproving look from her side. "I love you even when you're sharp with me."

 

Sandersonia glanced over to her sister and gave a small shake of her head before her gaze returned to Luffy. "Rayleigh left six months ago, so I'm sure he'll be waiting for you two on Sabaody."

 

"He taught us all of the basics in a year and a half," Ace stated as he edged closer to his brother, a move that was noticed by everyone save for Luffy and Hancock. Luffy's attention had gone back to the four animals with them and he was pouting again. "We can't take them with us, Lu. Let's say our farewells to the island and to them, 'kay?"

 

"All right." The young Pirate Captain suddenly grinned and stretched his arms skywards, reminding Ace of the happy-go-lucky seven year old that had come to live with him, Dadan and her mountain bandits all those years ago. "Let's go!"

 


 

 

The Grand Line: Sabaody Archipelago

 

"Pirates who have survived the first half of the Grand Line have begun gathering here again in droves. The arrival of Kid and Drake and the rest two years ago was exciting. Now those guys are making waves in the New World. There aren't as many as before, but there are a few rookies worth over a hundred million here and there. But what surprises me is that the Straw Hat Pirates have shown up here after two years of silence, just when we'd all finally started to believe the rumor that they were dead!!"

 

"And they're recruiting!! They plan to expand their crew and go wild in the New World!! The thought gives me chills!! Maybe I'll see about joining up myself."

 

Grove 33: Sabaody Park's Concert Arena, Sabaodome

 

Outside of the Concert Arena people were crowded around the ticket vendor, desperate to get a ticket to go in and see the wildly popular Soul King. One woman, whom was closest to the vendor, was earnestly imploring about acquiring a ticket to the show. "Isn't there anything you can do!?"

 

The vendor, whom was growing increasingly cross at her persistence, stared her down. "Of course there's no more tickets left. That's what sold out means!" He had already tried explaining it to her, but she just didn't seem to be listening. The gathered crowd, however, seemed to get the message. "It's Soul King Brook's World Tour!! He's a huge star!! And this island is his final concert!! The Arena's already packed!!"

 

Meanwhile, inside of the Arena, Brook was in his dressing room, relaxing and strumming on a custom guitar while his manager and assistants watched on from the other side of the room. "Manager!! Today is going to be my best performance ever!!!" He called out as he played an upbeat and lively tune, close to the one of his all time favorite song Bink's Sake.

 

"Well, I sure hope that's true! The TD sales are in the millions! You truly are the king of the soul music world!! Just listen to the crowd cheering!" His manager was smiling, the expression akin to that of a shark's.

 

"The truth is... I have something important to tell you before the concert begins," Brook confessed, pausing the melody that he had joyfully been playing on the guitar.

 

"What is it?"

 


 

 

The crowd in the Arena chanted his name, and had he a heart it would have been fluttering. He stepped out onto the stage as the drummer started playing and held the microphone up to his mouth. "Helloooooo!!!" The stage lit up with spouts of fire at each end and the crowd went wild. "Nothing but bones!!!" Out in the crowd people started fainting and stretchers were called to take them away.

 

"Let's make today the best anniversary ever!!!"

 


 

 

Sabaody Archipelago, Grove 44: The Beach

 

Sanji scowled as he stepped off of the pram, his gaze scouring the length of the beach. It finally settled upon a form that he had thought would be forever lost to his sight and his tongue lolled out. "A woman!" Hearts formed in his eyes and floated around him as tears freely flowed down his cheeks. "Night after night I've dreamed of this..!!!" The woman caught in his line of sight glanced his way, her friends also looking his way out of curiosity. "Actual real ladies exist on this island!!"

 

Their looks of curiosity quickly became expressions of disgust, and as he started running towards them exclaiming "VIVA SABAODY!!! I NEED LADIES!" they ran off as fast they were able to. The women kept going, out of fear for their virtue, despite him pausing when the Kamabakka Okama called out to him.

 

"Well, I guess is goodbye, Sanji-kyun. I'm sad to see you go, but I'm sure we'll meet again someday!!"

 

Sanji whirled around, a ferocious look on his face while he presented his middle finger to the entire group of Okama. "I sure hope not!! Thanks for bringing me here!! Say hi to Iva for me. See ya!!"

 

"He's so wild..." One of the Okama commented, hands on her hips. "Hey, did you know? Boys always tease the girls they like!"

 

"I'll never forget him!!" Another Okama swooned, watching as Sanji took off again, this time other women on his mind.

 

"Wait for me, Nami-saaaan, Robin-chaaaan! Your man Sanji has just returned from Hell!!"

 


 

In a certain bar...

 

She sat at the bar, the bartender pouring her drink as they chatted. She was picking up information for when they finally set sail, whenever her dear Captain and the rest of her precious Nakama should arrive.

 

"Did you know the Marines moved their headquarters?" The bartender handed over the drink as a look of surprise and confusion swept over the woman's face.

 

"It's right near here at Marineford, isn't it?" She took a small sip of her beverage while the bartender gave a shake of his head.

 

"They switched it with their G1 branch, which was right on the other side of the Red Line. This was the decision of the new Fleet Admiral who replaced Sengoku!! This way Headquarters is in the same ocean as the Yonkou." That made enough sense, but it would also prove troublesome for them when they did finally make it to the New World. "Thanks to that, the threat of having Headquarters right next to us has lessened...and the lawless areas on this island have increased."

 

"So that's why..." She murmured to herself and took another sip of her drink. "I thought it seemed rougher than it did two years ago..."

 

"Huh!? Did I mishear you!!?" She paused as a man spoke loud enough to draw everyone's attention to a table where a group of ruffians sat. She turned slightly to glance at them from the corner of her eye, a slight frown on her face. "A 55 Million bounty...!?"

 

The speaker was a very large man who was wearing a red vest, blue shorts, a dark grin and a very badly cared for straw hat. He fired a gun at the man with the 55 Million bounty, wounding him badly. "Go back and read the flier... I specified at least 70 Million." The grin twisted his features and made him look even crueler. "I won't deal with any Captain lower than that... I can't believe you had the gall to set foot in here," he sneered now and waved the gun. "Go home, you piece of shit!! I am the son of Dragon the Revolutionary."

 

"Hehe." The orange haired, weasel-faced looking woman snickered at the large man's side while the injured pirate Captain writhed in pain on the floor.

 

"We have no use people who'll just slow us down. We are the chosen pirates!!!" Another large, masked man spoke up, his tone snide. "We're on a whole other level!! We can't let just anyone join our crew!!"

 

"Get out of here!!"

 

"That Straw Hat Luffy...sure is merciless!" One of the bar patrons murmured nervously to his buddy.

 

"What do you expect? They've accomplished a lot." His buddy responded, and they both ducked their heads down as the injured pirate was thrown out of the bar.

 

"Hey, Franky!! How many does that make now?" Luffy looked over to the blue-haired man standing at his side smoking a cigarette. Franky pulled out a ledger and thumbed through the pages. "Looks like... About 100... We had three whole crews join us and ten of them have bounties."

 

"And two of them are infamous Rookies, known for killing Marines!! Wet-haired Caribou and Blood-spattered Coribou. Those two brothers are both Captains, one worth 210 million and the other 190 million." Luffy grinned maniacally and laughed. "Dohaha!! They'll come in handy...!!" He paused and looked around the bar, his gaze finally resting on the bartender. "But we need more lackeys... Hey, old man, bring me some ale!!" Next his gaze went to the woman sitting at the bar, his expression becoming lascivious. "...And you over there!! Don't just sit there moping alone, come over here!!" he ordered, more than loud enough for the entire bar to hear him. "Hehe... She's a real prize." That last bit was stated in a low tone.

 

She had stopped watching him long before that, intending to pay Luffy no mind. "No thanks," she said in a flat tone. "I'm waiting for someone." She was quite sure the man, who seemed to be even more of an idiot than her precious Captain, wasn't going to give up. It didn't really concern her, since she knew she could take him with what she had learned.

 

The shocked and suddenly silent atmosphere in the bar was no surprise to her, but every other patron there seemed to enter a state of panic. Someone mentioned that she had refused him, like it was a big deal, and even the bartender was fretting. "Hey, hey!! Do as he says!! That's Straw Hat Luffy. He's that crazy pirate that charged into the Battle two years ago!! Haven't you heard of him!?"

 

She very nearly snorted at that, but her mask of calm remained in place, her long bangs covering her eyes while she rested rested her cheek in the palm of her hand, her elbow propped up on the bar top. She ignored the patrons of the bar, and it was obvious that she didn't care about this pirate Luffy.

 

"Hahaha, waiting for someone? Whoever it is, he's probably a weakling who'll cry and apologize once he hears Captain Luffy's name!! Hurry up and get over here!!" The large masked man bellowed.

 

She opened her eyes and glanced over their way, her expression set. "I'm only going to say this one more time. I have no interest in you, so I'm not going to drink with you!" Her voice was cold, and she briefly wondered if any of her Nakama would show up. It wasn't that she was worried about these buffoons, which she could handle on her own. The atmosphere was seriously getting on her nerves. "Do you understand, Straw Hat... Who was it again?"

 

Everyone in the bar seemed to freak out even more, but she kept her calm even as the weasel-faced orange-haired woman came up to her side and put a pistol into her face. "All right, I'll give you two choices!! Do you want to take Captain Luffy up on his offer? Or do you want to die?" The woman sneered and cocked the hammer back on the pistol. "By the way, I've also got a bounty on my head. I'm the Cat Burglar Nami and you'd better not underestimate me!!"

 

"Hissatsu Midori Boshi!!" A voice called out, and the woman pointing the gun at her face looked up towards the door in shock as something flew at her. "Devil!!!" A giant Venus Fly Trap appeared behind the woman and snapped her up, causing her to cry out in alarm. As the bar went into panic mode yet again, a slim man walked over to her and sat down on the stool next to her. "So, miss," he started off, a grin on his face. "Will you drink with me?" He lifted the brim of his hat to show her his face.

 

"Oh!" A look of recognition flashed across her face and she jumped up to hug him. "Squeee!!! Usopp! It's been ages!!" Of course, without even realizing it, she ended up squishing his face into her chest. "Look at you!! You've gotten kinda manly!!"

 

"Oof! Y-you've grown some yourself..." Usopp blushed and pried himself from her grasp, hoping she wouldn't notice where his face had ended up. There was still quite a ruckus going on in the bar, but they ended up completely ignoring it.

 

"That's yours?" She asked, turning to point at the plant that was still chewing on her impersonator.

 

Usopp grinned again and gave a nod. "Yep!! That's my new weapon, Pop Green!!" His chest puffed out in pride, like when he usually boasted, but this time it was truly something to brag about. "I haven't just been sitting around staring at the ocean the past two years!!" He leaned against the bar top and motioned to himself. "Sorry, but you and Chopper are on your own now. I've graduated from the weakling trio!!" It felt so good to say that, and he looked a little more prideful too. "Nothing scares me now!! That's what sort of warrior I've become!!!"

 

The large masked pirate suddenly burst through the foliage of Usopp's Devil, looking quite pissed and ready to spill blood. "Hey, brat!! Did you do this!?"

 

Usopp's jaw dropped in disbelief as he took in the man's appearance. "What!!? Sogeking!!? How??"

 

"Just ignore him, Usopp." She grabbed onto his arm and turned to leave the bar, pulling Usopp along with her. "Let's find another bar! I've got a favor to ask!"

 

"Wait!! You bastards!! Who do you think we are!!?"

 

"Huh!!? Luffy??" Usopp was truly confused now. First it was Sogeking, who by all rights shouldn't have been there, and then it was his Captain, who looked ready to kill them. In all the ruckus of them leaving, nobody seemed to notice the black clouds forming overhead. With their backs to the bar, Usopp jumped a little at the sudden screams of pain and glanced over his shoulder in time to see the windows and the cracks in the door lit up from inside.

 

"So I learned some new techniques, but..." Nami went into a detailed explanation as they walked away from the bar, and Usopp expressed his awe of her having been on another Sky Island.

 


 

 

Grove 13: Shakky's Rip-Off Bar

 

"That stupid swordsman got here first!!?" He couldn't believe it. Honestly. How had the directionless brute managed to get here before him!? He had expect Nami-swan and Robin-chan, being the wonderful, smart beauties they were, to reach Sabaody first, but Zoro! That green-haired lout should have gotten lost! "Damn, sounds like we're gonna be in for some rough sailing this time," he grumbled and took a long drag on his cigarette.

 

"And Franky-chan was second. He got here ten days ago and already headed over to the ship." Shakky watched the cook with an amused smile as he went from a sour mood to a relieved one.

 

"Oh good. I'm glad Sunny's safe."

 

"Of course. There's not a scuff to be seen, and I've finished the coating," Rayleigh interjected, though Sanji's attention had already gone to a heavily bandaged Duval. "I hear he's been working hard, too."

 

"There's no shame in an honorable injury," Duval stated with his awkward wink. Even his men were bandaged, but he bore the worst of the injuries.

 

"You're surprisingly honorable. I owe you one, Duval." Sanji fought back a cringe and immediately blocked out the rest of what Duval had to say. It helped that Shakky mentioned Nami arriving third, to which he twirled around, hearts in his eyes and in the air around him. "NAMI-SAAAAAAAAN! Where is she!? Where is she now!?"

 

"She had some free time, so she went out shopping..." Shakky continued, wisely ignoring his outburst whilst he continued his foolish display. After several minutes he finally calmed down and she resumed naming his crew mates as he sat down. "Fourth was Usopp-chan. He arrived three days ago..." The cook still wasn't paying any attention and seemed to be mumbling to himself that Nami had gone shopping. "Fifth was Chopper-chan, who came yesterday, and then you. Brook arrived today for his concert." She smiled and brought her cigarette to her lips, taking a small pull on the slim stick. "In other words, the seven of you are already on this island somewhere."

 

Sanji seemed a little surprised about the news of Brook being here to perform a concert, however, they brushed it aside, as well his question on it. Rayleigh folded the newspaper he had been reading in half and glanced over towards them. "That just leaves Nico Robin and Luffy." That was if they were counting the original members of the Straw Hat Pirates. Ace was with Luffy and from what he understood, the Mera Mera no Mi user would be joining his brother in the rest of his adventures. "Just getting back to this island is quite a feat. I'm impressed that you all managed to get back here."

 

"Yeah. I'm surprised to hear you trained Luffy, though." Sanji picked up the glass of ale that Shakky had placed down for him and turned on the bar stool to look at the legendary Dark King. "He must be pretty strong by now." Despite his own treacherous luck for the past two years he had gotten stronger, so it was only natural that Luffy get stronger as well.

 

"I haven't seen him in six months myself, so I'm looking forward to seeing how much he's grown since then," Rayleigh admitted with an amused grin. The brothers had flourished under his training, faster than anyone he had ever seen before. They constantly pushed one another to get better and their teamwork was one of the best he'd seen out of their generation.

 

"I wonder how much Nami-san's grown in the past two years," Sanji suddenly mused with hearts in his eyes and blood spurting from his nose.

 

"Hey, are you okay?" Rayleigh inquired, a little worried at the abruptness of the cook's nosebleed.

 


 

 

"This is Sabaody Archipelago. I've spotted Nico Robin."

 

"Don't kill her. Bring her back alive."

 

She leaned against one of the buildings, out of sight and well away from the crowds in the streets. Above her, clinging to the building was a long, serpentine dragon with blue scales and a pale golden mane. She was panting to catch her breath while the dragon looked around.

 

"It seems that we lost them," the dragon stated and climbed down to the ground beside the archaeologist. He looked at the papers Robin held, one a flyer for the skeletal musician's concert and another an advertisement recruiting people into the Straw Hat crew.

 

"What on earth is going on...?" Robin seemed to be a bit baffled, the concert Brook was having one thing, while the recruitment advertisement another. That was so unlike her Captain, and from the information that had been gathered, the posters were being put out by an imposter crew.

 


 

Grove 47

 

"Hey, hey, Zoro! Sanji! Robin!" It was great to see them again after so long. "We haven't seen each other in so long. What's going on!?" They were walking ahead of him, and he was actually surprised to see two of them in particular in such close quarters with one another. "Zoro and Sanji have become such good friends over the past two years, but why aren't they talking to me at all? Huh?" That was the only thing that had him puzzled. "Are you embarrassed? You dummies!! Ahahaha!"

 

"It's following us! What is that talking tanuki anyway!?" Zoro whispered harshly to Sanji and gave a nervous glance in his direction.

 

"I told you, look at this!!" Sanji held up a wanted poster for Zoro to look at, and on it was the tanuki following them. They both glanced back at him this time, and he gave them a confused look in return. "It's the real Cotton Candy-Loving Chopper (pet), worth 50 Beri!! The crew must have abandoned him here on this island before their deaths..."

 

"You guys seem kinda different! Not that that bothers me," Chopper exclaimed as he trailed along behind his supposed Nakama.

 

"He's following us 'cause he thinks we're his old masters, get it!?" Sanji continued as they kept ignoring the reindeer they mistook for a Tanuki. "So let's get rid of this fox and keep the real one...!!"

 

"If we've got the same pet as on the posters, people'll be more likely to believe us!!" Zoro exclaimed and they put away the poster depicting Chopper.

 

"You want to keep it? What does it eat?" Robin asked, her grip on the fox's leash slackening a little.

 

"Cotton candy, of course!" Sanji answered, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

 

"I haven't got any!" Hopefully the real Chopper ate something other than cotton candy. Letting go of the fox's leash, Robin kicked the animal away from her. "Shoo! Shoo, shoo! Get out of here!" She quickly turned around to face Chopper and squatted down, a scary smile on her face. "Here, Chopper." The fox got back up and bit her on the head, but she diligently ignored it as she pulled out a cucumber for Chopper. "I've got a cucumber for you."

 

Chopper looked absolutely horrified, because this was so unlike Robin as he remembered her. "You're scaring me, Robin!"

 

A dozen or so feet away there came a shout, "Now!!" and two men dashed up with a sack. They slipped it over Robin faster than anyone was able to comprehend and sprinted off with her.

 

"Oh!! Robin!!?" Chopper had fallen over in surprise and stared after the abductors in shock while Sanji whirled around and called out for Robin. "Oh no!! Robin got kidnapped!! They must be kidnappers!!!"

 


 

Grove 12

 

"This is Sabaody Archipelago. We've captured Nico Robin."

 

Sabo glanced over to Robin, a brow arched as they listened to the transmission on the Black Den Den Mushi they had borrowed from Dragon. The rumors of the fake Straw Hat crew had been very true, but as irritating as that was, they weren't going to be doing anything about the impostors.

 

"We've also got a fox that's bitten her and won't let go."

 

"We better hurry," Robin stated softly as she led the way through the abandoned grove. It was only a matter of time before the Cipher Pol agents figured out that the Robin they had was fake.

 

"You think everyone will have made it here?" It would be nice, finally getting to meet the rest of Luffy's Nakama, but if there was one thing he feared in this situation it would be Luffy's reaction to seeing him alive. Knowing what his brothers had gone through in believing him to be dead, having thought both of them to be dead for those few agonizing weeks two years ago, he could only hope that his reunion with Luffy would go well. Sabo didn't even want to fathom how Ace would react to him being alive, wherever he was.

 


 

 

There was a loud crack, followed by a scream and shouting. People turned to look at the commotion and were unsurprised to see Straw Hat Luffy, a smoking gun in hand. It was a little surprising to see him looking rather singed, but apparently the culprit was a woman, laying bleeding on the ground.

 

"You shot her!!!" A bulky man with a long nose knelt down next to the woman, who feebly clung to him in her dying moments. "What did you shoot her for...!!? What did we do to you!!?"

 

Luffy sneered somewhat and glared down at them. "I apologized, didn't I? It was a mistake, sorry." There wasn't an ounce of remorse in his tone, and truthfully that made one less pair matching their description. "I'm looking for a couple like you two, a man and woman with long hair and a long nose!!" He scrutinized them a little more, a scowl set on his face. "...hmm? You're not complaining are you...?" A twisted grin replaced the scowl while the man with a long nose grimaced. "I think you might be." With that he raised the gun and fired.

 

The man slumped over wordlessly and an onlooker commented on how horrible Straw Hat Luffy was for such a merciless act. Several people ran forward as Luffy turned away, barking orders at his crew to keep searching, to help the man to a hospital. Nobody really noticed as a scrawny kid in a hooded cape approached, a very overstuffed backpack strapped to him. He walked past everyone, his pack unfortunately knocking Luffy over.

 

The kid paused and glanced over at the man he had unknowingly knocked over. "...oh... Did I hit you? Sorry!" His tone was very apologetic and he turned to start walking again as Luffy sat up. "See ya!"

 

Luffy sat there, dumbfounded, for a moment as the people watching whispered about the kid's impending demise. His features twisted into a dark expression and he got up. "Stop right there!!!"

 

The kid stopped again and twisted around to look back at the pirate, his expression wary. "Huh?" He hadn't meant to knock the man over, so he had apologized. That should have been enough.

 


 

He looked around the deck of the Sunny, impressed by the work and care that had been put into the ship. It was a fine vessel, and he could sense the love the crew had for her, as well as her love for the crew. It was sad that the Going Merry hadn't been able to make it, not physically at least, but that little Caravel, no matter how tough, wouldn't have been able to handle the New World. Her spirit was obviously in the Thousand Sunny.

 

Ace didn't see anyone on the main deck, but he could sense someone, probably the shipwright Luffy had mentioned, below. He had left the Striker tied up to the port stern for the time being. He would figure out how they would get it to the New World later. For now, he was worried about Luffy and his propensity for getting into trouble.

 

"Ace?"

 

An unfamiliar called out to him and the Logia user turned to see a large and hulking...cyborg? As awesome as the man looked, Ace had way more sense than Luffy did, so he wasn't starry-eyed at the sight of the shipwright. "You must be Franky."

 

"So you're Luffy's bro! It's awesome to finally meet you!" The shipwright walked over and held out his hand. The palm of his super-sized hand opened up and a smaller hand extended out.

 

Now Ace was very impressed by the shipwright. He shook the metal hand and grinned. "Luffy wouldn't stop going on and on about how cool you are. You also designed the Thousand Sunny?"

 

"Hehe... The Sunny is my pride and joy." Franky beamed and went on to explain all the features of the Sunny to Ace, and he watched as his Captain's brother's face lit up, especially when he went through the docking system.

 

"So you have an empty channel? Will the Striker fit in there?" Ace was relieved that he wouldn't have to leave it behind. Sure, he was the only one who could pilot it, but it was sure to be useful. He led Franky over to the port stern and showed him the small vessel.

 

"Yeah, the Striker will fit. So I take it you'll be joining us?" At Ace's nod Franky grinned. "Super! I'll open Channel Four for you. I suppose I'll be adding another bed in the men's quarters too."



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