Hal was somewhat surprised to hear that he was the only one who didn't want to fight Roger and his crew. "You guys are nuts..." He finally said, but most of them were already gone. Hal was about to storm out and buy the first boat he could find off this island. As he left the inn, a thought hit him. What if he ran into Roger out on the open sea? He would be even more screwed if that happened. Maybe sticking with Peter and his crew would be the better choice after all. And he did sorta owe them all for their help.
"Can't catch a damn break, can I?" Hal sighed as he changed course for the city hall. He let out a low whistle upon seeing the amount of people who had already showed up to defend Lasklee. He had figured most of them would run rather than fight. Finding Peter wasn't too hard, especially with him calling out for supplies and assistance. Hal found him in the middle of it all with Alaena and some girl he didn't know.
"Alright Cap'n, guess I'm in it for the long haul..." Hal said to Peter once he had gotten close enough. "You guys need any supplies or anything? Just say the word and I'll get em for you. Better keep me busy though, before I come to my senses and realize what I'm doing."
"No, never been in combat," was Marielle's simple answer. She had never fought anyone, not even in a simple street brawl. "As for a demonstration..." she added as she stepped back to show her power in a way that they could see. She needed something to target, something that wasn't exactly noticeable... the ground would do. Pointing one closed fist at the ground below, she opened the hand a little. Almost instantly, familiar blue light began to emanate from her fingers, quickly turning into a beam of energy which punched into the ground. The beam lasted for a few seconds before Marielle closed her fist again. She noted that a small crater was left behind as a result of the blast.
"I can produce destructive energy from my hands and mouth. It's proven to be effective against materials like wood, glass, etcetera... but I haven't tested it against a living target," she explained, a little sheepish when she added that last part. These people were probably expecting at least some people to be fighters, particularly those with Devil Fruit powers. Marielle had no such experience.
Peter seemed intrigued and walked over to the small crater. It seemed big enough for him to fit his hand in, but didn't go that deep. "Seems to be based on concussive force... doesn't seems to leave any signs of a burn, so not much heat involved, or at least very little." He turned to her "Not bad... you think trying it on a person would have any different results? And you're sure you can keep the amount of power behind it controlled?" He looked around the place, as if adapting a plan with the new information he had.
Yoje was walking around for a bit, helping to carry a crate and observing the people who had chosen to defend Lasklee. There was a fair amount of people, and most of them seemed to at least know how to fire a gun. "This might not be as hard as I thought it'd be. We'll need a really good strategy too, though. Maybe Peter or Aleana has thought of something."
He ran to the spot that looked like the center of plannings, and found Peter Alaena and Hal standing by a girl he didn't recognize. His questions were all cut off when he noticed the small crater in the ground. "What happened here? Did something explode?"
"Impressive," Alaena said after watching Marielle's display her power, making a mental note to grab Inshi's spearhead and keep it with her for when Harligold attacks. 'Just in case I get caught up in a close-range fight with a Devil Fruit user again,' she thought, her hand going over to her holstered revolver for reassurance. She watched as Peter looked around after the display, and decided he knew what he was doing.
Instead she turned her attention to Peter's other crewman, telling Yoje, "A simple showing of a Devil Fruit ability." She went back over to the table to overlook the map as she tried to figure out what should be done next. 'Guns and ammo are being moved, training of firearms will be commencing once those are moved, cannons are being brought over...have we checked the Marine station yet?' She wondered whether the Marines had emptied it out before leaving, or if they might have left things behind. 'It won't take too much time to check out, and there is the chance they left something. Even just info could be of use.'
"I'm going to check out the Marine outpost nearby, see if there is anything of use there. If you two don't want to come with then just ask your captain what he wants you to do," Alaena told Yoje and Hal before leaving them with a quick Soru.
So she can use Shave, too. And she doesn't seem to rely on it in combat, either. I'll have to ask her later if she knows any of the other techniques. "Peter, we haven't knocked out or killed every single gang member on the island. Unless there's something else you want me to do, I think I'll try to get some of them to help us. But first," he said as he turned to the other girl. "You made this crater right? What's your name, and what's your power exactly?" Yoje asked curiously. The girl's Devil Fruit seemed destructive enough, but she didn't look at all like a fighter.
Marielle thought over the man's - Peter's - question, remembering the time she had spent training and practicing with her power in the past two years. "I, erm... I don't actually know if there'll be any major damage if I tried my power on another person. I have a fair amount of control over my ability, though, so it won't be impossible to restrain it or stop me using it if that's what you're asking."
She turned to the other guy who had just turned up. He was evidently curious about her power. "You made this crater right? What's your name, and what's your power exactly?"
"To answer both questions at the same time: my name is Marielle Villeneuve, and I produce concussive shockwaves or beams," she answered before turning back to Peter. He seemed to be one of the people in charge around here, since one of the others had called him "Cap'n"... were they pirates of some description? That was an interesting thought to hold onto; if it was the case, the four that she had seen appeared to be a bit of a mixed bag. But then, that was to be expected; Marielle was amused by the thought of a full pirate crew in uniform.
He once again tried to think of what to do with this new information. "Right, Yoje, go try and get us some help..." he started pacing around, mumbling to himself. "Ok.. once that's taken care of, I should have a plan ready." He started making various notes on the map.
As Alaena left for the Marine HQ, Hal turned to the new girl and introduced himself. "Yo, Marielle! Names Hal. Hal Granada, traveling merchant. Although I guess you could say I'm kinda in the middle of a career change at the moment." Hal said with a grin and a chuckle. Even though that's what he sorta was now, he would probably never be comfortable with calling himself a pirate.
"Anyway, not much for me to do right now it seems so I think I'll go give her a hand at the Marine outpost." Hal said, pointing in the direction Alaena had sped off in. It was then that he noticed how far she had gotten while he was talking. "Aw hell, she's a quick one alright. HEY! Wait up, dammit!!" Hal shouted before using Shave to follow after her as quick as he could.
Sammi lay prone on her bed, just staring up into the ceiling. She had come up after dropping her stuff off intending on getting some shut eye, but she was failing at that. Everyone else seemed to be running around trying to get whatever forces the island could muster, but there was still a good amount of time before this pirate was supposed to show up. They keep running around like this, they aren't going to have energy for when this guy comes. Just going crazy out there...
Alaena came to a stop in front of the Marine outpost next to the inn, and looked up at the building. Deciding to not wait on Hal she entered the dark building, turning on a few lights as she looked around. It was completely deserted, all of the Marines having left as soon as possible. She walked through some clutter that was on the floor, heading into the back first to see what was there.
In one of the back rooms was a small cache of weapons that the Marines had left behind. "Obviously because they were too busy trying to escape, rather than them wanting to help out the people," Alaena muttered, opening up one of the crates and checking the condition of the weapons inside. The lid was placed back on the crate as she left the back room; heading up the stairs to check out some of the officer's quarters.
She checked a few of them before going into the most furnished room, quickly seeing what she was looking for and walking over. 'They aren't even locked,' Alaena thought, opening up the filing cabinet doors and reading through the names. The first one she grabbed out was her own file that the Marines had on her, though it was simply listed as 'Night Archer' instead of her real name. "Guess they still haven't figured that out yet," she said as she placed it next to her before she continued perusing the files for what she wanted.
Peter walked to his ship, yelling to the nearest person to tell people that anyone who wanted to talk to him should go to his ship. He walked up, to admire what had been done so far. It seemed a little smaller, but large chunks of the ship had iron and steel plates all along the ship. He wasn't surprised that there wasn't anyone working on it, but did admire what had been done so far. He walked into the deck, and managed to get most of his stuff straightened out. He sat down and went to one of his machines. "Ok, I'm gonna need to start getting myself ready..." He flipped a couple switches and one of the machines roared to life. "First thing's first: we're gonna need a lot of explosives..."
"Nice to meet you Marielle. I'm Yoje, a member of Peter's crew. With a Devil Fruit like that, you should be a big help against Roger." He smiled and morphed into his hybrid form. "I'm going to find some more guys to help. If any other Devil Fruit users show up, tell them to wait here until one of us comes back" He Shaved in the direction of the casino.
Since Tozani's Casino had been more raided than actually attacked, Yoje figured he had a better chance of finding people up and about there than at Inshi's resort. He arrived at the Casino in a few minutes thanks to Shave. Maybe I shouldn't have Shaved the whole way here. I've been almost non-stop since coming to this island, and I'll need as much strength as possible when Roger shows up. He resolved to get a few hours of rest once he had recruited enough gang members, and walked inside the casino.
Hal finally caught up to Alaena at the Marine HQ. It looked like she had already gone inside since the lights were on, so went inside as well. "Tch! They turn their tails and run at the first sign of trouble? Isn't it their job to defend people from crazy pirates like Roger?" Hal complained upon seeing the outpost was abandoned. An initial glace around didn't find anything terribly useful but there were still other rooms he could look in.
He heard some footsteps and rustling upstairs so he decided to check that out. The rooms upstairs were a lot nicer, probably for bigwigs or something like that. Upon opening the door to one of them, he saw Alaena inside, rummaging through a file cabinet. "Oh, there you are. Find anything useful?" Hal asked as he walked up to see what she was looking through. "Oh, files on bounties eh? Lookin for some info on Roger and his crew? That ain't a bad idea."
Alaena heard Hal enter in the Marine HQ and start heading up stairs, moving her own file onto her lap before continuing to look for any interesting files. She stayed silent when he entered the room, only responding to him once she found what she was looking for. "It is a good idea. And now we have information of Harligold and his crew," she told him with a smirk, lifting out a few folders and holding them up for him to see.
"Downstairs there is a couple of crates of weapons, not too many of course but still enough to help out. I'm not sure if there is anything else we can find here, but we can still look," she stated as she stood up, opening up the files and looking through them.
There was barely any gold left in the casino when Yoje returned to it. After a while, he assumed, the Budero guards just gave up on stopping the people. Maybe they even took some money for themselves. It must have been demoralizing, having their boss killed 1 on 1. Convincing them to join us might be difficult. Yoje continued to look around, until he saw a lone Budero in a back hallway. "What do you want?" He snarled at Yoje.
"Where are the rest of the Buderos?" He was in human form as he talked to the man
"Scattered. What's it to you? Don't you have other things to worry about right now?"
"That's why I'm here. I want you and the other Buderos to help fight off Roger"
The grunt stuck his middle finger out at Yoje. "Screw you, man. If my family's not in charge, then I dont care what happens as long as the Yarrakonas cant have power either"
"Don't be an idiot. Roger will kill anyone who opposes him. You used to run this island. He'll take out all the rest of the Buderos so they can't be a threat to him."
"Right, and your crew of pirates won't try to kill us after we help you. The last thing any of us want to do is help the people who ruined us." He pointed a gun at Yoje. "Beat it."
Yoje didn't blink, but he did activate his iron body just in case. "I wouldn't kill you, even if you don't help us. But I'll gladly fight you right now to get you on our side. Trust me, I'd win. And I'm sure the Archer is going to want to take out the rest of both gangs once the fight with Roger is over. Helping now would be the only way to avoid getting killed painfully."
The Budero hesitated, then fired the gun. The bullet bounced off Yoje's skin. "Fuck... Alright. It'd be nice for the Buderos to get some recognition for beating a pirate like Roger. But we are enemies, that clear?"
"Save it for when Roger's beaten. Now come with me to find the rest of the Buderos. You better be able to convince them all to fight with you."
Seeing the files got Hal curious as to what sort of guy this Roger really was. He move over to Alaena's side and read the files over her shoulder along with her. "Let's see what the Marines have to say about our good buddy Mr. Harligold... Looks like he's been going out of his way to pick a fight with the Marines ever since the battle at Marineford, taking advantage of the riots and all that..." Hal read from the file aloud even though Alaena was reading it too just to make sure he was keeping it all straight. "Says here he usually leaves civilians alone so long as they don't get in his way. Course, Lasklee could end up being an exception either way so I guess we won't be taking that chance. Ah, a section on his fighting abilities.... The fuck?! He uses an anchor as a weapon? I thought that was a crazy rumor blown outta proportion! He must be crazy strong!"
After reading that, Hal stepped away to stop himself from reading more and getting even more freaked out. He was already uncomfortable enough with the whole situation after all. "Well, I guess we oughta get this back to Peter and the others so we can use this to come up with a better plan. I'll help you bring those crates back once you're done reading those." Hal said to Alaena as he walked over to the door.
While she was partially annoyed at Hal reading aloud everything over her shoulder, she was more uncomfortable at the close proximity between the two. She ignored commenting on it and instead continued reading (finishing ahead of Hal, but leaving the folder open so he could finish).
"People use many things as weapons. I've seen people use much stranger things than an anchor," Alaena told him, closing the folders and tucking them underneath her arm before following him to the door. "There are only a few crates; we should be able to take them back in one trip," she stated, walking past him and down the stairs. She stopped for a moment and turned back to look at him, and said, "I know you're not too keen on staying here and helping everyone out, but you're doing a good thing by staying. We'll get through this."
Damn, this gal's got nerves of steel if she can be so calm after reading about a guy who's that strong and is heading this way to tangle with us... She's got a hell of a lot more guts than I do, that's for sure. Hal thought, silently impressed as he followed Alaena out the door and towards the stairs. He was quite surprised though when she stopped, turned, and actually told him he was doing a good thing. He couldn't remember the last time anyone had said something like that to him. "W-well... I owe you guys one for helping me out here. I ain't just gonna run away and ditch you after all that. Besides, I can't do business if all my customers are dead." Hal said with a somewhat awkward chuckle as he continued down the stairs.
Once back downstairs, Hal found the crates Alaena had mentioned earlier. She was right, there weren't very many so they probably could get it all in one go. Hal stacked up a few, as many as he thought he could carry, and picked them up with a low grunt. "Alright, think you can grab the rest?"
"I know I can. I've had to carry more before," Alaena told him, placing a crate on top of the other and putting the folders on top. She lifted the crates and started to walk out of the Marine HQ, keeping the door open for Hal before walking down the road back towards the town center. "These files will certainly be of use. Peter seems to be a grand planner, he'll make use of this info," she said; a mixture of sadness, annoyance, and gratefulness in her voice. "It's just so odd the way all of us have come together," she added afterwards.
Hal made his way out the door quickly, since Alaena was nice enough to hold it open for him, and continued to walk alongside her as they headed back to the town center. He noticed an odd tone in her voice when she spoke now, but still couldn't help but laugh since he had been thinking the same thing recently. "I hear ya there! I've never liked pirates and here I am working with them, fighting alongside them even. And I know you don't exactly approve of my way of doing things either, yet here we are. 'Course, if it weren't for you or Peter and his crew, I'm sure I'd be dead in an alley somewhere so I can't really complain huh?" Hal finished quietly. It was still somewhat unsettling just how close to death he had come in the last couple days.
"Peter and a member of his crew saved me too. Even though they are pirates they are staying here, and helping to protect this city. It's just so odd watching pirates do good, but I'm happy for the help. It's been so long since I've actually had assistance with these sort of things. It's a nice change," Alaena stated, a slight chuckle escaping at just how absurd the situation was. Around them the streets were becoming more crowded as they neared the town center, finally having to yell for people to move out of the way so they could get by.
Alaena dropped the two crates she was carrying near the clock tower, taking a moment to catch her breath after becoming light-headed. 'I'll need to rest for a little bit when I have the time,' she thought to herself, feeling all the aches and pains now that she had stopped for a moment. She grabbed the folders on top and headed over to where Peter was, handing over all of them but one, and stating, "We have a few crates with weapons inside of them along with these files on Harligold and his crew."
About ten Buderos and three Yarrakonas were recruited to join the cause. It was actually easier for Yoje to convince the Yarrakonas, since their boss had been kidnapped, but it was also harder to find them. Yoje dragged them all back to Peter, stuck around a bit longer to help move things and hear the basics of Peter's plans, then returned to the inn.
Arguing with the gangs may have been more tiring than the actual fighting. I even got a couple of scratches from some of them. Ah, well, now I need to rest for a couple of hours. Roger's going to be tough, and I'm going to be ready. He fell into his bed and began snoozing in minutes.
Peter had explained the basic of his plan, and then went back to work. Morning came quickly, and everyone had rested. Everyone had gathered in the square, and Peter began making a couple last-minute preparations.
"OK, EVERYONE, HARLIGOLD IS GONNA BE HERE VERY SOON! ASSUME POSITIONS! AND GET READY"
Arc 3: "Conqueror" Roger Harligold
Roger Harligold is all but universally considered the strongest pirate currently in the West Blue. It's unknown to most how he managed to get the resources he did, but the first thing he did with it was build up a fearsome force. His ship, the Great White, was first seen emerging from the Grand Line. Heading as far south as one could, he eventually reached the pirate haven of Las Camp. It's impossible to tell how or why, but by the time his visit had ended, he had the most powerful and unpredictable pirates of the West Blue sailing under his flag, and Las Camp working as his official base of operations. From there, he slowly began working his way up, and his methods for getting the islands to bear his flag were far less pleasant. Eventually the Marines had caught word of his efforts, and sent people to where they suspected he'd strike next, spreading themselves thin.
Roger now makes his way towards Lasklee, the last stop before the Marine Outpost of Porte Carlo. With Lasklee in disarray and no signs of reinforcements in sight, those who remain now await the arrival of the Great White.
Alaena stayed silent as plans were made and orders were given to everyone. She was slightly drowsy from being woken up before she was ready, but it was her own fault for putting off resting until only a few hours before. A yawn escaped her before she told everyone in Peter's crew to be safe; wishing them luck before heading towards the clock tower.
That was to be her role in this battle. It was certainly her forte to hit enemies from far away, relatively safe at that distance. Alaena couldn't help but wonder if it was due to her injuries that she was placed in a position where she wouldn't have to worry much about moving around. 'Or maybe you're just thinking too much about things. You were simply ordered into a position that takes advantage of your strengths,' she told herself, ascending the stairs to the top of the tower.
Reaching the top of the stairs she pushed up on the overhead door, opening it and leaving the long staircase. The crisp air of morning could be felt around her as she locked door; taking a moment to enjoy the view before settling in. She placed her quiver down next to her once she got into position facing the south; putting her bow on her lap as she waited for the battle to commence.
Here we go. Yoje hopped to the roof of the Marine Outpost. Peter reasoned that Roger would send a ton of his grunts out before he and his real crewmembers attacked themselves. Yoje's job was to help slow down the initial wave, while the others lured them into traps. Then he was supposed to try take out at least one of Roger's crewmembers one on one. Yoje felt no fear, only anticipation. He was rested and ready to show them what Rokushiki could do. Let's see if you live up to your reputation, Roger
The sleep had eventually come for Sammi, although it didn't stay for near long enough. The suns rays poked through heralding the end of the deadline. It was way too bright. She thought about fighting them off, but Peter's call convinced her that her naptime was up.
Sammi groaned and rolled out of bed, clothes already on since she had no reason to take them off. She fumbled around through her stuff, looking for her trusty axes before coming across them on the floor. Weapons in hand, she made her way downstairs and headed out to where she assumed the announcements were coming from.
Eventually, Sammi made it to the town square, finding Peter already there, controlling the forces. The Archer from yesterday was surely hiding out elsewhere in the town, waiting to shoot. She had no idea where everyone else was though. "Morning Cap'n!" she called out to him as she walked up, stretching her arms in the air. "Nice day for a resistance fight, huh?"
Marielle had managed to catch a few hours' sleep, wanting to be awake for the inevitable battle for control of Lasklee. She had gotten up with the dawn, eaten as much as she could in order to stock up on the energy she would need to see the fighting through, and made her way to the center of town. The guy in charge, Peter, was already there, along with someone else she didn't recognise. Another woman, armed with twin axes... an interesting choice of weapon.
"Morning, all," she said, trying to speak in a light-hearted tone of voice. It didn't go so well: she ended up with a somewhat sombre tone. "Remind me again where I'm needed?" she asked, wanting to confirm her role in the resistance rather than running off somewhere without a reason to do so.
"Morning all. Remind me again where I'm needed?"
Sammi wasn't expecting to hear a request from orders from someone who sounded so young. She turned around to see a girl standing there, not looking anything like a resistance fighter. Although she appeared battle-tested, with all the scars on her exposed skin. She didn't know what to make of her, except that she had apparently already been let in on the plan of attack, so she had that on Sammi.
"Maybe I need to be informed of who you are first before you get an answer," Sammi told her, trying to assert her inherited role of second in command. "I don't remember seeing you around before. You're a fighter, are ya?"
"Not exactly," Marielle answered, a little unnerved by the woman's response to her question. She instinctively backed up a step, not wanting to get on the stranger's bad side straight off the bat. Presumably she was with Peter, Yoje, Hal and that other woman... they were a motley bunch indeed, and the clothing worn by the assertive axe-wielder gave Marielle the impression of someone who had seen a lot of time on the seas. If Peter and his companions were pirates as she had guessed, this woman was probably allowed to ask who Marielle was and what right she had to be here.
"I've never fought in combat before, but willing to try. My Devil Fruit power is intended for fighting, I think, though I haven't tried it in a fight," she explained. "The name's Marielle, Marielle Villeneuve. Been in Lasklee all my life; it's my home and I'm willing to stand up and defend it." Even if my parents aren't, she added silently despite the fact that she respected her parents' decision.
"If I may ask, who are you?" she returned the question.
Devil Fruit? Her? Sammi looked over Marielle for a second. What kind? She doesn't look like she could do anything like that. She just looks like she can get herself cut up and...pick out odd nail polish. What kind of power would that be?
"If I may ask, who are you?"
"Fair enough Marielle," she conceded. "My name is Sammi Makela. I'm Peter's second in command, and if you're a Devil Fruit user, I think maybe you should be sticking with me. I've got a Devil Fruit power of my own you see, so two of us, should be twice as good. Don't you think?"
It would be great if she turned out to be good. I haven't met any other Devil Fruit users who are female. Maybe she can actually use her powers, whatever they may be, responsibly, unlike some of the guys I've seen with it...
After dropping off the crates, Hal had decided to give his legs a rest and get some sleep. He was so tired that he slept like a baby despite his anxieties about the battle that awaited him the next day. As the morning sun streamed in through the window, he groaned and rolled over, managing to get in another hour or so. Suddenly, he snapped awake and realized that he couldn't afford to sleep in anymore.
After throwing on his suit and hat and grabbing his sword, Hal quickly ran towards the town square. He would've gotten there much sooner had he used Shave, but he needed to save his strength. Shave was pretty much his only battle asset and if he was too tired to use it, he was 100% screwed. As he arrived in the town square, he saw Peter getting things ready and Sammi and Marielle nearby. "Morning, Peter. Ladies." He greeted them, giving a tip of his hat to the girls.
"Ah... yes, two of us working together sounds like a good plan," Marielle conceded. "I don't know how effective I'll be in a fight, so I'm going to have to do some improvising when Harligold and his men get here." Neither did she know how long she could sustain her power for: if she burned out in the middle of a battle, she was nigh useless since she had no weapons of her own.
Marielle nodded to Hal as he passed, but turned her attention back to Sammi. The older woman had a power of her own... it would be interesting to see how other Devil Fruit users fared in combat. Sammi probably had a lot of experience in that respect: that wasn't saying much, as even one fight was more than Marielle had been through in the three years that she remembered. "Okay, Sammi, lead the way," she said with a hint of a smile.
"All right, we're going to be heading up where the action is, so if you don't think you're going to be effective, just be careful and don't let yourself get caught out of position." Sammi pointed towards the pathway which led to the shoreline where Roger was supposed to make his landing. "Follow me, we're heading down this way."
As Sammi headed towards the walk to the beach, she nodded over at the merchant before giving a half salute to the Captain as she left. Taking her new charge with her, they left the square area.
"So," she started, twirling her axes as she strolled down to where the battle would be commencing, "what exactly is your Devil Fruit Power? I mean, are you one of those shifting ones? Are you one of the regular ones? What do you got? I don't know many of the other ones."