On a small vessel, storms can be perilous. With skilled enough sailors, however, it can be made much less a trial of luck and more into a trial of strength. The same could be said of both the ships our protagonist frequented, whether it was the Going Merry or Lively Fishwife, which was in fact the name of the boat he was currently trying to assist through gusty winds and rain.
The wood rocked violently beneath his feet, but it was not the worst battering he had endured in such a situation. In fact, this storm, if it weren't for the sheer power of it forcing him to work, would have been something the man could have very easily slept through.
"Come on, Lazy-bones!" he could hear Hart's incredibly irritated shouts in his direction. "Tie down those lines!"
"You're one to talk!" replied the addressed, laughing spitefully. "Where's that set of rain ponchos you promised? Your silent partner is shivering in her boots!"
The saltwater splashed into Zoro's mouth as a wave threatened to overturn the Fishwife like a paper plate in the wind.
"You people are always complaining about all the damn water," Hart grumbled as the wave washed off the deck, leaving the three people on it even more saturated than before. "-yet you insist on travelling the seas with your vessels, even though this terrain is unnatural to you."
The only female on board looked down from the helm to Hart with a frown. As if feeling her eyes upon him, he looked up to her with a sigh and added,"-well, unnatural to most of you, anyway."
The frown persisted, and Hart threw his large hands up to his shoulders. "Well, what would you say? You, of all women, should understand this speech."
Zoro rolled his eyes. He couldn't care less about what the two would say to each other (or, more accurately, what Hart would say). He just wished they'd pay more attention to the ocean.
"Look, are you two going to bicker, or are you going to keep your eyes on the freaking horizon?!" he bellowed, unaccustomed to being the voice of reason in any situation. Suddenly, he felt a surge of sympathy for the bitch he called a navigator on the Merry.
"Bah, stop being so nit-picky!" Hart retorted, returning to the necessary tasks that would keep the Fishwife afloat. "We're almost there, anyway!"
"How can you tell in all this," Zoro had to stop to spit some saltwater out of his mouth once more,"-in all this rain?"
"Well, I live out here, moron." Hart answered curtly, ignoring the incredulous look on the swordsman's face. "I live out here, and the island is visible to anyone with half a brain."
"Where is it, then?" Zoro asked with frustration, squinting through the rain to see the horizon.
"About thirty feet from the opposite side of the boat," was the amused reply.
A vein popped out of the pirate's forehead. Granted, it was hard to make out the entire shape of the island, but the smokestacks and large gates were a looming shadow behind what looked like a more vibrant community. One that had a harbor that opened in less than ten meters. How long had they been there, anyway?
"And why didn't you tell me this earlier?"
"The lookout can't shout land-ho." Hart said simply.
"Well, she seems to have a fully operational voicebox to me."
"A puzzle to us all. Now stop yer' yammering and prepare to dock." Hart ordered and promptly dived into the ocean. Zoro was soon greeted with the sensation of the boat being moved from underwater as the powerful swimmer pushed it through the turbulent ocean into the nearby bay.
"If you have a piece of intel, you act on it." Nami grumbled, leaving the cabin of Wall-Eye's ship with a grimace. It was official…
I am surrounded by idiots.
If the paper came from a community, you visit that community. If your origin story is left with loose ends, you revisit it. From the information the navigator was able to gather in bits and pieces about the ship, it wasn't a hard deduction to make that perhaps Deirdre's daughter, Parvati, had left the ship on purpose. It was also a reasonable conclusion to think that, possibly, said girl was sailing around nearby, and probably had to port into the only island in the vicinity to get fresh water from time to time. As there were only a few nearby islands, and the primary port was a cover village for one of the most corrupt operations on the planet, and incidentally home to the rest of Parvati's enslaved brethren, she probably would return to said place from time to time.
"They have the resources to handle something this small…" the red-head groaned,"-all they had to do was send a merchant that passed through to each island with a message to give the innkeepers. Bribes too, probably, but not much."
Robin smiled from behind the navigator, patting her friend on the back. "You forget these people have a mission of their own, Nami. They can't very well put the money they've gathered for the sake of freeing the rest of their people into sponsoring you."
Nami halted, her fury for the denial of payment or her services abating. "Wait a minute, Robin. We have to dock at this island, don't we?"
"It is inevitable, yes. We will have to purchase new supplies, as well as search for Swordsman-san."
Her hands balled into fists. "What are the chances that Luffy won't find out about this base's oppression of the people?"
Robin closed her eyes thoughtfully. "Oh, I'd say the chances are very slim. You know our captain."
"Okay, new question. Given the large amounts of effort these people are exerting to free themselves, what are the chances the idiot will let it stand?"
The archeologist's smile faded. "Oh, I doubt he'd let this stand at all."
Nami turned around. "He's not a champion of justice. If he isn't pulled into it, don't you think that maybe… just maybe we can get away this time without getting involved?"
Robin turned her head. "I was more curious as to when he woke up, you know. How much he heard…"
"Oh, you saw him. He was sleeping like a babe." Nami growled. "I'm going to fix that now, if you'll excuse me."
With that, the temperamental navigator stormed off the deck of William's ship onto the waiting Merry. Nico Robin followed the younger woman with her eyes, surprised at the ignorance of the normally bright Nami.
"Oh, navigator-san… He's not a genius, but he's certainly more capable than you give him credit for." She chuckled, all too aware that Luffy had been awake for a fraction of the conversation from the way his snoring had switched in rhythm. "There's more to intelligence than the ability to comprehend what is done or said."
"Miss," a young boy called Robin out of her musings,"-if you find Parvati, please don't make her come back here."
"Oh?" the black-haired woman looked at the child who approached her. His wild curly hair was a golden brown, much like his skin. "-and why is that?"
"She was sad here. I could see it in her eyes." He responded with a shake of his head. "Ma… Ma depended on her too much."
"Hmm." Robin placed her hand to her chin. "Is that so?"
"Rahda! It's time for your mapping lessons!" a man called across the deck. The boy turned away from Robin and ran to the instructor, who looked as normal as any on the boat.
"Rahda…" Robin memorized the name. "I suppose this gets more and more interesting."
Luffy had been drifting in and out of sleep for some time. He had awoken for a span during the meeting on the galleon, but had been too exhausted to do much but listen. Like Zoro after a night of hard drinking, it was hard to shake off the buzz of whatever had entered his system the night before. Of course, that was about to clear, though not before returning the pang of his first mate's possible demise.
Cold hands gripped the scruff of his vest and lifted him off the ground violently, jerking and shaking him. He smelled oranges, built the bridge, and quickly roused himself.
"Naa! Nami!" he greeted with a wide grin, ignoring every single uncomfortable bit of her grip, which had grabbed some of the elastic skin of his chest and pulled it forward.
"Luffy, you twit! You're the captain, so act like it!" she admonished before dropping him like a load of bricks.
"Ah! Nami-swan is so attractive when she's shrieking in anger!" Sanji cooed, only to see the look on Luffy's face. It wasn't normal, yet again, neither was the fact that Sanji cared enough to look. His captain bit his lip and looked down, eyebrows furrowed. Sensing Sanji's eyes on him, however, Luffy returned his face to a cheerful neutral.
"Sanji, we need to get more meat, right?"
"Well, you haven't eaten it all, so no." Sanji replied without thinking, and slapped a hand over his face in regret as his captain ran to the kitchen.
"Get back here! LUFFY!" Sanji bellowed, running into the galley to reveal an empty fridge. Too late.
"Amg, Snnji." Luffy greeted with all of the missing food in his mouth, stretching it grotesquely. "It shmms winrrd trmrk prt."
Nami heard this from the deck and felt the blood freeze in her veins.
The captain swallowed too much, and tears formed in the corners of his eyes from the discomfort. "-let's go to the nearest island."