So it is that I conceded to the demands of the mob (okay, the mob was only a handful of reviewers, but their demands have been heeded anyway), and decided to change my one-shot into a two-shot. The story shall be told from the other perspective, from Robin's perspective, as she's blasted by Enel and caught by Zoro.
It seemed that her end had come, but in a way that she could never have predicted. For twenty years she had eluded her fate, the faceless masses that had pursued her, condemned her, demonized her. Twenty years of running, fighting, and surviving, all for the same reason. Any and all who held allegiance to the World Government had declared her to be their enemy, and she had lived with that for so long. She had never had much hope for her mission, and, for a long time, had been prepared for her inevitable capture and execution by the World Government. That's what made this so difficult for her: not that she was going to die, but that she was going to die so meaninglessly.
For years she had fought and survived, and nearly died, but all for a cause. The people who wanted her dead wanted her dead for a reason. They acknowledged her mission to discover the true history, they validated her existence by trying to kill her for who she was. But now, none of it mattered. She was going to die for nothing, by the hand of this man who cared nothing for who she was. He had never heard of her, he had no regard for the Demon Child of Ohara. He was just killing her because she stood between him and the Golden Bell of Shandra. Gold. That was why she was being killed. Gold. No grand ideological cause, but just because a megalomaniacal man with a logia fruit and a god complex wanted some Gold. It was enough to break the archaeologist's spirit like nothing else had.
It was especially crushing for her because she had just had hope restored to her life. She had found refuge with a group that was different, different from all the other groups that had harbored her over the years. She had worked with the savage, the greedy, the ignorant, all kinds of people who had used her for her talents, but had ultimately resented her, and had turned her adrift as soon as she became too much of a liability. She had hoped that these people, the Straw Hats, were ones that she might one day come to call "friends." Or call them "nakama," as they seemed to want to refer to one another. They were probably the first people she had met since Saul that truly cared about her, that wanted to see her be happy, let alone want to see her alive at all.
Well, most of them, anyway. The Swordsman was none too keen on her, but that was nothing new. He was wise to be wary of her, probably the wisest out of that lovable crew of dreamers. After a lifetime of her bitterness, she had no reason to resent anyone for being wary of her. But she did not have time to contemplate her nascent relationship with the green-haired swordsman, because her doom was upon her. She watched as the man-god pointed his finger square at her head. Watched as the finger lit up with his electric logia power, and watched as the lethal bolt filled all of her vision, before it finally struck her head.
The pain was excruciating, but she didn't particularly mind. Again and again, she had made her peace with the thought of death. Each brush with death had steeled her heart more and more against the fear of it. It was time for her to die, but this was something she had been ready for. Her only regret was that she was dying like this, in a circumstance totally unrelated to her lifelong quest. The voltage arced through her, past her, and she began to fall. Not unconscious, as it probably appeared, but close to it. She was still aware, but her whole body was falling limp under her. It was her time to die, but the scenario was all wrong.
Okay, so not entirely wrong. There was one thing that fit. In many scenarios she had imagined for her death, all across the years, she had imagined a drawn-out execution, or a quick, off-hand slaying at the hands of government agents, but the two constants were that she was being killed by World Government agents, and that she was dying alone, isolated from anyone that cared about her. That condition at least was fulfilled. The Swordsman still resented her, and wasn't going to help her. She had thought she had heard the Navigator scream out her name, but that was probably just her mind trying to inject some hope into this hopeless situation. She was dying alone.
She deserved this, she thought in the darkest part of her heart. Nico Robin, demon of Ohara, deserved this. This was the death that she had earned through her lifetime of treachery. The reason she was being struck down by this man-god was because she had tried to deal with him like she had dealt with all the powerful men that she had used in her life: she had tried to leverage her knowledge to get them to do what she wanted. In this case, she had tried to play on his greed for the legendary Golden Bell of Shandra, whose location she had deduced in her investigations on Skypiea. He had little patience for her, and had finally dealt with her as she had long deserved.
But there was no longer time for her despair. Her time had come. She was falling to the ground faster, her legs having given out completely. Her consciousness, her mind, began to blur, all becoming a haze of sadness. But suddenly, a disturbance. Something had stopped her from falling. Her head had not crashed against the pavement, so something must have caught her. Someone must have caught her. As she finally lost consciousness, she heard a voice she had not expected to hear, saying words she had never expected that voice to say. At least, not towards her. The gruff, masculine voice of a man who, it turned out, understood her best of all.
"She's a woman!"
As she lost consciousness, she was happy.
I hope she didn't sound too emo. I tried to capture that depression she seemed to have, that indifference to the idea of dying, and that vague self-loathing, that she had before the Enies Lobby Arc. She still had her dream, but figured her failure was inevitable.