Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or any of its Trademarks

2. Times of Crisis

So now the story is set into motion; to refuse to learn is only to repeat the mistakes of the past; any of these beginnings and more or less could describe the scene unfolding in the world right now. Of course, the best way to tell it is to be there, showing each detail as they present themselves, Which is exactly what is going to happen.


He was surrounded by almost twenty large men (he had stopped counting after fifteen), wearing spikes and leather, with tattoos littering their exposed flesh, with guns. And they were in a mood to rip his limbs off. D---. That makes this, what, the third time this week? Fourth? Jeez, these guys don't know when to quit, do they… The bloke on his right spoke, his words loud and slurred with too many drinks, "You…you d--- m----*-----! I'm gonna kill ya dead for calling me a wuss!" That seemed to be the unofficial signal for the mob to attack the teen in the center of their ring, as knives were whipped out and guns raised by shaking hands whose owners were not even close to sober.

It was only a blur to those brave or stupid enough to stay in the bar; steel on steel, sparks, and gunfire were the only distinguishable features about the blob of men surrounding the man standing in the center of them, and when they advanced he disappeared amidst the ugly, swarming males. The bartender watched with his shotgun held aloft and pointing into the mass of writhing bodies in case one of the rowdy thugs decided to go after the booze or cash in the commotion. He lowered his gun as he realized the fight was over as quickly as it had started though.

It took the green-haired man ten seconds, tops, to knock out everyone in the drunken mob, and he was very ticked off. "Jeez…" He spoke aloud to himself in complaint "It gets harder and harder to not just kill everyone who attacks me nowadays…" Rubbing his pounding head, he approached the counter again and asked the bartender for a large whiskey, wanting to get rid of the hammering headache he knew was forming. Being a reasonable enough man, the bartender went and got his customer his drink, then looked over at the other guy still in the bar. The cell phone was in his shaking hand, and the expression on his face clearly read 'omg I have never seen a fight before and I have no idea what to do but maybe I should call the police holy beep I'm freaked out'. The bartender placed his hands on the counter and roughly told the man, who was still staring transfixed at the 'winner' of the brawl. "If you know what's good for ya son, you're gonna get up, walk out of here, and not say a word of what's happened, ya hear?" The guy slowly nodded his head in response, then got up, and moved slowly towards the open door, increasing speed until he practically burst through the opening.

The barkeeper shook his head, and muttering something about 'youngsters these days' he looked over at the pile of bodies, noted that they were still breathing, and said to the younger man "I'll call the cops to come get these hooligans later, I think that you deserve a breather." He had noticed the battle scars on the man's shoulders and face, and figured that this was nothing compared to whatever it was that gave him those. The larger man walked into the backroom, leaving the teen alone in the bar area. Feeling his headache subsiding slightly, he decided that it was time to head out. Putting a good amount of cash on the counter, along with a decent tip for some damages, the man reached for his leather belt which lay on the seat next to him. Feeling the three short swords which hung from it gave the fighter a short feeling of calmness, then pulling it around his waist he headed for the door, only to smash headfirst into another figure going at full speed into the bar.

Annoyance overriding any sense of self-preservation, the swordsman demanded "Oi, watch where you're go-"He stopped mid sentence, once he got a look at the guy. It was a kid, with scruffy black hair and a…Straw Hat? That's so freakish… The aforementioned teen was sitting on the floor, the force of the impact having knocked him to the ground. Reaching for his hat he checked it over to make sure it was ok, and finding nothing amiss, he sprang up from the ground, almost like a spring. Weird… The man thought again, trying to think of where he had seen that before. He took a better look at the boy now that he was standing. The kid was wearing an old looking red dress shirt, really loosely tied black tie flopping down his front, below the knee cut-off jeans, black and yellow tennis-shoes, and that ridiculous straw hat. Well, I guess he looks better than me at least. He had on a white T-shirt, baggy black jeans, green and black Eckos®(Ecko Unlimited Thrones®), and the black leather belt with his three short swords hanging from it. He looked back up to the other's face, now that he was done 'inspecting' him.

The teen now looked at the man he had run into with blunt surprise on his bright face, bowed slightly and said "Oh, I am very sorry for knocking into you." Erecting himself once more, he grinned from ear to ear, revealing every single tooth in his whole head practically, and said "Hi! I'm Monkey D. Luffy, who are you?" Now in a milder but still cranky mood, the man replied "Who needs to know?" Looking him over again he figured that the boy couldn't be more than 18 at most. "Why are you in here anyway? You're too young to drink. How old are you, 14?"

The boy scowled in a way that would have made the other teen choke out in laughter had he not be in such a bad mood, and retorted "Eh? Oh, I guess I'm 17, but how old are you then? Eighteen?" At this the green-haired man grew a quick and tense frown as he glanced back to see if the bartender was listening in. Seeing the room still empty, he scowled at the boy, and replied "Aw, be quiet you! If they get a hold of my fake ID, I'm gonna get thrown back in juvie for sure this time!" The boy cocked his head to one side. "Huh? Thrown into where? Who threw you in that place?" The older teen realized his slip of words and cringed. Sighing in annoyance at himself, he walked past the other boy towards the doors again. "Never mind…look, I've gotta be somewhere, so-"He was stopped as a hand touched his shoulder, making him stop. He turned his head to see what else the kid wanted and saw…that the kid was still standing where he had left him… on the other side of the room.

Holy beep…what the!? The arm was long. Stretched!? He was freaked out by his thoughts, and clear surprise shone through on his tan face. 'Retracting' his hand, the boy grinned wider and ignoring the other man's apparent shock said "Ha-ha! I like you! I saw what you did to those other guys over there." The kid placed a hand on his hat. "You're really strong too, so you should join my biker gang!" He had on that huge grin again, while the other man stood stunned by all of these sudden things he just heard and saw. Shaking it off after a minute, and trying to figure out if the kid was joking or not, he shook his head and sighed. I could just ignore him…but I don't have any money left...and those losers I beat up aren't worth anything from the station…but there's just something weird about him, not even including the…stretching. He looked hard at the other boy. "I'm a bounty hunter kid, I go out and catch criminals on the run, and hand them in to whoever's paying. I'm no bike-gang member. Heck, I've caught more gang members than I can even remember!" He was trying to shake this kid, trying to knock some sense into this brainless idiot who just met a complete stranger yet asks him to join his bike gang. It didn't work. The boy just grinned wider and then replied "Oh! Cool! So that means that you are a good guy! You only catch the bad guys then huh?" He laughed out loud, a hearty, fun ring that stirred something inside the swordsman, something he couldn't quite place. The boy, Luffy, smiled and said "Now I just want you to join up even more now!"

Looking at the teen in a mix of emotions, most identifiable were confusion and interest, he lowered his gaze to the floor. Closing his eyes he folded his arms across his chest and thought for a moment while the other watched expectantly. A small grin broke out on his face, and raising his gaze to meet the other boy's, he said "Whatever. I'll join up, sure." For some reason, he just had an overwhelming feeling of trust in this strange, amusing boy who he knew close to nothing about. At hearing the swordsman's response, the boy jumped into the air in excitement, throwing his hands above his head he yelled "Awesome! Let's head out then! To the next town!" Knowing not what he had gotten himself into now, the swordsman followed the excited teen out of the doors, and into the cool night air. "Oh, that's right. I don't know what your name is." The boy stopped jumping and turned his head to look at his new comrade expectantly. Grinning wickedly, the man answered, "My name…is Roronoa, Zoro." as he followed his new leader into the darkness of the night.

No, don't ask me why I gave Zoro awesomely manly shoes….maybe because they're large…and slightly resemble in real life what his shoes could be…or what he could like to wear…anyway…if you are a very strange person, and haven't seen the Ecko's that I am talking about, then look them up online. -I do not own Ekco shoes; I just used the name in my story. Seriously…is it illegal??? i will freak majorly if it is!!!-