Naruto and the rest of CP9 watched as the drawbridge leading to the Tower of Justice lowered. Suddenly, a large explosion occurred at the base of the bridge causing it to come to a halt.
"Damn it!" Luffy swore in frustration, "Who's getting in our way?!"
'G-Good Job!" Spandam called out as snot ran from his nose, still shocked by how far the pirates had come, "Now, before they come over here, I'll head to the Gates of Justice! Come on!" Spandam shouted at Robin before grabbing her by the hair and dragging her away roughly, "Somebody grab Cutty Flam!"
Naruto glanced over while Spandam began to give another speech to notice that Franky had positioned himself right in Spandam's way. Spandam turned to walk away and let out a shout of surprise when he saw the stony faced cyborg in front of him. Franky reached into a hidden compartment on his body and pulled out a stack of papers with the word "Pluton" printed on them in all caps
"Hm?" There was a blank look on Spandam's face before the realization dawned on him, "That's—you mean—no way! Are those the blueprints of the ancient weapon, Pluton?!" he screeched.
"It's real." Franky said with a smirk on his face, "Do you believe me?" Franky opened the blueprints so that Lucci and Kaku could see them before quickly flipping through the pages, "Lucci, Kaku, you can tell, can't you?"
Lucci's eyes widened in shock as Kaku reacted similarly, "I doubted it, but—you were hiding it in your body, weren't you?"
"I-Is it real?" Spandam questioned with a large grin on his face, "It's real?! G-Give it to me!" he demanded.
"What the hell are you doing, you idiot! If he gets his hands on those blueprints—" Naruto grimaced as he realized just what Spandam would do if he managed to get his hands on power like that, "Fuck subtlety," Naruto thought as his hand drifted to the katana at his side, "if he gets the blueprints to Pluton, we're all screwed. Now, if I could manage to grab those blueprints and get that blue haired idiot and Nico Robin across the chasm before—"
Naruto's train of thought derailed as he noticed Franky burning the blueprints to the ancient weapon, "...Well, that solves that problem. I honestly didn't expect that."
"You bastard!" Spandam screamed as he desperately clutched at the burning fragments of the blueprints, "What the heck did you do?! Damn it, I'll kill you!"
"He just destroyed the target of our five-year mission—" Kalifa stated frostily while Kaku's mouth hung open in surprise.
"The blueprints left to create the 'Opposing Force' were sought by the government! They should only exist secretly, and should've been destroyed when they were discovered! But now, we have no force to oppose 'the weapon' if Nico Robin falls into your hands, we're doomed!" A large grin began form on Franky's face, "But if the Straw Hats win, you'll have nothing left! So I'll place my bets on them!"
"What an idiot!" Spandam growled in murderous rage, " I guess you want to die here too, huh?!"
Franky was distracted by his crew as Spandam snuck behind him and shoved him off the balcony, "How dare you ruin my blueprints!" Spandam screamed in fury as Franky tumbled into the chasm.
"The hell?!" Naruto shouted, "Spandam what the fuck are you thinking?! Don't you realize he might have memorized the blueprints?!"
"Wha?" Spandam questioned as he turned to face the blond while processing what he had said, "Shit!" he screamed once the blond's words clicked, "Quick! Save him!"
Naruto prepared to leap over the balcony after Franky in an attempt to save him, but immediately halted when a sea train barreled through the gate and used the drawbridge as a ramp. "Th-They've come!" Spandam shrieked in fear as Franky latched onto the front of the train before it smashed into the Tower of Justice, bringing the Straw Hats with it.
Still in shock, Spandam leaned over the balcony and saw dust lazily drifting out of the massive hole the train created when it slammed into the building. Spandam stepped back from the balcony with his jaw hanging wide open as his eyes bulged out of his skull, "They came." He mumbled softly to himself. He stood there for a moment, staring blankly off into space, before finally coming back to his senses, "They came!" He shrieked while roughly grabbing Robin and leading her away, "Damn it! You, come with me!"
Robin grimaced in pain slightly at her rough handling before Spandam turned and addressed the rest of CP9, "Now, I'll let you do whatever you like! Crush them here! Lucci, Naruto, come with me! Whatever you do, protecting my life is your first priority! Aside from that, do whatever you think is necessary! Butcher them, Slaughter them, I don't care! Just get rid of them!"
"Funkfreed!" Spandam called out, the elephant responded with a loud cry as it raced towards him and changed into its sword form. "All right, good boy." Spandam praised as he caught the hilt of the blade with his hand before sheathing it over his shoulder as Naruto and Lucci trailed silently behind him. "Now, let's head for the Gates of Justice! I dare you to try and take this woman back, Straw Hat!"
The group headed down to the ground floor of the tower before entering a hidden staircase and going underground. During the entire trip Spandam was laughing maniacally with uncontrolled abandon while spouting things like, "They won't find us!" or "They can't follow us!" ad nauseam.
It was enough to make Naruto want to kill him then and there.
As they came to the bottom of the staircase they found a large door made out of hardened steel that was designed to be impregnable. A control panel with a keyhole was stationed at its side and was the only way to open the door, without breaking it down, from that side.
Spandam handed Naruto the key and he proceeded to unlock the door causing it to split down the middle and slowly slide into the wall. The rest of the group crossed the threshold as Naruto removed the key and faked storing it within his pocket before setting it on top of the control panel and following suit. As he passed, he sent a sly wink to the little girl that had been hiding at the top of the stairs before activating the lever on the other side causing the massive door to slide closed. As Naruto and the rest of the unwitting group continued onward the little girl dashed out of the room to find one of the Straw Hats.
"Hopefully one of them can catch up to us before we reach the prop," Naruto thought, "if not, I'll have to take matters into my own hands."
Time passed uneventfully until Naruto and the others reached a large underground room at the base of the prop for the Bridge of Hesitation.
"Well, I guess it's time to intervene."
As they entered the room Naruto paused to scratch his ankle placing him behind Lucci and the others. A sly smirk graced the his features as he began silently sprinting towards Lucci, leaping into the air, Naruto planted a flying kick into Lucci's back sending the unsuspecting assassin flying.
At the sound of impact Spandam spun around and took in what was happening, "Naruto wha—" he was cut off by a fist to the face and was sent flying into a wall.
"Get out of here now!" Naruto urged Robin desperately while shoving her back the way they had come, his gesture punctuated by Luffy screaming her name from down the hall. Robin nodded before heading off towards Luffy, "Meet up with your crew, get those handcuffs off and then find some way to get back across that chasm!" he called over his shoulder as he watched Lucci get back on his feet. The man's only response to being kicked in the back was a cool smirk and a raised eyebrow.
Spandam's reaction was more—violent.
"Naruto!" he roared in absolute fury, "What the hell are you doing?!"
"It's pretty obvious, I'm stabbing you in the back. You make me sick and I'm tired of working for you, so you can consider this my resignation."
"Y-You traitor!" Spandam ground out, "Funkfreed!" At its masters call the elephant sword leapt out of its sheath before charging the traitor. As it neared its trunk transformed into a blade that threatened to gore Naruto if he didn't react.
The blond casually stepped around the blade before grabbing hold of the elephant's tusks and pivoted before sending it flying straight into a wall. The entire structure shuddered at the impact as the elephant landed roughly on the ground completely unconscious, "You're going to have to do better than that to stop me, Spandam." Naruto commented in a bored tone while brushing dust off his suit. Spandam's mouth hung open as he began backpedaling away from Naruto. He planted his back firmly against the wall while shaking in fear, "L-Lucci!" he begged, "Do something!"
Lucci's smirk grew into a full-blown grin as he stepped forward, "I've been waiting a long time for this, Naruto."
"Yeah, well, I have too." Naruto cracked his neck and rolled his shoulders before removing the scabbard from his side and holding it in his left hand, "It's about damn time someone knocked some sense into you. You may have been the strongest before, Lucci, but I've changed."
"Robin!" Luffy called out as he saw the raven haired girl running towards him, "What happened to the pigeon guy?!"
"One of the other members of CP9 is taking care of him."
"Wha?! No fair!" Luffy screamed in indignation before preparing to dash off and punish the one who had stolen his fight.
"Luffy!" Robin shouted bringing him back to his senses, "We don't have time for this, our top priority is getting these off!" she stated while holding her bound hands up for emphasis.
Luffy glanced back at her before getting a serious look in his eyes and nodding in reply. The pair began to run back down the hallway to find the key to Robin's freedom.
"Soru." Naruto intoned as he blurred away at high-speed. In one swift motion he drew his sword from its sheath and swung it, aiming for Lucci's neck. The assassin ducked underneath the blow, causing his hat to be cut in half, before dropping to his hands and launching a Rankyaku strike at Naruto.
The blond activated Geppo at the last second and redirected himself in midair to avoid the blow before using it once more to dash towards Lucci. The blond lunged with his sword but the black-haired man danced out of the way before swinging his fist at Naruto's head.
Naruto blocked the blow with his scabbard and swung his katana in retaliation, but Lucci leapt backwards to cleanly avoid the blow.
He slid to a stop before rising to his full height, "Tobu Shigan: 'Bachi'(Flying Finger Gun: 'Plectrum)" Lucci's arms blurred as he launched a barrage of compressed air bullets at Naruto. The blond took off, his body becoming nothing more than a blur as he managed to stay one step ahead of Lucci's attacks.
He circled around the other assassin, slowly but steadily reducing the distance between himself and Lucci. Realizing what Naruto was doing, Lucci halted his barrage and charged Naruto. In response, Naruto sheathed his blade before flickering towards Lucci. He lashed out with his fist, but Naruto seemingly disappeared before reappearing behind Lucci, his hand on the hilt of his katana.
Blood spurted from a shallow cut that stretched from Lucci's right hip to his left shoulder. Lucci's eyes widened in surprise for a moment, before he turned to face Naruto with a blood-thirsty grin on his face. "You're right, you have gotten better." Lucci stated gleefully.
"So have you." Naruto replied with a stoic expression on his face, "A few years ago, an attack like that would have cut you in half." Lucci's grin grew even wider as Naruto dropped into a three-point sprinter's stance.
"Soru: Onsoku (Shave: Subsonic)" The ground cratered beneath Naruto's feet as he rocketed forward just under the speed of sound as he slammed his hilt into Lucci's gut. Lucci's mouth gaped open, the air forced out of his lungs as he was lifted off the ground by Naruto's blow.
The assassin was launched up into the air as Naruto blurred away once more, appearing above him with his leg raised. Naruto brought his leg down, sending Lucci straight into the ground. The stone cratered beneath his body as the assassin hacked up a glob of phlegm and blood, completely stunned by the speed the blond was exhibiting. Naruto kicked off of the air and shot towards Lucci with his hand on the hilt of his blade.
Lucci managed to roll out of the way at the last second as Naruto swung his sword, easily slicing through the stone beneath him. As Naruto sheathed his blade, Lucci transformed into his full leopard form and sprang towards Naruto. The blond reacted quickly and spun, slamming the hilt of his sword into the side of Lucci's head. There was a loud crack as the assassin was sent spinning off to the side before twisting in midair and landing on his feet. Lucci skidded across the ground before coming to a stop and charging Naruto once more.
Lucci leapt into the air to attack, but Naruto grabbed him by the throat before turning and slamming him into the ground. Naruto leapt back to avoid being torn to shreds as he struck with his hind legs. Given some space, Lucci transformed into his half-leopard form before using Seimei Kikan: Kami-e Bushin(Life Return: Paper Drawing Fighting Form) causing his hulking form to slim and become more agile. Both combatants took advantage of the momentary lull in battle to quickly catch their breath.
The momentary ceasefire was broken by Naruto as he slashed twice with his sword, launching two blades of compressed air at his former comrade. Lucci countered the attack by slashing with his claws, launching two similar blades of compressed air.
Naruto quickly fell into a sprinter's stance once more before activating Soru: Onsoku again. Almost immediately, Naruto reappeared before Lucci and lashed out at his legs with a kick, hoping to sweep them. Lucci leapt over the kick and stabbed downwards with both hands, launching a large bullet of compressed air at Naruto.
The blond flickered out of the way once more and appeared above Lucci before attacking with a drop kick. Lucci blocked the attack with one hand before pulling his right arm back with two fingers extended, "Shigan 'Oren.'" Lucci unleashed a flurry of Shigan strikes that pierced Naruto repeatedly sending blood flying everywhere. The blond roared in pain as Lucci flipped in midair and slammed him into the ground. The assassin landed on top of Naruto but was kicked off almost immediately by the blond. Naruto hopped back to his feet and glared at Lucci with narrowed eyes.
"Your Doriki may be higher, but without a Devil Fruit you don't stand a chance against me."
"Oh really?" Naruto replied mockingly, "Well, it's a good thing I ate one then." Lucci's eyes widened in surprise as Naruto discarded his blade as his tall figure grew even taller as he transformed into his half-dragon form. Wings sprouted from his back as his hands turned into claws and a tail extended from the end of his spine. Blue electricity sparked across his scaly skin as his ice blue eyes stared at Lucci, "And it seems as though mine is a bit better than yours."
Naruto launched a bolt of electricity from his palm forcing Lucci to leap out of the way. The wings on his back spread open as he disappeared from sight and reappeared directly in front of Lucci. Lucci slashed him with his claws, but Naruto shrugged off the attack like it was nothing before planting his fist directly into Lucci's face. There was a sickening crack as the man's jaw was fractured before he was sent flying across the room. Naruto launched another bolt of lightning that connected and sent a surge of electricity coursing through Lucci's body.
As their battle raged on, Spandam huddled against the wall behind some crates before pushing the button on the golden Den Den Mushi, the Buster Call had been activated.
"There's no way back!" Luffy screamed frustratedly as they stared across the chasm that separated the Tower of Justice from the rest of Enies Lobby.
"Then we'll just have to head back the other way and find some other way off the island." Nami stated calmly.
Luffy let out a huff of aggravation before heading back into the building, Robin, now freed from her handcuffs, smiled at her captain's antics.
"This has gone on long enough," Naruto pointed out as he caught Lucci's fist in his palm easily, "Goodbye, Lucci." Naruto's jaw lowered, revealing his lengthened canine teeth, as a blinding light began to well up from the back of his throat, "Ryū no hōkō(Roar of the Dragon)." A bright beam of pure lightning burst forth from the blond's mouth, hitting Lucci at point-blank range.
Lucci was sent flying back as Naruto released his hold on the man and he slammed into the wall before falling to the ground completely unconscious. There was a small "Eep!" that Naruto's enhanced hearing immediately picked up and he turned to glare in Spandam's general direction.
"I know you're still here Spandam, come out, and I might just go easy on you."
There was no reply.
"Fair enough, I'll just have to find you then." Naruto sniffed the air once before pinpointing Spandam's location and dashed towards his former boss. Spandam tried to scream, but it came out as a strangled gurgle as Naruto lifted him by his neck in a vice-like grip. "See? Told you I'd find you." Naruto tossed the man across the room sending him tumbling along the floor.
"N-Naruto, l-let's be r-reasonable!" Spandam begged as he scrambled away from the blond.
"The time for reason has long since passed, Spandam." Naruto stated murderously as he slowly stalked towards the frightened man, "Were you reasonable when you crushed anyone who stood in your way, even when they were innocent? Would you have been reasonable if you'd ever actually gotten the power you so desperately wanted?"
Spandam merely shivered in fear with his back against the wall.
"No?" Naruto asked with a predatory grin on his face, "That's what I thought. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, when someone could finally put you in your place." Spandam was lifted into the air as Naruto grabbed hold of his shirt and slammed him against the wall, "You never earned anything, all you ever did was ride on the coattails of your father. And you were so obsessed with getting a promotion that you were willing to do anything, kill anyone, to get it. You never thought of your subordinates as people, they were just tools for you to take advantage of, and the second they were no longer useful, you just threw them away like the trash you thought they were. All in the name of getting a promotion. In your mad lust for power, you lost sight of your humanity, not that you ever had any to begin with."
Naruto let go of Spandam before kneeing him savagely in the gut, "This is for all the atrocities you've committed!" Stars exploded in Spandam's vision as Naruto's fist broke his nose, "This is for all the people you've stepped on! And this—" Naruto screamed as his fist sparked with electricity, "is for the shame that you brought to the Marines and the World Government!" His fist slammed into Spandam's uncovered cheek, shattering the portion of his face that had remained uninjured. The back of Spandam's skull slammed into the wall with resounding crack as he slumped to the floor.
He laid on the ground, twitching unconsciously in pain, as Naruto glared at him with a look of utter disgust, "The world would be better off without people like you."
And that, was when the Straw Hats stormed into the room.