The Heavens Burn

Sakazuki was right; there most certainly was hostility to his announcement of ownership of the island. He impaled "God"'s head on a helpfully provided spike of ice, wrapped it (and the spike) in gold, and replaced its eyes with crystallized light, also placing a large crystal (of light) in his mouth. (AN: Crystallized light actually is (kind of) a thing) He proceeded to claim the island as part of his territory and thusly under his protection.

Immediately after his proclamation a zig-zagging spear of cloud shot towards him from behind. He whirled around with terrifying and unexpected speed for a man his size, grabbing the spear in mid air. The Iron cloud began to melt in his hand before he wrenched back on it; dragging it and its wielder towards him.

The sunglasses clad man let go of his spear in a desperate attempt to escape; unfortunately for him, he was a few seconds too late and a gigantic, black gloved hand clamped around his head. Sakazuki jerked the usurper's head back with a sickening crack and then, just to be extra thorough, crushed his head in his hand.

As Akainu shook the blood, brain matter, and shards of bone off his hand Kuzan lazily fired a spike of ice in a seemingly random direction; causing a disturbingly rotund man to fall from behind a cloud, flailing his comically undersized limbs in a futile attempt to save himself. His fall was interrupted milliseconds before he hit the ground by multiple spikes of ice shooting up from the ground; impaling him in many places.

Sakazuki finally gave up on shaking the offal from his hand and simply burned it off; turning to fire a blast of magma at a lance wielding man mounted on a giant purple bird. The mustachioed man showed an unusual degree of agility and speed, managing to dodge the blast and Galdino's follow up. Unfortunately for him his vision at speed was not nearly good enough to see the dozens of wires before him; his speed worked against him and he diced himself on the near invisible net.

Sakazuki gave Walter an approving nod before turning to watch the last priest die. Apparently this one was capable flight; clouds shooting out of his boots and propelling him around. A large bullet to the knee solved that little problem and a sword to his falling waste ended the fight. Zoro flicked the blood from his sword before sheathing it whilst Usopp grinned. Walter sneered at the corpses, muttering about trash and adjusting his monocle While Galdino went back creating little figurines; often handing them to villagers at seemingly random.

Apparently their little demonstration had quelled any thoughts of rebellion in the islanders; seeing their feared oppressors so easily slain had an odd effect on them. The looks on their faces raged from horror to elation and everything in between; some even had a strange combination of the two. A few looked grimly satisfied to see their oppressors so violently ended.

Eventually the townsfolk settled on hesitantly happy; this soon turned to elation and a grand party started up in celebration. Sakazuki allowed the revelry to go on for a while before laying down some rules for his newly conquered nation. Three days of wild revelry later the Red Dogs were about ready to head out… until screams broke out.

The Red Dogs rushed to the source; slowly walking into the town were two blood stained and ragged looking figures. Both were tall men, though one was more than a head taller than the other. The taller of the two was an oddly proportioned man with blue hair and a metal nose wearing a tattered hawaiian shirt and undamaged speedo; the many wounds over his body revealed him to be a robot or cyborg of some sort. He was half carrying the other man, though said man appeared to be less injured than the bluenette. He had a grim look on his face as he glanced about the town

The shorter of the two was wearing a suit that had clearly seen better days; torn in many places and splattered with blood. He was missing a shoe and his top hat was little more than a frame, the majority having been torn to shreds. He had a forlorn expression on his face as he stared at a dead pigeon he cradled in his arms; tears leaking from his eye seemingly unnoticed by the man himself.

The two were immediately given medical attention; though the cyborg shrugged it off, seemingly in a hurry to find someone. He looked around frantically, "Come on, who's in charge here!" he shouted.

Sakazuki shaved behind him and cleared his throat. The man whirled, fist swinging before he saw who it was. Sakazuki easily caught the shorter man's fist; though he was mildly surprised by the strength behind it. He considered crushing (or melting) the man's fist but decided to introduce himself first. "I am in charge here, Captain Monkey D. Sakazuki. What exactly is the problem… and how did you and your friend come to be in such a state?" Akainu noticed the wires floating around the newcomers and mentally congratulated Walter for his caution.

The man gave a bitter laugh, "Ha, were not friends; the apocalypse causes other problems to seem significantly less important. Speaking of which; you need to fortify this place as fast as you can, though I doubt it will matter. I estimate we have three days before they get here."

Sakazuki quirked an eyebrow, "Oh, who is "they"?" The look the man gave in return unnerved even him. It was a look of such hate and fear, such anguish and misery it seemed to pierce his soul.

"Who are they? HmhmahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! UHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! {Cough Cough} ... Sorry. They came from the Florian Triangle. The first sign was a seemingly benign fog that rolled in… People began to fall ill soon after. The sickness proceeded quickly; Coughing and sneezing led to shakes and fever led to vomiting and death… it was so fast."

"Hey Zambai, don't worry! Just give it a little time and you'll be back to your SUPER healthy self!" Franky smiled down at his longtime friend; hiding his fear behind a confident facadé.

Zambai gave a weak smile "You {cough} sure Boss?"

Franky's fake smile grew, "Hell yeah! A few SUPER hours of rest and you'll be right as rain!"

Zambai's shaky smile was swept away in a torrent of vomit. Vomit that Franky noticed with some trepidation was just a little too red to be the soup they fed him earlier. When the vomiting subsided Zambai wasn't moving

"But they didn't stay dead; they woke up. But they weren't themselves anymore, they attacked anyone who wasn't one of them on sight. Families tore themselves to shreds, friends devoured friends.

Franky desperately shook his friend's body, "Come on man, wake up! Jokes over! C'mon man this isn't funny!"

A few moments later Zambai's eyes shot open; milky and bloodshot they immediately locked on the only other life form in the room.

Franky gave him a watery smile, before wiping the tears from his eyes. "Uhaha! You had me going there for a moment! That was a SUPER cruel joke." Zambai didn't respond and had Franky any flesh left he would have felt a cold sweat go down his neck.

"Few survived this stage; most didn't understand what was happening until it was too late and fewer still could bring themselves to mutilate their loved ones…"

Zambai launched himself out of the bed with a snarl, jaw snapping shut on Franky's neck… and teeth shattering on his metal hide. Franky instinctively threw him across the room; his body slamming into the wall next to the door with a sickening crack.

The noise drew Kiwi from her sister's bed. Before she could say anything a shadow appeared behind her. Franky shouted but was too late, Sickly pale hands clasped around her with strength their owner had never had before, drawing her into her sister's arms… and teeth. Her screams were cut off when Zambai leapt up from the broken pile he laid in and tore out her throat.

Franky jumped across the room, fist cocked back. The feel of his friends' bodies breaking beneath his iron hands nearly broke him. He held Kiwi's quickly exsanguinating body in his arms, crying as her eyes slowly drifted closed.

His tears came even harder when her eye opened once more; milky and bloodshot.

"Turns out those who died from the sickness were the lucky ones, being torn apart and eaten alive was not a good end… I saw far too many survivors meet their end like that; many because they hesitated to butcher their friends."

Franky rushed through the streets, trying to find any survivors; the blood of everyone he loved splattered across his body. All he found was more death; people he had known (at least in passing) for years torn apart by the corpses of those they loved. For so long he ran, subconsciously heading towards Galley-LA; hoping to find them alive.

When he arrived he was met with disappointment; everyone he cared about was dead. Only Rob Lucci (having strangely donned a black suit and top hat) was still alive; and even that may not have been true had Franky not shown up when he did.

"What few people did survive were either ruthless killers or just lucky. Lucci was not the later."

Lucci had never feared for his life as much as he did in that moment. When the sickness swept through he had been mildly concerned, but neither he (nor Hattori) were ever infected and thus he thought little of it (he couldn't care less if the rest of CP-9 died). He had pretended to be concerned; when the dead rose he no longer had to pretend. He had always been leagues ahead of the rest of his teammates, so he figured putting them back in the ground would be easy; it wasn't.

What Franky had failed to notice killing mostly civilians (he killed his friends before they had time to demonstrate it) was that the undead's overall strength and speed had increased roughly 400%. Franky had mostly been fighting civilians and the difference simply hadn't been enough for him to notice. Lucci was fighting trained killers; their minds were gone but whatever was piloting their bodies retained a vestige of their skills. Lucci was better, perhaps even enough to make up the difference… one on one that is. Against all three of his (former) comrades and the legitimate members of Galley-La that could shrug off debilitating damage? That was stretching it.

He wasn't alone at first, Paullie fought with him for a while. The man was surprisingly competent with those ropes of his; unfortunately Iceburg was simply better. The red stripe suited man rushed Paullie, bits of his beloved pet mouse hanging from his slavering jaw. Paullie whipped a knotted rope at the man with an impressive lack of hesitancy (he would have made a decent CP-9 agent, Lucci had thought) But it proved to be a mistake. Having a weapon you can't abandon showed its inherent weakness when Iceburg snagged the rope out of the air before it hit him and used it to pull Paullie towards him. Paullie's scream was cut off when Iceburg's teeth closed around his throat.

Lucci took the opportunity to kill Iceburg, crushing his skull between his hands and rending his limbs; he had learned that only causing catastrophic damage would keep them down. Franky's basic fighting style usually resulted in sufficient damage via crushing force.

Unfortunately Paullie woke up while Lucci was killing Iceburg and Kalifa took the opportunity to lunge for his back. It was at this point Franky entered, smashing open the door. He didn't hesitate, launching a rocket fist into Kalifa just before her teeth sank into the back of Lucci's neck. Her head exploded in a shower of blood, brain and bone; her body was sent flying across the room, where it crunched into a wall, splattering blood all over it.

Lucci repeated Iceburg's performance and grabbed Paullie's rope weapon, pulling him towards him and tearing him limb from while Franky reattached his hand. The two men acknowledge each other as Kalifa's body began to twitch and jerkily rise. Lucci turned and fired a modified (desperation was the father of invention after all) version of finger pistol using his palm into Kaku's chest, causing an effect similar to a cannon blast. Kaku's innards were blown out his back by the technique; though Kaku seemed mostly unbothered and continued his assault on his former leader.

Franky's gigantic hand clasp around Blueno head, ignoring his attempts to bite his palm; though the numerous finger pistols to his torso hastened him along in crushing his skull. He proceeded to tear the undead assassin in half and crush the pieces. The other employees of Galley-La jumped onto his back while he was distracted; nails and teeth attempting to damage him to little success. He scrambled to grab them from their place on his back, regretting he had not given his arms the ability to rotate 360° when one managed to get its hand in one of his wounds and use its enhanced strength to rip it open further. He slammed his back into the wall repeatedly as the zombie began to mess with his internals; the creature was crushed into a lumpy mess, it's partially gelified innards leaking out of the ragged holes carved by its shattered bones. He grabbed the two on his shoulders and smashed them together repeatedly until they joined their gooey companion in the grave.

Lucci ducked under a swipe from Kaku and grabbed the arm as it passed over him. He pulled his former compatriot towards him and drove his fist into his head, using yet another modified version of finger pistol to blow it apart before grabbing his shoulder and ripping off the arm he held. He tossed the severed appendage aside as Kaku shakily tried to stand up and rushed forward. Grabbing both of the angular man's ankles, he tore him in half with grunt of exertion.

He he tossed one piece aside before whirling and smacking Kalifa's lunging form away with the other. She flew across the room… right into Franky's waiting arms. He placed one hand on the ragged remains of her head and the other grabbed her feet. With a grim look he compressed her body, crushing her organs and bones into pulp that poured out of the many wounds that opened up as he brought his hands together.

"Then they came. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of ragged ships appeared on the horizon. Each filled with dozens of undead atrocities. They poured out into the streets, killing most of the remaining survivors in seconds."

The two survivors started looking for a functional ship; a task that proved to be harder than expected considering they were in shipbuilding and repair dock. Most of the ships in there were either too damaged or simply not finished. While both men were skilled shipwrights (Franky more than Lucci); hordes of the undead pounding on the walls tends to be quite the opposite of a conducive environment.

While Franky searched for a ship they could quickly finish, Lucci raided a desk. He pulled an unopened packet of cigarettes from one of the employees whose name he never bothered learning. It had been a very long time since he kicked the habit, but fuck it; The apocalypse is a little more pressing a problem than addiction.

He walked to the indoor dock, old instincts telling him to smoke outdoors. Reaching the massive ship entrance to the, he pulled out the little black stick; placing the golden filter in his mouth and flicking open his engraved lighter. He took a deep drag, his eyes closing at the familiar flavour.

What met his eyes when they opened had the cigarette falling from his mouth; hundreds, nay, thousands of ships were appearing out of the fog. Ragged and rotted they slowly drifted towards the ravaged island; his sharp eyes could see the faint silhouettes of the crew of one of the nearer ships. Their oddly proportioned bodies moved in a jerky and unnatural way; he knew immediately these were not the government quarantine he had called for… though some of those ships looked distressingly familiar; a ragged marine flag flapping languidly in the pestilent wind.

He darted away, heading towards where he could hear Franky working (having apparently found a good enough ship); he was in such a rush he failed to notice his cigarette lighting the wooden building (soaked with decades of oil and other flammable substances) aflame.

Lucci reached Franky just as he was about to call out to him again. He had found a moderately sized ship, something that the two of them could pilot with little trouble. It had only required a small amount of repair and it was good to go.

Franky turned to Lucci, a question on his metal lips before he saw the harried look on the stoic man's face."We need to go, now! There are thousands of ships full of zombies pulling in. If we're lucky their cannons will either be non-functional or…" {Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom} Cannon blasts and corresponding explosions resounded around the city, cutting Lucci's wishful thinking off.

Franky smiled grimly, "Well, there goes that plan." He glanced at the ship before looking at Lucci; his eyes briefly looking at the red stained pigeon on his shoulder before switching to the shorter man's eyes. He stood up from his place crouched over the small ship and gave Lucci a dubious look, "You got anything that can stop cannonballs?"

Lucci gave a smirk he didn't feel while driving his fist through the wall, punching a neat hole through it. He withdrew his undamaged hand from the wall, and quirked an eyebrow. The hole in the wall was faintly smoking; which Franky at first thought was a result of the sharp dressed man's shear speed… until flames burst through it.

Lucci knew very well that his punches were not fast enough to set things on fire, so he was unsurprised when he whirled around and witnessed a wall of fire rapidly spreading across the ship bay. "Shit, shit, shit! Well, fuck planning; we need to GO!" So saying he jumped into the boat, swiftly followed by a slightly more frantic Franky. Lucci freed the ship from it's mooring with a swift tempest kick and they were off.

"We barely made it out alive; Honestly, I'm surprised we did. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to have just let those fires take me; join everything I loved in the ashes."

The two men set off, racing against the rapidly spreading flames swiftly consuming Galley-La building… and spreading to the surrounding buildings. A burning beam nearly crushed their small ship as they fled; the building was falling apart.

Their boat barely cleared the exit before the building collapsed in on itself; the burning husk no longer capable of supporting itself. Franky watched it burn, mechanical eyes unable to shed the tears of his sorrow as he watched the island that had been his home burn. Lucci didn't understand the man's sorrow; how could he? Having been "raised" as he was. No location held any true value to the assassin; only two things did he care about: Hattori and his own life. One of those didn't belong to him and both could be taken at any moment.

He frowned as the numerous ragged ships let them sail past unmolested; something was wrong. "Why aren't they attacking?" he whispered to Franky, not truly expecting an answer.

Franky didn't even glance at the man, his eyes still locked on the burning ruin of his home. "They plan to track us, most likely."

Lucci frowned at his response, watching a cruise ship be shot and boarded. 'Why only us though? Is it because we killed more of them than anyone else or simply because we were the first to leave. Both of us appear to be immune, you would think that would make us a priority target." They were close enough now for him to get a better look at the creatures piloting the ships; each was clearly undead and had evidence of extensive surgery all over their bodies. Some were obviously enhancements and others showed no clear purpose, though few showed the same changes. "Whatever is behind this; they're sentient but apparently not sane."

This got Franky's attention, "What? You're saying someone did this on purpose?"

Lucci nodded, "Apparently. Every one of the zombies arriving by boat shows signs of extensive surgeries; something only a sentient being could perform. But the randomness of the alterations suggests that whoever performed this is not mentally sound or stable. Some look like they had the same procedure repeated several times while others have completely different changes. Many of the changes were either pointless or outright harmful to the creatures."

Franky gave a humourless chuckle that bordered on hysteria, "So you're saying we're dealing with a mad scientist?" HehehehehahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHA! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! ONE FUCKING CRACKPOT GETS HIS HANDS ON SOMETHING HE SHOULDN'T AND THOUSANDS SUFFER FOR IT!" He growled angrily, but didn't dare attack the nearby ships.

Lucci simply stared at the man, unsure of what to do. He couldn't risk the emotional man attacking one of the ships and having this entire army firing on them. He briefly considered killing him before Franky turned to look at him; something in the man's eyes genuinely frightened him. "Heh, don't worry about me; I'm not stupid. Speaking of; did you contact your handlers yet? Much as I don't care for them I would say the world government is the only group with the resources to handle something like this… maybe."

Lucci was stunned for a moment and almost attacked the cybernetic man before deciding against it; at this point what did it matter? "He slowly drew out the small black and white spotted transponder snail he always kept on his person and called said handler. A voice simply dripping with arrogance answered, "What? Tell me you have something useful and aren't just wasting my time."

Lucci responded, 'Situation critical. All other team members dead. Cover blown."

"What! Did you kill the witnesses. How did all those fuck ups die!"

Franky stared at him, a piercing intensity to his gaze. "No need. All witnesses dead… in fact, the entire population of Water 7 is presumed deceased."

There was a pause before Spandam responded, voice filled with incredulity and more than a touch of condescension. "You killed an entire island, and your team, to cover up whatever you did?"

Lucci sighed, "Negative, sir."

Another pause, "Then what exactly happened, hmm?"

Lucci's voice remained steady, a facedé of calm coming over his face as he spoke. "A disease of some sort swept through the island, killing something like eighty to ninety percent of the population within roughly three days."

A note of surprise entered Spandam's voice, "You said everyone was presumed dead; what happened to the rest?'

Lucci's body shuddered near imperceptibly, though Franky's powerful eyes easily caught the motion. "They were murdered by the victims of the plague."

Now Spandam's voice positively dripped with condescension, "Oh, indeed? But you said they died."

Lucci nearly raised an eyebrow at Spandam's tone but his highly trained self control repressed the motion. "Yes, sir."

"Uh huh, then how did these corpses kill the rest of the population."

Lucci glanced at the burning city, "They tore them apart. They woke up and attacked anyone that wasn't one of them."

Spandam's condescension flowed like a river through the snail, "Let me get this straight. You're saying that a plague killed most of the people, then those people became zombies and killed the rest of the people?"

Lucci nodded, though only Franky could see it. "Other than those who died in the fires or from the cannon blasts of the zombies' reinforcements."

"The Zombies had reinforcements?"

Lucci glanced about him, "Hundreds of thousands of them."

"Uh huh… Well, you're obviously compromised. Goodbye Lucci, don't struggle when your replacement comes for you."

For a second Lucci simply stood there, stunned. He could have sworn he heard glass shatter as his whole world crumbled around him. Minor pain drew his gaze slowly to his hand, where he saw blood slowly dripping from the cuts caused by the transponder's shell when he crushed it. He unclenched his hand slowly and began to remove the bits of shell form his hand, accepting a small roll of bandages from Franky without comment or question.

Franky watched Lucci in silence, he had heard everything the man's handler had said and understood, to a degree, what the man must have been feeling. Both men had just lost nearly everything they loved.

Their commiserating silence was broken by a quite cough. Lucci felt ice water run down his spine as tears started to silently fall from his eyes.

"You have never felt true loss, true misery; until you've had to lose your friends and family twice. Once to disease, and once to your own hand."

Lucci's head swiveled slowly, tears streaming down his face, to look at the only thing he had left in the world. Hattori had covered his beak with a wing, the white feathers now stained red. More small coughs rang out, and Hattori's body shook. "No, please no…" Lucci whispered, voice as broken as his soul.

The large white bird seemed to lose its balance, falling from his owner's shoulder. Lucci snached his treaured companion out of the air, cradling him in his arms as his little body was wracked with coughs and pain. Lucci's tears nearly washed away his only friends blood from his chest.

Franky watched the all too familiar (save for the bird; that was a new one) scene with sympathetic yet hardened eyes. "Would you prefer if I do it."

Lucci snarled at him, "No! No… I'll… I'll do it." He would not leave the only thing he ever cared about to suffer, let alone become one of those things. One of his hands moved slowly up, gently cradling the bird's head as he whispered sweet, comforting nothings he had heard his victims say in the past. In one swift move he twisted his best friends head around and stabbed his index finger and thumb through the sides of his head. Just to be sure, he repeatedly finger pistoled Hattori's chest and abdomen; sobbing all the while.

Franky gently grabbed Lucci's arm, stopping the near catatonic man's continued mutilation of the only thing he ever cared for. Lucci slowly looked over at him, his eyes far away. Franky didn't bother with useless platitudes: he knew it would not be alright, it would never be alright. Instead he simply said, "We're gonna find the son of bitch who did this and we're gonna make him beg for death."

Lucci nodded, unable to tear his eyes away from the body of his only friend. The fire of their burning home was reflected in both men's eyes; a symbol of hatred and resolve.

Franky's eyes focused back on the present, looking up at the tall captain that loomed over him. Sakazuki's face was as unyielding as ever: his faint scowl unwavering.

Sakazuki stared at the shorter man for a long moment; expression unreadable. His cold eyes locked with the bluenette's, seeing a faint impression of a fire still burning in them. He nodded after a while, "Alright. Then we must fortify this village and prepare for battle." He did not tell the man that he would also be planning how to get his crew out alive should their fortifications not hold.

Franky just watched as the large man walked away, apparently to talk to the almost equally tall men loitering about. His gaze left him to settle on Rob Lucci. When the two met he had pegged the man as a psychopath; his opinion had changed only a little since. Lucci was not a psychopath; but he may as well have been, he repressed his emotions so well. The only reason he changed his mind was the sharp dressed man's reaction to the death of his bird. The genuine anguish on the man's face (and more importantly; in his eyes) could not be faked.

His ponderings on his companions mental state were cut off by a sudden and intense increase in ambient temperature. He glanced towards the source and felt his jaw drop; Sakazuki had completely surrounded the town in twelve concentric circles of magma. The circles slowly rose, each taller than the last as they got closer to the town. As the magma began to cool from the bottom up he was stunned to see massive walls of steel, utterly featureless and tilting slightly outwards.

Akainu looked out at what would likely be a battle ground soon with a frown. He turned to Ussop as Kuzan stepped out and froze the entire area for miles, rendering the ground as close to frictionless as he could and layered they area with giant spikes angled at various angles (though all were facing away from the village.

Usopp looked up at the walking apocalypse that was his leader, an eyebrow raised. The large man asked with preamble, "Can you remove weapons from your person?"

The gunman almost spun a wild tale before he paused to consider the question. "I… I don't know; I've never tried."

Sakazuki nodded, unsurprised. "Try it. We do not have enough firepower to stand against an army of the size the cyborg indicated was coming."

Usopp looked into his captain's dark brown eyes, then glanced over to the rest of the crew with and nodded. He lifted his arm in front of him, watching it shift into a gatling gun with more intensity than he had in years. Slowly it began to change further; the barrel extending and a large, sturdy looking tripod forming. Eventually the whole device seemed to slide of his hand.

A beaming smile spread across his face as he manipulated the turret to rotate in a circle and then fire off into the air. With a satisfied smirk he set it to swivel in a wide arc. Sakazuki smirked, an odd feeling of pride welling up in him. "Good. Place them all around the walls."

Three Days Later

Artificial light (courtesy of Borsalino) covered the village and its immediate surroundings. The beautiful artificial stars did nothing to quell the tense atmosphere. The only noise, save the wind, was the mechanical whir of the thousands of turrets completing and repeating their wide arcs. No one dared break the silence.

The Red Dogs (plus Franky and Lucci) were holed up atop a massive tower in the center of the town while the villagers manned the walls; having been given automatic rifles by Usopp (at Sakazuki's behest). Sakazuki had given them all a suitably impressive and inspiring speech full of absolute bullshit; they were cannon fire and his whole crew knew it. No one said a word about it.

There were ten walls, each a hundred feet taller than the last, with pools of magma between them. The back wall of every tower was full of upwards facing spikes, until it hit the artificial basin of magma between them. The tower was five hundred feet taller than the thousand foot tenth wall and had utterly featureless walls. Each wall was manned by dozens of civilians who Sakazuki handed a rifle, gave a vague description of how to use it and no way down.

The silence was broken by a gunshot, then several. None of the red dogs were surprised that Usopp, even as far from the front as he was, was the first to spot the enemy. Soon after numerous dials of many kinds started going off. No one else started firing for several minutes; until shadowy figures began to shamble their way through the noxious fog.

Townsfolk began to fire wildly into the fog, few bothering to aim at the shadowy figure; it mattered little. Their enemy was so numerous that a shot in their general direction was almost certain to hit something. Every bullet exploded on contact, releasing molten shrapnel along with their concussive force.

The turrets opened fire as soon as targets entered their arc, decimating vast swathes of the rotting monsters. The undead horrors smiled about on the ice, often impaling themselves on the numerous spikes.

Hundreds of the shambling horrors died in seconds, thousands when the Red Dogs opened fire; each adding their own unique brand of carnage to the mix. Sakazuki rained enormous (and explosive) fists of magma down all around the area, Usopp tunes upper bodies into a fine red mist with his extremely accurate, extremely high calibre and high explosive rounds, Robin showed an unsurprising skill with a rifle (though not nearly as good as Usopp) and liberally distributed acid laces headshots, Zoro, Lucci, and Sanji sent blades of wind through rows of enemies, Borsalino did as he had on Logue, Kuzan fired hundreds of thousands of icy arrows into the horde, freezing all they touched (to be swiftly trampled by their comrades), Galdino fired spears of wax that became wax soldiers in the field (displaying a level of control rarely ever seen) and would explode into wax needles upon their destruction, Franky fired the massive bazooka Usopp helpfully provided when he ran out of his own mini rockets, Walter… wished he had longer wires, and Nami and Chopper provided moral support… I suppose; it was more effective then the pot shots they took at the wall of writhing flesh. Thousands die under their onslaught… and thousands more took their place.

Zoro grit his teeth, "How many islands did these bastards destroy before this! There must be millions of the rotting fucks here!" He slashed his swords wildly into the air, cringing slightly when he accidentally cut a friendly in half (and put a significant gouge in the wall). The zombies had reached the first wall and were beginning to scale it by sheer weight of numbers. The conscripted soldiers were desperately firing down at the rapidly rising tide of flesh to no avail; for every zombie they killed a dozen more took its place. One soldier lost his balance and fell, screaming into the writhing mass; his gruesome death inspired the soldiers to fight harder (or, in some cases, blow their brains out).

Borsalino gave a slightly false laugh, "Well, at least they're all little more than cannon fire, ne? Barely any of them have any significant strength; even being quadrupled as it is."

One disgruntled conscript turned and targeted the Red Dogs; A massive fist of magma slammed down directly on him, killing him, several of the people around him, and melting a portion of the wall. Magma poured out of this portion as zombies poured in. Though dozens of them died to the fiery tidal wave, hundreds more made it through… until Sakazuki continued raining magma on that spot. He provided a bottleneck and used it to slaughter many more of them.

Unfortunately, while many were diverted from climbing the surrounding walls to the doomed breach; many more weren't and they flooded over the first wall, devouring those soldiers who still manned the wall and leaping over the sides… to either be impaled on the spikes or incinerated by what was left of the magma.

Unfortunately even this their shear numbers compensated for, as they slammed into the still very dense magma and burned along the surface their comrades slammed into their backs and began to walk atop their burning bodies. Though dozens were engulfed in flames, hundreds more made it to the next wall; the fire not burning them fast enough. Some had the fire smothered out by the same force that often crushed them; the endless march of their fellow undead. Others continued to climb even as their ragged armour and rotting flesh burned away.

The sight was horrific and demoralising to the defenders (especially those on the second wall) but the Red Dogs continued to rain death on the unending horde. Wall after wall fell as tears began to streak down the faces of those with weaker dispositions. Soldiers were openly sobbing as they desperately tried to hold back the horde that even now stretched on to the horizon. Eventually a stroke of luck met them at the ninth wall; the zombies were so burnt and chewed up by the weapon fire by this point that they fell apart before they could reach the top, often dieing simply from the fall. Unfortunately the pile of bodies (though being swiftly reduced to ashes by the pit of magma), was still building up. But for a moment the villagers felt hope.

Then the earth shock. And again. And again. Over and over a, rhythmic pounding that caused the titanic walls to shake. Slowly, a gigantic form became visible in the distant fog. Surviving soldiers weapons slid from their hands as their tenuous hope died a swift and violent death. Out of the fog stepped a titan; a giant to giants. Standing eye level with the tower this massive horned creature's every step killed dozens of its lesser kin, its single eye locked onto Sakazuki with a animalistic hatred.

Akainu stared at the titanic red skinned monster for a moment before turning and cuffing his brother over the head. "You just had to go and say that; didn't you."

Borsalino grumbled, rubbing the back of his head and aiming a finger at the monster's good eye; said eye vanished in a flash of light. Soon after the rest of the Red Dogs followed suit, aiming everything at the titanic monster. Acidic, explosive and magma-explosive bullets and rockets impacted the creature's thick hide; doing little more than pissing it off. Blades of wind that could slice buildings in two barely nicked it. Blasts of magma and light that could destroy small islands gouged shallow pits into its steel hard muscle and harder hide.

The titan responded with a roar; the shear force of which blasted a path through the lesser zombies and bent the first three walls inward at the point they faced it. Then it began to move, sprinting far faster than anything even half its size had any right to it was at the walls in seconds. It tore through the walls like wet tissue paper and didn't even seem to notice the magma that set it's lower legs aflame.

Sakazuki's ever present scowl deepened before, with a wave of his hand the magma he left as both the pits and inside the walls heated up, melting the walls. Nami and Chopper (possessing weaker stomachs than the rest) had to look away for a moment as Sakazuki murdered over a hundred survivors with a wave of his hand. They turned back in time to see him make a pushing gesture causing a massive wave of liquid fire to sweep over the remaining zombies, vanishing into the distance.

Seconds later, as the crew continued to throw everything they had at the massive giant, an absolutely apocalyptic spear of magma appeared on the horizon, swirling around and heading straight towards the titans back. The others quickly grasped what they needed to to and redoubled their attack; this time with the intent of distracting.

Hogback scowled at the tower from his position within his masterpiece, glaring darkly at the red suited man who commanded his comrades to attack. They had killed nearly all of his creations and were damaging Oars! How dare these plebeians destroy his work! Years of planning and hiding; kowtowing to that moronic Warlord for decades while he worked on his master work; his cure for death! And this imbeciles destroyed his army in one day!

He watched closely, before something behind him drew his attention. He saw the spear just a second too late, his shouted warning and mental command not enough to spare his greatest creation.

The Red Dogs smirked with grim satisfaction as the massive spear of magma pierced the titan's chest, its drill like motion aiding in penetrating its iron flesh. Sakazuki waved his hands like a conductor as the spear split up and began to wrap around and cover the titan.

Hogback snarled in fury, hiding within the Seastone walled bunker he had created in his creations skull. He could feel the heat rising around him as Oars was coated in molten metal. His scowl turned contemplative as he turned to look at his last resort; there tied to the wall and tortured was the near insensate form of Gecko Moriah. His body was engorged with hundreds of thousands of shadows; every victim the man had ever captured's shadow was presently in the incognizant man.

Hogback frowned, once he did this he would lose control of Oars; possibly permanently. He looked out the viewport in his creations hollow eye socket; before the magma fully covered it he caught a glimpse of that molten bastards smug smirk and something broke inside him. He turned back to Gecko; a more than slightly deranged grin on his face.

When the flailing titan was completely coated in magma the Red Dogs breathed a collective sigh of relief… only for it to turn into a stunned gasp as the magma suddenly collapsed upon the empty air where once was a mega gaint. As they frantically looked around a shadow fell over them. They slowly turned, many gulping down anxiety; there, standing behind them was a purple skinned giant so huge his horns pierced the upper yard.

Oars grinned down at them, his wounds rapidly healing. A thousand voices screamed in his head, but the loudest gave the simplest demand; kill everything. The Red Dogs leapt into their (heavily modified; courtesy of Rob and Franky) ship. The ship took off, flying under its own power (helped along by dozens of dials) and just barely avoided the giant's hand. Said hand went on to split the steel tower to its base. The nimble ship darted about, narrowly dodging the giants inordinately fast blows, its sheep head figurehead firing titanic beams of light (original design improved upon by Borsalino helpfully providing balls of crystallized light to improve the laser) and its many lesser laser cannons fired an endless barrage as the crew added their own firepower to the mix.

Attacks that once gouged deep wounds in the titan barely scorched his skin now and attacks that did less had no visible effect. Sakazuki's scowl deepened and he turned to Nami (who was piloting the now airship) and signaled to flee; they didn't have enough fuel to keep this up for long (the engines and modified dials were highly inefficient (Rob, having turned out to be quite the tinkerer, was still working on improving that(Franky seemed to have lost his creative drive when he had to tear apart and crush his best friends))).

The ship turned to flee when the giant shaved right in front of them, his battleship sized fist reared back. Borsalino, jumped off the side, grabbed the ship and used his specialised form of shave milliseconds before the ship impacted.

They reappeared right above the mega titan's head. Unfortunately the ship was not designed to move at such speeds and had taken large amounts of minor damage all over. Luckily none of the damage was debilitating and while it would need some repair, It should could still fly for now.

Akainu turned to Nami; once again signaling to flee before he was accosted by Franky. He whirled to attack the man but watched as he leapt off the ship. He shaved to the edge, the rest of the crew following suit slightly slower.

Franky released a wordless roar, firing his bazooka to gain the titans attention. Oars looked up at him and grinned opening his mouth wide to swallow the falling cyborg. As the metal man plummeted he looked into the purple titan's empty eye; and there he saw it. A fat, shark toothed man was laughing at him.

A dark grin spread across his face as he locked eyes with the man, the fire of his home once more reflected in his mechanical gaze. Oars jaw snapped shut behind him seconds later and he slowly opened his clenched fist. He smiled at the object he held; it was plain looking dial.

He smirked, "Gotcha, fucker. Reject." The dial in his hand glowed for a moment before a massive ball of light expanded out from it. This was not just a reject dial; this was a reject dial Borsalino had spent an entire day beating on at the speed of light, modified by Franky to remove its directionality. This was the dial equivalent of an atomic bomb.

Sakazuki felt an emptiness in one of his jacket pockets and, for the first time in years, his eyes widened as his hand slammed into the now empty pocket. He whirled around, "We need to go; NOW!" he shouted, a desperate panic in his voice. He turned to Borsalino, "Shave the ship away! You're the fastest!"

Kizaru looked at him in mild confusion, but didn't question him, quickly jumping off the ship to repeat his earlier action. The ship vanished and reappeared over ten miles away, the farthest Kizaru could take the ship without destroying it completely (and possibly liquefying the crew). As it was the ship was quite possibly irreparably damaged and the crew were feeling quite ill and sending glares at their captain, who was still staring at the mega giant. Nami was about to air her complaints when a massive ball of light spread rapidly from the giant's chest, consuming him utterly and going on to chew up miles of space; almost reaching the still fleeing Going Merry. The shock wave tossed the ship so far they cleared the edge of the Cumuloregalis; falling off the sky island. Or what once was a sky island; where once was a massive cloud was now a slowly dispersing ring.

A bell tolled as the Merry slowly fell from the sky; the ominous sound heralding their return to the earth and the churning sea of dreams below.