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in the eye of the hurricane

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The Grand Line takes the souls of men just as easily as it takes the ships they sail on.

It takes, and takes, and takes, in vicious islands and colossal swells, but what every sailor who calls the first half Paradise and the second half New World knows to fear –

Is the storms.

The rage, a moment calm, and another violent. Shifting and swelling, unpredictable and dangerous. Those with old wounds ache in every moment from the changing pressure as the sky flashes with bolts of energy that look like dragon fire. There is no eye of the hurricane in Grand Line storms. There is no sanctuary when men dare to challenge the sailor’s graveyard.

There is no peace, as rain becomes icicles and then acid, and lightning rains down as droplets, as the sea freezes over and then becomes magma.

Unpredictable.

Wild.

The open sea.

Those without a navigator die – and those without good navigators are lucky if they don’t as well.

Nami is a good navigator. She keeps her crew alive and safe.

But she is more than good.

She’s best.

She knows the waves, the air, the flashes of temperature and lightning in the air, just as she knows the way the Log Pose turns and the stars align and the wind blows. She’s best, because she can do more than navigate.

The bounty posters call her Cat Burglar, because then the marines had only heard of how she stole a criminal in front of Justice’s wide-open eyes.

If they had seen her in a storm, they would have called her Tempest. The Thunderer. Weather Witch. Storm Thief. Hurricane.

Navigator .

Nami loves gold, but she has always been born to the winds.

She can do more than navigate.

She can control the storm.

That is why, in this sea battle, deadly as all sea battles are, she is the trump card.

The opposing crew thinks they have a victory in their hands, their canons with clear shots edging just out of the jumping distance between ships. Three galleons against one crew. But Nami knows better.

The Straw Hat Pirates know better.

“Luffy,” She says, voice even. “Allow me.” Her grip on her climatact is loose, but that’s just a sign of how skilled she is, how steady she is even on the rocking ship.

Her captain laughs, a storm in motion, and that’s all the permission Nami needs.

She steps forward, her grip shifting, climatact swirling. Cold and heat sweeps out as one as her crew mates block cannonballs in midair.

The sky darkens.

The sea churns.

The opposing pirates start panicking.

But Nami isn’t done.

A flick of her thumb and the wind starts howling. Her hair is blown back, orange flashing like fire, and soon, the rain starts to fall.

In sheets, crashing against the waves, swells rising and falling, the water beneath them feeling like it has split apart. Nami is steady on the deck, one with the storm even if no one else is, not screaming, or yelling, unlike her opponents.

Her targets.

They have three galleons. Bigger than the Sunny, with bigger guns that can shoot farther distances. Supposedly, they are all made of Adam’s Wood.

They stand no chance.

“Captain,” She says again, a warning, and Luffy stands tall on the deck, ready, his presence at bay.

Nami smirks, then raises her staff. “Thunderbolt Tempo,” She says, the calm before a storm, “Hurricane STRIKE!”

And the world erupts in storm.

Waves rise and thunder crashes, lightning raining down on every ship in the vicinity. The air crackles and her hair rises with the energy. The pale faces of terrified men are illuminated in the flashing strikes as fires start on the crows nests of all the ships. Screams ring out, meshing with the thunder in a vicious howl. Nami’s face is wet merely from the storm, but her enemies cry as their ships rock dangerously

But -

Not Sunny.

A moment passes after Nami calls out her attack, and it is Luffy who steps forward.

Luffy, who does not command the storm, does not control the storm, but is the storm.

Luffy, who is her captain.

Luffy, who pulls his hat down o his head, till only one eye gleams, and conquers the sea that hates him.

The eye of the storm appears.

(It’s Luffy.)

(It’s more than human.)

The Thousand Sunny, ship of a thousand sunrises, settles in calm waters. Rain pitters to a mere drizzle as Luffy’s Will wraps around the ship, the sea, the storm, like a flood swallowing it whole in gentleness. The calm of a tempest. The consuming rage of the sea. Luffy.

To be a conqueror is to extend your soul, your will, your dream over others. To tell the world I am Here, and you are beneath me and you are mine. To Nami, Luffy’s will has always been conviction, the freeing of natural tethers, Luffy saying you are free and setting souls loose from their innermost cages, so all they want to do is bow.

To the storm, Luffy is a Conquering King. To Luffy, the storm bows.

(A D.  is a storm, and so a storm Luffy is. Nami has never feared the storm, and as her captain smiles, she will never fear Luffy.)

Nami smirks, and ships start sinking. Golden treasures floating to the surface, urged by the waves. Jimbe, hopefully, will get whatever is left.

For now, she stands in the eye her captain created of her storm, and revels in the devastation.

Any sailor knows to fear the storm.

But any good navigator – any good pirate – knows to be the storm.

Nami twirls her climatact, and reigns her own personal hurricane.