Chapter 15: Like Death Pt. 1

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It was one of those rare days where something happened that caused the normally joyously loud ship to take a turn for the depressingly quiet. And as if to further the point, not a soul seemed to be moving about the place. Even the smallest of noises, the tiniest of creeks from the old wood that was the great ship Moby Dick, seemed to echo with a loudness that just made everything feel lonely. But that wasn't what disturbed a young, now thirteen year old Luffy the most. No, what disturbed her most was that threatening thing in the air. That thing looming over her head like the grim reaper, scythe at her neck just waiting for her to do something horribly stupid that would have a definite chance of killing her.

And in what was admittedly, a very disconcerting way, it was true.

It had started out as something small, so little that you normally overlooked it either way. But this was the ocean, vast and wide with nary an hospitable island in sight, and little things always had a chance of turning into something big.

What was that philosophy that she had read in a book once when she was bored enough to sit down and do so?

Oh yeah, Murphy's law; what can go wrong, will go wrong.

That fit the situation perfectly right now.

They really should have guessed, but now it was kinda too late, and possibly might even be too late to regret that it was too late to have guessed the problem in the first place, and the danger that little teeny tiny issue had turned into.

Talk about making mole hills out of possible mountains.

It was one of those rare days where everything lay at a type of quiet that left one feeling like they were walking in a graveyard or someplace very much similar to that.

Maybe that was what disturbed her the most out of this whole entire fiasco.

It had started with just one person. Her older brother Ace, of all people.

They had only been joking too. They'd said, in jest and good natured teasing, that Ace's appetite was going to come back and bite him in the butt one of these days. Who knew that they'd be telling the truth?

It had been signed off as food poisoning. He must have eaten something bad, and it was to be expected. Honestly Ace wasn't the best at telling the difference between definitely edible and "maybe-I-shouldn't-eat-this-because-it-looks-kinda -green-and-it's-staring-at-me.". It had seriously just looked like a bad case of food poisoning. But what was expected to take just a mere week at most to bounce back from, turned into a whole month of worrying and waiting and fretting over Ace because if anything he wasn't getting better at all, he was getting worse.

And then one of the others got sick too, and it looked all too much like what Ace had. So then it had to be a cold right? Just a little bug easily fixed in a couple more weeks. But a couple more weeks passed, and not only was Ace not getting better, neither was the other that had fallen ill, and then two more had gotten sick too.

It had started out with one, but then another joined making it two, then four, and fifteen, and thirty, and before even Luffy was fully aware, over half of the crew aboard the Moby Dick was sick and in bed, coughing up their lungs, and at this point blood. Only Thatch, Marco, herself, and by some God-given miracle Whitebeard, were left among the healthy. That, and maybe a good hundred or so. But they might as well been sitting ducks. No one was any condition to be fighting off marines if they decided to attack.

Luffy's big strong family was quickly becoming weak, and if things continued to progress as they were, than pretty soon it would get very small too.

Even Sabo had gotten sick.

Sabo never got sick, ever.

It was her who got sick and needed to be taken care of.

Not big strong Sabo, and definitely not eat-the-ships-weight-in-food-and-then-some Ace.

They were the strong, tough ones that were never sick.

It was wrong, not right.

And yet, here Luffy was, healthy and fine, and there her brothers were, sick and bedridden and far too green and...

She couldn't stand in a room with them any longer, not because she didn't love them, but because she loved them too much. She couldn't stand the sight of them coughing up whatever had been in their stomachs just five seconds ago, along with blood.

This illness, this disease, this invisible enemy was threatening to tear apart her family. And she hated it.

Even if she didn't like some of them. (The crewmate who still gave her the heebie-jeebies.) She wasn't going to allow some stupid virus to take away her family. They were hers to keep, not for it to steal.

So she was going to do something.

Even if Marco yelled at her for it later, she was going to find a way to beat down this enemy that she couldn't even see and make it regret ever having messed with her nakama.

The most effective thing to kill a virus or bacteria was medicine, but they obviously didn't have the right kind aboard the ship, and medicine was hard to come by in the New World. Hospitable islands with nice enough people were a rarity in and of itself. It would be like trying to find the world's smallest needle at the bottom of the ocean.


Luffy wouldn't let that stop her however. She'd never let it before, so why start now?

But she'd need help definitely need help. But she had friends outside of the ship who were willing to lend a hand.

At least she hoped they were. And even if they weren't, she'd still try, and she wouldn't give up. Because that's just how she was, and if they didn't want to help their friend save her family, well than they weren't very good friends at all and didn't deserve to be hers any longer.

It might have been harder on her own, but she was going to make it work somehow.

She had to.

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