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Chapter 13-Aftermath, Rise of the Orchard PiratesEdit
Eight Months LaterEdit
Black drank deeply and scanned the crowded room from his corner table, Where are you? He closed his eyes, not immediately seeing who he was looking for and then he smiled and rose. He walked over to the third table from the door, second from the bar, and sat down. He was very aware of the stares as people noticed the Jolly Roger emblazoned on the back and shoulders of his coat, and he grinned at the morbidly obese woman he had sat down across from as she lurched back in terror from him.
He grinned, "May I buy you a drink?" She nodded fearfully, when one of the most infamous pirates in the world offered to buy you a drink, you did not refuse. The entire room had fallen deathly still as people realized who he was. One person tried to ease towards the door and a bullet slammed into the wall an inch from his head. Nobody had even seen Black draw his gun, but they all saw him blow the smoke off the barrel, "Next person to go for the door before I leave is leaving for the morgue."
He laid the gun down on the table and looked at the bartender, "The lady would like a drink. I'll pay for it, but I don't much feel like getting up." The bartender nodded, "Yessir, yessir, and what would the lady like?" Black turned to the immense woman, "What would you like?" "Coffee," she said quickly. Black turned to the bartender, "Coffee." The bartender nodded and hurried to put a pot on.
Black turned back to the woman across from him, "Dora, if you don't quit sneaking towards the door I will be very annoyed." The woman flinched as he called her by her first name, indicating he knew exactly who she was, despite her magnificent disguise. The rest of the bar's patrons couldn't see that she had moved, but they noticed a little flicker of movement as something shot back to her from where it had been halfway to the door.
Black took another drink, "You could drop the disguise you know. Nobody here is going to tattle on us to the Marines, and even if they did, what would the Marines do about it? Interrupt me? Surely they're not that stupid." He took another drink and as the bartender hurried out to their table with a mug and coffee pot in hand the morbidly obese woman suddenly changed shape. By the time Black put his bottle back down, she had gone from nearly eight feet tall and probably six or seven across, with five chins, frizzy hair, piggy eyes and jowls to less than six feet tall with a gorgeous figure, curly coppery hair down to her shoulders, pretty gold eyes and a face that was every bit as pretty as the rest of her.
She accepted the coffee mug and thanked the bartender who scurried away. She sighed and looked at Black, "You sure know how to wreck a nice afternoon incognito." Black frowned, "I thought we were on Kansochi! Surely I'm not that lost!" The woman smiled, at least he was in a good humor. Now all she had to do was keep him that way, "What can I help you with Captain Orchard?" she asked with her best smile.
Black pulled a wanted poster from inside his jacket, laid it on the table and slid it across to her. She looked and saw it was hers. A bead of sweat rolled down the back of her neck, "Surely you're not a bounty hunter?" Black shook his head, "No. I'm a talent hunter. I'm here to offer you a position with my crew." Dora sat back, startled, "But my bounty's only..." "Twenty million berries? Yes I'm aware of that. I'm also aware of how many jobs you've taken that weren't attributed to you."
Dora's chest constricted slightly, this guy meant business, "Then you know what I can do." Black took a drink, "I do. But you're not going to have to do it today. At least not while I'm here. Nobody here wants to fight," He looked around at the bar's patrons, "you don't do you?" The answer was a unanimous NO. Black nodded with a smile, "Good." Then he took another drink and set his bottle back down.
He smiled at Dora Nokoto, one of the world's finest assassins for hire and a logia fruit user, "You will of course be paid very well. I'll pay you your bounty if you sail with me for a week, and that money's yours to do with as you please." Dora's eyes lit up at the prospect of so much money for something so small, there must be a catch she thought, "Why would you do that?" Black smiled, "Because I want you to join my crew! And after a week, you will want you to join my crew!"
Dora thought carefully and then extended her hand across the table and as Black shook it she smiled, "Deal. One week on your ship and you pay me twenty million berries." Black grinned broadly, "Done."
Two Years LaterEdit
The now Fleet Admiral Sengoku sat down and looked around, only one of the now Six Warlords of the Sea had attended. He looked up at Bartholomew Kuma, "Thank you for joining us." Sengoku straightened his papers and sighed, "Now that Tsume has been killed, we need a new Warlord." He sighed and looked around at the assembled Marine officials and Kuma, "Any suggestions?"
"Here's one," Said a cynical voice, "If you want your little meetings to be private, keep 'em a secret." Every head in the room turned to look at the man who had spoken as he pulled out a chair and sat down next to Kuma, "Hey Kuma, long time no see!" Kuma smiled and looked down at him from the corner of his eye, "Oliver what are you doing here?" Oliver smiled, "All these Marines chasing after my subordinates when I send them out of the New World is getting old. I'm here to join the Seven Warlords." He turned a cold gaze on Sengoku, "That's not going to be a problem is it?"
Sengoku stared, of all the pirates he had been considering for the position, Orchard White would never have made the list, not after the Tokeidai Incident, "I'm surprised you want the position, given that three years ago you were holding all of Mariejois hostage." White grinned, "And now Gray's one of the five Pirate Emperors with strong ties to Whitebeard and Red-Haired Shanks, Black commands one of the most formidable black-ops groups in the world, Kuma here, Hawkeye Mihawk and Boa Hancock are all old friends of mine, Gekko Moriah's terrified of me, and I'm here taking the vacant position of Warlord. Don't ask what did I do to earn my rep, ask how many pirates are going to steer clear of you at a word from me, and how many are going to come after you at a different word. Keep in mind that I can have my army here in minutes."
Sengoku gulped, he remembered Tokeidai all too well, and White's words weren't idle bluster, the three Orchards had indeed recruited a small army of extremely formidable pirates, and had beyond any shadow of a doubt risen to infamy in the New World. White set a little transponder snail on the table, "And the Five Elder Stars have been listening this whole time." He patted the little transponder snail, "What do you say fellas? Wanna see how much stronger I've gotten three years, or do you want to have a messenger bat saying I'm one of the Seven Warlords waiting on my ship when I get back to it?"
The Transponder Snail was silent for a few minutes and then, "You make it very difficult to refuse. We will name you one of the Seven Warlords." White nodded, "I rather thought you might, but before you do, I have a few conditions. First off, Fisher Tiger was a very good friend of mine, I want a pardon for all the Sun Pirates. Second, the Kuja Pirates and Amazon Lily are under my protection, you mess with them, you deal with me. Third and this is a big one, call off the hunt for the remaining Roger Pirates because I'm on that list and I'm good friends with everybody else on it."
The transponder snail was silent for several minutes and then, "Very well. Your conditions will be met. Anything else?" White nodded, "Yes. There's a woman named Nico Robin. I'm certain you've heard of her, you personally put a seventy-nine million berry bounty on her head for surviving the Buster Call on Ohara. She is to be treated as a member of my crew. If I receive word of anything happening to Robin, I will retaliate as though you attacked my brother's flagship. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"
The transponder snail burst with horrified voices, "You're insane! You don't know what she's capable of!" "She reads poneglyphs and I've got an upgraded version of Pluton sitting in dry dock just waiting to be called into service! You get off her case or I'll be on yours like flies on a carcass!" The transponder snail was silent for a few moments as the assembled Marines stared in shock, hardly able to believe what White had just threatened the rulers of the world with. Even Kuma raised an eyebrow.
Then the snail spoke, "Very well. Sengoku, call off the search for Nico Robin. The Marines are no longer to pursue her, they are to release her if she is brought in by bounty hunters, and no more wanted posters of her are to be put into circulation." Sengoku gritted his teeth, his eyes bulging with fury; it was a few minutes before he spoke. "Yes...sir. The hunt will be called off immediately," He said through gritted teeth.
White sat back with a self satisfied smile, "Good." He stood, "I will await your bat, and have a nice day." He hung up the transponder snail and turned to Kuma, "Kuma my friend, I'd be delighted if you'd join me for a drink." Kuma smiled and stood, "A drink would be nice. I think Fleet Admiral Sengoku would agree with that don't you?"
Sengoku's rage was nearly palpable. It was a wonder he didn't leap across the table and attack the two pirates, Tsuru thought, but of course, she remembered the devastation Orchard had wrought on Tokeidai Island as well. There was a good reason for Sengoku not to provoke these two pirates who laughed at him as they strolled out.
The Next Day, Hundreds of Miles Away, the town of Nureta-neEdit
Oliver Blood, a Prism Self of Oliver Black also known as Orchard Dark Red, woke up groggy. He looked around, trying to remember where he was. Then he sat up as he remembered the night before. He looked around, searching for the beautiful woman whose head had been on his shoulder when he fell asleep, and instead spotted a picture on the night stand.
He picked it up, it was the picture he had taken of them together the night before to help him preserve the memory when he fused back into the other Oliver's and had two dozen lives to remember. He hadn't told her about that, instead just saying he wanted to remember her. He flipped the picture over and smiled as he saw a lipstick kiss on it with a note. His smile faded as he read the note and turned to a look of horror.
Sorry I didn't say goodbye, but my boat's leaving soon, and I didn't want to wake you. Thanks for cheering me up. Robin"
Oliver was out of the bed, dressed and racing for the wharf as fast as his devil fruit powers could move him, which it has to be said, was pretty damn fast. He stopped when he got to the wharf, there were dozens of ships! He looked around and realized that most of the ones that had been there the night before had already left. He took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair, "Damn it!"
He was only an eighth of Oliver Black. He only had the full strength of one devil fruit, and it wasn't the Tik-tik fruit, which was the only one which could possibly have allowed him to hunt down and search every ship that had left that morning to find her. He trudged back to the tavern and sat down at the bar, hopelessly mortified, "Something tall and the strongest thing you've got." The bartender, who had been watching them the night before looked at him sympathetically before turning to get him a drink, "It's on the house, you need it, and I'm sorry I don't have something stronger."
Oliver put away the shot in gulp, "Yeah, I'm sorry too. Been looking for that woman for ten years, and didn't even realize who she was until she was gone." He laughed sadly, trying not to cry, "I'll find her again. Even if it takes me another twenty, mark my words I'll find her." The bartender nodded as he cleaned a glass, "I hope you do sir, I certainly hope you do."
A Year and A Half Later, Two Days After Dressrosa's Fall To The Donquixote PiratesEdit
Scarlett, the former princess of Dressrosa ran through the street, some meat and bread in her arms for her daughter Rebecca. A little one legged tin-soldier skated along beside her, "Hurry Lady Scarlett! We must get out of here!" There was a gunshot and a sound of metal on metal. Scarlett and the tin-man, Thunder Soldier, looked over their shoulders and saw a man with a sword barring the path of the men chasing them.
The man pointed his sword at the men chasing them, "Stop." His voice carried such authority that the men stopped in their tracks. The man pulled back for a slash and his sword suddenly glowed with white energy. He swung it in a horizontal arc and brought down the buildings on either side of the street. He sheathed his sword and turned to Scarlett and Thunder Soldier, "Why are you just standing there? Let's go! I've hidden Rebecca well, but it won't last forever!"
Scarlett and Thunder Soldier turned and ran, the man in the gray coat hot on their heels as more of the Doflamingo pirates swarmed out of the side streets to chase them. The man in gray was invisibly fast, striking them down left and right. When they reached the edge of the city he stopped running and turned, "Keep going! I'll make sure we're not followed!" Thunder Soldier looked over his shoulder and saw the man's hand catch fire.
The man whirled his hand over his head and a huge column of fire spiraled out from it. He swung it down towards the city and the flames slammed into the ground and suddenly roared as high as the buildings. Then he heard a laugh from above and turned, firing a bolt of light from his finger at the feathered man in the sun-glasses descending from the sky. The bolt of light exploded when it hit the man and knocked him from the air.
Thunder Soldier and Scarlet ran on as the man in gray leapt on the feathered man and began to pummel him with fists coated in the white energy he had used to bring down the buildings. Once Scarlett and Thunder Soldier had run clean out of sight, the man in gray disappeared after issuing some very dire and graphic threats, and reappeared running alongside them, "Come on! I'll explain everything when we get there!"
Later, they sprinted into the clearing where Rebecca was still sitting, unaware that she was now invisible. Scarlett and Thunder Soldier looked for her, panicking slightly until the man in gray waved his hand and removed the invisibility. Scarlett grabbed Rebecca up in a hug and Thunder Soldier watched as the man in gray swung his hand across his body, clenched in a fist, "Tik-tok Full Stop."
Suddenly everything around them stopped. The man sat down and began to pull bottles from within his coat, "Sit down Lady Scarlett, Kyros, Rebecca." Thunder Soldier looked at him, "You know me?" Scarlett and Rebecca tilted their heads to the side, "Who?" The man in gray nodded, "Yes Kyros, I know who you are. I can see through the work of the Devil Fruit user that did this to you. I cannot kill them because I do not know where they are, and to leave now would be to leave you all very vulnerable as they may be beyond the scope of my Tik-tik powers. Doflamingo and his crew aren't to be taken lightly, and I have much to tell you about the events of the past few days."
He drank and set the bottle down before pulling out some meat from somewhere and taking a large bite out of it. He paused and looked at them, "Eat you three, I'm not here to hurt you. If I were I'd have done it by now." The three Dressrosans sat down and began to eat. When the man in gray finished chewing he took another drink, "I am Captain Orchard Gray of the Orchard Pirates." That was enough to get their attention.
"The Orchard Gray?" Thunder Soldier asked. Gray nodded, "Yes. I am sorry I did not arrive sooner, my agent Monet was not able to send me word of what was going on here until today. I'm surprised Doflamingo had the nerve to pull something like this. I'd go kill him myself right now, but he's set himself up as a hero by taking over the bodies of the king and his men. I don't think Riku could take the throne right now if I put him on it."
"Burns me no end that the best I can do is offer you three sanctuary," He grumbled before taking another drink. He set the bottle down and frowned, "It'll be a few years before the people see Doflamingo for the scum he is, but by then I'll have found a way to kick his legs out from under him and bring his regime toppling down about his ears. Until then though, I'd like to extend you an offer. You three are good people. I know an island where Doflamingo's forces will never find you, and wouldn't dare mess with you even if they could. Also, you are all welcome to join my crew if you wish. I think Rebecca will grow up to be as great a warrior as her father one day." Thunder Soldier looked at him, "You really think so?"
Gray smiled, "If you and Lady Scarlett will allow her to join my crew and let us teach her, she'll surpass you Kyros." Scarlett and Rebecca looked at him in confusion, "Who? Why are you talking to Thunder Soldier like he's Rebecca's father?" Gray sighed, "Oh yeah, the memory thing. Hang on," He rose, "Please don't panic, this is completely normal." He raised his hands and closed his eyes as his flames washed over his hands. They turned black and then turned into jet black clouds. He opened his eyes, "Dragon Shroud." The clouds suddenly snaked out and formed a wall around them, and then a dome.
As the dome spiraled closed, Thunder Soldier suddenly transformed into a large man in a cape and armor. Scarlett and Rebecca blinked as their memories returned and then leapt to hug him, "Kyros!" "Daddy!" Kyros hugged them and looked at Gray on the verge of tears, "Thank you." Gray smiled sadly, "the transformation will return when I lower the shroud, but I think once we're under water, the sea between us and the person who did this will neutralize the effects."
Kyros raised an eyebrow at him, "Under water?" Gray smiled, "Fishman Island in fact. I saved the princess and the queen a few months ago, and I've been friends with the royal family since long before that. I am also friends with Whitebeard, who has claimed Fishman Island as his territory. I don't think either of them would object to your taking up residence there."
He took another drink and smiled, "And if you will join my crew, not only will I let you take down Doflamingo yourself, I'll give you and Rebecca a Devil Fruit powerful enough to make anyone wary." Kyros's eyes narrowed, "What is this Devil Fruit you're offering my daughter?" Gray smiled, "You're suspicious of course, who wouldn't be? Not to worry though, I've got more than one." He suddenly pulled two devil fruits from within his coat. They were exactly identical as he showed them to Kyros, "This is the Rumble-Rumble Fruit. It's a logia type, the element of lightning."
Kyros frowned, "How do you have two? I thought there could only be one of each Devil Fruit?" Gray smiled, "That used to be true, but with the help of some of the world's greatest minds, I have managed to reproduce them. It took me a few tries, and my navigator's stuck half in half out of his animal form from the Zoan type we gave him, but we have since refined our formula, and we've managed to get them perfect. Try one if you don't believe me."
Kyros appeared unconvinced and Gray pulled them back and tucked them back into his coat, "Ok, still suspicious, I understand. Don't worry, one of my crew members is getting the same fruit tonight, he wanted to get a last swim in. You can watch him and then decide if you want it or not. Would that be more acceptable?" Kyros nodded, and Gray smiled, "Alrighty then, come along, let's get going."
Eight Years LaterEdit
Oliver Blood drifted over the waves of the East Blue. He hummed quietly as his little boat drifted along. His hat was pulled down over his eyes, so he didn't see the other boat until his bumped into it. He raised his hat and frowned at the hideously fat woman shrieking at him and waving the immense iron mace. He frowned and pulled a devil fruit from a pocket of his coat. He tossed it to her and she caught it instinctively, "Have a Devil Fruit and calm your half ton ass down!"
The woman blinked and then looked at the fruit in her hand, seeing in the moonlight that it was indeed a devil fruit. She took a bite of it angrily, "How dare you call me fat!" The man pulled off a glove and pointed his palm off into the distance, "Pad Cannon." A blast of air shot away from his hand, plowing up the surf in its wake like a cannonball. He flexed his fingers, and the fat woman flinched as she realized he must have had a Devil Fruit too, apparently a very powerful one. Then the Devil Fruit began to take effect and she shuddered as it felt like a massive blanket was falling off her.
Oliver raised his hat as the fat woman suddenly became very thin, well built and beautiful. She stared at her body, not even caring that her clothes had fallen off with her fat as she collapsed to her knees hugging herself, "Thank you!" She sobbed, "Thank you!" Oliver just smiled.