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Chapter 9-The Pirate Empress and the Invisible ManEdit
Three Weeks LaterEdit
Captain Oliver White sat on deck, a cigar sticking out the corner of his mouth. If anyone had told him in his previous life that he'd be a smoker one day, he would have questioned their sobriety. Now though, he was essentially immortal and could do whatever he pleased. His body could withstand anything. He unfolded the paper in his hands to the "Wanted" section, looking over the names of the new pirates that had appeared over the past month.
His eyes roved down the list and then he paused, "Huh, Kuja Pirates under the leadership of Boa Hancock rampage through Grand Line..." Can't be... He thought, but then he looked at the picture and began to laugh. Before Smoker, who was standing nearby, could ask what he was laughing about, Oliver's laugh was cut short by the sound of cannon fire. Oliver raised a hand and flicked a finger, knocking a cannonball off course with an incredible blast of wind so that it landed harmlessly in the water behind them.
He rolled up his newspaper, stood, and then went and hopped up onto the railing as the pirate ship drew closer. Oliver adjusted his cap, bent over slightly and swung his newspaper experimentally, "Ay battah battah battah, sa-wing!" Then he swung his newspaper in a horizontal cross-body arc and cut loose a gale force wind of such ferocity that the pirate ship capsized immediately. He hopped back down onto the deck, "Smoker, set us a course over there to pick those pirates up. One of them's bound to have a bounty and I doubt they'll be shooting at us anymore." Smoker stared at the capsized pirate ship and nodded, "Right." Even after nearly four years, he was still stunned by the raw power at Oliver's disposal.
Halfway Across the Grand LineEdit
Oliver Black caught a volley of arrows out of the air and clenched them in his hand, "Aright, who're these nuts shooting at us?" He disappeared and reappeared on the rail of the large red ship with the two immense sea serpents pulling it. When he got there, he saw that the ship was crewed entirely by women who were for the most part rather scantily clad. He grinned and as time stopped around him again, went dancing amongst them, draining their skills with touches, not all of which landed in appropriate places.
He went back to the rail where an after image of him was caught frozen in time, the photons having yet to dissipate from around where he had been perched. He settled back into the after image and restarted time, the arrows still clenched in his hand. He raised them and dropped them onto the deck. "Lose something?" He asked sarcastically as the arrows clattered to the deck.
The women recoiled in surprise and drew their bows, which were made of tame snakes, to full draw. Oliver grinned at them, "Oh you really don't want to do that ladies." They fired at him. Time stopped again and Oliver casually plucked their arrows from the air before sitting back on the rail and allowing time to restart. He gave the archers just enough time to see that he had caught their arrows out of the air and then he accelerated himself, moving at nearly the speed of sound and flicking the arrows down accelerator tunnels so that they flew incredibly straight to slam into the deck between the archers' feet, not harming any of them, but badly startling and frightening all of them.
Oliver smiled as they edged back, "I'll say it again. Don't shoot at me. It doesn't work, and if you set those snakes on me, I have no compunction at all about tying them into knots." They looked at him, stunned and then a voice called, "Hold your fire!" An extremely tall woman with a wide face and green hair stepped to the front of the crowd, "Mr. Oliver?" Oliver's smile stretched from ear to ear, "Sonia? Is that you?"
She smiled and nodded and Oliver leapt to hug her, his head roughly level with her waist, "Sonia!" He stepped back, still smiling, "When did you get so tall?" Boa Sandersonia smiled at him, "Well it has been over a year!" "And you had a growth spurt! Where's Mari and Hancock? I'm handing out hugs I gotta get them too!" Sonia smiled, "They're right behind you!" Oliver spun and saw that they were indeed right behind him, "Mari! Hancock!" His eyes lit upon Hancock and he froze, instantly petrified, his huge delighted smile frozen.
Everyone aboard started slightly at the unexpected transformation. A voice said from behind them, "Sorry about that." The Kuja pirates turned and saw Oliver Gray sitting on the rail where Black had been earlier. They looked from one to the other and back again, trying to figure out what they were seeing. Gray stood up, "Don't worry, I can be in more than one place at once. Hancock would you mind waking Black up? You'll have to excuse him, his mind is far from the cleanest in the world, and the wonderful effects the sun and surf have been having on you caught him off guard."
The sun and surf had indeed been having a wonderful effect on the young captain of the Kuja pirates who, as Oliver had predicted a year earlier, had become very beautiful. Hancock blushed slightly with a smile and brushed her hair back behind her ear, in an absurdly cute expression of embarrassment, "Oh! I'm sorry." She turned and whispered in Black's stone ear, "Awaken." He snapped back to normal, "Hancock!" And then he wrapped her in a hug. This time he managed to resist Hancock's Devil Fruit power and went on to hug Marigold, who while still rather pretty wasn't quite as well built as either of her sisters.
Gray smiled and hugged the three sisters as well before returning to the Thundering Gusto to tell the rest of the crew it was safe to draw closer.
"Congratulations Magellan, or should I say Warden?" Oliver White laughed as he greeted the man to whom he handed over all the pirates he captured. "Why thank you Captain," the immense demonic looking newly made Warden of Impel Down replied, actually looking cheerful for once, "You know I-" He paused suddenly, his expression going from cheerful to startled and slightly distressed as his stomach rumbled ominously. He looked at Oliver, who raised a sympathetic eyebrow, "Diarrhea acting up again? Don't worry, about it go. We can handle the prisoners in your absence. I've always wanted to see the lower levels."
Magellan smiled weakly, "Thank you Captain, Hannyabal! Domino! Take over!" Then he promptly turned and ran for the nearest toilet. Oliver watched him go, "If I didn't know how tough he is, I'd wonder about security here. I really would." The tall man in the striped nemes with the bare chest, pot belly and pitchfork exclaimed, "Should have been me!" Everyone looked at him as he tried to cover his slip, "I mean, uh, fret not, Impel Down shall never fall!"
Oliver looked up at him, "Ambitious as ever, eh Hannyabal?" Hannyabal smiled innocently, "Yes." Oliver grinned and looked at the pretty young blonde woman in the jailer's uniform, "Holding up alright there Domino? They haven't driven you crazy yet have they?" Domino smiled slightly, "No not yet." She looked at the line of prisoners which had slowed. She uncoiled her whip with a flick of her wrist, "KEEP IT MOVING!" She barked and popped the whip, making one of the prisoners jump and yelp with pain as the whip connected sharply with his bottom. The line hurried along after that.
The Next NightEdit
The Orchard and Kuja Pirates sprawled across both decks, they had been partying for over twenty four hours, with only a short break to stop and ransack a passing marine ship. Being in good spirits, Oliver had allowed the Kujas to keep most of the loot since they had done most of the work clearing the deck and taking out the enemy cannons. Even when mostly drunk, they were still incredible shots.
Now Oliver Black was lying on the deck, Hancock under one arm and a drink in his other hand. Oliver Gray was passed out with Maria's head on his shoulder. Sandersonia and Marigold were cuddled with Ryori, who was actually big enough for that, although he was still smaller than either of them. Kuma was dozing in the crow's nest, a Kuja under each arm, and Chifu was in a similar position at the base of the mast.
Max and Melanie had retired to one of the cabins about three quarters of the way through the festivities and nobody had seen them since. Kuina was dozing fitfully on the forecastle with several of the Kuja Pirates, and nobody noticed the weird fog rolling in. Nobody noticed the wall floating up out of the mist either until the excited laugh. Kuina snapped awake as footsteps passed by her. Her eyes snapped open and she looked, but couldn't see anything.
Somehow she knew though, there was something invisible standing not three feet from her. She slowly dropped her hand to her sword, wait for it, wait for it, the footsteps proceeded away from her, unaware that she was awake, Now. Kuina leapt spinning to her feet and slashed at the invisible intruder, earning a bellow of pain as she drew blood. This startled everyone else awake. Kuina instinctively blocked, somehow deflecting the invisible blade that came whistling through the air towards her. She twisted and blocked again, guiding the blade up and over her before whipping her own blade up the interloper's side.
As the interloper staggered, she twisted her blade and brought it down on his back, slashing clean through him and cleaving him half in two. The interloper slumped to the deck and his invisibility flickered. Kuina stepped back and examined her opponent. He was tall, blonde, and he wore a gray overcoat and cowboy hat. He gasped in pain and a boot slammed down on his back. As he slammed into the deck his invisibility deactivated.
"Good work Kuina," Oliver Black said with a smile, "Absalom's not an easy guy to catch, let alone fight." He reached down and caught Absalom by the front of the shirt, "Now Absalom," He said as he lifted the now visible man off the deck, "I warned you last time what would happen if I caught you at this abducting women business again didn't I? Can you remember what I told you I'd do? Because I can. Has Moriah got anyone to replace you?" Absalom stared in horror, he remembered very well what the man in black had threatened to do.
As Oliver asked if Absalom's boss, Gekko-Moriah, had anyone to replace him, he shook his head, desperately hoping that the man in black might show some leniency. Those hopes were dashed as Oliver grinned, "Really? Because I can sense at least two other living people on Thriller Bark right now besides Moriah. One's a Devil Fruit user, one's not." Absalom shook with fear, how did he know that?
"You'd better hope one of them can put you back together, because Humpty Dumpty, you picked a bad wall to jump off of." Absalom gulped and then disappeared. Oliver dissolved into a whirlwind and lifted the now invisible Absalom up, up, and then over Thriller Bark, "Hey Moriah!" There was an almighty crash and Oliver continued, "Keep your trash outta the ocean and off my ship or I'll be back to LEVEL Thriller Bark!"
Suddenly the immense wall, which all had by now noticed, began to turn as the wind howled. Then suddenly it stopped, and Oliver roared as he created a gale force wind that sent Thriller Bark shooting off into the distance at unbelievable speed. The Kuja pirates stared as Orchard rematerialized on deck, "I'm going to go wash my hands if anyone needs me, that's where I am." He strolled off towards the bathroom humming cheerfully, and the Kuja Pirates couldn't help but notice that his hands were dripping blood.
The Next DayEdit
Oliver picked up the Transponder Snail receiver, "Captain White here." "Commodore White now, you're being promoted. Commodore Warai was put into early retirement yesterday by pirates. You're taking his place." "Thank you sir, I wish this promotion came under happier circumstances." "Well your first assignment as Commodore is to make them happier by hunting down the Orchard Pirates since they're the ones that took Warai out of commission. They've been making some big moves lately. If this is the start of a rampage, we want them stopped now, before they can do any more damage." "I see," Oliver replied, looking off into the distance. The voice on the other end continued, "Vice-Admiral Garp will be joining you."
Oliver looked at the transponder snail receiver, "The Vice-Admiral Garp?" "One of the Orchard Pirates, we think their captain, beat Admiral Shiroigomu a few weeks ago in the middle of a raid on Mariejois. It's being kept quiet, but we're not taking any chances with them. If you make contact with the Orchard Pirates, you are to stall them for as long as possible while Vice-Admiral Garp issues a Buster Call."
Oliver stared and was actually silent for a moment before he recovered his voice, "Yessir. Understood sir. Thank you sir." The voice on the other end instructed him as to the coordinates they were to meet Garp at then hung up. Oliver sat down on his deck chair, shell-shocked in wake of his assignment. He looked up at Smoker and Hina, "We cannot allow a Buster Call to be issued on an inhabited island." "You really think Vice-Admiral Garp would do that?" Hina asked. Oliver shook his head, "No, I think he'd want to beat these Orchard Pirates all by himself, but we cannot take the risk that he will. No matter what happens, we cannot engage these Orchard Pirates on land, especially inhabited land. You know the protocol for Buster Calls."
Smoker nodded grimly, "No survivors."