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Chapter 4: The Shipwright and the ShipwreckedEdit
The Shore of Wano CountryEdit
Ryori and Kuma looked at Oliver, back at the tiny rowboat, and back at Oliver, "You're kidding right?" Kuma asked, "You've got to be kidding." Oliver raised an eyebrow, "It got me here from the other side of the Red Line in a day. Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Now stop doubting me and get in the boat." Kuina climbed in and took her seat at the prow. Oliver pointed, "See? Kuina trusts me." Ryori mused it over for minute and then nodded and climbed into the boat. Kuma sighed, "You're insane Oliver-san." But he climbed into the boat nevertheless.
Two Minutes Later, Water 7Edit
Ryori and Kuma stared in shock as the world shifted, Wano Country suddenly disappearing to be replaced with a huge city riddled with canals. Oliver let go of the oars and grinned at them, "See? I told you I wasn't crazy." He disappeared and reappeared sitting on the edge of the dock they had pulled up next to, his legs dangling over the side, the mooring line already secured, "Now are you coming or not?"
Kuina immediately stood up and began to climb out, Oliver offering her a hand and pulling her up onto the deck as Ryori and Kuma got up after exchanging a stunned glance. Kuina looked at the magnificent city before them, "So where are we?" Oliver stood up, "Orchard Pirates, welcome to Water 7, home of the finest shipwright in the world." Kuma looked at him, "Seriously?" Orchard grinned, "Yep. Come on, let's go see if Tom the Fishman can spare a moment of his time to build us a ship."
He set off, the others following and Kuma protesting the entire way, "You're just going to walk up to the finest shipwright in the world and ask him to build you a ship? Are you insane? Does he owe you a favor or something? Do you even have enough money to buy a ship? Do you have the materials? Why are you so calm?! We're about to meet the greatest shipwright in the world and you're walking along like you're off to have tea!" Oliver waved a bottle at him with a grin, "Cola actually. It's quite good."
He took a long drink before he continued, "Yes I'm going to walk up and ask Tom to build me a ship. Yes I am a little insane. No he does not owe me a favor, but he built the Oro Jackson, the ship of my captain Gol D. Roger. Yes I do have enough money to buy a ship and if I don't it will take me approximately one second to get however much is enough. No I do not have the materials, but I am certain Tom does, and in the event he does not, I can get most anything in the world faster than gold from a mine on the Red Line. I am calm because being flustered will not smooth the bargaining at all and I hear Tom is a very amiable sort."
He paused and took another drink, "And besides even if he won't build the ship himself, or lend us one of his apprentices, if he will give us a blueprint I can do it myself. It won't be as good as one of Tom's, but I can do anything except stop hating that I couldn't save Captain Roger." Kuma and the others paused for a moment, stunned by the cool matter-of-fact confidence filling Oliver's voice. Oliver kept walking and they hurried to catch up.
A few minutes later they walked up on a massive construction site. Oliver grinned and pointed, "And that is Tom the Fishman." There was a huge yellow fishman working on what appeared to be a train, two young boys with blue hair helping him as various other workers scrambled about busily. Oliver led his friends across the busy construction site, easily picking his way through the construction debris. He paused and waited for Tom the Fishman to turn around.
Finally one of the boys noticed them, "Who're you guys?" Oliver grinned, "We're the Orchard Pirates. We came to ask if we could have a ship from the shipwright who built the Oro Jackson. Having sailed on it myself, I know that there is no finer ship to be had." Tom the Fishman turned with a smile, "You sailed with the Roger Pirates?"
Oliver nodded with a nostalgic smile, "They found me on Raftel and took me in. The Oro Jackson was my home for nearly a year. I'd be honored if you could spare a moment to help me build a ship." Tom the Fishman laughed, as did his two apprentices, "Just a moment you say? A moment to build a ship?" Oliver smiled, "You're skeptical I know. Kuma and Ryori were too. Your time is valuable though, and I would not ask you for more than a moment. Of course, you would be amazed how much can be done in a minute."
Tom the Fishman laughed, "How much?" Oliver grinned and suddenly there was a mountain of ship building supplies at the edge of the construction site, "Oh, just little," he said with a hint of cheerful sarcasm. Tom and the two boys helping him leapt to their feet as the entire site stopped to stare. Oliver shrugged, "If you can tell me how, I can build it, but I know you'll do a better job than I will." Tom nodded, a smile growing, "A ship in one minute. Nobody will ever believe it, but if we can do it, let's do it with gusto!" Oliver grinned and raised his hands over his head, "That's the spirit." He clenched his hands into fists, "Tik Tok FULL STOP!"
Everything outside the perimeter of the construction site stopped. A bird flying overhead was frozen midair and the waves and water suddenly stopped, frozen in time. The Water 7 workers stared, "Whoa..." Oliver grinned as he lowered his hands, "The power of the Tik-tik fruit. I can control the flow of time, or even bring it to a complete stop. While in a time stop, energy, patience, attention span, these things are infinite, and gravity means nothing. So Tom, do you think you could spare a moment to build me a ship? I'll pay you handsomely."
Tom grinned and extended a hand, "DEAL. We'll build you the finest ship the world has ever seen with gusto!"
A week later, somewhere between Marineford and Drum KingdomEdit
Marine Lieutenant Commander Maria Sutetchi wrung out her clothes on the reef as waves that were as gentle as the cyclone had been fierce casually lapped against the rocks. She had no idea how she had made it to the little reef in the storm, she only wished some of her crew could have made it as well. If she had fallen into the water, her devil fruit powers would have ensured she was a goner.
Half the ship was beached on the arc of rock that formed the reef, but none of her crewmates were anywhere to be found. She had healed herself of her grief after an hour long cry with her Heal-Heal powers, and now she sat on her coat, stripped down to her underwear as she laid her clothes out beside her on the relatively dry rocks. She stretched out and smiled slightly as she felt the sun's rays, the warmth comforting after the chill of her wet clothes. She looked over at the ship, surely there were enough supplies to last until she was rescued she thought. Then she squinted as something on the horizon behind the ship wreck caught her eye, she leapt up, "A ship!" She yelled at the top of her lungs, "HEY!"
She yelled herself hoarse and then settled for waving her arms until she became convinced the ship was heading right toward her. She smiled and went to retrieve her clothes. Wet as they were she thought, it wouldn't do to be almost nude when she was rescued; highly unbecoming of a Marine Lieutenant Commander.
She pulled on her pants and reached for her shirt when suddenly a voice said, "You can leave that off if you'd like." Maria shrieked and leapt backward, slipping on the rocks. A pair of very strong arms caught her under the arms and gently set her back up right. Maria spun, pulling her shirt up to cover herself, her deep blue eyes wide with surprise under her white marine cap, "Who are you?"
Oliver smiled and tipped his hat, "I am Captain Orchard of the Orchard Pirates. I heard you calling for help and my crew and I decided to come assist you and whatever crew members might have survived the crash." Maria's heart didn't slow down a beat from its startled racing, "Pirates?" she asked with an edge of fear. Oliver nodded, "Yes. Pirates. We bear the Marines no ill will though, and being marooned is a terrible fate, so we thought we should help."
Maria brushed back a lock of her long blond hair, he seemed benevolent and had a friendly open face, and there was something familiar about him, but, "How do I know I can trust you?" Oliver stooped and lifted her coat, handing it to her, "My brother is currently stationed at Marine Headquarters right now. Maybe you know the recently made Captain Oliver White?" Maria's eyes widened, White had been in her class! Suddenly she realized why he seemed familiar, he was the spitting image of Oliver White!
"Oliver White's your brother?" she asked as she accepted her coat, stunned. Oliver White was an extremely formidable fighter and was expected to be promoted to Commodore soon! He was also particularly famous among her classmates for being one of the youngest made captains in decades, and an old friend of hers. To be presented with his pirate brother was stunning, "No way. You can't, can't be! This is some kind of trick!" Oliver shook his head, "Why yes it is a trick, a very good trick in fact. I call it Prism Split." As he said it, he suddenly blurred and split.
In seconds Maria was surrounded by Oliver copies, each one wearing a different color and with different colored hair, but all unmistakably the same man. If her heart beat could have gone faster, it immediately did, "You, you're..." All the Olivers smiled, and the first one, the one in gray said gently, "Still your friend Maria? Yes I am. This is just something you didn't know about me. Now please, put your shirt back on and come aboard. I promise you will be safe."
When he said her name, Maria knew immediately that he must have been telling the truth. A few seconds later, her knees buckled and she fainted. Oliver gray snapped forward and caught her, all his color selves collapsing back into him. He hugged her close with a slight smile, he had always found Maria very beautiful. He adjusted his grip so that he could carry her more easily and stopped time to carry her back across the waves to the newly made Thundering Gusto. He laid her gently in the bed in his cabin and impulsively planted a gentle kiss on her forehead with a smile, "Sleep well darlin'."
An Hour and a Half LaterEdit
Maria woke up in a strange bed and sat up, looking around, unsure where she was. She saw a picture on the nightstand and picked it up. She looked at it closely in the light from the window and quickly saw that it was a pirate crew. Her breath caught in her throat as she remembered what had happened and her pulse quickened again as she scanned the picture. The large man in the middle in the red looked familiar, and then after a moment she realized why: It was Gold Roger! The Pirate King! "No way," she whispered, a thought dawning on her.
She quickly scanned the picture and after a moment found what she was looking for. A younger looking Oliver making silly muscles with a young man in a straw hat and another one with a huge red nose in the corner of the picture. She set the picture down and looked up, "Oliver was one of the Roger Pirates?" she whispered. She set the picture back where she had found it and climbed out of the bed, quickly pulling her shirt and coat back on. She needed to get off that ship.
She poked her head out the door carefully and as she stepped out onto the deck, a little girl said, "Oliver! She's awake!" Maria stared at the little girl in the long purple coat and wide brimmed purple hat with the sword at her side. The little girl looked at her for a moment, "It's rude to stare you know." Maria blinked, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to." Kuina smiled, "Didn't expect a little girl to be the first mate did you?" Maria blinked, "I'm sorry, what?"
Oliver suddenly said from beside her, "I see you met Kuina already." Maria jumped in surprise and Oliver smiled, "Jumpy today aren't you?" Maria was about to make a scathing retort when he turned and yelled, "Kuma! Come down here and meet Maria!" There was a thud from the deck and Maria looked over the rail to see a man in a blue gi rising from a crouch, having apparently just jumped down from the crow's nest.
The shaggy haired man laughed, "You weren't kidding Oliver-san! She's gorgeous!" Maria blushed slightly at the praise. Then a voice from behind her said, "I have to agree with Kuma-kun, you are quite beautiful Maria-san." Maria turned and saw a massive man in a white gi with the top open and a brown katana tucked into a black belt alongside a meat cleaver. The massive man had a cigar hanging out the side of his mouth and reminded her irresistibly of her friend Smoker.
Oliver grinned, "Lieutenant Commander Maria Sutetchi, allow me to introduce you to the Orchard Pirates. First-mate Kuina," he gestured to the young girl behind her. "Chef Ryori," He jerked a thumb towards the man who resembled Smoker. "And Kuma Akaia, our navigator and resident skeptic," He gestured to the shaggy haired man who had leapt from the crow's nest. Maria looked around, noting how deserted the ship appeared to be aside from the four people on the deck with her.
"Is this your entire crew?" She asked with a raised eyebrow. Oliver shrugged, "Eh, we're still recruiting. You're welcome to join us if you want. We need a doctor." Maria's jaw dropped at his audacity, then she started coloring up, "I am a MARINE Oliver!" Oliver smiled at her, "And I am a pirate. However," he continued, placing a hand to his jaw and closing his eyes with a smile as he pretended to think about it, "If you object so much to my offer, I guess we could just drop you off at Drum Kingdom while we hunt down a ship's doctor."
Maria stared slackjawed, "You're going to Drum Kingdom?" Oliver nodded, "Yes. We need a doctor, and you need to get to a Transponder Snail to call someone to come pick you up. Also, since you were headed home anyway, we thought we might take you the rest of the way there." Maria's eyes bugged out as she realized Oliver must have been in contact with his brother. She took a deep steadying breath, "How are you here, being a pirate, but still at Marineford being a marine captain?" Oliver smiled, "The secret is one of my devil fruit abilities. Specifically the Prism-prism fruit, which gives me access to the Prism Split."
Once again, he split into nine: Gray, black, red, orange, brown, yellow, green, blue and purple. The Oliver's all smiled at her and said in unison, "I can be in up to twenty four places at once, and we're all linked in our minds, so what one knows or can do, we can all know and do. Oliver White, who you're familiar with amounts to a third of the total me. Oliver Black and Oliver Gray each make up another third, and each third is made up of eight colors, gray, red, orange, brown, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Prism Fuse..."
The nine Oliver's suddenly folded back into one, "can put us all back together as long as we all use it at the same time." Maria nodded, slightly pale at the implications of Oliver's abilities, "So you can be a Marine and a pirate at the same time." Oliver nodded, "That's right." Maria turned and looked out at the horizon, gripping the rail, "Does anyone else know about this?" Oliver shrugged, "Eh, some of my pirate buddies. Nobody in the Marines knows except you." Maria nodded, "Of course not. They'd throw you out in a heartbeat. Probably execute you, send you to Impel Down." Oliver smiled, "They would try."
Maria looked at him, "You think you could win?" Oliver smiled, "Maria, I can control time itself. I'm unstoppable." Maria turned to him wide eyed, "What?" "I can," Oliver disappeared and reappeared at the top of the crow's nest, "control" he disappeared and reappeared at the prow of the ship, "time!" he called. He reappeared next to her, a flower in hand, bowing slightly, "And even Vice-Admiral Borsalino is slow in comparison."
Maria took the flower, her face pale, "You don't say." Oliver smiled as he straightened up, "Don't be afraid of me Maria. I'm not your enemy. Not now, not ever. And my offer to join my crew stands. You will always be welcome here." Maria trembled slightly at the open unconditional invitation and Oliver looked up, "Why I do believe it's snowing!"
Three Days LaterEdit
Oliver stood at the back of the ship, watching Drum Kingdom retreating on the horizon, smiling. Kuina walked up beside him, "Why are you smiling? We didn't find a doctor for the ship." Oliver smiled down at her, "Oh yes we did. Every doctor aboard would be happy to work with us; for a little while at least," he glanced over his shoulder. The king of Drum Kingdom, Wapol, had banished every doctor in the country in an attempt to cement his grip on the country. He had wanted to kill them.
The Orchard Pirates however had offered to take them all aboard, and had been paid to escort them off the island, albeit not very well. Maria had been horrified and utterly furious with Wapol. She had very nearly stormed up to Drum Castle to attempt to beat Wapol within an inch of his life, but Oliver's pleading with her to be reasonable and common sense had won out and she had settled for seething fury. She had stayed, allowed to do so only because a marine ship would be along in a day or two to escort her back to Marineford.
Oliver continued, "And if I know Maria at all, she can't stand this Doctor Hunt, and if I'm right it'll disillusion her about the World Government and open her eyes to what a sack of crap they are." Oliver smiled as the little transponder snail on the rail next to his elbow began to ring, "Perfect timing." He answered it pretending not to know exactly who it was, "Captain Oliver of the Orchard Pirates."
The transponder snail spoke in Maria's voice, "Come get me Oliver. I can't be part of a government that supports a man who would do this to my home." Oliver's heart soared, "Be right there." An instant later he was on Drum Island lifting Maria from the ground in a hug, a huge smile on his face. He set her down and she glared at him, tears in her eyes, "Stop smiling. I'm not happy about any of this." Oliver smiled, "I'm not either, but good things will come of this. You wait and see." Maria bit back a sob, "What good could possibly come of this?"
Oliver thought for a moment, "Two of Drum Kingdom's doctors will be able to evade this doctor hunt for years to come, and they will train a third. In a few years, Wapol will be dethroned, and then Drum Kingdom will be healed at last. Trust me Maria, it's gonna be alright." Maria wiped some of the tears from her eyes, "You say that like you can see the future." Oliver thought about it for a second, "Not see per se, more like I've got notes to myself from the future." Maria blinked away the last of her tears in surprise, then she began to laugh and Oliver hugged her close a massive smile on his face, "Welcome to the crew Maria."