"Beauty of Deceit"
A One Piece Gaiden - Kalifa Side Story
by Aoikami Sarah
It wasn't hard for Blueno to secure a job at the bar Iceberg most frequented because of his large stature and ability to work as a bouncer. Rob Lucci and Kaku were hired at the Dock One Galley-La shipbuilding company as there was always a need for strong workers. Kalifa, however, had a bit of a challenge before her. Applicants for the position of Iceberg's secretary were lined up around the building. Most of the girls were younger than she was and their clothes were, in her opinion, downright risqué. She wished the disguise she had chosen was somewhat less conservative but there was no time to change now. As the line advanced, she clutched her portfolio with fake resumé inside and began to worry. Around her, the young women gossiped and kibitzed.
"You hear? He's a shoe-in for Mayor this year!" a red-head bowed a little to talk to a brunette in front of Kalifa.
"Oh yeah, for sure. Who wouldn't vote for the man who united the docks!"
"What I wouldn't give to be his assistant!"
"Yeah, well, I get to go in before you!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"If I get the job don't take it out on me!"
"You little so-and-so!"
Her friend laughed as she was smacked lightly for the teasing. Behind Kalifa, more women harped on about Iceberg.
"…after hours, if you know what I mean!"
"Ooh! I'm so excited! I hope I get the job!"
"He's the most eligible bachelor in Water Seven!"
Kalifa sighed heavily. "This is unbelievable," she muttered to herself. She glanced out at the shipyard and spied Kaku and Lucci being shown the ropes. "Everyone's secure but me." She noted the youth and appearance of her competition again and frowned deeper. "I better hope he's a leg-man…" She gasped. "What am I thinking!" she hissed. A woman behind her cleared her throat and pointed ahead. The line had advanced another couple of feet. "S-sorry!" Kalifa cried and moved ahead. 'Relax, this is nothing. You have the credentials and regardless of their being totally false, you have the skills to organize anyone's business,' she reassured herself. 'And by what the other applicants are saying, he sounds like a dream-employer.'
She now knew why the line was taking so long. In his office at last, Kalifa stood a few feet away from the large oaken desk and tried her best to act like a professional assistant. 'It's close to assassin, 'assistant',' she thought briefly, her patience wearing thin. 'I could just kill him and run. I could!' She had been standing for at least a solid minute and the man called Iceberg was still sitting bolt upright in his large, leather chair, head back, mouth open and snoring louder than a freight train.
He wasn't unattractive but not really her type, even if he didn't snore like that. His arms were folded across his chest, almost as if he was just waiting for someone to wake him up. 'Aha,' she thought. 'This is a test.' She remembered the woman who had gone before her leaving the office shaking her head and muttering to herself. 'He must be pretending to sleep to test his applicants!' It only took a moment to figure out what to say.
"Sir!" she said sharply. "Do you have a moment?"
"Ah?" he said, one eye opening. "Who's there?"
"My name is Kalifa. I'd like to apply for the job of your personal secretary." She stepped forward and handed her resume out to him.
He looked from the paper to woman before him. "Personal secretary, eh? Do I need one of those?"
'Another test!' she thought. "I believe you do, sir. I can organize your schedule and be the intermediary between you and the public. You shall surely need one when you become Mayor."
"Mmmna, I think you're right," he said glancing at the falsified credentials she held out for his inspection. "You're hired."
Kalifa blinked a few time but remained cool. "Thank you, Iceberg-san. Shall I start next week?"
"Oh, yeah. Sure. Whatever," he said and put his finger up his nose.
'That…' she thought slowly. 'Cannot be a test. Is he stupid? Or is he like Lucci where it's hard to tell if he's a genius or if he's just retarded?'
"Guess I can take the article out of the paper, now," he said sleepily and made to lean his head back again for another nap.
She couldn't help but smile. "Allow me to handle that for you," she said, bowing. "I shall see you Monday."
"Later…" Iceberg said and began to snore again.
Kalifa wiped the grin from her face as she emerged from the office. "Thank you, ladies. That will be all. Iceberg-san has found his secretary."
More to come…