A Proposal for a Union

"You hear that?" asked Shane, leaning back and cracking a wicked smile. "All of these big shots walking around strutting their stuff, but it seems as if they have forgotten that they are just little fish compared to me!" Mikoto nodded and laughed, obviously he too thought about the next Shichibukai to take down. Taking down the Shichibukai was one of the quickest ways to increase your reputation in these seas. Everybody has heard of them, the Marines idolize them. If a Yonkou falls in battle the Marines can always fudge the truth and say they beat him, but when a Shichibukai falls the Marines can't say they beat him. They have to admit that one of their strongest emergency weapons have failed which causes an uproar and increases your own reputation. "What do you say Mikoto?" growled Shane as he looked over at his partner for the time being, "three Fox Brothers and there are three of us right here, right now…want to go gunnin' for them?"

Mikoto looked a little bit taken back by the offer, Shane definitely didn't seem like someone to make such a friendly offer, he seemed like someone who woud rely solely on his own strength to take down any obstacles in his way…and something told Mikoto that such a reckless, headstrong approach usually worked for him…he was just being extra cautious in the face of a new enemy. Mikoto looked down between his feet as he thought about the offer…Trevor, Kraven, and the Fox Brothers…three Shichibukai in total would've been beaten by him. Surely with a track record like that every pirate in the known seas would fear him. Besides Shane's crew was definitely tough enough to pull their own way, so such an armada of joined forces would definitely be enough to topple even the strongest of forces. Mikoto nodded eagerly.

"Whoa," cried Kraven as he put his arms up defensively. "I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to have to turn it down. I have no interest in exchanging blows with guys like that. Besides I'm a Shichibukai! What would it look like if I suddenly turned on my own allies? I would probably lose my standing in a matter of seconds and I can't have that." Mikoto looked over at him, fit to try and talk him into it, but he had to relent. Kraven was right and he guessed like Shane was playing it safe around a new enemy, Kraven was playing it safe around old enemies. Mikoto decided they shouldn't try and force him into it.

"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!" shouted Shane, pounding his fist on the table, nearly breaking it with his strength, even though he was holding back more than half. Kraven cringed in response, not really in the mood to start another fight. His body was still hurting from his last exchange with Mikoto, he didn't want to get into a battle with someone like Shane who would put him to sleep for good without a second thought. "Do you not have even an ounce of backbone?" Kraven looked away from that question, not really in the mood to get into it, but you could tell Shane wasn't about to just let it drop. "Come on, surely you don't want to be a whipped Marine's dog for the rest of your life, strike back at them and take down one of their most formidable allies! If you can take down even one more Shichibukai you can probably reclaim all of your pirate's honor in one fell swoop! Wasn't it you who was going on about how a pirate is nothing without his honor?"

Kraven sighed, still refusing to look Shane in the eye, "it's too late for me." Shane grumbled something below his voice before reclining back again. He had resigned to giving up on this partnership, he knew when people had given up…it wasn't the first time someone had given up on being a pirate and Shane would be amazed if it would be the last. Very few people ever made it a long way in this profession without giving up. It was just a sad fact of life, but not many people were cut out to be painted as the bad guy, fight for your life every second of every day, and then at the end day still be able to hold your head up high. It was a ridiculous thing to ask and yet people still chose to do so…it was for the freedom that came with the job. No need to constantly scrounge around for a few extra bucks, no taking orders from an incompetent boss. For such freedom, of course, there would be an absurdly high price tag attached. It was just the way the world worked, nothing was free…especially not freedom.

"As much as I hate to say it, I don't think I'd bet on just us two taking down three high-leveled pirates," muttered Mikoto looking down. After facing off against Trevor and now Kraven…he was beginning to doubt that he could even pull his own weight. These pirates would be nothing like those…Trevor, a business man, who was focused solely on killing and Kraven, a pirate with a broken spirit, but steel-willed grudge. Mikoto distracted his gaze as he began to think back to the beginning of his journey. He remembered all the way back then at the beginning of his journey his first encounter with a Alan Fox. A 'flamboyant man', his words, not Mikoto's…however, despite his flamboyant-ness or even his friendly face…Mikoto definitely sensed something else radiating behind his eyes. A certain kind of unknown cruelty, something that Mikoto hadn't met before that moment…at least until he came face-to-face with Trevor…however, even then something was different between the two of them. A strong difference...Trevor's bloodlust was overwhelming you could lose yourself in it, but Alan's was suppressed like a balloon about to pop. That was kind of what Mikoto wanted to relate it to.

"Then we just need to find a third person," muttered Shane, he wasn't too happy to admit it, but he agreed with Mikoto. Taking on three Shichibukais was a bit much for them at this point. One-on-one they had a good chance, but worst-case scenario it could devolve into something like a three-on-three…or as it was right now a three-on-two. Shane and Mikoto's combinations were completely non-existent while the Fox brothers have been working together for probably their entire lives. Their chances looked slim unless they could split them apart. Maybe it would be best for them to just leave them alone, surely there is no need to jump straight after them. There are other Shichibukais left. Then again…there weren't too many chances to team up with someone as strong as Shane, surely both of them would be able to handle one Shichibukai each…they just need a third person…it would be easier than looking for two other people later down the road. "Know anyone who could do it?" Shane asked, cutting into Mikoto's thoughts.

Mikoto paused for a few seconds more…who did he know that was as strong as a Shichibukai? The first thought was, of course, another Shichibukai, Melanie, however, he supposed she was in the same boat as Kraven. After that, of course, Mikoto thought of Trevor and Karasu, both Shichibukai level pirates, but neither one of them would willingly pair up with him. Honestly, there weren't too many people Mikoto remembered meeting on his journey who didn't completely hate him. Mikoto also supposed that people like Renvont and some of the other Revolutionaries out there deserve some mention…but ultimately he couldn't think of one person who would willingly throw in with him…not unless they had some kind of ulterior motive or grudge against the Fox Brothers. "I got nothing," Mikoto admitted, "what about you?"

Shane paused for a brief second as he considered it. He had met a few people throughout his time as a pirate. "Most people I met were just plain old out weaker than weak." Everybody shied back, knowing full well it wasn't that everyone else was weak, it was just that Shane was incredibly strong. "However, there is one person I feel would be able to hold his own with us. But he's a Revolutionary so he probably wouldn't have the time any more. I teamed up with him to help us escape the Buster Call back at the URA." Mikoto was a little taken back…he didn't remember Shane being at the URA, but he figured a lot of people were probably there. "His name is Armani Dove. He's a prophet of sorts, but nonetheless he's strong enough to hold his own I feel."

"Maybe instead of thinking of people who could hold their own you should think of people who would be willing to team up with you," brought up Kraven, easily pointing out that everyone they thought of wouldn't team up with them. Both Shane and Mikoto moaned, neither one of them seemed very good at making friends with anyone outside of their current crew. Honestly, Mikoto couldn't help but feel he lucked out when he met them. He wondered if any of them knew someone who would be capable of holding their own against a Shichibukai. Hiro-Shu and Maria may actually know someone as they were both travelers before they had met. Honestly, it was a good question about who would be willing to fight with them.

"We don't need someone who would be willing to fight with us," pointed out Ridley as he came up with another glass full alcohol, Mikoto was really beginning to wonder where he put it all. Did he have like six stomachs specifically for alcohol? However, that wasn't the point of what Ridley was getting at. "Like I said we don't need someone willing to fight alongside…we just need to find someone willing to fight the Fox Brothers. Or a lot of someones," Ridley stated, "I mean the guy is a Shichibukai, I doubt we'll be hard-pressed to find at least one person who hates his guts." Shane and Mikoto both nodded at this statement, but as usual there was just one problem with this idea.

"Well, chances are if its someone who hates his guts it'd be someone who lost to him, or in other words someone weaker than him," stated Shane, pointing out the flaw in Ridley's plan. Ridley shook his head.

"We don't even necessarily need someone stronger than him," pointed out Ridley, "just someone strong enough to hold him off and perhaps weaken him. If we beat two-thirds of the Fox Brothers, then we beat them all (rounding up)." Shane grunted again, not happy with Ridley's little 'scaredy-cat' strategy, but he had to admit they didn't have any better ideas. "Not only that, but we don't even need one guy. Sheer numbers can easily topple the strongest of people. We get an army, have them handle one Fox Brothers, and you two can handle the other two. Heck, even Bounty Hunters will probably join up with us since if the Fox Brothers lose in a fight against two notable pirate crews then it wouldn't be impossible for them to get kicked off of their position as a Shichibukai. It'll become a free-for-all. And, of course, the more commotion there is the better it'll be to bolster our rankings anyways." Ridley was once again right, if there was a big huge commotion of the Fox Brothers fight the Marines couldn't just cover it up no matter how hard they tried. They would have to admit that they lost to the Infinity Pirates three times! There were few boons greater than that. Mikoto would be thankful he had turned down the Shichibukai position at this rate as soon he may very well be viewed as a Yonkou soon.

"Got any ideas on how to meet this 'army' of yours?" questioned Kraven as he leaned back again, definitely causing a pause amongst them. That a good question, they figured they could just put an ad out in the paper and an army would flock to them? While that may just work it would also basically alert the Fox Brothers to watch out. "I suppose you could just ask around, but once again I'm not promising anything. Chances are you may just run into a spy for the Fox Brothers. Three men, three crews, three times as much fighting force." Mikoto and Shane both looked a little uncomfortable at that thought. Kraven was right, but they still needed a third someone to fight and handle the third Fox Brother…and right now Ridley's idea was the best.

"You think we could talk another Shichibukai into defecting?" asked Mikoto as he played with his leftover food. Shane and Kraven both moaned. Shichibukais generally liked being Shichibukais. And those that didn't generally had a very good reason for becoming a Shichibukai, one that they wouldn't just throw away because two lower-leveled pirates had asked them nicely to do. "It is possible, ain't it?" asked Mikoto, but the two of them once again just rolled their eyes. It really wasn't. Mikoto sighed, and leaned onto his fist…figured, no faith in him.

"Let's just say we are officially declaring war against all Shichibukais," brought up Shane, causing the rest of the crew to gape at him. His idea was about as bad as Mikoto's. "Well, face it…it's true." The crews nodded, but still! They didn't want to go around advertising it! It was a dangerous enough life. Even worse, if it was Mikoto who had said it they would've shrugged it off as Mikoto was just an idiot who would've tried to do it whether he was strong enough or not, but Shane! Shane was someone who may actually be capable of doing it! Which made those words all the more terrifying. Shane complained quietly when he noticed nobody else was going to back him up, "bunch of babies," he muttered.

"I wonder how many psychopaths with a death wish would join up with us if we did say that," wondered Ridley as he leaned back into his own chair. Shane turned around to face him. He felt as if that comment was directed at him. However, his next words surprised Shane, "I say we do it." Everybody looked over at Ridley wondering if he had been dropped on his head recently. "I'm not saying we actually fight all of the Shichibukais, we just say we are. The Revolutionaries will see this as a perfect opportunity to strike, not to mention how many other pirates would love to take advantage of this opportunity. An army of pirates would probably be an understatement. From there we just pick the ones who want to fight the Fox Brothers and go from there…no need to actually state we are attacking them, just leave it up to them to guess."

"What do you know our best idea…is absolutely horrible," moaned Sage who was eavesdropping on the conversations. She sighed and shook her head, however, ultimately they knew what they wanted to do…they wanted to take on the Shichibukais. With two of them already being fell, the next five would be soon to follow. Not only that, but it was possible that Melanie would drop out as well if she caught wind of their plan. As soon as being a Shichibukai stopped being beneficial you could bet that half of the pirates who were Shichibukais would drop out. Still in order to deliver a message with that kind of oomph they definitely needed a proper stage.

Poison

Most of you guys properly guessed what was going on. But, yes, Mikoto and Shane have entered into an alliance to take down the Shichibukais. Although the fact is most of you guys should know by now something is going to go wrong with them, but anyways, enough of that. Oh, and I should also mention that all of the Shichibukais mentioned last chapters were submitted OCs. However, since this is not their official debut I'm not going to bother introducing them and their creators yet.

Secondly! I know I usually update this story on Mondays alongside Sights, but because I was also updating all of my other stories I decided one of the stories needed to be delayed. (I don't want to update all four chapters on one day, especially when three are all for One Piece). Saga was sadly the one that made the most sense to postpone.

Finally, I may not have time to upload the next chapter for this next week cause of Spring Break. I still plan to try, but if it doesn't get posted don't freak out on me.