Marie D. Suesse And The Mystery New Pirate Age!
A Deconstruction, in which we explore the many scenarios that would occur...
Chapter 33: If the World is Right
Dinner in the Suesse household had always been a depressing affair. To begin with, there wasn't much of a household, as it only consisted of a single bachelor sitting alone at the kitchen table, eating a meal with his work and laptop propped up in front of him.
Mr. Garreth Stuart Suesse had the reputation of being a rather odd man. People who knew him found him pleasant enough, but distant. Ambitious too. Even at his young age he'd advanced very quickly in his career and did very well for himself. The more malicious gossips in the neighbourhood attributed it to him being married to his work. Others attributed his work to being the reason he hadn't managed to get married.
Privately, Garreth always felt like something was missing in his life, but he never could quite put a finger on what it was, exactly. The well-meaning busybodies always insisted that it was because he needed to get laid/hitched/settled down, and on occasion he had tried to follow their advice, but none of that had ever felt right. Those attempted relationships had been doomed before they even got going.
The other odd thing about Mr. Garreth Suesse was his inexplicable fascination with the subject of piracy. While that interest served him very well in his career (security consultants who were knowledgeable about modern piracy happened to be in hot demand by international shipping companies), those who knew him better knew his real interest was in the very impractical romantic Golden Age, cutlass-toting, eye-patch wearing with parrots-on-shoulders kind of piracy.
The point was made even clearer when Garreth purchased his first house. He'd also bought a large flag: a Jolly Roger, and proudly flew it on the roof the day after he moved in. The neighbours all came to the conclusion that the man was crazy, and nothing enforced that belief more when he developed a habit of sitting on the roof near the flag and staring into the horizon for hours.
To the eccentric Mr. Garreth Suesse, sometimes living felt more like waiting for something that might very well never come.
St. Magnus was in a foul mood. His new elite bodyguard had run off with his newest acquisition, a rare baby boxfish mermaid. Such an outrage had never been perpetrated in all his years of hiring security personnel.
"Unacceptable!" the Tenryuubito roared at his unfortunate chief custodian. "Find that miserable worm Cree and bring what he stole back! Get an admiral on it if you must— if he gets away with this because of your negligence, I will feed you to the trigger-sharks myself!"
After the unfortunate man fled to carry out his orders, St. Magnus consoled himself by cataloguing his extensive collection. It was all he had in the world. After his first wife, who happened to be another powerful Tenryuubito, left him, he had never bothered with trying to start another family.
Too much of a hassle. What good were children to him, anyway?
It was a busy night in The Rain Dancer Bar in Hawker Island.
A bar-fight born of boredom had just finished breaking out, but fortunately, the timely entrance of a newcomer to the bar provided a distraction and the conflict was promptly forgotten. Hawker Island was Hawker Island, and a newcomer meant a potential crew to join or a crew member to recruit.
This newcomer however, did not look very much like a typical pirate. He was clad in clothes much more suited for a security guard than a bounty-hunter or a pirate, and had a very scared little girl with an overly long dress clinging to him.
"Hey, no crying kids in here! This is a bar!" one of the patrons called out jeeringly. The newcomer silenced him with a glare. A few others rose to their feet, eager for trouble. They had been the same ones who had started the barfight earlier.
The voice of an old man seated at the bar stopped them cold.
"Don't mess with this guy. I heard he just killed a whole bunch of Tenryuubito guards all by himself. You kids are out of your league."
The troublemakers hesitated. The aura of menace emanating from the man at the bar quickly decided the issue, however. They sat back down.
"Actually, I just drugged them. But thanks," said the newcomer after he had made his way to the bar. "You the coating engineer I contacted?"
"The one and the same. You're lucky, I don't normally hang around Hawker Island. Much prefer Sabaody. But your case interested me. It's not every day you find someone with a stolen Tenryuubito ship and a lost mermaid wanting to travel to Fishman Island."
The newcomer nodded. "I promised I'd get her home. But she's too young to make it on her own. She doesn't even remember the way."
"It's very noble of you, but naive. You'd never make it alone. You're in luck, however. I have an alternative solution to your problem. Care to hear it?"
"All right..." said the newcomer cautiously.
"Sell your stolen ship to Koohtou's Salvage and Repairs to hide your trail. That long-arm shipwright'll probably let you trade-in for a smaller, more inconspicuous, vessel. Then, head for Sabaody and lie low for a while."
"To Sabaody? A place crawling with mermaid-hunting slavers?"
"It'll be fine if you stick with me," assured the old man. Then he turned to the little girl and smiled kindly, his eyes twinkling through his glasses.
"What's your name?"
"Tikki." The little girl looked up at the man with wide eyes.
"Well, Tikki, I'm called Ray-san, and I have a fishman friend called Hatchi, and he sometimes comes to visit me at Sabaody. When he comes, I'm sure he'd let you follow them home. Would you like to come stay with me for a while?"
"Is Cree coming too?" The girl looked to her companion for reassurance.
"Of course I am," 'Cree', said at once. Then he added to the old man: "You're really going out of your way to help us, Ray-san."
'Ray-san' smiled. "Let's just say I have a soft spot for helping young fishfolk who happen to be stranded. One good turn deserves another."
(Excerpt from the journal of Nico Robin, archeologist of the Straw-Hat pirates.)
Tuesday, June 15th,
Received a rather intriguing den-den mushi call from the Heart Pirates. Apparently the Dark Doctor himself called us to announce the addition of a new member to his crew.
I am not sure why he decided to call us about such a random issue, especially since what the captain of the Heart Pirates does with his crew roster is no business of ours. Even more strangely, he also asked after the well-being of Luffy and the rest of the crew.
The odd behaviour of Law-san concerns me. In our previous interactions with the man he was suave and aloof, but this time he actually sounded deliriously happy to hear from us.
I wonder what brought this on?
Perhaps he was intoxicated when he made that call.
"—I know! Draw that bird guy from Alabasta next! In Guard Point!*
A chorus of giggles and laughter followed shortly after.
Nico Robin looked up from the deck chair, distracted from her journal-writing for the moment. The younger members of the crew (and Brook) were gathered around Usopp. Armed with drawing pad and pencil, he was doing caricatures for them on demand.
"He's just a giant ball of feathers!" Luffy exploded in laughter when the resident artist had finished.
"How about that X-dinosaur dude? Do him in Monster Point!"
Several minutes later, Usopp held up his finished piece for everyone to see. A hush fell upon the deck.
"That's kind of scary-looking, Usopp," Chopper commented, eyes widening.
"It makes my blood run cold, except that I no longer have blood. Yohohoho!"
"I think it's rather cute, Usopp-kun," Robin joined in, lightening the mood.
"I think it's cool too! I wanna ride one!" Luffy's eyes were glinting the same way they did on the subject of 'beams'.
Robin smiled at the absurd mental image that had appeared in her head. "I doubt Drake-san would let you ride him, Luffy. Besides, it is highly unlikely he would have access to one of Chopper's Rumble Balls, much less three of them."
"As if that would happen! I don't give them out to just anyone," declared Chopper seriously.
"Imagine if that really happened though. Would make for a really scary story... He'd probably be bigger than the Sunny!"
Usopp ended up giving the picture of Monster-Drake to Robin at her request. The macabre illustration of the nightmarish monster-form dinosaur was just to her liking, although Nami refused to let her hang it up in their room, citing it would make the Sunny feel too much like (of all things) a haunted ghost ship.
Ryuugu Palace, Fishman Island
"Your offence is a serious one," the Minister of the Right said sternly to the young Ammo-Knight before him. "You signed up for the Neptune Army under false pretenses. You deliberately misrepresented yourself to His Majesty."
"Your Grace! I did not lie! I merely—"
"Lying by omission is still lying! When we let those of you from the Fishman District join the Neptune Army, we were being generous, but you have betrayed the King's goodwill. With your ties to Hordy and his group now laid-bare, your motives for joining are now suspect."
"I joined the army long before Hordy's coup!"
"Mi-Fa-So-La! What seems to be the problem, here?"
"Prince Ryuuboshi! Your Majesties!" The Minister jumped to attention as the three princes of the realm entered the room with their escorts in tow. "No need to involve yourselves in such a minor issue, young Princes. It is being taken care of— you, stop that!"
The Ammo-Knight being tried had thrown herself on the ground before the three princes.
"Your Majesties, It was not my intent to deceive anyone! My loyalty is to the Kingdom and the Neptune family, I swear it!"
"That's enough! I apologise for her impertinence, Your Majesties. She is no doubt desperate for a way out of the mess she is in."
"What has she done, exactly?" Manboshi, the youngest prince, asked curiously.
The Minister cleared his throat. "We discovered that this mermaid, whom we counted amongst the ranks of our trusted Ammo-Knights, was hiding her blood-ties to a known traitor all this while!"
"A known traitor?" Prince Fukaboshi asked with a frown, turning to the Minister for more information.
"Yes. You will recall that that traitor Hordy Jones had several officers serving under him? One of the most dangerous amongst them was a certain—"
"I do not acknowledge that irresponsible miscreant as any sire of mine!" the knight protested hotly. "I was born of his blood, it is true, but that is all. My brother and I were as good as orphans... We were practically forsaken in the slums of Fishman District and left to fend for ourselves!"
"You expect us to believe it was a mere coincidence that you just happened to be assigned to guard the very same cells that he and his fellow traitors were imprisoned in?"
"I did not select my own assignments."
"Unacceptable! You should have spoken up and asked to be reassigned to another task, had you been truly loyal!"
"I had already resolved to carry out my duty as a knight of the Neptune Army. I vowed I would not treat him differently from any other prisoner, so it shouldn't have mattered." She crossed her arms defensively.
The Minister of the Right did not look convinced. "Don't lie! You were ashamed and trying to cover up your connection to those criminals!"
The knight looked downcast at this. "I am not proud of whence I came, it is true, but I have not done anything I am personally ashamed of."
"Just a moment, Minister," Fukaboshi interrupted, still frowning. "You have explained the blood connection, but not her crime. Has she been caught attempting to free the prisoners, or done anything that would arouse suspicion of such intentions?"
"No, Your Majesty. Her duplicity was discovered by accident in an unrelated incident."
"Has she been involved in any unsavoury incidents in her past?"
"No, Your Majesty. Before this, her conduct has been exemplary. But so was Hordy's, and they were both from the Fishman District. Is it not suspicious?"
Prince Fukaboshi shook his head.
"Minister, do you remember what killed my mother?"
The Minister froze.
"And do you remember what I spoke of after Hordy's defeat? We started at Zero. What her father happened to do with his life before this should have no bearing on this mermaid."
"M-my Prince!" The knight was looking at the crown prince, tears of hope and astonishment in her eyes.
The Minister was taken aback, but recovered quickly "You are right, Your Majesty, we should not have made so much out of such a trivial misdemeanor."
"It is indeed trivial, Minister." Fukaboshi said sternly, but kindly. Then he turned and extended his hand to the kneeling mermaid.
"It would have been wiser if you had been more forthright, but the sins of your father are not yours to bear. Rise up, Gurnarde, loyal knight of the Neptune Army, and hang your head no longer."
"Sister! You have returned! How did your hearing fare?"
Walker had been anxiously waiting for Gurnarde outside the entrance to Ryuugu Palace. On spotting the distinctive figure of the mermaid-knight, the young fishman, barely in his teens, had jumped to his feet and rushed forward to greet his older sibling.
"All is well," Gurnarde still sounded dazed. "Prince Fukaboshi intervened on my behalf and cleared my name."
"His Highness Prince Fukaboshi himself did that?"
"Yes." Despite herself, a smile still found its way to her lips at the mention of the prince. "I still cannot believe it! The crown prince of the realm spoke for me, a lowly peon of ignoble birth! He even knew my name! It is more that I have ever dreamed, or deserved."
"Fukaboshi-sama is magnanimous and just. He will be a great ruler in time," Walker said appreciatively. "I think I too, will join the army when I come of age."
"He is worthy of pledging our service to," Gurnarde agreed enthusiastically. "That is why I have decided that I will strive to become the greatest warrior the Kingdom has ever known. And when Fukaboshi becomes king, I will devote my life to making sure his reign is a long and glorious one."
"Who knows, maybe one day he will see the need for a strong warrior queen by his side," Walker added snickering, after studying his sister's rapt face.
Gurnarde scowled at her brother and then looked away. "I know not what you are babbling about, Walker."
"Both of you are hopelessly drunk," the off-duty marine informed his two equally off-duty companions.
"Hina is not intoxicated."
"Yes she is. And so am I."
The first marine smirked. "And that's Smoker, honest to a fault. Anyway, it's not as if I'm judging you lot or anything. Just as long as you two don't get carried away and end up with some nasty surprise or other nine months down the road. I'm not playing godfather to any unexpected arrivals."
There was the simultaneous smash of two shattered glasses as both Hina and Smoker dropped their drinks in horror at the very notion.
"Just what are you implying, Stamper?" Smoker growled after he had stopped choking on what was left of his beer.
Captain Stamper, happily oblivious, took another pull of his drink. "Imagine what a terror the kid would be like. He'd have either white or pink hair, keep talking about Justice non-stop, or maybe refer to himself in third person. Probably'd end up as some hot-shot loose-canon marine, too. Heaven help the Marines."
Smoker glared at him in disbelief. "Genetics don't work that way."
Hina's comment was simpler: "Stamper, that isn't going to happen, and you're drunk."
"Nope," Captain Stamper said as he raised his glass and downed its contents. "I'm waaaasted!" Then he crashed into unconsciousness beneath his barstool.
Neither Hina nor Smoker felt inclined to drink much after that.
Just as well, really, since we all know just how disastrous that might have turned out.
Somewhere on the Grand Line...
The ship of the Heart Pirates was anchored next to a balmy, tropical island and a joyful party was in full swing. They were celebrating their newest addition to the crew, a member of the fairer sex whom most of them had already fallen head-over-heels in love with.
"Three cheers for our newest nakama," the crew toasted as they raised their frothy mugs of ale. "Three cheers for our brand-new Heart Pirate!"
"She's just so cute!" cooed Penguin.
"So adorable!" agreed Shachi, perfectly in tandem.
A little distance away from the main party, Captain Trafalgar Law and Jean-Bart leaned against the sub's railing and chatted over their drinks.
"So if I'm understanding you correctly, Captain, you want our next recruit to be a locksmith or a—"
"—security consultant, yes. Think about the benefits, Jean-Bart! The Straw-Hats have the Cat-Burglar Nami doing all their safe-cracking and lock-picking for them. We should have someone in that role too, but instead of a burglar, it would be better if we had a real professional... a security consultant."
"Very... progressive-thinking," was Jean-Bart's cautious comment. He reasoned that the Captain was probably still a bit tipsy.
They were interrupted by the approach of the rest of the crew.
"Captain! We need your input! We've been trying to decide on a new name for our new member but we're hung on the decision and we need you to make a call!"
"What name should we give her? Black Destroyer, Onyxiana or Night-Hunter?" asked Bepo as Jean Bart twitched in disapproval.
"I'm picking one of those names for her?" was Law's deadpan reply, looking at the subject of their discussion as they did so. She was ravishingly pretty: glossy black hair, large liquid amber-brown eyes and an impossibly cute little nose. She locked gazes with the captain and mewled.
"Aw... I think Onyxiana likes the Captain!"
"What do you mean Onyxiana? It's Nigh—"
"Oh for... you idiots! None of those names are suitable for a goddamn kitten!" snapped Jean-Bart.
The kitten seemed to agree, and shot the two of them a pleading look, as if to say 'Don't let them call me something stupid!'. There was something disconcertingly familiar about that expression...
"Mar?" Law said suddenly.
The captain was staring at the little kitten with an odd expression on his face, his brows furrowed in concentration. "Her name is Mar," he said at last.
There was a moment of silence as the pronouncement sunk in.
"Short and sweet, I like it!" Shachi declared. In a chorus of agreements from the rest of the crew, the kitten was carried away to resume with the festivities.
"Where did that name come from?" Jean-Bart asked curiously some time later.
Law shrugged. "Not sure." The Surgeon of Death turned and gazed into the horizon, as cries of "Hurrah for Mar!" carried over from the other end of the sub.
He frowned, as if trying to recall a memory that was not quite there.
"Just felt really important that I should remember it, somehow."
The pirate flag flapped merrily in the night wind, upon which carried the happy shouts of children busy trick or treating. Garreth Suesse was up on his favorite spot on the roof, looking down at the throngs of kids scampering around the neighbourhood.
Halloween night was one of Garreth's favourite holidays, and every year he decorated his house lavishly with a pirate theme and chests full of chocolate coins, peppermint skulls, and the like. It was a popular destination for the neighbourhood kids.
"Trick or treat!" yelled the latest bunch of extremely excited costumed kids.
"Where has the rum gone?" added another one, flashing a gap-toothed grin at him. "We demand rum and wenches, yer slaverin' landlubber!"
"Ruffi!" rebuked their chaperone, a young woman with a pirate costume. She looked up at Garreth and apologised: "Sorry about that, he's had too much sugar already and he has this thing about pirates and oh—!"
Their gazes had met for a moment.
The moment didn't last, however, because Garreth chose this moment to jump to his feet. Unfortunately he forgot where he was and predictably, lost his balance and tumbled down the roof.
Fortunately, the eaves were low and the ground soft, and he was relatively unharmed if somewhat abashed. The kids found his fall extremely entertaining and expressed their appreciation by howling in laughter. The chaperone however, had been most alarmed and had hurried to help him up.
"Are you all right? Do you need a doctor? Are you hurt anywhere?" she asked anxiously.
"Just my pride," Garreth said ruefully. "Er.. Have we met before? You seem rather familiar..."
The girl blushed a little. "I had that strangest feeling too," she said as she helped him to his feet. "But I'm sure I would have remembered. You see, I'm new to the area; I just moved here after I finished college to help my mom. She's opened a bistro around the corner."
"Oh yeah, Denise's Bistro. I think I helped your mother out with her locks before."
"Oh, so you're that Mr. Suesse, the locks guy! She was going on and on about how you were such a lifesaver. I thought you'd be this middle-aged man and... well I guess I was really off." She paused and blushed. "By the way, I really like your pirate flag."
They stared at each other awkwardly for a moment.
"Er... Thanks. I... ah... and... call me Garreth, please."
Garreth was suddenly uncomfortably aware that he had mud on his face and his glasses were askew, and Denise's daughter must be thinking that he was such a nutjob...
But instead of backing away from him, she smiled, leaned over, and plucked out a stray twig that had somehow ended up tangled in his hair.
"Nice to meet you, Garreth. I'm Madelyn."
So most of you must be wondering how Madelyn ended up in the other world and never existed in the world she should have been born in.
Well, the answer lies in the wish that Suesse made at the very end of his last life. Instead of going for the most obvious wish, which was to reverse and prevent the events that led to Madelyn joining the Heart Pirates, he went a bit further. This, word for word, was what he wished for:
"I wish you were all part of my world from the very beginning."
Smart man, that Suesse. It was a simple deviation from the most obvious wish, but it fulfilled all the conditions needed for Madelyn and Mar to right the world, and left room for a chance that eventually, he and Madelyn could get together after all.
So yeah, those two ended up together anyway and got married and in time, had a child named Marie Denise Suesse.
Now I can't quite say that this child they had was the same person as the Mar that we've all come to know in the past thirty-odd chapters, because simply put, she wasn't.
If you don't get what I mean, well, it's just like drawing a picture by hand. If the artist loses the original drawing and then redraws the exact same thing, the end result is never quite exactly the same. Those two pictures that the artist drew would be still two completely distinct and different pictures of the same thing, even though the same person drew it with identical sets of materials and tools.
And so it was with this situation. The Mar that we knew was gone for good, because this Mar didn't have to go through the same experiences that shaped the original Mar into who she was in this story.. This Mar that was born in her place was more of what the original Mar might have been like if she hadn't been born to a cross-dimensional Tenryuubito pirate queen with secret fairy powers and heck a lot of issues. But then, this Mar didn't have to get thrown into alternate dimensions and some really weird situations, or have to chase after slavers and pirates, either.
Inexplicably, not all vestiges of the Mar that had once been were gone in this second iteration of Mar. There were some curious things about her that were worthy of note. For one, this Mar turned out to be a rather unusually somber and mature child. In fact, as her father was rather fond of saying: 'she was a bit of an old soul in a young body'.
The other thing curious thing was, even at a young age, this Mar turned out to have an uncanny grasp of logic, which greatly puzzled her teachers at school. Her science teachers were delighted, though, and I'm sure those skills certainly came in handy if she ever had any ambitions of becoming a scientist or doctor.
Oh, and she, like her father, ended up with an inexplicable fascination with the subject of piracy, although her mother attributed that to her father's influence.
Overall, we could say that Mar the Second had a considerably happier, if slightly less fantastical life this time around. So did almost everyone else involved, actually.
That is not to say their lives were perfect, because it never turns out that way. The Suesse family went through many trials and tribulations, fights and arguments, but that is quite normal for most families and people. And despite things being set right to how they should have been in the other world, you already know how the story of the Straw-Hats, the Heart Pirates, and their allies and enemies played out. While certainly better than Madelyn's reality, it wasn't exactly a smooth voyage for them either.
Then again, some might argue that is the whole point of life, living and adventure.
Anyway, the point of my telling you all this isn't to tell you a story about some amazing girl with awesome powers and how she and her family saved a world and then how everyone lived happily ever after that.
The reason I'm telling this story to you all is to fulfill a promise made to Mar, and let you know of her name and deeds so it will not be forgotten how, once, in a reality that no longer exists, she lived.
Marie D. Suesse And The Mystery New Pirate Age!
A/N: I had originally meant to have this last chapter posted together with my planned rewrites for my first few chapters, but unfortunately due to some complications with proofreading and my own schedule, it didn't work out. I didn't want to keep the rest of you hanging for the conclusion, so I've decided that I will revise the first few chapters later at my own pace.
If you're interested in seeing how it turns out, keep this story on alert. I will post another chapter with an appendix and bonus scenes I couldn't fit in, including the one explaining where the Logic-Logic fruit came from (Hang on in there, kirby163!) when I do the rewrite. Think of it as the director's cut or something.
When I started this fic about two years ago, I'd only meant to write a readable short story with as many Mary Sue cliches as possible. Seeing that this thing currently weighs in at 120k+ words, I think I've failed on the 'short story' front. But I've at least succeeded on cramming in the cliches and I do at least hope this was readable.
Strangely though, in the course of writing this story, I found my own perception of the topic of Mary Sues challenged and changed irrevocably. I used to have a rather jaundiced (and I'm afraid to say it, shallow) view of Sues. You know, the usual 'Sues are unrealistic and hated because they are perfect wish-fulfillment and we should spork/kill all Sues in horrible ways and avoid using Sue traits at all' worldview.
The thing is, what I've come to realise after studying and writing about this topic is, it's not the Sue traits that make the Sue reviled. It's the writing and characterisation. In short, it's not the what. It's the how.
A Sue isn't just a girl with a ridiculously wrong name and rainbow hair and speshul powers whom everyone falls in love with. An OC doesn't avoid being a Sue just because they are not perfect, look ordinary, or have no powers. All these things are superficial symptoms. At the core of it, what makes us despise an OC and call her a Sue is when that character is written badly and unconvincingly, cannot connect with the audience, yet given special attention and treatment that does not make sense and which does not match up with what the reader feels. We can tell it all feels forced, and we resent those false feelings being shoved down our throats.
And that's all there really is to it, IMHO.
To prove my point, well... you've just been reading an entire novel-length story about a 16-year old girl who falls into her favourite fictional world, gets magic powers, gathers a crew of cool characters around her (including a heartthrob canon character), finds out she's actually from the fictional world, secretly half-royalty and then turns out to be the Chosen One who sacrifices herself to save the world. All this sound like horrific Sue traits, but I like to think the way they were presented in this story was what made the difference between Mar being accepted and her being reviled.
Whether you agree with my observations or not, feel free to review and let me know what you thought of the story as a whole.
Anyway, now that we've sort of come to the end of the story, I have to say it feels strange to mark this as 'complete'. Part of me feels a little sad to think that this story will soon be buried in the back pages of FFN. Hopefully, it won't be forgotten, and hopefully people will still be able to stumble upon it through the right filters or maybe through recommendations from LJ or tumblr and the like. I can hope, can't I? :)
Regardless, it's been a great journey of discovery writing this fic, and thank you all so much for choosing to come along with me on it.
A special shout out must go to two very notable fanfics that were my inspirations for this fic:
The Game of the Gods by Limyaael
Mary Sue Must Die by Amethyst Turtle
The title of this chapter, If the World is Right, comes from the song Meet You There Someday by the band Augustana. This was also my theme song for writing this series, and I think if you choose to hunt it down and listen to the lyrics, you'll probably understand why.
*The reference to Pell in Guard Point refers to this incomparable DA artpiece by Nire-chan. (nire-chan. deviantart) (/art/OP-Guard-167011386) You're welcome XD
Special thanks to the wonderful folks over at TV Tropes, especially Valiona, Pezt, and Foomin' Blue for fleshing out the lovely TVTropes entry about this page! I certainly wasn't expecting the thing to be so thorough and thoughtful, and I must confess I do enjoy reading those entries from time to time. Thank you for taking the time to write down all those observations. I do appreciate the effort. You guys rock!
And heartfelt thanks to every reader who reviewed or recommended this fic to others. You guys kept me writing on when I was tired, righted me when I made mistake, and from your feedback I learned so much. Thank you, truly.
Don't forget to check out the illustrations and art pieces for this fic. The links should be in my profile page. While you're at it, check out some of my other fics too. I will be resuming work on The Supernova Eleven and Though a Bird Can't Fly soon. They're a bit different from this fic, but if you like this, you'd probably like them as well.
Also, here are a couple of recommendations for other One Piece Mary-Sue related fics:
Kiss Kiss by dandy wonderous
Another Crewmate by HeroR
Just in case you still don't have enough of Mary Sues ;)
Q and A: (Extra long SBS edition)
Colors of Iris 12/2/12 . chapter 32
"That woman made many, many mistakes. But you, Mar, are not one of them."
Alright, I'll admit it. This made me melt. No, scratch that, that's much too mild of a description. It made me regress into an amorphous blob of a gelatin-like substance spewing honey-crusted rainbows out of a warm, fuzzy heart. D'aww, Law. That is the most heartwarming thing I've ever heard (seen? read?) a vicious murdering pirate say.
colordrifter 11/22/12 . chapter 32
"You know, under different circumstances, you would have made a welcome addition to my crew."
Law, that's probably the highest praise you could've given Mr. Suesse. Now I'll spend the rest of the week thinking up fanfic of Mr. Suesse as a Heart Pirate...
-|P: These awesome comments really made me laugh. So much that I decided to draw it in a comic. Enjoy!
pingteo. Deviantart #/d5oi9to (You can also see the art piece linked in my profile)
NotAlwaysRainbowsAndButterfl ys 11/27/12 . chapter 32
That would strike me as surprisingly evil were it not for how many words were in that last update. How many hours did you spend on this chapter?
Final question though, why doesn't Garreth just wish that his wife had belonged to earth to begin with? It should solve all of the problems (even if there remains a chance that they will never meet).
Happy Reader 11/23/12 . chapter 32
I reckon Mr. Suesse wouldn't have wished to turn back the past without also wishing for Mar and his wife. Wishes don't have to make sense or have limits, after all. And he's simply awesome like that!
-|P: Good call, guys ;) Oh and on the first question, this chapter took me a lot of time, and a lot of it was pre-written as far back as May. Yeah I write spatially sometimes, and jump forward to key scenes then jump back and build on that.
Mikan 12/5/12 . chapter 32
You know, when you think about it, Mar's power is not that much of a game breaker. The strength of the fruit is only exceptional in the world Madelyn created as there is so much illogical things she can recharge on. While normal One Piece can be weird and wacky, there is not enough fuel for the fruit to break a world like Madelyn's.
-|P: Hm, that is a good point. Mar's warping powers would be much less potent in the real world. Her logic would probably come in handy in school though... (adds that in the fic).
UniquelyMackenzie 12/4/12 . chapter 32
Question: since this fic was first written to explore mary sues and if all the things that happen in those fics can be made plausible (which you did an amazing job of) are you going to have your lovely narrator wrap that up?
-|P: Yes I am, and if you pay attention to that last bit, I think you may realise something about the narrator too XD
kirby163 11/28/12 . chapter 32
I do still wonder... Where did the Strawhat and the Devil Fruit come from?
-|P: I was going to answer that in this chapter, but I didn't manage to fit it in. I'll put that up in a bonus scene when I do the rewrite. Hang on in there!
Anonymoush 11/24/12 . chapter 32
I really hope you will make another fanfiction for the One Piece fandom.
-|P: I have considered doing a sequel with the Suesses set in the Harry Potter fandom, which would deconstruct Harry Potter fanfic cliches, but I'm not sure if I will have the time. I do have a couple of other One Piece fanfics though. Feel free to check them out in my profile :)
Theralion 11/23/12 . chapter 32
...the "Lemony Narrator," which seemed somewhat unnecessary in this chapter, given that we're apparently at the most emotional part of the work. The problem with this- similar to what others have mentioned- is that often, when the narrator is right, it seems redundant and overly obvious, but when the narrator is wrong or people disagree with it (for example, the difficulty of sneaking up on Mar in the Thousand Sunny), it comes off as trying to tell readers what to think. In these situations, it might be more subtle and helpful to have characters make their observations on their own, to illustrate what normal people would think about Mary Sues. In short, perhaps more of a "show, don't tell" approach would have been better.
-|P: The Lemony Narrator seems to be something of a 'love it or hate it' kind of thing. Ah well... since this was a learning project for me, I wanted to experiment with something new, and definitely learned a lot. Though I have to say, if I were to make use of a Lemony Narrator like that again, I'd probably use it in a different manner. Definitely more subtly.
All that said, I do think that in this particular case, the use of "Tell" is actually more suitable than "Show", as this story is in some ways a modern-day version of a dark fairy tale and it is in keeping with the tone of those kind of stories. They weren't particularly subtle about their aesops. If you're familiar with TV Tropes, there's one that goes 'Some Anvils Need to be Dropped'. I think this fic drops whole hailstorm of them.
I was pretty sure I did refrain from telling readers what to think in that particular chapter, however,
The narrator at the first few chapters though... yeah no excuses, he's heavy handed as hell. I'm probably going to go back and do some major rewrites of the beginning when I'm done.
Sarcasticles 11/22/12 . chapter 32
I don't recall this being brought up in story, but where does Oda fit in all of this? I mean, Mar has actually read one piece, so I was wondering if he was a part of anything. I guess it doesn't really matter, I was just kind of curious.
-|P: I have to admit the Oda angle is a headache, but I'm just going to side-step it and say maybe the entire OP dimension actually exists inside his head *grin*
dartya 11/22/12 . chapter 32
...there is one thing I'd like to ask. It has nothing to do with how the story will end, it is more about the why's and how's. It just fascinates me.
Did you know how the story would end when you first started? I remember how you said that you didn't think that it would get so serious, but /when/ did you realise exactly what and why you were writing?
-|P: I had a vague idea when I started that I wanted to do a story about a Mary Sue character ending up in an OP world where everything had gone wrong. The first three chapters were written in a single shot. I think it was at the fourth chapter when I realised that I wanted to give this thing more of a plot and less of a parody. Sometime during the 5th chapter I came up with the idea of Madelyn being the cause of the world screwing up (it was a possibility before, but I made up my mind to go through with it then). It was around the end of the 6th chapter when realised I wanted a take on Mary Sues that was more deep and meaningful, and by the 7th I roughly had the whole plot laid out in my head, including the Madelyn-Mar connection.
I didn't think the scope would be so much more longer and complex though. I thought the most this thing would run for was for 10 chapters or so. Yeah, I know I'm rather bad at estimating.
Imma Guest Here 11/22/12 . chapter 32
I still hide my face in a pillow every time Garreth and Blake become all touchy-feely. I can image Law wanting to do the same, you know, in that cool, collected way of his.
-|P: The recent manga chapters really make this so much easier to imagine, doesn't it?
d7jedi 11/22/12 . chapter 32
Its sad that this good thing will come to an end, and this story may eventually get buried under other stories and clones, but rest assured, no matter what happens, your name, and this story, won't be forgotten. I promise. I couldn't resist :)
I have to admit, I wasn't expecting to have my own words quoted back at me. I feel strangely honoured ;)
I am sad at the idea of finishing, and saying goodbye to Mar and Mr. Suesse and the Mer-siblings and such, and then at the idea of the story being buried and forgotten. I'd be flattered at the idea of clones though (yay! I'd be a trendsetter then!) but hey, who knows, I'm sure the occasional reader will still stumble into it from time to time :)
Thank you everyone. And with this, we end the year. Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! -|P