Marie D. Suesse And The Mystery New Pirate Age!
A Deconstruction, in which things could have been different. But no less disturbing at parts. Just so you know.
Bonus Content: The Underwater Submarine Epilogue
The Ship That Would Sail Under a Thousand Suns.
That was what they had called it.
It had lain undisturbed on the ocean floor for decades before being recovered. Now, it was destined to go back there again, this time for good.
A ship does not sink straight down. Depending on the underwater currents, even the heavy mass of a sinking ship can be swept away to a different location from where it sunk at the surface.
Perhaps it was fate, but the Thousand Sunny was too, carried by a particularly strong current, and deposited on a sand-bed, near a coral outcrop that if you squinted, could be said to resemble a shark.
A massive moray eel poked her head from her crevice on the reef and regarded it curiously. It was not the first time she had seen a wreck before the ocean turned it into another reef.
A straw-hat, which had been tangled in some of the lines of the wreck, was worked loose by the current, and drifted towards the moray, to settle on the reef that had once been the missing child of the ship.
Home, at last.
Twenty years ago...
"They're still on us!" Franky yelled as he desperately fought to guide the Shark Submerge though the storm of depth charges. The water was thundering about them, the sounds of the deadly explosions magnified underwater.
"Divesuits?" Brook suggested.
Franky shook his head. "We're too deep. The water pressure and concussion from those explosions would destroy us. I'll try to get the sub closer to the surface."
The Shark Submerge lurched again as a depth charge detonated far too close to the sub. Something blew in the controls, and the little submarine slowed its forward momentum and began sinking.
"We're losing all power!" Franky had taken his hands off the control and was frantically trying to restart the failing systems. Given enough time, he could, but they didn't have the time.
"We're not going to make it, are we?" Usopp's face paled as the sub shuddered again.
Nami bowed her head and clutched the Straw-Hat. Luffy's hat had been left on the Sunny the day their captain had disappeared, and she had been keeping it on her ever since. "Chopper..."
"At least he is safe, and once he saves Law-san he won't be alone," Brook pointed out gently.
All of them nodded. It was cold comfort, but at least it was something.
"Sunny. We're so sorry..." Franky bowed his head, thinking of the beloved ship that he had left coated and hidden underwater. He would never be able to go back for her as promised now.
"Nami, are we going to try it?" Usopp asked, eyeing the crate of devil fruits they had swiped during their raid on Vegapunk's lab, as the lights began to dim. Even if they were surrounded by the ocean, there was nothing to lose now, and perhaps in one of these fruits there would still be a power that could still save them all.
Nami nodded and selected one of the devil-fruits. Usopp already had his halfway to his mouth. It was a strange-looking example of the unearthly fruits, one that looked like a swirly chilli pepper.
Then the depth charge hit.
Carried by the deep-sea current, a straw hat, miraculously undamaged despite what had happened to the vessel it had been in, drifted through the water. Tangled in the lanyard was an uneaten devil fruit.
Perhaps the strange fruit had some sort of inexplicable power, and the unearthly energies it radiated provided it some sort of immunity, but the straw hat and fruit would traverse the ocean unmolested and untouched by the denizens of the deep for decades.
One day, many years later, a large object suddenly appeared and sunk into the ocean in the area where the Hat and fruit happened to be drifting. This briefly changed how the underwater currents flowed, and the Hat was brought to the surface. Against all logic, as though guided by fate, it then drifted on towards a miserable young girl who just happened to be clinging on to flotsam in the middle of the ocean at that very moment.
And the rest, as they say, is Her story.
The above bonus scene was supposed to be the opening chapter of the last chapter, I wanted to bookend the scene in the Suesse household, and it just fit better there.
I did consider ending the story with this too, but after the narrator had so neatly wrapped things up, it seemed a bit superflous, so here it ends up a bonus instead.
Bonus Content 2: Kitty!Mar
"Hey you! what are you doing in my cabin?" Captain Trafalgar "Surgeon of Death" Law stood in the doorway of his private quarters and glared at the intruder he found in there. It was the last thing he wante to deal with at the end of a long, trying day.
Mar the kitten froze and looked up at Law with a look that could only be described as 'blankly uncomphrehending'. The pirate captain, who knew better than to fall for the act, rolled his eyes, walked over to the desk where she had been messing around, and picked her up by the scruff of her neck. The kitten was still giving him an 'I'm innocent!' look when he deposited her on the bed, before turning back to tidy the mess she had left.
"Bad cat! You left paw prints all over my papers," Law grumbled beneath his breath. "Stay put and dont start scratching the bedposts, you hear me?"
When he was done with salvaging his work, he quickly discovered that Mar hadn't stayed where he put her, and had stealthily wandered off towards his nightstand. She was sniffing at the small wooden chest that was placed upon it. With alarm, Law realised that he had carelessly left the lid open, and its very valuable contents were currently at risk from the curious cat.
The kitten nearly fell off the nightstand in surprise as the chest suddenly disappeared in a flash of blue light, only to reappear in the captain's hands.
"No devil fruit for you, Mar," Law said sternly to the kitten as he checked the contents: an unidentified red devil fruit that was in the shape of a chilli peppper. It looked untouched.
"You didn't lick it, did you?"
The kitten blinked, then meowed in protest.
"Why are you so obsessed with that thing anyway, Cat?"
Shaking his head, he carefully locked the chest and reached out a hand to pet the kitten as she jumped up onto his lap.
Cut Content: Escape From Mariejois
The following is an alternate version of events leading up to the final confrontation. It is much less darker that what I used for the actual story, although it still has its share of unsettling content.
This version deviates from the original shortly after Mar, Mrs Suesse, and Red escape from the Kennels. Instead of going back they leave through the original route they planned after getting hold of a den den mushi and managing to communicate with the rescue party. You can detect some remnants of this plot in the original like the bit about Red's key being important. It was meant to be used for the final door before this scene.
Sure enough, looming ahead, was a small square of dim blue light. Their footsteps echoed loudly against the stone of the passage. As they neared the opening, they could hear the enticing sound of crashing waves, and smell the salt in the air.
Mar found her second wind, and was able to force her tired feet to keep going. But she still wasn't faster than Red, whose lithe frame was already at the exit and silhouetted against the moonlight. He didn't relax just yet; Mar could see him glance warily about in case of an ambush.
"Their ship is down there," he said as soon as Mar and her mother caught up."
Sure enough, docked near a small beach, was a pirate ship. It wasn't the Thousand Sunny, but it was flying a very familiar flag. Mar's searching eyes took in the symbol on the rent jolly roger, and and recognised it at once.
"That's our flag! But it went down with the ship... How did they get it up again? Of course, either Gurnarde or Walker must have done it!"
"I hope that is the case," Red said as he smiled, relaxed a little and greedily breathed in the salty air. "Ah, the ocean. How I've missed it. This is the first time in recent memory I've come to it as a free man."
Mar couldn't help but feel extremely happy herself at witnessing Red's obvious delight at their new-found freedom. It was the least he deserved after so many decades of unspeakable suffering. She was about to say something more when her mother suddenly gave a little shriek.
In the distance, running towards them from the direction of the moored pirate ship, was a familiar looking figure.
Mrs. Suesse had taken off at a run. The next moment, both of Mar's parents had jumped into each other's arms, and in Mar's opinion, proceeded to be thoroughly embarrassing. I should mention that the fact that all this was going on in front of Red probably didn't help either.
"Well, in case anyone cares, I'm here too..." Mar pouted, but at that moment, Red gave her a little nudge.
"It's an adult thing," he said, a bemused grin on his face. "They haven't seen each other for a long time. I'd let them get on with it."
"Well once they're done with that thing they're doing, I guess I ought to introduce you to my Dad," Mar replied, mollified. She was still slightly mortified when Drake extended his hand and ruffled her hair. "Erm... would you prefer the name 'Red' or 'Drake'?"
"I do not wish to be called 'Red' ever again."
"Drake it is, then," Mar said with a smile. "Omigosh, wait till I introduce you to the Disinfector! You two actually know each other from back then, you know? I'm not supposed to tell you who he is but once you meet him I think you'll know who he actually-"
"Mar, I am very grateful to you and Magda for my freedom, but introductions will not be needed. I will not be coming with you after this."
Mar look at him in shock at the announcement. "But there's plenty of space for you to come with us! It's no bother at all. Please come! If you don't, what will my mom say?!"
Drake smiled sadly again. "She already knows that I only meant to go with you as far as the ocean."
"B-but she never mentioned... I thought... why?" Mar had never quite realised how fond she had come to be of Red/Drake, the idea of leaving him alone left a cold dread in her heart.
"Mar, please understand. I cannot go any further with you... not with the tracking device on my implant. It would only lead the Marine pursuit to you and I would not endanger the two of you for anything in the world. It's better that I go my own way."
"B-but... they'll come after you again. What if they capture you again? You'll be alone with no one to help you!"
"Do not worry about me, I have already made plans to ensure it will never happen again." Drake reassured her. Then he turned to her mother, who was finally done with 'greeting' her father."Magda, once they realise I am with you, they will make use of the tracker beacon to find us. I must leave now. I'll do my best to lead them away from you."
"Are you sure about this, Red?" There was a sad look in Mrs. Suesse's eyes.
"It's for the best," he assured her with a salute. "I thank you for my freedom and all you have done for me. Godspeed, and stay safe."
With that he turned and sprinted up the rocky path that led to the cliffs of Mariejois.
"Blake, who was that?" her father asked curiously.
"A fellow slave who was imprisoned with us. His name is Red."
"No," Mar corrected, sadly watching the green-skinned figure disappear into the distance. "His name is Drake- X. Drake, Captain of the Drake Pirates."
"So X. Drake was alive all this time and kept as a slave in St. Magnus' mansion. Puppet-controller too? Poor bastard..." The Disinfector said to Mar as their ship pulled away from Mariejois.
The invasion team had returned to the ship shortly after Drake's departure. Mar's mother had been introduced to the rest of the crew and was already making friends with Walker, who had the been friendliest towards her out of the three. The Disinfector had not said much to her after the initial greeting, while Gurnarde had been rather cautious and stand-offish, but that was normal for Gurnarde. Mar supposed the mermaid just needed time to warm up to new people.
"I still wish he had come with us," Mar sighed as she stretched out her hands so the Disinfector could remove her sea-stone bands. "He's been a caged animal for so long, and now he has to be a hunted one. It's just unfair."
At the moment, the Disinfector managed to remove the bands. The sea-stone bracelets she had been wearing were soon lying at her feet, her strength was seeping back, and with it, her logical thought. In an instant, it all came flooding back to Mar: thoughts, ideas, reasonings, and most of all, the feeling that something missing had been restored.
It was also then when something that should have been apparent to her finally came to her notice.
"We've got to go back!" Mar cried out loud in horror. "I've been an idiot! Turn back! We've got to go back for Drake now!"
"Marie, he made his decision to go his own way. We should respect it." Mrs. Suesse said immediately.
"No! We have to go back! Don't you understand? Drake's planning to kill himself!"
Walker, seeing her distress, quickly instructed Branchy to turn and head back. Before long, the ship was rushing back the same way it had fled from, towards the cliffs of Mariejois.
"He said he was going to make sure he'd never be captured again, but if he also said that tracker couldn't be removed..." Mar clenched her fists in anger at herself. "Why didn't I realise it earlier?"
"Perhaps it would be best to let him choose his own end. To a man who has lost everything and with nothing to live for, death is preferable choice," The Disinfector commented thoughtfully, which earned him an angry glare from Mar. He showed no sign of having noticed or cared.
"Look! Up there!" Gurnarde called out, pointing at something high above them.
At the top of one of the cliffs was a familiar green-skinned figure. Drake was sitting at the edge. He had obviously been waiting there and watching the sunrise.
"What is he doing just sitting there in that exposed position? I thought he said he meant to get away..."
Even as Mrs. Suesse spoke, they could see Drake rise to his feet and face the rising sun, arms spread.
Too late... they were too late.
"No! Stop! Stop!" Mar screamed, but she already knew her voice would never carry that far.
Everything was happening in slow-motion now. Mar could only cry out in horror as the man who had saved her life calmly took a step forwards into the empty air and plummeted down the sheer drop of the Red Line, down towards the rocks and the ocean below that would surely end his life.
There wasn't enough time to try and warp reality. Did she even have enough logic power to bring him back to life if he was killed? Would he ever forgive her if she did that? Mar didn't know.
She never got to find out, because just then, a strange thing happened. A large column of water, majestic and surreal, rose from the ocean to intercept his fall. Mar's mouth fell open as the giant waterspout rushed up, enveloped the man, then slowly subsided down to the sea-level with him in its inhuman grasp.
Mar was confused until she caught sight of the source of the water.
The giant fishman was by the side of the ship, his hands flowing in the strange movements of his fishman martial arts and there was no doubt the waterspout was his doing.
"Gurnarde is saying do," was his grunted explanation.
It was also at this point when Mar realised that the mermaid was nowhere to be seen.
They all saw her a split-second later, breaking the surface with a limp figure of the devil-fruit user in her arms.
"Walker, catch!" she called out before tossing the now-human Drake at her brother. Walker deftly caught the hapless man-turned-projectile and gently set him down on deck.
"Cushioned the impact of the fall with the waterspout, while the mermaid zipped over and fished him out. Impressive," commented the Disinfector as he moved forward to administer whatever medical aid that might be required.
As it turned out, it was quite unnecessary. Drake appeared to be unharmed, and was already gasping and crawling to his feet.
"Just what the hell do you think you are doing?" he yelled at Gurnarde as soon as he had the breath to speak. "I never asked you to save me!"
"Nothing personal, human. Captain's orders," Gurnarde replied, smiling rather smugly.
Drake turned and glared at Mar, who shrank a little at the hostility in his gaze. "How dare you?! I already explained why I couldn't come with you. I thought that you would have at least given me the freedom to make my own decisions!"
"It was a stupid decision!" Mar shot back, despite her own fear. "You lied to me! You didn't tell me your solution to not being caught again was jumping off a freaking cliff!"
"Stop being such a sentimental child! You know I have this damn thing on my neck!" he snarled back at her, pointing at the puppet-controller. "It cannot be removed. It'll bring the Marines down on us and they'll slaughter your crew and family. You've put everyone in danger by bringing me here against my will!"
"Red, please!" Mrs Suesse tried to pacify her ally. "Don't do this! After everything we've been through, you can't just give up like that..."
"Magda, do you think I would have chosen that course if I had another choice? They'll track me down. Then they'll find ways to make the puppet-controller work once more. None of you understand what it's like, being turned into a human puppet! I would rather be dead a thousand times over than be a prisoner— a mere plaything of my own body again, do you hear me?! "
Drake was transforming from his human form to his hybrid one even as he said this. The change might have been involuntary because of his highly-stressed state, but it also looked extremely threatening. Everyone immediately tensed up and Mr Suesse started reaching for his gun just in case.
Fortunately, the situation never escalated to violence, as just as things were beginning to look ugly, Drake suddenly gave a cry, stiffened and fell to his knees. The Disinfector had taken the opportunity to sneak behind him with a syringe full of his most potent sedative.
"You! It's you... you bastard!" Mar knew from his tone that Drake had evidently recognised who the Disinfector really was. Fortunately, he never had the chance to anything else, as the sedative had started to kick in. The zoan user slumped to the deck, turning back into his human form as he scrabbled desperately to fight off the effects of the drug. It took another minute before he fully succumbed to unconsciousness and lay still.
"Will he be all right?" Mrs Suesse asked anxiously, and would have rushed to his side if The Disinfector hadn't waved her off.
"For anyone else it would be a lethal dose, but he can handle it." The Disinfector said nonchalantly, putting away his massive syringe before kneeling to check the sedated man's vitals. "Stable. Good."
Mar noted that her father looked slightly jealous of the concern her mother was showing for Drake. If the situation wasn't so tragic she would have found it quite funny, actually.
"Fishman Walker, please carry patient to infirmary. Will attend to him after The Disinfector has finished seeing to the Captain."
Walker wordlessly scooped up the unconscious Drake and headed towards the sick-bay.
"I'll come with you," volunteered Mrs Suesse, still looking worried.
"Me too," Mr Suesse said at once.
Despite herself, Mar snickered. Oh her father was definitely jealous of Drake, all right. She fought very hard to keep a straight face as The Disinfector tossed her old sea-stone bracelets to her father and told him to keep them ready in case Drake turned violent.
"X. Drake has a point however," The Disinfector pointed out, as he bandaged a scrape Mar had received earlier. "Tracker beacon on his implant will be problematic. He cannot stay with us while it remains active."
"He wouldn't abandon us back in St Magnus' mansion, and I'm not abandoning him now," Mar replied stubbornly.
Gurnarde, sensing that her presence was not welcome in this discussion, excused herself, saying someone needed to pilot the ship and direct Branchy.
"We lost the Sunny because that shipwright back at Hawker Island planted a beacon on us. Do you want to risk a repeat of what happened?"
"There is another way. We remove that controller implant."
Mar could see the Disinfector stiffen as soon he realised what Mar was asking of him.
"No." The Disinfector said firmly.
"Yes," Mar persisted. "You can do it, can't you, Disinfector? You've done it before!"
"I said: no. Is not possible. Tried. Failed!"
"Law, look! Just because Chopper died doesn't mean it won't work this time. The last time you did that operation it you'd never done anything like that before and it was right after you'd just been stabbed. Of course you wouldn't be at your best! But this time, now that you have experience and all, Drake has a better chance!"
"Drake dying in the operation is the least of our worries. If we fail, there are worse consequences."
"What's the worst that could happen? He wants to die because he can't find any other way out! There's nothing to lose."
The Disinfector was silent for a very long time. Even though she couldn't see his face beneath the visor, Mar could instinctively sense that it had assumed the same haunted look it had back in the infirmary of the Sunny.
"I told you... I was the one who killed Chopper. I never told you back then that reason was because Chopper was the one who killed the Heart Pirates."
[Chopper Berserker flashback and Berseker explanation scenes here. The content is almost identical to the version that appears in the actual story. ]
Mar was silent for a long while. But despite the shock, she obstinately refused to budge.
"Law, the Heart Pirates and Chopper didn't all have to die for nothing. It can still be different this time. We know what to expect because of what happened in the past and we have sea-stone ready. It can work. Please!"
"Application of sea-stone during operation would compromise chances of survival of patient. Non-application would pose too much risk if he goes Berserker—"
"Walker and I would be pleased to offer our assistance to throw the zoan user overboard again should the need arise. Just say the word!" Gurnarde volunteered cheerily, popping up out of seemingly nowhere.
There was a period of silence as both of them stared at her. "My hearing is excellent and your voices do carry across to the bridge, you know, " she added on seeing their expressions. "Back to the topic, there really is no reason not to try this operation, Disinfector. Veterans like us do not fear the ghosts of our past failures." With that parting shot she disappeared back over the show, presumably to guide Branchy again.
The Disinfector looked after the mermaid as though he wanted to cut her up into a thousand little pieces, but the taunt worked. "Fine," he said shortly. "Captain, you and your father will assist me in the operation. Everyone else stays out of the room and on alert. Once this operation begins, whatever I say goes, no arguments. Is that clear?"
Mar decided nodding was probably the most tactful response for this situation.
"They've have been in there a long time. I hope they are not experiencing complications," Gurnarde remarked casually to Mrs Suesse. The two women were waiting outside the room that had been converted into the Disinfector's operating theatre.
"It's impossible to tell what's that's going on in there. Dr Disinfector seems to have the room sealed down tight."
"Well I suppose he will not be reticent about asking for help if things go amiss. If that poor comrade of yours has to be buried at sea immediately I would like to be the one doing it. Tossing humans around is a very enjoyable activity. He, in particular, is a delight to toss- very solid and durable."
No one could blame Mrs Suesse if she started looking rather uneasily at Gurnarde at this.
It was just as well that the operating room does opened shortly after that. Everyone looked expectantly at the solitary, blood-splattered figure that emerged: The Disinfector.
No words were spoken as the doctor traversed the length of the deck until he reached the railing. Then he opened his hand to reveal in his palm, a bloodstained puppet-controller implant. The lights on it were still blinking, and they continued blinking as still without saying a word, The Disinfector pulled his arm back and hurled it deep into the waves.
Then he heaved a sigh of relief before heading back into the room again, passing a weary but triumphant-looking Mr Suesse who had just emerged.
Gurnarde broke the silence. "It would seem that my services won't be necessary after all."
"Thank goodness, " replied Mrs Suesse before she ran forward to embrace her husband.
"He's going to be mad at me when he wakes up, isn't he? " Mar asked nervously, as she helped clean up after the operation.
"It won't have been the first time he was operated on without his consent. Hopefully it will be the last."
Drake had been laid out on his chest to recover from the surgery. The wound at the back of his neck where the implant had been was concealed under a covering of bandages, and looked much less serious than it was. Mar, who had been through each step of the surgery, knew better.
As a safety precaution The Disinfector had put the sea stone bands on Drake again, so the zoan user was currently back in his human form. Mar couldn't help but notice Drake hadn't aged as much as Law had. Perhaps it was a side effect of Drake's devil fruit, she didn't know, but Mar had been so accustomed to seeing him in his superhuman hybrid state that seeing him lying there, unaccustomedly human and vulnerable, felt wrong.
"If he continues to be unreasonable once he regains consciousness, it is still not too late to ask the mermaid to toss him overboard. She seems to enjoy it. "
Mar was about to protest in horror when she realised that The Disinfector was, in fact, making a joke.
The Disinfector did not reply. He did not deny it, however. Mar could practically sense the smirk underneath his visor.
"Omigosh, you're actually glad I talked you into doing this surgery, aren't you? It's so poetic! Drake's successful surgery makes up for what happened twenty years ago— hey!"
And that was how Mar ended up being shooed out of the operating room by the annoyed Disinfector.
"You'd better appreciate this, Drake," the Disinfector said to his unconscious patient. With Mar out of the room and Suesse goodness knew where The Disinfector was alone.
There was a knock on the door. Mrs Suesse entered, her eyes shining.
"Mar told me the great news. I am so grateful to you for saving Red, Dr Disinfector."
The Disinfector, with his back to her, did not respond.
" Dr Disinfector? "
"Do not want your thanks for saving Drake," he said curtly.
Mrs Suesse was taken aback. "I don't understand. Have I done something to offend you?"
Without saying anything, The Disinfector lifted his hand to undo his collar seal. There was a hiss as he pulled off his helmet and visor so that his head was bare. Slowly, he turned around so he was face-to-face with Mrs Suesse. The look in his eyes was chilling.
"Yes, you have... Madelyn."
[Chapter break here]
In the end, I made the decision not use this version of the build-up to the finale because it resulted in a lot of other loose ends. The presence of Drake, Gurnarde and Walker on board the Not Sunny would have complicated the final confrontation with Madelyn. It also didn't have the desperation of the original ending, which ultimately would be needed for Mar, Blake and Garreth to go ahead with the wish that would cost Mar her existence.
One thing I liked a lot about this alternate version (besides the far lower body count) is that Law actually got a resolution and redemption for his failed operation on Chopper. I also enjoyed touching on Drake's precarious mental state, his interactions with Mar's crew and especially his meeting withThe Disinfector. I was genuinely sorry to have to omit those because they played off each other so well. One good thing did come out of the change though, I got to put in the Gurnarde/Mer-King storyline , which I would have had to miss out on otherwise.
Oh and you guys have LaraLuvKakashi to thank for getting me to rework and include this particular cut content here. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have remembered to include it if they hadn't specifically asked me to :) -|P
Awesome Art Stuff
I was lucky enough to get the following fanarts for this fanfic from my wonderful readers (links available from my profile page)
SPOILER ALERT! Marie D Suesse Fanart by ~LittleMissUnknown
-|P: I love the daintiness of this sketch. It also invokes a bit of sadness. I always think the superimposing of Mar represents the part of Law that cannot remember where the name comes from.
The New Crew Member by ~Colors-of-Iris
-|P: This little comic is adorable. If Chibi!Law isn't enough to make you go aw, the portrayal of the kitten scene will be!
I swear it, Mar! by ~sasuhina0324
-|P: Law's promise to Mar is one of the most iconic moments in this fic for me. It's in fact, supposed to be the reason the story exists at all. So naturally I loved that that moment was picked!
Appendix: Notable Character Index and name explanations.
Marie Denise Suesse - Marie Suesse obviously stands for 'Mary Sue', and the 'D.' was intially there to make fun of the tendency of OP fanfic original characters to have a random truncated letter in their names. Mar was supposed to be a lot more annoying and self-centered, but by the time I got to the third chapter where I was supposed to enjoy having the Sunny torment her, I decided a shallow parody wasn't working out and decided to go the horror route instead.
Garreth Stuart Suesse - Obviously 'Gary Stu', though I never meant for Mr. Suesse to become such a major character at first. It was a snap decision I made on Chapter Nine to bring him in as a supporting character earlier instead of having him rescued at St. Magnus' much later. One of the best decisions I've ever made story-wise, I think.
St. Magda Monkey D. Madelyn Blakeney Hosseau-Suesse - The sheer number of names Madelyn has is a reference to the long train of names Mary Sues are supposed to have, if you believe the stuff you read in Mary Sue Litmus Tests. It's quite discredited nowadays, and I cannot recall a single instance of a real Mary Sue that was not a trollfic/parody actually having super-long names like that. Incidentally, both Mar and Madelyn were created in defiance of Mary Sue Litmus tests (which I consider misleading to new writers). I deliberately looked them up, ticked as many boxes as I could, and set out to write characters with those Suish traits but (hopefully) weren't Sues. Incidentally, Mar's Mary Sue litmus test score is 107, and this is with the de-Suefier section (which subtracts points) mostly ticked. Madelyn scored 172. For reference, anything over 50 is considered a lost cause by the test.
The Disinfector - Alternative names for him were "The Mad Doctor" or "Dr. T". Some of you might be surprised to know that very very very early on in the story conception, before I'd even written a word, there had been a very real possibility of him being jaded, mentally-scarred Tony-Tony Chopper after all. However, the plot points made better sense with Law, and so here we are.
'Demon' Walker - Walker is named after one of the common names for the spiny devilfish, a kind of bottom-dwelling scorpionfish. They go by many names, but the ones my diving buddies use are 'demon/devil walkers' or 'walkman'.
'Sand-Dragon' Gurnarde - 'Gurnarde' is obviously a feminine version of the fish species 'gurnard'. 'Sand-Dragon' refers to the flying gurnard's appearance, and also its tendencies to hang around sandy ocean beds. I remember the first time I saw one underwater and thought: "What the hell is that crazy-looking fish?", followed by "If I ever do a mermaid character I'm basing it on that weird fish."
An interesting titbit about Gurnarde is that she and Walker are actually supposed to be Hyozou the merman swordsman's estranged offspring. This is alluded to but never directly stated in the story though that didn't stop several of you readers from putting two and two together and figuring it out (Hi there ColoursOfIris and Mikan!). I didn't want to make it a major point in the story itself because I wanted Gurnarde and Walker to be appreciated for themselves and not just because they were related to a Canon character.
Slashfang - I remember reading a fic where a character had a Tori-Tori no mi, Model: Bat. That really annoyed me.
Sakura D. Hana - Two very overused Japanese names. Cherry-Blossom D. Flower is as about as cheesy as it gets.
Wyvernpants D. Draco - Draco in Leather Pants meets Dragon powers (a wyvern is a kind of dragon)
Captain Marrow - The bone-DF marine from Sabaody. Bone. Marrow. Kinda obvious.
Roronoa D. Squall - A squall is a sudden but violent storm. It also doesn't last long. Is he Zoro's long-lost brother, or was he just a wannabe? Goodness knows. He didn't last long enough to matter.
Admiral Lance D. Imba - 'Imba' is a gaming term for 'imbalanced', which I thought just about describes most imaginings of the 'Copy-Copy' fruit. Unless you put some realistic limitations to the way the fruit works, it's overpowered and you will need some really good plotting to make up for it.
Fleet Admiral Stamper - The fleet admiral who stamps 'DECEASED' on the posters, and then talks to Mar about 'old times' when she gets captured. I never meant him to be a named or repeat character at first, but he ended up being something of a one-scene wonder so I decided to give him more than one scene.
Vice-Admiral Catti - The female marine officer who taunts Red and Mar about the puppet controllers. She's rather catty.
Koohtou (The Long-Arm Shipwright) - I never managed to give his name in the story until the very end, since I never found it important enough to do so. He was supposed to be less evil and so impressed by Mr. Suesse's business acumen that he joined the crew. But since I was going to sink the Sunny so soon anyway I didn't see the point of having another crewmate who was a shipwright and so he became a plot point instead. It's a bad idea to expand your cast meaninglessly. Avoiding picking them up saves you having to kill them off later. Not that I didn't do it anyway.
St. Augustus Magnus - 'Magnus' was picked because it sounded like 'Magda'. 'Augustus' was picked because it rhymed. Yeah I know, so much for profound hidden meanings...
Red - He was originally supposed to be called 'Muzzle' or 'X-10', but I felt the latter was too obvious. He is still referred to as X-10 by Vegapunk's lab guys though.
Cree - St. Magda's old bodyguard. Was supposed to have a bigger role and his execution would have been the reason Magda ran away to be a pirate, but timelines did not match and I felt it would have derailed the story.
Tikki - The kid boxfish mermaid owned by St. Magda. Considered making her a kidnapped childhood friend of the mer-siblings to partially explain Gurnarde's hatred for humans, but felt that it was too much and cheesy.
Dr. Kusanagi - (the scientist who headed the puppet controller division. Named after Motoko Kusanagi of the Ghost in the Shell fame. Think the Puppeteer *cough*
SBS Final Version!
I was rather shocked and humbled at the overwhelming response to the ending. Even six months after the story ended, Marie D Suesse And The Mystery New Pirate Age! continues to pull in steady numbers of new readers, most of them with strong reactions to the story. I guess my little self-challenge's all grown up now :D
Because I don't want to bore you all, I'm only picking out the questions that contain information others might find interesting. I've tried to respond to all my signed reviews, and if you've haven't heard from me yet, it wasn't intentional or it could be me procrastinating. Oops! Shoot me a PM, I won't bite! -|P
colordrifter 12/19/12 . chapter 33
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the narrator may be some part of Law's subconsciousness that gives him the feeling that he's forgetting something. The narrator's certainly sarcastic enough.
Dizzyy 4/22/13 . chapter 33
p.s. is Law the narrator?
Colors of Iris 1/1/13 . chapter 33
Also x2: Narrator as Law was a pleasant surprise. It would certainly explain the occasional acerbic tone. ;)
Amy-chan123 12/20/12 . chapter 33
If the narrator ends up being Law, I am goning to shed a manly tear.
Manic Dogma 12/22/12 . chapter 33
The narrator sounds a lot like he's law, but you explicitly stated in this chapter that he doesn't remember Mar or any of it? and before that he called the strawhats and sounded deliriously happy to hear from them, as though he actually remembered? He could have been just feeling the aftereffects of reality reasserting itself i suppose, but along with the narrator implication that's a bit hard to swallow. Inconsistency really gets on my nerves.
Mikan 12/20/12 . chapter 33
Also, Law kept his promise! Even though he can't quite recall the whole story, which is probably better for his sanity. Still, I can't quite stop laughing at the image of him drunk-calling Luffy and just listening (inexplicably happy) at his randomness and demanding that they're all right.
I take it he's the narrator then? No wonder he was so sour all the time. XD
-|P: Yep, you guys figured it out perfectly :). The Narrator is indeed Trafalgar Law. Or I guess it would be more accurate to say it was the Bitter!Deranged!Disinfector version of Law, specifically, the ghost of Alternate Reality!Disinfector!Law that was still bound to existence until he fulfilled his promise to Mar.
It's a... er, complicated.
Colors of Iris 1/1/13 . chapter 33
(Hmm...on a different note, Gurnarde's dad was Hyouzou, wasn't it?)
Mikan 12/20/12 . chapter 33
SO THAT IS WHY GURNARDE SO EASILY FORGAVE MAR FOR "HIDING" THE IDENTITY OF HER MOM. She WOULD know what it's like to be blamed for the misdeeds for your parents.
-|P: Well done. I did leave a few clues, particularly Gurnarde's drunken rant and then the illusion to Hordy's crew in the last chapter, but I wondered if anyone would really pick up on them. As it turns out, I'm a lucky author and your guys are probably the most eagled-eyed of readers anyone could hope for ;)
Also, now you know where Gurnarde picked up her affinity to alcohol from.
LaraLuvKakashi 12/19/12 . chapter 33
HP is my other favourite. Waiting for that version of yours too when the Suesse would play roles in the upcoming parody (hope the Disinfector, Walker, Gurnarde, etc would make an appearance too! :D)
-P: I'll try and fit in a cameo into "The Supernova Eleven" if they ever get around to Fishman Island ;)
I did write a bit of the HP sequel, but for now it's put on hold until I can think of a worthy plot, and I've still got two other fanfics to finish in the meantime!
colordrifter12/19/12 . chapter 33
I imagine that Law will become quite attached to that kitty. Perhaps one day she'll eat a Human Model Devil Fruit and become a real neko-person, with ears and tails and everything. Yay for more Sue-cliches!
-|P: And now you know who imspired the kitty!Mar bonus scene.
Theralion 12/20/12 . chapter 33
Your thoughts on the Mary Sues are, as always, insightful. I've noticed that preferential treatment of Mary Sues also applies to morality; I can see a Mary Sue author presenting the actions of someone like Madelyn as entirely justified (as they have for worse deeds). Being expected to see them as heroes or even decent people in light of such actions can be as unrealistic as them getting whatever they want.
HeroR 1/22/13 . chapter 33
You feel for everyone, even the God-Mode Madelyn who started out as almost a complete monster and turned into a character that you felt for despite all the terrible things she did. This is a story that all authors dream of writing, so bravo.
I also agree with you on you new found understanding of Mary Sue.
-|P: I think one of the greatest things I took away from writing this fic was that newfound understanding of Mary Sue. It's so easy to write off Sues and demonize, but understanding the mechanics behind them is more important than memorising a list of traits will ever be.
Loteva 1/29/13 . chapter 33
What blows my mind is that you revealed the main plot points in Mar's nightmare, while at the time it looked like a comedic relief by using the reference to Star Wars.
Also, that's a first time that I see a 'girl falls into anime world' fanfic without any romance for the girl. This is a very rare find.
-|P: You know, the cliche-ness of the Star Wars reference had to be the only reason I managed to get away with it. I'm pretty sure it would have been impossible otherwise.
*chuckle* I love being contrary. If you stop to think about it, this is actually an "anime girl falls into real world and falls in love" fanfic, told from the perspective of the daughter 20 years later.
skipbeataddict 6/5/13 . chapter 33
I have to admit, when I started reading this I was doubtful. A narrator? What for? I have to admit, there was this one instance when you mentioned the whole "savy readers will know by now," blah blah and I was pretty offended because it seemed like you were underestimating your reader's intelligence. I mean OF COURSE it's Marie dressed as a noble, we didn't need a few more paragraphs to confirm that! But I also realized that readers are smarter than what most writers think (myself included). That's why it's so difficult to make a "solid" fanfic with a unpredictable plot and twists.
-|P: Oh dear. That offending paragraph wasn't my intention at all. It was more of a "yeah I know this is obvious and I can't fool you clever readers, so I'm going to go ahead and lampshade it" maneuver.
:D My personal philosophy for writing mystery is that I always assume the readers are smarter than I am, but since I am the author, I have more information and the power to manipulate it. It's been a fun contest matching wits with the readership for sure.
Rumu12/20/12 . chapter 33
When will the bonus scenes be uploaded? Hope it won't take long!
-|P: Errr... I guess 6 months counts as long, doesn't it? Erm... sorry?
And that's really it! I've gone back and did some revision of all 33 chapters, removed some poor or unnecessary parts and added new dialogue and other bits. If you've been contemplating a reread of the whole series, it's a good time to do it. Either way, thanks for following!
The working title for the Harry Potter sequel to this story is "Marty Suesse-Potter and The Twin Who Lived", but to be honest, I can't promise anything anytime soon. If I ever get beyond that first chapter though, I'll probably update this story with a teaser to let you know where to find it. Cheers, and I do hope you'll follow my other stories as well. *hugs* -|P