AUTHORS-NOTE[S]: It's hard pin-pointing how some of the CanonCharacters would talk, and I apologize now for what I potentially screw up, and if you'd like to be a hard critic about character, go right ahead!
P.P : I've got this handful of OriginalArc ideas, and a villain/not-so-bad-guy-Psycho OC. So this won't all be a mildly rewritten version of One Piece, but I WILL follow what happens and stick to what will happen...(unless the temptation to keep certain characters alive is too much *coughcough*) Also, Rem has Revolutionaries and OCs both pirate and revolutionary.
Eleven Years Before Present Day
On a sea of charcoal waters which thrashed viciously, the Moby Dick bobbed to and fro at dangerous tilts. Like greedy claws the ocean climbed the ships sides and crashed over the railings, completely flooding the deck swarmed with sons both new and veteran. Above was a sky black as night with clouds that swirled slowly, menacingly, as though the worst was surely yet to come.
Crew members crowding the slippery deck hurriedly secured what needed securing, and checked what needed confirmation. One of those on deck was a tall man with a mop of red hair on the crown of his skull.
"Come what may, come what may..."
Marco the Phoenix stopped his work at the ships railings, not quite believing what he heard. With a quick glance at other crew mates working the railings alongside him, he continued his task once none had shown any sign of having heard a child's weak voice. Thunderclaps and the seas loud racket nearly had him missing the next words.
"We'll survive this! We will, we will..."
Once again Marco stopped, ran a hand through his hair, and glanced around. Not one man showed any sign of having heard what he did. The First Commander then leaned against the railing, patiently waiting for another verse of this child's whispered song, if indeed there was a kid and not some trick of the current crisis.
"Through scourging magma, through endless ice, and the devil's raging ocean..."
Marco frowned, in parts curious, mild frustration, and worry- why on earth would a child be caught out in this hellish storm, and so far out to sea at that? He leaned himself as far over the railing as he dared in the whistling, battering wind to try and see if there was anything on the savage waves.
As a lucky flash of blinding lightning lit the turbulent waters for miles and miles, Marco squinted and spotted a dinghy twelve yards out to the left. In that little boat was a quaking lump of child sized person huddling under a tarp.
First Commander Marco acted immediately, only slightly relieved in the back of his mind that he hadn't been losing any precious marbles, and put together a small team of non-Devil Fruit users to go save the unfortunate kid. On that team was himself, regrettably, as most did not want to go into the sea, as well as Thatch and two braver deckhand's.
"What if they're dead already?" grumbled one of the roustabout's despite their willingness to help.
Thatch motioned for the younger man to be quiet and Marco ordered the small group to listen carefully as they climbed into the rescue boat.
Soon enough, "That sun...will greet us today, tomorrow...and again and again from now and till our peaceful end..."
Hearing that the group hurried to the rescue.
The child, neither of their rescuers could tell the gender from their face, was in a stupor as Marco carried them to the infirmary. Glassy feverish eyes stared at nothing and barely a breath was taken as each verse tumbled from cracked lips.
"LAND HO~!" cried Luffy from his spot on Going Meri's bow.
It was mid morning and on the deck of the ship and most of the crew was out and doing their usual thing.
"Whoa, look at those mountains!" said Usopp, pointing excitedly. He stood beside the bow with one hand shielding his eyes in the glare of early afternoon sunlight.
Indeed the island they sailed towards had a multitude of mountains ringing the crescent islands shape. According to Nami's maps it was called Opacare. Its geography was an odd one if the information in the map book was to be trusted. Ringed with cloud piercing mountains, the interior of the island was in a perpetual nightfall from about seven in the evening to around eight in the morning, leaving the forest and its peculiar flora and fauna to absorb sunlight for the coming gloom.
Nami walked out onto the deck, greeted Vivi who smiled politely back, and took a deep breath of open sea air. "This island is called Opacare. It's supposed to have a festival tomorrow night."
"Cool!" said Luffy. He was practically bouncing on hit butt. "Festival food here I come!"
Zoro was practicing with his blades, Sanji was swooning over the pretty ladies of the ship and serving them whatever they desired, Usopp went back to experimenting with future weapons of his, and Luffy was deciding whether pestering Sanji for a second breakfast was worth a kick to the head. Half an hour later Zoro was tying the ship to the port of Caligo Town as the crew disembarked.
Busy would be describing the place mildly. The port was large and held thirty spaces for ships of good size. People, merchants, miscellaneous sailors and others all bustled about buying things, haggling and chatting at the nearby crowded beach front marketplace. Kids were running through the streets laughing while playing some kind of game. What was most apparent, besides the number of natives with dark complexions and pale hair and eye colorings, was that many of the natives appeared to be formidable fighters. Each man and more than a few tough looking women were subtly tense, as though ready to drop everything and fight like the end of their little island was coming.
"C'mon! Let's go get food!" Suggested Luffy who actually was bouncing on his feet.
"There could be some interesting stuff here," mused Usopp as he mentally counted whatever money he had and stared at the marketplace eagerly.
"It's a good opportunity to see some local cuisine, buy ingredients, and to meet some pretty ladies!" Sanji said, grinning stupidly in excitement mainly for the latterly mentioned females.
Vivi looked uneasy, wanting to get moving now and towards her home. But she knew waiting for the log pose was crucial, and anyway, why dampen the Straw Hat's good mood?
As the crew talked a bit amongst themselves only Zoro noticed the small figure sitting on a tree stump one dock over, watching the crew openly as they kicked at the orange-brown sand beneath them. Zoro stared the kid in the eyes, daring them to come over there and watch them up close. Nami, Sanji and Luffy moved to exit the dock while the other crew members continued taking in the organized chaos, but the kid, or boy from the looks, hopped to his feet and jogged over.
Everyone more or less watched curiously as a boy in shapeless overall shorts, a sweater and a bulky, raggedly patched newsboy cap stopped in front of them.
"Welcome to town!" was all he said. The voice was sweet and had a rather husky edge.
Luffy grinned. "Hi! Where's the best restaurant?"
Usopp stepped up and grinned too. "Is there some shop here for people who like making things?"
The boy merely tilted his head and looked at each crew members eyes as though seeking something that would betray sinister intentions, in fact he stared until some began getting worried- then he nodded with a wide, cheeky smile of his own that crinkled his pumpkin eyes closed and hid his teeth. "Yep! Caligo isn't the hugest but we have a big variety of things for random travelers to buy. I guarantee you will find something you'll want."
Smiling, Nami stepped up to ask, "How long does the log pose take to set?"
"Long enough for your group to stay for the Luna Corona Festival tomorrow."
"AWESOME! Festival food, you're mine!" Luffy said, grinning like a maniac and pumping his fist in the air.
The short Caligo native tilted his head. "You guys pirates?"
"Yeah! And I'm the captain!"
The boy's face dead panned and he tilted his head curiously. "Really? Are you sure you're not, um, being indulged?"
Luffy bristled slightly, childishly huffing. "But I AM the captain! I designed the Jolly Roger, I gathered my crew, and-" Nami smacked him, quickly saying, "Yeah, he is the captain."
"And... uh, you guys aren't planning to pillage my town and do dirty things to people?"
"Ew, no," was Luffy's blunt answer. This was accompanied by that universal 'Yuck! Cooties!' expression little boys favor.
"Good! My name's Remy, but you have to call me Rem. Welcome to town, Mr. Captain," the native said playfully. "Here's a gift of thanks and peace, just in case."
Rem stepped up to Luffy, who watched with curious eyes, and took one of his upper arms in gentle hands. After several seconds of finger twisting, and consequently tickling Luffy, Rem stepped back and there on the goofy captains arm was a rich topaz tinted crystalline armlet that appeared braided. Luffy poked it, stared at Rem, then poked it again before his eyes turned into huge sparkling things that very nearly had the cap sporting boy turning tail and running like a frightened rabbit.
"This is AWESOME! What's your Devil Fruit? What else can you do? Can you turn into crystal? Will you join my crew?"
To Rem's credit he did not turn and run screaming. However his face did look like he'd been blind sided by a flying seacow. "Uh, come again?"
"Join my crew!"
Another wide close lipped smile cracked the boys face. "Sure!"
Luffy fist pumped. "Really?"
Rem's face fell flat and bored. "...No."
And that is when Rem took the chance to turn and run like someone was aiming a harpoon at his butt.
Luffy pouted and poked at the armlet despondently while he and the crew still wandered together (for the moment) through hectic Caligo streets.
"He just didn't want to be a pirate is all, Luffy," said Usopp, patting the captains back in an attempt at comforting.
Sanji grinned. "Yeah, maybe he sensed how crazy this crew was... OH! Not that Nami-swan and Vivi-chan are crazy. Only these shitty bastards!" Sanji quickly amended and pointed, as well as looked at, the male Mugiwara's like they carried disease.
Nami hummed in response but otherwise paid the cook no mind as she looked at the abundance of fine merchandise in the marketplace stalls. Vivi merely smiled at Sanji and glanced around, outwardly looking content but now trying to temporarily bury the uneasiness plaguing her. The other males grumbled and otherwise ignored the Love-Cook, besides Zoro of course: "Who are you calling a shitty bastard, you horny cook?" and"What's that, Marimo brain?" was what mostly consisted of their, ahem, harmless little tiff.
Now, unlike many a time where the situation was reversed, it was Luffy's turn to look at his crew like they were stupid, and he pointed rudely at them. "THAT'S why Rem didn't wanna join!"
Everyone came to a stop and stared. "Uh, why's that?" asked Usopp.
"Because you guys think she's a boy," said Luffy, despite the fact that no one had called Rem a boy in his or her presence.
Sanji rubbed at the bridge of his nose. "That would be because he is a guy, Luffy."
Luffy crossed his arms and eyed Sanji with his head tilted, plainly stating next, "Are you stupid now? 'Course she's a girl."
Deciding it was better to ignore this, Sanji started walking ahead and Zoro headed to the opposite direction of the cook and away from the crew.
Usopp looked skeptical. "You sure Rem is female?"
Nami crossed her arms and looked exasperated. "Sure, Rem was rather pretty for a boy, but if he were a girl, he's rather adrogenous, isn't he?"
Luffy opened his mouth and then closed it. "A mystery word. But Rem is a girl! I'm sure."
Vivi smiled at the captain, wondering over the current 'issue' being discussed. "Wouldn't Nami and I be able to tell if Rem were a girl?"
A shrug was her answer before Luffy picked his nose. "Obviously not."
Vivi looked at Nami helplessly and shrugged. "No point arguing, is there? Let's go do something productive Nami-san."
Suddenly a shrill yell tore the peaceful air and Luffy gawked. "That was Rem!"
Usopp's jaw dropped. "How the hell could you tell!"
But the rubber man was already tearing through the streets leaving his crew to watch in vexation.
"We should follow him, shouldn't we?" said Vivi, wondering what trouble the zany captain would get into.
Nami hung her head and ran a hand through silky red hair, then looked up to show her Royally-Pissed-Off-And-You-Better-Run-Now face. "I guess. C'mon Usopp, Vivi. We have an idiot to hunt down."
"You little asshole twerps! Leave me the hell alone!" yelled Rem. And indeed he was a she.
"Give them back then!" roared five out of six bratty new neighborhood teenagers.
"Not if you're gonna friggin' PAINT them you amoeba-brained shitheads!"
Luffy came sprinting up along the cargo crowded Norna Street as Rem went careening down his way with a closed wooden cage of tiny, furry feline's; she didn't even notice him as she hurtled past.
The rubber man skidded to a stop and watched as the group of larger boys chased down his soon-to-be crew member like a rabbit to be stuffed and roasted. Luffy huffed and took off again, this time passing his frustrated other nakama who'd been running around for five minutes trying to find him.
Within the next two minutes he nearly tripped over a box of scented merchandise as he suddenly skidded to a stop just inside the docking and smaller bazaar area. Thirty seconds later the whole crew came up from behind and ninety percent whacked him in the head for the trouble they just went through chasing him, and yes; Sanji and Zoro had been rounded up to try and stop any mayhem Luffy might have gotten himself into.
Currently Luffy was standing by a stall selling sweetly scented soaps. He watched as Rem backed down one of the wider docks with the cage clutched like it held gold and jewels.
"Hey, aren't we gonna help her?" said Usopp, worriedly watching as her feet continually neared the docks end where a sharp drop in the beach would ensure her fast descent into deep water.
Sanji eyed the boys with dark disdain having decided to accept that Rem was a girl for the time being. "We should go stop those brats before they do anything that will make me do something they'll regret."
Zoro and Luffy watched the scene play out with folded arms, and the captain spoke firmly. "Let's see what she does and if she's strong."
Nami frowned at Luffy along with Sanji. "And if she's not strong or falls into the ocean? She won't join the crew?"
Luffy turned a confused look towards his navigator. "Of course she'll still join. I fall into the sea all the time. I'd be a hippopotacrate wouldn't I?"
Vivi stifled a giggle, only partly worried for the girl and mostly amused by the captains simplicity- he was probably thinking Zoro or Sanji could go save her while he beat up the brats.
Usopp sighed. "You mean hypocrite Luffy."
"Oh! Yeah that too. Anyways, we'll save her if she falls. Duh."
Over with the cornered girl now.
Rem looked behind her at the sea and the sheer drop in the beach beneath the particular dock she stood on, and fought a shiver. How is it that I get into a situation like this at least every couple of months? Does something up there like watching animal lovers beating up brats and humiliating themselves?
She straightened and sighed before boldly turning her back to glide a hand over the damp wooden planks. This action left a layer of thick golden liquid which she used to keep the cage stuck there and turned around to see the boys eyeing her with an edge of unease. How had she done that weird thing?
"Can I ask you kids something?"
The tallest one rose his fish-lips in a snarl. "We're not kids!"
Ignoring him, she said, "Why do boys like hurting animals? Is it like some Neanderthal instinct or something? Or are you just idiots?"
"GRAH! Get her!" roared a Beanpole boy, and his shorter but more broad bodied followers swarmed Rem.
Some of the Mugiwara's tensed, waiting for something bad to happen, but then Rem stretched out her hands; from the distance it looked, to the crew, as though her arms turned into yellow crystal. The wave of gold ooze she sent out quickly slid across the wood planks and stuck the not-so-little terrors in place like fly paper.
"AGH! Why can't I move!"
"My shoes! They're new! My momma's gonna gut me and make me inta stew!"
Rem simply hummed an off tune song and turned to pick up the box. Still kneeling, the tapped the honey colored substance where it rested and all of it turned into fine dust which quickly blew away. She then turned back and wove through the flailing arms and heads before kneeling down and digging fingers beneath her hardened fruit-power ooze.
"How many of you can swim? Be truthful now."
Four rose shaky hands. "Good." And Rem gently wrenched the stuff each boy was stuck in and then tipped them into the ocean as though they were a couple of figurines and the golden solid dissolved immediately in the sea water, leaving the turds to swim for shore. Rem then darted away while cackling and sing-songing, "That's what you little bastards get~!"
Luffy's face popped up close to hers like a jack-in-the-box and Rem immediately froze mid-step, resisting the strong urge to scream bloody murder. "Join my crew!"
"I'll reiterate, little captain," Rem deadpanned. "NO. In every other language no means 'I will not', so please stop asking."
"What you did was cool!" said Usopp, who was running towards the two Fruit users excitedly. "What's your Devil Fruit?"
Rem decided to ignore Luffy's 'Aw, why not?' and reply to the long nosed boy. "It's called the Melle-Melle Fruit."
Sanji, smiling and looking interested, walked over. "If I'm not mistaken melle means honey."
Rem's impressed smile and nod had the handsome blond grinning goofily as he said, "Also, good job with those shitty brats."
Luffy poked his head in-between her and his cook before she could respond; he was still grinning. "Can I try some?"
It was like one of those comic book moments Rem read where a bird flies overhead and dots follow. "Er, what?"
Luffy kept grinning brightly, "Can I try some Melle-Melle stuff?"
Rem scratched at a scar on her cheek and tilted her head quizzically as she balanced the cage on one hand. "How about no."
Crossing his arms, Luffy now looked one step away from stomping a foot. "Why do you say no all the time? It's bugging me."
A crooked smile filled Rem's face while several crew members snickered, and like every other before this expression hid her teeth. "Well, how can I give you something that might make you sick?"
Luffy scratched his head. "Good point. Can I still try some?"
Rem puffed out a cheek in annoyance before spinning on a foot to walk away. "I'm leaving for something more productive..."
"Hey! Wait up, tell me why you won't join!" And Luffy started following her, by default several members did too just to keep an eye on him- no one wanted another wave of trouble on his account, now did they?
"Away with you!"
"C'mon! We'll have adventures and go everywhere and eat all kinds of meat!" Luffy began chasing her.
"GAH! You're infuriating!"
Rem ended up escaping only thanks to Sanji and that wicked kick of his.
At the moment she was wandering a long rocky, thin beach one mile away from the main islands docks that could only be found if you cut through difficult forest terrain, and if you've had years to learn a forests usual ways. Her goal for that time, as the sun inched ever closer to the darkness bringing mountains, was to scour the amber sand of that beach for any treasures that may have been washed up from the waters and the peculiar currents of the vast Grand Line.
Fortune smiled on Opacare Isle in this manner because it resided at an opportune area and angle to find a wealth of things from all over the treacherous ocean current. That is, only if you were lucky enough to come across things all on your own.
It was as Rem was getting close to waist height in gentle green tinged surf to reach, with her toes, something shiny half buried in the sand that, of course, the recent temporary bane of her existence appeared.
Rem screamed and whirled around with a demonic glint in her eyes. "What the heck! Why won't you leave me alone? Every other would-be recruiter has given up by now."
By 'every other' she would be referring to those sailors and nicer pirates that came to the island for supplies and rest, who took interest in her ability.
Luffy sat a several feet away, beyond the surfs reach and beside the bag she kept her findings in. He was nearly bouncing on the balls of his feet as he knelt down to watch her, all the while stupidly poking a neon purple crab with wicked pincers. His eyes, large and childishly sincere, vexed her for some mysterious reason.
"How come you won't join?"
A roll of her eyes was his answer as she tried swatting water at him, only to slip and go under. Luffy laughed and whipped out his hands to pull her and that large hat out of the surf.
"Thanks," she said, and took her hat back gratefully. "And I won't join because I'm not good pirate material."
"That's stupid." He crossed his arms, nodding to himself. "Anyone can be a pirate if they really tried."
Rem slicked back her milk-tea brown hair and rung out the hat as best she could. "I'm not good pirate stuff because of what I'll do when I get the chance to leave my home."
Luffy leaned closer, curious as to why his future nakama was so reluctant to join. "What will you do?"
"That's not an answer...," he said and pouted slightly. Then he yelped and fell backwards, kicking his leg to get the purple crab off his toe, and it flew off to land in the water with a plunk. "Gah! I should have made Sanji cook that for me!"
A giggle made it passed Rem's mouth- somehow it was funny. He wanted to eat what had most people screaming in pain, then continued what she'd been about to say. "Of course it's an answer."
Luffy sat himself down closer to the native and crossed his arms. "But it's not! And you'd be great on my ship."
Rem shook her head, forgetting everything and nothing for a moment while she smiled indulgently. "Well, I don't think a future revolutionary would be good for your pira-," her voice cracked, halted and she looked like a rabbit cornered by the starved, slavering wolf.
Luffy stared at her, looking rather confused. Rem was sitting nearly stock still if it weren't for her fingers digging nervously in the sand. Okay, he didn't notice what I said. If he says nothing about it than everything is-
To Luffy's further confusion, he watched Rem's face go from very pale to very, very red. Her eyes widened enough for him to think they'd fall out, and then...
She was bolting off and disappearing into the dense forest beyond the beach as though shot out of a cannon.
"Hey, wait! You forgot your bag!"
Review/comment and I'll have Sanji make every one of your favorite foods and sweets!
I kind of wanna apologize if my writing is awkward. I read a lot and that influences my vocabulary when writing.
EDIT: I'm changing Straw Hat to Mugiwara because 1 it's easier and 2, I think it sounds better. Don't be afraid to point out if I've left a little 'Strawhat' here or there.