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Avril Meads - Barreling Towards Adventure!
Darkness... All she saw around her was darkness as she waited inside her hiding spot. It was an idea of pure genius, one that she'd have to pat herself on the back for... once she had fully regained the ability to move her arm that far, anyways. Avril Meads had to admit though, she was pretty damn clever for coming up with that idea to hide inside a barrel on a ship that was bound for Duke Island... Even better was the fact that she had managed to hide inside of one that had plently of bananas for her to snack on for the ride. Yes, all in all it was a very well thought out plan. There was only two small problems at this point.
First, Avril had no idea where the ship she had actually managed to stowaway on was.... And most importantly, she really needed to visit a restroom.
"Well... It was a good ride, but I guess it's time to see just where I'm at..." the girl mused quietly.
Lifting the lid of the barrel just enough to get a better view of ship's galley, Avril took quick look around. It was quiet. Not so much as a single peep could be heard within the room. Carefully, the girl climbed out from the barrel and stretched. It felt good to finally be able to really move around a bit. She had been stuck in that barrel for some time, only really being able to come out at night to move around some... and only then for a bit, as there was always at least one or two watchmen on the ship. Even then, it was not has quiet has it was now... something that Avril found to be quite odd indeed.
Reaching into the barrel next to her, Avril smiled as she pulled out her trusty sledgehammer, strapping it across her back as she usually carried it. She then reached back into the barrel that she herself had been hiding in and grabbed another banana from it. The girl peeled it as she made her way to the galley door and peered out the porthole that served as its window. A wide smile graced her lips as she noticed that the ship was not out at sea anylonger. Rather, it was docked at a harbor instead. In an excited hurry, the girl dropped the banana she was munching on, choosing instead to rummage about in her pockets for a small scrap of paper. Her eyes beamed as she looked at the paper and then back out the porthole.
"This is it! This is totally it!" the girl exclaimed excitedly."I finally made it to Duke Island after being all crammified inside that barrel for weeks! But I'm finally here! And soon the treasure is gonna totally be mine!"
Unfortunately, Avril's celebration did not get to last long. No sooner had she began shout did the door to the galley swing open to reveal a rather intimdating pirate man standing in the door way. He was large and well muscled. He was clad in a pair of white pants, black boots and a black vest that revealed his rather sculpted body. He had a red sash tied around his waist, which held a somewhat deadly sword by his side. The man was bald, but a rather scraggly beard which made him look as if he had not shaved for years. A surprised look was on his face as he looked down upon Avril, who had an equally surprised look on her face, stared into the man's eyes. The two stood there in silence for what felt like hours before the man finally broke the silence.
"Just who the hell are you...?!" the man growled, taking hold of the handle of his sword and drawing it slowly.
A nervous giggle escaped Avril's lips as she took a step back. "I'm the um... You know, the kitchen inspector! Your captain, he hired me to take a look at it. And boy was it a good idea! It's totally all confungled up, you know!"
Another moment of silence entered the galley. The man clearly did not believe the girl, nor was he amused as he swung his sword down in the direction of Avril. She barely had a moment to react as she rolled out of the way. She quickly rose to her feet to see the man walking towards her. A smirk on his lips as he held the sword up into the light for Avril to see.
"We don't take too kindly to stowaways on this ship, lady..." the man cackled. "By the time I'm through with you, you're gonna be wishing you stayed in whatever rat nest you crawled out of!"
He continued to back Avril into a corner. The girl looked around, her eyes searching for something, anything she could use to get herself out of this mess. Her eyes widened as she looked over to her side, finding the barrel that she had hidden in on the way to Duke Island within an arm's reach. A mischevious grin suddenly stretched across her lips as she reached into the barrel and grabbed two bananas.
"Eat fruit, buddy!" Avril shouted, squeezing down on the fruits and sending the bananas within the peels shooting out and right into the man's eyes.
A surprised grunt escaped the man's mouth as he put his hands over his eyes, trying to wipe the smashed bananas out of them. Avril seized this moment to her advantage. She took hold of her sledgehammer and slammed it forward, having the tool slam right into the man's stomach. A loud, painful groan echoed into the room as he fell back onto the floor, holding in his stomach in pain.
"D-Damn it... You..." he managed to wheeze out.
Needless to say, Avril did not waste a single moment from there. The girl quickly took off running, leaping over the downed man with haste and running outside of the galley and onto the deck of the ship. She looked around, smiling as she spotted the dock and quickly made to escape the ship. Right as she debarked from the ship, the door to the galley swung open and the man stormed out onto the deck. If he looked mad before, than he was positively fuming at this point. Avril could see the veins in his forehead throbbing as he spotted her on the docks.
"You are so dead, woman!" the man shouted, as he ran to disembark from the ship.
"Aw, crap!" Avril cursed in dismay. She turned on heel and began to run as fast as her legs would carry her. "This is totally bummerific!"
Bass and Vance - Forming Friendships
Bass' question was soon answered by Vance and he even had the luck of seeing pose itself! It looked odd to say the least and Bass had never seen anything like it before, so of course he was standing on his tippy toes to try and catch glimpses of it here and there. No doubt the others knew what this pose really could do. He was interested in it, but at the same time he knew he probably could never figure it out. He just laid on back and did his best not to get too close to this new crew. Yeah, they were a bit... weird, but at the same time he was far weirder. It might have been good for him to just head down below and to the room he had marked out. He could just hang out there and perhaps get a little bit of sleep in, besides, who wanted to hang out with a bat right? Bass made his way to the door and quietly went down. It was quiet, that was for sure and it was a bit nice, he just hoped they would get to this new island soon.
Vance was so preoccupied with strapping the new log pose to his wrist, happy that they wouldn't just drift around on the Grand Line until they reached the Calm Belt or something much worse, that he nearly didn't notice the bat-man slinking off again, heading downstairs. Glancing over at the helm, Vance shook his head and decided to let the other crew's navigator take them towards their destination.
Heading down the stairs from the slightly elevated part of the ship, Vance then headed downstairs, finding the bat still proceeding down the hallway. He quickened his pace a bit to walk up by his side, sending the odd-looking man a little smile.
"Uh, hey! You kind of ran off before I got to say anything else. I saw you were pretty interested in the log pose, and I just... well, wondered if you wanted to know anything else about it?"
Bass flinched up as he heard a voice and turned about, rubbing the back of his neck and mostly avoiding eye contact. "O-Oh?" He croaked out, "Uh... well, I mean, I don't know much about them... but that's okay!" He chuckled a bit, "I mean, most try to avoid me, so I'm quite alright right now." He said with a few nods. He rubbed his thumb hooks together and looked on down, "You don't have to feel anything for me, it's quite alright. I'll just be around here and there. So... yeah..." He quickly turned and began to make his way down the hall yet again.
"H-hey now, I don't at all think of it like that!" Vance reached out to place a hand on Bass' shoulder, walking up besides him again, looking a little more serious now. "It doesn't matter what you look like. We're all a part of the same crew now, right? So... we need to stick together. If we don't stick together, we'd end up like... well, that other crew out there." He sent the bat in front of him a bright smile, clearly confident of his words as he removed the hand from his shoulder again. "I'm Vance. It's nice to meet you."
Bass blinked a bit and smiled a bit, "Uh... t-thank you. Uh, I'm Bass." He held out his thumb hook, "This is how others greet each other right? I... I don't tend to meet others often this way. It's mostly get the torches and pitchforks!" He chuckled lightly there.
Chuckling quietly, Vance semi-awkwardly took the thumb-hook and gave it a little shake, his smile as bright as ever. "Yeah, it is. Uh, if you didn't know, it's called a handshake. I -was- kind of avoiding it just because... well, you know, but hey, if you're up for it, I don't mind." Vance was actually happy to have made a proper friend in the crew, aside from Lotte and Kuzo. Even if he was a little weirded out by the bat-man at first, he seemingly got over it rather quickly, treating him as an equal. "Say Bass, how come you joined up with a pirate crew? I mean... you've got wings, so couldn't you just fly wherever you wanted to go? And, uhm... this might sound a bit rude, but... why do you stay in that form? I mean, I assume you've eaten a devil fruit, heh."
Bass blinked, "Eh... what now?" He blinked for a bit and then realization hit him, "You mean that red fruit I found? It was very bitter!" He nodded at that, "It was disgusting! It was an accident mostly..." He pulled out of the handshake and tapped his hooks together, "I was trying to bit into prey... and I ended up biting that fruit instead. Is that what caused this?" He asked as he looked down at his body, "I thought it was something special...." He frowned a bit, "Uh... and for flying... I can't fly for long and not for long periods of time. Kind of like running I guess. You can't run for two days right?" He asked as he cocked his head.
"Well... can humans run for that long? I've never seen one that can do that yet, but I guess some can eh?" He chuckled a bit, "I've never been off of the island so I wouldn't know. Truth be told I heard of other lands and I... sort of wanted to go there, to find new places where I could just be there by myself, you know?" He gave a modest shrug.
Now it was Vance's turn to blink, surprise evident in his expression. "You mean... you're a bat who ate a... human-fruit? Not a human who ate a bat-fruit? Well, that explains alot of things!" He raised a hand and slapped his forehead before nodding quickly. "Yeah, the fruit did it. That's called a 'Devil fruit'. It gives someone some kind of ability, depending on the fruit, and it also disables them from swimming, forever. So... heh, don't get near water." He gave a sheepish little smile, raising a hand to rub the back of his neck.
Bass nodded, "I couldn't swim before anyways. I... well, bats aren't made to swim." He flapped his wings a bit, 'It's still a death curse then... alright. Uh... so... uh, am I common? Like, I've seen others here with odd abilities... so are there others like me around?" He asked as he cocked his head.
"Well... there's definitely alot more fruit-users in the Grand Line than in the Blue seas... but I'd still say devil fruit-users are uncommon to the most part." He moved his arms to cross them over his chest, furrowing his brows a little. "Still though, animal fruit-users are supposed to be able to change between at least their original and new form... so you -should- be able to turn completely human... I think."
"Uh..." Bass closed his eyes and began to concentrate. He grunted and furrowed his brows a bit. He concentrated more and more... and nothing came from it. He then opened his eyes and shrugged, "I guess that it isn't true then. Oh well." He shrugged. "So... what now though? We wait to get to the island and such?"
"I guess not. Then again, I haven't heard of animals turning human, so... there must be special 'rules' about that." He then nodded and gave a little smile. "Yep, we just wait. The weather on the Grand Line is alot more hazardous than in the normal seas, so we need to be extra careful about sailing here, but apparently we're going to find treasure! Pretty exciting, huh?"
Bass nodded happily, "Yeah! I've never seen a treasure before!" He then paused and cocked his head, "What IS a treasure anyway?"
Bass and Vance spent most of the trip talking together, though Vance occasionally went upstairs to make sure they were still on the right course. The chatted about how their lives had been before arriving in the town where they all met up, what finding treasure was going to be like, favourite foods and the like.
Likewise on the trip back Bass had mostly spoken of his own family and had eagerly absorbed all the knowledge that Vance gave him regarding treasure and what not. He talked of the few times he interacted witih the humans and more along exposed his own lack of knowledge regarding pirates and their soceity.
Eventually, however, the ship came to a stop in the harbor and dropped anchor, and it took no more than ten seconds after Vance had peeked over the railing at the city before someone shouted "MURDER!" at the top of their lungs. This was followed by the, apparently, usual noise around the island; Gunshots, people yelling, shouting, cannonfire and swords being drawn.
Vance let out a little whimper at the sight of the town, raising a hand to rub the top of his head, murmuring out loud enough just for Bass next to him to hear. "What've I gotten myself into...?" Taking a deep breath of air, he looked to Bass, thoughtful for a moment before letting out a little chuckle. "Eheh, I'm sure the... others'll be able to find some information on the treasure. We should just stay here, in safety! Right Bass?"
Bass rubbed his thumb hooks together, "Uh... well I do have to go." He said, "It's mostly for... personal reasons, yeah personal and all!" He nodded his head, "Just stuff I have to do here and there to make sure things go smoother and all." He frowned, "I'll try to be quick, but it really depends on what I find here and there." He shrugged, "But... I'll be back you know. This just but one part of the world, I wouldn't want to stop exploring with everyone you know!" He chuckled a bit, "No worries Vance, you're like super smart and all! You can handle anything!" Bass pulled his hood down and jumped into the air, flapping his wings and called down, "I'll meet you guys later so no worries. Just look for me in the sky!" With that he flew up higher and past the town below.
"O-oh, uh... okay! See you later, Bass!" Vance called out, raising a hand to wave at him. He was happy that Bass was more his type than most of the other pirates on here, like Leon and the creepy doctor. But now that Bass had left the ship...
Vance blinked and looked around himself, now left utterly alone on the ship with only the sounds of fighting and screaming around on the docks and inside of the town. He stood still for a moment before jumping down onto the pier, darting after the rest of the crew, having proceeded into the town. "W-wait for me! I'm not staying back there on my own!"
Bridges L. Skellen
Skellen had spent much of the trip aimlessly wandering the ship and double checking peoples’ wounds. In all honesty he had been quite bored and other than contemplating how he could get at the marines next he hadn’t really done much. He talked to the rest of the crew sometimes, but it seemed as though a couple of them – especially Vance and Bass – found him somewhat… creepy.
Which works for me I guess Skellen chuckled to himself, stepping out onto the deck just as the Sky Pirates they had been towing ran off in a hurry.
“At least we seem to be rid of those idiots”
“Well, our best bet is the town. The locals probably know more about this treasure than the pirates around, and something tells me none of them are going to share anything they know anyway” Skellen heard their captain muse out loud as the majority of the crew began to move off of the ship.
“Well no kidding” Skellen said, not particularly interested whether Kuzo actually heard or not “they want it themselves after all. Why’d they help any of us? Either way, I’m not that fussed about the treasure so I’m going to look for supplies in the town and the forest around it. I’ll let you know if I hear anything though, you are the captain after all.” With that brief bit of conversation over Skellen proceeded to head into the town, his watchful eye open for both useful supplies as well as attacks from other pirates or marines.
“So, Kuzo is leading everyone on a wild goose chase for treasure that may or may not exist… well I guess that makes sense since he is probably out here looking for One Piece.” Skellen spoke to himself, walking around the shoddy little town… and seeing very little of interest.
“Honestly, the port was bigger than this dump and in better condition too. I’m not going to find anything of interest here at all. At least that was what he thought until a woman ran straight into him.
Picking himself off the ground he looked at his “attacker” quizzically
“In a rush, miss?”
Avril Meads - The Convenient Run-In
The towering, hulking swordsman chased Avril with haste, feeling absolute hate rising up in the pit of his stomach with every passing second. The girl looked over shoulder, her eyes widening as she noticed the bulging man was quickly gaining ground in his pursuit. The tension of this chase was quickly building up. She turned to look up just in time... to plow straight into another tall man. Avril began to worry that the man was going to much like the large man that was chasing after her. However, as he picked himself off the ground, she noticed that he had a much more polite air about him. An idea totally sparked off in her head. A small smirk graced her lips. She spun around, hiding behind the man she had bumped into just as her pursuer had managed to catch up to her.
"B-Boss! I've been lookin' all over for ya!" Avril exclaimed, pushing the man forward an ever so slight amount. "I went to do that inspection, just like I was supposed to. But somehow the notice that I was comin' must've gotten all combobbled up in the mail. Can you please sort this whole garubbled mess of a situation out for me! Our business depends on it!"
The hulking pirate glared as he looked down at the duo, clearly having already made up his mind that both were guilty of a plot to trespass upon his crew's ship. The man held his sword forward, his angry look still just as strong as before as the veins in his forehead throbbed.
"So... Ya the scoundrel that sent that wench onto our ship..." he growled, running a finger along his blade. "I don't care if she was the one on the ship or not... Ya both are guilty and yer both gonna get the blade run through ya both!"
Avril's eyes widened at this declaration. She was not honestly expecting that the situation would play out in this manner. Of course, there was a small twinge of guilt that she had planned to use this stranger to help get this giant of a pirate off her trail in the first place, but Avril was sure that she could have probably dealt with the guilt of this innocent man taking her punishment for her in the long run... Regardless, both of them were sort of in trouble now... and it looked like running away was not not going to be an option much longer. After all, it was probably only a matter of time before the rest of the towering swordsman's crew discovered what he was up to or passed by... Something Avril did not want to do in the slightest bit was run from an entire crew.
"I don't guess you're one of those rough-em-uppers, are ya?" she asked in a whisper to the stranger she was currently hiding behind.
By the time the sedative wore off, we were at the island, and I was glad to be near land again. I hopped off the ship and headed into town. No kids were going to stop me from getting a good drink, any trouble they get in could be held off until I came back. I also needed to find information on my target. The nearest bar was far and like usual, I was kicked out for lack of money. "Damn it!" I roared, baring my teeth at anyone who caught my eye.
"Calm down Leon!" I heard from a familiar voice.
"Lin?" I asked turning around, "Lin! My friend, I knew you were near."
"Oh yes of course I am."
"How did you get to the grand line?"
"I snuck on a boat of course!" He said happily.
"How did you manage to stow away on a boat? The pirates here aren't exactly forgiving and generous." I said.
He laughed, "Give me a little credit, it isn't like I'm a hulking mammoth of a man."
"You implying something?" I growled.
"No no!" He said, "Though I do have to admit, getting off the ship was hard. Luckily some girl made a big scene and distracted them long enough for me to dive off the side."
"As lucky as ever." I muttered.
"How did you manage to get here?"
"I joined another crew."
"Sounds fun, did you find the man you are looking for?"
"I have not heard from him, but I'm sure he will be looking for the treasure."
"A hulk of a man with a darkened tan, sails the seas for revenge!" He sang. Even I had to admit his voice was better than most instruments. "Everything lost, and no repent, his quest will end in death!"
I sighed, "Trying to talk me out of it?"
"Trying to sing you out of it." He said, "Those who seek to kill seek to die as well."
"He already killed me Lin." I growled.
"You look pretty lively for a ghost then!"
"Shut up!" I roared.
"Ok, ok." He said defensively, "Why don't we go to your ship to hang out?"
"Or we can wait here."
"Whatever you say friend."
Marineford - Marine Headquarters
Passed the Gates of Justice on the crescent moon-shaped island of Marineford lay the Marine Headquarters, the center for the calls of justice sent out by the World Government through the Marines. Along with being one of the most secure locations in the world, it is also home to many of the top ranked officers assigned to the base, including many Vice Admirals, the 3 Admirals, and Fleet Admiral Bronso Kanaru. In particular, Kanaru spends most of his days now governing and commanding the rest of the Marine body from his office in the Marineford Tower. He has a deep pride in the Marines and in justice, and seeks to instill it in the best way he can, but sometimes, he thinks of his days out in the field, especially during the first year of the War against the King Pirates.
He understood, however, where he was most needed. The Marines needed the strong face of justice in their center of power. They needed his leadership here. But it was infuriating sometimes to have to sit back and watch as events he felt he could have prevented transpired under his watch. In this case, he referred to the information he received by Transponder Snail from Loguetown.
"I don't believe this!" He bellowed, making his displeasure known to the others inside of his office. "It was a brand new ship, completely state of the art. One of the fastest our shipwrights have designed, and we let it out of our grasp." Kanaru slammed the papers onto his desk, which among them, included pictures of the individual crew members who were seen aboard the Grand Justice. "By Pirates no less!" He yelled. He was as tense as ever, but tried to contain himself and calm down. He looked over the pictures again, then moved them over to the edge of his desk. "And this is hardly the first set of events like this that has transpired. There's multiple accounts of increased piracy across the seas."
"When we executed 'Throne' pubicly, we expected there to be some sort of reaction," A voice remarked toward the Fleet Admiral. His was a raspy, dry and deep voice compared to Kanaru's, hinting away at his possible advanced age. "The Kings left a large hole to fill, and these young pirates are intent on filling it."
"I don't think any of us could of predicted this kind of reaction," a melancholic voice quietly added. The man was tall and well built yet his presence was somber and unassuming almost as if he could easily be overlooked for someone of lesser authority. "These young pirates are not to be underestimated."
"And that's why we should take them out now!" Another far more young and aggressive voice called out. "Kill them all before they get any bright ideas of following in their King's footsteps. Rumors say they are gathering at Duke Island. Seems like a perfect way to end this 'Golden Age' in one swift strike."
"Not every man who sails under a flag deserves to die, Akasame," The first, older voice responded after a deep sigh and a clearing of his voice. "We represent justice, not tyranny."
"They knew the risks when they chose to brandish a flag, Shirotora," Akasame fired back. "Your delusions of justice allowed men like the King Pirates to roam the seas in the first place! Perhaps it is tyranny that will finally end this war."
"The war is finished!" Shirotora shot back, his tone tingling with annoyance at his fellow Marine. "You only seek to create a new one from its ashes." He stood up, walking over to the Fleet Admiral's desk, his face shrouded in mystery and darkness. He picked up one of the pictures from the pirate group that was at Loguetown. It was a photo of a young girl, with long blonde hair and bright, carefree eyes. "Behold the terrifying face of piracy!" He declared, as he dropped the photo next to Akasame. "Do not be so quick to condemn all to die by a simple title."
Quietly, another picture covered up the one of the seemingly innocent girl. It was one of intimidating figure, with white hair and a battle scarred face and no shirt. "Witness another face of piracy," the unassuming voice perked up. "Shirotora does have a point, but so does Akasame. But at the end of the day, a pirate is a pirate. And we are marines. They have to be stopped. One way or another."
Kanaru placed his hands upon his chin as he pondered the positions of his subordinates. Examining the information and pictures supplemented by the intelligence division of the Marines, he sighed deeply and looked at the three men. "I am inclined to agree with Ginokami. They knew the risks when they bore the flag." His eyes set on the second Marine to speak. "We do not stand for justice if we do not eliminate every pirate threat which presents itself. It makes it that much easier to decide since those pirates from Loguetown are going to Duke Island as well," Kanaru sighed again, grabbing a set of wanted posters from the pile of information, belonging to Reaper K. Leon, Bridges L. Skellen and Wright D. Morgan. His eyes went from each wanted poster, then back to the second Marine. "What do you have in mind, Akasame?"
"Simple, sir. Authorize me to send the White Knight to Duke Island to ensure that justice will be served."
Wright D. Morgan and Tristan D. Kuzo- Duke Island
Duke Island was not exactly what Morgan was expecting when they docked. In fact, it was a bit sad. With such a regal name, Morgan expected riches. What he got was crowds of pirates making a dead town alive. Of course, they were all here for the treasure. He couldn't imagine that Edward's information was true, but the rumors had substance to them. Sadly, this meant competition. This normally didn't bother Morgan, but who knew what the Grand Line could muster? Morgan wanted this to be easy, if only because the treasure would be nice to have. He didn't want to actually have to fight for it. Especially considering Kuzo's deal involved one fight already. Which reminded him.
Morgan leapt off the ship, slightly jogging till he caught to Kuzo. He could feel the stares from the surrounding populace of pirates and townspeople. The murmurs grew louder as Morgan crept ever closer to Kuzo. "Probably not the best idea to wander off...Captain. Or should I stop calling you that now that we finally found land?" Morgan emphasized the final words hoping that Kuzo would catch on.
Kuzo nodded over to Lotte, who was asking him about potential clothing she might need to buy. "If you'd like, now might be a good time to pick up a few spares change of clothes. Since we're on land anyway." He remarked, adding a bright smile to her as they proceeded further into the town. He then turned to face Morgan, giving him a quizzical look followed by a chuckle. "No, you could still call me Captain on land too." Kuzo answered cheerfully to which Morgan only sighed at Kuzo's oblivious nature. He looked around at the town which they were now entering. The citizenry were busy trying to sell anything they could to their pirate guests, many electing to go about it through stalls on the streets. In fact, most of the main road was riddled and cramped with stalls selling food, clothing and trinkets, with broken, ruined, or destroyed house behind them.
"Not a bad selection around here," He remarked, examining the large amount of items for sale. It wasn't all the best of quality, but he did notice a large abundance of some fine things, which was a bit of a surprise given the state of the town. He supposed it had something to do with ties to the Kings which they might have had not too long ago. "Let's see if we can barter for information though."
"We had a deal, Kuzo," Morgan said with his arms crossed. "I got you this far. Now it's time for you to pay up."
Kuzo, who was busy examining all the neat and interesting wares at a specific stall, only partially heard what Morgan said through the crowd of people in the main street, most of them pirates. "Eh? Pay up? Morgan, we need the money for information on the treasure!"
Morgan began to fume. "How dense are you?"
"I think so too!" Kuzo shouted back, and not clearly hearing what Morgan said. He was looking over a richly-colored talisman he picked up from the vendor, examining it to see that it was quite heavy for its size, but intriguing to look at. The shop was selling them as good luck charms on the seas. "Do you want one too? You'll have to pay up for them!" He asked Morgan.
Teeth clenched and muscles tight, Morgan couldn't take it anymore. The stupidity that was Kuzo was becoming too much to bear and if Morgan by some chance of fate had become saint, he would sooner relinquish such a distinction if he had to deal with Kuzo any longer. "Perhaps this will remind you..." he said under his breath. With a heavy hand, Morgan launched a single fireball in Kuzo's direction hoping that the fire of battle would remind Kuzo of the words he so proudly uttered less than a day ago.
The fireball hit a target...but not the one it intended to hit. Through the crowd of people stumbling across the street, a pirate with long dark-brown hair, a rather large, pointed nose, and a cheerless and agitated expression walked right by at the precise moment when Morgan chose to release the fire, and thereby hitting him squarely on his butt. The flames erupted on his rear, and the man began to e man began to yell and howl in pain, running in a circle across the market street. The pirates beside him, a large and muscular Okama with dark skin and dark purple hair and eyebrows, as well as a man with an oddly shaved black head of hair, a dab of red on either side of his cheeks, and a noticeable missing tooth, frantically began to try to put it out.
"Captain!" The Okama alarmingly shouted, trying to pat down his apparent Captain's behind. The other man tried to do the same. A rather large crowd was beginning to develop around the area, with several pirates laughing and hollering at the man's misery. Another pirate, a girl who apparently was also with this crew, came running in as well. She had long, blue hair and a rather large mallet in her hands. The mallet seemed to be something too large for her to carry, but she managed wielding it alright.
"Hold still, boss man, I got this!" She declared, lifting up her enormous hammer, and aiming for her captain's buttocks.
"Eh?! What the heck are you planning to do with that, Sena!?" He yelled, and watched as the mallet collided with his rear, and sent him flying toward a nearby pond. He yelped in pain, and collided with the water, thereby putting out the flames sent on his body, but also leaving him wet and in pain. The three crew-mates quickly ran over to his Captain's side.
"Are you alright, Cap?!" The man missing a tooth asked, trying to help his Captain out of the water. He was drenched, with his pants now containing holes which smoke still traveled out of, and also a noticeable large red mark where the mallet had impacted his body. He violently waved all of the help of his crew away, instead electing to stand himself, before turning toward the direction of the man who had lit him on fire.
"Who the hell do you think you are?!" The man fumed, visibly turning red with rage.
"Do you really want to mess with the guy who set you on fire?" Morgan asked with a smirk. "I could do a lot worse if I wanted to."
"You damn bastard," The man with the missing tooth began to curse. He took a step forward, prepared to jump Morgan. "I'll kill ya for messsin' with my captain!"
The Captain, however, held the man back. "Hold it, Mansikuze." He declared. "He obviously doesn't know who he's dealing with, so I'll clue him in. Then you can beg for your life." He stepped out of the pond, and placed his fists on his hips. "Strays, introductions!"
The Okama stepped forward, striking a slightly seductive (but for her size, somewhat silly) pose which flaunted her muscly figure. "I am Marcello Ladorra, known as 'Beauty'"! First mate of the Stray Pirates! I have a bounty of 12,000,000!"
The man with the missing tooth stepped forward afterward, holding down a 'thumbs down' sign to Morgan. "I'm 'Broccoli' Mansikuze, the great fighter of East Blue. I have a 8,000,000 berri bounty!"
"Heya!" The girl with blue hair exclaimed excitedly. The other three of the crew gave her a nasty look, not pleased with the way she introduced herself, so she quickly changed up. "Uhm...I mean...puny human! I am Sena Albert, the bludgeoner of the crew! I...don't really have a bounty yet, but I like traveling the seas! And-" Another glare came from her crew-mates. "I'll knock you out! Yeah!"
The Captain then rubbed his nose with his hand, as he announced himself. "And I am Adams "Stray" Kondo, Captain of the Stray Pirates!" He laughed in his most maniacal sense possible, but it sounded too comically like a donkey's screeching to be frightening. "I have a bounty of 20,000,000! Now do you understand what you're dealing with? We're big time!"
"You're cute," Morgan said with a yawn and a stretch. "Especially you," he said pointing at Sena with a wink. "Name's Wright D. Morgan. But you may know me as 'The Burning King.' Bounty 48,000,000." Morgan allowed a small fickle of fire emit from his hands to further prove his identity, before simply glaring at Kondo and his crew, though he softened his expression a little when his eyes met Sena's.
Sena blushed a bit as she averted her eyes, while Kondo's mouth dropped at the man's identity Broccoli quickly approached the Captain to confirm this. "Cap, ain't he that Super Rookie? The one who burns everything he touches?"
"I hear he took on an entire ship of Marines all by himself without getting a scratch on him." Beauty added. "Oooh~! His muscles are almost as big as mine!~"
"Idiots! Shut up!" Kondo barked, a noticeable sweat mark pouring down the side of his face. "This guy talks big, but he's nothing! Last I heard, Morgan got himself caught by Kiba the Predator! This guy's clearly an impostor!"
"But...but cap," Broccoli began, anxiously, "The flames."
"Just a trick!" He quickly shot back. At this moment, Kuzo, who had been busy at one of the stalls and who didn't pay attention to what had just happened, chose to approach Morgan from the side.
"Hey, Morgan," He began, in his hands was two bags filled with the talisman that he was showing off earlier. "I wasn't sure if you wanted one of the talismans so I went ahead and bought one or two. We can take it out of your cut of the treasure later," He said, though the amount he was carrying inside the bags looked more like twenty or thirty. Kuzo then noticed Kondo and the rest of the Strays in front of him. "Oh, hey. Did you make some new friends, Morgan?"
"Yeah, err, no," Morgan said, though he threw a smile at Sena again. Then the rest of Kuzo's appearance processed. "Wait, what?! I didn't want one, much less two bags worth of them! And don't go spending other people's money!" Morgan spat back, with flames spewing from his mouth.
"Calm down, it was only about fifty belly!"
"Knowing your ability to count, I highly doubt that..."
"You know this guy?!" Kondo quickly asked Kuzo.
Kuzo smiled cheerfully and nodded. "Sure do. I'm his Captain. I'm also the Captain of Tunnak, Vance, Lotte, Mason, Leon, Skellen, Bass..." He began to say, trying to point out each of his crew members individually located throughout the town.
"See?! The Burning King is rumored to travel alone! This guy's got crew-mates. He's a fake!" Kondo interrupted. Along with the three crew-mates of the Stray previously announced, about twenty or so other crew-mates of the Strays suddenly made themselves known around Kondo, running to his side. "Since you're all together, you'll all share in the blame! Stray Pirates, TAKE 'EM DOWN!!"
Bridges L. Skellen
Skellen had barely been standing for a second when a rotund sword-wielding pirate had appeared before him brandishing his weapon at the girl he had run into – who was now hiding behind him clutching his side.
Seriously… how the hell do I manage to get myself into these situations?
Skellen looked to the silver-haired young woman, raising an eyebrow as she begun spurting a bunch of lies
“B-Boss! I've been lookin' all over for ya!" Avril exclaimed, pushing the man forward an ever so slight amount. "I went to do that inspection, just like I was supposed to. But somehow the notice that I was comin' must've gotten all combobbled up in the mail. Can you please sort this whole garubbled mess of a situation out for me! Our business depends on it!"
Skellen merely looked from her to the angry pirate, rather amused by the strange turn of events that had befallen him, although he couldn’t shake an exasperated feeling at his knack for getting into trouble either
Why do I get the feeling that this is going to end with a sword being violently thrust at me?
The large, evidently aggressive, man standing before Skellen and the cowering woman gritted his teeth, roaring at the pair
“So... Ya the scoundrel that sent that wench onto our ship..." he growled, running a finger along his blade. "I don't care if she was the one on the ship or not... Ya both are guilty and yer both gonna get the blade run through ya both!"
This is definitely going to end with him trying to impale me. Skellen sighed to himself before turning his head back to the woman
“A little advice, if you’re going to lie don’t make it one that is just going to result in both you and someone else getting killed.” The woman responded with a rather frightened look
“I don't guess you're one of those rough-em-uppers, are ya?” she queried, her voice no more than a whisper. Skellen laughed, and not just at her weird way of speaking
“Well I don’t know if that’s the correct word – but clearly when I said “you and someone else” getting killed I meant you and him. You for – “ the pirate moved to swing his sword at Skellen “-HOLD ON A MINUTE WOULD YOU!!!”
The pirate halted in shock, his sword held aloft in mid-air a look of utter confusion plastered on his face, clearly he’d never been ordered to stop by his intended victim mid-attack before.
“Now as I was saying” Skellen continued “You for dragging me into this mess – unless you find a really good way of repaying me” he added before looking back at the enraged pirate who was still frozen in shock with his weapon above his head “this idiot for picking a fight with me.”
The insult seemed to spurn the man back into action, causing a smirk to form on the Taipan’s snakelike face he once again moved to cleave Skellen’s head screaming
“IDIOT AM I?! YOU THE ONE THAT’S STILL STANDIN’ THERE YOU DOG!”
Skellen blocked the downward swing, deflecting the arm of his assailant with his own before grabbing it with both of his hands and flipping the aggressive pirate onto his back.
“You know you’re just too much of a cliché, you really are” Skellen said, sounding somewhat bored now. The larger man went to stand up once again, only to have Skellen kick the back of one of his knees, causing him to stumble. Skellen then delivered a sharp elbow to the man’s head dropping him back to the ground.
“Now” he said, punctuating his sentence by kicking the downed pirate in the ribs “leave the lady alone and sure as hell don’t try picking a fight with me again or I’m going to feed you cyanide. Got that?” another kick to the groaning man’s side making his point clear Skellen then turned back to silver-haired woman – who now that he got a proper look at, was probably not as young as he thought.
Hell she might be a few years older than me actually… she’s basically Lotte in her twenties though. I guess that means she’s stupid but at least amusingly stupid not “The Taipan just kicked your teeth in” stupid
“Why the hell did you drag me into this, and how are you going to repay me? Oh, and don’t even think about running because of this lump of lard caught you I definitely will.”
Skellen bent down to the still groaning man he’d just pummelled, taking his sword and a small sack of coins from him before looking back at Lotte 2.0.
Tristan D. Kuzo - Duke Island
While the others began attacking other member's of the supposedly fake Morgan's crew, the Stray pirate known as 'Broccoli' Mansizuke set his sights on the man who identified himself as the Captain. He grinned at Kuzo, showing off his missing tooth in the process. "Well, normally the Cap would deal with Captains of other crews, but since he's busy with showing your man the consequences of his actions, I'll have to deal with you! I'm 'Broccoli', of the East Blue! We're the Stray Pirates!" He hollered, expecting some sort of reaction from Kuzo, who silently stared at him. Broccoli glared back at him, then continued talking.
"I guess you're just shaking in your boots, so I'll show you how terrifying we really are! The Strays were the outcasts and undesirables of wherever we hailed from. But we all knew that even if we didn't belong where we came from, we were still better than all the rest, so we decided to go prove it! Thus, the outcasts banded together and the Stray Pirates were formed!"
He grinned his toothless grin at Kuzo again, but got no response again. Getting slightly frustrated by the lack of audience, Broccoli extended his arms and yelled. "Our limit is the sky itself! There's nothing and no one the Strays can't overcome! That includes you!" He proclaimed, pointing his finger right at Kuzo. Kuzo cocked his head.
"So does this mean you want to fight?" He finally asked. Broccoli, in his growing frustration, began to charge forward at Kuzo, raising his fists in preparation of smashing Kuzo's face in. A smile swept Kuzo's face, as he dropped the bags of talismans on the ground and outstretched his arms. "Tank Mode," He called out just as Broccoli was coming upon him. With a clenching of his fists, Kuzo's body reacted and instantly bulked up in size and width. His now wider, larger arms covered his face just as Broccoli came in to attack him. The punch landed right on his arm, and it took Broccoli a moment to register the immense pain that suddenly shot through the arm. He felt something crack in his fingers, and began to scream and holler from the pain. He held his hand with his other hand, and jumped around in agony.
"WHAT THE HELL?!" He cried out, bringing his near tear-filled eyes at Kuzo. "What is your body made out of, metal!?" He screamed, and continued to jump around. His hand was throbbing and read, as he tried to blow on it in the hopes that it would help cease the pain.
Kuzo merely continued to smile. "Not metal," He began, bringing his arms down to the side of his body. "Bone. I ate the Hone Hone no Mi Fruit a while ago, and now I'm a bone man, able to manipulate and generate bones." He looked down at his fist, clenching it and suddenly, his body altered from the large size of his named 'Tank Mode' to his normal size body. "Normally, that would mean that I would be able to create and alter my bone shape, except the main problem with that is if I do that, my skin would tear itself apart. Instead...I figured out a way not to alter my bone shape or size, but instead the bone density." He clenched his fists, again, and whispered 'Lightning Mode' under his breath, which altered his body to a smaller, skinnier shape. "I could make them hollow and light, so I could jump higher and run faster," He said, demonstrating by taking off and running straight over to where Broccoli was standing and cursing. The sudden improvement of speed caught Broccoli off guard, who staggered back as Kuzo changed from his 'Lightning Mode' form back to his normal one, before changing again. "Or I could make them dense and tough," He state, once again muttering 'Tank Mode' under his breath, and reverting to the larger, denser form he was in moments before.
"Here, my bones are strong, weight more, hit harder," He stated with a smile. Broccoli back up a few more steps.
"W-who the hell are you guys?"
Kuzo was quick to reply back. "The names Tristan D. Kuzo, and this is my pirate crew," He lifted up a fist, and threw a punch right onto Broccoli's face. The punch impacted directly on his mouth, causing a few teeth to spill out instantly, his face to swell up and contort, and him to suddenly be flung off from right in front of Kuzo to being sent through the air right at a nearby abandoned house. Broccoli crashed right through the house, coming out from the opposite end, before coming to a halt outside in a forested area behind the house. He was covered in bits and piece of wood, being completely knocked out, with his foot twitching every so often, and a large, red, fist-shaped mark where Kuzo had hit him.
After seeing that his opponent was finished off, and that the other lesser crewmates didn't seem to want to deal with him anymore, Kuzo reverted back to his normal form with a simple clenching of his fists. He picked up the bags of talismans, and checked over to see how the rest of his crew was doing.
Bass - Red wine anyone?
Bass flew up higher and higher, seeing the last of his crew mates and soon they blended in with the rest of the now small figures. He turned his gaze away and let out a weak sigh as he flew further and further from the town, mostly riding the wind currents to prevent himself from tiring out too quickly. He soon managed to make it to the wilderness and he glanced down on the ground, making sure that no one was around and he flew down to a tree, flipping in midair to let his feet grip onto the branch and he hung down, letting his wings spread out and stretch a bit. To get his prey he would have to make sure he wasn't tense and his whole body was relaxed. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath and for a second he didn't move, then his eye snapped open. He took in another deep breath, this time to smell for prey and he flapped off of the tree and high up into the air again. He gazed down at the ground and flew down a bit lower to look for any stragglers or sole predators.
He did manage to find a lone wolf, no doubt one that had been kicked out of its pack and that meant lunch for him. He swooped down low and began to follow the wolf. His prey began to run when it sensed him, but he had the wind on his side. He had the advantage of height. He had the advantage of being REALLY hungry. He found it odd early on that whenever he would get into hunting mode and would catch sight of some prey he would feel his hunger suddenly swelling, so much so that if he stopped hunting he would experience stomach pains. He knew at this point he HAD to catch his prey and feed.
His eyes keyed in on the area ahead and he glanced back down at the running wolf. A forest was coming up. It might be a big sloppy, but he had to get onto his prey now! He flapped his wings a bit faster, then tucked them in as he quickly descended. The wolf let out a surprised bark as he crashed into the beast. He had done this song and dance so many times that his body moved without conscious thought. He wrapped his legs around the wolf's lower body to keep it from squirming too much. The main problem with feeding from a conscious being was the fact that they would kick and scream and thrash about. If they thrashed too much however his fangs wouldn't slip out like they were designed to do. They would end up being ripped out of the skin and cause massive blood loss which would end up killing his prey. Such action would end up with his stomach still empty and he would have to use more energy to find new prey.
He was quick to lean down and hiss as loudly as he could. He even squeezed his legs a bit tighter around the wolf's body to get the message into its head that it wasn't going anywhere and that there was nothing it could do to escape. The wolf kept on snarling and foaming at his mouth so Bass had to take action. He waited until the wolf had arched his head to the right and he let his face move forth. He dug his sharp teeth deep into the neck and he heard the wolf's startled yelp. The world seemed to fade away from Bass as he sunk his teeth deeper and deeper until he could feel that glorious liquid seeping into his mouth.
He could feel his tension slowly fading as the blood quenched his throat, though whenever the wolf squirmed he would squeeze tighter until the struggling ceased. All the while he drank down the precious red liquid. He kept on drinking as the wolf remained still. Bass knew the wolf was getting weaker and weaker the more blood he drank, but he didn't care about that now. He kept on drinking until he felt his stomach was full and he opened his jaws slowly and let his fangs slide out. Without missing a beat his tongue dashed out and licked along where he had bitten. His saliva would stop any blood from flowing out and keep the wolf alive. He finished his licking and patted the now weary wolf on the head and flew back up into the air. He closed his eyes and licked some remaining blood from his fangs as he flew back to where the town was. Hopefully no blood had gotten on his fur or else he would have to spend quite a while trying to ensure the others he wasn't gong to be drinking their blood. That was a mess he didn't want to get into.
Beauty vs. Leon
We leaned against the wall of the bar. "You know what I just remembered?"
"I'm supposed to be pissed off at the ship's Ass."
"Odd thing to remember my friend." He said laughing, "What did he do?"
"Sedated me before I told him to." I growled. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.
"You should rough him up."
"Aren't you the nice one?" I asked confused.
"Nothing wrong with a friendly brawl!" I nodded and I led him toward the ship. "So it was your crew that stole that
"It was too easy." I replied, "Marines are trash."
"Are those fellows crew members?" Lin asked.
"They look hostile." He said, pulling out his violin.
"Good." I looked at him surprised, "What the hell is that for?"
"Don't mind me," He yelled suddenly to the pirates, "I'm just a lowly violinist. But Leon here, he's a real life demon! Show them your shadow demon."
"I'll kill you." I growled.
"Shouldn't you be helping your captain?" He asked while tuning his instrument, "I'll play a lovely song while you fight."
I growled, but gave him no words. I charged up to the nearest shipmate and knocked him out of my way like he was an empty box. "I'm not going to kill you all." I roared, "So why doesn't the strongest one step forward and take me on in a duel?!" After sleeping for so long, my muscles were aching for a good fight, and I was much stronger than when I fought those pitiful marines. "Then again, all off you look like store clerks to me.
"Oooh, and I thought the fake Morgan had the nice, strong muscles~," Marcello 'Beauty' Ladorra quickly answered in reply, stepping forward by strutting one foot diagonally in front of the next, with both of his hands flamboyantly positioned on his hips. "But you've got some great ones on you as well. You're a pretty thing!~" He added with a wink. He then took his hands off of his hips, and lay them down on his sides. He clenched his fists, his well-toned body tightening at his command and showing what appeared to be quite the physical form.
"It's a shame I'll have to kill you now, but when someone messes with the Strays, they get aaaaall that's comin' their way!" Marcello rushed his body forward, intent on using his superior strength to hammer right into Leon. Even though Leon too was large, Marcello was just about his equal in terms of size.
Leon shivered in disgust at who stepped forward. He planted his feet on the ground and prepared for impact. Although he didn't deny the person was large, he was the demon here, so there was no way he was going to lose. Right before they made contact, Leon altered his stance slightly, lowered myself, and used his momentum to slam him into the ground next to him.
Beauty collided into Leon, but held himself well enough to avoid any tossing of strength from one party or another. He purposefully got close and right up into Leon's space, trying to make him as uncomfortable as possible. It was one of the tactic Beauty had relied on. Along with his strong physical form, Beauty also made the opponent leave their comfort zone with comments he'd be uttering throughout the fight. Generally, they had an impact.
"Ooh~" Beauty began, as the two monsters held each other off with their shows of strength. "Such rough skin you have. You must have been in a lot of fights through your life. I generally keep my skin nice and moooist.~" He began slightly rubbing his body against Leon's at their collision point, hoping it would throw him off a bit. "Here, have a feel!~"
Leon's blood began to boil. He didn't like people touching him like that, and went into a fury. Leon hammered his head down on the man's shoulder, loosening his grip, and then Leon pushed him away. "I'm going to kill you, and then your entire crew!" He roared, "Then We'll see what feels rough."
Beauty grunted from the impact, forcing him to remove his arm off of Leon. He took a step back, rubbing his shoulder carefully and softly, taking his time with it. "Oh, that hurt~" He whined, pouting at Leon. "Alright then, if you want to play rough, we can play rough~," Beauty placed both of his hands down at his waist, then rushed forward, lifting the arms above his head and trying to slam them both on Leon with tremendous force.
Leon growled and made a fist. With Beauty holding both of his arms above his head, Leon had a clear shot for his stomach. He roared and with surprising speed, shot his fist so hard at the man's stomach that he would have collapsed.
Before Beauty could hit the man with his fists, the power blow to the stomach completely halted his attack. His knees shook, and his face began to register the punch to his abdomins. He fell to his knees, and clutched his stomach, beginning to scream in pain and confusion. "P-powerful....AROAAORH!~" Beauty yelped in pain. Apparently, size wasn't everything. All across, pirates witnessed this single punch taking down the formidable appearing Beauty, and some began to notice and recognize who Leon was.
"Isn't that...the White Haired Demon?!" Once asked a fellow crewmate.
"Damn, it is! And he is as strong and big as they say!"
"I'm getting off this island!" He concluded, and some of the crowd of people began heading for the docks away. Apparently size sometimes was everything.
Leon roared, still wanting to fight. He was about to charge at the fleeing pirates, but he felt a hand on his shoulder. "Good fight, good fight." Lin congratulated.
"Would've been better if the rest of the crew had joined in." Leon growled.
"Well I think they made the right choice." Lin put his instrument back in its case. "I'm going to go and find an inn to stay at, have fun." He waved and walked off.
Leon sighed, slowly regaining his nerves. He walked toward Morgan and sighed, "Where the hell is the rest of our crew?"
Wright D. Morgan vs. Adams "Stray" Kondo
As the rest of the Stray Pirates spread out to fight the other named crew members with Morgan, Captain Stray glared down the pirate who identified himself as the 'Burning King', Wright D. Morgan. Two other crew members also faced him down and prepared to strike at him, but Stray held up his hand to stop him.
"Hold on!" He commanded, and the two instantly stopped and looked back at the Captain. "You guys take on someone else. This faker's mine!" He declared, gritting his teeth and feeling for a moment his rear end, which still stung.
"Aye, Cap!" One of the two said with a salute, heading off to fight one of the others. Along the way, they could be heard saying how great Kondo was, and how dead Morgan was.
"Come on, then, punk. If you wanna beg for your life, now's the time!"
A ring of fire emerged around Kondo, erupting into walls of flame. He was now oblivious to the outside world as the heat strained his eyes and coated his body in a drenching sweat. "Still think I am fake now?" Morgan shouted through the fire. He slowly stepped through the walls of fire, his body half of flame, half of human. A twisted grin stretched across his face and a single eye leered at Kondo. "I worked up my reputation to stir fear in people! To make them freeze in terror when my name is even whispered. I can't have people like you walking around laughing at it." The flames began to close in on Kondo, inch by inch with Morgan sitting back watching from the front row.
Kondo was sweating bullets. He had a huge lump in his throat upon the realization that there was likely no possible way his opponent could have faked this, and he was in fact the Burning King. "S-so then you're really..." He began, being cut off as the flams grew in closer and closer. It was now or never. Stray had to make his escape. He quickly activation his Devil Fruit ability, which suddenly caused him to disappear out of sight as the flames engulfed the area.
"Seereereeree..." The soft cackling of Stray began around the area, but didn't seem to begin from any one area. "So what if you're him? I still have my ability, and I'll take you out regardless!" Stray suddenly emerged from a door he fashioned out of apparently nothing. He stood behind Morgan now, holding a flintlock pistol in his hand. He fired multiple shots at Morgan, then disappeared back into the door he created.
"Seereereeree!" He laughed again, before returning from another door he created to the right of Morgan. "You see, I ate the Doa Doa no Mi Fruit, the Door-Door Fruit!" He began to explain, appearing out of the other door he made and fired more shots from his pistol at Morgan, before once more disappearing. "With it, I could create doors through anything I touch! It could be the ground below..." He said, just as he popped out from a door he fashioned from the ground, opening it up and taking a few more shots at Morgan. "Or it could be from a wall!" He yelled, appearing out of the nearby wall of a home not too far away from the battlefield. Kondo stepped through and fired again, before disappearing through the doorway. "I could even appear through a door!" He appeared once more, this time through one of the doors leading to an abandoned home next to the plaza, and once more fired at Morgan. "SEEREEREE! With this ability, I'm invincible!" He laughed maniacally, hiding away in his doorway, and once more appearing from out of the ground, this time right behind Morgan.
"Time to die!" He cried, pulling out his gun right behind the head of Morgan, and firing away. As the bullet was fired, Morgan's head vanished into a sputtering flame. However before Kondo could spout another laugh, flames regathered forming Morgan's head. "No, no. I'm invincible," Morgan said, cracking his neck. "I mean, did you really not notice how every bullet went through me?" Morgan said throwing his arms up and sighing. He turned around to face the Stray captain. "Now, you are just good at running away. That's the difference between you and me," he continued with a smile. Morgan decked Kondo in the face with a straight punch.
The punch landed right between his eyes on the bridge of his nose. Instantly, Kondo fell to the ground clutching his nose, as blood flowed freely from it. "Aah!" he cried in pain. "My beautiful face! You wrecked it!" He yelled. He back away a little bit on the ground, then turned to try to make a break for it and disappeared behind one of his doors he would manufacture.
But a solid foot knocked all the air out of his lungs. "Tsk, tsk. Don't leave already, my friend," Morgan pleaded. He conjured a stream of fire from his hand. "You gotta a lot of explainin' to do."
"P-please, don't hurt me!" He said, turning over onto his back and placing up his hands in protest. He began to laugh nervously. "Seereeree! I was just kidding around, I wasn't going to hurt you! Seeree! I was just...just introducing you to the guys. Welcome to the island! See...ree...ree? Please, please don't kill me! I'll do anything!"
"Now that's what I like to hear."
Bass - The return!
As he flew about Bass felt a bit more energized. He knew that being at sea and mostly stuck on deck hadn't done any good for his wings, and now that he was flying around here and there he could only smile. He hadn't felt this good in a while! He was off that boring island, he was full, and he was seeing the world! Heh, this was about the best his life was going to get! He swooped on down and tucked his wings against his sides. He did a quick spin and then righted himself just as he was about to hit into the ground. HIs wings spread out once more and he angled himself up, chuckling as he had to flap his arms a bit to get to the necessary elevation.
The sun felt good against his fur and everything was alright. He did another small spin in the air and in the distance he could see the town that he had departed from earlier. Well, it had been some time since he left. No doubt the others had already started asking around for clues here and there and probably already got some bearings of the land. The thing he didn't want now was too much trouble. He knew that Leon guy could cause quite a lot of devastation, but as he came in closer he didn't see any large files nor notice every single building crushed into rubble so that had to be a good sign.
He knew well enought that appearances could be deceiving, and that was what was happening here. He flapped in the air for a while, flabbergasted as he saw the others fighting against other pirates and then he hung his head and let out a groan. Was this going to be his life now? They go into a port and immediately start causing a ruckus within what? An hour's time? He shook his head as he saw a load of people fleeing Leon battling... wait, who was he fighting!? If anything, the female looked like a gender swapped Leon!
He was entirely baffled as to how there could be another as strong as Leon, but he tried not to dwell on it. He knew that he didn't want to get in the middle of that fight, so he keyed in on Kuzo's position and flapped above him, "Hey Kuzo!" He shouted on down, "Uh... I'm not sure how this stuff works so do I help fight or something?" He asked as he cocked his head.
Duke Island - The Competition!
Captain Stray sat uncomfortably on the ground, cross-legged, as he checked his nose to see the extent of the damage. He tried moving it a bit to the left, but was met with a sharp pain. He cursed under his breath, deciding to leave it alone for now. "So, what do you wanna know, fire man?"
"Let's start with the treasure," Morgan began, keeping a little fireball in the palm of his hand as he enjoyed the constant shifting of Kondo. "Tell me everything you know about it. What it is. Where it is. Everything." Morgan inched in closer, getting closer to the shattered nose. "And don't even think of trying to lie to me."
"R-right," Stray stammered, as he eyed the fireball in Morgan's hand, which made him even more uncomfortable than he already was. Stray crossed his arms. "Well, I dunno much more than you probably do," He began, looking up at the sky as he thought, hoping it would take his mind of Morgan before him. "There's a treasure on this island that belonged to the Kings. Except nobody knows where it is. Some people say that we should ask the locals, which is why we went into town, but everyone here's keepin' their damn mouth shut!" Stray looked down angrily around at the villagers who passed by, and the ones who managed the stalls along the market street. "But they know. The trick is gettin' them to talk." He stared from the villagers around to Morgan in front of him. "That's all I know." He looked at Morgan for a moment longer, then added, "H-honest!"
Morgan sighed to himself, disheartened at Kondo's lack of information. The only conclusion he could reach is that it was probably very well hidden. And if the rumors have been around for a while, the townspeople probably already tore their town apart looking for it. Though, that was just a guess. "Who else is after the treasure? I highly doubt you bottom feeders are the only ones after it. So what other crews are tearing apart the island?"
"Tch," Stray looked away from Morgan, then shook his head. "The better question to ask is who isn't lookin' for the treasure on this island?" He looked across the town plaza and the wide array of people passing through. "Most of the people here are pirates or treasure hunters or something like that. If you're asking about your competition, it's all of them," He declared, with a large grin forming on his face. At this point, Kuzo, who had just finished his fight and had nodded off to Vance about looking for Lotte, had walked up behind Morgan and listened to watch Stray was saying. He motioned for Bass to come follow him. "But I had Broccoli and Sena look in more closely at the big fish. And if you think you're the baddest man on the island, think again," Kondo's grin seemed to transform into a more mischievous one. Kondo lifted his hands up, holding up four fingers in his left hand, and three in his right. "There's four pirate crews you should be worried about. They all have pirates with bounties over 30 million belli. But there are three pirates with bounties higher than you, Burning King!"
In the opposite side of town, a trio of pirates walked through the center. An older man with a jolly roger bandanna, a white beard, and a fairly large sword walked on the right, with a younger man with medium-length black hair on the right. The man on the right also carried with him a ridiculously long musket-like gun, which he slung over his own shoulder. In the center, a girl brimming with confidence strut down the street as if she owned it. She wore a red captain's coat over a white top, with a red matching hat covering her blond hair. She had an expensive looking skull insignia on this hat. Her mischievous eyes were a hazel grey, and on her face she held a smug look of superiority and wickedness.
The girl looked left and right at all of the other pirates along the road, and furrow her brows in outrage. "There's too many people along my path! Cut them down!" She commanded.
"Or we could just, you know, ask them to move aside," The younger man with the long gun commented.
"Quiet, Ronaldo, don't question the Captain's orders!" The older man with the sword shot back.
"Captain? She's your daughter for pete's sake..." Ronaldo began saying, just as the older man began to swing his sword and cut everyone in the girl's path out of the way. Screams and shouts of pain erupted around as the girl looked on with disinterest and apathy.
The older man returned panting, leaving a bloodpath of carnage in front of him. "Is that better, Captain?" he asked, hoping she would be pleased.
"Well, the vermin are out of the way, but now their blood will get my boots all dirty. You'll have to carry me across now!"
A bit further into the center of Regal Town was a diner. The diner was heavily damaged and had little lighting. Whether this damage was a result of the commotion inside or from long ago during the War against the King Pirates was unclear. However, inside, a large man hidden from complete sight due to the limited brightness, held the owner of the diner above his head by the neck.
"Come on, that's not oka-cool," He said to him, while the owner struggled and gasped for breath. "Just tell me where the oka-treasure is, and I'll let you go,"
"I-I told you," The owner managed to get out, "I d-d-don't know anything..."
"Hehehe....not oka-good for you, man!" He pushed on his neck further, positioning the man towards the edge of the window, thereby shining a bit of light on his attacker. He wore what appeared to be a maid uniform over his large body, with his face eyes covered by a part of the maid uniform fashioned into a mask. His sharp fingernails were long and pointy, as were his teeth.
"It's obvious that he doesn't know anything," A voice said, originating from the back of the diner. There, a man with long black hair and a matching beard sat and drank some alcoholic beverage. His outfit too was black, with a long overcoat and black pants. Clasped along the side of his pants was a holster with a rather unique-appearing flintlock pistol. Elric looked over at the man, who continued to talk. "If he would have known something, he would have told you rather than dying. My guess is that the townspeople either don't know anything, or are too loyal to their King Pirates to say anything. Either way, you won't get an answer. It's probably up at the Royal Peak. It's what I've gathered from piecing my info together."
"Eh?" Elric began to say, cocking an eyebrow (from behind his mask) at the man in the corner. He then grinned his sharp, toothy smile at him, dropping the owner of the diner from his hand and onto the floor. He instantly began to gasp for air as he held his neck. "Thanks oka-guy! But why tell me all of this?"
The dark-haired man casually picked up his glass, downing the contents and then gazing his eyes at Elric with an expression of seriousness and gravity that matched his attire. He exhaled and placed the glass on the table. "I have no idea."
Close to the edge of an island, a large pirate ship was docked a little bit off the coast, with pirates jumping to and from the ship with miraculous speed and strength. Upon closer inspection, one would see that the crew mates were all fishmen of some sort. One of the fishmen, jumped onto the boat and approached another toward the edge of the ship, looking onward at Duke Island in front of him.
"We've looked all under the island, Captain. The sea floor, the roots of the island. If the King Pirates hid treasure here, it's not there."
The Captain to which he was referring to was a sea creature breed of fishman with blue skin, piercing gold eyes, and no apparent mouth. He had tentacles which came out from his head across his back, and a sharp, fancy pirate's overcoat on his body. "Then it's somewhere on the island," He commented. He pointed to Duke Island. "Send everyone in. I don't care if you have to destroy the entire island looking for it. Find me the King's treasure!"
Right in the middle of the plaza, not far from where Stray explained to Morgan and Kuzo about the other pirates on the island, a man with a partially shaved head, a cigarette in his mouth, a camouflage-style jacket on and a towel over his shoulder stood in place, looking up at the Royal Peak in front of him. He sighed deeply, the cigarette lighting up in his mouth, then breathed out and allowed the smoke to escape. He was the only man who stood in place as countless other pirates moved passed him in the crowded plaza.
"I'm bored," He muttered to himself.
"Now what's a little thing like yourself traveling all alone?" A voice asked right in front of Lotte. It was a man, relatively tall with a red and black overcoat, over a red-brown shirt, and black pants. He had relatively short, red hair which traveled from the top of his head across his face to form a large, red beard. "It's a dangerous island you've chosen. Or maybe you're a ferocious fighter in disguise, and you take this form to trick your enemies? Or maybe you're here with others? Demons of pirates who're also here for the treasure! If that's the case...that makes you my competition!" He declared with a grin.
Wilhelm Crew - Recon Squad
The stagnant air of the dilapidated house stirred amongst the rotting foundations. It was a place that no sane person would enter for fear of collapse. It was perfect. Thin streams of light cascaded in through the roof, barely held together by old, rusty nails.
"Do you think she's here?" Came a quick, raspy voice from the darkness. The light fell upon a rough face.
"Our informant said the ship carrying the deserter was heading this way." A different, deeper voice. Something sounding off with experience. "He'd be a fool to lie to the 'White Cannon'."
A third figure slithered in, carrying the mannerisms of a rat living off the filth of society. "Well if he is lying, it only means we get to have more fun torturing him for information, shishishishi!"
One man sat in the remains of the kitchen, silent and still for the conversation. "Your torture is unjustified, 'Rodent'."
"YOU CALL ME THAT AGAIN, GRAVES! SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU!" The Rodent shrieked. "My name is Rodney! I will not take crap from you just because you got a stupid promotion!"
"Keep your voice down, you rat. This house may be abandoned, but that doesn't mean that the whole island is." This final voice, the voice of the man sitting in the kitchen, belonged to Graves "Deadeye" Markus, Ensign of the Marines, and Marksman of "White Cannon" Wilhelm's crew. He leaned forward revealing himself to the light, wearing a white vest over a black dress shirt. On the back, 正義 (Justice) was stitched in black.
Suddenly, a man of ragged clothes came bursting through the front door of the house, falling to the ground. Looking up at Markus, he told them, "I saw her! The girl in the picture you gave me! She's here on the island. She was chased off a ship docked in the bay, and then she made friendly with some newcomers." Graves stood up from his seat, and approached the ragged man.
Holding out the Bounty, Graves asked one time for confirmation, "This is who you saw?"
Theft of Marine/Government Property
Desertion of the Marines
Tristan D. Kuzo, Wright D. Morgan, Bass, Reaper K. Leon, and Avril Meads- Duke Island
Morgan stared down at Stray as he told him about the various pirate crews that gathered on Duke Island. Three with higher bounties than me, eh? Morgan tried to make himself worried. He tried to convince himself that the treasure wasn't worth it. He tried to convince himself that survival was more important and that he should run away. But he couldn't. All he got was more excited. Duke Island suddenly became an opportunity to prove that "The Burning King" was a name to be feared. Morgan smirked at Stray as he continued to loom above the shaking Captain. "Thanks, buddy," he said with a smile, tapping Kondo on the shoulder. "You get all that, Kuzo?" Morgan hollared across the burnt field to his "Captain."
Kuzo nodded, handing one of the bags of talismans to Morgan. "Three bounties higher than you. You're going to need these," He declared, dropping the bag in his hands. "The merchant who sold them to me said they were good luck, after all. You can never discount luck on the seas. Have you ever heard of any of these guys before?" Kuzo asked both Bass and Morgan.
Morgan just blinked at Kuzo and sighed as Kuzo dropped the bag. "I already have a good luck charm," Morgan said flatly holding up his wrist where his charm dangled. Though Morgan enjoyed the thought, admiring Kuzo's stance on luck. It reminded me of his own, but he didn't want to admit that Kuzo was right. Or that they were bonding. After all, he was still planning on stealing his ship. "And no, not really. A few names sound familiar, but I can't say I know any of them personally or anything."
Bass himself just listened on as these talks of bounties were thrown around. Bass personally didn't care about who had what bounty nor how high it was. He had a bounty, yet he had done nothing to harm anyone really! He just looked menancing when seen in the night and was that REALLY any reason to demand someone dead? He shook his head and folded his wings around his body, "So... how about we just fly over them?" He asked as he cocked his head, "I have good eyes, I can just fly around the island over them and we can find this treasure that way. We don't have to go and find them and fight them."
Kuzo grinned at his bat-like companion and shook his head. "Now that wouldn't be any fun, would it? What's the point of a treasure hunt without a little excitement mixed in?" He asked, his eyes gazing upon Bass, and then Morgan.
Morgan smiled at Kuzo, realizing he and Kuzo were on the same page. "Sorry to disagree with ya, Bass, but Kuzo's got the right idea. Your plan ruins all the fun." He turned back to Kuzo, throwing him a nod.
Bass' ears drooped and he cocked his head, "So... we're looking to harm others..." He frowned and rubbed his head, "Ow, my head. I'm so confused here."
Kuzo walked over to Bass and placed a hand on his shoulder. "No one's looking to harm anyone," Kuzo said with a reassuring smile. "But the path is half the adventure. How you take it is just as important as how it ends." He pointed down the road, toward the crowded streets of Regal Town. "Let's see where it leads us," He declared, walking toward town once more in search of the unnamed treasure. In truth, he wasn't sure where he was going, but that might been just the way he liked it.
"I'd say the path is best when its red and broken." Leon growled cynically, "Preferably with as much breaking as possible." He stretched his massive arms and cracked his neck, "I think the bat is too soft to be a pirate."
Bass blinked and quickly shuffed away from the big scary man, "Uh... I'll be up in the sky if you need me Kuzo." He said quickly as he began to flap his wings, "I'll be the eye in the sky, anything coming at ya and I'll let you all know." With that he quickly ascended up, his shivering dying down the further he got away from Leon.
"Hey!" Leon roared, "Where are you going?!" He watched the boy fly up, "I woulda helped him toughen up if he stayed." He said.
"Perhaps you should growl less next time," Morgan said with a smirk, glancing at Leon. "It's not too attractive. Or charming. Want me to give you lessons in that?" Though after Morgan said that, he realized that Leon would be a very difficult student. Perhaps, he would need to charge him for lessons.
"Watch it kid, I was married once when I was about your age." He growled.
Meanwhile, Avril had long since finished her meal, and had managed to talk down the owner of the diner into giving her a small discount in the process. It was a small victory, but now with her belly full it was time to resume what she had come to Duke Island for in the first place: finding that treasure. That said, it was starting to look like completing such a task was not going to be easy... especially if there were going to be more dangerous pirates around like that masked weirdo she bumped into when she went to the diner.
"Hmm... If I'm gonna manage to pull this treasure hunt off, I'm gonna really need to probably get some help with it," Avril said to herself with a sigh as she walked down the road. "Or at least a group of dimmers to be like body guards or meat bags or somethin'..."
"Did you get divo- Oh hello~" Morgan whistled. He dashed over to the girl who stepped out of the diner, placing himself in front of her, leaning on the nearest object. She immediately captivated Morgan, a rare treat. "And who do I owe the pleasure to?"
Avril glanced up, looking at Morgan with a curious glance. She was not sure where he had just managed to pop out of, but judging from her previous experiences in the town so far, it was not really too surprising. The woman offered a small smile to the man, sizing him up for a moment as she did so. It was probably safe to say this man was a pirate, since everyone else she had met here was.
"I guess ya would probably owe it to luck..." Avril replied. "But you can call me Avril. And you would be...?"
At the mention of luck, Kuzo suddenly brightened up, reaching into his bag of talismans and throwing it over to Morgan for him to catch. He knew they would come in handy!
Yet Morgan was far too enamored by Avril that the tailsman smacked him in the face waking the pirate from his heavenly dream. As the tailsman fell to the ground, Morgan grunted, stomping the trinket. "My name is Morgan," he said with a smile. "What is a beautiful girl like yourself doing here?"
Leon sighed and looked to Kuzo, "The kid's an idiot." Kuzo chuckled in response, merely offering a shrug of his shoulders to Leon. "You got some sort of plan, or are we all just going to cluck around this town like a bunch of chickens?"
Again, Kuzo gave Leon a simple smile and a shrug of his shoulders. "Let's see what happens." Leon shook his head dissapointingly.
Avril gave Morgan an curious glance, before looking down at what remained from his forehead assailant. The woman was not really sure why the one of the two men close by had thrown it at his head. It was probably safe to assume that they were friends of his. If so, they definitely fit the pirate bill, seeing as how one of them looked like he was about ready to rip the arms from someone's sockets for no actual reason.
"The hell are you lookin at girl?!" Leon barked, "Go back to the lover kid!"
Focusing her attention back to Morgan, Avril answered. "Well, I came here to do a little sight seein'... Next thing I know, I keep runnin' into pirates everywhere I look. Some of them aren't exactly a friendly-lookin' group, so it's makin' my little get away a bit of head cramper, ya know?"
"Yeah, my...friend...over there is not helping any. I must apologize. Someone forgot to take their meds this mornin'," Morgan said, trying to ease the situation. "That aside. Would you like some help on your little get away? Of course, that is if you don't mind taking a little detour with me," he finished with a wink.
"Detour?" Avril questioned. This guy was trying a bit too hard, but she had to give him points for effort. "What exactly did you have in mind?"
"Treasure hunting," he said flatly.
"Treasure huntin', hmmm?" Avril questioned, crossing her arms and closing her eyes for a moment as if she was deep in thought. The woman did not really have much longer to play around with finding the treasure, especially with all this craziness going on around her. It was probably for the best to take the man up on his offer for now. While the thought of splitting her treasure up amongst others did not sit well with her... well, she knew she would probably be able to figure out something by that point.
Nodding, the woman opened her eyes and smiled up at Morgan. "Sure, why not? I've been hearin' a lot 'bout this treasure, so I am gettin' a bit perpuzzled 'bout what all the commotion of it is for. Besides, it could be fun."
"Excellent! Glad to have you along. Just stick close to my friends and I. After all, we are hunting the treasure of the Pirate King and every pirate and their mother wants a piece of it," Morgan said. He turned to his crewmates and motioned them over. "The big angry guy is Leon and the other guy is my...'captain'...Kuzo," Morgan had to force the last words out, swallowing his pride.
Kuzo was silent the entire time that Morgan shamelessly flirted with the girl who introduced herself as Avril, but at the mention of his name, he stepped forward and smiled at her. "Nice to meet you. I'm Kuzo. Welcome to the crew."
"Crew...?" Avril questioned, tilting her head as she questioned the boy named Kuzo. "I don't remember ever bein' invited to join one."
Kuzo continued to smile, crossing his arms as he replied. "No, but watching you talk with Morgan, I decided already that you're going to join us. So, welcome aboard!"
"He does that," Morgan said.
"It feels more like a kidnappin' then an invintation," Avril replied with a small giggle. "How 'bout we just leave at that I'll think 'bout it for the time bein', yeah? Anyways, it's nice to meet ya both."
"She is probably part of another crew and is trying to scout us." Leon growled, calling his shadow for his scythe, "I would suggest we kill her now, just in case."
"Whoa, whoa," Morgan said. "Let's not jump to conclusions. Unless you want to get into a scrap. Cuz then I am more than willing to oblige."
"Lets go candlelight!" Leon growled, leaning in, "I bet you will burn up."
"Not until after I light ya'll up!" Morgan said placing his face right into Leon's.
"For a flame, you aren't very bright." Leon said, "How do you think she even got here? Obviously she isn't a local. One does not simply swim through the Grand Line."
"Hey now, let's not get too fired up," Kuzo suggested, lifting his hands up to try to calm his two crew members down. However, he had to admit that Leon had a point. "But I am curious. How did you get here?"
Avril smiled, watching Morgan and Leon argue with each other. For a group claiming to be a pirate crew, she did not really feel a strong sense of unity amongst them. Glancing over at Kuzo as he asked his question, the woman smiled.
"I hitched a ride," Avril began. "Well... not so much hitched. I outright decided to stowaway. I don't have a ship or a boat of my own, so doin' that is the only way to get anywhere. It doesn't always end pretty, and the trips can be a bit rough, but I do manage to get around, so I can't really get all squally 'bout it."
"Well, there's plenty of room on our ship. So now that you're with us, you won't have anymore problems," Kuzo commented, returning the woman's smile.
"An inviting offer... I'll keep it in mind," Avril replied. "I think we're dealin' with very selective hearin' here... Oh, well..."
"I don't buy it." Leon growled, "We should just take her as a prisoner and see if the Marines have a bounty on her."
"But aren't you pirates?" Avril asked. "If so you'd also have a bounty on your own heads..."
"Yeah, that probably won't be the best solution, since you've got a pretty high bounty yourself," Kuzo remarked, offering Leon a smile.
"Well even better, why don't we just lock her up ourselves?"
Kuzo chuckled, approaching Leon and patting him on his massive back. "Hey, cheer up! What's the worst that could happen?"
"She goes to a different crew and then they murder us in our sleep."
"And what's the best that could happen? We gain a nakama for life!"
"The hell's a nekama?" Leon asked.
Kuzo continued to smile as he explained. "A nakama. A crewmate. A friend. A comrade by your side, but closer than that. Family."
"So shes either a nakema or a prisoner?"
Kuzo chuckled, gazing at Avril. "I guess we'll see what she turns out to be."
Blake Kara - Two Seconds Notice
"I quit!" She declared, throwing the pan down and stumbling backwards a step. She wasn't entirely drunk, just quite tipsy, which meant the food today was at least passable. It hadn't taken long for the owner to figure out asking her to work sober was a recipe for disaster, but letting her get roaring drunk meant between service she would start... talking... with the customers. It wasn't the first time she'd quit, she would storm off for the rest of the day and be back tomorrow. The sous chef could take over for the rest of the day, but still...
"Kara, I don't need this again!" He hollered back. "If you can't work a full day I'll have to find someone else!"
"Ffff, fine!" She sneered, yanking the apron off over the top of her head. The strings tied around her waist meant it stayed on though. "Just here cause so many pirates pass through anyway..." She muttered, grabbing the bottle of cooking sherry she'd been... using for her cooking... and marched out of the kitchen. "I don't want to work in your crapsack diner anyway."
"Kara!" He hissed, glancing at the customers observing the scene now occurring in the diner proper. "Not in front of the clientele!"
"HA! Clientele! You've got a bunch of washed up, soaked out, fifth rate jokes lookin' for a treasure that might not even exist, and if it does they don't know what it is! Your clientele is the hull rot on a bilge ridden island! And you overprice. HE OVERPRICES!"
She took a swig of the powerful sherry and swayed, glaring at everyone in the room and daring them to say anything. None of them seemed to want to tangle with the drunk red head. Nodding firmly with self satisfaction - that showed 'em! - she spun unsteadily on her heel and lurched through the diner door, nearly bumping into Avril and Morgan as they blocked the door.
She stood there, blinking at them, very clearly the chef of the establishment by the apron hanging at her waist.
"I wouldn't go in. Their chef just quit. And it's overpriced anyway."
Well, that was her good deed for the day done. It was nice to be nice.