And so, without further ado, I bring you...
Crime: The Melody of the Seas
Warnings: A Sue (of course it is), With a [Hugely] tragic (and mysterious) past,
And believe me, if one word can describe this fic, it's “tragical” And in more ways than one.
Ch.1- The Green Haired Musician
Okay, this is my 2nd One Piece story. This is pretty much about a slave girl who joins the Straw Hat Pirates as the musician, but has something about her past, present, and future that could completely destroy herself and the crew. I've only seen up to episode 126, so I may not add some characters and might make some of the characters seem OOC, but hey, It's a fanfic.
That's right, folks. No need to strain yourself doing things like writing convincing characters, or trying to follow canon. Nobody cares about that stuff, anyway, y'know? I mean, It's just fanfic.
And that Musician thing? It's been done. Ad Nauseum. Find another job for your Sue, or better yet, don't write SueFic..
Allright... The story starts out predictably, with our heroes on route to the same city that Sue is being sold at. I don't have much comment about this part of the chapter, but one thing sticks out to me...
Meanwhile, on the "Going Merry", Luffy turned his head back at Nami and asked, "Are we almost at...uh...that one city?" Nami let out a sigh, "The city is called Yokuna. And we'll be there in about 3 days." "Oh." Luffy answered as he turned his head back to the sea. "It's getting pretty dark, do you think we should drop the anchor?" Zoro asked from the other side of the ship. Without turning his head, Luffy answered, "Yeah. Probably." Zoro then got up and dropped the anchor.
Since when do ships need to stop sailing at night? Don't they just navigate by the stars? And Nami wouldn't even have to do that, what with the log pose and all.
Also, let me know if you disagree, but I really don't think the One Piece world has slaves. I've seen a couple of these fics, and I just don't remember anything about it in the manga, nor does it even seem like something that would conceivably fit into the world very well. In my opinion, it just stretches things too far.
And what stretches this particular tale even farther, is the whacked-out version of slavery being observed. Reading the first chapter, sometimes things sounded more like a take-off of the foster care system than slavery... It's pretty messed up... I'll try to elaborate a little bit... here goes.
The green haired girl was a slave that could read and write, one thing that slave owners didn't want their slaves to be able to do. Misao, on the other hand, was scared of her owners and spent most of her time hiding behind her sister. The two of them were ALWAYS the last to be chosen.
Just to let you know, the green haired girl is our Sue, and he will be indirectly referenced like that for nearly the entirety of the first chapter, just to build up some more suspense as to what her name is, and re-enforce her aura of mystery, I suppose...
Now here we see a theme... Sue and her sister are *always* the last ones to be sold. As if this is a pattern. Realistically, slave traders don’t give a damn about keeping people together. Second. It is revealed that Sue is a troublemaker who's been in lots of homes. Again, this isn't Social Services; You wouldn't get the same
And further adding to the SocialService-esqe aura of the slave trade, apparently the slavers keep papers on each girl, with Name, age, birthday, etc. People, I know this is fiction, but please do try to create a convincing world. Information like that would be irrelevant to slave traders. Why would they care? Have you ever read writings of slaves from early America? No one marked their birthdays... They usually could only guess what their exact ages were. And as for names, Slave owners could just give the slaves the names they wanted them to have, or say “hey, you,” why would the Slave Traders care what the names of their merchandise were?
The author has opted out of the tedious task of arranging transitions for the scenes in her story, by simply replacing smooth transition with “------“ , sometimes adding notations in a kind of [dream] [/dream] format.
Beyond outlining the workings of
I'll try to select some of the choice tidbits.
- - - - - - - -FLASHBACK- - - - - - - - - - -
6 year old Emily and 6 year old Misao sat around a small wooden table with at least 7 other kids around their age. The 9 of them had been working all day with only a few slices of bread and water in their stomachs. 9 plates were now placed in front of them. On the plates were bowls filled with a brownish liquid, soup probably but nobody but the cook knew what it was.
At first, the 9 of them refused to eat, but they knew they had to. Their master was coming and was going to make sure that they would. A miracle came for 8 of them. The family dog, who was wanting attention, jumped up onto the table and ran to the other end, knocking down 8 of the 9 bowls. The bowls crashed to the ground and spilled the soup onto the floor. Only Emily's remained.
The master came into the room. His eyebrows twitched as he saw 8 bowls crashed onto the ground and his dog jumping off the table. He stomped towards the table and demanded the 8 kids to leave the table. They did as they were told. The master walked up to Emily and he clenched the whip he held, "Your food is still there. Eat it."
Emily looked into her food. Limp vegetables floated along the top, she saw bugs and a spider in it, and it smelled terrible. Slowly, she put the bowl up to her lips and took a sip. It tasted terrible. She removed the bowl from her lips. "Eat it! All of it!" the master demanded harshly.
Emily shook her head. The master cracked his whip onto her back. Emily cried out in pain, but refused to eat. After 15 more cracks, Emily ignored the pain inside herself and swallowed every drop without vomiting. But she knew the pain had just begun...
- - - - - - - -END FLASHBACK- - - - - - - - -
Ok. This makes about as much sense as anything else in this fic. Which is to say, not a hell of a lot. It's not implausible that slaves are given bad food, but what I want to know is why? Why does he care if or how much his slaves eat? Especially since the children are acting like he does this all the time. And whipping over something like not eating soup? There is no discernable reason for his actions. All and all, this is just a flimsy ploy to add to Sue’s anguish.
A ways into our chapter, we run into another example of the pain and humiliation that is apparently meted out to Sue on a regular basis...
The Straw Hat Pirates entered Yokuna an hour before and decided to wander around the town. Luffy and Zoro got closer to the platform and saw 4 boys throwing tomatoes and rocks. They saw the girls not fighting back until a little brown haired one started bleeding. Then they saw a green haired one run after them.
She punched the boy that hit her sister. Blood poured out of his nose and screamed in terror even though it was just a simple nosebleed. She went to the next boy and slugged him in the stomach. As he knelt to the ground, the girl went to the 3rd boy and gave him a black eye. Before she could do anything else, the 4th boy grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her to the ground.
This seems to be being observed from the perspective of Luffy and Zoro. So, what cause have they to know that the brown and green haired girls are sisters?...
Secondly, “screamed in terror”? Even the author seems to realize this is out of place, as she backpedals with “even though it was just a simple nosebleed"...
After this scene, the boys run off, but not before stealing Sue's “treasure” (a green hair ribbon).. Sue won’t quiet down, so the guard clocks her one. Luffy and Zoro are shocked and horrified, of course. Luffy is so upset that he walks up to the kids, and uses his Devil Fruit powers to get the ribbon back for Sue. Sorry, but I just can’t imagine Luffy busting out with the Noryoku for a bunch of kids.
And now a break, for some dialogue:
Misao faked a smile, "Yeah you did. Now you don't have to worry about working with me and my sister..." "You two aren't sisters. You aren't even related." Haru interrupted. "So what? Our bond is stronger than blood." The green haired girl answered. Haru shrugged her shoulders, "Whatever. You two are probably going to split up later on in your lives. Right?"
The girls nodded. "Yup. When I become free, I'm going to be an artist." Misao announced. "And even if I'm not free, I'll become a pirate." Misao's sister piped up. Haru laughed, "A pirate? You really don't want your status to go up, do you?" "Pirates are cool! And if I can, I wanna join a crew as good as...uh...that pirate that saved me, whatever his name is." Misao's sister announced. "You can't even remember the name of the pirate that you claim saved you when you were a baby." Haru laughed.
Every conversation in this fic is like this. Condensed into a paragraph, statements one after another...
And “pirate who saved her when she was a baby”?... I'm getting that sinking feeling again...
...anyway, The image of Sue sticks with Zoro, and later he goes Into town to buy some more weights, and ends up buying Sue, instead.
Here we find out that Sue's name is Emily, but that to be mean, nobody has ever called her by that.
Let's move on to chapter 2...
My sister the Pirate
In chapter two, each crew member goes into town to do something...
Zoro takes Emily to visit with her sister. Nami, having diversified her robbable pool of people to include townspeople as well as pirates, walks around picking pockets...But what gets me the most is Usopp... He walks around town trying to think of a new attack... and comes up with... A bomb using hot sauce and peaches. Sound familiar?
Emily runs into the crew in the park, and we learn some more about her past. You know that sinking feeling from earlier? Read on...
"Emily, why did you want to become a pirate?" Zoro asked the upset little girl looking at him. Emily took a deep breath and answered, "When I was a month old, a pirate saved me. He let me travel with him on his ship for a while before giving me up to an orphanage when I was about 6 months old." "Sounds like a nice guy. What was his name?" Zoro asked.
Emily turned her head to the floor, "I can't remember. The woman at the orphanage told me his name multiple times, but all I can remember is that he had red hair and his name started with an S." "Shanks?" Luffy asked, hoping to be helpful. Emily lifted her head up quickly and jumped into Luffy's direction, "That's it! That was his name!"
Luffy stared off into the sky for a second, "Hmmm...I wonder why he never mentioned saving and traveling with another kid."
Why, that's a good question Luffy, but it's not quite the one I had in mind...
Before they leave, one of the slave traders runs up to Zoro, and hands him a bag, saying to use what's in it to teach Emily a lesson if she gets out of hand.
... after a little while longer, The Going Merry sets sail again, and Emily soon finds her place on the crew. She takes over the mikan guard duty from Sanji, using her boomerang to deflect Luffy.
Then, from her vantage point, Emily looked at the crew on top of the ship, how peaceful, happy, and excited they were to have her on the ship. She turned to her book to continue writing, wondering how much longer these feelings would go on.
I'm just wondering how long this fic is going to go on.
Gaining a Friend, Losing an Enemy
Soft breathing came from Nami, Robin, and Emily's room. The three of them were peacefully sleeping until the "alarm clock" went off. The "alarm clock" was Luffy and Usopp walking around the ship and screaming in their sleep before dawn. One of the final stops would be the girl's bedroom. They'd rip the door open and cry out in their sleep. They were, of course, unaware of doing it.
The story goes on, Zoro comments on Emily's bruises, and She says she fell out of bed, because the ship was rocking.
Nami is concerned about the shape of the clothes that Emily is wearing, so she goes to a chest in her room, and takes out the clothes that bellemere made for her and Nojiko when they were children. Most of them are too big for Emily, because she is so malnourished and pitiable.
All of a sudden, a giant Creature appears out of the ocean, and introduces itself as Umiryuu, the Sea Dragon. Kudos are due the author for originality.
Emily, who is unafraid of the creature, offers it an apple, and the dragon thanks her, saying... “Thank you for the food. It has been a year since I ate anything that isn't seaweed or fish” Why a self proclaimed “Sea Dragon” is tired of seafood is beyond me; but hey, I'm not the one writing this story. The dragon then departs, leaving Emily all warm and fuzzy inside over having made a new friend.
The entire crew is shocked and overcome with empathy for Emily when Zoro looks into the bag he had received earlier.
. Zoro looked into the black bag and gasped. He started at the inside of the bag with disbelief in his eyes for the longest time. "No...they didn't...they couldn't...this has to be a joke." Zoro gasped.
After a line like this, what follows is simply a foregone conclusion.
Zoro: Emily, Did the bad men hurt you..?
Zoro: Do you want to show us where they hurt you?
Zoro: It's all right; Here, you can use this anatomically correct doll.
Anyway, the bag contains a whip, and Emily has scars all over her back. Zoro thinks they are deeper than he's seen before. (Even after he got sliced and diced by Mihawk or Mr. One?) Nami thinks they are worse than anything Arlong dished out.
Zoro seems oddly phased by this, I really don't think this would be enough to jolt someone like him out of his stoicism.
"How long were you terrorized with it?"
"About 9 years. Since I was 3."
"Since you were 3? That long?"
"Well, I got a 3 year break from it when I joined the circus when I was 6."
"How did the whip find its way back to you when you quit the circus?"
"Well... Your 9 years of terror are over."
Before the conclusion of this chapter…Disaster strikes, in the form of ... Marines!
The crew of the Going Merry valiantly struggles against wave after wave of this scourge, but what can they do? Of course, they are terribly outmatched! Catastrophe is imminent; Oh, who can save them? Who? Why, it’s Emily of course. She rushes to the rescue, armed only with her spunk and a magic Boomerang, and blows away the Marines with her amazing and enviable powers! And the day is saved, once again.
I really don't understand why the characters become such wimps in these stories. This isn't even Smoker or Hina they're fighting. Just your average, everyday, garden variety marines. IC!Zoro could probably take them out without waking up from his nap.
Ryan and Emily, Friends or Enemies?
Ah, and I forgot to mention... Chapters have been punctuated by Emily's Journal Entries... This one graces the start of Chapter 4...
7th sun, 23rd day of green lilies
(Saturday, May 23)
The city of Nanahana doesn't seem any different from the other cities that I have been to. I guess that everybody’s going to look down on me because I am a slave or I don't look or act like they do. I hoped that after beating a Marine in a contest would make me look like everyone else here, but it didn't. I guess this town only cares about how you look and act and not what you do...
That's right, Emily; Nobody understands who you really are, nobody knows the depth of the beauty reflected in your soul.
Anyway the ship pulls into Nanahana. I know what you're thinking, I've been thinking it for a while, too... Alabaster, right? This isn’t the only city name in this story that's been ripped off of Alabaster, with only a few letters changed.
Anyway, Emily borrows some money from Nami (I'd pay to see the look on her face when Nami hits her with the standard 300% interest), And goes into town. The crew were so worried about letting her go by herself, but Zoro decides 12 is old enough to walk around a strange city alone.
The scene changes, and we run into... Tashigi. And her younger cousin, Ryan (that's my brother's name, FYI). Who seems to be rather petulant, although he is apparently a musical savant, who always wins the music contest held yearly at this town. Oh! Did you catch that foreshadowing? I wonder what’s going to happen next.
Ryan heads off, and runs into Emily on the street; Literally.
“Itai!” Emily cried out. The boy stood up and stared down at the girl, “Watch where you’re going! God, the nerve of you people!”
Emily stood up and stared into his face, “What do you mean, my people?” “You people think you’re better than me and look better, too! Well, I got news for you! I think you're one of the ugliest people here!” The boy yelled then stomped off. “Am I...really ugly?” Emily asked herself.
Anyway, so Ryan and Emily arrive at the shop separately to apply for the contest, and pick out music. Emily finds the perfect piece, but the shopkeeper warns her that nobody has been able to play that piece for 40 years, it’s so difficult.
Emily fills out her application, has Zoro sign it, and runs off after giving him a hug. Zoro stares after her for a bit...
Zoro watched Emily as she disappeared down the empty streets. “Why am I acting like this?” Zoro wondered.
Because somebody’s taken a hacksaw to your personality, Zoro, that's why.
Emily wins the contest, of course, and everybody is struck dumb by her skill and talent. Ryan hates her of course, but all of his unrealistic jealousy and hatred just dissolves when he sees poor Emily being picked on by another boy his age. His heart swells with sympathy, and he asks the other boy to stop. The boy is like, “make me!” Bad move, punk. Ryan pulls out his wooden sword and gives him what for. Tashigi must glow with pride.
Ryan feels bad for how he treated her, and apologizes. She tells him she's a traveling musician.
Later he goes in search of her, and finds her with Zoro. He immediately thinks he's stupid for ever thinking well of her, and runs off.
I see a One Piece West Side Story in the making...
Can Ryan, Tashigi's Cousin, And Emily, Zoro's Ward, ever overcome their backgrounds and find love?
Well, at least this won't develop into pedophilia with one of the crew members.
This is the last chapter for this installment, guys. I might come back to the next 18 chapters at a later date, but I really can’t take anymore right now. Small doses, Small doses.
And next time, I promise I'll lay off the ellipses abuse.