Place: Sabaody Archipelago
Time: 10 days before Zoro’s arriving
She was walking down the dirty road, all gazes going her way. In fact she wasn’t wearing anything special – plain top, shorts and high heel-boots, all in black. But this, together with her silver-like eyes and dark hair made her look like the Death itself.
Her looks were one reason why no one dared to approach her. Other was the fact that anyone brave enough to walk like her in this part of the archipelago was definitely not a joke.
Actually, she just didn’t give a damn about her surroundings. She had long ago decided that this was the only way to keep the unwanted away. There was a place she had to go and nothing could’ve stopped her.
The destination was Shakky’s Rip-Off Bar. Not a place one would hurry to reach, judging by the name. But that didn’t seem to bother her.
When she reached it, the unexpected atmosphere hit her in the face. There was Shakky, smiling more than usual, and Rayleigh. Not only he was present but even had a somewhat happy expression.
Something good must’ve happened, she thought.
“Wel- Oh, what a surprise!” said the owner with a cigarette in her hand.
“Jane, huh? Looks like you haven’t changed.”
“Really, Rayleigh-san! You shouldn’t say such things to a woman, you know?” replied she with half a smile.
That’s right. This Death-like girl was called Mary Jane. That was an alias she’d been using ever since childhood. Two months ago, she turned 22. This meant that she was using her current name for over ten years. One would think she’d forget what she was called before but not her. She could not forget, even if she wanted to.
“With you, being here, I suppose that is already decided?” Rayleigh’s voice got more serious.
“Yeah, I spoke to everyone on the Den Den Mushi.”
“Oh, then, Mary-chan, you’re going back there? That’s great!”
“Thank you, Shakky-san. But it looks like I’m the only one here…”
“Where’s your meeting place?” asked the Dark King after a few seconds.
The voice that came from the door was another girl – around the same age as Jane, wearing similar clothes…
The surprised woman turned herself towards the newcomer. Jennifer Jackson – or JJ – looked just as surprised.
“Jane! And here I thought I’d be the first one to arrive…”
“Jeez, you never change.”
The eye-rolling was her way of saying ‘Good to see you!’ It was completely ignored, though.
“Shakky-san, Rayleigh-san! It’s been a while!”
Both of them smiled warmly back to her.
“So your meeting place is here, am I right?” he asked Jane.
“Is that a problem?” she sat on a chair near the bar.
“No worries, no worries!” Shakky laughed.
“There are more important things to talk about right now.”
Jennifer followed Death Girl’s example and sat on her left side.
“The marines, huh?”
“But their Head Quarters moved to the Red Line, right? That’s why there are so many outlaws around here.”
“Yes”, Rayleigh nodded. “But I have a feeling that a big storm is coming our way and it might be better for you to avoid it.”
“Eh~? Why’s that?”
Even though she said that, Jennifer wasn’t really interested in the answer. It was just her personality. The Dark King, as well as everyone else present, knew that so he didn’t bother to answer.
“So you need to be really careful. If the marines caught you before you even set sail it would be quite a disappointment, no?”
“Yes, yes. Did you hear that, Captain?”
“No recklessness this time, okay?”
A male voice, followed by a female one, came from the door. Their owners appeared out of the light and if anyone looked closely, they’d notice that the female was wearing almost the same clothes as the other two women. The man, on the other side, was wearing a white costume.
“Chris! Maria!” the surprised Jennifer stood up.
As she and Jane went to the newcomers, the four of them were smiling.
“It’s been quite some time, Mary-san, Jennifer-san. Rayleigh-san and Shakky-san, too!”
“Only two left, huh?” Jane sighed. “As expected of those guys…”
As she was saying that, through the open door two more men came in.
‘Those guys’ she mentioned, were the infamous (four years ago) Twin Pirates. Their names were Peter Rachkov and Dimitri Makarov. No one knew why they had different last names – they just did.
“Say that again, I dare you!” almost yelled Peter as he entered.
“I will!” answered the same way Dimitri. “You. Are. Idiot!”
“What did you– Ah, you’re already here.”
Both of them stopped quarreling and did something that could pass as a salute… with incredible imagination.
“Stop that, seriously.”
Out of the people at the bar, Jane was the only one who wasn’t smiling, laughing or in any other way expressing joy. She actually really hated it when the brothers acted so military-like. Not only this, they even dressed soldier-like. Sometimes, it almost drove her crazy. Not that they seemed to notice, or anyone else. For that reason, she had her diary – not the ship diary, but her own. There, she was listing all of the things that pissed her off about her crewmates. Not that they knew of that. And it was too late to tell them, anyway. She had lost the diary that fateful night four years ago.
“Okay” she started, “now that we’re all here–”
Chris’ interruption made her fake smile even more fake. Only Shakky and Rayleigh noticed, though.
“What is it?”
“Before you start, I’d like to say something. It’s important.”
Now with permission, he faced his crewmates and started talking. If looked closely, one could see that in his eyes there was worry – and fear, as weird as it was.
“Well, as the shipwright of this crew, I could not just ignore the fact that something is missing. Everyone knows this but four years ago, we lost a lot of things. Some - more important than others. But there’s one thing we lost that was of great importance – our ship. For a pirate crew to exist, they must have a ship. But we don’t have. The One-eyed Joe sank due to the battle. Thankfully, there were four years of time to solve this problem.”
“Wait a second,” Jennifer interrupted. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“Exactly!” Maria answered with a smile. “Come!”
They all bid Shakky-san goodbye after which the pirates went outside, with Chris and Maria leading. Rayleigh went after them.
The group was pretty quite which alone meant a lot – they were the type of people that were never quiet. But the second they saw the ship, they froze for real.
“I present you… the Flying Lucy!”