Sometimes it takes the normal, not so brave people to do the outrageously brave things. This is the story of a clever and slightly cunning girl who finds herself saving the not so innocent to avoid a war.
Title: Consequences of Staying up Late
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece
Rating: T-M, for future cursing and swearing
Chapter 1: Contemplations of a Stupid Plan
The witching hour. A time at night between three and four AM. A time when it is said that dark creatures are the most powerful. Them and tech-geeks and nerds. Yup, she definitely belonged into that faction, she mused. She being one Oliveri Linnea - or short: Lynn - currently inscribed at the Mariejois Academy of Technology, and self-declared night-owl and information-addict.
As usual she was spending her most cherished hours of the day, or night, however you see it, doing what she did best: nothing to further her major in information technology of course, but rather sate her unhealthy curiosity and get another fix on adrenaline for doing stuff that is not entirely legal. Namely listening in on allegedly secure den-den-mushi channels.
Oh and what fun it was.
To find out that the Jackson Sake Company didn't really go bankrupt and was vacated, but instead there seemed to have been a tenryuubito who complained about the quality of said sake, and threatened to close down the company if the issue wasn't fixed. Turned out that the JSC was also the main supplier for both Whitebeard and Akagami, so they just moved the company to friendlier waters. With a nice discount for said Yonkos who provided the new headquaters of course. A win-win for all but the navy.
Lynn couldn't help but chuckle at the development.
Though she was by no means a revolutionary, she was not blind to the current political ongoings. Not that it would be possible with her little hobby - she would have be blind deaf and stupid for that. And thank you very much, she didn't consider herself to be either.
Amused and slightly cynical Lynn went to the next recording of the day, expecting something like another petty love affair that turned into the ruin of a whole economic branch. Or a dispute about the seating at a wedding ending with a noble hanging out of a window by his ankles stark naked. Jup, would not be the first time. Those newspapers never print the really interesting stories.
So when the next recording was about some Whitebeard commander guy who managed to get caught she knew that shit had hit the fan. Not just for the poor soul that was to be executed, but for the institution stupid enough to publicly announce said execution.
Were these idiots looking for a war? Are they really that stupid?
With the experience of someone spending the past three and a half years almost exclusively listening in on the den-den-mushi calls of Mariejois politicians, Lynn made an educated guess: Yes. Yes, that is exactly how stupid they are. They will set up a trap and waste thousands of lives for a chance to change the status quo.
Groaning she put her face in her arms and muttered one of her most favourite quotes prayer-style:
"Some people need a high five. In their face. With a chair".
Saying it out loud and actually picturing it mentally was a great coping mechanism.
At times like these she felt tired with the world. It was like watching a shipwreck. Everything seemed to be slowly going down, and all she could do was wait for the undertow.
That, or jump ship before it got that far.
Which wasn't an option right now. She had obligations. At that last word she let out another groan. She hated obligations. Especially toward her uncle. Pulling out before she actually drowned in her-self pity Lynn checked her watch, not at least surprised when it showed 4:34 am.
Standing up and stretching her tired muscles and aching back she went to the sink and got herself a glass of tap water which she quickly downed, before starting to delete her recordings and disassembling her gear. Oliveri Linnea was many things, but careless was not among them. She knew of the risk of being caught. Somebody with her intimate political knowledge could easily be charged with treason.
So much for getting a hobby. She though wryly.
After all it had been her dear uncle who insisted she find a new way to spend her past time, after putting a stop to her meetings with her old friends.
That idea blew up in her uncle's face.
Now she might no longer be spending time with the lower and middle class, but had a verdict for treason hanging over her head.
But never mind that, she thought as she put the last of her utensils in hiding place no. 8, at least I'm not brainwashed yet.
After making sure everything was properly hidden she went to take a shower and packed her things for the day. Sleep would have to wait for the afternoon hours as usual. Her night-day rhythm was weird like that, but it made working night shifts at the lab a lot easier.
About an hour later she was wandering through the streets of Mariejois. Instinctively steering clear of celestial dunderheads and the slaves. The former out of self preservation, these ridiculous looking bubble-headed fools were rather mentally unstable and could leash out any moment, also it would not be the first time one of them took a likening to a member of the female populace. Lynn was no exceptional beauty, but better safe than sorry. As for the slaves. That was something she would never get used to.
Don't want to get used to. She corrected herself mentally.
Her once again rather morose thoughts were interrupted by her arrival at The Lab. Well, it was rather like a toy shop for any information technology student of the MAT. Students with a specialization on practical work could use these labs to play around, with the perquisite of publishing their findings and a shared patent for any inventions. On the other hand the marine intelligence department regularly scouted here. Or even offered an odd job here and there.
Thinking of which. Wouldn't it be an idea to -
Her train of thought momentarily interrupted, she stowed the idea away for later consultation. She had a newbie to attend. Turning around toward the voice she saw the blonde ball of sunshine named Chiyo approaching.
So somebody is having a good day. Lynn thought, which was usually always a good sign. Now I just have to find out why she called me sempai.
A wave of dread washed over her at the possible implications.
"They didn't" she whispered. Her mind already coming up with the ultimate doomsday scenario.
Chiyo, who had noticed her reaction couldn't hide a mischievous grin as she had an inkling as to what fatalistic conclusions her friend might have drawn this time.
"Just teasing" her blonde friend reassured her "you were tutoring last semester already, they won't schedule you for it again so soon. Tough I heard you were doing a rather good job".
Lynn's shoulders sagged in relief. It wasn't the job itself that had been that bad, but rather her stage fright. Once she had gotten to know her group on a more personal level tutoring the younger semester went well. But she really had no desire to repeat the experience so soon. Just her luck the usual top students assigned to the task had been unavailable. In her personal opinion it had all been an evil set-up by fate herself. So she just hmm-ed non-committally to Chiyo, who was used to Lynns' silent treatment which usually lasted for the better part of the morning.
But despite Lynns' typical morning silent treatment Chiyo knew her friend was an attentive listener, so she went on chattering and gossiping about this and that while they entered the building and their shared lab-space.
Lynn in the meantime was soaking up Chiyo chatter like a sponge and filtering through the information like the professional information gatherer she was. Adding a nod here and a raised eyebrow there. They went to their separate projects and were already quite a bit into them when Chiyo added almost as an afterthought "And by the way. I got it".
Lynn almost ruined her melding at these words and pulled up to stare wide eyed at her friend. Said friend who was very pleased at seeing proof at how closely her friend actually paid attention to pick this up in between all the other random titbits she kept sprouting, smiled and nodded in response.
Lynn on the other hand had dropped her tools completely crossed the space between their lab desks and pulled her into a hug. "You are so awesome. Congratulations Chiyo! When do you start?" Chiyo, who was actually slightly shocked - not by the hug, mind you, they were actually fairly common - but rather by the fact that her best friend had just talked and it was barely seven in the morning. And that this grumpy morning person was actually smiling at her.
Getting over her shock and laughing at both their reactions she hugged her friend back.
"I'm starting right this Friday. The internship replaces quite a few of the practical courses, so there is not really any additional workload. It's not the first time they have a MAT student working for them. And they said if they like my work they'll have me right off graduation" she answered smiling proudly.
"I'm so happy for you. Writing for the biggest newspaper on the sea. Living your dream".
"Not entirely yet", Chiyo countered, at which Lynn frowned.
"After all I'm not managing editor yet".
At that they both grinned. Yes Chiyo was closer to her goal now, but they both still had work to do. Lynns smile then took on an expression rare to the level-headed girl. One Chiyo had come to both fear and anticipate with an excited kind of trepidation. Just like the words that followed.
"It's time for party!".
Knowing that resistence was futile Chiyo sighted in surrender and returned that mischievous smile of her best friend.
That is until she remembered one very inconveniently placed appointment. Realizing the change in mood Lynn eyed her as her expression went from trepidation to excitement to downtrodden-by-a-camel-horde. Inclining her head slightly sideways and furrowing her eyebrows in a asking fashion she wordlessly prodded Chiyo to spit it out. Obviously her ability to talk pre-noon had been a short lived anomaly.
Chiyo though, who had the better part of three years to learn Lynn's pre-noon language, had no trouble understanding and sighted, smile returning as her mood was actually alleviated by Lynn and her ridiculous and stubborn refusal to talk before noon.
Another look from Lynn. A single raised eyebrow and a questioning glance. Elaborate. It ordered .
"The guys from the MAT and some of the emeriti who work at the newspaper have a workshop planned for the first week. We will be leaving this afternoon to visit the newspaper headquarters. To set up our offices and get to know the people we are going to work with. We won't be back until Friday. And you won't be seeing much of me this semester either as I'll be going back and forth, especially at the beginning..."
Lynn sighted at the downcast look at Chiyos face. She knew the other girl wouldn't have difficulties to make friends there. She was too much of a peoples person for that. It was more likely that Chiyo was worried about Lynn and her inclination to hole up without the blonde by her side.
Always worried about others. She thought warmly.
Chiyo was truly a rare kind of person and one of a kind as a friend. But Lynn could handle being alone, maybe she could... outsource... her work a bit. She still had to formalize her notes of the past semester in the lab as her professors kept bugging her. Yes that could work. So she gave Chiyo her Don't worry, I have an idea smile which seemed to relax her friend a bit. This was how they got back to work.
As Chiyo was an early raiser and Lynn considered the morning mid- to late afternoon according to her inner-clock they had set the start of their lab-working-time to 6am. The remainder of the day was spend in the required courses.
Which in Lynn's case were none, as she had technically graduated a semester ago, but had remained inscribed to expand her degree onto other subjects, a feature of the MAT timetable. Thus her workload wasn't as heavy as Chiyo's who would be graduating this semester. It was also the reason why Chiyo seemed rather stressed by the time they were having their late lunch.
And she still had to pack.
In an attempt to calm her friend with idle chatter, the now once more talkative Lynn explained her plan for the upcoming weeks to her. "... so this way they'll stop bugging me about the backlog I seem to have accumulated AND you won't have to worry about me being stuck in my little room for the next month or so." She finished, rather proud of the idea - especially about escaping the nagging professors.
A/N: I actually wrote this in October, but didn't leave any notes. Tough I think I remember what the plot was ;)
I know the start is rather slow story wise, but it is necessary for the story, which is a rather convoluted "rescue-Ace-story" with a not so normal plot. Lynn isn't the hero type. She is sorry for Ace and doesn't like having a war on her doorstep, but why would she interfere? So I'm playing fate and what you read in this chapter was me aligning the first few pieces.
There is just so much potential. That's why I haven't completely abandoned it. I'll be fleshing out some ideas and will be back as soon as I have something worthy.
On a final note: I have to admit that dialogue has always been my biggest problem in writing. I'm trying really hard here to make it sound natural, but it's a work in progress.