Title: Computer engineers are their own species

Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece

Rating: T-M, for future cursing and swearing

Warnings: OC-story, don't like don't read

Uses advanced snail-technology that is probably not canon (though who knows with Vegapunk?)

Also: Non English native warning. No Beta.

Description: My take on saving Ace's life. Don't take it too seriously.

Plot: The technicians of Marineford HQ aren't happy with Ace's execution and decide to do something against it.

A/N: Before you read

Computer engineer and snail engineer should be read as the same in this story.

Before you go and flame because my depiction of computer engineers as arguably rather mad people or because of the clichés used. I myself am one. Just humouring myself and some weird ideas I had (like when I designed a version of minesweeper with fluffy clouds and sheep that turned rather bloody).

In my head the vague outline is complete. Won't go much further than the Marineford arc, so I really don't care if I mess up canon. It IS a saving!Ace fic after all.

So let the story begin.

Computer engineers are their own species. The common computer engineer for example will show affection to anything fluffy, favourably funny cats and puppies and greatly enjoys snail footage thereof. In accordance with this cliché you will find that the common computer engineer is a very peace loving person. Oh, they to love explosions and big bangs like most scientists, but they prefer to watch or start these behind the security of a snail-screen or even better - as a simulation - where nothing fluffy could accidentally come to harm.

This of course reflects on the everyday life of Technical HQ in Marineford. It is usually bustling anthill, just a lot more chaotic and individualistic. You will see a table and every odd spot on the wall covered in pictures of Zara's new kittens their cat-parents and cat-uncles and cat-aunts. Right next to Samuel's new setup of ultra high resolution snail-TV straight from the pre-alpha stage from the labs playing Kio's recent physics simulation in "how to hypothetically blow a channel into the Red Line". All the while people are (pretending to) work on tables overflowing with scientific papers, the odd trinket and apparatus only their owner could possibly understand the use of. People are talking freely between each other gaining input or headshakes, but the atmosphere is friendly and unless the Gorosei themselves make an order nothing can bring these people to actually stress out about something.

Herein lies the shock one might feel if one were to enter TecHQ at this day. In an utter break with the usually so happy and peaceful - if chaotic - atmosphere, today one is greeted with a very tense and still main office. And yes, a certain impending execution of one Portgas D. Ace is in the very centre of it.

The usually rather outspoken department head, one Shiba Michele also known for his unique collection of rubber ducks is currently quietly contemplating the issue at hand at the meeting table, which has been for once cleared of the usual mess of donuts, snails, scientific notes and make-up utensils. Next to him, hoarding a small pile of said make-up on her lap is his not-formally-second-in-command-but-still-right-hand: Mae. As usual the research expert is multitasking between fixing her make-up and going through the information she was able to obtain, which is not as much or good as she would like, considering the rather dark hues she is choosing for her make-up. She does tend to subconsciously choose colours according to her mood. As it is she will probably turn into a goth this time. But who was he to judge?

The rest of the table wasn't much better off. Occupied with some the best technicians the planet had to offer one really wouldn't have guessed that fact as they didn't really act like it. Some - ok, a lot - with faraway, worried looks, others silently sulking and others again quietly whispering solutions one more impossible than the last.

Samuel from Research and Develeopment was just explaining how the situation could be solved with a sieve, the Meissner Effect and a rocket launcher when Michele squeezed today's duck - a ducky Borsalino - and the table went silent.

Deep sight.

"Okay ladies and gentlemen and whatever." he started, making a vague handwave.

"We are here because we found out that we agree to disagree with our boss." At this he got a table of nods and a rather well heard question of "Whenever DO we actually agree with them?" and an answering shout "pay raise!" Which led to quite some chuckles among the occupants - mostly at the irony.

Michele squeezed his ducky again for silence.

"Now. I know you all have a gotten a rough picture of the situation trough you own ways," he intoned the last three words especially and glanced at them with a raised eyebrow "not that I want to know how a room full of you got trough the security you all had tagged as save." At this his employees actually had the decency to look sheepish.

Considering them chastised enough for now - after all, he himself only knew of this because of his own backdoor to the system - he continued.

"Anyways. I want us all on the same picture. Mae?" Not getting an immediate answer he looked at his self-declared right hand. And noticed she was utterly ignoring him. Again.

Mae, while she was rather awesome at splitting her attention two ways had rather obviously still some serious issues with the three way split, in this case between the information gathered and doing her make-up. And getting her to abandon her make-up for paying attention was a lost cause.

Now to get her attention... rather than risking her wrath by poking her and risk messing up her make-up, ... hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and so on... he simply squeezed Borsaducky a few times to get her attention. And made sure he did so with the ducky in a straight line between her eyes and mirror. She was after all the living proof for Zara's theory of eye-ears as she only seemed to be able to hear what she saw. A theory once more proven right. After getting her attention he patiently repeated his question.

Motioning for Samuel to start up the snail-projector she shortly described how she had managed to gather the information with the help of a colleague from SnailSecurity who specialized in the more unsavoury aspects of snail engineering. All for research purposes of course. At this point everybody was glancing at Allen, who simply shrugged away the attention. It wasn't a secret after all, and he had always insisted on fighting fire with fire. And hacking their own system was nothing more than an advanced security check. Right?

A flicker in the headlights later the projector was running and the other lights dimmed. A few taps on her snailpad later and Mae had the list of the collected data on the screen. Which to her consternation wasn't much. But considering Sengoku was personally making sure there was nothing to be found involving the Marines and Firefist directly, it was rather amazing she got what she had.

/***SCREEN CONTENTS***/

· Portgas D. Ace born Gol D. Ace, son of Gol D. Roger (fact) and Portgas D. Rouge
(the latter assumed by Mae / Allen actually dug up the birth certificate, he found it in the South Blue Archives after tracking Garp's and Rogers movements the 2 years before and after the execution)

· 20 years old (fact / proven by Allen trough birth certificate / though HOW somebody can be pregnant that long./ Zara's theory is that it worked because she is a D. / Sounds as plausible as her hearing-with-eyes theory.)

· grew up in East Blue, Goa kingdom
(home of Garp the Fist, Mae assumes he was involved / Allen actually managed to fit Garp's schedule to it)

· Assumption by Mae: he might have been involved in a shipwreck caused by a visiting world noble, as it was a pirate ship, it might have been his first try (speculation, Allen couldn't find much just that one Outlook Sabo disappeared at the same time, also there seemed to be a great fire close to the city just before and some early Revolutionary activity)

· while growing up in contact with Garp (record of yearly visits, Allen can confirm those as well an unusual amount of secrecy around them (no Marines other than Garp allowed to land))

· Garp has a grandson who grew up with Firefist (WILD speculation by Samuel, but he is disturbingly insistent that it stays on this list, Zara actually agrees)

· set out shortly after 17. birthday (according to newspapers)

· made supernova

· got offered position of Warlord and declined (and isn't that irony)

· joined Whitebeard and got promoted to commander rather fast

· considering the last three points he must be really good

· one of his division members (Marshal D. Teach) commited Fratricide and he went to avenge it

· according to eyewitnesses things escalated when Teach/Blackbeard told Firefist he was going after the new rookie Monkey D. Luffy. Firefist lost his cool and lost the fight. (This is where Samuel started screaming "I knew it" though nothing has been proven. We are still taking bets at Allens office)

· Ethics: While a pirate and going on raids, he earned his bounty through epic collateral damage (well, he is a fire logia, duh), declining the Warlord offer, joining Whitebeard and getting promoted. No reported cases of outright murder (though there were casualties due to heavy injuries, no civilians tough), and no rape (going as far as kicking out a crew member of his original crew for it).

· The Execution: In a week, 3 p.m. possibly earlier if necessary (Kio overheard a rather long talk on the HighSec SnailLine).

· The official sentence is death, because his status as a pirate, at that of itself is not punishable by death they made up a nice list of crimes for the complete list ask Kio, it's actually rather ridiculous. I mean, bestiality? How would they know that?

· The unofficial sentence: "Being Gol D Rogers son". And that is an exact quote from the Gorosei. (thanks, Zara for the footage)

/***END SCREEN CONTENTS***/

After the list had been projected there were a few minutes of silence, with a few whispers, mostly about the new bet concerning Strawhat as Firefists brother and quite some about the treachery in Whitebeards family. Because they themselves might not have bonded over life and death situations and sake like the pirates, but over scientific papers, fluffy videoclips and coffee and considered their co-workers family just as much. As such they understood very well to what lengths one can go for avenging a family member. Just one more reason to get the kid out.

But as it was it was the last line that finally got the room to quiet down again. They had known of course. Each in their own way had first given into the curiosity that comes so naturally to a scientist and then used their respective skill to find out why this kid was so important to set up a scaffold at Marineford. Something not even the pirate king himself had been worth the risk for. These scientists were by no means stupid, they recognized a conspiracy when it hit their face with a mast. And so they had looked. Used their little secret backdoors that weren't supposed to exist to access data only Admirals and higher were supposed to see. And see they did.

It had taken just a few days from the announcement of the execution for the details to become general knowledge and only a few days more for the first outcry for doing something. To avoid the war that was coming, to save the kid the pain of watching his family die for him. Hell. To save his family from having to watch Ace die.

The outcries got louder then. Until the first people started to ask the deciding question: How? It was like punching a needle into a balloon. All the rightful anger, the determination seemed to dissipate. They were only some engineers. While sought after in technical matters as construction, security, and research, they had no real power. No sway in the final decisions. And definitely no sway in a highly sensitive operation like that execution.

It was actually a newbie who charged into the conversation of the department heads and told them - with a determination and faith only a newbie can have - that they were right.

"Wait, what?"

At the dumbfounded looks of the elite the newbie laughed. Yes, actually laughed at the brightest heads of the scientific world.

With laughter in her eyes and not at all abashed she clarified "You just said it yourself: you are sought after in matters of construction, security, and research. We have all the tools we need and what we don't have already we can create. And while TecHQ has no say in final decisions, we are well known to get what we want in the end anyway, as we are rather persuasive. We might not be able to outright stop the execution, but we can get in without anybody getting suspicious and we have an all access pass. One way or another."

Needless to say that the whole room was staring at the devious newbie, who was showing off an admittedly creepy smirk.

Said stares however were quickly redirected as they head the loud "thunk" of Michele's head hitting his table.

"Oh Kami. And we just sent Silva into retirement. I was really hoping for at least a few more months without another cunning master manipulator"

After Michele had stopped doubting his lot in life, accusing Kami of an conspiracy against him and murmuring about "Silva", "newbies" and "dumping potential megalomaniacs into the heart of the Marines. Again", things turned rather productive, as everybody had once again gained hope for a successful execution.

Execution of plans!

Rescue plans!

He hated homonyms.

To get a sense of order into it and (mainly) to stop Samuel from using some obscure physics law and try to combine it with projectile motion, post-its to stop a war, they set up a meeting for today. Which brings us back here. To a steadily increasing volume of conversation, an excerpt on the life of Portgas D Ace on a projection screen and an annoyed head of TecHQ squeezing his ducky for order.

A/N: So, this is my current pride.

Wrote it while I was supposed to study for an exam in five hours. While the setting of "saving Ace" isn't new, I hope you like the way I go about it. I know there are a lot of new characters, I just hope it isn't too confusing, all I know is that I myself had to reread parts, but that was because I just shook this whole story out of my sleeve without planning and randomly inventing quirks and sticking them on some random person and giving that person a random name and then adding some more features and then changing names afterwards. It was fun writing but utter chaos at the end. Also I think I went a bit overboard with the list of Aces "achievements/crimes" but it was kinda necessary for character development.

So what do you say? Any advice for my story? Do I have to get into more detail with character development or describing surroundings or have I already done too much?