Haunt 1: Birth of a Ghost
"Today we are saddened to announce the passing of one of our countries greatest representatives and patriots: Former Navy Admiral Adam McKenzie.
A man of courage and integrity who served this great country for over 30 years at sea before retiring to sail the oceans he loved on his iconic sailing vessel, affectionately dubbed Eve after the Biblical duo.
Known for his lauded service through multiple wars, being awarded medals for several key victories and heroic acts, Admiral McKenzie would still likely be better known for his time after the Navy as he travelled the world and famously combatted pirates in the Mediterranean and the coasts of Third World countries as well as taking on smugglers, participating in rescue and relief efforts, as well as his humanitarian work aboard his iconic vessel.
One of the last true sailors of the world who openly declared his dreams of seeing everything the seas had to offer, even leading to multiple discoveries from his dives in ocean depths.
He will be missed, but more so, he will be celebrated for his lifelong efforts and the passion he inspired in so many who met him." My old comrade spoke the eulogy with a great deal of emotions in his voice, dressed in his ceremonial navy uniform which would have matched my own if I hadn't requested something rather unique for my funeral arrangements. "He was a hell of a fighter. A great captain. A better Admiral. And the best of men and friend.
His passing will leave the world a little darker for it, but I sincerely believe that the flames he lit in the hearts of those he's met, helped and even defended, will carry on in his place as we send him off in the only way a man like Adam would have wanted or deserved: with his ship.
And I am beyond honored that my brother-in-all-but-blood chose me to help him along his next journey... hopefully where he continue sailing as he wished."
With that, he grabbed a bow and a flaming arrow, notched it and fired. Something he practiced over a week for because of my request if his mutterings were accurate.
His target, his brother-in-arm's long time companion, the custom Carrack-style vessel: Eve.
The old school sailing with modern twists for comfort, speed, maneuverability, cargo and even damn firepower. It was a somewhat legal little monster all hidden behind the rustic and simple appearance of the warm wooden planks and sails.
Yeah, I had requested a sea burial like the Vikings of old. Wanting to rest with my ship as we could sail eternally.
Much better than being stuffed in some stupid coffin in the dirt and eaten by maggots.
"Hahaha! I agree with ya boyo!" A hearty laughter surprised me as I looked over my own funeral.
"What the-!?" I questioned as my surroundings shifted, no longer being at my send off point watching my slowly burning body and ship, but now on an great Galleon in pristine conditions as it sailed on what looked to be Saturn's Ring.
I couldn't stop myself from almost feeling out, no matter my age I've always loved the sea and the ships and men who sail them. Being on one like this is a dream come true, and it's sailing in space.
It's like in Treasure Planet.
One of my all time favorites.
"Me Too kid!" The cheerful voice suddenly said, bringing my focus back to the matter at hand.
"You can read thoughts?" I questioned with a look.
Before me was a stereotypical pirate captain ala Blackbeard.
Black Captains coat with bone white buttons and accents open to the breeze and letting anyone see the black inner shirt with a deep neckline showcasing a muscled and hairy chest, matching black pant and shoes, and a fabulous tricorn hat with a pitch black feather adorning it. The man himself was tale, obviously seaworn, with a grin on his bearded face and excitement in his pure black eyes as he looked at me.
"Aye, I can read thoughts of spirits. Comes with being a Death!" He answered with a wide grin before bursting out laughing jovially.
"Haha! A Death after my own tastes then!" I joined in as we laughed together over an immediate understanding regarding our common interests.
"I knew I picked the right mortal! You've got to join me crew!" He then declared as he took hold of my shoulders.
"Your crew?" I questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"Aye. For tha tournaments! Gotta have tha best crew ta beat down those damn land lovers, but no one worthwhile died on tha seas in forever and now they're pulling ahead!" He half explained, noticing my still questioning expression, Death seems to calm down a bit and gets somewhat more focused. "Right, right, from tha top.
So we have these tournaments o' champions chosen by Deaths across tha omniverse. We bet personal worlds, services an' favors between each other while having our champions face off.
It ain't all brawls and drinking contests, sometime it's artsy or cooking, but a good deal is some epic battles between champions we sponsored."
"How do you sponsor a a dead person?" I asked, accepting the fact that Deaths do some rather extravagant things to not be bored apparently.
Seen weirder shit down in the Philippines.
"Now that's tha kicker about joining tha crew." He suddenly became slowly rekindled. "Ya see, I get to send you to one of me worlds with a few reasonable boons, that's tha sponsorship, and in that new life of yers, yer only goal is tha get better at whatever ya choose. Enough tha compete against tha best o' tha best across everything under me flag!
There are a few other bonuses, like loved ones and yerself get best bunks once yer all die, swanky too, with tha best loot, grub an' booze. Ya also get a nice power bump for bein' a champion an' a bunch o' other stuff, but that's not important right now.
The real meat of the matter is... are ya in for another adventure?"
"There's only one answer to that question... aye aye Captain." I responded with a massive grin on my face at the thought of sailing again.
And in another world!
"GRAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I KNEW YA WERE LIKE ME! GRAHAHAHAHA!" He uproariously laughed like he was trying to wake up the dead before slowly calming down to simply having a massive grin on his face. "So where ya gonna go?"
"Only one answer to that Captain." I answered with a look about asking the obvious.
"Aye, true that. Pity ya can't go Solar sailing tho." He comforted me with a shoulder pat.
"Who says I still won't? But for now, there's one world where any true sailor would dream to sail in." I said as we shared a nod.
""One Piece."" We simultaneously declared with boisterous laughs shared between us.
"Yeah, I could see tha one comin' since I picked you." He grinned before snapping his finger as if remembering something. "Right, now ya have ta choose your beginnings and whatnot."
"I get to chose?" I questioned my deathly captain.
"Of course ya get ta choose. Half the fun." He answered as if it was obvious.
"Fine." I said as I began to think about everything I knew about One Piece.
It was one of the stories I truly loved due to how much it resonated with me as a person. Going through timelines and
"I think I got it." I announced after going through what I could think of. "I want to be a bastard of Oden's from when he was in Fishman Island, crewing with Whitebeard.
I'm not picky regarding my descent, but I would want to stay as close to human as possible and not the interesting amalgamation of aquatic life most fishmen tend to be or those unique body types available on One Piece."
"Haha! One slip up comin' right up!" Death laughed as he agreed with ease.
Oden was notorious in Wano for his... wild nature, especially before meeting Toki. The man just took one woman each night at one point, no matter if they were married or with other nobles, and somehow ended up with them wanting to stay in his 'harem' afterwards, resulting in Oden also beating up anyone not exactly pleased with being NTR'd. So him having some fun with a mermaid while on Fishman Island wouldn't exactly be a surprise.
Although I am not that great a fan of the man, he was undeniably powerful, even from birth, and having his genes mixed with the physical superiority of Fishmen/merpeople would be a great boon. Even his legitimate son at least inherited the Voice of All Things at a very young age and his daughter had a surprising amount of strength in her.
"Now ya choose a few boons. How many ya get depends on what ya ask for." Captain Death signaled with a 'go on' hand motion.
"Eve." I immediately answered without a shred of doubt or hesitation. "I want Eve."
"Yer ship huh..." He thoughtfully murmured before grinning. "I'd have been disappointed if ya didn't chose somethin' like tha."
I was stunned silent when a soft golden ball of light appeared in his hands, one I could feel pulsing joy in my presence.
"Is that...?" I hopefully questioned.
"Eve's Klabautermann." Death fondly answered as he gently looked at the ball of light in his hand. "Yer loved that ship with all yer heart Adam, and so did yer crew an' passengers when you brought them into her.
And as a result, she loved you all back as yer travelled the world.
This girl was quite stubborn about stayin' with ya back there, not wantin' ta leave ya alone, but I reckon you'd both rather go on the next great adventure together."
Reaching out, I gently took Eve into my hands, bring her close to me as I almost wept tears of joy over being with her like this.
My closest friend. My partner who stood with me against the seas of the world and those who wanted to stop our journey or efforts. My home.
And I could feel her snuggling into me.
"Good to have you back." I softly told her, earning pulses of brightness and warmth.
"Gahahaha! A true sailor and his ship! Been too long!" Death approving greatly. "You'll just need ta find a ship fer her to inhabit later. Till then, this girl of yers is gonna be in ya."
"Thank you." I genuinely replied, not taking my eyes off of Eve, earning a 'don't worry about it' wave. "My second desire is the staple of One Piece: Devil Fruits.
I want two. One for me and one for Eve."
"Ya want a devil fruit for yer ship?" The actually surprised Death repeated before a broad grin began spreading across his face and a giggling fit took him into all out laughter. "GRAHAHAHA! That's brilliant!"
"If guns and swords can utilize Devil Fruits, so can my ship." I adamantly believed. "Plus, this way she can become an even closer part of my crew."
"Hmmm." Captain Death pondered for a few moments. "Right. That'll do. Gonna take a bit o' bendin' in tha rules, but that's the point o' the boons.
Just gonna need ta put a little bonus in the lass and y'all be fine. Now, what fruit will you be wantin'?"
"I'm thinking of a childhood favorite. The powers are versatile and rather fitting for someone who's gonna be a crew member of Captain Death." I began to answer with a wild grin on my face. "I want a fruit which grants me the powers of Danny Phantom. A Ghost-Ghost or Ecto-Ecto Fruit."
"Undersellin' it by calling that versatile, but I ain't gonna complain about it!" Death playfully snorted.
"If possible, I'd like to get it a bit later or have it safely stored away until I'm ready." I added with a grateful look over not having my request denied.
"Sure sure. Gonna just place that in ya until ya want to pop it out. But since you've got all that so far, a moderate boon is the only thing ya can ask for now." Captain Death responded as he looked at me in curiosity.
After giving the statement a bit of thought, and pondering on the world of One Piece as well as my goals and desires, I believe I can up with a fitting boon.
"Can I have a sense for the sea like Nami has for the weather?" I simply asked.
"Done. Now that that's all sorted, let's get ya down there!" The excited Death proclaimed easily slapping my back and suddenly sending me flying as I held Eve. "Don't die too soon or I'll make ya swab my ship's deck for a few hundred years!"
-Fish-Man Island, Mermaid District, 5 years before the Great Pirate Age
Inside a shop made of careful shaped coral rock like most buildings in the undersea kingdom, one with a sign displaying the words 'Lion Acupuncture', a new duo entered.
The first was a beautiful young woman with long cherry blonde hair tied in twin tails, youthful looks with a glow as her crimson eyes looked at her home and workplace, small canines visible from her grinning mouth, a slim body covered in a fashionable one piece dress showcasing her fabulous lionfish mermaid status with her red and white stripes, 'mane' and extra fines.
This was Tami, a rather famous young woman for her slightly tomboyish beauty, her fiery temper and incredible acupuncture and poisoning skills.
And in her arms, she held her newest pride and joy, her baby boy who would be joining in the family she had lost long ago due to pirates, slavers and even other Fish-men.
A small bundle with a tuft of dark navy hair, lightly tanned skin, little gills visible around his neck and shoulders.
"Well, here we are!" Tami excitedly said as she held up her newborn baby to look at her place. "This is where your mama works and where we're gonna be living! Isn't it great?"
"Tami, don't shake your kid like that." An exhausted sounding man scolded as he came in with pieces of luggage.
He was a fish-man with light orange skin with white borders, black hair and large pale lips, wearing an open black jacket and grey cargo shorts alongside sandals.
"What do you know Corbi! My precious Adam is obviously better than those other babies!" Tami defended before making cooing noises at the curious infant, earning little giggles as he played with a non-poisonous barb she let him use as a toy.
"Just because he somehow pinned the Doctor, doesn't mean he's any smarter." The Clown Fish Fish-Man replied, feeling rather ridiculous about that sentence as soon as it came out of his mouth.
"No, but it does mean he at least got something from that damn deadbeat." She said with a sweet smile hiding extremely poisonous thoughts regarding the scumbag who took advantage of her being drunk when the Whitebeards visited.
She also remembered the very... enthusiastic revenge she'd gotten using her skills with her needles and spines.
"Plus, just look at how his eyes light up!" Tami continued as she placed the light hybrid Fish-baby before her employee/friend's eyes.
Giving it and her a raised eyebrow, Corbi just couldn't stop a small smile over how excited and happy she was even though it had been a tough time for her having to go through pregnancy alone, with the child's father being human and absent, and while running her own business.
A lot of other mermaids, especially older ones in the community who used Tami's services came together to help her through it all, even offering babysitting services after the birth.
"Sure. But let's get the guppy set up and you both properly fed." The Fish-man rolled his eyes as he came in. "Luckily we have some supplies cause you sure aren't going to be making enough."
Looking to the side of his head fearfully, identifying the colorful spine dripping with a suspicious purple liquid.
"What was that about my 'supplies'?" Tami questioned with a malicious aura leaking of death and poison forming the face of death being her as she somehow still gently held her baby.
"N-n-nothing!" The poor Fish-man fearfully answered while his back and forehead dripped in cold sweat.
"That's what I thought." The unfortunately flat woman responded sweetly. "Or else someone would be have such a hard time dealing with his own 'supplier' for quite some time.
But luckily, that won't be the case... right?"
"H-hahaha! No no, of course not!" The man urgently responded.
"Good." She nodded before turning back to her baby with a bright smile. "Now let's show you around and introduce you to all the nice aunties!"
Leaving being a fearful Corbi, who relearnt to fear the Fierce Lioness of Mermaid Cove pondering his near death experience.
So, new story.
The idea wouldn't pop out of my head and I was on a weird phase where I thought having someone with Danny Phantom powers in One Piece would be interesting.
I also thought having a character with a different goal from the usual: Seeing the world.
Not like Luffy who wants to reach the end and be Pirate King, but someone who genuinely wants to go to different islands and experience what the seas have to offer. Being Pirate King would just be a side effect if he reached that point really.
Obviously my MC is aware that to do that he would need to be powerful, so he's using genetics and his boons to gain quite a leg up, with him bringing his Ship with him actually what cost him most in his boons. The Ocean Sense I thought would pair up really well with his Fish-Man heritage, and said heritage will at least help him quite a bit against sea water later on.
But yeah, I'll put this out there, as loyal, somehow charismatic and powerful as he was, Oden was a shit ruler. Yes he was an excellent friend and warrior, but not a leader. I have many grips with him and he caused so much trouble and harm by acting the way he did, only being made up for because his strength and charisma inspired people against their enemies and he sacrificed himself instead of fixing issues.
He was stupid, shortsighted, arrogant and careless, but loyal, tough, unyielding and charismatic.
The character just rubs me the wrong way with how everyone seems to gush on about him is too much in the story. He's impressive in terms of might, but it feels like the author just tries to make him that impressive because he likes the guy more than anything to me.
So I'm gonna use his stupidity and play with timelines a tiny bit to have my MC get something out of it.
His mom is completely OC. A fiery Lion Fish mermaid who was impregnated during a drunk on night stand with Oden. He doesn't know about the result of that, and very few know either.
And yes, she's flat.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the story.
I think placing him on Fish-man island is a good way to allow him to get stronger and stay away from 'plot elements' during this time as well. And if no one realized, Mc is 10 years older than Luffy and the same age Shyarly.