Hey there! I've been around for a bit on Fanfic, but this is my first story based on One Piece. Although I'm not quite sure on all of the details, I do plan on making this story three acts long, with each act being around 20-30 chapters or so (so it's going to be a long story). I won't hold you any longer, just be sure to review, and please enjoy my newest story!

Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece. If I did, I would be busy drawing instead of writing Fanfictions

Act 1: The Hunt

We need help, the Poet reckoned.
—Edward Dorn

1: Prologue- A Look into the Darkness

Twenty years…it's been twenty years since the age of piracy began. Twenty years of hope, loss, freedom, and adventure.

Victor coughed several times and alternatively shivered. Pulling up a blanket to his shoulders, he drudged himself over to the open window. With a grunt, he forced it down, cutting off the cool breeze that was coming in.

Victor himself never liked the cold; one might say that he in fact loathed it. Back when he was six, he and his parents visited a winter island. At that time, he was young and naïve, and saw the snow as a wondrous thing.

("Mommy, Mommy, look! Look at that reindeer! The snow is so perfect; I love it! Do you see Mommy? Look, look…")

It was there that he accidentally wandered out too far to chase a particularly fast snow bunny. Victor's parents saw it as harmless fun as they let him go on his useless chase. The fun ended, however, when he ran onto the frozen lake. Not knowing of its properties, he ran on it without a care in the world, his feet pounding on the thin ice.

He wasn't that far in before the ice gave way. His weight was too much for the ice and he fell in; the cold lake water instantly shocking him. Luckily, his most basic instincts kicked in as he was able to claw at the ice with his hands, keeping himself from falling in completely and being taken under the thicker parts of the ice. His father was on him immediately, and was able to pull him out. The damage, however, was done, as more than seventy-five percent of his body was wet, and the cold air wasn't making it any better.

Being taken to the hospital, Victor suffered a terrible fever. The doctors estimated that he wouldn't live, but what did doctors know? Throughout his entire ordeal, his mother kept saying the same thing to him over and over, as if it had the magic power to heal her dying child.

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger…"

Those words turned out to be true for Victor, as he was able to pull through. Ever since then, however, he has had no desire to ever go to any place that is snowing ever again. In one small act, it turned a carefree child into someone who was always wary and now thought that the world was out to get him.

Victor trekked back to where he was sitting and pulled the blanket on just a little bit tighter. Since that experience, any hint at cold weather made Victor shiver.

"Thinking back, that was probably the experience that started turning me into the cynic that I am," Victor thought with a laugh.

Twenty years…twenty years since the world got infested with pirates.

Victor himself was not old, nor could he be called young either. He had been alive on that fateful day when the World Government sent Gold Roger to his death. He remembered the exact words the Pirate King uttered right before he was killed. Victor remembered thinking that those words would spark a revolution. Victor supposed that that saying could be applied to Roger's sake, even though he had been killed.

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you

(a cynic)

stronger," Victor said out loud. There was no need to be quiet; no one else was around.

Twenty years since villages got pillaged, people got stolen from, murders were committed, and a plethora of other unspeakable acts that would make any greenhorn shiver with uneasiness.

Victor's hatred for pirates could not be measured by any known chart or graph. Indeed he had had many a dealings with pirates in his past, and almost all of them were on unpleasant terms. It was pirates, after all, who killed Victor's parents during a village raid. His father had always been a man of action, a real man's man as some might put it. His hard life growing up as a lumberman might have accounted for that. He had taught Victor everything he needed to know about being a man. Victor took these lessons to heart when he was younger, and he loved his father dearly for it.

"Remember this Victor," he recalled him telling him once when he was seven; "it takes a man with guts and strength to change anything in this world. Things are the way they are because there are a bunch of chicken shits (Victor's father was never one to censor himself with language) at the top who are too afraid to do anything about it. If it were up to me, everyone would grow a pair and defend what is rightfully theirs."

It was this philosophy, ironically, that had sent his father to an early grave. The pirates only wanted their money and treasured belongings, but his father's philosophy stayed true until the end, and effectively ended his and his wife's life the moment he took his lumberman's axe and resisted.

Unfortunately for both of Victor's parents, they were killed, so they did not get any stronger.

Victor wasn't extremely young at the time—the Age of Piracy had been going on for at least three years when this happened and he had moved away from his parents many years back—but their deaths still affected him deeply. If his near-death experience with his fever didn't cement him as a complete cynic, then his parent's death certainly did.

Twenty years since lands were ravaged and imperialism ruled. Twenty years since the police and marines were completely rendered ineffective, as they could barely stop any of the atrocities that were going on around them.

Around six years ago, Victor had learned that his village was taken over by a bunch of pirates (he believed they were called the Whitebeard Pirates, but Victor wouldn't bet his life on it).

Growing up on the Grand Line made everyone tough. He himself had grown up on Ladaka Isle, a small island that was not noticed or cared about. In a way, this made it relatively safe from pirates (although the raid that killed Victor's parents speaks to the contrary), as they just passed over it without a care.

It mostly made its living on its vast lumber industry. The island itself had forests of strange trees known as Ortan Trees, which were indigenous only to the Isle of Ladaka. Although scientists never confirmed (or they just didn't care), something in the tree made it grow back a little bit quicker, stronger, and faster every time it was cut down. This made collecting lumber a breeze and Ladaka a thriving—albeit relatively unknown—town. Its main buyer were the shipwrights at Water 7, and they paid handsomely for the lumber to make their ships.

Naturally, the people wanted to keep this a tight secret. The government knew that if people found out about their replenishing lumber supply, they would get targeted a lot more. There were a few attacks here or there (as Victor so vehemently remembers), but the number of attacks would quadruple if people learned of their most precious resource.

While the government did a commendable job of keeping it a secret, word got out to the shipwrights of Water 7, believing them to be a trustworthy source. It was only until recently that Victor found out the intelligence was leaked through a secret government agency known as CP9, who were undercover as shipwrights.

Although the news didn't spread like wildfire, one well known pirate crew in particular (once again the name Whitebeard comes into mind, but one can ever know for sure), caught wind of the information and has since, declared the island their territory, and all of the lumber goes to their massive ship fleets.

Unfortunately for the people of Ladaka Isle, whatever didn't kill them did not make them stronger.

Twenty years since the world went to shit.

Victor growled as he thought of these memories again, fueling his rage even more at pirates in general. What's the adventure in murdering innocents and taking over countries? Victor could find no answer, and that is what angered him even more.

Getting up he went over and got himself a bottle of Bink's Sake. Getting a small glass, he began to pour himself a drink (with no ice, as Victor hates anything cold). Corking it, he went back to his seat and took a sip.

"Soon it will all come to fruition," he said quietly to himself as he took another sip of the sake. "Just you watch world, I shall right all of the wrongs that have been committed these past twenty years."

As if by fate, there was a knock on the door. Not acting surprised, Victor took another sip and simply said, "Come in."

The door opened and in walked a single man. He calmly eyed the surroundings he had just entered and saw Victor sitting in his chair with a glass in his hand. He always made it a habit to check his surroundings before entering them completely. While some might see this as skeptical, he sees it as being cautious.

"Hello Victor," he said as he closed the door behind him and walked closer to the self-proclaimed cynic.

"Ah, Tobias, come in and make yourself comfortable," said Victor taking yet another sip. "Would you like a drink?"

"Nothing alcoholic thanks," Tobias said. "But if you happen to have any orange juice…"

"Of course, of course," he said, getting up from his seat and getting a glass. He brought out a box of orange juice (not refrigerated simply because he has no refrigerator) and poured Tobias a glass.

He walked over towards Tobias and handed him the drink.

"Thanks," was his only reply.

"Sit down, sit down," Victor said, motioning to the empty chair across from his. Tobias happily obliged.

Tobias himself was a man in his mid-to-late thirties and appeared around five-nine with a lean if not slightly muscular body. Despite this, had somewhat of a youthful face, but his most prominent feature was that he was completely bald. He wore a simple white vest with what looked like white bandages underneath. Other than that, he was a normal looking fellow that someone wouldn't take two glances at.

"So my friend," Victor said with a smile, "what news have you for me?"

"I've just come to let you know that they are in position; they'll be ready to move out on your order."

"Fantastic!" Victor said, standing up and clasping Tobias's shoulder. "Soon my friend, very soon we shall see the fruits of our labor. The time is nigh; the time for change is here."

Tobias didn't seem amused by this as he quietly moved Victor's hand from his shoulder and stood up himself. Downing the rest of his orange juice, he set the glass down and said, "So I have your order then?"

"Of course."

Tobias nodded. "Then I'll take my leave."

He walked towards the door as Victor smiled and waved saying, "I shall see you very soon my friend. Very soon."

Tobias didn't respond as he left, quietly closing the door behind him.

Victor sighed as he dropped his façade that he put on when Tobias arrived. Getting back over to his seat, he downed the rest of his drink and stared at the empty glass for a while.

"You know," he said to himself, "I don't think I've ever had a better drink in my life."

Laughing to himself, Victor threw the glass against the wall; it shattered into a thousand pieces effortlessly.

It's been twenty years since the Age of Pirates began, and very soon, it would all come to an end.

Hope you enjoyed it. I will be updating every Saturday (and maybe some days inbetween).

Please Review!