One Piece: Ship of fools Wiki

Previous: A Door that Opens Part 1

She stirred her tea with a spoon, and never took her eyes off of Rinji. To his surprise, she didn't stop smiling. Unlike most, who seemed to cock an eyebrow at his appearance, she seemed to be inspired by his presence. They all sat around the table, (sans Ricky, who sat in the crow's nest) looking at her, that is, other than Nikk, who sat in the corner writing in her little notebook. Alice set the tea cup down on the saucer and took a bite out of a small rice cracker that Usagi prepared. 

Alice: How nice of all of my friends to visit me! I cannot believe you're all here! However did you find me?

Usagi: You were drifting out at sea in a lifeboat; it's a miracle we found you. [Biting on some celery]

Alice: Indeed! I just got back from the other side! [Her smile widened]

Rinji: The other side? You mean the New World?

Alice: Well, it's not all that new. It's existed for quite a moment, indeed. But in respects for this world, I suppose you could call it new. Though that's like calling a tortoise older than a snapping turtle. There's no real way of knowing, you just know one is far older than the other. Unless it's a Mock-Turtle.

Rinji: A mock... tur-- okay, we're getting off topic. We've been traveling for a while, and we're not entirely sure how we're going to get to the New World. We've had some ideas, and many of mine were great, of course.

Chio: They were God-awful. Writing a letter to the Fleet Admiral and telling him you will give him chocolate if he leaves the New World gate open for an hour? 

Rinji: That would have worked if you hadn't torn up the letter.

Alice: Are you the Raven? [Pointing at Chio]

Chio: The what?

Alice: The Raven! I've heard so much about the Raven, and I thought you might at least know him. 

Chio: Do I even look remotely similar to a Raven?

Rinji: Once again! Way off topic... How can we get to the New World?

Alice: Oh! It's quite simple, really...

All of them kept looking at her, but she just sat there, sipping her tea, and smiling at them all. She placed an empty teacup down and held up the saucer toward Rinji.

Alice: Please, sir, can I have some more?

Rinji: Oh, come on! [He licked his palm and ran it across his head, rubbing his ear a bit.] Nikk! Maybe you can talk to her.

Nikk: I don't like her.

All eyes turned to Nikk, who didn't look back.

Alice: Oh... dear. Well I suppose that is going to happen. 

Rinji: Well, that's no good. Alright, perhaps if we got to the Red Line, you could show us how to get to the New World, right Alice?

Alice: Certainly! You all need to get back there as soon as possible, whatever will the Duchess do without her precious cat?

Rinji: Wait, the who with the what now?

Usagi: Ummm... Rinji, I don't even know if we're all talking about the same--

Nikk: You're wasting your time. She's crazy. She's a rich girl who was so over-privileged, that her parents didn't even make her live in the real world.

Alice: Some might say "Mad as a Hatter."

Usagi: Oh come on, Nikk, you can't just assume that she's a rich gir--

Nikk: Fancy cotton dress with frills, an extremely expensive sapphire necklace, polished shoes and knee-high socks. There is not a blemish on her anywhere, namely her hands. She has no signs of even having a single hard day's work. From what I can tell, she's just a snobbish airhead who has never lived in the real world.

Alice: That's quite enough! I'll have you know that I am a fully functional member of society, and I will not stand for wild accusations! 

Nikk: I don't remember asking. 

Rinji: Alright, alright, that's enough. We don't need to start any unpleasantries. We're just looking for the--

Alice: Well you could do for some manners! [Got up from her seat and started trudging toward Nikk]

Nikk: Why don't you go ahead and teach me, if you're not too busy powdering your nose? [stood up and trudged toward Alice]

Usagi: Girls! Please! There's no need--

Alice: I'll show you just how much I can teach you! [put her hands out to either side] Dori Dori no--

Nikk: Osore! [Clenched her fists tight as the area around them turned both white and black at the same time like a Yin and Yang]

Chio: Ladies! Plea--

Ricky: [From outside] Captain! Marines off the--[BOOM! The ship rocked back and forth suddenly]

Rinji: Ah, damn! Cannon fire! All hands on deck! NOW!

Everyone jumped up from their seats and hurried toward the deck. There was indeed a Marine vessel off the port bow, at the five o'clock position, at least four hundred yards away and closing. 

Rinji: Ricky! To the cannons! 

Ricky was already sliding down the main mast, going below deck, and into the main hallway, where four cannons sat, and Nikk followed him.

Alice: Oh, dear me! Are they after us? But I thought they only tracked thieves and pirates.

Rinji paused, wondering why she didn't notice the Jolly Roger with the eye-patched cat and the crossbones. 

Rinji: Well... see, about that-

Chio: Captain! [Holding a seeing-glass] It's a Vice Admiral's ship. I can't see which one it is, though. [Handed it to Rinji, who looked out toward it]

Rinji: It's Rise, damn. Vice Admiral Rise is not an enemy to be taken lightly. Prepare yourselves for combat! She prefers to board the ships she goes after.

Ricky fired off three cannons, and the fourth was fired by Nikk. Though they were not direct hits, they were very close, slowing them down, but not stopping them.

Seaman: Admiral Rise! We'll be along-side them within five minutes. Shall I prepare the troops for a boarding party?

Rise: Yes, leave the Catman to me; I plan on handling him personally.

Seaman: Yes, ma'am! [Turned toward the men] Prepare the swords and rifles!

Rise lit a cigarette and took a long drag as her ship approached the oncoming vessel. She thought of what that Catman did to Lt. Commander Kola and she shuttered a bit. This may prove more difficult than she previously thought. Still, it was her duty, and she would not squelch it.  

A Door that Opens Part 3