[Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

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[Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:09 pm

Chapter One: Honourbound


Something was burning. It stung his nostrils and made his eyes water; if only he could open them! For some reason, his body refused to move, even when tears escaped from under his closed lids and ran down his dehydrated skin. Where was he? He couldn't remember a thing. There was a persistent pain in his right leg, and above the crackling of flames he could hear the gentle lapping of water. There was also a strange, rhythmic tapping... his swords? Against the tides of the sea? He cursed to himself, suddenly feeling the tell-tale dampness that clung to his legs. He had somehow fallen overboard? No... Impossible. Not without somebody saving him, his Logia Fruit ensured that, but there was certainly more to this than simply falling into the sea and being saved. The crackling grew louder, the smoke thicker. His leg ached. Why couldn't he move? He twitched, his fingers clawing suddenly against soaked wood, and that's when his bloodshot eyes were wrenched open. Before him, pieces of scorched wood bobbed about, commanded by the waves beneath them. The Penitent Tangent was burning.

He struggled to drag his body further up the large piece of wood he had somehow managed to grab onto, deep, painful breaths rattling his abused lungs. Next to him, a Marine lay on his back, a crude length of rope wrapped around his torso to stop him from falling into the waves. Not that it mattered now, judging from the sickly pallor of his skin and the way the water had turned crimson around his waist. It all came back to him in a flash; steel on steel, blood and smoke. His blood, his smoke. His rage.

Marines. At least a dozen Marine ships, all armed to the teeth. The flagship was lead by a devil-fruit using Captain. How did he know this? He couldn't be sure he did, but the way the fleet suddenly appeared before him without him noticing... it had to be the work of such a man. A professional escort, but for whom? His head throbbed as he strained through what was undoubtedly a concussion until a face, blurred by the black smoke of destruction and the heat of burning wood, flashed in his mind. He didn't know his name, but his face... he committed it to memory. He would remember that shit-eating grin until he had cut that bastard down. He had been caught off guard. It didn't happen often. Their ships were near-invisible against the foam of the rolling waves, yet it couldn't silence the hushed voices of the many Marines that were on deck. Dirty, cheating bastards, Morrigan thought, raising his head for the first time. He would never use his Moku Moku no Mi to gain an unfair advantage.

No matter how strong and durable his mother claimed to have made his precious ship, against the combined cannon-fire of that many heavy-artillery ships, not even her prized flagship, the small but powerfully built Penitent Tangent had stood a chance. He was relived to see that he had taken out a good portion of the Marines before he lost consciousness, and that his mother's old Log Pose at his wrist remained, thankfully, undamaged.

Morrigan managed to slowly sit up. As he dragged his legs out of the water, he cringed at the sight of a large gash above his knee, a shard of the Tangent embedded into the flesh. This, of course, was the source of his pain, yet he dared not touch it. If he survived past today, he would prefer to have full use of his leg. With a sigh, he rubbed his eyes and took a head-count, nodding when he was satisfied that he hadn't fallen without letting those bastards know they had been hit. A whole fifteen Marines, all of which were dead and floating around him, signified a shallow victory. It was a shame that his ship had been sacrificed in the battle, though. He turned his attention back to the huge shard of his ship that he had somehow managed to land safely upon, and that was when he noticed that large sections of rope that must have once been connected to the main mast had anchored him to the still partially floating remains of his mother's ship.

No... it had been his ship, and he mourned it's loss silently to the rhythm of the waves and floating bodies around him. How much time had passed? Enough for the carnivorous fish of North Blue to move in around the corpses!

''I wonder...'' he sighed, cringing despite the softness of his voice. Definitely a concussion, then. He wasn't looking forwards to floating on the open sea for god-knows how long. Cutting the rope that tethered him, he shook his head slowly to clear it. ''I wonder if there's any chance of moving away from here and finding an island?'' Morrigan quickly fell asleep with these morbid thoughts in mind, exhaustion claiming him, the steady breeze soothing his headache as he drifted off.

He awoke suddenly some time later. Judging by the movement of the sun, he had been drifting for half a day, steered by the whimsical currents of the sea, when the sight of an island had him almost jumping up and down upon his piece of driftwood. After knocking the Marine's body clean into the water and almost falling himself, he calmed down enough to avoid the danger of them capsizing. He hadn't had time to properly mourn the loss of his precious ship, yet there was an unmistakable air of misery and anger that kept him painfully silent. He abandoned his piece of driftwood as soon as it washed upon the sands of what he hoped was an occupied island.

With land firmly beneath his shaking legs, he collapsed to examine his wound. ''I'm very lucky, this should heal very quickly if I give it chance to,'' he remarked to himself solemnly. The teenager removed the large splinter, ignoring his own hiss of pain as it came free. He gave the wound another look over as he unravelled a section of thankfully dry bandages from across his chest, and, using water from the sea, cleaned the large hole with as much efficiency as could possibly be expected in his situation. He worked in complete silence, never letting the amplified pain of his wound when combined with salt overpower his discipline. It didn't stop him from biting his lip so hard that blood erupted from the puncture wound, and he resolutely paid no mind to the wisps of pearly smoke that drifted from his shoulders as he worked. He could never control the damned thing... not that he had ever devoted time to master it. He had only eaten it in the first place to stop the Marines from finding it as they claimed his mother's body for burial.

Having no more energy for the moment, he simply nodded to himself and turned his attention to his waterlogged swords. He stretched his wounded leg and unsheathed the first of his three blades, face falling suddenly as seawater freely fell from the sheath. He would need to maintain them as soon as possible, but as he glanced around the almost-bare land, he knew he wouldn't be able to do so properly until he were back on the water with an operational ship. How long that would be... he didn't know. Möbius... Cypher... Leviathan... his three most treasured possessions, trashed by those Marines whom he never intended to attack in the first place. There would be hell to pay, and he would make sure that smarmy bastard paid it in full. With interest.

Oh he had known the moment he chose to fly the Tangent's true flag that trouble would find him soon after. He never dreamed that his ship would suffer such an attack at the hands of so many with so little warning. It lacked honour, and they had chosen to strike when his back was turned. Such practices he expected from pirates of the Line, not Marines. Perhaps this would serve as a valuable lesson in future? Perhaps indeed...

There was no doubt about it. He would find them and make them pay, not because they were Marines and he was a pirate, but because his pride, treasures and ship had been trampled upon when it was as plain as day that he was no threat to their mysterious envoy. Pirate flag or not, cowardice was one thing he would not tolerate.

Finally, he collapsed onto his back, breathing in the fresh afternoon air, enjoying the way it refreshed him but hating the way it instantly dried his tongue. When was the last time he drank? Was he dehydrated? As a child, he had always been scolded over such things, yet he was too exhausted to move and do anything about it. His leg ached persistently, and for that moment, he considered the pros and cons of simply falling sleep upon the bleached sand at his back with the blue sky high above him, carefree and infinite in its nature and all the more sweeter for it. Those Marine bastards could wait, for now, he would rest.

[1538]


Last edited by Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:01 am

[~]

He didn't sleep for long. He awoke suddenly, as though he had been suddenly drenched in ice-water, yet he couldn't remember the last time he had felt truly cold. Gasping for breath, he found he could not suppress the sheer chill that had overcome his body and mind, yet simple cold could never produce such aggression nor attack the senses in such a way. No, as he forced air into his lungs, his whole chest heaving with effort he had but one thought upon his mind; fire. His body felt as though it were on fire. Another contradiction, as he knew only too well his Moku Moku no Mi rendered him resistant against heat. But was it heat? No... It was cold beyond the boundaries of cold; chill turned to burn then morphed seamlessly back to agonizing chill as the hairs on his arm stood up against the warm breeze. With an almighty hacking cough, his whole body disintegrated into smoke and then back again, scattering the sands beneath him chaotically as his body reformed and impacted the ground.

Shivers racked his body with such ferocity that he couldn't move an inch, and the persistent, dull ache in his leg did little to deviate his attention away from that fact. Had Morrigan looked down, he would have seen that his previously pearly-white bandages were now stained crimson, each fold lovingly embraced by creeping tendrils of off-white smoke. It was then that he understood the situation he was in. As he slept, he had started to slowly bleed out, and he, being weakened from exposition to the elements at sea, had somehow managed to become ill at the same time. He forced his body into a sitting position, teeth chattering and eyes widening at the sorry state of his wound. Cursing, he tore the bandages free and replaced them with tighter, fresher ones. Or, how would have, if only he could get his leg to solidify.

His body, automatically reacting to the danger, had began to disperse into thick tides of billowing smoke. This was the most dangerous thing of all, blood-loss and infection be damned. If he couldn't pull himself together, literally, he wouldn't be able to stop the smoke from spreading far and wide. He struggled to control the damned Fruit on a daily basis, and that was when he was fully formed! However would he manage if he totally dissipated? To drag every particle of his cursed existence back to him? He wasn't sure, and that terrified him to no end. If he started to drift across the sea, he would be done for, especially if any of those tendrils dove beneath the crashing waves against his will.

With another gasp and an intense amount of concentration, the many wisps of smoke finally began to respond to his call, swirling around him as he ground his teeth. His skin tingled from blood-loss, and finally, with another harsh gasp, he fell back into unconsciousness.

[~]

A woman stood silently before him. Staring. Judging. A woman with long, flowing hair, coloured the same way his was. A woman with three swords, identical to the ones he wielded, cloaked in a veil of smoke that was unnervingly familiar. She spoke, her voice sharp and commanding, authority ringing out harshly with every syllable. ''What is it you wish?''

He spoke without thinking about the answer, for somehow, it was intrinsic to him being there, wherever 'there' was. His voice was a stark comparison to hers; where hers was fire and brimstone entwined into human speech, his lacked his usual flamboyant finesse and was perfectly humble. Honest. ''I want to find my father and conquer the Grand Line!'' Then it hit him, like a wet sack of sand. This conversation... he had had this exact conversation before. But when...?

The woman stared down at him. Even at a distance, she was still much taller that he. ''And why is that?''

That was a very good question. Why did he want to find his father in the first place? And why did he want to become the King of all pirates? Just as he was asking himself these questions, he spoke again, the answer already upon his lips. ''Because I want to have fun with my life!''

''Fun?'' the woman replied, her lip quivering in amusement. ''There's nothing fun about death and destruction, child. Your nakama will surely perish; the Grand Line is no place for children out to have 'fun'.''

To his surprise, he found himself beaming at the strict woman, despite her grim words and strict demeanour. ''We'll get strong, all of us! Together!''

''And how do you intend to do that, hmm?'' she said, the sheaths of her three swords clinking together as she moved the focus of her stance from one foot to the other. ''Strength is something one must work hard for.''

''You'll train me, won't you, mummy?''

[~]

He sat bolt upright, sweat pouring from his head. Nausea washed over him in heavy, overpowering waves, until he spotted a bucket beside his bed and promptly emptied the scarce contents of his stomach. He barely had time to register the fact that he was laying upon a bed in some strangers house when another wave of sickness had him dry heaving and gasping for air. Once the pains in his stomach subsided slightly, he collapsed back upon his pillow, a small grin upon his face. This wasn't the first time he had awoken in some random person's bed, nor would it be the last, but he could hardly say he had done so before under such peculiar circumstances. Especially considering the fact that his right arm was firmly attached to the headboard with a pair of Seastone handcuffs.

His dream was still painfully fresh in his mind when a woman bustled into the room, one arm full of towels and the other struggling to hold a sizeable bowl of chicken soup. He gawked in silence as she passed the bowl roughly to him with a stern look that clearly said 'eat it all or you won't leave here alive', then left the towels on the end of his bed. She left the room without another word.

Blinking in confusion, Morrigan suddenly remembered his leg and placed the bowl carefully upon the bed-stand. He threw the sheets back with his one free hand, ignoring the fact that he wasn't wearing anything. The top half of his leg was covered in fresh bandages. With a sigh, he threw the covers back over himself, then, balancing the bowl in his lap, started to work his way slowly through the soup he had been given, cringing and sticking his tongue out with each mouthful. Whoever had made it had added way too much salt. Not that he wasn't thankful; it wasn't everyday that a pirate on the verge of death was saved by a beautiful woman, especially one that was obviously knowledgeable when it came to medicine.

He finished his soup in relative peace, listening to the quiet chirps of the birds outside his window, and wondering just where it was that he had ended up. After departing from Srysa, he had sailed South at a leisurely pace for an entire day, until he had cut across the route of those bastard Marines that had fired at him. A day's trip South of Srysa... Minloa. He was at Minloa, a quiet village, quite a way away from his intended destination. The winds and tide must have steered him off course. With no ship, he was stuck... but at least he was alive.

With a mixed sigh of relief and frustration, he placed his now empty bowl upon the bed-stand and gave his restraints an experimental pull. Regular handcuffs could have their locks picked or broken, but these... these were made of Seastone, and Seastone gave Devil-Fruit users hell. Throughout his meal, he had felt a strange drain that wasn't anything to do with his infection, and it could only be coming from the handcuffs which kept his wrist flush against the bedpost behind him. He rolled his eyes and prodded at the metal, blanching as more skin came into contact with them. How typical.

He jumped when the strange woman from earlier re-entered his room, pulled up a chair and sat next to him, a cigarette held tightly between pursed, painted lips. Her hair was long and golden, and fell in large natural ringlets about her shoulders, and as she removed the cigarette to exhale smoke, Morrigan noticed that her nails were long and painted red to match her lips. The clothes she wore were... dramatic to say the least. A combination of black tights and a short white skirt adorned her lower half, whilst the top was covered with a white, lightly-shaped, short sleeved blouse that totally hid her breasts from view. She wore another skirt, this one reaching to the floor, at the backs of her legs, and two leather belts upon her waist. As Morrigan sized her up, she in turn stared at him as though doing the same. Morrigan swallowed roughly, his mouth dry. This woman unnerved him.

''We don't often get pirates here, brat, but we don't often turn away the wounded either. Judging from the wreck of your ship, I'd say little ol' Minloa wasn't your intended destination. Tell me... who are you, and what is your purpose?''

The baritone of her voice surprised him and he found his resolve faltering for a second as the strange woman glowered at him from around her cigarette. She couldn't have been much older than he was, yet... ''My name's Morrigan, I'm a pirate heading to Oldlake. Listen, lady...''

''...Lady?'' she cut him off humorously, raising an eyebrow. ''Oh Sugar, I'm no Lady.''

''I noticed, as much as I appreciate the gesture, a Lady wouldn't handcuff me to her bed without letting me buy her a drink or two first!'' Morrigan retorted, glancing out of the window. Whether this woman had saved his life or not, he wanted out, and fast. She was giving him the creeps, but as long as those handcuffs were touching him, he wouldn't be able to escape. How did such a woman come to be in possession of such a damning item, anyway?

''Well, once you're all healed, maybe I'll let you, hmm? Though I do mean what I said to you before, I am no Lady...'' the woman said, winking. She took another heavy drag of her cigarette and glanced at her patient between her eyelashes. ''Are those handcuffs bothering you? You know I can't release you until I know of your intentions...''

With a frustrated sigh, Morrigan let his body go slack and collapsed backwards onto his pillow. He had travelled so far already, and ended up on some random island you would have to comb a map to actually find. His real target had been a large port town some distance away from the Grand Line. He had planned to restock there, and gather some of the more essential members of his crew. ''You already know I'm a pirate. I didn't mean to end up here, I was on my way to Oldlake when I was attacked by Marines and my ship was destroyed! And what do you mean, 'I am no Lady', of course you are!''

At this, the woman burst out laughing, the cigarette falling from her lips. She caught it in her hand before it burnt her tights, but her laughter didn't cease one bit, not even when ash started to fall onto the floor. ''I'm an Okama, fool! Though your naivety's kinda cute, I would have thought a pirate would have been able to tell the difference instantly, having been to so many.... 'ports'. So, your crew are going to come here looking for you? Are we in danger of a pirate attack, hmm ?''

Morrigan's eye twitched. ''An... Okama... what? Really?'' he said eyes widening with wonder. ''But your hair looks so real! And you don't look like a guy at all!'' The Okama prodded Morrigan's wounded leg and raised an eyebrow, silently waiting for an answer to his previous question. ''Damn it that hurt, quit it! You're not in any danger, I don't have a crew yet!'' Morrigan snapped, frowning at the man sat next to him. He just couldn't get his head around the fact that this woman was really a man, though her... his Adam's apple was clearly visible now that he had taken the time to look for it. ''Why did you become an Okama? Did something happen?''

''Become? Why, I was born this way!'' the Okama said, proudly ruffling her hair. ''And if you have no crew, does that make you the Captain, hmm?''

Morrigan cocked his head to the side, stretching his neck. ''Yup, I'm the Captain of the Demon Blade Pirates, though I'm the only one as of yet. That's why I was heading out to Oldlake, I wanted to restock and gather a few members before heading out to the Grand Line!''

''D-Demon Blade Pirates!? G-Grand Line!?'' the Okama stuttered, this time dropping his cigarette for real.

''Yup! I'm going to gather a crew, go to Grand Line, find my father and get to One Piece!'' Morrigan said, ignoring the shocked look on the man's face. ''Want to come with? By the looks of things, you're a doctor, and I can guarantee we'll be needing one of those on board!''

''F-Fool!'' the Okama stuttered, retrieving his cigarette from where it had fallen and burnt a small hole in the rug. ''Do you even know how dangerous the Grand Line is? Do you? And do you know how foolish you are for flying Jannine Rassallion's flag and saying you're the Captain? Who the hell are you anyway, thinking you can get away with such things!? Do you even know anything about the Demon Blade Pirates!?'' the Okama shouted, loosing his composure.

''I'm Morrigan Rassallion, wait, you know my mother?'' Morrigan said, sitting up quickly. He winced as his arm was forced backwards towards the headboard at an unnatural angle, but paid it no mind. He knew his mother was once pretty famous, but he could never get anything out of her about her time as a pirate. The very most she ever said was that the Grand Line was a wondrous place with many different islands and many different types of people, and that the months she had spent there before his birth were the best of her life. It had been enough to spark his own interest in adventure at the very least.

The Okama didn't reply for several long moments. Instead, he chose to take a few heavy puffs of his abused cigarette and examine his long, painted nailed. Finally, he looked up, his expression grim. ''So... you're that old bitch's son. Who would have thought? She finally gave up went with a man...''

''Eh?''

Another few moments of silence, and another few inhales of smoke later, the Okama pulled his chair closer to Morrigan's bed and crossed his legs, using the back of the chair to support his slouching pose. The cigarette between his fingertips was burnt to its filter and promptly discarded in the bucket full of vomit next to him, and Morrigan found himself subject to a gaze so intense he couldn't help but look away from it. With a sigh, the Okama began his story.

''Eighteen years ago, upon the eve of my birth, your mother took to the seas with the intention of finding One Piece with my father aboard her ship. Shit... the only reason I took you in, you, a damned pirate, was because of THAT.'' Morrigan looked to where he was pointing; the medallion he wore around his neck, bearing the crest of Jannine Rassallion, the very symbol which he knew was painted across his mother's sails all those years ago. Before he could say anything, the Okama continued with his story. ''I've never met my father. My mother raised me on her own. When news reached her of your mother's damned ship, she would always run to the very beach I found you washed up on in hopes of seeing her blackened sails against the blue sky. But no... your mother never did return my father to us, nor did my mother ever see him again. But, if it's any consolation, I don't think she ever did expect to see him again, not after he went to the Grand Line anyway...''

He took a breath, lamenting the loss of his cigarette. His lip quivered in amusement as he noticed he had Morrigan's complete attention. ''Your mother's ship, and all her smaller ships, vanished in the Grand Line. Overnight. When I saw that damned symbol around your neck, I thought you might be able to tell me what became of them. What became of my father.''

Morrigan closed his eyes, the chirping of the birds outside giving the surreal scene a strange, melancholy atmosphere. ''Nothing happened to her small fleet, as far as I'm aware, everybody is still at Grand Line. Granted, they don't sail under my mother's flag any more, but that's because she had to leave. She got pregnant, and gave the order for her men to continue on with their dreams, whilst she sacrificed hers to give birth to me. Chances are, your father is still out there somewhere, battling the trials of the Grand Line.''

The Okama smiled slightly. ''You think so, hm? The Grand Line is a terrible place, I would have thought your mother would have warned you against it, like mine did...''

''Your mother warned you against going to the Grand Line? Why?'' Morrigan asked, genuinely curious.

Laughing, the Okama replied, ''Beyond it being a terribly dangerous place that's claimed the lives of countless pirates? Why, she thought I might try find my father, one day. Ah if only life was that simple! I admit, I've always wanted to go, but not to find my father. As far as I'm concerned, I don't have a father... No, I want to visit Momoiro Island!''

''Oh!'' Morrigan said, grinning, ''Isn't that the legendary Okama island?''

''You've heard of it?'', the Okama said, instantly changing from passive aggressive to intrigued and excited. ''It's a legendary pink paradise where Okama from across the seas gather! I've only ever seen a few pictures, but I've read many books! But...'' the Okama said, deflating slightly, ''It's well out of my reach. I'm Yonyon, by the way, sorry for the late introduction.''

''Nice to meet you Yonyon! Now... Not to be rude or anything, but could you please tell me why I'm handcuffed to your bed?''

''Oh... that... yeah...'', Yonyon said, scratching his chin thoughtfully. ''Kinda had to, I'm afraid. The night I brought you here, your body went into shock and wouldn't stop emitting smoke. Parts of your body kept randomly vanishing, and your smoke clogged up the room and made it difficult to breath. It would have been impossible to treat you as you were, so I dusted off my mother's old Seastone restraints and sealed your powers away.''

''Doesn't me being a Devil Fruit user bother you at all?'' Morrigan questioned, frowning. Ever since he had eaten his mother's Devil Fruit, he had been treated as an outcast, though he had expected to be. It wasn't like he regretted his actions, had he not done so, his mother's treasure would have surely ended up in the hands of those Marines and that was something he wasn't willing to let happen, not being able to swim ever again be damned.

''Doesn't me being an Okama bother you at all?'' Yonyon mimicked, grinning around a freshly lit cigarette. Morrigan grinned back and extended a hand.

''May I have one? My supply of lollipops went down with my ship.''

''Lollipops? A pirate Captain... eating lollipops? Oh well, I'm sure stranger things have happened at sea... Sure you can have one, but just one, mind. Wouldn't want all my hard work to go to waste, eh?'' Yonyon said, lighting another. He passed it to Morrigan, who only glanced once at the red lipstick imprint against the filter before sticking it in his mouth and taking a deep inhale. After a few moments of silence, Yonyon reached over and removed the handcuffs keeping Morrigan's arm in place. Instantly, the pirate started breathing better, though he made no motion to move.

''Nope, it doesn't bother me. If you want to go to Momoiro Island, come with me and join my crew! I'll take you there as payment for saving my life!''

Yonyon looked at man with an odd expression, one Morrigan couldn't easily place. It was almost as though the Okama were trying to look through him, as opposed to looking at him, and Morrigan couldn't figure out why for the life of him. His leg ached persistently; apparently, his medication was wearing off, though that didn't stop him from blowing a few experimental smoke rings as Yonyon came to his decision.

''You... really are serious about all this, aren't you?'' he said, his expression solemn. There was something about the way his patient held his gaze resolutely, without a shred of regret or fear, that made him almost take him seriously. It was almost as though he honestly believed it were possible. It couldn't be... could it? ''About finding a crew and heading off to the Grand Lin in search of One piece?''

''Yup. Why wouldn't I be?'' Morrigan replied, a look of confusion spreading across his face. Yonyon chuckled, somewhat amazed at the younger man's confidence.

''Right... Rest now, we'll talk some more about this tomorrow. Right now, you need to get some more sleep, otherwise that leg of yours won't heal properly,'' Yonyon said, getting to his feet. With an air of practised grace, he walked across the room to the door, seemingly uninhibited by the high-heels he wore. ''Goodnight, swordsman.''

This time, it was Morrigan that almost dropped his cigarette. His jaw suddenly went slack, and Yonyon stared incredulously as his patient struggled to get up. ''M-my swords! Jeez, how could I have forgotten about them, where are they? If I've been here more than a couple of days, they're gonna be in a real bad state!!''

Closing his eyes in frustration as Morrigan crawled to the bottom of the bed, Yonyon lifted a leg, paying no mind to the fact that his patient could see straight up his skirt, and planted a heeled foot against his shoulder. With a sudden burst of force, Morrigan was propelled backwards up the bed, promptly back to where he started. The top of his head collided with the headboard with a painful crack, yet Yonyon only smiled secretly to himself and exited the room, locking the door behind him.

''Well whaddya know... he really is a guy!'' Morrigan groaned, touching the crown of his head tenderly.

[3835]


Last edited by Leviathan on Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:03 am

[~]

Morrigan couldn't sleep, no matter how hard he tried. A combination of worry in regards to his swords and irritation from hearing Yonyon snore through the painfully thin walls made any concept of rest impossible to attain. For the first time in his life, he found himself genuinely grateful that somebody he knew didn't have a partner to sleep with. The Okama hadn't told him just how long he had been there, and that small error set his teeth on edge.

Yonyon seemed to know he was a swordsman at any rate, so it was logical to assume that the Okama had taken his weapons along with the unconsciousness form of their wielder, but Morrigan was not a logical person, now so more than ever. Against his better judgement, he picked at the bandages around his leg and stared out of the window, trying to calm himself down. It wasn't working very well. In the end, he had to firmly plant the palms of his hands either side of his legs to stop himself from undoing them.

Yonyon also had neglected to leave him any cigarettes, so that avenue of stress-relief was barred to him. With an aggregated sigh, he reached over and snatched a pencil from the bed-stand. He glared at it, looking it over once as though it were the pencil's fault, before roughly sticking the end between his teeth and biting down. It would have to do.

Slowly, he moved himself over to the end of his bed, and, taking care not to jostle his wound, swung his legs gently over the side. He was going to find his swords, wounded leg and enraged Okama be damned. Or he would, had the very objects of his obsession not tripped him up. Apparently, Yonyon had stuck them under the bed for safe-keeping, but neglected to tell Morrigan that important little fact, no doubt due to the Okama's strange humour.

With another sigh, this one of relief, Morrigan sat back down upon the edge of his bed and began to examine his precious blades. To his utter astonishment, each were completely fine. It was almost as if...

''Yonyon, you bastard...'' Morrigan breathed, unsheathing Cypher. Wisps of grey smoke lightly billowed from his shoulders as his fingers trembled over reflective, polished steel, ''...you actually maintained them for me...?'' A particularly loud snore from the next room answered him. Morrigan grinned, sheathing his blade quickly. ''Oh, well now I don't have a choice! I have to try you guys out to see how well he did...''

Getting unsteadily to his feet, Morrigan reattached his swords to his hips; Möbius and Cypher at his right, and Leviathan at his left. Despite the sharp pain in his leg that shot through him with every step, he could hardly say that the familiar weight of his swords did little to dissuade him from training. No, instead, he felt the glow of the moon outside calling to him, his aching, neglected muscles egging him on. Yonyon may have saved his life and saved his leg, but his body had lost plenty of strength having been immobile for so long, and he fully intended to do something about it. Smoke pooled around his lower half; the decision was already out of his hands.

Unhooking the catch upon the window, he hoisted himself up and quietly took his leave, cringing as the sheaths of his blades knocked against the panes of glass. If only he could control his Moku Moku powers, he would never have to climb again, especially when wounded. Not that he would ever pass up a chance for exercise, but his leg made him think unusual thoughts. If anything, that thought in turn made his leg ache even more, much to his chagrin, and that in turn made him quicken his pace.

As he squinted in the dark, he realised he was stood in a small courtyard, of sorts. The moon and starts above illuminated little, yet he was accustomed to fighting in the dark, courtesy of his mother's harsh training regime. During that time, he had learnt that his senses could be fooled and were therefore untrustworthy. His eyes in combat were useless; 'always follow your gut and never question your instinct, for your enemy controls what you see more than you do and pain, sweat and tears will always blur your vision and block your your better judgement.'

At least, that was what his mother had always taught him. Perhaps there was more to it than he was seeing? As ironic as that thought was, it was possible. His mother had only taught him one solid technique and shown him one other; she had been more concerned with him learning to use her style, which was essentially the rapid drawing and sheathing of her swords. That alone had taken several years to master, even with his mother's guidance. No, she had wanted him to develop his own techniques, and so only passed on one of her own; a complex technique she had named 'First Singing Wall.''

With a single exhaled breath, Morrigan drew Cypher from his right hip and Leviathan from his left with one fluid flick of his wrists. As he held their weight, he realised just how much his body strength had deteriorated and cursed silently. A deep inhaled breath, another deep exhaled breath. Morrigan closed his eyes, instead allowing the muted chirps of the crickets nearby to help him draw himself into an almost meditative-like state. His body felt weaker, that much was true, yet his strikes came fluidly, as though the kata were ingrained into the very muscles that allowed him to lift his blades. He would tire soon, but until then... he would reacquaint himself with his most prized possessions.

He started with simple arcing strikes, testing his mobility cautiously. The bandages tightened around his leg as he readjusted his stance over and over; a constant reminder that he needed to become stronger, both physically and mentally. Getting ill after such a wound only made the wound upon his pride larger and more painful to bare, yet bare it he did, with clenched teeth and precise strokes of the sword.

As Cypher slid back into its sheath with an audible click, Leviathan struck an invisible opponent, only to be sheathed as Möbius was drawn in turn. The constant sound of steel being drawn and retracted rang out against the calmness of the night.

The crickets chirped ever louder. Yonyon awoke from his slumber with a start, the hairs upon the back of his neck standing on end. Something was wrong, and it wasn't the fact that his patient had escaped from his bed to train under the moonlight either. No... he could almost smell... steel, oil and gunpowder. The tangy scent of Marine ships and polished gunmetal. They were here, and he knew just who they were after.

Launching himself from his bed in just his nightdress, Yonyon ran to Morrigan's room, almost tripping up as he went. His hands trembled as he fumbled with the lock, until finally, he realised he had brought the wrong key in his haste. He eyed the door, wondering if it were possible to kick it from its hinges. It was certainly worth a shot. He span on one leg, and, using the other, hit the door square in the middle with all the strength he could muster. The door cracked down the centre, defiantly. Yonyon swore and launched his full weight against it, having only a moment to grin in victory before the door gave way and he landed face-first amongst its splintered fragments. Morrigan was nowhere to be seen, but, judging from the wide-open window and the fact that his swords were missing, Yonyon knew where he had gone.

There's no way that damned pirate can stand up to those Marines, he shouldn't even be able to leave his bed! Yonyon thought, getting to his feet. He had to move, and fast. Faster than he was capable of running in his slippers anyway. He quickly abandoned them in favour of going barefoot, and tore out the room, panic quickly giving way to rage.

Outside, Morrigan continued his training in peace, seemingly unaware of the Marines that surrounded him. Or at least, that was what the Marines watching him thought as they loaded their pistols. Cautiously, they started closing in on his position with visible reluctance; the uncontrolled smoke that billowed from Morrigan's body unnerved them, but they had their orders. They were to bring Morrigan in, alive, so that their Captain might find out where the rest of Jannine's old crew were hiding. Most of them were fresh recruits, and had only ever seen their Captain use powers that came with consuming a Devil Fruit. Morrigan's mouth twitched, barely suppressing a grin.

With a final click, Leviathan slid back into its sheath. Without opening his eyes, he raised his hands up in a mock show of surrender, the smoke around him growing thicker. His breathing evened out, he opened his eyes. Instantly, the smoke vanished. Five Marines surrounded him, and this time, he couldn't quite stop himself from smiling. ''Okay, okay, you got me. I surrender.''

''Drop your weapons! Hands behind your head, on your knees!'' one of the marines barked, jabbing him roughly between the shoulder blades with the tip of his pistol.

Morrigan tutted loudly. Lowing himself slowly to one knee, he closed his eyes once again, but made no move to remove his katana. ''Damned Marine, you would like that, wouldn't you...''

''Silence, damned pirate scum! Captain Jaxxon wants to see you in his quarters, immediately! You have no choice but to surrender and comply!'' the Marine spat, planting his boot firmly against Morrigan's back. Using his weight, he forced the pirate down, until his nose was almost touching the ground.

''...I bet you say that to all the ladies. Why, I almost feel special!'' Morrigan retorted, still grinning. ''Why doesn't your 'Captain' come arrest me himself? Is he worried that he may enjoy the view too much?''

''Tsk. You may be a Devil-Fruit user, but Captain Jaxxon possesses the abilities of a Fruit too. He shouldn't have to waste his time chasing after scum like you. That's why we're here. We're more than enough for the likes of you.''

At this, Morrigan laughed out loud, much to the confusion of the Marines that had him surrounded. A dark-coloured smoke-mist rose from the ground against his will, yet for once, he found he didn't care. His lack of control would only get in the way of this confrontation should it start effecting him personally. He couldn't express how irritating it was to suddenly drop a sword as his arm converted to smoke mid-strike, or how infuriating it was to suddenly transform into a cloud of smoke just before he was due to take a hit. To him, it felt... shallow. He detested it.

''What are you laughing at, scum?'' the Marine said, kicking Morrigan in the ribs. The force of the strike flipped him over onto his back, yet this still didn't wipe the smirk from his face. ''Look at that! He has the Marine insignia tattooed below his bellybutton! How vulgar! A damned insult!'' The Marine kicked him again in response to the blatant mockery. He didn't think his Captain would mind if he returned his prisoner with a few broken ribs.

The click of five guns being prepared spurred him into action. Suddenly, Morrigan flipped himself back into his feet, his wound ignored. He drew Leviathan and Möbius together in a flurry of sparks, and before any of the Marines had chance to fire at him or restrain him, he had cut the offending Marine straight in half.

The courtyard lit up in bursts of gunfire as Yonyon looked on in horror. He had arrived just in time to see Morrigan draw his swords and go in for the kill, yet the savageness of the situation paralysed him where he stood. Morrigan... who would have thought you were so dangerous? He thought to himself in awe. Was this really the same man who he had been speaking with earlier on?

Two more marines fell to friendly fire; Morrigan had promptly taken advantage of their inexperience and used used it against them. With each flash, his face was illuminated for a split second, revealing a strange, damning grin that revealed his roots clearer than words ever could.

He really IS Jannine's son... Yonyon gasped, stumbling backwards. His back hit the rough brick of the building behind him, but beyond that, he was frozen to the spot, forced to witness the terror before him.

Before he had chance to breath in, it was already over. Morrigan stared up at the moon, his swords and forearms soaked with blood yet miraculously... every Marine was still alive, bar the one that had treated him so badly. He had spared them... 'Demon Blade' Rassallion had spared the lives of the Marines that had attacked him. Was such a thing even possible?

Yonyon's breath caught in his throat as Morrigan suddenly looked at him, still grinning around the pencil he held between his teeth. ''Yonyon... get these men patched up, and send them on their way. Their weapons are useless now... they won't attack you. Not like they could in the state I've left them in, anyway...''

''W-why did you spare them..?'' Yonyon breathed, staring at the crumpled body of each Marine in turn. ''Your mother would have never left them alive, let alone able to live without aid...''

Morrigan shrugged, wiping his blades clean before sheathing them again. ''They're only recruits. Their heads are so full of 'justice' that they blindly follow strength. They probably didn't even realise what they were getting themselves into... plus...'' Morrigan trailed off, glancing back to the moon, ''… their Captain, Captain Jaxxon... was the one that sank my ship. I want them alive and well. I want to send a message.''

''I didn't think it were possible for pirates to show compassion.'' Yonyon replied, raising an eyebrow and lighting a cigarette. ''These Marines came for you... Why?''

Morrigan limped towards the Okama and, placing his chewed pencil behind his ear, promptly relived him of his cigarette. Yonyon tutted as the Captain blew a smoke ring into the breeze, his smoke finally subsiding and returning to its master. ''Beyond being a pirate? I presume it's because of my mother. Jeez... Everything is about her nowadays. I want to make a name for myself.''

''Then why take her flag and epithet for yourself?''

''It's the easiest and quickest way to finding my father.''

''And you're okay with that? With random Marine attacks? With the chaos that comes with the life of a pirate?''

''Oh definitely!'' Morrigan replied, his grin widening. Above him, the moon started to disappear into the morning sky. Soon, more Marines would be sent to find out what happened to the others, and he didn't think he would be able to manage another fight in the state he was in. Having ignored his leg throughout his 'battle', the pain had now doubled as punishment for his inability to rest. Somehow, Morrigan thought it a worthy price to pay for avenging his ship, even if it was against a squad of fresh Marines.

Yonyon smiled in response. ''You know... you could have just asked for a cigarette.''

''Pirates don't ask... they take. Speaking of which... join my crew. Become my First Mate and my Medic. Become my Nakama!''

''Yeah yeah, pervert Captain... gimme a hand with these guys first, then we'll negotiate...''

[~]

It took longer than he would have liked to move the four injured Marines and bury the one he had killed, but finally, after much stress and a disproportionate amount of effort, Morrigan finally managed it. Yonyon hadn't helped one bit, despite him being the one to ask Morrigan for his help, but the young Captain paid it no mind as he knew the Okama had taken his leave to prepare his old room for the injured assholes that had attacked him. As soon as he had completed his task, he was whisked away by the angry Okama to another room; one that definitely belonged to the Okama in question.

For starters, the bed was much larger and much more lavishly adorned. He was greeted by a large, silky pink bedspread and several perfumed candles. The scene would have been much more romantic had Yonyon not dragged him across the room by his ear, thrown him onto the bed and yelled at him to stay put and rest his damned leg. Morrigan chuckled and removed his swords, not caring for the fact that the room was impossibly feminine. He was exhausted and that was enough for him. It didn't take him long to fall asleep.

[~]

His rest was abruptly cut short as Yonyon headed out to send the Marines off, all of which were reluctant to return to their battleship and face their Captain with news of defeat. As he sat up and stretched, he almost felt sorry for them. It was not uncommon for Captains to issue corporal punishment for such failures, especially where pirates were involved. Yonyon's hard work would all be for nought should those Marines have such a Captain, yet he cared too little to save them from the lash. For now, they lived. It was much more than they deserved. They would live on and grow stronger... enough to be a pain in the ass for other pirates, but not strong enough to effect him in any way. He considered it an investment; let them live now, grow stronger, and hinder the competition. The thought was a welcome one, yet that Captain...

''Captain Jaxxon, was it?'' Morrigan hummed to himself, sitting up a little straighter against the overly-soft headboard of his temporary bed. ''And he uses a Devil Fruit too? Yes... otherwise, I would have seen those ships a mile away, and would have been able to avoid them.''

His neck cracked as he stretched some more, pain giving way for relief. ''Yes. A stealthy Fruit... and he has much more control over it than I have over mine, too. What a pain...''

With an irritated groan, he collapsed backwards onto Yonyon's fluffy pillows. If only his damned leg would hurry up and heal, he would be able to get out of here and avoid the next wave of Marines that were after his head. He didn't know if he would be able to forgive himself if his soon-to-be doctor got caught up in the cross-fire, but he was quickly running out of options.

Smoke began to appear around him, and with a frustrated growl, he attempted to smash it with his fists, ''Will-you-just-piss-off-ALREADY!?'' The smoke just curled around his arms, mocking his attempts to smother that which smothers, fuelled by his outburst. He was starting to wish he had never eaten the damned Fruit in the first place, but the thought of a Marine eating it made him feel sick to his stomach.

Before he had chance to leave in search of his soon-to-be-First-Mate, the man in question barged into the room, obviously panicked. The mascara around his eyes ran as sweat poured from his head, and, with a voice shaking so much he could barely breath, he spoke. ''T-The Captain of those Marines has just docked at the b-beach!! He's coming after you! R-Run!!''

''Wha-''

Morrigan didn't have time to question further. Yonyon tackled him to the floor as the wall behind him exploded in a shower of wooden shrapnel, the sound alone disorienting him as his head collided with the pink carpet underfoot. Gasping as the smoke and dust cleared, Morrigan's eyes widened in horror as the silhouette of an impossibly large man came into view. Yonyon lay beside him, eyes rolling as he came to his senses.

''MORRIGAN RASSALLION...'' a voice boomed, ''COME HERE YOU LITTLE SHIT.''

''Oh fuck...!'' Morrigan gasped, dragging himself to his feet. The remnants of the wall shook as the huge man stepped forwards out of the shroud of destruction he had caused, a large, manic grin upon his face. The man was at least 7ft and more than three times as broad as Morrigan himself, as as he approached with each booming footstep, the colour drained from the young pirate's face. It wasn't the sheer size of the man before him which shocked him... it was the fact that the entirety of the man's left forearm... wasn't a forearm at all. Instead, a cannon was connected to the elbow... and it was pointed directly at his face. Morrigan gulped. ''Captain Jaxxon I presume?''

With a roar, Jaxxon launched his cannon forwards. Without thinking, Morrigan shielded the still-recovering form of Yonyon with his body, his eyes screwed shut as Jaxxon's cannon hit him squarely in the chest. With another gasp, both Morrigan and Yonyon were sent flying backwards through the wall behind them. Yonyon couldn't help but grin morbidly as they landed; where Morrigan had taken the hit to his chest, he in turn had taken a hit to his back as he was directly behind Morrigan when the strike landed home. So much for protecting him.

They landed some metres away. Morrigan had been knocked out cold, not that he would have been much use with his wounded leg. Yonyon watched in horror as the tank of a man stepped clean through the hole they had made and began to advance at what would have been a leisurely pace for a giant. Apparently, he thought this battle already won. He wasn't far from the truth.

Pushing Morrigan's body from his, he scrambled to his feet, franticly searching for a way to defend himself. Beyond Morrigan's swords, there was nothing he could possibly use. He had to run. Jaxxon watched with an amused expression as the Okama hoisted the unconscious Captain over his shoulder and began to run back towards the beach. Raising his cannon, he took aim and fired, his sadistic grin only widening as the cannonball flew straight over the fleeing man's other shoulder, making him stumble in shock. Oh he was going to have some fun with these dirty law-breakers, and after that, who knew? He may have a little more, once he got that shitty pirate locked away in his brig.

''Wake up you damned pervert!'' Yonyon screamed, hitting Morrigan's side with his fist as he stumbled across the uneven entrance to the beach. Behind then, Jaxxon was gaining on them. ''Come on, you were going to take me to Momoiro Island, weren't you!? Don't you DARE let us die here over your stupidity!!''

This was apparently enough to wake the injured Captain from his impromptu slumber. He stared ahead stupidly, blinking far too often as his eyes became accustomed to the bright morning light. No matter what Yonyon said, or how he hit him, he couldn't get Morrigan to reply with anything sensible. That was, until Jaxxon's voice boomed at them once again.

''WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY SON, YOU BASTARD!?''

''Son?'' Morrigan asked, his voice stupid and slow. ''That Marine I killed... was his son?''

''Oh we're fucked, we're SO FUCKED.'' Yonyon ranted, almost falling over as his heels suddenly sank into the sand. He quickly kicked them off and hit Morrigan once again for good measure, telling himself it would make him feel better if he kicked the crap out of him later. If they survived, that is.

''Wha? Stop hitting me, I'm in enough pain as it is...'' Morrigan whined, digging his knees into the Okama's back in revenge. His head was spinning, and he could barely stave off the feeling of sickness as the sea came closer and closer.

''Oi! Can't you see that Captain is still chasing us!?'' Yonyon screamed, hitting the man over his shoulder again. Sweat was pouring from him as he sprinted across the white sands.

''Eh? But I'm the Captain...''

''NO you MORON! LOOK!'' Yonyon screamed, spinning on the spot. Sand flew up around them as Yonyon came to a sudden halt, and Morrigan's eyes widened as another cannonball flew past him, his jaw hanging slack as Jaxxon finally made his way onto the beach.

''I WON'T ASK AGAIN! WHERE IS MY SON!'' Jaxxon screamed. The hairs on Morrigan's arms stood up as he finally realised the danger they were in. He could almost see the vein in the man's temple crudely protrude against his tanned skin, and his eyes bulge as his rage grew with every passing second that Morrigan didn't answer.

Yonyon let him down and pointed towards a sizeable boat at the waters edge. It obviously belonged to Jaxxon, and it was obvious even to the man hell-bent upon chasing them that this was their only possible method of escape. With an inhuman roar, he steadied his left arm with his right, and took aim, this time actually aiming to hit. Morrigan collapsed to his knees with a yell as the sudden pressure upon his leg made it buckle beneath him, yet he refused to simply sit back and be killed by that Marine... or worse. ''Yonyon! Run damn it! Leave me behind, it's me he wants!''

Removing Möbius from his belt, he forced himself back to his feet by digging its sheath firmly into the white sand beneath. As Yonyon finally reached Jaxxon's boat, he turned and looked on in horror as he realised that Morrigan intended to face him head-on. It was impossible; no matter which angle he analysed the situation from, Morrigan was a dead man. There was no way he could take on a Captain, and even if he did, he could clearly see the man's warship on the horizon, no doubt watching the whole scene from a safe distance. Morrigan was a fool to have ever let them live, he should have killed them and then run for his life.

Jaxxon waited until Morrigan was standing upright again before coming to a halt a small distance away. As the pirate Captain removed Möbius from its sheath, Jaxxon barked a laugh and lowered his cannon slightly. ''What? You intend to fight me? You little SHIT, do you have any fucking idea WHO I AM!?''

''Sure I do.'' Morrigan replied, swaying on the spot slightly. He had pushed himself too far, from having a wounded leg and concussion to fighting Marines in the courtyard, and then, finally, being hit by the Marine stood before him... He was amazed he was still standing. ''You're Captain Jaxxon D. Marko. I've heard of you.''

''Oh? And what HAVE you heard exactly?'' Jaxxon asked, glowering. Considering the fact that he literally towered over the younger man, he held back from attacking to hear what he had to say. It wasn't like he could get away from what he had in store for him, anyway.

''Well... I heard you're a sick fuck that gets his thrills from breaking pirates like me, nice and slowly. Is it true your ships carry... 'interrogation' rooms as standard?'' Morrigan asked, defiantly. The more time he could buy Yonyon, the better. Hell, the man had saved his life, he wouldn't be much of a Captain if he couldn't return the favour.

For a split second, Jaxxon looked as though he were torn between growling and laughing. Then, all at once, he did both, a great roaring laugh shaking him from head to toe. ''So... you HAVE heard of me! Tell me, you little shit, how you can speak of these things so plainly? Do you want to come see my personal... 'interrogation room', as you called it? For yourself?''

''Not if I can help it... Not into that sorta thing, ya know?'' Morrigan answered, taking a step back and resolutely ignoring the fact that the wounded area upon his leg had gone numb. His voice shook slightly, but the hand he held Möbius with remained unnaturally steady, betraying the cool calm of his mind. Even if his body could take no more, his mind wasn't ready to give in. ''It was you that sank my ship, right? Why, beyond the fact that you're an asshole?''

''Besides the fact that you're one of Jannines crew? Besides the fact that I've been hunting members of her crew down for years?'' Jaxxon spat, scowling. ''Sheath your sword you little shit, your defiance is insulting. Now here's what I'm gonna do...''

Morrigan squinted at the Captain through the too-bright morning light, still swaying lightly. He knew he didn't stand a chance, even with his swords. It was the only thing stopping him from attacking as he usually did, choosing to conserve his energy into defending rather than fighting a pointless battle. His breath came out in short, ragged bursts, yet he still stared at Jaxxon defiantly.

''I'm going to kill that damn woman you're with, and then take you back to my ship. Then, if you're real lucky, I'll have my medical team look you over and nurse you back to health. After that, I'm going to haul your sorry ass down to my... 'interrogation' room, and you're going to answer a few... 'questions' for me. Aren't you lucky?'' Jaxxon said, loading his cannon.

Morrigan started laughing. It was a horrible and broken, his body not quite up to providing what should have been a happy sound. ''W-woman? Hah! My mother warned me about men like you, asshole. Then again, she was too busy training me up to be a pirate to care much for my well-being! But yes... she did tell me about 'Cannon-Fist Marko', the young Marine that chased her all the way to the Grand Line, only to chicken out and abandon his campaign as the Reverse Mountain came into view!''

Jaxxon's aim faltered and his expression fell. His eyes widened in shock; a perfect mirror of Morrigan's expression when the Marine had blasted a hole in the wall of Yonyon's room. ''You're Jannine's... son?''

''Damn right I am... and doesn't that just fuck you off to no end?'' Morrigan said. He barely had time to raise Möbius in a defensive stance before Jaxxon, in a fit of rage, fired his cannon at point-blank range. The cannonball hit the flat side of his blade, forcing the opposite flat side into his chest, knocking the air from his lungs instantly. The impact sent him flying backwards amidst a shower of steel fragments; Möbius shattered in a magnificent instant, its blade utterly destroyed as it blocked the ball of iron. Morrigan landed roughly in the boat behind him, a large, black bruise already blossoming across his chest as he gasped to find a breath that just wouldn't come. Yonyon yelled something unintelligible and kicked the boat off from the shore as he jumped in, putting as much distance as possible between him, the pirate Captain and his Marine counterpart.

Rowing as fast as he could against a fresh barrage of cannon-fire from Jaxxon, he quickly assessed the fresh wounds Morrigan had procured, cringing as the bruise upon his chest blackened before his eyes. Why he had stood against that damned man was beyond him. He could hardly ask; that last shot had knocked the reckless bastard out cold once more. Despite this, no matter how hard the Okama tried to remove the hilt of Möbius from the young man's hand, he simply couldn't free it from his grasp. Yonyon rubbed his face in frustration as they left a heavily cursing Jaxxon in the distance, his Devil Fruit stopping him from pursuing them onto the sea.

''Damn you, shitty Captain... getting knocked out from something like that... wake up!'' Yonyon said, splashing seawater onto Morrigan's face. Behind him, Jaxxon's flagship, the Delta Morina, approached, it's cannons at the ready. Suddenly, just as the flagship came within invasion range, Morrigan woke up and pushed Yonyon from the boat before collapsing again against the wooden benches. Yonyon coughed and spluttered, not being able to swim in shock. He grabbed one of the large oars and used it to propel himself away from the Marines that had hauled Morrigan on board their ship. That was it. Morrigan had been captured, and he had escaped unnoticed thanks to the damn Captain's sense of honour.

Cursing, Yonyon made his way back to the beach, though he was careful to put plenty of distance in between him and the angry Marine Captain that had witnessed Morrigan's capture and was grinning eerily to himself, no longer swearing or firing his cannon. The Okama gulped, then crept up the beach and into the foliage, a plan already formulating in his mind. That damned Captain had broken one of his precious swords to defend him... he couldn't just leave the bastard hanging, especially since a boat was being sent out to the stranded Marine. He had to hurry...

[~]

He awoke suddenly, as soon as the cold seawater drenched him from head to toe. Before him a young Marine, barely past the age of sixteen, stood with bucket outstretched, a look of utmost terror upon his face. Morrigan spat seawater at him, grinning as the kid jumped backwards away from him and ran into the shadows. If he didn't feel shitty before, he felt shitty now. Having being covered from head to toe in water fresh from the sea, he felt his energy drain away, his Moku Moku abilities temporarily paralysed. But no... the drain... it wasn't coming from the water at all... Where was he? And more importantly... how was he still alive?

He looked around the room, wrinkling his nose in distaste at the darkness which covered up most of its detail. It was almost like a spotlight shone down upon him from above to purposefully overpower his eyes with brightness so they couldn't adjust to see whatever lay in the dark. The floor beneath him was interesting too; tightly latticed discoloured wooden panels, and directly below him a blood-stained iron grate that could be opened. He could see the inky depths of the sea swirling just a metre or so from where his feet hung.

He tried to move his arms, yet they had been chained together and drawn high above him. He lifted his head slightly, blanching at the nausea the slight movement caused, to see his Seastone bindings had been attached to two rather crudely crafted meat-hooks, which where connected by a long bar. He could also see a lone candle, just above his hands; the source of his inability to see what lay beyond the shadows. He hissed as a bead of red-hot wax dripped from it and landed on his exposed wrists, leaving blisters in its wake. He suddenly realised where he was.

Panic took over common sense as he struggled to free himself, yet he was stretched out in such a way that nothing short of destroying the steel chain that suspended him would release him. His wounds ached as he shivered; being drenched in cold water never did anybody any good. He tried harder, yanking his arms with such ferocity he thought he might sooner dislocate them than be free, when a soft, sinister chuckle from the shadows froze him.

''Can't run away now, can you, little shit.''

From where he was suspended, he could have sworn he saw the whites of Jaxxon's eyes from where they had previously been closed and then suddenly reopened. He held his breath, his whole body tense, yet his expression had changed to defiance, as it did earlier when faced with the same enemy. He didn't bother gracing his captor with a reply and chose only to stare directly ahead, roughly at where he guessed the man to be.

''Nothing to say, boy? No clever comebacks? No sinful confessions in the blind hope that I may free you?'' Jaxxon's voice mocked, echoing from the walls around them. ''How do you like my 'interrogation room'?''

''Hey Marko...'' Morrigan said, a slight grin playing at the corners of his mouth. He was screwed anyway, he may as well have some fun. ''I killed your son. He's buried back on that island.''

Jaxxon stepped out from the shadows, the darkness of the room veiling his eyes, yet it could never hide the grim expression upon the rest of his face. ''I already know that, you little shit. I just wanted to hear you say it. Marines have a code of honour you know... evidence is required before we act. I'd say your defiance and spite is evidence enough, though my superiors would think otherwise. But now...'' he said, taking another step forwards, ''I have all the evidence I need.''

Jaxxon unbuttoned his jacket and slung it roughly to one size, cracking his knuckles as he did so. He span Morrigan around, exposing his back, and, with a gleeful grin, he unhooked something from the back of his belt. ''I think... Yes... I think I'll start with the bull-whip.'' He gave the wall an experimental lash, before stopping and looking at Morrigan thoughtfully. ''I wonder... how many lashes do you think a prisoner would get for murder?''

Morrigan spat to the side, glaring at the Marine. Jaxxon only laughed, his lips curling back to reveal teeth that were too white. ''Oh... wait... I remember now!'' he said, walking over to Morrigan's back. He leant over, waiting until his mouth was directly besides the pirate's ear before growling ''NOT ENOUGH.''

[6254]
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Leviathan
The Adminismoker
The Adminismoker

User Title: : The Enabler
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Re: [Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:04 am

[~]

Yonyon scrambled against the wreck of his house, wading as quickly as he possibly could over large, jagged splinters of what once was his bedroom wall. Gasping as a shard of wood gashed his shin, he cursed loudly and kicked it out of the way, sending the broken beam crashing into one of the other walls. Finally, he arrived at his destination; a large and overly-ornate wardrobe that had somehow managed to survive Jaxxon's onslaught completely unscathed. He swung the double doors wide open and squinted into the gloom, until a wide, sorrowful smile appeared upon his face.

''Oh yes... it's been a long while...'' he whispered, taking out what appeared to be a long, shimmering skirt from the back. He wasted no time in removing his second skirt and replacing it with the new one, and didn't even stop to admire himself in the mirror before he tore out of the room once again, leaving a thin trail of blood behind him.

[~]

''WHY-''

Crack.

''-WON'T-''

Crack crack.

''-YOU-''

Crack.

''-SCREAM!?''

[~]

Gathering what few supplies he could, Yonyon hurried to his dock and pulled the cover from his rowing boat. He was running out of time, and that fact wasn't making his task any easier. With shaking arms, he pulled the boat across the beach to the sea and pushed off towards the distant Delta Morina, the iron grey waves beneath him foreshadowing the darkness that was about to take place.

[~]

Morrigan gave a hollow laugh and spat blood out to the side, his tongue swollen and bloody. One of Jaxxon's lashes had caught him just below his left eye, and as he stared blankly at the enraged Marine Captain, a single droplet of blood ran down his cheek; a twisted rouge parody of a tear. He could feel each breath rattling his lungs and could no longer feel his hands, yet his back... his back was on fire. Still he stared past Jaxxon, no longer acknowledging his presence. The only thing keeping him conscious and alert was the raging agony that swept across his shoulder blades and lower back.

[~]

Finally, after what seemed like a hellish eternity of rowing against the rough tides to reach the Marine ship, Yonyon sighed with relief as the side of his rowing boat collided gently with the side of the much larger and more heavily armed warship. The Okama looked straight up to see a cannon much larger than his entire ship protruding from the deck, and he could hear the voices of at least six Marines. He sighed in relief as he bobbed silently against the unrelenting waves; a storm was coming. He wasn't an expert on weather, but he had lived on Minloa his entire life and it was enough that he could predict such weather with an air of ease that only came to its residents.

No, the storm would be the perfect cover for what he was planning to do. He wasn't even sure why he felt compelled to save the pirate; pirates were chased and hunted for a reason. They were the terrors of the seas, the very reason Minloa was so rarely visited. His mother, a once renowned doctor who treated all, be they poor or rich, young or old, had been killed by pirates only a few years ago... so why, of all the things to be feeling, was he feeling sorry for the young man who had been captured?

He supposed it was because Morrigan didn't seem like a pirate, for starters. The pirates he had had the displeasure of treating in the past were gritty and uncouth... not that Morrigan wasn't uncouth, Yonyon reminded himself grimly, but he didn't seem like the sort to go around plundering ships and islands for a wealth that he could never hold any true claim to. Oh yes, the Okama had continued his parent's trade, vowing to treat all as they did for even his father had been a respectable doctor before he set our aboard Jannine's ship, but it didn't mean his hatred for the sea criminals had diminished at all during those lonely years. So... why was it he was endangering his own life and risking any possible future he may have over a young man with delusions of being a pirate? Surely he would be doing the world a favour by just... leaving him to rot in Jaxxon's cells?

No. That was out of the question, and as water started to fall from above in thick, heavy droplets, he felt shame start to take root in his soul. That man.... that damned asshole of a man... had broken one of his treasures to make sure Yonyon didn't get hit. Pirates weren't like that, they didn't sacrifice their own wants and needs for the sake of others. Empathy... sympathy... humanity was beyond them, yet Morrigan...

Yonyon shook his head and checked himself over one last time. It had been a long time since he had been forced to defend his home... but defend he always had. Pirates had a nasty habit of trying to attack and plunder after they were healed, and Yonyon had an equally nasty habit of going overboard and ruining all his hard work with a few well placed slices. His second skirt hung heavily from his hips as he finally stood, the clack clack of his heels masked by the increasingly heavy rain. The low-visibility on deck would prove invaluable, for he didn't know how many Marines were waiting for him far above.

The boat beneath his feet was starting to rock more vigorously; he would have to move soon, or he would be thrown overboard by the sheer force of the sea. That worked fine for him. The unsuspecting Marines above had left their anchor overboard, leaving a thickly-linked chain for him to climb up. ''Tsk... How generous of you gentlemen, but I'm afraid I shan’t be staying long...'' he muttered, grabbing hold of the first link. The moment he planted his foot in between another set of iron links, a particularly large wave enveloped his entire boat, erasing the evidence of his 'visit' in one massive, all encompassing instant.

He was soaked to the skin as he climbed, but to his surprise, he found he didn't care if his hair was ruined or his make-up ran large tracks against his cheeks. He wasn't there to seduce, he was there to start a battle, a riot so bloody that those Marines would regret the day they were born. This was his resolve, and his running mascara was his war paint. Nail after nail snapped as he hauled himself higher, yet the pain in his fingertips was nothing compared to the pain in his heart; was he too late? Had he taken too long? Was Morrigan all right? Where was Jaxxon?

He hesitated a few links from the top, his chest heaving from the physical exertion. He had little doubt in mind that he was faster than Jaxxon, and was confident he could outmanoeuvre him should he run into the bastard, but was he really about to sacrifice the lives of god knows how many honest, hard-working, ridiculously unlucky Marines to save a man he knew next to nothing about? What if those Marines had husbands or wives at home? Children? He sighed, flicking a damp lock of bright-blonde, mascara-stained hair from his face. His body shook as he found he didn't care, if only it meant he could see that man, that infuriating, perverted asshole one last time. They were collateral damage, if they didn't want to be killed they should step up or step off. It wasn't like he was there to kill as many as he could, only the ones that got in his way.

[~]

Deep within the bowels of the Delta Morina, the sound of cracks echoed down corridors long abandoned by its Marine crew who were too terrified to stick around. Especially considering each of those cracks was punctuated with a terribly torn blood-curdling scream and a laugh so gleeful that the combination of both set the neck-hair of all who heard on end. It was enough to make even the most senior of Marines on board flee the floor.

[~]

Silently, Yonyon threw his legs over the side of the ship and landed soundlessly on deck. He squinted through the heavy curtain of rainfall; most of the Marines on deck were battling to save the sail as the stormy winds picked up and finally reached their peak. With a creak, the massive ship's mast cracked from the strain as a particularly large wave enveloped the entire area. Yonyon was almost swept clean off the deck, yet managed to hold onto the large wooden railing that ran the entire perimeter of the ship. He was soaked from head to toe, yet his second skirt rejected all attempts to soak it easily, as though it were water-proof. Yonyon smiled slightly at that thought; you couldn't waterproof steel.

As he steadied himself once again, one of the Marines finally noticed his presence and pointed, slack jawed, at the half-drowned Okama. More Marines were starting to notice him, yet they hesitated, torn between preserving the ship and fending off the intruder. This time, Yonyon's smile was substantially more sinister.

He walked forwards with confident steps as a couple of the Marines rushed to meet him, yet with a single elegant twirl on the spot, their heads rolled across the wood of the deck. Blood dripped from his second skirt, revealing it for what it truly was; a large, extendible fan with a reliably strong cutting edge. As he walked, it shimmered behind him, confident of it's power as Yonyon was confident of his. This was the reason he rarely wore it; such grace was only fit to be paired with the slaughter of the unworthy, and as Yonyon rested one stiletto-heeled foot against the skull of one of the heads he had removed, he raised an eyebrow at the remaining forces that could only stand by and watch, a mixture of horror and realisation upon their faces.

He gave them no chance to retreat, as much as he told himself he would. The hate in his heart reared up, and before he had chance to reel it in, he had already killed most of the men that were foolish enough to remain on deck. Gore was illuminated for one terrible instant as lightning flashed overhead; Yonyon tutted to himself at the mess. The wind increased even further, rocking the ship dangerously; the mast gave another terrible creak before succumbing to the strain of its own weight, and the remaining Marines scattered in its wake to avoid being crushed by polished wood and banded metal. Though the size of the mast was small compared to the size of the ship on the whole, it was enough to add that extra element of chaos the Okama needed. In the confusion, he slipped below deck.

[~]

The sound of his own heartbeat rang loudly in his ears. He wasn't sure which was better; the fact that he could hear the strain upon his body, reminding him that he was still alive, or the fact that Jaxxon had decided to take a break and was stood a small distance away, smoking and regarding him with a look of curiosity. The smell of tobacco roused his senses, and slowly, he raised his head slightly to look the Marine Captain in the eye, for he had been spun back around and his back was now flush to the rough panelling behind him. His breathing evened out a little. He closed his eyes.

''The Marines you so graciously returned to my ship told me some rather... 'interesting' things about you, scum.''

''Oh?'' Morrigan replied, his voice raw from screaming and his tongue swollen from being bitten. ''That's strange, I didn't give them much of a chance to notice anything strange about me. See... they were too busy gawking in shock as I cut your son in two to do or see much else...'' He knew it was a bad idea to provoke Marko, yet he couldn't resist, even in his current situation.

''So, you cut him in two, did you? With this blade?'' Jaxxon replied, holding up the hilt of Morrigan's now-ruined katana.

''Möbius...'' the pirate breathed, eyes widening at what once was one of his greatest treasures. The blade had shattered approximately six inches from its collar, rendering it useless. The very sight of Jaxxon grasping it in his hand made his blood boil, and for the first time since his incarceration, he let the hate of his soul into his voice and expression; something which even Jaxxon's relentless whipping could never do. ''You bastard... what have you done with my swords...''

Finally, Jaxxon found what he was looking for; a way to get under the pirate's skin and into his mind. Usually, just the terror of waiting to be tortured made even the most reputable and wanted pirates spill their guts, yet Morrigan had just stared through him, grinning, bloody tongue between his teeth. Even when he finally made the pirate scream, he had that same grin plastered across his face, and even Jaxxon, a man with a past so terrible it had been stricken from the Marine's records found it creepy and unnerving. Morrigan wasn't grinning any longer. ''Your shitty swords are far away, hung on the wall of my office along with hundreds of other blades I've kept as trophies. Though, I didn't quite like the wrappings on either, so I'll probably change them at some point... if I decide to keep them. I may just throw them overboard since there's no pride or challenge in catching kids. Nothing worth displaying...''

Morrigan stayed silent for a moment, refusing to listen to the red-hot anger that welled up freely inside him. He knew that the Captain was just saying these things to gain a rise out of him, yet he could still see the bastard examining the hilt of his sword out of the corner of his eye. He willed himself to not reply.

''Not gonna reply? How about you answer this then... why, in the name of all that's sacred, did my men come running back, tripping over their own damn shoelaces, shouting something about a Devil Fruit using pirate? Surely they couldn't have been talking about you, otherwise I wouldn't have caught you so easily?''

''Why don't you remove these damned handcuffs and I'll give you a personal show?'' Morrigan said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Even though his left eye had begun to swell from the cut below it, he wasn't about to let up on an opportunity to make the bastard as uncomfortable as possible.

''Quit dancing around the topic you little fucker. Answer my question, and tell me where the rest of Rassallion's crew are hiding.'' Jaxxon said, ignoring Morrigan's attempts to piss him off. He had put up with far worse in the past, like chasing the bastard's mother across North Blue.

''I ain't telling you shit, old man.''

''Lets see how long you keep that attitude for after this.''

''Wha-''

Before Morrigan could ask what the hell was going on, Jaxxon casually reached across to somewhere in the darkness and pulled a lever. With an echoing groan, the iron gate beneath Morrigan's feet opened, leaving the stormy sea a direct drop below him. ''Still feel like being defiant?''

Morrigan eyed the inky depths below, his face rapidly loosing its colour. His breath caught in his throat for a split second, yet the hesitation was enough to make Jaxxon grin that damned awful smile. Morrigan spat blood into the sea below, where it readily mixed in with the blood that ran from his back and dripped from his feet. Devil Fruit users... would never swim again. The sea became their mortal enemy. They would never again experience the simple joys of floating atop the tide, and were forever cursed to sink as though they were made of lead. ''H-Hell yeah, I could do this all day, asshole.''

''Your nervousness betrays you, little shit. Do you want to see what my warship looks like from the bottom? I hear it's quite the view...'' Jaxxon barked, flexing his one remaining arm. It were sore from constantly raising his bull-whip, and he idly wondered how bad the pirate's back was feeling compared to the stiffness that has set in his limb. Morrigan glared at him. ''What's the matter? One last chance, Rassallion... Which Fruit did you eat?''

The use of his surname caught the pirate off guard, for up until that moment, the Marine Captain had either been content with calling him 'pirate', 'little shit' or 'bastard'. It didn't bode well, and made his stomach churn. Torturers never got close to their victims, unless they were trying to screw them over mentally... and like hell Morrigan was going to let him do that. If he was going to die, he wanted to get it over and done with. He lifted his head, no longer staring at the churning sea below, and slowly, with an insane fiery determination in his eyes, he met Jaxxon's gaze. He licked his lips slowly and seductively, smearing them with blood in the process, then replied, his voice husky. ''The very best kind...''

Jaxxon didn't respond to that, and instead chose to pull a second lever. Morrigan plunged feet-first into the icy water below, not even having time to take one last breath. Not that he wanted to at that point...

[~]

It was dark below deck, and unnaturally cold, even by North Blue standards. It was almost as if the ship had been constructed that way with that exact thought in mind; to make the Marines stuck serving on board it uncomfortable and alert. It was strange how quickly the Okama's attitude towards the Marines had changed; it was only a week before that he had spent the better half of his afternoon patching up some sorry members of the local guard, but it was amazing how having your house demolished and your soon-to-be Captain captured changed your perspective in regards to such things. Yonyon paused; had he really thought that? Soon-to-be Captain? Was he really considering Morrigan's offer, to such an extent where he already thought of the young man as 'Captain'?

That revelation came to Yonyon like a hammer-blow to the chest. Of course he would follow Morrigan, what else would he do? He'd attacked a Marine warship for crying out loud, and Jaxxon D. Marko had already seen his face! Morrigan had ensnared him and earned his friendship, all at the same time!

''That bastard...'' Yonyon ground out, seething. It wasn't Morrigan's fault... not really. He just felt stupid for not having considered the repercussions of his actions before he had set off to do them, yet at the same time, he wondered if he would have done anything differently had he taken the time to argue with himself more. Somehow, he doubted it.

Squinting through the gloom, Yonyon finally set eyes upon the first floor below deck to find himself faced with two more Marines before he even had chance to set foot upon the bottommost stair. With an agitated sigh, he took hold of the handrails and pushed himself off from them, using the momentum of his descent to fly straight past and land gracefully behind them. Blood exploded from their chests as the edges of his razor-skirt caught them as they gawked in surprise, and, with what must have been a gurgled expletive, they collapsed in a pathetic pile in the middle of the walkway. Yonyon flicked his hair back behind his ears, regarding them with disdain. He had purposefully spared their lives, believing his own inevitable bounty would thank him for it. Besides... he wasn't in the habit of attacking unsuspecting men who had no chance to defend themselves, for in his opinion, that was just in bad taste.

The ship was certainly larger on the inside than it appeared to be from outside. As he walked, wooden planks turned to rough iron grating, until he was forced to abandon his heels as they kept getting stuck in between the latticed metal. It only served to worsen his mood, for he certainly couldn't carry them with him, and it was a terrible waste of a particularly nice pair of stilettos. He silently fumed, his second skirt billowing behind him dramatically almost as if to emphasise his frustration.

Were all ships constructed in such a strange way? Yonyon wondered, glancing at the poorly-kept structure. The grid of iron had rusted in several places... or so it at first appeared. Yonyon wrinkled his nose in distaste, until he took a closer look and recoiled in horror. It wasn't rust at all... it was blood. Old blood. New blood. A wave of sickness washed over him. ''What the hell is wrong with this ship...'' Yonyon whispered, automatically becoming paranoid of his surroundings.

He walked faster and found himself in a dimly lit corridor, flanked on either side by massive iron doors. Standing on his tiptoes, he glanced through the small, barred windows of the nearest one to see a makeshift bed and a set of drawers. Suddenly, he was thankful for his lack of shoes, for had he still been wearing them he would have surely stumbled. ''Oh gods, these are the Marine's personal quarters... How on earth does a Captain get away with forcing his crew into such horrid conditions...''

He heard panicked voices behind him and turned to see more Marines charging down the corridor towards him, only this time, they were led by a Warrant Officer. The Okama narrowed his eyes at them and swiftly moved around the corner, ready to attack them as soon as they came within range. As their hurried footsteps drew ever closer, Yonyon lifted the corner of his skirt high above his head, its silver edge flush against the underside of his arm. His breathing slowed, his body preparing to fully utilise its flexibility for the kill. To his surprise, however, they ran straight past him, their leader shouting orders and the others nodding franticly, clearly way out of their depth. They had come from the deck so quickly that their eyes hadn't had chance to adjust to the darkness, and so they had totally missed seeing the Okama. He froze, left arm high above his head as the last Marine cleared where he was hidden, then grinned and silently followed them, hoping they would be rushing to inform their Captain of his intrusion.

He passed iron door after iron door, until finally, the group of Marines he had been tailing began their descent down a second set of stairs. The Okama froze as the very last Marine stopped at the topmost stair and turned to look over his shoulder. He met Yonyon's eye with a mixture of surprise and horror, and for a split second, both time and the blood in his veins halted. He was only a kid, couldn't have been older than his new Captain. He shuddered, that word foreign and bitter upon his tongue. Captain. The Okama closed the gap between them without hesitation or guilt, and, raising the edge of his skirt as he did before, removed the Marine's head from his body as quickly and as effortlessly as if he had torn a plaster from an open wound. He kicked the body to the side before it had time to fall or spray too much blood, down another corridor that bisected the one he had just walked down. The Marine's head followed soon after, its face still frozen in terror. The other Marines continued on, completely unaware of their comrade's demise as they struggled to keep up with their Warrant Officer.

[~]

His lungs felt as though they were on fire as he stared ahead through the discoloured cerulean sea that surrounded him. As the oxygen in his body began to rapidly run out, his surroundings were lit up dimly for a moment or two by the lightning high above him, yet still the abyss didn't reveal much to him; only the seemingly endless chasm of dark below. Tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide escaped from the corners of his mouth as he pushed it from his body, his throat raw as he involuntarily swallowed a mouthful of seawater. If he could have grimaced, he would have done so.

His hands came in front of him, the slackness of the chain that had once bound them above his head moving as the powerful waves battered against him. He couldn't move, the sea became his puppeteer, cruel and merciless as he sank further and further into the darkness. The edges of his vision began to fade to black as his hands were yanked above him again, for the chain that held him had no more slack to give.

His vision turned to black, yet through willpower alone, he clung to consciousness. Wasn't this what he wanted? To not give Jaxxon the satisfaction of torturing him any longer? Then why, he asked himself, was he still clawing onto life? Why couldn't he let it go, let the sea into his lungs? Let it become a part of him as he would inevitably become a part of it?

He couldn't think of an answer. His body was aflame with no more oxygen to supply itself with, and as he sank further and further, the water pressure increased until his head throbbed. Suddenly, for a single moment he was suspended, no longer falling, trapped between life and death. He passed out as his arms were yanked above him once again, and he began to to move upwards through the water; Jaxxon was bringing him back aboard...

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Re: [Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:06 am

[~]

He descended to level two, blanching as the iron grating became more and more bloodied. The entire ship literally stank of death; of old blood that hadn't been cleaned up and portholes that had been sealed up to stop the circulation of fresh air. Suddenly, the chill Yonyon felt wasn't coming from the cold air itself... the hairs upon his arms weren't reacting to the temperature, more the horrors of his terrible surroundings. He retched, eyes streaming as he continued on after the Marines ahead. He didn't know whether to be more disturbed at the rusty red beneath his bare feet, or the fact that those soldiers didn't seem to be bothered about the aura of death that clung to everything indiscriminately.

That was when he heard it. Pained groans. Screams. None of them belonging to Morrigan. Just how many prisoners was Jaxxon D. Marko keeping aboard his ship!? Yonyon wondered, ducking out of sight as yet more Marines rushed towards him. This time, he couldn't rely on being stealthy, he had been shaken up far too much by the depravity the Marine Captain allowed aboard the Delta Morina. He felt as though his heart was stuck in his throat as he moved into combat, avoiding the stray gunshots that were fired as the Marines panicked. How they could possibly panic at the sight of an intruder was beyond the Okama, considering that they lived one level above god knows how many tortured souls. He ducked, avoiding a particularly close shot, then lunged forwards with his fist, winding his attacker by planting it firmly into his stomach. He span on the spot, his bladed skirt flaring up to waist-level as two Marines charged forwards to strike, blood flying as their torsos were separated from the rest of their bodies. His white blouse was stained red and dripped with gore, yet he refused to abandoned it along with his dignity.

The chaos he had caused quickly brought forth even more Marines, yet upon seeing the death that now littered the doorway Yonyon stood in front of, they quickly dropped their weapons and fled to the back of the ship, screaming. The Okama wiped his face with the back of his hand, grimacing as he noticed too late that it too was stained red. As soon as this was over, he was going to have a nice, long bath, pirates, Marines and storms be damned. There was only so much a woman could take, after all, and when Morrigan had invited him aboard his crew, he never imagined he would end up fighting his way through hoards of enemies to save his sorry ass.

[~]

''When did you grow so weak, Morrigan?''

He blinked, recognising the voice that echoed over and over in his mind as though it were his own, yet... he hadn't heard it in several months. He tried to lift his head, but found he couldn't move a single muscle. He also found he was surprisingly okay with that fact, considering he couldn't feel a thing and he was clearly dreaming. He could, however, speak, or rather, project his thoughts since he couldn't move his lips. ''Growing weak? Isn't that an oxymoron, mother?''

''I thought I trained you to be stronger than this? Did everything I taught you vanish along with my body?''

The pirate would have sighed if given the option to. ''You taught me surprisingly little about the man who chased you so far across the seas. How is it possible to fight an enemy that's stronger than you, who's less injured than you are? An enemy you know nothing about, nor have the weapons to find out?''

''I managed it, remember. All of the wounds you see upon him are the products of my rage. I've told you this before. He chased me for years, even before I entered the Grand Line, yet I always knew he would continue to chase should I ever return. I've told you this much already, you knew this much already, yet you allowed yourself to be caught despite my warnings and despite the Moku Moku no Mi you ate.'' The image of his mother replied, mockingly.

''That damned fruit is useless. So what, I can turn into smoke randomly, whoopie-fucking-do. What use will that provide against a fucking giant with a cannon strapped to his arm?'' Morrigan shouted, rubbing his eyes.

''And so you find the root of your weakness. Your inability, or rather, your unwillingness to hone the skills the Moku Moku no Mi has generously provided you with is your downfall. It's a weakness that you much learn to stamp out. Pride should never hinder you from utilising all of the skills at your disposal, especially in your situation.''

''Yeah, Seastone has a nasty fucking habit of kicking you in the balls that way, mother.''

''You know as well as I that those restrains have nothing to do with your ignorance and childishness. The ability to turn into smoke, to summon smoke, to attack with it, is an incredibly powerful gift that you've overlooked and underestimated, simply because you were frustrated that you couldn't control it from the moment you ate it.'' His mother replied, her tone matter of fact.

Morrigan snorted. ''Using a Devil Fruit in combat, in a sword fight, is cowardly and shitty. You told me that yourself.

''Using it to survive can hardly be considered cowardly... or... at least no more cowardly than running away from an enemy, as you did earlier.''

[~]

The boat rocked violently under his feet as he checked room after room, each only serving to drive him further into despair. He had taken far too long already, yet he found himself in another predicament. Judging by the looks of some of the prisoners... shockingly few of them were pirates. In fact, there were more Marines bound in iron than any other type of prisoner, locked away for minor insubordinations or incompetence that came with being new to a particular job.

It shook him to the core. He thought back to all the pirates that had ever tried to attack him, yet none came remotely close to the level of cruelty he looked upon with tired, strained eyes. Were the Marines just as bad as those they chased across the seas? Surely not? Yet there, chained to the walls by the dozen, was the evidence that did more than suggest otherwise. Was Morrigan capable of this level of cruelty? Yonyon couldn't help but wonder at that as he retreated away from the sounds of agony. How had Jaxxon managed to get away with such behaviour for so long? Weren't the Marines organised? Always watching, forever vigilante, as they always advertised they were? Apparently not, and that shook the Okama up more than the relentless storm outside. He couldn't simply leave all those prisoners there, and yet...

Yonyon shook his head violently, attempting to rid his mind of the temptation to save them. He could feel the sands of time slipping through his clenched fist, yet he couldn't do it. He couldn't leave those men, nor could he delay in finding his Captain any longer. A perfectly damning catch 22. He would come back for the prisoners after saving his Captain's sorry ass, since they weren't in danger or going anywhere. The Warrant Officer he had been tailing had long gone at the sight of him fighting, leaving his trail cold. Finding Morrigan now would be like finding a needle in a haystack. A very bloody, violent haystack. He continued on, pressing his back to the walls as he went to avoid being dragged into yet more useless fighting. It wasn't like any of the Marines on board, other than the Warrant Officer and Jaxxon himself, posed a threat. Everybody else were just fodder. It wasn't like he enjoyed fighting, either... or went looking for it. Much.

He rounded another corner, narrowly missing another squad of Marines, when he found himself in front of an unusually large and sinister-looking door that had neither a lock nor handle. He pressed the palms of his hands to it, testing its weight carefully. It was definitely locked, and the only place usually locked on a Marine's ship was the Captain's quarters. Yonyon gulped, his mouth suddenly dry. This was it. There was no turning back.

With a shaking hand, he unclipped his razor-skirt from his hips and held it straight before him, it's concealed edge gleaming dully in the gloom. He took a several large steps back, hesitant yet reliant upon the fact that the whole crew were terrified of their Captain to the extent that they would hopefully avoid his quarters when and where ever possible. He exhaled the foul-tasting air from his lungs, then broke into a sprint. A meter from the door he came to a sudden and complete standstill. He span on the spot a whole one thousand, four hundred and forty degrees, his skirt-come-fan held out before him. The door was shredded mercilessly as the Okama span for times in quick succession, until finally, it could take no more and a large chunk of it fell free, granting Yonyon access to Jaxxon's inner sanctum and the secrets it held within.

Reattaching his skirt, he took a single step forwards into the room before his body froze and refused to go any further. He gasped as his skin was reduced to goose-flesh; there was something wrong with this room. So terribly, terribly wrong. He didn't know how he could possibly know that, for the interior of the room was far, far darker than even the shadowed passages he had already walked through in search of his Captain, yet... he still couldn't move. Something bad had happened here, he felt it as vividly as though he had been plunged into ice-water.

He heard voices behind him and turned to see a large group of heavily armed Marines at the other end of the corridor, each holding their guns up to fire at him. He moved automatically, backing away, each step stealing... something indescribably vital from him. His lower back connected with something soft, and he realised that he had, in his panic, backed into what must have been Jaxxon's bed. He flinched away from it as though scalded. The Marines ahead looked at each other with strange expressions, then fled down the corridor Yonyon had originally come from, leaving the Okama confused and unnerved. They did fear Jaxxon enough to avoid his quarters as he suspected, yet to blatantly flee when they knew their intruder was there... that was a reaction the Okama could have never anticipated.

Holding his hands out before him, he moved around the room until his fingertips came into contact with what must have been the Marine Captain's desk. On top of it, he could vaguely make out a box of matches and a single candle, and wasted no time granting himself more light. The minute the flame ignited the candle, he wished he hadn't. He had indeed found Jaxxon's desk, but that wasn't what made his jaw slacken. Beyond the desk was a wall completely and utterly covered in swords of all shapes and sizes, each meticulously labelled and framed. He moved closer, striking another match with shaking fingers. Bringing it up before him, it illuminated the labels a little more clearly. He almost dropped his match. Before him, he could clearly see the names of at least thirty different pirates, all of which had vanished from the newspapers over the past year or so, and all of them high-profile enough to have earned themselves a 'respectable' bounty. Each name corresponded to the sword that pirate had once wielded, and suddenly, Yonyon understood.

''Jaxxon D. Marko... You BASTARD...''

He rushed back to the desk, refiling through the piles of documents that resided there, until he came across a small peculiar book that was bound in aged leather. Or, that's what it looked like, until a dark imprint caught Yonyon's eye and he realised he wasn't looking at tanned cow hide... he was looking at human skin, complete with a tattoo of an anchor and a snake. The book was bound in the skin of pirates he had conquered. Yonyon gagged as he flipped through the worn pages, until the very first one lay open for him to examine. Fifteen names were scrawled across the expanse of what must have once been white paper, each crossed out with a neat line, and as the Okama read through them he realised, to his horror, that this was his kill-list. Beside each name in tiny print was the method of torture that corresponded to the identity of each pirate Marko had killed; 'Greggor the Fist' was paired up neatly with 'systematic strangulation', and 'Pinpoint Lawson' was paired up with 'keelhauled'.

He threw his hand to his mouth and attempted to calm his stomach, his breathing coming out in short, painful bursts from his nostrils. He thanked his luck that he hadn't eaten too recently, and continued flipping through the pages. So many names. So many methods of torture, each one never inflicted twice. He was just about to snap the book closed when a single name jumped out at him. It looked as though it had been touched far too often, for the link had been smudged terribly, yet he could still make it out. Jannine Rassallion. It was the only name in the book that hadn't been crossed out. In fact, as Yonyon stared at the name, he noticed that a large red circle had been drawn around it, and with some violence as the nib had gone clean through the paper at several points. Next to it, underlined in the same red pen, was the phrase 'slow-slicing'.

Yonyon found he could no longer hold the book open, such was the trembling that had taken root throughout his entire body. Jannine Rassallion, mother to Morrigan Rassallion, was the only pirate to ever evade Jaxxon D. Marko, self proclaimed 'collector of pirates'. He had systematically assigned himself targets and hunted them down, one by one, always in order, until Jannine had been next in line and he found he was no match for her. He took one last glance at the method of torture Jaxxon had assigned to her, before the terrible book slipped from his grasp and fell to the floor. Jaxxon never got to issue that punishment... which meant...

''He wouldn't... HE CAN'T...'' Yonyon whispered. He fell to his knees and flipped to the back of the book, all the colour draining from his face upon the sight of the last name written. 'Morrigan Rassallion', next to which 'slow-slicing' had been written. The name had been stricken out. Marko had allocated him his mother's 'punishment'. His time had officially ran out.

He scrambled to his feet, his terror quickly giving way to a strange, white-hot rage that curled within his stomach. Never before had he felt such revulsion towards any man, be they Marine or pirate. If he had eaten the Moku Moku Devil Fruit like his Captain had, he thought he would have surely been smoking at the mouth, such was the sheer heat of the hate he harboured within his soul. He was about to charge out of the room, wrecking everything in his path, when two horribly familiar swords caught his eye. He didn't need to look any closer to know they belonged to his Captain, after all, he had spent the better half of his afternoon maintaining them a few days ago.

He laughed softly to himself as he carefully took them down from the wall. A few days... that's all it had been, yet it seemed so long ago since he had sat down next to Morrigan's sleeping form and started fixing them up. He attached them to his hip, thrown off for a moment or two by their unfamiliar weight, when he noticed the pirate's third sword wasn't anywhere to be seen. Of course... he had seen it shatter when Morrigan had stepped in front of Jaxxon's cannon ball to protect him. He sighed heavily, glancing at all the other swords upon the wall, feeling incredibly guilty. He chose one at random; a beautifully crafted katana with a red sheath and crimson wrappings, and quickly attached it to his hip. He squinted at the name-tag beneath its wall-mount and grinned slightly, knowing he had chosen well. Jaxxon D. Sisko. The third katana at his waist had belonged to Jaxxon's brother. Another flip through the Marine's morbid little book told him that Sisko had turned to a life of piracy, been caught by his brother, and was promptly hanged. There was little about the way his name was written to betray Marko's feelings at that time, but Yonyon shuddered and suspected the Marine felt little for his actions, beyond pride. He pocketed the little book and fled the room, wondering at the fact that not a single Marine chose to pursue him.

[~]

He awoke slowly and steadily, yet kept his head low and his eyes closed. His head span and his throat felt like it had been shredded, yet he remained perfectly still, so as not to advertise the fact that he had woken up. He wasn't sure how much time had passed, but he was no longer dripping from the sea, so it must have been at least a little while.

The scent of tobacco invaded his senses and he found himself desperate for a cigarette. It was another hint at how long he had been passed out, one that worried him more than he would have ever admitted. The numerous lashes that had cut into his back ached dully, and that surprised him. Surely they should be more painful, considering the fact that he had been dunked into the sea and his open wounds flushed with salt-water?

He tried to open his eyes, yet couldn't. It appeared as though his body had finally been pushed past its limits and was now refusing to respond to him. He thought back to his dream, not being able to remember anything about it, other than his mother's first words. Had he become weaker?

'No' his mind answered, honestly. He knew he was weak in comparison to Marko, that much was true, but he couldn't say he had grown weaker, not in the traditional sense. His body had become weaker from inactivity, but that was to be expected considering he had spent... god knows how much time in Yonyon's care. Was that the point of his dream? To allow his own subconsciousness to torture him further? There was a reason he could never remember his dreams; a reason he didn't want anything to do with. His eyes finally opened, even the pitifully poor lighting stinging them as he blinked tears away.

''Finally awake, are we?''

The deep voice felt as though it were echoing within the confines of his head, each syllable reverberating from his skull, only to be projected back within, through his brain, to hit another side.''... I had the most beautiful dream that you'd been eaten by a Sea King...'' Morrigan muttered, closing his eyes once again. Barked laughter was the only response he received as the Marine Captain stepped out of the darkness, his arms folded. The scene would have been somewhat comical considering Jaxxon's left forearm was a cannon, had his situation not screamed doom and inevitability at him.

''Well, we can't always get our own way, can we?'' Jaxxon glowered, walking closer. He stopped just short of the pirate Captain, a cigar between his thin lips.

''Truer words were never spoken. I'd kill for a cigarette...'' Morrigan whined, opening his eyes again to stare at the now closed grate beneath him.

''Aye, I reckon you would too. Isn't it better that you're in here than out there causing misery? So far I've been very hospitable... I don't know how long that will continue for, not when you keep refusing to answer my questions.'' Jaxxon said, blowing a smoke ring into his prisoner's face. His eye twitched when Morrigan willingly breathed it in. ''The depravity of pirates really know no bounds, do they...''

At this, Morrigan grinned widely. ''Now now, I wouldn't say that... Considering you're the one doing all the torturing, why, if you weren't so insistent upon flashing your Marine status around... I would be willing to bet you were a pirate.''

Jaxxon said nothing, instead choosing to take a particularly deep inhale of his cigar, the end glowing bright red. The cigar burnt down to its tip, then, with a strange smile, Jaxxon removed it from in between his teeth and stubbed it out against Morrigan's Marine tattoo, directly below his bellybutton. Morrigan didn't have the energy to yell, and instead clenched his teeth in a glower as the skin was burnt away, the blue hue removed along with the stub. It would almost certainly leave a scar, and that was most certainly Jaxxon's intention. ''A pirate with a Marine tattoo... lecturing a Marine about being a pirate... Hah. Answer my question, which fruit did you eat?''

Morrigan lifted his head slightly to look the Marine directly in the eye. ''You're lucky you managed to catch me on an off day. Logia types are a pain in the ass to catch with Seastone, old man. It's like... trying to grasp... say... smoke in your fist.''

He knew by the way Jaxxon positively leered at him that he should have kept his mouth shut. ''A Logia user, eh? My my... I WAS lucky huh... Well! In that case, it would be a waste to not take my time with you, it's not everyday you get to meet a logia user, after all. I'm glad I wasted some of this ship's resources having your wounds looked over and closed, now.''

Morrigan groaned through bared teeth, his eyes shrouded with murderous intent. His voice sounded as though it had been ripped from his lungs and dripped poison. ''I'll kill you, damned bastard Marine... If I ever get out of here, I swear, I'll take my sweet fucking time with YOU.''

[~]

With Jaxxon's morbid little book of secrets tucked between his belts and the three swords at his side, he finally stepped back into the corridor, appreciating the marginally better lighting. He took one look at the Marines on the other end of the corridor and winked, a large grin spreading across his face as they tripped over themselves in a rush to climb the stairs back up to the first floor. Their behaviour wasn't as strange to the Okama as it was before; Yonyon shuddered as he imagined what dirty secrets these men were forced to keep on a day to day basis.

He walked, the end of the corridor within sight, the three swords at his waist causing him more and more discomfort with every passing second. How his Captain could possibly walk around with them all day, let alone fight with them, well well and truly beyond him. Without meaning to, his mind strayed to darker places, and he found himself questioning the likelihood that his Captain would still be able to walk, should he manage to actually rescue the bastard.

He quickly descended and found himself level three. The air was even colder there than on any of the other levels, and tasted distinctly of the sea. It was almost as if there was a section of the ship open to the sea itself, yet Yonyon had never heard of such a thing before. The rooms on level three were all similar to those on level two, yet as he peered through the grated portholes on each door, he could tell their uses were drastically different. ''Leave it to Jaxxon to design his torture rooms in the same manner as his crew's personal quarters...'' the Okama muttered, shuddering. So far, each of the rooms he peered into were empty.

That was when he saw it, or rather, him. The Warrant Officer he had been following earlier was stood at the opposite end of the corridor, frozen to the spot as he watched the Okama draw closer. Yonyon grinned; by the way the man's knees were visibly shaking, he could tell he was a coward. A coward that had been given a baseless rank. Yonyon wondered what it was the man had done to earn such a rank on such a sadistic Captain's ship, yet almost immediately decided he didn't want an answer. The Warrant Officer drew his pistol and pointed it at the Okama, his hand shaking as badly as his legs. ''Stay back! I'm warning you, if you want to get off this ship alive, I suggest you turn around and go back the way you came!''

Yonyon paused and tapped his bottom lip with his forefinger, as if seriously considering the Officer's words. ''Why? What's down here?''

The Officer fumbled to draw the hammer of his gun back with his thumb, sweat pouring from his head. ''My Captain. You don't want to meet him, get out whilst you can, we'll cover up the fact you were ever here. If he sees you, he'll make it hell for the rest of us!''

Yonyon took a step forwards, his finger still tapping his lip. ''Sorry, no can do. Your Captain stole mine.''

''Please!! Don't make me fire, if he's disturbed...!''

The desperation in the man's voice made the Okama pause once again, and once again, he found himself weighing the life of his Captain against the lives of everybody on board. He disturbed him how easy his decision was. ''I've already told you-''

He didn't get chance to finish his sentence, for the moment he started speaking, another Marine came charging around the corner. Upon seeing Yonyon, he skidded to a halt, tripped, rolled and landed at his feet. Yonyon glared at the young Marine, watching with amusement as he scrambled away in shock. ''Y-you!!'' The Marine stuttered, pressing his back against the grated wall.

''Me.'' Yonyon answered, grinning. ''You know... you owe me.''

The Marine cursed loudly, looking at the Warrant Officer, who was looking at him with a confused expression in turn. The Marine sighed. ''This ma-'' Yonyon glared at him, watching as he gulped and corrected himself. ''This woman saved my life, back when that crazy fucking pirate sliced me up.''

''That's right.'' The Okama said, examining his nails. ''Listen up... From what I hear... and from what I've seen... your Captain is one sick fuck. Hell, I've been here long enough to be sickened by it, and I've seen the terror he's instilled into his own damn crew. So here's what you're going to do...''

The Marine's skin quickly turned a nasty shade of grey, his breathing shallow. ''I want you to go to the prisoner's deck and release them all. This ship won't be on the water for much longer, I suggest you get out whilst you still can, unless you want to go down with your ship.''

''Wha-'' The Marine started to reply, shaking.

''Stop fucking questioning me and move your ass, boy. Stitches can be cut open and bandages removed... is that what you want? I'm giving you your life back, get going already, shitty Marine.''

The Marine didn't need to be told twice. He nodded, then frantically dragged himself to his feet and ran to the stairwell. Within moments, he was completely out of sight, leaving the Okama and the Warrant Officer alone with their demons.

''I seriously can't let you stop me, you know...'' Yonyon said, walking forwards. The Officer, still confused, hesitated before turning on his heel and running. Yonyon sprinted to keep up with him, his footsteps being distinctly less noisy than the Officer's. It worked to the Okama's advantage; Jaxxon wouldn't know he was there until it was too late. He had the element of surprise.

The Officer took a left turn, then a right; it was then that Yonyon realised how maze-like the third level of the ship actually was. If he was in a rush to escape like he knew he would be after he busted Morrigan out, he would be in serious trouble, making serious trouble inevitable from the start. He didn't pause to consider what would happen to him should Jaxxon manage to capture him. The little pirate-skin covered journal in between his belts dictated his future with a painful level of finality. The only variable was the method. Shuddering, he watched as the Officer stumbled forwards, attempting to evade the terrifying shadow that the Okama had become.

Suddenly, about ten metres from where Yonyon was, the Marine Officer stopped and wiped the sweat from his head. He looked back sorrowfully as Yonyon closed in, his expression saying nothing short of 'I'm sorry... I warned you...'. It made the Okama hesitate; the Warrant Officer then charged straight into a large iron door to his left. It gave under the pressure of the Officer's shoulder, swinging wide open, unlocked and unresisting. Yonyon just had time to see the panicked expression upon the Marine's face as he started to stutter about Yonyon, the deaths of the crew and the prisoners escaping when a cannon-ball cleared the doorway, caught the Officer in the chest, and sent him flying backwards through the wall behind him and straight into the stormy sea outside. A rough voice from within the room shouted, each syllable dripping with rage, ''I told you not to fucking disturb me when I'm busy having my fun!''

Yonyon froze, the book at his back searing him through his blood-soaked blouse. Jaxxon... had attacked his highest-ranking officer... for simply doing his job. Had the man listened to him, the Captain would have noticed there was more than one presence in the hallway outside his room and the Okama would have been doomed from the word go. He gave a hollow laugh, yet no sound came from his mouth. It was more like a hysterical hiccup than anything else. This was it. He double checked to ensure Morrigan's swords were secure, and tightened his belts to make sure Jaxxon's treasure wouldn't slip free during the inevitable fight that was about to take place. He breathed, his breath more of a strangled gasp than an actual exhalation. 'Slow-slicing' echoed in his mind, the red of the circle that surrounded Morrigan's mother's name creating a haze at the edges of his vision. Outside, the sea roared, impossibly loud against the breached hull, yet he welcomed it, it's unrivalled fury cathartic.

A whip-crack echoed down the corridor behind him, a curse swiftly following in its wake; Morrigan's voice. He breathed again, easier this time, his body numbed in shock. He was still alive. His Captain had survived... whatever hells Jaxxon D. Marko had put him through. His chest swelled with pride; there was no worthier man to travel the seas with. If he followed Morrigan and truly accepted him as Captain, he would see Momoiro Island for sure! Suddenly, the perils of the Grand Line paled in comparison to the horrors he had witnessed aboard the Delta Morina, and he found himself longing to explore lost seas and experience that which so few had experienced. It set his nerves on fire, the numbness quickly giving way to the Okama's newly found resolve. He exhaled a third time, seeing things clearly, and the for the first time... he understood why his father had abandoned his family for the chance to fly under Rassallion's flag. ''...Here I come, fucker. I'll teach you to start a party without me, asshole Captain...''

He didn't wait for his common sense to dissuade him; sprinting as fast as he could, he charged straight into the room the unfortunate Marine had been blasted out of, breaking into an elegant cartwheel the minute he stepped foot inside. Jaxxon span on the spot, the sudden noise enraging him once again. His eyes widened in surprise; he had been expecting another dumb fuck subordinate, not that fucking woman from earlier, yet he didn't have time to react to the sudden intrusion beyond taking a large step back, bull-whip raised high above his right shoulder. He staggered in pain; something had slashed him in a straight vertical line, all the way from the centre of his forehead to directly below his bellybutton. Blood exploded from the wound; Morrigan raised his head, his expression dark, not truly seeing and absorbing what had happened. He blinked as Yonyon came into view, a large grin splitting his otherwise grim expression. ''Took your fucking time! Some First Mate you are, asshole!''

Yonyon straightened himself out, glaring daggers at the Marine Captain who had fallen with his back to the wall on Morrigan's left hand side, his head bowed. Blood was flowing freely from the huge gash he had cut with his skirt, and the Okama allowed himself a small smile of satisfaction before looking Morrigan over. A single gash across his chest and a small cut beneath his eye signified the extent of his wounds upon his front, yet his back was hidden from view. Ignoring the way Morrigan was positively beaming at him, he placed his hands upon Morrigan's hips and span him around. He staggered backwards, a perfect mirror of Jaxxon as he collapsed backwards at the sight that assaulted him.

Before him, Morrigan's back had been reduced to a map of purple-yellow track marks that would have certainly been bleeding profusely had they not been stitched back together with expert skill. The edges of each lash wound were raised up under the large black 'X' shaped stitches, leaving his entire back a messy network of almost welt-like lesions, each almost black in the poor lighting. It was only as he got back to his feet and ran his fingertips gently over one that he realised he had been holding his breath. He exhaled painfully, eyeing the stitching with a level of criticality that only a member of the medical profession could ever could strive to achieve. ''How can you speak so...''

''Normally? I can't feel a fucking thing on my back, that's why he started on my front.'' Morrigan said over his shoulder, still grinning. ''The bastard was kind enough to have his medics sort out the mess he made!''

''And how the hell are you still grinning through all this!?'' Yonyon breathed, still tracing his fingertips over the black 'X's that littered his Captain's back. He forced himself to regulate his breathing, ignoring the way it froze in front of his face. Morrigan had been here for a couple of hours... how had he managed to survive and still grin about it?

Morrigan didn't answer. Instead, his face fell and his eyes widened in synchronisation with Yonyon as his back was suddenly darkened by a huge shadow. Yonyon's eye twitched as he slowly looked over his shoulder to see the massive figure of Jaxxon literally looming over him, his eyes cast in shadow by his hanging head. Blood dripped onto the latticed floor underfoot with a resonating 'drip drip'. It was the only thing that broke the otherwise deafening silence, other than Morrigan's harsh breathing and the thumping of Yonyon's heart.

Time froze, each drip sound signalling the passing seconds. It was Morrigan that broke the silence, his voice low and desperate. Utterly defeated. ''...Get out of here, Yonyon...''

Yonyon blanched and promptly dived out of the way just in time to avoid Jaxxon's cannon being rammed into his face. He landed with grace, despite his shaking legs. Jaxxon wasn't moving, his arm still outstretched. He spoke, his voice low, making the Okama flinch. ''You know... It's incredibly difficult to strike something with such perfect precision, even on a stationary target. It takes a phenomenal amount of skill to whip somebody and not reduce them to pulp. To keep their flesh salvageable to doctors...''

''But you've had plenty of practise. I took a detour, stopped by your room on the way here. You keep an interesting library, Mr Marko...'' Yonyon responded, his voice steadier than he felt. ''You never did manage to capture Jannine Rassallion, though I doubt that's due to lack of effort on your part...''

Jaxxon span Morrigan back around roughly. He struck out somewhere in the gloom with his whip, then yanked it back; Yonyon stared as a cannon-ball came flying out of seemingly nowhere. Extending his left arm, the cannon-ball was caught in the barrel of Marko's cannon, his weapon reloaded in one fluid motion. ''That bitch... Yes... She was an elusive one... Speaking of bitches, civilians that aid pirates are to be considered as accomplices and treated the same way. I'd say all this bullshit warrants locking you away, along with your... Captain.''

''Must have pissed you off terribly to hear she'd fallen off the map so to speak.'' Morrigan chipped in before Yonyon could reply. Jaxxon grunted, checking the alignment of his cannon before aiming it at the Okama, not interested in a word he had to say. He moment before he fired, Morrigan continued speaking. ''Hoooo! Yonyon, you almost split this bastard in half, look! Jaxxon, you're really lucky that he spared your dick!'' The pirate captain said, grinning. It was enough to make the Marine Captain hesitate; Morrigan's words were startlingly true.

''Tch, lucky isn't the word. Morrigan... I missed.'' The Okama replied, resetting his stance. He had yet to show any true capability in combat; all the Marines he had killed or wounded up until that point were tiny in comparison to his skill. He hadn't needed to show off; haste had been his primary objective. Now though... Yonyon smiled at his captain, a strange look in his eye. It said 'you haven't seen anything yet, just sit back and enjoy the show...'

The Okama sighed, freeing his body of any tension it held. It was a surprisingly easy task; his body had already warmed up so to speak, his mind was solid in its resolution, his senses were fine-tuned. His instincts did more than anticipate the battle he was about to fight, they positively sang at the chance to do some damage to the sadistic brute stood before him. His motions became fluid, years of practise falling into place as naturally as his own breathing. He was ready, had been ready since he had first entered the room, despite his fear.

[6415]
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Re: [Week ~4] [P] Morrigan Rassallion <Chapter 1: Honourbound>

Post  Leviathan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:07 am

He waited until Jaxxon raised his cannon once again then flipped into the air, the cannon-ball sailing harmlessly past him. With a roar, Jaxxon charged forwards. Thrusting his cannon arm forwards as Yonyon was about to land, both his and Morrigan's eyes widened in surprise as the Okama grabbed said arm and flipped back into the air; using Jaxxon's weight against him, he hardly had to move as the man moved forwards him. Morrigan's three katanas clanked together noisily as he extended his leg and planted his heel firmly into the man's already bloody face. It didn't do nearly enough damage; the moment the Okama landed upon the balls of his feet, spinning to attack the Marine's back, the bastard had already turned to face him, forcing him to change his method of attack at the last moment.

He took a few steps back, circling Marko as Marko circled him. The Marine reached to his back and pulled another cannon-ball from seemingly nowhere, reloading as they stared each other down. ''That was a pretty good hit, for a woman. Speedy bitch, aren't you?'' At this, Morrigan burst out laughing. Marko scowled, almost feeling his blood pressure rising in irritation.

Yonyon's lips twitched in amusement. ''And if I wasn't?''

''I'd consider splitting YOU in half, though a little less... traditionally than the shit you pulled, bitch.'' he replied, pointing at his cannon. The Okama furrowed his eyebrows as Morrigan's laughter became almost hysterical, the noise echoing around the room. That cannon was going to be a serious problem.

''Sorry, Sugar. Somehow, I get the impression you wouldn't be able to satisfy me, and I absolutely detest wasting my time.'' He nodded at Jaxxon's cannon, ''Compensating for something, Captain?''

Marko's lips were pulled back tightly against teeth that were far too white, and, with a sinister grin, he aimed at Yonyon once again. ''Come find out, whore.''

Yonyon reset his stance once again, this time facing the Marine from the side. Jaxxon's cannon-ball came flying towards him once again, and the Okama found himself reacting as naturally as though he were breathing. He kicked off using his left leg and broke into another cartwheel; his skirt struck the ball mid-air, the sheer momentum of both his move and the iron giving his skirt enough power to slice clean through it. Both halves of the ball were scattered to either side of him, avoiding him completely and leaving him unharmed, yet as Yonyon landed, Jaxxon grinned eerily through the gloom. ''Ah... I see.''

''I noticed. Eyes are very useful for that, or so I hear.'' Yonyon mocked, glaring.

''As did I.''

This puzzled the Okama to no end. It didn't make any sense, yet it must have to Marko, for he was stood across from him looking immensely satisfied with himself. ''Eh? What the hell are you talking about?''

''Well...'' Marko said, stepping forwards and loading his cannon once again, ''I haven't been able to determine your strength accurately, not until just now anyway. You're incredibly fast, yet your physical attacks are almost pointless. It's that skirt you're wearing, isn't it, bitch? That skirt and your speed are the only things keeping you in this game, and you fucking well know it. I'd be willing to guess that I'd only have to hit you once and you would be crippled enough that you wouldn't stand a fucking chance. One hit... that's all I need to have two prisoners to play with, instead of one. You willing to bet your luck against mine, hmm? Willing to bet your life on it?''

Yonyon span on the spot suddenly, blood flying from his razor-skirt dramatically, an answer without words yet even more defiant. It was far too late for him to back out, not that he wanted to. No, after everything he had seen aboard the Delta Morina, there was no way he was leaving Morrigan behind. Somehow, over the course of a few days, he had begun to care for the man he had set out to save. Jaxxon's grin widened, sensing the Okama's emotional weakness as if it were blood from a fresh wound. ''So be it.''

Both Yonyon and Marko ran forwards simultaneously; Jaxxon bringing his cannon down like a hammer blow, and the Okama dodging the attack by a hair's breadth by rolling to the Marine's left. Jaxxon may have been a sadistic bastard, but it didn't stop his words from being any less true. The Okama knew he was playing an impossibly dangerous game with his very freedom at stake; he knew he was faster than the Marine. What made shivers run down his spine was the fact that what Marko had said was startlingly true; one hit, one glancing hit even, would be enough to slow him down. The problem was Morrigan's restraints and the fact that Jaxxon probably had the key on him, meaning Yonyon would have to fight up close and personal to even stand a chance of retrieving it.

He span, his skirt slicing into the back of the Captain's leg, yet even that wound did nothing to slow the brute down or weaken him. Considering the fact that Jaxxon wore no shirt, the only places he could possibly hide a key were his pants pockets, or the small pouch that was belted to his left upper leg. If the Captain had hidden the key in his pockets, the only possible way of him obtaining it would be to slice those pants clean off. If he had hidden the key in the pouch, he would have to cut that off. He knew which one he wasn't about to do.

Both options were snatched away from him in an instant; he flipped backwards too hastily to avoid another cannon-ball, his back smashing into something attached to the wall. As he slid down the wooden panels, his shirt caught on whatever it was that he had smashed into, and instantly, there was a loud grinding sound of metal on metal and the grate at Morrigan's feet gave way. Dazed, he glanced up as Jaxxon approached him to see a lever. Morrigan shouted in panic, his feet dangling over the raging sea below, his expression one of sheer terror having already been dunked once. Jaxxon leered at the Okama. ''See. I didn't even manage to get a hit in and you're already right where I want you.''

Jaxxon brought his cannon crashing down on top of Yonyon. The Okama would have screamed if the air wasn't crushed from his lungs, so Morrigan did it for him, louder than any sound Jaxxon had managed to produce whilst torturing him. To his fury, Marko started laughing, the sound a stark contrast to the one ripped from Morrigan's lungs at the sight of his First Mate being wounded. As Yonyon struggled to breath, gasping for a breath that wouldn't come, Marko turned to his prisoner, his eyes alight with something terrifying. ''If I had known that it took the sight of your girlfriend getting the shit kicked out of her to make you scream, I would have left you here and gone ashore to bring her back here myself!''

Morrigan couldn't bring himself to correct the Marine's mistake. Instead, he stared blankly at his First Mate, silently begging him to wake up and be okay. His heart skipped a beat as the Okama coughed up blood, yet it sank as he started crawling towards him, unable to fight any longer. Blood poured from the Okama's lips as he gasped for air. Morrigan could already see purple blossoming from under the collar of his shirt. ''Let him go and I'll scream as loud as you like.''

''Oh no,'' Jaxxon said, wagging his finger mockingly. ''I like it when my prisoner's screams are genuine.''

''Fine, I'll tell you what fruit I ate, and where my mother is.'' Morrigan snapped, his eyes never leaving Yonyon, who was still crawling towards him at a snails pace. How the Okama could still move was well and truly beyond him; after he had taken Jaxxon's cannon-ball to the chest, blocked by a sword or not, it had still knocked him out cold.

''No can do, now I know what it takes to make you react I'll be able to get that information out of you at my leisure. I can, however, promise to take my time...'' Jaxxon said, following the Okama. A few metres away from his target, the Captain picked him up by the collar of his shirt and carried him the rest of the way at arms length. He pressed the Okama's back to Morrigan's front and lent forwards, his face inches from Morrigan's. ''She must really love you to come here and fuck with me, hmm? Hell, she even read through my kill diary and STILL came to free you! She could have run away!''

Yonyon murmured something unintelligible, making Jaxxon start laughing again. ''Sorry, what was that? Did I crush your chest too hard? Do you want one last kiss from your lover before I throttle you?''

''Come closer...'' the Okama said, his voice nought but a whisper. Had Jaxxon not been close already, he would have totally missed what he had said. Grinning, Jaxxon leant forwards, tilting his head to hear Yonyon better. ''Hasn't... he told you...?'' the Okama said, snaking his arms around the Marine's hips.

Jaxxon frowned. ''Told me what? Damn pirate hasn't told me jack shit. What are you playing at, you can't get out of this shit by trying to seduce me, bitch. Knock it off or I'll break your arms.'' Morrigan chuckled and turned his head to glare at the Marine. Yonyon sighed and wrapped his left arm around the chain holding Morrigan's left arm up, his right arm coming up to the buttons of his shirt. ''I mean it, bitch, I swear to god I'll snap your fucking fingers one by one. What didn't this little shit tell me!?'' he shouted, shaking the Okama.

This time it was Morrigan who leant forwards, his whole upper body straining against the chains that held his wrists up. He sniggered, giving Yonyon one last glance, before announcing gleefully. ''Yonyon is an Okama.''

Jaxxon didn't have time to respond. Everything happened all at once, in one huge unstoppable whirlwind. With a click, Morrigan's chains gave way as Jaxxon realised that the Okama had stolen his key whilst he was distracted. At the same time, Yonyon yanked his shirt downwards, the buttons flying across the room as they were torn free. Jaxxon just had time to see both his prisoners grinning as they dropped downwards, Morrigan from his chains and Yonyon from his ruined shirt, through the now open hole in the hull he usually keelhauled prisoners from. The moment before they hit the water, the sight of a terribly familiar crimson katana sent him into a rage that both escapees could hear even under the water.

For the second time in one day, Morrigan's mouth filled with seawater, the air stolen from his body. He found himself sinking quickly, no longer hindered by the chains, yet he was comforted as Yonyon sank with him. He grinned at him through the abyss as thunder split the sky above. As he started to relax, his body paralysed, he frowned as Yonyon held 5 fingers up to him, then pointed to the surface. Somehow, he understood, closing his eyes as he was pulled even further under, no longer worried about drowning. Yonyon would come get him after he was done doing... what exactly? His eyes shot open, his mind searching for a way to ask, when Yonyon swam past him at as fast as he could, his body propelling him higher and higher.

As he broke through the surface of the water directly next to the Delta Morina, he span in mid air, his skirt fanning out one final time as gravity began to pull him back under. With a nerve-grinding shriek, his bladed skirt sliced a sizeable gash where the water met the battleship; he was treated to the sight of water flooding the third floor as he dove back beneath the waves to rescue his Captain.

Squinting through the blurry gloom, he finally spotted Morrigan and swam downwards to retrieve him. As he lifted him from the cliff he had landed upon, he offered him an apologetic smile, then ascended again, this time far away from the sinking Delta Morina. As they broke through the surface of the rough waves, Morrigan gulped in air like a starved man, looking well and truly miserable. The Okama dragged him onto his back with a sigh, his own chest pounding with pain, then began to swim for the beach he had departed from not two hours ago. He was willing to bet money on a broken ribcage, yet it didn't mind the pain in the slightest.

As they washed up against the white sand, Yonyon dumped Morrigan as roughly as he could, then rolled onto his back in time to see the deck of Jaxxon's battleship be submerged under the fury of the sea with the bastard still on board. No, he didn't mind the pain one bit. It reminded him that he was still alive, and what it was that he had gambled by fighting Marko head on. He found himself not caring about the inevitable nightmares that would surely follow, yet as he stared at Morrigan, he found himself oddly worried for him, for even though he himself had witnessed terrible things aboard that equally terrible ship, it would never compare to the hell his Captain had lived through.

''Yonyon...''

The Okama blinked and turned his head, surprised at the fact that his Captain had awoken so soon. ''Yes?''

''I can see your boobs...'' Morrigan sniggered.

Yonyon glanced down at his bare chest, grinning. ''You wish I had boobs.''

His Captain laughed and threw a handful of damp sand at him. ''Nah, you're just fine the way you are.''

''Good, because I ain't changing for anybody, especially not a weak as hell shit-head like you.'' Yonyon said, throwing a fist-full back.

Memories of his dreams flooded his mind from earlier; his mother's condescending voice, her demands for him to grow stronger. He sniggered again, amused by the fact that he had argued with his own subconscious. ''Yeah... I am weak huh.''

''Damn right you are... You had to have your ass saved by an Okama for fucks sake.''

Morrigan closed his eyes, grinning. ''Yeah, but you're one badass motherfucker of an Okama, so it makes little difference to me. Thanks for saving my ass.''

Yonyon snorted. In the distance, the storm began to subside, giving way for the bright afternoon sky. ''Yeah well, since you swing both ways I thought you may need it.''

''Not too soon, hopefully...''

''Bastard, like I would let you go out chasing tail before you were fully healed.''

Morrigan sat bolt upright. ''WHAT? Oh come on, that's not fair!''

Yonyon unhooked the three swords from his hip and threw them at his Captain. ''Shut the fuck up. Saved your swords and picked up an extra one for you, least you can do is not complain about your recovery time.'' He grinned as Morrigan became instantly silent and he knew that he had done well.

''This sword ain't mine... who did it belong to?''

At this, Yonyon burst out laughing, allowing himself to feel a little better. ''Belonged to Jaxxon's brother, who was also a pirate. Thought you may appreciate wielding something like that in front of that bastard, just in case he ever shows up again.''

''Oh fuck I hope not...''

''Yeah...'' Yonyon replied, closing his eyes once more. The sky above them had cleared and the sounds of birds chirping filled the air. ''Me too, Captain...''

[2638] [25,000 Words Total] [Fin~]
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Leviathan
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