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Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
[tracker=/t2718-tracker-orion-montgomery#17682]
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
[[bookworm]][[hardboiled]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat... Empty [Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat...

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Dec 12, 2023 1:32 pm
Spoiler:



A vertical stroke, vibrant but orderly, like light through a prism. Now, a horizontal strike; elegant, swift, and with poise to pull the eye, like her Geishas. Calligraphy was the art of the refined.

Structured yet with enough expression and emotional dalliances that the Grand Matron felt like all her philosophies could be condensed into a stroke of her brush. This was the final moment of her newest, and greatest work. A single remaining swipe.

It was a whim really–this last swirl–a nod to chaos, that which refuses to be controlled. For all that she hated the disorder, she could respect it. If only so that she would not underestimate–

Kacha. Kacha.

Paper doors slid open. Breaking her focus.

Drip. A single drop of ink fell upon the canvas of her meditation. Ruined. RUINED.

SNAP A broken brush falls from between her fingers, snapped in half.

[npc=bhun]"Grand Matron–"[/npc]

"You did not knock." The Grand Matron interrupted. Voice curt, direct, and yet sickeningly sweet. In the stilted silence of the draconian study, the sharp inhale of her granddaughter did not miss the Grand Matron's sharp ears.

In her mind's eye, she could see her granddaughter kowtowing at the entrance to her study. Decorated in a silken kimono of crashing waves and charmed moons, she was a woman of grace and quiet dignity if not for her impatience ruining the illusion.

The Grand Matron did not turn to face her addresser as they squirmed in the heavy quiet. She busied herself cleaning her chabudai, knees tucked softly below the low-set table. Closing her ink pot, rolling her kimono sleeve down–adorned in the glittering patterns of the constellations above, gently fanning her still drying ink, folding the paper and setting it aside, and placing her remaining brushes within their respective cases.

"Tell me Mei Lin. What are rules if they are not followed?"

[npc=bhun]"I'm sorry Grandmother, but–"[/npc]

"Nothing… They are nothing."  Again, she interrupted, answering her own question.

[npc=bhun]"But–"[/npc]

"Your elder. Your better is seeking to impart wisdom upon the folly of youth. Yet you continue to wag that tongue?"

Color drained from Mei Lin's face, and the dull thud of her slamming her forehead into ashwood planks was her response.

Her point was made. It's important to bend, not break.

"Three lashings from the Sisters. Meditate upon your failings."

[npc=bhun]"Yes, Grandmother."[/npc] Resignation.

Only now did the Grand Matron turn to face her progeny. Deep brown eyes laced with hellfire, gazed imperiously down at her granddaughter's chastised form.

"Now. Speak."

Mei Lin raised her head to speak clearly, eyes still focused on the floor.

[npc=bhun]"We've received word. The blindspot for the auction has been confirmed."[/npc]

"We shall remain unharried?"

Mei Lin nodded. A glare drove home that the Grand Matron only tolerated concise answers.

[npc=bhun]"Yes, Grandmother. Our contact within the Navy has ensured that the audit of goods for auction are considered legitimate and a permit for business has been submitted through proper channels. It is promised that we will be untroubled."[/npc]

"Very well. See to it that our people are rewarded for their diligence and… discretion on the matter."

[npc=bhun]"Yes, Grandmother. It is done."[/npc]

"Our heading, Swallow Island, yes? Begin preparations for sail."

[npc=bhun]"Yes, Grandmother. It is done."[/npc]

"Notify our customers. The Moonlight Auction shall soon arrive."

[npc=bhun]"Yes, Grandmother. It is done."[/npc]

The Grand Matron cocked her eyebrow at Mei Lin. Was that all?

Surely, business as usual would not have her granddaughter so on the edge of impropriety. Mei Lin must have noticed her grandmother's scrutiny as a light blush broke through her powdered face. So there was something else. Foolish girl, showing her emotions like that. Emotions were meant to be controlled, to be used. A tool for vulnerability, for manipulation.

Mei Lin schooled her features, replacing her blush with a mask of calm certainty. Clearly picking up on the Grand Matron's thoughts.

"Well. Out with it, child!"

[npc=bhun]"Yes! Yes, it appears the Sisters have caught something quite special for this year's grand finale. I can't help but be excited for just how much influence this will bring to our Moonlight Sisters."[/npc]

"Foolish Granddaughter. Return to your duties."

The Grand Matron allowed herself a light chuckle behind a well-manicured hand. She would grace Mei Lin with this moment.

It is important to bend, not break.

Mei Lin bowed low, once more pressing her face to wood as she was dismissed.

"Oh. Granddaughter?"

Mei Lin caught mid turn, shifted back to the Grand Matron, blinking in surprise. The Grand Matron raised her left hand, and placed a small folded piece of paper within Mei Lin's own, closing her fingers around it.

The paper was folded crisply, sharp edges perfectly aligned, and at the center of the small square… A single drop of misplaced ink.

"Burn it."

It was important to bend, not break. Mei Lin still had plenty of bending to do.




Last edited by Orion Montgomery on Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
[tracker=/t2718-tracker-orion-montgomery#17682]
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
[[bookworm]][[hardboiled]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat... Empty Re: [Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat...

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Dec 19, 2023 12:39 pm



Clear skies as far as the eye could see, dressed in hues of orange and deep reds as the sun began its sleepy journey below the horizon line. Light played tricks on the ocean's water below, sending a cascade of glitter dancing across the waves. A reflection of the stars soon to return to their vigil above the North Blue.

A small ship braved these calm waters. Gentle waves broke against a lacquered hull and a single sail rippled in whisper-strength wind. The ship, a fishing vessel really, was no larger than a cutter. Single-masted, no cabin, and just enough space below deck to carry a humble amount of cargo. The boat seemed to wander, directionless, and free to drift on the North Blue's current.

An umbrella, far too large for any locomotive purpose, stretched its open canopy across the desk. Casting shadows over a hammock pulled taunt from the mast to the steering pedestal. Simple beige and patchworked tarp that strained with the bulk of the man resting within. A book, 'Winslow Barthelowmew’s Insights and Tidbits: How to be a Pirate for Dum-Dums and Ding-Dongs!’, lay open across the man's face, muffling his snores that seemed every bit as free as the voyage his vessel carried him on.

Orion rested leisurely within the hammock folds. Long pale green hair, nearly white, shambled over the edges in a mess of tangles like kudzu growing over a wall. A simple dark-green sleeveless duster revealed two strong arms that flopped as carelessly over the sides of the hammock as his hair. The left arm looked to be decorated in intricate gear-work tattoos from shoulder to fingers. A black scarf, miraculously untangled from limbs and unkept hair fluttered at the unseen wind. An occasional eddy of wind or turbulent shift in the air revealed nail mark-like scars around a pale neck.

It was deep shadows, darker and carrying more presence than the wistful parasol, that seemed to shout warnings to these carefree interlopers. That the current had carried them near shore once more. An island of imposing rock, eroded by wind and rain shaped a mountain into the improbable likeness of a Swallow. Swallow Island towered over the surrounding waters, its rocky features covered in green forests full of local flora and fauna.

Perhaps it was the sun dipping below the Swallow's rocky crest and the subtle drop in temperature that stirred Orion from his slumber. Perhaps it was his subconscious warning him of something Orion considered one of his greatest hates, birds.

Regardless, as light snores came to a stop and a hand moved to draw the book down from over his steel-colored eyes Orion's vision came to rest upon the afterglow of a setting sun casting a crown of fire over the Swallow's head.

"Is this hell?"

Despite Orion's vice-like focus on the giant bird demon leering over him, eventually, the sun's descent dropped far enough below the horizon to darken the sky and cast Swallow Island into its mountainous visage once more.

Having grown up within the North Blue, and educated about the various regions by Nato, he had some relative knowledge of the local islands, thusly Swallow Island was not unfamiliar to him.  Despite child-like aversion and personal promise to never come here, the current had other ideas.

Notable only due to its distinct shape, Swallow Island was said to be an uninhabited place. Yet, just offshore the dull ochre glow of lanterns fluttered in the hypnotic motion of waves breaking. A floating village anchored itself in the island's shallows. Minka-style buildings sat atop wide and flat barges while elegantly shaped wooden boardwalks bridged the gaps between. Sculptures of graceful dancers each carrying a phase of the moon greeted a steady line of ships seeking to moor in their mysterious and palatial embrace.

An errant gust of wind blew over the far docks, kicking up a stack of flyers and carrying a single one Orion's way. It tumbled end over edge, spiraling about in the fancy of the wind before coming to rest at Orion's feet.

"Oho! The showmanship!" If they didn't have his attention before, the siren call of the mystique certainly did.

Orion picked up the flyer and read its contents aloud.

"Moonlight Sister's Auction House!  Grace us Sisters with your lordly presence! Seek all our Wonders! Dance under the light of the waning Moon! Conquer your fellows and acquire our Treasures!"

Wonder filled his eyes. Ostentatious, with the right amount of flair. Orion was hooked. The remaining fine print was blatantly ignored.

'All purchases are final. Moonlight Sisters are not responsible for any theft, destruction of property, betrayal, kidnapping, or murder. All rights are forfeited upon entry, and the Moonlight Sisters are within their rights to act judiciously towards any action taken upon the Auction House or its Sisters.'

After all, the man loved a yard sale.


Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
[tracker=/t2718-tracker-orion-montgomery#17682]
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
[[bookworm]][[hardboiled]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat... Empty Re: [Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat...

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Dec 19, 2023 4:48 pm



Mr. Fox felt on top of the world. The Moonlight Sister's Auction was here again, and they had ordained to let him run Auctioneer and Host. It was due for the course. He was the most appropriate for the job. More skilled than Mr. Snake, that plebian. More clever than Mr. Raccoon, that ignoramus.

No, surely, he was the best. The Moonlight Sisters were diligent in their affairs and had seen his splendor too. Mr. Fox didn't become the best by simply existing. He was a diligent man in his affairs, and having been honored by the Moonlight Sisters to once again host this Auction, he would be diligent in this as well. He'd work his magic such that Mr. Snake, and Mr. Raccoon, well, they'd never have a chance again.

Such diligence came as a result of doing the work, and going the distance such that every moment in the Auction worked like a well-oiled machine. It was with this thought, that Mr. Fox found himself walking down an immaculate corridor that led to an inconspicuous warehouse, where the rare and exotic items were kept. Mr. Fox had received a list of said items from the Sisters. He had memorized it and then burnt it, but he would still see the wares for himself.

It was his discerning eyes that were necessary to assess the condition of such things. To drum out every notable cent from these goods. To make the Belli jump into his hands like it had a mind of its own. The Moonlight Sisters were dangerously good at many things; presentation, ambiance, and beauty, to name a few. Mr. Fox was good at one thing and one thing only.

He would polish these items to a diamond shine with his words. He would dress them in poetry and sparkle them with the greed of noble sons and daughters. They would empty their pockets to the Moonlight Sisters and thank him for doing it. It never hurt that the Moonlight Sisters always paid out a handsome commission.

A predatory grin broke out on his face, his glinty smile the only discernable feature. The rest was covered by a wooden mask carved into a caricature of a wily fox. Mr. Fox dropped his smile into a thin line of indifference once more as he approached large double doors. Paper paneled, reinforced by an iron frame, and guarded by two women sitting seiza in statue-like sentinel, the entrance to the warehouse felt almost inviting for all that it served as a prison.

The two women, Moonlight Sisters, did not acknowledge his approach. They dressed in matching kimonos pattered with gentle water being watched by a crescent moon. Their faces were covered by a mask that featured the same crescent moon and their hair was tied up in high buns layered with long needles that glinted dangerously in flickering lantern light. Mr. Fox knew to be wary of those needles for he had the Sisters use them to terrible effect. A single stab was enough to cause the victim to bleed profusely.  

After Mr. Fox came to a stop and bowed low to each of the Sisters, they moved in synchrony, sliding the doors open without any wasted energy. Each move was a mirror of the other, graceful, beautiful, and as unsettling as a corpse rose.

Mr. Snake had once likened the Sisters to each being a strand of spider's silk, all woven together to make a deadly net. Seeing them in action once more, Mr. Fox couldn't help but think how accurate that analogy now seemed.

Burying his unease behind professionalism, he stepped through the doors into the warehouse proper. The sound of sliding doors closing followed behind him.

Inside the warehouse, it was every bit as orderly as Mr. Fox had come to expect from the Auction House and he hummed to himself in approval. Items were set at designated positions upon a numbered floor, each numbered for when they would be presented.

Mr. Fox busied himself upon the rows, taking notes where he felt items deserved more attention. Flowery script here to drum up interest, a fake history there to pull the more pragmatic spenders. Each item was documented such that when he presented them, he could sell up their value all the more. It was times like this that Mr. Fox felt at peace, something about the flow found in doing something one enjoyed. At least, until he arrived at the final item.

A mink, canine type, by their build. Mr. Fox was unable to approximate a gender, he had never been very good at determining much about these things. The creature wore sandals woven of rope and lassoed around their calves, and what appeared to be a tattered hadagi covered their body.  Tufts of golden curly fur peaked through the rips and tears. The Mink was thin, and despite their slight build, Mr. Fox could see the warrior within despite being unfamiliar with such barbaric things. Their face hung low buried below bruises, cuts, and scrapes. This item did not go quietly.

A single guard stood sentry over the beast chained to the wall. Not a Sister, guarding such a thing was below them. No, this was a mercenary picked for a particular task. Not unlike Mr. Fox.

"What is it? A wolf?" Mr. Fox asked to the sentry.

The sentry shrugged, seemingly unconcerned with such things. Content to guard in silence.

Milo:

"Wheeze. Wheeze. To compare me to ze barbaric wolf. Ze is trying to anger me-wan." A voice gurgled out a response between rasping breathes, forced to speak at the indignity of being compared to a lowly wolf.

"It speaks? Good. I was worried your condition would reduce your worth." Mr. Fox narrowed his gaze, his eyes sifting over the beast through the holes in his fox mask.

"Well. Go on then. What are you?"

"Ze man in a mask stares at the noble visage of ze Golden-Doodle Mink-wan."

"The what?" Mr. Fox was proud of his ability to appraise things, but he had never heard of such a thing.

"Ze Golden-Doodle."

"What?"

"Hyper-Allergenic??"

"Uh…"

"Fur as soft as silk-wan?"

"Sigh… I am going to stop you there. It honestly doesn't matter. You were a warrior yes?" Mr. Fox asked as he turned to look at two spears, loving maintained resting out of reach of the Mink.

"I am not unfamiliar with ze craft of spearmanship. Though my true love is ze restoration of antique weapons. Ze history of our ancestors is a noble pursuit worthy of ze Golden-Doodle-wan."

Mr. Fox hummed happily. A warrior and a craftsman, this beast would be a worthy prize for the final sale of the evening. The current state was not enough, they could work up way more competition through some pageantry rather than leaving him to rot in a warehouse until it was time.

"You there. Contact the Sisters. Clean up this creature and chain him to the pillar in the central square. Lay his weapons nearby, under lock–mind you. We will advertise this sale to all that arrive." Mr. Fox said smugly, he knew this was a good idea.

They didn't need to drum up drama to the crowds, the pride of the rich will do the work for him.




Last edited by Orion Montgomery on Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
[tracker=/t2718-tracker-orion-montgomery#17682]
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
[[bookworm]][[hardboiled]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat... Empty Re: [Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat...

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:26 pm


Rain had started to fall as Orion was hailed into the docks, sending ripples along the ocean's surface, and the rhythmic roar of water drops on clay tile roofs grew louder as he approached. His small fishing vessel was moored between two yachts of indeterminate origin. Each appeared intentionally nondescript without all the usual markers of wealth. Two men, simple laymen by their clothing, waited for him at the end of the pier.

Orion did not hurry to greet them. He opened his extra-large umbrella and stopped, taking in the sites from up close. From afar, this Auction House had looked like a village floating upon the ocean's surface. Now, he could see it was far more grand than that.

Instead, the whole place was designed to be connected. Like a single mural that covered an entire building, each bridge flowed from one platform to another in a harmonic blend of architecture and art.

[npc=misc]"Name and affiliation?"[/npc]

Orion had arrived in front of the dock workers by now, and the one speaking did not look up from his clipboard as he asked for Orion's information.

"Orion Montgomery." Orion said with a shrug.

[npc=navy]"Idiot! For the last time! Wrong gig! We aren't supposed to take names!"[/npc]

[npc=misc]"Eh? He didn't seem to mind?"[/npc]

He could hear them continue to bicker behind him as he walked into the flotilla proper.

A beautifully calligraphed sign marked the entrance to the central platform of the auction flotilla and the Auction Houses throughout. Inlaid within an arch that spanned the bridge's width, Orion could tell the sign was a masterpiece of its own. Two pairs of women sat seiza at both sides of the bridge, unmoving and dressed in fine kimonos with a mask featuring a full moon upon its surface. They did not stir as he passed and felt as much a part of the environment as the manicured trees and perfectly spaced shrubs.

The central platform was the largest of the barges and was occupied by an open-air bazaar where merchants appeared to be hawking various wares. Curiously, each wore masks of different animal caricatures. In the distance, a large pillar towered over the floating barges. The moon's many phases spiraled around the pillar's circumference from top to bottom, carved of stained glass that glittered like moonlight even in the thickening rain.

Farther still, Orion could make out between sheets of gentle precipitation, a grand Auction House that stood shoulders above the others. Twice larger than its closest compatriot, there was no doubt in Orion's mind that this was where the official auction would occur.

The stalls were interesting enough. Rare commodities galore, but nothing stood out as particularly special in Orion's eyes. No bobbleheads or collectible action figures. No knick-knacks or antiques. The only that even sort of caught Orion's eyes was a robot fish that sang a disturbingly catchy tune when a button was pressed. Orion bought it just in case.

Any inquiries Orion made about items on Nato's list fell flat. Orion had attempted to be subtle with the merchants, but they must talk considering the last few had asked more and more probing questions. Competition was always fierce in a collector's game, but he didn't want to incentivize others with more resources to look into the treasures he was seeking.

While the stalls didn't hold any items that fit Orion's brand of strangeness, the people certainly did. The guards were what Orion found the most disconcerting. He had noted two as he arrived but now seeing many, each seiza, sitting statuesque, identical in all but featureless masks showing different phases on the moon there was an undercurrent of danger to their trained stillness.

The attendees, customers, and workers were heedless of them, ignoring everyone as if they were invisible. Those same customers and shopkeepers walked around wearing ambiguous masks, often of caricatured creatures or objects, while more wore deep cowls or hoods to hide their faces. It seemed he had missed the memo.

Not that it mattered. He didn't consider anything he had seen to be worth enough to consider sticking around for the auction. Rather, Orion now waited in a curiously long line, each waiting to talk to a man in a fox mask standing next to the central plaza's pillar. Whatever had garnered the attention of all the attendees was worth at least a cursory look.



He had been so much more than this. Only a few months ago he was a prestigious smithy, guest lecturer on antique weapons, and living a comfortable existence in North Blue. How quickly the world turned its back on his existence and he found himself enslaved.

It wasn't the shackles that hurt the most. They cut through his rain-matted fur and sliced at the dark skin beneath easily enough, but that was just physical pain. Milo had experienced enough physical harm in his brief life that it was something he could ignore. No, what hurt more? It was the eyes.

Each new pair of eyes gawked at his exposed form, chained to a massive pillar in this strange floating town. Collared like some wild animal. Each one, weighing and measuring him in their mind. Critiquing his beautiful gold fur and soft curls. Judging wiry frame for malnourishment and not whipcord strength. But worst of all, that hateful man in the mask of the fox kept attributing his noble figure to that of his barbaric cousins. Speaking mistruths and deceptions.

"Why this is the finest Wolf Mink specimen the Moonlight Sisters have had the pleasure of acquiring."

"Yes, your lordship, this Wolf Mink is a peculiar color. A rare breed."

"I am humbled by your generous offer, my lady, but a Wolf Mink of this caliber must be sold at auction. I am sure you understand."

'Ze fool' Milo thought.

Milo understood what the man was attempting, but how could a wild mutt compare to his noble lineage? If anything, he was underselling Milo's value.

The tirade of feet continued. Dark boots after dark boots reflected off the gossamer shine of puddles in an endlessly long line stretched out like a wicked snake coiling to strike. Milo didn't bother to look at the faces. He focused all his attention on staunchly ignoring the leering eyes. Instead, he trained his vision on the space at his feet as if his stare would bore through iron shackles and he could dash his way to freedom on sheer stubborn willpower alone.

Milo had always been a Mink of grand design. Some destiny great enough to be worthy of his lineage. Yet, here, at this insignificant place, he finds himself shackled, humiliated, and left to be nibbled on by the vultures of this world. Here, he wasn't a majestic example of Mink, he was just… meat. Mislabeled Wolf Mink meat.

Rain collected on his snout, gathering into large drops. He watched as the weight overcame its tenuous hold and fell to water pooling upon the barge's deck. It was in the absence of this most recent large droplet that he realized that more water had not run its course down his brow to recollect and continue the cycle. Rather, the rain had stopped completely. Curious, but not so much as to grace those lurking with his gaze. Probably, just another silk pants and an entourage of sycophant umbrellas to poke and prod the oddity on display. Milo could only grit his teeth, canines biting down anger just as unsightly as these–

"You are not a Wolf Mink."

One of the lordlings did recognize his value. All the better for the dreadful man in the fox mask. All the worse for Milo.

"My lord has discerning eyes I am sure, but we at the Moonlight Sisters Auction House take great pride in our appraising capabilities. If my Lord is sure of his assessment, then upon purchase my Lord is free to correct us."

It was in the growing silence that Milo could not contain his curiosity.

An umbrella bridged the gap between.

One too large to be wielded casually, held aloft in an outstretched arm, with canopy open warded Milo from the heavens.

It was then that Milo realized the man was drenched. His light green hair stuck to his face and shoulders, while a forest green duster heavy with liquid hugged his solid build. Tall and uncompromising, the man felt like a weathered rock working to wear the world away.

There, hazel eyes met steely gray. Milo did not see the expected disdain, nor anticipated arrogance. The eyes did not carry any apathy, nor pity. Instead, hard eyes yet full of empathic compassion carried a message of rough-won understanding.

The man broke the stare first. Milo watched as he turned to speak to the masked man. His voice was lost in the din of raindrops on water.

It didn't matter. Actions always spoke louder.

He spun, umbrella cutting through the sheets of rain as a scythe would through wheat, displaced water marking its trail. Collapsing the canopy quickly, metal umbrella shaft met mask in a head-on collision peeling with the sound of thunder.

Milo watched as the man in the fox mask was here one moment, and gone the next.




Last edited by Orion Montgomery on Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
[tracker=/t2718-tracker-orion-montgomery#17682]
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
[[bookworm]][[hardboiled]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat... Empty Re: [Episode] It's What You Do When You Run into a Boat...

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:12 pm
"A person cannot be owned."

Orion has done a lot of things in life he feels no guilt over. Life on the streets was hard. Life under the Doc and Don Papa Dom was harder. You stole, you killed, you did what it took. The streets taught him survival. His time with the Doc taught him something else entirely.

When you are stripped bare of everything that makes you a person; no choice, no path, no freedom. You are nothing. To be made nothing… that is the greatest evil.

Orion believed that. He made sure the man in a fox mask did too. His umbrella got that point across.

The man, Mr. Fox by his name tag, sat in a smoking pile of debris. A merchant stall collapsed on top of him in the wake of Orion's lesson. Not that he would be alive to absorb said lesson. Based on his excessive weight and choice of profession, Orion didn't think the man was particularly resilient.

Orion looked down at the man chained before him. Gold-furred, with canine features and drenched in rain, the Mink bore a quiet dignity. Orion couldn't help but wonder who he'd been before he was this shell.

Orion didn't recognize his species, but he'd known a Wolf Mink on the streets. Another rat like him, they'd run together for a while, until he got killed. Whoever this Mink was, they'd been trying to sell him off as something else. Raised later by a merchant himself, Orion knew Nato would be furious. You don't lie about the goods, embellish maybe, but never lie.

Surprisingly, the Mink spoke first, pulling his eyes away from where Mr. Fox lay.

"Wheeze. Ze Sisters come-wan."

The warning wasn't fast enough.

At once, these 'Sisters' were upon him. Three guards lept at him with dangerously glinting needles, no sound, nor shout. Their featureless masks, save the phases of the moon gained an eerie pallor that spoke of the violence rising like the tides.

There wasn't enough time to avoid their blows completely. They moved too gracefully, and too in sync. They seemed to have a preternatural awareness of one another. As if, where one ended another began. All needles were trained on different vitals.

Orion gritted his teeth, forcing his body to shift as much as he could to take grazing strikes across his chest and arms. The needles were furiously sharp, rending long bleeding cuts on his skin. More instinct than form, Orion lashed out with fist and umbrella, smacking two Sisters away as they followed up for another stab, and deflected thrown needles that pinged off his makeshift weapon.

Movement to his left, Orion spun to face another charging Sister. Her mask pictured a full moon, while a kimono decorated in crashing waves and charmed moons fluttered erratically with her speed. Orion danced around more thrown needles.

"Vintage Collection - Rusty Mace"

He slammed his umbrella into her mask, shattering a portion of it like glass, and blasting her overboard. The abrasive surface of his umbrella chafed what Orion had seen of her delicate features.

He continued moving, flowing with the momentum of his swing. Slamming his umbrella into the barge deck, he dragged it along the planks like he was striking a match.

"Vintage Collection - Seasoned Scaldshaker!"

The wood sparked and burst into flame along his swing, quickly igniting the barge and stalls surrounding it despite the rain. Screams ran out as the fire started.  Crowds flocked towards the exits creating greater chaos as they scrambled over bridges and docks harboring their ships. In the distance, Sisters dashed across bridges towards him.

He had a few moments. A quick hand on the pinions of the shackles had them sliding from their hinge. The Mink was free.

"Ze spears!" The Mink practically barked it at him, but Orion was already moving. He had seen them on display. They'd been old, yet lovingly maintained. Old enough to be made of bronze. Old enough to catch his attention.

He tossed both of them to the Mink, who caught one in each hand in a smooth, practiced flourish that Orion thought was way too cool.

"You're stealing my thunder, man."

"It is ze natural thing-wan."

"Should I already regret setting you free?" Orion chuckled.

The Mink didn't respond, his focus was beyond Orion. Orion turned to follow his gaze. Sisters had flocked to the central barge, standing shoulder to shoulder and slowing enclosing around Orion and the Mink.

"I think we should run."

"Oui."

"I said 'we'?"

"Yes-wan."

"Yes, I said 'we'?" Orion said, blankfaced.

"Oui is yes, and yes is oui."

"You've lost me."

"Oui means yes…" The mink sighed with his whole body.

"Why didn't you just say so? Is that Mink speak?"

Orion bolted with the Mink hot on his heels towards a hole in the quickly closing circle.

"It is Milo-speak."

"Dance of ze Doodle - Doodle Drill."

Milo brushed past Orion in a dizzying display of speed before diving headfirst into a pair of Moonlight Sisters moving too close in what was left of the gap. Aligning the two spears at their blade points, he spun rapidly in midair like a Mink-sized drill.

He left a crater in the barge where he collided with the Sisters. Their bodies were left floating like pollution on the ocean surface. Orion followed Milo through the gap he created.

"You are trying to steal my thunder!"

The Sisters didn't wait around following the collapse of their entrapment and swarmed at the back of Orion and Milo while they hurried towards an arched footbridge leading to one of the perimeter barges.

Where there is one Sister, there is another. Moving in concert. One leaped at Orion's back like a hunting cat, needles poised like daggers as they bit in deep at his shoulder. Another struck at his front aiming low.

Ignoring the wound, although he could feel it gushing an unreasonable amount of blood. Orion grabbed the Sister on his back by her perfectly styled hair and threw her into the one approaching at his knees. He jumped up and swung his umbrella overhead like an axe, smashed them both into the bridge and dashed away as the bridge collapsed into the sea.

With the bridge collapsed and the gap too large to jump they had bought more time. Already, Sisters dived into the cold sea while others filed across other bridges.

Orion sped up to catch Milo turning around a building.

"Say… how do you know where you are going?"

Milo skidded to a stop. They were in a manicured garden of some kind. Another intentional display

"It is obviously ze biggest ship, non?"

"Pfft. Hardly... It's way better than that." Orion pointed towards an offshoot pier where his humble fishing vessel sat cleated near a large pleasure yacht glistening gold.

"I did not take you for the ze luxury type."

"What? No, not that obnoxious eyesore. The one next to it."

Milo stared blankly at Orion.

"Ze Dingy?"

"Ze Dingy." Orion nodded proudly.

Needles pierced the deck at their feet. Sisters had alighted on the rooftop.

"We should probably stop having conversations, huh?"

"Oui."

"I said we."

Milo shook his head in mock dismay, his golden fro bouncing in tandem.

"Get to the boat. I'll slow 'em down."

A curt nod and Milo was off, dancing between buildings as he made his way toward the docks. Sisters continue to gather on rooftops and in Orion's path. They stood still, breathless, like puppeted dolls. All as one, even with eyes hidden behind their moon-styled masks, Orion could feel them staring down upon him. Promising judgment.

Orion cracked his neck, raised his umbrella high over his head, and spun it. Like a fan displacing wind, Orion spun the umbrella. With each rotation, he ratcheted up the friction along its surface, the air streaking behind it in turbulent eddies.

Orion couldn't manipulate the air. He believed it was theoretically possible, just far, far beyond him. But, air still moves when you swing something through it. A lot of said air moves when that something has ridiculously high levels of drag.

Big gasping breathes and with all his focus.

"Antique Collection - Eroded Windmill!"

A torrent of wind flowed around Orion like a tornado, and burgeoned by greater and greater waves of turbulent air ripped into the Sisters. Debris picked up by the displaced gas whistled through the wind, slashing at surrounding buildings, at surrounding Sisters. The air pressed on them, the weight of it, forcing them to move as if through a viscous liquid.

Each pass of wind was a razor cutting at their clothes and hair. One lost her footing, then another, and another. They collided with each other and were tossed out of the windstorm into unmoving heaps.

"One up that." Orion collapsed to his knees, taking in great heaves of air, spent from such a large technique.

Flames ferried by those same gusts of winds, caught alight on his surroundings. Cutting off the path for even more Sisters as they approached. Orion took a stuttering step forward.

He disappeared behind a sheet of smoke, flame, and rain.



Grand Matron stood atop an elegant flight of steps. Steps leading towards the Main Auction House. Steps leading towards where the Auction was supposed to take place. Hands hidden deep within long sleeves, nails dug into palms, drawing blood.

A Sister approached from behind, a mask of a New Moon. She bowed deeply, reverently.

[npc=misc]"Grand Matron, The Sisters are in pursuit of the slave and the rogue. More have moved to slow the spread of the flames."[/npc]

With a face a mask of calm, the Grand Matron stared down at the chaos. It was a splotch of ink on a work of art. Her work of art. Ruined. RUINED.

"Let it burn."

[npc=misc]"But?! Grand Ma–"[/npc]

Her voice cut off as her neck constricted. The Grand Matron didn't turn to face her.

"I believe I spoke concisely."

The Sister nodded vigorously, and breath was miraculously returned.

"Fret not, child. We shall find the ink-stains and they too shall burn."

The Grand Matron turned, and without a glance back, vanished into the Auction House.



On a nearby shore, resting under the shadow of a mountain shaped like a Swallow, the body of a young woman mucked in sand, salt, and blood lay in ocean skim. A mask, broken yet still distinguishable by a Full Moon across the face lay nearby. Waves crash, water rises to meet land, and the mask floats.

Gone, as if it were never there. Pulled away by the tides.

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