Prologue: The Voyage to Another World
From the Notes of Dr. J. H. Watson, M.D.
My erstwhile friend, the detective Sherlock Holmes, has once remarked that life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. At the time, it was before a seemingly complicated case with a simple ending, that is, the events as chronicled under A Case of Identity. Nevertheless, the accounts written here are such that I dare not ever release them for public reading, save perhaps as the most florid of fictions, and only then under great censoring.
It is not an empty worry; the notions Holmes and I encountered within the case of Luffy D. Monkey and his eccentric crew are such that they can never be released to the public lest we are carted to Bedlam. Even so, perhaps, Holmes shall forgive this old friend of his for keeping records of events completely defiant of normal logic which he would wish rather remain buried within the sands of time. Well, they remain buried within my strong-box in the vaults of Cox & Co. and perhaps, when some far-flung descendant of mine should see fit to claim this inheritance, then the events of the cases of 1889 that Mrs Watson never knew happened shall come to light.
It is difficult to piece together the exact sequence of events, and it would have proved an even greater task for me if not for the assistance of Miss Robin Nico, who left her translated handwritten notes of our adventure with the Thousand Sunny behind upon that amazing ship's voyage out of this world, that I was able to write up my case notes at all. No, I do not know what to call these... they cannot be mere case notes. They are certainly not chronicles, neither are they stories, nor are they literary work, for the events, however outlandish, certainly did happen despite my friend's insistence.
I shall therefore call it, as I believe that admirable boy captain of the pirate ship, the Thousand Sunny, would say. It is... an adventure.
The log of the pirate ship, the Thousand Sunny. Written by Nico Robin, archaeologist. 1524 AOS.
Our captain, despite his considerable instinct and voracious appetite, does not like to write. On the few occasions where the distributions of shifts end up with him writing our log, a few pages would needlessly be sacrificed towards artistically depicting our adventures in crayon. Though they do add some much-needed colour, as he so claims, I would submit that crayon is not a good medium to depict our adventures for posterity in a dignified manner.
The onus of actually writing in the log therefore falls to anyone save the captain, the doctor -who is incapable of holding a pen between his hooves for any length of time to write legibly for long periods, and also given to the same tendencies towards artistic depictions- and the shipwright -who finds it a boring endeavour when he could be improving upon the vessel. The swordsman writes the least, and when he does it hardly befits the grand adventure that actually happened to be broken down into the most sterile of details. Our sniper spins a good story, if not given in long spiels towards the praise of oneself. Our newest musician declines to write, on the excuse of potential rheumatism- very likely given the condition of the man in question. The cook would do anything if asked by a lady, but his writings are often dotted with the ashes of his cigarettes. Hence, more often than not, the log is overseen either by Nami Chan or yours truly.
Ah, I have prattled on long enough, I suppose.
The Thousand Sunny had just left the floating island of Thriller Bark, having successfully defeated the island masters, led by the Shichibukai Gecko Moria. We sailed peacefully, or as peacefully as one can find for any ship in this stretch of ocean, this great sea route of the world, the Grand Line.
Our casualties were quite bad, I grant, culminating in the loss of consciousness of our swordsman, but, as the quote goes, you should see the other fellow. I doubt Gecko Moria would actually live this down, being beaten by a rookie pirate.
The skies darken as I write this. Five years I have been on the Grand Line, perhaps nearly a year since I had followed the Straw Hat Pirates, a few weeks past having been rescued by them from the World Government already, and the unpredictable weather of the Grand Line never ceases to awe. We, as in the entire crew, rushes to secure the sails and ready themselves for a storm per our navigator's instructions.
Myself, the doctor and our excitable captain, as well as the laughing skeleton that is the crew's musician, we are secured to the hull to prevent us falling over the seas during a storm. It is part of the curse we bear as users of Devil Fruits, yet that does not stop the rest of the crew from this kind safety gesture. The storm must indeed be heavy; it is the first time any safety procedure is instituted on the Thousand Sunny in my memory.
Thunder sounded as lightning flashed across the darkened skies as we braced ourselves for the oncoming storms, and that was when we heard it. The laughter. The cackling. The sound, like leave rustling in the wind, distinct even as waves crashed upon the Sunny's hull and winds howled and the rigging tangled in the sails and our shipwright began to complain about the state the Sunny would be in once the storm finished. Needless to say, our captain ordered Brook, our musician, to begin playing as he broke out into song. It is an altogether new experience to wait out a storm on deck to the off-key yet happy strains of Binks' Sake, that is, until most of the crew yelled at him to be quiet.
I believe their exact words to be 'pipe down', followed by some random threat flung at the captain where he shall grin at us all and continue singing. What it was exactly I shall never know, for then the mists the Florian triangle is so known for rolled in, and there was complete blackness to greet our eyes before there was a lurching feeling, and the ropes securing us snapped.
The feeling of falling was the last thing I knew, before I landed in something with great impact and lost all consciousness.