Smoker's ship, headed towards Nekros has had a fairly quiet trip. Actually, a trip too quiet—the journey so far was devoid of any incidents or events. That is, so far.

Alpha was seriously bored. To him the ocean seemed like an endless void, a vacuum, a vaucity. He took a telescope to scan the horizon; nevertheless, all that was within the vicitiny was salt water.

As always, he took out a fishing rod and started to fish. And likewise, the ocean held nothing but nothing. Well, you know what they say. A void is a void is a void.

"This is boring!!" yelled Alpha, "Why won't anything happen?!"

Just then the fishing rod snapped. A splinter of the wooden pole flew and provoked Alpha's wounds. There you go. Something to do—scream in pain.

Ned woke up from Alpha's yell. Prima facie, he saw that immediate medical attention was needed. He ran to Alpha and used the powers of the Ope Ope no Mi to remove the splinter and close the wounds. Luckily, no blood more than a few drops were spilled.

“Hey, Ned,” asked Alpha, “I'm just curious. Where'd you learn all this surgery and medical stuff?”

“Well, it's a bit complicated,” said Ned.

Eleven years ago, Cresceluna.

It was a normal day like any other, with everything just as it was before. At least, so far. A man walking home, after another day of work, suddenly fainted. He cried out loud as his skin started to rot away. But that man wasn't the only victim. Another one within a few ten meters fainted, too. Then another, then another, then another.

"Ned!!" yelled a man, "Stay home; I'll go find a doctor!"

But as Ned's parents left the house, they found themselves victims of the plague, too. As the black death kept the island under its reign, Ned had no option but to try and save it himself. He met his friend, Trafalgar Law and requested help.

"You want this? The Ope Ope no Mi..."

The problem was, only one person could have the same fruit powers at the same time. At least they thought so. After a bit of a debate, they came to a conclusion that it might be possible if they ate each half of the fruit at the same time.

To make a long story short—it worked. The two accquired the same powers. And then they ran. To see what powers the fruit held.

Three days later...

The two ran from house to house. They, determined as ever, did their best to cure the island of the plague. They preformed numerous operations—from amputating any severly infected parts to even surgery. Eventually, the plague was forever ceased.

From then on, Ned decided to study further immunology and pulmonology. He came up with the resolve to do this as to not lose any of his friends and family anymore. Law, on the other hand, left the island in search of One Piece.

Five years later...

Surprising. How a single tragedy could change the entire course of one's life. Ned became a skilled surgeon and doctor, known for fighting off many fatal disease attacks. And he thought. What a great decision one can make.

"Law may be a pirate," said Ned, "But he's a good friend. And he helped me to this spot now."

"That's nice. Having a friend, working for your goal..." said Alpha.

"Yep. But I wonder what Law would say about my becoming a Marine... I mean, he's practically the enemy now," said Ned.

Out of nowhere, one of Smoker's men came running, all out of breath. He reported that a pirate ship had just invaded the ship now. The Steel Pirates, led by the captain Ferrum Eisen and first mate Redox, with a total of Bsymbol46,000,000 on their heads.

"Show them," said Smoker, "Just why you got your promotion."

"Alright, then..." said Alpha, "Let's kick some ass!!!"

Finally, something was happening. Some might call it a tragedy, others an annoyance. But to Alpha. Just as you'd think—a miracle. A fight.

Alpha dodged an assault from one of the crew members. He knocked him clear out with a single side kick. Which made the pirate foam. Ned also showed some skill in combat; he used his fruit's powers to scatter every opponent on board.

Of course, there still were two great threats. And they didn't have high bounties for nothing. Ferrum Eisen, the user of the Kata Kata no Mi. And Redox, a chemist who can supposedly craft steel.

"I've heard you've defeated our rivals, Smiley Boy?!" laughed Redox.

"Ha!! And I've heard that Smiley Boy here," said Ned, "Can KICK · YOUR · ASS."

Alpha, smiling a mile, transformed into his usual form. A half and half of a hawk and a human. So arrogantly he ignored the silver medalist. And so recklessly he confronted the demon of and iron hard defense known as Ferrum Eisen.

Of course, as the captain of a fairly well known crew, Ferrum was quite confident. Enough to take down a Marine Captain. He, without even activating his unknown powers, punched Alpha in the stomach. Though the wound made Alpha suffer from a bit of damage, it really didn't do anything significant.

"Aerial Ace!"

Swipe. A bright, white streak appeared breifly. To Alpha's dismay, the attack hurt him more than it hurt Ferrum. The pirate, amused at the young Marine's failure, simply laughed.

"'re the Alchemist?" said Ned.

"Well, duh! Why do you think there are bounty posters, stupid?!"

Calmly, Ned threw a ring of white. And from that ring a light blue sphere emerged, enclosing the area. Of course, Redox had no idea what the hell it was; all he could do was laugh at it.

Ned, who had just activated the field, raised both his hands. With the slightest of gestures, he split and tossed Redox around like salad. The powers of the Ope Ope no Mi were revealed.

"Room: Shambles."

Ferrum's turn. From a state of slight hardening, he compressed his muscles even more. His skin turned from a fair brown to a dark black; the durability thus jumped hundreds. Then, he grabbed Alpha's collar.

"Feheheh..." mocked Ferrum, "Goodbye, weak Marine...!!"

And he punched. Owch. Right in the face. Leaving him flying, with a streak of bright red nose blood left behind. When the flight ceased he crashed into the superstructure.

Smoker, who was watching, didn't move a muscle. Alpha wouldn't be defeated that easily. All he did was merely order his subordinate, Tashigi, to get the struck down Marine a glass of water.

Like a twister, the pieces of Redox flew. Around and around and around—then aground. And as if mocking him, Ned put the pieces back together. Well, not exactly back together, because the arms were on his butt.

"Why, you little insolent piece of shit!!" yelled Redox.

"Shit?" said Ned, "Nah, I'd say crap. But do you not find this situation amusing?"

Yep. In contrast to Ned, who found this situation quite amusing, Redox was quite annoyed. He took out a test tube—barely—which was filled with fine, red powder. And he threw the contents out. Then, with a bottle of glue, he pasted the powder together. Thereby creating...

"The world's shittiest sword?!" laughed Ned, "Now that's shit! And you call yourself an alchemist?!?"

"You know, you don't have to stress that word!!" exploded Redox.

"Hey, hey... All I did was help the writer," said Ned, "Cuz' it's not like he actually wants you in this story."

Just right. I don't want Redox attacking Ned, much less him even in this story. And just because I don't like him, I'm not even going to write him spilling curse words at me. Anyway, Ned, who was just simply amused, reactivated Room. And with a simple gesture he threw the pirate into the ocean.

He woke up. Of course, he had no idea of what had just happened. So he simply took the glass of water given to him by Smoker's subordinate.

"Thank you," said he.

Then everything became clear. One, he just got beaten the crap out of himself by Ferrum. Two, he needed to do the same to Ferrum, except with more power. Three, before that, he needed to find a way to bypass the armor.

But is seemed as if everything was just about to work out. The massive pirate had just set off flames of friction. Now, to use the fire like before...

"Ryahahaha!" laughed Alpha, "Stupid pirate, can't you see that you're only working against yourself?!"

"What," said Ferrum, "The f*** are you talking about?"

"Heheh... Red Hawk!!"

"Humph. Another futile attack of your's, Captain?"

With that a fiery red line appeared. It left, on the pirate's chest, a burn. And apparently, it hurt. Ferrum, in pain, fell to his knees.

"What... What did you...just do to me?!!" groaned the pirate.

"Idiot. It's Red Hawk," said Alpha, "Fire."

As he said, red. Fire. Alpha was aflame. Now, to finish the pirate off. The Marine Captain walked—dramatically, awesomely. But you know how it is with those antagonists. Always arrogant, advantageous, then just damn stubborn.

Ferrum got up. He reinforced his armor, especially his right arm, and punched Alpha. He was once again knocked away. But not too far. From there he charged up an attack. Fwoosh. One, two, three pillars of fire. And a single burst of the fire.

"Red Hawk: Flame Burst!!"

There. Burned right down to cinder. After cuffing the pirate, Alpha looked at Smoker. And he was actually smiling. He patted Alpha on the back for a fight well fought.

"Now," said Smoker, "That's what you call a worthy promotion. Good job."

Satisfied, Alpha sat down with another fishing rod, and began to fish. Well, now that he's finished a fight, he deserved a reward—he caught something.

"Nice!!" yelled Alpha.

But when he reeled the rod in, he found that on the hook was Redox, still with his arms on his butt. Alpha turned around, only to see Ned smiling. Alpha found this quite amusing, and smiled back. And he cuffed Redox, too.

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