One Piece: Open Waters (IC, 1x1, Pacifista and DeusExMachina)
Chapter One: Moonlit Passage
The night skies were clear, full of stars, moonlight reflecting on the seas in the open water of the South Blue. The only thing visible for miles around was a passenger liner, the ‘Golden Crest’, sitting as still has it could in the light waves. On the upper decks, a few guards patrolled, but the passengers were below decks on this chill night in late autumn.
There were two main levels, the first class cabins, mostly empty at present hour, and the large hold, separated into cargo storage and lower class storage. Above, a large hall was dedicated to entertainment, the richer passengers having themselves a party, conversing over fine food and wine. But below decks, it was like a different world, with passengers huddled up, the few lights barely keeping it at a habitable temperature, joyous noise from above keeping them awake and envious of the rich. The price for passage was either astoundingly cheap or absurdly pricey; there was no middle ground. The same could be said of the South Blue seas, where such wealth differences were common wherever there was a suitable population, the few rich lording over the struggling poor. Those in the middle class, on little islands not worth charting, dreamed of those riches only seen elsewhere, not knowing the whole truth, while pirates sail to snatch wealth of their own, in this Great Age of Piracy.