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The Improvising Engineer is a One Piece Fan Fiction by Cyberweasel89 and SpokenSoftly. It is a Quest fic, similar in format to Choose Your Own Adventure stories.

Upon their untimely demise, genderfluid Avery D. Case receives a new chance on life in a new world from a Benevolent Random Omnipotent Being. Avery D. Case begins their new life in a Loguetown orphanage as a brown bear mink empowered by the Craft-Craft Fruit, allowing them to mold their body parts into almost any tools they can imagine. With eleven years before canon begins, how will the adventure go?

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Tropes contained in The Improvising Engineer:

  • Affably Evil: Angler of the Freefall Pirates is this.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Case dishes these out to a lot of characters.
  • Always Identical Twins: Subverted. Cuttup and Moirai aren't just fraternal, they're not even the same species!
  • Ambiguous Gender: Case, naturally.
  • Armor Is Useless: Subverted. Case and a lot of the infantry wear armor. It's saved their butts more than once.
  • Bad Dreams: Calliope has been having them due to what she endured prior to her rescue.
  • Badass Crew: The Barto Club.
  • Badass Family: Again, the Barto Club.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Case says this verbatim in part 9 of Chapter 1 when threatening a trio of thugs who voice their intention to kidnap and sell them. As of the conclusion of Chapter 2 when they meet again, Case has the power to back it up.
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  • BFG: In part 4 of Chapter 4, Case offers to upgrade Gin's storebought shotgun and turns it into, quote, "the most advanced shotgun in the One Piece world, barring anything Vegapunk might have in the works." They name it Black Water...but only so Gin won't object too much to the first name, the BFG...for Beary Fun Gun.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the last part of Chapter 1, eleven-year-old Bartolomeo saves Case from a group of thugs with his powers, intimidating them by his gang's reputation as the most powerful mafia in Loguetown.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Bartolomeo, emphasized when he kills several Marine soldiers that attack Warship Island. Case soon points out how Luffy wouldn’t be happy about it, and he makes a point to tone it down from then on.
    • Lieutenant Archer Aileen, dedicated to Absolute Justice.
  • Brutal Honesty: Seems to be a general policy among the Barto Club, with Case being the most frequent giver and receiver.
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  • Cluster F-Bomb: Case's reaction at the beginning of Chapter 4, when they realize that their crew just wound up in the middle of the Warship Island arc. Which Case hates with an unbearable passion.
  • Cool Boat: The Cannibal. Originally a Krieg Armada galleon, thoroughly redesigned and pimped out by Case.
  • Cry into Chest: Calliope did this to Case when they set her straight on her attempts to seduce them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Tuuayem forest does this to the Barto Club at first. Case takes advantage of the full moon to initiate their Sulong form, and curb-stomps the forest.
  • Cyborg: When the crew visits Bardimore, Case modifies themself (only internally, though) and many of the infantry into this.
  • Damsel in Distress: The Barto Club rescued Calliope from her World Noble slave owner.
    • Damsel out of Distress: Of course, when it was clear to her she was being rescued, she fought back against her former master.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: An inherent ability of all minks is to turn into powerful berserkers whenever they set eyes on the full moon, rampaging with immense strength and rapidly bringing their bodies toward burnout. It is possible to control the technique with training, but given that Case doesn't know anyone who can give said training, they consider the technique a last resort.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Whatever happened to the Paynes’ parents; even after over a decade of friendship, they aren’t comfortable talking about it with Case.
  • Defiant to the End: Eric the Whirlwind and Lieutenant Archer Aileen.
  • Deus ex Machina: Case's BROB grants them boons every time that they perform a particularly benevolent or impressive action. One example is in Chapter 7 when they fight tooth and claw to save Milly, and only succeed thanks to BROB granting them Conqueror's Haki.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Calliope does this to a lot of people. Usually Case.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Cuttup. Pretty face, long hair, and the fact that he wears skirts and dresses since he can't wear pants and grew up surrounded by people who wore bottom garments.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Case sometimes narratively observes Moirai's muscles and Calliope's curves, then admonishes themselves for getting distracted or sexualizing them.
  • Elite Mooks: The 250 infantry of the Barto Club are this; Case arms them all with custom-forged weapons and armor and modifies several of them into cyborgs when they stop by Bardimore. It’s even their epithet when they get a bounty of ฿2.5 million per head.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Bartolomeo has one of these for most of his crew’s officers. None are particularly happy about it.
  • Enfant Terrible: 'Freefall' Plume Abigail. ฿52 million bounty, captain of the Freefall Pirates, user of the Logia-type Feather-Feather Fruit, cunning and intelligent...and only twelve years old.
  • First Snow: Milly and Torque treat most experiences like this.
  • Flat "What":
    • Chapter 5, Part 2: Case gives this when Apis informs them that the sun just set. And it’s noon.
  • Flipping the Bird: Frequent.
  • Forging Scene: Subverted. Case is the crew's blacksmith, but they typically craft non-melee weapons, and what few they craft are typically done off-screen or summarized to avoid tedium.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: The story is written in second-person when from Case's perspective, but switches to third-person when Case is indisposed and another character's perspective needs to take over.
  • Groin Attack: Excruciatingly, Case attempts to do this to Eric the Whirlwind with an electrified sledgehammer. Eric dodges the first time, but his monologuing leaves him wide open the second time.
  • Happy Ending Massage: It's implied Calliope can perform these.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Bartolomeo and Gin, of the Vitriolic Best Buds variety.
  • I Choose to Stay: Like most One Piece OC-protagonists, Case’s plan was to join the Straw Hats. But the choice was pretty much taken from them when the time came; it was either seize the only opportunity that they would have, or stay with the Barto Club to help to find their best friend who had just been kidnapped. The author didn’t leave the former as an option for the audience to pick.
  • Interspecies Romance: Case's three love interests are all a different species from them. Case is a Mink, Cuttup is a Merman, Moirai is a Fishwoman, and Calliope is a Human.
  • Jerkass: Case, self-admitted and unapologetically, compared to a sledgehammer by Bartolomeo. An odd contrast, being both this and a literal teddy bear.
  • Lap Pillow: Case is subjected to one from Moirai after going Sulong.
  • MacGyvering: Case's specialty. Their Devil Fruit lets them build, modify, upgrade, fix, and dismantle things on the fly.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: Case underwent training at Future Country Baldimore, adding cybernetics and robotics to their engineering skillset.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: The band infantry that play music for Calliope are entirely male, while she does the singing and dancing.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Moirai does this to Case in part 6 of Chapter 5 after they use their Sulong form to decimate an evil sentient forest. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Mathematician's Answer: The first choice that the audience receives is which gender to make Case. Boy, Girl, Yes, No, or Stop asking me that, professor! The audience overwhelmingly chose "Yes," and hence we don’t know what gender Case is. Milly’s reaction upon meeting them implies that they’re female, but we can’t be sure.
  • Mauve Shirt: The 250 soldiers of the Barto Club’s infantry are this after the Enies Lobby debacle, to the point of one of them lampshading that they got their laundry mixed up and their red shirt turned mauve.
    • A couple of them even get married.
  • Modesty Towel: Calliope wore one when she went to ask how the showers worked, but only to comply with Spacebattles' rules against nudity.
  • Morality Pet: Milly, to all of the officers.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Calliope leaving the showers with just a towel held over her front to ask how the nozzles worked was entirely played for laughs.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Spacebattles explicitly forbids nudity, sexual or not, so the author takes steps to toe the line.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Case, Milly, and presumably Torque, being D's.
  • Oh, Crap!: Given that BROB normally stands for Bastard Random Omnipotent Being, Case does this when they initially meet their benefactor.
  • One Head Taller: Case to Calliope. Granted, Calliope's not short, Case is just 6'6".
  • One True Pairing: There's a reason there's so much Ship Tease between Case, Calliope, and the Payne twins. Once the relationships reach a fever pitch, readers will get to choose which of the three Case will choose. Polyamory will be an option. They choose all three of them.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine give off this vibe.
  • Playing with Fire: In the last part of Chapter 5, Bartolomeo asks Case to craft a flamethrower for him, partly because it would have been useful against the evil forest on the previous island, and partly just for Rule of Cool.
  • Pungeon Master: Case either makes or is the subject of bear puns. Sometimes Stealth Puns, sometimes blatant ones. The title of every chapter has 'bear' in it, typically as a pun. The word "bare" is never spelled as such. Milly calls them "bearent."note  The phrase "bear with me" comes up a lot.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Case's reaction at the end of Chapter 3, when they realize that their crew just wound up in the middle of the Warship Island arc. Which Case hates with an unbearable passion.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Mayor Rickerd Swift of Tuuayem.
    • Commodore Crow, a native of Birka trained by Zephyr and staunch supporter of Moral Justice.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Played with. The Craft-Craft Fruit doesn't provide 'ammo' for the tools it produces, like paint, staples, nails, and glue. However, it does provide a hammerspace holding space should the user ingest such supplements, and automatically loads them into the appropriate tools, even mixing paint if Case wills it. It also nullifies any potential damage that would normally come from eating something like nails.
  • Running Gag: Mayor Swift of Tuuayem calling Case ‘Shit’ because they accidentally cut themselves off during their introduction: “Shit, I’m a D.”
  • Secret Keeper: By Word of God, the only people who know Case's biological sex are the Loguetown orphanage employees, Cuttup, Moirai, Calliope, Milly, Torque, and two currently unknown people.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: The Craft-Craft Fruit allows the user to turn their limbs into any tool they can imagine, and most of them make good weapons.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: As per One Piece rules, most Devil Fruits affect clothing.
  • Ship Tease: Between Case and the Paynes. Calliope too, later on.
  • Shock and Awe: An inherent ability of all minks is powerful bioelectricity. Case uses it in conjunction with the power tools that they can produce with their powers.
  • Shout-Out: Naturally.
    • Regarding Pokémon:
      • One of the choices when BROB asks "are you a boy or a girl?" is "Stop asking me that, professor!"
      • Case equates their first look at their new form (then seven years old) to Teddiursa, hoping to grow up into a big, strong Ursaring.
    • One of the options (and what the audience chooses) for when Dr. Gallows and the Barto Club both offer to adopt Case and the Paynes is "Both. Both is good."
    • When Case sees Milly's hybrid form for the first time, they request her to say "I am Groot." She does, and the author refers to her form as such from then on.
    • When Case uses Baldimore’s tech to give themself a few modifications, one notable one is a variation of Franky’s Radical Beam. Case christens their version the Kumahameha.
    • Calliope's Knocking is a clear reference to Toriko.
    • Case makes Mr. 5 a blood-channeling sword like from Blood+.
    • Case builds a sword into Miss Valentine's parasol like Neopolitan's from RWBY.
    • Case builds Torque with the intention of emulating a Warforged.
    • Calliope's full succubus form's dialogue is written in Zalgo text.
    • When at the bar in Arachnera Wharf, Calliope orders a "strawberry sunrise, no ice. Oh, and one of those little umbrellas."
    • There's a guide in the Entomolia Kingdom who can guide people through the rainforest named Old Longfellow.
  • Signature Laugh:
    • Case's: "Kumamama!"
    • Milly's: "Treehehehe!"
  • Slasher Smile: Frequent.
  • Spanner in the Works: Case, Milly, and Torque, being D's.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Naturally, Case is nuts for honey, salmon, and berries. They tried putting an apiary in the ship, but the rest of the crew vetoed it, to Case’s chagrin.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The author seems fond of making characters like this and lampshading it. Cuttup and Milly are two examples.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Post-Enies, when the Government deems the entire Barto Club infantry, all 250 of them, ‘Elite Mooks’ worth ฿2.5 million per head:
    Infantry 1: We have bounties?
    Infantry 2: I can't believe it!
    Infantry 3: We're worth something!
    Infantry 4: Shame that it's per head, though…
    Infantry 5: Did they just officially call us mooks?!
    Infantry 6: At least we're elite mooks…
    Infantry 7: Aw man someone mixed colors in the wash, my shirt’s mauve now.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Aileen at the end of Chapter 7 for her Absolute Justice ways that almost led to her murdering Milly; the only reason they don’t kill her in return is that she’ll be executed for her crimes anyway.
  • The Reveal: In part three of Chapter 4, Case reveals their origins to the top brass of the crew...and Apis.
  • Sexy Walk: Calliope's hybrid form has horns on her heels that make her always walk as if she were wearing high heels, resulting in a rather sexy walk.
  • Sideboob: Calliope enjoys wearing halter tops due to her wings.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Averted. Pool episode came and went, and all swimsuits stayed on. Likely due to Spacebattles standards.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: The Payne Twins.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Any Devil Fruit user, Case included.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lieutenant Archer Aileen attempts to murder Milly right in front of Case. It doesn’t go well for her.
  • True Companions: They may troll each other and get on each other's nerves, but the Barto Club can always count on each other.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Bartolomeo and Gin.
  • The Voiceless: Moirai doesn't speak until part 10 of Chapter 2, when she's revealed to have a Welsh accent.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Bartolomeo hovers around the Moral Event Horizon when he plans on killing Abigail for her Devil Fruit. Granted, Abigail is an Enfant Terrible pirate captain whose crew has been slowly and torturously destroying a village to force them to hand over the lost Yagara Bull they rescued. But she’s still only 12. It takes Milly’s pleading to make Barty concede.
    • Lieutenant Archer Aileen, a supporter of Absolute Justice, has no qualms about hurting any kind of pirate, to the point that she outright disobeys her superior and attempts to murder Milly in cold blood.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Gin, making him unable to do anything against 'Freefall' Abigail, and the strongest objector to his captain’s desire to kill her.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Calliope gives this talk to Case.
  • You Are Not Alone: A recurring theme throughout the story.
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