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Laura [userpic]
At World's End: Redux 20/27
by Laura (fried_flamingo)
at July 27th, 2008 (10:06 pm)
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Chapter 20




Frederick Mercer watched from the shadows of the cabin as his prey entered. No, he corrected himself, not prey. Victim. Tool. Puppet. Any would serve to describe the relationship between himself and Lord Cutler Beckett – not that the fool knew it yet. But he would, and shortly.

It had taken little mental exertion to discover where His Lordship had stowed the source of his power over Davy Jones. Mercer had watched him for some time, such a small man holding court behind his huge pedestal desk; only a fool would remain oblivious to the concealed panel in its side. And only a fool would let such knowledge go to waste. All that was required was to wait for the opportune moment, and indeed, such a moment had just presented itself.

Dusk was close at hand and no doubt Beckett was eager for the day to come; the day that would see Jack Sparrow brought, once more, within his eager grasp. He’d pored over his charts all day, as Mercer had known he would, then gone to take his customary lap around the deck before his thin supper. During those few moments when his manservant had been absent, Mercer had slipped into the great cabin of the Endeavour and opened the hidden compartment; inside the heart pulsed, wetly. His fortunes, he thought, were looking bright.

Beckett paused a moment after he entered, appraising himself in the small mirror that hung near the cabin’s door and running one finger over each eyebrow like a dockside molly. Mercer smiled and stepped out from the shadows.

“Been a hard day, has it, m’Lord?”

Beckett turned with a start. “What the devil—? Mercer. Good God man, what are you playing at?”

“Not playing, sir. Not playing at all.”

Brushing himself down, endeavouring to appear composed, Beckett fixed him with an imperious stare. Mercer wanted to laugh. “Then explain why you are skulking in my cabin, uninvited.”

“Seems the tide has turned, Lord Beckett – to use a nautical metaphor.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “And what tide might that be, Mr. Mercer?”

“Let’s call it the balance of power, shall we?”

Beckett scoffed. “Between you and I? I find that somewhat unlikely. Your impudence, however, will not go unpunished.” He made a show of sniffing the air. “Have you been in your cups, Mr. Mercer?”

“Never touch a drop. ‘Tis the tool of demons, that. Leads a man down paths he’d not otherwise walk.” He let that hang a moment, then said, “So I’ve heard.”

A flurry of unease skittered over Beckett’s face and he turned away, circling his desk – placing it between himself and Mercer. As he passed it, Beckett’s fingers brushed the panel which Mercer had so recently opened. “I care little for what you’ve heard. Leave, immediately, or I shall be forced to call my men.”

“Oh, I don’t think you will.” Mercer dropped into a chair and stretched out his legs, regarding Beckett’s restrained outrage with humour he didn’t bother to conceal. “You wouldn’t want them to know the real reason they’ll be fighting – and dying – here tomorrow, would you?”

“What absurdity is this?” But Beckett’s colour was up, his pale skin rosy as the setting sun.

“I hear he got you half-sprung before he seduced you like a maid.” Mercer smiled at the heat in the other man’s face. “Some say you kept him in your cabin for three whole days and nights, and that you couldn’t sit down for a week after you sent him off with that Letter of Marque and a cargo of black gold.”

“Leave at once.” Beckett’s voice was calm and deadly; few but Mercer would have noted the subtle tremor, or the fear it denoted.

Mercer settled himself more comfortably in his chair. “Don’t suppose the crew would be too impressed if they knew they were here to return Jack Sparrow to your bed, would they?”

There was a long silence in which Beckett stared intently at his desk, then he looked up. There was rage and, Mercer was pleased to note, humiliation in his face. “The crew will do as they are bid,” he murmured. “And the first thing I shall bid them do is have you flogged for insubordination and mutiny.”

“I don’t think you will.”

“Then you underestimate me.”

“No. You underestimate me.” Reaching into his breast pocket, Mercer retrieved his fleshy prize. Through the glazed windows of the cabin, the day’s dying light cast the room in colours of scarlet and gold. Mercer smiled. “While I hold this in my hand, you will do my bidding – Lord Beckett.”

At the sight of the heart, beating limply in Mercer’s grasp, Beckett turned ashen. “No…” It was a whisper, a plea to the heavens. “No, impossible.”

“A man who employs a thief and a murderer should be more careful where he keeps his treasures, don’t you think?” Mercer rose to his feet and strolled closer to Beckett’s desk. “I’m a man of simple tastes, Lord Beckett. I’ve no desire for your gold braid and rank, all I want is my share of the prize. Fifty ships, Jones says, anchored in that cove. I want thirty of them and if I don’t get them…” He lifted the heart, watched it glisten in the light. “What punishment do you think Jones will inflict on you, the man who’s enslaved and humiliated him before his crew? What manner of torment will he devise now that you no longer hold his pound of flesh in your hand?”

“I could order my men to cut you down where you stand.”

“Not before I summon Jones to—”

Suddenly the ship lurched; had they not been at anchor, Mercer might have thought they’d hit something. His attention diverted, he glanced to the door just as it was flung open by a wild young lieutenant, fear etched upon his face. “Sir!”

“What?” Beckett’s face was like thunder.

“Sir, something’s happened. The sea… It’s gone black as night. A terrifying sight, it is! And Jones, sir... Blimey, you can hear him howling from here!”

And, sure enough, he was right; a strange, anguished keening breezed in with the evening air. Rage and despair and grief, all mixed together. Louder it got with each thump of the heart that Mercer had hurriedly thrust back into his pocket. Louder, more desperate, more wrathful until—

She is freed!” The creature appeared out of nothing in the centre of the cabin. His monstrous face was contorted by such rage as Mercer had never seen, such eternal fury it seemed as if the whole room was plunged into the midnight darkness of a battering storm. “The goddess is free!” Jones wailed. “Curse them! Curse their blood, curse their children! The goddess is freed!”

“You said it was impossible without your coin,” Beckett snapped. “You said—”

“Stolen,” Jones rasped, stumping toward them both on his deformed legs. “Stolen by that blood-cursed wretch, that thieving son of a whore!”

“Jack Sparrow?” Mercer offered.

Jones eyes were thunder-black. “Jack Sparrow.” His claw snapped at the air. “And I will have him, I will drag him back from the depths and peel his skin from his bones. I will send him to the Locker, flayed for all eternity!”

It was difficult to see in the dim light, but Mercer thought Beckett paled still further. “It seems he owes us all a debt.”

“Him and the other snivelling cocksure half-wits who play at King and Court! I’ll have them all.” He drew closer, his tentacled face fluttering in the strange darkness, his breath cold as the grave. “Summon the fleet. We go to war.”

There was a silence, a palpable shifting of power as Jones glared at Beckett and Beckett glanced at Mercer. Without a word, Mercer simply nodded his permission. “Yes,” Beckett said, returning his attention to Jones – it sounded as if the word choked him. “It seems we go to war, and that Jack Sparrow is the prize.”

Mercer merely smiled. Let them fight over the man, for he wanted only the gold. Oh yes, his future looked bright indeed.


***


There is darkness and there is silence and, above all, there is peace. Such peace as he has never known. Nothing exists in the stillness. Pain is a handful of dust, blown from his palm, not even enough to form a memory. There is darkness and silence and peace and all that has gone before matters not.

You are here.

Words drop and scatter, like diamonds on marble. He knows this voice, has heard it on the wind.

“Yes. I’m here… Where is here?”

Silence. Crystal peace. Pain is dust.

It matters not.

Memory shapes itself. “I died.”

Yes.

Pain is dust and the past does not exist. And yet… “Who are you?”

You know me. You have heard my voice before. Did I not call to you? Did I not summon you as once you summoned me?

“The Song.”

Is that what you call me?

“I… think so…What are you? Where did you come from?”

Rhythm pulses like a heartbeat, like a sound that is both ancient and eternal.

I am all and I am nothing. Beginning and end. Fire and ice. I am born of the earth and the wind and the sea. I am the stuff of stars.

“But what are you truly?”

You might say that I am life.


***


Gibbs walked the deck like a man cut adrift. Above him, the Pearl’s sails hung limp, her wooden boards creaked forlornly beneath his feet. Jack would’ve said that she was sensitive as a maid, this ship, that he could read whatever ills she suffered in the snap of her canvas or the pull of her rudder. But Jack was gone and his ship was just a ship - wooden bones that were as transient as the wind and that would, likely as not, end up rotting among the carcasses that piled up around them. Gibbs wondered what he was to do with his new charge.

He thought of the day they’d passed together and the tale he’d idly told, surmising that there’d be time left to tell tales aplenty. Only Jack, it seemed, had known that his story was soon to come to an end.

There are some things what a man can’t outrun…

“Mr. Gibbs?” Ragetti, timid and hesitant at his shoulder.

“What is it, son?”

“We was thinkin’, Mr Gibbs, should we do summink?”

“And what is there that remains to be done?”

“Well, the last time, we had a drink, remember? In Tia Dalma’s…in the swamp. We raised a cup to him, didn’t we? Me and Pintel was thinkin’ that maybe we should do the same again. Pay our respects as it were.”

And the world seems a bit less bright…

Gibbs looked away and closed his eyes. How wrong he’d been. For without Jack, everything seemed too bright. Too sharp and bright and real.

“Raise a cup if you want, lad. Won’t bring him back. Won’t make any difference to him now.”

“But…”

“The wind shifts, Ragetti, but it never changes. So, tonight, dip yourself in rum and drink yourself blind, but don’t expect anything to be different when you wake up.”

The scrawny man turned away, looking downcast, but then he stopped and looked back.

“He was… he was a good man though, weren’t he? The captain? He was a good bloke? In the end, I mean.”

Gibbs frowned. “Would it matter?”

Ragetti shrugged. “S’pose not.” There was a moment’s pause and then he said, “Only… I think it does. I think it does matter. And I think you’re wrong about nothing changing, Mr Gibbs. I think a change’ll come and come for us all soon enough.”


***



Something unseen whispers in far off corners. It speaks of things unfinished and words unsaid. Pain is dust, the past is formless, and yet…

“What did I leave behind?”

Not what. Who.

You left nothing.

But shapes melt and shift, chasing each other through the blackness. Shades of cream and gold. He knows that he left something.

“What was I? Before?”

I do not know ‘before’.

But the words are fainter now, the voice echoes and fades, soft rain upon a calm ocean.

“You’re going?”

And so must you.

“Where?”

You have a journey.

“But my journey’s over.”

No journey is ever over. Change is not the end and you have a task still ahead…

“And what of you”?

I travel amid the stars. I am summoned and must heed the call. You will hear me again though, you will hear me again…

The Song is gone and there is peace once more, for he is alone. There are no words, for there is no one to hear them. And then he is travelling onward, for there is work yet to do.

Pain is dust, and yet…

In the distance he hears a chime, the sound of metal against rock, the sound of chains.

There is a task still ahead.


***


From his vantage point atop the cliff, Hector Barbossa would have had a clear view of the entire ocean, stretching out to the starry horizon, had his gaze not been fixed on a mark by his left boot. It had dried out now and the stain looked almost black in the moonlight; it seemed that her human form had gone right to the core and the goddess had bled as any mortal would. Blood had been spilt and the debt was now paid, yet it was hard to tell whether any great change had been wrought by what had taken place on this spot, just a few hours earlier. He was mortal, true enough; Calypso had paid the price he’d demanded for navigating death’s shores and bringing the Sacrifice to his end. Death’s clutching fingers had finally been prized from his heart, and yet everything seemed much as it had always been.

It was quieter now, that much was true; the only sound on the breeze was the lonesome cry of the gulls as they circled high above Shipwreck Cove. The Song was over, its strange melody no longer filled the air, and it seemed distant now, ephemeral and unreal, like the memory of a dream upon waking; Barbossa found that, even when he thought hard, it was impossible to remember the tune.

Far below, the Flying Dutchman rode at anchor, filthy and corrupt next to the grand elegance of the Endeavour. In the near distance, ships were gathering, ships bearing the standards of Britain and France and Spain. The Tyranny of Man, it appeared, was not so easily discouraged by heathen rites as the Brethren might have hoped; if the sacrifice was supposed to prevent the coming bloodshed, then evidently someone had neglected to inform Lord Cutler Beckett. War was on its way and nothing could be done to forestall it. Everything, indeed, was much as it had always been.

As he turned to make his way back down the cliff path, a dark shape in the docks below caught his eye. The Black Pearl. She looked so small from up here, so lost among the myriad wrecks that comprised the towering Cove. To think of the things he had endured to make that ship his own, the people he had betrayed, killed, the bargains he had made…. And yet now she seemed such a trifling prize when compared to all that was at stake.

Just a ship, he thought, just a ship. And as Barbossa set off down the path that would take him to war, it occurred to him that perhaps much was changing after all.


***


His eyes open and he finds the darkness gone, replaced by bright crystal light. He remembers his name just as the voice of another utters it - a voice ghostly yet lyrical, the hush of surf upon sand.

“Jack Sparrow.”

He rises to his feet and looks around, but he cannot see another soul. On either side are towering walls of glass or ice, smooth and blue, they stretch upward for eternity.

“Jack Sparrow.”

The voice comes from up ahead, he’s sure, but distance is hard to judge in this place and, though he’s walking forward, he thinks, perhaps, he hasn’t moved at all. But then he sees her, resplendent and majestic upon a crystal throne. Her head is bowed, her face concealed by a sleek curtain of obsidian hair, and it’s only when he draws near that he sees the chains and hears them rattle when she moves.

“Calypso.”

“I have waited for you.”

“I’m here now.”

“To free me?”

“Yes.”

Her shoulders are shaking and he wonders what the tears of a goddess must look like. So, gently, he reaches forward, catches hold of her chin with his fingers and tilts her head to face him. The water in her eyes is clear and pure, but with the promise of rainstorms and maelstroms. There is power there that he cannot contemplate.

“You must cut my chains, Jack Sparrow,” she says, “that you may assume them in my stead. Such is the debt to be paid.”

“Cut them with what?”

“With the dagger, of course.”

And that’s when he sees the knife that lies deep in her breast. Blood trickles from the wound, running over her body, across the throne and down onto the white floor. He closes his fingers around the hilt and pulls the blade free with a grimace.

“Did I hurt you?” he asks, but she only smiles.

“I have endured a greater torment.”

He nods, not wishing to think on the details of two hundred years of suffering, and raises the knife again. The blade shatters her chains with a blinding flash and, when his vision clears, the goddess is standing before him, beautiful and terrifying.

“Thank you,” she says and takes his wrists in her hands. Her grip is hard and cold, like ice, and he knows that it’s time for him to take her place.


***



“The words are gone.”

Teague found her in the shadows of the empty Court, ribbons of light from the windows high above casting patterns across her face as she slumped in her chair at the head of the table. He was unsure if her statement warranted an answer and when he made no response she said it again. “The words are gone.”

“Aye, they’re gone.” It was true. When he’d ventured down into the cavern, after Jack had… after the ceremony was over, he’d found the walls unmarked by the words of the prophesy. All that it had foretold had come to pass and its purpose had been served. The words were gone. Apparently the lass had made the same discovery.

“So is the Song.”

“That too.” Teague walked over and lowered himself into the chair next to her. “There’s a battle yet to be fought, love, and a band of pirates what need their king to lead them.”

“I’m not a king, Captain Teague,” she replied wearily. “I’m someone you used to try and save your son.” He opened his mouth to protest, but she cut him off with a wave of her hand. “You did what you had to do. I knew that. I’d have done the same in your position. My only regret is that he…” She trailed off and, for a moment, was so lost and so young, yet at the same time, old and tired. Then she cleared her throat and added with a false vigour, “So, as I said, I’m not a king at all. Put a sword in my hand and I’ll fight with the rest of them, but don’t expect me to lead your pirate fleet, Captain Teague, for only ruin lies in that direction.”

“You’re wrong, lass. There’s more to being King than rebel yells and calls to arms. Any blowhard can shout for men to hoist the colours, but that’s a glory short-lived.” Teague reached out to take her hand in his own. “Elizabeth,” he said, and she lifted her head to meet his gaze. “There’s a power in you that you’ve yet to realise. One that’ll last beyond the heat of battle.” Still she looked unconvinced, so he continued. “There are tales already, d’you know that? Tales of Elizabeth Swann, the Pirate King. And in time, they’ll grow wings and take flight; already, though, they’re a legacy in the making.”

Elizabeth gave a bleak chuckle and studied her fingers. “And what sort of legacy will it be? There are so many things that I regret. Wicked things that I’ve done...”

“Pah! I’ve a regret to match every line on me face, love, and then some. A life without regret is no life at all. Don’t make us wicked though.”

But she ignored him and carried on. “Things that I’ve done and that I’ve yet to do. I know what it is to hate, Captain Teague, what it is to seek vengeance. I want to spill the blood of those who have wronged me, to feel it hot on my hands. And even though I know it will stain me when I do, I also know that nothing will stop me should I get the chance to drive a blade into his throat. Does that make me a king, Teague?” She looked up at him, her gaze earnest, almost pleading, and he reached out to cover her hand with his own.

“No, lass,” he said. “It just makes you human.”

She dropped her gaze, apparently unconvinced by his claim. Wearily, he rose to leave, the weight of her guilt intolerable atop his own.

But just as he walked away she grabbed his hand tightly. “I’m sorry,” she said and in her voice he heard grief, pure and raw. “I’m sorry. I wish…”

Teague nodded, but words were beyond him now, and he fled the room before Elizabeth saw the saltwater that ran freely through the crags in his weathered face.


***



“You died for her.”

There’s a question there, but he’s unsure what answer he should give. “The task was always mine, was it not? There was a prophesy that said as much.”

“But she could have taken your place, had you allowed it. You died for her. Why?”

A thousand reasons and explanations run through his mind, but in the end it seems only the simplest of them all will suffice. “I love her.”

Her eyes flash at those words, keen and diamond sharp. “Love? I know love. It can bite and cut. It can turn a man’s heart sour.”

“Daresay it can.”

“You do not feel that pain?”

“I’ve endured worse.”

“And yet still you gave yourself for her. You died for her.”

“You know my reasons.”

She let’s go of his wrists, swirls and shifts in the strange crystal light, but he knows the release is temporary. “Didn’t she betray you?”

He baulks at that word. “There was no betrayal. She owed me no loyalty and I knew what she was… what she is. I would never wish her changed.”

“And still you love her?” For a goddess, she seems so naïve, so bewildered. “Though she hurt you? Abandoned you?”

“She is… she has…” But there’s too much to say, too many ways he could justify his heart, and there’s no time for such declarations; the crystal throne awaits. “Yes.”

“Even though she will never reciprocate the affection?” His heart no longer beats in his chest; he can feel its stillness and knows that soon it might turn to stone, but for now her words still pain him. He answers truthfully though.

“’Tis the nature of it, is it not? A gift is no gift at all, if given solely with the expectation of something return. ‘Twould be of no mind if she loved a sewer rat instead of me.” He spreads his palm across his silent breast. “Nothing would lessen this.”

Two hundred years, Lizzie. Two hundred years bound to an icy chair. Nothing will ever lessen this.

The goddess stands before him and in her eyes he can see waterfalls and mountain streams and fresh summer showers that wet the skin of sun-scorched sailors.

“How I have suffered,” she says in a whisper. “How I have longed for this debt to be paid, for the chance to wreak vengeance and unleash my wrath upon those who would chain me. And you would bear that wrath, Jack Sparrow. For ten score years you would feel my fury. Yet now you show me this - a love freely given.” She brushes her fingers across his cheek, a gentle caress by a hand that could crush galleons into driftwood. “I remember… I remember that I once dreamed of such a love, that I believed a man’s heart capable of loving selflessly and completely. But then I thought that such dreams were folly and that mankind was only capable of bitterness and hatred.”

“Oh, but we’re capable of that, love. We’re capable of that and so much more.” He glances down at the puckered brand upon his arm. “‘Tis the wounds upon us that make us so. Our scars are the maps to our souls, but it’s our choice where we have them lead.”

She snakes her hands down across the old, blackened marks on his chest, over his ink-cluttered skin, along his arms, and whispers, almost to herself, “Would that I could take them back, would that I could cleanse you…”

“I have no need to be cleansed, love, when nothing awaits but yon chair and manacles. Now, there’s a payment to be made and it seems I’m the coin of choice, so if there’s nothing left to be said here…” He frees himself from her drifting touch and walks to the throne.

Her hand around his wrist stops him. “Wait.” She pulls him back into a tender embrace. “You have given enough.”

“Don’t follow.”

“You have given of yourself, Jack Sparrow. The payment is made. I have no need of you here.”

“No torment? No two hundred years of bondage? Would you forgive us so easily?”

“It seems I have much to learn of forgiveness. And of humanity.”

A sudden impulse strikes him and he kisses her forehead. A goddess, so ancient and terrible, and with the knowledge of the ages, yet willing to forgive. Perhaps his death has achieved something worthwhile after all. “So what now? If I am not destined for limbo, what now?”

Her hands are upon his skin again, cold yet soothing, enveloping him with a strange balm. “You move on.”

“To where?” And he’s scared, suddenly, of what’s to come and what waits for him after.

“To a new life.”

“But I…”

“Hush, Jack Sparrow.” Her arms encircle him and she pulls him tight to her shoulder. “Hush and let me cleanse you.”

The deluge rushes into the crystal chamber and all light disappears, until nothing is left but the darkness and the deathly silence of his lifeless heart.


***


Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: Claudia Mary Gacrux (cmgacrux)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)

Loved it.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Admiral

Thank you :)

Posted by: alana1079 (alana1079)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
pic#77018066

“I’m not a king, Captain Teague,” she replied wearily. “I’m someone you used to try and save your son.” He opened his mouth to protest, but she cut him off with a wave of her hand. “You did what you had to do. I knew that. I’d have done the same in your position. My only regret is that he…” She trailed off and, for a moment, was so lost and so young, yet at the same time, old and tired.

I judge good writing by how well the writer paints the picture. If I can see it, the writer has done everything I could have possibly expected. When I can see it, I can feel it.

I could see everything in this update.

Barbossa standing atop the cliff, looking down at the Pearl. Jack looking lost, awaiting direction. Most of all, I could see Elizabeth looking broken and defeated with only the spark of hatred to urge her forward.

Thank you so much for sharing. The longer I read this story, the more of an honor it becomes.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
navigator

Thank you so much for such a lovely compliment. It's always our aim to express as much as possible in each scene, so it's such a relief to know that we've achieved that.

It's an honour for us to have you readign :)

Posted by: Darnaguen (darnaguen)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
J/E freedom

Wow. Excellent chapter. *applauds*

The scrawny man turned away, looking downcast, but then he stopped and looked back.

“He was… he was a good man though, weren’t he? The captain? He was a good bloke? In the end, I mean.”

Gibbs frowned. “Would it matter?”

Ragetti shrugged. “S’pose not.” There was a moment’s pause and then he said, “Only… I think it does. I think it does matter. And I think you’re wrong about nothing changing, Mr Gibbs. I think a change’ll come and come for us all soon enough.”


Oh Ragetti. <3 He was always the best of them. :)

“Hush, Jack Sparrow.” Her arms encircle him and she pulls him tight to her shoulder. “Hush and let me cleanse you.”

The deluge rushes into the crystal chamber and all light disappears, until nothing is left but the darkness and the deathly silence of his lifeless heart.


But, but... Will it be Jack anymore if she washes everything away? *lower lip trembles*


Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
payment

Thank you so much! Ragetti is such a wonderful character, isn't he? One of the hidden gems I think.

Will it be Jack anymore if she washes everything away? *lower lip trembles*

Ah, only time will tell ;)

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)

I don't care what lj says, this was not posted at 10.06pm lol. Like the crazy obsessed with this story person I am I was sat from 10 o clock onwards refreshing the page and it did not appear to me until 10.26!! And then I had to go downstairs and such so I finally got to read it at like 11.

anyway, enough about that. What can I say? Brilliant as always? I really need some new adjectives to describe your work don't I?

I loved the Beckett bit at the beginning and how you seemed to be building up what it was like without Jack for a variety of people. I'm not sure if thats what it was meant to be...but its how I tookit anyway. And Mercer. I think he's about the only character in PotC that I can say I really hate. He's so horrible and creepy and you have done an excellant [yay new adjective] job of bringing this across in the story.

As for Gibbs, I do hope he's going to honour Jack's wishes and give the Pearl to Lizzie. It seems right that the two things he loves most be together.

The Jack scenes...they were just so uniquely perfect. He was so lost, so unlike his ordinary self and as the Sparrabeth shipper I am I of course had to love the [i]"I love her"[/i] line. I'm glad he finally admits it allowed.

I love the Calypso you've created, she's not just a really well built up character that actually ended up having no depth to her like in AWE, she's still got that human side to her and I think the way she spares Jack is just perfect. She knows what its like to love someone and like she said, Jack gives his love freely something she never thought could happen.

And I appear to be rambling so I'll finish soon I promise. I'm glad Jack was forgiven, good ol' jack getting himself out of trouble again, but what does this cleansing thing mean? Will he still be Jack? Will he still be dead?!?! I can't even begin to guess, I couldn't come close to whatever you two's great minds have coem up so I guess I have to wait until Wednesday.

Well done as always xx

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
goddess

LOL, I think you're right. We were a bit later posting tonight (because someone thought it would be fun to have an actual life! *looks stern at Sal* ;)) so it was closer to half past I think. But I'm glad that yuo're so addicted to the fic that you're watching closely *g*

I think he's about the only character in PotC that I can say I really hate.

I love hating him so much! He makes a fab villain.

And all questions on Jack's fate will be answered on Wednesday (hopefully at 9pm *g*). So glad you're still enjoying the and it's always such fun reading your fab comments! Thank you!

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Lady Di (lady_di75)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
animliz

I love, love, LOVE your Elizabeth, as the Pirate King...

Does that make me a king, Teague?” She looked up at him, her gaze earnest, almost pleading, and he reached out to cover her hand with his own.

“No, lass,” he said. “It just makes you human.”


... and I have enjoyed her interactions with Teague immensely, as I have enjoyed writing them in my own fic. Such a fascinating dynamic between them; it never ceases to amaze me that in spite of the two minutes Teague was in AWE, he has become such a widely written and, I think, loved character in fandom.

I find myself wishing the summer away as I wait for updates of this story... you have me SO hooked :)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
musician

Thank you so much! We've tried to do something a little different with Elizabeth as Pirate King so I'm glad it's working so far. And as for Teague, he really is such an enthralling character, even though he was hardly in the movie. He really has captured the imagination of fandom.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting :D

Posted by: Bell B. (bellbubble)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)

Oh

My

F*

GOD

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not sure if I should cry of joy (he's not dead!! Most wonderful chapter!! Jack-love!! Song-love!! Lizzie&Teague-love!! Gibbs&Ragetti-love!! Even Beckett-love!!) or in agony (Wednesday only? You best be kidding me...)

Me loving this sooo much!! :) Prettily beautiful work you've got here, ladies, never ceases to amaze me, make my days. Ever considered sending this to T&T?

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
tyrant

Oh thank you so much - your comments always make me smile!

It's very reassurign to now that the character portrayals are working for you.

Though I'm not too sure what TnT would make of two obsessed fangirls stealing their stuff LOL.

Posted by: Bell B. (bellbubble)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)

Posted by: The Deep Blue Ocean (creativeideas)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)

"Some say you kept him in your cabin for three whole days and nights, and that you couldn’t sit down for a week after you sent him off with that Letter of Marque and a cargo of black gold.”

Oh I did laugh at that line - bad, bad boy Jack!! I could just see it happening too :D Mercer and Beckett certainly deserve each other - I loved that exchange and seeing Beckett squirm made it even more enjoyable :D.

The Lizzie and Teague discussion was beautifully written and so sad, she has lost so much :-( I hope she can find new strength for the battle ahead. I am very intrigued as to what will happen to Jack now Calypso has shown mercy and "cleansed" him. Looking forward to finding out in due course :D

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
king

Hey, I'd keep Jack in my cabin for three days and nights too! Glad the Beckett storyline is working for you ;)

Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

Posted by: Florencia (florencia7)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Hands

OMG I nearly died when I saw that you'd updated ^^ And I was torn between reading this chapter as fast as possible, and leaving it until tomorrow, so I'd have one day less until Wednesday haha But of course I couldn't wait, gave in to the temptation, and I'm so glad I did!

I LOVED this chapter!!!!!!! I think it's one of my favorites so far, if not THE favorite one, even though of course ALL the chapters are my favorites and I love all of them:)

The plot twist with Mercer taking the heart was brilliant! You make each character the hero of his/her own story, enriching the movie characters with so much more wonderful depth and a swirl of emotions that makes it impossible to read this story without shaking & screaming. It's really fantastic.

Teague nodded, but words were beyond him now, and he fled the room before Elizabeth saw the saltwater that ran freely through the crags in his weathered face. - This fragment was so heartbreaking, so powerful, that glimpse of Elizabeth - and Teague, despite his grief, despite everything, finding it in him to look at her, to SEE her, to see through her pain even though he is overwhelmed by his own suffering.

And now....

Silence. Crystal peace. Pain is dust. - This is so beautiful! Those fragments with Jack.... they really took my breath away. Gorgeous writing, so poetic, so dream-like, so mesmerizing.... I loved every word.

And this, and THIS just MADE MY DAY: A thousand reasons and explanations run through his mind, but in the end it seems only the simplest of them all will suffice. “I love her.” It couldn't have been written in any other way. It was perfect and utterly beautiful.

AMAZING, beautiful chapter! I loved it. I can't wait for Wednesday!!! :)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
payment

Oh thank you so much, hun! We were trying to strike the right emotional balance with this scene without going OTT, so it's good to know that you enjoyed it.

Also glad Jack's admission of how he felt hit the right note because it was such an important moment.

Thanks, as always, for your comments. More to come on Wednesday!

Posted by: awickedwench (awickedwench)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Jack

She owed me no loyalty and I knew what she was...what she is. I would never wish her changed.

This might be my favorite passage in all of the 20 chapters so far. It's perfection. And that crazy honest streak in Jack just keeps surfacing, doesn't it? Only this time instead of getting him into trouble, it frees him. The world is a little less bright, but hopefully not for long. *Throws roses!*

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thanks so much, love!

And it's about time Jack was rewarded for being a good man at heart, eh?

Hope you enjoy the remaining chapters and thanks so muh for sticking with us!

Posted by: tuesday_suit (tuesday_suit)
Posted at: July 27th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Baubles

Mercer had watched him for some time, such a small man holding court behind his huge pedestal desk

Hee! Yeah, small man.....

the day that would see Jack Sparrow brought, once more, within his eager grasp.

Heh. In what sense? ;-)

“Been a hard day, has it, m’Lord?”

*shakes head* *groans*

Always the underlying shimmer of slash....

“I hear he got you half-sprung before he seduced you like a maid.” Mercer smiled at the heat in the other man’s face. “Some say you kept him in your cabin for three whole days and nights, and that you couldn’t sit down for a week after you sent him off with that Letter of Marque and a cargo of black gold.”

Or not so underlying. :-P

Above him, the Pearl’s sails hung limp, her wooden boards creaked forlornly beneath his feet.

Oh, this was sad. :-( I love a bit of personifying the Pearl - she really is alive, I think.

“Only… I think it does. I think it does matter. And I think you’re wrong about nothing changing, Mr Gibbs. I think a change’ll come and come for us all soon enough.”

Oh, I love Ragetti. Poor, sweet Ragetti. And of course he's right - it does matter.

Just a ship, he thought, just a ship.

Oh, Hector, you just don't get it, do you?

“I’m not a king, Captain Teague,” she replied wearily. “I’m someone you used to try and save your son.” He opened his mouth to protest, but she cut him off with a wave of her hand. “You did what you had to do. I knew that. I’d have done the same in your position. My only regret is that he…” She trailed off and, for a moment, was so lost and so young, yet at the same time, old and tired.

Poor Lizzie. Lost, young, old and tired - what a perfect description of her here. So much has been endured, and so much is yet to be....

A thousand reasons and explanations run through his mind, but in the end it seems only the simplest of them all will suffice. “I love her.”

The truth at last, eh, Jack? This whole chapter just has an air of hopeless sadness about it - painful and beautiful at the same time. But without pain, the joy shines less bright, I think.

“You do not feel that pain?”

“I’ve endured worse.”


I love the repetition of that line here.

“Oh, but we’re capable of that, love. We’re capable of that and so much more.”

Even a black-hearted pirate. :-)

“You have given of yourself, Jack Sparrow. The payment is made. I have no need of you here.”

Especially when there are those elsewhere who need him so very desperately, eh?

“To where?” And he’s scared, suddenly, of what’s to come and what waits for him after.

“To a new life.”


I'm not sure he's quite done with the old one yet. :-)

Another lovely, lovely chapter. Brava, both of you. Hopefully Jack's heart won't remain lifeless for long. :-)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
navigator

LOL, we'll turn you into a slasher yet!

Just a ship, he thought, just a ship.

Oh, Hector, you just don't get it, do you?


You know, I think he kinda does. When it comes to the choice between living your life and pursuing a ship, then it's really not much of a choice at all and in the grand scheme of things, there are more momentous things going on in the world. I'd like to think old Hector's finally realising that.

So please you liked the chapter, hun, especially Jack's scenes. But what's to become of him now, eh? Thanks for your support and commetns, as always!

Posted by: djarum99 (djarum99)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
jackreflective

Pain is a handful of dust, blown from his palm, not even enough to form a memory. There is darkness and silence and peace and all that has gone before matters not.

Oh, Jack. Second reading, and I'm in tears again - this is such a powerful scene, and so beautifully written.

Our scars are the maps to our souls, but it’s our choice where we have them lead

Beautiful. I love this chapter, my favorite out of all the wonderful work you've done. Brava, ladies, brava once more ♥ ♥

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
goddess

Oh thanks, love! So glad it's still got an impact second time around.

BTW everytime I see that icon I actually gasp out loud at how beautiful he is!

Posted by: lady_linnet (lady_linnet)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
sparrabeth because:

WOW.

WOW.

WOW.

Would it be redundant if I said wow again?

...WOW.

Am dying for the update.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
king

Hee! We never get tired of the wows *g*

More to come on Wednesday. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Posted by: megcantsleep (megcantsleep)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

I swear, with every chapter, the wait for the next gets more painful. I mean that in a good way!

Excellent work.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
kunoichi

Only seven more chapters of pain to go! :D

Thanks so much for commenting.

Posted by: .rachel. (whensheflies)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
PIRATES Jack miniature lick

Ugh. This is SO much better than the movie.

Handled with such grace, I love love love this.

Gibbs without his Jack breaks my heart...I adored the scene with him and Ragetti.

There's hope for Jack yet! *happy dance* It scares me that there are so few chapters left of this project. What will I ever obsess over after something as magnificent and grand as this?

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thank you so much for such lovely feedback.

We're really sad that it's nearly over because we've had so much fun writng and posting it. We're so grateful for all the support and lovely comments we've received along the way.

More to come this week :D



Posted by: greenisbeauty (greenisbeauty)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)

I cannot think of a single word that would suffice to describe how much this moved me. I guess I'll just try, then. :)

To begin, I loved the idea of the Pearl mourning her captain. I guess I'm just a sap, but that's one love story I'm also quite fond of. I also really liked how this chapter was broken up into smaller sections. It felt as if Jack's death sort of caused a bit of disruption, like only bits and pieces of these moments could be remembered due to everyone's grief. And how much do I *love* it when Ragetti stands up for what he believes in? I adore that innocence in him, and yet perhaps we could call it wisdom?

Can't wait for Wednesday!

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: July 28th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thank you so much :D

We were trying to get across a sense of melancholy and emptiness with the smaller scenes, to express that strange conradiction you get when grieving at how much things have changed, and yet how much has just remained the same. I hope we succeeded with that.

Ragetti is such a wonderful character and so good to write for. he really is capable of such insight.

Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting!

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