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At World's End: Redux 22/27
by Laura (fried_flamingo)
at August 3rd, 2008 (09:36 pm)
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Chapter 22


The Black Pearl was the only ship in Shipwreck Cove who did not sail to war with the Brethren of the Coast.

From the deck of the Ikazuchi, Kasumi watched her pass to starboard. Her black sails were deliberately set askew, the yards cock-billed in mourning, and the ensign trailed slackly over her stern; the Pearl’s crew stood upon the deck, heads bowed, and refused to sail so soon after the loss of their captain. Kazumi could not condemn them, for she felt it too, this weight of sadness, and Jack Sparrow had been but a fleeting visitor in her life. Nonetheless, she thought, the world was a darker place for his passing.

Kasumi nodded to her Shoi and a single cannon fired a salute, emulating each of the eight other Brethren ships that had already passed the Pearl and been swallowed by the maelstrom of the Throat.

With no more attention to spare Jack Sparrow’s mourning crew, Kasumi peered up through the rain and cursed the goddess for sending this storm to plague them. The clouds were black and a sickly yellow rim skirted the edges of the storm, promising disaster. Rage, Kasumi thought. Rage as felt only by a woman who has been bound, for too long, to do the bidding of men. She flexed her hand about the hilt of her weapon. If this was the salvation for which Jack Sparrow had died, she feared he would have served them better had he put the might of his thirty-two canon at their service instead.

Kaigun Taisho…” Her lieutenant drew her attention with a nod toward the roaring waters ahead. “On your order.”

Kasumi indicated her agreement. “Be ready to return fire as soon as we are clear of the passage,” she said, moving aside to give her helmsman room. “Today, we fight to the death. And unless we are sharp, Kaigun Shosho, it will be our deaths to which we fight.”

The crew of the Ikazuchi did not need to be told twice.


***



They flew against the wind, against logic and against reason. The Pirate Lords of Shipwreck Cove rode forth with colours blazing, into a battle whose inevitable end almost seemed foretold . From the mouth of their rocky fortress they sailed, and faced their foes, fearless and steadfast, though they could never hope to match the assembled might of the fleet that lay in wait. It would come down to numbers in the end, that much was certain, and yet here they were, these vile, dissolute creatures, prepared to die for a cause.

James Norrington stood upon the quarterdeck of the H.M.S. Endeavour, watching the pirate ships take position in the distance, and wondered where this path would take him. Overhead, heavy clouds rolled in and the wind picked up, driving the rain down in sheets.

“Do you think they realise?” said a voice at his ear. He turned to find Frederick Mercer at his elbow. “Do you think they know what’s to come?”

“I think they know full well, Mr Mercer,” Norrington replied, struggling to keep the contempt from his tone. “That is why they have chosen to fight.”

“Idiots, the lot of ’em,” he said with a malevolent smirk. “What prize will they claim at the end of it, eh?”

Norrington was sure he knew the answer, but he refrained from voicing it. Across the water, the ships dipped and swayed with each swell of the ocean, like wild horses chained against their will. He noted, with some measure of disquiet, that one ship was conspicuously absent from their number. Had Sparrow shown his colours at last then, and refused to join the pirates for this battle? One year ago Commodore James Norrington would have happily believed that to be the case, would have felt justified in assuming Jack Sparrow to be a traitorous villain, and a coward with it. But Norrington was no longer that man and he had seen enough of true villainy these recent months to know its face well. If the Black Pearl did not join the Brethren fleet there must be a reason for it. Norrington contemplated the possibility that there was some strategy behind the ship’s absence.

“We should strike first,” he said. “Gain control and end this before they do anything rash. There needn’t be any unnecessary bloodshed here today.” He took a step toward the stairs, but a hand on his arm stopped his progress.

“Where d’you think you’re going?” asked Mercer.

“To alert Lord Beckett, of course. He must give the command to strike,” replied Norrington, puzzled.

Mercer narrowed his eyes. “We strike, Admiral. Smash the bastards into kindling. You have my command.”

“But the…”

“I said you have my command.” His lips thinned. “Rest assured His Lordship will agree with me.”

And so Norrington called all hands to quarters and readied the ship in preparation for the assault. His orders, though, were perfunctory, delivered without the zeal he once felt when sailing into battle. Overhead, thunder rolled, and as the first crack of lightning illuminated the seascape, Admiral James Norrington realised that the opportune moment had at last arrived.

From the assembled lines of pirate ships, he watched as an elegant brigantine dropped her canvas and broke rank to engage them. Overhead, the storm unleashed her full fury as the first cannon fire rang out and the battle began.


***



“The wind’s against us!” Will yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the lash of the storm. “How will we ever—?”

Barbossa pushed past, wiping rain and sea-spray from his face. “Helm a-lee!” he yelled, squinting up at the glowering skies. “Let go the lee-anchor!”

The Queen Ann lurched, the rain-slick deck treacherous beneath Will’s feet, and he had to grab the rail to keep from falling. The very seams of the ship groaned as she strained against the anchor, a subtle counterpoint to the boom of the huge seas and the screech of the wind “Barbossa, I—!” A wave hit him, knocked his feet from under him, and only his utter refusal to let go of the rail kept him from being washed overboard.

“Bring her head up to the wind!” Barbossa yelled, closer than Will had expected. A gnarled hand grabbed his arm, hauling him to his feet. “And cut the anchor cable!” Barbossa grinned suddenly, a yellow snarl into the teeth of the storm. “Club hauled her, we have. We’ll get you to the Endeavour yet!”

Shaking hair and water from his eyes, Will peered through the rain toward the ranks of the enemy. It was too dark to see colours, but he recognised Beckett’s ship from her arrogant lines. A ship built for domination and tyranny; he smiled to think of her power crushed, of her splintered hull sent to the depths where she belonged.

Unconsciously he reached for the knife in his belt, the ivory handle slick beneath his touch. It wasn’t only his father he was freeing, he realised, and wondered how Teague could have tried to keep him from this path.

“Treacherous whore,” Barbossa muttered beneath his breath, glaring out into the storm. “Is this how you reward those who freed you?”

On her new heading, the Queen Ann slammed hard against the waves and made little headway against the storm. But the Dutchman… With the wind at her back she was cutting a fast course along the length of the enemy line, heading directly for the Throat. In horror, Will seized Barbossa’s arm. “If she passes through…”

“I see her,” Barbossa snarled. Then shouted, “Haul about the after-sails! Brace the head-sails!”

“We’ll never catch her!” Will yelled. “We’ll never—”

Suddenly, like a candle snuffed, the wind dropped. Silence rang so loud Will had to shake it from his ears as all about him sails fell slack, tack and lines clinking limply together. Barbossa stood as still as his ship, face caught between rage and astonishment, eyes lifted skyward. Will followed his gaze and it was as if he looked up from the pit of a maelstrom toward the wide blue sky, far above. And then a breeze whispered against the hair on the back of his neck, the rigging jingled and—

“By the Powers, I never doubted you!” Barbossa cried as the wind slammed into them, full abaft. “All hands to quarters! Sling the top-sail yards half mast and stopper the top-sail sheets. Man the guns!” He grinned as the ship leapt forward, waving a hand toward the Dutchman who was wallowing now in heavy seas, the wind abruptly against her. “She’s in irons, lad! And the chase is on!”

But the Dutchman was no ordinary ship and it was not long that the storm held her at bay. Her triple guns boomed through the howling wind, the shrieks of men and splintering hulls a gruesome accompaniment to her victories as she bore down upon the ranks of the Brethren – and toward the Throat. And Teague.

“We’ll never catch her, even with the wind behind us!” Will shouted. “Let me—”

“We cannot let her pass!” Barbossa growled, pushing past Will toward the helm. “If Jones—”

Will grabbed his arm, halting him. “We can’t catch her,” he said, fixing Barbossa with a look the old pirate couldn’t ignore. He drew his knife. “But get me to the Endeavour, and we won’t have to. Will we?”

Barbossa’s eyes narrowed. “Those are long odds, boy, with the Dutchman already at the gates.”

“I know. But they’re the only odds we have.”

After a tense moment, Barbossa nodded. “Very well, then—”

“Sail ho!” The cry rang out from a sailor high in the rigging, his arm lifted and pointing toward the Throat.

Will ran to the rail, straining to see through the storm. “I don’t—” And then it seemed, for an instant, that the sun broke through the clouds and a spear of light cast a ship in stark relief. Black against a glittering sea, she charged from the Throat with the wind at her back and came broadside to the Dutchman, blasting three decks of guns in a cacophony of destruction. But it wasn’t the cannon that drew the astonished attention of the Queen Ann’s crew, it was the ship’s black sails.

“Bloody hell, it’s the Pearl!” someone shouted from aloft. “It’s the Black bloody Pearl!”

At her helm stood the Pirate King, hair golden and face fierce as the midday sun. While, braced upon the top yard, hair whipping about his face, stood—

“It’s not possible!” Barbossa breathed, wide-eyed with shock.

Will found himself grinning. “Not probable!”

But nevertheless it was, unquestionably, true. Captain Jack Sparrow was back. And the battle was not over.


***



“Gibbs!” The captain’s shout cut through the storm as he flew down the rigging, almost as fast as his namesake – or a phantom. Gibbs wasn’t yet convinced that Jack was no ghost, so strange had been his return.

But phantom or not, Gibbs’ grinned as Jack Sparrow darted up the quarterdeck steps toward the helm. His hair and clothes – strange clothes, not his customary coat – were drenched through, though his eyes sparked fire and life and Gibbs thought he had never seemed more the legend than now, upon this rain-soaked deck. “Aye, Captain?”

“Set a course for the Endeavour,” he said, tightening the knot that kept the black scarf about his head and his strange, loose hair from his eyes.

“But Jack, surely the Dutchman is—?”

A sly grin and the flexing of fingers, as if searching for a weapon. “Don’t worry, mate, Jones will follow. What business has he in the Cove, when the man he wants to kill is standing right here?”

“And what business have we upon the Endeavour?” Gibbs protested, casting a sideways glance at the girl – or King, as she called herself. He’d do nothing by her order, though, King or not, she who’d sent Jack to the depths. Twice. “The Pearl is faster, Jack. Let these others do for Jones while we—”

“Run away?” There was no scorn in Jack’s tone, no playfulness either. More a steady kind of consideration Gibbs was unused to seeing in his wayward captain. “But to what point and purpose, eh? To fight another day? There’ll never be a better day than this, Mister Gibbs.”

“For what?” Gibbs muttered, suddenly sour. “To die? Again.”

But Jack smiled, his whole face alive. So very alive! “I’m done with death, mate.” And his gaze slipped slyly toward the girl who stood with one hand upon a ratline, leaning out into the teeth of the storm. “And today is a good day to win. Savvy?”

“Win?” Gibbs peered through the rain at the vast fleet of the enemy. Then he shrugged. “Aye, why not? The Endeavour it is!”

With that, he spun the wheel and his captain whooped fierce approval.


***



“The Black Pearl.” Beckett’s tone was more clipped than usual, his milky face flushed in the sheeting rain. “It’s clearly the Black Pearl.”

He passed the glass to Norrington, who lifted it without comment to his eye. There was no doubt about it, the ship racing ahead of the pirate line, heading right toward them, was indeed the Black Pearl. But more than that, he could see Elizabeth upon the deck and at her side… “Sparrow.”

“So it would seem.”

Taking a moment to compose himself, to keep his surge of fear and excitement firmly concealed, Norrington lowered the glass. Mercer stood close by, apparently fascinated by the approaching ship; Norrington had no doubt that he was listening. He’d never liked the man, rough-spoken upstart that he was, but now he feared him; Mercer held some sway over Beckett and that spelled trouble for them all. “Jones was wrong, then,” he said, addressing the comment to Beckett. “He said Jack was dead.”

Something that might have been a smile toyed with Beckett’s lips. “Jones appears to suffer from a perennial optimism when it comes to the fate of Jack Sparrow.” He turned abruptly and smiled, a cold controlled expression. “By Jones’ reckoning, he’s been dead at least twice.”

“I imagine, sir,” said Mercer, not taking his eyes from the enemy, “that you’ll be finishing the job yourself. Sticking your blade into Sparrow, as it were, before he does the same to you.”

Beckett flinched, his jaw tightening. Norrington saw it, but didn’t entirely understand the cause. It was hard to imagine what history Beckett could have with Sparrow, or how their paths might have crossed. Still, he remembered the heated glee with which Beckett had seen Sparrow punished in the Port Royal gaol and it gave him pause…

“It is certainly my intention,” Beckett said sharply, “to see Sparrow dead by the end of the day.”

“Looks like you’ll have your chance then,” Mercer said, turning to face them at last. “Sparrow’s on his way. Maybe he has a score to settle.”

Norrington’s gaze returned to the Pearl, bearing down on them with unnatural speed now the wind had changed in her favour. Not just Sparrow, he thought, his eyes caught by the gold of Elizabeth’s hair – so beautiful, such a fine woman. What did she mean by coming here, like this? Did she mean to fight? To take up arms against the King’s navy? Had her father’s murder driven her so far…?

“Not just Sparrow…”

Norrington started at hearing his own thought echoed, and saw Beckett pointing – but not at the Pearl. Another ship seemed to be racing the Pearl, not far off her stern. It was the same brigantine he’d noticed earlier, attempting to intercept the Dutchman, and he could only guess at her purpose.

“They mean to board us!” Mercer suddenly sounded afraid, taking a step back toward the great cabin.

“Of course.” Beckett’s smile was bleakly smug. “They know the heart is here.”

“How can they know?”

Beckett slid him a withering look. “They’re pirates?”

Norrington said nothing, his gaze fixed on Mercer’s left hand that was clutched over the leather pouch that hung from his belt. Was it possible…?

“Admiral?” Beckett was looking at him through narrowed eyes.

“Sir?”

“Defend the ship. If they take the heart, all is lost.”

Norrington nodded, but said nothing. He couldn’t help feeling – knowing – that all was already lost, that it had been from the moment he’d set Jones’ beating heart into the hands of the devil. But he wondered, now, if his honour – and more – could be reclaimed.

James Norrington drew his sword.

“What the—?” Beckett lifted an eyebrow. “Admiral, what do you think you’re doing?”

He smiled and took a step forward. “Defending the ship. Sir.”


***



“Just get me close enough to board!” the boy yelled from the rail, a rope wrapped tight about his hand. He was young and strong, and as foolish as only the young and the dead can afford to be.

Barbossa cursed as he fought the helm. “You’ll not last long enough to see the Locker if you miss in these seas…”

Will flashed him a smile. “Then it’s as well that I won’t miss! Now, closer!”

The prow dipped and surged, spray drenching them anew as their course took them no more than yards from the Endeavour’s leeward side. The Pearl, he saw, was already board-a-board, even in these seas. Fine ship. Fine captain, though none would hear it from his lips. “Make ready!” he yelled at the boy. “Go now! Now!”

The boy took flight, soaring through the storm amid a hail of shot from the navy men. Whether he made it in once piece, Barbossa could not tell. And he had no time to look.

“Fire all!” he bellowed and felt the deck shudder as the guns fired. “Come about! Come about for a second pass!”

The fate of Davy Jones might lie in Will Turner’s hands, but Barbossa would be damned to the Locker if he went out without a fight.


***



Jack Sparrow landed in a low crouch, weapon drawn. Elizabeth was to his right, slightly behind; he could hear the whisper of her blade being drawn and the catch of breath in her throat. He understood why; Mercer, the man who had murdered her father, stood on the other side of the deck.

Jack put out a hand, warning caution as he walked forward. Two men stood between them and Mercer, two familiar men in a curious situation. The Commodore – former Commodore – stood with his sword levelled at Beckett’s chest, and Beckett… Jack recognised the look of surprised betrayal in the man’s eyes, and it provoked an unexpected pang of guilt.

It’s just business, mate. But of course it hadn’t been, not for Beckett; a Letter of Marque, signed and sealed, would not have been traded so cheap in a fair market.

“James?”

Jack hissed and flapped a hand to silence her, but it was too late. Elizabeth had broken the spell. Norrington turned, thin lipped with tension. “Elizabeth! Get back aboard your ship, it’s not safe here.”

The Endeavour’s guns thundered, wood splintered and Jack winced as the Pearl moaned in protest.

“It’s hardly any safer aboard the Pearl,” Elizabeth said. “And besides, I’m here for a purpose.”

“What purpose could you—?”

“Pardon the interruption, Admiral.” Not lowering his weapon, Jack drew closer. He glanced at Beckett. “M’Lord. I think you know why we’re here…” He held out his hand. “Jones’ heart. Hand it over.”

Beckett made no answer, though his pale eyes spat venom. And for a moment Jack thought he could see a shuffling black figure haunting the man, crouching in the darkness of his shadow. He knew it for what it was now, that corrosive visitor; it was hate and resentment, the wounded soul of a man betrayed. A phantom given form by the Locker, yes, but a burden he’d carried since Barbossa first marooned him upon that wretched spit of land. He wondered how long Cutler Beckett had kept company with his own bleak spirit, and thought perhaps he knew the answer.

“Arrest him!” Beckett snapped suddenly, but none leaped to obey him. In fact no one moved at all. Interesting….

And then something slammed hard into the deck behind him and Jack spun about, reaching for his gun before he recognised the newcomer. “William Turner!” he exclaimed. “There you bloody are! Was wondering when you’d show up, mate. You almost missed the party.”

“You’re looking less dead than expected,” Will said, failing to hide a smile.

“Teague didn’t see that one coming, eh?” He flashed the lad a grin, though couldn’t keep from glancing at Elizabeth. Her attention, however, was fixed on Mercer. And Mercer was watching them all with a cold calculation that wiped the smile from Jack’s face. Down to business…

“So here we all are,” Jack said, taking a step closer and lifting his sword to touch Norrington’s. “Time to choose sides, mate. Them or us. Freedom or tyranny.”

There was a silence. Norrington didn’t move, didn’t flinch, his gaze penetrating and not a little unnerving. When at last he spoke, his voice was calm and measured. “I will have no truck with pirates, Sparrow. I have devoted my career to his Majesty’s Service and I will protect the honour and reputation of the King’s navy.”

Jack’s gaze darted to Beckett and he saw the triumph in the man’s eyes. Drawing back, Jack levelled his sword. Behind him, he sensed Elizabeth draw closer and heard the steel song of Will’s blade being drawn.

But Norrington was not finished. “To that end,” he said, “I was once told, by a wise man and a good friend that, on the rare occasion that pursuing the right course demands an act of piracy, piracy itself can be the right course.” His sword arm shot out, aiming the blade once more at Beckett. “I believe that this might be just such an occasion.”

“James!” But Elizabeth’s warning came too late, the hilt of Mercer’s sword slammed into Norrington’s face and dropped him to the deck.

Above them, thunder cracked and everything was suddenly chaos.


***



Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: alana1079 (alana1079)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Alana

Well, I suppose it's the fine art of building up to a crescendo that makes any great story. You ladies have me over a barrel, as it were, and at the end of this update my exclamation was, "Don't stop yet!"

*le sigh*

I suppose I shall have to wait until Wednesday.

On a more serious note, I think my favorite aspect of this story is how you have truly taken the original and crafted it in such a way that it is not only logical, but much more plausible than the original. Your explanations for why things are the way they are are exquisite. It makes me wonder why the story couldn't have been told correctly the first time.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
Redux

I'm so glad that you're finding the story exciting. That's our ultimate aim at this point and I hope the pay off is worth it :)

Thank you so much for such lovely compliments :)

Posted by: Claudia Mary Gacrux (cmgacrux)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)

Wonderful.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thank you :D

Posted by: awickedwench (awickedwench)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
Freedom

Loved the imagery of Jack's return on the Black Pearl. And bonus that Lizzie was at his side. I also like the inference that he comes back wiser and more sure of himself! That's so sexy! This chapter was worth the agonizing wait. Now onto Wed. ;D

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
Redux

Sexy Jack! As fangirls, that is the ultimate compliment for us ;)

I think he has learned something through his journey in the story (I never did subscribe to the idea that jack should be the only one without a character arc. Why put him through so much if not to change him?). I'm so glad that his change is convincing for you :)

Thanks, as always, for your lovely comments, love!

Posted by: Dreaming my way back to you (sequence_fairy)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)

Noooo. don't stop here!!! Gah

Awesome chapter ladies!

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thanks! More to come on Wednesday :D

Posted by: The Deep Blue Ocean (creativeideas)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)

Loved all of this especially James coming good, as we all knew he would <3 <3 :-) Shame about Mercer spoiling the party but hopefully he will get whats coming to him in a thoroughly nasty and unpleasant way :D Looking forward to the next part :-)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)
Redux

Norrington was always a good bloke at heart, just with very strict ideas of right and wrong. More to come with mercer soon :)

Thans so much for commenting!

Posted by: Bell B. (bellbubble)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)

I sooo LUV' James!! And the call back to Governor Swann!! And the faces Beckett makes! And the Will&Barbossa interactions!

And Jack is alive!! xD

Oh, and (of course,) love the chapter!! Ladies, you give me a reason to look forward to Sundays (which I usually dislike for being the end of my weekend) and Wednesdays (which are the point of week when the weekend feels like it's never going to come). Love you for it!!♥

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Redux

Oh I'm so pleased all the elements of this chapter worked for you :) I'm also pleased we can brighten up your week for you (not many left now though *sniff*)

Thanks for commenting, as always:)

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)

After being kicked out of the house yesterday I had a HUGE panic as I thought I'd miss the next chapter of this wonderful story. But alas, all is sorted out and I get to read this :D

Great as always, which I'm sure I don't really need to tell you but I will anyway.

Battle scenes are usually quite boring, and extremely hard to write, but you two have done it perfectly once again. You had me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole chapter and I absolutely loved the typical Jack entrance.

As for James, you gotta love him too especially the DAddy Swann callback. I still feel sorry for Beckett, strangely enough. Get Mercer killed Lizzie! As for Will...well I detect some more Teagium lol.

All in all a great chapter once more and I look forward to Wednesday as always. I'd love to write more but I'm so tired I'm not sure I'd be able to write anything that makes sense.

Well done.

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Redux

Oh I'm glad everything is sorted and you didn't miss the chapter ;D

Battle scenes really are so difficult to write, so I'm glad we've managed to keep up the tension here!

I still feel sorry for Beckett, strangely enough

I'm glad you said that...

And Long Live Teagium! LOL

Thanks, as always, for your wonderful comments, love!

Posted by: tuesday_suit (tuesday_suit)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Give us a kiss

“Today, we fight to the death. And unless we are sharp, Kaigun Shosho, it will be our deaths to which we fight.”

*shivers*

Such an ominous beginning!

They flew against the wind, against logic and against reason.

I *love* that line.

James Norrington stood upon the quarterdeck of the H.M.S. Endeavour, watching the pirate ships take position in the distance, and wondered where this path would take him.

Yay, James!

“Do you think they realise?” said a voice at his ear. He turned to find Frederick Mercer at his elbow. “Do you think they know what’s to come?”

Mercer - boo! He's so....icky. :-P

Overhead, the storm unleashed her full fury as the first cannon fire rang out and the battle began.

I really like how you build the anticipation here, it is so well done!

It was too dark to see colours, but he recognised Beckett’s ship from her arrogant lines.

Hee! "Arrogant lines" - what a perfect description!

“Treacherous whore,” Barbossa muttered beneath his breath, glaring out into the storm. “Is this how you reward those who freed you?”

No, Hector, I believe this is how she punishes those who kept her prisoner in the first place....

At her helm stood the Pirate King, hair golden and face fierce as the midday sun. While, braced upon the top yard, hair whipping about his face, stood—

“It’s not possible!” Barbossa breathed, wide-eyed with shock.


It's Captain Jack Sparrow. Of course it's possible. ;-)

His hair and clothes – strange clothes, not his customary coat – were drenched through, though his eyes sparked fire and life and Gibbs thought he had never seemed more the legend than now, upon this rain-soaked deck.

Such a FAB description! The legend and the man, all at once. :-)

He’d do nothing by her order, though, King or not, she who’d sent Jack to the depths. Twice.

It's the "twice" that makes makes that whole line. :-)

It was hard to imagine what history Beckett could have with Sparrow, or how their paths might have crossed. Still, he remembered the heated glee with which Beckett had seen Sparrow punished in the Port Royal gaol and it gave him pause…

As well it should. ;-)

“How can they know?”

Beckett slid him a withering look. “They’re pirates?”


Bwahahaha! Oh, I can just see that look. So very Beckett - you do such an excellent job writing him.

He smiled and took a step forward. “Defending the ship. Sir.”

Wahoo! Go, James! (And I can completely see Jack Davenport saying that.)

Jack recognised the look of surprised betrayal in the man’s eyes, and it provoked an unexpected pang of guilt.

It’s just business, mate.


Jack. Seriously. Lizzie is so much more fun. Promise.

“Elizabeth! Get back aboard your ship, it’s not safe here.”

Oh, please. I like James, but with his overprotectiveness, no wonder Lizzie didn't stay with him. :-P

“Arrest him!” Beckett snapped suddenly, but none leaped to obey him.

Oh, this is so familiar. LOVE it.

“You’re looking less dead than expected,” Will said, failing to hide a smile.

BWAH!!!

But Norrington was not finished. “To that end,” he said, “I was once told, by a wise man and a good friend that, on the rare occasion that pursuing the right course demands an act of piracy, piracy itself can be the right course.” His sword arm shot out, aiming the blade once more at Beckett. “I believe that this might be just such an occasion.”

Fab, fab, FAB! I love James throughout this chapter (well, except for the above bit of domineering :-P); he was particularly wonderful here. And he paid for it, hopefully not with his life. :-(

This was great - it keeps getting better and better! Can't wait to see what happens next. :-)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
Redux

Yey, I love reading your comments! It's like a mini DVD commentary on each chapter LOL

James was a little bit domineering, but it's what he's been taught and how he's lived his life. He's just trying to be noble - notice how Elizabeth didn't take much notice of it though? lol

Thanks for taking the time to comment, love, and I still owe you some comments on your recent fabulous chapters (as well as a couple of betad pages :))

Posted by: tuesday_suit (tuesday_suit)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)

Posted by: tanith75 (tanith75)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
yoho

Wow. So I have just finished all 22 chapters, and spent a rainy afternoon tearing through your story and loving every minute of it. What a perfect way to waste away a day :D

I shall now wait ever so patiently until your next chapter. But I would like to say thank you for all you written so far. What a ride :)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
Redux

Oh wow! You caught up! Well done! lol

I'm so pleased you're enjoying the story - it's especially good to know that it stands up when all the chapters are read together, so thank you for letting us know your comments along the way!

Thanks so much for sticking with it and I hopeyou enjoy Wednesdays chapter too :D

Posted by: blacklilac17 (blacklilac17)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
pirate

To fight another day? There’ll never be a better day than this, Mister Gibbs.

That was my favorite line! I love this chapter so much! Jack wonderful return is, of course, amazing, and Norrington was so brave! Can't wait until Wednesday! Amazing work!

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thank you so much! Glad you liked that line because it pretty much sums up Jack's frame of mind right now. Full of life and ready to go at it full tilt.

Thanks for taking the time to let us now you're enjoying it! :)

Posted by: lady_linnet (lady_linnet)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
sparrabeth because:

“They’re pirates?”


I love you :D

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
Redux

Aw, we love you too! *hugs*

Posted by: akari (akarii)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Pirates

Excellent fighting scene, M'ladies. Hans Zimmer's 'I Don't Think Now Is The Best Time' would have been equally fitting here as it has been with regard to the tornado scene.

The new, lively Jack Sparrow is bewitching. I hope he will annoy the hell out of Beckett before somebody kills him (Beckett, I mean).

And now everybody is assembled on deck and the party can begin. Hit us, please!

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
Redux

Hans Zimmer's 'I Don't Think Now Is The Best Time' would have been equally fitting here as it has been with regard to the tornado scene.

Oh that is a fab compliment! Thank you so much!

I'm so pleased too that you like the new Jack Sparrow! We knew we were taking a bit of a risk changing him in such a way, but we wanted to show him having progressed character wise, while still retaining that spark that we all know and love. It was hard to try and get a balance right, so we're very relieved that you're enjoying the change!

Posted by: akari (akarii)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: akari (akarii)
Posted at: August 5th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)

Posted by: akari (akarii)
Posted at: August 5th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)

Posted by: Florencia (florencia7)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
Elizabeth and James

OHH That was so WONDERFUL! I love how you bring all the characters into play, how each of them has his or hers equally important purpose and destiny in this story. Mercer taking over the heart - such a perfect twist, and I loved Barbossa in this chapter - you portrayed him as a true captain, with that air of "madness" around him, with that dark energy that was so visible in CotBP.

This entire chapter made me think of CotBP. Jack, Elizabeth, Will fighting side by side, as it was in the 1st movie when there were not so many complicated *emotions* involved yet. Those sparks of friendship were so beautifully written in this chapter!

And Jack is really back!!!!!!!! ^^ I loved his attitude in this chapter, that light emanating from him - again.

I loved this: "“But to what point and purpose, eh? To fight another day? There’ll never be a better day than this, Mister Gibbs.” / “For what?” Gibbs muttered, suddenly sour. “To die? Again.” / But Jack smiled, his whole face alive. So very alive! “I’m done with death, mate.” And his gaze slipped slyly toward the girl who stood with one hand upon a ratline, leaning out into the teeth of the storm. “And today is a good day to win. Savvy?”

That part alone would make me happy if the entire chapter didn't make me happy already ^^

Except for James, of course... I hope his story is not over yet...

This chapter was a true adventure - AMAZING, as always. I can't wait to see what will happen!!! :)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
Redux

Thank you so much, love! While this story has been pretty dark for the most part, we did want to bring back that feel good factor with Jack, Will and Elizabeth all together again. I'm so pleased that you picked up on that tone!

And also we wanted Jack to shine, so it makes me happy that you enjoyed his return!

Thank you, as always, for your lovely comments and I hope you enjoy the chapter on Wednesday :)

Posted by: Anne (ladyofthesilent)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
Empress

And yet again, you've outdone yourself, ladies!

I like a little action from time to time, so I quite enjoyed the battle-bits you've woven so skilfully into this chapter. It was great to read about Kasumi again; she seemed quite fond of Jack, so I was already curious to see how she'd feel about his death. As usual, you didn't disappoint!

Jack Sparrow had been but a fleeting visitor in her life. Nonetheless, she thought, the world was a darker place for his passing.

I really liked this line. They might not have been particularly close, but she still mourns his loss. She's a tough lady, but with her heart in the right place. Female characters are quite rare in the PotC-series - so happy your story changed this!

The development on the Endeavour turns more interesting with each new chapter. So Norrington finally chose sides - I wouldn't have expected any less of my favourite Commodore ... Admiral ;)
I was happy to see him at Jack's side at the end of this chapter. This has to be one of the moments I've always been waiting for (but that never came). Apart from the fact they're an amazing Slash-pairing, I think they both are gentlemen enough to at least respect each other in the end. I'm already looking forward to see more of them!

Will was great in this chapter as well. It seems as if he's forgiven both Elizabeth AND Jack. What a character-development! At the end of DMC, he was consumed by jealousy and hate - and now, he even admires the man who sent him onboard the Dutchman. I really, really hope he won't end up as Captain of the FD ... poor boy, he doesn't deserve it!

I ADORE reborn!Jack! You know, he was sexy before, with his dreadlocks, pirate attire and stuff, but now ... I have no words. I admit I can hardly wait for you to bring on the smut! ;)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
payment

Action can be really difficult to write so I'm glad it all worked for you in this chapter :)

And I'm very pleased that you liked Kasumi's reappearance (without spoilers, she'll be back in a later chapter too :)). We did want to flesh out the representation of female characters and it's reassuring to know you've found them convincing.

And yey for Sparrington! *g* Actually, one of the things that I didn't quite get about DMC was how Norrington went from being willing to give jack a days head start and commit an act of piracy in CotBP, to being this uncompromising Javert type character ntent on Jack's destruction to the point where it ruined his life. It didn't quite ring true with me. I always thought that I'd have been more convinced if his determination to see teh good in Jack and do the honourable thing according to his moral code was the thing that cost him his commission. So hopefully that's what we managed to get across here - that he respects Jack enough to defend the same principles as him and fight with him for those principles, while still remaining true to his own ideals.

I'm so glad you liked Will in this chapter too (although we may have had him wearing the wrong colour of shirt. I'll have to check the rule book ;)). As for his fate...

Above all though, I'm especially pleased that you like reborn!Jack. We knew ti was a risk to take away a lot of the distinguishing features that people love, but we hoped to remain true to the essence of the character. Not to mention we found the idea of an unadorned Jack rather sexy too ;)

Smut? What smut? ;P

Thanks for your fab comments, love!

Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
capn jack faint

gorgeous imagery, as ever and yay! james changed sides!

jack sound so schmexy reborn, funny, i can picture him now... ;)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
payment

Thanks, chick! James is a good bloke at heart :)

And yey for schmexy Jack! I have to admit, I quite like the idea of his unbound hair. All the better for running yuor fingers through and grabbing onto when you're.... *drifts*

Sorry what was the question? ;P

Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Laura (fried_flamingo)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: August 5th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)

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