PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN

FATA MORGANA

There is a tale that nobody has spoken of. A tale that everybody knows, but nobody is familiar with. It is said that beyond the horizon lies treasure. Not jewels or glittering gold, no crown bedazzled with the rarest of stones. It is a treasure beyond every man's wildest imagination, it is what every sailor yearns for, and what every pirate strives for. Something that hides absolute power. The power to rule the entirety of the seven seas. Everything that those waters have seen and will see – every boat and every man on it, past, present, and future.

CHAPTER I

I have spent about half of my life on the sea, though I was not born at it. I do not know much about my father, in fact, I do not know much about him at all. From what I have been told, he was a pirate who had fallen in love with a woman while his ship had docked, promised her the sea, the stars and everything in between, and then left her before even knowing that their short-lived romance had conceived a child. My mother was a wench. It is something that nor am I ashamed of, nor do I pride myself in; it is simply a piece of information that I do not share with just anybody. Somewhere along my journey, I did have an attempt at what would be considered by the civilized folk to be a 'normal' life, but nothing had come out of it. Some might say that the pirate in my blood had been too strong, and I would tend to agree – I could feel the sea calling for me. And even if most of my days are spent on both known and uncharted waters, I still find myself going back to what I still call home. With all its putrid smells – the fog of drunkness, carnal pleasure, and mere stink. Tortuga is not for the faint of heart.

As soon as we docked, I knew I was home. The screams and the moans could be heard from a distance, those were sounds that I had become accustomed to and albeit being able to hear them, I had begun barely noticing them. They had turned into something of the likes of white noise. The drunken men who seemed to have a grudge against anybody around them and the women who offered themselves to just about anyone, just as flushed as their male counterparts did not bother me anymore, not as it used to the first time I returned after having been away.

But one can not deny their roots, or it's at least difficult to do so. It was something that I learned when I tried to fabricate an identity of my own when I came up with the tallest of tales only to hide who I was. And it might have just worked, had it not been for my mother. The reason I would return to this godforsaken place every now and then was her. She was my roots. She had always tried her hardest to bring me up with morals different than the ones on Tortuga, and for that matter, I felt somehow indebted to her.

She lived in the same cottage that I knew and just loved to hate. Or hated to love, depends on how one would put it. Though it did change in appearance over the years, it was a sign that my mother did put to use what I sent her. A large part of what I earned from my despicable life of piracy went to her, as Tortuga's pool of employees was, uh… Not very attractive, as to say.

"Hey, mom.", I greeted as soon as I stepped inside. The lights were on and I knew she would be there.

She appeared from somewhere around a corner, surprise written on her face. "Victoria. I wasn't expecting you so soon."

"Well, considering that the latest ship I've plundered had more cargo than I had expected, I thought I could afford an early visit." The smile that appeared on my face matched hers.

"Explain to me why that is a good idea." She did not raise her voice, she did not put emphasis on any of her words, but I knew she was more than not pleased with the said idea. She was angry.

"It's not.", I replied just as I took another bite of the piece of bread I had in my hand. "It's a great idea, really. Listen to me. This has the potential to be something amazing, I am sure the legend is real. And because it is, I will be rich. We will be rich. You could finally move out of this shit hole."

But she only sighed.

"You're going after someone who can not be trusted. Even if the legend is true, he will trick you and you will walk away with nothing."

I could sense in her voice that she did not want to express it, but she doubted me. "Have a little faith in me. Did my plans ever go wrong before?"

It was a question she could not answer. I did not find joy in holding it against her, but I felt the need of reminding her once in a while that those plans, albeit not perfect, were what put food on the table.

"I will find him, and I will make him join me if I must.", a point that I tried to make with my eyes set on my mother's, the index of my right hand stuck out.

"I have no doubt that you will.", she replied. "It's what could come of it that worries me."

"I will be fine.", I responded, a hint of arrogance in my voice.

"Don't forget what happened in Saint Martin when you first met him.", she paused, though not for long. "And all of the times after that."

My eyebrows lowered, they brought themselves together as my eyes squinted, forming a frown on my face. Or something more of a grimace. The glass that I had just lifted was then instead slammed against the table with a loud sound, the red liquid in it spilling on the wood and on my hand. It was of no matter though, I just brought myself up to stand, put my other palm on the table and used the other to point a ring-clad finger at her. "I've told you before, we do not talk about that!"

Her eyes followed me, and her head lifted to take a better look at my figure once I had brought myself on my feet. Despite the way of life on Tortuga, how people seemed to be enjoying the moment and living in the 'now', how they were loud and uncivilized for the most part, my mother was rather calm in nature. She was not one to bring herself into conflict, and nor add to the fire. She would rather settle the dispute, talk herself out of it. In all honesty, she was everything that I was not.

"When are you leaving?", she asked.

The smooth, almost peaceful tone in her voice took me by surprise, even though I liked to boast that I knew her better than anyone. With a long exhale through my nose, I just brought myself back down on the chair I had been sitting on. "Tonight," I said. "I've already asked around about his whereabouts, it will take me some time to catch up to him. I need all of the advance I can get." And with that I reached for the glass that I had had in my grip earlier, checking for any cracks upon taking a hold of it. With no damage whatsoever done to it, I chugged the wine down with no hesitation.

"Just be careful." She blurted out softly, genuine care in her voice.

"I always am" I responded.