Disclaimer: I guess I really do need to remind you all that anything and everything related to Pirates of the Caribbean, their characters and settings are all the property of Disney - Disney - Disney - nobody - but -Disney - I-just-borrowing-to-play-with-and-giving-back. Only Disney can make money on anything to do with Pirates of the Caribbean. NOT ME!


Chapter 2: Standoff

June 12th, Sunday continued

The galley came up to the entrance of the harbor and slid to a stop. They had stayed far out of range of the guns from the big fort, as well as those from the stranded or listing Navy vessels. Just because a ship couldn't maneuver in the water, didn't mean someone couldn't load a cannon and send shot flying their way.

The grey-haired and mutton-chopped Mr. Gibbs stood at the helm, while nearby Jack stood at the railing, using his spyglass to watch the fort and harbor in general. The view wasn't the best at this distance, but it was clear that there was suddenly a lot of activity and running around going on at the top level. The level where they housed those blasted guns of theirs. Apparently, they had been noticed.

"Sure a lot more water in that harbor than there used to be Capt'n" Gibbs observed and Jack sighed and nodded as he lowered and closed the spyglass.

"Bits and pieces of buildings as well. With that much of the land gone, Neptune himself only knows what kind of depth there is to allow a ship to enter it now. You can see bits and pieces of some of it sticking up out of the water even. And the dock is just not there anymore - not even a trace of it." He said wryly as he folded his arms over his chest and stared at the scene before him with a calculating look for a long moment.

"Bring out the sweeps - but make not so much as a single stroke. Those bloody idiots in that fort are going to have to take a shot at us sooner or later. Matter of pride. Can't just let a pirate ship sail in completely unmolested." he said as if thinking aloud, and jerked mildly as if on cue, there came a muffled boom from the tower. And about 75 yards in front of them, the splash of a cannonball hitting the water.

Gibbs frowned at him.

"I do wish you wouldn't always be so accurate Capt'n" he said darkly, and Jack gave him a confident smile as he chuckled softly.

"Nice thing about the Royal Navy Mr. Gibbs - they do tend to be a bit predictable. Image and pride - all that rot." He observed, and Gibbs nodded. He had served in said Navy in the past and knew well just what 'all that rot' could encompass.

"Do you want to return fire sir?" asked a crew member from the lower deck and Jack shook his head.

"No, - but go below and see that all of our passengers are secure. I don't want anyone up here being mistaken for a hostage. Not unless we need them to be anyway." He said, and the man nodded and left. Jack stepped to the rail and looked down to watch the many oars come out of the sides of the ship, then he opened his spyglass again to study the tower of the fort.

Yeah, they were busy as bees up there now, he could see. They were well out of cannon range, he knew… but he was sure they would just have to try a lot more than just once. He couldn't help but smile.


Commodore Norrington stood in a semi sheltered spot high atop Fort Charles, his spyglass trained on the pirate ship with its infamous black sails that had come to a stop just out of cannon range. He muttered a few uncomplimentary words under his breath as he gazed through the instrument, not breaking off his view as the Governor came rushing up to him.

A quick glance told him that Will and Elizabeth had followed the man, but had stopped some ways off, all three of the new arrivals looking more than just a little alarmed.

"What are you shooting at?" the Governor demanded and Norrington grimaced.

"The first of what will surely be many more such problems. We have a visitor at the entrance to the harbor - a pirate ship." He said darkly and they all exchanged looks, the Governor quickly becoming more agitated.

"Good Lord man! We won't be able to hold them off with these few cannons!" the Governor reacted with and the Commodore lowered the spyglass with a glance at the younger couple.

"I could hope that this is Mr. Sparrows' way of paying a social visit - but somehow I doubt it. The ship is very low in the water, which means she is heavily loaded. And he's just sitting there. Ran out the oars, but he's just sitting there - watching - waiting. Once darkness falls we won't be able to see if they move. Not with those black sails." He said gravely, and now while the Governor looked even more alarmed, both Will and Elizabeth frowned and stepped up to look over the side and see the ship sitting there.

It was indeed the Black Pearl, there was no mistaking that part of the puzzle.

Just then another cannon went off and they all cringed at the loud booming noise. and stared as the ball again fell far short of the ship.

"Why are you shooting at them? That isn't exactly the best way to keep them from wanting to destroy what little is left of Port Royal!" the Governor exclaimed in alarm and the Commodore scowled.

"A pirate is a pirate. Besides, God Willing - If we could sink that thing in the bay - that would certainly be a warning to any other such brazen attempts." He growled, and Will scowled.

"Jack is NOT just another pirate and you know it, Commodore. He hasn't come near this town in over 3 years. How do you know he hasn't come to offer help?" he asked, and the Commodore smirked.

"I do not see why you repeatedly insist on taking the side of such a blatant criminal Mr. Turner, but I can assure you it does nothing to further your future in this colony. Just because he has had the sense to be afraid to enter our fair waters does not mean he hasn't been a major nuisance to the rest of the Caribbean. and I can assure you that he most certainly has been! I can also assure you that Mr. Sparrow is no more out there to offer the good people of Port Royal his generous assistance than I am about to take wing and fly off for the winter migrations. The man is a criminal Mr. Turner. You would do well to remember that he still has a noose awaiting him, one I would be only happy to see put to good use." He said very aristocratically, then turned to give the younger man a smug smile.

"And I can assure you, sir, there will be no interference in the course of justice this time. Mr. Sparrow was given his one day's head start, years ago. If he has come here, I will see duty done." He added, then deliberately turned his back on the young couple and directed Governor Swan's attention to the flurry of activity taking place on the upper level of the fort.

Will clenched his jaw in anger and was about to argue further, only to have Elizabeth stop him with a hand on his arm and a meaningful look. He had once declared that his place was standing between this same pirate and the zealous Commodore, and Norrington never missed an opportunity to remind him of the fact.

He glared at the man, but for Elizabeth's sake, managed not to say so much as a word.