Sound the Bugle
Disclaimer: I don't own Treasure Planet, or the song 'Sound the Bugle.' Just got it in my head and it made me write a story from it about poor Jim. If I did, I'd be rich enough to buy myself a decent keyboard.

[Author's Note; My shot at angst, I get these songs in my head, and they get stuck with plots that spin themselves. I'm just the one who writes them down.]

Captain James Hawkins was struggling to open his eyes. He didn't know where he was, only that his head hurt immensely and his mouth was dry. Finally he got enough strength to lift one eyelid, then the other. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, and for the spots floating in front of his eyes to clear themselves. What he saw did little to cheer or inform him to where he was. A dark room, damp stone walls. Somewhere, something unseen dripped water into a puddle. Jim slowly sat up, off of what appeared to be an old, stiff mattress. He lifted his hand to his pounding head, wondering why it felt like he had blood dried into his hair, making it stiff and prickly. Delirium clouded his mind.

Finally, his head cleared enough to realize that he was no longer on the borrowed ship, the RLS Mistletoe, a merchant fleet transporting plants to several different planets. Not the most exciting job, but it had another purpose. Right now he could barely remember his own full name.

He set about examining what seemed to be a prison cell, and wondered what he had done to get here. The fog in his brain had begun to clear, but his throbbing head prevented any real productive thought. All he could remember was getting hit, real hard, in the back of his head. He wondered for a moment if he had had an accident with his solar surfer, but then realized that that was impossible, he hadn't ridden it in months.

Eventually, Jim came to the conclusion that he had been hurt, intentionally. He remembered reading something once, a long time ago, that for some reason something called 'free association' could help you remember things, but he had forgotten how it worked. So he sat back down on the mattress, rubbing his bloodied head, assessing the wound. He closed his eyes, and painfully leaned against the wall of his cell. His shoulders and back hurt, as if he had pulled every muscle, and he winced.

He was 26 years old, he knew, his mother was waiting for him back home on Montresser, and his ship never made it to Surete, a spaceport in the Lointain galaxy. Loud noises, people running, and wood splintering. His ship crashing to pieces, and someone he cared about fleeing in a longboat. Fire. Guns. A cannon. Jim's eyes flew open. He remembered!

His ship had been ambushed outside of Surete's spaceport, hostile territory, overrun with pirates. Three large galleons against his much smaller merchant trade ship. They had ruthlessly attacked the Mistletoe, rending it to pieces, killing half of his crew. He had convinced his First Mate, a feline relative of Amelia's and a close friend of his, to escape on one of the ship's longboats. He never saw if she made it to safety. The butt of a gun, smashing into the back of his head, had knocked him out. Before he'd been knocked out flying debris had beaten him around a bit; hence his sore back and shoulders. Jim was just glad that nothing seemed to be broken.

Apparently, rather than kill him, the pirates took him captive. Jim couldn't begin to guess why, but he was worried. He had no idea how long he had been in this cell, but he knew that he was hungry, tired, and dirty. He leaned forward and rested his head in the palms of his hands, massaging his forehead. "What'm I gonna do?" he murmured to himself. His ship destroyed, his first mate could be dead or worse, he had no idea when or where he was, and if that blasted thing didn't stop dripping water like that he thought he might go crazy. Jim sighed sullenly. He found himself wondering if Morph had gotten away alright.

His stomach growled, and he wondered if he'd missed whatever dinner he might be given, or if the next meal was breakfast or lunch, or if he would be fed at all. Jim thought, suddenly, of writing to his mother. It had been three weeks since he'd sent his last letter, and he was sure she was thinking of him. He began a search of the pockets of his dirtied uniform, saddened but not surprised to find that all of his possessions were gone, including his dagger and rifle. Not a stylus or parchment anywhere. Not like there was a chance to get a letter sent, even if there was suddenly enough light for him to see in this dungeon. He found himself grinning grimly at what he might write.

Dear Mom, My ship's been destroyed, my crew gone, and I have no idea where I am, other than the fact That it's some kind of cold dark pirate prison. Send my love to B.E.N. and the Dopplers, All my love, Jim

Jim would have laughed if he weren't still so disoriented. If he had been able to admit it to himself, he would have said that he was down right frightened. He leaned over, pressing his forehead to his knees, his arms wrapped around his ribs, and let out a small chuckle. 'What a hopeless looking situation'. 'What am I gonna do?'

A key jangled somewhere, a lock rambled and clicked, and a door swung open, spilling yellow light into Jim's prison cell. He winced against it, the light searing his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, he could see. A squid looking creature stood just beyond bars, Jim had been correct in assuming he was in a prison cell. From what he could see, there was a row of more cells across a narrow hallway, and a door leading outside just in front of his cell. A regular dungeon.

"Food," said the squid, and opened the barred door with a jingle of keys, and the creature slid a bowl on a tray into the cell. Jim merely stared at him from his curled position on the mattress, and the squid closed and locked the door. The one outside pushed a cart along the hallway, stopping to feed more prisoners, and Jim stayed where he was. After the guard was out of sight, Jim slowly stood, shaking his sore legs, and strode to the small tray on the floor. He stooped down and lifted it, sniffing it carefully as he backed up to his mattress where he sat down.

There was no spoon, so he lifted the bowl and took a sip. Surprised, Jim realized that it was rather good, the only thing to lift his spirits since he woke up. Warm, and spicy, and somehow familiar. Jim thought of all the recipes him mom would cook for him back at the Benbow Inn, but it didn't seem like any of those. The soup was like a sip of the past. Jim smirked at the thought. 'Poetry,' Amelia would have said. "Whatever," he mumbled and drank the rest down in gulps.

When he was done, he placed the bowl back down onto the tray and kicked it across the floor to the door. Now that he was fuller, and a little warmer, Jim lied down on the old mattress. He drew his left foot up to his right knee and put his hands behind his head. He meant to lie back and think, but moments later his eyelids drooped and he drifted off into an uneasy sleep. His last thought was foggy, and had something to do with real good soup, a comfortably dark place, a laser eye, laughter, and a chirping pink blob. Morph.

[There, sucky first chapter, but the story will get better, I promise! But only if you review! Jim'll fall a little deeper into his despair, and get a little angsty. I'll try, anyway, if I get some good reviews. Apple Pie goes to everyone who does, because apple pie rocks.]