Disclaimer: I own none of the characters you saw in the movie or read in the book. Please don't make me say that again. It was extraordinarily painful.
A/N: Hello, ye swashbucklers! This is my first PotC fanfic…angsty, mysterious, action-packed. It does not have much romance, except for scenes between Will and Elizabeth. But I will warn you….there is a character death in the running. So, without further ado, chapter one.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Winds of Change
Prologue: The Ever-Changing Sea
"Captain Jack Sparrow…..captain," he countered miserably, shaking his head in annoyance and rolling his heavily-darkened eyes. He had specified once before to Commodore Norrington that he was not just a "mister", he was a commandeer of a ship, a dramatic, swashbuckling, greedy genius who happened to consume more rum that entirely necessary. So when will those bloody Englishmen finally understand that he held a designation to his name?
"I am sorry Mr. Sparrow, we do not give honorary titles to pirates," spat the plump general, eyeing his captive as if he were a disgusting bug that needed to be squashed.
Jack peered at the man, sizing him up, wondering how on earth he managed to go through corporal training at his exceedingly generous weight. Finally he sighed, and in response the pirate gave a long, drawn out sigh and nodded his head in mock sadness. "I was expecting that answer, to be honest."
"Honest? Honest?" cried the general incredulously, throwing his hands in the air. The man's chest swelled up so big with fury and disbelief that Jack winced despite himself, afraid that the poor bloke would explode. "When are pirates honest, Mr. Sparrow? When they're stealing? Soliciting to prostitution? Committing mutiny? Or perhaps when they are purposefully commanding a ship that has sailed into waters indisputably belonging to Her Majesty, whilst instigating an attack on the British Royal Navy?"
To this, Jack Sparrow did not answer quickly; a trait that was quite out of character for him. He looked upon the fully round, rosy-cheeked face of his captor, staring into his gray, beady pig-like eyes, wondering how much of his story this man would believe lest Jack dare tell him. If only he knew why he had ordered the crew to fire upon them, if only he knew what was at stake or how many lives could be lost or how many souls could be damned…
But, being a pirate, he had learned long ago never to let on to anyone what his thoughts were, and he wouldn't start doing so now. Thus, he plastered his roguish smile upon his tanned and soiled face and winked at the Englishman. "Point well taken, mate."
The general's face turned a crimson color in disgust and outrage. "Take this sorry excuse for a pirate out of my sight. Throw him in the brig until we reach Port Royal. I don't want to see him until we dock. I hope you enjoy your stay aboard this ship, Mr. Sparrow, for this very well might be your last day alive...the gallows are sure to await your appointment."
"If I had a shilling for every time I heard that…" he muttered as two guards roughly grabbed him by the arms and led him down into the brig. "Must you be so rough?" he asked a young-faced soldier to his left. The guard merely wrinkled his nose in distaste and squeezed harder.
"Well that was completely unnecessary…"
The smell of must and saltwater filled his nostrils as he was thrown uselessly into an extremely rusted and neglected cell. As he heard the shrill key turn in the lock, he forced himself to forget the events that had transpired despite the sorrow he felt rising in his throat that emanated from his heart…
His crew was dead. Every one of them. When they had fired upon the British Royal Navy, they had been less merciful than Jack had hoped. Cannon fire upon cannon fire rained down upon them as if they were in the deepest depths of hell. The thoughts of that fateful attack recycled inside his mind, making him wince in physical pain as he remembered seeing them take their last breaths in life, feeling the tangible guilt that now encircled his heart making it hard to breathe. Anguish like he had never known before washed over him, and he knew perfectly well that neither all of the lusty company of Tortuga nor all of the rum in the Caribbean could ever ease his intense suffering.
He had seen their deaths, he had heard their cries of pain. They had given their lives to protect him and his plan…he was the only one that could save countless lives, and his loyal crew knew that; he only had to explain it to them once. He remembered facing his comrades…no, his family…for the last time, seeing their weather-beaten faces, looking into their understanding eyes, eyes that had seen too much but had accepted it for what it was. There was a solemn gratitude, an unspoken fellowship among them that had made his heart swell with pride. They were pirates…damn good ones. May the ever-changing sea rest their souls.
Rubbing his bloodshot eyes the pirate shook his head, vaguely hoping he could eradicate the memories. This is no time to mourn, he thought, inhaling the salty air deeply. That can be done later…
As of now, his main priority was to get to Port Royal, to see Will and Elizabeth. He hoped that it wouldn't be too late, and that they both would be in good health….and, preferably, alive.
He sat down in a corner of the small, corroded brig, listening to the whisper of the surrounding water and the haunting moans of the rigging. And as desperately as he tried to focus on his plan, to concentrate fully on arriving in Port Royal, to push away the shards and scraps of reminiscences of his companions, it all was done in vain…he missed his crew. It was an undeniable fact, a shadow that haunted his thoughts and manipulated his feelings. Their faces and voices invaded his mind, leaving him with nothing but old recollections and new guilt. And that crucial question, the one that he had been trying to hard to suppress finally surfaced: Had it been worth it?
Yes. But the answer didn't make it any easier to accept.
He had led a pirate's life for more years than he could remember. He had lived by it, sworn by it, gained from it and lost from it. The unforgiving and sometimes beneficial way of the pirate was the only life he had ever known.
But as he sat in the brig, without a home, without a ship, and, most painfully, without a crew, he realized to his dismay that his acceptance of the pirate's life didn't mean he was used to it.
Ok. How did it go? Confused? Befuddled? Bewildered? GOOD! You will find out much, much, MUCH more next chapter…so please read and review. Let me know what you think! Other chapters will be longer…this is only a prologue of sorts to get you interested. Constructive criticism is undoubtedly and absolutely welcomed.