A/N: Odd title, non-historically-accurate...this fic is looking bad already. x_X In my view of the canon, PotC is 'divorced' from reality, as it were-- so I'm saying that pirates have been hunted to near extinction by the Navy, as led by Norrington. If you've huge, defecating-a-lamppost objections to this premise, by all means give me a whistle and I'll see what I can do to change my story to suit you. :)

Disclaimer: Much to my chagrin, none of the characters are mine except the ones I've invented. ^^

Pirates: The Lost Glamorous Figures of Our Time
by Edmund Worthington, Esq.


Prologue


It was a lonely bar, full of the debris of past years' revelry. A few miscreants remained, smoking and drinking away what few doubloons they had-- and doubloons were fast going out of fashion, as were the type of people that inhabited this place.

In fact, the Faithful Bride was one of the last of its ilk; dirt and disreputability were no longer romantic, and squalor was only acceptable in the streets of the cities. Tortuga was near deserted; and the men who now roamed its filthy streets were mere shadows of the glamorous scoundrels that had once been its claim to fame. Pirates were still around, of course-- in small numbers, hiding from the increasingly efficient Navy. They were "rats, vermin, a plague upon the species that the Navy will soon rout", as the Times had remarked in a scathing editorial.

Some would argue that the 'age of pirates' was not a time worth remembering. The men who flouted the law and stole, pillaged and looted merchant ships were generally a terrible lot. But a few...well, a few were gems, legends in their time-- it was worth devoting time and effort, if one could record their glorious mythos...

At least, that was the view of the rumpled, scholarly-looking man who was sitting towards the back of the bar, engaged in conversation with one of the locals.

"Aye, I sailed long wiv Jack Sparrow," the man who had once been known as Gibbs was saying thoughtfully, looking hard at the stranger. "But if ye don't mind me askin'-- why these queries now? S' far as I know, that gallant's long been kissin' the bottom o' Davy Jones' locker..."

The scholarly man leaned back, steepling his fingers. "I'm writing a book."

"A book?" Gibbs laughed, a raucous sound that could just as well have been crying. It echoed too loudly in the near-deserted bar. "A book...well now, I'm sure Jack would've been 'appy t'know that someone wanted t'immort'lize 'im on paper..."

The man leaned forward, placing a few coins on the table. "Mr..."

"Gibbs, m'lad. Old Man Gibbs, they call me now."

"Mr. Gibbs, I was wondering if you would be willing to recount all that you can remember of your adventures with Mr. Sparrow to me."

"Mister Sparrow? Nay, he was always keen t'be called Captain, if ye must refer t'him." Gibbs pocketed the money, his small eyes gleaming out at the stranger from between folds of wrinkled skin. "All right, sir. I'll take yer money and yer offer." He laughed again. "Money fer talking....yer the first man who was ever keen to hear me talk, and talk long, judgin' by the 'andsome reward. Very well. Jack Sparrow..."