Author's Note: This is kind of long and might even be considered a bit morbid. And don't ask me where this came from. I'm not so sure myself...

Disclaimer: Me? Own? I think not...

*~*~*

The Greatest Feeling in the World

Chapter 1: The Greatest Feeling in the World

Jack Ferriman walked through the buzz of the people.

Or should I say he slithered?

Yes, he slithered through the buzz of the people. He weaved in and out of their dancing forms. And on his way, he would wink and smile at the female wallflowers who sat at their own tables with only their drink and poisoned soup to comfort them.

Francesca's amazing voice filled the room, but Jack was doing a fine job of ignoring it. He had far more important things to worry about than listen to a soon-to-be-dead woman's voice flutter through the air. But he glanced over his shoulder anyway and he saw Francesca's chocolate eyes boring into him. She was smiling seductively at him as she sang. He gave her a show of his pearly whites that would make any woman's knees wobble and then he continued to walk in the opposite direction.

He didn't care about her. He couldn't. He had a job to do.

And soon he would never have look at her or the rest of the damned passengers aboard the Antonia Graza ever again.

Jack walked up several stairs at the far end of the ballroom and then paused for a moment. He turned around slowly, and you could see a ghost of a smile pass over his lips. His eyes swept over the room and all of his unknowing victims occupying it. He stared down at them with such malice, such malevolence, that even the Devil himself would have cringed at the expression on Jack's face. But inside, he wasn't quite so sure if he really wanted to do this. He just wanted this all to be over with already.

He quickly spun around without another thought about it and walked out the door, almost knocking down a young waiter in the process. The waitor yelled something at him in Italian, but Jack didn't speak a word of Italian. He was never that great with foreign languages

But Jack didn't care about the waiter. He had no time to be dawdling and daydreaming. He had a very important task to complete.

He walked down a corridor to his left and passed by an old couple on his way. He gave a sickeningly sweet smile that completely contradicted his true nature. They smiled back and both the old couple and Jack continued toward their destination.

His destination was the cargo hold.

He continued to walk down a various array of hallways and stair cases as, in the distance, he heard Francesca end one song and begin another. It was an Italian song she sang to him once. It was a beautiful song that carried a lovely melody. Senza fine, it was called.

Jack forgot about the Italian woman and her song as he came to a large, metal door. The door to the cargo hold. He sucked in a deep breath and smoothed out his brown hair. He then straightened out his suit jacket. If he had a mirror is his pocket he would have certainly taken it out to look at himself and make sure his appearance was perfect, which, of course, it was anyway. He was acting like a young teenage boy getting ready to go on a first date.

He grabbed the silver handle, opened the door, and silently went inside. He looked around for a moment and saw a beautiful black car off to his left and a few random crates and boxes scattered here and there. But there was a door directly across from where he was standing. Behind the door was a small room that held the one thing that made everything that was about to happen possible: the gold.

There was a large switch near the door he had just come through. He turned to look at it for a moment. He sighed. It was almost finished.

He walked over to the switch and pulled it down, barely even a second thought of the consequences of his actions passing his mind. He had done things like this for so long that his emotions and conscience had finally dulled out and then almost disappeared completely.

Jack now stood less than several feet away from the switch, his body hidden in the shadows. He linked his hands together behind his back and waited. Just waited.

And soon he heard several feminine screams coming from the levels above him. They were probably just realizing that almost everyone on deck was, well, slightly downsized.

That's when the shit hit the proverbial fan.

The shooting and screaming that came after was nothing but dull thuds and distant hums to Jack. It's not that it was all pounding on his conscience so much that he blocked it out (his conscience was now just a very tiny fraction of its old self), he just found it so damn irritating and it gave him one hell of a migrane. And besides, he had to block it all out. This was his job and he had to get used to everyhting that comes with it. He closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger for a moment before returning to his statue-like stance.

Time always seemed to slow down when Jack was bored. The minutes seemed like hours and the hours seemed like eternity. He rocked back and forth for a moment, from heel to toe, to ease his utter boredom.

He might've been bored, but he sure was proud. The Antonia Graza was quite a prize and Jack Ferriman was in the process of winning it. Oh, management will be so pleased with him when he finally sends this ship on home! When they see the shitload of souls he ferried down to the Netherworld, they'll give him a good old pat on the back and serve up a promotion to him on a silver platter.

He was in complete ecstasy at the thought of no longer being just a seafaring soul collector when the silence began to get to him.

Wait. Silence?

He stopped his pondering for a moment when he realized that the screaming and shooting had drastically died down. By now, most of the passengers and a lot of the crew (including the captain, who had a little too much taken off the top) were either dead or dying but there were still probably a few more stragglers that would be taken care of later.

Jack glanced at his very expensive, Italian watch. And now the last of the corrupted, murdering crew should be throwing themselves through the door in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

The large metal door leading to the cargo hold slammed opened with a loud thud and a group of about two dozen men came flooding through. Jack Ferriman stepped deeper into the shadows and the greedy men running past him didn't even realize there was anyone there.

Jack watched as there was one man who stood behind the rest. He was higher ranking than the others, possibly the captain's first mate. He was a skrawny looking man with dark hair and his pants and white overcoat and even his face were stained with still-wet blood. This man was certainly not a saint. He had a wicked smile on his face as the men set up a small explosive device by the door leading to the gold, which then ripped the door right off its hinges.

The men filed into the room and, once they had their hands on the gold, roared like wild beasts who just made a kill.

While they were fawning over their precious gold, they failed to notice the beautiful Italian woman, the beautiful Francesca, silently waltz into the room, except for the bloody, non-saintly one, he noticed and he walked out of the small room to greet her, a gold bar in hand.

He still had that incredibly wicked smile on his face as he dropped the gold bar into the black car and continued to walk up to her until they were less than a foot apart.

She smiled at him seductively, the same way she smiled at Jack, and then that was the man's cue. He took the large gun that he was holding and quickly spun around, shooting at anything in his path, which just so happened to be his unsuspecting accomplices, but that was, of course, what he wanted.

Meanwhile, Francesca seemed to truly be enjoying herself. As the man spun around she tilted her head back in pleasure, as if she actually wanted something this horrifying to happen.

Everyone in the room was dead except for the man with the gun, Francesca, and, of course, the still hidden Jack. The man turned back around expecting to see a happy Francesca, but instead he was face to face with the barrel of Francesca's gun. She pulled the trigger and he was dead before he even fell to the ground.

Francesca smiled morbidly as his body collapsed to to floor and then she gave a snort that could've almost been a chuckle.

But then she could feel the presence of another person. She looked up and turned around to see Jack still lingering in the shadows.

Jack had watched all of this with grisly fascination. He found it amazing that people could do such things to each other. He had been collecting souls for more than just one lifetime now and he had seen some pretty gruesome things, but damn, these people were human beings for Christ's sake. They should feel SOME kind of remorse.

Except for Jack, of course. Jack might've been human at one time, yes, but he had done his dirty deeds that ended him up in this situation and all the situations before. He doesn't have to feel remorse.

But now Jack had to deal with the evil woman in the shiny red dress.

Francesca turned around and threw the gun off to the side and placed her hands on her hips. Jack walked over to her and placed his hand around the back of her head and pulled her in a for a deep kiss. This stalled her and gave him time to think of a way to bump her off.

And then it hit him.

He looked up to see a large hook held up by only a steel bolt. He pulled away from Francesca and she looked at him strangely, wondering why he had suddenly jerked away like that. Jack looked at the hook once more and the bolt "mysteriously" fell out. Ah yes, I suppose that would be an upside to his... unpleasant... occupation: moving things with his very shady, dark mind.

The hook came swinging down on Francesca and just as she looked up at it, it slammed into her face, got hooked on her jawline and lifted her off the ground. The hook then swung lazily back and forth, bringing Francesca along with it.

Jack watched as the blood dripped from her jaw and down her neck. Her lower lip was quivering slightly. In her dying moments, she wondered how her lover, Jack Ferriman, could do such a thing to her. But she had no clue who this man truly was, and she never will, at least she won't know while she's still alive anyways.

Jack ripped the silky red glove off of her right arm and placed his right palm on hers. A horrifying pain shot up through her arm as she died. She didn't know then, but she had been marked by the trident. Her soul was forever Jack's.

Jack turned around and walked out of the cargo hold, leaving the dead bodies of twenty four human beings behind him. But on his way out, he grabbed the gun of a now-dead crew member. He knew he would have to finish off the ones that were hiding or trying to get off the boat. But it's not like they could, you know. Jack and a few other men had taken care of all the life preservers and life boats. Too bad the passengers didn't know that.

And so Jack went on to complete his mission. It's what made him a soul collector. Ferriman was, well, a ferryman. A ferryman of souls, but still a ferryman. But this was his job, his career, and it was almost finished. And that was the greatest feeling in the world.

*~*~*

Author's Note: Morbid? Yeah. Told you so. But the movie was a hell of a lot more detailed than my description. But please let me know what you think anyway.