Disclaimer: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" is copyrighted exclusively to Disney. I do not own their original characters. I do, however, own everything else. ::Snicker::
A/N: I'm back. ::waves fervently:: Yep. I'm updating…the next day. Wow: three updates in three days. ::pats self on back:: That's pretty impressive in my opinion. Anyways, I was so overwhelmed with reviews yelling at me about my "evil cliffie" that I just couldn't let you poor lads and ladies suffer any more. "The Winds Eye" came from an actual nautical term; the wind's eye, as it is called, is the actual point from which the wind blows. I hope you all are catching on to the titles of these stories…if you guess well, you'll be able to determine how they will end. And now, without further ado: Part II.
________Pirates of the Caribbean: The Wind's Eye A Governor, A Commodore, and A Pirate
I'm too old for this.
Governor Swann sighed as he sat at the deep mahogany table, letting his tea grow cold while absent-mindedly picking at his breakfast crumpet. The morning sun spilled through the picture-glass windows to his right, illuminating the intricately embossed design at the center of the long, rectangular table. A delicate breeze teased his face through the open balcony window, and the governor found himself wishing that he were a young man again: carefree, handsome, and without responsibility.
But those days were over. He was now an official dignitary of England, and had been called there to meet with the Royal Parliament itself. He had been provided with an official invitation to come to England – all expenses paid for by their Royal Highnesses, of course – in order to discuss the newly acquired English colonies of Jamaica. Apparently Parliament had been impressed with his govern of Port Royal, and were interested in hearing his opinions about the adequate rule of the Jamaican territories.
Without a doubt, he had been honored and slightly proud with himself for gaining such recognition with England. However, the "few months" that he had been invited to stay there had quickly turned into five months, six months, seven months…he realized with disdain that he had been trapped in England now for almost a year. Although the country was the home of his birth, once a soul reaches the Caribbean, the country of birth is of no importance. The Caribbean is said to free your soul…and Governor Swann silently admitted that he completely agreed.
Not only did he miss the Caribbean, however, but he missed his daughter terribly as well. Although she was now taken care of by her husband, he still felt responsible for her. He knew, at the bottom of his heart, she was happy with Turner the blacksmith. And, granted, his business had been substantially lucrative. But a nagging sensation in his mind told him that perhaps there was more to the boy than he thought. He convinced himself time and again that he had done the right thing by letting Elizabeth marry him, but something told the governor that maybe Will Turner wasn't as honest as he should be.
After all, he's a pirate. Elizabeth said so herself.
Sighing again, he stood up, in no mood for breakfast. The realization that his age was slowly but steadily catching up to him had made his stomach churn. Glancing at the clock, he noted it was barely ten o'clock; he didn't have an administrative meeting with Parliament until two in the afternoon. Wondering what on earth there was to do in London fairly early in the morning, he decided to take a stroll to ease his anxiety and get some fresh air.
"Trudy," he called. A young, fairly plump maid appeared from the kitchen and curtsied. "I shall be going for a walk. If anyone comes to call, tell them I shall be back no later than noon."
"Yes, sir." She curtsied once again, and disappeared.
Stepping out into the crisp English air, he felt his spine tingle. Brushing it off as nothing more than the chilled air he had grown so unfamiliar with in the Caribbean, the governor pulled his cloak around him and headed off for downtown London.
He walked past bakeries, shoe repair shops, blacksmiths, butchers, tailors, and peddlers. The smell of molded metal and raw meet filled his lungs and he resisted the urge to gag. Little children played in the streets while "respectable" businessmen stood in small corners of the marketplace, speaking in hushed tones while sending a roaming eye over their shoulder every minute or two. Mothers held screaming babies, fathers taught their sons how to bargain for a good price, and teenage boys roughhoused in every alley for miles around.
Ahh…just like home.
"Papers! Getchor papers! One shillin' per paper, but it's a buy! Getchor papers, mornin' papers!"
Governor Swann looked to the source of the noise and saw a young boy, perhaps twelve, waving the London Times above his head wildly while screaming promotions at the top of his lungs. Extracting a shilling from a pouch at his side, the governor smiled down at the boy and took a paper. The boy gave him a funny look and stood quiet for a minute. Then, giving him an awkward smile, he turned back to his task at hand. "Papers! Getchor papers!"
The governor turned from the boy and glanced down at the paper. More Taxes Levied by Parliament, New Acquisition of Jamaican Territories, English Emissary Goes to France…all normal headlines, nothing to be excited about. His eyes traveled down the paper and rested on the last article. His breath caught in his throat as he read the headline, but it was the underlying article that nearly made him collapse:COMMODORE NORRINGTON MURDERED
"Commodore James Thomas Norrington, commander of the Caribbean Fleet of Port Royal, has been murdered. Accused with the heinous crime are Jack Sparrow, infamous pyrate captain of The Black Pearl, and William Turner, a blacksmith in the port city itself. Interestingly enough, William Turner is the husband to Mrs. Elizabeth turner, formerly Ms. Elizabeth Swann, Governor Swann's daughter, who is currently visiting England on a diplomatic errand from Port Royal. The accused are presently en route to the port town where they await trial. However, according to newly-appointed Commodore Benjamin Ratherford, 'There is no trial needed. The accused are guilty as charged. If justice will be served, they shall be hanging from the gallows in a month's time…'"
"STILL no "captain"? I'm accused of murdering a commodore of the Royal Naval Fleet of England, and I get no bloody "captain"?"
"You have other things to be worried about, Jack. Like hanging from the gallows," retorted Bill Turner, standing outside of the cell in which Jack and his son were being held on board the HMS Perseverance. He looked none too pleased, his hands folded across his chest, his eyes narrowed slightly. "It won't matter if they call you captain after you're dead."
Jack looked up from the paper and grinned, but remained silent. Instead, it was Will who answered, "At least they designated you were a captain."
Jack snorted. "Aye, but it doesn't say it in front of my name, now does it?"
Will didn't answer.
Jack glanced at the lad next to him and rolled his eyes. "For bloody's sake, Will, cheer up. You're just like your old man, I swear. Down on yer luck every single time you get caught. You're a bloody pirate…you're supposed to get caught."
"Good pirates are not supposed to get caught…and I'm not a pirate," Will replied coldly.
Jack looked at him hard for a few moments, and then shook his head, turning to Bill. "His madness is all your doing. Stop being such a damn priest, Bill. You look like you want to give me my last rights before I'm given a sudden drop and a short stop."
Bill grunted and shook his head. Jack looked from Bill, standing outside with his arms crossed to Will, who was leaning up against a corner of a cell, gazing off into the distance. Jack threw up his arms and said exasperatedly, "Christ's blood in a cup, you both are going to drive me mad." He looked at Bill and took a deep breath. "YOU, my dear Bootstrap, need to get off of your high horse and come to the well-supported conclusion that you were one hell of a bad father." Now, he gestured to Will. "And YOU, my precious blacksmith, must start acting like a man instead of a lost boy who will carry this godforsaken grudge around with you until the day you die…which, I might add, appears to be approaching fairly fast."
The other two remained silent, but Jack knew he had made an impression. Well, it's better than nothing, he concluded, turning back to his paper. "Let's see…ooh. We acquired some new land in Jamaica. Lovely vacation spot, must say…hmm…oh wonderful, smashing, even. They came out with another Piracy Act." Jack read: " 'The British Piracy Act of 1695 was passed yesterday by Parliament in an overwhelming vote. Parliament is not being extremely vocal on the details of this new act, but have reported that it will deal with piracy more stringently than before.'" Jack shook his head. "More stringently? What's more stringent than death, I wonder…"
But Will wasn't listening. He was too busy thinking about Norrington, Barbossa, the curse…The curse…
"THE CURSE!" Will cried out, jumping to his feet. He turned wildly to Jack and said, "Jack, the curse! You can't die…you're still cursed!"
Jack looked at him for a few moments, as if he were choosing his words carefully. "I'm not that lucky, mate."
Jack shook his head and rolled up his sleeve, to where a gaping wound stood from the avalanche of rocks at the cave. Dried blood surrounded the wound. "I'm bleeding. I don't know what happened, but the curse is broken. I can die, just like every other poor bastard."
Will wanted to smack himself. Of course, he reminded himself. Jack was bleeding after the cave, as well as when Ratherford had him beaten. Will had cleaned Jack's wounds himself…Jack had almost died. The severe blow to the head was not indeed from a fist, but from the butt of a gun. It had split his head open, and had made Jack so weak that he couldn't stand for five days. He became delirious, tossing and turning, running a high fever and refusing to eat…
…and Ratherford had thrown him in the water-filled brig, refusing to let Elizabeth tend to him.
So Will had sewn up his wounds, brought down his fever, and saved his life. And now, four weeks later, whenever Jack looked at him, Will knew there was silent appreciation in his eyes.
"And what are you doing down here, may I inquire?"
The cold, gentlemanly voice emanating from the entrance to the brig brought Will back to the present. He didn't need to look to know that Commodore Ratherford stood in the entrance, his arms folded behind him quietly. He gazed intently at Bill who looked squarely back at him, his jaw set determinedly. "Visiting the prisoners."
"Ah. Having a lovely chat with them, I suppose? About how they murdered Commodore Norrington in cold blood? Or perhaps how you are going to help them escape? Or maybe, Turner, you are trying to talk your son into some sense, considering he has left his wife alone and with child."
Will didn't know how he had gotten up, but before he could stop himself he had reached through the bars and grabbed Ratherford's overcoat, pulling him forward and smashing him into the cell. Will's grip was loosened by Jack, and Ratherford staggered back. But as the guards rushed forward to restrain Will, Ratherford held up a hand. "NO! I shall deal with this. Open the cell."
The guards turned the key in the lock and Ratherford strode in. It was only when Will was face to face with him that he realized the man had to be at least 6'3'', with a muscular build. But it wasn't his body that made Will's insides squirm; it was his piercing gaze and his hawkish appearance that put him on edge.
"Mr. Turner, you have just assaulted another commodore of the Royal Fleet. Do you know what the crime for that is?" Will remained silent, so Ratherford's lips curled up into an unpleasant sneer. "A severe whipping. Alcott," he called to one of the guards, who stepped forward. "Take Mr. Turner aboard deck, and tie him to the main mast."
Will was restrained in iron clappers as he struggled helplessly against Alcott. He managed to kick the guard in the shin, but merely a few moments after he sent the man doubling over in pain, he felt a sharp blow to the nose, and realized that Ratherford had punched him full-on. "Do that again, Mr. Turner, and I will make you worse off than Mr. Sparrow was."
"You son of a –"
"I wouldn't want to be saying that," Ratherford turned to Bill who had made for the commodore. "Your son is in enough trouble already. The next time you lunge for me like that, sir, I will whip him fifty times instead of twenty-five." When Bill remained silent, the commodore nodded slightly. "I'm glad we understand each other."
Brushing aside his vivid dizziness, Will felt himself being dragged to the main deck by Alcott and the other guard. His head felt as if it were made of lead; he couldn't lift it. So he let it hang loosely as they ripped off his shirt and tied his arms around the main mast. He felt his muscles being stretched and noticed the blindness in his eyes from the sweltering sun, but he ignored both of these things as he heard the most beautiful voice he had heard in a long time.
Elizabeth sprinted towards him, her jaw slack with shock, her eyes wide and uncomprehending. "What is the meaning of this?" she rounded on Ratherford as he restrained her. "That's my husband!"
"Yes, Mrs. Turner, I am quite aware of that." His gaze lowered to her belly, where she was beginning to show signs of a child, and Elizabeth flushed in embarrassment and anger. "Nevertheless, he has just assaulted me, and the punishment for that is twenty-five lashes." He motioned for the whip, and Alcott handed it to him.
"You liar!" she shrieked as she heard his explanation. "I know protocols of punishment, and that is not one of them. The punishment for the assault of an officer is no more than-"
"This is my ship, Mrs. Turner. I am captain, judge, and jury." He leaned in dangerously closed and stared at her intently. Elizabeth forced herself not to blink. "If I decide he deserves two thousand lashes, Mrs. Turner, he shall receive two thousand lashes. And because of your folly-filled interruption, your husband will now receive thirty-five lashes instead of twenty-five." He paused, and Elizabeth felt a rush of anguished tears. "I suggest you remain silent unless you want your husband to be lashed to death."
Elizabeth turned to look for guidance from the crew of the Victoria Anne, but all of them looked too afraid to move. They had assembled on the deck in back of Elizabeth. Now, only Ingrid moved forward to comfort her. She wrapped Elizabeth in her arms and rocked her back and forth. "Don't look, darlin', don't look, now. He'll be alright, that one. He's as strong as a bull…"
Elizabeth felt a numbing sensation overcome her entire body. She was terrified for Will, but she couldn't force herself to look. Burrying her head in Ingrid's shoulder, she let out a moan, and felt her body convulse in terror. The helplessness that overcame her made her cry even harder, and soon she was sobbing so violently that she felt as if she were going to be sick.Oh, Will…
Ignoring Elizabeth's heart-wrenching sobbing, Ratherford turned back to Will's prostrate body and held the whip tightly in his hands, and sadistic smile spreading over his face. Justice will be served…
It was after the fifteenth lash that Will knew he would die. After each lash, Ratherford had Alcott throw a bucket of saltwater on his back, enhancing the pain tenfold. He groaned, feeling the penetrating rays of sun burn his flesh where it had split on his back. Another lash, another bucket of saltwater…it was almost too much to bear…
…God, help me…
Will cried out in pain as Ratherford now began to whip him repeatedly in one spot, sending jolts of pain throughout his entire body. Will's legs collapsed from under him, but he quickly forced himself to stand again, for the ropes restraining his hands did not move, and would've torn his arms right out of their sockets.Twenty…saltwater…twenty-one…
Will screamed as another lash covered his entire back this time. He was delirious with the pain…he could feel the blood dripping down his back, feel the grains of salt embed themselves in his flesh. He wanted it to be over, he wanted the pain to end, he wanted to collapse into darkness…Twenty-five…saltwater…twenty-six…saltwater…
He let out an anguished scream. He could take this no longer. His mind began to swam, his senses flickered in and out of view. He could hear his heart beating heavily in his chest as he squeezed his eyes shut, refusing to give Ratherford the pleasure of seeing the true pain in his eyes…I'm dying…
With one last shuddering breath, Will saw the darkness approaching. He tried to push it away, but it looked so calming, so quiet, so comforting. It called out to him, caressed him with tender hands, promised him moments away from pain, from worry, from anything unpleasant…Thirty-two…saltwater…
Exhausted, agonized, and weak, Will let the darkness overcome him.
Fearing that Ingrid would lose her grip on Elizabeth, Bill rushed forward, and grabbed Elizabeth's shoulders. He tried to ignore the fact that his son's body was still hanging loosely, tied to the main mast, bleeding fervently. She struggled against his restraints, so he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and whispered, "Shhh…stop. You're smart, Elizabeth, stop. If you hurt Ratherford, Will's going to get more lashes." He felt Elizabeth's struggles subdue. Instead, they were replaced by low sobs of despair as Will screamed out in pain. Bill pushed all of those thoughts out of his head…he had to be rational.
But he would give anything to maul Ratherford for what he was doing to his son.
He felt Elizabeth's racking sobs on his chest, and tried his best to calm her down. "Shhh…it'll be over soon, it'll all be over soon…"
It better be over soon, he told himself, or Ratherford's going to kill Will.
Suddenly, when Bill thought he could take no more of his son's cries of pain, all sound ceased. A splashing of the saltwater could be heard, but as Bill turned to look back at his son, he noticed that his body hung completely limp. He wasn't moving; the only thing supporting him was the rope tying his body face-down to the main mast.Oh God, no…
Losing all grip on reality and logic, he let go of Elizabeth and ran forward, only to receive a blow to the lower back. He collapsed onto the deck and turned to see Alcott standing there, narrowing his eyes at him. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, sir."
Wincing at the pain, Bill stood up and turned around to see Elizabeth kneeling upon the deck, sobbing into Ingrid's arms once more. He clenched his fists and growled in frustration. He turned his back towards his son's limp body, unable to stand the sight of his completely mutilated and bloody back. He heard Ratherford order Will to be taken down from his prostrate position. Before he could stop her, Bill saw Elizabeth fly forward, and cradle the unresponsive form of her husband in her lap. He heard her sobs grow stronger, and knew that Will's situation was dire. Thirty-five lashes could kill anyone…
"Take him back to the brig."
"You can't do that!" Bill cried, whirling to face Ratherford. "You have to give him medical attention! You have to-"
"I have to do nothing, sir. I am the captain of this ship. If I order my men to do something, they will do it. I suggest you shut your mouth before I decide there haven't been enough lashes handed out. I would've thought you would have learned by now, considering your son is probably as good as dead."
"You sick son of a bitch." Bill lunged at Ratherford, knocking the commodore to the ground. In a scuffle of punches, cries, and kicks, Bill felt himself being restrained by iron clappers. He was dragged to his feet, his right leg shooting spirals of pain each time he put pressure on it. But he was satisfied to see the commodore's nose was trickling blood, his face white and his eyes wide with shock.
Ratherford approached Bill put his right up in front of Bill's. "That was very foolish of you, Mr. Turner. Very foolish."
Brandishing his whip as if it were Excalibur, Ratherford stepped back and looked toward Alcott as he pointed to Will's lifeless body. "Throw him in the brig." Wiping his bloody nose on his sleeve, he continued. "But Mr. Turner Senior does not believe that I have given out enough punishments today." He paused, looking over all of the people assembled on the deck, an ill smirk spreading over his hawkish glare. "So, Mr. Alcott, bring me Mr. Sparrow."
"By jove. Jack Sparrow?"
"Aye, sir. Here's the paper I found."
The captain of the Adventure Galley took the paper and read the article entitled: Commodore Norrington Murdered. He shook his head. "I always knew Sparrow was a crazy blighter, but I never knew him to be a murderer."
"Aye, sir. That's what they is sayin' all over this here place."This place…
Captain William Kidd glanced up from the paper to survey his surroundings. The Wayfarer's Inn was crowded and rowdy, as usual. Evening girls flirted obscenely with lusty pirates, while the waitresses struggled to serve drinks without getting a grope or a smack on the rump. Ahh, Tortuga. My second home.
Kidd smirked and put the paper down. "Do you know, when I was searching for pirates, he was my number one target." He thought back to his glory days as a family man in Boston, where he was hired by the governor of New York, Lord Bellmont, had hired him to personally seek out and destroy pirate flag ships. As a well-to-do man from a very prominent family, Kidd was hesitant. But, after encouragement from his mother, he had accepted the offer. Too bad barely six months later, Kidd had turned pirate himself.
"Six months, McAdams, six months I searched high and low for this scallywag, and for six months I got nothing but the wind blowing in my face."
"Aye, sir. I remember hearing about it," agreed the First Mate, taking another swig of rum while eyeing a rather pretty woman of company on the far end of the tavern.
Kidd noticed McAdams's gaze and laughed. "Go for 'er, lad. We're not leaving until tomorrow's high tide. You've got plenty of time."
McAdams smiled, his brown eyes glistening mischievously. "Thank ye, sir. See you at dock tomorrow." Kidd watched his first mate and his newly found company leave the tavern, and shook his head. He knew his men all too well.
He turned back to the paper and read the article once more through. Narrowing his eyes in concentration for a moment, he focused on one line in particular: "William Turner is the husband to Mrs. Elizabeth turner, formerly Ms. Elizabeth Swann, Governor Swann's daughter…"
"Lordy," he muttered to himself, smiling. "Well, cousin Elizabeth, what have you gotten yourself into?"
He hadn't heard from his cousin in what seemed to be forever. When she and her father – his uncle – moved to the Caribbean, his father moved them to the colonies in America to pursue lucrative trade options there. They had always been good friends, but had lost all contact when they had parted ways, more than ten years ago.
He glanced down at the paper, and then took another swig of his wine. My, my, my…so you did marry a pirate after all, eh? he thought, remembering all of the times as children when they would play 'pirates and ships'. When her father found out what she had been playing, he nearly collapsed of a stroke. The look on his uncle's face still brought a smile to Kidd's lips when he thought of it. But he let her marry a pirate? Well, people change. And no one knew more about change than he did.
Well, Elizabeth, perhaps it is time to see you once more, he thought, drinking deeply into his mug. We need to gather more supplies anyways…might as well dock at Port Royal.
Leaving a shilling on the table as a tip for his waitress, Kidd stood up and stretched, surveying his surroundings. He grinned as he realized nothing had changed since he had arrived at the Wayfarer's Inn a couple of hours ago; people were being thrown across the room, men were laughing rowdily, women of the night were busy trying to find business. But this was Tortuga: if one was not pillaging, plundering, or being obscenely active, they were considered to be mad.
Strolling along quietly, Kidd found himself at the docks. He stood for a few moments, listening to the soft breeze, the quiet rustling of the delicate waves upon the distant shore. The call of the sea…his one true home, the only place he belonged…
Deciding there was nothing better to do, and feeling quite exhausted, he inhaled once more and boarded the Adventure Galley He had barely sat down in his quarters when a knock came at the door.
"You know what to do," he replied.
The door opened, and his ship's physician, a young lad known as Smithe, entered. His blonde, shaggy hair stood out unevenly, and Kidd smiled at the love-bites on his neck. Well, one of us has had worthwhile company tonight…
"Beggin' your pardon, sir, but I was wonderin' as to where we were a-headin' tomorrow mornin'."
Kidd looked at him for a long moment before answering. "Mr. Smithe, we have a change of plans. When the crew gets back, inform them that we are not going to Jamaica. We're setting sail for Port Royal first thing come high tide."
Everything about Captain William Kidd is accurate…courtesy of The Guide to a Pirate's Life from my local library (yes, he was a real pirate). There is going to be a lot of history in this story…I'll try to be as accurate as I can be!
The torture that Will went through, the Piracy Act, and Kidd are all historically true. Go research!
Chapter two coming soon…please, PLEASE review and let me know what you think.