A Gilded Cage: Sequel to Broken Wings, Part II of the Fallen Sparrows Trilogy

A Pirates of the Caribbean story by Merrie

Disclaimer: They're still not mine. Although if they were...they'd probably all hate me for what I do to them, so I suppose it's just as well.

Summary: Captain Jack has been possessed by a demon god by the name of Lorelac who's used Jack to become the most infamous, hated, and wanted pirate in the ocean. Can Jack reclaim his life back? Will Elizabeth and Will be able to help while encountering problems of their own? And what about Chief Norrington? Sequel to Broken Wings.

Characters: Captain Jack Sparrow, Lorelac, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Chief Norrington, many other random extras.

Author's Note: See? I didn't make you wait that long, did I? Don't answer that. This is just the prologue, so it'll be short. But don't worry, there will be more soon. Oh! Also, I've only ever flown over England before, so the only thing I know about it is that it's shaped like it is on maps, ergo all the information about British geography is completely fabricated.

Oh, and did you notice the title? I hadn't actually planned on writing a trilogy until I had already typed those words. I guess I'm committed now, huh?

Rating: PG-13 for now, but likely to rise in later chapters to be safe. Stupid ff.net *boo, hiss*

Prologue: Half-Remembered Pasts

Kenworthy, England, 1673.

"Edward! Are you quite sure you have everything? It will be a long journey!" Katrina Sperling called out to her young son.

Edward John Corentin Alexandre Sperling, age 20, one day to be known to the world as the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow rolled his eyes and ran a hand through his shoulder-length black hair in annoyance. It would have to be tied back in a minute, but that was the only thing he had left to do, as he had already informed his mother numerous times. "Yes mother," he called back, humoring her. "Are you sure you and Eva are going to be all right without me for a year?"

Katrina Sperling came out onto the porch where her youngest child was sitting, unsuccessfully trying to tie his hair back with a piece of black ribbon. She smiled and moved her hands to help him. "Your sister will be fine. She's got Richard to look after her. Which brings me to a point; when are you going to take a wife? Your sister's only 2 years older than you and yet she's already been married for a year and expecting her first child," she prodded.

"And her husband's 7 years older than me, mother," he pointed out with a smile. This was an argument they had had a lot in the last few months. It seemed almost as if she were trying to get him out of the house. 'Actually,' he mused, 'she doesn't need to try any longer. She's succeeded.' "Why do you insist that I take this voyage, mother? I hardly know Sebastian. He's 8 years older than me! And don't think for a second that I missed that you hadn't answered my question," he said, turning over his shoulder to give her a shrewd look once she had finished tying his hair back.

Katrina sighed. Sometimes her son could be far too intuitive for his own good. "As for why you're going to meet your cousin on his ship and sail to the Caribbean, it'll be good for you to get out of the house for awhile and get some sun. You spend far too much time indoors with you books to be healthy, Edward," she said fondly, taking in his pale skin.

"I like books," Jack muttered, not minding that his mother had insisted calling him by his disliked first name ever since he was born even though everyone else called him John or Jack. It was just her way.

"I know you do. I've seen the case of them that you're bringing with you on the ship. But you'll love the sea, Edward. Your father always did," Katrina said with the same sad look she always got on her face when Jack's father was mentioned, even though he had been dead almost as long as Jack had been alive.

"But what about you? Who will care for you while I'm gone? Who will protect you?" Jack prodded.

She waved a hand at him with a frown. "Don't worry so much about me. I'll be fine. Worry after yourself. It's not an easy life at sea. There are many dangers you could encounter, my son."

"What, like pirates?" Jack scoffed with a smile.

"Yes, like pirates," she said with a fond look, running a hand along the top of his head lightly. "I will miss you, but it's for the best." She looked up and saw that Jack's carriage had arrived. "Now you'd better get going. Your carriage is here, and Sebastian won't like it if you're late."

"I don't even get to say goodbye to Eva?" Jack asked with a small frown, thinking of being at sea for a year and not even telling his sister goodbye first.

"She wanted to be here, but the doctor won't let her up and about with the baby coming so soon."

"Whose birth I will miss," Jack grumbled. He adored his older sister, and to think that he wouldn't be around when she brought her first child into the world in a month or so gave him a sick feeling to his stomach.

"You'll see them both soon, and her little daughter or son will have an uncle spoiling it rotten before you know it," Katrina said with a smile.

"I pray that it will be a boy. There're too many women in this family as it is," Jack said with a rueful grin.

"God save us. He'll turn out just like you, and where would your poor sister be then?" Katrina said, managing to keep her face utterly serious even though she was joking. She then leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek lightly. "You'd better go. Be careful, and come back to us soon," she said with a sad smile, leading him over to the carriage. The driver had already put Jack's large trunk inside, having no other place to put it. Jack stepped up on the step and sat down in the carriage, but didn't close the door. "We'll be fine, stop worrying. You'll see us again before you know it. Goodbye my little sparrow. Have a safe journey. I love you," she whispered the last, not wanting to embarrass him.

Jack nodded to her, waving slowly himself, placing his black tri-corner hat on his head and closing the door without a second glance in his mother's direction. His thoughts were full of her though and her parting words. 'My little sparrow? She hasn't called me that since I was a child,' he thought to himself with a nostalgic look crossing his face. Once the carriage started its rough progress however, his thoughts drifted away from his mother and his home here in Kenworthy, to what the future would hold. 'I just hope I have some time to read my books.' He would be very happy when this little voyage would end. He didn't think he'd care for the sea very much, he didn't like the outdoors, and the few sailors he had met had been rude vile men, the lot of them. It was too much to hope that his cousin's crew would be any different.

"And I'll save the thoughts of pirates for adventure stories," he muttered aloud to himself. It wasn't that he didn't believe in pirates, the ocean was a rather large place and he supposed pirates were only the sea version of highwaymen. But he seriously doubted they'd come across any.

"We're here, sir," the driver said, standing at the now open door of the coach. Jack started in his seat, cursing himself for letting his thoughts run away with him like that. He hadn't even noticed that they had stopped.

"Thank you," he said, stepping out of the carriage. His eyes were suddenly drawn upward to take in the seemingly topless masts of his cousin's ship, the Intrepid.

"Edward! Is that you!" a loud voice called out causing Jack to wince.

"Yes Sebastian, it's me. And if you could please call me Jack or John? No one calls me Edward except my mother," Jack mumbled under his breath.

"Of course, Jack," Sebastian said, coming down the gangplank off of the ship so he could get a better look at Jack while he could do the same for his cousin. 28 year old Sebastian Sperling was a giant brute of a man, easily overbearing Jack's own lean form. He was a man who looked like he had grown used to long hours and hard work, his skin bronzed from the sun, his face cracked and wrinkled already. But his striking dark blue eyes combined with his shock of jet-black hair like Jack's own made for an intriguing combination, but would never make him handsome. "Are you ready for a little of the adventure you spend your days reading about in those books of yours?"

"If you call sailing the seas pretty much aimlessly an adventure, then yes, I suppose I am," Jack couldn't stop himself from saying.

Sebastian didn't seem offended however, and even let out a laugh deep from within his chest that made the dock beneath Jack's feet shake. "You've got spirit, good. You're going to need that. Now grab your belongings and let's depart. Everyone's been waiting on your arrival to leave, and now that you're here, we'd better start moving."

"Wait, grab my trunk? Isn't the driver supposed to—" Jack started before being cut off.

"Every member of my crew is to do their own work, Jack. That includes you. And while on board, you will address me as Captain Sperling. It's nothing personal; it's the way it is. On board, you're not my cousin, Edward John Corentin Alexandre Sperling; you're just Jack, the cabin boy. You have to make your own way. I refuse to resort to nepotism."

"The what?!" Jack exclaimed in shock.

"You're a little old for the position, I agree, but it's the only position for you here. You're mother wanted you on as a member of my crew rather than a passenger, and I will abide by her wishes. But if you find the same love for the sea that your father supposedly did, you'll do just fine."

"The sea killed my father," Jack muttered under his breath.

"What was that? I didn't hear you. You're going to have to learn to speak up if you want to be an effective member of this crew, Jack. Keep that in mind. I'll have one of the crew show you your bunk and where you can put your stuff." He whistled over a young boy who looked to be about 16. "This is Emmett. You're taking his place on board. He's become a full-time member of the crew now with your arrival. Listen to what he says. He'll teach you a lot." Without a further word, Captain Sperling turned and headed back up onto the ship, leaving Jack standing alone with the former cabin boy.

"I'm Emmett Carrington," the young boy said, sticking out his hand. "But everyone just calls me Em or Emmett."

"Jack Sperling," Jack said, sticking out his own hand albeit a bit reluctantly. Emmett's hands were covered in dirt and grime, a stark contrast to Jack's own hands that while may be a bit dust covered from handling old books, had probably never even seen dirt before. 'But it's a good idea to make friends. A year's a long time to be aboard a small ship filled with enemies,' Jack thought to himself, trying not to grimace as Emmett shook his hand enthusiastically before pausing and frowning.

"Sperling? Not as in Captain Sperling?" he asked, finally releasing Jack's hand.

"Yes, I'm his cousin. But he says I'm not supposed to talk about it. He said that I would have to make my own way aboard," Jack said with a slight sigh.

"I understand," Emmett said after a moment's hesitation. "Shall I show you where you can put your things? The Captain doesn't like to be delayed long."

"Yes, of course," Jack said, moving over to grab one of the handles of his trunk and managing to pull it a few feet before Emmett ran over to help him. "Thank you, but the Captain says I'm supposed to carry my own weight," Jack said, not bothering to hide a slightly annoyed look.

"I'm sure the Captain won't mind. You can't exactly do much work aboard if you're rightly exhausted from carrying this trunk around, now can you?" Emmett asked, moving to pick up the other end of the trunk.

"No, I suppose not. I appreciate your kindness," Jack said honestly.

"Don't worry about it. You can just repay the kindness someday," he said with a smile before lifting the other end of the trunk with a frown. "Merciful cats, just what do you have in this thing? Rocks?"

Jack laughed at that as they made their way slowly up the gangplank. "Books, actually. It's filled with my clothes and some of my books."

"Some of your books? It feels like you've got a whole bleedin' library in here!" He shook his head with a short a laugh. "To each their own, I suppose. Now let's get this bloody heavy thing down by your hammock and I'll introduce you to the rest of the crew."

Jack just nodded, trying not to think about being made to sleep on a hammock, and together the two of them made their slow progress into Jack's new home, neither of them turning back to catch a last glimpse of the port they were departing.

***

Lorelac sat up in his bed, gasping for breath. "Not another bloody one," he grumbled to himself, running hand through his shoulder-length straight dark hair, free of the ornaments Jack had liked to put in it save a rather inconspicuous looking gold chain with a bright blue jewel attached to it. "Sparrow, you bloody bastard. Keep your memories out of my head!" he yelled within the confines of his cabin, not expecting any one to answer. Jack had been silent within his head for months now; long enough for Lorelac to begin to hope that he was really gone for good. That is, until the nightmares had started coming. A ship's captain having screaming nightmares and unusual dreams every night was not good morale for a crew. A captain couldn't afford to show weakness, especially in front of a pirate crew such as his, or they'd tear him apart. Well, they'd try to, anyway.

A gentle knocking sounded upon Lorelac's door, and with a scowl he threw back the bed sheets and stood up. Only one member of his crew would be foolish enough to disturb their captain: his first mate Rich O'Malley. "Captain Sparrow?" he called through the heavy door.

Lorelac grimaced just like he did every time he heard Sparrow's name used as his own. He would have begun to use his own name, but Sparrow was simply to well known for that to work effectively. "Yes, I'm here. Come in."

His first mate entered. "We've reached Tortuga sir. You wanted to be informed."

"Yes. Now get out. I'll be on deck momentarily," he said with a wave of his hand in dismissal. He didn't miss the brief look of hatred that crossed O'Malley's face at that, but the man left without a word. At the mention of the pirate port city, a handful of images flashed across Lorelac's mind. He dimly felt the sting of a woman's slap across his face, and he raised a hand to it, expecting it to hurt under his gently probing fingers. Once he realized what he had been doing, he laid his hand back down upon his lap with a curse.

"Damn you, Sparrow. Keep your bloody memories to yourself!" he yelled within the empty cabin, rising to his feet to get dressed. Before he pulled on a shirt to cover his naked chest however, he paused to look down upon the beautiful markings that now completely covered it, reminding him of another time and place. He absentmindedly traced a finger through a series of dark knots along his stomach with a smile. He had been bluffing with Sparrow somewhat when he said that the markings were his. He suspected that they were, but in truth he was just as surprised to see them as Sparrow had been. He often times looked them over and wondered at their purpose, but since they didn't seem to be causing him any trouble, he supposed they didn't really matter. He liked them, and that was all that mattered.

He pulled on a pair of dark black pants over his stocking-covered legs and then moved to pull on a clean white linen shirt with billowed sleeves. That had been his first course of action on his new ship, in his new body; he had gotten rid of all traces of its previous owner. Well, almost all. He frowned as he pulled on a pair of dark suede boots and walked over to the large desk that inhabited a corner of the room. His frown deepened as he pulled open a drawer to look at the interior's contents as he had so many times before. Sparrow's many hair affixations and items of jewelry were gathered in a small bundle, mocking him. No matter how hard he had tried, he couldn't bring himself to get rid of them. They simply remained in the drawer untouched.

With an irritated grunt he slammed the drawer shut and finished dressing, pulling on a jacket and affixing a sword to his waist before tying his hair back in a short ponytail and donning Jack's black tri-corner hat. That had been another thing he hadn't gotten rid of that had belonged to Sparrow. Not because he couldn't have, but because he actually liked the battered thing. Once he was fully presentable, he flung open the cabin door and strode purposefully out onto the deck. He had found the only way of controlling a bloodthirsty pirate crew was through intimidation, and he had no qualms in threatening any member of his crew's life should they disobey him, and even fewer qualms in carrying the threats out should his crew's actions deem necessary. This, combined with Sparrow's reputation of being a madman, only helped his game of intimidation along more.

He walked up to the wheel and looked over the city of Tortuga in all of its dissolute splendor. It had been at least a month since he had allowed his crew leave there, and he decided that it was high time he'd visited again. He glanced up at his Pearl's dark sails fluttering in the wind, and felt a swell of something deep inside him, perhaps pride. He had turned the Black Pearl into the most feared pirate ship in the ocean over the last month, and while it had been bloody hard work, it had been more than worth it. Especially when he caught the sight of fear on neighboring ship's captain's faces as they passed. He liked seeing that fear. He reveled in it. He reveled even more to hear whispering that the Pearl was even more feared now than it had been under Barbossa's reign.

"Weigh anchor and prepare to disembark!" he shouted at his gathered crew. They let out a loud cheer and he almost smiled. Mortals were so easy to influence. Threaten and torture them to get them to do what you wanted, and bribe them when they did. "If you're not back aboard in 5 days I won't leave you here, I'll hunt you down and kill you. Savvy?" he asked, giving every crew member that dared make eye contact with a hard look. "If that's clear, you're free to depart." There was no cheering this time, just silent acceptance as his crew lowered the lifeboats and left the ship.

He watched them go, leaning against one of the Pearl's railings, thinking about where to go next. The answer came to him almost immediately. Port Royal. He smirked; thinking of the looks on Elizabeth's and Turner's faces and went to join his crew, whistling softly under his breath. If he had bothered to listen to himself, he might have noticed that the song he so absently whistled was Jack's favorite, 'A Pirate's Life for Me.'

TBC

A/N: Well, that was fun. :-D Are you liking this so far? Sorry this chapter was so short. It was only the prologue after all. I have a question for all of you, do you think I should keep up the alliteration with the chapter titles in this story? Like Death and Destruction, Natives and Norrington, Death and Denial? Or are you tired of it? Just a thought. Well, the next chapter should be up hopefully soon! Please send me your reviews!!

Reviewer Thanks Section

Savvy Renegade: I'm glad you liked it, HF! :-D

Lady Russell Holmes: Bonus ending indeed. Sorry the sequel wasn't up sooner!

Otherhawk: I love happy endings! But for some reason, I couldn't write one. But it wasn't totally sad, right? More ambiguous? Everyone's still alive, and that's happy, or something. ;-) Thanks for the comment about the alternate ending. Death is never easy in fanfic.

pendragginink: Jack may be able to come back, maybe. It'll be a long, hard journey ahead, but don't give up on him. The story's not over until I write The End at the bottom. Keep that in mind. ;-)

Mara: Yes, Norry is wonderful. I love that man. :-D Don't worry; there will be lots of Norry goodness in this story. I'm not done with him yet. And the natives aren't either.

Estelio*Duredhel: Sorry you found the story again so late. But yes, the sequel. And here it is. I hope you like it so far.

Jackfan2: Awwwww, what a lovely review!! Thanks!! Sorry I couldn't post this sooner for you!!

Blue Trinity: Hmm...if the jewel is still in one piece once I'm through with it, sure you can have it. If Ana had picked up instead? Gah, I can't even begin to imagine that scenario. Let's just say...Jack was meant to pick it up. Yeah, that works. :-D

BURN THE R.U.M.: If you noticed at the top, this sequel will have a sequel. So the chances of this story ending happily aren't very good at the moment. Sorry. But as I just started this story, anything can happen, so we'll just have to wait and see together.

Jack_roks: I'm glad you like it! I hope to see you for the sequel too!

Thank you again to all of you who went back and sent me multiple reviews for Broken Wings. You guys are the best!!! :-D :-D

-Merrie