This will be quite a dark fic for Commodore Norrington. If blood, rape or torture, easily upset you, press the back button- do not flame me. You have been warned.

Dedicated to LadyBush- the greatest friend I have ever had. To our continued love, honey!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean, but Rayark (who will be met later) is mine. Unfortunately.

Commodore James Richard Norrington stood on the deck of the Dauntless in a thunderous mood. Not only had they not seen any sign of the damned Black Pearl for weeks, they had had no luck rooting out any other pirate scum. It seemed that the 'Pirate Hunter' was lax in his duties.

Mentally he berated himself, ignoring the concerned gaze of his second lieutenant. His obsessive desire to capture Sparrow was causing him to be inattentive to his duty as protector of Port Royal. This chase had already cost him the Interceptor, and he had been distressed at the loss of such a fine ship. However, the Admiralty (with some coaxing from Governor Swan, no doubt) had not penalised him for it, as perhaps they should have. Instead, they had supplied him with a brig equal to the Interceptor in speed and manoeuvrability. HMS Phoenix was a beauty, no doubt. And the ability to appreciate her fine lines and the superb seamanship of her crew somewhat lessened the pain of the loss of the Interceptor.

So once again he was on the high seas, once again the Scourge of Piracy in the Caribbean. This dubious title was another fancy name concocted for him by terrified pirates who'd never seen his face, only the results of his work. He allowed himself a small rare smile. The power of reputation was an awe-inspiring thing indeed. Sudden Stop Norrington, the last face you see before the golden gates and the Lord. That alone was enough to cause a white flag to be run up by ships sighting the mighty Dauntless bearing down on them.

And yet… this morale-boosting reputation notwithstanding, with no action for some time, his men were restless. If they didn't chance upon an enemy vessel soon, he might have a rebellion on his hands. His youth (and to some eyes, inexperience) despite his practically flawless seamanship caused enough problems when demanding the proper respect from his men. Any sign of a flaw, any hint of indecision, any inkling that there were problems with his command would see him instantly lose the discipline that was so fundamental on a ship of His Majesty's Navy.

Norrington's smile faded. Goddamn Sparrow! The wily pirate always seemed able to second-guess him. He grudgingly acknowledged to himself the man's seafaring skills. He was a worthy adversary, but Norrington's patience was running thin. In their next encounter, a conclusive end must be drawn to their desperate struggle. Who was the better sailor? Who would triumph? Despite his confidence, that question needled him. Such a long chase, such a long hunt. Perhaps its conclusion was one battle he was shying away from?

His reverie was broken by the approach of First Lieutenant Gillette. The younger man touched the brim of his hat in a salute and made his report. "A sail, sir. Two points off the larboard bow."

Norrington nodded as he pulled out his glass. "Thank you Mr Gillette." He looked in the direction Gillette indicated and smiled a thin predatory smile as he saw the familiar sight of a pirate ship, skulking about in search of prey. His searching eyes took in the scarlet flag with a motif of two black scimitars crossed over a grinning black Death skull. "By God, Rayark!" he exclaimed. Captain Rayark was one of the most feared pirates in the Caribbean. His was a name that not even a hardened villain would utter in the dead of night- some said he was the Devil on Earth. And he was within Norrington's clutches.

Norrington turned to Gillette, whose eager face betrayed his anticipation of Norrington's next words. "Beat to quarters!"

Gillette's eyes were alight with battle- fire. "Aye aye, sir!"

This is just a taster, the actual fic will take quite a while to write- this is a new venture for me. Please be patient! Also, apologies for any mistakes made with nautical language.