Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize, I just like to play with the characters

As always very sweetly beta'd by Julie, who should get a statue for doing so. Or, maybe a role in the next PotC movie.

Well, this is my second part of a yet un-named long story. The first part was called Insanity is an Option and I will highly recommend reading that one first before starting here; else it will just make no sense.

So without further ado I'll bring you:

Inferno
By Lunatic

Chapter 1 - Bloody pirate!

"You burned the rum?!?" Hands on hips, Anamaria stood in front of Elizabeth and stared, completely flummoxed.

With a tilt of her chin, Elizabeth tried to feign a sense of bravery she did not feel, especially under the rather anxious look of not only the female pirate before her, but the rest of the Black Pearls crew who stood about her. The only one who gazed upon her in utter admiration was Will, but of course… that was to be expected. Elizabeth tried to stare back just as fearlessly, but failed, cursing herself while she looked away to the empty horizon, knowing that Jack was there somewhere… on his beloved Pearl.

Why oh why did she have to tell the truth? Why didn't she just say that the sea turtles helped them? Or mermaids? Surely even she could come up with something like that! If she had prefabricated such a tale maybe they would not have noticed the fact that half the island was turned into ashes.

"Holy Mother of God," muttered Josh Gibbs, not wanting to believe what young Miss Swann just told them. Why, there wasn't much worse he could think of than to burn a man's rum, let alone a man like Jack Sparrow.

"Ye know what, luv," Ana said after a while, slowly starting to get used at the thought. "Jack must like ye a bloody hell lot more than ye think… burning his rum!" she added, shaking her head in disbelief. She didn't even want to think about what Jack would do if she pulled the same stunt (not that she wanted to do that!).

"How do we get of this island then?"

All pirates and Elizabeth turned to Will Turner, who for a moment was taken aback by this sudden attention. Recovering, he shrugged, "Jack told me that Elizabeth would know how to get of the island."

This time all the pirates turned their eyes back to Elizabeth, who desperately whished Will hadn't said that. She had actually hoped he had forgotten it, since she had no idea what to do. And, she didn't like the look of some of the pirates in front of her. A look that told her that if she put one toe out of line, she most certainly would loose that item.

"Burn the rum!" Squawked Cotton's blasted bird and Elizabeth flinched. That was no longer an option, and even if it was, she doubted that there was any rum left in the first place.

Another long moment of silence…

"We could row back to land," Josh suggested.

This suggestion seemed to be a sign for all the pirates to voice their opinions and plans. They ranged from swimming from island to island, to begging the ancient god, Neptune for help. In summation, none of them was useful.

The group dissipated, some in small groups, but all discussed quietly their own thoughts and idea. Elizabeth sought out the company of Will and the two stood together and gazed toward the horizon that Jack loved to chase so much. The young blacksmith clutched in his hands Jack's hat. Surely, the spirit of his friend was within its very lining and would help them come up with a plan. A plan of either madness or brilliance: at this moment Will didn't much care which.

"Wait!" Elizabeth suddenly cried. "I know what he meant!" Her eyes were shining and while the wind played with her loose hair, Will thought she had never been more beautiful. The sudden outburst echoed across the small island and once again Elizabeth found herself the centre of attention, but this time it fazed her not at all.

"We have to make a large fire!"

The pirates opened their mouths to protest, but with a wave of Elizabeth's hands they fell silent again.

"That's why Jack kept repeating I knew how to get off: he wants us to make a fire! Of course! The bandage!"

The sudden change of subject left the others on the beach confused, but Elizabeth didn't notice.

"Think about it, in his condition there is no way he could have rowed to the Pearl all alone! There must be another ship somewhere nearby… or at least near enough to notice a large fire! He must have asked for help from somebody… a friend probably. That same friend also dragged him to a real doctor to tend his wounds! That's why he had a bandage around his left arm!"

Elizabeth looked around in triumph, while only blank faces returned her stare. Although… maybe not only black faces. Slowly a look of understanding crept over the faces of Will and Josh Gibbs.

"And with the help of that ship we can try to find out what that message of Jacks' meant!"

More and more people started to understand and they helpfully explained it to their not so bright colleagues. Soon everyone was in much higher spirits and the whole rum accident seemed to be forgotten. That is, until the next question was asked.

"What are we going to burn?"

Immediately a new discussion started which soon became rather heated. So heated, before it was over one pirate was supporting a black eye and another one a couple of scratches on his cheek.

"Anything we can miss then?" Will tried bravely, prepared to defend his own skin if necessary.

The pirates looked at each other for a moment, before Marty quietly voiced what the other thought.

"Clothes?"

---

Commodore James Norrington from the Royal Navy paced the deck of the Dauntless nervously from stem to stern, while his crew eyed him anxiously. Sailor's were a superstitious lot and it was never very re-assuring idea when the commander behaved so irrationally. Not to mention that not a man on the ship had the slightest idea as to what was going on, especially when it involved one Jack Sparrow. The same pirate that was supposed to be hanged as soon as the Royal Navy got their hands on him.

Rumours spread quickly over the ship making Murtogg and Mullroy instantly famous and loved guys, the centre of attention as soon as they entered a room. Which they had soon learned to avoid as much as possible. They might not be the brightest on the ship, but they weren't entirely dumb either.

And they both felt the same way: it felt wrong to talk about Jack in the way the other crewmembers wanted them to. It seemed that they only wanted to hear how cruel and evil Jack was and how convinced they were that the devil himself was scared of Jack Sparrow. Murtogg and Mullroy completely disagreed with this. They had come to know Jack as a friendly and humorous man, who seemed to love life with every inch of his body.

The two of them were standing at the railing of the Dauntless, still gazing in the same direction as to what Jack's longboat hours ago had disappeared.

"Damned you, Sparrow!" James muttered under his breath. How could he have let him go alone? No single man could save his friends from a ship filled with cruel pirates! WHY did he make this ridiculous agreement with the daft man?

Of course James knew why. Jack Sparrow seemed to be able to read people almost instantly and the pirate captain had been smart enough to insist Norrington swear on his honour that he wouldn't follow, unless he saw the sign.

"Sir?" Murtogg nervously eyed his commodore, before he dared to speak further. "The sign, sir?"

"What!?!" James turned on his heels and his gaze was drawn to a point beyond Murtogg. And indeed… a column of black clouds could be seen.

"Finally," James muttered. "The anchor, Mullroy!" Everyone leaped into action, curious about what would happen next.

---

The small group of survivors squinted at the horizon, hoping to glimpse the ship that would surely sail to their rescue.

Then…

"Will?" Elizabeth said uncertainly. "Isn't that… isn't that the Dauntless?!" Will looked off in the direction she pointed then stared in open-mouthed shock at what he saw. The Dauntless. That was all the answer Elizabeth needed.

Josh, too recognized it and started to fumble nervously with his shirt. All the clothes were ragged, although they still wore enough to be 'respectable'.

"Jack sent James to save us…?" Will shook his head in disbelief, then he chuckled. "Who would have thought?"

---

James stood upright in the longboat as the sailors slowly rowed towards the island that he remembered all too well. A longboat approached them and he gazed through his spyglass and tried to recognize the people within.

Once they were closer, he quickly picked out Elizabeth and Will Turner and, not without surprise, he also discovered Joshamee Gibbs, a former member of his crew. The others, he didn't recognize at all. And where was Jack? Wasn't he supposed to be with his crew, laughing and making these silly gestures that worked so easily on his nerves?

"Bloody pirate!" James muttered, while his heart sank at the thought of what could have happened to his eccentric nemesis.