"Where's Karyane?" Jack mumbled to Anamaria as he made some markings on the map laid out before him.
"In her room, moping around probably."
Jack just nodded, not really hearing what she had said, since the words were coming in through one ear and out the other.
Anamaria noticed. "Why do you ask? And what're you looking at?" she asked, as she peered over his shoulder to see the map that was on his desk. He mumbled incoherent words.
"What?" she asked.
Jack sighed, put down the short quill in his hand, and then turned his aggravated glare onto her, only to say, "I asked just because. And it's a map."
But Anamaria was just as stubborn. "Why are you looking at this map?"
"Because I'm planning." His words were accentuated by the narrowing of his glare.
"Planning what?" Anamaria was practically growling. Most of the crew had expected to stay on land for only a few days, not an entire week. And it didn't look like they were going to be getting off anytime soon, which only added to everyone's frustration.
Delivering his words through the nonexistent gap between his two rows of teeth, Jack ground out, "I asked you the question because I did, I'm looking at a map, I'm looking at said map because I'm planning, and I'm obviously planning a plan."
Anamaria was not one to give up. "What do you plan on doing in this plan of yours?"
"Bloody hell, just get out of my room!" Jack snapped, turning around, his eyes wide in characteristic anger. Anamaria just grumbled and left, only to have the words, "Gibbs was bloody right, she really is bad luck," grumbled after her.
II - II - II
More retching as the contents of Zenakabee's stomach flew into the pail in front of her. Holding onto the dead grass, knuckles pale as snow, she felt as if though the world was spinning. Vaguely, she realized Karyane was thumping her back and holding her sticky red-brown strands away from her face as the two stood out back of the inn. A few feet away was James, looking as if though he were about to hurl at any moment too.
Instead of Karyane, this time Zenakabee was sick. Something had gotten to her and for the past week, everything that she had eaten had come right back up and her entire body suffered from waves of pain.
And it was all so sudden. The evening after her first encounter with James was when it started. Out of nowhere, her back and stomach started hurting. By the night, she had already heaved once. By the end of the week, she looked even weaker than her gaunt step sister.
A minute or two later, her stomach ran out of things to throw up and Karyane wiped away the bile, saliva, and bits of food that stuck to Zenakabee's face with a strip of cloth.
"Are you okay?" Karyane asked, her voice lined with concern.
"I don't know," Zenakabee groaned, her voice croaking like that of a frog's. She winced, as the aftertaste of bile and God knows what settled in her throat, causing a burn with every sound that she made.
"What are we going to do?" Karyane asked, turning to James for help. Before, she had thought that she was the one in need, the one who needed help. Now, Karyane looked like the healthiest human being alive in comparison to Zenakabee.
James came forward, playing the ever-so-supportive stranger that he was supposed to be. "We've tried everything, but nothing seems to work," he whispered, not wanting to scare either of the two girls before him and yet trying to convey the solemnity of what was happening to Zenakabee.
He began again, this time clearing his throat and gaining some confidence, "Nothing's working. We have limited supplies and we've given her everything that we have."
"So what does that mean?" Karyane asked, looking directly into his eyes, her own showing nothing but vulnerability.
James just shook his head; he didn't want to say anything with Zenakabee being right there and everything.
There was a moment of silence, as Karyane realized that her sister - whose stomach had now found more food in the recesses of its regions and was shoving everything that Zenakabee had shoved down her throat back up again - was right in front of her. "Is there anything that we can do?" Karyane asked, not wanting to lose hope.
"There is a mystic around here. She's supposed to be able to read minds, predict the future, and be a healer; the works. I don't know about her credibility, but we there's no harm in trying." He paused, looking at Karyane's face, trying to discern a reaction from her. "I mean, we've tried everything that we could, so why not let someone else try?" Another pause, for he still couldn't figure out Karyane's expression; it was a mix of recognition, shock, disbelief, a hint of anger, and fear. James was confused, but nevertheless, he went on with the hopes that maybe if he could convince Karyane to visit the mystic, then maybe Zenakabee could be healed. "She could save Zenakabee, you never know. Her name's Moana. Ever heard of her?"
"Because Moana isn't ta type o' woman who'd do tat, my prett' little girl." The pale, oddly dressed, eccentric, and all together mysterious woman revealed herself from behind suspended glittering beads and curtains of silk cloth that hung from the ceiling.
"Now tell me, Karyane Ruele, what must I do ta prove dat to ye?"
Karyane nodded; she remembered Moana all right.
II - II - II
Most of the crew was now gathered in Jack's room, with the exception of an angry Anamaria and the two girls who had been on board since what seemed like forever. Just a day earlier, Gibbs had pointed out that the crew was getting tired of being on land and not knowing what the course of action was.
"All right-y. Now that I have all of you scoundrels rounded up, here's the plan. We're going to sail over to Haiti, in order to get the information. Our pretty little captive is going to run her little bottom up to her father's mansion, with an escort obviously, and get our information," Jack looked at his audience to get the point across. He didn't need to, for every last one of them were leaning forward with anticipation. "Then, once the pretty little girl's gotten said information, she'll return to our pretty little Pearl," his sentence was punctuated by a few laughs from the crew, "and first, she'll tell us what Thomas told her to tell us, then tell us what she needs to tell us. Clear?" He asked, his words a jumble.
Here, he had lost some of the crew. Gibbs shook his head and shouted, so that everyone could hear him, "What he means to say is that she'll tell us what Thomas told her to tell us. That way we know if he's trying to plan something and maybe we can stop it. Then, she'll tell us what he really told her and we'll be good to go." There was a nodding of heads; Jack expected people to understand what he said, Gibbs actually explained it.
Jack took over again. "Once that is done, we will sail off with our information to find who we need and then to do what we need to do with the people that we need. Aye?" This time, the crew understood for they all nodded and grinned as a chorus of spirited "Aye"s followed.
"All right you scabrous dogs, get on with your lives!" he shouted and his happy crew filed out of his jammed room. One by one, they left, until only Jack and Gibbs were left in the room.
Walking over to Jack, who was looking intently at the map that had been on his desk the entire day, Gibbs asked, "What do we do with the girl's after we've found out what we need?"
Jack looked up to Gibbs, as if though the man in front of him was absolutely ridiculous, and said nonchalantly, "You can't expect me to plan that far ahead Gibbs. The idea's blas…blasph…blasphemous."
"Aye, well I suppose you could figure that out later, but what if the girl doesn't return?"
"I've got her sister, don't I?" he asked, moving his head slightly with his words, his beaded locks jingling.
"Aye, but what if she doesn't care for the sister no more?"
"Gibbs," Jack began, sighing for emphasis. "You have yet to learn one thing about women."
"What's that?" Gibbs asked, slightly curious about what he didn't yet know.
"They're a lot more loyal than we men are," Jack told him, a devilish grin on his face.
Gibbs nodded, then added, "And honest."
Jack looked up, pondering on the addition. "That too," he agreed, deciding that Gibbs was right.
"But still, what if she doesn't tell us the truth and then the past month's gone to waste?" Gibbs asked, his mind once again clouding with worry.
Jack sighed again and rubbed his temples. This was getting annoying. "Tell me Gibbs, what would you do if I pointed a gun at your head right now and told you to do what I wanted?" Jack asked, his voice a bare whisper and his eyes closed from the effort of not raising his voice.
Gibbs thought about his answer for a second, then replied, "I'd do what you wanted."
Jack's replied through tightly clenched teeth, deflecting rays of light, "All right then, I have two things to tell you." He slowly opened his eyes.
"One, I want you to stop asking these 'what if' questions and I only say that with your safety in mind." He forced a fake smile, which Gibbs hesitantly returned.
"And two, if I pointed a gun at your head and you did what I wanted, then what do you think the girl would do if I pointed a gun at her head?" he asked as if though he was dealing with a child.
"I think she'd do what you wanted her to do," Gibbs answered, slowly inching away from Jack and towards the door.
"Aye," the word was chewed out. "And what do you think I want you to do right now Gibbs?"
"Leave," Gibbs suggested, giving Jack what he hoped was a convincing smile. He didn't like an angry Jack, no one did.
"All right then, go do that," Jack told him and waved his hands as if though he was shooing out an annoying little kid.
Gibbs left without protest, and in record time too Jack noted to himself. Sighing, Jack went over to his desk, sat down, and looked back down at the map. "Bloody hell, I'm starting to think that that man's bad luck," he whispered to himself as he made a marking.
II - II - II
Thomas played with the frilly jabot that was tied to his neckband. They had arrived in Haiti just two days ago and he was to meet Augustus Benoit today. The man was the reason that Karyane's father, Edward, had forced Thomas to stay in Haiti. He was also the reason that Thomas had made the lucrative deal and had received much acclaim from all the well-to-do men in Haiti and nearby islands.
Thank God for Augustus Benoit.
The door to the spacious library that he was sitting in, along with Edward, opened and a butler entered, announcing Mr. Benoit's arrival. Both Thomas and Edward got up to greet the man and they shook hands.
Tall, dark, handsome, and no wig. That was what came to mind when one thought of Augustus Benoit. To say at the very least, his roguish good looks and deep baritone not only attracted ladies, but intimidated men. He was a successful man and his ability to manipulate others into doing his work for him was key.
Everyone sat down and discussed trivial things for nearly half an hour and eventually ran out of irrelevant things to discuss. As the butler was about to refill Mr. Ruele's cup again, Edward stopped him. "No thank you, I don't need any more tea. Well then gentlemen, I think I'll leave you two to your work," he said as he got up and left with a smile.
"So, Thomas, m'boy, let's talk," Mr. Benoit started.
"Yes, Mr. Benoit, let's get down to business. First I was thinking that maybe we could go over..." but Thomas was cut off by his companion's chuckle.
"First of all, you're my close friend now, so you call me Augustus. And second of all, I want to know about you. Your personal life." The businessman smiled congenially.
A thought struck Thomas. Since when were we close friends?
"You're a strapping young lad; tell me if you've got your eye on a certain woman. Or do you just wander around?" Augustus wagged his eyebrows suggestively. The thought repulsed Thomas, even though he knew that the more lucrative businessmen never slept with just one woman, even if they were married. There was always a mistress, or a governess, or a scullery maid somewhere that had caught yet another influential man's eye. Always.
"No, it's just that..."
"What? You don't want to tell good ol' Augustus? We're close friends now, remember?"
The question that Thomas had asked himself was now answered, Since now.
"No, it's just that I thought we were going to get down to business after Mr. Ruele left and all." Thomas let his sentence hang in the air.
"Bah, forget business. Let's talk things over a glass of wine. Tell me, is there a girl you've found?"
Thomas didn't mean to, he really didn't. But somehow, everything about Karyane came out. Her beauty, how much he loved her, what lengths he was willing to go for her, her rejection. Even the contents of her letter, even though she had told him not to tell anyone else about it. But Augustus just worked it out of his mouth, like magic. And like magic, he found out everything. Literally, everything.
Sipping his glass of wine - the tea had been removed long ago, right after Edward had left the room - Augustus just looked at Thomas with piercing eyes. There was quiet in the room.
"So you love her." Thomas nodded. "How far are you willing to go to get her?"
"I'd do anything." Thomas hadn't even thought about it, he just knew it in the back of his mind.
Augustus sipped on his wine again. "Hmmm. Well, I have an idea." Thomas waited for him to elaborate.
"You tell her to meet you in this very mansion. Forget backyards, they're too public. Anyone could walk in on the two of you. Meet on an upper floor, you'll be granted more privacy. Decide on the exact date and time. I know, I'll pick a day for you. How about the first of August? It's only three weeks from now. Tell her to come alone, she might and she might not, it all depends on her captives. Hold this entire thing at night, probably past midnight. Otherwise her father might interrupt or some butler and you wouldn't want that happening," Augustus explained
Thomas nodded. He was listening with earnest now.
"Tell her that you'll be the only one there and that no one else will be notified. But make sure that you have henchmen surrounding this mansion. She might notice, she might not. It doesn't matter, all that does is her safety. You say they want information out of you. Tell her everything that she asks you. Everything. She'll be safer that way, trust me."
And Thomas did. For some reason, he felt as if though this man was his father. Or maybe it was just his powerful voice that commanded authority.
"Then let her go. Let her go back to her captives. Let her tell them what she needs to. They'll let her go. If they don't, then you can go after their ship. That way you'll get your girl and capture those pirates as well; you have everything to gain. Am I understood?"
Oddly enough, Thomas felt as if though they were discussing top secret matters. But he nodded anyway.
"Will you do exactly as I say?" Augustus asked, a glint in his eye as he watched Thomas's face closely.
"Exactly," Thomas said as he nodded solemnly.
"Remember, this mansion on August the first, past midnight, and tell her everything. Don't leave out a single detail. I have a feeling that her life is going to depend on it." Augustus finished, the delivery of his words doing more for him than his actual words.
"And write her a letter. Give it to me, I can probably find some scallywag on these ports to get it to her captives."
"All right sir. I'll do it right now." Thomas took out a piece of parchment and a large feathery quill and wrote a formal letter to Karyane, putting in all the necessary information for their meeting. It was only a paragraph long. He signed it. Then, as an after thought, he added a postscript saying, 'I'll be waiting here for you Karyane, don't worry my love'
"There you go," Thomas told Augustus, handing him the letter.
Augustus looked over the letter and nodded grimly at Thomas. "Don't worry m'boy, everything will go according to plan. I'll see you later since it's getting late and I promised my wife that I'd help her pick out a dress for some event or another." He tucked the letter into his expensive coat and headed towards the door. But right before he left, he added, "And if Edward asks anything, just tell him that we were finalizing some things from our previous arrangement." And with that, he left.
II - II - II
Anyone else would've found the scene to be ironic. There was Karyane, the supposed skeptic, sitting on the same over-sized pink cushion that Zenakabee had sat on the day before, in the same mystic's store who Karyane wasn't supposed to believe in. I'm not supposed to be sitting here, scowling, while I wait for Moana to arrive, Karyane thought to herself.
"Wat is it dat ye need me for, child?" The voice was as nonchalant as it had sounded from the day before. It floated from behind the same curtain of beads and colored silk curtains that Moana had entered through during Karyane's last visit.
"I...I need your assistance," Karyane called out, surprised that for some reason or another she didn't know what to say.
"Aye, I know dat much already." There she was, the sameelegant, repulsive, poised woman that was Moana. Her hair, her eyes, her dress, everything was like how it was a week earlier. Except this time, Karyane was intimidated, for a reason unknown to even her.
A pause. "What assistance do ye need me for, love? Dat's wat I was askin'." The same enchanting words, slurred together. God, this woman is eerie.
Karyane started talking, not sure of where to start. "My sister, Zenakabee, you remember her don't you?" she asked, looking to Moana for reassurance. All she got was a vacant and altogether uninterested stare. Gulping down the lump that had unexpectedly formed in her throat, Karyane continued, "Well, she's sick."
"Aye. And how am I suppose' ta 'elp ye wit dat?" Moana asked, rolling her eyes to the ceiling, as if though Karyane was asking the dumbest question in the world.
"She's not just sick. She's…I don't know how to explain. It's been going on for the past week and she's not getting any better. And it's so unexpected, almost as if though she touched something and she caught it. I…I don't know. We all think it's serious," but the stuttering Karyane was cut off.
"We?" Moana asked, her eyebrow rising up in an arc.
"Yes, we. James and I."
"Out o' curiosity love, who be dis James lad?" Moana asked, inspecting her dirt-ridden nails as a smile flitted across her lips.
"Just…just this man that Zenakabee met. He's the bartender of the inn that we're staying at. He and Zenakabee spend a lot of time together," Karyane explained. God, why am I so nervous? she thought to herself, pleading for her sudden onslaught of anxiety to go away.
"You don't tink she's caught love, do ye?" Moana asked with a laugh, a fox-like expression on her face. Karyane just remained silent, not sure of how to respond, which made Moana laugh even harder.
Moana scratched her cheek, looking off at a curtain that was hanging from the wall, and it seemed to calm down her laughs to mere chuckles. "But I still don' understan' wat I'm suppose' ta do?"
Karyane just looked at her, as if though she expected Moana to know the answer. Which she did, considering that the woman had already read her mind and scared her half to death on more than one occasion.
Moana laughed again and said, "Jus' 'cauz I scare ya dear, doesn' mean dat I'm some sort o' weetch or sometin'." Karyane just continued to look at her, absolutely lost as to what she had to do.
There was an awkward silence that Moana made even more uncomfortable by staring straight ahead into Karyane's eyes. "Ye hav ver' prett' eyes child. I'll tell ye dat. Wat ye don't hav is guts."
Karyane just swallowed again, thinking to herself, What am I supposed to do? Oh goodness, why am I even this nervous?
"I don' know, ye tell me dat," Moana told her.
Karyane mentally scolded herself; she had forgotten once again that her thoughts weren't really hers when Moana was around."Okay…okay…I'm here because I need your help. My sister is extremely sick and both of us, James and I," she explained when she noticed Moana's raised eyebrow, "think that…well, that…"
"Well wat?" Moana asked, a bemused expression on her face.
Karyane found herself comparing Moana to a certain pirate more and more with every passing second.
"I've known Jack fer a long time, darlin'. Ever since he started out in dis tricky business o' piracy and wat not. He be a version o' me, not vice versa. Tings rub off afta' ye've known a person for a vile," Moana explained.
Oh great, now she's reminded me of how much I hate him, Karyane thought to herself as a wave of anger arose within her at the mention of Jack's name.
"Yes, well, I'm sure ye do. An' I'm terribly sorry fer remindin' ye o' 'im," Moana told her.
How many times is she going to do that?
"A lot o' times, now get on wit yer story. Ye were sayin' about dat sista o' yours. How you tink she's goin' ta die and all dat," Moana told her.
"I don't think she's going to die, I just…" Karyane trailed off.
"Ye just tink she's goin' ta die, dat's all," Moana finished for her. Karyane was growing more and more frustrated with this woman. And yet, she was still fearful.
"So ye want me ta cure yer sista so ye two can be on yer merry vay. Vell, dat's nice an' all, 'cept I have one little problem," Moana explained, smiling exaggeratedly, revealing rotting teeth.
"Except what?" Karyane asked, not sure if she should be happy that she was getting somewhere with the conversation or afraid of the exception.
"'cept dat I see absoludely no profit in it fer me?"
Karyane dumped all of the shillings in her bag onto the table. "I can get more. Anything, just do anything to cure my sister. Please," she begged. Her attitude towards the woman had changed considerably.
But Moana was one bird whose feathers weren't easily ruffled. "It's not yer money dat I be wantin' darlin'," she drawled, her voice slow and steady, her eyes peering into Karyane's.
"What do you want?"
Moana sat up straight, suddenly all business, when she realized that Karyane might be serious. "Where be yer sista?"
"She's just outside. I can bring her in, if you like," Karyane said, so glad that she might be able to help out Zenakabee that it was almost pathetic. Moana nodded, gesturing for her to do so. A minute later Karyane re-entered, this time with a weak-looking Zenakabee whose arm was slung over James's shoulder.
"Sit down Zenakabee," Moana purred, her blue eyes taking in every detail of the girl before her. Gently, Karyane and James helped seat Zenakabee on the oversized pink cushion. "Give me yer hands an' tell me wat ye feel," she said, her tone of voice changing from when she had dealt with Karyane. This time, she wasn't annoyed or annoying for that matter, but rather, she sounded like a concerned mother.
Moana held Zenakabee's palms and traced over the lines, like last time except now, Zenakabee winced every so often. "It…it burns. I don't know, it just burns," Zenakabee whimpered.
"Uncharacteristic o' ye child. Last time, ye seemed so much more confident," Moana said, but her tone wasn't condescending. No, far from it, in fact. She sounded genuinely worried.
"Ye can take 'er outside. Karyane, I want ta speak ta ye," Moana said. Karyane looked to James and he nodded, taking Zenakabee out of the shop.
"Tings don't look too good fer 'er," Moana started, hr voice slow, hesitant.
"Do you think…" Karyane gulped, afraid of saying the word, "Do you think she might die?"
"Aye." A sad smile.
"Can…can I do anything to prevent it?"
Moana was looking at her fingernails again when Karyane asked the question, but nevertheless, the question roused the other woman's interest. Blue eyes peering into green ones, searching their depths for Karyane's thoughts.
"Wat do ye mean by, Karyane? Do you mean ta say dat if ye could prevent all o' dis from happenin' by payin' a price, ye'd do it? Are ye honestly sayin' dat love?"
Karyane thought over the question. It was rhetorical, in a way, and yet she was still pondering over an answer. "Yes," she finally decided.
This peaked Moana's interest.
"So if I told ye dat ye can keep yer sista from dying and ye can make sure o' her health and safety, wat would ye do?"
"What would I do? I'd do anything to make sure that it happened. To make sure that my loved ones were safe."
Moana mulled over Karyane's words, as if though she was hesitant on striking a bargain with the young girl. "But she's not even important ta ye, is she? Why would you risk yer everything just for a somethin' o' hers?"
There was silence. Then, "No, she is…she is…" Karyane sighed, as if though she was having difficulty saying what she wanted to. "I care for her. I mean, even though we've just made up, we're still sisters. When she was kidnapped, the best thing for me to do was probably to stay at home and yet I still tried getting onto that ship, as ridiculous an idea as it was, even when I was supposed to hate her. But I couldn't. Because she's my sister. I did everything I could do then and I'd do anything now."
Another pause. Moana's hesistancy was clear, even to the usual naïve Karyane, by now.
"Ye'd do anyting?" she asked, her words tentative, her eyes watching Karyane's every move.
"Anything." Her tone was resolute, firm, without a doubt.
"Would ye stay on dat ruddy ship for anoder six months, maybe even a year and risk the possibility of returnin' ta y'er beloved family? Would ye risk stayin' wid dat Jack Sparrow for a while longer?"
"Stay with Jack Sparrow?" Karyane's voice faltered, it cracked. Her resolution had been torn, doubt now seeped from every corner of her mind.
"Aye, da man ye're suppose' ta hate," Moana told her, with a quirk of an eyebrow.
Disclaimer/Author's Note: I don't own Pirates. Don't think of suing me. All I have are my pretty clothes and I'm not about to give those up any time soon. But do tell me what you think of this chapter. ;)