Kat couldn't believe all the food that was laid before her. There was chicken noodle soup in a bowl before her, as it was before all at the table, but there was also something covered in a silver dome in the centre of the table, which seemed to be quite large. In her glass goblet, there was a golden liquid, which she assumed to be either wine or champagne.
"This is a feast!" she exclaimed, looking at the stuff on the table.
"It may be a feast compared to what you're used to, luv," Jack said, grinning. "But this is nothing compared to what gets served at parties. You get hors d'oeuvres, then soup, then the main course, and then a desert."
Kat's jaw dropped, and the adults had a polite chuckle.
"So, Jack." Will began. "Who exactly are the pirates you're chasing."
"Will," Elizabeth objected. "I don't think this is a good time-"
"Well, now that he's asked," Jack said. "I know that Kat's not gonna drop it, so I might as well tell you what I've been able to find out."
Kat grinned after swallowing some soup, which had been seasoned to perfection, and Jack winked at her.
"The crew of the Devil's Gauntlet are known as the Caribbean Cutthroats. They're very dangerous, and it's known that when they attack a town or ship, they never leave anyone alive."
Kat choked on her soup.
"Easy, luv!" Jack said, going to pat her back. Once her breathing was better, he took his seat and continued.
"But they've never faced my crew, or my ship. If I can't blast 'em off the map, I know I can at least hurt 'em enough and then escape as quick as possible until I've made repairs."
"And then you'd go back?" Kat asked.
"Maybe." Jack shrugged. "It depends how the battle goes. If I don't think its worth risking, then I'll just content myself with the damage."
The conversation stopped abruptly as Martin walked into the room.
"Mrs. Turner, James Norrington is here, and he wishes to see you and your husband immediately."
"Well, send him in and set up a place for him, will you? Please?" Elizabeth replied.
Martin gave a small bow and left. Not long after, he came back, followed by a rugged-looking Norrington.
"James!" Will stood up, followed by Elizabeth and Jack. Kat stayed where she was, not sure of what to do. Jeremy had no choice, as he was on a chair that had a special seat on it to raise him up, and he couldn't get out without help.
"I'm fine." He insisted as he made his way to an extra seat that Martin had told one of the other servants to place. "But I think you should discharge your guests, minus Captain Sparrow. What I have to say is very important."
"I'll explain her presence later," said Elizabeth, as she and the other two men sat down. "But if Kat wants to stay and listen and Jack approves, I think she should stay."
Kat looked at her father, and he nodded.
"Very well." James began. "My men and I were on the Dauntless, and we had caught wind of a pirate ship which had a very bad reputation. Much like the one yours had," he said, turning to Jack. "When Barbossa was commanding it."
He took a glass of the liquid which Kat had failed to ask what it was before continuing.
"We were considering whether or not we should go after them, when they found us."
No one said a thing, and James continued.
"I lost more than half of my men, and we barely managed to bring the Dauntless back here."
"James, did the ship have a flag sporting a jackal head?" Jack asked, intrigued.
"Yes." James replied, amazed. "How did you know?"
"Never mind. Where did the battle take place?" he pressed on.
"About 100 miles north west of here. It took us two days to get back."
Jack got up suddenly and threw down his napkin (which he had been using only to be polite to Will and Elizabeth. He wouldn't have been using one otherwise).
"That's it. I'm going after it."
"Jack! No!" Kat exclaimed, getting up. Anamaria had told her about the Dauntless. "If the pride of the Royal Navy barely got away, how will you survive?"
"Don't forget, the Pearl is faster and, while we don't have as many canons as the Dauntless, we can stilldoas muchdamageas her."
"He's right, miss." James said, addressing Kat. "I've seen what his ship can do. While I don't think it's a very good idea to go after that ship at all, I don't think there's anyone more qualified than Jack. Who are you, anyway?"
Jack was worried that Kat might say something mean, as it seemed a tantrum was coming on, so he placed a hand on her shoulder to stop her.
"May I present, my daughter? Katarina Sparrow. Kat, this is Commodore James Norrington. I'll explain later, James." He held up a hand to stop the question which he could tell James was about to pose.
"And, if you don't object, we'll do so aboard the Pearl. I need to talk to someone who's seen them in battle, and I'm leaving right now. Will, Elizabeth? Kat stays with you like we said awhile ago?"
The two nodded, but jus as they did so:
"No! I'm coming with you, Jack!"
"Kat, we talked about this. You're to stay here where it's safe."
"But Jack, it's my fight, too! I want to go!"
"To what point and purpose, young missy?" Jack's rage was coming on, and he grabbed Kat around her upper arms.
"I'm sure your guardian told you what happened to the town where you were born! The whole place was left black and burning, and there was only one person left alive when I got there, but he died shortly after." Jack's voice began to lower in volume. "How Melissa managed to get you out of there is a mystery, but also a miracle. Go out looking for trouble, and there probably won't be a miracle this time."
Kat lowered her head.
"I already lost your mother, I'm not goin' to lose you. Whatever happens to me, I want you to stay alive. If I don't come back from this, I at least want to die knowin' that you're safe. Savvy, luv?"
He lifted her chin, and, though her eyes were full of tears, she nodded.
Jack hugged, which he would only do in front of so many people. Anamaria was one, the three other people in the room were the others. He figured Jeremy wouldn't even remember this after a few months.
When they let go, Kat was biting her lips inward, trying very hard not to cry.
"Now, you stay here, and stay safe. Savvy?"
"Yes, Jack." Kat's reply came out choked and quiet, but it was heard.
"Good. James, you comin'?"
"Absolutely." He rose from his chair and walked to the open doors of the dining room, where he stopped and waited.
"I'll hope to see you lot soon." He said, prompting Kat into her seat, and looking at the Turners. Before leaving, he kissed the top of Kat's head, and whispered. "I know I can't promise anything, but I will do my best to get back to you."
Kat nodded silently, not trusting to open her mouth.
Just as Jack started walking towards James, the sound of a large explosion reached their ears.
Jack and James ran for the door, while Will, Kat and Elizabeth, who first scooped up Jeremy, followed.
The group ran outside, and saw a strange ship firing at the town.
Horrific scenes of a similar situation flashed in the minds of the Turners and James.
"That's the ship." Said James.
"We've gotta get to the Pearl." said Jack."All of us." He grabbed Kat's hand and they all began running.
"How will get there if the other ship is in port?" James shouted as they went.
"The Pearl is hidden behind some cliffs at the other end of the bay! All I have to do is try to get their attention without alerting the Caribbean Cutthroats!"
The group managed to get down to the beach without too much difficulty, only to find that Gibbs was already there with the boat.
"Anamaria figured y'might be needin' a quick escape!" Gibbs shouted to them.
Everyone rushed into the boat.
Luckily, the Pearl had ventured closer, so it only took them five minutes to get there and onboard.
"Alright!" Jack shouted once he was back at the wheel. "Load the guns! Everyone be quick getting ready! This is not gonna be like any battle we've been in before! The Caribbean Cutthroats are notorious for bein' the biggest bully around! We're gonna have to show 'em that they're not!"
The crew cheered.
"Good! I've come to expect the best of you in bad situations! Now's the time to prove everyone what you're mde of!"
More cheers, and the crew ran off in different directions according to each one's profession during battle.
"Will, I'm probably gonna need your help, too." Will nodded and went. "Elizabeth, you're very useful, but I'll understand if you'd rather stay in my cabin with Jeremy. Kat?" he placed his hands on her shoulders.
"You're to stay in my cabin, too? Savvy, luv?"
Kat nodded. She felt drained of emotion, because she was operating in crisis mode.
"I trust Kat to look after Jeremy, Jack." Elizabeth said. "I'm helping."
"Well, find something to do that helps." He clapped her back, and started steering towards the Devil's Gauntlet.
"James, what can you tell me about them?"
"Not enough until I actually see what they try. If anything looks familiar, I'll tell you so you can prepare yourselves. Something I can warn you now, is: as soon as we're in range, fire. Try to do as much damage as quickly as possible."
"Anamaria!" he called.
"Go below and tell the men to start firing as soon as we're in range. If we run out of canon balls, let's try that trick you had done on the Interceptor."
And she left.
"Here we go." Said Jack, as they approached.
A/N: Ooh… cliffy! Tune in next chapter!
And, for the part about how far the battle was and that stuff, I don't know how fast the Dauntless is, or how many knots one has to go to make that trip in two days, so just smile and nod for that part.
Also: the Caribbean Cutthroats were a real band of pirates back in… I'll have to check the year again. Needless to say, they were not liked.