Disclaimer - Well, this story has been percolating on the backburner of my mind for a while, now; maybe for a couple of years. I've been wrestling with writer's block on another story, so I thought I could try and get rid of it by creating a new one.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, this one is rather complicated and complex, but I wanted to get the prologue up before the movie came out. I haven't a clue what it's about - the movie, that is - but just in case it parallels my story (which I highly doubt), I thought I'd give it a shot.

As before, I only own the story, not the characters. Whatever OC's I create will not play a major part. Then again, I've been known to change my mind. LOL

Oh, and beta'ed by the very talented Cynlee and Askre! Thanks, my friends, I really appreciate it:0)

Yo Ho Cowabunga, Dudes!

(A TMNT & Pirates of the Caribbean Crossover Story)

Prologue - Trapped

As far as Jack Sparrow was concerned, there was never a good time for adventure. Adventure, for him was a dance with death at the end of a hangman's noose, a 'dance' he would rather not do, thank-you very much.

Yes, Jack might be a pirate and a good one at that, but adventures that risked life and limb were not necessarily his main entrée for living. Although, his life was fraught with danger, mayhem, and ill-gained goods, to outright try to kill himself? Jack wasn't stupid, that much was certain. And, considering his experience less than a year earlier with the Black Pearl and its cursed crewmembers, he thought he had seen it all, too.

That is, until now.

As he looked around, he knew what had just happened was illogical. It was completely impossible, at least, it should have been. Still, considering how badly it could have gone, Jack realized things could be a whole lot worse.

To get a better view of his surroundings, the pirate raised his makeshift torch, which was nothing more than his own shirt tied tightly around his cutlass and set afire. He had already shrugged off his justaucorps long before finding himself where he was. The arduous trek through the heat and humidity of the jungles proved his knee-length wool coat quite inappropriate for such an oppressing environment. Yet, now, with the fire slowly eating away his shirt, he lamented that maybe it would have been better to suffer from heat exhaustion, just to have one more piece of clothing as fuel.

Then, he had a thought and, with his flint in his other hand, Jack chuckled to himself. The pirate suddenly wondered how long it would be before everyone was butt-naked trying to keep some light on the matter. He glanced over at Liz and wondered if pressed to do so, if she would own up her shirt. Dressed as he and Will were, it made getting around easier for the girl, rather than having to wear the silly dresses and corset of her gender. As it was, Elizabeth's long hair, now free from the pins that had kept it tucked neatly under her hat, and her ample feminine shape, defined her as one very beautiful buccaneer; that is if she decided to turn pirate.

"Such a shame; she'd truly improve the lot, methinks!" Jack mused to himself.

Nevertheless, his more pressing concern for the moment was not in admiring her beauty, but in finding an escape route. From what he could already tell, however, it was going to be tough to do.

As he scanned his immediate vicinity, Jack desperately looked for a way out. His bare, sweaty chest reflected the glow of the burning torch. As its light flickered hungrily, it cast eerie shadows along the rocky wall of the cave. The pirate made a complete turn-about and then glanced upwards, hoping for a chimney of sort, or any kind of an exit, even one that he had to climb to reach. Yet, no matter which direction he looked, wherever they were, it was obvious getting there was becoming a one-way trip. It was quite apparent that finding a way out wasn't going to happen any time soon.

And it needed to be soon, too, for Jack could already tell that the air was bad, probably as old as time itself. No, he knew he needed to find an escape route - and quickly, too!

Glancing over at his two companions, he muttered, "Well, at least we didn't end up in the ocean."

In answer, another male voice added to the pirate's, "Yes, Jack, I'm sure dying of starvation, or even suffocating, is a whole lot better than drowning, but – hey - don't take my word for it," Will said derisively, as he tossed his arms up in frustration, "I haven't done either one before, so what do I know." He snorted in disgust and wrapped a comforting arm around Elizabeth.

The girl shrugged the arm from her shoulder, though, muttering unhappily, "We just had to take it back, didn't we! Can't believe we went there. Of all the stupid…"

Gesturing with his flint hand, while the other hand held his makeshift torch, Jack defended himself, "Ms. Swann, how was I t'know that they don't savvy forgiveness. T'wasn't my fault their witch doctor didn't teach 'em 'bout mercy. I thought they'd be happy t'get their gold back."

"It's cursed gold, remember?" Elizabeth hissed.

Jack chuckled, "Luv, I remember the curse, how could I not? They were kind enough to give us a choice, though, didn't they?"

"Some choice," Will complained as he looked about the cave, "To be part of their sacrificial ceremony or their demented idea of 'living' justice."

"'Living' sounded better, ya have to agree t'that!" Jack shrugged and then added, 'Person'ly, I didn't fancy havin' my heart ripped out and eaten."

"Yeah, well…it did sound rather grizzly." Will nodded in agreement.

Jack glanced at the wall again, "Anyway, I thought they'd be a little more appreciative that we brought it all back to 'em."

"Appreciative? They're barbarians, Jack, what did you expect?" Elizabeth grumbled, folding her arms across her chest as she huffed.

"Gratitude for one," Jack Sparrow muttered. He then studied the rocky wall again, before walking over to it. As he lifted his 'torch' to light up its hard surface, he tentatively rapped his fist against the wall.

"I don't think anybody's home," the woman said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Will snickered as he stood beside her.

"No, but maybe if we knocked hard enough?" the pirate queried. Applying more force behind his next strike, he punched firmly into the stony surface…and, as expected, it didn't budge. What did happen wasn't too unexpected, though.

"Ow, definitely hard rocks, not even a scratch!" Jack brought his fist to mouth, the skin now broken and bleeding along his knuckles.

"Not as hard as your head, apparently," Elizabeth huffed.

"Ha, very funny," Jack sneered at her, before returning his interest to the wall once more.

The girl sighed and then she and Will Turner walked over to join him in inspecting the wall. "Looks like granite, much harder than volcanic rock would be," she mused, "I don't remember seeing any rock like this, at least before we - ended up here."

Will ran a hand over the roughened texture of the wall, "This is pretty solid stuff."

"An' that's the problem," his pirate friend moaned, "I doubt we'll be gettin' out of this one."

Suddenly, Jack noticed his makeshift torch and felt a stab of panic. Not only was his shirt not long for this world, but the flames weren't burning as bright as they were originally. Even though he had wrapped the material tightly around his cutlass to lengthen the burn time, the clothing was still burning far too quickly. He fingered his flint and knew that if the torch died, he could always re-wrap the sword with Will's shirt and light it. Yet, it was paramount that he focused on finding a way out, too, and quickly, otherwise they would all suffocate to death.

Handing his flaming cutlass to Elizabeth, Jack frantically grabbed one of the rocks in the wall with his now-free hand. He wiggled it mightily, trying to dislodge it. When it moved a little bit, he gave a small, excited yip, and increased his work on the rock

The moment they realized that their friend might have found a way out, his two companions joined him with equal fervor. Elizabeth positioned the torch near the wall and, with her other hand, began working on one of the rocks.

It, too, budged a bit!

With Will joining in with the excavation, after a short while, they managed to succeed in removing a few of the rocks. It wasn't much, but it was enough for them to feel a faint breath of air as it seeped into the cave through the exposed cracks. It invigorated their attack on the wall once more and, as Jack breathed in the air, he could taste salt.

"The ocean! I can smell the ocean!" he exclaimed excitedly, his voice rising in pitch, "We're by the coast!"

Excited, now, he and his two friends began feverishly working at removing more of the rocks, their enthusiasm close to hysteria. Breathing became more difficult, though, as they exerted themselves, but they refused to rest. With escape only a few stones away, they didn't dare stop.

Then, just as they loosened yet another stone and added it to the small collection piled along the floor, a sudden deep rumbling caused them to stop their work. All three stood there, stunned, confused, and holding their breath, wondering what in the world was happening. Then, as the ground began to buck and heave beneath their feet, they felt themselves losing their balance. Instinctively, they grabbed on to one another, nervously glancing around, with eyes wide in terror. Still, the ground shook and seemed to get worse. They tried their best not to fall, but it was becoming difficult to avoid. Then, dust and grit from the ceiling rained down on them. In that same moment, a large crack appeared in the rocky wall, the break snaking its way from the base and going straight up towards the ceiling.

More terrified than before, the trio jumped back, concerned that the wall itself might cave in on them, and bury them under tons of rock. The three watched in morbid fascination as the living line grew haphazardly towards the top of the cave, like an erratic, ominous thunderbolt.

And while the fissure grew and the throaty roar of the earth's trembler deepened, they suddenly realized what was going on.

"Earthquake!" three voices chorused.

Instinctively, Jack, Will, and Elizabeth turned from the suddenly disintegrating upper wall and raced towards the opposite side of the cave, fifteen feet away. As they pressed hard against the rocky surface, they turned back to see a rain of rock dislodge suddenly from the ceiling above, right where they had previously been standing. They had moved just in time. They watched with growing dread as the deluge of stones and small boulders piled up just in front of what was probably their one and only exit.

As a choking cloud of dust and grit billowed out from the maelstrom, the threesome turned their backs to the chaotic din and huddled closer to each other. As lung-clogging debris filled the cavern, they clapped hands over faces to keep from suffocating and the trembler seemed to take forever before things finally quieted down again. After a few minutes and as the dust settled enough for them to breathe normally, again, Jack coughed once and turned around. Now, as he looked at where they had just been standing only a moment earlier, he groaned. With a small mountain of rock piled in front of the wall that they had just tried to dismantle and resembling an even more impenetrable barrier, three unsettling truths glared back at Jack Sparrow. It fact, if it had outright laughed in his face, Jack wouldn't have been the least bit surprised.

The first truth was that they had just experienced an earthquake. That wasn't too hard to discern, of course.

The second was half the ceiling had given way, creating an even larger, now impassible challenge between finding their way out of the cave. With the gradually depleting oxygen, they would never be able to dig their way through the piles of granite rock to the wall, before passing out from lack of air.

Thirdly, and this fact seemed to depress Jack even more than the first two, he had lost his flint. In his frantic rush to avoid finding himself buried under falling rock, he had dropped it. Wherever it was, it now lay under tons of granite. Jack's only means to light another torch was now and forever unattainable.

Then, as if adding salt to his wound, the last of the flames around his cutlass flickered and sputtered. However, before Sparrow could strip another bit of clothing from himself for fuel, the fire licked away the last remnant of his shirt. It winked out with a sudden abruptness that caused the pirate to inhale sharply. Pitch black now suddenly engulfed him and the others like a dense, suffocating blanket.

Sighing deeply, his voice loud against the suffering dark, Jack lamented sorely, "Maybe that alter sacrifice would have been better after all?"