Honestly, people, you're very lucky I have nothing better to do, otherwise I'd probably stick to my promise of 5 reviews. Well, since I'm so unloved, I'll just update for the heck of it. So be glad that I have nothing better to do and that I'm so generous. If you don't keep reviewing, I'm shutting down this series! GRR! Is it, maybe, perhaps, that no one reads these notes? Well, that's not very nice! I want answers, people! How many of you read the notes? Answer in a review or something!
So, I'll answer the reviews I DID get and then you can ignore me until we get to the end note, okay?
Call of the Sea
Chapter 4: Begging to Stay
(PS: Guess who's doing the begging?)
The ship lurched in the sea, hit by a sudden wave. The crew went staggering forward, trying to catch their balance and then continued on with their duties. Gibbs put up a hand, trying to brace himself against the railing, fighting against the wind. He staggered towards the stairs, climbed with his head down, and staggered to Jack, who had one hand steering while the other was placed securely on his head, keeping his hat in place. Gibbs stood directly behind Jack.
"Cap'n, do ye really think it best to try to brave the storm? Shouldn't we try to head more inland?" Gibbs hollered over the storm, but Jack didn't answer. He kept looking straight ahead, out into the darkness; out into the storm. "Captain!" Gibbs tried hollering in Jack's ear, but it still didn't get his attention. Sighing in frustration, Gibbs fought back down the ship, going to help the crew.
Meanwhile, Jack's thoughts were in turmoil. He couldn't even fit them together into sentances. They were just pieces. Pieces of his thoughts, adrift in his mind, as though adrift at sea.
'Kraken . . . inland . . . storm . . . Marina . . . leave . . . no . . . don't leave . . . stay . . .' Oh the poor Captain Sparrow was drowning in his thoughts! How troubled he was! He couldn't sort out his thoughts and feelings right. He couldn't pull himself together.
Still, he pressed on. He was not sure of where he was going, but he knew he had to head somewhere. Anywhere. Any longer at sea and his crew would lose their mind and might start a rebellion. He didn't want another mutiny. Could he trust his own crew?
The ship lurched to the side. Marina grabbed ahold of the desk she was sitting at and held tight, clenching her eyes shut. The sudden movements of the ship made her jewelery jingle cheerfully in her ear. She straightened, waited, anticipating another wave, but this one was smaller, and she didn't go as far as clutching the desk again. She could plan in peace.
She glanced down at the map laid out on her desk. She'd found it in the top drawer and thought it a curious souvenir. The map was relatively new. She expected as much; this ship was possibly a former merchant ship. Merchants had to be updated every so often, right?
She used a compass to plot a course over the sea, to the nearest shore. But once there . . . what?
Would she leave this ship? Leave Jack, Gibbs, and Will, as well as the rest of the crew who adored her, and just settle down in a sleepy town? She glanced at her right arm, pushing up her sleeve and revealing the 'P' burnt into the skin on the back of her wrist. She winced at the memory.
The East India Trading company captured her father and branded him the same way. Their eyes turned to her, only 11 at the time. She looked back at them with large fightened eyes. The poker they'd used on her father was flashed in her general direction.
"And the girl?" one lieutenant asked.
"Brand her and them put her on the market," a commander ordered, "She may not fetch a high price, but at least she'll be put to work as a slave. Pirate scum deserve no better."
Her father thrashed against his bonds, lashing out at the officers. "Filth! Let her go!" he ordered, gritting his teeth. "What right have you to sell her? She is my daughter!" he thundered. One of the high-ranking officers caught him with a right hook.
"Father!" she cried out, trying to rush to him, but a couple of officers held her tight.
"Pirate dog!" the lieutenant exclaimed, "Don't try to think you can get away with your trecherous acts against the crown and the royal navy! You cannot save yourself, and you cannot save your daughter! You are to be hanged first thing tomorrow morning!" With a wave of his hand, the officers restraining her father dragged him away.
"No, Father!" little Marina cried out. The lieutenant turned slowly, glancing at her. He walked up to her, ripping the clothes off her back until she stood naked before him. He took her chin in his hand, staring straight into her eyes.
"You are only so young, not even a grown woman." He let her go and paced back to his desk. "It's a shame you should be branded as pirate. But since your father is David Blackheart, you must be a pirate. Pirate blood flows through your veins." He picked up the poker, sticking it into the fire. "Your father seems to have legal custody of you. Your mother couldn't win in court to a pirate? How sad. If only she had . . ."
He glanced at her. "You'd have been better off. You would be a noble woman. You could marry in the Church of God and you wouldn't be in such trouble. You could be like any other woman in Port Royal; taking care of her children and the house, not having to worry about stupid pirates."
Marina thrashed, offended. Angry tears came to her eyes.
The lieutenant took the poker from the fire, brandishing it at her. He nodded and the officer on her right held out her arm by force. Marina struggled. "Sad how you should be cursed to the fate of a pirate . . . of a slave . . ." The lietenant smirked. "But that was your choice." He stuck the poker on her arm. Marina screamed in pain.
White pain took over. She thrashed against the branding iron. It was ripping into her flesh! It was bringing her searing pain! Oh, the cursed pain! What she would give for sweet release!
When the lieutenant pulled away the iron, the wound was bleeding, but the blood was bubbling and evaporating. Red smoke rose from it. Marina slumped to the floor, crying and clutching her arm. The lieutenant threw her torn clothes at her, turned his back, and commanded that they dress her and send her away.
The last thing she could remember was being carried by one of the officers, staring at the lieutenant's retreating back. She blacked out then and there.
When she came to, she could hear voices. She recognized the angry voice of her mother. Squinting open one eye, she glanced around the room. Her right wrist and hand were numb.
"What gave you the authority to presume that my child was a pirate!" her mother screeched, furiously.
"Her father has legal custody of her, and as such, she is branded as a pirate. She will be sold on the slave market first thing after her father's hanging." She recognized the voice of the lieutenant. She growled, angrily.
"I demand the rights to her! She is my child!"
" . . . Fine. But you must do it now, before the slave traders make their bids. I can cross her name off the list once you do. Follow me." She heard footsteps, and realised the lieutenant and her mother, as well as a few other people, had left. She blacked out once more.
The next morning, she cried. The pain had come back to her wrist, but that was not what she was crying about. Her father—the man she loved more than herself, the man she adored—was to die this morning. She was given to her mother, and they were invited to witness the hanging of David Blackheart. Of course, her mother was still in love with him, but could not undo his sentance without getting herself caught in it, as well. If she chose to fight for him, she would then be ranked down from noble to pirate and would serve the same fate, and Marina would be left all alone.
No one in Port Royal fought for a pirate without being sent to the gallows, as well.
So, instead, they stayed indoors. They refused to see him off on his journey to Davey Jones' locker.
Meredith looked at her daughter across the table, depressedly staring at her soup. She felt sympathy for her. She, herself, was very much in love with Marina's father. "Marina," she said. Marina looked up at her, eyes full of tears. "Let's take a walk, shall we?"
So they walked through town, staying towards the upper end of Port Royal.
Just then, a troop of British soldiers stomped by, guns at the ready. They rushed by in a hurry.
"What do you suppose happened, Mother?" Marina asked, tugging at the collar of her dress.
A British soldier was shouting to the others. "Search everywhere! He can't have gone far! We'll drag his bum back to the gallows!"
Meredith held her breath. "It can't be . . ."
Suddenly, the soldiers began shooting at something in the air. Something swooped down and snatched Marina. Meredith turned rapidly to watch. "Marina!" Her breath caught in her throat. "David . . ."
David Blackheart had escaped from the gallows! He'd swung by on a rope fastened to the top of a building and swung down, snatching his daughter up with him. He laughed, triumphantly, as they landed on the top of another building.
"Father!" Marina hugged him around the neck, and David hugged back.
"He's got a hostage! Don't shoot!" one of the soldiers cried.
"Idiot, that's his daughter! She's branded as a pirate! Who cares if she's a child! Shoot her!" the lead soldier commanded.
David smiled at her. "Climb on my back and hold on." Marina smiled and did so. David turned to Meredith. "I promise to raise her well! You shan't be disappointed! She's in good hands!" He then blew a kiss to her.
Marina's father carried her off just as the soldiers shot. Meredith fell to her knees, watching helplessly. However, she knew they would escape and a smile tugged at the lower corner of her mouth. 'Yes, David, I know you'll take good care of her . . .'
The alarm was spread throughout Port Royal: David Blackheart had escaped along with his daughter. But by that time, it was too late. They'd made it to the White Raven docked by the pier, where no one noticed. Marina and her father had escaped, and they set sail for the horizon.
Marina sighed, standing up and walking to her bed. After a good couple years of pirating, her father had died. He had been a good captain and entrusted the White Raven to her. The only thing she had to do was pick up a new crew. But now . . .
The ship lurched again, sending her sailing to the other side of the room, where her back hit the door. "Not again!" she groaned, admiting that she would not have a night's rest so long as the storm lasted.
His eyebrows knotted together and he put his hand to where his heart should have been. It ached and throbbed in pain. He clenched his eyes shut against the pain. They were causing him this pain. He opened his eyes, breathing fiercely.
He stood and went to his organ, rusty with time and the water that always seeped through the ship's boards. A few barnacles made their home along the pipes. He sat down and began to play a haunting melody that echoed throughout the vast expanse of sea. Each note was filled with his pain. His crew knew he was suffering; and if the captain suffers, everyone suffers with him, because of him.
He glared at his organ, fiercely, but his mind lingered on his pain; he didn't see the organ. He saw him, the man causing him such pain. No, he didn't hold his heart, but he was the reason he lost it.
"Damn you, Jack Sparrow . . . for all the pain you've caused me, I will settle our debt. Your soul will be mine . . ."
Marina opened the door into the cool night air. The storm had ended only a few minutes before. She smiled as she saw the lights of the city of Tortuga; they were close, now.
It wasn't long before Jack docked the ship and the crew unloaded, ready for a well-deserved break. They'd rented one of the more decent tavern/inns in the city. After a few rounds, Marina headed off to her room. She counted the doors on her way down, making sure hers was the fifth on the left. She glanced down the hall one last time before she went in; Jack's room was the eighth door on the right.
She laid down on the bed, shutting her eyes and drifted off. It only seemed like a couple of minutes before someone knocked on her door; well, more like tapped. She scrunched her eyes up, turning on the bed, but the tapping persisted. The taps turned to knocks, until she finally got up and stalked to the door. She opened in, into Jack's distracted face, turned to look down the hall. He looked back to look at the door he was knocking on and jumped in surprise. He gave a nervous smile.
"Oh . . . hello."
"Hello, Jack . . . um, is something wrong?" she asked.
"Oh, no," Jack shook his head, "I just, er, wanted to have a friendly chat." He grinned.
Marina nodded, following him to his own room, to where he'd gestured.
Jack looked distracted once more. He was leaning his hand on a chair, staring at the table in front of him. "I've been thinking of things . . . Miss Blackheart. I'd asked ye once before, and I'm asking ye again. What do ye plan to do now? We've reached Tortuga . . ."
Marina was silent, contemplating her answer. "I'm . . . not sure. I was thinking about just . . . quiting piracy . . . I have no crew and no ship . . . I could just settle down here, or in another little town. Just live a peaceful life . . ." She trailed off, pressing her knuckles to her lips, staring at the floor. "But where would the fun be in that? Then again . . . what else can I do?"
"Ye can stay with us," Jack blurted out, making Marina look up at him. "It's not so bad having a woman on board the ship." Jack was no longer staring at her or the floor, but was preoccupied with his rings. Marina wasn't sure if he was even addressing her anymore. "The crew adores ye . . . and I meself admire yer spirit. Ye've nowhere else t'go . . . ye can stay with us. Ye won't have to quit pirating, we have adventures anywhere we go! There's never a dull moment!" He glanced at her, out of the corner of his eyes, and gave a famous 'Captain Jack' grin.
Marina gave out a sighlike laugh. She shook her head, staring at him. "But Captain Jack . . . I'd only be in the way . . ." She tried to convince him. Once again, she felt guilty; Jack had suddenly took on a somber attitude. He was sad; he didn't want her to leave.
"Ye must . . . really not like being with us, then . . . if yer so determined to go . . ."
"No, Jack, never! I'm just confused about things is all. Ye've done enough to see me on me way . . . There's some things I want to get done, and ye have different things to see to . . ." No matter how hard she tried, she knew it was useless. Jack didn't want her to leave, but he wasn't forcing her to stay. Wasn't his sadness his respect for her own choice and her own desicions?
He wasn't exactly complaining . . . but Marina felt sorry for him . . . He was basically alone. So he had Will and Gibbs and his crew to keep him company? So what! He didn't have anyone who understood him—who really understood him.
Jack walked over and took her hand, stroking the other side of it with his thumb. "Please Marina . . ." She could see the hurt in his eyes. "I'm asking ye to stay. Ye don't have to, but I am asking ye."
"You really are all alone, aren't you, Jack?" Marina whispered, tears falling from her eyes in pity for Jack. She looked his in the eyes, but he wasn't looking at her. He still stared at her little hand in his. She made the move; enveloping him in an embrace. "Then for your sake, Jack," she whispered in his ear, "I'll stay. I'll be your friend."
Jack returned the hug, a tear dripping down his eye, but she smiled, a true, happy smile. "Thank ye, Marina," he muttered.
"The answers I seek . . ." she said, pulling away and looking at him. He smiled and took both hands in his.
"We'll find them together." He pulled her to him and embraced her again.
The night rolled on, but the crew was happy, for they knew something wonderful had happened. They drank, sang, and made merry all throughout the night, awaiting the next morning when Jack would announce the news unknown to them. (PS. Will's already asleep.)
Yay! Another new chapter, and more JackMarina fluffy-goodness! Well? Will you review? And Davey got himself an appearance, too!
So, where's the next destination? What things does Marina need answered? And why is Marina the only one able to hear the beautiful music? What am I talking about? Well, review and you can find out!!
I WANT FIVE REVIEWS PLEASE!!!
Jack: That's right! Review and ye can get more o'me!
Marina: Yer so full of yerself. (rolls eyes)