Chapter 27 – trickery and revenge

Annamaria had learnt not to worry when Jack had a plan, despite the risk sometimes involved and the general madness behind most of his plans she had learnt to trust him. Jack may take risks but he would go to great lengths to ensure the safety of someone else it was when it came to Jack taking care of Jack he wasn't so attentive.

Of course no one apart from jack would know the entire plan, he would tell them what they needed to know and the crew knew better than to expect more. At the moment they were heading to a port not far from where The Phoenix had last been seen. Word on the wind was they had been in a storm and captain Hudson was looking for more crew before setting out again. It was also known that while he was particular about the people he chose he was paying a lot for good sailors. There was feeling upon The Pearl that this had something to do with jacks plan.

There suspicions were confirmed a few days later, they were due to dock that evening and jack gathered a few crew members in his cabin. Glancing around Anna noticed that they were the crew which had been with jack the longest, those fiercely loyal and who would risk their lives for Jack or make his cause their own.

It was a simple plan compared to many before, Jack wanted a short swift fight and the only one he wanted dead was Mathew Hudson. So when they docked that evening 7 of Jack's crew left the pearl in disguise as newly out of work pirates. The plan was to infiltrate the enemy ship. There was so much potential for taking ships down from the inside and there was many advantages however it was a then an uncommon tactic. So when The Black Pearl surprised The Phoenix Captain Hudson would be unprepared to fight without half his crew and disabled cannons.

The plan occupied his thoughts for most of his waking hours, he usually found that when things went wrong it was the ideas that came to him in the situation that were best but that didn't stop him from wanting a few back up plans which could be executed quickly by the crew. he wasn't planning on losing, he never did, but there was always that small chance and if he did happen to loose it would be much more bearable if he knew that somewhere nearby he had a crew and his ship waiting for him.

Jack didn't really like the deceitfulness of the plan, he would rather be able to walk right up to Matthew and engage him in a fight to the death –the two of them dealing with old feud. But there was still that chance that he would loose, not a very large chance but it was still there and then what would happen to his crew. Matthew probably despised them firstly for be associates with Jack and secondly for rescuing him of the phoenix. No, for the safety of his crew he would use every bit of cunning he possessed to gain the upper hand. The phoenix had more gun power and a larger crew that the pearl and he didn't want to engage in a long ship to ship fight which while taking away The Phoenix advantage of her cannons it also robbed the pearl of her best weapon – her legendary speed.

At the moment the phoenix outnumbered the pearls crew 3 to 1, the boys he sent over should be able to drug at least half the crew who wouldn't be on watch, some more would probably be injured when the pearl launched her cannons. While the phoenix did have more, heavier cannons he had trained the pearls crew well and they would rarely miss a target. He was mentally measuring the ships and crew against each other under any circumstance which could arise.

He was lucky to have such a loyal, hard working crew. Few had left the original bunch of scallywags old Gibbs had gathered in Tortuga when he was looking for a crew for the interceptor, some had joined when the pearl became more famous. Occasionally he even had old sailors almost begging for a space on his crew and he had heard in Tortuga that it was considered an honour to serve under him, his ship was a pleasure to run, his rule was fair and the plunder magnificent. Did Matthew's crew feel the same? He wandered, how much was he paying them? Was it enough to keep them loyal when they found themselves defenceless to the pearls attack or would the give in. he hoped they would give in, he was after only one man and didn't want any unnecessary deaths.

3 days after the pirates had left for the phoenix Jack was stood at the helm, today was the day. It was just gone 11, all the crew were assembled on deck and in the rigging, numerous weapon glinted in the sun, the sails had been changed, the patchless black both a magnificent sight and terrifying to those who saw them right then they were furled the currents taking the pearl towards the other ship. It was almost time soon they would be upon the phoenix and Jack was just waiting for the opportune moment to make his presence known. He waited patiently for the signal, eyes fixed on The Phoenix, the need for revenge building and then he saw it, the phoenix's lookout had noticed them

"Let her fly lads" he bellowed "run up the Jolly Roger and prepare the cannons"

The sails were released catching the wind and the pearl sped towards The Phoenix, the Jolly Roger flapping in the wind, gun ports were opened and Jack noticed the sudden flurry of activity aboard The Phoenix. Now he could only hope his plan would work and that he could get his revenge on Matthew Hudson before anyone got to him.