Chapter 3--Dizzy

A/N: Well, whaddya know, chapter 3! If you're wordsofjade and you've come this far, thanks very much for sticking with me!

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I woke up uncomfortably hot. My brain felt like it would bang its way out of my head, and my lips stung. I thought I tasted blood in my mouth. My eyes were open, but I was alarmed that I couldn't move them. I breathed in heavily, and then coughed; the muggy air tasted like sweat and gunpowder. Yet I could see nothing. I was lying down, and gently swinging back and forth. Eventually I realised I was in a hammock.

Hushed voices approached me. One sounded familiar. I wanted to sit up, but exhaustion kept me lying down. Finally I saw dim candlelight and the shapes of two heads peering down at me. Still my eyes would not move; still my head ached.

"Sleepin' for twenty days since we embarked, Cap'n," one voice said. The candlelight wavered.

"Ye think? Can't expect a man to bounce t' his feet once ye've shot him in the noggin with a laser bullet. And on top of that, these quarters are filthy."

Where had I heard that voice before?

"Cap'n, for the final time, I'm sorry I shot at the lad. It just looked like he was attacking you."

"Well--he was--but not seriously," the voice named "Cap'n" protested.

The first voice and head turned towards me. "His eyes is locked, Cap'n."

"And blast if ye're gonna stand here tellin' me all what ails 'im! Get yer festerin' carcass topside an' find the doctor."

With an "Aye, Cap'n," the first head disappeared.

The other head and voice asked, "Can ye hear me, laddie?"

I'd heard this voice before. Who was it?

Oh, yeah. Lady Rum's lover. I remembered how he'd tried to lift some rum from Halyard's Tavern. So he was a captain? Huh.

"Can ye hear me?" the voice was still asking.

I barely nodded, and it felt like my neck snapped in half.

"Ah, ye're awake! That's well. Thought my idiot boatswain had killed ye. Now, I'm gonna give ye some water. Just pourin' it down yer throat, since ye don't look up to drinkin' it yerself. But don't puke on me, or I'll throw ye overboard."

Overboard? So I was on a ship.

Figures.

A tin cup touched my lips and lukewarm water flooded my mouth. Though I wasn't used to being given water that way, I drank it, and my dry mouth felt and tasted a little better. The cup pulled away, and after a long silence, the voice spoke again.

"Listen t' me--ye needn't be afraid of me or no one else. Ye're aboard the private galleon Lotus Eater, and we're passin' the Coral Galaxy. And once ye're on yer feet again, ye're gonna work here. Got it?"

I sighed tiredly, sinking deeper into my hammock.

Mr. Hodges would be thrilled.

"Why did you take me away from Montressor?" I demanded, but my tongue felt like stone every time I moved it.

"Somethin' told me to," the voice replied cryptically.

"Something?"

"I dunno anymore about it than ye do, lad," the "Cap'n" defended himself. "My boatswain took a shot at ye, and I took ye aboard. Better than leavin' ye t' bite the cobblestones, right?"

"I guess."

"But I can tell ye this." The voice sounded gentler now. "I also picked ye up for yer face."

I said nothing.

"A-yup. Ye reminded me of an ol' mate of mine. One James Hawkins. If I recall aright, he was born of Montressor." There was a smile in his voice. "Lad had a temper to rival Cap'n Flint, he did. But he had a heart o' gold underneath it all. Ever hear of 'im?"

For a moment I couldn't breathe.

It couldn't be.

But it was the voice.

I decided to take a chance at embarrassing myself.

"Silver?" I asked.

The voice was silent for an eternity. I thought either he hadn't heard me or I'd offended him somehow. But then two hands gently turned my head towards the light. I gritted my teeth against the light, still unable to move my eyelids--and then I jumped. The hands. One was natural, the other metallic.

"By heaven--Jimbo! It's you?"

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A/N: Sorry so short, will update soon!