A/N: So one day I'm looking through our vast collection of Treasure Planet forums (heh) and I find a juicy story challenge: What if, after the confrontationin the galley, Jim couldn't get away from Silver? The rest is history. Will be multichaptered. Some stuff is borrowed from Treasure Island. Rated for violence later. Thanks to Cubrea Ymtic for the challenge; this was great fun to write. I don't own Treasure Planet, fortunately for us. Robert Louis Stevenson owns the characters; Disney owns the setting.
Chapter 1--Playin' Games
An army of thoughts swirled in my brain as I climbed out of the barrel.
I had never thought of Silver as a pirate.
I felt betrayed, cheated, violated.
There wasn't any good left in the universe, I was sure of that.
My mind replayed the day my father left. Tears began to sting my eyes as, again, I watched him march to the docks. Watched him board the schooner that would drag him galaxies away from me and my mother.
Only now, he looked a bit like Silver.
I bumped into a table as I stopped to wipe my tears. Morph cooed and chortled behind me, unaware of my pain.
Then I realised: Captain Amelia. Doc. I have to warn them.
I stumbled towards the companionway, only to collide with Silver.
"Jimbo?" At first, I thought I heard alarm in Silver's voice, as he glanced briskly about the galley. Then he placed his hands behind his back and grinned at me as he came down the companionway. "Playin' games, are we?"
His voice sounded way too casual. I backed away from him, remembering what he'd called me: snot-wiping whelp.
"Yeah," I replied, trying to make my voice sound brash, unintimidated. "We're playing games."
"Ah." Silver looked and sounded a bit more serious now. "Well, I was never good at games." He fiddled with something behind his back, and I thought I heard the hammer of a pistol falling. "Always hated t' lose."
Panic squeezed my stomach. Was he going to shoot me? I smiled at him with a calm, "Hmm," but my heart raced. I reached for the table behind me, hoping to find something, anything I could defend myself with. My fingers touched a paring knife, and closed on its handle.
Silver grinned at me again.
I bolted towards him, shouting, "Me too!", and aiming the knife at his leg.
His cybernetic arm shot from behind his back and slapped me. I staggered back, dropping my knife. Silver grabbed the collar of my shirt with his flesh hand.
"I think I win this round, Jimbo." Silver's grin disappeared. "What heard ye?"
"Nothing." I tried to push his hand away.
Silver waved his right hand in my face. As I suspected, he'd converted it into a pistol. "Ye ain't deaf nor daft. What heard ye?"
I sighed. "Enough."
Silver tossed me on the floor roughly. I banged my head hard against a table, and Morph squealed in alarm.
The blow to my head almost made me lose my senses, but the icy muzzle of the pistol pressing into my neck helped me stay alert. My stomach dropped with terror as Silver cocked the pistol.
"What if you're caught?" I shrieked.
Silver glared at me. "Hey?" He pulled his pistol away a bit.
I repeated, "What if you're caught? I'm not scared to die--I don't care." A lie, but whatever. "So, if you want to kill me, go ahead. But if you let me live, then when you're in court for piracy, I'll try and save you best I can. You can bet that if Captain Amelia were to get out of this, she wouldn't testify to save her life." In spite of my fear, I managed to smile a little at him. "So, what's it to be, John Silver? Kill me and do yourself no good; or let me live and get a fighting chance for escape when you're headed for the gallows."
Silver hesitated, pistol still cocked. At last his face softened a bit, and he lowered his pistol. "Blast," he growled, "I said meself ye were smart but--cor, ye're point-blank. Smart as paint. That's what I like about ye, Jimbo."
Smart as paint, huh? And wasn't I a snot-wiping whelp two minutes ago? I steeled my glare at Silver, hoping he'd see how much I hated him.
"Right, then." Silver retracted his pistol and replaced it with a cutlass. I shrank back against the table, but he barked at me, "Ye can help me commandeer this rotten tub."
"No," I replied flatly.
He waved his cutlass at me.
I jumped obediently to my feet, shaking. Morph buried himself in my pocket.
Mr. Hands worked doggedly at the lock on the captain's quarters, as Silver tried to hurry him with insults and expletives. I knew Captain Amelia and Dr. Doppler were hiding in the cabin. I knew that if they were found, the crew wouldn't think twice about killing them. And all I could do was stand dumbly next to Silver, holding a brace of pistols.
Now I was a pirate.
"Ye're takin' too long!" Silver shoved Mr. Hands aside, and deftly converted his robotic arm into a cannon. He took aim at the door.
I shut my eyes, praying that Amelia and Doppler had sense enough to stay clear of the door.
BOOM! The door shuddered on its hinges as a smouldering hole burned through it. Mr. Hands and Silver yanked what was left of the door out of the way, and I felt the rest of the crew behind me, crowding me into the cabin.
No one was in there. Amelia's davenport desk stood open; in it I saw the wooden chest she'd locked the map in, and was relieved to see that the chest was empty. Silver glanced around the cabin confusedly until he noticed a hole knocked into the floor, leading through the engine rooms. He groaned, annoyed, and pointed the hole out to the crew. "Stop them!"
The crew fumbled out of the cabin and towards the hatch. I stayed behind, though. Silver glared at me irately.
"Are ye deaf after all, Jimbo? Stop them." He pointed at the hole in the floor. "Ye're skinny enough to fit through there."
Silver aimed his cannon at me.
"All right, I'm going!" I cried, rushing at the hole and lowering myself in. "And I hope someone blasts your stupid arm," I snapped, dropping through the hole before he could reply.
As I raced through the engine rooms, my relief that Amelia and Doppler had taken the map with them faded. As long as they had the map, Silver would have his gun aimed at them. If we had it, at least they would be safe. Still, I didn't want Silver getting hold of the treasure. I stopped running for a moment, leaned against the bulkhead, and whipped a plan together. It wasn't a brilliant plan, but better than no plan at all. More determined now, I continued through the engine rooms until I reached the bay.
Amelia and Doppler were hurriedly loosing a longboat, looking relatively unharmed. "Hey!" I yelled.
"Jim!" Doppler glanced at the bay doors behind me, somewhat panicked. "Get in the boat!"
Amelia glared stoically at me as I flung the bay doors shut. "Mr. Hawkins, where have you been?" she demanded in a calm voice. "Pirates are commandeering my ship, Mr. Silver is trying to kill us, and we've missed breakfast. Your tardiness is inexcusable."
"Jeez, sorry, ma'am," I muttered sarcastically, "I understand that being taken hostage is no excuse for a missed breakfast."
"What?" Amelia gasped, uttering the first surprised noise I'd heard from her.
"They want me to stop you," I explained.
She sat there. "You've stopped us."
"Well, don't stop! Get out of here! Just let me see the map first."
"Oh, certainly," Doppler rummaged through his pocket and pulled the brass orb out. Amelia caught his wrist and turned back to me, eyes narrowing.
"Why?" she asked coldly.
"Just trust me."
Doppler handed me the map, and I tapped on my pocket. "Hey, Morph, look at this."
The little shapeshifter squeezed out of my pocket a little hesitantly.
"It's okay, Morph. Look at this. Pretty, huh?" I held the map up for Morph to see.
He hovered around it, sniffing it curiously. Then, with a giggle, he transformed himself into an identical brass sphere.
"Good boy!" I congratulated, rewarding him with a biscuit I'd luckily had in my other pocket. He melted back into his own shape and snuggled into my hand, nibbling at the biscuit. "Now, you wanna play a joke on Silver?"
Morph bounced around excitedly in my hand.
"Great! I need you to look like the map again."
Morph kept bouncing, giving no indication that he understood.
"Morph, come on," I coaxed, a little less patiently.
He giggled and yammered, ignoring me.
"I fail to see how playing with your pet is going to save us," Amelia muttered.
"No, trust me, it'll work. Morph, help me out here!"
Still the annoying shapeshifter did nothing. I angrily thrust the map in his face. He only sniffed at it a little, and returned to his bouncing and giggling.
I heard angry shouts coming from behind the bay doors. "Morph, change into the map!" I pleaded.
"Good Lord, are they going to break the door down?" Doppler cried.
"Mr. Hawkins, time is running short," Amelia barked. "Get in the boat."
"Trust me!" I snapped again "Morph! Stop wasting time!"
The bay doors starting shuddering, bending. The crew would break through them in a moment.
Amelia stared at the doors, shouldering her musket. "Mr. Hawkins!"
Morph wriggled into my pocket, fished a biscuit out, and chowed down.
"MORPH!" I screeched, smacking the creature on his head with the map. He yelped and whirled away from me, taking on the map's shape.
"Good boy! Stay like that!" I grabbed Morph and jammed him into my pocket, tossing the map back to Doppler. "Go! Now!"
Amelia and Doppler loosened the cables that held their longboat fast as I jerked the hatch open for them. As longboat sank through the Legacy's hull and Amelia engaged its hydraulics system, I ordered, "Get to the surface of the planet and hide. I'll come for you as soon as I can in a separate boat."
"Be safe, Jim," Doppler warned me, fastening his seatbelt.
Amelia unfurled the longboat's sail. "You're a good man, Mr. Hawkins." With that, she launched the longboat towards Treasure Planet.
The bay doors exploded open and the crew poured in, weapons at the ready. They stopped when they saw only me standing by the open hatch. Silver pushed his way through them towards me. "Where did they go?" he wheezed.
I dug into my pocket and showed him Morph disguised as the map. "Got away--but I got this."
"Splendid," Silver grinned, snatching the "map" away from me.
"Cap'n Silver!" a voice crackled on the loudspeaker. It was Mr. Onus. "Cap'n Amelia and the doctor are headed for the surface, due north northwest."
"Ah, let's have a butcher's, then." Silver grabbed my arm and dragged me through the engine rooms and topside.
When we reached the deck, Silver leaned against the scuppers, and scanned the planet's atmosphere. "Ah, I've sighted 'em. Idiots, makin' for the surface with naught but their names."
"Well, I guess we can leave them be, then," I suggested, desperate to get Silver's attention off my comrades.
Silver scowled at me. "Not so fast. I won't have them zippin' back to Montressor to brag about how they gave John Silver the slip. Turnbuckle!" he shouted to a pirate who was at the ship's laser cannon. "Get that longboat in yer sights and wipe 'er out."
"Aye, Cap'n." Mr. Turnbuckle began to get his side sights.
I panicked, realising I hadn't figured on this in my plan. There was no way Amelia and Doppler could clear a laser ball in something as slow as a longboat.
Mr. Turnbuckle got his upper sights.
"WAIT!" I screamed involuntarily, but nobody listened.
A laser ball soared towards Amelia and Doppler. I watched stupidly as the shot collided with the longboat in a shower of sparks. Smoke drifted from the wrecked boat, and it plummeted towards the surface of Treasure Planet.
"Thank ye, Turnbuckle," Silver congratulated calmly, and then he wheeled on me. "Well, Jimbo, ye've got us the map. I bet ye're knackered. Ye can get below and do as ye please now."
I glared up at him.
"I hate you," I whispered through gritted teeth.
"Thank ye verra much." Silver bowed grandly. "I aim to please. Mr. Scroop, won't ye show our Jimbo to the brig? I think he needs a break."
Scroop unlocked a cell in the brig and shoved me in. I tripped and hit the floor, scraping the palms of my hands.
"You just stay put and be a good boy and maybe I'll feed you," the Mantavor sneered, locking my barred door. "Oh, and by the way...I heard you blubbering when Turnbuckle took that lucky shot. I don't like blubbering, frankly."
I sat down in the corner of the empty cell, pressing my bleeding hands against my pants, and stared back into his disgusting yellow eyes.
"Well, you'll spend what's left of your sorry little life wondering what might have been, I suppose," Scroop continued, with a smile that looked a bit like a grimace. "Though I don't see how you'll be able to put up with yourself. You smell horrible."
I could tell he was just trying to get me to yell at him. Determined not to give him that satisfaction, I forced myself to talk quietly. "That makes it the two of us."
Scroop's eyes widened. "You filthy little--" he snarled, clawing at the bars.
"Mr. Scroop, it's yer trick at the helm!" I heard Sliver bawling from topside. "Ye can finish yer playtime later!"
Sighing with annoyance, Scroop left the brig, still glaring at me. "I'll be back, cabin boy," he growled.
The door slammed, plunging the brig into darkness.
I pulled my knees to my chest and finally gave in to exhausted, almost hysterical tears.
Well, whaddya think? Review if you liked it! If you didn't, review it anyway! If not for me, then for Jimbo?