Disclaimer: (Looks around) Shh! I'm hunting for Jack Sparrow! This means he's not mine…yet.

AN: Here it is, my new Pirates story! I know it's been a while, but Jack has been very elusive lately, which means he probably wanted a break after the previous stories I wrote about him. However, one night, I had a dream about him, which I guess means he wants to "come out and play," so here's the story. It starts with an alternate ending to At World's End (because I didn't like how the movie ended), which will lead into my own original storyline. I hope people will enjoy it and review! Thanks! (PS: the OC's name is pronounced "k-eye-a," like "hiya" with a "k" instead of an "h".)

Prologue: Beneath the Waves:

It had all started so long ago, and yet, it seems so recent to me. Of course, when both time and life are endless, everything seems to have happened between only a moment ago and a year ago…even when it was really centuries that have passed since that memory or event had occurred.

Poor Calypso; we had all heard about what had happened to our dear sister of the sea: her love of Davy Jones, the first ever meeting of the Brethren Court of pirates, and of Calypso's binding to a terrible human form. A free spirit of the seas, imprisoned within a body that could not breathe beneath the waves nor let her become one with the element she had been born into. What a horrible fate to live with for eternity, and there was nothing any of us could do to help her.

I think that our great king, Poseidon, God of the Sea, was more worried than any of us, though. To see one of his favored children, Calypso, bound to live eternally in a human body that would never die, was difficult for him, and he could not break the spell that held her, either. A God he may be, but he would not interfere in something that was of no great danger to his Kingdom. Thus, he, like the rest of us, was bound to do nothing as a daughter of the sea suffered.

Soon after Calypso's imprisonment, however, there was a rippling in the sea, one that was dark and sinister. Davy Jones, whose duty it was to safely convey the souls of those who had died at sea to the other side, had turned away from the task he had been given. Instead of helping the dead or dying to achieve peace, he had begun to corrupt them, twisting them and changing them into nightmarish creatures that resembled the natural ones of the deep sea. None of us knew why this had happened, but great Poseidon knew, and after a century of feeling the sea darken with Jones' presence, our king finally revealed what had happened in the past to form this terrible blight now.

Centuries ago, when the great kings and queens of Europe had discovered the wonders of what they called The New World, a great age of sea exploration had emerged. People began to shift from the crowded lands of England, Spain, France, and Italy to the New World, and the seas were soon filled with far more ships than there had ever existed before. The vast amount of ships, sailors, and captains traveling upon his Kingdom's surface should have empowered Poseidon, but it did not. In fact, it had a sad effect that he had not expected.

During mankind's earlier sailing explorations, there were far fewer deaths at sea than there were now. The Ancient Greeks, Romans, Vikings, and other peoples had not the numbers or the ability to send vast amounts of people to such far away places, and so the numbers of their dead at sea were low. Now, with this new age of exploration, there were more deaths than Poseidon cared to deal with, especially when it came to dealing with his brother, Hades, the God of the Dead.

To create a bridge between those who died at sea and the afterlife, the two gods had agreed to assign the task to whomever was willing to carry it out. The one who would tend to those that perished at sea would have to be human, for mortal men knew the power of death and the desire to reach the afterlife once they had passed on. He would also possess a special ship, one blessed by the God of the Dead and the God of the Sea, to carry the souls over to the other side. However, there were very eerie consequences to becoming the keeper of the dead.

The first consequence was that, since the ferryman of the dead would be human, they would not be able to do so as living, nor as dead. No man alive would be allowed to enter the afterlife, for he might go mad at the sight of the Kingdom of Death. The ferryman could not be dead, either, for he would never be able to return to life, and would be tempted to stay at that final resting place each time he saw it. Thus, it was required that the heart of the ferryman be kept separate from his body and kept under an enchantment, so that whomever stabbed the heart would become the next guider of souls. The enchantment would assure that the 'ferryman' would not kill himself out of longing to be dead, and that there would always be someone to help take the souls over to the Death God's realm.

Another consequence was that the 'ferryman' would dedicate 10 years to his duty before being allowed to return to the realm of the living, and that his stay on solid land would be for but one single day. However, if he had any beloved family or friends waiting for him when he arrived after 10 years, he would be freed of the task, and it would be given to another. These 'requirements' were agreed to by the Poseidon and his brother, and they were soon eager to begin the search for a sailor willing to fulfill the duty given to him.

When Calypso learned of this, however, she pleaded to be the one to give the task to whomever she deemed worthy of becoming the ferryman to the afterlife. It was agreed to by our King and his brother, and within but a few weeks, Calypso's new love, Davy Jones, had accepted what she had offered him. He had done so with Calypso's word that she would be there to meet him and relieve him of the burden when he returned after 10 years of service.

However, she was not waiting when his ship returned. In his fury, Jones turned against what was assigned to him, and asked the Brethren Court of pirates to bind Calypso to a human form. I knew that this had happened from one of my fellow mermaids, for she had been there when the spell had been invoked. Hiding nearby, she had been attracted to the magical power they had called, and had seen Jones help the Court in what they were doing. She and I had agreed never to tell Calypso, for fear of breaking our sister's heart.

To be fair, I knew that it wasn't Calypso's fault that she was not waiting for Davy Jones when he returned; it was in her nature to be willful and flighty, and she never could remain in a single place for too long. The one island she had remained on the longest had been in Greece, so it was there that she was most known and worshipped. Her stay there had only been for a few centuries, but mortals still believed her to dwell there, though that had been so very long ago.

Now, centuries after the first meeting of the Brethren Court, it was all going to end: Calypso's pain and suffering, Davy Jones' tyranny on the waters, the endless wandering of the souls that hadn't been taken over to the realms of the dead. Poseidon could sense that a great battle was on the horizon, one that would either help or destroy the oceans – and he needed me to help.

I had been swimming in the waters near the country the land-walkers called " China." I had always loved the oceans there, because the dolphins were so playful and the water spirits were so wise; I always managed to learn something after I was finished playing, and it made me feel as though I were doing something worthwhile (even when I wasn't).

However, when the great King of the Seas spoke in my head, I swam as quickly as I could to his glowing palace beneath the waves, the great City of Atlantis. Mortals had long thought it dead and destroyed, but it was far from true. Poseidon had sunk the city to keep it hidden from those who coveted the magical powers, the wisdom, and the treasures it held. Now it was our city, the city of the sea folk…it was my city.

Into the throne room I had swum, though I was weary from the long journey. Several whales, sharks, and dolphins had assisted in my travels, but I had still been forced to use my own tail a great deal. When I bowed my weary head before my King and God, he gave me a look of sympathy; since he, too, had a long fish-like tail, he tended to sympathize more with the merfolk after they had taken long journeys to see him and attend his court.

"Kaia," he said, his voice echoing through my mind as the water around us vibrated from the force of his power. "Kaia, you must go to the warm waters of the Caribbean. The war I have felt brewing in the ocean's currents will happen there. Watch what happens, and if Calypso is freed, she must be calmed, soothed, and brought back to me at once."

I nodded my slightly aching head. After the cold waters of the north seas, the warmth of the Caribbean's southern waters would be welcome. Not that water temperatures bothered mermaids; it was easy for us to adapt to warmth or cold, but most of us preferred to stay in waters that we were comfortable in. Since I traveled the seas so often, I loved both warm and cold waters, but preferred the warmer waters, as they held such colorful, cheerful creatures.

"My Lord, since Calypso is a minor goddess of the sea, would it not be wise to send another being as powerful as she?" I asked, keeping my voice polite as I glanced up at him. "If she should turn against me, it would mean the end of my immortal life."

Since we are the children of Poseidon and of his creation, the merfolk, sea nymphs, and other peoples of the sea are immortal, our life as one with our King and God. We may age, if we wish, to become older and wiser in appearance, but if we choose to, we appear as eternal youths for as long as we desire to. We also chose to die under our own will, though we could be destroyed by weapons, powerful magic, or our own hand. However, as apart of our immortality and our devoted bond to the sea, our hearts can become as cold as the icy waters of the far north. When that begins to happen, there were certain choices that could be made, especially in certain circumstances.

Poseidon merely waved his hand, producing a flurry of twisting water and bubbles. One bubble the size of my fist flew towards me, stopping when it reached my outstretched hand. When I touched it, I felt a solid smooth surface instead of the light pressure before a bubble bursts. I cupped my hands around it and pulled it towards me, realizing that I had been granted a magnificent gift.

"You are one of the few who like knowledge and learning," my King stated. "You watch and you learn from everything you see. This is why I have chosen you. This crystal will allow you to watch what is occurring both above and below the surface of the ocean, and should you need aid, it will give it to you. Should you need wisdom or guidance, it will give it you."

Poseidon sighed. "I regret that I cannot attend to this myself, but I am forbidden. Mankind was given free will by my kind, and I cannot interfere with it, nor whatever outcomes that are produced from it. Be cautious, Kaia, for men can be tricky creatures and are not to be trusted."

I nodded and bowed before swimming out of the throne room. After exiting the palace, I called out with my mind to see if there were any creatures that could help me travel south. A black-and-white whale approached, offering me aid in return for a great deal of scratches to his back. I agreed, and was soon flying through the water, towards the Caribbean and the dangers that it held.

As we swam, I silently hoped that Poseidon had made the right choice in selecting me for the task.

AN: Well, what do you think? Like it, hate it? Whatever it is, please review! Thanks!