Up is Down

Prologue:
Nasty Little Surprises

Disclaimer: I do not own the anime/manga Fullmetal Alchemist. It and all its respectable characters are © to Hiromu Arakawa. I also do not own Pirates of the Caribbean. It is © to Disney and Buena Vista Films. However, all writing contents and semi-plots here are © to me; unless it is stated otherwise. I belong to myself, and Bishquet, my lovely friend here on belongs to herself. All shows/ books/ video games/ songs that are mentioned in this chapter are all © to their respective owners, I do not own them.

Summary: The high seas and a vacation in the Caribbean...who could resist, right? The Elric brothers certainly can. Unfortunately, they're stuck and they're not alone. Pirates, goddesses and Krakens, oh my! Even Captain Jack Sparrow couldn't have predicted this...

Note: [Edited 27 July 2015] Oh my, yes. A spontaneous and wild crossover has been born. This story started up when I was a wee little teenager, with that unruly thing called 'imagination' that made me wonder what would happen if one world met another, and then even more things began attaching themselves to the story tighter than a Kraken's suction cups. Before I knew it, this story was born. So let me begin by saying, yes, this had been intended a self-insert of myself and my friend. If you wish to leave because of that alone, then please do so now. I have no time for useless words filling my inbox bemoaning about OCs or self-inserts and the like. I really don't. Ain't nobody got time for that.

To continue on for those who still wish to give this story a chance, I am now currently going to confess that I am a busy woman. It's been almost nine years since I started this tale and in that time, many things have changed. I am no longer a teenager. I have a child, a husband, and family obligations on top of my duties as an active duty military member. I also no longer see myself as "Lupin". I prefer another alias, as my changed username proclaims. However, I wish to finish this story, so I will continue the guise of "Lupin", even though she and I have evolved away from one another quite drastically over the years. My other stories profess as much as well.

To wrap this up, I'll give my thanks to my readers who continue to read this story, and especially, to my hetero life mate, Bishquet. You are an amazing woman, and you have kicked my ass too many times about this story for me to let it completely die. Thank you for being my beta and for feeding me ideas, and keeping the fire burning. I don't think I could have continued without you and your manic energy.

Additional:

The year for Edward and Alphonse remains 1926.

The year for Jack and the crew of the Black Pearl has changed to 1738.

The year for Lupin and Bishquet remains 2009.

OoOoOoOoOoO

If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it.
- Anonymous

OoOoOoOoOoO

They were running late. How typical! Edward knew that desk clerk was going to end up being unreliable for a cursory wake up call, but noooo, he didn't listen to his gut for once. He had listened to stupid, sleepy skull instead. He adjusted his grip on his bag as he dashed down another street corner.

"Damn it all—we're almost there, come on, Alphonse!"

His brother easily kept up with him as they sluiced through the crowded streets of New York City. Motored vehicles were more of a norm over here in America, it seemed, more so than in Europe. There were still plenty of horse-drawn buggy carriages, however. They had to stop for a particularly long wait at a curb as the street traffic picked up. They could already smell the faint tinge of brine in the air. It was ever-present, but here it was stronger.

When a lull in the traffic presented a moment's respite in the cobbled streets, they lurched forward, once more into the fray. The bellowing of ships' horns from the dockyards rent through the air. Another block and they were there. The docks were crawling with all sorts of people from nearly every walk of life.

Edward patted his pockets, feeling the bulge of his and Alphonse's tickets there—passage back to Europe from this country. It would take them a few weeks, and their quarters were less than desirable, but it was better than waiting for another three or four weeks. It was better than nothing at all.

"Brother, wait, wait! You're running past our ship!"

The older Elric had to skid to a halt and nearly plowed into a rather burly looking man, roughened by a life at seas. The sailor sneered, carrying a heavy bag filled with grain. He spat on the ground at Edward's feet. "Watch where you're going, mouse."

Rage welled up in his chest at the insult, but Alphonse hurriedly steered Edward away with a stern hiss, "Now isn't the time! They're about to pull away the gangplank, c'mon!"

He tugged his older brother away from a potential fight—one that Ed would most likely have won no doubt—and up toward an open gangway that led into the ship. A crew member stood by, waiting and looking rather bored in his duties. He was busy watching a huge crane hauling cargo onto the freighter when the Elrics stumbled upon him. He was startled at the sight of the two coming up toward him, a packet thrust upon him so unceremoniously.

"What—what is—tickets?"

He scratched his head, he watched the two antsy looking brothers with a frown, hesitating. Then a light of recognition graced his plain features.

"Oh. Oh! I forgot we had some passengers on our manifest. You should be our last passengers, then. Edward and Alphonse Elric, yes?"

"Yes," Edward answered in relief, while Alphonse nodded. The sailor looked over the paperwork, nodded once or twice, and motioned them forward.

"Go on, get settled in. Go down this corridor here, hang a left, follow that corridor until you hit the staircase. Go down two flights, and one of our guys should be able to point you out to your room for the trip and then toward the mess hall after. Try not to get in the way and we'll all get along fine. Welcome to the S.S. Suduffco."

With a dismissive wave, the Elric brothers were free to go within the confines of the freighter. Following the sailor's directions, they were finally home free…for the moment, at least they were.

The bastard they were hunting down had given them the slip yet again. For the last few years, he and his brother had spent all of their energy and time to hunt down the man who had come into possession of an artefact from their past, an object comprised of the element uranium. The unstable element alone was something to worry about. The fact that it was already crafted into bomb made everything worse in every way. If the wrong people got their hands on it—such as any number of bitter, failing nations—the world as a whole could change for the worse. Destroying it was the only way to ensure that it wasn't reverse-engineered and mass produced in any way.

Anything from their world could present a danger to this one; it was only a small blessing in disguise that this world did not have alchemy.

This setback in their travels alone was going to delay them. A false lead had them stranded in America for longer than either of them would have liked. Now they were on the right track. The S.S. Suduffco should see them to Europe. Noa was still waiting for them, after all.

Barely two hours later, the freighter ship was slowly pulling away from the wharfs of New York City and sliding into Manhattan Bay. The skies were a slate gray with the promise of rain and the sea a steely blue-gray that made one shiver just from the sight of it. The cityscape began to slip away, and the iconic Statue of Liberty seemed to grow taller the closer they came to her.

Her impassive face stared blandly out, tireless and still. The S.S. Suduffco crawled past the giantess statue. There were other ships in the harbor as well, their horns blowing in the distance, as though in response to one another. Alphonse and Edward found their way topside in time to find that the bay had finally been left behind, and only the open ocean stretched out before them was left to get underway. Behind the freighter, New York City and the country of America was steadily growing smaller.

For a time, neither of them said anything. The chug of the engines, the whipping of the wind, the roar of the waters below, and the occasional shouts from crewmembers were the only things heard. Edward felt a heavy sigh collecting in the pit of his chest and after a while, finally found the urge to release it. Alphonse stirred at the noise, looking to his brother.

"Something wrong?"

"It's disappointing. That we came all this way, I mean. We traveled so far on nothing but a wild rumour that was most likely meant to throw us off track."

They didn't even have a name to put to the madman they chased. They barely had a picture, either. He was like a spider in the darkness or a bogeyman hiding under the bed, waiting, watching.

Alphonse reflected on this, knowing there was a kernel of truth to his brother's words. He saw a silver lining, however. "At least we know now instead of much later. And we have the people we've met to thank for that. They were helpful enough to point us in the right direction."

Edward snorted, face drawn in scowl as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"Yeah, sure, right after we hit a slew of unhelpful people. The ones that had us running around in circles trying to find which way was up." He grumbled, hunching over against the cold wind. "I can't wait to get back to where it's warm…New York City's too cold for me. I don't know how you managed to sleep at all the time we were here."

The younger Elric laughed at his older brother's seemingly childish antics, but he did have to agree with that. Over the last few weeks, New York City had been gripped in a rather nasty cold snap. It was only just last week that the last of the snow and most of the ice had finally melted, but the cold air and icy winds still lingered. The minutes dragged as they observed the happenings below. Edward yawned and stretched.

"I think I'm gonna head back down. Come get me when it's time to eat, would you?"

"Sure. See you then, brother," Alphonse nodded, glancing over to watch his brother depart. He turned back to watch the sea out ahead of them for a while longer.

Within the hour, he grew bored of standing around and fell into the habit of wandering his new surroundings. It would be their temporary home for the next few weeks. It'd be wise to know the ins and the outs of the place.

He crossed paths with several crew members, including the one that had reviewed their tickets earlier. Not much older than his brother, the young man looked more renewed and happier now that they were underway. He introduced himself as Jeremy, and offered to take him on a small tour of the ship. Alphonse took up the offer. It turned out to be a better alternatively than aimlessly roaming about.

He learned that Jeremy had been sailing for almost eight years, serving under many jobs on several ships, although Captain Turner and the S.S. Suduffco had so far been his best employed job to date. It paid a little more as well, which was a plus. Jeremy was also sending what money he had to his family in Oklahoma, keeping little for himself.

"I just wanted to get away when I was younger, but I guess that didn't work. I'm still connected to everyone back home in some way. I just don't want them to think I've forgotten about them, you know? So I send what I can, whenever I can. I'm thinking of going back home after this trip, though. It's been a while since I've seen everyone."

Afterward, the bell tolled that evening was underway and that food was to be served soon.

"I'd better go grab my brother. He's probably awake now and hungry." Alphonse said in way of apology as he turned to step away. Jeremy waved him on.

"Not a problem. It's going to be a long few months, but we've got plenty of food and drink here. He won't miss out on a meal, so long as he's on time."

That gave Alphonse pause. Months? But their journey should only take them a few weeks, at most. When he said as much, Jeremy only scratched his head, that same puzzled expression gracing his rough features as when they first met him.

"No, no. It'll be several months. California's a long way off."

"California?!"

"Well, yes. That's where our manifest is headed for. Wait...are you trying to get to California?"

"No! We were told that this ship was heading for Germany!"

"That…oh, wow. Nobody told you about the change in destination?" Jeremy scratched his head again. "Our last contract fell through, so we took up another one and our destination changed up. We tried to get in contact with you to inform you about the change, the last I heard."

"We never got the call. We stayed in the same place the entire time we've been in New York."

Deflated, Alphonse wondered how well his brother would take this news. Seconds later, he decided "not very" as the top result. And that was a pretty huge understatement, really.

"I guess they didn't even try. Now I'm wondering if our other passengers who were expecting to get to Europe know…I think I'd better talk to the captain about this," Jeremy said, looking sheepish and apologetic. "Look…look, I'm sure we can fix this. We make port in the Bahamas in a few weeks and can arrange a transfer for you and whoever else needs to change out. Might cost a little extra to pull those strings, but we'll see what we can do to help."

He offered his thanks to Jeremy and parted ways, mulling over this information as he headed back to his and his brother's quarters. The settlement held some promise and Alphonse felt a little better, although not by much. They were back a square now, and it only seemed like a downhill decline with their luck. Who was he kidding?

Edward was going to blow his top, regardless of the compromise. He just wondered if he should tell him before or after they ate.

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The sea was as calm and peaceful as it could get, with a ripe wind catching in the blackened sails high above. The waters glittered a crystalline blue, sometimes so clear, one could see the sands below with perfect clarity. One such passage was making itself present, as men aloft called down below where treacherous sandbars were lying in wait. Another man on the foredeck heard the warning and relayed it to the captain at the ship's wheel.

Dark brown eyes hidden behind a mask of kohl flicked to the warning sailor in question, then they were back to gazing at the horizon. His hands responded in kind, tipping the wheel toward starboard. All his men were busy scuttling about to and fro, up and down the decks, carrying out his previous orders. Beside him stood another man, the only one not doing much of anything, except waiting. A bit on the portly side, but steadfast and loyal, one couldn't ask for a better first mate on the ship.

Or that's the impression Joshamee Gibbs had on the man's opinion of him. Jack Sparrow was, at most times, a hard man to figure out compared to most, even after years of knowing the man. Gibbs spared an anxious glance toward the aft of the ship, almost expecting to see a snarling whorl of storm clouds racing to catch up to them. The decorative carvings that rose high above behind them blocked his view, but he only had to shuffle toward the gunwale to see the ugly stain on the opposite horizon.

A bell's keening peel interrupted the relative quietness, signaling the time. No doubt food would be underway soon, if it wasn't already.

"Cap'n," he said at last. The figure before him barely moved, but he did tip his head closer toward Gibbs. The assorted beads and baubles tied or braided in clinked with the movement.

"Seems to be a storm on its way," the captain rumbled back, although there wasn't a hint of worry in his voice.

"That seems to be the truth o' it. It's been building behind us for quite some time now." He allowed a measured pause to pass between them before speaking up again. "It seems t' me that we've lost Norrington and his small contingency, but now we've a tempest t' contend with. An' from the look of those clouds, it doesn't look t' be small."

True enough, the dark front flickered beyond, the promise of more than just rains and winds to be had. There was a distant boom, but there were no other ships around them to worry about an attack from. It was merely the storm whispering away in the distance, the grumbling growl of thunder carrying its message to them.

Jack swayed in time with the pitch and yaw of the Black Pearl, perfectly at ease in spite of the news. He had sailed many other ships in his lifetime, but none would ever feel so much like home as the Pearl would. He had sorely missed his old girl. Jacks' fingers curled a little more tightly around the spokes he held. Gibbs didn't miss the possessive squeeze, but pretended to. Instead he focused on the very faint, but noticeably gold-flecked smile from the extravagantly dressed man beside him.

"Aye, that sounds about right. Our bloody friend Norrington made the mistake of coming after us too soon, it would seem. He should've waited a few more days."

"We'll be in the same predicament soon enough. Not unless we can put some distance out."

For a time, the captain didn't answer. Gibbs kept himself trained from fidgeting too much, or appearing overly antsy. Old habits from his days as a man in the King's Navy employ, however distant in years they were, died hard. Instead, he busied himself with moving toward the port side gunwale, gazing toward the skies to the Pearl's aft. He could see some semblance of flicking lightning dancing amongst the stormy head front. Already, he could feel the wind and the rain lashing out against his skin, ghostly trails sliding across his body. He shivered. The feeling never quite went away.

"Mister Gibbs, I do believe you are, for th' time being, in th' right about that observation. We've already lost that little fleet under the good Commodore Norrington. It'd be best if we kept that good distance between us for the time being."

"Aye, that sounds about right," Gibbs said in agreement, returning to Jack's side. Jack, in turn, eyed the men aloft and the deck below. Then he began barking out for their attention. Eyes turned toward the quarterdeck in an instant. Satisfied that he had their ears and eyes, he began relaying his orders: every sheet would be unfurled to give the Pearl her full speed. He wanted every available hand aloft to make it happen.

When he finished, they continued staring, as though not sure if more was to come. He wagged his hands toward them, making a shooing motion.

"Well, go on, you pox-ridden curs, step lively now!"

They scattered at that last command, all except Gibbs. The two watched as men, nimble and spritely, ascended to the higher mezzanines of the Pearl's masts. They began shouting at one another with who would go where and do what.

"What do ye think will happen t' th' poor devils caught in that storm?"

Already blackened sheets of canvas began to unfurl from above. There was a small but noticeable lurch in the Black Pearl, hurling her forward through the water a mite faster.

"Mister Gibbs, I haven't the foggiest in that regard. One thing I can tell ye that's for dead certain, is that Norrington an' his troop of loyal men will most likely be caught in it. If we're lucky, he'll lose a chunk of said good men and hopefully some of his ships, if not most. If we're even luckier, we might lose the good Commodore hisself, but that's never an absolute certainty. I will say though, I would hate t' be caught unawares an' go through the tragic loss of the Black Pearl yet again, shortly after only getting her back. So, let's try t' keep 'er in one piece, shall we?"

"Aye, sir. I'm sure we can coax some more wind into her sails."

At this comment, it made the captain grin and a few gold teeth became visible. "Good. Now, Mr. Gibbs, if you'll please return to your duties…I have a ship t' sail, a heading to maintain, an' a storm to outrun."

OoOoOoOoOoO

The cool breeze that blew in was a relief from the hot blue skies and sweltering, muggy heat of the Caribbean Sea. Crystal clear blue waters sparkled, the sun casting dancing lights upon its reflective surface. The beautiful sight, however, was lost upon the Guatemalan woman trying to pull her unruly, curly black hair into a semblance of a ponytail. It was hard to keep it all in line, however, on a bouncing tour boat. Even in the shade and wearing shorts and a tank top, she was sweating.

Coffee brown eyes scanned the area, looking for a familiar face that promised to bring her cool refreshment from the small bar inside. She began to fan herself. A minute later, her friend was back, bearing two water bottles, crisp and cold, straight from the cooler. Bish latched onto the bottle with fervor, while her friend laughed. She glared from the corner of her eye.

"Hey, you don't get to laugh, it's fucking hot. I'm not the one who wanted to go to the Caribbean for the summer, you were. I'm wearing sparkly sunscreen, and I'm still baking! I blame you, Loopy. You've killed me in this pretty paradise. I want that on my tombstone. 'I Blame Lupin'. You got that, right?"

Her friend, Lupin, laughed again. She was a lean little thing, and not very tall, with witty blue-gray eyes and a freckled tan face.

"Fair enough, just so long as you put on mine, 'I REGRET NOTHING'. It's gotta be in all caps, that's very important. Because that's my response to your complaints. I mean, c'mon. Look at this place! It's beautiful!"

"'Beautiful', my ass," Bishquet griped.

"Your ass is beautiful, I agree, but I'm not looking at it currently," Lupin quipped back. It managed to elicit a small smile from the Hispanic woman. Despite her earlier complaints, Bish couldn't deny the sea had its charms. She secretly did love how everything looked: from the clear waters, the cloudless blue skies, the attractive little islets they've passed on the tour boat. Most, if not all, of the other patrons were constantly snapping photos on their cameras or phones. But for all that was good and holy, she wished it would rain just a little bit. Anything would be a reprieve from this hot box.

Overhead, the PA system crackled to life, and the piteous thing tried its hardest to relay the announcer's words clearly, but it was a losing battle. The words were garbled beyond comprehension and occasionally, static would win out over the voice. Lupin motioned for them to move closer to the wheel house where their tour guide stood. The rest of the passengers did the same and the tour guide put the mike away. Lupin and Bish slid their way to the front, past all the taller patrons.

"All right, so, welcome, welcome, welcome! Uh, thank you again, for choosing the Little Black Flag for your little touring needs around the island chain and its many little islets and cays. Again, my name is Jeffrey, and your captain for the day is Thatcher. Now, we are actually coming up on the furthest out chain of the Bahamas, which consists of over seven hundred islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, with Nassau on New Providence being its capital. Now, the Bahamas were first inhabited by the Lucayan people, who were a part of the Taino and these islands were actually the first discovery Christopher Columbus had made when he set out to find the 'New World', back in 1492…"

Their guide continued to drone on about facts about the Bahamas, occasionally interjecting a fact about one little islet or another, but they passed quite a few before they made for landfall on one particularly large island. It was bigger than the others. They circled around the coast at a distance, with Jeffrey occasionally pointing out little huts along the beach, offering fun facts about the islanders that lived on the island.

"Now, another fact that we've discovered lately, is that on this island, there was a smuggler's den to the north. Smuggler's dens were used as safe havens for pirates who needed to lie low for a time or to stash away their stolen goods until a later date. We've actually set aside a small portion of our time to go through the den, uh, from an entrance that was uncovered that led inland from the cave. Should be exciting!"

The boat made its way to a small dock protected in a little bay. The boat idled alongside the dock as the lines were tied off and the gangplank set out. Jeffrey stood attentively by, smiling to each of the passengers. He motioned toward a thin, winding trail leading into the jungle.

"Right that way, it's about a quarter of a mile in, watch your step," he called. Including Lupin and Bish, there was only about eight of them in total partaking in the guided tour.

Bish groaned as they trundled closer into the shade of the jungle, spotting how the trail was set at an incline. She glanced at Lupin from the corner of her eye, noting how the woman had, for whatever reason, decided to drag a pack with her on the tour. It was light, and mostly empty excepting a few snacks, choice drinks, and a few other miscellaneous items. Bish herself only carried her purse, which had her essential items like her phone and sunscreen lotion.

"You're going to be hurting at the end of the day after carrying that thing all over the place. You know that, right?"

Lupin hefted her pack more securely onto her shoulders and gave a shrug. "I'll live. I have Motrin."

"Who do you think you are, Lara Croft?"

"I wish. I left my guns in my other pair of shorts. So sorry."

The banter came to standstill as their guide hurried to catch up with them. He was rather athletic, wiry and lean with muscle. It didn't hurt much that he was also rather handsome. Sandy-blonde hair, winking blue eyes, tall stature. He had a good package going on in the tight shirt and baggy shorts he wore. He flashed them a smile and encouraging word that it wasn't too far from the boat and the dock, that they'd be there before they knew it. Then he was jogging ahead to gather the rest of the clustered folks into a group again. Bish watched with a slight smirk as he did.

"That ass…is he souvenir? Can I have him? Can I, Lupin? I promise to take care of him."

Lupin snorted and laughed. The Hispanic woman pouted, crossing her arms.

"What? I would."

"Are you gonna stuff him in your luggage?"

"…maybe?"

The other woman continued to laugh and shook her head. "Only if he has a brother or a friend he's willing to share with the rest of the class, hun."

"I could ask," she replied with a wiggle of her brows. Lupin grinned and motioned for them to continue on.

"I think we should catch up first before we get left behind. Pirates are a-calling."

"Oh, so sorry, I forgot, you're holding out for your precious Jack Sparrow."

"Captain," Lupin added, wagging her index finger at her companion. "There's a captain in there."

"My apologies. Captain Jack Sparrow. What, you think he's waiting in this smuggler's den? That's an awfully long time to be waiting around." Bish teased with a pant. Cardio was certainly not her forte, but she was proud for keeping up on this godforsaken uphill climb. Lupin chuckled as they caught up to the back of the group, glancing behind her. Huge frond leaves and tangled undergrowth shaded their passage through the trail, but a small snippet of the waters below could be seen. Her smile faded a little when she spotted a dark smudge on the horizon beyond.

"That doesn't look good," she commented, nodding back. Bish paused to catch her breath, looking back.

"Is…are those clouds?" She asked hopefully.

"I…don't know, possibly. They're…really dark though. Hey, you didn't happen to catch the weather this morning, did you? Anything about storms to worry about?"

Bish shrugged. She wiped her brow to clean it of sweat and slid her glasses back up the bridge of her nose. "I don't remember. Maybe you should ask Jeffrey. He's the guide, they should watch out for this shit. I mean, they take tour boats out on the water."

"Right…good idea."

Her idea, however, didn't get much of a chance to come. People gawked and gaggled along the entire trail, and soon, thoughts of stormy weather were brushed aside as they arrived at the smuggler's den entrance. The cool retreat of the cave air provided a temporary solace from the midday heat. The guided tour continued without a hitch. Inside the cave was mostly intact, with faint remains of a ruined hideout. Pieces of timber still clung to the cave walls, encrusted with salty brine. Water softly splashed up and down against everything.

Jeffrey continued in his passionate little tirade about the smuggler's den they were visiting, and included a few other locations they were discovered in. Questions were fielded, and before they knew it, they were exiting the cave and back onto the jungle trail.

Some people noticed the more visible clouds and expressed concern. Jeffrey, however, kept up his confident façade, reassuring that they were fine. Some dove into complaints about rain ruining their vacation. Bish, however, was relieved.

"Oh, please let it rain. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain."

"Might wanna be careful what you wish for," Lupin taunted in a singsong voice. Bish retaliated with a light punch in the other woman's shoulder. Lupin only laughed and trotted ahead, waving for her friend to hurry up.

"I'm not running! Fuck you!"

"Aw, c'mon you big baby, we're falling behind again!"

"You're the only one carrying a backpack! Of course we're falling behind!"

"Well, the sooner you get your ass in gear, the sooner we can get back and plan out our trip to see the Bimini Road!"

Bishquet gave pause to that comment, before realizing her friend had a point. It was one of the highlights of this trip to her. Lupin grinned slyly, realizing she had Bish hook, line, and sinker with that one.

"…let's go."

"That's the spirit!"

Further out, the clouds continued to build in strength and size. The captain of the Little Black Flag watched as it slowly crawled closer their way, its dark front foreboding and worrying. Thatcher was a simple man with simple needs. He had his livelihood in this little boat, and made a decent profit selling tickets to tourists and taking them out around the island chain. Jeffrey was a good man, if a bit on the naïve side and needed a good nudge every once in a while in the right direction.

Jeffrey wasn't long in his procession, gathering up the tourists like a mother hen. He waited until they were well under way again and pulling out of the bay less than twenty minutes later before addressing the matter.

"We should start heading back. Cut the tour short. I've been watching things from down here. You can see it plainly for yourself. If we don't start now, we won't make it back, ever."

He saw the words were slowly sinking into Jeffrey's head. He was young, but smart. The cogs clicked away in the man's head before he bit his lip and nodded. "Okay, all right. Yeah. Let's start heading back."

He paused. "Um…do we…what if they ask for a refund? Since we're cutting things short."

Thatcher shrugged.

"They paid for a tour. We gave them one, just not the full package. We can offer a credit to finish it at a later date."

"And if they don't like that?"

"Take it up with Gregory back at the office. He can handle those complaints."

"Got it."

Turning back to the tour group, Jeffrey hesitated when he took full notice of the horizon. The dark smudge had crept closer and it looked more and more like it was heading their way. Perhaps it was time to get back.

OoOoOoOoOoO

[Edit 30 July 2015] I've decided to reinvent the wheel, apparently. The story wheel for Up is Down, that is. It clicks into place more nicely, honestly. I hope people enjoy it more thoroughly.

Historical Facts:

-On March 14, 1926 the S.S. Suduffco disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle during its passage to Los Angeles from New York City. Its captain, Thomas J. Turner and its crew of 29 men, all disappeared along with the freighter, never to be heard from or seen again.

-On August 29, 1772, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas were damaged by a rather massive hurricane. But that's the Caribbean for you, always getting hit by those hurricanes. Those rebellious little weather-y punks.

-The Bimini Road is an unusual rock formation made up of limestone north of the Bimini Islands, which incidentally are very close to Bermuda Triangle. Some speculate that it's the gateway that leads to Atlantis. Others dictate that located in the Bimini Islands themselves lies the Fountain of Youth…