Ouch.

Not for the first time, whoever was carrying the coffin I was in bashed it off the wall.

You're not being very careful. How disrespectful. Or do you not know what precious cargo you are carrying…?

Clearly, they did not. The coffin swung around haphazardly. I was hoping they wouldn't drop me. If I was dropped too hard and the coffin split open, whoever was holding it would get the fight of their lives if I were to hop out... Might have been quite funny though.

"This coffin's heavy…" I heard a muffled voice above me. "Must have been some poor fat bastard."

Hey! That is so rude. There are two of us in here!

I ought to jump out on you.

I didn't, because then they might have killed me and the need to pretend to be dead would be removed completely. While that would have made sitting there a lot easier, it would also have meant that I was dead. This would have been a little bit inconvenient for me. So far, death didn't seem like much fun… and I had only been pretending. God knows what it's like for people who are genuinely committed to it.

Ouch… not again.

When you die, whoever you are with the honour of carrying me, I hope someone bangs your coffin repeatedly off a sharp pike surrounded by fire and angry lions.

That was the last bash before we came to a stop. I felt them set me down and I waited. I heard their footsteps and a few ominous grunts and splashes. I knew what was coming. I braced myself when they picked me up again. There was a moment where my insides panicked as the coffin was airborne and they only seemed to reconnect with the rest of me a few seconds after I had hit the water. I felt myself bobbing around rather uncomfortably. It's a good job I was used to the sea, otherwise it might have made me incredibly dizzy.

God… it really does smell funny in here.

Like a Goon's armpits.

Ew… wow, I just made myself feel sick.

The waves eventually settled down and I was left to just drift. It would have been rather soothing if it hadn't been for the dead man I was lying on top of. That put a rather large damper on things. I was pretty sure that I had quite a while to just drift along so I let myself relax and ignore the corpse.

Corpses aren't so bad… I'm sure people have put up with worse.

Isabel is surrounded by worse on a daily basis… poor lass; at least I'm not her.

Mind you, she doesn't have to lie with one…

unless she's married that Ginger Freak, then she'd have to-

No. Please no. Let's not think about that.

I decided to think about more productive things. I was suddenly feeling a strange achy feeling in my chest. Perhaps a bruise?... on the inside? Odd. Very odd. You know what would fix this? Rum. I decided to think about rum and how much I missed it. I hadn't thought to bring any. The thought of rum calmed me down and made me feel slightly happier. Rum does make everything better, I promise you. Maybe not forever, but at least for a while. Feeling slightly better about everything in general I started to relax and drift into a state of almost sleep.


Knock. Knock.

Hello?

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Oh… wait I'm in a coffin, it can't be someone at the door.

Knock. Knock.

Whoever this is… is just plain rude. There is someone trying to be dead in here… Not me, but still…

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

RIGHT… enough is enough!

I reached for my pistol and shot at whatever was making that incessant knocking sound and blasted a hole straight through the area it was coming from. The knocking stopped immediately, so I guessed that I had managed to take down whoever was. I stuck my pistol out into the air above me and moved the barrel around, since I didn't know which direction my foe was in. When there were no shots or sounds of retaliation I pulled it back in again and used my fists to break out of the coffin, sitting up as I did so.

God, it's nice to be able to breathe… that was uncomfortable.

I looked around me for whatever deadly enemy had seen fit to knock on the coffin of a dead man. A pile of feathers on the sea looked unthreateningly back at me.

Oh… it seems my rude nemesis was once a crow.

Pity that…

My head feels funny. I reached up and knew at once what was wrong. Oh God, my hat! That bloody dead crow's pinched my hat!

Oh no wait…

Here it is.

I pulled it out and patted out the creases before putting it back where it belonged. Then I looked down at my coffin-mate. This is going to be truly disgusting.

"I'm sorry, mate," I said sincerely as I ripped his leg off. In all fairness he didn't protest. I pulled it out and looked at it for a moment. "Mind if we make a little side-trip?" I asked it. It did not respond. Little bit rude, but to be expected as you are in fact a dead man's leg. "I didn't think so."

I began using it to row towards the full moon, which was sinking down towards the horizon, and the dark shape of a beautifully familiar ship, which was floating just to the right of it. It was not the most effective oar I'd ever had, or the nicest thing I'd ever felt… I also felt that sometimes… just sometimes, when the light caught the shiny bits of bone that were protruding out in places, I felt as if it were judging me.

By the time we reached the Pearl the dead man's leg and I had thoroughly fallen out and we were no longer on speaking terms. Gibbs put out his hand as I clambered up. Grateful not to have to touch it anymore I handed over the rude limb. Cotton draped a coat over my shoulders as I stepped on board.

"Not quite according to plan?" Gibbs asked dryly.

"Complications arose, ensued, were overcome," I told him.

Now please let that be all the questions.

"You got what you went in for, then?"

Oh for God's sake!

"Mm-hmm!" I said non-committedly, pulling out the cloth and hoping he would drop it, but I could tell from the way that he was looking at me that he wouldn't.

"Captain…" he began. Oh, here we go. "I think the crew," I turned and found that said crew were standing right in in front of me. Where the bloody hell did you lot come from? Scraggly looking bunch you are… "Meaning me as well, were expecting something a bit more... shiny… What with the Isla de Muerta going all pear shaped, reclaimed by the sea, and the treasure with it."

Yes, I'm fully aware of what went on.

"And the Royal Navy," someone piped up. "Chasing us all around the Atlantic."

"And the hurricane!" Marty chimed in.

There was a chorus of "Aye"s.

"All in all," Gibbs summed up as if it was the end of one of his ridiculous stories. "It's seems some time since we did a speck of honest pirating."

"Shiny?" I said, just to clarify.

"Aye, shiny," he confirmed. What are you lot? A crew of magpies? I studied him for signs of feathers.

"Is that how you're all feeling, then?" I looked at them all, feeling suddenly angry and tired and frustrated. "Perhaps dear old Jack is not serving your best interests as captain, eh?"

"Awk! Walk the plank!" Cotton's parrot squawked at me. I drew my pistol and aimed it at him.

"What did the bird say?" I snapped, as Cotton looked alarmed.

"Do not blame the bird," Leech said. You're right… at least there's an honest soul among you. "Show us what is on that piece of cloth there."

As if he had heard us, Barbossa's bloody monkey screeched down and snatched the cloth from my hand. No manners at all.

I tried to shoot him and missed. I grabbed the nearest pistol I could find and shot at him with that. This time it hit him. There was another screech and he dropped the cloth, running into the rigging.

"Know that don't do no good," Gibbs grumbled. The monkey was both annoying and undead… an infuriating combination at the best of times.

"It does me," I said, noting that my spirits had marginally improved.

Marty had dashed to pick it up, "It's a key!"

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME TOU SAW A KEY MADE ENTIRELY OF CLOTH? Never. "No!" I said and stepped forwards. "Much more better. It is a drawing of a key."

I held it up for them to see and they all crowded round. Not one of them looked like they had any idea what was going on. It saddens me to say that I was not only expecting this reaction… but used to it. "Gentlemen," I said, slowly. "What do keys do?"

There was a pause so long I could have shaved the hair from all of their heads, The probably wouldn't have noticed either…

"Keys..." Leech began. Ye-ees. "...unlock..." Come on, nearly there. …"things?"

Clever boy.

"And whatever this key unlocks, inside there's something valuable." Gibbs had perked up. "So, we're setting out to find whatever this key unlocks!

"No!" How stupid are you? "If we don't have the key, we can't open whatever it is we don't have that it unlocks. So what purpose would be served in finding whatever need be unlocked, which we don't have, without first having found the key what unlocks it?"

"So…" Gibbs took a moment, even though I had just explained things in such a clear and precise way that even a Goon could have understood. "We're going after this key!"

Eh?

"You're not making any sense at all," I told him. Sort yourself out or nobody will ever understand you. "Any more questions?"

"So... Do we have a heading?" Marty asked.

Bugger.

"Ah! A heading!" I pulled my Compass out and stood with my back to them. "Set sail in a... mmm... in a general..." NO! I'm pretty sure that bloody Port is that way. Quick, change directions before they notice. "In that way - direction."

I pointed to my left.

"Cap'n?" Gibbs sounded both shocked and confused.

"Come on, snap to and make sail, you know how this works. " I made my way through them to my Cabin. None of them seemed to be moving. "Come on…oy? Quick… oy… quick, hey!" I said as general way of encouragement.

It's like training bloody dogs around here.

I need a drink...