*A/N: This is a filler story in between 'The Origins of Phineas Bogg' and 'Memories of Time's Past.'
Jeffrey Jones eyed his partner carefully and placed a hand upon his damp forehead.
"No fever, that's good."
He quickly scooted over and did the same for the other man in the corner–Buccaneer, Samuel Burgess. He was not sick either. Both Voyagers and Burgess were trapped on an unknown Pirate ship and there was no escape save using the omni. They were in a red-light zone and Jeffrey had no idea what was wrong. His partner was in too weak a condition to make any cosmic trips.
Phineas Bogg shifted in a turbulent sleep. In the last hour he mumbled on and off about pirates, Rotterdam, and a woman Jeffrey never heard him mention before named named AnneMarie. Jeffrey tugged at the shackles around his wrists. It was useless to even try and slip out of them. There was nowhere to run and the sailors would easily catch him no matter where he attempted to hide. He couldn't risk getting flogged.
The first mate found them aboard two hours earlier. Phineas sensed a swift and brutal punishment so he demanded that it be meted out on him alone. Jeffrey couldn't understand why the crew became enraged when Phineas told them his name. They scoffed and laughed and kept pointing to the top rigging. There was no allowance for explanations and they immediately shoved Phineas against the post. Jeffrey couldn't bear to watch his partner suffer, but one sadistic, black pirate kept him facing forward to witness the beating. Phineas held steadfast with each blow to his back, and constantly reassured Jeffrey that it would be all right.
Jeffrey had noticed a young man peering out from behind the raucous horde of pirates. He had clamored down from the top rigging to see the commotion. When the mob parted to reveal the battered stowaway, the young man's expression filled with anxiety and he clutched the ratlines until his knuckles turned white. Jeffrey was in awe. The young pirate looked exactly like Phineas.
His wide blue eyes and the chiseled features were distinctive, though partially concealed under a short beard and shoulder length, messy hair. Jeffrey realized how a shave and a haircut would certainly make a man unrecognizable. That–along with a few added years and more muscle. It had to be Phineas. Jeffrey did not take his gaze off him. When the young man became aware of the intense scrutiny, he quickly ascended the ratlines and pretended to observe the waves.
The pirates had flogged Phineas ten times and shoved him to the deck. He was weakened, but still conscious. Jeffrey supported his weight down the steps and they were tossed into the lower hull. Jeffrey tried his best to clean Phineas' wounds, remembering to pour seawater on them to reduce scarring. Phineas had joked that a little Vitamin E from Headquarters would clear them up in no time, and then he passed out.
Jeffrey crossed his legs and slid closer to his friend. "C'mon Bogg, please snap out of it! We gotta get out of here. I need your help." He demanded and shook him.
The hull was a frightening place, crawling with rodents and big, slimy water bugs that Jeffrey had to flit away many times. They always grossed him out. The wind ferociously howled through the decayed cracks, giving him chills. He stopped shaking Phineas and rattled his chains irritated.
"Fine, Bogg! Stay in La La land with AnnMarie!" He said snidely.
Phineas' eyes sprang open and he sat up fast, waving his arms with labored breaths.
"Jeffrey! No! Stop!"
"Bogg! It's okay!"
Phineas rubbed his eyes until his vision came in clear. It was dark, save for two lamp lights, and he saw Jeffrey's outline huddled nearby. Phineas put his arms down and tapped his face vigorously to wake himself up.
The first half of the dream started pleasantly. Seeing her again and feeling her warmth indulged and comforted him. In nearly every dream lately he was with the beautiful, raven-haired, AnneMarie Schaffer. In the second half the visions shifted. He was back on his ship and high above deck, casually hanging off the ratlines after a full day's work of tightening sails and securing ropes on the block and tackles with the giant capstan in the center of the main deck. The ropes…he was always fixing them from being frayed, rotted, and knotted incorrectly by the others. Phineas, being the quickest and most agile, was also used as a lookout. High upon the crow's nest he often basked in solitude from all the heady commotion down below.
In the last moments of his nightmare, he was back on deck with the rest of the sneering crew and thrust on his knees, bloodied from his own beating. He helplessly watched Jeffrey get flogged and scream for him. It was far more insidious than he could ever imagine and he felt tethered to the deck, every sinew was frozen in place while Jeffrey was tortured. When the Captain finally stopped, Jeffrey staggered into his arms and died. Phineas wailed. He looked up to see a solitary figure–a figure with his face–climbing frantically down the ropes to help...and then he woke up.
Jeffrey grabbed Phineas' shoulders, keeping him grounded in reality. "Bogg! Bogg, it was just another dream. Relax."
Phineas patted his arm. "I know kid, I'm sorry."
Jeffrey glared at him oddly and a blush came over his cheeks. "I thought I got them bad. Bogg, who's AnneMarie? You kept calling out her name…a lot."
Phineas glanced away embarrassed, but then met his gaze. "AnneMarie was my first true love. My memories of her are still hazy, but she was a real woman and I know loved her dearly at one point in my former life. We may have even married."
"Wow! I wonder what happened to her? Do you know?"
Phineas vaguely remembered his trial with Drake and the woman he locked gazes with in the crowded hallway. It couldn't have been her. Still, there was a spark of recognition between them and she wore a jade and gold locket. That locket was also in his memories.
"It must have became a nightmare. You called out for me, but you were scared! I guess I was in it, then, huh?"
Phineas did not want to divulge the dream and just nodded. "Yeah. But something was weird. I saw myself in the dream, my younger self. And now all these memories of being a pirate are starting to come back to me. The sailors up on deck–I know them! I've seen them before. I've seen this ship in my past."
"You mean you voyaged onto this ship before?"
"No, these men, they're my old crew-mates."
"Bogg are you sure? That is weird. I thought Headquarters did stuff to your mind so you wouldn't remember the past?"
"They have their tricks to keep Voyagers in place, but sometimes…aww yuck!" Phineas kicked away a bunch of cockroaches that had scurried across his boots and he crunched them underfoot fiendishly. "Heh, I got ya, ya poxed, bilge sucking little…uhh…sometimes they come back…the memories, not the cockroaches."
"Aww, no, Bogg, the roaches keep coming back too! This is worse than a New York Subway. Hey, where did all that pirate talk come from just now?"
Phineas stroked his chin and felt a two-days beard growth. "I don't know, it's still in me. Being on here must have triggered something."
"Hey listen, remind me to pass on this mind altering procedure when my time comes at Headquarters." Jeffrey shuddered. "I don't want anyone messing with my brains."
Phineas smiled compassionately. "Don't worry, Jeff. I want you to keep your memories, I'll fight for it if I have to."
When Phineas found Jeffrey, he was a depressed, eleven year-old boy and isolated from everyone except his dog, Ralph. Since then he had maturely learned to accept his assignment as a Voyager and for the most part, enjoyed all the harrowing adventures. Phineas could already see why Jeffrey was going to be the best. It would be cruelty on the part of Headquarters to take away Jeffrey's cherished recollections of his parents.
Phineas yanked at the chains unsuccessfully. Every time he moved, he felt the lashes on his back tear and warm blood trickled down his skin. Jeffrey continually sponged the blood in order to keep his clothes from sticking to the wounds. Phineas winced from the salty stings, but he was no stranger to the painful treatment.
"Bogg, try not to move around too much. How can you stand all the pain?" Jeffrey asked quietly.
"I'm used to this kind of life, Jeff. Funny thing is, most pirates never flogged their crew members for punishment. They would keel haul ya, or maroon ya on an island with a few days rations, fresh water, and a small weapon so you could hopefully survive."
"Then why did they flog you, Bogg?"
Phineas rested against the wall, lost in thought. "I think because the Captain was originally a Navy man. Most Pirates scorned flogging. They hated the Navy. But this guy, he's different. I know I've been whipped before as a cabin boy, you just have to suck it up and take it like a man. "
"Well that's what you are, right? A man's man."
Phineas narrowed his eyes. "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"
"My dad used that expression. You know, other men can see you as a man, tough, masculine…like…John Wayne or Clint Eastwood."
Phineas didn't know who they were, but they sounded able-bodied and strong. "I get ya, thanks, kid. Hey, come here."
Jeffrey drew closer to him and Phineas put an arm around his shoulders as best he could with the shackles. "I can tell when you're scared and I don't want you to be. We'll get out of this, we always do, right?"
Jeffrey glanced away tearfully. "Yeah, we sure do…Bogg, you didn't let them hurt me and they…" He stared up at him. "They could have killed you! I thought they were gonna toss you overboard after the beating. Or Make you walk the plank or something."
"Aww, Jeff, it's okay. Now that I think about it, not everyone on my crew was a monster. They just had rough and tough personalities from time to time. Hey, as long as it's in my power, I will never let anyone or anything hurt you. You know that, don't you?"
"Yeah, I do. I just get really worried sometimes. I can't lose you, Bogg."
Phineas swallowed the lump in his throat and grinned. "Hey, I'm not going anywhere, kiddo! You're the one who's gonna fly the coop and come into your own as a Voyager. When that day comes, you'll be consoling me!"
"I guess so, but let's not think about that right now. If we ever want to get out of this voyage we have to think about him."