A/N : I took a break from fanfiction to continue my novel, and start a blog and a bunch of other things… but recently I re-watched PotC 1 and, as usual, it got me obsessed with pirates again. So after listening to Hans Zimmer's wonderful soundtrack, I started to rewrite my old fanfic again. It's changed a lot, but I think that this will be a thousand times better, and I really hope you enjoy it!
I will continue Emotions of War (if you're into HP fanfiction I hope you read it, I think it's my best one yet), so I might take more time than usual in updating this fic, but I hope you can forgive me. I love this story, and hopefully I'll have enough time to finish it, despite the fact that I'm changing schools this year *grimace*.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize! Not even Greitzer, unfortunately.
Lieutenant Greitzer was a clever man, and a merely a lieutenant no longer. Sitting at his desk, the older man leafed through documents he already knew by heart. He was a person worthy of his position.
Reaching out, he grasped the silver teaspoon and stirred his tea absentmindedly. It had been only a few months since he had returned from London to execute the position of Governor and Duly Appointed Representative of His Majesty, The King. It was the position the late Cutler Beckett used to keep, before he sank down in that wonderful ship of Greitzer's, The HMS Endeavor, a loss Greitzer himself mourned greatly. But of course the new ship, The Challenger, would have been more than a match to the Endeavor. It may have been twenty years ago, with many replacements since Beckett that ended prematurely, but Greitzer had not forgotten his beloved old ship.
Standing up, Greitzer walked towards the window, stood for a moment staring at the blue horizon, and then quickly stepped away. He didn't want to be caught with his back towards the door. It was not out of fear of danger, though; it was simply too Beckettish a pose. And Greitzer never did approve of Beckett. The man had been obsessive to the point of madness; crazed and unhealthily set on clearing the seas of piracy. In the time that Greitzer had known Beckett he had discovered that Beckett hardly ever spoke of anything other than his mad ideas to rid the world of piracy, be they legal or illegal enterprises.
But Beckett was gone now, swallowed by flames and the salt water. Probably impaled, too. Greitzer himself had been unfortunate enough to witness the chaotic death as he tried to stay afloat in the water alongside so many other sailors. It had not been pleasant.
Greitzer also wished to rid the seas of piracy, naturally. It was his duty, and a charge that had been set upon him by all his superiors. Pirates were raiding every town on or even near the coast, and needless to say, it was a tremendous loss. But he was not obsessive, and was also quite aware of the dangers that lay ahead of him. He was a logical man, and took pride on the fact. Sighing, he went to sit down behind his desk once more, impulsively turning the pages of a record book.
Jonathan Greitzer was a tall man of graying hair (though this, of course, was covered by his richly powdered wig) and medium build. His eyes were deep grey and his mouth was a thin line. His face was scarred, though: an unfortunate incident when he was a young man, which ended up marking him for life. His suit was embroidered quite nicely, and he wore a ring on one finger of each hand. His boots were new and shining, another thing that he secretly liked about his new outfit that was suitable of a Governor.
"Sir?" The door had opened rather quietly, and Greitzer nearly jumped. He did not, however. It was not like a Governor to jump or be surprised by anything. Primly setting the book back on the table, he met the gaze of the young soldier at the door with a dignified, careless air.
"You may bring him in."
There was little time now, and Greitzer crossed his fingers briefly as soon as the soldier left the room, shutting the door behind him. He must remember the lecture he gave himself that morning, before the mirror. It was time to face the epitome of the pirate threat, a rather ridiculous incarnation, to tell the truth, but a threat nonetheless.
He heard the footsteps first; two firm and perfectly rhythmical pairs of feet, accompanied by a lighter, more stumbling one. Greitzer held his head high as the door swung open and two soldiers dragged a figure into the room.
Quickly, the Governor ran his eyes over the prisoner, subtly making sure that there were no weapons that could be used against him. Then, with a firm, confident "leave us", he kept his eyes on the figure as it straightened and the soldiers left the room.
The prisoner before Greitzer was an older man who seemed to possess a rather interesting array of personalities. There was something of a fourteen-year-old boy in his manner, mixed with a clever intelligence that was only blatantly apparent to those who knew who the man was and what he was capable of doing.
This man, with the dirty brown breeches, dusty boots, stained white shirt, tattered black vest and torn red bandana, was a pirate. One of the most famed pirates in the entire Caribbean, with his sunburned hands trapped in shackles in front of him. Of course, this did not stop said pirate from strutting around the room (hence the stumbling-sounding footsteps) and examining the ornaments on the closest shelf with all the care, curiosity, and method of a blind man using his hands to discover the world.
Greitzer, though, remained unfazed by this. He knew the routine that Jack Sparrow executed when in the presence of somebody of higher power than him. It was a way of aggravating his host, and Greitzer did his best to remain as un-aggravated as he possibly could.
"Do you know who I am?" asked Greitzer, his eyes fixed on the pirate.
The reply came without a glance. "Aye, ye're quite the famed one, Lord Greitzer, know it or not."
It did not make much sense to the Governor, but brushing it off, he spoke again. "So you do know what I am capable of and what my intentions are now that I have taken this title, Mr. Sparrow?"
There was a pause, and a stillness in the air as the pirate's head moved upwards, eyes fixed directly in front of him, a china elephant still trapped between his dirty fingers. He swung around to face Greitzer with a step that resembled that of a skilled ballerina, albeit an extremely drunk and clumsy one, hands held high in the air to gesticulate as he spoke. The dreadlocks held lines of grey, here and there, but the dark eyes sparkled with the look of a young, mischievous man.
"First of all," said Jack Sparrow, golden teeth glinting in the light and his words slurred as if he had been drunk all his life, though Greitzer knew the man had been locked in the town jail with no access to alcoholic beverages in a long time. "It's Captain Sparrow. I like to be acknowledged by me rank." His beard, separated in two very thin braids containing all manner of tiny trinkets, as well as the trinkets that jingled in his dreadlocks, swung forward as he swayed between his words, though whether it was involuntary or done on purpose for more emphasis was beyond the Governor. "And second of all, any chap is capable of a great number of things, the question is what he will do of the things he can do, and in what way those words or actions can affect the other chaps around him that are foolish enough to actually be a part of said words or actions. The smart thing," said Sparrow, taking a step closer to the Governor, "is to steer clear from such things, because just because a chap is capable of doing something doesn't mean he can do it well."
Greitzer cleared his throat subtly. Sparrow's words had confused him, for they had come out of his rum-smelling mouth in quick succession. He focused on the first point.
"And yet it seems, Captain Sparrow, that you are no longer in possession of a ship, therefore your title is rather useless in your position."
The smile the Governor received was one loaded with sarcasm, eyes lit with dark fire. "Me ship," said Jack Sparrow, his voice taking a darker tone, "is me ship, mate. Whether I'm on it or some blabbering, presumptuous, witless idiot who calls himself its captain is. She's my ship, and I'll get her back," his tone became jaunty once more, almost cheerful, "the moment ye set me hands free."
As if proving a point, Sparrow shoved his wrists in front of Greitzer's face, jiggling his arms until the chain clinked merrily.
With a scowl, Greitzer drew backward, standing up and lifting his gaze to the pirate's face. There was a smile that was positively cheeky on Sparrow's face, almost charming in its mocking manner.
"Tell me, Captain Sparrow," began Greitzer with a grim smile. "How many years has it been since you've last been in possession of The Black Pearl?"
The cheeky smile receded slightly. "A few months, one could say…"
Greitzer raised an eyebrow.
Sparrow gulped, attempting another smile as he swayed on the spot once more. "Forty eight months, to be precise. But that was after five years straight of her bein' in me skillful hands, an' years before that was the whole Fountain of Youth affair, so ye could call it a majority of years she was with me." His eyes had drifted towards the ground as he spoke, as if he were assuring himself of something, before he straightened up to look Greitzer in the face. "An' what does it matter to the likes of you?"
"It matters," said Greitzer, looking at the pirate down his nose as his lips twisted into something akin to a smile, "Because I may have a way to provide you the means to retrieve your beloved ship from Captain Hector Barbossa."
There was a pause. For a second, there was a cunning flash in Sparrow's dark eyes.
"An' what way would that be?"
"I could, for example," said Greitzer, "request a job from you; a simple matter of retrieving an object high in the Government's favor, that you could carry out with the assistance of Captain Barbossa, thus providing you with the perfect opportunity to seize command of The Black Pearl and ridding it of its current captain."
Something odd flashed in Sparrow's eyes once more, but then it disappeared, replaced only by a simple question. "And this object," said the pirate, "what may it be?
Greitzer smiled. Despite Sparrow's seemingly disinterested air, he knew that he had managed to awaken the pirate's interest. He began to pace, speaking without looking at Sparrow.
"Around the time of the first conquests of the Americas, Spain sent a great fleet towards the South. One of the ships, the Santa Catalina, was lost somewhere along the way in a storm, after the ship was captured by pirates." Greitzer paused to glance at Sparrow. The man had his eyes fixed on the china elephant once more, but they were frozen in place as he listened. Pleased, Greitzer continued. "The Santa Catalina held an object of great worth within. A prized possession of a Duke who wished to set foot on the Americas. Something he had acquired with great effort and sacrifice, with the help of a group of men who called themselves Alchemists. Have you heard speak of the Philosopher's Stone, Captain Sparrow?"
The man in question raised his eyes with a mocking grin. "I've heard of it," he said, "but I'll be surprised if it's more than a myth, told to gold lusting fools."
"And pirates are not merely gold lusting fools?"
Jack Sparrow smiled, now, a genuine smile of amusement. "Nay, ol' chap. Not the real ones."
Holding back a roll of his eyes, Greitzer continued. "Well, it is not a myth; that much I can assure. A series of documents have recently found their way into His Majesty's hands, confirming the presence of an actual, real and functioning Philosopher's Stone on the Santa Catalina. And His Majesty is intent on it being found."
"Then why don't ye acquire it yerselves?" asked Sparrow.
Greitzer hesitated briefly before answering, "Because at the moment, the South American seas are infested with pirates who have already shot down three attempts at retrieving the stone. And because the tales tell that the treasure aboard the ship was then split between those who captured it… four of the nine Pirate Lords from the original Court. The legend tells that the stone will only be of use once it is returned by those who stole it. And the stone was used by all four, to bring them power and position, before they resolved to hide it on a secluded island, for none but themselves to find."
"Then why is it that none of said Pirate Lords have found it?"
"Because the map was stolen," said Greitzer, "And hidden somewhere else. The robber was Portuguese, but knew the power of the stone and did not wish it to be found. Instead, he kept the map and it lies somewhere along the coast of Brazil, in the possession of one who does not wish to reveal it. The Pirate Lords never knew that the map was stolen, and so the secret of the location died with them."
"So ye want me to set sail to Brazil, search for unknown lands where an unknown person hides with a secret map that is to lead me to a secret island where I can find your stone?"
"Precisely. His Majesty is quite set on the idea of the Stone's… functions."
"I see," said Sparrow, eyes set on the elephant between his fingers once more. Then his eyes flickered back to the Governor. "What's in it for me?"
"Full freedom on the seas for as long as I hold my position; that is, free to steal, plunder and destroy to your heart's will where you wish for the next several years, without so much as a single worry about the gallows. And a quite significant amount of gold, seeing as the Philosopher's Stone may provide us with as much as we may wish."
"An' what of Barbossa? How do ye propose I convince him?"
"I trust your talents in the art of persuasion," said Greitzer nonchalantly. "If you wish for the reward, then I am sure you will find a way to get Barbossa and two other Pirate Lords to aid you in your mission."
Jack Sparrow seemed to accept this logic with a tilt of his head and a quick gesture of his ever moving hands. But then, as his eyes left the tiny elephant, he asked, "An' how do ye know that I won' take the Stone for meself?"
"You said it yourself, Captain Sparrow," Greitzer replied. "You are no gold lusting fool. And where is the excitement of exploring the seas if you already have all the gold that you wish?"
"What am I to offer ol' Hector?"
"Gold from your extremely ample reward," said Greitzer. "Or anything else. You will, after all, steal the ship from him. Or you could make an exchange, for I will be supplying you with a ship and a crew, if you wish."
There was another pause, and the pirate's eyes, fastened on thin air as his thoughts, masked to Greitzer's gaze, flew around his mind quickly. Then Sparrow's expression cleared, and with a quick smile, the pirate extended his wrists once more.
"I'll do it," he said, his teeth glinting gold. "Jus' free me from these irons, Guv'nor, and I'll be off."
"The guards will do that," said Greitzer, but he nodded curtly with something that was almost a pleasant smile. Sparrow was, after all, a pirate, and not someone he exchanged pleasantries with. "I trust I will see you soon, then, when you bring me the stone?"
"Of course," said Sparrow, with a little bow. At a word from Greitzer, the guards returned and freed the man from his shackles. Sparrow rubbed his wrists absentmindedly as he began to leave the room.
"An honor to negotiate with ye, mate," he called back.
Slightly miffed at the familiarity with which Sparrow addressed him, Greitzer replied, "Likewise. Oh, and Sparrow..?"
The pirate turned once more with that ballerina-looking step. "It's Captain."
"What were you doing here in Port Royal, anyway?" asked the Governor. "It's a foolish and risky move, as we just proved, even for you."
The pirate grinned with a glint of gold. "Parrots," he answered.
"Parrots. There's nothing quite like 'em. Name a color, there's a parrot that color, and they come with words, too. There's no ship like one with a parrot on board. Not like monkeys." He made a face. "The Pearl's been a-needing a parrot for years. Quite exemplary characters, they are."
It was only as Jack Sparrow exited the building with his strange gait, odd array of clothing, and humming a tune that hadn't been heard in those parts for years, that Jonathan Greitzer realized that the china elephant that had been standing on a nearby shelf was no longer there, and that perhaps the pirate had been lying about the parrots.
Or maybe it was just another sign of Sparrow's madness. It didn't really matter.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a review, there's nothing better than getting feedback! It's almost better than chocolate! xD