A/N This story was written in response to a random word challenge posted on the Three Musketeers community forum. The idea was to open the dictionary and chose the first word you set your eyes upon. The first word I got was conflict which will be used in a latter story. The second was hammerhead and I couldn't resist not taking advantage of the Pirates of the Caribbean influences the movie has. I took some liberties with the time line and had Blackbeard appear in the first half of the 17th century instead of the second half. The idea of men danglign above shark infested waters belongs to Lady Wallace.
Disclaimer: Characters and action belong to Dumas and Maquet. The rest belongs to the creators of the Three Musketeers and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. This leaves me with absolutely nothing. In addition English is not my native language.
The Duke of Buckingham found himself in a most precarious situation… after a storm had scattered the rest of his fleet God knows where he found himself alone, with only a handful of soldiers, marching towards the coasts of the Americas where the King had sent him to meet with the governor of the colonies. That, in itself, would not have been a problem seeing as his ships were sturdy and were most likely intact, heading towards the continent as well, simply on a different route. He had full confidence in his fleet and knew that something as pitiful as a storm would not destroy it.
The problem however, was, that his remaining ship found itself face to face with the nefarious Queen Anne's revenge, the ship of the dreaded pirate Blackbeard. He had heard the tales about the infamous pirate, but had dismissed them as mere fantasies. Now, as he stood dangling above the shark infested waters, he could not stop but wonder if he had made a mistake. Pirate attacks were common in those parts of the world, yet he had never expected to find himself face to face with one.
"Any last words?" the pirate grinned ruthlessly revealing a set of rotten, black teeth. "Pleas for mercy, perhaps?"
Winching at the horrid sight of the putrid mouth, the Duke frowned. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, Buckingham thought to himself. Was it only last year when he had uttered the same phrase to that cocky, young musketeer wannabe? And now he found himself in a similar position yet with no hope to be rescued by friends of any kind.
"No, thank you. I prefer to maintain the little dignity I have left."
Under him the sharks were already getting anxious… he could not tell what kind they were even if he knew how to distinguish them… all he was able to see were the fins that floated above the waterline. Perhaps they were blue sharks or hammerheads, he had no idea. Not that it matter, he was about to become lunch no matter what kind they were.
"If you insist," Blackbeard laughed and cut the rope that held him dangling above the water. Buckingham found himself plunging in the seas… the impact with the water whipped his face, his lungs protested when their air supply was cut and he found himself plunging into the depth. There was no point in struggling or trying to return to the surface… he was in the middle of the ocean. Better the sweet nothingness of drowning than being eaten alive by a shark. The man closed his eyes and knew no more.
It was only hours later that he woke up and found himself very much alive, aboard a ship that seemed to be crumbling. Moss and lichens seemed to grow everywhere and the wood appeared to be quite moldy. He quickly noticed the black flag floating in the wind and groaned to himself… more pirates.
"Captain Turner, he's awake," a man cried next to him. As he blinked the weariness away he came face to face with a young man that seemed awfully familiar… the eyes, the shape of his face, everything seemed to point at something yet he did not know what.
"Ah, I see you are alive," the captain of the ship said, then mutter to himself, "Calypso has a weird sense of humor."
"Good gracious boy, how can you stand looking at yourself in the mirror. That haircut fell out of style decades ago," Buckingham could not help, but cry out, forgetting for a moment that it was a pirate who he was talking with and not another lord.
The captain, Turner was it, frowned at him and helped him to his feet.
"I am afraid that fashion is the least of our worries at the moment. We were pursuing Queen Anne's Revenge and were just in time to fish you out of the water. You made us lose precious time and Blackbeard managed to escape."
"What mad fool would try to pursue the ship of Blackbeard himself?" Buckingham scoffed. "Truly you are touched in the head, dear sir."
"Clearly you are unaware of the name of this ship," the captain smiled humorlessly. He did not take it well when people he saved started mocking him.
"Of course I am unaware. You, however, look vaguely familiar." Tilting his head to one side, Buckingham asked in confusion: "Have I threatened you before?"
Captain Turner groaned in dismay… déjà-vu, only this time the man who said it looked a lot like him. Clearly Calypso was messing with his head.
"No! You are aboard the Flying Dutchman. We are heading to Port Royal where we will drop you off and return to our quarry."
Buckingham almost gasped in surprise, but kept his thought to himself. He wondered where his fleet was and whether they would meet him on the way to Port Royal. With them, he would be able to secure the Flying Dutchman to himself and march against France with a force greater than ever. Everyone knew the nefarious ship was almost unsinkable. Something in his eyes must have gave him away, because the next thing he felt was a hit at the back of his head that made him slip into oblivion once more.
"I promised Calypso I would save him, not keep him in one piece," Captain William Turner mutter to himself. "I have another year until I'm able to see Elizabeth and no foppish lord from English is going to stop me."
As he gazed at Buckingham once more he groaned and muttered to the goddess of the seas:
"Please tell me this is not how I would have ended in another world. It would be too much to bear even after the whole things I've witnessed. Undead pirates are one thing, diabolical lords that look exactly like me are another."