I should be writing about a hundred other things right now, but I couldn't resist. I hope this is all in character enough for everyone.
The Black Pearl had been stalking the ship for several hours. From the make of the ship, Captain Jack Sparrow believed it would have enough cargo of value to be worth looting. He was looking forward to having enough money to buy the quantity of rum that would last him several weeks. The ship they were tailing was not flying a flag which made it fair game. Jack was hoping it wasn't British though, as that might cause the navy to begin looking for them in earnest again. Things were so hard these days.
"Mr. Gibbs!" the captain shouted suddenly, looking across the deck to find the plump, aging man. Mr. Gibbs had been watching the ship they were tailing for any signs of armament, and whether or not they noticed the black ship following them. He whirled around to face the helm when Sparrow called out to him.
"Aye, Captain?" he asked.
"Are we ready?" the dread locked man asked.
"Aye, we're ready," Mr. Gibbs informed his captain gleefully. He spun round on his heel to begin ordering the men about, yelling at them to prepare for their attack. All the while, Jack kept his eye on the ship, and allowed the Black Pearl's natural speed bring them closer to the target. Once in range, he yelled at the top of his lungs, "Fire!"
All of the cannons on the right side of the ship sounded off simultaneously, flinging large iron balls into the side of the other ship. The merchant ship they were attacking had but one cannon on the deck, and even with all the men aboard the ship firing, it wouldn't kill them all. Jack decided the one broadside had been enough; he didn't want to sink it. He steered the Pearl in close, and his crew quickly, efficiently, and viciously roped the two boats together so they could scurry across.
Jack's crew was well practiced. The merchant ship's crew appeared to be mostly new and inexperienced. It was truly an unfortunate first voyage for them, but dreadfully lucky for the harried pirate crew. "Mr. Gibbs, man the helm!" he shouted to his first mate.
"Aye, sir!" the man shouted back, hurriedly taking the post. Mr. Gibbs preferred telling tales of questionable honesty over fighting between ships, swords, and guns. Captain Jack Sparrow never seemed to get enough of it. He speedily crossed the gap between the two ships and took command of the portion of his crew attacking and looting the merchant vessel. Several of the opposing crew leapt to attack him. He easily parried all of their attacks, and cut them down one by one, grinning mischievously all the while. None were very skillful, especially against the less savory pirate fighting tactics.
It was perhaps ten men before he crossed blades with someone whose metal held. Jack took notice of the man who perhaps had a chance of killing him. The most obvious feature was the man's dress. Military, deep blue, he wore a navy uniform. It stuck out oddly against the rest of the crews that both wore whatever they could buy or steal. The man himself was of roughly the same height as Jack, and perhaps even of a similar weight. His blond hair was messy, but neatly covered in a plain black tricorn. His eyes were a shocking green, reminiscent of the land Jack was loathe to visit. He perhaps would have remained focused on the other man's eyes if it weren't for the fact that his eyebrows were minorly distracting.
After several moments of dancing around each other, Jack set in on him. He was shocked when the man held his ground against his attacks. He even pushed back with his own. It was then that he noticed the youth in the man's face. His skill had made him older, but now that he looked at him, Jack thought the blond fighting him could be no more than seventeen. He even seemed gangly still despite his obvious strength.
Jack must have stopped properly paying attention for a split second. It was the only reason he could come up with for explaining how the blond had tossed his sword overboard after some fancy fencing. Jack attempted retreat, but stilled when the boy's blade tapped beneath his chin. Suddenly, the entire ship quieted, and both crews watched on in shock that the pirate captain could be so easily disarmed.
"If you would so kindly choose to take your crew back to your own ship and depart, I will spare your life," the man said, sounding not at all like the age he appeared to be.
"And if I don't?" Jack asked, wondering how far he could push the blond to make an escape.
"You shall die where you stand," the man gave him a smile that was far too mischievous and similar to his own to be that of an officer.
"Oi, you can't do that!"
Jack and the man turned to face the speaker. The man who had spoken was quite portly and rather red in the face. He was wearing clothes much nicer than every other man aboard, including the naval officer. The blond boy rolled his eyes. "I believe I can," he muttered.
"I'm the captain of this ship, and all of you pirates are going to be hung!" the pronounced captain shouted to the entire frozen deck. This startled some of the pirates out of their stillness. They kept their swords raised, and glanced about for the safest exit. On the Black Pearl, it seemed like the rest of the crew was trying to figure out what was going on.
"Just because you're an officer, doesn't mean you're in charge," the captain of the merchant vessel told him, in what he probably meant to be a threatening manner.
"Well, it's not like you're going to be able to complain when I do take charge," the blond quipped easily, giving the man a smile.
The captain looked unnerved and confused. "What are you playing at?" he asked.
The sword beneath Jack's chin suddenly disappeared for a brief moment. For that second in time, the blond drew back his arm, and before the captain could properly react, slammed the hilt of his sword into the pudgy man's temple. He collapsed to the ground in a boneless heap. The sword tip was then promptly returned to its resting spot above Jack's Adam's apple.
Jack gave the blond a quick half smile to which he received a raised eyebrow. He thrust his hand forward and introduced himself spontaneously, "Captain Jack Sparrow."
A smirk spread across the boy's features. He easily switched his blade to his left hand and shook Jack's hand with his right. Before the officer could answer, Jack pulled the trick Norrington had on him. He quickly pushed up the sleeve of his uniform. Branded into his skin was a block font of the letter 'P' a match to his own, courtesy of the East India Trading Company. Above the brand was a tattoo of the pirate flag. It was black background with a white skull with crossbones beneath complete with an invisible breeze across his skin. It was quite the work of art, and it was common for pirates to get a tattoo relating to their name just below their elbow, but Jack couldn't figure his out.
"How does a pirate get into the navy?" he asked. It was one thing to become a privateer, but another thing entirely to put on a uniform.
"I thought we were exchanging names, not life stories," the blond replied easily, not at all concerned that he had been found out. He actually looked sort of pleased about it.
"Aye, what's your name then?" Jack asked, hoping to get the truth. Pirates were tricky people after all, especially ones who find themselves amongst upstanding society.
"Captain Arthur Kirkland,"
Jack Sparrow was, for perhaps the first time in his life, completely flabbergast. He'd chased wild tales for most of his life, but there was no tale more revered amongst the heathens of the sea than that of the pirate captain Arthur Kirkland. Throughout the entire age of pirates, Arthur Kirkland's name had swirled around the towns wherever pirates landed. Legend has it, he had joined the crew of Sir Francis Drake, and took off on his own after becoming captain. He had made piracy and his name known throughout Europe. The name had been accredited to the endless loot that had been poured into the coffers of the great Queen Elizabeth, and the sinking of the greatest Spanish ships. The phantom and fantastic captain had, in certain versions, been the one to defeat the Spanish Armada. His name should have stayed in the past of a century ago with names of the other great pioneer pirates.
In the less savory ports of the world for some time after the death of the Queen, even until twenty years ago, there were still stories passed of seeing the man himself. Men and woman alike swore they had seen his ship, and sometimes the man himself. The times his ship came to port were few and far between, but ships still sank, their cargoes plundered and no pirate crew could claim to have attacked them. The continuing instances spurned even more legends of the man, and the infamous Captain Arthur Kirkland became the face of piracy throughout the known world. Funny thing was, no one knew what he looked like, except that he wore a coat of blood.
This man under no circumstances was old enough to be the man of the legend. Captain Kirkland, Jack doubted, could ever be forced into a uniform of blue instead of his devil red. The blond was good with a sword, but Jack didn't think he could possibly be clever enough to even attempt the feats of legend, the ones that Jack had learned much from. He expected such a ruthless man to look much more intimidating, and less like a dandy. He supposed that the boy could have been named after the legend, but who would ever want to give a child such large shoes to fill? In any case, the blond before him did nothing to help make up Jack's mind. He had seen many impossible things, but nothing was quite this impossible.
"My offer still stands Captain Sparrow," the blond said, drawing his attention out of his own thoughts.
"Are you named after him?" Jack asked before he could stop himself. Even the other pirates around him seemed curious though the merchant crew appeared uninterested. After all, it was only the pirates who still told the legend.
"No, I'm named after no one," the blond replied. Even with a sword against his throat, the boy wasn't as threatening as someone who bore the name 'Arthur Kirkland' should be. Jack just felt a slight bit disappointed.
When Jack didn't say anything, Arthur took control of the conversation. It wasn't the tip that pressed against Jack's throat, but the sharp length of the blade. "Get off my ship before I cut you and your crew to ribbons," he growled, bright green eyes flashing dangerously, "and arrange your ship a meetin' with Davy Jones' replacement himself!"
That's more like it, Jack found himself thinking. Kirkland would never take no for an answer. It would be quite like Kirkland to know that Jones had gotten himself replaced by Turner. He had probably met the budding pirate already, Barbossa as well. The blonde's face had twisted into a menacing scowl. He may have gotten stuffed into a blue uniform, but his posture still wore hellacious red.
"Alright, I'll take your offer," Jack replied, backing up.
"Good," Kirkland said, and Jack was suddenly much happier that he had chosen wisely.
"Back to our ship men!" Jack shouted, leading the way back to the Pearl. He easily crossed the gap and Mr. Gibbs was there waiting for him at the helm.
"What happened, Captain?" he asked, having seen the crew return without anything to show for their attempt, and without being killed.
"Mr. Gibbs, I believe I have just met Captain Arthur Kirkland," Jack responded, still sounding odd.
"The Arthur Kirkland?" Mr. Gibbs easily replicated his shock, "He's real?"
"Aye, and in the navy," Jack answered. As he spoke Mr. Gibbs steered the Pearl away from the damaged merchant vessel. He saw a figure in blue salute on the port prow as they began to gain some distance. Jack saluted in return, and the figure turned away without a second glance and the swagger of a pirate.
"What in blue blazes is a man like Kirkland doing in the navy?" Mr. Gibbs asked, confusion clear on his face, though his eyes were still locked on their course.
"I think he's had to do the same thing we have," Jack replied, turning to Mr. Gibbs, "Adapt."
I don't think England would have been able to be a pirate for so long without creating some notoriety for himself, and maybe a legend or two. I think that if Jack was an English citizen and a pirate, upon meeting his country would at first not believe who he was. Then have some sort of epiphany and take the unimaginable in stride as he has everything else. Mr. Gibbs of course would know of the legend, and every pirate would likely know it. I mostly wrote this because I didn't see a story like this. I'll leave how England got into his own navy up to your imagination.
I hope you liked it, and please review!