DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, it's not mine.
Bit by bit, everything came back into focus. "Number Two? Are you alright...?"
The Pirate With A Scarf found himself lying on his back. The Pirate Captain was at his side, looking down with concern and holding four fingers over his face.
"Did it work?" he asked, sitting up. Green flecks still hung in the air, and the machine was now dead.
"Did what work?"
"The warship...is it...?"
He got back on his feet, and the two pirates walked back to the hole and peered outside.
The sun remained, but the QV2 had vanished.
"Well, blow me down!"
The rest of the crew erupted into cheers. "He's done it! Scarf's done it!"
"That he has," said the captain proudly as he and Pirate With A Scarf climbed down the chain back to the floor.
The Albino Pirate raised a hand. "Done what, exactly?"
"Saved the sun by getting rid of the warship that's what!"
They all gaped at Pirate With A Scarf, who just smiled. "With all due respect, sir, you're the reason I lived to do it."
"Shall we have a Ham Night for both of ya, then?" asked Pirate With Gout as the others nodded in agreement.
"A fine proposal, lads — "
Click. "You're not going anywhere."
It came as a surprise — they'd completely forgotten she was there. The pistol, on the other hand, was just annoying.
The Pirate Captain looked from the gun to Victoria and back again, not sure how to respond. Finally he settled on "Why...?"
"Oh, come now. Did you honestly think I would just let you ruin my plans?"
"No, really, why. The ship's gone, Vicky."
She laughed at him. "The blueprints aren't! I'll just make another one! And I won't need those talking potatoes to help me this time. The world shall be at my mercy alone!"
As she spoke, the Doctor gradually regained consciousness and stood back up. The others watched as he slowly walked up behind her. "Ah, yes, lovely plan. Except for that tiny little bit that goes and ruins the whole thing. A shame about that bit."
Turning around, Victoria trained the pistol on him. "Whatever you're doing, it won't — "
The Doctor merely placed his fingers on her temples and closed his eyes.
Victoria dropped the gun as she stiffened and gasped for air. It lasted only a moment, and then she quietly slumped to the floor asleep.
His work done, the Doctor looked up at the shocked faces of his companions. "Best if we're not around when she wakes up."
One trip to the palace later, the TARDIS faded into existence back at the empty dock of the harbor. Its occupants filed out, and the pirates breathed a sigh of relief as they saw their boat sitting in the water unharmed.
Strax looked around. "Where are my fellow soldiers?"
"On the warship looking for me, I should think," the Doctor answered. "Well, more like looking for you by now. They'll be coming to take you back home soon."
"Let them come!" the Sontaran declared. "The thought of punishment strikes no fear into my heart. Because of today, Doctor, I have known and conquered true fear! And for that, I owe you a debt. If ever you should need my assistance, sir, I shall mostly gladly provide it."
The Doctor nodded his head in respect. "I'll keep that in mind."
"Farewell!" Turning on his heel, Strax marched off down the street. The pirates watched him until he vanished, then kept looking at the road anxiously.
"Don't worry," said the Doctor. "She's not coming."
"Doctor," the captain asked, "are you quite sure she's forgotten all of this?"
"She's forgotten that she ever any of met us. It's all been pushed to the back of her head and locked up."
"But what if she sees us again?"
"Well, in the best case scenario, her subconscious would undergo slight stimulation that would trigger a partial reversal of the effect - "
"Doctor, you're rambling," Donna said bluntly.
"Simply put, she'd find us a bother and have no idea why." Which explain a lot, come to think of it. "But if I were you," he continued, "I wouldn't come back here again. Just to be safe."
Mr. Bobo rolled his eyes. Oh. The. Horror.
The Pirate With A Scarf noticed that people were starting to venture back towards the harbor, peeking out from behind corners and inside barrels. "We ought to be off, sir."
"See to the sails and things, lads," said the captain. "Be with you in a moment."
The other pirates hurried off, and Donna stepped into the TARDIS, leaving the Doctor and the Pirate Captain alone. "Where will you be going?" the latter asked.
"Don't know yet. There's too much to choose from," the Doctor answered. "You could come along if you want. Just for one trip."
The Pirate Captain seemed for a moment to be on the verge of nodding his head, but instead he shook it. "If I did," he said, "I'd never want to come back again."
The Doctor smiled all the same. "Yeah, it does that."
"I have one question, though..."
"And what might that be?"
"How did you learn so much about us?"
He stepped closer to the captain. "On the other side of the universe, there's a library as big as a planet. Every book that's ever been written, all there."
"Don't tell Chuck. You'd never get him out."
"And after a really, really, really bad day that I had a long time ago, I went there. And I found some books. I found the stories that you're going to write of your adventures, and...no matter how much you messed up, you always managed to fix it in the end."
The captain stared at him in wonder. "Really?"
The Doctor nodded. "Sounded pretty good to someone like me," he said sincerely.
"She's ready, Cap'n," said Pirate With Gout as the crew returned.
The captain tipped his hat to the Time Lord. "A pleasure to have made your acquaintance, Doctor."
"Pleasure's all mine." With a wave of his hand, he stepped into the police box and closed the door. Which he opened three seconds later. "Almost forgot!" Reaching into the pocket of his coat, he pulled out a slightly melted lump of silver metal and tossed it to the captain. "Ruthenium. I'd say that bit's worth about...oh, a treasure room or two."
He shut the door again. After a few moments, the light atop the TARDIS began to flash, and the crew watched in amazement as the machine gradually faded away.
"Nice blokes," Donna said as they floated in the Time Vortex. "Even that Sontaran. You think he'll turn out alright, Doctor?"
"Betrayal of the army is punishable by death," the Doctor answered. "But, since he didn't bring about any major damage to the cause, they'll probably demote him to nurse. Saving the wounded — fate worse than death for a Sontaran, really."
"That'll do 'im a good turn." She was quiet for a moment, then asked, "Why'd you give 'em the ruth-whatever?"
"Oh, they'll be needing it in a while," he said with a chuckle. "Tell you later. Anyway, where should we go next?"
"Let's see more pirates," she answered eagerly. "All these alien planets when we coulda been hangin' out with Jack Sparrow! There is a Jack Sparrow, right?"
The Doctor's face grew grave. "Donna," he said somberly, "there is no Jack Sparrow."
He briefly considered telling her that there was, in fact, a Guybrush Threepwood, but he didn't think she would find it nearly as interesting. "You know, there's this lovely little place called Shan Shen..."
A hush fell over the Barnacle's Face as the door opened and a familiar bearded figure and his crew stepped inside. The Pirate Captain? What's he doing here?
Looking around, the captain casually leaned against the bar. "So," he said with a broad smile on his face, "who wants to hear how we helped save the world?"
Outside, Albino Pirate was staring anxiously up at the sky. It was almost time again...
But instead of the tiny light above his head being snuffed out, another reappeared next to it. And another, and another, and another still.
The stars were coming back.
And so ends what will most likely be the most bizarre story in this little series. Nevertheless, I hope you all enjoyed it and that you stay tuned for my future endeavors. See you at the next one!
~ A. Kingsleigh