So in about 2008, I started writing a story called What If? I stopped writing it in 2011 because I lost character plans and I forgot about this story. Recently I rediscovered it and I decided to rewrite it... I redesigned the characters and the plots for after the trilogy, and viola. Here we are. I hope you enjoy the prologue and I promise to update more frequently.
*I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or their brilliant plotlines. I do own my OCs and original plotlines that will appear later, do don't steal them.
The night was dark and the faint breeze was brisk. Fog hung heavy in the air over the deep blue, nearly black sea. A lone dreadnought sailed through the unnaturally calm waters of the Atlantic. A Union Jack fluttered ever so slightly in the light breeze. From below the deck, a young girl with long, somewhat tangled black hair emerged. Her face seemed paler in the moonlight, as did her pale grey eyes. She couldn't have been more than fourteen. This girl was none other than Lydia Swann, the eldest of the four Swann daughters.
Lydia scanned the deck, as if searching for something (or someone). Her eyes landed on a girl at the bow, staring at the endless ocean behind them. Lydia shook her head at her sister Elizabeth. She climbed the steps, her eyes downcast as usual. As she got closer to her twelve-year-old sister, she began to hear singing; Elizabeth's singing to be more precise. "Yo, ho, yo, ho, a pirate's life for me…" Elizabeth sang. Lydia bit her lower lip. She was singing a pirate song on a naval vessel? Was she completely and utterly stupid?
Suddenly another young girl bounced past Lydia and over towards Elizabeth. The loose, dirty blonde waves had to have belonged to none other than Alice Swann, Lydia's youngest sister. "Drink up me hearties, yo, ho…" Elizabeth sang, as eight-year-old Alice hummed along. Another sailor brushed past Lydia with an obvious scowl on his face. He put his hands on her sisters' shoulders.
"Quiet, missies!" he hissed. "Cursed pirates sail these waters. D'ye want to call 'em down on us?" Alice and Elizabeth stared at the sailor wide-eyed, though for different reasons. Elizabeth was clearly scared while Alice was curious and wanting to hear more of these pirates.
"Mr. Gibbs," a loud, authoritative voice called out. Lydia turned to see Lieutenant James Norrington approaching. Behind him was her father, Governor Weatherby Swann with Lydia's ten-year-old sister Katherine "Kitty" Swann. "That will do," Norrington continued.
"She was singing about pirates!" Gibbs snapped. "Bad luck to be singing about pirates with us mired in this unnatural fog- mark my words."
"Consider them marked," Norrington coolly responded. "On your way." Gibbs nodded and muttered to himself as he walked past Lydia, not even acknowledging that she was there.
"I think it would be exciting to meet a pirate," Alice piped. Norrington looked down at the little girl with extreme distaste. It was no secret that Alice got on the Lieutenant's nerves. She and Kitty kept pulling little jokes on the crew during their voyage, and they still had a week left.
"Think again, Miss Swann," Norrington snorted. "They are vile and dissolute creatures. I intended to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: A short drop and a sudden stop." All of Lydia's younger sisters looked confused as to what that last phrase meant. Lydia knew perfectly well it meant a hanging. That sailor, Gibbs, decided to help clarify and mimed being hung. Kitty's pale hand flew to her neck and her light brown eyes widened in fright. Elizabeth just stared and gasped. Alice seemed completely unfazed and possibly more interested. Lydia would never understand Alice.
"Lieutenant Norrington," Governor Swann interjected, seeing the reaction of his daughters, "I appreciate your fervor, but I'm concerned about the effect this subject will have on my daughters."
"Actually, I find it all fascinating," Alice chimed.
"Me too," Kitty added.
"As do I," Elizabeth agreed.
"That's what concerns me," the Governor muttered. "Lydia, could you please direct your sisters to a topic appropriate for our class and station?"
"Yes, father," Lydia meekly responded. Governor Swann and Lieutenant Norrington turned and walked away, most likely to make sure the crew did their respective duties.
"I still think it'd be exciting to meet a pirate," Alice grumbled as she leaned against the bow rail. "More exciting than being stuck in some big house until I'm married off."
"Better than being stuck in some tiny house and going hungry," Lydia pointed out.
"I'd at least have more freedom," Alice growled, her grey eyes flashing with fury.
"Aren't any of you the least bit excited about going to the New World?" Lydia inquired. "Think about it; we'll live by the ocean, we won't be in an overcrowded city any longer, Kitty would never have to see Benjamin Holmes again-"
"Thank the Lord Almighty for that," Kitty murmured, tucking a strand of her light brown hair behind one ear. Suddenly, Elizabeth gasped and pointed towards the water.
"Look! A boy!" she shouted. "A boy in the water!" Lydia ran to the edge to see if what Elizabeth was saying was true. She gasped when she saw an unconscious boy floating on a piece of driftwood in the ocean. Norrington rushed to see.
"Man overboard!" the Lieutenant shouted. "Fetch a hook! Haul him out of there!" The ship was in a frenzy as the sailors attempted to snag the boy on a boathook and get him on the ship. Governor Swann raced towards his daughters and took Alice and Kitty under his arms.
"You two go back to the cabin," he told his two youngest daughters.
"I don't want to hear any argument, Alice," the Governor quickly snapped. Alice pouted and glared at an empty spot on the deck. "Kitty, take your sister inside."
"Yes, father," Kitty responded. She led Alice away as the Governor turned to the ship's newest resident. Whether or not he was alive was still a mystery. Norrington rushed over to the boy and gave a quick assessment.
"He's still breathing," Norrington concluded.
"Where did he come from?" Governor Swann inquired.
"Mary mother of God…" the sailor, Gibbs, suddenly breathed out. Lydia, as well as everyone else on the H.M.S Dauntless, immediately ran to the side of the ship to see what he was looking at. Lydia dropped her jaw and gasped at the sight that lied before here.
It was a ship… or at least what remained on one.
Burning pieces of wood drifted in the ocean, rocking with the waves. The fires burned so hot that Lydia could feel the heat on her face, and she was many feet away from the wreckage. "An explosion in the powder magazine. Merchant vessels run very heavily armed," Norrington explained.
"A lot of good it did them," Gibbs snorted. "Everyone's thinking it. I'm just saying… Pirates."
"There's no proof of that," the Governor stammered. "It could have been an accident." Norrington began to shout out orders for men to ready cannons and longboats. It seemed as if he intended to search for survivors. The crew lifted the unconscious boy and set him to the side. Obviously they needed the deck cleared. The Governor turned to Elizabeth and said, "Elizabeth, I want you to accompany the boy. He's in your charge now. You'll watch over him?" Elizabeth nodded and ran towards the boy. "And Lydia, you'll assist her and watch over your sisters?"
"Of course, father," she replied in her usual quiet, meek voice. As Lydia made her way over to her sister, she saw the boy gasp and suddenly open his eyes.
"It's okay," Lydia could barely hear Elizabeth say. "My name is Elizabeth Swann."
"Will Turner," the boy responded, in a raspy, dry voice.
"I'm watching over you, Will," she assured him. Will nodded and then fell unconscious again. Lydia went up to her sister and knelt next to the boy. Suddenly, Elizabeth noticed a gold chain around Will's neck. She took the medallion from his neck and observed it.
"Elizabeth…" Lydia warned. That's when she noticed the skull design on it. Lydia widened her eyes. There was only one thing a necklace like that could mean.
"You're a pirate," Elizabeth whispered in surprise.
"Did he speak?" Lydia and Elizabeth quickly turned around and looked at Lieutenant Norrington. Elizabeth quickly hid the necklace behind her back.
"H-His name is Will Turner," Lydia stammered. "T-That's all we found out."
"Very good," Norrington responded. "And in the future, Miss Swann, try not to stammer so much. It is unbecoming of a young lady." Lydia nodded and looked down, not wanting to look the Lieutenant in the eye. Norrington hurried off.
"You can't keep it. You have to get rid of it," Lydia quickly hissed to Elizabeth.
"Why not?" Elizabeth asked as she walked to the stern.
"There's something evil about it," Lydia muttered. "I'm not sure what, but I just don't like the look of it…"
"Because it's pirate."
"Because it's evil. Piracy has nothing to do with it." Lydia looked down into the ocean. "Please, just throw it into the water. I have a feeling bad things will happen should you keep it."
"Fine…" Elizabeth murmured. "I'll drop it later tonight."
"Thank you," Lydia sighed, relieved with her sister's choice. Elizabeth left without saying another word. Lydia leaned against the rails of the stern and stared off into the dark fog. After a few minutes she noticed a ship coming out of the fog, a schooner by the looks of it. Normally she would have dismissed it… however this ship was different.
This ship had black sails.
Lydia should have run to gotten a sailor, she should have looked away and ignored it. But she couldn't. She could only stare at the ship, afraid to look away and afraid of what this ship could mean. Was it a pirate ship? Were they going to attack? Did they destroy that other merchant vessel? Lydia looked up at the flag. It was a skull with crossed swords and black as night- a pirate flag. She looked at the ship. The moonlight crossed over the ship and Lydia gasped, her eyes wide and her body suddenly very cold.
She saw skeletal figures roaming the ship. One of them, the one wearing a large feathered hat, turned around and faced the direction that Lydia was standing. Lydia gulp and shut her eyes, willing the images away.
Suddenly she woke up.
And it was eight years later.