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Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

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Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:31 pm

Chapter One

Spoiler:
The year was 1713. I, a young lad of five going on six, began running aimlessly through the docks, my young brother Zach beside me, as we tried to chase after our newly mobile sister Marie. Ducking under moving crates and zigzagging through preoccupied crew members, we children danced and laughed and played while the grown ups were hauling the cargo up onto the Victory Eagle. Allowing my younger brother to go after the little toddler, I took a minute to catch my breath. The sun was shining radiantly over the cool and calm waters of Tortuga’s harbor. I could hear my mother’s sweet laughter across the skies as she looked on at the havoc her children were causing. Father’s bellowing orders grew faint as he heard the joy of his children’s laughter coming up closer and closer to him until he jolted back. He looked down to see baby Marie clutching onto his boot while Zach playfully touched her on the shoulder.
“Tag! You’re it!” said the little boy of four. Marie’s face dropped, annoyed that she lost the little game. She was just about to pounce when suddenly my father’s two big hands grabbed her and hoisted her up in the air. She giggled and burst with laughter. Looking towards the dock, and handing my little sister off to my mother, Father called out to me, “Let’s get a move on, son! The sooner we get to France the sooner Uncle Hector and I will teach you how to duel by time of your birthday!” I jumped with joy at the idea my father and my favorite Uncle, Hector Barbossa, were going to teach me how to properly hold a sword... as a special birthday surprise! My mother laughed, holding her pregnant belly in her arms, as I began to perform an Irish jig up the gangway in such delight. My mother, nearly ready to give birth to the newest addition to the McSkull family, tucked her larger shirt into her trousers, trying not to squish the baby. She placed Marie down and asked for two crew mates to help her put on her signature blue coat stolen off of a British commodore, with gold brigade worn off by the salt of the sea. Snapping her fingers for her black leather hat, she proceeded up the gangway as the First Mate, whom we called Jimmy Flint, tossed the plumed hat off to my mother, walking to the helm together. Patting little Zach on the head and ruffling his hair, Father began to proceed up the gangway, dodging a zooming little baby Marie as she dashed under his legs. With a laugh, he pointed Zach in the right direction to go chase after Marie as he turned to the remaining crew mates on the docks.
“Step too and haul the rest of the cargo onboard! We have a favorable wind on our side today, men! Double time!” his call was answered with a harmonious “AYE SIR!” as the last of the barrels and crates were brought on decks and placed below. I began to dash up the stairs towards the helm, where Mr. Flint smiled and hoisted me up on his shoulders.
“Happy early Birthday, little lad.” he said in his sophisticated English accent, patting me on the leg. My father approached the helm, kissed my mother tenderly on the cheek, smiled up to me, and bellowed down to the crew,
“Cast off those lines! Weigh anchor and trow that canvas! Three degrees starboard Mr. Stevens! Set sail for Paris!”

Life couldn’t have been any more perfect than it was that day...

The Victory Eagle was nearing the English Channel six days out at sea. For a large sloop of her size and stature, The Victory Eagle could reach top speeds of 12 knots under full sail. But after a long break of calm blue seas, the Eagle found herself caught in the roiling waves of a hurricane. The Eagle pitched and yarned violently as Neptune crashed his hellish song against the winds and tides. All around us, crewmates were spinning around their stations, trying to prevent their beloved ship from being claimed by the sea. My father stood up at the helm, his dark forest green coat flapping in the rain as he barked countless inaudible orders and curses at the scurrying men below. My siblings and I were hiding in a corner behind one of the cannons. Marie was balling her eyes out while Zach’s frantic head swiveled from side to side. Noticing his children in the corner, he shouted down to us,
“CHILDREN! Get inside! Quickly!” He then pointed at one of the men “You! Get them to safety! To their mother! Step to it!” with that, the man nodded and hurried over to us cowering children. I handed off Marie to him, who was still terrified by the loud noises and the weather while Zach and I followed him close behind.

Once safely inside, Marie darted over to Mother, who was on bed rest and ordered by Father to stay in their cabin for safety’s sake. Marie flung herself on the bed and continued to cry and cry and cry. My mother picked her up and began to cradle her, shushing her gently and looking to Zach and me, our faces white with terror. She smiled and beckoned us forward.
“Don’t worry, my loves. Everything is going to be just fine. Your father is a strong and powerful man. Have faith, my darlings.” Her sweet angelic voice soon drowned out the crash of the thunder and the crackle of lighting. Her sunshine of a smile, however, slowly began to twist and deform into a look of discomfort until she let out a loud cry of pain, causing Marie to fall from her grasp and, in turn, causing her to cry again. Zach and I looked at each other with horror as Mother let out another blood curling cry of agony. She lifted up the covers of her bed to find her entire midsection covered in water. Panic stricken, she tried to compose herself through curled lips and heavy sighs of pain.
“Hector, please go.. ARGH... get your father...” she was able to make out through clenched teeth. I burst through the doors of the Captain’s Cabin, Zach in toe behind me, when Mother screamed again. My father looked down at me and my brother in horror as the shriek pierced the stormy sky.
“Mercy of the Gods... Not now...! Please!” we heard him curse under his breath as he darted down the stairs, knocking down two sailors who were battening down the mizzen mast, causing it to flap violently in the hellish wind. Father flung the doors of the Captain’s Cabin wide open, ushering two other men to come help him, and slammed the doors. Zach looked up at me, wide eyed and confused as Marie crawled towards us, clinging onto my leg.
“What’s happening to mommy??” Zach said, verging on tears. I was panic stricken, but then realized that this exact same act happened twice before... before both Zach and Marie entered my life.
“Mommy’s having the baby!” I exclaimed, the fear of the storm washed away. A bright smile swept across Zach’s face. I knelt down next to Marie, who was still big eyed and petrified. “You hear that, little sissy? You’re gonna be a big sissy!” That the little toddler understood. Her eyes lit up as she began to laugh and sing a made up song in her goo-goo-gaa-gaa language. We three McSkull children hurried to the closed doors. I jumped up and grabbed hold of the handle, turned the knob, and opened the door. All three men were huddled around my mother, who was no longer screaming or moaning. My father, having heard the creaking of the door, turned around to see his children. A huge grin wiped across his face as he stepped aside for us to see the new bundle of joy being caressed in Mother’s arms. If there was one thing in the world that could ever melt the stone cold ruthless heart of my father, it was always his children. Marie was the first to burst forward towards Mother and Father, clapping her little hands and chanting “Sissy! Sissy! Sissy!” while Zach and I peered over to see the new addition to the McSkull family. Zach looked up at Mother and asked, “What’s it’s name gonna be, Momma?” Mother smiled and looked down at the little baby.
“I’m going to name her.... May.” she said, causing Marie to start a new little chant of “May-May! May-May! May...” her sweet little outburst was interrupted by the WHOOSH of a cannonball crashing through the window and blasting away the two men helping Mother through the other side, the splintered outlines of the two men leaving behind a gust of smoke. Bewildered, Father burst out onto the deck, looking for the ship that would dare attack us. He shouted up to the lookout Mr. Thompson,
“What the devil is that?!” barked Father. Thompson shouted down to Father
“No trace of any---” his report was interrupted by a giant CRASH and flash of lighting as the man began to fall from the main mast and flop onto the deck, dead by the scorching heat of the lighting strike. Horror struck, we all dashed back into the Captain’s Cabin. Outside, we could hear the cracking of the main mast, see the splinters flying left and right, and watch as the towering mast began to plummet closer and closer and closer to our safe room. Father quickly shielded his whole family and then everything went dark....

I awoke in a cold sweat.... No.... this wasn’t sweat... this was salt water... Sea water. Looking around my surroundings, I could see nothing but the sea... and the flaming debris of The Victory Eagle. To my left, I heard the crack of the foremast and saw it smash into the ocean, taking the rest of the bow with it to it’s watery grave. I tried to sit up, but rocked and roiled on a small piece of driftwood, almost losing my grasp and falling into the flaming sea. I wiped at my face, finding that there was blood smeared all over my hand from where I had touched my head. Colors began to dance before my eyes as I started to slip slowly but surely into unconsciousness when suddenly I heard to the far north,
“Mommy!!! Daddy!!! Where are you?!?!” it was the voice of Zach! He was still alive! I tried to hoist myself up and cry out to the heavens,
“Zach! Baby brother it’s me!!” I yelled through hoarse rasps. It took a few seconds, but I got a reply back,
“HECTOR!” he shouted. Before I could answer, a shriek of a cry that came from the east. A cry that I wasn’t familiar with, but then suddenly realized.
“The baby’s still alive!!!” I cried with joy. Then another cry came across the wind,
“MUMA!! DADA!!! WAAAA!!!!” that cry could be none other than our little baby sister Marie, wailing her little head off. Before I could reply to all three of my siblings, I saw something floating in the water that tore my heart in half. Floating towards me, with the large dark blue ostrich feather still singed by the fires of the shipwreck, was my father’s signature large black brimmed hat. I picked it up out of the water, noticing that blood still smeared the inside of the hat.... I laid my head back onto the piece of driftwood, blocking out my brother’s voice and my sisters cries and began to shed many a tear as the sun began to rise in front of me.
“Today’s my birthday....” was the last thing I uttered before slipping into a long sleep. The last thing that caught my eye was some sort of animal, the shape of a bat, fluttering quickly out of the sun’s gaze.
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:31 pm

Chapter Two

Spoiler:
I can’t remember how long I was set adrift out at sea. I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything other than the fact that I had just lost my parents, my siblings, and my life entirely. I wasn’t sure if Zach, Marie, and let alone the baby survived anything after I blacked out. For all I knew, they could be as dead as my parents. The only thing that remained was my father’s hat. I picked it up weakly as the waves bounced me back and forth, as I began to reminisce. How I would always try to reach up and grab at that giant blue ostrich feather... How my father would put the overly sized hat on my head, just to watch it sink over my whole face, causing us both to burst into laughter... How it had made him look like the hero that he was to me. Closing my eyes again, trying to recollect on the good memories now forever lost, I jumped up in surprise as the piece of driftwood hit solid ground. Washed up on shore, I tried to stand up, finding that my left leg was badly injured. Blood was dripping down the side of my trousers and it hurt to put any pressure on it. My body ached and creaked as I tried to stretch and crack my bones. Lifting up my head, I started losing the smell of salt water and began to detect the scent of rum, tobacco and various spices. Looking from sign to sign, reality slowly but surely started to sink in...
“Tortuga...” I gasped in a raspy voice. I somehow survived a treacherous journey from England all the way back to the Caribbean, floating carelessly on a piece of driftwood. Despite my terrible situation in life, I thanked my lucky stars for landing on a safe spit of land. I was sure that I would be able to find one of my parents contacts and find some place safe for a child of my stature. There was no better place to start than The Faithful Bride, the very in that my parents frequented.

Walking through the giant set of double doors, I could hear the melody of a fiddler and gaze upon a beauty as she danced a jig to the spell of the music. I could hear the patrons yelling and laughing as they either sat in the corner playing cards, enjoying female companionship, or just sitting with a bunch of their mates and drinking their sorrows away. Not thinking, I started to approach the very large bar, that was probably more than two feet taller than I was, and knocked on the wood. To his surprise, the innkeeper looked down to see me, covered in wet rags and seaweed, smelling like a decaying barnacle. With his nose high in the air and a mean-old stare, the innkeeper scoffed at me,
“Get outta here, boy! Ye be too young to be in here!” I tried to plead my case to him, holding back the tears that were itching to pour out. I spoke, my voice shaking,
“Please sir... I need a place to stay... I--” The man’s laugh cut me off before I could finish.
“Beat it! Ye don’t ‘ave the coin to ev’n pay fer the shirt on yer back, ye lit’le street urchin!” He raised his hand high as if he was going to give me a whip on the ear. I cringed seeing his hand rise up, causing the man to burst out in a wheezing laughter. I tried to muster up all my courage and replied,
“I am the son of Henry and Elizabeth McSkull! I’m Hector McSkull!” The man continued to laugh when I tried to explain my situation, but then slowly started to catch his breath as he leaned in close over the bar, putting his face up against my own.
“Bullshit. The McSkull’s are off in Paris ri’ght now, bilge rat. Come back again when you can figure out a be’ter fake name lad!” I burst out the doors of the inn, breaking down in a swell of tears. I dashed through the streets, dodging civilians, sailors unloading cargo, and grizzly looking individuals who’d have me gutted and squealing if I looked at them the wrong way. Ducking into an alleyway in between a church and a brothel, I sank down into the mud and kept crying. I cried and cried and cried until I didn’t think there were anymore tears left to cry out. But in my loneliness, I felt something strange. On my shoulder, I felt a touch, sending my mind racing into a panic. I was certain that this would be the end, that this hand was holding a knife or a pistol in the other and would finish me off right then and there. Without thinking, I shot up from the ground, picking up a stick and holding it in defense. To my surprise, it wasn’t an undesirable at all. Standing in front of me, albeit a little taken aback, was a boy, no older than seven, with a thick head of sandy blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and hidden beneath a green raggity bandana. He wore a vest about one size too big for him and nicer rags than the other four boys who were standing behind their leader. But what really defined this boy was his eyes... No color at all, just black and bloodshot. He tried to put on a friendly smile, raising his hands in a surrender.
“Easy, kid, we ain’t gonna hurt ya,” he said, with a heavy cockney accent. I started wiping away the tears I shed, The boy sighed heavily. “Bad place to be cryin’ here on Tortuga, mate. People might be gettin’ the wrong impression bout ye.” He was right. I was shaming myself and my late parents by bellowing like a little sod.
“It’s been a rough few days...” I croaked, without divulging any details. The boy nodded, understanding, and put an arm around my shoulder as we all started to walk out of the dingy and dark alley into the bustling streets of Tortuga.
“Listen, mate, we ‘ere know that same feeling. But keep yer chin up, friend. Things happen and you can’t do anything about ‘em. So it goes, my friend. So it goes.” he said, giving me a little pat on the back as we walked through the streets towards a back alley right behind the Faithful Bride. Behind that alley was a small little broken down shanty where dozens of boys and girls were dancing around, singing, laughing, playing pretend sword fight, and being merry. I looked at the place a little in amazement. For how could a place so small hold this many kids? The boy poked me on the shoulder and turned towards me.
“I didn’t catch yer name, lad.” he said. I cleared my throat, holding my father’s feathered hat off to the side.
“Hector. Hector McSkull.” I said, offering my hand to shake, which the boy gladly took with a smirk.
“Welcome Skull,” he said with a little laugh. “Name’s Nigel. Nigel Turpin, but everyone calls me Tup. And let me be the first to welcome ye to your new home.”
“New home?” I asked, a little confused. He smiled and nodded.
“Aye! This place is for all the Lost Boys and Girls of Tortuga, mate. Yer’re welcome to stay as long as ye like. That’s what we say to all of ‘em, but usually they end up staying. We’re all thick as thieves, we are mate.” I took a moment to consider it all. I had no where else to go, no one else to be with other than my Uncle, who was worlds away. Father and Mother were dead, my siblings were no where to be found, and I was sure that any of the crew either perished in the storm or returned to keep up my parents flotilla of ships... meaning they were leagues and leagues away. This group, these boys and girls could be my new start...
“Aye, thank you kindly Tup,” I said with a smile as I dawned my father’s feathered hat. He nodded and shook my hand and winked.
“Come with us, Skully boy. We’ll teach ye all the tricks in the book.”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:32 pm

Chapter Three

Spoiler:
The year is 1720. It’s been seven years since that Dark Day occurred and I have reached the age of thirteen. Every birthday from that Dark Day forth was always emotionally brutal, but my new family was always there for me to help me through the troubles. My family, The Lost Boys and Girls of Tortuga, had changed drastically from my first initiation until this point. In 1716, the gang faced it’s first heartbreaking loss with the death of Tup’s brother and right hand man James, who was infected with the scurvy he picked up by messing around illegally in a local whorehouse. When the gang tried to take dear old James’ body down to the docks in the middle of the night to give him a proper send off and say the words, we were spotted by two of Doctor Grog’s henchmen... Doc Grog, that shit-stealing blighter... Grog was the same man who had denied me stay in The Faithful Bride seven years ago. He soon gave up innkeeping and went into the medical profession. The only thing is, he was more butcher than doctor. Last we heard of James’ body, Doc Grog was carving him up like a Christmas Day swine and selling his organs to the higher-ups of Tortuga... We made a small memorial for James in our kip, leaving his bed permanently empty except for his little tricorn hat he had always worn. We placed that small hat on his pillow.
James’ demise was soon overshadowed by the loss of the two twins and little troublemaking girls of our small family, Jamie and Kayla. Those two had so much spirit and a knack for stealing double together than any of us could salvage on the morning grind. In 1718, after hearing the death of Blackbeard on Ocracoke Island, a flock of his former supporters and crewmembers fled to Tortuga to evade the King’s justice on the port of Nassau, which meant that there was ample opportunity for easy pickings, and we all knew that Jamie and Kayla were the best pick pockets of our small confederacy. While out on the streets, doing their usual begging and thieving, two men from the workhouse scooped them up and dragged them back to their new torturous existence. We had all heard the stories of the conditions and lives of the employees of the workhouse, but never knew the true extent of their living hell... I can still, to this day, hear the screams and cries for help Jamie and Kayla kept at. It was heartbreaking to watch those two disappear from our lives forever...
Our greatest loss was that of Tup himself. We didn’t lose him to sickness or kidnapping... We lost him to opportunity. After hearing of Blackbeard’s defeat, the pirate turned privateer Captain Hornigold appeared on our shores, looking for men to help man his schooner The Benjamin... What he wasn’t telling his men at the time was that he was looking for a crew to start hunting his fellow pirate brethren on the high seas in the name of The King of England... Bastard... I still remember how we were all cheering, hooting and hollering when Tup came back to our kip after having just signed up with the infamous Ben Hornigold. We were all there at the dock the day he left. After hugging and kissing everyone goodbye, Tup came to me last and pulled me aside. Reaching into his vest pocket, he handed me a gold encrusted steel dagger he had once stolen from Edward Kenway himself, or so he had boasted.
“Listen, Skull. In my absence, I want you to look after these kids.” he said in a low voice. I looked at him a little shocked.
“Me?”
“Who else but you, mate?” he said with a smile and a wink. “Ever since we lost James, you’ve really stepped up as my number two... and my brother.” he held back tears as he put the dagger into my hand. Without thinking, I grabbed my brother in arms into a great hug, patting him on the pack.
“I won’t let you down, my friend.” I said. We parted and he slapped me on the shoulder with his bright big smile on his face.
“I know you won’t.” And with that, Nigel Turpin disappeared off of Tortuga for good. It seemed now that everyone was looking up to me... I remember how Zach and Marie use to look up to me back in my youth... Seemed that I just had a knack for mentoring.

With all our losses, we acquired great new friends and allies. Our little band of urchins was starting to grow into an intimidating force in the small little underworld of childhood gangs. There was Bronze John, a giant of a kid for his age. He was built as an ox and shared the same wits as the animal as well. He hardly wore a shirt, which drove all the younger ladies crazy with lust and was starting to sport little shandy blonde patches of facial hair. He was, and still is, a madman. In place of Jamie and Kayla, two new girls entered the group: Scarlett and Giselle. Scarlett was thirteen as well, a full year older that Giselle, and fully developed, bosom-wise, for her age. She had vibrant red hair that usually covered half of her beautiful face. Giselle was just as pretty and adorable, with gold blonde curls and a sweet smile on her face. Both girls wore extensive amounts of makeup, but oddly enough, both of them were able to pull it off. The two lovely ladies joined our team after an escape from the workhouse. When we found them, they were covered in rags and bruise marks. We Lost Children took them in and cared for them as our own. To this day, those two will still not divulge what they had to do to get out of that hellhole. Whatever it was, it must’ve been scarring. During this time, Scarlett and I started to drift closer and closer together, eventually developing something along the lines of a relationship. She was indeed my first love, and she was the sweetest. In the gang, since Tup left and I stepped up as leader, Scarlett and I were referred to as the “Mum and Dad” that nobody ever had. It was a fair label, being that she and I always looked after the wellbeing of our “children”. All except for the last new recruit, a mousy little boy known as Andrew Bowdash. Bowdash was a respectable name on Tortuga. It was Governor Bowdash from England who was the first to withdraw from his position and take on a life of piracy as one of the founding members of the Brethren of the Coast, a small cadet branch of The Brethren Court that operated primarily on Tortuga. Bowdash even made himself a home in a two story modest homestead where his family all grew up in. All except for little Andrew. Andrew was a bastard, conceived by a female Bowdash and some scoundrel from the seas. His grandfather cast out the runt , with not much objection from his mother, and sent the little babe to live on the streets. Andrew eventually discovered his heritage and kept trying to rub it in the rest of his “friends’” faces... And I use the term friends loosely. Nobody liked Bowdash. No one could stomach the little bugger and his pompous arrogance. So, instead, his arrogance turned to brooding and envy, especially of our Miss Scarlett. It was no secret that Bowdash fancied Scarlett, and tried at many attempts to win her affection, but to no avail. Some days, when Scarlett was either sitting in my lap or propped up against me on the sandy shores, I could spot Bowdash in the distance, despising me from afar. A troubled lad he was...
Despite our interpersonal quarrels, we all seemed to get along at home. And what a home we had. Out of all the kips and hideouts that various gangs had in Tortuga, The Lost Boys and Girls for sure had the best pick of the bunch. Our cozy little nest was located right above the bar of The Faithful Bride. Under new management, the innkeeper, Tom, generously let us all stay in one of the larger rooms of the inn. Tom was the father figure that we were all lacking. He thought of us all as his own children and would always make sure that we were all properly nourished, slipping us meals and canteens of water and rum every mealtime personally. We, in return, paid for our room and board with 30% of the items we stole, earning Tom more of a success rate than he ever had dealing with a legit ship captain. He was a kind-hearted soul under his rough exterior as a pirate bartender. He even played the defense when rival gangs would try to steal our spot. Tom would always come up to find either me or Bronze John when trouble came the gang’s way. These little quarrels were always taken out to the streets, for Tom never allowed rough-housing in his establishment. When a rival gang would try to muster up the courage to interfere on Lost Boys and Girls’ turf, they had me and Bronze John to answer to. We never involved anyone else, it was always the two of us, as the tag-team we were. I had the swift dexterity of fencing and sword-fighting from my father while Bronze John had the sheer size, muscle and power to frighten any little band of miscreants.
I had found my new lot in life, with a wonderful new family and a bonny lass dear to my heart. And I was content.
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:33 pm

Chapter Four

Spoiler:
Summer of 1720. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon on Tortuga. Merchant ships continued to pour into port, finding that it was easier to turn a profit illegally here than having to deal with the King’s taxes, keeping the streets busy and plenty for thievery. My shift didn’t start until a quarter to four, so I took a little downtime in the lobby of The Faithful Bride. Tom always allowed us kids to roam through his inn freely if there weren’t that many customers in, and on a day like today, people were mostly enjoying the weather outside. I was sitting at the poker table with three of my mates and Scarlett, who took to sitting on my lap and helping me win one over on all of the little buggers. Four cards lay in the river, a jack, and queen, a king, and a four. I was holding an eight and a ten. All I needed now was a nine or an ace for a straight. I tried not to show any expression of emotions, keeping a poker face on at all times. Others were either trying their best to as well, or just blushing whenever Scarlett would try to knock them out of their false senses of security, ensuring their fold and downfall. Just as Timmy was laying down the final river card, the doors of the tavern flung wide open, causing the glare of the Caribbean sun to blind our eyes. Through the sun rays stood three shadowy figures. As they slowly ascended into the bar, a great hush overtook the patrons, even Tom himself let out a bit of alarm. I placed Scarlett on the chair next to me as I began to examine our new guests. To the left stood a young man, his wild bushy mullet covered by a red bandana. He sported a sharp mustache with pointed sideburns and a devilish grin on his face. He wore a plain white shirt with a tannish longcoat, striped breeches and charcoal boots, draped with a scabbard holding a sword at his side and a knife on his chest. Far to the right didn’t stand a man at all. A woman was standing as an equal to the two men. She wore a long black jacket, closed together by a belt below her chest. Dawned to the toe in black clothes, the only color shone on her was that of her golden blonde hair. Hair so gold that Giselle’s lovely curls could hardly shine in comparison to this woman. With a black bandana ties on her head, she donned a small brimmed hat that covered her eyes until she lifted her head, showing us all those bright blue eyes that didn’t show compassion or kindness... Only a merciless gaze. While many cowered in fear of those eyes, I could only sit there, entranced. But, all eyes weren’t on the young man or the woman anymore. All eyes were fixed on the man in the center. Tall and muscular with a dark tan kissed by the Caribbean sun, the man stood in the door with no expression whatsoever as he struck a match and lit his cigar. His long black thinly dreadlocked hair flew in the breeze. He wore no eccentric facial hair like his friend; only a grizzly unshaven stubble. He wore a black shirt, cut deep enough to show the skull and crossbones tattoo on his chest and several necklaces around his neck. He wore a long maroon coat that flowed down to his black trousers and jet black boots, nothing special about it, yet it completed his appearance. As the smoke cleared from his face, his emerald green eyes looked directly at me, paralyzing my being. The three pirates entered the bar as Tom snapped his fingers at up, ushering us away from the table we were currently occupying. The three didn’t even sit at our table, but one table over. After surveying the establishment, the lead man, presumed to be The Captain, looked over to Tom and gave him a nod. Relieved, Tom clapped his hands as the rest of the patrons went about their business, the music returning to the air. We children were all scattered across the tavern now. I walked over to the bar where Scarlett and John both sat, talking to Tom. Sitting up on a stool, I turned my body towards the three strangers and asked, “Tom, who are those three?” To his surprise, Tom looked at me and said,
“That, my dear boy, is the crew of The Misty Lady!” He began pointing at the three.
“That there is Johnny Dalton, the ship’s quartermaster,” he said, indicating the mustached man. “Sittin’ next to him, well that be the Captain’s wife Isabela Sparrow. Though she’s known more for her savage killin’ rather than the bride of a pirate. And, as you could’ve guessed it, the man sittin’ next to her be Captain Edward Teague, the last true Pirate Captain left in these waters...” Captain Teague, eh? I thought to myself. Was he all that he was cracked up to be? Already by the name I was not impressed. His name was two letters away from being Edward Teach, so was he a Blackbeard copier or truly a ferocious and bloodthirsty Captain? Mr. Dalton got up from his seat and walked over towards the bar, not paying us kids any mind.
“Evening Tom. The Captain and I are in need of able bodied men to serve under the black.” said Mr. Dalton in a suave English accent. “We’ve a venture underway and need all the help we can muster.”
“Of course, sir! Make yourselves at home! I’ll have your usual rooms prepped immediately.” said Tom. Dalton nodded.
“Good, in the mean time, we’ll station a sign up list up front.”
“Are you by any chance,” I started to ask when Dalton looked down at me with a look of a bit disgust, but then intrigue,
“Lookin’ for cabin boys such as yourselves?” finished the man. He looked me up and down and then Bronze John, pondering. “Perhaps.” with that, Dalton returned to the table, whispered something in the Captain’s ear. When he was done, all three pirates got up and moved their party over to the front of the tavern. Before disappearing behind a wall however, Captain Teague looked at me with his sharp green eyes, lifting one finger and pointing it towards me in a “come hither” fashion. Surprised, I took my last sip of drink, kissed Scarlett on the cheek and beckoned to John.
“Wish us luck!” I said, my heart a flutter. Scarlett smiled brightly and Tom gave us a nod of approval as John and I bustled over to the table before any man had the chance to form in line. As we approached the table, Captain Teague leaned over, both arms folded and asked in a gruff English voice,
“Who are you?”
“The name’s John, sir. Bronze John is what they cal--” John was silenced by Teague’s raised hand, who did not leave his gaze from me. John went quiet and slunk into his skin as the pause filled the air.
“Hector, sir. Hector McSkull.” I said, trying to show no fear. Surprise showed briefly on Teague’s face, turning into a small grin and then a little chuckle.
“Just as I thought,” said the Captain with a smile “You have his face and her eyes, son.” My eyes opened wide. I couldn’t believe my ears: this ferocious and bloodthirsty Captain was old acquaintances with my deceased parents.
“You knew my parents?” I asked, trying to keep the overwhelming levels of excitement. It was Isabela who spoke, looking at me with a sense of kindness that I couldn’t have imagined this woman possessed.
“Thick as thieves we all were,” she said in a low grizzly voice, with a hint of sweetness. “We started a consortium on Nassau together, your parents and us. It’s a terrible tragedy what happened to them. And to their children.”
“And yet here you are, miraculously.” said Teague
“That may be the case, sir,” interrupted Dalton. Teague turned slowly to face his quartermaster, “but the fact remains that we only need one cabin boy. There’s no room for these two.”
“Then he can take it sirs!” said Bronze John. The three pirates looked at him, as did I with open jaw. “I’m not much one for the seas at this point in my life sirs. But you should take him! Not just because he’s a familiar to ye’s, but also because he is without a doubt the brightest, wisest, and most calculating thirteen year old on the streets of Tortuga! He practically owns these streets, sirs!” John continued to try and exemplify all of my courageous deeds and hard life as a orphan, but John was never the most articulate with his words. His boasting of me even caused cutthroat Isabela to chuckle once or twice until he was finally stopped by Teague’s hand again. John lowered his head in silence as Teague turned his attention toward me.
“Sign the book, boy.” he said with a nod. A bright smile wiped across my face as I took the quill and signed the ledger.
“Be at the docks Tuesday morning for departure, lad.” said Mr. Dalton, with a look that said to me If you’re a minute late we’ll cast off without you. I nodded my understanding and was just about to dash off when Teague quietly said
“Welcome to the crew of The Misty Lady, Mr. McSkull.” and with that, I dashed off with John back to our hide out.

“So?! How’d it go?”
“Did you guys make it?!”
“When do you cast off??”
“Oh, c’mon Captain just tell us already!” The kids were starting to get restless. Up in our hideout, everyone was gathered around me and Bronze John. Before I could say anything, John put a big arm around me and pulled me into a big bear hug.
“Our dear ol’ Dad’s an official pirate, ladies and gents!” boomed John. The kids went wild! Boys hooted and hollered, girls started to dance in celebration, people were hanging from the rafters. It was total chaos. Now, at this point you might be wondering why these children would be making such a commotion for little old me. Ever since I stepped up as Leader of the Gang, they always knew that my heart belonged to the sea. So the children would try to come up with various ways to get me recruited and signed up with a real pirate crew. Only thing was, with the fall of Nassau, pirates were slinking back into their holes or into retirement. There wasn’t much work out there for a street rat like me, so when this opportunity finally appeared before me, I took it. Scarlett, as thrilled as ever wearing a bright lipstick smile, ran and flung her arms around me, our lips meeting. I grabbed her in return and kissed her passionately. This only got the kids to scream and cheer louder, so loud that we got a knock from Tom downstairs, telling us to settle down. All of the Lost Boys and Girls were part of the celebration, all except Bowdash. Out the corner of my eyes as I hugged Scarlett, I could see the fire and fury burning in his eyes as he saw my hand slide down Scarlett’s body. The envy how this was my day and everything was going my way while he was still stuck in depression and isolation. I parted with Scarlett just for a second and tried to walk towards Bowdash, but with one look at me, he stood up and walked right out the door and didn’t return until the next morning. Scarlett pulled me out of my trance and addressed the children.
“Now everyone get yourselves ready. We’ll have a bonfire on the sand tonight to celebrate Hector’s success.” the children all cheered and began to file out of the hideout, dancing down the stairs and out the doors of the tavern. Only Scarlett and I remained.
“I can’t believe you’ve finally got it, love!” Scarlett said through a smile. And yet, underneath that smile there was a great sadness. After three wonderful years we had together, this was the moment that we knew our lives would change drastically. I would be out to the sea, living adventures and chasing fortunes while Scarlett was still stuck on Tortuga, an orphan. As I lifted her chin gently with my finger, she started to weep a little. I grabbed her into a longing hug as we stood there for what seemed to be ages, just hugging each other. The hugging soon turned into kissing. Her lips were the sweetest I had ever known, always tasting of strawberries. The kissing soon turned into me lying on my back on our bed and with her on top of me. My hands slid down to her warm thighs underneath her dress. She sat up and looked down at me.
“I want my first time to be with you.” she said, through gleamy eyes.
“There’s no one else I’d rather have.” I replied. She then bent down and continued to kiss me as I began to roll down her dress all the way to her bellybutton. I was consumed in her breasts as I moved my hand up her dress towards her midsection as we began to make love for the very first time as the night melded into the first magical night of my life.

Tuesday morning. 8:00 AM. The crew of The Misty Lady had all but secured their cargo onboard. I led a parade of children down the streets of Tortuga, with Scarlett at my side clutching my arm, towards the docks. After reaching the harbor, I turned about and faced the dozens of children I had led through the years.
“I came to this group just as anyone else here has; penniless, broken, orphaned. When I first washed up on shore, I never expected that I would be so welcomed as I was to a new family of mine. A family of brothers, sisters, close friends, and even a love to call my own,” with that I kissed Scarlett on the cheek, causing her to light up like a shooting star. “I cannot begin to express how much of an honor it was to be your leader, your captain, and your friend. There is one small item that needs to be addressed. With my departure, you would need a new man to run operations for you. I was thinking Bronze John, unless anyone had any objections.” I looked to the boys and girls, who just started to cheer for John. All leaderships out here in the Caribbean were a democracy. The men and women had the choice to vote yes or no to new management. And these boys and girls couldn’t have chosen a better candidate. “I was guessing there wouldn’t be anything to say about that.” I laughed, unsheathing the ceremonial Edward Kenway dagger from my belt, flipping it, and offering the hilt to Bronze John. Without even taking the dagger, John ran at me and hoisted me into the air in one of his big bear hugs, crushing the life out of me, which only made everyone laugh and chuckle
“Don’t worry, Hector,” said John as he slowly put me down, putting one hand on my shoulder and clutching the dagger in another “I’ll take good care of ‘em.”
“That’s why I chose you, mate. Take what you can,” I said, offering him a fist to bump. It was always custom between friends saying goodbye to utter some sort of pirating tip. This one was always our favorites. He smiled as he bumped my fist.
“Give nothin’ back!” he finished. We hugged one last time and then turned our attention to the lads and lasses of our small family. The children made a path between them for me to walk down to say my final goodbyes. The two five year old twins, Leo and Phil, saluted me as I walked past them. Johnny the Teeth took of his tricorn hat and waved it as I passed, smiling as he always did with his giant shark-like smile. The old shipwright’s apprentice Danny shook my hand and then pulled me into an embrace. Giselle ran up to me and flung her arms around my neck, kissing me on the forehead. The new boys Davy, Simon and Jimmy bowed low and even bitter Bowdash offered his congratulations by extending his hand. When I took it though, he looked to the side and let his hand slump like a dead fish. Disregarding the sullen boy, I turned and finally approached the person I was most anxious to meet. Dressed as a proper lady in a red frilly dress, Scarlett walked towards me and kissed me, causing time to stand still. My arms wrapped around her waist as her hands grabbed my head and neck. We could have stayed like this, as happy and blissful as we were forever, had not the quartermaster Mr. Dalton, barking orders to the crew to either “Get onboard, you swine infested deck-apes or remain here penniless and deprived!” I turned back to Scarlett, who had my father’s large feather hat in her hands. She reached up and placed it on my head, fixing the feather into place.
“Go get ‘em, Captain McSkull.” said Scarlett as she kissed me on the cheek. I smiled and looked lovingly into her eyes one last time as I picked up my sea bag. I began to make my way down to the docks, waving goodbye to everyone once again, and boarded The Misty Lady.
“Keep a weather eye on the horizon, ladies and gents!”
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:34 pm

Chapter Five

Spoiler:
Day One onboard The Misty Lady. The Lady was quite a different beast of a ship than I had been use to in my short lifespan at sea. Before, I was only accustomed with my father’s sloop The Victory Eagle. I’d never before been on a fully armed three masted British frigate. With enough space to hold the cargos of three Spanish brigs and an armament of forty guns, The Misty Lady was, as the name implied, and mysterious temptress that would fool you into marveling in her beauty while she plotted her ways of destroying your livelihood.... Probably no different than Mrs. Sparrow, who was always peering down from the helm with her murderous eyes. I kept my head down so as she wouldn’t gaze upon me. While keeping my head down, I tried to maneuver through sailors at their stations; raising the anchor from the harbor, unfurling the main mast sails to catch the Caribbean breeze, and literally swabbing the deck of dried blood from a past excursion. I followed Mr. Dalton below decks as he escorted me to my hammock. It was an ordinary sling hammock, nothing special, but it was all mine on this new adventure I was sailing on.
“Now listen boy,” began Mr. Dalton “Your duties as cabin boy exceed that of just swabbin’ the deck, fetchin’ meals and chore work for the Captain Teague and Mrs. Sparrow. Be topside in half an hour so’s we cal evaluate your skills, boy. Ever fired a cannon before?” He bent down and began to eye me up and down. I could only stare back.
“Aye sir. When British soldiers were trying to retake Tortuga two years ago, My mates and I assisted Cap’n Rackham with the defense.” I answered. Dalton laughed when I mentioned Captain Jack Rackham, known throughout the Caribbean as Calico Jack.
“I’m sure you mean Miss Read and Miss Bonny!” Dalton chuckled. I could only laugh a little in return. The man was right. Rackham was a piss poor captain. He had more wits than he did skill, when he wasn’t drinking himself into a coma. It was his first mate Mary Read and his lover Anne Bonny who really oversaw Calico Jack’s crew, plunder, and reputation.
“Aye sir. Miss Bonny taught me how to shoot a cannon. Then, of course, my father tried to teach me when I was five.”
“You sound more capable than some of our gunners, lad,” said Dalton, patting me on the back, but then returning to a look of seriousness. “But we’ll put your alleged skills to the metal. Half an hour, son.” Dalton began to walk away, but then stopped and turned around.
“Oh, and don’t be influenced too much your bunk mate, Mr. McSkull. Jack is too much of a free thinker for his own good.” with that, he nodded and returned to the deck. I stood there for a second, taking it all in. I was finally back onboard a ship, I was going to learn how to be a pirate and, best of all, I was sailing with people who knew my parents. I went to place my seabag down on my hammock with a THUMP when I heard from just under me,
“Oy! Watch it lad! Nearly knocked me out..” said a voice. I looked under my hammock to find a boy, from a quick glance at him, fifteen or sixteen in age. He was rubbing his head where the seabag whacked him. He wore his shaggy black hair that covered some of his face in a crimson red bandana, a plain white shirt and brown trousers. Around his waist he wore a buckled belt and a long red and white stripped sash that hung down to his tattered old boots, one size too big for him.
“Ah, you must be the bunk mate Mr. Dalton was speaking of.” I said, stowing away my seabag as the boy stood up. If anything, he was about two inches taller, yet he tried to glare down at me because I was younger. Having dealt with tougher street rats than him in back alleyways on Tortuga, I was sure I could handle myself.
“So you’re my new cabin boy, eh? Well, first thing’s first, make my bed lad.” He grinned as he folded his arms. I chuckled a little bit, looking at the boy.
“Your cabin boy, eh? I rather doubt it. Last I heard, I was more of your partner than your slave. Are you not the same Jack the crew’s been complaining about as I walked onboard.”
“Complaining about?”
“Oh aye. Seems you missed some of your watches while you were, how did they put it, ‘gallivanting all over Tortuga when there was work to be done.’” I said, a half grin across my face. The boy looked more annoyed than scared, muttering under his breath, “I’m sure there’s a lashing in it for me now from him...” He looked down at me again, grimaced, and then started to walk away, but then stopped and turned back.
“Maybe you aren’t as dumb as I thought you were at first, boy.” he winked and then headed topside. That’s how I first met Jack Sparrow.

Before setting out for our adventure, The Misty Lady first had to make berth on the island fortress of Shipwreck Island. Located a day’s sail off the northeast coast of South America, Shipwreck Island was known as THE pirate stronghold. However, many believed that it was impossible to pin point the island on a map because it was continuously moving on the back of a giant sea turtle... Rubbish. It was an island that couldn’t be found except for those who already knew where it was. Lucky for the crew of the Lady, Captain Teague knew it very well. On our three days to the island, Jack and I started to bond over small things, which then turned into bigger things like women, different kinds of drinks, and old seafaring tales we both overheard in crowded bars or shady brothels. Jack was perhaps the best confidant I had on the Lady. I was able to figure out the ins and outs of the crew days before I would’ve realized. Jack had told me that Captain Teague, or as he so lovingly put it, “The-Man-Who-Might-Be-Father”, ran a two ship tag team with his wife Isabela. Isabela was the true captain of The Misty Lady while Captain Teague manned his own ship, the Troubadour. However, the fact remained that lately Teague had been keeping the Troubadour docked for months on end, preferring to stay at home and enjoy an early retirement rather than explore the vast horizons, angering many of the men.
“Why does the Captain choose to stay on dry land?” I asked curiously as we began to weave our way through the narrow passage known as The Devil’s Throat. Jack and I were in the galley, helping the cook Mr. Gates peal potatoes. Mr. Gates was a kindly deaf old man who would always hum old sea shanties out of tune.
“I reckon it’s due to his new promotion.” said Jack. I looked at him a little confused.
“Promotion? To what? Commodore?” I snorted.
“Ah, if only that were so. That’d mean he’d be out hunting merchant ships as he should be. Nay, he’s to be the new Keeper of the Code... And wants me to follow in his footsteps.” said Jack with distain as he accidentally sliced a whole potato in half. Disregarding that one, he tossed it aside and picked up another and began to carve at it with his knife. “Says I’m to be next in line... He’s been tryin’ to groom me for the role of guardsman...”
“I reckon that’s something you don’t see yourself cut out for?”
“The sea’s in my blood, Hector. I’m meant to be out here.”
“Why not talk to your mother about it?”
“Have you met the woman?” Jack laughed, slicing another potato in half, cursing at himself, and then chucked it aside, nearly missing Old Gates’ head. “She’s anything but approachable.”
“She seemed less menacing when she recruited me on Tortuga.” I interjected. Jack laughed.
“Aye, cause you haven’t been giving her hell for sixteen years like I have. Remember the incident I told you about when I was almost sold as a slave? Aye, I still get a smack on the head from her a day. She’s in full support of me staying home for the rest of my miserable life.”
“Maybe they just wanna protect you after all that’s happened.” I said. To his surprise, Jack put down his knife and looked at me.
“All that’s happened?” he inquired. I looked at him a little confused.
“Aye.. you’ve heard all the stories: Blackbeard’s demise, the fall of Nassau, Ben Hornigold turned pirate hunter. The Golden Age of Piracy is being overrun by civilization and order. The MAN is winning.” I said. Jack laughed a haughty laugh, slapping his knee. “What’s so funny?”
“Ah, it seems that you’re not as familiar with piracy OUTSIDE of the Caribbean, mate.”
“You mean to say that there’s more like us out there? I thought they had all relocated to the Caribbean.”
“If every single pirate had relocated to the Caribbean, Hector, then you would’ve seen your uncle by now and would be off gallivanting with him and his rogues. That’s why Shipwreck Island is so iconic: it’s the international pirate central. Surely your parents must’ve told you about all this.”
“Even if they did, there’s no way of asking them about it now...” I said, looking off to the side. This made Jack quiet for a while, until he reached out and gave me a little pat on the shoulder as he continued to amaze me with tales of The Pirate Lords; how each of the seas was governed by nine pirate lords from the four corners of the earth.... And for all this time I had thought that Shipwreck Island was just a stronghold for the Caribbean... How I was mistaken. But soon, we came around to the topic at hand.
“If you’re so unhappy with your lot in life, why not just change it yourself? What law is there that gives Cap’n Teague the right to keep you as his slave?” I asked Jack, who tried to interject, but then paused and thought about it.
“You know, come to think of it... I don’t think there’s any right...”

That night on Shipwreck Island, in the center of Shipwreck Cove deep within the town of Shipwreck City, The Misty Lady crew all gathered round The Pirate Hall as Captain Teague was initiated as Keeper of the Code, set forth by the Pirate Lords Morgan and Bartholomew. Three old sea-dogs were standing at the front of the table around the Code Book as Teague walked towards them. As he approached, the men began to say a few words, this and that, and swore Teague in as a Pirate Lord. To mark his loyalty and oath to keep the Code as The Law, Teague drew out a knife and slit his hand, dripping the blood onto the cover bindings of The Code... It was all very pomp and circumstancy for my taste. The party then moved to The Captain’s house, where a swarm of either friends or relatives came to greet him and congratulate him. As Captain Teague, Isabela and Mr. Dalton went into the house, the rest of the crew were dismissed to enjoy their night in Shipwreck City. As I was just about to go off with a group consisting of gunners Ben and Mickey, Jack whispered to me from the shadows.
“Psst, Hector... C’mere.” he beckoned. I turned as Jack approached.
“Jack, shouldn’t you be with your family?”
“Ah, I will all in good time. But what you said before had me thinking if there actually was a law that had to make me stay by Teague’s side.” I looked at Jack a little concerned.
“I was only saying it in passing, mate. I didn’t think you were actually serious.”
“I haven’t been this serious about anything in my life, savvy?” Jack said with a wink. He turned and started for The Pirate Hall. Seeing that I wasn’t quick at his heel, he turned around to face me again. “Well... You comin’ or what?”
“Why do you need me?”
“Because,” he said with a grin “this was your idea.” with that, he turned and went in to the Pirate Hall. I snorted, grinned, and tagged along.

The chamber seemed relatively quiet, save for some rattling about downstairs. The candles were nearly burnt out, the wax dripping heavily onto the great council table from the chandelier. The Code was still where it lay, at the end of the long table. Jack and I tiptoed our way to the end of the hall, the wooden floors creaking and cracking with each step. Finally, after painstaking perseverance, we made it to the book.
“Alright, keep a watch as I try to find the articles I’m searching for.” said Jack. I nodded and went to the back door entrance when suddenly I heard a loud metallic CLANG. I turn around to see Jack had broken off the lock of The Code and tossed it on the ground.
“Jaysus, Jack! You’re going to get yourself killed! And me along with it!” I yelled in a whisper. Jack shushed me as he began to flip madly through the pages. I turned back towards the entrance to hear the rambling growing a little louder and louder. “Quick! Someone seems to be comin’ back!” I snapped again. Jack payed me no mind as he continued to read. From the echo, I heard the sound of a pistol click and the footsteps quicken in stride.
“Got it!” said Jack as he ripped a page out of the Code. With no time to respond, we both dashed out of the Council Chamber as a pistol went off and the doors slammed behind us. That would be the last time Jack Sparrow and I would have an adventure together for quite a while I thought bitterly.

The next morning, I awoke from my hammock and jumped down. To my surprise, Jack was not in his bunk. He must’ve been with his family after we parted, I said to myself. As I stretched and began to make my way topside, there was a shift in the mood from last night’s rowdiness. The crew seemed to be a bit on edge and distant. I went over to Mickey, who was peering over the starboard side, looking on into town.
“Bit too much grog last night, Mick?” I asked with a smug smile. Mickey turned around and looked at me.
“Where the hell were you last night, Skull? I thought yous was comin’ with us! You missed out on the fun mate!” He started, but then caught sight of Isabela, who’s glare struck daggers into his very soul. His face went blank as he whispered to me “But I’ll share you that tale another time... There was a break in, lad.” My face went white. I coughed to try and keep my composure.
“A break in?”
“Aye, in Pirate Hall. Some’un’s gone and broken open The Code. Cap’n Teague’s in a fit of rage.”
“Does anyone have a clue who’d done it?”
“Oh aye...” said a cold voice from behind both of us. Mickey and I both turned to see Isabela, her head down, but her eyes still looking at us intently. Mick and I went stiff as she looked us up and down, but, as I looked a little closer at my female captain, her eyes were red. Not from blood or the fear she imposed on men, no... but from tears. “It was Jack... The boy escaped out a window of the house last night and took the first passage off this rock.” As she finished, Isabela’s quartermaster, Arno, a young man from France, approached.
“Headin’ Captain....?” There was a long pause as Isabela just stood there, looking far across the horizon. “Are we to help search after Jack?”
“No.” said Isabela as she brushed at her eyes. “No, set course for Havana. There’s a mess of gold being transported to the Cuban Governor’s fortress. A treasure fleet with riches and cargo to stuff The Lady to the gills. CAST OFF!” she barked as she began to walk away. Just then, we heard from across the bay Captain Teague setting sail for Port Royal onboard The Troubadour. No doubt he’s the one trying to find Jack, I thought. I turned quickly to try and catch the Captain before she retreated to her cabin.
“Captain...” she turned to face me as I looked her in the eye with a look of sincere apology. “Keep a weather eye on the horizon...” She stared at me for a second, processing why I had said that and why I was speaking to her, but then I saw under her tangled blonde hair a sweet smile and a nod as she turned about and disappeared through the double door.

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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Chapter Six

Spoiler:
The year is 1728. It’s been eight years since I signed up as cabin boy with the Misty Lady crew. Now, at the age of twenty-one, I had gone from humble cabin boy to Chief Gunner. While from time to time Captain Teague would step up to command, it was always Captain Isabela Sparrow who kept her men in line, running a tight but merry ship all the same. Once you really started to get to know the devilish woman, she would tear down her psychopathic demeanor to that of a very pleasant woman, who took the cares and concerns of her crew very seriously. She, just like her husband, believed in share and share alike. Every man was paid equally, even herself. She was a captain who believed that she had to fight for her income, not steal portions of men’s hard work and labor. She was a fair and honest captain, always telling the men who or what they were after, with no hidden agenda of her own. All the more reason why we continued to follow her rather than elect ourselves a new captain. Isabela had made it very clear to us all that she would not tolerate mutiny of any sort when Jackal, the ship’s former Bo’sun, challenged her captaincy. He believed that he was too strong to be commanded by a woman... Unfortunately, he was not as skilled in the cutlass as our dear Lady Captain was. After she gutted him in front of the crew, she ordered my gunners to load Mr. Jackal into the cannon and blast him to the depths of Davy Jones’ Locker... I can still see the blood cascade across the horizon after the cannon was lit...

While Captain Teague was back on Shipwreck Island, dealing with Rogue Piracy in his waters, the crew of The Misty Lady continued to prowl the high seas in search of fat and slow merchant vessels carrying rich cargo that we would in turn sell to the harbormasters of Tortuga where they would in turn put on the Black Market, generating our earnings. The only trouble now was watching out for those rogue vessels who operated outside the laws and guidelines of The Pirate Code. These Rogues were known to even attack other pirate ships, which had created this rift between the Brethren and the Rogues. So, as the story goes, The Misty Lady was sailing from the volcanic island of Padres del Fuego after setting up a pirate compound on shore when she was spotted; a square rigged maroon galleon, flying no colors, yet setting her course was directly at The Lady. Isabela, through her spyglass, looked more pissed off than worried. Arno and I dashed up to the Captain as she stared out to the horizon.
“Friend or foe, Ma’am?” asked Arno in his thick French accent. Isabela lowered her spyglass and spat on the ground.
“No friend of mine...” she grumbled as she walked up towards the helm. “All hands at the ready! Heave to and run out the sweeps! We’re to end this once and for all! Run out the guns Mr. McSkull! And hold for my signal!”
“Aye Captain!” I yelled back, still confused as to who was attacking us. I ran down to the gun deck, barking orders to the men to prep the cannons, load the guns and hold for The Captain’s signal. As time began to pass and the enemy ship came closer and closer into range, still there was no word from The Captain. Then, after two hours of silence, Isabela yelled across the waters,
“Strike yer colors you cock-handed deck apes!” along with a shot from her pistol. As the shot echoed through the air, there was a chorus of laughter that came from the other ship. Enraged, Isabela flung down her coat, withdrew her two cutlasses, and began to run at the other ship. With a swing from the rope and a huge leap, we all watched in amazement as Isabela landed perfectly onboard the other ship, holding her cutlasses at the ready in the center of a circle of pirates.
“Rogues?” I asked Arno. The Frenchman shook his head.
“They’d be flyin’ the Red Flag if they were Rogues, Hector.”
“They could easily be flyin’ under false colors.” I spat back.
“All the more reason for us to aide our Captain!” said Arno as he drew his sword and grabbed for a rope. “Prepare to board! Protect the Captain!” he barked down to the crew. A boarding party of twelve men began to toss over grappling hooks. I cocked my pistol loaded and swung over to the enemy ship, drawing out another pistol and pointing both sets of guns at two pirates. In response, they both drew their pistols and aimed them at me. A small melee was beginning to unfurl on the deck as I ducked both sets of shots and fired my pistols. One shot merely grazed the man’s leg but the other shot found it’s home in the stomach of the other.
“ENOUGH!” boomed a voice from the stern. His voice was deep and gruff, with a hint of sophistication and a strange familiarity. “This is between me and her! No one else need get involved!” The battle ceased as men began to part ways, clearing a path for the man with the familiar voice. Boot steps were heard as the man made his way down the stairs of the stern and began to walk towards Captain Isabela. Tall, dark, and unfazed, this very familiar man came closer and closer into view. His dark brown greying hair was slicked back and tied in a small tail. His once auburn beard had strong hints of white in it, but the rest of his features remained unchanged; as if I was looking at the same man I remembered fifteen years ago. Dressed in a long black coat, a plain white shirt, black trousers and boots, the man walked to Captain Isabela, unarmed.
“What’s this all about, Isabela? For a second there, I mistook you for a Rogue, up until seeing that familiar ship of yours.” said Captain James Flint, captain of The Walrus, which we were currently aboard, and former First Mate of my father. Isabela spat on his boots.
“Surprised you recognize her after what you last done to her, Flint.”
“Isabela, dear... It was thirteen years ago.” said Flint.
“Aye! Thirteen years ago you humiliated us and cut us out of the fortune!” shrieked Isabela.
“It’s all just business, really my dear.” said Flint, as he tried to place his hands gently on both of Isabela’s drawn swords, lowering them. Isabela stood her ground.
“I’ve been searchin’ for you for a long while, Flint. I want my cut, and I’ve come to collect.”
“What entitles you to this mess of gold?” said a voice from behind Isabela. We turned to find a man, dressed in a blue naval officer’s short coat, wearing a sly grin on his face; but what really distinguished this man was the loss of his right leg. He held on to support by use of a crutch tucked under his arm. Isabela snorted a chuckle.
“Mr. Silver, as charming as ever, though not all in one piece as I remember.”
“Aye, times have been hard, that’s for sure. Which is why we all deserve what we’ve fought for.” said John Silver. Isabela growled at him.
“You made us sacrifice almost all we had. We had to claw our way back to respect because of what you and your bastard captain did to our name! Not to mention the bloody war you started on the shores of Nassau!” she said, turning back to Flint.
“I was saving the island from the clutches of a bloody madman you call a husband occupying the fort!” spat back Flint.
“It was your fucking conspiracy with the blonde bitch that unravelled the whole situation from the start!” Isabela retorted. Flint rolled his eyes as Isabela continued to pace back and forth, stalking her prey like a lioness in the sahara.
“My plans for Nassau were almost destroyed thanks to your dysfunctional crew. I don’t blame your men for wanting to turn their backs on you and join the winning side.” Flint smirked.
“Your plans? Or your secret lover’s?” Isabela grinned maliciously. Just as Flint was about to draw his cutlass, I interjected,
“If I may be so bold, Captain Sparrow?” I piped up. Now all eyes were on me, especially Flint’s eyes. He scanned me up and down, studying my face for a long while as I began to approach.
“I know it’s been quite some time, Captain Flint, but...” before I could finish, tears began to form in this ferocious pirate captain’s eyes.
“By God! Hector McSkull!” and, without even thinking, Flint ran up and put his arms around me, squeezing me into a bear hug similar to Bronze John’s hugs. “I thought we’d lost you that day!”
“It’s incredible to see you, Flint! But,” I parted with him for a second “how did you survive?”
“Survive?” asked John Silver. Flint turned to Silver as he put his arm around my shoulder as he presented me to his crew.
“THIS, gentlemen, is Henry McSkull’s own son! He’s one of us!” the crew cheered when Flint was finished. He then turned his attention towards Silver. “I was First Mate onboard The Victory Eagle, the flagship of the McSkull Flotilla. This ship, The Walrus, sailed underneath Henry’s colors, as did Henry’s wife Elizabeth’s ship, The Dynasty. Together, the three of us commanded a crew that puts even Captain Teague’s army to shame.” he grinned at Isabela, who scoffed and leaned against the side of the railing. I began to peal away Flint’s arm, who gave me a look of confusion.
“I don’t mean any offense by this, old friend, but I have a different life now. I walked a path that led me to the care, protection, and crew of Captain Teague and Isabela Sparrow...” I began to step back, forming a group of Misty Lady crewmembers and Isabela, who stared daggers into Flint. Flint’s mouth opened to speak, but couldn’t form the words. “In the memory of my mother and father, your captains that you followed without question,” I started, looking at Flint, and then to Isabela, then back to Flint, “I propose that you two call a truce and take up arms together.”
“WHAT?!” Flint and Isabela spat simultaneously. Isabela was just about to reach for a dagger when Flint raised his hand to stop her. “No! No...the boy is right. This feud needs to end.”
“I wasn’t the one who shot first...” snarled Isabela. Flint’s nostrils flared.
“You and your band of cutthroats WERE when you sided with Singleton to cheat me out of the captaincy!”
“And you returned the favor by bombarding Nassau! After Edward and I saved your ungrateful arse from the Governor of Charleston! You were and still are drunk with power!” spat Isabela.
“ENOUGH!” I shouted at both of them, all eyes back on me again. “We need more people in unison rather than fractured apart! We’re all already dealing with the Rogue Pirate invasion, there’s no need to pick at old wounds!”
“Arrr... He’s right.” said Isabela, as she sheathed her swords. “A proposed alliance...?” she asked, a little reluctantly as she held out her hand for Flint. Looking at the outstretched hand and then back to me, Flint’s eyes squinted with a mixture of hatred for me at that moment and compassion for a longing to reconnect with his friend’s son. He looked back at Isabela, took her hand, and kissed it, the whiskers of his beard brushing against her smooth hands.
“We will join you.” said Flint. Both crews celebrated by throwing their hats up in the air. And so began a series of events that would inevitably lead up to the discovery of Treasure Island... All in good time, of course.
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:36 pm

Chapter Seven

Spoiler:
Seven years have passed since the alliance between Isabela and Flint occurred. The year was 1735. I was a strapping man of twenty eight, now serving as quartermaster to Captain Isabela Sparrow. The business with the Rogues had been dealt with. We had stayed out of the fray by direct order of Captain Teague. We were to continue to hunt and thieve and pillage, but also sink any man waving the red flag of Rogue Piracy. Thankfully at this point in our story, most, if not all, of the rogues had scattered and disappeared. So, we all turned our attention to what was most important: the money. Along with our mutual partner Flint, Isabela and I collected enough gold to govern and finance more than half of The New World. So grateful for the wealth and infamy I had showered her in, Isabela and I secretly began an illicit love affair under the noses of Captain Teague and Captain Flint. The night after the deal was struck with Flint, she had me locked in her cabin as she offered herself to me. I had only ever been with one woman before, and that was years past. Isabela was a completely different kind of woman. Where I had heard sweet harps strumming in the moonlight with Scarlett, I heard the sounds of tribal drums rattle through my skull as Isabela attacked me with her body. She was warm and soft, yet she moved with a tenacity that taught me many new tricks. She was as ferocious as she was tender. Life was going well for us.
And it soon became just the two of us in this partnership. Three years back, the sickness struck Captain Flint. It wasn’t such a deadly disease as scurvy or the pox, but a sickness of the mind. Greed had begun to cloud Flint’s judgement. He became overly protective of his portions of the treasure we all plundered, especially the money he had earned years and years ago from the shipwrecked Spanish Treasure Fleet galleon, L’Urca del Lima. Last we made contact with Flint, he had sailed to an island, untraceable on the compass or on a map, and stashed his loot there. It was said by his wife Miranda Barlow, before he died in his stately house in Savannah, Georgia, that Flint had shot all of his accomplices so that no one but him would know the true location of the treasure. Now, three years later, that treasure was just itching to be taken.

On Monday, in late afternoon in Bristol, Isabela and I had slunk away to her cabin for a bit of rough when on deck, the bells were chimed twice, indicating the arrival of The Walrus Crew, now shipless and penniless. We were too involved with one another to realize the Misty Lady had visitors. As Isabela pinned me to my back and straddled me, I ripped off her trousers, not hearing the sound of the door open and close. Just as we were about to finish, I looked over to the far end of the cabin to see John Silver, standing there with his grin on his face as if nothing in the world was wrong. I stopped immediately and tried to throw Isabela down to cover her. Confused at first but then fully aware of the situation, she reached for her pistol on the desk counter and aimed it directly at the sea cook’s heart.
“Oh, don’t stop on my account, love.” Silver said.
“Squawk! Give it to me! Squawk! Give it to me!” mocked the bird on Silver’s shoulder, impersonating Isabela’s moans and cries.
“Lock the door.” I spat, venomously at Silver. He nodded, hobbling over to the door and turning the lock to the side. When he turned around, he found my pistol cocked and aimed at him as well.
“Perhaps I should’ve filed for an appointment upstairs.” he chuckled.
“What the devil are you doing here, Silver?” hissed Isabela as she covered herself with the bedding sheets. Silver began to hobble closer to us, causing us to fidget with our pistols even more. Seeing that moving was perhaps a bad idea, Silver took it upon himself to sit in the Captain’s armchair.
“Billy Bones has been spotted here.” said Silver. I lowered my pistol a little, but Isabela kept hers up. I was interested in what the cook had to say about the infamous Billy Bones, who had served as The Walrus’ first mate and had conspired with Captain Flint to keep the location of Flint’s treasure safe. Once a proud and ferocious warrior built like an ox, Billy was now a washed up captain who turned his back on the pirating life who’d gone mad from the atrocities he committed in his time as Flint’s bo’sun and first mate.
“Are you certain?” I asked through flared nostrils. Silver nodded, his bird squawking in the back “Squawk! Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight! Squawk!”
“Oh aye, folks have heard talk of a man who calls himself “The Captain” who’s taken up residence in the old Admiral Benbow Inn off the coast.” said Silver. Isabela wasn’t convinced.
“That could be any old tosser who’d gone mad with the heat and drink.” snorted Isabela. But Silver put up one finger to interject.
“Ah, but this man bears a scar across his cheek, much like our dear Bill.” said Silver. I looked at him, very skeptically.
“Why tell us all this... After what you just saw?”
“Because I want to live, mate.” he said with his signature grin on his face. “As sure as day, as soon as I hobble out of this cabin, the two of you would kill me on the spot and none would think the wiser to old Long John’s demise. So, I’m willing to strike a bargain with you two to keep this passionate love affair a secret.” I put my hand on Isabela’s pistol to lower it in good faith.
“Why?” I asked. Silver shrugged simply.
“Because I want to live. That’s always been my aim in life, lad.” he said with a crooked smile.
“Name your terms, Mr. Silver.” I said.
“From now on, during this voyage, it’ll be Captain Silver. Nothing less.” said the sea cook. I looked to Isabela, who nodded solemnly, but then raised her pistol again at Silver, who raised his hands in surrender. “I thought we were offering up parlay!”
“We have terms of our own,” said Isabela through gritted teeth. “The first term you’ve already covered; that you keep this secret. But the other term is that Hector will accompany you and your crew to this Treasure Island.” before Silver could speak up, Isabela fired her pistol at his crutch, causing the man to fall flat on his ass. As he held a broken crutch in his hand, he looked up to Isabela grabbing for my pistol and aiming it at his head. “No exceptions. Hector will be there as coverage. Just in case you start to flap your scurvy rotten gums too much, Mr. McSkull will be there to put a ball of iron through your smart brain. Not to mention he will have his cut of the treasure that we all worked to get. Am I clear... Captain Silver?” she said, though the words stung on her tongue. As Silver started to hoist himself up by the desk, he looked at both of us and signed,
“Transparently, Captain Sparrow...” Silver then went on to explain that he had already sent Black Dog, one of Flint’s old crew mates, to greet old Billy Bones in the Benbow Inn to try and persuade him to give up the map Flint gave to him. As he was about to leave, collecting his parrot and clutching on to the doorknob, he turned to us and said, “Ah, best put some clothes on, Mr. McSkull. We’ve a venture underway.” he winked, and then walked out the door, his bloody parrot still squawking as the doors closed behind him. Isabela, in a fit of rage, fired my pistol she was holding into the ground, creating a small smoking hole in the center.
“Darling, we can work through this...” I tried to comfort her by rubbing my hands down her shoulders, but she swatted off my hands as she got up and began to dress frantically.
“Can we trust that bleeding sod?! I’m sure by now the whole crew knows due to his treacherous nature... Oh, Hector... if Teague ever finds out, it’s the end for both of us...” this was the first time having ever sailed with Isabela where she was visibly terrified. And rightly so, if Teague were to find out about our love, we’d be hung by our thumbs over the port and starboard sides and stoned until death. I got up from the bed, pulling up my trousers, and grabbed Isabela into a hug.
“Have faith, love. We both know how Silver really operates. His only goal in the end is to survive. Always has been, always will be. Remember those stories you use to tell me about the Urca adventure? Silver hasn’t changed since then.” My words somehow calmed Isabela for a moment. I kissed her and then went off to put on my shirt, vest, and long coat. As I went to place my father’s hat atop my head, I thought twice and stowed it in my bag. Now, having gained a reputation as the Misty Lady’s ruthless quartermaster, the large feathered hat would give away my identity during this voyage. I turned to Isabela, who was just draped in her captain’s coat, nothing more, held her shoulders, and kissed her ever so passionately on the lips. “I’ll be back to you in no time, darling,” I said as I started to walk towards the cabin door “with riches beyond your wildest dreams!” As I exited the cabin and began to make my way down the gangway into Bristol, I wish that I had known at that moment that that would’ve been the last time I see the crew of the Misty Lady and Isabela...
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:37 pm

Chapter Eight

Spoiler:
I went to meet with Silver and a few of his mates in Silver’s Spyglass Tavern, a run down hole-in-the-wall shanty which served the best damn food on the coast; all thanks to the sea cook’s cooking of course. Flint’s old crew were all sitting in a dark corner at a large round table, discussing plans and drinking heavily. As I entered the tavern, there was an audible hush from the crowd, except for the hobbling of Silver’s crutch as he began to make his way towards me.
“It’s all right, ladies and gents! It’s all right. Back to your business.” he said, as he snapped for the musicians to start up again as he started to escort me to the back table. “Quite the reputation you uphold, Mr. McSkull.” said Silver with a laugh “Must’ve been from all those years of just taking what you fancied.” he winked. Fire clouded my vision as I kicked out Silver’s crutch and watched him plop to the ground, much to the laughter of the patrons.
“Best watch what you say, Captain,” I said, offering him a hand. He looked up to me, snorted, but then grinned and hoisted himself up. As we continued to the back, I started to examine who was left of The Walrus crew; there was Job Anderson, the ship’s bo’sun, George Merry who was Silver’s right hand man and chief recruiter for the crew, Tom Morgan the lookout, Shady O’Brien, and Israel Hands, the coxswain and Flint’s old gunner, said to have sailed with Blackbeard during The Golden Age. Merry looked me up and down in confusion, then shot his eyes to Silver.
“What’s Isabela’s lapdog doin’ here? This be a Walrus expedition only.”
“Says who?” I asked Merry, as I pushed Silver aside and approached him as he was seated. He stood up, his hand on the hilt of his cutlass.
“Says I... We be the ones who bled and sacrificed for this loot and we--” before he could finish, I backhanded him. He slumped back in his chair as the four other pirates shot up, knives and pistols aimed at me. I, in return, pulled out two pistols and aimed one at Mr. Hands and one at Mr. Merry, to Silver’s dismay.
“Don’t you forget why there is so much treasure to be found, lads. Don’t you forget who increased your fame and fortune. It was I who brokered an alliance between The Walrus and The Misty Lady. We’re all one crew now, lads. Have been for seven years and going still. But, with these words Mr. Merry’s startin’ to throw around, this be soundin’ like mutiny. And as YOUR quartermaster, it be my duty to snuff out vile betrayers such as yourselves. Is that what I am to understand?!” My speech made Morgan, O’Brien and Anderson reconsider their positions as they slowly stowed away their weaponry and sat down, but Israel Hands and George Merry still stood their ground.
“I don’t take orders from you, McSkull.” spat Israel. I nodded.
“You’re right, you don’t take orders from me,” I said, stowing away my pistols. “You take orders from him.” I pointed to Silver. “He’s your captain. And, what does the captain say about our situation, Captain Silver?” I turned to him, lowering my pistol, but clicking it loaded just in case I didn’t like his answer. Looking down at the loaded gun and then to me, he turned to his crew and said,
“Mr. McSkull is my quartermaster now, gents. If anyone has a problem with that, you’re more than welcome to walk away from this venture.” as Hands and Merry began to slowly sit down, nodding in sullen agreement, the doors of the Spyglass Tavern bursted open, revealing a bloody and disheveled Black Dog. Silver and I quickly rushed towards the man, who was about to faint.
“Take him to the back!” shouted Silver as I put one of Dog’s arms around my shoulder and held him up for support as the rest of the pirates ushered themselves into the back of the pub.

Laying Black Dog down on a table, I removed his coat and shirt to reveal the wound. A long gash down his left shoulder dripped with blood. He spat on the floor, sitting himself up as Morgan held a cold compress over it.
“Compliments of our Mr. Billy Bones.” growled Dog. Silver rolled his eyes and sighed.
“Never send a rabid dog to do a man’s job...” he then turned to his desk and fished around for a black card. Upon retrieving one, he wrote on it in bold letters “TONIGHT” then reached for a stick of black wax. After melting it and forming the hot wax into a circle, he blew on the card for it to cool down and then handed it to Israel. “Go wake Blind Pew out of the gutter and give this to him. Tell him to go to the Admiral Benbow Inn, seek out our old friend Bones and place this in his hand.”
“Aye, Silver.” said Israel as he walked off. I looked at Silver for a conformation.
“Ye’ve marked him?” I asked. Silver nodded.
“Aye, he’s marked with The Black Spot. Sharpen your blades, lads. We’re goin’ a hunting tonight.”

As soon as Blind Pew finished the job and returned to the Spyglass that night, Silver told us to ready the horses and make our way to Black Hill Cove. As the night sky began to gloss over the heavens, a full moon began to rise, blood red in the sky.
“There’ll be murder tonight, boys!” I said, looking up at the moon, causing the men to cheer. As we galloped towards the Cove, we tied the horses off near a bridge and continued on foot. As we dashed up the road towards the inn, we drew our cutlasses and pistols at the ready, expecting to be greeted with a host of men either loyal to Billy or of The Law. When we finally reached the old building, Pew knocked Israel aside and barked at Morgan and O’Brien to “Break down the door!” The two men complied, ramming both their shoulders into the wooden door, which fell with a thud. I led the men as we rushed in, leaving Old Pew behind guarded by Morgan and O’Brien. Before we even made it up to the guest rooms, we were ransacking the place for loot, clues, and any trace of Bones. I rushed up the stairs, bursting open every door, finding each room empty or stripped bare until I reached the final room. Kicking in the door, I looked around and found him lying on the bed. I knelt down to the bed, pistol in hand, and checked for a pulse.
“Dead, the old blighter...” I cursed. I ran to Billy’s window and shouted down to Pew.
“The old sea dog is dead!” This only made Pew curse at us for taking far too long to report.
“Search him! And the rest of the bloody building! Find that map!” he yelled up. I began to search Billy’s body, looking aimlessly for his key to the chest, coming up empty handed.
“Billy’s been searched!” I yelled through the inn, pocketing a small purse the thieves had neglected to check for. I started to walk down the stairs, hearing the smashing and rummaging for Billy’s contents when we heard a gasp from the parlor. As we made our way over, we found Israel hunched over Billy’s open sea chest, desperately searching for the captain’s log.
“Flint’s fist is gone!” he shouted. Pew cursed and cursed again.
“It’s that bloody boy and his bloody mother who run this inn! I should’ve gouged both th’re eyes out with me own hands! Scatter and look for ‘em!” said Pew. I went outside to the blind man and got in his face.
“There ain’t any bloody sign of anyone or anything. We’ve searched it from top to bottom.” Not liking my response, Pew beat me over the head with his walking stick.
“Search it again!” As he tried to swing at me once more, I grabbed his stick, knocked his face in with it, and snapped it in half.
“I don’t take orders from filthy lowland rats like you, Pew!” I spat as he tried to get himself up, but then turned as two whistles were heard across the horizon and the galloping of hooves echoed in the night.
“It’s the bloody watch!” said Morgan. O’Brien came out of the house, two sacks of dubloons in hand.
“Then let’s take what we’ve got and get out of here!” he said, only to be smacked in the back of the head by Pew.
“We keep searchin’!” he barked, only to be silenced by my fist in his face.
“Hang it all! We head back now!” I ordered, as we all ran towards our tied horses, hearing Pew’s cries of “You wouldn’t leave Old Pew, mates! Not me! Not Old Pew! Don’t go!” As soon as we made way and galloped to safety, we heard it. The crunch of hooves meeting into flesh and crushing bones. Old Pew was stone cold dead as we rode away in the night.
“Stupid blighter...” I said under my breath as we continued to make our way back to The Spyglass.

It had been several days until we heard anything about any sort of expedition to the mysterious island. I had assumed that the boy would recruit the help of a family doctor Black Dog had mentioned and said doctor would provide the means to get a venture underway. I was nearly about to sign off on this fantasy and return to my piratical career when one day Silver burst through the doors of the tavern and barked at us to go back into his office. I noticed a spring in the sea cook’s hobble and his grin was even wider than ever. As he ushered us all into his quarters, he slammed the door behind him, causing his parrot Flint to squawk to high heavens.
“We’ve been recruited! The boy’s found the map and got himself friends in high places, financing the expedition!” he jumped with joy as he slammed a letter down on the table. After examination, the letter bore the seal of one Squire John Trelawney, an aloof aristocrat who’s lips were as loose as a back alley whore. “We set sail aboard the Hispaniola this comin’ mornin’. Sharpen your blades and your wits, lads. The game’s afoot!”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Chapter Nine
Spoiler:
Morning rose over Bristol as I finished packing my seabag and made way for the docks, not caring to breakfast with Long John as he entertained the squire, a doctorly fellow and a young boy. To draw less attention to myself, I tied my auburn brown hair in a blue bandana and stuffed my black coat along with my other effects into my seabag. Wearing a plain white shirt and a sailor’s vest, I looked like one of the crew. And that was the point; to blend in and not get caught. To accomplish our goal, I had instructed everyone that before the mutiny they were to call me O’Malley after an old family name of mine and posed as a gunner for the three month voyage.
When arriving at the Hispaniola, I took a minute to take in our ship; she wasn’t a typical square rigged schooner, but she was no Misty Lady. She’d do well for the voyage, but if our suspicions about the amount of gold were correct, she wouldn’t be able to carry the load. Climbing up the gangplank, I could hear the morning orders from the First Mate, his bold booming officer’s voice addressing the men to have the ship prepared by the tide. Moving past a mob of frenzied sailors, I made my way up to the quarterdeck to sign in with the First Mate; a monstrously built naval officer, his head covered with a powdered wig and his face strong and lean, without any blemish or scar. He wore the traditional garb of naval lieutenant topped with a black tricorn hat. This was Mr. Arrow, right hand man of Captain Alexander Smollet, who’d had a few run ins with my crew in the Caribbean under orders from former Governor Woodes Rogers. Discretion was of the utmost importance now.
“Ahoy, sir! O’Malley reportin’ for duty, sir!” I said, dropping my seabag and giving a small salute of respect. Arrow turned his attention towards me, not cracking a smile. I was sure he’d recognize me as Isabela’s quartermaster, meaning an end to mine and Silver’s enterprise. But, he merely eyed me up and down and barked.
“Step to it then! As chief gunner, it’s your responsibility to keep these cannons clean! Now work man! Work!” he pointed at the guns. I nodded and dashed off to see to the guns, working next to Israel, who gave me a nod as went on with his work. It wasn’t soon after when the whistle was blown, indicating all hands on deck as Captain Smollet walked up the gangplank, greeted by a line of saluting sailors. A foot shorter than Arrow, but sharing the same stoic face as his comrade, Captain Smollet was draped in a long black cloak, hiding the gold brigaded captain’s jacket he wore underneath. For quite some time, Smollet walked slowly around the entirety of the Hispaniola, nodding here and there, until finally returning to the quarterdeck.
“Mr. Arrow!” he called. The First Mate approached the captain and saluted. “I’ve checked this miserable creaking tub from stem to stern and, as usual!... It’s spot on! Can you get nothing wrong, old friend?” he said with a short smile. Mr. Arrow tipped his hat.
“A great honor, sir.” said Arrow as Smollet shook the man’s hand.
“It’s perhaps the only good thing about this godforsaken voyage...” said Smollet under his breath as Squire Trelawney, the doctor, and the young boy named Jim Hawkins walked up the gangway followed shortly by the hobbling of Silver. Upon seeing the party, Captain Smollet went after the trio. Without even passing of kind remarks, I heard the captain grumble to the squire “My office. Now.” and stormed off towards his cabin, expecting Trelawney, the doctor, and young Master Hawkins to follow. Before I could finish my thought, Arrow barked out.
“Enough standing around! Back to work!”

The launch from the docks was nothing special. By ten o’clock that same day we were underway and sailing for adventure. The excitement didn’t start until about the second half of our voyage. The crew was starting to get unnerved at Long John’s never ending attention towards young Hawkins. Hands and I started to wonder if Long John was losing perspective, which only drove Hands to drastic measures. Against my counsel, Hands devised a plan where Hawkins would be blamed for an atrocity on deck. His opportune moment came during the first typhoon of our voyage. As the men scrambled about on the orders of Mr. Arrow, Captain Smollet instructed that all those who were climbing the rigging to secure their lifelines and made Mr. Hawkins double check the lines, to make sure that no man fell overboard.. Mr. Arrow led the charge up the rigging to protect the main mast and square rigged sails followed up a motley crew of men. As I watched below from the gun decks, securing the cannons down so they wouldn’t rock and roil under the pressure of the waves, I saw it happen. Mr. Arrow was at the top of the main mast, when Israel Hands came out of the shadows, offering to help the First Mate, but as the ship hit a bump, Mr. Arrow flew from the mast and hung suspended in the air by the lifeline. As he desperately tried to claw his way back up the rope, Mr. Hands unsheathed a knife from his belt and hacked at the line. In seconds, Mr. Arrow was plummeting to his watery grave, his screams muffled by the crash of thunder in the air. When the weather finally passed, the crew began to celebrate their good fortune. As we all wiped off the excess water on our persons, I looked over to the squire and the doctor, who both looked worse for wear and downright seasick, yet relieved all the same, praising Captain Smollet’s actions; no doubt trying to get back into the captain’s good graces.
“What don’t we say lads, we give three cheers to our brave captain!” said Silver as he hobbled into view, a smile on his face and his hand patting Jim’s shoulder, who was beaming. The men cheered again for the Captain, who silenced them with a smile and raised hands.
“Well I, uh, must congratulate YOU, Mr. Silver,” started Smollet as he began to walk down from the helm. “It seems your cabin boy did a bang up job with those lifelines.” he gave a wink to Jim as he and Silver pushed each other playfully. Smollet turned his attention to the crew at large. “All hands accounted for Mr. Arrow?” There was a prolonged silence after the order. The crew began to look around left and right, looking for the First Mate, but I kept my eyes glued to Hands as he began to approach the captain with Mr. Arrow’s hat in his hands. He wore a saddened face well, the old trickster.
“I’m afraid...” he began in a mournful tone, “that Mr. Arrow has been lost...” He handed the hat to Smollet, who tried not to show shock or alarm on his face. “His lifeline wasn’t secured.” All eyes were on Jim, who’s face went white.
“No! I checked them all, sir!” he exclaimed, and dashed over to the base of the main mast, where there was one vacant notch missing a rope. Jim stared at it in horror and disbelief then turned back to the whole crew, who stared at Jim with disappointment. All he could mutter was “I swear...” over and over. I walked over to Silver and looked over to Israel, who gave us both a smug smile. The look on Silver’s face was that of defiance. Hands was taking it upon himself to commit the mutiny ahead of schedule. Without the island’s bearings, we had nothing. We had to continue to pose as honest sailors of the Hispaniola, not vicious murderers... Not yet at least.

I stood watch that night. Stationed at the bow, I turned around when i heard two voices chattering on deck. To my surprise, when I turned around, Long John was hugging a crying Jim Hawkins, comforting him with coos of “It’s alright lad... It’s alright...” You’re losing perspective, Silver, I thought to myself. Unless you’re planning on bringing him over to our cause, here’s nothing but a means to and end. I doubt he’d even join up with the lot of us. The boy’s too honorable and would, without a doubt, sell us out to the captain or the doctor or the squire. We can’t risk it all just because Silver found a boy to take under his wing. Looking up at the rigging, I saw Mr. Hands staring murderously at the pair. Turning his gaze towards me, he cocked a wicked grin as he unsheathed his knife, pointed down at Silver and Hawkins, and mimicked his knife cutting a throat. Hands’ performance distracted the presence of Silver, who had hobbled up to me without my knowledge.
“Alright, ‘O’Malley’, time for my watch to start. Get some shut eye, mate.” said Silver with a smile. I snapped out of my trance, eyed him up and down then nodded my thanks. Just before I could take off, Silver grabbed my arm with his hand. “Be down in the galley by sunrise.” he looked at me with his piercing blue eyes that, for a moment, stung in my soul. I stared back and nodded.
“Aye, I’m sure you have some explaining yourself to do.” as I said that, I looked down at the stairs where Jim had just walked down, and walked away from the old scallywag.
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Chapter Ten

(This chapter will chronicle the mutiny and the beginning of the shore adventure)

Chapter Eleven

(This will chronicle the rest of the shore adventure and the discovery of the treasure)

Chapter Twelve

(This will chronicle my escape with Silver, up to us rowing away in the longboat)
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:39 pm

Chapter Thirteen

Spoiler:
As I sat across from Long John, counting the loot in the stolen purse for a third time, Silver looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world. His happy-go-lucky demeanor returned as he swung back and forth and back and forth, rowing far away from the Hispaniola and to the coast of Bristol.
“Was he worth it, John?” I asked after a while. He took a pause from his rowing and sighed heavily. He placed his tricorn hat down on his lap and rubbed his head.
“Me wife Max and I have been tryin‘ to conceive a child for over two years now. I guess me past actions and deeds caught up with me, and the Good Lord punished both of us for it. I thought that if I could take young Jim under my wing, then maybe I could redeem meself and Max. To start a family...”
“Well, maybe you have.” I said. He looked up at me, thinking that I was mocking him. “I’m serious, mate. The way you treated Hawkins throughout the whole voyage, how you turned your back on your crew and focused primarily on young Jim’s safety; I’d say that’s pretty redeemable, Silver.” He smiled at that and nodded, continuing to row. “I on the other hand,” I started, rummaging through my seabag and dusting off my father’s hat as I placed it atop my head, “have nothing to show for my hard labors... And now must sail back to the Caribbean empty handed.”
“You’re going back?” Silver asked in a little bit of a surprise. I shrugged.
“Aye, the sea is in my blood, mate. I know you’ve settled down with Max and are tryin’ to start a life, but I just don’t have that luck, John.”
“What about Isabela?” he asked. That was honestly the first time since leaving The Misty Lady where I had even thought about my captain. Isabela... how she used to fill my days and nights with absolute joy and pleasure. But now, three months later, was the spark finally flickering out? For all I had known, she’d patched things up with Teague now and was back to being his Pirate Bride.
“There’s no future with her, mate. My future is out there...” I pointed behind me, towards the rising sun as is shown orange on the bay. “Over the horizon and across the seas. Past the edges of the map. I’m ready to see it all.”
“Well then, I hope ye find it someday, Hector McSkull.” said Silver, flashing me his signature grin.

By noon that same day, Silver and I had reached Bristol’s harbor. He and I quickly scurried off towards the Spyglass Tavern, to avoid arrest or recognition from the local police force, who were now hot on our tails after the Hispaniola dropped anchor two hours prior. Silver offered me a room to stay in for a while until I was able to locate a ship heading back to the Caribbean. After three days of listening carefully to the sea-faring folk who frequented the Spyglass, I overheard two drunken men boasting how they were setting sail the next morning aboard a merchant ship called the Princess. I knew of the Princess rather well. She’d been a target of Isabela’s for quite some time. The Princess used to be a slaver ship owned by the Royal African Company and was the first ship Bartholomew Roberts sailed under. She was now a merchant mariner ship, trading in English goods that she would sell to the Caribbean and Americas. Fortunately, the Princess was leaving berth and heading back to the islands; just where I needed to go. So, I packed up my seabag, collected the small chunk of loot from the previous adventure, and said my goodbyes to Silver and his wife Max. I had told them both that if they’re ever “in the neighborhood” just to “keep a weather eye on the horizon until they see black sails. Until then, fair winds to you both.” I kissed Max’s outstretched hand and hugged Silver. He and I still weren’t straight about the entire incident regarding my affair, but over the past three months, he was my closest friend. As I stepped outside, I saw that the two drunk gentlemen were making their way towards the dock and quickly tried to catch up with them. The Princess came into view quickly as the sun shown down on the harbor. She was a modest ship, a square rigged brigantine who flew the King’s colors high. Rather than signing up with a crew of the King’s men all over again, I decided this time to simply sneak onboard. At the edge of the harbor, I threw my seabag into the water, watching it float up to the surface, and dove into the bay behind the Princess. As I climbed up the bulkhead, I peered over the edge to see if any man was on watch. To my good fortune, the deck was deserted, save for the two drunks who had just stumbled up the gangway and disappeared below decks. I hopped up onboard, my seabag in hand, and quickly made a bee-line run below decks. I could hear the chatter and commotion of the crew playing cards or singing their shanties, could see the dim glows of the lights from cabins, and could see one of those lights growing bigger and bigger as I heard the footsteps of someone approaching. Thinking fast, I ducked in one of the dimly lit cabins and shut the door behind me. When I turned around to examine my new “prison cell”, I looked down at the cot to see that it was already being occupied. Sitting up, his long brown hair in his eyes and his face contorted into fear, a young boy looked up at me from that cot. Just as he was about to speak, I drew my pistol and pointed it at the boy.
“Not one word, lad.” I said, as I put one finger over my lips. Regardless, the boy opened his mouth.
“Don’t tell anyone I’m here...” he said sheepishly. Puzzled, I began to lower my gun.
“A stowaway, boyo?” I asked, plopping my seabag down with a thud. He looked down at it, then looked back up, a little flash in his eyes.
“No doubt you’re the same.” he said.
“Ah, a smart-mouth eh?” I snorted, raising the gun again, but halting halfway in the air. Something on the boy’s chest caught my eye. The flash of gold bounced off the candlelight. As I tried to take a closer look, the boy instinctly stuffed the piece down his shirt, covering his chest with his hand. “A little too protective over a small piece of swag, eh boy?”
“It was a gift from my father.” he said. I nodded, a little impressed.
“Seems as if your father’s well-off.”
“I wouldn’t know, sir...” he said, looking off to the side. Now it started to make sense.
“Ah.... Sorry lad.”
“No need, sir. I’m off to try and find him now. That’s why I’m here. Last I heard, from overhearing conversations in local taverns, my father was in the New World.”
“Who be your father, lad?” I asked, taking a seat across from him. For a second, the two of us must’ve forgotten that I held a gun to the boy.
“Bill Turner’s his name.” he said. “My name is Will. Will Turner.”
“Well, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Master Turner,” I said, offering up a hand to shake. “Hector McSkull.” the boy took my hand and shook. Bill Turner, I thought to myself. Any relation to Bootstrap Turner? I’ve never known the man personally, but heard of a few tales about the sailor. An honorable man who had even sailed with Jack Sparrow for a time. Oh Jack... My mind began to wander for a second, thinking of my old friend. I’d heard of his tales through the grape vine aboard the Misty Lady, but otherwise had no contact with the tyro captain. Snapping out of my day-dreaming, I turned my attention back to young Will.
“Well, Master Turner... Seeing that you and I are in a similar predicament, what d’you say we set up a flag of truce and look out for each other durin’ this voyage? I’ll locate food for us both while you keep an eye out for any unfriendly folk who might come a knockin’.”
“Sounds like a fair deal, Mr. McSkull.” said Will.
“Call me Hector, lad.” I said, patting him on the back. “And if any sailors do come round our little protected cabin, give me a holler and I’ll deal with the shankers.” I said, placing a hand on the hilt of my blade. Will nodded, with a smile on his face.
“Aye aye, Hector.”

Throughout the voyage, Will and I began to talk more openly and freely. Without fully delving into my piratical exploits, I shared my adventures with the boy; stories of swordfights and treasure hunts and voyages beyond the edges of the map that delighted and dazzled the eight year old boy. He in turn shared with me his story. Born in Scotland, he was the only child of Bill and Arabella Turner, names at that time that meant nothing to me at all. When he was still a pup, his parents relocated to North Carolina until Bill went up and abandoned the pair. His mother moved back to England, raising Will on his own. She unfortunately passed some two months prior and now young Master Will was off to find his father in the Caribbean.
“A touching tale and daring feat, says I.” I said to Will, as I lit a rolled cigar. Will smiled and was just about to say something when we both looked up overheard. The bells were beginning to chime on deck. Rapid chiming signaled an impeding battle. We looked at one another, and bolted for the door. “Best we get topside, lad! We’d be a sittin’ duck down here in the brigs!” I barked. Will nodded and hurried up the stairs to the deck. Onboard, the men were rallying to their stations. The drums were beating as the sounds of cannons being loaded and prepped echoed through the foggy air. I heard the captain ask one of the mates “Is she flyin’ any colors?!” and the reply of “She’s flyin’ the black!” My heart skipped a beat in excitement. This pirate ship could be my salvation and ticket back to the islands. With all the years spent with Isabela and The Misty Lady, I was sure that this was somebody that I knew very well. All I’d have to do is jump and swim towards her. But after taking out my spyglass and examining the vessel, I was less that convinced. This galleon was unlike anything I had ever seen in my sea-faring years. The only recognizable piece of this ship was the skull and cross-swords of Jack Rackham... but I highly doubted this monster was related to Rackham in any which way. Her sails were severely tattered, ripping at the seams, and as black as the night sky. Her massive hull was either painted or charred the color of soot. Traveling at knot speeds nye impossible, this ghost ship was looming right towards the Princess. Across the waterways, the crashing boom of cannons erupted in the night. Wide eyed, I followed the trajectory of the cannonballs and hardly had anytime to shout out my discovery to the frantic crew.
“She’s aiming for the pow---” BOOM! The powder magazine imploded and blasted the ship open. I saw Will fly through the air in a cloud of dust and debris. I tried to run and reach out to him, but another explosion sent me back, throwing me into the dark abyss of the Caribbean sea. Coming up for air, I heard the ungodly crunching and cracking of the Princess as she was split in half, her bow quickly plummeting into the ocean while her stern was still afloat. Through the mist and smoke, I saw the face down corpses of the crew and the British flag floating away. Climbing up on a piece of un-sturdy driftwood, I coughed up a mixture of water and blood, feeling my eyelids flutter faintly. The last thing I saw before the world went black was the limp body of young Will, lying on a piece of driftwood and a black longboat on the horizon.

I awoke startled and confused. Miraculously I had somehow survived the wreck. As my eyes began to adjust to the light once again, I took a gander of my surroundings. I was onboard a ship of some sort, judging by the swaying of the cabin and the swinging of a bird’s perch. The cabin was dimly lit by candles that lined the walls and decorated the center of the dining table. Two rows of cannons lined the windows, which creaked and moaned along with the ship’s movements. Red drapes covered the windows, creating a red aura in the cabin. Whoever lives here, I thought, has quite the taste for the finer things in life. For a second, I could’ve sworn this to be Captain Teague’s cabin... Wait...
“Captain Teague!” I cried out, trying to sit up to no avail. My head pounded like a pair of tribal drums and my body ached with pain. Looking down, I had just noticed that my left arm was in a sling around my neck. When I tried to push myself up again, I felt a hand on my back gently push me back down. To my horror, I quickly shot up, ignoring the pain and tried to whip out a pistol or a dagger from my belt. I was alarmed to find myself unarmed; stripped of my effects. What was even more alarming was the presence of my captor. Towering over my bed was a shirtless dark-skinned man covered in tribal facial and body scars. Hairless and stocky, the man pushed me down again.
“Rest easy, Mr. McSkull, or dat arm of yours will neva heal.” said the man in a heavy African accent. I looked at him.
“How do you know my name?”
“You’ve got quite da reputation for yerself, sir.” said the man. For a captor, I thought, he has a nice set of manners.
“Where am I? What happened?” I asked, rubbing my head and looking around.
“You’re onboard The Black Pearl, McSkull.” he said. The Black Pearl? I don’t recall knowing any ship like this before I departed from Isabela’s employment. “We was targetin’ the brig you was aboard. There was a special item of sort that we’d been huntin’ two months for. Finding you is just a small added bonus for de captain.”
“Special item?” I asked, curious. The man said nothing, but solemnly nodded. Guessing it’s a little private. “And what’s your name? Who are you?” I asked, finding some strength to sit up.
“I was born as....” and the man began to string off a very complicated set of names from his home country “but ev’ryone knows me as Bo’sun.”
“So you’re the bo’sun?” I asked. He shook his head.
“I started off as de bo’sun under the former captain, but now serve as First Mate.”
“Quite the promotion, mate.” I said, nodding. He grinned and rushed to my side as I tried to hoist myself up again.
“You really should rest, sir.”
“Ah, rot. I can walk, Bo’sun!” I spat back.
“But de captain made it specifically clear for you to rest.” retorted Bo’sun.
“Made it clear to you, but he said nothing of any sort to me. I’d have a word or two with this demanding captain of yours.” I said, making my way across the floor. My legs felt like frayed yard line. Once or twice my right leg would give out, causing me to fall back and grab on to the wall. Upon reaching the doors, I flung one open and had to hang on to the handle for a brief second. Collecting my composure, I turned my attention towards the flight of stairs that led to the upperdeck. Suddenly, my left leg completely gave out and I crumbled to the ground, crouching in pain. Bo’sun and two other pirates ran over and surrounded me.
“Still as stubborn and defiant as ever, Hector.” said a voice from the past. I looked up at the sound of boots walking down the stairs. My eyes almost popped out of my head as I began to size up the approaching figure. Wearing fine clothes as he always did for a man of his status, topped off with his big round dark hat, the man loomed over me. His face, having grown lines with age, was still covered in pockmarks that I use to connect-the-dots with as a child. A new scar was dawned under his right eye, which was covered by strands of his auburn greying hair. His beard had gotten stragglier through the years but his smile was just as I remembered it. Full of cunning and a few gold teeth, Hector Barbossa offered me his hand, which I gladly took. Without even thinking, I found myself hung around Barbossa’s body, hugging the man and squeezing the life out of him.
“I’ve missed you, Uncle.” I said, holding back tears. He chuckled and put his arms around me.
“It’s about bloody time you showed up. You’re about twenty eight years late for yer own party.”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:41 pm

Chapter Fourteen

Spoiler:
1745: It’s been ten years since I was picked up by the crew of The Black Pearl. Finally, after twenty eight wild roving years, I was where I was meant to belong. But, even among my new family, I was out of place. It wasn’t based on how the crew treated me or anything Barbossa had done; Uncle Barbossa made me his quartermaster for heaven’s sake! No, what I meant by out of place was that I was the only member onboard the Pearl who was not inflicted with the Aztec Curse. It had started ten years and two months prior to my recruitment. Uncle Barbossa told me how he and the crew orchestrated a mutiny against Jack Sparrow.
“Wait! The Jack Sparrow?!” I asked, a little in amazement. Barbossa growled at my excitement.
“There ain’t much special about Jack, lad. We both know that I’m the more capable commander.”
“We ain’t disbutin’ that, Captain. My meaning was that I knew Jack when I was a lad. He was me first friend at sea.”
“Ah yes! When you sailed under Isabela’s captaincy!” said Barbossa with a nod. He continued on, how Sparrow had set a course to hunt the mysterious treasure of Hernan Cortes. “Everything’s an equal share aboard this vessel, lad. Which, in turn, meant the location of the treasure. So, our genius captain decided to give me the bearings to this island. That night, we struck. The crew unanimously rallied to me side and disposed of our ill-equipped captain. Aye, but I live by a code of honor, boy. I gave Jack a fightin’ chance; leavin’ him with nothin’ but his compass and a flintlock with a single shot. But I have no doubt that that’ll be the last we hear of Captain Jack Sparrow.” Barbossa went on until he reached the point in his story where the men discovered Cortes’ cache. 882 pieces of Aztec gold were pilfered that day. Celebrating, the men went back to the islands to spend and trade the pieces for drinks, food, and women of leisure. However, the pieces of gold had upon them a terrible curse. “Any man that so much as take one piece from that stone chest shall be punished for eternity... We are cursed men, son...” Sighing heavily, Barbossa got up from his seat and walked towards the cabin doors. As he opened the double doors, the moonlight shone through, hitting Barbossa. Before my eyes, his skin began to rot and fall off. His face was weathered and gaunt, with yellow eyes that gave him a sinister appearance. Even his fine clothes turned to rags, exposing the rotten chest bone underneath. I tried to make an audible scream, but my mouth was frozen in fear. “This is why we must go and get ‘em all back!” And so we did. Over the next ten years, I joined their cause and began pillaging and plundering merchant ships, royal galleons, and any other prey that held an Aztec coin onboard. In my piratical career, I had never accumulated this much treasure. Even Flint’s trove paled in comparison to the riches and wonders we collected in Isla de Muerta, the very same cove that held Cortes’ stone chest. The island served as a base of operations for Captain Barbossa. Marked on no map, Isla de Muerta could only be found by people who already knew where it was, giving the crew total and complete privacy as we sorted out affairs and dumped our gold and cargo. But the true agenda was the lost pieces of Aztec gold. Over the course of those ten years, the crew recollected all of the cursed treasure, save for one. That one was taken by, in my uncle’s words, a “yellow-bellied yeasty codpiece by the name of Bootstrap Bill Turner!” But it wasn’t Bill they were looking for, for they had disposed of Mr. Turner, without knowing before that they all needed his blood to lift the curse. So, the crew’s only hope rested with the child of Bill Turner, which was exactly why the Pearl had attacked the Princess ten years ago. However, that child was lost at sea after the Pearl’s attack. The only survivor the crew was able to discover was me, which evidently was a better discovery according to my uncle.

In late July, 1745, we were off the coast of Haiti, setting sail after sacking the settlement of Port-au-Prince on the hunch that the missing piece and missing Turner were hiding out in the city. Despite no sign of a Turner or the medallion, we still managed to fill our hull with the spoils of our labor. As soon as we were clear of the gulf, we felt it. A gigantic pulse emanated from the sea floor, shaking the Pearl as if she were struck by a mighty wave. Suddenly, a huge gust of wind blew us in the face as there was a change in the wind. Confused, I looked around at the crew members. Some of them, like Bo’sun, a Jamaican pirate known as Koehler and his counterpart Twigg, were grinning menacingly from ear to ear, while others, like the two nitwits Pintel and Ragetti were looking rather confused. I signaled Bo’sun to come with me as he and I entered Barbossa’s cabin to find Uncle sitting with his back to us, flipping a coin in his hand while his pet monkey Jack, named in mocking honor of Sparrow, jumped up and down and screeched with delight.
“Care to interpret this strange bit of events, Captain Barbossa?” I asked, folding my arms. Barbossa stood up and looked at the pair of us, his eyes gleaming with delight. He smiled a rotten toothed smile as he began to walk past us out to the dock.
“Set course for Port Royal, Mr. McSkull!”
“Port Royal?” I asked, trying to catch up with the old man as he hopped the steps up to the helm. When I finally picked up with him, he grabbed my coat collar and pulled me in, unable to hold in his excitement.
“We found it, sonny boy!” he laughed heartly. My eyes opened wide with the realization.
“How so?”
“The gold calls to us, lad.” said Barbossa, pointing out towards the horizon where the ripples on the ocean could still be found.

As night fell over Port Royal, the fog began to grow thicker and denser, blanketing the harbor in an eerie mist. Through my spyglass, I could see people rushing home to the warmth of their hearths while some men stayed at the local taverns. Sitting high atop the cliff, Fort Charles was left untouched by the fog, standing watch over the shrouded town. As the Pearl cut through the fog, entering the harbor, nobody onboard made a sound. Since Barbossa knew that this would be the final settlement we sacked before retrieving the lost coin, he wanted to put on a sort of charismatic performance. Having sailed under Blackbeard’s flag for a portion of his life, he learned a lot from the captain, mostly of his way with words and his portrayal as a devilish brute. Uncle Barbossa nudged me at the helm.
“Have the men ready the cannons at the fort.” he said in a hushed tone. I nodded, silently making my way across deck, yelling in a whisper,
“Starboard side, get a clear shot of the fort! Port side, prepare to repel attacks from the shore!” The men nodded and armed the cannons efficiently and quietly.
“Hoist the colors, Master Pintel!” said Barbossa. Pintel, the dimwitted balding bloke nodded and scurried over to the main mast, raising the jolly roger. I held my right hand up, signaling that the men were to wait for my command. Looking up at Uncle Barbossa, he flashed me a wicked grin and nodded.
“FIRE!” I barked, throwing my hand down. Twigg lit the fuse to the cannon aimed at the fort. With a crash, the cannonball zoomed through the air, destroying one of the ramparts. In the echo of the night, we heard one of the officers shout “RETURN FIRE!” The battle was on. Barbossa commanded the men to fire at will, the starboard side at odds with the men of the fort while the port side gunners desecrated the town of Port Royal. The ship moved steadily closer and closer to town, giving the gunners ample amount of yardage to work with. At the docks, sailors ran away, knocking one another over in search of cover while men, women, and children were screaming and crying desperately to find shelter. The ground beneath people’s feet exploded with the impacts of the cannonballs, sending splinters and dirt flying through the sky. With the docks and buildings all but destroyed, Barbossa let out a devilish laugh as he barked to me,
“Hector! Bring me that medallion! Shore party away!”
“Aye sir!” I nodded as longboats began to lower into the choppy water. With lighting speed, the crew rowed ashore, guns, cutlasses, torches and grenados in hand. the crew ran into town, creating a chaotic scene of pilfering, pillaging, plundering, raping, and absolute destruction. I, leading the shore party, commanded that a small garrison of pirate run to collect the valuables of the Governor’s Mansion. Pintel and Ragetti nodded and dashed away with six other pirates. With those two leading the attack, I thought it myself, it’ll be a miracle if the mansion doesn’t fall down on those two blundering idiots. Snapping back to reality, I drew my cutlass and entered the fray.

After two hours of thievery, the boarding party began to make it’s way back to the Pearl. I, being one of the first aboard, delivered the booty I had acquired from the down, dumping it on deck. To his delight, Jack the Monkey jumped off Barbossa’s shoulder and began to roll around in the gold and jewelry. He was spooked by the arrival of every other shore party as they dumped their goods on the deck, rejoicing with one another over their spoils. What ended up spooking me was the arrival of Pintel and Ragetti’s mansion crew. In Pintel’s clutches, a woman dressed in a nightgown. looked around the ship in confusion and horror as she was quickly whisked away by Pintel and Ragetti. She wore her golden blonde hair in curls along with a pouting look of annoyance mixed with terror. Nodding at Bo’sun, I walked towards them while he and I approached the three.
“I didn’t know we was takin’ on captives.” I said to Pintel and Ragetti, flashing them both a stare. Pintel piped up.
“She’s invoked the right o’ parlay with Captain Barbossa!”
“I’m here to nego--” the woman started, freeing herself from Pintel’s vice, but was struck across the face by Bo’sun’s backhand. The woman jumped back alarmed, holding her cheek where the imprint of a hand stung across her face.
“You speak when spoken to!” barked Bo’sun, reaching back to deliver another blow, when his hand was stopped by Barbossa, who had silently approached the scene.
“And ye’ll not lay a hand on those under the protection of parlay...” said Barbossa, with a little edge to his voice. I saw Bo’sun’s face contort until he finally let out a growl of “Aye sir...” and released his hand from Barbossa’s grip. He walked back towards me as Barbossa approached the woman, his voice subtle and deadly with a grin on his face and the monkey on his shoulder.
“My apologizes, miss.” he said, with a hint of hospitality in his voice. I eyed my uncle from afar. This lady certainly caught his eye.
“Captain Barbossa,” started the woman, her voice flushed with anger but hidden under a sense of nobility and reserve, “I’m here to negotiate the cessation of hostilities against Port Royal.” Barbossa shook his head as some of the crew chuckled behind him silently.
“There be a lot of long words in there, miss. We be not but humble pirates!” he laughed, causing the crew to chuckle a little louder. “What is it that you want?”
“I want you to leave and never come back.” said the woman with a sense of pride in her voice. The entire crew laughed at the woman’s performance, her cheeks flushed red with anger and embarrassment. Uncle Barbossa breathed through his nose, trying to hold back a laugh.
“I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” he said, throwing all of the woman’s fancy words back into her smug face. Uncle Barbossa was a very educated man, perhaps the smartest man who sailed the seas at this time of piracy. With not but anyone really left from the Golden Age of Piracy, Hector Barbossa proved to be a genius. Then, flashing a smile, Barbossa added, “Means no.” The woman raised her chin high and spat back,
“Very well!” and stormed off towards the starboard side, reaching for something around her neck. With a yank, she ripped the necklace from her bosom and held it over the edge of the ship. From the flashes of the cannons, the gold sparkled in the night. It was the missing medallion! The last piece of Cortes’ treasure! Everyone on deck moved with extreme unease.
“I’ll drop it!” boasted the woman as she looked around the ship, looking for a reaction. I looked to see Barbossa’s eyes that widened at the woman’s words, but the old rogue soon collected himself as he began gesturing towards the heaps of gold still lying on the deck.
“Me holds are burstin’ with swag. That bit of shine matters to us?” He looked around the crew, shrugging, and then turned violently back at the woman, “Why?” Based on the woman’s expression, she was expecting quite a different reaction.
“It’s what you’ve been searching for!” she began, “I recognize this ship! I saw it ten years ago on the crossing from England!” she protested. Barbossa just gave her a smug look.
“Did you now?” he said with a snort. The men began to fidget with their weapon belts. The woman sighed and growled,
“Fine, well I suppose if it is worthless,” she said with a pout, “there’s no point in me keeping it.” As her voice trailed off, the woman opened her fingers, allowing the Medallion’s gold chain slip through her fingers towards the dark harbor below. Immediately, we all leapt forward in a vain attempt to stop the woman.
“NO!” we shouted, Barbossa’s voice showing more signs of distress than any other man’s. A smile crept upon the woman’s face. She knew that she had the upper hand and was willing to exploit it completely. With a throaty chuckle, Uncle Barbossa slowly began to approach the woman, who pulled the chain closer to her.
“You have a name, missy?” he said, eyeing her up and down.
“Elizabeth...” she paused as if trying to muster up the courage, “Turner. I’m a maid in the governor’s household.” When she said Turner, every eye on the crew widened with wonder and delight. There was an audible buzz around the crew when Barbossa turned around and said “Miss Turner!” So there must’ve been a second child! I thought to myself. What luck! Soon these gents will be rid of the curse and then can finally get back to a honest life of pirating and terrifying.
“And how does a maid come to own a trinket such as that? Family heirloom, perhaps...?” chuckled Barbossa. Elizabeth looked a little offended.
“I didn’t steal it if that’s what you mean.” she said
“Very well. You hand it over and we’ll put your town to our rudder, and ne’er return...” said Barbossa, outstretching his hand for the Medallion. After a long pause, Elizabeth reluctantly accepted and dropped the Medallion in his hand. He then gave the coin to Jack, who jumped up on one of the ropes and scurried away with the gold.
“Our bargain?” said Elizabeth, her voice a little raised now that she realized she lost the upper hand. Barbossa nodded at me and Bo’sun, as we both began barking orders of,
“Still the guns and stow ‘em!”
“Signal the men!”
“Set the flags and make good to clear port!”
“Wait!” burst out Elizabeth as she tried to chase after Uncle Barbossa, who was making his way back to the helm. From afar, I could hear some of the exchange as Barbossa explained to her that her return to shore was not part of the negotiation, that in order for someone to claim something under the Code, you needed to be a pirate and thirdly that the Code was much more a set of guidelines than actual rules. Soon Elizabeth was whisked away by Pintel and Ragetti, but not before Uncle Barbossa got in his last word.
“Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner!”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:42 pm

Chapter Fifteen

Spoiler:
With the last piece of the treasure securely onboard, the Pearl began to make her way back to Isla de Muerta. It was a dark moonlit night as the Pearl glided over the calm waters. I looked down from the railing to see her massive hull cut through the darkened waves as if the sea was parting for her. I looked up to see her tattered sails flowing in the wind like shadows, somehow magically keeping her with full winds despite the hundreds of holes in her canvas. The water glowed an eerie yellow thanks to Uncle Barbossa’s cabin. He was about to “entertain” our new guest tonight. I turned around to see Pintel and Ragetti scurrying out of the Captain’s Cabin, where Elizabeth was in there, waiting for her fate to be decided. High at the helm stood Uncle Barbossa, fixing his cursed hair in a mirror held by Jack the Monkey. With a sigh and a pat on the bony chest, he strode down the stairs, monkey on shoulder, and made his way towards the doors.
“Quite the glorious scoundrel you are, Uncle.” I said, walking to meet him at the bottom of the stairs. He flashed a grin, his teeth a little less yellow than usual.
“What? What be wrong with a man lookin’ for some company?” he shrugged.
“You’re old enough to be her father, mate.” I chuckled. Barbossa wasn’t pleased.
“Age is but a number,” he waved off as he began to make his way to his cabin, but then turned his shoulder to get in one last comment with a wink, “something you’re all too familiar with, my boy.” and then disappeared behind a set of double doors, returning to his human form as he stepped out of the moonlight. I couldn’t do anything but just laugh to myself. Who am I to judge? Isabela was perhaps twenty or more years my senior but she and I still made it work somehow. What I kept kicking myself about was that Barbossa was to claim Elizabeth before anyone could have a say. Certainly the captain’s share, I thought to myself. Sighing and shrugging, I returned to my post, only to find a skeletal Ragetti in my place. Surprisingly, after ten years before the Pearl’s mast, these skeletal pirates were no longer terrifying to me, but more habitual. Ah, right, my shift is up. So, with nothing else to do for the night until we found land by midday tomorrow, I scurried up the starboard side rigging. Lying comfortably and anchored by my legs, I looked up at the night sky. No stars were out at all tonight. The only light that guided all wayward seafarers was the blue glow of the full moon. I felt like I was staring up at the night sky for hours when suddenly from below I heard a splash. Looking down at the water, I saw a medium sized dot drifting closer and closer to the hull. Pulling my spyglass from my belt, I opened it up and peered through it. Horror struck, I almost fell out of the rigging as I popped up.
“Man overboard!” I quickly slid down the ropes, cursing loudly due to the massive rope burns on my hands. Shaking it off, I ran towards the side, rallying any able bodied man who wasn’t on duty to “Get off their asses!” and “Heave that man to!” Within minutes, Bo’sun had swooped down and retrieved the unconscious man. When Bo’sun placed the body on deck, there was an audible gasp among the crew. It wasn’t a man overboard at all. It was a woman! Intrigued, we all circled around her to examine our new passenger; her long jet black hair covered some of her face in strands while the other pieces lay on deck as if blended in with the black hull, hidden underneath the hair was a lovely face with piercing blue eyes and blood red lips. She wore an embroidered red long coat over a black vest cut and buttoned low. One of her black boots was missing, revealing a seaweed tangled foot. Her brown pants were drenched in salt water and blood. But at least she was breathing, albeit thinly and slowly. She was beautiful. Just as I was about to see if I could wake the woman, a thought occurred to me. I looked around to find nothing but the skeletal faces of Bo’sun, Pintel, Ragetti, Mr. Twigg and Koehler all peering down at the lovely lady.
“Gentlemen...” I started, standing up. All eyes were on me, all of which almost fell out of their skull sockets, “I don’t think this would be the best situation to wake up to...” I said, gesturing to the entire deck. Every skeleton on board was busy at their station, turning the capstan, swabbing the deck, smithing broken cutlasses and pieces for each other and various other works to keep this ship afloat. Looking at one another, the five pirates nodded in agreement and returned to their posts. “Keep up this moonlight serenade for our dear Miss Turner.” I said to the crew at large, causing a hearty laugh from all, one that for sure must’ve been heard through the Captain’s Cabin’s double doors. I looked down at the woman again and gently picked her up, her arm acting on instinct wrapped around my neck and torso. Walking through the maze of cursed workers, I walked down the stairs below deck just as Jacoby and Mallot began to start up a rather badly performed version of “Whiskey in the Jar” on the fiddle and accordion. Withdrawing to my cabin, I closed the door behind me with my body and gently laid the girl down on my cot. Propping her head up on the pillow, I saw that she began to shiver violently. I bend down and looked under the cot to find several soft blankets, stolen from governors and mistresses from years of sacking settlements, and placed them softly on the woman. Giving her some space, I kicked over a barrel and took a seat, mindlessly flipping a coin. She began to stir underneath her wrappings, moaning unconsciously, but soon her breathing and moaning began to form words. Weakly, she kept repeating,
“He’s coming for me.... He’s coming... Land... Land...!” her voice somehow growing louder and louder with each moan.
“Who’s coming?” I asked, not really thinking about what I was doing or asking. The woman could have been an escaped psychopath from an asylum and was just imagining a mysterious phantom chasing after her. She didn’t answer, only proceeded to return to her mumbling. Up above, there was a loud shrieking scream. No doubt Elizabeth was enjoying the cursed crew’s company, I laughed to myself. Dinner must not’ve gone according to my uncle’s plan. Suddenly, startled by the screams on deck, the woman shot up like a cannon. Rubbing her eyes, it looked as if she was trying to figure out her surroundings. Then her eyes were on me. Still groggy and out of it, she cried out, “Matthew?” I got up and tried to put a relaxing hand on her shoulder, but once she got a better look at me and figured out I wasn’t this “Matthew”, she jumped back and retreated closer to the wall. I raised my hands in a sign of surrender.
“It’s alright, love. It’s alright. Rest easy now, you’ve had quite the night.” I said, slowly retreating back to my spot on the barrel to try and prove to her that I meant her no harm. Her breathing was heavy and rapid.
“Where am I?” she said in a frantic manner. Her voice, even though garbled from her time face down in the water, had that smooth English tone to it, with a hint of ladyship mixed with the rough and gruff cockney accent from seafaring men.
“At the moment, my dear,” I began, looking at her. She looked as if she was terrified of what I was going to say next, “we’re in my cabin. We found you floating out in the water unconscious. You must be freezing.” I said, offering her another blanket from the floor. Instead of inching closer to take it, she moved back even more. Sighing, with a shrug, I dropped the cover and leaned back against a post, my hands resting on my legs.
“I---I need to get to land.” she said again, but this time she rested her hand on her bosom. I could see that her two fingers were digging underneath as if searching for something contained within. I nodded.
“Well then you’re in luck. We’re due to reach port midday tomorrow. So why not relax and---” before I could finish, she cut me off.
“No, you don’t understand! He’s after me, he is!” she said, the fear returning to her voice now. Another scream above us. She flinched.
“Who? Who’s after you, lass?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me. She flashed a bewildered stare at me, as if I had some nerve to ask her what kind of danger she was in.
“There is NO time to explain!” she emphasized. “Get me to land NOW!” she barked, her face flushed with frustration. Taking a deep breath, I leaned back even more and folded my arms.
“Then start swimming. As I said before, darling, we’re out on open waters. There’s no sign of land for miles. But if you’re as hellbent as ever to reach land now, the by all means jump.” I smirked. The woman didn’t take too kindly to my suggestion. Within seconds, she shot out of bed, pistol in hand, aiming it at my face. Needless to say I was thrown off guard by her theatrics. I stood up, holding my hands out in surrender again and regained my composure.
“Get me to land NOW!” she screamed again, this time covering up another scream from above. Her voice was shaking along with her entire body.
“Or what? You’ll shoot?” I asked, nonchalantly as I examined her pistol.
“The thought did cross my mind.” she growled through nashed teeth.
“Killing me won’t help your situation, love.”
“Aye, but it’d be once less annoyance in my path.” she barked back.
“Then do it.” I said calmly, a small grin itching across my face.
“I’ll do it!” she screamed again, “By God I’ll do it!”
“Then what are you waiting for?” I said, my arms outstretched. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she pulled the trigger. To her misfortune, all the weapon did was click meekly and spit out a few drops of water. Enraged, the woman tried clicking the gun several time, again and again to no avail.
“Wet powder...” she cursed under her breath. Aye, wet powder. For if she’d been unconscious in the water for quite some time, her piece would naturally had been ruined. She looked up when she heard the click of my pistol as I took a seat and held the gun aimed at her, my arm resting on my thigh.
“Now, why don’t we start over, love. We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.” I said, a sly smile across my face; something I picked up from John Silver. The woman snorted and with a pout, crossed her arms and intentionally sat on a barrel instead of the bed I laid her out on. “The name’s Hector McSkull,” I said, tipping my father’s hat in respect, “Quartermaster.” The woman didn’t seem phased.
“Rose J--” she started, but then caught herself. “Rose Smith.” she said, clearly not wanting to reveal her true identity. She gave me a mocking bow as she nodded her head, “Not impressed.” She was a feisty one, she was. “Though I am curious to know where exactly I am. Just knowing that I’m in ‘Your Cabin’ will not suffice.” the nobility side of her voice began to show. I breathed out a laugh through my nose and nodded.
“Aye, you’re onboard The Black Pearl.” I said. A light glimmered in her eye.
“Ah, Barbossa’s vessel.” she said. I looked at her amazed.
“You know the captain?” I asked. She shook her head no.
“No, I’ve only heard the stories.” she said.
“Aye, and they all be true. He took me in as if I was his own.” I said. She didn’t look too pleased.
“Wonderful, ye want a medal or something?” she groaned, clapping mockingly. Sighing, I stood up, tucking my pistol back in my belt and started to head for the door before turning around.
“Well, Miss Smith, you’re welcome to use my cabin for the night. We’ll be safely on shore tomorrow afternoon. If you seek additional passage elsewhere after we complete our transaction, I will drop you off anywhere you like.” I said. She looked confused and a little taken aback.
“Why so hospitable now, Skully?” she said with a throaty chuckle, “Three minutes ago I wanted to see your brains splattered across the floor.”
“Because I’d like to believe that chivalry isn’t dead. And who knows, maybe by tomorrow afternoon, you’ll see that I don’t really have any quarrel with you.” I said with a nod. “Night, Miss Smith.” and with that, I closed the door behind me. Taking out a key from up my sleeve, I jammed it in the doorlock and switched it locked. I couldn’t risk Rose wandering up on deck in the middle of a full moon to find a motley crew of skeletons and undead men. Sadly, this was the only way.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:42 pm

Chapter Sixteen

Spoiler:
At six the next morning, I awoke early enough to dash up on deck to look up at the sky. The moon was gone, save for that daylight outline, as it made way for the rising sun. Quietly making my way to my former cabin, I reached for the key and unlocked the door. Immediately the door flew open, causing Rose’s body to slam against the floor face first. She must’ve fallen asleep in front of the door, trying to claw her way to freedom as if she were a house pet. Her fall woke her up instantly. She stood up, rubbed her eyes, tried to run her fingers through her mangled hair, and wipe away a spit-line across her cheek. With a half groggy voice, Rose groaned.
“Whaaaat is it?”
“I thought you’d be hungry. Help yourself to the galley.” I said.
“What was with the door....” she began, but then started to snore while standing up. After one loud snore though, she woke up with a start, “LOCK! What’s with the door lock?” she growled. I knew I owed her an explanation, but also had to safeguard the secret of my cursed brothers-in-arms.
“Dangerous things lurk about the deck at night,” I said, trying to remain ominous and obscure, “I be a cautious man, love. It was all for your safe keepin’, miss.”
“I’m more than capable of taking care of myself.” she said and slammed the door in my face.
“Galley’s open at your convenience, darling!” I said through the door. Then, with a shrug, I walked through the maze of sleeping pirates and made my way to the galley where the cook, Mr. Randall, was already at his station, preparing the meals for the still sleeping crew. “Morning Randall.” I said, as I picked up two empty mugs. I picked up a boiling pot on the stove and poured out a cup of coffee for myself and one for Mr. Randall. The old sea cook looked away from his chopping to give me a nod as I placed a mug of coffee next to him.
“Mornin’ Hector. And what brings the quartermaster down to me humble galley at such an early mornin’ as this?” he said, his strong cockney accent showing rather prominently.
“Ah, it’s just about that girl, mate.” I said, taking a seat at a nearby table and a sip of the coffee. It was exquisite. The beans we had stolen were on direct route back to England from Colombia. Those beans were worth a fortune in trade due to their smooth taste and potent aroma.
“Aye, I hear ye, lad. Takin’ a bit of a fancy to Miss Turner, eh?” said Randall. I shook my head.
“Nay, not Miss Turner. The Captain’s already called claim to her anyhow. No, I was referring to the drifter; Miss ‘Smith’” I said. Randall looked a little confused.
“Oy? What about her?” he asked.
“Ah, she’s a bit of a pistol she is. Which was why I was havin’ second thoughts when it came to locking her in last night. God knows what sort of rage I’m to expect from her today.”
“Aye, but it was for her own good, ye know,” said Randall as he cracked open two eggs, “she’d’ve lost it if she saw that moonlit charade last night.”
“Truth...” I said, taking another drink. “There’s more to her than meets the eye, mate.”
“Oh?” asked Randall with a curious smile on his face.
“She may have a hardened exterior, but I feel deep down there’s something more to her...”
“You’re talkin’ this way about a wench who had ye at gunpoint? Ah, Hector me boy, I think you’s in love.” said Randall with a wink. I chuckled softly.
“Ah, Randall, I don’t think I’ve had the chance of knowin’ what love is,” I said, taking a longer drink this time, “But I have a feeling that I’ll soon find out.”
“Aye, lad, I hope the same for ye too!” said the old man as he placed in front of me two fried eggs and bacon burnt black. He filled my empty coffee mug with a cold brown ale and placed it next to the plate. Just as I was about to take my first bite of bacon, there was a knock on the post. Randall and I turned to see Rose standing in the doorway, her clothes a little less for ware. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail and her face was freshly washed. She wore no make up, and yet she was still as beautiful as ever.
“Is there enough for one more...?” she asked meekly. A smile crept across my face as I gestured to a seat opposite of me.
“Aye, I did say at your convenience, miss” I said, nodding at Randall, who began to make another order. “A rum flip for the lass, Mr. Randall.” I said, with a smile at Rose.
“How did you know I drank rum flips?” she said as she sat down, rather impressed.
“You struck me as that kind of girl.” I said with a wink. She rolled her eyes, until her food was right in front of her. Wide eyed, she began to guzzle down the food within minutes.
“Jaysus, quite the appetite.” I said, amazed. She looked up at me with a scowl.
“Well, since I wasn’t allowed at dinner last night...” and then proceeded to finish off her plate. Not wanting to get into a heated argument, I tried to change the topic.
“So, how’d you end up in the middle of the ocean all alone?” she went silent for a second, as if trying to retrace her steps or to come up with a very elaborate lie.
“I was a captain, for a time. The Poison Thorn was my vessel,” she said proudly, expecting me to have heard of her creaking tub. But when I remained un-phased, she sighed and continued. “We were off the coast of Padres del Fuego when....” she trailed off again. I leaned in intently. I wanted to know this girl’s story. “There was an eruption!” she said after a long pause. I sat back in my seat, a little disappointed. That’s far from the truth, but all she’ll divulge at the moment. Just go with it, Hector. I folded my arms and leaned back in my chair.
“Oh my.” I said, sarcastically. She nodded, continuing.
“Aye! The ship was lost to a fiery inferno. Some of my crew escaped on the last longboat, but I elected to stay behind. And I would’ve too, had it not been for---” she stopped herself when a shriek was heard throughout the room. We all looked up to see Jack the Monkey swinging freely from a netting and dropping in the middle of the table. Rose jumped back a little bit, surprised by the animal, while I picked up a piece of bacon and offered it to the little guy. To his delight, the monkey snatched the bacon and gobbled it down in seconds. He bounced up and down with excitement and scurried up my outstretched arm and sat on my shoulder.
“What is that thing?” said Rose, in curiosity. I smiled as I scratched Jack behind the ears.
“This here is Jack, the unofficial first mate.” I laughed as Jack tried to tug on my hair.
“First mate?” Rose snorted, laughing a little confused.
“Allow me to explain,” I said, giving Jack another piece of bacon which he greatly appreciated, “he be my uncle’s pet monkey.”
“How did he get the name Jack?” she asked.
“He’s named in a mocking salute toward the former captain of this ship.”
“Oh! Much like how John Silver named his parrot Captain Flint?” she said, trying to put it in perspective, and possibly name drop. I looked at her with delight.
“You know of Long John Silver, miss?”
“Oh aye! I’ve heard all the stories of the One-Legged Man. I wasn’t living in the gutter, you know.” she said, a little offended that I didn’t realize she knew a lot more than she seemed to.
“I meant no offense, miss. It’s just not many people know about John and his antics. Nor do they know what happened to him.”
“And you do?”
“As a matter of fact, yes.” I said, with a smile as I sipped my ale. She pondered my comment for a moment, putting both feet up on the table, but after realizing that she was still missing a shoe, decided to put both her legs down.
“How so?” she asked, taking a bite of more food Randall had set aside for her.
“How? I sailed with the old bilge rat, that’s how.” I grinned. She looked at me, intrigued.
“You?”
“Oh aye. And Flint, and Bones, and the rest of ‘em.”
“I don’t recall hearing of a Hector McSkull aboard the Walrus.” she spat back. I nodded, realizing that she didn’t know as much as she thought she did.
“Ah, that’s because I stuck mostly aboard the Misty Lady.” she dropped her fork when I said “Misty Lady” and looked up at me with a strange admiration.
“So... you knew Captain Isabela Sparrow?” she gasped.
“I take it you’re an admirer?”
“She’s only the most badass female pirate captain of the Golden Age!” she exclaimed. “How did someone like yourself find a place among her ranks?”
“I was recruited as a cabin boy...” and from there on, I told her most of my background; my time as Isabela’s quartermaster, the hunt for Treasure Island, and many of my past adventures. That whole morning, I delighted her with my stories and my words, keeping only the secret of the cursed crew and of my past with my parents. Even she opened up a little bit, telling tales of how she grew up on a nothing island, trapped under the strict rules of her mother and how she had escaped to sea at a very young age. It was a nice surprise to see that she was a woman of intellect and adventure rather than a mad-woman hellbent to see me dead. We spent the whole morning talking and enjoying each other’s company, until it was interrupted by the lookout’s cry of “Land Ho!” We both looked up at the ceiling and then both looked at each other. I sighed as I got up, as she stayed behind and buried her face in her rum flip. Just as I was about to leave, I turned on my heels and asked,
“You know, the Pearl’s already got stationed men to stay behind and guard the ship... I feel that you’re staying onboard would just impede their work,” surprisingly, I felt myself blush a little bit, and tried to cover it with a cough. Rose must’ve picked up on the hint, for she flashed me a grin. “You’re welcome to come along for the ride, darling.”
“Where are we going anyway?” she asked, standing up and walking closer to me. In her mind, she already decided she was coming.
“To a... little get together on the island.” I said, trying to remain ambiguous. She flashed me a look of annoyance.
“Where are we really?” she said.
“Alright alright, enough with the charade. Our port of destination is Isla de Muerta.” I said. Again, her face dropped.
“I should’ve known...” she said, dumbfounded. I snapped her out of her trance as I pointed down at her barefoot.
“Before we go, you might want to reconsider a wardrobe change.” I suggested. She looked down at her foot, laughed, and wiggled her toes.

A band of pirates walked up to the helm of the ship, where Barbossa draped Elizabeth’s neck with the medallion once more, brushing away her hair. As his hands touched her skin, she recoiled and shivered. All this time, Ragetti was chanting, far too much for his excitement. Soon enough, we all piled into the longboats and began to row into the cove. The whole crew sat there in silence, their excitement all bottled up for when they finally saw their treasure cave once more. They said that this time, when they saw it, it would be in a different light. All of the men sat with their breaths held, waiting for that moment where the gold was finally delivered back to the stone chest and their cursed burden would be no more. The only voices heard throughout the trip were my own and Rose’s. After we were shushed at least three times by Pintel and Ragetti, I lowered my voice and tried to explain what was going on to Rose, who was seconds away from pulling a knife on the men who tried to shut her up. Without using any real specifics, I explained how the crew was “returning something lost” and that a small ritual would be involved for them to fix their situation. Rose tried to press what the situation was about, but I remained ambiguous. Eventually, she relented and nodded.
“So long as you’re not planning on sacrificing me to the heathen gods, I’ll keep me mouth shut.” she said with a laugh. I chuckled along with her.

As the longboats were beached in the cavern, the men began to unload the cargo. They dashed off with their riches and their plunder back into the treasure cove. They scattered around, dumping the loot and plunder here and yon, letting the gold spill down the increasing piles of gold and jewels. I, not having anything to do with the curse, decided to take my normal seat in the left corner of the cave close to the Stone Chest. I positioned the chair so that I could have a full view of Barbossa, who had marched Elizabeth up the great platform covered in treasure to where Cortes’ Treasure lay in the center. I looked around the fray to find Rose, who’s jaw was so low it could’ve scraped the ground. Her eyes lit up at the sight of all the gold. She even tried to swipe one or two pieces of treasure until Bo’sun swooped over and snarled at her. She quickly dropped the ruby in her hand and briskly walked over to where I was sitting.
“I don’t think he likes me all that much...” she said, pointing at Bo’sun. I laughed and before I could utter a response, Barbossa began his rant.
“Watch this.” I said, nudging Rose as she took a seat on a heap of gold.
“Gentlemen, the time has come!” shouted Barbossa at the top of his lungs. The crew gave a hearty cheer. “Our salvation is nigh!” another cheer from the crowd. “Our torment is near an end!” Barbossa said, raising his fist in the air, causing another chorus of hoots and hollers from the men.
“He certainly knows how to work a crowd.” I said to Rose, with a small chuckle.
“For ten years we’ve been tested and tried! And each man jack of you here has proved his mettle a hundred times over.... And a hundred times AGAIN!” shouted Barbossa, raising both hands in the air. The crew roared with excitement.
“Suffered I have!” cried Ragetti from the crowd. Barbossa turned his attention to Ragetti and pointed, speaking to him while addressing the rest of the crew as well.
“Punished we were! The lot of us! Disproportionate to our crime!” he said, banging his fist in his hand. He then turned his gaze to the chest and kicked it open with his boot.
“Here it is!” the cover of the chest crashed to the cave floor, revealing the Cursed Aztec Treasure of Hernan Cortes the Conqueror. Rose jumped up, eyeing the Aztec trinkets, but I placed a hand on her arm to ease her and bring her back down.
“Oy! What’s the idea?” she asked, impatient. Not having enough time to think on my feet, I said flat out.
“Legends say it’s cursed... Oooooooh” I said, mimicking a ghost and waving my hands in her face. She laughed and brushed my hands away.
“Oh sod off.” she said with a chuckle. I can’t believe that worked, I thought to myself. I lied to her by telling the truth!
“Every last piece that went astray we have returned... save for this!” said Barbossa, pointing at Elizabeth’s medallion. In the distance, I heard a mumble of words and the clattering of coins on the rock face. I turned to see two figures duck down quickly behind a rock wall. Instantly, I had my hand on my pistol, clicked loaded and primed. I looked to Rose, who had either seen what I saw or sensed that something was amiss and had her new pistol I lent to her out and resting on her shoulder, the primer clicked on. But we were both distracted by the chanting of the pirates, who were grunting loudly as Barbossa held up a dagger and held Elizabeth firmly in place.
“Begun by blood,” he said and then whispered softly yet menacingly, “By blood undone!” he then ripped the medallion from her neck, grabbed her left hand, and made a gash in her palm. Barbossa coated the medallion with Elizabeth’s blood as a few drops fell into the chest. Then, Barbossa forcibly released the medallion from Elizabeth’s grasp. It fell into the chest as if it were in slow motion. As it finally thudded back where it belongs, the pirates all stood there, inhaling deeply and closing their eyes. They held out their hands as if in deliverance. The whole scene must’ve thrown Rose off because she looked at me with a pondering look. Without any words, I just shrugged off the fact, trying t prove that I “didn’t know what was going on”...

When everyone finally opened their eyes once more, they looked around confused and a little angry.
“Did it work?” asked Koehler, impatiently, looking from man to man.
“I don’t feel no different.” Ragetti stated, shaking his head.
“How do we tell?” shouted Pintel. I saw how Barbossa rolled his eyes as he pulled out his gun, locked it loaded, and fired at Pintel. A nice little hole was placed just above his heart, still smoking from the bullet wound. Everyone’s eyes were on Pintel, who was so shocked and amazed as he looked down at the hole.
“You’re not dead!” exclaimed Koehler. Pintel laughed a sigh of relief.
“No! Hehe!” then pointed an accusing finger at Barbossa “ ‘E shot me!”
“It didn’t work...” said Ragetti with dread.
“The curse is still upon us!” spat Twigg, raising his cutlass in anger. All this time, Rose’s expression dropped from confused to downright petrified.
“You weren’t kiddin’ when you said that there treasure was cursed...” she said, turning on her heels. Her petrified stare soon became an angry scowl.
“Alright, yes, I lied to you by telling the truth,” I said, trying to put two easing hands on her shoulders, which she swatted away, “but now’s not the time.” I said, clicking my pistol loaded. I pointed my head at the open rock face that she and I had heard movement from earlier before. She looked over at the rock and then reluctantly took out her gun and followed along. While Rose and I went off to investigate if there were any unwanted visitors on the island, the pirates continued to turn on each other, accusing Barbossa for their ill fortune and state of living. Rose and I slunk behind the rocks, reaching that open rock face where we had spotted two figures earlier. Then, in the darkness, two shadowy people scurried off towards the longboats. As I tried to retain the element of surprise, my foot slipped on a scattered bunch of coins, causing a clinking sound to emanate through the cavern. The two figures turned to see who was on to them. I quickly got up to see a soaking wet Elizabeth being whisked away by a strange man, dressed in fine clothes. He wore his drenched hair in a small ponytail and on his lip had a thin mustache and chin beard. They quickly dove into one of the longboats as I cracked open a shot. I cursed as I missed and saw the two row away, their longboat filled to the brim with the oars of the other boats. The gunshot echoed through the caves, causing all the pirates to cease hostilities until Rose and I heard from the cove “The medallion! She’s taken it! Get after her you feckless pack of ingrates!” and soon all of the pirates were swarming our location, searching stupidly for the missing oars.
“The oars have gone missin’!” stated Bo’sun obviously, “FIND THEM!”
“Belay that bloody order! The two swine herders stole them!” I barked, snatching a pistol from Bo’sun’s belt and firing it at the disappearing longboat. The bullet bounced with a clang against the rock wall. I threw the pistol back at him, “After them!” but before any man set foot in the water, a straggling figure staggered into view. He wore his black dreadlocks long and in shambles, with different types of trinkets tied into them. He had a full mustache and chin beard with two little strands tied in braids and wore typical black eyeliner in order to protect his eyes from the sun. Atop his head, he tied a long red bandana around his hair and topped it all off with a worn out brown tricorn hat. His black jacket was withered by years of sea salt, as were the rest of his clothes. He wore a brown baldric with a scabbard for his ordinary sword and carried a pistol in his belts. As he swaggered over to us, he had an oar in his hand that he was using for support, as if he was just waking up from a drunken slumber.
“Well,” I said with a throaty chuckle, “if it isn’t Jack Sparrow...” Rose looked up at me a little confused, but then back at Jack. Ragetti pointed an accusing finger at Jack, clearly in shock.
“You...”
“You’re supposes to be dead!” said Pintel, in a rage. Jack looked utterly confused.
“Am I not?” he said, patting his chest, proving that he was indeed alive. He looked up at Pintel and shrugged. As he tried to walk away, I clicked my pistol loaded and pointed it at his face. Four others, including Rose, had knives and blunderbusses on him. He scowled and tried to circle back, but found that he was surrounded by armed pirates. So, as a man in this sort of situation, he did what anyone else would; mumble.
“Palulay....palu-li-la-la-lulu....” he tried, guessing desperately. We all looked at each other, clearly confused as he continued, “parlili... parsnip... parsley.. par-- partner, partner...”
“Parlay?” asked Ragetti. Jack clapped his hands in delight.
“That’s the one! Parlay!” he exclaimed, spinning around to address me and my men “Parlay!”
“Parlaaay?!” growled Pintel under his breath, knocking Ragetti behind the head. “Damn to the depths what’ver man ‘ad thought o’ Parlay!” spat Pintel, pointing his double barreled pistol closer to Jack’s face. With two fingers, Jack lowered the barrel of Pintel’s gun.
“That would be the French...” said Jack, with a nod, “Latin based, of course. Inventors of mayonnaise!” he said, impressed with himself. Some of the pirates smiled.
“I like mayonnaise!” said Pintel to Grapple with a bright smile. Grapple laughed and nodded.
“Shame about the French though,” piped in Jack, all eyes on him. “ Obsessed with raisins. Humiliated grapes, really. Think about it!” he said, doing something with his hand as if he were holding a rather large grape. He looked at it strangely. Rose and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing; What the hell is this nutter going on about?
“Don’t know...” said Pintel, one eyebrow raised in confusion.
“Terrific singers, the French,” said Jack and made a slicing sound as he mimicked a pair of scissors. “Eunuchs. All of ‘em.”
“That’s not right!” said Grapple.
“I used to date a eunuch.” said Pintel. We all backed up a little from him. Under Rose’s breath, I could hear her mutter “That’s nasty...”
“I’ll get me coat.” said Jack with a nod and turned away.

“Never thought I’d live to see the day when my old friend would be on the opposite side of me pistol.” I said as I led Jack back to the cavern, my gun pointed at his back. Jack tutted.
“Oh please, if I was still your friend, Hector, you and I would cause a distraction, escape out the back, and sail out to open waters.”
“Ah, is that how you did it all those years ago?” I asked, still pissed that Jack decided to leave on his own, without offering me a ride along for the adventure. “No worries, mate,” I said with a chuckle, “judging by your current state, it’s perhaps good I didn’t run off with ya.”
“Aye, me mum needed someone to watch over her, intently.” he said with a small snort laugh. I scowled and knocked him over the head with the butt of my pistol. He let out a yelp and held the back of his head as I walked off to join Bo’sun. I saw Jack had started up a conversation with Rose, but after a few moments, she cracked him across the face and stormed away from him, taking a spot next to me with her arms folded.
“Sparrow’s a pig.” she snorted. I tried to put a comforting arm on her shoulder, but she swatted it away.
“Don’t think that I’ve forgotten of your lies, Mr. McSkull!” she spat and went back to her pouting. Jack grinned and leaned on the oar he was carrying as Barbossa entered the crowd. He glared at Jack, who was merely smiling at the old man.
“How the blazes did you get off that island?” Barbossa inquired with a growl. All eyes were on Jack, who leaned in.
“When you marooned me on that godforsaken spit of land, you forgot one very important thing mate,” he said with a long pause. We all shrugged until he smiled and said “I’m Captain Jack Sparrow.”
“Ah,” said Barbossa, walking closer to Jack, “well I won’t be makin’ that mistake... again.” he turned towards the crew. “Gents, you all remember Captain Jack Sparrow?” he said with a mock. The crew laughed heartily, then Barbossa gave the order. “Kill him.” with smug grins on their faces, each man and Rose pulled out their pistols and aimed them at Jack. He stood there un-phased and shouted to Barbossa who was walking away from the blast zone.
“The girl’s blood didn’t work, did it?” Barbossa froze in his tracks.
“Hold yer fire!” he spat, turning on his heels to face Jack. There was a reluctant sigh heard throughout the cavern as each man lowered his weapon. Barbossa strode over to Jack, his face contorted as if he just swallowed sour milk.
“You know who’s blood we need?” he asked. Jack flashed a grin.
“I know who’s blood ye need....”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:43 pm

Chapter Seventeen

Spoiler:
Back onboard the Pearl, Rose didn’t waste any time. As soon as our feet hit the deck, she grabbed my by the collar and forcibly dragged me below decks, much to the cheering and hooting from the men. It all stopped when I mouthed to them “Help Me!” Rose opened the door of my cabin and threw me in there, slamming the door with such force that it almost came off the hinges. I took a seat on my bed, already anticipating what was to come next.
“Alright, Hector. I want answers now!” she snarled. She was pacing rapidly back and forth across the room. “What was that thing?!”
“The Cursed Treasure of Hernan Cortes.” I said plainly. When she looked at me in disbelief, I continued, “the Aztecs delivered 882 pieces of gold to Cortes to forego the slaughter he wreaked upon the civilization with his conquistadors. But after seeing these fine pieces of gold, Cortes went drunk with greed and power. So, that night, the high priest called to the Heathen Gods for help. The Gods placed upon the gold a terrible curse. If any man, woman, or child were to take just one piece of the cursed treasure, they would forever live a half-life, a cursed life.”
“As the dead?!” Rose said, trying to grasp the situation. I shook my head.
“No, that’s the curse. They’re not among the dead, so they cannot move on from this world. They lose all senses and are sometimes driven into madness.” when I had said “cannot move on from this world” Rose had turned away. She intrigued me, Rose did. Underneath her rough exterior lied a wounded soul, just wanting to be given the chance to prove herself, but was pushed down by the oppressions of society, thus creating her shell. I stood up.
“There’s no need to fear me, Rose. I ain’t like one of them.” I said, patting my chest to prove that I was flesh and blood. She wasn’t convinced. “Give me your hand.” I said softly. She was taken aback.
“Why, so you could take drops of my blood as well?!”
“I want to prove something to you.” I said, with an outstretched hand. Cautiously, she stretched out her hand. I grabbed it and pulled it gently. I placed her hand on my heart. She looked down at her hand when she felt the pulse, then looked back up at me. “See? Living flesh.” I said with a grin. She sighed out a laugh and looked at me in the eyes.
“You’re relentless, you are...” she said, her voice trailing off. Suddenly, there were three loud raps on the door. Rose quickly retrieved her hand as I looked up at the door. I sighed and walked over, opened the door and found Bo’sun standing in the frame.
“The Captain needs us on deck, Mr. Quartermaster,” he said, his hand on the hilt of his cutlass “We’re comin’ up upon the Interceptor.”
“That didn’t take long.” said Rose in amazement. Bo’sun and I turned to her to flash her a grin of delight.
“She’s a bullet, this one is.” I said, patting the wall of the Pearl with a laugh. “C’mon. Let’s hunt.” I said with a cackle. The three of us walked up on deck, just as Jack was hurrying up the stairs after Barbossa, who took out his spyglass to examine the Interceptor. I leaned against the bannister of the helm while Jack got in Barbossa’s face.
“I’m havin’ a thought here, Barbossa,” he said, his mouth against the spyglass. Barbossa lowered it in disgust. “What say we run up a flag of truce, I scurry over to the Interceptor, and I negotiate the return of your medallion, eh?” he said, speaking rather fast. Barbossa snorted and shook his head. “What say you to that?”
“No, ye see Jack, that’s exactly the attitude that lost you the Pearl,” said Barbossa through squinted eyes. His voice then changed to a menacing growl, “People are easy to search when they’re dead!” he put away his spyglass and turned to Bo’sun. “Lock him in the brig!” and with a big swipe of his black arm, Bo’sun dragged Jack away. After Barbossa threw the apple Jack had previously been eating over the side, he turned to me and Rose.
“Let’s get a few more knots coxed out of these bloody sails.” he said and stationed himself at the top of the helm. I leaned over the bannister and yelled out to the crew,
“Hands aloft to loose the royals and main mast! Heave to and hoist the colors, Mr. Pintel!” The crew instantly went at a frenzied pace, loosening the sails and raising our jolly roger: a grinning skull and crosswords once used by the infamous Calico Jack Rackham. After a few seconds, I felt a nudge from my side. Rose turned at me and offered her spyglass.
“Might want to see this, mate.” she said, pointing out to the starboard side. I looked at the Interceptor to see that the crew was continually dumping their cargo and ammunition out onto the sea, in a vain attempt to make the brig lighter and sail elevated as she tried to maneuver amongst the shoals.
“Captain! They be stripped of provisions!” I said, pointing at the floating barrels and crates that the Pearl began to run over. Barbossa looked through his spyglass and grinned. He shouted down to the crew,
“Now haul on the main brace! Make ready the guns!” he then turned to me and Bo’sun, who had just returned from imprisoning Jack, with a nasty yellow toothed grin, “And run out the sweeps.” Bo’sun and I grinned and nodded at each other, shouting the orders to the crew. Bo’sun patted me on the shoulder and went down below decks to supervise the sweepers, a group of twenty men who rowed the oars to give the Pearl an extra boost of speed when chasing her prey. The hatches were opened, the men loaded the cannons, and the twenty sweepers ran out the sweeps and began to row. With fear of Bo’sun’s lash at their backs, these men pulled the handles as if they were being paid an extra two doubloons. Now with an extra couple of knots to our advantage, we waited until we would be in range, then blast the bejesus out of the little ship, search the bodies for the medallion, and sail home scot free. Suddenly, Barbossa, Rose and I noticed something odd; The Interceptor had dropped her starboard anchor. Astonished, we were wide eyed when the ship turned violently hard to starboard. Barbossa almost dropped Jack in anger and spat,
“They’re clubhaulin’!” he quickly turned to me, “Hard to port! Rack the starboard oars!”
“HARD TO PORT!” I snarled on deck. Rose added,
“Rack the starboard oars!” and Barbossa was almost impressed at Rose’s resolve. The starboard oars were racked and the port side team held the Pearl anchored against the current as the Pearl leapt up on the Interceptor’s starboard side. The cheers and taunts from the crew echoed across to the Interceptor’s crew, who was either shouting back or screaming in fear. All men were at their stations, waiting for my hand to drop down to give them the all clear. Barbossa unsheathed his cutlass and barked “FIRE!” I lowered my hand and repeated “FIRE!” and the battle had begun.

The Pearl laid siege to the Interceptor, blasting the wood and paint right off her naval hull. On the rails, men from each side fired pistols, muskets, and blunderbusses trying to knock each other into the water. Whenever cursed men were hit, they groaned in agony, but continued to fire. Whenever a man from the Interceptor was his, he fell to the deck or into the drink dead as a doornail. Barbossa laughed and taunted the other ship.
“Strike yer colours, ye bloomin’ cockroaches!” he laughed. Shouted from the helm,
“Hands! Grapples at the ready! Prepare to board!” but just as the men were prepping their grappling hooks, a crack shot was heard from belowdecks. A cannon had sent a chain-ball hurling across the open gap. The chains hit the mainmast of the Interceptor, causing an explosion of splinters. With a loud creak, the mainmast began to fall. Pirates onboard the Pearl dove in cover, in fear of what the mast might do. I shielded Rose from falling debris with my body, but Barbossa was the only one brave enough to stand as the mast. As it crashed on the deck, the crew slowly started to step out from their hiding spots. They had expected the mast to explode on impact, and were extremely relieved when it didn’t. Barbossa continued to bark orders as the men stepped back into place.
“Pistols and cutlasses, men! Koehler and Twigg to the powder magazine! And the rest of you,” he snarled, “BRING ME THAT MEDALLION!” Instantly, Jack the Monkey jumped off Barbossa’s shoulder and scurried over the mast to the Interceptor. Rose and I stayed at the helm, picking off the Interceptor’s men one by one. Soon, all the bloodshed had ceased when the crew saw Jack Sparrow scurrying after the little monkey in hot pursuit. He tried to reach out and grab the beast, but it had already climbed back up Barbossa’s shoulder. Barbossa held the medallion in his hand and hoisted it high.
“Gents! Our hope is restored!” The pirates shouted a victory screech. Minutes later, Koehler and Twig swung over from the Interceptor as the rest of the crew bound the Interceptor’s men and Captain to the mainmast. “Get us clear to open waters, Mr. McSkull!” shouted Barbossa from the deck. I nodded and took the helm, turning the Pearl three degrees port and calling for the starboard side sweeps to begin rowing again. Nearly a thousand meters out, everyone just watched and waited for the enemy ship to blow to Kingdom Come. Meanwhile, Pintel was trying to intimidate them by spitting,
“Any of you sos much as think the word ‘parlay’, I’ll ‘ave your guts for garters!” he said, circling them with his pistol. Elizabeth sprang to action, lifting the rope and freeing herself, as if she were to attack Barbossa. Rose and I had our hands on our cutlasses, but the sudden explosion from the Interceptor stopped Elizabeth dead in her tracks. The center deck shot up into the air, showering the ocean with a fiery debris. The ship cracked in half and slowly began to sink to the crushing darkness of Davy Jones’ Locker. My and Rose’s eyes lit up at the explosion. It was as if we were little kids watching fireworks on the shores of Tortuga. Suddenly, Elizabeth ran at Barbossa.
“You heartless savage!” she cried, but Barbossa quickly turned on her, grabbing her flailing arms. He pulled her in tight.
“Welcome back miss! You took advantage of our hospitality last time. It holds fair now you return the favor!” he said with a devilish grin. He threw Elizabeth to the men, who started to grope her. She screamed in fear until her voice was silenced by a stranger’s cry.
“Barbossa!” everyone looked to the port side to see who had appeared. It was the same man that I had shot at on Isla de Muerta. His hair was no longer in a ponytail and he was drenched to the bone. He hopped down from the rigging and picked up Jack’s pistol, holding it at Barbossa. Rose let out a little chuckle toward the boy. “She goes free!” he demanded. Barbossa wasn’t phased.
“What’s in your head, boy?” he asked, striding toward him. The boy repeated himself.
“She goes free...” holding the pistol more firmly. Barbossa walked right up to the muzzle and stood his ground.
“Ye’ve only got one shot, and we can’t die.” he grinned. In the background, we could hear Jack pleading to the boy,
“Don’t do anything stupid!” but, the boy thought better of himself. He jumped back up on the rigging.
“You can’t,” he said, and then pointed the loaded pistol at himself, “I can.” Barbossa just looked at the boy as if he had three heads.
“Who are you?” he asked, bloody confused. Jack quickly started.
“No one! He’s no one. A distant cousin of my... aunt’s nephew... twice removed! Lovely singing voice though,” he then coughed, “Eunuch...”
“My name is Will Turner! My father was Bootstrap Bill Turner! His blood runs in my veins!” said the boy. A memory stirred in my brain.
“Oy! You’re that little bloke from the Princess!” I said, pointing a finger at him and smiling. Rose looked at me confused.
“A friend of yours, you say?” she asked inquisitorly. I laughed and pulled out my pistol, clicking it loaded and pointing it at him.
“Far from it.”
“It’s the spittin’ image o’ ol’ Bootstrap Bill! Come back to ha’unt us!” cried Ragetti, trembling.
“Bleedin’ superstitious oaf...” growled Rose.
“On my word, do as I say...” warned Will, “Or I’ll pull this trigger and be lost to Davy Jones’ Locker!” Barbossa pondered the situation for a second and then said,
“Name yer terms, Mr. Turner.”
“Elizabeth goes free!” Will snapped. We all rolled our eyes.
“Yes,” I said, from behind my uncle, “We know that one. Anything else?” Will took a moment to consider it while Jack was in the corner pointing to himself, wanting Mr. Turner to save him as well! Will then gestured toward the rest of the crew.
“And the crew! The crew are not to be harmed!” he yelled. Barbossa gave him a devilish grin.
“Agreed.”
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:45 pm

Chapter Eighteen

Spoiler:
It didn’t take long for Young Mr. Turner’s misadventures to worsen. Having failed to specify the exact location of where Elizabeth would go free, Barbossa took it upon himself to maroon her and again Jack on Black Sam’s Spit, a small desert island where Barbossa had left Jack to die on their first voyage.
“Your uncle’s a canny one.” said Rose as she carved something out of wood with her knife while sitting on my bed. We were both in my quarters as the Pearl began to sail back to Isla de Muerta. With the last piece and Bill Turner’s heir safely locked away, the pirates had all they needed to finally lift the curse. I laughed at Rose’s comment and nodded.
“He does have a sense of fair play. And, as you saw, he exploits the clarity of demands. In the end,” I said, leaning back on a post, “it’s bloody Will’s fault for not specifying his orders.”
“Aye, but wasn’t that Will a friend of yours? Wouldn’t you have at least helped out?” she asked, putting down her carving knife. I looked at her puzzled.
“No, love. I don’t know the boy all that well.” I shook my head.
“Then explain.” said Rose, sitting on the edge of her seat. I shrugged and sat on a barrel.
“I met the boy onboard the Princess, an ordinary merchant ship. After the failed exploits of the hunt for Treasure Island, I bartered passage to the Caribbean to return to the Misty Lady. As I snuck aboard, I came upon Will, a little boy of eight at the time. A stowaway, just like meself,” I grinned, “he and I began to talk a bit, but were soon under attack by the Pearl herself. That was the day, ten years ago, where I was press-ganged into my uncle’s service.”
“And what of the boy?” asked Rose. I shook my head.
“This is the first time I’ve seen that lad in nearly ten years. He was a sweet kid, don’t get me wrong, but I find no moral ambition to be this whelp’s guardian angel.” I snorted. Rose paused for a moment, then nodded. Soon, there was a knock on the door. Without moving, I reached with my right arm and jiggled the handle. The door opened, revealing Barbossa and Bo’sun standing in the doorway. They walked in and eyed Rose, a bit baffled that she was in my place.
“What’s the situation, Captain?” I said, walking into view.
“Weigh anchor, Mr. Quartermaster. Stuff the sails and lay her lie. We’re home.” said Barbossa, beginning to walk away, but then turned to say, “And someone get a bushel of apples ready in my cabin.” he grinned and then walked away with Bo’sun, jingling for the keys that would unlock Will’s cell. I looked to Rose and beckoned her to come with me.

We were back in the treasure cove in no time. Barbossa led the way, a green apple in hand, as Pintel and Ragetti restrained Will. All the time, as we marched to the stone chest, Pintel tried to falsely reassure Will.
“No reason to fret,” he said, “Just a prick o’ the finger, a few drops of blood...” but before Pintel could continue, I saw Twigg grab Will forcibly by the shoulders.
“No mistakes this time! He’s only half Turner... We spill it ALL!” he cheered, pushing Will forward. Rose and I stopped to watch the scene unfold. Rose nudged me and said,
“Guess there is reason to fret...” and continued on. Minutes passed and soon we were repeating the same exact ritual that was rudely interrupted by Elizabeth. Twigg and Koehler held Will down, bent over the stone chest as Barbossa brandished the bloodied dagger, raising it high for all to see. The crew continued to chant and hoot and holler, but soon it began to die down. I noticed a stir amongst the men and a path parting between them.
“Begun by blood,” shouted Barbossa to the heavens, not noticing the commotion below him, “By blood, un---” suddenly he looked down to see a face he thought he’d not see for the rest of his life. We all stood and turned to see, with a wide grin and all, Jack Sparrow waving his hellos to the crew. How the bloody hell did he get off that island... AGAIN?!
“Jack!” cried Will, struggling to get free. The look on my uncle’s face was of sheer horror and shock.
“Tis not possible...”
“Not probable!” corrected Jack as he tried to make his way up to the treasure mound, until Bo’sun’s hand grabbed Jack by the shoulder, much to his dismay.
“Where’s Elizabeth?” asked Will.
“She’s safe, just like I promised,” reassured Jack with a nod, “She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you’re about to die for her, just like you promised!” said Jack, pointing at Will, who gave the man a disgusted glare. “So we’re all men of our word really.... Except for Elizabeth, who is, in fact, a woman...”
“Shut up!” barked Barbossa, pointing the dagger at Jack. “You’re next!” and then proceeded to bend down, positioning the knife under Will’s neck.
“You don’t want to be doing that, mate...” said Jack, his voice trailing off. I saw Barbossa give Jack a scowl.
“No, I really think I do...” Barbossa growled and then looked back at Will. Jack just shrugged.
“Your funeral.” After a long pause, Barbossa rolled his eyes and looked up at Jack again.
“WHY don’t I want to be doin’ it?”
“Well because,” started Jack, slapping off Bo’sun’s hand and striding forward. Everyone of us had our hands on our weapons, ready to see if Sparrow would dare try and harm the Captain at such a time, “because the HMS Dauntless, pride of the Royal Navy, is floating... just off shore. Waiting for you.” he finished with a grin. The pirates let out an audible gasp. The Dauntless was the powers of the Caribbean Sea. She’d always been a prime target for looting, but because of her hulking demeanor and massive array of weaponry, and small army of “The King’s Finest”, the crew was uneasy when it came to crossing paths with her. Soon, Jack and Barbossa came to a deal where the men would destroy the army, commandeer the Dauntless, and place Barbossa as Commodore of his very own fleet; with Jack captaining the Pearl once more. In my mind, this was a terrible plan. Despite the possible possession of the Dauntless, we would be losing the Pearl in a matter of days. Jack was and is a dishonest man who would make a clean getaway with our vessel and disappear into open waters. Yet, somehow, Barbossa agreed to the terms and sent the cursed crew on a “Walk”, where the crew would sneak aboard the Dauntless from underneath. Because of their curse, the men would be able to breathe underwater, giving them the element of surprise; without using longboats. Three men stayed behind in the treasure cove along with myself and Rose: Jacoby, Monk, and Clubba. While Monk played “Skip the Treasure” with Rose, Clubba and Jacoby held Will in restraint as I stood next to my uncle, who was sitting on a pile of treasure, admiring his good fortune. I, on the other hand, was watching Sparrow intently. He was picking up different pieces of gold and jewelry and inspecting them. As he was examining a golden idol, Barbossa spoke to him.
“I must admit Jack, I thought I had ye figured. Turns out you’re a hard man to predict.” he said with a smirk. Jack turned and smiled, tossing the idol away into a heap of treasure.
“Me? I’m dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly! It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for,” he said, getting closer and closer to Monk, who was still skipping pieces of gold to his delight, “cause you can never predict when they’re gonna do something incredibly.... stupid.” With a wink to Will, Jack drew a cutlass from Monk’s belt and kicked him into the water. He fell in face first with a splash. Before any of us could react, Jack threw the cutlass to Will who caught it in his bound hands. Barbossa was quickly on his feet, sword in hand, and he and Jack engaged in a duel of the ages. I drew my cutlass and tried to take a swing at Will, but to my misfortune, I only released him from his bonds. He soon came at me and Jacoby, flailing his sword around. Rose quickly dashed over to us and the battle began.

It was five against one and somehow, Will still was able to keep his own. The three idiot crew members hardly posed any threat to Will, but Rose’s and my skills sometimes overpowered the young boy. Delivering a few cuts to the boy’s chest and arms, Rose and I seemed to get the upper hand. Until we saw it. The fighting below stopped to look up at the duel between Jack and Barbossa. We had all turned when we heard Jack gasp, and saw the hilt of his blade protruding from his chest. He staggered back into the moonlight and transformed into one of the cursed crew! With a cry of rage, Barbossa lunged at him. Rose had thought she could catch Will off guard and tried to swing a killing blow at him, only for him to parry the blade and punch her in the face. She flopped into the water. I charged at Will, Jacoby at my side and continued to duel. Will was caught in between a cursed Jacoby and a cursed Clubba. Those two idiots somehow ran each other threw, leacing Will unscathed. I smacked Jacoby on the head as the three of us chased after Will, who tried dodging us by weaving through the stalactites and stalagmites. We soon had the upper hand when Jacoby threw a bomb Will, the explosion knocking him off balance. He charged up to Will, sword raised over his head.
“I’m gonna teach you the meanin’ of pain!”
“You like pain?!” piped up a familiar female voice. Jacoby turned and only had a brief second to recognize the voice as Elizabeth Swann before she swung a golden rod and smacked the pyromaniac right across the face. “Try wearing a corset.” She helped Will up, but now had me to contend with. I swung at Elizabeth, who knocked me in the head with the golden rod as well. I fainted dead away into the water.

A huge explosion woke me up from my unconscious state. I looked up to see the remains of Jacoby, Clubba and Monk fly through the air in a disgusting spray of blood and clothes. Will and Elizabeth were hurrying away from the sight as I looked over to see Jack cut his hand and toss the piece of gold to Will’s outstretched hand. Now, the clicking sound of guns echoed through the cavern; Barbossa aimed his gun at a stunned Elizabeth, I aimed my gun at Will who stood atop the treasure heap, and there was a third gun click that no one payed much mind too.
“I’ve got a clear shot!” I yelled, but my voice was drowned out by a shot. We all turned to see Jack’s pistol smoking and pointed at Barbossa.
“Ten years ye carry that pistol,” smirked Barbossa, still holding his pistol at Elizabeth, “And now you waste yer shot...”
“He didn’t waste it!” shouted Will from atop the treasure. In one hand, he held the bloody dagger and in the other, he dropped two pieces of blood stained gold into the stone chest. To Barbossa’s amazement, he opened his jacket with his free hand. In the center of his heart, a black hole began to ooze red blood. In his shock, he moved his gun hand and cracked open a shot. Instead of hitting Elizabeth, the bullet zoomed past her and hit a recovering Rose.
“NO!” I shouted, and ran over to her side. The three heroes paid me no heed as they sealed the stone chest. I picked Rose up in my arms. The bullet had pierced a hole clean through her forehead. Her blue eyes still remained opened from the shock of the hit. To my regrets, I closed her eyes gently with my hand. With one last look at the beautiful woman who had slowly crept her way into my blackened heart, I stood up and tried to look around for an escape route. There was no way I would go off with Sparrow and his cohorts now. It’d be the gallows for me. There was no way out but--
Suddenly, there was a gasp of air and a small series of coughing. Cautiously, I turned around to see where the breathing was coming from. I dared to look back to see Rose... standing up... the bullet wound almost perfectly disappeared.
“Oy... what a hit.” she said, rubbing her forehead and staggering with every step. She chuckled a little bit until she looked up to see Jack, Will, Elizabeth and me all staring at her in disbelief. Our jaws wide open, I was able to just utter a small phrase.
“Impossible...” How could she have survived that? Clearly the curse was lifted, so there was no possibility that she took any of that gold. Before I could comprehend what was going on, she picked up a handful of gold coins and flung it at my face. Distracted, I heard a splash and the crack shot of a pistol brandished by young Mr. Turner. When I got to my feet, I looked at the water to see the rippling effect disappearing, leaving the cave water still and clear.
“What the bloody hell is she...?”
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:46 pm

Chapter Nineteen

Spoiler:
Fortune was not in my favor. It was a struggle for the first two months after the events of The Aztec Curse. My uncle was dead, my estranged friend Rose had disappeared, and I was left without a ship or a crew. Having escaped the Isla de Muerta without raising alarm to the Dauntless men, I stashed myself away onboard a merchant ship and found myself back in Tortuga. I was able to reach out to a few old contacts, such as Scarlett and Bronze John, who provided me with a house of my own; to the misfortune of one Andrew Bowdash. After I had left Tortuga all those years ago, Bowdash tried to take over the little gang of street urchins. Unsuccessful, he turned his eyes to bigger ambitions and proclaimed himself the “King of Tortuga”, but he was nothing more than a drunken sod who spent his entire day drinking and ranting in the King’s Arm tavern. Scarlett and Bronze John found me refuge in Bowdash’s house, which he dubbed “Bowdash Manor”. Life had gone back to the ordinary humdrum up until the middle of the month, when the King’s Men finally caught up with me. I was sent to prison on a distant island. As I came to in the prison cell, I looked around my surroundings. It was a dark and murky black brick prison, with only two occupants; a sleeping naval guard and a watch dog that I could’ve sworn came from the Port Royal cellars. But, as fate were to have it, there was a third occupant.
“Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes, Hector. Oy, you look how I feel, mate.” said a voice that I hadn’t thought I’d hear for the rest of my lifetime. Begrudgingly, I turned my head to see, with a sly grin, Jack Sparrow sitting on the cot in the cell.
“What are the odds...” I said, putting my face in my palms, rubbing my aching head. Jack came over and put a hand on my shoulder, where I recoiled at his touch.
“Oh, come off it, Hector. There’s no hard feelings between us, mate, aye?”
“You killed my uncle!” I barked, spitting in his face.
“Aye, that I did, but at least now the feud is over.” he said with a smirk. I punched him in the face. Stunned for a second, he tried to crack his nose back into place and sighed. “Look, lad, perhaps we can discuss the nature of our relationship after we---”
There was a loud BOOM as the walls of our cell exploded in a cascade of black brick, revealing a large opening that led to a small tavern across the hill.
“What the bloody hell was that?!” I yelled, running over to the hole. I looked out to the beach to see cannons whizzing through the air, smashing houses and trees. The island was being sacked.
“So much to do, so little time to discuss, mate.” said Jack, climbing out through the hole.
“Wait! Where the hell are you going?!”
“Come find me in Tortuga, mate. You’ll get your answers there!” said Jack and began to dash off, but then stopped. “You can collect your effects in that tavern there! Then head to the beach where you’ll find safe passage aboard Bo Beck’s ship! Cheers mate!” and then, like lighting, Jack Sparrow disappeared into the tall grass.
“Wait! Bo Beck?! What’s he doin’ all the way out here?? JACK!!” I shouted after him, until the building began to shake violently again with cannon fire. No longer wishing to stay in a crumbling prison, I jumped out of the hole in the wall just as the building collapsed in a heap of dust. I got up and ran, dodging the incoming cannonballs that wreaked havoc on the small island. Bursting through the doors of the tavern, I quickly shut them and collapsed out of breath, panting on the floor. The owner of the bar came running out to meet me, his hands waving in the air.
“Nah nah nah nah nah! We’re closed mate, out ‘a business! Packin’ up before those cannons blast this place off the ground!” I looked up to see who was denying me shelter. I looked up with a small delight to see a red haired man with a sideburn beard that connected across his lip.
“Dan! Ol’ Doggerel Dan!” I said, catching my breath and standing up. Dan jumped back a little in surprise, not expecting to be recognized out here on this little island. He then flashed a smile when he looked me up and down.
“Mr. Quartermaster!” he said, shaking my hand. Dan had been the former cook aboard the Misty Lady. He was a young man of twenty at the time, but his meals were some of the finest I’d had on the sea. “What’re you doin’ all the way out here in Bilgewater?”
“My crimes finally caught up to me. Navy sent me here with plans to relocate me to Kingston, before all.. this!” I gestured to the outside as another cannon shot was heard.
“Aye! Surprise attack from Jolly Roger! Me wife and I are packin’ up and gettin’ the hell out of here!” he said, rummaging through his effects.
“Umm.... Jolly Roger?” I asked, but before he could answer, he plopped down a large bag onto the counter. “My seabag!” I exclaimed, collecting my effects.
“No time to explain, mate! Best we all get out of here! C’mon! Let’s find Captain Bo Beck!” said Dan, grabbing his wife’s arm and running out toward the beach. I followed in toe, finding a small sloop anchored in the harbor.
“You three! Come aboard quickly!” shouted a mousy voice from the ship. As the three of us came closer to the ship, we could make out the small bulging figure of Bo Beck, a short man with sandy blonde hair hidden underneath a blue cap and a beard to top off. He wore no shirt, but wore a blue sailor’s coat over his big belly. “I was about to shove off without ye! Best be quick, me mates! Jolly Roger’ll be back in a hair’s breadth or my name’s not Bo Beck!”
“Good to see you, Beck! Now let’s get out of here!” I said, climbing aboard the ship and helping Dan assist his wife aboard. Out of nowhere, a ghostly sloop appeared in the fog.
“Man the cannons you three!” shouted Beck as he began to raise the anchor himself.
“Where the bloody hell is your crew?!” I asked in astonishment. The only people aboard this small sloop were Beck, Dan, his wife, and me.
“All taken prisoner by Jolly Roger!” said Beck as Dan and his wife took the cannons and blasted the ghost sloop into the watery abyss.
“Who the hell is Jolly Roger?!” I repeated as a thunder strike echoed across the bay. In a shaking voice, Beck said,
“You’re about to find out...” he pointed to a ship coming through the ghostly green fog. If I had thought the Black Pearl was a ghost ship, I was sorely mistaken. A three masted frigate, this ship’s sails were essentially missing, replaced by long tangles of seaweed that propelled the ship forward. Covered in barnacles and rotting wood, this ship had us dead to rights.
“SPAAARRROOWWWW!!!” a voice boomed through the air.
“Don’t worry, mates. I’ll handle this!” said Beck before three skeletons emerged on deck. At first, I thought I recognized two of the skeletons as Jacoby and Mallot, but these were unlike any skeletons I had sailed with previously. They were essentially just animated bones; no rotting flesh, no eyes in their sockets. But their leader was the most impressive of all. His skull was fixed in a permanent grin, giving him the look of madness. His long black dreadlocks, which looked more like poisonous snakes rather than hair, flowed in the night breeze, hidden underneath a large feathered bicorne hat. Atop the hat were two playing cards, a four and a six; a poor hand to hold. He wore a long flowing faded navy coat which his his belt that was adorned with shrunken heads and various other dark artifacts. Where his right hand should have been, there was instead a multi-purpose appendage; a strange mix of a dagger, a pistol and a bayonet. His left leg was also missing, replaced instead with the skeletal leg of a goat’s hoof. On his forehead, there was a spiral voodoo design, the sign of dark voodoo. This was Jolly Roger.
“Where’s that yellow coward Sparrow...?” said Roger, looking around the ship, then fixing his sockets on Bo Beck. “Beck! We had a deal!”
“But Sparrow paid me double what you was payin’” shrugged Beck. All the while, Dan and his wife hid behind Beck as I stood to the side watching the scene unfold. He continued, “A pretty piece of profit too! So, uh, here’s yer gold back!” said Beck, pulling out a small sack of coins and holding it out for Roger to take. “Course I was gonna reimburse you... as it were...” he smiled. Roger was not pleased. Beck started to laugh nervously. “Looks like the price of loyalty just went up... eh?” he said, thinking himself a comic genius. I could only hold my head in my hand and sigh. “What? Can’t take a joke, Jolly?” he laughed again, but his laughs were soon cut short as Roger raised his left skeletal hand and shot green mist at Beck, Dan and his wife. Dan’s wife’s shrieks of pain and agony burned in my ears as all three of them were turned into skeletons before my very eyes. When Roger was done with this, he threw all three skeletons into the water, holding his appendage arm at me with a threat.
“Dead man tell no tales.... So I’m forced yo let you live...” he said, reluctantly. My heart was beating fast. “Just make sure Jack Sparrow knows I’m coming for him!” he then turned to his two cohorts with a nod as they laid out the plank. Roger forcibly pushed me toward the plank, positioning me on it. “Said I’ll be lettin’ you live... but the sharks may not be so charitable!” he laughed as he pushed me into the water. And all I could do was swim for my life.

Hours past until I finally washed up on the shores of Tortuga again. The fatigue and exhaustion knocked me on my feet and into the sands on the beach. When I finally came too, I saw, standing over me, a familiar man with bushy grey sideburns that made him look like a badger.
“Ah, Gibbs, you old badger...” I managed to sigh out, blocking the sun glare with my hand.
“You’re a sight for salty eyes, Hector.” he said, offering me a hand up, which I took as he hoisted me onto my feet. My legs and arms ached from swimming nearly seven miles, taking only a few short breaks without drowning. Gibbs put a supporting arm around me as we began to make our way into town. “C’mon, mate. We’ve got a lot to discuss.” he said. All this time, I began looking around the harbor, trying to find that blackened hull or those tattered sails.
“Umm... Where’s the Pearl?”

“Captured, mate. My beloved Pearl’s fallen into the manicured clutches of King George’s finest fleet of lobsters.” said Jack, taking a large gulp from his mug. Jack, Gibbs and I were all sitting at a corner table in the Faithful Bride Tavern. As Carver, the barkeep, came down and placed my and Gibbs’ drinks down, I smacked the table with my hand. This caused Carver to jump back in alarm.
“How could you have been so ignorant?!” I barked at Jack, who just sat there, sipping his drink while I began to rant. “Ye’ve had her for barely three months and now she’s gone missing?!”
“Not missing, mate. We know where she is,” said Jack, with a grin, “And we intend to get her back.” From inside Gibbs’ vest pocket, he pulled out a document and placed it on the table. Atop at the heading, it read “RELEASE ORDERS”.
“Where’d you pilfer this from?” I asked, examining the document. Jack put his feet on the table and leaned back.
“Borrowed it. Borrowed it without permission. I had a little whelp obtain it for me. This island is crawling with fresh meat and new recruits, Hector. We’re gonna need all the help we can get to take the Pearl back.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked, looking at the two of them.
“She be guarded by the HMS Goliath,” said Gibbs, his voice trailing off for added effect, “With her thirty-six guns, not counting her deck guns, she be an even match for our girl.”
“But it’s not just her we have to contend with,” said Jack, leaning in, “There be also the trouble of fort security and patrols.”
“There’s no way of sneaking in and taking her back,” said Gibbs, “So we hammer them head on! But first, we be needin’ more men and these documents sealed by the Governor.”
“And that, my dear Hector, is where you come in.” said Jack with a wink.
“Come again?” I asked, confused as to what Jack was proposing.
“We need you to get those documents officially sealed in order for them to look legit enough to fool the sentries on duty at the outpost.” said Gibbs.
“And how do you suppose I obtain the Governor’s seal?”
“Ah, ye see there, Hector,” said Jack, standing up to come over and put an arm around my shoulder. He leaned in close, his breath smelling like a donkey’s ass, “is where you can improvise.”
“And what makes you think I’ll help you?” I spat, shoving off Jack’s arm and pushing him away from my seat. He just grinned and came staggering back.
“Because with the Pearl back in our hands, we’ll be able to blast old Jolly Roger back to his grave... and you’ll have a place to stay.” when he said that, I looked up at him, a little curious as to what he was cooking up. He took his seat and laid it all on the table. “Aye, I can see now that we definitely made quite an impact on your livelihood; the death of your uncle, the abandonment of your crew, and your loss of power. What I mean to do is reinstate you as Quartermaster, where you and Gibbs will act accordingly as a team; same way you and that big hulking mass of an African did servin’ Barbossa, savvy? But first,” he lifted up a finger, “we need to see if you can prove your worth serving Captain Jack Sparrow.” I leaned back in my chair, taking a long pause to consider my options, until I finally sighed and leaned back in.
“When do I start?”
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:48 pm

Chapter Twenty

Spoiler:
While Jack and Gibbs were recruiting men on Tortuga to undertake the biggest heist of the year, I snuck aboard a ship headed for Port Royal. In the dark of the night, we arrived at the dock, where I dove into the water to avoid the customs official’s notice. Swimming up to the beach, I made it to shore where I scattered into the shadows, avoiding detection or recognition. As I passed one of my wanted posters and hurried through the market district, I finally came across St. Paul’s District, where at the top of the hill, Governor Weatherby Swann’s grand mansion stood. Not more than four months ago, this town was in a smoking heap, laid waste by my old crew. Now, the mansion was back to it’s original state, with more security than previously. Surrounding the property was a twelve foot rod iron gate with spears lining the top. Locked from the inside, this gate gave the mansion a prison-like feel to it. At every station, there was a naval sentry guarding the property. A little more difficult to enter than last time, I thought to myself. I looked around the surrounding fence, to see if there was any possible way of scaling the spears without impaling myself. With luck, I noticed a palm tree that grew close enough to the side property of the mansion. Quickly running back to the dock, I snatched a spare rope that was lying on a barrel and then dashed back to the mansion. I walked up to the palm tree and gave it a good kick. Several coconuts fell with a crash. I picked up the least damaged, tied a heavy knot around it, and flung the coconut line over my head. It snaked around the top of the palm tree and tied itself tight. Digging my heels into the ground, I yanked and heaved the palm tree closer and closer to the ground. When it was taut enough, I took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and pushed off the ground. The palm tree catapult shot me up high into the air. I was holding onto the rope for dear life. Arching through the air, I flew over the fence into the Governor’s property. The only thing I didn’t take into consideration was...
“How the hell do I land?!” I screamed as I accidentally let go of the rope. I went hurtling toward the roof at full speed, crying out for help when suddenly with a loud crash I fell through the mansion’s roof and found myself face down on a hardwood floor. Surely someone must’ve heard the commotion I was making, for the watcher’s bells started to ring throughout the property. Trying to sit up, I rubbed my head which was pounding like the drums of war. Slowly standing up, I coughed and cleared all of the debris off my person and began to look around. A fire crackled in the hearth of what appeared to be a bedroom. And, sure enough, someone was occupying the bed. Dressed in her nightgown, her hair still in ringlets and her face hidden behind the book she was reading, Elizabeth Swann, the Governor’s daughter, looked at me alarmed.
“Hector McSkull!” she screamed, reaching into her bedside drawer for a pistol, which she clicked loaded. I held up my hands in a surrender.
“No no! Miss Swann, you’ve got the wrong idea!”
“If you’ve come to avenge the death of your uncle, you’ll be sorely surprised that my skills have improved since last we met, Mr. Quartermaster!” she said, standing her ground and reaching for a cutlass that was against her wall. Out of any options that would make sense, I decided to do something rare; tell the truth. I reached into my coat pocket and quickly pulled out the release forms for the Pearl.
“What I came for is this!” I said, waving it up high in the air. Curious, Elizabeth released the blade in her hand and walked cautiously over to me, her pistol still raised. She took the document and began to read it, then looked up at me with surprise.
“Release orders for the Pearl?” she said, intrigued. I nodded.
“I take it you’ve heard of Jack’s previous misfortunes?” I said, my hands still raised.
“Yes, but I don’t see how you have anything to do with this.” she said, stiffening her gun hand, but then gasped and smirked. “Oh I see... You’re Jack’s delivery boy.”
“Oy! Watch it, love. You don’t want to make me your enemy again.” I said with a snarl, but elizabeth only laughed and lowered her pistol.
“C’mon, sailor. Let’s talk.” she said, leading me out of her bedroom and into the hallway. As we walked down the grand staircase, the late night servants gave looks of pure shock and awe as they saw their mistress leading a pirate through the house. Looking at one of the butlers, I nodded and winked at him.
“As you were, gents.” I chuckled and followed Elizabeth into her father’s study. As I entered, Elizabeth shut the double doors to the office and locked them with a key. Pocketing the key, she then turned to me and gestured to the chair opposite the desk.
“Sit, Hector. If your words are true, then I can’t see why we can’t have a civil conversation.” she said, without smiling. Hesitantly, I looked at her as I took my seat. She then made her way over to the globe, where she slid open a side compartment that held three bottles of liquor. Taking two glasses, she opened one of the decanters and poured, handing me one of the glasses and taking one for herself. She then made her way back to the desk and sat in her father’s chair.
“So, Miss Swann,” I started, taking a sip of my drink, which was perhaps one of the finest batches of rum that I’d tasted in my lifetime, “I can assume you know why I’m now here.”
“Yes, indeed, Mr. McSkull,” she said, in a bit of a jesting tone, “these documents are not valid until they bear my father’s seal.”
“Which is why I still sit here with you.” I said, jesting back. She smirked. I looked around the office for a second, and then turned to her asking, “Where’s your father?” She looked at me a little disheartened as she put her glass down and her head in her hand.
“My father’s been trying to appeal to court the dangers that plague the Caribbean... But the big wig bureaucrats believe my father mad with talk of walking skeletons and cursed captains.” she sighed.
“Aye, I’d be thinking the same thing myself, had I not seen it with me own eyes two days prior.”
“Hold on...” she said, genuinely surprised as she leaned in over the table, “You’ve never heard of Jolly Roger?”
“Why? Should I have?” I said, unimpressed. Elizabeth took a moment to consider this.
“Perhaps he’s not as notorious as he claims.”
“Just who the hell are we dealing with here, Elizabeth?” I asked. She leaned back in her chair and folded her hands.
“Have you heard of the pirate Roger Davies?” she asked. A memory stirred of a unlawful man with a bad temper and an unnatural thirst for power.
“Aye! Name rings a bell. He was a strange bloke, he was. His quest for power always interfered with his work,” I said, “Due to his appetite for destruction, he’d sink more ships than he looted, bringing in a lower quantity of plunder than his rival,”
“Captain Jack Sparrow!” Elizabeth and I said at the same time. I nodded, now on track.
“What happened to the sod? Did he find our old treasure?” I asked, thinking back to the Cursed Treasure of Hernan Cortes. Elizabeth shook her head.
“No, from what I have heard, Roger has been like this for quite some time now. If he was one of your cursed crew, he would’ve been liberated once Will drew his blood into the chest.” said Elizabeth, “No, he is something else entirely...”
“Do tell.” I said, leaning in to listen.
“Where to begin?” said Elizabeth. “A long time ago, Roger Davies was an infamous captain who served as a henchman for the Brethren Court. Finding a good use for his merciless nature, the Court ordered Roger to perform unsavory deeds in their name.”
“Ah, so he was the fall guy.” I said, with a realization. Elizabeth nodded.
“Exactly. Believing that his service actually meant something to the Pirate Lords and that he would be one day voted onto the prestigious court, Roger carried out his dastardly acts to gain favor, which was something he had hoped for al his life. In his time as lacky, he befriended Jack, but was always secretly jealous of Jack’s uncanny good fortune. As Sparrow’s reputation flourished, Roger’s resentment deepened. At one point, both men were after a candidacy for Pirate Lord and, as you are well aware, Jack now sits as Pirate Lord of the Caribbean. Well, this didn’t sit all too well with Roger, believing that he was more deserving of the honor. In an act of revenge, Roger traveled to a distant island off the coast of South America to the home of an old witch doctor, Amo Dorsi,”
“A witch doctor, love?” I asked, letting out a throaty chuckle. She snapped her head at me and pouted.
“And I suppose cursed treasure and undead pirates are just as uncommon, Mr. McSkull.”
“I see your point...” I said sheepishly, “Go on.” She thanked me with a stern nod.
“Roger conspired with Dorsi to lure Jack into a poker game on Tortuga. With Dorsi as the dealer, Roger believed he could dupe Jack out of his Piece of Eight. But, as fate were to have it, Sparrow won the game, stealing from Roger in the process. Enraged, Roger shot his co-conspirator point blank, believing the old witch doctor had betrayed him. With his dying breath, Amo Dorsi cursed Roger to roam the earth as the undead skeletal beast that he is today. Amo Dorsi disappeared into ashes, but didn’t expect what would happen next. The ashes stuck to Roger’s skeletal form, creating a pure white effect. Through these ashes, Roger inherited all of the witch doctor’s powers, including his voodoo forces. Adopting the name Jolly Roger, after the black flag, this cursed captain raised an army of the dead, seeking revenge on the man who stole everything from him.”
“Jack Sparrow.” I finished for her. She nodded, taking another sip, then looking over the release orders. “We need the Pearl, love. It’s our only hope against this abomination.”
“I agree,” she said, rummaging through the desk drawer. She pulled out a packet of red wax and a stamp that bore the official seal of the Governor of Port Royal. Heating the wax over a candle, she let the red goo drip down onto the forms, where she gently pressed her father’s seal onto the cooling wax. “Now, with these, you should be able to trick your way into the naval outpost and onto the ship.”
“All that’s left to do is just fight our way out of there...” I sighed, taking a larger swig of my drink.
“I’ll help in any way I can, Hector.” said Elizabeth with a smile. Before I could reply, the doors to her father’s office burst open. Standing in the doorway were seven naval officers, cutlasses and pistols armed and ready.
“You there! Hector McSkull! You are under arrest!” said the commander. Blasted butlers must’ve ratted me out!
“I think this be my cue to leave...” I said, looking at Elizabeth with a sheepish grin. Looking back at the squad of redcoats, I seized the Black Pearl documents and dove for the window. The men opened fire, causing Elizabeth to duck down behind her father’s desk to avoid a bullet. I crashed through the window, falling from the second story window into an outcropping of bushes. The bells rang through the night sky as I staggered to my feet and made a dash for the coast.

Three days past til I was able to return to Tortuga. Having been on the run from the navy since the night at the Governor’s mansion, I laid low in the local taverns, biding my time until I was able to sneak aboard a ship headed to Tortuga illegally. Once finally back on the shores of the pirate town, I set off to the Faithful Bride where, to my surprise, Jack and Gibbs were still waiting. Only this time, they were flanked by a large company of men and women. Aside from the more familiar faces of Mr. Cotton the mute sailor with a blue and gold macaw on his shoulder and Marty the short weapons master, there were eight other pirates; some with familiar smirks and grins and others who I’d never met in my lifetime. There was Carver, the barkeep of the Faithful Bride, who’s real name was James Pidgeley, a former private assassin for the East India Trading Company’s Director, Cutler Beckett. Next to him was Gordon Greer, who, until recently, was trapped in the stockades of Port Royal. Towering over him was Jack’s own bo’sun and friend Hendry Cutts, an honest man turned pirate who was married to Scarlett’s older sister Millie. Cutts was a good man who came from a long line of woodcutters and drinkers. Scarlett and I had personally attended the drunken wedding of Cutts and Millie. For what I’d heard of late, their marriage was a little on the rocks. No wonder he’s here with us now. Cowering in the corner with Nill Offrill, the superstitious sod from Nassau, was “Scary” Mary Lash, the mad hermit of Isla Perdida. Having been stranded in the wilds for years after a mutiny, Mary had gone mad from the poisons of the hornets that infested the jungle. Jack thought it best to save what was left of her before she was taken into Jolly Roger’s foul clutches. Drinking heavily next to Gibbs was Gunner, a man of few words due to the fact that there was always a bottle to his mouth. And finally, talking to Jack, Gil Derga and John Smith stood ready for action.
“Jaysus, Jack...” I said, surveying the group once more as I walked in, taking a seat next to Gunner, who tried offering me a sip. I pushed his outstretched hand gently aside, which made him topple over. “This isn’t a crew; this is a psychiatric ward.”
“Come now, Hector!” said Jack, proudly, “These fine men and... Mary...” he said, eyeing her a little disgustedly as she picked out an insect from her hair and gobbled it down with a burp, “are just right for the job. We’ll need ‘em all and their special skills to pull this heist.”
“Speaking of,” piped up Gibbs, “you have the documents?” I pulled out the release order and placed it on the table. The Governor’s seal bounced off the lights in the bar.
“When do we start?” I asked, picking up a nearby apple and taking a bite.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:50 pm

Chapter Twenty-One

Spoiler:
As the sun began to set over the horizon, we smuggled ourselves aboard a naval sloop, heading for the secret outpost where the Pearl was hidden. As we each secretly dove out of the ship and toward the dock, we decided to send one man, of who’s name seems to slip my mind, to the dock to distract the guards. To our great relief, the two guards stationed at the dock were none other than the blundering idiots Mullroy and Murtogg. The boy showed the two the papers, who began to ramble off together about how no one gets in or out of the harbor without facing the Goliath’s thirty six guns, and how they won’t be made fools of by Jack Sparrow again, and how each had covered the other’s extra shifts. This gave us plenty of opportunity to sneak aboard the Pearl.
“Now, gents, this should be the easy---” just as Jack was about to finish his sentence, he turned around on deck to see seven naval officers, all wearing the badges of lieutenant, with their swords drawn.
“Halt!” barked one of them.
“It’s Sparrow!” shouted another.
“Give them no quarter!” said a brave officer, who charged at us, meeting his blade with Jack’s. We sprang into action, leaping across the deck to engage the enemy in swordplay. They must’ve heard the commotion down below, for the watch bells were ringing like the bells of Hell. As the last of the lieutenants’ blades was parried and the man struck down, we looked to the horizon to see four small naval frigates sailing out from the forts.
“Hard to port, Mr. Cotton! Prepare to broadside!” barked Jack as he made his way up to the helm. The order was echoed by Mr. Gibbs.
“Prepare to broadside!” Gun crews scrambled to load the cannons and target the incoming frigates. The hatches opened, the cannons rolled into place, and the crew waited the captain’s orders.
“Fire at will!” shouted Jack. The order was issued two more times by myself and Mr. Gibbs. The crew peppered the frigates with cannon fire, who returned fire upon us. Most of their shots ended up in the water with only a few scratching up the Pearl. When the crew volleyed another set of cannons, the remaining ships exploded on impact. The crew had hit the powder magazine, something they had picked up from watching Barbossa’s men.
“Now to get past those blockades...” I said, patting Gunner on the shoulder and heading up to the deck. I looked through my spyglass to see fires being lit in the forts. “Oy! Jack!” I shouted up to him, pointing to the fort blockades, “There’s something off about the forts, mate!”
“Aye! Just wait and watch!” Jack shouted down, then turned to Cotton, “Keep her on course, Mr. Cotton! Nice and steady man!” Confused, and angered that Jack was rather casual about the heavily fortified forts blocking our way, I was stopped in my tracks as two of the enemy forts exploded in a fiery blaze. Chunks of stone and cannons fell into the water below, crashing down onto the draw bridges blocking the Pearl. The bridges fell into the water along with the rest of the rubble.
“What the bloody hell was that?!” I cried, running toward Jack and Gibbs at the helm. Jack gave a quick laugh.
“Told ye I’ve been recruitin’, Hector.” he winked, as another set of forts shattered into nothingness. The men and women Jack had been recruiting had snuck into each of the four sets of forts and lit the powder magazines, causing an implosion that destroyed the blockade. The Pearl was soon out to open waters, sailing away from the naval outpost.
“Sail ho! She’s a man-o-war!” shouted the lookout. We looked to the portside to see the HMS Goliath sail out from behind a set of rocks.
“Get us in front her nose, Mr. Cotton! Load the cannons and rake her from bow to stern, boys!” said Jack. The sounds of cannons rearing back and their muzzles stuffed with shot rang across the ship. Mr. Cotton turned the Pearl hard to port, where she crept her way toward the front of the Goliath. As the Goliath continued on her course, preparing to ram the Pearl, Gibbs barked out,
“Fire you gobs!!!” The cannons erupted, firing across the Goliath’s bow. Smoke and dust covered the deck of the Goliath. Volley after volley we hurled toward her, knocking out her bow chasers and damaging her gunpowder supply. With each powder barrel’s explosion, navy soldiers were blown away, falling into the deep waters below. Finally, with the last of the attack, we heard just what we wanted to; the disabling of the rudder chain. She was now a sitting duck.
“Weigh anchor and wait for her to list in toward us! We’re board her port to bow!” shouted Jack.
“It’ll be a tight squeeze, lads, but not as tight as a virgin’s twat!” I laughed. All the men hooted and hollered at my quip, except for Scary Mary, who looked at me angrily with her beady eyes. I had my cutlass in hand as the men lowered the anchor on the capstan. The Goliath, slowed down by the attack, gently bumped the Pearl on her port side and came to a halt.
“Give no quarter!” I barked as the men began to either hook the Goliath to the Pearl with grappling hooks or just jumped the gap, praying that they would find their footing on deck and not in water. I took a line and swung over, Gibbs at my side. I kicked an unsuspecting ensign in the air, knocking him out as I landed on top of his head. I pulled my pistol out and cracked a shot at an incoming lieutenant. He flopped on the deck dead, the blood seeping out of his forehead. The pirates charged at the marines. Swords clanged and clashed, pistols unloaded in fiery bursts, and men dropped to the deck stone cold dead. Finding Jack in the disarray, we nodded and fought back to back, parrying, disengaging, and running men through with our cutlasses until we heard a gun shoot up into the air. The two of us pirates and the few remaining soldiers turned to see a man walking down from the helm with a prideful stride. Clade in iron boots and gauntlets with two baldrics strapped to his chest, each holding a sword, the man came into view. Wearing the blue coat of a naval captain with a powdered whig and a black and gold tricorne hat with a scowl of a man who’s sailed the seas as a pirate hunter for thirty years, Captain Timothy Rothwell drew his cutlass and stood in a fencer’s stance.
“Jack Sparrow...” Rothwell snarled. Jack sighed heavily, his expression dropped and annoyed.
“Captain.. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow... Thought you’d oughta know that by now, Tiny Tim.” said Jack with a grin. I looked back at Captain Rothwell. We’ve all had a history with the man. Once a feared pirate bruiser who sailed with Teague and Isabela, Rothwell left piracy aboard Benjamin Hornigold’s ship during the last year of his employment. As Hornigold’s first mate, Rothwell was in charge of torturing captives until they were delivered to Port Royal to be hanged, to keep the remainder of each pirate’s life excruciating. After Hornigold’s death, Rothwell took up command and became a stone cold hunter, sinking any man who sailed under the black.
“A poor captain at that, Sparrow,” retorted Rothwell with a snicker, “Not only did it take several minutes to overwhelm your crew and take your ship, but we found you passed out from drink in the hold! What a leader!” he laughed. The navy soldiers chuckled a little along with their commander, only to be silenced by the oncoming cutlasses and rapiers of the pirates. “But I digress,” continued Rothwell, looking at me, Jack and Gibbs, “seems as if fate has delivered three bountiful targets, free of charge; a drunk, a deserter, and a renegade.” The three of us looked at one another, a little confused, trying to determine which one of us warranted each title. “Enough of this!” shouted Rothwell as he flung into action. He drew his second cutlass and engaged me and Jack. Our swords raised, we deflected the oncoming swipe, pushing him back a few paces. Side by side, Jack and I fought as one, slashing and cutting at Rothwell. Soon, the two of us overwhelmed him. I head-butted Rothwell in the skull. He grabbed at the wheel, only to fall crashing down to the floor as the wheel spun in his grip. With his head trapped in the wheel’s grip, he squirmed and cursed at his men to help retrieve him.
“We’re done here...” said Jack, sheathing his cutlass. He started to turn and walk away as Rothwell continued to struggle. I looked at Jack in disbelief, watching him as he walked away from one of the most feared pirate hunters in the Caribbean.
“That’s it? You’re just letting him go?”
“There’s no fun without a chase, mate.” Jack said, flashing a little grin.
“A chase?!” I snapped, sheathing my cutlass with emphasis, “We already have Jolly Roger and the rest of organized society on our tail, you really think we need another bilge rat scum pirate hunter loose and about?!” I didn’t even give Jack time to respond. I stomped over to the wheel, looked Rothwell in the eyes as I grabbed hold of the handles. The whites in his eyes shown with terror as I took hold of the wheel and turned it hard to the ground. The handles smashed against Rothwell’s skull with a sickening crunch as his head exploded on impact. The blood burst up like a fountain then slowly dispersed itself across the helm. I looked back up at Jack, blood splashed against my clothes and my face. His expression was un-phased as I walked right up to him and got in his face.
“Fight the urge to run away for once, Jack. No mercy in these troubled times.”
“you learn that from your mutineering and murderous uncle?” Jack asked, his eyebrow raised.
“Nay, mate... Your mother.”
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:52 pm

Chapter Twenty-Two

Spoiler:
With the Pearl back in our command, Jack and I were now finally able to focus on the threat at hand; Jolly Roger. Jack was still a little uneasy about the events that transpired the prior week, but he mostly kept his opinions of Rothwell’s execution to himself. We all needed to put our heads together to figure out how to deal with the undead forces. Previously, Roger had sent his army to raid the island of Padres del Fuego, but was unable to hold the main city of Los Padres thanks to the support of a ragtag team of buccaneers who kept the monsters at bay. Roger’s skeletons retreated to the smaller town of Las Pulgas, a ghost town that was abandoned long ago due to an outbreak of plague infested rats; the perfect battleground for Jolly Roger’s army. Roger didn’t stop there. He then sent his army to crush the secret naval outpost hidden within the catacombs of Padres. Roger was now only lying and waiting for the main city to be abandoned so he could take over the entire island and unleash the horrors of the volcano against the entire Caribbean, creating a world of the dead for himself and his minions to flourish in.
“And that, my friends, just cannot happen.” said Jack. Gibbs, Marty, Cotton and I were all around the Captain’s table in his quarters, looking over the strategic map. “I like me life too much, lads. Can’t have me mind controlled by that sod. I’m a free thinker!”
“What’s taking him so long to attack the main city?” I asked, clearly baffled. Roger had amassed an army of a thousand strong, capable of taking the city in the day. Gibbs piped up.
“There’s been help from all sides, mate. Our pirate forces are growing and repelling the---”
“We have pirate forces...?” I interrupted with a chuckle, “It’s hard enough to get forty men to work in tandem aboard a cutter, and now you’re tellin’ me we’ve raised an army?” I paused for a second, thinking back to my days aboard the Misty Lady, sailing with Teague to that hidden city in the heart of a volcano; Shipwreck Cove, the home of the Brethren Court. “Unless the Court’s involved...?”
“Nay,” Jack shook his head distastefully, “The Brethren don’t quite care what happens in me waters, which is why this burden falls to me.”
“Not to mention it’s you Roger’s after.” Gibbs nodded to Jack, who looked at him with distaste. Gibbs decided then it would be best to sit down and keep his mouth shut.
“I told ya I was recruitin’, Hector. We’ve got scallywags and buccaneers pushing the boney-men back into the grave. Even callin’ on the British to help out.” said Jack with a grin.
“Since when did the Crown support our cause?”
“Well, when I say help out, it’s mostly indirectly. Elizabeth’s father has a bounty out on Roger for crimes against the Crown and Empire. So sometimes we just sit back and watch the lobsters and the skeletons have at it; place some wages on the stronger man, eh?” Jack said. I nodded, understanding now. Since Jack was Pirate Lord of the Caribbean, and Roger was only vying for a spot on the Court as the Caribbean Lord, this was deemed an internal affair. The Court couldn’t send out an armada to aide Jack unless Roger planned an invasion of Shipwreck Island. So, Jack had to muster any skilled hands he could find in back alley taverns or the cellars of Port Royal and Tortuga. Suddenly, Carver came bursting through the doors, his face stricken white with shock.
“Capn’.... You best come see this...” he said, beckoning outside as a loud murmur was erupting on deck. As we went through the double doors, we could see the entire crew scattered far, hugging the railing or masts as their eyes were glued to the center of the ship. In the center, a ghostly greenish aura was swirling upward. As the aura began to brighten to a sickly green, there was a flash of light. Temporarily blinded, I rubbed my eyes to get a better look at three skeletons standing on deck. The lead skeleton, a formerly large man with dreadlocked hair and tattered clothes, held a bundle in his left bony claw. Jack whipped out his pistol, only for it to be pushed away by an unseen force with a wave of the skeleton’s hand.
“We come with a message, Sparrow...” said the skeleton in a gravely voice that made the hairs on my neck stand on edge. The voice was more of an animal snarl than it was human... if you could call that thing “human”. “ We come with an olive branch of parlay... But we make all the terms.”
“Already doesn’t sound fair...” Jack scoffed with a pout. The skeleton ignored him.
“This is a message to all you yellow bellied landlubbers!” said the creature, addressing the Black Pearl crew, “Join up with Jolly Roger and proclaim him the true Pirate Lord,” he then raised a finger and pointed it at Jack, “Or face his unstoppable wrath! You have til sunset to decide!” and with a flash, the three skeletons were gone, the bundle falling with a smash onto the deck. To our horror, what rolled out of the bag was a decapitated head. Wearing a powdered wig and an expression of terror, the head stopped at our feet, looking up at us with lifeless eyes.
“I know that man...” said Gibbs, trying not to gag or heave, “That be Father Swift, Port Royal’s clergyman. This be a sign... and a bad sign at that!” he said, quickly mimicking a cross over his body. Ignoring his superstitious nature, I thought back to the skeletons words... “Or Face His Unstoppable Wrath...”
“What if this is more than a sign, but a warning?” I inquired. Jack flashed me a look as if I was a half-wit.
“Obviously it’s a warning, you twit.” he said, waving me off.
“No, hear me out! A warning to the citizens of Port Royal...?” I said, looking down at Father Swift’s head. “Say Roger made this same threat to those of Port Royal, but our good Father Swift stood against the brute. That erupts Roger’s anger where he decapitates the old man, then gives us his head as to where he intends to hit.” As I finished, Jack and Gibbs glanced at each other, confused by my rambling, then back at me.
“So you’re saying he’s going to sack Port Royal?” asked Gibbs.
“That’s a big leap to conclusions, mate.” said Jack, not buying it. I shot him a look of distress.
“You really want to wait and find out?”

The sun was setting low on the horizon as the Pearl reached Port Royal’s harbor. As we surveyed the town from afar, there was a sense of unease, not just due to the naval contingent that was waiting for us at the dock. The entire town was deserted, save for a small pocket of ragged men and women pitching up makeshift barricades in different parts of the town. The navy didn’t seem to bother with the workers, their eyes fixed on our incoming ship.
“Bloody odd, ain’t it?” said Jack as he lowered his spyglass. He turned to me and Mr. Gibbs, walking as he began to list off orders. “Weigh anchor and stuff the sails, Mr. Gibbs. Let go of the longboats and haul to shore. Keep a squad of ten men aboard, with Gunner as acting officer, but before ANY of that is done, run up a flag of truce.”
“Sir?!” said Gibbs in astonishment. Jack stopped in his tracks, turning on his heels to face Gibbs.
“It’s the only bloody way Norrington will talk without his guns on us.” The enemy of my enemy is my friend... Though in this case, perhaps unlikely, I thought to myself. But all ordered were executed, the shore parties were loaded into the jolly boats and the white flag of parlay was hoisted up the main mast. Looking through my spyglass as we rowed over to shore, I could see Commodore James Norrington signaling his men to lower their muskets as he peered up at the white jolly roger flying in the breeze. When the boats finally made it over to shore, however, we were still greeted with an unfriendly welcome. Norrington’s men might have dropped their weapons, but the Commodore didn’t. He whipped out his pistol and clicked it loaded, aiming right for an oncoming Jack.
“Jack Sparrow, come to turn himself in. Seems that this game of cat and mouse had finally gotten the better of you, sir.” said Norrington with a snarl. Ever since Jack’s “famous” escape from the gallows at Fort Charles, Norrington had been obsessed with bringing the man who soiled his reputation to justice. Jack, his face dropping as he saw the pistol at him, started to point frantically at the white flag hanging over the Black Pearl.
“Nu uh uh, Mr. Commodore!” He said, wagging his other finger as he outstretched his arm to point at the flag, “Flag of truce! We’ve come to parlay, mate.”
“I have a right mind to reject your parlay, take you all into custody and have the Black Pearl seen sent back into the sea after the death of Captain Rothwelll...” his voice trailed off, looking up toward the horizon, his thoughts jumbled and lost.
“But...?” I asked, waving my hands for exaggeration. Norrington snapped out of his trance, turning his gun on me with a snap. I raised my hands up in defense. Even under the protection of “parlay”, there was no second guessing when it came to Commodore James Norrington.
“But what, murderer?!”
“But you need us in order to take on Jolly Roger, mate.” I said, nodding my head slowly. I cautiously took one step forward with my right leg. “Listen, Commodore... we’re not as keen on this arrangement as you are,” I said, inching my way up carefully to Norrington, “But there is a bigger threat out there that plans to devour the world as we know. Now, you may choose to fight it alone, aye, but at what cost? Your numbers are few and their powers are great, far greater than any Aztec curse. These are not ordinary cursed pirates. These are, in a lack of a better description, the living dead. You’ll need men,” I pointed at the crew as they stood on the beach, watching the scene unfold, “THOSE men, who have been through hell and back, havin’ dealt with eldritch creatures of the macabre ten times over.” As I got closer and closer to Norrington, he slowly began to lower his weapon. “You need us, mate.” That triggered something deep within Norrington. His eyes quickly flashed over to Jack again as he whirled the gun back on him.
“The message was clear! Jolly Roger’s only aim is revenge on Jack Sparrow. So what stops me from turning you over to Roger’s forces, ending the war before it even begins?” spat Norrington with a cunning smile. In haste, I placed my open hand on the muzzle of his pistol, putting pressure on his outstretched hand as I slowly lowered his pistol.
“And what makes you think Jolly Roger will stay true to his word? He is a pirate after all, Commodore. Just as devious and cunning as the lot of us.” I grinned. At first, Norrington shot me a look of disbelief that I dare touch his weapon, but then I saw in his eyes a twinkle and the disappearance of a darker glance. He looked away to the side, pondering and sighing heavily. “You need us, mate. As much as you’d hate to admit it.”
“We promise we’ll be out of your powdered wig in a jiffy.” said Jack, holding his hands up in a prayer. Norrington looked back at Jack, then at me. After a long pause, he finally stowed his weapon back onto his person.
“Very well, Mr. McSkull.” he said, reluctantly. Jack, in a burst of joy, dashed over and pried Norrington’s hand out of a clenched fist.
“Oh thank you, Commodore!” he said, exaggeratedly in a mocking tone, “You surely won’t regret the help!”
“I already am...” said Norrington bleakly as he ripped his hand out of Jack’s embrace. Nodding toward his men, the company moved out and headed back to the fort, with our crew picking up the rear.

Norrington led me, Jack and Gibbs into his stately quarters while our crew and the navy officers all stood to opposite sides of the courtyard, glaring at each other. Norrington’s headquarters was a lavish office building buried within the foundation of the fort. A mahogany desk with a large map sprawled out to every corner stood at the end of the room. On the walls hung various game animals Norrington had hunted in his time on the island; along with a pair of dual crossed swords hanging right above a Union Jack flag which loomed over the desk. Norrington retreated behind his desk, examining the map on the table. We three pirates peered down at the map to see that it was a full scale aerial view of the island of Port Royal, with routes drawn to indicate the different districts.
“Why’re there big red x’s drawn in certain places, Jimmy?” said Jack, pointing down at the map. The Commodore gave a heavy sigh of anger through his nostrils and shut his eyes tight in restraint.
“You will either address me as Commodore or nothing at all, Mr. Sparrow.” he snarled. Jack opened his mouth to correct Norrington that it was “CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow”, but luckily Gibbs quickly covered the captain’s mouth. I sighed and glanced back over to Norrington.
“Continue, Commodore.”
“We have begun preparations for the invasion forces,” said Norrington, taking off his tricorne hat and brushing back his powdered wig, “these marks represent barricades strategically placed throughout town. Women and children have been ordered to remain in their houses until further notice while any able bodied man has been called to arms.”
“Even the riff-raff like us?” asked Jack, pushing Gibbs’ hand down forcibly.
“Pirates and scum like you are the ones erecting the barricades... We need all the help we can get if the stories are true.” said Norrington as he trailed off.
“My dear Commodore,” I said with a smirk, “This is perhaps the first time we’ve seen you actually distressed.”
“Wouldn’t you be?” he said plainly, though his eyes gleamed with a small speck of desperation. Roger’s forces were unlike anything any of us had dealt with in our lifetimes, up to this point. An army of animated corpses brought to life by use of dark magics. How were we suppose to repel such an attack?
“Well then, this may be our last stand,” I said, clicking a pistol locked in my hand, “let’s give ‘em hell.”

The air grew still as the full moon came into view. Women locked their doors and pulled their children away from the windows as the men marched toward the shore. A motley brigade of sheep farmers, butchers, tailors and barbers. With pitchforks and muskets in hand, these men looked more like timid mice than they did soldiers. Norrington ordered these men and a contingent of pirates and renegades to take to the beaches. A squad of elite soldiers was sent to defend the Governor’s Mansion.
“Our priority,” said Norrington to his men as he paced back and forth, addressing the marines in the courtyard of Fort Charles, “is the safety and well being of the Governor’s daughter and the citizens of Port Royal!” Jack, Gibbs and I watched from the fort above as our gun crews were prepping the Pearl’s cannons while different lieutenants of ours stood at each barricade throughout town, acting as unofficial officers to the militia. Suddenly, there was a crackle of thunder as a flash of green lighting struck the dock. The wood of the dock burst into a fiery inferno, setting fire to the crates and barrels. From the distance, Jolly Roger’s ghostly ship, the Harkaway, sailed into view; it’s tattered seaweed sails flapping in the storm Roger had created.
“Take cover, men!” shouted Marty from down below as the first volley of cannon fire bombarded the beach, knocking down three beach barricades.
“Return fire!” shouted Norrington, drawing his sword and signaling his men to give no quarter on the cursed ship.
“Fire all broadside cannons!” barked Jack as he waved his hands wildly toward the Black Pearl. The gunners must’ve gotten the signal, for the Pearl had erupted with cannon fire moments after, blasting holes into the Harkaway’s hull.
“Hahahahahaha!!!” a voice echoed through the air. All of the soldiers held up their bayonets or drew their cutlasses, shaking with fear as the voice spoke again, “Shore parties away! Destroy those pathetic barricades and gut any man brave enough to challenge ye! Then... Onto the Governor’s Mansion... And I’ll rule PORT ROYAL!” shouted Roger’s inanimate voice. I swiped a spyglass out of Jack’s hands to see a fleet of longboats manned by a skeletal crew. Peering over to the deck of the Harkaway, through the dust and debris from the splintering hull, Jolly Roger raised his weapon appendage and yelled, “ATTACK!” and with a crack of his gun-arm, the skeletons landed on the shores of Port Royal, engaging the town militia in combat.
“Have the guns set to the beaches!” barked Jack to Norrington, “The Pearl will keep the Harkaway peppered with shot.”
“You daft idiot, Sparrow!” snapped Norrington, striding up to Jack as a cannon whizzed past his powdered head, causing the feathers on his tricorne to rustle, “What of the men down there risking their lives? I will not jeopardize the well beings of those men and women defending their homestead just to protect the likes of you.” he snarled, leaning in close to Jack with a white hot intensity of anger. Trying to stop an entirely different battle before it even started, I squeezed my way in between the pair and separated them.
“We’ve already got one war to fight here, gentlemen. We don’t be needin’ another to add to it!” I whirled on both of them, then reached for my cutlass and drew it. The blade sung as it left the scabbard, “I’ll lead the attack below. Have a brigade of thirty men follow my lead, Commodore. You continue to hide in your fort tossing your cannonballs at Jolly Roger.” As I finished, I turned to some of Norrington’s men and raised my cutlass high. “Fight with me! Fight with me to defend your home!” and with a battle cry, I charged out of the fort through the giant set of double doors, hearing Jack comment under his breath,
“He’s gonna get himself killed...”

As soon as I made it onto the beach, I was neck deep into the action. The entire invasion force had laid waste to the beach defenses. The remaining human forces were struggling to keep the monsters at bay as the skeletons drove the townspeople back into the square. Just as an undead lieutenant was about to strike into one of the locked homes, I sliced through the bone torso, cutting the skeleton in half. I shouted a battle cry and dove into the action, while a squad of redcoats and pirates followed behind, crying out and shooting their muskets and blunderbusses. Stuck in the middle of the square with a horde of navy soldiers and pirates encircling them, the skeletons looked at one another and simultaneously threw down their weapons. We all stared at each other then back at the unarmed skeletons in confusion.
“Did they yield?” piped up a young blacksmith’s apprentice. Before anyone could answer, the skeletons began to link their bony appendages together, forming a large circle. In unison, the skeletons began to chant in an ungodly tongue, dark and gravely. They slowly began to all walk to their right, continuing their incantation. The winds began to shift to the right along with them as a dark set of clouds began to hover over the town square, swirling faster and faster as the skeletons picked up their pace. Suddenly, a giant green lightning bolt crashed in the center of skeletons and humans alike. We shielded our eyes as the green flash grew brighter and brighter until there was nothing but pure white. When the lights finally dimmed again, the chanting had stopped as had the skeletal incantation. As our eyes readjusted to the light, the men looked in horror to see, standing before them, Jolly Roger himself; a green aura surrounding the creature, giving him more of a supernatural look.
“Must I do EVERYTHING myself?!” he barked as he raised his armed appendage and shot a nearby townsman. The man fell to the ground dead with a thud amidst the gasps and screams of women and children who looked from their windows. “Leave the pathetic scallywags to me, boys. YOU all sack the Governor’s Mansion! GO!” Roger barked, picking up one of his men and hurling him in the direction of the mansion. The skeletons began to dash toward the Governor’s Mansion.
“After them! Defend Miss Swann!” shouted a familiar voice from the crowd. The man who uttered the cry burst after the skeletons with a small contingent of men behind him; brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, dawning a thin mustache and goatee as he was layered in a long black leather coat.
“Ahoy there, Mr. Turner!” I shouted, waving a cutlass in his direction, “We could use your help, swordsman!” Will Turner, the young whelp who played a major part in the death of my uncle, stopped in his tracks and turned to regard me. He smiled briefly, but then looked back to the mansion, where the horde was advancing.
“Love to stay and chat, Hector, but Elizabeth needs my help!” he called down and then hurried after the skeletons. I turned back to see Roger in motion; he swung his armed appendage back and forth, knocking pirates and soldiers clean off their feet.
“Retreat all to the mansion!” shouted a lieutenant. We all quickly made our way toward the Governor’s Mansion, with Jolly Roger in pursuit. Clashing swords with the remaining skeletons, we tried to gain the upper hand before Jolly Roger unleashed any more of his dark powers.
“Hehehehaha!” cackled a voice from behind. As I turned from slashing down a skeletal conquistador, Jolly Roger stood in front of a hundred cowering farmers, butchers, soldiers and pirates. “You think you can escape my wrath?” he said, surveying the crowd scrupulously. “I gave you a choice; give me Jack Sparrow.... or suffer his same fate,” he raised his armed appendage, clicking the gun primed and loaded, “and now... you’ll all die.” As he aimed his limb at my heart, a giant explosion erupted through the island. I shut my eyes tight, expecting to feel the surging pain of a bullet pierce through my flesh, but, to my surprise, I remained unscathed. Roger, in a fit of confusion, lowered his arm and swung toward the sound of the boom. We looked up to see a fiery cloud on the horizon near the beach. The Pearl! Oh God! But... wait... I shifted my view at a man, leaning against a post at the property line. What’s Jack doing down here...?
“You’ve got me, Jolly,” Jack said, with a half grin and a mocking salute of waving his hands around in surrender. He then indicated the embers hovering through the town. “Though you might want to look after the remains of your ship before we dance, savvy?” he winked. Alarmed, Roger morphed his gun appendage to a spyglass with the flick of a wrist and looked toward the beach. He howled in rage, causing another blast of green lightning to strike him where he stood. With a flash of white light, where Roger had once stood, there was only a ring of black soot where the lightning had struck.
“These pitiful pirates are foilin’ me plans!” snarled Roger’s inanimate voice, “Fall back! RETREAT!” and as Roger’s last order echoed through the air, each of the remaining skeletons began to run toward the water, disappearing under the waves. When the last of the bone men retreated, a flash of green struck across the horizon and the skeletons and the burning ship were gone...
“We did it!” shouted a man from the crowd. Every pirate and soldier alike threw their hands up in celebration. I looked over at Jack, who was sauntering toward us with his signature cocky smile, flipping a coin in his left hand.
“How the blazes did you manage to pull that one off, Sparrow?” I said with a laughing snort as I shook his hand. Before he could reply, a voice rang out behind us.
“NOW!” shouted Commodore Norrington, sprinting toward us, cutlass and pistol in hand. We turned to see a squad of redcoats pick up their bayonets and aim them right at the pirates.
“I’ll be sure to tell you of my heroics onboard the Pearl, aye?” said Jack as kicked one of the soldier’s muskets to the side, causing the boy to pull the trigger. Chaos ensued as we pirates began to make a mad dash towards the shore. From the distance, the Pearl began to unfurl her sails and raise her anchor. We all dove into the water, swimming desperately for our lives as British soldiers opened fire on us.
“Guess our little parlay with the Commodore was short lived!” I shouted over to Jack, receiving a mouthful of seawater as Jack began to swim faster. Eventually, we made it back safely onto the Pearl and headed out for open water. We may have won the day against Jolly Roger and the ill tempered Commodore Norrington, but the war was only beginning.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:06 pm

Chapter Twenty-Three

Spoiler:
Three days out to sea after the events on Port Royal, we came across a wreck off the coast of a mysterious island many natives have dubbed Devil’s Anvil. As we pulled some of the survivors aboard the Pearl, we picked up one in particular who gave us a word of warning. This Bermudan Captain claimed to have been attacked by a ghostly crew, matching the description of Jolly Roger’s cohorts. Before the captain passed away due to the heavy loss of blood, he mentioned that Roger had big plans in place to lure Jack Sparrow out of hiding. He said that Roger had set his eyes on Tortuga and had set up a heavy blockade around the island, ensuring that no new shipments of rum would reach her shores. For Roger knew that if he cut off the link to Jack’s precious liquor, the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean would act upon it. And he was right. But, little did we know that the Pirates of Tortuga had already taken up arms against the tyrannical yoke of Jolly Roger. By the time we reached the island, Roger’s forces were almost in retreat. The Pearl blasted the remains of Roger’s failed blockade back to the depths of Davy Jones’ Locker. The tide seemed to be in our favor, until we heard of Jolly Roger’s invasion of Padres del Fuego, the volcanic island where Roger had set up a personal base of operations prior to his assent. From sources consisting of pirate spies and Colonial Intelligence, we were able to figure out his plan; to summon a dark spirit that would engulf the Caribbean Islands in fire, destroying life itself and allowing Jolly Roger to summon an army of the undead to his cause.
“Whoah whoah whoah wait...” I interrupted, “a ‘dark spirit’?” I said, emphasizing ‘dark spirit’ and how ridiculous it sounded. Jack, Gibbs and I were in the captain’s quarters of the Pearl, looking over a map of the island Padres del Fuego. In the center of the map there was a large circle that encompassed the massive volcano, where Jolly Roger aimed to control.
“Well,” said Gibbs, standing upright and folding his arms with a smirk on his face, “If you believe such things, after Hernan Cortes returned to Spain, a fleet of conquistadors set out to discover the wonders of the New World. One of those conquistadors in specific, Humberto Diaz, played a heavy part in the discovery of these isles.”
“Humberto Diaz, yes yes, also known as El Patron,” I said, waving my hands dramatically, “I know the history, Mr. Gibbs,”
“Ah, but what you don’t know is...” said Gibbs, trying to get back on track, but I raised my hand in his face, causing him to growl angrily as I went on,
“That while on the hunt for a prize on Padres, his crew led a mutiny against him,”
“Ah! Something in common you share with ‘em eh Hector?” piped up Jack.
“Will you both STOW it?!” shouted Gibbs, slamming his hands on the table. Jack and I looked at Gibbs in awe; a First Mate standing up to a Quartermaster AND a Captain at the same time... Though we did deserve it...
“So...” started Gibbs again, taking a deep breath and sitting back down, “El Patron’s crew staged a mutiny once they reached the island. What you two DON’T know,” he said with emphasis as he looked from me then to Jack, “was what they did to him...” As his voice trailed off, I sat on the edge of my seat. Gibbs may have been a bit of a hot head at times, but he had a way with stories that would put a chill in any sailor’s bones. “Bound and gagged, El Patron was forced up the mountain side by his mutinous first mate. As they reached the top of El Padre,”
“El Padre?” I asked.
“Name of the volcano, mate.” said Jack. Gibbs burst up again.
“I was gettin’ to that!” he said, flaring his nostrils and sitting back down slowly, “as they reached the top of El Padre, they started diggin’ a shallow grave for their deposed captain, not knowin’ the land they was defilin’ was sacred ground. For you see, the natives of Padres del Fuego believed that mountain to be the restin’ place of Xiuhtecuhtli, the Aztec God of Fire; The Lord of Volcanoes and the Personification of Light. Though he may sound like a benevolent spirit, mates... He’s anything but... As soon as the first mate struck the ground, a fiery geyser shot up from underneath. As the ground cracked and shook, the first mate lost his grip on the captain. El Patron fell to his doom in a fiery pit of hell... But that was not all. As the captain hit the magma below, a huge storm cloud formed over the mutinous blighters. Before anyone could react, red lightning struck each and every one of the rotters... leavin’ no survivors...”
“No survivors?” asked Jack, looking up curiously, “Then where do the stories come from, I wonder Master Gibbs?” Gibbs regarded the captain bitterly, but I raised my hand to interject.
“So that be the reason the island has a volcano?”
“Yes!” said Gibbs excitedly, “The mountain was said to have been the imprisonment of the fire god and once the conquistadors unleashed Xiuhtecuhtli’s fury, the volcano was formed.”
“So now the question is,” I said, leaning in close, “is Jolly Roger after the spirit of Xiuhtecuhtli or El Patron...?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they was one and the same, mate.” said Jack with a smirk. Gibbs nodded solemnly.
“Aye, ye could be right... Which means there’s no time to lose.”
“Right,” said Jack, putting on his hat and walking toward the set of double doors, “Make haste for Padres, Masters Gibbs and McSkull! Not a moment to lose!”
“Aye sir!” Gibbs and I replied simultaneously, then quickly followed after.

Padres del Fuego was a large island just south by southeast of Port Royal. Recognizable by it’s towering black plumed volcano, El Padre, the island gave off a mystical vibe that unnerved me as I set foot on her black soil. We observed, however, that we were not the first to land on the island. As we were greeted by a host of skeletons, we knew that Jolly Roger had the upper hand on this island. It did not take long to exterminate the vermin, as they scampered back toward the heart of the island, where their master must have been waiting. Before we set off toward the volcano, we were intercepted by the local official, a de-facto governor by the name of Don Victorio. A member of the Spanish Court, Don Victorio was considered to be a sleazy ne’er-do-well who conned his way into governing a Caribbean island where he tightened the yoke on illegal trade and commerce... until now. It was funny to see Victorio desperately pleading with us to save his home; the very same man who had been oppressing pirates and cutthroats for years. As we walked back the groveling heap of Victorio, we looked up to see the top of the volcano. The skies above began to form large black clouds that circled around the peak like vultures circled around their kill.
“Best we make it up that mountain face and fast. Double time!” Gibbs said, looking over to Jack, who unsheathed his sword and raised it high.
“Aye, Mr. Gibbs. No time to lose! It all ends here boys!” shouted Jack as he charged off toward the volcano. I paused for a second, watching as Captain Jack dove in headlong into a sea of skeletons who were guarding the base of the volcano, the looked at Mr. Gibbs.
“Blimey...” I said, a little speechless, “That’s gotta be the first time I’ve seen Jack take the charge.” Before Gibbs could respond, a skeletal French fencer shot up from the ground, sword in hand. Gibbs had only a second to parry the attack’s thrust and stab him through the spinal cord.
“We can mule over heroics after Roger’s finally put to rest!” spat back Gibbs as he followed after Jack, pistol in hand, shooting the head of a skeletal soldier clean off. The Black Pearl crew shrieked a battle cry and ran at the skeletons, swords and pistols in hand. Chuckling to myself, I unsheathed my sword and ran after them.

The battle raged on for what seemed to be hours. By ripping out spinal cords and slashing through decayed skin, the pirates of the Black Pearl fought their way to the top of El Padre. By the time we had reached the peak, the ominous black clouds had increased immensely, cloaking the entire volcano in a sea of darkness. The only light made visible was the burning core of the volcano. The heat emanating from the earth’s surface was more unbearable than being locked below decks as your captain burned off sulfur deposits and dropped them into your cell to see if you could, as Uncle Barbossa phrased it, “prove yer metal to this crew”. Centered over the volcano on a makeshift platform, Jolly Roger raised his head high to the darkening clouds as they began to swirl faster and faster. The winds picked up in a fury that could’ve blown a man clean off his feet. Jolly Roger began muttering an incantation that made the skies above opened like the Gates of Hell, causing a red lightning bolt to strike into the heart of the volcano. Just as the lightning struck, lava burst out of the geyser and shot into the darkened heavens.
“It’s over, Jolly!” shouted Jack through the smog, as if he was a hero thwarting an evil-doer’s devilish deed.
“You’re startin’ to sound like the whelp...” I said under my breath. Jolly Roger turned to regard us; a smile cracking across his twisted skull.
“Can’t you feel it, Sparrow?” he said, slowly striding toward us, his goat-peg-leg stomping hard on the wooden skiff at each step, “Can’t you feel his presence...? Can’t you feel him start to consume your being? Can’t you feel him ebb away at your soul?” As he finished questioning us, we saw Jack fall to the ground, clutching his heart. When he looked up to regard us, we saw a horrifying sight. His tanned face began to melt and decay before our eyes. Worms began to bury themselves in the protruding cheekbones, ripping through decayed flesh as if it were paper. Grasping at his chest, he fell to the ground, gasping for air as Jolly Roger laughed manically in front of his fallen foe. I glared at Jolly Roger then back at Jack, lying on the ground as his soul began to slowly flow out of his body. Sheathing my sword, I started to back up slowly. Mr. Gibbs took one look at me with an appalled face.
“Yer’re backin’ out, you coward?!” he snarled. Disregarding the First Mate, I slid my right foot back a few times, kicking up some of the black dirt, and then ran as fast as I could toward Jolly Roger, who was still distracted by the dying Jack.
“Consider us even Jack!!” I yelled as I charged right at Jolly Roger. With one forceful kick, I pushed the undead pirate back ten paces. Stunned and confused, Jolly Roger tried to regain his footing, but his goat hoof slipped on the wooden skiff. Dangling over the lava with only his armed appendage supporting his fall, Jolly Roger shrieked with anger to think that a mere mortal almost bested him in his moment of triumph. The screams slowly died down as the clouds swooped down over Jolly Roger. Concealed in a cloak of darkness, we all looked in amazement as a large figure began to take shape within the clouds. Nearly fifteen feet tall, the figure slowly formed out of the lava and smoke into a man. Dressed in full regalia; an armor breastplate covering a long sleeve poofed shirt top off with a 1500s Spanish explorer’s helm. The man had a full beard which seemed to be made more of smoke and embers rather than hair and fiery red eyes that stared damnation into your soul. Roger looked behind him in horror as the giant hand of the man reached out toward him, grasping him in his clutches.
“The afterlife finds you... Foolish Pirata...” said the specter of El Patron in a raspy Spanish voice. With a cry of rage, Jolly Roger was last seen being pulled down into the volcano as another bolt of lightning struck, sealing the mouth of the volcano for good.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:08 pm

Chapter Twenty-Four

Spoiler:
1746; it’s been several months since the War with Jolly Roger officially came to an end. Governor Swann had returned to Port Royal, dismissed by the Lords of England for his ludicrous claims of cursed pirates attacking the Caribbean islands. When Colonial Intelligence had sent a party to investigate, they had arrived too late to the scene. We pirates had already taken care of Roger and his minions long before word had reached back to the Intelligence. Angered by the humiliation we had caused him and his island, Governor Swann sent Norrington back on pursuit after The Black Pearl. Throughout the months, we had many altercations with Norrington and his beast of a ship, the HMS Dauntless. During one of his later pursuits of us, off the coast of Tripoli, Norrington had us cornered between a bunch of shoals and an oncoming hurricane. Jack, being the maniac he is, sailed us into the hurricane just before it began to bluster over. The Dauntless however wasn’t as fortunate as the Pearl in speed. The Dauntless’ sheer hulking size prevented her from outrunning the blistering gales and the smashing waves. The Dauntless was torn apart as we sailed away, finally free of Norrington’s pursuit.
Time passed. Soon we were finding that it was harder and harder to hunt any significant prize. Jack had become a bit more of a shut in, mulling over his compass for hours on end. When he wasn’t locked up in his cabin, he was leading his ship and his crew on wild goose chases across the coasts of Spain and Africa, eventually leading to his capture by Ammand’s corsair hunters. Before being thrown across the deck of one of their cutters, Jack had turned to me and Gibbs, winking, “It’s all part of the plan” he said. Bewildered, we managed to escape the corsairs’ grasp and returned to the Caribbean. With the crazy buffoon out of the way, I set a course for Isla de Muerta; the treasure would be of no use to anyone just sitting there, even if it was rightfully Barbossa’s crews’ shares. To our dismay, when we reached the coordinates of the treasure trove, we found the island almost completely submerged. The volcano in the center of the island still protruded high, but the steam had long subsided; a layer of obsidian covering the top.
“Lord have mercy! The Heathen Gods took the treasure back to the abyss!” said Gibbs in a superstitious cry, crossing himself to try and protect his “immortal soul”. I gave him a smack on the back of the head to stop his mania.
“Quit yer lollygagging, Joshamee! Look! Down in the water!” I said, pointing down into the water. The entire crew flopped over to the starboard side to see a glittering array of gold, silver and precious jewels all laying at the bottom of the seabed.
“Bring out the diving bell! We may so happen to turn a profit tonight, boys!” I shouted with a cheer. The men bellowed a hearty “Aye!” and quickly rushed to their positions to ready the diving bell, a massive steel bell that, when dropped into the ocean, would create an air bubble, allowing a person to dive underneath the water to explore the undersea life or pillage any rare loot from wrecked ships below. The men turned the capstan with a force to hoist this heavy contraption over the edge of the ship. I soon began to strip to my under breeches, giving my hat to little Jack the Monkey, who had miraculously survived these few months as a stowaway aboard the Pearl. Ironically, he was still cursed by the gold, without any way of changing him back now. He scurried off with my hat as the diving bell plunged into the water.
“See if ye can bring up a chest worth or two.” said Gibbs with a gleam in his eye.
“I dare say I’ll try to send up three chests worth,” I said with a cocky grin as I dove into the water, grabbing onto the chain of the plummeting contraption. The cold sea bit at my flesh as I dove deeper and deeper until I felt the jerk of the chain stop in place and the diving bell hang a few feet off the seafloor. I swam into the diving bell, popping up into an air pocket. I took a deep breath and then proceeded to explore the underwater caverns. It was just as if I was patrolling the island itself on land once again. Every route and path was still in tact. It was strange to be exploring our old hideout in a completely different atmosphere. Looking above, I could see the crew had begun to send down barrels tied with cannons at the end to create small air pockets for me. As I dove under a barrel and sucked in the remaining air, I swam forward, heading into the cavern that would lead to the infamous treasure trove. The water had made the tunnel more beautiful rather than eery as it had once been on land. Underwater flora sprouted off the cave walls while fish swam out of my way as I traversed on. As I swam farther and farther, the temperature of the water seemed to heat up quickly until finally I reached the treasure trove. It looked almost exactly the same, save for a few scattered coins and jewels floating suspended over the floor. The cursed stone chest still sat in the center of the room, the lid no doubt permanently sealed, ending the burdens of the Aztec curse. With a grin, I looked up to see a small air pocket. As I swam up for a gulp of air, I could have sworn I saw something from behind the treasure mound slither into the dark. Get it together, Skull. You’re just out of air, makin’ ye see things. As I burst up into the air pocket, I gasped for air. It filled my lungs to full capacity and put my mind and heart at ease. I looked below me to observe what treasures would be most valuable. And then it came to me! I had a stash of my own spoils hidden in a specific area of the cave; a place kept safe from the rest of the former crew in order to save up one day for a ship and a crew of my own. Sucking in a large breath, I dove back under and began to swim toward the far corner of the cave, where a large boulder stood. Now, while there were many boulders scattered across the cave, there was one in particular I needed to find. Examining the boulder, I searched high and low until I found exactly what I was looking for; the carved outline of a skull and crossbones. I swam to the side of the boulder and pushed with all my might. To my good fortune, the boulder gave way and fell off to the side with a loud crash and an unnerving crunch, revealing a large stash of four treasure chests, overflowing with riches and jewels. With a grin, I started to navigate through the valuables until I heard it; a low growl in the dark that made the cave echo and vibrate. The temperature of the water had increased from lukewarm to substantially hotter and hotter with each passing second. The light of the surface shining down into the cavern was blocked out behind me as the growling grew louder, making my whole being shake from the volume, and perhaps the terror. I slowly turned around to find my eyes locked with something from nightmares; a creature more than half the size of the cave with the mutated body of a shark and a barracuda with the face of a crocodile,with burning red eyes and two rows of razor sharp teeth. But what truly defined this monstrous beast was its scales; molten lava. The animal was made of molten lava. It roared angrily again and, I could see in the back of it’s mouth, a bright light beginning to burn brighter and brighter. Panic stricken, I dashed underneath the fish just as it released a huge fireball that hit my hidden stash. The gold and jewels were utterly destroyed in a fiery inferno. I kicked as hard as I could, trying desperately to exit the cave and reach the diving bell, but the beast was relentless. With the ferocious speed of an underwater jaguar, the animal was nearly meters away from my outstretched legs. I knew that with one huge chomp of its dagger sized teeth would slice cleanly through my calves. The air in my lungs was starting to wither out; black spots began to cloud my vision as the air began to slowly ebb out of my nose and mouth as I exerted all my energy trying to outrun the monster. Finally after navigating out of the treasure cavern, it was just a mad sprint back toward the diving bell. The monster roared again, unleashing another fireball that zoomed past me within mere inches, singeing a little bit of my hair just as it hit the diving bell. The fireball hit the chain, causing the bell itself to snap off and flutter to the sea floor. The chain began to shoot back up to the surface. With all my might, I swam as fast as I could to try and grab on to the chain. The last bit of air escaped my lungs. My world was starting to darken. I could hear the monster’s roar one last time and then everything went black.

Suddenly, I awoke with a start, gasping for air and finding plenty of it. I sat up and coughed my lungs out, spewing out a mixture of saltwater and blood. How refreshing it was again to breathe air. I wondered if I was dead, breathing in the sweet air of the afterlife, up until I received a massive swat on the back to clear my lungs. I looked up to see Gibbs standing over me, draping a blanket over my shivering body.
“Jaysus, Hector, we’d thought we’d lost ya mate!” he said, chuckling. As my eyes began to adjust to the bright Caribbean sun, I looked around to see the entire crew gathered around me, with mixed stares of relief and disdain. Marty sped over to drop my effects beside me. With a nod, I picked up my clothes and stood up, my legs aching from the excessive kicking.
“What happened? Where’s the monster?” I said, my heart starting to race, thinking that the thing was circling the ship as we speak, waiting to strike with a deadly fireball into the side of the Pearl. Gibbs put a hand on my shoulder to keep me steady.
“Ah, the blasted codfish put up a good fight, but in the end went slinkin’ back to it’s fiery lair.” he said, shaking his head in disgust and a little disgrace.
“What was that thing?” I asked, slipping my shirt back over my head and my trousers slowly back on.
“A Fire Dragon, mate,” said Gibbs, with a hint of excitement in his voice. I looked at him perplexed.
“Come again?”
“A Fire Dragon! Haven’t ye heard the stories before? Legends have it that this fish is perhaps older than creation itself; born from chaos between the warring of a fire god and a water god. Codswallop in me own opinion. None can truly say where this mythical beast came from; must’ve appeared once the island sank into the ocean. But neither can they say that they’d seen it with their own eyes!” exclaimed Gibbs. I swatted him on the back of the head.
“Oh aye, but we can’t say that we got any of the treasure we were searching for! The bloody animal destroyed what was left of the treasure let alone our diving bell! All we’d came here for was for naught… We’re back to square one.”
“Which is waitin’ for Jack to miraculously appear again…” said Gibbs with a sigh. The whole crew grumbled and turned back to their duties, fixing up the mess from the battle with the Fire Dragon.
“Well, no use lounging around then…” I turned my head up to the helm, “Set course back for the Mediterranean, Mr. Cotton; deep in Ottoman territory.”
Darkness fell across the skyline as The Pearl drifted into Ottoman waters. From a distance, off the coast of Turkey was a massive prison fortress, known by none other name than The Turkish Prison, this cliff fortress was a living hell; a torturous prison for traitors against the Sultan and the Empire. Ammand’s corsairs had been known to drop off their prisoner and slaves to this particular prison for an extra profit and to gain good fortune with the aging Sultan. No prisoner lasted longer than a week in this hell hole; prisoners would be forced across the stone bridge that connected both of the cliff faces, looking upon suspended prisoner who were left as dinner for the vicious ravens that pecked and clawed at their decaying remains. Even from so far away we could hear the cries and pleas for help as a flock of ravens flew right above. With nothing else to do beside scout out and look for any sign of the captain, the crew became bored and restless. Gibbs had resorted to breaking in to his own private liquor stash and was having a dandy old time to himself, singing “15 men on the dead man’s chest”, a former favorite of the late Billy Bones. As I looked on toward the prison through my spyglass, I could see from afar prison guards dumping what seemed to be coffins into the roiling ocean. The waves began to carry the coffins closer and closer to our position, rocking them back and forth as they continued their journey.
“Effective way of disposal.” said Gibbs, putting his bottle down and looking on with me. Before I could respond, there was a loud crack and boom from one of the coffins. I positioned my spyglass to find the source of the noise and found the very one; from the center shot up an arm holding a pistol. The pistol looked from left, then from right, then, satisfied, returned into the coffin. Suddenly, a figure burst through the coffin, creating a splintering of wood. I adjusted my spyglass even further to figure out who the person was, though there really was no other guess; dawning his tricorn hat and a face of disgust as he pulled the boney leg of the deceased prisoner he shared space with out of it’s socket, Jack Sparrow began to row back to the Pearl with his makeshift leg-oar.
“Light the torches and await for the Captain’s imminent return.” I said coolly as I hopped off my perch while the crew began preparations.

Within minutes, Jack was back onboard the Pearl. Placing the prisoner’s leg in Gibbs’ outstretched hand, he climbed back onboard the ship as Cotton draped him in his coat.
“Not quite according to plan…” I said, eyeing the bone. Jack merely brushed it off.
“Complications arose, ensued, were overcome.” he said, swaggering off on deck. Perplexed, Gibbs handed the bone to me with disgust and I, in turn, handed it Cotton who just simply threw it back into the ocean as we followed after Jack.
“You got what you came for then?” said Gibbs, some longing hope in his words. Jack nodded and pulled out a rolled up cloth from out of his belt, waving it with pride. Just as he turned the corner, he came to halt in front of a group of bitter crew members. Staring him from eye to eye was the grumpy sheikh turned pirate who went by Leech who was well known aboard the ship as the “secret” leader of a collective who resented Jack. Backing him up was the Chinese ship’s mate Ho-Kwan, the Jamaican gunner Lejon and a band of others, all glaring at the Captain and his little piece of cloth. Gibbs let out a sigh and began to fill Jack in,
“Captain, I think the crew---” he trailed off, but I piped up with,
“Meaning, us as well,” Gibbs gave me a nod and continued
“Were expecting something a bit more…. shiny…”
“What with the Isla de Muerta going all pear shaped, to be reclaimed by the sea while the treasure be guarded by a beast from hell,” I said
“And the Royal Navy chasing us all around the Atlantic,” said Leech in his thick Indian accent,
“And the hurricane!” said Marty in a gruffly voice. This led to a chorus of “Ayes” and “Here heres” by the rest of the crew while Jack looked around among us with a twitch on his lip.
“All in all, it seems sometimes we’d do a speck of honest piratin’!” finished Gibbs, looking to Jack for an answer. Jack mulled it over for a second, staring off into space until finally leaning in and asking,
“Shiny?”
“Aye! Shiny!” I repeated. Jack nodded then addressed the whole crew,
“Is that how you’re all feeling then? That perhaps dear old Jack is not serving your best interests as Captain?” he spat with a venomous accusation towards Leech’s consortium, who all looked at one another with nod.
“Squawk! Walk the plank!” screeched Cotton’s parrot. Cotton immediately went to cover the bird’s mouth, but Jack, paranoid as ever, whipped out his gun and primed it loaded at the bird and the old man.
“What did the bird say?!” he spat, crazy eyed. Leech rolled his eyes,
“Do not blame the bird.. Show us what is on that piece of cloth there,” but before anyone could say anything, Jack the monkey swung down, decayed from the curse of the full moon. Everyone jumped back in horror as the little guy screeched at Jack. Terrified, Jack quickly turned the pistol on the monkey and tried to shoot, but the damn thing misfired. He threw it to the ground just as the monkey swooped down and ripped the piece of cloth out of Jack’s hand. Quickly, Jack snatched one of my pistols out of my belt and shot the little beast, causing him to drop the piece of cloth and scurry away into the darkness.
“You know that don’t do no good…” I reminded Jack, taking back my pistol. Jack merely shrugged as Marty hurried to pick up the piece of cloth. Unraveling it, he stared at it for a long moment then held the thing up in disbelief,
“It’s a key..” he said, confused. Jack hurried toward him.
“No! Much more better!” he said, snatching the cloth out of Marty’s hands and showing the men proudly, “It is a DRAWING of a key!” we all leaned in to take a closer look. It looked like an ordinary key; the only distinctive difference was that it had two locks on it instead of one. “Gentlemen…” continued Jack, surveying the crew, “What do keys do?”
“Keys….” said Leech, looking as if he was struggling to figure out the primary function of a key. I could only put a hand to my head and sigh at the stupidity that was aboard this ship, “Unlock… things?!” he finished with a proud smile on his face. Gibbs looked back to Jack with hope.
“And whatever this key unlocks, inside there’s something valuable,” he said, rubbing his fingers greedily, “So we’re setting out to find whatever this key unlocks!” he said coming to a swift conclusion. Jack smiled and said very boldly,
“No!” This caused all of our faces to drop. Jack came up close to me and Gibbs, his eyes bugging out as he spoke, “If we don’t have the key, we can’t open whatever it is that we don’t have that it unlocks. So what purpose would be served in finding whatever need be unlocked… which we don’t have… Without having found they key that unlocks it?” said Jack, as if we were stupid. Gibbs was still trying to rack his brain around the Captain’s logic.
“So…” he wondered,”We’re going after this key!” Jack looked at Gibbs as if he had two heads.
“You’re not making any sense at all…” Which made Gibbs look utterly perplexed. There seemed to be something rather off with the Captain, more off than usual. Was it the time spent in captivity which made him madder than a hatter or was there some sort of hidden agenda that he was covering up with his lunacy? Even without setting a proper course with a heading, we began our mysterious venture to locate the key to the unknown chest or box or crate or whatever it was Jack was after.

Things only started to unravel even further during the middle of the night when Jack, in a frenzied mania, ordered all hands on deck and charged us to get the ship to land.
"Run!" he kept shouting as he was wrapping his hand in a dirtied cloth he pulled off a sailor, "Keep running! Run as if the Devil himself and itself is upon us!" Gibbs and I hurried over to Jack who his behind the mizzen mast.
"Do we finally have a heading?!" I asked, confused as hell. Jack snapped to attention with a shock,
"Ah! Ooh! Run! Land!" He said, then ducked behind the mast again, trying to slink away. Gibbs and I followed his path just as he popped up again with a yelp, causing our hearts to jump.
"Which port?!" said Gibbs impatiently.
"Didn't say port! I said land! Any land!" Just as Jack finished his order, the monkey swooped out of nowhere, snatching Jack's hat right off his head and throwing it into the ocean. As the whole crew leaned over the side to try and fish out Jack's beloved hat, he quickly stopped us and told us to run! Whatever was so frightening that was chasing us that stopped Jack from fishing out his hat would be extremely worrisome for the lot of us; as we would find out soon enough.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:09 pm

Chapter Twenty-Five

Spoiler:
It didn’t take long for Jack to take over the helm and steer us straight for the first island he spotted. Within minutes, the shore party ventured out, ready to beach the Pearl and scout ahead.
“Where the hell are we?” I asked, leaning on the rail as Jack continued to take the Pearl along the coast, easing the speed by stuffing the main and mizzen sails.
“Locals call it Isla de Pelegostos. Not much’s known of it…” said Jack, his voice trailing off. Before I could respond, the Pearl gently touched the shoreline. “Perfect timing!” said Jack, quickly jumping over the helm and sprinting across the deck. Gibbs and I watched as the Captain slid down a yard line, slamming down hard on the sandy beach below and running off into the jungle. Gibbs and I led a shore party to try and search for our deranged Jack, but before we could get any farther than a few yards from the beach, we were surrounded by a pack of wild individuals; men dressed in nothing but loincloths, covered in a type of warpaint that made them blend in with the environment around them. Various different implements were protruding from their ears or mouths or noses which gave them a sinister and blood hungry look. These were the Pelegostos, the same tribe of cannibalistic natives who Jack once claimed ruled as their chief. However, to them, we were nothing but their next meal. While sparing the reader the gory details, needless to say that most of the crew was butchered and eaten in celebration for the return of their “God-King” Jack. The natives placed all of us in cages constructed from the remains of the unfortunate crew mates who became their dinner and suspended us over a gorge, sparing us for the later feast when they intended to roast Jack and eat him so his godly spirit would return to the heavens. Things were not looking up to our favor; especially with the new addition of a young Master William Turner. Turner had ventured to the island on a hunch that he could find Jack and the Pearl to help him save his darling Elizabeth from one appointment with the gallows. Apparently, I learned then, that it was Will and Elizabeth who helped aide Jack in his escape from the executioner’s block on Port Royal. Now, for those actions, the Crown had placed out a warrant for the arrests of Turner and his beloved. So, in a stroke of genius, Will thought that he could save himself by finding Jack and “explaining” the whole situation to his jailers. He never expected that he would soon find himself hung over a canyon in a bone cage with a band of pirates.

After swinging back and forth in the bone cage, we were finally able to grab onto the side if the cliff face, nauseous and dizzy from the ride.
“Put yer legs through! Start to climb!” bellowed Gibbs from our cage. The seven of us, Gibbs, Will, Marty, Cotton, LeJon, Ho-Kwan and I grabbed hold of the vine and proceeded to climb the rock face of the gorge. It was a nearly a 10,000 meter drop to the crushing abyss below, so we walked as if on glass with a sheer might of power to hoist ourselves up.
“C’mon men,” shouted Will in encouragement, “It’ll take all of us to crew The Black Pearl!”
“Actually!” shouted Leech from across the gorge in the second bone cage, “We wouldn’t need everyone! Bout six would do!” he said with a smile, but then suddenly turned to us, horror struck. All our heads turned to look at Leech’s face, who looked at us with fear in his eyes. “Ooooh dear…” he sighed. The little blighter finally had his mutiny plan in motion. Will looked to me and Gibbs, now understanding the severity of the situation. Gibbs and I both nodded fiercely.
“Hurry!!’ shouted Will to the six of us. The race was on. Each man pulled on that vine as if their life depended on it… which it actually did! If we were to let Leech win, he’d cut our line the first moment he made it up the cliff and send us to our shattering deaths, then steal the Pearl and sail away as the new captain. That couldn’t bloody happen! We were neck and neck with the other cage when suddenly, Will told us to quickly shut up and stop moving. He pointed to the left where in the distance hung a large wooden bridge that connected the two cliffs and on that bridge crossed a young native man, spear in hand. Our cage stayed perfectly still, however Leech and his mutinous friends continued their ascent, despite our protests. Suddenly, instead of grabbing onto more vine, Leech ended up grabbing onto a poisonous snake. He screamed as he waved the snake around, causing the other men to cause a huge commotion and, evidently, let go of the side of the cliff. The bone cage dropped at high speed, snapping the vine that supported the men. Last we heard of Leech and his men were their blood curdling screams for help as they fell down below, deep into the darkness. The native man, watching the whole scene unfold, then turned his attention toward our cage hanging against the cliff. With no time to lose, we quickly climbed up, using all the force we had left in our arms and our legs. After mere moments, we finally reached the top, cut the line, hoisted the cage up against our legs, and made a run for it. We heard from behind us that the natives were in hot pursuit. That young native must’ve warned the rest of his brethren of our escape. We were just about to outrun them when suddenly Cotton tripped over a log, causing us to all lurch forward. The cage began to roll down the cliff at high speed, making us all sick, disoriented, and terrified, until we finally crashed in an enclosed lagoon. As the bone cage smashed among the rocks, the sharp chill of the water hit all of us instantly. But we had no time to worry about the discomfort as the entirety of the tribe surrounded us from up above. We all backed up close against the walls of the cave. Just as the natives were about to strike, a small voice piped up. We looked up to see a small native boy pointing in the opposite direction, muttering in his native tongue to the group of hunters. When he finished, the hunters looked at each other, then quickly ran off in the direction the young boy was pointing. To our good fortune, we had finally lost our pursuers. Quickly, we made a run for the beach, where the Pearl was still beached and the tide was coming in fast. In the distance, I could make out two figures, one onboard the ship and one clinging to one of the mooring lines. As we got closer and closer, the two figures became more recognizable as the two most dimwitted men I had ever sailed with on the Seven Seas,
“Pintel! Ragetti!” I shouted, running across the beach. Ragetti shot up, having just retrieved his eye from a mischievous little Jack.
“Excellent!” said Gibbs as we reached the Pearl, “Our work’s half done!” Pintel, in a moment of genius, piped up with a bright smile.
“We done it for you! Knowin’ you’d be comin’ back for us--” but he was cut off by my bellowing order,
“Make ready to sail boys!”
“What about Jack?!” said Will in protest, “I won’t leave without him!” Before any of us could say anything, we heard a loud “OY!!” from far across the beach. On the horizon, we saw Jack zoom into view. As he recognized his ship, he pointed himself in our direction and made a beeline sprint toward us. Smiles were all around as our captain was returning to us, until we realized why he was running. Behind him was a horde of natives, spears and clubs swinging in a frenzy to hurl at Jack. Our jaws dropped and our faces turned white as we all turned to each other. “Time to go…” said Will sheepishly as he made a run for the Pearl. Gibbs shouted to “CAST OFF THOSE LINES” in haste as we all hopped into the tide, making our way onboard the Pearl. Thankfully, Jack was able to outrun the natives and make his way onboard, even bidding his “children” goodbye, before a rogue wave interrupted his speech. As Jack climbed back onboard the Pearl, Pintel and Ragetti quickly rushed to his side, blanketing him with his long coat and effects.
“Let’s put some distance between us and this island, and head out to open sea.” I said to Jack, who gave me a nod,
“Yes to the first, yes to the second, but only insofar as we keep to the shallows as much as possible.” as he finished, he looked to his left and right in bewilderment to see that Pintel and Ragetti had miraculously survived. Pintel quickly made a sort of salute as Jack regarded him with disgust. Before Jack could respond to their strange involvement, Gibbs stepped up to say,
“Uh, that seem a bit contradictory, Captain.”
“I have every faith in your reconciliatory navigational skills, Master Gibbs,” said Jack, in clenched teeth, “Now where is that Monkey? I want to shoot something?” Just as he finished his request, the monkey dropped Ragetti’s eye from up above and scurried off. Just as Jack was about to shoot the monkey again, Will stepped in and began to talk with Jack. He and Jack had a heated chat as to whether or not to save young Miss Elizabeth Swann from her appointment to the gallows. Eventually, Jack set course up river in the isle of Cuba, up the Pantano River toward the shack of a mysterious shaman priestess. As the long boats traveled up river, we all sat, contemplating Jack’s erratic behavior. In one boat sat myself, Will, Gibbs, Marty at the helm and Pintel and Ragetti manning the oars.
“Why is Jack so afraid of the open ocean?” asked Will, breaking the silence of the trip. That was a question that I, and no doubt the rest of the crew, had been asking ourselves frequently, but had just kept quiet about it. All I had known was what Jack had told me and Mr. Gibbs a few days prior; that he was hoping this blasted key he was searching for would help save his soul from a monstrous force.
“Well,” started Gibbs, leaning in close to inform us all, “if you believe such things, there’s a beast that does the biddin’ of Davy Jones. A fearsome creature with giant tentacles that suction your face clean off! And drag and entire ship down to the crushing darkness…. The Kraken!” as he mentioned the last word, all our eyes opened wide and looked at Gibbs a little horror struck, “They say the stench of it’s breath... “ he shuddered, just recalling the stories he had once heard, “Imagine… the last thing you know on God’s green earth is the roar of the Kraken and the reeking odor of a thousand rotting corpses…” he surveyed his crowd, and noticed that all of us were on the edges of our seats in fear. With a sheepish smile, Gibbs tried to brush it off by saying “If you believe such things..”
“And the key will spare him that?” asked Will, a little skeptically. Gibbs shrugged.
“Now that’s the very question Jack wants answered. Bad enough even to go visit…. Her…” the words stung Gibbs’ tongue in annoyance.
“Her?” asked Will. Gibbs nodded solemnly,
“Aye…”

The Cuban Bayou had always been shrouded in mystery. Not many would go out of their way to venture into the murky swamp, infested with alligators, mutated insects from the water, and stoic villagers whose stares and looks sent chills up even the strongest of pirates’ spines. As we traveled deeper into the bayou, the river led us into the Cypress Forest, where the locals had taken up residence. Even though these men and women meant no harm, the crew was a little on edge, expecting one of the natives to strike. But, as we traveled through the mouth of the river, we finally reached our destination. At the end of the river, perched atop a tree, was a damp and gloomy shack that glowed brightly in the dark forest. That shack was the home to none other than the powerful voodoo priestess Tia Dalma, the mysterious Caribbean soothsayer. A mystic woman who wielded powerful magic and voodoo who had had multiple dealings with Jack during his adventures. I personally had never met the woman, but had heard of her in high regard from Jack’s past experiences with her. As the boats docked, Jack hopped out with a bit of a smile on his face.
“No worries, mates,” he started, “Tia Dalma and I go way back. Thick as thieves. Nigh inseparable we are… Were… Have been… Before…” he said, not too confidently. I put a hand on his shoulder.
“We’ll watch your back.” I said. Jack shook his head.
“It’s me front I’m worried about…” and then started to walk up the flight of stairs. I turned to Gibbs,
“Mind the boat.” I said, following Jack. Gibbs then turned to Will.
“Mind the boat.” This, in turn, made Will turn to Pintel.
“Mind the boat.” Pintel then turned to Marty.
“Mind the boat.” Marty then turned to Cotton.
“Mind the boat.” Then Cotton’s parrot piped up.
“Squawk! Mind the boat!” and flew off, leaving poor old Cotton all by himself. As we opened the door to Tia Dalma’s shack, it took me a minute to adjust to all the light in her home. Her shack was teeming with a clutter of, what seemed to be, mysterious objects and trinkets, along with an array of wildlife, such as a python slithering on a post. At a quick glance of her possessions, I could see jars of herbs and spices, animal and human bones, mummified bats, a variety of potions, and floating jars containing disgusting items, such as a jar filled with eyeballs. As Jack cautiously slunk in, Tia Dalma looked up from a collection of crab claws and smiled a blackened tooth smile. Jack’s description of Tia Dalma did hold true; her long black hair was in tangles, with little trinkets tied in various places on her head, much like Jack. Her dark skin glowed brilliantly in the ambiance of the room. Her beautiful face was delicately adorned with a pattern under her eyes, that somehow had entranced me the minute I laid eyes on her. She wore a tattered old dress that she still pulled off beautifully; the bodice exemplifying her curvaceous features.
“Jaaaack Sparrow…” she said with a seductive tone to her voice. Jack’s smile brightened as he approached, almost knocking his head into one of the floating jars.
“Tia Dalma!”
“I always know de wind was goin’ blow you back to me one day…” before she finished, her eyes were set on Will. Her mouth opened wide in a silent gasp and then slowly walked up to him, who was a little on edge as the Obeah woman approached, “You… You have a touch of...Destiny about you.. William Turnah…”
“You know me?” said Will, taken aback.
“You want to know meee…” said Tia Dalma in a very flirtatious manner. This seemed to have ruffled Jack’s feathers, who came bursting in between the two.
“There’ll be no knowing here! We’ve come for help and we’re not leaving without it…” he said, placing an arm around Tia Dalma as he whispered with a pout, “I thought I knew you…”
“Not so well as I had hoped… Come!” she said, ushering us toward her table.
“Come!” echoed Jack with a sheepish grin. Will and I took a seat at the table as Tia Dalma continued to look curiously at Will.
“What… service… may I do you? Hmm…?” she said with a pur. She then shot up and looked at Jack. “You know I demand payment.”
“I brought payment,” said Jack with a nod. He then whistled to Ragetti, who scurried over and placed a large cage on the table, covered with a cloth. Jack then removed the cloth to reveal little Jack the Monkey, who Gibbs, Pintel and Ragetti had personally caught and caged. It took them the entire evening to wrangle the little beast. Jack held up the cage and pulled out his pistol, “Look!” he said, then shot Jack, who let out a little cry for help but, evidently, was unphased by the bullet, “An undead monkey! Top that!” he then placed the cage in front of Tia Dalma. Without a word, she opened the cage door, causing Jack to scamper off into the house.
“No!” said Gibbs, almost about to sob. He then sighed heavily, “You’ve no idea how long it took us to catch that…” I looked to where Jack had run off to. In the corner of the house Jack found himself a spot to sit on; a pair of blackened boots that protruded from the far corner. Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to slowly walk over as Tia Dalma was conversing with the others. Just as I was about to get close enough to see if those boots belonged to someone who was lying down, the curtain quickly closed around the corner. Shocked, I looked back to see Tia Dalma, who was waving her hand, using her magic to close the curtain and to pull me back toward the crowd. Horror struck, I felt the invisible force pull me back into my seat and kept me there, pushed down.
“As I was saying….” said Tia Dalma, in a bit of annoyance, “Yer key go to a chest,” she said, sitting down at the head of the table, “and it is what lay inside the chest you seek, don’t it?”
“What is inside?” said Gibbs, a bit of greed flashing in his eyes. Pintel couldn’t handle his excitement.
“Gold?! Jewels?! Unclaimed properties of a valuable nature?!”
“Nothing… bad, I hope…” said Ragetti, as he eyed the floating jar of eyeballs. Tia Dalma leaned in close as she began her tale,
“You know of… Davy Jones, yes? A man of de sea… A great sailah, until he ran afoul of dat which vex all men…”
“What vexes all men?” asked Will. Tia Dalma slowly reached over and held his hand.
“What indeed….?” she said with a wink. Her little tender moment with the young whelp wax interrupted by the three stooges; Gibbs, Pintel and Ragetti, all trying to guess the answer.
“The Sea?!”
“Sums!”
“Dichotomy of good and evil?” said Ragetti. We all looked at him as if he were mad. Jack and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes,
“A woman!” we said together. Tia Dalma grinned and nodded.
“A woo-man… He fell in love.” she said. Gibbs tried to protest,
“No no no no, I heard it was the sea he fell in love with.”
“Same story, different versions, and all.are.true!” said Tia Dalma, emphasizing her point, “See it was a woman, as changing, and harsh, and untamable as the sea… Him nevah stop lovin’ her. But the pain it cause ‘im was too much to live wid… but not enough to cause him to die,”
“What… exactly did he put into the chest?” I asked. Tia Dalma looked to me and smiled, placing a hand over her chest,
“Him heart…”
“Literally or figuratively?” said Ragetti, puzzled. Pintel scolded him,
“He couldn’t li’erally put his heart in a chest!” but then stopped himself and turned to Tia Dalma for clarification, “Could he?”
“It was not wort’ feeling what… small, fleeting joy life bring, and so… Him carve out him heart, lock it down in a chest, and hide de chest from de world…” she then regarded the drawing of the key on the table, “De key, he keep wid him at all times.” Will stood up and got in Jack’s face.
“You knew this.” he accused Jack.
“I did not!” said Jack in defense, “I didn’t know where the key was. But now we do! So all that’s left is to climb aboard the Flying Dutchman, grab the key, you go back to Port Royal and save your bonny lass, hey!” with a snap, Jack turned on his heels, but was stopped by Tia Dalma, who stood up.
“Let me see your hand.” she said, holding out her own. Jack slowly turned around and sheepishly offered his right hand. Tia Dalma’s face darkened until finally Jack relented and gave her his bandaged hand. As she slowly unwrapped it, Jack just stood there, rolling his eyes. When the bandage was off, we all looked in terror as to what was on his hand; a huge black lesion, infected and decaying, that looked as if Jack had the plague.
“The Black Spot!” shrieked Gibbs, starting to wipe his chest quickly, spinning around once to the left, and then spitting on the ground. Pintel and Ragetti, out of fear, repeated the same ritual.
“My eyesight’s as good as ever, just so you know!” said Jack as Tia Dalma went into a back room. After rummaging around for a moment, Tia Dalma returned with a large jar tucked under her arm.
“Davy Jones cannot make port. Cannot step on land but once every ten years. Land is where you are safe, Jack Sparrow. And so you will carry land with you,” she said, holding out the large jar, which now, we could see, was filled with dirt. Jack looked at the jar of dirt skeptically and then back at Tia Dalma.
“Dirt…. This is a jar of dirt…”
“Yes….”
“Is the jar of dirt going to help?”
“If you no want it, give it back.”
“No!” said Jack, cradling the dirt. Tia Dalma smiled slyly,
“Den it helps.” she said. Will piped up as Tia Dalma returned to her seat.
“It seem… we have a need to find the Flying Dutchman.” he said. Tia Dalma nodded and scooped up her crab claws and muttered an incantation as she shook them.
“A touch…. of destiny!” and then threw the crab claws across the table.
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 pm

Chapter Twenty-Six

Spoiler:
“That’s the Flying Dutchman?” asked Will, indicating the scuttled ship off the coast of Cuba. We had sailed to the location Tia Dalma provided for us. The wind and rains had increased ten fold by the time we reached the site. Jack, Gibbs, and I were all looking out toward the ship alongside Will, “She doesn’t look like much.”
“Neither do you. Do not underestimate her.” said Jack to Will. Silently, I saw Jack nudge Gibbs in the gut hard.
“Must’ve been a fowl of the reef!” coughed Gibbs, rubbing his side.
“So what’s your plan then?” asked Jack.
“I row over, search the ship until I find your bloody key,” said Will through gritted teeth and annoyance.
“And if there are crewmen?” asked Jack. Will didn’t even bother looking toward him.
“I cut down anyone in my path…” finished Will as he walked down the side of the Pearl and launched himself into a longboat with a nice shove from Ragetti. As Will began to row away, Jack turned to us all and whispered,
“Douse the lamps…” Once all of the lamps onboard the Pearl were put out, the ship itself seemed to have disappeared in the darkness of the night. That was always the advantage that the Pearl had when stalking her prey at night. Ships weren’t able to detect the Pearl was on them until there was nowhere left to run. But now, we were using that trick to keep ourselves hidden… Hidden from what exactly? I walked over to Jack, who was still examining his Black Spot hand.
“What mess exactly are you throwing young Master Turner into this time?” I asked. Jack quickly lowered his left hand and turned to regard me.
“No worries, mate. William will be fine. He’s just a sort of… leverage… that I need to work with. It’ll work out.” said Jack, a little skeptical of his own words and confidence.

Half an hour had passed before anything had even happened. Just as I was going to leave my post, ending my night watch, the sea on the horizon exploded. Out of the sea came a monstrous looking ship, almost supernatural in many ways; riggings draped in seaweed, sails glowing a sickening green, encrusted with barnacles and rot with a bow that resembled the mouth of a sea monster. This was obviously the REAL Flying Dutchman, as Will must’ve figured out by that time. I took out my spyglass to try and spot Will on the scuttled ship. When I found him, I saw that he was in the midst of a duel with the crew of the Dutchman; humanoid sea creatures covered in barnacles, seaweed and sea water. Those men must’ve been humans at one point, for some of them still had small traces of mortality, underneath their sea-like features. Soon, the crew had overwhelmed Will and taken him and several other humans on the scuttled ship hostage.
“What do you make of all this?!” I said to Jack in bewilderment. Jack didn’t turn toward me; his attention set on the commotion on the scuttled ship. He pulled out his spyglass as well and looked.
“Bloody hell.. He’s here.” said Jack in a low monotone. I looked through my spyglass again to find that there was a new figure who had come aboard; a large man who wore a big bicorne hat with two flaps at the end that mimicked devil horns, wearing an old officer’s jacket that was so worn down from the seawater that it was in tatters. Underneath that jacket, the man himself was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Where his left hand should have been was replaced with a large crab claw, alongside a pegleg that wasn’t of wood, but that of a lobster. And his face… His face was the most disturbing of all. What must’ve once been a wild and mangled beard was now replaced with a vast array of tentacles. I understood now.
“Davy Jones…” I said, in awe. Everyone had always heard of the Legends of Davy Jones and Davy Jones’ Locker, but I had never thought that all those legends were true, until now. I looked back over at the ship, watching Davy Jones converse with his crew then back toward his hostages, eventually making his way to Will.
“He seems to be buying it!” said Jack, with a bit of surprise in his voice. Suddenly, Davy Jones slowly turned toward our position. As Jack lowered his spyglass, to his surprise, he found Davy Jones standing mere inches in front of him. The Devil Captain had somehow warped himself over from the scuttled ship to the Pearl in mere seconds. Before anyone could react, the rest of the Flying Dutchman’s crew was upon us, with knives to our throats and pistols to our heads. One crew member, a man whose head was replaced by that of a hammerhead shark, took off in speed down below decks. Eventually, he came back up with a figure in his clutches, who was struggling to break free from their captor’s bondage. The person had a burlap sack over their head, but through all the squirming, had caused the bag to fall off, revealing underneath the face of a person who I had not thought I would ever see again.
“You have a debt to pay…” said Davy Jones, in a thick Scottish accent, to Jack. But I was not paying attention to the exchange between Jack and Jones. No, I was more focused on my disbelief of seeing Rose Jones, as clear as day, back onboard the Black Pearl… But… how long had she BEEN on the Pearl?! She clearly didn’t come alongside the Flying Dutchman’s crew, and no one had informed us if she had been taken on as a recent crew member… Was she stowing away? That sneaky little minx… I chuckled to myself. Just as Davy Jones and Jack had come to a conclusion and shaken hands on it, Rose found the perfect opportunity to punch the shark man in the face. She twisted herself out of his hold and grabbed hold of his arm, gaining enough momentum to throw him overboard. As the shark made a splash in the water, I saw everyone turn their attention toward us as Rose wiped the sweat off her brow. I clapped my hands at her heroics. She looked up, startled by the clapping, but then smiled brightly. But then suddenly, her face dropped to anger as she quickly whipped out her pistol, cocking it loaded, and aiming it at me. I raised my hands up in defense.
“Why is it whenever I see you, you have a gun on me?” I said, a little too flirtatiously. She moved her eyes from behind me to me to regard my comment,
“Huh? What? No!” snapped Rose, gesturing with her pistol to something behind me,”Not you! Him!” I turned around to see, towering over me, Davy Jones. He pushed me out of his way with his crab claw and started to stagger toward Rose.
“Now what kind of warm welcome is this, my dear?” said Davy, walking closer and closer to Rose, which made her step backwards, away from him, “I thought I had taught you some manners, girl.”
“You taught me nothing, old man.” hissed Rose.
“Deny it if ye will, but the only reason that you’re a pirate is because of me and what I’ve done for you.” said Jones.
“What have you done for besides torment me my entire life?!”
“You broke our deal, Rose deary, and I’ve come to collect.”
“How could you make such a deal with your own family?” asked Rose, keeping her pistol at level with Davy’s chest.
“Family?” I asked myself quietly. Certainly would explain the magical healing abilities…
“Ah…. So you confirm it now, eh?” said Jones with a sly smile.
“No…. I may be your blood, but you are not my true father… My true father will forever be Milo! Not you…” spat Rose. I was awestruck, I wasn’t sure if I was even listening to the rest of the conversation. FATHER?! Father?! Rose’s father?! I kept repeating the word over and over in my head, finding it hard to come to terms with this horrifying news.
“Still as stubborn as ever, I see…” said Davy, lunging forward and grabbing hold of Rose’s arm with his crab claw, “Are ye through running yet, deary? Are ye finally ready to take your place at my side? Or would ye like to share the same fate of your ‘father’ Milo?” as he finished, he began to squeeze Rose’s arm tighter and tighter as her entire hand began to rot and decay before our eyes. She winced with pain.
“WAIT!” I shouted, finally finding my voice again. Startled, Davy Jones released Rose’s arm and regarded me with disgust, then laughed low and menacingly.
“Ahh… Young Master McSkull, son of Henry and Elizabeth, nephew to Barbossa… All dead if I recall. Tell me, Master McSkull? Do ye fear death?” said Jones, getting close to my face, his tentacles slowly twisting and turning as he spoke.
“I’m here to strike a deal, Jones.” I said, trying to keep any sign of fear out of my voice. Davy Jones’ eyes widened a little in surprise,
“What could you possibly do for me, boy?”
“Prevent Jack from paying his debt…” I said silently. Davy Jones paused for a moment, then eyed me again.
“You have peeked my interest, Mr. Quartermaster….”
“If I can prevent Jack from collecting 100 souls, you are to let Rose be, never to pursue her again.” I said, though when I heard the words come out of my mouth, I felt more like a little five year old, demanding something from his parents. But, evidently, Jones mulled the proposition over, stroking his tentacle beard pensively, then letting out a sinister chuckle.
“Only could a woman drive men to dastardly actions… Very well, Mr. McSkull. If you can guarantee that Jack will not make his quota, nor will he find any shortcuts along the way to get him out of his debt with the Devil, then I will accept these terms.” said Davy Jones with a little grin. Shortcuts, I thought, best not to tell him that we were after The Dead Man’s Chest then…
“Agreed… Captain.” I said. Without missing a beat, Davy Jones grabbed my hand and tried to shake it, the lukewarm liquids on his tentacle hand dirtying up my own.
“We have an accord….” he said, then, after prying his suction cupped hand off my own, he turned to Rose, “It may physically end between us, my dear, but you’ll never forget me or where you came from. Think on that as you spend time with yer ‘boyfriend’... while you can.” he said with a wicked laugh and then suddenly, as fast as he arrived, he disappeared, leaving me and Rose at a stand still. The rest of the crew had begun to ready themselves for a new voyage to Tortuga. I tried to open my mouth to speak, but just couldn’t find the words. Just as I was about to find my voice, Rose ran over and flung her arms around my neck.
“You stupid man… You brave stupid idiot… Thank you…” she wasn’t crying per-say, she was more just sighing from annoyance. As we separated, without even thinking, I just blurted out,
“Your father…?”
“I’ll explain another time…” she said, looking away. Realizing that now wasn’t the best time to confront her on that little bit of information, I then turned the conversation,
“How long were you aboard the Pearl?” I asked in confusion. Not once had any of us noticed that we had a stowaway onboard. If there was any missing food or rum rations, we always just assumed it was the little monkey, stealing everything. Perhaps it still was, but evidently he was being aided by Rose. She shrugged,
“Couple months. Six at the most. It’s hard to tell. Snuck aboard while the Pearl was held up in that British port compound.”
“You certainly don’t leave any sort of trail.” I laughed lightly, making Rose smile just a little bit.
“Had I only known about Jack’s bloody debt…” she hissed.
“So… was your father--” before I could finish, she shot me a look of disgust.
“He may be my biological father, but he’s done nothing for me but torment my existence!” she spat, holding back tears. I tried to amend my last question.
“Was Davy Jones the ‘He” you were worried about coming after you the night we rescued you from the sea?” I asked. She nodded.
“Aye…”
“Well, don’t worry now. You’re safely aboard the Pearl again. This time, without the walking dead.” I said with a little grin.
“Believe me, Hector, the skeletons were a must better change of pace than walking sea creatures.” laughed Rose.

We made it to Tortuga in record timing, traveling at full sail and arriving at the port within the same night. Jack immediately took off in pursuit of a bunch of dimwits who, eventually, he planned to sacrifice in order to save his own skin. Rose and I on the other hand took our sweet time catching up with the rest of the crew. Things were still a little tense between us after the events on Isla de Muerta, but somehow we were still able to converse freely with one another. She and I both exchanged stories about the adventures we had had since we last saw each other. Evidently, she had also partook in the War with Jolly Roger, however, she was more of a shadow, who swooped in, assassinated her enemies, and then returned to the darkness; which was why we never crossed paths. As we made it to the tavern, we had covered a lot of ground when it came to our pasts. She was much more open about her life now that her secret was out; she told me of her times as Captain aboard the Poison Thorn, of her life of solitude with her deranged mother and abusive stepfather, and even spoke of her former lover whom she had parted ways with on poor terms. As we sat down and ordered our drinks, I looked to see a line of men forming in front of Gibbs’ table and was about to go over to sabotage any chance of Jack getting to 100 souls, but stopped myself after I surveyed the men… They were the most pathetic excuses of sailors I had ever seen. If this was going to be the turnout, then there was hardly any reason for me to interfere. Jack would screw himself over. Leaning back in my chair, I looked at Rose, who was taking a sip of her rum flip. She hadn’t changed a bit, still as beautiful as ever.
“So,” I said, breaking the silence that had taken over, “quite the family history you have, Rose…”
“It’s complicated, that’s for sure…” she said, her voice trailing off as she took another long sip then, sighing, placed her mug down and leaned in, “He is my father by blood, but nothing else… Before he became, well, a squid-face, he was a proud sailor for the Scottish clan lords. He had a simple life; a merchant sailor, married to my mother, and father to me. He was never around for any of my childhood, however. He was always along the coast of the Mediterranean, only to ever show up again every once in a blue moon. One day, however, he set sail and never returned. Later on in me life I discovered the reason was that he had fallen in love with another woman, leaving his old life behind to start a new one,”
“So… Just how old are you exactly…?” I asked, curiosity glimmering in my eyes. She snorted a little laugh and shook her head.
“You wouldn’t believe me even if I told ye, mate,” she winked.
“But why exactly is he after you?” I asked. Her face dropped to a stoic glare.
“None of your concern.”
“Well, I made it my concern after I stuck my neck out to save you.”
“And who said I needed saving?” she retorted. Before I could respond, we heard the sound of a gun crack off a shot. Soon, the whole place was in the middle of a brawl. Rose looked at me with joy in her eyes and a cunning grin, “C’mon! It’s been forever since I was involved in a bar fight!” She quickly rose out of her seat and drew her cutlass, engaging the first two drunken men she found. All I could do was laugh as I drank down the rest of my ale, draw a sword, and dive into the frenzy.

After the fighting had cooled down, we all began to return to the Pearl. Along the way, two new familiar faces joined our motley crew; Elizabeth Swann, disguised as a sailor boy, and the former Commodore James Norrington, who was said now to be known as the village drunk… And on Tortuga, that’s saying A LOT. Jack had somehow conned Elizabeth into finding the location of Davy Jones’ Dead Man’s Chest by giving her his “magical” compass that pointed to “the thing you want most in this world”. But, finally, we had our heading, and that’s all that mattered. As we raised the anchor and were underway, I retired to my cabin only to find Rose, sprawled out on my bed. She shot up as she heard the door open.
“Oh… I’m sorry, I didn’t know where else to sleep and, well, you did offer me this cabin on our previous adventure.” she said with a grin. I chuckled and closed the door.
“Aye, I did indeed. But what of your home you made for yourself for the past six months?”
“It was the worst six months of sleep I had even endured,” she sighed, lying back down on the bed, “the cold damp floor in the cellar did quite a number on me back. This is one of the first times I’ve felt comfortable in a long while.”
“Alright, alright, very well.” I said with a smile as I sat down on a barrel.
“So, what’s Jack’s play?” asked Rose out of the blue.
“Huh? Oh, well, might as well tell you now, we’re headed to find the Dead Man’s Chest.” as I said that, Rose paused for a moment then turned her head towards me.
“He plans on controlling my father?”
“I’m not sure… What exactly does the chest and the heart do?” I asked. Rose sighed, looking back up at the ceiling,
“Whosoever owns the heart can control the sea itself, along with the Flying Dutchman. I’m sure Jack doesn’t know the full extent of the power he would be wieldin’.”
“Aye, I’m sure it’s only a means to an end for him…. But…” I said, standing up now and pacing the floor, “if I were to possess the heart, then I could help you permanently emancipate you from Jones’ clutches!”
“Have you any idea how mad of an idea that is?” said Rose, sitting up now.
“Why? It’s all a matter of leverage.” I said with a wink, sounding a little bit like Jack. She looked at me, a little confused, but grateful at the same time.
“Why go through all this trouble for me?” she asked. I walked over to her and sat down next to her on the bed.
“Well, I made you a promise, didn’t I?”
“And what promise is that?”
“To see you safely to land…” My voice trailed off as I leaned in toward her, her arms intertwining themselves around my neck, as our lips met. She was smooth to the touch as I ran my hands down her back, passionately kissing her the entire time. It was as if a powder keg had exploded inside my being, filling me with a triumphant joy that I hadn't felt with anyone else I had ever been with. She had the perfect balance of Scarlett’s sweet tenderness and Isabela’s ferocious tenacity. Rose’s kiss was the one that still haunts me to this day. Whenever I’ve been in a dark time of my life, I just think back to that night below in my cabin on the Pearl with the woman who would, evidently, become the woman I could never forget. After our shared moment, I slowly moved away from each other, looking into each other’s eyes, until I coughed a little nervously.
“Well… I suppose I should let you sleep. It’s been a long day… Night Miss Jones.” I said, beginning to stand up and walk toward the door, but suddenly felt a tug at my left arm. Rose pulled me down back on the bed, throwing off my jacket and reaching down to undo my belts. I tore off my waistcoat and shirt and ran my hands all over her body.
“I’ve told you before…” she said, in between kissing and stripping off her vest and shirt, exposing her beautiful naked body, “It’s Rose… Just… Rose.”
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Hector McSkull
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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:12 pm

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Spoiler:
Rose and I didn’t return on deck until at least the second day out to sea. For the entire night, we spent our time together locked in my cabin making love. The way Rose moved her body was incredible; wild and carefree. Being with her felt like I could totally be myself with her, none of the charade men put up when trying to impress a lady. She and I felt as if we were made for each other. As we were finally drifting off to sleep as the rays of the afternoon sun snuck through the cracks of the blinds we put down. Rose cuddled up close to me, her head resting on my chest as I wrapped my arm around her, stroking her bare back gently. Everything was so blissful…. until…
“LAND HO!!” shouted Scurvy Joe, the bellowing fool with a voice that could rattle the deck of any ship. Rose and I immediately sat up and sighed heavily, having been disturbed from our afternoon nap.
“Best we get up there…” I said, groggily. She rubbed her eyes and then slowly ran her fingers through her hair,
“Aye… We’ve been missin’ for a whole day already.” she said with a little laugh. I grinned and kissed her again before I hopped out of bed. As I bent down to pull up my trousers, there was a loud knock on the door.
“Cap’n requests your presence for the shore party, Mr. Quartermaster!” barked Gibbs’ voice from behind the door. Before I could answer, Rose piped up,
“We’ll be there!” He must’ve distinguished that it was Rose’s voice, for he then started to laugh heartily, the laughing fading out as he walked away.
“Well I guess the cat’s out of the bag now, love…” I said with a little snort. She laughed as she slipped on her boots.
“Double time!” bellowed Gibbs’ distant voice. Rose and I looked at each other, wild eyed, and then quickly began to pull our clothes back on. We burst up onto the deck of the Pearl, rummaging to close the buttons of our coats and trousers closed. As we zoomed past a few men, there were several murmured hoots and hollers, which were more comical than annoying. Rose and I piled into the longboat alongside Jack, who was clutching his jar of dirt tightly and hardly even realizing that we’d finally come up for air, Elizabeth, who now wore her long hair down again, Norrington, who was cleaned up compared to how I had seen him on Tortuga, and Pintel and Ragetti who manned both oars. Whilst rowing, Pintel and Ragetti were bickering… as usual.
“You’re pullin’ too fast!” barked Pintel.
“You’re pullin’ too slow! We don’t want the Kraken to catch us.” replied Ragetti. The mention of the Kraken made both Jack and Rose tense up.
“I’m savin’ me strength for when it comes,” said Pintel, proudly, “And I don’t think it’s Krack-en, anyways. Always heard it said ‘Kray-kin’”
“What? With a long a?” asked Ragetti. Pintel nodded fiercely, “No-no-no-no-no,” continued Ragetti, trying to explain the true origins of the name to his counterpart. This went on for quite some time until Rose finally lashed out at both of them.
“It doesn’t matter what the hell you call it! It’s a giant squid that wants to kill you!” she shrieked. This shut the two up for the remainder of the trip. All I could do was laugh and place an arm around Rose.

As we finally made it to the beach of Isla Cruces, we began to disembark from the longboat. Everyone was ushered off by Jack except for Pintel and Ragetti, whom he threw his long coat at as he picked up a shovel.
“Guard the boat, mind the tide….. Don’t touch my dirt…” said Jack as he walked off. I took a moment to mind my surroundings; the tropical island was flushed with overgrown palm trees and exotic flora. At the top of a hill stood a disheveled and abandoned church bell tower. I stopped for a moment and looked out toward the wreckage.
“I didn’t expect anybody to be here.” I said to Rose. She looked up to the church as well, then back to me.
“There’s not,” as she said that, I looked to regard her. Norrington, who had overheard our exchange, piped up,
“You know this place?”
“Of course I do… My father would frequent this island on many occasions… Long after Jones buried his heart, the Church came to the island and brought ‘salvation’,” she said in a sarcastic monotone, then snorted a little laugh, “and disease… And death… They say the priest had to bury everyone, one by one. He went mad and hung himself.” she finished. Norrington was just about to make a comment, when Jack scurried over, with a sly grin on his face.
“No fraternizing with the help, love.” he said, grinning at Norrington, who only glared back at him. Rose and I walked away from the two men and continued on. In a few minutes, we had crossed the entirety of the beach, ending up on the other side of the island. Jack climbed up on a sand dune while Elizabeth continued to pace back and forth, holding Jack’s “magical” compass, hoping that the continuously spinning needle would eventually stop. For a brief moment, I saw her gaze up at Jack, who was standing proudly on a sand dune as the wind blew in his hair. Elizabeth shook the compass in frustration, threw it on the ground, and plopped herself on the sand, crossing her legs and arms.
“This doesn’t work. And it certainly doesn’t show you what you want most!” she pouted. Jack cautiously came over and looked down at the compass needle. From where I was standing, I could see that the compass had stopped spinning rapidly and was pointing directly at Elizabeth.
“Yes it does… You’re sitting on it!” exclaimed Jack. Elizabeth looked up in confusion.
“Beg your pardon?”
“Move!” said Jack, ushering Elizabeth away and then whistling to Norrington to start digging in the spot Elizabeth stood up from.

Minutes passed before anything substantial happened. Whilst Norrington was digging, Jack was sitting atop the same sand dune in the lotus position, Elizabeth was looking out to the sea and Rose and I were sitting next to each other on the sand. Suddenly, we all heard a CLANK as Norrington struck his shovel into the earth. All of our heads popped up as we slowly made our way over to the hole Norrington dug and peered down into it. Sure enough, covered in a pile of sand, was a large chest of some sort. Norrington and I dove in, each reaching for a handle on either side of the chest, and hoisted it up out of the hole. We placed it on the ground as Jack took Norrington’s shovel and broke the lock. We all bent down as Jack opened the lid to see what was inside. Scattered all around the chest were various bits of parchment, dried up flowers, a pearl necklace that I secretly pocketed, intending to give it to Rose later, and, at the heart of the treasure chest, an even smaller treasure chest. This chest was intricately decorated with rod iron tentacles in each little column. In the center was a lock in the shape of a crab’s body. Cautiously, as Jack lifted the small chest out of the larger one, we all slowly leaned in, putting our ears to the chest. After a long pause, we heard it. A beat. Then another beat. Then another. The Heart of Davy Jones.
“It’s real..” said Elizabeth, with a shocked smile on her face.
“Never thought he even had one of those…” said Rose in disgust.
“You actually were telling the truth.” said Norrington with a chuckle. Jack looked at him in disbelief.
“I do that quite a lot! Yet people are always surprised.”
“With good reason!” spoke a familiar voice from behind us. We all turned around to find a sopping wet Will Turner, standing at the edge of the beach, untangling some seaweed off his chest. Elizabeth’s face brightened as she stood up and sped over to her fiance.
“Will! You’re alright! Thank God! I came to find you!” The two lovers embraced and shared a kiss that to them lasted a lifetime. I looked over to see Norrington’s face drop quickly, being reminded of his past failures in courting Elizabeth. Jack just looked around in confusement.
“How did you get here?!” He asked, bewildered. Will and Elizabeth looked to the four of us.
“Sea turtles, mate,” said Will, “A pair of them strapped to my feet.”
“Not so easy, is it?” laughed Jack.
“But I do owe you thanks, Jack.” said Will, a little through gritted teeth.
“You do?” said Jack, once again confused.
“After you tricked me on to that ship to square your debt with Jones,”
“WHAT?!” screamed Elizabeth, which caused Jack to, in turn, mock her,
“What?!” and then glared at Norrington.
“I was reunited with my father…” finished Will. Jack clapped and smiled.
“Oh! Well… You’re welcome then.”
“Everything you said to me,” said Elizabeth, storming over to confront Jack, who was leaning back as she approached, “Everything you said was a lie?!”
“Pretty much,” shrugged Jack, “Time and tide, love.” Meanwhile, Will had walked over to the chest and knelt down, drawing a knife off of his chest.
“Oy!” I piped up, walking closer to the chest, “What’re you doing?”
“I’m gonna kill Jones.” said Will, just as he was about to unlock the Dead Man’s Chest with the newly acquired key. To my left, there was the sound of a sword being unsheathed. I turned to see Jack pointing the edge of his sword at Will’s neck.
“Can’t let you do that, William. “Cause if Jones is dead,” he said, tilting his head, “Who’s to call his terrible beastie off the hunt, eh?” Will slowly started to stand up, reluctantly sheathing the little dagger in his hand, “Now,” continued Jack, holding out his hand, “If you please… They Key.” Will stood in silence for a brief moment then suddenly grabbed at Elizabeth’s side and withdrew her sword, pointing it straight at Jack.
“I keep the promises I make, Jack. I intend to free my father. I hope you’re here to see it.” finished Will, just as I unsheathed my sword and then pointed it at Will.
“Sorry, mate, but that won’t be happenin’ today. You see, I need that heart in order to liberate someone from bondage.” I said, looking toward Rose then back to the two men. Jack rolled his eyes.
“Even I think father precedes girlfriend, Skull.” But, before I could say anything, Norrington drew his sword and then pointed it at me.
“I can’t let you do that, either… So sorry.”
“I knew you’d warm up to me even--” started Jack with a bright smile, but his expression quickly changed when Norrington swung his sword to face Jack. I turned on my heels, pointing my cutlass at Norrington, prompting Will to spin and point his at me, leaving Jack bewildered and confused, ultimately pointing his sword at Will.
“Lord Beckett desires the contents of that chest,” said Norrington, regarding the Governor of the vile East India Trading Company, Lord Cutler Beckett, “I deliver it,” he continued, excitement in his eyes, “I get my life back.”
“Ah,” said Jack, putting the pieces together, “The dark side of ambition.” Norrington shook his head,
“Oh I prefer to see it as the promise of redemption…” As Norrington finished boasting, he quickly swung to his left. I caught his sword with my own, pushed it away, just as Will’s sword came crashing down toward me. Thus began the most kick ass four-way sword fight in Caribbean history.

Clash after clash, parry after parry, we four combatants continued the fight all the way down the beach, all in hopes of attaining just one little key… All the while, we could hear Elizabeth’s distant, yet frantic voice, shrieking at us,
“This is BARBARIC! This is no way for grown men to settle---- OH FINE! ‘Let’s just.. pull out our swords and start BANGING away at each other! THAT WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING!’ I’ve had it! I’ve had it wit… wobbly-legged… rum soaked… PIRATES!!!” but, we paid her no heed. The fighting continued up toward the abandoned church, where, I quickly noticed, a hanging skeleton dressed in a clergyman’s robes. Have to tell Rose about this one, I thought, just as I parried Norrington’s oncoming slash, if I make it out of this alive… Jack, who was now in possession of the key, tried to scramble up the wooden staircase as Norrington and I pursued him. Will was still far behind the pack, leaving Norrington, Jack and I to duel each other. As the three of us locked swords, Jack had a moment of clarity,
“Wait, Hector! If either one of us gets the Heart, we can both achieve what we want! Right? I use the heart to free your lass and you use it to free me from my debt, eh?” he said with a toothy grin. Norrington looked disgusted.
“Are you bloody kidding me? Trying to forge an alliance in the heat of a duel?”
“Sorry mate,” I shook my head no, “But I promised Jones that you’d fail. That’s the only way he’ll free Rose.”
“Ah,” said Jack with a snort, “a soul for a soul…”
“Hers is more important than yours, Captain!” I said as I broke our intertwined swords, continuing the fight. Suddenly, just as Norrington snatched the key out of Jack’s hands, causing Jack’s sword to plummet to the ground, Will zipped up the rope used to chime the church bell as Jack and I lost our balance and held onto the rope, crashing down to the ground. Rubbing my head, I looked up to see Will twenty feet above us with the key, gloating in Norrington’s face,
“By your leave, Mr. Norrington!” and then quickly dashed farther up the church platform. I looked up to see Norrington hot on Will’s trail, just as Jack was attempting to get up from the fall. I punched him in the face, stunning him for a second, and then began to climb the stairs of the church again. In mere moments, after sprinting up the stairwell, I hung a right onto the roof to find Will and Norrington locked in an epic battle. I hopped up onto the roof and quickly followed behind. I tried to take a slice at Will’s hand, but Norrington saw me too soon and blocked my oncoming blade. Soon it was the three of us again dueling. Then, out of nowhere, Jack reappeared, trying to sneakily steal the dangling key from Norrington’s hand. As it successfully grabbed it, we all turned on the spot, now dueling Jack on his own. Jack punched me in the gut, causing me to double over. He flipped over my back and just as he regained his footing, Norrington disengaged him from his sword, causing it to fall to the ground below. Norrington and Will held their swords pointed at Jack while I held mine pointed at Will and Norrington. Norrington turned to Will and snarled,
“Do excuse me while I kill the man who ruined my life.”
“Be my guest!” Will smiled. Jack quickly began talking,
“Let us examine that claim for a moment, former Commodore, shall we? Who was it, that at the very moment you had a notorious pirate safely behind bars, saw fit to free said pirate and take your dearly beloved all to hiself, eh?” he said with a wink. I saw Norrington pause for a moment to consider Jack’s words while Jack continued, “So who’s fault is it really, that you ended up a rum-pot deckhand what takes orders from pirates?”
“ENOUGH!” screamed Norrington, swinging at Jack’s head, who quickly ducked under, rolled off the roof, and fell to the ground. I caught Norrington’s blade, keeping it steady as we were all looking to where Jack fell, “Unfortunately, Mr. Turner…” said Norrington through flared nostrils, “HE’S RIGHT!” and turned his full attention toward Will while still trying to keep me at bay. Jack shouted up to Norrington, sheathing his sword,
“Still rooting for you, mate!” and scampered off, leaving the three of us to continue the duel.

We three combatants took the fight all the way to a very old and rusty water wheel. Will took a leap onto it, followed by Norrington. Once I put one foot on the wheel, it broke out of its restraints and began to move! I quickly piled onto the wheel as the three of us continued our fight. The clanging of our swords echoed through the jungle as the wheel kept rolling. Then I felt something rather odd on the wheel. I looked down to see a pair of legs kicking and just rolling on by. Jack… I thought.
We kept rolling and rolling through the jungle. Out of the corner of my eye, I could make out the figures of Rose and Elizabeth, pointing one sword at Pintel and Ragetti while Elizabeth just looked at them innocently. The two nit-wits dropped the Dead Man’s Chest drew their swords, advancing. But suddenly, a battle axe hit the closest tree near the four. They turned frantically to see the cursed crew of Davy Jones stampeding towards them. I could see no more for if I kept a watch on Rose, Norrington would have decapitated me.
I took a slice at Will’s head. He quickly ducked and fell on the wheel. He then disappeared into the wheel. Norrington and I, looking a little confused, just kept fighting. But the sound of jingling and the sound of a sword being drawn made me leap right into the wheel to find that Jack had entered the fight again and that the key was hanging on the wheel by a rusty nail! We kept fighting. It was Jack vs Norrington, then it was Norrington vs Will, then it was Will vs me, then it was me vs Norrington, and on and on it went in a dizzy display of rolling.
Will met Jack’s attack and caught the key rope in his grip. The two pulled hard. Will ended up with the rope and Jack ended up with the key. Jack grinned, but then quickly parried Will’s on coming blade. Jack then quickly made himself up the wheel, grabbed onto a palm tree leaf, and let me, Will, and Norrington roll away down a very large hill. The three of us just couldn’t fight each other anymore. We just held on for dear life screaming bloody murder as the wheel kept rolling faster and faster! The wheel hit a bump and we honestly went five feet up into the air! That was probably the scariest ride I’ve ever been on in me entire life. It made a hurricane look like child’s play! We rolled all the way to the beach, taking down a few of Jones’ crew as we rolled slower and slower, until we finally toppled over. Will, Norrington and I staggered out of the wheel. Will drew out his sword again and tried to run towards the fight, only resulting in falling face first in the water. Norrington, looking drunk, staggered towards the longboat while Will got up, tried to run, and fell over again. As for me, I had to puke.

After the lightheadedness wore off, I splashed my face with some seawater to give me a little jolt of energy as I sprinted toward a fight that had broken out in the low tide. In the distance, I saw Rose dueling with two of the fish crew; one man with an eel head and the other who looked like a small crustacean. I knocked down the crustacean and stabbed the eel man in the back, tossing his body away from Rose. She smiled brightly, then noticed the still disoriented look in my eyes and laughed.
“You look bloody awful, Skull.” she chuckled. I snorted a little laugh, but had to quickly focus back on the fight just as a man covered in seaweed lunged toward us. The Dutchman crew was gaining the upper hand, pinning us humans closer and closer to our longboat. I heard a loud thud to my left, then saw Will flopped over the side of the longboat.
“WILL!” screamed Elizabeth, as she dashed over to his side. Jack quickly stopped her, an oar in his hand.
“Leave him lie!” he then quickly amended his statement, “Unless you plan on using him to hit something with…” The Dutchman crew continued to creep closer and closer, their weapons raised.
“We’re not getting out of this…” said Rose, with a little defeat in her voice.
“Not with the chest,” piped up Norrington, “Into the boat!” he ordered as he quickly grabbed the chest and tucked it under his arm. Elizabeth looked horror struck.
“You’re mad!”
“Don’t wait for me!” said Norrington gallantly as he charged head on into the horde of fish-men. Norrington dashed down the beach as the Dutchman crew chased him into the jungle.
“I-” I began to stutter, amazed at Norrington’s bravery, “I say we respect his final wishes.”
“AYE!” shouted both Rose and Pintel as we all turned, threw our effects into the longboat, hauled Will aboard, and began to quickly row back to the Black Pearl.
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Hector McSkull
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