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Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:13 pm

Chapter Twenty-Eight

When we finally returned to the Pearl, I helped Elizabeth drag the unconscious Will onboard, flopping him on the deck to go and help Rose out of the longboat as Jack walked off proudly, clutching his jar of dirt with happiness. The crew began to haul the longboat aboard, as Pintel and Ragetti fought amongst themselves again. Gibbs quickly ran up to greet us. Surveying the crowd, Gibbs asked immediately,
“Where’s the Commodore?!”
“Fell behind!” said Jack and I in unison.
“My prayers be with him…” said Gibbs for a slight moment, then brightened up, following after Jack up to the helm, “Best not wallow in our grief! The bright side is, you’re back! And you made it off free and clear!” But just as Gibbs finished, there was a huge watery explosion off our port side. We all turned in horror to see the Flying Dutchman emerge from the depths, water and seaweed dripping down it’s monstrous hull. Gibbs said a little prayer to himself as the Dutchman crew barked and roared taunts at us in an attempt to intimidate. I looked to Rose, whose eyes were locked on Jones, staring daggers into her father’s would-be soul. Jack smirked and pushed her out of the way.
“I’ll handle this, mate.” he said as he held up his jar of dirt. Everyone went silent, “Oy! Fish Face!” Jones regarded Jack with disgust. Jack merely grinned happily, “Lose somethin’? Eh? Squinchili?! Ay---” He was cut short as he lost his footing going down the stairs. He began to tumble and fall with a loud crash onto the deck. Everyone onboard just went “OooooooooH”, because that HAD to have hurt. Jack popped his arms up, holding the dirt, “Got it!” he then stood up, pacing the deck, still looking at Jones. “Come to negotiate, eh, have you, ya slimy git? Look what I’ve got,” he then began taunting “I’ve got a jar of dirt! I’ve got a jar of dirt! And guess what’s inside it?”
“He’s got the bloody heart!” said Rose as she nudged me in the ribs. As I rubbed my side, I paused for a moment to see the cannons of the Flying Dutchman emerging from the gun racks shaped like hauntingly eerie human faces. Jack’s face dropped.
“Hard to starboard…” he said sheepishly.
“HARD TO STARBOARD!” echoed Elizabeth.
“Brace up the foreyard!” shouted Will as the crew sprang into motion. I leaped over the railing of the helm, running up the port side riggings while Rose led a group up the starboard riggings. Both our groups made it to the top of the mainmast. I looked to Rose, who nodded, as we both pulled hard on the ropes, releasing the mainsail while the rest of the crew unfurled the t’gallons and the royals. We had to hold on right as the Pearl shook violently. Rose and I looked back at the Dutchman. She scowled.
“Dammit… The triple guns!” I looked closer to see off of the Dutchman’s bow two sets of bow chasers, but these bow chasers were different than I had ever seen. Three cannons were stacked against each other on each side and moved in a sort of revolving motion, allowing for continuous fire. Rose and I scurried down the rigging to see if there was anything we could do to prevent the Dutchman’s advances when suddenly a gust of wind picked up in our sails, causing the Pearl to lurch forward an extra few knots, causing the Dutchman to trail at a slower pace.
“She’s falling behind!” exclaimed Elizabeth. Rose and I dashed over to the port side to look behind us.
“Aye! We’ve got her!” laughed Gibbs. Will looked at him confused.
“We’re the faster?” he asked. Rose pitched in,
“Against the wind, the Dutchman beats us. That’s how she takes her prey! But with the wind,”
“We rob her advantage.” finished Will. We nodded and dashed off up toward the helm. I took out my spyglass once I reached the top and peered over at the Dutchman. Off their starboard bow, I saw the anchor drop to the sea ground.
“They’re givin’ up!!” screamed Marty from up in the rigging, then threw his fist up in the air in celebration, causing a chorus of “YEAAAA!” across the deck. The only one not celebrating, besides Will who was arguing with Jack to try and fight the Dutchman, was Rose. She was just looking out toward where the Dutchman had dropped anchor, concentrating.
“What’s wrong, love? We’ve got the advantage.” I said, resting my arm around her to try and put her at ease. She shook her head.
“He wouldn’t just give up that easily… He’s planning som---” but before she could finish, the earth shook violently, causing the Pearl to rock and roll, knocking us all onto the feet. I heard the sound of glass shattering across the deck and heard Jack let out a little yelp. As we were all regaining out footing, I looked over to Jack who was frantically searching through his spilled jar of dirt.
“Where is it?” he said quietly, looking up in panic, “Where is the Thump-Thump?” The goddamn heart was NOT in his jar of dirt! Dammit Jack! You’ve doomed us all!
“We must’ve hit de reef!” called Lejon, looking over the starboard side. The water below was bubbling and boiling below us.
“No…” said Will, horror struck, “It’s NOT a reef!” He then ran over and yanked Elizabeth away from the side, “Get away from the rail!!”
“What is it?!” she said in a panic. I looked to Rose, whose face went white with terror.
“The Kraken….” she said hoarsely.
“To ARMS!” I yelled to the rest of the crew. Gibbs barked from the helm,
“Load guns! Defend the mast!”
“It’ll attack the starboard, I’ve seen it before!” shouted Will as he dashed across the deck, pulling a sword from out of a barrel, “Run out the cannons and hold for my signal!” he barked and then sprang into action. I started to run below deck when I turned to see Rose, standing there petrified. Rolling my eyes, I quickly ran over to her and tried to shake her out of her catatonic state. With nothing else to do, I hauled Rose over my shoulder and made my way into the Captain’s Cabin.
“Now’s not the best time to tense up, love!” I placed her on the bed. She didn’t lie down, she just kept staring off toward the horizon, speechless. “Ugh!.... This’ll have to wait!” I quickly kissed her on the forehead and then ran out of the Captain’s Cabin, just as the first of the Kraken’s large tentacles slowly crept over the starboard side. They were just as Gibbs had described; massive ghoulish green tentacles with large suction cups, big enough to tear off your face. They danced and twirled with delight, ready to snatch up their next meal.
“FIRE!!!” I heard Will scream from below decks. The Pearl exploded with cannonfire, the cannon balls blasting through the giant tentacles. The Kraken roared with rage and smashed the injured tentacles across the deck, cracking the longboats into splintered pieces. After another volley of cannonfire, the tentacles writhed in pain and then slowly slipped back into the bubbling water. We all looked over the rail and cheered to see the retreating tentacles. Only Will remained silent. He grabbed Elizabeth’s arm and ushered her away from the rail again.
“It’ll be back… We have to get off the ship.” he said. I leaned over toward them.
“There’s no boats.” I said, just as a small barrel of gunpowder rolled into view. Will and I locked eyes, an idea forming between the two of us,
“Haul the crates!” shouted Will.
“Get all the gunpowder into the net of the cargo hold!” I barked as I joined the men below decks, busy trying to find the gunpowder. After frantically loading the barrels into the net, we came to a frightening discovery; that we only had six barrels of gunpowder! Surely that would hardly have any sort of effect on the Kraken. As Will trudged down the stairs to survey our progress, Gibbs and I ran over to inform him.
“There’s only half a dozen kegs of powder!” said Gibbs frantically. Without batting an eyelash or skipping a beat, Will uttered a phrase that I had thought was unspeakable;
“Then load the rum!” and then ran back up the stairs, leaving us all awestruck. There was a palpable silence that emanated throughout the lower deck. Nobody moved, nobody spoke, nobody breathed. No pirate could bare the idea of losing their precious rum. Eventually, even though it pained me to echo the order, I spoke up,
“Aye! The rum too!” That was met with a chorus of “ugh! Not the rum!” by all of the disgruntled crew members.

The air was silent as we readied ourselves for the next oncoming attack. The water seemed to pulse as if it had a heartbeat of it’s own. Coming up on deck, Elizabeth handed me a rifle and told me to “Step to!” before she and I paused to see off the portside, across the horizon, a lone rowboat paddling away back toward Isla Cruces. I quickly looked at the helm, then down the whole of the Pearl all the way to the bow, then grumbled as I realized who was running away… Jack… Elizabeth looked disgusted.
“Ugh! You coward…” she spat, but was suddenly knocked onto her knees just as everyone else was as the Pearl shook violently again. I heard Marty exclaim,
“Not good!” just before chaos erupted. The Kraken’s tentacles were smashing anything in their path, thrashing back and forth; grabbing cannons, supplies, and even men and pulling everything into the crushing darkness of the ocean. It smashed the staircases of the helm, cracked the rails on the port and starboard sides, smashed the windows of the Captain’s Cabin…. Captain’s Cabin--- ROSE!!! I had left her frozen in Jack’s cabin, before realizing that the Kraken would attack the inside of the cabin. Nowhere was safe onboard. I drew my sword and quickly tried to make my way to the helm, dodging oncoming tentacles and jumping over dead and mangled bodies of dead crew mates. There was so much devastation… So much blood… So much death… I wouldn’t let Rose join those mangled bodies! To my right, I saw the cargo net hoisted up in the air; Will holding on to the rising net. It was up to Elizabeth to shoot the crates successfully, so the plan was well in motion enough for me to rescue Rose. Just as I reached the helm, I felt a slimy thick mass tangle itself around my body. I looked down just as the tentacle hoisted me into the air, swinging and smashing me around as if I were a ragdoll. I tried to free my hands to unsheath a sword or a dagger, to no avail. I thought that this would be the end just as it was sliding back into the ocean when suddenly the Kraken let out another roar and the force holding me loosened itself. I and the tentacle holding me fell to the ground, allowing me to free myself completely. I looked down at the deck to see the severed tentacle and then looked up, the sun glare blurring my vision.
“I’d say that we’re even when it comes to savin’ each other now, mate.” said a familiarly lovely voice. The figure leaned down to offer me a hand up.
“Bout time you woke up, Rose.” I said with a little chuckle. Standing up, I could see Rose holding a bloodied axe that she used to sever the tentacle from its host’s body. She looked at me with pride in her eyes.
“It’s about time I stopped running from my fears. Especially when I feared that someone I cared about would’ve just been squid-food.” As she finished, I pulled her in close and kissed her fiercely. She dropped the axe in her hand and flung her arms around my neck just as a rifle was discharged. We hardly even noticed as the gunpowder exploded on impact, the fire charring the Kraken’s tentacles into burnt chunks that showered the deck alongside splintered wreckage. The Kraken moaned in agony as the injured tentacles skulked back into the depths. For a brief moment, I thought the carnage was over as we looked over the side of the Pearl.
“Did we kill it…?” asked Marty, turning toward Rose, who shook her head solemnly.
“No… We’ve just made it angry.”
“We’re not out of this yet,” started Gibbs, as he pushed us aside to get to Jack, who was descending down the broken staircase “Cap’n! Orders?!”
“Abandon ship… Into the longboat.” said Jack in a low monotone. Gibbs looked to me with shock and then tried to chase after Jack.
“But Jack! The Pearl!” said Gibbs, trying to reason with Jack. Jack didn’t even turn around to regard Gibbs,
“She’s only a ship, mate…”
“He’s right,” piped up Elizabeth, “We have to head for land.”
“It’s a lot’o open water!” proclaimed Pintel. Ragetti was nodding his head.
“It’s a lot’o water.” he echoed. Will chimed in.
“We have to try… We can get away as it takes down the Pearl.” he said. I sighed deeply, trying not to cry. After all, she was only a ship… But what a ship she was. Rose could feel my unease and reached down to hold my hand. I looked to her and then to the rest of, or should I say, what was left of the crew.
“Abandon ship… Abandon ship or abandon hope.” I said, walking with Rose to the longboat that Pintel and Ragetti had just lowered into the water. I turned around to look at the Pearl one last time; my home for the last thirteen years, where I had finally felt as if I belonged again. With my uncle as Captain, I felt at ease. When he was gone, even then I was so acquainted with everyone and every inch of the ship. Her midnight black sails, her hand crafted figurehead, and even her bountiful rum cellar. In mere moments, all would soon be gone to the crushing abyss of Davy Jones’ Locker. I then felt Rose’s hand on my own, shaking my out of my trance, and then continued down the steps and into the longboat.The remainder of the crew loaded themselves in as well, all except for Elizabeth. For a few minutes, we all waited for Elizabeth, looking up at the ship, wondering what was taking so long. I looked over at Will, who I noticed wasn’t even looking up at the Pearl. He was staring off down in the boat, a sort of heated anger bubbling inside. Finally, we saw Elizabeth walk herself down and sit opposite of Will in the longboat. She kept her head down as the rest of her was trembling.
“Where’s Jack?” asked Will, a hint of malice in his tone. Elizabeth glared at her fiance and then answered,
“He elected to stay behind to give us a chance…” she said. We all looked up at the Pearl in awe; Jack Sparrow actually selflessly doing something? Well, it’s as it should be, I thought to myself. The Captain goes down with his ship...
“GO!” barked Elizabeth, shaking me out of my thoughts. Pintel and Ragetti quickly began to row away from the Pearl and out to open water. When we were a good three miles or so away from the Pearl, we all stopped as we heard the Kraken’s roar echo through the sky. We all turned to see something that I still cannot unsee to this day; The Kraken’s tentacles wrapping around the Pearl, one after another in a tight embrace, putting all of it’s weight onto the old girl. As it began to pull the Pearl down, the first thing to disappear was the stern… then the middeck was submerged… then the bow… until finally there was nothing left but the slowly descending black sails which soon disappeared into the darkness entirely. The Black Pearl… was gone.
Hector McSkull

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Re: Captain Hector McSkull: The Man Behind the Legend

Post by Hector McSkull on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:14 pm

Chapter Twenty-Nine

By the time we had finished paddling all the way back to Cuba, night had fallen. As we entered the mouth of the Pantano River, we noticed that there was more of a glow in the swamp than usual. As we continued on, we saw why; the locals had lined themselves up as a sort of memorial for Jack. How they knew beforehand must’ve been through Tia Dalma’s foresight. We saw, as the flickering candles bounced off their faces, tears in their eyes and looks of regret and loss. Jack must’ve been really good to these people in the past… The mourners helped guide us to Tia’s shack at a slow pace. Once we docked the longboat and stepped into Tia Dalma’s shack, the sudden chill of loss blanketed all of us. We looked to the door, half expecting Jack to stagger in, rum bottle in hand, and all would be right with the world again. But as the moments passed, we realized that all of this was real… Will started to absent mindedly throw his knife up and down into a table, Gibbs was staring out the door toward the swamp and Elizabeth just sat there in silence, her eyes red and wet with tears that would not fall. She sat with the most remorse and regret, but as to why, I cannot say. I sat with Rose at the table, my arm around her chair as she leaned back, staring up at the ceiling. Tia Dalma came through her bead door, holding a tray of mugs that she offered to each of us. Rose and I took ours with a thankful nod as she went off to offer a mug to Elizabeth. She kneeled down, getting into Elizabeth’s face.
“Against de cold… and de sorrow…” she said solemnly. After a moment, Elizabeth reached for her mug and took it. Tia Dalma then made her way over to Will, who was still throwing the knife into the table. “It’s a shame…” she said, crouching down to his level and placing a mug next to him, “I know you’re t’inkin’ that wid the Pearl, you coulda captured de Devil and set free yer fadder’s soul…”
“It doesn’t matter now…” said Will as Tia Dalma left his side, “The Pearl’s gone… Along with it’s Captain…” he said, plunging the knife into the table one last time.
“Aye…” I said, picking up my mug, “and already the world seems a bit less bright.” Gibbs moved away from the doorway and looked out to all of us, mug in hand,
“He fooled us all, right to the end… But I guess that honest streak finally won out…” he said, then, looking around the room, raised his mug, “To Jack Sparrow!”
“Never another like Captain Jack!” said Ragetti through a few sobs. This prompted Pintel to cough up and raise his mug.
“He was a gentleman of fortune, he was!”
“He was a good man…” said Elizabeth, trying to muster up some courage in her words, but then just went back to her sulking. I raised my mug calmly.
“He was a good friend…” I said, as we all took a big sip of the liquid. It wasn’t quite like any liquor I had had in the past; it was a home brewed tonic Tia Dalma must’ve made from various plants and roots. It left a stinging feeling as it passed down your throat but once it reached your stomach, you instantly felt rejuvenated and at ease, though it would probably take three or four more of her potions for us to have felt better about the loss. Out of the corner of my left eye, I felt a strange tingle trickle down my cheek. Before I could reach for it, I felt Rose’s fingers wipe away the feeling.
“Tears from you old sea dog…?” she said, in a subtly jesting tone, “I would’ve thought you one for loss…” she then thought back to the events on Isla de Muerta and then tried to amend her previous statement, “Is it about your uncle?”
“Uh… I’m not quite sure actually…” I said, surprised that I actually was shedding a tear.
“Tell me.” she said, resting her head on my shoulder. Sighing, I thought deeply.
“Today’s my birthday,” I said plainly. She sat up, startled at this news, then she gave me a look of sincere concern.
“And you didn’t tell me?!”
“I don’t like much celebrating it…”
“Why’s that?”
“Because this was the day I lost my parents.” I said, looking down at my mug with a sigh. Rose fell silent.
“This is the first you’ve ever spoken about them…” she said.
“Aye, it’s not a pretty tale,” I said, and recounted the event that still scarred me; the voyage to France, the horrible maelstrom, and the mysterious cannonfire that destroyed the ship. “And now,” I said after I had finished, “I lost someone else on this day as well.”
“Jack?” she asked. I nodded solemnly.
“I didn’t realize that he sat that heavily on your heart.” she said, placing a hand on my chest, “If there was someway to bring him bac--”
“Would you do it? Hmm?” interrupted Tia Dalma. Surprisingly, she wasn’t speaking to either one of us. Will had made the same statement about bring Jack back, and so Tia turned on him. She then looked to Rose,
“What would you… hmm?” and then regarded the rest of the room, “What would any of you be willin’ to do? Would you sail to de ends of de eart’, and beyond, to fetch back witty Jack and ‘im precious Pearl?” Was she toying with our misery or did this lovely witch have a plan in mind? As I examined her face, I couldn’t find any trace of misunderstanding, so, without even thinking really, I slammed my hand down on the table in response.
“Aye!” This bit of enthusiasm caused a great stir among the rest of us. Gibbs proudly raised his fist.
“Aye!” he said.
“Aye!” said Pintel, standing up with determination.
“Aye!” echoed Ragetti.
“Squawk! Aye!” said Cotton’s parrot as Cotton raised his mug.
“Yes.” said Elizabeth, holding back tears.
“Aye…” said Will softly. Tia Dalma grinned a flirtatious grin. She was always one who loved to flirt with danger and mystery.
“Alright… But if you’re goin’ brave de weird, and haunted shores, at world’s end, den… you will need a captain, who knows dose waters…” said Tia Dalma, turning her attention toward the staircase. A door upstairs creaked open. We heard the sound of footsteps walking on the ceiling. In curiosity, we all stood up, wondering who this mysterious new captain would be. As the figure began to walk down the staircase, the first thing we were able to make out were a pair of dusty, yet elegant black boots sauntering down the stairs at a slow pace. Then a pair of soiled trousers came into view along with a flowing forest green coat. Before the figure came fully into view, a hand shot out of the darkness and into a bowl of fruit. The hand that shot out had long dirty black fingernails that resembled more of a creature’s claw rather than a human hand. Upon finding a green apple, the figure came into the light. While the rest of the crew stared in sincere disbelief, I could only smile from ear to ear.
“So tell me,” said Captain Hector Barbossa, “What’s become of my ship?” he then took a bite out of his apple as Jack the Monkey scurried onto his shoulder and snarled at us while Barbossa laughed. Before any of us could even speak, we heard, from the corner of Tia Dalma’s shack, an eery ringing began, echoing throughout the entire shack. We put our hands to our ears as the ringing reached a screeching pitch. Stumbling to try and find the source of the noise, we then heard, through our muffled ears, the sound of a coin clinking onto the ground, suddenly stopping the eery pitch. As we lowered our ears, we regarded a shiny looking coin on the ground. Barbossa picked it up and examined it.
“What?” I asked, plainly, rubbing my ear, “A bloody piece of eight?”
“Ah, but ye don’t know, do ye laddy?” said Barbossa with a grin. He flipped the coin in his hand and then caught it with vigor. “The time is upon us!”
Hector McSkull

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