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now that's interesting
pirate_jack wrote in milliways_bar
Despite what's going on inside the bar, it's a beautiful late-summer evening outside. It's surprisingly still; without wind to stir them, the afternoon's few clouds are scattered across the slowly-darkening sky, and the remaining beams of sunlight slant over the lake and the grass, touching everything with gold. The only sounds are the calling of birds and the occasional whinny of a horse, and the steady lapping of waves on these strange and impossible shores. Everything is quiet here at worlds' end-- even peaceful.

And then, of course, it isn't.

The surface of the lake explodes suddenly, water rushing upward and outward with stunning force. At first, nothing can be seen beyond the violent cascade of the unexpected, wildly fountaining geyser.

But soon, the lake is no longer empty. A ship rests at the center of the now-settling waves-- a black ship, with black sails, rumored in stories to once have been crewed by the dead and the damned.

Standing at the port rail, his hand wrapped tightly in one of the Black Pearl's lanyards, Captain Jack Sparrow looks out over the lake toward Milliways.

"... that's very interesting."

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"Don't suppose you've any rum with you?"

He's grinning as he drawls it, wickedly amused.

'Not something I tend to carry on my person, I fear,' Merriman replies dryly. 'Though it should not be too difficult to have some sent over from the bar, along with whatever other supplies you might need. That can be arranged easily enough.'

He has a feeling that Jack will not be setting foot off the Pearl anytime soon.

Shards of glass crunch beneath his feet as he moves to push the chest back against the wall. He takes a moment to dust off his hands and adjust the cuffs of his coat, and then looks back up at the lantern hanging overhead.

'I can extinguish this, if you like.' A gentle tap with the tip of one finger makes it rock back and forth, before he catches it and stops the movement. 'Though you might find it more useful to leave it burning. A light to keep the dark at bay.'

Less of the commodore, there...and a little more of something else.

It hadn't been all that long, really. Not all that long, there in the foulest of darknesses, deep within the kraken's maw, without even the barest flicker of brightness to serve as hope.

It had been an eternity.

"Leave it burning." Jack's voice is low and taut. "A pretty bit of shiny, that."

A simple nod --

(when the Sea shall give up her dead)

-- silent and understanding --

(ship lost with all hands aboard – ca. December 1789)

-- for Captain Jack Sparrow is not the only one present who knows what it means to go down with his ship.

'Then I will find my own way back,' he says quietly. 'And if I happen to see Mister Wellard, Mister Kennedy or his lady wife...shall I point them in the direction of the lake's newest occupant?'

"Be hard to miss the Pearl, here," he says. "But I'd appreciate it if you did."

Jack stands, swaying, and considers Merriman.

"You'll have to stop in again, Commodore." He grins. "Next time, I'll be sure to have rum."

'Then I shall look forward to it with no small amount of trepidation.'

The corners of Merriman's mouth twitch, and he inclines his head to Jack in a properly formal bow.

'Good evening to you, Captain Sparrow...and my thanks, for the chance to see your Pearl of great price.'

With a final glance at the lantern, he turns and steps out of the cabin, out onto the star-lit deck. The sound of his footsteps echoes dully on the wooden boards -- and then there is no sound at all.

He doesn't move for quite some time. Jack remains standing, head cocked slightly as he stares into empty space, listening almost unconsciously for the sound of the sea.

It doesn't come. Beneath his feet, the Pearl rests as though becalmed-- although she's not, precisely, as he's well aware. Still, he doesn't let himself think about it.

Not yet.

Eventually, Jack leaves the cabin and goes up to the quarterdeck, under the open sky, leaving the lantern behind.

Despite the faint breeze through the broken wall, the lantern-flame doesn't flicker. It simply continues to burn-- a bright, steady beacon against the night.

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