Categories > Movies > Pirates of the Caribbean > The End of the Earth

The Storm

by Miss_Katonic 2 reviews

Aboard the Black Pearl, Miranda realizes she would rather die than be in the captivity of pirates.

Category: Pirates of the Caribbean - Rating: G - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Other - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-08-16 - Updated: 2006-08-16 - 2837 words


Chapter Two

A sharp kick to her rib woke Miranda successfully. She gave a yelp in pain as she looked up at her assailant, and the memory of the night before hurt her as much the man's boot.

"Mornin', sunshine," the captain cackled, wrenching her up by her collar and setting her on her feet.

"A simple nudge wakes me up just as easily," Miranda retorted, rather surprised at her own boldness. The captain grinned, cocking his head at a bemused angle.

"I'd keep that in mind," he began, turning away, "if I cared."

"Where are you taking me?" Miranda demanded, following him. The captain didn't look behind as he answered smoothly, "If you insist on followin' me, t'my cabin, I suppose."

"That's not what I-" Miranda argued, but the captain whirled around.

"Let me set you straight," he growled, "I'm not takin' you anywhere; you're coming with us while we sail where we please. If you were expectin' us t'lead you on a quest, missy, think again. We're but humble pirates, and stealin' and pillagin' is all we're good fer."

He paused, his dark eyes scrutinizing her face, and he finished, "You must be hungry."

Miranda was rather taken aback at this comment, but nodded despite her surprise. The captain beckoned her into a dark room. A thick wooden table black with age stood in the middle of the room and was laden with every kind of food imaginable.

"Eat your fill," he willed her, stepping aside.

Miranda looked quizzically at him. "Why are you doing this?" The captain's brow furrowed as he watched her expectantly to explain herself.

"Why bother being kind if you're only going to dehumanize me and set me before the mercy of your crew?"

The captain laughed heartily, and waved his hand away as if dismissing her question. Miranda, however, refused to stay unanswered.

"You will learn, Miss Farthing, that pirates such as meself rarely act through a designated plan. We simply . . . act, and see what happens. Now, eat."

Still rather uneasy, Miranda slid into a chair at the table, but merely looked at all the food. "Why should I find myself trusting you? I don't even know your name."

"I find you a very ridiculous girl," the captain growled, "and you will call me Captain Barbossa." Without another word he left the room, slammed the door, and Miranda heard the metallic grinding on the lock and knew she was trapped in the room.

Barbossa. The name was familiar. Miranda wracked her brain, willing herself to remember why she had heard it before. A sudden memory erupted in her mind. A spring night of little consequence several months ago.


"Scare me, Paul Mullroy. Do your worst," Henrietta giggled teasingly, carefully watching the British guard.

"I'm sure you've heard the legend of the cursed ship and the crew of the damned," Paul drawled.

"Is this the one with the hook-handed captain and young girl with a pure heart?" Antony asked, laughing. Paul scowled at him and replied, "Nonsense, that's not scary, is it?"

"It's romantic, Paul, so it has everything that scares you," Miranda shot scathingly, but with a friendly smile. "Love, commitment, women."

The three laughed and even Paul cracked a grin at the joke. A silence fell on the four friends as they sat on the dock looking out to sea. The sun had long sank beneath the waves and the soft color of night filled the sky.

"There is a ship, they say" Paul began, his voice low and not at all fear-inducing due to his South-London accent, "that is faster than any vessel in the Queen's navy. Her sails are riddled with holes, her hull is so pocked with scars from battles that they say it is the devil's will that keeps her afloat. "

Henrietta shivered in the cool night air, which encouraged him to embellish his story. "The crew, they say, are demons trapped in human form, and only in the moonlight are they given their Hellish, rotting forms back. The captain is named Barbossa- Luciferian for 'Satan's shadow.' It is said that he has been killed several times, but he is so evil, that Hell itself spat him back out again."

"Where do they . . . these legends say that they go?" Antony asked, his voice rather soft and timid. Miranda glanced with merriment upon her friend's ashen face. Upon her gaze he instantly blushed, but by this time Paul was ready to answer the question.

"They say that Barbossa has a certain loathing for our very own Port Royal. It seems there was once a vast treasure hidden somewhere in this very town, but it was stolen from him. On dark, dark nights, when the moon is . . ." Paul surveyed the sky, and finished, "but a half moon, he leaves his ship and wanders the empty streets, stealing hapless townsfolk from their beds and sacrificing them to his wicked maker in hopes of using their blood to help him find his treasure."

"Ooh, well done, Master Mullroy!" Henrietta exclaimed, clasping her hands to her throat and widening her eyes in mock terror. "You even managed to wrangle in a bit to make me afraid to walk home by myself." Paul grinned.

"I'm going to need a big, strong, British guard by my side," she continued, rising to her feet and yawning.

"Would you like me to escort you home, Antony?" Miranda whispered to the pale and slightly quaking form of her friend.

Antony bit his lip and gave a curt nod. Miranda smiled, slipping her hand into his as they parted from Henrietta and Paul, and began the walk to the barracks.


Miranda picked up an apple. Its skin was smooth and cool. She traced her fingertips over it, searching for any kind of oddity that might signify that it had been poisoned. Finding nothing, she gingerly bit into it and savored the juicy meat.

When only the core was left, she stood and went to the window. A great expanse of ocean met her eyes, and the longer she gazed, the more it seemed to stretch beyond the horizon. An idea collided with her brain as she thought, and she rushed to the door and pressed her ear against it. She heard the sounds of orders being shouted and the thudding of booted feet across the deck. She shifted to the window by the door and looked out of its rippled surface. It seemed that there was no one guarding the door.

She seized a fork from the table and pried a tine away from the others with the aid of a knife, and then began picking the lock.

It was harder work than she would have imagined, but at long length she heard a metallic click sound her victory. She slowly turned the doorknob and opened it a crack to look out. A man rushed by, his back to her, followed swiftly by another, but she was not seen.

She gently closed the door again, and began looking around the room and assessing its contents. The drapes by the window were too close to the wall to present enough room for her to inconspicuously fit behind. It was under the bolted down, black velvet chaise longue that Miranda found her sanctuary. She slid beneath it and found that it was almost too short to fit her, but would serve her purpose. Her dress was of dark colors, which disguised her well with shadow and the aged wooden floor.

It was terribly uncomfortable, and Miranda realized she had no idea how long she would be in hiding. She pried herself out from under it and snatched several apples from the bowl of fruit and a few slices of bread, and returned to her place.

It was only a matter of time before Barbossa realized she was missing, and the alarm was sounded. Men that were on break were ordered to search the ship, and those on duty were to keep a sharp lookout for anything in a dress.

Several uncomfortable hours passed, and just as Miranda was considering stretching out her full length, the door to the cabin slowly opened. Two large boots crossed the floor at sat at the table. She heard sounds of eating and drinking, and then, oddly enough, a very meaningful, "Damn," in a voice she recognized.

Barbossa stood from the table, but didn't moves. In a flurry of movement he was on his knees, looking under the table. Miranda withheld a gasp; if he turned his head slightly to the right he would see her. Fortunately, he stood up and walked to the window instead. She heard the sound of ripping cloth, and one of the drapes was thrown to the ground by her and a cloud of dust exploded from the folds of the fabric.

The captain emitted an angry oath as the other curtain hurtled to the ground, and he began tearing apart the room. Frightened, Miranda glanced at the closed door; she knew her time was running out.

"Cap'tin," a voice called, "storm's a-brewin'. The crew is waitin' for yer orders."

Barbossa stopped his rummaging and stomped across the room and out the door, shouting angrily at the men beyond the door. Miranda, hardly able to believe her luck, watched the door swing close behind the two, and cautiously slid out to the middle of the floor. The ship pitched abruptly, and she nearly fell, but steadied herself on the bolted-down table. An apple rolled across her foot and she snatched it up, taking a bite as she looked around.

In the chaos the storm would bring to the crew, she knew this was her hope of escape. She seized one of the dishes off the table and slammed it against the window. The rippled pane shattered and Miranda looked wildly around for something that would float. She knew that her chances of surviving a storm out in open water were slim, but she would rather die than be held at the mercy of pirates.

"Gotcha!" A rough voice shouted triumphantly. Miranda whirled around to see Barbossa standing in the doorway, a satisfied grin on his face.

Without hesitation, Miranda flung herself out the window and into the growing swells of the mist-blanketed ocean.

The water was cold as it slapped painfully against her body upon impact. She gasped from shock, and looked up into the darkening sky. In the distance, lightning arced across the clouds and thunder swiftly followed. She looked back to see the ship, and saw Barbossa's surprised face watching her from the window.

The winds picked up, tossing waves at her as she struggled on. Her weight of her dress pulled her under several times until she gave up, ripping the dress off and casting it aside.

Then came the rain. Sheets of water disturbed the already churning sea, and it was all Miranda could do to keep her eyes open. She kicked the water furiously to swim away from the pirate ship but fatigue was already settling within her limbs. She gasped in water as she tried to breathe, and a coughing fit wracked her frame. Panic overcame her as she lost control of her body against the rough waves. A scream that tore from her mouth was quickly stifled by a wave slapping her beneath the surface. She swam desperately to find air again, but realized with the twisting of the water she had become disoriented.

Pressure began to build up within her chest as her lungs demanded oxygen. Thinking became a luxury her brain could not spare her. She fought the water in one last explosion of energy and her head broke the surface. Sucking in deep breaths of air, she looked around. The ship was nowhere to be seen.

Dying rather than remaining in the bonds of pirates had seemed so noble when she had been back on the ship looking down at the sea. Now all she wanted was life. The mist that had enveloped the pirate ship seemed to fade now that the ship had gone, and Miranda was surprised to see that through the grey veil of rain she could see for some ways.

A yellow-gold light flickered in the distance, and rekindled Miranda's hope and strength. She fought the waves aggressively as she progressed towards the light. A wall of water collapsed on her, but she bobbed back to the surface with adrenaline-filled determination. The light proved to be aboard a dark ship as she neared it, and soon she could hear shouts of men from the deck.

The wind-driven rain lashed into her eyes and mouth as she shrieked for help. Another wave knocked her underwater, but this time a pair of arms wrapped around her and brought her back to the surface. She clawed at the man holding her and felt the two of them being dragged towards the ship. Once against the Jacob's ladder, he pulled her out of the water and pushed her onto the deck.

She rolled on her stomach and coughed, trying to rid herself of all the water in her lungs. Rain beat down harder than ever on her back and she curled up tightly. She heard the voices of the men around her but comprehended nothing. One helped her to her feet and supported her into a room and set her in a chair. She looked up to see an elderly man, his face framed with powder white curls and a prestigious hat upon his head.

"Madame," he began, "are you ill?"

"I don't think so," she replied, and the man stood, took off his dark coat with gold trappings, and draped it on her shoulders. She pulled it close to her body as she smiled gratefully up at him. He took his seat again and continued, "My name is Commodore Emmet Dunlop, and if you would be so good as to tell me who you are and where you are from, madame, I will see to it that you are returned to your home."

"Miranda Farthing, sir. Port Royal is my home."

"I see," the man said, standing. "Were you, by chance, any relation to a Lieutenant Quentin Farthing?"

"He was my brother," Miranda replied eagerly, "did you know him?"

"I was a friend of the man who captained The Defiant," he answered softly, walking over to a desk and opening a drawer.

"I heard the captain went insane," Miranda said softly. The commodore slammed the drawer shut angrily. "Captain Gideon was of sound mind the day I saw him leave. Madness does not strike so swiftly. It makes no difference," he added, returning to his seat, and Miranda noticed he held a small leather book in both his hands, "that I tell this to you; I would just as soon tell it to the cousin of the cabin boy from The Defiant."

Miranda felt less than flattered at this comment, but said nothing, waiting for him to continue.

"Gideon wrote of cursed pirates in his final account. He wrote that they turned to skeletal corpses when the moonlight touched them. Within his book I found this." He withdrew a small coin no larger than a half sovereign and handed it to her. It was plated in a gold so bright and yellow that Miranda could only stare in wonder. On both sides was carved a skull with primitive symbols surrounding it.

"A pirate's medallion?" Miranda inquired, turning it over in her fingers.

"On that ship," Commodore Dunlop started, "was a delivery of tax for the queen. Records claim that there was a whole collection of identical coins such as the one you are holding, but that no two of them came from the same person. The ship, as I'm sure you were told, was burned in the water. From what was salvaged, almost all the money remained. The only missing amount was what the collection of those coins totaled."

"You mean to say," Miranda began, "that the pirates who destroyed The Defiant wanted only these?" she handed the coin back to the commodore as he nodded.

"And they were willing to kill for it." Dunlop added darkly.

"Why are you telling me this?" Miranda asked finally. Dunlop hesitated, and then answered, "I have created my own theories as to the mystery of the last hours aboard The Defiant, and I have needed to voice them to see if they could be even conceivable. Now please sleep, Miss Farthing, you need to rest. You shall have my bed this evening and in the morning I shall set course for Port Royal."

The man stood and walked to the door. As he was opening it Miranda called out, "Thank you, Commodore, for saving my life."

Dunlop smiled, and slipped out the door.

Miranda took off her wet clothes and wrapped herself up in a blanket. She laid down on the bed in the corner, and with thoughts of her life retuning to the way it was, she fell asleep.
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