Authors: Rob Kidd
Silver (Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow #6)
It should have been the end of his latest grand adventure. But things were never easy for Jack Sparrow, the wily teenaged captain of the mighty Barnacle.Jack fumed. Wasn't he--and his crew-- entitled to a little rest and relaxation? They had definitely earned it. After a precious item--the SunandStars medallion--was stolen from the native village of one of Jack's sailors, named Tumen, the crew of the Barnacle went
and got it back. Just like they
said they would. Along the way, they'd had a showdown with a notorious black-arts practitioner, Madame Minuit. And defeated a whole bunch of possessed partygoers. And added another member to their crew. Oh, yes, and accidentally turned the entire city of New Orleans into bronze.And now they should have been sailing back to the Yucatan with the horrible medallion that turned everything into bronze-- including Jack's tooth. Instead, they had been stopped by a pirate ship. And not just any pirate ship. One captained by a lady-- and not just any lady. The mother of Jack's first mate, Arabella. Who was supposed to be dead. And Mom--otherwise known as Captain Laura Smith--had a first mate. And it wasn't just any first mate, either. It was the feared pirate Left-Foot Louis.
In other words, it was all bad.
And very, very confusing.Most of all for Arabella."I thought ye were dead," she said quietly, staring at her long-lost mother."Oh. Well, I wasn't," Arabella's mother, the pirate captain Laura Smith, responded.Arabella didn't know what to say. The last memories she had of her mother were of her being dragged out of her family's pub--the Faithful Bride--by Left-Foot Louis.
People dragged anywhere by pirates usually didn't show up again. Ever.Arabella was shocked to see her mom alive--and also confused. And a little angry. She grew up serving pirates their ale while her dad passed out in his drink every night. All without the comfort or wisdom of a mother. And now here was her mom, suddenly back in her life again. Alive and captain o
f her own ship. Wanting to make
nice like everything was all right again. Just like that.Arabella opened and closed her mouth several times, trying to think of something to say, and failing--something she was completely unused to."A-hem!" Jack said, sidling up to Arabella, hands clasped casually behind his back. For once she was grateful for his interruptions. "Just a reminder here, mates. As captain of this here vessel, all extra vessel communications--that is, from us to you, 'Mommy'-- must be authorized, sanctioned, and made by me. No members of either crew are to engage in communication except through the captain. Which is me. Because . . . well, there doesn't need to be a because.' That's just the way things is""Arabella," Captain Smith said, completely ignoring Jack.
The pirate bit her lip—almost
exactly like a certain first mate aboard the Barnacle, Jack noticed. She was having a hard time fighting the emotions that were threatening to overwhelm her.Apparently, motherly annoyance won out."Arabella!" her mother said again, now with a sternness in her voice and a frown on her face. "What are you doing on a boat . . . a barely seaworthy one at that . . .""Hey!" Jack protested, offended on behalf of the mighty Barnacle.". . . in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico with . . . sailors who are barely older than hoys ...""Hey!" Jean, Tumen, and Tim, all crew members, said, also offended."And a bloody aristocrat . . ." Captain Smith continued.
"And what is wrong with aris
tocracy?" Fitzwilliam demanded.
"... a mangy catlike thing . . .Constance, the Barnacle's resident girlturned-cat, hissed at this insult.". . . and a captain who is clearly mad?"
"Well, thank you, mam," Jack said smiling.Arabella found her own voice. "I might ask you, mother," she said indignantly, "what ye are doing alive?"
Whoever said I was dead dear?" Captain Smith retorted.
"Oh, yes, it was crazy for me to think ye were dead all these years," Arabella snapped back, putting her hands on her hips. The tone in her voice made the rest of the Barnacles crew wince, just as it had countless pirates she had put in their place over the years at the Faithful Bride. "Considering you were forcibly taken out of my life by a pirate . . . and d
idn't so much as send a card
or letter saying you were sailing the high seas, having the time of your life!""And ye!" Arabella continued, turning to LeftFoot Louis, pointing both her finger and her rage at him. "Ye knew me mum were alive all along and didn't see fit to tell me. All that time. Even when
I was about to kill ye!"
"It's implied in the code, love," Left-Foot Louis grumbled. "A pirate never gives away another.""A pirate never gives away a mother?" Jack asked, misunderstanding and squinting in confusion.Louis and Captain Smith just looked at one another, confused.Arabella bit her lip. She wanted to hit something. She felt like crying but didn't want to b
reak down in front of everyone.
And all these years, she had thought that Louis had killed her mother!"Pull up alongside us and drop anchor," Captain Smith ordered the crew of the Barnacle. "You all can come aboard and we'll talk this out.""Well, how about no . . ." Jack said.
What?" Captain Smith demanded, outraged. It was obvious she wasn't used to being talked to in such a manner. She flipped her auburn hair over her shoulder. She looked so much like Arabella it was a little creepy.
"We're not about to get cozy with a bunch of pirates Jack spat. "Even if some of said pirates are related to some perfectly good first mates and sailors. You're--still-- piratesArabella gave him a thankful look."I don't want to come aboard. Not until I have some time to t
hink about things,"
Arabella told her mother, setting her jaw defiantly.Fitzwilliam stepped up next to Arabella. But if she thought he was coming to her support, she was badly mistaken."Arabella," Fitzwilliam began, "Laura--er, Captain Laura Smith is your mother" he admonished her. He took the tone of a particularly annoying, know-it-all big brother. Arabella bristled. "And one really must obey one's parents. It is the proper thing to do.""Oh, yes, just like ye properly obeyed yer dad and stayed on the family plantation to marry a rich girl and raise bananas, aye?" Arabella said sarcastically.
Tim Hawk, the Barnacles newest crew member piped up. "Actually, the whole 'armed pirates and shiny cannons thing weighs this situation
in their favor. I'll go over."
"Do what ye will. I'm still not going over," Arabella said stubbornly.
"That's right. She's not. Because I order her not to," Jack added, just as stubbornly. "And none of you is going either," Jack said pointedly to Fitz and Tim.Tumen looked at Jean and sighed. "Whatever," he said bravely but a little tiredly. It was going to come to a fight no matter what. And it was all going to delay him going back home, returning the medallion, and clearing his name."Fine," Captain Smith said with a strange smile. "If you won't come to us, we'll simply need to bring you over ourselves."Jack smirked, hand to his now-b
Jack's sword was turned to bronze in our previous adventure, Vol. 5, the Age
of Bronze]11been waiting for
a long time. . . .But Captain Laura Smith didn't order the cannons readied or muskets loaded. She even sheathed her own sword.
"Mr. Silverback," she called out. A squat, smart-looking sailor with a prosthetic--well, peg--leg came hobbling forward. His clothes were in slightly better condition than the rest of the crew's, and his smile was definitely superior. That wasn't what drew stares from the crew of the Barnacle, however. It was the peg leg.It was made of pure crystal. Sunlight danced over it and cast bright reflections all over the decks of both ships.Tim Hawk gasped in horror and recognition."I agree, the crystal leg thing's tacky, lad," Jack said, looking at his newest crew member curiously. "But not the ugliest thin
g I've seen on the high seas."
"Please, invite our guests over," Captain Smith said, grinning."Would be nothin' but my pleasure, Captain," Silverback said, smiling nastily back.He held his hand out towards the Barnacle. Not sure what the pirate with the weird leg was doing, but getting a general threatening' feel from the gesture, Jack moved in front of Arabella, protecting her. Normally he would never dare to do such a thing, but her mother looked pretty determined--and a mad mother is not someone you want to play around with.With a quick sweep of Silverbacks hand, Jack and his crew felt a tingling in their
limbs. Then they disappeared.
A moment later, the six crewmates--and the cat--found themselves dizzy and disoriented. And no longer on the Barnacle.Jack looked around, confused by the sudden shift in perspective. They were higher up off the sea. And aboard a different deck. And surrounded by a number of pirates.They had somehow been transported to the other ship!Jack groped f
or his sword. Whatever
magic was used, the effect was extremely disorienting. No one else was doing any better--Fitzwilliam was staggering around, trying to keep from falling.The pirate Silverback's crystal leg was flashing a clear, sky blue, which wasn't helping the situation any. It gave Jack a headache. The sailor smiled nastily at him . . . and revealed a matching crystal tooth. Which also flashed blue."I have one of those," Jack said with interest, pointing at his recently bronzed incisor* Of course, it's not as fancy as yours. It's just metal, and it doesn't blink and kidnap perfectly innocent adventurers.
. . ."
"Now, who do we have here, Mr. Silverback?" Captain Smith inquired, once again ignoring Jack. She g
Kind of like Arabella when she was going on about some subject that no one else knew anything about."Well," the crystal-legged pirate began with relish. He leaned on a cane--which had a crystal pommel--and hobbled back and forth in front of the crew, lecturing like a school teacher. He spoke very clearly and snootily, not like a normal pirate in sea-slang. "I recognize one of the lads--a fellow by the name of Tim Hawk, whom I've encountered before."The crew of the Barnacle turned and looked questioningly at their newest addition.Tim shook his head, scared. This obviously wasn't the best time to tell his side of the story."Of course, your daughter, Arabella Smith," Silverback continued, waving his hand in the air. "Tortugan barmaid formerly of the Faithfu
l Bride. Finally reunited with
her loving mother." He smiled in what was probably supposed to be an approving fashion, but it came out sickly. "For the others I am going to need some help."Silverback closed his eyes tightly. His hand fell down and brushed his crystal leg. His lip lifted a little in concentration, and the crew of the Barnacle could see that his tooth now flashed yellow.
The light danced off the pommel on his cane in a rhythmic, hypnotic fashion. His leg also began to pulse eerily, with the same yellow light."Ah, yes . . . your young captain, Jack Sparrow, also recently of Tortuga."Jack jumped involuntarily. Silverback's eyes were still closed, but he pointed directly at the captain of the Barnacle. It was creepy. Somehow far creepier than all the weird mystics and things back in New Orleans. What else
could he find out about Jack?
Not the whole truth, he hoped. . . ."... and also briefly in possession of the fabled Sword of Cortes," the pirate continued.Left Foot Louis snarled. Jack stuck his tongue out at him.Silverback continued, ignoring both of them."Fitzwilliam P. Dalton the Third, runaway heir to the Dal
Such a pretty boy
and worth just as pretty a ransom, I'd wager."The aristocrat snarled defiantly."I don't suppose you can figure out his middle name?" Jack asked hopefully. "It's been stumping us."Silverback ignored Jack, then continued"... and Tumen, a ... Mayan sailor. Well, well," Silverback gave the boy a once-over. Tumen glared steadily back."And last but not least, Creol
e sailor Jean Magliore and his
sister, Constance. Who is currently serving time as a cat--having been a victim of a spell cast by Tia Dalma."Constance yowled and leapt into Jean's arms."Well, at least someone knows the truth about you," Jean whispered into his sister's ear, stro
king her back.
Louis growled, rubbing the three scars on his face that were left there by Constance. It was a constant reminder that he had faced Jean, Tumen and Constance a few times before. "You three! I shoulda killed ye when I had the chance!" He stomped his foot and lunged forward. He didn't even bother going for his sword, much preferring to take them out with his bare hands. And he could. Lou
is was a huge, hulking pirate.
"Stop!" Captain Smith commanded. "You're no longer aboard--or captain--of the Cutlass, Louis. May I remind you. You are a member of the crew of Fleur de la Mort. My ship. And you will do as I say.""Fleur de la Mort?" Jack whispered to Jean, wondering exactly how the ship's name translated.Flower of death," Jean whispered back, inching away from Louis."Cheery," Jack muttered."I know I'm no longer a captain," Louis said with a petulant whine, just like a little kid. "Ye don't have to keep reminding me."
"Apparently I do," Arabella's mother retorted--just like a mother. "Now, what do you say to our guests?"
Louis looked down at his feet, kicking one left foo
t miserably against the other. "I
'm sorry," he said, so quietly it could barely be heard above the creaking of the ship and crash of waves."What was that?" Captain Laura Smith prodded, cupping her hand to her ear.