Captain Jack Sparrow landed on the deck of the
Flying Dutchman in a heap of sea water and thick, viscous slime. He scrambled into a
sitting position and vainly attempted to clear his vision with hands that were just as
slimy as his face. "What the bloody hell--?" He shook his head vigorously to get
his wits about him. At last he managed to get his eyes open, and found himself staring up
at Davy Jones and a solid wall of barnacle-and-algae-covered crewmen.
"'ello," Jack said, somehow sounding casual. "Never thought I'd be glad to
see your ol' wiggly face."
There was a horrible squelching noise behind him, and another wave of slime splattered
onto his back. Something hit him between the shoulder blades and he reached around blindly
to see what it was. "Ah. Me hat. Much obliged," he said with a jaunty salute to
the ailing Kraken behind him.
"That'll be all fer now, me beauty," Jones said, signaling to the monster with
one of his smaller tentacles.
The Kraken slid down from the railing and submerged.
Jack attempted to wipe more slime off his face but had little success. He stood shakily
and leaned on the ship's coral-encrusted railing. "Thanks for the rescue an' all, but
I really must be going." He turned to dive overboard but a dolphin-nosed deckhand
shoved him back onto the deck.
"Or was there somethin' else?" he turned back toward the ship's master.
"Aye, Jack, there was," Davy Jones growled, stalking toward him with his peg leg
clunking loudly on the rotten deck timbers. "Where is it?"
Jones clamped his crab claw around Jack's neck and lifted him to his feet. "My.
"Oh, that," Jack said with a nervous laugh, straining to keep his toes on the
deck. "Afraid I haven't the slightest idea, mate."
"It's not in me chest. Where...is it?" Jones ground out each syllable,
tightening his hold on the pirate's neck.
"I...don't...know," Jack gasped. "But..."
Jones loosened his grip ever so slightly. "But."
"I may know who does."
"I'm a-listenin'. But play me false and I'll make ye wish ye were never
spawned." Jones threw Jack down on the deck and loomed over him, blotting out the sun
with his gruesome figure.
"After the sort of week I've been having, that's not much of a stretch," Jack
quipped, rubbing his neck.
"Where is it?" There was a tinge of desperation in his voice.
"Now, let me think. Where could that pesky ol' ticker have gotten to? Last I saw
it..." He rubbed his bearded chin thoughtfully. "Hmm, y'know, bein' half-dead
meself, and with me poor Pearl in a hun'red pieces at the bottom, I just can't seem to
"Yer in no position to negotiate, Jack," Jones snarled.
"Neither are you, mate." Jack found his smile back, his gold teeth glinting.
"Now, me...I've already lost everythin' I had, everythin' I ever wanted. The worst
thing that could possibly happen to me has already happened: I've lost the Pearl. Again.
In pieces, poof, gone, sayanora. Not that you'd know what that feels like...losin' the
most precious thing you have..."
Jones stepped closer, slamming his peg leg down inches from Jack's hand. "Spare me
yer speeches, Sparrow. Tell me where the heart is or ye'll spend an eternity scrapin'
barnacles from the Dutchman's hull!"
"Isn't that sort of the point, though? All the barnacles and crusty bits?" Jack
wiggled his fingers. "Adds to the whole ambiance, don't ya think? If ye were to
scrape them all off, it just wouldn't be the same ol' nightmare of a ship, would it? Tsk
Jones glared down at him with an icy stare that clearly showed his waning patience.
Jack stood up, stumbled to one side, steadied himself on a cannon, and fearlessly strode
up to face his adversary. "Tell ye what. You restore me darlin' Pearl once
more--forever, this time--and I tell you where your heart is."
"And let you go free after all ye've done?"
Jack gave him a pitying look and patted his normal arm. "Honestly now...do ye really
want to spend an eternity with me hangin' around? I'm Captain Jack Sparrow!" He posed
grandly with his arms spread wide. "You may own my soul but ye can't control it. I'd
make yer life a livin' hell--er, more than it already is, I suppose," he added,
glancing around at their macabre surroundings with an expression of distaste. "Now
really, isn't it best for all concerned that we each get what we want, and go our separate
ways, never to darken each other's paths again?" He waggled two fingers to mimic
"As long as ye sail on my seas, we'll cross paths," Jones snapped.
"Ah, but I intend to stay on top of your seas. You see."
Jones scowled, clearly thinking deeply. The thought of an eternity listening to the
pirate's cheeky insubordination was hardly an appealing one, and the longer his heart was
out of his control the greater the chance that it would fall into the wrong hands. Then
again, every instinct in his being was telling him to tear Jack Sparrow apart, limb by
limb, and then feed what was left back to the Kraken.
"So what'll it be?" Jack asked. "My ship and your heart, or neither, and we
stand here making witty repartee for the rest of time?"
"If...if you tell me where me heart is, and you're tellin' the truth, and I get me
heart back safe an' sound...then ye'll get your blasted Pearl."
"Yes, and if all that transpires, your claim on my soul is null and void. Our
dealings with one another will terminate perman-nately," Jack said, forcing a rhyme.
Jones squinted suspiciously at him, trying to see a loophole that would give the pirate
undue advantage. At last, finding none, he extended a tentacle. Already covered head to
toe in slime, Jack shook it without hesitation. "We have an accord, then, Davy ol'
"Don't press yer luck, Jack," he hissed. "Now, the deal is made, we be
bound to it...tell me where me heart lies."
"Not sure where my own lies lately," Jack muttered.
"Nothing." He sighed, then resumed his jovial demeanor and turned to the
grotesque crew listening intently. "All right then, where did you get that chest? Or
rather, from whom did you get it? And what might the fate of said person have been?"
A spiny abomination spoke up. "Got it back from dat man in the old blue coat. The
"The scruffy part doesn't narrow the field much, mate, but the blue coat does, a bit.
And did you search his body?"
"No chance to. He chucked the chest at us and ran away like a lily-livered
"Ah, I see. So our fine former commodore escaped alive, then?"
"Careless dogs!" Jones roared. "How could ye let him escape?"
"We 'ad the chest already, cap'n," the crewman said. "Didn't figure we
"Ye incompetent worms, I'd feed the lot of ye to the Kraken right now, but that's too
good a fate for ye!"
Jack wrinkled his nose and glanced over his shoulder at the sea. "I've had much nicer
berths in my day, I must say, but to each his own..."
Jones seized the front of Jack's shirt with his claw and pulled him forward. "So this
man has the heart? Who is he?"
"That would be Mister James Norrington, formerly of His Majesty's Royal Navy, more
recently a scum-scraping deckhand under the captaincy of yours truly."
"Does he know what can be done with the heart?"
"But I still live, and I still follow my own will."
"Aye, meaning our friend the ex-commodore has other plans for your erstwhile
"I wager he'll use it as leverage to gain--or regain--that which he desires
most--same plan as I had, really. Inconveniently for you, what he most wishes to have is
not within your power to grant him. Therefore I predict he'll head to someone who does
have that ability."
His tentacles twitching with frustration and impatience, Davy Jones let go of Jack's shirt
and once again seized the pirate by the neck. "Where?" he snarled.
Jack attempted to swallow and failed. "Port Royal."