And sometimes, like this one, most of the entire crew of a ship, crowded together in two or three dinghies.
And sometimes, like this one, most of the entire crew of a ship, crowded together in two or three dinghies.
It's worth a try.
"Prepare to go under," he announces top the crew as he strides up to the helm and takes the wheel.
He's done this countless times before, so have his crew. They know what it's about. Only this time, as the ship pitches forward to sink under, Will grips his charm with Elizabeth's hair tightly, and offers a quick prayer. To Calypso, to Destiny, to Elizabeth herself.
Take me to where the dead and the living can co-exist. To where we can be together.
He looks to catch Norrington's eye when they sink in, and is only partly surprised when most of the crew seem to disappear as they re-emerge in an inlet in a very familiar lake.
Even though it's technically the same every time, Will never gets bored in the routine of bringing on board his passengers, looking them in the eye, and being able to address them by their own name, in their own tongue. He finds himself taking an interest in everyone, in wanting to know about their lives, and it becomes harder and harder to judge people by his previous standards of good and evil. Everyone he meets has a different point of view, and most are surprisingly happy to meet him. And yet, he still feels a conflicted sense of hope with every person they take on board before he looks at them. Hope mixed with dread that it might be someone he knew from a previous life. That it might be her, and his long wait to see her might at last be over, at the cost of her life.
Today, as always, it isn't her. But it is someone familiar: a man Will knew from Sao Feng's crew - a crew he called his own for a few minutes on board the Black Pearl - Da Bohai. He and Will never exhanged a word when they both lived - the fact that neither spoke the language of the other played a large factor here - but as Captain Turner welcomes him on board, Da Bohai's fingers close tightly on the Captain's wrist. Will looks down to see a makeshift rope tied around the sailor's wrist, a rope clearly plaited from a length of long blonde human hair.
"[For you,]" Da Bohai says urgently, passing him the rope. "[She charged me to find you.]"
Will's face is impassive as he nods and takes the rope, taking far too much care not to cut it at all. "[Thank you, sailor. You have fulfilled your final duty.]"
As his men show the newest passenger below, Will looks down at the rope, turning it over in his hands. He can feel at least two pairs of eyes on him, and knows that both his father and Norrington understand what he has, but that neither of them will say anything, yet.
He knows what to do as inexplicably and instinctively as he knew how to perform the Duty. He reaches for the silver charm around his neck, and for the first time since he picked it up, it hinges open to reveal a small locket like space within. Will places the lock of hair inside and clicks it shut again, when it appears to all eyes to be a formless shape again, with neither join line nor hinge visible.
Still avoiding the questioning looks of his crew, Captain Turner retires to his cabin. He's almost expecting the Garden to be right there when he opens the door, so he's rather disappointed to find it to still be his cabin.
His first act as Captain is to release everyone of their obligation to Jones, and many of his crew are quick to take it. Jones was a cruel Captain and they'd committed to a hundred years under him without really meaning it: choosing servitude out of a fear of death. When Will offers them release from this bond, they take it readily, and as the Dutchman sails away from Elizabeth, the sky lights up with a green flash as the souls enslaved to the ship are paid for their service with a second chance at life.
It's the men who choose to stay, like his father, that surprise Will and fill him with a sense of satisfied gratitude. He'd be the first to admit that his dedication to his duty was very much trying to keep him occupied so he didn't have to think too hard on the woman he left behind. The importance of what he is charged with goes some way to waylaying the despair of not being able to see her, and the gentle surge of the sea against the ship of his soul is a nearly adequate replacement for the hole where his heart should be beating.
The Dutchman is his mistress now, but she's a poor replacement for his wife.
But when his fingers reach up to the hole in his shirt, her remembers that his heart shouldn't be beating at all. Further exploration yields a fresh, red welt where he dimly remembers a knife cutting into his chest, after the sword had been removed.
Then Will realises. That sound that isn't a sound, it's not really a heartbeat at all. It's more the rhythmic waves of a lively ocean. And he notices that the body he feels it pulsing through doesn't end at his fingers and toes. As Will carefully draws the first breath since what was meant to be his last, he realises he's feeling the entire ship as it rocks in the swell.
Cautiously, he opens his eyes.
A crew is standing watching him, apparently apprehensive, and Will recognises his father near the front, a familiar knife in his hand. The man standing near might be Jimmylegs, the boatswain who takes a cruel pride in cleaving to the bone when he has to flog a crew member, but like the men surrounding him, he no longer looks like a hideous piscine monstrosity, but like an awed, hopeful, human man. In his hands he carries a chest Will recognises instantly, even before he hears the faint beat of his own heart within it, audible only in the silence of the watching crew
No one on the deck in this still, stagnant underworld says a word as Will stands, and not even his father offers a hand when he proves a little unsteady. They're all watching him, to see what he will do.
Will takes the chest off the boatswain before he says a word of his own.
"To stations," he says flatly, uncertain of his own authority, and they disperse. Only his father lags behind, but Will can't face him now. He continues across the deck, towards Davy Jones'... towards his cabin.
It's unfair to call William Turner stupid - even if it's a favourite accusation of Jack's - but he'd be one of the first to admit that he's simple. Since he left his mother's funeral ten years ago he's been following a trail, first his father's, then for the greater stretch working to earn the woman he loves, and it's only become difficult for him when the two paths seemed to contradict each other.
So he understands Elizabeth's need to avenge her father; he'd do the same. What Will could never do, however, is persuade people to follow his path. He learned piracy from Jack, who taught him to think about manipulation and to work underhand whenever the simple fact of the path wasn't enough for people. But that wouldn't work here: he wouldn't have the slightest idea how to persuade a fleet of ships to follow his course.
"You will listen to me."
Elizabeth learned from the overly dramatic Barbossa, and before that from the books in her father's library. And from something she feels, instinctively. She's storming through the crowded deck of the Pearl, somehow by the very way she holds herself drawing the attention from every member of the crew.
The fog is thickening, and the wind rising fast behind them as she takes two steps to climb onto the railing, steadying herself on the rigging. Will has no idea where that strange outfit came from - is it Chinese? - but she looks glorious, and every face is turned to her.
"The Brethren will still be looking here, to us..."
She looks glorious, and her words are glorious. She has a lady's bearing and a woman's romantic soul, but every single man on the ship knows that she fights like a man and lives like a pirate. And now they're learning that she can lead like a King. She talks of fear, and every man on deck knows how shameful hiding would be. And Will sees how Sao Feng might have been fooled into thinking that she, not Tia Dalma, was the spirit of the sea. She talks of freedom, and as chins around him lift, Will feels his heart soar.
They're going to fight. He can see that now. They're going to fight - spurred on not by greed or tricks or deals with angry gods, but by words spoken well by someone who means them. And oh, she means them. Elizabeth Swann, King of all the pirates, is standing on the side of the flagship of an entire fleet of pirate ships, and speaking of freedom.
(How many times do I have to ask you to call me Elizabeth?)
She's driven by so much more than simple vengeance. She's driven by the need to be free, to live her own way, to escape society's restrictions and expectations of her. 'You like pain?' he once heard her say, to someone who could never have known the bonds Elizabeth shook off to stand here in front of them. And Will, whose entire life has been reactionary, restricted by what was right, or best, he looks up at her, and he understands. Finally. He hears her speak of freedom, and he's aware of the knowledge he's always had - that she could never be the wife of a blacksmith, and it strikes him suddenly that the knowledge no longer hurts.
"...and they will know what we can do!"
He doesn't need to follow his path. He doesn't need to listen to Calypso, or even the tall hooded figure in the garden. he doesn't need to be restrained by his training, by his vows, by Destiny. William Turner can make up his own mind. Or in this case...
"...and the courage of our hearts..."
He can make up his heart.
And more than anything, he knows that he wants that woman standing there, golden hair whipping around her face as she yells into the wind. His love for her has only grown with every day he's known her, and knowing her better as only shown him why he loves her. Will makes a decision standing there. He lets go of one path because every throb of blood in his veins is telling him to follow his heart. Somehow, his father can be freed in another way.
Elizabeth Swann could never be the wife of a blacksmith, but Will Turner can damn well be the husband of the Pirate King.
Silence has fallen, and she's looking at him.
Will nods, and his voice rings out in the expectant quiet as he addresses the nearest crew.
"Hoist the colours."
His plan was destroyed. Elizabeth is lost. To Sao Feng, that pirate Lord who tortured Will with near drowning, and who looked at the woman he loves with such animalistic lust. Will's only hope to save his father, by gaining control of the Black Pearl, has failed, and the fastest ship known to sail is now in control of the most selfish excuse for a pirate ever to return from Davy Jones' Locker.
Will's last hope is to complete his betrayal, and lead Becket and Jones to Shipwreck Cove itself, there for one final barter for the lives of Elizabeth and his father. And right now, he has no care at all for how he does it.
Most of the men crewing the Black Pearl now were never loyal to Jack. They were Sao Feng's men, given over to Will as part of the plot to gain the Black Pearl. Will's surprised Barbossa and Jack allowed them to stay - but then, they still needed some men to crew the ship. Nevertheless, for a while Will considered them his men, and he feels no remorse at all as he sneaks up each one he finds alone, kills him cleanly with his father's knife before lashing the body to an empty keg. Haulling it overboard, Will trusts the scavenging sea birds will be enough to lead Beckett on their trail.
Everything Will has ever done in his dreams with Elizabeth, to Sao Feng is doing forcibly, at knife and gun point in his every waking thought. Will almost takes pleasure in killing that man's crew.
The charts he stole from Sao Feng consist of concentric rings that slide alongside each other to change view and bring up strange writings.
"Over the edge over again."
When Will comments on how they can't be as accurate as modern charts, all he's given in return from Tai Huang is that they 'lead to more places'. He hopes it was worth losing Mal for. Will can't believe that the Captain is dead, and chooses to accept it when he's told he escaped. This voyage has yet to prove worth killing a friend for.
"Sunrise sets flash of green"
When challenged with this riddle, Barbossa gives Will one of his smug superior looks and has Gibbs explain some folklore about a green light flashing across the sky at sunset, signalling the return of a soul from the dead. It's helpful, Will reflects bitterly, that people shared with him something so pertinent to their mission. Barbossa, Gibbs, and for some reason Pintel all seem to revel in the dramatic telling of the situation, and Will finds himself missing the relative straightforwardness of sailing with Jack. That in itself is a depressing thought.
They sail up into the Arctic, so cold that one sailors breaks off his toe in his fingers. Will is so focused on the prize he hardly notices the cold, but it's to this that he ascribes Elizabeth's miserable huddling in a snow covered blanket, alongside Tonks. She doesn't talk to him at all, even when the weather becomes milder, focused as she is on rescuing Jack. Will attempts once for a conversation, but she just says she wants Jack back, so he acquiesces.
"Over the edge over again"
No one talks to Will at all in the long voyage, and he doesn't feel the need to talk to anyone. It's just Tia Dalma who approaches him, talking about the cost of what we want most. And just once he catches a glimpse of a locket she wears. One hauntingly familiar, from his time on another ship, when what he had to do seemed so much simpler.
It's in the dead of night, when Will is staring into the sea ahead, that he suddenly notices there's a lot less horizon than there had been before. Looking again, he sees that they're rapidly running out of sea, and all Barbossa can do is cackle insanely, babbling about being lost in order to find a place that can't be found.
When the current catches, Will takes charge of the crew, barking out orders to bring them around. It doesn't even occur to him that his orders won't be followed, even when Barbossa belays his commands, it's only the original Pearl crew which obey, racing to the side to look out ahead, from where is coming the most tremendous roar.
"Flash of green"
The rapidly approaching horizon is now mere yards away, and with the consuming current and deafening roar, it's obvious what it is: a gigantic oceanfall, stretching as far as anyone can see in all directions. Barbossa has led them, literally to the end of the world.
Now Elizabeth sees the urgency and joins Will and (his) Tai Huang's men in their attempts to turn around and save them, but it's too late, and the ship hits the edge side-on. It teeters precariously for a pregnant moment, in which Will looks around wildly to hold on to Elizabeth, but before he can reach her, the ship lurches over, tumbling into the cascade and shattering as the falling water batters it. Will loses her in the fall.
"Over the Edge"
Please be aware that casting here is not the same as either reserving the character or apping the character for playing in milliways_bar. This is an NPC role, not an "official" in-bar application. Although you are more than welcome to apply for a PotC character in the bar this week or in September, this plot is not part of that process.
( Cast List )
The method of running through canon for At World's End is going to be different from the 'every scene played out' technique we used for Dead Man's Chest, and we have a much greater in-bar population of canon characters, but we still do need a number of volunteers to play characters not currently in the bar population.
Playing will start ASAP, with the idea of posting the threads in movie-chronological sequence and posting them as they're done. We hope to run through movie events in fairly short order; i.e. no more than two weeks at the absolute most. There's an outline, which will be unlocked to all participants as soon as we have them. If you do not have the time to commit to that schedule -- I know it's pretty close, and I'm sorry -- then I must ask that you please, please do not volunteer.
Yes, a lot of that was paraphrased from last year's casting post. We're doing the same thing, offering the following list, and asking you to comment in with the character you are interested in as well as a rough idea of your schedule. Comments are screened.
Thank you all in advance!
( Spoilers for AWE in cast list )
He hadn't thought, when it came down to it: he hadn't needed to. He just charged through the door looking for Elizabeth and expecting Tia Dalma's cabin.
He had completely forgotten in his urgency that it's not where he came to Milliways from.
As the daylight hits Will's eyes, the first thing he does is turn around to look for Mal - but the captain's not there. Will worries for a beat, but calms himself and walks on into the familiar Garden, hand resting on his swordhilt.
Will didn't look for Elizabeth or Jack after what he saw on the Pearl. He's not looking for them now. He just doesn't know what to say. He does know, however, that he's become steadily angrier and angrier as he thought about what he saw. And more and more unable to focus on his work.
So he closes up the Smithy early and wanders out to the lakeside, staying away from the Pearl even though the ship stays in his sight at all times. Feeding and denying his sense of betrayal.
He needs to do something, and fast.
The weather's slowly improving, but it's nothing like the Carribbean. On a good day, like this one, it reminds him of summers in Kent, waving a bulrush around and pretending to fight highwaymen while his mother watched from her bath chair.
His mother isn't the parent on his mind right now, though. Not with Bootstrap's knife weighing down his belt.
Lost in his thoughts, Will stands at the edge of the grass and looks out over the lake to the Black Pearl, waiting patiently for Elizabeth to arrive for her daily lesson.
All in the routine.
And it's not like he can't afford it: the forge is pulling in good business. There's the farrier work at a fairly steady constant, and of course there's the swords.
He's working on a sword commission right now, as it happens: he had to replace the one Jack stole and he promised Stephanie he'd make her one to learn on. So that's where he is, bent over his anvil and drawing out a perfectly balanced rapier.
Will 's not sure whether he's awake or asleep, when he sees the figure eat the end of the bed, and it's with considerable effort that he's able to see who it is.
She smells of lavender water and of talcum powder, layered on to cover the countless medicines and potions the doctors doled out for her. He grew to hate that smell. The thicker it was, the more sickly the woman that wore it.
It's a struggle to sit up, so he gives up, just lying there, peering through the gloom at her.
"Are you here? The Bar…"
She shakes her head. "I'm not here for long. Just a visit. How are you?"
"I'm… I'm doing well," Will confirms. "I'm a blacksmith now. I have my own forge."
"That's good!" she glances up sharply, eyes shining in the dark."I was so afraid you'd follow in your father's footsteps."
"No," Will says, but that remark cuts him deeply. "Why did you lie to me about him?"
There's a strange sound from the end of the bed, a rattling, raspy intake of breath into sick, sick lungs. Will reflects sadly, that he always hoped she'd be well, wherever she was.
"I was afraid you'd follow him," she admits. "Afraid you'd be lost to the call of the sea, and break some poor woman's heart. I didn't want you to be that man, Will."
Will tries to shake his head, but finds his head won't move. "I'm engaged to be married," he offers.
"Really?" She seems to clasp her hands together in delight."What is she like?"
"Clever. Strong, independent," he says. "I'm sure you'd like her. Her father is the governor of Port Royal."
In the dark, it's hard to tell, but the figure suddenly looks threatening,hunching over the bed, breath rasping.
"You followed him to the Caribbean! You broke your word!"
"I never gave you my word," Will protests, coldly.
"You did. You said that you wouldn't go to find your father. You promised!"
"No." he repeats. "You promised, Mama. You put words into my mouth. I never did promise that Iwouldn't."
(You have to promise me, Will. You have to promise me that you'll never seek out your father. I won't lose both men I love to pirates. If you love me, you'll swear it.)
(I love you, Mama.)
"Oh, Will," his mother says, and suddenly her form doubles over in a fit of coughing. Struck with guilt, Will tries to move to her, but he's still unable to move. "I just wanted this one thing from you…"
"He's a good man," Will protests. "He made some wrong choices,but he's a good man. He's slaved to the crew of a damned ship, but I will save him."
"Save him?" she repeats eyes flashing up at him. "Save him? How can you save him when you couldn’t even save me?"
The coughing grows louder, escalating to almost deafening levels before Will is able to struggle to full consciousness, sweating and shaking.
And then he noticed Elizabeth had slipped away, into the shadows near the back.
Will wonders what she's doing back there. Weeping probably; the man she loved has just given his life to save hers, after all.
And to save Will's.
He wonders if she'd ever look like she does now, if he had died. He wonders if she ever really loved him, or has always been in love with Jack, the pirate, the romance, and the sea.
He's brought back into the present by the feeling of eyes on him, although the talking of Barbossa and Gibbs hasn't let up. Casting about, he finds Tia Dalma's steady gaze fixed on him, before those black eyes dart to the shadows where Elizabeth has vanished.
It's not hard for Will to decide what to do. Whatever she feels for him, he still loves her, and she's still hurting so much he can feel it. He's still her fiance, after all, and he still loves her more than he can bear, even if she mourns another man.
Quietly, he slips away from the conversation towards the dark shadows at the back of the cabin.