bushel_o_apples: (Default)
Barbossa sits at what has quickly become his usual spot by the lake, on a large flat rock from which he gets a good view of the Pearl. This time, though, he's busy with something entirely different, as he has occasionally been for the last few days. He holds a small, palm-sized leather-bound book in one hand and seems to be reading backwards through it. His brow is knitted, a worried frown across his face.

There's got to be something. We can't get to the Locker without some kind of supernatural guidance, and I know I heard of something, a long time ago...

His eyes narrow, suddenly, and he tilts his head. The thought is there, fleeting, and any attempt to look directly at it will only scare it away. He has to think carefully around it, build a fence of other thoughts to keep it in.

Singapore. There must be a reason why I thought of Sao Feng first, of all the Pirate Lords. Hell, it's been easy enough to convince the likes of WIll Turner that it's the best option but of course they don't -know- the other Brethren. But why was Sao Feng the first to come to mind? Why haven't I even considered any other alternatives...?

It is a fact that most of the time the mind works without actually telling its owner. Do you know those sudden inspirations that seem to come out of the blue and hit you like a hammer after you've been pondering a problem from a completely different direction for days?

Bullshit. It's all the work of those carefully hidden parts of your mind that toil endlessly like sweatshop workers, without thanks nor ever seeing the light. Feel bad enough already? Good, back to track, then.

The memory sparks up suddenly. He doesn't dare dwell on it, but instead backtracks through the pages of the small book in his hands until he finds it, tucked into a small note on the margin of one of the pages. And he starts to laugh. Laughter that starts as a low sound and a shake of his shoulders and finally erupts in a loud, if brief, outburst.

"Of course! Singapore!"

It's the simple, elegant nature of the double-dealing that pleases him most. No convoluted scheme holds more beauty than a simple, traditional double-cross. And at the same time it holds the solidity of planned courses. Not haphazard improvisation and insane wit, like Jack's endeavours tend to be.His mood has improved much when he again starts to ponder the finer points of the plan.

And now, who? Who do we send in there? Got to be careful there, don't want to send someone exceedingly bright, lest they puzzle out the whole delightful bit of duplicity involved. But it has to be someone who can actually sneak into the temple and get the charts, maybe even possibly fight his way out...

The smile that curls his lips would could wither a whole orchard of apple trees out of sheer wickedness.

"Well, well, well, mr Turner. Seems like we've found you an use at last."

Date: 2007-07-03 05:24 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
He smirks, satisfied. Of course he's pretty sure that Gibbs doesn't like him at all but that's the story of his life. Those who get to know him realize he's not a likeable man.

Slowly, he counts out on his fingers.

"One, a ship. Two, a crew. Three, a way to get us to where we want to go. And four, allies for when we come back. Ehough of a reason?"

Date: 2007-07-03 05:32 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"The latter two items are important, aye. But the first two...seein' as we need a ship to get there in the first place, surely we'd be better off fidning ship and crew before we get there? Sao Feng is not a man to trifle with, and I suspect he respects a show of force." Not that Gibbs has any idea where to find a crew better than the motley group they already have.

Date: 2007-07-03 05:42 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Tell me, mr Gibbs. A man who has been a sailor for so long must surely know the sea, and how she behaves. We are sailing to the edge of the world. Don't you think there'll be a toll to pay? Would you rather have the sea choose her pickings from your friends, or from Sao Feng's men?"

He regards Gibbs levelly. Their crew, though good -if only, they all survived the Kraken's attack, and that goes to prove a lot- is small. Small, but they've been together for long enough, and through so much that any loss now would be painful like that of an old friend. Wouldn't it? Has he judged Gibbs rightly?

Date: 2007-07-03 05:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"You do raise a good point. But that still leaves us with the question of how we get there. And the question of how we get Sao Feng to deal fairly with us. I don't know what run-ins you and your crew had with him, but Jack wasn't as welcome there as he liked to claim." For every story of charming Singapore Gibbs heard from Jack, there was one of rivalry leading to Jack fleeing into the night, or the sea.

Date: 2007-07-03 06:09 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Ah, that's the truly delightful thought, Mr Gibbs. I'm counting on our enemies to make our offer to Sao Feng irresistibly attractive."

What he means by that isn't exactly clear. How much does Gibbs know, after all? Does he know about the Brethren? Does he know Sao Feng is one? Or Jack? Barbossa isn't sure, and would like to know before they start for Singapore.

Date: 2007-07-03 06:19 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"You think he'd unite with us against Cutler Beckett? I don't doubt that the British East India people aren't making his life a misery, what with him bein' in the East Indies and all, But Sao Feng would sooner go it alone. His numbers are large, and Singapore offers more than a few spots along its shores to wait out even Beckett." In other words, Gibbs surely isn't thinking about any bigger picture.

Date: 2007-07-03 06:26 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"See, that's why Tía Dalma brought me back, I would say. You need me, even if you don't like me. And just as well, Sao Feng will need Jack, even though he doesn't like him one bit."

He leans closer to Gibbs, shaking his head.

"Cutler Beckett won't make the mistake of going for him. He's gathering influence. I'd guess he already has that which Weatherby Swann held in London under his thumb, and he won't stop there. I think he might be going after something darker and more powerful."

And Barbossa -does- know about that kind of thing, doesn't he?

Date: 2007-07-03 06:35 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"You're holding out on me, Barbossa. You know something about Sao Feng that I should." Too bad few tell tales of Singaporean pirates in the Caribbean, or Gibbs might know more.

"As for Beckett, he was after Jones and the Dutchman and the Kraken. Not sure what else he could be after."

Date: 2007-07-03 06:42 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Ah, now that makes sense."

He relaxes visibly, this being the piece of the puzzle no one had provided him with. His head lowers as he ponders, then raises slowly, a gleam of determined, almost frightening passion in his eyes.

"And if he has got what he was searching for, then our quest is both more urgent and more desperate than ever, but at the same time, we have more chances of success with Sao Feng."

Date: 2007-07-03 06:45 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
Gibbs has to wonder if he should have told Barbossa this last piece of information, since Barbossa was clearly left in the dark by Tia Dalma. But clearly, everyone involved needs to know what the stakes are.

"You still aren't being fully clear. Do you have a plan, man?"

Date: 2007-07-03 06:53 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
He nods, watching Gibbs in what seems like an even way for a moment.

"I do. But I can't exactly tell you the whole extent of it, Gibbs. I need to know just how bad things are before I know how far my plan will take us. If they are really bad -and believe me, I'm quite sure they are- then we should have no problem getting Sao Feng to negotiate with us."

He sighs and leans back slightly. Gibbs might realize this is the first time he sees Barbossa look tired. After all, dead men don't need sleep, but the living do. And come to think of it, has Barbossa slept since he arrived in Millways?

Date: 2007-07-03 06:58 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
Gibbs does see that Barbossa is showing his age and his mortality again. It's something he can relate to, having seen his own gray and white creep forward, having seen Jack in denial about the passage of time but losing just a bit of his vigor even before dying.

"Then when we get back, our first stop might have to be Tortuga. If Beckett and his fleet are making trouble, we can easily confirm both the reality of it and the scope in a matter of hours, if not minutes."

Date: 2007-07-03 07:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
He nods, and leans forwards again, closer to Gibbs, shrugging the weariness off by sheer force of will. They are closer in age, these two, than any of the others except possibly for Cotton. Old enough to know, both of them, that willpower and adrenaline and catnaps can only substitute for actual rest for so long.

"That ties in with something I wanted to ask from you, mr Gibbs. Tortuga sounds like a very dangerous place for men of our ilk, whether Cutler Beckett has got what he wanted or not. Surely the East India Company won't leave such a pirate haven alone. But in case we can still get there safely... How many men do you think we would need, in excess of those we already have, to comandeer and man a ship able to take us across the Pacific?"

Date: 2007-07-03 07:15 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
Gibbs gives it some thought. His face is not quite one where a man from later times would say "you can see the wheels turning." But he's doing calculations and finding old knowledge and older intuition.

"It depends on where we find a ship. If we stay in Tortuga, or risk any other port of call in Caribbean, we might need an additional dozen. And some would be cannon fodder.

"But if we make our way across the Ismuth to Panama City, we might be able to get by with a handful of locals, and might even be able to pay them only to help us take the ship, after which they would stay behind.

"Anyway, Panama has the advantage of being much closer to our goal. I think we would both prefer to avoid going around the horn."

Date: 2007-07-03 07:23 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
This is the kind of knowledge that he wanted Gibbs for. He has been away from -real- sailing for too long, and Gibbs can help with that. Barbossa nods and ponders silently for a moment or two.

"But we can still get news from Tortuga and the area around Port Royal from Panama? Just to check on how far our enemies feel they can go, how confident they are... Or how devastating."

Date: 2007-07-03 07:28 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"We'll still need to book passage to the Spanish Main, and for that we would need to send someone to Tortuga. Someone with just a bit of coin to make it worthwhile. And that someone could see what news he can find, and surely any captain who'd let the likes of us hire him would have news as well." Gibbs thinks for a moment longer. "I know a few hearty souls who might be persuaded that they owe me a few favors."

Date: 2007-07-03 07:36 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Sounds reasonable. Do you think two men could do that trip, mr Gibbs? I need to know as much information as posible first-hand if we are to be able to play with all the possible advantage against -and I use this word figuratively- Sao Feng."

Which sounds so much better than 'I know you aren't going to tell me everything you learn at Tortuga unless I go there and hear it myself'.

Date: 2007-07-03 07:41 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"Two men could with not much more risk. But d' you think that you wouldn't be recognized as easily as I would, if not more so? Even if Beckett's people haven't arrived in Tortuga, you made a lot of enemies in your maraudings. And if word gets ut that you are mortal again..." And from Gibbs' tone, it's clear that he doesn't mind Barbossa's company so much as his infamy.

"That said...the only other person I think I could trust to help me and serve as a second set of ears is Marty."

Date: 2007-07-03 07:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Oh, I may be infamous, but the last people who saw me and lived" remember the tales about how the Black Pearl left no survivors in its wake? "did so ten years ago or are with us in our little enterprise. Or hanged for piracy by that outstanding pillar of His Majesty's government in these areas, the Commodore Norrington. I'm quite sure we could manage to pass unrecognized if we wanted to."

And of course, what most people would remember about Barbossa would be the hat and the monkey, right? Both highly visible and easily detachable.

Date: 2007-07-03 07:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"Yes," Gibbs says grimly. "I had forgetten that for a moment." Though how anyone could forget those tales of horror is beyond even Gibbs' imagination.

"But yes, you are right. And Tortuga is a place where one can get lost if he truly wishes to."

Date: 2007-07-03 08:03 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Good, then. I'm glad we seem to be settling our plans into a more precise form now. That may mean the day is drawing near when that door will open for us."

He leans back again, regarding Gibbs not with suspicion, but with a keen curiosity.

"Are you ready to leave Jack behind, mister Gibbs? To go and try to save him, of course, but still."

He pointedly made no further mention of his time as captain of the Black Pearl. They need to focus on working together. There'll be time enough to bicker and possibly even attempt on each other's lives later, once things are settles with Cutler BEckett. If they all survive, that is, of which Barbossa has his share of doubts.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"I'll do what's needed. The captain knows that, and would do the same, I'm sure. And I am more than ready to leave this place and its curses." He doesn't put much empahasis in "the captain" this time, but the subtext is cleat.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:14 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Fine. It's good to know where one's men stand, mr Gibbs. And I understand your displeasure about the place, too. Magic seems to be afoot all of the time around here."

His displeasure, once more, is plain to see.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:24 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
Gibbs pauses for a moment and gets his thoughts into words. "You hate magic, don't you? After all you've been through, you truly hate it."

Date: 2007-07-03 08:33 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Hate isn't the word I would use, Gibbs. If need arises that would be unsurmountable by other means, I will still use magic. But I don't trust it. Not after being on the bad end of it, and after knowing as much as I know about the things beyond the senses of mortal men. It is a foul thing that always seeks to twist itself against men, you hear me, Gibbs. Give me what I can take by my own hand and my own wit, and I will be far more happy than I will with some treacherous spell being the cause of my fortunes."

Date: 2007-07-03 08:40 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
Gibbs nods. "On that we are in full agreement. Though it would seem that we have some more magic ahead of us if we are to bring back the captain and the ship.

"Best we consider bringing along a supply of rum then." And while it's far too true that Gibbs loves his drink, sometimes the drink is the only thing that can dull the anxiety of facing the impossible.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:44 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"I never said it would be a pleasant enterprise to undertake, and I'm quite sure we were both aware of that, mr Gibbs. But yes, a good provision of rum would be a good idea. The men might need it 'fore the end of our trip."

Barbossa prefers to face the impossible on a high of his own rage and pride. It has worked for him so far.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:46 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"Well, at least I know where to find rum in Tortuga. And probably Panama." He smiles just a tiny bit.

"Now, as I think our business for now is done, I should be seein' to my duties."

Date: 2007-07-03 08:52 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
He nods. It's a respectful gesture, one few people get from Barbossa once he gets to know them.

"See to them, mr Gibbs. And I won't ask you to give JAck my greetings, but since you seem to think she still has her soul, please give the Pearl my fond regards."

Date: 2007-07-03 08:56 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] pirate-gibbs.livejournal.com
"I'll consider it." Which is to say that later he might mention to the planks (and Jack) that he and that perfidious Barbossa talked today. But even that is more than he thought he might do for Barbossa two weeks ago. "Good day."

Date: 2007-07-03 09:06 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bushel-o-apples.livejournal.com
"Fair enough."

Barbossa turns towards the Bar as Gibbs leaves, and ponders. Maybe a celebratory drink would be in order.

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Héctor Barbossa

January 2008

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