Will really really didn't expect it to work. He had a thousand and one back up plans, but he didn't expect Jack and Barbossa to have so little regard for his... piratitude? as to actually trust him with the Pearl as they went off to the island he led them to. Still, he wasn't about to look a a gift horse in the mouth, and proudly saw them off to the island with a few of the Singaporean pirates hand picked by Tai Huang.
When he turns back to his crew, he catches Elizabeth's eye, looking for some sort of acknowledgement, some sort of pride in his temporarily position of command, but she turns away. It stings, but the residual bitterness of her deception tempers it somewhat.
And yet, for all of that, there's the faintest hope that they can rebuild what they've lost. He still loves her with every drop of blood in his veins, and he remembers how she clung to him, turned to him in her despair. Everything will be all right, he tells himself, once I've rescued my father.
Nevertheless, he waits. Elizabeth goes below decks with Tonks, hardly speaking to him, and he makes sure everyone has something to do, and he plays the loyal mate, for all he avoids talking directly to Mr. Gibbs. When the Empress is sighted, it's by one of the men Will thinks of as 'his' crew, and he lets it be known that the Jack loyalists are to be kept ignorant of their fate until the last moment. But preparations are made.
Neither Elizabeth nor Tonks are on deck when Marty finally spies the Empress.
"Ship ahoy!" he shouts, pointing urgently.
By now it's too close for the rest of the crew not to have noticed, and Gibbs surely knows that when he runs to the side of the ship, frowning. "It's Sao Feng! He's broken the agreement!"
Will steps up behind Gibbs, and when the old sailor turns, he's looking down the blade of Will's sword.
"Afraid so, Mr. Gibbs," Will says, liking how smoothly the words come out. He lifts a hand, and six Singaporean Pirates step forward, taking Gibbs, Cotton and Marty all as prisoners. And that feels good, too.
Feeling remarkably pleased with himself, Will slips away to find Elizabeth, and inform her of his plan.
Will doesn't find Elizabeth below deck. Two of Sao Feng's men locate her first, deep in thought atop a barrel in the hold, and by the irritated looks on their faces when they drag her topside, they would gladly have left that particular pleasure to someone else. The man gripping her left arm walks gingerly, as if he's recently received a sharp kick to the shin.
The Chinese pirates cheer the successful mutiny, while Elizabeth glares daggers at the man responsible. Sao Feng, imposing and self-satisfied, ignores the prisoners and saunters along the deck toward Barbossa and Jack, recently returned to the Pearl at the tip of Tai Huang's sword. Barbossa smiles without meaning it and speaks of coincidences, but Jack appears to be contemplating jumping over the side, and a moment later, his nose meets Sao Feng’s fist. Elizabeth almost smiles, wondering if the apparent animosity is something she can use.
"Release her." Will, unrestrained, pushes his way to her side, and Elizabeth feels a surge of hope. "She's not part of the bargain."
Bargain?! Hope forgotten, Elizabeth gapes at him.
"And what bargain be that?" inquires Barbossa, stealing the words, if not the precise phrasing, from Elizabeth's mouth.
"You heard Captain Turner," Sao Feng says. He's clearly enjoying himself, and smiles at the laughter that follows from those under his command. "Release her!"
The laughter is nothing but a dull roar in Elizabeth's ears, swirling around and through her fury as it rises. Sao Feng hadn't acted alone at all. Will is just as responsible for this turn of events, which means his lies, his... treachery stretches all the way back to Singapore. And he'd had the nerve to question her trustworthiness! Elizabeth seethes, remembering how torn she had been over her answer.
"I need the Pearl to free my father,” Will is saying, holding himself with pride and that inherent earnestness that sometimes makes her want to shock him horribly. "That's the only reason I came on this voyage."
Well, it's good to know where his priorities lie. The pirate on her right -- the one not sporting a bruise, though he moves cautiously anyway -- finally releases her chains and she shrugs him off, stalking Will like a self-contained tempest. "Why didn't you tell me you were planning this?” she demands.
"It was my burden to bear." He must have been holding the words in, keeping them close -- must have rehearsed them when no one was around to hear. They cut deep, just as he undoubtedly knew they would.
The laughter that accompanies Sao Feng's use of "Captain Turner" is entirely unnecessary. He won the Pearl fair and...OK, not fair, but with a good honest backstabbing and mutiny, and that's how these people work, isn't it? The Pearl is his now, and he is its Captain, and Sao Feng is really not enamouring himself to Will right now.
What disappoints a little more is the clear incredulity in Jack's voice when he repeats the title. What's the matter, Jack? Will seethes to himself, so surprised that I might rise to Captain? Some part of Will's anger is driven by an inexplicable belief that Jack would somehow be proud of Will's act of piracy.
"I need the Pearl to free my father," he tells Jack, and anyone else who might care about his noble intentions. "That's the only reason I came on this voyage."
Elizabeth storms over, clearly of the opinion that while it was acceptable for him to think she loved another man, he was obliged to tell her of all his plans.
"Why didn't you tell me you were planning this?" she demands, and Will can't meet her eyes.
"It was my burden to bear." Hopefully she'll know how much those words sting, but still understand the knowledge would have been dangerous for her.
“…needs the Pearl. And you felt guilty.” Jack appears to be addressing Elizabeth; she arches an eyebrow and checks around for some inkling of whatever he's rambling on about. There are other, more important things on her mind, like the fact that she's standing next to Captain Turner. "And you and your Brethren Court. Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?"
Elizabeth contemplates raising her hand simply to see the look on Will's face, but decides that's beneath her. Several of the Pearl’s crew show their support, and Jack's move to stand with them is swiftly curtailed by Sao Feng's hand in his braids. At any other time, it would be amusing.
There's nothing amusing about the Endeavour off the starboard side, however, and when Sao Feng mentions old friends to Jack, Elizabeth eyes Will sulkily. Surely he wasn't silly enough to knowingly involve Beckett? Her father's murderer?
Bristling, she watches Mercer and his men swarm on board, dripping proprietary smiles and corrupt intentions. "Company ship. Company crew," Mercer tells Sao Feng. And what fate awaits Company prisoners? A short drop and a sudden stop, Elizabeth thinks savagely.
"You agreed. The Black Pearl was to be mine,” Will insists. If she weren't so upset, Elizabeth might feel sorry for him.
"And so it was," the Pirate Lord of Singapore reminds him. A quick gesture, a punch, and Will and Elizabeth are back in chains.
As soon as Barbossa sees the push-dagger stuck through the dead man's face, his brain leaps into full-sail mode. Always being on the lookout for treason has kept him alive for a long time, in a pirate's dangerous world, but this time he didn't expect treason from -this- quarter.
He's quick to return Sao Feng's barbed words from their last meeting as soon as he sees him aboard the Pearl, and can't help feeling some satisfaction when the Singaporean Lord punches Jack's face. But those small pleasures are lost in the maelstrom of plans that churns in his head. Sao Feng has proven to be notably difficult to deceive, and time is running against his skill right now.
And then Sao Feng utters the words 'Captain Turner' and amid the laughter of the Singaporean crew, Barbossa finally sees the whole of the picture. So the whelp has initiative. Well, his father used to have it too, and see where it got him, maybe Captain Turner should learn from him.
Just like Jack should, maybe, try to learn when being charming will get him out of trouble and when it won't. This being one of the latter occasions. "You and your Brethren Court"... If only he knew... But of course he doesn't. That's the beauty of the plan, none of the Pirate Lords will be able to see it, not until Barbossa himself reveals it -the bunch of short-sighted fools. But then, before he can start to worry about the completion of his plan, the extent of the treachery is revealed. Turner didn't just sell them to Sao Feng, no. They both sold them to the East India Trading Company. The cold rage of pure hatred starts to boil in his chest as Jack is carted over to the Endeavour and a man boards the Pearl, followed by a whole company of the East India marines.
With but a glance, Barbossa realizes two things: He knows this man from Singapore, where he led the attack on Sao Feng's lair, and the man bears the unmistakable air of a minion. A trusted, able, effective minion. A minion who is apparently here to take possession of the Pearl. Turner learns the hard way that traitors seldom are trusted, or rewarded, and not too long afterwards, so does Sao Feng. Of course, the side with the most guns (and the Dutchman under their command) can take the lion's share. This is what he needed. Just a little crevice into which to insert the right kind of leverage.
Da Bohai hates the Caribbean. It's too bright, everyone's rude, and he hasn't seen a proper concubine in weeks. And these women on the Black Pearl aren't much to negotiate over either. One's been clearly marked out by the captain, one's pregnant, and the other - well frankly, she scares him.
It's the pregnant one he homes in on when they take the prisoners: there could be some fun later, after all. Out in the open, right now, he confines himself to patting her down for weapons - nothing wrong with that, is there? Her strange pregnancy talisman is handed back to her. They may have some strange beliefs over here, but he's not going to risk angering whichever god it is that it's a talisman for.
The real prize is in her belt: a strange looking gun, which looks like it's capable of firing up to six pellets. He saw Tai Huang with this back in Singapore, and he guesses it must have been stolen when the Barbarians raided their den. Well, it's back with its rightful owners now.
Smirking proudly to himself, Da Bohai tucks the gun into his belt, making sure to keep it hidden from Tai Huang and all the other pirates. No point in announcing it.
Elizabeth gives her fiancé a scathing look and then faces forward, expression grim as she listens to Sao Feng lose his own claim to the Pearl. Had anyone bothered to ask her, she could have informed them that Beckett would never relinquish an advantage, much like Davy Jones reportedly never gives up what he takes -- until now. Considering Beckett's motives and what might be happening to Jack in his company, Elizabeth only half pays attention to Barbossa sidling forward and addressing Sao Feng.
“We have Calypso!” he says a few moments later.
Feeling their eyes on her, Elizabeth refocuses.
“Hmm. Calypso,” Sao Feng murmurs. "An old legend."
"No. The Goddess herself, bound in human form. Imagine -- all the power of the seas brought to bear against our enemies. I intend to release her, but for that I need the Brethren Court." Barbossa leans forward, lifting something around the other man's neck; it looks like a black cord necklace. "All the Court."
Barbossa can be very persuasive. "What are you proposing, Captain?"
"What be you accepting, Captain?"
Sao Feng is still looking at Elizabeth when he says, "The girl."
"What?" Incredulous, Elizabeth stares back.
"Elizabeth is not part of the bargain!" announces Will, still chained and not likely to have any say in the matter. She presses her lips together.
"Out of the question," Barbossa replies. He seems genuinely opposed to the idea, but Elizabeth notices there's something smug about his eyes.
"It wasn't a question."
Glancing at the armed Company men, and Mercer at the helm, Elizabeth straightens and realizes, quite suddenly, that she would rather take her chances with pirates than with men loyal to Beckett. "Done," she states firmly, proud and defiant.
Will blinks. "What? Not done."
"You got us into this mess," she shoots back, bubbling over with anger. "If this is what frees us, then done!”
"Elizabeth." It's plaintive, but she's unyielding. "They're pirates."
Wearing her indignation around her shoulders like a protective blanket, Elizabeth glares at him. "I've had more than enough experience dealing with pirates," she snaps, pushing his chest with her bound hands.
There was a time when she called him ‘pirate’ with admiration. As Sao Feng pulls her aboard the Empress, Elizabeth ponders which burns most: that Will betrayed her, or that she can't help being a little proud of him for it.
"Shame they're not bound to honour the Code of the Brethren, isn't it? Because honour's a hard thing to come by, nowadays."
He watches Sao Feng react, his voice a snarl as he rejects honour in favor of pragmatism, a move that Barbossa himself would applaud, hadn't he more pressing concerns. As things are, he picks up a different bait from Sao Feng's own words.
"The losing side, you say?"
Sao Feng is angry now, angry at Beckett's treason, and being deprived of his prize. Angry at being bested by men he considers inferior. Angry at Barbossa's renewed air of knowing just a little more than he does.
"They have the Dutchman. Now the Pearl. What does the Brethren Court have...?"
Barbossa's eyes widen as he leans slightly towards the Singaporean.
"We have... Calypso."
Sao Feng's gaze drifts towards Miss Swann, and in that moment, Barbossa knows he has the key to solving this situation in his hand. He will care for recovering Jack and his Piece of Eight later, if he can't extricate himself from the Endeavour. For now, Sao Feng is trying to bargain. A small sound, derisive as his smile, precedes his words.
"Calypso. An old legend."
He shakes his head as he speaks, contemptuous. But Barbossa knows he has got the other Pirate Lord in his nets now. How easy it is, and Barbossa has painful experience of that, to make a man fall by grace of his earthly desires. And now, with the hook firmly in place, it's time to reel in the dangerous, murderous fish.
"No... The goddess herself, bound in human form. Imagine all the power of the seas brought to bear against our enemies."
He realizes perfectly that Sao Feng's look won't have escaped the two lovebird's attentions, and of course Tía Dalma knows full well that Calypso isn't bound into Miss Swann's bones, but he has to trust no one will be foolish enough to speak up.
"I intend to release her, but for that I need the Brethren Court."
He takes Sao Feng's necklace, a piece of jade tightly bound in leather cords, briefly in his hand.
"All the Court."
He knows, in that moment, in Sao Feng's look and the fact that his hand hasn't been lopped off, that he has won. It's hard to hide the exultation, the joy of winning the game, bluffing not on a bad hand, but without cards at all. But for the moment, he must. Sao Feng lowers the red cloth from his face.
"What are you proposing, Captain?"
The title is like a balm for Barbossa. Captain. Of the Pearl.
"What be you accepting... Captain?"
But of course, he knows what the Singaporean will be asking for. And the beauty of it is, he doesn't need to negotiate. At most, add a little fuel to the fire with an 'Out of the question' at the opportune moment, and lo! Sao Feng thinks he has got the better part out of their deal.
Time to wake Cutler Beckett up from his dream of victory.
As the first volley of cannon fire hits the Endeavour, Barbossa goes for Mercer. He wouldn't trust anybody else on board to finish off such a dangerous man. Takes one to catch one, they say. And so, they clash at the quarterdeck. The fight is levelled, both combatants equally as vicious and mean-spirited, but finally, Mercer manages to dive overboard more or less unscathed before the Pearl's crew catch up with their (current) captain.
Now if only Jack managed to somehow kill himself, but delivering his Piece of Eight in a timely fashion...
What? A man can dream!
Will didn't exactly try to make friends among - well, anyone, so the sharp punch to the gut is not exactly unexpected, as unneeded as it was. When he is locked in chains with Elizabeth, his thoughts immediately go to how to get her out, but he follows the conversation between Sao Feng and Mercer- and then Barbossa.
"What be ye accepting, Captain?"
Will's heart freezes.
No. This can't be... Sao Feng, who looked at her with such unbridled desire back in Singapore, is now actually demanding her as part of a bargain. Elizabeth in the exchange for the Pearl... Elizabeth in exchange for anything. It's unthinkable. Will would give his life to stop her falling into his lust-stained hands.
"Elizabeth is not part of any bargain."
But Will's life is not currently his to give. All he can do is protest angrily, trying not to betray just how impotent he feels, chained like this. Unable to stop Sao Feng insisting quietly. All he has is Barbossa's esteem for Elizabeth, that will also presumably protect her from a fate...
"Done!" Elizabeth says firmly, and it's a second before the reality hits Will.
"What?" he says, sharply. "Not done."
"You got us into this mess," she says accusingly. "If this is what frees us, then done."
Will's stomach starts churning under his pained, ice-cold heart, as he tries to get a handle on this. She can't... can't be willingly going with him. Doesn't she see how he looks at her, what he'll do.
"Elizabeth," Will insists sharply. "They're pirates."
They're men. They're human: alive and whole and material. They're thieves and betrayers and rapists, and she's going with them?
"I have had more than enough experience dealing with pirates." Elizabeth punctuates her words by shoving him hard in the chest, equating him with these men, and it hurts more than a simple punch to the stomach. She may well have driven a dagger into his chest.
From then, he hardly cares what happens. Elizabeth has made her choice.
As the window explodes from cannonfire, Jack takes advantage of the confusion to snatch hold of Beckett's hand and gives it a quick shake to seal the accord--
-- before bolting for the door.
In the bedlam, it's not hard for him to make his way to the deck above, and then to the quarterdeck. By the time Beckett manages to follow him, Jack's refastened his compass to his belt, looped a rope around the base of a cannon and is tossing the other end up over the yardarm.
Beckett stares at him-- and then catches sight of the small leaden figure modeled in his image, now perched squarely in the mouth of the cannon. His jaw drops.
"... you're mad!"
Jack grabs hold of the rope and spares a second to glance over at him.
"Thank goodness for that, because if I wasn't this'd probably never work."
He grins, and with no more warning than that, Jack sets the cannon's fuse alight.
Beckett dives out the way as the shot is fired, and the recoil yanks the attached rope back up over the yardarm-- and Jack with it. He goes flying through the air toward the Black Pearl, yelling the entire way. The Pearl's crew scrambles for her stern to see where he's landed, but he's not there.
It's Barbossa who spots him.
Jack's balanced on the quarterdeck rail, leaning against the Pearl's starboard great lantern, with a wickedly pleased smirk on his face as he informs them all,
"And that was without even a single drop of rum!"
Pintel tries to look inconspicuous as the
"He needs the Pearl," Captain Jack is saying. "'Captain Turner' needs the Pearl. And you felt guilty, and you and your brethren court," he continues to Miss Swann and Captain Barbossa. Or... Barb- no, he can't. He might as well have had 'Captain' as a first name, even before he mutinied the first time. Pintel sighs nostalgically. Awful times, but simpler ones.
"Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?" Jack asks plaintively, and Pintel risks glares from... well, anyone, and raises his hand with a few of the others, smiling sheepishly... and then drops it right back down as Jack is taken off to the Endeavour. Beckett. Don't it just figure.
And now Captains Sao Feng and Barbossa are haggling away in a way that suggests everyone should really keep an eye just so they know who's prisoners and who's not, and Turner's been punched out and grabbed by two of Sao Feng's gang, and the Captains're talking about Calypso, and Pintel wonders uncomfortably if he can get Ragetti to summarise what the hell's happening a bit later without losing face, and then Elizabeth changes hands - what, did he miss the bidding? Huh - and then there's a fight. He knows how to deal with fights!
And then they've got the Pearl back. That was fun, Pintel grins over at Ragetti, and they clap hands on Will Turner's shoulders again, looking up at where Captain Sparrow just landed in the rigging.
"Send this pestilent traitorous cow-hearted yeasty codpiece to the brig!"
Ah. All's well that ends well, even if he has no clue what just went on. It's so nice havin' Jack back.