”Elizabeth, I swear, I did not know-”
“Know what?... Which side you chose?” A few steps backwards, away from him. “Well, now you do.”
James had known it even before Elizabeth spoke. There were no remedying circumstances on his side, only lame excuses like the one spoken by Lord Beckett which he had believed far too willingly. Governor Swann had never returned to England on his own and, if he had understood Elizabeth correctly, he had never reached his destination. James had doubted the departure of Governor Swann but he hadn't wanted to believe that Lord Beckett would actually go as far as murdering the Governor. He hadn't wanted to believe that Lord Beckett would actually go as far to exterminate the pirates.
When he decided to give the heart of Davy Jones to Lord Beckett and the East India Trading Company, he had only wanted to restore his honour and name. His honour and his rank in the British Royal Navy still were important to him but he wondered if he would have done the same deeds if he had known how many corpses Lord Beckett was willing to walk over to exterminate piracy.
Elizabeth and her pirate crew were safely secured in the bilge of the Flying Dutchman. Her pirate crew. James snorted in a mixture of disbelief and disgust. He had loved Elizabeth, loved her still, but this was a path she should not have to walk. Her deeds had directly put her on Lord Cutler Beckett's execution list – which brought James back to his problem.
James Norrington hated pirates with a long-held fervour that had turned him into one of the most successful pirate hunters of the Caribbean. Contrary to Lord Beckett however, James honoured a code of tradition and decency. Sometimes, this had brought him trouble with pirates. Maybe Lord Beckett's path was the right one to exterminate piracy. James just could not stop his doubts whether the ends really justified the means.
Thoughtfully, James scrutinized his sword that had been given to him – aeons ago it seemed – by Governor Swann.
He was dead now, had died a meaningless death, because Beckett didn't need him any longer – and because the Governor had learnt of a secret that should have stayed a secret if it had been Lord Beckett's decision. A heavy sigh flew from his lips. He knew which side he had chosen. The question was, whether he wanted to continue living with this decision.
”No”, his heart answered. His mind demanded facts, rational arguments. James could give none. Maybe this wasn't the time for pretty arguments and rationality. He had seen what Beckett did and would do, he had been the executioner and had stayed silent, just as ordered. His code of honour strongly agreed with his heart. Only short, did he allow his fingers to caress the ring box in his chest pocket.
James stood up from the place in his cabin. He had to free Elizabeth.
No, he stopped himself. That was the path of his heart but his rational mind reminded him that there were better ways to stop Lord Beckett from achieving his goal. He smiled determinedly when his feet led him to the captain's cabin. He knew what he had to do and he knew the price he had to pay.