It was to be Pirate King Elizabeth’s first inter-dimensional Pirate Council, and though she had not admitted it to anyone – especially that taunting Jack Sparrow – she was nervous.
The letter that had mysteriously appeared in her cabin said she was to represent all pirates on her “Earth” at this meeting. “Certainly not like that’s a big job,” Elizabeth had muttered, before asking among her crew about the summons. Some had heard of it, but none knew where the meeting was, or how she would get there. And so Elizabeth had been left uncertain.
When she woke up on the fateful morning, March eighteenth, she found a trapdoor just beside her bed. That was peculiar, but she had a feeling she knew where it would take her. The tunnel beneath the trapdoor twisted and turned and rose and fell, until it led to a more proper door, which Elizabeth stepped through.
“What,” A mustached pirate dressed in a red jacket was growling, “is she doing here? She’s not even a pirate anymore!” At first, Elizabeth – who was still unnoticed – thought he was speaking to nothing, at first, but then she saw a glittering something in the air, and heard the tinkle of bells. “I don’t care if Silver is no longer a pirate!” The mustached pirate snarled. “He’s far more fit to wear the title-“
“Please, James.” Elizabeth was startled as her attention was drawn to a standing… Dog? Wolf? Something of that sort. He was smartly dressed, at that. “Now is not the time. Our final King has arrived.”
Suddenly, a large, not-quite-human man was beside Elizabeth. “Aye, that she is.” He put an arm around Elizabeth, laughing, and she couldn’t help but flinch at the unfamiliar contact. “Oh, my apologies, Cap’n. Didn’t mean to scare you!”
“I wasn’t scared,” Elizabeth said.
“Silver’s the name,” he went on, ignoring her. “Pirate King of the Coral Galaxy. Although, as our friend Hook here was kind to point out, no longer even a pirate!”
Elizabeth looked around, noticing something. “There’s only four of us?” A tinkling of bells, again. “Five. My mistake.”
“Across the dimensions, ours is a dying breed,” said Hook, whose glare had followed the glittering something over to where it had landed on Elizabeth’s shoulder. Elizabeth tried to focus on it, and realized what she was saying was a small, winged woman.
“A fairy,” Elizabeth breathed.
“More like a winged rat,” Hook sniffed.
“They are old friends,” the dog-fox-thing sighed, clearly getting annoyed by the fighting. A furiously loud tinkling sounded in Elizabeth’s ear. “Zarina, Zarina, it was, how you say, a figure of speech!”
“Can you all understand her?” Elizabeth asked.
Silver shook his head. “No, just James, there. But when she’s mad… It’s easy enough to tell.”
“A fairy and the two men, one woman, and one dog who can’t understand her. This is the Highest Pirate Council,” Elizabeth muttered.
“Dog?! Don Karnage is no dog!” He preened. “I am a wolf, thank you.”
“Fine, fine.” Elizabeth ran two fingers over the brim of her captain’s hat. She really should be more polite, and less cranky. It wasn’t right, and that aside, it wasn’t like her. “So, who are you all, exactly?”
“Never did finish me introductions, did I?” Silver laughed. “That’s Captain James Hook over there, and that fellow’s Captain Don Karnage. The little lady’s name is Zarina.”
“And what about you, my dear?” Captain Hook asked, suddenly all propriety and charm.
“Captain Elizabeth Turner.”
“And what nefarious deeds have you committed, Captain Turner?” Don Karnage asked, beckoning her and the others over to a round table, with chairs surrounding it, and a thimble stood on one corner.
“Not the looting, rum-swilling sort,” Elizabeth admitted as she sat. “It’s all been very confusing for me.” She paused, then clarified, “Confusing and political.”
Zarina, who had flown over to sit on the thimble, made her tinkling sound. Hook sighed wearily, but reluctantly translated.
“Zarina says most of her work this day is alchemy, and she’s really only done one looting. Apparently, she thinks that’s a good thing,” he sneered.
Karnage tsk’d. “I cannot imagine life without the plunder. It is exhilarating!”
“I was more the obsessive, one-treasure-minded type,” Silver admitted, sounding surprisingly sheepish. “But still quite feared in me heyday.” He chuckled, then. “Ol’ Hook here, he mostly sinks to hunting down a little boy.”
Elizabeth gasped. “That’s disgusting!”
“He chopped off my hand and fed it to a crocodile!” Hook shouted, and Zarina’s tinkling took on a rhythm like laughter.
“If I may, why was this meeting called?” Elizabeth inquired, trying to get things back on track, and a bit less twisted.
“Why, we wanted to meet you, of course! Your Earth’s newest Pirate King,” Karnage explained, smiling to show many sharp teeth.
“That’s it? No pressing business?” Elizabeth couldn’t help feeling surprised.
“I can’t say there is,” Hook admitted.
Elizabeth sighed. It was going to be a long afternoon.
When she finally felt it would be polite to leave, Zarina was tinkle-laughing as Hook chased her around, sword drawn, while Don Karnage shouted for them to stop and listen to him.
At least Silver seemed bearable.