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Thief of Time (1/3)

Title: Thief of Time
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Eight Fitz, OC
Word Count: 6480
Rating: G (I believe)
Notes: This follows and earlier story Crossroads where I had an original character meet the Doctor's fourth incarnation. I intend to have him meet all the incarnations. I also make references to an earlier story involving them which can be found In the The TOC Files titled "Time and Tide". You don't need to know what happened there to follow this. Enjoy!
Disclaimer The Doctor, Fitz, and the TARDIS belong to the BBC. Alan and Ryan Kelly, and Shannon Flynn are mine.



Thief of Time
Procrastination is the thief of time---Edward Young, "Night Thoughts"



Alan looked over at the others as soon as they arrived. "OK, are we all set on what we're supposed to do?"

"Blend in until you find the woman who saved your life," commented his twin, Ryan.

"I understand why you want to find Amanda," replied Shannon, as she pushed her red hair our of her face, "but why did you bring us?"

"This was our first trip together, that's all. I just thought it would be interesting to come back after all that's happened."

"Only you would want to relive that." Shannon looked at the two brothers. "I felt like I was in the middle of a tug-of-war between you two."

"I'd like to think I have better control now," remarked Ryan

"So do I," grinned Alan. "So, are we ready to go see Port Royal?"

"Sure thing."

Making sure they looked proper for the 1600's with non descript shirts, pantaloons, and boots, they headed into Port Royal Jamaica, an infamous town and safe haven for pirates.

As it was evening, they saw many people dressed for a night out and felt grossly underdressed. "Shouldn't we have picked something more suitable?" asked Shannon as she fingered her plain dress.

"I didn't realize there would be a gala," defended Alan.

Ryan spotted a dark alley and dragged the others over. "Now, if I remember how this works, we just have to think of the type of clothing we want and the machine takes that into account. Yes?"

"Something like that, yes," answered Alan.

They each thought of formal wear and the clothes they wore shimmered and changed to a gown for Shannon and evening jackets for the brothers. "I have to ask Gil how this works," Ryan muttered in reference to the inventor of their machines.

"Gentlemen?"

They stood on either side of her and took an arm, escorting her to the mansion where everyone else was going.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The new governor of Jamaica looked out over the finest of Port Royal society. Most of them had questioned his appointment and recent knighthood, some even quite vocally, but that didn't stop them from eating his food or drinking his wine. Only a short time ago his name would have spread terror through the streets. Now? Doubtfulness and derision. He needed to prove he had made a clean cut from his past. There was one way to clear any doubts and that was to bring in the pirate known as Captain Wildfire, a name his own crew had given the blackguard months ago.

The governor spared himself a glimpse in the mirror. His wig was properly curled and lightly powdered, his mustache and beard neatly trimmed, and his clothes were of the most recent and highest fashion. He smiled inwardly. He had always had a fondness for fashion. It had made him the subject of many jokes, though none would dare to say so within his hearing. Now, his clothes fit in. He was respectable and he'd make these people see that.

A flash of red caught his eye and he sought it out. A woman who had her hair done with little or no artifice was rare. Was she so sure of herself that she needed no curls or jewels to adorn it? He approached and saw she wore a simple gown of deep forest green with lace trim. Her only item of jewelry was a simple medallion worn on a chain about her delicate neck. She was deep in conversation with two men who had their backs to him. She looked up when she heard his footsteps and he was struck by a sense of familiarity. The two men then turned and it was his turn to be surprised.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alan turned and saw Captain Henry Morgan, feared all over the Caribbean until he-and the British Navy-caught him. "Hello Captain." The little snippets of conversations he had heard suddenly made sense. "Or should I say Acting Governor?"

"Kelly." Morgan then looked at Shannon. "And this is your sister. Looking lovelier than I remembered, m'dear."

"You are too kind, governor," Shannon replied, a sarcastic tinge to her voice as she dropped a curtsey. She stood and glared at the man who had been her captor.

"And who is this?"

"Ah, forgive my manners. Captain Henry Morgan, allow me to introduce my brother, Ryan Kelly. Ryan, this is Henry Morgan, acting governor of Jamaica."

"An honor, sir. I've heard so much about you." Ryan shook his hand like any admirer would.

Morgan looked at the newcomer. Another one? The Fates are surely laughing at me tonight. "Why were you not with your brother and sister when I met them last?"

"I was engaged in other pursuits," Ryan answered after a slight pause. Morgan had met him before, though the man wouldn't remember as he had a different face then, and name.

Alan eyed the throng, gauging the reactions of the people. "Seems you have a number of supporters," he remarked.

"A number of diners, more like. They still don't trust me and think I held some sway over the king in order for this appointment. However, he knows I have experience in this area of the world, and with the Spanish acting up again, he sent me."

"It takes a thief to catch a thief, eh?" said Shannon.

"Perhaps." He looked at them. "I'm glad you are here. I had tried to reach you, but no one knew where you disappeared to."

"You tried to reach us? Why?"

"You are the reason I am here. If you hadn't caught me, I could be dead or rotting somewhere."

"Yeah, well, it's thanks to Wildfire that we even caught you and won the fight when we did."

Morgan became serious again. "I'd like to speak with you tomorrow. Where are you staying?"

"We only just arrived," said Ryan. "We haven't got rooms."

"Then you shall stay here. I'll have rooms prepared. Enjoy yourselves." He walked off into the crowd.

"Well, that was interesting," said Shannon. "What brought that on?"

"He's taking this governor thing seriously. I can't believe how well he accepted our presence here," said Alan. "I thought he would have wanted to kill us."

"What he said was true," put in Shannon. "We are responsible in a way for him even being here."

"Did you see the look on his face when you mentioned Wildfire? I think that's what made him clam up."

"Yeah, you're just impressed that he's still that scared of you."

"You've got to admit it's amazing that he's still this affected from only after one encounter."

"I wonder what he wants to talk about," mused Shannon.

"We'll find out in the morning." Alan finished his wine. "Let's mingle, shall we?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following morning Shannon woke to the morning sun streaming through the windows of her room. The bed was so luxurious; she didn't want to get up. She was in Jamaica after all, a vacation of sorts. Why did she have to get up? Then she remembered that Morgan wanted to talk to them about something. She got up quickly and, after using the chamber pot, changed into a pair of black trousers, an oversized white shirt, and boots. She tied her hair back with a slim piece of ribbon then checked her reflection in the mirror. She may have looked prettier in the dress, but this outfit was more functional. She left the room and met the others in the hall.

"How did you sleep?" Ryan asked her.

"Wonderful."

"Morgan should be downstairs. Let's see what it was he wanted to talk about." Alan led the way downstairs.

He entered the dining room first and greeted his host. "Good morning, captain."

"Good morning, Mr. Kelly. I trust you slept well." He motioned for Alan to take a seat.

"Like a baby. I'd like to thank you for letting us stay the night."

"Yes, well, I did have ulterior motives." From the hall he heard a laugh that nearly chilled him. He had heard that laugh once before when the Satisfaction had been attacked. He looked to the door expecting to see his nightmare but only saw Kelly's brother and sister.

"Good morning, sir," said Ryan.

"Governor, is there something wrong?" questioned Shannon.

"No, I'm fine, thank you." He shook his head to clear the memory. He looked at Shannon's outfit. "Why the change, Miss Kelly?"

Shannon smiled. "I find that trousers are easier, my lord, especially when with my brothers."

"Yes, I can imagine that. If you would like to help yourselves to breakfast, I'll explain my proposal." He watched as they loaded their plates and filled their glasses. "I need your help in freeing the seas of a pirate."

Alan nearly choked on his eggs. "You need our help to get rid of a pirate?"

"What about the navy ships you can request?" put in Shannon. "We aren't professionals."

"You brought me in so I thought you'd be the best to bring him in."

"And who is this pirate?" questioned Ryan.

"Captain Wildfire."

It was Ryan's turn to choke. "Wildfire? But he's...he's..."

"Notorious and deadly, I know. I've sent many a ship after him already and they've all been destroyed."

"Tell us more about him," said Alan. "We only had that one encounter."

"As have I, but he has become more active in recent months. He has attacked ships of all flags that come within his path, as well as attacking villages and ports in the Caribbean. No one has been able to catch him, let alone arrest him."

"So there is no one who knows what he looks like?" asked Shannon.

"Aside from us in this room and some of the crew of the Satisfaction, I don't think so. At least none that have come forward."

"Too scared or dead," stated Ryan.

"Exactly."

"And you expect the three of us to go up against him?" Alan was incredulous.

"You have the experience. Besides, you're the only ones who have beaten him." Morgan looked at the three of them, waiting for an answer.

"Well, we did beat him," said Shannon with a sly glance at Ryan. "And perhaps have some inside knowledge on how he works."

Ryan grinned. "I would agree to that. Could be an interesting adventure."

Alan faced Morgan. "I guess we're going."

"Wonderful. I have a crewed ship waiting in the harbor." He stood.

"You knew we were going to accept, didn't you?"

"You are born adventurers and I knew you could not resist a challenge." He smiled. "When you're ready, I'll take you to the ship."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the roar of the waves, the tall blue box materialized. One of the doors opened and a man who looked to be in his early thirties stepped out and breathed deep. "What wonderful sea air." He wore a dark green velvet jacket with tan trousers and his light brown hair fell in soft curls to his shoulders. But he, more than anyone, knew that appearances were deceiving.

"C'mon, Fitz!" he called back into the TARDIS. "You said you wanted to experience Earth's past without worry of war and I think I've managed that quite well."

A younger man joined the first and looked to be in his late twenties. He wore dark trousers and a collared short-sleeve shirt. He slung a jacket over his shoulder and squinted in the bright sun. "A bit of a tropical paradise, eh, Doctor?" He looked around, taking in the surf, sand, and lush vegetation. "Unsullied beaches, willing native girls, and no wars hanging over your head."

The Doctor shook his head at Fitz's simple needs. "Most likely all the natives are enslaved under one colonial power or another and there might be a skirmish or two as they stretch their muscles."

"One out of three, Doctor. We need to improve those odds."

The Doctor looked at Fitz's clothes. "I thought I told you to change into something appropriate?"

"I did. This is perfectly appropriate for Jamaica."

"In the 20th century, not the 17th. The TARDIS wardrobe will have something for you."

Fitz trudged back into the TARDIS and emerged fifteen minutes later wearing dark brown britches, a loose white shirt, and black boots. He had a matching jacket slung over his shoulder. "That better, Doctor?"

"Much. We don't need to draw attention to ourselves when most of the town is armed." The Doctor made sure the TARDIS was locked and the two men headed into Port Royal.

The streets were loud as the merchants going about their business competed with the patrons of the town's many pubs. This amazed Fitz even more so than his journeys with the Doctor to distant planets in the future. Those were just so fantastic that if he hadn't been there, he wouldn't have believed it. This, on the other hand, had already happened. It was history. He smiled. It looked like something out of those films his mother liked. His smile vanished.

A few catcalls caught his attention and he looked up to see scantily clad women showing their wares. "In broad daylight?"

"During the war with Spain, the buccaneers acted as privateers for the British Crown and Port Royal became the headquarters for raids against the Spanish. After the raids, the privateers would come in and squander their money on women and drink. When the money was gone, they were off on another raid." The Doctor warmed to his topic. "Now with the war over, the plantation owners saw they could make more money with the use of slaves and looked down on Port Royal. The new Lieutenant Governor also wanted to see the end of the 'immorality', which is rather ironic as he was once rather notorious himself." They stopped at the wharf and looked out at the ships in the harbor. "Soon, this will all be just a memory."

A clattering of hooves on the packed earth made them turn and get out of the way. A large open carriage approached. Inside was a flamboyant looking man and three lesser people, one of which was a woman. They stepped down and laughed with the rich man. "Who is that, Doctor?"

"That is Captain Sir Henry Morgan, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica and one-time pirate. I don't know the others." As the group passed where he and Fitz were standing, he got a better look. "I do know one of them," he said in surprise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The three travelers stepped into the open carriage. Alan and Ryan took a seat facing the rear leaving Shannon to sit beside Morgan. She hadn't had much chance to sightsee on her last visit-being press-ganged onto a pirate ship kind of ruined things-so she took it all in.

From his position opposite, Alan watched Morgan the governor and could see only a few traces of Morgan the pirate. He smiled and waved at the people in the street, calling out greetings when he knew them by name.

A carriage approached them from the front. All Alan could see was the horses and driver. "Sir Henry, I was hoping I would see you today," said a lady's voice. "I want to apologize for my missing your gala last night due to an indisposition."

"In your condition, that is expected. Have you had any word of your husband?"

"No, Sir Henry. I was wondering if you had received any dispatches regarding his ship."

"I'm sorry to say I haven't. However, a ship is being prepared to go after Wildfire at this very moment." He motioned to the others. "Allow me to introduce the 'officers' of her crew, so to speak. This is Shannon, Ryan, and Alan Kelly. I've asked them to embark on this endeavor, as they are the only ones who have beaten the man."

The woman leaned forward and Alan could see her. It was Lady Amanda. She looked absolutely wonderful. She hid her stunned expression well. "Mr. Kelly and I are already acquainted, Sir Henry."

When she didn't elaborate further, Alan felt the need to. "She kept me out of prison and helped me to convince the Navy of my story." He then looked at Amanda. "I take it that the good captain is the missing husband in question."

"Yes. He went out after Wildfire a fortnight ago and there has been no word. I fear the worst."

"We'll do our best to find him for you," Alan promised. "After all, I do owe you my life."

"Thank you, Mr. Kelly."

"You must get home and rest, Lady Amanda. The matter is in good hands," said Morgan.

"I shall. A pleasure to meet you," she said to Ryan. "And to see you again, Miss Kelly." She told the coachman to drive on.

"I should have realized you knew the lady," commented Morgan. "Hargraves is not an easy man to convince, yet he treated you as an equal. Only Lady Amanda could have persuaded him to let you go along."

"Even so, he was still a little hesitant," said Alan as he remembered the officer's reaction to his claims.

"So where is this excursion taking us?" asked Shannon. "Where has Wildfire been seen?"

"I'll have the first officer fill you in on the details."

"We're not taking a position away from anyone, are we?" asked Ryan.

"He will be glad to see you." Alan looked at Morgan questioningly. "After all, you have faced Wildfire and survived. It will be a great boost of morale for the crew."

They turned the corner and were on the quayside. Workers went about their business unloading skiffs for the different merchants in the area, shouting at each other in a myriad of languages. The smell of fish and horse droppings mingled to make Shannon gag.

Ryan noticed and grinned. "Don't worry. Soon it'll just be fresh sea air."

Yeah, and a crew who probably thinks 'bath' is a dirty word. She smiled weakly.

"It does take some getting used to," agreed Morgan. He handed Alan his telescope. "Your ship is out there."

Alan took the spyglass and scanned the harbor. The name of one caused him to do a double take. "It can't be."

"What?" asked Shannon.

Alan lowered the telescope. "It's the Satisfaction."

"Really?" She looked at Morgan. "Your old ship?"

"What better way to say you are working for me?"

"It is most definitely an honor, sir, to captain your ship."

"But you already have, Mr. Kelly, last time you went after Wildfire."

Morgan walked with them to one of the many boats waiting to ferry passengers. "This is where I wish you good luck."

"You're not joining us on the Satisfaction?" asked Ryan.

"It would not look good for me to do so, Mr. Kelly. People would get the wrong impression."

"One that could ruin a possible future in politics," commented Alan.

"Exactly." He shook them each by hand. "I appreciate what you're doing for me. When you return, I'll hold the largest gala to celebrate your victory."

"Let's hope that trust is not misplaced," said Shannon as she stepped into the rowboat.

"I strongly doubt it is. Godspeed, my friends."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Morgan's carriage drove away, Fitz headed for the dock. "C'mon, Doctor. Let's go."

"Fitz, wait. That ship was crewed by pirates loyal to Morgan. I don't want to strand us there without knowing what's going on."

"But you said you knew one of them."

"I do. All the more reason to be cautious. Alan Kelly was considered a hero in his time and there was a purpose to every mission. He wouldn't undertake something like this lightly."

"So?"

"So we try to learn what's going on. And when you want to learn from the locals..."

"You go to the local." Fitz grinned. "I think I'm gonna like this part."

The Doctor and Fitz entered one of the many taverns and found a table. The Doctor sat down as if he was having high tea at Fortnum and Mason's. He had the unique ability of acting like he belonged everywhere he went that Fitz found amazing and irritating at the same time. The patrons gave them a few harsh looks then whispered among themselves. Not soon after a very pretty barmaid came over. "And how can I help you, fine sirs?"

"Two pints of ale and something to eat. What do you suggest?"

"We have some fine beef pasties, said to be the best on the waterfront."

"Splendid!" beamed the Doctor. "Don't you agree, Fitz?"

"Oh, yeah, splendid," Fitz agreed, pulling his eyes away from the barmaid.

"Two pints and two pasties, my dear, and we'll get along like wildfire."

An unnatural hush settled over the room and the Doctor pretended not to know what he said.

"What's the matter?" asked Fitz. "It's only an innocent remark."

"You bein' new to the islands wouldn't know that 'wildfire' is not a word used lightly here," said a reedy man at the next table. "Wildfire is a pirate who attacks any ship, no matter what flag they fly."

"Any ship? Even passenger ships?" Fitz turned to face their neighbor.

"Especially those," added another man, joining the conversation. "More chance of good loot that way."

"Then my friend and I were lucky to have made it safely," said the Doctor. "But if the man is so notorious, why haven't we heard of him?"

"Would you want it put 'round that there is a madman out there attacking ships without rhyme or reason?"

"No, I suppose not." He leaned forward in his chair. "Tell us more."

"I think the first time was when he attacked the Satisfaction. That weakened the crew for the British navy and that's the main reason they got Morgan." The man drained his pint. "For some reason the crew got permission to go after Wildfire and headed off to the Bahamas."

A third man took up the tale. "The story goes that there was a brother and sister on the crew. The brother was shot an' fell overboard and the sister was discovered. Anyway, Wildfire took the girl and the brother was with the navy. 'E got the navy cap'n to let 'im take the Satisfaction to go after Wildfire and get 'is sister. They changed direction for Florida and found Wildfire's ship."

The first man continued. "The Satisfaction fired on Wildfire's ship and the man dove into the water and swam over to the ship and climbed the stern and saved his sister. He then began to attack from within and soon he faced Wildfire himself. They fought like they knew each other but soon Wildfire had the better of the brother and was about to land a killing blow when the sister fired at him, breaking his sword in half."

"So, what happened to Wildfire?" questioned Fitz.

"'E escaped somehow," said the third. "No one knows 'ow, 'xactly. But now 'e's back and Morgan's takin' it personally. 'E's sent out a number o' ships to get 'im and none 'ave come back."

"You never said why he's called Wildfire," said the Doctor.

"He had a pistol, one that had never been seen before. It shot fire from its barrel and had no trigger."

The Doctor was stunned. Someone here had a laser pistol! He could not show he believed such nonsense. "A pistol that shoots fire? Oh, please. How could you believe such a story?"

The man stared at them. "I was one of the crew. I saw it for myself."

This puts a totally different perspective on everything. "So, what happened to the brother and sister?"

"We dropped them off on Andros Island by some plantation and that was the last I saw of Alan and Shannon Kelly."

The Doctor couldn't help but looked stunned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The skiff pulled alongside the Satisfaction and Ryan clambered up the rope ladder followed by Shannon and Alan. The men on deck stopped what chores they were doing and stared. Seeing a woman onboard, a few muttered curses. A large burly man walked over to them. "What're you doin' here?" he growled.

"We've been appointed to the Satisfaction by Lieutenant Governor Morgan to assist in the pursuit and capture of Wildfire," stated Alan in his most officious tone.

The man looked them over and saw only three upper-class fools trying to play at sailors. It was probably something Morgan was pressured into by those back in London. He gave himself a mental shrug and knew this would not be a good trip. "I'd best take ye to the captain, then."

They followed their guide below decks to the stern where the captain's quarters were located. Shannon took a deep breath as unpleasant memories assailed her.

"You okay?" asked Alan.

"I'll be all right. Thanks."

The man knocked on the door. "Cap'n, we've guests." He sneered the last word.

"Come in, Thorpe."

Thorpe opened the door and let the others in first. The cabin was rather spacious with a large desk as the central focus. There was a bunk against the wall and a few large chests scattered about. It was not as elegant as Shannon remembered, but then, this was a different captain from Morgan. The Satisfaction's captain was seated at the desk taking measurements with a compass from a sea chart. They waited patiently for him to be done.

He looked up from his calculations and Alan grinned in recognition at the thin man. "Jacko!"

Jacko looked up from his charts and stared at the newcomers with Thorpe. Two looked oddly familiar. Then he remembered the brother and sister who had been part of the crew and had saved the ship from a ruthless pirate three years ago. He smiled broadly and walked over to greet them. "Cap'n! Irish! It is you. How long have you been in Port Royal?"

"We got in last night and met up with Morgan at his party. This morning he asked us to help get Wildfire."

"I'm surprised he didn't tell me."

"He didn't know," said Shannon. "He was quite surprised to see us."

Ryan coughed not so subtly.

"I'm sorry," said Alan. "We got so caught up with seeing an old friend that I forgot to make the introductions. Jacko, this is our brother Ryan. Ryan, this is Jacko, our only ally on the Satisfaction last time around."

Ryan shook his hand. "You're the one who helped Alan save Shannon."

Jacko was surprised. "Yes, I was. How did you know?"

"They've told the story so many times, I feel like I was there."

"With Wildfire back, some of the men try to get free drinks in the taverns by telling how they were part of the crew that defeated him," confided Jacko. "Isn't that right, Thorpe?"

"Yes, sir," the big man answered with a grin. "No wonder I didn't recognize you," he told Alan and Shannon. "I pictured you different."

"Sorry if we disappoint," smiled Shannon.

"Don't think you ever could, miss."

"Why don't you see how things are going, Thorpe? We mean to sail with the tide."

"Yes, sir." Thorpe left.

"Let me show you the maps and see if we can track him down."

"Mark where all known attacks have been," said Ryan. "From there, we should be able to find where his base is."

Jacko took out a pencil and marked off a few spots. "There were some here in the Bahamas, off Hispaniola, near Cuba, and up near Florida."

The four stared at the marks. "Could be almost anywhere," said Shannon.

"I would think he would have to be somewhere in this general area," motioned Alan as he waved towards the northern Caribbean. He looked at Ryan. "Any ideas?"

Ryan glared at him knowing exactly why he was asked that question. He studied the map a bit closer. When he had been Wildfire for that brief time, he had worked out of the Florida Keys. "Here. It's remote enough, yet within range."

Shannon read the name of the island. "Boca Grande Key. How fitting."

Jacko ignored the sibling barbs and peered at the island and the surrounding sea. "It is ideal. I'll plot a course for it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After getting over the surprise of hearing that Alan had been involved with pirates, the Doctor realized that, with what he knew about the man, it wasn't all that surprising. He was a man willing to jump into any adventure, even if it wasn't his own. He thought back to their other meeting and remembered how he had jumped in to assist when they had landed in the middle of a rivalry between two criminal masterminds. They soon learned that the city was part of a large role-playing game on a pleasure planet in the 40th century, well into the soldier's future. He received a great ego boost when he learned there was a world based solely on his exploits.

Fitz saw the Doctor deep in thought and tried to restart the conversation. "And you're sure this man is the same as before?"

"How can I be when I haven't seen him? As far as I know, the only ones who could recognize him are those of his own crew and those who crewed the Satisfaction that day."

"So, this may not be the same man," reflected the Doctor.

"But who would want to do that?" asked Fitz.

"Someone who doesn't want to worry about building a fearful reputation. It comes with the name."

"That is true," agreed the former pirate. "He would have to sign on a new crew so no one could say he wasn't Wildfire."

"So, he could be one of the former crew," said Fitz.

"Quite possibly," agreed the Doctor. "He would know how the real Wildfire would have acted."

"Why're you guys askin' all these questions anyway?"

At a loss, Fitz looked at the Doctor. "We've been sent by London to check up on a few things here in Port Royal."

"Making sure Morgan doesn't mess up?"

"You could say that," said the Doctor.

"Why don't you just got to Government House and talk with him?"

"He won't act the way he normally would if he thinks he's being watched," put in Fitz. "Besides, we just saw him on the quay sending three people off to one of the ships."

"The Satisfaction," the Doctor supplied.

"Must be getting serious, sending the old girl on a mission like this." The three sat there in silence for a few moments. "I might be able to get you aboard the Satisfaction."

The Doctor looked at their new ally. "And how would you explain our presence? You can't very well tell them the truth."

"The crew could always use more men and a doctor is doubly welcome." He downed the remains of his drink. "We'd better hurry. If I know Morgan, the Satisfaction is under orders to sail on the tide."

The Doctor finished his drink and stood. "Then lead the way, Mr..."

"Matthews." He headed for the door. "C'mon, then."

The Doctor followed, and, after grabbing the pasties from the table, so did Fitz.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jacko lead the way above decks and took his place on the quarterdeck by the rail, motioning for the travelers to join him. He spoke to the assembled crew. "We have been charged with a dangerous assignment, one from which we may not return. There is a pirate out there who has no respect for the laws of our Brotherhood. He attacks any ship that looks rich enough and pillages every shore town. Lieutenant Governor Morgan has directed us to end Wildfire's terror by any means possible."

"We beat him once and we can do it again!" called an older sailor from the rear.

Jacko smiled. "Indeed, we did, and that is why we have been given this task. For you men who were here before, you know who these people are," he said with a glance at the three.
"You new men may have heard of them. Shannon, Alan, and Ryan Kelly." He waited as the names circulated through the crew's memory. "Treat them accordingly." He looked to Thorpe.
"Prepare to weigh anchor."

"Ship to larboard!" called one of the men.

The crew lined the larboard rail and watched as the rowboat pulled alongside. The first to climb up had the tanned complexion of one used to outdoor activities. He spotted Jacko. "Permission to come aboard, sir?"

"Didn't expect to see you on this trip, Matthews," he said by way of greeting.

"Not planning to stay. Just brought two fresh faces for you." He looked back as his two companions clambered aboard. "Dr. John Smith and his friend, Fitz Kriener."

"A doctor, eh?" Jacko was intrigued. "I'm sure your services will be needed before this voyage is through," he told the Doctor. He then looked at Fitz. "And what do you do?"

"A bit of everything," said Fitz with a quick smile.

"I'm sure we'll be able to find something for you to do." Jacko looked at Matthews. "How did you meet them?"

"In the Mermaid. Got talking about Wildfire and mentioned you were on your way. They asked to be on your crew." He headed for the rail. "I'll leave them with you. Safe voyage, my friends!" Matthews climbed down to his waiting boat and rowed away.

As soon as Matthews was clear, the Satisfaction weighed anchor and unfurled her sails.

The Doctor and Fitz stood out of the way and watched as the sailors went about their duties. To Fitz it seemed that they were running about with no direction, yet knew that wasn't the case. When things slowed a little, he went to the rail and watched the coastline.

The Doctor joined him and took a deep breath of sea air. "Have you ever sailed before, Fitz?"

"I was on the Cutty Sark as a kid. Does that count?"

"Sorry to say it doesn't." He smiled. "Wait until you get used to the movement of the ship before you go below." Fitz looked at him questioningly, wondering if he had something planned. "Mal de mer, Fitz. If you don't have a strong stomach, being below decks makes it worse."

"Right." Fitz glanced up at the poop deck where the man that the Doctor said he knew was deep in conversation with the captain and two others. "When are you going to talk with him?"

"Not when we can be overheard. Perhaps later this evening. I think it's time we go check our quarters."

"Sure. If I start feeling queasy, I'll come back up."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From his position on the poop deck, Alan saw the Doctor and Fitz go below. He felt drawn to the older man for some strange, inexplicable reason. It wasn't until Shannon nudged him that he realized he missed part of the conversation. "What?"

"I just wanted your opinion on which route to take," said Jacko.

"As we're not familiar with these waters, I'd say you talk it over with your officers."

"Of course. I'll go do that. You're welcome to stay here or go down to my cabin if you wish." Jacko went down to the main deck where he consulted his men.

Ryan looked after him. "That's what I said, but I guess he needed to hear it from you."

"Sorry if he hurt your feelings," said Alan, "but, in his defense, he doesn't know you and I think he has placed me as the one in charge."

"It's all right," said Ryan. "What was it with you before? You just kind of spaced-out there."

"Sorry. It's about those two new guys. I don't think they're telling the truth."

"Spies?" questioned Shannon.

"I don't think they mean any harm. But there's something about the one in green velvet that is so familiar."

"Where do you remember seeing him?" asked Shannon.

"That's just it. It's not what he looks like that's familiar. It's more his attitude, his poise, his aura, for lack of a better word."

"So, what you're saying is even though you haven't met him before, you've met his type."

"That sounds about right. I just don't know who, where, or when."

"So let's try to narrow the possibilities," said Ryan. "Government? Military? Police?"

Alan thought for a moment, trying to sort out what it was about the man calling himself Dr. John Smith. "No, none of those."

"Why don't we go down to the cabin where we can have a bit of privacy- -"

"Shane! I'm shocked!" teased Ryan.

She ignored him. "Anyway, see if you can do a little mind meld, or whatever it's called."

"Could work," agreed Alan. "Give us some insight and see what he has planned."

The three went down to Jacko's cabin and Alan made himself comfortable in the great chair and concentrated his thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fitz followed the Doctor as he made his way down into the depths. The Doctor then started to move forward to the bow. It was dark and Fitz lost his footing and walked into a box or two. The Doctor kept on like a cat and soon found an oil lamp hanging from a beam and lit it after fumbling through his pockets for a match.

The light illuminated the cabin that ran the width of the ship and almost the whole front end of the ship. Fitz saw some netting hanging from the hull. "Weird place for nets."

The Doctor smiled indulgently at his companion's lack of nautical knowledge. "That'll probably be your bed," he commented.

"What?"

"It's a hammock, Fitz. They leave them down during the day for free movement about the ship." He spotted an opening further ahead and took the lamp with him to explore.

"Hey, wait!" In his urgency, Fitz didn't spot a low-hanging beam. "Ow!"

"Watch out, the beams get lower the more forward you go."

"Thanks, Doctor," said Fitz as he rubbed his head.

He stood in the doorway because the room wasn't all that large. Off to one side was an array of tools whose use Fitz didn't want to contemplate. The Doctor gingerly touched a few and Fitz noticed rust stains. "What is this? Some sort of torture chamber?"

"In a manner of speaking. It's the surgery."

Fitz was horrified. To hear or read about it was one thing, but to see it firsthand was something else altogether. "Then they are lucky you'll be the doctor this trip." Getting no response, he walked into the room and looked the Doctor in the face. He was unblinking, staring forward. "Doctor?"

The Doctor blinked a few times and came out of his trance quickly. "That shouldn't have happened."

"What shouldn't have happened?"

"A psychic visit. Somebody literally tried to get inside my head." He turned and headed back to the main room.

"Do you know who?" questioned Fitz as he followed, not wanting to be left in the dark.

"I have an idea."

Part Two

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dukesfreers
Sep. 5th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, how perfect!!! Fitz, Eight and the Age of Sail. Your original characters are wonderful and I'll certainly be on the lookout for more!

*twirls you*
blazoningpen
Sep. 6th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Thanks! I had a friend who told me he like my Fitz better than the Book!Fitz.

I'll try to put up part 2 tomorrow at some point.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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