They still talk about it, in their little groups. Sometimes they even point at me - as though, with some small part of their minds, they do actually believe that it happened, and acknowledge that I was a part of it. Me; the last survivor; the last one who remembers - who knows - that it really did happen, just as the stories say that it did. That it isn't just a legend. The only one... save him. He's out there somewhere; still alive, still travelling. And he knows that it was all real, too, whatever the rest of the world has come to believe. Every word of those stories; every single, far-fetched word; as true and as real as the world I see before my failing eyes. He knows - because he made it all happen. Magic and terror and wonderment - he brought it all to life. The moment he first fell down out of the skies.


The sails danced and cracked, the wind rising on its way to a full gale. Dusk had fallen, the watch was light, and most of the men were eating by now. That or carousing below decks, for the rum ration was double tonight - a reward after the recent skirmishes. The Governor's ships had nearly got them in the early hours of dawn; had come perilously close to outclassing them; and if it hadn't been for all the long days of practising together; all that time spent fighting as a crew; they would be dead by now, or in irons on the way to shore. Captain Josiah Day was a strict commander of men, but he knew when to go easy with the rules and let the crew relax a little. The Governor's little fleet wouldn't try again yet; and besides, they couldn't fight what they couldn't find. The Dragon had long earned her reputation as the fastest vessel in the Caribbean, and nothing the Governor owned could match her for speed.

"You're not eating tonight, sir?" Turner, one of his officers, was standing at the port rail, gazing out to sea. Ever the cautious type, Turner. Always on the look out for danger. Sometimes Josiah found his watchfulness amusing, but tonight he was more of a mind to encourage it. If it hadn't been for Turner, always on the alert, the Governor's ships might have had the advantage of surprise that morning. Tonight Turner could worry over distant shadows to his heart's content.

"I shall probably go below later." Josiah leaned on the rail as well, looking out to sea. "It could be a wild night. Best to eat before the sea gets too rough, and the stew plasters itself all over the galley."

"Some days, sir, that's the best place for the stew." Turner smiled. "But I doubt it'll be that bad tonight. My hand goes as stiff as a board when we're in for a real storm, but it's just tingling for now. I doubt it'll get too rough."

"Well I hope that your hand is right, Mr Turner. The men deserve their rest every once in a while." Josiah turned to look up at the restless sails. "It'll not be a quiet night, at any rate." A shooting star arched its way overhead, and he smiled at the sight of it. "Well that's supposed to mean good luck, isn't it?"

"What, sir?" Turner also turned to look, and a second shooting star blazed briefly into life. "Oh, is that what you meant? Always thought they were probably good luck, just as long as they don't land on you. Got to land somewhere, after all."

"Only you could think of that." Josiah smiled at the thought, but at that moment a third and a fourth and a fifth fiery trail shone out against the sky. His smile became a frown. "A shower of them. We'd best hope the men don't catch wind of this, or they'll be demanding we put to port and don't set sail again until I've found someone to bless the ship. They're bound to insist that it signifies something."

"There's more of them sir." Turner pointed, and together they watched as the rain of stars came down. "Hundreds and hundreds of them, and so many different colours. I don't like the look of it."

"Worried they might be going to land on us?" Josiah shook his head. "I don't think it works that way, Mr Turner. How many tales have you heard of shooting stars? And how many tales of them landing on people? For all we know, they're not even solid. It might be dust, or nothing but flames that the sea can put out in an instant." Another flurry of stars burst out of the darkness, and he whistled softly. "I don't think I ever saw anything so beautiful. And look at them, going the other way as well. It's as though there were people up there in the sky, throwing the things at each other."

"Well as long as they don't start throwing them at us." Turner looked upwards with increasing trepidation. "Sir, I'll admit it's not hard to be sure above the wind and the sails - but does it sound to you as though there's something else above us? I thought, perhaps an animal, screaming?"

"An animal?" Josiah frowned hard, trying to listen. There was something, certainly. Some strange noise far above his head. He couldn't identify it though, and the more he tried to listen, the more he was sure that it was like no sound he had heard before. No animal that he could think of - no bird. No phenomenon of the weather, either. Very slowly, his hand moved to the pistol that he wore in his belt. "I don't--"

"Look out, sir!" With a mighty shove, Turner pushed him to one side, the pair of them stumbling and falling across the deck away from the rail. Josiah had only a confused view of the world then; just a jumble of images of sail and sky and railing; and he wondered what had so panicked Turner. Only then did he see it - a great burning mass falling down out of the sky; a glowing ball of red and orange and yellow that seemed, for an instant, to fight its own descent. Whatever battle a ball of fire could fight with the pull of the Earth, it did not fight it for long, and with a howling, desperate screech, it smashed down into the sea. Spray - hot, boiling spray - splashed across Josiah and Turner, and sparks skittered across the deck. Then, for a second, there was silence.

"There's another one!" Turner was pointing, and Josiah looked automatically - saw another huge ball of flame descend out of the sky. It crashed into the sea just as its predecessor had done, but further away. Much further. This time there was no scream, no spray of hot water and sparks of fire. Josiah was not sorry. One star falling almost onto his head was quite enough for one day.

"Are you alright sir?" Turner seemed anxious, so Josiah answered him quickly, straightening himself up and standing tall. The men had heard something, and they were coming up on deck now. He couldn't look taken aback - not in front of them.

"I'm fine, Mr Turner. Quite fine." He went back to the rail, determined to make a show of his lack of fear. Sailors could be a superstitious lot, and he didn't want any whispers starting up amongst the crew. "Let's see what we have here, shall we?"

"It's a fallen star, sir. I doubt there's much that we can do with it." Turner joined him at the rail, and, after a moment, so did some of the rest of the men. In a long line they stood there, staring down into the sea at the star that had so nearly sunk them. Except... Josiah frowned. Did stars really look like that? Like strange, metal fish, with stubby fins and curious tails? Didn't stars glow? This had glowed when it was falling, but now the fire had gone; the reds and oranges and yellows had turned to a grey-green-blue, and the only thing left that glowed was the lamp one of the men was holding up over the rail. In its light they could all see the 'star' as it hung below the surface of the water, and then, gradually, floated up to the top. Half a dozen men drew their swords; the officers all drew their pistols. Josiah kept his hand ready upon his, but he left it in his belt for the time being. There was little he could do against a giant metal fish from the stars, even with the finest new pistol that money could buy.

"What is it?" whispered a young sailor somewhere off to his left.

"A bloody curse. Sure to be," answered another. Josiah shook his head.

"It's not a curse. It's not a sign, nor a portent, and I won't hear otherwise." A grating, scraping noise came from the fish, and a good half of the spectators drew back with a collective intake of breath. Josiah alone leaned closer then, as close as he could go without climbing over the rail. With the bravest of his men he stood there, looking over the side of his ship, as the back of the fish slid open, and a man clambered out of its innards. For a second Josiah saw inside the fish, and saw a mass of lights and strange things that glowed; then the man was standing on the fish's back, and the doorway to its secrets was closed. They looked at each other then; some twenty men, most with weapons drawn, all pointed at this man from out of the sky; and him standing there, with a smile that even the rough sea and wild wind couldn't diminish.

"Hey," he said, in a tone that suggested the manner of his arrival was the most ordinary thing in the world. "Any chance of a lift?"


For Captain Jack Harkness, formerly of the Time Agency, and originating - as far as anybody knew - in the 51st century, most days involved a fair degree of trouble. It was an occupational hazard, the way that, for dentists, most days involved a fair degree of teeth. Some days it might be nothing more troublesome than part of his ship refusing to work, on the grounds that it had finally realised he wasn't a Chula warrior. On other days, it might mean that - for example - he spent seventeen straight hours on the run from a squad of furious Ice Warriors, who had taken exception to his entirely coincidental acquiring of a large part of their payroll. It wasn't that he actively looked for such situations, it was just that the life he led had something of a tendency to provoke them. Not that Jack often minded. He had a fast ship, a functional time drive and the whole of Time and space to hide in. If he annoyed the wrong person, chances were he could be gone before things got too dicey. Or so went the theory. The problem was that the theory tended to be something of a law unto itself.

And now here was another dubious situation. Jack had a smile that could disarm most humans - and a fair percentage of other sapient species - so step one, as he stood on top of his stricken ship, was to turn on the smile. Nobody returned it, but nobody fired their pistols, either, so things were still looking up. Or they weren't looking down yet, anyway. Step two was to make a basic evaluation. Rough sea - be a good idea not to stand on top of his ship for very much longer then, in that case, or he was going to wind up getting pitched overboard. Sailing ship - probably pre-twentieth century, though it was best not to jump to conclusions. It was no good behaving like a nineteenth century sailor, only to find yourself in the middle of some twenty-third century historical re-enactment society. So no little tick beside "pinpoint era" yet, then. Lots of weapons, all pointed in his direction - familiar, sometimes tiresome, but on the whole nothing to worry about yet. He let his grin broaden quite naturally, and asked for a lift. You never knew your luck. Don't ask, don't get - he'd been living life that way for years.

"It's some kind of warning, sir." A grimy, well-built sailor with a beard that looked like seagulls could nest in it, glared down at him suspiciously. "A sign. We should let him drown." Jack decided that he didn't like the sailor very much.

"It's not a sign." Another man, tall and sun-tanned, with the sort of billowing white shirt that the heroes in seafaring tales liked to wear, was frowning thoughtfully down over the rail. He looked like the captain; he certainly radiated authority. Jack's smile latched itself automatically onto him. Mid to late thirties, at a guess. Excellent physique, clean-shaven, hair rather charmingly bleached in places from the sun. Certainly worth latching a smile onto, at least if appearances were anything to go by.

"Hey, come on. I'm harmless!" He held his arms away from his body, and performed a somewhat wobbly three-sixty. "See? And I'm getting wet down here. My ship might sink, and I don't swim too good in storms. And it's cold."

"It's not a whole lot warmer or drier up here." The man in the white shirt stared hard at him for several moments, during which the sea seemed to get rougher still. Jack considered climbing back into his ship - it was watertight, so sinking wouldn't necessarily be a problem. He wouldn't even suffocate, as the ship was more than capable of keeping him supplied with air. Stuck in a little Chula fighter, potentially far below the surface of the sea, wasn't much of a cheery alternative to a quick jaunt on a sailing ship, though. He tried raising his eyebrows and looking endearing. Open flirtation, in public, wasn't usually a good idea when you didn't know what century you were in, but damn it, he was getting wet. And it was starting to rain.

"Pull him up." The man in the white shirt moved away from the rail, and somebody threw down a rope. Jack grinned in triumph, and tying one end firmly to his ship, to be sure of not losing it, he climbed up the line and jumped happily onto the deck. It didn't feel any more secure than his ship, and as it turned out it wasn't really any drier - but it did seem less likely to sink. There were still rather a lot of pistols pointing at him though.

"Captain Jack Harkness," he announced, to anybody who seemed likely to want to listen. The man with the white shirt stood nearby, arms folded, his clear grey eyes focused intently on this unexpected guest.

"Captain Josiah Day," he said eventually. "Of the Dragon." His accompanying expansive gesture showed that that was the ship upon which they now stood, as well as indicating nicely that it, and all upon it, were a part of his own kingly realm. "Have you lost your ship, captain?"

"Not if somebody ties the other end of that rope to something, no." Jack gestured back to the rails. "That's my ship. I know it's a little unusual... or that is, if you've never..." He frowned, wishing that the ship hadn't gone into such a wild free fall before crashing. He was completely clueless as to which year he was in, and his researches of late had been almost exclusively geared towards a planned trip to the early scientific era of the Zygon home world - which this most definitely wasn't. He was flying blind. "Perhaps... I don't suppose you've heard of the Wright Brothers? The Montgolfier Brothers? No?" Damn it, just ask, it was usually the quickest way. "Um... look, what year is this, exactly?"

"The year of our Lord, 1735." Josiah had an eyebrow raised, as though in faint amusement. Either he thought that Jack was mad, or he suspected that he was drunk. Neither was a great starting point to a conversation, but both were better than pistol pointing and obvious suspicion. Jack let his smile out to play once again.

"1735?" That was good. Not great, in that it wasn't a year he knew much about, but not bad, either. When you got shot down in Earth's atmosphere, and your ship went spiralling away through Time, there were all kinds of places that you could end up in. London during the Dalek Invasion; New York during World War Four; even an unstable, volcanic nothingness early in the planet's time line. A brewing storm at sea during 1735 was really rather pleasant in comparison. Now with luck he could play it by ear. "Okay... and this would be which ocean?"

"You don't stand like a man who's had too much rum." Josiah was frowning, but there was the faint hint of a real smile now on his face. Jack offered him a shrug.

"I always was steady on my feet." The ship gave a huge lurch as the sea chose that moment to rise and fall quite alarmingly. "Well, in a manner of speaking. Look, could we carry on this conversation sitting down? Maybe somewhere warm and dry?"

"Just now there aren't many places on board that are dry, let alone warm." Josiah was silent for a moment, staring at him thoughtfully, then sighed. "Weapons away, men. He's nothing dangerous to us. And get back to work."

"Captain..." Turner was lurking nearby, still looking uneasy. Josiah nodding in understanding. Of all of them, Turner alone had been with him to see everything that had happened. Turner alone knew that this new arrival had fallen out of the sky.

"It's alright, Mr Turner. I have the situation under control. Just keep us on course."

"Yes sir." Turner shot Jack a hugely suspicious look, then sloped off back to his duties. The rest of the crew were doing likewise, the captain's word enough to make them obey even in such unusual circumstances. Jack still felt that he was under a powerful scrutiny though - some of these sailors apparently had eyes in their pigtails.

"We should go below decks, then, if you want some chance of being dry." Josiah gestured towards the hatch that led down out of the rain and the building wind. Jack nodded.

"Thanks. Um... listen, there was another ship. Like mine, only... well, not really very like mine. I don't suppose you saw it?"

"What I saw could never be described as a ship by my understanding." Josiah's voice carried sharp meaning. "There was something else, yes. Why?"

"Because it's important. Or it could be. If that ship also crashed then I should go after it."

"Should you indeed." Josiah laughed. "My dear captain, for a man who claims to have his own ship, you show a remarkable lack of thought. We are caught in high winds, and we are travelling south west. The 'ship' you mention is behind us, and to the east. It and we are already a considerable distance apart, and getting further all the while. So unless you propose to swim after it, it will have to stay where it is."

"Ah." Jack nodded. "Yeah. I see."

"I take it you have no plans to jump overboard?"

"Not really, no. I guess it can keep." Jack shot a cautious look back, out into the night in the general direction of the other crashed ship. "Or at least I hope it can."

"There was a man aboard it? A friend of yours?"

"No, not really." Who - more precisely what - had been on board that other ship was not something that he could easily explain to a human from 1735. Not without reinforcing Day's view of him as a possibly insane, possibly drunk, heaven-knew-what. He smiled faintly. "More like an enemy. I'd still like to know what happened, though."

"Perhaps, when the weather has become more calm, you could take a boat back to investigate. There are usually some available for lease." Josiah directed him down a flight of steps that was little more than a ladder, and along a rocking, rolling corridor to a large, carved wooden door. A plaque neatly engraved with the legend Captain Josiah F Day held pride of place below a horseshoe nailed carefully to the wood. "My cabin."

"You're very kind." Jack stood aside to allow him open the door, then followed his companion into the cabin beyond. It was grand, though the décor hinted at a degree of making do with the best that was available. A carved wooden bed stood at one end, its coverings obviously expensive, but clearly very old; and the massive desk that dominated the room lacked a suitably imposing chair, or any of the other usual accoutrements. It was almost bare, with just a few maps and a quill pen to fill up the great space.

"Sit down." Josiah gestured indiscriminately at a number of chairs gathered together on the other side of the desk, and himself took up a position on the edge of the desk itself. When Jack hesitated, he folded his arms again, and frowned. "That wasn't a request."

"Point taken." Jack crossed to the nearest chair, wishing that the deck would stand still beneath his feet, and sat down cautiously. It was never his favourite position, to be seated whilst a man with unknown intent stood before him. Josiah Day was not a small man. "You have questions, captain. I guess I can understand that. If you don't mind me asking, though... just what did you see out there?"

"What did I see? I saw stars in the sky that had no right to be there. Stars that flew at each other, and exploded. I saw stars falling, in more colours than I've ever seen before. And I saw you - your 'ship' as you call it - falling out of the sky, apparently on fire, and crashing down into the sea barely further from me than you are now. Who are you, Jack Harkness? I couldn't have this conversation within the hearing of my men, but by God I'll have it now. What are you?"

"Ah." Jack winced. He had rather hoped that nobody had seen his battle, far up in the air, with the other ship. Not that it had been much of a battle - he had been hopelessly outgunned, disorientated from his free fall through Time. The warp he had fallen through had been a side effect of the battle, he was sure, not helped by the lingering unfamiliarities of his Chula ship. He had more or less won over the onboard computer now, and convinced her that just because he wasn't the original pilot was no reason to try to forcibly eject him, but at times the ship itself still seemed to fight him. There was still too much about it that he didn't quite know. And then had been the battle, the chase, more fighting that he couldn't quite match; and a tumble, over and over through a warp that had seemed determined to blind him, as well as rewrite the book on nausea and bafflement. None of which he could even begin to explain properly to Josiah Day. He couldn't readily explain the sky blue jumpsuit that he was wearing, either; a relic from his last port of call, four thousand years into Day's future; or the laser pistol in his belt; or the boots that were noticeably made of a material unlike any Day had seen before. He didn't want to think how much the crew of the Dragon might have seen of the inside of his ship when he had climbed out earlier - as if the look just of the outside wasn't outlandish enough in their eyes. This was the sort of disaster he had had to write essays about when he had first been in training as a Time Agent.

"I'm waiting." Josiah was not the sort of man to fob off with glib answers; Jack was a good enough judge of character to see that. He smiled awkwardly.

"I'm a man just like you," he said in the end, easing his smile into something more confident, more charming. "Yes, I fell out of the sky, but only because that's where my ship travels. It doesn't go on the water like yours does."

"Ships don't fly," proclaimed Josiah, though there was no unpleasantness in his tone, and his hand did not go to his gun. Jack nodded slowly.

"Here, no. But it's not uncommon where I come from. Birds fly."

"Birds, Captain Harkness, are not made of metal, as your 'ship' appears to be. Metal does not float, and it does not fly. Metal is hard and heavy, and we use it for weaponry, not for ships."

"Yeah." Impasse. He grinned again, letting the unwitting eighteenth century sailor take the full force of the Jack Harkness Charm Offensive. Patent Pending. "Listen, Josiah. Can I call you Joe?"

"My name is Josiah." Day had an eyebrow raised. Whether or not his suspicion was increasing was impossible to tell, but clearly he was intrigued to see where this was heading. Jack shrugged.

"Josiah. Okay, if you prefer. What's a pair of syllables among friends, right? Look, I know you're suspicious, and maybe you have every right to be. A ship falls out of the sky and nearly sets your own ship alight, and you don't have a clue who I am. In your shoes, I guess I'd be suspicious. But whatever you're thinking, I'm not it."

"You don't know what I'm thinking," pointed out Josiah. Jack nodded.

"True. But I can guess. I'm not a magician, and I'm not an angel, or anything like that."

"My dear Captain Harkness." Josiah straightened up, stepping away from the table and heading for a cupboard. "That you might be an angel was the last thing on my mind. I'm fairly certain that angels don't crash into the sea in flames - unless they've been thrown out of heaven. I reserve judgement as to how much magic that you do or don't possess, but I am becoming increasingly certain that you are completely human. Just not necessarily completely sane." He opened the cupboard, revealing a collection of bottles and glasses, carefully packed against the rough seas. "Drink? I have rum of course, and some wine. Rather a rough red I'm afraid, but it doesn't taste too bad if you don't think about it too much."

Jack grinned. "Rum would be great. I like rum." It carried some very pleasant memories of the last time he had drunk the stuff; on a Cuban beach in 1927, with a pair of local women who didn't speak a word of English. They had been so delightfully eager to teach him Spanish that he hadn't bothered to tell them he already spoke it more or less fluently. Inez and Victoria. The perfect accompaniment to any bottle of alcohol. "Does this mean I'm welcome on board?"

"We're out at sea, with a high wind and high waves, Captain Harkness. This is not the best time or place for you to try causing trouble, so yes, you're welcome on board. Only a fool would take on an entire crew on his own. And since it's my policy never to leave a man in distress when there's something I can do about it, I was happy to pick you up whoever you are. Just remember that at the first sign of trouble it's easy enough to toss you over the rail, and it's never pleasant to drown."

"Point taken." He stood up, crossing over to the drinks cabinet with a swagger specially designed to prove that he was steady on his feet once again. The ship rolled beneath him, and he grinned triumphantly. "Does this mean I've found my sea legs?"

"I don't know. We'll see how you do once you've drunk a few measures of this." Josiah handed over a large, rather beautiful crystal goblet filled to the brim with dark rum. Jack raised an eyebrow.

"Are you trying to get me drunk, Josiah?"

"I can't imagine why I'd want to do that." The sailor returned to his desk, this time sitting down in the chair behind it. "A toast, captain."

"It's Jack, and I'll toast whatever you want." He raised his glass, smiling happily. "Is it the king or the queen just at the moment? There's been a lot of them, and it can be hard to keep track."

"You're a strange sort of man, Jack Harkness." Josiah smiled. "But since you ask, it's the king. George II. I was actually planning to drink to the eternal damnation of the Governor of Jamaica, but if you'd prefer to play the patriot..."

"Not necessarily." Jack sat on the corner of the desk near to Josiah. "It seems kind of unfair to drink to someone's eternal damnation when you haven't even been introduced, but then I never did get on very well with governors. Of any kind."

"A common problem in these parts."

"Yeah? Last governor I met tried to have me torn into quarters. He seemed to think it would improve my appearance. Even got as far as tying me to four horses, but fortunately for me they were drunk." He shrugged. "Don't know how that happened. He'd have tried again, but one of them trampled him to death the next morning. I guess it had a really bad hangover."

"Indeed." Josiah held up his glass. "To the eternal damnation of unpleasant governors everywhere, then."

"Hear hear." Jack tossed back the contents of his glass in one swallow, and whistled. "Wow. That's... wow."

"Perhaps you're used to a more sophisticated drink?" Josiah also emptied his glass in one go, though more slowly. Jack shook his head.

"I doubt it." There was little that was sophisticated about an ice bucket full of hyper-vodka and cherries. Rum was certainly quite a bit different when it was bought in bottles from a bar in 1927, though. "Refill?"

"Are you sure that it's not you trying to get me drunk?" Josiah held out his glass, and Jack collected it with an expression of carefully constructed innocence.

"I can't imagine why I'd want to do that." He refilled the glasses. "Another toast?"

"Certainly. Eternal damnation to the Governor of Jamaica?"

"You're a pretty single-minded guy, aren't you." Jack resumed his perch on the edge of the desk. "Actually, I was thinking of being a little more positive this time. Say, to new friends?"

"Friends." Josiah nodded slowly. "I'll always drink to friendship, Jack. Question is, are you a friend?"

"I'm always a friend." Jack held up his glass, ready for the toast. "Or, so long as you don't have a knife at my throat, I'm a friend. Actually, there was that one time..." He flashed a quick smile. "But she was seven feet tall, and the colour of ripe blueberries. She could have had a handful of knives at my throat, I'd still have been friendly."

"You started drinking rum some hours ago, didn't you." Josiah held up his glass as well. "To new friends it is, then. And then we should probably go back up on deck for a while, so that the men can see I'm safe, and that you've not turned into some dreadful monster. Only one of them saw you fall out of the sky, and he's not the kind to spread tales and worry the others, but they'll all be talking and fussing nonetheless."

"It's nice to be talked about." Jack drank the second measure more slowly. "Do they really think I'm some portent of doom?"

"Sure to. Sailors see signs in everything. Most of them have been at sea more or less since they could walk, and the only education they got was from yarns spun by old salts who should have learnt better. I turned to the sea a little later in life. My parents sent me to a proper school, for a time at least. It makes a difference." He emptied his glass. "Or possibly I'm just more easily persuaded by a friendly smile." He stood up. "Come on."

"A friendly smile, huh?" Jack grinned. Now that had been a phrase with potential. He finished his own drink quickly, handing the empty glass to Josiah, who stowed them both away back in their cupboard. The sailor gestured towards the door.

"After you. And be careful. You may be steadier on your feet now, but it's not always an easy task going up and down those steps in rough weather."

"I'll be careful." He had almost commented on having a nice soft landing if Josiah was behind him, but he stopped himself just in time. One could never be too sure with these historical types. Sometimes it was best just to thaw the ice slowly, rather than to break it in one fell swoop. A pleasant possibility suggested itself to him. "I don't suppose we could talk about a change of clothes later? I feel a little noticeable dressed this way."

"Yes, I suppose you do stand out rather." Josiah nodded absently. "We'll see what we can find later on. I have a chest full of clothes, and there's sure to be something in there that'll fit you. You're a little slighter than me, but not much smaller. By the look of things." Jack bit back a retort about comparing sizes later.

"I'd appreciate that. Thankyou." He smiled politely, then led the way out of the cabin, back towards the steps that led up on deck. "This is a beautiful ship. How did you come by her?"

"Spoils of war, you might say." Josiah looked about him with an obvious sense of pride. "She certainly is a fine ship. I'd like to see yours, if I may, Jack. A ship made of metal, that can fly through the air? If it's true it's a wonderful thing."

"Er, yeah." Jack winced slightly. Still - people had been exposed to anachronistic technologies in the past without it doing any harm. Back in his Time Agent days he had once lost a laser gun to a sixteenth century native of Papua New Guinea, and so far hadn't heard tales of any ultra-sophisticated tribes or highly confused archaeologists. If Josiah did have a look at the ship, he wouldn't understand what he was seeing. And what he didn't understand, he couldn't readily talk about, let alone consider copying. "When the sea calms down I ought to check everything out, make sure there's nothing the auto-repair can't cope with. Maybe you can have a look then."

"Thankyou." Josiah looked quite endearingly excited, if confused by Jack's terminology. "I'd appreciate that. And perhaps--" But he got no further, for at that moment from the deck above there rang out a choking scream. It lasted perhaps a second before breaking sharply off, and in an instant all was commotion. There was a thundering of feet on the decking; a chorus of voices yelling, shouting, screaming - and above it all, rising from a low, throaty growl, was a roar that seemed to make the very sea vibrate. Josiah turned pale.

"What in heaven's name...?"

"Oh no." Jack had come to a standstill, one hand on the rail of the ladder, one foot on the bottom rung. "Damn it, no."

"Jack...?" Josiah didn't register the look of understanding that showed on his guest's face. His only concern was in discovering what had terrified his men. Jack looked back at him.

"What?" It dawned on him that he was in the way; that Josiah wanted to get topside quickly; and inwardly he gave a grim little smile. Topside. Great plan. Not that there was any escaping it, even if he had been prepared to let the captain go up there alone. He nodded slowly, and hurried on up the ladder. Josiah was close behind him all the way.

"Captain!" It was Turner, greeting them as they came out of the hatchway, a look of huge relief on his face. Either the appearance of his superior was a tonic for his nerves, or he had feared for Josiah's safety alone with the stranger from the skies. Josiah nodded a greeting.

"Turner. What's happening? I heard--"

"A monster, sir." It wasn't like Turner to interrupt the captain, but he did so now. The fearsome roar rang out again, and somewhere nearby somebody screamed. There was a splash that sounded out above the howling wind and cracking sails, and Josiah's eyes widened.

"Man overboard!"

"There's nothing we can do for him, sir!" Turner grabbed the other man's arm, pulling him away from the hatch, and towards the open deck. The other men were there, fighting each other for the shelter of the mainmast, waving their swords and pistols in the air. Only then did Josiah see what had terrified them, and when he did so, his body seemed to freeze on the spot.

It was a monster, most certainly - he had been about to berate Turner for calling it that, but now that he saw it for himself, he could not fault the name. He had intended to shout at his men for their behaviour, but now he couldn't blame them at all. He could merely stare, and pray that the thing would disappear. Needless to say, it did not.

It was green and scaled and stood on two legs, like some tailless, vertical crocodile. A massive mouth lined with teeth snapped the air, and its two arms, ending in hands that were a mass of claws, swiped wildly at everything that moved. It was twenty feet tall at least, and it seemed to hover, weirdly, in mid air. It didn't look real - it couldn't be real - and yet there was no doubting its presence. No questioning that it really was there. Turner was pointing his pistol at it, but there seemed little chance that it would do any good to shoot the thing with so ordinary a weapon. As if to prove this, somebody fired, but the creature showed no reaction at all.

"It's crazy, sir. We've lost two men to it, but it didn't seem to touch them." A bearded youngster with a tattooed neck stumbled towards Josiah and Jack, pointing to his shirt as he did so. It was flecked with blood. "Henry, sir. This is Henry's blood, and that thing didn't go near him. But you tell me what else could've sliced Henry up? It made a move with its claws, and it got him without touching him. I swear it, sir."

"He's right, sir." Turner had a tremble in his voice, but his eyes were steady and honest. "I saw it. We all saw it. I don't know what that thing is, but it kills without touching."

"No it doesn't." Jack spoke quietly, heart heavy from the downward pull of his spirits. "Not exactly. Listen, Josiah, you have to get your men all together, facing outward. Protect each others backs. I know this thing."

"Now there's a surprise." For an apparently nervous man, Turner showed sudden courage in his anger. "You come out of nowhere, a man of obvious magic thrown out of the sky, and soon afterwards we're visited by some dreadful beast. We should never have brought you on board."

"That's as may be." Jack turned his back on the sailor, concentrating solely upon Josiah. "Listen to me. That thing up there, it's not the real danger. I know you're not going to understand this, but it's just a projection. A hologram. The real thing isn't that big - it's maybe eight feet tall at the most - but it's somewhere near here right now, and that's the thing that's killing your men. What you see now is a distraction, designed to scare you right into the hands of the real beast. I know this thing. I've seen them before."

"A projection? Hologram?" Josiah shook his head, confused. "Jack, this beast has killed two of my men. We have to fight it."

"Fight, yes. But not that thing. It's not real, Josiah. It's nothing more than light sent to make you look the wrong way." The roar rang out again, louder than ever, and several of the men stumbled backwards, away from the towering beast. Jack spun around towards them. "No! Stay together!" The beast roared again, and took a step forward, its huge clawed feet never once quite touching the deck. The men who had run stopped at the sound of Jack's warning, but one of them, with less nerve than the others, began to edge away once again. Jack drew his laser pistol.

"Come back! You don't have to run away from that!" The man carried on backing away, and the monster roared again. A fearful mutter arose amongst the men cowering by the mast, and the huge beast took another step forward. The retreating man bolted at once.

"No!" Jack took a step after him, but was not nearly quick enough. In the blink of an eye a green shape swung up over the rail - a scaled down version of the monster hovering above the deck - and the sailor, looking backwards all the while, ran unwittingly into its grasp. Its huge claws lashed; the sailor's chest split open in a fountain of rain-laden red; then the vast jaws snapped shut on his neck. Jack fired once; a burst of brilliant blue that hit the beast squarely on the shoulder; but it barely seemed to register the hit. With hands and mouth full of its bloodied victim, it swung itself back over the rail and was gone. A second later its giant mirror image was gone as well. Jack slammed his gun back into his belt with all the force he could muster. Not that anger could help that sailor, or the two who had gone before it. Not that anger would prevent the monster's return. It helped him, though. It made him feel as though he still had something to give.

"Has it... gone?" asked somebody. Jack nodded.

"Yeah, it's gone. For now." He turned away from the blood running with the rain across the deck, and looked instead to Josiah. "It's likely to head for wherever there are people. Any large population centre is at risk. Where's the nearest city?"

"City? The closest 'population centre' as you call it would be the town by the docks." Josiah was frowning deeply, all signs of the near playfulness of earlier gone. "Jack, I'm sorry, but I think it's time that you answered a few questions; and I don't just mean ones about your ship, or where you come from. That monster was known to you."

"Yes." Jack looked away briefly. There was no point trying to deny it now, when he had already admitted as much. "It's a Kamon. They're... well it's kinda hard to explain."

"I think that you should try. Was it in the other 'ship'?"

"Yeah. Yeah, it was."

"Then it's here because of you? Did it come after us trying to find you?"

"No." Jack flinched inwardly. "I don't think so. Look, it was following me, yeah. And it's sort of here because of me, but I'm not why it attacked the ship. It just looked for the first people it could find, and I guess this crew was it. Listen, we have to get to shore as fast as we can, and warn the people there. I was hoping that it would have been killed or injured in the crash. It wasn't registering any life signs when we went into the ocean, but I guess that might just have been my instruments malfunctioning." He remembered who he was talking to, swore softly, and changed tack abruptly. "Never mind. Look, that thing likes the sea, and it's got a hell of a speed when it wants it. We need to warn the people in the nearest settlement."

"That's not really an option." Josiah's voice was colder than it had been before. Jack frowned.

"Josiah, maybe you don't understand. Just because it came after us then, is no reason to assume it'll bother with us again. It won't need any more food for a while, so it's just going to get back under the water and swim for shore. Towards the nearest people. We've got to try to get there first and warn them."

"You expect us to walk into town, and tell the people there that a large green monster is going to come ashore and start eating everybody?" Josiah shook his head. "Even if they did believe us, we wouldn't get the chance to tell many of them - if any at all. We'd not get past the harbour."

"We have to try!" Jack pointed towards what was left of the gory stain on the deck where the last sailor had been attacked. The rain had washed much of it away, but a mark of red still remained. "You saw what happened to that man. Your crew saw it happen to two others as well. We've got to get to that town, and warn the people there what might be coming!"

"We can't!" Josiah's fury seemed to burst out of him like an explosion. "Jack, if we sail openly into the harbour we'll be intercepted, or just blasted out of the water before we can get close enough to put ashore. If we anchor out of sight, and go ashore secretly, it'll take hours - too many hours, like enough. And even then we'd be discovered before we could give any warning. We are not welcome in that town, Jack. Take a look at the flag that's flying above your head. Haven't you noticed it? Didn't you wonder at my little toast down in the cabin? And what about when you asked about this ship? Spoils of war, I said. I stole this ship from the Governor of Jamaica when he sent it after me, and it all but battered the deck beneath me to smithereens. Me and my crew fought our way out of the wreckage of our own ship, boarded this one and took it as our own. We're pirates, Jack, and there's not a man or a woman for miles along the shoreline that doesn't know it. Anybody in a uniform will arrest us, and anybody else in that town will turn us in for the reward. We can't warn anyone. Whatever's coming for them, they're on their own. That's how it is."

"Maybe he has a problem with us being pirates." Turner had not put away his sword; none of the crew had stowed away their weapons. He pointed his now at Jack. "He said he was a captain, and I'd like to know what of. Maybe he's from that fleet we ran into early this morning. The ships sent against us by the Governor?"

"You know that's not true, Turner." There was an edge to Josiah's voice, and for a second Turner seemed discomforted. Then he frowned again.

"We still don't know who he is, captain. Seems to me we need to be sure he's not going to try turning us in for that reward himself."

"Yeah, let's talk about trust and rewards and who's at the top of the Most Wanted list. Now's a great time for that, with a monster out there wanting to eat us, along with half the inhabitants of the coastline." Jack looked away, exasperated. "You did just see that thing, right? The big green thing with all the teeth? You can't shoot it. You can't stab it with a sword. Hit it with the biggest cannon balls you can fire, and you might just make it wobble. But hey, what does that matter, when you want to talk about whether or not I like pirates."

"Now is as good a time as any to talk of trust. The monster has gone, at least for the time being." Josiah was watching his guest with shrewd eyes, clearly trying to guess at the truths behind this strange visitor. "Back about your work, men. Keep us as steady as you can."

"Sir..." The young man with the beard, still spattered with the blood of the deceased Henry, looked pale and uncertain. Josiah fixed him with a sharp look.

"Get back about your business, Stephens. All of you. I know that you've just seen something terrible, and I know that some of your friends are dead. Some of my friends, too. We've all been together a long time now, and we'll miss the others. But we still have a ship to run, and a rough sea to get through. You want to reach dry land, and put that creature behind you? You want more rum, and some decent food that's not drenched in salt water? Then get back to work, and see that we make it to shore. You can mourn the others there."

"Yes sir." Stephens turned away, although he didn't look especially encouraged by the captain's words. The other men followed him though, some with more enthusiasm than others. Only when it was clear that his orders were being properly obeyed did Josiah take Jack's arm and lead him back to the hatchway. It felt rather like being put under arrest.

"Answers, Jack." The pirate captain all but pushed him down the ladder. Jack didn't object. He could sympathise with the sudden show of anger.

"I'm sorry about your men," he said, although he knew what a hopeless thing it was to say. It meant nothing. It achieved even less. Josiah didn't even bother to acknowledge the comment.

"You know that beast," he said, as they reached his cabin door. "You brought it with you when you fell out of the sky. What is it? Where does it come from and why is it here? And what was that... that gun you fired at it? Was it a weapon? It looks a little like one, but the way that it fired..."

"One question at a time." Jack still felt rather as though he were in custody, the friendly surroundings of the cabin now taking on something of the atmosphere of a prison cell. Josiah was at least still a friendly guard, but there was more force behind his questions than before; and understandably so. "The beast, as you call it. Like I said, it's a Kamon. As for where it comes from... It's not easy to explain this stuff, Josiah. You can't understand."

"Try me." It was not a forceful demand, but it was a sharp one nonetheless, and it held authority. Jack fell silent for a moment, trying to come up with the simplest explanation; one that a man from eighteenth century Earth might stand some chance of understanding, without hearing too much that he should not yet know. As he had said, it wasn't easy. He sighed.

"The Kamon are genetically engineered." Confuse him with science, and he might forget about asking any more questions. "A race called the Abraxis created them. Nobody really knows why - simple experimentation perhaps. They're not exactly close in their dealings with other races. Anyway, once it was found out how dangerous the Kamon are, the breeding programme was finished, but the creatures didn't like to be contained, and they didn't appreciated being culled. They're intelligent, or at least up to a point. They're not just monsters, anyway. That one was being used as a guard for an abandoned space station..." He trailed off, looking for a better point of reference. "Um... like a... castle. I was on a salvage mission. I thought the place was empty."

"You went in looking for things to steal, and found that there was a guard dog." Josiah was clearly finding the tale hard to follow, but he had picked out the key points easily enough. Jack nodded slowly.

"That's one way of looking at it, yeah. And the guard dog chased me. We fought, and I crashed here. So did it. Like I said, I thought it was dead. I'd have checked, I guess, if I hadn't come on board."

"But it wasn't dead, and now you say that it will kill, and that it can't be stopped." Josiah shook his head. "Perhaps Turner was right, and we should never have brought you on board."

"It wouldn't have made any difference. It's probably not even after me anymore. Right now it just wants to kill and to eat, and Kamons have a particular fondness for the taste of humans. Given all the species that there are in the universe, that could almost be a compliment."

"I'm supposed to be glad that it wants to eat me?"

"Well, no..." He frowned. "Just that... never mind."

"You truly are a strange man, Jack." For a second it seemed as though Josiah might break into a smile, but the softening of his expression never quite happened. "I have to go back on deck, and be with my men. You're to stay here until we reach land. I mean it, Jack. I'll post a guard if need be."

"There's no need for a guard." Jack looked downward momentarily. "I'm not your enemy, Josiah. Really."

"I believe you, I think. A part of me wants to trust you, but the truth is that there are just too many unanswered questions - and then there's that beast. Perhaps you're telling the truth, and it's not here because of you. Who knows? Whatever the truth of it, it's your fault that it's here. Besides, the men don't trust you, and that's what counts right now. So you stay here." He took a step towards the door, then stopped and turned back. "You wanted to change, and I think it's probably for the best. There's a chest over there full of clothes. Feel free to take what you want."

"Sure." This wasn't exactly going the way that Jack had hoped. He tried out a faintly rueful, typically charming smile. "I don't suppose you feel inclined to stay and help?" On his way to the door once again Josiah paused, and again seemed to come within an inch of smiling.

"Jack..." He managed to sound faintly disapproving, though with the smile just touching his voice, then abruptly turned around again and was gone. Jack sighed, watching the door swing quietly closed. Great. Just great. Still, at least it wasn't locked. He wandered disconsolately over to the nearest chair and sat down. It was time to think, to review the situation and examine his obstacles and assets. First, consider the pros. He had a serviceable laser pistol, a fortunately waterproof wrist computer, a good pair of boots, and a chest full of eighteenth century pirate gear to play dress up with. He also had (well, nearly) rather a good looking pirate captain who showed promising signs that he might be willing to play some games himself. That left the cons. He was trapped thousands of years in his own past, with a malfunctioning ship, a gang of pirates who apparently wanted to make him walk the plank, and a ferocious, man-eating alien beast that he had inadvertently brought to Earth and let loose amongst the populace. As cons went, that was really quite a list. Still, he was alive. Given that he had just crashed his ship into the sea after a one-sided dogfight waged through a time warp, that was something to be mildly surprised about, as well as grateful. He smiled to himself. Things weren't so very bad, really - if you ignored the pissed off pirates and the ferocious, man-eating alien beast. He'd been in worse trouble. And if he survived, he probably would be again.

Which, on reflection, wasn't necessarily as encouraging as it might have been.


They anchored in a secluded spot, and put to shore in what was obviously some kind of isolated settlement, with an air of the pleasingly disreputable about its shabby construction. The crew dispersed immediately upon securing the long boats, heading off to their various regular ports of call. Jack saw ragged, salt-caked figures disappearing into countless darkened houses and lean-tos, and felt an air of something approaching relief. Nobody had tried to throw him overboard during the short trip away from the ship, but there had been enough ill feeling in the air to make him suspect that it was only the crew's respect for their captain that had kept them from losing their guest en route. Soon only he and Josiah were left, standing on a short wooden jetty that bristled with fishing boats. The rain had stopped, and the sea now seemed almost quiet, though the clouds threatened more turmoil to come. Jack looked about with interest.

"Going to show me around?" he asked. Not that it would take long, by the look of things. This wasn't a town - it wasn't even a village. It looked more like an accidental accumulation of houses and assorted buildings, dropped here as leftovers after the building of a real colony elsewhere. Josiah nodded slowly.

"If you'd like. Are you still hoping to hire a boat, and go in search of that other ship?"

"Somehow I don't think I need to bother anymore." Jack followed the other man's lead, off the jetty and along a decidedly muddy main street. "Is there anybody here who might deliver a message, though? Somebody we could get to warn anyone who lives along the coast?"

"There may be. But I'd doubt that anyone would believe such a warning, at least before it's too late." Josiah pointed the way towards a misshapen building with a large wooden sign hanging above the door. The words Shark's Tooth Inn were painted across it, and an impressive set of jaws stood proudly on the roof. "I know that you want to warn people, Jack, but I don't see how we're to do it."

"I'm not wanted by the authorities," pointed out his companion. Josiah nodded.

"True enough - perhaps. For all I know you're the most wanted man in these islands. I'm somewhat out of touch with such things. But even so, it's a big jump between getting to the people, and getting them to listen to you. Talk of giant green monsters will just get you thrown into jail in the hope that it'll sober you up."

"You think we should forget what happened, and hope that the Kamon will just disappear?"

"No. But I do think that it's best to find a way of dealing with this that won't lead to one or both of us being locked up. It's been a long time since a man in a prison cell saved a town from disaster." He pushed open the door of the Shark's Tooth Inn. "Come on inside. Have a drink, and meet some of the locals. Tomorrow we worry about monsters. For what's left of tonight, we enjoy ourselves. Sound fair?"

"Having fun always sounds fair." Swallowing his concerns for now, Jack followed him inside, his natural exuberance already more than reasserting itself. A wave of warmth hit him as soon as he crossed the threshold, and with it came the scent of strong alcohol, as well as food that would probably best be avoided. He grinned. Now this looked promising. Somewhere nearby a drunken fisherman was attempting to lead three empty chairs and a bemused looking cat in an chorus of a extremely rude sea shanty, and from another direction came the sound of two men arguing enthusiastically about boots. Josiah clapped his new friend on the back.

"What do you think?"

"I think there should probably be a health warning on the door." Jack trailed after him across a wooden floor strewn with straw and sand, towards a rather crooked bar stained with old drinks and what looked suspiciously like blood. There was a woman standing behind it, dressed in a wildly colourful assortment of clothes, her greying hair standing up all over the place, and her ears decorated with rings clearly of her own design. Massive conch shells dangled from her lobes alongside at least one dried starfish and a tiny ship in a bottle. Her throat was festooned with sharks' teeth, and her wrists jangled with bracelets heavy with shells and small pebbles. Her round, almost impossibly jovial face brightened still further at the sight of Josiah.

"Captain Day!" She seized his hands as soon as he reached the bar, and pumped them up and down apparently through sheer excitement. "Captain Day! It's been... months!"

"It's been about three weeks, if that." He forcibly extracted his hands from hers. "Allow me to present my guest for the evening. Jack Harkness. Don't ask me who or what he is, as quite frankly I don't understand a word of what he says. He does, however, seem to be largely trustworthy."

"Somewhere in there there's something that could be a compliment." Jack, who had been in the mood for such theatrics since changing into some of Josiah's spare clothes, dropped into a flourishing bow. "Captain Jack, ma'am. At your service."

"Captain Jack." A woman's voice, throaty, warm and filled with hints of spice. Whoever she was she had come from somewhere behind Jack, though he hadn't been aware of anybody else nearby. The woman behind the bar laughed fruitily.

"Friend of yours, Anne?"

"No." A hand played across Jack's shoulder. "Not yet, anyway."

"Hands off." With an air of cheerful familiarity, Josiah pushed the caressing fingers away. "You're incorrigible. He's not even had his first drink yet."

"Rum, Celeste." The voice was tantalisingly close to Jack's ear now. He smirked, and using the voice as a guide, brought up one hand to find a face that seemed to be waiting most obligingly to be cupped in his well aimed palm. The innkeeper filled four wooden tankards with rum, and pushed three of them across the bar.

"Rum," she said, as though in indication. Jack felt the still unseen face smile against his hand.

"Thankyou, I will." She almost deserved her own fanfare, as she stalked - prowled might be closer to the word, thought Jack - around from behind him to claim one of the waiting tankards on the bar. His height at least; an ancestry about as varied as was possible in an age when everybody was still one hundred percent human; and dressed in what looked like an extremely well cut, expensive white silk ball gown. She was undeniably gorgeous, and if she, her smile and her impressive dress sense hadn't been quite enough to pique Jack's interest, the bright red sash around her waist, with at least three sizeable knives stuck into it, certainly was. Josiah laughed.

"I suppose I should introduce the pair of you. Jack, this is Anne. She claims to be French, but I'm not convinced. For one thing she doesn't appear to speak any French. Anne, this is Jack. Captain Jack, apparently. So far he's claimed rather a lot of things, but as yet I haven't bothered trying to disprove them."

"My pleasure, Captain Jack." Anne raised her tankard in a toast, then drank the whole lot down in one long, steady draught. "Drink me under the table, and everything is free for the evening. All the rum, all the food and all the girls that you want." She grinned, looking suddenly dangerous. "But if I drink you under the table... well, there'll be forfeits. Probably quite a few of them."

"You don't have a hope, Jack." Josiah picked up another of the tankards, and took a swig from it. "There's not a man on my crew who hasn't agreed to that deal, and not one of them has beaten her yet. I've seen her take on more than one challenge in a night, and still be on her feet at the end of it. The alcohol hasn't yet been brewed that can lay Anne out on the floor."

"Really." It might have been the heady company, or perhaps the sheer feel of the place. It might have been the after effects of the adrenalin burst he had got from seeing the Kamon earlier, or possibly it was just something to do with his new swashbuckling attire, but Jack was in the mood for games. She was more or less his size, and had a reputation for being unbeatable. He, on the other hand, had been decidedly light-headed after just one goblet of rum back onboard the Dragon. It didn't, on the face of it, seem like the most ideal competition. A responsible man would back away, he knew. A responsible man would still be trying to find a way to warn everyone of the danger from the Kamon. A responsible man might do any number of things. Jack, on the other hand, was already reaching for the last tankard of rum; was already drinking it down in one clumsy rush; was already realising that he didn't have a hope in hell of winning the competition. He slammed the empty tankard down on the bar, and grinned winningly at the gorgeous woman in the highly improbable ball gown.

"Deal," he said, and could have sworn that the room was already starting to spin.


A thin grey glow signalling the imminence of dawn broke gently into Jack's consciousness, and he opened one eye cautiously. As far as he could tell he was still in one piece. It took him a moment to stretch successfully, but once he had realised that he wasn't actually paralysed, but just attempting to move somebody else's legs rather than his own, everything seemed to sort itself out. He mumbled indistinct swear words and insults in his own general direction, and made something close to his four hundred and twelfth vow to turn tee-total. His head swam as he tried to sit up, so he lay where he was, on his back, and watched the ceiling spin in idle circles. Flies buzzed sluggishly in a lazy heat, and somewhere nearby, unfamiliar birds were singing their morning songs. He thought that he heard a horse neighing, and possibly the sound of distant sheep. Beyond that there was nothing but the silence of early morning. He could almost have been the only person awake for miles around. Certainly the other people here with him were dead to the world, hopefully just in the metaphorical sense. Waking up in bed with actual dead people was definitely a step too far on the grim side. He frowned. Hang on. Trying to stretch somebody else's legs that he had thought at first were his own... Sprawled in bed with at least one other person... That sounded interesting, and certainly worth investigating. Telling his head to behave itself or risk suffering his wrath - not that he was entirely sure what he would do to it if it did misbehave - he sat up slowly and looked around. Okay, well that was certainly an interesting tableau. Damned if he could remember how it had come about, though. In future, when he showed signs of getting drunk, maybe he should think about taking notes.

He was lying on a large bed that almost completely filled a white-washed room - an upstairs one to judge from the view out of the window. A parrot stood on the room's one other piece of furniture - a hugely ornate, carved oaken chair - and when Jack sat up it glared at him balefully, then burbled something about eternal damnation to the Governor of Jamaica. A popular toast in these parts, then. Jack flashed it a cheerful grin, then went back to trying to work out how the hell he had wound up wherever exactly he was.

He was naked, except for the wrist computer - and, he soon realised, a silk cravat tied ostentatiously around his neck. He was fairly certain that he hadn't put it there, but then given how little he remembered, that didn't really mean a lot. Josiah was sprawled face down next to him, in a similar state of undress, though for some reason he was still wearing his boots. Since this had presumably required him to take his clothes off and then put his boots back on, Jack could only begin to guess at what they had been doing. On the other side, annoyingly fully dressed, was Anne, one hand still closed around the neck of a bottle of rum. At the bottom of the bed, dressed in a pair of sky blue trousers and nothing else, was a man that Jack didn't recognise, locked in the enthusiastic embrace of a very pretty blonde girl in a rather crumpled green dress and a large feathered hat. Jack had no idea who she was either, though the parrot hopped onto her head in a merry enough fashion, and pecked thoughtfully at the feathers in her hat. Either he knew her, then, or he had known the source of the feathers. For his sake, Jack hoped it was the former.

"Excuse me." Clambering as carefully as he could over Josiah, Jack managed not to fall out of the window, then padded unsteadily around the bed. His head had ceased to swim, and the nausea had turned now into a sense of faint regret. Either he and Josiah had been too drunk to do anything last night, or they had done something, but he had been too drunk to remember it. Either way, it seemed a hell of a waste of a good bed and a lack of clothing. Trying not to wake anybody up, he successfully hunted out his shirt - hanging half out of the window - his trousers - hanging over the banister just outside the door - and his waistcoat, which for some reason was hanging over a painting on the landing. His boots were nowhere in sight, but his belt, with his laser pistol fortunately nearby, lay at the top of a set of shiny wooden stairs that he guessed led down to the bar where Celeste had served him so much rum the previous night. He strapped the belt on, stuck the pistol into his shirt, and, more or less fully dressed set off in search of his boots. The silk scarf refused to be unknotted, so he left it where it was, and hoped that it looked rakish. He couldn't find anything at all mirror-like, but then that was probably just as well. The way he felt just now, if he looked in a mirror his reflection would like as not run off in a fit of dismay.

"Well well well. Captain Jack." Celeste greeted him as he came down the stairs. She was busy clearing up the bar, energetically scrubbing tables that remained as stubbornly stained as they had been before she had attacked them. "I didn't think I'd be seeing you before noon."

"What I lack in rum-drinking abilities, I make up for in speed of recovery." He smiled ruefully. "I remember coming in here, and I remember a challenge. Everything after that is a total blur. There were forfeits, right?"

"One or two, yes. Are the others conscious yet?"

"Only the parrot. It looked like it was trying to eat a blonde girl. Should I have stopped that?"

"No, I shouldn't worry about it. That's Kate, and she claims that the parrot is tame. So if it eats her she only has herself to blame." Celeste beamed at him. "Can I get you anything?"

"I don't think so thanks." He had a burning desire for a bowl of Rice Krispies, which aside from making no sense whatsoever, was about as unobtainable in 1735 as a replacement power pack for his laser pistol. "You haven't seen my boots, have you?"

"Boots?" She peered at his feet, obviously only just realising that they were bare. "Oh. They're yours then?"

"Mine...?" He must have been frowning stupidly, for she took pity on him, and smiled rather like a mother looking fondly at her son.

"Outside. On the roof. And no, I don't know how they got there. It's not uncommon, though, so like as not it's one of Anne's forfeits. One of the few that don't involve songs and swapping clothes. You have a good voice, by the way."

He smiled. "Thanks."

"Not so sure about your choice of song, but it was clean, which is rare around here." She frowned. "At least, I think it was clean. What exactly is a... Drashig?"

"It's an animal. Quite a rare one." He flashed her a bright smile, and hoped that she didn't ask any further questions. "I'm going to see about getting my boots back. I guess I'll see you in a bit."

"Be careful. And don't fall, or Josiah may never speak to me again." She waved a bottle of rum. "I'll have a drink waiting for you when you get back."

"Thanks." Did these people drink nothing else but rum?! If he stayed in 1735 much longer he was going to be needing a new liver. Smiling noncommittally, he wandered out of the front door, and surveyed the roof of the bar. Celeste had been right; those were definitely his boots. They were standing inside the huge jaws that stood atop the building, and as he gazed up at them some small part of the previous evening's festivities came back to him. He remembered taking the boots off, and trying to throw abandoned corks into them; although how they had gone from there to the mouth of a decapitated shark was anybody's guess. Rum - the great mystifier. Now all he had to do was work out how to get the blasted things down.

"I don't suppose you feel inclined to jump?" he asked the boots. They didn't answer. Neither did the decapitated shark, although it did look faintly smug. Jack would have glared at it if he could have been bothered. Instead he turned around, and wandered disconsolately down to the little wooden jetty where they had come ashore the previous evening. It had been crowded with fishing boats then, he remembered, though now it was all but empty. The fishermen were all out at sea, he supposed. He cupped his hands over his eyes and scanned the water looking for them, wishing for his binoculars. Somewhere out there, for all he knew, was a vicious creature that wanted nothing more than to kill and eat as many humans as it could. He could only hope that it was still out there, and hadn't yet come to shore. If it had, nobody was safe.

"H-he... help... help me..." The words were so faint that at first they didn't filter into Jack's consciousness. He stared out to sea, still looking for far off fishing boats, and thinking about his own ship. Sooner or later he should go back aboard, and see for himself that the auto-repair system was doing its job, so that he might stand a chance in hell of getting away from the eighteenth century and back to some semblance of normality. He might not have a home, nor really even a Time of his own anymore, but the Caribbean in 1735 was not a place that he wanted to stay in forever. The voice called out again, a little louder this time, a little more plaintive; and he frowned.

"Is there somebody there?" He couldn't see anybody. A bird flew low overhead; something crab-like wandered about in the sand nearby; small waves splashed against the support struts of the jetty. "Hello?"

"Help..." A cough; the splutter of somebody with a mouth full of water. Jack dropped onto his hands and knees and looked over the edge of the jetty. A dark shape loomed there, and for a second all that he could think about was huge teeth and razor-sharp claws - then the shape resolved itself into a feeble, struggling man. Jack leaned over as far as he could, caught the man by his shoulder, and dragged him out from under the jetty.

"You okay? Hello? Hey?!" The man was hanging limp in his grasp, his head almost under the water. With a mighty effort, Jack hauled him up onto dry land. "Hello? Come on, wake up. Last time I gave CPR to one of you historical types, I got arrested for indecent behaviour." He shook the sprawled figure as roughly as he dared. "Wake up!"

"Help me!" The man's eyes opened wide, and for a second he stared wildly at Jack - then abruptly he began to fight. Like a cornered beast he attacked, fists and feet and teeth all turned against his imagined foe. Jack backed off quickly, and waited for the terrified man to calm down.

"Hey! Take it easy, okay? I'm not going to hurt you. Name's Jack. You want to tell me what's wrong?"

"What?" The man's struggles eased and he took several long, deep breaths, then sat up and looked around. "What's... Get away from the water! We have to get away from the water!"

"We do?" Jack watched, confused, as the man stumbled and staggered off the jetty, clearly desperate to put some distance between himself and the sea. "What's wrong?"

"Wrong..." Some sort of sanity seemed to return to the wild, wide eyes, and the man blinked several times. "Wrong. Jack, you said your name was? If you have a family, Jack, you'll get them away from here. My name is David, I'm a fisherman. We were attacked. My boat, my friends. A beast... a huge, green beast, that came out of the waves and tore the others limb from limb. It took my brother away in its mouth, already ripped in half. I think it attacked several of the other boats, but I didn't see what happened. I swam as fast as I could. There were sharks... the blood..." He shook his head slowly. "A monster. A great, green sea monster. Oh, I know how that must sound to you. I would never have believed it myself, if I hadn't seen it. If I hadn't watched it kill my friends and pound my boat to dust. Some of the other boats were heading for the town, to warn the people there. I don't know if they made it." He slumped to the ground suddenly, as though the only strength he had possessed had been kept in reserve just long enough to tell his tale. "All that blood..."

"Take it easy." Jack slung one of the man's arms over his shoulder, and half dragged him into the inn. Celeste let out a little shriek.


"Look after him. Get him to tell his story to Josiah as soon as they're both able." Jack lowered David into a chair, hesitated, frowned at him momentarily, then shrugged and pulled off the fisherman's boots. "Sorry. I'll explain later." David no longer seemed at all lucid, so he left it at that.

"Jack...?" Celeste was coming over with a bottle of brandy. "What is it? What's been happening?"

"Trouble. Like I said, just make sure he speaks to Josiah." He ran for the door, struggling to pull on the borrowed boots as he did so. "Do I owe you anything for last night?"

"I'll make Josiah pay." She followed him to the door. "What is it, Jack? Where are you going?"

"I don't know yet. To fight a monster, possibly. Or hopefully not. I'll have to see how it goes." He smiled rather hesitantly. "I had a great time last night, Celeste. Thanks. You throw a good party."

"Jack...?" Clearly it sounded to her like a goodbye. It had sounded that way to him, too, and he was even less happy about it than she was. He grinned.


"Jack!" But he was running away now, down the street, past the buildings that the pirate crew had variously vanished into, past the jetty, past the place where they had pulled up the long boats. Past a beach-side paddock where a pair of horses grazed, past a flock of scruffy looking sheep wandering at the edge of the sand. He had the charts back in Josiah's cabin to thank for knowing which direction would take him towards town, and instinct alone told him that that was the place to head for. What he was going to do when he got there was a different question; he just knew that it was where he had to go. Everything else would have to be guesswork.


Lord Charles Montgomery, Governor of Jamaica, had the appearance of a lugubrious man. He rarely smiled, he never laughed, and he spent much of his life in a darkened office, surrounded by reams of paper, endless documents written in Latin, and books that gave the impression of having been old and outmoded before Jamaica had ever heard of English, Latin, or lugubrious governors. He was, in short, a man for whom humour was unnecessary, and formality a vital requirement. His white wig was always industriously powdered, his face almost as much so, and his clothing was stygian black. His life followed an unshakeable routine, and the only pleasure he allowed himself within that routine was the ruthless hunting of the pirates that plagued his seas. Tuesdays were hanging days, when all the pirates and suspected pirates that his men had rounded up, were taken out of their cells and sent to meet their Maker. Lord Charles liked Tuesdays. He looked forward to them. On a Tuesday his lugubriousness faded to a mere decorous solemnity. On a Wednesday, when it was a whole week before his strict law could once again be piously upheld, he was best left alone. On a Wednesday his staff didn't dare speak within his hearing, unless he had ordered them otherwise.

Which was why they were less than delighted when, on a day that was inescapably a Wednesday, the Governor's peace and quiet seemed certain to shatter. It began with the dawn, when whispers came from the docks of an accident that had befallen the local fishermen, and it grew with the rising of the sun into an unbelievable tale of a sea monster and a seething mass of sharks. Fishermen drank themselves into a shared stupor at the docks, and yelled incomprehensible stories at passers-by, claiming that they had wrested themselves from the jaws of a massive green beast that had risen from the waters. The local garrison reported all of the stories to the Governor's residence, and at first laughed about them with the Governor's staff; then worried over them; and finally, when the stories kept coming, and the first few torn chunks of the dead began to wash ashore, began to panic. Something had happened. Something had killed the fishermen, something had terrified the survivors, and something had begun to frighten the local people. Rumours were rising, growing, spreading. People were beginning to keep away from the water, and to barricade themselves into their homes. Shops were shutting, the parson was shouting about justice from heaven, and hopelessly drunken fishermen were beginning to run about in the streets, banging on doors, screaming largely unintelligible warnings, and brawling with the soldiers sent to calm them down. Nobody knew what to think, but there was no hiding from the fact that something was wrong. The fishermen didn't usually come into town until their boats were full of fish, and they were ready to set up in the marketplace. They didn't arrive at dawn, with empty boats or no boats at all, and they didn't get drunk until they had sold their catch, and had the money to spare. They told tall tales, and they frequently talked of sea monsters - but never like this. Never with so much fear. And never before had their tales come with bloodied evidence washed in by the waves. The Governor's staff were beginning to realise that they were going to have to pass on at least some of the morning's events to Lord Charles, and to that end, set about drawing lots to decide which of them would do it. They were still arguing over the results of the draw when word came from the commander of the local garrison. There was a stranger in town, and he claimed to know something about the monster. Completely at a loss, but glad for the chance to have a buffer between himself and his employer, Lord Charles's chief aide told the commander to bring the stranger to the Governor's residence. If anybody was going to be roasted over slow coals for bringing talk of sea monsters before the Governor, at least this way it might not be him.

"So." Sitting up tall in his massive chair, and glaring over the surface of his even mightier desk, Lord Charles Montgomery directed the most fearsome stare in his repertoire at the group ranged before him. Smyth, his chief aide, fussed nervously, whilst Smyth's own chief aide fiddled with several sheets of paper that bore no relevance to anything, but which he had brought with him just for something to do with his hands. The commander of the garrison, a tall colonel with an impressive moustache, straightened his shoulders almost to breaking point, and the two sentries he had brought with him did their best not to fidget. Standing in between them, clearly being flanked officially but not seeming to notice it, the stranger smiled a greeting.

"You must be the Governor. I've heard a lot about you."

"Really." Lord Charles clearly didn't care. "This is the prisoner, Colonel Abrams?"

"Prisoner?" The prisoner himself obviously didn't agree. "Nobody said anything about prisoners. How am I a prisoner?"

"Does this man have a name?" The Governor sounded bored. Smyth, who knew that this was a danger sign, began to look even more flustered that before.

"Captain Jack Harkness," declared the prisoner, as though it were the greatest piece of information in the world. He made as though to shake hands, but the two sentries crossed their muskets in front of him, effectively preventing his advance. "Well that's not very friendly. Look, I came here to warn you people, not to get arrested. Just what am I being arrested for, anyway?"

"Well, Colonel?" Lord Charles eyed the commander of the garrison with hugely disinterested eyes. "Why is he under arrest?"

"The current charges are incitement, causing a disturbance, and theft, your lordship. Possibly murder." Colonel Abrams ignored Jack's obvious outrage. "The town is in the grip of a fever this morning. Tales of sea monsters. Fishermen supposedly torn to shreds. There's panic everywhere, and somebody is obviously behind it. I would suggest that a band of thieves are hoping to make the most of the panic, and have created this situation on purpose. They may even have killed several fishermen in order to give their story more weight."

"You do realise that that makes no sense at all?" Jack pushed aside the two muskets blocking his path, and took a few steps closer to the desk. "Listen, Governor. Those fishermen were killed by a monster. You don't have to believe in it, but it's out there. Talk to the survivors."

"I neither need nor wish to speak to drunken fishermen." Lord Charles frowned heavily. "Theft, you say?"

"Look at him, your lordship. Expensive clothes, a silk shirt - and the boots of a common fisherman. He's obviously some sailor who has stolen a gentleman's clothes."

"Can't I be a gentleman who's stolen a fisherman's boots?" Jack looked from the colonel to the Governor and back again. "You can't prove any of that, you know."

"If your Excellency would like to look closer..." Abrams pushed Jack forward suddenly, so that he almost crashed into the desk, "you'll see that the scarf he's wearing is one of the ones stolen from your wife's bedchamber last week, when your residence was burgled. I recognise it. Your wife was good enough to give me a very detailed list of her missing belongings."

"Stolen?" Jack's hand went automatically to the scarf, still knotted immovably around his throat. Oh, great move Anne and Josiah, or whoever had put the blasted thing on him. "Listen, I was given--"

"My wife's you say?" Lord Charles reached for a pair of spectacles, and held them up to his eyes to peer at the scarf. "Ah yes. Part of set. Gift from her sister, I think. Congratulations, colonel. Very well spotted."

"Thankyou, your Excellency." Abrams eyed Jack coldly. "My men are already trying to limit the damage caused by him and his friends. Once everybody has realised that there is no sea monster, the town can return to normal. I'll get him to tell me about his confederates, and about what happened to the fishermen who were killed, and then we can hang him. Unless you'd rather wait for next Tuesday?"

"Hang me?" Jack looked from one to the other of them. "For what? Bad choice of fashion accessory? Listen, I didn't steal any silk scarves. This is hardly my colour. If I'd stolen it, I'd have gone for something in blue. Believe it or not, I came to town to warn you people. There really is a monster out there, and chances are it's heading this way. It won't be able to resist."

"I don't think we need wait until next Tuesday." Lord Charles might have smiled, had he been of a different temperament. Instead the momentary loss of the bored look in his eyes signified that he was pleased by the idea. "Round up the fishermen and make sure that they're watching. We'll hang him at sundown."

"Very good, your lordship." Colonel Abrams nodded solemnly. "Thankyou for your time."

"Now hang on a minute!" Jack winced, rather regretting his own choice of phrase. "I haven't done anything. Don't I get a trial?"

"You just got a trial." Abrams nodded to his sentries, who began to manhandle their prisoner towards the door. "That's probably more than your accomplices will get."

"Great. You're a real bundle of joy, you know that?" Jack went along with the general push for the door, having decided that it was less than prudent to fight too hard when there was a musket pressed against his back. They hadn't searched him, so for the time being at least he was still armed, and not greatly concerned about the threatened hanging - but the injustice of it all still bit. He was here to help, and they were accusing him of being some kind of nut desperate to cause chaos. If his teleport had been working he would have disappeared straight out of there, back to his ship, to leave the ungrateful sods to their fates. His mind drifted to thoughts of Josiah, and he scowled. Yes, alright, so maybe he wouldn't abandon them all to be eaten. But it was a nice idea, at least temporarily.

"Where are we going?" he asked, as they left the mansion and its spectacular gardens behind, and headed back towards the main part of town. He might as well make conversation; he didn't fancy his chances of drawing his laser pistol and doing anything useful with it before the musket pressed into his spine went off. Compared to his own weapon the musket was a primitive relic, but that didn't mean that it didn't work - a lead ball being blasted into his back by exploding gunpowder didn't strike him as something wildly enjoyable.

"We're going to the town gaol." Abrams moved into the lead, clearly enjoying parading at the head of the little party. One or two people peered out of their houses, but they met nobody in the street. The town was all but deserted. There was no sound at all save an off beat melody of drunken yelling, faded by distance, that seemed to come from the water's edge. Jack caught a glimpse of a fishermen helping a pair of soldiers drag what looked like the lower half of a man up onto the harbour. The fisherman was drunk, the soldiers were retching, and even at a distance there was a smell of blood on the sea breeze. And the redoubtable Colonel Abrams thought that he was responsible for this? He might have felt insulted, if he hadn't been so royally pissed off at having been arrested just for trying to help.

"Town gaol, huh." Well that wasn't too bad. Being locked up was okay, and his gun should make short work of the lock. All he would need would be a few moments when there were no guards around, and he could be out of his cell and on his way back to the Shark's Tooth Inn before anybody had discovered he was missing. At the worst he'd have to wait a few hours for the right opportunity, and that didn't matter. He could try contacting the ship's computer, and seeing how far the auto-repair had got towards making the ship space-worthy once again. He might even see about catching up on some sleep. Whatever exactly had happened last night, it hadn't felt particularly restful. Sleep could be just what he needed.

The first sign that things were not necessarily going to be so easy came when they arrived at the town gaol, and it turned out to be a massive stone fortress. Well, that wasn't altogether bad. He had escaped from a stone fortress before. Admittedly he had had a little help from a remote control bomb, but nonetheless, he had escaped. It didn't take long, though, before things became considerably less encouraging. They didn't search him; they didn't confiscate his gun, or his teleport remote, or his wrist computer - but they did chain his hands together with a set of large and very heavy manacles, then push him into a cell that looked like it had been built to withstand an asteroid strike. It was on the ground floor - definitely his favourite floor to escape from - but there was no lock on the inside of the door, the door itself was three inches of metal, and the only window, above his head, was barely big enough for a child to squeeze through. Not that a child would have been able to squeeze through it anyway, with the bars getting in the way. The door clanged shut with an unpleasant finality, and he set about trying to get to his gun. It could probably still deal with the door, though it might be rather a drain on its power supply. The problem was that with no window in the door, he couldn't tell whether there was anybody outside on guard. The problem also seemed to be that he couldn't get hold of the damn gun. He tried contorting his body into every shape it seemed capable of attaining, but the chain connecting the cuffs was just too short, and the gun seemed determined to stay out of reach. Next time, he was definitely hiding it in the front of his shirt, rather than around the back; although if his luck stayed like this, next time he'd have his hands tied behind him, and would be wishing he'd hidden the gun where it was now. Always supposing, of course, that there was a next time, and he hadn't been hanged by then. The thought renewed his efforts, and with further struggles and some inventive swearing, he finally got hold of the gun. It fell onto the floor at his feet, and he grinned at it triumphantly. Now, however, came the really tricky part.

He tried listening at the door, but he couldn't hear anything definite through it. The wall was equally unhelpful. In a fit of wishful thinking he called up his ship on his wrist computer, to see if he could just teleport himself out of the cell, but predictably enough the auto-repair hadn't got as far as fixing the teleport yet. The ship's computer was very friendly and polite about it, and offered to play him some music while he waited, but he declined. He wasn't in the mood for jaunty tunes right now; and besides, he needed to try to listen. If he managed to get the cell door open using his gun, it was going to be all but empty afterwards, so he wouldn't stand much chance of shooting his way out. Neither was he going to be doing his best ever fighting with his hands chained together. He needed to be as sure as he could that there were no guards outside his door. With this in mind he settled himself down on the ground, his head resting against the door, and closed his eyes to listen. Silence reigned. Now if he could just catch the tiniest sound... A scratching from nearby broke his concentration, and he frowned.

"Hey?" A voice, very low and quiet, followed by another scratch and a rattle. He opened his eyes. What the hell?! Somebody was throwing stones through the window, and making an almighty racket in the process. "Hey?! Jack?! Jack, are you in there?"

"Huh?" Jack sat up straight, staring up at the bars, then leapt to his feet and went over to stand against the far wall. Whoever was outside threw another handful of stones through the window, and they rattled noisily down onto the floor. "Hey! Watch it!"

"Jack!" This time the whisper was louder. "Are you well?"

"Yeah. Splendid." His unexpected guest clearly had no grasp of sarcasm, for the reply, however hoarsely whispered, sounded delighted.

"That's wonderful. Can you come to the window?"

"I am at the window." He sighed, then summoning his strength, jumped up to catch hold of one of the bars. He hung there for a moment, thinking rude thoughts about architects, high windows, and the manufacturers of manacles, then hauled himself up so that he could look out. Down below him, on what looked to be a narrow cliff path, stood Josiah and Anne. Josiah was grinning hugely.

"Jack!" He sounded overjoyed. "I thought perhaps I'd seen the last of you."

"Sorry to disappoint." Jack frowned down at the pair of them. "I'd invite you in, but I'm having a few problems with the door."

"I assure you, Jack, it's no disappointment." Josiah's smile receded to one of a more restrained, though obvious, contentment. "There's considerable havoc. The fishermen are drunk, the soldiers are angry. Fortunately they're too concerned with each other to have noticed me."

"Which won't necessarily last." Anne was trying to keep watch as best she could. "You're the most wanted man in the Caribbean, Josiah. Being here now is foolish to the extreme."

"But worth it." The pirate captain frowned in thought for a moment. "How solid are those bars, Jack?"

"Solid, not that I can fit through the window anyway. And the door's solider. I think I can open it if you can deal with the guards, but it does mean you'd have to get inside the building first." He smiled, despite the discomfort of his position. "Preferably not the same way I got in."

"We'll see what we can do. Count to five hundred, slowly, then open the door. We should be with you by then. If we're not, we probably won't be coming at all." Josiah looked flushed with excitement, or possibly just from the after-effects of the previous night's rum. "Start counting. Good luck."

"And you." Jack flashed them both a parting grin, but they were already running off. Left alone, he dropped back down to the floor and started to count. Josiah had seemed so reserved before; now here he was dashing merrily into the lion's den just to try to rescue a man that he barely knew. That was either a hell of a drinking session they had shared, or the pirate captain had a whole other side to his personality. If it was the latter, then it was extremely promising, to say nothing of enticing. Jack smiled to himself, somewhat wolfishly, then retrieved his gun and checked the power levels. There ought to be enough juice in it, although not enough to tackle the handcuffs as well. He toyed with the gun restlessly, counting all the while, and trying not to let his mind wander. One hundred - what was Josiah doing? Cracking skulls, picking locks, exchanging shots with soldiers? Two hundred - fighting for his life, or slipping in without a care in the world? Three hundred - Jack could hear nothing, and it was driving him mad. Was Josiah still coming, or was he lying dead in a corridor somewhere, with a musket ball in his chest? Four hundred - was Anne fighting valiantly against streams of soldiers, or being hurled, even now, into a neighbouring cell? Jack shut the images out; he had to concentrate now, and begin work at blasting the door. Squaring his shoulders, he took up position near to the door, aimed the gun at round about where the lock should be on the other side, and pulled the trigger. A flash of blue light burst from the muzzle, and a blue and white splash impacted upon the metal. There was some degree of ricochet, but it did little more than make the straw on the ground smoulder. He kept his aim steady, and watched as the metal heated up; as the door began to glow. The gun began to hum, and he knew that there was not much power left in it. He was close, though - he had to be. Close to breaking out into a waiting group of guards, though? Or had Josiah and Anne won through? The gun hummed louder. The door glowed more brightly, and he thought that he saw it vibrate.

"Come on... Come on..." The power had to last. The gun had to have just that last little bit of juice left in it. He pulled the trigger harder, as though somehow that might help, and stared intently into the blue-white glow. In his head he was still counting - four hundred and eighty now, and advancing all the while. There was no chance of hearing anything from the other side of the door with the gun humming its low power warning, and the laser burning its way through the metal. For all he knew, Josiah wasn't coming. For all he knew, Josiah was dead.

With a gurgle from the gun that didn't sound at all healthy, and a fizz of half-boiled molten metal, suddenly a chunk of the door was disappearing in a burst of blue-white light. Jack didn't take the time to cheer. He slammed his shoulder into the door, and with a creak of protesting hinges it swung open. He snapped the gun up straight away, coming out of the cell at a half crouch, ready for attack. He met silence. Two guards lay unconscious on the floor, and Anne stood over them with a musket held comfortably in her arms. She frowned at the gun in Jack's hands, but said nothing. Jack stuck it into his belt rather guiltily. He had already allowed an entire ship's crew to see it in action - so much for keeping futuristic technology a secret.

"Jack!" Josiah's hard hand clapped him sharply on the shoulder. Taken entirely by surprise by the other man's sudden appearance, Jack was glad he had put away his gun. He might have tried to shoot Josiah otherwise.

"Hello." He spoke with a fondness that rather surprised even himself. "I was worried about you."

"No need for that." The pirate captain sounded as though he was enjoying all of this. "The place is all but deserted. Everybody is out rounding up drunken fishermen, or trying to persuade the townspeople that there's nothing to be scared of. It was hardly any effort getting here at all. Your monster is a good distraction even when he's not in sight."

"He's not my monster." Jack smiled, suddenly rather tired. He had been expecting battles and gunfire, and the vanishing of built up tension left him oddly drained. "Thankyou. Both of you."

"Our pleasure." Josiah grinned, suddenly looking conspiratorial. "Well, my pleasure. I rather think that Anne would have left you to hang."

"Perhaps I don't form attachments as fast as some people." Anne glanced out of the door, into the corridor that led back to the outside world. "We should get moving. Somebody could come at any moment."

"True. We should see about getting rid of these manacles, though." Josiah took Jack's hands, turning them over to look at the chain and the cuffs. "An infernal invention. What was it that you used to open the door? It seemed to make short work of the metal."

"A weapon. But it needs reloading, and I'm out of... powder." It was hard to think in terms of eighteenth century armaments, but Josiah seemed content with his explanation.

"Fascinating weapon, in that case. Perhaps you can show it to me? When you show me your ship?"

"Yeah." Well why the hell not - Josiah had already seen two spaceships crash into the sea, and an alien beast project a holographic image of itself. And what the Time Agency didn't know about, they couldn't make any objection to. So long as Josiah didn't decide to open a factory producing laser guns in 1735, anyway. He considered reclaiming his hands, but decided that he quite liked having them where they were. "So what's the verdict on the manacles?"

"Ah." The pirate coloured slightly, suddenly realising that he still had Jack's hands in his. "Well, they're... resilient. I could try to pick the locks, but it might take me some time."

"And we should be going," pointed out Anne from the doorway. Josiah nodded.

"We really should."

Jack grinned rather wickedly. "Probably. But shouldn't I be thanking you properly for the rescue first? Hell, even in a place where nobody knows me, I do still have a reputation to protect."

"You do?" Josiah's eyes began to trail towards the door - or more precisely towards Anne, who could presumably hear everything - but they stopped themselves, and turned themselves back towards Jack. "What reputation?"

"Oh, you know." Jack's smile became considerably more predatory. "Courtesy. Gallantry. Chivalry. Infinite charm..." Suddenly his bound hands were behind Josiah's neck, the short chain of the manacles making the perfect means by which to draw the pirate's head towards his own. "To say nothing of a quite legendary allure." He leaned forward, and kissed Josiah lightly on the lips. It was a gamble - he could never be sure if they were going to kiss him back or punch him in the mouth when they came from eras so long before his own. Josiah merely smiled, looking faintly abashed.

"You missed out modesty."

Jack grinned, and pulled him back in for another, harder kiss. "Is that one of the Seven Sins?"


"Then that probably explains why I've never got the hang of it."

"Pleasant though this no doubt is..." Anne was watching them with a look of obvious irritation. "We came here to rescue the man, Josiah. Not to join him in prison."

"Yes." Josiah smiled, looking faintly giddy. "Um... could we perhaps... pick this up at a later date?"

"I can take a raincheck. If I really have to." Jack let him go, then followed him to the door, stopping to take the sword and pistol from one of the unconscious guards. The sword he stuck into his belt beside his laser pistol, but the gun he kept to hand. Not that he would be able to use the thing more than once, but it had a pleasing weight to it, and made him feel ready for action. "Talking of rescues, how did you know where I was?"

"I told you that if you came to town you'd get arrested. It wasn't some great feat of logic. And I've surveyed the gaol before as best I could. Forewarned is forearmed, as I'm sure you can appreciate." Josiah directed him to watch a fork in the corridor, whilst Anne peered down another. "There was only one cell where a strange man was speaking in words I couldn't understand, to a woman who didn't appear to be there. You're not a hard man to identify, Jack. You stand out rather."

"Thanks." Jack couldn't resist interpreting that as a compliment. "All clear this way."

"And this." Anne led them on again, the musket still cradled in her arms. "But to me it's not just Captain Jack who speaks nonsense. You spoke of this 'monster' as though it were real. You spoke the same way last night, both of you. I thought it was the rum talking, but you both appear to be sober now. Or so I thought before the kissing."

"We are sober. And the monster is real." Talk of the Kamon brought Jack sharply back down to earth. Fun though it might be to play at this game of escape and rescue, there was still that threat to be dealt with. He couldn't really go off in his ship when it was repaired, and leave the Kamon behind here - no matter how much the Governor and his cronies had asked for it. "What's your plan, Josiah? Where do we go from here?"

"I had thought that back to the Dragon would be the best thing. If you want to go after your beast, surely we should head out to sea?"

"Perhaps." He didn't bother reiterating that the Kamon wasn't his 'beast'. "Do you think that your crew would agree to that?"

"I'm the captain, Jack. They'll do what I tell them." Josiah looked momentarily troubled. "Although I admit that I wouldn't be happy about giving them such an order. We wouldn't have much of a chance in a small boat, though, would we."

"Not unless it came fully equipped with hypertronic grenades, no." Jack followed his two rescuers past a small heap of guards, still sprawled unconscious on the floor. "I thought you said you didn't have any trouble?"

"We didn't." Anne, whose manner had so far been in distinct contrast to her seductress mode of the previous night, finally allowed him a small smile. He grinned back.

"Oh. Right. So much for the great fortress, huh."

"No doubt they feel sure that chains and thick stone walls are enough to keep their prisoners in. Or perhaps drunken fishermen require rather more manpower to subdue them than might be expected." Josiah took the lead as they reached the main gates. Two guards lay there as well, one still dead to the world, the second just beginning to revive. "All the same, you're right and it does seem oddly deserted. I would have expected far greater resistance."

"There's time yet for the soldiers to try to stop us." Anne looked left and right outside the gates. "So are we going back to the inn? Or do you two have other plans of your own?"

"We go back to the inn." Josiah was actually blushing, with Jack found rather endearing. "I'll give my men the choice of whether to come with us after the beast, or to stay behind. They've earned the right to be asked."

"I'm not sure that's a great idea, Josiah." Jack didn't like the idea of leading a suicide expedition. "We'd be no safer in the Dragon than in some tiny fishing boat. You saw how easily the Kamon got on board before."

"The Dragon is a fine ship, Jack. The best."

"Yeah, I know. The fastest ship in the Caribbean, right? But the Kamon is far stronger than you think, and the Dragon is only made of wood. That creature could smash straight through the hull if you got it mad enough to try. Then where would we be? Floating around in the sea, like that fisherman I sent to talk to you back at the inn. Blood and sharks everywhere, and the Kamon doing whatever the hell it wants."

"You wish to let it go free?" asked Josiah. Jack shook his head slowly. A part of him wanted just that - to get Josiah to load up his crew and sail the Dragon to some far off coast where he would be safe - and Anne and Celeste as well for good measure. Maybe even the parrot and the blonde girl it liked nibbling. All the same, he wasn't about to suggest it. If nothing else, just as he'd said, he had a reputation to honour.

"Not let it go, no. Just go after it in the right way; in my ship. It's made of metal, so it's a lot stronger than the Dragon - though the Kamon could probably still break in if it tried. I don't have much weaponry aboard, but I should be able to come up with some kind of plan. I just need a little longer, for the ship to fix itself."

"Your ship is not big enough for a full scale mission, Jack."

"No, but it's big enough for me. This doesn't necessarily call for an army - or a navy, whatever. I know this thing."

"Then we will follow your lead." Josiah nodded his acceptance. "And we begin where?"

"By getting away before somebody arrests us." Jack had no desire to be thrown back into an extremely uninteresting cell, especially if there was a chance of having his neck stretched come sundown. "At least for now. Come on."

"At last. Some sense." Anne once again took the lead, setting a fast pace towards the other end of town. "Keep your eyes open, both of you, and shoot anybody who gets in the way."

"Somebody doesn't like soldiers." Jack caught her up, amused by her completely different demeanour now that he was no longer a customer at the inn. "I'm sorry I got arrested."

"She's just making noise, Jack. There was no need for her to come with me." Josiah also caught up, flanking Anne on the other side. "She likes this sort of thing well enough."

"It's not good business to let customers get themselves killed on fools' errands." She quickened her pace, clearly determined to be as aloof as possible. Josiah smirked.

"She cares really."

"I'll take your word for it." Jack eyed the sleek, practical woman, with her knives and her musket, and was glad that he wasn't a soldier in her path. She looked as though nothing could faze her; as though she was ready for anything, and willing to do anything that might be necessary. If it hadn't been for the fact that he had seen Josiah first - or, more accurately, the fact that Anne was frankly terrifying, he might have made a play for her. He still might - not to do so was somewhat akin to not breathing.

"Hey!" Catching her up again, he turned his smile up to one of its more successful settings. "I don't suppose there's anything back at the inn that'll take care of these?" He rattled the manacles at her, like a cut price ghost. She nodded.

"Probably. And if Josiah can't pick the locks, Kate is the best thief in these islands. You met her last night, although you probably don't remember it."

"Kate. Blonde girl, green dress?" She looked impressed, and he silently gave thanks for Celeste and her chatty nature. "Maybe I wasn't as drunk as I looked."

"If you did some of those things sober, you're far more strange a man than I'd have imagined." She turned her attention back to the road. "Perhaps, when we get back to the inn, we should break out the rum again and see just how drunk you really were last night?"

"Or possibly we can save my purse and stay sober." Josiah clearly knew Anne of old, and was well aware of her true intent. "She only loves us for our money, Jack."

"Alright by me." If Jack had not still been handcuffed, he would have linked his arm through Anne's. As it was he merely flashed her another of his more popular smiles. "I've always had a weakness for the mercenary touch."

She shot him a heavily disparaging glare. "I would remind you that we are still supposed to be on the alert. Not playing foolish games."

"Oh, on the alert for what? This great garrison town of yours is all a lot of fuss over nothing. There are no soldiers around. Everywhere is deserted. We could be singing and dancing our way down the street and nobody would notice." With a flourish Jack leapt up onto the wall that ran along beside the road - part of the wall that contained the Governor's opulent gardens, as far as he could tell. From the higher perspective he could see more of the town, including the harbour. There were soldiers there, though not in any great number; one or two drunken fishermen still wandering about, telling their tale to whoever seemed likely to listen. Other than that, he could see nobody. Everything was silent, barring the wind and the sea, for the population of the town still seemed to be cowering indoors. He wasn't sorry. Large, chunky handcuffs weren't always the easiest of things to explain to curious onlookers. As it was, so far as he could tell his exaggeration had perhaps not been so far off the mark; they probably could dance down the street without anybody noticing. Except... he could hear something now, or thought that he could. A shouting? No, more than a shout. A scream? He realised then that Josiah and Anne could hear the noise too, and he spun around to face it. Somebody, out of sight up the slope that led to the Governor's mansion, was screaming in mortal terror. A gunshot rang out, muffled by distance, and seconds later a very familiar growl.

"The beast!" Josiah ran for the wall, even as Jack was jumping down into the gardens, running for the source of the scream. He could hear Josiah and Anne following him, and hoped that between them they could make their gunfire count. It seemed unlikely. Past decorative bushes and sculpted flower beds he ran; past white marble statues and an ornamental pond. There were scraps of flesh on the grass, now; a severed leg clad in the remnants of a soldier's uniform; a hand; something that might have been part of an arm. There was blood splashed on the white stone path around the pond, and the smell of gore drowned the scent of the flowers. Jack skidded to a halt. This carnage was fresh; very fresh. The Kamon couldn't be far away. He turned in a circle, gesturing to Josiah and Anne to come forward more slowly. He couldn't hear the thing breathing; he couldn't hear any of the vegetation rustling, or hear its heavy feet on the ground. It might be anywhere.

"Jack!" Suddenly Josiah was running for him, and taking his cue Jack spun around, firing the pistol that he still held in one hand. It discharged noisily, but the green, scaled shape looming up in his vision showed no reaction to the shot that glanced harmlessly off its shoulder. Jack dragged out his laser pistol instead, but the little gun did nothing more than fizz, and spit out a small, sorry burst of light that did nothing at all.

"Duck!" Anne's voice. Jack obeyed, hearing her musket roar loudly over his head. The shot did as little good as his own, and the monster carried on coming. Sprawled now on the ground, Jack hauled the sword from his belt and swung it around, attacking the creature's legs as it came for him. It roared, and he looked straight up into its hot yellow eyes. He had no doubt that it knew who he was; it had chased him through Time, and must be aware that he was the man it had set out originally to kill. A Kamon had intelligence enough to understand that, even if it was limited to growls and roars, and an almost constant state of rage. For a second he could almost have sworn that it smiled.

"Fire!" The barked command could have come from anywhere; it sounded to Jack as though it came from above him; maybe somewhere off to his left. There was an almighty crash - some half dozen muskets all firing at once - and the Kamon roared its displeasure. The musket balls could not have had too great an effect on its armoured hide, but apparently it viewed this latest interruption as one too many. With a last growl, that Jack felt was directed rather meaningfully at him, it swung about and was gone. Jack allowed himself one very small sigh of relief.

"Er.. Jack?" Josiah didn't sound nearly so relieved. Jack put that down to the fact that he hadn't been the one looking down the business end of a man-eating, genetically-engineered alien beast. Breaking into a rueful smile, he raised himself up onto his elbows - and found himself looking straight up the length of a musket. He didn't think that it could have been loaded again so soon, but he didn't feel much like arguing with it anyway. It was still a weapon, and the gleam in the eyes of the soldier wielding it was nastily akin to that in the eyes of the Kamon. Jack smiled nervously. Ah. Well that explained the tone of Josiah's voice, anyway.

There were six of them, all in uniform, two reloading whilst the others did their best to look menacing with empty guns. Jack thought momentarily about using his sword, and Anne had already drawn one of her knives - but the odds were just too great. There were other ways of dealing with this. Straightening his shoulders, he let his smile grow to a confident grin. Soldiers he could handle; he spoke Soldier fluently. Gently pushing the musket aside, he sat up straight, and made a show of putting the sword down on the ground beside him.

"Nice work, men. Well done. We were glad of the help."

"It killed Colonel Abrams." The nearest man, still pointing his gun squarely at Jack, looked a little grey. "Tore his head off. Killed three others, too."

"I'm sorry." Slowly and carefully Jack got to his feet. "I'm Captain Harkness. Now listen men, we--"

"Listen?" Only then did he notice a seventh man; a man in impeccable black with a wig of pure white, and two gleaming pistols gripped in his hands. Neither had been fired by the look of them - and both were pointed at Jack. "Listen? You're an escaped prisoner, condemned to hang." Lord Charles looked disdainfully over at Josiah. "And in the company of a pirate, I see. A notorious pirate, wanted for crimes against my person."

"Yeah. Okay, I can see how that might look bad..." Jack didn't bother finishing the explanation - the Governor was not a man likely to listen. "You got your men to scare off the Kamon, though. Why not just let it kill us?"

"Because it was clear to all of us, Captain Harkness, that the beast knew you. It killed all other men on sight, and yet you it didn't kill, when it could easily have done so. You spoke of a monster. You were arrested in the first place for speaking of a monster. You know what it is."

"Yeah." Jack did his best not to look at Josiah and Anne. The less they were involved in this, the better. "Maybe."

"Not 'maybe'. Definitely. It knew you. You knew it. You know how to stop it." Lord Charles took a step to his left, and pointed one of his bright pistols straight at Anne's head. "And you're going to stop it, or I'll do whatever is necessary to make you change your mind."

"There's no need for threats." This time Jack did look at Anne, standing with one knife still in her hand, her eyes smouldering with humiliation. For a moment he thought she might make a move with the knife, but she had the sense not to try. By now all of the muskets were reloaded, and it would be foolish to do anything ill-judged. "I want that thing gone as much as you do."

"Then you'll tell us what it is, and you'll tell us how to kill it. Our weapons have no effect." Lord Charles looked like thunder, and his pistol was pressing now into the side of Anne's head. She showed no reaction, but if it did not hurt already, the pressure soon would. She didn't move aside though. Perhaps she didn't dare - more likely she was just determined not to give her tormentor the satisfaction. Jack nodded slowly.

"It's... it's from another country. It followed me here. They're hard to kill, yeah, but not impossible. Given the time, I can get something together."

"There is no time." The Governor nodded to his men, who immediately seized the three prisoners. "You'll do this, and you'll do it quickly, or you'll not do another thing in this world."

"Kill me and you'll never stop the Kamon." Jack held the Governor's eyes with fierce intensity, but the Governor didn't seem to care. He lowered his guns and stuck them into his belt, clearly feeling that he no longer needed them now that his prisoners were being restrained.

"Kill you, and perhaps this 'Kamon' will go away. I don't know why it's here, Captain. I know only that it could have killed you, and didn't. For all I know, you command it. For all I know, it belongs to you. So you will kill it, and you will do it today, or I'll have the three of you dancing on a gibbet. Is that understood?"

"Yeah." Again Jack didn't want to look at Josiah and Anne. The latter, he knew, was fuming. The former was silent and still, and too hard to second guess. "Let me go. I'll kill it."

"Not alone, Jack." Josiah sounded horrified. "You can't fight that creature alone."

"With luck I won't have to fight it." He had the germ of an idea, but it called for his ship to be ready, at least in part. What he would do if the repairs were not yet sufficiently advanced, he didn't know. "I just have to get back to my ship. I have guns there that might make a difference."

"No gun can hurt that thing." One of the soldiers spoke with the voice of experience. Josiah suddenly glowed with an obvious pride.

"His guns are not like ours. I've seen one of them. It fires a light, not an ordinary shot. A blue light that can cut through metal." He frowned suddenly. "But you fired at the beast with that gun before, Jack, on the Dragon. It didn't hurt it then. Unless it is prepared to stand still, like the door back at the gaol, I don't see that even your guns can be any use."

"Bigger guns, different circumstances." Jack was still formulating his plan. "It could work."

"It must work. If not the three of you will die." Lord Charles gestured to his soldiers. "Take them to the water's edge. The three of them will work together, as an added incentive to our friend here. That way if he fails, his two companions will die alongside him. If not by the monster's hands, then by ours."

"That's not necessary." Jack was angry, but the Governor was unmoved. Josiah merely smiled.

"I'm happy to go into battle alongside you, Jack. I think it would be an honour to fight this beast."

"And I'd rather fight it than be used as a hostage." Anne's tone of voice showed that she was not exaggerating. Death in battle against a monster was presumably preferable to being executed by the Governor and his soldiers. Jack nodded slowly.

"Alright. I'll need these cuffs taken off. And I'll need gunpowder. A lot of gunpowder."

"Gunpowder? What do you think we use in our own weapons?" One of the soldiers, a tall, dark man with the wild look of fear in his eyes, spoke as though he were close to breaking point. "Powder and shot have no effect on that creature."

"The way that you use them, no." Jack held out his hands to the Governor, as well as he could with his arms still pinioned by the guards. "Take off the handcuffs, Lord Charles. I'll fight the Kamon, but I'll need both hands to do it."

"We'll deal with those shortly." The Governor seemed to be thinking, obviously wondering whether or not he could trust this man to deal with the monster; and whether or not he could afford not to. Finally he nodded. "Take them down to the water's edge. The creature seemed to be heading that way, and it appears to have a fondness for the sea."

"Thankyou." Relieved that it seemed he might now be allowed to do things his way, Jack made no objection as he and the others were manhandled out of the palatial gardens and down towards the harbour. There were still several fishermen there, drunk now to the point of stupor, and sprawled aimlessly against the bric-a-brac that lay at the water's edge. A pair of soldiers were there too, armed with muskets and looking white-faced. Clearly the Kamon had been this way recently. Jack looked out to sea.

"I see no sign of it," commented Josiah. Jack shook his head.

"You won't. It can't breathe under the water, but it can stay under for hours at a time. It's probably eaten all it wants for now, so it could stay down there for the rest of the day. We're lucky. If it had still been hungry it would have killed all of us back there."

"Except you," suggested Anne. He smiled, somewhat weakly.

"I think it would happily have killed me too. Stick around a while longer, and you might see me prove that theory. It just hesitated before, that's all."

"Lucky that it did. Your sword was nothing to it." Josiah flashed him a gentle smile. "And now we have to kill it. What can possibly kill a creature that barely notices gunfire?"

"A different kind of gunfire." Jack was thinking aloud now, not caring who heard him, or what they thought of the things that he said. "If I can get enough gunpowder together, I can blow it to kingdom come. Can't use a fuse to ignite it - that'd be suicide, and it might catch on before the fuse was ended anyway. My laser cannons should do the trick nicely, if the power cells have enough charge in them, but I'm going to need to have the ship in flight to fire them. At the moment the nose is still under the water, and all I'm going to shoot that way is fishes." He sighed, still staring out to sea. "We have to lure it back to its ship, Josiah. Best way all round. Take the ship out, take the Kamon out, and do it all offshore where there'll be less danger to anybody else. Pack its ship with gunpowder, and then blast it as soon as it goes inside." Unconsciously his hands mimicked an explosion. "Question is, how to do the luring without getting eaten? Or the exploding without getting blown up? If my ship's not working yet, it'll be tinderboxes and kindling all the way. I'll be scattered all over the bay as food for the seagulls."

"I see no disadvantages in that." Lord Charles turned Jack around, and directed one of his men to shoot out the chain connecting the handcuffs. It took two loud, worryingly wobbly shots to break the short links, but Jack was grateful enough to be able to move his arms properly again. It was hardly as satisfying as being rid of the heavy cuffs themselves, but it was better than nothing. He nodded his thanks.

"And now you get to work." The Governor was not a man to allow any wasting of time. "There's gunpowder enough, if you think it'll work. The soldiers have a store of armaments beside the gaol. The powder kegs can be brought here."

"Good. Stack them up in a big pile right about here. I can transport it out to sea easily enough then." Jack's left hand toyed with the computer strapped around his right wrist. Always supposing the teleport had been fixed, anyway - if it hadn't he was in for a lot of rowing. Annoyingly, there was only one way to find out. Wandering a short distance away, trying to look as though he was staring out to sea again for signs of the Kamon, he tapped the little keypad and raised his wrist as surreptitiously as he could towards his mouth.

"Hey, computer. How's everything going?"

"Auto-repair is progressing at predicted rate. All systems now operational at reduced efficiency." The ever calm voice of the ship's computer answered him precisely, and with a deceptive sense of affection. Deceptive since she had no way of caring for his welfare; affectionate because she had been designed to relax the ship's pilot, and that was the tone of voice thought to be best. Jack had become fond of the machine, even if theirs was a strictly one way relationship, and he always thought of the computer as a woman. She was obliging enough when he wanted a conversation, and he liked to think that she responded to the tone of his voice and the warmth of his smile. He offered the wrist computer a quick grin now, just in case the computer back on his ship had somehow developed the ability to see him through his own portable scanners.

"You're a lifesaver, you know that?"

"Protection of organic life within ship's hull is of paramount importance. Barring fracture of--"

"Yeah, I know. We're going to have to work on your metaphors." Jack was uncomfortably aware that Josiah had followed him, and was certainly now within earshot, and his senses told him that the Governor was not much further away. So far this expedition was a case study in how not to handle the natives. "How about the teleport?"

"Teleport is currently operational at forty percent efficiency. Probably of transporting Captain Jack Harkness safely on board is now ninety seven point six percent."

"Great. How soon until we can take off?"

"Limited flight now possible. Space flight is not recommended for six hours, and time flight for three further hours. Battle stations not recommended for--"

"I'm not going into battle. At least, not exactly. Listen, computer. What sort of speed and manoeuvrability do we have? And can I fire the guns?"

"Forward laser cannon irrevocably destroyed upon impact. Starboard laser cannon irrevocably destroyed upon impact. Port laser cannon irrevocably destroyed by hostile fire before impact. Rear laser cannon operational at thirty percent efficiency. Ship capable of basic manoeuvres within planetary atmosphere, speed available to thirty seven percent of normal maximum. Escape velocity will not be possible for four hours." She fell silent, clearly awaiting further questions. He sighed.

"Okay. Thanks, computer. I'll see you in a bit."

"Captain Jack Harkness will be welcomed aboard in one bit." Predictably enough the computer showed no sign of irony, but he couldn't help wondering at times if it wasn't taking the mick. He smiled at the little communicator, then turned around. Josiah was still watching him, and so was Lord Charles; the former with wonder, the latter with cold suspicion.

"Witchcraft." The Governor made his assessment in a voice of ice. "I should hang you even if you do kill that monster."

"It's not witchcraft." There seemed little point in trying to explain. "I don't do magic."

"I should have expected as much. A monster like that one could only be the work of magic." Lord Charles had one hand resting on one of the pistols in his belt. "If I was to shoot you, Captain, would the shot have as little effect as it did upon your pet?"

"I'd rather not find out." Jack looked instead to Josiah, drawing him away from the others. "Can you supervise bringing the gunpowder down here? I need to know that there's somebody in charge I can trust."

"You're going somewhere?" Josiah was trying not to sound disappointed. Jack nodded.

"I have to get back to my ship. She's coming along nicely, but I'll have to make some of the repairs manually or we'll never get anywhere. The teleport will need boosting if I'm going to transport enough gunpowder, and I'll have to switch the rear cannon to the front. I could do with another six or seven hours to get the ship up to scratch, but I don't think we have that long."

"I don't think that the Governor is that patient a man." Josiah could see Lord Charles well from his present position. It was not a pleasant view. "He's looks ready to shoot you now."

"Yeah. Listen, he already wants to burn me at the stake or something for being a witch. Could you distract him for me? Only if he sees me leave for my ship, he'll kill me the next time he lays eyes on me. I'd really rather not have him be that angry."

"Your ship is with the Dragon. You'll need a boat to get out there, and there's no magic involved with that."

"I'm not going by boat." Jack grinned. "I'd explain, but... I can't. Not really. Trust me?"

"With my life, Jack. I don't know why, and I don't know how it happened, but I trust you more than I've ever trusted anyone." Josiah smiled, looking almost shy. "Aboard my ship I'm a leader of men. Respected. Strong, even if I do say so myself. But with you, it all changes. Everything changes."

"Good." Jack took the other man's hand. "Be careful. I'll be back as soon as I can, but in the meantime, keep your eyes open and your brain switched on. I don't know what the Kamon is doing, or where it'll surface next. And I don't want you being its next meal."

"Jack..." Colouring slightly, Josiah extricated his hand. "In front of Anne is one thing. She sees all manner of things at the inn. But these others. I--"

"Screw the others." Jack frowned. "Well, no. Not all of them. It'd take too long, and frankly they're not all worth it. And I doubt Lord Charles would approve anyway." Josiah merely looked blankly at him, and he had to smile. "Sorry. Look, just... be careful. And distract Charlie. Right?"

"I'll distract him." The pirate captain nodded his head, and his body language changed in an instant. Gone was the awkward, faintly shy man who didn't quite know how to deal with Jack Harkness; and in his place was the ramrod straight, confident sailor who could deal with every eventuality. "Be careful, Jack."

"You too. And I'm sorry there's so much that you can't understand. It's just... it's complicated."

"Everything is complicated now, Jack. Since the moment you fell out of the sky." Josiah smiled at him. "Do what you have to do, and good luck." With that he turned briskly away. "Lord Charles? Could I have a word, your Excellency? I... appreciate that I'm not the man you most want to speak to, but it's about this gunpowder..."

"What about the gunpowder?" Lord Charles was willing to listen, grudgingly, but his eyes remained focused upon Jack. Josiah, who drank to the Governor's eternal damnation every day of his life, swallowed his distaste and managed to be courtesy itself.

"We'll need a very great deal of it, sir. A very great deal. There might not be enough stored in the town, and I was thinking of places where we could perhaps get some more?" Very gently, he steered his enemy around, pointing him back the way they had come. The soldiers had already gone, marching smartly off to begin fetching the powder. "I have some aboard my ship, but I'm afraid it's not exactly easy to get to quickly. There must be more aboard your own ships, surely?"

"Is this some ruse to disarm my fleet?" The Governor turned on him sharply. "How involved in all of this are you, Day? There are many tales of your prowess at sea, but perhaps your skill is easily explained? Are you a magician too?"

"Sadly not, your Excellency." Josiah wanted to look back at Jack, but was determined not to do anything that might make Lord Charles do the same. "If I possessed the same abilities as my friend - magical or not - I would stand some chance of understanding him. This is no ruse, Lord Charles. I just need as much gunpowder as possible. This is one part of the plan that I can understand, and I intend to do the best that I can. I've lost friends to that beast."

"Dead pirates. What tragedy." Lord Charles nodded slowly, no longer resisting as he was guided away along the harbour, and back up towards the street that led towards the gaol. Only then did Josiah dare to look back, very briefly. He saw Anne, behind him; a great empty expanse of sea; a few boats and a few drunken fishermen - but Jack had gone. There had been a flash, perhaps? Something bright and blue in the very corner of his eye? He couldn't say for certain, but it made his heart thud heavily in his chest. Either Jack had turned into a fish, or he had vanished back up into the sky. If there was a more rational explanation, Josiah couldn't think of it. He could only wonder at a man he could never understand.


"Hey computer. Missed you." Snapping back into existence aboard his ship, Jack flashed a grin at the banks of controls in the flight cabin. "How's everything going?"

"Auto-repair is progressing at predicted rate. All systems--"

"Yeah, we went through that already. Anything new to report?"

"Engines not stable. Cannot guarantee safety of Captain Jack Harkness whilst in flight." There was a pause. "Suggest continuing auto-repair functions for two further hours before attempting take-off."

"Yeah. Nice idea, computer. I just don't think I have two more hours." Jack slid into the pilot's seat. "I got trouble."

"Power cells currently running at fifty percent efficiency. Auto-repair functions are draining reserve power." She was not the most encouraging piece of equipment he had ever encountered, but he couldn't help being fond of her anyway. He patted the nearest screen.

"You always know how to fill me with confidence, don't you. Okay, listen. I need to teleport a sizeable cargo on board, then fly it to another location, off load, and fire a good sized blast from one of the laser cannons. Give me an estimate on that, yeah?" There was a pause.

"Is cargo organic or non-organic?"

"Non-organic." He thought for a second. "But unstable. Kind of explosive, actually. Sparks wouldn't be a great idea."

"Probability of teleporting sizeable non-organic cargo successfully, fifty-nine percent. Probability of teleporting sizeable organic cargo successfully, seven point two percent."

"Sizeable organic cargo? How about just me on my own?"

"Probably of teleporting Captain Jack Harkness successfully, seventy percent."

"Solo travel only then, huh." He nodded. "Okay. I guess I can hold off on giving Josiah a tour for now. Any chance of getting the tractor beam working?"

"Tractor beam will not be operational for at least five hours."

"Thought not." So much for getting hold of the Kamon that way. Still, the tractor beam was hardly an essential; he couldn't really complain if the computer had other priorities. "Okay. I'm going to switch the rear cannon to the front, which I guess means I'm going for a swim. Scanners on full. There's a Kamon out there somewhere, and if it heads my way, I want to be back on board before it gets here."

"Scanners are operating at fifty-five percent efficiency."

"Yeah, well... well scan at fifty-five percent of full, then. Just scan!" He pulled off his boots and threw the empty laser gun onto the floor. "And keep an eye on the harbour, too, yeah? My last location before I came on board."

"Affirmative." The computer bleeped to itself. "Scanners suggest high ratio of potentially dangerous aquatic life in this locality."

"Sharks. Yeah." Jack pulled off his waistcoat and shirt, then grabbed a tool kit and headed for the hatch. "Keep an eye out for them, too. I'd try a winning smile, but something tells me I need bigger teeth to impress a shark. Keep the home fires burning, huh."

"There are no longer any fires on board." The computer flashed a series of lights to show the readiness of the scanners, and Jack smiled to himself. At times he thought it might be nice to have a sentient travelling companion; someone who might actually understand him properly. On the other hand, given the cramped space in the ship, he would probably end up ejecting anything bigger than a spaniel before a couple of days had passed. And mature sentient life didn't tend to come in conveniently spaniel-sized packages.

"Never mind." He offered the computer a cheerful grin, but she didn't seemed greatly affected. Trying to impress her was becoming something of a hobby. Clambering up onto the top of the ship, he dived off into the water, and swam to the rear cannon. The water was pleasantly warm, and extremely refreshing. He could almost see why the Kamon liked it so much. After the mustiness of the cell, to say nothing of the cobwebs from his barely remembered night-time exertions, the water felt very good indeed. This was hardly the time for recreation, though. Not bothering to be too gentle, he disconnected the rear cannon, which was conveniently above the waterline, then swam on down to its counterpart at the front of the ship. This one was under the water, and it took some considerable time to free it from its mount. He was tempted to let it sink, but fought the more irresponsible side of his nature on this occasion. It was not only technology from the future - it was alien technology, from the now all-but destroyed Chula civilisation. He couldn't very well leave it floating around in the sea on Earth. Not that it was easy to avoid doing so.

"Any chance of some music, computer?" he asked as he made one of his periodic surfaces for air. The computer bleeped at him, and obliged with a Chula ballad. He winced

"I said music, not earache. Didn't we just upload a whole lot of human music?"

"Please specify." She sounded insulted. Did Chula computers prefer Chula tunes? Unlikely, but always possible. He gave the ship's hull a consolatory pat.

"Sorry. You choose. And play it under the water, too. Everything still clear?"

"Scanners show considerable aquatic life."

"Yeah, sure to. I'm a little less worried about the plankton, though. Anything bigger than me, give me a shout, okay?"

"Affirmative." There was another bleep, and the Chula ballad cut out, to be replaced with something that sounded as though it dated from the thirtieth century. Whatever it was, it sounded good under the water, and Jack returned to his work cheerfully enough. The rear laser cannon had no particular desire to double for its front counterpart, the manacles on his wrists were dragging his hands down, and the tools had a sneaky tendency to slip out of his fingers at inopportune moments, and make wild bids for freedom, but for the most part everything went well. Now if only he could be sure that the laser would work at something above the computer's less than encouraging prediction of thirty percent power. He would have to get in close to make his shot with that kind of a handicap.

"Power coupling complete on remounted laser," announced the computer suddenly, rather startling him. As though to confirm the declaration, the cannon whirred loudly and gave a brief shudder. Jack grinned.

"Alright! Is it working?"

"Do you wish to test it?" As usual the computer showed no sign of sharing his excitement. Jack gave the hull of the ship a quick kiss of celebration, as though to show that he wasn't offended.

"No thanks. Better not waste the power. Any sign of the Kamon?"

"No alien life is currently within scanner range."

"Great. Or maybe not. I'd rather it was out at sea than lurking somewhere trying to eat people." He hauled himself up out of the water, along with the tools and the shattered remains of the old front cannon. So much for his tough little space vehicle. He had started out with four guns, and now he had just the one. "Everything still on schedule?" This time he could have sworn that there was real expression in the computer's voice - exasperation, if nothing else.

"Auto-repair progressing on schedule. All systems--"

"Yeah, I know." He slid down inside the ship, and threw the useless cannon into a dark corner. "Just thought we might have a miracle. I'm going to re-route a few non-essential systems and see if I can boost the teleport."

"Affirmative." The computer didn't care, but he liked chatting to her anyway. He pulled his shirt back on, and glared at the manacles when they threatened to shred the cuffs. "Computer, any recommendations for removing primitive restraints? None of my tools look like they'll get the job done without cutting my hands off at the same time." There was a flash of light as the computer scanned him, and a series of schematics ran up on one of the nearby screens. "I guess something more sophisticated is more in your line, huh."

"Brute force is recommended," the computer advised, quite possibly with a faint trace of relish. "Use of on board cutting gear carries risk of removal of parts of Captain Jack Harkness."

"That's not exactly ideal. You can't suggest anything useful? I don't have enough brute force to break iron."

"Sonic resonance may suffice."

"Great. Remind me to stop by the superstore tomorrow and buy something sonic." He sighed. "Sorry. Handcuffs make me cranky. Or at least they do when they refuse to come off afterwards. I'll talk to you in a bit."

"Affirmative." The computer went back to its whirring and buzzing as it governed the various auto-repairs. Jack turned his attention to the teleport. It was a complex device, designed for the sole use of the ship's original Chula pilot, which tended to make it decidedly temperamental. Now that he had more or less asserted his control over the ship, he could teleport himself about the place with relative ease, but it still rebelled when required to move other things. There were morals to be learnt there somewhere, probably, about flying off in other people's ships - but Jack was not good at learning morals. He clambered beneath the relevant console, glowered at the spider's web of wires still sticking out from his last attempt to alter the various protocols, and set to work. It was not easy finding non-essential systems that he could tap for extra power, and he was conscious all the time of the passing minutes. How long could it take Josiah and the others to transfer the kegs of gunpowder to the harbour? How long before the impatient Lord Charles starting assuming that Jack had gone for good, and carried out his threat to execute Josiah and Anne? He whistled irritably, and tried not to think too hard about what he had to do. In theory, teleporting gunpowder onto the Kamon's ship was easy; but it wasn'tas if it wouldn't notice. It might be able to use its shipboard defences against him - providing they still worked after the crash - it might have teleport capabilities of its own. Jack could wind up shot down out of the sky, or with the tables turned on him. He worked a little harder; a little faster; trying to keep himself distracted. It wasn't easy. There were certain motivations, though, he couldn't deny that. Images floated into his mind as he worked - Anne, in seductress mode back at the inn; Josiah as he had been when they had first caught sight of each other. Josiah was a good man, if it wasn't too great an oxymoron to call a pirate a good man. Jack had to conclude that it wasn't, since he considered himself to bemuch the same. He smiled to himself. It was always good, to have a little added incentive. Something to work for - something to aim for. Fighting a Kamon was all well and good; protecting the inhabitants of Earth was probably highly laudable; but it didn't exactly make him dance with glee when he thought about it. But to see the looks that Josiah gave him - to understand that here was a man who thought that he was something special; something wondrous -that was more than merely encouraging. He would burrow under a thousand consoles, battle with a thousand recalcitrant teleports, for Josiah's admiration. To say nothing of what that admiration might lead to later on.

"I think that's got it." Clambering out from under the console, he grinned winningly at the nearest screen. "How's it looking, computer?"

"Teleport now functioning at seventy percent of normal." Well it could at least have sounded impressed. He didn't bother glaring, but instead gave the screen a triumphant pat and grinned more broadly.

"Excellent. So what's the likelihood now of transporting a sizeable non-organic cargo?"

"Probability of successfully teleporting sizeable non-organic cargo is now eighty-three point nine percent."


"However success can only be guaranteed within short range." There was a pause. "Long range teleportation has only a sixty-two percent probability rating."

"Great." His shoulders slumped. "So I have to fly the damn ship over to the harbour and teleport everything on board with half the population of the Caribbean watching?! Computer, do you enjoy dropping these little things in my lap?"

"Negative." There was a pause, and a bleep that might even have been contrite - though undoubtedly wasn't. Jack sighed.

"And the chances of maintaining invisibility are pretty slim, right?"

"With current power levels, chances of achieving invisibility are thirty-one point two percent. Chances of maintaining invisibility--"

"Never mind. I can guess. Not good."

"Seven point one percent."

"Remind me not to crash again in a hurry. It's a pain in the exhaust. Okay. Power up, computer. We'd better go get that powder from the shore. I'm going to need all you got, and if that means shutting down life support, do it. It's not like I can't open the hatch to let air in when I need it. I got a feeling it's not just the gunpowder I'm going to need to teleport."


"Just get the engines going." He sat down, and spun the chair to face the flight console. "Feeling good?"

"Power reserves require replenishing."

"Yeah." He flicked a pair of switches above his head. "When we get back to civilisation, I'll buy you a berth at the Morgalian Guild. All the tune-ups and tinkering a space ship could ever want. Just as soon as I can get hold of the fees."

"Lift off imminent." Clearly the idea of getting the mechanical equivalent to a weekend in a health spa didn't excite his placid co-pilot. There was just no pleasing some people. Especially when they weren't actually people. He flicked a few more switches, and felt the ship vibrate slightly around him.

"Going up..." The ship lurched slightly, as though unwilling to leave the sea. "Going up..." It lurched again, no doubt due to its low power and continuing auto-repair. "And... lift off!" The ship zoomed - wobbled might have been a little more accurate - up into the air and hovered unsteadily. Jack gave a cheery whoop. "Alright! Josiah, here we come. Computer, do you have any idea how long it takes to load up a cannon?"

"Laser cannons do not require loading," the computer told him. He rolled his eyes and turned the little ship about.

"I don't mean laser cannons. I mean cannon cannons. The kind that have cannon balls. Never mind. Just keep the sensors ready. There's going to be a lot of people who won't be too happy to see us, and I don't fancy giving them the chance to bring us down. Charlie looks like the kind of guy who'd shoot down a mystery rather than try to find out what it is."

"Primitive weapons are unlikely to penetrate the hull," opined the computer. Jack nodded, half his attention taken up by flying.

"Yeah, sure. We're talking about a large, heavy projectile fired into the air. It doesn't need to penetrate the hull - just bash us into the sea." He sped up slightly, enjoying the flight despite his concerns. The ship felt sluggish, and there seemed to be a slight tremor in the wings, but that didn't detract too much from the usual sensations of being airborne. The only thing better than speeding through the skies was speeding through the stars, and he couldn't stop the grin from growing across his face. It was almost a disappointment when he saw, looming up ahead, the shape of the harbour. He was too high up to see real detail, but the moving specks that he could see were obviously human. Knowing that he couldn't really avoid it, he swooped in lower. There was the powder - kegs and kegs of the stuff, sitting innocuously in uneven piles. There were Josiah and Anne, standing together with at least one musket pointed in their collective direction. There, still, were a pair of drunken fishermen. Lord Charles stood alone, his pure white wig distinctive even at a distance. He was the first of the group to notice the spaceship - the first to hear the engines, or perhaps just to sense the vibrations in the air. Jack swooped down lower, trying not to think of all the rules that he was breaking - both written and unwritten. Rules might not mean a lot to him - but it was hard not to be conscious of them now. All those eighteenth century humans, staring up at an impossibility. Josiah would recognise it of course. He would know that this was Jack's ship now flying towards him. Lord Charles, true to form, didn't even care. Snatching his pistols from his belt, he fired both up at the apparition above him, then when neither had the slightest effect, snatched a nearby musket from a startled soldier, and discharged that as well.

"Return fire?" asked the computer. Jack gave the nearest screen a dirty look.

"Yeah, that'd be an equal match. No, that wasn't an order it was sarcasm. Learn to tell the difference. Can you get a lock on the cargo?"

"Please specify." She was being snippy now, he was sure of it, just to get him back for his comment about sarcasm. He glowered.

"The pile of barrels on the harbour. Get it up here now. And don't shake it up, or we'll both be doing a good impersonation of hailstones." He brought the ship down lower. Lord Charles was yelling instructions, several soldiers bolted for the end of the harbour. Three kegs of powder materialised on the floor near to the pilot's chair. Jack's eyes widened.

"Computer! We need to get them aboard faster than that!"

"Power reserves low." She loved reminding him of that. He scowled.

"Yeah, and I boosted the power available to the teleport. Get the damn cargo on board!"

"Affirmative." There was another blue-white glow, and five more kegs appeared on the ship.

"Faster than that!" The soldiers were running faster now, no longer looking so panic-stricken. Training had taken over - he could see it in the way that they moved. They were heading, predictably enough, for one of the cannons that stood along the wall near to the harbour. Shore defence, in case of attack from the sea. It wouldn't take them long to load it - they must be experts at that kind of thing. Jack slammed on the auto-pilot, trusting in it to keep the ship aloft, despite its obvious wobbles, then made a dive for the nearest console. He ripped out a series of wires, hissed back a curse when he electrocuted himself, then tried to swat away the crowd of nanogenes that converged upon his burnt fingers. "Get out of the way!" he shouted at them, unable to see through their eager glowing. It didn't do any good, and he was left fiddling with the console more or less blindly. Something hummed beside him, and the computer beeped in protest.

"Power required for auto-repair," she told him curtly. He nodded.

"I know. And the auto-repair can have it back when we've finished. Now get those damn powder kegs on board before--" There was a load bang and the ship spun. Alarms blared all around him, and the floor was suddenly above his head.

"Damage! Damage! Damage!" The computer sounded frantic. "Large iron projectile in collision with port wing. Damage! Dama--"

"I know!" He spun back to the flight controls, switched off the auto-pilot, and wrestled to bring the ship back under control. "I'll take care of this. Just get the cargo on board."

"Affirmative." Clearly no longer inclined to argue about his fiddling beneath the consoles, the computer turned her attentions back to the teleport. In a series of sudden flashes, the rest of the powder appeared inside the ship. The soldiers were preparing a second shot with the cannon, but Jack dodged this one easily enough.

"Computer? How's the teleport looking?" He was watching the soldiers at the cannon with one eye, the ship's controls with half of the other. The rest of his attention was taken up with Josiah and Anne. Lord Charles was advancing upon them with a musket, and Josiah was doing his best to keep Anne behind him. Clearly she had other ideas, and had already drawn one of her knives.

"Teleport still charged." Now that the ship was stable, the computer's attentions had returned to the auto-repairs, and Jack well knew that his rebellious spaceship would already be trying to undo his adaptations and restore the bled power to its proper destination. It wasn't the computer's fault exactly - at times the ship itself just seemed to have a mind of its own.

"Good." Lord Charles was lifting the musket, ready to fire. He couldn't really fail to hit Josiah, who was clearly unarmed. Anne was still holding her knife, though, and with what looked like a yell, she hurled the thing straight at the hated Governor. Lord Charles fired the musket, and Jack brought the ship swooping madly down. For a second he thought that he would crash into the harbour - and probably, considering his cargo, blow himself, Josiah and Anne to pieces. He saw the Governor's face, white with sudden terror - saw Josiah and Anne stumbling backwards, away from the Governor, from Jack's ship, from the sudden heat of its engines. "The two of them!" He was yelling the order at the top of his voice, and entirely failing to specify which two of what. "Teleport now!" The cannon was swinging around to point at him, Josiah and Anne were just about to fall off the end of the harbour, and from beneath Jack's feet came the horrible grinding noise of metal scraping on wood. He had clipped the harbour - had done more than clip it, for he could see pieces of it flying up into the air in front of him. He pulled with all his might on the control stick, jammed down the acceleration controls, and as two human shapes blurred into life behind him, sent the ship shooting skyward. A cannonball smashed harmlessly into the sea, and broken pieces of the harbour rained down around it. Jack let out a long, low breath, then turned the ship to head back out to sea. He couldn't help grinning, now that it was all over. He had damn near crashed; damn near blown himself up; damn near taken several other people with him - but he was still in one piece. The Harkness Luck, good as ever.

"Nice work, computer!" She didn't share his jubilation, so he turned around instead to share the moment with Josiah and Anne. "Was that great flying or what?!"

"I... Jack?" Josiah was stumbling to his feet, clearly disorientated, trying and failing not to trip over the many powder kegs on the floor. "Jack... what witchcraft... what inhumanity is this? I..."

"What are you?" Anne had snatched another knife from her belt - her last remaining weapon thanks to the day's activities. The blade loomed up in Jack's vision, and he knocked it aside. Fortunately Anne was disorientated too - he didn't think for a moment that she would have been half so easy to deal with had she been fully alert.

"Hey hey hey! Come on, guys!" He flicked the auto-pilot switch and stood up, but the moment that he moved towards them, both stepped hastily back. He tried out a smile and a placatory tone, as he took another step forward. "Look, I know what this looks like, but it's not magic. Not really. Not that kind of magic."

"We were on the harbour." Josiah sounded dazed, which wasn't uncommon after a first trip via teleportation. "And then... If it's not magic, Jack, what else can it be?"

"I can't really explain that. You just have to trust me. Josiah, have I done anything to hurt you so far? Have I done anything to hurt anybody, anything to suggest that I might be dangerous?"

"You mean aside from bringing that monster here?" Anne's eyes were focused on the place where her knife had disappeared - clearly she hoped to regain it. Jack hesitated, then crouched slowly down, fished it out from beneath his seat, and threw it back to her. She blanched, obviously confused.

"I should slit your throat," she told him. Her voice was almost a growl. He nodded.

"Maybe. There's certainly a lot of people who'd thank you. But I'm not a danger to you, Anne. I know what you probably think of magic - but do you really want to follow the Governor's lead? You're better than he is, both of you."

"Jack, we were brought here by magical means. There is no other explanation. Your ship... it flew down out of the sky. The gunpowder vanished before our eyes. If this is not magic, what else can it be?" Josiah's voice was imploring - he wanted to understand. Jack took another few steps towards him, and this time neither he nor Anne retreated. Anne's knife stood ready, though - that was painfully obvious.

"It's not magic," he said again. "Not where I come from. Here, maybe... maybe it is. But not the sort of magic that you're supposed to be afraid of. It's good magic. It's going to get rid of that monster."

"It brought the monster here in the first place," challenged Anne. "You think me a fool? I've heard enough from the both of you, especially last night - even if I didn't believe it at the time. I know that that creature, whatever it is, is here because of you. I know that Lord Charles was right about that, if nothing else. And that, to my mind, is not good magic."

"Well... no." Confound it all, couldn't they just be grateful that he had saved their lives?! The ship wobbled, and he spun around in a sudden rage. "Damn it, just keep the ship steady, computer!"

"Power reserves low. Auto-pilot no longer functioning efficiently." She sounded cold, and he sighed. There was no sense in alienating her as well.

"Sorry." He turned his back on his two companions, and slid once more into his seat. "Okay, turning off the auto. We're heading back to our last location." He glanced over his shoulder, to where Josiah and Anne were still standing, still half stunned, or possibly just furious. Afraid, confused, disbelieving - whatever. He didn't care. He had done what he had felt he had to do, and if they couldn't accept that then there was nothing he could do about it. "Hang on to something, you two. We're not as stable in the air yet as we should be."

"We're flying somewhere?" Despite himself, Josiah sounded almost interested. There was adventurer enough within him, perhaps, to fight the predictable prejudice towards magic. Either that or he really had come to trust Jack enough. There was no such trust from Anne, but since she hadn't tried to slit his throat yet, Jack was reasonably sure that she was in control of her own fears. She certainly wasn't lacking in courage; she had proved that so far.

"Yeah, we're heading back to where you left the Dragon. It's not going to take long for Charlie to get moving, and I'm betting he knows who Anne is, and where she works. So he's going to start adding all his twos and twos together, and pretty soon that's going to get him heading for the Shark's Tooth Inn. I want you out of reach before then."

"I... can't honestly say that I understand you." Josiah came a little closer, hanging for dear life onto the back of Jack's chair when he properly saw the view out of the front of the ship. "Great heaven, we're truly flying."

"Yeah. Isn't it great?" Jack caught sight of the other man's whitened face, and frowned. "Well, maybe not. Look, it's simple. Our good friend the Governor is going to have recognised Anne, right? Or some of his soldiers will have done, at least. The Shark's Tooth is going to be the first place he heads for, once he's pulled all his men out of the sea. Youneed to get all of your people back on board the Dragon by then, and head out to sea where he can't catch you. You too Anne, and anybody else you can persuade to go with you. I don't have the power right now to defend you the way I'd like."

"I... suppose you're right." Josiah still looked white, but the resolve was returning to his voice; his shoulders were once more set into a straight, strong line, and the eyes that stared out of the front of the ship were no longer quite so wild. "But there are still explanations that I want to hear from you, Jack. Many explanations."

"I don't doubt it." Jack stole a glance back at Anne. "We'll be there soon. If you're going to slit my throat..."

"I'm not fool enough to do that whilst we're still flying through the air." Her eyes were cold, but her voice was no longer quite as much so. "Magic or not, without you to fly us I doubt we would stay in the air for long."

"Not for very long, no." He flashed her one of his brightest smiles. Anne was brave, intelligent, beautiful - even with Josiah standing right between them, he couldn't stop the gleam from showing in his eyes. She shot him a withering look that clearly said: Not on your life, but he couldn't stop the grin nonetheless.

"I see the Dragon." Either oblivious to Jack's flirting with Anne, or choosing to ignore it, Josiah was still staring out of the front. "Look, Anne. I've seen it from the rigging of course, but never from this far up. She's beautiful."

"Of course she's beautiful. She's the finest ship ever built." Anne also stared out as the Dragon grew closer beneath them. "And though it pains me to say it, Captain Jack is right. We need to be gone from here before the Governor is able to bring whatever remains of the garrison after us. I hope you don't have any superstitions about allowing women on board ship, Josiah."

"Oh I'm sure that there are men in the crew who have just that superstition. No doubt the same ones who insisted that Jack was an evil omen." Josiah smiled back at her. "But they'll keep their mutterings to themselves, especially when they see that I'm happy to have you aboard. You're welcome to stay as long as you'd like. I just wish that I could believe Celeste would also come with us."

"Celeste is in no danger. She has enough people afraid of her to make them think twice about trying to hurt her." Anne smiled fondly. "Besides, she has secret doors and tunnels hidden everywhere. Pirates have been using this cove for as long as there have been ships in this part of the world. They all left their trapdoors and their hidden chambers. There's rumoured to be hidden chests of gold and jewellery all over the place down there, and I'd wager that Celeste knows where every one of them is buried. There are places enough for her to hide in, if she thinks that she's in danger."

"Gold and jewels?" Jack couldn't help quirking an eyebrow in a sudden show of interest. "What?! It's not like I'd really be stealing from her."

"She might not see it that way. And sometimes I wonder if her talk of voodoo power is really only talk." Josiah grinned suddenly. "Not that I haven't thought once or twice about going treasure hunting myself. Pirates' treasure belongs in the hands of pirates, not of an innkeeper."

"When it's only the innkeeper who has the brains to work out where the treasure is, then she's welcome to it." Anne was peering out of the front of the ship with a real sense of interest now, her concerns apparently forgotten. "How does this craft get down out of the air, Jack?"

"It doesn't. If I land her now, I'm not sure I'll be able to get her off the ground again. I'll teleport you down, the same way I got you up." He scowled at a nearby console. "That's always supposing that the protocols haven't reset themselves again."

"And then you're going after the beast? The... Kamon?" Josiah didn't sound happy. "I don't like the idea of you doing that alone. We've seen its power. One man doesn't stand a chance against a creature like that."

"One man or twenty, it's all the same. You have to have the right method, Joe, that's all." Jack looked up from his perusal of the teleport controls to smile briefly at his companion. "It'll be okay. See, I figure if I attack its ship, it'll come running. Or swimming, anyway. They have some basic telepathic abilities, and it'll know if its ship is in trouble. I'm counting on it to go into defensive mode and jump right into the trap. Soon as it's aboard, I'll teleport the gunpowder over. All at once, computer, whatever the power levels are like at the time. Then I put everything I've got into a laser blast from the cannon that has to penetrate the hull." He grinned. "And the Kamon goes back into space the hard way."

"Some day, Jack, you're going to have to teach me this language of yours. It sounds so like English at times, and yet clearly it's a foreign tongue." Josiah looked confused. Jack laughed.

"Sarcasm will get you nowhere. Unless that wasn't sarcasm. In which case that was actually kind of cute, which will get you everywhere." He looked serious all of a sudden. "Time to go. Just stand still, and this ought to work smoothly enough."

"Jack..." Josiah didn't sound happy. "You make light of it all, but this is still a dangerous thing that you're planning to do. Somebody should go with you."

"That somebody being you, right?" Jack shook his head. "And then what happens to your crew? They need you. Look, I'm not claiming responsibility for any of this... exactly... but I can see how it might be possible to suggest that it might sort of be my fault. A bit. In a sense. Possibly. And I'd feel bad if we got back from fighting the Kamon to find your crew dead. You have to get them away from here before Charlie arrives. You know that."

"Yes, I know that." Josiah still didn't look happy. Jack sighed, and flicked a switch on the nearest console. There was a flare of blue light, and Anne disappeared. Josiah jumped.

"That was... Is she alright?"

"The scanners say that she's healthy." He pointed, to where a slightly wobbly looking Anne was standing on the beach. "Computer, take over the flight controls for a moment, okay?" Something bleeped in answer, and Jack got to his feet, turning to face Josiah properly. "Listen. I--"

"This is goodbye. I'm not a fool, Jack. I know a dismissal when I see one." The pirate captain looked away, but Jack reached out, touching his cheek to turn his face back around.

"Goodbye? No. More like 'see you later', or 'back in a jiffy', or... a lot of other stuff you probably don't understand. You know you have to stay with your men. I'd love to have you with me. Really I would. You're far better company than a ship that doesn't like me anyway, and an alien that wants to eat everybody on the planet. Sorry, that doesn't sound much like a compliment."

"I didn't understand half of it anyway." Josiah was smiling again now. "You're a strange man, Captain Jack. You're not what you claim to be... but I don't know what you are instead. You say that you're not a man of magic, and yet with a flash of blue light you can transport Anne instantly down onto the beach. You have a ship that flies through the air, a gun that can melt iron doors... You show me a monster like nothing I could have dreamed, and your ways... your ways are strange to me as well. I--"

"Captain Jack Harkness required to resume control of ship," announced the computer, showing a remarkable lack of timing in Jack's opinion. He scowled.

"In a minute."

"Auto-pilot cannot sustain present stability." Maybe she was jealous. He might have smiled at the thought at another time. Instead he just sighed.

"I should be going. I have a date with a big ugly green thing. Granted it's not the first big green thing I've ever dated, but I really would rather be spending the time with you."

"Thankyou." Josiah looked faintly baffled. "I think."

Jack laughed gently at his confusion. "So what do you say that when the monster's dealt with, you and I talk over all the questions you have... all the things you don't understand... over a nice bottle of champagne? I usually have some on ice. Assuming the crash didn't break the last of the bottles."

"Talk over my questions?" Josiah smirked at him. "Somehow I feel that your intentions are not on talk. You have a wicked mind, Jack."

"Of course my intentions are on talk! To begin with anyway." Jack's smile was positively lascivious. "Gotta take these things slow..."

"Losing altitude," snapped the computer. "Auto-pilot failing."

"Damn." Jack vaulted back into his seat, and slammed his hands down on several switches at once. "Josiah..."

"I know. Your ship needs you. I'm a captain too, Jack. I understand these things, even when I don't understand the ship." Josiah put one hand on Jack's shoulder. "When the beast is defeated, come back to me."

"Nothing could keep me away." That was a mild exaggeration, Jack would have had to admit, but it was the sort of thing that people liked to hear. "Champagne, and maybe some truffles. You ever had chocolate, Josiah?"

"No. I've heard of it of course. The rich drink it, but I'm told it's quite bitter."

"Then it looks like there's even more I can show you." He hesitated. "Ready?"

"No. I'd rather stay." The pirate smiled at him. "Yes, I'm ready. But promise me, Jack. Promise that you'll not let that beast kill you. Promise me that you will come back."

"I promise." Jack had all manner of things planned for a day of celebration alone with Josiah Day. Not coming back was the last thing on his mind. He reached up, taking the captain's hand off his shoulder, and giving it a quick kiss. "Stand back."

"Good luck."

"You too. Move like lightning. I'll find you no matter how far out to sea you are. It's no trouble for my scanners."

"Lord Charles will not catch me. Have no fear." Josiah stepped back, standing up straight in the middle of the ship. I'm ready."

"Good." With a fond smile at his new friend, Jack operated the nearby console, and teleported the pirate down to the beach. He saw him standing there, wobbling slightly in the sand, then swooped the ship down out of the sky and waggled the wings in salute. It was hardly the crisp, clean manoeuvre that he would have liked, for the ship was no longer handling at all well - but with luck Josiah would not notice the tremors in an unfamiliar craft. Fighting gravity, fighting low power, and fighting controls that needed an overhaul, Jack banked sharply and sent the ship leaping back up into the air. Next stop, the Kamon's ship. He could only hope that the power reserves didn't give out on the way.


The Kamon was confused. It had a mission; it knew that it had a mission. Though not entirely sentient, its thought processes were more complex than those of most ordinary animals, and it knew that there were orders to be followed. Despite its insatiable desire for the flesh of certain species - particularly humans - a Kamon was not just a killing machine, and it could follow orders. It just had to be given those orders by a race that wasn't on its favourite foods list. It had been told to protect the giant space hulk that Jack Harkness had gone to investigate - it had obeyed its orders by attempting to kill the intruder. It had followed the intruder, trying to carry out its orders - and that was where the confusion began. It had crash-landed in this strange place; a world of water, with a ready supply of tasty humans. It should have been happy. It was happy. This strange place was like Paradise for any Kamon - and yet it couldn't enjoy its new surroundings. It had a mission. It had a man to kill. It had a post to return to. Enjoyment was a new experience for the Kamon.

And so it tried to be a good soldier, an instinct that lay at the base of its being. It tried to find out where it was. It swam, and it tasted the waters, and it tasted the native life forms. It tried to analyse the information available to it. It had an idea in the back of its mind that it was on Earth, but not the Earth it knew of. Not the Earth it had being flying towards when it had crashed. Above was a sky that was not filled with spaceships; the sea did not hum with the sounds of an industrialised world. As it hung beneath the surface, the Kamon could hear the songs of animals that swam in the same waters, but hundreds and hundreds of miles away. It was a new experience. It made the creature wonder, though wonder did not come naturally to a creature that lived for battle.

It had broken its mental programming. It knew that, but it didn't know yet if it felt guilty. It had had its target under its claws, with death one easy blow away, but it had not gone through with the directive to kill. It had let the human escape. It didn't yet know why, but thoughts lingered. Confusions lingered. The human also did not belong on this Earth. The human might know what, and where, and when this Earth was. The human might know the way back. And so the Kamon had allowed it to live, and had allowed its full stomach to lead it away from further hunting, back into the sea to consider things. Not that it could consider - not really. Its brain was not designed for deep thought, and careful planning. It couldn't think things through to their natural conclusion. It couldn't work much out for itself. But it knew that it didn't belong here, and it wanted to know where here was. More than anything, it wanted instruction.

It was lurking in deep water, watching a whale sunbathe, when it felt a tugging at its subconscious. Something was calling to it; something buried deep inside its awareness was telling it that it had to get back to its ship. It didn't understand why, but it felt a certain relief at this new sense of purpose. It was good to have something to do again. Good to have somewhere to go. Slowly at first, but with gathering speed, it set off towards its crashed ship. It passed fish that it might have eaten at another time; it did not allow itself to be distracted by the voices of humans that it heard floating through the waters. It needed its ship. It was the one way to get back to where it was supposed to be; and if the ship was in danger, it had to be protected. And so the Kamon sped up until it was little more than a green blur, and thought of nothing more.

Jack straightened up, staring out at the great expanse of blue sea that surrounded him. The computer on board his ship would tell him if the Kamon was approaching - or at least, she would if the sensors were working properly, which she hadn't sounded completely sure about. He couldn't stop looking, though. He stood on the small piece of the alien ship that stuck up above the light waves, attempting to spark off his enemy's in built programming by attacking the hull with a blow torch, but his efforts were hampered by a sustained campaign by the sea to put the blow torch out. The rocking of the ship didn't help, threatening all the time to pitch him overboard, and the constant thought of how very close the Kamon might be kept him looking in almost every direction bar the one that was supposed to be getting his concentration. His boots were full of water, his hair was spiky from salty spray, and he had nearly dropped the blow torch twice. He was beginning to think that he really wasn't cut out for nautical sabotage. When a large shark surfaced nearby, and had a lazy chew on one of the wings, Jack decided that that pretty much made it definite. He wasn't cut out for balancing acts in the middle of the ocean, with only three inches of a very poor substitute for dry land between him and the unfairly large mouth of a hungry fish. Not that the shark seemed terribly interested in him. He was trying to decide whether or not to be insulted, when his wrist computer beeped loudly.

"Alien life form approaching." The voice of the ship's computer showed predictably little concern. Despite being in an exposed position, with no guarantee that the teleport would work when he asked it to zap him to safety, Jack was rather relieved. He had had enough. He almost stuck his tongue out at the shark, but held back. Knowing his luck the teleport really would fail, and then he would be stuck at close quarters with a giant insulted fish - and it would probably turn out to be a friend of the Kamon's.

"Range?" he asked the computer. Another beep answered him.

"Five hundred metres and closing. Suggest returning to ship."

"Honey, you're speaking my language." He pressed the button of his remote unit, and felt the teleport's glow surround him. It felt different to usual - the prickle of energy almost hurt his skin, and the light seemed somehow irregular. Nonetheless, it deposited him safely onto his ship. He slid into the control seat.

"Do you have visual yet on the Kamon?" he asked. One of his screens immediately changed to show him a view of the surface of the sea, now some distance below him. The shark was making itself scarce, and Jack couldn't help thinking that it was being a damn sight smarter than he was. Was he really doing all of this just to win Josiah's admiration? He couldn't honestly think of another reason right now. It was still possible to quit, though, he thought to himself - to turn the ship back towards land, and leave somebody else to deal with the Kamon. In another day or so, with the auto-repair left to do its work uninterrupted, he would be able to fly properly again - even make a time jump. The Kamon really would be somebody else's problem then. He sighed to himself. Maybe if Josiah's smile hadn't been quite so nice; maybe if Anne hadn't been quite so interesting; maybe if the promise of a Caribbean holiday with his own, very obliging pirate captain hadn't been quite so alluring... Damn it, he wasn't going anywhere. On the screen he saw the green shape of the Kamon as it sped closer, vanishing beneath the ship in search of entry. He spun to face the teleport controls. He had had to re-calibrate them every few minutes, the pre-programmed protocols fighting him every step of the way, whatever he tried to do to stop them. Lights still flashed now, showing the metaphorical anger of a system forced to operate in a way that it didn't like. The computer, which for the most part appeared to be on his side, had fought on his behalf, but still the teleport remained determined to reset to its defaults. There were days when Jack loved the ship, and would have liked to thank the designers personally. This was not one of those days.

"Are we set?" he asked the computer. Something bleeped.

"Teleport window of twenty-five seconds before reset." The computer sounded as annoyed with the protocols as he was. "Boosting power now."

"Gotcha." He flicked a series of switches, though his eyes never left the view out of the front of the ship. The Kamon had activated its own ship; the engines were humming, and Jack could hear their power build. Its ship had most likely suffered less damage than his own, since he had not been able to match its firepower in their battle the previous day, and he began to work more feverishly.

"Ready computer?" he asked her.

"All power temporarily re-routed to teleport." She meant it, too. Everything bar the engines cut out, and the ship gave a mighty shudder. Jack tightened one hand around the control column, sent the ship into a dive towards the other vessel, and slammed his free hand down on the teleport controls. There was a bright, bright flash of blue light, and the gunpowder disappeared, reappeared, then finally was gone.

"Teleport successful," announced the computer, somewhat unnecessarily. Jack wasn't interested. In getting his ship close enough to the Kamon's to be sure of success, he had got it a little too close. He wrestled with the controls now, fighting gravity and the ship's own damaged parts.

"Impact imminent," offered the computer. "Suggest gaining altitude."

"What the hell do you think I'm doing with the control stick, computer?! Seducing it?!" Jack flicked a few switches above his head. "Get all available power to the engines. I have to bring her around before the Kamon wonders what the hell just appeared on its ship!"

"Re-routing power." A warning klaxon sounded, and Jack groaned at it.

"Not now! I know we're nearly out of juice. We just need to do this, and then we can land and let the auto-repair really do its work. Come on..."

"Engines failing," reported the computer. Jack refrained from swearing at her.

"I know the engines are failing! They got shot up, they fell backwards through time, and then they crashed into the sea! That doesn't exactly come under recommended usage. Just hold her together!"

"Kamon vessel experiencing difficulty. Scanners detect engine faults." Another klaxon sounded. "Sixty seconds to engine failure. Kamon vessel is attempting to lock a tractor beam onto this ship."

"Damn it, no!" Jack wrenched the control stick around. "Do I still have power for the laser cannon?"

"Laser cannon operational. Power has been kept in reserve." A rainbow of tiny lights chased each other across the console. "Close range required for maximum effect."

"I know." Jack spoke between gritted teeth. Of course he had to get in close; there were power alerts flashing everywhere now, and his head rang with the sound of at least half a dozen klaxons. It wasn't as if he didn't know that he had problems. A powerful green light shone out beneath him, and he wrenched the control stick hard. A tractor beam. How the hell did the Kamon's ship still have enough power to generate something like that? The answer was obvious of course - it was the more powerful ship to begin with, to say nothing of the least damaged. Jack muttered swear words learnt on a dozen worlds in a dozen different time zones, and swung his ship round into a circle. How long now until engine failure? The computer should have been giving him a countdown, but for some reason she was silent. Battling to keep everything working, no doubt; either that or losing power herself. Thirty seconds? Twenty seconds? Ten? The Kamon's ship began to lift up, though its engines stuttered. The computer had been right about them being damaged, then. Jack felt a rush of bitter satisfaction about that. For all its greater resources, the Kamon couldn't take off properly - but its gun ports were opening, and Jack didn't doubt that the weapons still worked. Of course they did - anything else would be too close to fairness, and there were little enough of that in evidence here. As his ship gave a massive jolt, and one more klaxon added itself to the tuneless cacophony surrounding him, he did the one thing left that he could think of, and sent his ship into a dive. Down it went, engines screaming, klaxons blaring, the whole thing juddering and rattling as though about to tear itself apart - and the big, wide guns of the Kamon's ship unfolded themselves from their ports. Jack stared straight at them, and reached for the controls of his own gun. This was not going the way he had envisioned it. What had happened to a little heroic risk taking, followed by a triumphant return to a display of Josiah's adoring gratitude? His engines died, and the whistle of screaming wind reached his ears now. The guns below him swivelled; Jack felt a sudden desire to close his eyes. He clenched his teeth instead, gripped tight to the gun controls, and aimed straight back at the Kamon's bristling weapons array. In theory at least, an open gun port was a weak point. In theory at least, the added explosion of a destroyed gun should help to ensure that this worked. If it didn't he wasn't going to get another chance. By now the Kamon's computers would be realising what the gunpowder was; if Jack didn't crash, if the Kamon didn't shoot him, or get a lock on with the tractor beam - if a hundred other unpleasant possibilities didn't come about, there still would be no second chance at blowing the powder. It would all be jettisoned in seconds. Jack slammed his hands down on the firing controls - once - twice - then tried to steer away. He couldn't. The engines were dead, the Kamon's ship was looming up in front of him - and as the gun he had fired at, the gun that had been fully charged in readiness to fire at him, suddenly blew apart in a white hot explosion, Jack had to wrench his gaze away. Lights danced in front of his eyes, his vision blurred and faded. He never saw the massive explosion that marked the end of the Kamon's ship. He just felt the shockwave - the massive, irresistible force that snatched at his ship and hurled it back up into the skies. He heard more klaxons - thought that he heard the computer shouting warnings of her own, trying to operate fail-safes and emergency protocols, trying to reactivate the dead engines. Up and up they went, in a blaze of colour; a tumbling, head over heels confusion that left Jack barely conscious. Alerts were flashing everywhere, but his vision was still too blurred. All he could see were vague colours; all he could hear was the voice of the computer, trying to warn him of something. Trying to tell him something that was probably extremely important, but sounded just like gobbledegook. There was another bone-shaking judder, a moment of near peace, and then weightlessness. Familiar, unwelcome weightlessness, that meant that they were no longer flying upward. They were going to crash. He tried to activate the emergency landing gears, but he had no idea if they were still working, and he couldn't find all of the controls. The computer's voice echoed in his head - the klaxons seemed to have given up. Damn it, what was the computer trying to say? He just couldn't quite get the noise to make sense. Just couldn't quite focus on the words.

And then, with a last, erratic blaze of colour, there was nothing but the sound of the sea.


I saw the explosion, far out to sea as I took my ship and my crew to safety, and I knew that it was the end of the Kamon. Though I never quite knew why, I trusted in Jack to do as he had promised. I had known him for so short a time, but I knew that I could trust him - though I suspected that that trust had its limits. For hours I waited at sea for him to come to me - hours that turned into days, that soon in their turn became months. He didn't come back, despite what he had promised. My trust turned to water, dripping away little by little as the time went by. He had promised me so much, though much of it without words - and he left me wondering if I had made a fool of myself. None but Anne knew the truth of how much that strange and perhaps even magical man had meant to me, and I was glad of that - and soon enough my crew seemed to forget that he had ever come on board. They still spoke of the monster that had killed some of our number, but the memories drifted into the stuff of sea shanties and tall tales; stories to be shared in taverns over tankards of rum. Captain Jack, the man who had fallen out of the stars, was just a shipwrecked sailor delivered back to shore. Even Turner, who alone of the crew had seen him crash land, seemed to forget. I was glad - a man who makes no appearance in a tale is a man more easily forgotten by those he has left behind. I wanted to forget Captain Jack - his smile, his laugh, his magicks and his mysteries. I was happy to let him drift into my past.

But life will always surprise you, and when once the skies have opened, and thrown a man down from above, nothing is ever quite the same again. However it looked, whatever I thought, I had not yet seen the last of Captain Jack. There were surprises yet to come. Magicks yet to be discovered. With Jack, it seems, the adventure is only ever just beginning.