Beckett & Sparrow: Vignettes

Author: Kneazle

Rating: M

Warnings: Some language, mention of torture

Summary: How did Beckett know of the Compass? What marks did Jack leave on him?

Disclaimer: PotC belongs to Warner Brothers and all its affiliates. I make no money on this.

1: Acquaintance

Cutler Beckett meets a dirty young boy around his age on the docks of Port Royal one day, his hair pull of beads and other knickknacks and he thinks that it would look odd on anyone other than this boy.

He introduces himself and the other boy replies, "Jack T—Sparrow."

Cutler doesn't miss the slip-up but doesn't call the boy on it, because here in Port Royal no one uses their real name, especially when you're bartering to gain passage on a ship to become part of its crew.

He grew up on the dirty streets on London and escaped an abusive and drunken father and memory of a dead mother by stowing on the first ship he saw. He knows that information is the currency of the world, not loyalty or money, because what money does he have? He's been begging pieces of food and clothes off people for months now. Besides, information is good for business.

A glance at the boy next to him, at Jack Sparrow, has Cutler hoping for a friend, a companion. He's been alone for some time now.

By divine intervention, or providence, both he and Sparrow are selected to be cabin boys out of numerous other under ten's and their first task together is to swab down the deck.

The two boys quickly become best mates and soon have the run of the ship between Cutler's silver tongue and propriety and Jack's confidence and quirky personality. Together, they experience their first sea storm; their first bout of scurvy; their first taste of Tortuga; they even mess up—the first and only time—and are sentenced to two lashes each together.

2: Friendship

The two boys grow up and soon, they are sailing the world and make port in Siam. Cutler doesn't know how it works but Jack's honesty and strict sense of morals compared to his morally ambiguous views and manipulation works well together in their plots and intrigues. They make a good team. Somehow, Jack convinces his friend to join him for the night exploring the city. Cutler thinks Jack has an adventurous side and he brings out in Cutler, who prefers to take calculated risks.

Jack always talks about adventures: he talks openly but quietly late at night with Cutler about the No-North Compass, a compass that doesn't point to the North but to the thing you desire most; he talks about the legendary, rare galleon the Black Peal, who in myth was blessed by the gods themselves to out-sail and out-power any and all other ships in the ocean; about the Fountain of Youth; of Davy Jones' Locker and a chest with a still-beating heart in it…

Cutler thinks they're just stories, fantastic tall tales that Jack's mother or father told him or things that Jack himself makes up to live this wonderfully imaginative life, but for the life of him, Cutler trusts every word that leaves Jacks' mouth. His friend has yet to lie to him (something about a pirate code, but Cutler shushes him quickly after that—pirates are to be hanged, even suspected pirates, and he doesn't wish that fate on his best friend at all.).

Jack even befriends, or possibly humours, another sailor onboard named Mr. Gibbs, who is superstitious and has even more fantastic tales and stories that Jack never heard. Cutler humours his mate, watching the two get on like a fish to water.

Two young teens do not attract any attention on the dark and dank streets and alleyways as they explore the Siam city, and somehow, they pull off an elaborate heist together. Cutler distracts the guards, and Jack slips in to the royal palace.

Twenty minutes later, he and Jack meet up and race back to the ship, Jack clutching his treasure possessively.

"What is it then?" Cutler asks, eyes eager. He wonders what treasure Jack has found. Their adventure is good business, after all.

Jack opens his hands and reveals a square yellow rimmed black box. At his friends' sceptical glance, Jack opens it and an arrow painted on white ivory spins around and around until finally settling somewhere to their left.

It's the No-North Compass.

3: Adventure

Sometimes Cutler becomes exasperated with Jack's wittiness and his easy-going manner when he should be more serious and understand the gravity of the situation. Jack tells him to lighten up and "go with the flow, mate!" but then again, if Jack wasn't Jack, Cutler wouldn't like him.

However, at the moment, Cutler thinks he hates Jack's guts. The merchant ship he and Jack bartered onto years ago as children is gone and they are now under a different captain and different colours. There was a recent run-in with a pirate vessel (Spanish, thinks Cutler, but that's of no importance now—Jack's missing!) and the crew diligently loaded the pirates' stolen booty in the captain's quarters for cataloguing and to bring back to England.

Hours later, at port in Tortuga for the night, Jack disappears. Cutler panics.

He searches his hammock and finds a bag there, innocently places out in the open ("because who'll look there, eh, Cutler, mate?"). Curious, Cutler opens the bag and finds several pieces of the pirates' booty. He's wondering why Jack would pick the lock to the captain's quarters and risk stealing the goods and then leaving them here if he's gone missing when the first mate finds him, Cutler's pants figuratively around his ankles.

He's thrown in the brig without so much as a by-your-leave and they sail out of Tortuga at first light.

Jack's still not on board and Cutler bitterly wonders if he did the right thing all those years ago by hiding Jack's pirate nature from others notice. Then again, he knew and look where it got him.

4: Betrayal

The only thing Cutler likes about Caribbean jails is the smell of sea air whilst being tortured and interrogated—in that order. They ask him why he stole the goods, where the rest of the missing goods are, if he's a pirate, does he know any pirates, what his father's occupation is/was, what ships he was on before his recent placement. Cutler says nothing, because he'll keep Jack's secrets even if it means his death.

He believes his best mate will get him out—he's Jack Sparrow, of course he'll come for him!

Unfortunately, he's in the rat-infested jail for nearly a month when his sentenced is finally read: death.

The man who led the interrogation, Mr. Randall, visits him in the call one day with a black-robed man with wide-brimmed hat hiding his face. Cutler's not even in the least religious, but he changes his mind quickly when the clergyman speaks.

"Do you wish to confess, my son?"

It's Jack's distinct rum-lined rasp and flowing inflection that catches Cutler's attention and a part of him screams why has it taken you this long to find me, Jack? Don't you know what they did to me?!

That ember of hate flares to life, after Cutler nurturing it every day just a little more as he waited for his friend. Jack turned his back on him, he believes, on their friendship and became a pirate.

Jack hands Cutler a large Bible, telling him he should read one of the psalms to soothe his soul, so Cutler takes it. When he opens the book, he sees that the pages have been hollowed out and a matchlock pistol is lying innocently where the text should be.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned," says Cutler lowly, still staring at the pistol.

He then looks up and Jack moves, throwing the robes off in Mr. Randall's direction and unsheathing his sword and pistol in one fluid movement. The pistol discharges against the cell Cutler is in, and the door swings open. Once Cutler is out, he sees Mr. Randall on the floor, dead.

Together they escape the prison. Jack had cultivated some contacts (Cutler doesn't want to know where and who they are) to liberate his friend and within hours they are sailing away from a place Cutler is sure will haunt him for eternity.

Jack does not ask what happened in the prison, and those he bribed and blackmailed into helping Cutler escape the prison also give him a wide berth, having been told the stories about Mr. Randall. Cutler doesn't know whether or not he's grateful that Jack lets him sleep when he wants, eat and drink when he wants, and is excused from having to do any duties onboard the ship.

In the end, Cutler doesn't ask what Jack was doing that night he slipped away to experience Tortuga; he knows his best mate too well for that, and knows he was wenching and drinking what gold he brought ashore from his stash.

That bitter ember in his stomach, the pain from Jack's betrayal that kept Cutler warm in the quiet of the night in his prison, burns in Cutler and he quietly asks his friend to take him to London.

Jack doesn't ask why, he honours his friends' decision.

Yet Cutler can practically hear Jack in his mind, stating glibly to his friend as an excuse for taking so long to get to him, "It's nothing personal, mate, it's just business."

It is the last time they see each other for some years.

5: Best friends, best enemies

No fleet of His Majesty's Navy sailing out of Bath will take Cutler onboard. His past, his dodgy association with Jack Sparrow, his interrogation is a black mark on his record and it drives him mad. He still thinks fondly of the boy and teenager Jack Sparrow was to him, his best friend, his partner and family, but he has grown to hate the man Jack has become.

His best friend is now his best enemy.

Surprisingly, a sympathetic captain aboard a trading vessel agrees to take Cutler on; he is, after all, a qualified and skilled sailor and strategic planner. Soon, Cutler Beckett makes a name for himself in the East India Trading Company.

Within two years, he is promoted to captain.

Within a month of his promotion, he runs afoul in the middle of the South Pacific against a pirate ship, flying a flag he's never seen.

His crew manages to survive with little casualty and the captain of the enemy ship comes onboard to supervise the commandeering of the E.I.T.C.'s goods.

Beckett nearly has a heart attack when he sees the distinctive bead jewellery, hat, and easy swagger. Jack Sparrow, it seems, is also a captain.

Sparrow doesn't have Beckett tied up with the other crew; in fact, Sparrow ends up having a conversation with Beckett, playing catch-up. Beckett is not surprised to still feel the flame of hatred he feels for Sparrow, but he is surprised by how easy it is to fall back into their old, familiar habits.

Captain Jack Sparrow sails off a few hours later leaving behind a very disgruntled crew and captain. Beckett vows then and there to his crew to never let another pirate ship steal his goods—the East India's goods—and pledges to take twice the amount Captain Jack Sparrow pillages from merchant vessels.

Privately, he vows to eradicate all pirates from the ocean because it was they who took his friend from him. Jack Sparrow, the young boy who was Cutler Beckett's best mate, does not exist anymore; Captain Jack Sparrow, pirate lord, however, does.

Oh, how Beckett hates.

6: Rescue

Jack wonders what possesses him to trust Hector Barbossa in the first place, and then realises that the answer is fairly simple: his first mate is so much like his old friend, Cutler Beckett.

Not in the obvious way, of course: Beckett is prim and prudish to a startling degree, seeking to make a name for himself and finding a place in the world. Barbossa though, has the same manner of speech as Beckett, able to soothe ruffled feathers and play politician.

Jack knows that without this ability, Barbossa would never have been able to convince the crew to mutiny against him just days after the start of their voyage to the Isla de Muerta.

Now, he is missing his best mate rather desperately, marooned as he is on a spit of sunny land, with his sword, pistol with one shot, his No-North Compass and his wits. But Jack was always good at getting out of tight situations, and this one is no different. He made it his business to know all the trading routes, and he is sure that some merchants travel in this direction. All he has to do is last until one finds him.

Within hours he locates the rum stash and with only a smidgeon of guilt does he liberate the rum and whiskey from its underground location. He blithely ignores the distinct tri-forked EITC logo blown into the glass.

Three days later, he's pissed out of his mind and suffering, he thinks, from sunstroke, so he isn't sure what to make of the tall thingy with flapping white wings just out of his vision. He also isn't sure what to make of the vibrantly bright red with gold trim uniforms the men around him are wearing.

And he could swear he's hallucinating when he recognises one of the men in the red and gold: he knows that round, almost baby-face visage very well. The man might be wearing a powdered wig now, but the voice, the eyes, they are those of his mate Cutler Beckett.

Jack almost weeps when he hears his friends' adopted Estuary accented voice order, "take him back to the Endeavour and put him in my quarters."

He passes out soon after.

7: Marks

When Jack wakes up, he's half-lying, half-slouched in a comfy chair, lolled into a sense of comfort by the rocking motion of the ship he is on. The room is dark, indicating night, and the only light comes from several hanging lanterns near a paper-scattered desk at the far side of the room and away from the windows.

Jack spies Beckett, elbows resting on the desk, watching Jack with dark eyes. The powdered wig is gone and his mate's dark hair is plastered to his forehead from sweat and sea salt. Jack shifts in the seat uncomfortably, feeling the sharp edge of the Compass poke him in the thigh—and he thanks a God he doesn't believe in that Beckett was always too prudish to order a strip search of his person. Jack still has his sword and pistol too, perhaps then Beckett feels comfortable enough in Jack's presence to allow his friend his affects?

"It's been a while, hasn't it Jack?" asks Beckett and Jack grins as he slowly rises to his feet.

"That it has, mate," begins Jack, his swagger more pronounces as he pushes past the hangover to approach his friend. The fog from his brain clears and Jack pauses for just a moment—enough that Beckett notices, of course—before he continues purposefully towards the desk.

His prudish friend is not wearing a shirt. The only time Jack ever saw him without his shirt was when they were children and took their lashings together for a small prank out at sea on their first voyage. Beckett always hid himself behind his clothes, as armour against the world.

"So what do I owe for the pleasure of your company?" asks Jack, ignoring a niggling sensation in the back of his mind. His pirate intuition never failed him before, but this is his friend, his mate, Cutler Beckett. Later, Jack wishes he didn't ignore his gut.

"How did you come to be marooned on that island, Jack?" asks Beckett instead, a small, dark smile crossing his face.

Jack shrugs and moves to the sideboard where he plays with a decanter and crystal glass. "Had a spot o' trouble with me first mate."

"Mutiny?" asks Beckett, sympathetically.

Jack murmurs his agreement and moves to a silver snuffbox. He lifts it and fiddles, wondering why he's so nervous around Beckett, before hastily placing it back on the desk.

Beckett continues, "I suppose your No-North Compass didn't help protect you, then."

Jack flashes a grin at Beckett, still hidden in the shadows of the captain's quarters. "Nah, mate, you know it only points to what we desire most. An' I suppose I was so focused on my end goal I forgot I was dealing with pirates."

"They do tend to be a rather uncouth lot," agrees Beckett, humour lightening his tone. "You didn't tell them?"

"Oh, I told them alright," mutters Jack darkly, coming to a standstill in front of Beckett. "They knew what we were looking for; they just didn't like that I wasn't going to tell them how to get there."

"You didn't give them a bearing?" asks Beckett, in shock. He then gives a low chuckle. "You haven't changed a bit, Jack."

Jack shrugs. "They're pirates. They're completely obsessed with treasure, and Aztec gold is legendary."

"And cursed, so you told me once," offers Beckett. Jack notices that he hasn't moved a single inch since Jack woke up. He is suddenly feeling like prey, and Jack Sparrow does not like that feeling.

"So I did!" grins Jack. "So, mate, what are you going to do with me?"

Beckett looks up at Jack, and a part of the pirate is screaming run away! Run! but he's not listening. There's nowhere to go.

"Do you remember when you found me in that prison, Jack?" asks Beckett.

Jack is feeling uneasy about this topic. He is sorry, so very sorry, for what his friend went through and even more so when he learnt that Cutler Beckett never once betrayed his friends' trust by squealing about his pirating. He does not know what happened in that prison, and a part of him is glad that he doesn't know because the rumours that followed Mr. Randall made him shudder and want to throw up.

"Maybe," Jack replies slowly, drawing the word out.

Beckett rises and Jack tenses his muscles. The shadows and light from the lanterns highlight the muscles and angles of his friend, and most of Beckett's face is covered in shadows.

"I can't forget," the captain says.

Jack feels the remorse settle on him again, but he keeps his face impassive. "Maybe you should let go, mate."

"A month, Jack!" Beckett suddenly shouts, and Jack flinches away from the sight of his reserved friend losing control. He drops his high-brow accent and his thick accent comes on thick. "I wait'd a month fer you, Jack! I ne'er once gave up your secrets an' I ne'er told 'em who you are! They tortur'd me, he hurt me an' I wait'd."

Beckett is shaking in repressed rage and Jack doesn't know what to say, what to do. He watches his friend take several breaths to calm down, and when he does speak, his guttersnipe accent and heritage is once again hidden. "I think I hate you."

"Get in line, mate!" quips Jack, the words out of his mouth before he has time to think. He won't take it back though, despite belittling his friends' pain and memory of the prison. Jack has a reputation.

"I think I shall be at the front, Jack," answers Beckett instead, and he makes a small movement with his hand that has Jack frowning—until two large, burly sailors grab him around the arms and shoulders and one yanks his sleeve up.

"Eh?" Jack asks, inelegantly, stupefied at his friends' sudden change.

"They left marks on me, that I took for you," explains Beckett, and he turns his back on Jack to reach for something behind the desk.

Jack blanches as he sees the marks—white and red lines, crisscrossing and connecting over and over again from just below his neck right now into the waistband of his trousers. His entire back is nearly discoloured by the scars, some puckered and jagged, others smooth and thin.

"As representative of the East India Trading Company," continues Beckett, "I feel as though it is my duty to prosecute any and all pirates that we come across. Unfortunately for you, Jack, you are a pirate. Therefore, it is my duty to leave a mark on you that you will take for me."

The pirate part of Jack wants to argue, to weasel his way out of the punishment that is not deserved, but another part of Jack cowers submissively to his friend. In the end, he doesn't get the make a decision as Beckett turns back around with a poker in his hand, as long as his arm, with a bright P at the end glowing white-yellow in the centre and orange at the edges.

Jack doesn't scream. He's fairly sure Cutler Beckett didn't either when he was tortured.

8: History

Beckett manages to meet Captain Sparrow's plundering and then double the goods easily once he places all of his focus and determination on his task. He is promoted again, and again, and again, until he's at the top of the pecking order and His Majesty knights him as chairman of the East India Trading Company.

The boy from the slums of London, who never thought he could make a name for himself other than becoming a merchant captain in the Caribbean, is now Lord Cutler Beckett, Commodore of the Caribbean and North Atlantic fleet of the East India Trading Company.

But he won't be happy until he has it all. And for that, he needs Davy Jones' chest. But before he has that, he needs the No-North Compass, and he knows who has it.

It is not difficult for him to learn of cursed Aztec gold, the Black Pearl, and the plundering the ship has done for the past ten years in the Caribbean. The whispers and rumours fade away to tell the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and a Mr. William Turner, as well as the dodgy report of the Commodore of Port Royal and the Governor's daughter being involved.

He wonders what Weatherby Swann, a Lord in the House, thinks of his appointment. Last time they met, Swann wasn't sure how to speak to him, as he was only a seaman—albeit, one with high standing—and an associate of pirates, which Swann detests. Now, however, it's all whole new game.

He has the ear of the King, and the East India Trading Company practically rules the waters now anyway. It's too easy to write up the papers of marque and the warrants for arrest. Beckett wonders if it is all too easy, and will blow up in his face one day, but Fortuna has smiled on him too often in his recent years to be anything but faithful.

He travels to Port Royal and uses his smooth manipulations to get Turner's trust.

"The East India Trading Company has need of your services. We wish for you to act as our agent in a business transaction with our mutual friend Captain Sparrow," he says.

Turner is distrustful, and for good reason. "More acquaintance than friend. How do you know him?"

Beckett does not want to answer, and will not. His past with Jack Sparrow will remain theirs unless Jack divulges what happened in their youth, and Beckett is sure he will remain mum.

Just thinking of Sparrow makes him want to twitch his back, but Beckett refrains. Instead, he answers, "We've had dealings in the past. And we've each left out mark on each other."

"What mark did he leave on you?" asks Turner, but Beckett changes the subject. It's none of his business to know, and besides, all he wants Turner for is the No-North Compass.

Turner agrees and is gone quickly; Beckett remains on the balcony, overseeing the hustle and bustle of Port Royal's conversion to modern city well into the night. As he stares out at the ocean, he thinks, it's nothing personal, Jack—it's just good business.

9: Parlay

The next time Jack sees Beckett, it's nearly a decade later and he's in control of the Flying Dutchman and Sao Fang has just traded him for the Pearl. They fall back into their habits easily enough, Jack going straight for the silver goods and Beckett stiff with propriety and chatting easily about his friends.

Jack doesn't miss how he uses the term 'friends' loosely, like a disease. He assumes Jack does not hold people in high esteem, and in certain cases, his best friend and best enemy would be right.

Here, though, he's a bit off the map.

"But you and I are no strangers to betrayal, are we?"

Jack pauses in his rummaging, glancing at Beckett's mark. His friend knows him too well.

"It's not here, Jack."

"What? What isn't?"

The two banter a bit more, and Jack wonders where their friendship went so wrong. He spends only a brief amount of time on it, though—he wants his Pearl, and he needs the chest, and, if his gut is to be trusted (and, oh, how it is), he'll probably have to save Will again, too.

"Close your eyes and pretend it's all a bad dream. It's how I get by," smirks Jack, and he wonders if his friend will pick up on the hidden meaning. When did Beckett get so bitter? Let it go, mate, let it go.

"Jack," begins Beckett, some moment later moving towards the back of the room, "I've just recalled! I have this wonderful Compass which points to whatever I want. So what do I need you?"

"It points to the thing you want most," replies Jack, easily. His mate knows this; he was there when Jack filched the No-North Compass. "And that is not the Brethren Court, is it?"

"Then what is, Jack?"

"Me!" the reply is fast and loose and for a moment, Jack panics. He did not mean to let that slip, not at all. Apparently he misses his friend more than he thought, and the easy repartee that the two shared gives him a sense of comradeship. Jack backtracks and amends his answer. "Dead."

Beckett's face shifts for one moment, and then he lets out a tiny sigh that is a breathed out "damn." Jack revealed his hand too readily and Beckett knows the truth—they are still best friends as well as best enemies, two men who know each other's weaknesses and strengths and failings as well as successes as well as they know themselves.

Jack catches the Compass when Beckett tosses it to him, and he tosses back the Chinese fan.

"You may kill me but you may never insult me! Who am I?"

Jack watches his friend pause, looking at him like he is insane (quite possibly, thinks Jack), faltering. What does one call the man who betrayed you, you left a mark on you, and whom you know better than yourself?

Jack takes pity on his friend and answers, almost weakly, "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow!"

Within moments a canon has blasted its way into the Endeavour and first the first time in over ten years Jack is touching Beckett when they shake hands to seal the deal, and before Beckett can do more than look up at his friend in surprise, Jack is gone.

10: Finale

Beckett knows he's never been honourable in his entire life. Since he first met Jack Sparrow he was the underhanded one, eager to skew and worm his way up the ranks with Jack to get what they wanted, what they deserved. Even after making a deal with Sparrow, Beckett didn't plan on upholding it.

"What is he waiting for?" asks his first mate, staring out at the spot where the Flying Dutchman made its last stand and lost, referencing Sparrow.

"He actually expects us to honour our agreement," answers Beckett absently, thinking back on his "I never lie" best friend. Beckett continues, murmuring the rest to himself, "Nothing personal, Jack... it's just good business."

The fleet is readied and the Endeavour begins towards the Black Pearl. Beckett is ready to make good on his vow, until the Dutchman appears and it draws up beside the Endeavour with the Pearl on the other side, sandwiching his ship in.

Beckett is flabbergasted as the two vessels open fire and destroys the Endeavour. Beckett does not hear his first mate asking what they will do, what are his orders; he doesn't even hear the abandon ship order or the screams of the dying crew.

Clever Jack, thinks Beckett, as he walks down the wooden stairs to the deck. How he learnt from his best friend, to manipulate, to skew his moral compass when it was needed!

I've learnt something too, Jack, are Becketts' last thoughts, I've learnt to be honourable. The captain goes down with his ship.

Jack smiles, a small one, as he watches the Pearl's crew shout in joy and hears the echoing cries of victory from the other pirate lords. He has his ship, his freedom; pirates are still free to sail the ocean and plundering their black hearts out; and it is not the end of an age.

He turns momentarily to stare back at the floating planks and rigging of the Endeavour, as Gibbs searches for his hat.

Despite Lord Cutler Beckett's hand in quite of lot of deception and intrigue, Jack does hope that his friend finds his peace in death. His friend taught him valuable lessons throughout their life, and Jack still calls Beckett "friend." After all, some marks—especially those left behind by Beckett and Sparrow—don't ever fade.


Note: Disney's Jack Sparrow adventure books canonically contradict how Beckett and Sparrow knew each other. One states/implies that Jack grew up at Shipwreck Cove and adventured from there as a port (something I lean heavily towards given Captain Teague is his father and revealed so in AWE), and the other implies that he and Beckett worked together for the East India Trading Company.

The second leads to Jack being given the Wicked Wench with cargo to transport and the cargo being slaves, which he sets free. Beckett learns of it and punishes Jack by branding him; assumption is that Jack got him back for the branding by possibly engaging him in a sword fight and emasculating Beckett (hence Jack's numerous "eunuch" comments throughout CotBP).

Personally, I cannot see Jack working within an organisation such as the EITC, and Beckett's elevation to peer of the realm ("It's Lord now… actually.") implies that he was knighted and not born into nobility. This, if my history is correct, can happen when a member of the British population does a great service for the country and it is brought to the attention of the reigning monarch (i.e., Walter Raleigh was a privateer and he was elevated by Elizabeth I to "Sir"). Therefore, I see the two as scallywags who adventured together; Jack to see the world and embrace his pirate-y ways, and Beckett to escape his past and become something more.

Vignette 1: Jack's slip-up of "T" stands for Teague, for Captain Teague of the Brethren Court and Jack's father in At World's End.

Vignette 2: I made up the name No-North Compass—the way it was used and described in the film gave me the idea that it's as legendary as the Fountain of Youth, et&.

Vignette 4: Slight homage to Tommy Lee Jones' pirate film Nate & Hayes, and IMO, the best pirate film I've ever seen. Also, anyone who has read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber know who Mr. Randall is—and given what her character does in both novels to Jamie whilst in prison, I thought using his namesake would be a be clue as to what happened to Beckett.

Vignette 5: the phrase "Best friends/best enemies" is something I saw in reference to Doctor Who, between the Doctor and the Master, who, if according to pre-Who canon, were best friends at the Academy on Gallifrey and all throughout their training and their membership with other radical thinking Time Lords and Ladies in Decca straight through to their exile from Gallifrey. Russell T. Davis seems to really agree with, given series 3's three-part ending with the Doctor tempting the Master to battle him across the stars if he leaves the earth alone, and for this line: "All you do is talk, and talk, and talk. But over all these years... and all these disasters, I've always had the greatest secret of them all. I know you."

Vignette 7: An explanation on what marks Jack left Beckett, as there was nothing ever visible during Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Beckett was always fully clothed, despite us seeing Jack's pirate mark.

Vignette 9: It wasn't until I YouTubed that scene that I ever heard Beckett breath out "damn," and I've seen At World's End numerous times in theatre and on DVD and never caught it.