(Special thanks to Mike Donovan for pirate gun assistance :) )
The bunny swung on the rope from ship to shore, doing a flip to land on the sand, in a perfect, if showy, display. He periscoped up as if expecting applause.
Captain Ren, leader of misfit rabbits and humans alike, eyed the rabbit, and watched the rope swing back towards the ship. "You'll be braiding that back together, savvy?"
Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, Rabbit of Awesome and suaver than shampoo, sighed. He was so hard done by. No appreciation to be found anywhere. Didn't she even appreciate how long it had taken to gnaw through the rope?
* * *
Captain Ren was more than happy to let Jack and the few crewman he'd brought with him go first. Let him argue with the jungle. It was dark and humid under the trees. The underbrush was thick and persistent. The bugs were biting. It was sweat inducing and a long walk for an unknown prize. Captain Jack Sparrow had been rather sparse on details beyond 'lots of shinies, luv!'. She'd been tempted to kick him in the shin again, she instead followed, staring at his butt.
She watched Thor and Mick jump over logs, seeming to be making bunny plots. They seemed to have no problems with running around in a jungle. Bloomin' rabbits. She wasn't even quite sure how many had decided to come play and cause mayhem. Captain Jack seemed pretty enthusiastic at their presence. Speedy zipped by and then back again. He'd probably clocked four times the miles of anyone else. Some buns just wanted to run. She'd left Tracy with the ship, but a claymore clad Lorna and an enthusiastic cutlass wielding Pearl followed her.
"How much further, Papa Smurf?" called Lorna. Captain Ren didn't quite understand the Canadian's humour at the best of times but the query was clear.
"Not far now." Came the reply from Captain Jack. He stopped, playing with mustache. "Question." He stated.
"Yes?" Ren responded, warily.
"How do we feel about giant, possibly rabid, probably poop wielding, gorilla guard?"
Ren considered shooting Jack.
"You didn't tell us to bring cannons." Pearl said conversationally. "I suggest we throw a few men at it and while it's busy eating, we kill it."
"Gorillas are vegetarians, luv." Captain Jack said.
"They'll eat insects." Pearl pointed out. "How big is this gorilla compared to us?"
The mustache twirling paused before Jack spun on his foot to look back through the leaves. He turned back, hand up as if he had an idea and then dropped it.
Ren rolled her eyes. "When it naps we sneak up on it and tie it up. We can release it on our way out."
"Soft heart, luv. What can contain a gorilla that size?" Jack asked.
"Well, I don't hear you coming up with any brilliant ideas!" Ren stepped forward, shoving Jack aside. She looked at the very small mountain that was the gorilla. She let out a low whistle. "Big."
"Very." Jack agreed. "Not the sort you just tie up, savvy?"
Thor rolled his eyes and headbutted Ren. "What?"
He nodded towards the other rabbits and they conferred, nodded, and Speedy jumped through the bushes. Ren almost yelped out a 'wait!' but didn't want to draw that much attention.
Speedy hopped up to the gorilla who was currently sitting and gnawing on banana leaves. He gave a bunny bow and licked the gorilla's ankle.
The gorilla looked down at the very small rabbit and grunted. Speedy grunted back and added a thump. The gorilla rumbled. Speedy tilted his head to one side and trilled. The gorilla sighed and looked towards the group of humans and other rabbits. Speedy trilled again and gave another lick. The gorilla brought down one very large finger to pat Speedy on the back. Well, front, back and tail all in one touch. Speedy licked the finger and the gorilla grunted again before getting to feet and knuckles to walk off into the jungle, revealing a hole in the actual mountain behind where the gorilla had been.
Speedy periscoped up and stuck out his tongue.
"Well, that was easy." Jack said with some satisfaction. "We should celebrate. Who has the rum?"
"I do, but it was my rabbit, so my celebration which doesn't include giving rum to poor planning pirates!" Ren told him.
"You can own rabbits now? Do they know this?" Jack asked conversationally.
"They're my crew, they're my rabbits." Ren replied, refusing to be drawn into Jack's strange world view. She shoved through the brush and into the clearing to give Speedy head pats and a blueberry. This led to her giving all the buns blueberries and oats as they demanded. The crew got rum, which somehow led to Jack getting rum, which Ren decided to ignore. Once everyone was satisfied, "Now what?"
"Well, now is why we wanted the rabbits." Jack said happily. "It's a maze in there, savvy? Traps and mayhem!"
"And you want my rabbits to go through all THAT?!" Ren asked, hand going to the butt of one of the two flintlocks on her belt.
"Aye. They're much better suited to it than we!" Jack said, which received many lagomorphic smug nods. It was well known that bunnies were better at EVERYTHING that just let humans do stuff to feel useful.
There was another conference and Mick led Thor and Speedy in. The humans followed a short distance later.
Winding tunnels with Captain Sparrow provided torches for light, ceilings that suddenly lowered with little warning, twists and turns with no real purpose and tunnels that branched off every which way. It smelled of mold and wet rock. They eventually found themselves in a huge natural cavern that had a treasure trove that was unbelievable, loot galore. All of the pirates, and even two of the rabbits, gasped with awe.
"Stand steady." Captain Jack ordered as he walked along the cave wall and messed around with some rubble. The loot disappeared to reveal a grotto with a small rocky island in the near middle. A small chest with a sword driven into the top rested in the center of it. "AH!" Jack said happily.
"What is that?" Ren asked warily. She didn't much like magic other than the rabbit kind, and even then she was suspicious.
"Sword of Darsus. It will always find the nearest keg of rum. Ye can have the chest." He magnanimity offered. Jack then eyed the deep water warily. "Mr Gibbs, have you learned to swim yet?"
"Uh, no Captain."
"Fat lot of use you are." Jack grumbled.
The rabbits rolled their eyes. Speedy and Thor hopped into the water and swam across to the island. Mick stayed behind, refusing to spend six hours waiting for his fur to dry. The duo scrambled up the chest and gave the sword some dugs with teeth and scrambling paws. Thor gave a mighty grunt and the dwarf bun hauled the sword out.
"Oats for all!" Jack cheered.
The two buns ignored him, dropping the sword to the rocks beside the chest, they then started shoving the chest over. Then peered in the hole and pondered.
Pearl rolled her eyes, "C'mon." She said to Lorna. "What is it with sailors not swimming?"
"Men are idiots." Lorna grumbled as she handed her sword belt to her Captain. Ren did her best not to drop the four foot sword. Pearl didn't seem bothered to be wearing leather armour and carrying weaponry as she shallow dived into the water. Lorna waded in after her and swam when she could no longer feel bottom. The two joined the rabbits. The women tested the weight of the chest and Lorna grunted. It was heavy enough. Pearl lifted the lid and peered inside and nodded to Lorna. Lorna sighed. The lid was closed and Lorna went back into the water, rolling onto her back. Pearl lifted the chest and put it onto Lorna. Pearl then got into the water and started to tow her fellow pirate back to the group. The rabbits very helpfully hopped onto the chest for a free ride back.
"But the sword!" Jack protested. "My sword!"
"Your sword, you go get it!" Ren told him, quite aware he could swim. It was his own bloody problem if he didn't want to give up "Captain nobility" in front of his men. Her crew scrambled up and presented her the chest. It was probably only a quarter full, but it was full of all sorts of gems. "Well, this should pay for my troubles nicely." Ren declared.
"You know, we could trade. Finding rum could be awfully useful, you know how your furry crew love the rum.." Jack started to wheedle.
Ren passed the claymore back to the dripping Lorna. Pearl was using her shawl to dry off Speedy and Thor. The Canadian didn't seem to be bothered she was dripping wet. The Captain of the Rumrabbit held up a flintlock, and pointed it at Captain Jack Sparrow, "Don't you try to con me. You made your deal, you live with it."
"Now luv.." He started, taking a step towards her, stopping when the gun pressed up against his shoulder. He put his hand over her's, which was gripping the trigger, "You wouldn't be doing that to ole Jack.."
She started to reply but his hand twitched and she'd never bothered to fix the sensitive trigger, after all, who would be using her guns but her? Jack swore as the bullet went into his flesh and surprisingly out the other side. It didn't even bleed particularly much, being more toasted than anything else. "What did you expect you flamin' idiot?!" Ren swore at him as she shoved him to sit down. Pearl pulled off the Captain's shirt.
The crew from the Black Pearl weren't quite sure what they should do, on the one hand the Captain of the Rumrabbit had shot their Captain, or possibly he'd shot himself, but on the other, they were busy undressing him and Captain Jack probably wouldn't be happy if they interrupted a group of woman busy removing his clothing.
Both Captains were growling and spitting at each other. Lorna ignored everyone and took on her job as the Rumrabbit's medic. She poked, prodded, and then handed Captain Jack a bottle.
"What's this for, then?" He grumbled.
"Rum, you can drink it, or you can pour it over yourself to prevent wound rot. Your choice." She tossed his abused shirt at him before turning to Ren. "Shall we?"
"We shall." Ren agreed, tucking flintlock back into belt, having been waving it all about while telling Jack what flavours of idiot he was. The buns frolicked as Pearl and Lorna picked up the chest and the crew of the Rumrabbit returned the way they'd entered.
"Cap'n." Mr Gibbs said after a long silence.
"Yes Mr Gibbs?" Captain Jack Sparrow was still eyeing the bottle of rum and trying to decide it's fate.
"She shot you."
"Yes, she did." Jack agreed.
"And then left us here." Mr Gibbs continued.
"Yes, they did." Jack said amiably, despite screaming sore shoulder with a hole in it, and a decision on how much rum to pour over the wound. The bottle wasn't near full enough for both.
"And we haven't got the sword." Mr Gibbs added.
"An excellent point. Mr Gibbs, Mr Pintel, Mr Ragetti, go fetch the sword."
"Cap'n!" "But Cap'n" "I ken't swim!" were the immediate protests.
"I suggest you learn then. It can't be hard if the wenches of the rumrabbit can do it, carrying a bloody chest back!"
"They do have nice chests." Ragetti offered.
Jack sighed, Gibbs smacked the back of Ragetti's head and the three shuffled off towards the island.
Captain Jack sighed, stood up and dumped the bottle of rum over his front and then over his back with gritted teeth. He then held up the bottle with a sigh, "And now, the rum is gone. Why is the rum always gone?" He turned to the dog paddling pirates. "Get me that sword! We need the rum!"