Part IV

Catherine looked wide-eyed at him. "You're dead…"
"Obviously not." Karl took a few paces back, leaning against Lara's desk, the gun still aimed at her. "Your girlfriend didn't knock me out completely in her hurry to get to you. I heard you talking, realised what was going on and made a hasty exit." He looked at the wound on his arm. "Not hasty enough though, unfortunately… That's another thing I need to repay the Curse for…" He met her eyes and grinned. "But now I'll finally get a change at this vengeance. Thanks to you, my dear…" He hopped onto the edge of the desk, letting his legs dangle. "You see, I finally figured out her weak spot…" A charming smile. "It's you… God, I should have realised that way back… " He shook his head. "I should've just threatened you at the beginning and all of this would have never happened… But at least I get a second change, I guess I should be grateful, huh?"
Cathy swallowed, her mind racing to find a way out. "Leave her out of this…" She managed, slowly pushing herself up to a sitting position. "Please…"
Karl crossed his arms. "Begging now, are we? There's a change…" He laughed. "Why on earth would I want to let her go?"
"Please…" Catherine insisted, staring at him. "I'll do anything, just… Just let her go…"
Walters chuckled in amusement, hopping off the desk and closing in on her. "The offer is tempting, but you have to understand that anything you do is nothing in comparison to the satisfaction I'll get from watching The Curse die. Sorry to disappoint you. Now…" He grinned toothily at her. "You just get up and call Miss Dean in here, all right?"
Defiant green eyes narrowed at him. "No."
He looked back at her, considering for a moment, then just shrugged. "OK…" He turned and walked back to Lara's desk, sitting down on her chair behind it. "Then we'll just wait until she decides to pay you a little visit."

"Mary? How's that raft coming along?"
Mary looked up. "Nearly there, captain." She stated, dusting off her hands, then indicated the small vessel they had just created. "What do you think?" 
Lara judged the steady construction of beams tied together by ropes, some sailors working on getting a small mast put up in the centre. "Not bad. That ought to get them back to the mainland."
Mary nodded. "You know they'll tell though, don't you? The British'll come looking for us."
The captain grinned brightly. "Just like the good old days."
Her weaponsmaster raised both eyebrows at her Lara chuckled. "I don't have much of a choice, Mary. We can either kill 'm, lock 'm up and drag 'm along or let 'm go… I pick door number three, if it's all the same to you…"
Mary sighed. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
"Of course I'm right… I'm the captain…" Lara stated with a smug look. 
Mary rolled her eyes. "Sheesh, aren't we in a good mood today…"
"The weather's good, nice steady wind blowing us in the right direction… What's not to like about today?" The captain smiled brightly, then patted her friend's shoulder. "Lemme know when you finish that thing, OK?"
"Aye aye." Mary nodded, then watched the captain walk off.

Lara carefully pushed open the door to her room. She poked her head in, then spotted Cathy staring back at her, sitting up in her bed. "Hey, I thought I told you to…"
Green eyes bore into hers, the eyes darting to the door warningly.
"What?" Lara's eyebrows frowned. "What's wrong?"
"I am what's wrong, Miss Dean."

Lara froze as she recognised the voice behind her. Slowly she turned around to find Karl smirking at her. "No…" She shook her head in disbelief. 
Karl's grin widened. "You can blow me up, but you can't get me down." He chuckled.
"You…" Lara's voice dropped down to a growl and she took a dangerous step closer.
"Nuhuh…" Karl waved a finger at her. "You take one more step and Miss Mutineer gets it." He pointed the gun at Cathy. "So back off."
Lara stepped back instantly.
"Sit down." Karl stated, motioning towards the bed with the pistol.
The captain sat down, her eyes fixed on him, waiting for any movement.

Karl watched her obey and laughed happily. "This is too good… The Curse obeying my every wish… If I'd only know it would be this easy…" He shook his head in wonder, then walked back to the desk and sat down again. 
"You OK?" Lara asked under her breath, quickly glancing at Cathy.
Catherine looked up at her and managed a small nod.
"You know, you killed a lot of people yesterday, Miss Dean. Blowing up one ship, sacking another… I'm quite sure Admiral Steward is not gonna be too enthusiastic about your behaviour. He'll probably sentence you to death… if you're still alive by then, but somehow I doubt you will be…" Karl stated, leaning back in his chair and popping his booted feet on her desk. "You see, I have this feeling you're about to have a horrible accident, Miss Dean…" He
chuckled wickedly. "But first things first. Get Mr Cartwright in here for me."
"Cartwright?" Lara raised an eyebrow at him. "What do you want with him?"
Karl's blue eyes locked with hers and he gave her a look. "I really don't think you're in a position to be asking questions, Miss Dean," he stated, waving the gun towards Cathy. "Now, call Mr. Cartwright. Try anything funny and she's history, understand?"
Lara glared at him, then stood slowly and walked over to the door, pulling it open.

"Cartwright! In here, now!"
Tom looked up and blinked as the door to Lara's room closed with a bang. 
Moments later Matthew walked up the stairs. "What's up with that?"
Tom stared back blankly. "Well, last time she called me Cartwright I fell asleep at the rudder and I nearly steered us into a huge cliff…" The skipper muttered. "But I'm not hitting any cliffs now so I don't have a clue…" 
Matthew frowned, taking the wheel from him. "You just get over there and check it out… I'll hold down the fortress."
"Aye." Tom nodded, then hastily made his way down the stairs.

He pushed open the door to Lara's room and walked in. "Yes, cap..?" His eyes widened as he spotted the man sitting behind Lara's desk. "Oh my God…"
"Close the door please, Mr Cartwright."
"Bw… You…" Tom shook his head, clearing it and focusing on what he knew he now had to do. "Yes, sir." He turned and closed the door, taking a deep breath and ordering his thoughts, before he turned and faced Karl again. "It's… It's good to see you well, sir." He glanced aside to where Cathy and Lara were sitting, then his eyes tracked back to Karl and the gun in his
Walters leaned back comfortably, judging the skipper. "You like to fight for the winning team, don't you Mr Cartwright?"
Tom blinked. "Yes sir…"
"Well, in that case I suggest you switch sides now." Karl grinned. "I think it's obvious who's got the upper hand in this situation, isn't it?"
"You switch and you're dead, Cartwright." Lara hissed dangerously, actually making Tom shiver.
"You shush, Torment." Karl snarled at her. "Your time of threats is long past…" He turned back to Tom. "So how about it?"

Tom looked at him. His eyes flicked to Lara, then back to Karl, then he straightened. "What are your orders, captain?"
Walters laughed. "Smart man, Thomas." He complimented the skipper. "I want you to go outside and tell the crew I've got their precious captain at gunpoint. Tell them that if they want to keep her alive, they should listen to you. Send them down to the hull and lock them up, then free the prisoners and take over this ship. Head for Port Jackson."
"Aye sir." Tom nodded, then turned and headed out the door.

Matthew watched as the skipper ran up the stairs. "So, what did you do? Are we headed for Antartica or what?"
Grey eyes glanced up at him in despair. "It's worse…"
"Worse?" Matthew chuckled. "What did you…?"
"Karl Walters is alive."
Matthew stopped abruptly and stared at him. "What? Bw…Y…How?" He sputtered.
"I don't know, but he's in there and he's got the cap and Cat." The skipper leaned closer. "He trusts me though. He wants me to help him." 
Matthew stared back blankly.
"He wants all of you to go down to the hull and lock yourselves up, or he'll kill Lara. Then he wants me to free the prisoners and take over the ship…" Grey eyes blinked up at Matthew. "What do we do, Matt?"
"I… I don't…" The second in command stumbled over his words, then fell silent, massaging his temple in thought. He took a breath. "Do it…"
"Lock you up?"
Matthew nodded. "I won't risk Lara's life… or Cathy's for that matter. We need time to think up a plan. As long as he thinks you're on his side we've got some leverage…" He reasoned with a sigh. "I'll get the guys together and signal the people on the Phoenix to come over here, you get the prisoners out."

"Guess you don't have such a loyal crew after all, do you, Torment." Karl chuckled, digging into one of the drawers with his free hand and fishing out a set of bandages.
"What do you want?" Lara asked, ignoring the statement, glaring at him.
"What I want?" Walters's eyes slowly narrowed at her. "I want to kill you."
A dark eyebrow raised. "That'll only get you in trouble. Kennard would want me to be trialed, so…"
"I don't care about what the Admiral wants!" Karl snapped, sitting up. "I will have my revenge…"
"Revenge?" A second eyebrow raised, Lara having completely lost track of the conversation. "What are you talking about?"
"What am I talking about?!" Karl stood, dangerously waving the pistol at them. "I'm talking about Aaron Walters, that's what I'm talking about!"
"Who's…?" Then a light dawned and blue eyes widened, then narrowed dangerously.
"That's right!" Karl snapped. "The captain you brutally killed to escape the punishment you deserved. My father!"
Lara stared blankly at him for a moment, then her eyes narrowed dangerously. "He let my brother be beaten and killed. He deserved to die." She growled back, rising to her feet. 
"My father was a hero."
"You're father was a murderer." The captain took another dangerous step forward.
"Enough!" He pointed the pistol past Lara. "One more step, Curse. " He pointed at her with his free hand. "One more word and she's dead."
Lara immediately halted in her tracks, then edged back slowly.
"That's better." Karl hissed, his eyes drilling into hers. "You're not so tough after all, are ya?"
Lara glanced behind her at Catherine, then turned back to him. "It's me you want. You don't need her…"
Walters cocked his head at her, leaning against the desk. "Don't I now?"
"What do you want me to do? Tell you I'm sorry? Tell you your father was a hero an I was a fool to kill him? I can do that…" The captain stated quietly. "I promise I won't struggle… Won't defend myself when you kill me…"
"Lara." Catherine's voice interrupted in a whisper. "Don't you dare…"
But the captain ignored her. "You don't need her, Walters…"

Karl watched her for another moment, then chuckled in amusement. "Nice speech." He stated, watching her. "But the thing is, I do need her. She's my promotion, my bonus… When I hand her over to the court, I'll be rewarded. I'll be a hero. 'Captain Karl Walters catches Phoenix mutineers single handedly.' " He painted the headlines in the air with his left hand. "Has a
nice ring to it, don't you think?"

A knock made him look up. "Enter."
Tom stepped in, politely bowing his head at the lieutenant. "The ship is yours, sir."
"Excellent work, Mr Cartwright." Karl stated with a smirk, retaking his seat behind Lara's desk, picking up the bandages he'd left there with his free hand. "How many prisoners were there?"
"Fourteen, sir."
"Any officers?" Karl asked, managing to flip the bandage around his upper arm awkwardly.
"One, sir."
"Send him up here."
"Yes sir…" Tom wanted to turn away, then paused. "Can I help you with that, sir? Can't be easy bandaging yourself with that wound…"
Karl looked up at him, considering for a moment, then shook his head. "No thank you, Mr Cartwright. I'll manage."
Grey eyes dropped. "Yes, sir." Tom said before he hastily exited. He closed the door behind him, then muttered some curses at his failed attempt before he went to find the British officer.

Matthew leaned his chin on his folded hands. He let out a breath, closing his eyes.
"And how are you gonna get us out of this one?" Fletcher's annoying voice shot up from the cell across from him. "I'm sick and tired of this cell. You people are nothing but trouble, that's what you are!"
"Put a sock in it, Robert." Tony growled from the cell beside him. 
"Hey, that's captain Fletcher to you!"
"I'm seriously considering committing mutiny at this stage." Tony muttered, leaning against the wooden hull and listening to the waves sloshing against the wood.
"Don't you talk like that. I'll have you know I…" A clank sounded, then his body sagged to the ground unconsciously.

Matthew looked at his assailant with a smirk, crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow.
"Don't you go alooking like that." Cookie waved her fryingpan at him. "His yappin was making me nervous."
Laughter rang up, relieving the tension a bit. "Thanks Cookie." Mary gave the cook a smile. "You're our saviour."
"Might have knocked him out, but that ain't gonna get us far." The cook stated, sitting back down again. "Plan would be quite nice, Matt." She looked at the second in command expectantly. More eyes turned his way.
Matthew leaned back against the hull, gazing up at the ceiling in despair. "God, I wish Lara was here…"
Mary sat down next to him, wrapping her arms around her knees. "We'll be fine, Matthew."
"She'd know what to do… She always does…" The second in command mumbled on.
"Hey." Mary reached out and grabbed his shoulder. "Would you stop worrying? Get a grip, Matt, c'mon."
Matthew sighed, then nodded. "Sorry." He tapped his temple in thought, then pushed himself up, taking a few paces through his cell. "I guess…" He bit his lip in thought. "I guess we can use Tom to get us out of here… Get us a key… But our biggest problem is getting Lara and Cathy away from that madman…" He looked up and let his eyes glide pass the men and women in the cells around him. "Anybody got any suggestions?" A long silence followed, in
which the sailors stared at each other. Matthew sighed. "I guess not…"

"Come in." Karl called out as another knock sounded.
A tall dark haired man stepped in, bowing politely at Karl. "Mr Walters."
"Mr. Felton, right?"
Felton nodded. "Yes sir."
"Well, Mr Felton." Karl stood and circled the desk. "I need to make some… arrangements…" He shot a charming smile Lara's way. "I need you to keep watch on these two ladies. Don't underestimate them. If one moves, you shoot the other, understood?"
The officer blinked. "Sir?"
"Just do it, Mr Felton." Walters stated. "If one of them escapes, I will have your head, got it?"
A hasty nod. "Yes sir."
"Good." He turned back to the two women. "Don't worry, I'll be right back. And then we'll finish things, once and for all, Miss Dean." He grinned at her, then turned and walked off, out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Lara glanced at their guard for a moment. She could take him down, she realised… But if she made a mistake… She shook her head at herself. No. She couldn't risk it.
The captain turned her head as she heard a soft sob behind her. "Hey..." She whispered, reaching out and touching the bent head. Watery green eyes blinked up at her. Lara ignored the guard and reached out, wiping at the tears, brushing them away. "Don't cry…"
"He's… He's gonna kill you…" Cathy managed, trying to repress her sobs. 
"Probably…" Lara let out a breath.
"It's all my fault…"
The captain shook her head determinedly. "No…"
"Walters was r… right… I am your weak spot. Without me…"
"Shh." Lara cut off her sentence determinedly. "I will not have you talking like that."
"But it's true..." Cathy argued, dropping her eyes. "I'm…"
"You're the best thing in my life."
Green eyes tracked up in surprise.
"I don't jump off exploding ships for just anybody, you know?" The captain managed a smile. "You…" She considered her words for a moment. "You make me whole." She stroked the blonde's cheek. "I'm just glad we got a second chance… And whatever happens, Catherine, I'll always be grateful for this. Please believe that."
Cathy swallowed, then fell forward, leaning her head against Lara's shoulder in defeat. "I don't want to loose you."
"You won't." Lara murmured, closing her eyes and leaning her chin on the blonde head. "I'll be around. Somehow."
"You have to fight them, Lara." Cathy tried, whispering in a nearby ear. "You have to… Please…"
The captain shook her head. "I can't. They'll hurt you."
"I don't care."
"Well, I do." Lara pulled back forcing green eyes to meet hers. "You…" Her sentence stopped and she glanced at the door for a moment, the sounds of footsteps forcing their way into her hearing. She turned back, then leaned her forehead against Cathy's, unable to find words to express what she wanted to say. 

The next moment the door cracked open and Karl strode in, three sailors following close behind. "Time's up, Miss Dean. Let's go…"
Lara squeezed Catherine's hand gently, managing a reassuring smile before she stood.
Cathy grabbed onto the hand, fiercely refusing to let go. "No. Please don't…"
"Hold her." Karl's voice shot up and two sailors came walking over, each grabbing onto a shoulder, pushing the girl back as Lara pried her fingers lose from the strong grip.
The captain looked up, meeting pleading green eyes for a silent moment. "I'm sorry." She managed, then turned, walking out the door, followed by Karl and two of his soldiers.

When she reached the railing she faced Walters, crossing her arms and waiting.
Karl grinned, taking a deep breath of the salty air and closing his eyes for a moment. "I've been waiting for this moment for nearly ten years now…" He stated, looking around him, intent on remembering every detail of this time and place. The sun setting, the seagull squawking overhead, the sound of the waves… 
"Just get it over with." Lara grumbled, leaning back against the railing.
Karl chuckled. "Eager to die, I see…" He slowly lifted the gun, aiming it at her heart. "Goodbye, Miss Dean. Tell Satan I said hi."

With a growl Tom jumped forward, catching the lieutenant around the waist and taking him down, the gunshot echoing through the air, the bullet edging into the wood beside Lara. The skipper slammed his hand on Karl's right arm, pinning it down on the wooden deck so he was unable to use the gun he was still clenching onto.
"Traitor!" Karl hissed as he saw Tom's face hovering over him.
"No I'm not, that's why I'm doing this." Tom managed, needing all his strength to wrestle the young man down.

Sailors ran towards them from all directions and Lara hastily shot into action, knowing the chaos that was about to follow would work in their favour. She intercepted her first attacker with a firm kick to his stomach, the man doubling over and staggering back. With a sweep of her boot she slammed the sabre he was holding onto out of his hands, sending it flying until it thudded into the chest of a second victim. An elbow caught a third in the jaw, before she grabbed onto the sailor's neck and pulled the man over her shoulder with ease. A fourth, a fifth… She felt herself getting into a rhythm, and she focused her full attention on her battle, flexing her hands as the next sailor ran her way.

The shot echoed across the deck. Catherine closed her eyes, trying to push back the wave of nausea that surged up… Then more sounds penetrated her hearing and her eyes shot open again, as she recognised the sounds of battle. So did her two guards and they stood glancing uncomfortably at each other, debating on what to do.

Cathy didn't hesitate a moment. Her aching back became irrelevant as she slammed out a hand to her right, hitting her first guard in a particularly painful part of his anatomy. He yelled out and doubled over in agony. The second raised his gun and aimed at her, but Catherine kicked up her blanket, managing to toss the fabric over his head. The next moment a hard object smacked against the back of his neck and he fell to the floor, unconscious.

Within a heartbeat Catherine was up and running, tossing open the door to the deck.

"Get off me!" Karl struggled wildly, ducking another one of the skipper's blows. With a harsh tug he managed to free his right hand and he smacked out at Tom, hitting the skipper's jaw with a thud. Tom lost his balance and Karl took advantage of this, freeing his other hand and elbowing the skipper in the face, forcing him off his body.
He clenched onto the gun in his hand, his eyes quickly scanning across the deck until he found his victim. He aimed, then his finger closed over the trigger.

A shock passed through her body as the bullet forced its way through her skin. Lara stared down, slowly watching as red drops stained her white shirt.

Karl gazed at the scene, an evil grin slowly crossing his face as Lara staggered back until she reached the railing. Her knees buckled as they backed up against the wood, and she fell, over the side of the ship, towards the churning sea down below.

"No!!" Cathy ran forward as she watched the captain disappear. She ran to the railing and grabbed onto it, peering over the edge down at the waters below. There was nothing, the water rippling innocently as if nothing had happened. "Lara!!"

Her mind raced as to what to do next. Jump. That's what she had to do… Jump and find Lara… But right then strong hands grabbed onto her and dragged her back, away from the railing. She struggled wildly. "Let me go!" Tears were starting to well up in her eyes, but she pushed them back, not wanting to believe…

"She's dead." Karl smiled in wonder as he said the words. "She's actually dead."
Hateful green eyes turned to him and Cathy pulled on her arms, trying to break free to personally pound his head to pieces. From the corner of her eyes she spotted Tom, who was sitting, staring at the spot where Lara had been only moments before in disbelief.
"Heh." Karl chortled happily, still unable to completely comprehend what had just happened. "Felton!" He called out to the officer, who immediately stepped closer. "Take that traitor down and lock him up with the others. You guys…" He pointed at the three sailors who were holding onto Cathy. "Take the girl to my room and chain her up." He chuckled. "I'll enjoy watching her suffer."
"Aye sir." All the sailors nodded, then went off to do what had been ordered.

Somehow the three sailors managed to drag Cathy back into the room. Moments later a fourth came in with a set of chains and her wrists were bound once more, before the chains were locked around the pillar slightly to the left of the desk. Then they exited the room, dragging the two unconscious sailors Cathy had knocked out earlier along behind them.

Cathy sagged down on the floor, leaning her forehead against the wooden pillar and closing her eyes. This is not happening. This is not happening. She repeated it to herself over and over again, trying to calm herself with the thought that this was just a nightmare. She was gonna wake up sometime soon. She was gonna wake up and see Lara sitting behind the desk scribbling some notes, or see her walk closer with some more herbs or… Or… A lump was forming in her throat and no matter how hard she tried to swallow it away, she couldn't… A tear escaped her and slid down her cheek soundlessly. Her body was drained, physically and emotionally. She couldn't fight anymore… She just couldn't…

Another tear, then another, and she just let them flow, too tired to block away the hurt or hide the grief. Lara's words were echoing painfully in her mind, the look on her face when the bullet…
Cathy wrapped her arms tightly around the pillar, clinging to it desperately as her body convulsed into sobs.

Matthew jumped to his feet as footsteps made their way down the stairs. They 'd all heard the clattering and yells coming from outside… Maybe…

His hopes faded as British soldiers stepped down the stairs, dragging Tom along behind them. "Get back!" One of them yelled out, waving a pistol at them dangerously. "Against the hull, all of ya!"
Matthew slowly stepped back, leaning up against the wooden side of the ship as the celldoor beside him was opened and Tom was tossed inside. The skipper pushed himself up so he was sitting, wrapping his arms around his knees and stared into the distance blankly.
"Tommy?" Matthew softly crept closer as the celldoor fell shut behind the sailors with a loud bang and they made their way up the stairs again. He wrapped his hands around the bars separating the two cells. "Tom?" There was no response. "Hey, what happened?"

Another moment of silence, then pained grey eyes tracked up and met his brown ones. "I tried Matthew… I…" His voice croaked. "I tried but I couldn't…" He lifted a hand to his mouth, trying very hard to push back the tears that were sparkling in his eyes. "She's dead… Lara…"

The rest of his sentence was muffled by the hands pressed tightly against his face. But even if it had been audible, Matthew wouldn't have heard it. The second in command had sagged down against the hull, his eyes staring ahead of him numbly. It couldn't be… His mind grudgingly refused to accept it. Lara was immortal. The woman had survived fights and explosions and wounds that would have killed any other… How could…
"We struggled for… for the gun." Tom managed, feeling a need to explain. "He…Karl… I couldn't hold him… he knocked me aside and he sh…" He paused as he swallowed. "He shot her. Then she ff… fell overboard and…" 
Everyone in the hull had gone completely quiet, the creaking of the ship now sounding deafeningly loud.
"Cat wanted to jump after her, but they grabbed her…"
At the mention of Catherine's name Matthew looked up. "Is she still…"
Tom nodded. "They took her to L…" He bit his lip. "To the captain's quarters."
"We have to get her out." Tony's voice sounded from the cell on the opposite side. Agreeing mutters came from the others, then all heads turned to Matthew.

Matthew folded his hands together and leaned his forehead against them for support.
Focus. He remember Lara saying you had to focus, see every possible solution to a problem and then pick the best one. But he didn't see any solutions. He sighed, closing his eyes. His brain was spinning so hard he didn't even know back from front, or left from right.

He had to save Catherine. Lara would trust him to save Catherine if she… A shaky breath escaped him and he ran a shaky hand through his hair. 
Mary sat down beside him. Her eyes were red, he noticed. Which was odd, since that woman never cried. She was tough as nails…
"There aren't a lot of options, are there?" Mary murmured, closing her eyes and trying to block out her emotions so she could think straight. 
Matthew shook his head. "No." He rubbed his forehead tiredly. "We…" He took a breath. "We need to take this one step at a time." He folded his hand around a knee. "First off we need to get out of this cell…" He glanced up at his cellmates. "If anybody here knows how to pick locks, this would be the time to tell me…"

Karl leaned back in his chair comfortably, popping another piece of bread into his mouth. "You sure you don't want anything?" He asked Cathy cheerfully, placing his boots on the desk.

Catherine didn't even dignify the question with an answer. He'd been sitting there smirking ever since he'd walked in, speaking of nothing but his great conquest and that he had finally redeemed his heroic father… At first she'd closed her eyes, but the visions of Lara combined with his voice only made her more frustrated. So she was now keeping her eyes open, staring intently at the wood in front of her, tracking colours, lines, anything to keep her mind off what was happening. Off the pain in her back. Off the pain in her heart.

Karl closed his eyes and released a breath. "You know, it's almost an empty feeling…" He mused, taking a sip of his wine. "All my life, all I've wanted to do was to kill her. I dreamt of it…" He smiled at the memory. "My best dreams were where her blood was washing over my hands… And now that I've done it and she's dead… It's empty, you know… No more goals…" Karl folded his hands around the glass. "Bet you know how that feels, huh?" He looked at the blond head, green eyes staring silently. "But you're lucky you know? You
see…" He stood, circling his desk. "You don't need to have any more goals… Within a few days, you'll be dead anyway…"
Cathy slowly lifted her head, glaring at him. "I pity you…"
Karl nearly snorted out his wine. "Excuse me…" He coughed. "You pity me? You, the tied up mutineer waiting for execution, pities me, the lieutenant soon to be captain?"
"If all your life all you've wanted to do was kill, then yes, I feel sorry for you…" Green eyes gazed up at him. "You're a hypocrite, Karl. You want to see your father as some superhero, but he wasn't. He killed people. He was a bastard."
"Now you hold your tongue…" Walters's voice dropped dangerously. 
"They only trusted him to captain a convict ship. They never put good captains on convict ships, Karl, ever notice that?"
"Stop it!" The lieutenant narrowed his eyes at her. 
"He'd be proud of you, though, cause you turned out to be just as big of a jerk as he used to be…"
Karl growled and reached for his pistol, pulling the safety catch back and aiming.
Cathy closed her eyes, tightening her hold on the pole.

Karl glared at her for a moment, then lowered the weapon slowly. "That's what you want, isn't it?"
One green orb opened and glowered at him.
"You want me to kill you…" Walters shook his head, then chuckled, placing the gun back on the desk and sitting down on the edge. "You know, Hell really isn't such a nice place, sweetheart, I don't think you should be in too much of a hurry to get down there…"
Cathy returned to her numb staring at the wood of the pole.
"Oh, we're back to the silent treatment, are we?" Karl crossed his arms, watching her. "You really fascinate me, you know that? I can't put a finger on what it is that makes you tick, Miss Mutineer."
"It doesn't matter anymore." Cathy's voice spoke up softly. "I'm done ticking."

Mary growled, slamming her hand against the cell door in frustration. She had been trying to master the art of lock picking, but was failing miserably and every attempt made her madder and madder. Some of the sailors were trying to twist the door off its hinges, but they really weren't getting anywhere either. Matthew had even tried to bend the bars with his bare
hands, which had resulted in painful hands and a bruised ego, but the bars hadn't moved an inch. They were fighting a lost cause and she knew it. She turned and leaned back against the metal door, staring at Matthew, who was at a complete loss, his head balancing on a hand, his eyes closed. "Maybe we should try to overtake them when they bring us food or something?" She suggested, watching the brown eyes track up to meet hers. She shook her head. "I can't get this lock open, Matt. Really. I've tried poking this stupid hairpin into that lock every possible way I can imagine, but it's just not working…"
Matthew stood, taking a few paces forward, then turning and pacing back again. "It could be days before they bring us food." He shook his head. "We can't wait that long, Mary. We need to get Cat out of there as soon as possible." More pacing. "Maybe we're handling this wrong… Maybe we should… We should cut a hole in the ceiling and climb out…"
"Cut a hole with what, Matthew? Our teeth?" Tom muttered, sitting cross-legged in his own cell.
Matt crossed his arms and glared at the skipper. "If you've got any great suggestions I'd love to hear 'm, Tommy."
"We need keys." Tom stated grumpily. "We should've made a zillion sets of spare keys and spread around the ship in case this happened."
"What ifs ain't gonna do any good, Tommy." Matt stated, leaning against the bars and closing his eyes. "I'd love to get hold of some keys, but I just don't know how…"

"I could give 'm to ya…"
Matthew's eyes shot open, as he recognised the voice. From the shadows a dark, dripping figure emerged.
"…but you'll have to ask nice…"

Continued in Part V

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