HENRY MORGAN'S COFFIN - T-ISLAND SCREENPLAY
UNESCO and Blue Shield work together to protect heritage sites from looters, under the tenets of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict 1954.
"There's something odd here, that darker shading."
John steered the ROV in closer. Going around the small raised building a couple of times.
"This is something not seen before. Small building. I can't see it on the pre-quake survey. It should not be here."
"The visibility is dreadful John. Sensor scans are better. Perhaps ..."
"Yes Hal, no choice I'm afraid. Trish, can you and Dan help me out support wise? I'm going in."
"Oh boy." Dan let out an involuntary gasp. He remembered the last time John said he was going in. There were great white sharks in the water. Dan's face turned white, he did not like sharks that much. The thought of being in the water with a large man eater took him out of his comfort zone.
"You okay Dan." Asked Cleopatra.
"I'm fine Trish. Just had a worrying flashback."
John cut in .. "I can guess what you're thinking buddy, but let's concentrate on this one shall we. I have a feeling we might be onto something."
"Yes, okay, again. But the hair is standing up on the back of my neck."
"Mine too, but not for the same reasons."
"Dan, you have the comm. Hal, Trish, relax."
John sprinted out of the forward helm position, to the rear cabins.
Cleopatra turned to Dan, laughing. "Just like a little boy when he's excited."
Out on the exposed rear deck, John was slipping into a wet suit. Quicker than a dry suit, and the water is warmer here, thought the ocean adventurer.
He lowered the steps to the diving platform on the center hull, grabbing up a SCUBA set from the diving cylinder storage lockers. Then he descended the steps. Katy thought this was interesting, so nimbly skipped down the steps, thinking John was going fishing.
"No Kity, no fishing this time."
The cat purred as John lightly deposited her back up a few steps. "Meow," cried the cat. Why should John have all the fun.
John slipped into the turquoise water, with barely a ripple. Katy watched as her friend submerged, with a stream of bubbles. Cleopatra had joined Katy. She picked up the cat, sitting on the top step, placing the fury feline on her lap. Katy purred loudly. Both females were fixed on the spot John had gone under. The bubbles were no longer visible.
Underwater, John was reading his diving watch in compass mode. He dived down to the seabed, trying not to disturb the layers of mud and silt, to retain visibility as far as possible. He swan very relaxed, nice and slow. Very soon his compass showed he was nearing his target. And then, there it was, a mound with a distinct apex, indicating a building. But the building was far to small to be habitable.
John closed in, using his diving torch to read what was carved in the stone. It was unclear. So John brushed away the mud. He noted an 'R'. He kept brushing. Just then the ROV hovered above, shining it's lights on the subject matter. John chuckled to himself. Okay, they wanted to see what he saw. The additional light was useful. John kept on clearing the mud. He now had an 'M' visible. Then 'O', then an 'G'.
Back on the Swann, Hal guessed from the positioning that it would spell "Morgan."
"Dan, that should spell ....."
"Morgan," Dan jumped in just ahead of the AI. He relayed their suspicions to Cleopatra.
"I could hear you without the comms, Dan." Cleopatra was not as excited as the rest of the crew, since this man did not represent archaeology to her. She was born long before this pirate ever took to the sea and knew nothing of the golden age of piracy. Henry Morgan was in her future, something else to learn about on a steep curve of catch up. That said, she was very much enamoured of her present situation with John, and love of the Elizabeth Swann.
Underwater John had also figured the carving. He worked quicker, uncovering the remaining letters: MORGAN. His heart was racing. Thoughts of swordplay and cannons swirled through his head, and pirates treasure. Everyone knew about the exploits of the privateer, who worked for King Charles II. Morgan's most daring raid was to capture Panama. It was in August 1670, with 36 ships and nearly 2,000 buccaneers, the privateer set out to capture one of the chief cities of Spainís American empire. On the 18th of January 1671 the notorious pirate defeated a large Spanish force and entered the city, which burned to the ground during the looting. On their return soon to be Governor of Jamaica deserted his followers and absconded with most of the booty. The gold and jewels carried by a train of mules to his ships, the treasure never to be seen again. John smiled to himself, as he explored the doorway to the stone mausoleum.
Back on board, Dan noted the find. As the clouded waters cleared, he wanted as much of this work on film, for reference purposes, for Blue Shield.
Dan watched as John dug into the soft sandy seabed. But the silted surface, just filled where he'd excavated. No use that, John thought to himself. He headed for the surface.
Back on board, John explained: "I'm gonna need the airlift dredger."
"Lucky it's not deep," said Dan.
Cleopatra wondered what an airlift dredger might be. She watched as Dan and John uncoiled a very long rubber hose, and connected that to a cylinder, some three meters by ten centimeters.
"Yes please Dan." Dan pulled out another three meter length of pipe, passing it to John, who connected the first pipe to the second pipe.
Cleopatra mused, "clever, but what does it do?"
John winked. "And another please Dan. Dan duly obliged. And John connected the third pipe to the other two. Then John threw the nine meter assembly over the side.
Cleopatra desperately wanted to get into the water. It looked quite exciting. "John, can I swim too."
Of course. But Dan will have to walk your through some diving basics. "Will you Dan."
Dan nodded. He felt a little bit left out too, and John spotted that look.
"I need you to keep monitoring progress onboard, if that's okay. You can dive the site once it's clearer, and I'll buddy you. If Cleo does not mind a stint at the helm. Meantime, there a lot of clearing to do. Time to sort a suit and aqualung for our time traveler."
Cleopatra almost jumped for joy, but contained herself. Dan pumped her fist, noting her enthusiasm. John slipped back into the Caribbean sea.
Death on August 25th 1688 aged 53 from acute alcoholism.
John Storm investigates target underwater areas using an ROV, then dives the site, coming face to face with Sir Henry's macabre skeletal remains. Then discovering secret compartment in his coffin, and interesting wooden engraving.
John is pleased he was persuaded by Charley and Roberta to undertake this mission, that has turned out to be a remarkable salvage operation to conserve the remains of one of the most famous pirates in history.
Damn you for Villains, who are you? And, from whence came you? The Lieutenant made him Answer, You may see by our Colours we are no Pyrates. Black-beard bid him send his Boat on Board, that he might see who he was; but Mr. Maynard reply'd thus; I cannot spare my Boat, but I will come aboard of you as soon as I can, with my Sloop. Upon this, Black-beard took a Glass of Liquor and drank to him with these Words: Damnation seize my Soul if I give you Quarters, or take any from you. In Answer to which, Mr. Maynard told him, that he expected no Quarters from him, nor should he give him any.
SCENE 5. SUNKEN CITY SURVEY - Present Day, Swann's sensors scan the ocean bed, revealing mausoleum former Governor of Jamaica.
JILL BIRD - London. John
Storm's finds lost Henry Morgan's pirate remains. "And for those of you wondering,
there was no treasure."
SCENE 10. SHIP'S COOK - William Gray helps John Long's cut-throats to crew for Huntington's Hispaniola, Long a dab hand on the galley.
SCENE 12. SKELETON ISLAND - Intrigued by map proffered by Lord Huntington, John agrees to switch attention to location, to coast of Panama. .
SCENE 17. BLACKBEARD'S CURSE - John retakes Swann, Hal immobilizes Black Jack and Billy Bones and rescues prisoners on Hispaniola.