A gray, impenetrable wall of fog. From somewhere comes the faint sound of a little girl's voice, singing, slow tempo, almost under her breath.
Suddenly a massive ship emerges from the grey, the Winged Victory maidenhead looming. It's a British dreadnought, the H.M.S. Dauntless. Formidable, frightening, twenty-five gun ports on a side, and rail guns to boot.
Elizabeth Swann, strawberry blond hair, stands at the bow railing, gazing at the seas, still singing 'A Pirate's Life For Me.'
Joshamee Gibbs, who was born old, skin a dark leather, clutches her shoulder, startling her. Elizabeth stares wide-eyed at him. He warns her cursed pirates sail these waters and she could call them down on the crew.
Norrington, a dashing young man, Royal Navy to the core, glares sternly at Gibbs letting him know that's enough. Standing besides him is Governer Weatherby Swann, a man of obvious high station, brass buttons on his thick red jacket. He is Elizabeth's father.
Weatherby and his twelve-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, sail to Port Royal, Jamaica. After being dismissed by Norrington, Gibbs returns to his deck-swabbing duties, surreptitiously takes a quick swig from flask, grumbling it's bad luck to have a woman on board, even a mini'ture one.
Elizabeth thinks it would be rather exciting to meet a pirate. Norrington explains they are vile and dissolute creatures, the lot of them. And he intends to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag, or wears a pirates brand, gets what he deserves: a short drop and a sudden stop.
Elizabeth doesn't know what 'a short drop and a sudden stop' means. Gibbs helpfully mimes: a man being hung. Weatherby lectures his daughter about her disturbing fascination with pirates. Chastised, she turns away, to look out over the bow rail.
The fog still hems in the ship; very little of the sea is visible . . . but suddenly, a figure comes into view. A young boy, Will Turner, floating on his back in the otherwise empty water. There is nothing to show where he came from, or how he came to be there. Norrington and Swann spot him. Quick movement and activity on the deck. Sailors use a boathook to snag the boy as he passes. Norrington and Swann haul him aboard, and lay him on the deck. Elizabeth sidles in for a closer look.
Attention is turned away from the boy. The sea is no longer empty. Wreckage from a ship litters the water... along with the bodies of its crew. What is left of the ship's hull burns, a ragged British flag hanging limply from the stern. The H.M.S. Dauntless slips silently through it all. The scene calls for hushed voices.
They lift the boy. Swann pulls Elizabeth away from the rail, away from the hideous scene in the water. Weatherby put Elizabeth in charge of watching over the boy. Elizabeth nods gravely. Swann hurries away to help unstow
the longboat. The sailors lay the boy gently on the poop deck, behind the wheel, then hurry off.
Elizabeth kneels down besides the boy. His good looks are not lost on her. She reaches out, gently brushes the blond hair from his eyes. Suddenly, he grabs her wrist, awake now. Elizabeth is startled, but their eyes lock. She takes his hand in hers. He clutches her hands, then slips back into unconsciousness. His movement has opened the collar of his shirt; Elizabeth sees he wears a chain around his neck.
Elizabeth tugs it free, revealing A gold medallion. One side is blank. She turns it over, A skull gazes up at her. Vaguely Aztec in design, but to her eyes, it means one thing only . . . Pirate. She glances back at the crew. Sees Norrington, giving orders, moving toward her.
She looks back at Will, comes to a quick decision. Takes the medallion from around his neck. Hides it under her clothing. Norrington arrives wanting to know if he has spoke. Elizabeth tells Norrington the boy's name only. Norrington hurries off.
Elizabeth steals away to the stern of the ship. Examines her prize, the gold medallion. A wisp of wind, and she looks up. Out over the sea, moving through the fog, silent as a ghost, is a large sailing ship, a schooner . . . and it has black sails. Elizabeth stares, too frightened to move, or cry out.
The ship is obscured by the fog it as it passes, but not the mizzen-top . . . and there hangs the frightening skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger. Elizabeth looks from it to the medallion, the skull on the flag is the same as the one on the medallion. Fog surrounds and closes in on the black ship, except for the black flag. As Elizabeth watches, the skull appears to turn and grin at her. Elizabeth shuts her eyes tight . . .