Simon Pratton was born in York, England, in 1710 and grew into an era of exploration and piracy, his father William Pratton was a merchant captain who lived off merge salary. Simon, who from an early age had shown an interest in a Naval career had begged his poor father for a place in a Naval Officers academy, William begrudgingly agreed and Simon was whisked away to London to begin his studies. Pratton did well in his studies and came to the attention of Admiral Lawrence Norrington who summoned him to his office in London one day.
Admiral Norrington offered Simon a commission of the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy expeditionary fleet to the Caribbean, Pratton eagerly accepted boarding a small vessel named "HMS Sabre" he spent his journey to the Caribbean practising with the sword and pistol until he could match any man on board the ship.
When the several month long journey was over HMS Sabre had docked into Port Royal and Pratton was posted to Fort Charles. When he and the other officers on board HMS Sabre arrived, there was little Royal Navy presence in the town. Pratton and the other Officers asked two marines, who where guarding the HMS Interceptor, just where the garrison was.
They where instructed to Fort Charles, where a rare occurrence in Port Royal was happening, Captain James Norrington was being promoted to Commodore. What Pratton witnessed when he arrived was a magnificent show of British Naval power in the Caribbean. He and the other officers, noticed and admired Norrington's new sabre, which he swept back and forth in a skillful and elegant manor.
After the ceremony, Pratton conversed with Norrington. They talked about his father, who was the very reason that both of them were there. Their conversation was interrupted when Governor Swann urged Norrington to approach his daughter, Elizabeth.
Port Royal Edit
One day during inspection of the rather lackluster local garrison pirates raided Port Royal, anxious for some action Pratton demanded that ships chase down the scum that had raided the port and bring them to what he saw as "Justice".
Three sloops set of from Port Royal in search of the pirates, the where held up at Rumrunners isle. Pratton, who was on board the first sloop, named the Interceptor, insisted that they attack and flag signals where sent out to the other two sloops the Savage and the Fearless ( as they where known ) refused to take part in the attack and fled.
The Interceptor stayed alone outside Rumrunners poised to attack, that night there was a terrible storm, as though the interceptor was surrounded by cannon fire but could not offer a response, Simon heard screams but could offer no explanation and the sky poured water onto the deck of the ship as though it was a bath. The Captain was on deck when he was hit by a large wooden plank, killing him.
The other officers on board agreed that Pratton take charge, and that morning when the sky was clear and the sea was blue, the crew of the Interceptor could see what had happened. The Savage and the Fearless had been destroyed by undead, who had only spared the Interceptor because they had ran out of ammunition.
The Interceptor began bombarding the slither of island and what was left was soon stormed by the crew of the interceptor. Pratton was in the thick of the fighting and soon found himself with an open wound in his arm, holding the wound he ran to the pirates powder magazine and set it a light, running with his crew back to The Interceptor when the magazine exploded it killed all the pirates.
He was met by Governor Swann and Admiral Norrington upon his return to Port Royal and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, other officers which crewed the Interceptor where also promoted.
The Company Edit
Pratton resided in Port Royal where he was contacted by the EITC and offered what was called a joint commission, one that would allow him to remain in the Royal Navy and also attain the rank of Captain in the Black Guard ( the companys armed wing). he leapt at the chance for this comission and served the Company and the Navy with loyalty and ferocity.
During Prattons time in the Black Guard Simon was approached by Captain Ellison Shaw who offered him a promotion to Commodore ( in the Black Guard ) if Pratton would assist with a top secret plan the EITC had for Tortuga, Pratton curiously accepted and was then deeply involved int he planning and execution of the destruction and rebuilding of Tortuga.
Due to the way he had served, Pratton was again approached my Shaw who told him Beckett wanted to meet him. Pratton met Beckett in his office and was praised by Beckett for his "dutiful and just" conduct whilst serving the Company, and was promptly ordered to plan an attack on Singapore. During a pirate meeting Company troops stormed the city, during the battle which ensued Pratton came face to face with Barbossa and engaged in violent sword combat with him.
Barbossa was only saved from death when a stray dagger hit Pratton in the leg and he fell to the ground, allowing Barbossa to escape. By the time Pratton was able to stand up Barbossa had vanished into the crowds of fighting pirates and soldiers. Pratton managed to chase Barbossa who had boarded the Hai Peng ship,
Pratton and a group of Company agents boarded the HMS Surprise and gave chase. Pratton did so until he was ordered to come back to make up part of the Company fleet that Beckett was preparing.
Becketts Death Edit
One the day the EITC armada was assembled Pratton was allowed to stay in command of HMS Surprise and was positioned behind HMS Endeavour. Pratton was ordered by Beckett to "clear up the mess left behind by the Endeavour" meaning to kill any pirate survivors. As the EITC fleet sailed out of the mist ready to meet the fleet of the Bretheren court there was a gleam of optimism is Prattons eye he knew that whatever happened today there would be fame and fortune left for the victors.
As the HMS Endeavour glided forth to meet the Black Pearl the Flying Dutchman sprung forth from the sea and turned to open fire on HMS Endeavour, it was now taking fire from both sides. Shock sweapt across the faces of every man on board HMS Surprise and Pratton, most of all was clueless as to what to do. Splinters flew miles into the air as the Endeavour took bombardment form both sides and offered no response taking this violent punishment it then exploded, many ships in the EITC fleet began to turn around and flee.
When the maelstrom began Pratton did as he had been ordered and cleaned up, picking up survivors such as Lieutenant Groves. That day the HMS Surprise picked up the majority of survivors from the Endeavour. Pratton listened in horror as what had happened was described to him by each survivor, none had said whether Beckett was dead or alive and so throughout the maelstrom in the pouring rain Pratton waited and searched the sea in hope that he would find Beckett. He did.
He had Becketts body wrapped in the Union Jack and the Flag of the Company and sailed gravely away fromt he site of this terrible tragedy.
Pratton received flag signals from to other Company ships to head to Port Royal. Upon arrival he found that Port Royal was in utter chaos, people ran screaming in the streets, marines fired off muskets randomly into the air and the crowds, shops where being looted and crops where being burned.
Pratton was taken to the head of the garrison, Captain Clarke, who was only new and could not handle the situation. After making inquires as to where other more experienced commanders where there was only one answer, Kingshead. Clarke ordered the garrison to assemble in the center of Fort Charles. They where more brigands, looters and boys than fighting men.
Pratton went back into the town, noticing a lieutenant was trying to keep the peace he summoned him over. Lieutenant Sullivan was his name, and he was a former NCO who had earned himself a commission. Pratton ordered Sullivan to lockup all the shops and close the gates to Governor Swanns Mansion. Pratton ordered his crew to come on shore and start to separate the crowds from pirates and civilians once this had been done the pirates, who had escaped Fort Charles prison where sent back.
Lieutenant Peter Blakely stormed out of Fort Charles with several cadets, he was very angry at what had happened to the town. Pratton managed to calm him and he and his men went about patrolling the town and guarding the buildings that had been broken into.
Pratton sent for a new regiment to garrison Port Royal, one that could be trusted. One was sent form Kingshead and the former regiment was sent off to guard duty at Padres Del Fuego. Pratton and his crew reported to the head office at Kingshead.
During Prattons time at Kingshead he was ordered my Ellison Shaw, who had now taken over the running of the company in the Caribbean, to visit the Pelegostos tribe on Isla de Pelegostos as there had been reports of Company supplies had gone missing.
The HMS Surprise set off at all haste to get to this remote island, not only was it to be purged of whoever had been stealing the company supplies, but was to be turned into a civilised British port once space had been made for Company offices.
The seas where rough and the waves where high, Pratton and his crew rowed to shore on longboats and formed up. Pratton set off deep into the thick green sea of forestry that had overgrown the small island. The men where nervous. drums where banging in the distance and wield screams and shouts came from up in the mountains.
Pratton and his crew set off in the direction of these shouts, which lead the crew of the Surprise to an empty village of mud huts and large fires. There was a rickety, poorly constructed bridge leading to another one and after that there where several more little dwellings. Several men who where members of the crew began rummaging around in the huts to find evidence of stealing, there was boxes of Company supplies everywhere.
Pratton ordered several members of the crew to start removing the baggages, he didn't want a fight with the natives he did not know how many they numbered. Suddenly a child screamed and ran out of there hiding place running across one of the bridges screaming in some gibberish like language.
Soon the all 150 or so inhabitants of the island where running across the bridge towards Pratton and his crew, they stopped when they got into the village and stood staring deeply into the crews eyes. the crew startled by these savages did not know what to do, they looked to Simon.
An arrow shot into the crew and a marine fell to the ground screaming, the crew opened fire on the tribe, which was now charging and screaming, a bloody and violent hand to hand battle ensued where the 60 members of the crew attempted to fight off the crushing weight of the Pelegostos tribe.
Pratton and his crew retreated to the beach. where he ordered one longboat go back to the ship and order the men on board to open fire on the tribe when they emerged from the woods. The plan worked perfectly and as the tribe emerged from the forest, screeching wildly they where bellowed down by the ferocious sound of the cannon, there was nothing left.
"Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah!
The HMS Surprise sailed elegantly on the open sea, and as usual the sun warmed the backs of every man on the ship, and made the sea shine brightly. In the cabin of the ship Pratton sat studying his maps. There was a knock on the door "come" Lieutenant Miles Jenkins walked in, he had served as long as Pratton and was a damned good fighter, in Prattons opinion.
"Ships on the horizon, sir"
The calmness about Pratton was swept away in seconds. he lifted his head away from the maps "How many?"
"Five, sir, and they are looking for combat, sir."
Pratton and Jenkins walked out of the cabin, and up the stairs onto the poop deck. Pratton lifted a telescope to his eye as he did so a cannon ball flew past him crashing at great speed into the rear mast ( the Mizzen mast) he bellowed down to the startled crew "All hands battle stations, prepare to engage the enemy!" The ship, that moments ago hand been a calm vessel erupted into chaos as the sailors on board rushed to the positions. Pratton stood by the helm and the sailor on board, who was only you looked nervous "steady, man." he said in a calming voice.
Lieutenant Jenkins rushed upstairs, and pulling Pratton to the side he said "Sir, we have no chance, we're out gunned" Pratton looked at him knowing what he said was true "nonsense" he replied, trying not to let his voice break. "Sir, they are undead!" Jenkins exclaimed, the panic and fear could now be heard in his voice.
The undead ships now came closer, the crew now at their stations readied themselves for the onslaught. There was a look of fear on every man aboard, one that was rarely seen on a Naval frigate. "Calm yourselves men!" officers cried out in attempts to steady the crews nerves.
"Fire as you bare" Pratton ordered "Fire as you bare!" screamed Jenkins down to the lower decks of the ship. Cannons roared out shot, flames and smoke rose into the sky. The sound deafened the crew. Splinters and crew members of the undead ships hurtled into the sky screaming. The crewmen began to reload there guns.
It was the undead's turn now, all five turned starboard and in a line began to give broadside after broadside into the the bow of the Surprise. The crew on the flew from one side of the ship to the other, men lay bleeding on the deck of the ship and others, loosing hope jumped overboard, amidst the chaos Pratton took a bullet wound to the chest. Jenkins, the 1st Lieutenant on the ship took command.
"Fire!" He yelled at the crew, it was like whipping a dead horse, it made no difference to the holplessness of the situation. The undead began to board and horrific skeletal creatures threw themselves from their own ships to the deck of the Surprise. Terrified, Jenkins engaged them. Pratton, who way laying in pain near the helm managed to lift himself up to face the undead, as he did so Jenkins and other crew members ran up the stairs of the Surprise to look to him for command.
Soon the only crew members where on the poop deck and the undead began swarming up the sides and stairs of the ship, and Pratton and his men valiantly fought back. Pratton stabbed one undead in his throat and whipped out his sword, spinning around he cut the head off another. Jenkins desperately reloaded his pistol and fired off a wildly aimed shot into the crowds of the undead.
Kegs of powder rolled around aimlessly on deck, this gave Pratton an idea, he and Jenkins fought their way through the crowds of undead and lit the makeshift fuses on the powder kegs and threw them onto the decks of undead ships, they exploded and with great effect, sinking one undead ship and significantly damaging another.
The undead began to get blown of the deck by distant cannon fire, as though they where muck being cleaned off a shoe. On the horizon Jenkins saw white sails, "reinforcements, sir!" He turned to Pratton, smiling, he was caught off guard by an undead pirate and stabbed through the chest, his face then turned from an expression of happiness to one of twisted pain, he slumped onto the helm of the ship, the ship began to turn into and undead one.
The distant Naval ship, the HMS Madam, began to fire broadsides into the undead ships, so much so that it drove them off, and Pratton and his remaining crew where saved. The tattered Surprise was barely afloat, the starboard side had been ripped apart by cannon fire and the main and rear masts had been decapitate from the body of the ship.
The HMS Madam grew closer and eventually its crew boarded the HMS Surprise, and the Captain requested to see Pratton. Pratton was lead aboard the Madam and taken to the captains cabin.
He stepped in through the door. "Hello, sir. May I offer my sincerest thanks."
"It was nothing" replied a voice that was busy with other things, the Captain shuffled through some documents."My ship was powerful enough. But may I ask, what where you doing?" The Captain spoke with a voice of experience and calm, assertive authority.
"We have been chasing pirates for the past few days, sir. The other ships in our squadron where destroyed some weeks ago."
"I see" his voice grew more intrigued "Which pirates?"
"Not undead ones I assure you. They where Spaniards"
"Hmm, interesting" he said, looking back to his desk, "How come you where fighting undead when I saved you?"
"They surprised us, sir. I thought, perhaps we could have held off until helped arrived.."
"I shall have your ship towed back to port, Captain...?"
"Its Commander Pratton, sir."
The Captain looked up, he had never head of a commander captain of a ship before.
"Well, Commander, I will have your ship towed back to Port Royal. You and your men can stay aboard my vessel, because as we can both see, yours is rather... unsafe, shall we say"
"My thanks, Sir. May I ask your name?"
Some weeks later, Pratton arrived back in Port Royal. He and his crew where grounded for the time being, as the Surprise had to be repaired. As he sat down at his desk, he noticed a letter on the mantel piece above his small fire, which lit up a corner of his office. He carefully opened it at read through it quickly.
Regarding Simon Pratton,
His Majesty's Royal Navy has for a long time sought to promote its finest officers to its finest posts. The Captaincy of one HMS Surprise, is now officially yours. Enclosed is your new commission and several pounds for a new uniform.
That night Pratton celebrated with his crew in the Royal Anchor tavern. Pratton spent the next few weeks in Fort Charles, bolstering defences and assisting in training the local garrison. It was here that Pratton met Lieutenant Ernest Walsh, who was to serve as an officer on board the HMS Surprise, once it had been repaired.
Pratton and Walsh got on swimmingly, Walsh was a textbook officer. He had been educated in the same way as Pratton, and shared many of his view on piracy. One night when all seemed calm, Pratton and Walsh went out for a drink at the Royal Anchor. Meanwhile in the dungeon, the prisoners where starting to escape.
"Guard!" one of the yelled, like an animal in distress. The young cadet walked over and opened the cell, and reach out to the prisoner, putting his musket on the ground. He was then seized by two inmates, they pulled back his arms as another began to stab away at his belly, with the bayonet of his musket. His body slumped to the ground and poured out blood.
The prisoners cackled wildly as they freed their compatriots from the cells, and swarmed up the empty staircase into the dark night of Port Royal. They where greeted by two more guards who opened fire immediately, but where overwhelmed. However they had alerted the marines in Fort Charles as to what was happening. Alarm bells rang out.
Pratton sipped his brandy calmly as Ernest spoke about England. Suddenly, in the distance they could both hear the distant bells of alarm, coming from Fort Charles. They looked into each others eyes, shocked. "To action!" yelled Ernest, as he grabbed his sword. Pratton rushed out of the door, Ernest eagerly followed. Outside the streets where empty, the fighting was distant. Ernest was breathing heavily. "Sir, to the fort?" "No," said Pratton turning to Ernest, "Get to the Governors mansion now!" He and Ernest ran up the streets of Port Royal and through the Governors garden.
Prisoners had already killed the guards and where attempting to break in through the front doors. "Stop!" yelled Pratton, as he let off a shot from his pistol. The shot hit one of the prisoners, who fell to the ground with a savage thud. Ernest fired also, his shot hit a young prisoner in the forehead, he died instantly. By now the prisoners had charged the two officers, who had drawn their sabres.
Pratton lunged forward piercing the chest of one prisoner. Ernest slashed wildly at another, finishing him off with a sharp punch to the nose. Pratton cut through the chest of one prisoner, and proceeded to knock another's teeth out with the hilt of his sabre. One prisoner attempted to escape, running through the large garden into a corner. Ernest followed angrily. He cut his way through the neatly trimmed gardens to find his victim.
"Please!" yelled the prisoner, desperately trying to console Ernest, who hunted him like a lion. This plea for mercy was all Ernest needed to know where the prisoner was. Ernest leapt onto the prisoner, and pinned him to the floor. "Please, no! I didn't want to kill that cadet!" His cries where ignored. Ernest hit him violently in the nose. Ernest glanced up. Pratton was in the distance, fighting. He then grabbed a nearby stone, and began pounding the face of the prisoner viciously. The jagged edge of the stone indented the prisoners face in a horrible and disfiguring manor.
Bloody spurted into Ernest's face. He stopped. His victim lay on his back, his face unrecognisable, his back broken. Ernest breathed heavily. He stood up. "Ernest?" shouted Pratton from the Governors mansion. As Pratton walked over he could see the mess Ernest had made. "What the hell happened here?" he asked, with a hint of distaste, "He was resisting arrest, Sir" replied Ernest. Pratton did not believe this for a second. "Right..." he said, assessing the situation, "Go and clean yourself up.. you'll be happy to know we have repelled the attack, and the prisoners have been returned to their cells." Ernest walked off, wiping his face. Pratton looked down at the grizzled mess that was once a person. "Christ." He said, disgusted at what laid before him.
The next day, the Surprise had been fully repaired and Pratton boarded it with his crew. He was now to await orders from the Admiralty, or from the Company.