THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 423

“We sell gold too,” Brombsky remarks.  “It’s dark and it’s called coffee.  Along with it, naturally, we sell tasty butts because one doesn’t go without the other.  Come, come to our world.  Come visit us.”

“What’s your world’s name?” the King asks.

“Depends, some say ‘Coffeediotic & Butts Galore’ because it’s how it’s known around here.  Others call it the ‘Ash Mongers.’”

“You’re alone, there’s no-one in this vicinity.”

“You’ve come to a hidden universe, Captain.  We live undisturbed by wars and clashes of all kinds.  We live in sinful peace.”

“You’re kidding!” the Captain remarks.

“Quite an achievement,” the King adds.

“We’re on the good side of sin, where one remains unchallenged, unpicked and unquestioned and where no one suffers from this sinful state of affairs.  Those who live around us apply the same principles as we do.  Living in the shadows within dark realms provides us with the safety, peace and calm required for the maintenance of sin.”

“How sinful are we talking about?” the Captain asks.

“What d’you mean?” Shotsky asks.

“Yeah,” Brombsky adds, “what d’you mean?”

“’Sin’,” the Captain adds knowledgeable, “encompasses many a state of—”

“—Whatever,” Brombsky interrupts, “it’s not complicated, we live our lives drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes till we can no more.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s a sin, ain’t it?  How else could it be?”

“We all live until we can no more,” Birdseye remarks wisely.

“We don’t promote longevity,” Shotsky retorts.

“I see,” Birdseye says.

“Neither do I,” the Captain says.

“We’re still here,” the King says.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 422

Enticed by the strange shapes Bromsky is creating with his cigarette’s smoke, and which comes out of a selection of his foam’s pores, King Krackskull accepts the offer and is immediately overwhelmed by a fit of cough.

“You’re sure gonna die,” Labaguette remarks.

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” Bromsky and Shotsky exclaim in unison, “a good cough, the first cough, it always helps clear the lungs of your types.”

“It’s no laughing matter!” Captain Traumatic insists as the King’s crimson head enlarges, ready to explode.

“No longer a King,” Labaguette remarks, “a fool and one about to conk out too.”

Then the King, in a last prominent fit of cough, falls to the ground and the stitches that held his crown tightly secured to his head give way, before it becomes separated from the King’s skull, leaving bloody marks on the torn flesh.

“YOU DID IT YOU LOT!” he exclaims, half grimacing with pain, half smiling.

“We did what?” Bromsky asks.

“You removed the crown that was stuck to my skull!” the King yelps.”

“We helped!” Shotsky repeats, as if he’d won the battle of Waterloo.

“You’re gonna die!” Labaguette repeats, “la petite mort, that’s how.”

“No voodoo on my ship!” the Captain orders Labaguette, shoving the bird, as is customary, into his jacket’s pocket and sealing it.

Meanwhile, Birdseye lifts the crown into the air, removes the particles of flesh, blood and stitches still attached to it and attempts to make it shine for all to see but, finding no light, he turns on his own goggles.

“It sparkles,” Brombsky says, admiring.

“We don’t need no gold,” Shotsky remarks.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 421

“Is your planet worth a visit?” Labaguette asks.

“Fool!” the Captain says, shutting the parrot’s beak with two fingers, “the enemy is lurking under that foamy appearance.  You should know better.”

“They’re traders all right,” Birdseye affirms, “all about them is about buying and selling.”

“What do you know about it?” the Captain asks, releasing his hold on Labaguette.

“You should know better!” Labaguette comments.

“What type of traders?”

“Beverage traders.”

“Not interested.”

“But—”

“—We’re going back Labaguette, go perch!” the Captain orders.

“You’ve entered the realm of Cigarettes & Coffee Butts,” Shotsky says, coming back from the ship’s inspection, “you can’t go back through this gate, you’ll have to take the exit gate once it’s been widened to fit your ship.”

“Where is it?”

“On the exact opposite side of the planet.”

“It’s dark.  I see no planet.”

“It’s dark for a reason.  Worth a visit.”

“Is the smell coming from it?” Labaguette asks.

“Isn’t it scrumptious? You’ve come all this way Captain,” Brombsky says taking the Captain by the shoulder, as if he were an old pal, “experienced much trouble and now that we welcome you, you want to pass by an opportunity to discover something a planet few pass by without enjoyment?”

“All that smoke, that pestilent smell, it—”

“Why Captain, you don’t like the smell of our caramelised coffee and the taste of darkly roasted and coffee foam soaked cigarette butts?”

“Beg your pardon?”

“See?  Come, come now, Captain.  Come and see for yourself,” Bromsky insists, lighting a cigarette.

“What are you doing?” the King asks as the Captain and Labaguette stare and the three monkeys each imitate Bromsky’s gesture as best they can.

“Why, King, I am smoking.  Wanna puff?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 420

“No fire,” Birdseye says.

“It stinks,” Labaguette adds.

“Tis’ smoke,” the King remarks, as the Monkeys scamper down the masts and into the hull.

“More than that,” Labaguette adds, “food, burnt caramelised food.”

Deep into the dark evolving and twirling mist they distinguish a multitude of tiny fires burning over a large surface far below under the ship.

“Tis’ a new world,” the King says.

Then, in big flashing neon lines, a giant signs by the side of the ships flashes:

“WARNING: SLOW DOWN!”

“Of little means,” the Captain says, “they’ve nothing.  They can’t fight.”

And another sign:

“TRADERS, PASS YOUR WAY!”

“We’ve got Rum?” Labaguette wonders aloud.

“Pirates, we don’t trade,” Captain Traumatic adds.

But the Insatiable Princess shudders and comes to an abrupt halt as it becomes stuck between two giant metallic towers spurting brown hot liquid into the empty space.

“Didn’t you read the signs?” a voice asks, coming from one of the towers.

“It’s poor sign management,” the King answers, “the warning should have been posted much earlier.”

“Oh Shit!” the white and gold foam creature at its post on the Tower exclaims, “Brombsky, wake up for God’s sake!”

Then, the creature opens a small tap by the side of the tower, pours a dark liquid into a tiny cup and takes the side path to the other tower and pours the liquid into the mouth of his snoring mate who wakes up and, upon looking at the ship and her crew exclaims:

“Rogue fucking traders, PASS YOU WAY, can’t you read?”

“Rather a wild guess,” the Captain retorts.

“It usually works,” Brombsky says.

“My ship is stuck between your towers,” the Captain continues.

“It’s your fault.”

“Shotsky!” Brombsky commands, “check out their vehicle while I widen the gate!”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 419

“No, no, no, no, nooooo!” Chloroph exclaims as the other boxes holding the platform together swiftly separate one by one to follow their pal to its fate and be gulped inside the Hook and, caught in the bizarre circumstances, in a dangerous act of bravado, Chloroph attempts to catch an unguarded CollectOrus with one arm as he falls inside the Hook, only to lose balance too and become trapped by its pull.

“Get out of—”

are the last words the Captain and his crew hear before Birdseye catches the floating, burping Hook, zips it securely and throws it into the darkness deep into oblivion.

“For good,” Birdseye says.

“Is that all there is to it?” Labaguette wonders aloud.

“My crown?” the King insists as the Monkeys unfold all the sails, perching on the mast high above.

“Shut up, we lost two weird but useful creatures!” Labaguette says, hopping on the deck, proudly displaying two of Birdseye’s majestic feathers planted on his bare wings.

“Time to move on” Captain Traumatic says, “let’s get out of this hell hole!”

In a second or less, depending on how you look at it, and it may be an eternity to some, the Insatiable Princess travels as far away as to get somewhere, anywhere that is inaccessible to filth, space junk and dead ends.  It is a new dawn for her and her crew and the bright inviting horizon line propels them far, far and away in no time, no time at all.  Soon, they are far and beyond and Labaguette is growing a silky, smooth and thin coat of feathers.  Soon, they enter a shadowy realm made of haze, mist and fogs of varying thickness, structure, shades and colours.

“Do I smell smoke?” the Captain asks.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 418

And so, a new seed is born out of Chloroph’s fingernails as he shows it off with a menacing stare.

Captain Traumatic clicks his fingers and at once the hovering boxes unite as a platform that slides under Chloroph’s and CollectOrus’ feet.  Then, the platform, like a thick and compact Eastern flying carpet, sets off sluggishly towards the remaining filthy trail.

“Spread the news!” the Captain tells them, “we’ve got Rum, you’ve got Hooks and filth collecting ideas.  Find the crowds and I’ll strike deals with you.  We’ll distribute Rum to those you send us and we’ll provide you with empty barrels, dead alien material and body parts to toy with and create.”

“You know I will not be able to find you,” Chloroph remarks.

The Captain pulls a golden button from his jacket and throws it at Chloroph who catches it, nods and looks at it as if perhaps it might be made of the most precious metal he’s ever seen.

“Only a button,” he concludes.

“It’ll give you hope.”

“What do you take me for?”

“It’s a link.  When you see it shine, you’ll know where to find me.”

“Mate, your parrot is without feathers and you still believe we’re in a fairy tale?”

Incensed, Chloroph prepares to jump aboard the ship from his platform holding an open Hook ready to engulf the Captain in it but in doing so, Chloroph slips, separating the last black box from the platform which falls into the Hook.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 417

“Which direction?” Chloroph asks.

“The dirt trail,” CollectOrus says.

“It’s scattered, it’s everywhere, really, I—”

“—MONKEYS!” the Captain yells.

“Towards the magnet,” CollectOrus says.

“AHOY!  BRING THE SAILS DOWN!”

“We’ll get hopelessly pulled,” Chloroph says.

“Where to?” Labaguette asks.

“Birdseye,” the Captains says, “take us back to Earth!”

There, in the midst of a junk filled space, a majestic ship sets sails once more, free of bounds and ready to get back to its original port where she may find peace roaming the familiar seas of her world and distribute her precious rum cargo to those who can pay the price.  She will be pampered, loved and cherished for her secrets.  Her new masts will sparkle of a thousand incrusted diamonds and her sails’ thread will be made of fine gold.

“What about us?” CollectOrus asks.

“You’ve decided of your own fate,” the Captain says.

“Stop the ship, we need time to consider!”

“Make up your mind,” the Captain says, “Princess! Halt!”

With excessive reluctance and discontentment, the Insatiable Princess stops abruptly, jolting her contents to unrest.  In a second, a number of black boxes saved and stored inside the hull from the aftermath of the extinct RythmaRymosthesis hover above them.

“Here,” the Captain says, “a token of my gratitude.  You may fly with them, experiment with them or treat them as your own kind, what you will.”

“This is rather expedient.  They came of their own accord, they were disturbed” CollectOrus remarks.

“Get off my ship once and for all!” the Captain orders.

“I saved you more than once,” Chloroph remarks, “I could take it back.”

“Take it back?  Take it back? Take what back?” the Captain asks.

To be continued…