THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 77

“How do you know about all this?” the Captain asks.

Love hesitates, looking for some acknowledgement from Hate.  Then it says:

“The Librarians sent us.  They had to salvage something from the ultimate nothingness that awaits this world, something that never dies: us.  Passion must never die they said.  If we live, then hope and life are eternal.”

“Who the hell do you think you are?” the King asks, “you’re not the center of the Universe, you’re conceited and I am a King.  I know that you two will bring nothing but disaster, and that I can predict.”

“A dangerous combination,” Labaguette adds, “We all know what would happen if Hate decided to hate Love.”

“I promised I’d be true to myself,” Hate says, “but not when it comes to Love and I pledged to keep loving Love for as long as I live.”

“Hm,” Love continues, “that is why Hate was turned into a ‘written only’ word, but now—.”

“—I promised, that’s all there is to it,” Hate retorts.

“Besides you love me.”

“But you doubt it’ll last.”

“Don’t you talk like this!”

“Do you hate me?”

“You wish.”

“Fuck!” Labaguette interrupts, “can you make yourselves useful, you goddamned pieces of nonsense?”

“We can show you a way out and you must trust me,” Hate says.

“Us,” Love says.

“Us,” Hate agrees.

“Ask the Book with No Name to call upon the ‘Book of Birds’.  It’ll teach you how to fly.”

“No kidding!” Labaguette exclaims smoothing his white glittering feathers with some pride.

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 76

“Ha!” The Kings exclaims, “So you, in the name of love, would have turned Hate into a nice little reflection of yourself, huh?  Nice work, bravo!  I repeat for the last time: who are you?”

“You’re deserters, you’re cowards,” the Captain says.

“I love Hate,” Love insists “and Hate loves me.”

So the King directs the beam of the Doctor’s stick onto the written word:

“Hate,” Hate whispers as it speaks for the first time in its life.

“Who, What am I?” Hate asks.

“You’re both now, written and spoken word,” the King informs as he turns his stick to Love who turns into a written word as well, “that way,” he says, we can see you both when you talk.

“How can we trust you?” the Captain asks.

“…had enough fighting,” Love answers.

“…there must be a better way,” Hate continues.

“Be gone!” the King orders, “You can’t be trusted, either of you.”

“You need us as much as we need you,” Love retorts.

“Lies, lies, lies,” Labaguette says.

“You’ll need us,” Love insists.  “Balance in the Universe needs restored but first, you must get back to Spinostress, give her what she’s looking for and free the Syck Monkey.  But to do this, you’ll have to get out of this planet and you’ll have to overcome the Light House Keeper.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 75

It is late.  This librarian shall not reveal any more as they prepare for battle and have turned their backs on the three friends.  The Captain, Labaguette and the King follow the lanterns’ light while falling books and collapsing shelves bruise their bodies.  Warring words of all kinds attempt to speak to them but, this time, they know better than to listen.  Ominous sounds of the planet slowly and irremediably breaking down rise from its depths and soon they might find themselves floating in empty space.  Then, the lantern’s light begins to fade.

“We’re nowhere near the damned Light House,” the Captain remarks.

Darkness surrounds them once more.

“I can see the fucking light!” Labaguette shouts from above.”

And, as the King and the Captain follow Labaguette and as battle fields seem to draw closer to them, two words, one whispered, the other written, fall by the lantern’s side, gasping for air.  Labaguette circles around them and calls out to them.

“Make yourselves known!”

“Love…” the whispered word answers.

“And who might you be?” the King asks the written word.

“This is Hate,” Love continues.

“Well how about that?” the Captain retorts sarcastically, “Love & Hate, huh?”

“What do you want from us?” the King asks, suspicious.

“Help us,” love whispers, “we’re looking for guidance, we seek to escape from this war.  We’ve been following you; we need to reach the Light House.”

“There’s no way out.  Leave us alone.  Go or die!” the King continues, drawing his sword to cut those words to pieces.

“Where is your compassion, Sir?” Love says, “Hate here with me could kill you on the spot but won’t because of me.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 74

And so it is that bookshelves begin to shudder and crumble from high up, words begin to fight an almighty battle as librarians unite and recite incantations.

“Doomed are words that lack wisdom!” one says.

“Words of nonsense: disappear!” another continues.

“May all words dissolve and let a new dawn rise from the ashes of this planet!”

“Ashes?” the Captain asks, dismayed.

“The Planet of Books might explode,” a librarian answers, “its future is unravelling before our very eyes; it’s disintegrating, it’s dying.  You’d better leave.”

“Words, books and shelves?  Surely some part of this planet will come to no harm.  Some of it must be saved,” the King insists.

“There isn’t much time.  Now do leave us, you won’t be of any help.”

“There’s no way out,” the Captain continues, “we’re unable to leave”.

“Take this lantern,” one librarian offers, “it’ll keep the battling words at bay for as long as it shines.  Lanterns are light seekers.  It’ll instinctively lead you to the Light House – the main source of Light on this planet – walk up onto the highest shelf level where you’ll be left to your own device.”

“A Light House?” the Captain asks.

“All these years, it’s helped the words and books landing on this planet find their way and give them a sense of belonging by directing them to their respective areas. But beware the Light House Keeper, he might—”

“—Yes?” the King insists, “he might what?”

To be continued…©

Part 75

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 73

Then there is a tremor and the ground begins to shake.  Written words come out of books in drones and spoken words come out of their hiding to congregate for an attack.  Soon, the three friends are surrounded by an ominous darkness and this time there’s no way out.

“It never crossed my mind, not even once, that words would have the better of me,” the King whispers, an air of utter defeat etched on his face.

“None of them made it back to where they belong,” the Captain explains, “spoken words had no place to go and felt trapped as invisible matter, written words went back to the wrong pages, pages went back to the wrong books, books went back to the wrong shelves and the shelves couldn’t but react and reject the entire new set of chaotic rules, that’s what.”

“Librarians!” the King exclaims.

“What?”

“The book with no name, it’s saying: ‘Upon chaotic conditions, call upon the librarians.’

“Really?” the Captain asks, “show me.”

Once more, the Captain looks at blank pages.  Labaguette leans over to check for himself.

“What appears to be written on this book only appears once and only for one person at a time, that’s what,” Labaguette says.

Lights are emanating from lanterns that are surrounding them, hiding the tall men holding them.

“You called upon us: we’re the librarians,” a voice says, “we’ve come to clean up this mess and settle this war; you’d better hide, you’ve seen nothing yet.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 72

“I’ve never said or though anything of the sort,” the Captain insists.

“This book knows what you feel and that’s all that matters,” Labaguette insists, “I’m free.”

“Your feathers have turned sparkly-white.”

“Why, Captain, I might have gained in wisdom while I was encased in stone.”

Both, the King and the Captain give each other a knowing look as Labaguette takes note and continues:

“Well, they’re sparkly white for a reason, like it or not.”

“The book sent you here,” the Captain says.

“I was on the Insatiable Princess and now I’m here.”

“You really just woke up?”

“Well, wise one, lead us back to the Insatiable Princess,” the King says, “there must be a way to get back to the ship and avoid Spinostress and her armies”.

“We’d better go down into the corridor now that it’s quiet again,” the Captain says, as he picks up the book with no name and begins the descent down the shelves.

Down and walking along the corridor, nothing is how it was before: some pages haven’t made it back to their books and settled for any book; books have flown back onto shelves they don’t belong to.  Even shelves look uneasy, the Captain thinks, not knowing exactly what it is that is creating this impression.

“Something the matter is brewing,” the Captain says.

Besides, there are books spat out of shelves, pages that tear themselves out of books and invisible hands seem to tear the lonely pages that lie scattered on the floor, unless this is an act of self-destruction.  The bookshelves creak and emit noises of discontent, or at least, that’s how the Captain understands it.

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 71

“You did it Captain!” the King exclaims.”

“I did what?”

“You stopped the damned battle.”

“Impossible!  You know that written words can be read out loud to become spoken words.  Besides, what are we doing, you and I, right now, but forming spoken words?”

“Hush!” the King insists, “don’t you say anything like this here!”

But it is too late, at the Captain’s saying, the written words have just been annihilated and another strident, short and deadly scream can be heard as every single written word becomes extinct.

The King and the Captain are at loggerheads when a familiar book flies to them and lands by the Captain’s feet:

“WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE YOU READ ANY OTHER BOOKS HERE,” the Captain reads out loud.

“It’s back!” the King utters.

“Got to be a trick,” the Captain says.

“Quick, look for its name!” the King carries on.

The Captain reads:

“I am an empathic book, I feel what creatures who read me feel. I feel everything: you miss your companion, the parrot…” but then, “there’s no name.”

The King snatches the book from the Captain’s hands.

“The pages are blank,” he says, “have you lost your mind?”

“Squawk! I’m heeeeere! Capitaine, it’s me!” Labaguette shrieks as he lands on the Captain’s shoulder.

“Labaguette!  Where…?  How did you…?” the Captain asks, shocked.

“Fuck Capitaine,” Labaguette says, “admit it, you just love me!”

To be continued…©