“Look,” the Captain insists, “suppose your story is true, how could Spinostress improve herself and let go of you, spinners?”

“You promised you’d help me see.”

“We would need Spinostress to believe that she will remember her name and understand the making of the Syck Monkey’s rope.”

“She has a name.  There’s a riddle, you said so yourself.”

“What if she can’t unravel the riddle?  Just imagine: she would have had a name in a language that none of us is aware of.  She—“

“—The librarians could help just as much as you could if you’d care.”

“They’re dead.”

“We intercepted some of them, saved them as they floated in space.”

“She’s untamed, unwise and despicable.  Why would she listen to them?”

“Enough of your riddles!  All we need from you is the statue sample.”

“I don’t understand” the Captain says, “You were going to pledge allegiance to the Insatiable Princess and crew?”

The Commander remains silent.  Now he thinks that the Captain’s sort doesn’t even deserve a single comment because he’s unstable and unreliable.  Can’t be trusted.  Nope.  To think he believed him for a while.  Hope makes one foolish.

He spins him back to Spinostress.  At a short distance behind, three tiny white monkeys are watching.

“You took your time,” Spinostress blurts out as the Commander delivers the Captain to her.

“He can’t be trusted,” the Commander answers as he hands the statue’s scraps to her.

“We shall see,” Spinostress says.

To be continued…©


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