The Captain removes the bucket from the Commander’s head without much of a second thought but the tentacles keep burning and the crew begins to slide backwards, grabbing anything they can cling to. The King manages to snatch a bucket full of liquid and throws it at the Commander who bursts into flames, his entire body being consumed by fire.
“My Rum!” the Captain exclaims, “you idiot!”
“Someone’s burning,” Labaguette squeals, “someone’s burning, it’s a Commander burning!”
All the while, the Commander stands before them and if they could understand what was really going on underneath the smoke, flames and the smell of skin burning, they’d realise that the Commander doesn’t mind so much: flames never hurt him in the way most creature imagine and it’s convenient to use as a side secret. It’s only outer skin burning, soon he’ll shed it and the pain isn’t that bad: he’s used to it. It doesn’t matter any way because, in the grand scheme of things, he’s well aware that his time has come. Soon the flames decrease and disappear entirely, leaving some rictus of contentment on his face and it is difficult to tell if he’s pleased or miserable. But now isn’t the time for observations, the Captain thinks: it’s best to scramble for safety, tie ropes around ourselves and to anything solid we can hang from. The Commander’s hair has instinctively clutched the edge of the cabin.
“Confess!” Labaguette urges him, his wings flapping about as he tries to stand onto the Captain’s shoulder, gripping his shirt hopelessly, as if he were unable to fly, “you’ve done it again, Commander you—“
To be continued…