“Then, I got caught by my hair, immediately getting an insight into the Syck Monkey’s genetic make-up and especially how he felt and functioned.  I took its inherent chore feelings and mixed it with my own, adding to them and grafting these, through various manipulations, onto the best of our population.”

“La crème de la crème?” Labaguette asks.

“What has it got to do with the two monkeys dying on this ship?” the King asks.

“Better breeds aren’t what they used to be,” the Captain remarks.

“They’re young, too sensitive.  They can feel me through their ropes,” the Commander continues.

“Badness and wickedness lurking within, huh?” Labaguette snarls.

“I’m no longer evil.”

“Sure,” the Captain says, “heal those monkeys or—“

“—They’ll heal once I’m gone.”

“Gone where?”

“Into Belchiore’s entrails.”

“She-Coat might have enjoyed tasting you.” the King remarks.

“We must press on,” the Captain insists, “these are the Syck Monkey’s children.  They must be kept alive and well.  They’re needed.”

“Be gone,” Labaguette insists, “let us live, Commander.”

“I was still hoping that—“

“—nope, Commander, we’re not going to stand up for you nor give you the support you still think you deserve,” Labaguette says, unforgiving.  The Captain and the King look at the talking bird as if he’d fallen from outer space, which he could have done, really, thankful for once for a bird that dares speak its mind aboard their ship.

“One Monkey’s enough, there’s no need for more,” the Commander insists.

“What do you know?” the Captain continues, “the Syck Monkey might be overworked and may not be able to catch enough of the falling.  Two children following in his footsteps isn’t a big ask.  Besides, each of his children has its own gifts.  Would you jump now, would you?” the Captain insists.

To be continued…


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