“Spinostress taught me all I know: how to provoke, fight, provoke more, fight more and this until rage and hate filled my entire being with such pleasure and satisfaction that control and power were all I sought.  I was happy.”

“I doubt you’ve ever changed,” the Captain remarks.

“Happiness has eluded me for a long time.”

“Happiness?” the King asks.

“How would you know the difference?” the Captain continues.

“Belchiore wasn’t here to pursue me.  What I see now as wrong felt right then.  I didn’t know otherwise.”

“Surely, you remembered the days before Spinostress and fought for them?”

“I focussed on what mattered at the time: survival.”

“Survival of the fittest, huh?”

“Learning, working and concentrating on meaningful purposes was good enough for me.”

“Turned you into a killer,” the King insists.

“You’re not doing so badly yourself?”

“She-Coat is different.  She and Death are ingrained within the planet.”


“When did you realise that—“

“—I felt a first, but small, pang of sadness when my planet exploded, killing all my kind, to the exception of a few who were made prisoners,” the Commander admits.

“She-Coat’s hunger is selective and every creature is offered a chance at redemption,” the King continues, “were you responsible for blowing out your planet?”

“Your attachment to She-Coat is nothing short of toxic,” the Commander remarks.

“It takes all kinds.  We were united like this from as long as I can remember, from the beginning of time.”

“How many died?”

“I’ve lost count.”

“Stop this right now!” The Captain orders, “Commander, you’re not going to drag this King inside Belchiore’s entrails with you.  Tell your story and be gone!”

“I’ve my reasons, I’ve no regrets.  Never will,” the King insists.

To be continued…


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