“You believe me then?”

“I believe what I see.”

“This is pointless.”

“Shut up and talk!” the Captain insists.

“Clear your brain from fucking debris!” Labaguette exclaims, incredulous.

“He means shut your gob, stop the background noise and tell us about Belchiore once and for all,” the King says.

“There is only so much harm Belchiore can listen to and imagine,” Labaguette begins, turning his back on the Captain, “in all the time that she had to deal with evil, she never heard of any improvements in anyone. She too was a dispirited creature. She just didn’t show it and kept engulfing all the depravity she could find. The Syck Monkey brought her here in the days of time immemorial – but she still remembered it vividly – when she was lost falling, falling through universe after universe.”

“Lies, lies, lies,” the Captain insists, “you had no idea of—“

“—Give him a chance, Captain,” the King says, “what if it was true?”

“It isn’t and you bloody well know it. Besides, my enhanced brain has researched the matter deeply and—“

“—Let him speak, we shall decide later over the truth of it all and if Labaguette’s guillotine will find its use on his own head if necessary.”

“You’ve no decision over my life, King Krackskull, you can’t—“

“—Labaguette, my long-time friend, my constant companion,” the Captain says, “do carry on with your story if you will. Whether truth told or whether lie unfolding, let us decide if you may be coward or hero.”

To be continued…



“It was nothing less than a chess game, Spinostress had you all worked out.” the King retorts.

The blink of an eye, the spark of an understanding, a guess that says it all and within a split second the King and the Captain begin to lower the Commander overboard until they can stare at him at leisure, far below them, floating down, down, down behind the Insatiable Princess.

There are two white monkeys, arms outstretched pointing out to the Commander, Labaguette perching on the index of one of them, screaming:

“Farther, farther, farther! He can’t be far enough from us. Why are you keeping him alive? His head should have rolled, God dammit!”

“We still don’t know what Belchiore was all about,” the Captain remarks.

“She was just floating about,” the King remarks.

“She was roaming space within the confinement of the darkness we’re stuck in,” Labaguette answers.

“Can you shed some light?” the King asks.

“I know all one needs to know about Belchiore. Do you really wish me to tell you? It’s a long story.”

“Shut up, Labaguette!” the Captain says, “there’s nothing worse than a parrot inventing stories to attract attention and make a fool of himself.”

“It’s only the three of us and the silent monkeys, Captain,” the King answers, “Labaguette being a parrot, is merely born to fly, flutter and flatter.”

“Fuck, King Krackskull!” Labaguette exclaims, “that was one too many ‘f’ word. It is about time you knew that I rarely flatter unless it becomes necessary, but a story I do have for you, and it is as real as anything.”

“Huh!” the King says, “so what do you know about Belchiore?”

“She was real.”

“Tell us something new.”

To be continued…


“You killed the remainder of all living creatures on Cajoon, from both camps,” the Captain insists.

“She’s a monster of some kind, is she not?” the Commander continues, “You and ‘she’, may be just ‘it’, gobbling up, slowly swallowing and savouring helpless passers-by, eating them one by one or thousands at a time because no one really knows the full truth, huh?”

“Cut his head off!” yells Labaguette, reappearing, two monkeys in tow.

“What about you Captain?”

“Do finish the ‘what about’ game, will you?”

“You’ve maimed and killed thousands, maybe lots more, who’s to say?  In your hey days as a primitive rum trader, a pirate of some kind, back on your ludicrous planet.  What are you turning into now, you of the revolving eyes that can no longer look straight into anyone’s face?  Are you for real?”

“Commander, you’re losing track of what we asked you.  Now, give me your name if you have one and stick to your story.”

“My name is Commander Aldroobedium, Commander in charge of Spinostress’ 1000 multiplying army.

“Surely that isn’t a name?” Labaguette asks.

“Spinostress led me to believe Cajoon barely contained a single live creature on its ground.”

“Barely, is that your excuse?” the King asks.

“Who?” the Captain inquires.

“Life-long prisoners,” the Commander answers.

“Not worth them living, right?” the King asks, “you would have known about verifying your information before taking any action, wouldn’t you, Commander?”

“She forced me to believe her and said I was never to doubt her word again.”

“You dared to doubt Spinostress’ word before?”

“I am the best there is around for war tactics and politics.  I would advise Spinostress.  It was my duty to question her ways and guide her in accordance with the rules of rethoric.”

To be continued…



“You killed the remainder of all living creatures on Cajoon whether fiend or friend,” the Captain entices.

“You wiped out Cajoon from the map of all universes,” the King accuses, “not a single soul could be saved.  Cajoon and its creatures split into billions of the tiniest particles and the Syck Monkey was unable to save anything for his collection of what-was-that-can-be-again.  It is unacceptable.”

“My sister was already dead when things went from bad to worse.”

“What happened between your sister dying and you killing off your own planet?”

“When you don’t know who to turn to anymore, you turn to yourself and—“

“—Ugly,” Labaguette says, “I’ll get the guillotine.”

“You turn against yourself in the process and it helps, believe me, it really helps.”

“Well, you certainly didn’t throw yourself off a planet!” the King states.

“Yep,” the Captain continues, “if you’d had a single thought of self-inflicted death, you’d be gone by now.

“I pledged my commitment to Spinostress after I lost my sister.  I was young.  I learned everything from her.  I forgot I had friends.  I was bitter and, besides, the sands had done their job.”

“He forgot who he was!” Labaguette yells, “easy, peasy, Commander, huh?”

“Blame the sands for your evil, Commander,” the Captain says, “when your sister died, you were so scared for your own life that gave up everything for your own to be spared.  The sands felt it and came out of you tarnished.”

“Ha! funny coming out of your mouth.”

“Commander,” the King says, “we all have our issues.  The fact is that you erased your own planet from the universal maps because you were scared.”

“I lacked guidance.”

“Surely you could feel?”

“What about She-Coat?”

“What about it?”

To be continued…


“The Monkeys have left him here for us to torture him and shake the bloody truth out of him,” Labaguette insists, flying underneath the cocoon and perching upside down on the bottom of it, on what looks like some sort of head protruding.

“Do you feel this, Commander?”

“Get away from me, you damned, stupid and ridiculous creature!”

“I’m not stupid!” Labaguette screams, “I’m just a bird, I’m not stupid!”

“Don’t let him get to you!” the Captain urges Labaguette, “you know better, you stupid bird!”

Labaguette flies off and disappears in a huff.

“What’s got into him?” the King asks.

“I suspect he’s got an ego, a bird’s ego,” the Captain retorts.

“Huh?” the King asks.

But the Captain is hoisting the Commander higher and higher, checking how much leeway can be gotten from the rope that keeps the cocoon hanging like this until the rope is fully stretched.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” the King asks.

“Yeah, but before that, let’s hear him one last time.”

“He isn’t worth it.”

“We need to have a broader picture of his misdeeds, real or not.”

“I don’t have to tell you anything anymore,” the Commander insists.

“In that case,” the Captain says, drawing a pin from his jacket, “this is for you.”

The Captain plants the pin in the cocoon and a liquid begins to trickle.

“If you hope to transform into another give it up, will you?  It won’t be long before you—“

“—All right, all right, all right.  Get your pin from off my cocoon and from off my juices.”

“What have we here?” the King asks.

“Some ambitious monster,” the Captain retorts.

To be continued…


“I’ve heard this before,” the Captain says scratching his head.

“Something to do with a butterfly,” the King says, frowning.

“Not bad, Labaguette,” the Commander retorts, “Belchiore exploded because the energy contained within her was barely sufficient to disable my functions.  By now, Spinostress knows exactly what is going on.  We’re only safe for as long as the darkness remains, which won’t last long either.”

“Why did you not attempt to make the Rope yourself in all this time?” the Captain inquires.

“There’s no magic in it.  The rope takes time, dedication and others need to be involved.”

“In all that time you never confided in anyone about your secret?” Labaguette asks, suspicious.

“I did but all those who worked under me got found out.”

“All of them?”

“All of them.  I gave them a pill to disappear in an orderly manner and avoid a painful death at the hands of Spinostress.”

“Awful,” Labaguette comments, “we all deserve a proper burial.”

“You’re a bird.”

“Forget what I look like.”

“Spinostress can’t remember what a burial is.”

“Yes, but a pill that immediately turns you into dust isn’t a way to die.”

“I never mentioned dust.  Anyway, if you had the choice, wouldn’t you rather do so than see your insides and body parts unceremoniously spread over a floor?”

“Doesn’t change a thing,” the King says, “you killed those who knew your secret and the rope is still hanging inside your head.”

“If you cared to disentangle the rope that hangs me by my end part, I might get a clearer perception of what you’re asking from me.”

“Would you reveal the rope’s secret to us?” the Captain asks.

But the Commander doesn’t answer and an uneasy silence spreads among them.

To be continued…


“As sure as me grand-dad was a Tyrannosaurus Rex,” Labaguette continues.

“You’re closer to the truth than you think!” the Captain says.

“Oh forget your nerdy-brain-fucked-library for once,” Labaguette continues, “the Commander has lost the plot and you know it as much as I do.”

“Suppose,” the King continues, “that Belchiore’s stomach juices couldn’t purée you to the desired consistency, how do you explain the explosion and her disappearance?”

“She’s not fully gone,” the Commander answers, “her spirit remains.  She will be re-born once I’m gone for good, when an uncomplicated someone with the right frame of mind and heart is able to rid all Universes of my existence at all levels, be it as a living creature, a speck of dust or a mere floating thought.”

“Are you a Buddhist?” the Captain asks.

“Captain,” Labaguette retorts, “buddhist don’t linger in dirty green cocoons, nor do hang upside down as a means to levitate.”

“You don’t hold the Rope’s secret, else you’d already be the master of all Universes,” the King retorts, seemingly in the know.

“It’s complicated,” the Commander continues.

“Let’s begin by the beginning,” the Captain insists, “what’s your interest in us unravelling you out of your cocoon and letting you free to roam the skies in whatever shape you may wish to take if all you’re going to do is to take control of everything?”

“I can’t possibly take control.”

“You don’t have the monkeys’ best interest at heart, so why?”

“Spinostress will find me here if you don’t release me.”

“She doesn’t know you hold the secret to—“

“—She does now.”

“The whale’s ripple effect, that’s what,” an enlightened Labaguette says, “you came out in a cocoon covered in disabling slime and juices which disabled your thought control.”

To be continued…