THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 210

“It can cure diseases, wounds and protect from death.  If you’re dead less than a long time, the Pro-Life tree leaf,—“

“—Time has to do with relativity,” the Captain interrupts, “depending on where you—“

“—Shut up and listen!” the King commands.

“Once rubbed on a dead body,” Chloroph continues, “but there has to be a body, it can’t be split into parts, the leaf regenerates the body.  Unfortunately, if you’ve been dead for a while it’s best to remain so else the weirdest things happen: I mean, there’s no point in being half dead or half alive, is there?’

“What has this got to do with us?” the Captain asks, staring at Chloroph, a blank look in his eyes, “why are you here?”

“Enjoy living in the moment, Captain,” Chloroph suggests.

“I don’t have time for this.  Let’s move on, shall we?”

“I’m here for a reason,” Chloroph continues, “and so are you and so is the King.  Until you carve this inside your mind, you won’t be able to get out of here.  All living creatures grow through learning and especially through tough experiences.”

“I’ve got two brains, made up of ample knowledge and experience.  You’re dismissed.”

“Wait.  Only wait.  Show patience.  Don’t dismiss the Pro-Life seed too quickly.  You’re one creature who would greatly benefit from it.”

Labaguette reappears through the Hook with smaller versions of himself, some companion flying by his side.

“You’re a fluke!” the Captain says to Chloroph, “you grow deadly plants and poisons of all kinds, poisons that could destroy entire universes.  You keep inventing and changing things around with your hook and plants recipes, you—“

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 209

Two monkeys are tying their ropes around a gigantic hook just above the ship.  Chloroph is sitting by the Hook, looking down.

“What are these two playing at now?” the Captain asks.

“That’s just it: they’re playing,” the King says, “they’re kids.”

“Is this what I think it is?”

“What about Labaguette?”

Now, hundreds, possibly thousands of parrots, fly above them and settle over the masts, the edge of the ship, over the Captain’s hat, the King’s shoulders, the monkeys’ ropes.

“Wake up, Labaguette!” they shriek, taking turns, “wake up!  Wake up!”

It doesn’t take long before Labaguette opens one eyelid, then the other, rises and in a single flap of wings, takes flight, leading the flock through the hook, disappearing.

“LABAGUETTE!” the Captain yells, “look what you’ve done,” he says to the King.

“Labaguette is alive, well and we’re out of the darkness, what else do you—”

“—stuck in darkness or stuck in a tree, what’s the difference?”

The King has had enough.  He climbs up one of the masts and reaches out for the monkeys’ ropes.  Swinging with it, he lands on the edge of the Hook and sits with Chloroph.

“The view is great from here!” he tells the Captain, “join us!”

“This is a Hook, right?” the Captain asks, having joined the King and Chloroph.

“Yep.”

“You said it was deadly to merely call upon one.”

“It’s a Pro-Life tree seed Hook. It’s full of promises.  Isn’t it Chloroph?”

“Once a Pro-Life seed is fully grown into a pro-life tree, it has life enhancing as well as life giving properties,” Chloroph maintains.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 208

Now the darkness around them is no more and the Insatiable Princess catches fire.  Labaguette drops on the deck, paralysed, his feathers darkened by smoke and burnt at the edges.  His eyes are closed and there’s no sign he may be breathing.

“LABAGUETTE!” the Captain yells.

“He’s dead,” the King repeats.

And then leaning over his pet companion:

“Labaguette, game over, for God’s sake, get up!” the Captain orders.

The ship whinges and its wood is feeding the darkness with incandescent ashes.  Soon, the entire ship will burn.

“Get us out of here!  Labaguette is doing fine,” the Captain tells the King.  But lightning illuminates the sky and improbable tornadoes are seen, catching all in their path.  The lit up cobwebs are all but swallowed by the winds’ fury.  The monkeys have tied themselves around the masts, fearing the wild winds and ignoring the fire.

“FIND SOME WAY OUT!” the Captain insists.

A two-legged green creature appears, wearing a straw hat, sun glasses.

“Chloroph!” the King exclaims.

“King-Krackskull, did you summon me?”

“We need a h—“

In no time at all, and before the King is able to end his sentence, great winds wipe the darkness surrounding them, the fire is extinguished and the ship is caught in the foliage of some giant plant, unless it is a tree.

“What did you do?” the Captain asks, “who’s the weirdo?”

“My pleasure, Captain,” Chloroph utters.

“Where the fuck are we?  I thought it’d be impossible to get out of the darkness.

“It is impossible,” Chloroph confirms.

The King’s face has reddened and his mouth contorts in what looks like some smile as he looks up.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 207

The three of them looking upwards.

“Is this how the Syck Monkey approaches his business?” Labaguette asks.

“Webs? Can’t be,” the King says.

The Captain is silent, stunned. Surely not he thinks, never in the world, impossible, unreal.

“Got it,” Labaguette musters, “this is how they catch their own father falling. It’s in their genes, think about it.”

“Shut up!” the Captain orders as he climbs the mast to have a closer look.

This is too much for Labaguette. He was the center of attention. Now, he is being ignored and flies off to the other end of the rope dangling loose below the Insatiable Princess, where Belchiore bit and swallowed the Commander in his cocoon. Soon, Labaguette can’t be seen.

“Ahoy!” the King shouts, “are you good, Captain?”

“Come along!” the Captain says. There’s a bit of view from here.

As the King begins his ascent along the mast, some crackling can be heard in the air as if electrical particles surrounded them, as if a storm was brewing.

“I can feel rain!” the Captain exclaims.

The crackling intensifies and their hair lifts. Now a lit up, wild rope zigzags in the vicinity, a shining parrot holding its end, unable to let go, glued to the rope, doomed.

“WATCH OUT!” the Captain yells, “the end of the rope is alit and Labaguette on fire! Do not touch him!”

“HE’S AS GOOD AS DEAD!” the King shouts back, still climbing.

The monkey busy themselves, making the two webs they’ve knit tighter. As Labaguette, still clutching the end of the lit up rope, passes nearby the webs, the monkeys retreat to the mast and let Labaguette be entrapped in their webs which, in turn, light up.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 206

“—You’re no stupid bird,” the King says.

“Very well, Belchiore’s body is gone. She’s dead but she’s alive in spirit, like me Mama.”

“Your Mama ever speaks to you or appears in spirit?” the King asks.

“He’s leading you on,” the Captain says.

“I’M NOT LYING!” Labaguette insists with anger, “I’M NOT LYING! I’M NOT—“

As fate has it, Labaguette gets his preferred mixture of rum soaked grains splashed on the side of his face as two white monkeys scamper and disappear back into the Insatiable Princess’ hull. The crew’s attention is drawn to a halo of light approaching fast from below the ship, whirls of black smoke following in its trail and the unmistakable stench preceding the arrival of Belchiore reaching their nostrils. Mesmerised, the three companions look on as with bewildering speed, Belchiore pushes on, jumps and swallows the Commander in a single gulp, bor what’s left of his cocooned self and belches, severing the rope that attached it to the Insatiable Princess.

“I’ll be damned!” the Captain exclaims.

“No way!” Labaguette continues.

“The myth lives on,” the King says, “you may live, Labaguette.”

And while the three of them ponder, assume, question and try and think of all their might what is, what is not and how can this be, two monkeys are weaving a giant web of white ropes between masts, poles and anything solid they can lay their hands on.

“Tis best to ignore them, Captain,” the King says, “Belchiore’s stench is clinging about and I fear she may try and gobble us too.”

“I’m not evil,” Labaguette retorts.

“You’re but mad, King Krackskull,” the Captain says, “we’d better think of something to get us out of here. Where are the two monkeys?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 205

“This is how Belchiore had gotten so fat, so monstrous, her huge belly gathering a constant stream of prisoners whose future had ceased to exist, destined to vegetate in her belly, constantly being reminded of their past, reliving it through the repeating of their dreadful stories. There would be no redemption, no redeeming. That was the arrangement. There could be no other,” Labaguette continues.

“How unpleasant for Belchiore,” the Captain remarks, “but really, sthis story is sheer fancy on your part because Belchiore didn’t have to put up with this shit.”

“Where did Belchiore fall from exactly?” the King asks.

“In the beginning,” Labaguette says, “it is said that Belchiore may have been an immaculate conception.”

Now the King and the Captain look at each other, some understanding taking place.

“She was born out of wedlock.”

“What?” the Captain asks, suspicious.

“Weblock?” the King inquires.

“Wait, just wait,” the Captain says, searching, scanning his brain, “the state of marriage, matrimony, a pledge, a vow.”

“C’mon, it’s nothing new,” Labaguette utters, “if Belchiore had no father, she must be a miracle.”

“Is it important to the story?” the King asks.

“We’re talking about a fucking fish!” the Captain exclaims.

“A mammal,” Labaguette corrects.

“Falling from where?” the King insists, “Isn’t she a myth?”

“She is too.”

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” the Captain yells, “either you give us a story that makes sense or else—“

“—I’m no stupid bird!”

“Of course you’re not, it’s just that—“

“—Repeat after me: ‘I’m no stupid bird.’”

“I’m no stupid bird,” the Captain says.

“You too, King Krackskull!”

“But—“

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 204

“She was a mess then, not knowing where she was falling and if it would ever stop. Belchiore was a mystery the Syck Monkey could not unravel: he succeeded in collecting her from her free fall but he didn’t know where she came from because she couldn’t tell and she was so frightened that she had started to emit a thick and impermeable darkness around them to protect herself. This is why he undertook to find the darkest corner of a dark corner of the universe to help her hide and recover.

“Your mother told you that story?” the Captain asks again.

“He read the story in the plumes that came out of her spout” the Captain reminds the King.

“His ma told him.”

“Both are true,” Labaguette retorts as the King and the Captain frown, wondering.

“The Syck Monkey had always been aware that whales existed,” Labaguette continues, “he’d been shown pictures of them by the ancient before the disaster. He had been curious about them as their empathic abilities across universes are unparalleled. Then, he and she struck a friendship and concluded a deal: the Syck monkey would look out for malice in space to eradicate evil as he travelled and redirect it to Belchiore who would try and sort the ugliness out of those affected by it.”

“Some arrangement,” the Captain says, “what was in it for the Belchiore?”

“Her mum, duh!” Labaguette answers.

“Her mum?” the King inquires.

“Duh?” the Captain wonders aloud as Labaguette carries on.

To be continued…