Where to from here? Labaguette wonders.  Nothing to do, nowhere to go, stuck in the space time continuum of it all without any Hadron collider in sight, not even for dear entertainment’s sake.  Even his wings’ flapping doesn’t appear to stir any particles into any type of action.

“How could you possibly know about it?” the Captain asks Labaguette.


“The collider?”

“THE collider?”

“Are you deaf?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh for God’s sake, Labaguette, you mentioned the Hadron collider a second earlier!”

“Yeah.  Hem.  That?  Maybe.  Captain, surely you know by now that sometimes, my brain, any bird’s brain, intercept roaming thoughts particles and translate them into words.”

“Is this your best attempt at an explanation or are you just dumb?”

“How do you explain intercepting my thoughts, Captain, huh?”

“It’s different, I—“

“—This isn’t so bad after all,” Labaguette retorts, “I’ve just avoided being lost in space for the second time in my life.”

And so it goes that the Captain chooses to fix his rum barrels, avoiding the uneasy and confronting belief that Labaguette may have lost it altogether.  What a shame, the parrot used to be such a gifted and funny companion to have around.  His imitations were witty and unmatched but now the parrot wishes he had been endowed with a second brain too.  How disappointing the Captain reflects.

To be continued…



Besides, what is left is of such good quality, so old, so pure and so golden, it cannot be drunk to simply satisfy one’s thirst.  It has to be cherished passionately, to be enjoyed and celebrated when the times comes, when it does.  Best is to polish the barrels and safeguard them against leaking and stealing.

Labaguette, unlike the others, unusually and for no obvious reason, is obsessing.  What the hell were those falling keys for he wonders?  Falling, falling, falling they definitely were.  He remembers falling forever once, until he was caught and saved.  He remembers thinking he was a stone and that it would be a long wait until he’d eventually die of hunger or be snapped and crunched into a pulp by some roaming space creature.  He is scared of falls now, especially when there is no floor below, where the way down is further down, down, down.  Broken bones are better than uncertainty of a long, slow death, even though his wings are now fully functional.  It’s complicated he thinks, way too complicated.

Why, those keys would have been useful.  Shiny, silvery keys.  He should have gone after them, caught them… except it would have been all too easy to get lost trying to catch falling bits and pieces by flying faster than the laws of gravity allow, and that, even if you’re a special, talented parrot like him.  Besides, he believes, it is the Syck Monkey’s job to retrieve falling space junk.


This is how, in the heart of a timeless nowhere-everywhere zone, the entire crew, friends and foes alike, settle in a routine that appears normal.  They begin to attend to their daily activities as if they were home.  Wait, home?  It’s just that, after having been through such eventful times, confronting obstacles and having faced and survived incredible challenges, that state of peace Chloroph contemplates, is felt by all: the King leads the old Princess and her guards inside the hull for a rest.  And before he has time to get in, the Monkeys take the lead and push him back out, signalling that from there on, they will take care of Spinostress and her companions.

Kings too need rest: suitable thrones are on demand: wouldn’t it be nice to sit on a throne where one leans forward, holding one’s forehead with one hand, elbow resting on the armchair?  King Krackskull ponders.  But there is no such throne on the Insatiable Princess, let alone a chair or a stool, and the corner where mast and bridge meet will have to do.  There, King Krackskull sits, securing himself to the mast, in the most likely event that the ship unexpectedly dives, because that’s what ships travelling through high skies do, before taking a nap.

Captain Traumatic is merely concerned with counting the few remaining rum barrels hidden under part of the ship’s bridge.  Now is the time for abstinence, now is the time for cherishing what is left and not indulge into a single drop of it for fear the adored and revered beverage becomes extinct along with its owner, this at least until the Captain gains certainty that more is on its way.

To be continued…


“ENOOOOOOUUUUUGGGGHHHH!” the Captain yells, exasperated.

“I like women,” Labaguette continues, “especially when they make jam.”

The King takes Labaguette off his head, looks at him grimacing, and sends him off flying:

“Go flap about stupid bird!” he says.

“Spinostress could reveal useful, once rested,” Chloroph insists.

“I’m going to erase you, to rid of you once and for all.  I’ve had enough of your ideas and creations and as far as my expectations are concerned, you should never have existed.”

“Do not do unto others what others have done to you,” Chloroph sneers.

Now the Captain lifts Chloroph by one ankle, as if he were a mere puppet, and dangles him above the starry emptiness below the ship, seeds, petals and a multitude of keys falling out of Chloroph’s pockets.

“What are those keys for?” Labaguette inquires.

“Put me down!” Chloroph demands.

At the wink of the King, the monkeys have formed a net that extends and stretches beneath Chloroph, underneath the ship and as the Captain lets go of his ankle, Chloroph falls.

As he screams fearing a never ending fall in the emptiness of it all, he lands safely inside the monkeys’ net.

“Peace will be had,” he mutters, almost content, settling in the net for a muse.

To be continued…


“I’m no prisoner.  Never will be.  No ties.  No strings attached.  I’m the Captain of my indomitable ship and soul.  I’m Captain Traumatic, King of the Rum Trade, King of the Thieves & Pirates Association (KTPA) and King of My Own World and for as long as I live, I shall be free, a free pirate at that, a free rum trader and I will free you from whatever God damned fucked creative juices and peculiar beliefs holding you back.”

“I’d like to retire in my quarters,” Spinostress remarks.

“Your quarters?” the King asks.

“What’s with her?” the Captain continues, “we don’t need any women on this ship.  This is her fault.  We were her prisoners not that long ago and she wouldn’t have hesitated to eradicate us.  Get rid of her and her old suitors.  Throw her off the ship or let her choose one of the doors.”

“Steady, Captain!” the King retorts, “you owe us,” as the Monkeys lead the old woman and her guards into the hull, for some rest.

“We’re creatures of different worlds and we’ve all been exposed to universal wrath in various ways.  Spinostress used to be a princess.  She could prove useful.  Let her be and let her rest for now.  We shall discuss her usefulness later.”

Labaguette sits atop the King’s head and remarks:

“Words of wisdom, King Krackskull, let me be your crown for a while.”

“That’s all we need,” the Captain remarks, “a woman on board and a tired one at that.”

“You’re a bully!” Labaguette remarks, “haven’t you heard of Hermione’s speech at the United Nations?”

“Who’s Hermione?” Chloroph asks.

“She’s from another tale,” the King remarks, “another era.”

To be continued…


“They are doors or portals.  We can’t select one of them to get out.  In truth, these are trickster doors and before you commit to even opening one of them, the rules have it that one must wait for an event and to learn from it in order to deduce, conclude and move on.”

“Rules?  What rules?”

“Hook’s rules,” the King explains.

“When the correct door is selected and we’re able to step onto the other side, our lives will be saved.”

“I’m alive!” squawks Labaguette, “I’m alive.”

“Only just,” Chloroph retorts, “and to maintain that state, we must solve your riddle, Captain.”


“We’re prisoners, you said.”

“Is this a closed universe, some prison?”

“You can get out of it but—

“—But what?”

“Told you, you’re the cue.  We’re all waiting for you.”

“The way home?”

“A direction, a map, a GPS,” Labaguette remarks as the Captain’s flying boot comes close to slamming into Labaguette’s face.

“Problem is your lack of faith,” the King remarks.

“Yes or no?” the Captain asks.

“We’re your prisoners,” Chloroph informs the Captain.

“You’re free to go as you please, jump out of my beloved ship and see where it leads you to; why would I want to keep you here when you’ve proved your uselessness and dangerous ways?  Just because I said we were prisoners doesn’t mean that—“

“—exactly.  You created a prison.”

“Weren’t we done with nightmare hooks?”

“This is the pro-life seed Hoo.  It gives birth to plants and expectations alike.  It gives life to anything anyone wishes in its first few seconds of life.  You wished for a prison.”

To be continued…



“Captain!  Captain!” he says, slapping his face to bring him around once Chloroph has been tied securely by the monkeys, “we’ll get out of here, I know.  It’s not as bad as it could be.  Look at the bright side.”

“We could be on our way,” Chloroph states, “there’s always one.”

“He couldn’t have known,” the King answers.

“Are we there yet?” the Captain asks.


“He means home,” Labaguette says.

“Are those grids parts of a beehive?”  The Captain asks, his eyes looking brighter, “giant bees to come through? Some monstrous insects of your own making, huh?”

“There are no insects to come through these,” Chloroph insists, “although you’re not entirely wrong.”

“I’m listening.”

“Untie me.”

“Can’t trust you.”

“I’ve no seeds left, I can’t produce anything anymore and I’m far from home too.”

“You attacked me.   I don’t have time for unprovoked and unnecessary battles.”

“You should think before you speak.”

“’Sticks and stones will break my bones’, my mother used to—”

“—It may have been suitable where you came from, but in these universes, you should reconsider.  Besides, you of all creatures, with your whopper of a double brain, why is it that you can’t muster a single intelligent grey cell to speak for you when it is most needed?”

“I don’t have psychic abilities.  I can’t second guess everything I do or say or think.”

“Free me.”

Captain Traumatic needs only bat one eyelid for the Monkeys to conform.

“What can we expect from those grids?”

To be continued…