“Whatever it is that could help us,” the King says, “will be too late to come.”

“Forget the library inside your noggin, Captain!” the old woman says, “if only you’d look—”

“—you’ve sure come some way,” the King retorts, “from killing machine to enlightenment?”

“We’re sinking,” the Captain insists.

What remains of Spinostress looks at them both with a vacant, blank stare, not understanding, unwilling to remember.

The entire crew is holding on to anything it can cling to when the Captain notices that the inside of the hull has, for most parts, been plastered and sealed with unfolded white ropes the old woman and her guards had been working on.

“I don’t recognise the entrails of my Princess,” the Captain says, “is this an egg shell?”

The old woman musters a smile: “one that can’t be cracked.”

They can feel the ship rising up and up, with what they know of gravity precipitously taking on a whole new meaning as all that they are holding on to must be let go of, their hands and paws being vigorously made to release what they’re clinging to, as an invisible physical force urges them to.  Sounds become muffled, time appears to stop, and all that is not attached to the inside of the hull begins to float at random.

Now what, the Captain wonders, frantically scanning and searching his books.

If only my crown had been floating, the King muses.

If this is flying, the old woman dreams on, it beats it all.

Shit, they’re all going to believe they’re birds, Labaguette thinks, look at them… wingless yet flying.

“Anything else aside from submarines you could think of?” the King asks.

To be continued…


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