There is no such thing as a drink on this planet and, aside the elusive River, the Captain knows it.  As he surrenders the crown to the guards, a hose is inserted inside his cage and all the prisoners inside it are sprayed with the same thick muck that came out earlier from the guards’ mouths.

“Told you,” the King says, sitting the crown back on his head, “these guards fear me.  GUARDS!  FREE ME!”

But, upon uttering these words, the King is unable to escape being squirted with the same sludge and, like the rest of them, finds it difficult to move under its sticky weight as it holds them glued to the cage, their heads barely protruding from it, gasping for air.

“It’s time for the parade,” one prisoner explains and as he says so, a deep rumble comes out from the rocks the cages are attached to and gigantic cranes emerge from the rock itself, carrying the wildly swinging cages high in the air, moving forward slowly.

“What parade?” the Captain asks.

“The chosen ones will be selected and sent for amendments.”

“He means experiments,” another explains.

“They want the healthiest, the better looking too.”

“They’re looking for new leaders, huh?” the King inquires.

“Strong shoulders,” another ads.

“For wings.”

“The Captain will select a few.”

“I’m flattered,” the Captain says, “though—“

“—Not you, the Captain.”

“It’s about time Colonel Loga paid us a visit and gave us an explanation,” the King says.

“Colonel Loga never comes here.  This is the rejects area.  Only the best of us make it out of here.”

“Who’s his Captain?” the Captain asks.

To be continued…


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