“LABAGUETTE?” the Captain screams as bits of confused metallic roots turn, twist and extend, sensing an intruder.  Captain Traumatic runs faster, certain that the roots want nothing more than a good meal.

“Here, Captain!  Here!” the echo calls.  This time, the distinctive flapping of the parrot’s wings calls, a sure sign that he is close.  Oh and here’s the fifth chamber to the right, the Captain thinks, entering the chambers and walking high above flat, hard stones, until he reaches the edge of a stone platform that stops abruptly before a fall.  On the walls beside him, where metallic roots would have projected, entire walls are covered with clear, smooth silver, mirroring everything, as if they the roots had melted and been spread all over the walls.

And down below there, where mounds of square black boxes of all sizes lay about, a familiar figure lay high above the floor in a transparent box.  Inside it, Colonel Loga looks sound asleep, in a foetal position.  Could he be ill or maimed?  Unless he is dead, the Captain thinks.  Tied to that box a small pipe is attached to Labaguette’s head.  Yes! Labaguette!  Victory at last, the Captain muses, unless…  unless this is a reflection, a duplicate… a photocopy?  Labaguette raises one leg intermittently. His wings flap at a rapid succession of clicks and clacks.  He looks tired and weary even with his eyes closed, the Captain considers; why does he flaps his wings in this way if he isn’t flying?

“Labaguette!” the Captain tries whispering softly, “Labaguette!”

As he leans against the wall behind, the silvery material glues the Captain to the wall.

To be continued…


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