“Put yourself in my shoes, Captain.”

“You know the Colonel.  Why hiding it for so long?”

“His being boxed in his bare attire was a revelation.”

“His face?  His voice?”

“We were young.  It took him some time to recognise me.  Captain, I did everything right by the Insatiable Princess’ book and in that process, I did everything right by you, by your damned chatter box, by—“

“—I’m a pirate.  We’d agreed to a truce you and I.  I saved you and your guards, you old fool but you’d rather forget.”

“And I’m returning you the favour.  What else could you want?  Surely I can treat myself to a pat on the back?”

“And reward your person with disproportionate feelings of entitlement over what rightly belongs to me.”

“It’s about limitations.  There was no other choice available.”

“You must give it back to me.”

“What for?”

“What are your intentions?”

“To conquer.”

“You’d given up on all this.”

“T’was a mistake.  Look at you, Captain: a lost soul roaming the universe and greeting all whom you meet with open arms.”

“Lost my way, nothing more.  I repeat once more: I’m a pirate.”

“No shiny red shoes to take you home, huh?  Thought you’d squeeze extra rum from that dying decadent creature?” she says, pointing at the Colonel.

“He won’t last long,” Birdseye insists.

“ALL ABOARD!” Spinostress commands once more, “let me handle the Colonel, the monkeys’ ropes inside the hull will keep him alive for as long as needed.”

“Where are we going?” the Captain asks.

“To the Colonel’s headquarters, in search for the King and—”

“—to conquer,” Birdseye mutters, knowingly.

To be continued…


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