“They’re untamed,” the King mutters, “they know of no bounds and of no laws.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!” Spinostress yells as she plunges forward using her tentacles the way Tarzan uses lianas.

The King lifts his hand to his closed eyes, fearing the worse.

Captain Traumatic, following in Spinostress’s trail, jumps onto the edge of the ship brandishing his sword like a weapon of mass destruction and the two fighters, uniting their strengths, conquer sulphur generating beasts and discontented mutant worms in less than half a second.

When the King opens his eyes again, Spinostress is holding the head of the Rum River monster in her tentacles for all to see while sitting on a grovelling smaller creature, fully tamed and now persuaded of Spinostress’ potent power while the monster’s neck drips its gurgling burning slime onto the grounds below.

“Epic!” the Captain exclaims, grinning.

“This is a lesson for ye all!” Spinostress claims, “I have risen once more.  I am now the undisputable leader of Rigorousys and of the entire planet.


“—And Colonel Loga will be second in charge!” she adds hurriedly, smothering the Colonel’s words in their track.

“You will listen to me for directions and you will do as—”

“—as I SAY!” Spinostress insists.

There, on the edge of a new era and on that of a new force being set up on a planet whose impenetrable orange mists has finally dissipated, a Colonel and a newly arisen, self-appointed Leader argue in front of all, bearing their long-standing resentments and grudges in the open for all to hear and letting all in the near and far vicinity have a piece of their angry minds.

To be continued…



“We shall see.  Now, there are more pressing matters to attend to.  We’re here for Rum and let you remember it.  It must be organised, contained, constricted, preserved and its supplies carefully monitored for this liquid is gold and the entire universe will soon knock at this planet’s doors for a sip of its entrails.  We must protect this planet and build secure, invisible and impenetrable gates all around it to ward off potential invaders, stop looting and thieves.  The Rum supplies may be plentiful but sooner or later, its source will dwindle and there won’t be no more.  Your knowledge and experience of dictatorship and science, Colonel Loga, will be required and so will your vision, Birdseye.”

Birdseye listens and the Captain notices the slight tremor on the surface of Birdseye’s ears, He knows of his loyalty and commitment.

“Birdseye is a traveller,” the Captain tries.

At this very instant, the Insatiable Princess brusquely halts in spite of the Rum river’s flow pushing through and making its own bed as it moves forward.  A terrible screeching can be heard from below the ship.  Then, a snake-worm like creature with no name – such monster is shaped like a worm interbred with a snake, has gills and yet can fly and hover, helped by a pair of scaled, gigantic and slimy grey wings – rises to the height of the deck, exhaling sulphur as a flock of smaller such creatures come swooping from the high, muddy towers of RythmaRymosthesis before settling onto the river banks.

“Nauseating!” Labaguette whispers.

Spinostress steps onto the edge of the Insatiable Princess, her tentacles rising high into the air emitting vibrations that can be heard by the crew and seen by the worms.

To be continued…


“What mobs?”

“I, as King, am now somewhat recognised.  Not sure why but madness and the lack of leadership have—”

“—I am the appointed new leader,” Spinostress states, “I shall see to it that your crown is painlessly removed.”

“The governing force in power is that of snake-worms.  They are the mobs’ rulers.”

“They’ll obey me.”

“A bigger, stronger and ghastlier breed than you can imagine.  Worse, they’re intelligent and some have started to grow wings.”

“I’m in charge.”

“She’s in charge,” Birdseye reiterates.

“What would you know fancy bird?” the King asks.

“I shall have your crown removed painlessly, King,” Spinostress insists.

“This crown isn’t mine or if it is, it has been tampered with and its nature twisted.  It followed me, sticking to my head.  I tried to disown it and to throw it away.   This is when I was subjected to the snake-worms’ treatment.”

“Born a King, always a King,” Colonel Loga sneers, coming around, “King-of-this or King-of-that, if the crown fits,—”

“Destitute!” the Captain explains, “Colonel Loga is destitute!  Look at him and his beautiful wings, King Krackskull.  He is powerless.  Can’t rule no more, can’t—”

“Mind your ship for it might fall apart, Captain.”

“ENOUGH!” Spinostress yells.

“Why help me?  What is it that attracts you to my crown?” the King asks.


“It’s tiny and worthless.  You could have your own made by your workers.”

“It is a King’s crown.  It’s yours yet you rejected it because it has transformed and no longer fits you.  It suffers and that permanent state of pain holds special properties.”

“A pony tail for your tentacles, is that all it’s worth to you?”

“It would impress.”

“I’m not prepared to negotiate.”

To be continued…


Rigorousys’ large gates open, letting in a river branch which immediately digs its way in as Spinostress orders the boxes to form secure walls by its sides to stop it branching out uncontrollably in any direction.

Then, Birdseye in a majestic move lowers his arms and wings as the Insatiable Princess relaxes at last, resting on the river, floating, gliding its surface awkwardly elegant and with the humility her moribund state demands, clinging to life, assisted by a stream of willing black boxes.

Five minutes have barely gone past since they’ve entered a city left bare and ruled by chaotic influences that two enormous Rum fuelled policemen in rags and their boxes appear.

“King Krackskull!” the Captain exclaims, “I never—”

“—HELP!” the King yelps.

“Release him at once!” the Captain orders.

“Get rid of him!” Colonel Loga says.

Two tentacles rise, strike the policemen and they fall in the river, their heads bobbing up and down, the current carrying them away.

A third tentacle delicately releases the King onto the ship’s deck.  A fourth has struck Colonel Loga in the face.  He lays unconscious.

“Who’s in charge?” the King asks.

“Need you ask?” the Captain retorts.

“Lead us to the heart of Rigorousys!” Spinostress says.

“The River knows, this is where it is going,” the King says, “you will find nothing but anarchy there.”

“Mayhem all around, huh?” Labaguette says.

“Labaguette!” the King says.

“You’re wearing a crown,” Labaguette comments, “too small for you.”

“It’s sawn onto my skull.  I led prisoners to rebellion.  I was caught and fed to a worm whose bowels and digestive juices rejected me.  Since then, mobs have subjected me to various experiments.”

To be continued…


“Spinostress,” the Captain insists, an unexpected new-found confidence tinting his cheeks with a pink hue, “the Insatiable Princess and I saved you, a safe asylum for the wild skies we came across.  And for what?  You, becoming a leader; you, in charge.  Spinostress, the Rum Lord.  I will deliver the Rum where you ask, when you ask.  But I beg you, please let the ship be under my full control.  Let it be mine.”

“I might want to get back home.”

“You’ve no home left to get back to.”

“It’s arguable but I have no time for—”

“—RythmaRymosthesis offers much better advantages; the Rum, the boxes, the experiments, not to forget Colonel Loga,” the Captain retorts, sensing Spinostress’ hesitations.

“Keep me out of it!” the Colonel says.

“He’s useless.”

“RythmaRymosthesis ahead!” Birdseye shouts, “Prepare for landing!”

A swarm of boxes surrounds the ship, curious, as she settles hovering above a large Rum river that has formed on the edge of Rigorousys, RythmaRymosthesis’s principal city.  And with a few gestures, Spinostress orders the boxes in formation as rogue, wandering policemen arrive and stand aside, hesitating.

Colonel Loga stands by Spinostress’ side.

“Open the gates” he orders.  No one moves.  Then, with one click of the fingers, Spinostress spins them all into action.

“You may listen to your former commander,” she says, “but if I disagree, anything I do or say will override his orders” she yells, transmitting her order telepathically to the entire planet, her tentacles a cacophony of crackling sounds, emitting information through blazing streams of light intermingled with darkness, chaos and evil.  “My command is all powerful, overriding and unforgiving.  Anyone found guilty of disobedient misconduct will be dealt with swiftly and categorically.”

To be continued…


“If I were you,” Spinostress says, “I’d listen to your bird’s newfound wisdom because as from now, and in my absence, Labaguette will become the only true leader of this ship.  He has a GPS.  Besides, he is a hero.”

Something in Spinostress’ words and voice warns Labaguette.  The signal is clear: its transmitting implies flattery and an obscure agenda.

“—Captain,” Labaguette insists, still whispering in his Master’s ear, “for once in your life, listen to me: the Rum self-generates.”

“You’ve lost it, sorry mate.”

“Nom de bleu !  Castacrotte et crapouillette !  Je le jure sur la tête de la Princesse Insatiable!”

When Labaguette swears unfathomable words all of his own, Captain Traumatic thinks, tis best to be safe than sorry.

“Go on, explain.”

“I repeat: the Rum multiplies itself all by itself.  I once overheard a conversation between Colonel Loga and his trusted police-advisor and I have proof it is true.”

“Your French ways are useless on me, Labaguette, you’re having me on. It isn’t funny.”

“Spinostress doesn’t know.”

“We’d be drowning in it now if,—”

“—it’s a miniature atomic mushroom within the cell’s nucleus of a particle of Rum.  It grows when it’s needed.”

“I planted my sword into the planet’s ground because the Rum couldn’t be found, what—”

“—you saved this world, Captain.  Without you, RythmaRymosthesis would have exploded had the Rum’s pressure underneath the planet’s crust not be released in time.  Go inside the hull and see for yourself.”

To be continued…


“Well, you see, I—”

“—Spit it out!”

“You get RythmaRymosthesis, you get to lead the boxes, the planet, the Colonel, and—”

“—No need to rub it in, Captain,” the Colonel says, “the original deal was going to be through me, you know this and—”

“—Shut your gob Loga!” Spinostress orders, “As to you Captain, it may be worth your while knowing that, and this is beyond your wildest dreams, you will offered a never ending and free supply of rum, but… this remains my ship.  The Insatiable Princess is mine.  We have a connection, she and I.”

“Where could I possibly store a never ending supply of rum?”

“Put simply, you will deliver rum wherever we ask, whenever we ask.”

“I’ll need command of my… of the Insatiable Princess.  How—”

“—You’ll have command of the ship but you’ll have no control over it.  Labaguette’s GPS is fitted with a remote control.  Were you to consider straying from your allocated pathways,—”

“—Even Labaguette can lose track of the ship and get lost.”

“Labaguette’s egg hatched in your hat, Captain.  Did he not?”


“—My point precisely: this bird’s genes are intimately connected to this ship—”

“My hat, not—”

“—and your hat is what it is: emotionally, intimately and naturally tied to the Insatiable Princess; it belongs to her forever and ever and ever in the same way it never leaves your head, nor can it be lost.”

Stirred by the sound of his name being uttered and uttered more, Labaguette finally wakes up, rises and flies to the Captain’s shoulder, whispering:

“Captain, this Rum.  The Rum soaked ropes inside the hull—”

“Go away, take a ride!” the Captain says, “you’re off your head.”

To be continued…