THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 495

“Time isn’t linear,” the Captain remarks.

“Time is my specialty,” Captain Starcrusher insists, a rictus of “I know more” etched alongside the left of his lips.

“The current rule states that what is must be and all that could be is debatable.  As it stands and to be precise, we are located a nano-fraction of time before what must be, where what will be could be and remains debatable.  Do you want me to repeat it?”

“I understand that being wedged between time zones means we are in a timeless zone, where time is of no consequences and where, if the edges of yesterday, today and tomorrow were allowed to mingle, the edge of tomorrow could meet the edge of yesterday.”

“Wait a minute,” Labaguette interrupts, “if we stayed here I would never grow old?  My plumage would remain shiny and velvety for ever and ever?”

“And therefore we could get back to the beginning, to before we fell off the ocean’s precipice…” Captain Traumatic concludes.

“I could remain the lonesome, awesome King my planet until the end of time…” the King-Fool ponders aloud.

“I would be born in future,” Birdseye muses, “My eyes would see in broad daylight, through the heart of shadows and dark places and would take me places without the need for wings.”

“Don’t you dream of anything of the sort,” Captain Sunblast adds, a joy slayer in the making.

“Time is circular.  It’s blinding obvious.  You could be creative with that,” the Captain continues, “want some Rum?”

Captain Sunblast opens a drawer, takes out a tissue this time and sponges his sweating forehead, before discarding it and throwing it into the distilled air, watching as it disintegrates.

“You must realise that there are rules.”

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 494

“Come, come Captain, you did not expect the shuttle to stop,” Captain Traumatic remarks.

“I believed Plan A would work but instead, Plan B has been initiated.  There’s little room for error.”

“Really?  Don’t—”

“—The time capsules are ruled by the Law of Time and they can only be used if the shuttle’s time warping instruments are disabled.  Truth be told, should any capsule or copies of capsules be used when a shuttle’s time instruments are functioning, then such time instruments are overridden to a great extent as they become dysfunctional and transform into unintentional perpetrators of potential and distorted time loops, including curves and parabolic, problematic time generating particles that are totally uncontrollable.  Fortunately, the engines were able to recognise the error and diverted to the shuttle’s inbuilt safety mechanism contained therein and named ‘Plan B,’ generated by the Plan B generator, a marvel of engineering.”

“Oh what a marvel!” Labaguette snarls.

All catch their breath, some scratch their head.

“Captain Anectodick,” Captain Sunblast continues, “you must hand back the stolen copies of the time capsules for present and future.”

“I don’t have any capsules nor any copies of them… copies?”

“We’ve all the time in the universe.”

“Sure.  The cracks of time are going to re-appear any second, are they not?”

“We are now suspended in time and contained within the nano-second that constitutes the instant before anything happens, after everything else has happened, yet not quite here nor there, as indicated by Plan B instruments.  We are nowhere to be found, somewhere where one is not dead, nor alive, wedged between time zones, where the edge of yesterday does not quite meet the edge of today and where the edge of today does not quite meet the edge of tomorrow.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 493

“Wanna live?” Captain Sunblast asks.

But the shuttle vibrates and everything in the cabin begins to float.  Soon enough, Captain Traumatic demands they be let out again.

“Birds cannot be forced to sit when they can fly,” Labaguette states as the King-Fool is prey to a burst of hilarity.

“Almost as good as being drunk,” he says.

“You can’t fix time,” Birdseye adds ominously, “this shuttle is damaged.  It is dangerous,” while the Captain repeats:

“Let us out!  Damn you Knights!  Let us out!”

“We have lift off,” Captain Sunblast insists and almost as soon as he utters these last words, the engines stop and an uneasy silence, like a virus of unfathomable consequences, infiltrates the cabin.

It takes longer for Captain Sunblast to comprehend what has just happened because in his mind’s eye the shuttle is an all-powerful and invincible God.  It is only when Captain Traumatic yells:

“God-damned you!  Get us out of this God-damned con job of a rocket ship!”

that Captain Sunblast unfastens his seat belt and, sweating profusely, crosses his arms, standing with his legs apart like a cowboy in a spaghetti western.  Finally, he can no longer resist it, for there is beauty in the perfection of a perfect misdemeanour, and he wipes the sweat off his forehead with one hand before rubbing it over his cosmonaut suit.

“You don’t look so well,” the King-Fool ventures, “this trip was rather short, has the shuttle—”

“—We’ve escaped the cracks of time in the nick of it.  We’ve been able to rewind to time zone -2,417,498,557,393,619 which is precisely where we need to be now to enable us to press the restart button.”

“What?  We were to move forward in time space, in the future,” the King-Fool says.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 492

As fate has it, this universe gives them a plain tit for tat answer: a crack, not unlike that of lightning but with thunder resembling a zip unzipping, one that amplifies as they witness the apparition of a criss-cross pattern of bright zigzag lines, extending all around them.

“Thieves and liars!” Captain Sunblast insists, oblivious to the disintegrating surroundings, “I should have known better.  Why did you steal the time capsules?  Who gave you permission to even look at them?” he bellows.

More cracks appear in what was dark space matter.

“INSIDE NOW!” Captain Sunblast yells.

And, as the past, bleak coloured universe around them begins to collapse, shattering bit by bit, all seek cover inside the relative safety of the shuttle’s metallic walls.

“All the same,” Captain Traumatic says as he scampers inside the shuttle, “what’s done is done.”  And before he knows it, he and his crew are seated on, you guessed it, a grey sofa with automatic belts that sprout and strap around their shoulders and waists.

This is when Captain Traumatic notices the clinical, metallic, and instrumental nature of the shuttle’s insides.  All this grey, this white and more greys.

“Why have you no wood?  Where are your sheepskins?” he asks as perfectly designed helmets form out of large bubbles popping out of the helmet emergency distributor – a mere 3 x 7 centimetres copper and nickel-diamond combination pipe – and float a while before finding their owner and settling around their head and neck, securing a supply of oxygen and protecting them from the harmful glare of invisible universal rays.

“I won’t be framed” Labaguette says, “least of all by bubbles!” as he struggles to free himself from the helmet.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 491

“Don’t look at me this way!” Labaguette mutters, “you’re staring.  I’m a parrot, not game nor fish,” he adds, in a panic, “look for someone your size, tyrant!”

“What are you hiding?” Captain Sunblast asks with a sceptical grin, looking at the scattered debris behind Labaguette.

Then Birdseye steps between them:

“Thou shall not pass.  You are a Knight, behave like one.”

“Birdseye, I—”

But Captain Clusterflame interferes.  After all, he is the twelfth boy in a family of thirteen.  He may be a cosmonaut and a defender but mostly, he is a fighter, a leader in the making: after all these years, he has acquired and accumulated strength of body and mind, all pent up within his fists, because when it comes down to it, a good old fight is what brings him closer to home, to earth, to his country.  He is familiar with pre-empting his own defence mechanisms.  He shoves Birdseye aside unceremoniously before pinching Labaguette with two fingers, lifting him up to eye level, threatening the parrot’s life with his spare, ginormous fist.

“That’s enough!” Captain StarCrusher orders, wishing his competitive colleague wouldn’t resort to his usual impulsive tricks and that Captain Sunblast’s wimpy stance will one day allow him to lead this unstable trio.

“And what have we here?” Captain Sunblast asks, collecting the debris of a time capsule, as Captain Clusterflame drops Labaguette onto the floor, turning one hundred and eighty degree, and walking to Captain Starcrusher to stage a dark staring contest until death does them apart.

“You’re mistaken,” the King-Fool attempts, all puzzled eyes turning to him, “this universe is the same, there has been no time travelling, it is obvious, can’t you see?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 490

“We’ve experienced a technical glitch,” Captain Sunblast says.

“Already?” Captain Traumatic asks, in a daze.

“Our instruments display time zone -2,417,498,557,393,619”

“There were no zeroes then, right?” the King-Fool snarls.

“The instruments are unlikely to be wrong but, to be sure, we’re simply going to reset the clock and refresh the Wi-Fi, that should do it.  But for this, you must all come inside and this includes you Captain Anectodick.  We’ve no choice.  Such time travelling will leave your bodies’ particles disintegrated and hanging in space.  Reconstitution will become impossible.”

“Some science, huh?” Labaguette remarks, “It can only be your instruments’ mistake.  How would you explain us four to be alive otherwise?”

“For safety’s sake, you’ve no choice but to come inside.”

“Suppose we did get back all that time and we made it as you see us?” the King-Fool suggests.

“We’re heroes,” Birdseye says, “our particles are malleable, flexible, transformable and transformed.  We can sustain—”

“—Gobbledygook.  You’re artists, the whole lot of you.”

“We’re in the past as per your instruments point out,” Captain Traumatic insists, “I know and that is all there is to it.”

A single but heavy pearl of sweat finds its way down a line on the side of the Captain’s Sunblast nose as he walks, exasperated, towards Labaguette, determined to lead by example.  If the crew isn’t coming, the crew shall come to me,” Captain Sunblast thinks, adamant he should get hold of that stupid parrot and strangle it if circumstances allow it.

As it is, Labaguette stands awkwardly, as if in a balancing act, switching his weight from one leg to the other.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 489

“Don’t drop them” Birdseye commands, concerned, “they’ll open up and we can’t risk them all opening at the same time.”

“Huh?” Labaguette asks as he looks with horror at the King-Fool juggling the three objects higher and higher.

“Or else it would create a distorted time warp of unpredictable and dire consequences,” Birdseye insists.

As life in the universe has it, the timing of irresponsible acts coincides with fate’s surreal coincidences sometimes called serendipity, while at other times these are called a perfect storm in which the timing of poor timing demonstrates the existence of the right conditions being present simultaneously to create a moment in time when everything and nothing conspires to enhance and maximise the perfection of chaos.  Thus, poor timing, in essence, is equal to good timing, regardless of consequences.  Or in other words…, as Zadie Smith once said: “The principles of Christianity and Sod’s Law (also known as Murphy’s law) are the same…” (White Teeth, page 44).

In this case, the timing of time falling onto the Insatiable Princess’ deck and bursting open creates an instant and gigantic wave of nano-seconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennium, all jumbled up in the flash of an instant or the passing of an era which saw diplodocuses rise and die, depending on how you look at it, which the ship and shuttle traverse before landing somewhere back in time while the King-Fool catches the remaining capsules in… good time before they reach the floor.

“Who beat the drums?” the Captain asks, rising from his slumber as the shuttle’s latch opens and the three cosmonauts appear, puzzled looks on their faces.

To be continued…