“It’s in the science lab!” Captain Clusterflame yells, his face crimson.

When Captain Starcrusher reappears, he carries the capsule in a small, transparent, indestructible box.

“You could have told me where it was instead of letting me look for it.  Why—”

“—That’s where it was supposed to be.  You forgot.”

“I never forget.”

“All too convenient.  I never forget.” Captain Sunblast adds.

“Why did you put it there?” Captain Starcrusher insists, “you know the least about the capsules.”

“I thought it safer.”

“He lies!” Labaguette yells, grinning.

“He’s lying,” Captain Traumatic acknowledges.

“That’s a lie,” the King-Fool emphasises.

“Lies and more lies,” Birdseye continues.

“In space, there is no such thing as biased democratic consultations or witch-hunts!” Captain Sunblast blasts.

“No rules,” Captain Traumatic reiterates, “Gimme that damned bloody future capsule and I’ll show you how we can still have choices.”

“Stay out of this!” Captain Sunblast orders, “we’ve seen what you and your parrot are capable of.”

“The capsule is useless.  It’s been tampered with.”

“He tampered with it,” Labaguette says, pointing his wing at Captain Sunblast.

“He did!” The King-Fool says.

“The future belongs to me,” Birdseye says, looking intently below him, his goggles lighting up, their beams focussing on the capsule.

“You can’t possibly…” Captain Traumatic says, “you can’t fly!”

“Only I can fly,” Labaguette remarks.  “STOOOOOOP!” he yells at his comrade about to take a potentially deadly leap of faith.

“I can do what I want.  I can create my own future,” Birdseye insists.  Then, he raises his neck to the starless sky, deploys his wings and plunges towards the capsule, his future and Captain Starcrusher, mesmerised at the sight of this man-creature’s majestic and reckless, kamikaze style approach.

To be continued…



“Enough!” Captain Starcrusher thunders, “I’ll get the original and we will get out of this impermanent state of being.  No one else can touch it.  We will be out of here in no time.”

“Remain seated!” Captain Sunblast orders.  No one moves!”

“A lost future…” The King-Fool muses, considering his options, “what if—”

“—Non-sense, there’s always a way.”

“Yeah,” Labaguette adds, a mischievous bird, a princely parrot of darkness and thief of a kind all contained within one feather weight body, “with no future, there’d be no consequences.  I wouldn’t need a conscience.”

“What do you know about conscience?” Captain Clusterflame asks, “You’re all feather and no substance.”

“Eternity won’t be enough,” Birdseye remarks as Labaguette’s eyes look deep into the bird-man’s goggles and at once understands the more profound and abysmal implications of his words.

“What’s that you’re saying bird?” Captain Clusterflame asks while Labaguette whispers in his master’s ear.

“We live in times of paradoxes,” Captain Traumatic adds, “where time particles can interact with each other across several time dimensions, at different speeds and often, they meet in unexpected ways to create fated instants.”

“Shall I remind you you’re a Rum trader, a pirate, a man of the sea, not a—”

“—My travels have taken my knowledge to high spheres, unimaginable by you.”

“Explain fated instants in view of paradoxes.”

“A concert of dinosaurs playing violin for Beethoven; Jeff Goldblum crowned first King of Spain; planet Earth’s ability to clone itself—”

“—S’ppose you made this up.”

“S’ppose t’was hypothetical.”

“I CAN’T FIND IT!” they all hear coming from the shuttle, with Captain Starcrusher’s voice amplifying out of a perceptible fear, the fear of an unfathomable, uncertain future, one where future dissolves into nothing as you step into it.

To be continued…


“An acquaintance?” Captain Clusterflame asks.

Now Labaguette is sitting on the Captain’s shoulder with the future’s capsule held in his claws.  He carelessly drops it onto the Captain’s lap.

“Fancy a game?” the Captain asks before throwing it back high into the air for Labaguette to fetch.

“Careful!! Captain, careful.  You can never anticipate what may come of the future if you play with it in this way.  Have you lost your mind?”

“We’re in suspended time mode.  What could become of the future if nothing changes?”

“It is said that suspended time is intense and acute, like alphabet letters forming this sentence compressed into one letter.  The air in our lungs could be used and re-used without us noticing, without danger, but damaging a time capsule in this mode breaks all the rules.”

“Why is there a Law of Time?” the Captain insists, as his game of catch intensifies.

“All right, all right, all right.  The Law of Time was built on the premise that Time is needed everywhere to extend life and evade Death and Decay.  Since the universe is extending, time is extending.  But when the universe stops growing and starts to shrink, so will time.  In manipulating time and saving it, we can reversed this process and maintain the universe’s expansion.  By revisiting the past, we can re-create a state of expansion to infinity and bring all future progress to the past to improve it in the present, a time loop of sorts.  This requires strong rules, regulations and laws all devised and engineered by specialists in their field: time lawyers and time engineers.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Who is Chloroph?”

To be continued…



“There’s a reason he talks too much,” Captain Traumatic tries, “Why is there a Law of Time?” caressing Labaguette’s plumage, soothing the parrot.  “Who decreed there should be one?”

“Enough talk.  Time to travel.”

Labaguette frees himself from Captain Traumatic’s loose grip, and before anyone realises it, has retrieved a capsule from Captain Clusterflame’s hands and is flying heavily and dangerously over the ship’s deck.

“Damn bird!  Come back here, now or I’ll shoot!” Captain Clusterflame orders before a flask of rum strikes him in the face and the Captain threatens the cosmonaut’s suit and its contents with his sword

“—Why is there a Law of Time?” the Captain insists as the three cosmonauts, appearing to give in to an unspoken code of conduct, sit on the Insatiable Princess’ deck, calm as sheep.

“Time particles were stumbled upon in Geneva, by the side of a mountain by a gardener.” Captain Clusterflame explains.  “They were growing unnoticed outside of an experimental tunnel which is no more, swallowed, it is understood, by a gap in time or time warp as these are also known.”

“A gardener?”

“A gardener specialising in unknown species of plants, a gardener-scientist known for its experimentation with all living things containing chlorophyll.”

“He found them or planted them?”

“Found them.  He wasn’t that smart.”

“Where is he now?”

“He disappeared.”

“Let me guess, in a time loop?”

“You’ve got the jest.”

“What did he look like?”

“Insignificant, common.  Such a chameleon it is hard to remember anything physical particular about him.  His real name he never disclosed but for a while, he enjoyed fame and called himself ‘ChloRo-the-Great’.

“CHLOROPH!” Captain Traumatic, Labaguette, the King-Fool and Birdseye exclaim simultaneously.

To be continued…



A King-Fool can be wise, very wise, so much so that such potent amalgamation of King and Fool multiplies its inherent wisdom to infinity, or so would one believe.  But, as desirous as he may be to demonstrate intelligence, pride, nobility and all such royal and pedantic characteristics, this King-Fool ends up doing the opposite and acts naively and very, very stupidly as one who thinks it is best to hand over present and future time capsules to a cosmonaut with a penchant for the law, in space.

“If these are the copies, where are the originals?” he even asks.

“We hold the originals.  They are protected under the Law of Time.  They cannot be used unless all else fails.”

“We’ve reached the last resort, the no-return point where we’ve no other option but to use the originals, haven’t we?” the King-Fool insists.

“What was started must be finished.  This is based on pure scientific facts: we have no proof that an irregularity has been committed.”

“We have, you know so.  You said so.”

“Knowing differs from knowing for a fact.  This situation has never been tested up until now.”

“You said that the shuttle’s instruments are disabled and generating undetectable time particles of unknown substances and magnitude.”

“That was then.  This is now.”

“You’re wasting time.”

“We’re suspended in time.  We must use the two copies first.  Only if these fail to deliver shall we be allowed to use the originals.”

“This means damage has been done,” Labaguette continues, “I know so because I’m experienced in Space Rules and I know that in space anything’s possible, you’re the living proof of it.”

“Shut your crap-all-talking bird, Captain or I’ll have him confined in a rogue time capsule of his own!” Captain Starcrusher orders.

To be continued…



“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…



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…