THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 488

“He’ll see it as mutiny.”

“The Captain is bored beyond belief.  He needs shaken up and surprised, can’t you see?”

“It is unwise,” Birdseye hesitates.

“Not so unwise,” the Captain says, rising, “not so unwise,” before falling back onto the Insatiable Princess’s deck, snoring.

“There is only one way forward,” the King-Fool says, “all we need to do is to untie the ship from the shuttle.  The Captain will be grateful but for now, he can’t be seen to be taking part in it.  Shove more Rum into his gob Labaguette.”

“Ay, Ay, oui, oui, oui.”

Then Birdseye decides to open his humongous wings and flaps them as if to dry them before closing them again.  At the same time, small oval objects, three to be exact, fall onto the ship’s deck.

“I’ll be damned!” Labaguette exclaims as he lands beside them, “you stole them?”

“I steal not,” Birdseye says, “these are not my doing.”

“But you brought them?”

“I did not.  I saw them.  That is all I did.”

“King-Fool, you are full of surprises.  That is a marvellous idea!”

“I would like to take credit for it but, feathery friend, but I’ve no pockets to hold them and not my hat nor my mouth are large enough to contain them.”

Labaguette stares at the Captain who has plunged into the deepest slumber.  The King-Fool may be a bit of a magician and a trickster, but he is incapable of such miracle.  Still, there are no miracles Labaguette then thinks, only mysterious circumstances and large creature birds who work in mysterious ways.  Birdseye has his reasons, his ways and that is all he reasons.

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 487

But as the universe has it – and all universes by the same token, as is well known but worth repeating – some rule is broken and what is expected becomes unexpected, all of a sudden and very… unexpectedly.

So it goes that Captain Traumatic finds solace for his boredom in his beloved Rum, waiting for the ultimate goal of their trip to appear on the horizon line, should the universe become flat for a little while.  What a waste he muses, all those worlds going by remaining unexplored and unconquered.  Wouldn’t it be nice to own a couple of them at the very least?  So many with such potential, so many needing a leader.  He recalls the Planet of Books which he was unable to save.  If he had a planet of his own, he would—

“—Captain!” Labaguette yells, “we can’t possibly be heading back home without something to show for.”

“We’ll conquer some more ships when we’re back.”

“There’s an interesting cluster a few degrees North,” Birdseye adds, tentatively.

Then the King-Fool begins to sing, dance and gesticulate in excitement.  “One must never give up, give up, give up.”  And again: “One must never give up, give up, give up,” he chants.

“Give up what?” Labaguette asks, perching on his wand, entertained, wanting some more.

“Exploring.  Home is death, desolation, an end to your purpose.”

“I will be a hero, tell me more.”

“You’ll be hero especially if you bring something back which gives you power.  Else, you’ll be a hero for one day and then sink into oblivion the very next day.”

“Captain!”

“He’s drunk.  We must act now.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 485

“You will be a hero.”

“I know that, I’ve always known it.  Always said so.  See Captain?  For my country.”

“Labaguette, anyone looking at you can read you like a book.  And remember: my country is yours too, it adopted you” the Captain says.

“My heart cannot be divided and that is why I will be a hero.”

“Your heart contains a multitude.  This isn’t about you Labaguette.  Captain Starcrusher, can we use a time capsule to propel us out of here?”

“It doesn’t work that way.  We shall look at them.  I shall explain some more but it is time to go.

And so, preparations are swift.  The euphoria of the knighthood, dampened by Birdseye’s doomsday’s visions of their future, even if quashed in part by the time capsule potential predictive intervention, subsides and the Insatiable Princess is secured to the shuttle’s flank.

But Captain Traumatic is reluctant to step inside the shuttle.

“You must come inside,” Captain Starcrusher insists, “or else the forces at play when we time travel will leave you behind and reduce you to dust.”

“I must look after the Insatiable Princes.  If she can survive, so can I.”

“Well—”

“—You’re not intending to leave her behind are you?  You’d better get it into your head that she’s a survivor.  What proof do you need, you’re without helmet and you survive, do you not?”

“Very well Captain.  Labaguete, this kingly Fool and Birdseye are all inside.”

“They’re only curious.  They’ve never seen a ship like yours before.”

“Are you not the least interested?”

“A ship’s a ship.  My crew will get bored the minute you close the door on them.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 478

Imprinted on their suits, in bright shiny fluorescent colours, the letters and symbols of the Nasa Recovery Space Shuttle, CT Mission sparkle and dazzle for all to see, for all to notice.

“Howdy!” Labaguette says, saluting with one wing lifted.

The Fool runs around the cosmonauts, pulling faces, dancing, jingling his wand like a mad sorcerer in trance.

“Enough!” the Captain orders, walking towards them, his brain scanning for answers within: Why the armour? He wonders, Why the helmets?  Inside they look human but if they were to remove their protective gear, what would we find inside?  Are they who they pretend to be?  What do they want?”

But the three cosmonauts stop, stand still and straight, their right arm reaching for their forehead, an unexpected salute.

“This is suspicious,” the Captain thinks as he walks around them, “they don’t know me.  I’m a pirate.  A first rate pirate, a true blue pirate:  known beyond and above all other creatures across space for my…   my rum trade.”

“You’re looking for rum?”

“Are you the Captain of this ship?”

“I’ve plenty of it.  I will negotiate with you once you show us the way out of here.  It isn’t safe.  Are we your prisoners?”

Upon these last words, the middle and taller cosmonaut takes a steps forward:

“Ay, Ay Captain Errol Seth Anectodick, we salute you.”

“You’re mistaken.  I’m Captain Traumatic.”

“Not mistaken.  You are the long lost Captain Anectodick we have been searching for.  See?” the cosmonaut says holding a piece of paper with the face of Captain Traumatic printed on it.

“Who are you?”

“Captain Ford Sunblast, and this is Joe Starcrusher, second in command, and third is Bill Clusterflame.  At your service Captain Anectodick.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 477

The Insatiable Princess’s wood screeches once more under the speed’s immense and close to unsustainable pressure it must bear along with the spin it has to extricate itself from.  Behind them, a small black hole forms, so black one would get sucked in just looking at it.  In a split second of eternity, the Insatiable Princess transports Captain Traumatic, Labaguette, Birdseye and a Fool out of the danger zone.

Exhausted by her heroic effort, the Insatiable’s Princess slows down as her sails unravel, fall flat against the masts and she comes to a stop.

“We must keep going!” Captain Traumatic urges.

“I need a rest,” Labaguette insists.

“Now is not the time,” the Captain says.

“Where to?” Birdseye asks.

“Even he who must know doesn’t know, doesn’t know, doesn’t know,” the Fool’s empty sneering words echo in the dark, in the empty space surrounding them.

“There are no stars,” Labaguette remarks, “nothing.  Any maps Captain?”

“Never mind where,” the Captains answers, “anywhere better than here.  The Insatiable Princess never does loops.”

“She has stalled, Captain,” Birdseye insists.

“This is entrapment.”

“Entrapment of a third kind,” the Fool suggests.

“Get back into King’s form, Fool,” the Captain commands, “you’re of no use.”

“This is the cloud, the veil that clouded all that I could not see before,” Birdseye remarks, “our path has been interfered with.  We are in a bubble.”

“Precisely.”

“The particles—”

And just like that, a thump is heard and felt by the side of the ship.  Soon, three cosmonauts, climb aboard, each presenting a ‘V’ sign with their index and middle fingers.

“What are they?” the Fool asks.

“They come in peace,” Birdseye confirms.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 475

And yet…

“I feel dizzy,” Labaguette says, passing one of his wings by his face, a diva in the making.

“You’re all fixed Labaguette,” the Captain says, “you can’t have one of your turns again, not now, now ever.  Don’t need your crap.”

Labaguette takes flight.

“It feels better in the air,” he says, “look!  Everything is sliding on the Insatiable Princess.  Do you believe me know?”

Captain Traumatic rushes to free the ship from the platform as the slanting increases.

Further adrift, the King-of-all-Things has swum to the edge of the platform.  He leans forward, using his mighty powers, or what is left of them, conjuring the egg to fly back to him.  Behind him, three monkeys are catching up, victorious in having retrieved a flag, yet all too eager to catch what fell and the fallen a second from now.

“The stars around us are tipping in the same direction as the platform,” Labaguette remarks.

“Impossible,” Birdseye says.

“But true,” the Captain adds.

“A BAAAABOOOOORD!” Labaguette urges once more.

“A Babord!” King Krackskull repeats, an odd smile parading at the tip of his lips.

The platform has now reached a 180 degrees angle, it is perpendicular to the Insatiable Princess.  Everything is sliding from the platform: a never ending supply of water, mountains and turtles unnoticed before, all are falling into the vast nothingness.  This is happening straight after the King-of-all-Things fell from it, still believing he could attract the Egg back, with three Monkeys riding a flag zooming past this King at an impossible speed, hoping to catch the Egg, hoping all the while their father isn’t far behind.

“This entire universe is falling onto itself,” the Captain murmurs.

“It is only the beginning,” Birdseye comments.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 471

“I sit on my throne all day, challenging all armies and creatures that come to my planet to de-throne me.  But none can as they are powerless when confronted by the sheer strength of my planet’s surface.”

“It isn’t a planet, it’s a digestive system.  It would need to relieve itself, it—”

“—It is surrounded by the venomous gas it emits.  No space ship, no creature makes it through unscathed.”

“The Insatiable Princess did.”

“The winds shift the gas.  I don’t control the winds.”

“You could control what your planet gorges.”

“Food is good, I understand the joys of taste buds and I even encourage it.  I control my planet’s food intake when I see fit, when it is necessary and I enjoy being entertained.”

“All theories are valid which are all contained within the Mother of all theories.”

“You allow the voices to speak to you.”

“They’re alive.”

“They’re trapped.  You don’t need me, you have your crowd, your voices, your collectables.”

“Your voice is different.  Your manners are different.  And what is more tempting than having an ex-King become one’s fool at court?”

“Would you consider exchanging me for another prized hostage?”

“I have all that I need here, and now I have thee for keeps.”

“I’ve no crown any more.  I’ve lost touch with She-Coat.”

“I have a secret.  I am also the King of all Universes.”

“Sure.  No doubt, huh?  Let’s suppose—”

“—Your crew is doomed.  You’ll never go back, you’re mine to keep.”

“We shall see.”

“I’ve something which will make you want to stay here forever.”

“Your platform is too small, not interesting at all.”

To be continued…